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OP/ED: Ending the Dark Days

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posted on Mar, 18 2005 @ 12:56 PM
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Seeker, Joe, Sofi

Lemme clarify. I wasn't advocating a witch hunt. Let's call it immunity from prosecution for all past offenders, amnesty, whatever. However, there are several members that persist in ignoring the rules and spitting in the face of the mods, all so they can continue their campaign to spread ignorance and incite hate against groups they perceive as evil; mostly this stems from anachronistic religious beliefs, but that's a whole 'nother can of worms.

I don't think we need to compile lists of these people, the mods know who they are, they warn them on a daily basis it seems. And I don't think we need to seek them out, they make themselves abundantly evident with every ejection of acid from their special glands.

What we do need, is a way to stop them from filling up the board with the same spiel every day, encapsulated in different news stories (used as an excuse to spin, spin, spin). What about a one thread per day limit, with the ability to make unlimited replies? That would encourage people to contribute more to the work of others. Maybe the mods could be more..LIBERAL (
) in deleting those posts that add nothing to the intelectual merit of the discussion. I know you don't want to do this, I know. There has to be some way of encouraging insightful, logical discourse... I'm gonna keep thinking about it, maybe I'll have an epiphany later, I don't know...

As far as changing people..I think that has to take place on an individual level. The most important way to help that along is to encourage the posting of factual, illuminating information, so that people can make up their own minds. The problem is, they've been so trained in partisanship, they'll just regard the truth as some sort of perverted lie designed to make their chosen politicians look bad.

A perfect example of that trend is the thread about the White House child porno ring. If that was proven conclusively factual, there would still be dozens of people swearing up and down the photos were manipulated, the whole story was made up, the witnesses were liars, etc. etc. etc. Now I'm not saying it is true, but just think about the sort of reactions you could expect if it was! The sides wouldn't change! Not one bit. It would simply galvanize people's misconceptions about sides, and would further enrage them, and set ATS even deeper in the rut.

So maybe the situation is hopeless. Maybe the whole nation, most of the english speaking world, maybe the whole world..hopelessly corrupted. I don't know. This is so frustrating because I feel like no matter what I say to try and convince people to be their own person, it won't do any good, because the programmers are nothing if not thorough.

News Reporter: "George Bush killed and ate a Jewish baby today." :authoritative baritone:
Pundit: "See, now that's just a despicable lie put out by the liberal media." :nasal whine:
Citizen A: "He's just pure evil. He's a nazi, the antichrist, Satan's protege." :with lithp:
Citizen B: "That's a disgusting lie! He is a good man, and you just demonize him because you didn't vote for him!" :with down home twang:
Me: :silently shaking head, mouth agape, eyes skyward:


Originally posted by JoeDoaks

Muaddid said
I am really lost now.... You are talking about punishing those who stereotype and insult, yet your own post is full of stereotypes and insults towards those who disagree with you....
-etc-
this is unbelievable

I see it and agree. I am beside myself agreeing with you again!


Okay... What you're failing to realize is that I'm not against those who disagree with me. Once again, I have no problem with disagreement, I enjoy it thoroughly. My insults are reserved for those who simply parrot the opinion of professional manipulators, in a misguided attempt to convert the rest of the world to their own agenda. The only agenda I am promoting here is respect, understanding, the establishment of a common ground, and the identification of common goals. If you can't handle my agenda, which is by all rational standards the most applicable to every human being on the planet, then you have to ask yourself, what in God's name is wrong with me? Why am I so willing to throw away a bright future of cooperation and harmony in favor of old hatreds and artificial desires? Just ask youself that.

What bothers me immensely is when people gang up, STORM around the board, and use emotionally charged (but fundamentally hollow) words like freedom, values, patriotism; all of that is smokescreen to conceal issues, water down threads, and make the filtering of knowledge and real information for new comers nearly impossible. That's the concerted effort. That's the crux of the issue.

I'm intolerant of intolerance. Does that make me intolerant?

I can argue day in and day out with Seekerof or Sofi and not get worn out, because though in many cases their opinions differ from my own, they generally act in a civil fashion, and that encourages me to do the same. Arguing with the good dr or mwm is like banging my head against a wall. They continually fail to adhere to the principles of a fair debate, and instead rely on equal parts venom and semantics to hold their own.

What I hate doing, is talking to people who don't listen, and you're rapidly convincing me you're one of those people. Again, for the last time, I think the people deserving of censure are the ones who, rather than listen and talk in equal measure, simply SPEW SPEW SPEW.

Their mouths are loaded but their heads are empty. They have been owned. Controlled. Directed. They are spoken for. Maybe take one of Majic's lessons on information warfare and you will better understand. He has some really good links.

There is a concerted effort on the part of the powers that be to make you believe it is you against us. It is not, and never has been the case. Look behind the curtain, don't take their word for what is behind it. Don't take ours either! What I want is for people of different opinions to be able to co-exist through mutual respect.

I give respect to those who show it. I have only scorn for those who presume to tell me they are on the side of right, and that I am somehow an idiot for failing to succumb to their simplistic efforts at misdirection. I don't mind argument, I think it's healthy and natural to debate and toss opinions and concepts back and forth for mutual examination. The problem is baiting and fighting, and this is only made worse by a perception of sides. This perception is cherished especially by religious people, because they've been told they will go to hell unless they stay divided. What a horrible, horrible world we live in, where parents feel good about lying to their children and filling them with hate, all because of some mistranslations of ancient philosophy, which, if they had remained untainted and intact, would do humanity a great service, but, in their twisted shape, serve only to separate and reduce us to petty bickering.

We could all be living in nearly indestructable houses, having robots do all our work, eating tasty and healthy food, drinking clean water, exploring space, writing poetry, raising our children to love and respect one another...

BUT NO! We're here debating how to salvage our country after it was raped and beaten nearly to death by thieves! Doesn't that piss you off?!

I've been thinking about it, and one of the major turning points was 9/11. After the towers fell, there was no going back, because half of America believed it was Islam's fault, and half of America believed it was our government's fault. There are still, to this day, almost 4 years later, no compromises, no efforts at reconcilliation, no middle ground. You're either with us or against us indeed.

And again, I'll say it one more time, labels are a big part of the problem. When people get labeled they lash out in retaliation, upset at having been dehumanized. There are members of this community who revel in labels, they apply them willy nilly like a store clerk high on No-Doze. They are largely to blame for the antagonism that develops. Of course, they're not the only ones to blame, basically it isn't their fault. They were raised to be faulty, to serve their masters, to not ask questions and never give in no matter how wrong they are.

This isn't about skeptics and believers, it isn't about right and left, it isn't about white and black, or christians and muslims, THIS IS ABOUT HUMANS. We are people. We have needs. What are those needs? (information, community, respect, action) How can we fulfill those needs? (dialogue, research, understanding) Who is stopping us from coming together? (some say bankers, others say energy barons, others say aliens, some even say it's our nature) What can we do to thwart their efforts? (we can stop perceiving the world in black and white, we can start to value human life above ancient nursery rhymes, we can think of the future instead of focusing on what's six inches in front of our face)

Is that clear?




Wyrde said
My insults are targeted specifically at people who continue to flock together and allow others to do their thinking for them

Now why is this different?


The difference is intent. The manipulators seek to destroy our unity, to make us weak and easily tricked, easily conquered, easily made ill (so they can sell us their snake oil). I seek just the opposite. I want people to rise up and cast off ages of bigotry in one triumphant moment of divine selfishness/selflessness (they are one and the same). That is a far more noble cause than the subjugation of the human spirit of individuality, no matter how you slice it. A man who kills a rabid dog is not the same as a man who kills fifi the lap dog who was sleeping peacefully by the fire. I want to put the mad dog down and you're saying that I might as well be killing fifi. I disagree, clearly.

We were gifted with a mind, a sharp, attenuated instrument for perceiving the world. There are forces out there that wish to take that from you! Doesn't that bother you?! If not, why? If yes, then you have to understand the need for unity. The need for unity means we have to do away with old labels and old prejudices.

You cling to them still (I'm on 'the other side'), just like racists take their hate to the grave, just like the religious take their beliefs to the hell they've created for themselves, just as rich men sleep forever with their gold. If you don't LET GO, you will never know freedom.

I let it all go man. I had money, I had a car, an education, a promising future as a politician. I chose to be a man instead of a king, and in making that choice, I became something more.

I'm not here because I enjoy being pummeled with the ignorance I avoid in real life. I'm here because I want to try and bring some measure of understanding to those who have been denied it their whole life. Those who embrace it willingly are of no concern to me. It's the people who don't know they're being manipulated that earn my sympathy.

And that's what we're here to discuss.

[edit on 18-3-2005 by WyrdeOne]




posted on Mar, 18 2005 @ 01:20 PM
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Originally posted by RANT
Now that doesn't mean every time a news article posted by Mike Moore or BlogsforBush finds it's way here it's part of a concerted effort, though real concerted efforts do exist. But the passive can be just as pervasive.

Hone your skills, look for BS, look for the "strings" of the inauthentic voices of parrots, then deny it. Do not engage. Do not feed the troll. Do not feed the divide.

While it's nice to have a research project on propaganda and manipulation and subliminal tactics, it is always best to BE AWARE.
Thinking before posting.
Seems to be some of the proposed ideas here not only smack of witchhunt, but also tamper with freedom of speech. People are free to say what they want, within the Terms of ATS. We are free to judge these comments before reacting (posting).

Undercover trolls disappear just like overt trolls when they are ignored.



posted on Mar, 18 2005 @ 02:52 PM
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I just looked back at my post...
What a rambling diatribe....

So sorry ATS...so sorry.

Anyway, RANT and others made good points about ignoring people who try to sidetrack threads. I was too busy ranting to reply to them. Funny huh?

Listen to them, they remembered their Shakespeare. I forgot it. Mea culpa.

I really don't think we need a witch hunt, we just need a common goal, and the motivation to break free of rusty shackles.

EDIT: Disregard all previous advice on fixing civilization. I'm going to wait until after the fire and the rain, then we'll have a go at it. Let it burn. I was wrong to try and save it. It all needs to crumble again before anyone has a hope in hell of seeing the cracks in the foundation.

I was going to delete the above posts, but I rather like the syntax in places, so I'm going to let it live. Please though, disregard all information about society, the world, and mankind at large. I implore you, let it burn.



[edit on 18-3-2005 by WyrdeOne]



posted on Mar, 18 2005 @ 03:28 PM
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Sorry, WyrdeOne, could you please repeat everything after "Lemme clarify"?

j/k j/k

My apologies, I just couldn't resist.

Carry on.



posted on Mar, 18 2005 @ 03:34 PM
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Originally posted by RANT
This is known. Not even in question. Both "paid" and "volunteer" posters of concerted and various efforts live on the Internet working their way from top to bottom and back up again.


That I believe, but claiming that such efforts are responsible for "mortally wounding" ATS, just seems a little paranoid to me, no offense to anyone.


We're on the route. (As the neo-nazi's have made more than obvious.)

Instructions are given out on any number of blogs or within the inner circles of every political campaign for how to do it.

I've got an invitation in my inbox right now to help "promote a movie" by such an effort.


Such efforts are out to make money, but I don't see what such commercial efforts have to do with the polarization on ATS.


And I will be looking for those posts to find their way here. Just as I know when a post originates from one or more of the other sites I monitor that promotes inflammatory dissemination for the purpose of controversy.

Now that doesn't mean every time a news article posted by Mike Moore or BlogsforBush finds it's way here it's part of a concerted effort, though real concerted efforts do exist. But the passive can be just as pervasive.


I think you are right. Real concerted efforts do exist, but I find it hard to believe they are affecting the content on ATS.
Do you have any examples to show me, so I better understand what exactly you mean?

In a way everyone is trying to manipulate threads with the posts they write. You give your opinion and try to make others see why you think about it in a certain way. There is no difference between someone trying to make propaganda for Bush on the internet because he gets paid for it, and someone who is just a plain bushfan.

No difference to the final content that is.

Since this is a conspiracy site, I realize I may be bursting peoples bubbles by saying this, but I really think that regarding the content on ATS, there is no conspiracy.
There is no manipulation, no sabotaging of truth and no diversion techniques being used here.

In the real world maybe yes, but not on ATS.

If I am wrong (which is very possible ;+) , then please show me some examples of concerted efforts affecting the content on ATS...

[edit on 18-3-2005 by Jakko]



posted on Mar, 18 2005 @ 04:06 PM
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But the ability to flesh out, expand and articulate ideas is a skill - it has to be learned. IMO - if we want to have fruitful, productive discussions, we need to keep honing our skills and be willing to teach newcomers too.


I believe that if you want to have these types of discussions that you will have to setup a forum area other than the ones already created that you have to have permission to enter. Have a requirement of lets say 5,000 points after which someone will review your posts and decide if your participation in discussions are value added or not.

If I am forced to take a course in order to participate in discussions I will simply find another place to discuss my ideas and opinions.

Just my opinion. Take it for what it is worth.



posted on Mar, 18 2005 @ 04:14 PM
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Originally posted by cryptorsa1001



But the ability to flesh out, expand and articulate ideas is a skill - it has to be learned. IMO - if we want to have fruitful, productive discussions, we need to keep honing our skills and be willing to teach newcomers too.


If I am forced to take a course in order to participate in discussions I will simply find another place to discuss my ideas and opinions.



....Never meant that at all. ...More trying to find "self-defense" against tricky trollers manipulating discussion and setting people against one another.



posted on Mar, 18 2005 @ 04:20 PM
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Ok, how about this as an idea for trying to make the situation manageable, it's only just sketched out, so there will inevitably be some holes to fill, but lets have a go at the principles first - if it dies here, then it does.

It also discusses managing the symptoms not the causes, at least initally, but perhaps a shift would naturally, if slowly occur on the strength of quality postings ... (but then, perhaps that's an overyly ambitious claim).

We've seen the question of the 'new' labels and the for/against discussion already, but this is maybe kinda different.

How about a thread in which all members (including mods) have the opportunity to post a public commitment to uphold decent, respectful, honourable logical argument, free from irrationality, bias and general "bad form".

Following this 'commitment' post, a 'title' - (or other server-side marking) is placed on that members profile, so it their commitment can be publicly reflected upon in every post they make.

(Here's were it gets a bit skinny, so bear with me, as I've kinda assumed some stuff about the resources available to the board, which may not be true).

Now, should a duly commited & marked member post something that transgresses their commitment, then that post is referred somewhere for consideration (by peers and mods ?). If it's upheld, and if it's the first transgression, maybe respond with an e-mail reminding them of their commitment, and the values of community on ATS. This stage would also be accompanied by another title (or other server marking) to mark them as 'fallen'. The second transgression (within a specified timescale) results in a suspension, a third (again within a timescale) results in an outright ban - much like the stuff around the T&C now. Should no further transgression occur after the first, the 'fallen' marking is removed after a given timescale, and the member simply reverts back to no marking.

As with the initial referral, should someone who is 'fallen' show particular compassion or sensitivity in posting, then they can be referred somewhere for consideration of absolution.

The marking earns you nothing other than the honour of maintaining it, and there is no additional penalty attached to it's removal (and replacement), other than the corresponding dishonour of loosing it (and being on 'notice').

The weaknesses appear to include:


    Is it even practicable ?

    How to ensure fairness in the judgement - maybe a peer review, and a written decision that is open to scrutiny ?

    How to balance someone who's comprehension, spelling, grammar and such are not too strong, but nevertheless their post is 'honourable', against someone who is just trolling ? (A job for the somewhere I guess).

    How to stop it being a tool of harassment and vindictive narrow-mindedness - I see the term 'witch-hunt' mentioned in this thread already ...

    What is this *somewhere* I keep mentioning ?



Wow - Now as I've posted it - it looks like a lot of hard work tho' - (Is there not an existing model with the management of the T&C)?

Ok, now does that suck as being too complicated, too ego-driven, or just plain old rubbish - or is it something that could actually help ?

Either way - I'll pledge now that my postings will be fair, balanced, and measured, and although on occasion subjective and opinion based, will nevertheless be delivered with compassion and respect for other views, howsoever they may be presented.

If I fail, then the ATS community judges me accordingly.

(Edit to refine format).

[edit on 18-3-2005 by 0951]



posted on Mar, 18 2005 @ 04:34 PM
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welcomeinpeace
That was just mean dude!
Funny though.


0951
I like that idea a lot. I propose the titles of Paladin, and Fallen Paladin respectively. I've always been a sucker for righteousness, dragon-slaying, all that jazz.

A general note to people who might think I've given up on ATS after my "let it burn" comment, not at all, I assure you. I want ATS to be the best it can be, and I'm willing to help in any way I can. I do propose we give up on fixing the world outside, since I have it on good authority that it's all going to burn to ashes anyway.



posted on Mar, 18 2005 @ 04:46 PM
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More trying to find "self-defense" against tricky trollers manipulating discussion and setting people against one another.


Well, the only thing I can think of is to kick them out.



posted on Mar, 18 2005 @ 05:07 PM
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0951 said
How about a thread in which all members (including mods) have the opportunity to post a public commitment to uphold decent, respectful, honourable logical argument, free from irrationality, bias and general "bad form".

I am biased- I like being biased. why would I give that up?

Logic? Nope- makes no sense to me. Logic is a tool of manipulation.
    I am more articulate,
    I have a better handle on sources,
    I have a few titles,
    I have more points,
    (I have supporters),
    ergo- I am more probably right then you

This squeezes out the 'jewel' posted by some inarticulate person that can not string a sentence together. His/her truth gets lost because logically they couldn't be right.
.

.



posted on Mar, 18 2005 @ 05:58 PM
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Originally posted by JoeDoaks

0951 said:

I am biased- I like being biased. why would I give that up?

[....]

Logic? Nope- makes no sense to me. Logic is a tool of manipulation.

[...]

This squeezes out the 'jewel' posted by some inarticulate person that can not string a sentence together. His/her truth gets lost because logically they couldn't be right.


Ah, you shouldn't have to give up being biased - that's exactly the point.

I don't think it's the bias itself that's the problem with posts, but rather, it's the inconsiderate and wholly subjective expression of that bias which then colours the post.

If I understand your point about the use of logic - then it's a similar reply I'd say: No one should use their logic offensively, but simply as "a system of reasoning" to support a given argument. The lack of coherent sentence structures shouldn't penalise anyone - it's the 'trolling' that's in the frame, not the standards of English.

Perhaps I wasn't entirely clear in my narrative ...
It's more around the principles of a considered reply, than any kind of a tick-list I guess.

(Edit: thanks for the support WyrdeOne, sorry I didn't catch it earlier: I'm ok with metaphorical dragon-slaying [but only metaphorical
]...).

[edit on 18-3-2005 by 0951]



posted on Mar, 18 2005 @ 06:13 PM
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Originally posted by Jakko

The only thing that's predictable about a community like ATS, is that there will be a lot of disagreeing. It really became clear to me in the last few months, that it does not matter how convincing your proof to support your opinion is, there will always be people who do not agree, not even if you throw all the proof of the world in their face.


Now Jakko hit it right in the nail.


You don't have to be a "partisan" to see where this is going guys, i see what some of you are saying as becoming a witch hunt, and I think I am not the only one who can see the problems rising from this.

How many times, some of the members who are posting in this same thread have said to me, and other members in these same forums, that we are warmongers, or that we are agents working for the government because we have different opinions?... among other things they have called us....quite a few times.....so yes, i think something like what WO and sofi are saying will become a witch hunt, then truly ATSNN will become just a place were those who agree in all points are "allowed" to speak up.....



[edit on 18-3-2005 by Muaddib]



posted on Mar, 18 2005 @ 06:20 PM
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Originally posted by Jakko
..................

If I am wrong (which is very possible ;+) , then please show me some examples of concerted efforts affecting the content on ATS...

[edit on 18-3-2005 by Jakko]


I would also like to see some examples of partisanship, or what some people in here are calling partisanship.



posted on Mar, 18 2005 @ 06:24 PM
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Joe

Logic has been the accepted medium for human discourse since men became civil. I see no reason to discard it, it's one of the few firebreaks between us and the natural order of "might makes right." I can't converse with illiterate people, it's nearly impossible, like people from two different regions of Africa clicking and clucking away, oblivious to the meaning of the other's sounds. It leads down a road we've been down before many times as a species...

Usually involves clubs, hollers, and trophies afterwards.... If you would prefer that world I am able to compete on that level as well, probably better than most members of this forum, but do we really want it to come to that?

Logic is a tool of manipulation? No, without logic you are a tool..being manipulated.

0951

No literal dragon slaying, I swear. I understand the necessity of the dragon. Perhaps it wasn't the best figure of speech. I'm with you though, I like the idea of a contract between members and the board. I think it would inspire people to greater heights of civility than we're seeing now.



posted on Mar, 18 2005 @ 06:31 PM
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Originally posted by WyrdeOne
I can't converse with illiterate people, it's nearly impossible, like people from two different regions of Africa clicking and clucking away, oblivious to the meaning of the other's sounds. It leads down a road we've been down before many times as a species...
....................


Wyrdeone, i think it is very clear that you cannot converse, or discuss any topic with anyone that does not agree with you. As can be seen by your responses in this same thread you can't make a conversation without insulting or degrading people who "you" see as being below you...



posted on Mar, 18 2005 @ 06:36 PM
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So, take the main idea of this thread and it degrades into this?

Arguing and taking sides...about people arguing and taking sides?

Dark days indeed...



posted on Mar, 18 2005 @ 07:17 PM
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Originally posted by ZeddicusZulZorander
So, take the main idea of this thread and it degrades into this?

Arguing and taking sides...about people arguing and taking sides?

Dark days indeed...


Most people take sides ZZZ. The same people that are requesting for something to be done have already decided on which side they are on, have they not? I mean, how many of those who are asking, for what to me seems to be a which hunt, go to demonstrations agaisnt the government, whether or not they know that the groups that organized those demonstrations are pro-communist, such as ANWSER INTERNATIONAL, and other self proclaimed anti-war groups?....

Pretty much what i see some people in here asking is that just their side is right, and everyone else is wrong, and they won't hear anything else.



posted on Mar, 18 2005 @ 07:20 PM
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Originally posted by Muaddib

Originally posted by WyrdeOne
I can't converse with illiterate people, it's nearly impossible, like people from two different regions of Africa clicking and clucking away, oblivious to the meaning of the other's sounds. It leads down a road we've been down before many times as a species...
....................


Wyrdeone, i think it is very clear that you cannot converse, or discuss any topic with anyone that does not agree with you. As can be seen by your responses in this same thread you can't make a conversation without insulting or degrading people who "you" see as being below you...


Muadibb, I think it is very clear that you cannot converse, or discuss any topic with anyone that does not agree with you. www.nizkor.org...

I suggest the above specifically for you, as it seems to present a very real and tangible roadblock to your evolution.

I am conversing with you am I not? Despite my sincerest wishes to click that little button and make you go away.

[edit on 18-3-2005 by WyrdeOne]

[edit on 18-3-2005 by WyrdeOne]

[edit on 18-3-2005 by WyrdeOne]



posted on Mar, 18 2005 @ 07:37 PM
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Originally posted by WyrdeOne

Muadibb, I think it is very clear that you cannot converse, or discuss any topic with anyone that does not agree with you.

I am conversing with you am I not? Despite my sincerest wishes to click that little button and make you go away.


But you have also included subtle, indirect insults in your threads did you not?, well except the one i am quoting.

I do agree that one of the things that is needed in these forums is for everyone to respect each other despite the differences in opinions, but i doubt it will happen. The only thing i see hapening with some of you wanting to rid what you call partisanship, is to get rid of those Republicans who have a strong opinion which differs with yours.




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