ATS.S: Skeptic Overview 10: 550 Podcasts on ATS!

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posted on Oct, 21 2005 @ 10:48 PM
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PODcast: Skeptic Overview 10: 550 Podcasts on ATS!
The tenth Skeptic Overview looking at the growth of PODcasting on ATS with over 550 podcasts and the addition of our new feeds. Also some information on the end of the automated censor system on ATS and some questions about why our daily post count seems to be declining.

length: 31:30
file: atsspodcast_640.mp3
size: 11077k
feed: atss
status: live (at time of posting)


Some of the threads discussed in this episode:
David Icke on the ropes?
Young singers spread racist hate
Bush Calls for U.N. Session on Syria's Role in Hariri Assassination
Behold a Pale H5N1 Horse...





posted on Oct, 21 2005 @ 11:52 PM
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Nice podcast SO, and nice tune Sauron! Btw, podcast length doesn't bother me at all, unless it's just rambling, or moving so fast without clear concise points that it becomes a chore to listen to. And I'm probably just as guilty as anyone of this.

The only possible reason I might offer up as to the low post count is: The recent infiltration of some people who pull and post articles from obscure sources? I know in my case that has caused me to just skip over some posts as soon as I see the sources. Could we be losing some posters because of this, when they see those threads and then see that the mods are not trashing them?

I know the source issue has been hotly debated in some recent threads, and I was amazed in one case where the mods left it up, and discussion ensued more about the source used than the topic itself. And curiously, no mod jumped in to say "Please, let's keep this on topic," like they usually do.

Should there be some kind of criteria layed out at ATS that defines what sources are reasonable to use? Also, what criteria are the mods using to judge whether a story should be trashed based on the "validity" of a source?



posted on Oct, 22 2005 @ 12:54 PM
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PODcast: Skeptic Overview 10: 550 Podcasts on ATS! (reply 1)
My take on the decrease in posts

length: 05:50
file: btstpodcast_644.mp3
size: 2739k
feed:
status: live (at time of posting)




posted on Oct, 22 2005 @ 07:56 PM
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I think one possible reason for a lower number of posts, could be due to midterms. Ours was last week
I'm also wondering if people are kind of waiting for the actual indictments to come against rove as well. The calm before the storm if you will.

[edit on 22-10-2005 by silentlonewolf]



posted on Oct, 23 2005 @ 04:21 AM
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Firstly, great podcast as usual. I look forward to your podcasts a lot Skeptic. When the time comes around, I keep updating the podcast in iTunes and hoping it will be there. When I listen to your casts, I set myself up with a glass of wine and a pack of smokes, turn off the monitor, sit back and just listen, and I'm always disappointed when they end. Please don't stop, and don't shorten them. It'd be great if you could even spend even more time talking about threads on the board that caught your eye. "What the Overlord Thinks" is always great food for thought and, I'll venture to say, greatly respected by the membership.

In regards to the decline in the volume of member posts, I've noticed it too. It used to be that by the time I'd finished reading a thread and refreshed MyATS, there would already be several replies to other threads that I was subscribed to, or even to the one I just read. But not lately... I keep flicking down to the Members Online display and expecting there to be a low member count online, and wow, heaps of folks online but not many posts. The disparity is perplexing. I was actually going to make a thread in BQ&B about it, but thought better of creating possible drama.

As to the why, I think that BH and TA hit on a couple of possible culprits:

Firstly the arguing. There seems to be a lot of arguing that goes on, with snipes coming in just under the mod radar. This can be intimidating for new, and even some seasoned members. I myself am at the stage where if I'm not particularly knowledgeable on a subject, I will refrain from posting even an honest question for fear of the backlash that may come, or simply because two members are at each other's throats already. Don't try to separate two fighting dogs with your hands, eh? I don't see any end to this in sight either, because the expanded membership of ATS means that we have members from all walks of life and all viewpoints. As lamented in many a "bring back the old ATS" thread, gone are the days when all members would either agree, or at least agree to collaborate on researching the truth of a matter.

As TA mentioned, the source thing has definitely become an issue. How many threads do we see degrade into arguments about the reputability of the source, and what supposed agenda it has. This has become a default tactic for debunkers on either side of the conspiratorial view of events. Again, this is very discouraging to those who may be considering adding some thoughts to the thread. Is there a solution to this? I don't think so, in fact it will probably only get worse. This issue is becoming more and more a MAJOR issue as the information war heats up between TPTB and the MSM on one side, and the bloggers and independent media on the other.

One other thing I've noticed is it seems that often the well-researched threads get very little response, while the sensationalist, a few lines of opinion posts get pages and pages of replies. This can be discouraging for those who take the time to post with some research, and who don't want to participate in opinion-bashing.

That being said, none of these things are really new to ATS, and it may be that we're just in one of those lulls that will be washed away by another event like the 2004 elections, the Katrina disaster, or the TV show's inevitable membership increase by-product.

Sorry for the rambling post without any offers of solutions.

PS: Benevolent Heretic, you'd be surprised at how many lurkers' you manage to have an impact on. And you'd be surprised at how many seemingly stubborn debaters whose opinion you may have influenced but they're too proud to admit it in public.



posted on Oct, 23 2005 @ 07:01 AM
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PODcast: Skeptic Overview 10: 550 Podcasts on ATS! (reply 2)
mulberry chimes in with her opinion

length: 07:50
file: atscpodcast_647.mp3
size: 3676k
feed:
status: live (at time of posting)

[edit on 23-10-2005 by mulberryblueshimmer]




posted on Oct, 23 2005 @ 09:37 AM
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Very curious that two concerns have manifested in this thread and they are two issues that may not be able to co-exist at the same time.

1. Credibility or factuality (or lack there of) of sources and their possible negative effect on the board.

2. Arguing and its negative effect on the board.

Addressing 1 first:

There are sources that tend to have to be vetted every time they are referenced. Most of us know what they are and do so. Most new members will not have a history with these sources like a lot of the people who have been here a while and had to go out and research and find that there wasn't much credibility to a given story. BUT, I firmly believe that in everything there is a kernel of truth. So we can never completely dismiss a source carte blanche. We know the MSM is biased as well, so we can't be one-sided in using our credibility wand. We have to look at each story...a source that typically doesn't check anything it writes may be the very source that eventually reveals something that has previously been hidden on the traditional "credible" sites. We never want to put a list of sources you can't reference and speak to...else we're just here talking the same line everybody else on earth is talking. And our very reason for coming together goes away.

Which leads to...

2. You've got two choices on vetting a source and the original post and/or ATSNN article post - you can beg the admin/mods of this board to decide for you and have them trash from a list of non credible sources, or be the "judges" in whether something is bull-hockey. Or you can allow the dynamics of a multicultural, multi-philosophical, multi-perspective membership debate it out. If you want to call it arguing - fine. I don't like that word because it has a negative connotation and when you refer to a disagreement as arguing you then set a precedent that not being able to come to a point of agreement is not acceptable. There are issues that two opposing viewpoints cannot ever come to a point of agreement on. Live with it. Some of the most active posting days in ATS history have been populated by some of the most vitriolic debating in its history - if you don't believe me, ask for the stats from this time last year right before the election.

If we are to achieve harmony on this board we will either be required to move to BTS and talk about our favorite songs and movies, or we'll set over here and play footsies with each other on the admin's accepted list of topics.

And neither one of those advances denying ignorance.

The really crazy thing is, the more passionate a member is on a topic, the more hard-hitting the debate can become. In order to squelch that you'll have to kill members' passions. The day you start seeing that occur at the hands of the admin's policies is the day you can formerly charge them with selling the board out.

Just my 2 cents.

P.S. And I think the thread "So you want to start a new thread" should go in the trash bin.

Okay, 3 cents.



posted on Oct, 23 2005 @ 10:26 AM
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Great points, Val.


BUT, I firmly believe that in everything there is a kernel of truth. So we can never completely dismiss a source carte blanche. We know the MSM is biased as well, so we can't be one-sided in using our credibility wand. We have to look at each story...a source that typically doesn't check anything it writes may be the very source that eventually reveals something that has previously been hidden on the traditional "credible" sites.


I completely agree. Whether it's CNNNN, WorldNetDaily, Al Jazeerah or even dare I say it, Rense, every new piece of information should be assessed on its individual merits. The problem is that a lot of members are in the habit of switching into auto-pilot when it comes to information presented, based solely on who is presenting the info, and will attempt to stifle all debate by simply calling out the source. I've done so myself many a time. Should the admin step in and tell us what is and isn't credible? No, of course not.

And regarding the heated debates, should admin squelch everyone's passion? No, of course not.

But the question at hand is simply why the post rate has gone down, not how we should change ATS. Are the above-mentioned issues influencing factors in the decline? Are they intimidating for new members? Maybe. But as I mentioned above, these issues have always been present at ATS, so can we definitely say that they are HUGELY influencing factors? No. We're just throwing out some possibilities; brainstorming if you will, and what we've ended up with is perhaps a list of a couple of members' pet peeves rather than any definitive causes.

So have you got any ideas as to the possible causes of this mysterious reduction in posting? Because I'm at a loss. And I think SO is too, otherwise he wouldn't have thrown the question out there.



posted on Oct, 23 2005 @ 10:30 AM
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Yeah, here's my theory. The continuous partitioning of ATS has finally caught up with us. Sure there are ATS conspiratorial issues that can keep the board active, but there's also going to be down times in that area. We've now got our social interaction petitioned off to BTS and our political views petitioned over to PTS.

So...there are those of us who don't want to board hop. I suspicion if all those boards were together, we'd stay more constant when the ATS side hits a lull.

That's my opinion. But then, I never agreed with the partitioning in the first place. And both times it happened because of just a minority of posters complaining about how the board was becoming too *fill in the blank*.

[edit on 10-23-2005 by Valhall]



posted on Oct, 23 2005 @ 10:40 AM
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Perhaps a solution to that would be to combine the three boards' all into one.



posted on Oct, 23 2005 @ 10:42 AM
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Originally posted by wecomeinpeace
Perhaps a solution to that would be to combine the three boards' all into one.


I personally would back 100%. But I'm just one person, and you make 2. Maybe this is something we could spend some of our funny-money points on to see what the board thinks?

Council?



posted on Oct, 23 2005 @ 10:50 AM
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PODcast: Skeptic Overview 10: 550 Podcasts on ATS! (reply 3)
Addressing the question, "Why is the number of posts droping?" ...and identifying a cycle related to Congressional and Senate activity.

length: 02:28
file: atscpodcast_648.mp3
size: 951k
feed:
status: live (at time of posting)




posted on Oct, 23 2005 @ 10:52 AM
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PODcast: Skeptic Overview 10: 550 Podcasts on ATS! (reply 4)
Responding to SkepticOverlord. Adressing the question, "Whay are the number of posts dropping?" ...and identifying a cycle related to Congressional and Senate activity.

length: 02:38
file: atscpodcast_649.mp3
size: 951k
feed:
status: live (at time of posting)




posted on Oct, 23 2005 @ 10:53 AM
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What would be ultra-cool would be a new button that did that. That way if a member just wants an ATS or BTS or PTS only new posts list they would have the old button on that board, but they would also have this second button that made them see an all-inclusive new posts list if they wanted.

That would be major major cool.



posted on Oct, 23 2005 @ 11:10 AM
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Sorry about the double post - but both times, I got a window saying that there was a "ping error" preventing the podcast from going through.

Here is the text of the podcast:

I think people don't post, and say what they think, or ask questions, because they're afraid of being targeted.

Whenever the legislative arms of the US government are active, outside-the-box approaches to certain topics are verboten on ATS and other sites - those topics being anything that's "hot," or up for legislative action. Speaking out critically is guaranteed to generate a pack attack from the Righteous Soldiers defending Bush-Republicanism.

Like any predatorial pack, the Righteous Soldiers focus on one victim at a time, and work to separate their target from the rest of the herd. Once they've successfully isolated their target, and silenced the dissent, or gotten the member banned, they move on, and look for another victim. Potential victims know intuitively that they need to lay low, hide inside the herd, and avoid being identified as an individual target.

Standard pack behavior. Standard herd response.

And we're in the middle of an attack cycle right now. It will end after the key legislation passes Congress and the Senate.

New members may not realize that this is a predictable cycle. And that they will be allowed to speak freely when dissent and criticism no longer have the ability to influence political decisions - that is, we will be allowed to speak when speaking out no longer is an exercise of our right to participate democratically in the political process.



.



posted on Oct, 23 2005 @ 12:13 PM
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Originally posted by soficrow

Whenever the legislative arms of the US government are active, outside-the-box approaches to certain topics are verboten on ATS and other sites - those topics being anything that's "hot," or up for legislative action. Speaking out critically is guaranteed to generate a pack attack from the Righteous Soldiers defending Bush-Republicanism.




by soficrow: Standard pack behavior. Standard herd response.



Am I to understand that you believe that anyone questioning this "out of the box" post is to be considered as one of: "standard pack behavior" or "standard herd response"?

Do you also mean that one SHOULD NOT question this "out of box" post because obviously we do not know what we are talking about?

Perhaps this attitude is the reason for the declining number of posts?

Edit for comment by Mahree

[edit on 10/23/2005 by Mahree]



posted on Oct, 23 2005 @ 12:19 PM
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Mulberry makes a good point about news overload:

Bird flu
Miers
Rove
Fitzgerald
Terrorists
Iraq War
Iran and Syria
Katrina + Wilma
Torture
BushCo + PNAC


As regards board partitioning. I like it. I like structure and order. I like for things to be compartmentalized. I just think people who used to post on ATS a lot have stopped or slowed because of the ‘feel’ of the board. More about that later.

Sourcing: I’m going to disagree with the idea that sourcing is a problem. I agree with Valhall and wecomeinpeace that you never know when a good story might come out of a ‘less-than-credible’ source. There are tons of sources, not just on the Internet. Some are good, some less dependable. Some, it’s just a matter of opinion. Look at cnn. It’s becoming less and less credible in my opinion.

We’re all out here with good, discerning minds. We can each decide if a source is valid or not. I would strongly disagree with any attempt to regulate the sources used on the board. I would much prefer the more seasoned members simple say, “I’m not sure I trust that source” or something like that as opposed to “That source sucks and only a stupid person would use it. We all know better.”

But, I can’t regulate the way people talk to each other, either. And I support the freedom to speak our minds within the confines of the board rules. So, seeing as how we all learned somehow which sources are credible, I think each person should have the experience of having their sources questioned. I would prefer it be in a respectful way, but some of us just can’t seem to manage that. Having one’s sources questioned is a really good way to learn to look for a second source and also to learn which sources are more credible than others.

As regards arguing: Arguing is not the same as disagreement or debate. I think disagreement and debate are healthy and something I love to do, in fact. The one thing lacking in argument is respect.

Arguing involves name-calling and other personal attacks of peripheral details, like the opposition’s political party, their sex, where they live, their race or something personal about the person one is disagreeing with, in an attempt to discredit their opinion because of an unrelated idea or fact. And I don’t like to see it on ATS. There’s room for that on BTS and PTS and I think it’s even allowed, but ATS (in my p-nut brain) should be reserved for intellectual, factual, respectful debate and discussion.

I’m all for disagreement and debate, but I’m frankly sick of knowing what some of the regular ATS arguers are going to say before even opening the thread. If I see a new twist on something or see a thread or post by someone I’ve come to respect, I open it, but lately it seems that all too quickly, the regulars come in to put their acerbic slant on the thread and it spirals downhill for the next 20 pages with 4 people posting and gnawing at each other. I just don’t find that I want to be involved in that.

What’s to be done about it? Unfortunately, I’m not sure. But at the risk of being perceived as complaining about the board, I do offer a suggestion of a solution.

www.abovetopsecret.com...

I remember how glad I was when this came out. And for a while it seemed to work, but then, like children who ‘test’ their parents constantly, the antics came back and are now (seemingly) being all but ignored again. There are several threads on ATS I’ve been tempted to participate in, but when I go in and see the overall ‘feel’ of the thread, I decide against it, for my post, which pertains to the original post, seems off-topic and will likely be totally ignored as someone who’s not involved in the ‘fight’.

I think I’ll make an effort to participate more in ATS for a while and not let others’ opinions and arguing effect me quite so much. I’ll let you know how that goes.



posted on Oct, 23 2005 @ 12:43 PM
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I also have seen a decline on posting and also threads that are dying when they could make a good topic for debating and researching, I miss that very much a good debate and everybody doing research.

Now the time is spend more on bashing the sources and the way some post that actually proving them wrong.

I also have to agree with the arguing as wecomeinpeace point out in his post, I like to debate once in while but when it becomes obvious that is personal it just makes me shut down and stop.

New members see old members been bash because their post and it does make it more intimidating to post and take sides.

Also when bashing goes in groups targeting one source makes it very clear that is intentional, that is not good either.

I had fun many times in some threads but now I feel like I have to watch out as not to offend anybody with my words and become a target.

Like BH said about finding out the news first in ATS is does happen with me and my husband also, he always said “where did you find out?” I just said ATS occurs.

BTW he doesn’t like ATS at all, he,he



posted on Oct, 23 2005 @ 01:52 PM
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I have waited a long time to post in response to this question- partially, because I too am fully unclear why my own posts have diminished in number.

I think it is no mistake that some of the most prolific and respected members of this board have posted in response to this very question, and I think each of you raise some very good points.

However, it would also be instructive to understand the nature of the issue from the perspective of ATS' newest members. Perhaps a U2U could be sent to any member of six months or less, and who has posted within the last month, inviting them to comment within this thread.

As a final matter, I am actually relieved to see that so many here feel tone may be the actual culprit. It is certainly within the power of each of the current posters to this thread to change that. Call it when you see it...and continue with your own disciplined participation. I think Benevolent Heretic said it best:


Originally posted by Benevolent Heretic
As regards arguing: Arguing is not the same as disagreement or debate. I think disagreement and debate are healthy and something I love to do, in fact. The one thing lacking in argument is respect.

Arguing involves name-calling and other personal attacks of peripheral details, like the opposition’s political party, their sex, where they live, their race or something personal about the person one is disagreeing with, in an attempt to discredit their opinion because of an unrelated idea or fact. And I don’t like to see it on ATS. There’s room for that on BTS and PTS and I think it’s even allowed, but ATS (in my p-nut brain) should be reserved for intellectual, factual, respectful debate and discussion.



Reduced to a word.... CIVILITY. It should be defended by the MODs and ATS' members as strenuously as any other of ATS' rules.


[edit on 23-10-2005 by loam]



posted on Oct, 23 2005 @ 02:39 PM
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No doubt ATS has become a little intimidating to some members. The frequent admonishments from other members and mods, pointing out the poor standing of their sources is evident right across all the boards. I've been guilty of it myself when someone took a story out of Pravda or the India Daily and started a thread about it. I'm sorry I did that now and won't repeat it.

I'm of the opinion that it doesn't matter where the story originates, as long as we debate the facts which apply to the story itself.

If someone starts a thread about the horrors of abortion and provides a source evidently from the far right...so what(?)...it's the topic which matters and becomes the real base for debate. For me to jump the originator for his/her source is a thread killer and readers interested in the topic will see the putting down of such a source as a 'turnoff', resulting in less opinions posted.

Another real turnoff was the "so you want to start a thread" post. It had a definate effect on me, because I haven't dared start another since it first went up. It's not that I'm lazy, I love bringing my opinions out into the field. It's just that I'm not too sure that what I'd like to put out there is good enough for a new thread.

Thirdly, we have to consider how many of the members are new in here. I've been here only 16 months and in that time have watched the numbers increase by the thousands. I don't know the demographics, but I'm willing to bet a huge proportion of these new members are every bit as inept as I am (heh) and it will take time for these folks to get motivated.

ATS, in my experience has gotten vastly better in the last few months...ATSNN is the best place on the web to keep track of current news, podcasting holds amazing potential as a new facet of communication right across the board (pun intended) and the moderation here continues to get better after the initial 'black band' period. BTS and PTS are going to grow. I can still see a reluctance from some older members, who prefer to wash their hands after dipping into it, but, that will change as members will see it as a less serious area for fun (like the thread killers thread) and also to be able to get into the mudpit for heated debate.

As to the administrators, there are no words which amply define the praise I have for their vision.

So...my bottom line on the lack of posts(?)...I think there's nothing wrong here that civility can't fix. I'm going to do my part by no longer dumping on sources and focussing on the story itself. If I'm intimidated by the standards laid out for good threads, I, and others like me, will eventually get it right as our self confidence builds from receiving a bit of 'applause' from those who represent the soul of ATS.

As a sidenote...each and every time I've resented a mod trashing a thread or moving it somewhere else, I've tried to hold my tongue and not whine about it. And, you know what(?)...each and every time it's been a good thing I did, because as time went on and I got to know that mod better through their efforts on the boards, I've come to understand why they did what they did. Now, I have nothing but respect for them all and can see why they're moderators.





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