ATS.S: Skeptic Overview 11: Special Edition, Back To Basics

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posted on Oct, 25 2005 @ 10:11 PM
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PODcast: Skeptic Overview 11: Special Edition, Back To Basics
A special edition Skeptic Overview focused on the issue raised in Skeptic Overview 10 and the declining daily post count, and related "board burnout". There are two new initiatives that we can all be involved with.

length: 28:36
file: atsspodcast_662.mp3
size: 10057k
feed: atss
status: live (at time of posting)





posted on Oct, 25 2005 @ 11:33 PM
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The problem I've noticed with your idea of speculative theories is that members seem to be either a) unwilling to research the topic and add to it, causing the thread to die, or get buried or b) will completely sidetrack a thread over one individual fact, in sense, killing the theory and turning it into an argument over a fact.

It also seems that people want every single fact laid out in front of them. Every link, every source, every theory and facts that lead to that theory, every person's name, every proof of documents, every.. everything.. People seem to be unwilling to research a topic brought up (true or not) on their own. They expect a person presenting a theory to literally prove it instead of theorizing on something.


I've only presented a few theories on ATS.. most of the time I was stoned out of my mind when I came up with these wicked conclusions.. and most of the time I was proven wrong (for obvious reasons). But one thing I did notice was the tone presented when a theory is put out on the board for discussion. If it's not fact, it's not worth talking about.

Asking someone to theorize, and in the same breath prove their theory is real and conclusive is to me an oxymoron. We should view a theory, correct any errorenous facts, and try to add to it.. not shoot it down into the "debunked" bin.

The urge to prove wrong and debunk things on ATS probably adds to this. I save my debunking for situations, stories, and claims.. not theories.



posted on Oct, 26 2005 @ 04:59 AM
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I listened to your podcast all the way through and find I don't completely agree with your conclusions concerning declining posts. Before I go there though let me say that I don't usually participate in any of the Conspiracy related threads. IMHO, most of them are wacko and the people contributing to them are either a little bit wacko, or immature. About all I really care about are the News and Current events threads. I do monitor some of the conspiracy related threads though just to see who is posting there and how well they seem to present themselves.

Personally, I have found that most of the people participating in the News & Current Events (N&CE) threads are better able to express themselves and are more tolerant of other posters. Of course, there are the constant stream of belligerant posts and sometimes personal attacks to contend with, but unless they come to dominate the thread--which they sometimes do--I just tend to ignore them. I have found that the regular posters to N&CE threads are generally damn well prepared, with a plethora of supporting links and such to back up their comments & opinions. I learn a great deal from just reading such threads.

However, more often now than before, people get on the N&CE threads that really don't come there to participate. They seem to have closed minds and they accomplish nothing more than to waste everybodys time. This, I believe, causes some people to withdraw from discussions on that thread, or even abandon the thread alltogether, and it may even result in some people leaving ATS.

If whatever topic under discussion is at all politically related, then the Bush Bashers & Bush lovers have a go at one another rather vigorously. When that starts to happen on any particular thread, other posters comments are often attacked by one side or the other and sometimes by both. These attacks are enough to intimidate most would be contributors to the thread discussion with the result that the thread just sort of dies. Some of the cases you call burnout are not, in my opinion, burnout at all, just disgust.

You have to have a pretty thick skin to just jump out and start posting your comments & opinions nowdays. Further, it doesn't much matter what a particular person writes when they contribute an article to start a new thread, they will be assailed by many and in many ways. Generally not because of the article being contributed as much as for what the various readers perceive to be their politics and/or biases either in the posting or as the result of past discussions.

I don't think any one of the things I've mentioned above drives people off the site, but in combination they probably do.

Perhaps I'll say more later, but right now I'm a little tired.



posted on Oct, 26 2005 @ 05:58 AM
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Where have the conspiracy threads gone?

To be honest mate, they are there. I have posted so many now [here] but they get lost in the size of the forums now.

Take the Ancient & Lost Civilizations thread, if it hasn't got something to do with Aliens, Atlantis or Egypt it just gets lost in the mass and that's a shame. I've said for ages we need a sub-forum for Egypt, Atlantis, etc...

The same goes for the N.W.O. you need to seperate them better, for the new and old users so that threads which are "Anti-Religion" are grouped together or those which deal with the Reptilian Agenda...otherwise they just get pushed down and down. The amount of times I see it happen all over ATS because those who make threads that'll cause an arguement get the most posts and stay at the top.

I like the prodigy award. Does it come with this guy:




However, I do believe the best thing to do is to remove the limitations on those joining. To deny ignornace - to stop the spread of it, we need to engage them in a debate. We need to get them talking with us and help them evolve so they can make those fantastic posts.



posted on Oct, 26 2005 @ 06:18 AM
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PODcast: Skeptic Overview 11: Special Edition, Back To Basics (reply 1)
Introducing another possible reason into the mix

length: 09:31
file: btstpodcast_669.mp3
size: 2231k
feed:
status: live (at time of posting)




posted on Oct, 26 2005 @ 06:35 AM
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TrueAmerican, I agree with you.

A lot of the posts I get applaused for are awful compaired to the ones I do not. In fact, about 80% of mine have came from awful posts compaired to the ones where I sit down, quote books, articles and explain things and get nothing. From both members or administration.

Example is here.

The amount of work I had to do, to even allow the Mosque at the top of my road to allow me [since I am not a Muslim] to use their copy of the Qu'Ran in Arabic and then have to go through to get the information and I get nothing. No response from members or even staff on it and it makes me question why I even bother?

If I didn't like slapping the bigots into line, I doubt I would try now.



posted on Oct, 26 2005 @ 06:56 AM
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Great Cast TrueAmerican. On the theme of appreciation why don’t we have membership applause? maybe minus the 250 points you get.

If i like a post or think it's worth while why shouldn't I personally be able to show my appreciation for it? I know we have the WATS award but i see that as some thing for exceptional posts (plus you only get three). Whereas applause would be for a great contribution or a well researched post.

I think it would also help to build the ats community if we were able share praise amongst our self’s in some kind of structured way.

Why not have a place where you can see exactly what post got the applause. Or if you gave the membership the ability to applauded each other it would be easy to produce a list of the most applauded posts and therefore the threads with the best content in.



posted on Oct, 26 2005 @ 07:06 AM
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Originally posted by QuietSoul
TIt also seems that people want every single fact laid out in front of them. Every link, every source, every theory and facts that lead to that theory, every person's name, every proof of documents, every.. everything.. People seem to be unwilling to research a topic brought up (true or not) on their own. They expect a person presenting a theory to literally prove it instead of theorizing on something.


I think we're missing the point of embracing speculative concepts and possible conspiracy theory discussion... they are speculation based on observed news/facts/reports. The point is to find a way for ATS membership to embrace and encourage this kind of discussion.



posted on Oct, 26 2005 @ 07:31 AM
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Good points so far... I'll respond later tonight with some ideas and comments.

First... something that may not have been clear. Questions about what is causing a slight decline (about 10-15%) in our daily post-count have resulted in some contemplation of the atmosphere that is the ATS culture. As TrueAmerican pointed out, there are likely dozens of influences at play here, and some or all may have differing effects on individual members. We certainly can't address everything, the comparison to a very large metropolis is more accurate than many realize.

And TD, dude, sorry for the non-response on the original-P thing... you caught me when I was in the middle of a sequence of long-days at work and I simply forgot to respond. It was awesome... it's on my iPod playlist, I've listened to it at least 20 times since.
sorry



posted on Oct, 26 2005 @ 07:31 AM
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I agree with the points made about applause by True American and Burgess.

1. Members issue applause.
2. Link to post that received the applause.
3. Reason for the applause.
4. Place where members could see and link to these posts.

Perhaps "reason for the applause" could be listed in categories.
a, well researched
b. good contribution

I believe a system like this would lead to better posts overall. I once tried to trace the applause listed on the side and decided it was too much trouble.

Many of the other suggestions in the above posts were also good and deserve consideration.



posted on Oct, 26 2005 @ 08:12 AM
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Originally posted by SkepticOverlord
First... something that may not have been clear. Questions about what is causing a slight decline (about 10-15%) in our daily post-count have resulted in some contemplation of the atmosphere that is the ATS culture.


Whoaza. Lol, SO I was under the impression that it was much worse than 10-15%! Eeks, I was comparing the high extreme you mentioned in SO Overview #10 of 2800, to the low extreme of 800. Ok, well in this case, maybe I have misinterpreted these figues into a belief that there was more of a serious problem. I mean heck, if it wasn't that serious, I figured you'd probably write it off to more like Seekerof suggested in that it's just the low point of continually fluctuating trends. At 10-15%, I would more likely side with Seeker's assessment.


And TA, dude, sorry for the non-response on the original-P thing... you caught me when I was in the middle of a sequence of long-days at work and I simply forgot to respond. It was awesome... it's on my iPod playlist, I've listened to it at least 20 times since.
sorry


Wow, ok. That just made my day right there SO. All I needed to hear! You are quite welcome!
I knows you be a very busy person, and that was difficult for me to bring up SO, because I certainly didn't want to sound like I was fishing for compliments or that you should take any time out for me for just a simple thanks. But now that you did, I might just cook up a really special surprise for you. Will take some time though, and I can't really say any more about it for now.

Let this further illustrate to all members, if you see a post that you like, jump in there and say something to let them know you liked it! Hey it may not be applause, but if a poster is made aware that their opinions or knowledge are appreciated, then it really makes the time spent worth it.

Also, I think that maybe what Mahree is saying should be looked at. Maybe not right away, because there may be other more pressing issues, but eventually. And I think his point that:


I believe a system like this would lead to better posts overall. I once tried to trace the applause listed on the side and decided it was too much trouble.


is excellent. I totally agree that if applauses were traceable easily and brief reasons for them given, it would most certainly lead to higher quality posts as members could easily see what the the mods and admins think are posts worthy of applause, and shoot for those standards in future posts.



posted on Oct, 26 2005 @ 09:16 AM
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There's only one thing brought up in TA's podcast concerning applauses that I would like to comment on. I would caution against seeing a name in the recent applaud window and then going over and looking at that member's most recent posts and assuming you know what they received an applause for. As FSME of the Sci/Tech forum I get to give applauses (which I really enjoy doing by the way) and there are lots of times I get behind on my reading in that forum and give applauses for posts that are not only days old, but may actually be weeks old or even months old (since I haven't been FSME all that long so I some times give applauses on posts that came before I got the applaud power). I guess my point is, a recent applause doesn't necessarily go with a recent post, so you might make some false assumptions on what is being applauded when you investigate the way you were detailing. I'm sure mods get behind on their reading at times as well.



posted on Oct, 26 2005 @ 09:20 AM
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oh yeah, Val, I know this, and I don't draw any conclusions from it at all. Just on mine, and even then it's difficult. Still, good you pointed that out, in case anyone else tries.

[edit on 26-10-2005 by TrueAmerican]



posted on Oct, 26 2005 @ 09:27 AM
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The problem I see with linking applauses would be a pack mentality. If one person gets applauded, they may end up getting several (hundred?) applauses for the simple fact that they have their little name in the box.

The only change I would consider to the applauses is more then 3 applauses per month. Maybe 3 for every 15days instead of 30. This would not mean lowering the expectations of applauses.. but as a member, I regularly see several posts after I've distinquished my 3 applauses that I'd die to give applauses to.



posted on Oct, 26 2005 @ 09:34 AM
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Applause and Way Above are different. One turns your bar red and the other is a vote for TWATS Award.



posted on Oct, 26 2005 @ 10:53 AM
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I can't PODcast right now because I'm having new soundcard issues... But I can still type!


Great PODcast, Skeptic Overlord. Thanks again for your thoughtful, concerned approach to the membership and community of ATS.

True American, you have a great mind. I really appreciate your input. (POD Applause)

I'd just like to say that I agree with TA and others in that I am many times confused by my posts that receive applause and those that don't. I try not to have expectations about it, but we all know how easy that is...

I don't think members should be able to applaud other members, though. It would become simply a popularity contest and many would be applauding for the simple fact of agreeing with other posters. The best way for one member to 'applaud' another member (see above) is to express it in the thread by answering with an encouraging response, and thoughts of their own, even if it's only a couple of lines.

As regards Mod Squad Applause: TA mentioned the mods sometimes give applause seemingly for agreement with an opinion. I have noticed this, too. It certainly is possible that a small, source-free post would warrent an applause if it made a very good point or brought up an idea not mentioned in the thread previously or is somehow unique. But if agreement is a criteria, we might as well give the members the ability to applaud, because somebody's always going to agree. That's not special.

If anything, I'd like to see the Mod Squad evaluate the criteria in posts to applaud and make sure everyone is on the same page. Applause is very nice, but applauding for agreement kind of lessens the value (to me). Thanks TA for bringing up this particular subject.

I'd also like to mention that in my view if the world right now, the conspiracy cycle is at a low point. There are tons of conspiracies, but most have been well covered on ATS. And I'm also not that into sharing my conspiracy theories with anyone but my husband and his mother (they know what to expect).

Don't get me wrong, I have plenty of theories. In fact I'm usually considered on the whack-o end of the scale, but I don't have the urge to put it out there for ridicule (which I see happening so much today). I see accusations of disinformation and pursposeful, malicious intent, simply because someone says, "Look at this! Could this be true!?!?" And I'm not self-confident enough (or foolish enough) to lay myself out there for that.


This should have been a PODcast... Soon...



posted on Oct, 26 2005 @ 11:35 AM
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Originally posted by Benevolent Heretic
Don't get me wrong, I have plenty of theories. In fact I'm usually considered on the whack-o end of the scale, but I don't have the urge to put it out there for ridicule (which I see happening so much today). I see accusations of disinformation and pursposeful, malicious intent, simply because someone says, "Look at this! Could this be true!?!?" And I'm not self-confident enough (or foolish enough) to lay myself out there for that.


I think this is a major issue, and when Skeptic mentioned it, I was like, "YES!" The default reaction to instantly attempt to debunk anything can be a little harsh for newer members, but it should and has been said that this IS what separates ATS from the spurious sites, and it should not be discouraged.

However, the problem arises when this method is applied to pure hypothetical or philosophical venture. A great post expanding on the chaos theory would likely be met with, "Where's the proof?!" But worse than that is there are certain members that enjoy calling anyone who believes in any conspiracy "conspiracy crackpots", "kooks", "looneys" and many other equally delightful terms. I won't mention any names, but I think we've all encountered some of these members before - the type of member who makes you think, "Dude, why the hell are you even here on this conspiracy website?" And the answer to that question is because they get off on the feeling of superiority that comes from such an attitude or view. This, I think is what may be one of the more major contributing factors to any decline in posting, if member factors are indeed an influence. And for some reason, insults like these seem to come in under the "mod-radar". I put these insults in the same category as calling someone an idiot, which is a known ATS no-no. If this behaviour is allowed to continue, Skeptic's call to, "Go out on a limb. Give us some crazy, speculative theory. Just for the pure spirit of speculating on bits and pieces of knowledge that are present." will be met with a resounding silence.

As for a formalized adoption program, count me in! Where do I sign up? I've already reared several to adulthood.


I also think the idea Val and I discussed of combining the 3 forums' New Posts into one as a separate button would be a neat idea as well.

$0.02

[edit on 2005-10-26 by wecomeinpeace]



posted on Oct, 26 2005 @ 12:44 PM
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PODcast: Skeptic Overview 11: Special Edition, Back To Basics (reply 2)
Covering most replies down to wcip.

length: 14:12
file: atscpodcast_673.mp3
size: 3328k
feed:
status: live (at time of posting)




posted on Oct, 26 2005 @ 12:59 PM
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Originally posted by Odium
TrueAmerican, I agree with you.

A lot of the posts I get applaused for are awful compaired to the ones I do not. In fact, about 80% of mine have came from awful posts compaired to the ones where I sit down, quote books, articles and explain things and get nothing. From both members or administration.

Example is here.

The amount of work I had to do, to even allow the Mosque at the top of my road to allow me [since I am not a Muslim] to use their copy of the Qu'Ran in Arabic and then have to go through to get the information and I get nothing. No response from members or even staff on it and it makes me question why I even bother?

If I didn't like slapping the bigots into line, I doubt I would try now.


Very sorry Odium, in my podcast I somehow overlooked your posts. But as usual, I like them, although I never knew it was possible for you to agree with anyone!
Just KIDDING!

Well, given what you and BH have said about this issue of applause, and why it comes in some cases and others it doesn't, especially when you've busted your butt to bring something to the board, at this point all we can do is wait, and maybe some mods or admins can jump in with their thoughts and opinions on the matter. *glances at TC, winks at Parrhesia, casts a conservative look at Nerdling, waves at Asala, and most certainly wishes for Springer's back to get better and the tests to come back benign*



posted on Oct, 26 2005 @ 01:41 PM
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SO one of the things I like about you beside your nice voice is that you are a great motivator a truly people’s person, you have make a good point on some issues in the board, it really motivated me at least to make sure I will not contribute to instigate confrontation but just a healthy good debate.

And I will like to see more conspiracies also.


Sometimes the debunking gets so out of control that it makes many just make threads that they know first hand that they have reliable sources to back them off and that takes the fun of it most of the time because is not discussion due to the fact that they information is already given.

Thanks SO as usual you Rock the boat.





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