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Stop being a know-it-all

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posted on Mar, 28 2006 @ 02:35 AM
Not exactly sure where to put this thread... But here goes... At first glance this will look like a rant. But if you bear with me you'll see that it isn't... It's more of a how-to. I'll be covering a couple of different topics, but it all comes down to one thing... And it concerns most ATSers.

Since the beginning of the year I've been noticing a rising group of aggressive people here at ATS. I'm not sure what to call them, as they're not exactly trolls because they play an active role in the community. Let's just call them the know-it-alls.

Yes, these are the people that, well, know it all. You can give them any topic, and they will know everything about it. I guess that's the thing about the Internet. It gives anyone with access to Google "all" the knowledge in the world.

One upon a time someone thought up something really intelligent and spent years and years looking into it. He/she finally came to a brilliant conclusion and wrote everything he/she found down in a book. That book was later quoted from and put into another book. That book was later put in electronic form on the Internet. And then one day a certain topic is raised on ATS and via google a certain member uses the original knowledge as his own (by rephrasing the words) to create what seems to be a brilliant post. But what exactly did this person do that's brilliant? Nothing. He has the ability to find information and to read. He doesn't necessarily have the ability to think or to use available information in a sensible way.

I'm not dishing Google. In fact I couldn't go a day without having the World's libraries at my fingertips. It's essential for proper research. But people forget that not everything is a fact. I'm getting more and more reluctant to post a new thread, because there will always be someone that knows better - not because he/she knows better but because he found something on Google that says something else. To put it simple, I feel stupid. And just for the record my IQ puts me way above average when it comes to intelligence. But some ATSers will call a fellow ATSer an idiot without even thinking twice about it. (Luckily no-one crossed that line with me yet...

20 year old kids calling 40 year olds idiots. Just because they know how to utilize Google. They forget the difference between knowledge and wisdom, and forget the importance of experience. Some of our fellow ATSers has been around for ages - long before I was even a thought in my parents' love.

What do I mean? You see it in many of the "hot topics". A good example (I use this one because it stuck with me) is a recent thread where a good-natured person posted an astonishing picture of what he taught might be his diseased father. In the end the picture was ripped apart calling a kind hearted old lady a Satanist because of the way she held her hand (and in the end this was also a mistake and no-one ever apologized for making the mistake) and a picture in the background was pointed for containing the devil in "The Last Supper". Why did this happen? because of the know-it-alls. ATSers are so hungry to say something intelligent, that they would utter complete BS just for their posts to be noticed.

And this happens time and again. Remember the "Need help with gold chip" drama? And you'll even notice it in the Seagull-UFO thread. Threads about homosexuality where people are against homosexuality, but they've never even met a homosexual person in their lives.

It's difficult. To be part of this community. You don't want to be a number in all of this. ATS is big, and you want to be part of the cream. So you need to sound and act intelligent. You want to be noticed.

And this is the point I want to come to. Back to basics. Everyone need to take a step back, look at the big picture and try to find where they fit into ATS. What do you want to contribute to ATS and what do you want to achieve? Please take a look at someone like Valhall. She knows where she fit into ATS. When I want to grow up, I want to be like her. (I'm not sucking up Val - I doubt if she even knows I exist.) And Byrd. What a brilliant mind. Why? Because they stick to what they know. When they speak you know that they know what they're talking about. If you are a UFO expert then by all means call a seagull a UFO or vice versa. But watching all episodes of Startrek does not make you a UFO expert. In the UFO/Seagull thread we have a couple of people that claim that they live by the coast and that they know what a seagull looks like. Yet some of these people swear that the object in the picture is not a seagull, whilst others say without a doubt that it is. Who's the expert? The ornithologist. Watching an episode of Will and Grace does not make you an expert on homosexuality.

My English teacher had this lovely saying. “Think before you Ink”. Before you call someone an idiot think about what you’ll achieve by doing so. Think about the difference between opinion and absolute fact. And try some originality for size. Google should be used to support your own ideas. And just as important. Listen to other people’s ideas. Don’t just scan a post – look for key words and force YOUR “knowledge” down on the thread. Learn to read a thread before you post. If you’re not willing to read all 18 pages of a thread then you shouldn’t be considering to post. Learn to notice the “small players” as others should learn to notice you.

Wow. That was a mouthful. Hope I’m not preaching to the deaf. Maybe it isn’t even my place to preach.
Use it. Don’t use it.

[Edit: Grammar]

[edit on 28-3-2006 by Gemwolf]

posted on Mar, 28 2006 @ 02:47 AM

You have voted Gemwolf for the Way Above Top Secret award.

You have already voted for Gemwolf this month.

Brilliant post, Gemwolf! I'd give you two votes but as you can see, I just discovered that you can only give one person one vote per month.

Very well laid out and easy on the eyes (formatting). Good job!

posted on Mar, 28 2006 @ 09:01 AM
I hear you gemwolf-loud and clear and ITA.

(and Valhall is also secretly my hero as well

In addition to what you are saying, I'd like to add my .02 here as it's been eating at me to the point I nearly made a podcast just to rant about it! Thats just crazy! Me podcasting? Ban the thought-but I nearly did! This will save me that embarrassment.

What has been eatting me is I've observed that there seems to be alot of intellectual immatrurity and intellectual trolling abounding on the boards. Different than the typical ignorant flaming trolls, the intellectual trolls are trolling to make themselves seem intellectually superior and others in contrast inferior, without even caring about the topics at hand often.

I often see them say nothing about the actual subject, their personal opinion, or back up their personal opinion with fact or belief, but rather intellectually attack a poster on one particular point, on their beliefs, their writing style, semantics, etc. anything they can just for the sake of "winning an arguement" on something. Like an intellectual junkie looking for a quick fix.

This is either how they validate thelselves as superior of intellect, or how they validate themselves in some way by ruffling the feathers of others. Perhaps they are passive agressive and this is their only means of taking out their anger with a society they don't fit into socially? I don't know, but they, and their tactics, are quite annoying and growing old on me as I keep seeing it.

Sometimes, within a discussion differnt points and side topics come up I realize, but when someone suddenly comes in throwing intellectual punches and jumps on some bandwagon to either bash one poster, or a particular side of a debate on an off-topic, or subtopic point, without ever addressing the original topic, this gangbanging style annoys me to no end as well.

Now a *normal* poster or a mod commenting just on sub topics and making one or two posts is different I understand, so I am not saying thus identifies them as intellectual trolls, I am just saying quite often that is their M.O. to just fly in and intellectually flame on a side-topic or writing style or belief of a poster. I myself will step up and put in my opinion on a subtopic too, but I do not ever intend to insult or inflame, intellectually or otherwise. (as if I could

It is and isn't often quite clear who the intellectual trolls are, and as you point out gemwolf, they are also the type to find some facts and try to "shutdown" a thread or a poster with thier superior intelligence, when really it may just be a superior writing style, and/or expressive nature, coupled with some well hidden plagerism, making the less expressive, or less prepared (through lack of plagerism) seem less intelligent or their view less valid.

Not everyone comes here trying to prove their intellectual worth people. Some people are trying to find truth, or learn, or share ideas, concepts, etc., know...*Deny Ignorance* and look for others with similar ideas, or those with opposing ones so that both sides can be looked at and thus well rounded opinions made-it is not a battle of witts on most threads-just a battle of facts and opinions.

It gets really old when people want to make every thread and topic and sub topic and side topic into a hot debate. Join the freakin ATS debate team and have at it there... let others express themselves openly on the other threads without the constant ridicule.

I'll spare you my entire rant on the subject, (yeah, there is more I had begun a *you might be an intellectual troll if...* top 10 list for my podcast...but I'll let it go for now!

But yeah, gemwolf, I do understand as I too have an *above average* IQ myself, but am terrible at expressing myself, so I would be an easy target for an intellectual troll I'm sure.

I will quickly add there is also a problem with people failing to "agree to disagree" on subjects. People, it is NOT a concession of your side, or view, etc to be able to see, understand, or state an opposing view has validity-if you must wait until the end of an arguement, fine, but puhleese...for the sake of skippy, realize when you are flogging a dead horse... and let the subject die peaceably...


Here is a tip...when it gets to the point you have to go beyond attacking a posters writing style, or how they express themselves, attempting to negate their view by then assigning your own biases to them and/or attacking someone's religion, faith, sexual preferences, as lending some type of credible bias to your views, the time to agree to disagree is at hand folks.

*stepping off my soapbox*

edit edit edit...dang typos...edit edit edit

[edit on 28-3-2006 by think2much]

posted on Mar, 28 2006 @ 09:05 AM
Great post Gemwolf;

The thing about ATS is that it's a conspiratorial website based mostly on opinions. By its very nature, many controversal topics are solicited/discussed by many different people of varying intellect and knowledge. The problem here is that regardless of what we each know; everything we believe is based on one's perception; not reality. In other words: What I perceive is based on what I believe to be true (my reality). But it may be very different from what you perceive and your reality. What's important here is that regardless of what we each perceive, we always stay true to our beliefs and express those beliefs without intentionally making false statements. By and large, I believe this is happening here.

I'm a frequent listener of AM talk radio. I often find myself drawn toward those programs that broach controversial topics that highten my emotional responses. I even sometimes catch myself screeming at the radio while I'm driving!
It's a fact that those programs which are the most controversial are the ones that yield the highest ratings. Take Bill O'Rielly, for example. I can't stand the guy and I believe his interviewing techniques suck. None the less, I watch his program quite often. It's what I like to call "the Howard Stern" effect. Now I like Howard Stern. But many people don't; yet they would listen to his program out of curiosity of what he would say next.

People are going to put here what they perceive is correct--regardless of how they got that perception. This is because ATS is an opinion website with some facts thrown in for good measure. And clearly, because of controversy, emotions will sometimes run high here. My point is that if this element of ATS didn't exist it might be somewhat boring and there wouldn't be as many members.

Despite your complaints, you're stll here Gemwolf; as am I. Thanks for participating

[edit on 28-3-2006 by Freedom_for_sum]

posted on Mar, 28 2006 @ 09:13 AM

Originally posted by Freedom_for_sum
My point is that if this element of ATS didn't exist it might be somewhat boring and there wouldn't be as many members.

Despite your complaints, you're stll here Gemwolf; as am I. Thanks for participating

Yes, vive le difference, and deny ignorance are compatible mottos, but all too often the elements of superior intellect just get plain stupid if you ask me.

I'm tired of all that, but enjoy the exchange of ideas, and I can learn much from an oppossing view, but can learn nothing from even an intelligent fool.

posted on Mar, 28 2006 @ 12:10 PM
You have voted Gemwolf for the Way Above Top Secret award. You have one more vote left for this month.

hear , hear

posted on Mar, 28 2006 @ 12:18 PM
Gemwolf, you get a WATS from me


posted on Mar, 28 2006 @ 12:35 PM
Gemwolf, excellent post! And one that I suggest every member of ATS should at least take a few moment and read it, and as you can see by some of the responses, you are not the only one who harbors these thoughts, great post once again, I'd sure give you a WATS, but alas I seem to have used them all.

posted on Mar, 28 2006 @ 12:45 PM
My 2 cents:

A know-it-all wouldn't be so bad if they could just admit to being wrong at times.

A quite test to see if you are a know-it-all:

1) Have you ever admitted to being wrong in ATS?

If you answered yes, then you are not a know-it-all. The only exception is if you have posted less then 9 times in ATS and were correct in those posts.

If you have posted 9 times and were not wrong, you will be wrong in your next post, because no one can be right 10 out of 10 times.

posted on Mar, 28 2006 @ 12:52 PM
Hmm, interesting thread........
pseudo-intelluctualism seems to be the new buzz word. Its all "step up, stand up, put up or shut up", I guess we could say meekness is weakness.

posted on Mar, 28 2006 @ 01:00 PM
I think people need to change their opinion of being wrong, plain and simple.

Being wrong is not the end of the world, in fact, it's a step forward. Discarding an incorrect assumption and learning something new is a cause for celebration! There's nothing wrong with being wrong, in a scientific, exploratory context.

Saying things like "I don't know" and "I was wrong" seems impossible for some people, but they owe it to themselves to learn.

When you close yourself off from learning, you do a great disservice to yourself. The community suffers, certainly, but the individual is the real victim. Sure, we all have to feel the ripples, but they're the sinking stone...

posted on Mar, 28 2006 @ 01:07 PM

Originally posted by WyrdeOne
I think people need to change their opinion of being wrong, plain and simple.

In my view, that was the most important lesson of my life! Very few others come close.

Great thread, Gemwolf!

Well done.

posted on Mar, 28 2006 @ 01:09 PM
I can't help it if I know so much.
I'm a curious guy. I know a lot of stuff.
As for Google, I only try to use it to help back up a point I'm trying to make.
At least with Google, you can find a reference.
In the bad old days, people would just spout off about some nonsense
they partially remember from some book they don't know who wrote.
At least now, we can start to track down sources.

Hey, people are asking questions here.
I think I might know a few answers, or at least be able to point
them in a direction. Maybe even the right direction.
So I'll respond.
But I can't guarantee I'll provide an answer they like.

What bugs me is when people ask questions or for information,
you tell them what you know, or what other people have said about it,
and they get angry. Just because they have an unoriginal or stupid
idea, suddenly I'm the bad guy for pointing it out.

Well, excu-u-u-u-u-u-use ME!

posted on Mar, 28 2006 @ 03:39 PM

20 year old kids calling 40 year olds idiots. Just because they know how to utilize Google. They forget the difference between knowledge and wisdom, and forget the importance of experience. Some of our fellow ATSers has been around for ages - long before I was even a thought in my parents' love.

And therin lies some of the problem, on any age level, confusing the idea with the person behind it, as I believe you are suggesting. People have all kinds of wrong, crazy, ill-informed ideas about any number of things, and age is no barrier to this. We have an old saying in the painting trade:

Question: "How long you been paintin' over dirt?"
Answer: "Longer than you."

It is the lack of respect for individuals who, as you point out, only know each other in a fairly superficial way, that adds to the level of arrogance.

Gemwolf, I give you my last WAY ABOVE for the month

posted on Mar, 28 2006 @ 03:42 PM
You want my opinion:

sadly it is inane threads like this that get many of the replies on this site and that in itself is a 'know it all' event. How many times do I see intelligent people start threads and they go nowhere. Explain that to us please.

posted on Mar, 28 2006 @ 03:58 PM

Originally posted by denythestatusquo
How many times do I see intelligent people start threads and they go nowhere. Explain that to us please.

Do you want debate, or do you want a lot of endless nitpicking over some tiny, unimportant detail? What's to debate about "I think people should be nicer?" Either we agree, or we don't. Are we going to generalize, or are we going to talk about something specific?

A topic is introduced:
"I think there's life on Mars." "Well, I don't."

Thirty-eight pages of quotations and pictures later:
"I still think there's life on Mars." "I still don't."

The thing is this. Sometimes intelligent people introduce topics where there isn't enough verifiable evidence either way to draw a conclusion. The horse is dead, stop beating it! But we're not here to decide things once and for all. We're here to meander around, to play with logical notions, to maybe impress the other people with our ability to find obscure crap on Google, or to make fun of other people's wacky notions.

My question is, with U.S. Tax Time upon us, why aren't we getting more stupid posts about how the tax system is illegal and we should all refuse to pay our taxes and blah blah blah? Where are they? That stuff is as annual as cherry blossoms.

posted on Mar, 28 2006 @ 04:09 PM
Perhaps, we should start a list of knowitalls, maybe even a monthly Mr. or Ms. Knowitall. The only problem is that there already seem to be quite a few Mr. Knowitalls, both ascribed and avowed.

posted on Mar, 28 2006 @ 04:40 PM
well...if my posts (what few there are) are coming across as "know-it-all" then I need to be clued in, 'cause the only thing I know is that I don't know much...
. In fact, the older I get, the less I "know".

posted on Mar, 28 2006 @ 06:30 PM
Well I know alot. And it's important to me that you know I know alot. What's the point in being here otherwise
"But I don't knowitall!!" Well maybe I do "knowitall"---I just don't want you to know that!
It'll be interesting to see the momemtum (or lack of it) this thread develops.

posted on Mar, 28 2006 @ 07:05 PM
How strange!! I was just thinking this very thing about myself. I thought: "You sound like a know-it-all!" I then resolved to limit my responses to things I felt I knew enough about to comment on or simply to ask questions on a subject I don't know enough about. I do believe you read my mind!
Confirmation, accepted, Captain Needa! (sorry, star war fan, that i am).

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