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The Fair Skeptic Registry

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posted on Dec, 15 2006 @ 07:27 PM
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Originally posted by SkyWay
What criteria do you use to decide if someone is in fact "fair," and not just a nay-sayer who does little more than harass people who post messages about out-of-the-ordinary experiences and knowledge. It seems you are accepting anyone who applies. Are there ANY standards at all?

The criteria is my magic "DELETE" button that will wipe out such unwanted posts.

It's pretty easy to spot the "un fair", posting history is great data set to start with.


Springer...

[edit on 12-15-2006 by Springer]




posted on Dec, 15 2006 @ 07:37 PM
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Originally posted by Springer

Originally posted by SkyWay
What criteria do you use to decide if someone is in fact "fair," and not just a nay-sayer who does little more than harass people who post messages about out-of-the-ordinary experiences and knowledge. It seems you are accepting anyone who applies. Are there ANY standards at all?

The criteria is my magic "DELETE" button that will wipe out such unwanted posts.

It's pretty easy to spot the "un fair" posting history is great data set to start with.


Springer...


Sounds like a lot of work. There are many threads and sometimes the person may have posted only a few times, so it could involve a lot of searching for a lot of needles in haystacks. By the way, are there any of the above applicants that you would "disqualify" as a fair skeptic? Of course, to be unaccepted as a fair skeptic does not mean that any of them can't continue to post their objections to any claims that they may consider bogus. Just means that they are not presenting a credibly objective viewpoint...a fair skeptic's viewpont.



posted on Dec, 15 2006 @ 07:49 PM
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I consider myself a fair skeptic and like to think that I think things through before giving it my attention or ignoring it as a hoax/case of mistaken identity.

Could I join this little club?



posted on Dec, 15 2006 @ 07:59 PM
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Originally posted by spines
I consider myself a fair skeptic and like to think that I think things through before giving it my attention or ignoring it as a hoax/case of mistaken identity.

Could I join this little club?


Not to pick on you spines, but your claim to be a fair skeptic is what I am pointing out here. ANYONE can call themselves fair. This self-assessment shouldn't be the basis for acceptance nor rejection into the registry. It should be determined on the basis of your posting history, and just how fair you have been in those past posts. Maybe people who want to be considered fair skeptics should provide links to past posts which demonstrate their objectivity in discussing paranormal subjects and ufos. This may disqualify some people immediately!



posted on Dec, 15 2006 @ 08:04 PM
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Funny you mention disqualification...I actually expected to be rejected !

It's not about choosing sides in posts...it's about looking at information provided, investigating it, researching it finding additional resources and yes...offering an opinion for what it matters.

I'm a bit surprised by the fear this generated...the only fear there should be in the Aliens forum is the fear of hoaxes and frauds running a muck.

Does it take a PHD or a Degree to research ,learn and offer possibilities?

if It does I guess I resign


If we can be accepted it's just as easy to be rejected isn't it?

Maybe you could U2U the OP with specific concerns about those who've been accepted...as could anyone who feels that someone may be not objective or fair. State your reason(s) and leave it with the OP. He can always enlist Springer's help in making a judgment call. That should appease most if they are really worried about one or any of the volunteers.



posted on Dec, 15 2006 @ 08:26 PM
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Originally posted by justgeneric

I'm a bit surprised by the fear this generated...the only fear there should be in the Aliens forum is the fear of hoaxes and frauds running a muck.



It's not a matter of fear, but a practical consideration. If someone is to be designated as fair and impartial then the intent is to set them apart from those who are biased and closed minded. A distinction needs to be made. Then practically speaking, how is this to be done? On what basis are the fair skeptics to be set apart from unfair hecklers and debunkers? Are they all going to be accepted on their own claim to be fair without proving (there's that word again) their claims.



posted on Dec, 15 2006 @ 08:44 PM
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I think part of teh concern is that a fair skeptic's word will be conclusive.

That isn't why I signed on...I signed on because I DO believe!! I'm interested in offering what I find, what I know and what I suspect...the other skeptics will do the same.

As there is no conclusive proof for there is also no conclusive proof against...but let's face it there are more frauds than facts and we NEED to start monitoring this...ATS is but one place that has it's share of flakes that knowingly falsify and or promote frauds and hoaxes. There are those who do so un-knowingly as well...and then there are the ones that offer up some real meat to chew on...give the skeptics a run for their money...that's what I hope we get down to.

I don't ever expect my word to be final unless I can provide the facts and figures that make it so.

Some things are just not as definable and what can only be expected is a good amount of information both for and against a theory or suggestion. We wouldn't be able to conclude all claims made as 100% fraud. good many of them...yes but not all. And as I said before the value of the ones that the skeptics can't debunk 100% are the real treasures...

There's more than one person willing to do the legwork to research claims presented. It won't be just one idea...like the claims themselves are usually added to and built upon by more than just one poster...I think it's offering some balance to the forum in all honesty.

I hope in some topics and posts there can be a few stalemates. Both sides evenly matched and calling a draw...that would be exciting for both sides of the fence wouldn't it?

Lets not get hung up on the wording too much...lets look more at the goal of both sides - to find the truth (s) or as close to it as possible with what we have to work with.



posted on Dec, 15 2006 @ 08:54 PM
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I would like to be in as well.....Pretty please, can I?



posted on Dec, 16 2006 @ 12:41 AM
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Libra-
Thanx for your kind email. I think this is a great idea, but I'm not so sure I'd call myself a "skeptic", as I've had UFO sightings (very close ones...actually too close) and I've gone over my own experiences here on ATS before.

What I'm critical of is *any* case, making claims that dont hold up. I believe this subject is highly important, and deserves better investigation then we'll ever be able to give it. But until this field begins to hold people accountable for their claims, we're doomed to stagnation.

We get nowhere fast. We revisit the trash of the past, because no one wants to stand up for their data or for that matter their convictions, and settle whatever case once and for all. Next thing ya know, there it is again.

So, if youre cool with that, I'm in. Keep in mind also, you asked me.
Dont forget they call me "merciless".



posted on Dec, 16 2006 @ 06:36 AM
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Originally posted by SkyWay
Sounds like a lot of work. There are many threads and sometimes the person may have posted only a few times, so it could involve a lot of searching for a lot of needles in haystacks.

Do not underestimate the power of a database, its extremely easy to find what we want in a database that was designed to obtain that type of data.


About my intentions to join the "Fair Skeptic Registry", I was too tired and I couldn't translate what I wanted to say to English in my first post, so I would try to explain it now.

I consider myself fair, and, like some people have already stated, my problem is with those that blindly accept anything that they see, if someone tells them what they should be seeing.

I have nothing against people who claimed that they have seen UFOs, based on the thousands of cases that I have read or heard about, I believe that there is something that people see and that sometimes affects the surrounding area, but I have not any answer to try to explain what those things are, I am more skeptic of the proposed origins than of the existence of UFOs.

As I said on my first post, I do not have any special skills, unless you consider speaking Portuguese and understanding more or less Spanish, French and Italian a special skill, but I would be happy to help.



posted on Dec, 16 2006 @ 09:21 AM
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First Thing First

Welcome our newest members SkyWay, ArMaP, cheepnis, spines, Dracotic, and jritzmann.

Thank you for taking an interest in the Fair Skeptics and I look forward to working with all of you. Once we hit page 3, I'll make a list of all the members.

Now, Skyway, whom I'm not sure if he/she really considers themselves a member yet or not, raised a few questions that I made the mistake of thinking were fairly self explanatory, but just for clarification, here goes...

Criteria For Joining


The Criteria for joining, at the moment, is simply that you have a willingness to listen to cases from UFOlogists (and, if y'all want to expand it later on, other things like ghost photos, etc), and then give these cases a fair consideration based on the presentation of evidence. Everyone here starts with a clean slate, and every skill is considered valuable. So, even if you've been unfair in the past, or too lax in judgment, you have the opportunity now to learn to be fair. Most people are not born perfect even-handed judges, and almost everyone carries some degree of predjudice with them.
As was recently discovered by a French scientist whose name eludes me, it turns out that the average of all guesses in a diverse group usually comes startlingly closer to the truth than any one guess. That is why our strength is in our diversity as well as our willingness to try and be fair, or learn how to be fair. The idea is that each of us is going to be taking an educated guess based upon the knowledge and skillset that we have, rather than an immediate judgment of yes or no.


Who Gets Rejected?

I would be very hesitant to reject anyone who wants to be a fair skeptic. It is my honest belief that most skeptics really are mostly fair-minded, and it is the vocal few automatic nay-sayers and yes-men that give the rest of us a bad name. It is also my belief that people deserve the opportunity to learn something positive. Perhaps those that want to learn fairness in skepticism will apply it to other areas of their lives.

Therefore I'd say the only ones I would recommend rejecting would be the known troublemakers on ATS. And the easiest way to really determine who was "officially" a troublemaker would be with the little red "warn" flags. If someone has one "warn" flag, they will have to wait until it's gone before joining. I've gotten one myself for being stupid on a thread, so I wouldn't say it's a permanent disqualifier. If someone has two warn flags or more, then that's a pretty good indication we don't need them around.


Guidance and Probation

ATS has, so far, been a pretty good self-policed community. When a poster steps out of line, oftentimes other members are quick to set them straight long before staff needs to intervene. I think we can probably accomplish the same here, for the most part. If one of our Fair Skeptics gives a weak analysis, the rest of us can give them guidance on how to improve it.

Example. Bob Posts photos of a UFO and my analysis consists of "It's got a string and the shadows are all wrong." That may very well be the case, but it is a poor presentation of my findings. We could then suggest to the member that they post the contrast filters that reveal the strings, and explain, perhaps encircle, the shadows that are "all wrong" and why they appear to be wrong to me.

I would also recommend, just as a defense of the team's credibility, that anyone with a "warn" flag should go on probation from offering analysis. Again, I've gotten a warn flag before, for calling someone a name, and that was stupid of me. And while I know that, even after such a rebuke, I could give a fair and even-handed analysis, others on ATS will likely see the "warn" flag and immediately be biased against the findings. So, if it's cool with everyone, if you get a warn flag, wait till it's gone before giving any more analyses.


Termination of Membership

It's my sincere hope that we never have to kick anyone out. That said, we need to be prepared for this possibility. There's really only two situations where I can see someone needing to be kicked out. The first would be, like in the case above, if the member simply refused to improve their analysis posts when we'd given repeated suggestions and requests to do so. Obviously, if someone is genuinely trying and just not getting it, we can continue working with them until the group pretty much decides it's a lost cause, but for the most part, it'll be obvious if they're going to refuse to improve when they really need to.

The other condition would be flat out lame analyses.

For example, if Bob were to post photos of a UFO and my analysis consisted of "OMFG, teh weaksauzz! Photochopz! U suX0rz!" then that would, in my book, be grounds for termination of membership, unless it was very obviously a joke.


What Next?

I'd like to hear from everyone here as to the above suggestions. I may have overlooked some glaringly obvious problems, and I need to know if we have anything additional to address before we stamp anything out into stone.

I figure once we decide all this, we could probably draw up small list of rules and standards, just so everyone is on the same page, with a common frame of reference, and each member or potential member can be dealt with in a fair fashion.

Your thoughts?




posted on Dec, 16 2006 @ 09:47 AM
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Anyone who is to be a "fair skeptic" must focus his/her criticism and analysis to the subject of discussion and not make personal criticisms and insults against anyone discussing the subject. Attack the message not the messenger if you disagree with what is being presented. It's immature and a waste of everyone's time to call people names because their experiences may be uncommon or completely unique. Give their CLAIMS a fair hearing.



posted on Dec, 16 2006 @ 10:37 AM
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Originally posted by SkyWay
Anyone who is to be a "fair skeptic" must focus his/her criticism and analysis to the subject of discussion and not make personal criticisms and insults against anyone discussing the subject. Attack the message not the messenger if you disagree with what is being presented. It's immature and a waste of everyone's time to call people names because their experiences may be uncommon or completely unique. Give their CLAIMS a fair hearing.


What you ask for above is the essence of the "ATS WAY" SkyWay... The fastest way to get banned from ATS is to attack a fellow Member.

The LAW of this site is easily summed up in the statement, "We will focus on the TOPIC of the discussion not the PERSONALITIES of the discussants."

It is utterly worthless to insult the poster's personality, lack of writing skills, spelling ability, etc... It's irrelevant to the TOPIC and the TOPIC is all that should be getting discussed.

Like I said, I have the "magic buttons" that can instantly fix any bad situations.


Springer...



posted on Dec, 16 2006 @ 10:46 AM
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Originally posted by SkyWay
Anyone who is to be a "fair skeptic" must focus his/her criticism and analysis to the subject of discussion and not make personal criticisms and insults against anyone discussing the subject.


Well absolutley!

That is, IMHO, one of the most basic tenants of professionalism in almost any walk of life. I wholeheartedly agree with this, I'd just taken it for granted that it would be universal to our membership, at least insofar as it pertains to Fair Skeptic related threads, and hopefully as a good standard to post by in other threads as well.

Well said, SkyWay, I'd have not thought to include that standard.




Originally posted by SkyWay
Attack the message not the messenger if you disagree with what is being presented. It's immature and a waste of everyone's time to call people names because their experiences may be uncommon or completely unique. Give their CLAIMS a fair hearing.


I agree.

If anyone realizes they have a particular bias for or against a particular person the Fair Skeptic needs to not fool themselves in what they are doing, and they need to be careful not to let it affect their results.

I may think Person X is the end-all be-all, but if the data shows a string, I need to point out the string. Likewise, I might think Person Z is a real jerk, but if their story checks out, I need to not make something up so that it doesn't.

We can't make any of you to like one another. However, I think that a certain standard of professionalism in giving our responses, isn't too much to ask, and a minimum level of honesty with ourselves and each other is paramount.


[edit on 12/16/2006 by thelibra]



posted on Dec, 16 2006 @ 11:00 AM
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Originally posted by thelibra
Criteria For Joining...


Those are certainly good guidelines (or rules) for us to follow as fair skeptics. I've already decided for myself that I'll quit posting about my sheer befuddlement from some of the claims posted in this group - and I'll focus on examining whatever facts and testimony there might be. It'll save me time, it'll save bandwidth, and it's more effective anyway.



posted on Dec, 16 2006 @ 12:50 PM
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Originally posted by thelibra
Example. Bob Posts photos of a UFO and my analysis consists of "It's got a string and the shadows are all wrong." That may very well be the case, but it is a poor presentation of my findings. We could then suggest to the member that they post the contrast filters that reveal the strings, and explain, perhaps encircle, the shadows that are "all wrong" and why they appear to be wrong to me.

I think that is very important, if we want credibility then we must show how we reach our conclusions.

I think also that when someone uses a specific software to achieve some conclusion he/she must post what software was used and the way to reproduce the steps taken.

All sources of information, when public, should also be posted.

As for the rest, I think that the (sometimes ignored) "ATS Terms and Conditions" are good enough.

Also remember that all work published here is considered as having a Creative Commons license.



posted on Dec, 16 2006 @ 01:09 PM
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Originally posted by Springer
What you ask for above is the essence of the "ATS WAY" SkyWay... The fastest way to get banned from ATS is to attack a fellow Member.

The LAW of this site is easily summed up in the statement, "We will focus on the TOPIC of the discussion not the PERSONALITIES of the discussants."


Just now noticed you beat me to the punch on this response, but you're right. At least, that's the impression I've always had of how ATS (and any forum, for that matter) should be. So I guess that part of the "Rules" for fair skeptics is a tad redundant. Still, it's good each of our members be aware of what's expected regarding professional behavior.



Originally posted by Sophismata
I've already decided for myself that I'll quit posting about my sheer befuddlement from some of the claims posted in this group - and I'll focus on examining whatever facts and testimony there might be. It'll save me time, it'll save bandwidth, and it's more effective anyway.


Very true, but also raises a good point. If there is a particular area of subject matter we just flat out can't take seriously, it's a good idea not to post regarding that area.

For instance, Bob might be willing to take the case of a UFO flying over DC seriously, but might have no interal way to even remotely entertain the merest possiblity that Politician X is actually one of the dreaded Crab People. In such an instance, it's probably better that Bob just not bother posting on that particular claim, and wait for one he can be a tad more open minded about.



Originally posted by ArMaP
I think that is very important, if we want credibility then we must show how we reach our conclusions.

I think also that when someone uses a specific software to achieve some conclusion he/she must post what software was used and the way to reproduce the steps taken.

All sources of information, when public, should also be posted.


Agreed. A step by step on how we arrived at our results, and especially how to duplicate our findings would be the best credibility a finding could give itself, and our sources of information should be referenced.



Originally posted by ArMaP
Also remember that all work published here is considered as having a Creative Commons license.


Indeed, everyone should be aware of that as well.

More Thoughts?




posted on Dec, 16 2006 @ 01:20 PM
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Ok, Libra, I'll bite.

I merely want the truth and I firmly believe that all of humanity deserves to know the truth to the extent it is bona fide and avalable.

Brief Qualifications: Pilot, Masters in IS/Remote Sensing, 23 years experience (airlines, engineering/IT/Imaging firms). 3D visualization specialist. Amateur astronomer. President/Past-president of two non-profit geospatial technology organizations. Philosopher/agnostic.

Bottom line: If UFO's are of etraterrestrial origin, if Earth has or is being visited, if contact has been made - such activity is of profound consequence to us all.

Skepticism is healthy because it is a pthway to the truth. And such truth should not be the privelaged domain of a select few self-appointed elitists, but rather anyone who seeks it.

Thanks for the OP - keep looking up!



posted on Dec, 16 2006 @ 01:43 PM
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If this works....if your idea can actually be implemented as you have conceived it, then this could become a fountain of knowledge concerning very profound and strange subjects. But it requires true dedication to getting at the truth about such subjects and not giving in to biases and fears when the emerging truth contradicts what some may believe. To discover truth, sometimes it is necessary to discard long held and comfortable notions. Such change can be a good thing when it results in growth.



posted on Dec, 16 2006 @ 05:33 PM
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Hello all,

I have recently decided to stop lurking and become more active in these forums; if my lack of history on these pages disqualifies me from any necessary credibility with people here, I accept that, and feel free to disregard my post.

I believe because I'm a romantic, an Aquarius, and a sky-watcher at heart. I love to consider the possibilities. I'm not an experiencer. Aside from a couple of blinky stars that I didn't and don't have the astronomical knowledge to analyze, I've never witnessed anything either. But I do believe certain testimony. I'm looking for more.

I'm a skeptic because i'm a creative director for a large advertising agency, and I specialize in the web... every day I'm asked to fool people. Especially lately, what with the increase in the exploitation of viral phenomena and false personas on the web selling stories and products; I have a large team of people who sit around all day and think about some of the most credible ways to lie online for our clients. I'm not proud of that, but the money's very good. Also, I started as a designer, and I'm all too aware of the magic of digital imagery and the ubiquity of its tools. For all those reasons and more, I'm a good BS detector. I find the source every time, and if I can't, I walk.

Anyway, I wanted to introduce myself, and I like the idea of this thread. Sort of a Club Sanity. After years of lurking some of the most provocative threads on ATS, I think it's sorely needed. Cheers.



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