posted on Dec, 19 2007 @ 04:22 PM
The recent threads about 9/11 Madness, and Civility and Decorum being expected make perfect sense to me, and I can see why they are needed.
I do believe that there is another issue that needs addressing, and its the one of Deliberate Obtuseness, which can and does lead to the other two.
Anyone well versed in public speaking, or advertising is going to be aware of whats called "Parrot Technique".
Parrot Technique involves repeating the same thing over and over until it breaks into the part of the brain that deals with memory. Ever wonder why
those ad's stick in your head? Try counting how many times that brand name or phone number is mentioned. You'll be suprised.
Deliberate obtuseness is a version of parrot technique that, in effect, creates a wall. Once that wall is constructed, the person who put it up has no
intention of taking it down, even though they may realise that they are wrong, or have been proved to be wrong by many different other people. They
will stick to their point, or minor variations of it, until the conversation is dead because no one can be bothered with it any more due to a lack of
In short, its the height of ignorance.
Its true that some people are - pardon my non-PC expression here - just dumb about certain subjects, and will never get the grasp of them no matter
how many times someone explains it to them. It may not be their forte, and too complicated for them, and thats not an issue because no ones perfect
and no one can understand everything. I think we've all come across stuff we've just thought "what.....?" about and left it well enough alone or
gone on to try and educate ourselves in it.
The deliberately obtuse poster however, comes back with statements, issues challenges, develops non-sequitir arguments and then reverts back to either
their original point or a slightly modified one. Its irritating to read, it drags people in and before long the whole thing erupts into flames. People
reading such stuff end up going round in circles over and over and over again until they just think "sod this, I'm off"
Theres some very obvious cases of this out on the boards right now.
So, the question is this - what, if anything can ATS do about such things? Is it possible to have an official adjudication when things get stuck, in
order to help the conversation progress - would that kind of thing be helpful to people or is it better for the staff to just butt out and leave well
I'm interested in staff and member responses to this, and if the thread needs moving I'm down with that too. (as long as I can still read it!) I
just think that a discussion board needs to have discussions on it, and not endless feedback loops of dead threads that were killed off, and that the
art of debate - which seems central to ATS, needs to have some form of preservation order slapped on it before it gets lost.