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Deliberate Obtuseness

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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 progression.

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 enough alone?

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.

posted on Dec, 19 2007 @ 04:30 PM
reply to post by neformore

Oh, man! If I could give you a star for that post, I would. If I could applaud you for it, I definitely would. But since none of those options are available, I'll try to give a solution to the problem of 'deliberately obtuse' posters:

Yep, they're nothing but trolls. Don't feed 'em.

posted on Dec, 19 2007 @ 05:25 PM
reply to post by neformore

When I first arrived at ATS many years ago, before I even registered, I was an interested reader in 9/11 conspiracies. I stopped reading years ago. The reason? Exactly the reasons you stated.

Unfortunately that is probably the aim of paid disinformants: Throw in an overload of sides, opinions, fights, arguments, confusion so that people first loose sight of the actual facts and then loose interest.

Whoever "they" are, they have achieved their goal. I lost interest.

But not all are like me. There is someone out there who is sticking to the facts, collecting the evidence and staying firm in repeating it again and again. And thats where "repeating it again and again" comes in handy.

As for solutions: None for now. But you will know that in any topic where there´s a disproportionate amount of confusion, there must also be people who are not telling the truth on purpose...which again means, there´s some conspiracy being covered-up...which again justifies more discussion...

posted on Dec, 19 2007 @ 05:26 PM
Why not just open up this forum to highly intellectual people only, leave out all the kids and people like me who by no choice of my own know three languages and get somewhat confused?

Face it, Mensa members are not interested in posting here. Its your average housewife, the average school kid, and just normal folk.

I'm sick and tired of these threads popping up every day and they insult many of us. I'm sure somewhere on the Internet, only highly intellectuals meet for a cup of tea and crumpets and big talk. Why not seek them out?

There are people here from all over the world, and every one expresses themselves differently and come from different backgrounds.

Now i think i'll get back on my burro and head East. Thanks for listening...Again.

posted on Dec, 19 2007 @ 05:28 PM
reply to post by Skyfloating
I was HERE before YOU were and you are not speaking the truth.

posted on Dec, 19 2007 @ 05:29 PM
reply to post by Beachcoma

I would respectfully ask you, Why are you here???

posted on Dec, 19 2007 @ 05:32 PM

Originally posted by dgtempe
I was HERE before YOU were and you are not speaking the truth.

What do you mean? I dont get it.

posted on Dec, 19 2007 @ 05:36 PM
reply to post by dgtempe

Wow dg, this is so unlike you.

There are plenty of 'mensa' types as you call them that post here. Some incredibly intellectual individuals. But all opinions are valued, no matter who they come from. All 'we' ask is basic levels of courtesy, and in this case, clarity and straightforwardness.

Is that so hard? There is always BTS if you don't like.

posted on Dec, 19 2007 @ 05:36 PM
reply to post by dgtempe

dg, I understand what the OP is saying. He's talking about those that won't listen to ANYTHING, learn NOTHING and share just as much. I can think of a handful and he's not talking about 99.5% of the membership. And certainly not about you.

posted on Dec, 19 2007 @ 05:46 PM
Sounds like the OP would like to limit free speech to the intelligent. How do the less educated learn? By interaction with people who have a wider range of knowledge.

I don't think it's very kind to accuse people of being deliberately obtuse. They may not be as swift as you are, or maybe aren't capable of operating at a higher level, but that doesn't mean it's okay to be a snob about them.

posted on Dec, 19 2007 @ 05:57 PM
I apologize. I didnt think a thread was started about me, of course.

I'm just sick of all the complaining. I do apologize, its not like me.

I'm cranky and going to sleep.

Forgive me.

posted on Dec, 19 2007 @ 06:03 PM
Boy of boy the part of the obtuse poster is one that I am dealing with as I speak on another thread.

Nerfomore you just made my day.

It gets to the point that either it turns into a troll or just you have no other choice but ignore.

posted on Dec, 20 2007 @ 12:08 AM
reply to post by 1 7 7 6

"How do the less educated learn?"

*turns dial to "smug, smarmy bastard"*

I'm yet to see them do it.

Of course, there are those that would say the same about me, so, you know, to quote that guru of life-lessons Obi-Wan Kenobi "many of the truths we cling to depend greatly on our own point of view."

Some posters will say I am obdurate and incapable of learning or changing my point of view.

This is, however, not true. I often change my point of view about other people, particularly after seeing them cling to the same words after a dozen posts poking holes in their theories

posted on Dec, 20 2007 @ 12:14 AM
Neformore, I have to tell you that this "Parrot Technique" I am probably guilty of. I have pretty strong viewpoints and I generally don't talk about anything unless I have some idea about what I'm talking about. If I truly believe something you, or anyone else, are going to have a difficult time convincing me otherwise... I personally do not think that is something that should be penalized and it certainly isn't something that a person should get banned for. I'm sorry, but I completely disagree with you..:shk:

[edit on 20-12-2007 by SpeakerofTruth]

posted on Dec, 20 2007 @ 12:46 AM
I have to agree with SpeakerofTruth on this one... I don't think somebody should be banned for sticking with their beliefs just because they happen to be arguing about them with a better debater.

posted on Dec, 20 2007 @ 12:50 AM
reply to post by mattifikation

Huh? Who said anything about banning anyone? I think thats a bit of a stretch when it comes to this thread.

posted on Dec, 20 2007 @ 02:42 AM
Bans?? Don't be silly.

Only intellectual posters allowed to post here? Did I say that? No. In fact I went out of my way to try and make sure I didn't say that.

Censorship? No. No way. Never.

What I'm talking about is people who swear black is white.

More specifically people who are shown a block of black and STILL swear its white, and will argue about it, telling you that the colour settings on your monitor are wrong, that its to do with pigmentation, that your eyes have a defect - even though twenty other people in the thread are saying its black, have linked to other sites showing its black, given all their individual monitor specs, eyesight records and god knows what else on the forum to prove that its black.

And then - just as the conversation is getting going again the person claiming black is white turns round and suggests that you don't know what colour is, that it is white, you are wrong and are a paid disinformation agent, because it MUST be white.

And then it all starts again...

Now tell me - how does someone doing that make for a good forum? How can a debate be had when someone just ruins it? Its like having a brick thrown through your front window during christmas dinner. Shouldn't something be done about that kind of thing when its so damn obvious that one person is actually screwing everyone over?

posted on Dec, 20 2007 @ 03:18 AM
Nef, in spirit i agree with you 100%.

however (dot dot dot) there are times when it is actually a matter of perspective and it just takes us a minute to think objectivly and realize this.

for example...cant say ive felt really well today and so when i get like this for some reason my simple posts turn into doctoral dissertations. well, ive been having an ongoing discussion with another member who I would swear was just arguing semantics to be obtuse...yet objectivly i have to admit that its entirely possible that teh part of my brain responsible for logic and reasoning has simply decided to go to sleep and wait for my body to catch up.

so while i think that im making perfect sense and that he's just twisting my could simply be a matter of perspective and me not havng much tonight.

though in the examples you give whre its more than just one person saying that it is black when it is black and not white its a little more obvious...theres a support system for ya there lol

posted on Dec, 20 2007 @ 03:25 AM
poster A comes on and says "I have proof that the government committed atrocities during the Iraq occupation."

Poster B says "but how could they, I have proof that they were all in the capital at the time - it was on TV"

A replies, "giving the order makes them the primary guilty party - without the order, the torture would not have happened"

B says "but the (pick head of state) was on TV at the time, from his office in the capital,so he couldn't have, so you're wrong"

A replies "are you being deliberately obtuse?"

B says "I don't know what you mean. But the (head of state) was definitely on TV when you said the order was given, therefore he couldn't have done it"

And so on and so forth.

That about cover it?

Gets my goat too.

posted on Dec, 20 2007 @ 03:32 AM
reply to post by Damocles

I agree Dam, that theres differences in perspective, and we all have rough days.

But what I'm talking about seems to be far more sinister than that. Its deliberate.

And all I'm suggesting is something like an adjudicator, or some kind of debate panel. Someone who can look at a thread, read it and say "its obvious that...." and then everyone can move along.

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