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The ATS Issues Thread

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posted on Apr, 23 2009 @ 07:08 AM
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reply to post by ziggystar60
 


Who said anything about "superior"? If you check the original comment, it was simply a statement that it takes quite a bit of intellectual commitment to research and write 5 ten-thousand character posts over the course a few days. Really, it's at least 20 hours of work, at least for me - some are faster.

The comments about Fighters being arrogant are bollocks or misperception. Part of being able to debate, and lose graciously, and still learn something from the experience, and hope others found reading it interesting too, is developing a lack of arrogance about it.

Fighter tags are not a 'clique', they're available for anyone who simply requests one, having arranged a debate they want to enter. Topics can be pre-selected by the participants, or chosen at random by the debate moderator.

With all the fine minds at ATS, I wish more members would participate in the debate and research forums; it really adds a lots of structure to the information and content of the forums, and is a wonderful (if somewhat harrowing) experience.




posted on Apr, 23 2009 @ 07:33 AM
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Originally posted by Ian McLean

If you check the original comment, it was simply a statement that it takes quite a bit of intellectual commitment to research and write 5 ten-thousand character posts over the course a few days. Really, it's at least 20 hours of work, at least for me - some are faster.

The comments about Fighters being arrogant are bollocks or misperception. Part of being able to debate, and lose graciously, and still learn something from the experience, and hope others found reading it interesting too, is developing a lack of arrogance about it.


Obviously we don't agree about this, so I will try to explain. And please don't take any of this personally, I am talking in general terms here.

My point is that is also take quite a bit of intellectual commitment to reasearch and write MANY of the great, informative and educational posts we see every day in ATS, not only in the debates.

Even a member like me (I am not a "fighter)" have on occation spent hours and hours researching things and then some more hours writing an OP or a post. People are also able to discuss and debate in the A&U forum for instance, people lose graciously and learn something from the experience. At least some of them do.


So, this is NOT something that only happens in the debates, and I am very surprised that some of the fighters don't seem to be aware of this. That is precicely why I agreed with blupblup that some of the them come across as arrogant. I still think some of the posts made by fighters reveal that there are people among them who think of themselves as somewhat superior.

I hope this explains my view on the subject a little better.



[edit on 23/4/09 by ziggystar60]



posted on Apr, 23 2009 @ 07:54 AM
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reply to post by ziggystar60
 


Thanks for explaining more. You're incorrect that we 'disagree' - of course there are a great number of intelligent posters on all of ATS. Where we do disagree is with the perception you express that some members in think of themselves as "somewhat superior" - that's a misperception. If anything, the hoo-hah about "chit-chat" shows that ATS members, including those in the debate forum, are in most every way just normal people with everyday lives, who like to share in a sense of friendship and community, like you would do around the water-cooler at the office. If we're proud of anything, it's the effort that we put into the formal content we contribute to ATS. It's the work of ATS members that's "superior", and every member who participates in the forums should be justifiably proud of that.

To reiterate the original topic: the organizing thread for ATS debates and debate tournaments was closed; and there's now no place for new debate challenges to be issued, or for coordinating information about the ongoing tournament to be posted. That's the issue here.



posted on Apr, 23 2009 @ 08:21 AM
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Do writers believe they are the best writers on ATS - of course not
Do scholars believe they are the best researchers on ATS - of course not
Do FSME believe they are the most knowledgeable people on ATS- of course not
Do TinWiki contributors, Moderators, Administrators, Owners believe that they are better than anyone else- Of course not

Do fighters believe that they are smarter or more intellectual or more committed than anyone else - of course not

They are ALL just simple words/tags to describe aspects of each member's participation and they serve no other purpose than to inform each other of common interests as we surf around the forums.

Hell, take the tags away for all we care,

Take the whole debate forum down and somehow we'll plod along and find a way to survive.


But as long as there is a debate forum we kind of need a place to discuss and organize debates. This is what this latest round of discussion is simply about.

As Ian said we get accused of being intellectually elitist and dumb chit chatters at the same time when all we are is just average members enjoying structured debates.



posted on Apr, 23 2009 @ 08:59 AM
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Originally posted by Ian McLean
The comments about Fighters being arrogant are bollocks or misperception.


No.... they're really not.
this is not an attack on debates or fighters in general.... i think it's been misconstrued.
It's just SOME of the fighters swagger about like they're something special and harp on about things like nobody would get it or understand because they're not fighters.

That IS arrogant.




Fighter tags are not a 'clique',


Again... the tags themselves are not a clique, however, a clique developed within the FCP that even people who were involved in debates and the FCP complained about and pointed out?
It's not just us "outsiders" or "peasants" that noticed it....it is fighters themselves.






With all the fine minds at ATS, I wish more members would participate in the debate and research forums;


So do i.... however, until something is done about how it is run, who participates and how it can appeal to everyone and not exclude or be subtly rude to anybody..... then i can safely say that many will not join.

[edit on 23/4/09 by blupblup]



posted on Apr, 23 2009 @ 09:26 AM
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Originally posted by blupblup

Originally posted by Ian McLean
The comments about Fighters being arrogant are bollocks or misperception.


No.... they're really not.
this is not an attack on debates or fighters in general.... i think it's been misconstrued.
It's just SOME of the fighters swagger about like they're something special and harp on about things like nobody would get it or understand because they're not fighters.


"Swagger?" The only example I've seen of that is semperfortis' "We Are Fighters" rants, and I think we all agree he's simply seen 300 a few too many times (sorry Semper - we love you!
). None of that is serious, you know - but it is inspiring, and expresses a laudable ideal: the genuine attempt to contribute both quality and community to ATS. That is not an exclusive ideal, for any kind of 'select few', but something every member should embrace and encourage, in my opinion.

By the definition of 'clique' you seem to be using, all of ATS is a 'clique'. I see no efforts to exclude anyone or play favourites, nor do I see any basis for that perception.


Edit: to not single out any specific semper rant - they're all gold, so look them up if you're interested

[edit on April 23rd 2009 by Ian McLean]



posted on Apr, 23 2009 @ 09:33 AM
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reply to post by Ian McLean
 


I haven't seen that post you mentioned, nor was i referring to that.
You are in the thick of it so to speak... so you cannot look at it impartially or accept what we're saying... fair enough.

But there IS/WAS a clique in that thread... fact.

And yes.... ATS is quite cliquey.... but funnily enough.... it's usually the same people



Anyway... we shall agree to disagree because this will go nowhere.





[edit on 23/4/09 by blupblup]



posted on Apr, 23 2009 @ 09:41 AM
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reply to post by blupblup
 


maybe i am completely misunderstanding you - please accept my apologize if this is so in advance.
i am stumbleing over the word "clique". doesn.t that occur somewhat naturally in forum?
you meet people and start to like their way of thinking writing attitude or what ever and than you maybe looking for posts of certain members becuse of the quality and start to post more often in the same threads.

or what do you exactly mean?

and can you please specificat the complaines of other fighters? as i see at your avatar you are a fighter by yourself!

edit;
fixing spelling -sorry english is not my native language


[edit on Thu, 23 Apr 2009 09:42:13 -0500 by orange-light]



posted on Apr, 23 2009 @ 09:49 AM
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Originally posted by orange-light
reply to post by blupblup
 

maybe i am completely misunderstanding you - please accept my apologize if this is so in advance.
i am stumbleing over the word "clique". doesn.t that occur somewhat naturally in forum?


I would personally say that friendships develop and people certainly get along and have fun.
But without bringing names and instances into this and getting personal... there is no way for me to explain it.
Believe me..... it's not just me who thinks this.... there are many who are sick of it.




you meet people and start to like their way of thinking writing attitude or what ever and than you maybe looking for posts of certain members becuse of the quality and start to post more often in the same threads.
or what do you exactly mean?



Of course.... but i follow all the posts of a thread.... i don't go looking for posts of my "friends".
I have people on my friends list that i totally disagree with on most things, but i respect their opinion and the way they go about the boards and handle themselves.

I am not a cliquey person to be honest.... don't understand it.





and can you please specificat the complaines of other fighters? as i see at your avatar you are a fighter by yourself!
edit;
fixing spelling -sorry english is not my native language
[edit on Thu, 23 Apr 2009 09:42:13 -0500 by orange-light]


As i said above.... without getting personal and naming and shaming.... i cannot "enlighten" you....nor do i wish to to be honest.



posted on Apr, 23 2009 @ 09:49 AM
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reply to post by ziggystar60
 


Oh, i am so confused now. Firstly, i agree with you entirely on the research front, i spend months researching topics, and often go back to that when something else comes to light and links in with it
Not just restricted to fighter for sure


Personally, i thought the title 'fighter' meant you argue your point to the best of your ability and back that up with your research, but at the same time i would hope they acknowledge when they are wrong, or even when you can see that there are points from both sides that are right.

Peace people





[edit on 23-4-2009 by MCoG1980]



posted on Apr, 23 2009 @ 09:53 AM
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reply to post by blupblup
 


There are cliques everywhere on this board.

Chemtrailers are a clique. The same people seem to gravitate towards that subject.

Debunkers are a clique. The same people seem to gravitate towards that subject.

9-11 Truthers are a clique. The same people seem to gravitate towards that subject.

See where I am going with this? Fighters were a clique because of the debates, just like every group with the same interests on this site become a "clique".

That doesn't change the fact that some have perceptions that are nowhere near the truth.
That doesn't change the fact that people complained.
That doesn't change the fact that some fighters became friends in real life.
That doesn't change the fact that in essence, the "Fighters" were punished.

Now, the "Fighters" are asking for a no-point thread where debate business is open to all and contained in one area. It makes things simpler for everyone involved, especially the debate Mods. It makes it easier to recruit new fighters. It makes setting up debates and disseminating information easier for everyone involved in the debate forum. It keeps everything involving debates in one area for all to see, read, and participate in if they wish.

If "Fighters" want to chat, they can do it elsewhere or within the confines of u2us. All that is being asked for is a place to keep debates and debate information structured, easily accessed, and open to all who wish to participate. Otherwise, we all fear that the debates and the debate forum will slowly fall apart and disappear.

JMO.....



posted on Apr, 23 2009 @ 09:57 AM
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Originally posted by skeptic1
See where I am going with this? Fighters were a clique because of the debates, just like every group with the same interests on this site become a "clique".


I have not said that fighters are a clique...ANYWHERE.
I said one developed in that thread (FCP) that even other FIGHTERS complained about.
Please read and address actual points, without your interpretation or spin.







If "Fighters" want to chat, they can do it elsewhere or within the confines of u2us. All that is being asked for is a place to keep debates and debate information structured, easily accessed, and open to all who wish to participate. Otherwise, we all fear that the debates and the debate forum will slowly fall apart and disappear.
JMO.....


That is all good and actually not anything to do with what I'm discussing.

Thanks.



posted on Apr, 23 2009 @ 09:58 AM
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Originally posted by blupblupBelieve me..... it's not just me who thinks this.... there are many who are sick of it.




Dude, live and let live, seriously. Whether people back each other up ect, is irrelevant, as long as they believe in what they are talking about i don't see an issue. If of course it is not to strengthen the argument of the point they are trying to get a cross, and is just a 'gang up' on you type of scenario, then i do see your point. As i have not seen any examples of this myself, i cannot comment.



posted on Apr, 23 2009 @ 10:06 AM
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reply to post by blupblup
 




That is all good and actually not anything to do with what I'm discussing.


But, that is the original point that was made here before all the clique stuff came up again and the past was rehashed once more. And, I don't see much difference between a clique or a clique within a thread....same difference to me, but that was the initial problem that was "rectified" with the shut down of certain threads.

Now, the debate folks are asking for place to keep debate topics and information contained, straight, and accessible to all. That was the original "issue" brought up, that was the original problem, and that is still the issue some of us have.



posted on Apr, 23 2009 @ 10:13 AM
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Originally posted by skeptic1
But, that is the original point that was made here before all the clique stuff came up again and the past was rehashed once more.


Oh yes.... the rehashing of the past... hmmm.
What, the way you guys are doing in asking for a place?

Didn't we have all this when the last argument broke out about cliques?

Strange that huh?





And, I don't see much difference between a clique or a clique within a thread....same difference to me, but that was the initial problem that was "rectified" with the shut down of certain threads.



Oh of course there's a difference.
Especially when people in the thread are complaining

But if you choose to ignore that....so be it.





Now, the debate folks are asking for place to keep debate topics and information contained, straight, and accessible to all. That was the original "issue" brought up, that was the original problem, and that is still the issue some of us have.


And this is the issues thread funnily enough, and many of us have ISSUES about the whole debate Issue.



posted on Apr, 23 2009 @ 11:09 AM
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with my nose pressed up against the window, looking in...

is that role playing right there? :-)

I see both sides of this - and I know that helps nobody - and probably doesn't much matter

I enjoyed sneaking in and eavesdropping on the FCP from time to time - and until all of this came up - hadn't really given any of this much thought

it seemed pretty harmless to me - and mostly funny

I'm always looking for funny - because funny is hard to find

I also vicariously enjoyed the camaraderie - it actually made reading the debates that much more interesting and enjoyable - because I knew something more about the debaters - and how they interacted with each other "off the field"

back a few pages - someone - SO or Springer - not sure who now - mentioned a policy against gangs/cliques

this part I do understand

whether or not people's take on the whole thing is that it was a clique (certainly not a gang) is accurate - in the end it doesn't matter

there have been issues in the past concerning other "gangs" working together as a united front in certain threads

I think it's all about that the idea that there might be a united front - whether it's fair or not - or even accurate

I can see how it would be hard to not take this decision and feel that it's somehow personal - or even scolding - which nobody likes

especially when so much of it does seem arbitrary - at least to a complete outsider - like me

I suspect that there's more to this story than meets the eye - but, it's basically none of my concern one way or the other - just something I think people should factor in

however - about the actual decision - I also see that this is about perception, precedent - form and function

structure

there's a difference between content and container - they have to think about the container

all I can say is - it would be great if there were a workable compromise

also - just my 2 cents:

it's nice to see some of you guys back out on the board again

just sayin'



posted on Apr, 23 2009 @ 12:04 PM
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Originally posted by skeptic1
Now, the debate folks are asking for place to keep debate topics and information contained, straight, and accessible to all. That was the original "issue" brought up, that was the original problem, and that is still the issue some of us have.

I think this is the crux of the problem, not just in my own confusion over the need for such a thread, but a much larger issue... the debates themselves.

We've performed a traffic-pattern analysis of the debate forum to understand how it's being used by members and visitors alike... we often do this for various sections of the site, and given the "dust-up" related to debates, it seemed like a good idea. I was stunned. Overall, the debate forum index and actual debate threads received more views in late 2007 (at about 25% of our current overall traffic) than they have in early 2009. A huge eye-opener.

After taking a deep-look at the forum, I believe the issue is directly related to the generally well-intended combination of things...
-1- The FCP thread started as a fighter-exclusive place to chat about the debates
-2- The frequency of debates increased as a result
-3- A "debate club" type of environment evolved
-4- As a result, some topics were debated that maybe should not have been
And what happened is the perceived value of the content of the forum was diluted because of the increase of debates combined with topics that should not have been part of the forum. And from there... interest eventually dwindled.

The debate forum was started long ago as a means to inject well-thought well-presented content into the mix of subjects on ATS. We sorely needed that type of content at the time, and I believe our early debates played a not-insignificant role in the overall growth of ATS, as well as generally improving the board environment.

But that time has passed... and the concept of the debate may be stale to our now very-broad audience. We need to accept that it's broken before it can be fixed... and that acceptance will involve understanding some harsh realities that many may not like to face.

Many things have come and gone during the evolution of ATS (conspiracy masters as a prime example). I'm not saying the debate forum is ending, but that it needs to be re-tooled, re-imagined, and re-launched so that it is once again the forward-reaching area of ATS that sets news standards rather than embracing old ones.



posted on Apr, 23 2009 @ 06:09 PM
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SkepticOverlord, thank you for coming out and saying what you've been pussyfooting around for the last couple of weeks: there is no official interest in preserving debating in its current form at ATS.

It's not about cliques, points, or chitchat really. It's just that ATS is going through one of its periodic growth spurts and moving in a direction that doesn't include that sort of debating. That's fine; it is your site. If the experiment failed for you, I'm sorry. I'm just grateful that it didn't fail from my perspective. I made good friendships, some of which have transferred into the real world. I learned a lot about a variety of subjects that I didn't know about before; both from my debates and from reading others'. I became better at reading sources, better at analyzing arguments and looking for alternative explanations, better at defending my position forcefully but respectfully.

In other words, a better all-around ATS member, I believe.

I have only been a debate forum member for a fairly brief time, and I usually need time off between debates, so in all I've only participated in six debates in the past six months. In that time, I have defended the existence of Chupacabra, debated the politics and history of breast augmentation surgery, exposed the evils - both real and fanciful - of artificial Christmas trees, pondered whether we should pursue a manned mission to Titan, assessed whether the US is ready for a socialist government, and defended the jury system in the age of mass media.

That's just one debater's list. And I would gladly defend the relevance of any of the above on a conspiracy-focused website.

I didn't always agree with the side I was assigned; but I was open to the possibilities of it. That's what debating allows. In some cases, I was terribly underqualified for the debate (I thought Titan was one of Jupiter's moons, for instance, and had to Google it to find it actually orbits Saturn).

There are certainly contributors to ATS who provide more value in virtually every one of their posts than I did in any of mine. It was a humbling but enriching experience to discover that while I was writing about socialism in the Debate Forum, TheRedneck and ANOK were carrying on a parallel conversation in another thread.

But being proud of my contributions and my work in the Debate Forum does not in any way detract from my opinion of other work elsewhere at ATS. Being a Fighter does not make me better than any other ATS member, but it has made me a better ATS member than I would otherwise have been.

I do not put much weight into statistics on how many times the Debate Forum index or threads are viewed as compared to the past for one major reason: they are almost impossible for most newcomers to find. If the goal was to increase views of the Debate Forum, there are dozens of ways that a savvy marketer (which SkepticOverlord certainly is) could have increased its profile.

As to the topics being debated: there has been one debate that I personally thought was inappropriate, and it has been removed. The topics debated in the Holiday Skirmishes were intentionally light-hearted, but in most cases the debaters brought real issues into them anyway, and I know that at least a couple of us chose to elaborate on things we discovered in our research elsewhere on the boards, in more strictly critical pieces. Other topics have been phrased as light-weight, but if the debates are actually read, the issues are clear, and clearly appropriate to this board, at least as I understand it. I can't think of a single topic that wouldn't make an appropriate thread in one or more ATS forum.

It is interesting that all these accusations of cliquiness (sp?) emerged in response to a new and separate complaint; it is also interesting that SkepticOverlord himself apparently didn't check to see which thread orange-light was requesting be reopened. Obviously sentiment against a group of us is still strong; I don't understand where it comes from, but I imagine there is a personal hurt behind it to account for the immediate and bitter reactions to any mention of the debate forum in this thread. I wonder if it is related to the participation of several of us in the recent DISC fiasco; I am personally still saddened by the outcome of that. I can speak only for myself in saying that I did the best I could; that I asked to be included on the council because ATS had become such a large and important part of my life (I would guess I spend ten hours or more per day logged onto ATS) and because I thought I could make a contribution to the site in that way.

Again, I am sad to see the Debate Forum go. I am baffled to hear rumor of all these complaints about it. I have long been disappointed that it (along with the Writers and Researchers Forums) have not been more heavily promoted and supported by management -- through front-page links, for example. I hope that the people who have complained will be happier without its presence, though it is hard to imagine why.

And I wish ATS well in its continuing evolution.



posted on Apr, 23 2009 @ 06:21 PM
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Originally posted by americandingbat
SkepticOverlord, thank you for coming out and saying what you've been pussyfooting around for the last couple of weeks: there is no official interest in preserving debating in its current form at ATS.

That's a terribly inaccurate assumption. It took some time to come to terms with the issues, reasons, and influences. While we knew there was a problem... the reality wasn't immediately apparent (primarily because at the time of closing the FCP, Springer and I didn't have the available time to sort things out).



If the experiment failed for you, I'm sorry.

In totality, the experiment very well. The first 18 months to two years of debates did an excellent job in infusing a new level of discourse into ATS. But it's now stale and needs a kick in the evolutionary arse.



posted on Apr, 23 2009 @ 07:10 PM
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Hi all.

About the points system.

Now I personally have never really cared about how much ATS points I have. I often spend hours a day scouring the web watching (and listening!) for hot content to post threads on, I get very very little in the way of points rewards, and don't really care, because we all know that points don't really mean anything and are not truly a measure of the quality of one's posts.

But, still, the weighting of the points system does seem unfair and there is great potential for abuse. The Writers/Fighters/Scholars and FCP regulars are constantly lavished with points awards while most other members are not - why?

What ends up happening is people can rack up a staggering amount of points and [perceived] cred in a very short amount of time just by hanging out in FCP and doing debates. This can create the illusion that these members are much more distinguished and important than they really are, and as you know, some of them then start to get Drunk on their perceived self-importance and get out of control.......


IMHO the points system needs a serious overhaul. For example, why not start rewarding people more for their contributions in the regular forums? Give out, say, 200 points for starting a thread, 200 points for every Flag a thread receives, 100 points every time a member receives a Star, 30 points for every Reply to a thread - something like that.

That way, a member such as myself would have, maybe 100,000 points, and then I'd get to feel important and powerful too!




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