Speed Debate: Semperfortis vs Skyfloating: ATS Isn't Alternative Any More?

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posted on Dec, 2 2008 @ 01:57 PM
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The topic for this debate is “ATS Has Become Too Mainstream.”

Semperfortis will be arguing the pro position and will open the debate.
Skyfloating will argue the con position.

***This Debate Will Begin On December 7th at 12:00pm EST***

Each debater will have one opening statement each. This will be followed by 3 alternating replies each. There will then be one closing statement each and no rebuttal.

There is a 10,000 character limit per post.

Any character count in excess of 10,000 will be deleted prior to the judging process.

Editing is strictly forbidden. For reasons of time, mod edits should not be expected except in critical situations.

Images, References and Sources will not be used for this debate and will be removed (if posted) prior to judging.

The Socratic Debate Rule is in effect. Each debater may ask up to 5 questions in each post, except for in closing statements- no questions are permitted in closing statements. These questions should be clearly labeled as "Question 1, Question 2, etc.

When asked a question, a debater must give a straight forward answer in his next post. Explanations and qualifications to an answer are acceptable, but must be preceded by a direct answer.

This Is The Time Limit Policy:
Each debater must post within 1 hour of the timestamp on the last post. If your opponent is late, you may post immediately without waiting for an announcement of turn forfeiture. If you are late, you may post late, unless your opponent has already posted.

Each debater is entitled to one extension of one half hour(30 minutes). The request should be posted in this thread and is automatically granted- the 30 minute extension begins at the expiration of the previous deadline, not at the time of the extension request.

Judging will be done by a panel of anonymous judges. After each debate is completed it will be locked and the judges will begin making their decision. One of the debate forum moderators will then make a final post announcing the winner.




posted on Dec, 7 2008 @ 11:22 AM
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Speed Debate: Semperfortis vs Skyfloating: ATS Isn't Alternative Any More?

Semper’s Opening:

Salutations:

Let me thank my fellow Fighters, the readers of all our debates, MemoryShock and my esteemed opponent for this debate, as well as ATS for supporting this debate forum.

Now: Let’s Get It On!!!!

Opening Statement:

“ATS Has Become Too Mainstream.”

No references, no sources huh? Just my kind of debate.

Mainstream:
“Common”, “In line with current thinking”, or to better match the introduction of the debate; “Not Alternative”

Let me begin by saying that this is a debate. One in which I intend on winning and in doing so, I may or may not make a statement that offends some of abovetopsecret’s more ardent supporters. I say this to tell you I mean no offense.

What I will show you during this debate is that ATS, while retaining some of its original “Alternative” substance, has and is becoming more and more “Mainstream.” More inline and attractive to the ‘average’ person that may run across this site and wish to participate.

I will address the fundamentals of attracting new members and the necessity for such as it relates to mainstream thinking and the building of the ATS phenomenon.

Past projects, books and possible future ventures, all aimed at a more mainstream audience, will be explored during this debate.

We will look at some threads, topic selection and contributing members in order to come to this conclusion.

At the end, I will leave you with no doubt that ATS is in fact becoming more and more Mainstream.

Politics, Politics, Politics.

If there was ever an indication of being less “Alternative” here at ATS, one need only look at the incredible popularity of the politics forum. As this debate progresses we shall do just that. We shall examine the new members that joined in order to jump on the Obama-wagon and the ones that joined in order to derail that very same wagon.

We will look at the statistics that show us how many members were online at one time as a direct indication of popularity during a specific timeline, as well as post count and threads being started.

Aliens, UFO’s, September 11, 2001, Big Foot and Creatures of all descriptions.

We are going to look closely at the current trend in “Debunking” and the frustration some members here feel in that regard. Debunking the myths and legends once taken for granted here at ATS is in fact a direct indication of movement toward a more Mainstream thought process.

We will not forget the events of 9/11 either. What was once a hot-bed of experienced principle conspirators has devolved into one or two hard core believers either posting very lonely on a thread, or fighting off a deluge of those that believe it was exactly what the government said it was. Maybe everyone just got tired of listening to the same old story simply told in different ways and decided to move on into the more interesting and acceptable Mainstream venue?

Socratic Question #1

“Do you consider the recent trend in Debunking to be a serious move towards a more Mainstream ATS?”

Socratic Question #2

“Is the popularity of the Politics Forum not an indication that the members of ATS prefer more Mainstream topics?”

Socratic Question #3

“As Myths and Legends are comprised mostly of passed down information from a time long ago, is it not expected that eventually information about them would be “Worn out” so to speak and people move on to more “Mainstream” topics?”

While no sources or references are allowed, I will be “referring” back to different areas of our beloved ATS and if I get something wrong, I am sure my opponent will let me know. I would ask that you the reader and the judges forgive any miss-speak on my part as this is a very fast debate with not much time to verify.

Now make no mistake about it, I will not even begin to say to you that ATS is a “Mainstream” site. Not in a million years, but I will show you where it is becoming more mainstream. Has become too Mainstream and is losing it’s attraction to what may be considered a core group. This is my duty in this debate.

Abovetopsecret was built on “non-mainstream” ideals, thoughts and speculations. When this dies, does not what ATS is die with it? With the advent of politics and it’s popularity, the “debunkers” and the more science minded among us, I fear for the future of what was once, truly Abovetopsecret.

So with out further ado, I leave you to my opponent.

Thank you

Semper



posted on Dec, 7 2008 @ 12:16 PM
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Thank you for engaging in this fun speed-debate format with me semperfortis. Allow me to present my case:

Synonyms for Mainstream:

• Something the masses are familiar with
• Commonly accepted Realties
• Things the majority agrees upon
• Something ordinary, normal, usual
• Mass-Media (Radio, TV, Press)

Synonyms for Non-Mainstream:

• Subculture, Counterculture, Alternative Press
• Fringe Groups
• Fringe Theories (Conspiracy-Theory, UFOlogy)
• What I call “Substream” or “Sidestream”
• Something the majority is not familiar with
• Eccentric or Unpopular notions


Why did we, the members of this website, become interested in non-mainstream ideas?

It is because many of us are not satisfied with the narrow band of information provided by mainstream press which usually seeks to “play it safe”, “cater to the common denominator”, “only report what most people could agree with”. In our opinion mainstream media is often lacking courage, lacking looking at things from alternative angles, lacking a sense of awareness of what goes on “behind the scenes”, behind the obvious. The “herd mentality” that worships the mainstream as a sole source of information often discourages, ridicules, trivializes, ignores, alternative viewpoints. And if they don’t outright scoff at it, the herd usually does not have the attention span to go in depth on or to the outer fringes of something.

We have also created an exaggerated “PC culture” where some attempt to make everything “equal” and the same. This results in a blandness of information that does not allow any form of creative expression, extremism of thought, unique voice or out-of-the-box pathway. For some of us, this has become boring and predictable and our pursuit of alternative media is a rebellion against the status quo, a call for liberty, freedom of speech and mind,.

Has ATS become too mainstream?

As ATS grows in popularity and membership, it will also attract people who did not specifically look for underground information but who are unfamiliar with the subjects such as counterculture, alternative history, extraterrestrials, paranormal studies, para-politics, conspiracy-theory, etc. The typical emotional reaction people have to unfamiliar notions are either snickering and scoffing, anger at seeing something other than they were taught in school and by the mass-media, or even fear in the sense of “Is what they taught me, wrong?” The concern of some is that the true fringe-groups will leave the site to have their discussions in a smaller, more private setting – away from all the noise of the insecure herd. I will concede that I have had this concern now and then. I will concede that especially the ATS section “Breaking Alternative News” often features stories that are not alternative at all but merely emulations of what has been fed as “important” by the mainstream mass-media.
The election season has also brought a large amount of mainstream political thought to ATS.

Despite these concerns I and others have, if I retreat from ATS for a few days and flip through the magazines, newspapers and news-channels of the actual mainstream – I re-gain perspective and realize that ATS is not mainstream at all. Not by a long shot. If its growth continues as it does, there is the danger of it becoming “too mainstream” within the next 20 years. But we cant really say that ATS is “mainstream”.

Go to a newsstand and pick up any newspaper or magazine. If you’re a true “alternative press” guy, you will get a sickish feeling in your stomach while reading this “news of great importance”:

• Will Britney Spears get her boyfriend back?

• Mini-Notebooks (Netbooks) are now trendy! (many media-outlets try to pass advertisement and product-placement as “news”)

• U.S. provides financial aid to Khasaztan (article does not mention the oil fields and strategic pipelines there but instead features the picture of an orphan girl in need)

• Scientists say your genetics determine whether you are obese or not (this news item popped up a few weeks ago and is an example of mass-medias ongoing “You are not responsible for your life” campaign)

• Page 1: The terrible fate of the Smith Family. Page 2: The wonderful life of George Clooney. (Msm tends to paint the lives of the common Joe as full of suffering, and the lives of stars as wonderful and unattainable. According to many conspiracy-minded researchers, this is part of a campaign to make us feel small)

Then, return back to ATS and tell me that ATS is “mainstream”. The majority of the board deals with UFOs, Aliens, Extraterrestrials (these are most popular Forums here!), the paranormal, conspiracy-theory, uncovering disinformation, cults, peak oil, extremist political ideology, cult ideology, Bankers Conspiracies, Predications, Metaphysics, 9/11 Conspiracy, secret societies, NWO, Survival, Medical Conspiracies, etc. How are these things mainstream? They are not.

If there is any mainstream aspect of ATS, then it’s the Breaking Alternative News Forum and the Politics Section. But even in “Breaking Alternative News”

a) The News Submission Guidelines state that the OP must add an alternative or conspiracy-angle to the news post.
b) Moderators work daily to move non-alternative news to the “General News” section of the BTS (Belowtopsecret) Website.

The politics section, while having some mainstream tendencies, is not actually representative of mainstream discussion and centrist views but features extremists and conspiracy-theory angles of all colours and types.

Lastly, this Planet has more than 5. Billion people. Around 4000 are ATS members. That’s uhm…slightly over 0% of the world. No matter how this debate progresses and no matter what points are brought forward by my opponent, a website that caters to slightly over 0% of the world can hardly be called “mainstream”. In sociology a 1% following is not deemed mainstream. Any less than 1% even less so.

____________________

To answer the Socratic Questions:



Socratic Question #1 “Do you consider the recent trend in Debunking to be a serious move towards a more Mainstream ATS?”


Debunking is not a recent trend but has been part of the paranormal, UFO and Conspiracy Scene since its beginning days...and...if anyone cares to check out the beginning threads of ATS, even then. So, no its not a "serious move towards mainstream". Where there was an UFOlogist there was always a Debunker nearby.




Socratic Question #2 “Is the popularity of the Politics Forum not an indication that the members of ATS prefer more Mainstream topics?”


Every Election Phase has had an increase in politics up to now. This time it was a bit more noticeable because the politics forum was given up (not enough traffic!!!) and moved to ATS. So again: No, ATS members do not come here for mainstream topics. And even in politics they prefer other angles than those given by the mainstream (Ron Paul or the recent Peter Schiff Interview for example).




Socratic Question #3 “As Myths and Legends are comprised mostly of passed down information from a time long ago, is it not expected that eventually information about them would be “Worn out” so to speak and people move on to more “Mainstream” topics?”


Some topics that were formerly "substream" do eventually become mainstream...but they are replaced by brand new substream-topics. For example UFOlogy as a field-of-study only exists since 1947.

Finally, to remind my esteemed opponent semperfortis of the Debate Topic: Its not "ATS is becoming too mainstream" but "ATS has become too mainstream.


Socratic Questions to semperfortis:

1. Would you consider BTS mainstream, as compared to ATS?

2. If a mainstream newspaper has an article entitled "Nibiru somehow connected to 2012 or is it False Flag?", do you think the majority would have any clue what the article is about?

3. Did you know that the former Politics Board (abovepolitics) was quit because there was not enough traffic?

4. Would you agree that adding the new Forum "The Gray Area", where personal accounts on alien abductions and higher-dimensional experiences and insider-whistleblowing are welcomed, is not exactly a move in a mainstream direction?



posted on Dec, 7 2008 @ 12:49 PM
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Speed Debate: Semperfortis vs Skyfloating: ATS Isn't Alternative Any More?

Semper’s Reply #1

Rebuttal:


The majority of the board deals with UFOs, Aliens, Extraterrestrials (these are most popular Forums here!)


As you will see below, this is clearly not an accurate statement.

By and large the most popular forums, using ATS’s own statistics, are

Breaking Alternative News
Aliens and UFOs
General Chit Chat
War on Terror

Three out of four are NOT alternative


Lastly, this Planet has more than 5. Billion people. Around 4000 are ATS members. That’s uhm…slightly over 0% of the world. No matter how this debate progresses and no matter what points are brought forward by my opponent, a website that caters to slightly over 0% of the world can hardly be called “mainstream”. In sociology a 1% following is not deemed mainstream. Any less than 1% even less so.


Using those types of statistics, CNN, MSNBC and Head-Line news fall under your categories. I would suggest to you that they are all very mainstream. The manipulation of statistics is all very well and good, but they show nothing as to the debate.


Where there was an UFOlogist there was always a Debunker nearby.


Thus rendering the UFOlogist a statistical zero. Again a move towards mainstream thinking. (Remember you started the statistics :lol; )


(Ron Paul or the recent Peter Schiff Interview for example).


How is Ron Paul not mainstream? While a little latitude is acceptable in any debate, I can not allow you to pigeon hole everything you want to into an alternative descriptive definition. Somethings by their very nature are mainstream and politics is one. Unless you want to discuss the UFO sighting by Dennis Kucinich. Otherwise your argument that politics are not mainstream is not up to the challenge.


Finally, to remind my esteemed opponent semperfortis of the Debate Topic: Its not "ATS is becoming too mainstream" but "ATS has become too mainstream.


You will of course allow me to progress my debate as I see fit wont you? I really appreciate it.


Answers to Socratic Questions:


1. Would you consider BTS mainstream, as compared to ATS?


As a general rule, yes.


2. If a mainstream newspaper has an article entitled "Nibiru somehow connected to 2012 or is it False Flag?", do you think the majority would have any clue what the article is about?


The majority of whom? You would have to be more specific as to what newspaper and where.


3. Did you know that the former Politics Board (abovepolitics) was quit because there was not enough traffic?


No, I thought it was due to being able to better handle the flaming and political banter. The creation of the “Bully Pulpit” somewhat flies in the face of your assumption there my friend. As you can see by my information below, politics was going strong during those months and enough so as to crate a whole new forum.


4. Would you agree that adding the new Forum "The Gray Area", where personal accounts on alien abductions and higher-dimensional experiences and insider-whistleblowing are welcomed, is not exactly a move in a mainstream direction?


Yes, but we are discussing the entire board.


Looking at the home page, one can not help but make observations about several different aspects apparent there.

There are seven “Top Flagged” topics listed there. Only one could be considered “Alternative”, the other six are all basic mainstream topics. How is this furthering ATS’s promotion of alternative topics? It is not.

It is clearly and succinctly a move into a more mainstream venue.

When your very existence is a User Generated forum, them the move in any direction is controlled by the user by default. People care more about “mainstream” topics.

Look at the statistics for the past few months. Our total visits skyrocketed during the months of September and October; why? Well that is a no-brainer, the election of course. Peoples interest in a decidedly “Mainstream” topic, the election, caused ATS to have tremendous numbers of visitors and subsequent numbers of new members.

Proving again that ATS is becoming more mainstream.

Now as to whether this is “Too Mainstream” is something we shall address later.

Take a look again at the Home Page, specifically the “Forum Posts and Topics Data” and you will find that our most popular forum, is “Breaking Alternative News”. Now while this would seem to fly in the face of the side I have been given on this debate, let us look for a moment at the “Top Threads” in that forum and see if this is actually true.

Now while some of what I present to you may be subjective, I want you to lok at the over-all picture when looking at this debate.

Top Threads in the Breaking Alternative News Forum

1. More Mayhem & Death At Wal-Mart
2. Teacher sorry for binding girls in slavery lesson
3. Fears of a Million Layoffs a Month in Corporate America
4. "Kop Busters" in Odessa, TX
5. India's Chandrayaan Blasts Off To The Moon!

Now just look at that!!! The single most popular Forum, and the five most popular threads and only one, (1) could be considered actually “Alternative”…

The others are just news stories that one may expect to find on CNN or MSNBC. So it is apparent in this venue anyway, that ATS is becoming too mainstream.

Of course I must again address the root cause for this; us. That is correct my fellow ATSers and friends, we are the cause of ATS becoming more mainstream, possible too mainstream as the debate title suggests. This is a member driven site which means that “we” the members control the content. The only thing the Moderators and Administration does is ensure we fall within the terms and Conditions. Well that and they promote the heck out of the site so that we can obtain all of the exposure they can get us.

Looking again at the Home Page one can not help but notice that the third most popular forum is……

General Chit Chat!!!!!

What that means folks is that people would rather “chat” about nothing, then about Aliens, UFOs and Mythical Creatures!!! How is this NOT becoming to mainstream?

Among all the forums offered here at ATS, the third most popular is about… NOTHING!!!


We can change this my friends. There is little in this world more fascinating than Alien Encounters, the search for Atlantis and “Who built the Pyramids” but we, that’s right WE have to promote these topics and move that “Chit Chat” forum down where it belongs on ATS…

While my opponents topic clarification was incorrect as to my direction, I will address this one subject very quickly.

ATS is too mainstream. That in and of itself is a fact. It is also a fact that ATS is moving more and more into the area of the mainstream. I have been and intend on continuing to show you this fact to substantiate my side of the debate.

Please do not assume that as I am referring to a movement towards the mainstream, that I mean we are not already there. the distinction should be clear.

Socratic Questions:

Socratic Question #1

“Is it your contention that ANYTHING you have not read in a local paper is Alternative?”

Socratic Question #2

“Looking at the meteoric rise in visits during the pre-election time period, is it NOT true that this is an interest in the MAINSTREAM in it’s most pure form?


Again, it is clear that:

ATS Has Become Too Mainstream.”

Thank you

Semper



posted on Dec, 7 2008 @ 01:41 PM
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Readers: Are we good at detecting disinformation?

We call ourselves "conspiracy-theorists", so we should be. Could you detect the disinfo in semperfortis posts? If so, Kudos to you! If not, let me help:

semper writes:



By and large the most popular forums, using ATS’s own statistics, are
Breaking Alternative News
Aliens and UFOs
GeneralChit Chat
War on Terror

Three out of four are NOT alternative


Rebuttal:

1. General Chit Chat is not on ATS but on BTS
2. Breaking ALTERNATIVE News (as opposed to the Forum Breaking GENERAL News) is, by its very definition and the guidelines of the News Submission Forum, not mainstream but Alternative.
3. That leaves ONE Forum that might contain mainstream views (though my opponent fails to mention which time-span these statistics apply to)

semper continues:



Using those types of statistics, CNN, MSNBC and Head-Line news fall under your categories. I would suggest to you that they are all very mainstream. The manipulation of statistics is all very well and good, but they show nothing as to the debate.


What I was saying (and I believe most readers understood that) is that ATS has around 4000 members....whereas CNN, NYTimes and other mainstream outlets have MILLIONS of viewers and readers. This is no "manipulation of statistics" but a simple fact.

semper also says:



Somethings by their very nature are mainstream and politics is one.


There is mainstream politics, which adresses the democrat and republican party and then there is non-mainstream politics, which most graduates of political science recognize as things like: Anarchism, Communism, Fascism, Libertarianism.

So even WITHIN politics there are many sub-groups. ATS tends to attract a lot of the more extreme position.

In fact, I can count the purely liberal or purely conservative members of ATS with the fingers of my hand. I know our own debate-forum member nyk to be a conservative. I know ATS-Member Benevolent Heretic to be an Obama-Supporter. Those are two more mainstream voices here...among the many hundred non-mainstream voices.

To my socratic question "If a mainstream newspaper has an article entitled "Nibiru somehow connected to 2012 or is it False Flag?", do you think the majority would have any clue what the article is about?" semper answers:




The majority of whom? You would have to be more specific as to what newspaper and where.


...thereby acting as if he doesnt know what is mainstream and what is not.

So allow me to rephrase the question...

Socratic Question 1: Can you tell me which of the following headlines might make The New York Times, CNN or Fox News?

(Since we are not to post references in this debate I will go from memory of some of the thread titles Ive seen in the last days - they are not always the exact titles since Im going from memory)

• The Abduction of Chris Bledsoe
• Somali Pirates to Acquire Citigroup
• Alternative Methods of Earthquake Prediction
• Demons beneath Cairo Subway Station Al Zeitoun
• Kappa Sigma Question
• Great Pyramid, Star Shafts and Earth Axis
• Endarkenment?
• Join Zeitgeist Movement

Any you would recommend for Time Magazine?


My socratic question on the former politics forum was denied, but it was in fact discontinued due to insufficient traffic.

May socratic question on the new, extremely non-mainstream Forum "The Gray Area" was answered with:



Yes, but we're discussing the entire board


To which I say: No doubt we are. Mentioning the gray area was a rebuttal to your statement that ATS is moving in a mainstream direction.



There are seven “Top Flagged” topics listed there. Only one could be considered “Alternative”, the other six are all basic mainstream topics. How is this furthering ATS’s promotion of alternative topics? It is not.


Actually the two top-flagged topics of 2008, both with over 400 Flags (!!!!) are

1. RobbieWilliams UFO Sightings
2. Untersberg - The Mystery Mountain

BOTH in the Aliens and UFOs Forum.

semper:



How is Ron Paul not mainstream?


Ron Paul was THE symbol of the counter-culture, libertarian and conspiracy-theorist movement in 2008. Thats how.

semper:



Look at the statistics for the past few months. Our total visits skyrocketed during the months of September and October;


With the most visitors clicking on the GalacticFederationOfLight Blossom Goodchild Thread...as you certainly remember





1. More Mayhem & Death At Wal-Mart
2. Teacher sorry for binding girls in slavery lesson
3. Fears of a Million Layoffs a Month in Corporate America 4. "Kop Busters" in Odessa, TX
5. India's Chandrayaan Blasts Off To The Moon!

Now just look at that!!! The single most popular Forum, and the five most popular threads and only one, (1) could be considered actually “Alternative”…


Thank you for reminding me of my Moderator Duties to move some of these to the BTS General Breaking News section


And once I do so, they will no longer be part of your argument.

Oh...and Debate Judges...by the way...click on "TOP" threads and you will see the following Breaking Alternative News Items:

* Weird Jelly-Like-Substance Found in Scotland
* More Mayhem and Death at Walmart

So much for the "Top" Threads being mainstream.

semper writes:



Looking again at the Home Page one can not help but notice that the third most popular forum is…… General Chit Chat!!!!! What that means folks is that people would rather “chat” about nothing, then about Aliens, UFOs and Mythical Creatures!!! How is this NOT becoming to mainstream? Among all the forums offered here at ATS, the third most popular is about… NOTHING!!!


General Chit Chat is not on ATS but in the BTS Forum...which was specifically made to keep non-mainstream topics AWAY from ATS.

Sorry for deconstructing the main part of your entire Debate-Case





Socratic Question #1 “Is it your contention that ANYTHING you have not read in a local paper is Alternative?”



No.




Socratic Question #2 “Looking at the meteoric rise in visits during the pre-election time period, is it NOT true that this is an interest in the MAINSTREAM in it’s most pure form?


During this time (and this time-span being the EXCEPTION, not the rule) all websites and discussion forums, also mainstream ones, experience an increase in election-talk. Those who wish to additionally talk election from less predictable and mainstream angles, come here to talk.

But again: Politics is not the only Forum here and far from being the one with the top-flagged-topics 2008.


You may remember how our CEO, Skeptic Overlord called the Political Election “The Quadrennial Exploitation of the Moronic Masses”

Socratic Question 2: Does that sound like a mainstream position to you?

You may also remember how the ATS CEO, SkepticOverlord, in his “About ATS” section said ATS is a “rage against the mindless status quo”.

Socratic Question 3: Does that sound like a mainstream slogan?

Thank you.



posted on Dec, 7 2008 @ 02:18 PM
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Speed Debate: Semperfortis vs Skyfloating: ATS Isn't Alternative Any More?

Semper’s Reply #2

Rebuttal:


Could you detect the disinfo in semperfortis posts? If so, Kudos to you! If not, let me help:

1. General Chit Chat is not on ATS but on BTS


I must apologize, I thought we were discussing the entire site. If my opponent feels his stance is too weak to support an all encompassing debate, I will of course acquiesce and allow him the easier road. But please if you plan on making exceptions for particular forums, let me know in advance.



2. Breaking ALTERNATIVE News (as opposed to the Forum Breaking GENERAL News) is, by its very definition and the guidelines of the News Submission Forum, not mainstream but Alternative.


Oh really?

Shall we look at some Breaking Alternative News Topics?

Yes, I think we shall.

1. It's official: Men really are the weaker sex
2. US Supreme Court to Conference on Obama's Presidential Eligibility
3. The Religious Case for Gay Marriage
4. Britain 'plotting Zimbabwe invasion'
5. "Kop Busters" in Odessa, TX

Now these are the FIRST five topics in that forum and not randomly selected. What exactly is alternative about them? Exactly!!!!

While The Breaking Alternative News Forum by its very definition, alternative, what has happened is exactly happening to ATS and the topic of this debate.

Becoming Mainstream!


(though my opponent fails to mention which time-span these statistics apply to)


The time span is current.


What I was saying (and I believe most readers understood that) is that ATS has around 4000 members....whereas CNN, NYTimes and other mainstream outlets have MILLIONS of viewers and readers. This is no "manipulation of statistics" but a simple fact.


Regardless, using your own statistics, the figures still work out to Nil.

30 million is Nil compared to over 6 billion.

Ignoring the impact ATS has on the world as compared to CNN is not helping your case or mine.


non-mainstream politics, which most graduates of political science recognize as things like: Anarchism, Communism, Fascism, Libertarianism.


So my opponent would have you believe that Communism and Libertarianism are NOT mainstream? GOOD GOLLY MISS MOLLY!!!!

What next?

Because the Democrats are in office, does that mean the Republican Party is alternative now?

Readers and judges do not allow my opponent to manipulate the meanings of the words Alternative and Mainstream to fit whatever parameters he needs to win. He is apparently attempting to do just that.


In fact, I can count the purely liberal or purely conservative members of ATS with the fingers of my hand. I know our own debate-forum member nyk to be a conservative. I know ATS-Member Benevolent Heretic to be an Obama-Supporter. Those are two more mainstream voices here...among the many hundred non-mainstream voices.


It just keeps getting worse!!!!

Now progressive and moderates are ALTERNATIVE???

SHEESH where does it end?

Socratic Question #1

“Are you implying that a Progressive and a Moderate political stance is an “Alternative View” as defined by the debate topic?”


Socratic Question 1: Can you tell me which of the following headlines might make The New York Times, CNN or Fox News?


ANSWER
1, 2, 3, 5 and 6
Or better than half

And you say ATS isn’t Mainstream!!! HA…


Ron Paul was THE symbol of the counter-culture, libertarian and conspiracy-theorist movement in 2008. Thats how.


Socratic Question #2

“What Conspiracy Theories did Ron Paul espouse?”


With the most visitors clicking on the GalacticFederationOfLight Blossom Goodchild Thread...as you certainly remember


Correct!!!!!

Mainstream members debunking the ridiculous claims if YOU remember. Again proving my point.

ATS did not cater to this alternative topic, instead following the mainstream ideal and labeling it as a hoax!!! Thereby upsetting many of the pure alternative members.

Again, proving my stance.


Thank you for reminding me of my Moderator Duties to move some of these to the BTS General Breaking News section


Now readers and judges pay attention here especially….

My opponent has out and out supported and substantiated my entire debate right here. He is actively moving threads to better areas of the site instead of helping create and foster a more viable alternative site structure. But more importantly, he admits to these being NOT Alternative in scope!!!!

Do you have your concession speech ready my friend?


More Mayhem and Death at Walmart


How is this NOT Mainstream? It was all over every paper in the country.

Socratic Question #3

“Please tell us how the above Walmart thread is NOT mainstream”


Sorry for deconstructing the main part of your entire Debate-Case


Again, if you choose to NOT discuss the entire site and that helps your debate, please go ahead. The readers and judges know what I am talking about.


Socratic Question 2: Does that sound like a mainstream position to you?


NO
But I ask you to remember that the Administration here has very CLEARLY and purposefully indicated that we are a MEMBER driven site. The opinion of SO in that venue, is, just the opinion of one member.


Socratic Question 3: Does that sound like a mainstream slogan?


Same answer as above!

“The Fascination of Alternative Subject Matter”

We would be horribly remiss if we did not touch on and even in a way promote the wonderfully fascinating aspect of alternative subject matter.

Who here has not been captured by the thought of finding Atlantis, talking to a time traveler or actually seeing a UFO? For many of us, these are all childhood fascinations that have carried over into our adult life and stay with us still.

Where else beside ATS can we go on the net, or even in real life, and discuss these issues with like minded individuals in a professional unassuming atmosphere of acceptance and comradeship? Yet if we allow ATS to slip even further away from an alternative site and more into the mainstream, will we be taking from ourselves that which we hold most dear? I fear this is the case.

Sometimes what I see when I first log on, is a vast amount of interest in how the site is being run and very little interest in the alternative topics most of us come here for. Long arduous threads with many man hours are spent complaining about this feature and that feature, when those same hours could be spent researching the alternative, configuring new theories and addressing interesting alternative topics.

So what is it that causes this drift? Could it be the debunkers? The “Nay-Sayers” and skeptics? Possibly, but since when have we let the opinions of others dictate to us what we are going to be concerned with?

Just look at what happens when anyone comes on and posts that they saw a UFO. The first cries come from those wanting proof. Well if you are standing outside and see a UFO, what proof do you have? Yet the new member that comes on and makes this claim, instead of being gently guided and thanked for their contribution, they get ridiculed and scoffed at. Again, more movement towards a mainstream ideology.

We are losing what is the corner-stone of ATS.

Let’s address the links at the top of the page for a moment shall we?

1. I WAS THERE! ... 9 Days I Was Eyewitness In Thailand Airports! ... And Only Foreigner

An eye witness account. Perhaps you won’t find this in your daily paper, but it is hardly “Alternative”

2. A Birth Certificate Study – Mine

Not Alternative in any way shape or form.

3. "Kop Busters" in Odessa, TX

Again, nothing alternative about this.

So we have the TOP flagged threads appearing on the main page of ATS and not a single one addresses alternative topics. How is this not direct evidence that ATS has all but abandoned alternative topics for the more acceptable mainstream topics?

If you look directly below the top flagged threads, the ATS mix is there and what catches your eye is the BTS Mix and Above Politics Show. Neither of which is am alternative venue in any way.

It is simple:

“ATS Has Become Too Mainstream.”

Thank you

Semper



posted on Dec, 7 2008 @ 03:14 PM
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Anything Less Mainstream than ATS goes to the Mental Institution

Sometimes, when viewing the "recent posts list" I worry that Ive come upon a mental institution gone ballistic. If I spend too much time here I retreat and relax from the madness a bit...with mainstream sites.

There is hardly anything less mainstream than ATS...and if there is, then it caters to the subcultures of society that go into the psychotic and illegal. ATS is the last outpost of the fringe before things go sliding.


semperfortis statements will be shown in quote brackets.



must apologize, I thought we were discussing the entire site. If my opponent feels his stance is too weak to support an all encompassing debate, I will of course acquiesce and allow him the easier road. But please if you plan on making exceptions for particular forums, let me know in advance.



The Debate Title says ATS, not BTS...a site to which we re-direct mainstream topics. BTS is not a Forum, its a website.




Now these are the FIRST five topics in that forum and not randomly selected. What exactly is alternative about them? Exactly!!!!



In accordance with the B-A-News Submission Guidelines, mainstream stuff doesnt belong there. I will have to move some of the stuff after this debate. But to be entirely honest most of these headlines dont sound like anything I read in mainstream newspapers. Imagine the LA Times having the headline "Britian plotting Zimbabwe Invasion" or "Kop Busters in Odessa".

And whats more: B-A-News is not the only Forum we have. Lets see...there's Cryptozoology, Paranormal, Metaphysics, 9/11 Conspiracies, Peak Oil, SkunkWorks, and what have we...




30 million is Nil compared to over 6 billion.


Just like 4000 is Nil compared to 30 Million




So my opponent would have you believe that Communism and Libertarianism are NOT mainstream? GOOD GOLLY MISS MOLLY!!!!


So when is the last time you saw a member of the communist-party or libertarian-party be a Presidential Candidate? As I said, any scholar of political sciences recognizes these parties as fringe-parties.




“Are you implying that a Progressive and a Moderate political stance is an “Alternative View” as defined by the debate topic?”


Liberal, Progressive, Centrist, Moderate, Conservative are mainstream views. They make up a small percentage of the entirety of ATS.




ANSWER 1, 2, 3, 5 and 6 Or better than half


So here my opponent is saying that stuff like "Demons beneath Cairo Subway System" would make it to mainstream news headlines.

I dont buy that. And neither will the debate judges.



“What Conspiracy Theories did Ron Paul espouse?”


I did not say he espoused conspiracy theories, I said he was a hero of the counter-culture and alternative politics movement.



Mainstream members debunking the ridiculous claims if YOU remember. Again proving my point. ATS did not cater to this alternative topic, instead following the mainstream ideal and labeling it as a hoax!!! Thereby upsetting many of the pure alternative members. Again, proving my stance.


Here semper is trying to turn the fact that the GFL-Thread (a totally non-mainstream topic) had the most "clicks" in October into the argument that it was non-mainstream members doing that...when us Mods know for a fact that it was (unfortunately) crazies from the blossom goodchild website.




My opponent has out and out supported and substantiated my entire debate right here. He is actively moving threads to better areas of the site instead of helping create and foster a more viable alternative site structure. But more importantly, he admits to these being NOT Alternative in scope!!!! Do you have your concession speech ready my friend?


Of the hundreds of threads I see a day, I usually move 1-3 over to BTS because they are too mainstream for ATS. ATS is a non-mainstream, alternative and conspiracy-theory site, remember?




Socratic Question #3 “Please tell us how the above Walmart thread is NOT mainstream”


Yes it is mainstream and needs to be moved to General News in BTS. Allow me to finish this debate before I return to Modding.

Readers & Judges: Take note that my opponent is pointing out the small percentage of mainstream-tendency threads here. This IN NO WAY changes the fact that the site is mainly fringe, outer-fringe and way-outer-outer-fringe. Pointing out the ocassional mainstreamer does not change the fact.



Again, if you choose to NOT discuss the entire site and that helps your debate, please go ahead. The readers and judges know what I am talking about.


Do they? Or do they see how the Debate Title states "ATS" and the fact that BTS is specifically for mainstream topics? Cooking Anyone? How about the Automotive Forum?





The opinion of SO in that venue, is, just the opinion of one member.


Yeah...just one member who happens to be the CEO and gets to decide on ATS Topics.




Who here has not been captured by the thought of finding Atlantis, talking to a time traveler or actually seeing a UFO? For many of us, these are all childhood fascinations that have carried over into our adult life and stay with us still.



Precisely. Thats why we're here.




what I see when I first log on, is a vast amount of interest in how the site is being run and very little interest in the alternative topics most of us come here for

We are losing what is the corner-stone of ATS.


Just a few days ago I opened a thread called "Ancient Extraterrestrials" which meanwhile has 99 Flags. You cant show me any current, say BBQ thread with that amount of Flags, can you.



Let’s address the links at the top of the page for a moment shall we?


That changes by the hour. How about addressing the top-flagged topics 2008 instead?

They are, as already shown in my last post, UFO-Topics. WHY? Because thats the target group we attract.

WHY do we attract that target group? Because thats what we present ourselves as: NON-MAINSTREAM.


Socratic Questions:

1. ATS being so "mainstream" you'd recommend children coming here?

2. Why do you think Demons under the Cairo Subway is a typical mainstream headline?

3. What is a site you consider mainstream compared to ATS?

4. What is non-mainstream about ATS?

5. Do you see the book-advertisement on the side of this page? What does it say in bold-print?



posted on Dec, 7 2008 @ 04:01 PM
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Speed Debate: Semperfortis vs Skyfloating: ATS Isn't Alternative Any More?

Semper’s Reply #3

So my opponent wants to call Alternative any and all topics that don’t fit within the boundaries of his proposition?

Interesting tactic, but it comes off as fairly ridiculous when you look at it in the light of day.

My opponent as supposed that any political ideology other than Democrat and republican is alternative. WHAT!!!!!

Desperation my good friends and readers….

Let’s talk about Alternative topics for a moments shall we?

The term alternative that we are operating off of here, is not something as simple as that which does not appear in the New York Times. No matter what my opponent wants you to believe.

If someone actually produces proof of a UFO, and it makes the New York Times, would my opponent then call it mainstream? Is that the only test of that which is alternative?

Hardly

Alternative is that which is “Different from the Usual or Conventional” to use the Merriam Webster Definition.

Notice that the New York Times is not in fact mentioned?

So we could consider Alien Abduction to be Alternative. Yes?

And the death of a shopper at Walmart, not. Again Yes? People die and they die shopping. What is unusual about that?

How is a politician running for President alternative? Yet my opponent would have you believe so. At least for the purpose of winning he would.

Now if we get an Alien up for the Green Party Nomination, we have an Alternative Candidate for sure.

If we allow any one individual, be it my opponent or the Admin of this site to define for us what Alternative is, we lose the very essence of ATS even more rapidly than we are.

The move toward mainstream is real. It is our fault. It is a fact.

Can we turn it around and move us back to our roots? Of course we can. Get back into the Aliens and UFO forums and support those that have sightings.

Do some reading and research into Atlantis, Alien Structures, and Other Worlds etc etc. We can make a difference; this is our site after all.

Rebuttal:


There is hardly anything less mainstream than ATS...and if there is, then it caters to the subcultures of society that go into the psychotic and illegal. ATS is the last outpost of the fringe before things go sliding


And that is your opinion. I have a somewhat less jaded opinion of the topics my fellow member wish to discuss.


The Debate Title says ATS, not BTS...a site to which we re-direct mainstream topics. BTS is not a Forum, its a website.


As I said previously, whatever gets you through the debate with a clear conscious. I will continue on with a valid debate.


So when is the last time you saw a member of the communist-party or libertarian-party be a Presidential Candidate?


Uhhhhh Every year…. Where have you been?


Liberal, Progressive, Centrist, Moderate, Conservative are mainstream views. They make up a small percentage of the entirety of ATS.


Wrong… Sorry but you are way off base here. We, all of us, fall into one of those categories. Apparently my opponent left out the Democratic Party, is that the only Alternative Party now? He really needs to make up his mind here. More confusion!!

By their definition, we must fall into those categories somewhere.


So here my opponent is saying that stuff like "Demons beneath Cairo Subway System" would make it to mainstream news headlines.


Another incorrect statement from my opponent. Check the numbers that “I” mentioned please…


I did not say he espoused conspiracy theories, I said he was a hero of the counter-culture and alternative politics movement.


Socratic Question #1

“How is Ron Paul, or any REPUBLICAN Candidate for president, (which he was), counter culture or “Alternative Politics”?

I must be in the wrong (or right) Party. Huh. Who Knew?



when us Mods know for a fact that it was (unfortunately) crazies from the blossom goodchild website.


Not only the MODs can read a thread. It was clear from the outset that a VAST majority of that thread and subsequent threads, was full, FULL of debunkers and scoffers. I don’t believe that “We Mods” kept anything hidden from the members on that.


Of the hundreds of threads I see a day, I usually move 1-3 over to BTS because they are too mainstream for ATS. ATS is a non-mainstream, alternative and conspiracy-theory site, remember?


So with all the MODS, how many threads that are Mainstream being moved? Exactly!!! My Point Exactly

ATS has gone Mainstream.. We are fighting it, but alas, it is a member driven site.


Yes it is mainstream and needs to be moved to General News in BTS.


Yet you referenced it and used it as an example? I’m confused here. I know this is a “Speed Debate” but you really have to stay up with it..



This IN NO WAY changes the fact that the site is mainly fringe, outer-fringe and way-outer-outer-fringe. Pointing out the ocassional mainstreamer does not change the fact.


And Judges take note also, that OF COURSE my opponent will say this. He wants to win the debate. Does not make it true, as I have pointed out several incorrect statements from my opponent.


Do they? Or do they see how the Debate Title states "ATS" and the fact that BTS is specifically for mainstream topics? Cooking Anyone? How about the Automotive Forum?


Again, I am OK with whatever gets you through this… I will continue on with discussing the entire site.

Socratic Question #2

“Why was the BTS Area created if NOT to cater to a LARGE and GROWING number of MAINSTREAM members?”

Please answer directly!!!


Yeah...just one member who happens to be the CEO and gets to decide on ATS Topics.


I am sorry, I had no idea that any ONE person decided the “TOPICS” here at ATS????

Socratic Question #3

“Does any member have to “CLEAR” their thread topic with SO prior to posting?”

Socratic Question #4

“Does SO routine delete thread topics that are Mainstream in nature?”


Just a few days ago I opened a thread called "Ancient Extraterrestrials" which meanwhile has 99 Flags. You cant show me any current, say BBQ thread with that amount of Flags, can you.


Not sure what “Current” has to do with it, but:

A Call To Action: Ending The Political Game on ATS. 92 Flags. Mainstream by the way

SR-72 Confirmed: Mach 6 Project Blackswift: Aircraft Projects 52 Flags Definitely Mainstream

I could go on, but you get the idea. Flags have little to do with Mainstream vs Alternative.

Answers to Socratic Questions:


1. ATS being so "mainstream" you'd recommend children coming here?

Absolutely


2. Why do you think Demons under the Cairo Subway is a typical mainstream headline?

As you brought that up and I have never addressed it, I have no answer for this particular question. More deflection?


3. What is a site you consider mainstream compared to ATS?

Foodtv.com


4. What is non-mainstream about ATS?

Many things, Aliens and UFOs, Mythical Creatures, Atlantis Investigations to name a few.


5. Do you see the book-advertisement on the side of this page? What does it say in bold-print?

Now in Stores Everywhere

Again, folks more deflection and inconsistencies on behalf of my opponent. Even to suggesting there is ONE individual that determines the topics of threads!!!!!

Come on!!!!

Fact:

“ATS Has Become Too Mainstream.”

Thank you

Semper



posted on Dec, 7 2008 @ 04:59 PM
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Here's an example of what a Discussion-Forum of a Mainstream Website would look like:

* Knitting: Tipps and Tricks
* Clothes for your Dog?
* What kind of External Harddrive do you have?
* Angelina Jolie: Will she have a second Maddox?
* Problems with VISTA
* What did you have for Thanksgiving?
* Best R&B Records 2008?

We all know the musty blandness of mainstream.
Now lets directly compare those topics to some of our current ones:

* History of Hearing Voices
* Dark Figure in my Bedroom
* Atlantis = God of the Sumerians?
* Our Moon is not Ours
* Anyone Feeling Vibrations?

Right...mainstream my a**.

The reason semperfortis is offering all these antics and gimmicks, accusing me of deflection and posting false information is because he knows of the inherent weakness of his side of the debate.

Concerning by opponents continual pushing of politics (the tiny little ATS section that actually supports some of his side - and I say some - because not all political views are automatically mainstream views!!!!!): This is a small part of ATS. We have about 67 Forums on ATS, 8 of which are politics. Thats minor. And within those, not all opinions are mainstream. That makes it even more minor. Thats about enough of politics in this Debate...the debate is meant to address the entirety of ATS.

(btw: How I WISH Libertarianism were mainstream)

Concerning the "Demons beneath Cairo": I could have sworn Nr.4 was part of his list. But its not. And it doesnt matter: Nr. 1 is just as non-mainstream. It refers to a UFO Abduction. UFO Abduction Stories are not a normal part of the msm Whether its Nr. 1 or Nr. 4: Both are completely outside of the mainstream. Hence ATS. The whole point of this site is to discuss the non-mainstream.



Socratic Question #1 “How is Ron Paul, or any REPUBLICAN Candidate for president, (which he was), counter culture or “Alternative Politics”?


You must have missed 6 months of him being hailed as a savior on this website. You also must have missed his conspiracy-related comments on 9/11 and the Federal Reserve.




Yet you referenced it and used it as an example? I’m confused here. I know this is a “Speed Debate” but you really have to stay up with it..



I referenced it as one mainstream article among non-mainstream articles. A bit desperate to find fault with my argumentation here?




Again, I am OK with whatever gets you through this… I will continue on with discussing the entire site.


What you are basically saying here is: "I will continue discussing the site ATS and the site BTS as opposed to the Debate Title, instead of admitting I was wrong about involving BTS". Fine with me




Socratic Question #2 “Why was the BTS Area created if NOT to cater to a LARGE and GROWING number of MAINSTREAM members?”


***BTS, the mainstream-topic site, was created to keep ATS non-mainstream. This actually proves my point that the Bosses of ATS intend to keep this place non-mainstream. ***



I am sorry, I had no idea that any ONE person decided the “TOPICS” here at ATS???? Socratic Question #3 “Does any member have to “CLEAR” their thread topic with SO prior to posting?”


Who said anything about SO choosing topics? SO, Springer and Simon Gray choose the FORUMS. The FORUMS determine the topics. The topics determine the Discussion. The reason Forums such as "Area51", "Disinfo & Deflection", "Political Conspiracies", etc. were chosen is because its a NON-MAINSTREAM SITE.



Socratic Question #4 “Does SO routine delete thread topics that are Mainstream in nature?”


No. Moderators are directed to move them to BTS. Why? To keep the place NON-MAINSTREAM.



Not sure what “Current” has to do with it, but: A Call To Action: Ending The Political Game on ATS. 92 Flags. Mainstream by the way SR-72 Confirmed: Mach 6 Project Blackswift: Aircraft Projects 52 Flags Definitely Mainstream I could go on, but you get the idea. Flags have little to do with Mainstream vs Alternative.


I and the Readers & Judges know what "Current" has to do with it. If we take the time-span you just used in finding those threads, we could find HUNDREDS of threads which OUT-FLAG politics threads.

1. You say ATS has become too mainstream, so I ask you: Too mainstream compared to what?

2. Do the majority of members come here to talk mainstream politics?

3. If you had to recommend the best discussion forum on alternative, non-mainstream and UFO-Topics on the net, what would you recommend?


Calling this place too mainstream is an insult to our members, an insult to our work on and contribution in conspiracy-theory and could only be voiced by a hardcore-mega-super-far-out fringer....which semperfortis is not (he's in fact one of the few contributors to the Politics Section). It has become apparent that he does not actually believe what he is arguing here.



posted on Dec, 7 2008 @ 05:31 PM
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Speed Debate: Semperfortis vs Skyfloating: ATS Isn't Alternative Any More?

A quick rebuttal then on with my Closing:


Right...mainstream my a**.


Looks as if I have touched a nerve here, even to the point of circumventing censors. Now is that really necessary?


The reason semperfortis is offering all these antics and gimmicks, accusing me of deflection and posting false information is because he knows of the inherent weakness of his side of the debate.


Your deflection is yours to bear my friend.


(the tiny little ATS section that actually supports some of his side - and I say some


The numbers and the timeline do not lie.. Fact


Thats about enough of politics in this Debate...the debate is meant to address the entirety of ATS.


I keep trying to tell you that and you keep trying to split the site to fit your debate. So now which is it? The entirety of ATS, or the part you want to discuss?


Concerning the "Demons beneath Cairo": I could have sworn Nr.4 was part of his list. But its not.

Well at least you got that one right.. Kudos!!


You must have missed 6 months of him being hailed as a savior on this website. You also must have missed his conspiracy-related comments on 9/11 and the Federal Reserve.


I have commented on Police seeing a UFO, does that make me an “Alternative Cop”?

Ron Paul is not, NOT an alternative topic.


Who said anything about SO choosing topics?


You did…

Remember your own words?

I remember what you said as I am sure the readers and judges do, but I will gladly remind them.



Yeah...just one member who happens to be the CEO and gets to decide on ATS Topics.




No. Moderators are directed to move them to BTS. Why? To keep the place NON-MAINSTREAM.


Exactly because it is so mainstream those efforts are in place.

I will “ASSUME” the list of questions at the end are your Socratic questions my esteemed opponent and answer them as such.


1. You say ATS has become too mainstream, so I ask you: Too mainstream compared to what?

Compared to what it used to be


2. Do the majority of members come here to talk mainstream politics?

Perhaps. I have no idea.


3. If you had to recommend the best discussion forum on alternative, non-mainstream and UFO-Topics on the net, what would you recommend?

ATS
While we are TOO MAINSTREAM, we are still the best!!!

Now to my closing.

Semper’s Closing

In closing let me take a minute to express to you that as a random topic selection, the individual fighter may not believe in the side of the debate he has been given.

Now judges; with that in mind, I impart to you that it is imperative that you judge the debate and not the topic. While it was my intention to try and convince you of my side of the debate, such is the nature of these things, it is simply your duty to evaluate the debate and not the topic. No matter what you may personally believe, please judge the content and not the topic.

Judge the consistency of statements made, uniformity of topic and staying on track. We will then all be happy with whatever judgment is rendered.

Now with that being said:

Apparently I got under the skin of my opponent and such was not my intention. I was merely pointing out the many inconsistencies, inaccuracies and incorrect statements that he has made as is my duty in this debate. I apologize for any misunderstanding. I must hypothesis that such is the nature of a “Speed Debate”

I have laid out for you the many and varied reasons that ATS has become too mainstream.

Remember!!!! You do NOT have to believe that ATS [b[IS Mainstream, to believe that ATS is TOO Mainstream. The debate title….

Remember this!

We have looked at the most popular topics, that are all mainstream.

We have looked at the most popular forums that are again, mainstream.

We have discussed politics and the Main Stream Media. All mainstream, all detrimental to the future of ATS.

Looking at the evidence I have presented to you, my opponents assumptions that whatever is topical is alternative and my clarifying those issues for you; one can only surmise that ATS is in fact too mainstream.

Of course the term, “Too mainstream” is completely subjective. For what is too mainstream to me, may be perfectly alright to you. So you have to look at some of the related phenomenon associated directly with this movement. Specifically the loss of some of our older more established membership.

You have all seen it. The questions as to what happened to this member, or that member. Someone you may have developed an online ATS relationship with may have just stopped posting, or disappeared. I’m not talking about new members that may have a hard time conforming to the ATS standard; I am speaking of the long standing members that know how ATS works.

What happened? Did they leave ATS, or did ATS leave them?

If it was one or two, the answer would be clear, but it is not. In fact it is numerous in scope and even conspiratorial in nature itself. How many older members have simply stopped posting?

What has caused this mass exodus? One can only surmise that what they came here for, no longer exists. Alternative Subject Matter.

I say that it still exists, but not in the quantity and especially the quality one came to expect from ATS. Because ATS has become too mainstream and now does not recognize and attribute to those that are interested in and contribute to alternative ideology and speculative subjects.

My opponent has attempted, all throughout this debate to “corral” the definition of “Alternative” to fit within whatever direction he was taking the debate.

I have worked within the guidelines that alternative subject matter is quite clear.

Aliens and UFOs
Mythology and Legendary Creatures
9/11 Alternative Theories
On and on.

You get the idea even if my opponent does not.

9/11 is NOT an alternative topic in and of itself!!! Let us be clear on that.

I will present to you that in fact he does. He just knows that I am correct and the only way to gain an edge is to call what is clearly Mainstream, Alternative. Now if you accept that, then of course I have no argument. But you have also denied the truth in this debate. I expect you will not do that.

Remember, ATS does not have to BE mainstream, to be TOO mainstream.

Sad really, but as a member driven site, we only have ourselves to blame.

Now what have I shown you?

That

1. The top, most read and viewed forums are mostly Mainstream in nature
2. The top threads are as well
3. The Politics of the day caused us to have the most visits in a month
4. Members are leaving

All proof of the Mainstreaming of ATS

We have discussed debunkers being mainstream and the fact that even the Breaking ALTERNATIVE News forum is FULL of Mainstream News. Mostly in fact.. Even my opponent conceded to this and to wanting to actively move threads into another ATS venue because of this very debate. What does that tell you?

Simple

No denying that:

“ATS Has Become Too Mainstream.”

Thank you

Semper



posted on Dec, 7 2008 @ 06:24 PM
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Fact Check

Fact Check:

The Submission Guidelines of the Breaking Alternative News Forum state that even if a report from the mainstream press is posted here, the comment of the poster must add an angle that is either conspiracy or alternative related. It specifically states that threads that do not fulfill these conditions will be moved to BTS.

The Politics Forum is a minor part of ATS that was moved from the Abovepolitics Website. The AP Website was stopped because it lacked traffic. During Election Season it got more attention than it usually does, but this has already and will continue to trickle out. Due to the nature of ATS, many discussions in the Politics section are tainted by angles and opinions pertaining to Conspiracy-Topics such as “New World Order”, “Propaganda”, “Covert-Action” and International Cabals.

The rest of the Website is as non-mainstream as any non-mainstreamer could wish for. Flying Saucers piloted by Nazis. Ghosts who rape their willing victims. Underground Tunnels from the Vatican to Rosslyn Chapel in Scotland. Dissappearing Islands and Reappearing Mermaids. You name it…we’ve got it. This place has no resemblance to the mainstream and doesn’t want to. If I want mainstream I’ll go over to “Chat City” or any other such lame Discussion Forum.

But is this place “too” mainstream? I think most would agree with me that if it got any more “alternative” or non-mainstream it would loose its appeal in being an intelligent and relatively sincere source of discussion and unusual information. We all love the weird, the quirky, the outlandish, the otherworldish…but who wants to talk to psych-ward patients tripping on hallucinogenic nightmares? Not me. But that’s exactly what my opponent is implying in wanting it to be less mainstream here.

Why do we Mods have to combat Censor Circumvention on a daily basis? Because we attract a large number of non-mainstream people who do not want to adhere to rules. THE REBELLIOUS. Those who wont succumb to herd-mentality. Those who want to be DIFFERENT.

__________________________________




keep trying to tell you that and you keep trying to split the site to fit your debate. So now which is it? The entirety of ATS, or the part you want to discuss?


***Disinfo Alert***. Politics is a section in ATS. BTS is a different website.
Seriously Judges: He's trying to take us for fools here.



Ron Paul is not, NOT an alternative topic.


He was hailed as a Hero by conspiracy-theorists and subculture-groups nevertheless.



I remember what you said as I am sure the readers and judges do, but I will gladly remind them.



When I say "SOverlord chooses the topics" it should be OBVIOUS to anyone who knows half a thing about ATS that I mean that he chooses them indirectly...by choosing the FORUMS.

Semper then says "ATS is too mainstream, compared to what it used to be"...but clearly fails to define "what it used to be". For a good reason: ATS used to be a place where you could discuss UFOs and Conspiracies...and today....IT STILL IS!, albeit with a few more people.



Now judges; with that in mind, I impart to you that it is imperative that you judge the debate and not the topic. While it was my intention to try and convince you of my side of the debate, such is the nature of these things, it is simply your duty to evaluate the debate and not the topic. No matter what you may personally believe, please judge the content and not the topic


Telling the Judges what to do? Im sure they'll like that. The Judges will Judge the following: ATS Mainstream: YES or NO. And I am quite certain I have shown that ATS is NOT mainstream.



Judge the consistency of statements made, uniformity of topic and staying on track. We will then all be happy with whatever judgment is rendered.


Again, the Judges will Judge: ATS Mainstream: YES or NO, by the debate topic and not by rules you set for them.



Apparently I got under the skin of my opponent and such was not my intention.


Not at all. I enjoyed the speed-debate format a lot and hope to do it again soon. And I enjoyed YOU as an opponent.



Remember!!!! You do NOT have to believe that ATS [b[IS Mainstream, to believe that ATS is TOO Mainstream. The debate title….


"Too" Mainstream compared to what? In your words: "To the way it used to be". Well, I have news for you: Anyone who looks up the threads of the last years will see the same thing we're into today: Paranormal Hologramm UFOs that appear to crash into twin towers but are actually only newsroom created reels by an anti-zionist cabal wishing to discredit zionists in order to divert from the Chinese Oil-Dragon crisis back in Peru and south of its non-existent border...




We have looked at the most popular topics, that are all mainstream. We have looked at the most popular forums that are again, mainstream. We have discussed politics and the Main Stream Media. All mainstream, all detrimental to the future of ATS.


A tiny bit more mainstream wouldnt be deterimental to ATS. Seriously...we could use a bit more of the objectivity displayed in regular journalism. Sometimes the far-out-no-substance-threads here get on our nerves. Dont they?

IF the more outlandish stuff does indeed get on your nerves sometimes, you must agree that making ATS less mainstream would be deterimental. Nobody would take it seriously it ALL anymore. Therefore:

ATS is good as it is. It is NOT "too mainstream".



Specifically the loss of some of our older more established membership.


Semper attributes this to ATS becoming "too mainstream" but it could just as well be attributed to ATS simply being "too much" and "too crazy" after awhile. Its sometimes unbearable to see the onslaught of totally pointless threads that dont bear ANY relation to reality whatsoever. And Im not talking about UFO or Ghost Threads here but about stuff like "Can an UFO disguise as a Ghost and then pose as my Sister drenched in Jello?"...thats the type of craziness Im referring to. So "members leaving" neednt have anything to do with it becoming "too mainstream".



My opponent has attempted, all throughout this debate to “corral” the definition of “Alternative” to fit within whatever direction he was taking the debate.


Not at all. Ive defined things such as UFOlogy as alternative and things such as regular politics (as opposed to extremist politics) as mainstream.



9/11 is NOT an alternative topic in and of itself!!! Let us be clear on that.


...and while we're at it, lets also be clear that the 9/11 Forum discusses CONSPIRACY-THEORIES surrounding 9/11




He just knows that I am correct and the only way to gain an edge is to call what is clearly Mainstream, Alternative. Now if you accept that, then of course I have no argument. But you have also denied the truth in this debate. I expect you will not do that.


Cheap persuasion techniques are only needed when facts are lacking.



That 1. The top, most read and viewed forums are mostly Mainstream in nature 2. The top threads are as well 3. The Politics of the day caused us to have the most visits in a month 4. Members are leaving


What?!?!?! "The top threads are mostly mainstream in Nature"? Please look at the Top-Flagged topics of the year. They are in the Forum entitled UFOs and Aliens.

Politics caused us to have the most visits? Nope. Our last spike was Mid-October, the GFL-Thread.

Members are leaving? Yes. And many are coming. And leaving. And coming back. And leaving.

________________________________

Conclusion:

ATS is not too mainstream. BTS is mainstream. CNN is mainstream. NYTimes is mainstream. Chat-City is mainstream. This site is just as non-mainstream as ever. The B-ALTERNATIVE-News Forum is a source of alternative news and alternative-ANGLES on mainstream news. Including a little bit of mainstream to ATS...in order to look at it from our angle is completely VALID and no cause to say "ATS is too mainstream".

ATS is the Best Alternative & Conspiracy-Theory & UFO & Paranormal Site on the Internet!



posted on Dec, 14 2008 @ 03:31 PM
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The judges have spoken and Skyfloating takes this by unanimous decision!

Congratulations to both for a very entertaining debate. The judges comments:





Let me begin by saying that this debate has been one of the most informative and humorous to date. Both fighters had me laughing out loud on many occasions. Great intellect and tactics were demonstrated by both fighters and each alternating post had me changing my mind as to whom was the winner.

There were two personal biases I had to be conscious of whilst judging. First my own wish to belong to an alternative website, and second, my own personal apprehension towards the fact that ATS is clearly "trending" towards the mainstream.

The debate is clearly about whether or not we have reached that point in time.

As Skyfloating put it: Its not "ATS is becoming too mainstream" but "ATS has become too mainstream".

The tactics of both fighters were clear from the outset, broaden and narrow the definition of "alternative" and "mainstream" so as to suit their side of the debate. Accordingly each fighter cherry picked thread topics to help themselves to that end. Fact is that there are popular and flagged threads on both sides, but are there enough of the mainstream threads and complicit members who engage in these threads to have tipped the ATS scales to the mainstream? Truthfully, the back and forth on thread examples from each fighter was highly entertaining, though not particularly decisive. For the purposes of the debate I have to call this particular aspect of it a push.

Skyfloating: The Submission Guidelines of the Breaking Alternative News Forum state that even if a report from the mainstream press is posted here, the comment of the poster must add an angle that is either conspiracy or alternative related. It specifically states that threads that do not fulfill these conditions will be moved to BTS.

Skyfloating's idea of separating ATS to BTS as different websites became a central issue in this debate. Interestingly enough, though it is Skyfloating who insisted on the distinction, it is he who lost that side of the argument. For even if we concede that it is so, the fact is that those ATS "Breaking Alternative News" threads that should be moved to the BTS "Breaking General News" forum are in reality most often than not not moved. Skyfloating's allusion that he will "get on that" as soon as this debate is finished was I believe deliberately disingenuous and confirmed that ATS is more mainstream than even he would like it to be.

How mainstream is too mainstream?

In my opinion, for semperfortis to win the debate that ATS is "too" mainstream he had to demonstrate that this has come at the expense of the "alternative," and whilst he showed that it is true that mainstream thread topics are on the increase, he did not show they have replaced the alternative ones, they in fact are simply an addition to them. As skyfloating pointed out, alternative topics thrive as much as they ever did. This is true, and there's just not getting around the fact that the highest traffic ever recorded on ATS was on the infamous 14th. of October and not on the 4th of November.

semperfortis: Now judges; with that in mind, I impart to you that it is imperative that you judge the debate and not the topic. While it was my intention to try and convince you of my side of the debate, such is the nature of these things, it is simply your duty to evaluate the debate and not the topic. No matter what you may personally believe, please judge the content and not the topic.

What a strange thing to say within a debate. Added to a not so tacit earlier admission that in fact semperfortis does not agree with his own argument and debate position. Surely such statements are reserved for post debate discussion. They were not so I am unfortunately forced to consider them. Up until that point I was truly undecided as to the winner and as I said earlier I was changing my mind with each post. I have to say that my duty as a judge is to look at the debate as a whole, I hope to have achieved this, though those statements became a real obstacle in this regard.

One of the topics that was avoided in this debate, either via deliberate omission or for strategic reasons, was that ATS is a business who's revenue is from advertising and is based on traffic. As such there is bound to be a permanent tug of war between what is profitable and what is obscure or alternative. I imagine the biggest challenge for the ATS owners is always to seek to expand the forum without compromising its mission statement. As this was never brought up it is not a deciding factor in my deliberations, yet I cannot help but think that had semperfortis raised this issue, it would have gone a long way to substantiate his side of the argument.

Finally, I'd like to point out that If the debate were to be solely judged on humor semperfortis would be the clear winner.

It is not, in my opinion Skyfloating presented the stronger argument therefore I make Skyfloating the winner.




Semperfortis vs. Skyfloating.

Speed Debate.

“ATS Has Become Too Mainstream.”

Well for a debate that relied on just the fighters words without backing sources or external material, this was very good. Both Fighters done a admirable job of defending their position.

I felt that early on, semperfortis had the upperhand. He used Politics as a an example of the direction that ATS has taken. Sky had a chance with Ron Paul to turn this advantage but waited till later to bring up Paul's call to abolish the Federal Reserve as an Alternative/Non Mainstream subject.

Sky gained points for the debunking question. Even in alternative circles, debunkers have always been present and aware of the theories. Nothing mainstream about them. I also thought he did a better job of framing the debate with his use of terminology. I also think because they are both Moderators gives them a unique perspective of the subject.

Semperfortis getting pulled into the ATS vs. BTS subject was a clever ploy by Skyfloating. Also, sempers mistake in stating that...


He is actively moving threads to better areas of the site instead of helping create and foster a more viable alternative site structure.


Was a huge blow to his argument. I am surprised that Skyfloating didn't pick up on this more as he is one of the more prolific posters as far as credible non mainstream subjects go.

Semperfortis picked up points for beating on the slip by Skyfloating about the CEO choosing topics. I would have to believe that SF knew this was a mistake after posting it.

All in all, an extremely close debate. I was almost tempted to call it a draw. Both sides did a fine job of defending there side. I thought though that this one deserves a winner and by the slightest of margins, it went to Skyfloating. He just showed that although the site does have mainstream subjects, the larger percentage of subjects do in fact belong in the non mainstream category.

For a speed debate, this was a hard call. I tip my hat to both fighters, remarkable job gentlemen.




I have to give this debate to skyfloating. His arguments were more compelling. I thought that semper was on his heels most of the time. The topic and the venue, speed debate, may have contributed to this. sf's rebutals were much more defining.



posted on Dec, 14 2008 @ 03:45 PM
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Congratulations Sky! Great job.

Semper, you were great too. Maybe just a little more espresso next time.



posted on Dec, 14 2008 @ 03:46 PM
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Thanks for your courage to actually try out the speed-debate format and also taking the more difficult side.

I now understand why you are ranked as the top debater. I had to focus like crazy in order to bring this one home.



posted on Dec, 14 2008 @ 03:50 PM
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Congratulations on a well deserved win my Friend!!!!

It was GREAT fun...

(Translation: I WAS ROBBED)




posted on Dec, 14 2008 @ 04:02 PM
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congratulations to both of you!

really great job and it was pure entertainment!
loved it

congrats to sky for winning this debate
congrats to semper for being part in a historic debate!



posted on Dec, 15 2008 @ 01:21 AM
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I posted something in the pub thread but wanted to mention it here, too, due to the fact this 1 hour speed debate was a first of the quickest.

EXCELLENT job, you two! Totally impressed. Having to think and act fast must have taken A LOT of work, talent and ingenuity.

You both did fantastic.

And of course, congratulations to Sky for the win. Like they say, there can only be one but you both deserve extreme kudos for pulling this off! Not to mention with as well as you both did.





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