It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.
Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.
Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.
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?”
The majority of the board deals with UFOs, Aliens, Extraterrestrials (these are most popular Forums here!)
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.
Where there was an UFOlogist there was always a Debunker nearby.
(Ron Paul or the recent Peter Schiff Interview for example).
Finally, to remind my esteemed opponent semperfortis of the Debate Topic: Its not "ATS is becoming too mainstream" but "ATS has become too mainstream.
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?
By and large the most popular forums, using ATS’s own statistics, are
Breaking Alternative News
Aliens and UFOs
War on Terror
Three out of four are NOT alternative
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.
Somethings by their very nature are mainstream and politics is one.
The majority of whom? You would have to be more specific as to what newspaper and where.
Yes, but we're discussing the entire board
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.
How is Ron Paul not mainstream?
Look at the statistics for the past few months. Our total visits skyrocketed during the months of September and October;
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”…
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!!!
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?
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
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.
(though my opponent fails to mention which time-span these statistics apply to)
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.
non-mainstream politics, which most graduates of political science recognize as things like: Anarchism, Communism, Fascism, Libertarianism.
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.
Socratic Question 1: Can you tell me which of the following headlines might make The New York Times, CNN or Fox News?
Ron Paul was THE symbol of the counter-culture, libertarian and conspiracy-theorist movement in 2008. Thats how.
With the most visitors clicking on the GalacticFederationOfLight Blossom Goodchild Thread...as you certainly remember
Thank you for reminding me of my Moderator Duties to move some of these to the BTS General Breaking News section
More Mayhem and Death at Walmart
Sorry for deconstructing the main part of your entire Debate-Case
Socratic Question 2: Does that sound like a mainstream position to you?
Socratic Question 3: Does that sound like a mainstream slogan?
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.
Now these are the FIRST five topics in that forum and not randomly selected. What exactly is alternative about them? Exactly!!!!
30 million is Nil compared to over 6 billion.
So my opponent would have you believe that Communism and Libertarianism are NOT mainstream? GOOD GOLLY MISS MOLLY!!!!
“Are you implying that a Progressive and a Moderate political stance is an “Alternative View” as defined by the debate topic?”
ANSWER 1, 2, 3, 5 and 6 Or better than half
“What Conspiracy Theories did Ron Paul espouse?”
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.
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?
Socratic Question #3 “Please tell us how the above Walmart thread is NOT mainstream”
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.
The opinion of SO in that venue, is, just the opinion of one member.
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.
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.
Let’s address the links at the top of the page for a moment shall we?
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
The Debate Title says ATS, not BTS...a site to which we re-direct mainstream topics. BTS is not a Forum, its a website.
So when is the last time you saw a member of the communist-party or libertarian-party be a Presidential Candidate?
Liberal, Progressive, Centrist, Moderate, Conservative are mainstream views. They make up a small percentage of the entirety of ATS.
So here my opponent is saying that stuff like "Demons beneath Cairo Subway System" would make it to mainstream news headlines.
I did not say he espoused conspiracy theories, I said he was a hero of the counter-culture and alternative politics movement.
when us Mods know for a fact that it was (unfortunately) crazies from the blossom goodchild website.
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?
Yes it is mainstream and needs to be moved to General News in BTS.
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.
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?
Yeah...just one member who happens to be the CEO and gets to decide on ATS Topics.
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.
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?
Socratic Question #1 “How is Ron Paul, or any REPUBLICAN Candidate for president, (which he was), counter culture or “Alternative Politics”?
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..
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?”
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?”
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.
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.
(the tiny little ATS section that actually supports some of his side - and I say some
Thats about enough of politics in this Debate...the debate is meant to address the entirety of ATS.
Concerning the "Demons beneath Cairo": I could have sworn Nr.4 was part of his list. But its not.
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.
Who said anything about SO choosing topics?
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.
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?
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?
Ron Paul is not, NOT an alternative topic.
I remember what you said as I am sure the readers and judges do, but I will gladly remind them.
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.
Apparently I got under the skin of my opponent and such was not my intention.
Remember!!!! You do NOT have to believe that ATS [b[IS Mainstream, to believe that ATS is TOO Mainstream. The debate title….
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.
Specifically the loss of some of our older more established membership.
My opponent has attempted, all throughout this debate to “corral” the definition of “Alternative” to fit within whatever direction he was taking the debate.
9/11 is NOT an alternative topic in and of itself!!! Let us be clear on that.
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.
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
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.
“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.