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The point; ….is there one… and does it really matter to anyone but you?

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posted on Dec, 14 2009 @ 01:53 PM
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The point; ….is there one… and does it really matter to anyone but you?

Wiser people than we have spent much of their lives pondering such a question. Yet often, despite what would seem sterling logic and well-spoken dialogue; the point remains as quick to become obfuscated as it was difficult to determine in the first place. It is no different in the real world, including our own ATS.

It seems when member of ATS attempt to put forth a concept or even a neutral inquiry, the rush becomes for the point to be redefined by responders, diminished by detractors, or overtly usurped by some over-zealous enthusiasts with an agenda peculiar to their perspective.

Such is the nature of an open discourse.

There is a lot to be said about the framework and nature of the community we call ATS.

First and foremost, ATS is something which is self-evident. In the simplest perspective it is a web site. A virtual meeting ground of minds, with relatively unfettered freedom to exchange both fact and opinion.

Those who actually expend the resources to keep ATS alive and functional have proposed to foster, promote, engender, and nurture, open dialogue generally geared towards discussions that are shunned by the mainstream ‘vanilla’-flavored social networking sites.

As such, this site excels at self-preservation and stewardship, mainly because the culture of the organization behind it recognizes the viability of the niche, and the ‘market-friendliness’ of the community. Some jaded and cynical purists are inclined to decry the realities of the market constructs to which the organization must conform. Nevertheless, without precisely that kind of approach this community forum would be denied to us altogether.

The membership created the community, not the organization that made the medium available to us. Theirs was a simple set of guiding principles that are central to the continued existence and growth of the medium. Some of those principles are in peril now, as corporate lobbyists pursue an agenda to unlevel the playing field to rescue their big-media clients from institutional inertia and arrogance (keepourwebfree.org...).

The principles are interpreted within the Terms and Conditions to which each member agrees when they sign up. But I like the way they have been outlined here:

(www.abovetopsecret.com...)



• We refuse to allow short "drive-by" posting that add nothing to the thread.
• We refuse to allow insults and mayhem that you'll see on many other boards.
• We refuse to allow spam and hate speech.
• We promote intelligent posting.
• We promote productive debate and collaborative discussion.
• We promote the examination of any topic as long as manners are maintained.
• We respect the content of other sites and encourage linking.
• We respect our members' content and defend its credibility and their rights.


To those who take the time to investigate, it becomes evident that the member-Moderator approach, when thoughtfully applied, clearly encourages members to participate sincerely, and with a common foundation of respect. Few, if any, member-moderators can escape the critical review and discourse to which inflammatory or punitive actions give rise.

There was a time, long ago, when people came together to listen to each other speak, to question, and learn from one another. Such gatherings were, of course, limited to those who were driven by interest and enabled by circumstance. Those limitations have all but vanished in the community spawned by the Internet.

And here we see, for those of us who have been here long enough, a cyclical influx of new members, asking and commenting on the same issues, because the changing environment spurs us to fear that we are losing that which we thought we had found – a forum for open discussion, free from barren suppression, free from overarching bias, and most importantly – simply ‘free.’

Most of us know that there is no such thing as ‘free’ in any non-metaphysical sense.

Believers offend non-believers. Debunkers offend anyone who thought they were immune from debunking. And debunkers are offended by the fact that they are not considered ‘the last word’ on any given subject. Non-believers are offended that believers want to believe and encourage others to do so.

The level of angst and ire evokes questions about arrogance, maturity, an overinflated sense of self-importance, blind ‘sheeple-ism,’ or an evident insincere agenda driven disinformation or propaganda.

This can be interpreted as one part, among many, of the ‘price’ we must pay for open discourse.

I offer this for your consideration, kind reader; that we in fact are the architects of this forum, this board, this community. That it is we who will determine, by our behavior, what this community can become.

Those who declare that we should be sheltered from disagreement, dissent, or contradiction have misunderstood what part debate, argument, and dialogue have in the consideration of the less clear-cut aspects of our world. Mostly, these things are as contentious and misunderstood as they are precisely because people won’t discuss them without the protection of harassment, ridicule, and denigration, on their side.

Those who maintain the practices of derision and cynicism, personal jabs, and rudeness are the very people for whom ignorance is both a weapon, and a refuge. Their one fatal weakness is their inability to hide amongst our numbers. They stick out like sore thumbs, arrogantly lashing out a people, instead of the topic, generalizing points into pointlessness.

You know who they are. You have seen and starred their posts – when they agree with you. You have complained about them, when they don’t. You have called upon them to ‘debunk’ whatever rubs you the wrong way, and you have rushed to support those you agree with, who were faced down by them. You have made sideline snide remarks about them; you have wondered why they were even commenting, as if disagreeing removed their right to give an opinion.

But in the end it seems that our own behavior towards the ignorance empowers the ignorant.

When I see a question – predicated or embedded within a snide or disrespectful comment – I resist responding. When I see a person being attacked, I acknowledge that attack. When I see a post whose entire content is intended to diminish the personal qualities of another, I react based upon the principles to which I adhere.

I don’t expect all to agree. I want to be educated when I am in ignorance. I want to know all the facts I can about all the things I am interested in. But I don’t expect that I am owed such answers, nor that my opinion will be especially significant for anything beyond what it is.

Many are lamenting the presence of zealous debunkers, the excitable faithful, the entrenched political ideologues, and of course, the ever-present presumptuous ‘know-it-alls’ who expect that once they have decreed their take, all should acquiesce to their ‘wisdom.’ I remind those aching from dealing with these people that to many, or at least some, you are just like them.




posted on Dec, 14 2009 @ 02:12 PM
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I come to share and to learn.


All of the nonsense, I try to view as meaningless.

This is just a message board.


Lighten up folks. If it ain't fun or productive, why do it?


Now, go read or make good content.



posted on Dec, 14 2009 @ 02:17 PM
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reply to post by Maxmars
 





Many are lamenting the presence of zealous debunkers, the excitable faithful, the entrenched political ideologues, and of course, the ever-present presumptuous ‘know-it-alls’ who expect that once they have decreed their take, all should acquiesce to their ‘wisdom.’ I remind those aching from dealing with these people that to many, or at least some, you are just like them.



Hey, I resemble that remark.


And since I do not do it very often, I apologize to anyone if I came down on anyone too hard. This will be my only acquiescence on my part, so enjoy it while you can.


Everyone should understand, that a lot of what we discuss here, has very large emotional undertones.

For myself I will try to calm down on my approach to discussion and debate.

For you gather more flies with honey than vinegar.

edit for gramma


[edit on 12/14/2009 by endisnighe]



posted on Dec, 14 2009 @ 03:12 PM
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reply to post by endisnighe
 


I meant no direct reference to anyone, and I know you know that


I think most of us accept that we are all human (well, there may be some exception to that generalization) and there is no harm in caring intensely about something or expressing exasperation over an issue.

But some people seem to be attempting to recast any disagreement as a matter of offense. While we can recognize that offense is a 'tool' which some have either not outgrown, or refuse to control, I can say that we should expect what we are willing to give.

Those who blatantly espouse ideology should expect ideological retorts. Those who present what some see as pseudo-science should know that pseudo-science can be turned against them as well. Debunkers who live to debunk must often contend with the reality that they, like everyone else, don't know everything and unless they are prepared to contend they do, no one is obliged to accept their conviction as a matter of a 'given.'

I recall two very interesting events; one was the sudden (seemingly) official admission that "chemtrails" were a reality, which took the wind out of many sails. And the other was the thread started by a broken English speaker who was rather gruffly disregarded..., until recently his claims, once derided as nonsense, seemed to correspond to a reality most did not want to believe; that overseas 'torture' facilities were a reality.


Bring peace. It will engender peace.



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