reply to post by The Blind Eye
Open-mindedness isn't what most people here think. Open-mindedness merely means that you are open to the consideration of new ideas, but it does not
follow that a co-requirement be apathetic, agnostic, accepting, or even respectful. That respectful component would be nice, of course, but utterly
lost in these climates I fear. ATS, being what it is, is a mecca for a colorful tapestry of isolated misanthropes, paranoid schizophrenics,
narcissistic new-agers, anti-social sycophants, and other such lively faces shining and glimmering here and there like diamonds amid a tumultuous sea
of people coming together for a laugh, a discussion, or a bit of magic. Occasionally a few of these shining stars will align by outside forces or
semi-coordinated happenstance to create a movement or atmosphere that can dominate a topic of threads or an entire forum. One in which debate, reason,
or rationality have are ... at a disadvantage to the current environment. Like evolution, ideas also replicate and compete. An environment of
intolerance or fundamentalism can forego actual discussion in favor of tidal waves of arrogance, accusation, and egotism.
Not to say that I haven't been guilty of the above listed characteristics myself, though generally I try to keep it refrained to those times when I
put the effort into detailing a full post or two, with links to credible research, videos of detailed explanations, as well as viable real-world
treatments or technologies developed by those basic principals. Only to have that information ignored in a flurry of feel-good, though half baked
cheesecake. So yes, I will occasionally submerge into the septic of soapbox speculation and semantic splitting proselytization. When in Rome, eh?
Having an open mind does not guarantee that a pet hypothesis you take pride in won't be savagely eviscerated just after birth. Nor does it mean those
who have rejected it are not open minded. You have to consider something, after all, to argue against it (barring logical fallacy employ). It just
means that it was considered, and found wanting. But perhaps the mistake is of those trying to discuss and debate an issue... for not realizing that
ATS is largely not a place to debate or seek an answer to anything. It's a place where people can vent their views and ideas without (ideally) being
laughed at and chided for their errors. That's all well and good, but the pretext of wanting a discussion in the search for the truth is misleading
when one is really only interested in discussion for the sake of gaining approval and the confirmation of validity by others.
As for the thread OP in regards to debate standards having dropped significantly, I'd have to disagree a bit. In my experience, at least.. from the
threads and forums I visit... the standards have never been particularly high in my time. I signed up about a month before you did, and even when back
then during the first posts - the sign out front was being painted with the familiar line; "Abandon all hope". Apparently, most of the old members
had left... the fringes were (as always) marginalized... and a "new breed" of ATS god fearing warriors had invaded with the intent to conquer.
And not long after the previous invasion, ATS was caught in the whirlwind political of pressure fronts as the old Liberal majority transitioned into a
more bellicose response to the call from the Conservative view - now that they were odd man out. The collision of the two at the meeting points
reminded me of chaotic and angry twisters bearing down on an unsuspecting trailer park.
So in regards to the OPs picture... I don't tend to see the downward trend in debate standards as being much change at all. That's just the way
it's always been. Although I would be remiss if I didn't recognize a very strong sense of social entropy occurring as well.