Originally posted by neformore
Something I've noticed lately is the notion that, in order to be skeptical about something in UFOlogy people think they need to belittle, be rude and
- in some cases be downright obnoxious.
Personally I don't participate much in the UFO forum, for I for the most part, would rather look at the available evidence and keep my opinions to
myself on that specific subject. However as has already been noted, asshatery isn't topic centric, and if one has such disposition they will apply
it to all forums in equal measure. (let us not in this regard forget some the political, 9/11, creationism conversations)
We also all happen to have a bad day here and there where perhaps we should resist the urge to post. I have recently been informed that I don't need
to post everything I think which in many regards is sound advice for us all.
Now I'm all for healthy skepticism. Things deserve proper scrutiny. What I'm not interested in is seeing people being asses just for the sake
of attempting to get a cheap laugh at someone elses expenses.
Agreed, though the key word in the above expression in my opinion would be "cheap." For a well place humorous remark, if delivered with skilled wit
and without malice, can cut through a great deal of nincompoopery.
Theres an old saying - if you've got nothing good to say, don't say it.
Conversely, there is another (relatively) old saying - if you can't handle the neural activity stay out of the neural activator. That is to say that
over an medium such as an internet forum, offense can often be perceived where none is intended. Emotional and egoic detachment from one's opinions,
helps mitigate both asshattery delivered and asshattery perceived ... indeed, when indifference to the person posting reigns and attention to the
posts themselves prevails, there is little to trap us in personal confrontations, which as you so rightly noted is not the ATS way.
Some forums/discussions on ATS avail themselves to a high degree of participation. I have often wondered, in fact commiserated because of my own
absence of knowledge, how a new ATS member would have a chance to learn anything in forums such as the UFO and 9/11 forums which are filled with heavy
vitriol and well defined camps which are perpetuating an endless ongoing discussion which almost by definition excludes honest inquiry by a person who
is new to the topic and is starting an earnest quest for information. As it stands I feel that unless I or others become current to the level of
outright expertise with such subjects we are laughed out and ridiculed out of most threads.
So for myself, though I have been guilty of perhaps lashing out in a moment of short temperance (which I always later regret), I try to envisage how a
new or perhaps younger member would be affected by the means through which I deliver contributions ... not altering the substance, but trying to apply
a gentler hand.
But ... wit and humor without ill intent have their place too.