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ATS: The Enemy Within

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posted on Jun, 4 2010 @ 03:46 AM
I have been a reader of ATS since November 2000 and a member since May 2009. In that time I've watched this site change significantly and, unfortunately, for the worse. Many older members (who haven't ceased coming to ATS) will agree; much of the glut of new members that joined since the most recent presidential election will not understand.

The basic change that I have noticed is an increase in how argumentative many of the threads have become. More specifically, the degree to which members' sole intention is to prove that they are "right" is substantially greater than it was in years past. They come in two primary forms, what I call "Ideologues" and "Predictors".

The Ideologue's mind is made up even before he reads a thread. He is rigid in considering that things are right and wrong regardless of context and knows what is right and what is wrong (usually because his parents/religion/political party/vocation/ scientific inclinations say so). The Ideologue is prone to stating that any action he considers wrong corroborates the wrongness of the person committing the act. Furthermore, he frequently states his opinion that the person has bad intentions, or is at least incompetent.

The Ideologue's critical mistake is his assumption that he knows best and that anything and anyone that disagrees with his consideration of "right" is inherently wrong. He frequently wonders why people "just can't see it my way". There is much ignorance in this man, however, his intention is good. By imposing his opinion on others he believes that he is making the world a better place. The Ideologue's primary flaw is a misunderstanding of ethics.

The Predictor is one who often makes dire predictions about impending tragedies or supposes a dire meaning to a particular action or event. The source of their prediction is usually someone they assume is an expert leading to the further assumption that the prediction is accurate. Unfortunately, these predictions so rarely come to fruition that one begins to wonder why these threads are still so common.

Basically, Predictors subdivide into two groups; I'll call them Group A and Group B. Group A, which comprises about 15% of the Predictors, is essentially well intentioned as they dessiminate information in an effort to help others survive the tragedy that they predict. They confuse alleged credibility for expertise, but their intentions are altruistic. After observing a few predictions come to no avail, and altruistically taking responsibility for disseminating the false information, they stop making such predictions.

Group B, however, is far more selfish in its intentions. They predict and suppose many more tragedies and strife than Group A and less likely to substantiate their claims. See, they actually want those things to happen. They wallow in a world of strife and desire for the rest of humanity to experience it too for only then can they validate their consideration that life is unfair and inherently painful. Usually life has not gone the way they planned and they always view the glass as "half empty". Their primary mistake is assuming they're always right, not taking responsibility for their own pitiable condition, considering that the world is to blame.

You'll be able to identify a few members of Group B as they attack this thread. As this is an act intended to improve ATS, they, being nothing more than a dark cloud on these boards, will consider that I am labeling them "wrong" and, as a result, will attempt to prove their rightness by making this thread or me appear "wrong". They would rather drag everyone down to their pitiable level than consider any word of advice. In the interest of your sanity, simply ignore them from now on whenever you recognize them.

So is our enemy these members of Group B and, to a lesser degree, Group A and Ideologues? They would probably say yes, but they would be wrong. Our fellow man is never our enemy, it is that which makes our

posted on Jun, 4 2010 @ 03:47 AM
fellow man transgress against us. Their transgressions may vary, from forcefully imposing their opinions, to disseminating false and intentionally depressing information, but each is only acting rationally within the scope of their limited understanding and ability. In the interest of ourselves and this organization of which we are a part, ATS, it is prudent to identify the cause of that limitation for that is our true enemy.

Ideologues don't know that ethics is relative to context. What is right and just in one situation isn't necessarily so in another.

Predictors of Group A don't know that many people, even so called authorities, have a vested interest in dire predictions coming to fruition for their own personal validation. They also don't know how to recognize an expert.

Predictors of Group B don't know that they are responsible for their own problems, regardless of how the sorrowful state of the world seems to be the cause.

Our true enemy is ignorance and therein lies the beauty of the purpose of ATS.

Today we can recognize how pervasive this enemy has become in our midst and each of us , as members of an organization, has the responsibility to effectively deny ignorance with renewed passion in the interest of constructive dialogue.

Using the knowledge about the most ignorant groups listed above, I will suggest 3 workable techniques:

1. Don't argue with the ideologue, even when he tries to argue with you. Do, however, acknowledge his intention to improve things (if it exists) and remind him that your intention is the same. Ideologues are fond of accusing those that disagree with them that their intentions must also be counter to their own good intention.

2. Ask the Predictor to independently verify the information supporting his prediction and explain his precise reasoning. What an alleged expert says simply isn't good enough. More often than not, a member of Group A will mitigate his claim and reconsider making future claims. Members of Group B will probably react emotionally and simply insist that the prediction will come true (which we know in hindsight is almost never the case).

3. Ignore Predictors of Group B.

ATS is a great and wonderful website with a fine purpose. It is sustained and defined by the contributions of each of us. Today, let's take responsibility not only for our website but our fellow man as well. The world, and the website, that we create today will be the one that we inherit tomorrow.


posted on Jun, 4 2010 @ 08:37 AM
Must agree with you mate.

I am like you but have changed memberships a few times to avoid the people that remember your name and prejudge anything you say based on wat you have said before.

Though to be honest the idealogue will always be here, this site is a magnet. I at times take it up (rarely and usually just on the all too common hate threads). I have learned though to just state my point and back off. Don't just sink to their level. Too many people come here ad take out their frustation with their lives by arguing with strangers.

I actually findthe predictors funny. Rarely engage them and just laugh.

It makes the word go round.

Until July 47 in the year 2361, when the world will stop turning and will start turning inside out like my t-shirt this morning.


posted on Jun, 4 2010 @ 09:03 AM
well as far as i can tell you hit it on the nose.
But honestly I feel bad for these people they are self destructive but of the type that one cant just do it to them selfs two want others who they blame even when they know thous people did nothing to suffer as they have.
I unstand them quite well because I my self fight this demon every day.
I have had tearbile things happen to me and many times wish to strick back at the world or wish it would come down so as to level the playing field.
But my saving grace is my oldest son whom I love dearly so no matter how bad I may feel I want him to have a chance to get a good life .
so wile a part of me wishes for the end the bigger part wishes for a more peacefull earth if only for my son.
I am just thankfull my umm good side is stronger then my negative side.
But i do unserstand them its easy for you to be so critical . These people mostly young see no futcher for them selfs they see wars violence every ware around them they have no hope of getting the life that they see every ware around them is it any wonder they have fallin into dispare?

posted on Jun, 4 2010 @ 09:03 AM
I don't know what ATS was like back in 2000, I;ve only been here for about 2 years. What I see is simply a reflection of the popluace at large. Since the election of Obama America has once again become subdivided, one group thinking he will save AMerica, the other thinking he will destroy it.
I fall in with group B on that but I don;t think Obama was any different than Bush in that respect, he's just doing it in a different fashion.
People are more confused and hopeless than I've ever known and I've been around for 50 years. You are just witnessing how this manifests itself in people's opinions and ideologies.
Bully for you for paying attention. Most people don;t notice how these things change as time goes by.

posted on Jun, 4 2010 @ 09:23 AM
It’s not easy being easy! In sales it is believed that the hardest objection to overcome is ignorance. This is basically true because those who are truly ignorant do not see themselves as ignorant and as such, are not open to considering a wider array of knowledge to dispel or supplement what they believe they already know.

Yet the wonderful thing is, that while the ignorant are subjecting us to their ignorance we are subjecting them to alternatives to it, while because ignorance is really about obstinacy in regards to ego wanting to be right for ego’s sake will be rejected at the point and moment of public confrontation where ego is at stake, but will be considered later privately.

That does not mean that it will be accepted later privately, but the more often the ignorant counter the same objections through public confrontation the more often they do then consider those things in their private moments and eventually if that adherence to ignorance is truly impeding them from reaching their actual material goals, they will start to modify and adapt their behaviors, expectations and perspectives.

For egos sake they typically will not display this about face with people or entities they previously confronted, but will seek out new people and new entities to display these adapted behaviors, expectations and perspectives.

So in my own humble opinion it’s all about planting seeds. Sooner or later if its wise seed, if it’s a truthful seed, if it’s an insightful seed, eventually the proper climate occurs where it can begin to take hold, put down roots and grow.

So never assume just because your arguments and suppositions aren’t having an impact now, doesn’t mean they won’t eventually have an impact later.

There is more to life than instant gratification and realization.

As far as the prediction crowd, what is probably saddest and most ironic, is truly tragic and world changing and life altering events are happening all the time, that in fact are never predicted, and seldom recognized as they occur for the real life changing and world altering potential they have.

Great example would be the Oil Spill in the Gulf of Mexico; it will be months to years before we know all the consequences of it as it slowly impacts different aspects of the eco-system, environment and life, but the truth is no one predicted it.

Few are attempting to predict its far reaching ramifications, and implications, and few are even contemplating at all what life changing and world altering things might in fact occur as a result of it.

We seem to place much more emphasis and much more concern on what hasn’t come to pass yet and is purely imagined than what is in fact coming to pass and real consideration and planning should be placed into to minimize the impact of what then could transpire as a result.

Whether it’s Iran acquiring a Nuclear Missile, what a Tea Party might devolve into, or some other Time Wave Zero, 2012, prophecy we spend a truly awful amount of wasteful time on the imagined, and very little time on the real.

I personally believe that this is because we have been robbed of the self confidence and tools to deal with the very real things and issues confronting us, and would prefer then to pretend we can deal with and have tools to deal with the imaginary ones.

The truth is as a race, most if not all of us remain incredibly dysfunctional and our best hopes of learning are through one another and each other’s mistakes and successes, and chances are complaining about that learning curve, just keeps more people from participating in it, which just makes it all the harder and all the longer for us to eventually learn.

Great opening post, thought provoking, and that is what ATS should be, thought provoking!

posted on Jun, 4 2010 @ 11:02 AM
reply to post by ProtoplasmicTraveler

Your reply is one more reason I love ATS so much. You're perceptual abilities and you gift for writing make for some great reading that helps me to better understand not only the world, but ATS.
You have a real talent my friend.

posted on Jun, 4 2010 @ 12:10 PM
One thing that has not changed is that people make threads about "how ATS has changed" since they joined about 3 times a week. They are pretty much the same copy pasted threads like someone uses some type of template to create them.

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