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How to "Deny Ignorance" when it is ATS promoting the ignorance?

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posted on Jan, 6 2011 @ 01:06 PM
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I really enjoy many of the thoughtful discussions on ATS, but there seems to be a trend emerging that is discouraging. It is due, in part, to the system by which threads "rise", and perhaps due, in part to some "gaming" of that system.

On the home page, as of this writing, there is a thread that began as something of a fear mongering misinterpretation of a natural phenomenon. The person who posted it is clearly ignorant of the natural phenomenon involved, and has expanded his thesis out to incorporate a number of theories, none of which make any sense, even if they were not predicated on the original error. A number of people, including myself, have noted the error, and posted what the facts actually are, but these are buried within the thread.

The equivalent, if you will, of someone posting that the world will end because he just went outside and saw the moon disappearing and not only didn't understand that it was a lunar eclipse, but ignored corrections, and later found some dead bugs in his lampshade and declared it "yet another sign of the end."

And yet this thread is on the front page of the site, demanding the attention of anyone who wanders through. Why? Because people read the original post, S&F it, post a "excellent work, OP!" reply and either don't bother to read the rest of the thread, or do so after the damage is done.

Some people are understandably a bit skeptical of scientific explanations, and some things are rather obscure facts, so people can be forgiven for not knowing better, but once the facts are known, anyone who is ignorant of them, but just reads the OP and not the refutation of it, is going to have that ignorance reinforced. Not only is an educational opportunity lost, but the reader is deflected into an even more skewed perspective.

Couple that with those who do understand the facts, and come into one of the most popular threads on ATS, only to find what appears to be ignorance building on ignorance, what is the impression they will have of the site and its participants?

I would suggest that something should be considered that would counter this. I don't know what that might be -- a "bury" option that would counter the flags (easily gamed, unfortunately) or something a bit more involved, like the ability of a moderator to put something above the OP that says something like "Significant questions as to the accuracy of the claims in this post have been raised" if such evidence is posted.

Just some thoughts on attempting to "Deny Ignorance."

(I should point out that the post in question cannot be viewed as a hoax, merely the assumptions and claims made by the OP off of that post.)
edit on 6-1-2011 by adjensen because: (no reason given)




posted on Jan, 6 2011 @ 01:17 PM
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Oh, this isn't a new phenomenon, actual educational threads tend to remain small, unless you can provoke some senseless argument where half the post end up being deleted because people want to start fighting.

I tend to stick to smaller threads where actual discussion can occur once it gets too big, one it gets difficult to keep track of the posts (and I don't have time for that) and two you actually get some good discussion.



posted on Jan, 6 2011 @ 01:17 PM
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What a patronising post!

This is an ALTERNATIVE SITE not a scientific debating society.

People who do not have the earth shattering huge intelect you do still have a voice and an opinion.

That is tough poo for you.

So get over yourself.

Shouldn't this be in BTS Rant forum anyway? Alongside the other hundredth thread like this today?



posted on Jan, 6 2011 @ 01:26 PM
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Has it been 3 days already?



posted on Jan, 6 2011 @ 01:27 PM
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Originally posted by Yissachar1
What a patronising post!

This is an ALTERNATIVE SITE not a scientific debating society.

People who do not have the earth shattering huge intelect you do still have a voice and an opinion.


So the truth doesn't matter? Facts are irrelevant, it's only one's opinion that should be considered? The fellow who thinks the lunar eclipse is the moon being eaten by the Earth has a valid point then?

That perspective would be to embrace ignorance, not to deny it.

I'm not saying that posts that are erroneous should be deleted, merely that they have some indictaion that there are valid questions about their authenticity.



posted on Jan, 6 2011 @ 01:37 PM
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Originally posted by adjensen

Originally posted by Yissachar1
What a patronising post!

This is an ALTERNATIVE SITE not a scientific debating society.

People who do not have the earth shattering huge intelect you do still have a voice and an opinion.


So the truth doesn't matter? Facts are irrelevant, it's only one's opinion that should be considered? The fellow who thinks the lunar eclipse is the moon being eaten by the Earth has a valid point then?

That perspective would be to embrace ignorance, not to deny it.

I'm not saying that posts that are erroneous should be deleted, merely that they have some indictaion that there are valid questions about their authenticity.


Im not saying that...

What I am saying is that people have varying degrees of knowledge and instead of being patronising why not share your intelect with the world and educate instead?

Turn your attitude to one of helping others to deny ignorance rather than being ignorant about their ignorance.
edit on 6-1-2011 by Yissachar1 because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 6 2011 @ 02:06 PM
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reply to post by Yissachar1
 
I think his point was that he and others attempted to rectify their lack of knowledge by posting cogent factual information which was ignored in the name of sensationalism. I had hoped that fora like the bully pulpit would fill the niche he desires, but that now seems out of use.



posted on Jan, 6 2011 @ 02:14 PM
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Originally posted by Yissachar1
Turn your attitude to one of helping others to deny ignorance rather than being ignorant about their ignorance


Shame we can't *Star* replies in the Board Business Forum...for that - IMHO - is the crux of the whole thing.

I do appreciate how hard it can be at times...given for many people ones beliefs, perceptions and opinions can often gain the upper-hand over perhaps more solid evidentual 'proof'...and often people can defend their beliefs/perceptions/opinions quite vigorously (even viciously at times) in the face of any 'proof'.


Add to that: you could pretty much find something somewhere on the internet that could possibly support ANY claim...thats how it is with so many different viewpoints all mish-mashing together on the inter-webs...so often any discussion can become a bit of a case of dueling website links and/or dueling youtube vids...

...bit like standing in front of an extraordinary buffet table with so many different dishs being placed before you...can sometimes get a bit confusing or overwhelming where to even start tasting...



Just a simple thing to keep in mind: People can't process information when you've ripped their head off
...going at anything, any topic or anyone too hot and everyone gets burnt...

...knowledge tends not to come via knocking eachother around...



posted on Jan, 6 2011 @ 02:17 PM
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post removed for serious violation of ATS Terms & Conditions



posted on Jan, 6 2011 @ 02:29 PM
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Originally posted by Yissachar1
What I am saying is that people have varying degrees of knowledge and instead of being patronising why not share your intelect with the world and educate instead?

Turn your attitude to one of helping others to deny ignorance rather than being ignorant about their ignorance.


That's my point, I'm (among others) attempting to show that the Earth is not eating the moon by explaining the scientific facts of the matter, but no one is listening, because it's far more interesting to think that the Earth is eating the moon. Someone who already thought that has validation, and someone who didn't know anything about the matter suddenly thinks that this is the case.

That's the problem -- while I think that there are some who would prefer the fantasy, regardless of facts, I would hope that most people would appreciate knowing what the truth really is, but it's buried in a thread full of "Yes!! I knew it all along, S&F for you!!!" ra-ra posts, and even if you work your way to the end of the thread, the OP is still proclaiming his fallacy to be true.

This is not aimed at "perspective" posts, or speculative ones, but rather those where facts, verifiable and indisputable facts, are misrepresented, intentionally or otherwise.



posted on Jan, 6 2011 @ 02:34 PM
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Originally posted by thecinicHow are people *gaming* the system
when they are simply *choosing*
to flag and star what they want?


4chan? Did we already forget about that? www.abovetopsecret.com...


Who is to tell the people what they can FLAG and STAR


Where did I say that anyone should be told what they can flag and star?

I'm just suggesting that the opposite opinion, that a post is fallacious, has value as well, particularly when there is actual evidence to support that opinion, and simply choosing not to flag something accomplishes nothing.



posted on Jan, 6 2011 @ 02:35 PM
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If I wanted to be bored with strictly the "perceived facts" I would have just read the wall street journal...

If you have an issue with the thread topic. Post your links to the facts and make your argument. Then be an adult and walk away if others "choose" to believe what they want.

Control issues much?


edit on 6-1-2011 by SLAYER69 because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 6 2011 @ 04:34 PM
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Here's my problem with so-called "facts", especially when it comes to the kind of topics we discuss here on ATS.For example: someone will come into a UFO/Alien thread and state: "There's no such thing as UFOs".Well, how do you KNOW this?
"Nothing will happen in 2012, you are all just silly fools"- well, how do you KNOW this? Trust me, I am all for pointing out known, provable hoaxes, but let's keep in mind that at one time, the belief that the Earth was flat was an accepted "fact", and anyone who thought differently was considered a loon or downright insane......



posted on Jan, 6 2011 @ 04:46 PM
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If I wanted to indulge mainstream media's version of the 'truth' I would watch CNN

If I believed that NASA was 100% honest I might post on the Space Flight Forums

If I wanted to speak of conceived ideas of modern science I would post on a Physics forum...

But you see... "Deny Ignorance" can work both ways. For those who only cling to main stream viewpoints, are they not ignorant of the alternative answers? How many times has science been proven wrong? How many times (especially in recent months) has NASA made announcements and they been shown wrong? How many times has main stream fed us BS like the last "Mystery Missile"?

Being a conspiracy site... main stream view points and 'evidence' are rarely trusted. So why would you expect people to just say "OH That is the official version? Well then I guess it must be right
"

Sure many times it seems stupid, and it can get frustrating, but don't forget that most of the topics here are highly speculative in the first place. And many times the 'official' explanation not only is wrong, but there are many versions of the 'official' answer.

And don't forget we still haven't gotten the truth about Roswell, Kennedy or 9/11




posted on Jan, 6 2011 @ 04:46 PM
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Originally posted by Skippy1138
Here's my problem with so-called "facts", especially when it comes to the kind of topics we discuss here on ATS.For example: someone will come into a UFO/Alien thread and state: "There's no such thing as UFOs".Well, how do you KNOW this?
"Nothing will happen in 2012, you are all just silly fools"- well, how do you KNOW this? Trust me, I am all for pointing out known, provable hoaxes, but let's keep in mind that at one time, the belief that the Earth was flat was an accepted "fact", and anyone who thought differently was considered a loon or downright insane......


That's where reasonable and verifiable come in. "There are no UFOs" is not a fact, it's a conclusion (and an erroneous one, because it is an absolute conclusion based on non-absolute data.) "Nothing will happen in 2012" is not a fact, it is an opinion (and an invalid one, since something surely will happen in 2012.) Neither of those statements would fall under the circumstances I'm referring to.

But "The oceans are predominantly salt water" or "Pi is an irrational number, the first digits being 3.1415926" are facts that are reasonable and verifiable. Someone who starts a thread with calculations that require Pi being 3.5 can make all the case that they want, but the fact of the matter is that Pi is not that number, and people who are unclear on their maths should understand that what the OP is saying is contrary to facts.



posted on Jan, 6 2011 @ 05:10 PM
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So really you are upset because your factual, enlightening post got buried under the peon's false drivel?

There are varying degrees of reality and everyone percieves it differently. I figured that is why most of us came here. To see what other's viewpoints are.
edit on 6-1-2011 by Kangaruex4Ewe because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 6 2011 @ 05:18 PM
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Originally posted by adjensen

Originally posted by Yissachar1
What a patronising post!

This is an ALTERNATIVE SITE not a scientific debating society.

People who do not have the earth shattering huge intelect you do still have a voice and an opinion.


So the truth doesn't matter? Facts are irrelevant, it's only one's opinion that should be considered? The fellow who thinks the lunar eclipse is the moon being eaten by the Earth has a valid point then?

That perspective would be to embrace ignorance, not to deny it.

I'm not saying that posts that are erroneous should be deleted, merely that they have some indictaion that there are valid questions about their authenticity.


You said it yourself in your OP, and didnt even realize it. People are THEORIZING. If these things were fact, they wouldnt be theory, pretty simple. The idea of theory is to provoke discussion and to try and find an answer.

Do you get that you dont have every answer?

Apparently only those with stone cold evidence should be here.




posted on Jan, 6 2011 @ 05:33 PM
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Originally posted by captaintyinknots
You said it yourself in your OP, and didnt even realize it. People are THEORIZING. If these things were fact, they wouldnt be theory, pretty simple. The idea of theory is to provoke discussion and to try and find an answer.


I have nothing against speculation, I said that in an earlier post. But if a theory cannot be refuted, then what's the point of having such? And if a theory that has been shown to be impossible is still attracting followers, do you not see the inherent problem there?


Do you get that you dont have every answer?


When did I say that I did? But I do have some answers, just like most people.

I don't post corrections because I want anyone to think highly of me, I do it because I want people to be better informed. And it is discouraging to see that simple, basic facts, that are verifiable and inherently germane to the issue, being discarded in favour of opinion, factual error and sensationalism.



posted on Jan, 6 2011 @ 07:15 PM
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reply to post by adjensen
 


ATS, does not promote ignorance
I see you have not even been a member for a year, and here you are judging an imaginary entity on the internet to be promoting ignorance. What's ignorant is asking people to answer a question you should already have the answer to.

I think you have a problem with some of the members on ATS, since ats is not what you think it is. If you don't fit in or get along with most of the members here or understand how to respect other people's opinions on what all of us really do not understand, just hard to understand idea's and unknowns, you need to leave ATS. You can come back after you get older maybe, or have a different school of thought or whatever.
If its bothering you that much thou, might as well just contact a mod, and ask to be let go, man.

ATS members should never be that important to where it makes you distraught and write an essay about how ignorant ats is.
edit on 6-1-2011 by Bicent76 because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 6 2011 @ 11:45 PM
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reply to post by Bicent76
 


So, that's one vote for encouraging stupidity? The wisdom of your six months of ATS membership beyond mine is that the dumber everyone else is, the smarter you appear to be?

Sorry, my point, and the point of this thread, is that an attitude such as yours damages ATS, as much as it impacts the collective intelligence of the site's participants. In a forum that aspires to deny ignorance, your embracement of it cannot be seen as anything but a deficiency, and whether your motivation is disinformation or self gratification, it doesn't really matter.

Knowledge is power. Encouraging idiocy for your own benefit is self serving, at best.



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