Well I have been on ATS for a little while now and I think I have learned a few things.
There are some very good and serious posters here with well thought out arguments and an open mind. They will constructively engage you and support
some of your arguments.
I have also learned the following lessons from the ATS community:
The phrase “Deny Ignorance” means deny everyone else’s but your own.
You are always right. After all, you have learned everything you need to know about a particular subject and are here to set people straight.
Your analysis and interpretation of information is flawless. Other people are “ignorant” for arriving at different conclusions based on the same
Once you have picked your position on a subject, it is your duty to defend it at all costs. You must try and sway people to your point of view, but do
not in any way, shape or form, accept to modify yours to accommodate someone elses’.
If someone cites a source or reference that does not agree with your point of view, that source is “biased”. Your sources on the other hand are
“objective”. No need to provide them either.
“Objectivity” is a real thing and can be found almost anywhere you care to look. So of course you have it. Everybody else doesn’t.
If a poster makes a mistake, then the entire post is trash and “lacks credibility”.
When all else fails, by all means, resort to name-calling. Liberal, Neocon, Bush basher, Bush lover, communist, socialist, anti-American, anti-Semite,
Zionist, anti-‘insert name here’, Michael Moore lover/basher etc. are found in common usage and are not used NEARLY enough.
Do not post anything that is intended for serious debate or that veers off widely accepted dogma. Contrary to your naïve belief, this will not invite
intellectually challenging debate. People on the “fringe” of mainstream are of the lunatic variety.
If someone does post something that is intended for serious debate, do not under any circumstances address the issues. Rather, nitpick, challenge the
“credibility” and “objectivity” of the source, make fun of the nationality of the poster and slap a label on them. If they try to defend themselves,
resort to name-calling. You’ll see how amazing it is that, even in a large thread, such inanities can divert away from the issues and avoid your
opinion shifting in the slightest. Just like the grown-ups playing “real” politics.
If you want to troll for points simply post a story or discussion already covered but phrased in a slightly different manner so as to avoid the wrath
of moderators. Or post something funny, shocking, or completely irreverent and watch your point total grow!
Be careful of keeping an open mind. You never know what might sneak in there without your tacit approval.
Oh! And this little gem from a poster who shall remain nameless:
Constantly reading articles that are contrary to your own belief and standards is how "they" do brain washing.
Therefore, constantly reading articles that do agree with your own beliefs and standards will ensure that your opinions are protected from the evil
So that’s it. Lessons I learned from ATS.
Now I can “fit in”.
Did I do good?
Did I miss any?
EDIT: Fixed Quote
[edit on 7/12/2004 by Gools]