This thread began as a response to a post in one of the many Elenin topics. While I originally intended a light apology for my own less than exemplary
moment of glib callousness followed by an explanation of my viewpoint, as I expounded on the idea as I felt I could be hitting on a point of interest
to some others of the ATS community.
To begin, one of the attractions ATS holds for myself personally is the grand spectrum of diversity to be experienced here. Geographical, political,
chronological, moral etc. While the chaff often outweighs the wheat and contrary to what some profess, the content of ATS sees more agenda derived
disinformation in a day than Fox, MSNBC et. all serve up in a year, ATS is possibly the most eclectic and diverse community I know of on the web.
Combined with the unique subject matter catered to by the website, I can think of few other guilty diversions I would rather get lost in for a short
while and all conspiratorial wisecracking aside, there have been many occasions that I have logged off ATS with a bit more knowledge, some certain
jewel of wisdom, than what I had logged on with
As a whole I prefer to lurk on the sidelines, I tend to view random needless comments as background noise but I will just as quickly acknowledge that
other people find flitting about from topic to topic rewarding and it is in the combination of these many different types that the unique diversity
mentioned earlier is rooted. Knowing that both the quality and volume of content are key to the success of this type of social network I try make a
point of not letting too much time go by without making a contribution where I might have insight into a particular subject or unique answer to a
I have invested more time on here than I would like to admit examining every conceivable angle to a given story or claim and believe making a point of
replying with forethought is nothing more or less than good manners. Sometimes trying, sometimes succeeding to help interested folks gather the mental
tools to make their own informed decisions using the available data, explaining scientific method, supporting the scientific communities understanding
and trying to keep proper context anchored to historical narrative are soft spots. In short hoping to propagate honest personal viewpoints and
opinions in people, a value I see lauded as precious by certain facets of the ATS membership but curiously repressed in other subtle ways by many of
This brings me to my conundrum. As I had said, this began as a admittedly defensive response to another members reaction to a whetted and unabridged
statement I had made regarding the latest E.T. saucer behind a comet story. Following a brief (and I had assumed friendly) exchange from different
viewpoints and cultures then Boom! Double barreled even.
. In a nutshell this is the exchange ( I redacted the other members name as a measure of respect, this is by no means a rant or complaint towards the
Originally posted by Drunkenparrot
Sorry,can you please bring out the evidence that this story is completely false? I would certainly like to see that.
We are all eagerly waiting
In the interest of extending mutual respect towards differing opinions on these forums I would usually be glad to, however as its already been pointed
out a half dozen times in the last few pages that this story is an admitted april fools prank (including an admission by the author himself) I think
I'll leave the ball in your court.
If your interested in applying some grade school physics and tossing the numbers to demonstrate the silliness of many of the claims that are being
made in regard to C/2010 X1 (Elenin) I will be more than happy to oblige although we should pursue that angle in any one of the existing threads.
Either way, anything more than C/2010 X1 is a long period comet on its way through the solar system that may be briefly visible to some amateur
astronomers with the right equipment is completely false and has been proven so ad nauseum.
I admit this was not my best post and it would have been better to just pass and let somebody else take it up if they felt it necessary. Conversely, I
stand by ever word as being true and feel confident the core statement would withstand any foreseeable scrutiny. The bottom line is that in the
context of ATS one persons irrefutable fact is another's falsehood of nefarious pedigree.
The other members response was a bit vitriolic in tone, but as I've acknowledged, justifiably so...
Denying ignorance with denial words make no harder your argument against other ones,
You are stating things that read somewhere else and calling them the truth, but by the same way you dismiis the info presented by this astronomer,
with nearly 25 years of watching the sky, by saying it is a hoax.
What a way to deny ignorance...
Ouch, but much worse gets handed out daily. It got me to thinking about what I see as a bit of a double standard in the burden of proof expected from
information provided by anyone supporting conventional explanation in contrast to the burden of proof in the quality of information provided by
someone postulating the more exotic alternative explanations of the everyday mundane.
I appreciate alternative is a core value of the website but often it seems the rational, proven viewpoint is required to supply ever nuance and
detail, accurately quoted and sourced without flaw while ideas based on bad science,hearsay and misrepresentation are given much greater leeway.
A good example from my perspective is the chemtrail argument. I often follow with amazement how quickly one poster in particularly consistently
provides sourced irrefutable fact along with the necessary background and ancillary information needed to understand the point at hand. This same
member brings the added insight to the table of having retired from a career as Captain/pilot in command of heavy commercial airliners. This member is
continuously the brunt of nonsensical innuendos and nitpicked to the nth degree in that certain kind of special way that only somebody with little
prior education in anything even remotely related can muster. Often all pretence of civility is abandoned by going so far as to disregard the guys
flight credentials and openly insinuate he's a phony. It turns out, for all you spiritualists/engineer types, one can channel Kelly Johnsons ghost
overnight by quote mining the relevant wikipedia entry. Who could have guessed?
The reason this particular instance sticks out to me is that I come from an aviation background, I studied aeronautical engineering, have a bit past
400 hours logged, was once an aircraft owner and maintain as deep a connection with aviation history as finances and circumstance allowed. The point
being its easy to spot a "Walt" a mile away, the gentlemen in question is authentic in every aspect . I've deleted more than one choice remark before
posting figuring its not my affair and the chap in question knows where the report tab is located. I know I'm not the only other person here with any
sort of formal aviation training and cant help but appreciate the irony that quite often these types of character attacks do nothing more than expose
fraudulent, insecure types perpetuating the problem for what they are.
Persistent contrails aren't the issue so much as the flagrant disrespect towards those rare individuals that really have a lot to say on the issue
because they have real world experience, to be honest this is one aspect of ATS that I find tactless and sophomoric. There really is little wiggle
room on the chemtrail subject, wouldn't some of you agree that the order of reason is a bit skewed when fringe beliefs that repeatedly fail to
withstand even the most basic scrutiny are perpetuated at the expense of a retired professional who chooses to contribute to this site? Once again, I
am not taking issue with the exchange of alternative or controversial viewpoints, rather the culture of ignorance that has thrived in a specific few
topics and is now rooted firmly enough to be a distraction (at least speaking for myself)
Sooner or later it is a lot easier to change venue than to have to process constant yapping from a rare few who view their disruption as a
contribution. An immediate casualty of this ,sadly, is the ATS community. An Airline pilot willing to maintain a visible presence on any conspiracy
website is a rare breed for the obvious example above, as well as tremendous asset for the website itself and not likely to be replaced anytime soon.
Any other forum would be giddy to bring such a wealth of information onboard not to mention the instant rise in credibility associated with the
inclusion of a bona fide airline Captain to the members list.
Additionally, a second negative brought about indirectly by permitting these behaviors to continue is tolerance for those at the bottom end of the
learning curve. Sometimes the difficulty required to remain patient while politely explaining the same basic science for the 100th time to the 100th
different person can become insurmountable with the addition of these anti-intellects to the background noise.
Personally, my own motivation to suffer the foolishness of these characters (rather than fade away to Unexplained Mysteries or a similar venue where
basic respect is enforced for the benefit of any who missed the human resources memo) is the hope that a few might actually get it and apply
themselves to pursue some legitimate intellectual growth, or at bare minimum, promote a multilayered effort to better understand the world or in the
least help to stem the tide of intellectual malaise that seems to have accompanied digital media into the information age.
An legitimate example demonstrating this silent, manifest hypocrisy bourne to a lopsided burden of proof levied against some of the better learned in
How many of you have watched exchanges that go something like this unfold time and again?...
Both Persons A and B have similar high school level educations, are employed in similar sectors and have equal interests in ATS type subject
Person A believes in Stitchin's Niburu/2012/whatever. Their entire opinion has been formed by what others have spoon-fed. Easily digestible faux
science youtube clips, alternate theory message boards fussed over by activist mods who are tired of the Skeptics ruining all the fun, spectacular
claims summarized in a few easy paragraphs punctuated by unrelated graphics, all the while multitasking with their attention divided between chatting
with their /B/ros on 4chan and collecting head shots on COD.
Person A believes their convictions because everybody but the sheeple know the government lies, Never a Straight Answer Lies, science is flawed to the
point that general relativity and quantum mechanics are both flat wrong etc.
Person B is interested in off the wall subject matter, faster than light travel, the UFO enigma, ancient alien visitors etc but realizes he/she does
not have the educational tools to correctly interpret the existing data to either prove disprove nonconventional ideas.
Person B realizes that without certain fundamental knowledge he/she has no way of knowing if Nasa is lying about brown dwarf stars marauding our solar
system or the owner of www.2012.com is selling snake oil and swampland under the label of "enlightenment"
Person B attended extra night classes, spent months buried in books, joined local astronomy club sacrificing a lot of good LOLZ to gain the basic
mathematical tools and scientific base to not have only opinion but to have the beginnings of understanding of things like time dilation and orbital
Person A posts the latest "Proof 100% of Niburu" or "Nasa admits Comet Elenin is brown dwarf" youtube vid along with the usual inflammatory "were all
gonna die statements"
Person B steps up to the plate, video title is misleading, blacked out areas in google sky are years old and not real time, brown dwarf in solar
system would make a lot of trouble we aren't seeing etc.
Person A responds by posting links to other ATS Niburu threads and a wikipedia link to "operation northwoods" as "proof".
Person B makes comment that 3km comet cannot be failed dwarf star, 3600 year orbit doesn't allow for travel from oort cloud through inner planets,
galactic alignment is meaningless and tells person A so much..
Person A calls foul, insists person B source basic, elementary facts that are taken for given as common knowledge to all parties in the discussion as
they are necessary to build an understanding of the subject matter.
Should person B honestly be expected to spell out the periodic table, explain the basic tenants of thermodynamics or give baby steps through what 1 g
= 9.80665 m/s2 means and why its important?
At what point is person A obligated to educate themselves in the necessary material to participate honestly in the discussion, for example, isn't
somebody who is insisting that C/2010 X1 is actually a sub stellar object but doesn't understand the workings or differences between what makes a
white dwarf or brown dwarf doing nothing more than trolling and disrupting the conversation by doing anything beyond asking questions and trying to
I saw a thread a few days ago where a poster who has expressed some highly unconventional views challenging some extremely complicated process who was
absolutely stumped for over a dozen pages by the working order of a 6th grade algebraic problem. Working within the context of a similar situation, if
this person were to want to argue,say that, CERN are a bunch of tools pursuing the higgs boson because the latest Jared White video says the LHC is a
fake and demonstrates this by rubbing two refrigerator magnets along a red helium baloon while blowing a duck call.
Is the person with the working knowledge honestly obligated to explain every facet in minutia while the person lacking any real knowledge is perfectly
justified battling wits with their own strawmen or flipping ad homs of "disinfo shill" and the like every time they are proven wrong? Shouldn't the
person who has done the hard work, studied the math and memorized the theory be afforded the courtesy of requiring some effort of understanding the
fundamentals on the part of the non traditional or alternative minded critics of conventional wisdom?
As said above, there is a trend momentarily that seems to expect those persons with an educated opinion to make the effort to respond with patient,
well sourced and accurate information on a mundane subject 100 different times to 100 different people who are every bit as capable of running down
In the same vein at the other extreme, those promoting baseless nonsense get a pass on poor quality research, abysmal source validation and non
existent fact checking yet are afforded an considerable leeway to substitute disrespectful commentary and poor manners in place of actual substance
and factual platform.
In closing, I look forward hearing other viewpoints regarding what I am perceiving as a climate of favoritism allowing the intellectually lazy and
dishonest slowly taking root a pass on manners and etiquette for lack of substance. Is it really such an unthinkable faux paus for those that have
invested the time and effort in pursuit of knowledge and truth to relish in forcing a bit of intellectually honesty into the conversation by tasking
those with extraordinary claims to provide extraordinary evidence before they are allowed to sit at the grownups table?
edit on 6-5-2011 by Drunkenparrot because: SP