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I introduced ATS to a friend and he had an interesting take on it

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posted on May, 31 2012 @ 10:35 AM
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My ATS addiction is something of a joke among those close to me who know I spend a ton of time here. It's just not something most people can understand, at least not in the circles I move in. For my long-suffering fiancee, this board is her greatest competitor for my attention, and thus she looks on it with glowering and suspicious eyes. Having been around the block a few times, I'm sure it will be "an issue" later in our relationship, but we'll cross that bridge when whe come to it. She even registered herself, although her interest seems to have wained. I'll see if I can rope her back in somehow. My sister says "you could have taken all that time and attention and written multiple bestsellers instead," and sees this place as a collosal waste of my supposed talents. I counter that I have no interest in writing books, my literary talents are rather limited in the grand scheme of things, and in the end I prefer semi-anonymity and realtime feedback that this medium offers. Hiding myself in the semi-shadows is the only way I can feel unself-conscious enough to let my writing flow. And there is something I love about starting a thread and watching others run with it. Can't do that on my own or with a book.

There are a few over the years I've turned on to this place, however, who "get it." I was talking with a friend who is also an ATS member as a result of my urgings, although a much less obesessed one than I. I asked this guy what he thought about ATS after being on for a while and he said this (I parapharase):

"Surfing that place is like wandering though an enormous slum full of abandonded garbage, pitiful shacks, and general junkyard worthlessness. But mixed in every now and then as you walk, you turn a corner and suddenly you come across a massive mansion with a 7-car garage and an immaculate lawn. Or maybe a beautiful cathedral with stained-glass windows amid the squalor. There are truly brilliant people there who have put a lot of effort into some of those threads. But I can't understand why such smart people would mix in with such a general background of cruddyness, and it drives me crazy wondering how to get at the good stuff without wasting my time wandering through the slummy parts."



Well, first of all this is our home he's talking about and calling it a slum is fighting words, I guess. But aside from that he made me think. There really is brilliance here; its why I keep coming back and I guess you do too. It doesn't bother me that its mixed in with...shall we say less brilliant stuff, maybe because I just assume that's how life is - mostly crap with a few shining diamonds in the rough that (hopefully) make it all worthwhile. And after a while you get a kind of nose for things...you find the threads and people you like to read almost instinctively, I feel.

I just thought I'd throw this up for general comments. Do you agree with this to-be-unnamed member's apprasal of ATS? How do you seek out the diamonds in the rough? Or do you? What is it about this place that draws people of vastly different walks of life, temperment, and interest here (not to mention people with a wide IQ range, to put it delicately)? Whaddaya think?


edit on 5/31/2012 by silent thunder because: (no reason given)




posted on May, 31 2012 @ 10:41 AM
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reply to post by silent thunder
 


I think your friends analogy is right on the money!


Interesting to hear peoples points of view...and even more interesting when they are brand new to ATS!

Now...where did I park my mansion?



posted on May, 31 2012 @ 10:44 AM
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reply to post by silent thunder
 


I think I need another 40 of OE in a paper bag and I will just go back under the bridge.

Actually, it's about right.



posted on May, 31 2012 @ 10:47 AM
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The worst part is when the mansions start missing.
I have seen people who have mansions, then after sometime, they gone, the mansion buried under junk.
ATS forum style actually not very good for a conspiracy website.

You cannot have them all but you have a bit of everything. I shall play my part and be forgotten and I'm at ease with that.

edit on 31-5-2012 by NullVoid because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 31 2012 @ 10:49 AM
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reply to post by silent thunder
 


Without the less brilliant stuff, the good stuff wouldn't shine as much as it does. Sure, ATS is not the easiest site to navigate, but once you get a feel for the site, users, and the flow, you know where to avoid mostly.

People lately claim there are more crap threads than before. Nope, same amount. We just have an influx of new users trying to get their post counts up, continually posting in crap threads about how crappy they are, keeping them towards the top.

I enjoy having to sift through some of this stuff to get to a good nugget, but I'm used to communities like this, for an outsider, it would take some work and some getting used to.



posted on May, 31 2012 @ 10:51 AM
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reply to post by silent thunder
 


My friend, I believe your friend has posted a most elegant and spot on description of this wonderfous, amazing , insightful and though provikig site. I personally lurked for over a year before I read a post that made my blood boil and necessitated as response, therefore my signing up. I, too, feel as you do. Albeit they come across as fightin' words, they do pose the query of how to sort and select. I guess, as you put it, the familiarity leads to people you respect and admire for their diligence and straightforward approach to what could be considered as either sensitive or ludicrous topics. But that to me is what makes this place special. I"ve learned more about a wide variety of things since I started visiting here than I care to admit to. But I do love it so and will continue to look in on a daily basis.

Thanks for starting this thread- I'm looking forward to reading other member responses!

p.s.: Perhaps your significant other and mine should chat- I think they may be able to commiserate together in quite a fashion!!



posted on May, 31 2012 @ 10:55 AM
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I'm quite happy to keep this as my private domain away from my real life friends. I wouldn't try and tell my friends about this place, because they would take one look at the Recent Posts page, see all the crud about reptillians and Chemtrails and the like and just write the site off.

You have to have a bit of an interest in Conspiracies to appreciate some of the content on here. My interest in UFO's and Secret societies brought me here, but it's the political and current events threads that keep me here. I'm also fond of the belowtopsecret section.

It is a strange and wonderful place with some great minds, but there is also a lot of ignorance and a lack of critical thinking on certain subjects.



posted on May, 31 2012 @ 10:56 AM
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That's one of the big problems with internet discussions forums. You've got to wade through a lot of crap in order to get through to the good stuff to find the stuff that' you're interested in. There are a lot of trolls on this site to boot.



posted on May, 31 2012 @ 11:01 AM
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Thanks for the comments so far. It's a fun analogy to play with, isn't it? It highlights the contrast of this place well.

I guess there are a few unifying factors here among those who take ATS seriously. You have to like reading and writing. You also have to like what I call "semi-anonymity": Bound by the board's Terms and Conditions, you have to be willing to stand behind what you write and not lie, but at the same time what you give away is up to you. That in itself is a very peculiar stance to take...its like a dance between attention seeking on one hand and a love of the shadows of facelessness on the other. I think it calls out to a certain personality type, and the people who like to dance that dance seem to be pretty interesting folks. You've also got to be a seeker of sorts, a questioner, and somebody who looks beyond the conventional media and conventional explanations for things.

It's like when Alexander the Great came across the philosopher Diogenes one day on the streets of Athens. Diogenes was brilliant but homeless, penniless, filthy, wild-eyed, maniacal, and uncompromising, and he refused to suck up to the great king in any way. This deeply impressed Alexander, who declared "If I hadn't been born Alexander, I would have wanted to be born Diogenes." Despite their vast differences they were both unconventional and uncompromising people driven by something beyond the range of normlacy.

edit on 5/31/2012 by silent thunder because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 31 2012 @ 11:04 AM
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One hundred years from now it will be interesting to take a look at these threads and see which ideas survive into the future and which are considered laughable. I look at this site as a watering hole. A place where people can choose to go to for talking about what is interesting.

Sometimes people get the feeling to write, but they don't want to write a book or a blog or anything else that warrants massive editing and elegant prose. But I know that these words, however inelegant, will have a place in history and will be saved as long as the internet exists.

This site helps me to talk about things that I am curious about and get responses from like-minded people. Without ATS I simply tread the internet and feel powerless about what I read and see.

This is a touch personal, but it is the truth.



posted on May, 31 2012 @ 11:09 AM
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Originally posted by NullVoid
The worst part is when the mansions start missing


It's tragic. It seems like some of the best don't stick around so long. I tend to get attached to people here (or my image of the people here...who knows the reality...) and then one day they up and vanish. Its like having pets that die (not quite so tragic, of course) or houseplants that wilt or something.



posted on May, 31 2012 @ 11:23 AM
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Someone else's trash is someone else's treasure.

love and harmony
Whateva



posted on May, 31 2012 @ 11:25 AM
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You know that you're a die hard ATSer when your partner refers to ATS as "your website." But, I do believe that my BF has hidden envy, as he occasionally asks, "What did your website say about ______?" (Fill in the blank with face eaters, Mitt Romney comments, irradiated fish, etc.)

I agree with your friend's assessment, and feel that the drive through the slum is well worth it.

Answer this: if you overheard someone talking about a major earthquake in the US Midwest or the floor of a crippled nuclear reactor collapsing, where's the first place you'd go for more info?



posted on May, 31 2012 @ 11:28 AM
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Originally posted by zookman44
One hundred years from now it will be interesting to take a look at these threads and see which ideas survive into the future and which are considered laughable. I look at this site as a watering hole. A place where people can choose to go to for talking about what is interesting.

Sometimes people get the feeling to write, but they don't want to write a book or a blog or anything else that warrants massive editing and elegant prose. But I know that these words, however inelegant, will have a place in history and will be saved as long as the internet exists.

This site helps me to talk about things that I am curious about and get responses from like-minded people. Without ATS I simply tread the internet and feel powerless about what I read and see.

This is a touch personal, but it is the truth.


This is a good way to look at it. I've never thought about the "historical" aspects but provided the net itself doesn't crash or get locked-down or erased, I guess our words will carry on, won't they? I bet social scientists and historians will have a field day with this place. The best of ATS might represent a kind of "non-elite intellectualism;" that is to say, intelligence from a source other than the mainstream academic or media channels which are the bulk of what historians have to work with.

I've thought before that ATS reminds me a little of the "pamphleteering" culture before and during the French Revolution. Cheaper, smaller printing presses were invented around that time and a lot of people (like Marat, perhaps the best example) started publishing radical pamphlets that were vital to the emerging culture yet not "polished" in the way that "real" books or magazines were. This made them far more powerful in the end...
edit on 5/31/2012 by silent thunder because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 31 2012 @ 11:51 AM
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Somebody I was talking to about similar issues (not ATS but the net/social networking in general) pointed out that in the past, lonely eccentrics channeled their angst into writing great works, but now a lot of that passion and angst is simply spattered across the internet and dissapates. This is a kind of depressing thing, I guess, if you think about it. Although I think the benefits of having a free, open internet populated by people who like to write outweigh the drawbacks of moving beyond the old publishing paradigms of "great men and their classics." I mean, it all just seems so rigid and linear and limiting. Plus it gives publishers and universities too much gatekeeping power.

I'm hoping the net will allow the greatest writing ever to emerge (at least in terms of non-fiction), and that it will be authorless and egoless and righteous and the product of the collaboration of many nameless minds and networks. That vision is just so much more powerful, important. and real to me than Hemmingway under a tree with his pencil and paper, or whatever.

I haven't seen the net rise truly to this potential yet, although there are flashes here or there. Problem is so much of the good writing seems lost in obscure places. Weird little boards, forgotten threads on ATS and elsewhere, defunct sites. I wish there was a way to give the whole process more "oomph" somehow and get those flashes synched up to start a prarie fire.
edit on 5/31/2012 by Leftist because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 31 2012 @ 05:17 PM
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Pretty close to the reality.

However i think the mansions these days are crafted by Rob Zombie for the most part.

This site used to be the top dog. Over time there were a few mods that used the ban hammer for their own selfish reasons. Those left. Then there was the shift from the secret squirrel shill to the glamor of paid govt Shillywood. lots has changed in the last 8-10 years. Many top contributors walked away. A few new top end ones came. There has always been a rivalry with the other place. Free speech vs kiddie friendly. Slowly that one has gained traction and pushed ahead.Quality is up. dont know how that happend. doesnt seem possible.

Depends on what you want really. There are hubs growing every day that are pulling head count. If the site doesnt conform, the people leave.

ATS has always been a good hub. Your skill in picking content will determine if your in the slums or not. Thats not on the site, thats on the viewer.



posted on May, 31 2012 @ 05:22 PM
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This is a great thread. My significant other is an academic/scientist who works for a university and he's well aware of my ATS'ing. He wasn't aware of the site before he met me, but he checks it out when I send him a link to this or that thread here and there. He's never been derogatory about it, but he does kind of smirk/smile at me and pat me fondly on the head when I bring him something from ATS. lol *sigh* Smug academics. He's lucky he's so good looking.

Although he has said a couple of times when he comes across news articles "I've gotta see what they're saying about that on ATS"



posted on May, 31 2012 @ 05:25 PM
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ATS has always been a good hub. Your skill in picking content will determine if your in the slums or not. Thats not on the site, thats on the viewer.
reply to post by Shadowalker
 


That's a good point. You can modify ATS to ensure you avoid much of the drivel on here. My favorite techniques are deleting certain forums that your not interested or know are best avoided from the Recent posts page. I also like the Friends Threads section on the ribbon.



posted on May, 31 2012 @ 05:25 PM
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I love this site, it's where I come for all my news! Where else can I go to get a mostly intelligent debate of information from worldly views. Occasionally I'll come thru and throw some liter out the window.( sorry)


Seriously though, their is a vast amount of information on this site, I enjoy having the ability search and find Answeres to pretty much anything I've ever questioned right at my finger tips. From social issues to UFO's it's all here, I enjoy the short stories as well.



posted on May, 31 2012 @ 05:37 PM
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Originally posted by Whateva69
Someone else's trash is someone else's treasure.

love and harmony
Whateva


In a nut shell, spot on.




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