ATS And External Indoctrination

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posted on Oct, 10 2012 @ 09:32 AM
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As Oscar Wilde once stated, art imitates life. I am still relatively new to ATS, but I have noticed since joining that this site seems to follow and imitate some interesting trends of it's own, that imitate life in the everyday outside world. I have read thousands of threads over the years far before joining ATS (do not let the member start date fool you), since roughly late 2005. There are some very gifted authors of some truly great threads on here. I am a lover and student of psychology, and I am connecting a few dots as to some parallels that I have noticed since becoming a member.

Many great threads that I have read on here in the recent and not so recent past have been seemingly ignored and forgotten, while I have seen some decent threads (some low on scientific research or even adequate source citations for the premise of the posted thread) get applauded by many and seem to garner many responses, as well as stars and flags - while some truly mind blowing threads attracted little attention and very little interest in general. This confused me at first, and I started really reading and studying the differences between some of the popular threads and the ones that were not. I found some very interesting differences between a lot of them.

Remember back to when we were kids and school? You had the popular students, the outcasts and those who seemed to fall somewhere in that "gray area" between the two. It doesn't really need to be extrapolated upon that much as to where this way of thinking originates and always has. Hollywood spends billions a year to create an image of what is cool, what should be morally acceptable and what should be generally frowned upon in society as a whole. The mainstream media follows tongue in cheek in it's reporting and glamorization of what you and I should accept as right or wrong - building the framework in our minds what they believe we should imitate and integrate into the inner dynamics and psychological infrastructure of us as individuals and our families. In popular culture and media reporting, popularity indeed rules the day as to what we deem as cool, interesting or worthwhile - most of us following like sheep (whether we realize it or not) as these two factions of the entertainment media have become masters of manipulating the collective psyche of the masses as they have done for well over a century.

Now you may be asking, what does this have to do with ATS? Well, from what I have seen in a lot of things I have observed on here, a good bit. Some of the truly remarkable threads that were well structured, worded and researched in many instances and generally ignored, were not authored by those that were well known here, albeit they were new, or hadn't the known history of making great threads like others who have been here longer. Many of these great threads were out-shined by members who posted one liner or short blurb comments and actually had more stars granted to them than the thread's author. The ones that seemed to generate the most stars for such comments posted were well established and are well known by the ATS community - with higher ranks, star and flag totals than other posters within the thread itself. Some members with lower ranks and/or star and flag totals in very many instances, made better points and observations than some of the aforementioned established older members - who often in their short blurb comments barely stayed on topic, mocked the thread's author in their difference of opinion, or gave negative feedback and made rude comments in relation to the topic itself, at times, more often than those with lower star and flag totals.

I have read great threads in different forums with subjects closely relating in content between well established members and new (or not well known yet) members, and in many instances the well known members threads accumulated more attention and responses, as well as star and flag totals. In some instances, the lesser known or new members thread was structured better, had better grammar and vocabulary usage, more extensive cited source examples and generally came across as more clear and concise than a few of the more established members threads. I have to admit that this was a bit interesting to see and compare. It follows a parallel to how we live our daily lives in the world, and who we as individuals value as greater paragons in learning about what has gone on in the past, what is happening in the present and things that hold a bearing on our individual and collective future(s).

In our world, a lot of us tend to value the opinions of those that they see as greater moral, visionary or frankly speaking - fascinating and/or seemingly more interesting figureheads in our society. The media machine constantly feeds us as a collective consciousness who we should emulate, idolize and value as our role models. How we should think, act and conduct our every day lives as in comparison with the celebrities and political figures that the mainstream media plasters all over our television and computer screens on a daily basis, and leads most of us in how we handle our professions, friendships and family relationships - whether realized or unrealized.

Do you always tend to honor the values and opinions of members who have a longer history here at ATS because you agree with their opinions more than others? Is it because you see some members of longer ilk and standing here as more knowledgeable based on their prior knowledge expounded on past subjects or is it for other reasons? Is it because they are seen as more popular or they are more well liked by other members of the ATS community? All of these things could truly be the answer apart, or together as a whole. I wonder these things at times based on seeing posts that have been exceptionally starred for very little contribution to the thread topics subject matter contained therein. When I read a remarkable outstanding thread and one liner and short minimal posts give little to no on topic feedback, discussion and/or debate garner more stars than the material presented in the thread by the OP, I wonder at times.

In our society a lot tend to value those that hold positions of clout and what is accepted as exceptional over those who do not. People that we watch on the news, listen to with our individual music tastes, our local, national and global legislators and even celebrities. Indoctrination into what is seen as the way to conduct our lives started young, and continues every day. Do we as members here carry that way of thinking into how we evaluate and judge the knowledge we share between us and our opinions on such matters? Does popularity in some instances show itself on ATS in how we rate and respond to such information and who's opinions matter more based on said shared information? From what I have seen, in some of the parallels I have noticed this in how we deal with the external stimuli in pop culture and the indoctrinated psychological framework in which we judge and see others in relation to our own preconceived notions, So, I would say yes.








edit on 10-10-2012 by Rubicant13 because: (no reason given)
edit on 10-10-2012 by Rubicant13 because: (no reason given)




posted on Oct, 10 2012 @ 09:44 AM
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reply to post by Rubicant13
 


i flagged this after starting the third paragraph and i agree totally

well back off to finish reading it all and well said

BTW im in the not so cool group

and now starred

thankyou for writing what most of us think
edit on 10/10/2012 by maryhinge because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 10 2012 @ 10:12 AM
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I am fairly new here too. The timing made me laugh a little about a recent thread I posted. I am not thinking that I write good, in fact, I am brand new at this thread posting stuff. But I just had someone reply to a thread of mine that while they thought I had posted an interesting topic they were not going to flag me to give it exposure because they didn't like my title to the thread. They did not say why, and although others could probably think of something better, the title was actual material from a news story linked, and not exaggerated or sensationalized at all.

I also lurked a long time before joining and posting and I have seen many, many threads by established and popular members not "punished" that had titles that seemed even sensational in my opinion. But since I'm a new kid on the block I will listen to constructive criticism and go with the flow because I probably will not have the time to post enough to become an established and known poster anyway. Many of the established members post really great things, but I agree I've seen what you are describing too. I'm sure that those who get to know each other on these forums make a point of reading and supporting each others' threads more often, that's just the way it goes sometimes.

This is basically human nature as we observe as politicians, movie stars and musicians with name recognition who maintain their popularity and status even as others who are coming up may often do better work.



posted on Oct, 10 2012 @ 01:55 PM
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Many members 'trip' over the popularity issue here. Some get miffed that they write a researched, well written thread only to watch it circle the drain and out.

My observations concur with yours to a degree, but it is also chance, and topic. Chance plays a role in time of posting, number of people posting in the same forum, and what else is going on. Time of day explains itself, number of people, if many are making threads, the thread we are talking of, hypothetically, may not stay on the list long enough for people to see it. I tend to look on My ATS at the forums I follow, first. I miss some that way. If there is a hot topic on the same day, or several hot topics, people only have so much time to spend here reading threads, so, it can be missed that way.

Sometimes people are just meh about the topic. There is no way so far as I can tell, once you get away from the 'My baby was eaten by an alien and my reptilian husband, won't come home from his Illuminati meeting' topics which are always popular.
to determine what ATS'ers will be interested in on any given day.

Also I have seen the 'popular kids' write great threads that just lay there, like old dogs. They get nothing for them and they die, quietly like all the others.
edit on 10-10-2012 by Iamschist because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 10 2012 @ 02:30 PM
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Originally posted by Rubicant13
There are some very gifted authors of some truly great threads on here.


Agreed, and your OP is no exception.

Something I've noticed:
The star system, as we all know, is applied across the board. So, this means that a member could head off to the political threads and start insulting candidates for a couple of weeks for a star-boost.
Now, when this member launches a one-line comment on, say a Science thread. People will automatically click and agree with him/her even though their 'reputation' was not founded in the field they are currently discussing.

Just an observation I have noticed recently. I guess it also ties in to your high-school analogy..
Reminds me how all the popular kids were given the task of planning all the school functions, because somehow popularity is culturally proportional to ability?

But now I'm just rambling on. Great thread, it's very interesting to observe the ebb and flow of the ATS community.



posted on Oct, 10 2012 @ 02:41 PM
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Earning stars i seen is not too hard... you just gotta agree with socially right ALSO try to be on the first page, it seems people lose interest after first page. You can check this by going to ANY thread and compare stars from page 1 and starts from page 9.... even if page 9 had good points it won;t have high enough stars.

Some example...

If a thread is posted about a man abusing a child(no full story, just a claim), all you gotta do is say the man need to be killed, and baam! people will pour stars, without questioning.



posted on Oct, 10 2012 @ 02:52 PM
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reply to post by Rubicant13
 
The beauty of a site like ATS is that it is a great leveller. Big-name members can be tripped up by some new member every time they get cocky or complacent. Now and then a big-hitter in one forum strides into another subject area and assumes they'll be starred as usual - they get their ass handed to them and are forced to back out or earn the approval.

In my four years on here (two months as a Mod so I'm 99% member still), I've seen some influential members get flagged and starred out of sheer popularity. It goes to their head, they get careless and believe the site and members are their supporting act. They implode, get banned or take their toys and leave in a pissy fit.

Am I throwing stones from a personal greenhouse? Probably!

ATS (at its best...not its worst) has some members who've earned their 'clout' by consistent posting and good manners...maybe a strong subject knowledge that earns respect too. At the same time, these *big* members started off with nothing and this is why new members deserve the acclaim for posting quality.

In general, I agree with your points. My main criticism is the focus on popularity because I think you overlook who made the members popular in the first place. Sure, the more popular a member is the quicker the stars accrue. Still, we mustn't forget that they weren't always popular and the same can happen to new members given enough time, effort and ability.

S&F for a well-written OP



posted on Oct, 10 2012 @ 03:05 PM
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reply to post by Rubicant13
 


S & F - Let's see if we can elevate you to the 'cool club'


I agree with what you say, but honestly there is no way around it. If you've been here forever (like slayer) and you've earnt the respect of other members, then you're naturally going to receive a lot of attention, and your threads will be 'bumped' more often than a newbie.

Just because you're new to ATS doesn't necessarily mean that it's going to be a hard slog. I am still relatively new here (in post count) and I have found most members on this forum to be supportive and respectful of my creations. I have had a few threads bomb badly, but I don't take it personally anymore.

Peace Out

Ned



posted on Oct, 10 2012 @ 04:00 PM
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reply to post by Rubicant13
 


Excellent post good sir. I notice this too.

I've once been criticized for not having enough of a post count to be taken seriously, and despite offering what I consider a sound opinion, it was considered insulting to do so.

Some people neglect typographic rules (proper paragraphs, titles etc.), grammar, and provide only assertions to back them up, making some threads difficult to read, believe and enjoy. Also, some threads are so well thought out, so well written, but so long that our short-attention spans can't handle reading a wall of screen-text (which is already difficult on the eyes). It seems that if one can express his post in a few lines or less, no matter how well thought out or not it is, he garners the stars and flags.

This is very telling. We are so short on attention span that we not only prefer to read, but prefer to congratulate and award posts that satiate that quick fix.

Great post, but here's Oscar's true quote:

"Life imitates Art far more than Art imitates Life"


edit on 10-10-2012 by LesMisanthrope because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 10 2012 @ 04:10 PM
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Sometimes an old frequent poster will get tons of participation in one of their threads just because they have been around a long time. Sometimes.

But I think for the most part there really is no rhyme or reason.

I've had threads that were too busy for me to keep up with, some that got so in depth on a topic that I had nothing to contribute to the conversation. And I have had a few threads that did not even receive a single reply.

A few months ago I encountered a brand new member, I can't remember their name. But their very first post was so well thought out, researched and backed up with sources that I was just completely blown away. It was really an amazing thing to watch. And I told that member that too.
As long as we keep getting members like that to join. ATS will be just fine.



posted on Oct, 10 2012 @ 04:25 PM
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Originally posted by watchitburn


I've had threads that were too busy for me to keep up with, some that got so in depth on a topic that I had nothing to contribute to the conversation.



I feel the exact same way. I might add that I am just too tired and don't have the mental endurance to read and retain overly long posts, as with the OP. So, I read a couple paragraphs and try to glean more from the shorter replies. I guess what I'm saying is there are all kinds of reasons why some threads do better than others.



posted on Oct, 10 2012 @ 04:58 PM
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You bring up some very valid observations, OP.

There are a few posters who seem to be in the "legendary" category, and their posts often get starred like crazy, even if it's only a line or two and adds nothing of real value. Other posters name-drop these guys, as in "when is so-and-so going to show up on this thread?"

So yes, there is a popularity issue, which seems to go along with human nature, and how people will automatically align themselves with popular people.

It is hard to understand, for me, why certain threads with very little substance except the potential for arguments and inflammatory statements, get lots of stars and flags, while others, well-researched, well-written, and well-thought out, seem to evaporate from lack of general interest.

I take each thread and post by its word, and not by who wrote it. I tend to be a bit more supportive of newbies, giving them stars and flags for their attempts, because I think we should foster participation, not punish it. However, if somebody starts a thread with only one or two sentences, gives no supporting documentation, or goes along the lines of "I believe in UFOs. What do you guys think?" I'm likely to not star and flag such an attempt, because it is lazy. If somebody posts on a thread "Use the search function", "This is old and stale and I'm tired of reading about it", or some other rude statement, my first thought is to call them out. Why go through the trouble of posting just to bring a thread down? I guess I'm always going to root for the underdog.

Other times, there is nothing in the thread which I find interesting. There is nothing wrong with it, but it does not engage my mind, so I exit and find another one. Such is life.

Naturally, we are human beings who come in from society and find a forum such as ATS to be a good place to find like-minded individuals, and to learn things. ATS is the first place I check when I think there is breaking news somewhere. Because we come from the outside, we drag our way of thinking, our subconscious leanings, and our prejudices with us.

ATS is a reflection of its members, nothing more, nothing less. Like psychology? This is the place to study it!



posted on Oct, 10 2012 @ 05:04 PM
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Rubicant13

This thread deserves mega a applause..It frustrates me to no end to see incredible threads get no real attention. especially when I know if certain members had created that very same thread, it would have gone to the front page with hundreds of stars and flags..

Popularity is king on ATS it always has been..I only flag topics i think deserve attention or exposure and star posts that are meaningful and stand out from the rest..I know some people in here spend hours creating threads with stand out material just to watch sink to the ATS depths with very little attention..

I will agree with Iamschist on the time of posting that does have allot to do with the threads being seen if they aren't seen right away and flaged they tend to drop off the list then if your lucky someone might see your thread later and bring it back up again..

And i also agree with Kandinsky points out also Ive seen popular members let things go to there heads , they get careless and believe the site and members are their supporting act. They implode, get banned or take their toys and leave in a pissy fit Ive seen this a few times..

I think ATS is a great forum Ive always thought that.... This place is full of some of the best and brightest minds on the net..

It has something for everyone. It is welcoming to all kinds of people with all kinds of interests so lets take time to read some of the threads of the new members and less popular allot are great contributers to ATS..peace,sugarcookie1 S&F for a well done thread..







posted on Oct, 10 2012 @ 08:03 PM
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I agree with a lot of responses to this thread. I have to be honest though, It means more when someone stars and flags your posts because they find them interesting or informative and reward you for bringing great information to light. I hope in all honesty that anything I put on here will only ever be starred and flagged because it was well liked, not because I am popular with someone or its personal in a manner as such.



posted on Oct, 10 2012 @ 09:39 PM
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Of course one might also formulate the hypothesis that threads can be, and are, manipulated to the top or on the other hand 'disappeared'.

Not too difficult to do with a certain amount of organized boosting or censoring. Lemming-like behaviour reinforces this and does the rest.

There is absolutely no way some of the flags and stars I have seen regarding certain very specific topics are legitimate.
edit on 10-10-2012 by D377MC because: spelling



posted on Oct, 10 2012 @ 11:01 PM
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reply to post by Rubicant13
 


Amazing. You said everything i wanted to say in my first thread here (other than my intro thread), but neglected ever starting due to perhaps a mix of laziness and apathy, and said basically everything i planned on covering and then some in a much more lucid way than i could have ever hoped to.

I have said before in a thread that this place seems to be very much like a popularity contest in some respects, and in certain places. I find the lesser starred members often say things that are right on point yet get no stars, and the one liners and more flamboyant posts get all the stars.

I literally read a thread where a member got 6 or 7 stars for saying how great another member was, and the member in question replied with a 'thanks!' and got like 15 stars lol. I don't begrudge well earned reputations established over years spent in a community, but i do sometimes question the validity of what the star and flag system purports to accomplish. Many higher starred members i find tend to, in some cases mind you, not all obviously, at least so it would seem to me- be hard liners at either one or another extreme.

Like a skeptic that is really aggressive and biting with their comments will get a lot of stars for good 'comebacks' but overall i question whether that means they are necessarily more 'valuable' than other, less starred members. And as far as i have gathered so far, that is what the star and flag system is for according to ATS, to determine who the better rated contributors are. But does higher rated equal 'better?'

That is a whole other question of values, and how are we to be objective about such a thing, when it seems such a subjective question in many respects. I'm not sure i like the star and flag system to be honest; it means that everyone is not on equal footing, and subconsciously it suggests who's words are worth more than others. I personally like to form my own opinions of people not base it on how many stars they have accumulated, and i feel i do that here pretty well. I star the posts that make sense to me or that i like and agree with for whatever reason.

There is a real edge to this forum at times i find in terms of atmosphere, depending on the thread or discussion, so i don't really put a lot of weight into the s&f system, i think it's important to just be honest and real in my responses regardless of how popular or unpopular they may turn out to be. I didn't really come to ATS to look for validation of who i am as a person, i came here because of the interesting subject matters discussed and covered for one.

For another it is great sharing things with like minded people and those with similar interests and experience or information, and there seem to be a lot of good people here, so it's nice to read what these people have to say, and offer some things of my own here or there, and the appreciation of getting a chance to read others post where they share their wisdom, stories, resources and style with us is really the reason why i come here. Sometimes such things are off the ATS beaten path, and hidden here or there in dimly lit corner tables away from all the hub-bub where some real treasures can be found.

Anyways, sentimental and excessive rant over.

Great thread, star and flag for you.


Peace. ~



posted on Oct, 11 2012 @ 01:25 AM
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I wrote this in part too because I myself have read threads where certain members on here after posting ridiculous one liners are at times, even one word responses such as "thanks" get 15 stars as the poster above me stated. It's just a very good example of how popularity with some replaces the common sense of others.
edit on 11-10-2012 by Rubicant13 because: (no reason given)
edit on 11-10-2012 by Rubicant13 because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 11 2012 @ 02:29 AM
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Interesting hypothesis and I can only speak for myself.

Personally I do pay any attention to stars and reputations. I find that Posters attitudes vhange from day to day depemding on thier current frame of mind. If someone is having a bad day, or is uoset for some reason thier post will be more abrupt (hope thats the right word) on other occasions they may be in a good mood and they may more polite. On the other hand there are some who are tunnel visioned, thry have thier own view on the world and no one will ever change thier mind, yet there are others whom are more open minded and are willing to listen to other points of view.

I usually only use ats for my alterantive news source, I have my opinions and share them and I listen to others points of views even if I dont accept them.

It is the mark of an educated man to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.

It takes all sorts to make a world and ATS is no different. I personally dont care what other think of me, I have no aspirations to be better than the next person. What I do care about is truth, justice and honesty and just common decency. I think the majority of ATS members are the same. Threads may come and go from the front pages afterall nothing is forever.



posted on Oct, 11 2012 @ 06:07 AM
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I am really new here and am still under "watch". I have posted a thread and noticed that all the people that flagged or starred me were members of longstanding. This brings in the idea that the older members do take the time to assist new persons in developing there skills with flags and stars and encouragement and as time goes by you get more popular, I suppose, as you say, I think that the backing of longer time members helps and is as it should be.

The members that have been here longer have the responsibility to sort of keep the torch they liked so much when they joined alive.

Love this ATS place and find that I have changed my opinion on many things here, as I learn to be more discerning with the information backed by serious scientific or Spiritual points of view.

Love your post.
edit on 11-10-2012 by BewilderedandAmused because: Forgot a whole sentence. Just woke up and no coffee.



posted on Oct, 11 2012 @ 06:12 AM
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s+f
You ave seen how certain personas can influence the masses on here now think about how those personas could be created through manipulation of the numbers we look at on here.
There are a few threads on here about how some members have thousands of post count without time to achieve this.





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