This subject matter arises from time to time. My usual remedy is to drop a bookmarked link to a thread that another staff member, Maxmars, authored a
few years ago - discussing the stages one goes through on ATS. Sadly, I am using a different operating system than I normally use, at the moment, and
the bookmark is not available. I tried to manually find the thread. But, well, the hour is late and Maxmars is a prolific poster.
That said... I've been around these boards since 2003-2004. I had a previous account, the information for which I've long lost track of. But that's
OK. For several years I was content simply to read and follow the links. This was a vast wonderland of access to new and exciting ideas and I had no
real internal need to contribute or be actively involved.
One day, early in 2008, that changed. I no longer recall what subject got my goat to such a degree that it made me need
to reply. But something
did. I tried to find that lost account information, unsuccessfully, and wound up creating this account as a means of getting into whatever fray was
calling me so strongly.
Since? I haven't looked back.
There are days, like yesterday, when being here can be difficult. There are subjects that provoke people into a myriad of emotional responses and
which bring out those who get their jollies by trying to poke a sharp stick into the emotions of others. We, as staff, do our sincere best to keep the
latter from using their sharp sticks. But, let's be realistic. Some folks have a talent for finding the very edge of acceptable behavior, and then
Comparing ATS to a few of the other available options is difficult to do. It's like comparing a town with a population of 50 to a full fledged city.
One can live in a tiny town, where it's quiet, but where nothing interesting ever happens, or one can live in a large and dynamic city, where there
is a lot of distraction and noise that goes along with the excitement.
ATS has grown since my first visit. But, honestly, I don't think it has changed much. At least not if one considers proportion. The ratio of noise
is, IMO, simply representative of the size of the population. It's a city now, where it was once a smaller town.
Also, I bear in mind that I have, myself changed. I am no longer that person who sits in awe of the links and ideas here. I've gone down those rabbit
holes now and formed my own opinions on the various topics that interest me. Now I am the one who writes the words - something I can do because I've
been down those rabbit holes and learned from it. Rarely do I get that same sense of wonder that I had in the beginning.
This doesn't mean that ATS has gone downhill at all. It only implies that I have grown and learned from it. It's not as shiny to me these days. But
it is a valued friend. It's like a favorite shirt to me. Others may not get why I love it so much... but I do.