exemplify the kind of people I come to share ideas with at ATS, and point out what may be a false dichotomy or at least
a difficult choice of terminology at the root of this thread.
I can certainly claim the title of "crackpot" with pride. For proof of that, just read some of my posts in Paranormal Studies. Our differences are
the only things that make us unique.
A "crackpot", according to Merriam's, is nothing more than "one given to eccentric or lunatic notions". By that dictionary standard, I would hope
that most ATSers do, in fact, proudly deserve the title.
Yes, I talk of reaching for the "ignore" button, but so far, nobody's on my list, and it would take some effort to get there. I just want to feel
some sense of control over "eye pollution", and make no apologies for that.
Rather than "crackpots", the targets of my ire are more properly called trolls
. These twisted creatures can be identified by their behaviors,
1. Hit-and-run posts, off-topic posts, off-topic threads, pointless one-liners,
2. Posts that consist of abuse, profanity, bigotry and/or insults against others,
3. Posts without any reasonable foundation that are clearly intended to do nothing more than provoke conflict,
4. Posts that contain demonstrable lies,
5. Refusal to acknowledge or respond to differing opinions or substantiated facts,
6. Irrelevant cut-and-paste posts and general spammage,
7. Posts that criticize rational discussion,
8. Posts that consistently originate from hatred, anger and unjustifiable denunciations of others.
You get the idea. At some point, a member has established a deliberate lack of interest in meaningful discussion.
Yes, even the worst troll can post something worth reading once in a while. But in such a case, I am content to learn of such a miracle by reading the
responses of members with a track record of credibility. The possibility that a diamond might be concealed in pile of dung does not justify habitually
My point is that the choice of who to listen to and what to read lies with you, not someone else.
Just as you have no moral obligation to read every piece of junk mail you find in your mailbox and every piece of litter you find on the sidewalk, sit
through and watch every commercial on TV or pop-up ad on the Internet, or patiently listen to every telemarketing spiel you hear when you answer the
phone, you have no moral obligation to consider the opinions of those who have demonstrated a desire to promote ignorance.
Again, just my opinion, which you are free to ignore.
, just a quick off-topic opinion about being "part demon, part angel", since I haven't really addressed that in your thread yet. My
opinion is that we could all legitimately claim that title, because we are all spirits whose paths lead through Darkness and Light. Describing
yourself in this manner -- in my opinion anyway -- is your own way of recognizing this. Don't worry, I'm quite sure that all of our paths lead
eventually to Light, whether we believe it or not.
P.P.S. If you should choose to use the "ignore" feature, I recommend doing so without announcing it. Just let it go quietly. Trolls get bored when
people simply stop allowing them to yank their chains, and usually move on to the next forum in hopes of finding fresh victims for their brand of
[edit on 10/30/2004 by Majic]