While responding to a thread in the Space Exploration forum of ATS, who's subject was highly speculative with no supporting evidence, something
occurred to me.
In my time here on ATS, I've seen a lot of "highly speculative" threads posted in forums that do require some supporting evidence of some kind.
Many times, when mods are "alerted" with the suggestion that the thread be moved to Skunk Works, it is......or sometimes not.
I had noticed also that in many cases where a thread does get moved to Skunk Works, I end up seeing posts from some members which tend to read like
"Finally your thread has been moved to Skunk Works where this non-sense belongs!"
With the infliction that Skunk Works is some sort of virtual trash can, and anyone, who's threads end up there should not be taken seriously at all,
or should be ignored.
I'm pretty sure that one of the reasons the forum is called "Skunk Works" is due to Lockheed Martin Skunk Works, and also because of the
origination of the words:
A skunkworks project often operates with a high degree of autonomy and unhampered by bureaucracy, tasked with working on advanced or secret
projects. These projects are often undertaken in secret with the understanding that if the development is successful then the product will be designed
later according to the usual process.
And of course when we look at the logo for the Skunk Works forum we see the actual Logo for Skunkworks for Lockheed Martin:
However, when we click on the ATS Skunk Works forum.....it's name changes to "Highly Speculative Conspiracy Topics" with the following definition
of given whenever any thread is clicked on:
ATS Skunk Works: This forum is dedicated to the all-important highly speculative topics that may not be substantiated by many, if any facts and
span the spectrum of topics discussed on ATS. Readers and users should be aware that extreme theories without corroboration are embraced in this
forum. Discussion topics and follow-up responses in this forum will likely tend to lean in favor of conspiracies, scandals, and cover-ups. Members who
would seek to refute such theories should be mindful of AboveTopSecret.com's tradition of focusing on conspiracy theory, cover-ups, and
It seems to me (in my humble opinion) that what Skunkworks is and what ATS Skunk Works is, are not the same thing, and only very loosely related,
"operates with a high degree of autonomy and unhampered by bureaucracy"
Meaning that OP's do not have to proved corroborating evidence or sources only.
But I think the name itself may be a good reason why many members, especially newer members do not start a thread there: Skunk = Stink or Smelly
Would it be possible to do one of the following?
Change the name of the forum from ATS Skunk Works to something a bit more friendly sounding, and doesn't conjure up images of someone being sprayed
with a very nasty smell? When we click on the forum, the name changes anyways.
Can we educate more members about what a "Skunkworks" is? Maybe if they understand a bit better, they would feel that it has less of a bad rap.
Help educate more members in understanding that if they are going to create a thread, and they need to think through what they are posting. Is it
highly speculative because there is a very clear, or utter lack of supporting evidence? If so, then you thread may be better suited for ATS Skunk
Works no mater what the subject is about (IE Politics, Space, Earth's environment, etc, etc, etc).
Just an observation from me. I only think of one forum here on ATS as the "trash bin" and that's the "HOAX" forum.