reply to post by SkepticOverlord
It strikes me that as things become harder for individuals in the States, so will the number of extremist posts increase. There is not a damned thing
that can be done to improve that situation, aside from the circumstances in the country being altered to properly account for the needs of the
population. I can however understand your frustration with the way that environmental circumstances outside of your control, are affecting the way the
membership comports itself.
I would like to point out however, that the political scenarios playing out all over the western world right now are the most difficult that they
have been since this website came into existence. I know that I have not been a member since its creation, I only joined in 07 after all, but I know
that there has not been such dissatisfaction with, such indignation against governments in the west as there is today, since the 80s.
With both local, and national governments of the US and for that matter, the UK and other nations in the west, causing strife to so many, it is
little wonder that the effects of that would trickle through, permeate the otherwise stable bedrock of this website. Simply, the membership has never
been tested so widely, and so strongly, as it is being today.
I would echo your appeal for calm, but I think it is worth remembering that this website has more functions than as a mere social networking tool for
discussion of alternative topics. Think about how this period in history could effect the future, think about how important it will be for future
generations to learn from this period. This website may have some pretty whacky stuff on it (lets face it, there is no "may" about it. Some of the
content here is barmy!) but it also provides on any given day of the week, a snapshot of honest raw opinion on the topics of the day. By examining
posts, threads, and the topics discussed on a given day in a year, a future researcher could learn about the way we think about this period in which
Currently, the trend on the website does appear to run more toward division and derision on some topics, but in the future, this website will also
serve as an invaluable anthropological resource, because unlike other forums which might be data mined to reveal the mindset of the population of the
planet, this great membership is usually more even handed politically speaking, than it is right now. It still contains some of the most thoughtful,
some of the most entertaining, and motivated posters on the internet, and it is still run by the most tireless, fearless, and peerless mods,
administrative staff, and owners on the web. While those things continue, it might be wise to think not about the general direction of traffic on the
site, but how it will be read in the future, what might be gleaned from it by research, and the fact that the issues we discuss and the way we discuss
them, will inevitably inform future generations, not only about how we lived and thought in this day and age, but how they might avoid being divided
in times to come.
To sum up, I know it is not pleasant to see the membership riven by external factors, especially considering the respect that we ought to all have
for one another as people, not just people either, but thinkers, persons of discerning and intelligent character. But times are what they are, and the
membership for all our intelligence and reasoning skills, are still human. Sometimes that makes for positives, and sometimes it makes for negatives,
but it will always be real, honest, forthright, lacking any pretense of sugar coating. I would say, rather than being sad that people feel angry, and
have been divided amongst themselves down non-existent lines, be sad that their government desired that they be so divided, be sad that things have
become so bad in the real world, that even this digital sanctuary is no longer free from the taint of the lie. I can understand your sadness Skeptic
Overlord, but just as the membership need to have faith that things in the real world will balance out at some future point, that the hardship of
today will not last forever, you need to have faith in us, that we can correct our current path of negativity, and remember at some point, why we are
all here in the first place.
For my part, I may not agree with the opinions expressed by everyone here, and I know that not everyone agrees with my opinions. But I do respect
every member here, and for being a part of this big, crazy, dysfunctional family that we call ATS, I love every one of them. It is probably difficult
to discern that from my posts, because I try to stay on topic where possible, and am given to the occasional bout of textual blood lust. But it is
still true. I know I am not the only person around here who feels this way about his fellow members. I feel like I owe every single person here a
debt, because without them I would have no forum to release my thinking into, no outlet for my creativity and the unique way I express myself, nor
would I be able to engage with the thoughts of persons who have a similar level of expressive capacity, enjoy the creativity of the wonderful minds
showcased here, and denied these things my life would be much less of an enjoyable experience than it currently is. I value the site, its membership,
and no matter what shape things take going forward, that will always be the case.
Take heart, because whatever this fleeting ailment is amongst us, it will not last longer than the bond we share as people, as minds connected in
such a nourishing environment as the one this website provides.