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Smith's guide to spotting Alternative Topic Wannabe Experts (ATMEs)

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posted on Dec, 20 2005 @ 10:55 AM
How to spot Alternative Topic Wannabe Experts through language and writing style.

The easiest way is to just see how many times you can count any of the following words, phrases or tactics in any post or series of posts. Any combination of these in a significant number are a sure sign of ATWE activity:

1) Shill

A favourite amongst those who have no real knowledge, but feel it makes them seem intelligent for some unknown reason. Scientists are establishing if there is a direct link between the frequency that the word appears in a post and IQ, preliminary results suggest that the greater the frequency the lesser the IQ - though these have still to be confirmed.
If you are addressed as a shill then it is truly a great honour as this usually means that you are patriotic, they have no answer for whatever you have said, or what you say makes sense. Of course there is no reason to feel proud if you are constantly addressed as a shill by the same person (see IQ/Word frequency).

2) Astro-NOT

Usually used in discussions relating to the Moon Landings, for some reason the people that use it don't appear to realise that it is not an intelligent word (or any real word) to be using within the context of an intelligent conversation. Astro-NOT is a text-book example of a word invented in order to make the inferior feel superior amongst themselves as they
usually lack the intelligence to take part in adult conversation which is usually required when discussing complex scientific subjects such as the Apollo missions.

3) Dis-Info Agent

If you are called a dis-info agent then you should really feel proud as this is the highest honour an ATWE can ever hope to give. Allow your eyes to moisten with pride as this means that your argument is usually so good or you have such firm standing that you must be working for the Government. At a loss for words (which unfortunately does not happen often to ATWEs) they have to resort to this sort of tactic in the hope that it will distract others from your posts or make them wary of what you are saying.

4) Illuminati (being called)

Again a high honour, usually means that you are intelligent and in good standing.

5) Rotating Arguments

Beware of tactics often employed by ATWEs such as rotating arguments spanning several pages.
They will often argue a point until it is proven wrong and then move through several others before returning to the first one and so forth. This is a favoured tactic and works by confusing and irritating the hell out of you (because it's difficult to understand how anyone can be quite so stupid) while also creating the illusion that even after a long period of time these topics have still not been resolved. This unfortunately works because
most people, including myself, tend to only read the last few pages of long threads.
It's is difficult to 'win' discussions that go down this path as it is never ending and ignoring it usually gives the illusion of being lost for words to any onlookers (usually this is actually true, but not for the reason an onlooker will think).

6) Nit-Picking

Forever complaining about strawman tactics, an ATWE will seek to return the favour by coming down on any minor mistakes one makes when writing early in the morning or after too many drinks. Eyes like hawks they are certain to see any slip-up before you even finish thinking of what you are going to write.

7) Crap Sources

ATWEs like to cite sources such as Geocities webpages or similar. They usually laugh and scorn at 'shill' sources like National Geographic, NASA, ESA, Times Newspaper, etc and favour more reputable sources like 'The Beano', 'Pravda' or their own website in comparison.

8) Giving Money Away

ATWEs seem to like giving money away, on average about $20, for cruddy videos which they usually think proves some point. Usually the material can be obtained for free and legally in the public domain or better still is when they argue that the author is distributing his work this way rather than make money from it by selling it to TV stations. (??!)
I guess the fact they have to pay the guy $20 isn't making him any money then and the fact is, if the person really had people's well being and the truth to heart he would make it available on P2P with a website advertising it's location. Just look at, in contrast, the countless hours of work that some of our more distinguished members put into posts arguing a point for usually very little thanks and lots of criticism - now that is being honourable in my opinon.

9) Did I already say 'Shill'?

10) Disorganised writing style

ATWEs usually have a highly dis-organised writing style which helps their argument by making it difficult to mount an effective counter-offensive against their points. Never keen to use bullet points or headings, ATWEs will write in a way akin to throwing down a smoke grenade and some thunderflashes while running away shrieking.

11) Sheeple

This vaguely amusing and mostly irritating word is another favoured term used by ATWEs to describe anyone who even slightly supports or condones any form of organised behaviour or shows faith in the ideas behind modern civilisation.
Ironically the ATWE usually is a blind follower themselves and can be often seen regurgitating word for word something they have had read to them from armpit conspiracy sites who enjoy little support from real conspiracy theorists.
The most amusing fact is that they are usually just about as much of a 'sheep' as one can be, just that the shepherd they follow is usually a schizophrenic sat somewhere cackling manically to themselves while downloading a copy of Adobe Premier on P2P to throw together their next enlightening video.

12) Enlightenment

Usually thought of as opening oneself to knowledge, this word has a completely different meaning to ATWEs, usually consisting of the ability to believe stories so fantastic that they make the Fantastic Four seem like the Famous Five.

In addition

Specific to ATS is to look for signs of the above in combination with a long posting bar that is grey in colour. The high number of posts and lack of Applause when observed with the above behaviour is usually a good sign of "Lots to say, nothing to hear".

Another thing to watch for is a feeling where you can imagine the ATWE thumping it's chest and hooting in a cave. If you ever get this feeling then you are probably privileged to be in the presence of ATWE royalty and any insults gathered from this beast are indeed the highest honour one could ever wish for!

All hail the ATWE!

And next week I will be presenting my AutoBiography "How to spot know-it-all plebs".

[edit on 20-12-2005 by AgentSmith]

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