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Getting the Last Word

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posted on Oct, 14 2006 @ 07:14 AM
Having been on ATS for only a short time, I have none the less been involved in some very heated debates and would like to make an observation.

The psychology of competition and the need to win.
Here on ATS this translates into "Getting the Last Word."

Example: Your posting along just fine and someone starts a personal "attack" on you, not just your information, but your character as well.
Several things may occur at this point to exacerbate the situation.

a) The posters continues to simply post relevant material, at which point the antagonizer will usually increase the intensity of the personal comments.
b) The poster will respond back attempting to bring the antagonizer back on topic. Where as the antagonist simply increases the intensity of the attacks.
c) The poster will also engage in personal attacks and the thread is derailed.

Regardless of which scenario occurs, the specific phenomenon of "Getting the Last Word" is the vehicle that draws these things out and generally causes the most disruption.

An Antagonist will ordinarily not just let it die until they derive some form of satisfaction in "putting the poster in his place." This results is a thread with post after post of unrelated, irrelevant information and, at times, hurt feelings.

There is also an additional phenomenon of feeling that if one does not respond, the other poster will think you have conceded or that somehow they have won. That your position is weak because you refuse to participate in the "Shelling."

Now the MODs do a wonderful job, but no matter how much we pay them
they can not be in every post at all times. As a rule, by the time the MODs become involved, the thread has lost any interest for many posters.

Can we all just take a moment and evaluate our incessant need to always have the "Last Word." Our perception that having the "Last Word" equates to winning, is most often ill conceived and incorrect as it more often makes us simply look either idiotic, unintelligent or obsessive.


posted on Oct, 14 2006 @ 07:21 AM
Good point...And BTS has an outlet set up just for those who simply have to have the last word. It's right over here.

Since I can't think of anything to top this bit of info with the link, maybe a Mod can close this thread...
...So I can get the "last word" here...

posted on Oct, 14 2006 @ 07:30 AM
Here Here!

Well said Semper.

To those members who do feel the urge to get the last word in, I am here to solve your problems.

Last to Post Wins!

Go beat on your keyboard on this thread for awhile, you'll be accepted for trying to get the last word.

This is an all to common problem, and I do believe it is with a certain group of members. Some people will quickly point the finger at new members and say it is them who are to blame for this. I don't think so. Semper is relatively new to this site, and he is steps ahead of alot of us.

I believe the key is experience & maturity.

Some members are out to change the world, and people better not dare get in their way. I've read a few threads in the last few days and have noticed this a lot. Members who are so dead set in their ways to make a point, that when a member comes in and posts something that does not agree, they turn it into a personal attack.

Nothing should become personal on ATS. If your taking things personal, maybe you should go ask What Skippy would do?.

I've had my share of mishaps where a member and I crossed paths. We were both guilty of wrong doing, and it was funny that on more than one occasion I u2u'd the member to clear things up. As I would finish sending the u2u, I noticed one from the other member who was doing the same thing I was.

This is a place for intellectual discussion, not petty bickering. If somebody is ignorant, than beat them down with their ignorance and slap them with facts. If you insist on calling them out on it, watch how you word it because it would be hypocritical to ignorantly call a member on their ignorance.

I've met many friends here on ATS, and no enemies. (I think)
And it all stems from the ability to agree to disagree.

posted on Oct, 14 2006 @ 07:34 AM

When nobody else will listen to me, i turn to ATS.

Its satisfying to write down your thoughts for all to see whether they like it or not.

Its there, you said it and its an outlet.

I'm surrounded by people who dont care about politics so this is it for me.

posted on Oct, 14 2006 @ 07:50 AM
There are two extremes to this. One, where the two or more members attacks continually degrade in quality until they are just calling each other names and abusing them personally (which can happen very quickly
), or two, where this debate takes a turn for the better and both parties argue a decent point.

Admittedly, I was recently involved in a "Getting the Last Word" competition, but this was one of the good ones. See here. If a mod stepped in and saw what me and StellarX were getting at, there is a chnace they could have just closed the thread, expecting that we'd eventually just end up making abusive passes at each other. No one did, and that's good.

Just sayin, it's not all bad all the time. Without debate, life would be pretty boring. But YES, abusive, immature personnel attacks do happen quite regularly, and mods should control the situation as early as possible as soon as it becomes evident what is going to happen.

[edit on 14/10/2006 by watch_the_rocks]

posted on Oct, 14 2006 @ 07:55 AM
Getting the last word can be a good thing, as long as the discussion stays on track.

The problem is, a lot of times these discussions do turn personal. So getting the last word turns into who can get the last jab in at one another.

posted on Oct, 14 2006 @ 08:02 AM
Yup, and that's why mods need to watch these sorts of things closely. And not just mods, come to think of it. The rest of us have a responsibility to report it when a discussion gets out of hand. Well paid as they are, staff can't be everywhere at once.

posted on Oct, 14 2006 @ 08:28 AM
I just have to say it is imperative to follow civility, politeness and respect when even considering to make an accusal of whether another poster is "intellectual", "has personality deficiencies" or "whether they have grammatical mistakes in their posts".

Perhaps, the best thing to be said about this thread regarding personal attacks is that the person in question needs to be ever so mindful about focusing on the topic and refraining from attacking the intelligence and personality of others. It would be helpful to refrain from ridiculing someone's education or personality as a diversionary tactic, to say the least. But some continue to do it without stoppage. It seems they cannot help themselves when it comes to certain topics.

I find it very disheartening that some practice belittling the education of others in a thread when the topic is supposed to be the only thing focused upon.

However, if one continues to bring up what is "educated" opposed to "what isn't" without even trying to meticulously dissect and discuss what is fostered in the thread, then I guess then they get exactly what they expect and deserve: a last, strong word against the person in question who derailed the thread by postulating on how they are intellectually superior to others.

And if the accuser does not get rid of this superior mindset, then by all means the accusee must politely and firmly have the last word to get the message across that they refuse to be belittled anymore. Seeing the "last word" in these terms, only gives recourse when other avenues to seek redress are blocked and ignored.

[edit on 14-10-2006 by ceci2006]

posted on Oct, 14 2006 @ 08:47 AM
And so the example of "The Last Word" lives on even after much time has passed.


Exactly what I was referring to, however a slightly less antagonistic slant by my way of thinking. It is also self delusional to ever believe that anyone is ever completely free of this phenomenon, including myself. Unless one refuses to take note of their own actions as is so often the case, or simply refuses to acknowledge what they have posted.

I know that I have fallen under this spell from time to time. The key is not coming back day after day or even after some amount of time has passed and further propagating the issue that one would, as a natural course, assume has been settled.

This is a perfect example...

Thank you ceci


posted on Oct, 14 2006 @ 08:51 AM
I went to see Deepak Chopra and some other gurus years ago at the Melbourne Entertainment Centre. Well, Domeniko Rowland (something like that) said whenever he and his wife used to argue, each would want the last word. He said the best way to overcome the urge was to smile and raise your middle finger at the person and say, "your absolutely right!"
Its the ego that wants that last word.

But that doesnt help the issue here as we cant see the other side. But, that doesnt stop me. I am so stubborn lol that I do that to the screen anyway...laugh and get on with other things. I think, sometimes when you dont respond, it pees them off even more. So no response, I win.
he he well, in my mind anyway and perhaps thats the only thing that matters at the end of the day? How easily manipulated would you be if you fired up over every ego? Like how exhausting... I rather preserve my energy.

posted on Oct, 14 2006 @ 12:38 PM
great post semp...

but out of curiosity was it the Harry Reid thread that prompted this?

posted on Oct, 14 2006 @ 04:29 PM
That's what I mean. What I said was pretty lucid and very to the point. It wasn't delusional or antagonistic at all, no matter what you say. I was pretty laid back writing this.

However, I think you are being paranoid when I was just contributing my two cents about this topic.

Thank you, for demonstrating why someone should have the last word in a strong, firm tone.

posted on Oct, 14 2006 @ 04:46 PM
Is the Last Word vital if it carries NO weight. What a lot of people that are engaged in bantering at each other forget is that there is a LARGE audience that isn't posting that read what is posted. You MAY get the last word BUT that could be the finale of a bitchfest that the readers see as 2, or more, morons wasting their energy and the readers time. NO ONE WINS!

ATS should be better than that.

BTW, thread closed.

Just kidding.

posted on Oct, 14 2006 @ 05:02 PM

Originally posted by intrepid
a bitchfest that the readers see as 2, or more, morons wasting their energy and the readers time.

MAN! That was fantastic. Seriously! Absolutely perfect. A very good reminder of why someone should never feed trolls. Those that feed the moronic trolls end up wallowing in the mud with them and looking just like the trolls.

A few weeks back I decided to TRY not to feel trolls. It's hard. They say stupid things and they insult and insult and insult ... and even though the mods usually catch up to them it feels like forever waiting for them to. Frustration then sets in. ALL could be avoided if the trolls just aren't fed. Trolls that aren't fed starve; wither; and then die away.

Edited to add - I'm STILL working on that 'do not feed the trolls' thing. This is going to take some work. It's probably going to be an unending self-improvement project. But hey .. I'm trying.

[edit on 10/14/2006 by FlyersFan]

posted on Oct, 14 2006 @ 07:17 PM

I have posted with you and i thik you do a GREAT job!!!

Just my .02


posted on Oct, 14 2006 @ 07:35 PM
For me, it has nothing to do with trolldom. Instead, I focus on the fact that some posters do not have the skills to execute social ettiquette, let alone nettiquette when they express themselves.

People should try to be polite when they participate in a topic. However, I've discovered that some people just don't have manners. And I believe that if they have to attack on personality or education, it is best not respond when referring to the accusee.

Or else, if posters with no discernable manners who do this deriding action and refuse to stop when attacking the accusee, then by all means the gloves are off for those accused. One must have the last word in order to defend themselves and rectify a situation before it escalates out of control.

Furthermore, when one has to deal with a group of posters who aid and abet the behavior in which the first said poster has to go below the belt, then again the last word from the accusee must be said in terms of defense--especially when the actions will not be dealt with by any other way.

I believe people who are subjected to negative group behavior, let alone the actions of a poster with no politeness in expression, must be able to speak for themselves and fight back.

If the accuser doesn't get the message to cease and desist thread after thread, then it is the accuser who is the moron, not the accusee who tries to defend him or herself. Furthermore, the group of posters who aid and abet the "moron in question" are little more than morons themselves if they continue to egg to accuser on in his or her belittlement.

[edit on 14-10-2006 by ceci2006]

posted on Oct, 14 2006 @ 08:00 PM
Of the "last-worders" that actually initiate that type of provocative banter, I wonder how many of them realize that (with the exception of emoticons & the strength of wording), only a person's intellect can be perceived on the 'net. Even strong words & emoticons can only go so far to express a feeling in a medium that lacks the ability to use facial expressions & body language.

So, by using "provocative" posting, such "last worders" are only displaying a lack of constructive intellect in a medium that can only display intellect.
In short...Trolls are idiots!

posted on Oct, 14 2006 @ 08:04 PM

I say this with all politeness...

You are doing nothing more than venting your own frustration and your need to get the last word even here on a thread about the last word. This is unproductive and serves no purpose except your own. This was started out as a general thread in regards to overall actions and not the actions of several threads on one topic.

If you are so obsessed with any one poster, why not U2U that poster, or is it that your purpose is only served by presenting a public spectacle?

You are doing exactly what the thread was talking about. Instead of just letting it go, you are going on and on with no real purpose except venting your own aggravation at having been unsuccessful in several of your threads. I am truly sorry that several posters, myself included, did not see things your way and chose to communicate that information to you in the best way we knew how. I am sorry your still carrying a grudge around about that.

I am sorry if anything I did was hurtful to you, or caused you to carry this terrible burden for this long a period.

There I have apologized and in public, now can we get on with the business at hand?


MD... EXCELLENT analogy

[edit on 10/14/2006 by semperfortis]

posted on Oct, 14 2006 @ 09:34 PM
Am I really, Semper? Who am I venting this toward since you are so bold to make such a provacative statement? Of what am I carrying a grudge?

Can I ever be allowed to express myself on a topic as you are doing without seeing anything else other than the statements afforded?

But, nevertheless, I accept your apology. It is very nice to see an expression of conscience on this board when so many others have none.

[edit on 14-10-2006 by ceci2006]

posted on Oct, 14 2006 @ 10:04 PM
You see....You quietly sneak up on ATS in the weeee hours of the morning, and then, you post the good stuff, you i'm doing now, and then you type what you want, you see....
And then, for the longest time, YOUR word will be the Last word, you see...

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