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misteraven

Weigh In: Has the social media revolution devolved conversation?

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@6Pennies Definitely some interesting pints and also, really great to see you make your way over here. We've pretty much agreed, when the conversation came up, that the future of the forum is largely hinged on how successful we are attracting new members. I'm more and more confident in my opinion that people are hungry for more in depth, longer format discussion and have come to believe that social and the forum are really two different beasts. On the surface its easy to think they're two different technological generations of the same general thing. Its more convincing to make that mistake since its often agreed that social replaced forums. My thought now is that though social largely supplanted the longer format discussions found often before social platforms were invented, one really is just a superficial stream of daily glimpses where the other is more often deeper explorations and conversations of very specific subjects. Obviously there's a fair bit of overlap, but I think part of the frustration we see is that we've all (consciously or unconsciously) realized that social is such a superficial version of personal relationships and human interaction. As was first expressed by @diggity social really does cheapen relationships. But no doubt, as you've hit on, it does have a place.

 

Perhaps social will evolve to further infringe on the qualities and features once reserved for online communities like forums, but for now what I see is a ton of fatigue and frustration. Facebook having the essential monopoly with their acquisition of Instagram, I suspect they'll continue the heavy handed, walled garden type approach they've always maintained. Not allowing users to actually see the content posted by people they chose to follow or even show feeds in chronological order is evidence of that. They sell it as *curating* feeds, but really they're looking to optimize engagements and more significantly, create revenue opportunities by prioritizing posts. Not sure they'll ever get away from it as it ruins the business model.

 

For me however, I think its also a very dangerous thing to allow them to work themselves to being the middle men between relationships. They literally manipulate the flow of things and also maintain the power to kick you out of their walled garden whenever they chose. I was locked out of Facebook for many years before I finally managed to sneak back in via a sort of back door created through a business profile I'd setup. Requests for assistance to their technical support were mostly brushed off with meaningless canned responses. Meanwhile I lost access to a bunch of people I'd reconnected with, as well as got locked out of accessing business tools that went from help to essentially critical.

 

Recently seeing dickhead Zuckerberg testify before Congress for his fuckup with unlawfully sharing user data with whatever company was working for the Democratic party and looking to give HRC a leg up, and then he suddenly closes access to Instagram's API's that had been in use for years. So next thing you know, all those analytics companies that helped businesses understand their followers stop working and after that a handful shut down. Its crazy to think that you can spend years to establish a successful business that probably earns millions in revenue and employs dozens, if not hundreds of people and next thing you know its wiped out overnight. All because they put themselves at the mercy of someone like Zuckerberg.

 

Anyhow, those experiences left a real sour taste in my mouth and made me realize how precarious a situation is when you leave it in the hands of a third party that has a track record of not really giving a fuck about your best interests. How they sideline small businesses and prioritize the presence of those that pay to play. And how just when you begin to understand the rules of the game, they can come along and change them up completely, leaving you high and dry.

 

Considering I was already over social and then more so when I realized it was never actually nearly as fun as what we had going on here on the forum for so many years, I decided to seriously explore the viability of not just continuing to maintain the forum, but actually allocate serious attention and efforts to evolving it forward and seeing if we could reestablish and grow a successful community. Obviously it'll always exist on the fringe, but that also how it was born and honestly, I'm pretty happy with that.

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@Tesseract fuck man, so good to see you posting again. Thanks for sharing all that man. Honestly, I wasn't even aware of some of it.

 

Anyhow, I owe you a proper reply, but also wanted to point you to the a new thread I started on the history of 12ozProphet... You definitely need to chime in over there with some of that back story.

 

http://forum.12ozprophet.com/threads/12ozprophet-history.148224/

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I believe that to move forward, we would need to look back at "internet/forum culture" back in the day.

 

I remember my first time on a forum of any sort. Niketalk was my first forum that I took seriously. I joined out of desperation because I collected shoes. I was completely clueless on how or when drops happened. Etiquette and all that. I'm gonna be honest right now, forums are intimidating places. When you're new to the forum, you get roasted for the small stuff. Even on hypebeast, there was soooo much vitriol towards new members, it could've counted as hate speech. I'm not saying that happens here (often), but I know that people aren't willing to join a forum solely out of fear and intimidation.

 

Forums are completely different from other social platforms because forums act on their own volition, own rules, and they police themselves, which isn't always a good thing. So you kind of have to ask yourself, as a user, would you rather go to an internet equivalent of a dive bar or go to a platform where positivity is a requirement.

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I believe that to move forward, we would need to look back at "internet/forum culture" back in the day.

 

I remember my first time on a forum of any sort. Niketalk was my first forum that I took seriously. I joined out of desperation because I collected shoes. I was completely clueless on how or when drops happened. Etiquette and all that. I'm gonna be honest right now, forums are intimidating places. When you're new to the forum, you get roasted for the small stuff. Even on hypebeast, there was soooo much vitriol towards new members, it could've counted as hate speech. I'm not saying that happens here (often), but I know that people aren't willing to join a forum solely out of fear and intimidation.

 

Forums are completely different from other social platforms because forums act on their own volition, own rules, and they police themselves, which isn't always a good thing. So you kind of have to ask yourself, as a user, would you rather go to an internet equivalent of a dive bar or go to a platform where positivity is a requirement.

 

Fuck off n00b! LOL! Kidding man...

 

No doubt 12oz was legendary for its hazing back in the day! Suppose we can spin this off into a new thread about how soft the younger generation has become, LOL!

 

I believe you get back what you put into something (usually) and if shit comes easy, it most often gets taken for granted.

 

We actually touch on a bit of it in the very first "Weigh In" thread I started here: http://forum.12ozprophet.com/threads/weigh-in-has-political-correctness-amplified-teenage-violence.148218/

 

In any case, cool to see you back on two days in a row. Keep at it and you'll be bast the newb stage before everyone else wakes up and save yourself some tormenting.

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IM GETTING HAAAZED...that's rad LOL

 

but yea, I'm getting back into the swing of things. I haven't made any serious forum contributions in any forum since 2013. I'm happy that there's a place I can actually go that I can say what I want about a subject I'm passionate about.

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@Tesseract @Joker what fucking year is this?!?

Glad to see you both. its fucking 1am and ive got to work tomorrow. will catch up on this thread tomorrow.

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We used to have to take our film to adult sex shops to get developed because the stand alone camera stores would rat you out for graff flicks.

 

Today kids live stream painting tracksides on instagram.

 

The world I grewed up in is gone.

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@6Pennies sent me this article that I think is super relevant to this discussion: https://theoutline.com/post/4716/how-everything-on-the-internet-became-clickbait

 

It essentially breaks down the specific strategy the media uses to engage an audience in a very straight forward and easy to understand way. Like showing you the wizard is actually some shlep pulling cranks behind the curtain. Having been a part of a media network via 12oz and as a consultant for many years, I can tell you that what they're saying is absolutely trie and then some.

 

Being entirely honest, I've never been great at scale. My expertise was always most effective when applied highly targeted and directionally, but that said I still did okay until I gave up interest on thinking I wanted to run a big media platform. Truth is, it basically turned my stomach. Allocating resources and real effort to cover topics I didn't give a shit about or spotlight people I'd likely not even sit and sip a coffee with... Just had issues reconcile that since my goals were never the clear pursuit of money. In fact, I've always believed revenue to be a by product to a job well done and that if I'm passionate about something, I can likely do a pretty good job with it. So sitting around discussing click bait strategies like intentionally putting mistakes into stories or purposely omitting obvious data so users comment and then argue in comments so you can turn one page view into a dozen when they're refreshing the page looking at the latest comment (meanwhile loading ads that are bulk sold and monetized via impressions), was something I couldn't stomach anymore. Those stupid "Here's the Top 50 ________" stories are nothing more than a simple tool to generate cheap content that has high return rates. They purposely leave obvious shit out of the top spot so readers will debate why it wasn't added. Plus whatever that wasn't included, is the foundation for the followup, "And Here's The Pick's That Didn't Make It" post that just fans the flame of debate in the comments section so collectively, you've taken one stupid story, turned it into two and then increased it's impressions exponentially by engineering fights in the comment section.

 

Now just think if these were just basic tactics that we're being explored and deployed by stupid sneaker and hype sights, you have no idea how nefarious it gets at the main stream media level.

 

Anyhow, click the link and read it. If you get that far and it's making sense, then go listen to this podcast for a quick lesson on how the same tactics are used with little modification to keep politicians in power: http://www.thesurvivalpodcast.com/the-great-lie-of-dichotomy

 

*That podcast honestly should be a new thread as its an entire discussion on its own. But seriously, go listen and then get back to me with your opinion.

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As full on millennial I think I can add something to this.

 

I've had a social media account since the 6th grade, first Myspace and random forums, then Facebook then IG and Twitter. As long as I've cognitively placed importance on "social relationship" there's probably been a social network to build them on. In other words, a world with social media is really the only one I know.

 

It's impossible for me to compare to before my time, but I have watched as social has swelled to a level where it now just consumes itself. It's the sheer size and reach that I see as the problem. At some point it went from "let's connect with like minded people" to "let's connect with as many people as possible." What got lost was the value and community feel that was what made 12oz so dope.

 

I was definitely late to the peak 12oz community, probably 2007, but it still played a huge role in my graffiti and cultural up bringing. Interacting with and learning from people in partyinginportland, sketch threads, The Yard, Chanel Zero etc. felt like being part of an underground community. You can't get that on IG. It's to difficult to segment your audience on the platforms, so instead of passing through the grapevine it's shouted from the mountain tops. everyone is so eager to prove that they're in the know that keeping something lowkey has no value. Kind of ironic considering all the Privacy concerns people claim to have.

 

I'm not on Reddit all that much, but I have been able to find similar types of online communities on Twitter, mostly concerning sports. The problem there again is that you're shouting into a room full of other conversations and hoping someone hears you. It's less concentrated and in-depth for the most part, and character limits don't help.

 

The other major shift is the speed at which all of this is happening, made possible by improved internet, access, and devices. Having worked in digital publishing (including the 12oz Homepage) the rate at which content is consumed and turned over is incredible. It's made it difficult to have enough time to form real, thoughtfully constructed opinions on anything before the moment passes, meaning people are out here shooting off takes as they think of them. Sure there's more conversation and people talking, but it's less substantial. I'm reading Future Shock right now, and even though it was published in 1970 it's still incredibly prescient and relevant in talking about the rate of change and the temporary nature of modern life.

 

Can forums come back? Maybe... I know I feel fatigued and less and less interested in what is popping up on my feeds. Maybe a platform that's more focused and unique is the solution.

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This is weird.

 

Could forums come back? Sure why not. Tons of niche things have their own little communities.

 

You're always going to have people who like to drink Bud Light, but you will always have people who want locally sourced artisanal sour beer.

 

Think Reddit / Facebook being Bud Light, and this place being the Artisanal beer.

 

Smaller markets, but people who are really into it will seek it out, and gather, and make memes.

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This is weird.

 

Could forums come back? Sure why not. Tons of niche things have their own little communities.

 

You're always going to have people who like to drink Bud Light, but you will always have people who want locally sourced artisanal sour beer.

 

Think Reddit / Facebook being Bud Light, and this place being the Artisanal beer.

 

Smaller markets, but people who are really into it will seek it out, and gather, and make memes.

 

and an acquired taste

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and make memes.

 

LOL! We were steady making memes years before that was even a word. Actually tried to restart the Kaws Chomper thread a while back, but the young bucks on here at the time had no appreciation for the lolz.

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Modern social media is taking the "drink from the firehose" approach at blasting you with things to click on.... and EVERYTHING makes money on the internet unless there is someone behind it specifically not making money.

 

I thought Myspace was cool when you could inject javascript in posts on peoples' pages to play music and make tables that were gigantic w * h and would block out the entire profile page w/ a white block basically.

 

In fact you used to be able to embed music on this forum w/ javascript lol. That was always a fun time when people would be posting saying, my computer plays this weird music every time i come to this thread, and it's only happening on page 5....

 

Lol meanwhile a few knucklehead members here that knew what was going on were probably losing their shit spilling their mountain dew and doritos. THAT is what I think is lost with the drink from a firehose social media approach. Someone mentioned here in another thread really well, "everyone is now accustomed to watching a ton of movie trailers and nobody takes the time to watch a movie anymore."

 

I think it's making society dumber to not have full conversations where people have to actually think to participate. I think it's also created the "ghosting" we see so often in society now. I'm talking about the concept where people just ignore things or other peoples attempts to communicate. I think people are so used to sifting through bs and determining that a large amount of what they're looking at is bs they don't care about.... that they kind of start "viewing the world through those same rose colored lenses." So what you get are people that have very lacking social skills in real life and are very prone to being flaky about their word. It's almost like the presence of so many "lies" online has created a society that believes in lies being everywhere and that it is normal for people to not keep their word. When you believe that "most people" are a certain way, you can feel comforted with being that way yourself because you're "falling in line". I'd like to hear other peoples' perspective on that.

 

Growing up keeping my word was a very important thing for me to learn and was instilled in me from a young age. I feel like a lot of people have lost that.

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I think it's making society dumber to not have full conversations where people have to actually think to participate. I think it's also created the "ghosting" we see so often in society now. I'm talking about the concept where people just ignore things or other peoples attempts to communicate. I think people are so used to sifting through bs and determining that a large amount of what they're looking at is bs they don't care about.... that they kind of start "viewing the world through those same rose colored lenses." So what you get are people that have very lacking social skills in real life and are very prone to being flaky about their word.

 

I'm going to go out on a limb here, from a higher education perspective, this current generation does not know how to read critically nor write effectively and they do not care to either.....

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https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2017/09/has-the-smartphone-destroyed-a-generation/534198/

 

I have not gone any further into social media than having a LinkedIn account, so I do not really know what sort of content is out there but I very much miss the days when people got online and used fake names to talk about things they actually had expertise in, compared to using real names to spout off about everything. I used to visit another forum related to my work and it was an impressive conversation which is now extinguished, smoldering at best.

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I'm going to go out on a limb here, from a higher education perspective, this current generation does not know how to read critically nor write effectively and they do not care to either.....

 

I'm gonna expand on that thought. Social media creates tribes. People with the same way of thinking, same school of thought, and from how they type, their own vernacular also.

And this kind of environment creates an echo chamber. A group of people yelling out the same talking points, no real criticism, and no real valid points. This is dangerous because it breeds an extreme form of tribalism based on "us vs them" mentality, that would eventually turn to hate. 4chan is that way, facebook groups, and even some subreddits operate on that paradigm.

12oz can claim to be a tribe, but we don't reserve judgement and we call out the bullshit. We forgive and forget also. We're not a perfect platform but we don't go to extremes to defend a moot or useless point just to advance our own shit.

 

The "dumb" people we hate on social media, some of them have a massive following. That's the scary part. The people who influence others.

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I'm going to go out on a limb here, from a higher education perspective, this current generation does not know how to read critically nor write effectively and they do not care to either.....

 

There's a ton of truth to this and we've discussed it a bit via text. Honestly its such an important topic, I'm wondering if we should start a thread on just this. Lot of people don't even know what the word "rhetoric" means, let alone how its applied. Likewise, it would seem we've been conditioned to lose the ability for critical thought, rigor and analysis and especially the ability to debate subjects in the classical / scholarly sense. Now, it appears more about picking a team, blindly following the position and posturing that team subscribes to and then adhering to the dichotomy that anyone not on your team is the enemy and should thus be vilified at any and all opportunities.

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https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2017/09/has-the-smartphone-destroyed-a-generation/534198/

 

I have not gone any further into social media than having a LinkedIn account, so I do not really know what sort of content is out there but I very much miss the days when people got online and used fake names to talk about things they actually had expertise in, compared to using real names to spout off about everything. I used to visit another forum related to my work and it was an impressive conversation which is now extinguished, smoldering at best.

 

100% man, couldn't have said this better. Really great comment, just bumped you to VIP.

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I'm gonna expand on that thought. Social media creates tribes. People with the same way of thinking, same school of thought, and from how they type, their own vernacular also.

And this kind of environment creates an echo chamber. A group of people yelling out the same talking points, no real criticism, and no real valid points. This is dangerous because it breeds an extreme form of tribalism based on "us vs them" mentality, that would eventually turn to hate. 4chan is that way, facebook groups, and even some subreddits operate on that paradigm.

12oz can claim to be a tribe, but we don't reserve judgement and we call out the bullshit. We forgive and forget also. We're not a perfect platform but we don't go to extremes to defend a moot or useless point just to advance our own shit.

 

The "dumb" people we hate on social media, some of them have a massive following. That's the scary part. The people who influence others.

 

I almost entirely agree with what you've said here, though I do not believe that social media creates tribes. Rather, I believe that it amplifies and solidifies the tribes that are already being created in the real world. See the comment before this last one... People are bing conditioned to feel a need to join a team (tribe might be a better word). It no doubt plays into the psychology behind self identification amongst other things, but social platforms have certainly contributed in a large way and has become a primary tool and maintaining and enhancing the dichotomy. Makes it super easy to rally and your analogy of an "echo chamber" is accurate in that it allows that dynamic to build into a crescendo.

 

Again, I encourage all to listen to this podcast for a very great discussion on that very subject: http://www.thesurvivalpodcast.com/the-great-lie-of-dichotomy

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@Tesseract - I mean, every day I'm acting like it's 1985 and I have zero responsibilities other than to play Graffiti, bikes, and skateboards, but I'm really trying to live in the present... which I'm pretty sure is 2007.
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I'm going to try to explain why I like Instagram, and why I hate it. I doubt I will make any sense.

 

Why I like Instagram:

 

There's something novel about touching an app icon and instantly being transported to the days news with regards to all of your friends, and folks whom you admire. I suppose "news" isn't really the best word as you're not really learning anything other than seeing that your friend is in Hawaii... again. I guess a better description would be it's a great way to see the most important thing your friend did that day, unless it's Thursday, then it's what they did that day fifteen years ago. Still, it's nice to see what folks are up to in a grouped thread that I can flip through in ten minutes and be caught up. Then if I see Dana later in the week I can ask about the twelve images of wine tasting she posted (as you can tell, I might like this but I'm also slightly jaded to the content). As an artist who make a supplemental income from his art, I like that I share new work (or old) and have folks who are interested reach out with inquiries. It's kinda nice. And as a collector of art I like that I can see new works from artists I follow and have the opportunity to purchase their work.

 

Why I hate Instagram:

Selfies, photos of your pets, political and social soap boxing, and content I'm too old to understand. I get it... you love your dog more than anything in the world, but do you really need to post the same fucking photo of it laying on the floor in the sun every other day? As mentioned above, the Tribes siding has become so important that if you haven't chosen which Tribe you belong to then you should be wiped from the earth. Some folks use social media to be extremely hateful and disruptive, and it's kind of boring. No amount of rational reasoning reaches them and it eventually leads to threats on your life... which is awesome.

 

If it weren't for my art I wouldn't be on Instagram at all. I've grown so bored with it.

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@Joker more interesting points, though I disagree with some of it this time around. I used to freakin hate when people posted pictures of their food. As if what they're eating matters in any way 99.9% of the time. Selfies were another that could easily get under my skin most of the time. Now I actually yearn for those days because just when I thought social media couldn't get any worse, we find ourselves in the era of "political and social soap boxing" as you so eloquently put it. Looping back to my my last couple posts in here, and again referencing that great lies of dichotomy podcast, I think it's super troubling that people are foregoing actually reading into or investigating a topic or event, before joining the mob that aligns with whatever tribe they've decided to attach to. I'll take the same pictures of a pet lying in the sun every day of the week and 3x on Sunday over reposted memes on social / political issues that at best are far too shallow to ever hope to encapsulate most subjects and at worst (and often most likely) are just agenda driven misinformation, half truths or all out lies that are engineered to pull on heart strings and compel people to join the mob and further fan the flames of discontent and division.

 

But that being said, this thread is making me realize with more clarity that a large part of my frustration (and I can only assume the frustration of many others) could stem from the fact that we've allowed ourselves to believe that social media was a replacement for the social dialogue and the deeper online discussions we raised ourselves on when in fact, its two totally different things. Because one came to over shadow and nearly make extinct the other, we embraced it as a replacement, when looking back now its becoming more clear that they share little in common. Especially in regards to maintaining meaningful relationships and engagement with people we've gone out of our way to try and stay connected to. Very ironic when you consider it like this.

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@misteraven I can agree with you on that. I'd rather skim past twenty dog photos than skim past one political or socially charged post.

 

I love what you said about people not doing any research into what they've read, but instead blindly reposting and standing up for something just because it falls in line with their beliefs. This is one of the biggest reasons I quit Facebook. A handful of friends, and a few family members, constantly... fucking every day, several times a day, posted the most politically and socially hateful shit against Trump, Obama, Hillary, or whomever, or something related to terrorism, terrorists, wealthy white men, African Americans, or Latinos... you name it, they posted it. Every time I was kind of blown away by the 'articles' and they always seemed so unreal, just full of bullshit. I would always do some research online because I couldn't believe what I had just read, and always found out that the shit was completely fabricated, and almost always using images from something unrelated (half the time from another country) to engage the reader. When I would call them out on their posts it would be crickets in response. I would share links to factcheck.org or a number of other fact checking websites that would debunk their posts. Eventually one friend reached out through the FB instant messenger and asked to me to stop replying to his posts with my bullshit, that he and his friends don't appreciate it. I always replied that I was just looking for the truth... it's not that hard.

 

I've found that if the story sounds way too fucked up to be true, it usually is. They always seemed to be a skewed story that further ignites the poster's agenda. No one wants to do the leg work anymore...

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@Joker, yes indeed. I don't even trust half the fact check sites if any, after fining that one of the main ones often referenced was owned by a couple that were also fund raisers for HRC. Found articles talking about how they really had no directly hired staff and mostly ran the business from their kitchen table. As I looked a little deeper into it, it seemed that they chose to mostly focus on debunking stories that all pointed towards benefitting HRC, so threw in the towel on even bothering with third party fact checking. Instead, I've consolidated down what I care about and chose to take a stand on and learn as much as I can about that specific subject. I don't generally give much thought to editorial opinion, pro or con and instead drill down to the source of where the data comes from and how the data is gathered. I'm simplifying it a bit, but point is nobody can follow all these topics and then investigate all the angles to each.

 

Plus I personally maintain a purposefully independent position of skepticism. My belief is that virtually everyone has an agenda (myself included) and that government power is taken directly from individual freedom. There's few that can argue that politics and the process of governing doesn't boil down to being about power over people. The pursuit of power is a dynamic system, constantly in flux. You either take it or give it up, but it rarely maintain in equilibrium (subject for another thread). My agenda is to simply spark conversation and promote evidence based exploration and thought, as well as non-emotional, intelligent and insightful discussion and debate. I honestly don't care what side a person sits on, even if its opposes my own position, so long as they take the time to genuinely understand the topic and can put forth a reasonable argument based upon actual, unbiased evidence. I believe we can agree to disagree and still respect each other as human beings and as fellow Americans and that honest dialogue and debate benefits all of us. Which circles this conversation back to why I think its important to revive this forum and why its also valuable when we sit here and truly explore and discuss important topics out in the open.

 

It really scares the shit out of me to see what things have become... How completely divided people are these days, while also being completely ignorant to the true catalysts behind so much of the discourse they're all so busy fighting over. The fact that the concept of "fake news" even serves to dilute questioning and hide shit in plain site. It's interesting to note how closely it parallels the coining of the "conspiracy theory", which was promoted after the assassination of JFK to helped quell the questioning of the *official record* released in the Warren Report. How effectively they got the nation to stop questioning the narrative being released or be accused of being a tin foil hat wearing *conspiracy theorist*. I see "fake news" as the exact same thing, even though if you were to actually look at it, most of the time its actually editorial opinion published by news organizations owned by individuals that are very actively political.

 

Anyhow, I'm straying off topic, but there's definitely overlap.

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