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Forum Post: A lot of the things I am seeing here are starting to make sense, please advise

Posted 2 years ago on March 24, 2012, 12:55 a.m. EST by extroll (47)
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

Hello. I used to be a rather aggressive troll on this site, until I actually started reading and trying to understand some of the arguments on the other side. What advice would you give to someone who is considering switching ideological sides? Is it okay to consider the possibility that the other side might have some reasonable points?

37 Comments

37 Comments


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[-] 4 points by Phanya2011 (908) from Tucson, AZ 2 years ago

I guess the main thing you have to do, as do we all, is be certain of what we actually believe to be true. Where did our beliefs come from? How much information do we have to support those beliefs? If a question is always answered with a pat phrase (talking point), delve into the substance, seek proof of the efficacy of the argument. Once we are clear in what we believe, then we can look at other beliefs and see whether they are against our own, or alongside our own, or even in sync with our own. I disagree with Underdog that you have to "earn our trust," but you probably will be ignored by some and heard by others, as are we all. The important thing for all of us is to allow for other points of view, discussion (not rants) of the differences, and awareness of common goals. Demonizing is harmful and dangerous, as it preempts future understanding (Once I deem an idea "evil," I would be "evil" if I were to consider it). I would be interested in hearing exactly what changed in your thinking, as I have never been a true believer of any ideology. It seems to involve self-identification, such that an attack on your ideology is an attack on your person. Your thoughts?

[-] 1 points by extroll (47) 2 years ago

Well, a lot of the people on here seem to espouse a heavy collective identity. If you say anything critical of someone on their side, it must mean you are from the other side. I don't know, it just seems to make sense.

[-] 3 points by Phanya2011 (908) from Tucson, AZ 2 years ago

Which is why those of us who can should rise above the method of demonizing and be the way we want others to be as often as we can -- hear what is said, consider it and respectfully disagree, or agree, as the case may be. Either of which could spark an interesting discussion if both parties are reasonable. If it does not appear to one that the other is reasonable, then the discussion can end, again, respectfully.

[-] 1 points by extroll (47) 2 years ago

Good point. It was starting to seem like the only way for people to develop conclusions about anything was to listen to the party leaders and the most self interested demagogues pushing an agenda they agreed with and parrot everything they said.

[-] 2 points by shadz66 (19985) 2 years ago

To answer your question : "What advice would you give to someone who is considering switching ideological sides ?" - I would (inter alia) sincerely recommend that one watch the following award winning documentary film and read the linked article, in order to acquaint oneself with exactly what 'OWS' and this forum are all about :

fiat lux et fiat justitia ...

[-] 1 points by Odin (583) 2 years ago

"If you say anything critical...it must mean that you are on the other side.." That's because some of the people who are trying to defang this movement are using more sophisticated means to do so, than the earlier trolls, who were easy to spot. I have the suspected, insidious, 2nd generation trolls classified into four categories, and all in their own little ways want to destroy the effectiveness of this movement. I compare notes with perhaps two trusted cyber friends here too. Am I being overly concerned? No, not if you care about the success of this struggle that we are in, as I do.

[-] 3 points by bensdad (8977) 2 years ago

I'd be curious about what you are switching from?
Your vagueness sounds very trolly

[-] 0 points by extroll (47) 2 years ago

It doesn't matter. Don't see the boogeyman behind every rock.

Maybe that was the whole point of being vague. Maybe I am trying to expose people's internal biases. The fact that you are trying to figure out which side I am coming to or from reveals internal bias. You are trying to make a judgement based on ideological sides, instead of facing the issue posed.

The whole point is, is it okay to be wrong? Sometimes I feel like I am betraying my "side" whatever that is, if I change my mind about something or if something other than what I heard from the party leaders seems to make sense.

Do I have to die with the same political opinions I had in college?

[-] 1 points by Builder (4202) 2 years ago

The only constant is change. I was trolling on a popular US debate site, and the admin decided to make me a moderator, because my input increased traffic. Go figure.

Self-education is what we are left with when the mainstream curriculum is all about dumbing down the population. If you didn't get at least something out of your time here, you'd have to justify to yourself why you keep coming back, yes?

[-] 2 points by extroll (47) 2 years ago

When did I say I never got anything out of coming here?

I think everyone who visits this site for any period of time gets something. People on all sides have honed their debate skills, which is vital for everyone to do. People shouldn't be ideologically shielded from the "Other side". It is good to test your beliefs, and there is little better way of doing that than to throw them at people who are automatically inclined to argue with them.

The only times people on this site get angry and start name-calling wars are when they have their ideological beliefs shaken.

[-] 1 points by Builder (4202) 2 years ago

Getting angry with a keyboard is such a frustrating endeavour to my mind.

What kind of change/s would you like to make in your own world, before confronting the obvious changes you see that are needed in the corporate/consumer/capitalist environs surrounding you in the US of A?

[-] 1 points by extroll (47) 2 years ago

FYI, I'm not angry, and I didn't think you were either. I just liked the last statement I made and decided to bold it.

My own world? Like, personal world? I feel pretty much in control of that. That is all spiritual, so having a good relationship with Jesus takes control of that stuff. Pretty much everything related to my personal condition involves my overall happiness, my reason for being on the earth, et cetera. I think (and hope) I could be just as happy and content as I am now no matter what economic condition I am in, physical condition or health, or if I had been thrown into jail by some oppressive regime. Being content with what you have is key to solving pretty much all other problems.

I don't know. Maybe that's not even what you were asking.

[-] 1 points by Builder (4202) 2 years ago

You pretty much covered it. Not too heavy on the Jesus stuff, which is good.

I'm not one to log onto a site to vent or rage. I like to read, and I like to watch the tone and direction of sites such as this one.

I live in the northwest of Western Australia, which is so big, it swallows Texas many times over. Love living remote, but also love being able to participate in sites such as this one.

[-] 1 points by Odin (583) 2 years ago

In Alaska they say that if Texas pisses them off, they are going to break Ak in half so that it will then be the third largest state. lol

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[-] 3 points by Underdog (2971) from Clermont, FL 2 years ago

People certainly have the right to change their minds as they grow. Your single biggest obstacle will be to prove your alligence to the movement by a long history of input which clearly demonstrates it. Unfortunately for you, people will be much more than a little cautious under the assumption of "once a troll, always a troll". Once trust is broken, it takes a very long time to regain it.. People will wonder if you are laying in wait to spring a subtle trap that proves troll business as usual and a big waste of everyone's precious time.

Let me be the first to extend a cautious hand of friendship. But you really have your work cut out for you.

[-] 2 points by amanofnoimportance (82) from Orlando, FL 2 years ago

You've already changed. This might sound unproductive of me to say, but think about it.

Think about what you said and thought then.

Think about what you say and do now.

Don't "switch sides." Erase the boundaries.

[-] 2 points by PandoraK (1678) 2 years ago

If one can get past the name calling, the extremism expounding, sure both sides have points worth consideration.

Communication is a grand thing, we just have to all learn to take turns doing the listening part.

[-] 1 points by hchc (3297) from Tampa, FL 2 years ago

To those that actually think...yes.

To the majority on this site....No.

[-] 0 points by extroll (47) 2 years ago

Plenty of people on this site think, it's just that most people will only think about things that agree with their predetermined conclusions.

[-] 1 points by JadedGem (895) 2 years ago

Well, I like to watch Link TV and Free Speech TV and listen to people speak. Its not all about Occupy but it presents a wide range of things not addressed in corporate news and programing. It is very slanted in favor of the left but they are not actively trying to deceive people the way Fox News does. They are trying to bring information to people. Knowledge is what you were lacking and lots of the opposition is lacking. Its really not entirely your fault you thought the way you did. It was quite reasonable with the information that was available to you.

[-] 1 points by extroll (47) 2 years ago

Is it possible we are all being deceived?

What makes you sure your source is fairer than any other because it confirms your predetermined conclusions?

It just seems like every news source has an agenda these days.

[-] 2 points by Normalperson1 (119) from Indianapolis, IN 2 years ago

Here is a fact. Both sides are wrong and both sides are right. The ideological one's only see problems on the other side and point out those problems as they see it and will never admit their sides problems. In fact to simply say you disagree with them makes you the enemy. To understand any side you need to read and watch both sides. "I" like FOX NEWS, but i also watch MSNBC and CNN. also I watch democracy now.

[-] 1 points by forjustice (178) from Kearney, NE 2 years ago

I'd start with continuing education. Reading any forum will not make you fully informed.

Here's a video I like to initially get people interested in Occupy. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mohwrs3yp7o

Here's "Gasland", a longer documentary that should increase your desire for change. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E61okw2RlzE

Research bills. I'd start with NAFTA chapter 11.

[-] 1 points by extroll (47) 2 years ago

Participating in a forum could make someone pretty well informed, I think. Not informed news-wise, but ideologically. It seems like every single person gets their entire ideology from whichever party leaders fulfill their predetermined conclusions, instead of developing an ideology based on science, fairness, and principle.

After you've done that, you become immune to making irrational impassioned judgements about issues based on shaded information.

[-] 1 points by forjustice (178) from Kearney, NE 2 years ago

A forum is a great start and and important piece. Make sure to look up some of the things that are talked about though.

[-] 0 points by Odin (583) 2 years ago

Anyone that posesses the least bit of critical thinking skills knows that this rotten, self-serving system has to to be removed. There are no nuances to that.

[+] -6 points by DKAtoday (28267) from Coon Rapids, MN 2 years ago

Why are those who are in power so blind to the health and prosperity that is available for all just at the doing of the necessary maintenance of society of infrastructure of life? Expenditures need to be made and will always need to be made - not just for progress but just in maintaining a stable world.

I mean the expenditure is always there regardless of the use it is put to. We need to get off of fossil fuel for our health. The health of our environment the health of our bodies the health of our societies.

This is a truth - Change.

Change happens whether you want it or not.

Change Happens.

Why can we not understand and accept this basic Truth?

Then instead of groaning at the work ahead of us - as the work was already there to begin with. Why can we not look with enthusiasm at the possibility's for improvement that we can accomplish along the way? The work must be done - why can we not be positive about it?

The rich can still be rich. The poor need not be in poverty. The middle class need not be struggling day to day either.

We have the ability to do so much - and yet we fight and kick and scream. What is wrong with us? We should all be able to see a better world and the steps to take in getting there.

Why are we still fucking around?

Hopefully these issues will be addressed as we move forward in our current confrontation with greed corruption and crime.

So I pray.

[-] 1 points by Odin (583) 2 years ago

Agreed, and that external "expenditure" goes into all areas of society from from parents not being able to be there for their kids because they are struggling to keep a roof over their heads, to the harmful effects of global warming. One way, or the other, we all pay for it. The key is to not spend the money in fixing things, but rather in preventing them from happening in the first place.

[+] -5 points by DKAtoday (28267) from Coon Rapids, MN 2 years ago

Yes - we must stop running around and putting out fires that should never have happened in the 1st place. Prevention through due diligence. A living wage for all workers that allows them to work sane hours and have a family life. No colossal clean-up efforts due to bad business. Investment in clean energy to mitigate the harm we are doing to the environment and to stop poisoning ourselves. Sane limits on executive pay packages to help the earnings of a company be reinvested in the company and economy. So much to be changed to head towards health in life health in society health in the world. And it all comes back to one little item dealing with greed.

[-] 1 points by Odin (583) 2 years ago

We're on the same page on this one DK. Off to NYC for me now...an OWS Astoria picnic, and then Bryant Park in soliarity for the people of Montreal. See ya.

[+] -5 points by DKAtoday (28267) from Coon Rapids, MN 2 years ago

Have a good day. Say hi to the kids.

[-] 1 points by Odin (583) 2 years ago

Will do. Thanks.

[-] 1 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 2 years ago

what about NAFTA chapter 11 ?

[-] 2 points by forjustice (178) from Kearney, NE 2 years ago

It make it so companies can sue governments for passing laws that compromise their investments. A company can sue the government for passing laws to protect it's people if that law would loose that company money. A very clear example of a law that serves the 1% over the 99%, that not enough people know about.

[-] 1 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 2 years ago

indeed

[-] 1 points by RedSkyMorning (220) 2 years ago

Go to the GeorgeWashingtons blog and read his stuff. He's nonpartisan and an intellectual heavyweight. Everything is well cited.

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[-] 0 points by Secretariat (33) 2 years ago

""NATO is staging "Massacre of Christians in Syria by Muslims", by bringing Al Qaida and other radical Islamists to Syria, in order to initiate a war, where they can nuke Iran, give a lesson to rising China, control Middle East oil resources, and allow some people to print as much money as they wish by using petrodollars, so they can control the society and the world through their wealth and power. This will also allow capitalism to continue by breaking the Eastern and the Socialist spirituality which is growing around the world and which is the biggest threat to capitalist ruling elite. ""