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Author Topic: Time for Introduction threads
KnightEnder
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Welcome, to OA Child. Please remember that this is mostly an adult forum and I/we apologize if we are too crude. It might help if you reminded us once an a while that younger people are members tooo.

Welcome to OA. Can't wait to hear your "strong political views", fire way! And don't worry, most of the American born members here on OA can't speak or write english very well either.

KE

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Zyne
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quote:
Hey all! I'm only 16 (hence the child), quite an idealist (hence the wide-eyed) and I ask an awful lot of questions (hence the wonder.)
Yes, but that doesn't explain the underscores. Tricky...

Don't let the conservatives get to you. They're wrong. And check out Phillip K. Dick, I think that you'll like him.

quote:
How far down the rabbit hole do we want to go?
See no rabbit hole, hear no rabbit hole, get no rabbit hole dirt in mouth.
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javelin
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quote:
Don't let the conservatives get to you. They're wrong.
Be careful about a group of people who say this and get pissed off at others for being "close-minded" [Big Grin]
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Kalami
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Hi, I'm Kalami, I'm a college junior at a small private school. It's a pretty unique school - we do only the Great Books for all four years (everyone takes the same classes), and all classes are held as small seminars (15-18 people). At the moment I'm studying Aristotle, Descartes, Paschal, Galileo...all from the original texts, no textbook summaries. I'm a Catholic, Republican (though my knowledge of politics is pretty lacking at the moment) my interests are philosophy, ethics, and ping pong (actually, I just learned how to play last week so now I'm kind of obsessed with it now!). I watch alot of movies but not much tv...my favorites bands at the moment are Keane and Aqualung...

I heard about this site from my brother, checked it out, and lots of things about it intrigued me - especially the variety of opinions and high level of intelligence of the members. So...I joined! It's good to be here!

Oh and by the way, I've read most of OSC's books, and loved them.

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WarrsawPact
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This site sure attracts a lot of Catholics (current and past).

Welcome to all the recent new Ornerians. "Wide-eyed wonder child," don't worry about being young -- I'm young (20 now, but I started out on Ornery two years ago) and widely considered to be pretty smart too. And I hold my own. How you behave is much more important, especially on the internet, than how old you are.

What you should worry about is being an idealist. When idealists get a beating from a corner of reality they didn't want to look at, it's not a pretty sight.

Idealists are also less likely, in my opinion, to actually practice the humility required to admit that they may be mistaken. True pragmatists can't help but pay attention to inconsistencies in their view of reality when they become apparent, and they try to learn from those they disagree with. I, for example, actively seek out the opinions of those who disagree with me, and value my resourceful opponents in many cases more than I value friends. Only a pragmatist allows his opponents to make him stronger.

But why would an idealist need to compromise, or become familiar with the modes of thinking of his opponents? An idealist has already made up his mind, and so is immovable.

I'd also point to the many times in history that travesties have been visited on the world by armies of idealists. It is difficult to motivate large groups of pragmatists to do something crazy (because you can't fool all the people all the time), but anyone can convince groups of idealists to ignore either the ends or the means.

Kalami - I'm probably the opposite of you in my reading. I don't read the Great Books, though I'm somewhat familiar with several of the "great" dead men. Should be interesting to watch your posts.

[ October 27, 2005, 01:50 AM: Message edited by: WarrsawPact ]

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Paladine
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Welcome aboard, all. [Wink]
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Kalami
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WarsawPact, you should check out those "great dead men" sometime. They've got alot more wisdom than I would have ever thought possible. And it's incredibly helpful to have read them before starting the moderns (which I'll be starting next semester), because studying philosophy in basic chronological order makes understanding the ideas and where they're coming from a heck of alot easier. You get a bird's eye view of human thought through the millenia... But at the moment, I've read mostly ancients, and very little of the moderns, so I apologize if my lack of knowledge in that area is scanty. I won't be getting to the moderns til next semseter this year and next year.

So kind of reading have you done? What books do you like?

And thanks for the welcome, Paladine!

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WarrsawPact
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Recent books I've read that I really like:

"The Transparent Society" by David Brin
and I absolutely adore "The Shield of Achilles" by Philip Bobbitt. Must-read.

quote:
studying philosophy in basic chronological order makes understanding the ideas and where they're coming from a heck of alot easier
Meh. I understood what I was being taught in philosophy/ethics, and I made a spectacular show tearing down the Greats in my Honors Ethics class. So good a show that I just had my professor from that class write a "stellar" recommendation for me.

I'm a hard determinist, which is absurdly unpopular, but I defend it very competently.

I've got some respect for some great dead men from the old days, like Pericles, but most of the lot were worthless from what I saw. Every philosophy, when you broke it down, assumed and identified a Good... in other words, they were moralist tracts, no different in that regard than so many religious texts.
The best thing that came out of those Greats was the neo-Western propensity for questioning and skepticism. That was absolutely fundamental, a method and practice that has made human civilization remarkably sane.

The rest of what I've read so far was trash.
Maybe you, having some real experience, could point me towards the good stuff.

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Paladine
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Kalami-

Do you go to school down at St. John's? I was looking into it myself, but unfortunately decided to settle for something a bit more conventional. It looked and sounded quite fascinating though. [Wink]

-----------------------------------------------

WP-

Maybe these are new threads, but what the hell...

quote:
What you should worry about is being an idealist. When idealists get a beating from a corner of reality they didn't want to look at, it's not a pretty sight.

Idealists are also less likely, in my opinion, to actually practice the humility required to admit that they may be mistaken. True pragmatists can't help but pay attention to inconsistencies in their view of reality when they become apparent, and they try to learn from those they disagree with. I, for example, actively seek out the opinions of those who disagree with me, and value my resourceful opponents in many cases more than I value friends. Only a pragmatist allows his opponents to make him stronger.

But why would an idealist need to compromise, or become familiar with the modes of thinking of his opponents? An idealist has already made up his mind, and so is immovable.

I'd also point to the many times in history that travesties have been visited on the world by armies of idealists. It is difficult to motivate large groups of pragmatists to do something crazy (because you can't fool all the people all the time), but anyone can convince groups of idealists to ignore either the ends or the means.

I don't find either of these labels to be particularly helpful. Idealism and pragmatism exist, as most things do, on a continuum. It's quite possible (and I'd argue desireable) to hold a generally pragmatic worldview that is informed by ideals and principles. It seems to me that an absolute insistance on pragmatism at the expense of idealism is itself idealistic (in the undesireable sense of the term), and accordingly, to be avoided by an avowed pragmatist. [Wink]

quote:
I'm a hard determinist, which is absurdly unpopular, but I defend it very competently.
I'd like to see a thread on this one. If you care to, explain your position here and perhaps we'll have a go at it.

quote:
Every philosophy, when you broke it down, assumed and identified a Good... in other words, they were moralist tracts, no different in that regard than so many religious texts.
Human thought and belief are fundamentally evaluative functions that require some assumed "good" from which to build, even if said "good" is simply a matter of what you would call utility. To dismiss a thought because it assumes certain things to be "good" is to dismiss all thought.
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WarrsawPact
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Making a new thread now.
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Kalami
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quote:
Human thought and belief are fundamentally evaluative functions that require some assumed "good" from which to build, even if said "good" is simply a matter of what you would call utility. To dismiss a thought because it assumes certain things to be "good" is to dismiss all thought.
Exactly. To say that men search the good is not to make any claims about religion or ethics.

Actually, Paladine, the school I'm going to is very similar to St. John's. Thomas Aquinas College in Southern California...heard of it? Alot of our founders used to be professors or students at St. Johns, as a matter of fact.

[ October 28, 2005, 03:18 PM: Message edited by: Kalami ]

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cperry
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I considered St. John's when I was a junior/senior making up my mind and not knowing where my nat'l merit $ would count the most. It would have been a good choice. I regret not trying to make it work.
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FIJC
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quote:
"Actually, Paladine, the school I'm going to is very similar to St. John's. Thomas Aquinas College in Southern California...heard of it? Alot of our founders used to be professors or students at St. Johns, as a matter of fact."
LOL, who hasn't heard of Thomas Aquinas College? [Smile] I used to interact a lot with Thomas Aquinas students back in the day (1999-2003) when I used to attend the YAF (Young America's Foundation) conferences in DC. Thomas Aquinas students were always the overly brainy ones. [Big Grin]
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Kalami
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Lol! Too much Aristotle does strange things to the mind... [Smile]
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KnightEnder
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FIJC, you are too young to have had a "back in the day". It's more like "the other day". [Wink]

KE

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FIJC
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[quote["FIJC, you are too young to have had a "back in the day". It's more like "the other day".

KE"[/quote]

Yeah, I know that was really only a few years ago...but I think I am a different person from then. Even from a year ago, my interests have changed and I have grown up a lot.

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KnightEnder
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That's great FIJC. Sounds like you are growing and changing. Not a lot of people do that. Not enough people work/think about who they are to do that.

KE

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potemkyn
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"the school I'm going to is very similar to St. John's. Thomas Aquinas College in Southern California."

Interesting, I've visted St. John's before. It boggled my mind how many of those very intelligent and intellectual people smoked on a regular basis. Didn't get it at all. I hope your peers in SOCAL are a bit more sensible.

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Kalami
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Nope, we've got a pretty substantial smoking contingent here. I personally never took it up, even though I don't really have a problem with the idea of an occasional cigarette, because the thought of possibly getting addicted to nicotine was not so appealing. [Smile]
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KnightEnder
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In Houston they stop selling liquor after 2 am and when I wanted to keep my buzz going I would smoke a cigarrette or three. Those three cigarrettes would mess me up more than all the Crown Royal and Sevens I'd been drinking all night. But the next day my mouth tasted like an ashtray, my fingers and clothers stank, and I always had a worse headache after smoking. And I NEVER felt the physical urge to smoke again the next day.

Also, I'm not really crazy about the affect alcohol has on me. I used to drink it to get drunk, but I'd much rather take a codine tablet or three. And I've never gotten in a fight, nor hurt anybody while on codine. To the contrary; I would be happy, calm, and talkative.

KE

[ November 11, 2005, 02:07 PM: Message edited by: KnightEnder ]

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Dutchie
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quote:
Originally posted by WarrsawPact:
I'm young (20 now, but I started out on Ornery two years ago) and too.


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Dutchie
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Hi
I'm a highschool teacher from the Netherlands, the country which is your best pal in the war on terror! We also buy all your military hardware! This is something I'm not happy with, yes, I'm European and from the left too! (Your worst nightmare? [Wink] )

I was raised roman catholic, but now .... well I think I'm part of the largest religion in Europe .... Somethingism! [Wink] One can identify the average Somethingist mainly through the following statement "Well, eerh, i don't *reelly* believe in God, I think there must be Something out there ..." [Wink]

I'm not very sporty, of course I enjoy to watch football, I'm a guy, but I don't do much myself. I enjoy to go to musea and plays and films.


quote:
Originally posted by WarrsawPact:
I'm young (20 now, but I started out on Ornery two years ago) and widely considered to be pretty smart too.

And pretty modest too? Can we see some rove on that? some website? [Wink] sorry, I know I'm new, but I caught my eye and I couldn't resist ... This kind of self-advertisement is utterly strange to Dutch people. I assume that this is quite normal to Americans?
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kelcimer
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Welcome Dutchie!

It's great to have more Europeans on this board.
quote:
I know I'm new, but I caught my eye and I couldn't resist ... This kind of self-advertisement is utterly strange to Dutch people. I assume that this is quite normal to Americans?
Hadn't ever thought of something like what Warrsaw said as being necessarily out of the ordinary, so I guess it's normal enough.
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roper66
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Hello all,

After Gracie, the Nauvoo forum mod, slapped me upside the head for "debating" too much on her forum, she demurely suggested I might like to "suit up and take my licks" on OA. So here I am, though in all fairness, I wasn't "debating" that much, I just wanted someone to provide a rational justification for a particular point of view :grumble:

Married with food-consumption-unit #4 arriving in February.

I was an Air Force intelligence officer in my first career. Roper was my C-130 cross-country callsign. Now I'm employed by the city as a public health educator. I teach disaster prep to community and professional groups.

In January, I start a graduate degree in education. I'm a bit apprehensive about going back to school after all these years.

I guess that's about it.

[ December 08, 2005, 05:16 PM: Message edited by: roper66 ]

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WarrsawPact
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Haha, excellent, roper. "Suit up and take your licks."
This can certainly be a good place for that, and I'm sure most of us will be glad to have you.
-=-=-=-=-
Dutchie -
quote:
I'm young (20 now, but I started out on Ornery two years ago) and widely considered to be pretty smart too.

And pretty modest too? Can we see some rove on that? some website? [Wink] sorry, I know I'm new, but I caught my eye and I couldn't resist ... This kind of self-advertisement is utterly strange to Dutch people. I assume that this is quite normal to Americans?

Eh. I tell it like it is: people I meet and who get to know me aren't at all abashed to point out that they consider me smart. This includes many of the adults I meet, including almost all of my professors.

So why deny it? It's not as if I'm saying I'm never wrong -- indeed, I often find out I was mistaken about something I used to think I knew.

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FIJC
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quote:
"Eh. I tell it like it is: people I meet and who get to know me aren't at all abashed to point out that they consider me smart. This includes many of the adults I meet, including almost all of my professors.

So why deny it? It's not as if I'm saying I'm never wrong -- indeed, I often find out I was mistaken about something I used to think I knew."

You are very smart...your coming to DC should be a very interesting and good predictor of how far your talents will be able to project you. I think that in general, the East coast/DC area is so different from west coast/CA culture. People aren't as laidback and everything here is so button-down and formal. That, and you have a very considerable concentration of ambitious and very intelligent people (imagine your AP government class expanded ten-fold_. The competition here is fierce, especially for jobs. I have come to believe that since everyone here tends to be very "book smart" what actually gets you ahead out here is your ability to build good rapport with people and having wisdom.
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Oculus
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Good day all! My name is Brian and I hail from the good 'ole state of Texas. I am a student at a private university but not for much longer as I will be graduating in May. Yea! First and foremost I am a believer in and follower of Christ but do not think for a second that, because of this, I am some mindless person who follows what their preacher tells them. I like to think things through for myself and come to my own conclusions based on evidence. I do not like to put labels on myself as they cannot fully describe who I am but just so you get a sense of where I stand, I am a moderate-conservative. I love to be outside and active but I also like to read a good book, fiction or non, or play a good board game. I also like to get out and have a good time with friends as well. I consider myself an optimistic-realist. I really enjoy a good point-counterpoint so I guess that is why I am here. To close I will leave you with one of my favorite quotes. This really gives a good description of how I view life.

quote:
"The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life. Attitude, to me, is more important than facts. It is more important than the past, than education, than money, than circumstances, than failures, than successes, than what other people think or say or do. It is more important than appearance, giftedness or skill. It will make or break a company, a church, a home. The remarkable thing is we have a choice everyday regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day. We cannot change our past, we cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude. I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it. And so it is with you...we are in charge of our attitudes."

Charles Swindoll

Brian
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FiredrakeRAGE
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Oculus -

What're you studying in school?

--Firedrake

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Quaestor
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Greetings and welcome, Oculus. I second Firedrake's question and stretch it to include university.

I like Swindoll; he's a neat character. My aunt and her family attends his megachurch out there in Dallas.

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KnightEnder
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quote:
First and foremost I am a believer in and follower of Christ but do not think for a second that, because of this, I am some mindless person who follows what their preacher tells them.
Welcome Oculus. I'm in Texas too. Houston. Or more accurately League City. I'm an agnostic and or atheist depending on how frustrated the person I'm talking to gets me, so I look forward to discussing what you said above in the future.

KE

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Gemini
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Hello all,

I am a complete newcomer to the Ornery American and will most likely be lurking and studying, at least for now. I like the rules and atmosphere here so far.

I'm 42, married, with a couple kids. I'm also a Yankee, from Rhode Island. I have a civil libertarian bent politically and am an atheist.
I work at a major liberal university in medical services research.

I value honest, intellectually sharp debate very much, but see no reason why such debate should ever need to be uncivil. I have many opinions but few items of dogma and I pride myself on being in a fairly permanent state of gradual evolution in my beliefs.

I look forward very much to reading more of what you all have to say. Hello and Happy New Year to all.

Cheers,
Gemini

[ January 05, 2006, 12:04 PM: Message edited by: Gemini ]

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javelin
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Welcome, Gemini! I'll wait till you post in a thread to give ya the traditional welcome. [Big Grin]
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valkyrie
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Greetings all.

I'm writing to you from Montpelier, the smallest state capital in the country. I don't love fast cars--in fact I walk to work and almost everywhere else I need to go. When I need to get to Burlington I hitchhike, though this won't do the trick this coming spring when I start taking classes there.

I'm 28, returning to school as a geography major after a 7-year hiatus during which I traveled the world and learned valuable nonacademic skills like house building (mud, wood, and straw bale), gardening, and general survival. I grew up a rather protected young girl in upstate New York. I am passionate about music of many eclectic varieties (currently I'm in love with Vasen, a trio of avant-folk musicians from Sweden). I play clarinet, flute, and tenor sax, and the closest I've ever come to being Christian is losing myself in the glorious harmonies of a shape note sing.

Politically I am disenfranchised. I am most concerned about America's energy policy, or lack thereof. There are no leaders I know of willing to address the potential crises following on our insane willingness to base our economy on automobiles for everybody.

I'm psyched about this forum. Bonjour et bonne annee!

-Valkyrie

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kelcimer
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Welcome aboard!
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kelcimer
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valkyrie

Welcome aboard!

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Zyne
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valkyrie: Welcome!
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valkyrie
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hey, thanks.
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KnightEnder
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Welcome Gemeni, Valkyrie, and all our other new members. Please dive right in. The more the merrier. Although, somebody should warn you that we aren't like most websites. We require proof, unless you state it as your opinion, and we treat each other with respect no matter what the belief or political affiliation.

KE

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valkyrie
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Y'know when I was a teenager I was often on a website called "pathfinder." (This is about ten years ago. The broze age of the internet.) People were pretty respectful then. Since then I've been computerless, living instead with a backpack, trekking around the world. So your warning amuses me. Things have changed a lot since then I guess.
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Redskullvw
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Things have largely changed in terms of quantity and quality available on the internet. I think however that this particular space of the internet has largely maintained its standards, become better over all, and certainly reached a pretty diverse membership that has decide to officially register. I think its still a remarkable site, just not one which is widely known, or if it is known, one that lives up to the unjustified reputation it sometimes has. All in all each person who joins here is still regarded as a valued contributer and member even if they post only once or every single hour.

Anyway welcome to Ornery, you are wrong!

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