Join 3,440 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)

User-baiting
October 19, 2005 1:21 PM   Subscribe

I cannot believe I have been forced to finally start a MeTa post but the continued dios-baiting in this thread (and with any luck elsewhere) really needs to end.
posted by longbaugh to Etiquette/Policy at 1:21 PM (58 comments total)

Some of you really need to get over this instant hatred when seeing a specific poster's name. It's childish and pathetic and it has been taking place since before the $5 influx began. From my reading it seems that people joining MeFi are joining with the expectation that they can say what they like against an ideological opponent and rely on the backup of having several thousand like-minded souls agree with them regardless of how stupid their argument may be. It should not be like that.

It's so simple - dios says he is a lawyer, he seems to be a lawyer from what I have read and has displayed a higher level of knowledge than a simple layman. He favours (from my perspective at least) a strict view of the law when discussing it with the forum of MeFi. What this means is that he says "Law A states X, Y and Z" and does not apply emotional or political baggage to it. Suddenly, as if from nowhere several left wing crusaders leap out from the woodwork to challenge him on a point he hasn't made.

I want to ask this seriously but can some of you read and comprehend the written word? Just because he says a bunch of old ladies were arrested for breaking a law doesn't mean he'd happily be down there giving it the old college try and beating them to shit and back with a rubber hose. Please do MeFi a favour and be a little more grown up. Just because someone disagrees with you doesn't mean you all need to jump up and down on him. The same goes for MeTa when Rothko gets assaulted by hundreds of people pushing him to the edge for a reaction - it doesn't do anyone any favours and frankly I'd expect more from adults. I have done my bad stuff in the past but I try and approach things from a sensible even perspective - if there is any one thing I could say to summarise this huge monstrosity it's this :

Be sure that what you've read is what the poster meant, then reply*

*snark and/or silly comments excepted.
posted by longbaugh at 1:23 PM on October 19, 2005


Agreed
posted by caddis at 1:26 PM on October 19, 2005


longbaugh: Just because he says a bunch of old ladies were arrested for breaking a law doesn't mean he'd happily be down there giving it the old college try and beating them to shit and back with a rubber hose.

Dios: What is the issue here: Is it that they should be able to do whatever they want because they are old? Or is it that since they are protesting a war we don't like they should be able to do whatever they want?

Gosh, Dios comes straight out of the gate with his usual flamebait hyperbole and gets some of the same thrown back at him. That's a shocker.
posted by Armitage Shanks at 1:30 PM on October 19, 2005


180 posts by this time tomorrow.
posted by trey at 1:33 PM on October 19, 2005


I know, let's have another MeTa thread about dios! I'm sure that will go well.
posted by monju_bosatsu at 1:33 PM on October 19, 2005


Gosh, Dios comes straight out of the gate with his usual flamebait hyperbole and gets some of the same thrown back at him. That's a shocker.
posted by Armitage Shanks at 1:30 PM PST on October 19

posted by Optimus Chyme at 1:42 PM on October 19, 2005


Oh, and further: anyone who makes fun of handicapped children should probably develop thicker skin.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 1:44 PM on October 19, 2005


That's dios-baiting? Fscking amateurs.
posted by loquacious at 1:44 PM on October 19, 2005


I agree with longbaugh.
posted by Snyder at 1:48 PM on October 19, 2005


It's obvious that some people respond inappropriately to dios, and they really ought to cut it out. Although if he would drop some of the "Yes, I am a lawyer, and if I can gather enough patience I'll explain this to you plebs" condescension, I think it would go a long way towards toning down the vitriol in the responses. For all of his self-important bluster, I don't think he contributes as much as he seems to think he does around here.

I think his first post in that thread was pretty obnoxious, and then other people did go predictably and unfortunately overboard in their responses.
posted by ludwig_van at 1:49 PM on October 19, 2005


who is dios and why should i give a flying fuck?
posted by keswick at 1:52 PM on October 19, 2005


Be sure that what you've read is what the poster meant, then reply*

Besides, if I had any idea ahead of time which tiny, apparently innocuous element of dubious relevance from his sweeping initial comment would be the one that he'd eventually retrench to focus on with laser-like precision to the exclusion of everything else, it would take all the mystery out of it.

Irrigation for Marsh Arabs!
posted by Armitage Shanks at 1:53 PM on October 19, 2005


monju - you're a lawyer too right? When you bring up dios on a legal technicality it is acceptable - you're both professionals within your field. My objection is to automatic assumption of guilt simply because a name is attached, whether it's rothko or dios. I don't care which I just think that MeFi might actually improve significantly if people didn't just jump at the name and assume the worst.

example - dios posts What is the issue here: Is it that they should be able to do whatever they want because they are old? Or is it that since they are protesting a war we don't like they should be able to do whatever they want?

Is he wrong? No. This is MeFi. This was more than likely posted so that we could get our five minutes hate on at the evil patriarchal GOP-Fundy bastards for stopping the poor old ladies from protesting the evils of the war. I sincerely doubt anyone would argue that wasn't the reason behind the post and dios simply pulls the veil back and says this. Why should he be punished for pointing out the weakness of the post and (imo) correctly guessing the reasons for it's existence?

This will probably last a while and I am sure at some point everyone will say the same old shit as usual, it'd be nice to get some (ahem) consensus on whether we are all adults (or taco eaters or whatever) and whether we do want MeFi to move on and be a better place for anyone, regardless of their political affiliation.

I will sit out the thread for a while now and let you all come to your own conclusions about how to effectively communicate, I am sure the shrill ones will carry on as they are but maybe we can actually police this place as a community and come to an agreement about what is an unwarrented level of snark. I will try and be a better person and think twice before hitting the post button, it'd be nice if others could too.
posted by longbaugh at 1:58 PM on October 19, 2005


if he would drop some of the "Yes, I am a lawyer, and if I can gather enough patience I'll explain this to you plebs" condescension
posted by ludwig_van at 1:49 PM PST on October 19


Where did I say anything this? Look at the two threads in the last two days and find where I brought what I did for a living to bolster my argument? I didn't. But other people bring it into the conversation anyhow. I don't bring it up, but people challenge me on it incessantly.

I'm going to try to stay out of this discussion since what I would say should be farily obvious. But don't accuse me of something I don't do.
posted by dios at 2:00 PM on October 19, 2005


Dios comes straight out of the gate with his usual flamebait hyperbole and gets some of the same thrown back at him. That's a shocker.

I disagree. He can be contrarian, and just because you don't agree, doesn't make it "flamebait hyperbole" and give you the right to jump all over him.

Protestors get arrested all the time, it's part of what protesting is about. There wasn't enough details in the article to explain if they broke the law, but if they did, they should have proudly been carted away and mugged for cameras (it would just up the sympathy). Without knowing the exact details of the event, it wasn't clear that they were treated unfairly because they were old ladies and it wasn't clear they were unjustly arrested.

Now, the question is, was that last paragraph flamebait?

People piling on dios are doing so for a variety of reasons -- that his politics skew right, that he's a lawyer, etc, but it'd be nice if some members could be bigger people and not let those reasons taint each and every discussion he is involved in. It seems so silly that I have to defend him against others that want to prejudge everything he does here.

Sometimes dios says something disagreeable and says it strongly. This is definitely not one of those times, and he shouldn't be piled on for it.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 2:01 PM on October 19, 2005


monju - you're a lawyer too right? When you bring up dios on a legal technicality it is acceptable - you're both professionals within your field. My objection is to automatic assumption of guilt simply because a name is attached, whether it's rothko or dios.

Oh, I agree, absolutely. It just seems as though the dios/Rothko grudge match has taken a disproportionately large amount of space in MeTa these days, generating a lot more heat than light. FWIW, I also agree with mathowie, and think that dios' conduct in the last couple of threads in which he has participated has been exemplary.
posted by monju_bosatsu at 2:08 PM on October 19, 2005


#1 says it all. I say mark that "best answer" and close this thread.
posted by pardonyou? at 2:08 PM on October 19, 2005


I was actually thinking something along the lines of what dios said in that thread, before I saw him get raked across the coals for it, and I'm against the war AND love old ladies. The post was crap and plenty of you were too ready to pile on dios to admit it. Ya'll are like pit bulls on a cow. And they say that lawyers have limited skills at finding the moderate middle ground...
posted by dness2 at 2:10 PM on October 19, 2005


I've become a dios fan recently. He seems a lot less argumentative, and his analysis is interesting even when I don't agree. Frankly, I get embarrassed for the people who just immediately start throwing shit at him when he appears.
posted by COBRA! at 2:11 PM on October 19, 2005


I had a longer response, but someone else already put it more succinctly and clearly:

It's obvious that some people respond inappropriately to dios, and they really ought to cut it out. Other people did go predictably and unfortunately overboard in their responses.

But of course, this has been an ongoing issue that's been bitched about over and over with little to no resulting improvements. I don't expect this thread will go any differently.
posted by raedyn at 2:12 PM on October 19, 2005


Matt, with all due respect, the reason many people - myself included - reacted strongly to dios's first post in that thread is because he put words in people mouths: "What is the issue here: Is it that they should be able to do whatever they want because they are old? Or is it that since they are protesting a war we don't like they should be able to do whatever they want?"

No one said that anyone should be able to do whatever they want. It was a particularly egregious strawman, and he knew it.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 2:13 PM on October 19, 2005


Where did I say anything this?

You don't say it, it's in your tone. Why does the fact that you're a lawyer get brought up so frequently? I'm just saying that if you wanted calmer responses you could be less smug.

That's not to say I don't agree with the premise of this thread. People are obnoxious to dios. I just think dios is obnoxious too.
posted by ludwig_van at 2:13 PM on October 19, 2005


Why does the fact that you're a lawyer get brought up so frequently?

Because a lot of people think a neat way to trash him is to imply he's not a very good one? (or not one at all.)
posted by Cyrano at 2:16 PM on October 19, 2005


Because a lot of people think a neat way to trash him is to imply he's not a very good one?

That's true. It just seems to me that he enjoys being able to claim an elevated status, and tends to try and obfuscate his arguments with superfluous jargon/references as much as possible to prevent people from challenging him. Again, this doesn't excuse the behavior of the people who pounce on him in at every opportunity in the blue.
posted by ludwig_van at 2:19 PM on October 19, 2005


tends to try and obfuscate his arguments with superfluous jargon/references as much as possible to prevent people from challenging him

I would say that he makes his arguments as precise as possible for the very reason that he is challenged on every word. See the thread in question for a perfect example.
posted by event at 2:22 PM on October 19, 2005


I disagree. He can be contrarian, and just because you don't agree, doesn't make it "flamebait hyperbole" and give you the right to jump all over him.

Nobody said "they should be able to do whatever they want" before Dios said it. That's flamebait hyperbole in his first comment. Personally, I don't have a problem with that, but I get a bit tired of this "people only jump all over him because they disagree with his politics" canard.
posted by Armitage Shanks at 2:24 PM on October 19, 2005


... and tends to try and obfuscate his arguments with superfluous jargon/references as much as possible to prevent people from challenging him.

Trust me, that's what lawyers do.

Seriously, though, I don't think dios intentionally engages in obfuscation or claims an elevated status. Many of the constitutional issues implicated in posts are more complicated than most lay people realize. For example, the post in question implicates the propriety of content neutral time, place, and manner restrictions on speech. There is a long line of Supreme Court cases dealing with this issue, and the resolution is not always obvious. And that's one of the easy issues. On a subject like Roe v. Wade, discussed in a post a few days ago, the complexity of the constitutional issues is exponentially higher.
posted by monju_bosatsu at 2:24 PM on October 19, 2005


Legal questions come up all the time on MeFi. Usually in an emotional context like war or civil rights. And the post or the poster will usually express a pretty clear preference on what the resolution of the legal question should be.

Dios is entitled to take an opposing view. Whether his viewpoint has merit can depend on a lot of legal nuances that aren't necessary stated in the post or in the previous comments. But it's nearly impossible, short of comments as well-cited as an appellate brief, that the question is going to be answered to anyone's satisfaction.

Because no one can state a definitive answer, the argument just goes round and round. It gets personal. So I humbly propose that, hey everyone, let it go. Make your own comments, sure, but don't feel the necessity to rebut everything that dios says. Just let it stand in the marketplace of ideas.
posted by Scooter at 2:42 PM on October 19, 2005



monju - you're a lawyer too right? When you bring up dios on a legal technicality it is acceptable - you're both professionals within your field...


pff, Dios is not a lawyer.

So when someone who knows something about the law, but does not anonymously claim to be a lawyer brings up a 'legal technicality' that's not ok? That's "Dios baiting"? Dios often says "The law says this" or "The law says that" or whatever without pointing to any references. I don't see why he statements should be held as sacrosanct simply because claimed to be a lawyer once or twice.
posted by delmoi at 2:45 PM on October 19, 2005


Honestly, until a_day_late, I thought things were going pretty reasonably. Maybe I just have a higher tolerance for dickishness, but even Armitage and Optimus seemed to be addressing the issues, not the man. I even thought that Dios's tone of the aggrieved was unwarrented.
But what do I know?
posted by klangklangston at 2:46 PM on October 19, 2005


delmoi, regarding your first point, I can verify that dios is a lawyer.

Regarding your second point, I agree. Anything dios says about the law--or anthing I say about the law, for that matter--should be taken with a grain of salt. Do some research, and participate in the argument. If there are reasons why your argument is incorrect, a good lawyer will be able to point them out. I have never made an appeal to my own authority as a lawyer as a reason to agree with my legal arguments in a thread. I can't speak for dios' entire posting history, but I don't believe he made any similar claims in the last couple of threads in which he has participated.
posted by monju_bosatsu at 2:50 PM on October 19, 2005


I try to keep out of the political threads. My own politics lean pretty left, and I am certainly at odds with most of the political views dios expresses.

However, in the last week or so, dios has been one of the calmest and most informative posters to mefi (and thats a hell-freezes over statement). Most of those arguing with him have come off as , closed-minded mental midgets by comparison. Lawyer or not (and does he claim to be?) dios has been expressing his viewpoints (in the threads I have read) in an exemplary fashion.

So I agree completely with longbaugh's callout here.
posted by Rumple at 2:54 PM on October 19, 2005


Unless you can point to evidence that he's definitely not a lawyer, delmoi, I think your skepticism is completely useless.
posted by SeizeTheDay at 2:55 PM on October 19, 2005


I have never made an appeal to my own authority as a lawyer as a reason to agree with my legal arguments in a thread. I can't speak for dios' entire posting history, but I don't believe he made any similar claims in the last couple of threads in which he has participated.
posted by monju_bosatsu at 2:50 PM PST on October 19


Uh . . .

all-seeing eye dog, perhaps you should bone up on the law before you make misinformed insulting statments.

[snip]

At least know what you are talking about before being snarky.
posted by dios at 8:19 AM PST on October 19

posted by Optimus Chyme at 2:56 PM on October 19, 2005


my 2 cents: i have to agree with the folks arguing that dios shouldn't be attacked just for being dios (as tempting as it may be sometimes). from what I've seen, his contributions have been quite toned-down and civil lately. and personally, i like having someone like dios to talk about these issues with (although we don't always--or even often--agree). to be fair to the one's who seem to have an axe to grind, i have seen dios launch unnecessarily personal or condescending attacks on others in the past, but he seems to be playing by the rules of etiquette lately (if not without betraying a hint of the old dios now and then) and i respect him for that.
posted by all-seeing eye dog at 2:56 PM on October 19, 2005


Wait a minute--I forgot about that dig, Optimus. On second thought... Nah, ultimately dios' arguments will live or die on their own merits, right? (at least, i hope that's still how it works...)
posted by all-seeing eye dog at 2:57 PM on October 19, 2005


optimus, how is that an appeal to his own authority? He's simply arguing that other's don't know what they're talking about. Of course, you also snipped out the part where he addressed the content of the post to which he was responding. Whether he did an effective job of addressing the issues is open for debate, and was probably unnecessarily condescending, but it wasn't an appeal to his status as a lawyer.
posted by monju_bosatsu at 3:01 PM on October 19, 2005


monju_bosatsu: he could have been a little clearer about what his precise objection was, and given me a chance to clarify my point.

for my part, i think it is a little silly for us to get too worked up on either side. nothing here really strikes me as eggregious--sure, there's a little rhetorical rough-housing going on, but nothing that rises to a level worth getting all in a bunch about, eh?
posted by all-seeing eye dog at 3:06 PM on October 19, 2005


Kettle is not, in fact, black. Kettleā€™s claims to authority are lies. In fact, everything Kettle says is a lie.
posted by Pot at 3:15 PM on October 19, 2005


This is the part where monju_bosatsu tells us that he and dios have had extensive phone conversations and that he is a groovy dude. :)
posted by Optimus Chyme at 3:16 PM on October 19, 2005


Pot holds water.
posted by Kettle at 3:16 PM on October 19, 2005


Ok, I liked the whole Pot/Kettle post thing to point out hypocritical arguments, and even commented so in other threads, but I think it's becoming a bit overused.
posted by mystyk at 3:25 PM on October 19, 2005


funny, mustuk, I was just going to comment that pot/kettle is the only time I can think of that I've seen sock puppets put to good use for more than one thread.
posted by raedyn at 3:27 PM on October 19, 2005


d'oh
*mustuk = mystyk!

posted by raedyn at 3:28 PM on October 19, 2005


You mean Time is Tight is overusing a sock puppet joke? Never!
posted by Mid at 3:30 PM on October 19, 2005


I agree with mystyk.
posted by Kettle at 3:31 PM on October 19, 2005


As someone who's been arrested at his fair share of protests, I agreed with dios here. Civil Disobedience is not something that people should be outraged by. 'So what, who cares that they're old, protesters get arrested all the time' is ideologically neutral. I think people are projecting dios's politics onto everything he writes and to take that and claim he's not really a lawyer is ridiculous.
posted by allen.spaulding at 3:31 PM on October 19, 2005


I agree with raedyn.
posted by Pot at 3:35 PM on October 19, 2005


I started to read the posts, realized that there was more heat than light being generated, and then gave up.

Everyone who was furiously posting (dios included) seemed to be having a good time volleying back and forth, though, so I figured that they should just have at it. I don't know that a callout is necessary, though, since the level was pretty low on the bile-o-meter.

Less umbrage should be taken, is all I have to say.
posted by leftcoastbob at 3:43 PM on October 19, 2005


But it is an amazing amount of bother to log in and out all the time for the joke. Someone is sure dedicated.
posted by raedyn at 3:43 PM on October 19, 2005


he put words in people mouths: "What is the issue here: Is it that they should be able to do whatever they want because they are old? Or is it that since they are protesting a war we don't like they should be able to do whatever they want?"

That's not "putting words in people's mouths," it's an attempt to clarify the issue. Do you mean A? Do you mean B? He's asking perfectly valid questions, as others have said, and he has indeed become almost a mirror-image of the Bad Dios people keep trying to kick around: from an aficionado of the offhand snark he's become a careful, thoughtful commenter. I'm glad so many people seem to have noticed, and I feel sorry for those who refuse to.
posted by languagehat at 3:44 PM on October 19, 2005


Also, what allen.spaulding said about expecting to get arrested when you practice civil disobedience.
posted by languagehat at 3:45 PM on October 19, 2005


I don't think we're going to reach a (ahem) consensus here if we are trying to determine if Dios is 100% or 0% good, or 100% or 0% worthy of blame. I will say that, recently, I've been very impressed with Dios, not only for staying generally civil, but also for actually writing interesting stuff. That doesn't mean his record is spotless (the first comment in the thread tossed up a false dichotomy and straw man rolled up in one), but his followups were level and reasoned, and while perfection is a great and desirable thing, I hope it isn't required for anyone, because then MeFi will be a website with no members.

So, yeah, the first post wasn't so great. But, yeah, people are hounding dios for his reputation more than just what he says. And, yeah, add me to the list of people impressed with dios' posts lately.
posted by Bugbread at 3:56 PM on October 19, 2005


Also, what allen.spaulding said about expecting to get arrested when you practice civil disobedience.

In order to avoid creating another MeTa thread, I'll ask this here: can people stop using callouts about bad behavior in a thread to continue arguing the issues in a thread? This is about whether people were behaving inappropriately towards another poster, not who was right or wrong in the thread. Take it back to the blue, I say.
posted by ludwig_van at 3:57 PM on October 19, 2005


But it is an amazing amount of bother to log in and out all the time for the joke. Someone is sure dedicated.
posted by raedyn at 3:43 PM PST on October 19 [!]

Well, most of us on XP with Firefox have 2 browsers...at least...
posted by dash_slot- at 3:58 PM on October 19, 2005


languagehat : "Do you mean A? Do you mean B?"

Languagehat: We're going to have to disagree here. His actual phrasing was "Do you mean A? Or do you mean B?", which is fundamentally different. And it's bad phrasing. And it should be avoided. And people do that all the damn time. I'm sure I do it too. So he should knock it off, but he shouldn't get more shit about it than all the other people, including myself, get for using the same phrasing. We should all knock it off.
posted by Bugbread at 4:01 PM on October 19, 2005


And I have to say that dios has been free of personal attacks of late. This drive towards a monoculture of political affiliation and expression of opinion is simply boring.
posted by dash_slot- at 4:01 PM on October 19, 2005


MetaFilter: We should all knock it off
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 4:02 PM on October 19, 2005


« Older When posting a new MetaFilter ...  |  Announcing the new MetaFilter ... Newer »

This thread is closed to new comments.