Join 3,516 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)

New Scientist
February 22, 2006 12:36 PM   Subscribe

I know that in the past, we've developed a kind of awareness that links to op-ed pieces and links to a thin AP or Reuters notice do not make for the best of the posts. To that end, I think Science posts, such as this one, have gotten an undeserved free pass. New Scientist is, well, a rag, which posts sensationalist, unsubstantiated stories with rarely any references or contexts to back them up. Or, to be more succinct: New Scientist posts suck.
posted by vacapinta to Etiquette/Policy at 12:36 PM (61 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

New Scientist is, well, a rag, which posts sensationalist, unsubstantiated stories with rarely any references or contexts to back them up.

O RLY?
posted by wakko at 12:45 PM on February 22, 2006


And this post sucks even if you don't read it.

Quantum suck.

magic.

amazing.
posted by Baby_Balrog at 12:50 PM on February 22, 2006


New Scientist posts sensationalist, unsubstantiated stories with rarely any references or contexts to back them up.

New Scientist posts suck.

Only one of these statements can be true.
posted by cillit bang at 12:51 PM on February 22, 2006


Y'know that cat you've got in that box? It's hungry. Let the cat out of the box. Feed it. Maybe give it a good ear scritch or something.

It's tired of sitting in some small, dark box hooked up to some godforsaken decaying radiation source and matching sensor gizmos while always and forever wondering whether or not it's dead or alive.
posted by loquacious at 12:57 PM on February 22, 2006


"we've developed a kind of awareness..."

Careful with that 'we', Eugene.
posted by mischief at 12:59 PM on February 22, 2006


I was about to dispute this with a kick-ass report from New Scientist, but then I saw the headline article on their website this week, so I think I'll just watch this thread develop...

Sex with a partner is 400% better
posted by jasper411 at 1:05 PM on February 22, 2006


Careful with that reference, mischief. You'll dull its blade.
posted by sonofsamiam at 1:13 PM on February 22, 2006


Let me be the first to say it: scritch?
posted by blue_beetle at 1:16 PM on February 22, 2006


scritch?

It's a quantum term.
posted by Balisong at 1:21 PM on February 22, 2006


Do you prefer the Nature article, which was referenced from the New Scientist article? If it wasn't for NS, I certainly wouldn't have read it, and I'm sure the same applies for lots of other people.
posted by Protocols of the Elders of Awesome at 1:24 PM on February 22, 2006


Great. Now I'm going to have an axe stuck in my head for the rest of the day.
posted by ook at 1:24 PM on February 22, 2006


Yeah - sometimes it's an itch, sometimes it's a scratch. You just never know.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 1:24 PM on February 22, 2006


You're probably right that one-link posts to New Scientist articles are usually bad. But this last one in particular is also a result of the poster's lazy job - it took me a moment to compose what would be a much better FPP on the subject (that could include the linked article if it was a FPP) by just going to the primary sources - including a text explaining what they are talking about in semi-layman terms. So it is not just New Scientist.
posted by nkyad at 1:25 PM on February 22, 2006


Careful with that AxMe, Eugene.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 1:25 PM on February 22, 2006


Protocols of the Elders of Awesome : "Do you prefer the Nature article, which was referenced from the New Scientist article? If it wasn't for NS, I certainly wouldn't have read it, and I'm sure the same applies for lots of other people."

I would have preferred that you had done a little bit of work and posted a nice FPP on the subject, not an one-link job to a badly written unintelligible article.
posted by nkyad at 1:27 PM on February 22, 2006


you guys begged for him to come back and now you complain about his links?
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 1:31 PM on February 22, 2006


sosia: I think it's got a bit more milage on it.

jessamyn: that's why they wanted him back.
posted by mischief at 1:40 PM on February 22, 2006


funny how that works, huh?
posted by puke & cry at 1:46 PM on February 22, 2006


Ya know what I think sucks?

Hoovers.

The home appliance company, not the stock reporting one.

But they don't suck as much as Dyson.

Nor, for that matter, this MeTa thread.
posted by five fresh fish at 1:58 PM on February 22, 2006


"Whattya gonna do, Kirby? Suck me to death?"
posted by loquacious at 2:02 PM on February 22, 2006


New Scientist isn't a rag. It's a schmatte.
posted by Astro Zombie at 2:04 PM on February 22, 2006


The NS article alone just didnt provide enough of anything for commenters to do more than make lame jokes. I think nkyad's post would have been better in this case. The lameness of NS aside (I'm willing to take that off the table as a personal issue) this needed more context if it was going to actually be interesting and provide something worth discussing.
posted by vacapinta at 2:12 PM on February 22, 2006


New Scientist is a rag only for very large values of rag.
posted by smackfu at 2:18 PM on February 22, 2006


How about we invest in a site-wide subscription to Nature?
posted by Jimbob at 2:21 PM on February 22, 2006


you guys begged for him to come back and now you complain about his links?

I never loved Peeg for his threads; I loved him for his outrageous pranks that took a joke way way way too far. Occasionally, his posts were interesting, but really, it was the balls out "why not post a link to a video of a fellow mefite's dead widow" sensibility that endeared him to me.
posted by jonson at 2:46 PM on February 22, 2006


dead widow. man, I'm retarded.
posted by jonson at 2:46 PM on February 22, 2006


that dead widow was.. *sniff* ... me!
posted by sonofsamiam at 2:51 PM on February 22, 2006


"dead widow" is so appropriate to this thread.
posted by mischief at 2:56 PM on February 22, 2006


but where do we bury the survivors?
posted by Protocols of the Elders of Awesome at 3:23 PM on February 22, 2006


New Orleans.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 3:26 PM on February 22, 2006


What are you while you're in the bathroom?
posted by cortex at 3:48 PM on February 22, 2006


New Scientist, or as a professor friend of mine calls it: The Journal of Technically Plausible Hyperbole.
posted by Gamblor at 3:54 PM on February 22, 2006


Find new friends.
posted by yerfatma at 4:13 PM on February 22, 2006


Well, I never begged for anyone to come back, but I agree with vacapinta completely: single links to New Scientist articles make for lame posts.
posted by mediareport at 4:14 PM on February 22, 2006


Funny that particular article had a reference and a context. I have no problem with it or with interesting new scientist posts in general.
posted by srboisvert at 4:16 PM on February 22, 2006


Should I shave my armpit hair?
posted by five fresh fish at 4:22 PM on February 22, 2006


In my opinion, a major reason why we have comments on this site, and why it is a collaborative weblog, is so that people can post their own links to extend the content of the original post. I see nothing morally wrong with finding an interesting single link and simply letting other people add links to it, so long as the single link isn't seriously misleading. With the proviso that an FPP has to link to something interesting, there is nothing wrong with the job of the poster sometimes being to merely broach a subject, and for the rest of the community to add their own links within the discussion.

In other words, why should the poster have a duty to beef up the post, when we can often do it so much better as a community? From the volume of single-link posts he's made, mathowie would seem to agree with me.
posted by Protocols of the Elders of Awesome at 4:33 PM on February 22, 2006


Yeah, suck it haters.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 4:36 PM on February 22, 2006


dood vacapinta you just lowered zeoslap's IQ
posted by scarabic at 4:55 PM on February 22, 2006


why should the poster have a duty to beef up the post, when we can often do it so much better as a community?

Barf barf barf! You are inviting a future where it's just:

"[URL] Discuss!"

That would suck.
posted by scarabic at 4:56 PM on February 22, 2006


works for me.
posted by crunchland at 5:10 PM on February 22, 2006


One link posts are good if the link is good.

Posts to news stories are bad, including NS ones.
posted by Space Coyote at 5:11 PM on February 22, 2006


Yep, I'm suggesting that "[Interesting URL] Discuss!", which accounts for about half of our posts at the moment, is acceptable because people can add to it.
posted by Protocols of the Elders of Awesome at 5:12 PM on February 22, 2006


It is often acceptable. But the way you phrased it was like "why should anyone do more?"

I think it's the other half that keep the site afloat. Some links need no introduction, but an bunch of community-this and collaborative-that doesn't eliminate the role of the poster.

The poster is a member of the community. And collaboration starts with him/her. Context helps. A range of links often opens up the issue nicely. Some style gets things rolling.

You can do URL: discuss anywhere.
posted by scarabic at 5:16 PM on February 22, 2006


I agree with you Protocols.It's really 'sucks' when you see added links that look defensive.
posted by JohnR at 5:18 PM on February 22, 2006


But the way you phrased it was like "why should anyone do more?"

That's not what I meant. It's great when people add more links for context but they shouldn't receive complaints when they don't.
posted by Protocols of the Elders of Awesome at 5:19 PM on February 22, 2006


Okay. I think you're saying that it's okay with you, which I understand. You're also going further and saying it should be okay with everybody (aka: people should suspend critiques on this basis). I don't quite agree there. I think the peanut gallery clamoring for higher quality posts is a good influence, and people's hurt feelings when their posts are critiqued is a small price to pay. But we can agree to disagree on that.
posted by scarabic at 5:58 PM on February 22, 2006


vacapinta: I more or less agree that the single link to New Scientist is lame. I'll throw my hat in the "more context" ring. I am curious, however: the three prior offenses you cited are from 2001 and 2002. Have you been sitting on this callout for four years--waiting patiently for the fourth and final straw?
posted by kosem at 6:22 PM on February 22, 2006


fap fap fap.
posted by five fresh fish at 7:05 PM on February 22, 2006


Protocols of the Elders of Awesome : "It's great when people add more links for context but they shouldn't receive complaints when they don't."

OK, but should that be an excuse for a lazy job? I've read the article you link, having a slightly more than amateur interest and understanding of the issues involved. I have never heard of the scientist quoted there but all I had to do was input his name in everybody's favorite search engine, click in the first result and, voila, a whole bunch of interesting things to link to (people involved, explanatory information and texts etc). I think you could well have done that in the first place and created a far more interesting entry for the blue (and avoid wasting most of thread with jokes long ago relegated to the canonical sci.physics.quantum.computing.jokes.notfunny list).
posted by nkyad at 7:11 PM on February 22, 2006


Catscan.com: Discuss!
posted by blue_beetle at 7:43 PM on February 22, 2006


"That's not what I meant. It's great when people add more links for context but they shouldn't receive complaints when they don't."

No, on a post like yours, they certainly should recieve complaints. In fact, on 99% of newsfilter, they should recieve complaints. The community weblog refers to us all having posting priveledges, not the onus to pull your ass out of the fire every time you decide that some lazy bullshit needs to be on the front page.
posted by klangklangston at 8:03 PM on February 22, 2006


and avoid wasting most of thread with jokes long ago relegated to the canonical sci.physics.quantum.computing.jokes.notfunny list

I don't think my newsgroup provider subscribes to this thread. I will have to rectify this immediately.
posted by loquacious at 8:04 PM on February 22, 2006


does anyone read the posts down here?
posted by yhbc at 8:06 PM on February 22, 2006


damn, another opportunity just missed
posted by yhbc at 8:07 PM on February 22, 2006


yhbc writes "does anyone read the posts down here?"

No.
posted by clevershark at 8:27 PM on February 22, 2006


What? I thought I was alone here.
posted by Astro Zombie at 8:57 PM on February 22, 2006


Look, just don't you ever get fucking banned again, because "FREE PROTOCOLS OF THE ELDERS OF AWESOME" isn't quite as mellifluous as "FREE P_G."
posted by jenovus at 9:24 PM on February 22, 2006


As a scientist, I agree that New Scientist is pretty awful. But they're meant to be simple and sensational, because not everybody reads Nature and Science. And I don't read "Biological Psychology", so without New Scientist I would never have known that sex with a partner was 400% better! (I would have guessed maybe only 250-300%!)

For a FPP, and as a single link, I agree that New Scientist is not the greatest source, though.
posted by easternblot at 9:31 PM on February 22, 2006


Look, just don't you ever get fucking banned again, because "FREE PROTOCOLS OF THE ELDERS OF AWESOME" isn't quite as mellifluous as "FREE P_G."

Yeah, but if you abbreviate his name to P.E.A., you get "FREE PEA!" That might have some entertainment value.
posted by the_bone at 11:38 PM on February 22, 2006


nkyad: Single link posts have long been the norm on MeFi; the multi-link monstrosities are the aberrations.
posted by mischief at 6:53 AM on February 23, 2006


« Older Feature Request: Handheld styl...  |  Best $5 he ever spent.... Newer »

You are not logged in, either login or create an account to post comments