Challenging others' answers in an obesity thread September 25, 2006 3:39 AM   Subscribe

Was it really necessary to repeatedly challenge booksandlibretti's answer to this question? How about just letting Bookhouse evaluate her response for himself?
posted by teleskiving to Etiquette/Policy at 3:39 AM (89 comments total)

I removed a few comments from the thread after booksandlibretti explained that she fit the technical definition for morbid obesity. If people want to debate that definition, which was what the OP asked about, then they can come here.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 4:06 AM on September 25, 2006


Thank you.
posted by IndigoRain at 4:07 AM on September 25, 2006


There is no way that booksandlibretti is morbidly obese, unless the photographs she posted were taken years ago and she's added another hundred pounds since then.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 4:14 AM on September 25, 2006


This is a perfect example of what Mayor Curley was talking about just two threads down.
posted by naxosaxur at 4:19 AM on September 25, 2006


Did booksandlibretti mention her height and what she weighs? We're talking about a measurement here that may not have anything to do with photographic evidence. In fact, I'm pretty sure it doesn't.
posted by seancake at 4:21 AM on September 25, 2006


Well the central argument is that "morbidly obese" is a techical term -- like idiot -- that means BMI of 40+. b&l says that her height/weight puts her in that range. People also think other things when they think "morbidly obese" that b&l doesn't seem to fit. The OP hasn't really chimed in to say whether or not they just meant "super duper fat" instead of morbidly obese which technically means something specific.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 4:25 AM on September 25, 2006


Oops, already posted my comment on the morbid thing there. Personally, I thought the discussion wasn't that far away from the original topic, but I might've skimmed past the deleted comments.

I really enjoy a limited amount of conversational drift that brings up facets of a topic the original poster may not have premeditated. As long as it's civil of course.
posted by Manjusri at 4:28 AM on September 25, 2006

The modern definition of obesity is based on body mass index (BMI) as presented in the Practical Guide to the Identification, Evaluation and Treatment of Overweight and Obesity in Adults, a joint publication of the National Institutes of Health National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, and the North American Association for the Study of Obesity. Body mass index compares body weight (in kilograms) to height (in meters) (BMI = weight/height²). "Normal" values are less than 24.9 kg/m², and "overweight" individuals have a BMI between 25 and 29.9 kg/m². "Obese" patients are placed in three classes: Class 1 = BMI 30 to 34.9 kg/m², Class 2 = BMI 35 to 39.9 kg/m², the "Morbidly Obese" Class 3 = BMI 40 to 49.9, and "Super Obese" BMI > 49.9 kg/m².
DukeHealth.org

A five-foot-six woman (164cm) would only have to weigh 229 pounds (107kg) to meet the definition of morbid obesity. Whether you would personally stare at her while she was walking down the street, CD, is your own business.

(I can't believe people are arguing about this. Can't we get back to the Pluto-is-not-a-planet argument?)
posted by Plutor at 4:31 AM on September 25, 2006


WTF is wrong with you people? Of course she's morbidly obese. She's carrying a hellava lot of junk in the trunk, on her thighs, and her arms. Doesn't mean she isn't curvaceous, voluptuous, hawt or whatever - I'm damn sure she is. What it means is that her weight will cause her to develop a range of diseases, one of which will kill her.

Take it from somebody who had a BMI of 42.8 about six months ago (now down to 38.8, if you can use the word "down" like that) - just because you don't look like you need to be turned with a long paddle doesn't mean you're not so overweight that you'll get sick and fucking die. "There's no way you're that fat" is not a helpful or clueful thing to say. Your perception of weight and appearance has nothing to do with medical reality.

I spent ten years with people telling me "you're not that big", "there's no way you weigh that much" and so on. It took my doctor referring me to a lapband surgeon, and him telling me that I had a 100% chance of developing type 2 diabetes, and that it, a stroke or a heart attack would kill me in my 40s to finally start losing it.

If the OP wanted to know about people who are so fat they can't move, he should've said that. The term "morbid obesity" (aka "clinically severe obesity") has a definition. If B&L meets the criteria (BMI>40 / >100 lbs over weight), then that's what she is, and no amount of "no way" is going to change that.
posted by obiwanwasabi at 4:32 AM on September 25, 2006 [1 favorite]


This just in: WTF HTML entities?
posted by Plutor at 4:32 AM on September 25, 2006


And what's Pluto's BMI?
posted by obiwanwasabi at 4:35 AM on September 25, 2006


teleskiving posted "Was it really necessary to repeatedly challenge booksandlibretti's answer to this question? How about just letting Bookhouse evaluate her response for himself?"


I challenged it because, in her initial answer, booksandlibretti said she was obese but not that she was morbidly obese; I did so, rather than just letting Bookhouse evaluate her response, because I thought that meant she was not morbidly obese and to prevent the thread from being derailed by the "merely" obese.

After booksandlibretti followed up explaining that she is in fact morbidly obese, I figured the that sufficiently clarified her answer.


(Also, as booksandlibretti points out in her response, she is a teen; the vigor of youth no doubt compensates for some of the disabilities of obesity, making her perhaps unrepresentative of what it's "like living as someone who's extremely overweight". Give those arches time to fall, and all that.)
posted by orthogonality at 4:53 AM on September 25, 2006


And what's Pluto's BMI?

Two and a half billion. It's got some slimming to do.
posted by chrismear at 4:58 AM on September 25, 2006


Mae West was morbidly obese according to BMI, I bet. And probably Jayne Mansfield. I suppose better that than putting junk on in the actual trunk, which is worse than putting it on in the rear from a heart health standpoint.

And yes, what orthogonality said. Give her time to develop problems, she's young. (I hope she doesn't, of course.) But her experience is still valid as a young person and pre-problem, I think. Only Bookhouse can say whether it meets his needs, no one else can make that judgement for him.
posted by seancake at 5:05 AM on September 25, 2006


I think the issue is that the OP was asking about those who are "extremely overweight". All "BMI" and "morbidly obese" definitions aside, a reasonable person would likely not describe booksandlibretti as extremely overweight. In fact, many would not describer her as even being problematically overweight (by social standards). Not sure why she is describing herself as obese in that thread, other than to hear us say "no, really, you aren't that fat." Or to debate the relevance of BMI. Mean, perhaps. But I question her motives in a thread, that on the face of it, so clearly seems to describe those who would find daily functioning difficult due to weight - and to post photos that counter her argument so thoroughly. As for obese, books, that just ain't you. And I'm glad that it isn't. You look fine.
posted by qwip at 5:27 AM on September 25, 2006


And what's Pluto's BMI?

Two and a half billion. It's got some slimming to do.


Let's see (assuming you're using the slightly old-fashioned British definition of 1 Billion = 1,000,000,000,000, as a quick calculation suggests):

Class 1 = BMI 30 to 34.9
Class 2 = BMI 35 to 39.9
the "Morbidly Obese" Class 3 = BMI 40 to 49.9
"Super Obese" BMI > 49.9
"Planet" BMI > 2000000000000


Yep, looks like it's a planet. Although it's not quite up there with the "morbid planets", like Uranus or Kolob.
posted by A Thousand Baited Hooks at 5:38 AM on September 25, 2006


As for obese, books, that just ain't you. And I'm glad that it isn't. You look fine.

Will people please stop saying that? The girl claims that by medical definition she is morbidly obese. You can't get her on a scale or get the calipers to her, she's offered photographic evidence that she is indeed to some degree overweight, so please just take her word for it. Jesus H. Christ.
posted by Mayor Curley at 5:45 AM on September 25, 2006


orthogonality writes "I challenged it [...] and all that" which, despite your extended attempt at justification here, was in fact the very same phenomenon known as derail that you wanted to prevent happening in the thread.
posted by peacay at 6:07 AM on September 25, 2006


So what have we learned?

  • People on the internet know more about you than you do. STFU n00b.
  • Morbid obesity? "I do not think it means what you think it means."
  • Social definitions of obesity are not necessarily the same as medical definitions, complete with the future health complications those definitions may entail.
  • You can get away with a lot (healthwise, sizewise, and generally being sag-free) when you're young, unless the thing you're trying to get away with is posting an answer to AskMe. Fat old men will not let you get away with that shit! (I'm going to exclude ortho; I think his comment made sense.)
  • Querents on AskMe generally don't know shit about how to evaluate the answers they're given, and must be spoonfed each and every reason why your answer should be marked best and why everyone else is consequently morans.
  • booksandlibretti should start a tasteful website, post it to projects, and... Profit!* Sayonara, college loans.

    *Though I usually hate this joke, it seemed appropriate.

  • posted by Eideteker at 6:08 AM on September 25, 2006 [1 favorite]


    I guess I forgot the "Thanks, and tune in next time..."

    So:
  • "...when we learn mathowie's SSN in an accidental and drunken late-night MeTa thread."
  • "...when we collectively compose the elegant shorter proof of Fermat's Last Theorem without realizing it, in an acrostic of the first letters of each comment. Mathowie will close the thread exactly at the end of the proof, also without realizing what we've done."
  • "...when we learn how to play with fire and not get burned, for fun and profit."
  • "...when we see just how the human race will end within our lifetimes and how we are powerless to stop it."
  • "...when we learn that MeFi's downtime is artificially generated by mathowie to create demand and drive up value for a shadowy concern of shareholders who, in secret, pull our strings as if we were all sock puppets. Sock puppets which don't have strings, because really, sock puppets are worn over the hand, so I have no idea what the fuck I'm talking about."

  • posted by Eideteker at 6:17 AM on September 25, 2006 [2 favorites]


    In her initial answer, booksandlibretti said she was obese but not that she was morbidly obese

    This is true and a polite request for clarification would have been fine with me. The snippiness was not needed.
    posted by teleskiving at 6:21 AM on September 25, 2006


    • Some people need validation so badly they'll post "why am i so fattttt" pictures of themselves on askmefi fishing for compliments

    posted by petsounds at 6:21 AM on September 25, 2006


    Do I look fat in this photo?


    posted by A Thousand Baited Hooks at 6:30 AM on September 25, 2006 [1 favorite]


    Instead of merely marking an answer as best answer, there should be an option for marking an answer as irrelevant or not addressing the question at hand.
    posted by cellphone at 6:31 AM on September 25, 2006


    Instead of merely marking an answer as best answer, there should be an option for marking an answer as irrelevant or not addressing the question at hand

    I flag them as "noise", when I can be bothered. Actually I would be interested to know if the number of noise flags in AskMe has gone up lately in parallel with the perception that there are more poor answers.
    posted by teleskiving at 6:48 AM on September 25, 2006


    booksandlibretti was civilised and polite.
    posted by alasdair at 6:49 AM on September 25, 2006


    And hot, don't forget hot.
    posted by Eideteker at 6:51 AM on September 25, 2006


    As for obese, books, that just ain't you. qwip perhaps you haven't been following along, 'cause in actual fact it is.
    posted by econous at 7:03 AM on September 25, 2006


    Mae West was morbidly obese according to BMI, I bet. And probably Jayne Mansfield.

    oh fer chrissake.
    posted by dreamsign at 7:13 AM on September 25, 2006


    a reasonable person would likely not describe booksandlibretti as extremely overweight. In fact, many would not describer her as even being problematically overweight

    Um, what?
    posted by croutonsupafreak at 7:26 AM on September 25, 2006


    Would anyone mind telling me at what point we became employees rather than users ?
    posted by sgt.serenity at 7:28 AM on September 25, 2006 [2 favorites]


    assuming you're using the slightly old-fashioned British definition

    I am slightly old-fashioned British.
    posted by chrismear at 7:31 AM on September 25, 2006


    Was it really necessary to repeatedly challenge booksandlibretti's answer to this question?

    Yes, because it brought up some points about how different people view obesity.


    How about just letting Bookhouse evaluate her response for himself?

    So, we're not supposed to comment on other comments in a thread?
    posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:41 AM on September 25, 2006


    As the OP, I will say that I found the derail informative as, as Brandon says above, it illustrates the difficulty of hanging two-word lables complex conditions. Overall, though, mostly I'm just happy at the huge amount of info that other posters gave me. Thanks.
    posted by Bookhouse at 8:59 AM on September 25, 2006


    Querents on AskMe generally don't know shit about how to evaluate the answers they're given, and must be spoonfed each and every reason why your answer should be marked best and why everyone else is consequently morans.

    Yes and no.. Normally, if you preface your answer with "I am a" lawyer/doctor/engineer/whatever, that is the only reason they need :P

    I would be interested to know if the number of noise flags in AskMe has gone up lately in parallel with the perception that there are more poor answers.

    I don't think the perception has really changed. There is just an ebb and flow on MetaTalk is all. It is probably pretty important to go through one of these exercises every few weeks/months actually.
    posted by Chuckles at 9:08 AM on September 25, 2006


    So, we're not supposed to comment on other comments in a thread?

    No. We're supposed to answer the fucking question or shut the fuck up.
    posted by dersins at 9:09 AM on September 25, 2006 [1 favorite]


    Oh, and on Bookhouse's note.. It may have taken jessamyn's intervention, but as it stands it is a pretty great thread.
    posted by Chuckles at 9:10 AM on September 25, 2006


    Mae West was morbidly obese according to BMI, I bet. And probably Jayne Mansfield.

    Mae West was 5'1", so to qualify as morbidly obese, she would have had to weigh 190 lbs., all while maintaining her 36-26-36 shape.

    Jayne Mansfield was 5' 5", so to be morbidly obese she would have had to weigh 216 lbs., all while maintaining her legendary figure -- she was once measured at 46-18-36.

    I know they both had large and bountiful breasts, but I doubt large and bountiful breasts alone make for BMIs over 35.
    posted by scody at 9:18 AM on September 25, 2006


    This is not quite what I expected to wake up to.

    I was not fishing for compliments or fights or attention or anything else. Bookhouse asked for the experiences of people who are morbidly obese. According to the medical definition, I am morbidly obese, so I thought I would contribute my experience. I understand that other people of my weight and/or BMI have different experiences. I thought the thread would be a list of different people's experiences, which would help Bookhouse get an idea of the variety of morbid obesity. I also thought that if anyone wanted to question me, they would e-mail me, like I specifically asked in my initial comment because I didn't want to start taking over Bookhouse's answers. Whoops.

    At this point I would be fine if you deleted my comments in that thread, plus all of the ones referencing it. I'm not begging you to, but it would certainly be a hell of a lot simpler.
    posted by booksandlibretti at 9:19 AM on September 25, 2006


    No. We're supposed to answer the fucking question or shut the fuck up.

    I politely disagree and wish you a good day.
    posted by Brandon Blatcher at 9:24 AM on September 25, 2006


    Yep, looks like it's a planet. Although it's not quite up there with the "morbid planets", like Uranus or Kolob

    Shatner could do a version of "Baby Got Back" specifically for the morbidly obese Uranus. "I. Like. Big. Butts?"
    posted by TheDonF at 9:27 AM on September 25, 2006


    Fry: "Hey, as long as you don't make me smell Uranus." *laughs*
    Leela: "I don't get it."
    Professor: "I'm sorry, Fry, but astronomers renamed Uranus in 2620 to end that stupid joke once and for all."
    Fry: "Oh. What's it called now?"
    Professor: "Urectum."
    posted by TheDonF at 9:27 AM on September 25, 2006


    Would anyone mind telling me at what point we became employees rather than users ?

    Well, I don't know about you, but I'm still a user.

    *goes back to the blue for another fix*
    posted by Stauf at 9:33 AM on September 25, 2006


    So, we're not supposed to comment on other comments in a thread?

    No. We're supposed to answer the fucking question or shut the fuck up.


    How do I mark a best answer in MeTa?

    I politely disagree and wish you a good day.

    Then you should (a) read the text under the answer box: Please limit comments to answers or help in finding an answer and (b) feel free to start your own website with different rules so you don't have to lower the quality of this one.

    Maybe the 'please' confuses people and it should say "Limit your comments ... so they don't have to be deleted, because they will."
    posted by phearlez at 9:36 AM on September 25, 2006


    Don't stress it, booksandlibretti. I think some folks thought it was a little odd that you posted pics when no one else thought to do so, and so decided to "question your motives," probably because you said you were a teenager, but they had no reason to do so and should have just shut up. Forget about it.

    That is a great thread, though - lots of personal info and links. Thanks to everyone who contributed something honest and relevant.
    posted by mediareport at 9:39 AM on September 25, 2006


    I know they both had large and bountiful breasts, but I doubt large and bountiful breasts alone make for BMIs over 35.

    Breasts were dense back in those days. They don't make 'em like they used to.
    posted by COBRA! at 9:43 AM on September 25, 2006


    booksandlibretti writes "Bookhouse asked for the experiences of people who are morbidly obese."


    books, my response was specifically to your writing "I certainly look fat, but I don't believe I look morbidly obese." Since you didn't specify that you were morbidly obese, I took that as indicating you aren't morbidly obese, not as an indication that your are but don't look it. (And again, you're young and you indicated your obesity doesn't prevent a "normal" student lifestyle.)
    posted by orthogonality at 9:44 AM on September 25, 2006


    You seem to have started an apology there, ortho, but let me assure you that you didn't make it to the end.
    posted by phearlez at 9:49 AM on September 25, 2006


    I think some folks thought it was a little odd that you posted pics when no one else thought to do so

    I assumed that the thread would be full of comments like mine with different people's experiences, stories, pics, whatever they found relevant to the question. I figured other people would do just what I had done, but after me because I'd just happened to see the question first.

    ortho, I'm sorry for snapping, by the way. It was unjustified; I should have just clarified. I thought I did say "morbidly" in my original comment, but you're right, I didn't explicitly say so.

    Everyone concerned for my health: if I ever have any health problems linked to my weight, I'm going to lose weight, no question. I'm not losing weight for aesthetic reasons (that is, I don't think losing weight would make me more attractive), but I would have no trouble dieting for health problems.
    Everyone commenting on how they see me: if you saw me walking down the street, or at a meetup, you wouldn't think I'm attractive, I promise. I always wear big drapey T-shirts; in the pics I took, I'm just pulling them tight, which I never do in real life.

    And now I'm going offline for about twelve hours.
    posted by booksandlibretti at 9:53 AM on September 25, 2006


    phearlez writes "You seem to have started an apology there, ortho, but let me assure you that you didn't make it to the end."


    I don't have anything to apologize for. The Poster says, "I am looking for anecdotes from people in category X". booksandlibretti says "I am certainly in category Y, but I don't believe I look like I'm in category X". I say, "books, I don't believe you're in category X either."

    Now I may be right, I may be wrong, but I haven't insulted anyone, I haven't given anyone a hard time. The Poster says it helped clarify the thread, and it did no injury to books.

    So why are you digging in, phearlez?

    Unless you think that anyone who might give a wrong answer to an askMefi owes an apology (to whom?), I think you're barking up the wrong tree.
    posted by orthogonality at 9:59 AM on September 25, 2006


    My life coach says I'm Rubenesque.
    posted by Alvy Ampersand at 10:01 AM on September 25, 2006


    booksandlibretti: I think you were in the right and orthogonality wasn't very helpful. Useful comments and appropriate to the thread. RE your last comment though, if you can diet for your health it's best to do so before the problem comes along. A healthier diet isn't going to cure diabetes once you've got it, and it might not be able to repair your heart should it become damaged. Easier said than done of course, my gut seems here to stay.
    posted by biffa at 10:03 AM on September 25, 2006


    Let me expand on my last post: often there are askMefi questions that are somewhat unclear or open-ended. An excellent example is the recent one about getting a 3GB file off a "secure Windows XP" machine.

    I had no idea what the poster meant by "secure", so while I had several possible answers, I didn't give them. Others took a stab at answering, realizing their answers might be wrong. Others asked for clarification.

    It's a judgment call we all have to make with a vague question. Taking a rigid, dogmatic approach ("answer the fucking question or shut the fuck up.", "apologize for your wrong answer", "don't challenge other answers") just makes people reluctant to even try to answer questions.

    The result would be questions that are never answered or never clarified. I'm glad books made her answer, and I'm glad I tried to clarify it; both of those things helped to narrow down the answers the poster wanted.

    Taking a rigid approach just leads to fewer and less well targeted answers. People answering are not your employees, and you can't hold them to that standard. It's counter-productive and discourages participation.
    posted by orthogonality at 10:11 AM on September 25, 2006


    Ortho, "if you can't answer, just up" has never been meant to exclude requests for clarification or thoughtful debate about the merits of previous answers; stop pretending otherwise.

    "If you can't help, just the fuck up." Questioning other members' motives doesn't help.
    posted by mediareport at 10:22 AM on September 25, 2006


    [plug in the missing "shuts" yourself]
    posted by mediareport at 10:23 AM on September 25, 2006


    if I ever have any health problems linked to my weight, I'm going to lose weight, no question.

    This is the problem with the way a lot of people approach health - better to prevent problems now by losing the weight instead of trying to lose weight while you already have a medical issue.
    posted by agregoli at 10:32 AM on September 25, 2006 [1 favorite]


    mediareport writes "Questioning other members' motives doesn't help."


    I didn't question book's motivves. I questioned her membership in a category. She then clarified.
    posted by orthogonality at 10:38 AM on September 25, 2006


    How do I mark a best answer in MeTa?

    If you click the + sign you can add it to your favorites.

    Then you should (a) read the text under the answer box: Please limit comments to answers or help in finding an answer and (b) feel free to start your own website with different rules so you don't have to lower the quality of this one.

    1. Saw it, read it, and tried to do it.

    2. I'll follow your lead, sir.
    posted by Brandon Blatcher at 10:40 AM on September 25, 2006


    this bickering over whether someone's actually obese enough to properly reply to a question is pretty crass ... and perhaps revealing of people's stereotypes of what a morbidly obese person is supposed to look like

    of course, as we all know, this site doesn't handle the "fat" thing very well, does it? ... and this is just more proof of that
    posted by pyramid termite at 10:44 AM on September 25, 2006


    Only on MetaFilter:

    Person A: "I'm obese but I don't look morbidly obese. Check out my pics."
    Person B: "No, I don't think you're morbidly obese."
    Greek Chorus : "For shame, Person B, how can you say such a terrible thing! What an insult! Apologize at once!"
    posted by orthogonality at 10:49 AM on September 25, 2006 [1 favorite]


    this site doesn't handle the "fat" thing very well

    See, that's just it. That thread is great; go read it again if you don't believe me. The site handled "the fat thing" well; the minor derail was routed here. All is good in the world.

    ortho: I didn't question book's motives.

    Yeah, I wasn't clear. My beef with you is in the comment I replied to. I was using the 'questioning motives' thing from someone else above as an example of the obvious difference between helping and not helping, which I thought you were blurring unfairly.
    posted by mediareport at 10:49 AM on September 25, 2006


    "...if you saw me walking down the street, or at a meetup, you wouldn't think I'm attractive, I promise."

    How sad for you to think so.
    posted by mr_crash_davis at 10:57 AM on September 25, 2006


    B&L's response in that thread was reasonable, on-topic, and informative.

    However, obesity seems to be one of those dynamite topics, like declawed cats and Hitler, that we just can't talk about on MeFi without at least one person losing their shit.

    So sorry, B&L, that you had to put up with all of this as a result of your (rather innocuous) post.
    posted by Afroblanco at 11:05 AM on September 25, 2006


    That thread is great; go read it again if you don't believe me.

    then why was it called out? ... look, this isn't a really bad flareup by any means, but it has managed to offend one poster who did not deserve the controversy she found herself in

    i wouldn't be inclined to think that it was a big deal in the blue or the grey, where things are often a bit rough ... but i was under the impression that the green isn't supposed to be like that

    maybe the next time someone posts an answer that a second person feels isn't very helpful, that second person could post a more helpful answer instead of taking the first person to task, especially when it deals with personal matters
    posted by pyramid termite at 11:19 AM on September 25, 2006


    "Breasts were dense back in those days."

    Like bags of sand?
    posted by Eideteker at 11:23 AM on September 25, 2006


    Those were the days of our lives, Eideteker.
    posted by SeizeTheDay at 11:27 AM on September 25, 2006 [1 favorite]


    Person A: "I'm obese but I don't look morbidly obese. Check out my pics."
    Person B: "No, I don't think you're morbidly obese."
    Greek Chorus : "For shame, Person B, how can you say such a terrible thing! What an insult! Apologize at once!"


    ortho, I really don't want to drag this out or anything, but it was really more like this:

    A: "I'm obese but I don't look morbidly obese. Check out my pics."
    B: "This is not about you."
    A: "It is about me because I am morbidly obese, according to my BMI".
    C,D,E,etc: "You're wrong, and we can tell your BMI better from a couple of photos on the internet than you can using your actual measured weight and height. Your contribution does not belong in this thread".

    At least your comment had a point, and if booksandlibretti is fine with the way you put it then I have no business disagreeing with her. Comments from C,D,E etc were just irrelevant and insulting.

    B&L I am sorry for dragging this out here, I think this thread may have had some value but if it caused you any further aggravation, it wasn't worth it.
    posted by teleskiving at 11:28 AM on September 25, 2006


    I'll follow your lead, sir.

    Check your color settings, Brandon, or research a little harder. That's a link to me goofin off in the blue in response to a 'flipper baby' joke. You may note the link is www.metafilter not ask.metafilter.

    The blue most certainly does NOT have the text "Please limit comments to answers or help in finding an answer," which is the point in question.
    posted by phearlez at 11:40 AM on September 25, 2006


    orthogonality, you are a tenacious and eloquent commenter, often to your credit, but I've read all your input here and I read the thread a few hours ago and I think you have mischaracterized the situation.

    I didn't read your comment in the AskMe question as clarification, I read it, as sometimes is the case when you contribute, as a challenge, as aggression, as dissent against the contribution of another user. And I say this with a certain identifying admiration in mind, because I'm apt, at times, to enter an affray with a pointy stick ahead of any substance myself.

    You say here that the poster asked about X and the respondent spoke of Y and this is clearly disingenous and flatout wrong. The respondent gave cogent information, supplied pictures no less and you have the gall to suggest that this wasn't on topic. Even on a narrow reading of the original question this was a valid and constructive contribution and you come along and simply challenged their right to contribute.

    I'm not suggesting you're a twat, but I am saying that this is one time when you should consider that your interjection, irrespective of whether further useful defining information (BMI re morbid obesity) was supplied to the thread because of it, was noise and that you should not have hit 'enter'. Also, Confucius says: "when in hole, stop digging".
    posted by peacay at 11:49 AM on September 25, 2006


    Personally I'd contend that repeating Yeah, you're not who he's asking about is not, in fact the same as questioning "her membership in a category," but I recognize that people with poor communication skills and limited capacity for courtesy are not always aware of the disconnect between their intended statement and what it looks like to every other person on the planet.

    However given that you posted several more messages after she stated very clearly "Since my BMI says I am one," necessitating deletion, you're on tenuous grounds in claiming you were still looking for elaboration rather than arguing with someone about their own body.
    posted by phearlez at 11:49 AM on September 25, 2006


    The blue most certainly does NOT have the text "Please limit comments to answers or help in finding an answer," which is the point in question.

    Well, we WERE talking about lowering quality, but if you want to talk about something, that's fine.
    posted by Brandon Blatcher at 11:53 AM on September 25, 2006


    Look, can't we all agree that the BMI index isn't a terribly good indicator of the social definitions of "overweight", "obese", etc? I mean, criminy, I'm 5'6" with broad shoulders, weigh around 180, and look pretty normal. If I ever got down to the 150 or so needed to cross back into "normal" weight, people would think I was ill. And I'd have to hit 125 before I was considered "underweight".
    posted by mkultra at 11:54 AM on September 25, 2006


    Mae West was morbidly obese according to BMI, I bet. And probably Jayne Mansfield.

    Somehow,I don't think so.

    It was kind of fashionable a while ago to talk about how all the famous beauty icons of the twentieth century prior to the advent of Twiggy were all actually obese, but it just wasn't so. We haven't always idolized the emaciated as we do now, but obesity hasn't been the rage in the West for a good couple hundred years.

    Which is not to say that individuals (god bless them) don't find a fuller figure or obesity attractive, or that other cultures as a whole don't.

    Anyway, I apologize for my part in questioning B&L -- it wasn't clear from her original post that she was, in fact, morbidly obese. At any rate, I should have just let the comment stand. Mea culpa.
    posted by LittleMissCranky at 11:59 AM on September 25, 2006


    phearlez writes "However given that you posted several more messages after she stated very clearly 'Since my BMI says I am one,' necessitating deletion "

    Actually, NO, I didn't post any more comments about books&libretti. You've spent several comments castigating me for something I didn't do.

    (I did a single additional comment in the thread, in response to kimdog's comment about attractiveness, mentioning studies showing men find women attractive based on bust to waist ("hourglass") ratio and the evolutionary psychology behind that. Both my comment and kimdog's were deleted. Neither had anything to do with booksandlibretti or BMI).


    peacay writes "The respondent gave cogent information, supplied pictures no less and you have the gall to suggest that this wasn't on topic."

    Yes, she did. But even she admits didn't make clear she was morbidly obese. as it turns out, she is. I didn't argue the point with her, I didn't comment again about it, and I "favorited" her clarification.

    So, please, and I say this with love, get off my back.
    posted by orthogonality at 12:04 PM on September 25, 2006


    Jesus, you people are such tireless crusaders over minutia.
    posted by orthogonality at 12:06 PM on September 25, 2006 [1 favorite]


    Jesus, you people are such tireless crusaders over minutia.

    This is irony, right?
    posted by mediareport at 12:10 PM on September 25, 2006


    orthogonality writes "have the gall"

    have = had. I was referring to your initial comment in the thread and your rationalization afterwards in this thread.

    I don't think bringing up the manner by which you jumped into the thread challenging Booksandlibretti is minutiae at all; I'm trying to suggest that it belongs to an aggressive selfjustifying attitude that you should acknowledge and attempt to modify, at least in AskMe. That you have saved a comment and achieved an understanding with Booksandlibretti is all beside the point.
    posted by peacay at 12:15 PM on September 25, 2006


    Well, we WERE talking about lowering quality, but if you want to talk about something, that's fine.

    A superb moment of disingenuousness there, but no, sorry, not true. We were discussing the fact that AskMe is for answers and how you should answer the question or shut the fuck up, to which you stated you "politely disagree and wish you a good day."

    Posting non-answers in askMe is lowering the quality of askMe.

    If you really want to harp on the comment of mine you went and found in a desperate but half-assed attempt to support your completely outside-the-guidelines position... then please, by all means explain to me how that comment is lowering quality in a discussion about various science fiction shows that includes the comment I was responding to: "The West Wing and Firefly would have a retarded flipper baby. Battlestar is not a retarded flipper baby."
    posted by phearlez at 1:10 PM on September 25, 2006


    "I'm not suggesting you're a twat, but ... is possibly the greatest opening gambit ever.
    posted by mr_crash_davis at 1:29 PM on September 25, 2006 [1 favorite]


    A superb moment of disingenuousness there, but no, sorry, not true.

    You're mistaken.

    We were discussing the fact that AskMe is for answers and how you should answer the question or shut the fuck up, to which you stated you "politely disagree and wish you a good day."


    Again, you're mistaken. You and I were NOT having discussing anything initially.

    I responded with the "politely disagree comment" here, in response to dersins's comment, made here

    So, we, as in you & I, weren't talking about anything at that point.

    Then you added this comment, and please note that you make TWO points, which you labeled A & B. In your B point, you discuss lowering the quality of the site, not specific portions of it.


    So, I responded to those two points, using the numbers 1 & 2, to correspond to your A & B (which may have been confusing, my bad).

    Summing it all up, you've accused me of being disingenuousness, distorted the flow and meaning of comment between me and another person, then did the same in comments between you and I, while coming off as a self righteous twit the entire time. And all of this is over a completely other point. Surely we can find something better to with our time, eh?

    As to how that comment lowers the quality of the site, well...calling someone a douche isn't exactly a high standard.

    Look, if you want to talk about other things, that's fine, but PLEASE read the comments in the links provided above and understand exactly what specific points of yours I was responding to. If you can't or wont' do that, then we have nothing more to discuss.
    posted by Brandon Blatcher at 1:54 PM on September 25, 2006


    Afroblanco writes "Hitler, that we just can't talk about on MeFi without at least one person losing their shit."

    Bizarrelly we're two for two today, this MF thread about nazis is going pretty good.
    posted by Mitheral at 2:16 PM on September 25, 2006


    There's really nothing to discuss regardless. The standard for AskMe is answers and help in finding answers. You may choose to disagree on this matter but by doing so all you are doing is lowering the quality of the site AskMe and/or forcing Jess and Matt to delete your guideline-violating garbage.

    As far as the douche thing, since you seem completely hung up on it, let me take this moment to say to PinkStainlessTail - I hope you understood that I meant that in jest and in my head it was spoken in the voice of the Comic Book Guy from the Simpsons. It it was read at all serious - which I would have thought impossible, in context - it was not meant as such.
    posted by phearlez at 3:20 PM on September 25, 2006


    Oh.
    posted by Brandon Blatcher at 4:02 PM on September 25, 2006




    (diet soda, airpopped corn)
    posted by obiwanwasabi at 4:45 PM on September 25, 2006


    For shame, Person B, how can you say such a terrible thing! What an insult! Apologize at once!

    Seriously.

    I think some people are getting hung up on semantics—and don't get me wrong: I love semantics as much as the next habitual-arguer—but there are plenty of technical terms that have fallen into common vernacular and lost (or expanded) their definitions.

    When I see the phrase morbidly obese, I interpret that to mean so fat that their body could shut down under the stress. Just as when someone talks about software on their PC, I assume they're talking about a computer running a Microsoft-operating system, or when someone says spagetti I don't mention they're actually eating linguini.

    The OP asked for "details and info on what it's like living as someone who's extremely overweight". Looking at bookslibretti's photo, I don't imagine she has the more stereotypical problems of someone who's extremely overweight. For instance, I'd bet she can see her feet looking down. She can clean herself. She doesn't have fungal infections inside the crevices of body fat. These are assumptions, granted. But the inclination I got from reading that questions was that the OP was looking for responses that, frankly, didn't really fit with bookslibretti's photo, regardless of the technicalities.
    posted by Civil_Disobedient at 4:47 PM on September 25, 2006


    When I see the phrase morbidly obese, I interpret that to mean so fat that their body could shut down under the stress.

    but that is not what the phrase means ... and if people are going to use terms inaccurately, their questions are going to be vague and they will get unexpected answers

    Looking at bookslibretti's photo, I don't imagine she has the more stereotypical problems of someone who's extremely overweight.

    which is why bookslibretti's reply was valuable ... because it goes beyond the stereotypical problems and would be valuable for the OP as an answer ... what value would answers be which would reinforce the stereotypes?

    But the inclination I got from reading that questions was that the OP was looking for responses that, frankly, didn't really fit with bookslibretti's photo, regardless of the technicalities.

    we don't always get the answers we expect ... some of us think that is a good thing ... and if her answer really didn't have anything to do with what the OP had in mind, all i can say is that the OP didn't frame the question well enough
    posted by pyramid termite at 5:02 PM on September 25, 2006


    I don't disagree with any of that. I'm just explaining my comment in this thread.
    posted by Civil_Disobedient at 5:14 PM on September 25, 2006


    I think Civil makes the point nicely and better than I did. I thought the OP's intent was clear, even if the technical terms were flawed. Everyone who is hanging on "but it means something different!" is missing the point. The subject was about living as an extremely overweight person, not the vagueness of the term "obese".
    posted by qwip at 6:26 AM on September 27, 2006


    I've read the "Clemie's reasons why" live journal that Jacquilynne linked to in thread, and it almost made me cry. I struggle with my weight, and I thought I knew all about what being overweight was like. I don't. Being 25 pounds overweight is *nothing* like being 100 or more pounds overweight. I have no idea what it's like to live with such self-hatred, so many daily humiliations, such physical limitations.

    And I really, really wish that when we had people willing to step forward and tell us about their experiences that we hadn't further demanded that they prove that they met the criteria for being morbidly obese.
    posted by orange swan at 8:29 AM on September 27, 2006 [1 favorite]


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