Yes, it looks a bit funny January 25, 2008 9:30 AM   Subscribe

I'm not a big fan of call-outs, but this thread, on alzheimers research that happens to involve dorky looking headgear, seems to have gone really wrong. It's pretty much entirely devoted to the false premise that the helmet would be worn at all times, and the humour derived from said dorkyness of helmet, which seems completely the wrong tone for the discussion of a serious disease and what seems to be some legit research.

I've nothing against the odd snarky comment, but an entire thread of misleading snark just seems really wrong... possibly I am just being grumpy today.
posted by Artw to Etiquette/Policy at 9:30 AM (18 comments total)

Possibly you are just being grumpy today.
posted by xmutex at 9:34 AM on January 25, 2008


Let's be fair, it was a really weak post if it was meant to be taken seriously: one link, no background, no links to associated research.

That aside, it's hard to guide how a conversation will go in any thread. In my experience with writing posts, it's often best to let an organic discussion run its course (unless people are throwing chairs at each other, which is not the case here).
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 9:34 AM on January 25, 2008


It is a REALLY weak post. Flag and move on.
posted by agregoli at 9:36 AM on January 25, 2008


Yeah, sucky one-link post + funny helmet and shady looking science-doers = non-serious thread

I'm pretty sure this is an equation that can be applied in many situations...
posted by mrnutty at 9:37 AM on January 25, 2008


I feel bad for my comment in there...it just rubbed me the wrong way that I saw it seconds before on Drudge then it was on the front page with just the one link and nothing to support it. Then all the tags, down the road somebody will look for a serious discussion on alzheimers and that thread will pop up.

The OP mentions his grandfather further down and that's why he has an interest in it - I would urge him to take the topic a bit more seriously and devote time to finding some more informative stuff if that's what he wants. As it stands though, it's a weak, weak post.
posted by vito90 at 9:38 AM on January 25, 2008


Fair enough.

That said, I'm new to this and I think I'm allowed at least 1 shit thread. Go ahead and delete it if you want to maintain the integrity of Metafilter.

In the meantime I'll be compiling a list of shit threads, and I doubt I'll have to go back to '07 to do so.
posted by Bathtub Bobsled at 9:38 AM on January 25, 2008


"integrity of MetaFilter"? Thanks, I've had a rough week and I needed a laugh.
posted by absalom at 9:39 AM on January 25, 2008


BB - don't take it personally. Really, I know it's hard sometimes but we've all been there, sometimes multiple times. Just learn from it and take a chance again in the future.

maintain the integrity of Metafilter.

This is actually quite important to a whole lot of the members.
posted by vito90 at 9:41 AM on January 25, 2008 [1 favorite]


Frankly, I blame the researchers. Compare these two scenarios.

Scenario A: "Experiments indicate that regular exposure to infrared radiation may slow, stop or even reverse the progress of Alzheimer's disease, and we will begin studies on human subjects soon."

Scenario B: "HAY GUYZ I HAS A HELMET!"

For whatever reason, our researchers neglected to identify the intrinsic humor value of helmets, and thus chose Scenario B.
posted by Faint of Butt at 9:41 AM on January 25, 2008 [7 favorites]


In the meantime I'll be compiling a list of shit threads, and I doubt I'll have to go back to '07 to do so.

Arguments in defense of your shit-posting that point back to previous shit-posting as an excuse do not go over well, I'll tell you now. Just don't post shit.
posted by carsonb at 9:43 AM on January 25, 2008 [1 favorite]


Bathtub Bobsled, I don't think Artw is calling you out, rather the inanity that is being posted by other users in the thread. While it is arguably a weak post, people maybe ought to think for a second before posting knee-jerk and predictable snark.

Perhaps the only way to fix this would be to set a timer on posts that would disallow commenting in the thread for at least 10 minutes. Maybe then you wouldn't have all this immediate and useless joke and snark by the usual suspects who might skim for a moment then quickly come back and post something frivolous followed by a [NOT BLANKIST]. Or don't, and just wank on...
posted by Burhanistan at 9:43 AM on January 25, 2008 [1 favorite]


Oh whatever. My grandfather was hopelessly senile for YEARS. That was awful. Unspeakably awful. However, that doesn't make the hamburger helmet any less funny looking. Post a link after they have some nice results and I'll drop to my knees in gratitude that some needless suffering of the world has been eradicated through their hard work. Until then, I am going to continue laughing at the idea of old people with hamburgers on their head.
posted by milarepa at 9:47 AM on January 25, 2008



Meh, the tone of my previous post might have been misread. Sorry.

I'm not bitter or anything, I was just worried that my noob-ishness was misinterpreted as blatant disregard.
posted by Bathtub Bobsled at 9:48 AM on January 25, 2008


Bathtub Bobsled: my only problem with the post is the source. By which I mean The Daily Mail, not you. Supporting links, like to the alluded-to studies about IR's effect on rat brains, etc., would have gone a long way to making it a more credible, less ha-ha-crazy. As it is, without doing further research, I'm forced to cynically, critically assume that it's complete and utter BS hyped up on a slowish newsday when the media needed some science puffery.
posted by mumkin at 9:48 AM on January 25, 2008


Helmets are no laughing matter.

I was hoping to find a video for this but the above is even better.
posted by waraw at 9:49 AM on January 25, 2008 [1 favorite]


I'm not really attempting to call anybody out, I'm just a little dismayed at the overemphasis on LOLFUNNYHELMETS, especially given as how all the news peices mention that it is only worn for a little while each day by the second paragraph. So I guess primarily I'm being a RTFA grump.

(Also, let's be honest, if this had been a stronger post with better discussion I could have come in with some killer snark about it looking like the robotisation helmets from The Dalek Invasion of The Earth)
posted by Artw at 9:49 AM on January 25, 2008


Cortex, perhaps you can close this thread, now that the original is closed?
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 9:49 AM on January 25, 2008


Not a great post; I've deleted it, just now, as such:

If this line of research actually pans out once it's tested, that'll be pretty great, but right now this is pretty weak sci-speculation press-release stuff and not a great post.

Bathtub Bobsled, making a weak post isn't a big deal, a lot of folks fumble a little on their first go. This is something where there's an exciting idea but all we've got right now is kind of weak What If stuff in an unremarkable Daily Mail story. There's not a lot of meat there.

Artw, as BP said, there's not a whole lot to do to try and predict/direct a conversation in a thread other than participating in it along the lines that you think are interesting/appropriate. Calling out a failure to take something sufficiently seriously probably isn't a great idea most of the time; sometimes, you just don't get the thread you want.

Nobody should be looking for a fight about this, and I'm not sure there's any real new ground to cover here, so I think we should probably just close this up.
posted by cortex (staff) at 9:50 AM on January 25, 2008


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