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October 31, 2008 10:59 AM   Subscribe

What's up with the recent bump in prison-related questions on AskMe?

Has anyone else noticed a bit of an uptick in these questions? We've always had our share of what-if/outside-looking-in questions about prisons, but this past month we've had several "I or someone I know is going to/getting out of prison"-related stuff.

Anyone care to offer some thoughtful insight or out-of-ass speculation? Perhaps this sidebarred comment has loosened some lips?
posted by mkultra to MetaFilter-Related at 10:59 AM (64 comments total)

What line bisects he TI <> OA continuum on the Y axis?
posted by Burhanistan at 11:04 AM on October 31, 2008


(the)
posted by Burhanistan at 11:06 AM on October 31, 2008


End of the Bush Administration?
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 11:10 AM on October 31, 2008 [7 favorites]


The touch economy has forced me to pursue a life of crime.
posted by box at 11:11 AM on October 31, 2008


maybe it's just because more people are in prison than ever before in US history?
posted by jammy at 11:12 AM on October 31, 2008


We have some recent Ebay scammers doing ten the hard way in a federal pen.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 11:12 AM on October 31, 2008


What's up with the recent bump in prison-related questions on AskMe?


You mean other than confirmation bias?
posted by dersins at 11:15 AM on October 31, 2008 [6 favorites]


Because the justice system in the US is broken.
posted by allkindsoftime at 11:25 AM on October 31, 2008


How is this a bump? There's an average of 1-3 questions per month on this topic. In October there were 3. Is this scary trend occurring with other topics too?
posted by iamkimiam at 11:30 AM on October 31, 2008


Electric-vehicle naming, yes.
posted by box at 11:33 AM on October 31, 2008


(Also, that's supposed to be 'tough economy,' not 'touch economy,' in my first comment. Call it a Freudian slip, as I've become a coked-up, cigar-smoking male prostitute.)
posted by box at 11:34 AM on October 31, 2008


Perhaps we should have a new site section: ImprisonMe.
posted by echo target at 11:37 AM on October 31, 2008


dersins: "You mean other than confirmation bias?"

It's not confirmation bias!
posted by Plutor at 11:37 AM on October 31, 2008 [8 favorites]


Metafilter: I meme confirmation bias!
posted by mrmojoflying at 11:41 AM on October 31, 2008


It's not confirmation bias!

heh.
posted by dersins at 11:43 AM on October 31, 2008


Has anyone else noticed a bit of an uptick in these questions?

Has anyone else noticed a bit of an uptick in the use of the term uptick lately?
posted by headnsouth at 11:54 AM on October 31, 2008 [1 favorite]


It's because Matt gives free subscriptions to prisoners, as he is a member of the Anarchist Black Cross.
posted by Astro Zombie at 12:02 PM on October 31, 2008 [3 favorites]


I made the sidebar?

Cool. What do I win?
posted by BitterOldPunk at 12:09 PM on October 31, 2008


Man, I hope it's not more jail.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 12:12 PM on October 31, 2008 [18 favorites]


What do I win?

Community Chest.
posted by dgaicun at 12:16 PM on October 31, 2008 [1 favorite]


Is this supposed to be a bad thing?

I'm very curious what's it's like to do time. Not curious enough to experience it first-hand, but curious enough to read about other peoples experience.
posted by sixcolors at 12:20 PM on October 31, 2008


I found it amusing that two "what should I expect?" questions were sidebarred on the same day - one asking about going to prison and one asking about running for public office. Were the mods trying to tell us something about politicians?
posted by cimbrog at 12:28 PM on October 31, 2008


Confirmation bias is part of it; people probably also see questions on relatively-unusual topics and it occurs to them to ask their own related question.
posted by Tomorrowful at 12:30 PM on October 31, 2008


dersins: You mean other than confirmation bias?

You're misusing that term. There is, in fact, an actual increase lately. Not much, but it's there. Look at the data.
posted by mkultra at 12:36 PM on October 31, 2008


Because mefites have a problem with "THE MAN"!!!
posted by Carbolic at 12:54 PM on October 31, 2008 [2 favorites]


Times have been getting tougher recently and police departments are doing all kinds of stuff to make sure they stay budgeted/employed, be it with the local Underage Drinking Taskforce or (seemingly) stepped-up efforts to catch people with drugs.

Also, when people feel like they've got nothing to look forward to, they're less likely to give a shit when it comes to stuff like doing drugs or drinking and driving.
posted by dunkadunc at 1:05 PM on October 31, 2008


Am I seeing increased abuse of the term "confirmation bias" lately, or is that just confirmation bias?
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 1:07 PM on October 31, 2008 [6 favorites]


I seem to be abusing myself a lot lately, but no more than usual.
posted by Astro Zombie at 1:12 PM on October 31, 2008 [1 favorite]


What's up with the recent bump in prison-related questions on AskMe?

I ate the last person who asked me that with some dilly beans and a nice box of fucking merlot.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 1:15 PM on October 31, 2008 [1 favorite]


Am I seeing increased abuse of the term "confirmation bias" lately, or is that just confirmation bias?

Baader-Meinhof.
posted by dersins at 1:21 PM on October 31, 2008 [1 favorite]


Were the mods trying to tell us something about politicians?

Yes.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 1:22 PM on October 31, 2008 [4 favorites]


What's up with the recent bump of people posting anything to MetaTalk? Or is that just the COLD HARD FACTS?
posted by strangeleftydoublethink at 1:42 PM on October 31, 2008


What's with all the confirmation bias that I've been seeing lately?
posted by blue_beetle at 2:12 PM on October 31, 2008 [6 favorites]


Asking the hivemind about three hots and a cot is more refined than asking about cardboard boxes and panhandling.
posted by infinitewindow at 2:46 PM on October 31, 2008


It's the economy, stupid.
posted by Eideteker at 3:12 PM on October 31, 2008


The entire site is a viral for the current season of Prison Break.
posted by cortex (staff) at 3:19 PM on October 31, 2008 [3 favorites]


What's $5 in mackerel?
posted by brundlefly at 3:25 PM on October 31, 2008


I ♣ my seal.
posted by lukemeister at 3:29 PM on October 31, 2008 [1 favorite]


Don't know why you askin' them questions, but you got a purty mouth on ya, boy.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 3:30 PM on October 31, 2008 [2 favorites]


Brandon,
Are you having an election night event on PoliticalFilter? I'd like to participate, assuming I'm not yet in prison.
posted by lukemeister at 3:33 PM on October 31, 2008


Of course. There's a live blog set to open at 6:30pm EST for those who wish to hoot and holler as results roll in.

No cover charge.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 4:01 PM on October 31, 2008


We have some recent Ebay scammers doing ten the hard way in a federal pen.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 2:12 PM on October 31 [+] [!]


Really? Details?
posted by Hildegarde at 4:46 PM on October 31, 2008


Well, pass it on...
posted by jonmc at 5:03 PM on October 31, 2008


There's a live blog set to open at 6:30pm EST for those who wish to hoot and holler as results roll in.

Yee-haa! Can we download beers?
posted by lukemeister at 5:23 PM on October 31, 2008


Prison is the only growth industry we've got left.
posted by fixedgear at 5:42 PM on October 31, 2008


Really? Details?

Not really, I was just joking about airnetx.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 6:12 PM on October 31, 2008


There's a live blog set to open at 6:30pm EST for those who wish to hoot and holler as results roll in.


You know who else liked to hoot and holler?

Hootler.
posted by oneirodynia at 6:58 PM on October 31, 2008 [5 favorites]


Yee-haa! Can we download beers?

No. Last time, you got all liquored up and started hangin' Chads.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:06 PM on October 31, 2008 [1 favorite]


Somehow the ask game remind me of the crack game
posted by afu at 10:17 PM on October 31, 2008


I &spades my cat.
posted by Neiltupper at 11:57 PM on October 31, 2008


Gah! why didn't that work? It worked on preview!
posted by Neiltupper at 11:58 PM on October 31, 2008


I'm biased. And I just confirmed it.

[Don't send me to prison.]
posted by mandal at 3:49 AM on November 1, 2008


I found it amusing that two "what should I expect?" questions were sidebarred on the same day - one asking about going to prison and one asking about running for public office.

Politics: the Rube Goldberg path to jail.
posted by Nattie at 4:16 AM on November 1, 2008


the plural of chad is chad
posted by lazaruslong at 8:35 AM on November 1, 2008


YOU ARE NOT MY DOCTOR.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:47 AM on November 1, 2008


I'd go to Prison to be with Michael Scofield!

There is very little sexier than that full-body tattoo in Season 1.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 9:30 AM on November 1, 2008


Gah! why didn't that work? It worked on preview!

No, it worked in live preview. If you really want to see if you successfully ♠ your cat, you have to use the actual preview button to confirm you put the semicolon after "spades." Of course, if that HTML entity isn't part of your display font, you may end up with something funky on your screen.
posted by dersins at 9:36 AM on November 1, 2008


Metafilter: You may end up with something funky on your screen
posted by lukemeister at 9:40 AM on November 1, 2008


Because mefites have a problem with "THE MAN"!!!

be careful what you say - ♦'s watching you
posted by pyramid termite at 10:05 AM on November 1, 2008


I wouldn't join any ♣ that ∋ me.
posted by lukemeister at 12:17 PM on November 1, 2008


Darn, I was really hoping we had some good news about airnetx being sent to rot.
posted by Hildegarde at 12:52 PM on November 1, 2008


# of posts with "jail" tag:

2004: 4
2005: 2
2006: 5
2007: 7
2008: 13

# of posts with "prison" tag:

2004: 9
2005: 4
2006: 5
2007: 12
2008: 14

So, yeah, we're seeing more of these posts over the last two years, probably because more people are learning AskMe might be a good place to ask about prison experiences. But I just got off work and am drinking early so thought I'd do a monthly breakdown too:

# of posts with "jail" or "prison" tag per month, 2004-2008:

January: 7
February: 7
March:5
April: 5
May: 3
June: 8
July: 8
August: 3
September: 5
October: 11
November: 7
December: 6

I think the more relevant question here is "What's up with the bump in prison-related questions that happens in October on AskMe?

One guess: Freshman Drinking.
posted by mediareport at 5:06 PM on November 1, 2008


October is when I get stabby.
posted by turgid dahlia at 1:54 PM on November 2, 2008 [1 favorite]


mediareport: I think the more relevant question here is "What's up with the bump in prison-related questions that happens in October on AskMe? One guess: Freshman Drinking.

Hmm, maybe this is the down-economy version of Eternal September...
posted by mkultra at 7:54 AM on November 3, 2008


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