Been seeing it for too long. May 4, 2010 12:45 AM   Subscribe

Is this where I complain about dfriedman constantly jumping into AskMefi threads with low-signal ten-word answers, seemingly eager just to be one of the first?

If not, my apologies.
posted by Nameless to Etiquette/Policy at 12:45 AM (114 comments total)

I was going to cheerypick a few more examples, but you can just click and start reading.
posted by Nameless at 12:47 AM on May 4, 2010


The answers that appear on your "click and start reading" link seem pretty normal to me. I can think of a lot of other members who do the drive-by answer thing in a much more egregious way, but I've never taken the time to call them out. I figure if their answers aren't helpful, people can ignore them, and maybe they'll burn themselves out over time.
posted by amyms at 1:00 AM on May 4, 2010 [2 favorites]


Yes, you do that here.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 1:00 AM on May 4, 2010 [4 favorites]


I realize that this may be affected by the fact that it's now 4AM and I can't sleep, and maybe dfriedman and I just happen to look at the same questions, but it seems to be a very frequent occurrence I haven't seen from others.

In this particular case, the question has already mentioned autism, and how the poster thinks it's different, so just replying with "Asperger's? Autism?" seems like the question was TL;DR for dfriedman.
posted by Nameless at 1:09 AM on May 4, 2010


I occasionally flag answers like this (not just from him). I guess it would be good to know if there's some kind of repeat-offender tracking going on by the admins.
posted by Nameless at 1:11 AM on May 4, 2010


I don't think there's anything wrong with concise answers.
posted by ellieBOA at 1:13 AM on May 4, 2010 [10 favorites]


FRIST POST!!11

(Also, Aspergers?)
posted by obiwanwasabi at 1:20 AM on May 4, 2010 [2 favorites]


Looks more like low-noise answers.
posted by TheophileEscargot at 1:25 AM on May 4, 2010 [4 favorites]


Male Answer Syndrome in the age of twitter?

Terse resurrection of Steven Den Beste?

Comments composed of an iterative series of interrogative search query sentence fragments?
posted by blasdelf at 1:41 AM on May 4, 2010 [3 favorites]


I wonder why I kind of like his answers. Asperger's? Autism?
posted by HopperFan at 1:50 AM on May 4, 2010


Nothing to see here? Move along?
posted by fleacircus at 1:55 AM on May 4, 2010


Bi? Curious?
posted by uncanny hengeman at 1:56 AM on May 4, 2010 [1 favorite]


a lot of his answers are long. some of his shorter answers seem to be absolutely on point.

he's not thread shitting, he's attempting to answer the question. if you think it needs more expounding, then do it yourself?
posted by nadawi at 1:59 AM on May 4, 2010 [8 favorites]


Male Answer Syndrome

This term really bugs the fuck out of me. I'm not sure why it's OK to use gendered pejorative terms in this case, but not in others.
posted by rodgerd at 2:22 AM on May 4, 2010 [31 favorites]


Concise == good.
posted by orthogonality at 2:27 AM on May 4, 2010 [4 favorites]


so, dfriedman jumps into threads with his ten-word answers, just to be the first. Then, you give a list of examples that don't seem to show that what you're complaining about actually exists. Then, you jump into your own thread, just to be the first.
posted by ActingTheGoat at 2:39 AM on May 4, 2010 [2 favorites]


he's not thread shitting, he's attempting to answer the question.

This is always the impression I got of dfriedman. I call confirmation bias for Nameless and no problem here to address.

(see? sometimes a million words aren't necessary)
posted by shelleycat at 2:50 AM on May 4, 2010 [1 favorite]


This term really bugs the fuck out of me. I'm not sure why it's OK to use gendered pejorative terms in this case, but not in others.

Oh, come now. I'm sure people here wouldn't mind if you blamed certain behaviors on Girl Brain.
posted by pracowity at 3:07 AM on May 4, 2010 [4 favorites]


You know, I am SO SO GLAD that we don't have the 'FIRST!!!11' thing here. Drives me MAD, that does.
posted by mippy at 3:44 AM on May 4, 2010 [1 favorite]


Concise == Autism?
posted by fire&wings at 3:58 AM on May 4, 2010


Let's see him settle the post-conflict issues arising from the Thirty Years' War in ten words or less, then all can be forever forgotten and forgiven.
posted by Abiezer at 4:01 AM on May 4, 2010


Also: "Aspbergers'? Autism?" Is two words, not ten.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 4:03 AM on May 4, 2010


Male Answer Syndrome

This term really bugs the fuck out of me


Yes, all it does lay blame on a particular sex.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 4:04 AM on May 4, 2010


RiSe AnD sHiNe MiStEr FrIeDmAn RiSe...AnD sHiNe.
posted by turgid dahlia at 4:08 AM on May 4, 2010 [6 favorites]


Centipedes?
posted by turgid dahlia at 4:09 AM on May 4, 2010


Also: "Aspbergers'? Autism?" Is two words, not ten.

definitely two words. not ten. definitely two.
posted by gman at 4:10 AM on May 4, 2010 [13 favorites]


Wow.
posted by longsleeves at 4:16 AM on May 4, 2010


Centipedes?

In MY Autism?

It's more likely than you think.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 4:18 AM on May 4, 2010


Autism causes centipedes. Repetitive movement. No social skills.
posted by Free word order! at 4:22 AM on May 4, 2010


DTMFA.
posted by Omnomnom at 4:24 AM on May 4, 2010 [1 favorite]


The Human Centipede is Dustin Hoffman's finest performance yet.
posted by turgid dahlia at 4:37 AM on May 4, 2010


I agree that dfriedman probably answers too many questions. His answers (from what I've observed) aren't horrible, but sometimes they are pretty thin on content. AskMe seems to get these types of hyper-active answerers occasionally, but they seem to get bored with it and move on.

Male Answer Syndrome does seem to be the word for it, but the last person I remember who did this was 45moore45. And she wasn't male.
posted by mullacc at 4:43 AM on May 4, 2010


Goddammit I had gone nearly one waking hour without being reminded of The Human Centipede's existence. Today is ruined. I'm going back to bed.
posted by Metroid Baby at 4:44 AM on May 4, 2010 [5 favorites]


Whenever I see an answer from dfriedman I think of Kinky Friedman and then I think of kinky and then, well you get the idea. So answer anything you like dfriedman it leads to bigger and better things.
posted by JohnnyGunn at 4:45 AM on May 4, 2010 [1 favorite]


Goddammit I had gone nearly one waking hour without being reminded of The Human Centipede's existence. Today is ruined. I'm going back to bed.

Ha, it's like The Game. But losing is a lot worse :(
posted by EndsOfInvention at 4:49 AM on May 4, 2010


I agree that dfriedman probably answers too many questions.

Surely this can only be a good thing on a website where people post questions and wait for answers?
posted by ellieBOA at 4:56 AM on May 4, 2010


You'd be surprised.
posted by mullacc at 5:07 AM on May 4, 2010


I don't see a problem, personally. On most days, dfriedman answers 3-5 questions, based on the first page of his answers as linked. On that page, his most answerriffic day was April 27, with 12 answers. AskMe has what, 100-ish questions per day? So even on his "worst" day, he's only answering about 10% of the questions. That's a lot, but it's not every day. and his answers aren't bad.
posted by donnagirl at 5:16 AM on May 4, 2010


I couldn't find a single occurrence of a ten-word answer in the examples you linked to.
posted by UbuRoivas at 5:17 AM on May 4, 2010 [1 favorite]


Goddammit I had gone nearly one waking hour without being reminded of The Human Centipede's existence. Today is ruined. I'm going back to bed.

the director's planning a sequel. and it goes up to 12!!!
posted by needled at 5:17 AM on May 4, 2010


Dude, "concise" does not equal good when it's yet another arm chair psychologist in AskMe using the first slot in the thread to dump two ridiculously stigmatizing diagnostic labels on a child based on very little information and I guarantee without any background in either diagnosing child mental health disorders or any more than a passing layperson's knowledge of what criteria one needs to fit in order to be diagnosed with either disorder.

Jesus Christ, this place is fucking hopeless.
posted by The Straightener at 5:18 AM on May 4, 2010 [16 favorites]


I'm glad someone else is pointing this out. A ton of his answers are just him throwing out words with question marks after them. I agree with this callout.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 5:22 AM on May 4, 2010 [5 favorites]


Correct, it is affected by the fact that it is 4 AM and you can't sleep.

Because it's 5 AM and I haven't slept and seem to be suffering from either Irritable Male Syndrome or perhaps Underload Syndrome I give you Female Answer Syndrome.
Each of the above possibly fits within the category of Syndrome Syndrome.
posted by vapidave at 5:35 AM on May 4, 2010 [1 favorite]


AskMetaFilter: throwing out words with question marks after them
posted by cgc373 at 5:37 AM on May 4, 2010 [1 favorite]


But on the bright side, here's the kind of wacky fun human centipede you can take to parties!
posted by Catseye at 5:41 AM on May 4, 2010


Jesus Christ, this place is fucking hopeless.

This isn't Hotel California; not only can you check out any time you like, but you can always leave.

Armchair psychology is what you get when you ask a website of 100k+ people to diagnose your kid; if you want real psychology, you'd get them to a professional. I don't understand how three more paragraphs of semi-related research makes it any less armchair unless you've got some credentials to back it up.
posted by Hiker at 5:59 AM on May 4, 2010 [9 favorites]


We remove a lot of his short not-really-answer answers. That said, he often has longer more useful answers other places so he's not just a FRSIT! kind of guy. Pretty sure I dropped him a note way back when about this. May be time to drop another note.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 6:07 AM on May 4, 2010 [1 favorite]


yet another arm chair psychologist in AskMe using the first slot in the thread to dump two ridiculously stigmatizing diagnostic labels on a child

A bit of a derail, but...among THIS community at least, is Aspergers even considered stigmatizing at this point? My impression is that it's the "must have" diagnosis for ANYONE trying to slap a label on their social differences or the depth of their hobbies....a large percentage of the mental health AskMe questions seem to be folks fishing for an Aspergers diagnosis for themselves, their parters or siblings, etc. It's almost like the "Indigo Child" of the nerd set.

That doesn't make armchair diagnosis of it any more valid. (I often roll my eyes at people convinced they had it because of an internet questionnaire.) But it's not as stigmatizing as, say, the rush here to diagnose posters with personality disorders, clinical paranoia, etc.
posted by availablelight at 6:11 AM on May 4, 2010 [3 favorites]


We remove a lot of his short not-really-answer answers.

Let's call it "Must-Answer Syndrome," then.
posted by mediareport at 6:24 AM on May 4, 2010 [2 favorites]


Availablelight, I do find it as troubling as labelling every "crazy" person with borderline personality disorder or every active kid as ADHD. The ADHD part doesn't happen here on Mefi, but the BPD does. It seems like a LOT of times you will see an AskMe thread saying "My (friend/relative) acted totally inappropriately/did this weird thing" and there will be an answer "also, look up borderline personality disorder, this sounds a LOT like that." I once asked another Mefite to do the calculations - 9 diagnostic criteria, you have to have 5 (but can have any 5, 6, 7, 8, or all 9), that's 200+ combinations of symptoms that can be diagnosed as BPD. Armchair psychology is all the more disturbing when people are basing it off one story about a stranger's (friend/relative).
posted by IndigoRain at 6:33 AM on May 4, 2010


The answers that appear on your "click and start reading" link seem pretty normal to me.

That's because the really goofy ones get deleted. Dude definitely needs to answer less.
posted by ludwig_van at 6:39 AM on May 4, 2010


Armchair psychology is all the more disturbing when people are basing it off one story about a stranger's (friend/relative).

MeFi isn't some subsection of the population who have a small amount of knowledge and a great deal of confidence in what conclusions that knowledge allows them to make. If you mention the same kind of thing around the family dinner table, invariably someone has an uneducated opinion on the subject which they pass off as educated because they've read the Wikipedia article (or watched Oprah) on the subject.

The suggestions are made with good intentions; they're no substitution for a real diagnosis, but then again, nothing's a substitution for a real diagnosis and noone should expect AskMe to even remotely fill that role.
posted by Hiker at 6:44 AM on May 4, 2010 [3 favorites]


Scanned the first couple pages of his answers; totally fine.

Yes that's 10 words.
posted by Perplexity at 6:48 AM on May 4, 2010


dump two ridiculously stigmatizing diagnostic labels on a child based on very little information

And you have just described nearly every AskMe dealing with medical or psychiatric questions.

Almost no one here is qualified to diagnose anything, and those that are know better than to do so over the internet in a public forum with no follow up.

It's not male answer syndrome. It's "I had a friend once who had something similar and her friend told her that her acupuncturist said it might be X disease." It happens all the time in Askme, and at best it's useless, at worst it's dangerous.
posted by fourcheesemac at 6:51 AM on May 4, 2010


A woman goes to the butcher and asks for a chicken. He selects one from the case, puts it on a sheet of wax paper and shows it to her. She smells the chicken, wrinkles her nose and says "Feh!" He says "Lady, you could pass such a test?"
posted by fixedgear at 6:52 AM on May 4, 2010 [1 favorite]


He says "Lady, you could pass such a test?"

The butcher likely suffers from Aspergers.
posted by Hiker at 6:56 AM on May 4, 2010 [4 favorites]


The ADHD part doesn't happen here on Mefi
Are you kidding? AskMe has me convinced I have ADHD.
posted by b33j at 7:10 AM on May 4, 2010


"Let's call it "Must-Answer Syndrome," then."

What do you have against male elephants?
posted by iamkimiam at 7:16 AM on May 4, 2010


Perplexity, you say, "Scanned the first couple pages of his answers; totally fine" -- do you think that has anything to do with what Jessamyn said: "We remove a lot of his short not-really-answer answers."?
posted by kate blank at 7:21 AM on May 4, 2010


kate blank: "Perplexity, you say, "Scanned the first couple pages of his answers; totally fine" -- do you think that has anything to do with what Jessamyn said: "We remove a lot of his short not-really-answer answers.""

Well yeah I guess it must but there's no way to tell, right? If only there were a placeholder for deleted comments, or some other way to view deleted comments. Oh, wait, wrong Metatalk thread...
posted by Perplexity at 7:26 AM on May 4, 2010 [1 favorite]


Well yeah I guess it must but there's no way to tell, right?

You. Could. Ask. dfriedman has had what I would consider "an awful lot" of comments removed.

Maybe you were making some sort of a joke but it's been sort of a busy morning today and I've got about zero smiley emoticons left in my hopper today.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 7:44 AM on May 4, 2010 [1 favorite]


Centipedes?

Centipedes? In MY Autism? It's more likely than you think.

Autism causes centipedes. Repetitive movement. No social skills.

The Human Centipede is Dustin Hoffman's finest performance yet.


This thread is starting to sound like a Bing commercial.

(I really like those Bing commercials.)
posted by Night_owl at 7:54 AM on May 4, 2010


I think the mods need a hug today. I need longer arms, or a plane ticket...
posted by This Guy at 7:54 AM on May 4, 2010


I just came here to say that I had a great gastro-interologist once that was like the incarnate stereotype of an elderly Jewish man from New York. He's retired now, and yes, in Boca, but anyway, his name was Doctor Friedman, so whenever I see dfriedman in type I see drfriedman.

I still recall his advice, "Maybe, you can eat nothing but a little piece of fish every night with a little lemon on it and maybe you'll have another year with your grandchildren? Maybe you won't have so much heartburn? Or you can live a little; have some wine; have a steak; you're young; go live! You'll be fine!"

Later, as his own health deteriorated his advice became more concise, "GERD? Fish? Grandchildren? Wine!"

OK, so I made that part up.
posted by Pollomacho at 7:58 AM on May 4, 2010 [1 favorite]


Yeah, he seems well-meaning as far as that goes but has really had an awful lot of low-content answers removed, so what's left behind doesn't really tell the whole story. "Must-Answer Syndrome" is not a terrible way to describe the general phenomenon, if we have to settle for a three-word "X Answer Syndrome" label, though I mostly hope we don't have to. Namespace is not coming from nowhere here, dfriedman's ongoing over-answering is something we know about and are a bit frustrated by.

We'll drop him another note; I know I've seen and removed one or two metacommentary complaints from him about comment deletions, so he's at least aware of the situation nominally even if he's maybe not doing a great job of actually altering his behavior so far.

But it's one of those things that's hard to give really concrete directions on: "do not do x" is fairly easy to communicate unequivocally where x = "yell at this specific user you have a problem with" or "make axe-grinding posts about pet topic y"; when instead x = "answer a bit too much or too glibly when you're bored" quantifying the behavior is hard.
posted by cortex (staff) at 7:58 AM on May 4, 2010 [1 favorite]


Really, if this is the worst thing you can find to complain about you need to get a life. Or maybe a little more sleep. :-)

(I threw in that smiley for Jessamyn, since she is is fresh out.)
posted by SLC Mom at 8:00 AM on May 4, 2010


It might be a tumor, or more likely bipolar syndrome.
posted by Burhanistan at 8:01 AM on May 4, 2010 [2 favorites]


to dump two ridiculously stigmatizing diagnostic labels on a child

Just to be clear, not everyone sees these words as "ridiculously stigmatizing" If you're going to ask "what could this be?" you have to be ready to accept answers that you may not want to hear. While we don't love casual "Looks like lupus" throwaway comments, there is absolutely nothing wrong with answering the question asked, even if you think the person won't like the answer. This is pretty orthogonal to the point being raised, but I think it bears mentioning.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 8:03 AM on May 4, 2010


Telling people to get a life rarely improves a conversation, fwiw.
posted by cortex (staff) at 8:13 AM on May 4, 2010 [3 favorites]


jessamyn, with your empty emoticon hopper and your 'looks like lupus,' you have made me laugh out loud twice in the last 10 minutes and I have a shitty cold so thanks.
posted by chococat at 8:19 AM on May 4, 2010


Other things that do not improve conversation

- *rolls eyes*
- "don't you have anything better to do?
- "Tennessee is underwater and you're worrying about THIS"
- "oh please"
- "couldn't help myself" post-snark pseudo-apology
- aggressive support of your pet topic that has nothing to do with the topic
- irony that no one gets
- "oh yeah what about WHAT THIS GUY DID" when you haven't even flagged it
- begging
- "ignore that person's comment"
- "can't find links because I'm on my phone but...."
- "I'm MeMailing you...."

I appreciate that people want to contribute and I consider myself fortunate that so many people find AskMe so useful and valuable [while being aware that some people don't] but stressing that comments should be useful to the OP and not just responding because it's the functional food pellet equivalent of your morning.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 8:19 AM on May 4, 2010 [24 favorites]


- "I'm MeMailing you...."

I generally have a reaction to that one as well, because it could be seen as "oh hey, I have some great personal thing to tell this person but I'm going to let everyone else know that I've initiated private contact". But, it could also be in case someone doesn't pay attention to their MeMail icon and has opted out of having the messages delivered to their regular email. Still, it's probably more vanity than anything.
posted by Burhanistan at 8:23 AM on May 4, 2010


Other things that do not improve conversation

My favorite is "I have no idea what the answer is but thanks for asking since I was wondering about this myself."
posted by iconomy at 8:56 AM on May 4, 2010 [2 favorites]


Well, it was supposed to be sort of tongue in cheek.

But really, how is this a productive conversation? If you have a problem with someone, why not contact them directly, or a mod, to discuss it? How is it constructive to have a thread like this that holds other posters up for ridicule and excoriates them for minor offenses. It would be much better to deal with the problem privately.
posted by SLC Mom at 9:10 AM on May 4, 2010 [1 favorite]


...and I have a shitty cold so thanks.

Are you sure it's a cold and not something worse?
posted by ericb at 9:12 AM on May 4, 2010


But really, how is this a productive conversation? If you have a problem with someone, why not contact them directly, or a mod, to discuss it? How is it constructive to have a thread like this that holds other posters up for ridicule and excoriates them for minor offenses. It would be much better to deal with the problem privately.

This is how we hash out our admittedly vague and nebulous community standards. If all communication about appropriate MeFi behaviour is back-channel mod stuff, we're never going to learn about things we should/shouldn't do, and the mods never get community feedback on the behaviour in question.
posted by zamboni at 9:21 AM on May 4, 2010


I noticed that he does answer a lot, but I don't see anything wrong with it.

Also, his NYC answers are almost always dead-on right, which is really helpful. No need to pick on him for trying to be helpful.
posted by cestmoi15 at 9:26 AM on May 4, 2010


I’ve kind of noticed it too, but it’s never really bothered me. To be honest, when I’m in an especially non-productive work mood (aka an extremely productive MeFi mood), I find myself giving a lot of “first” answers. So many that it becomes uncomfortable, and I worry people will get sick of me or feel that I have some sort of must-answer syndrome. Dr.Friedman takes care of that for me.
posted by Think_Long at 9:27 AM on May 4, 2010


Are you sure it's a cold and not something worse?

Looks like lupus!
posted by scody at 9:29 AM on May 4, 2010 [3 favorites]


It's never lupus.
posted by Night_owl at 9:34 AM on May 4, 2010 [5 favorites]


iconomy: "My favorite is "I have no idea what the answer is but thanks for asking since I was wondering about this myself.""

I would bet that in most cases people make this or similar comments so that the thread shows up in their Recent Activity, letting them easily know when someone answers the question.

Personally, I don't think it's that bad. It's absolutely not contributing, but there's an acceptable reason behind the comments in my opinion
posted by flatluigi at 9:49 AM on May 4, 2010 [1 favorite]


I agree that dfriedman probably answers too many questions.

Surely this can only be a good thing on a website where people post questions and wait for answers?


I like to think we're going for quality, not quantity.

But, having said that, I remember when I was a new user trying to answer way too many questions.

I think it might be New User Syndrome?

Or lupus!
posted by misha at 9:49 AM on May 4, 2010


The "have you been checked for Asperpergers" answers on AskMe deserve a callout all their own.
posted by KokuRyu at 10:02 AM on May 4, 2010 [1 favorite]


IndigoRain: "I once asked another Mefite to do the calculations - 9 diagnostic criteria, you have to have 5 (but can have any 5, 6, 7, 8, or all 9), that's 200+ combinations of symptoms that can be diagnosed as BPD."

Oh man! The diagnostic criteria for BPD is one of my major interests. You really don't have 200+ combinations, despite what the DSM says. If you are interested, get Treatment of Borderline Personality Disorder by Joel Paris. He knows his shit. He says: "The real problem with the diagnosis of BPD comes from the way the construct has been defined. It needs to be made much more precise." And later in the same book:
Following the rules set out in the DSM definition, clinicians refer to a list of criteria and must identify five of them in a patient to make a diagnosis. This "Chinese menu" approach is typical of the DSM system. However, the manual fails to specify any core features, without which a diagnosis should not be made...The problem is that any combination of five symptoms gives the diagnosis, even if not all domains are represented. In addition, there are no core symptoms for diagnosis...BPD is a complex syndrome that cannot be defined by a limited number of criteria."
And later:
I suggest...that because BPD is a multidimensional disorder and patients have symptoms in multiple shperes (mood instability, impulsivity, unstable relationships, and cognitive impairments), the presence of all these features should be required to make a diagnosis.
So, there you go! People should really not be diagnosing people just because they read the DSM! It's much more complex than that.

THAT SAID, people who have personal experience with the disorder saying "it reminds me of my mother who has BPD" is perfectly valid and can be very helpful.
posted by internet fraud detective squad, station number 9 at 10:10 AM on May 4, 2010 [1 favorite]


Also, SO many people on AskMe have ADHD. It's just a magnet for us.

--The background is not distracting, there are no animations, the navigation is relatively simple and text-based

--You can finish it

--"Recent Activity" helps you keep track of things that you've commented in so you can participate in conversations on an ongoing basis without forgetting or losing track of the thread

The other thing I see that has a high concentration of ADHDers is kink/BDSM. I am still figuring that one out!
posted by internet fraud detective squad, station number 9 at 10:15 AM on May 4, 2010 [4 favorites]


ADHD was the fad diagnosis for the late 80s, early 90s. aspergers is the new fad diagnosis.
posted by nadawi at 10:44 AM on May 4, 2010 [2 favorites]


Well the two things I really dislike are:

1) Snarky one-liners receiving favorites--here I mean the kind that's directed at other members, especially which you might not say in real life because it would rude; and

2) Wrong/ignorant (but honest) replies receiving more favorites than insightful/correct ones, for the sole reason that they are written in a provocative style.

These two phenomena detract from the overall quality of a given thread. But I don't see how this is avoidable, under the current system.

Addressing the OP's concern, if a person's nonsense comments don't receive unwarranted encouragement in the form of supporting replies or favorites, I think that is the least we can hope for, at this time. However I did skim through their comments; I'd characterize his/her voice as very neutral/unemotional, a bit terse at times, but always polite and respectful, also rational and knowledgeable. We need more posters like this, not fewer.
posted by polymodus at 10:46 AM on May 4, 2010


nadawi, what makes you think that?

I hear it a lot and yes, to some extent, I'm sure that people hearing about a diagnosis makes them more likely to diagnose it, but calling both ADHD and Asperger's "fad diagnoses" is really reductive and simplistic and I haven't seen a lot of evidence of children being misdiagnosed in huge swaths. If there is evidence of that, please point me to it.

There is also evidence that autism spectrum disorders are underdiagnosed in females.
posted by internet fraud detective squad, station number 9 at 10:51 AM on May 4, 2010 [1 favorite]


Polymodus, the problem with the things you dislike is that it assumes that people favoriting a response means that that response is considered a good answer. That may not be the case. We've had numerous MeTa discussions about "how people use favorites", and the end result is that favorites are often of use only to the person favoriting something -- they are not necessarily a marker for accuracy or agreement. I'm not sure why favorites counts would detract from the quality of a thread.
posted by dryad at 11:02 AM on May 4, 2010


We've had numerous MeTa discussions about "how people use favorites"

I've seen those. High favorite counts detract from thread quality when they divert reader attention to snarky or incorrect replies. It doesn't reflect well on the community, when there are better comments in the same thread sort of "hanging out in the shadows". It's dissonant.

And surely you've observed the case where first favorite triggers a mini-cascade of additional favorites. If you happen to know that the response is factually wrong, or that wit is clearly being mistaken for snideness, this phenomenon is quite grating: dissonant.

To conclude that favorites are only of personal use does not seem very logical to me. Because then maybe the number of favorites is a bad metric, and so the count should be removed. Or maybe they shouldn't be called favorites--because in the end, what is favorite, if it cannot be shared with others, on philosophical grounds?

Still, my final point earlier was that it is always useful and pleasant to have knowledgeable & respectful contributors. (But I didn't read about the deletion issues with this person in particular till now, that's a whole separate can of worms.)
posted by polymodus at 11:27 AM on May 4, 2010


and so the count should be removed

the power is within you. you can either just remove the counts or remove the favorites from your view all together.
posted by nadawi at 11:31 AM on May 4, 2010


If answers try to be helpful, how about we just let people do their best? The availability of MeTa should absorb any excess of snark and "I hate this thing that that person does." I say this as a person who is kind of addicted to Ask.me answering, so you've been disclaimered.
posted by theora55 at 11:33 AM on May 4, 2010


We need more posters like this, not fewer.

I find it hard to believe that if we increased the ratio of three word answers that more askers would be satisfied with that. If you really like those types of answers you can always go visit Yahoo Answers! and see what it's like over there. Let me save you the trouble, it's shit.

If answers try to be helpful, how about we just let people do their best?

It that's his/her best...*shrug* (s)he shouldn't answer.
posted by P.o.B. at 11:56 AM on May 4, 2010


Ach! I apologize about that polymodus. You weren't saying"more short answerers needed". My eyes start to glaze over when I see favorites talk.
posted by P.o.B. at 12:08 PM on May 4, 2010


I hear dfriedmans comments in a brisk, skeptical, no nonsense tone; bracing, really. Not unwelcome.

I do wish callouts like this-- reasonable in inception and comment by comment-- didn't have to add up to such a level of cruelty.
posted by jamjam at 12:21 PM on May 4, 2010 [2 favorites]


didn't have to add up to such a level of cruelty.

I've reread this thread and I'm not seeing the cruelty. I'm not sure if I'm inured to it or possibly you're sensitive to it, or maybe we're both a little off. Care to elaborate?
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 2:12 PM on May 4, 2010


I felt the same way as jamjam, jessamyn. It is cruel in the sense that df doesn't seem to intend to be flip or unhelpful, but the argument that his answers are too short/obvious/frequent/whatever may have some substance. If it were me, I would just curl up and blow away if I were being criticized for hurting/abusing a site that is seemingly so important to me. That was my take on the comment, anyway.

For what it is worth: df's obvious answers to one of my questions helped me clarify what the depth and scope of the question actually was. The responses he gave may be too simple or obvious to others, but they helped me carve out the question a bit better - so I actually appreciated the input.
posted by Tchad at 3:05 PM on May 4, 2010 [1 favorite]


This callout is lame.
posted by dunkadunc at 3:16 PM on May 4, 2010 [3 favorites]


Of course, jessamyn, and it could be that I'm more than a little off on this very easily-- nor do I think anyone's done anything wrong here; the cruelty I think I see is an emergent property.

I was just imagining dfriedman turning on his computer this morning and clicking on the AskMe icon in his bookmark bar as he's done so many times before, looking over the new crop then coming to MetaTalk with an unsuspecting thought like 'Ha, I wonder what's got the coop all aflutter today!' and finding this thread, his stomach sinking as he realizes what it's about, reading through it with his face burning hotter and hotter, and then finally shutting down his computer with a kind of sick numbness and turning away blankly uncertain about how or whether to go on with something which has been so much a part of his life to this point.

That seems pretty rough to me and I hope I'm wrong about it.
posted by jamjam at 3:21 PM on May 4, 2010 [15 favorites]


Not to mention that no matter what you were doing that day, or planning on doing that day, getting called out on MetaFilter is going to derail that plan, for better or for worse.
posted by iamkimiam at 3:24 PM on May 4, 2010 [1 favorite]


I was just imagining dfriedman turning on his computer this morning and clicking on the AskMe icon in his bookmark bar as he's done so many times before, looking over the new crop then coming to MetaTalk with an unsuspecting thought like 'Ha, I wonder what's got the coop all aflutter today!' and finding this thread, his stomach sinking as he realizes what it's about, reading through it with his face burning hotter and hotter, and then finally shutting down his computer with a kind of sick numbness and turning away blankly uncertain about how or whether to go on with something which has been so much a part of his life to this point.

It's not really that bad you get used to it after a while
posted by Optimus Chyme at 3:34 PM on May 4, 2010 [5 favorites]


I'm really glad to see jamjam making this point. I agree. I imagine that many Metafilter users are inured to this sort of thing from years of doing battle in internet forums, but there are many of us who aren't. I may just be sensitive, but call-outs almost always seem a little cruel to me. If there's really a problem with dfriedman's answers, does it really require a hundred-comment thread to push him/her in the right direction? Couldn't it be resolved in a less public way?

I'm right there with Tchad's comment: If it were me, I would just curl up and blow away if I were being criticized for hurting/abusing a site that is seemingly so important to me. I really do think there are better ways of dealing with something like this.
posted by cirripede at 3:35 PM on May 4, 2010 [1 favorite]


and then finally shutting down his computer

Nuh uh… I get the feeling he would just switch over to enjoy the good spirits and company at reddit for the rest of the day.
posted by polymodus at 3:44 PM on May 4, 2010


As chatty as I am, I still cringe and have half a heart-attack every time I see my name when someone quotes me. If I were called out like this, I'd probably hyperventilate, vomit, then run far, far away from the computer to go die in a fire. Maybe I'm too sensitive or too wrapped up in the silly little internet and all you people on it, but I can't imagine I'm alone here on this. So, yeah, hugs to dfriedman and whoever else may be involuntarily wrapping their intestines over their face and scurrying off in a blind horror these days. YIKES.
posted by iamkimiam at 3:48 PM on May 4, 2010 [2 favorites]


It's really not like dfriedman is being sideswiped here. As mentioned, he knows it's an issue and has been told it's an issue. You think he's gonna be that upset he got called out for it? No one here has said he's a terrible person or anything and I see none of this supposed cruelty.
posted by dead cousin ted at 4:12 PM on May 4, 2010 [1 favorite]


It's the spotlight. It burns the skin.
posted by iamkimiam at 4:30 PM on May 4, 2010


Lupus Answer Syndrome can be diagnosed if the patient shows evidence of customarily answering using any five of the following:

Links to Wikipedia accompanying the terms autism, ADHD, supertaster, polyamory, or pica.

Super expert psychological and neurological advice that nevertheless spells Asperger incorrectly.

The text string "IANAL, IANYL" in its entirety.

Any form of "I don't know, maybe (blank)".

A five-minute krumping routine.

Obvious paulian googlejockeying

Comments with Amazon links to self-help books that don't contain the book's title or author where a person can read it.

Answers with fewer than ten words, where 50% or more are "gift" "fear" "get" "the" and "of", or any instance of "Dan Savage says".

Answers to ID this book/movie/tune/artist questions that contain unsubstantiated guesses.

Received wisdom involving the number of Inuit words for snow, possession being any percentage of anything, or various genders and the planets they come from.
posted by Sallyfur at 4:46 PM on May 4, 2010 [1 favorite]


I'm really glad this callout happened because I thought I was going crazy. So many questions I've recently read on AskMe are headlined by dfriedman's glib, unnecessary, whisper-thin, obviously unsure, or over-general answers that could apply to a billion questions.

But of course, those aren't even so bad. So many more of his answers have been deleted over the months that I cannot dredge up, which is fine for the site on the whole but probably a pain for the mods to keep under control. These crappy answers would be fine every once in a while, but his stream of dismissive, lazy, content-free suggestions get under my skin. It's especially annoying because he's obviously a fairly smart guy who often adds good commentary, so I know he can do better.
posted by zoomorphic at 5:26 PM on May 4, 2010 [9 favorites]


I sort of skimmed the bottom half of this thread... occupied with the thought of jessamyn's empty smiley hopper, and of the empty, trundling conveyor belt above it, still turning nothing on over and then under and upside-down-back aways across an open field and through a dense treeline into a magical forest, through the magical forest, creaky past a quaint clearing, then out and along a tiny rill that grows for an eternity before spilling itself up and over the top a cliff, where the conveyor belt zigs and zags over towards a complex gating system set before a glorious castle that overlooks the falls, the rill, the forest, and the meadow—over the moat and through the portcullis and around a few spires before settling down into the dungeon into the emoticon generator room where several tiny, breathless, red-faced leprechauns sprawl against the levers that activate the smileywrought, hunch over the handles of their little D-shaped spades, and collapse against the steaming natural walls through which show the odd descender and almost-= underscore or hyphen half-buried in their natural state, what looks like a period (but could very well be an whole colon or a rare winking semi-colon) nudging the little guy's head as he slowly loses consciousness and slips down through the cloud of bad juju that's poisoned the air of MetaTalkLand. And then they all die and the sun goes down and it rains after midnight and in the schmoopy mist of the next morning they're still dead but the smiley emoticon hopper out in front, the one just above jessamyn's headkeyboard, is magically full again.
posted by carsonb at 5:36 PM on May 4, 2010 [1 favorite]


Yeah I think we were pretty clear that dfriedman is mostly okay, maybe needs, as we say, a mid-course correction. We dropped him a note and he seemed cool with it and I'm not too worried. He doesn't seem, in the answers I've read from him, to be that touchy. And at some level it's a bit tough to manage. Like if you're calling out a specific person, you sort of have to name them [or else people get really irritable] but if you name them people also get a little irritable. I think that people have been really charitable about dfriedman's contributions and I don't think anyone wants him to go away, just add a bit more signal and deduct a little noise and no big deal. I wish all callouts were this civil, honestly.

My smiley hopper is in debt to smiley lenders at this point, so I need to go have a sandwich.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 5:53 PM on May 4, 2010


jessamyn:
- "can't find links because I'm on my phone but...."
- "I'm MeMailing you...."


I don't think these are in the same league as aggressive derails and eye-rolling.

I think answers that are "Google [term of art/name of book/title of website]. I'm afraid I can't find links because I'm on my phone, but that should point you in the right direction." are a fair compromise when you have useful information, but can't copy/paste.*

And I've definitely done the memail thing before when I've had a useful answer that I didn't want Google to index. (Like Burhanistan said, it was just to warn them they should check their MeFi inbox.)

Is there a specific unhelpful usage you're regularly seeing?

* I should probably 6take this straight to Ask, but are there any phones where the built in browser allows you to a.) copy and paste or b.) hover on a link to see what it is before clicking? Both features are sadly missing from my non-computer browsers.
posted by the latin mouse at 12:59 AM on May 5, 2010


I can copy/paste on my blackberry (not the one with the touch screen). It's called the curve or the plane or the swoosh or something vaguely sexy like that.
posted by internet fraud detective squad, station number 9 at 2:16 AM on May 5, 2010


In Safari on iPhone, tap and hold the screen to copy, then navigate over to whatever webform (or app) you want to paste into. No hovering, however.
posted by jamaro at 8:33 AM on May 5, 2010


Also in Safari on the iPhone if you keep holding for a couple of seconds when you tap a link it'll automatically pull up a menu asking if you want to open, open in a new windows or copy the link, and the URL is displayed at the top.
posted by ApathyGirl at 5:46 PM on May 7, 2010


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