Yes, yes...I need more training. July 28, 2010 3:59 AM   Subscribe

Help me learn the blue.

Can someone post an insightful thread of the same subject on the blue that is framed better than my fail?

Also, can I get some CONSTRUCTIVE criticism. I don't think a "you fucked up", or "this is not it" gives me anything constructive to build on.

I got nothing else to say, so I'm outta this thread unless we start talking about savory muffins or fucking pillows.

Out like gout.
posted by hal_c_on to MetaFilter-Related at 3:59 AM (190 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

Constructive criticism here:

The phrase "Or maybe Israel just likes razing everything" displays a definite bias, and obvious bias doesn't work well on the blue.

Think of the blue like a newspaper -- remember when we were kids and teachers told us that journalists had to be impartial? You know, "just the facts"? At least, that's what teachers told me. Granted, not all journalism works this way, and one can make an argument that the facts you CHOOSE to report can be a display of bias, but that's more subtle.

It's the difference between

"Person A did foo, baz, and fnarg"

And

"Person A sucks because they did foo, and then they hurt someone when they did baz -- maybe they're just poopy, though, because they also did fnarg".

The former is more the "just the facts" reportage that the blue is about. Phrasing like "or maybe they just like razing everything" is more like "maybe they're just poopy because they did fnarg".

This is doubly important with posts about Israel/Palestine, because it is such a hot-button issue that you're going to get foment no matter what you say; so it is very, very important to try to frame it carefully.

But yeah -- try thinking of the blue like a newspaper, but the way they told you newspapers worked when you were in third grade. The way you phrased that would be more like an Op-Ed, and that's what didn't work about it.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 4:15 AM on July 28, 2010 [2 favorites]


You posted on I/P. Unless something important has happened, or there is a new and insightful angle, any discussion underneath your post stands a high chance of becoming a shitstorm.

For this reason, mods police I/P FPPs closely. In addition, your FPP editorialized. It very overtly picked sides and was framed what may be a complex issue in a simplistic way. This, in itself, is not great. In the context of an I/P thread, it ramps up the risk of a subsequent shitstorm.

Even if the post hadn't been on a controversial area, one way of making it better is to do some more research and answer some obvious questions a reader of the blue might have - i.e. is this trend a common one; where else do the bedouin set up villages of this type; what is Israeli law on removing settlements etc etc
posted by MuffinMan at 4:15 AM on July 28, 2010 [2 favorites]


This subject is always contentious, and invites trouble even with the most carefully framed of FPPs, finishing the post with "Or it may just be that Israel likes razing everything", how could you have thought this was going to end with anything other than a deletion?
posted by nfg at 4:16 AM on July 28, 2010


"Or it may just be that Israel likes razing everything."

It's already a bad idea to be critical of Israel, but out and out disrespect...HEAVENS!
posted by DU at 4:19 AM on July 28, 2010 [4 favorites]


Israel draws a lot of water in this town. You don't draw shit, Lebowski.
posted by telstar at 4:22 AM on July 28, 2010 [13 favorites]




Also, those links aren't really that hot. NewsFilter has to be pretty big for it to float. Israel knocking shit over? Yawn. Better include Big Picture-worthy photos or detailed first-hand accounts.
posted by Plutor at 4:27 AM on July 28, 2010


As mentioned above, Israel/Palestine is one of Metafilter's touchy subjects.

(Also, even though they call it a community weblog, it isn't.)
posted by gjc at 4:27 AM on July 28, 2010


I think we should just automatically assume that this clusterfuck is continuing and Israel and Palestine are still doing fuckwitted things to one another, so I concur that unless something truly world-shaking has occurred, threads on the subject are a little...obvious.

At least you didn't say "razing to the ground".
posted by turgid dahlia at 4:31 AM on July 28, 2010


quarsan put it in a nutshell without expanding. I tried to chuck in some background, as did others to try and save the thread but really I think it was dead out of the gate. Editorializing is not wanted, also the quotation marks did not help. Did this happen or did it not happen. If not then it's small earthquake in Chile, no-one hurt type of quality. Also I/P is difficult even if this is I/Bedouin. Mefi pedants can argue the difference. Someone also got pissed at the title but I couldn't work that out.
posted by adamvasco at 4:32 AM on July 28, 2010


"To die for" Blueberry Muffins

Ingredients

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup white sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 egg
1/3 cup milk
1 cup fresh blueberries
1/2 cup white sugar
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup butter, cubed
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
Directions

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Grease muffin cups or line with muffin liners.
Combine 1 1/2 cups flour, 3/4 cup sugar, salt and baking powder. Place vegetable oil into a 1 cup measuring cup; add the egg and enough milk to fill the cup. Mix this with flour mixture. Fold in blueberries. Fill muffin cups right to the top, and sprinkle with crumb topping mixture.
To Make Crumb Topping: Mix together 1/2 cup sugar, 1/3 cup flour, 1/4 cup butter, and 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon. Mix with fork, and sprinkle over muffins before baking.
Bake for 20 to 25 minutes in the preheated oven, or until done.
posted by fixedgear at 4:32 AM on July 28, 2010 [44 favorites]


Despite recent calls to pad out front page posts with as much supporting information as you can, you would have done better had you just gone with what you had on the front page, and nixed all the added content in the [more inside]. You might have gotten away with adding background links but it would have required less than zero editorial commentary. The killing blow, to be sure, was the "Or it may just be that Israel likes razing everything."

Even had you managed to avoid all the pitfalls, there's still no guarantee that it would have survived, and zero chance the thread would have gone well, considering the topic.
posted by crunchland at 4:41 AM on July 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


You said in the thread:

And yeah I took effort to not use cnn/bbc/other popular news sources.

The fact that you linked to an obscure news site instead of a popular one is not a point in favor of the FPP. It seems like you've read someone complaining about FPPs that just link to "CNN" or the "BBC," and you've misinterpreted this. If someone said that, they were just being overly specific. They were using "CNN" (or whatever) as short-hand for "news sites." The complaint is with newsfilter in general (that is, an FPP that seems to exist just because the OP found a mildly interesting news story), not a certain type of news source.

As a tangent, the overly specific rhetorical device often leads to inadvertently misleading statements. I'm not a big fan of this device, but you don't want to let it throw you off. There's a critique of it here by the Washington Post copy editor Bill Walsh. Snippet:
The genesis of this rant, in fact, was a very mild example I encountered at work -- something about "distance learning" being used by adults, not just eighth-graders. Of course, the writer didn't really mean to exclude sixth- and ninth- and other-graders; she was just trying to be a little cute. At one time I would have thought she had succeeded. Now I'm just a little tired of reading such things.
posted by Jaltcoh at 4:48 AM on July 28, 2010


For what its worth, I did not care for the quotation marks around "reportedly". Its difficult - even though I'm sure you didn't mean it - not to imagine that there's a foam of earnest spittle around your mouth when you do that.

Although, clearly, that says more about me and my own prejudices than about you.
posted by Jofus at 4:53 AM on July 28, 2010


I was going to write "fucking pillows, how do they work?" but I wouldn't want you to be out like gout, now would I? Constructive criticism: making demands or threatening your non-participation on MeTa could well lead to a bigger shitstorm than your terrible FPP. And that's saying something.
posted by .kobayashi. at 4:56 AM on July 28, 2010 [3 favorites]


For the record, I said more than "You fucked up."

I said "Don't editorialize." I even put it in bold type so you would get the point.

The reason I said you fucked up was this: I was responding to a previous comment you had made in which you blamed the commenters, not yourself for the derailing of your post. They were not to blame. You were. Your post was constructed in a way that was argumentative and biased.

I meant what I said in the thread about the topic being worthy of discussion. I don't think this is a small news story, and yes, I do think it's possible to do a decent post on it which would stand a fair chance of surviving.

But "don't editorialize" is constructive advice.
posted by zarq at 5:00 AM on July 28, 2010


hal_c_on, you've been here for a year and a half and you're surprised that a provocative editorializing post on Israel/Palestine didn't fly? I'm kinda finding that hard to believe.
posted by octothorpe at 5:10 AM on July 28, 2010 [5 favorites]


It's already a bad idea to be critical of Israel, but out and out disrespect...HEAVENS!

posted by DU at 7:19 AM on July 28


Posts critical of Israel have survived before. And that's not what happened here. A similar, deliberately biased and incendiary coda appended to a post on nearly any other subject would have derailed it.
posted by zarq at 5:11 AM on July 28, 2010


Out like gout.

Taking about a week and a half to go away, and best treated with a mix of powerful steroids and a toxic alkaloid that inhibits white cell growth?
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 5:26 AM on July 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


LURK MOAR.

Yes, I see your signup date and your usernumber, but those are beside the point. This.
posted by fiercecupcake at 5:39 AM on July 28, 2010


I think a problematic element was also that you put reportedly in quotes. That made it look like you were passing on a factoid or rumor because it gives the appearance that you aren't even confident enough to assert in your own words that this story has actually been reported, much less confident enough to assert that the claim is true.
posted by XMLicious at 6:03 AM on July 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


Out like gout.

You want a toe? I can get you a toe, believe me. Hell, I can get you a foot by three o'clock this afternoon.
posted by octobersurprise at 6:13 AM on July 28, 2010 [3 favorites]


Editorializing is okay when it's a post about a neato flash game, an awesome (aren't they all?) Big Picture gallery of photos of Jupiter, or a video of cats drinking out of faucets. But on a topic as contentious as I/P, the tone should be as cool and straightforward as possible.
posted by rtha at 6:27 AM on July 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


There's a critique of it here by the Washington Post copy editor Bill Walsh

I used to date a copy editor, and while she is a lovely person, it was a little eye rolling to listen to her go on and on about all the things that copy editors find loathsome. I felt the same about Walsh's rant.
posted by josher71 at 6:29 AM on July 28, 2010


I used to date a copy editor, and while she is a lovely person, it was a little eye rolling to listen to her go on and on about all the things that copy editors find loathsome. I felt the same about Walsh's rant.
posted by josher71 at 9:29 AM


So agreed, that rant is terrible. Bad specific details are bad, sure. But no specific details are worse. If you say something about "those soda cans" in the backseat of a car the reader can fill in their personal details if it was vivid and surprising enough. If the writer just says, "the mess in your car," it's too general to get anything across other than words.

Not to derail, but that rant got me hotter than a dead frog in an empty pool drain!
posted by Potomac Avenue at 6:49 AM on July 28, 2010


It goes a bit beyond editorializing, actually. Once you've stripped out any language that would incite rage in either direction, take a look at your post. Was there actually anything there worth talking about? Or was it just about sharing your rage with MetaFilter? I think some newsfilter would disappear if people asked this question to themselves before posting.

I came across this a year or so back when I took a deleted I/P related thread and reposted it in a neutral form. It generated next to no conversation and as I looked at the thread I realized that once stripped of the rage, there wasn't all that much to talk about. The subject existed only to create strife, not to entertain or inform.

In the case of your thread, it was pointed out that there could be an interesting post on the Bedouin, so there is still something that can be salvaged. There's some good advice in this thread about making it non-contentious, actually
posted by charred husk at 6:52 AM on July 28, 2010 [4 favorites]


my boss has gout. seriously. he was limping around the office today. doesn't look like fun.
posted by russm at 6:54 AM on July 28, 2010


He needs to lay off the rich food. They say that gout is a disease of the wealthy.
posted by crunchland at 7:13 AM on July 28, 2010


They say that gout is a disease of the wealthy.

and the drunks.
posted by something something at 7:14 AM on July 28, 2010


turgid dahlia: At least you didn't say "razing to the ground"

Yeah, but he did say "half a millenia"...
posted by aqsakal at 7:24 AM on July 28, 2010


These Zucchini Muffins freeze very well. I like that I get to pretend to eat vegetables. Not exactly savory, but not too sweet.

(is pillow fucking a reference to that weird flameout a while back, saying Sarah Palin was a dirty pillow to be fucked? That was weird.)
posted by fontophilic at 7:26 AM on July 28, 2010 [2 favorites]


So agreed, that rant is terrible. Bad specific details are bad, sure. But no specific details are worse. If you say something about "those soda cans" in the backseat of a car the reader can fill in their personal details if it was vivid and surprising enough. If the writer just says, "the mess in your car," it's too general to get anything across other than words.

I agree with you that his example of "those soda cans in your car" instead of "the mess in your car" was poorly chosen to make the case against over-specificity. That's just normal, good, vivid writing. (Hey, how do you know if the reader even has a car?!?! You could go crazy if you insist on making your writing general enough to apply to everyone.) But I do think he makes a good point with his example of "Distance learning isn't just for 8th-graders anymore." That kind of usage leads to flat-out incorrect or misleading statements, which should be avoided. (And I know you can usually figure out the intended meaning, but writers need to have higher standards than that.)
posted by Jaltcoh at 7:27 AM on July 28, 2010


Can someone explain the Bible passage he used in his post title?
posted by amro at 7:30 AM on July 28, 2010


> Can someone explain the Bible passage he used in his post title?

hal_c_on would know better, but it seems a slangy abbreviation of "terrible things"? Or, the lands that were "reportedly" razed had terebinth orchards? I don't know either. But, I'm no fan of Israel by a long shot, and I thought that post was crap.

hal_c_on, I'm not sure why you bothered with this MeTa post, especially because you indicated you're not even going to participate. Maybe don't make any more posts, and maybe just be content to read the site rather than try to inject yourself in the middle of it?
posted by Burhanistan at 7:36 AM on July 28, 2010


I was responding to a previous comment you had made in which you blamed the commenters, not yourself for the derailing of your post. They were not to blame. You were. Your post was constructed in a way that was argumentative and biased.


We didn't start the fire
it was always burning
since the worlds been turning
posted by nola at 7:36 AM on July 28, 2010


We didn't start the fire
it was always burning
since the worlds been turning


When I was I kid I was convinced the line "trouble in the Suez!" was "chocolate in the sewers!"
posted by Sys Rq at 7:51 AM on July 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


I am no fan of the Israeli govt so I try to question anything that is anti them to make sure I'm against them for the right reasons and not just haha-Israeling. The post was biased but the subject was very interesting so I would have liked if it could have stayed, but that last sentence seems to have killed it.

I hope there's no metafilter history I'm unaware of regarding the International Cheese Awards that were held this week. The BBC have a cheese map of Britain and I wanted the title of my post to reference Horace of the Nac Man Feegles without getting deleted for egregious grar-stirring.

On googling for a link, my goodness the BBC have TWO cheese maps of Britain. In the same week. I love the BBC.
posted by shinybaum at 7:55 AM on July 28, 2010 [2 favorites]


Nac Mac Feegles. Damn.
posted by shinybaum at 7:57 AM on July 28, 2010


FPP Critique:

You would have been better off establishing the historical context of the Bedouin and their relationship with Israel, then moving onto the destruction of the village. Most of your links feel like padding. The quote marks and last line are inflammatory. You actually had a lot of sensible and thoughtful responses as to why the FPP didn't work in the thread.

MeTa Critique:

It's hard to have a constructive conversation with someone who refuses to participate. Sowing the seeds for the MeTa's derailment in the fourth line, as well as your flippant close does not help things. Also, nothing personal, but you overuse line breaks.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 8:00 AM on July 28, 2010


It's hard to have a constructive conversation with someone who refuses to participate. --- It's never stopped the hundreds of people who ask for advice anonymously on AskMe. And you can't really blame anyone for not wanting to participate in their own unpantsing when it comes to metatalk threads. Everyone who leaves a snarky lullsy comment perpetuates the inclination to react that way.
posted by crunchland at 8:08 AM on July 28, 2010


It could have gone like this. And that's something to avoid on the blue even though it's funny on the grey.
posted by unliteral at 8:09 AM on July 28, 2010


I have a hard time separating your tossing out of the mods for the Loveparade deletion MeTa and this post. Considering how long you've been here this feels like pickin' a fight to see what the mods do.

Maybe I just see ulterior motives while other people see horses.
posted by cavalier at 8:11 AM on July 28, 2010


hal_c_on, you've been here for a year and a half and you're surprised that a provocative editorializing post on Israel/Palestine didn't fly? I'm kinda finding that hard to believe.

I don't know, it seems like an obvious side effect of deleting most I/P posts. Not everyone uses the deleted post script and sees them and the deletion reasons.
posted by smackfu at 8:17 AM on July 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


> And you can't really blame anyone for not wanting to participate in their own unpantsing when it comes to metatalk threads. Everyone who leaves a snarky lullsy comment perpetuates the inclination to react that way.

Huh? If someone posts a Metatalk thread about their own behavior of their own accord and then doesn't want to actually engage any further than the half-assed snark they used to form the post, then that makes them somehow blameless? This is silly. If you make a post, you should follow up. There will always be snark, but so what?
posted by Burhanistan at 8:18 AM on July 28, 2010


You have been here long enough that if you are not picking up on certain fairly well known aspects of What Not To Do, I feel that it is no longer our responsibility to school you on those thigns. So, bringing out a few

- editorializing in the post, as people have pointed out, which is especially noxious considering
- you made a post on Israel/Palestine which is a touchy topic and anyone who hangs out in MeTa [as I know you do] would know that we've said over and over again posts on super touchy topics need to be made carefully.
- not only do such posts need to be made carefully, but I think it's a good idea to have a "is this trip really necessary" moment when you think about whether they should be made at all. What was useful to the MeFi community? I don't mean to be callous about Israel's actions, and I personally think Bedouin politics are fascinating, but this was not a good post about them either.
- your comment: "lets just derail and threadshit the fuck out of this till it gets deleted and we get a NYT FPP about this." If you are not fourteen years old, you need to act like you are not fourteen years old. If you are fourteen years old, congratulations, you often show remarkable restraint here.

Your thread was not borderline. Your thread was deleted by vacapinta because it was so obviously deleteworthy that he felt he didn't have to make any sort of judgment call by removing it. Now vacapinta is a man of extraordinarily good taste who has been here for a while, but he and many other posters could see that he post was doomed out of the gate and I guess my question is, why couldn't you?
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 8:20 AM on July 28, 2010 [17 favorites]


It's never stopped the hundreds of people who ask for advice anonymously on AskMe.

True, but AskMe is AskMe and MeTa is MeTa. There are also several ways to deal with the constraints of Anonymous AskMes, like throwaway email accounts or responding via jessamyn. In this case, the poster has stated they aren't interested in a dialogue.

And you can't really blame anyone for not wanting to participate in their own unpantsing when it comes to metatalk threads. Everyone who leaves a snarky lullsy comment perpetuates the inclination to react that way.

More incentive for the poster not to derail their own MeTa in the first place. MeTa is what it is, its flaws are its flaws, and its utility is largely determined by how people frame the issue they present. If someone has been called out there isn't any obligation for them to respond or recognize the MeTa, but if you're the one who posted the thing in the first place, I believe there is a responsibility, if it has been posted in good faith, to participate.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 8:22 AM on July 28, 2010


If someone posts a Metatalk thread about their own behavior of their own accord and then doesn't want to actually engage any further than the half-assed snark they used to form the post, then that makes them somehow blameless?

I agree. I'll take my answer off the air = close the thread up now in my mind.

I don't see anything good coming from this thread.

If the first comment in the OP wasn't a clue, if the deletion reason meant nothing, then there's going to be no lessons learned here.
posted by cjorgensen at 8:28 AM on July 28, 2010


Oh, I don't think hal_c_on made either posts in good faith, but the fact that Metatalk is a snarky wasteland, where you have to check your pride at the door if you make a post here, doesn't help matters any.
posted by crunchland at 8:31 AM on July 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


For reference, this is borderline.
posted by cavalier at 8:33 AM on July 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


Out of all the things to criticize about hal_c_on's post, do we need to harangue him about saying he wasn't going to participate in the MeTa post? If he were actively participating in it, we'd be criticizing him for that! Yes, he made a bad post, but at least he had the nerve to voluntarily open himself up to criticism without jumping in to defend himself. If everyone who was surprised by having their post deleted handled it this well, the site would be better off.
posted by Jaltcoh at 8:38 AM on July 28, 2010


For reference, this is Borderland.
posted by charred husk at 8:40 AM on July 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


Oh, I don't think hal_c_on made either posts in good faith, but the fact that Metatalk is a snarky wasteland, where you have to check your pride at the door if you make a post here, doesn't help matters any.

Meh, the culture of MeTa has improved in some ways, while other negative aspects have remained the same. The shuttering of MeTa would have a far more negative impact on the community than does the chattering of MeTa.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 8:42 AM on July 28, 2010


do we need to harangue him about saying he wasn't going to participate in the MeTa post?

My take is yes. People make MeTa posts all the time where the responses are more helpful than not. And sometimes posts go the other way. Acting like there's just some ineffable snarkmachine waiting to pounce on people in MeTa ignores the fact that people have a lot of agency to help set and maintain the direction of their posts.

Add to that that MeTa is for talking to the community, not casting a purse seine and keeping what you like and tossing what you don't like. Generally speaking if someone comes to ask a MeTa question and they indicate that they're not sticking around, we'll close the thread up. If you just want people's one-on-one opinions you're welcome to email individuals, ask on your own blog or contact the mods directly. I'm not sure what's going on with hal_c_on this week, but I'm not getting a vibe of sincere particpation and I was hoping maybe he'd come around to clarify.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 8:42 AM on July 28, 2010


Can someone explain the Bible passage he used in his post title?

It's from Isaiah 29, in which the prophet accuses Israel of corruption, greed, and avarice, and vows that God will punish them and set them right again.

So, yeah, more editorializing.
posted by shakespeherian at 8:44 AM on July 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


> Oh, I don't think hal_c_on made either posts in good faith, but the fact that Metatalk is a snarky wasteland, where you have to check your pride at the door if you make a post here, doesn't help matters any.

Nah, you're just talking from your own baggage rather than any actual dynamic. No ones has to check their pride, but if they make sloppy, whiny post then they will get reality-checked by others. This is as it should be. You really should ponder deeply as to why you keep returning to the place that causes you so much grumpiness.

At any rate, I don't think hal_c_on made these posts in "bad faith", I just think he can't seem to buy a clue about how the site works.
posted by Burhanistan at 8:45 AM on July 28, 2010


Ugh, typos.
posted by Burhanistan at 8:46 AM on July 28, 2010


Out of all the things to criticize about hal_c_on's post, do we need to harangue him about saying he wasn't going to participate in the MeTa post? If he were actively participating in it, we'd be criticizing him for that!

If he were actively participating in it in a bad way, he'd certainly get criticism for that. If he was participating in the sense of coolly and thoughtfully discussing people's feedback on the stated point of the thread, he might get a bit of criticism from someone feeling spiky but it'd be an outlier and they'd probably get guff for it.

Starting a thread specifically to ask for feedback and then embedding a kiss-off into the post itself is not a great way to handle things. It's a very mixed message, and (in a parallel to the framing of the deleted post) seems likely to doom the thread a bit for reasons orthogonal to the ostensible purpose for its existence.

hal_c_on, I know you've struggled a bit with the fit and feel of mefi over the last couple years and I appreciate that you get frustrated when things don't go your way, but this post does feel just the latest example in a recent string of kind of combative and crappy behavior from you. I don't know if you need to just institute a Back Away From The Keyboard rule for the next while whenever something on the site is bothering you or what, but it would be nice to have your participating be less bumpy than it has been if co-existing peacefully with the site and the community is among your main goals. Like jessamyn said, we're at the point here where there's not a whole lot more we can do to try and make this work for you; you really need to find some way to deal of your own accord, or barring that find something else to do with your time.
posted by cortex (staff) at 8:47 AM on July 28, 2010 [3 favorites]


I agree with you that it's good he's not attacking people for offering suggestions. And in general I think it's good to assume good faith.

But if someone asks to be "trained," "Help me learn the blue" and "can I get some CONSTRUCTIVE criticism" then I do think it would be helpful to the learning process for them to endeavor to be responsive when such criticism is offered. He's also asking for someone else to repost his FPP as a better framed work that's more likely to survive. I'm glad (although I'm not volunteering.) But it might be helpful for him to explain why he thought it was worth posting about.
posted by zarq at 8:48 AM on July 28, 2010


> If everyone who was surprised by having their post deleted handled it this well, the site would be better off.

I suspect that the majority of posters who have their post deleted handle it much, much better than this.
posted by Burhanistan at 8:50 AM on July 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


Well, I have learnt something from this thread, even if it is that a purse seine is not a kind of Parisian handbag.
posted by Electric Dragon at 8:52 AM on July 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


jessamyn and cortex: Well, it was a little ambiguous. His words were: "I got nothing else to say, so I'm outta this thread." Now, I wouldn't have phrased it so blithely. Clearly he didn't make the greatest impression in this MeTa post (let alone the MeFi post). But that statement doesn't mean he's not going to read what people say. I took it to mean, "Go ahead and criticize me, since I'm sure there are things to criticize, and I'm trying to figure out exactly what those things are so that I do a better job in the future. I'll read what you have to say without defending myself in the comments."

Burhanistan: OK, if people instantly understand exactly what the problem is with their deleted posts and don't need to post a MeTa, that's great. But I meant: of all the ways we've seen people react to deleted posts in MeTa, he did a pretty good job of saying: "OK, I messed up -- so, what should I learn from this?" I'm just saying: he did ask for "constructive cricitism," and that's actually a pretty good response to a deletion.

And yeah, what zarq said.
posted by Jaltcoh at 8:57 AM on July 28, 2010


You should have just not posted any of the 'more inside'. Of course, it'd still be a pretty weak newsfilter post.
posted by chunking express at 8:57 AM on July 28, 2010


When I was I kid I was convinced the line "trouble in the Suez!" was "chocolate in the sewers!"

Now wait just one fucking minute. It's NOT "trouble in the sewers"? I had this picture of people worrying about political failures and violence in the world, plus giant sewer rats and alligators.

My world is changed forever.
posted by chiababe at 8:58 AM on July 28, 2010


You really should ponder deeply as to why you keep returning to the place that causes you so much grumpiness. --- Or, I can participate and try to help change the atmosphere, point out where I see it's failing, rather than shrug my shoulders and walk away. Call me a masochist, I guess. Cortex has already noted that metatalk isn't going anywhere, and I was never really that serious in my suggestions that it go away. But I'm certainly not the first person to note that you need a thick skin if you make a post here in metatalk.
posted by crunchland at 9:10 AM on July 28, 2010


Fields of Learning

When we go out into the fields of learning
We go by a rough route
Marked by colossal statues, Frankenstein's
Monsters, AMPAC and the 704,
AARDVARK, and deoxyribonucleic acid.
They guard the way.
Headless they nod, wink eyeless,
Thoughtless compute, not heartless,
For they figure us, they figure
Our next turning.
They are reading the book to be written.
As we start out
At first daylight into the fields, they are saying,
Starting out.

In every sage leaf is contained a toad
Infinitely small.

Carbonized grains of wheat unearthed
From the seventh millennium B.C. town of Jarmo
In the Tigris-Euphrates basin
Match the grains of three kinds of wheat still extant,
Two wild, one found only in cultivation.
The separate grains
Were parched and eaten,
Or soaked into gruel, yeasted, fermented.
Took to the idea of bread,
Ceres, while you were gone.
Wind whistles in the smokey thatch,
Oven browns its lifted loaf,
And in the spring the nourished seeds,
Hybrid with wild grass,
Easily open in a hundred days,
And seeded fruits, compact and dry,
Store well together.
They make the straw for beds,
They ask the caring hand to sow, the resting foot
To stay, to court the seasons.

Basil: hatred: king over pain.

What did you do on the last day of day camp?
First we did games, running around and playing.
Then we did crafts, making things.
Then we did nature, what goes on and on.
Eventually a number
Of boys have got big enough
Through all the hazards of drag-racing, theft, and probation,
To start for junior college, two transfers away,
Mysterious as Loch Ness.
While of grandmothers a number
Have stooping arrived to seventy or eighty
And wave the boys on, shaking
With more absentminded merriment than they have mustered
In half a century.

King Henry the Eighth consumed many daisies
In an attempt to rid himself of ulcers.

Algebra written across a blackboard hurts
As a tight shoe hurts; it can't be walked in.
Music, a song score, hurts,
How far lies one note from another?
Graft hurts, its systems of exploitation
In cold continuance.
Argosies of design, fashions to which the keys
Rest restlessly in an Egyptian tomb.

In every sage leaf is contained a toad
Infinitely small.


- Josephine Miles
posted by edgeways at 9:29 AM on July 28, 2010 [3 favorites]


Hopefully, you will find this constructive. Here goes:

1) Israel-Palestine stuff has a high bar here. Just automatically deduct five points if it is about Israel-Palestine. Right or wrong, that's the nature of the site. Boom, you've got a five pound sandbag on, Mr. Bergeron, so you'd better run a little faster.

2) The last line, about the razing. If you would have skipped that, the post might have been more fair and balanced. That's points off there, too. Like seven.

3) Wikipedia links, lose a point for each, lose another point for having two of them. That's minus three.

4) Making me look at a Wikipedia link so my geographically ignorant American ass could find out where Negev is, instead of putting in ", in southern Israel," -1.

5) Gratuitous scare quotes around reportedly, -2.

6) Link to a completely dry c.v. — come now.

Where you could have beefed it up:

1) Illegal structures and unrecognized villages. Umm, that's interesting. I'd like to have seen something about that. That could have sparked some interesting policy discussions.

2) Tell me why I ought to care about Tal Alon. Why does he pull water in environmental discussions?

3) Links about the Bedouins and their relationship with the Israeli government. How are they represented and how much?

4) Less news-filtery, which is to say, an event is just ... news. A pattern of events transcends news. So, if there are similar events, perhaps plotted out against a map, over time, showing a deliberate push for a given region, linked back to the Blueprint, that would be interesting.

For what it is worth, I don't find "non-productive discussion" to be anything but a euphemism. We're typing, generally not solving world hunger. Enlightenment is not achieved. Posts which are liable to end in heavy argument (I/P post) or complete agreement (cop shoots a baby in the face, says "pacifier" is a threat) earn that label.

I took "I got nothing else to say, so I'm outta this thread unless we start talking about savory muffins or fucking pillows." to mean, "Let it come. I am not going to struggle." And, let's be clear: MetaTalks where posters get heavily involved in back-and-forth are not exactly uncorrelated with flameouts. Adopting a "I'm going to stick my hands in my pockets and not rise to any bait" strategy is a smart thing, in recognition of this.

He wants feedback, not fighting. Maybe not phrased super-awesome, but I like to interpret things charitably if I can remember to do that.
posted by adipocere at 9:41 AM on July 28, 2010 [9 favorites]


Don't post about I/P. Don't we have enough bad vibes around here as it is?
posted by Afroblanco at 9:50 AM on July 28, 2010


On MetaFilter, Palestine = Mac, Israel = PC
posted by KokuRyu at 10:04 AM on July 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


Restructured FPP, based on EmpressCallipygos' suggestions:
Israeli authorities have "reportedly" razed a Bedouin village in Negev.

Although the Bedouin had lived in the area for half a millenia before the establishment of Israel in 1948 (unnecessary, as most people know that Israel as it is known today is a relatively recent political construction), Israel considers them unrecognized villages.

The reasoning behind this action may be the Blueprint Negev, a plan by the Jewish National Fund and the Israeli government to increase development in the Negev, which represents 60% of Israel's landmass but with only 8% of the population.

Removing the Bedouin would also solve environmental concerns as advocated by academic environmentalist, Tal Alon (Tal Alon link includes no discussion of the Bedouin or Negev), though Negev Arabs have been used as a source of inexpensive labor to construct toxic regional infrastructure on Bedouin lands (the "environmental concerns" link is a pretty slanted piece, and this section needs more information, but it's a start).

Or it may just be that Israel likes razing everything. (distracting editorializing)
There is some interesting news and history I didn't know about behind this all, but it would better benefit from a calm perspective instead of one that casts Israel as the destroyer of everything. Israel as the Tyrant is well known in these parts, and this discussion doesn't benefit from it's return.
posted by filthy light thief at 10:04 AM on July 28, 2010


Here's my interpretation of your post: Israel sucks.

So GYOFB.

EOM
posted by GuyZero at 10:16 AM on July 28, 2010


On MetaFilter, Palestine = Mac, Israel = PC

That's as much of a joke as your threadshitting in Ask Metafilter earlier today.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:36 AM on July 28, 2010


He should have said Israel blows.


...YOUR HOUSE DOWN, amirite?
posted by Sys Rq at 10:36 AM on July 28, 2010


Some thoughts:

I have a real problem understanding how people who object to hal's post on the grounds that it's too common a subject for posting. "Of course they razed a settlement; it's what Israelis do!" is a profoundly cynical and blase way to treat the topic, and tends towards the possibility of normalizing behaviors that are both ostracizing and radicalizing.

To some degree I also have issues with people who shout out "poor framing" on every deleted post and MeTa discussion. Framing certainly can be an issue, and it arguably was here, but it seems to be the justification du jour for disagreement. I'm not talking specifically about the mods here: despite my occasional disagreements with their reasoning and tactics, I still trust their reasoning and generally concur with them. The community at large, however, is too willing to condemn posts to deletion for even slight framing issues, and I wish that rather than expressing a desire to extirpate, we'd collectively show the will to educate on this matter.

I can understand how people would object to the "thinness" of the post, but I can sympathize with hal's choice of choosing e.g. the JTA for a primary link. Although I've never heard of the JTA, their motto of "The Global News Service of the Jewish People" could give weight to an argument that the razing is acknowledged (but not necessarily endorsed) by people other than the affected Bedouins, and could therefore be the basis of more complex arguments as to the legality or propriety of the act.

And finally, one thing that ought to be dealt with directly:

fiercecupcake: "LURK MOAR. Yes, I see your signup date and your usernumber, but those are beside the point. This"

I'd rather deal with the fallout from a thousand poorly framed I/P posts that bullshit like this. "LURK MOAR" is nega-participation; it saps the strength of the community and makes the place toxic.
posted by boo_radley at 10:40 AM on July 28, 2010 [4 favorites]


This reads like a classic example of what I like to call "undeletion":

1. User makes a post about a subject they are deeply involved with, emotionally or otherwise. The involvement leads to issues of poor framing, editorializing, and general Bad Posthood.
2. Post is deleted.
3. User is upset that the community did not get to experience the post. User feels that content of said post is vitally important and needs to be viewed by as many people as possible.
4. User has a brilliant idea. "To hell with the mods and their rulings. If I make a MeTa about my deleted post, I can just link to the original FPP in my Meta, and at least some of the people who might have benefited from my very important post will now get to see it.
5. Here we are.

Undeletion is cheating. It's gaming the site. It's taking advantage of access to the (relatively) massive Metafilter community while bypassing the gatekeeping functions of the mods, said functions being the primary reason why the site continues to function and the community continues to exist.

There have been examples of where a deleted FPP can lead to a valid and valuable MeTa thread where various underlying assumptions are brought into question and hashed out (though admittedly no good examples leap to mind). Good results from this are uncommon, and anyone planning to MeTa their deleted FPP needs to take a deep breath and look into their own motives. Undeleting is a bad thing, don't do it.

/2cents
posted by chaff at 10:51 AM on July 28, 2010 [5 favorites]


Restructured FPP, based on EmpressCallipygos' suggestions

Honestly, it's up to you but I still see this as not a great general subject for an FPP, likely to go badly and yet another "Israel does something shitty, discuss." post on a site that is prmarily not for news-type articles.

More to the point, the challenge is "Posts about Israel go terribly here because people seem unable to discuss any topic about Israel without resorting to really shitty behavior. This is a fact. What steps are you willing to take as the crafter of this post to ensure that this doesn't happen?"

I wish the site were different in this regard. I have taken steps to try to make it different, so that posts about touchy issues could remain and people could have discussions about them. However, this is not just one or two assholes [though there are also some of them] this is maybe dozens of site members who can't seem to either flag and move on, or talk to each other civilly. As mods we are not willing to do the work - aggressive thread moderation and attentiveness - just to provide a place where people can discuss these issues. We've said as much. So, given that, maybe there are other places to have these discussions? Or maybe you have to work very hard to frame things effectively [and keep an eye on threads yourself] to ensure decent discussion.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 10:53 AM on July 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


this is maybe dozens of site members who can't seem to either flag and move on, or talk to each other civilly.

This is where Metafilter's enemies laugh as we tear ourselves apart from within.
posted by GuyZero at 11:01 AM on July 28, 2010


Maybe you could have added something about Gaza being an Israeli "Prison Camp" according to UK Prime Minister David Cameron?
posted by blue_beetle at 11:05 AM on July 28, 2010


Because that's really what that FPP needs.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 11:16 AM on July 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


I'm guessing blue_beetle was being sarcastic.
posted by chunking express at 11:19 AM on July 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


Restructured FPP, based on EmpressCallipygos' suggestions

Honestly, it's up to you but I still see this as not a great general subject for an FPP, likely to go badly and yet another "Israel does something shitty, discuss." post on a site that is prmarily not for news-type articles.


My goal wasn't to re-create the piece in such a way that it could be quickly re-posted, but pointing out where it went into editorial mode, and where it could have been fleshed out to provide enough background that the links made sense together. Sadly, I agree that discussions in this realm get ugly fast.

This is where Metafilter's enemies laugh as we tear ourselves apart from within.\

And then we ooh and aww over Baby MeFites, and our enemies shake their fists in anger. "Foiled again by the cute brigade!" they'll say, and we won't notice, because we're all looking at the baby, and imagining the baby's room and a wee one playing a banjo.
posted by filthy light thief at 11:28 AM on July 28, 2010


...YOUR HOUSE DOWN, amirite?
No..No..No.. Every one knows shit gets blown UP
posted by adamvasco at 11:35 AM on July 28, 2010


hal_c_on, I think you're completely misreading the deletion reason. It's actually pretty fair and explanatory, and offers the "constructive criticism" you're asking for here:

“I believe it is understood that topics such as these need to be framed much more carefully in order to succeed.”

What you seem to be hung up on is the word "succeed." I think you're assuming that "succeed" means "be an objectively, pie-in-the-sky, abstract good post." So when vacapinta indicates that your post didn't (or wouldn't) "succeed," you take that as an accusation that it failed, and that, by extension, you failed.

But I'm pretty sure that's not what vacapinta means; I don't think he meant to imply at all that you were lazy or lapse in putting together the post. That's why he doesn't just say "this is a bad post for metafilter." What he meant, I think (he should correct me if I'm wrong) is that the post was likely to fail; as in, it was likely to provoke a bunch of arguments, shitfits, pissing contests, and GRAR. And that's not your fault or the post's fault; it just seems to be what happens in posts about this topic on Metafilter. "Fail" in this context just means "end up in a huge bickering argument."

It's just a topic that demands very careful framing. That's all. It's not anything personal.
posted by koeselitz at 12:15 PM on July 28, 2010


I'm guessing blue_beetle was being sarcastic.

I'm guessing jessamyn was too.
posted by Jaltcoh at 12:29 PM on July 28, 2010


tal alon ?

is that for the partners of jewish alcoholics ?
posted by sgt.serenity at 12:41 PM on July 28, 2010


im here all week folks.
posted by sgt.serenity at 12:41 PM on July 28, 2010


So, you'll be gone by next Monday then?
posted by Burhanistan at 12:45 PM on July 28, 2010 [3 favorites]


Anyway ,

'Learn the blue' ?


Theres nothing to learn really, you just contribute your bit and thats it.

Its good to get deleted, its character building : )
posted by sgt.serenity at 12:46 PM on July 28, 2010


burhanistan - you're too kind : )
posted by sgt.serenity at 12:47 PM on July 28, 2010


koeselitz is correct in his interpretation of my deletion reason.
posted by vacapinta at 1:10 PM on July 28, 2010


Undeletion is cheating. It's gaming the site.

Oh, come on. No one who can read English is being tricked into looking at the FPP:

Can someone post an insightful thread of the same subject on the blue that is framed better than my fail?

If that's not an obvious reference to a deleted post, I don't know what is.

And really, if they were, so what? No one gains anything material from having people view their deleted post. You don't see page views of FPPs, you can't get favorites, you don't win a prize. It's a big pain in the ass to have to go digging for the topic of a MetaTalk that someone has decided to be coy about for some reason. hal-c-on has done nothing wrong by linking to the topic of discussion here. If he hadn't, someone else would have in the comments.
posted by oneirodynia at 1:12 PM on July 28, 2010


Here you go.
posted by Burhanistan at 1:14 PM on July 28, 2010


I'm guessing jessamyn was too.

That's like the dream within a dream in Inception?
posted by chunking express at 1:21 PM on July 28, 2010


That's a much better post, but commenting, "Great Post!" is as wrong as commenting with "This post sucks!" (IMHO).

Noise be noise.

Also, I don't care how well crafted the post is I bet it goes like crap in 5, 4, 2....

I'd love to be proven wrong.
posted by cjorgensen at 1:45 PM on July 28, 2010


but commenting, "Great Post!" is as wrong as commenting with "This post sucks!"

I don't think so, at least not on MeFi. While I could do without all the "omg great post" talk, fact is that simply saying "nice job" has a different contextual weight in a thread than saying "this post sucks." There are social benefits to both agreeing and disagreeing, obviously, and its a weird quirk that saying "nice post" is considered more or less neutral or mildly positive while saying "bad post" is considered potentailly problematic.

I liken it to the way saying "Eat at McDonald's" is thought, by our ad-laden society, as being a neutral thing to say [while many of us would disagree with that] and "Don't eat at McDonald's" is somehow seen as being activist or troublesome [even though many of us would agree with the sentiment]. Google Ads is really king of this weird distinction.

Anyhow, as far as posts go, we'd prefer people added something substantive to the thread or barring that if they could not be assholes. Saying "nice post" is a little milquetoast and seems a little heavy-with-meaning coming on the heels of this thread, but saying "your favorite band sucks" [or the equivalent which we saw in another thread just recently] devolves into threadshitting fairly quickly.

In short, nothing is keeping you from moving on if you don't like a post, and MeTa is there if you really think a post shouldn't exist. Otherwise you're just sort of peeing in your own pool showing up someplace where you don't need to be and shouting "this sucks" as if anyone asked you in the first place. Not referring to you specifically cjorgenson, but it comes up here from time to time, so I thought I'd elaborate.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 1:52 PM on July 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


cjorgensen: "I'd love to be proven wrong."

It's been my experience and observation that well-crafted, neutral posts on a controversial subject don't usually garner much actual discussion. There isn't much to say when it's all laid out before you like that. If the thread does go quietly, it will strengthen my belief that most posts on these subjects exist purely to rile up shit in comments.
posted by charred husk at 1:53 PM on July 28, 2010


...so I thought I'd elaborate.

That's pretty much how I was thinking. My criticism was mostly at the idea that none of the comments were about the subject matter—no addressing of the substance—but rather about the post itself. Coming on the heels of this meta they read like congratulatory comments.

I agree with your reasoning all the way through though. And I wasn't taking the admonishment to move on personally. That's been my mantra for some time. It makes the site surprisingly more fun.

Also, I wasn't saying the post sucked.
posted by cjorgensen at 2:05 PM on July 28, 2010


> commenting, "Great Post!" is as wrong as commenting with "This post sucks!"

What a bizarre idea. And I suppose kissing someone is as wrong as slugging them.

> Saying "nice post" is a little milquetoast

I usually agree with you about pretty much everything MeFi-related (except for pronunciation), but I continue to fail to understand this attitude.
posted by languagehat at 2:07 PM on July 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


I'm with chaff, above. Deleted thread callouts amount to "undeletions." I really wish deleted posts would disappear off the site for good. And MeTa callouts of deletions should be very, very rare instead of daily events. This shit gets stupid after a while.

Because it's not your website, that's why. Period.

Also, I don't get gjc's point that moderation somehow makes this "not a community weblog." Not a democracy, sure. It has never been. But it's still a community -- one with standards and people in charge to enforce them. It's not a commons.
posted by fourcheesemac at 2:13 PM on July 28, 2010


I continue to fail to understand this attitude.

I think it just comes from my "use your words" sentiment. Like, if you like the post, help make the thread better by... adding to it in some way. To me a "nice post" comment, literally using just those words, is like the dot in the obit thread. It's fine, but it's also the minimum necessary. I'm sure there are people for whom small comments are really all they can manage for whatever reason, but generally speaking the reason I enjoy this community is for more crazy ant stories or "oh hey I happen to be a deep sea welder and..." types of things. "Nice post" comments are innocuous and there's nothing wrong with them, I'd just rather see something like

- Hey this is neat I never knew about the history of the Beduoins before!
- You really did a great job turning a worse post into one with a lot of stuff to read!
- I like how you use all those words!
- I've always wondered about nomadic people.
- Excellent use of the semi-colon!

That sort of thing. That said, I'm happy everyone on the site isn't like me, so this is less a modly feeling and more just a picky jessamyn thing.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 2:14 PM on July 28, 2010 [3 favorites]


> commenting, "Great Post!" is as wrong as commenting with "This post sucks!"

What a bizarre idea.


What lh said (I mean in general, I don't care about this particular post one way or the other, really). Positive reinforcement has always been one of the things lets a person know, without any doubt, that they've made a good post to the Blue. Sure, we have favorites nowadays, but people use favorites for different reasons, and even when they are used to indicate "I enjoyed this," actually taking the extra couple of seconds to type "Good post, thanks" is a great way to encourage more of the same in the future. You could argue that it's just "noise" that clutters up the thread, but it's the one kind of noise that shouldn't be discouraged around here. It's nice to be told, in so many words, that you've made a good post.
posted by Gator at 2:14 PM on July 28, 2010 [2 favorites]


Excellent use of the semicolon. You never go full colon.
posted by adipocere at 2:21 PM on July 28, 2010 [2 favorites]


adipocere: "You never go full colon."

Call me, I think we can have a life-altering conversation.
posted by boo_radley at 2:25 PM on July 28, 2010


Every time I like a post from now on, I am going to indicate so by saying "I've always wondered about nomadic people". I encourage others to do the same.
posted by yhbc at 2:29 PM on July 28, 2010


> You never go full colon.

This is something that perhaps a lower elevation toilet might remedy.
posted by Burhanistan at 2:30 PM on July 28, 2010


I visited MetaFilter for the first time today since the 15th. (Not to brag, but I just spent two weeks digging holes for a bipolar conspiracy theorist on a Colorado mountaintop.) I was pleased to see a post about Bedouins on the front page, because I'd read about the topic before online. When it was deleted, I was immediately pressed to rewrite from scratch.

A good political post cannot be about a recent headline ("newsfilter"), nor a list of bad things that bad people are doing ("outragefilter"). You have to bring up a big topic, using the latest development as a hook, and outline the more interesting parts. You should have some links to in-depth discussions for people who want that; I also looked for links to photos of unrecognized settlements and Israeli ecovillages, because I'm no architect, but I'm a visual person and architecture of a place often describes its message to me in ways that words cannot. I've never been to the Negev, and I'm probably missing some details in my post, but I think it's pretty fascinating that such an inhospitable place can have so many stories behind it. Your post should have tried to convey that richness, and not the political sentiment you were feeling at the time. Trust your readers to make up their own minds.
posted by shii at 2:31 PM on July 28, 2010 [9 favorites]


I think we've made up our minds that we want to hear more about digging holes for a bipolar conspiracy theorist on a Colorado mountaintop.

I mean, I've always wondered about nomadic people.
posted by yhbc at 2:34 PM on July 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


> I just spent two weeks digging holes for a bipolar conspiracy theorist on a Colorado mountaintop.

Post it to Projects!
posted by Burhanistan at 2:34 PM on July 28, 2010


Metafilter: I like how you use all those words!
posted by beandip at 2:37 PM on July 28, 2010


That's like the dream within a dream in Inception?

SPOILERS!

I mean, I've seen the film, but your sort of spoiling it by implying there is anything comprehensible about it.
posted by Astro Zombie at 2:39 PM on July 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


That's as much of a joke as your threadshitting in Ask Metafilter earlier today.

No idea what you're talking about BP. I'll follow-up with a MeMail so we can sort it out in private.
posted by KokuRyu at 2:40 PM on July 28, 2010


Following yhbc's lead: I have always wandered with nomadic people.

Am I doing this right?
posted by adipocere at 2:41 PM on July 28, 2010


Ah, BP has opted out of MeMail. Perhaps we can discuss at a meetup sometime.
posted by KokuRyu at 2:46 PM on July 28, 2010


shii: "A good political post cannot be (etc)"

You know, I wonder if a clear test of good postin' might be more neutrally called "advocacyFilter". As jessamyn's said upstream there's topics (ISRAEL PALESTINE) that are just mod-headache catastrophes waiting to happen, regardless of tone or framing. Even when completely neutral and fact-stick-tual, some other person is gonna come in and open a can of stupid on the whole scene, somehow.

I think part of this is certainly the emotional involvement of this particular scenario, but beyond that people in general seem to have this grudge against people telling them to care about things, and advocating for a thing, even implicitly, invites people to say, "SO YOU'RE TELLING ME TO THINK THIS WAY ABOUT THIS TOPIC, EH? HERE'S A TURD IN YOUR POST FOR CARING SOME WAY THAT I MAY OR MAY NOT AGREE WITH" and then everything collapses.

Again, it comes down to trusting people to behave civilly in aggregate, and that seems to be a harder issue as time goes by.
posted by boo_radley at 2:50 PM on July 28, 2010


Maybe you could have added something about Gaza being an Israeli "Prison Camp" according to UK Prime Minister David Cameron?

Someone just tried to add a context-free link to that to the open thread. I wrote a note to the commenter that suggested he might rather be over here. Honestly, I have better things to do with my day than deal with people really really wanting to turn that thread into yet another referendum on Israel Sucks. Maybe you folks can keep an eye on it while I go running.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 3:05 PM on July 28, 2010 [2 favorites]


no problem. Mail me your password and I'll take care of it.
posted by Justinian at 3:14 PM on July 28, 2010


5 minutes later the front page is a nice shade of vermillion.
posted by Justinian at 3:15 PM on July 28, 2010


You took jessamyn to a cotillion? With Archduke Maximilian?
posted by GuyZero at 3:19 PM on July 28, 2010


Enlightenment is not achieved.

You're doing it wrong.
posted by Meatbomb at 3:56 PM on July 28, 2010


a herd of genetically engineered goats that produce antibodies in their milk
posted by neuron at 4:38 PM on July 28, 2010


grrr

Metafilter: a herd of genetically engineered goats that produce antibodies in their milk
posted by neuron at 4:38 PM on July 28, 2010


Of course I've herd of genetically engineered goats that produce antibodies in their milk!
posted by Astro Zombie at 4:57 PM on July 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


hey guys.

Let me respond to a few things as they were inquired about:

1. Thanks for the constructive criticism. Yeah, you're totally right about the editorializing; I just gotta be better about that. I'll discuss certain elements below.

2. "Israel just likes razing everything"-yeah that was put in because most people who are on a certain side of this argument assume that when something goes down in Israel its against the Muslims...I linked to an article where Israel was demolishing a yeshiva. It SHOULD kinda demonstrate that there is a difference between Jews and Israel; you can be Jewish and criticize Israel's actions. My writing was just bad, and thats something I have to work on.

3. I have no problem disrespecting Israel, the US, NZ, or any other country in the world. Not Lichtenstein though.

4. I didn't want to use cnn/bbc/NYT because I've learned from people who are very engaged on one or another side of the issue that certain news sources are kinda biased when reporting on this. I tried to look for other sources. Maybe I should get better at looking for sources regarding I/P.

5. Blueberry muffins are sweet, not savory...but I will be using your recipe fixedgear since you use FRESH blueberries. thanks.

6. "reportedly". I used that because one of the news sources that I linked to used that term...and I was kinda ?!?!!! about why they used that. I kinda wanted to highlight that point, but it came out as if I was saying that. What it comes down to again, is that I need to learn to communicate my point in a more clear way if I have to resort to this to get it across. I'm working on it.

7. I didn't think I was making demands. I really am asking for help on this. I also wasn't threatening my non-participation. I really wanted people to have a free-for-all on me here with CONSTRUCTIVE criticism. I had nothing to add, so the last thing I'm going to do is say "nuh-uh...my writing was clear...your reading isn't." It was my way of saying "hey...i don't want to be fighty...and I have nothing more to add, so I'll listen while you speak". Again...perhaps I need to communicate in a more clear way.

8. hal_c_on, you've been here for a year and a half and you're surprised that a provocative editorializing post on Israel/Palestine didn't fly? I'm kinda finding that hard to believe.
posted by octothorpe at 12:10 AM on July 29 [4 favorites +] [!]


I'm finding it hard to believe that an adult who has access to a brain and computing technology doesnt realize that feb 2008 to current day is 2.5 years and not 1.5 years.

Or we can say that perhaps EVERYONE makes mistakes once in a while.

9. charred husk. you're absolutely right. It is a noteworthy subject, and perhaps it would have been better had I concentrated on the Bedouin, rather than going all over the place. thanks.

10. fontophillic...did you just put words in my mouth, or are you saying sarah palin is a dirty pillow to be fucked?

11. Bible passage. Ok. So Israel is clearing land for Blue Negev, which will involve making suburban sprawl in the desert. The area that the post was about is the area which will have native plant. A common/native tree to Israel is the terebinth (Pistacia palaestina). Isaiah 1:29 says: For you will be ashamed of the terebinths that you have taken pleasure in. I would be kinda ashamed to live in a suburban community overlooking beautiful trees that had been planted after a group of people who had been living on that area were kinda driven away. I thought it was appropriate so I put it in. Knowing that, is it still inappropriate or what? Or am I just doing what Fox Mulder repeated saying "Even the devil can quote the scripture to fit his own needs".

12. OK...it seems that its inappropriate Metiquette to post on the gray and not participate. Sorry for saying that...I'm back in. In like sin. I'm participating...but you should also know that I posted that sucker at the end of the night (in NZ) and now its noon...so yeah...i do gotta sleep, yo.

13. Thanks for the schooling jessamyn. I realized after the first few comments posted that it wasn't a good post for Mefi. Thats when I threadshit...cuz I knew it was coming to an end. I actually applaud vacapinta in deleting it and giving a CONSTRUCTIVE reason for doing so. Thanks vacapinta.

I'm back on...so no more lists...
posted by hal_c_on at 5:30 PM on July 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


12. OK...it seems that its inappropriate Metiquette to post on the gray and not participate. Sorry for saying that...I'm back in. In like sin. I'm participating...but you should also know that I posted that sucker at the end of the night (in NZ) and now its noon...so yeah...i do gotta sleep, yo.

After reading "I'm finding it hard to believe that an adult who has access to a brain and computing technology doesnt realize that feb 2008 to current day is 2.5 years and not 1.5 years", I'm not sure you know what inappropriate means, and perhaps it would have been best for you to have remained silent. You are completely and utterly socially inept.
posted by gman at 5:41 PM on July 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


shii, you did a fantastic job on that post. Truly brilliant.

I'm running on about 3 hours sleep in 3 days, so you may see me making some late... you know... comments with some actual content in the thread after I've caught up on my sleep. But in the meantime, my hat is off to you. Outstanding post!
posted by zarq at 5:42 PM on July 28, 2010


hal_c_on, please quit being such an unreasonable prick (hamburgerkthx)
posted by nevercalm at 5:45 PM on July 28, 2010


"Israel just likes razing everything"-yeah that was put in because most people who are on a certain side of this argument assume that when something goes down in Israel its against the Muslims...

Okay, but again we're still running into the difference between "Israel did fnarg instead of nyang" and "Israel is poopy because this time it did fnarg instead of nyang." It gives us the idea that what you want is people to say "Israel's just complete evil and hates everyone, amirite?" And on the blue, if you want people to come to a certain conclusion, you need to let the facts THEMSELVES bring people to that conclusion. If you don't feel the facts are strong enough and feel like you have to editorialize, then....maybe this is a sign that your post isn't strong enough on its own.

Also, the way to counter the people who "assume" that "it's against the Muslims" is simply to....say that this time it isn't.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 5:47 PM on July 28, 2010


So when someone says, you've been around for a year and a half, so you should know these things, your comeback is, huh uh, I've been here two and a half years poopyhead!

Amazing.

I'm with gman. You should have stayed with taking the fifth.
posted by cjorgensen at 5:48 PM on July 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


commenting, "Great Post!" is as wrong as commenting with "This post sucks!"

I disagree with this so very much. The additional value-add, as jessamyn describes, is nice too. But a few simple encouraging words directed at good posters surely isn't noise. I may be remembering wrong, but I feel as if it was once practiced more regularly on the blue.
posted by .kobayashi. at 5:55 PM on July 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


hal_c_on, I know you've struggled a bit with the fit and feel of mefi over the last couple years and I appreciate that you get frustrated when things don't go your way, but this post does feel just the latest example in a recent string of kind of combative and crappy behavior from you. I don't know if you need to just institute a Back Away From The Keyboard rule for the next while whenever something on the site is bothering you or what, but it would be nice to have your participating be less bumpy than it has been if co-existing peacefully with the site and the community is among your main goals. Like jessamyn said, we're at the point here where there's not a whole lot more we can do to try and make this work for you; you really need to find some way to deal of your own accord, or barring that find something else to do with your time.

Yikes dude. Whats going on, cortex? Yeah, I fuck up once a while here on metafilter. I acknowledge it, apologize for it, and then don't do THAT thing again.

What's your problem here, dude?

What is this "recent string of kind of combative and crappy behavior"? I'm sorry I'm not amongst the legions of your fans that would suck your ass to get another banjo comment from you. I'm sorry that you grow hostile of me when I support a good portion of the community when they believe you made a mistake in deleting a post. Is questioning you bad behavior?

Since you called me out on this in public, I'd actually like for you to elaborate on this in public. I (along with every other member here) can criticize metafilter, the mods, and even the people here all I want as long as I do it in a civil manner and constructive manner. I don't think thats bad behavior. Even when I criticize, though, I still mention that its the way that metafilter (and especially the mods) handle that situation that makes this such a great place.

The last part of your comment is especially shitty. Yeah, jessamyn mentioned that its not the mods responsibility to school me.

I agree. but then whats up with "find something else to do with your time". Its kinda like "Well I can't really ban you here...but I will tell you that I don't want to see your face around here anymore". What the hell man?

Also, adipocere...thanks for your input. Very helpful.


chaff, regarding undeletion. I'm sorry...I didn't really mean to do that(especially since I agreed with the mods future ruling to delete the post after I saw how the community was reacting to it), but I can see how it might seem like it. My bad. But to be 100% honest, this meta is about the methods I employed rather than what I was talking about.

I wasn't being bad...just dumb.

"Posts about Israel go terribly here because people seem unable to discuss any topic about Israel without resorting to really shitty behavior. This is a fact. What steps are you willing to take as the crafter of this post to ensure that this doesn't happen?"

THAT is very helpful. I will use that religiously now.

What you seem to be hung up on is the word "succeed." I think you're assuming that "succeed" means "be an objectively, pie-in-the-sky, abstract good post." So when vacapinta indicates that your post didn't (or wouldn't) "succeed," you take that as an accusation that it failed, and that, by extension, you failed.

I kinda didnt take it personally at all...and actually applauded vacapinta providing me with that reason. I also wasn't hung up on the word "succeed". I actually had an "ohhhhh" moment when I saw the word "framing".
posted by hal_c_on at 6:00 PM on July 28, 2010


You are completely and utterly socially inept.
posted by gman at 12:41 PM on July 29 [1 favorite +] [!]

hal_c_on, please quit being such an unreasonable prick (hamburgerkthx)
posted by nevercalm at 12:45 PM on July 29 [+] [!]

And this, ladies and gentleman, was exactly what I expected if I participated in this thread after my original post.

It seems some people on here genuinely wanted to hear from me and ask me questions...and others just kinda want a punching bag. I'd hope both groups of people kinda see the other group's participation on here and can acknowledge that they exist.
posted by hal_c_on at 6:07 PM on July 28, 2010


What is this "recent string of kind of combative and crappy behavior"? I'm sorry I'm not amongst the legions of your fans that would suck your ass to get another banjo comment from you.

Question and answer in the same paragraph. Very efficient.
posted by Lemurrhea at 6:10 PM on July 28, 2010 [9 favorites]


Question and answer in the same paragraph. Very efficient.

HA! Touché!

Although I am asking a valid question, and would like to know about the recent(meaning not too far in the past) string (meaning a continuing pattern) combative and crappy behavior he's talking about.
posted by hal_c_on at 6:19 PM on July 28, 2010


I don't know hal_c_on, but in my opinion you are taking this needlessly personally.
posted by josher71 at 6:23 PM on July 28, 2010


hal_c_on, jessamyn said just a bit ago in a different MeTa thread that cortex is camping tonight. So, you might not get a response right now, although I'm not really sure he owes you a response given the way you just unloaded. Maybe stepping away for the next few hours would be an awesome idea.
posted by donnagirl at 6:29 PM on July 28, 2010


4. I didn't want to use cnn/bbc/NYT because I've learned from people who are very engaged on one or another side of the issue that certain news sources are kinda biased when reporting on this. I tried to look for other sources. Maybe I should get better at looking for sources regarding I/P.

I like to review a variety of sources when I construct an FPP, and then try to piece together what each side is saying. For posts about Israel, I try to look at Israeli media first, then other non-Israeli publications to see how they are framing a story. I try to avoid American and British media or blogs that I know have a very right or left-wing wing slant, like Rupert Murdoch's empire or say, Daily Kos, but sometimes they do provide a relevant perspective -- you just have to remember where they're coming from.

You gain something valuable from reading the same story from multiple perspectives, with awareness: a better perspective of the full picture. After a while, you start to see where depth in reporting is missing.

Here's a breakdown of the major Israeli newspapers for you. I apologize if any of this isn't coherent... I'm quite exhausted at the moment.

Israel Ha'Yom is the most read paper in Israel. It's free, and relies on advertising to survive. They pride themselves on being moderate and unbiased -- and the Israeli public seems to regard them as such, but in actuality they do trend to the right.

Until this past January, Yedi'ot Aharonot (YNet) was the most read paper in Israel and their website, ynetnews was the most visited site in the country. Very high readership amongst native Hebrew and Arabic speakers. Centrist, with content from right and left wing sources. The right wing editorials usually spur a lot of controversy, many of them are written by extremists. But they cover more of the political spectrum than anyone else.

Maariv is Hebrew-only. Centrist, leaning towards the right. The paper was actually founded by disgruntled Yediot Aharonot staffers. Used to be extremely popular.

Since the 1980's, the Jerusalem Post (JPost) has been a mostly right wing paper, but it is pretty much libertarian on financial issues. Once rather moderate with regard to the Palestinians, it's now pretty hawkish. Think of them as an Israeli version of the Wall Street Journal.

Ha'aretz is a left wing paper. It's read by about 6% of the Israeli population, whereas the Jerusalem Post has a higher readership. However, Ha'aretz is considered the most influential paper in the country, because it is the primary source of reliable news and editorials for many politicians. Their readership is wealthier, better educated and more politically powerful than that of any other paper in Israel. Moderate and centrist, although lately the paper has been highly critical of Israeli policies, foreign and domestic, and has been the source of several embarrassing stories about the government, including the Anat Kam case. They are also quite secular. If you're reading a story about Hasids or the ultra Orthodox in an Israeli paper that talks about negatives as well as positives, it's probably from Ha'aretz.

Blogs to read:
I'm a big fan of Richard Silverstein's Tikkun Olam blog when it comes to I/P stories. It's pretty left wing. But it's also been on top of many stories that don't make it outside of Israel with regard to the Palestinians. I tend not to like Juan Cole as a source because I think he's rather biased, (nor Tony Judt for the same reason) but I still read them, learn from them and find them quite valuable. On the right side, there are a bunch, but LGF, Right Wing News and Middle East Realities cover a lot of Israel / Palestinian topics from the far right wing perspective. I never use them as sources, but as with Juan Cole, there's value in reading them. Know thy enemy, perhaps.

I have always felt that unless you challenge your own deep-seated convictions once in a while, they're worthless.
posted by zarq at 6:31 PM on July 28, 2010 [11 favorites]


Yeah, I wasn't clear. Was afraid of that. Apologies.

They're all worth reading, for one reason or another. But I suggest not using the blogs as source material in an FPP. And if you're linking to a newspaper article, it helps to indicate where its bias is coming from to the wider MeFi audience.
posted by zarq at 6:33 PM on July 28, 2010


And this, ladies and gentleman, was exactly what I expected

Reread what you wrote here. This kind of thing is a HUGE part of how you keep turning people off. You are presenting like you are on stage. You are cultivating a calm, credulous, aw shucks I'm just a country lawyer unaccustomed to public speaking persona. But it just comes off really contrived.

You can't stand over in the corner tensely whispering, "Look how calm and relaxed I am. LOOK DAMMIT! I'm totally relaxed right. Dammit lookit me being reasonable and folksy." It makes me grit my teeth.

Take whatever laundry you need to air out with cortex into a private conversation when he is available again. There's no need to continue that show in public. It's embarrassing for everyone.
posted by Babblesort at 6:33 PM on July 28, 2010


I'm sorry I'm not amongst the legions of your fans that would suck your ass to get another banjo comment from you. I'm sorry that you grow hostile of me when I support a good portion of the community when they believe you made a mistake in deleting a post. Is questioning you bad behavior?

Seriously, please leave this alone. You get needlessly combative when people are trying to give you constructive feedback and it makes you seem like an adolescent. You say "hey I'm going to take this advice and learn from it" and yet we're not really seeing the awareness that this is happening on a general level, over time.

For example, threadshitting in your own thread doesn't make it okay. We delete weird fighty comments from you from AskMe often [roughly one per week since you've been a member, that's way too many] comments you should know not to make, or learn how not to make if you don't know originally not to make them. You've been time-outed twice. Most people never get a comment deleted from AskMe and never get given time off. I'm only mentioning this because you seem to be acting like you have no idea why a mod might say you're a bit of a headache.

If you want to stay, that's great, you are welcome here, but you have to learn how to get along with people here better than you do now. This thread could be a place to have some conversations about how to do that. gman can be snarky and needling, but his general point remains, someone said you've been here long enough to know better and you start snarking at them about their math? You don't have to stay in this thread and respond to everyone if you don't want to, but it would be nice if you wouldn't act like people's objections are coming from all of the sudden and from out of nowhere.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 6:39 PM on July 28, 2010 [2 favorites]


Can we get to the part where you flame out, hal_c_on? Because, honestly, that's about your only play left. It either that or step away and come back when you're ready to be an adult. Since I don't see the latter happening...maybe a mod could just close this one up? Like I said above, there's going to be no lessons learned here.
posted by cjorgensen at 6:44 PM on July 28, 2010


jessamyn types way faster than I do and I should preview. I'm taking my own advice and stepping away. Goodnight all.
posted by cjorgensen at 6:46 PM on July 28, 2010


Thanks, zarq. I appreciate that. I did see some of the newspapers while I was searching.

I kept coming across Maariv, but couldn't go anywhere with it for the exact reason you listed: its in hebrew.

I found a LOT of good stuff on Haaretz when I googled Bedouin and the particular areas. Unfortunately their archiving or linking sucks on google. No matter what I found on google, a click would only take me to their current front page. And their own internal search engine sucked ass, even though I could even filter it by date. Again, I really appreciate the help here.

You can't stand over in the corner tensely whispering, "Look how calm and relaxed I am. LOOK DAMMIT! I'm totally relaxed right. Dammit lookit me being reasonable and folksy." It makes me grit my teeth.

Take whatever laundry you need to air out with cortex into a private conversation when he is available again. There's no need to continue that show in public. It's embarrassing for everyone.


Yeah, I just learned that cortex is out...so this is really going nowhere. I just thought that if someone accuses you of something in public, you get to question them about it in public. But what do I know, I'm just a country boy from Savannah whose words are as easily misinterpreted as the kudzu that strangles my manor.

And speaking of embarassing one's self, you may want to read your last sentence again and decide on whether you want to continue this on the forum or over Memail. Seems like you have some pent up stuff that you're putting on me. Some internet words should not make you slowly destroy your teeth.
posted by hal_c_on at 6:50 PM on July 28, 2010


Yeah, folksy isn't working. At all.
posted by donnagirl at 6:57 PM on July 28, 2010 [3 favorites]


Alright, I'm stepping away. Seems like there's no answers to be had here except the old "you've been timeouted more than a year ago" and we deleted 2 comments in 2 weeks. I guess that is bad behavior.

So be it.

I guess what I've learned is that this MeTa thread went nowhere. People who thought I was genuinely asking for help provided it...others just kinda shit on here hoping to fight me. And when I did...others jumped in saying how wrong I am.

I should have just stayed out like I said. But you guys keep pulling me back in.

But I'm out.

Any fighty comments won't be responded to, all helpful comments will be read.

If you really do have some personal issue with me, please memail me if you want it resolved. But I'm guessing thats not going to happen...people people just want to take potshots.
posted by hal_c_on at 6:59 PM on July 28, 2010


I guess what I've learned is that this MeTa thread went nowhere.

Well, except for all the the honest, constructive criticism you've gotten, which you yourself have acknowledged.

cortex wasn't "accusing" you of anything. He was pointing out that, from a mod perspective, your behavior can be problematic. jessamyn has fleshed that out a little.

This thread has not been all snark and calls for a flameout. There's a lot of great stuff here, stuff that's useful for all of us when it comes to constructing an fpp on a potentially fighty topic. Don't act like none of that happened just because some people acted the way people often act in meTas.

(Regarding the staying-out-of-meTas: it's a fine and weird line, yeah. Too much participation can come off as thread-modding and/or fighty; too little can be read as a kiss-off. Tone in text is notoriously difficult to convey and "hear." Even so, your comment about sucking up to cortex comes across as being WAY over-the-top fighty.)
posted by rtha at 7:20 PM on July 28, 2010


hal_c_on, I have no previous history with you that I know of. I recognize your username but have no particular associations with it. From that perspective, you are coming across as obtuse, stubborn, unnecessarily insulting, and completely unwilling to learn.
posted by KathrynT at 7:37 PM on July 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


"You are completely and utterly socially inept."

"Can we get to the part where you flame out, hal_c_on?"

This shit is so uncool.
posted by internet fraud detective squad, station number 9 at 8:31 PM on July 28, 2010 [4 favorites]


Green minus yellow equals blue.
posted by abc123xyzinfinity at 10:04 PM on July 28, 2010


Well shit, this wasn't exactly what I meant about 'engaging in a dialogue'.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 10:20 PM on July 28, 2010


Those of you who are being uncool here: you know who you are and what you have done. Look within, and ask yourselves what you can do to make MetaFilter a better place.
posted by Meatbomb at 10:34 PM on July 28, 2010 [2 favorites]


* doublehappy ~~~ Now playing: Madonna - Take a Bow [Now-Playing-Script by jc_12] ~~~

Sorry, it's just so long since I've been on IRC, and this thread flashed me back.
posted by doublehappy at 4:47 AM on July 29, 2010


Can we get to the part where you flame out, hal_c_on?

Seconding ifds,s#9. This isn't cool. Please don't do it.
posted by zarq at 5:48 AM on July 29, 2010


And yet, somehow, I will persevere and manage to live with myself. Seriously, it's almost like people didn't read this thread. If this is the behavior you want to call out, go ahead, but I stand by what I said. At the point I wrote that, in my opinion, hal_c_on had two option in front of him. Step away, until he could come back and apologize for egregious misbehavior, or flame out. As insulting and oblivious as he was being I didn't expect he'd take the course of tact, so in the absence of a self-imposed cool down period and an apology it was my opinion it would be best if he left. Maybe you people missed him questioning people's intelligence and accusations of ass sucking sycophancy.

If calling an insufferable ass an insufferable ass is uncool, then I'll hang out with the uncool kids.
posted by cjorgensen at 6:53 AM on July 29, 2010


I only offer the garment for sale; it is you, friend, who now loudly exclaims that it is your size.
posted by Meatbomb at 7:10 AM on July 29, 2010 [3 favorites]


Seriously, it's almost like people didn't read this thread.

I read the thread thoroughly. I wouldn't have commented to the lengths I have otherwise. I'm simply more interested in telling hal_c_on how he might improve his FPP construction and perhaps have his interactions here go a bit more smoothly than telling him to fuck off.

Maybe you people missed him questioning people's intelligence and accusations of ass sucking sycophancy.

I thought Jessamyn's and rtha's comments to him were excellent. They seem perfectly capable of defending cortex by pointing out to hal_c_on why and how he is being unpleasant and not interacting well with the community without acting as if this is a Gladiator Pit by baying for the man's blood.

If calling an insufferable ass an insufferable ass is uncool, then I'll hang out with the uncool kids.

You called him an insufferable ass and then told him to fuck off. Yes, that's uncool.
posted by zarq at 7:14 AM on July 29, 2010


BLOOOOOD! Master Blaster rules Bartertown!
posted by XMLicious at 7:18 AM on July 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


It's time for you people to chill.
posted by Burhanistan at 7:31 AM on July 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


I don't know, Burhanistan. I think maybe people need to let it out.
posted by koeselitz at 8:11 AM on July 29, 2010


And then they can work it out.
posted by Burhanistan at 8:15 AM on July 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


Look, cjorgensen, I like you a lot, and wasn't trying to single you out, but I hate

1) personal attacks like the one I quoted (not by you), where someone starts to look unpopular and people decide to bully them in a completely nasty and personal way

2) people telling someone who is the subject of a lot of criticism that they should flame out/GTFO

I quoted what you said out of context, and I'm sorry for that. I know you had a more nuanced point.
posted by internet fraud detective squad, station number 9 at 8:26 AM on July 29, 2010


(and just to be 100% clear, I don't think that you were being nasty and personal)
posted by internet fraud detective squad, station number 9 at 8:27 AM on July 29, 2010


You called him an insufferable ass and then told him to fuck off. Yes, that's uncool.

Yeah, I missed the part where I told anyone to fuck off. I'm pretty sure I have never told anyone on this site to fuck off. So if you're going to attribute asshattery to me then please strive for a bit of accuracy as well. Also, I wasn't defending anyone. I was pointing out behavior that was, in my mind, beyond the pale. I don't care who the target was. Again, if you find that uncool, that's your prerogative, but the way I see it hal_c_on has two choices: grow up or go away. I'm indifferent to which he chooses as long as he does so soon. If that's "baying for the man's blood" then so be it.

I quoted what you said out of context, and I'm sorry for that. I know you had a more nuanced point.

To be fair, so did gman. When someone comes in and says they do not understand why people perceive them negatively, then proceeds to insult said people, pointing out that this is socially unacceptable is acceptable.

If there is an negative tone coming from me it's because I'm exasperated. Which means, once again, I am stepping away.
posted by cjorgensen at 8:45 AM on July 29, 2010


Yeah, I missed the part where I told anyone to fuck off.

Telling someone you're awaiting their impending flame out is essentially the same thing.
posted by zarq at 9:06 AM on July 29, 2010


zarq, given the array of papers you've laid out, would you say the Israeli press as a whole tends one way or another? The reason I ask is that it's kind of a talking point that you're likely to find more criticism of controversial Israeli govt. actions in their press than in ours. Based on your list it looks like Ha'aretz might be the only paper doing this.

Also, relative to television, would you say the Israeli newspapers rate higher in terms of public relevance than in the US?
posted by Trochanter at 9:17 AM on July 29, 2010


Update which may interest some here: Israel refuses to pay medical bills for American-Jewish protester who lost eye

Henochowicz was discussed in this thread.
posted by homunculus at 9:20 AM on July 29, 2010


Again, if you find that uncool, that's your prerogative, but the way I see it hal_c_on has two choices: grow up or go away. I'm indifferent to which he chooses as long as he does so soon. If that's "baying for the man's blood" then so be it.

I think that "Grow up or go away" is an unhelpful response. I used rtha and jessamyn's responses to point out other ways hal_c_on is being engaged which might be constructive in the long run.

This has been an odd thread. hal_c_on has responded to criticism both positively and negatively. He seems to be making an attempt to listen, but also has not received some criticisms well at all. But just because you are convinced he's beyond hope doesn't make it so.
posted by zarq at 9:21 AM on July 29, 2010


Is it time for more muffin recipes yet?
posted by fixedgear at 9:27 AM on July 29, 2010


I don't see the nuance in that comment. "You are completely and utterly socially inept."

Really. If it's there, or if it's somewhere else in that comment, please point it out to me.
posted by internet fraud detective squad, station number 9 at 9:31 AM on July 29, 2010


You know what, I'm starting to get pissed off too and I don't see this going anywhere good, so I'm going to step out of this thread as well.
posted by internet fraud detective squad, station number 9 at 9:33 AM on July 29, 2010


Ze stakes be low.
posted by Burhanistan at 9:37 AM on July 29, 2010


I was just wondering that, fixedgear.
posted by rtha at 9:41 AM on July 29, 2010


I know you guys want to make with the schmoopy, but usually waiting at least a few hours beyond the last substantive comments seems only decent.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 9:53 AM on July 29, 2010 [2 favorites]


It's been over 14 hours, so I think we're good.
posted by gman at 9:58 AM on July 29, 2010


It's been over 14 hours, so I think we're good.

I don't know what thread you're reading, but it seems to me like people were still talking about stuff as recently as this hour.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 10:01 AM on July 29, 2010 [2 favorites]


zarq, I think we'll just have to disagree on how we define "fuck off."

But just because you are convinced he's beyond hope doesn't make it so.

It's not that I believe he's beyond hope. It's that I don't expect him to develop a sense of diplomacy or awareness. A basic review of the facts supports this position.

A member of 2.5 years makes an inflammatory editorializing I/P post. People point out the obvious problems with said post, he threadshits in his own post, and it gets deleted with a pretty succinct deletion reason. He starts a metatalk thread in which he asks for constructive criticism, but states he's not going to participate unless it's about "savory muffins or fucking pillows." It is questioned whether or not either thread he started was in good faith. When he does come into the meta thread he makes personal attacks and is dismissive of much of the criticism he requested.

It is my opinion that he needs to decide if he can and wants to civilly participate on the site. It is my opinion he needs to offer several apologies. It is my opinion that he needs to decide if he wants to stay or go. If phrasing this as "Grow up or go away" was too brusque I apologize, but I stand by the sentiment. I'm not sure it needs to be helpful to be valid.
posted by cjorgensen at 11:15 AM on July 29, 2010


Sorry, jess.
posted by rtha at 11:20 AM on July 29, 2010


What does schmoopy mean in this context? I don't think it's about the cutesy name I whisper nightly to my Sarah Palin Sex Pillow©
posted by Trochanter at 11:22 AM on July 29, 2010


zarq, given the array of papers you've laid out, would you say the Israeli press as a whole tends one way or another? The reason I ask is that it's kind of a talking point that you're likely to find more criticism of controversial Israeli govt. actions in their press than in ours. Based on your list it looks like Ha'aretz might be the only paper doing this.

They generally lean to the right, but it depends on the issue. Some are more moderate than others. All of them are critical of the government to some degree -- Ha'aretz isn't the only one. The current administration is right wing, so a left wing paper probably has a lot to work with.

The JPost, Israel HaYom, Ha'aretz and YNet are probably the most read Israeli papers outside of Israel, online. Of those, the JPost and Ha'aretz probably carry the most weight.

Worth noting as well: religious and secular Israelis are disparate. Very different communities. Hareidi and Hasidim are the extreme, and not all of them are Zionists. The rest of the ultra-Orthodox are right wing on many issues. But all of them are isolationist to varying degrees. The religious are served by their own community newspapers, like Hamodia or Yated Ne'eman. And the secular communities by theirs, including Ha'aretz. That lack of religious fervor makes a difference in how Ha'aretz reports the news, too.

Also, relative to television, would you say the Israeli newspapers rate higher in terms of public relevance than in the US?

Honestly, I don't know. I suspect so?

Many of the religious fundamentalists won't even watch television. So that audience may be underrepresented in that medium.
posted by zarq at 11:26 AM on July 29, 2010


All of them being isolationist meaning the ultra-religious sects. The secular communities don't seem to have that same urge to avoid the trappings of modern society.
posted by zarq at 11:30 AM on July 29, 2010


Many of the religious fundamentalists won't even watch television.

Common ground! I wonder if it's because they thought M*A*S*H had become too preachy, too.

And thanks for the info.
posted by Trochanter at 11:32 AM on July 29, 2010


I kept coming across Maariv, but couldn't go anywhere with it for the exact reason you listed: its in hebrew.

This won't help you if you want to use them as a source, but you might consider Google Translate if you want to just read the paper. It renders Hebrew oddly (which may just be 'cause I don't speak that language.) I often find I'm filling in pronouns and adjectives mentally while reading. But it will give you the gist of what an article's about.

I do this a lot with Spanish-language newspapers and websites. I do speak a little Spanish, but I'm not fluent. GT makes them mostly readable.

I found a LOT of good stuff on Haaretz when I googled Bedouin and the particular areas. Unfortunately their archiving or linking sucks on google. No matter what I found on google, a click would only take me to their current front page. And their own internal search engine sucked ass, even though I could even filter it by date.

Yeah, I've had the same problem. Have never quite figured out why that is, either. I wonder if their Hebrew version has the same problem. (Not that we could read it, of course.)
posted by zarq at 11:37 AM on July 29, 2010


Can we get to the part where you flame out, hal_c_on? Because, honestly, that's about your only play left.

See, it's weird, because I have butted heads with hal_c_on on more than one occasion, so I'm really surprising myself in this thread. Because I could have seen myself posting - or at least thinking - that "flame out already!" comment. I don't know exactly why I've been channeling my inner Miko. But calls for flameouts, even for someone who's being way more of an asshole than hal_c_on, are counterproductive and, well, awful. You think he hasn't got a hope of changing, cjorgensen, but you really can't know this. If we had a magic machine where we could go back and look at the complete mefi history of everyone here, included deleted comments and threads and shitty memail wars, I know that there would be evidence of positive change in a lot of people you wouldn't expect it of.
posted by rtha at 11:38 AM on July 29, 2010 [2 favorites]


Sorry you see that as counterproductive and awful, rtha, but people keep focussing on that part of what I said and are neglecting the next sentence: "It's either that or step away and come back when you're ready to be an adult." Which, to hal_c_on's credit, he's done half of. I think if/when he comes back he owes a few people apologies (but that's between them and him). The way I saw things—and still see them on a reread—at the point I said that, hal_c_on needed time away from the site (self imposed or not). When someone is acting immature asking him to behave or move along isn't counterproductive.

I do take your point though. Rather than asking him to flame out, I should have pointed out if he didn't walk away, until he could rationally approach the thread, he'd be risking a flame out. I'm still indifferent to what he chooses to do. I think this may be where some of the disconnect is coming from. I would have phrased that differently for someone whose participation I valued. Any benefit of the doubt was gone by that point.
posted by cjorgensen at 1:02 PM on July 29, 2010


We should probably just run everything by cjorgensen first from now on. Commenting and posting will be slower, but at least it won't be very interesting.
posted by doublehappy at 2:15 PM on July 29, 2010


A member of 2.5 years makes an inflammatory editorializing I/P post.

Length of membership is a useless metric in this case.

I've been a member here for what, six years? I still have had one or two posts deleted this year on non I/P topics.

To choose a couple of people at random, markkraft's been a member since 2001 and adamvasco's been here exactly as long as I have. I'm almost positive that both have had I/P threads deleted. Not to mention.... Joe's been here since '06. Why would you assume that just because someone's been here a couple of years that they would be able to unerringly avoid pitfalls that even far more experienced posters run into? That doesn't seem to be the case, does it?

People point out the obvious problems with said post, he threadshits in his own post, and it gets deleted with a pretty succinct deletion reason.

Once people believe a thread will be deleted, it's SOP around here to make snarky comments in it. At least once, someone from the Mod Squad did ask that not be done. Hasn't seemed to stop anyone, tho.

He starts a metatalk thread in which he asks for constructive criticism, but states he's not going to participate unless it's about "savory muffins or fucking pillows." It is questioned whether or not either thread he started was in good faith. When he does come into the meta thread he makes personal attacks and is dismissive of much of the criticism he requested.

This is all true.

It is my opinion that he needs to decide if he can and wants to civilly participate on the site.

He was, in some way. I responded to him and was not attacked. He did not respond defensively to me, nor to some others. He obviously has an issue with the mods.

It is my opinion he needs to offer several apologies. It is my opinion that he needs to decide if he wants to stay or go. If phrasing this as "Grow up or go away" was too brusque I apologize, but I stand by the sentiment. I'm not sure it needs to be helpful to be valid.

Fine. You covered this in your response to rtha, so I don't see a need to rehash it with you.
posted by zarq at 2:36 PM on July 29, 2010


> We should probably just run everything by cjorgensen first from now on. Commenting and posting will be slower, but at least it won't be very interesting.

Well, at least you should. If you'd bother to run that past me I would have pointed out that it wasn't very substantive, funny, or really, that interesting. I can see how you'd come to the conclusion that (maybe) my input would be of value to you prior to posting, but you failed in that. I could have probably helped punch up your first joke as well, but now we'll never know.

> Length of membership is a useless metric in this case.

Everyone that posts to the blue has had a post removed. That wasn't my point. The point was that the reason that post was removed was so blindingly obvious that questioning why it was removed or how it could have been done better comes off as being coy. Very few people that have had a post removed are truly flabbergasted by this. This is where that metric is important. How many meta threads have there been in the last 2.5 years that have addressed "Why was X post deleted?" They run a predictable course. For someone to spend 2.5 years on the site and maintain he does not know why this went down the way it did, or wonder how it could have been done better, is being disingenuous. Want to know why this one was deleted? Read the in thread criticism and the deletion reason. Want to do it better next time? Act on that criticism.

If not, take it it to metatalk. That's what this section of the site is for. Make your case on why it was a good post. Ask how to do it better next time. Whatever you like, but when people answer don't come in with a chip on your shoulder hurling insults.

That's just my take.

He obviously has an issue with the mods.

It's not just the mods.

Look at hal_c_on's profile. This is not someone unaware that he occasionally says things people find objectionable. You can't have it both ways. You can't be aware that you stir shit up, then pretend people shouldn't call you on it.
posted by cjorgensen at 3:16 PM on July 29, 2010


Hey, so camping was fun.

hal_c_on, if you want to talk we can talk; with a couple days gone by I'm not sure how helpful it'd be for me to reply line-by-line to what's upthread, but if you're still wanting a response to something specific let me know and we can do it here or via email.
posted by cortex (staff) at 2:59 PM on July 30, 2010


Cortex,

Lets discuss this here since it was brought up here.

First, I want to thank you for all the hard work you do on here. I really mean it...but I know that metafilter or metatalk sometimes makes sincere look sarcastic. If you have any doubts about my sincerity please look over the emails I have written u/the other mods during my time here. Even when I butted heads with you guys, I always wanted you guys to know that i do appreciate your hard work here.

I'm not folksy, im not insincere, and im just going to talk candidly and openly here.

So yeah if we both agree that the above is true we can move to the meat and potatoes of this, if not then i don't think theres any use in continuing this discussion because there is a serious disconnect.

Do you have a problem with me that you are trying to resolve in a public forum rather than privately?

You have said that ive had had problems acclimating here...and i totally agree. You and the rest of the mods have been very instrumental in giving me direction when i needed clarification or just a "stop". Hell, Ive been hit with jessamyn's ban hammer twice and ended my inquisitorial communications with a "thanks...ill be better next time".

The you went on with a "recent string of bad behavior". What?!

That was totally uncool as its totally untrue. What is this "recent string" you refer to? I mean it should be not too far in the past...and there should be several incidents, right?

So my issue is that i found that statement to be totally untrue.
Coming from a mod and not just a random internet dude will make people feel more justified in being shitty to me on here. "Oh, cortex has said that this dude is being shitty to the site recently." We, both, know your words carry more weight than the random internet dude on here.

I'll take blame for all sorts of shit I've done on here: editorializing on the blue, not writing clearly, being fighty, publishing memail on here. It was all totally my fault, and i took responsibility for that.

Classifying my recent activity as "bad behavior" is not cool when its untrue. Another mod tried to help out by stating that my comment deletion rate is about 1/week, and I've been booted twice. Yeah, those are great stats to demonstrate your point...except that none of it is recent. I bet ive had more posts deleted my first month on mefi than my past 6mos here. It also makes me feel as if I'm damned here on metafilter. I can be a model member for the next 2 years...but then when you want to...you can statistically say that I've had a deletion once every 2 weeks here, and I've been banned twice. But that has nothing to do with you, and im wondering If i should take that up with the other mod, or let it go. Probably the latter.

Overall, this is the second time you've called me out in public...rather than take it up on email. Even some members have me mailed me after this thread and said that perhaps you should have taken it up with me over email.

So yeah...i fucked up on the blue...and i asked the site for constructive criticism...you provided some, but then ended up trashing me with stuff that isn't true.

That just felt a bit uncool.
posted by hal_c_on at 4:44 PM on July 31, 2010


I'm not folksy, im not insincere, and im just going to talk candidly and openly here.

I know there was folksy/insincerity talk up thread, but I wasn't part of it. I think I've told you before in discussions over email, and I tried to make a point of acknowledging again in my comment up there, that as much as I find some of your behavior on the site frustrating or problematic, I understand that you're making an effort and that your own frustration with how you're received on metafilter is genuine. I'm fine trying to work with you on the bits that don't go well or the areas where there's friction that comes from some sort of unexpected misunderstanding of the guidelines or site etiquette, etc. I absolutely believe that you are fundamentally trying to be a good faith member of the site.

I also think that despite your generally good intentions, your interactions here have gone pretty badly wrong a number of times, and I think you're ultimately responsible for a lot of how things have at times escalated from mere basic disagreement/misunderstanding to unnecessarily combative or hyperreactive dustups. And that that sort of thing has happened not just once but several times is what makes it hard to know how to work with you at this point, because much as I appreciate that you want to and much of the time manage to just get along on the site the whole recurring bad-behavior stuff is way outside of the norm for members here and seems increasingly intractable as time goes by. Something goes wrong, we try to work with you on it, time passes, something else goes wrong, cycle repeats. It has taken up an inordinate proportion of our time and energy.

That is what I was talking about the other day regarding you needing to either find a way to work this stuff out on your own or find something else to do; it's not an coy ban threat, it's an expression of my frustration that these things keep going in bad directions and that you seem to be simultaneously sticking around for reasons of wanting to be here and yet, after a couple years and a lot of mod interaction, still having trouble not getting into sort of crappy I Just Don't Understand things with other members or with us. I genuinely feel like as time goes on it's getting to the point where either you find a way to make this work on your own or you should consider if you're actually happy here or if there's somewhere else that can do for you the things you want from a site like mefi but where the way you tend to be at your worst moments doesn't cause recurring problems and clashes.

The third option is basically you sticking around but not finding a way to make this work, and things going so far south over time that it comes to a head with more timeouts or an actual ban. That is the worst case scenario for any sort of trying-to-work-with-a-user situation, it doesn't happen much, and I really genuinely hope we never have to go in that direction with any of this. My belief is that you feel the same way, and, again, I'm fine trying to work with you on this stuff. But at the end of the day my duty is to this whole community's ongoing health, not just to making things work for you, and so when it's one vs. the other I'm gonna get stuck being the bad guy and telling you when we feel like there's a problem. That's what was happening up thread the other day.

Classifying my recent activity as "bad behavior" is not cool when its untrue.

So, the stuff that was on my mind as far as the previous week was:

- You being randomly jerkish here in a meetup thread you otherwise had nothing to do with;
- You getting fighty here and in the following comment in the Love Parade metatalk talk on the 26th;
- Your bad post that prompted this metatalk in the first place;
- Your behavior in that post after it was clear to you that it wasn't being received well;
- Your making a metatalk post in the middle of the night, mod-time, and declaring that you weren't likely to even participate in it.

It doesn't make you a master criminal or anything, but it was enough stuff over a short period of time that, given you've had a number of strings of bad and sometimes tenaciously reactive behavior on the site, we were feeling like something was up again. It may be your opinion that this is nothing or not enough to be worth note, but that's not how we're seeing it, and that kind of disconnect feels like it's at the root of why this continues to be a problem.

I wouldn't have said anything if I didn't legitimately feel like we were seeing problematic stuff; I have basically zero incentive to make things up about what I'm seeing as a mod.

Another mod tried to help out by stating that my comment deletion rate is about 1/week, and I've been booted twice. Yeah, those are great stats to demonstrate your point...except that none of it is recent.

The timeouts were both last summer, and when they come out of peaks of general behavioral patterns that we feel like haven't really disappeared the point that we've had to go there remains relevant. Again: I appreciate that you're trying. But, again: we don't ever have to give a timeout at all to the vast majority of users. Once is a bad sign. Twice is worse. It's part of the context that we have to look at new problematic stuff in, because if even that doesn't seem to have taken then our practical toolset if things get to that level again becomes really limited and blunt.

The askme comment deletions are far more pervasive and current than that; you've had 31 comments removed from askme this year alone, ten of them in the last three months, 94 since you first signed up. It's a whole lot, absolutely not some "two in two weeks" out-of-context thing.

It also makes me feel as if I'm damned here on metafilter. I can be a model member for the next 2 years...but then when you want to...you can statistically say that I've had a deletion once every 2 weeks here, and I've been banned twice.

I would love never to have to have another conversation about any of this again. I believe that in theory you can be a model member, indefinitely, and I appreciate that you seem to be at least much of the time trying to do that. The problem is that you're not consistently doing a very good job of it, and at the times that you fail at it you tend to do so in a combative and aggressive way that makes it hard to just shrug it off as someone having one bad day; at this point we are in the position of assuming that any day could be another one of those bad days and that if it is we'll have a larger-than-average mess to deal with because of the disruptive way in which you seem to comport yourself when it happens.

Again: I know you try. I appreciate that, and no resolution to this would make me happier than having that trying turn consistently into succeeding and us never having to blink again. For my part I'm really trying not to worry to much if I see one weird or aggressive note from you now and again—I know that genuine random bad moments occur for everyone, they certainly does for me. But close groupings of kind of crappy behavior, yeah, it's hard to dismiss those when it's happened a bunch of times before. If they never happen again, I'll never have any complaint again and we can high five about it and leave it at that.

But that has nothing to do with you, and im wondering If i should take that up with the other mod, or let it go. Probably the latter.

You can obviously take it up with the other mods, but this really isn't a me-going-after-you thing, much as it seems like a lot of the incidents of talking about this stuff with you has happened to fall in my lap for whatever happenstance reasons. I've got nothing against you personally and don't want to give you a hard time, but this place is my job and if there's something that comes down to being an administrative issue, I have to deal with it even if it makes you uncomfortable. I know it's not any fun being on the receiving end of it, but please believe me that it's zero fun being on this end of it either.
posted by cortex (staff) at 8:00 PM on July 31, 2010


I know it's not any fun being on the receiving end of it, but please believe me that it's zero fun being on this end of it either.

I'm not going to argue here. Listen, we both have nice exciting lives, and I don't think we should continue talking about this any more than we already have. We're effectively exchanging time from the better parts of our lives for the part where we talk about words we typed a while ago. I'm sure we'd BOTH rather be sexing, eating, reading, writing, or almost anything else than THIS.

Thanks for a thorough understanding of EXACTLY where you are coming from. I know its not what you signed up for, but then again, you mods do have a tendency to go above and beyond the call of duty every once in a while. So I appreciate it.

I'll remember that next time I'm about to post something that may or may not be jerky, but MAY be construed as such by a member/mod.

Just to clarify a bit:

1. I really thought that starting up a meta thread asking for constructive criticism and saying I won't camp there would be seen by the community as something cool. I REALLY was taking your advice to walk away for a bit. I was kinda wrong about WHEN to take that advice; I'm now thinking the general rule is: you start it a meta thread, you better be the last one on the ship, captain.

2. I'm 16 hours away from you. I had no intention of launching a thread that needs a lot of modding when you guys are at your sleepiest. I'll be more careful of the time zones should it ever be relevant again.

3. I've got an unconventional sense of humor/reality/etc. I think in order for me to be a better member here, I've gotta be more clear in what I'm saying.

I'm cool on this end...I hope camping was fun.

And julietbanana...I'm sorry for that college remark...it was low.
posted by hal_c_on at 9:20 PM on July 31, 2010 [1 favorite]


I really thought that starting up a meta thread asking for constructive criticism and saying I won't camp there would be seen by the community as something cool.

I hear you. I think the sentiment wasn't terrible but it's also a little bit dicey depending on context and you didn't present it super great. But I understand that your intention was good.

I'll be more careful of the time zones should it ever be relevant again.

I appreciate it. Us being around for this stuff not only makes it easier to be responsive in general but also means that the likelihood of an unchecked pile-on or snark attack goes down a lot because we can actually try and keep things on course, so it's generally helpful in both directions. I know the whole world doesn't run on mod time, but we do and taking care to figure out if it's the darkest six hours of the west coast of the US and letting something wait until morning is a good way to dodge a certain amount of generally-unwanted Wild West stuff all around.

I've got an unconventional sense of humor/reality/etc. I think in order for me to be a better member here, I've gotta be more clear in what I'm saying.

I dig it. And I have a weird sense of humor myself, so I sympathize. I've spent years figuring out exactly where what goes on in my brain does and doesn't mesh well with what works in general conversation, and finding ways to bridge the gap (or just let it go, and I do an awful lot of just letting it go) when I suspect that there might be a mismatch or an interpretive problem. It's not easy, I appreciate that it can be a pain to pull off sometimes.

And I know it's frustrating when you end up feeling blind-sided when something turns out not to have been taken in the spirit you intended. Handling those moments is hard but also crucial; being able to (a) identify them quickly and (b) handle them gracefully is a huge, huge skill, especially in asynchronous text-mediated environments like the internet. And point (b) can be a real challenge, but it's worth it—I'd say in the context of what I was talking about above, it's maybe the most essential outstanding thing for you to work on. And I totally believe you can make it work consistently, I've seen you do it before. Just being able to say "oof, that came out wrong, I apologize" and leaving it at that, and accepting that not everybody is going to immediately respond with grace themselves and may be jerkish themselves about it and letting that be their problem, not yours, is about 99% of getting along in a community where miscommunications are bound to happen.

Good luck with it.
posted by cortex (staff) at 9:01 AM on August 1, 2010 [1 favorite]


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