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Two (or more) heads are better than one?
July 29, 2010 9:14 AM   Subscribe

In regards to improving FPPs on metafilter, can we give contemplation to creating the ability to collaborate on a post?

The logistics and details of this clydesdale-sized pony would have to be worked out, rules made by mefites wiser than me... but general thoughts:

Someone wants to set up a fpp, has a couple good links to offer but it's somewhat insubstantial. So they put it up in a post-in-the-works page, and other people can offer up links or additional tidbits to make an improved fpp. Have a time-limit of maybe a day or two, to ensure there's a cutoff. Then the OP arranges the post, giving contribution credit to those whose materials (s)he selects to add in.

let the idea-trampling begin!
posted by lizbunny to Feature Requests at 9:14 AM (99 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite

Someone wants to set up a fpp, has a couple good links to offer
and they go ahead and do that and people can add more links once it's posted if they want to. I have implemented this.
posted by Wolfdog at 9:21 AM on July 29, 2010 [4 favorites]


Our general feeling is that collaborative tools exist offsite up to and including the MetaFilter wiki which can totally be used for this sort of thing. There is already a page on the wiki for people who want to collaborate on music projects.

So, generally speaking I love the idea of MeFites collaborating on stuff, but having the mechanism to do this sort of thing on the site itself is one of those things that we should probably add to this page.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 9:21 AM on July 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


I would suggest that this might be something that could be accomplished on MetaChat.
posted by HuronBob at 9:23 AM on July 29, 2010


I don't think this is a bad idea in the abstract. But it's kind of horning in on plastic.com's territory, and as we all know, metafilter is the plastic it's OK to like!
posted by adamrice at 9:23 AM on July 29, 2010


An FPP collaboration between Joe in Australia and markkraft would be awe-inspiring.
posted by gman at 9:29 AM on July 29, 2010


Not directly related, but I'd still love a save-as-draft feature.
posted by Artw at 9:32 AM on July 29, 2010 [9 favorites]


Not directly related, but I'd still love an edit feature.
posted by Jaltcoh at 9:35 AM on July 29, 2010 [4 favorites]


people can add more links once it's posted if they want to

This. Happens all the time.
posted by amro at 9:39 AM on July 29, 2010


Not directly related, but I'd like a bagel.
posted by killdevil at 9:39 AM on July 29, 2010 [13 favorites]


Of course people complain if you do that. But people complain about every possible aspect of every possible thing if you post an FPP, it just kind of comes with the territory.
posted by Artw at 9:40 AM on July 29, 2010


Well, if MeMail had some kind of conversation feature (similar to gmail), that would make this sort of thing a snap. However, I understand why the mods don't want to pour development time into MeMail.
posted by Afroblanco at 9:40 AM on July 29, 2010


HuronBob, you're right - MetaChat is a great way to accomplish this.
posted by lizbunny at 9:42 AM on July 29, 2010


Yeah we see no point in replicating gmail when there's already gmail. I feel like there was some sort of Greasemonkey script where you could take notes on things on the site but now I'm having trouble finding it. I wanted to add it to the wiki. What is it called?
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 9:43 AM on July 29, 2010


> Well, if MeMail had some kind of conversation feature (similar to gmail), that would make this sort of thing a snap.

MeMail Wave
posted by Burhanistan at 9:44 AM on July 29, 2010


Wow, this page is actually kinda awesome. I haven't really kept up with the wiki since it changed venues (what was that, 2 years ago?) but this makes me think I should spend some time browsing around there. eeeeenteresting.
posted by Afroblanco at 9:46 AM on July 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


HuronBob, you're right - MetaChat is a great way to accomplish this.

I don't know about that - discussions of Mefi tend to be frowned upon at Metachat. Even though it's a place for Mefites. I find it confusing... Maybe one of the Metachat mods can comment on whether or not this would be appropriate over there.
posted by amro at 9:46 AM on July 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


Whatever happened to Google Wave, anyway? Is it still around? Does anyone actually use it?
posted by Jaltcoh at 9:47 AM on July 29, 2010


Apparently it's useful for collaborating on novels. I am still not 100% on what exactly it does.
posted by Artw at 9:48 AM on July 29, 2010


Yeah we see no point in replicating gmail when there's already gmail.

Yeah, the only time I wish MeMail had more functionality is when I want to start a conversation w/ multiple users, like when doing something locally (like a meetup) or in a different city (like, umm... a meetup?). And then it's kinda awkward because most people don't put their real email in their profile, usually if they put something in there at all, it's a disposable that they rarely check, so then you wind up MeMailing people individually and carrying on a bunch of conversations at once, which is weird. I guess the best thing is to MeMail people individually, get their gmail address, then start a gmail conversation. But that's kind of a process.

Nonetheless, I understand why nobody on the mod side wants to reinvent gmail. Isn't there some joke about how every software project inevitably reaches the point where somebody wants to add an email client?

Personally, I think Metafilter needs an office productivity suite. MeFiDocs forever!
posted by Afroblanco at 9:54 AM on July 29, 2010


Not directly related, but I'd still love a save-as-draft feature.

I toss my drafts and half-baked ideas into my a Gmail draft message, but that's just me.

MetaChat is a great way to accomplish this.

I don't know about that - discussions of Mefi tend to be frowned upon at Metachat.


But there are some interesting things posted on MeCha that get elaborated or simply re-posted on MeFi (some examples). I think you could post what you feel are incomplete MeFi topics in MeCha, and ask for help elaborating below the fold, but I'm no MeCha mod.

I, for one, offer myself up as part of the MetaFilter Collaboration Club, or MeFiCoClu. We could have our own discussions off-site somewhere, or just start an email list for bandying ideas around.
posted by filthy light thief at 10:02 AM on July 29, 2010


Dag nabit! My attempt to filter search results failed. The link should have been:

http://www.google.com/search?q=site%3Ametafilter.com+"via+metachat"+-%2Ftags
posted by filthy light thief at 10:03 AM on July 29, 2010


(Attempt to link to search results ... razzafrazza)
posted by filthy light thief at 10:04 AM on July 29, 2010


jessamyn: "I feel like there was some sort of Greasemonkey script where you could take notes on things on the site but now I'm having trouble finding it. I wanted to add it to the wiki. What is it called?"

UserNotes (by jacalata) maybe? I've never used it so I can't speak to its utility.
posted by vapidave at 10:09 AM on July 29, 2010


I hadn't seen the mod explanations page before, no using the word cunt? I love that word and had no idea it was a US/UK thing. Useful, I wonder why none of my US interweb friends have ever objected to me using it. Thankfully I haven't used it here.
posted by shinybaum at 10:16 AM on July 29, 2010


Your friends know you and they may not care. MeFi is a big place full of people who may or may not be your friends or take the time to know your backstory and know that you're not using it as a slur against women. The people that do use it here tend to either do it by accident [no big deal] or do it knowing that there's a nice edgy quality to using a word that offends the hell out of a lot of Americans but isn't as big a deal in the UK. It's easier to say "Please try not to use that word here" than to have to get into people's heads every time someone uses it and other people flag the hell out of it. You can check out the extended MeTa threads on the subject [at least one of which is linked on the wiki page] for more siteispecific backstory.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 10:19 AM on July 29, 2010


Why would we need collaboration? The links are either cool or not.

Metafilter isn't about writing essays, or conversation. It's about finding interesting links.
posted by blue_beetle at 10:20 AM on July 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


Oh, there's people who ill complain if they don't get an essay and a bunch of supporting links, and they better be proper supporting links, not wikipedia, and blah blah blah blah...
posted by Artw at 10:25 AM on July 29, 2010


MeFiCoClu, awesome. I'm in.
posted by lizbunny at 10:31 AM on July 29, 2010


Also I can't believe this managed to derail all the way into jessamyn explaining the mods' position on using the c-word.

My favorite recipe is chicken quesadillas with mole negro sauce:

4 dried pasilla chilies, chopped
4 dried ancho chilies, chopped
4 dried mulato chilies, chopped
1 can (14 oz / 400 g) tomatoes or 3 large, fresh tomatoes, skinned and chopped
1 onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, chopped
1 cup (2.4 dl) chicken broth
4 tablespoons raisins
4 tablespoons peanuts, shelled and skinned
½ teaspoon anise seeds or ¼ teaspoon ground
½ teaspoon ground pepper
½ teaspoons cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon salt
2 oz (60 g) bittersweet chocolate

Roast the chilies, transfer to a bowl and add hot chicken broth. Soak until tender. Roast onion, garlic and peanuts. In a blender mix tomatoes, chilies, onion, garlic, raisins, peanuts, chicken broth, salt and spices, and puree on high speed. Heat the sauce, add chocolate and mix well when the chocolate has melted. Add more salt or spices as needed.
posted by lizbunny at 10:38 AM on July 29, 2010


I'm a mod at MetaChat. It's true that we don't do Mefi-centric posts too often, but only because we don't want to encourage complaining, or negative comments about the mods/members, revisit/continue arguments...that kind of thing. That tends to happen. But starting a post to get more links/facts to hash out a post here would be fine.

(I really like slash/es)
posted by iconomy at 10:49 AM on July 29, 2010 [2 favorites]


Thanks a bunch, iconomy :) pony workaround identified and mod-approved!
posted by lizbunny at 10:52 AM on July 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


Jaltcoh : Whatever happened to Google Wave, anyway? Is it still around? Does anyone actually use it?

Every now and again my wife's GoogleTalk fails and we revert to using Wave for a couple of days. It's really not bad, and I can see a huge amount of potential in it, but it always feels like it's an Alpha product, really waiting to go into Beta so that it can hit its stride.

As it stands, it feels bloated for what it does.
posted by quin at 11:00 AM on July 29, 2010


On bizarro Metafilter, the people who snark in the first comments of a weakish front page post here instead prop it up with additional links and information, collaborating on the fly. Even better, they leave comments about personal experiences and knowledge they have on the subject, and the bizarro metafilter users (who all have goatees) reward them with favorites.
posted by crunchland at 11:15 AM on July 29, 2010 [4 favorites]


Why are people doing this recipe thing? Is it like a short-form version of the Treaty of Wesphalia? Is it like that alphabet crap people were doing?

I fucking hate memes.
posted by Afroblanco at 11:15 AM on July 29, 2010 [3 favorites]


I fucking hate memes.

Gosh, I've been seeing a lot of this sentiment lately. Must be catching on.

Also, not so hot on the MeFi post collaboration idea, but I'd just LOVE to see a way to collaborate on MetaTalk posts.
posted by carsonb at 11:20 AM on July 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


Why are people doing this recipe thing?

The father of one of my friends is a mathematician by trade, studying topology, and specifically knot theory. As a grad student, he'd spend intense hours on a single proof, and it wouldn't always go well. He took up making bread while working on a proof, so at the end of the time, at least he'd have a fresh loaf of bread, even if he failed with his proof.

In short: recipes provide something delicious to what might otherwise be a noisy or contentious discussion.
posted by filthy light thief at 11:23 AM on July 29, 2010 [5 favorites]


Difficult to integrate with the MetaTalk Complaint Wizard.
posted by Artw at 11:23 AM on July 29, 2010


*RING RING*

Investor.

Hi, two popcorn stocks and some futures in hot butter please.

Would you like fries with that?

PIZZA!

Fizzy Mountain Duet?

I am not allowed the sugar.

*CLICK*
posted by carsonb at 11:26 AM on July 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


recipes provide something delicious to what might otherwise be a noisy or contentious discussion.

I enjoy a good recipe as much as the next person who enjoys recipes, but can't they please wait until there's really nothing left to talk about in the actual discussion? You know, like a refreshing dessert after a heavy, seven-course meal that might have included one or two side dishes of questionable freshness? Because they really seem like pure noise in the middle of a policy/pony discussion.
posted by Gator at 11:50 AM on July 29, 2010 [5 favorites]


shinybaum: Ironically, the same wiki page says not to be a "prick."
posted by Jaltcoh at 11:51 AM on July 29, 2010


Ironically, the same wiki page says not to be a "prick."

Yeah, I'm sure this has been beanplated to death in the other threads about the "c-word," but I think it's oddly explicative about American culture that we have so many words for penis, and they're all pretty much acceptable, even they funny/jokey ones. But when it comes to vaginas, whoah there! Back off! I don't think I've ever talked to a woman that actually liked any of the words for vagina. Even "vagina" sounds too medical or clinical. And of course, the dreaded "c-word," one of the nastiest you can say in conversation, right up there with the "n-word." And of course, everybody's least favorite non-obscenity "moist" -- hmmm, I wonder why...

And then you look at British culture, and their liberal use of the "c-word," and "bloody" (which has nothing at all to do with open wounds). And then you have the bizarre/confusing Jamaican usage "bloodclot" or "boombaclot," which I will never understand.... but I digress.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not arguing that it's okay to use the "c-word," and it's not a word that I myself use. Just find the whole thing interesting, is all.
posted by Afroblanco at 12:11 PM on July 29, 2010 [2 favorites]


Why are people doing this recipe thing? Is it like a short-form version of the Treaty of Wesphalia? Is it like that alphabet crap people were doing?



Not too many things bug me on MetaFilter, but the recipe thing drives me crazy. It's what people on DailyKos used to do years ago when they thought there was a troll, or (more frequently) when they just didn't like what other people had to say. It was the equivalent of putting one's fingers in one's ears and saying TRALALA I CAN"T HEAR YOU through posting a recipe for tamale pie. It irks me to see it here because: DK is a site that annoys the crap out of me for a number of reasons; it was two years ago that I stopped reading there, and it seems like MeFi should be hipper than that; and it's just plain rude to intimate that the conversation is done now, thankyouverymuch.

I realize people who are doing it here are not necessarily aware of any of these things and are (I guess) trying to lighten the mood or something, but bad precedent has left a lingering dislike of the practice.
posted by oneirodynia at 12:16 PM on July 29, 2010 [8 favorites]


Don't get me wrong, I'm not arguing that it's okay to use the "c-word," and it's not a word that I myself use. Just find the whole thing interesting, is all.

Oh, I agree. I personally find the direct male equivalent c-word to be much more acceptable, even appropriate in some contexts. My own reactions to these words seem to defy reason.
posted by Jaltcoh at 12:17 PM on July 29, 2010


oneirodynia: It's also partly because MeTa is the only place on the site where it's considered acceptable to make totally random comments. There's a general desire to make comments on a new topic of one's own accord; this is forbidden in AskMe and would be frowned-on in MeFi; thus, by default, they end up here.
posted by Jaltcoh at 12:19 PM on July 29, 2010


*gets in on the ground floor of the "I fucking hate memes" meme*
posted by iconomy at 12:19 PM on July 29, 2010


Gosh, I've been seeing a lot of this sentiment lately. Must be catching on.

I see what you did there.
posted by Infinite Jest at 12:21 PM on July 29, 2010


I thought the recipes thing came from fandom wank or something where it's supposed to be deraily for trolls and annoying people. They also have a thing for boobs which I never really understood.

Also I like lots of words for vagina, although my favourite northern one is tuppence because it annoys so many people.
posted by shinybaum at 12:31 PM on July 29, 2010


Instead of the derailing-through-recipes thing, how about lists of Culture spaceships named after metafilter-related stuff?

The GSV Flag It And Move On
The ROU Offensive/Sexism/Racism
The GCU I Fucking Hate Memes
posted by Greg Nog at 12:34 PM on July 29, 2010


The VFP Who Here Likes Pancakes?
posted by oneirodynia at 12:50 PM on July 29, 2010


The GOU [NOT-EXCLUSIONIST]
posted by carsonb at 12:57 PM on July 29, 2010


Ironically, the same wiki page says not to be a "prick."

It's a direct quote from a user who actually asked why they shouldn't be an utter prick on the site. If you want me to bore you to death with why these two words [prick and cunt] actually have drastically different cultural weight in Western cultural generally beginning with the Anglo Saxons, I will be happy to do so. Otherwise, there's nothing at all ironic about it.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 1:06 PM on July 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


You may have an explanation for why they're different, and in fact I already said they're different, so I'm not asking you to explain it. But it's still ironic that one word was given as something you can't say, and a similar word was chosen to be used in the same list. I understand that someone else originally used the word "prick," but there was a decision to put it on a list of Mefi policy. All I'm saying is: I see irony in that. It made me stop and think. Maybe other people won't find it as interesting because they see an obvious difference between the two words, and that's fine too. Irony doesn't mean it's bad or should be changed. Irony is just irony, that's all.
posted by Jaltcoh at 1:13 PM on July 29, 2010


You can't say c__t in Canada
Warning: NSFW
posted by gman at 1:21 PM on July 29, 2010


On second thought, maybe I would be interested in having you "bore" me with your explanation. To say that one word carries more "weight" than another is your judgment. One word is used against women, and another word is used against men. You find the word that's used against women to obviously have more "weight." Do you have some kind of objective, unbiased way of determining which insults have more "weight"? I certainly think that many women would be very hurt by having the female word directed at them. But wouldn't many men be very hurt by having the male word directed at them?

Personally, I would never use either word. But I'd be hard-pressed to give a rational explanation of why one word is worse than the other, unless we're supposed to have some kind of shared, implicit understanding that women's feelings matter more than men's (which, as I'm sure you know, I would not go along with).
posted by Jaltcoh at 1:22 PM on July 29, 2010


Do you have some kind of objective, unbiased way of determining which insults have more "weight"? I certainly think that many women would be very hurt by having the female word directed at them. But wouldn't many men be very hurt by having the male word directed at them?

Well we've done sort of straw polls in MeFi and people [women and men] have said that they find the word cunt to have a much more negative connotation than any similar genital-as-derogatory word for men. That is, while I see a lot of people arguing the equality angle, I don't see many men saying that when someone calls them a prick, they feel threatened, physically unsafe or otherwise completely disregarded. With women, it's a slur along the lines of nigger or something where the word carries the connotation of not just "I think you're inferior" but "I have aggressively negative feelings towards you." This is, of course, not everyone's interpretation, but it is the interpretation that I came away with from reading the multiple MeTa threads in which this was discussed.

So, back to history. It's interesting how the terms for genitals that we use came about and how they're split into nice/official words [penis, vagina, anus] and the more coarse/swear words [prick, cunt, asshole]. People theorize [and I don't have the background or the time to go to in to this at the moment] that the differentiation has to do with the Anglo-Saxon [i.e. the conquered] roots of some of the more callous sounding words and the Latin/French roots of some of the more polite sounding terms. So, there's a bunch of class baggage that some people feel is built into the coarseness of these words generally. I don't know if that has any specific usefulness in thinking about cunt v prick, but definitely cunt v vagina.

So, while I personally don't have a super strong feeling about the word, it's clear that many people in this community do. Enough people say that it feels like a slur to them, and an aggressive hateful one. We made a mod-level decision that we don't want to split hairs, that we'd prefer to ask people to avoid using it, the same way we tell people to avoid other racial slurs AS slurs. That is, talking about the word cunt isn't against the rules, but using it as an epithet against women [or men] pretty much is. Same with nigger, spic, wop and a bunch of other terms. Using them in an ironic way, not okay. I don't care if you use them elsewhere. I don't have any "this is the way language works" pronouncement or even educated backstory opinion.

But people have told us how they feel about it here. And we've made a decision. And while we're open to talking about it, it was made after a lot of discussion and because we feel certain ways about the community [i.e. we'd rather tell people to please avoid slurs more than we'd like to tell people to please grow a thicker hide] and our role in helping to facilitate discussion.

we're supposed to have some kind of shared, implicit understanding that women's feelings matter more than men's

If you are honestly saying that people's use of the word prick makes you feel personally bad, or offended or unsafe, let's have that discussion. Otherwise I'm saying that we listen to what people in the community are saying; we do not make up what if scenarios about how people might feel [i.e. we don't tell people not to say "gyp" because what might the gypsies think?]. And this is where we are right now.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 1:44 PM on July 29, 2010 [5 favorites]


You know, like a refreshing dessert after a heavy, seven-course meal that might have included one or two side dishes of questionable freshness?

I think what's really called for here is the Trou Normand, a little palate cleanser between courses:

Apple and Calvados Sorbet
Prep Time: 2 hours, 30 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours, 45 minutes
Ingredients:

* 1 1/3 cup peeled, chopped tart apple (1 large)
* 3 cups water
* ½ cup granulated sugar
* ¼ cup lemon juice
* ¼ teaspoon lemon zest
* ¼ cup Calvados, or apple brandy

Preparation:

In medium saucepan over medium heat, bring the chopped apple, water, and sugar to a simmer. Cover the pan, lower the heat slightly, and cook for about 15 minutes, until the apples are very tender. Remove from the heat and cool the mixture to room temperature. Add the lemon juice, lemon zest, and Calvados, and stir the mixture thoroughly. Chill it until very cold, for about 2 hours. Freeze in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
posted by toodleydoodley at 1:46 PM on July 29, 2010


I skimmed and saw recipes, so I'm not gonna read the thread, but I like this idea. Often I see something and think "Lots of people should see this! It's great! And interesting! And probably just bland enough to not start a big thing about women or Israel! but I don't want to do the work for a full post. Essentially, it would just be a raw link log (with perhaps a half twitter length explanation for each link, or just tags) and the people that get a kick out of posting shit can do that and then eventually we'll have an elite core of content editors and then there should be a FILTER button on every blog post (next to digg and tumblr and etc.) that posts it to the linklog automatically and ... oh god this is a horrible idea... I like it.
posted by doublehappy at 2:02 PM on July 29, 2010


Is everyone okay with the word "country"?
posted by doublehappy at 2:06 PM on July 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


Why are people doing this recipe thing? Is it like a short-form version of the Treaty of Wesphalia? Is it like that alphabet crap people were doing?

I fucking hate memes.


but I fucking love recipes. couldn't we collect them up into a book and sell it and pool the profits into the MetaFilter Beneficial Slush Fund, for those brutal AskMes when somebody's in verifiable peril and could be helped by a microloan?
posted by toodleydoodley at 2:08 PM on July 29, 2010


I'm not a fan of the recipe thing either. Partially because of the irritating passive-aggressive way it presumes the conversation to be over, but mostly because I'm a terrible cook.
posted by Rhaomi at 2:47 PM on July 29, 2010


"the bizarre/confusing Jamaican usage "bloodclot" or "boombaclot," which I will never understand.... "

It's a tampon/menstrual (cloth) reference, no? (talking of misogynist insults).

The first time I dropped the c-bomb in casual conversation after I moved to the US I managed to use it to describe my Dad. Who had just died of cancer. Boy did that not come across the way I had intended.
posted by tallus at 3:31 PM on July 29, 2010


Is it like a short-form version of the Treaty of Wesphalia?

No scholar of history would discuss the Peace of Westphalia with its English text.
posted by norm at 4:06 PM on July 29, 2010


It's a tampon/menstrual (cloth) reference, no? (talking of misogynist insults).

For the most part, yes. But I've also heard it used in the opposite way -- as in, "this a boomabclot joint!" But it's weird that a culture as sexist as Rastafarianism is just so obsessed with womens' menstruation. I mean, it goes beyond the boombaclot thing. There's all these weird "black magic" associations as well. Very strange.
posted by Afroblanco at 5:29 PM on July 29, 2010


The Grown-Up Girl Scout (not made from actual Girl Scouts):

Equal parts (generally 1oz): Bailey's, Kahlua, peppermint schnapps, creme de cacao.

One Thin Mint cookie: cut a small rectangular sliver, the width of a large martini glass's rim, from the circumference to the center, and then hook it over the glass as garnish.
posted by tzikeh at 5:33 PM on July 29, 2010


I fucking love recipes. couldn't we collect them up into a book and sell it and pool the profits into the MetaFilter Beneficial Slush Fund

Is there a MetaFilter Cookbook in the projects section? If not, why not?!
posted by tzikeh at 5:34 PM on July 29, 2010


Thanks for the explanation, Jessamyn, and I certainly agree with having a zero-tolerance policy toward the "c---" along with various other epithets.

Just a few loose ends and tangents:

while I see a lot of people arguing the equality angle, ...

To be clear, I went out of my way not to be "arguing the equality angle." I specifically said my instinctive reaction is that "c---" is worse than any word used to refer to a penis. But I'm also willing to second-guess my instincts -- to stand back and scrutinize not just how I feel but why I feel that way -- and I think we should all be willing to do that.

... I don't see many men saying that when someone calls them a prick, they feel threatened, physically unsafe or otherwise completely disregarded.

You don't see men saying that, so you assume men don't feel like that. But there's a lot going on there. That kind of inference can gloss over so much stuff that actually matters.

Since you're not a man, you can't know firsthand how men feel. Not your fault -- this is just a physical impossibility. Likewise, since I'm only one man, I can't know firsthand how "men" feel; I can only know how I feel, and I don't remember anyone ever calling me a "p----" in my life. In a sense, you and I are in a similar position: neither of us has had the experience of being a man called a "p----."

Now, when you say that women hear "c---" as "I have aggressively negative feelings towards you," I wonder why you think men don't hear "p----" that way too (if that's what you think). Both words would seem to convey the sentiment "I have aggressively negative feelings towards you" quite viscerally.

You suggested that women feel about being called "c---" the way blacks feel about being called "n-----": they feel "physically unsafe." I'm not sure women and blacks in general feel physically unsafe when called those words, particularly in plain text. Again, I don't know firsthand, since I'm not a woman or a black person. But, for instance, John McWhorter (who's black and has written several excellent books on race) has described the one time in his life someone (an angry, drunk, white man) called him a "f---in' n-----." And this was in pretty circumstances: the two were tenants in the same building, and McWhorter asked the man to please keep it down because McWhorter had heard the man screaming at his girlfriend. (Page 104 of his book Losing the Race.) McWhorter doesn't explicitly say whether or not this made him feel physically unsafe, but the tenor of the passage is that although it was clear evidence of the persistence of racism in the US, it wasn't debilitating or threatening to him; rather, it was a fleeting irritation and his own personal shorthand for "I know there's still racism out there, but it's a far cry from what blacks experienced 50 years ago."

Now, I don't know whether McWhorter's reaction is typical of blacks. Maybe it isn't. Or maybe it is but women are more easily threatened than McWhorter, since he's a man. I do believe that most women feel more physically threatened by most members of the opposite sex than most men do. But when we're just writing text on a website, I don't know how much those physical disparities really matter.

To me this is the biggest question mark: When we're looking at people's open statements about how they feel, that's skewed by social norms about how different people (men and women, young and old people, etc.) are supposed to express themselves. Women and girls are encouraged to express that they feel scared by things. I've heard -- more times than I could possibly keep track of -- girls and young women jokingly referring to finding someone "scary," or being "scared" by things. You very rarely hear men and boys talking in this way, even as a joke, because they're discouraged from talking in this way.

If you're discouraged from talking a certain way, that might build you up to be able to put those thoughts out of your head and get on with your life. So maybe men/boys are helped by these norms in that they're not so bothered about people offending or threatening them. But that's not a given. It could be that men/boys still feel threatened/offended/bad/sad about a lot of things, and aren't able to overcome their feelings, but they feel the need to repress their feelings because they know they're not allowed to openly express the feelings (except through anger). If that's the case, I think that's a real shame and a serious problem for society -- for men and women.

In short, people don't reliably, transparently reveal how they feel about things. And different groups have different tendencies to reveal or hide their emotions. (I'm sure we could talk about some of the ways women have been taught to hide emotions too.) A woman being offended by "c---" or other anti-woman words is obviously sympathetic. That's easy to see. But who's to say there isn't something even more insidious going on with the man who claims he isn't offended or hurt by anti-man words? That's not as easy to see.

If you are honestly saying that people's use of the word prick makes you feel personally bad, or offended or unsafe, let's have that discussion.

Well, I'm not prepared to say exactly that, but I'm happy to have a discussion about it. I might very likely feel bad when hearing the word "p----" or "c---" or "n-----," as long as they're used in an angry or menacing or hateful tone (which is what I would expect by default). On the other hand, the other day I was walking down the street and heard a couple young black guys jovially/casually using the word "n-----," and I didn't feel that bad. In contrast, I can specifically remember hearing men and women yelling the word "c---" in a theatre and feeling bad about it -- even though I knew it was supposed to be ironic and empowering.

As I said, no one has called me a "p----," so I can't speak from firsthand experience. Actually, I can't remember the last time I've heard anyone seriously called that, so I can't even refer to how the word in general has affected me. And I'm not very good at trying to come up with a specific scenario out of the blue in order to frame what my reaction would be. The only time I remember hearing it was in the movie Fast Times at Ridgement High, and it did make me cringe a little. I did think it was sexist. But it's just a movie, and I don't get too emotionally involved in movies.

When we talk about feeling bad or offended or unsafe, so much is not about the specific words, it's about tone and intent. I'm Jewish, and I have a Jewish friend who throws around an anti-Semitic epithet starting with "k," and I simply find it funny, because I understand that he's playing with the idea of bigotry and hatred. Conversely, I've known several people who think the word "Jew" is a bad word. I tried to tell one of them that's it's not offensive, it's the normal word to refer to a Jewish person. He responded, "But wouldn't you find it offensive if someone said, 'Hey, look at that Jew over there!'?" (And he said this in a vaguely aggressive manner.) My reaction was: now that I imagine this specific scenario, yeah, I would feel offended. Would I feel unsafe? Probably not, but depending on the situation, maybe I would feel unsafe. But it wouldn't be about the word "Jew"; it would be about everything else about the situation -- the tone and the apparent sentiments that might impel someone to call out another person's ethnicity in public.

Unlike my reaction to my Jewish friend who says "k---", when I see people online using vicious epithets against women or men or blacks or gays, I do tend to feel bad for a fleeting moment. (I don't even feel good about seeing someone being called an "idiot" or any kind of hostile language.) Now, maybe just by mentioning men in that context, I'm being insensitive to the uniquely hurtful nature of words used against women and blacks and gays, and I'm not facing up to how men, unlike those other groups, when they hear vicious anti-man epithets, should just ... um, "take it like a man"? "man up"? "grow a pair"? It's hard to even talk about this without recursively lapsing into anti-man notions and language. Again, maybe I, as a man, have a low sensitivity to how harmful anti-woman language can be to women. But I would just suggest considering the possibility that you, as a woman, have a low sensitivity to how harmful anti-man language can be to men.
posted by Jaltcoh at 5:56 PM on July 29, 2010


"the bizarre/confusing Jamaican usage "bloodclot" or "boombaclot," which I will never understand.... "

It's a tampon/menstrual (cloth) reference, no? (talking of misogynist insults).


Bloodclot, yes. Boombaclot is toilet paper, so that's merely scatological.
posted by Bookhouse at 6:07 PM on July 29, 2010


I thought the original proposal didn't have much merit, but man, things have gone downhill from there. Maybe if I flame out I can at least distract everyone from this unplesant and largely pointless discussion.

AND ALL YOUR MOTHER-COPULATORS CAN ORALLY STIMULATE MY GENITALS!
posted by GuyZero at 6:11 PM on July 29, 2010


The recipe thing just comes off as dismissive. But it's the sort of dismissive that practically everyone else here at Metafilter seems to find acceptable.
posted by thisjax at 6:20 PM on July 29, 2010


But I would just suggest considering the possibility that you, as a woman, have a low sensitivity to how harmful anti-man language can be to men.

I think anti-anyone language can be harmful to people, but we have to have people saying "this makes me feel bad for this sort of reason" to do anything about it on MetaFilter which is all I am talking about. I am not presuming how other men feel, I am saying they are not speaking up here so we are not making policies about language that might make them feel bad.

Actually, I can't remember the last time I've heard anyone seriously called that, so I can't even refer to how the word in general has affected me.

That is lucky for you. I can't remember offhand the last time someone called me a cunt, but I'm sure it was in the last year or so and it was in a vaguely threatening sort of email of the kind we occasionally get here at MetaFilter. I probably get called that [or some other gendered insult stronger than "bitch"] at least once per year. I would argue that the fact that these sorts of gendered insults are not a pervasive presence in your life has certainly given you some sort of perspective about this in possibly the same way that these gendered insults being a pervasive part of my life has informed my perspective.

For many women [as we've heard in many MeTa threads on the topic] being insulted by random guys with gendered or overtly sexualized insults has been a precursor to physical threats or harm. I don't think I've heard men reporting this happening. And sure, the fact that they're not reporting it may not mean it's not happening, but everyone's responsible for telling their own story.

It may be an open question about whether people's gender conditioning causes a preponderance of women reporting their stories of vulnerability and injury while men tend to keep quiet, or if there's maybe a radical disproportion of women who are actually being assaulted and harassed, but I'm looking at the "five ways sexism hurts men" thread and I'm seeing a lot of men talking about some of the negative ways sexism affects them, about the violence, about the lonliness, about people's expectations, and I'm not seeing "when people use words on this website in this way it makes me feel like I am not welcome on this website" And if they did start saying that, then we would talk about it. We try to tone down the "well all men are like this" casual stereotyping comments in AskMe the same way we do it when people talk shit about women. Even so, they're flagged less. And we treat them, to the extent that we can, the same.

So, I don't feel like talking in broad strokes about these topics because I have a website to run and other people's questions to answer. If you think I'm not being sensitive enough to anti-man language, me personally, or cortex personally or mathowie personally, then open a MeTa thread and cite examples and we can, as a community talk about it, as we did in the past about anti-woman language. This is not something I haven't considered, in fact I think about gender balance and gender issues on MetaFilter pretty much constantly. I represent and work for the entire community, men and women, and our feeling about why we'd prefer people not to use cunt is because of how men and women have used it and reacted to it.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 6:27 PM on July 29, 2010 [3 favorites]


And without calling out anyone specifically, jumping into an active conversation with recipes seems to me to be saying "Oh c'mon you guys stop being so serious, let's EAT SNACKS." I've asked folks a few times nicely to ease off on the immediate MeTa thread derailments and I'd like to be a little more clear: if you are not trying to be disrespectful of other people trying to have a conversation, please don't do that unless it's clear that the thread is mostly over/resolved.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 6:29 PM on July 29, 2010 [7 favorites]


I hate the recipe thing. That it comes from Daily Kos makes it even worse. Ugh. Ugh. Ugh. Loathing.
posted by Joseph Gurl at 7:28 PM on July 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


I always thought of the recipe thing as a reminder that whatever ideas divide us we all like and need food and have that frequently in common. I'm surprised it bothers people people but I didn't know it came with the Kos taint. I like it so long as none of the recipes call for a bucket of cocks or a bag of dicks.

Recipe for cereal:

Put Cap'n Crunch in a liquid proof container
Add milk
Let stand just long enough so that the exterior sugar knives are dulled lest your hard palate suffer.
posted by vapidave at 7:52 PM on July 29, 2010


That it comes from Daily Kos makes it even worse.

Damn, really? As far as annoying in-jokery/this month's stupid meme goes I initially found it not that horrible, but that revelation, coupled with the way it's become such a passive-aggressive wanky "Who wants ginger snaps?!?" way to direct the conversation, makes me actively despise it.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 8:20 PM on July 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


The key to posting recipes is tiMing. If recipes show up too early it spoils the palate. Even the cheapest whine needs time for fermenting; even the crudest MeTa needs time for fomenting. When a thread's mostly over, recipes are MetaFilter's way of telling all GRARing factions to Flagon It And Move On.

Me, I like recipes anytime; with or without vessels of genitals. Especially if they call for ingredients by the fuckton.
posted by Hardcore Poser at 8:36 PM on July 29, 2010


Look, Jaltcoh, there's no point in getting all Offended Male about this. Where the hell is that going to get you? The real question, the interesting question, is how is it that it's the 21st century, and vaginas are still "dirty" while penises are merely "funny and amusing?"
posted by Afroblanco at 9:09 PM on July 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


But it's weird that a culture as sexist as Rastafarianism is just so obsessed with womens' menstruation.

What's weird? Seems perfectly reasonable for a sexist culture to be repulsed by menstruation to the point of obsession. See also: niddah in Judaism, the ban on menstruating women taking Holy Communion in Orthodox Christianity, bans on menstruating women entering mosques in some branches of Islam, Dogon menstruation huts, etc., etc.

Since Rastafari is a syncretic hodge-podge of older beliefs, and some Rastas actually see themselves as Jewish or Orthodox Christian, some or all of the above traditions probably explain the whole bloodclot ting beyond standard woman-hating.

But I've also heard it used in the opposite way -- as in, "this a boomabclot joint!"

Just like sick, ill, bad, wicked... and, er, whatever the young people are inverting nowadays.
posted by a little headband I put around my throat at 6:17 AM on July 30, 2010


jumping into an active conversation with recipes seems to me to be saying "Oh c'mon you guys stop being so serious, let's EAT SNACKS." I've asked folks a few times nicely to ease off on the immediate MeTa thread derailments and I'd like to be a little more clear: if you are not trying to be disrespectful of other people trying to have a conversation, please don't do that

Why not just delete those comments as textbook examples of noise/derailment?

Also: I would append "If, on the other hand, you are trying to be disrespectful of other people trying to have a conversation, please don't do that."
posted by Wolfdog at 8:13 AM on July 30, 2010


Why not just delete those comments as textbook examples of noise/derailment?

Because our general rule of thumb is that we basically never delete comments from MetaTalk, and this would be a bad precedent, to my mind. My feeling is that people don't understand that it seems terrifically rude and counter to the purpose of this part of the site, jumping in so quickly. So I figured I'd drop a modly note and say "hey this is getting in the way of us being able to do our work" and we'll let that sink in for a while and if it continues to be a problem such that people are still jumping in with recipes or alphabet game or whatever it is, we'll maybe delete a few, but it's really last resort at the point at which we decide to do that and we're not at all there yet.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 8:18 AM on July 30, 2010


What's weird? Seems perfectly reasonable for a sexist culture to be repulsed by menstruation to the point of obsession.

I mean, I guess. Still, it's idiosyncratic -- like it's indicative of some sort of cultural OCD. Like there's this thing, that just bothers them so much, that they can't help but think about it a whole lot, and enshrine their disgust in ritual and "profanity" and cultural institution. Maybe it's just the 21st-century atheist in me, but I think it's bizarre.
posted by Afroblanco at 9:42 AM on July 30, 2010


But I've also heard it used in the opposite way -- as in, "this a boomabclot joint!"

Could be. I've also heard a different explanation -- that a particularly fat joint looks like a tampon, and thus "boombaclot joint." Either way, it's weird. Why would you want to smoke a tampon?
posted by Afroblanco at 9:44 AM on July 30, 2010


The "Recipe Thing" comes from a long line of annoying thread craps, including such weak memes as "the lobster list" and "pancakes", stretching back to the "random animated gif", which is probably the Ur-Crap of them all.

They're stupid and serve no purpose other than allowing a "look how cute we are" clique-iness among a handful of users who are probably the same folks who have to have the last word in every argument. I wish the mods would delete them with impunity.
posted by mkultra at 10:33 AM on July 30, 2010 [3 favorites]


I mean, I guess. Still, it's idiosyncratic -- like it's indicative of some sort of cultural OCD. Like there's this thing, that just bothers them so much, that they can't help but think about it a whole lot, and enshrine their disgust in ritual and "profanity" and cultural institution. Maybe it's just the 21st-century atheist in me, but I think it's bizarre.

I think you might be overstating the case a bit--it's not like observant Rastas obsess over menstruation any more than, I dunno, making sure their food is ital, or banging on interminably about Jah.

As for 'there's this thing, that just bothers them so much, that they can't help but think about it a whole lot, and enshrine their disgust in ritual and "profanity" and cultural institution' - that's what religion is! I don't think Rasta views on menstruation are any more bonkers than kosher dietary requirements, burquas, transubstantiation or the American evangelicals' frothing obsession with men who have sex with men.
posted by a little headband I put around my throat at 11:57 AM on July 30, 2010


I guess it is just the 21st-century atheist in me, then.
posted by Afroblanco at 1:09 PM on July 30, 2010


This would be a good thread for recipes.
posted by Artw at 1:51 PM on July 30, 2010


Look, Jaltcoh, there's no point in getting all Offended Male about this.

You didn't read my comments very closely.
posted by Jaltcoh at 1:53 PM on July 30, 2010


And as far as "where" my comments "are going to get" me, Afroblanco, well, commenting on Metafilter isn't exactly my career, is it? I comment in this forum as a pastime because I find things interesting to talk about and think about. I find gender an interesting topic to think about. Obviously, I'm not going to take orders from some random commenter who tells me not to think about an issue from a certain perspective. I know that most people on the site don't have the exact same perspective that I (and certain others whom I could name) have, but that's part of why I find this perspective interesting. I usually don't bother to point out where I agree with most people on the site, because I don't have much to add to what they already believe.
posted by Jaltcoh at 2:06 PM on July 30, 2010


The recipe thing really does need to stop being a visible thing to the degree that it has been lately.

The whole goofing-in-a-thread thing is a complicated topic as it is, definitely there's some value in having people know that when all else fails in a thread they can get ludic with talk of pie or whatnot, but if it becomes something other than a matter of unambiguous post-game stuff or last-resort subject changing, it's a distraction and kind of disrespectful to the idea that other people may be trying to have a conversation that doesn't need willful hijacking.

The recipe thing has all those problems and the added annoyance of being lengthy. "I like pecan pie" is at least a one-liner; "here is a recipe for pecan pie" is a little mini-Westphalia that forces everybody to scroll a whole page just to get past.
posted by cortex (staff) at 2:44 PM on July 30, 2010


Of course, the recipe thing is a by-product of the general culture of lots of participants in a given MeTa post not taking the post seriously. It's the opposite of AskMe, where the norm is to take every post seriously and focus only only responding directly to the post. A message of "enough with the recipe posts" is one way to deal with this, and I'm all in favor of jessamyn's comment about that. But even if there are no more recipes, as long as there's still that general cultural thing about MeTa, there's going to be some other equivalent in-joke to come along and replace it.
posted by Jaltcoh at 2:54 PM on July 30, 2010


(focus only on responding directly to the post)

(edit window longer than 3 minutes please!)
posted by Jaltcoh at 3:12 PM on July 30, 2010


Of course, the recipe thing is a by-product of the general culture of lots of participants in a given MeTa post not taking the post seriously.

Yes, and as I just said the problem is not solely with recipes qua recipes, but the recipe thing is nonetheless for reasons of sheer size more problematic than most manifestations of this sort or thing.
posted by cortex (staff) at 3:19 PM on July 30, 2010


Plus, motherfuck a cooking. What did recipes ever do for me.
posted by Joseph Gurl at 5:01 PM on July 30, 2010


Distinct lack of people defending the recipe point.
I can see them all shuffling guiltily in their basements, frightened to be the first one to come in and say how very amusing recipes are - well i hope its shuffling.
They know full well that shakespeares clowns are funnier and that they might very well be the first person to die under a hail of internet comments should they appear.
Perhaps we should have a general amnesty, where no questions asked, people can just come in and hand those recipes over anonymously without recrimination and jess and cortex can witness their decommisioning.
posted by sgt.serenity at 5:55 PM on July 30, 2010 [1 favorite]


Jaltcoh: Of course, the recipe thing is a by-product of the general culture of lots of participants in a given MeTa post not taking the post seriously.

And, more importantly, people's inability to just keep their mouths shut and move on. Don't want to take a post seriously? Fine, but 99 times out of 100, you (figurative you, not you specifically, Jaltcoh) should not be the vocal arbiter of that.
posted by mkultra at 7:24 AM on July 31, 2010 [1 favorite]


Yes. This is often said about the blue: "Not interested in the post? Then you don't need to comment." It should be said more often about the grey,
posted by Jaltcoh at 7:33 AM on July 31, 2010


Period.
posted by Jaltcoh at 7:34 AM on July 31, 2010


I like recipes. I can see your points about the dismissiveness and sheer volume of noise they represent and I don't mind if people stop posting them, but to me, they are often more interesting, educational and delightful than anything else in the threads. And very well written.
Just saying, because someone was askng for a pro recipe post.
posted by Omnomnom at 3:28 PM on July 31, 2010 [1 favorite]


In an odd twist of fate, right after I posted that I...threw up. Damn those recipe threads!
posted by Omnomnom at 3:34 PM on July 31, 2010


Google Wave is dead
posted by Artw at 2:26 PM on August 4, 2010 [1 favorite]


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