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See Mom, all this time wasn't wasted
February 8, 2011 11:31 AM   Subscribe

What do you know now that you didn't know before Metafilter?
posted by desjardins to MetaFilter-Related at 11:31 AM (344 comments total) 77 users marked this as a favorite

I know it's $20, same as in town. But I don't know what it is
posted by Jofus at 11:34 AM on February 8, 2011 [21 favorites]


How to cook with cast iron.
posted by roll truck roll at 11:34 AM on February 8, 2011 [4 favorites]


I didn't know someone named desjardins.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 11:35 AM on February 8, 2011 [6 favorites]


Something about how we're confirming Joan Baez all the time or something of the sort.
posted by ORthey at 11:35 AM on February 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


I learned a better way to dispose of the bodies.
posted by eyeballkid at 11:35 AM on February 8, 2011 [57 favorites]


That sometimes when a man and a chicken love each other, wonderful things happen.
posted by rmd1023 at 11:37 AM on February 8, 2011 [6 favorites]


That truly good, honest, people exist, and that I would meet them and make a bunch of lifelong friends off a blue website with text and no pictures.

That those same friends (and other people I didn't quite know yet) would prevent me from ending my life in sadness and desperation after my wife's sudden death.
posted by mrbill at 11:37 AM on February 8, 2011 [77 favorites]


You can't fight City Hall.
posted by crunchland at 11:38 AM on February 8, 2011


The German label Morr music.

I think I win.
posted by defenestration at 11:38 AM on February 8, 2011


Until MetaFilter, I never expected anything to end well.
posted by oneswellfoop at 11:38 AM on February 8, 2011 [22 favorites]


A clear and concise definition of tater.
posted by Burhanistan at 11:39 AM on February 8, 2011 [8 favorites]


Why it's important to never attempt to shave your anus.
posted by fight or flight at 11:39 AM on February 8, 2011 [3 favorites]


Seriously though, I did not know how wonderfully and almost indescribably beautiful the world and and some of its individuals can be.

I also did not know that some of those same people can have a bad day and behave like jackasses.

Also, did you know female kangaroos and sharks have two vaginas? Yeah, I have Metafilter to thank for that knowledge.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 11:40 AM on February 8, 2011 [5 favorites]


I learned that there's always someone who knows more about any given thing that I do, no matter what it is and that my "nuanced" view or opinion of that thing is rarely even close to the whole story.

I also learned that some things just aren't worth arguing about and that my life is so much better if I avoid engaging in arguments over the internet.

Both of those were extremely valuable lessons for me, so thanks!
posted by Kimberly at 11:41 AM on February 8, 2011 [14 favorites]


I didn't know it was possible to spend all day on the internet instead of getting any work done at all.
posted by Curious Artificer at 11:41 AM on February 8, 2011 [11 favorites]


My non-funny answer is that I learn things all the time from the front page and from AskMe, and then from the discussions they engender. Just today I learned that Hitler hated Fractur, which I did not know.

The less serious answer is that I now know what to do if I'm stuck in a room, the door won't unlock, and I have access to the Internet.
posted by Astro Zombie at 11:41 AM on February 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


Five years ago, MetaFilter introduced me to Krampus. Christmas has never been the same since.

Also, pretty much every WWII post about some weird story around that war has been news to me and I even took 20th century history in college where we studied tons of WWII stuff, but almost every post on the subject here teaches me something I didn't know before.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 11:42 AM on February 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


I learned that the internet doesn't have to be big and scary and anonymous. I also made some real-life friends thanks to a meetup, and that meetup led directly to me being offered a freelance writing gig.

MetaFilter: Monster.com minus the annoying interviews.
posted by cooker girl at 11:42 AM on February 8, 2011


There is no cabal.
posted by Joe Beese at 11:42 AM on February 8, 2011 [3 favorites]


Don't go to law school. Or grad school in the humanities.
posted by futureisunwritten at 11:42 AM on February 8, 2011 [47 favorites]


Love.
posted by keli at 11:43 AM on February 8, 2011 [6 favorites]


Strangely enough, I know a lot more about how to be an adult.
posted by ocherdraco at 11:44 AM on February 8, 2011 [10 favorites]


Post-Mefi, I know how to go about buying a used car in Sydney (saved a couple of thousand there). I now understand Australian politics (I totally called the last election, and wish I had bet on that call). I know how to look for affordable art in Sydney (more money saved!). I resolved the mystery of an unidentified bug from Western India (brownie points with friend). I also know how I can start learning to paint (self-actualization). And that's just from my own Ask history.

But if you have to convince Mom, I think it would be best to go with the car example. $2000 return on a $5 investment isn't too bad.
posted by vidur at 11:44 AM on February 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


is this grab bag?
posted by clavdivs at 11:44 AM on February 8, 2011


I still haven't learned how those people got their cats wedged into their scanners, or why.
posted by Drastic at 11:45 AM on February 8, 2011 [10 favorites]


That I am a unique and special snowflake.
posted by BozoBurgerBonanza at 11:47 AM on February 8, 2011


Once I started using Ask Metafilter, I didn't need my therapist anymore. Seriously.
posted by Melismata at 11:49 AM on February 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


I am/am not, a special snowflake.
posted by edgeways at 11:49 AM on February 8, 2011 [4 favorites]


How to pronounce "awry".
posted by cj_ at 11:49 AM on February 8, 2011 [6 favorites]


It's not comprehensive and is mostly "writers I read about here first," but I keep a mini list of "cool stuff I learned about through metafilter" in my profile. There are a couple of bits of trivia in there though:
1) sharks are freaky
and
2) they used to (sometimes) develop photographs using crematory ashes
posted by juv3nal at 11:50 AM on February 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


I can't think of anything specific off the top of my head, but I have absorbed so many little tidbits of knowledge here, from the trivial to the profound.

Most importantly, though, Metafilter has taught me that I'm not always the smartest person in the room, that my opinions aren't always the most important, and that even people I don't agree with can have valuable insights to offer about life, the universe, and everything.
posted by amyms at 11:51 AM on February 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


That if you mess up, it's OK to just go ahead and apologize in public for it. Not only are people not going to mock and shun you for apologizing, they're probably going to think you're a swell person for doing it.
posted by stoneweaver at 11:52 AM on February 8, 2011 [19 favorites]


all this time wasn't wasted

I learned that's what your mom told me
posted by found missing at 11:56 AM on February 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


I learned that some people stand up to wipe.

Also, over the past ten years or so MeFi has proven to be more generally valuable to me, from an educational and informative standpoint, than the twelve semesters I spent on campus.
posted by carsonb at 11:57 AM on February 8, 2011 [11 favorites]


Also, over the past ten years or so MeFi has proven to be more generally valuable to me, from an educational and informative standpoint, than the twelve semesters I spent on campus.

Ooo, lemme guess: law school or grad school in the humanities?
posted by vorfeed at 11:58 AM on February 8, 2011 [7 favorites]


I've learned a lot about being more sensitive in my conversation, most notably on the subject of rape culture.
I've learned about invisible backpacks and how racism is more about imbalances in power than anything else, often in ways the powerful can't see.
I've learned about some great musicians, movies and web resources.
I've learned the arguments against religion haven't changed in the last millenia or two, but the internet allows people to express those arguments and find support for each other like never before (which is a good thing).
I've learned what the "tone argument" is and that it is very unwelcome by some people.
And I learned about Minecraft... fuckers.
posted by charred husk at 11:59 AM on February 8, 2011 [22 favorites]


Not much, really, until today I learned how to automatically synchronizie cardinal grammeters.
posted by Wolfdog at 12:02 PM on February 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


Metafilter has been like grad school for me. I've learned so much disparate stuff here I could hardly begin to innumerate it all.

I've learned an awful lot about relaxing and not taking things personally. I've learned how to make a good case for something rather than arguing, and I've learned how to back down and accept when I don't know what I'm talking about. I've learned to shut up and listen. I've learned how to frame a thought, and I've learned an awful lot about tolerance and acceptance. I've learned how to read things twice, and read it the other way, becuase the way I was reading it was wrong. I've learned I really don't know shit about shit, because I've been shown again and again here what real depth of knowledge, nuance and understanding look like.

I've learned how to flag it and move on.
posted by Devils Rancher at 12:02 PM on February 8, 2011 [13 favorites]


That there was someplace on the web that lived up to my hopes of what a community on the web would be like. also that favorites are like crack pellets
posted by not_on_display at 12:04 PM on February 8, 2011 [11 favorites]


That I really like oysters.

Admittedly this has nothing to do with Metafilter, but I definitely discovered it after I discovered Metafilter.
posted by Decani at 12:07 PM on February 8, 2011


My correct bra size.

Seriously. After reading through multiple AskMeFi questions about bras and proper sizing, I finally went to a lingerie shop and had a helpful, informative and useful fitting.

All I can say is: Thank you, ukdanae!

Her advice on sizing, the 36C nonsense, and best bra brands is spot on.
posted by MonkeyToes at 12:08 PM on February 8, 2011 [15 favorites]


I didn't know that this book existed until (Ask) MetaFilter.
posted by dubitable at 12:08 PM on February 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


cats are weird.
posted by special-k at 12:09 PM on February 8, 2011 [9 favorites]


Why it's important to never attempt to shave your anus.

WHAT LINK PLEASE

Actually, upon consideration, nevermind. No, seriously, nevermind
posted by dubitable at 12:10 PM on February 8, 2011 [4 favorites]


cats are weird.

So, that is to say, you'd never met a cat before MetaFilter?
posted by dubitable at 12:11 PM on February 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


Reading AskMeFi I'm constantly horrified at the state of the American medical system.
posted by Stagger Lee at 12:12 PM on February 8, 2011 [6 favorites]


That I'm not the only person who occasionally sees weird stuff (the weird stuff in the second link in particular was spot-on).
posted by rjs at 12:14 PM on February 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


I learned that Earthquake Clouds are more mysterious than magnets.

And I also have run across some truly beautiful stories that got me through some tough times, and some old AskMe questions that helped me feel less alone and less weird.

MetaFilter is awesomesauce.
posted by notion at 12:15 PM on February 8, 2011


I've learned that people who disagree with an opinion you express in an internet comment are sometimes not satisfied just to post their own comment saying that they strongly disagree and giving rational reasons, but will resort to non-substantive personal attacks like insinuating things about your sex life that they have no way of knowing about.
posted by John Cohen at 12:19 PM on February 8, 2011


To quote netzapper in this thread, "I just wanted to let ya'll know that you've made my day knowing that somewhere, it's completely normal to have gecko eggs in your underwear drawer."
posted by workerant at 12:19 PM on February 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


I thought of making this post after I read this comment and discovered what those white lines on the streets were. It occurred to me that wow, there are tons of random things that I wouldn't have known without this website, some of which make my life better in tangible ways.
posted by desjardins at 12:19 PM on February 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


I learned recently that one me-me-me loudmouth jackass art-mook can really screw up metafilter by posting in every thread—over and over—and it'll drive you crazy unless you just go ahead and killfile them.
posted by interrobang at 12:24 PM on February 8, 2011


cats are weird.

And that my cat, specifically, is kind of a dick.

One of the best things I learned from MetaFilter, honest to Dog, is that putting Tiger Balm on a mosquito bite helps stop the itch. That one tiny tidbit of information changed my summers.
posted by sonika at 12:24 PM on February 8, 2011 [8 favorites]


I learned how stupid it is to shit on the things that other people enjoy. Seriously. I used to be one of those "your favorite band sucks" guys and now I just accept that different people like different stuff.

Life is much better this way.
posted by bondcliff at 12:28 PM on February 8, 2011 [26 favorites]


putting Tiger Balm on a mosquito bite helps stop the itch.

really? Cool, I just learned something else!
posted by desjardins at 12:28 PM on February 8, 2011 [12 favorites]


One of the best things I learned from MetaFilter, honest to Dog, is that putting Tiger Balm on a mosquito bite helps stop the itch. That one tiny tidbit of information changed my summers.

You know what else works? A little dab of superglue, applied just as soon as you notice the bite. Whatever makes mosquito bites itch seems to need air to work.

The More You Know!
posted by vorfeed at 12:29 PM on February 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


I learned I could eat fifty eggs.
posted by loquacious at 12:30 PM on February 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


Wait, fifty one eggs. Maybe fifty two. Ok, one more.
posted by loquacious at 12:31 PM on February 8, 2011 [3 favorites]


I know that if I ask my mom, she will not only give me good advice, but it will make her day.
posted by katillathehun at 12:32 PM on February 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


Hell, I just learned today that I can tether my Nikon D50 to my Powerbook for free, and that I can see my shots full screen as soon as I take them, and adjust the camera settings and everything, form the computer. I'm super-psyched to try this, even though I'm worried I'll break my trusty old Powerbook, lugging it into caves.
posted by Devils Rancher at 12:34 PM on February 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


My husband!
posted by LN at 12:35 PM on February 8, 2011 [9 favorites]


I learned about approximately 10 billion internet memes and viral videos before they made it to larger news sites and email fwd re: fwds.
posted by Burhanistan at 12:35 PM on February 8, 2011 [3 favorites]


I learned it's okay.
posted by Phalene at 12:39 PM on February 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


Really? I learned that shit is definitely fubar.
posted by Burhanistan at 12:40 PM on February 8, 2011


The most earthshaking thing was discovering that I've been peeling bananas the wrong way all my life. Seriously, I was staggered -- like, what other basic bedrock elements of daily existence have I been obliviously fucking up for 49 years?
posted by FelliniBlank at 12:43 PM on February 8, 2011 [12 favorites]


I learned that Americans earnestly believe that therapy is the #1 go-to solution for any kind of issue in one's life, with DTMFA as the fallback option.
posted by UbuRoivas at 12:43 PM on February 8, 2011 [18 favorites]


AskMe : behind every "normal" person lies a billion moments where they wonder about random things that I would have never thought of on my own.

And apparently nobody really knows how long food stays good for.
posted by Afroblanco at 12:43 PM on February 8, 2011 [4 favorites]


Afroblanco - try StillTasty (a website I learned about through mefi!)
posted by desjardins at 12:45 PM on February 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


THE HORROR....THE HOOOORRRROORRRRRRR
posted by briank at 12:45 PM on February 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


That I'm really not that smart.
posted by Sassyfras at 12:46 PM on February 8, 2011 [4 favorites]


IF you ever go to a convention in Vegas, you'll never need to buy soap again.
posted by special-k at 12:46 PM on February 8, 2011 [10 favorites]


Most recently:

Thunderstorms produce anti-matter and Chirpy Chirpy Cheep Cheep.
posted by Splunge at 12:47 PM on February 8, 2011 [3 favorites]


it's like a microphone that types being passed around
posted by clavdivs at 12:52 PM on February 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


1) There are people like me.
2) There are people unlike me.
posted by tommasz at 12:54 PM on February 8, 2011 [9 favorites]


That Christ I'm an asshole.
posted by timsteil at 12:54 PM on February 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


People put rattlesnake rattles in violins.

No, really.
posted by Slap*Happy at 12:57 PM on February 8, 2011


That I should not have eaten it after all.
posted by dosterm at 12:57 PM on February 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


That sometimes lurkers really do support you in (m)email.

How to communicate more effectively.

That I'm not unique. This is a good thing.

To step back and breathe.

That I'm part of a diversely brilliant community. And as a whole, everyone here is way smarter than I am.

That folks can surprise you in wonderful ways.

That kindness is not rare.

And that someone else besides me nostalgically remembers 3-2-1 Contact and wishes it were still around.
posted by zarq at 12:58 PM on February 8, 2011 [7 favorites]


I learned that I am part of a community and if some disaster happens, (Katrina) people I don't even know were willing to send me money if I needed it.
posted by govtdrone at 12:59 PM on February 8, 2011 [3 favorites]


Apparently, virtually all relationship problems can be solved by "going poly."
posted by ROTFL at 1:00 PM on February 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


Don't easy that.
Seriously, dont.
Ok, go ahead.
Get to a doctor now!
Get a lawyer.

In that exact order.
posted by blue_beetle at 1:02 PM on February 8, 2011 [3 favorites]


The rattlesnake rattle thing, though recently posted, really blew my mind. I had never heard of that before.
posted by achmorrison at 1:03 PM on February 8, 2011


I've learned so much disparate stuff here I could hardly begin to innumerate it all.

enumerate.
posted by UbuRoivas at 1:14 PM on February 8, 2011 [3 favorites]


("innumerate" is the mathematical equivalent of "illiterate")
posted by UbuRoivas at 1:15 PM on February 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


Well, I've learned that at times I'm both of those.
posted by Devils Rancher at 1:20 PM on February 8, 2011 [6 favorites]


I didn't know what chatfilter was.
posted by Ice Cream Socialist at 1:20 PM on February 8, 2011


That there are a lot of people pursuing their PhDs or coming close to quitting the pursuit.

And doing so with varying degrees of anger.
posted by The ____ of Justice at 1:24 PM on February 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


I have learned to appreciate a grilled cheese sandwich in new and interesting ways.
posted by hippybear at 1:26 PM on February 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


I just now learned that some people wipe their butts standing up. WTH people?
posted by Devils Rancher at 1:28 PM on February 8, 2011 [3 favorites]


i quite like to say SMOCK.
posted by quonsar II: smock fishpants and the temple of foon at 1:29 PM on February 8, 2011 [3 favorites]


That if my wife had read AskMe she would have dumped my ass long ago.
posted by rocket88 at 1:29 PM on February 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


I've learned how to revise my book! And that Fringe is awesome! And what taters are!


Just kidding about the last one, but a girl can dream, can't she?
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 1:29 PM on February 8, 2011


I have learned to interact with my fellow humans on the internet in a spirit of charity and kindness, and I've learned that anonymous is off her meds again!
posted by Mister_A at 1:32 PM on February 8, 2011


I've learned so much here over the years that it would be impossible to enumerate it. Metafilter has been my starting point for so many bits of topical exploration and creative inspiration and auto-didactic foolishness, even recognizing what things started with a thread here or an interesting comment there is unreasonable. It's too much, it's all a muddle.

I've developed a better understanding of and appreciation for the different ways folks live their lives and look at the world and interact with one another. I've broadened my perception of the weird and wonderful variety of human experience, my sense of the world as something beyond the borders my neighborhood and greater than the sum of my first-hand experiences.

I've come to appreciate how much people can struggle to get along when they look at things differently; how passion can both help and hinder conversations; how even those with the best of intentions can stumble because of a bad day or a hard past experience; how quickly good feelings can turn to bad when an interpersonal conflict flares up; how hard it can be to de-escalate a situation when strong convictions are involved.

But by the same token I've if anything developed a deeper belief that people, for all their struggles to get along in one situation or another, tend to be fundamentally good, to not see themselves as agents of harm or any such thing. People mostly just want to find a place to feel okay, to find a way to be comfortable in their own skin, to be able to be who they want to be on their own terms; making other unhappy isn't on their agenda. It's the rare person who actually sees themself as the villain.

This place has taught me a lot about trying to find ways to help people not see each other as villains, to look at each other as people who just have different ideas, different perspectives, different beliefs about the world. I'm not sure anything else about this place has helped me grow up more than struggling with that.
posted by cortex (staff) at 1:33 PM on February 8, 2011 [59 favorites]


I just now learned that some people wipe their butts standing up. WTH people?

Some of us have alligator arms or huge junk and therefore run into steric hindrance when attempting to wipe sitting down. Guess which ailment afflicts me ;)
posted by Mister_A at 1:33 PM on February 8, 2011


Way to wreck the curve Cortex, with your thoughtful and uplifting comment.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 1:34 PM on February 8, 2011


It turns out that I'm not the only one who is, shall we say, moved by bookstores.
posted by .kobayashi. at 1:35 PM on February 8, 2011


I learned how magnets work.
posted by fixedgear at 1:36 PM on February 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


I also learned about Minecraft.
posted by cortex (staff) at 1:37 PM on February 8, 2011 [3 favorites]


Sometimes it's ok to not say things.
posted by boo_radley at 1:37 PM on February 8, 2011 [5 favorites]


I learned that I am not crazy.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 1:37 PM on February 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


Ask v. Guess
posted by k8t at 1:39 PM on February 8, 2011 [16 favorites]


Also, did you know female kangaroos and sharks have two vaginas?

Even the male ones?

I got confirmation that the Civil War really was about slavery and now understand a great deal more about the end times.
posted by It's Never Lurgi at 1:39 PM on February 8, 2011


TIMECUBE
posted by Mister_A at 1:41 PM on February 8, 2011


Guess which ailment afflicts me ;)
posted by Mister_A


I did not know the A stood for Alligator!
posted by Devils Rancher at 1:41 PM on February 8, 2011 [4 favorites]


You learn something every day.
posted by Mister_A at 1:42 PM on February 8, 2011


I just now learned that some people wipe their butts standing up. WTH people?

Yeah man, what the hell is with those people?

Still going strong with the sit-wipe. Thanks again, Cortex!
posted by bondcliff at 1:42 PM on February 8, 2011


I didn't know it was possible to spend all day on the internet instead of getting any work done at all.
Well, I knew it was possible, I just didn't know how much fun it could be until I found MeFi.

I now know that, no matter how bad things are, this too shall pass and that, even in my darkest hours when I couldn't see any point in continuing, there was someone here to remind me that there is a point and that making plans to check out early was not the right path for me.
posted by dg at 1:46 PM on February 8, 2011 [3 favorites]


Pre metafilter, I thought that the Internet was full of anger, hate, greed and porn, and I knew that I hated it.

Post metafilter, I learnt that the internet is full of anger, hate, greed, porn, but also good stuff too - you just need to know where to look.

Also, I get awesome mix cds from strangers every six months.
posted by robotot at 1:47 PM on February 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


Forgot to mention, I learned how to replace the starter on an '86 Buick Century. This place is rad.
posted by Mister_A at 1:47 PM on February 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


That flagging it and moving on is a generalizable skill.
posted by Beardman at 1:55 PM on February 8, 2011 [21 favorites]


I've learned that no toy on earth is better than a Screaming Flying Monkey.
posted by Mister Fabulous at 1:58 PM on February 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


That I regret not being a more diligent English student.
;)

Nethack
posted by vapidave at 2:05 PM on February 8, 2011


I learned about a color called Swamp Holly, and why some "Yellow" trucks and taxicabs are actually orange. And that was just my first question, from almost six years ago!

I just now learned that some people wipe their butts standing up.

I've come to the conclusion the standing people are mostly female, and they're not exactly standing when, but they're not sitting either. Admit it: you're hovering, not standing!
posted by Rash at 2:12 PM on February 8, 2011


If you are struggling with your religion, and beginning to suspect that you are an atheist, a chicken puppet with googly eyes will help you on your way.
posted by tzikeh at 2:13 PM on February 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


Prisencolinensinainciusol
posted by functionequalsform at 2:13 PM on February 8, 2011 [13 favorites]


> . Admit it: you're hovering, not standing! posted by Rash

Must not make eponysterical joke, most not make eponysterical joke.

Oops.
posted by Burhanistan at 2:14 PM on February 8, 2011


I learned that I'm a right winger.
posted by planet at 2:14 PM on February 8, 2011


And, in seriousness, that there are people I can violently disagree with people, and yet not hate them. Before I came to MetaFilter (and spent many years here), If I just absolutely, 100% disagreed with someone, and hated their opinions, I hated them. I have learned here to separate opinion from opinion-holder in a way I never have before. It's almost like I come here every single day with clean slates available for every member, no matter what they might have said to me, or I might have said to them, the day before. Because it's just not worth the effort to hate, when there is vehement debate to be had.
posted by tzikeh at 2:22 PM on February 8, 2011 [4 favorites]


That I am way more social then I thought I was.
posted by The Whelk at 2:23 PM on February 8, 2011 [3 favorites]


me: that there are people I can violently disagree with people,

People I can violently disagree with PEOPLE?

Ugh.

I've also learned that I am inherently incapable of pointing out, and correcting, my own mistakes.
posted by tzikeh at 2:24 PM on February 8, 2011


I learned to hate all of you.
posted by eyeballkid at 2:28 PM on February 8, 2011 [12 favorites]


Oh! And yes, like others, I swear I heard how to argue my points and engage the actual topic at hand rather then say how much You Suck. As a result, I'm a lot more assertive and willing to speak my opinion cause I know I can do it in a clear matter without being insulting or petty ( most of the time)

So ..thanks Metafilter for the oratory and logic course! Who do I make the check out to?
posted by The Whelk at 2:28 PM on February 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


I learned that it's turtles - not just as far down as I can see, which any fool with two eyes can see - but All. The. Way. Down.

I'm not sure whether to be comforted, or engulfed in despair, but now at least I know.
posted by OneMonkeysUncle at 2:28 PM on February 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


That many Europeans don't use top sheets, just duvets on their own. And now I sleep that way too!
posted by MsMolly at 2:29 PM on February 8, 2011


I learned about humongous donuts.
posted by Duke999R at 2:31 PM on February 8, 2011


Ask v. Guess
posted by k8t at 1:39 PM


But which one?
posted by special-k at 2:32 PM on February 8, 2011


The value of hugs.
posted by klangklangston at 2:32 PM on February 8, 2011


Naw, just kidding.
posted by klangklangston at 2:35 PM on February 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


It's not turtles all the way down - it's weasels! And they're in your pants. Infinite weasels in your pants.
posted by stoneweaver at 2:35 PM on February 8, 2011 [4 favorites]


This car made of skittles will never run ...unless we make it run.
posted by The Whelk at 2:40 PM on February 8, 2011


How to make a steak, and holy crap was that a great thing to learn.
posted by quin at 2:44 PM on February 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


It turns out that I don't actually know everything.

But I'm getting close.
posted by GuyZero at 2:50 PM on February 8, 2011


> But I'm getting close.

So thought the PhD candidate.
posted by Burhanistan at 2:53 PM on February 8, 2011 [4 favorites]


That you can be sarcastic on the internet.
posted by The Devil Tesla at 2:53 PM on February 8, 2011


I've seriously learned so much here it's ridiculous.

I find myself asking myself "What Would AskMe Do?" (WWAMD - we need bracelets) quite frequently, especially with relationship stuff. Like "I like this cute girl and I don't know what to do!" and I can hear the resounding "just ask her out, doofus."

I quit being a vegan because of a fight I had on MetaFilter and MetaFilter changed my mind. I'm happier and healthier now. I've also learned that changing your mind after hearing a good argument doesn't make you less of a person - in fact the opposite.

I've learned to think just a second longer before I say certain things, during which time I realize I probably shouldn't say it.

And I've met so many great people who are even greater in real life than they are on the internet (I'm lookin' at you meet-up where we got wasted and played Radiohead covers on weird instruments).

I've learned a lot of good recipes.

I got laid.




(one of the above is a lie).
posted by Lutoslawski at 2:54 PM on February 8, 2011 [6 favorites]


I quit being a vegan because of a fight I had on MetaFilter and MetaFilter changed my mind.

Link please. (I'm curious.)
posted by ocherdraco at 3:00 PM on February 8, 2011


That there are some really awesome people who live in Los Angeles, but a lot of them are from Michigan (so that sort of explains it).
posted by The World Famous at 3:06 PM on February 8, 2011 [4 favorites]


I don't know about 'learned' but it's been a literally crazy decade and one of the few constants has been Metafilter. The road would've been a lot harder without the humor, kindness, and sympathy shown me by the denizens of the Blue, Grey, Green, and Black and of course the MetaChat (where I never post as much as I'd like BUT I'M ALWAYS WATCHING).

Someday I might even make it to a meetup.
posted by jtron at 3:07 PM on February 8, 2011


I quit being a vegan because of a fight I had on MetaFilter and MetaFilter changed my mind.

Link please. (I'm curious.)


I'm guessing that one was the lie?
posted by elizardbits at 3:08 PM on February 8, 2011


I know about the existence of burritoeater.com
posted by needs more cowbell at 3:13 PM on February 8, 2011


I started reading MetaFilter nearly 10 years ago. I was 19. I thought I was pretty smart but I didn't know anything.
posted by Kattullus at 3:14 PM on February 8, 2011 [14 favorites]


I learned there's lots more you shouldn't bring up than just politics, religion, and sex.
posted by jfuller at 3:14 PM on February 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


I just learned that cortex can eat 500 eggs.

And eyeballkid is an egg.
posted by loquacious at 3:15 PM on February 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


Frankly, I think charred husk covered all the bases. I'm guessing we can close this up now?
posted by brundlefly at 3:17 PM on February 8, 2011


I learned a lot about my own pre-conceived notions and habitual internet judgment when I actually met Fedora Guy in person and he turned out to be pretty cool, despite having the fake accent.
posted by lhall at 3:21 PM on February 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


I know there are a lot of people who are not my doctor, but think they are qualified to give me medical advice, that are not my lawyer, but know what my lawyer would or should say and that are not my mother but know what my mom would say in this circumstance.
posted by AugustWest at 3:22 PM on February 8, 2011


Lolcano.
posted by wryly at 3:23 PM on February 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


I learned a lot about my own pre-conceived notions and habitual internet judgment when I actually met Fedora Guy in person and he turned out to be pretty cool, despite having the fake accent.

Is... is this real?
posted by Greg Nog at 3:25 PM on February 8, 2011


The best part of that story is how Fedora Guy is actually married irl to Taters Girl.
posted by elizardbits at 3:26 PM on February 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


I quit being a vegan because of a fight I had on MetaFilter and MetaFilter changed my mind.

Link please. (I'm curious.)

I'm guessing that one was the lie?


Ha, no that one in fact is true. I really don't want to link to it, though. Not too proud of my behavior in that thread.
posted by Lutoslawski at 3:27 PM on February 8, 2011


That the word I spell "segue" and pronounce "segway" are actually ONE AND THE SAME.
posted by lalex at 3:29 PM on February 8, 2011 [6 favorites]


I learned that people with foreign accents stalk jonmc.
posted by fixedgear at 3:35 PM on February 8, 2011 [3 favorites]


The correct pronunciation of meep!
posted by Kronos_to_Earth at 3:37 PM on February 8, 2011 [2 favorites]



I learned that people with foreign accents stalk jonmc.

And every year the Internet sends him a cupcake on his birthday.
posted by The Whelk at 3:38 PM on February 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


I learned that even very stubborn people with very strong opinions about things that are central to their very identity can change their mind, including, possibly, me.
posted by The World Famous at 3:41 PM on February 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


Is... is this real?

Yep! I'd sent the thread to my high school friend a couple of years ago, because we'd known someone pretty similar (also wore a fedora, carried around a cigarette holder despite not smoking, etc) and it would sometimes come up in conversations, as such things do.

That friend currently lives in a city with pretty awesome sidewalk/alley furniture pickings, and had found a cool but very heavy armoire. He and his girlfriend were trying to carry it home, and someone stopped off the street to lend a hand. The guy had a vaguely European accent, but said he'd been born in the US and just traveled a lot.

That triggered my friend's memory, and as he'd gotten the person's card and email address, we did a bit of Google stalking and were 99% convinced it was the same person. Meanwhile, my friend's girlfriend had been chatting with him online, and we happened to be traveling to visit them about a week later, so they invited him along to a party.

Sure enough, he turned up and he had the accent -- no fedora or pinstripes, but a newsboy cap. He was a talented storyteller, well-traveled and with a lot of interests, and you could see how he'd evolved from that person in 2007 to the person he is today. Face to face, his enthusiasm was engaging, not off-putting.

By the end of the night, my friend had a bit too much to drink and when they were alone, asked him point blank if he was the responsible hedonist, and he said he was. He didn't read the thread past the first few comments, once he saw where it was heading. And he laughed (good-naturedly), because now he's in a committed poly relationship with two intelligent, attractive women.

As I said above, it was a very potent reminder that even the strangest post still has a living, breathing person behind it, and mostly the world is full of kind and decent people.
posted by lhall at 3:42 PM on February 8, 2011 [128 favorites]

I learned a lot about my own pre-conceived notions and habitual internet judgment when I actually met Fedora Guy in person and he turned out to be pretty cool, despite having the fake accent.

Is... is this real?
posted by Greg Nog at 5:25 PM on February 8 [+] [!]
I am about to BLOW YOUR MIND.

A couple weeks ago I was hanging out with a person who shall remain anonymous but who is one of the giant furry monsters behind Metafilter favorite Everything Is Terrible.

They says to me, they says: "Hey, check out what I got for Christmas!" and with a smile of pure joy and lamblike kindness proceeded to settle a brand-new fedora on their head.

I've never heard them talk with a put-on accent, though, or proclaim their Interestingness without showing such, which I understand are the hallmarks of homo fedorus.

This is not a lie, trick, myth, or imaginary story. I am not being hyperbolic except in my phraseology.
posted by jtron at 3:43 PM on February 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


And he laughed (good-naturedly), because now he's in a committed poly relationship with two intelligent, attractive women.

...and a banjo.

AND NOW YOU KNOW THE REST OF THE STORY
posted by vorfeed at 3:43 PM on February 8, 2011 [11 favorites]


That is a pretty marvelous story, lhall.
posted by stoneweaver at 3:45 PM on February 8, 2011


David Proval who played Richie Aprile on The Sopranos did the voice of the robot assassin Necron 99 in WIZARDS, the Bakshi movie.

I did not learn that here. But I thought it was interesting.
posted by Splunge at 4:04 PM on February 8, 2011


and you could see how he'd evolved from that person in 2007 to the person he is today.

He...changed his hat?
posted by kittens for breakfast at 4:19 PM on February 8, 2011 [3 favorites]


I don't have anything useful to say here -- I think I've learned a lot, but it's hard for me to isolate what I've learned here from what I've learned just, you know, living and stuff. But I know a lot of it came from here. I'm glad here is here.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 4:21 PM on February 8, 2011


I find myself asking myself "What Would AskMe Do?" (WWAMD - we need bracelets) quite frequently, especially with relationship stuff. Like "I like this cute girl and I don't know what to do!" and I can hear the resounding "just ask her out, doofus."

Oooh! Yes! I do this too. Even with little things. Like, I can't remember the title of a book I liked when I was 12, and I decide that I'm going to search for it just as hard as I would were someone on metafilter asking and, bam!, I manage to figure it out within ten minutes.

Metafilter's made my thinking better.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 4:33 PM on February 8, 2011 [9 favorites]


That I am wrong. And that the things I'm wrong about all reveal deep and essential failures of character.
posted by Zed at 4:35 PM on February 8, 2011


I've integrated so many things into my daily life, sometimes I try to remember them all during the course of a day. How to tie my shoes, how to get the BEST TOUR OF ALCATRAZ ever, how to fix sheets that aren't soft, how to fix anything wrong with my computer, Flylady, Tastespotting, popurls, my workout songlist, Penzey's, Adagio Tea, where to get the best Christmas gifts EVER (zombie stickers and That's why I'm voting Tea Party t-shirts), what to put in my new kitchen, which laptop to buy (love my Thinkpad) and what programs to put on it. And a million more little things.

But mostly, how to support a community by giving AND taking. How laugh-out-loud funny people can be. That some of the things I know will have value to others. How great it feels to have one of those things marked "best answer", knowing you really did help someone today.
posted by raisingsand at 4:35 PM on February 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


I learned to love Azumanga Daioh.

And I found out what Goatse was. (I could have done without that last bit.)
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 4:40 PM on February 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


metafilter taught me about keyboard cat!
posted by Greg Nog at 4:48 PM on February 8, 2011


I asked an anonymous relationship question, and quite a few of the people answering felt strongly that I was a pretty awful person. I don't think I've been called on my bullshit like that before or since. It taught me a lot.
posted by MadamM at 4:48 PM on February 8, 2011 [6 favorites]


On the upside, you look great in the fedora, MadamM.
posted by FelliniBlank at 4:58 PM on February 8, 2011 [4 favorites]


I think this place has been fantastic for me. There are so many little facts and useful bits of info I've learned, I couldn't even begin to count them all. More importantly, I value being part of a community where occasionally I need to sit down and shut up because there are people here who seriously know what they are talking about, and I can learn from them. I've learned, more recently, that sometimes it's perfectly fine to write out a reply and then not post it, because posting it wouldn't help anything. I've learned to walk away from fights because I'm learning how to spot people who aren't going to be swayed by anything I've got to say, and I could be using that time better elsewhere, either on this site, or in my life.

I've learned how to communicate better, and the importance of being precise when precision is called for. I've learned a lot about listening to people when they tell me what I've said is harmful, and done my best to figure out new ways of expressing myself. I've met some fantastic people IRL (more of you need to get your butts to Japan. Seriously. Our meetup kung-fu is unstoppable, when they actually happen), and look forward to meeting more.

And I've gotten a lot of support. Loads. Tons. AskMe has, on occasion, kept me going (especially with, uh, Japanese, and drunk posting...). This place is pretty swell, and my life is better for it.
posted by Ghidorah at 4:59 PM on February 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


Someone mention BUKKA...
For those we miss because of the knowledge imparted.
posted by clavdivs at 4:59 PM on February 8, 2011


I didn't know anything before MeFi and I still don't, but lots of you have bought me drinks, so that's OK.
posted by jonmc at 5:02 PM on February 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


It turns out that I really don't know as much as other people about pretty much anything.
posted by small_ruminant at 5:08 PM on February 8, 2011


Where to stay in London and eat in Toronto and explore in Seattle.

Oh, and lots of things about poop.
posted by JoanArkham at 5:12 PM on February 8, 2011


I've become better at keeping my mouth shut when I don't know what I'm talking about. And I've learned some about spotting sloppy (and good) arguing techniques.

Plus a ton of inside type stories from people with jobs and experiences I know nothing about.

I like to think it's made me more tolerant about some things and less tolerant about other things that shouldn't be tolerated.

You folks are simply great, even when you're pissing me off.
posted by marxchivist at 5:12 PM on February 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


That if I wait 10 minutes without posting, someone is going to say what I want to say better than I ever could.

What community, tolerance and respect can mean.

Lots of music, books and movies.

That I really really suck at meeting people from the internets in real life. I've been the guy drinking a beer alone and escaping from the bar without introducing myself to the mefi meetup several times. How do you extroverts do it?
posted by Dr. Curare at 5:21 PM on February 8, 2011 [4 favorites]


BTW, this is my fallback identity here. I had to close my other account after my boss and coworkers found it and started stalking me. I've met several of you under my other name. You are all intimidating.
posted by Dr. Curare at 5:23 PM on February 8, 2011


I now know a funeral director who sends me awesome CDs.

Never thought I'd say THOSE words!
posted by tristeza at 5:35 PM on February 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


He sent me drug paraphenalia.
posted by jonmc at 5:38 PM on February 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


There is no gift sweeter than a skullbong.
posted by Kattullus at 5:41 PM on February 8, 2011


The 5-3-1 game - awesome in a couple or with larger groups. No more hanging out on the sidewalk forever saying "hmm, I don't know, what do you want to eat?"
posted by Cuke at 5:47 PM on February 8, 2011 [7 favorites]


I started reading MetaFilter nearly 10 years ago. I was 19. I thought I was pretty smart but I didn't know anything.
posted by Kattullus at 6:14 PM on February 8



This.
posted by lazaruslong at 5:47 PM on February 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


I've learned to model AskMe in my mind so that not only can I answer most of my own questions with my mental model, I can use it to answer other people's questions. It's made me a better librarian and a better person.

I've learned that it's never necessary to holler at people you disagree with [though you may be and itch you want to scratch like you were full of termites] and almost all the time a sincere [and sometimes backchannel] conversation can usually get you to some mutual understanding even if you don't agree.

I've met people or personas who were former or later versions of me or people close to me and I've been able to teach them and/or learn somewhat. I really hoped I've helped a few people maybe not drink so much, or work too hard.

I've learned I could be in a situation where I could trust and love my boss and coworkers without joining a cult. Yes, I am surprised also.

I've learned the ugly side of being someone who Can't Let Things Go via many bad examples in AskMe (and a few in this thread). I've learned that I am often wrong and that things may be better if I stay silent.

More literally: I learned to caption YouTube videos, get to Anaheim, stay in a caboose, travel to Alabama, buy snowshoes and give a workshop.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 5:51 PM on February 8, 2011 [10 favorites]


I learned that you can do anything at zombo.com. Anything at all.
posted by Dr. Zira at 6:01 PM on February 8, 2011 [6 favorites]


I knew it, Formaldehyde laced joints.
posted by clavdivs at 6:08 PM on February 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


The amazing complexity of the current state of feminism in the US and elsewhere. You can also insert "life" there too.

That there is actually strong, intelligent discussion going on, albeit in quieter circles, about interesting topics such as the Israel/Palestine conflict and oil depletion.

Much more, but some things are so deep in my mind now that I cannot dig them out.

Generally though, I have become a bit more of a global person than I was prior to being referred to here.

I love this place.
posted by JoeXIII007 at 6:11 PM on February 8, 2011


What do you know now that you didn't know before Metafilter?

Your mom!

I'm so sorry. It's the alcohol talking.
posted by special-k at 6:12 PM on February 8, 2011


Congruently, being an asshole on-line as much as in real life has no relevance on Formaldehyde laced joints.
posted by clavdivs at 6:15 PM on February 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


how to bake a potato
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 6:17 PM on February 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


This feels like an obit thread.
posted by biochemist at 6:29 PM on February 8, 2011


Coach, I don't think we survived that crash.
posted by The Whelk at 6:34 PM on February 8, 2011 [16 favorites]


I, Survival in coach, we don't think that.
posted by clavdivs at 6:48 PM on February 8, 2011


Does this mean Jessamyn will be played by Nicole Kidman?
posted by Ghidorah at 6:52 PM on February 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


I learned that I was making tea all wrong. It's so much tastier now.
posted by bayliss at 6:55 PM on February 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


I now know a funeral director who sends me awesome CDs.

Our Christmas round here now includes the ceremonial playing of the ColdChef Christmas Mix CD.
posted by pjern at 6:56 PM on February 8, 2011 [3 favorites]


The ColdChef Mix Cds are pretty great.

P.S Coldchef, just a reminder I am invading New Orleans in March. you have been warned
posted by The Whelk at 7:03 PM on February 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


Does this mean Jessamyn will be played by Nicole Kidman?

Too much difference in height, unless Nicole wears stilettos throughout.
posted by UbuRoivas at 7:08 PM on February 8, 2011


All I really needed was shepherd moons all along.
posted by NoraReed at 7:09 PM on February 8, 2011


As if "Riddly Walker" wasn't enough, I listened to Pink as a result of this place.
posted by Gorgik at 7:10 PM on February 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


I've learned that boys pee in the basin.
posted by honey-barbara at 7:19 PM on February 8, 2011


Dr. Curare: " That I really really suck at meeting people from the internets in real life. I've been the guy drinking a beer alone and escaping from the bar without introducing myself to the mefi meetup several times. How do you extroverts do it?"

I'm not an extrovert, but perhaps the way it happened for me might be helpful to you? I went to my very first meetup this past December. Been a member here 6 years and am rather introverted IRL. I've tried going to meetups in the past. It didn't work out.

So last year, it happened in a way that was comfortable for me: I connected with one local person. We spoke over memail and IM and got to know each other relatively well. Then, we grew comfortable enough that the thought of meeting in public didn't seem quite as big a deal. And then we met for drinks, and she brought another MeFite with her. My first meetup consisted of a whole three people -- and frankly it was *perfect*. Not just because they were great, fun, relaxed company. (They were!) But also because we had eased into it and that size group was easier for me to handle.

Perhaps a smaller meetup might be more your speed? Or having a meetup buddy to connect with once you're there? Someone who you're familiar with, knows you and can spend a little one-on-one time with you (maybe even introduce you around?) so you're not feeling like you're a stranger sitting at the cool kids' table.

One way or another, good luck.
posted by zarq at 7:38 PM on February 8, 2011 [5 favorites]


MetaFilter is not so much a teacher as a destroyer for me. Metafilter crushed:

My youthful conviction that strangers had little to offer, and little reason to offer.
My feeling that wonder and discovery had gone out of some topics.
My sense that music had gone stale.
My reservations toward telling people I love, appreciate, or am grateful to them (sorry if I do this and you aren't ready or it doesn't sit well).
My sense that I was alone in certain things.
My inability to be graceful ( thanks here to J, on our phone call from SLC you told me there was no need to yell, and I've heard that echo many times since, and acted so.)

...

Over time, MetaFilter has informed much of my thinking, my approach to community and transparency here and on my own sites and projects, and my sense of other people -especially online- as human beings. I believe MetaFilter really is the best of the web, flaws and all.

Above all, Metafilter has taught me to type what I need to say and then not post, too, which might be my best web-skill, even if I don't exercise it as I should.

Clicking "Post Comment" now.
posted by fake at 7:41 PM on February 8, 2011 [12 favorites]


I've learned that the Internet is not necessarily full of the "logic" presented in the great Monty Python witch scene and that instead it can be very much like the great Monty Python soccer game sketch. Great fun and great debate.

I've also learned that the only thing you can trust is steel.

Or did I learn that from Conan the Barbarian?
posted by juiceCake at 7:46 PM on February 8, 2011


DANGIT

Proper chicken puppet link.
posted by tzikeh at 7:47 PM on February 8, 2011


I've if anything developed a deeper belief that people, for all their struggles to get along in one situation or another, tend to be fundamentally good

This.

Also, I learned more about communication in ten lines of texts from Kathrine than in four years of comms with K. Funny, how concern for the matter distorts the message.
posted by fake at 7:48 PM on February 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


That everyone needs a hug.
posted by jokeefe at 7:55 PM on February 8, 2011 [3 favorites]


Funny, Ms. Clav is doing some embroidery and I swooped in for a kiss and she said:
“you risked your eye doing that” for which I said
“I risked that 25 years ago”
and what was she watching….‘Eye of the Needle’ at this point I am alluded by pointed steel and jealously of Donald Sutherlands guile.
posted by clavdivs at 8:32 PM on February 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


The blink, superscript,
blockquote,
code and title tags.
posted by Iridic at 8:33 PM on February 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


I've learned that no matter how much apostrophe abuse bothers me, it's a matter best left to myself.

Most of the time, anyway.
posted by Lynsey at 8:35 PM on February 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


Oh, I have learned so much. But all of that is unimportant now. All that is left in me is an all consuming desire to know why you should never attempt to shave your anus.
posted by munchingzombie at 8:52 PM on February 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


Among other things, I've learned that there are a lot of very talented musicians in the world, and a lot of them are here.
posted by dogmom at 8:55 PM on February 8, 2011


It's time to stop inviting Razak to parties.
posted by illenion at 8:57 PM on February 8, 2011


Also, this joke: What's brown and rhymes with Snoop?

Dr. Dre.
posted by illenion at 8:58 PM on February 8, 2011 [21 favorites]


Now for a real learning experience. The Cordoba House thread taught me in a sea-change kind of way. Here. No disrespect to Alia intended.

Just a change in me. If I got nothing else from this place, that was not only welcome but needed. Thanks to everyone involved.
posted by Splunge at 9:05 PM on February 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


I learned why the Star Wars Prequels suck. And that internet people are usually real people.

Oh, and how to cook steak. And that some people DEMAND one space after a period while I prefer two.
posted by Glibpaxman at 9:08 PM on February 8, 2011


Metafilter has taught me in the last decade that online community is real community. That's something that has immeasurably enriched my life.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 9:14 PM on February 8, 2011 [5 favorites]


I like as many as I wish to put there. So suck it, periodists!
posted by Splunge at 9:15 PM on February 8, 2011


Damn. Really? You won't let me...
posted by Splunge at 9:15 PM on February 8, 2011


Hey. I want my damn spaces! space spacespacespace HAH!
posted by Splunge at 9:18 PM on February 8, 2011


I learned that this site is made up of actual REAL people, and it all isn't just an elaborate dream in a young autistic boy's head.
posted by MattMangels at 9:37 PM on February 8, 2011


Nearly 200 awesome people.
posted by Eideteker at 9:39 PM on February 8, 2011


I learned that people will bet about airplanes and conveyor belts and MYTHBUSTERS IS FUCKING BAD ASS.

And it's "buccal" not "buckle" fillings in your mouth, and lots of other neat things too. I love learning, and moreso, that this site feels like some kind of latent online adult education / debate class that never ends and had a low, one-time-only fee.
posted by Unicorn on the cob at 9:52 PM on February 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


I've learned that:
1. It is a good thing I never picked up Eve Online.
2. After a brief walk to the fridge, sometimes its best to delete the whole message. (This one still causes me trouble).
3. I am not still not OK with 9/11, suicide attempts and imagery, eating disorders, and probably many many more things.
4. Searching through askme questions generally provides a sufficient answer.
5. I am not a special snowflake.
6. There are some structural formats and organizational skills which can streamline responses to questions.
7. Some people got on to the internet and thought LOL stood for Lots of Love. That's cute, but confirm that common used definitions are familiar and correct for everyone.
8. Confirmed - there may be no dumb questions, but anonymous is sure an inquisitive idiot.
9. Dump him/her. Yes go to a doctor. Yes get a lawyer.
posted by Nanukthedog at 9:57 PM on February 8, 2011 [3 favorites]


How I am smart and how I am weak. How I am talented and how I am daft. How I am unusual and how I am not. Which ways, and to which degrees. I learned what I really admire, and how to be principled and approachable at the same time. I learned my context. This humbled me, enabled me to survive grad school (until the present moment, anyway, but dammit I'm gonna get that PhD and use it, mister) and made me a much happier, poised AV than I was when I joined.

Metafilter, you're my context. *awwwwwwwwww*
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 10:22 PM on February 8, 2011 [4 favorites]


Walk away. You lose no face when you walk away from an argument with cranks, not compared to being one of them and carrying on an endless crankfest about something you will never settle. Let the other guy have the last sputter. No one will remember it even tomorrow, never mind next week or next year..
posted by pracowity at 10:31 PM on February 8, 2011 [7 favorites]


That "The Gift of Fear" is a good book with wise advice.

That there are people in this world who will not judge me based on my weight or my mental illness.

That there are people who, never having met in person, can and will work together to help someone who needs it.

That online friends are just as valid and real as in-person friends.
posted by IndigoRain at 10:57 PM on February 8, 2011 [3 favorites]


I learned that there are many people who have much more "Too much free time" than I have.
That mathowie had a great idea.
That the moderators do a fantastic job.
That mefites in general are nice, generous, helpful people.
That's a lot.
posted by Cranberry at 11:14 PM on February 8, 2011 [3 favorites]


Now I know what $5 is worth. And, amazingly, from the same Web site, what isn't worth $5.
posted by paulsc at 11:38 PM on February 8, 2011 [3 favorites]


I have learned to think harder about privilege. I have learned to think about sexual harassment in all its myriad subtle forms. I have had it underlined that I am nowhere near as smart as I once thought I might be. I have learned it kinda sucks to be misinterpreted--and that if you cannot figure out how to state something that is not ambiguous, that's going to happen. And I've learned that, just as in real life, if I'm in a room with someone I like and they start Talking the Crazy it's best to leave ASAP if you still want to respect them.
posted by maxwelton at 11:46 PM on February 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


Cool. A quick scan through the thread finds two items singled out that I'm pretty sure I was first to post to MetaFilter.

This, in the midst of a comparatively shitty few weeks of my life (all manner of small annoyances, grievances, ailments, melodramas nourishing each other in various toxic ways), makes me feel better than I have in days.

So yeah, I guess I didn't know how good it can feel to just give some small thing to a situation, and have it appreciated, even if just in passing.
posted by philip-random at 12:02 AM on February 9, 2011 [2 favorites]


... oh, and if you want to get a pile of favorites you don't really deserve, be the first one in a thread to call James Frey an asshole.
posted by philip-random at 12:10 AM on February 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


I also learned that there was a food called Army Stew. And I found out about it by meeting very cool people. And I liked it. And then I found out about Bohae and Soju.

I love Korean cuisine. Thanks kkokkodalk!
posted by Splunge at 12:11 AM on February 9, 2011


I learned my life is better if I imagine it narrated by a 60s girl group greek chorus.
posted by The Whelk at 12:15 AM on February 9, 2011 [4 favorites]


I learned that when Ralph said "That's where I'm a viking!" he meant it literally.
posted by Dillonlikescookies at 12:45 AM on February 9, 2011 [2 favorites]


1. If you wait someone really smart will come and bring the magic you can't.
2. Going into the discussion with compassion is smart.
3. Metafilter as the sum of it's parts is as fine as things come.
posted by From Bklyn at 1:49 AM on February 9, 2011


Until MetaFilter, I never expected anything to end well.
posted by oneswellfoop at 11:38 AM on February 8 [14 favorites +] [!]


Until Metafilter, I always expected everything to end well.
posted by hal_c_on at 2:08 AM on February 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


I learned that when Ralph said "That's where I'm a viking!" he meant it literally.

Thats how metafilter should sign off for maintenance..."Just being a Viking right now...will be back soon!"
posted by hal_c_on at 2:10 AM on February 9, 2011


I learned to hit preview multiple times while creating a thesis of an answer... which is then usually deleted before posting.

I also learned that desjardins nails the perfect Metatalk question.
posted by malibustacey9999 at 2:25 AM on February 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


Well, I just learned in this thread that the chicken puppet deconversion is the funniest damned thing I've read this year.
posted by Decani at 3:53 AM on February 9, 2011


Something I've always understood, but an important lifeskill that bears sharing nonetheless: askme questions may be anonymous, but the answer you give is not.
posted by Nanukthedog at 4:36 AM on February 9, 2011


A lot. Seconding those who have learned to shut up and listen and that they're not always the smartest person in the room, though I still claim the title often enough IRL. I discovered that Roadside Picnic is awesome. That I don't have as much free time as I'd like to parse all the awesome links on MeFi. I have learned to ignore people. I have learned to engage people. I lurked for several years before becoming a member so I learned the nuances of the community and how to do things around here, which is important in the scheme of MeFi, I suppose.

Short answer: A lot of neat stuff and things.
posted by IvoShandor at 5:02 AM on February 9, 2011


I learned about the great WFMU from here, I learned about Dark Was the Night, Cold Was the Ground, And I learned I really do suck about getting postcards to people in a timely fashion, thats why everyone ignores me these days.
posted by wheelieman at 5:31 AM on February 9, 2011


3. Metafilter as the sum of it's parts is as fine as things come.

It's early and I misread this as "the sum of its pants" and thought METAFILTER WEARS PANTS?!

So relieved to find I was wrong.
posted by sonika at 5:49 AM on February 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


That you could really implement and behold openness on a daily basis on the internet (and thus, in life at large).
posted by nicolin at 6:21 AM on February 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


I've almost learned to speak clavdius
posted by Potomac Avenue at 6:37 AM on February 9, 2011 [5 favorites]


I should have DTMFA.
posted by idiomatika at 6:43 AM on February 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


the diva cup. Seriously, the number of women on mefi who use it convinced me to try and my quality of life is so much better.
posted by gaspode at 6:49 AM on February 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


some folks are asymmetrical.
posted by quonsar II: smock fishpants and the temple of foon at 6:53 AM on February 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


I have genuinely learned a lot about sensitivity when it comes to talking about gender, race, sexuality, politics and other 'hot-button' topics. It hasn't necessarily changed my opinions on any of these things, but I approach all of them with a lot more care and foresight, having seen the response they have received here. Some of the recent threads about rape have been a prime example of that. People keep saying that 'metafilter doesn't do X well' but I would argue that metafilter does X better than the real world. Sure, there is a lot of bad that comes with those threads, but the overall impact on me has been positive thanks to several contributors who take the time to rationally explain their stance and their feelings about these issues.

In a very real and practical sense I have learned to empathise more with people and points of view that I had not and possibly would never have considered.
posted by slimepuppy at 7:17 AM on February 9, 2011 [6 favorites]


I learned that elephants have one hell of a bladder.
posted by Cat Pie Hurts at 7:20 AM on February 9, 2011


I've learned to model AskMe in my mind so that not only can I answer most of my own questions with my mental model, I can use it to answer other people's questions. It's made me a better librarian and a better person.

This is true for me, too. I've also learned how very common certain experiences are, and also what the common responses are. So, e.g., if a friend confesses she has an extramarital crush, I don't say "OMG what are you going to do???" but something more like "oh yeah, that happens to everyone eventually, I hear. what do you think it means?"
posted by salvia at 7:20 AM on February 9, 2011 [2 favorites]


Broadway shows don't make money!

And that there's no consensus on whether zombies poop.
posted by giraffe at 7:24 AM on February 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


Too much to list, but in short:

I learned how to care for a very dead mouse.
I learned that if you're in a situation, there's always someone else who has gone through it and willing to give you advice.
I learned to be less jaded about people and that there are still lots of amazing and wonderful and beautiful people out there.
I learned that, without fail, I will eat it.
I learned what a community should be.
I learned that I can still make friends.
I learned that it's OK to be alone, even when you don't want to be alone. And when I need to be alone, there are people willing to wait for me.
I've learned that I get a certain amount of glee from reading about other peoples nsfw body fluid issues.
And I've learned that sometimes you just need to stop editing, close your eyes, hit Post and hope for the best.
posted by Cat Pie Hurts at 7:31 AM on February 9, 2011 [4 favorites]


I learned about Dwarf Fortress and Crawl thanks to MeFi. Sometimes I really wish I hadn't.
posted by daniel_charms at 7:31 AM on February 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


I learned about mandingo parties, that other people freakin' hate the NYT weekend lifestyle-type sections too, Bulleit bourbon before it got wildly popular, easy peasy sweet potato peanut stew, cranberry jalapeno salsa crack, squash, leek, and goat cheese gratin, how to finally fuckin' lose weight without going into fucked up eating disorder exercise obsessive territory (THANK YOU SO MUCH), that people wipe their asses in various fashions, that I'm not a 36a but rather a freakin' 30ddd and what the hell to do about it (awesome), that people really can change their minds about feminism and street harassment and all that jazz just based on hearing other people talk about their experiences (amazing), that it is possible to laugh at some stupid line from nearly 10 years ago to this day (plo chops, we have cameras, please hope me), that yes lurkers will memail you in support which is pretty awesome, that everyone has social anxiety, even people you'd never guess would, that my social and self esteem fuck ups in my early 20s were normal if anonymous AskMes are any indication, way more than I ever expected to know about bowel health, that protein for breakfast is a Good Thing, and that yes, healthcare in the US is totally FUBAR.

The folks can disappoint you, and folks can totally shock you with inspiration. Seems obvious I guess, but I feel like almost every day I'm reminded of it on Mefi.

And I know this isn't directly Mefi but it's fresh in my mind right now: the Bill Zeller thing keeps coming up in my mind, where sexual abuse will come up as a topic somewhere and I'm ashamed to admit it but until that post I didn't really have a solid specific experience or person to attach to the nebulous murky notion of it all. But now I just think of how it affected a real person's life and I'll never be able to think about that topic the way I did before.
posted by ifjuly at 7:31 AM on February 9, 2011 [9 favorites]


I learned not to thread-sit. Seriously a useful life skill.
posted by L'Estrange Fruit at 7:33 AM on February 9, 2011 [2 favorites]


I'm excellent spouse material.
posted by rokusan at 7:34 AM on February 9, 2011


Oh yeah, people seem to like it when you marry them, but for god sakes, don't let them see your taters.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:37 AM on February 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


I was once a stand-wiper. Now I'm a sit-wiper. That's better than knowing, that's doing.
posted by Plutor at 7:38 AM on February 9, 2011 [4 favorites]


"Now I know what $5 is worth. And, amazingly, from the same Web site, what isn't worth $5."

Interesting. I wonder how many arguments on MeFi would go if folks just stopped to ask themselves, "Is making this point worth $5?"
posted by Eideteker at 7:38 AM on February 9, 2011


those same friends (and other people I didn't quite know yet) would prevent me from ending my life in sadness and desperation after my wife's sudden death.

As a followup note - even now, when times get bleak and the black cloud settles over my head, there's a good chance my IM client will DING at me and it's someone I met on/through/via MeFi going "Hey, sup?"

Sometimes those insignificant greetings are more significant than you'll ever know.
posted by mrbill at 7:39 AM on February 9, 2011 [6 favorites]


I used Miko's exact advice to break up with my ex. It went over as well as I could hope, and we're still friends, with minimal weirdness. I have since encouraged others to use this technique, often linking them directly to the post. I can't say thank you enough.
posted by almostmanda at 8:02 AM on February 9, 2011


i learnt to respect marriage.
posted by PinkMoose at 8:16 AM on February 9, 2011


I learned that both prescriptivism and descriptivism, especially when it comes to grammar, are deeply annoying when presented in the wrong context. But each is perfectly reasonable when presented in the right context.
posted by meese at 8:19 AM on February 9, 2011 [2 favorites]


The first time I read about Williamsburg hipsters was on MeFi.
posted by Burhanistan at 8:36 AM on February 9, 2011



The first time I read about Williamsburg hipsters was on MeFi.


Before they were cool.
posted by The Whelk at 8:37 AM on February 9, 2011 [11 favorites]


That I'm not even close to the smartest person in the room and am honored to be in that room.
posted by Sophie1 at 8:39 AM on February 9, 2011


I learned how to tie my shoelaces.
posted by verstegan at 8:49 AM on February 9, 2011


I learned that both prescriptivism and descriptivism, especially when it comes to grammar, are deeply annoying when presented in the wrong context. But each is perfectly reasonable when presented in the right context.

I was thinking about this last night during a bout of insomnia -- that MetaFilter first made me aware of what appears to be a split between grammarians and linguists, and I have no idea which side of this fence to climb down on. It seems like we should know what words mean, but language is fluid, and evolving, and organic, and I love that. It causes me no end of cognitive dissonance when the pre-MetaFilter lizard brain wants to play its/it's police.
posted by Devils Rancher at 8:55 AM on February 9, 2011


I̘̟̜͡ͅ ̬̝͇͉̙̤ͬL͎̗͓̙̖ͥͩ͝e̴̬͇̱̻à̖͍̭̝̙̉ͮr̪̜̮͔̓̃ͬ̾̎ͤ͒n̡͖̥̼̻̤̰ͦͭe̥̣̯ͦ̽̒̃͋̌͜dͯ͌̓҉̱ ̼̿ͦ̀̏ͫĄ̳̰͚͂̆̚b̿͝o̙̒ͦ͗̊̔ͨͩ͝ü͎̘̔ͫͥ̅͢t̀ ̨̜̳͈̤͌̈́ͯ̉ͩZ̩͗̆Ą̤̝̏̀͌̓L̳̫̣̗͎̋̆̒Ģ̹̓ͮ̎O̙͔͍̹͚ͩͤ̌̒͜!̬͙̜̪̼ͅ
̩̳͖
̸̙͍̓Hͮ̐̆̂̀e͉̜̩̗ͮ̈̒ ͎͍̃ͪ̊Č͈͙̹̜̿o͍̫̟̥ͮ̏͢m̥̩̘͕͇̲ͫ̍ͩ̋̽̈́͟ḙ̵͔s͈̣͕̦͚̠ͦ̆ͤͅ!̮ͣͮ̽
posted by jannw at 9:05 AM on February 9, 2011 [3 favorites]


> that MetaFilter first made me aware of what appears to be a split between grammarians and linguists, and I have no idea which side of this fence to climb down on.

Just be thankful that you don't have to pick a side and can accept the fuzziness of it all!
posted by Burhanistan at 9:09 AM on February 9, 2011


It's not actually a fence, it's a ladder. Climb up! The long view is a lot more edifying.
posted by cortex (staff) at 9:14 AM on February 9, 2011 [5 favorites]


HTML.

(please note that the title of that thread was created in the Great Thread Renaming Project [and before "preview" too, for that matter]; I didn't know what HTML was.)
posted by norm at 9:15 AM on February 9, 2011


Eideteker: " Interesting. I wonder how many arguments on MeFi would go if folks just stopped to ask themselves, "Is making this point worth $5?""

I have a hilarious retort to this, but it's not worth $5.
posted by Plutor at 9:18 AM on February 9, 2011


I've learned how great a group of people can be at identifying a movie or book with very little information and how terrible that same group of people can be at giving advice related to personal decisions in other people's lives.
posted by elder18 at 9:36 AM on February 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


It's not actually a fence, it's a ladder. Climb up! The long view is a lot more edifying.

But that would make you a linguist.

"Singular "they" to refer to persons of unknown gender has been in use in English since the 1400's. The idea that this was wrong and the masculine ought to be the default wasn't introduced until the mid-1800's. Look, here are some citations ..."
posted by nangar at 9:36 AM on February 9, 2011


That I Am Not A Lawyer. And neither are you.

Unless you are.
posted by mippy at 9:41 AM on February 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


I used Miko's exact advice to break up with my ex... I have since encouraged others to use this technique, often linking them directly to the post. I can't say thank you enough.

As a followup - this has become by far my most favorited comment, which means that every time I load up my favorites I often find it has once again risen to the surface, allowing me to relive the breakup just a little bit very frequently. It's a strange thing, but I'm glad it's been useful for others and hopefully has helped minimize the collective misery that people have had to endure, in some small way.

It would be funny if my breaker-upper knew about this comment. It would please him, I'm sure, as he prides himself on communication skills.
posted by Miko at 9:46 AM on February 9, 2011 [6 favorites]


"Singular "they" to refer to persons of unknown gender has been in use in English since the 1400's

... so which are the ones that say THEY is okay as an all purpose pronoun based on long term usage? The Prescriptivists? I'm with them. Usage must lead. Rules must follow. Otherwise the equivalent of my Grade 9 English teacher is running things. And that's not good.

So that's another thing I've learned. There was actual value in sitting through Ms. ___'s repeated attempts to forever crush my love for my native tongue. I can now use the experience as fuel in ongoing arguments that never really get resolved, but nevertheless there is fun to be had.
posted by philip-random at 9:48 AM on February 9, 2011


That I don't know where to begin. (Also, someone solved a nocturnal beep mystery for me).

But seriously. The entire Internet Conversation Project has been useful for me because people here are often more open and direct than in person-to-person interactions. One gets instant, candid feedback, and hence a clearer picture of how to communicate one's thoughts; this experience has been crucial for my work, and my life in general. Of all the forums I know, Metafilter is best in this respect.

Also, I learned that forum moderation can be a blessing (I know of some places where its a solid nightmare).

And I learned that Balrogs have babies.
posted by Namlit at 9:49 AM on February 9, 2011


Metafilter:
posted by Potomac Avenue at 9:49 AM on February 9, 2011


I have a hilarious retort to this, but it's not worth $5.

Finally, the online-snark version of Fermat's Last Theorem!
posted by RogerB at 9:50 AM on February 9, 2011 [2 favorites]


Ah I see we need a five dollar beans recipe. (Someone "cut the sugar in half" but doesn't tell us lengthwise or across. This bugs me no end)
posted by Namlit at 9:59 AM on February 9, 2011


... so which are the ones that say THEY is okay as an all purpose pronoun based on long term usage? The Prescriptivists?

Oh good lord no. Or, rather, in the reductive view, no, but there's a caveat here that "The Prescriptivists" and "The Descriptivists" aren't actual partitioned, monolithic blocks of people with agreed upon bylaws and so forth. There's prescriptive and descriptive approaches to language description and both have practical utility in some contexts and plenty of folks with strong feelings about language carry both sorts of approaches in their hearts. So it's a bit of a muddle.

But if we want to go with the reductive angle, the prescriptivist says "no singular they!" because in the current snapshot of prescriptive belief about English usage, singular they is bad. It is bad because someone previously declared it to be bad, and the prescriptive approach to language is to follow the rules. QED, singular they is no good, end of discussion.

That the provenance of that rule is uncertain, that the date in which it came into being is apparently for more recent than the proscribed usage itself, that proscription or no the usage persists very naturally even today: these don't come into it. Which is immensely silly as a way to actually talk about language and usage for its own sake, which is why The Prescriptivists get so much flak for this sort of rules-lawyering approach to usage.

But at the same time, in contexts where formal or mannered writing is important, rules can win out in priority over accurate language modeling. Editors earn good money for helping writing meet the expectations of readers in some contexts, and that's fine as far as that goes. Nothing about being a student of descriptive language usage precludes a person from also recognizing current editorial conventions, however arbitrary and fluid they may be, and a smart and careful writer will in a lot of cases hew to conventions regardless of their personal feelings or preferences regarding this or that usage.

The problem of The Prescriptivists is mostly when "hewing to convention where the context makes it sensible" gets replaced by "NO THAT IS INCORRECT BECAUSE I LEARNED THAT IT IS INCORRECT, MY PEEVES LET ME SHOW YOU THEM" sort of action.

tl;dr singular they is completely fine in casual contexts, may turn heads in some formal contexts, said head-turning is the product of arbitrary conventional restrictions rather than any practical usage issues, people who understand all of the above and aren't dicks about it are functionally both prescriptivists and descriptivists, language is complicated, and not being a dick remains the most important bit of the whole thing.
posted by cortex (staff) at 10:01 AM on February 9, 2011 [5 favorites]


"Also, did you know female kangaroos and sharks have two vaginas?"

Choose your own joke:

1) What, at the same time?

2) What, between them all?
posted by Eideteker at 10:01 AM on February 9, 2011


I learned about ask culture vs. guess culture ! Which was enlightening and helped me deal (slightly) better with some of my rabidly ask culture acquaintances.

(still kind of a doormat.)
posted by stagewhisper at 10:10 AM on February 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


AMONG them all, Eideteker. Jeez.
posted by Mister_A at 10:11 AM on February 9, 2011


"I just learned that cortex can eat 500 eggs.

And eyeballkid is an egg."


No no no... loquacious, buddy... cortex can lay over 500 eggs. In your eyeballs, kid. Sorry, man. I tried to warn you ahead of time, but apparently the message was garbled.
posted by Eideteker at 10:19 AM on February 9, 2011


There's prescriptive and descriptive approaches to language description and both have practical utility in some contexts and plenty of folks with strong feelings about language carry both sorts of approaches in their hearts.

Somewhere in this sentence is a fantastic "Les Miserables" parody just waiting to be written.
posted by meese at 10:36 AM on February 9, 2011 [2 favorites]


there's a caveat here that "The Prescriptivists" and "The Descriptivists" aren't actual partitioned, monolithic blocks of people with agreed upon bylaws and so forth

wait so what do I do with these armbands they asked me to make
posted by jtron at 10:45 AM on February 9, 2011 [4 favorites]


AMONG them all, Eideteker. Jeez.
posted by Mister_A at 1:11 PM on February 9 [+] [!]

No, I think he meant between them.

Like, kangaroos and sharks. Separated by a vagina. (Say nothing of the ocean.)
posted by bilabial at 10:52 AM on February 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


Like, kangaroos and sharks. Separated by a vagina. (Say nothing of the ocean.)

In a world... where kangaroos and sharks are separated only by a vagina... one man dared...
posted by L'Estrange Fruit at 10:55 AM on February 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


I have that tape too, it's great
posted by jtron at 10:59 AM on February 9, 2011


... so, if one (bearing the moniker Philip) were to state that THEIR preference was to avoid all either/or discussions FOREVER, UNTIL THE ENDS OF THE KNOWN AND UNKNOWN FUCKING UNIVERSES ... not only would they be guilty of shouting, swearing and hyperbole, but they'd be grammatically incorrect in their choice of pronoun (according to some at least)?
posted by philip-random at 11:00 AM on February 9, 2011


MetaFilter made — or really makes — me a little bit wiser and a whole lot nicer.

I started lurking here as a freshman at a college that wasn't really a fit, angry, bitter, ignorant, and more than a little sneering. MetaFilter got me thinking that maybe being a smug dick was itself a bad thing. I place credit for my giving up Ayn Rand and Hacker News solely on a few assorted MeFi threads.

Over the last two years I've slowly stopped Othering people. I'm still coming to understand that there's a difference between just saying you think something is right and actually feeling and acting upon those feelings of rightness. Not saying that now I feel all grown up, but now I actually feel like I'm growing, and I'm starting to understand just how much more there is to grow.

Commenting on MetaFilter forces me to come to terms with the fact that the way I comment online is frequently immature, abrasive, and self-indulgent (not to mention uninformed). It gives me a reason to want to change for the better. We have a really weird and wonderful mix of traits as a community: people here are friendly, forgiving, clever, eloquent, but above all willing to talk very frankly about themselves. I absolutely look up to some of the people here as role models.

You know the classic movie trope where Young Person lives a secluded existence and it takes the arrival of Interesting Different Other to make him-or-her realize how much of the world he-or-she's missing? Well, MetaFilter's like that, only it's hundreds of Interesting Different Others all teaching themselves.

(That's maybe my favorite movie trope.)
posted by Rory Marinich at 11:03 AM on February 9, 2011 [19 favorites]


That it isn't narcissistic to seek out therapy to work out anger against an absent parent.

That some people may seek anonymity in seemingly unnecessary cases, but in the end, it doesn't matter if it means the difference between a question asked and a question not asked.
posted by litnerd at 11:06 AM on February 9, 2011 [2 favorites]


It's an ongoing process that I'm still learning. Best $5 bucks I've ever spent.
posted by Sailormom at 11:28 AM on February 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


How to ask questions that have a better chance of producing a useful answer.
posted by Askr at 11:35 AM on February 9, 2011 [2 favorites]


That people are awesome and it's not dumb to ask for help. All I need to figure out now is how to return the favor.

<3 <3 the Houston cabal.
posted by casarkos at 11:45 AM on February 9, 2011 [2 favorites]


More seriously, I feel like one of the big lessons I'm continually learning from Metafilter is how much a discussion's framing matters — and that, for any given topic, there is some semi-predictable set of ways of talking, terms and arguments and counter-arguments, that are likely to emerge, though these are influenced heavily by how the discussion begins. This is, for me, a useful lesson to try to draw from both aggravatingly bad threads and good ones, from topics that MeFi "doesn't do well" as well as those it does. This is something I often find useful to think about in teaching, and just in talking to people in real life. Metafilter hasn't exactly given me any magical new ability to anticipate the course of a discussion or to fix one that's gone off the rails, but watching it happen here has helped me to think about how discussions' patterns and ruts emerge, and how to frame things in order to help avoid them, in real life too.
posted by RogerB at 12:02 PM on February 9, 2011 [2 favorites]


I still don't know what Taters are. I suppose you could say that I actually know less than I did before I came here...
posted by schmod at 12:21 PM on February 9, 2011 [4 favorites]


That's a good point, schmod. Every day I have to revise the limits of my ignorance outwards by what I learn from MetaFilter. If MetaFilter has taught me anything, it's that the amount of information worth knowing is functionally infinite and that no matter how long I spend trying to learn, the amount I don't know about the world is always the same: infinite.
posted by Kattullus at 12:28 PM on February 9, 2011 [3 favorites]


How to articulate my issues with being an Ask person in a Guess culture.

How to break up with someone.

The 5-3-1 rule.

How to satisfactorily resolve the if-you-do-something-just-because-I-ask-you-to-it-doesn't-count problem.

That there is good coffee--and a shiny metal ass--in Birmingham, AL.
posted by rhiannonstone at 12:51 PM on February 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


As a followup - this has become by far my most favorited comment, which means that every time I load up my favorites I often find it has once again risen to the surface, allowing me to relive the breakup just a little bit very frequently.

If it's any consolation--OK, I know it's not but maybe it's an unexpected bit of closure?--three years later I'm willing to admit I was the anonymous asker of that question. Your advice (and jessamyn's) helped me steel myself to (a) call him up with a neutral/pleasant welcome-back greeting, (b) set up a quick meeting at his place to say hi, (c) make my statement gently and directly, (d) let him say his piece, and (e) exit. It was one of the most emotionally difficult moments I've initiated in my life (and no picnic for him!), but I think it turned out as well as it could. We're on cordial terms now, he and I, which is more than I would have expected at the time. I'm something of an erratic poster here, I know, but in real life I generally try to do well by people.

Thank you, Miko, and thank you, AskMeFi. Mark that one "resolved," I guess.


I learned that I was making tea all wrong. It's so much tastier now.

LINK PLEASE

posted by kittyprecious at 1:19 PM on February 9, 2011 [5 favorites]


kittyprecious: " LINK PLEASE"

Possibly?
posted by zarq at 1:53 PM on February 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


Every day I look at Metafilter I learn how much more there is out there to learn, for which I am immensely grateful.
posted by jzed at 3:01 PM on February 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


I learned how to be properly fitted for a bra, how to dispose of a body, what a papal tiara is, and that I must never wear a fedora.

Essential life skills, all of 'em.
posted by cmyk at 3:27 PM on February 9, 2011


I still don't know where to buy jarred pickled eggs in NYC.
posted by jonmc at 4:42 PM on February 9, 2011


Metafilter taught me more than I know.
posted by dabitch at 5:05 PM on February 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


jonmc: "I still don't know where to buy jarred pickled eggs in NYC."

Once the next couple of hell weeks are over for me at work, I can check for you in Queens. There are markets near me that might carry 'em.
posted by zarq at 5:09 PM on February 9, 2011


Cool. Although, I should warn you that I've scoured a lot of places in Queens myself and come up empty.
posted by jonmc at 5:12 PM on February 9, 2011


Look out jonmc, Queens is being Brooklynized.
posted by Mister_A at 5:32 PM on February 9, 2011


How to make Bar-style Pickled Eggs
posted by The Whelk at 5:39 PM on February 9, 2011


Also
posted by The Whelk at 5:44 PM on February 9, 2011


I'm so glad I'm not the only person who immediately thought "Some people stand to wipe!!!" when seeing this thread.
posted by apricot at 5:47 PM on February 9, 2011



- exposure to music, movies, and books [infinite jest, which immediately comes to mind, reading that right now and the WIRE which, is now my favorite tv show].
- the quarter-life crisis exists and I'm not a failure by going through it.
- the admiration of Mr. Rogers
- good recommendations on good, quality [consumer reports on crack!]
- communicating better (especially more tactfully) with others

- Metafilter gives me faith in humanity and it's an antidote to cynic thought that the world is full of people from Jerry Springer (both of which are still within my mind).

Practically anything else in my 1000+ favorites.
posted by fizzix at 6:23 PM on February 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


How to make "healthy" ramen noodles.

The awesomeness of sriracha via eggplantplacebo's stir fry recipe.

There are some crazy teas out there I have yet to taste.

Lots of neat music.

How to take criticism gracefully.
posted by santaslittlehelper at 7:05 PM on February 9, 2011


Don't go to law school. Or grad school in the humanities.

Yeah, now you tell me.
posted by joe lisboa at 7:40 PM on February 9, 2011


Metafilter got me through the entirety of my 20's.
posted by Windigo at 8:02 PM on February 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


Hoppita Moppita.
posted by Kloryne at 8:39 PM on February 9, 2011


I am just starting to learn from Metafilter about discourse, that other people hold their opinions just as dearly as I hold my own, and that sometimes standing up and talking is the right thing and sometimes it's not.

Also, I have seen that almost everyone has something special about them, a great experience or a unique skill and an indescribably cool hobby. It has changed how I view the people I encounter on a day-to-day basis in my life, and has encouraged me to give those people more of a chance and be more open to them.
posted by hepta at 8:51 PM on February 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


zombish.
posted by mwhybark at 9:04 PM on February 9, 2011


I learned about Frjtz.
posted by ambient2 at 9:11 PM on February 9, 2011


This is a nice, clean, easy to read and use interface. No ads, no crap, no BS. It is the essence of the most prominent word in most math textbooks: Simplify.

So I've seen what whatever this is is supposed to look like.

Of the qualitative, and the subjective; this grouping of people... I've learned to (uh...) simply not expose most people to 'it'; it being the metafilter. I'm not sure what it seems to do to most minds, the essence of WTF perhaps. The frequent overview of so much information gathered in one spot really does confuse the unsorted.

Oh, my Aunt loves the hoppity moppity phrase. So double thanks.
posted by buzzman at 9:13 PM on February 9, 2011


That you can like sex, alcohol and dance music and still be much more intelligent than me

(I was an uptight kid)
That my fedora makes me look like a wanker (but I still wear it when it was sunny)
How to respect women's personal space and not creep them out
Lots about feminism and resp
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 9:20 PM on February 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


Miracle fruit tablets. Umami. Pancake guidelines. "Is everything okay over there?" (and other points about minimizing risk when intervening in a sketchy street situation). Too many to count.

Metafilter has really brought it home how many people don't intend to be assholes. People just have had radically different experiences from mine. I may be tempted to silently judge them as assholes initially, but if I express my disagreements in good faith, often they express corresponding good-faith responses showing that such judgments would have been wrong. Often enough to keep my faith in humanity going, anyway.

Also, I have much more confidence in my speaking up capabilities now than I did before Metafilter. Opportunities to practice speaking up never end, here!
posted by cybercoitus interruptus at 10:54 PM on February 9, 2011 [4 favorites]


I was raised in a VERY conservative home during the late 70's and 80's and I've learned everything posted above me. Seriously.....Metafilter has opened my eyes, heart and soul to almost everything ever posted. I have developed an open heart, an open mind and I'm teaching my children the same. It's causing some conflict within my still, very right wing, deep South family but I don't care. They can love me or leave me, I still have opinions that I will defend but I feel like MeFi has given me the education that I need to be on the side of humanity....and not a political party or religious rule. I'm so grateful for that.
posted by pearlybob at 11:57 PM on February 9, 2011 [11 favorites]


I lurked for ages before ponying up the $5 to join MetaFilter. I may come and go depending on the demands of RL, but I always come back. I keep coming back because MeFi is by far the best community I've ever been a part of, full of thoughtful and caring individuals. It's taught me to relate better to people, care better for my loved ones and let them know that I care. Plus I now have a wide range of esoteric knowledge that I never thought I'd know.

MeFi has taught me how to cook/shave/eat/clean/live better and I am better off for knowing you all.

As Sailormom says, best $5 I ever spent.
posted by arcticseal at 6:03 AM on February 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


That I'm not alone.
posted by tomboko at 6:50 AM on February 10, 2011 [3 favorites]


to be on the side of humanity....and not a political party or religious rule.

Now that's a guiding principle if I ever heard one.
posted by jokeefe at 6:55 AM on February 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


jonmc: "Cool. Although, I should warn you that I've scoured a lot of places in Queens myself and come up empty."

Ah. No problem. I'd wind up going to these places anyway, so asking for pickled eggs while I'm there won't be a big deal. :)
posted by zarq at 7:59 AM on February 10, 2011


I now know what it is like to trigger meaningful emotional experiences in other people's lives without meaning to and to help prove that a website can be a "community".
posted by jeremias at 9:24 AM on February 10, 2011


> That my fedora makes me look like a wanker

This is not true! Fedoras are a classy, timeless style of headgear. There are doubtless people for whom it is not a good look, as is true for every style, but don't believe what you hear on MetaFilter. Fedoras are one of the things MetaFilter Does Not Do Well.
posted by languagehat at 10:48 AM on February 10, 2011 [3 favorites]


A huge amount of data and how-tos.
Breaking news.
The incredible value of good moderation.
Many personal, powerful and moving stories about people's life experiences.
As was said above, how to think better.
To be a better internet researcher.
A heck of a lot of internet jargon.
That I had to see The Wire.
What other people see in art that I missed.
The strong tension between courtesy/sensitivity and free speech values.
History I hadn't known about.
Fabulous recipes.
Great travel tips.
An awed admiration for the intelligence and curiosity on display here.

And, oddly, the joys of lurking more than I speak.
posted by bearwife at 11:39 AM on February 10, 2011


I learned what the writing on the little prize in the pocky package says.
posted by madmethods at 4:37 PM on February 10, 2011


Ah. No problem. I'd wind up going to these places anyway, so asking for pickled eggs while I'm there won't be a big deal. :)

Great. If we succeed we'll spend a Monday afternoon drinking beer and listening to toonz t my bar.
posted by jonmc at 5:00 PM on February 10, 2011


That I am really not that smart, and that I will not, to my sorrow, get a graduate humanities degree.
posted by jgirl at 6:11 PM on February 10, 2011


I learned where to drink in San Francisco. Also, that I am doing everything in my life wrong but that things will probably work out somehow. And that the internet is awesome but I kind of already knew that.
posted by madcaptenor at 6:53 PM on February 10, 2011


Late comment here, I'm just thinking of it as I'm killing a footnote before I even wrote it: MetaFilter's definition and handling of "derail" has become a crucial tool in writing down my research. A better awareness of "okay, now you're going off the track" enables me to produce final drafts much faster than a while ago.
(of course, I'm losing all the time I gained because I get sucked into the blue)
posted by Namlit at 4:29 AM on February 12, 2011


I learned what portobello mushrooms are.
posted by Pendragon at 2:20 PM on February 12, 2011


It's such a pretty shade.
posted by Sailormom at 2:26 PM on February 12, 2011


That if someone rips their cloak on my property and asks for a replacement, I should send them a Kmart GC. Seriously, sometimes just thinking about it makes my day.

Oh, and only white pepper in the chowder.
posted by cestmoi15 at 5:47 PM on February 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


Someone here made my household happier by posting the advice to add the cheese powder to the milk and mix them up, then adding the mix to the macaroni & butter. I don't know why this technique never occurred to me in the 20 years I'd been making mac & cheese, but I am grateful now.

Also, I've learned to enjoy Haruki Murakami's novels by seeing them recommended several times. I wouldn't have come across them on my own. Thanks!
posted by dragonplayer at 11:15 PM on February 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


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