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How could I have made this a better post?
June 16, 2011 4:45 PM   Subscribe

How could I Have made this a better post?

After posting a follow-up Fukushima article I got a lot of negative feedback and the article was of course deleted. I thought the recent revelations that the reactor core had been breached were discussion worthy as well as the new radiation environmental leak data especially since we're not getting this though our own news sources (my best link was from Al-Jazeera)

How could I have made this a better MetaFilter post?
posted by Poet_Lariat to MetaFilter-Related at 4:45 PM (104 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

If there's something specifically new and notable with the situation, a focused post about that is probably a better way to go. -- cortex
Sounds like a good start.
posted by Ardiril at 4:48 PM on June 16, 2011


How could I have made this a better MetaFilter post?

Make it pro-nuclear.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 4:49 PM on June 16, 2011 [7 favorites]


At some point a popular topic has the bar raised a little bit to warrant a new post. Fukushima is one of those topics.
posted by Think_Long at 4:50 PM on June 16, 2011


I'm not sure, frankly. I thought it was ok but people seem to get all tweaked about nuclear power, on both sides. Perhaps it seemed too slanted?

I did want to point out this movie there but it's too late. You can't say if Fukushima is worse without understanding Chernobyl. It's 25 years later and we can look back now and get some idea of the scale and response. This documentary is very helpful.
posted by chairface at 4:51 PM on June 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


Make it pro-nuclear.

I was going to say: Don't be the bearer of such bad news that people will flag a perfectly fine post to make it go away.
posted by Trurl at 4:51 PM on June 16, 2011 [4 favorites]


but to an extent we need to not just have a recurring "and here's another linkdump, let's argue about nuclear energy some more" thing going on.

Is it even realistically feasible to have any FPP about Fukushima that won't have people arguing nuclear energy? Aside from an instant miracle where all the radioactive particles magically disappear or a perfect cleanup is made, these threads are always going to be pro-nuclear vs. anti-nuclear.
posted by Mister Fabulous at 4:53 PM on June 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


There was an excellent discussion on the most recent CounterSpin about the virtual news blackout on the deepening crisis at Fukushima — possibly a separate topic from the steady stream of worse news about the disaster itself, and I think both topics are worth a new thread.

What doomed that post, in my view (and I don't think it was necessarily deserving of deletion), was not the framing first and foremost, so much as the shallow knee-jerkiness of the initial comments. If the thread had some more time to breathe and develop into a reasonable discussion it might've gone well. But there's definitely one thing about the framing that didn't work: the Chernobyl comparison is too sensationalistic, and too attractive a derail target for lazy pro-nuke comments from people who aren't actually following the Fukushima crisis in any detail, to be a productive thing to highlight as a discussion starting point.
posted by RogerB at 4:55 PM on June 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


Exactly, Mr F, so when something important happens, we'll drag the old arguments back out.

RB: Is it a news blackout, or just a lack of news? Even 9/11 dropped off the front pages.
posted by Ardiril at 4:57 PM on June 16, 2011


There's a news blackout re Fukushima in the US?
posted by likeso at 4:57 PM on June 16, 2011


There's a news blackout re Fukushima in the US?

You could say that. Mainly, there just isn't anything about Fukushima in the news here. Instead we have to hear about Rep. Weiner resigning over his pictures.
posted by Mister Fabulous at 4:59 PM on June 16, 2011 [5 favorites]


My god. At least Nero played a violin.
posted by likeso at 5:04 PM on June 16, 2011 [4 favorites]


The key to doing something like this well is to find really good links to resources that can bear new fruit. Don't editorialize. At all. Give enough description so people know what they're going to be looking at, but don't try to tell a story. Pro-nuclear, anti-nuclear, pro-environment, pro-business... if there's an obvious agenda, the facts get lost in the ideas. Let the facts speak for themselves. Somebody will always turn up in thread to turn them into ideas. But start with great links. Great links are worth the effort of a contentious thread.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 5:07 PM on June 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


the Chernobyl comparison is too sensationalistic

That seems to be a matter of some disagreement.

If only there were somewhere on the site where people could have presented their respective arguments...
posted by Trurl at 5:11 PM on June 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


Anything's comparable to Chernobyl if you fixate on it the right way. This morning we had a sparkie (electrician) come into our new place to repair a few blown switches, and I asked him if he thought anything like this (lights going out) had ever happened at Chernobyl. He was quiet for a little while and I got worried because I don't like to see a grown man cry, but eventually he nodded his head ever so slightly and choked out "Yeah. Yeah, I think it probably did." And tonight I have to sweep up a bunch of broken creepy doll's heads like you see in photographs. That's gonna be hard.
posted by tumid dahlia at 5:17 PM on June 16, 2011 [5 favorites]


That seems to be a matter of some disagreement.

Really? Did someone contend that comparing the two disasters is a great starting point for a MeFi thread? If so, I missed it.
posted by RogerB at 5:18 PM on June 16, 2011


The thing I personally didn't like about the post was that you yourself made fairly controversial assertions in the way you framed and presented it. That started the discussion off on the wrong foot - if you'd framed it as more of a presentation of the current state of the debate, rather than as a clearly opinionated position, it would have been a post I might not have flagged.

Other people's mileage clearly vary.
posted by contrarian at 5:23 PM on June 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


PL, thanks for the post. I'm glad I happened across it in the seconds before it vanished.

The eight cities included in the report are San Jose, Berkeley, San Francisco, Sacramento, Santa Cruz, Portland, Seattle, and Boise, and the time frame of the report included the ten weeks immediately following the disaster.
Hello everywhere where all my family lives.

I would have appreciated some discussion of the veracity of this stuff rather than knee jerk deletion.
posted by Chekhovian at 5:24 PM on June 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


What contarian said. You took a talking head from one website, padded three or four more links which essentially just linked back to the same talking head with no further information, and then the rest of the links were historic announcements of the issue (March 30th, etc). Your only "new news" to the scenario was the talking head guy. Then you framed it like his word was gospel and oh noes suddenly everything is worse.

The framing and the lack of material to back it up doomed it IMO.
posted by cavalier at 5:32 PM on June 16, 2011 [4 favorites]


Did someone contend that comparing the two disasters is a great starting point for a MeFi thread?

If the comparison is valid, I'll contend that now, if you like.

If the comparison is not valid, people are free to demonstrate why not in the thread.

But throwing flags to suppress an unpopular viewpoint until the mods shut the thread down in self-defense is - if you'll excuse a crude term - chickenshit.
posted by Trurl at 5:32 PM on June 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


Can someone post or link to a thing about hot particles? I understand they are small, smaller than airplane peanuts. What's the deal with that?
posted by TwelveTwo at 5:32 PM on June 16, 2011


There's a news blackout re Fukushima in the US?

This is along the lines of the most recent u.s. wire item I've seen crossing, about 2 weeks ago; basically that concerned international conglomerate of scientists are going to study the situation.
posted by Rube R. Nekker at 5:37 PM on June 16, 2011


How could I have made this a better MetaFilter post?

Make it pro-nuclear.


I find this uselessly argumentative and I've tried to mail you about it, BP, but you don't accept mails :(.

Most of the nuke threads have been pretty boilerplate argumentative with more than enough pro and con sides, you could easily argue that making it more concretely anti-nuclear with stuff to back it up would make it better as well.
posted by cavalier at 5:38 PM on June 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


Hot particle.
posted by Rube R. Nekker at 5:39 PM on June 16, 2011


You missed a chance at posting a youtube clip. Anyway, Yeah, I came across that one. I found it lacking. I was hoping for some old school professor style homepage with rainbow horizontal dividers and mouse drawn scientific diagrams.
posted by TwelveTwo at 5:42 PM on June 16, 2011


Is that anything like a Hot Pocket? Cause those fuckers would burn the sun!
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 5:42 PM on June 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


Take note that the current FPP on Ft Calhoun is not going well either.
posted by Ardiril at 5:46 PM on June 16, 2011


But throwing flags to suppress an unpopular viewpoint until the mods shut the thread down in self-defense is - if you'll excuse a crude term - chickenshit.

I keep reading cortex's deletion reason, trying to find where any of that is mentioned. I don't see it.
posted by eyeballkid at 5:49 PM on June 16, 2011


I think it's the "This deletion was sponsored by Haliburton" tagline.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 5:52 PM on June 16, 2011 [3 favorites]


This is along the lines of the most recent u.s. wire item I've seen crossing, about 2 weeks ago

I'm shocked. I really am. Nothing in NYT? Nothing in WP? Nobody is doing daily tracking or weekly follow-up? Is nobody picking up Reuters, at the very least? How can this be?
posted by likeso at 5:58 PM on June 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


I keep reading cortex's deletion reason, trying to find where any of that is mentioned. I don't see it.

we need to not just have a recurring "and here's another linkdump, let's argue about nuclear energy some more" thing going on

You and I read that differently, perhaps.

you could easily argue that making it more concretely anti-nuclear with stuff to back it up would make it better as well

Except that the Ft. Calhoun post - backed up with stuff like links to the Wall Street Journal and the FAA - seems to please you no better.

It fosters the impression that it's the anti-nuclear part - rather than the insufficiently backed up part - that you dislike.
posted by Trurl at 6:02 PM on June 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm seeing a pretty good amount of recent Fukushima stories from American sources.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 6:03 PM on June 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


Nothing in NYT? Nothing in WP? .... How can this be?

How.
posted by Trurl at 6:04 PM on June 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


Heh, Trurl. Welp.
posted by likeso at 6:08 PM on June 16, 2011


In particular, here's the list of search hits for Fukushima at the NY Times in the last seven days.
posted by The Tensor at 6:11 PM on June 16, 2011


Great post, mistaken deletion.

But you probably could have saved it by linking to a blog which did a point by point comparison between Fukushima and the nuclear plant where Homer Simpson works.
posted by jamjam at 6:14 PM on June 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


I thought it was a fine post. It's a relevant update with new information on what is unarguably a disaster.
posted by orthogonality at 6:21 PM on June 16, 2011 [5 favorites]


It fosters the impression that it's the anti-nuclear part - rather than the insufficiently backed up part - that you dislike.

No, it's the second time within 15 minutes that generated someone taking a situation -- which I quoted -- and slanting it in such a way to make it sound more spectacular than it truly was, with no compelling content underneath to support the spectacular nature of the post.

It might surprise you, but I'm actually fairly waffling on nuclear power -- I've been swayed by both sides (i.e., pro- and anti-). What I'm actually strongly against is poor framing and the fallacies of correlation/causation and the like in seeking to further positions without significant foundation. That shit gets me all itchy and I'm compelled to respond. Argue for something in good faith and I'm thrilled to learn about your position and consider your viewpoint. On the other hand, for example directly responding to you, Trurl, your equation of the Tuskegee clinical study as an answer to why everything must be a conspiracy makes me less likely to feel you are keeping an open mind and not instead seeking to simply further your position without reasonable merit -- If everything is a conspiracy in your eyes then we have to wide a chasm to cross as you assume a much more malevolent and competent operation then I do.
posted by cavalier at 6:23 PM on June 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


Damnit, jamjam - you'd better not be teasing me! Where is this blog?
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 6:23 PM on June 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


(And I say that as someone who is, "pro-" nuclear, in the sense that I don't think there's any better near-term alternative. I'm "for" nuclear power; I'm not for nuclear power where short-term profitable shortcuts take precedence over long-term safety.)
posted by orthogonality at 6:25 PM on June 16, 2011


"You and I read that differently, perhaps."

You know, maybe you could use your words and articulate your complaint rather than just sarcastically impugning what you don't like.
posted by klangklangston at 6:26 PM on June 16, 2011 [5 favorites]


It's a pretty poor deletion, but whatever, it's not like I'm going to change any mods' minds by bitching about it in MetaTalk. I'm going to go have a beer.
posted by entropicamericana at 6:27 PM on June 16, 2011 [4 favorites]


I'm seeing a pretty good amount of recent Fukushima stories from American sources.

To be fair, the top result I'm seeing is the aljazeehra article linked in the deleted FPP, the other articles are from Japan. But I had not seen that NPR, so thanks!

You missed a chance at posting a youtube clip.

*Sigh* Fine.
posted by Rube R. Nekker at 6:29 PM on June 16, 2011


Great post, mistaken deletion.

A regrettable deletion, from my point of view. But I've gained a new appreciation for what the mods are up against on a day-to-day basis. And I can see how a post, though not deletion-worthy in its own right, can still be more trouble than it's worth from a moderating resources standpoint. Especially if people who dislike the post's POV are determined to make it so.
posted by Trurl at 6:31 PM on June 16, 2011 [5 favorites]


To be fair, the top result I'm seeing is the aljazeehra article linked in the deleted FPP, the other articles are from Japan. But I had not seen that NPR, so thanks!

On the first page of results I'm seeing the WSJ, San Fransisco Chronicle, KHBS-KHOG Northwest Arkansas, NPR, ABC, Slate, Voice of America, the AP, The Patriot Ledger, Greenville News, The Day, Columbus Dispatch.

It's not getting as much coverage it should for how important a story it is, but the situation is far from a blackout.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 6:36 PM on June 16, 2011


Appreciate all the feedback :) Basically I am going to be quiet here and take it all in - digest it and hopefully come out with better structured posts in the future. So I am listening - just keeping quiet - FYI and thanks :)
posted by Poet_Lariat at 6:37 PM on June 16, 2011 [4 favorites]


I thought the post was fine, but I don't mod-vision, so I'm not very good at determining when a post is going to flameout. I'm sure they made the right decision.

I'm shocked. I really am. Nothing in NYT? Nothing in WP? Nobody is doing daily tracking or weekly follow-up? Is nobody picking up Reuters, at the very least? How can this be?

BUT THERE'S WEINERS TO COVER!
posted by thsmchnekllsfascists at 6:41 PM on June 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


What has really been suffering a media black out is the skirmish going on right now on the moon between the US and the Chinese over the alien settlement down in the Van der Waals crater.
posted by TwelveTwo at 6:42 PM on June 16, 2011 [4 favorites]


It's really not so much "nothing in nyt? nothing in wp?" as it is how high such news elevates onto front pages and how long it stays there.
posted by Ardiril at 6:44 PM on June 16, 2011


The post was fine. You did nothing wrong. Messengers get shot all the time.
posted by Brian B. at 6:46 PM on June 16, 2011 [5 favorites]


Thus the declining pigeon populations.
posted by TwelveTwo at 6:47 PM on June 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


Make it pro-nuclear.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 4:49 PM on June 16 [3 favorites +] [!]


Why do you do this?
posted by proj at 6:49 PM on June 16, 2011 [16 favorites]


I have no opinion on the actual post or making it better (I am of the find-something-neat-on-the-web-by-serendipity-then-post-it school of Metafilter Thought, mostly), but I do appreciate people coming to MeTa asking how to make better posts rather than complaining about their posts getting deleted, so good on you for that.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 7:31 PM on June 16, 2011 [9 favorites]


The meat of the post was that Al Jazeera story, which vacillates between good muckraking and inflammatory depictions of nuclear power (including one great subhead just called "Blame the US?").

While that link might have gotten some push-back on its own, the rest of the links being thin restatements of the same thing or non-representational padding (that "nearly unanimous" link didn't say anything about opinions being nearly unanimous, and the phrase "comparable to Chernobyl" is essentially empty sensationalism, as any meltdown is comparable to Chernobyl in some sense).

Basically, you started with a main link that's got a much more explicit bias than most American news sources, and a bias that is aimed in a direction that's immediately going to make a good number of people regarding it defensively and critically, and then have a bunch of essentially filler links that read like scaremongering and misrepresentation.

There wasn't a sense that those links were necessary to read through, and there's a very strong editorializing tone that comes through the post, which means that a lot of people aren't going to feel like reading those links and are just going to object to some of the pretty obvious problems.

I don't have a real problem with it being deleted, as I tend to think that newsfilter should be deleted a lot more than it is. However, I wouldn't have flagged it (or even really read it without this MeTa), since it's not really a big deal to me. But I really don't want you to think what a handful of folks are saying is right — the problem really wasn't that it was anti-nuclear, it was that you were coming across as didactic, less sharing than lecturing about something you thought was important.

This isn't the messenger getting shot or any such nonsense — complaints like that are more a regular anti-mod axe grind around here than anything else. It was a decent but kind of borderline post getting deleted. I think it'd be easy to clean it up, strip it down and repost.

There's actually a pretty great little article from the '90s on Gunderson that helps put his expertise a little more in perspective. He's an expert, yeah, but he's also someone who has been a pernicious enemy of nuclear power since getting burned for whistleblowing 20 years ago. He's right about a lot of things, but also phrases them in a scorched-earth way that makes people want to argue against him, and when he's used for news stories, the news organizations seem to take his rhetorical tone and amplify it.
posted by klangklangston at 7:37 PM on June 16, 2011 [7 favorites]


I gave Poet_Lariat my take on making a Yet Another Fukushima Post work better via mefimail so I won't reiterate the whole thing here, but in general, yeah: try and avoid is-it-a-quote-or-not paraphrasing in stringing links together, try to avoid sort of contentious or sensational phrasing in favor of just presenting the links in plain terms, and don't bury the lede. If the substantial thing prompting the post is news about the core breach situation, start with that and skip the surrounding narrative. If it were me putting that post together I'd have ditched the above-the-fold stuff entirely.

Part of the difficulty with an ongoing and contentious topic is there's a sort of moving crowd of topic-specific regulars who are likely to set up camp in each thread serially, and because of that it's very easy for what should in theory each time be a post about something noteworthy for the general readership and membership of the site to instead become just the latest place for one specific subset of the membership to have the same argument with each other again. The way even this thread has been in part a microcosm of that underscores the problem.

And there's probably no getting away from that even under the very best of conditions, and to a degree it's fine to be specifically passionately interested in a topic and want to follow it as it develops, but that sort of dynamic is part of what makes the bar go up a bit for posts over time when a topic keeps recurring, and hence part of why it's important to be extra careful with the framing of—and even the decision to make at all—the nth post on a topic, especially a contentious one.
posted by cortex (staff) at 7:55 PM on June 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


You seem to think that we might feel an issue is so important that it's worth revisiting over time. I'm not sure where you get this idea, because even a brief glance will reveal that we prefer to get passionately riled up about something the minute it happens, act as though we've been for / against it our entire lives, and propose to spend the rest of our waking lives fighting for / against it. Then, once it's not on the front page of Boing Boing anymore, we'd prefer you didn't bring it up again, and we will resent the intrusion on our mental space. We're just lashing out from guilt (I was so going to have a bake sale and give the money to Japanese orphans - thanks for the reminder, jerk), so don't take it personally.

tl;dr?

OMG 10000 PEOPLES DEAD NUCLEWAR POWER TO BLAME THIS CATASTROPHE WILL LIVE AT THE VERY FRONT OF MY MIND FOREVER JAPAN NEVER FORGET

(a few weeks)

Don't you have anything about that dwarf fellow? He's quite the rogue.
posted by obiwanwasabi at 8:07 PM on June 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


Don't you have anything about that dwarf fellow? He's quite the rogue.

NO SPOILERS GODDAMNIT!
posted by Trurl at 8:14 PM on June 16, 2011 [3 favorites]


You could have not made the before-the-fold part of the post completely misleading.

I read the front-page portion and thought it sounded worth very much worth reading -- a unanimous group of experts was saying that it's "worse than I think", and "comparable to Chernobyl". So I clicked the links.

But it turns out that the linked stories were nothing like that at all, but rather it was just some crazy anti-nuke person making a transparently obviously biased FPP. So you could have done something other than that.
posted by Perplexity at 8:33 PM on June 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


I appreciate all the advice - thank you too cortex very much. I think I could reframe and (probably successfully) re-post this with the suggestions given and by focusing far more on the recent containment breach news but I am not going to because my reading between the lines suggests that MeFi isn't necessarily the best place for such topics . But it's given me a lot to consider in many ways so I'd like to thank everyone for their input. I'm pretty sure that it will help me to better structure any future posts.


One response to someone above though ....
There's a news blackout re Fukushima in the US?

With regard to the above it would help to understand that a large portion of American news (NBC, MSNBC, many AM News radio stations,CBS, Viacom) is either owned by or have significant interests/ties to General Electric and Westinghouse corporations.

One can also keep in mind that it was General Electric (NBC, MSNBC ) that originally designed the Fukushima plant.

Life goes on ....
posted by Poet_Lariat at 8:38 PM on June 16, 2011


NBC, MSNBC

I see three stories within the past 24 hours on Fukushima at MSNBC.com.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 8:46 PM on June 16, 2011


I see three stories within the past 24 hours on Fukushima at MSNBC.com.

And yet none of them appear to be about the three newly discovered reactor breaches (i.e. meltdown) , the double the previously reported figures for environmental radiation leakage or how three workers were exposed to deadly radiation levels because of the breach. I had to go to PBS or Al-Jazeera to find that out.

It's the quality ... not the quantity of the reporting :)
posted by Poet_Lariat at 8:54 PM on June 16, 2011 [3 favorites]


I am not going to because my reading between the lines suggests that MeFi isn't necessarily the best place for such topics .

In the past, it's been suggested that one start their own blog to repeatedly post multiple links on the same topic in order to avoid calls of "axe-grinding" and such, so you might consider exploring this route.
posted by armage at 9:10 PM on June 16, 2011


I figured the media dropped the Fukushima story so they could refocus on Haiti's remarkable recovery.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 9:21 PM on June 16, 2011


Why do you do this?

Just admit it, proj. When you say something like this, you don't really care what the answer is.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 9:48 PM on June 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


Just admit it, proj. When you say something like this, you don't really care what the answer is.

Or maybe a whole bunch of us wonder why you take it on yourself to deliberately make inflammatory untrue statements.
posted by Rory Marinich at 9:52 PM on June 16, 2011 [9 favorites]


the equivalent of twenty reactor cores are lying in a molten pool

If this is true, I'd like to read more about it, but the citation provided is useless.
That's one thing you might improve :P
posted by Chuckles at 10:02 PM on June 16, 2011


Make it pro-nuclear.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 4:49 PM on June 16 [3 favorites +] [!]

Why do you do this?
posted by proj at 9:49 PM on June 16 [+] [!]


It was a mistake, he meant to say "Make it pro-apple."
posted by Chuckles at 10:02 PM on June 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


At least Nero played a violin.

possibly Interestingly, rather than the dastardly violin, it may likely have been a proto-bagpipe, or a simpler beautiful drone pipe with no air-sac... (not the best link on topic, don't have my bookmarks, waiting for a particularly awesome thing to be made available, but making post).

Did you know that the harbingers of drone pipes that come to mind today are actually some of the later adopters?
(not, y'know, to say that someone shouldn't begin grabbing a nearby fire extinguisher, and executing fire precautions, and meanwhile beginning to fund some rail lines, and higher education [reduction of point sources is smart, and feasible, easier to regulate/mitigate emissions at 100 points, and distribute, than say, futile regulation of 100 million cars] that isn't a nuclear argument, it is an electric motor and transmission line research investment one).
posted by infinite intimation at 10:10 PM on June 16, 2011


Or maybe a whole bunch of us wonder why you take it on yourself to deliberately make inflammatory untrue statements.

I honestly believe that the reason that the post was taken down was because it showed nuclear energy in a bad light, and as a direct result of that, it was flagged to death because it didn't meet the community's standards for "objectivity" about the subject. Objectivity defined more or less, for example, by you're-with-us-or-you're-against-us arguments like opposition to nuclear meaning support for coal, dog buggery, mass murder and so forth.

My comment was a bit tongue-in-cheek, and it is a little about my frustration about how anti-nuclear comments and posts are treated here as a general matter. That aside, I feel I know this place well enough to say that I do believe that, had the post contained pro-nuclear links, it would have stayed, and so that was my honest advice to Poet_Lariat.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:46 PM on June 16, 2011 [9 favorites]


In the past, it's been suggested that one start their own blog to repeatedly post multiple links on the same topic in order to avoid calls of "axe-grinding" and such, so you might consider exploring this route.

Unless there are previous deletions I've missed, today's victim raises the number of her posts on this subject to 2.

I'm surprised there's any axe left after such a relentless working over.
posted by Trurl at 10:59 PM on June 16, 2011


No, no. Nero played the skin flute.
posted by Horselover Phattie at 11:25 PM on June 16, 2011


little fucker
posted by clavdivs at 12:01 AM on June 17, 2011 [2 favorites]


How could I have made this a better MetaFilter post?

You did nothing wrong. Its the nature of the beast here.

The mods use the term "generally" a lot when explaining the rules. *Sometimes* I see their point. Because this is a rather dynamic blog, attitudes towards how things are said (although not attitudes in general) are always changing.

Your best bet is to "go with the flow" and frame it in a way that is consistent with the comments of the last post about the same subject.

Its taken me a long time to glean that...I've left some pretty nasty ones on the blue.

Good luck, don't take it personally, and don't think that it would not have survived at a different time or place.

Yeah...heisenberg priciple is in effect. You can either know the general attitude of how mefites feel about a subject...but you can't guarantee at what time thats occurring.
posted by hal_c_on at 3:24 AM on June 17, 2011 [3 favorites]


Or maybe a whole bunch of us wonder why you take it on yourself to deliberately make inflammatory untrue statements.
posted by Rory Marinich at 9:52 PM on June 16 [1 favorite +] [!]


Yes, this is what I meant. It's not that I don't care about your answers, BP, it's just that you are like a gasoline-soaked moth to flame.
posted by proj at 5:21 AM on June 17, 2011


RB: Is it a news blackout, or just a lack of news? Even 9/11 dropped off the front pages.

What? Not after just 5 months it didn't.
posted by Deathalicious at 5:45 AM on June 17, 2011


I wouldn't take posting advice from some of the commenters here. I think a few of them are one step away from hitting the close account button.
posted by smackfu at 5:57 AM on June 17, 2011


I thought the recent revelations that the reactor core had been breached were discussion worthy

I think this is part of the problem. It's about the links, not the discussion... well it's also about the discussion, but it's FIRST about the links. A "let's discuss this" approach to making posts rather than a "here is this cool thing I found" approach almost inevitably leads to tears.

The Al Jazeera article actually strikes me as pretty good (if not at all balanced or objective in the American media sense). I haven't been following the Fukushima discussions on Metafilter closely, so I can only really accept as given Cortex's statement that the bar for a new post at ths point has been raised. However, the number of links you've posted does make it "link-dumpy" and makes it seem like you care less about that article (cool thing I found), but more about the issue (let's discuss this). It might also have helped if you framed the post as being about the articles: "Al Jazeera journalists bring their muckraking perspective" and only mediately about the events, rather than directly about the events.
posted by Jahaza at 7:53 AM on June 17, 2011 [2 favorites]


Objectivity defined more or less, for example, by you're-with-us-or-you're-against-us arguments like opposition to nuclear meaning support for coal, dog buggery, mass murder and so forth.


I flagged the post because it was crap, even by my extraordinarily liberal standards :
In the US, physician Janette Sherman MD and epidemiologist Joseph Mangano published an essay shedding light on a 35 per cent spike in infant mortality in northwest cities that occurred after the Fukushima meltdown, and may well be the result of fallout from the stricken nuclear plant.
This is pretty seriously bullshit. You cannot have a reasonable discussion if your starting place is as stridently stupid as this. This is Jenny McCarthy on Vaccines level of bad.

The standard is "Best of the Web" not "they probably got the facts wrong but I agree with the conclusions anyway".
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 8:39 AM on June 17, 2011 [2 favorites]


That aside, I feel I know this place well enough to say that I do believe that, had the post contained pro-nuclear links, it would have stayed.

This is nuts.
posted by empath at 9:07 AM on June 17, 2011


Only the mods know. Listen to them. Generally, the guy who pulls the trigger knows why he shot the gun.
posted by Ironmouth at 9:18 AM on June 17, 2011


I wouldn't take posting advice from some of the commenters here. I think a few of them are one step away from hitting the close account button.

We are all one step away from hitting the close account button.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 9:24 AM on June 17, 2011 [2 favorites]


I don't step on my computer.
posted by Namlit at 9:26 AM on June 17, 2011


How could I Have made this a better post?

Maybe serve it with a side of bacon and some kale chips next time?
posted by babbyʼ); Drop table users; -- at 9:40 AM on June 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


Al Jazeera journalists bring their muckraking perspective
Why don't you go back to little green footballs?
posted by adamvasco at 10:04 AM on June 17, 2011


Heh, that place is liberal now, get with the times.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 10:09 AM on June 17, 2011


adamvasco, I think your personal attack on me (apparently because of what you perceive to be my ideological orientation) is entirely out of place. I attempted to offer helpful advice on posting to the OP and think I succeded. If you disagree with my advice, by all means say that and say how you disagree. But your sniping is just rude.

If you RTFT, you'll find that in referring to "muckraking" I'm alluding to klangklangston's description above:
The meat of the post was that Al Jazeera story, which vacillates between good muckraking and inflammatory depictions of nuclear power (including one great subhead just called "Blame the US?").
Furthermore, "muckraking" is sometimes a pejorative term and sometimes not. I don't think klang was using it pejoratively and I wasn't either as you can tell from context when you RTFC. You'll find that I wrote that,"The Al Jazeera article actually strikes me as pretty good".
posted by Jahaza at 10:20 AM on June 17, 2011


Yes, this is what I meant. It's not that I don't care about your answers, BP, it's just that you are like a gasoline-soaked moth to flame.

It's that you don't care about the (detailed and honest) answer I gave. The rest of your comment is just about your silly, childish grudge. Enjoy your favorites.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:26 AM on June 17, 2011


Actually, my initial question was in response to your (brief and incendiary) comment that the post could be saved by making it "pro-nuclear." You only offered your (detailed and honest) response later. I was actually asking honestly -- why do you intentionally drop inflammatory comments into posts and then later either claim persecution and/or unfair treatment or act willfully obtuse about interpretations of your comments which, to you, are always honest, fair, reasoned, and not at all inflammatory. Why do you think so many people have a problem with the way you conduct yourself on this site? Because everyone has a silly, childish grudge on you and you're the only sane, reasonable person on every topic that you hold near and dear? Or is it because, perhaps, the way you pursue discussion and debate on your favorite topics is often combative, dismissive, and frequently takes the least favorable interpretation of others' comments and motives possible?
posted by proj at 10:51 AM on June 17, 2011 [7 favorites]


Why do you think so many people have a problem with the way you conduct yourself on this site?

I don't think many people do. It's usually the same handful of people, in fact.

Or is it because, perhaps, the way you pursue discussion and debate on your favorite topics is often combative, dismissive, and frequently takes the least favorable interpretation of others' comments and motives possible?

What is bitterly ironic is that you just did the same thing with my initial comment and the reasonable explanation I provided for it.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 11:00 AM on June 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


Well whatever you think about bp's postings - he's quite right to voice disquiet about the extremely low key presence of the incident at fukushima here on mefi.
posted by sgt.serenity at 11:07 AM on June 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


I don't think many people do. It's usually the same handful of people, in fact.

Ha! Now that's funny!
posted by Fidel Cashflow at 11:13 AM on June 17, 2011


Well whatever you think about bp's postings - he's quite right to voice disquiet about the extremely low key presence of the incident at fukushima here on mefi.

Five in March, four in April, three in May. I think it's safe to say doing one now isn't ramming the subject down anyone's throat too much, but there have been a decent amount of posts on it.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 11:32 AM on June 17, 2011


How could I Have made this a better post?

Post it on your own blog.
posted by banshee at 11:35 AM on June 17, 2011


Five in March, four in April, three in May.

Clicking on your link reveals that 1 of those 12 posts is about the Brown's Ferry chart, another one is an XKCD comic about dose rates and another is about the initial earthquake and tsunami but the remaining 9 articles were indeed about the plant.

9 articles in 90 days regarding the worst industrial catastrophe of the 21st century to date doesn't seem excessive to me - especially when taken in light of the other 2000+ articles that were posted in the same time period. A simple search actually indicates that there were more posts tagged as "DoctorWho" during that same time period.
posted by Poet_Lariat at 11:59 AM on June 17, 2011 [6 favorites]


As I said, it's definitely not shoving the subject down anyone's throat but I don't think 10-12 posts in 90 days is a particularly low key amount even if some other topics are more overrepresented.

Unless someone didn't use the tag, we haven't had one yet this month so it's clearly an okay time to go for it.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 12:05 PM on June 17, 2011


I have probably thought about Fukushima less times over those 90 days than the number of times it was posted.
posted by smackfu at 12:07 PM on June 17, 2011


(But I did watch a Doctor Who episode every week.)
posted by smackfu at 12:07 PM on June 17, 2011


9 articles in 90 days regarding the worst industrial catastrophe of the 21st century to date doesn't seem excessive to me - especially when taken in light of the other 2000+ articles that were posted in the same time period. A simple search actually indicates that there were more posts tagged as "DoctorWho" during that same time period.

What you should have written was the same post, but with pro-Doctor Who links. That would really throw people's flagging instincts for a loop.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 12:11 PM on June 17, 2011


Poet_Lariat; it was a good post, however like I/P it seems that Nuclear power related threads are a trifle touchy around here. Thus maybe they get nuked straight out of the gate because there is a certain squad that does not want the discussion and so either derails, or threadshits from the gitgo as well as flagging the hell out of it.
However the main reason is because it was posted on a day when there was a full moon with an eclipse so therefore it had to be sacrificed.
posted by adamvasco at 1:28 PM on June 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


Poet_Lariat: 9 articles in 90 days regarding the worst industrial catastrophe of the 21st century to date doesn't seem excessive to me

To me, MetaFilter is a mix of things: on the surface, there are new posts that stay on the front page for a few days, and then there are the conversations that may carry on for weeks. For some (myself included), they're only involved for a day or two, and after that the post is good as closed to them. Then there are others who keep the discussion alive, sometimes until the the day that the thread is closed.

Because threads live on well after they leave the view of most MeFites, one post on a major topic can suffice for a month, unless there's some new element that is distinct enough from the prior post. This isn't a news site, but a community blog and discussion site.

One new article every ten days sounds like topic saturation on MetaFilter to me, and such sustained coverage can be problematic, for reasons that cortex mentioned ("topic-specific regulars who are likely to set up camp in each thread serially"). If the same people jump in early and say similar things, how is this good for general discussion?

Mods could ask such people to post less, but that's not really their role. And if it even comes to that, it's reasonable (in my eyes) to limit postings on such topics. See I/P - even with a major event, 9 posts in 90 days would seem like a LOT. The mods have a lot of ground to cover, and if their time is taken up by one noisy thread, the rest of the site could suffer for it.
posted by filthy light thief at 1:30 PM on June 17, 2011 [2 favorites]


Doctor Who is the longest-running science fiction television show in the world, so there's a lot of elements to of the Who-niverse that could be covered in a post. Yes, there is such a thing as too much Doctor, but as another point in favor of Who, the threads don't become aggressive timesinks for the mods.
posted by filthy light thief at 1:36 PM on June 17, 2011


It might have been better to sidebar it, I think.
posted by sgt.serenity at 2:15 PM on June 17, 2011


the worst industrial catastrophe of the 21st century to date

Doctor Who is the longest-running science fiction television show in the world

I don't know what to say about this.
posted by Trurl at 2:32 PM on June 17, 2011


"Jelly baby? The green ones are radioactive!"
posted by obiwanwasabi at 11:48 PM on June 17, 2011


With regard to the above it would help to understand that a large portion of American news (NBC, MSNBC, many AM News radio stations,CBS, Viacom) is either owned by or have significant interests/ties to General Electric and Westinghouse corporations. One can also keep in mind that it was General Electric (NBC, MSNBC ) that originally designed the Fukushima plant.

And yet there has been a report about Fukushima on NBC at least once a week for over the last month alone. It took me a whole 60 seconds to test the theory that NBC was keeping the issue off the air. Did you bother to check this before insinuating that corporate considerations trumped editorial ones? If not, why not? And why should I take such insinuations seriously when they are trivially easy to disprove?
posted by anigbrowl at 11:07 PM on June 18, 2011 [2 favorites]


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