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Who sent up the bat signal? August 10, 2011 9:44 AM   Subscribe

Randall Monroe, of xkcd fame, time travels four and a half years into the past to sign up for a MetaFilter account just so he can answer a recent question in Ask.
posted by phunniemee to MetaFilter-Related at 9:44 AM (79 comments total) 12 users marked this as a favorite

Now we can say "MeFi's Own!" every time we link to "someone is wrong on the internet" or "you're a kitty!"
posted by louche mustachio at 9:50 AM on August 10, 2011 [17 favorites]


Hey that's neat. I know that he and mathowie were, I think, on a panel together at ROFLcon and I wonder if that's when he signed up.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 9:51 AM on August 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


Yeah, but is he a certified genius?
posted by Admiral Haddock at 9:51 AM on August 10, 2011 [5 favorites]


ahem, 'scuse me

You're a kitty!
Wrong on the Internet!

Classics, both.
posted by louche mustachio at 9:52 AM on August 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


That has to be a record for a sleeper celebrity on MeFi.
posted by grouse at 9:57 AM on August 10, 2011 [7 favorites]


Infodump gurus: what is the longest time period from user signup to first activity?
posted by grouse at 9:57 AM on August 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


Father... father, the sleeper has awakened!
posted by Splunge at 9:58 AM on August 10, 2011 [17 favorites]


That has to be a record for a sleeper celebrity on MeFi.
posted by grouse at 9:57 AM on August 10 [+] [!]


That has to be a record for a sleeper lurker celebrity on MeFi.
posted by The Deej at 10:01 AM on August 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


Yeah I figure I'll wait 8-10 yrs. before I drop the news that I'm actually Keith Richards.
posted by mannequito at 10:04 AM on August 10, 2011 [9 favorites]


I like the way there's not a single answer after his ;p
posted by infini at 10:04 AM on August 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


oops
posted by mannequito at 10:04 AM on August 10, 2011 [4 favorites]


Father... father, the sleeper has awakened!

Look, you gotta be kidding. I wanna go back to sleep! If I don't get at least 600 years, I'm grouchy all day.
posted by shakespeherian at 10:04 AM on August 10, 2011 [4 favorites]


I love that this was an AskMe, and answered, so fast. A coworker and I were just going over it this morning. We used trits rather than bits for things like O vs o vs 0. We came up with more bits than xkcd for the "strong" password but we didn't attempt to estimate the "practical entropy".
posted by DU at 10:07 AM on August 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm just surprised that he can remember his password after all this time.
posted by Johnny Assay at 10:15 AM on August 10, 2011 [53 favorites]


I'm pretty sure his password was "password"

JUST KIDDING RANDALL DON'T HURT ME!

srsly, tho? luv xkcd rly alot
posted by taz at 10:19 AM on August 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


I always liked grownups
posted by Ad hominem at 10:20 AM on August 10, 2011 [4 favorites]


RANDALL MUNROE JUST ANSWERED MY QUESTION AND IT IS A MILLION FLAVORS OF AWESOME!!!
posted by Ahab at 10:22 AM on August 10, 2011 [28 favorites]


*seethes at Ahab for rubbing it in*
posted by infini at 10:26 AM on August 10, 2011 [4 favorites]


> RANDALL MUNROE JUST ANSWERED MY QUESTION AND IT IS A MILLION FLAVORS OF AWESOME!!!

What, you're not even going to give him the check mark for it?
posted by Horselover Phattie at 10:31 AM on August 10, 2011 [5 favorites]


What, you're not even going to give him the check mark for it?

When I stop rolling on the floor chortling in glee.

But also, so many of the other answers were just plain brilliant (and led to me following a tonne of links and learning a tonne of stuff - seriously, the first new maths I've learnt in a decade or so) that I think everyone's getting one. And favorites too.
posted by Ahab at 10:40 AM on August 10, 2011


posted by Ahab at 12:40 PM

The automatic spell checker that my American brain reads everything through just sputtered and died.
posted by phunniemee at 10:43 AM on August 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


And after all that, he didn't even get best answer.
posted by CunningLinguist at 10:46 AM on August 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


Ahab: " But also, so many of the other answers were just plain brilliant (and led to me following a tonne of links and learning a tonne of stuff - seriously, the first new maths I've learnt in a decade or so) that I think everyone's getting one. And favorites too."

YOU GET A FAVORITE! YOU GET A FAVORITE! AND YOU! AND YOU GET A BEST ANSWER! AND YOU GET A BEST ANSWER! EVERYBODY GETS BEST ANSWERS!!!

*Camera pans to show a wildly cheering, crying, hugging, grateful audience*
posted by zarq at 10:46 AM on August 10, 2011 [20 favorites]


Or a check mark. (slinks away)
posted by CunningLinguist at 10:47 AM on August 10, 2011 [3 favorites]


YOU GET A FAVORITE! YOU GET A FAVORITE! AND YOU! AND YOU GET A BEST ANSWER! AND YOU GET A BEST ANSWER! EVERYBODY GETS BEST ANSWERS!!!

Yes. The thread is almost impossible to read because of all the "Best" answers. It would obscure a password even better than any of the approaches previously mentioned.
posted by yerfatma at 10:53 AM on August 10, 2011 [3 favorites]


You get a favorite too, Zarq!
posted by Ahab at 10:55 AM on August 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


It does sort of muck up the utility of finding the actual best answer.
posted by zarq at 10:55 AM on August 10, 2011 [4 favorites]


I had a prof that did that once. Everybody gets an A! Boy was I relieved. Worked so hard to get that A and still didn't deserve it.
posted by Barry B. Palindromer at 10:59 AM on August 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


Out of curiosity Ahab, what ever happened with your cookbook? If you don't mind my asking?
posted by zarq at 10:59 AM on August 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm pretty impressed at how much back story there is to that strip.
posted by OmieWise at 10:59 AM on August 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


> It does sort of muck up the utility of finding the actual best answer.

I was going to point that out too, but I totally understand Ahab's rationale now.
posted by stp123 at 11:00 AM on August 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


Also, thanks. :)
posted by zarq at 11:01 AM on August 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


Out of curiosity Ahab, what ever happened with your cookbook? If you don't mind my asking?

Didn't happen for last Christmas, still working on it for this one. I think I've probably translated all the recipes I'll need for it (though a nagging voice keeps suggesting I haven't enough soups), but I'm still struggling with the layout.
posted by Ahab at 11:03 AM on August 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


Ah, thanks! Good luck with it.
posted by zarq at 11:05 AM on August 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


Thanks zarq. And goodnight all. :)
posted by Ahab at 11:07 AM on August 10, 2011


you haven't enough soups, Ahab. you haven't. enough. soups.
posted by Think_Long at 11:07 AM on August 10, 2011 [3 favorites]


I'm secretly hoping the cookbook includes a 'hot and sour' soup recipe named Perdition's Flames.
posted by zarq at 11:14 AM on August 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


My contact list is a little hilarious right now:

Contact Activity:
zarq had a best answer in Oh Randall, you do confound me... 34 minutes ago
griphus had a best answer in How do you deal with... an hour ago
desjardins had a best answer in Oh Randall, you do confound me... 2 hours ago
muddgirl had a best answer in Oh Randall, you do confound me... 2 hours ago
muddgirl had a best answer in Oh Randall, you do confound me... 2 hours ago
muddgirl had a best answer in Oh Randall, you do confound me... 3 hours ago
muddgirl had a best answer in Oh Randall, you do confound me... 3 hours ago
OmieWise had a best answer in Oh Randall, you do confound me so. 5 ¼ hours ago
muddgirl had a best answer in Oh Randall, you do confound me so. 5 ¾ hours ago
Foci for Analysis had a best answer in Oh Randall, you do confound me so. 7 hours ago
Ahab had a question with 27 favorites in Ask Metafilter. 9 hours ago
Ahab posted Oh Randall, you do confound me so. to Ask Metafilter. 10 hours ago

posted by zarq at 11:21 AM on August 10, 2011 [3 favorites]


griphus had a best answer in How do you deal with... an hour ago

95% of the time I can't even recall it.
posted by griphus at 12:00 PM on August 10, 2011 [3 favorites]


what is the longest time period from user signup to first activity?

Metafilter's got some top quality lurkers:
feoh                 4024.117 days
mvuijlst             3732.937 days
prozak               3694.924 days
vasi                 3538.374 days
harold               3531.862 days
DaveP                3478.339 days
thebeard             3467.228 days
emmtee               3400.860 days
LoudMusic            3383.155 days
baniak               3373.599 days
PS, cortex, there's something wonky with the usernames.txt file in the Infodump. The first 200 lines or so all have the same bogus value for the joindate field (2000-01-27 20:16:57.367).
posted by Rhomboid at 12:07 PM on August 10, 2011 [6 favorites]


Rhomboid: "The first 200 lines or so all have the same bogus value for the joindate field (2000-01-27 20:16:57.367)."

That information probably wasn't captured for the first 200 users.
posted by Bonzai at 12:13 PM on August 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


After the creators of User Friendly & Dilbert came in with their asshattery, it's a gigantic relief for Randall to come in & be excellent.

Thanks, Randall!
posted by Pronoiac at 12:15 PM on August 10, 2011 [4 favorites]


After the [creator] of User Friendly...

And here I thought that comic was wholly indefensible. Link please?
posted by griphus at 12:31 PM on August 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


griphus: Wha Wha Whibble
posted by zarq at 12:35 PM on August 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


Metafilter's got some top quality lurkers:

Holy Smokes! 11 years of lurking is pretty amazing.

Feoh lurked 11 years, then in a flurry over a period of two days, made 1 comment and favorited 5 comments.
posted by Barry B. Palindromer at 12:40 PM on August 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


That information probably wasn't captured for the first 200 users.

That could be, but I seem to recall that it used to be correct; maybe I'm just making that up though. (It resulted in a little head scratching when the first draft of my script started spitting out negative lurk times for mathowie.)
posted by Rhomboid at 12:46 PM on August 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


One of these days i'lll tell you people who I really am.
posted by The Whelk at 2:02 PM on August 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


One of these days i'lll tell you people who I really am.

Batman?
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 2:09 PM on August 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


The Whelk: "One of these days i'lll tell you people who I really am."

Miguel Cardoso!
posted by zarq at 2:09 PM on August 10, 2011 [4 favorites]


One of these days i'lll tell you people who I really am.

My sockpuppet?
posted by shakespeherian at 2:14 PM on August 10, 2011 [3 favorites]


Neat, this almost makes up for that time when he stole malamanteau from me.

Almost.
posted by ludwig_van at 2:22 PM on August 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


The Whelk: "One of these days i'lll tell you people who I really am."
The coffee cup tumbles from SCHMOD's hand. It hits the floor with
the SMASH of cheap porcelain. Coffee splatters everywhere.
posted by schmod at 2:41 PM on August 10, 2011 [5 favorites]


One of these days i'lll tell you people who I really am.

My sockpuppet?


Once The Whelk dreamt he was shakespeherian, flitting and fluttering and sockpuppeting around, happy with himself and doing as he pleased. He didn't know he was The Whelk. Suddenly he woke up and there he was, solid and unmistakably Whelk-like. But he didn't know if he was The Whelk who had dreamt he was shakespeherian, or shakespeherian dreaming he was The Whelk. Between The Whelk and shakespeherian there must be some distinction! This is called the Transformation of Things.
posted by troll at 2:47 PM on August 10, 2011 [7 favorites]


Have there being any cases of people who became famous long after joining Metafilter? I.e., someone who was just an average schmoe and somewhat regular poster of no note... who later went on to be a film/TV celebrity, pro athlete, political figure, etc? That would seem to be the truest case of "Metafilter's own".
posted by hincandenza at 2:49 PM on August 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


Has there ever been a case of user A insisting that he/she was the sockpuppet of user B, followed by user B denying it and a bizarre argument ensuing?
posted by Salvor Hardin at 2:51 PM on August 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


I can think of at least one.
posted by davejay at 2:51 PM on August 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


whether I am answering hincandenza or salvor hardin I will not say
posted by davejay at 2:52 PM on August 10, 2011 [3 favorites]


John Hodgman wasn't nobody when he joined in 2001 but it's fair to say that his fame has ballooned exponentially. That said, he's only been minimally active through the years.
posted by Kattullus at 3:41 PM on August 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


mathowie was a regular guy when he joined MetaFilter and eventually went on to star on the cover of a magazine as the blogfather, be invited to speak on his success and a whole bunch of other stuff that we all know about. He has over a 130,000 friends, followers and people who send him money.
posted by infini at 4:08 PM on August 10, 2011 [7 favorites]


I'm actually asleep, that was a sleep typo
posted by infini at 4:08 PM on August 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


How do I mark it as the worst answer?
posted by cjorgensen at 4:33 PM on August 10, 2011 [1 favorite]



The Whelk: "One of these days i'lll tell you people who I really am."

The coffee cup tumbles from SCHMOD's hand. It hits the floor with
the SMASH of cheap porcelain. Coffee splatters everywhere.


posted by schmod at 2:41 PM on August 10


Alright, that's it, get .kobayashi. in here!
posted by mannequito at 5:08 PM on August 10, 2011 [3 favorites]


PS, cortex, there's something wonky with the usernames.txt file in the Infodump. The first 200 lines or so all have the same bogus value for the joindate field (2000-01-27 20:16:57.367).
It took me almost a year before I learned getdate() should have been in the database field for date_joined.
posted by unliteral at 5:14 PM on August 10, 2011 [3 favorites]


Whoever The Whelk REALLY is, he should give his stand-in for personal appearances a bigger budget for wardrobe. He was dancing without a shirt the other day!
posted by oneswellfoop at 5:46 PM on August 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


Also, BEST XKCD EVER. Sudo flag it and move on.
posted by oneswellfoop at 5:47 PM on August 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


PS, cortex, there's something wonky with the usernames.txt file in the Infodump. The first 200 lines or so all have the same bogus value for the joindate field (2000-01-27 20:16:57.367).

What unilateral cited. The Infodump data is correct in the sense that it accurately reflects the contents of the database, but Matt wasn't storing that data correctly originally, so the details for those first users are lost to time.

I suppose I could try to make estimates based on first recorded activity for successive accounts. It wouldn't be perfect but it would be better than nothing. Maybe I'll toss that on the TODO list. Either way, I should add a note to the wiki page for the Infodump, I thought I had already mentioned it there but it looks like not so much.
posted by cortex (staff) at 6:20 PM on August 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


One of these days i'lll tell you people who I really am.

Gene Parmesan!
posted by arcticseal at 7:02 PM on August 10, 2011 [9 favorites]


Rhomboid - is that list for MeFi only or ALL the sites? Because I know baniak has posted on the music site.

and he just brought me frozen yogurt! yum
posted by bibliogrrl at 7:35 PM on August 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


...and to the great delight of nerds of another sort, OMG OMG OMG EUNNY JANG IS ON METAFILTER!!! answerin' our asks!
posted by palegirl at 8:01 PM on August 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


MeFi's Own.

Now where'd you're a kitty! get off to?
posted by someone is wrong on the internet at 9:22 PM on August 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


I guess I don't understand the question. Yes, it's all sites, at least all sites where data is available (mefi, askme, meta, music), but I only analyzed comments, not posts. But that part's irrelevant here because he has both comment and post activity starting in May 2011 after joining in 2002, which is why he made the top ten lurk time list. This isn't a list of people who've never posted.
posted by Rhomboid at 11:47 PM on August 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


One of these days i'lll tell you people who I really am.

Batman?


Nope.
posted by solotoro at 8:29 AM on August 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


XKCD password generator.
posted by Ad hominem at 9:56 AM on August 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


Speaking of xkcd and the next post up (on people with profound things to say about human relations) in MeTa, this xkcd is one of the most profound statements on adulthood I ever saw. I think about it all the time when I'm not sure how to be a grown-up properly.

/fangirl
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 10:11 AM on August 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


gah! I suppose that means i'll have to spouse this unearthed mefite or some such mushy thing
posted by infini at 12:23 PM on August 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


cortex: I suppose I could try to make estimates based on first recorded activity for successive accounts. It wouldn't be perfect but it would be better than nothing. Maybe I'll toss that on the TODO list. Either way, I should add a note to the wiki page for the Infodump, I thought I had already mentioned it there but it looks like not so much.

You're confusing this with the "contact added" notes, I think - I know I got the two confused, and they do seem similar.
posted by Pronoiac at 1:14 PM on August 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


troll: "One of these days i'lll tell you people who I really am.

My sockpuppet?


Once The Whelk dreamt he was shakespeherian, flitting and fluttering and sockpuppeting around, happy with himself and doing as he pleased. He didn't know he was The Whelk. Suddenly he woke up and there he was, solid and unmistakably Whelk-like. But he didn't know if he was The Whelk who had dreamt he was shakespeherian, or shakespeherian dreaming he was The Whelk. Between The Whelk and shakespeherian there must be some distinction! This is called the Transformation of Things.
"

Please don't force The Whelk to sing the song that ends the world. There will be blood and fire. And while I don't mind blood and fire, it messes with the rest of the damn multiverse.

MMMkay?
posted by Splunge at 9:18 PM on August 12, 2011 [1 favorite]




13 When it begins, you will hear the sound of children screaming - as though from a great distance. 14 A smoking orb of nothing will grow above your bed, and from it will emerge a thousand starving crows. 15 As I slip through the widening maw in my new form, you will catch only a glimpse of my radiance before you are incinerated. 16 Then, as tears of bubbling pitch stream down my face, my dark work will begin. 17 I will open one of my six mouths, and I will sing the song that ends the Earth. - Whelkelations 9:13-17
posted by troll at 10:55 PM on August 12, 2011 [4 favorites]


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