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January 27, 2012 9:35 AM   Subscribe

Folks, you know where MeTa is. Leave the needling of other users out of this thread, please? - Well, this appears to be about me, judging by some of the disappeared comments, but would you mind explaining what aspect of the conversation is verboten?
posted by Artw to Etiquette/Policy at 9:35 AM (573 comments total)

Do you expect me to go searching through Metafilter to find out what you're talking about or could you provide a link?

If you're trying to have a conversation with the mods, who presumably know what this is about, then you could just use the contact form and leave the rest of us out of this.
posted by Dasein at 9:37 AM on January 27, 2012 [22 favorites]


The thread in question.
posted by Artw at 9:37 AM on January 27, 2012


Maybe either provide a link to the post in question, or take it to the contact form?
posted by muddgirl at 9:37 AM on January 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


Oops.
posted by muddgirl at 9:37 AM on January 27, 2012


Hugs are optional, but recommended.
posted by killdevil at 9:37 AM on January 27, 2012


What did the mods say when you emailed them?
posted by Admiral Haddock at 9:38 AM on January 27, 2012 [18 favorites]


Why don't you just ask Jessamyn?
posted by amro at 9:41 AM on January 27, 2012


Is this something I would need a Contact Form to understand?
posted by slogger at 9:42 AM on January 27, 2012 [7 favorites]


This topic has broad enough interest to elevate it from memail.
posted by Ardiril at 9:42 AM on January 27, 2012


Wait, now I'm just confused. You didn't say anything controversial in that thread. If I had to guess, I would say this is another fight between delmoi and people who don't like Google as much as him (though I could be wrong). Why did you start this thread?
posted by Dasein at 9:42 AM on January 27, 2012


That thread was catty as fuck; I enjoyed it thoroughly.
posted by the young rope-rider at 9:45 AM on January 27, 2012 [5 favorites]


I joked in thread that Apple fans sometimes exhibit a bit of flocking behavior when it comes to choosing targets of ire (Adobe, now , which may be something you agree with or disagree with. That;s okay. if you think it's actually SHOCKING to the point where it needed removing from the thread then I'm going to disagree entirely, if you act on that and are a mod I'm going to question whether cooling conversations in this way is going to have any desirable effect. And yeah, it was part of a conversation between myself and several others and the thread an not aimed at anyone in particular.
posted by Artw at 9:48 AM on January 27, 2012


Oh, I see. The deletion was of your comments, not of comments about you. Okay. This still seems like something that could be better-handled through the contact form, at least initially.
posted by Dasein at 9:51 AM on January 27, 2012


There were a few comments removed, a couple of which were yours and a couple more of which were responses to you in that exchange, and a couple others that didn't have anything to do with it.

There's some long-running and kind of predictable users-A-and-B-dislike-each-other dynamics in these tech threads that have played out so many times that we're pretty much exhausted by trying to find a way to deal gently with the latest recurrence. I appreciate if your aim was for something more like Generic Criticism Of Apple Fans, but after so many times around the block on this stuff with actual specific users it gets awfully hard to distinguish that.

This is not to single you out on that subject, because the problem comes down to a whole small group of folks who seem to frequently and reliably disagree with each other at every opportunity in these threads. But you've been one of them, and this looked like more of the same and did indeed kick off a little derail.
posted by cortex (staff) at 9:51 AM on January 27, 2012


You left an odd allcaps comment that was interpreted by at least a few people as being a dig at the general thread and nothing specific about the thread itself. Since you and the person who started the thread have a long and tiresome history of letting squabbles between the two of you spill over to unrelated threads and this was becoming its own derail, I axed your comment and a few after it. Feel free to repost if you weren't just making a general dig against the OP or his choice of topic.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 9:52 AM on January 27, 2012


It's been made clear to me in the past that general digs, or anything that could be perceived as that, against the the OP in question will be deleted by yourself. This, however, was something that was the subject of prior in thread discussion, which has been left standing can be that much of a derail, so if this is about your acting in defense of the OP in particular i am a little annoyed by that - especially as this sort of thing does not seem to be a courtesy you extend to other peoples threads.
posted by Artw at 10:02 AM on January 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


so if this is about your acting in defense of the OP in particular

No, it's not. See again the "this is not just a you thing" comment above.
posted by cortex (staff) at 10:14 AM on January 27, 2012


I meant to email the mods and try and put the case that posts about {company} made by someone who is enamoured of {company} is pretty much equivalent to a self post. Posts that criticise known competitors of {company} are the same.

Even if BP makes these posts in good faith (a possibility that's 50/50 in my mind), it seems obvious that he's as blind to his own biases as someone who wants to post their own website because to them it just looks AWESOME.

I'm not asking that people be stopped from commenting. (In case that's not clear). I'm asking that they be asked to stop posting (even indirectly) about a corporation if they're deemed by the Mods to be too close to that corporation.

There's a conversation to be had on metatalk about this thread. The deletion of jokes made by people because they are tired of certain users shilling for a certain company isn't the conversation we should be happening.

I'm also actually quite shocked that Artw's hive comment got axed. I suspect BP's rather strong response to it was the cause of the cleanup. That's understandable from a Mod POV, but it's not something I'm 100% comfortable with.

Oh - And there's a comment in there from me that's definitely and unambiguously a dig at the OP. In contrast to Artw's hive comment. In the interest of fairness, you should probably dig it out and delete it.
posted by seanyboy at 10:16 AM on January 27, 2012 [22 favorites]


Sidenote. I very specifically am talking about "posts about companies". I don't think this should be applied as a standard to political affiliations and moral positions (abortion, gender, Obama, feminism).
posted by seanyboy at 10:19 AM on January 27, 2012


Guys, if we do all this through the contact form, there'll be all this drama that's happening and no one is telling me about. Just like high school, and I'll be damned if I'm going to another 4 years without finding out that Molly got caught giving blowjobs in the bed of a pickup truck in the school parking lot.

NEVER AGAIN.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 10:20 AM on January 27, 2012 [27 favorites]


Yeah, I've clashed with Blazecock Pileon, the OP in this case, before, and you've made it clear i should . It's been made clear that it extends to not replying to comments that are stupid and insulting to the point of being bizarre, OK, I can see where you're going there, it does feel like he's your special boy that your sticking up for, but hey, maybe he's got some kind of history i don't know about that explains erratic behavior.

The whole BUZZ thing? Nothing to do with him bar him starting that post,and the conversation had moved way on since then.

You want to declare his posts sacrosanct zones that I don't go into, I'll be a little annoyed but I'll abide by it, but frankly I'm going to want the same, otherwise there's this guy on the site who is allowed to make comments that are far more clearly digs and I've got my hands tied behind my back when dealing with him.
posted by Artw at 10:22 AM on January 27, 2012 [6 favorites]


this should [also] be applied as a standard to political affiliations and moral positions (abortion, gender, Obama, feminism)

I agree! Selective quotation FTW!
posted by Crabby Appleton at 10:23 AM on January 27, 2012


I agree with seanyboy. Blazecock making FPPs about Google at this point should be pretty widely recognized for the axe-grinding it is and deleted.
posted by Edogy at 10:25 AM on January 27, 2012 [23 favorites]


I just went to Tim Horton's and had a red velvet brownie. But it wasn't brown, it was red, so I guess it was a reddie.
posted by jonmc at 10:32 AM on January 27, 2012 [4 favorites]


I refrain from making posts about Microsoft, I know they would all just be "look at how wrong you are about Microsoft, plus you are dumb"
posted by Ad hominem at 10:33 AM on January 27, 2012


Who knew it was possible to get axes so goddamn thin?
posted by ook at 10:34 AM on January 27, 2012 [14 favorites]


I refrain from making posts about farting precisely because I'm such a huge fan of farting and I don't want things to get contentious.
posted by to sir with millipedes at 10:35 AM on January 27, 2012 [9 favorites]


I meant to email the mods and try and put the case that posts about {company} made by someone who is enamoured of {company} is pretty much equivalent to a self post.

It would be one thing if the posts were "Hey, here's how to do this awesome thing with a Mac" or something along those lines, but yeah, the partisan mudslinging is definitely worth canning. You are not your favorite football team fucking khakis choice in consumer electronics devices. Shit, I love Macs and I have an absurd number of them kicking around my apartment, but I'm not on the Apple payroll. One thing I wonder though, does BP own AAPL stock? Because that would kinda push it into self post territory...
posted by mullingitover at 10:35 AM on January 27, 2012 [3 favorites]


Blazecock making FPPs about Google at this point should be pretty widely recognized for the axe-grinding it is and deleted.

That seems overly restrictive, considering the actual post that BP did make was not especially poorly framed. I don't think BP occasionally posting on Google or MS-related topics harms the community.
posted by Jpfed at 10:36 AM on January 27, 2012 [2 favorites]


Here's what I don't understand: If you're so sick of {posts by poster x} about {subject poster x likes} that you think they shouldn't even be allowed to exist... how hard is it really to just skip them?
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 10:37 AM on January 27, 2012 [18 favorites]


I like google, dislike apple, and think B.P. can be a tool.

You guys are going way overboard though. You can just skip over his posts if you don't like them and the comments he posts in tech corp threads that you will invariably recognize before you get to his userid at the bottom of the comment you can just skip those too.

When he isn't posting or commenting on tech corps the guy is a perfectly good user.
posted by bukvich at 10:38 AM on January 27, 2012


I have no particularly problem with Blaze's FPP in this case, because I think it's an interesting topic (even though I'm not convinced he extends the same courtesy to certain other fruit-related FPP's).

That said, if a user continually gets in fights with other users over their particular hot button issue -- whether it's democrat/republican arguments, fat-shaming, I/P, feminism, or a god damn fucking consumer electronics company of all things -- then I think mods need to seriously consider preventing them from creating contentious new threads on that particular topic or giving them temporary but increasing bans from participating in those kinds of threads until they can prove that they can participate without instantly deteriorating into partisan bickering.
posted by modernnomad at 10:38 AM on January 27, 2012 [5 favorites]


OK, I can see where you're going there, it does feel like he's your special boy that your sticking up for

Jesus man I know that your schtick here is being a fighty asshole but seriously, let's Occam's Razor this shit. Here are two possibilities:

1) The mods are trying to shortcut a derail so predictable that at this point any of us could write a script that runs an Artw vs BP battle and just run it ourselves rather than reading the ensuing crap; or

2) The mods are continually engaged in some secret illuminati shit to protect BP.

Now let's examine the evidence, as though it really needs examining.

Anyhow, we've done this a bunch of times before. Why do you think that this meta is going to be any different than these? Can't we just, you know, reread the 350 other metas about your fight with BP instead of having this one? Again?
posted by Frobenius Twist at 10:39 AM on January 27, 2012 [15 favorites]


Guys, I've already covered this ground, but the best way to respond to Blazecock about Google issues to say this:

"Like Barack Obama, this non-Apple product exceeds my already high expectations"
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 10:41 AM on January 27, 2012 [4 favorites]


And now that I see this is at least the THIRD MeTa related to Blaze/Artw dispute about apple or google, I'd suggest that both of them ought to prevented from commenting in threads tagged with either 'apple' or 'google' until they can act like grownups instead of children.
posted by modernnomad at 10:44 AM on January 27, 2012 [7 favorites]


If you're so sick of {posts by poster x} about {subject poster x likes} that you think they shouldn't even be allowed to exist... how hard is it really to just skip them?

It's only a problem in my opinion if these kinds of fanboy squabbles ruin threads that are about something else. Like when a certain user regularly derails threads by posting a comment with a religious viewpoint that everyone else on MetaFilter feels like they have to respond to, or when a user always drops an "Obama sucks" comment into every thread that is even tangentially related to the US government. If the thread is actually about religion or politics or whatever I don't see that as a problem, which is why I don't think BP's post was bad. But when these sorts of tired debates take over a thread about a mostly unrelated topic, which happens a decent amount of the time, it's very annoying.
posted by burnmp3s at 10:45 AM on January 27, 2012


If we're going to talk about Blazecock Pileon in this thread can someone let him know we're doing so? It seems like the only courteous thing to do.
posted by shakespeherian at 10:47 AM on January 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


that everyone else on MetaFilter feels like they have to respond to,

I don't think this particular problem is with the one user, but with the rest of the people who 'feel they have to respond.'

That never ends well.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 10:47 AM on January 27, 2012


Agreed, burnmp3s, but that's just standard garden variety threadshitting. Also, what the man of twists and turns said.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 10:49 AM on January 27, 2012


As I like you both, including your shared ability to provide informative posts and comments, and to zing well, and I think you both live in the Seattle area, may I suggest you go get a nice microbrew together somewhere? That would make life easier for all of us including our hard working mods.

If I am wrong and you live poles apart, perhaps you could both do the beer thing via Skype.
posted by bearwife at 10:49 AM on January 27, 2012


it does feel like he's your special boy that your sticking up for

I don't really give a fuck at this point if it feels like that to any given user regarding any given other user. It's flat out not the case, it's something we often as not get accused of simultaneously from both sides of disputes about the other side, and it's facile and insulting.

There's something like ten thousand people here on a regular basis. Almost none of them get into interpersonal spats with each other, even fewer of them into recurring ones. Of the small handful that do, it's a tiring goddam thing to deal with and our willingness to try and make sure the parties involved are getting the most equitable and generous possible treatment we can manage takes a dive after a while, because we'd rather spend our energy on causes that seem less lost and on keeping this place in as good of shape for the other 9900 people as we can.

I am sorry if you feel hard done by on this deletion. If you have been misunderstood, you have been misunderstood and you have my sympathy. But we are not going after you especially, and we are sure as shit not giving BP special treatment. Believe me, I would like it very much if the issue of a few people being obnoxious in and around tech threads were to actually just resolve itself so thoroughly that we weren't stuck in the position of having to view with a jaundiced and preventative eye stuff that looks ambiguously like the same people elbowing each other for the nth fucking time. It's not personal except in the sense that it's exhausting seeing this stuff recur with the same people again and again.
posted by cortex (staff) at 10:49 AM on January 27, 2012 [58 favorites]


BP posting threads about Google is like a conservative posting threads about Obama.
posted by smackfu at 10:51 AM on January 27, 2012 [2 favorites]


Pony request:

Make it so that Artw and Blazecock Pileon can't see each other's posts.
posted by empath at 10:52 AM on January 27, 2012 [24 favorites]


Are we there, yet? Are we there, yet? Are we there, yet? bearwife's Skype touched me. Quit touching me!
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 10:52 AM on January 27, 2012 [2 favorites]


Make it so that Artw and Blazecock Pileon can't see each other's posts.

Wouldn't object in the slightest.

FWIW I have no problem with BP posting or commenting in Apple or Google related threads and don't think that preventing him from doing so is workable or desirable - I just wanted to know what was going on with the moderation and now i know I would like to request you guys, in particular Jessamyn, be a little more clear and even handed in future.
posted by Artw at 10:53 AM on January 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


BP posting threads about Google is like a conservative posting threads about Obama.

Let's remember this the next time someone with liberal leanings wants to post something about a Republican.
posted by Jpfed at 10:53 AM on January 27, 2012 [15 favorites]


As I like you both, including your shared ability to provide informative posts and comments, and to zing well, and I think you both live in the Seattle area, may I suggest you go get a nice microbrew together somewhere? That would make life easier for all of us including our hard working mods.

Oh, that's Seattle's answer for everything.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 10:55 AM on January 27, 2012 [5 favorites]


Exactly, they are probably doing it to score points against the Republican, not because they find it interesting.
posted by smackfu at 10:55 AM on January 27, 2012 [3 favorites]


BP posting about Google is definitely axe-grindy and looking for a fight, IMO. Same goes for Artw posting about Apple.

I used to think that it was their passion for the two corporations involved that drove their eternal enmity, but now I'm starting to think it's the enmity between the two that's driven them into their respective corporate cocoons.
posted by empath at 10:56 AM on January 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


I don't think this particular problem is with the one user, but with the rest of the people who 'feel they have to respond.'

But on a practical level it's much easier to tell the one user who causes the derails to tone it down than it does to change everyone else's mind about the topic. Trolls exploit certain topics that rile people up for the lulz, but normal people posting comments in good faith can do the same thing by unintentionally pushing the same buttons. At a certain point you can't just randomly bring up a controversial topic in the middle of an unrelated discussion and not expect it to severely disrupt the existing conversation. Obviously it would be great there was always just one "I strongly disagree" comment after the derailing comment and everyone left it there, but in reality that is rarely the case, especially if the person with the controversial view continues to press the point.
posted by burnmp3s at 10:57 AM on January 27, 2012


When Windows 8 comes out, all this acrimony is going to fade away
posted by KokuRyu at 11:00 AM on January 27, 2012 [16 favorites]


burnmp3s: "But on a practical level it's much easier to tell the one user who causes the derails to tone it down than it does to change everyone else's mind about the topic. Trolls exploit certain topics that rile people up for the lulz, but normal people posting comments in good faith can do the same thing by unintentionally pushing the same buttons."

Yep. There's a reason Daring Fireball can't allow comments.
posted by mullingitover at 11:01 AM on January 27, 2012 [2 favorites]


*registers I strongly disagree sockpuppet
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 11:01 AM on January 27, 2012 [2 favorites]


When Windows 8 comes out, all this acrimony is going to fade away

Like tears in the rain.
posted by shakespeherian at 11:02 AM on January 27, 2012 [2 favorites]


Time to Blue Screen
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 11:05 AM on January 27, 2012 [5 favorites]


BP posting about Google is definitely axe-grindy and looking for a fight, IMO. Same goes for Artw posting about Apple.

Heh. I don't beleive I've made very many negative posts about Apple in the slightest. Mostly neutral-to-positive. Even in comments I get snarky about fanboism in comments more than Apple itself.

* does not extend to 1. Specific products I own or am exposed to, like fucking iTunes 2. Draconian App store policies. There, I admit, you may have something to hold against me, I will totally rant about those. As will many Apple owners and developers if you catch them at it.
posted by Artw at 11:06 AM on January 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


So are you guys still sticking with the line that the number of deletions has not increased in recent months?
posted by crunchland at 11:10 AM on January 27, 2012


So are you guys still sticking with the line that the number of deletions has not increased in recent months?

OPEN YOUR EYES SHEEPLE GOOGLE RON PAUL
posted by Frobenius Twist at 11:16 AM on January 27, 2012 [20 favorites]


OK, so I honestly couldn't tell, Artw - were you kidding when you were saying that this negative story about Google was being fed to the press by Apple or was that a joke?
posted by ignignokt at 11:16 AM on January 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


Did I say that?
posted by Artw at 11:18 AM on January 27, 2012


So are you guys still sticking with the line that the number of deletions has not increased in recent months?

Yes? What does that have to do with this?
posted by cortex (staff) at 11:19 AM on January 27, 2012


Ah, shit. Did I miss a fight? I hate missing fights.
posted by Decani at 11:21 AM on January 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


ArtW mentioned in the OP about disappeared comments.
posted by crunchland at 11:22 AM on January 27, 2012


And? Comments getting deleted, and that getting commented on or complained about in Metatalk, is not something new to the last few months. I am really unclear on the causality you're imagining here, it's not like this would be news to you as a long-time reader of Metatalk.
posted by cortex (staff) at 11:23 AM on January 27, 2012


Mass deletion of comments do come up in meta more. I don’t know if more are getting deleted but there seem to be more instances where multiple deletions give the impression of a slant towards one point of view or user or another. That's often a new mod thing, which isn't the case in this thread.

With regards BP, when you delete conversations stemming from weird baity comments like this and this but leave the original comments standing it leaves an impression. From that and comments you've made towards me I'll happily say you give him special protection, whether you are aware of it or not.
posted by Artw at 11:33 AM on January 27, 2012


I replied to your last comment with a joke. The comment and reply were both deleted, but I didn't intend for anything to come across as a personal insult, I don't think it would have been read that way but now it's gone and there's just a note about personal criticism!

(All I said was "Heavens to Betsy! *clutches pearls*" about a link about Google helping people find drugs, or something.)
posted by delmoi at 11:37 AM on January 27, 2012


Did I say that?

Oh, never mind; that was nushutsu. Your reply seemed to be that Daring Fireball, not Apple, was behind it.
posted by ignignokt at 11:41 AM on January 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


delmoi - wow, that's a pretty weird deletion too.
posted by Artw at 11:47 AM on January 27, 2012


Whoa, time to back this conversation up a little. I think we've all missed something important.

Tim Hortons has red velvet brownies!?
posted by Orange Pamplemousse at 11:52 AM on January 27, 2012 [15 favorites]


With regards BP, when you delete conversations stemming from weird baity comments like this and this but leave the original comments standing it leaves an impression. From that and comments you've made towards me I'll happily say you give him special protection, whether you are aware of it or not.

And when we delete an exchange he's involved in where as a result someone else gets the last word, that also "creates an impression", something he's complained about too. Which impression counts? If we're getting it going both ways, is the problem that we're simultaneously biased against one party in the other's favor and vice versa?

Reduced to individual feelings about isolated cases, everything looks like it's got a bias because it's full well impossible to create anything like unambiguous justice in practice pretty much ever. I appreciate that when you're on the not-getting-the-better-of-it side of something like that it's frustrating, but this is a great big place, bigger by far than the individual folks involved, and we're going to approach problems a lot of the time by trying to make threads better for the userbase in general even if it means a frustrating outcome for one or a few individual users.

We routinely deal with folks bothered by things that impact them and drawing the conclusion that the problem is that the game is rigged rather than that they just got the short end of the stick this time. I sympathize with the frustration but not at all with the conclusion, because I actually have to deal with this stuff in aggregate and hear both sides of disputes claiming that the problem is the other guy. At a certain point, when both sides seem married to the idea that it's a clear pro-the-other-guy bias that's responsible for them having something deleted or being asked to cool it about something, I basically stop wanting to try spend much energy convincing them it's not so. It takes time and energy for pretty much zero guaranteed positive outcome.

Ultimately, I think you are a good contributor here with some bad habits. I think the same thing more or less about BP. You're different people, you've got different habits and ways of manifesting not-so-great behavior, you both seem to actually want to be here in good faith most of the time despite any of that, and I've talked to both of you about this stuff before and am not optimistic enough to believe I won't end up talking to you both about it again at some point though I can always hold out for a sliver of hope. I'm not sure what else to tell you there.

As far as the specific comment you linked to, no one flagged it and as far as I know I never saw it. If you have a problem with a comment, bring it to our attention promptly.
posted by cortex (staff) at 11:52 AM on January 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


I replied to your last comment with a joke. The comment and reply were both deleted

What are you talking about? Your comment is right here.
posted by cortex (staff) at 11:53 AM on January 27, 2012

Wait, now I'm just confused. You didn't say anything controversial in that thread. If I had to guess, I would say this is another fight between delmoi and people who don't like Google as much as him (though I could be wrong). Why did you start this thread?
1) None of my substantive comments weren't deleted. Only a one-line joke in response to one of Artw's comments was removed (I posted my deleted comment above). I believe I believe I only posted three comments total in that thread.


2) While I like Google, I don't go out of my way to defend them. There is a lot they can be critiqued on. However on this issue I believe Google was doing the right thing in helping Americans find cheaper prices on drugs by buying them from Canada -- something endorsed by Obama and all the top democrats in the senate.

I also think that that the government is acting as Pfizer's paid enforcement, and the Rupert Murdock's WSJ is spinning a moral panic scare story by highlighting some abuse, which was probably only a minor component of what they were doing.
I agree with seanyboy. Blazecock making FPPs about Google at this point should be pretty widely recognized for the axe-grinding it is and deleted.
Yeah, to be honest -- I almost thought about making a MeTa about it. My problem was the framing of the post, the moral panic bullshit, right out of Rupert Murdock's highest profile mouthpiece (right after the failure of sopa, which he blamed on "Obama's silicon valley paymasters" -- meaning google. The guy loathes Google, and he rags on them constantly, calling them pirates, etc.).

However, I didn't because honestly a MeTa callout just feels like being a tattletale.
Wouldn't object in the slightest.
There are greasemonkey killfiles out there. Anyway, I actually agree with BP on Obama. So he doesn't really bother me that much. It's true I have a lot of irrational antipathy for Apple, but I don't take it personally if people like them.

Ironically the main reason I don't like Apple is their insane fanboys are just so annoying, especially back in the day. Nowadays there are a lot of people who own iPhones and can enjoy them without getting angry about other people who don't, but it used to be average Apple Zealot not only loved Apple, they seemed to hold everyone who didn't in smug contempt or straight up rage.

The Linux community made a concerted effort to try to get people not to be dicks about it, and that probably paid off in the long run.
posted by delmoi at 11:53 AM on January 27, 2012 [4 favorites]


As far as the specific comment you linked to, no one flagged it and as far as I know I never saw it. If you have a problem with a comment, bring it to our attention promptly.

TBH that sounds a lot like you've ceded control to anyone willing to abuse the flag system. Which, it seems, is Blazecock and friends.
posted by Artw at 11:59 AM on January 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


Artw, I love you for tilting at this particular windmill as it is a mote in my eye as well, but I think the only potentially successful strategy is to be an infinitely gentle, infinitely suffering thing here.
posted by yerfatma at 12:01 PM on January 27, 2012


I agree, as I wrote in the thread, with delmoi's take on this whole thing. But that's mostly beside the point of this MeTa, isn't it?

I'm not as aware of Artw's history as I am of BP's, but I'll assume it's as problematic. BP's Apple-thing is really off-putting. He's in every thread that involves Apple; and, worse, when it's just implicit in the form of it being about one of Apple's presumed competitors. And he's not just in the thread, but he's invariably all over the thread, often dominating it. And his positions and comments are, at this point, so highly predictable I imagine that many people here could just write them on his behalf.

Isn't this problematic from a community standpoint? Being interested and outspoken about a topic is fine (me: feminism, as one example) and it's absurd to say that someone who cares about something and has a hard position on it shouldn't discuss it here. However, somewhere along a continuum of such participation there's a place where it goes from productive to unproductive in the larger community context. I think this should probably be addressed.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 12:02 PM on January 27, 2012 [18 favorites]

What are you talking about? Your comment is right here.
Hahah, okay obviously something is wrong with me. That was a totally different thread, I think I got confused because it was both at the end of the thread, and a reply to Artw about Google. It was about music piracy rather then drugs.

---

Oh and I was going to say: I think people in some cases follow tech companies the same way sports fans follow sports. It's fun to discuss the pros and cons. I used to care a lot more then I do now. Both Google and Apple do bad things. Google's aggregation of personal data is problematic. They let carriers and handset makers pull bullshit with stuff like carrier IQ.

But what worried me is when when people aren't willing to look at the bad stuff that Apple actually does, like the problems with their supply chain, their lock-down of iOS, and so on. I think "rooting" for a tech company is OK but people shouldn't let their fandom interfere with their perception of things that actually matter.
posted by delmoi at 12:03 PM on January 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


As far as the specific comment you linked to, no one flagged it and as far as I know I never saw it. If you have a problem with a comment, bring it to our attention promptly.

When you write stuff like this, it makes me feel like I need to flag every comment in a bad string, just to make sure they all get attention.
posted by smackfu at 12:05 PM on January 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


Even when I agree with BP, he annoys me. It's just the constant lawyerly, intellectually dishonest, hypocritical, propagandistic, formulaic point-scoring. It drives me nuts. It's like he's constantly auditioning to be Apple's PR rep. And it's so predictable at this point that it's almost completely content free. I just tune it out.
posted by empath at 12:08 PM on January 27, 2012 [12 favorites]

TBH that sounds a lot like you've ceded control to anyone willing to abuse the flag system. Which, it seems, is Blazecock and friends.
The thing is: You need to relax. Comments come and comments go. It's not the end of the world if they're deleted. And I'm sure BP's comments collect plenty of flags.
BP's Apple-thing is really off-putting. He's in every thread that involves Apple; and, worse, when it's just implicit in the form of it being about one of Apple's presumed competitors. And he's not just in the thread, but he's invariably all over the thread, often dominating it. And his positions and comments are, at this point, so highly predictable I imagine that many people here could just write them on his behalf.
Yeah there was some eyerolling earlier in the thread. What I don't get is, what he's doing is actually bad for apple on the balance. Getting all flighty with people over Apple is just going to turn people off of Apple. They're not going to think "Gosh, maybe I was wrong: I totally am an idiot so I'm going to ditch my PC and get an iPAD!" Even if they're just reading the thread, it's not going to appeal to people if Apple fans seem so angry.

One of the Ironies about Apple's success is that it seems to have made Apple's hardcore fans much more bitter - now apple's so powerful, they attract a lot of criticism. I guess that's why.
It's like he's constantly auditioning to be Apple's PR rep.
Like I said -- If he was he's doing a terrible job. By far I think he turns more people off of Apple then he convinces to buy Apple products.
posted by delmoi at 12:11 PM on January 27, 2012


I'm not as aware of Artw's history as I am of BP's, but I'll assume it's as problematic.

That would be the assertion everyone makes when the subject comes up, see Cortex above, and I must admit - something about the wacky shit that he pulls makes it very hard for me to resist coming in the the snark - but I like to think that I make some efforts to hold myself back since i';s become apparently people consider it problematic, even going as far as to avoid some subjects and threads altogether. I see no such effort on his part whatsoever.
posted by Artw at 12:12 PM on January 27, 2012 [2 favorites]


How could you see comments he's not making in threads and subjects you're avoiding?
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 12:14 PM on January 27, 2012 [5 favorites]


I think I know what bugs me about it. He treats Apple and Apple users as if they're a repressed minority, which you know, might have been slightly arguable in 1994. But come on. Apple is the biggest company on the planet and has 100 billion dollars in the bank. They don't really need the support.
posted by empath at 12:15 PM on January 27, 2012 [8 favorites]


My iPad is running Ubuntu, motherfuckers.
posted by Burhanistan at 12:16 PM on January 27, 2012 [10 favorites]


BURN THE WITCH.
posted by empath at 12:16 PM on January 27, 2012


I don't even use an operating system. Punchcards were good enough when I learned to use a computer, and they're good enough now. You kids and your "Personal Computing."
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 12:20 PM on January 27, 2012 [10 favorites]


TBH that sounds a lot like you've ceded control to anyone willing to abuse the flag system. Which, it seems, is Blazecock and friends.

For butt's sake. We don't read every thread on the site top to bottom. I do not know if you believed for some reason that that was not the case, but it would be an impractical and mind-melting chore.

We have the flag system specifically so that people have a simple, lightweight way to bring our attention to stuff that they think is problematic in the high likelihood that it's not happening in one of the threads that we happen to be reading already at the time that we're reading it.

Reviewing that particular thread: the tail end of a longer you-and-BP-grousing-at-each-other exchange got trimmed, jess left a note, the thread went on. You both had comments standing above where jess tried to clean up the ongoing nattering, including your immediate sarcastic reply to BP. So, I guess rampant pro-BP bias and rampant pro-Artw bias in play, I dunno. In any case, his part of that deleted exchange was as flagged as yours.

When you write stuff like this, it makes me feel like I need to flag every comment in a bad string, just to make sure they all get attention.

Well, at least flag the start of it. If it's a lot of stuff, flag the start of it and then drop us a note if it's complicated.

I'm not as aware of Artw's history as I am of BP's, but I'll assume it's as problematic.

Like I said, they're different people, different histories, different stuff. I'm not interested in trying to equate them generally. My complaints to both of them about this stuff has been largely confined to their recurring crappy interactions with each other, and that's not something confined just to the two of them but it's a pretty high-profile example.

The ironic thing here is that I think BP's behavior around tech threads specifically sometimes does suck and I don't totally disagree with the idea that he should maybe lay off the Apple/Google/etc-related posts. But that's not something that exculpates anyone else for crappy behavior as a result, and I really, really don't feel like it's mysterious how an ongoing crappy dynamic between multiple specific people over a period of years is something that gets wearying and becomes something that we're inclined to nip in the bud when we actually see it happening again.
posted by cortex (staff) at 12:22 PM on January 27, 2012 [1 favorite]

He treats Apple and Apple users as if they're a repressed minority, which you know, might have been slightly arguable in 1994.
From some of his comments, it seems like he's been an Apple, uh, enthusiast since then. There was a thread about USB where he claimed that Apple lead the way, and he knew a lot of details about how PC's implementation sucked (no bios support for USB keyboards was the big problem, apparently).

Someone who was actually involved in the original USB project actually came in to reply to refute what he was saying.

Anyway, I just went back and found my comment on the first iPod from 10 years ago. I actually said something positive, and also I now I feel old.
posted by delmoi at 12:25 PM on January 27, 2012 [2 favorites]


Hey, IRFH, can I use your system? I have an eight inch WATFIV deck that I'd like to run for old time's sake.
posted by Crabby Appleton at 12:27 PM on January 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


I think ArtW's behavior is obnoxious with regards to BP, but BP's behavior in Apple and Google threads is obnoxious whether or not ArtW is involved. Continuously deleting ArtW's responses doesn't really fix the problem, because if ArtW doesn't argue with him, someone else will, and the thread is still going to be BP vs everyone, unless he just wins by exhaustion.
posted by empath at 12:28 PM on January 27, 2012 [24 favorites]


BTW: Pony Request: I think it would actually be good for the site if people were notified when their comments, and could see the comments of theirs that were removed. The mods might get more grief, but it would allow people to self-correct more easily. And it would prevent people from thinking their comments were deleted when they weren't.
posted by delmoi at 12:30 PM on January 27, 2012


I don't find BP beyond the pale the way some of you do. Sometimes I even agree, occasionally strongly with BP.

That said, when I engage I always try to contribute nuance to discussions of Apple, Adobe, Google, Microsoft.

The nuance team is never in the majority. I kind of wish I could color code text with "claim lacks supporting data" or "claim speculative" or "ad hominem." I wish I could also do it for claims I don't "like" but nonetheless provide supporting evidence. Maybe "irritatingly truthful and supported."
posted by artlung at 12:31 PM on January 27, 2012 [3 favorites]


How could you see comments he's not making in threads and subjects you're avoiding?

If he has made, between 2007 and now, any effort whatsoever not to leap in with inflamatory comments anyone has mentioned the words Apple, Microsoft, Flash (for the 2008-2010 period) or Obama (2008 till now) I am completely unaware of it. Not to mention that he remains very free with stuff that is completely nuts and offensive.

So I reject the equivalency thing to whatever extent it is an excuse for the moderation on the Google thread, and in the case of the other example I gave.

Really though I don't think this should be me or BP specifically at all - it should be about the types of comments that warrant deletion.
posted by Artw at 12:31 PM on January 27, 2012


Has anyone told BP that he's being talked about here?
posted by shakespeherian at 12:32 PM on January 27, 2012


I don't know, but he has favorited comments in the thread, so he's reading.
posted by Jpfed at 12:34 PM on January 27, 2012


Not to be all stalkery, but he favourited all the "why did you post this?" comments at the top of the thread, so I am guessing he is aware of it.
posted by Artw at 12:35 PM on January 27, 2012


Okay, cool then. I would have MeMailed him myself but I'm slightly blocked.
posted by shakespeherian at 12:35 PM on January 27, 2012


delmoi - deletion notifications have been discussed previously in the gray. The sense that I got was that the predicted benefit from self-correcting individuals is exceeded by the anticipated grar.
posted by Jpfed at 12:37 PM on January 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


I like the word "stalkery." Like "stalk of celery." I think when I open my bar I will name my Bloody Mary recipe Hard and Stalkery.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 12:39 PM on January 27, 2012 [8 favorites]


I think it would actually be good for the site if people were notified when their comments, and could see the comments of theirs that were removed.

This is a non-starter for reasons we've talked about extensively. Summarized: most people have no comments deleted at all. Of the people that have a comment deleted, with most people it's a rare occurrence and we are available if they have questions. We also leave a note in most threads where we delete more than a comment or two. Of the people who frequently have comments deleted, they usually know what's going on and know how to reach us and are often contentious about it and we don't feel like an open "Hey we deleted something of yours" is going to solve more problems than it creates.

And I was out at lunch but coming back to this, I know that "Everyone should be behaving better" is a non-satisfying mod response, but it's sort of what we feel like is going on here. In our dream world, people wouldn't make "This awful thing is happening!" posts about their pet topics so that the same people could get involved in the same fights. This goes for corporations and politics, to my mind. However, our desire for that is not really in line with how people on the site would like to use the site, so we manage this middle ground as best we can. We've emailed with a few other users recently about not making the site into their own blog for the purposes of talking about terrible things that are happening w/r/t their pet topic and this may be time for a general public service announcement on the subject.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 12:41 PM on January 27, 2012


It seems like BP has made a pretty consistent habit of staying out of discussions about his behavior in Metatalk. It may be an attempt to avoid getting embroiled in a heated argument, I don't know; I find it personally kind of frustrating because it seems worth at least noting your disagreement or stating your case if you've got a problem with folk's reactions to your behavior on the site, but ultimately we're not going to compel someone to comment in a thread so to each his own I guess.

BTW: Pony Request: I think it would actually be good for the site if people were notified when their comments, and could see the comments of theirs that were removed. The mods might get more grief, but it would allow people to self-correct more easily. And it would prevent people from thinking their comments were deleted when they weren't.

Anyone who is getting comments deleted regularly is likely to hear from us directly to talk about it; anyone who isn't doesn't generally have any sort of serious behavior problem that needs self-correcting. People are free to inquire about their deletion record at the contact form and we'll gladly talk out details on that stuff.

I dig the reasoning behind the idea, but based on practical experience we see mostly more grief and not in fact much positive outcome to making deletion record stuff directly available or sending alerts about deletions.
posted by cortex (staff) at 12:41 PM on January 27, 2012


I don't find BP beyond the pale the way some of you do. Sometimes I even agree, occasionally strongly with BP.

I don't find him beyond the pale, btw. Outside of Google/Apple threads, I generally value his contributions, even in political threads where I think he's dead wrong.
posted by empath at 12:48 PM on January 27, 2012 [2 favorites]


"We don't read every thread on the site top to bottom."

The only reasonable solution is to hire a mod to read each and every thread.

#jobcreators
posted by klangklangston at 12:49 PM on January 27, 2012 [9 favorites]


Yeah... my problem is probably just that I post way too many comments, so when I see a note like that I have no idea if mine were removed, simply because I can't keep track of them all, which in turn makes me a little paranoid that I might be being more of a dick then I intend.
posted by delmoi at 12:49 PM on January 27, 2012


Orange Pamplemousse: the one near Union Square does. Tasty ones, too.
posted by jonmc at 12:50 PM on January 27, 2012


The solution is clear, delmoi. Intend to be a bigger dick, and you will never have to wonder.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 12:52 PM on January 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


That's nothing burhanistan. I've had Ubuntu on my iPhone since 2009.
posted by seanyboy at 12:52 PM on January 27, 2012 [6 favorites]


I just went to Tim Horton's ...

....the one near Union Square


Well I had no idea...there are Tim Hortons in the US? And people like it?
posted by Hoopo at 12:52 PM on January 27, 2012


Don't Blazecock and Artw both live in the same city? Wouldn't this be all much simpler if they got together settled this like men? By getting drunk and having a good cry together.
posted by Kattullus at 12:52 PM on January 27, 2012 [3 favorites]


TIL that there have been Tim Hortonses in NYC since 2009. Apparently my ninjalike situational awareness does not extend to donuts.

this seems odd.
posted by elizardbits at 12:53 PM on January 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


Ironically the main reason I don't like Apple is their insane fanboys are just so annoying, especially back in the day. Nowadays there are a lot of people who own iPhones and can enjoy them without getting angry about other people who don't, but it used to be average Apple Zealot not only loved Apple, they seemed to hold everyone who didn't in smug contempt or straight up rage.

Man, is this ever relevant. From the perspective of people who don't really care to take a "side," the behavior of the belligerents in these techie showdowns utterly fails to correlate to which multi-national corporation they are cheerleading for. It's just uniformly frustrating for people who have read the article and want to discuss the particular issue at hand and assess it on its own merits instead of pushing to gain discursive territory in an on-going battle.
posted by invitapriore at 12:54 PM on January 27, 2012 [2 favorites]


Jonmc, I know that you know that random attempts at derailing MeTa threads are unwelcome. Knock it off, please.
posted by restless_nomad (staff) at 12:55 PM on January 27, 2012 [2 favorites]

The solution is clear, delmoi. Intend to be a bigger dick, and you will never have to wonder.
That's what reddit is for!
posted by delmoi at 12:58 PM on January 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


random attempts at derailing MeTa threads are unwelcome

Thank you for this. MetaTalk, while I understand it is where people can vent a bit, gets really noisy sometimes. Bring the level of background noise down a bit is much appreciated.
posted by RolandOfEld at 12:58 PM on January 27, 2012 [2 favorites]


Hoopo: "Well I had no idea...there are Tim Hortons in the US? And people like it?"

There's one in the new Penguin's hockey arena here.
posted by octothorpe at 12:58 PM on January 27, 2012


I don't know how doable this would be, but what would help these threads is the deletion of any conspiracy theory comments. Comments of the nature, "I bet X is actually behind the spread of this information without any actual backup." While I admit I find them hilarious, I prefer to see them on freerepublic.com, etc. rather than here.
posted by ignignokt at 12:59 PM on January 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


Hoopo: "Well I had no idea...there are Tim Hortons in the US? And people like it?"

There's one in the new Penguin's hockey arena here.


Hockey arenas, like the embassy, are actually on Canadian soil.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 1:04 PM on January 27, 2012 [15 favorites]

I don't know how doable this would be, but what would help these threads is the deletion of any conspiracy theory comments. Comments of the nature, "I bet X is actually behind the spread of this information without any actual backup." While I admit I find them hilarious, I prefer to see them on freerepublic.com, etc. rather than here.
Remember Hillary Clinton's terrible campaign chief, Mark Penn? Microsoft hired his company to bash google (And apparently Eric Schmidt's former mistress, which I didn't know until I clicked that link) Facebook has also engaged in anti-google smear campaigns. If Apple was doing the same thing, no one would know, since they actually know how to keep secrets. At the same time, they obviously don't need too - they have an army of fanboys doing it for free.
posted by delmoi at 1:04 PM on January 27, 2012


This thread is embarrassing.

Give the mods a break.
posted by -t at 1:06 PM on January 27, 2012 [6 favorites]


Artw said: "Wouldn't object in the slightest. "

If you can run a greasemonkey script, it's doable.
posted by Solomon at 1:07 PM on January 27, 2012


Crap. I really should have named my drink Bloody Hard and Stalkery.

settled this like men

They should settle it like old men. Telling long, far-fetched stories about the old days until both of them fall asleep, snoring, and their dentures fall onto the floor with a clatter...

...because the last time this happened, one of us secretly replaced their Polident with lube.

Thank you for this. MetaTalk, while I understand it is where people can vent a bit, gets really noisy sometimes. Bring the level of background noise down a bit is much appreciated.

This thread is redux regurgitated from an endless loop. We've been here many, many, many times before. To remove the background noise is to close the thread, nuke it from orbit, shut down MetaTalk, and walk away forever. There is no here here.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 1:10 PM on January 27, 2012 [2 favorites]


But if you are going to derail, be more interesting than "here's some shit I ate". Get a Twitter account for that nonsense.
posted by Burhanistan at 1:15 PM on January 27, 2012 [3 favorites]


delmoi, I don't doubt that it does happen. Presumably, every huge corporation - Google, Apple, IBM, anyone - could be doing this and can be contributing to the spread of any single piece of news that makes it to MetaFilter. (I just don't think it's that likely for any given story.) The problem is that since this is possible, anyone can take the discussion in that direction about any post.

Explosion at a Foxconn factory that made iPhones? Well, then let's make the whole thread about how Google and Microsoft are probably quietly spreading this story through their big media contacts. Bing has some bug that leaves transgendered establishments out of searches? Maybe rainbow-jumpsuited Google ninjas tipped off transgendered organizations and blogs - let's spend 2/3 of the thread talking about that!

Now, stuff like "here's real evidence that whoever planted this story" makes for a substantive discussion. But using the fact that big companies use scummy PR to get a publicity edge over competitors to just get all black helicopters doesn't.
posted by ignignokt at 1:20 PM on January 27, 2012 [2 favorites]


Yeah... my problem is probably just that I post way too many comments,

QFMotherfuckingT
posted by ook at 1:26 PM on January 27, 2012


I keed because I love
posted by ook at 1:26 PM on January 27, 2012


I may be taking a simplistic view of this, 'cause I do that sometimes, but check it out:

I'm imagining that I'm in the car with some friends, and we're going to a party at some dude's house, and one of my friends says to me that there's this guy who's gonna be there tonight. And I am informed that this guy is a really nice dude, a cool guy with a lot to add to discussions (and now, by the way, flags are going up in my head because I always worry when the first thing someone says about another person is a general affirmation, but anyway), but the thing is, he's weird about Apple.

"The company?" I ask. "The one that makes iPods and such?"

"Yes, that one," I am told. "He's like...he really likes Apple. Like, if someone says something that's even kind of negative about Apple, he'll argue with them. Or if they say something positive about Google or Android or whatever. Just digs in. Has to have the last word. Other than that he's a perfectly rational guy. Funny as hell, a lot of the time, super fun to talk to. But, yeah. Apple."

"Okay," says our heroic MONSTER. "Does he, like, work for their PR department or something?"

"No," says my friend. "I don't think he works for them at all."

"Huh."

"Just a heads up."

Now, here's the thing.

When I was younger, I was the sort of MONSTER who, armed with this knowledge, probably would not have been able to resist thinking of something to say at this party which would get the kind of response I'd been told about. Or maybe take out my Android phone and be kind of ostentatious about it. Something like that. It wouldn't be because I had opinions about Apple - I don't - but really just because.

I am now a bit older, and I am the sort of MONSTER who would be at that party and would ask my friend not to point out who the guy was until we were driving home, and then I would hang out and have fun and not bring up Apple or Android or whatever. And I honestly think that I am happier these days, and that this attitude is part of it. You can needle someone, sure, and it might be kind of funny, but why? If they have that much love for some company, are you gonna reason them out of it, with your trenchant commentary and crystalline insight? No. No, you are not. If you set out to do it, it's already a given that you won't succeed because you're not even smart enough to know you shouldn't try.

If you can't exert any control over what someone thinks of a company, you can still control what you do. You can choose not to get into a tedious argument about something completely inconsequential. What you lose in terms of getting a rise out of someone, you gain in terms of everyone's gratitude when shit does not become awkward.

Just an idea.

And here's one more idea: If you're not just doing it to get a rise out of the Apple guy - if you jump in on that fight because you genuinely care that much about hating Apple or loving Google or whatever, then you might want to start considering the possibility that on the way to that party, there's at least one person, somewhere, who's getting warned about you.
posted by FAMOUS MONSTER at 1:27 PM on January 27, 2012 [67 favorites]


"Now, stuff like 'here's real evidence that whoever planted this story' makes for a substantive discussion. But using the fact that big companies use scummy PR to get a publicity edge over competitors to just get all black helicopters doesn't."

Agreed. It's like reflexively suspecting everything is a viral ad or every charity a scam. Conspiracies exist, of course, but the pleasures of feeling oneself to be clever enough to see through them has more cultural relevance than do the conspiracies themselves. And then when they're invoked, it usually undermines the entire premise for a discussion making productive discourse difficult or impossible. In my experience, even accounting for the existence of numerous conspiracies, conspiracy-theorizing usually doesn't help.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 1:30 PM on January 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


Dear Mom,

I am writing to you to provide some clarification surrounding the events of Jan 27, 2012.

On the aforementioned date at approximately 1PM our family vehicle was traveling northbound on the main city road when it became apparent that the passenger sharing the back seat with me (to wit, my sister) was stealthily moving her hand toward the border between our seating areas.

This border you may recall has been the focus of many past incidents including the Elmo Incursion, the Gameboy Advance, and perhaps most memorably the Root Beer Disintegration. Following the last, the border area was expanded to include a five inch buffer zone on both sides. While there is some dispute as to whether the border was actually violated, my sister's hand was clearly present in the buffer zone at the time and continuing to move directly towards my territory.

Given my sister's history of provocative behavior it was clear that more than just a slap on the wrist was required. (In passing, I still await your response to my Jan 25th inquiry "Who Is Being Punished Here? Spanking vs. Wrist Slapping As A Response To Border Incursions.")

This brings us to the matter at hand, the "appropriateness" of my actions.

The morality of pre-emptive strikes has been a well accepted part of Western culture since the topic was so readily handled by Grotius' De Jure Belli ac Pacis (1625). Their military importance have also been demonstrated again and again, most notably by Carthage (201 BC), Israel (1967 AD), and Cardassia (2312 AD).

It is also clear that such actions "should completely destroy both an enemy's will and ability to make war".

Given these circumstances a controlled conventional strike against my sister's anterior brachium should be considered a minimal or even negligible action on my part. Despite her protestations of extreme agony and permanent damage to the limb she was seen to be using it unconcernedly only minutes later. Her ability to make war was only temporarily affected and, if what was communicated to me while you were in the Post Office is to be believed, her will to make war has been greatly enhanced.

To sum up,
  1. My sister was acting in a clearly provocative fashion and was already trespassing in restricted territory at the time of the incident,
  2. My decision to strike preemptively was made in accordance with the military and moral traditions of the culture in which we live,
  3. Said strike was extremely measured, falling far short of the full possibilities open to me, and
  4. My sister's immediate response has now been revealed as pitched propaganda.
Given all of the above I am asking you to reconsider,
  1. The number of days I will be restricted to quarters
  2. The amount of forced labor I will be forced to perform, and
  3. Whether it is truly necessary for you to notify your co-superior when he "gets home from work."
Regards,

Your Son
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 1:32 PM on January 27, 2012 [167 favorites]


Jonmc, I know that you know that random attempts at derailing MeTa threads are unwelcome. Knock it off, please.

I thought they were sort of accepted as part of site norms when they mean, "This MeTa is beneath substantive comment," rather than, "Hey, guys, let's not get so upset! Recipe time!!" (I should admit here that I like the former type of MeTa noise and not the latter.)

Here is one example -- both the specific comment and the thread in general. I can't find a comment i remember from a while ago where someone noted the phenomenon and told the angry OP that it was actually a rather gentler way of signifying general disapproval than yelling at them would be.
posted by palliser at 1:34 PM on January 27, 2012


No, it's pretty shitty regardless, it's just that they never delete stuff in MetaTalk so if a bunch of people decide to go offtopic is just sits there.
posted by smackfu at 1:41 PM on January 27, 2012 [3 favorites]


I don't have much of an opinion on anything here, but I'm entertaining myself by imagining BP's degree of cognitive dissonance if Apple should ever officially endorse the word "cis."
posted by octobersurprise at 1:41 PM on January 27, 2012 [9 favorites]


Jonmc, I know that you know that random attempts at derailing MeTa threads are unwelcome. Knock it off, please.

Really? I may just be offended because I wanted to talk about Canadians and donuts for a second but isn't it more like a just lighthearted interspersion of lightheartedness for a moment into a contentious thread?

I teach school, and I actually don't like the school-teacherish tone of this. I don't think a random comment here or there necessarily makes a derailment.

Frankly the post was placed here to bring it into the public arena. And as we know, in public spaces there will always be a few oddballs and unrelated events brought into the fray. That's why so many of us live in and love new york (for even more of an unrelated topic.).

I don't think people should be admonished unless they are deliberately causing/contributing to an issue. Is this really an issue?
posted by bquarters at 1:42 PM on January 27, 2012


I'm sorry, I just don't have time to read all of this right at this second... So ya, posting this makes me feel a little dirty, but anyway, on to the point...

users-A-and-B-dislike-each-other dynamics

Let's not forget that user BP really really likes company A and really really dislikes company G.

Way back when, the old konolia account was banned* from talking about abortion. At some other time, the old Insomnia_LJ account was banned* from posting about Iraq. I think it is well past time user BP had similar instructions about his pet topic.

* Yes, let's please argue the semantics of the word banned instead of addressing the substance of my comment, that would be very constructive...
posted by Chuckles at 1:50 PM on January 27, 2012 [7 favorites]


Is this really an issue?

Yeah it sort of is. Being That Guy who basically is always telling people either outwardly or via non sequiturs that you don't think they should care about something, in a fully optional space like MetaTalk becomes, over time, deeply annoying to a lot of people. I think there's a difference between "I'd like to talk about something slightly different" and "I am going to toss this random comment about my day in here and when people engage me on it ask them why they care" behavior, as a semi-consistent thing.

It's not a big deal, but yeah it's something that, in short, doesn't scale. We're not going to really go any further than "Hey knock it off please?" but it would be nice to see less of that, same as recipe-time stuff and same as lobster-lederhosen. if there's an active conversation happening and someone doesn't want to be a part of it, they can just stay out of it.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 1:52 PM on January 27, 2012 [14 favorites]


Is this really an issue?

Yeah, it's really an issue. We don't moderate MetaTalk particularly heavily, and we don't close threads just because the principles seem to be done, but it's disruptive and obnoxious for people to use this as a general dumping ground for whatever floats through their head while we're actively having a serious policy discussion. There was a period of time where recipes were the mode of choice, and it got to be difficult to actually have the substantive conversations MetaTalk is intended for because people would see a new thread and, regardless of topic, go "Oh, recipe time!"

The unmoderatedness of MetaTalk is a good thing in some ways, but it can also cause it to be a really hostile place to have a conversation, and we've been trying to find ways to mitigate that without substantially changing the character of the subsite. Asking people to avoid being actively disruptive is one of those ways.
posted by restless_nomad (staff) at 1:52 PM on January 27, 2012 [6 favorites]


This type of stuff is common in technology debates, and is commonplace on technology sites, rhetoric like calling companies evil or calling things brain dead is common. The problem is Metafilter isn't a technology site. General readers wandering into technology debates see what they think is crazy behavior, they drive a Hyundai, but aren't Hyundai aficionados after all. I think technology holy war threads should get some leeway and we should be able to have an all out "you don't know what the fuck you are talking about you fucking cretin" style technology debate. I will even argue for some underdog, like Facebook, to even the sides.
posted by Ad hominem at 1:59 PM on January 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


It seems like BP has made a pretty consistent habit of staying out of discussions about his behavior in Metatalk. It may be an attempt to avoid getting embroiled in a heated argument, I don't know; I find it personally kind of frustrating because it seems worth at least noting your disagreement or stating your case if you've got a problem with folk's reactions to your behavior on the site, but ultimately we're not going to compel someone to comment in a thread so to each his own I guess.

Data point: Everytime I have entered a discussion about my behavior in MetaTalk, I have regretted it.
posted by Trurl at 2:16 PM on January 27, 2012 [8 favorites]


and same as lobster-lederhosen

That was retired voluntarily and long before the new MeTa "all serious" policy was rolled out - at least a year or more since it died a natural death. Has someone been resurrecting the lobster-lederhosen schtick behind my back?
posted by Meatbomb at 2:20 PM on January 27, 2012


Don't Blazecock and Artw both live in the same city? Wouldn't this be all much simpler if they got together settled this like men?

I like to imagine them observing a Christmas truce by playing soccer in the mud somewhere.
posted by Trurl at 2:22 PM on January 27, 2012 [6 favorites]


"Data point: Everytime I have entered a discussion about my behavior in MetaTalk, I have regretted it."

It's almost always to the detriment of that person. It's a shame, really, but there are some almost-impossible-to-eliminate reasons for it. It takes a deeply calm and generous person to engage in a context where they're being criticized, and often blatantly attacked, by numerous people at the same time. And then, well, there's that mob mentality that makes it more likely to be ugly on the "everyone else" side, too. Until people, in general, acquire much better natures than we, in general, currently have, I don't see this changing much.

As a simple matter of personal discretion and benefit, it's extremely wise and shows a lot of self-control for BP to stay out of MeTa threads where he's being discussed. Which, again, is a shame that this is the case, for all the reasons that cortex mentions. And it's annoying. But I can't fault him for it, really.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 2:24 PM on January 27, 2012 [7 favorites]


Has someone been resurrecting the lobster-lederhosen schtick behind my back?

Nope, this was a while ago but it was one of those creeping-in things for a while, same as recipes. There is no all-serious policy.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 2:25 PM on January 27, 2012


it's extremely wise and shows a lot of self-control for BP to stay out of MeTa threads

'Cunning' is the word I would use - BP has been around enough that he should know what happens if he engages.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 2:26 PM on January 27, 2012


I would think it's pretty easy to abstain if you know that nothing is going to happen as a result of the discussion, however it proceeds.
posted by Crabby Appleton at 2:45 PM on January 27, 2012


delmoi: “All I said was ‘Heavens to Betsy! *clutches pearls*’ about a link about Google helping people find drugs, or something.”

Actually, you said "Heavens to Betsy! *Clutches Perls*" – which was much funnier, I thought. Sad to find out it wasn't intentional. Heh.
posted by koeselitz at 2:50 PM on January 27, 2012 [3 favorites]


I don't have a dog in the BP v Artw Wars, but IIRC, BP used to take a lot of crap for responding everytime someone took a swipe at him in MetaTalk. So now he doesn't. Seems wrong to me to give him grief about that, too.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 2:54 PM on January 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


Make it so that Artw and Blazecock Pileon can't see each other's posts.

Wouldn't object in the slightest.


Be the change you wish to see, as in stop reading his posts.
posted by soelo at 2:55 PM on January 27, 2012


Nope, [lobster/lederhosen] was a while ago but it was one of those creeping-in things for a while, same as recipes.

I'll cop to bringing in lobster/lederhosen to one thread in the past year early in the thread when discussion of the actual topic (as much as a topic could be discerned at all) was still going on, but in most threads where lobster/lederhosen got started it generally only came in several days after all other discussion in the thread had died off.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 2:56 PM on January 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


I think technology holy war threads should get some leeway and we should be able to have an all out "you don't know what the fuck you are talking about you fucking cretin" style technology debate.

*shudders in horror*
posted by rtha at 2:58 PM on January 27, 2012


'Cunning' is the word I would use

The adverb of choice is "dastardly".
posted by Trurl at 3:01 PM on January 27, 2012


guys still sticking with the line that the number of deletions has not increased in recent months

From a straight technical standpoint: The number of deleted comments is in the public record and can be audited by anyone with access to infodump.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 3:05 PM on January 27, 2012 [2 favorites]


MetaTalk: a bunch of cunning stunts.
posted by Crabby Appleton at 3:07 PM on January 27, 2012 [2 favorites]


jessamyn: Yeah it sort of is. Being That Guy who basically is always telling people either outwardly or via non sequiturs that you don't think they should care about something, in a fully optional space like MetaTalk becomes, over time, deeply annoying to a lot of people. I think there's a difference between "I'd like to talk about something slightly different" and "I am going to toss this random comment about my day in here and when people engage me on it ask them why they care" behavior, as a semi-consistent thing.

I think that there's a time and place to insist on seriousness in MeTa threads, and this wasn't it. If people are annoyed at a low-key side-conversation about fast-food muffins, then the problem is theirs, not jonmc's or that of anyone else engaging in that side-conversation. One of MeTa's long-standing functions is that it's the place to blow off steam. Sometimes that gets out of hand, but this was nowhere near that.

And while I'm debating commenting policy, I can say that personally, despite my long-standing interest in the issue, I have learned through the years to never read threads involving Apple because they were little but intemperate sniping and graring by the same dozen or so users. I had sort of resigned myself to that, but if that sanity-exclusion-zone is going to extend to discussion of other companies too, then that's not okay in the slightest. I have given up on discussion about Apple, but I'm not ready to see the blight spread.
posted by Kattullus at 3:12 PM on January 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


Thank you, Tell Me No Lies. I hate it when people get all conspiracy-theory about stuff without bothering to check infodump.
posted by Sidhedevil at 3:13 PM on January 27, 2012


We also answered that question the last time it was asked. I think "up slightly" was the conclusion while moderator coverage is up 30%-ish in the same time period. We could run the numbers again.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 3:22 PM on January 27, 2012


Crabby Appleton, it was my understanding that you couldn't just make up a tagline; someone else had to say it first.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 3:26 PM on January 27, 2012 [2 favorites]


We could run the numbers again.



cash register honesty.
posted by sgt.serenity at 3:32 PM on January 27, 2012


At the risk of fueling any possible conspiracy theory, I'll note that the Infodump's a few weeks out of date at the moment because I haven't gotten things re-spiffified since our recent server move. Should be back in proper action by the end of the weekend if not today.
posted by cortex (staff) at 3:39 PM on January 27, 2012


"but it's disruptive and obnoxious for people to use this as a general dumping ground for whatever floats through their head while we're actively having a serious policy discussion"

Serious policy discussion? What, exactly, is the serious policy issue being discussed that hasn't had a full and unequivocal modly bull issued?

That ArtW and BP should probably not needle each other or appear to needle each other lest their comments get deleted? Asked and answered. Whether anyone's getting special treatment? Asked and answered. Whether or not deletions are up? Asked and answered.

Are we just waiting for the requisite number of harrumphs to table this serious business?
posted by klangklangston at 3:46 PM on January 27, 2012 [6 favorites]


He treats Apple and Apple users as if they're a repressed minority

He did once argue that not liking Apple is linked to homophobia. It was pretty gross.
posted by kmz at 3:52 PM on January 27, 2012 [2 favorites]


Asked and answered.

None of those answers being particularly satisfying and an apology for a bizarre deletion under false pretenses not being forthcoming, but I guess I've had the chance to vent my spleen.

Whether or not BP is a terrible person is sort of a side issue, and only of academic interest as nothing will ever be done about him.
posted by Artw at 3:54 PM on January 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


Ugh. You're the worst. Disable your account again please. For good this time.
posted by to sir with millipedes at 3:59 PM on January 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


Are we just waiting for the requisite number of harrumphs to table this serious business?

I think there is a desire on some (many?) user's parts to make this place more utilitarian, even at the potential cost of culture. At least based on the number of memails and comments I get begging me to please shut up. This may or may not match up exactly with the RolandOfEld's desires for less background noise and the mod's sense that maybe our chaff doesn't scale well, but that is my sense, based on reactions to my own serial abuse of the site. Consequently, I've been trying to limit my site interactions somewhat, though with not always perfect result (see, well, this thread, for example). Is this good? Don't know. But yeah - maybe "character" doesn't scale too well when there's work to get done.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 4:01 PM on January 27, 2012


Disable your account again please. For good this time.

Who the fuck are you?
posted by Artw at 4:04 PM on January 27, 2012 [6 favorites]


Good god. Right now I'm on the receiving end of the worst handled mass layoff I've ever heard of and I *still* feel like my employment situation beats dealing with shit like this. Kudos and consolations mods.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 4:04 PM on January 27, 2012 [2 favorites]


Disable your account again please.

Please do not do this.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 4:06 PM on January 27, 2012 [12 favorites]


Well, I now strongly dislike a new person, so that's good!
posted by Artw at 4:07 PM on January 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


We could run the numbers again. -- Hey, I'm sorry I even brought it up, especially in this thread. I've seen an uptick in the number of comments I've had deleted lately, so it seems like you guys are clamping down. Other times, I'm mystified at the things that stay. But I have nothing to add regarding this Battle Royale, and now is not the time to get into it.
posted by crunchland at 4:09 PM on January 27, 2012


Well at least we know BP is listening, Uggh...
posted by Blasdelb at 4:10 PM on January 27, 2012


This is a really sad thread. And not just because of some of the comments.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 4:10 PM on January 27, 2012


You guys are exhausting me. I think I need to pretend MetaTalk is irradiated.
posted by OnTheLastCastle at 4:13 PM on January 27, 2012


By which I mean I am very sympathetic to the jobs done by the mods.
posted by OnTheLastCastle at 4:15 PM on January 27, 2012


BP is listening

lurking in the shadows... seething with malice... awaiting his dark triumph...
posted by Trurl at 4:15 PM on January 27, 2012


You guys are exhausting me. I think I need to pretend MetaTalk is irradiated.

See? And everyone thinks Rad-X is a junk med.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 4:16 PM on January 27, 2012 [4 favorites]


This entire thread was just a setup to shill my new T-shirt design: "I'd rather be reading about jonmc's lunch."
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 4:18 PM on January 27, 2012 [11 favorites]


Crabby Appleton, it was my understanding that you couldn't just make up a tagline; someone else had to say it first.

That may well be a rule; if so I was unaware of it. Even if it is, it has no effect in this case because I am making use of the rule that states that I can make up stuff and attribute it to others and then respond to it as if it were actually what they said. This rule is used by others in regard to my comments all the time, so I know it's valid.
posted by Crabby Appleton at 4:28 PM on January 27, 2012 [2 favorites]


Crabby, this thread is not about you.
posted by arcticseal at 4:33 PM on January 27, 2012 [6 favorites]


Honk off, bozo.
posted by Crabby Appleton at 4:36 PM on January 27, 2012 [4 favorites]


Metafilter: Honk off, bozo

Did I quote you correctly?
posted by rtha at 4:40 PM on January 27, 2012 [10 favorites]


Dude, every thread Crabby jumps into is about Crabby. You didn't pick that up?
posted by absalom at 4:41 PM on January 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


I want to say just one thing

There's a difference between 'telling people they shouldn't care' and saying 'this is not life or death. lighten up"
posted by jonmc at 4:41 PM on January 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


I want to say just one thing

Metafilter: this thread is not about you

I'll show myself the door
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 4:44 PM on January 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


You're so vain you think this thread is about you.
posted by kmz at 4:49 PM on January 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


*takes learjet to Nova Scotia*

*actually, a subway to Elmhurst, but close enough, right?*
posted by jonmc at 4:50 PM on January 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


There's a difference between 'telling people they shouldn't care' and saying 'this is not life or death. lighten up"

Sure, jonmc, and the thing that's frustrating isn't so much "hey, this is not a big deal" as a one-off aside if you think people are making too big a deal out of something and that gently deflating that will help a conversation improve. That's totally understandable and has a shot of being productive sometimes.

But you, specifically, have kind of a serious long-running streak of jumping into threads to declare stuff unimportant or be disinterestedly dismissive of the topic or to just say whatever comes to mind in a "I don't care what you guys are talking about" sort of way that in accumulation is aggravating, and, like I noted the other day, something that you sometimes brush off criticism of or reactions to by taking the position that people are in the wrong to even notice or respond to the things you say in a shared space.

Which, I get the sort of laid-back hangout feeling of just shooting the shit here and that's fine as part of the mix but when you fairly conspicuously do that sort of thing all the time it gets up people's shirts.

My feeling is it's not a "never chatter!" thing, for you specifically or for people generally, because while there's definitely a utility aspect to not having thread overrun the chatter around here is also part of the character of the place. It's just more of a time-and-place thing, maybe put in a little more effort to either (a) be ready to engage with a thread in earnest if you're going to throw out your two cents or (b) stop and look at whether right here, right now is a spot where those two cents are anything other than you just feeling like hearing yourself talk but not wanting to listen to anyone else. Give and take, try to be part of the conversation or just genuinely give the thread a pass.

It's one of those things that's both kind of low-stakes but also really long-running; I wouldn't say anything if it hadn't been a point of contention for literally years now, but it is kind of a thing when you sum it all up over time.
posted by cortex (staff) at 4:55 PM on January 27, 2012 [5 favorites]


"You're so vain you think this thread is about you."

Crabby Appleton is Warren Beatty? I knew it.

Danny Armstrong was my second-guess. Or Natasha. Or Woland. Wait, that's me. I know: It's Napoleon. He's very vain. And Crabby.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 4:57 PM on January 27, 2012


I get it, cortex. I just wanted to correct any incorrect assumptions about my motivations. and to be honest, the Tim Horton's comment today? It's something I said to a few co-workers that they found funny and I figured MeFi (and BP and ArtW, both guys with senses of humor) would, too. No harm meant.
posted by jonmc at 5:00 PM on January 27, 2012 [2 favorites]


We could run the numbers again.

I have a theory that deletions go up the first month after someone new becomes a moderator. When you're new at work you tend to want to impress 'em with your zeal, so it would be natural to start out a bit trigger-happy, then settle down as you get the hang of the job.

So, anyway, deletions went up at a rather higher percentage for the initial month after taz came on and then evened out in subsequent months, but they weren't statistically higher immediately after restless_nomad became a mod.

Though now that I think about it, she started out as a weekend mod, right? So maybe my theory holds up.

I don't really know how to test this kind of thing on the infodump, so if anyone who know how wants to see if this theory holds up for cortex and jess, that would be interesting to me, anyway.
posted by misha at 5:10 PM on January 27, 2012


I'm off to Saratoga. If you want to make this thread be about me you'll have to do it on your own.
posted by Crabby Appleton at 5:12 PM on January 27, 2012


Normally, checking my gmail account on my MacBook Pro just feels like a Friday. Right now, it feels like I'm the Kwisatz Haderach.

Let us unite the tribes against the real enemy - Zynga! Or Facebook! One of those guys.
posted by running order squabble fest at 5:13 PM on January 27, 2012


Though now that I think about it, she started out as a weekend mod, right? So maybe my theory holds up.

Yeah, it's a little skewed because I'm weekends (and assorted random times as needed) and taz is overnights, and I suspect those time periods have always been a little nonstandard, activity-wise. Certainly I think we get more of the "someone has substances they're not sharing" deletions.

Let us unite the tribes against the real enemy - Zynga! Or Facebook! One of those guys.

I have a whole bunch of friends at Zynga. Apparently the food is fantastic, and the parties are better. If you were looking for a castle to storm, they probably are the best targets for looting.
posted by restless_nomad (staff) at 5:16 PM on January 27, 2012 [5 favorites]


Ugh. You're the worst. Disable your account again please. For good this time.

1 user marked this as a favorite:
Blazecock Pileon January 27, 2012 18:00


Well, this was particularly spiteful.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 5:26 PM on January 27, 2012 [6 favorites]


No harm meant.

None inferred, for what it's worth. Just one of those straw-meets-camel's-back things; maybe something to keep in mind as more a general rule of thumb thing.
posted by cortex (staff) at 5:29 PM on January 27, 2012


Posting who favorited a comment is a bit much.
posted by mlis at 5:36 PM on January 27, 2012 [3 favorites]


I *am* kind of curious to know who BPs new found ally who has popped up out of nowhere is - getting a distinct sock/returned user vibe, especially as I've had zero interaction with them under that name but they want to be all up in my business.
posted by Artw at 5:46 PM on January 27, 2012


When did these meta's stop being fun?
posted by HuronBob at 5:49 PM on January 27, 2012 [3 favorites]


I have a theory that deletions go up the first month after someone new becomes a moderator.

I'm a casual user who doesn't read or post from work, so I'm pretty much a night and weekend user. My own observation is that posters tend to be more unruly when restless nomad and Taz are on-duty. It reminds me a lot of the way in which elementary-school students test substitute teachers, to see how much they can get away with. I have found them both to be thoughtful and even-handed, and very helpful for someone like myself.

As to the matter under discussion, I don't have a dog in this fight, but want to note that the behavior of both protagonists when interacting in this way is very off-putting to more casual users, and pretty much poisons the well when the subjects they are so passionate about arise. I would ask them to ponder the impression which this kind of behaviour makes on neutral observers, and decide if having many people think of you in pretty negative terms because of this idiosyncrasy is really worth diminishing the value of the positive contributions they otherwise make.
posted by PareidoliaticBoy at 5:50 PM on January 27, 2012 [9 favorites]


Well, shit, Jessamyn brought him up. I just wanted her to stop fucking with my comments on spurious grounds.
posted by Artw at 5:54 PM on January 27, 2012


Didn't we just do this?

(I really feel like at this point Artw and BP have lost the ability to be objective about one another's behavior--accusing a year-old user who lives across the country from BP of being his sock seems a little excessive, even if said user was being shitty.)
posted by kagredon at 5:59 PM on January 27, 2012 [2 favorites]


From a quick look at their posting history I would bet money that ain't a year old user.
posted by Artw at 6:01 PM on January 27, 2012


When did these meta's stop being fun?

When we swapped backstage-at-the-drag-revue style drama out for two equally puerile brats using the mod team as a surrogate mommy.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 6:07 PM on January 27, 2012


Dude, who is the second brat?

Because Blazecock did not argue with Artw in the thread on the blue, he has not made an appearance here despite ample provocation, and further, jessamyn made a comment during 2011 noting that he had dialed the Apple stuff way down (looking for it, haven't found it yet) yet people keep making comments here about his defense of Apple as if it were 2009.
posted by mlis at 6:12 PM on January 27, 2012 [2 favorites]


Grow the fuck up, both of you. I don't have a dog in this fight, but it's just painful to watch. Just fucking grow the fuck up and leave the rest of us out of it.
posted by Marie Mon Dieu at 6:15 PM on January 27, 2012 [2 favorites]


Again, who is the "both"?
posted by mlis at 6:17 PM on January 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


Well, shit, Jessamyn brought him up. I just wanted her to stop fucking with my comments on spurious grounds.
[...]
From a quick look at their posting history I would bet money that ain't a year old user.


What the fuck? Why is this so important to you? I mean it, why? I honestly do not understand why anyone would choose to spend their Friday posting things like this.
posted by kagredon at 6:17 PM on January 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


Per the start of the thread: Me and Jessamyn.
posted by Artw at 6:18 PM on January 27, 2012


If I found a place with good beers and decent food for Artw (who I have met once) and Blazecock (who I do not know if I have met) to sit down and have the beer and some food and hash things out in reason, and go there to be moderator/carbon rod, will that be okay?

because I will do that in the hopes of a better Metafilter.

(was thinking about the Taphouse downtown, or maybe if you prefer some sake we can go to Dragonfish...)
posted by mephron at 6:19 PM on January 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


Yes. She explained her deletion and invited you to post again if you wanted to. I don't understand why you're still calling her out about it hours later.
posted by kagredon at 6:19 PM on January 27, 2012


Me and Jessamyn.

I'm honestly not sure what you're looking for at this point. I gave you an explanation. I've answered other questions within this thread. I've asked people to be decent to one another. Is there something else you need?
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 6:21 PM on January 27, 2012


If I found a place with good beers and decent food for Artw (who I have met once) and Blazecock (who I do not know if I have met) to sit down and have the beer and some food and hash things out in reason, and go there to be moderator/carbon rod, will that be okay?

set up a paypal and promise to document it and drinks are at least partially on me. i demand to be heartwarmed.
posted by FAMOUS MONSTER at 6:22 PM on January 27, 2012


This is all a dastardly plot by the two of them to get some dupes to buy them decent food and beers.

koeselitz, I'm calling you out, you fiend.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 6:27 PM on January 27, 2012 [3 favorites]


I never said I'd pay, just facilitate the meeting.
posted by mephron at 6:39 PM on January 27, 2012


HEY, YOU GUYS! I've been re-watching The Tick the animated show. It. Is. Fantastic. Has held up very well over the years, and has to be one of the best animated shows to have aired on American television. I do not say that lightly.

Check it out.
posted by P.o.B. at 6:40 PM on January 27, 2012 [2 favorites]


I've been watching Lost Girl (not on whatsit, but via THEFT), and it's not that good. But Ksenia Solo as "Kenzi" is great. I do not say that lightly.

Check it out.

Dammit, my fellow feminist ex-girlfriend and I had an ongoing discussion about the appearance of succubi in pop-culture and what that means in feminist terms. Not to mention that we're both writers and I'm working on an urban fantasy novel with a subbubus as a character. One of the worst things about a break-up is not having that person around to have those really interesting conversations with. I'm having this problem with new music I discover, too. Damn you, fickle Eros! Hey, if I get into a MeTa feud with Eros, will someone buy us drinks and dinner?
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 6:49 PM on January 27, 2012


What's big, yellow, and takes a feminine form to seduce men?

A subbubus!
posted by BitterOldPunk at 6:53 PM on January 27, 2012 [7 favorites]


Is there something else you need?

People seemed to be confused over how the thread started, just clarifying.
posted by Artw at 6:53 PM on January 27, 2012


yo mammas like a subbubus there's incubi climbing on her all day long
posted by Burhanistan at 6:55 PM on January 27, 2012


Posting who favorited a comment is a bit much.

While I think I'd tend to agree in most any other case, I think that data point was kinda valid here being that, ya'know, it's part of what the discussion has been about.

And I think a good part of why the the background noise gets to people sometimes, like myself at times, is that it's virtually impossible to tell if you're

A) the outsider on an inside joke,
B) missing something upthread that might make the comment compute,
C) watching someone try to diffuse a tense situation with a joke about exlax and nuns {Countdown to joke on this subject *GO*} or
D) just witnessing the ravings of a person with the equivalent to internet Tourette syndrome. On preview, like this...

No idea, and that's ok, the mental squelch just goes up a notch or two. A lowering of that static is nice is all.
posted by RolandOfEld at 7:00 PM on January 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


MetaFilter: like a subbubus
posted by cooker girl at 7:03 PM on January 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


MetaTalk is like a theater performance where everybody tries to take center stage and yell about their personal injustice, or else to just be dicks to everybody else. I'm not complaining but maybe it would be more fun if we were required to sing it all instead of just wailing away on keyboards.

Which reminds me, pony request, can there be a profile field where we list our vocal ranges? It would help us bystanders picture what all these angry voices must sound like.
posted by Rory Marinich at 7:03 PM on January 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


I think there is a desire on some (many?) user's parts to make this place more utilitarian, even at the potential cost of culture. At least based on the number of memails and comments I get begging me to please shut up.

Ugh, this is the lamest thing about this thread. That is some uppity control freaking, there.

Anyway, I ate dinner at a bar last night that has a drink called the Celery Stalker: St George Dry Rye Gin, celery juice, cilantro, St Germain, lemon juice, and simple syrup.
posted by oneirodynia at 7:06 PM on January 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


That is some uppity control freaking, there.

My comment, or what I was commenting about?
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 7:08 PM on January 27, 2012


I like how it's not "Tourette syndrome", or "internet Tourette syndrome", but "equivalent to internet Tourette syndrome". I'd have gone with "Internet Tourette's", myself, but then I'M A RAVING LUNATIC.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 7:09 PM on January 27, 2012


Alliteration just isn't my thing though. Whatever floats your boat.

I never said lunatic by the way, you decided to bear that cross on your own.
posted by RolandOfEld at 7:12 PM on January 27, 2012


A subbubus is a succubus BDSM bottom. Okay, not really.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 7:16 PM on January 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


D) just witnessing the ravings of a person with the equivalent to internet Tourette syndrome. On preview, like this...

And that's one of Ivan's shorter comments. But I think he's really fun to read (I understand he was originally a MeFi old timer, can't remember who though, which might explain why I like his contributions). It's a style not easily reduced or mimicked. Which reminds me: something I learned on another forum today is that "post a comment in the typical style of the user above you" always ends in hurt feelings, as fun as it might seem at the time.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 7:20 PM on January 27, 2012


This is the third or tourth time (at least) that some sort of conflict between Artw and Blazecock Pileon has turned into a Meta post. We're clearly at a point where this has become disruptive. It would be nice if they both would cut it out and learn to play nicely. Or at least leave each other the hell alone.
posted by zarq at 7:23 PM on January 27, 2012 [2 favorites]


Blazecock has left Artw alone, stayed out of this Meta, did not argue with him on the blue.

It's like people are not even reading this fucking Meta, just rushing in to post endless false-dichotomy "both of you need to cut it out" comments when the reality is Artw needs to give it a rest.
posted by mlis at 7:28 PM on January 27, 2012 [4 favorites]


What fascinating insight this gives into the minds of people who just cannot let shit go.

Reminds me of this Hark, a Vagrant comic.

Seriously, Artw, do you have a little picture of BP under your pillow, too?
posted by These Birds of a Feather at 7:29 PM on January 27, 2012 [3 favorites]


That is some uppity control freaking, there.

My comment, or what I was commenting about?


Oops, what you were commenting about, people memailing to tell other people to stop participating in threads in a way they disapprove of.
posted by oneirodynia at 7:31 PM on January 27, 2012


Sigh...

This post is at bets tangentally about any dispute between myself and BP, and to the extent that it is it is so because of what I'm sure Jessamyn would agree was her misreading of a thread.

READING COMPREHENSION: IT IS AWESOME.
posted by Artw at 7:33 PM on January 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


People seemed to be confused over how the thread started, just clarifying.
posted by Artw


There really isn't much confusion about how this thread started that I can see, Artw. What has been questioned by some is what might be a disproportionate emotional investment in something that many users think of as pretty inconsequential stuff. You felt so disabused by what you perceived as favoritism that you started a meta thread, instead of using the contact form; but couldn't think clearly enough to even bother linking to what your grievance was about. Assuming that most users would implicitly know what your grievance was suggests a rather histrionic point of view to ask sympathy, or even patience, for.

When one's behaviour prompts strangers to offer to arrange a peace conference, this just might be a sign that perhaps things have gotten out of hand. Maybe it's time to take a step back, take a deep breath, and try to get a better perspective on what you want from this site, and how you would be thought of ?

Because, the approach you are taking here is really not helping your cause. Seriously.
posted by PareidoliaticBoy at 7:36 PM on January 27, 2012 [7 favorites]


"READING COMPREHENSION: IT IS AWESOME."

Well, really? Because I think that reading "comprehension" isn't that impressive a feat for most people. I suppose it depends upon the circumstances.

Seriously, I can't see how there's anything possibly productive left to do with regard to discussing BP and Artw's interaction, or really anything all all to do with the specifics of this MeTa. Maybe we should discuss more about feuds in general, or the acceptability of there being verboten topics for individual users, when people should and shouldn't participate in a MeTa, or even whether there should ever be jokey noise in a MeTa thread.

But more specifically about BP or Artw? Not so much.

"Because, the approach you are taking here is really not helping your cause. Seriously."

I strongly agree with this.

People do enjoy drama on MetaTalk. But a glaring exception to this is that (it seems to me that) almost nobody enjoys another example of a public feud between two people appearing here. Really, while other drama can be quite entertaining, this kind mostly isn't.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 7:44 PM on January 27, 2012


Even when only one of the two is present. That's actually worse.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 7:44 PM on January 27, 2012


Artw: "This post is at bets tangentally about any dispute between myself and BP, and to the extent that it is it is so because of what I'm sure Jessamyn would agree was her misreading of a thread.."

I haven't notice that you have a real good feel for what Jessamyn would say, actually.
posted by Chrysostom at 7:54 PM on January 27, 2012 [2 favorites]


Artw: "This post is at bets tangentally about any dispute between myself and BP, and to the extent that it is it is so because of what I'm sure Jessamyn would agree was her misreading of a thread.."

This post is about a lot of things, but I would put all the money in my pocket up against all of the money in your pocket, on the notion it is not about Jessamyn misreading a thread.
posted by timsteil at 8:02 PM on January 27, 2012 [2 favorites]


Look, it's OK if you have a comment deleted -- you can always post more.
posted by planet at 8:08 PM on January 27, 2012


That's what I said!
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 8:12 PM on January 27, 2012 [3 favorites]


it is so hard to care about internets fites when there are half naked gladiators hacking people to bits

i am just saying
posted by elizardbits at 8:12 PM on January 27, 2012 [2 favorites]


You're not going to tell anyone where the gladiators are fighting?
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 8:16 PM on January 27, 2012


starz dude
posted by elizardbits at 8:23 PM on January 27, 2012


Don't Blazecock and Artw both live in the same city? Wouldn't this be all much simpler if they got together settled this like men? By getting drunk and having a good cry together.
posted by Kattullus


They'd come out of the bar arm-in-arm and stumble across the sidewalk into the bike lane, forcing me to avoid them by swerving out into traffic, where I'd be killed by a bus.

Thanks, Kattullus.

I have given up on discussion about Apple, but I'm not ready to see the blight spread.
posted by Kattullus


Well, Seattle is an Apple Maggot exclusion zone, but I don't know who should leave on that account.

Probably me.
posted by jamjam at 8:31 PM on January 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


But are they half naked yellow gladiator subbubi though?
posted by arcticseal at 8:38 PM on January 27, 2012


What are sububbi?

I need to know whether to be aroused by your imagery or not.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 8:43 PM on January 27, 2012


People seemed to be confused over how the thread started, just clarifying.

So WHAT if they're confused how the thread started? Let 'em figure out for themselves, or let them continue to be confused. If they care enough, they can read back and find out. As someone pointed out to me in another thread, "sometimes it is okay to let people be wrong on the internet." I was told that I sometimes pounce on one little tiny thing and harp it to death, and that it really got annoying -- and they were right.

So from one harper to another = Artw, sometimes it is okay to let people be wrong on the Internet.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:43 PM on January 27, 2012


This is, well OK, but how about we take a look at the world around us , and think there are bigger things to care about?

First off?

Has anyone actually or seen Cortex play an F#Maj7 on the ukulele yet?

I have faith, but with that haircut, he might have some Samson shit going on that we, as a powerful and concerned community are not aware of.

Think of the Cortexes!

I implore you.
posted by timsteil at 8:48 PM on January 27, 2012


"Has anyone actually or seen Cortex play an F#Maj7 on the ukulele yet?"

I'm a cortexifan*, but I need proof.

* Label: "Inject Me".
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 8:59 PM on January 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


mlis: "Blazecock has left Artw alone,

For once. In previous meta's, he's vascillated between calling other posters lots of names, refusing to participate, or responding mostly civilly.

So, no consistency there. However, the one constant theme we can note is that Artw will predictably post a complaint to Meta and attack the mods for perceived bias, any time his comments responding to BP are deleted.

FWIW, I generally keep this comment from cortex in mind when BP's name comes up in meta (emphasis mine):
Blazecock Pileon is one of a number of people on the site who can be a real pain in the butt at times despite generally being a pretty good contributor the rest of the time. It's not entirely a fixable problem, unfortunately, but from the mod end we try to talk to folks when there's recurring problems and encourage them to find some way to keep the focus on the good contributions and try to avoid the negative stuff.

I've talked a little to BP about some specific stuff recently because I agree that there's some frustrating instincts he shows sometimes in the way he engages in arguments with other folks. But almost none of this stuff occurs in a vacuum, and I've talked to a couple other people as well for varying related reasons. In general I'd like to see a lot less of the multiplex negative interactions that go on with some small groups of mefites who for whatever reasons historical or temperamental or whatever have trouble not getting bitey or dismissive with each other. At this point I've asked a few different pairs of folks to pretty much pretend one another don't exist if that's what it takes to avoid rehashes of that stuff. It's working okay, not perfect but at least progress.

At the end of the day, I think it's more useful to try and either focus on making this place better or to try to be as specific and constructive as possible when you need to make a community discussion out of someone else's behavior. This callout was pretty poorly footed in that respect, yeah, which makes it harder to have a discussion that's not pretty distracted by the details of the metatalk post itself.
Which is why I said it would be nice if they would leave each other the hell alone.

stayed out of this Meta,

He passive aggressively favorited a nasty comment by another user, calling for artw to disable his account permanently. Just because he hasn't commented, doesn't mean he's stayed out of this Meta, nor made his presence felt.

did not argue with him on the blue.

For once.

...when the reality is Artw needs to give it a rest."

Yes, he does. Completely agree. And considering that this meta post went about as well as the last time he created one complaining that his comments had been deleted, it would be nice if he learned something from that.
posted by zarq at 9:00 PM on January 27, 2012 [3 favorites]


"Vascillated"? Vacillated.

I kan spel gud.
posted by zarq at 9:06 PM on January 27, 2012


zarq, that cortex comment about Blazecock is from April 2010. Almost two years ago. I will find that jessamyn comment I referenced above, but not tonight, alas. My point is Blazecock has worked hard to dial it down in Apple threads, and the mods have noticed that.

But no one else has. Numerous cheap shots in this thread attacking him about the Apple thing when he has made real progress in commenting in Apple threads.
posted by mlis at 9:11 PM on January 27, 2012 [3 favorites]


Well, I can't promise to pretend to like him, or that I don't consider the mods to have coddled him - and if you think I'm wrong there I guess we'll have to be all rashomon and shit, but I will promise that efforts to ignore his ass as much as possible will be renewed, so you get that much.
posted by Artw at 9:12 PM on January 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


mlis: "zarq, that cortex comment about Blazecock is from April 2010. Almost two years ago.

I believe it's still relevant.

My point is Blazecock has worked hard to dial it down in Apple threads, and the mods have noticed that.

Has he? That has not been my impression. Note that rather than respond to any of my points in that thread, he chose to cherry pick my comments, make accusations and call me names. I don't care to rehash the discussion. It's over and done with. But that incident was a scant three months ago.

You may be right, but if he's dialing it down and making "real progress," I certainly haven't seen it.
posted by zarq at 9:20 PM on January 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


Artw?

I drink too, just not as much as you, at least so far tonight.

I always send a misspelled note to one of the mods after one of my episodes like this, telling them I am taking a self-imposed walk for a while.

I've only got one note back, actually an apology from a mod who insinuated they were about to ban hammer me for a bit, saying basically "hey...yours wasn't so bad, I just wanted to head off the way things were going." sort of thing.

That's cool. You're cool too.

It's Friday, so how bout we just let is rest man eh?

We like to be nice to mods on weekends.
posted by timsteil at 9:20 PM on January 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


Artw: "...but I will promise that efforts to ignore his ass as much as possible will be renewed, so you get that much."

Hallelujah. Thank you.
posted by zarq at 9:21 PM on January 27, 2012


There, I admit, you may have something to hold against me

Artw, I truly couldn't be bothered holding things against you. You're not interesting enough.

And you've been told a thousand times that you'll be grounded if you hit your sister.

Now go to your room until you learn to play nice.
posted by flabdablet at 9:27 PM on January 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


Look, The F#maj7 thing (really, the uninverted maj7 form in general, whatever fret you like) is not even a discussion. It's a beautiful chord both sonically, with that almost-stable, bottom heavy feel that's just a little off up top, and visually, being one of only two non-esoteric chord forms that you can graph across the uke's fretboard as a simple linear function in standard tuning, a perfect diagonal across four strings with a slope of -1 fret as you ascend the strings.

The other is the inverted maj6 chord form, a 0 fret slope bar straight across the fret of your choice, just all BLAM MOTHERFUCKER'S, I'M HERE AND I BROUGHT SOME JAZZ.

I would post an explanatory video but I have friends over who I should not ignore to get that done.
posted by cortex (staff) at 9:30 PM on January 27, 2012 [11 favorites]


BLAM MOTHERFUCKER'S, I'M HERE AND I BROUGHT SOME JAZZ.

Can you name your album this, please?
posted by neuromodulator at 9:52 PM on January 27, 2012 [4 favorites]


don't know about the grocer's apostrophe though
posted by neuromodulator at 9:52 PM on January 27, 2012 [4 favorites]



Has anyone actually or seen Cortex play an F#Maj7 on the ukulele yet?

Pfft F#Maj7's for lightweights. D7alt, that's where the hip stuff is.
posted by Gygesringtone at 9:56 PM on January 27, 2012


I've been playing guitar, mandolin and banjo for a couple decades now and still have no idea where the "7" in a seventh chord comes from. I just know 7ths sound like the sarcastic versions of their major counterparts.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 10:04 PM on January 27, 2012 [7 favorites]


BP's Apple-thing is really off-putting. He's in every thread that involves Apple; and, worse, when it's just implicit in the form of it being about one of Apple's presumed competitors. And he's not just in the thread, but he's invariably all over the thread, often dominating it. And his positions and comments are, at this point, so highly predictable I imagine that many people here could just write them on his behalf.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 2:02 PM on January 27


See, the thing is either you're new here, or your own bias is blinding you. You can take out 'BP', put Delmoi in, and that paragraph still works.

BP takes a lot of shit, and yet somehow delmoi gets to slide through with very little complaint. Take almost any Apple thread, search for delmoi, and the chances are you're going to find 20 or more comments, almost to the one being critical of Apple.

He's already admitted his hate of Apple is irrational. It's obsessive, and often intellectually dishonest, his comments sometimes flying in the face of all evidence. I'm guessing his number of comments critical of Apple reaches into the thousands, easily.

I mean, I get into these debates also, and often say shit I regret, and I really should (and I'm going to try) stay out of them. But the idea of delmoi taking this thread as an opportunity to bash BP, and Artw, who admits he basically trolls Apple fanboys, running to metatalk with his tail between his legs, is just fucking precious, and just a little too ironic.

One of the Ironies about Apple's success is that it seems to have made Apple's hardcore fans much more bitter - now apple's so powerful, they attract a lot of criticism. I guess that's why.
posted by delmoi


I see Apple critics, having been wrong for the past 10 years as they've waited for Apple to fall, as being much more bitter. Honestly, delmoi, even you should be able to admit that there's a lot of tech writers, pundits, fans that can't wait for Apple to topple from the top. Perspective.

But what worried me is when when people aren't willing to look at the bad stuff that Apple actually does, like the problems with their supply chain, their lock-down of iOS, and so on. I think "rooting" for a tech company is OK but people shouldn't let their fandom interfere with their perception of things that actually matter.
posted by delmoi


See, take the 'lock down of iOS' topic. There's two sides to that. Advantages and disadvantages, but you're view is so small, you don't see both sides.

And again with the preaching about tech fandom and the danger of 'rooting'... you have to be shitting me. You're like a fanatical Christian preaching against the dangers of religion. You're deluded.
posted by justgary at 10:12 PM on January 27, 2012 [4 favorites]


MetaTalk, while I understand it is where people can vent a bit, gets really noisy sometimes. Bring the level of background noise down a bit is much appreciated.

But I just finished Reamde which left me quite unhappy and dissatisfied and my wife is bored of hearing me gripe about it!
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 10:15 PM on January 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


Artw, who admits he basically trolls Apple fanboys

Say what now?

What I said was that I was more likely to be critical of fanboys than I am of Apple itself.
posted by Artw at 10:19 PM on January 27, 2012


My last comment was a little rambling. More to the point:

Threads about Apple are certainly problematic. But the solution involves many more people than BP, and the singling out of him by several metafilter members that are just as much a part of that whole scene, and who often try to egg him on, is ridiculous.
posted by justgary at 10:29 PM on January 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


You're so vain you think this thread is about you.

Probably.
posted by scalefree at 10:53 PM on January 27, 2012


"See, the thing is either you're new here, or your own bias is blinding you. You can take out 'BP', put Delmoi in, and that paragraph still works."

I'm sorry, I missed the part where my criticism of BP implicitly excluded the possibility that others also behave similarly.

Anyway, firstly, I have no bias in this. Excepting an extremely limited patience with the OS wars that never seem to freaking end. Secondly, I'm not new and I'm deeply familiar with BP, in all his incarnations. We used to have a feud, infamously. Later, I was deeply impressed with his modulated behavior when he returned to MeFi and I've thought well of him ever since. Excepting those damn Apple related threads, where he turns into some kind of robot or something.

My observation is that it's definitely true that there are some Usual Suspects involved in this crap. But I've observed BP for as long as you have—that is, since he joined MeFi under his first username—and I think there's been some hardening of opposing positions as a consequence of BP's Apple stuff.

That doesn't make the other people who similarly carry on less guilty, of course. And, yeah, delmoi, like some others, certainly picks up that gauntlet. But you know that the whole "oh, those other guys are doing bad stuff too" is a pretty crappy defense, right?
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 10:53 PM on January 27, 2012 [2 favorites]


Sometimes, when a man loves a corporation...
posted by planet at 11:03 PM on January 27, 2012


Look, The F#maj7 thing (really, the uninverted maj7 form in general, whatever fret you like) is not even a discussion. posted by cortex (staff)

Lets hear it in a Todd Rundgren song then you bald-headed spawn of of hippybear!

Wow, totally reaching there, but hopefully someone laughed before it went lame.

Alright then. Not like I am writing that down as a first.

Uke threads just never work out they way I think they would up front.
posted by timsteil at 11:08 PM on January 27, 2012


This "time and place" thing is a little, um, uncomfortable for me. I know it isn't a big deal.

But we get jonmc called out in thread by a mod for doing his "random NYC ramblings" schtick. Yeah, he does it all the time. I am sure there are many who like it, many who think "WTF is with this guy?", but my guess is it balances out. It's a pretty inconsequential little bit of MeTa shared culture.

But then, a few comments above this one, we get cortex riffing off someone challenging his banjo skills. I have nothing whatsoever against it - it is a similar bit of site culture, I really like keeping up with cortex because he is a very talented and interesting guy with fingers in a million different pies.

But hey man! Whenever cortex decides it is time for some levity, it is by definition the correct time and place because he's on the mod team. His banjo talk is JUST THE SAME as jonmc's NYC tour guide talk. It happens with very similar frequency, often in exactly the same threads.

Me for one, I like both and would rather not have these things dialed back. But I'd especially not like for jonmc to be specifically called out, with detailed follow up explanations of why it ain't cool from other mods, only to have cortex get to decide "no, now it's cool, I say playtime starts here" It seems the "serious business" is still in full swing. But I guess this time we are OK with going down the cortex/banjo path, but not eh NYC cupcake path?

I was thinking to wait a few days and restart the lobster/lederhosen thing at the end of this thread, but that would seem passive aggressive rather than playful, so I will give it a pass.

Again, I reiterate, not a big deal - but something I noticed and felt worth mentioning here.
posted by Meatbomb at 11:13 PM on January 27, 2012 [24 favorites]


same as lobster-lederhosen

I have missed some shit, I'll tell you what.
posted by adamdschneider at 11:14 PM on January 27, 2012 [3 favorites]


Oh hey, that's surprising, somebody bringing out the apple-hater card. Fun.
posted by empath at 11:21 PM on January 27, 2012


His banjo talk is JUST THE SAME as jonmc's NYC tour guide talk

Just to clarify - cortex riffs on an infinite number of different things, not just banjos... which might count as being more entertaiing and more versatile than jonmc's thing - but I guess the point is moot as we are not auditioning for America's Got Wit.
posted by Meatbomb at 11:22 PM on January 27, 2012


"I have missed some shit, I'll tell you what."

Me, too. But I've deliberately avoided looking it up because it can't possibly be as awesome or funny as it sounds. So I'm leaving it happily in my nebulous imagination.

Meatbomb, cortex went to great lengths (366 words in length, to be precise) to qualify the jonmc stuff—that it's ambiguous, that it has a lot to do with the difference between jumping in early and joking because of disdain for the conversation and typical MeTa hijinks late in the thread, that it's not really that big of a deal and only rose to the level of even mentioning something because of long, long, long history...and so on and so forth.

I have an extremely low tolerance for people in authority being hypocritical about rules they enforce against other people—really, extremely low tolerance—but I sincerely don't think that's happening here.

Holy wow, I just noticed the little yellow line indicators inside the horizontal scroll bar after a Chrome "find" that show where the text appears in the page!
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 11:24 PM on January 27, 2012


er, "vertical", that is.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 11:25 PM on January 27, 2012


Widget announcement MeTa, Ivan F.
posted by cgc373 at 11:52 PM on January 27, 2012


I have an extremely low tolerance for people in authority being hypocritical about rules they enforce against other people—really, extremely low tolerance—but I sincerely don't think that's happening here.

True enough, Ivan. But the power dynamic inherently makes it a little unbalanced, you know? So, like, how does jonmc know when it's ok to bring out his schtick, and when cortex or another mod will will call him out? Wait until cortex starts playing, and then it's cool.
posted by Meatbomb at 12:05 AM on January 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


I actually felt a little conflicted in the context of talking to jonmc about the random-interjection thing about being goofy with my response to timsteil's callback to the F#maj7 joke, but I was trying to wind down from an honestly pretty stressful day of conversation and be okay with just letting things chill out a little bit. As far as that goes, dissonance noted and I don't have any robust defense of it.

I think there is a difference between the specific objection I was noting with recurring, explicit "who cares" type dismissiveness and the more general phenomenon of people riffing a little in threads, which is why I tried to qualify that in my comment to jonmc, and tried to emphasize that this was as much as anything a "dude, this is a thing that keeps happening and maybe it needs some work" thing rather than a "this was an egregious example and how dare you violate the sanctity of this thread" thing, but, eh, I get the weirdness I guess. I am at this point in a long mefi week ready to abandon stern consistency for some just getting along to getting along. It bums me out sometimes to have to be the heavy. Maybe that's just tough shit for me, comes with the territory and all that.
posted by cortex (staff) at 12:07 AM on January 28, 2012 [3 favorites]


I been waiting to chime in and say there is a Tim Horton's in Penn Station right near Tracks. if you commute in you can grab your Tim Horton's in the morning and your to-go cup of Jameson's from Tracks after work!
posted by Ad hominem at 12:08 AM on January 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


Wait, I misunderstood what you were talking about, Ivan F. Please carry on without my misdirected link.
posted by cgc373 at 12:09 AM on January 28, 2012


"Widget announcement MeTa, Ivan F."

No, that's not what I meant, although that's pretty nifty, too.

This is actually a Chrome feature where if you do a text search in a page, then actual little yellow lines appear in the vertical scroll bar exactly where you'd place the scroll button to center the found text in the window. With a long thread like this, it was like having a little graphical representation of the entire thread with "by cortex" as yellow lines in their relative positions within the thread. Anyway, it makes it really easy to scroll to where the next found text if you don't want to click the down-arrow in the search field or, worse, just scan for highlighted found text by scrolling. It's pretty neat and I'd never noticed it before now, although I do occasionally use Chrome's "find".
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 12:11 AM on January 28, 2012


I call Lost Girl "the show about the rapist who only rapes on The Side Of Good."

I'm really conflicted about it. Would love to have some kind of conversation about it. But not with you IF. you drive me mad.
posted by seanyboy at 12:51 AM on January 28, 2012


Meatbomb: Whenever cortex decides it is time for some levity, it is by definition the correct time and place because he's on the mod team. His banjo talk is JUST THE SAME as jonmc's NYC tour guide talk. It happens with very similar frequency, often in exactly the same threads.

The important metric I think you're missing, though, is that whilst it may occur with similar frequency, in the same threads, and be similar content-wise, it's not cortex's first response in thread - far from it, he'd already commented twice, including being first-mod-responder.

Contrasted with jonmc just diving in with no useful contribution, but with a comment which came off as dismissive and disrailing. And this was the 24th comment in a thread. Cortex's riffing didn't come until the 253rd comment.

There's a time and a place. I reckon a couple hundred comments into a MeTa is probably closer to that time and place than a couple dozen.
posted by coriolisdave at 1:29 AM on January 28, 2012 [3 favorites]


You know, I used to aspire to being a mod here, but you couldn't pay me to do it now.
posted by b33j at 1:54 AM on January 28, 2012 [5 favorites]


I really like both Artw and BP but I think the only solution here is a fight to the death. b33j, will you ref? You would think you don't need a ref in a fight to the death but we have to stop them from talking to each other during it.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 3:04 AM on January 28, 2012 [5 favorites]


The Chrome search gizmo trickery that Ivan F is talking about is pretty neat.
posted by arcticseal at 3:26 AM on January 28, 2012


coriolisdave: jonmc just diving in with no useful contribution

Usefulness shouldn't be required of MetaTalk contributions. This isn't AskMe. And as I said above, if a short comment by jonmc about life in New York gets under your skin, then the problem is on your end. Recipe-comments were a different kettle of fish, because they were long comments that took up a lot of space and you'd have a whole bunch of people posting them, genuinely making it an effort to find on-topic comments. I can't remember a life-in-New-York comment by jonmc resulting in anything more than a few short comments. These aren't comparable.
posted by Kattullus at 5:29 AM on January 28, 2012 [5 favorites]


I don't really care too much that I didn't read the whole of this thread, but I'd like to go on record supporting (only sometimes and when tactfully deployed) those non sequitur-type interjections with recipes and weather comments and the polysuch.

My saying this has nothing to do with however jonmc deployed his initial detensioning statement here (I only mean I wasn't well enough in synch with the thread's trajectory to judge its applicability).
I have no comment on Jon's role in this thread and although maybe I wouldn't have agreed with every similar attempt he's made in the past along these lines, I've been persuaded over the years that, as a discussion tactic on web forum when things are getting out of hand and one, two or three individuals are going over the top, this kind of sleight of hand comment can be beneficial.

But it needs to deployed strategically and subtly to work.
posted by peacay at 6:51 AM on January 28, 2012


Um, I left this thread awhile ago and to be honest I'm not thrilled about being positioned as a weapon in a beef someone has with cortex.
posted by jonmc at 7:04 AM on January 28, 2012


Huh? It came up because of you Jon. I'm essentially saying I agree that that's an ok thing sometimes. I was not using you as a weapon. I don't actually have enough understanding of this thread to comment on what you did. It's just that you said something and it brought it up. I have no beef with anyone.
posted by peacay at 7:14 AM on January 28, 2012

I thought they were sort of accepted as part of site norms when they mean, "This MeTa is beneath substantive comment," rather than, "Hey, guys, let's not get so upset! Recipe time!!" (I should admit here that I like the former type of MeTa noise and not the latter.) -- palliser
It used to be people could yell and scream at eachother, and there were plenty of mealtdowns. The mods put a stop to that, probably a good idea. The derails were a way to avoid that, I think. But if they're gone then we don't need derails.

There's metachat if you want to just blab with fellow mefites.
Actually, you said "Heavens to Betsy! *Clutches Perls*" – which was much funnier, I thought. Sad to find out it wasn't intentional. Heh. -- koeselitz
Hahah. I actually wrote 'perls' when re-writing the comment, then corrected it.
Whether or not BP is a terrible person is sort of a side issue, and only of academic interest as nothing will ever be done about him. -- Artw
He posts annoying comments on some topics. Get over it.
BP takes a lot of shit, and yet somehow delmoi gets to slide through with very little complaint. Take almost any Apple thread, search for delmoi, and the chances are you're going to find 20 or more comments, almost to the one being critical of Apple.

He's already admitted his hate of Apple is irrational. It's obsessive, and often intellectually dishonest, his comments sometimes flying in the face of all evidence. I'm guessing his number of comments critical of Apple reaches into the thousands, easily.
-- justgary
Uh yeah, obviously I disagree. Feel free to link to an example of an intellectually dishonest comment I've made about Apple. I also said antipathy, not hate.
I see Apple critics, having been wrong for the past 10 years as they've waited for Apple to fall, as being much more bitter. Honestly, delmoi, even you should be able to admit that there's a lot of tech writers, pundits, fans that can't wait for Apple to topple from the top. Perspective.
Are you kidding? It's great! Hating apple is chic now! I was just ahead of my time! And honestly I don't really care that much anymore. Like I said, I view it is as equivalent to talk about sports teams or something. Most redsox fans (at least the well adjusted ones) aren't going to be bitter if the Yankees win.

15 years ago, I cared a lot more. But I was a highschool student. I was also very passionate about Nintendo vs. Sega. In fact my god I even defended the virtual boy! Hahah. (Also if you click that link, ignore the spelling errors in that post, TIA). I don't really care any more.

Also, random weirdness: I actually used to prefer macs. I started going to the public library and using theirs when I was around 12 or so. Then, when I took my first programming class, and we learned C on DOS on these 386s. This was the first time I'd seen the command line and and textmode and I thought they were awesome.
posted by delmoi at 7:17 AM on January 28, 2012


It used to be people could yell and scream at eachother, and there were plenty of mealtdowns.

I super hope that this is not a typo, but the word used to describe a shouting match interspersed with recipes.
posted by running order squabble fest at 7:46 AM on January 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


I wasn't talking about you, peacay.
posted by jonmc at 7:47 AM on January 28, 2012


i was in the detroit area yesterday and drove past several tim horton's - but i get donuts at sweetwater's so i don't care

and the real cool kids are playing 7#9 chords
posted by pyramid termite at 7:54 AM on January 28, 2012


I wasn't talking about you, peacay.

I apologize to jonmc, cortex, and anyone else who found my recent comments in this thread beefy, or in any other way distasteful or unpalatable. I have nothing against cortex, and as I said I actually do not want to see less cortex riffing or less jonmc reportage in future MeTa threads.

*backs out of room, hands clasped and bowing obsequiously*
posted by Meatbomb at 8:08 AM on January 28, 2012 [7 favorites]


Feel free to link to an example of an intellectually dishonest comment I've made about Apple. I also said antipathy, not hate.

Holy Shit, did anyone else just feels the universe start to collapse in on itself? Was that some sort of meta-joke in Metatalk?
posted by yerfatma at 8:48 AM on January 28, 2012


It used to be people could yell and scream at eachother, and there were plenty of mealtdowns. The mods put a stop to that, probably a good idea. The derails were a way to avoid that, I think. But if they're gone then we don't need derails.

I meant the opposite of what you're suggesting I meant. I dislike the MeTa derails that are an attempt to "diffuse tension," partly because it's infantile and partly because it is enraging rather than calming to people who are angry. I like the MeTa derails that send the message, "This is a bullshit MeTa and you're wasting our time," because it is in fact a substantive message that some people need to hear.

Again, see this thread. Noise only 2 comments in, plenty more only a couple dozen comments in, and perfectly appropriate, too.

And this, too, is a bullshit MeTa on a boring recurrent theme that wasted everyone's time and could have been solved via contact form.
posted by palliser at 9:15 AM on January 28, 2012 [2 favorites]


Meatbomb I got what you meant. It seemed a little unfair in context. I don't find jonmcs updates distracting, only mood-lightening.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 9:42 AM on January 28, 2012


And this, too, is a bullshit MeTa on a boring recurrent theme that wasted everyone's time and could have been solved via contact form.

That wouldn't have served the purpose of letting everybody know how angry he was/is with the mods. He pretty much knew what the answer was before even posting; he just didn't like it & was hoping to apply pressure to change it & get a different answer.
posted by scalefree at 9:45 AM on January 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


Meatbomb, you are amazing.
posted by Blasdelb at 9:48 AM on January 28, 2012


Hm. Google ngrams: defuse tension vs diffuse tension. Not what I expected; I don't think I knew that 'diffuse' can be a transitive verb (though I suppose I did know the word 'diffuser'). (If you're worried that "diffuse tension" in the above ngrams might be using 'diffuse' [dIfjus] the adjective instead of 'diffuse' [dIfjuz] the noun, try diffuse the tension vs defuse the tension.)
posted by stebulus at 9:49 AM on January 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


I find the random derail comments to be incredibly rude.

Imagine you're at a social function with your friends and associates. There's a pretty big crowd of people having a discussion about something that's causing stress within the group. They're trying to hash it out. Sometimes the tone gets a little rough, but things are pretty cool and you're hanging out, listening and maybe trying to add something useful where you can. Suddenly one guy off on the side starts a completely unrelated conversation on top of the current one. "Hey guys, you'll never guess what I ate for lunch!" And several other people join in, and now there are two conversations you have to wade through to get at the meat of the thing.

It's just ... rude. Some of us are trying to learn and fix things here. There are a million places on the Internet where you can talk about your lunch or dog or whatever. Why do you think this is the appropriate time and place?
posted by introp at 9:51 AM on January 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


Now imagine you're at a large party with your friends and associates and a small group get in the same argument they've been having for years, and a few others start slagging another associate who is present but not participating. There is nothing new to be learned, nothing to be solved or resolved, just a big, ugly, steaming mound of shit in the punchbowl.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 10:09 AM on January 28, 2012 [2 favorites]


Cortex has said that sometimes my non sequiturs have the intended mood-lightening effect, sometimes not. Something to think on that's all.
posted by jonmc at 10:34 AM on January 28, 2012


Yeah I really think it's a "read the room" situation. And I know I have a particular feeling because while MeTa is basically optional for everyone, it's not optional for us and so while jokey/off-the-wall comments may help some people out, they often make other people annoyed which then becomes its own problem to solve and firmly in our lap as something to deal with. Not really complaining, it's a great job and I like doing it. But there are things that people who I think would not want to be making our jobs more difficult could be doing and better timing on non sequitur stuff would be one of them and I don't think it would diminish the site much.

Basically this is the problem for anyone who becomes That Guy on any particular topic or approach or whatever. Some people expect and enjoy those interactions and other people get really tired of them really quick. I think of it sort of like how the

Rick

Rick

Rick

stuff is still hilarious to some people and other people now flag it every time they see it in a thread (I am lucky that I still find it funny because I have to read every single one of them on the site now). So part of "reading the room" is determining how much it's okay to be That Guy and also figuring out when is an okay time to do that. And part of it, for Team Mod is sometimes being able to let people know that something like that is happening and having that be okay. Maybe we should be more politic than "knock it off" but sometimes we feel like if we've been trying to get that particular message across in gentler ways maybe it's time to have a larger conversation about it.

a small group get in the same argument they've been having for years

And whether or not you feel like people are having the same old arguments in MeTa, the fact remains that this is where people are told to come and do this thing. While I could do without the READ MOAR gratuitous swipes, this is basically the approved place for people to air grievances. And if you feel like they're doing it over and over and you're tired of it or bored with it or think it's repetitive feel free to say something about it but also feel free to think about what your desired result really is. Crapping in a thread is still crapping in a thread, whether you think it's justified or not.

I'm keenly aware that many people really do not understand how a comment they make or a thread they start is going to go and are frequently surprised by the way MeFites respond to them, but at some level this is a personal problem not a site problem. All we can do is sort of help people get a feeling for this sort of thing so they can make more conscious choices about what they're doing in the future.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 10:56 AM on January 28, 2012


I find the random derail comments to be incredibly rude.

posted by introp at 5:51 PM on January 28


Not that that's necessarily a bad thing in a thread that's essentially a wankfest. Come on. Admit it. Threads like this are huge fun for many Mefites. They make it worth getting out of bed. They're certainly a hell of a lot more entertaining than those nauseating, arse-licking, "I'd just like to give a big old shout-out to the mods for being, oooh, rilly amaaaazing" threads. Now aren't they?
posted by Decani at 11:09 AM on January 28, 2012 [2 favorites]


I should probably say that I'm more trying to gauge how my own participation in these threads is perceived than jonmc's (which has already been addressed, and which he has indicated he has taken to heart). Because I'm honestly not sure. I get mixed messages on that front, and I suppose that's inevitable, because we are a mixed group of individuals around here, and because my participation is probably also inconsistent. But I definitely am guilty of adding noise to the room, for good or ill. If it's been a problem, I'd like to know. After lunch.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 11:14 AM on January 28, 2012


I don't make stunt posts.

I don't get preferential treatment from anyone, let alone the moderators.

I didn't flag Artw's comments in my post, though I should have. I didn't complain to the moderators about his behavior, though I should have. That was a mistake.

My second mistake was then responding to Artw's increasingly obnoxious bait. His threadshitting was obnoxious, and I asked him to take it elsewhere. (That this is what happened can be verified by the moderators, who still have a copy of the deleted comments.)

For bothering to tell Artw to simply stop and go somewhere else if he couldn't behave, I apologize to the moderators.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 11:17 AM on January 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


I should probably say that I'm more trying to gauge how my own participation in these threads is perceived

I think "mixed" is probably the way it's going to be in general - people who are engaged in whatever the "serious" or "main" topic of the thread is are probably going to be indifferent to annoyed, and people who are eating popcorn and waiting for a flameout are going to be entertained. There are more of the former than the latter early in a thread, usually, and the more heated the topic the more jarring a jokey non-sequitur is going to be.

In general, I think if your intention is to say "hey, calm down, guys," it's going to work better (although it may not work) to actually say that out loud, rather than to try to just lighten the mood with something random. If you're trying to redirect the conversation, it's probably going to earn less hostility if you acknowledge the conversation in progress first.

I think the party analogy falls down in some ways, because no one can tell if you're that drunk guy who really really REALLY wants to talk about his new shoes or if you're gently trying to steer people away from that same old fistfight. You'd need to actively provide context about your intentions for people to be able to tell.
posted by restless_nomad (staff) at 11:23 AM on January 28, 2012 [2 favorites]


Agreed, restless_nomad: the party analogy definitely doesn't mesh perfectly with the situation, but I think the examples you give are rather along the lines of what I was trying to get at. In a text medium like this where tone and posture are very difficult (nearly impossible?) to convey unambiguously, why do it here? Unless a poster comes out and, like you say, levels with the crowd about their feelings and then tries a redirect, it seems like the point is going to go over a significant number of peoples' heads. And then what did that post net us?

That this is "the same argument they've been having for years" is a good point, but again one that's lost on me. I've only been around a few years. I have mental models (good and bad) of only a very few posters. This particular topic was one that was actually enlightening for me. I got to see some of the history. I got to see the various sides of the argument (this is boring, this should be outlawed, this should be ignored, etc.).

So here I am, getting all this tribal knowledge, figuring out how better to read the room here, and suddenly someone comes in and starts talking over top about how awesome their shoes are, deliberately trying to derail things without coming out and saying "I'm bored of this same old schtick." And a bunch of other people chime in, raising the noise level. Great, if you're bored of this, move on to another conversation; there's no need to sit in this one and shit on it because you can't see what value it possibly has.

Because it has value that isn't "lolfight" for some of us. :/
posted by introp at 11:39 AM on January 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


Your third mistake is favoriting a comment that said that someone you don't like should disable their account permanently. You did something similar to me years ago and I still haven't forgotten it, because it's just so downright offensive.

Take whatever high horse you'd like - true colors are abound in one little action.
posted by SeizeTheDay at 12:07 PM on January 28, 2012 [2 favorites]


Passive-aggressive favoriting of "gotcha" comments directed at other users is pretty much always shitty, regardless of parties involved.
posted by Burhanistan at 12:26 PM on January 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


This seems like a perfect moment for thread closure. Just a thought..
posted by peacay at 12:33 PM on January 28, 2012


BP, that post and the last post you made in the thread is the most insincere bullshit I've ever read. You know full well what you're doing.

And people don't have a problem with you, they have a problem with your behavior.
posted by empath at 12:56 PM on January 28, 2012 [5 favorites]


introp: suddenly someone comes in and starts talking over top about how awesome their shoes are

Not to be too reductive, but you can't scroll past a comment at a party. That said, asides are valid parts of conversation. Not everything should be on point.
posted by Kattullus at 1:16 PM on January 28, 2012


Your third mistake is favoriting a comment that said that someone you don't like should disable their account permanently. You did something similar to me years ago and I still haven't forgotten it, because it's just so downright offensive.

posted by SeizeTheDay at 8:07 PM on January 28


Oh for fuck's sake, get a sense of proportion.
posted by Decani at 1:18 PM on January 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


For bothering to tell Artw to simply stop and go somewhere else if he couldn't behave, I apologize to the moderators.

Whatever credit you'd built up in your restraint over the course of this thread just evaporated. Just like that <poof> it was gone. Definitely a case of "better to remain silent & thought a fool than open your mouth & prove it".
posted by scalefree at 1:35 PM on January 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


Decani: " Oh for fuck's sake, get a sense of proportion."

You're right. He should have posted a rant about ukuleles and folk music, instead. That would have been much better.
posted by zarq at 1:42 PM on January 28, 2012


I once heard President Obama refer to the politicopundit cable shows as the journalistic equivalent of the WWF. That would make fights on blogs kind of like those third tier grappling leagues made up of oversized ex-cons and retired carny freaks in hand me down tights than swing through the rust belt twice a year.
posted by jonmc at 1:53 PM on January 28, 2012 [8 favorites]


That mental image makes my job much funnier.
posted by restless_nomad (staff) at 2:02 PM on January 28, 2012 [3 favorites]


The name has been WWE since he was a member of the Illinois Senate.

He and McCain both taped promos for the company during the election, so it would be quite a gaffe if Obama used the older name during his presidency.
posted by Trurl at 2:05 PM on January 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


Goodness, yes, he'd never live that shit down.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 2:17 PM on January 28, 2012 [6 favorites]


Well, a 15 years out date attempt at a cultural reference would earn Gingrich a snicker, I'm sure.
posted by Trurl at 2:22 PM on January 28, 2012


Imagine how much better the Republican debates done more in the style of those inter-match segments from the WWF's glory days (by "glory", I mean "when I used to watch", of course). I would pay a million dollars to have Newt do his next appearance with Paul Bearer standing at this side, nodding approvingly and stroking his urn. Or if Santorum suddenly gained the Papa Shango power to make shit ooze out of whoever is interviewing them. I refuse to look up the proper spelling of Papa Shango
posted by neuromodulator at 2:24 PM on January 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


ME AM MASTER OF ENGLISH
posted by neuromodulator at 2:24 PM on January 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


The thing I'm taking away from all this is that there are people who flag "RICK RICK RICK" posts. Did I miss the addition of the "I HAVE HEARD THIS JOKE BEFORE, HELP ME" flag?
posted by darksasami at 2:48 PM on January 28, 2012 [6 favorites]


Well, a 15 years out date attempt at a cultural reference would earn Gingrich a snicker, I'm sure.

Depends on the reference. I think anyone could be forgiven for calling the WWE the WWF, considering the latter was joyous cartoonish entertainment, in the days before wrestling became populated entirely by bass players from mid-tier goth metal bands.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 2:48 PM on January 28, 2012 [3 favorites]


neuromodulator: Imagine how much better the Republican debates done more in the style of those inter-match segments from the WWF's glory days (by "glory", I mean "when I used to watch", of course).

To quote a friend of mine: "I wish Obama was as adept at navigating the notion of American exceptionalism while holding the rest of the planet in great esteem as Hulk Hogan was during the formation of the Mega Powers tag team (see the first minute of this)."
posted by Kattullus at 3:06 PM on January 28, 2012


Marisa Stole the Precious Thing: Depends on the reference. I think anyone could be forgiven for calling the WWE the WWF, considering the latter was joyous cartoonish entertainment, in the days before wrestling became populated entirely by bass players from mid-tier goth metal bands.

I don't know how to tell you, but today joyous cartoonish entertaintainment is populated entirely by mid-tier goth metal bands.
posted by Kattullus at 3:11 PM on January 28, 2012


I think Deathklok is legally allowed to execute anyone who calls them "mid-tier."
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 3:50 PM on January 28, 2012 [3 favorites]


Did I miss the addition of the "I HAVE HEARD THIS JOKE BEFORE, HELP ME" flag?

Maybe they use the "noise" flag. It seems at least a little appropriate, don't you think?
posted by stebulus at 3:54 PM on January 28, 2012


I've really tried to enjoy Metalocalypse, but unless an episode involves that David Lee Roth clown in some way, it just doesn't do anything for me. Although they do get props for being the source material for that "THIS THREAD IS DILDOS" image macro.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 3:58 PM on January 28, 2012


The name has been WWE since he was a member of the Illinois Senate.

I will never forgive the World Wildlife Fund.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 4:50 PM on January 28, 2012 [5 favorites]


I will never forgive the World Wildlife Fund.

My understanding is that trademark holders gotta defend their trademark, or they lose it. Blame the wrestling federation for breaking their deal with the wildlife fund.
posted by middleclasstool at 8:54 PM on January 28, 2012


Blazecock Pileon: One final thing. Every time you post something about Microsoft, Facebook, Flash, Google or Apple, people filter it through the "He's doing it again. He's so biased. The story is probably wrong or an exaggeration."

I do this. I've no doubt that other people do the same.

I don't mind when you comment in one of these threads. If a discussion needs to be had, then you need to be there.

But, if a story about Apple or one of its competitors comes up, and it's worthy of being posted, then it will be posted. You don't need to post. The sum you need to do in your head is "Will me posting this detract from the message because of the biases other people have against me."

Plus - I wish my point about these kinds of posts being synonymous with self-linking had been taken up by the Mods. I think that's a useful conversation to have.
posted by seanyboy at 3:51 AM on January 29, 2012 [2 favorites]


If a discussion needs to be had, then you need to be there.

Less true words were never spoken.
posted by Falconetti at 5:44 AM on January 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


Falconetti: Taking my self-post analogy further. You don't want the author of "shit Apple users say" to post their video on the front page, but you do want them to appear in thread to talk about their motivation / reasons."
posted by seanyboy at 6:01 AM on January 29, 2012


I wish my point about these kinds of posts being synonymous with self-linking had been taken up by the Mods. I think that's a useful conversation to have.

I hear where you're coming from—and the That Guy phenomenon is a key thing here and worth talking about—but I think given that "no self links" is our one brightline banned-promptly-and-mercilessly rule about posting, it's not something we're going to treat things as casually synonymous to, because that feels like a pretty provocative framing of it.

What these kind of posts are is something that definitely requires some self-moderation or it risks turning into a thing where the poster's reputation for being That Guy who Posts About X does totally, as you say, get in the way the discussion because people start reacting to the reputation, to the pattern of individual behavior, as part of how they perceive the post.

And like I said upthread, I think the notion that BP should throttle back on some of the Big Tech Company News posts is valid, because it is sort of a conspicuous thing, sort of a That Guy situation at this point, and if it's interesting content or big news there are plenty of other tech-minded folks here who are likely to make a post about it. It's a conversation we've had with a few other people for various values of X over the years, and generally it has worked out fine in the long run.

But in this case like in most cases of someone having sort of a favored post topic, that's more a "hey, work on this a little, it'll help things go smoother" situation than a "this is essentially self-linking" situation. It's an important distinction given how we treat self-linking, important enough that I don't want to conflate the two analogically even if I understand what you're getting at.
posted by cortex (staff) at 8:16 AM on January 29, 2012 [3 favorites]


a 15 years out date attempt at a cultural reference would earn Gingrich a snicker, I'm sure.

Obscured as it would be by everything else which looms over that campaign, like the Moon and Newt's head, I kinda doubt it.
posted by octobersurprise at 8:17 AM on January 29, 2012


Keeping track of the members' interests would be a headache, though - like, if someone is forbidden from posting about Apple or any of its competitors/suppliers, that's RIM, Samsung, Microsoft, Google, HP, Dell, Foxconn, Amazon, ASUSTEK, Acer... but how about, say, ARM? Or Spotify? Or the OLPC project? Or friend of Apple Bono? And if the same rule is applied to someone over Google, then what's s/he disqualified from posting about? Google, natch. Microsoft, Facebook, Apple and RIM, obviously. Samsung? They make Android phones and Chromebooks, but also have their own phone OS. ASUS? They, again, make hardware for Android, but their netbooks compete with the Chromebook. How about DuckDuckGo, or the latest video by Chris Milk? Who decides?

It feels like the current rules of self-posting - do you work or have a professional relationship with a company in the FPP, do you have a personal relationship with a person in the FPP, is something written or made by you in the FPP or the opening posts - have pretty bright lines, whereas "do you have irrationally strong feelings about the subject or company linked" feels much harder to define. "Does BP work for Apple" is a simple question, easily answered. Whereas I doubt that BP thinks that his feelings about Apple are irrational - he thinks other people are irrational, because they are refusing to accept evident and obvious facts about the inferiority of other producers, platforms and philosophies:
Fact remains that Apple is beating everyone, including the neckbeards, with best-of-class hardware and software that just works, has been doing for since the first iPhone, and people who use it and develop for it know this fact. Sorry.
And I guess that it seems like just as rational and obvious a fact to Artw that nobody could get away with behaving like BP without exceptional protection. Everyone's rational, everyone's right.

People being weirdly pro or anti a particular company is sometimes irksome and sometimes amusing, but not, it seems, in itself a cause for intervention any more than being weirdly pro or anti Justin Bieber, feminism or the word "cisgender". People allowing their feelings about a company/singing sensation/movement/word to fuel vocal interpersonal aggravation can become a cause for intervention. People allowing their feelings about a company to lead to axe-grinding posts or stunt posts becomes a cause for moderator intervention, but not because of the feelings, but because of what the feelings have led to.

We all have our own hot buttons, I imagine, and we are often not aware of how they are affecting our behavior - although of course some people are more aware than others, but putting oneself on that continuum is inordinately difficult. The penalty for having one's own unusual emotional hot buttons tolerated is probably having to live with the toleration of the hot buttons of others.
posted by running order squabble fest at 8:26 AM on January 29, 2012 [2 favorites]


Imagine what Metafilter would be like if people could not actually participate to the threads they start? I think this issue of axe-grindiness would be taken care of.
posted by crunchland at 8:38 AM on January 29, 2012


Imagine what Metafilter would be like if people could not actually participate to the threads they start?

Worse.
posted by Trurl at 10:15 AM on January 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


Well, I learned my lesson here.
posted by Evernix at 10:46 AM on January 29, 2012 [2 favorites]


Thanks cortex.
posted by seanyboy at 10:51 AM on January 29, 2012


Uh yeah, obviously I disagree. Feel free to link to an example of an intellectually dishonest comment I've made about Apple. I also said antipathy, not hate.

If people flag your most egregious and obnoxious examples which are then removed wouldn't this be a nigh impossible task QED?

On the flip side you can't really prove a negative either.
posted by Talez at 11:14 AM on January 29, 2012


Uh yeah, obviously I disagree. Feel free to link to an example of an intellectually dishonest comment I've made about Apple. I also said antipathy, not hate.
- delmoi


Yeah, I have no interest in digging through your thousands of comments on Apple to prove a point that even if I did you would disagree with.

Are you kidding? It's great! Hating apple is chic now! I was just ahead of my time! And honestly I don't really care that much anymore. Like I said, I view it is as equivalent to talk about sports teams or something. Most redsox fans (at least the well adjusted ones) aren't going to be bitter if the Yankees win.

You don't care that much, but yet you comment 20 plus times on any apple thread.

All I'm saying is this: You're too involved on the subject to think clearly. You can repeat that you don't care that much. Your thousands upon thousands of comments would seem to say otherwise. You're too emotionally involved on the topic to see clearly.

And your comparison to sports teams is a good one. Most sports discussion sites are among the worst on the internet, and almost unreadable.

And I don't care, honestly. There's nothing you could say about Apple that I couldn't predict, and you've been wrong for as long as you've been here. All I'm saying is for you to be commenting on BP as if you have some higher view on the subject is nonsense. You have absolutely no perspective on the subject. You said yourself that you see the subject as similar to a sports discussion.

And that's the problem.
posted by justgary at 2:56 PM on January 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


Man, this high road is disused. We need to get some community service people up here to clear these vines.
posted by running order squabble fest at 3:04 PM on January 30, 2012 [2 favorites]


Noooo! The bathrooms on the High Road rest stops are so clean! It's like the airport terminal really early in the morning.
posted by Burhanistan at 3:09 PM on January 30, 2012 [3 favorites]


delmoi, ignorant Apple fanboys are giving you shit. Congratulations, you must be doing something right.
posted by Crabby Appleton at 3:17 PM on January 30, 2012


On the other hand, Bizarre MetaFilter Hate-Groupie, Crabby Appleton, has scuttled over to your side!
posted by ignignokt at 3:58 PM on January 30, 2012


Worst. JRPG. Ever.
posted by running order squabble fest at 4:14 PM on January 30, 2012 [2 favorites]


On the other hand, Bizarre MetaFilter Hate-Groupie, Crabby Appleton, has scuttled over to your side!

Well, yeah, because in a community, it's all about choosing up sides, right ig***nokt?

It couldn't possibly be about technical merit.
posted by Crabby Appleton at 4:16 PM on January 30, 2012


it's all about choosing up sides

I'm just facetiously playing in your sandbox, Cr***y!
posted by ignignokt at 5:14 PM on January 30, 2012


Well, yeah, because in a community, it's all about choosing up sides, right ig***nokt?

Taken delmoi's side in an argument, Crabs. In an argument. Not everything is about the site.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 5:19 PM on January 30, 2012


Whoops, I forgot, this thread is not about me. Ta.
posted by Crabby Appleton at 6:41 PM on January 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


What? Is that what I said?
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 8:28 PM on January 30, 2012


Uh, no, arcticseal said it. And you marked it as a favorite.
posted by Crabby Appleton at 7:21 AM on January 31, 2012


Shut up!
posted by Burhanistan at 7:26 AM on January 31, 2012


Yes, that was in a whole other conversation, Crabs. In this case, you seemed to be under the impression that someone was talking about taking a side in the "community". I was clearing up for you that someone was pointing out you were taking a side in an argument. Helping your reading comprehension, as it were. But if you're still smarting over being asked not to make yet another thread about you, I'm sorry.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 10:37 AM on January 31, 2012


Keeping track of who has a grudge against whom and for what reason would be a full-time job around here.
posted by zarq at 11:03 AM on January 31, 2012


Yes, that was in a whole other conversation, Crabs.

The context is this thread. I was supposedly making the thread about myself.

In this case, you seemed to be under the impression that someone was talking about taking a side in the "community". I was clearing up for you that someone was pointing out you were taking a side in an argument.

A distinction without a difference.

But if you're still smarting over being asked not to make yet another thread about you, I'm sorry.

You're pretty sorry, all right. I'm sorry you're too intellectually dishonest to admit when you're pwned.
posted by Crabby Appleton at 11:05 AM on January 31, 2012


I'm sorry you're too intellectually dishonest to admit when you're pwned.

....Did I walk into the 4chan room without noticing?...
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 11:08 AM on January 31, 2012


Keeping track of who has a grudge against whom and for what reason would be a full-time job around here.

But it pays pretty well and comes with dental insurance.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 1:23 PM on January 31, 2012 [5 favorites]


OK, Jessamyn, let's test your knowledge. Please name all the mefites I have a grudge against.
posted by Crabby Appleton at 1:41 PM on January 31, 2012


I don't think any, you just seem to hate the site generally. Is that correct?
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 1:42 PM on January 31, 2012 [4 favorites]


I only hold a grudge against Iridic, because he's so clean-looking.
posted by shakespeherian at 1:44 PM on January 31, 2012


No. BP is one. There's at least one other, but I won't name that one since you didn't; but you know (more or less) how I feel about BP. There are also people on the site that I like, but I won't name them for their own protection. :-) There are aspects of the site that I like and aspects I don't like. It does seem to me that the site is being overrun by nutcases, partly due to its growth rate and partly due to its natural defenses being blunted by moderator action.
posted by Crabby Appleton at 1:48 PM on January 31, 2012


Huh. I'd have guessed at a grudge against "the mods," as I seem to see a lot of sniping at "how things are run" in general.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 3:23 PM on January 31, 2012


Crabby is the immune system, the mods are AIDS?
posted by Meatbomb at 3:25 PM on January 31, 2012


Oh look. Another thread that's all about Crabby.

Achievement unlocked, I guess.
posted by coriolisdave at 3:27 PM on January 31, 2012


I have a grudge against Ju-on.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 4:41 PM on January 31, 2012 [1 favorite]


I have a grudge against myself. It keeps things simple.
posted by scalefree at 8:58 PM on January 31, 2012


Why are people grudgeful?
posted by Burhanistan at 9:57 PM on January 31, 2012


OK, Jessamyn, let's test your knowledge. Please name all the mefites I have a grudge against. --- There are 50,000+ registered users of Metafilter. The fact that you are more than a blip on anyone's radar here is an achievement. Yet you think it's worth anyone's time to actually delve into your petty little disputes?
posted by crunchland at 2:47 AM on February 1, 2012


This is the kind of idiocy I have to deal with every fucking time I post almost any sort of comment on this site. So, dumbass, where did you get the ridiculous notion that I "think it's worth anyone's time to actually delve into [my] petty little disputes"? I know where, you pulled it out of your ass.

Jessamyn asserted that it's her job to keep track of who has a grudge against whom and for what reason. I was curious to what extent that was actually true. So I asked her to name all the mefites I have a grudge against. Now, guess what, dumbass, I only know who I have a grudge against, so I asked her about my grudges. Because I don't fucking know about other people's grudges. Dumbass.
posted by Crabby Appleton at 6:57 AM on February 1, 2012


If you like his ass so much why don't you spank it?
posted by Burhanistan at 7:07 AM on February 1, 2012 [2 favorites]


Crabby, give it a rest.
posted by cortex (staff) at 7:12 AM on February 1, 2012


Why don't you tell dumbasses who invent lies about me to ridicule me to "give it a rest"? Never mind, I know why. At least MetaFilter doesn't even bother to call itself "fair and balanced".
posted by Crabby Appleton at 7:31 AM on February 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


Look, you do this weird abrasive argumentative shit a lot for no apparent reason; you hang around here bearing the kind of baseline contempt for the place, it's members, and its community philosophy that would make sense coming from someone being held against their will but none from someone apparently spending time here at their pleasure; you simultaneously act like you don't want to put up with or be a part of actual discussions in Metatalk and yet keep popping in to throw additional jibes in; and somehow in all that your conclusion is that when you get called on routinely acting like a jerk it's (a) something that only you ever get called on and (b) it's because of something other than your specific recurring crappy behavior.

You are welcome here in the strict sense that we don't ban people just for being grumpy jerks who don't seem to like the place. But you seem to want something from this place that doesn't involve being responsible for how your behavior affects those around you or their perception of your participation, and that's an unrealistic expectation. If you're going to hang around and act like a standoffish jerk, that's your prerogative but it doesn't come with a free pass to act like a jerk and then plug your ears and pretend that the problem is everyone else and not at all you.
posted by cortex (staff) at 8:00 AM on February 1, 2012 [4 favorites]


MetaFilter: Because I don't fucking know about other people's grudges.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 9:32 AM on February 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


Honestly, at this point, I think anyone responding to Crabby is as much a part of the problem. I'm not going to label what he's doing "trolling", but MeTa veterans should be well aware that engaging him never leads anywhere good. Be the hellban you want to see in the world.
posted by SpiffyRob at 9:56 AM on February 1, 2012 [2 favorites]


"So, dumbass, where did you get the ridiculous notion that I "think it's worth anyone's time to actually delve into [my] petty little disputes"? I know where, you pulled it out of your ass."

Wait, so you took Jessamyn's jokey comment literally and then are upset that Crunchland snarked at you?
posted by klangklangston at 10:11 AM on February 1, 2012


I knew she was joking, but the point of the joke was "oh, I have such a hard life". Whatever.

If the dumbass had snarked at me for taking her jokey comment literally, that would have been understandable, and I would have explained it calmly. But no, dumbass had to pull something random out of his ass and attribute it to me. It gets old here.
posted by Crabby Appleton at 10:21 AM on February 1, 2012


You need to cut it out with the "dumbass" thing.
posted by cortex (staff) at 10:32 AM on February 1, 2012


That's it, cortex, address anything but the matter at hand.
posted by Crabby Appleton at 10:37 AM on February 1, 2012


"I knew she was joking, but the point of the joke was "oh, I have such a hard life"."

That doesn't really make sense. If she was complaining about having a hard life, she wouldn't have emphasized the benefits ("dental," etc.) of the job. The humor comes from the fact that it's not really her job. That's what you mistakenly took literally, and that's what Crunchland was ragging on you for — acting as if that actually were her job.

Then, instead of gracefully deflecting it or clarifying, you went into son_of_minya mode.
posted by klangklangston at 10:44 AM on February 1, 2012 [2 favorites]


crunchland said "Yet you think it's worth anyone's time to actually delve into your petty little disputes?" There's no way he could infer what I actually think about the worth of the activity. I don't really understand what he means by "delve into" (Freudian slip, perhaps?) but if one takes it to mean "keep track of", it still doesn't have anything to do with my taking anything literally.

Also, you're wrong about it not being her job. The mods keep track of major grudges (and complain about them all the time) and make moderation decisions based on that knowledge. They're always bemoaning the fact that it's necessary, that's the point of her joke. Of course, there's a huge difference between keeping track of a few major grudges and "[k]eeping track of who has a grudge against whom and for what reason" for all users; that probably would actually be a "full-time job".

What's a minya? (For that matter, what's a henway?)
posted by Crabby Appleton at 11:07 AM on February 1, 2012


Crabby Appleton: "What's a minya?"

MeFi history. Big flameout.

"For the record, I bet my right hand against quonsar's lies. Under any amount of torture, he will break first, because he is lying. If I break first, I will surrender my right hand."

(For that matter, what's a henway?)"

Oh, about two and a half pounds....
posted by zarq at 11:33 AM on February 1, 2012


"For the record, I bet my right hand against quonsar's lies. Under any amount of torture, he will break first, because he is lying. If I break first, I will surrender my right hand."

Woah.

Woah.
posted by running order squabble fest at 11:44 AM on February 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


LOL. For the record, I will not surrender my right hand, not even to prove that crunchland is a lying liar who lies.
posted by Crabby Appleton at 11:44 AM on February 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


running order squabble fest:
"Woah.

Woah.
"

You young whippersnappers, with yer ridiculous fighty hoppitamoppita grarfests and yer multiple mods don't know how good you got it. In the old days, we had REAL flameouts, dagnabit.

Crabby Appleton: "For the record, I will not surrender my right hand"

Hrm. What about your left thumb? We might get some entertainment value there.

Thumbs are superfluous, after all. ;)
posted by zarq at 11:56 AM on February 1, 2012


Artw, how's your day going?
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 11:59 AM on February 1, 2012


How about an eyebrow? Will you surrender one of your eyebrows? You can pick which one.
posted by rtha at 12:04 PM on February 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


For you, rtha, there's no telling what I might surrender.
posted by Crabby Appleton at 12:08 PM on February 1, 2012


What's a minya?

A "minya" in Judais refer to the quoru of te Jewis adult require for certai religiou obligation.
posted by Falconetti at 1:00 PM on February 1, 2012 [3 favorites]


I think Minya was Godzilla's son, right? So, son of Minya would be... grandson of Godzilla?
posted by running order squabble fest at 1:13 PM on February 1, 2012


Wow. Somebody is really fixated on my ass.
posted by crunchland at 5:56 PM on February 1, 2012


Is it the human centipede?
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 5:59 PM on February 1, 2012


I hope not, but there are many similarities between some Metatalk threads and an act of sadomasochistic torture.
posted by crunchland at 6:53 PM on February 1, 2012


Where is the Dr. John Hagelin video update?
posted by Meatbomb at 8:20 PM on February 1, 2012


Is it Ghostbusters 2?
posted by flabdablet at 9:50 PM on February 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'm not sure, flabdablet, as I haven't yet been privy to the update, but my gut reaction is that it's unlikely to be Ghostbusters 2.
posted by Meatbomb at 2:03 AM on February 2, 2012


OK, I got tired of waiting for you fuckos to take care of your responsibilities and went out and found it myself. And no, it is not Ghostbusters 2. Peace is the absence of negativity, why can't you useless dumbasses get your heads around that?!
posted by Meatbomb at 2:11 AM on February 2, 2012


Peace is death.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 3:06 AM on February 2, 2012


Meatbomb: "OK, I got tired of waiting for you fuckos to take care of your responsibilities and went out and found it myself yt ."

I was expecting....
posted by zarq at 5:20 AM on February 2, 2012


Wow. According to his profile Crabby Appleton is out of here.
posted by Mitheral at 6:38 PM on February 4, 2012


That's a shame, I will miss his contributions.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 6:51 PM on February 4, 2012 [2 favorites]


If I'm right about which comment deletion he's referring to, it was a shitty comment about how (presumably white) American parents would be so sad when their outmatched kids would end up being beaten by their Chinese employers in the U.S., because Chinese people use corporal punishment. Don't cry for him. Since his account is still open, he can still come talk if he wants.
posted by rtha at 7:04 PM on February 4, 2012


Corporal punishment is still used in the schools of 20 American states. It's a stupid idea and I disagree with it but it's not a point of view that should be deleted just because it isn't well received here, didn't see the comment though so I can't judge.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 7:30 PM on February 4, 2012


It wasn't the advocacy of corporal punishment that made the comment gross (to me). It was the assertion that this is a thing that (all) Chinese people do, and that they would leave welts on the backsides of their American workers. I really wouldn't argue for or against the deletion of a comment you haven't even seen.
posted by rtha at 7:39 PM on February 4, 2012


endcorporalpunishment.org: A questionnaire survey on attitudes to physical punishment of 331 child health professionals in Eastern China, found that 97% believed corporal punishment to be widely used by Chinese parents.

A questionnaire survey in 1998 of 483 school children in grades 4-6 studied personal opinions on corporal punishment and experience of violence by family members, school teachers or peers in the last year. Rates of corporal punishment by teachers were 51.1%, while rates of violence in the family were 70.6%.

As for effectiveness, it's an open debate, that's why it is legal in so many countries. As I said, all I have to go by for the content of the post is your complaints and I'm not seeing anything worth a deletion. The mods generally get this stuff right though.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 7:47 PM on February 4, 2012


Sorry, are you saying that Chinese nationals currently in the U.S., employing American citizens, are using corporal punishment on them? Because I'm pretty sure that whatever might be okay or common at home, the folks here are mostly going to know that it's not okay here. I don't even know why we're arguing about this, since I saw the comment and you didn't, and you acknowledge that the mods generally get things right. Crabby doesn't need defending, especially since his account is still open and he knows he can come back and do it himself.
posted by rtha at 7:57 PM on February 4, 2012


Sorry, are you saying that Chinese nationals currently in the U.S., employing American citizens, are using corporal punishment on them?

Ahh, misinterpreted that, yeah.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 8:02 PM on February 4, 2012


*Yeah meaning I see what you are saying now, not agreeing that happens.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 8:03 PM on February 4, 2012


For what it's worth, my school system used corporal punishment, from kindergarten through high school, and I can assure you that it wasn't especially effective. If anything, arguably it was counter-productive because for the boys, anyway, being able to shrug-off a "swat" was a badge of honor.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 12:09 AM on February 5, 2012


That's a shame, I will miss his contributions.

Aside from weasely snark about how the site wasn't living up to his secret expectations, what DID he contribute?
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 12:26 PM on February 5, 2012


He wasn't bad on the blue. The perpetually pugnacious thing was just for the grey.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 12:57 PM on February 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


I just hope that people understand the amusing subtext of the corporal punishment thing given stated proclivities in past contributions.
posted by Burhanistan at 2:01 PM on February 5, 2012


Wow. According to his profile Crabby Appleton is out of here.

Good. /ken
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 2:28 AM on February 6, 2012


Having seen the comment, I do find it reasonable. He suggests in the future American workers may be subjected to corporal punishment by Chinese employeers, a practice that does happen in Chinese sweatshops at least. I think it is fair to theorize that if our education falls behind to the point where Americans are workers in Chinese style factories it is possible corporal punishment may become a concern. There is no guarantee our labor protections survive long-term if we fall behind economically.

It's off the wall, but I don't think it was unreasonable to the point it should have been deleted.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 11:01 PM on February 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


It was a creepy racist comment which he followed with a bunch of bizarre insults and then wouldn't let it go. If he feels the need to walk away for a while, that seems like an okay thing to do.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 8:21 AM on February 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


How is it racist to point out a culture has problems with corporal punishment? He referred to issues with domestic servants being subject to corporal punishment which is a known thing that happens, as does abuse in Chinese factories.

And insults? Wasn't the post followed with Crabby being called a troll and an asshole? I don't blame folks for responding to attacks.

If someone is wrong on a culturally sensitive issue, it's best to respond with a post explaining why instead of just deleting it or ratcheting up the tension with insults.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 12:14 PM on February 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


Talking about how your daughter is going to be working for the Chinese "when they come over here" and start requiring servants and how she'll be coming home "with red stripes across their behinds" was over the line and not okay. The post was about scientists and what scientists look like. It was not about China or the Chinese people generally. Turning it into a referendum on how terrible "the Chinese" are and then not leaving it alone wasn't okay. People called his comment "assholish" and "trolling" [which we also removed] and then he called someone an ass at which point we stepped in and removed the entire weird fighty back and forth and then he made one final comment which we axed.

Not every side discussion is right for every thread. Turning a thread about scientists into a geopolitical rant about "the Chinese" was out of line. Everyone, including Crabby, should have backed off earlier.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 12:30 PM on February 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


He referred to issues with domestic servants being subject to corporal punishment which is a known thing that happens,

Beating your house servants is not exclusive to Chinese people; white Americans do it, too. And it's certainly not something that all Chinese nationals who currently live in the U.S. and employ Americans do.
posted by rtha at 12:33 PM on February 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


Corporal punishment is prevalent in Chinese culture, I supported that with links above. I think we all know that when folks talk about "Americans doing this" or "Americans believe that" we don't mean literally all of them. With the continuing growth of the Chinese economy, I think it is fair to consider what could happen if American labor protections fall behind and Foxconn style factories start to pop up. Abuses of Chinese labor are common, and everyone finds it easier to abuse foreign workers.

When the thread is a discussion of science education I think it is fairly on topic to suggest possible results of falling behind in the education necessary to succeed in science. A lot of the thread was on educational topics, it's not like it was all about discussing appearence.

So Jess, thanks for adding now that he didn't follow his post with insults, he followed insults aimed at him with insults. I think everyone around here should try and flag insults instead of responding to them, but I don't think it is fair for you to mischaracterize what happened like that when Crabby isn't even posting here anymore to defend himself.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 12:46 PM on February 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


It's fair to suggest that Americans with poor educations in the sciences will be beaten by Chinese people? That doesn't seem fair. That seems fucking absurd.

Also? American labor protections are already falling behind and we already have sweatshops in this country. Every time I read about one, they are being run by American citizens and the abuses are being heaped on undocumented nonwhite immigrants. Crabby's point was ignorant and stupid, and seemed designed only to show off his sneering (at lazy Americans), his ability to generate ridiculously-broad-to-the-point-of-meaningless generalities, and his weird...thing about spanking.
posted by rtha at 12:51 PM on February 8, 2012 [2 favorites]


I don't think it is fair for you to mischaracterize what happened like that when Crabby isn't even posting here anymore to defend himself.

We have not banned him. He has not closed his account. He can come here if he wants to. I thought his insults were bizarre considering that people were responding to trollish sounding comments by saying they sounded trollish. Those comments against him are still not okay, but you were talking about whether his comments were unreasonable and I was responding to that. I thought they were. Other people thought they were. Talking about the Chinese "coming over here" and beating their American house servants because the Chinese believe in corporal punishment is over the line in a thread that is a link to a "Hey look at these scientists" blog.

Crabby can come here and discuss this matter if he wants to, but this was a pretty cut-and-dried deletion from our vantage point and I'm sorry if it made Crabby feel like he didn't want to participate here, but from his interactions in MetaTalk, it's seemed that he's had at least some feelings in that direction for some time now.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 1:18 PM on February 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


I don't get it, furiousxgeorge read the deleted comment post-deletion? Confusing.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 1:21 PM on February 8, 2012


If you keep the thread open and have it just load new comments using the AJAX-y thingdoo, you can see all the comments in the thread and then do a "reload" to get a diff which will tell you which ones have been deleted. And some people just have really good memories.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 1:35 PM on February 8, 2012


Aw,I was hoping someone ginned up a deleted comments blog.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 2:04 PM on February 8, 2012


We have not banned him. He has not closed his account. He can come here if he wants to.

I am aware, which is why I said he isn't posting rather than can't post. However, it just seems like baiting him when you mischaracterize what happened when most people can't actually see the comments under discussion.

It was a creepy racist comment which he followed with a bunch of bizarre insults and then wouldn't let it go.

You make it sound as if he posted, then people disagreed with him, and then he started insulting them. And of course, you do that while accusing him of being a creepy racist.

I don't believe in insults in the blue, but they get leveled at me all the time without deletion, so I'm not surprised Crabby decided to take it into his own hands in response to other people launching personal attacks at him. The solution is to remove those posts and leave the original.

It's fair to suggest that Americans with poor educations in the sciences will be beaten by Chinese people? That doesn't seem fair. That seems fucking absurd.

It seems perfectly fair to suggest that in conditions in which American labor has become cheap and uneducated enough that the Chinese factories move to America they will treat Americans the same way every source of cheap, desperate labor is treated.

The links supporting abuse by Chinese employers around the world have been provided. Is there any particular reason Americans will be treated better than Malaysians if they are under similar conditions economically? Perhaps that conversation could have happened previously if the response wasn't insult insult delete delete.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 4:09 PM on February 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


furiousxgeorge: “And of course, you do that while accusing him of being a creepy racist.”

She didn't call Crabby Appleton a creepy racist. She said his comment was a creepy racist comment. That seems like a pretty huge distinction. I think you and jessamyn disagree on whether the comment was creepy or racist, but please don't make this out to be a disagreement about Crabby Appleton's character.
posted by koeselitz at 4:18 PM on February 9, 2012


furiousxgeorge: “The links supporting abuse by Chinese employers around the world have been provided.”

Also, if I may weigh in, I agree that the comment was a little creepy and a bit racist. I can come up with links supporting the idea that American employers around the world have been abusive. Does that justify a blanket stereotype that Americans are abusive? No. Nor is a blanket stereotype of the Chinese as an inherently abusive race justified. I agree that Chinese employers have historically not treated their workers well, and this is a sociologically and politically significant problem that should be dealt with, but to just blithely paint all Chinese people with that brush, even if you don't really mean it that way but mean to be a bit more specific, is going to bother people, because the overtones are distinctly racist even if you don't intend it that way (which I'm sure Crabby didn't.) And the fact that it was in a completely unrelated thread made that jarring juxtaposition worse.
posted by koeselitz at 4:22 PM on February 9, 2012


Does that justify a blanket stereotype that Americans are abusive? No

I think it would be quite fair to be concerned as a parent in China that sending your children to work in an American factory may lead to their abuse. That is the concern Crabby posted about from an American perspective.

She didn't call Crabby Appleton a creepy racist. She said his comment was a creepy racist comment. That seems like a pretty huge distinction.

Splitting hairs, you say that about anybody's comment and they will feel insulted.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 4:28 PM on February 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


furiousxgeorge: “Splitting hairs, you say that about anybody's comment and they will feel insulted.”

I don't think it's splitting hairs at all; it seems pretty important to me. This isn't about whether Crabby Appleton is a racist, and when I say his comment was racist I want to make it absolutely clear that I don't think he himself is racist. I know I'm just parroting this when I say it, but it seems essential to me that we avoid personalizing these discussions and try to just talk about the substance of what's been said.
posted by koeselitz at 4:35 PM on February 9, 2012


Yeah I just don't buy that. In the thread he had been accused of trolling (not calling ya a troll) being asshollish (not calling you an asshole), it was implied that he was not a grownup. Whole lotta wink wink "I'm not calling you a..." going on.

He had implied a comment was a smart ass reply (not calling the poster a smart ass)

The only point at which it went direct was when he said someone was an ass for bringing his sexual orientation into the discussion. Which only an ass would do.

So, given the thread of comments was so free of problematic comments (Don't split hairs, they were just commenting on the content of individual posts in total isoloation), I don't see why they had to be deleted or described as bizzare insults.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 5:21 PM on February 9, 2012


Okay, honestly, even setting aside the whole racist/not racist comment thing, the guy was also accusing the mods of keeping track of who had a grudge on who, and then when they couldn't guess right in the guessing-game he made them play he called them "dumbass". In the immortal words of Stephen King, "no great loss."
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:48 PM on February 9, 2012


No, crunchland referred to Crabby's concerns as "petty little disputes" and Crabby called him a dumbass in response. That sort of back and forth is tolerated in the grey and doesn't really have to do with the content in the blue.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 7:57 PM on February 9, 2012


Yeah. He sure was witty.
posted by crunchland at 8:34 PM on February 9, 2012


It's a good thing this wasn't about China, the "creepy racism" would have been too much for the mods to handle.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 2:20 PM on February 11, 2012


I'd like to point out that the thread you've been complaining about was also not about China. If you've decided to take Crabby's place as the mod anklebiter in MetaTalk you will have to try harder than that.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 2:23 PM on February 11, 2012


Your argument that it was off topic is distinct from my argument that you went overboard calling him creepy and racist. If you want to defend that, try harder. And in general I think most of the mods here are great.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 2:55 PM on February 11, 2012


Nope, still finding the comment creepy and racist. I don't think Crabby is creepy or racist.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 2:59 PM on February 11, 2012


And if he had compared China to an obese person crushing a baby to death?
posted by furiousxgeorge at 3:02 PM on February 11, 2012


The Chinese have a particular, peculiar insularity compared to everywhere else. And most Chinese aren't even aware of this, just like goldfish not realizing they swim in water.

I think the Chinese are ignorant of foreign affairs on purpose, in a sense. As discussed above, it's not as if it's difficult to become informed. The Chinese don't want to be informed. That would make things much more difficult for them.

posted by furiousxgeorge at 3:04 PM on February 11, 2012


And why did you talk about insults plural when all he did was say one person was an ass for making a bizarre reference to sexual orientation and linking to a previous discussion that had nothing to do with the thread?

All he did otherwise was talk about a "smart ass reply". Of course he wasn't calling someone a smart ass, it was simple commentary on a comment! Who could possibly mistake that for a personal insult?
posted by furiousxgeorge at 3:09 PM on February 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


Jesus Christ dude, give it a rest.
posted by empath at 3:11 PM on February 11, 2012


I place high value on Crabby's contributions to this site, and I am sad to see him go. I think it is especially rude that there is insulting grave dancing going on and misstatements about the content of the offending posts.

There wasn't much more call for going on the attack on him here beyond, "I felt the comment was off-topic so I deleted it."
posted by furiousxgeorge at 3:15 PM on February 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


furiousxgeorge: “And in general I think most of the mods here are great.”

This was a really barbed and crude thing to say, no matter what you think of what has been said. Is the way to deal with what you think are insults really to insult other people?

“There wasn't much more call for going on the attack on him here...”

jessamyn has stated plainly and directly that she doesn't think Crabby Appleton is or was "creepy" or "racist."

At this point, there are several options: either you accept that, regardless of your feelings about her ability to communicate it, jessamyn was doing what she does every day as her job – talking about what comments are and are not acceptable, without regard to who made them – or you claim that she is lying, and has been all along.

You may have had different experiences with this, but my experience is that conversations where I try to tell other people that they're lying, and that I know their motivations and opinions better than they do, aren't conversations that are very successful.

I have had good conversations with Crabby Appleton. I will miss his input, and I hope he chooses to return. I've also had good conversations with you, conversations that I have valued. So please take it as words from a friend when I say that (a) I think it's pretty clear that jessamyn did not mean that Crabby Appleton himself is creepy or a racist; she warns and bans creepy racists all the time, and is quite good at being articulate in telling them what they're doing wrong – (b) even if you really believe that jessamyn is and has been lying all along, and that she secretly thinks that Crabby Appleton is a creepy racist, insisting here that someone else is harboring incorrect feelings deep in their hearts is not going to get you very far; and – (c) this conversation really isn't likely to stand Crabby Appleton in good stead. Everyone seems willing to drop it except you.
posted by koeselitz at 3:33 PM on February 11, 2012


This was a really barbed and crude thing to say, no matter what you think of what has been said. Is the way to deal with what you think are insults really to insult other people?

Sorry, I guess I'm just "anklebiting"

To a postman, an ankle biter is often known as a dog.
To an adult, an ankle biter may be a toddler.
To hikers, an ankle biter is sometimes a tick.
And so on.


I don't know or care if she thinks Crabby is a creepy racist, I care that she said it. I care that she also said Crabby had been lobbing insults when the only way that is true is if we interpret what she said about Crabby as an insult as well. I care that the type of behavior she describes as creepy and racist seems to be just fine for other folks to post.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 3:42 PM on February 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


furiousxgeorge: my argument that you went overboard calling him creepy and racist. If you want to defend that, try harder.

I think I see a conversational glitch in this thread. Let me try to explain. First, there was this exchange:
furiousxgeorge: Having seen the comment, I do find it reasonable.

jessamyn: It was a creepy racist comment [...]

furiousxgeorge: How is it racist to point out a culture has problems with corporal punishment?

jessamyn: Talking about how your daughter is going to be working for the Chinese "when they come over here" and start requiring servants and how she'll be coming home "with red stripes across their behinds" was over the line and not okay.
In that last comment, jessamyn goes on to explain that the comment was off-topic, but the sentence above is (if I interpret rightly) her explanation of why the comment was racist.

Since then, as far as I can see, furiousxgeorge has responded to the argument that the comment was off-topic, and to the argument that it overgeneralized, but not to jessamyn's points* in the last quote above.

So I think maybe jessamyn thinks she's already explained why the comment was racist, and maybe furiousxgeorge overlooked it in the kerfuffle and thinks there aren't any arguments still standing, and why is everybody still maintaining it was racist?

*Her points are not completely explicit, but I think it goes something like this: the comment portrayed Chinese people as an invading threat, described the threat in violent sexualized terms, and appealed to patriarchal protectiveness by directing the threat at the reader's daughter. I haven't seen the comment (and don't expect to, of course), but in that description I sure see a lot of racialized sexual paranoia buttons getting pushed.
posted by stebulus at 3:45 PM on February 11, 2012


I addressed the suggestion that it was racist by pointing to the prevalence of corporal punishment in Chinese homes, abuse and corporal punishment in Chinese factories, and abuse of domestic servants in Chinese households outside of China.

I also pointed to the "Some Guy Said Americans Are Dumb" thread as an example of how generalizations based on nationality are typically used in Metafilter conversation and that there is an understanding of what generalizations mean. If you have numbers to back them up, such as prevalence of corporal punishment or geography tests, there is not necessarily a problematic quality to the arguments.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 3:49 PM on February 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


there is not necessarily a problematic quality to the arguments.

Not necessarily, sure. That, I think, is why jessamyn quoted the bits that she did — to argue that that specific quoted language made the comment problematic. In my interpretation of her remarks, "when they come over here" sets up the Chinese as an invading force, very Yellow Peril, "with red stripes across their behinds" sexualizes the threat, and identifying the reader's daughter as the one in danger suggests an effort to appeal to patriarchal protectiveness.

Framing the issue that way is problematic.

Or at least, that's the argument that I think jessamyn was making and that I don't think you've responded to. You've argued that the issue is real, but that doesn't address whether it was framed in a creepy and racist way.
posted by stebulus at 4:15 PM on February 11, 2012


furiousxgeorge: "there is insulting grave dancing going on"

Did I miss something?

His account is still active. He's not banned. He's perfectly capable of following the thread in recent activity and commenting here. There is no "grave."

furiousxgeorge, we already have jessamyn saying "Nope, still finding the comment creepy and racist. I don't think Crabby is creepy or racist." That seems pretty unambiguous.

What more do you want here?
posted by zarq at 4:17 PM on February 11, 2012


Why can't you just be happy that Crabby Appleton has been released from the Sisyphean punishment that condemned him to spend all this time in his personal hell?
posted by Kattullus at 4:27 PM on February 11, 2012 [5 favorites]


"when they come over here" sets up the Chinese as an invading force, very Yellow Peril,

The Chinese are referenced because of their growing cultural and economic power and close ties to the United States, and because another poster had previously pointed out that Mandarin was the most common language at his place of employment. The comment Crabby directly responded to agreed that every American child will most likely need to know Mandarin.

"with red stripes across their behinds" sexualizes the threat

Spanking is one of the most common forms of corporal punishment in the world, used in up to 90% of American homes. Referencing this form of punishment is not sexualizing the matter.

, and identifying the reader's daughter as the one in danger suggests an effort to appeal to patriarchal protectiveness.

He referenced female children because he focused on domestic labor:

International Labor Organization: Throughout the world, thousands of children are working as domestic helpers, performing tasks such as cleaning, ironing, cooking, minding children and gardening. In many countries this phenomenon is not only socially and culturally accepted but might be regarded positively as a protected and non-stigmatised type of work, and therefore preferable to other forms of work, especially for the girl-child. The perpetuation of traditional female roles and responsibilities within and outside the household, and the perception of domestic service as part of a woman’s apprenticeship for adulthood and marriage, also contribute to the low recognition of domestic work as a form of economic activity, and of child domestic labour as a form of child labour.

The hazards linked to this practice are a matter of serious concern. The ILO has identified a number of hazards to which domestic workers are particularly vulnerable and the reason it may be considered to be one of the worst forms of child labour. Some of the most common risks children face in domestic service are:

...

humiliating or degrading treatment, including physical and verbal violence, and sexual abuse.


It's a real problem, he was afraid of it becoming a greater concern to America if we fall behind educationally and economically.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 5:27 PM on February 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


You know, I just realized that I hadn't actually replied to this weird little subthread, though I've been following it. Let me make a couple of points totally clear (because it was me who deleted the exchange in the first place):

- The comment took a totally innocuous and on-topic exchange about the languages scientists need to know to work in the global market and turned it into a weird (and, yes, creepy and racist imo) "yellow peril" rant.

- He followed that up with a couple of comments in the same vein with additional personal insults.

- These were all things that were totally deletable on their merits. The couple people who calling him a troll got their shit deleted too, because that's how it works.

I don't know what his actual motivations were, how he feels about Chinese people, or whatever. I really, really don't care - I mean, I don't care generally about people's motivations in posting crappy comments, because it's usually irrelevant to my actual job, but in this specific case I gave up caring whether Crabby was just trolling or not because I have never been able to tell and neither case makes his behavior any more fun to deal with.

Furiousxgeorge, I am really confused as to why you think this is worth debating at length, but Crabby's still here and can defend himself if he cares to. This is not remotely an edge case - if you desperately want to talk about corporal punishment around the world, go ahead and make a thoughtful, nuanced FPP about it.
posted by restless_nomad (staff) at 6:38 PM on February 11, 2012


He followed that up with a couple of comments in the same vein with additional personal insults.

Could you quote the personal insults you are concerned about? I only see them directed at someone who commented that he shouldn't care because he will have caught the gay by some future date, which it seems reasonable to reply to with an insult.

You understand that when he referred to Miko's smart ass reply, that was not calling Miko a smart ass, right?

The comment took a totally innocuous and on-topic exchange about the languages scientists need to know to work in the global market and turned it into a weird (and, yes, creepy and racist imo) "yellow peril" rant.

His initial post was a reply to someone who said the most common language at their place of employment is mandarin. Crabby pointed out that this may become more common the future.

if they become scientists, they might end up in a lab where the most common language spoken is Mandarin.

Miko replied "It's kind of true that all American children are probably going to need Mandarin"

Crabby was talking about what scientists will look like. Miko introduced the idea that every American is going to be speaking Chinese. Crabby simply replied to the notion Miko suggested with an example of why there may be negative results of such a cultural exchange as well.

I don't want to debate this particular topic or make an FPP, I just want the record to be straight on why Crabby might be upset enough to leave over this.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 7:04 PM on February 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


I only see them directed at someone who commented that he shouldn't care because he will have caught the gay by some future date, which it seems reasonable to reply to with an insult.

Yeah, I deleted the "caught the gay" comment and replies to it. I would have deleted replies to it whether or not they contained insults, because otherwise they would have made no sense, but Crabby's did contain insults. I'm not sure what version of the thread you are working off of, because it sort of sounds like you're arguing based on a synopsis rather than the actual comments. I'm talking about "Typical idiocy." and "you're an ass for lying about it." (Not the "Miko's smart-ass reply" which seems like a misread, but regardless was one was just more in the yellow peril vein.)

Crabby simply replied to the notion Miko suggested with an example of why there may be negative results of such a cultural exchange as well.

This is such an egregious mischaracterization that I'm kind of done talking to you about it. If you don't see a problem with it, fine, but you're very, very much in the minority here. The comment was vile enough that I'd really rather not repost it.
posted by restless_nomad (staff) at 7:14 PM on February 11, 2012


"Typical idiocy." and "you're an ass for lying about it."

Yes, in response to the gay thing, after he had also been accused of trolling and acting like an asshole. Nobody is defending insults here, especially not me, but they had nothing to do with his actual point and seem quite justified to me in his case.

So it seems weird to say he was following up his comment with that when all he was doing was replying to attacks that did not address the content of his post.

This is such an egregious mischaracterization that I'm kind of done talking to you about it. If you don't see a problem with it, fine, but you're very, very much in the minority here.

It's what happened. I am looking at the entire line of comments. If you can't defend your interpretation here because you don't want to post it, you know where my e-mail is.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 7:26 PM on February 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


No, I'm pretty much ok just agreeing to disagree on this one.
posted by restless_nomad (staff) at 7:29 PM on February 11, 2012


Fair enough.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 7:30 PM on February 11, 2012


It's all moot, anyway, as Crabby's come back for more.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 11:41 PM on February 11, 2012


I only see one post, but I hope he is back for good. A happy ending would warm my heart after all of this.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 11:45 PM on February 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


A happy ending would warm my heart after all of this.

I like Chinese. Let's all sing it, c'mon!
posted by Meatbomb at 2:44 AM on February 12, 2012


This is how I see the proceedings.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 3:07 AM on February 12, 2012


Let's try that again.
posted by Meatbomb at 6:11 AM on February 12, 2012


So he stormed off and managed to stay away for almost a whole week then?
posted by crunchland at 6:57 AM on February 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


My heart is warmed by the knowledge that Crabby has one fan, at least. Now maybe he won't be so crabby!
posted by octobersurprise at 11:18 AM on February 12, 2012 [2 favorites]


restless_nomad: I'm kind of done talking to you about it.

I'm not. Maybe I should take it to MeMail? I'll guess here is fine.

So, in this reply, furiousxgeorge, you discuss the three elements I mentioned, and I appreciate that you engaged with those details. But the end of the comment makes me wonder if we're still talking past each other, and I'd like to talk about that before responding on a more detailed level. I mean this statement:

It's a real problem, he was afraid of it becoming a greater concern to America if ...

I take this statement to be your conclusion, and the element-by-element discussion as argument in support of this conclusion. (Please correct me if this is wrong.)

The thing is, these three things can all be true at once: (1) it's a real problem [this is about the world], (2) Crabby Appleton intended to express his concern about it [this is about his intentions], and (3) the comment was problematic because its language evokes creepy and racist framing narratives [this is about the comment].

Your conclusion refers only to (1) and (2), so I'm not sure if we're on the same page about the existence of (3) as a way for a comment to be bad. (And if we're not, there's not much point in trying to discuss whether (3) applies to this particular comment, or whether reasonable people can disagree about its applicability, or any of that.)

I just want the record to be straight on why Crabby might be upset enough to leave over this.

I don't know about anyone else, but I've found your explanation clear. As you see it, he made an innocuous comment, people jumped all over him for it, he defended himself, and the mods nuked the whole thing, starting with his comment, as if he were to blame for those other people's bad behaviour (and then, after his departure, in this thread they unfairly condemned him as creepy and racist for a comment which, again, you see as innocuous). Is that about right?
posted by stebulus at 12:05 PM on February 12, 2012


I'm not. Maybe I should take it to MeMail? I'll guess here is fine.

Nah, you're welcome to keep going. I think we've hit the limit of the utility in terms of explaining site policy here, but we're not going to close the thread right now or anything.
posted by restless_nomad (staff) at 12:12 PM on February 12, 2012


I engaged with the idea it is creepy and racist, I disagree with that conclusion in this case. Spanking is used in 90% of American homes, it is the most common form of corporal punishment. It was not included in the statement for any other reason. Crabby was speaking about scientists until someone else introduced the "We're all gonna be speaking Mandarin!" idea. Once the topic was broadened in that way, Crabby considered what it might mean for some of the people who are not educated scientists.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 1:10 PM on February 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


Spanking is used in 90% of American homes, it is the most common form of corporal punishment.

Spanking is very controversial outside the home (& fetish community I suppose). You've switched contexts on us. Maybe you're the one who needs a spanking, naughty boy.
posted by scalefree at 1:25 PM on February 12, 2012


I point out the prevalence of spanking in the home to make it clear it is wrong to assume sexual context to a mention of the punishment that was not sexual in nature. The idea that parents find it unwelcome outside the home was what Crabby was saying too. However, it is also the most common form of corporal punishment in US schools. It exists outside of sexual context outside the home as well.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 1:36 PM on February 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


Why is it so hard to understand that "foreigners will come over here and hit us" is racist? It's not even anywhere near the gray area.
posted by Kattullus at 1:52 PM on February 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


As already cited, such abuse is a legitimate problem for domestic servants in Chinese homes outside of China and he was replying to someone who brought up the idea we would all be speaking Chinese, not introducing it.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 2:03 PM on February 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


I engaged with the idea it is creepy and racist, I disagree with that conclusion in this case.

I understand that you disagree. As for what you have and haven't engaged with:

Spanking is used in 90% of American homes, it is the most common form of corporal punishment.

This is a statement about the world, like item (1).

It was not included in the statement for any other reason.

This is a statement about Crabby's intentions, like item (2).

Again, you don't seem to say anything about things like item (3), so I'm still stuck wondering what you think of the key idea behind item (3), the idea that a comment can be criticized for evoking problematic framing narratives that have currency in our culture, whether or not the speaker meant to evoke them, or even knows about them, or would endorse them if they did know.

What do you think of that idea?
posted by stebulus at 2:18 PM on February 12, 2012


I think if we discussed the difficulties with education in America, it is not racist to point out how far behind black kids are even if it seems to evoke a negative stereotype. One might find that "problematic" but it would be wrong to delete such comments for simply identifying a legitimate issue. Other issues such as poverty and crime face the same difficulties.

Crabby identified a legitimate potential issue with the situation Miko suggested likely to occur in America. He suggested that if we fall behind in education students would no longer be qualified for jobs in the sciences, and would face the negative results of working as unskilled, uneducated labor in the heavily Chinese influenced society Miko predicted.

He used as an example something that actually occurs in the world today in Chinese households and factories. I find it problematic that such a comment can be deleted on the vague notion that common childhood punishments are sexual and that it is racist to point out that something which is prevalent in a society is prevalent in that society.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 2:38 PM on February 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


Wait, so you think it's a legitimate likelyhood that the increase of Chinese influence on professional jobs — the thread was about scientists — will lead to American workers being beaten by their Chinese bosses? Or even beyond that, you think it's a legitimate likelyhood that Chinese employing American domestic help will beat them? And not just as an aberration but in numbers sufficient to blame Chinese culture?

Further, it would be racist to say imply that black culture is the reason why black kids are behind at schools and that expanding the influence of African Americans would lead to more kids failing out.

But you're fighting so hard to pretend that because this is tangentially connected to some other issues, and that because, I dunno, raising awareness on those issues is important or something, that the general consensus of "Wow, that read as creepy and racist" is really mistaken and that the comment should stay? You're fighting really hard for something of dubious worth and making a lot of specious justifications for it, and the kindest reasoning I can come up for your position is that you're really concerned about the plight of workers in China so think it's always germane.
posted by klangklangston at 3:25 PM on February 12, 2012 [2 favorites]


Wait, so you think it's a legitimate likelyhood that the increase of Chinese influence on professional jobs — the thread was about scientists — will lead to American workers being beaten by their Chinese bosses?

In the hypothetical Miko suggested, in which everyone in America needs to know Chinese, I think it is reasonable to assume as Crabby did that uneducated domestic servants will face the same challenges uneducated domestic workers always face. Crabby did not claim the Chinese were unique in this, but abuse of workers is indeed an issue in Chinese workplaces. I think most of us would agree a factory job in America is better for the average worker than one in China.

Crabby's initial comments were simply about scientists, he was not the one who expanded the topic outside of scientists, he was simply replying to someone who did. It can be germane to the topic or not, but Crabby was not the one who brought such a broad topic into the conversation.

Further, it would be racist to say imply that black culture is the reason why black kids are behind at schools and that expanding the influence of African Americans would lead to more kids failing out.

I think if Crabby had commented that Chinese culture turns people into violent abusers, you guys might have a better case, yeah. What he actually did was say that Chinese domestic workers face potential abuse, which is true. He did not diagnose the cause of this or attribute it to culture.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 5:02 PM on February 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


So he only unintentionally implied that Chinese culture turns people into violent abusers. And other people mistakenly thought that's what he meant. Which is what we've all been saying all along. That is grounds for deletion of a comment.
posted by koeselitz at 5:27 PM on February 12, 2012


No, he did not imply that. He said nothing about culture. He said that corporal punishment is prevalent in China, and it is.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 5:32 PM on February 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


Ok, I wasn't going to do this, but it seems awfully weird to dissect a comment not everyone can see. This was Crabby's deleted comment:
All too true. When the Chinese start coming over to enjoy their property, they'll required personal servants, the only station for which our education system is effectively preparing the kids. American parents won't like having their daughters come home from work with red stripes across their behinds because they couldn't understand what the matriarch of the house wanted them to do. (The Chinese still favor corporal punishment.)
And to be totally clear, my objection is a lot less about the corporal punishment part than the strong implication that the Chinese are coming to take over America and we'll all be their servants, which is what I meant above by "yellow peril." It's creepy, it's racist as hell, and had not a damn thing to do with the thread (and only had to do with the idea that Americans should learn to speak a language spoken by a very large percentage of the world if you assume that learning to speak a language that isn't English = putting yourself in a subservient position.)
posted by restless_nomad (staff) at 5:40 PM on February 12, 2012


No, he did not imply that. He said nothing about culture. He said that corporal punishment is prevalent in China, and it is.

He implied that the same corporal punishment would suddenly become prevalent in the U.S. if China continued to be a major world power. I don't see any interpretation of that which doesn't imply a bullshit racist "culture" argument.
posted by kagredon at 5:45 PM on February 12, 2012


the strong implication that the Chinese are coming to take over America

Again, he was replying to a comment that said we were all going to be speaking Chinese.

It's kind of true that all American children are probably going to need
Mandarin


This was not it might be useful, it's need it.

learning to speak a language that isn't English = putting yourself in a subservient position.

He said we would be servants because the American education system would fail to prepare Americans for more complex jobs, not because people can't speak the language Miko had proposed everyone would be speaking.

He implied that the same corporal punishment would suddenly become prevalent in the U.S. if China continued to be a major world power. I don't see any interpretation of that which doesn't imply a bullshit racist "culture" argument.

He was speaking in economic terms about the consequences of failed educational policy, domestic servants across the world face issues of abuse, had Miko suggested Mexicans or Canadians were going to be increasing their influence the same issues would come up.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 5:49 PM on February 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


As already cited, such abuse is a legitimate problem for domestic servants in Chinese homes outside of China and he was replying to someone who brought up the idea we would all be speaking Chinese, not introducing it.
...
He was speaking in economic terms about the consequences of failed educational policy, domestic servants across the world face issues of abuse, had Miko suggested Mexicans or Canadians were going to be increasing their influence the same issues would come up.

You seem to be simultaneously arguing that the comment was okay because it references a problem prevalent in China and that it was okay because it was talking in general, non-specific terms about global underclasses.
posted by kagredon at 6:13 PM on February 12, 2012


"In the hypothetical Miko suggested, in which everyone in America needs to know Chinese, I think it is reasonable to assume as Crabby did that uneducated domestic servants will face the same challenges uneducated domestic workers always face."

Really? Uneducated domestic workers in America are routinely faced with corporal punishment? Also, again, what does that have to do with needing to know Chinese?

You realize that you need all nine lords a leapin' to go "Americans need to learn Chinese" and see "Because they'll be serving our Chinese masters, who beat their servants," right? That at each possible junction where you ask whether your conclusion necessarily follows from what you've laid out, you have to ignore so many more likely scenarios in a pattern that does look from the outside like some crazy-ass xenophobia.

I don't really care about the deletion so much as I'm just baffled by your attempted defense of this comment as some sort of coherent argument, especially because of the way you harp on putative eleven-dimensional chess defenses of Obama.
posted by klangklangston at 6:16 PM on February 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


Really? Uneducated domestic workers in America are routinely faced with corporal punishment?

You seem to be simultaneously arguing that the comment was okay because it references a problem prevalent in China and that it was okay because it was talking in general, non-specific terms about global underclasses.


It is both prevalent in China and globally, and his comment did not suggest otherwise. The reason he cited for Americans being potentially subject to such abuse was that American schools would not be preparing American kids for better jobs. Since Miko had brought up Chinese influence outside of the science context, Crabby referred to it as well. This is, of course, a future in which American education has fallen behind and with the obvious economic consequences that brings. However, abuse is a problem for some in the USA, yes.

Domestic workers — who are most often women from poor countries — are led to believe that, in coming to the United States to work for diplomats, they will have good jobs with benefits and they will enjoy the protection of U.S. laws. Instead, too often, domestic workers find themselves in abusive, slave-like conditions and discover that their so-called rights are unenforceable.

Domestic Workers' Rights in the United States: Employed in private homes to perform household tasks that historically have been assigned a diminished value, domestic workers frequently face exploitation and abuse, a problem further exacerbated by their association with particular groups (women, minorities, and migrants) who suffer multiple forms of discrimination. Domestic workers experience abuses ranging from verbal abuse and economic exploitation to physical and sexual assault and forced servitude

You realize that you need all nine lords a leapin' to go "Americans need to learn Chinese" and see "Because they'll be serving our Chinese masters, who beat their servants," right?

That does sound like quite a leap you made, but it wasn't what Crabby said. His comment was on American education not preparing students for complex jobs. Since Miko suggested there would be expanded Chinese influence it just seems logical to consider Americans might be working for Chinese bosses.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 6:30 PM on February 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


Jesus christ, you people are still here?!? Don't you have homes to go to?
posted by coriolisdave at 7:51 PM on February 12, 2012 [2 favorites]


coriolisdave: Jesus christ, you people are still here?!? Don't you have homes to go to?

As much as there's a part of me* that wishes that people would just drop it I'm glad that people weren't willing to let racism slide.


* The part of me that has to listen to the rest of me go ghnnghgnnnnngngghhhgnngnngghnnghghnn.
posted by Kattullus at 5:49 AM on February 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


Why is it so hard to understand that "foreigners will come over here and hit us" is racist? It's not even anywhere near the gray area.

So "foreigner" is a race now? What if my comment had mentioned Icelanders instead of the Chinese, would that be racist, Kattullus? You seem to be running neck-and-neck with Empress Callipygos for the "Who's the dimmest of us all?" award.

And people want me to "defend" myself from this crap? The only way I know how to defend myself is with facts and logic, and furiousxgeorge has demonstrated how far that gets you here.

I wish that for just one time you could stand inside my shoes. You'd know what a drag it is to post a comment on this site. (Even a goddamned dot for poor, doomed Whitney Houston. I bet one of you could find a way to call *that* racist.) I'm tired of the smears, the lies, the high-handed casual censorship. (Yes, you're no better than the scum that try to ban Huckleberry Finn from school libraries.) Enjoy your damned echo chamber.
posted by Crabby Appleton at 12:55 PM on February 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


Buh-bye, then.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 1:01 PM on February 13, 2012


See you next weekend, Crabby.
posted by crunchland at 1:09 PM on February 13, 2012 [2 favorites]


coriolisdave: Jesus christ, you people are still here?!? Don't you have homes to go to?

I'll generously assume that you meant to ask why we're continuing. Speaking only for myself:

Right now I believe we are at a stage where people disagree about something and see each other's views as so completely obviously wrong that they cannot even explain why. So we get a lot of "IT'S SO RACIST WHY DON'T YOU SEE THAT?!" and "IT'S SO NOT RACIST WHY DON'T YOU SEE THAT?!". Arguments have little effect because people think the opposing arguments completely miss the point (in hard-to-articulate ways). It's a situation of mutual incomprehensibility, plus frustration and offendedness and rage.

I still have hope that the mutual incomprehensibility could be overcome, leading to a situation where we will at least have solid grounds to condemn each other's heinous views. Of course, we can only reach that stage if we speak to each other calmly and patiently and with open minds and don't get swept up in our fury at the obstinate stupidity of our interlocutors. So, in the spirit of being the change that I want to see, I am trying to engage productively with furiousxgeorge, to better understand his point of view and to have him better understand mine.

Now I'll continue doing that.

furiousxgeorge: I think if we discussed the difficulties with education in America, it is not racist to point out how far behind black kids are even if it seems to evoke a negative stereotype.

Yes, that's a good point, and I agree that we shouldn't be so concerned about giving offense that we refuse to discuss important issues with unpleasant associations.

I said "evoke", and that's too broad, since it includes unproblematic things like accidentally reminding someone of some racist thing they once saw. I need a more precise word, and I can't think of one.

Happily, I no longer have to discuss it in the abstract, since the comment was reposted. Let me take you through my reaction to the language bit by bit. I don't mean to argue that my interpretation is the only valid one (in fact in one place I'll point out that my reaction is not valid even in my opinion), but I want to report in detail how the language in Crabby's comment triggers my personal OMG SO RACIST reaction. It's not at all like mentioning an uncomfortable fact in neutral language (like in your example of saying that black kids have worse academic achievement than white kids), but instead it's a whole pattern of inflammatory language that adds up to an incredibly strong racism vibe.

Here we go.

When the Chinese

Already there is a weird feeling. (This reaction is the one that I'm going to admit is invalid.) I don't usually say "the Chinese", or "the blacks", or "the Jews"; in my linguistic community we usually say "Chinese people", "black people", "Jewish people". And like everybody else, when I hear a usage different from my own, I assume there's some reason for the difference, some point of view about the named ethnic group that I don't share, and so I'm already on the alert for racist weirdness.

Did I mention already that this reaction is invalid? I honestly believe that this is just different usage with no particular significance. Anyway, it's a weird little shibboleth that I (and, I think, lots of other people) react to, and although I don't defend the reaction, it does occur, and here it primes me to expect racist weirdness.

Let's see how the rest of the comment fulfills those expectations.

When the Chinese start coming over

The Chinese are coming! The Chinese are coming!

"Coming over" sets up Crabby and the reader as Us, living together Here, and Chinese people as Them, living over There, where They belong, but then They come Here! As if We Americans are allied together against a foreign invasion.

coming over to enjoy their property

Foreign ownership of land is a standard fixation of the xenophobe, so we're starting to paint a picture now.

they'll required personal servants, the only station for which our education system is effectively preparing the kids.

And the result of this invasion is, we'll be servants. It's Chinese overlords for us! At this point we're deep into a yellow peril narrative: The Chinese are coming to take over the country! They already own a bunch of our land! They're going to subjugate our children!

American parents

Here's that Us-and-Them again. The American parents are contrasted with the invading Chinese overlords. There's the Chinese, who came here, and then there's the Americans, who were already here. But why isn't a immigrant from China just as good an American as someone who was born here? Citizenship is citizenship. Oh, unless we're not talking about citizenship, but talking about ethnicity. Then maybe what "American" really means here is "Real American", or "white", or "WASP", or something like that.

American parents won't like having their daughters come home from work with red stripes across their behinds

Oh, wow, now this is the motherlode.

Such vivid imagery! So specific! Why just that exact image? Well, what other options did he have? Let's see. He could have said "corporal punishment", which is a neutral and generic. But no, apparently he wants to refer to spanking specifically for some reason. Well, he could have said "spanking", which would be oddly specific but neutral in tone. But no, he says "red stripes across their behinds". How vivid! "Red stripes" really evokes the stinging feeling. Direct reference to "behinds" emphasizes the physical violation. The whole image is really visceral. It makes me sympathize with the victim, it makes me want to protect them, it makes me angry at their attacker.

So, after the previous yellow-peril setup, I read the specificity and vividness here as a propagandistic stirring up of emotions.

And then there's the specificity of "daughter". Why specify a gender? Again, it makes the imagery more concrete, making the scene more alarming and inflammatory, and it totally fits with the "We have to protect our children!" message, since daughters are more likely to be thought of as needing protection, especially from sexualized threats (I know, I know; see next paragraph).

About whether spanking is sexualizing here. I've said it is, you've disagreed, and I don't think anybody else has said anything about it. I think the key question here is the age of the daughter. Your examples of nonsexual spanking have been about children, and yes, I agree that when an adult spanks a child, there's generally no sexual element. But we're talking about kids who are old enough to work, which makes them teenagers, doesn't it? (Or are we assuming the loss of child labour laws? That's not in the comment.) And spanking a teenaged girl is a totally different thing, don't you think?

And if it's not sexualizing the threat to make the imagery more potent and visceral, what is it doing there? That article you linked about Cambodian women working as domestic servants (grown women working to support their families, note, not children) didn't refer to spanking at all, I think, but just to face-slapping. Why not refer to face-slapping? Because being spanked is much more deeply humiliating? Why is that, and what function would that serve here?

Anyway, I don't expect to convince you that this is "the right interpretation", whatever that means, but maybe you'll at least consider whether it's different if "come home from work" makes the reader think of a teenaged or older servant, and that that strongly affects the vibe of spanking.

because they couldn't understand what the matriarch of the house wanted them to do.

"Matriarch"... well, I might not even notice this if I weren't primed by all the above, but after the strong, visceral appeal to patriarchal protectiveness, I notice that "matriarch" may be a dogwhistle for people who think it's wrong for women to be in charge of anything, ever. Those people, who are already worked up about the threat to their daughter's vulnerable behinds, may here be further enraged by this picture that Crabby is painting because of the wrongness of a woman being in charge.

(I expect you'll say that in a traditional Chinese family, the woman would be in charge of the domestic servants. Yeah, but if you were a propagandist trying to get sexists worked up, wouldn't you consider this a good note to hit?)

(The Chinese still favor corporal punishment.)

I have no problem with the language here. The claim could use evidence, and there is the question of whether this is an overgeneralization, but really, this is small potatoes compared to everything else.

That's all.
posted by stebulus at 5:49 PM on February 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


Goddamnit, that's not all! Because if just one of those things get down here, then all this

Excuse me.

One more thing: another contributing factor, I think, is the spareness of Crabby's writing. He doesn't explain why he's painting a picture, he just paints it and lets us react to it however. So people guess why, and of course to that task they bring their own pre-existing understanding of the world and the kinds of people that live in it and the kinds of beliefs that can be found in them.

Another example occurred earlier in the thread: Crabby said "American school children should know that if they become scientists, they might end up in a lab where the most common language spoken is Mandarin. And they should be able to decide how they feel about that." Again, the spareness — he doesn't say what kinds of feelings he expects they might have about being around people who speak Mandarin, or what he might think of those feelings. So people will wonder, why on earth would anybody have a feeling one way or the other about other people speaking Mandarin around them? And they'll guess why, and bang, accusations of racism.

And furthermore, people may assume that his spareness was actually intended to make people make those spluttering-with-rage "what the hell do you mean by that?" accusations, and think he's trolling. And this is actually a trolling technique (see the example of unarmed people being shot to death in this awesome column by Lore Sjöberg), though of course it's much more common that people just forget to specify their intentions, or haven't thought them through well enough to state them explicitly, or think they goes without saying, or just like the spare style.
posted by stebulus at 5:52 PM on February 13, 2012


because they couldn't understand what the matriarch of the house wanted them to do.

"Matriarch"... well, I might not even notice this if I weren't primed by all the above, but after the strong, visceral appeal to patriarchal protectiveness, I notice that "matriarch" may be a dogwhistle for people who think it's wrong for women to be in charge of anything, ever.


It seemed like a pretty clear invocation of the (sexist and racist) Dragon Lady stereotype to me.
posted by kagredon at 7:07 PM on February 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


I wish that for just one time you could stand inside my shoes. You'd know what a drag it is to post a comment on this site.

Why, that's Positively 4th Street, Crabby.
posted by octobersurprise at 7:29 PM on February 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


Yay! Crabby is back!
posted by furiousxgeorge at 7:49 PM on February 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


Already there is a weird feeling. (This reaction is the one that I'm going to admit is invalid.) I don't usually say "the Chinese", or "the blacks", or "the Jews"; in my linguistic community we usually say "Chinese people", "black people", "Jewish people".

"The Americans", "the Chinese". Would "the Chinesians" be better? Actually, I was unaware of this shibboleth. I'm curious. Are you also careful to say "American people", "British people", "German people", instead of "the Americans", "the British", and "the Germans"?

"Coming over" sets up Crabby and the reader as Us, living together Here, and Chinese people as Them, living over There, where They belong, but then They come Here! As if We Americans are allied together against a foreign invasion.

You've got to be kidding. That's what immigrants do: they come over here from over there (regardless of where "here" and "there" are). If your immediate reaction is to see that as ominous, then maybe you're the one who has a problem with immigrants.

Foreign ownership of land is a standard fixation of the xenophobe, so we're starting to paint a picture now.

It's merely, in this notional future scenario, an indication of their economic dominance. Do you think the current economic trends are away from that?

And the result of this invasion is, we'll be servants. It's Chinese overlords for us! At this point we're deep into a yellow peril narrative: [...]

Hey, the U.S. economy is primarily a service economy, and most of the jobs available (particularly for the poorly educated) are service jobs. What could possibly be wrong with that? Why characterize my narrative in such histrionic terms? "Chinese overlords"? "Yellow peril"? I said none of that, you did.

Regarding your objection to "American parents", how was I supposed to refer to them?

But why isn't a [sic] immigrant from China just as good an American as someone who was born here?

I don't know. You could ask the same question, mutatis mutandis, of the Chinese about the Japanese during WWII. Somewhere between your po-faced question and the latter lies the truth. Nouveau riche Chinese immigrating to American probably won't be doing so because they love us so much. You should ask the residents of Hong Kong what they think about the issue.

And now, on to the oh-so-problematic behinds!

Such vivid imagery! So specific!

Vivid, evocative, concise writing would be praiseworthy in the service of ideas you agree with, but because in this instance it isn't, it's somehow propagandistic and trolling? I see.

Why just that exact image?

Frankly, because I knew it would annoy Miko. By the way, others here may be too dim to appreciate the subtleties of Miko's rhetorical stylings, stebulus, but I'm sure you're not.

Beyond that, corporal punishment is typically applied to the buttocks, said application with a bamboo or rattan cane, or the handle of an American-made feather duster (obscure reference, sorry), typically results in red stripes across the aforementioned buttocks. What's so remarkable here?

It makes me sympathize with the victim, it makes me want to protect them, it makes me angry at their attacker.

Of course, because you're in the habit of valorizing the "victim". I sympathize more with her parents, who are effectively powerless to protect her, and have to live with that.

And then there's the specificity of "daughter". Why specify a gender?

Maids are often female.

Again, it makes the imagery more concrete, making the scene more alarming and inflammatory, and it totally fits with the "We have to protect our children!" message, since daughters are more likely to be thought of as needing protection, especially from sexualized threats (I know, I know; see next paragraph).

I'll say one thing for you, stebulus, you have quite an imagination—an unwholesome one.

(Or are we assuming the loss of child labour laws? That's not in the comment.)

I don't think that assumption is required. In an environment where jobs of any kind for a young woman (or a young man, for that matter) are scarce, it's not hard to imagine that the employee would be willing to tolerate quite a bit in order to keep the job.

And spanking a teenaged girl is a totally different thing, don't you think?

Not really. I'm sure there are plenty of households in which corporal punishment is employed for as long as the child resides with the parents, although presumably the frequency with which it is merited declines over time. But the context here is employer-employee, not parent-child. I don't know why you feel the need to accuse Chinese people of sadistic pedophilia, but just keep in mind that I never did.

In passing, behinds are behinds, but a "vulnerable behind" is teetering on the edge of erotic interest. If my objective had been to sexualize this, it seems I would have been better off asking you to write it for me.

[...] trying to get sexists worked up, [...]

But there are no sexists on MetaFilter, so how could that possibly have been a useful tactic? Yes, quite an imagination...

Well, stebulus, I'm glad I was able to create such an incisive little Rorschach blot to illuminate the miasmic depths of your psyche. I don't think my gorge has ever risen in response to a MetaFilter comment before. Congratulations.
posted by Crabby Appleton at 8:58 PM on February 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


Yay! Crabby is back!

Only for this thread. Thanks for defending my comments. You have the patience of Job.
posted by Crabby Appleton at 8:59 PM on February 13, 2012


I don't think Metafilter is an echo chamber.

I do think Metafilter is largely made of people accustomed to taking others at face value, and dealing with others in good faith, and expecting others to do likewise. Certainly that's the tone set by Matt from Day 1 and by Team Mod since there's been a Team Mod.

But there is also a small segment of the population here who behave as if they lack the personal insight needed to recognize their own hot-button issues, and appear to believe that if only they argued hard enough and persistently enough, then the correctness of their own position must necessarily become apparent to all. And when this proves not to be the case, as it seems obvious to me that it is never going to be in any large group, people like this seem to take that very personally and go off in a huff.

So here's the thing: somebody is always going to be Wrong On The Internet. Always. And unless you can come around to accepting that, and accepting that neither carefully reasoned argument nor passionate bloviation are ever going to change it, you're always going to find a community as diverse as this distressing to engage with.

I think Metafilter is in fact the exact opposite of an echo chamber, and long may it remain so. Because, frankly, when the echoes of "groupthink!" and "political correctness!" start up again they are trite, tedious and tiresome, especially when they come (as they so often do) from people who would apparently rather nurture and feed some petty grievance than put it down to a legitimate difference of opinion or a misunderstanding and move on.

If you have something to say, then put your point as best you can, clarify it if you must, and then leave it alone. Because nobody cares what that person who is Wrong On The Internet thinks about you.

Disagreement, even if expressed in colorful language, just doesn't constitute a personal affront worth getting aggrieved about. The idea that it does strikes me as so bizarrely and completely wrong that I am truly at a loss to know what to say to people who apparently believe that beyond "whatever, dude."

And if you've persistently shown yourself unable to extend to others the respect you demand for yourself, I for one will not miss you when you go.
posted by flabdablet at 12:16 AM on February 14, 2012 [2 favorites]


I don't think my gorge has ever risen in response to a MetaFilter comment before.

Oh, don't worry, that's a perfectly normal reaction to meeting someone different from you. You'll get used to it.

Anyway, if I may sum up the main line of your response: Every element of your comment has a factual basis or serves an innocuous purpose (e.g., annoying Miko), and since I'm the one seeing racial complexes in every little thing, maybe I'm the racist one.

That's a very traditional line to take, so I won't argue with it. And I concede that I have an erotic interest in behinds.

Oh, but you make one outright error that I cannot let stand:

Vivid, evocative, concise writing would be praiseworthy in the service of ideas you agree with

Even the most cursory review of the evidence nearest to hand, that is, my comments in this thread, will prove that I have no great love for either vividness or concision.
posted by stebulus at 12:20 AM on February 14, 2012


Frankly, because I knew it would annoy Miko.

So you were purposefully being annoying. Weird.

By the way, others here may be too dim to appreciate the subtleties of Miko's rhetorical stylings, stebulus, but I'm sure you're not.


wat
posted by the young rope-rider at 3:22 AM on February 14, 2012


I should not have used the Japanese aggression against China during WWII to make a cheap rhetorical point. I plead sleep deprivation, but nevertheless it was extremely insensitive of me and I apologize for it, wholeheartedly and unreservedly. I would excise the sentence if I could.
posted by Crabby Appleton at 6:13 AM on February 14, 2012


So you were purposefully being annoying. Weird.

Yes, in response to Miko's being purposefully annoying to me. So?
posted by Crabby Appleton at 6:16 AM on February 14, 2012


flabdablet, when someone goes out of their way to read a bunch of nasty stuff into my comments for no apparent reason, I do find it difficult to respect them. And if you think MetaFilter's not an echo chamber, then consider who gets the benefit of the doubt here and who doesn't, and why.
posted by Crabby Appleton at 6:23 AM on February 14, 2012


Fuck man. Just fucking go away if you don't like it here. Tell everyone they're pieces of hypocritical garbage and wash your hands. You're not a martyr.
posted by Burhanistan at 6:38 AM on February 14, 2012 [3 favorites]


Or Crabby could speak entirely in Bob Dylan quotes. That would be different.
posted by octobersurprise at 6:46 AM on February 14, 2012


Happy Valentine's Day to you, too, Burhanistan.
posted by Crabby Appleton at 7:15 AM on February 14, 2012


I spelled that out in little foil wrapped chocolates!
posted by Burhanistan at 7:21 AM on February 14, 2012


when someone goes out of their way to read a bunch of nasty stuff into my comments for no apparent reason,

Let's see. You consider my reactions unfounded ("read ... into"), so you suppose that they are purposeful rather than natural ("going out of their way"), and are baffled by my motivations ("no apparent reason")... well, I have to repeat a joke I made, but now in earnest: that's a perfectly normal reaction to meeting someone different from you.

It's a little bit like when people read your comment and can't believe that you honestly meant what they think you said, and suppose you're trolling. (That's happened to you, right? I'm trying to speak to your experience here.)

I do find it difficult to respect them

Too bad for me. But while we're on the topic of respect:

I should not have used the Japanese aggression against China during WWII to make a cheap rhetorical point. I plead sleep deprivation, but nevertheless it was extremely insensitive of me and I apologize for it, wholeheartedly and unreservedly.

I certainly respect that.
posted by stebulus at 8:07 AM on February 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


'I'm frustrated and inhibited and nobody understands me...'
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 8:51 AM on February 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


stebulus, I don't see why you're continuing to converse with a racist, sexist xenophobe, even one who shares an erotic interest in behinds—particularly, tender, vulnerable, sore, red-striped behinds...but I digress.

You've been trying to construct something resembling a rationale for the knee-jerk emotional reactions on the part of many here to my comments. But haven't we known since Socrates that our emotional reactions should be viewed with suspicion in the context of reasoned discourse? Shouldn't our immediate response be to set aside the strong feelings and try to evaluate the argument dispassionately? MeFites, including the mods, seem to behave as if the opposite were the case. That's why I say that MetaFilter is not primarily an intellectual forum, but a "community" and, as such, it's highest value is not truth, but conformity.

I certainly respect that.

Thank you.

On preview: Yes, Alvy, I understand that "fitting in" is the most important thing. I just don't agree. Thanks, though.
posted by Crabby Appleton at 9:01 AM on February 14, 2012


> I understand that "fitting in" is the most important thing.

You misread that comic, though, and perhaps misreading intent is a big reason for all this bullshit. Lucy wasn't chased after for not "fitting in", she was chased after for being a douchebag. She couldn't admit to herself that that was the case, and instead chose to interpret the other kids attacking her as some sort of failure of others to understand her.

Maybe they don't, but the onus isn't on them when Lucy was being a douchebag.
posted by Burhanistan at 9:06 AM on February 14, 2012


The comic is not a good analogy. Having different views than you and expressing them as assertively as you express yours is not "being a douchebag".
posted by Crabby Appleton at 9:24 AM on February 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


I guess the aptness of the comic depends on the context through which one views this situation. It would seem that Crabby is focused primarily on the I, For One, Welcome Our New Spanktastic Chinese Overlords bit and is having trouble understanding how/why people may be reading what I feel was mostly just a silly & insubstantially facile comment in a pretty uncharitable manner. However, that's ignoring the fact that much of his overall participation here consists of showing people what he thinks of their stupid ol' marbles, which certainly influences how receptive those people are to any comment he makes, whether provocative or otherwise.

Anyway, it's unfortunate. I can't say I'll miss Crabby's participation here, but it's always a bit of a bummer when a person feels that for whatever reason, their relationship to MetaFilter has hit a dead end.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 10:03 AM on February 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


Yes, in response to Miko's being purposefully annoying to me.

when someone goes out of their way to read a bunch of nasty stuff into my comments for no apparent reason, I do find it difficult to respect them.


Hmm.
posted by the young rope-rider at 10:13 AM on February 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


Alvy Ampersand: "...New Spanktastic Chinese Overlords"

我的媽和她的瘋狂的外甥都.
posted by zarq at 10:21 AM on February 14, 2012


I think annet000 said it best in response to that comic:

werz linus??
posted by SpiffyRob at 10:58 AM on February 14, 2012


You really need to look at annet000's comment history on GoComics.com. A lot of edgy opinions thrown around there.
posted by shakespeherian at 11:05 AM on February 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


tochey!!!
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 11:27 AM on February 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


Wow, I'm going to be cruising the GoComics comments on Peanuts all day, I tell ya.

And this greatly shows Lucy’s extreme dislike of Charlie Brown.
posted by SpiffyRob at 11:59 AM on February 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


stebulus, I don't see why you're continuing to converse with a racist, sexist xenophobe,

Well, I don't know that that's what you are, for one thing. And as I said at the start of that long comment, I have this idealistic notion that the right way to do things is to first listen to and understand people, and then to condemn their heinous views.

And writing you off as someone not worth conversing with... well, that option has some emotional appeal (I'd get to wallow in the righteousness of my condemnation, which is always fun), but when I look at it from a bit of a distance, I see it as participating in a really ugly social disaster, and I don't really want to be a part of that, even if you are a horrible person who deserves the censure of all of Metafilter.

You've been trying to construct something resembling a rationale for the knee-jerk emotional reactions on the part of many here to my comments.

I partially endorse this description of my efforts. But my long comment, specifically, was not meant to build a rationale so much as to describe the reactions as explicitly as possible. (Of course the reactions are partly rationale-esque.)

I was trying to remedy what I saw as a problem in the discussion where furiousxgeorge honestly didn't understand why people saw the comment as racist, and although some people had tried to explain it, and he had tried to rebut their points, the gap between his point of view and theirs was so large that no connection was being made. I thought a more extreme explanation might break through that conversational block and let us all be indignantly disgusted by each other at a higher level.

Shouldn't our immediate response be to set aside the strong feelings and try to evaluate the argument dispassionately?

It depends.

For example, take that remark you made and regretted about the Japanese invasion of China in WWII. You said it was insensitive. But so what? If someone were hurt or took offense at it, shouldn't they set aside those strong feelings and try to evaluate your argument dispassionately?

(I don't mean to rub your nose in that remark or anything; I'm just trying to use an example where I can be pretty sure you'll agree that the strong feelings in question are legitimate and should be given consideration, and since I don't know you well, I don't know what to use except what I find in this thread.)

That's why I say that MetaFilter is not primarily an intellectual forum, but a "community" and, as such, it's highest value is not truth, but conformity.

I'm not completely sure what you mean by "conformity" here. If you mean simply that there are social norms and failing to conform to them will get people pissed at you (even if you're simultaneously doing something praiseworthy like speaking the truth), then yeah, that's a thing that happens when people are in groups. If there's an implied criticism, well, I don't want to guess what it is, so I won't.
posted by stebulus at 12:59 PM on February 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


For example, take that remark you made and regretted about the Japanese invasion of China in WWII. You said it was insensitive. But so what? If someone were hurt or took offense at it, shouldn't they set aside those strong feelings and try to evaluate your argument dispassionately?

I think that if it were the case that the remark were integral to my argument, then they should set aside those strong feelings and try to evaluate the argument dispassionately. The thing I regret is that it was not required for my argument, so in reality I used it gratuitously, and it's not something that should be used casually or gratuitously.

I'm not sure what your definition of "social norms" encompasses, but if it includes expressing only the MetaFilter-approved political opinions, then I think you can see what the criticism would be.
posted by Crabby Appleton at 2:32 PM on February 14, 2012


Whatever, dude.
posted by flabdablet at 7:31 PM on February 14, 2012


I think that if it were the case that the remark were integral to my argument, then they should set aside those strong feelings and try to evaluate the argument dispassionately.

What value of "should" is that? Like, if they can't set aside their strong feelings (because, you know, emotions), then what? Then, fuck 'em, their emotions are their problem, they should stay out of the reasoned discourse if they can't control themselves? Or, that's too bad since it makes it harder to have a productive conversation, but it's understandable and maybe we as a group can seek out other ways to avoid it? Say, should the speaker (for some value of "should") try to make it easy for people to set aside their strong feelings?

These are not rhetorical questions; I'm asking your opinion.

I'm not sure what your definition of "social norms" encompasses, but if it includes expressing only the MetaFilter-approved political opinions, then I think you can see what the criticism would be.

Got it.

I'm not sure that's what happened in the case under discussion, but maybe we can postpone that question until some more fundamental things have been discussed (see above).
posted by stebulus at 7:02 AM on February 15, 2012


[...] their emotions are their problem, they should stay out of the reasoned discourse if they can't control themselves?

For a public internet discussion board, yes, that pretty much nails it.
posted by Crabby Appleton at 7:31 AM on February 15, 2012


Ok.

But with personal attacks, it's different, right? Attacks don't advance the reasoned discourse, they're intended to hurt or annoy, and if someone is being purposefully annoying to you, it's legitimate to be purposefully annoying to them (as you seemed to imply here). And I daresay you put some anger and personal attacks into your detailed reply to me, but again, as you saw it, you were responding to my personal attack on you, so it's fair. Right?

Reasoned argument deserves reasonable consideration; personal attacks deserve personal attacks. Right?

(I'm pretty sure you more or less agree with the above, so I'm just going to continue on that assumption instead of waiting for confirmation, because the next thing is kind of important and I want to get it in before we all get too bored with this conversation to continue.)

So, how do you tell the difference between a reasoned argument and a personal attack? What if the comment is both simultaneously? What if it's a personal attack disguised as a reasoned argument, like if one of the implicit premises is insulting, and that's really why the speaker is making the argument, to make that insult? How do you tell what kind of conversational action you're looking at, so you know whether you should evaluate dispassionately or retaliate wrathfully?

Again, not rhetorical questions.
posted by stebulus at 9:12 AM on February 15, 2012


[...] before we all get too bored with this conversation to continue.

How did you read my mind?

How do you tell the difference? As you said, it could be both. It's difficult to formulate explicit rules. You use your experience, your assessment of your interlocutor's intelligence level and personality (which can be difficult with an on-line persona), and you read what they wrote carefully, doing your best not to read into it stuff that isn't there.

[...] whether you should evaluate dispassionately or retaliate wrathfully?

It's not necessarily either/or. You can do both, sequentially or in parallel. Or sometimes if the content is sufficiently interesting, I'll ignore the insult to concentrate on the argument.

If someone approaches what you've written with the inquisitorial mind-set, then I think it's fair to call them on that. The inquisitor knows his orthodoxy very well, but he also knows the myriad ways in which heresy can be expressed. He has his mental templates for the various kinds of heresy and if he detects the merest whiff of heresy, applies them all to the suspected heretic's utterances to see which ones can be made to fit. (Does any of this sound familiar?) All the little tin-horn crusaders on MetaFilter who are more interested in sniffing out heresy than in learning anything new, or finding new truths, make it an unpleasant place for anyone who disagrees with the letter of their orthodoxy. Which is fine with them, crushing heresy is more important than anything else.

It's clear that you're heading somewhere with this, and attempting to lead me there step-by-step in a faintly patronizing way. I suggest you cut to the chase. We have guys like flabdablet and Burhanistan dancing around, wetting their pants because we won't shut up already.
posted by Crabby Appleton at 11:55 AM on February 15, 2012 [2 favorites]


What, you have a piss fetish as well?
posted by Burhanistan at 12:01 PM on February 15, 2012 [1 favorite]


Crabby Appleton: “If someone approaches what you've written with the inquisitorial mind-set, then I think it's fair to call them on that. The inquisitor knows his orthodoxy very well, but he also knows the myriad ways in which heresy can be expressed. He has his mental templates for the various kinds of heresy and if he detects the merest whiff of heresy, applies them all to the suspected heretic's utterances to see which ones can be made to fit. (Does any of this sound familiar?) All the little tin-horn crusaders on MetaFilter who are more interested in sniffing out heresy than in learning anything new, or finding new truths, make it an unpleasant place for anyone who disagrees with the letter of their orthodoxy. Which is fine with them, crushing heresy is more important than anything else.”

This appears to have absolutely nothing to do with the discussion at hand, and it seems to me you're just saying it so that you can hint darkly that many Mefites are "inquisitors" without any evidence whatsoever.
posted by koeselitz at 12:22 PM on February 15, 2012 [1 favorite]


koeselitz: "it seems to me you're just saying it so that you can hint darkly that many Mefites are "inquisitors" without any evidence whatsoever."

I completely agree with him.

How many Mefites thoughtlessly knee-jerk their way through threads about politics, religion, Christianity, the Church, I/P, circumcision and many, many, MANY other topics around here, without having an open mind? A bunch. They have formed an opinion, and are no longer interested in additional information that may disagree with their worldviews. And woe be unto anyone who disagrees with them.

Let's add to that pile of people a handful of others who have actually been banned on posting about certain topics because they're incapable of being objective, and tend to monopolize and attack anyone in the threads they post.

How many Mefites read what they want to hear into people's comments, rather than paying attention to what they actually write, and don't bother asking for clarification?

Betcha that venn diagram has some big overlaps.

How many Mefites have decided that another Mefite is completely irredeemable, and should be attacked whenever they open their mouths about a particular topic?

Gee, let's scroll up and re-read this very thread, shall we?

There's evidence of inquisitorial behavior (by members, not mods) on display in this very thread. Crabby doesn't have to go searching for it. And neither do we.
posted by zarq at 1:30 PM on February 15, 2012 [3 favorites]


> There's evidence of inquisitorial behavior (by members, not mods) on display in this very thread

Such as?
posted by Burhanistan at 1:40 PM on February 15, 2012


For one thing, seanyboy's ridiculous complaint that if someone is "enamoured" with a particular company they should be banned from posting about it, on the grounds that liking a company is equivalent to a self-link. Countered by other comments in the thread.

There was this and this, and pretty much all of artw's complaints about BP including that he is some sort of sacrosanct-to-the-mods member and has what I can only paraphrase as a vendetta against him.

In fact, this entire post was made so artw could complain that his comments had been deleted, and that his arch-nemesis Blazecock Pileon had escaped mod action. This is not the first time artw has done this, and tried to publicly agitate people against BP.

I'd hope his promise not to do this again means it will be the last.
posted by zarq at 1:59 PM on February 15, 2012 [1 favorite]


Interesting. Well, Crabby has named BP as his nemesis so I don't see him defending BP's "inquistion". It's all so high school.
posted by Burhanistan at 2:03 PM on February 15, 2012


If that's your major example, then you don't really agree with me, zarq. I'm talking about ideas, the BP flap is about behavior, and is a bit of a red herring since experience has shown that it can't have any effect.
posted by Crabby Appleton at 2:08 PM on February 15, 2012


Crabby Appleton: "If that's your major example, then you don't really agree with me, zarq. I'm talking about ideas, the BP flap is about behavior, and is a bit of a red herring since experience has shown that it can't have any effect."

It's an example from this thread. It's not my only example.

I'm referring to multiple threads where people have been attacked for holding opinions counter to the majority.

Talk about religion, the Catholic Church, circumcision or even the most benign act of political conservatism in the slightest positive terms around here and you'll get your ass handed to you by people who don't give a shit what you're actually saying -- they just know they're right and you're wrong and you've managed to try and tip their sacred cow.
posted by zarq at 2:21 PM on February 15, 2012 [2 favorites]


Burhanistan: " It's all so high school."

True.
posted by zarq at 2:21 PM on February 15, 2012


When MeFi is at its best, it's revelatory. Someone finds something new or different and shows it off to the rest of us. A discussion may arise in any comment thread which teaches us something new or helps us perceive something in a different way. This site is a fantastic resource for infovores and AskMe in particular is an invaluable help to people in need. I love being part of all that. Learning, laughing and enjoying what the community offers. There's a lot of wit and wisdom here that just awes me.

But the petty, public bullshit between members is such a damned drag. I wish there was a lot less of it. One of the things I'm trying to change in the way I behave around here is to be a lot less reflexive and more reflective. I'm hoping that helps a little.
posted by zarq at 2:50 PM on February 15, 2012 [1 favorite]


"...they just know they're right and you're wrong and you've managed to try and tip their sacred cow."

This is just my own experience, and I don't intend to imply anything normative by it, but as I've gotten older, I've had an increasingly difficult time taking a lot of arguments at face-value, as being in good-faith, and worthy of civil discourse. And, sure, I know that it's partly just because over years and years it becomes more tiresome to do this. But, also, over years and years one ends up hearing a number of the same bad arguments again and again, and often delivered with bad-faith, and in that context it becomes reasonable to stop assuming good-faith and to refuse to engage civilly with such arguments.

And one Really Big Thing that all these years have made me hypersensitive to is The Contrarian. In my entire life, I have almost never encountered anyone who was consistently contrary where this trait didn't turn out, over time, to be indisputably a combination of affectation and personality pathology. I had one very close friend who is this way and after knowing him twenty years, it's blindingly obvious that it's pathological and actually harmful to his enjoyment of life. Not to mention his relationships. And it's irrational. It's just not ever about what it's supposedly about. It's about his ongoing resistance to peer conformity.

As is often the case, I'm probably very sensitive to this personality trait because it's a flaw of my own. Indeed, I'm pretty sure that my failure to be consistently contrarian is my attempt to be contrarian to the contrarians. I hate peer pressure so much, and I hate the idea of conforming so much, that at some point in my formative years, I decided that conforming to non-conforming was just being stupidly conforming in a different way. I guess I should be glad that it didn't occur to me to just form all my beliefs and attitudes on the basis of a dice throw.

My point in the last paragraph is that I very much do understand that itchy, annoyed reaction when MeFi Groupthink rears its head.

But, you know, the problem here is that as much as we each would like to deny that this is the case, "groupthink" really is almost always in the eye of the beholder. Sure, there are edge cases which are unambiguous from almost everyone's perspectives. But most of the time, peer-pressure conformity of opinion is very hard to distinguish from rational consensus; and peer-pressure outgroup ostracizing is very hard to distinguish from rational "you're not welcome here if you're going to shit on the carpet".

And, most importantly, this and other communities are voluntary and self-selected associations. What does it mean when one or a few people are lonely, agitated contrarian voices in a community? Do they think they are going to convince the majority to agree with them? That never happens. If their goal is to present what they feel is a valid and/or correct viewpoint that the majority doesn't agree with, then there are ways that this can be achieved and ways in which it won't ever, ever happen. And the funny thing is, most contrarians behave as in the latter case. Which leads me to believe that what they're ostensibly doing being The Contrarian is not actually what they're doing, and what they're actually doing is something else. And, far too often, that's basically shitting on the carpet because they have childhood issues surrounding how they were potty-trained.

Those developmental issues are not everyone else's problem. It's immature and selfish and just plain obnoxious to make those issues everyone else problem. And every time one of these folk cry out about how they're oppressed by the majority's narrowmindedness, I don't hear an adult discussing the issues inherent in being someone with a minority viewpoint, I hear a child whining.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 3:26 PM on February 15, 2012 [3 favorites]


In fact, this entire post was made so artw could complain that his comments had been deleted, and that his arch-nemesis Blazecock Pileon had escaped mod action. This is not the first time artw has done this, and tried to publicly agitate people against BP.

That's right, Crabby, get your own shitty callout!
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 3:30 PM on February 15, 2012 [2 favorites]



"...they just know they're right and you're wrong and you've managed to try and tip their sacred cow."

This is just my own experience, and I don't intend to imply anything normative by it, but as I've gotten older, I've had an increasingly difficult time taking a lot of arguments at face-value, as being in good-faith, and worthy of civil discourse. And, sure, I know that it's partly just because over years and years it becomes more tiresome to do this. But, also, over years and years one ends up hearing a number of the same bad arguments again and again, and often delivered with bad-faith, and in that context it becomes reasonable to stop assuming good-faith and to refuse to engage civilly with such arguments.

And one Really Big Thing that all these years have made me hypersensitive to is The Contrarian. In my entire life, I have almost never encountered anyone who was consistently contrary where this trait didn't turn out, over time, to be indisputably a combination of affectation and personality pathology. I had one very close friend who is this way and after knowing him twenty years, it's blindingly obvious that it's pathological and actually harmful to his enjoyment of life. Not to mention his relationships. And it's irrational. It's just not ever about what it's supposedly about. It's about his ongoing resistance to peer conformity.

As is often the case, I'm probably very sensitive to this personality trait because it's a flaw of my own. Indeed, I'm pretty sure that my failure to be consistently contrarian is my attempt to be contrarian to the contrarians. I hate peer pressure so much, and I hate the idea of conforming so much, that at some point in my formative years, I decided that conforming to non-conforming was just being stupidly conforming in a different way. I guess I should be glad that it didn't occur to me to just form all my beliefs and attitudes on the basis of a dice throw.

My point in the last paragraph is that I very much do understand that itchy, annoyed reaction when MeFi Groupthink rears its head.

But, you know, the problem here is that as much as we each would like to deny that this is the case, "groupthink" really is almost always in the eye of the beholder. Sure, there are edge cases which are unambiguous from almost everyone's perspectives. But most of the time, peer-pressure conformity of opinion is very hard to distinguish from rational consensus; and peer-pressure outgroup ostracizing is very hard to distinguish from rational "you're not welcome here if you're going to shit on the carpet".

And, most importantly, this and other communities are voluntary and self-selected associations. What does it mean when one or a few people are lonely, agitated contrarian voices in a community? Do they think they are going to convince the majority to agree with them? That never happens. If their goal is to present what they feel is a valid and/or correct viewpoint that the majority doesn't agree with, then there are ways that this can be achieved and ways in which it won't ever, ever happen. And the funny thing is, most contrarians behave as in the latter case. Which leads me to believe that what they're ostensibly doing being The Contrarian is not actually what they're doing, and what they're actually doing is something else. And, far too often, that's basically shitting on the carpet because they have childhood issues surrounding how they were potty-trained.

Those developmental issues are not everyone else's problem. It's immature and selfish and just plain obnoxious to make those issues everyone else problem. And every time one of these folk cry out about how they're oppressed by the majority's narrowmindedness, I don't hear an adult discussing the issues inherent in being someone with a minority viewpoint, I hear a child whining.


I disagree.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 3:43 PM on February 15, 2012 [5 favorites]


dancing around, wetting their pants because we won't shut up already

That characterization was not made in good faith.
posted by flabdablet at 5:40 PM on February 15, 2012


Whatever, dude.
posted by Crabby Appleton at 5:43 PM on February 15, 2012


I disagree.

That is trolling.
posted by flabdablet at 5:43 PM on February 15, 2012


Whatever, dude.

/me wets pants
posted by flabdablet at 5:44 PM on February 15, 2012


I disagree.

That is trolling.


No it isn't!
posted by furiousxgeorge at 5:49 PM on February 15, 2012 [1 favorite]


Look, trolling is a connected series of statements intended to provoke an argument. It's not just saying "no it isn't".
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 6:13 PM on February 15, 2012


Yes it is!
posted by furiousxgeorge at 6:21 PM on February 15, 2012 [1 favorite]


Damn it, trapped!
posted by furiousxgeorge at 6:21 PM on February 15, 2012


Chew off your leg to escape! Hot sauce helps.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:40 PM on February 15, 2012 [1 favorite]


But once I pour Sriracha all over something...I don't stop until it's all gone...
posted by furiousxgeorge at 6:51 PM on February 15, 2012 [1 favorite]


Pour some on your hands too!
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:54 PM on February 15, 2012


Waaaaaa!
posted by flabdablet at 8:22 PM on February 15, 2012


Shut up and eat some of these crab apples, you guys, or we'll be trapped in this cider mill forever.
posted by koeselitz at 9:28 PM on February 15, 2012 [1 favorite]


Crabby Appleton: I suggest you cut to the chase.

As you know, I dislike concision, but I'll see what I can do.

I thought I'd try to establish a parallel between personal attacks and racist attacks. At first glance, it seems like there's a similar range of levels of subtlety, a similar range of possible responses, similar pitfalls of misinterpretation and unintentional offense, similar interpretive issues of cultural background... and you've got no problem responding forcefully to personal attacks, so maybe the analogy would make forceful response to (perceived) racist attacks seem less outrageous.

After that, well, probably we'd have had enough, but I did have in mind a few other ideas which might have been worth discussing. Since you asked me to be briefer, I'll state them in inadequately qualified forms: the distinction between what's in a comment and what's been read into it is incoherent, and self-serving besides; norms holding the speaker accountable for provoking "reasonable" emotional responses explain the evidence in this case at least as well as norms forbidding specific political viewpoints; such norms are even desirable; your policies on conversation are sound in the abstract but the resulting social environment is unstable under some very common kinds of perturbation; a pragmatic view of interpersonal interaction has advantages over a moral one.

Crabby Appleton: He has his mental templates for the various kinds of heresy and if he detects the merest whiff of heresy, applies them all to the suspected heretic's utterances to see which ones can be made to fit. (Does any of this sound familiar?)

(koeselitz: This appears to have absolutely nothing to do with the discussion at hand

I'm pretty sure that "sound familiar?" is supposed to suggest that this description of the Inquisitorial Heresy Detection Procedure applies to the thought processes I reported upthread.)

You describe (vividly, as usual) a species of confirmation bias (allied with zeal). I would add that virtually all thought requires this kind of mental templating; it is an essential element in expert judgement, for example. Your notion of an inquisitor is itself such a template (as is Ivan Fyodorovich's Contrarian), though I don't know how zealously you apply it. Anyway, I agree that confirmation bias is a pernicious effect. In the face of such unreliable cognitive apparatus, how, indeed, can we be sure that our interpretations are sound? What if we misinterpret someone once and then confirmation bias turns all their further behaviour into evidence for our misinterpretation? From the inside, wouldn't that look just like a solid characterization based on long history?

(This time, the questions are rhetorical.)

Oh, and about that shibboleth: this comment and the following one show that it's not just me. Do with that information what you will.
posted by stebulus at 10:37 PM on February 15, 2012


Ivan Fyodorovich: "This is just my own experience, and I don't intend to imply anything normative by it, but as I've gotten older, I've had an increasingly difficult time taking a lot of arguments at face-value, as being in good-faith, and worthy of civil discourse.

I've had the opposite reaction. I was a lot more cynical and snarky when I was younger, but as I've gotten older I've mellowed a bit and realized that people are more likely to truly believe what they say than not. Plus many react defensively when their preconceptions are challenged and it's always good to take that into consideration. It makes for smoother discourse and nicer conversations when you assume folks are trying to engage in good faith, rather than simply being contrarian.

And, sure, I know that it's partly just because over years and years it becomes more tiresome to do this. But, also, over years and years one ends up hearing a number of the same bad arguments again and again, and often delivered with bad-faith, and in that context it becomes reasonable to stop assuming good-faith and to refuse to engage civilly with such arguments.

Well, sure.

My personal opinion is that it's best to assume good faith until proven otherwise. Once they do, cut 'em loose. But most people really are open to new ideas and even though they may get defensive when their basic assumptions about a given situation are challenged, they are usually willing to listen (and learn) if they feel that you're also willing to listen and learn. Engaging in good faith, in other words.

And one Really Big Thing that all these years have made me hypersensitive to is The Contrarian. In my entire life, I have almost never encountered anyone who was consistently contrary where this trait didn't turn out, over time, to be indisputably a combination of affectation and personality pathology. I had one very close friend who is this way and after knowing him twenty years, it's blindingly obvious that it's pathological and actually harmful to his enjoyment of life. Not to mention his relationships. And it's irrational. It's just not ever about what it's supposedly about. It's about his ongoing resistance to peer conformity.

OK. But what happens when someone is only a part-time Contrarian? Where do they fit in? Do we simply not bother to engage them when we feel they're being contrarian and do so when they aren't?

What fascinates me is that there are a lot of people here, myself included, who are contrarian on specific topics, but don't necessarily act contrarian in their larger philosophical outlook. There are mefites who will reliably attack any post that covers an advertising campaign. Others who scoff at technological advancements. Still others that dislike the media so intensely (or specific outlets) that they distrust and reliably put down posts with media content. There are still others who have bugaboos about the poor, women, fat people, the uneducated, etc.

We've been talking a lot about Blazecock Pileon in this thread. I hope he won't mind that I use him as an example. Because he's a good one, I think, of this. Obviously, he likes Apple, their products and philosophy. He's very anti-Microsoft, and I think to a lesser extent anti-Google. In posts on those topics, he's likely to express a particular point of view. Bloody hell, does he ever. Just as I would if the post were about say, infertility or Judaism. Or others would on their own pet topics. But a cursory review of his posting history (under two accounts) makes it obvious he's not a knee-jerk contrarian on other topics.

This is where idea that he, Crabby or even I fit an entire Contrarian template breaks down. Because both BP and I, and Crabby engage in good faith throughout MeFi. We just all happen to be cranks on our own pet topics. ;) The question then becomes, 'Are they being disruptive and how?' and whether that feeling is subjective to the majority groupthink.

As is often the case, I'm probably very sensitive to this personality trait because it's a flaw of my own.

Interesting.

But, you know, the problem here is that as much as we each would like to deny that this is the case, "groupthink" really is almost always in the eye of the beholder. Sure, there are edge cases which are unambiguous from almost everyone's perspectives. But most of the time, peer-pressure conformity of opinion is very hard to distinguish from rational consensus; and peer-pressure outgroup ostracizing is very hard to distinguish from rational "you're not welcome here if you're going to shit on the carpet".

I completely agree.

I have to think about the rest of what you've said before responding further. But wanted to get my thoughts down to this point. (I don't type as rapidly as you, I think.) :)
posted by zarq at 8:12 AM on February 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


But a cursory review of his posting history (under two accounts) makes it obvious he's not a knee-jerk contrarian on other topics.

He's not even a contrarian about Apple. I LOVE Apple. I mean, I've spent several thousand dollars on Apple products in the past few years, 'Stuff I don't really need from Apple' has to be, by far, the biggest line-item on my personal budget. I think a lot of the people arguing with BP actually like Apple stuff. He just really, really, really, really loves Apple. To an unhealthy extent.
posted by empath at 8:29 AM on February 16, 2012


Since empath continues to have a chip on his shoulder about my existence, I think what he should do is get some comments deleted, start a thread about it, and then find a way to steer the thread so that I get blamed for his behavior. That's what I would do, if I really needed to keep a huge chip on my shoulder like empath is doing in a three-week old, 500+ comment thread like this.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 9:11 AM on February 16, 2012


"OK. But what happens when someone is only a part-time Contrarian?"

I don't really consider that possible, excepting if the part-time bit is because of erratic self-control. If it's about being an outspoken minority viewpoint on specific topics, rather than a general pattern, then I'm inclined to think it's sincere and not a pathology.

So, I don't really see you or BP as contrarians. It is true, I guess, that people can become reflexively outspoken on pet topics in a way that approaches contrarianism, but I've rarely seen it become true contrarianism. It can be grouchy and counterproductive and annoying to others to be sure, but that's something different from being contrary for the sake of satisfying the psychological need to be contrary.

By the way, it occurs to me that even with regard to actual contrarianism, there's a range of styles where some can even be endearing and are usually tolerated while, at the other end, it's just shitting on the carpet, over and over and over. The key characteristic, I think, is belligerence. The more the contrarianism is expressed with belligerence, the more obnoxious it is. Even a complete lack of belligerence doesn't guarantee tolerance or acceptance, a bit of gentle humor and friendliness go a long way to changing how that personality trait is seen by others. I think, for example, that jonmc has a contrarian-streak. He seems to enjoy moving against the herd. But he rarely does this in a belligerent fashion. It's usually with a smile and a "it's not that big of a deal to me, dude" attitude. That can still irritate people, especially when it's a pattern and ubiquitous, but it's not the same as being a jerk.

When someone is aggressive in expressing a minority opinion across a broad number of topics to the degree to which it's predictable, and complains about persecution by the majority, and claims to be among only a tiny number of rational people in a group of intellectual inferiors, as CA has done elsewhere and in this thread, then that's obnoxious contrarianism. Anyone can fairly (and correctly) think they're the Voice of Reason in a given context discussing a given topic, but when they see themselves in this lonely role in the context of a long-standing and wider, voluntary community engagement, that's pathological. Either they're mistaken, or they are voluntarily participating in a community which they know to be composed of annoying, wrongheaded, narrow-minded dullards. In the latter case, they're right, but unless there's some important practical consequence at stake--which isn't the case with MeFi--then they're not really there in order to achieve some goal that's beneficial to the group. They're there because playing this role scratches some pathological itch.

On Preview:

"Since empath continues to have a chip on his shoulder about my existence..."

No, you were mentioned by zarq and empath's comment was defending you. You're not contrarian, and you express your beliefs in good-faith with good-intent, but you are very thin-skinned and when something/someone gets under it, you see things in the worst possible light.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 9:21 AM on February 16, 2012


I don't have a chip on my shoulder about your existence. Just about the way you act in apple/google threads. Other than that, I have absolutely no problem with you. (well, and your tendency to over dramatize everything, jeez)...
posted by empath at 9:21 AM on February 16, 2012


The important question is is it an Intel chip?
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 9:23 AM on February 16, 2012 [2 favorites]


I don't have a chip on my shoulder about your existence.

Of course not. You just continue to complain about me in a very old Metatalk thread that few people even know is still alive.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 9:56 AM on February 16, 2012


The important question is is it an Intel chip?


Only backsliders use shoulder-chips which could work in Windows machines, or which would allow Windows to run on a Mac. My G5 shoulder-chip is so well integrated with the hardware of my shoulder and the software of my grudgefulness that it actually performs better than far more recent Intel chips.

It just irks.
posted by running order squabble fest at 10:06 AM on February 16, 2012 [2 favorites]


Ivan Fyodorovich: you express your beliefs in good-faith with good-intent

Dude, seriously, those hyphens...

posted by stebulus at 10:07 AM on February 16, 2012


Dude, seriously, those hyphens...

MetaTalk crossover!
posted by running order squabble fest at 10:49 AM on February 16, 2012 [2 favorites]


Huh. I kind of just subconsciously hyphenate when I think the expression is a unit. So despite the "in", I was thinking of "goodfaith", not "faith which is good". Then I guess I did the same with "intent" from inertia.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 11:15 AM on February 16, 2012


Your brain has a mind of its own.
posted by shakespeherian at 11:16 AM on February 16, 2012


Of course not. You just continue to complain about me in a very old Metatalk thread that few people even know is still alive.

Recent Activity, yo...
posted by empath at 11:18 AM on February 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


Sure, that would work, empath. Personally, I employ thousands of trained insects with tiny cameras to follow you around. But Recent Activity would work, too.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 11:23 AM on February 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


*twang*
Ivan's mind's got a mind of its own
It gets him hyphenating words that should be left alone
Blames punctuation on inertia when the others groan
Ivan's mind's got a mind of its own
posted by SpiffyRob at 11:31 AM on February 16, 2012 [3 favorites]


Huh. I kind of just subconsciously hyphenate when I think the expression is a unit.

I think there's also interference from the attributive* usage of the phrase (as in "a good-faith argument"), which is a common usage and whose hyphen is in accord with the highest canons.

*Linguistic terminology in this comment may not be used correctly. If linguistic terminology gets in eye, do not induce vomiting. Do not taunt linguistic terminology.
posted by stebulus at 11:44 AM on February 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


Yeah. That's probably it. But, also, this kind of hyphenation is something that caught my attention in some subtle way and I think I'm working through it in my usage subconsciously. My writing may have more than its share of such tics.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 12:01 PM on February 16, 2012


stebulus, thanks for coming to the point in your comment. I think we're too far apart on those issues to have a useful conversation about them. Also, I can't seem to summon the energy to continue this conversation. So I think I'm done here.
posted by Crabby Appleton at 1:52 PM on February 20, 2012


For now, anyway.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 7:25 PM on February 20, 2012 [1 favorite]


I think we're too far apart on those issues to have a useful conversation about them.

I am more optimistic, but perhaps we're too far apart on this point too...

Anyway, I'm glad we got as far as we did. See you around. Or not, as the case may be.
posted by stebulus at 10:59 AM on February 21, 2012


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