shuffling the hive mind
March 15, 2012 1:41 PM   Subscribe

Idea: MetaStrategies Card Deck

Inspired by a comment dubold made over in MeFiMu:

What if there was a project, open to all members, to create a deck of cards in a similar vein Brian Eno's famous Oblique Strategies (previously on the blue for the unaware). Would you participate? Would you want this? I think I would.

Maybe it should become on offsite project. Maybe it could all be arranged via a MeTa topic and emails, like the music swaps.

Other thoughts:
Should be totally free, CC-licensed probably.

PDF or software version of the cards would be freely availble to anyone, and then maybe you could buy nicely printed versions from an online printer, at cost. I would totally buy one.

Your thoughts: Good idea, bad idea? Is it missing something?
posted by Doleful Creature to MetaFilter-Related at 1:41 PM (51 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite

Missing something.
posted by karathrace at 1:44 PM on March 15, 2012 [1 favorite]


> Would you participate? Would you want this?

Obviously should go on a card.
posted by Burhanistan at 1:48 PM on March 15, 2012 [3 favorites]


This will not end well.
posted by crunchland at 1:52 PM on March 15, 2012 [3 favorites]


?
posted by dfriedman at 1:53 PM on March 15, 2012


I wonder how many owners of Eno's deck have ever actually used them as intended, rather than just had them displayed conspicuously.
posted by Burhanistan at 1:55 PM on March 15, 2012 [6 favorites]


Huh, If I owned a deck I wouldn't even think of displaying it conspicuously. Wouldn't want to tempt any creative thieves (FWIW I used to have an OS widget on the ol' Mac dashboard and I used it all the time, so I really do find the intended use quite, er, useful).
posted by Doleful Creature at 1:58 PM on March 15, 2012


Huh, how strange. Personally, I'd much rather a Metafilter Tarot. That'd be a lot of fun!
posted by gilrain at 2:02 PM on March 15, 2012 [6 favorites]


(special snowflake details inside) should be a 1/1 flying merfolk.
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 2:03 PM on March 15, 2012 [1 favorite]


(I should mention that, although not collaborative, eygpturnash's tarot is rather wonderful.)
posted by gilrain at 2:12 PM on March 15, 2012 [5 favorites]


"*Gasp*, you drew the Banhammer. Terrible fortune awaits you."
posted by modernserf at 2:14 PM on March 15, 2012 [1 favorite]


Can we call it the TL;DR Deck?
posted by doublesix at 2:18 PM on March 15, 2012


I wonder how many owners of Eno's deck have ever actually used them as intended, rather than just had them displayed conspicuously.

Me. It's actually really great for when you don't know how to move forward with something and it hasn't failed me. They're in a pile underneath a dirty tarp right now, I think.

I'd certainly take a look at a MeFi deck, though I don't know how effectively I could contribute.
posted by cmoj at 3:04 PM on March 15, 2012 [2 favorites]


Towards the insignificant
posted by Artw at 3:19 PM on March 15, 2012


This is a great idea. Most decks tend to have a theme of sorts, so what would the theme be here?
posted by Foci for Analysis at 3:19 PM on March 15, 2012


Does anybody have a link to all of the oblique strategies on one list accessible by one click? Every time I have to click for them one by one I get bored before ten mouse clicks.
posted by bukvich at 3:34 PM on March 15, 2012 [1 favorite]


Tag cloud fridge magnet set
posted by Artw at 3:34 PM on March 15, 2012 [1 favorite]


Also an excellent idea Artw.

I WANT TO BUY ALL THE THINGS
posted by Doleful Creature at 3:39 PM on March 15, 2012


Of course Tag clouds are a bit 2005. Now tags are just mundane metadata. Still, I kind of like clicking around them and seeing the relationships between their uses, and wish we could see more than just the top 10 tags on user profiles. I may be alone in this.
posted by Artw at 3:47 PM on March 15, 2012


I feel like MetaTalk is already only a few steps away from Cards Against Humanity...
posted by maryr at 4:09 PM on March 15, 2012


Personally, I'd much rather a Metafilter Tarot. That'd be a lot of fun!

I nominate hermitosis to head the project, no idea who is artistic enough to design it, and I'd buy one.
posted by hippybear at 4:53 PM on March 15, 2012


Bukvich, 1st, 2nd,3rd, & 4th editions although my eyes feel like they are going to bleed switching back and forth from that site to metafilter on my monitor.

So these oblique strategies for Metafilter, what do they look like?

It's always best to qualify in your first comment within a thread why you aren't actually molesting a chicken rather than trying to explain what you are doing naked with a chicken after the fact.
posted by BrotherCaine at 7:23 PM on March 15, 2012 [1 favorite]


I wonder how many owners of Eno's deck have ever actually used them as intended, rather than just had them displayed conspicuously.

I don't actually have a deck but I have used the idea of the deck on a few occasions to some extent. The notion of it is as useful as anything as a reminder that just blatantly firing yourself off in a different direction is an option for getting unstuck when nothing else is working.
posted by cortex (staff) at 7:43 PM on March 15, 2012 [2 favorites]


BrotherCaine you are gentleman, scholar, mensch.

(in my humble opinion dear sir your most obidient servant &c &c &c)
posted by bukvich at 8:43 PM on March 15, 2012


I've used the deck, in the web-server form now, and as the Mac OS dashboard widget that Doleful Creature referenced earlier (why did they discontinue that thing!? I really enjoyed its design.) Never had the physical cards though.

I like this idea.
posted by NikitaNikita at 8:45 PM on March 15, 2012


Another thought: This will take some careful curating and editing to balance between not-too-much-in-jokiness and phrases that are somehow MeFi-ific.

Also, this reminds me of an earlier comment about a quirky and distinct commenting style. That history could be the basis for a deck on its own!
posted by NikitaNikita at 8:52 PM on March 15, 2012


If Metafilter ever produces a deck, I'd be more likely to buy it if it were an app.
posted by ZeusHumms at 10:34 PM on March 15, 2012


Related: Morgan's Tarot.
posted by mwhybark at 11:06 PM on March 15, 2012 [1 favorite]


I wonder how many owners of Eno's deck have ever actually used them as intended, rather than just had them displayed conspicuously.

Me too. By consulting the deck right now I can kill both of these birds with one stone...

What to do? Is this MeFi deck an idea to go with, and how to move forward?

"Change nothing and continue with immaculate consistency"

or if that isn't floating your boat

"Question the heroic approach"
posted by Meatbomb at 11:51 PM on March 15, 2012


I thought we all agreed not to listen to Meatbomb's directives. Does this mean someone needs to get a Kickstarter thing going?
posted by mwhybark at 12:06 AM on March 16, 2012


Turns over card:

"Try three times to get someone banned from the site"
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 12:12 AM on March 16, 2012


A meta-strategies deck for ask.metafilter dilemmas practically writes itself:

DTMFA. But you knew that already.

IANAL: dude, you need a lawyer.

Yes, you can eat that.

What Miko said.

Don't tell him/her that you have a crush on them! No good can come of that.

I can't possibly answer that without a picture of the cat.

Maybe not cryptic enough?
posted by kovacs at 3:43 AM on March 16, 2012


Oblique doesn't mean random. It's a geometric concept: "neither perpendicular nor parallel". When you look for ways to approach a task that are neither straightforward nor counterintuitive, you get Oblique Strategies. They are in fact strategies, some better suited to a given situation than others.
posted by LogicalDash at 4:49 AM on March 16, 2012 [3 favorites]


Wisecracks don't help people find answers.

Is this the best of the web?

Everyone needs a hug.

Take it to meta.

Flag it and move on.

posted by Rock Steady at 6:32 AM on March 16, 2012


what
posted by verb at 6:37 AM on March 16, 2012


MetaTarot:

The Three of Ponies reversed is covered by the Mod of Snark; you also have DTMFA in the future position. I recommend you just avoid this guy for the rest of your life. No! The Cards have Spoken!
posted by GenjiandProust at 7:44 AM on March 16, 2012


When you look for ways to approach a task that are neither straightforward nor counterintuitive, you get Oblique Strategies.

Good point, though I'd say this is a guideline more than a hard rule, since what is counterintuitive to one person may not be to someone else (since intuition is subjective).

I like the subtitle in the Eno cards, "a collection of worthwhile dilemmas". Of course the use of the word "dilemma" might be problematic also, since a dilemma implies that there is no "right" or "good" choice. Then again maybe that's the whole point of Oblique Strategies, to make you just a little bit uncomfortable, pull you out of your creative shell which at the moment may be impeding your progress. A good Oblique Strategy should be just puzzling enough to prompt you to think about how to use it, but not so puzzling (i.e. random) that you want to move on. Hence:

"DTMFA", while funny, probably is not an effective oblique strategy in the vast majority of cases.*

"You should seriously up the Enya on this" may be a touch culturally specific (you need to know that Enya is a New Age musician with Celtic folk influences), but could otherwise is an intriguing strategy. The application is likely perpendicular or parallel to a musical problem, but looking at other mediums its Obliqueness emerges. For example, how would one "up the Enya" in a painting, or a poem? As you analyze the properties that make "Enya" distinctly identifiable, you might be able to see ways in which to apply those same properties to your project (i.e. Enya's music is very dreamlike, awash in big reverbs, huge synth pads, how do you give a painting reverb? What is the poetic equivalent of a huge dreamy synth pad?).

*I'm happy to be convinced otherwise...

Having occasional joky references to MetaFilter wouldn't be terrible, just as long as the deck is useful as a whole.

Thoughts on Design
I think a minimal design would the best approach, something that could easily translate from physical card to mobile HTML or Android/iOS app. I'm thinking solid color backgrounds with simple text, just like MetaFilter. We could even use the same color schemes as the various aspects of the site (though that should be considered an indication of the "type" of strategy a given color scheme is referencing).
posted by Doleful Creature at 8:28 AM on March 16, 2012


Doleful Creature: ""DTMFA", while funny, probably is not an effective oblique strategy in the vast majority of cases.*"

Sure it is. The tricky part is identifying the motherfucker.
posted by Rock Steady at 8:50 AM on March 16, 2012 [7 favorites]


Fair enough, Rock Steady, I would just hope someone turning to the deck in creative despair wouldn't pull that card and be all like "maybe it's right, I should just toss the whole project and start over." I'd feel bad if that happened.
posted by Doleful Creature at 8:54 AM on March 16, 2012


meh, been done before.
posted by Ironmouth at 9:17 AM on March 16, 2012


> meh, been done before.

You could've typed that in a comment window and then deleted it instead of hitting Post.
posted by Burhanistan at 9:18 AM on March 16, 2012


(Unless that was a suggestion for a card.)
posted by Burhanistan at 9:32 AM on March 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


Fair enough, Rock Steady, I would just hope someone turning to the deck in creative despair wouldn't pull that card and be all like "maybe it's right, I should just toss the whole project and start over." I'd feel bad if that happened.

Isn't that sometimes a good solution?
posted by maryr at 10:17 AM on March 16, 2012 [2 favorites]


A good solution to some problems, but maybe not the ideal solution to every creative logjam.

I've got a couple ideas for MeFi comment and post specific ones; although they are pretty generic across a range of writing problems.

Don't be afraid to reveal a moment of personal frailty, sorrow, ugliness, ignorance or regret.

Change the scope or target of your anger.

You can say absolutely anything as long as you hit preview first.
posted by BrotherCaine at 11:18 PM on March 16, 2012


Ha, I like the idea of a relentlessly negative OS pack.

Admit it, this is shit.

You can't polish a turd.

Why are you even bothering?

Look, just junk it.

If at first you don't succeed, give up.


etc
posted by unSane at 6:21 PM on March 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


picking up on Doleful Creature's design notes, for a tarot-specific interpretation:

no images, just text. when using deck it is customary to complain about this.

solid colors following site color schemes:

blue
green
grey
white?

trumps follow site memes, total of 21
face cards are mods and certain site members, j q k + 2 jokers

k: mathowie, jessamyn, cortex, pb
q: restless_nomad, taz, vacapinta, ?
j: four most frequent non mod contribs based on current infodump (waxy's munging is out of date, late 2008)

jokers: quonsar, Miguel Cardoso

number cards based on threads? maybe site memes again, but with numeric elements. ace, 2-10. it would be elegant if the thread origin for a given meme corresponded to the site suit.
posted by mwhybark at 9:26 AM on March 19, 2012


surely IRFH should be a joker

and Meatbomb a knave
posted by unSane at 12:56 PM on March 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


And Whelk would be the other joker I think
posted by unSane at 12:56 PM on March 19, 2012


Exactly how many jokers is this pack going to have?
posted by maryr at 1:12 PM on March 19, 2012


52
posted by crunchland at 1:14 PM on March 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


Exactly how many jokers is this pack going to have?


What's the current user count?
posted by mwhybark at 3:39 PM on March 19, 2012


k: mathowie, jessamyn, cortex, pb
q: restless_nomad, taz, vacapinta, ?
j: four most frequent non mod contribs based on current infodump (waxy's munging is out of date, late 2008)



I've already got a Tarot card.
posted by vacapinta at 5:30 AM on March 20, 2012


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