Post about limits to online education out of bounds? October 19, 2012 8:08 AM   Subscribe

Minnesota attempts limit access to free online education (Cousera) and somehow its out of bounds for the FP?

this post?

http://www.metafilter.com/121050/State-of-Minnesota-attempts-to-limit-free-acces-to-education

Text of post:

State of Minnesota attempts to limit free acces to education Apparently the State of Minnesota (formerly a self-styled leader in innovation in education) has decided that like online gambling, free access to online education is illegal (citing an age old law requiring "permission" to offer education) and should stop at the states borders.

One wonders what the motivations might be? The threat posed to aging/expensive alternatives based in Minnesota may or may not be one of them.

Link to Slate article:
http://www.slate.com/blogs/future_tense/2012/10/18/minnesota_bans_coursera_state_takes_bold_stand_against_free_education.html

and Chronicle:

http://chronicle.com/blogs/wiredcampus/minnesota-gives-coursera-the-boot-citing-a-decades-old-law/40542

Seems like metafilter is in stifle mode as well.
posted by specialk420 to Etiquette/Policy at 8:08 AM (92 comments total)

Is capella a Mefi sponsor or something?
posted by specialk420 at 8:08 AM on October 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


I can see dinging it for the misspelling but wording of the post?
posted by specialk420 at 8:11 AM on October 19, 2012


Did you miss the deletion reason? This post was deleted for the following reason: If this post is about the state limiting, or trying to limit, access to Coursera it should probably mention that somewhere in the post somewhere. Otherwise using Slate's "gotcha" headline is making this post look like something that it isn't. Maybe try again tomorrow? -- jessamyn

Because in the absence of any discussion of that, it seems like you're being intentionally inflammatory here. Which, just to highlight, is what the deletion reason suggests is the problem with the post. Perhaps you need to take a general step back.
posted by OmieWise at 8:11 AM on October 19, 2012 [7 favorites]


The post, which was about limits that Minnesota is trying to place on Coursera, didn't mention Coursera at all in the post or the tags. It uses the same "gotcha" heading that the Slate article uses. I'm sure there's a great post to be made on that topic, but it needs to not be some sort of "This super awful thing is happening *click* oh it's not as awful as I thought and in fact something totally different is happening" situation.

I talked to cortex about it and this is what we felt. We said as much in the deletion reason. Write a better post tomorrow and we'll be fine. Do not turn this MeTa thread into your post, please.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 8:11 AM on October 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


Minnesota attempts limit access to free online education (Cousera) and somehow its out of bounds for the FP?

Jessamyn says "frame this more clearly" and somehow that's "you cannot post about this?" You or someone else can put together a stronger post that presents this more as "here's a significant thing that happened / is happening" without the sort of snipey framing and it'd be fine. Your post was not a great way to go there.
posted by cortex (staff) at 8:12 AM on October 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


I think that was a good deletion. I think the post as framed was very much "Hey, look at this asshole move" and gave me a bad taste in my mouth. It was very one-sided and could have done better with less editorializing, in my opinion.

I do NOT think Slate did a good job researching and reporting. Could they not give more background on the origins of the law? Was it originally written because educators need to be licensed in the State of Minnesota? That's my guess. Probably to keep things legit and not have people claiming to be educators and just taking people's money.
posted by jillithd at 8:14 AM on October 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


Man, you missed a word in your lede/link that probably totally would have kept the post up: "Online".

If that sentence had read State of Minnesota attempts to limit free acces [sic] to online education, and maybe if you'd left out the leery 'wondering' below the fold, I think it would have stood. As it was your post was classic flame bait and switch.
posted by carsonb at 8:14 AM on October 19, 2012 [4 favorites]


He didn't mention Cousera, OK, but nothing about the post seemed overly inflammatory or GYOBish.

So you're saying if he (or she, idk) reposted tomorrow: "State of Minnesota attempts to limit free acces to education, specifically the site Cousera. Apparently the State of Minnesota (formerly a self-styled leader in innovation in education) has decided that like online gambling, free access to online education is illegal (citing an age old law requiring "permission" to offer education) and should stop at the states borders.

One wonders what the motivations might be? The threat posed to aging/expensive alternatives based in Minnesota may or may not be one of them."

... it would be fine? This deletion seems a little thin to me.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 8:15 AM on October 19, 2012 [4 favorites]


Minnesota attempts limit access to free online education (Cousera) and somehow its out of bounds for the FP?

Also, fucking no. What are you thinking asking this? Are you thinking?
posted by carsonb at 8:16 AM on October 19, 2012


I mean this is the ideal framing of the post though in my opinion:

"State of Minnesota attempts to limit free acces to free education site Cousera.
[more inside]

Apparently the State of Minnesota has decided that like online gambling, free access to online education is illegal (citing an age old law requiring "permission" to offer education) and should stop at the states borders.

The threat posed to aging/expensive alternatives based in Minnesota may or may not be one of the motivations."
posted by Potomac Avenue at 8:17 AM on October 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


Obviously the action by Minnesota may/will apply to a broad range of online education resources (udemy? MIT? who else) as noted in the chronicle post. By adding Coursera specifically to the title of the post it would seem to narrow the focus of the action by Minnesota only to them... which its clear by the wording of their action that its not.

I havent been that active on the FP or MeFi for years, but it seems like this is a very finicky approach to whats acceptable on the FB IMHO - but maybe I just havent been following closely enough. I love metafilter but this... and google ads that are interleaved quite closely in proximity and style with content make me wonder sometimes.
posted by specialk420 at 8:17 AM on October 19, 2012


Yeah, when I saw the link on the front page I was all "They're closing public schools?!?" (Sorry, Canadians always assume the worst of American politicians.)

It needs at least a more accurate title.
posted by vasi at 8:18 AM on October 19, 2012 [3 favorites]


I demand justice!

...and nachos!
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 8:19 AM on October 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


So you're saying if he (or she, idk) reposted tomorrow:

I think a scratch rewrite that got away form the sort of arch framing "Apparently the..." and "One wonders..." stuff in favor of a more straightforward rundown and maybe pulling together some more substantial source article (both of the links are quite short) would make a solid post. I think inserting the phrase "specifically the site Cousera" would not overwhelmingly improve it as the sole nod in an attempted do-over, though it would have been slightly clearer to have something like that in the original if that's practically speaking where the action is taking place currently.
posted by cortex (staff) at 8:21 AM on October 19, 2012


I disagree, Potomac Avenue.

I think an ideal framing of the post would be something more along the lines of:

"Decades old Minnesota law recently applied (questionably) to limit access to free online education site."

I think that would lead more to thoughtful discussion.

The original framing reads too much "Minnesota is stopping free online education!"

(mmmm, nachos.)
posted by jillithd at 8:22 AM on October 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


"Obviously the action by Minnesota may/will apply to a broad range of online education resources "

See but ok, that's the issue here dude, it hasn't come to that right now, it's just about the one site. So your attempt to broaden it and make the story into some alarmist call to action is in fact pretty deletable in a very standard "No Editorializing" way. Is there some reason that reposting the story tomorrow with a scaled back wording is painful to you?
posted by Potomac Avenue at 8:23 AM on October 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


Just to be clear though, I am largely posting in defense of the OP because of that phenomenal username.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 8:25 AM on October 19, 2012 [3 favorites]


Ok, I guess I am a little out of touch with how carefully one needs to word their FP posts these days . "Its not that big of a deal" and the Minnesota crew can take this up in other forums ... I think the hair trigger is a little light, the post was only up for a couple minutes and bam.
posted by specialk420 at 8:27 AM on October 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


Often, a statement that begins "Apparently the..." and attempts to assign a motive sets me on edge. It's an uphill battle to regain credibility after that.
posted by These Premises Are Alarmed at 8:28 AM on October 19, 2012 [3 favorites]


... maybe I just havent been following closely enough ...

There is no maybe. You haven't been following closely enough. Your post was badly framed, and this deletion was a good one, for reasons that the mods have explained here and probably in a hundred metatalk posts previously.

You also need to perhaps tone down the repeated insinuations that the mods only deleted it because they are being paid off by whoever it is you think is the opposition that must be suppressing your oh-so-important post.
posted by tocts at 8:29 AM on October 19, 2012 [11 favorites]


I think the hair trigger is a little light, the post was only up for a couple minutes and bam.

Leaving poorly-made posts up longer doesn't actually improve anything. Someone—maybe you, maybe someone else—can put together a better post, that will stay up, which is mission accomplished if the thought is that this is a post-worthy subject that merits some mefi discussion. I do not understand how we can convey this more simply.
posted by cortex (staff) at 8:33 AM on October 19, 2012 [7 favorites]


I think the OP missed a golden opportunity to title this as "METAFILTER MODS ATTEMPT TO LIMIT FREE ACCESS TO POSTS ABOUT MINNESOTA."
posted by griphus at 8:34 AM on October 19, 2012 [23 favorites]


Tocts - could the post have been better? .. absolutely. Did it rise to the level of offense to deserve deletion? Apparently... but it just seems like the bar was a little high in this case, and comments could shed light on any issues with the post for the entire community to have learned from (which is the reason I responded here). Apparently its out of bounds to question motives here as well, even if they are done so facetiously? Its not that big of a deal. We'll see where this issue goes in Minnesota, it will be interesting.
posted by specialk420 at 8:36 AM on October 19, 2012


Apparently.
posted by dfan at 8:41 AM on October 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


Apparently its out of bounds to question motives here as well, even if they are done so facetiously?

Look, I don't come to your office and facetiously talk shit about your motives while filing misguided complaints about your work. If you want to talk about Metafilter moderation policy and posting guidelines, just talk about that; if you don't want people wondering why the fuck you're implying nasty shit about us, maybe skip the implying-nasty-shit part, opaque ha-ha-just-kidding intent or not.
posted by cortex (staff) at 8:42 AM on October 19, 2012 [43 favorites]


@cortex and @jessamyn - thanks for your replies explaining why it was deleted. Obviously we've all been around Metafilter for a long time and should be doing our best on FP posts and FP management.

Ill take a look at how this plays out today in Minnesota and consider a repost unless someone more eloquent than I beats me to it. The chilling effect of what MN is up to is pretty creepy and deserves discussion IMHO.
posted by specialk420 at 8:44 AM on October 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


"Decades old Minnesota law recently applied (questionably) to limit access to free online education site."

But "questionably" is editorializing. And afaict, Minnesota is not actually blocking people from accessing Coursera. It's just saying "this is illegal" without levying any specific penalty.
posted by Jpfed at 8:44 AM on October 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


Take it easy.
posted by specialk420 at 8:45 AM on October 19, 2012


The chilling effect of what MN is up to is pretty creepy and deserves discussion IMHO.

Not disagreeing at all, which is why we're really hoping that you or someone else makes a better post that accurately outlines what the concerns are without the post itself being the sort of headline-grabbing clickbait stuff that Slate likes to post. Totally hear you that this is a troubling development, we just sort of feel that threads go better when the facts are just outlined and then people can discuss the implications amongst themselves without being pre-outraged with gotcha wording. MeFites can be trusted to get at the real issues, by and large.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 8:49 AM on October 19, 2012 [5 favorites]


Well, I for one find it comforting to know that getting an internet education is still free and legal right here on Metatalk.
posted by koeselitz at 8:50 AM on October 19, 2012 [3 favorites]


Thanks Jessamyn ... I'm sure some good can come out of the deletion, if nothing else it has me inspired up to shine daylight on the State's actions in other forums.

That said, If someone else had made this post I would have been happier knowing about the State of Minnesota's actions and following a discussion of the issue today than not, however poorly worded the post may have been.
posted by specialk420 at 9:02 AM on October 19, 2012


Implying the mods are in the pocket of advertisers really seems to fall into the "extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence" category.
posted by Chrysostom at 9:07 AM on October 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


I love metafilter but this... and google ads that are interleaved quite closely in proximity and style with content make me wonder sometimes.

Oh Jesus Fucking Christ.

BTW, you should perhaps look up what the word facetious means.
posted by kmz at 9:07 AM on October 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


"On or of the face"
posted by griphus at 9:07 AM on October 19, 2012 [4 favorites]


You can just link directly to the deleted question, you know. Reposting it here in its entirety can lead to assumptions about acting in bad faith.
posted by elizardbits at 9:09 AM on October 19, 2012


The chilling effect of what MN is up to is pretty creepy and deserves discussion IMHO

This is almost never a good reason for a Metafilter post.
posted by Jahaza at 9:18 AM on October 19, 2012 [4 favorites]


and google ads that are interleaved quite closely in proximity and style with content make me wonder sometimes

Wonder what? Why don't you say what you mean? What's your evidence? Quit insinuating shitty stuff about the mods then act like they are over-reacting. You come across as a self-absorbed fool.

Your post was sucky and overly editorial and misleading. If you care so much about this issue, why don't you learn enough to actually represent what the issue is.
posted by Falconetti at 9:20 AM on October 19, 2012


specialk420: “That said, If someone else had made this post I would have been happier knowing about the State of Minnesota's actions and following a discussion of the issue today than not, however poorly worded the post may have been.”

But the point of the deletion was that people reading the post won't know about the State of Minnesota's actions, because the post doesn't actually tell them at all. And it says right there in the deletion reason that you are allowed and even encouraged to post this again while making it a little clearer for readers what's going on, so the nightmare scenario you're suggesting where people will never know what happened because the post was deleted once doesn't seem like it makes sense.

I totally appreciate where you're coming from, by the way; it does seem like a super-important issue, and moreover it's really interesting enough to deserve a post.

I can't really speak for the mods, but I think the key here is – framing matters a lot in terms of how a conversation is going to go. This post didn't tell people what was actually going on at all; it was vague on what the details were. When people see posts like that, they tend to get confused about what's going on, and that quite often leads to huge arguments about things that aren't important at all (like "what does this headline mean?" and "why did you word it that way?")

You don't really want the post to end up as a lame argument about things that don't matter, right? That's what I think the mods were trying to avoid, and it's probably a good idea. And the nice thing is that they're not telling you that you did something wrong; they're just pointing out that there's a better way of doing it, and offering you a chance to try again.

I think this'll be a really good post, to be honest, so I hope you post it with a little more clarity tomorrow.
posted by koeselitz at 9:20 AM on October 19, 2012 [4 favorites]


The chilling effect of what MN is up to is pretty creepy and deserves discussion IMHO.

I agree it would be a good post somewhere. And to be specific, that somewhere is not Metafilter.

Metafilter is not a current events outrage discussion blog. I realize that this view has become quite controversial when even the moderators are all revved up to be outraged, but the focus on sharing cool things really is a large part of what differentiates Metafilter from the rest of the web.

People do not come to Metafilter to find out what is Very Important today. We all have plenty of sources for that.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 9:29 AM on October 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


This unnecessary MeTa post is another good reason to support MeTa deletions.
posted by tommasz at 9:29 AM on October 19, 2012


I totally appreciate where you're coming from, by the way; it does seem like a super-important issue

ZANNI'S RULE OF THUMB
This is cool; other people will want to see it == Good post
This is important; I want other people to see it == Bad post
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 9:32 AM on October 19, 2012 [5 favorites]


I vote for closing this up, since it's pretty clear the OP won't or can't acknowledge the actual reason for the deletion and seems content to ignore the "you can totally repost tomorrow with better framing", and it's Friday - do we really need a pile-on on a Friday? (For those of us for whom this is Friday, of course.)
posted by rtha at 9:39 AM on October 19, 2012


I thought the post was better than yesterday's lookit these funny pictures post, which seemed pretty chatty and thin. I don't think the cause is "Mods Stifle Speech" as much as *Mods are not 100% consistent 100% of the time, and sometimes I disagree with them.* I hope you'll re-post it. It's interesting and important.
posted by theora55 at 9:41 AM on October 19, 2012 [2 favorites]


@rtha - Did you read the thread?

Obviously the post could have been better and snarky comments (best left insides ones head) only serve to fan flames and furrow brows. All comments read and considered - appreciate everyones POV.
posted by specialk420 at 9:45 AM on October 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


moderators are all revved up to be outraged

In retrospect that was an unfair characterization and I withdraw it.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 9:46 AM on October 19, 2012


Obviously the post could have been better and snarky comments (best left insides ones head) only serve to fan flames and furrow brows. All comments read and considered - appreciate everyones POV.

So you're sorry for implying that MetaFilter and its mods are an arm of Big Education?

You say it was done facetiously, but it didn't read that way to me and it looks like I'm not alone.

Just remember that on the internet, no one can see you wink. Unless you do something stupid like an emoticon, and who the hell does that but lame-os? ;)
posted by inturnaround at 9:52 AM on October 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


Nthing the fact that it looks like the post was deleted for the framing rather than the content. If I was a mod, I'd have deleted it, too.
posted by asnider at 9:53 AM on October 19, 2012


I guess we need a note on the MeTa posting page that says "You didn't accuse the mods of deleting your post for nefarious reasons or make irrelevant references to the First Amendment, right? Because everyone will immediately know not to give a shit about anything you have to say."
posted by Horace Rumpole at 9:56 AM on October 19, 2012 [11 favorites]


As someone who read both these articles earlier today, I also think the FPP was pretty heavy-handed with the editorializing, and that slate article is obvious clickbait. If OP (or anyone) has the ambition to clean it up, maybe include a bit of history on other Coursera-like services (MIT's OCW was the first I used), or if you want a real challenge in "how to post objectively", something about the history of Capella in MN, because I think that could be an interesting angle.
posted by antonymous at 10:02 AM on October 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


@rtha - Did you read the thread?

Yes.
posted by rtha at 10:11 AM on October 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


Someone—maybe you, maybe someone else—can put together a better post, that will stay up, which is mission accomplished

Ok, I already had a post today, but this suggests it would be alright to post this material even if you're not specialk420, right? So, why doesn't someone in this thread do that?

Hell, take Potomac Avenue's rewrite and just slap together a post. I promise to favorite it if you do.
posted by anotherpanacea at 10:18 AM on October 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


I think the hair trigger is a little light, the post was only up for a couple minutes and bam.

This is pretty rich considering you made this MeTa thread about 20 minutes after your FPP was deleted.

We've all had posts deleted now and then. If the explanation truly stumps you, give yourself some time to digest the deletion reason and consider the mod explanation given. If it still stumps you, contact the mods yourself. If you're still stumped, then take it to a public forum to get some feedback from the community.

You say you've been following what's up for years now. Then you probably know the "stifle" and "censorship" tags and coy insinuations about mod motivations isn't exactly sowing the seeds of healthy discourse.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 10:18 AM on October 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


I am so tired of the OPPRESSED ALL MY LIFE thing. It brings down the whole energy of the site...fortunately for short periods of time and usually in a compartmentalised fashion, but, nonetheless.

It was a clear deletion reason. It was obviously permitting the topic while requesting a better attempt.

MetaFilter is not for generating activism. It's not a news site. You can post things that generate activism or convey news as long as you meet the editorial guidelines. This post didn't, and there's clearly an easy way to fix that (someone in this thread has already done it, in fact).

I treasure that this is a well-cultivated site. I value the efforts made to keep the content at a high level of overall interest and signal:noise.

The sobbing and teeth-gnashing comes off as pathetic and selfish. I know those are harsh words, but that's really the feeling I get when I read that kind of response. Some of the people who do it surprise me greatly, because I never pictured them as either of those things when reading their usual output.
posted by batmonkey at 10:35 AM on October 19, 2012 [4 favorites]


Oh man. "State of Minnesota attempts to limit free acces to education" implies shutting down free education, which in my mind is public schools. Good luck with your post tomorrow.

specialk420: "snarky comments (best left insides ones head) only serve to fan flames and furrow brows."

Motes and planks, eh?
posted by boo_radley at 10:40 AM on October 19, 2012 [2 favorites]


Anyone interested might note that Area Man has posted a more fleshed-out post on the Coursera controversy on the front page.
posted by koeselitz at 11:38 AM on October 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


The chilling effect of what MN is up to is pretty creepy and deserves discussion IMHO

Honestly - and I posted thoughts in opposition to the Office of Higher Education's actions elsewhere - I think this is more sensibly categorized as some bureaucrats applying an overly-literal interpretation of a well-intentioned law.

I don't agree with the official cited in the Slate article in the sense I don't think the law can reasonably be considered applicable to the type of course being discussed - but the official response seems to indicate that the details - the fact that the courses are free, not connected to any formal degree program or credit-bearing or claimed as accredited etc. - hadn't really been examined or thought about. I don't see any evidence contrary to the interpretation that the state really didn't particularly understand what was being offered and just saw it as an educational institution offering coursework through a third party without going through the proper channels.

If anything I'd see the mission of a post with the goal of provoking intelligent conversation as eliminating the Slate article's op-ed histrionics and just reporting the facts.

Bringing Capella (without a shred of reasonable connection - they have to follow the law in question the same as anyone else including all online education providers not operating within the state) into it was just pure speculative noise. It made the post eminently worthy of being deleted.
posted by nanojath at 11:39 AM on October 19, 2012


State of Minnesota enforces law requiring educational institutions to register with the state.

The horror!
posted by Sys Rq at 11:45 AM on October 19, 2012 [2 favorites]


Man, we really need a bigger icon for the contact form.
posted by arcticseal at 11:46 AM on October 19, 2012 [2 favorites]


I think this story needs to be framed as "Jesse Ventura and Prince have blockaded elementary schools because of Obamacare." Ha, look at their height difference. They look like Mutt and Jeff, if Mutt and Jeff were perched in a makeshift wooden pillbox with "LAROUCHEPAC.COM" spraypainted on it shooting buckshot at eight-year-olds.
posted by "Elbows" O'Donoghue at 11:51 AM on October 19, 2012 [14 favorites]


"Jesse Ventura and Prince have blockaded elementary schools because of Obamacare."

I would click that [more inside].
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 11:56 AM on October 19, 2012


Please tell me there's really a LAROUCHEPAC
posted by Potomac Avenue at 11:59 AM on October 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


Please don't do that @username thing.
posted by Rhomboid at 12:11 PM on October 19, 2012 [7 favorites]


Please tell me there's really a LAROUCHEPAC

There really is. One of their people tried to request access to the campus computing network and per our strict requirements (government research or research requiring databases), I said no. The conversation basically went like this:

'You know that there is an election going on, right?'*
'Uh-huh.'
'Well I work for LarouchePAC blah blah--'
'Please don't tell me which political party you're aligned with. I don't want that to impact my decision. It's still no, by the way.'

For the record, I have also said no to the Democrats (who in this state are Dem-NPL). I don't think the Republicans have asked yet. Can't wait till Nov. 6th.

*Pro-tip: never start a conversation this way
posted by librarylis at 12:18 PM on October 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


As far as I can gather from my 5 min of Googling to try to find the actual facts, this thing is...

- not about online vs offline
- not about free vs paid
- is not going to result in any prosecution or suing

All it seems to be is that there is an existing law that if you are a degree-granting institution and you want to offer courses in the state, there is some body you have to register with, and some annual fee to pay for being so registered. Which fee is pretty small potatoes to a VC funded startup like Coursera.

And Coursera could probably get an exception even to that by showing they are not really a degree-granting insititution, at least not yet. (MITx maybe not.)

The only aspect of this that seems to be about online in any way is that the law is old and presumably like a lot of law is a poor fit for the way the world has changed. It is not about free vs paid at all as far as I can tell, the law would seem to apply however much you charged.

Maybe someone should make an FPP about "Internet misunderstands and sensationalizes news topic. Again."
posted by philipy at 1:49 PM on October 19, 2012 [2 favorites]


I think the OP missed a golden opportunity to title this as "METAFILTER MODS ATTEMPT TO LIMIT FREE ACCESS TO POSTS ABOUT MINNESOTA."

There has been a lot of Minnesota stuff this week (2 FPPs!). I say we focus on somewhere else next week. New South Wales? Yorkshire? Holland? Alaska? Arkansas?
posted by Area Man at 2:22 PM on October 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


Estonia? Tallinn streets are noisy at this time of the night.

And how is this FPP different from the one being discussed in this thread?
posted by infini at 2:24 PM on October 19, 2012


Well it has the word Coursera in it, for one very important difference and it's significantly more upfront about what the post is about and has a few more links in it. Was that a serious question?
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 2:29 PM on October 19, 2012 [2 favorites]


Anyone interested might note that Area Man has posted a more fleshed-out post on the Coursera controversy on the front page.

And that is how we make excellent FPPs.

By "we" I don't mean me. Mine suck.
posted by DarlingBri at 2:33 PM on October 19, 2012


Was that a serious question?

Yes, and DarlingBri has just answered it. Thanks.
posted by infini at 2:36 PM on October 19, 2012


Sorry, I meant that this thread discussion seemed moot re: a repost since Area Man had already posted an FPP on the topic, is what I was asking.
posted by infini at 2:37 PM on October 19, 2012


Infini you missed the false start and quick whistle by the refs. Area Man handled the restart nicely.
posted by specialk420 at 2:54 PM on October 19, 2012


The Google ads can be a little unsettling sometimes when you're in a vulnerable place. I'd say about half the ones I see (usually from my phone) are lulz-worthy when taken in the context of MeFi &/or the FPP's topic. Due to the fact that their context is at the level of quasi-competance, if one is not aware of the specifics of MetaFilter's use of Google ads and the fact that their content is based on keywords found in the post and not hand-selected by a MeFi staff member (I am available for Senior Executive Director of Advertising btw), one could possibly read in all sorts of spurious motivations for the placement of the G-ads. As a community we should try to remember that occasionally.
posted by laconic skeuomorph at 3:47 PM on October 19, 2012 [2 favorites]


I am so tired of the OPPRESSED ALL MY LIFE thing.

it's SILENCED. SILENCED ALL MY LIFE.

SILENCED ALL MY LIFE
posted by KathrynT at 3:49 PM on October 19, 2012 [3 favorites]


Yep - tweaked it on purpose, because they take it that one step further.

Also, there is something satisfying about twisting rage comic memes.
posted by batmonkey at 4:24 PM on October 19, 2012


The Google ads can be a little unsettling sometimes when you're in a vulnerable place.

What google ads are these? I see no ads.
posted by oneirodynia at 5:19 PM on October 19, 2012


This thread covered the issue with ads.
posted by specialk420 at 5:31 PM on October 19, 2012


Sounds like some feedback got the MHOE to reconsider or at leastrephrase their position on Coursera and others.
posted by specialk420 at 5:38 PM on October 19, 2012


I am personally unsurprised to find an apparently tone-deaf poster talking @people while writing tone-deaf comments.
posted by flabdablet at 6:36 PM on October 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


Was there something specific you wanted "a tone-deaf poster" to discuss flabdablet? If so please share.
posted by specialk420 at 9:06 PM on October 19, 2012


WHAT?!
posted by clavdivs at 8:19 AM on October 20, 2012


I've heard that the nachos in Minnesota are pretty sub-par.
posted by item at 11:06 AM on October 20, 2012 [1 favorite]


People see ads when they are "logged out," which is a thing I don't understand. "Logged out" is a scary place. I accidentally "logged out" on my phone a few days ago and when I woke up I was in the hospital. not at all a True story.
posted by rtha at 11:09 AM on October 20, 2012


Damn it. Now I'm worrying about which password I use for MetaFilter.
posted by Packed Lunch at 12:53 PM on October 20, 2012


@rhomboid that request is really fucking obnoxious.
posted by to sir with millipedes at 4:43 PM on October 20, 2012


I understand that you've only been here a little while, so maybe you ought to read the previous threads on the topic. We don't do @username here, because we aren't talking "at" people.
posted by Rhomboid at 9:53 PM on October 20, 2012


That, and it's about as annoying as having an unfortunate nipple accident with a belt sander, then your EMS mistakes lime juice for saline solution or something.
posted by Packed Lunch at 10:28 PM on October 20, 2012 [1 favorite]


to sir with millipedes: "@rhomboid that request is really fucking obnoxious."

Actually, that request was a fairly politely-phrased expression of a sentiment that many MeFites share. Characterizing it as "fucking obnoxious" is disproportionately hostile.
posted by Lexica at 3:25 PM on October 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


To (not @) Sir w Millipedes - perhaps we ask them to add "ThisIsTheWayThingsAreDoneAroundHere" as a tag to this thread for future fresh faces or rusty old hands.
posted by specialk420 at 7:53 PM on October 21, 2012


specialk420 you're a pretty okay guy irl afaik but you're not doing your self justice in this thread with the way the comments are coming across the webs.
posted by infini at 5:24 AM on October 22, 2012


Infini - thanks for the OKG part and critique.

The entire coursera affair has been interesting to follow (still playing out as we speak) - hopefully some good came of it, Larry P. seemed to invite Andrew E. from Coursera to the MOHE just a moment ago to talk about policy and online education.
posted by specialk420 at 8:22 AM on October 22, 2012


ZANNI'S RULE OF THUMB
This is cool; other people will want to see it == Good post
This is important; I want other people to see it == Bad post


Enforce this rule, and half the posts on MF get deleted.
posted by 2N2222 at 11:46 PM on October 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


I think the idea is that you enforce it in your heart, before the post ever happens.
posted by cortex (staff) at 7:43 AM on October 24, 2012


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