The hive mind is a genius January 20, 2014 7:26 PM   Subscribe

If anyone needed evidence of the utility of the MeFi Hive Mind, I submit for evidence this truly awesome question and its answers from AskMe. Good job, everyone!
posted by Chocolate Pickle to MetaFilter-Related at 7:26 PM (175 comments total) 26 users marked this as a favorite

Yeah, Harperpitt's answer pretty much goes directly to the hall of MeFiFame.
posted by alms at 7:31 PM on January 20, 2014 [6 favorites]


Flagged as Fantastic.

Also, great teamwork.
posted by SLC Mom at 7:36 PM on January 20, 2014


That was pretty amazing.
posted by Mr. Yuck at 7:40 PM on January 20, 2014


Indeed. This is one of those "walk across the house and show it to my wife" posts. Very cool.
posted by 4ster at 7:40 PM on January 20, 2014 [8 favorites]


Stunning.
posted by Malla at 7:56 PM on January 20, 2014


Indeed. This is one of those "walk across the house and show it to my wife" posts. Very cool.

Hah! That's exactly what I did.
posted by alms at 8:00 PM on January 20, 2014 [1 favorite]


I loved this a lot. I thought there would be no chance.... boy was I wrong (thankfully)!
posted by KogeLiz at 8:07 PM on January 20, 2014


This is pretty amazing. Reminds me of the "punchlines" post.
posted by Conrad Cornelius o'Donald o'Dell at 8:08 PM on January 20, 2014 [5 favorites]


Yup.
posted by mynameisluka at 8:09 PM on January 20, 2014


(OR SHOULD I SAY...Y)
posted by mynameisluka at 8:09 PM on January 20, 2014 [2 favorites]


Wow. I love posts like this.
posted by arcticseal at 8:21 PM on January 20, 2014


FFF!
posted by MoonOrb at 9:11 PM on January 20, 2014 [1 favorite]


Yup, I immediately showed it to mr hgg and then launched into the story about jokes.txt right after. Awesome AskMes both.
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 9:15 PM on January 20, 2014 [2 favorites]


Wow!


Just: wow!
posted by mazola at 9:23 PM on January 20, 2014


That is some outstanding work.
posted by O9scar at 9:47 PM on January 20, 2014


You guys are gonna feel like a bunch of suckers when it turns out to be an ad for a ski resort in Taos.

cynicism is just one of the many valuable things that 12 years on metafilter has taught me.
posted by item at 10:39 PM on January 20, 2014 [10 favorites]


Be sure to...drink your...Ovaltine?
posted by MoonOrb at 10:57 PM on January 20, 2014 [14 favorites]


Best thread ever. There's still plenty more left to solve! Grab yourself a couple of text files and have a go at searching for strings.
posted by embrangled at 11:01 PM on January 20, 2014


I fully expect to wake up tomorrow and find out that one of the ciphers led to the discovery of a sunken submarine and some gold in the Phillippines.
posted by mannequito at 11:33 PM on January 20, 2014 [6 favorites]


... whoa ...
posted by From Bklyn at 12:35 AM on January 21, 2014


Metafilter: The amazing skills of the Internet people.
posted by Toekneesan at 3:06 AM on January 21, 2014 [3 favorites]


Went to sleep last night wondering how much would be figured out in the morning. This is quite amazing and must be wonderful for the family to finally know what this woman was praying for.
posted by sciencegeek at 3:30 AM on January 21, 2014 [2 favorites]


If any thing ever deserved side-barring, then I think this does.

Well done AskMe!
posted by Ned G at 3:40 AM on January 21, 2014 [1 favorite]


Pretty amazing. I saw the question on the front page and thought, "Yeah right, there's no way it's anything but meaningless nonsense." Me of little faith!
posted by amro at 5:09 AM on January 21, 2014 [5 favorites]


I flagged that as "fantastic" yesterday... some seriously smart folks around here....
posted by HuronBob at 5:14 AM on January 21, 2014


I just caught up with it and it made me really happy.
posted by thinkpiece at 5:32 AM on January 21, 2014


Unbelievable.
posted by xingcat at 6:31 AM on January 21, 2014


Fantastic. 14 minutes for a partial solution to appear? TFA - Truly Freakin' Awesome.
posted by marienbad at 6:34 AM on January 21, 2014


Yeah, that was amazing. I saw the question go up, worked on it a few minutes and despaired of a solution, and then . . . boom, off to the races with MeFi-grade steganography.

The feeling of watching a dying woman's last thoughts go from addled to coherent, pathetic to powerful, was really compelling.

Best of MeFi, without a doubt.
posted by spitbull at 6:58 AM on January 21, 2014 [6 favorites]


I just love the thought that after she couldn't speak, she kept praying, using these cards. These are preserved prayers from a long deceased family member. What a wonderful memento.
posted by Pater Aletheias at 7:13 AM on January 21, 2014 [13 favorites]


Added it to the BestOf blog.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 8:15 AM on January 21, 2014 [6 favorites]


With many eyes, all ciphers are easy.
posted by benito.strauss at 8:44 AM on January 21, 2014


On the Media noticed.
posted by BungaDunga at 9:03 AM on January 21, 2014 [1 favorite]


I just love the thought that after she couldn't speak, she kept praying, using these cards. These are preserved prayers from a long deceased family member. What a wonderful memento.

This was my thought as well - so very beautiful.
posted by bluefly at 9:31 AM on January 21, 2014 [1 favorite]


Can I just say this pair of alternate readings delights me, no matter which is correct?

Please see that we all have bodily perfection in the next realm, see that none of the rest of us have to bear painful memories
{OR Please see that we all have blood pressure in the normal range & see that none of the rest of us have to take blood pressure medication}

posted by Rock Steady at 9:54 AM on January 21, 2014 [32 favorites]


And here I was thinking it was going to be the location of Japanese gold from WWII.
posted by Lutoslawski at 10:00 AM on January 21, 2014


Mmm, yeah I saw this question last night and it was a joy to read. Not only fun for the folks who got to play detective, but also hopefully a delight for the family who now know what their grandmother was thinking of in her last days.
posted by librarylis at 10:16 AM on January 21, 2014 [2 favorites]


*jaw drops*

OK, that's incredibly cool.
posted by zarq at 1:58 PM on January 21, 2014 [1 favorite]


Slate noticed.
posted by jeather at 2:07 PM on January 21, 2014


No, Slate republished On the Media. Nevermind.
posted by jeather at 2:08 PM on January 21, 2014


Did anyone notice that the first comment on the On The Media post is from "Jessamyn in Vermont"?
posted by matildaben at 2:26 PM on January 21, 2014 [2 favorites]


We've been Mashable'd. Not sure how I feel about that.
posted by Sweetie Darling at 2:31 PM on January 21, 2014 [1 favorite]


Language Log has it.
posted by Daily Alice at 2:33 PM on January 21, 2014


"Jessamyn in Vermont"

:D

I was interested in this question from the get-go. Way back in high school I had a guy who wrote me a note that was all first initials like this. He was horrified when I figured out that ILYAALMTF was "I like you as a lot more than friends" and deduced some of the rest of the content from there. It's a fun guessing game especially as, in this case, you have a starter set of good ideas to go from and can build from there.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 2:36 PM on January 21, 2014 [4 favorites]


ILYAALMTF

I love you all a lot MeTaFilter
posted by threeants at 2:47 PM on January 21, 2014 [9 favorites]


Thank you Metafilter (or should I say TYMF?). I never would have thought to post this had it not been for jokes.txt and all the amazing crowd-sourced answers that came out of that question.

Luckily, today was a snow day from work, so I managed to follow a lot of the progress and the random stories that came out of it. In case anyone is curious (and now, giving up any anonymity I may have pretended to have online), the On the Media story was picked up by Slate. Yahoo also picked it up, as did Mashable with a few errant quotes. A wonderful Minnesota Public Radio blogger covered the story, and I've been in touch with a religion journalist from The Guardian (a lapsed Mefite) who I believe is covering it soon.

I'm not sure my grandmother ever saw the internet, but I daresay she'd be a bit delighted and a bit terrified that this many people have taken an interest in her!
posted by JannaK at 3:12 PM on January 21, 2014 [19 favorites]


or should I say TYMF?

Who are you calling a motherfucker?

(Seriously, this was amazing).
posted by MoonOrb at 3:15 PM on January 21, 2014


... lapsed MeFite ...

???

"I was raised Askitarian, even though my Father's family were mostly IRLish. These day I just celebrate Quonsmas and Scannerversary, that's about it."
posted by benito.strauss at 3:55 PM on January 21, 2014 [50 favorites]


Truthfully, I find what's going on in this AskMe to be at least as impressive.
posted by Chrysostom at 4:53 PM on January 21, 2014 [7 favorites]


The thought of her dying and praying makes me want to weep.
posted by Salamandrous at 6:08 PM on January 21, 2014 [2 favorites]




Salamandrous, I was thinking the same thing, though for possibly different reasons. The deciphered code put me in mind of Emily Dickinson, who developed her own code, so to speak, over more time than this grandmother had left to her.

I am not a believer, but the ingenuity here, along with the single-minded purity of purpose, really moved me.

If it helps, I don't think that her motivation was "dying and praying." Rather, I think that she used whatever resources she had left to declare--if only to herself--her devotion to God and her wish for good things for her family.

To paraphrase Dickinson, prayer is the speech we fling onto the porch of God's ear, in the hope He might hear.
posted by Short Attention Sp at 6:24 PM on January 21, 2014 [3 favorites]


So JannaK has given us permission/asked us to stop decoding, but the attention being focused from outside has the potential to keep driving it forward. Although nothing will stop puzzlers from puzzling, could we close the thread to leave her family a little mystery?
posted by gingerest at 8:03 PM on January 21, 2014 [1 favorite]


As to mod action to close the thread:
This is a peculiarity of the site, but no - the ability to close a thread only exists on MetaTalk. On AskMe there is no closing the thread without deleting it. So basically, once they feel their thread has run its course, Askers just need to kind of ignore the thread and let the answers peter out.
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 8:08 PM on January 21, 2014 [2 favorites]


Oh, surely I must have known that. Sorry.
posted by gingerest at 10:04 PM on January 21, 2014


Don't know if you rest-of-the-worlders will be able to see this, but this particular Askme has made the news here in Australia.

(Okay. 'News' according to the Daily Telegraph which isn't, um, the most impeccable example of quality journalism. But they've been mining Metafilter for a while for stories, so at least this time Askme got some credit!)
posted by malibustacey9999 at 1:19 AM on January 22, 2014 [1 favorite]


I just came to post that!

is it wrong that I hate it when the site gets publicity for fear of legions of new, douchey members turning it into Yahoo answers or family and friends trying to join MY site?? I know it's completely irrational but I get it every time...
posted by smoke at 2:16 AM on January 22, 2014 [6 favorites]


is it wrong that I hate it when the site gets publicity for fear of legions of new, douchey members turning it into Yahoo answers or family and friends trying to join MY site?? I know it's completely irrational but I get it every time...

The $5 is what makes me have little fear of that; like a small fence for a video game character, it's a surprising hurdle most of the time.
posted by solarion at 4:20 AM on January 22, 2014 [1 favorite]


I totally agree with smoke, so my latest comment in the original thread was an attempt to quell some of the repetitive unhelpful newcomers who don't bother reading a post before chiming in. Doubt it'll work, but that thread's 15 minutes should be almost up.
posted by JannaK at 4:20 AM on January 22, 2014 [2 favorites]


Now it's in the online version of Aftonbladet, Scandinavia's biggest newspaper.
posted by Herr Zebrurka at 5:39 AM on January 22, 2014


No, smoke, it isn't wrong. I waver between being delighted that these sites which have literally changed my life - which have taught and helped me and my kids in so many ways - are getting international recognition, and being dismayed that every 14 year old with access to dads credit card or mums paypal account will post the next 'I cheated on my boyfriend we were together for two weeks I checked his texts he was already cheating on me how do I get him back' question.

PS: that is a very gracious way to try to stem the flow of repeated answers, JannaK. Very nicely worded and totally inoffensive, when I'd be dying to type "DID YOU READ THE PREVIOUS ANSWERS? NO? WELL, GO BACK AND READ THEM AND IF YOU HAVE ANYTHING NEW TO ADD, FEEL FREE!".
posted by malibustacey9999 at 5:39 AM on January 22, 2014 [1 favorite]


Yeah I'm sort of torn myself because there's no way for us to go "stop posting here, we're done". But I do want to echo malibustacey9999, that's a fine comment JennaK. Needless to say we'll be watching that thread for blatant repeats and the like.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane (staff) at 5:51 AM on January 22, 2014


On the Media noticed.
Slate noticed.


Technically those are both "MeFi's own" Alex Goldman (of OTM and his own super-cool new TLDR podcast) noticing and telling the world.
posted by aught at 6:24 AM on January 22, 2014 [3 favorites]


I went to bed last night before any of this stuff blew up and all I have to say is this:

1. JannaK, thank you again for sharing this. It's a really personal thing and it's an honor to be part of it.

2. Kind of the coolest part of this for me is getting a favorite from Jessamyn!!!!1111~~~ <3
posted by harperpitt at 6:51 AM on January 22, 2014 [8 favorites]


Truthfully, I find what's going on in this AskMe to be at least as impressive.

Are you kidding me?

"I have an incredibly obscure question about a 33 year old long forgotten chunk of wires and silicon. There's no way anyone's going to know how to fix this, but it's metafilter so what the hell."

*10 minutes pass*

"Oh hi, I'm probably the only person in the world who can answer this question. Let's go through this problem, shall we?"
posted by Random Person at 7:04 AM on January 22, 2014 [12 favorites]


So very cool this is
posted by caddis at 7:41 AM on January 22, 2014


Non Metafilter-people keep posting about this story on Facebook and I keep wanting to reply "Yay, I know those people" even though I didn't contribute to the thread.

(This is similar yet opposite of the feeling I get when my partner hears something about/someone from Metafilter on NPR and says "your people were on the radio again.")
posted by MCMikeNamara at 8:17 AM on January 22, 2014 [10 favorites]


You can pretend you know me, MCMikeNamara. :) My friends keep posting all the various versions they find with errors - my name is Jenna, my name is Joanna, I'm Australian, I'm a man, etc. Fun times!
posted by JannaK at 8:25 AM on January 22, 2014 [4 favorites]


You Won't Believe The Answer to Austrian Jim Kenna's Question About His Granddaughter
posted by cortex (staff) at 8:34 AM on January 22, 2014 [9 favorites]


Oh, I'd believe it alright.
posted by MoonOrb at 8:35 AM on January 22, 2014


Non Metafilter-people keep posting about this story on Facebook and I keep wanting to reply "Yay, I know those people" even though I didn't contribute to the thread.

Yeah, I want to be all "I was reading that thread and trying to decode right after it posted!" But then I decide not to.
posted by bunderful at 8:44 AM on January 22, 2014


Buzzfeed, natch.
posted by lalex at 9:11 AM on January 22, 2014


I've been following that thread from the start and I thought it was pretty cool. I just read the MPR article above and I realized that I am from the same small (at least at that time - it's bigger now) Minnesota town and was living there when she died and was (and am) part of the local Lutheran community. There is a fair chance I can find something out since I know many people who have been in the area and active in the church for decades. In a second or two this turned from a neat story into something very close to me. I can't do much today since I'm at work, but I will sure try when I can get to the people and records which I have access to. This just keeps getting better!
posted by Clinging to the Wreckage at 9:12 AM on January 22, 2014 [1 favorite]


The Slate article has showed up on Reddit.
posted by zombieflanders at 9:23 AM on January 22, 2014


Incomiiiing! Batten down the hatches and divert all power to the deflector array, gang, this thing's going viral.
posted by Rock Steady at 9:44 AM on January 22, 2014 [2 favorites]


Welp, it's on the front page of the Huffington Post now, so, there goes the internet I guess.
posted by Lutoslawski at 9:47 AM on January 22, 2014


Maybe up the fee and build a palisade at times like this? I'm sure we will shred them.

I'm curious if PB has any stats about attention-getting threads and new members.
posted by Mr. Yuck at 10:34 AM on January 22, 2014


I'm curious if PB has any stats about attention-getting threads and new members.

I asked this years ago and got some...interesting responses.
posted by lalex at 10:42 AM on January 22, 2014


Here's a comment I made a couple years back about signup-driving events. This has turned into a measurable one, for sure, though it may or may not be as big as the biggest one I note in that comment, from Slate writing up a nice piece about Ask as a general resource.

So, yesterday we had 30 signups, today we've had 22 so far; on a typical day we see more in the range of I'd say 6-10. So definitely some extra traction. Which from the mod side means probably a bit more handholding than normal over the next couple weeks, though probably nothing too bad, just new folks trying to figure out site guidelines and where to post what.
posted by cortex (staff) at 10:50 AM on January 22, 2014 [2 favorites]


WOAH, just listening to France Info talking about that thread. Tho they only mention Slate, not Metafilter.
posted by ClarissaWAM at 10:51 AM on January 22, 2014 [1 favorite]


Time for a new DTMFA!

Do The Mother Fucking Acrostic!
posted by spitbull at 10:56 AM on January 22, 2014 [3 favorites]


cortex: Which from the mod side means probably a bit more handholding than normal over the next couple weeks, though probably nothing too bad, just new folks trying to figure out site guidelines and where to post what.

I can wield the Banhammer for a while, if you guys get too busy. I promise to be pretty cool about it.
posted by Rock Steady at 11:27 AM on January 22, 2014 [6 favorites]


Just to chime in, a handful of the newcomers keep MeMailing me to tell me that the back of the cards spell out the Lord's Prayer. (Gee, thanks!) I've been trying to reply with a cordial response that does a bit of the handholding:

"Hi, I see you're new to Metafilter. Welcome! The threads here always post the earliest comments first, so if you look, you'll see that the Lord's Prayer piece was solved in the fourth comment, back on Monday night. Thanks for chiming in with your idea though, and I hope you find Metafilter to be a helpful and informative forum!"

Just as a warning, the AP is also picking this up (seriously....this is out of control), and the Guardian covered it today, so there may be a few more $5 coming in before this fades away...
posted by JannaK at 1:11 PM on January 22, 2014 [27 favorites]


JannaK, I'm glad to see you in this MetaTalk and that you're handling the attention in stride. (Personally, I felt a little cranky on your behalf with some of the responses in-thread that struck me as kinda "me me me I wanna play.") Your response to the MeMailers is very helpfully- and kindly-put.
posted by desuetude at 1:32 PM on January 22, 2014 [7 favorites]


a handful of the newcomers keep MeMailing me to tell me that the back of the cards spell out the Lord's Prayer. (Gee, thanks!)

Same was true of the comments on the Yahoo link from yesterday. It was unbelievable; like 40 of them in a row, "I GOT IT IT'S THE LORD'S PRAYER I SOLVED IT!!" You are being very gracious.
posted by Miko at 2:07 PM on January 22, 2014 [1 favorite]


Yeah, but among the newcomers there will be some who are taking a quiet look around and who are probably familiar with some wonderful corners of the internet and have much to offer. Here's hoping decoding cancer-addled ramblings has attracted a new wave.

DGPSUSMGM
posted by de at 2:19 PM on January 22, 2014 [2 favorites]


One of my sisters posted the Slate link on Facebook to another of my sisters-a former theology student.
It cracked me up.
Who knows, maybe she'll come up with something.
posted by SLC Mom at 5:53 PM on January 22, 2014


What a great story. The site couldn't have gotten a better ambassador if it held tryouts for "best ambassador." You're awesome, JannaK.

Also, Random Person is right; I don't know an Osborne One from a hole in the ground but look at what happened in that thread and tell me that's not an amazingly quick and coincidental happening:

"I have an incredibly obscure question about a 33 year old long forgotten chunk of wires and silicon. There's no way anyone's going to know how to fix this, but it's metafilter so what the hell."

*10 minutes pass*

"Oh hi, I'm probably the only person in the world who can answer this question. Let's go through this problem, shall we?"

posted by mediareport at 7:18 PM on January 22, 2014 [3 favorites]


Wait, the Osborne thing, we had an Osborne desktop in like 1991, it was a 386 and it was great. How did that happen if the company went bankrupt in 1983, which Wikipedia says it did?
posted by turbid dahlia at 8:42 PM on January 22, 2014


Wiki also says: Commercial rights for the Osborne brand name were later acquired by the Finnish clone PC maker Mikrolog Ltd which to this day markets its server and desktop PCs domestically under that once world famous name.

My memories jibe with Wiki, for what it's worth. The Osborne 1 was pretty quickly lapped by the Kaypro II and others, and the company went into a tailspin.
posted by Chrysostom at 8:54 PM on January 22, 2014


I'm not lapsed!
I Conform Occasionally

(and can I just say that Janna has been really gracious dealing with the reptiles, or at least this reptile. Not at all what you'd expect of an 86-year-old Australian grandfather. Thanks, John!)
posted by alloneword at 10:26 PM on January 22, 2014 [2 favorites]


Here's a comment I made a couple years back about signup-driving events. This has turned into a measurable one, for sure, though it may or may not be as big as the biggest one I note in that comment, from Slate writing up a nice piece about Ask as a general resource.

Well, Carson Daly just (7:19 am) did a short piece about it on the Today show (including screenshot of the green and MeFi name drop). I don't really see the Today demographic as a "run to the internet and sign up" group, but it could certainly add to the overall level of publicity.
posted by god hates math at 4:48 AM on January 23, 2014


Did they actually mention MetaFilter on the Today Show? I must have missed it if so. I heard Carson say "people on the internet" and figured we dodged a bullet there (can confirm screenshot though.)
posted by SpiffyRob at 5:11 AM on January 23, 2014


Yep, they said it by name. Producers woke me up this morning to make sure they were pronouncing Metafilter and my last name correctly.

My grandfather is LOVING all of this, by the way. I'm going to make him a book of all the articles when this calms down a bit.
posted by JannaK at 5:28 AM on January 23, 2014 [21 favorites]


And here's the Gawker write up ...
posted by tilde at 6:03 AM on January 23, 2014


In addition to Metafilter, every morning I check boston.com. Today, Boston.com had an article about Metafilter on the front page. Worlds are colliding.
posted by bondcliff at 6:29 AM on January 23, 2014 [1 favorite]


The post made Action 7 News in Detroit, MI and metafilter is mentioned several times :)

Great job!
posted by TangerineGurl at 6:46 AM on January 23, 2014 [1 favorite]


Why would you need help pronouncing "Metafilter"?

"Meh-TAH-fil-ter? Meh-tah-FILL-ter? Meet-a-fil-TOR? MIGHT-ay-file-ture?"
posted by mightygodking at 7:03 AM on January 23, 2014 [2 favorites]


Yep, they said it by name. Producers woke me up this morning to make sure they were pronouncing Metafilter and my last name correctly.

So you told them it was "muh-TAFFle-ter," right? Those people who pronounce it "muh-TAYFle-ter" always weird me out.
posted by this is a thing at 7:04 AM on January 23, 2014 [6 favorites]


Producers woke me up this morning to make sure they were pronouncing Metafilter and my last name correctly.

JannaK is truly Metafilter's greatest ambassador because, as neat as this was to see this morning, the urge to get Carson Daly to mispronounce Metafilter on air would have been quite a temptation.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 7:05 AM on January 23, 2014 [3 favorites]


"It's actually a typo...it's pronounced Meat Filter." *Cackles wildly*
posted by MCMikeNamara at 7:07 AM on January 23, 2014 [1 favorite]


mightygodking: "Why would you need help pronouncing "Metafilter"?"

Paging iamkimiam.
posted by Chrysostom at 7:07 AM on January 23, 2014


They called me for an interview, too, but I just yelled "Vote #1 quidnunc kid!" into the phone and hung up.
posted by harperpitt at 7:13 AM on January 23, 2014 [16 favorites]


"It's actually a typo...it's pronounced Meat Filter." *Cackles wildly*

I often think of it as MeatLifter. This may or may not have to do with having sausagey fingers and a tiny keyboard.
posted by god hates math at 7:18 AM on January 23, 2014


JannaK if you want to talk to the Diane Sawyer people, MeMail/email me, they are trying to get ahold of you.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 7:31 AM on January 23, 2014


Can I talk to them?
posted by bondcliff at 7:35 AM on January 23, 2014 [4 favorites]


> My grandfather is LOVING all of this, by the way.

Yaay! That is wonderful. Hugs to your grandfather from your invisible internet friends!
posted by desuetude at 7:36 AM on January 23, 2014 [3 favorites]


JannaK if you want to talk to the Diane Sawyer people, MeMail/email me, they are trying to get ahold of you.

I am watching all of this with a continued sense of delight and bewilderment. Remind me never to post anything on the Inter—oops.
posted by cellar door at 7:39 AM on January 23, 2014 [2 favorites]


JannaK [...] Diane Sawyer people […] are trying to get ahold of you.

Talk about the power of prayer. Set aside the essence of prayer for two decades, reconstitute rapidly. Stand back.
posted by de at 7:52 AM on January 23, 2014


Related "hypothetical" follow-up:

Dear AskMetafilter,

I often send my partner links to interesting things from Metafilter; he responds to them with varying degrees of (dis)interest. But suddenly Carson Daly tells him about something and it's all he wants to talk about all morning while I'm getting ready. Can this relationship be saved?

posted by MCMikeNamara at 8:04 AM on January 23, 2014 [10 favorites]


Here's the AP story in the Washington Post: Internet community helps crack grandma’s code.
posted by pb (staff) at 8:28 AM on January 23, 2014 [3 favorites]


This made the Daily Mail as well but I'm not linking to it.
posted by cjorgensen at 8:50 AM on January 23, 2014 [3 favorites]


But my son is working for them - it's a steady job!
posted by Chrysostom at 9:02 AM on January 23, 2014 [2 favorites]


Saw this on Twitter a few days ago and this is seriously everything I love about Metafilter and a reminder of why I keep coming back.
posted by Phire at 9:03 AM on January 23, 2014 [1 favorite]


JannaK [...] Diane Sawyer people […] are trying to get ahold of you.

Ditto Fox and Friends.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 9:20 AM on January 23, 2014


ew. Don't do that one.
posted by Toekneesan at 9:40 AM on January 23, 2014 [10 favorites]


I did not follow this thread, other than glancing at it when it was posted. But I just saw a story about it in my local news rag. Wow. Good job everyone!
posted by Danf at 9:41 AM on January 23, 2014


People has it on their front page today.
posted by janey47 at 9:50 AM on January 23, 2014


Screenshot! WE ARE SO FAMOUS!
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 10:04 AM on January 23, 2014


Aaaaand there goes the neighborhood. :)
posted by zarq at 10:06 AM on January 23, 2014


AREA MAN GETS HELP LOCATING THE APPROPRIATE SPORT JACKET!
posted by Danf at 10:35 AM on January 23, 2014 [4 favorites]


Area Man Consults Internet Whenever Possible
posted by Area Man at 10:42 AM on January 23, 2014 [1 favorite]


would love to read about metafilter but too distracted by bieber's mugshots
posted by MoonOrb at 10:44 AM on January 23, 2014


Trainwreck kids I went to Jr High with are posting it on Facebook.
posted by dirtdirt at 10:44 AM on January 23, 2014 [2 favorites]


AREA MAN GETS HELP LOCATING THE APPROPRIATE SPORT JACKET!

I believe you're thinking of The Whelk.
posted by booksherpa at 10:45 AM on January 23, 2014 [2 favorites]


No booksherpa. But I did not want to self-link.
posted by Danf at 10:48 AM on January 23, 2014


INTERNET SITE PUBLICLY EXPOSES DYING GRANDMOTHER'S PRIVATE FAMILY LETTERS! THE REASON WHY WILL SHOCK YOU!
posted by CancerMan at 10:57 AM on January 23, 2014


Ditto Fox and Friends.

Yeah, starve them for oxygen.

My lawyer got a request to be on Nancy Grace's show and he told her producer he was going to define because he didn't want to do anything that would help her. Her producer asked if he could call again if he was ever on another show.

I say stay away from the hate shows.
posted by cjorgensen at 10:58 AM on January 23, 2014


Every time I try to take a couple weeks off from the site, you guys pull a stunt like this. Pretty amazing stuff. Also, that Osbourne! FauxScot needs a gold star or something. (too soon?)
posted by Devils Rancher at 11:11 AM on January 23, 2014


He is my neighbor. I will bring him some cookies.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 11:18 AM on January 23, 2014 [7 favorites]


Hey guys,
I did wind up talking to Diane Sawyer's team today, and I think that's the last thing I'm going to do media-wise. They surprised me by bringing harperpitt to my apartment to join the interview!

After she deciphered the Lord's Prayer, I told her that if I ever met her, I owed her a beer. So, we went and got one. Check us out during the last few minutes of World News on ABC tonight!

They also asked a billion questions about Metafilter, so there could be an influx here. Sorry about that!!
posted by JannaK at 1:48 PM on January 23, 2014 [45 favorites]


Awww how sweet is that?
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 1:51 PM on January 23, 2014 [6 favorites]


Can someone capture the video and discretely host it somewhere for those of us who won't have access to the show?
posted by Rock Steady at 1:58 PM on January 23, 2014 [2 favorites]


It will be available here, if you have the right cable provider. (I don't.)
posted by zarq at 2:06 PM on January 23, 2014 [1 favorite]


Janna is exactly what anyone could hope for in a MetaFilter ambassador: kind, gracious, funny, a little nerdy. (And I mean that as a compliment; I am a total dweebazoid, so I have no room to talk.)

This has been a lovely adventure. Thanks, dudes (and ladydudes), for being the kind of Internet Friends who make stuff like this possible.
posted by harperpitt at 2:12 PM on January 23, 2014 [18 favorites]


So, we went and got one.

At one of my favorite bars. This story just keeps getting better!
posted by EvaDestruction at 2:23 PM on January 23, 2014 [2 favorites]


Oh, that's awesome! Can't wait to see the video.
posted by Miko at 2:26 PM on January 23, 2014


Joy to both of you!
posted by Danf at 2:56 PM on January 23, 2014


Bummer! They totally cut harperpitt out of the story! What a shame! She had so much interesting stuff to say, and I wish she'd been shown!
posted by JannaK at 3:59 PM on January 23, 2014 [1 favorite]


It's become a little difficult to google for phrases from that thread to see how plausible they are, or what their sources are, because now all the top results are news stories about that thread. E.g. "please see that we"
posted by jjwiseman at 4:47 PM on January 23, 2014


This story made the Atlanta paper as well. I was surprised since I don't really look at MeTa very often. I saw the post highlighted on the sidebar and twitter feed, and though, "Oh. Neat." Now I read this thread and see it's been on the national news, etc. and I'm kind blown away.
posted by ob1quixote at 6:33 PM on January 23, 2014


I came here to post because I read the story on my local paper's website and was very excited, but now I see pb posted it was carried by the AP. So I guess it's not as much of a surprise, but still…
posted by ob1quixote at 6:38 PM on January 23, 2014


From Melbourne's The Age newspaper: Internet cracks grandmother's 18-year-old prayer code in minutes

They linked to the question too, which was nice. Hey, moderators, has there been an influx of new users as a result of this publicity?
posted by Joe in Australia at 7:13 PM on January 23, 2014


Yes, we have had quite a few new users. We had 30 Tuesday, 42 Wednesday, and 38 today. We normally have 5-10, so it is quite a bit higher than normal.
posted by pb (staff) at 9:50 PM on January 23, 2014 [2 favorites]


It's become a little difficult to google for phrases from that thread to see how plausible they are

Hm. I've noticed this before when I've been interested in topics that suddenly get media attention. There's some kind of lesson / law there about how attention paid to an unusual topic breaks using Google as a tool to investigate the topic or solve a problem.

Is this concept already a thing, with a name?
posted by aught at 5:17 AM on January 24, 2014 [1 favorite]


pb: Yes, we have had quite a few new users. We had 30 Tuesday, 42 Wednesday, and 38 today. We normally have 5-10, so it is quite a bit higher than normal.

Wow. Welcome, 192Kers.
posted by Rock Steady at 6:45 AM on January 24, 2014


Bummer! They totally cut harperpitt out of the story!

JannaK, you might want to ask them for the footage for your own (not-for-profit) use. Sometimes they're amenable to that, and if Diane Sawyer's team are going to be dicks about giving it to you for us to see here, that would be interesting information in itself.
posted by mediareport at 8:13 AM on January 24, 2014 [1 favorite]


Is this concept already a thing, with a name?

In this case it's related to the use/mention distinction. It's harder to Google up uses of a phrase when there are a lot of prominent mentions of that phrase.

Actually though we kind of need a three-way distinction: use/mention/bullshit. With most phrases that become unusable on Google, it's not because they're getting a lot of legitimate mentions in the media — it's because SEO bullshit artists have discovered they can make money off of the phrase without offering any real content at all.
posted by this is a thing at 8:59 AM on January 24, 2014 [3 favorites]


"Prayers of the Dead" from the New Yorker's Culture Desk.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 9:19 AM on January 24, 2014 [11 favorites]


MCMikeNamara: "Prayers of the Dead" from the New Yorker's Culture Desk.

That was really well done.
posted by Rock Steady at 9:25 AM on January 24, 2014 [1 favorite]


One thing that's useful when trying to google something that's blown up recently is to restrict searches to a week/month/whatever or older, to filter out the chatter.
posted by cortex (staff) at 10:07 AM on January 24, 2014 [2 favorites]


And now this made the Minneapolis paper, too. For the first time ever, no one is using the comments to complain about Obama.
posted by COBRA! at 10:10 AM on January 24, 2014 [1 favorite]


Here it is in the New Yorker.
posted by RedOrGreen at 10:23 AM on January 24, 2014


(Aaaugh already posted three comments above me. Sigh, sorry.)
posted by RedOrGreen at 10:24 AM on January 24, 2014


Glenn Reynolds just linked.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 11:10 AM on January 24, 2014


NPR's The Two-Way is a little late to the party but does pronounce "Metafilter" with the silent umlaut.
posted by arnicae at 11:24 AM on January 24, 2014


Is this concept already a thing, with a name?

In this case it's...
posted by this is a thing


You all know the word.
posted by ceribus peribus at 1:07 PM on January 24, 2014 [1 favorite]


JannaK, nthing mediareport's recommendation about asking ABC for a disk. My daughter's band was featured on the Today Show a few years ago, and they sent a DVD to them with stuff that did not make it onto the broadcast.
posted by Danf at 1:49 PM on January 24, 2014


It's become a little difficult to google for phrases from that thread to see how plausible they are, or what their sources are, because now all the top results are news stories about that thread

I was doing a bit of that too...I found adding a -cancer to the search cuts out nearly all the news stories. Of course, if it's some previously known prayer that mentions cancer, you'd be excluding that too.

If only it were as easy to do a -cancer on the world as it is on Google.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 2:23 PM on January 24, 2014 [1 favorite]


CBC noticed, and beautifuly quoted the "AGH, YES!"
posted by sarastro at 4:21 PM on January 24, 2014 [1 favorite]


I will bring him some cookies.

Cookie delivered.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 5:01 PM on January 24, 2014 [10 favorites]


Thanks for the cookie, metafilter!
posted by FauxScot at 5:17 PM on January 24, 2014


What do I have to do to get a cookie?
posted by cjorgensen at 5:18 PM on January 24, 2014


NPR posted to main FB feed 2 hours ago.
posted by bunderful at 7:42 PM on January 24, 2014 [1 favorite]


Oh my god you made the CBC, you are truly famous Metafilter.

(the CBC just tweeted it and I knew EXACTLY what it was. Canadian, fangirling, right here, right now).
posted by urbanlenny at 8:35 PM on January 24, 2014 [2 favorites]


What do I have to do to get a cookie?

Log in.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 9:23 PM on January 24, 2014 [5 favorites]


Sploid.Gizmodo noticed. So did Andrew Sullivan.
posted by Going To Maine at 7:39 AM on January 26, 2014


What do I have to do to get a cookie?

Log in.

OK it has taken 48 hours for this joke to land, for me. But SO worth the wait!
posted by Danf at 11:26 AM on January 26, 2014 [1 favorite]


Very Impressive & Why I come here...
posted by Mack Twain at 3:10 PM on January 28, 2014


Ask Megafilter gets more press!
posted by dirtdirt at 10:32 AM on January 29, 2014 [1 favorite]


Ask Megafilter gets more press!

so proud to be a MeGi.
posted by MoonOrb at 10:34 AM on January 29, 2014


MeGite.
posted by Chrysostom at 10:53 AM on January 29, 2014 [2 favorites]


Godzilla vs. AskMegafilter is truly an underrated kaiju classic.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 11:32 AM on January 29, 2014


Check it out, maybe you can contribute, too!

Yes, maybe you can! (But first read the FAQ.)
posted by RedOrGreen at 10:37 AM on January 30, 2014


Ask Megafilter gets more press!

And that is our best local news site. Ugh. I do have a friend who was a news producer there & just left for greener pastures in Denver -- perhaps things have gone to hell in a handbasket for them in the 2 weeks since she left.
posted by Devils Rancher at 1:00 PM on January 30, 2014


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