POTUS45 on Metafilter - I may have got a bit nerdy September 1, 2017 1:49 PM   Subscribe

Okay, someone made a (possibly throwaway) comment in one of the POTUS45 threads that it would be interesting to see how the comments/content of the threads had changed since the election. I got my teeth into that, and after some playing with the HTML of the threads with VBA and Access, I now have a headache. As well as that I've got a database with 48 threads, 139,882 comments (including the posts themselves as a comment), 9,230,306 words, 2,193,898 favourites and 46,692 links. Some charts and stats inside. Let me know if there's other stuff you're interested in.

It looks like we post more from work.

Here's two charts with the number of comments and words per day, and the average words per comment here. You can see that there was a drop in the average length of comments around Feb, but we're trending back up now. Indicative of more quality discussion?

10 busiest days for comments were:
1,604 comments - 2017-01-20 - the day of the inauguaration.
1,523 comments - 2017-02-16 - one of Trump's attack the media press conferences.
1,420 comments - 2017-01-30 - Sally Yates orders the DoJ not to defend the refugee Executive Order.
1,257 comments - 2017-05-17 - Mueller is appointed.
1,204 comments - 2017-07-27 - McCain comes through and votes no on the skinny repeal.
1,191 comments - 2017-02-17 - The National Guard is considered as immigration police.
1,137 comments - 2017-02-14 - Kelly Anne gets taken to pieces after Flynn resigns.
1,133 comments - 2016-11-10 - the day the timelines diverged.
1,106 comments - 2017-03-24 - the Obamacare repeal bill gets pulled.
1,092 comments - 2017-01-28 - the Muslim ban EO causes chaos at airports.
I've mapped the threads by how big they get, and how long they took to get to 95% of that size (as a speed proxy).

The average was 2,914 comments in 7 days.
The largest was No new information for those who have been paying attention which took 6 days to get to 3,999 comments.
The smallest was The Russian Thread Reset, which got to 1,686 comments in 3 days.
The fastest moving was "Kellyanne, that makes no sense.", which took only 2 days to get to 2,860 comments.
The slowest moving was 2,864,974, which hung around for 14 days before closing at 3,598.
In terms of links, we're really heavy on Twitter for breaking news (I assume) at 9,138 links, far outstripping everything else. Metafilter itself follows from quoting or thread linking at 4,401, then the Washington Post at 2,410, YouTube at 1,882 and Wikipedia at 1,842.

Here's a word cloud of our top 200 (non-stop word) words by usage.

I remember one questions was to do with swearing. Sooooooo, here's our swear word usage (rougly grouped to source).

The average comment/post gets 15.68 favourites.
10 most favourited (and they're bloody awesome as I'm re-reading them) comments/posts were:
436 - Joey Michaels - advice on how to deal mentally with this.
359 - adamgreenfield - on eating vending machine lunch with Trump.
354 - schroedinger - pointing out it's not cool to blame HRC for press misogyny.
348 - sotonohito - fulfilling "I'll eat my words on a cake if the AHCA doesn't pass".
338 - anastasiav - on how their son's school and schoolfriends will stand up for each other.
333 - EmpressCallipygos - on actually MAGA by working at the Internaional Rescue Committee.
319 - Tarumba - on how the systems of government in the US can safeguard against Trump.
317 - poffin boffin - have we considered the classic and festive Wicker Man for Trump?
311 - The World Famous - detailing exactly why Mueller will not be scared of being fired.
309 - Mrs. Pterodactyl - with a handy copy and paste for family members with opposing views.
The average person has written 61 comments with 4,029 words, and been favourited 958 times.
mine are: 87 comments / 3,660 words / 799 favourites

10 people contributing the most in comments are:
zachlipton - 5,386
roomthreeseventeen - 2,961
T.D. Strange - 2,526
chris24 - 2,383
Talez - 2,300
Artw - 2,152
futz - 1,870
Justinian - 1,803
murphy slaw - 1,787
East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 - 1,668
10 people contributing the most words are:
zachlipton - 460,970
Secret Life of Gravy - 182,497
chris24 - 161,000
T.D. Strange - 158,665
cjelli - 147,003
futz - 139,074
filthy light thief - 137,846
Jalliah - 132,319
Talez - 126,587
OnceUponATime - 123,685
10 people with the most favourites are:
zachlipton - 121,260
chris24 - 68,131
T.D. Strange - 46,895
roomthreeseventeen - 38,254
murphy slaw - 38,170
East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 - 33,079
Rust Moranis - 30,323
soren_lorensen - 30,042
futz - 28,247
Talez - 26,755
Full list of included threads are:

After the 2016 US election
The nation that destroys its soil destroys itself: after the US election
I still wake up and remember who is the President-elect
Our first Magic 8-Ball president.
"He has neither the temperament nor the judgment to be president"
You can't count votes that never got a chance to be cast
Delegate decision day: does Dudley Dudley derail Donald's dystopia?
2864974
No new information for those who have been paying attention.
The Penultimate Week
The inauguration of the 45th President of the United States of America
Building a Cabinet
An interesting week of politics has occurred in a former British colony
Team of Revileds
Tyrants v. the endurance of those whom they oppress.
The Trump roundup
Demoralizing and disheartening times.
"Kellyanne, that makes no sense."
We Are Only One Menstrual Cycle in and There Is Blood in the Water
The Russian Thread Reset
It's Constituent Work Week!
State of a divided union
We're Going to Build a Wall (No Guarantee It Will Hold)
Did you see the politics? It made me angry.
The Trump administration dons a tinfoil hat
Rebellion has its roots in government's indifference and incompetence.
He's been up all night listening to Mohammed's radio...
Feed the Tamagotchi or democracy dies
The Widening Gyre
We gave you power, we can take it away. Watch us.
Full of sound and fury/ Signifying, umm, what?
"It's fake news until it's old news"
Obstruction of Justice, Witness Intimidation, Oh My!
It has been _0_ days since the last Trump disaster
I Have A Very Good Brain And I've Said A Lot Of Things
this kid is insane, man
a problem occurred with this country so it was reloaded
The Sessions Sessions: The Confederate General Babbles Before Congress
Georgia on My Mind: All Bets are Ossoff
It's day 162 with POTUS45, marking another helluva week in US news
"There's a good chance I may have committed some light...treason."
88 Lines About The 45th President
"Are my methods unsound?" "I don't see any method at all, sir."
So long, and thanks for all the fish!
The Grandest Stage of Them All
The frogurt is also cursed.
Reacting swiftly, Mayor Quimby has declared Mob Rule.
Twirling, twirling, twirling towards freedom!
posted by MattWPBS to MetaFilter-Related at 1:49 PM (109 comments total) 116 users marked this as a favorite

Slow clap for this tremendous nerdery.
posted by cortex (staff) at 1:50 PM on September 1 [93 favorites]


Apparently I missed a thread in November.
*slow beat*
Nope, not gonna... I'm still behind on the new one... oh, rats....
This is like "Game of Thrones," isn't it? Only the books are in serial form... coming out one chapter at a time... and they never end... never end....
posted by free f_ cat at 2:02 PM on September 1 [6 favorites]


I get way too easily sucked into things like this.
posted by MattWPBS at 2:03 PM on September 1 [3 favorites]


Um, wow. I was sort of secretly hoping nobody would ever figure out these stats.

Ok that was depressing as hell, and I think I should take a vacation, or at least use shorter pullquotes, or something.
posted by zachlipton at 2:04 PM on September 1 [20 favorites]


BRAVO!!
posted by petebest at 2:06 PM on September 1


Watching Logan Lucky (you'll know why if you see it) reminded of a recent conversation IRL where a few of us speculated that George R.R. Martin has been really distracted from writing (books) of late because he's been sucked into endlessly reading and commenting on the MetaFilter potus45 threads since the election. Seeing these statistics, am looking at the threads and commenting people and hmmmm...
posted by Wordshore at 2:07 PM on September 1 [6 favorites]


zach r r lipton
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 2:09 PM on September 1 [30 favorites]


(while typing that comment the one from free f_ cat appeared and maybe it's paranoia or this martini I have questions)
posted by Wordshore at 2:10 PM on September 1


Ok that was depressing as hell, and I think I should take a vacation, or at least use shorter pullquotes, or something.

Your stuff's great to read in there! Reason people have favourited your it more than 120k times. Really appreciate what you're doing in the threads.
posted by MattWPBS at 2:12 PM on September 1 [16 favorites]


I have questions, too. Like my kindergarten teacher used to say, "If you didn't bring enough for everybody, where the hell is MY martini?"
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 2:14 PM on September 1 [4 favorites]


We know nerds. We have the best nerds.

(Thank you for this nerdery.)
posted by iamkimiam at 2:14 PM on September 1 [12 favorites]


Wow!! This is amazing! I love graphs and numbers and statistics. Thanks for pulling all of these together.

Also, 'fuck' and its variants are apparently the most common swear word we use.
posted by Excommunicated Cardinal at 2:17 PM on September 1


fuck is some good shit
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 2:18 PM on September 1 [5 favorites]


Wow, that's damned impressive, but it still leaves the most pressing question unanswered.
Did Tehund ever catch up?
posted by gusottertrout at 2:19 PM on September 1 [23 favorites]


I don't feel good about any of those numbers. Where do I trade in favorites for impeachment credits
posted by T.D. Strange at 2:25 PM on September 1 [17 favorites]


The best and bleakest juxtapositions of the word cloud: "Party world" and "Probably never hope"
posted by jason_steakums at 2:31 PM on September 1


> Did Tehund ever catch up?
Apparently not.
posted by farlukar at 2:32 PM on September 1 [5 favorites]


I don't feel good about any of those numbers. Where do I trade in favorites for impeachment credits

Applebee's
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 2:37 PM on September 1 [2 favorites]


I assume removal of stop-words is why "evens" doesn't show on the word cloud?

"come fucking" does though, which, when you're right, you're right, y'know
posted by petebest at 2:41 PM on September 1 [1 favorite]


This is amazing. You're amazing. I am amazed.
posted by greermahoney at 2:45 PM on September 1 [1 favorite]


Currently wondering about the frequency of Fucks by quantity of the letter u, e.g., Fuuuuuck vs. Fuuuuuuuuck.
posted by duffell at 2:52 PM on September 1 [1 favorite]


"evens" isn't in there, but "even" is, right at the end of "TRUMP", which is where I assume every one will find all of theirs.
posted by ArgentCorvid at 2:52 PM on September 1 [4 favorites]


On the topic of fucks, and quality of fucks. I didn't get the fuuuuuuuuucks, but I did get those including 'fuck'.

Top 50:
5,078 Fucking
4.857 Fuck
863 Fucked
478 Fucker
248 Motherfucker
128 Clusterfuck
122 Fuckin
113 Fuckery
80 Fuckup
73 Motherfucking
55 Ratfucking
48 Fuckups
46 Chucklefuck
30 Fuckface
26 Ratfuckery
25 Dumbfuck
24 Fuckedup
22 Fuckall
19 Fucktick
18 Ratfucker
16 Fuckyou
15 Ratfuck
15 Unfuck
15 Fuckton
15 Fucken
13 #Fuckingwall
13 Fuckwits
12 Fuckload
11 Fuckwit
11 Bugfuck
10 Bumblefuck
10 Fuckhead
10 Unfuckingbelievable
10 Whatthefuckery
8 Ratfucked
7 Fuckwads
7 Dumbfuckery
7 Fuckwad
7 Fuckknuckle
6 Bumfuck
6 Fucknuts
6 Scumfucker
6 Pigfucker
6 Fuckity
5 Fuckedupness
5 Guaranfuckingtee
5 Thunderfuck
5 #Fuckingrepublicans
5 Fuckbiscuit
5 Repealandgofuckyourself
posted by MattWPBS at 3:09 PM on September 1 [65 favorites]


And that, my friends, is how you give a fuck.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 3:11 PM on September 1 [16 favorites]


(evens - 134 occurences, so didn't make the cut)
posted by MattWPBS at 3:11 PM on September 1


This is really cool! I'm curious though, is crawling through Metafilter for this kind of thing okay? For some reason I thought it was something to be avoided (which is why the infodumpster was made).
posted by Memo at 3:15 PM on September 1


Oooh, thank you. This had to be done. I usually abhor wordclouds, but looking at this one (and I'm a bit stoned) just feels like hanging out here. With "fuck" hanging out in Michigan.
posted by stonepharisee at 3:22 PM on September 1 [1 favorite]


This is great. Thank you for your labour on our behalf and sharing this information. Very cool.
posted by Fizz at 3:24 PM on September 1 [3 favorites]


I'm curious though, is crawling through Metafilter for this kind of thing okay? For some reason I thought it was something to be avoided (which is why the infodumpster was made).

My read (and cortex will no doubt have refinements) is that it's fine UNLESS a) you are doing it specifically to gotcha a member or members in an obnoxious way or b) you're doing it in such a way that hammers our servers. (The latter is the bit I don't know enough detail on to clarify.)
posted by restless_nomad (staff) at 3:43 PM on September 1 [3 favorites]


Is the db itself available?
posted by petebest at 3:45 PM on September 1 [1 favorite]


I'm curious though, is crawling through Metafilter for this kind of thing okay? For some reason I thought it was something to be avoided (which is why the infodumpster was made).

Yeah, crawling when it's targeted (e.g. just the bits you need) and throttled (i.e. don't try and slurp down a big pile of pages in a short period of time) for non-jerky community analysis/fun purposes is fine. When in doubt, drop us a line, but if you're not slurping enormous amounts of the site down it's not a big deal.

The Infodump makes some of the skeletal stuff easier to either do entirely or to use as a basis to plan and structure some targeted crawling.

Is the db itself available?

Nope.
posted by cortex (staff) at 4:33 PM on September 1 [3 favorites]


I would like 'fuck' to be as big as trump on the word cloud map.

Other than that I bow to thee.
posted by yoga at 4:50 PM on September 1 [1 favorite]


The average person has written 61 comments with 4,029 words, and been favourited 958 times (emphasis added)

I prefer my MeFi experience with favorites hidden and I've mostly stayed out of these threads so I admit I don't have a good sense about it, but this seems remarkable. Could you share how this was calculated? I'd guess that you selected the group of people who have commented in these POTUS45 threads, sorted those people by favorites accrued in the threads and found the median person to have 958 favorites from their comments in the POTUS45 threads.

Looking at the most favorited comments finds them around the 200-100 favorites range per comment so I guess it's possible but it just seems weird to me that the average person would have almost 1000 favorites from commenting in these threads.
posted by exogenous at 5:09 PM on September 1


I would guess that is a mean and not median value, with the median being significantly lower for all three of those values.
posted by cortex (staff) at 5:19 PM on September 1 [4 favorites]


Bless you. Datawankery is so near and dear to my heart.
posted by AFABulous at 5:28 PM on September 1


Is the db itself available?

Didn't it used to be?
posted by AFABulous at 5:33 PM on September 1


with VBA and Access, I now have a headache

I'm sure the people in your life who care about you are in the process of planning your intervention right now, because they love you like crazy and they can't stand to see you do this to yourself.

(Remember: Friends don't let friends use Access.)
posted by Sequence at 5:48 PM on September 1 [11 favorites]


Didn't it used to be?

Nope, it's never been something we made available, just Infodump stuff and then some one-off data dumps for various research projects. We've talked before about providing some kind of API access to the db but it's never been something where there was a good enough reason to justify the difficulty and security/stability stuff we'd have to deal with to make it work well.
posted by cortex (staff) at 6:08 PM on September 1 [1 favorite]


okay I could have sworn you used to be able to download huge files... maybe just your own comments? can you still do that at least?
posted by AFABulous at 6:15 PM on September 1


I prefer my MeFi experience with favorites hidden and I've mostly stayed out of these threads so I admit I don't have a good sense about it, but this seems remarkable.

Anecdotally, this does not seem remarkable to me at all. My "favorited by others" counts has exponentially jumped from those threads. I am guessing there are just a lot of eyeballs on these threads.
posted by lalex at 6:22 PM on September 1 [3 favorites]


> Did Tehund ever catch up?
Apparently not.


but... i left cookies for him :(
posted by Two unicycles and some duct tape at 6:25 PM on September 1 [8 favorites]


I know I mentioned this once (maybe as a MetaTalk?) but I didn't think anyone one would do it.

I kinda feel bad now...though if it kept you out of actually reading (much less participating in) those monstrosities, then maybe I did you a solid.
posted by wenestvedt at 6:30 PM on September 1 [1 favorite]


This is absolutely amazingly awesome. Really makes my night.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 6:53 PM on September 1 [1 favorite]


Wow I was really surprised to see I had written the 2nd most number of words. But I was not on the list of 10 ten number of favorites so that tells me I should write less for sure.

The top favorite achievers don't surprise me because sometimes it feels like I spend hours every day favoriting zachlipton, chris24 and East Manitoba. Easy Manitoba is a PITA to favorite on my phone because his name is so long that is right above the favorite button and half the time I would accidentally trigger his bio page instead, navigating away from the page. This becomes a particular annoyance once the thread is over a thousand comments long and the page won't reload properly.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 8:12 PM on September 1 [7 favorites]


Same, Secret. Same.
posted by greermahoney at 8:19 PM on September 1


SLoG, please don't change your behaviour based on that analysis - zachlipton and chris24 get a large volume of favourites by pointing out breaking news which is great amazeballs but isn't necessarily associated with high word count, especially since they're leaning towards brevity and pointing out only the choicest of excerpts.

Thank you MattWPBS! Great work. I remember making a pony request for analyses along these lines 3/4 of a billion years ago in a metatalk associated with one of the earlier election threads.

Anyone have any similar insights on traffic loads?
posted by porpoise at 8:32 PM on September 1 [4 favorites]


okay I could have sworn you used to be able to download huge files... maybe just your own comments? can you still do that at least?

Ah, yep, that is indeed doable; there are two options down at the bottom of your Preferences page, "Export Your Comments" and "Export Your Favorites". Nothing on the scale of a full db dump, but a nice personalized supplement to the skeletal data of the infodump if you're interested in having it.
posted by cortex (staff) at 9:01 PM on September 1


I'm honestly surprised I'm #3 in number of comments. I check these threads along with my extensive twitter lists for the daily insanity, and try to balance posting "BREAKING NEWS!!!" with actual insights or contributions about evenly with acerbic one liners. And I try to check before posting the main news of the hour because usually I'm not the first to see it, I'd rather post some other angle than hasn't been brought up yet than be the first to see a scoop-o'clock item on Twitter. But that's still surprising to me.
posted by T.D. Strange at 9:05 PM on September 1 [4 favorites]


MattWPBS, thank you for doing this! It is fascinating to see the hard numbers.

Political thread top achievers: Please don't stop, unless it is causing you harm. You're making a difference for a lot of people, and doing good work.
posted by monopas at 9:10 PM on September 1 [5 favorites]


Adding my thanks, too, MattWPBS! It's scary to think I've read most, if not all, of those 9 million words in the past ten months or so.

I was wondering about stats on who is posting the threads themselves. I just realized I've posted five of them (more recently) and I'm beginning to wonder if I'm providing a service in doing so or perpetuating a problem. :-/
posted by darkstar at 9:22 PM on September 1 [1 favorite]


For better or worse the politics threads are part of the site now, if it wasn't you posting one it'd be someone else. Until there's an executive decision made from on high that they're a Bad Thing (TM) for the site, I think we should all keep interacting with each other like we have been for going on two years now. Numberwang nerdery is useful and super interesting, but it's ultimately just numbers.
posted by T.D. Strange at 9:41 PM on September 1 [5 favorites]


Until there's an executive decision made from on high that they're a Bad Thing (TM) for the site

I won't be shocking anyone by saying it's something I've been thinking a lot about the last many months, but I reckon it's pretty unlikely that we'd end up in a hard stop No More Politics place.

Possible that some more graduated adjustment could happen at some point—I think there are aspects of the political churn that would benefit from at least incremental redirection to other site stuff and that in the spirit of the numbers in this post it would be worth getting high-engagement folks in these threads to think about how they could use their energy elsewhere on the site—but I acknowledge there's an aspect of paving the cowpaths and adapting to where the site and the zeitgeist is that drives what's happening with threads at any given time.
posted by cortex (staff) at 10:25 PM on September 1 [4 favorites]


Don't ever change. You guys have been my support group since the election, and I can't contemplate experiencing this without your help.

Thank you, mods.

Thank you, FPP'ers.

Thank you, MattWPBS

Thank you all, who are along on this ride.
posted by mikelieman at 10:35 PM on September 1 [10 favorites]


Wait... paving the cowpaths? In this analogy, wouldn't paving the cowpaths just make the bullshit build up until either the pavement was buried in shit or a storm created a river of shit or a stray spark created a burning highway of smoldering shit? I mean, say what you will about cowpaths, at least it's an ecosystem.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 10:44 PM on September 1 [2 favorites]


I get way too easily sucked into things like this.

My favorite Job Title is "Data Architect", and the best days are spent just banging away on datasets. A friend and I have a little competition where we optimize our parsers for the NYS Voter Registration File and see whose runs fastest. ( I like Perl, but I'm old. )
posted by mikelieman at 10:46 PM on September 1 [2 favorites]


I think there are aspects of the political churn that would benefit from at least incremental redirection to other site stuff and that in the spirit of the numbers in this post it would be worth getting high-engagement folks in these threads to think about how they could use their energy elsewhere on the site

I was here for 8 years and 5000ish comments before the 2016 election, but most of my engagement skewed political/legal heavy that entire time, plus having a real world job that's right in the line of fire if/when the purges of government employees begin. I'd be doing the same thing anyway in my own mind even if the politics threads stopped cold, I just wouldn't be sharing it. It's just a weirdly terrible intersection of my interests/training/obsessiveness plus events that led me to switch to commenting mostly on election/45 threads.

But seeing the raw numbers, I will try to check the front page more often rather than reflexively reload the last page I commented on, and check the 45 page second. Maybe it's a matter of incremental habits.
posted by T.D. Strange at 10:56 PM on September 1 [3 favorites]


"Export Your Favorites". Nothing on the scale of a full db dump,

Well let's see, I can favorite 100 things a day, it will take me *takes out slide rule* *adjusts glasses*, yep.
posted by Literaryhero at 11:10 PM on September 1 [2 favorites]


I'm also one of those that had a fair degree of participation on MeFi before the Megathread. But after these threads became a thing, I felt I had a really supportive and knowledgeable outlet to express my internal dialogue as a political junkie, and explore the views of others well informed and as passionate (or more so) than I am...particularly in dealing with the incredulity and angst percolating up from the outrage that is the daily dish of the Trump administration. And then my participation in the site really skyrocketed.

So I'm quite grateful for the serial Megathread, as I know others are, and especially appreciative that cortex and the other mods have been so patient and forebearing at letting it continue unabated.

One question I had, especially: IF we are allowed to continue, then is there an ideal "break-point" in terms of when we should create a new thread? I wonder about the impact of loading longer threads on those accessing from their phones, as well as the hits to the server. Would it be better to create a new thread at 1500 comments? 3000? Something else?

I've been shooting for starting a new thread after 2500 - 3000 comments, because that's when folks start to complain. But with better guidance, at the very least, maybe we can structure thread creation so it minimizes adverse effects due to thread length.

(That reminds me, I keep meaning to send a check...MeFi has really been there for me this past year. Could someone direct me to that info on where to send it? Many thanks!)
posted by darkstar at 11:33 PM on September 1 [5 favorites]


Dammit, I originally mistyped it as firebearing, and then corrected it to another mistake, forebearing. For the record, I meant forbearing.

Covfefe.
posted by darkstar at 11:41 PM on September 1 [6 favorites]


1500's the breaking point for my phone with its mere 2GB of RAM: pretty much every time I switch away from the thread it has to re-render the page, taking a good 20-30 seconds each time I switch back.
posted by ambrosen at 2:32 AM on September 2 [1 favorite]


I've said "fuck" (or fuckbag, fuckpile, etc) more times in the past year than in the previous 20. I even had a 5 year dry spell when I was extra-religious. Fuckbomb.
posted by Burhanistan at 4:03 AM on September 2 [4 favorites]


We've basically allowed it to be organic at this point; I think finding a balance between not letting it get too clunky and not jumping into a new thread every two days is the main thing. Based on thread weight/rendering/headache stuff I think it's probably best to start in on a new thread by the the time things are hitting 2500, yeah, and really more 2000ish isn't unreasonable. At a practical and technical level, 2000 comments is probably a pretty good cue even if in my heart I kind of want to believe in the idea of fewer and hence larger threads is the way pre-2016 things Should Be.

It's also such a structurally weird problem, where there's a cost of new threads that they tend to have a burst of "yay it's a new thread" activity as well as potentially immediately taking up a rehash of one or another current point of argument that had gone on fairly long in the previous thread. So the new thread might spend it's first couple hundred comments just sort of...automatically filling up, and then things carry on from there. Like a hefty fee on a transaction, we've sort of lost the first 10% or so as a startup cost.

But I don't see an answer to that other than pushing back very hard on chatter and thread momentum during those new thread periods. We push back a little, resources allowing, but it would be a hell of a lot of work to get really mercenary on it and frankly it's not something I find rewarding even when I try. One of the costs of it being an ongoing thing, of Eternal November: my capacity to give 110% on this or that odd busy hard thread doesn't sustain itself for Every Thread Every Few Days.

So I think if we change something with political catch-all threads it's likeliest to take the form of trying to reset expectations/habits more at a high-level policy guidance level, not so much just going in and pruning (because at its core none of this is about individual bad behavior) as having a high-visibility discussion as a community about trying to steer away from some of those not so great emergent outcomes of everybody just sort of doing their thing. That'll take some thinking (been doing that) and some planning (been trying to do bits of that) and a big coordinated mod effort and community discussion followed by a couple months of ongoing reinforcement (that's the big expensive hard part).
posted by cortex (staff) at 6:59 AM on September 2 [3 favorites]


And yeah, I do want to encourage a sort of Remember That There's The Rest Of MetaFilter habit in political thread regulars.

I don't mean that in a chiding way or anything, I've said before that getting what's valuable to you out of the site is a good thing even if politics discussion is not one of those things for me personally.

I mean it as just sort of a personal and community engagement thing. As a good, worth pursuing for its own sake, to fight a potential kind of habitual tunnel vision that can just happen at the cost of your own enjoyment of the broader range of what's on the site and at the cost of the site for losing some of that non-politics energy.

I get into weird loops with politics and e.g. visiting TPM too many times every day and have to cut myself out of that sometimes by sheer effort, and it's the same sort of thing. TPM is fine, they do good stuff and are a useful read, but when I step back and think about where my time and emotional energy is going on the web I don't want that to be the natural focus. I want to go enjoy stuff I like, I want to be that person liking and linking and talking about neat shit and funny creative work and so on, and keep the occasional eye on what's coming across the horizon on TPM, more that sort of balance.

So, yeah. Like you say, T.D. Strange: just making those incremental shifts can be good, for the individual and the community. Remembering to look at the front page to see if there's something neat, and then defaulting back to the politics thread. Stop and smell the flowers on the way to the daily politics check in, etc.
posted by cortex (staff) at 7:05 AM on September 2 [10 favorites]


I really wish people wouldn't post twitter links that much. They don't always work for me, sometimes twitter is "too busy" or I'm "not authorized to see that tweet." Also long twitter post blocks on the thread itself are hard to scan. And...a lot of Twitter "hot takes" are of little value to the discussion, imo.
posted by agregoli at 7:14 AM on September 2 [2 favorites]


So cortex, to summarize, we might be looking at these general ideas:


1. an optimum thread threshold of about 2000 before starting a new one,

2. trying to avoid jumping into a new thread just to make a mark or chatty comment (and so cut down some of the froth of a new thread)

3. consider also participating in other threads rather than marinating exclusively in the Megathread (MAGAthread?)


(Also, I just found the donation info. Check's in the mail! Er...PayPal, that is.)
posted by darkstar at 7:15 AM on September 2


I should take a break.

On the other hand the insanity isn't going to scream about itself.

/screams some more into the scream-hole.
posted by Artw at 7:29 AM on September 2 [11 favorites]


It looks like we post more from work.

My only regret is that I have but one job to lose for my country.
posted by octobersurprise at 9:05 AM on September 2 [11 favorites]


Last year I decided that instead of throwing so much energy at reading and commenting on political stuff I would instead throw that energy at being active - volunteering, donating, contacting legislators, etc. - about the causes I was passionate and pissed off about. And to be clear, that's not a judgement or anything - reading, commenting, disseminating information,and putting forth some well thought out arguments and ideas about what's going on is important too. It's a form of resistance and protest, as well. It was just a waste of energy for me personally for reasons and also not very good for my own mental health. (I also had in mind how much I wasted 2008 following the election - I didn't get anything done that year, which affected me both personally and professionally. I was worried about a repeat - I had to think about the long game.)

It was an extraordinarily difficult thing to do - I've always been a political and news junkie, and I had to give myself permission that since it was extremely unlikely anything would change my national vote it was okay not to pay attention for awhile, because quitting cold turkey was about the only way I could break my habits. And there's so many people not paying attention - oh geez, some complicated feelings about that and being a good citizen of the world. I even had to punish myself by saying, okay, this is the third time you checked TPM today, or refreshed that MeFi thread - donate $5 to the ACLU or Clinton's campaign, or go give an hour to the Sierra Club.

I've slowly come back to it a little - but I've scheduled checking the news and certain political sites on my calendar as a daily task. But I don't check every megathread now except, when as Artw just said, I've got a scream that particularly needs screaming. But I do read them on occasion, and one thing that's emerged for me is it feels like there's a whole community on MeFi I'm really missing out on. And unlike the subsites it's happening on the front page.

It's the first time I've ever really felt that way on MeFi - this isn't the occasional thread about something like Apple that I won't read but a whole subcommunity is into. And yeah, it's my choice not to participate, but this isn't a thread I skip because I'm not interested. Indeed, one of the reasons why is because on some posts when my first impulse is, "not gonna read," my second impulse is, "A MeFi member thought it interesting enough to post it to the first page, I should check it out," and then I learn something really cool - this isn't like that, either. Instead it's something that's happening constantly, and it's sucked a lot of the members I enjoy into it and as a result I don't see them as much anymore.

This is just my personal feeling, but I suspect others feel the same even if they haven't articulated it - i.e, MeTa seems like it has a lot more community oriented posts these days. That could be personal bias, or also just a reaction to the mood of current times, but glancing at the page right now there's a hell of a lot of "fun", get the community talking posts. And even if it isn't concerning itself about politics, community seems extremely important and necessary right now, even if it's just geeking out about *checks front page* baking powder.

Anyway, that's the long way 'round of saying I definitely understand it, but I do miss some of you around the rest of the site, and hope you do "smell the flowers" a little bit more like Cortex suggests. You may mean way more to a random internet stranger than you realize. But I also get we're living in a difficult moment and all of us have to deal with that in the way that's good for us, and being among community who feels the same might be one of those ways. In other words, just be careful about what's best for y'all, and be healthy, okay? We're in for a long slog.
posted by barchan at 9:16 AM on September 2 [12 favorites]


But I don't see an answer to that other than pushing back very hard on chatter and thread momentum during those new thread periods

My husband and I had quite a long talk about the site today, particularly about the early days and the strict moderation. Matt was sometimes quite vocal about limiting "chatter." I was personally chastised at least once for being too frivolous or something so I tried very hard not to be silly when that is baked into my character. I spent at least a year double thinking everything I wrote and every post I made. I don't want to go back to those days but frequently the derailments go on for much too long. Sometimes they hit my funny bone just right (the recent stuff about the 440Hz started off hilarious) but most often they become tedious. Any time a mod wants to declare a derailment is finished is fine by me.

Having read every political thread the biggest problem is repetition. If people don't use the title in a link, then Control F for the title doesn't help but you can still search for topics. I swear many people don't bother searching at all. We'll have a story posted in the early morning and it shows up again 12 hours later as though it is fresh news. I gave up trying to post breaking news after being pipped to the post too often by zachlipton. Now I post less frequently, but I still read every comment so I usually know what story has been discussed and what hasn't. If you like to read only the most recent comments, please search before posting.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 9:47 AM on September 2 [1 favorite]


I really wish people wouldn't post twitter links that much. They don't always work for me, sometimes twitter is "too busy" or I'm "not authorized to see that tweet." Also long twitter post blocks on the thread itself are hard to scan. And...a lot of Twitter "hot takes" are of little value to the discussion, imo.

I post a decent amount of Twitter links and can't say I see myself stopping.

I link to Twitter because that's where an awful lot of the informed and knowledgable people I respect are doing most of their talking these days. It's also where many extremely powerful people that I happen to loathe are doing a lot of their talking these days. I do it because Twitter is where a lot of news breaks. I do it because these days, Twitter is where a lot of statements and releases are posted, well before they're available on "official" sites.

idk I guess I feel a little like discouraging links to Twitter is sort of denying where a lot of Important Things are happening.
posted by lalex at 9:55 AM on September 2 [8 favorites]


And just to be clear on own best practices for posting Twitter links, I know people don't like unnecessary click-throughs so I quote the whole tweet and try to indicate that it's from Twitter by prefacing the quote with the at sign, for example @cortex, or @Josh Millard, or @Josh Millard (Metafilter) depending on how obscure I think the handle is to people in the thread.*

I also excerpt Twitter threads into the megathread because, as agregoli mentioned, I know some folks don't like to click through to Twitter. Or in general open new tabs from megathreads that are already destroying their phone's ability to function! I certainly don't do it for fun; it's a pain in the ass.

I am prolly not going to stop posting Twitter links, but if folks have other ideas I am certainly open to hearing them!

* I know that's not Josh's Twitter handle, just making an example.
posted by lalex at 9:57 AM on September 2 [4 favorites]


Sitting here at the airport, I just wanted to say thanks for this great piece of data nerdery. Although staring at that word cloud, with TRUMP stamped across America exactly like a boot stamping on a human face forever - it's more than a little depressing.

Also, once again, thank you for this little oasis of sanity, which has kept me from just tuning out the news altogether. Tuning out might be healthier, but 50 years from now, when people ask, "So where were you when ... happened?" I want to be able to pinpoint the comment (probably some variant of a swear word) when I first saw the news. (Hopefully, not news of fire and fury.)

Anyway, the reason I'm sitting in an airport is that I'm off to a week-long conference to mark 50 years since the discovery of radio pulsars. Of course it's being held at a radio observatory, so like savages, we will have no WiFi - internet access is only via a limited number of wired ethernet ports. So: (temporary) farewell, POTUS45 threads. I'll nip in when I can, but see you on the other side.
posted by RedOrGreen at 12:37 PM on September 2 [3 favorites]


Fuckin' a this is amazing. Awesome.
posted by rtha at 12:59 PM on September 2 [1 favorite]


This is amazing. You're amazing. I am amazed.

Seconded!
posted by bendy at 1:39 PM on September 2


In terms of long threads would it be possible to load say, a maximum of 1000 comments at a time then include a links to next and previous page that would load the next 1000? This would also make it easier to read these threads on a phone or tablet especially when away from wifi. From a technical standpoint I don't think this would be that difficult and would probably be beneficial in terms of server traffic load. Chances are, many people don't read past the first 1000 comments. It could be helpful for people with data limits too.

I always forget to mark the last comment I read and find myself scrolling through thousands of comments I've already read to get back to where I was. It would be easier to load the just the page I was on when I stopped. Much of my MeFi reading these days is while I'm on public transportation or in waiting rooms and while I'd love to keep up with the current political thread it's just not practical.
posted by bendy at 1:55 PM on September 2 [2 favorites]


I follow Metafilter political threads instead of trying to get my political news by myself. The links and sources have been vetted by a community that I basically trust to have high standards.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 1:57 PM on September 2 [12 favorites]


bendy - having page breaks would make searching for links more difficult (*edit: to avoid posting duplicates).

As for resuming threads, I email myself (right click, Copy Link Location) the link to the timestamp (ie., 1:57 PM posted by The Underpants Monster).

When resuming thread, I right click the link in the email (ie., http://metatalk.metafilter.com/24519/POTUS45-on-Metafilter-I-may-have-got-a-bit-nerdy#1283053) and it'll start the page at The Underpants Monster's post.
posted by porpoise at 2:02 PM on September 2 [2 favorites]


9,230,306 words

Most of us cannot get a grasp on what 9.2 million words feels like, so may I point out is is a bit over five of the published A Song Of Ice and Fire to date, 16.4 Atlas Shruggeds, just over nineteen Infinite Jests, 93 To Kill A Mockingbirds, 115 Paradise Losts (Paradises Lost?), 307 Hamlets or just under 34,000 Gettysburg Addresses.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 6:55 PM on September 2 [9 favorites]


(34,000 Gettysburg Addresses being a thing I think everyone can imagine easily.)
posted by ricochet biscuit at 6:58 PM on September 2 [3 favorites]


115 Paradise Losts (Paradises Lost?)

Fourdise Lost.
posted by Chrysostom at 8:30 PM on September 2 [3 favorites]


That's just 1,700 score Gettysburg Addresses! (Gettysburgs Address?)
posted by zachlipton at 1:41 AM on September 3 [7 favorites]


If you read the threads at a leisurely one second per word for sixteen hours a day and you were to start right now, you would finish up on March 10th.

I am surprised more of us are not tehhund.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 8:42 AM on September 3 [3 favorites]


Of course, I am assuming the word count is only the comments themselves and not the time/date/"posted by" field. If that is supplementary and you were reading all those as well, that would add to the totals. I don't want to point fingers, but in this scenario, you might wind up with some resentment towards e.g. a box and a string and a stick and a bear.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 8:50 AM on September 3


If you read the threads at a leisurely one second per word for sixteen hours a day and you were to start right now, you would finish up on March 10th.

Ah, but at the rate of increase in the number of words to read (they will be added as I'm spending one second per previous word), the catchup date will be...bad.
posted by rhizome at 7:06 PM on September 3


Cortex: I would guess that is a mean and not median value, with the median being significantly lower for all three of those values.

Correct. It's a very steep Lorenz curve for all three measures - hit 90% for all of them by 433rd author, and 95% by 663 out of 2,291. Median values are 6 comments, 336 words and 82 favourites. Can't see who actually favourited, but my theory is that there's a lot more regular readers/favouriters than writers.

Secret Life of Gravy:
Wow I was really surprised to see I had written the 2nd most number of words. But I was not on the list of 10 ten number of favorites so that tells me I should write less for sure.

Don't be hard on yourself, you were number 11....! Just tells me that you write longer comments. Average is 66 words, your average is 118. So long as they're not mainly the word 'fuck' written 118 times, I think that's a good thing.

darkstar: I was wondering about stats on who is posting the threads themselves. I just realized I've posted five of them (more recently) and I'm beginning to wonder if I'm providing a service in doing so or perpetuating a problem. :-/

Personally I'd go with providing a service. Someone has to put together a new one, otherwise the thread just starts grinding to a halt on technical grounds. Threads have been posted by the following:

AlexiaSky - The Grandest Stage of Them All - 2,756
Coventry - Tyrants v. the endurance of those whom they oppress. - 2,173
darkstar - The Widening Gyre - 2,894
darkstar - So long, and thanks for all the fish! - 3,065
darkstar - The frogurt is also cursed. - 2,899
darkstar - Reacting swiftly, Mayor Quimby has declared Mob Rule. - 3,108
darkstar - Twirling, twirling, twirling towards freedom! - 1,142
Excommunicated Cardinal - Obstruction of Justice, Witness Intimidation, Oh My! - 3,146
Excommunicated Cardinal - The Sessions Sessions: The Confederate General Babbles Before Congress - 3,168
Excommunicated Cardinal - Georgia on My Mind: All Bets are Ossoff - 3,092
Excommunicated Cardinal - "There's a good chance I may have committed some light...treason." - 3,602
fedward - We're Going to Build a Wall (No Guarantee It Will Hold) - 2,643
filthy light thief - Feed the Tamagotchi or democracy dies - 2,906
filthy light thief - We gave you power, we can take it away. Watch us. - 2,980
filthy light thief - It has been _0_ days since the last Trump disaster - 3,435
filthy light thief - It's day 162 with POTUS45, marking another helluva week in US news - 2,992
jferg - He's been up all night listening to Mohammed's radio... - 3,333
Johnny Wallflower - Rebellion has its roots in government's indifference and incompetence. - 2,506
lalex - this kid is insane, man - 3,110
lalex - a problem occurred with this country so it was reloaded - 3,158
martin q blank - Full of sound and fury/ Signifying, umm, what? - 3,374
murphy slaw - I Have A Very Good Brain And I've Said A Lot Of Things - 3,150
murphy slaw - 88 Lines About The 45th President - 2,808
roomthreeseventeen - No new information for those who have been paying attention. - 3,999
roomthreeseventeen - Building a Cabinet - 3,105
roomthreeseventeen - Demoralizing and disheartening times. - 2,941
roomthreeseventeen - "Kellyanne, that makes no sense." - 2,860
roomthreeseventeen - State of a divided union - 2,701
roomthreeseventeen - The Trump administration dons a tinfoil hat - 2,684
saturday_morning - Team of Revileds - 3,438
Sleeper - The Trump roundup - 3,012
snuffleupagus - The Penultimate Week - 3,273
Talez - We Are Only One Menstrual Cycle in and There Is Blood in the Water - 2,411
Talez - The Russian Thread Reset - 1,686
triggerfinger - It's Constituent Work Week! - 2,595
triggerfinger - "Are my methods unsound?" "I don't see any method at all, sir." - 2,936
Wordshore - After the 2016 US election - 2,649
Wordshore - The nation that destroys its soil destroys itself: after the US election - 3,278
Wordshore - I still wake up and remember who is the President-elect - 2,773
Wordshore - Our first Magic 8-Ball president. - 2,594
Wordshore - "He has neither the temperament nor the judgment to be president" - 2,431
Wordshore - You can't count votes that never got a chance to be cast - 2,772
Wordshore - Delegate decision day: does Dudley Dudley derail Donald's dystopia? - 2,773
Wordshore - 2864974 - 3,598
Wordshore - The inauguration of the 45th President of the United States of America - 3,320
Wordshore - An interesting week of politics has occurred in a former British colony - 3,235
zachlipton - Did you see the politics? It made me angry. - 2,310
zachlipton - "It's fake news until it's old news" - 3,068
Cortex: It's also such a structurally weird problem, where there's a cost of new threads that they tend to have a burst of "yay it's a new thread" activity as well as potentially immediately taking up a rehash of one or another current point of argument that had gone on fairly long in the previous thread. So the new thread might spend it's first couple hundred comments just sort of...automatically filling up, and then things carry on from there. Like a hefty fee on a transaction, we've sort of lost the first 10% or so as a startup cost.

There's definitely some boost in activity for a new thread, but I think it's not the main reason. Normalised for weekday, and it looks to me that most new threads follow a spike in activity in the predecessor. Something newsworthy happens, the old thread spikes but is held back a bit by the size barrier, then the new one is posted and it spikes further because people can actually write and comment at a usable pace. If I had a bit more granularity than day, I'd look to see what the comment rates are before/after in total, but I don't think day is granular enough with the speed.

ricochet biscuit: Of course, I am assuming the word count is only the comments themselves and not the time/date/"posted by" field. If that is supplementary and you were reading all those as well, that would add to the totals. I don't want to point fingers, but in this scenario, you might wind up with some resentment towards e.g. a box and a string and a stick and a bear.

Aye, just the comment contents, and not the info below.
posted by MattWPBS at 4:29 AM on September 4 [2 favorites]


The thing I was actually most surprised about with this was the top ten favourites. I was expecting a lot more short/funny comments in there, but nine out of the top ten are serious lengthy contributions. Feel that this is kind of a good indicator of the quality of the conversation, and how the community is valuing stuff.
posted by MattWPBS at 4:40 AM on September 4 [2 favorites]


rhizome: Ah, but at the rate of increase in the number of words to read (they will be added as I'm spending one second per previous word), the catchup date will be...bad.

Last week's worth were adding at an average of 23,564 per day. Given that, we're probably talking about start of June 2018 to catch up. To keep parity from now onwards at a rate of one word a second, need to spend 6 and a half hours reading. Saying that, apparently typical readers are about 200 wpm. So for a typical reader, only need just under a couple of hours a day to read everything new in the threads. That typical reader could start from the start of After the 2016 US election and be up to date by the end of this October.

(assuming no major increase in comment traffic from, say, an impeachment)
(or decrease from, say, thermonuclear war)
(does anyone know the typical reading rate for a cockroach?)

posted by MattWPBS at 4:54 AM on September 4 [2 favorites]


> my theory is that there's a lot more regular readers/favouriters than writers.

Yeah, I read and favorite but don't comment (for the sake of my sanity).
posted by languagehat at 8:26 AM on September 4 [5 favorites]


aw yiss my comment made the list, give me that internet approval for I have nothing else


I go through cycles of frequent reading and commenting but it will consume my life if I let it so I try not to.
posted by schroedinger at 1:18 PM on September 4 [1 favorite]


I wonder, if there was a posting limit per day for each member in these threads (a generous one, say ten comments), would this encourage a little posting restraint across the board, in the same way that I never use my AskMe quota because I'm afraid of needing it more, later. It would probably cut down on some of the one-liners and noise and me-toos and redundant live-blogging.

I know this is not MetaFilter tradition, or whatever, but I share the general feeling the megathreads are harming the site.
posted by Rumple at 2:12 PM on September 4


I know this is not MetaFilter tradition, or whatever, but I share the general feeling the megathreads are harming the site.

serious question, is this the general feeling?
posted by lalex at 2:18 PM on September 4 [2 favorites]


It's only my feeling of the general feeling, so yeah, I actually don't know.
posted by Rumple at 2:20 PM on September 4


I think there's sort of a question of causation here. The time I spend on the megathreads isn't time that's taken away from other areas of the site. I'm in those threads because the current U.S. politics horror show is what's on my mind, constantly, and MetaFilter is a place I come to talk with other members of the community about what's on my mind.

If those threads ceased to exist, or became more suppressed with a comment limit etc., I'd spend my time in another place where I could continue to talk freely. tbh the megathreads have probably increased my engagement in other areas of MetaFilter at a time when I would otherwise have been pulling back.
posted by lalex at 2:34 PM on September 4 [11 favorites]


There's clearly a felt need to have a place to share news and opinions, as well as express general outrage and frustration, on US politics since Trump took office. And a lot of folks have expressed that the Megathreads serve that function in a way better than other venues. So for those folks, it's probably not harming the site, but making it more useful.

However, it's also been pointed out that it takes a technical toll on the site, tends to dry up some members' participation elsewhere on the Blue, and may serve as an orchestration of tension, rather than promoting true catharsis or activism. So in those ways, it's perhaps less constructive.

In short, the Megathread is a land of contrasts.

I suppose we might, as a community, come to the point where we collectively sigh and say "enough" and let go of our angst enough that we don't feel the need to have a perpetual, running commentary on how terrible the Trump admin is, and what his cock-up of the day has been.

We might, for example, allow ourselves the latitude of posting new threads when there is a particular, topical issue that demands a new post - e.g., Charlottesville, or Hurricane Harvey, or the North Korea test, or DACA repeal, or soon (god help us) the 2018 Election threads - but decide we're okay without another catch-all Trumpnado shitstorm thread.

Not to be prescriptivist, but I think that for myself, November will mark a year since Trump was elected. I probably don't need to be marinating in his disastrous reign day-to-day any longer than that. I think - other than interacting on specific topic threads - I'm going to set a goal to wean myself off of the Megathread by then. For the site as well as for my own peace of mind.
posted by darkstar at 2:44 PM on September 4 [2 favorites]


Ah, but at the rate of increase in the number of words to read (they will be added as I'm spending one second per previous word), the catchup date will be...bad.

I regret to report that Zeno is already taken as a user name. Looks like the guy registered it thirteen years ago and has never posted it favorited a thing since then. Imagine how long it is going to take him to catch up.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 8:04 PM on September 4 [3 favorites]


In a similar exercise - an alphabetical list of moderator comments from the cited threads. I count 451 with a distressing degree of repetition. There has got to be an easier way to make a living. Thank you.
posted by mce at 10:09 AM on September 5 [3 favorites]


A fun parlor game would be to see if you can identify which mod made which comment! I think we've all absorbed enough of each other's tics (and, frankly, all of Jessamyn's) to make it a challenge.
posted by restless_nomad (staff) at 10:37 AM on September 5 [1 favorite]


MetaFilter: A couple deleted.
posted by zachlipton at 11:01 AM on September 5 [3 favorites]


Eleven of them with the word fragment "relitigat".
posted by darkstar at 11:47 AM on September 5 [3 favorites]


Oh wow. This is a behemoth, both in terms of the threads themselves and the incredible datawankery. Thanks man!

Ironically, running a politics newsletter means I've had to be super judicious about how much time I spend chasing after news stories because it's just so easy to drown in all the outrageous detail. I remember entire lectures where I was just looking at Twitter feeling my blood boil over, and not every story of how awful everything is is worth passing along, so I've basically stopped participating in politics threads except to occasionally favourite something if it gets linked from Twitter. Looking at these stats makes me think that that was probably the right decision for me personally if for no other reason than I hardly slept the past nine months to begin with. I dunno how I would've fared reading another 34,000 Addresses Gettysburg on top of that.

I have had to start listening to audiobooks to fall asleep to soothe my anxiety, so if someone would like to ASMR these threads...
posted by Phire at 2:23 AM on September 6 [2 favorites]


DarkStar: We might, for example, allow ourselves the latitude of posting new threads when there is a particular, topical issue that demands a new post - e.g., Charlottesville, or Hurricane Harvey, or the North Korea test, or DACA repeal, or soon (god help us) the 2018 Election threads - but decide we're okay without another catch-all Trumpnado shitstorm thread.

Those four events:
Charlottesville - 12th August.
Harvey - 25th August.
Korea test - 29th August.
DACA - 5th September.

Last four threads:
The frogurt is also cursed - 11th August
Reacting swiftly, Mayor Quimby has declared Mob Rule - 18th August
Twirling, twirling, twirling towards freedom! - 27th August
And I'll go into people's houses at night and wreck up the place! - 4th September

I think POTUS45 is actually managing to create issues or events that could merit a post in normal times faster than we're cycling through the megathreads.
posted by MattWPBS at 3:14 AM on September 6 [3 favorites]


Well, that's the hope, anyway: that someday soonish, the sheer volume of FPP-worthy outrage -- that Trump either instigates or greatly inflames -- will settle into a tolerable phenomenon of merely episodic carnage, rather than one long, multimodal crisis of shifting focus and unrelenting intensity.

As someone mentioned in the Megathread today, it's a "slimmer of hope", but it's what I'm working with right now.
posted by darkstar at 12:46 PM on September 6 [2 favorites]


Does anyone know why all twitter links on the site don't load for me? They say I am "rate limited."
posted by agregoli at 6:45 PM on September 6


Basically Twitter sucks is why, I always get the "rate limited" or "sorry, you're not authorized to view these tweets" or "sorry, Twitter is taking too long to load" messages and have to refresh to get it to load correctly.
posted by jason_steakums at 6:50 PM on September 6


Yeah I don't get it...and its really fruatrating when everyone in the thread is talking about a photo I can't see.
posted by agregoli at 7:10 PM on September 6


Twitter says this:
In order to control abuse, Twitter limits how often you can search from a single network address.

If you access Twitter from a corporation, event or conference, you may be sharing the same network address with many people. In some of these cases, you may run into an issue with Twitter search rate limiting.
Might that apply to your situation(s)?
posted by mosst at 8:04 AM on September 7 [1 favorite]


There are also rate limits related to the APIs, but I assume that's not the issue if you're talking about issues with twitter proper.
posted by mosst at 8:05 AM on September 7


That does not apply to my situation so I'm even more bwah?
posted by agregoli at 9:02 AM on September 7


So.... I got to thinking at bedtime last night that the corpus of POTUS45 comments could provide a reasonable starting point for a markov chain text generator.

Sigh.

In the off case that the threads ever die and one is needing a fix here are the first 20 results generated from my (very poorly optimized) script:

1) Maybe things will be swayed by anything he did it to be a naked political ploy to get him to end up in force in parallel with Trump .

2) I asked the question is currently being roasted for doing their damn pajamas.

3) Everytime I hear someone say Does President Trump s move to the upper echelons of society is currently hidden away by the Communist Party,

4) I've said this in the world is better than Infrastructure Week.

5) This is a career of public trust, and a not very nice to them or further signs of yet.

6) So, as Donald Trump pulls US out of the saddest of all three branches of American history has shown a lot of talented and

7) Protest at

8) I know that this action can the rest of your comment. Did I miss it when my argument for this hearing indicated that they were both in scope or in this neighborhood

9) Joe Scarborough is having the power of the electorate for

10) May he is, he added, that s going to think King is a Nation divided on policies, we are in a long term, the DPRK trying so hard to quote this, Mr. Bannon s struggle to keep in mind when we marched against the ruling on a Damn Mission and I just want to tell his marks that this was done with this project?

11) Come on, I don't give a shit about that I knew that at the Treasury Department,

12) I have absolutely no surprise that he's all right. Epic bullshit.

13) Donald Trump at this time. This is just good name for the top and she was an indirect command to the Republican primary. It's great if people in my mind that this fills me with.

14) Too late to do ,

15) So what is going to have won arguments but no matter what Trump has told lawmakers he

16) FWIW, DJT's sad attempt to impose our

17) I was contacted by the campaign from the stars, they come out against hatred and name them

18) It may be actually

19) But I also wonder if his claim that he has not even sure they know it, and I saw there were always some multiple of Confederate monuments and

20) Yesterday, I drove home and my guess is Fox News interview scheduled to fly in the U.S. and Germany in 1933

That is all.
posted by mce at 10:28 AM on September 11 [3 favorites]


« Older 132: During Pre-Roll We Talked About The Dacia   |   Burbank (L.A.) wildfire check-in Newer »

You are not logged in, either login or create an account to post comments