Join 3,374 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)

MetaFilter quality declines while stupidity is on the rise
July 11, 2001 4:46 PM   Subscribe

Point CounterPoint - When I first came here, there was some serious discourse on topics. In the last year, this has simply decended into stupid banter (right-vs-left, SUV-vs-environment).

OK, the arguments are fine. However, the nature of the arguer has changed here on MeFi. No longer do we have people with a view. Now we get the reply post that goes after the poster and not the idea.

OK, I am tired. Been a long day and I can't really articulate this fully. In a short sentence: Mefi, despite the intelligence of its users, is looking pretty damn stupid these days.

Argue the point, not the person (or ideolgy)

(drawing concentric circles on my chest)
[Ok, I have only recently registered with MeFi. However, I have been online since the mid 80s, so cut me a little slack.]
posted by sardines to Etiquette/Policy at 4:46 PM (48 comments total)

thank you sardines. I've noticed it too, and I don't even post to certain threads as a result. it's tiring me out.

I love a good discussion; I love a good, spirited debate. but what I see here more and more is personal attack after personal attack. there used to be ideas bandied about, built up and torn down.

when people start posting things like "I just want to say, this has been a really civilized discussion - good job" you know that the board as a whole is in trouble. - rcb
posted by rebeccablood at 5:04 PM on July 11, 2001


RCB - (I wrote my own reply before I saw yours. I hope it is not too weird)

RCB - thank you. I am so relieved to know that this is not a Fig Newton of my imagination.

Look. I am not going to pull a Rodney King, wobbly voice thing about getting along. No I just wish that we could have a level of respect for each other. That is all.

In fact, I am glad we all don;t get along. That is what makes it so cool. Woo Hoo!

**originalreplytomyownpostandisthisamefinono?****
Last night, I had an argument with a friend about immigration in the USA. It was heated to say the least. We screamed so loud that we were asked to be quiet by the retaurant staff( which we did). However, at no time did I ever belittle him because of his beliefs. At the end of the night we shook hands. We had a great meal and it was over. No doubt we will yell at each other again.

The point is this - we argued, but we respected each other's ground. Done deal. And in a couple of days, we are going to drink whisky again together and we will probably yell at each other again. BFD.

And he going to be my friend forever.

The Point? We got into it. We declared our beliefs. We put it in our pockets. We moved on.

*******************

I don't want to get into the linking of posts where someone was less than nice. We all have read it before and know what is going on. here on MeFi, it is not about being nice necessarily, but being intelligent.

Like I said in the topic header, this board is "Looking pretty damn stupid these days."

Argue the point. If you have nothing else to add, then get the hell out. There will always be a counterpoint person yelling louder and longer than you after you leave. Take solace in the fact that you stated your point. Period.

OK - I think I did 5 posts today. that is fucked up. I have to bang on some network shit. See you around Xmas time. Later gators.

KOKO

S
posted by sardines at 5:33 PM on July 11, 2001


er...."And he going to be my friend forever."

correction: and he is going to be my friend forever.

and I can correct this because I am schmart.

[smug look]
posted by sardines at 5:38 PM on July 11, 2001


I've been thinking of posting along these lines myself for the past couple of days. It seems like it's harder and harder to get a good discussion going without resorting to name-calling and hair-pulling, especially on volatile issues. Personally, I thought that raymj's behavior in both of the other threads was clearly inappropriate. Look at the rest of the metafilter thread, and then notice what happened when raymj posted... the whole thing has since dissolved.

So, what should we do about it? Well, as silly as it sounds, it seems to me that threads like this one are a good start. Metafilter is a self-regulating community, and the only way to change the culture of an online community is to post. Post what the culture should be. Politely and respectfully reprimand people when they don't live up to our ideals. Etc, etc.

I hope that someone else has a better solution. I just wanted to voice my support for the notion that Metafilter should be about attacking IDEAS, not people.
posted by gd779 at 5:54 PM on July 11, 2001


i think that this problem is more related to population density than to one or two bad apples. there are more feelings out there to be hurt on mefi. i'm not sure if there's a solution, really. there are some things like this thread where the point pretty much is let's all fling turds at each other. i think this kind of thread is pretty irresponsible; it's not much different than a linkless post, in that it's a mass invite for argument without any real outside reason for it.

but then there are threads such as the exec-worker pay gap. consider the first post, with aaron's snipe "so?"; that's not so bad as it was rude (i happen to agree with doug's assessment). but it gets worse. and worse still.

david comments that he feels that the thread was an attempt at class warfare, and as was mentioned above, aaron feels that the thread was political. my issue is that the thread was begun with a link that was not an op-ed piece, and yet people assumed that the piece was political and once one or two sabers had been drawn, the war was on. that's all it takes, really.

and i won't blame aaron or david. it could have been anyone who said something. i blame the undercurrent that there is a war on metafilter, an ongoing battle between left versus right that never ends with any particular thread, but which drags on and on, endlessly. it's this war fought in the subtext of metafilter which needs to stop, in my opinion.
posted by moz at 6:30 PM on July 11, 2001


and, let me just add in parting that i think it's pretty ironic that gd here believes metafilter ought to be about attacking. is that really what the point of metafilter should be?
posted by moz at 6:32 PM on July 11, 2001



posted by moz at 6:32 PM on July 11, 2001


gd779: Aaron's post meets the classic definition of a troll, as mentioned earlier. He posted that first, but is exused by you for whatever reason. Maybe I shouldn't bother with aaron, but he deserved to get called on that in some fashion. It was unfactual, purely ideological and offensive - not to all here, but so what? Is a majority vote as to offensiveness required? Why does aaron get away with that day after day? A refusal to rock the boat does not make one "civilized." It never has.

posted by raysmj at 6:40 PM on July 11, 2001


My last comment appearantly wasn't very clear, so I'll post once more and then I'll give everybody else a chance to talk. I don't think that Metafilter should be about attacking, even when somebody does something that you consider to be offensive (like trolling). In fact, that's why I used raysmj as an example... the point is that he took the correct action (correcting what was he considered to be a troll on aaron's part) but did it in the WRONG way. Even when we think that somebody's "breaking the rules", we should try to point it out politely and respectfully. Generally, that's enough (especially if a bunch of people all chime in). Attacking doesn't come in there anywhere.

Though there are several reasons for this, one good reason is that a post interperted to be trolling by one person is often NOT intended that way. I had that happen once myself, and I'm betting (though I could be wrong) that this is what happened with aaron. There's no need to get hostile about it... that only spawns more hostility, which leads to more hostility, which leads to more hostility, ad nausium. Instead, assume the best of the person and be respectful... but DO point it out.

I hope that makes some more sense.
posted by gd779 at 6:57 PM on July 11, 2001


Wait, wait, wait. A post starts with 'Metafilter seems to slant liberal', contains the words 'Nader', 'Dubya', 'Bush', and 'idiot', and it's a surprise that it's eventually going to turn into a fightin' ideologies cesspit?

raysmj: You were the first one to launch into personal attacks and sarcasm re 'more education = more liberal'. All other respondees attempted to address the argument and not the person. Please explain how it fits the 'classic definition of a troll'.
posted by darukaru at 7:02 PM on July 11, 2001


Look at aaron's post. Also, mentioned earlier that I happen to be one of the sorts of persons he was writing about. darukaru: There was minimal to no factual basis for what he was saying. It was like saying that all doctors are out for themselves, are from wealthy families, rip off patients, barely work and play golf all the time. But do you know what they go through? (I've felt sorry for more than a couple of docs who treated me -- it's a busload of work, little thanks, money you don't have time to spend and now insurance company harassment.) Aaron's post was further akin to saying that all blacks are on welfare, or that all Christians suck, that all business people are greedy and soulless or whatnot. And he got sensitive, and to a large extent rightfully so, about the obesity thread. It wasn't the "more liberals" thing that I found offensive. It was his answer as to the "why," which he had to know wasn't true.

posted by raysmj at 7:30 PM on July 11, 2001


Look at aaron's post. Also, mentioned earlier that I happen to be one of the sorts of persons he was writing about. darukaru: There was minimal to no factual basis for what he was saying

Well, neither one of you actually cited any independent facts if you really want to nitpick. In any event, it was you, not him, who started in with the name calling.
posted by ljromanoff at 7:52 PM on July 11, 2001


I haven't been around too long, but for what it's worth :

Mebbe we oughta just get back to meta-filtering and arguing about the tasty bits that fall through the mesh, rather than meta-arguing (ie this metatalk thread = arguing about how we ought to be arguing), and then arguing about the meta-argument. I for one love a good meta-meta-argument, but I'm starting to be a little afraid of disappearing up my own butt.

I mean, I know that's one of the purposes of metatalk, but holy navel-gazing, Batman!

*this is not a troll*
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 8:07 PM on July 11, 2001


ljr: It was a troll. I called him a troll. That was calling a spade a spade. You want sensitivity about your side of an issue or to your way of being - not that I think there are as clear-cut "sides' to most issues as some want or would like for us to believe - then don't print such impossibly silly things about others. And what independent facts was I supposed to have? The Ford Foundation or something? Does a former CNN employee and apparently well-read person really need to know that relatively few academics are in university housing, that state universities are run by states and not the "Big Government" of Uncle Sam? That not all, and maybe not even the majority, of doctoral students receive federal loans, which have to be paid back anyway (which, by the way, plenty of businesses get - either straight loans or backed loans)? That millions in grants come from private sources? Or that many private schools, including those of the Ivy League, have liberal faculty, etc.? That plenty of academics love what they do, and see it as a calling? That was a troll.
posted by raysmj at 8:11 PM on July 11, 2001


ljr: It was a troll. I called him a troll. That was calling a spade a spade. You want sensitivity about your side of an issue or to your way of being - not that I think there are as clear-cut "sides' to most issues as some want or would like for us to believe - then don't print such impossibly silly things about others. And what independent facts was I supposed to have?

Believe it or not, Ray, I honestly don't really there's anything wrong with your somewhat fact-free post, since both your post and aaron's were primarily opinion. However, both you and holgate have used aaron's lack of 'facts' as a justification of labelling him a 'troll' merely because he has an opinion that you do not share.

Frankly, I don't even mind a little spirited name calling. But troll? I think you know better than that. A true 'troll' would post something so wantonly outrageous that most everyone would see through it, and then he would never return. Aaron, being a MeFi regular, is no troll.

Oh, and incidentally, I really don't need any 'sensitivity' about my opinions or worldview. I will happily take the nastiest, mean spirited comments you have to offer.

As you well know.
posted by ljromanoff at 8:28 PM on July 11, 2001


ljr: The sensitivity bit wasn't addressed to you so much as people like aaron who've petulantly demanded it from others - who've asked that a broad brush be put aside, usually because a comment has touched a personal nerve.
posted by raysmj at 8:43 PM on July 11, 2001


Why does aaron get away with that day after day?

I don't. You're lying. I get ripped to shreds in MetaTalk on a near-daily basis.
posted by aaron at 8:57 PM on July 11, 2001



I’m always two millimeters from having my own metatalk thread.


aaron: I don't. You're lying. I get ripped to shreds in MetaTalk on a near-daily basis.

And you’ve yet to see why you anger so many people. That’s a tragedy from someone with your intelligence.


Say, ray. Apparently I wasn’t as personally offended by aaron’s statement, but I can see why you are, and I have been. (However, I think I hold the record for getting people to say “Fuck you!” Which is sad. And funny, in a sad way.)

On the other hand, if you are responsible, you should apologize. I know at least one of the people that asked me for sex I’m on friendly terms with. Can’t really ask for more. (Never did get to fuck um.)

I’ve found the best way to deal with offensive remarks (which he does have a certain panache for), is to calmly point out why he’s wrong and move on. If your point is incisive, usually people will reply to it. Perhaps not the person you are responding to, but I’ve seen a lot of “Good point, mang.”

Someone else said, “Never enter into a conversation thinking you’re going to sway the person you are responding to.” You might sway someone who is lurking, if you remain civil and lucid. You simply won’t if you resort to name-calling. In fact, I typed in a response right after I saw your post that went: “Ray, may I suggest less caffiene and more hugs.” I’m glad I didn’t post it, the thread is dead.

I’ve also seen people with pretty irrefutable evidence get completely ignored. I take that as bad timing or irrefutable logic, because I have a hell of an ego.

I’d like you to take note of the next sentence. The last word is not the best word.

There were always be people you disagree with, always people that don’t like you for one reason another. You can only hope to achieve some level of grace when dealing with them.

I’m done being patronizing, I have to go talk to those uber-liberal military vets about unionizing fruit workers. They rely on government, so they must be liberal, right?

(sorry, couldn’t let it slide.)

posted by capt.crackpipe at 9:13 PM on July 11, 2001


Aaron: Or maybe exaggerating, but lying? You posted "So?" at the beginning of a post recently - the single rudest thing I've ever seen on metafilter, largely for its coming at the beginning of a thread and really being nothing more than patronizing - and I didn't see you taken much to task until this thread. I admit that had me miffed at you, even if I wasn't a participant in the thread. There have been a few other recent instances of baiting (can't recall offhand, and your messages take forever to get through at my Net speed). But that one took the cake. I didn't get it at all.
posted by raysmj at 9:15 PM on July 11, 2001


cap'n: If it sounded too biting or out there, sorry. (I have a way of making myself sound more angry than I really am. I don't even notice it.) But that was definitely a troll. I apologize for calling aaron a troll, but not calling his note one. Also, if he'll cut back on the demagoguery and deliver the sort of sensitivity he expects from others, it won't happen again. Promise.
posted by raysmj at 9:21 PM on July 11, 2001


Wait, wait, wait. A post starts with 'Metafilter seems to slant liberal', contains the words 'Nader', 'Dubya', 'Bush', and 'idiot', and it's a surprise that it's eventually going to turn into a fightin' ideologies cesspit?

It's almost as if I didn't author that post. Or if I did, people selectively read it. It was, coming from me, an extremely fair worded blurb. I cannot fathom how such a ruckus came about. Perhaps I take a lesson in tact?

Yet myself, eternally liberal, phrased the "headline" as : "Metafilter seems to slant liberal and other favoritisms", invites some self criticism for liberals, I thought. Believe it or not, that's how I meant it.

One of the things most notable of MeFi is its inclusiveness, as long as you mind your ethical manners. One could tirade about Resident Dubya Moronic Fratboy in public at another venue, but here it's different. We feed off each other. In fact we need each other to make this a vibrant, interesting, democratic place--not just a place of political incrowds who bitch and are occasionally interrupted with a fanatical conservative flame/troll. . .or vice versa. We could have aaron or ljr OR we could have bushwongetoveritpinkofaggots posting. Here-Here for civility.




posted by crasspastor at 10:35 PM on July 11, 2001


It's almost as if I didn't author that post.

Author the THREAD in QUESTION. . .I should have said.
posted by crasspastor at 10:37 PM on July 11, 2001


I don't. You're lying. I get ripped to shreds in MetaTalk on a near-daily basis.

Ray may be wrong, but that doesn't mean he's lying. (I must admit I did a little doubletake when he said you got off easy here. On the other hand, "near-daily basis" is a bit hyperbolic too.)

Ray: you're a good guy, but you went a little nuts on this one. I've gone berserk on here a couple times, I know how easy it is. I'm not saying that you weren't provoked (a little), but it's only a website. You (we, them, people) have better things to do than get in flame wars on the net.
posted by rodii at 10:38 PM on July 11, 2001


rodii: Oh, I know, but now I can't stop typing! Make me stop! Crass has me looking up "Clinton" and "blow" in Google, already.
posted by raysmj at 10:45 PM on July 11, 2001


I just think the April 26 2000 entry is fuh-nee.

BTW, no offense intended, Aaron. I kind of enjoy the fireworks that shoot around here once in a while, some of which you seem to light off, hopefully with some degree of glee...
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 11:14 PM on July 11, 2001


You posted "So?" at the beginning of a post recently - the single rudest thing I've ever seen on metafilter, largely for its coming at the beginning of a thread and really being nothing more than patronizing

I've got to disagree with you again, Ray. Sometimes a simple "So?" is the logical response to someone attempting to drum up some sort of moral outrage and something that doesn't deserve it.

And this three concurrent thread thing is great! It's like juggling.
posted by ljromanoff at 5:34 AM on July 12, 2001


'at' not 'and'. Just woke up.
posted by ljromanoff at 5:34 AM on July 12, 2001


However, both you and holgate have used aaron's lack of 'facts' as a justification of labelling him a 'troll' merely because he has an opinion that you do not share.

Again, that's an oversimplification. Had aaron's post demonstrated even the tiniest acquaintance with the day-to-day workings of the profession he declared "reliant" upon the state, I doubt it would have provoked such a response. Had its neat little argument been conducted in anything other than utter generalisations, it would have been possible to engage with its assumptions. It's like saying "all fat people are greedy, because the only way to get fat is to eat too much." There's basically no way to reply to that presumption, other than to say "you have no idea what you're talking about."

But I'm happy to substitute "flamebait" for "troll". And rather than follow three concurrent threads, I'm going to let others do the juggling.
posted by holgate at 5:50 AM on July 12, 2001


ljr: That the article was posted as a means of drumming up a moral response is total assumption on your part, or aaron's part or anyone else's, and you know what coaches say about assuming. What was posted was factual. If a person thought the facts normal or not unexpected, he or she could have stated the reasons for its being so without being utterly rude.
posted by raysmj at 6:56 AM on July 12, 2001


ljr: That the article was posted as a means of drumming up a moral response is total assumption on your part

Perhaps an assumption, but I believe an accurate one for several reasons. One, I've become very familiar with the ideology of the person who posted it. Two, it seems highly unlikely that anyone would post a link on metafilter to a economic news story if they weren't doing so in order to express a viewpoint. Three, crasspastor himself later on comments on his own link making some moral arguments about the nature of the article.

What was posted was factual.

True, but it was posted as an expression of opinion, not merely as an interesting 'fact' There's a difference between posting an article like that and posting one that says studies show men prefer blue neckties, for example.


posted by ljromanoff at 8:00 AM on July 12, 2001


Again, that's an oversimplification. Had aaron's post demonstrated even the tiniest acquaintance with the day-to-day workings of the profession he declared "reliant" upon the state, I doubt it would have provoked such a response.

I might buy that from raysmj, he knows his own motivations. You do not.
posted by ljromanoff at 8:02 AM on July 12, 2001


It's almost as if I didn't author that post. Or if I did, people selectively read it. It was, coming from me, an extremely fair worded blurb. I cannot fathom how such a ruckus came about.

I'm sorry, crasspastor, but that statement is ridiculous. If you did not foresee a ruckus developing out of your post, you either purposefully did not think about the consequences, or you are so naive that I would like to discuss a certain Brooklyn Bridge real estate deal with you. 20% off if you act now. I'm willing to go with naivete, but your statement there falls somewhere along the lines of "When I dropped the ball, I didn't know it was going to fall. I cannot fathom how gravity happened."

I didn't see the thread until it had 70+ posts, but before I read any of them, I groaned and knew what was coming. I suggested MetaTalking it because I knew that it could not help but turn nasty. I also didn't think it met the requirements of a MeFi front-page post, but I wouldn't have bothered noting that had it not been for the mess that was certain to follow.

The problem with ad hominem attacks around here generally stems from misapprehension. Almost no one here will make an ad hominem remark unless it's in response to what he or she perceives as an ad hominem directed at him or her. Insensitive remarks, outrageous opinions, and arguments unsupported by fact are not, in and of themselves, ad hominem attacks.

If someone makes a remarks about academia, for example, and you happen to be an academic, he is not, generally speaking, attacking you personally. If you take it personally and reply in kind, then it's going to get increasingly personal and nasty. Calling someone a troll, for example, is pretty much always an ad hominem attack, even if you say that you meant the remark and not the person. That distinction is meaningless. One can't troll unless one is a troll.

Aaron is not a troll. He can be insensitive when he's posting, and he can be overly sensitive in interpreting remarks made at him, but his posts are always sincere, and he really does not post his opinion in order to get vitriolic replies. He's just saying what he thinks.

I do think that Aaron is something of an ideologue. I do not mean that as an insult. I simply mean that on almost every political matter, I can predict what his position will be. There are plenty of liberal ideologues here as well. There is nothing wrong with being an ideologue. It does, however, tend to grate on people from the opposite camp, and it raises the level of sensitivity, which is generally not helpful.

I see that a lot of people around here don't like Aaron, and that their responses to particular posts of his are colored by his history of posting. That is an understandable response, but it's not logically defensible.

If Aaron posts something that is not based in fact, the appropriate response is not vituperation. You should, in fact, be gleeful because you can logically devastate his argument without attacking him personally. All good liberals should be glad for opportunities to point out the moral and intellectual bankruptcy of conservatism.

When you go beyond attacking the argument and attack the man, however, your own argument is weakened. You cannot attack someone else without diminishing yourself.
posted by anapestic at 8:22 AM on July 12, 2001


One thing I think we have happening is that we are understanding the political stance of certain posters, so even when a link is posted without comment - depending on who posted it there may be a perceived slant that may or may not be there, if you follow.

For instance, if someone links to an article about welfare - your perception on the slant may be very different if say I posted it versus if ljromanoff posted it, since we tend to be on different sides of the political spectrum.

The bias may or may not be there...

That said, raysmj's little attack here shows a poor sense of reading comprehension, imho.
posted by owillis at 8:25 AM on July 12, 2001


And you guys talk about aaron on metatalk way too much.
posted by owillis at 8:27 AM on July 12, 2001


One of the things most notable of MeFi is its inclusiveness, as long as you mind your ethical manners.

Well said in that line and in the rest of that entry, crasspastor. However, I would add that maybe it is not so much the lofty "ethical" manners, but just manners in general. I really do believe that.

One of the strangest things I have notice here in MeFi (and alot of other boards) is that the quality of trolling has taken a new level. No longer do we have the "SUVs suck and people who drive them and their mothers are even stupider" type of troll post. Now we have, intelligent, well constructed arguments that infuriate people like a troll would. It is like a digital cat fight at time. And while it can be hilarious at time, at the same time, it is sad. So much intelligent bandwidth is wasted.

(Example given: Hell, even as I write this, I have to ask whether this entire thread is a troll. Then I remember that this area is pretty much designed for bitching and complaining.)

Look, I have been reading MeFi for a year or so. What started as a really great idea has slunk down to a little piss war. YES, the overwhelming number of threads are still very cool. The overwhelming attitude and intelligence of the users fucking rocks. However, there is a dark undercurrent floating out there and it is poking its head up more often than not.

Maybe this is just a summer thing. Seriously. At the same time, this undercurrent may become more the norm than the exception when the masses re-converge in the fall.

Folks, you are killing yourselves. Like I said, I am an outsider - by choice. From my seat in the bleachers, I see too often a bunch squirting ketchup on each other. Eventually - hell, eventually is now - y'all are going to go for blood.

Trolls are trolls. We can agree on that. Easy enough. Troll-esque comments are a little more difficult. That is something to be worked on. It is about time that the persons who I hold in high regard for their intelligence learn to put their egos in check. Get back to where you once belonged.

It is not how big your tool is, it is how you use it that matters.

Final Answer: If you don't have anything to contribute to a conversation, then have a beer. The "yeah, so" comment only serves to make you look that much more stupid.

Here we are, June...dag..JULY, 2001. shit. Anybody want to take a bet that we will have this coversation again in another 12 months? C'mon, bring your trolling asses on! I got $20 on this one.
posted by sardines at 8:35 AM on July 12, 2001


All good liberals should be glad for opportunities to point out the moral and intellectual bankruptcy of conservatism.

Now that's flamebait! :)

Of course, all good conservatives are glad for the opportunities to point out the elitism, intellectual snobbery and willful reality-denial of liberals.

People: argue the issue, not the person.

Honestly, this is the nicest, most polite, most-topic-sticking-to forum I’ve ever participated in! It’s what attracted me here in the first place. Personal beefs are kept to a minimum, people talk it out, topics are generally informative and interesting. Further, I consider myself to be pretty well educated (MA in Communication) and reasonably intelligent, but I’ll be damned if sometimes I don’t get the feeling I’m the designated dumbass in some of these threads. Sardine’s right, you people are smarties, no question. Also a plus.

But I think there is room for “less filling” “tastes great” argumentation here. It’s typically kept to a minimum, it’s generally between known players, and it is usually short. A little pooping can be both fun and educational. And cathartic.

aaron has been quick to jump on people who make sweeping judgments on obesity, so he can't expect to tar an entire profession with his own ideological brush without being challenged.

I think he expected to be challenged on it. I think we all expect to be challenged on the points we bring up. All respect to Ray, but I think he reacted emotionally to Aaron's valid, if challengeable, point.

In the end, I think that both sides of nearly any argument here have trolled/baited/attacked. We're people, it happens. It sometimes feels that the conservative wing of Mefi gets singled out for it more (both Aaron and I have been taken to task for our posts, LJR too I think), but I think that the self-policing works pretty good, a little personal jibery is inevitable (and sometimes entertaining) and that Mefi by and large has very little of the poopsterism we're decrying here. It may be a reflection of where I used to post, but I think overall that Mefi is short on personal attack and long on substance.

posted by UncleFes at 8:41 AM on July 12, 2001


owliss: That wasn't an attack on you. And I spelled out my reasons for stating what I did in thorough detail. I have every reason to believe that the "it's nasty, but it has to be legal" argument is intellectually and deeply flawed. So apparently do millions of other Americans, since only a bare majority of now tell pollsters that they think abortion should be legal. This is huge news that has been underplayed.

I jokingly posted last Saturday that, oh, I really wanted to discuss abortion on a weekend. Yesterday was Wednesday. Also, the thread at hand was major, wildly controversial and you made a post with abortion and the Klan in the same thread. I expressed some general sarcastic exasperation which didn't deserve to be in there, but your argument was worthy of challenging.

posted by raysmj at 8:48 AM on July 12, 2001


Man, I can't even imagine the maniac posts in an abortion thread. You all will have to dance on that particular minefield without me, thanks very much.
posted by UncleFes at 8:52 AM on July 12, 2001


Oh, and the interest of keeping a bit of levity here, I have to add a link that I believe is somewhat applicable to this thread:

"Jane, you ignorant slut"
posted by sardines at 8:53 AM on July 12, 2001


How's about just setting up an an area for discussion called, "Abortion, the death penalty, SUVs, Hitler and the Klan?"
posted by raysmj at 9:00 AM on July 12, 2001 [1 favorite]


Don't forget Nader. And pancakes.
posted by darukaru at 9:08 AM on July 12, 2001


How's about just setting up an an area for discussion called, "Abortion, the death penalty, SUVs, Hitler and the Klan?"

If we can get global warming and welfare in there somewhere, I think we've got a WINNER! :)
posted by UncleFes at 9:08 AM on July 12, 2001


All kidding aside.

I think it is really great that people are chiming in on this issue. It is important that it is discussed. MeFi is an incredible corner of the web. It is a vibrant community that I just can't stay away from. I wish that people would *not* focus on a particular user(s). But that is the life of thread(s). So be it.

I just wanted to put it out there. "It" being the fact that there has been a trend to slam on each other as opposed to the idea.

OK...me being sage, as in sage advice.....

This is rare situation here at MeFi and in this day and age of the technology world: intelligent discourse that is not in the mainstream. Treasure this time and this place. Don't break it down with grade-school antics. Use your intelligence to debate. MeFi is a strange little corner of the online world. There are very few places like this in our current world of technology.


/sage

/begin again being a drunkerd who fixes networks.
Fucking IP.

chow
posted by sardines at 10:01 AM on July 12, 2001


It's o-w-i-l-l-i-s, my nick has nothing to do with owls.

8888 Huzzah!
posted by owillis at 10:19 AM on July 12, 2001


ow ow ow. I'll repeat that a lot.
posted by raysmj at 11:06 AM on July 12, 2001


Just for the record, we now officially have a Hitler thread. Yeehoo.
posted by raysmj at 11:47 AM on July 12, 2001


I'm sorry, crasspastor, but that statement is ridiculous.

Really, you don't have to believe me at all. But I'll repeat it again: I honestly did not begin the thread for any other reason than it was interesting to see occurrences of words versus other words. Just for the hell of it, the night I posted it, I had decided to innocently fuck around with google. Thought it was neat. And that's it, only thought it was neat. The fact that when links are created here they become bold and yellow isn't my fault. I was only demonstrating what I'd found. The thread took on a life of its own. It's not ridiculous at all. I'm not naive. In fact I take exception to that. But just for my own posterity I'll close with my final sentence on the thread's teaser:

What other lexigraphic mixtures of keywords can you get the skinny on?

And I still believe that it was selectively read. And I've also admitted above:

Perhaps I take a lesson in tact?



posted by crasspastor at 1:12 PM on July 12, 2001


Funny, I've recently started to look forward to reading Metatalk more than Metafilter because it's a more interesting and friendly place.

So much for that...
posted by fooljay at 9:55 PM on July 12, 2001


« Older Ideology versus Scalability; C...  |  Is there a way to find a speci... Newer »

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