Tags:

Callout: soapboxing goes too far
August 30, 2004 10:08 AM   Subscribe

This thread has become Seth's Sandbox - I'm posting this MeTa thread in the hope of moving that stream of discussion to its appropriate locale.
posted by stonerose to Etiquette/Policy at 10:08 AM (87 comments total)

I'm glad you posted this. Seth is truly out of control. He causes more disruption to MeFi than the original posts. And since his examples. rhetoric, and purely condescending tone haven't changed at all in the past 6 months, I'm seriously questioning his agenda and integrity.

He calls himself a Democrat but he's only seen opposing anti-Bush threads. That may partly be because pro-bush threads are rare here, but nonetheless, I believe that he no longer cares for creating a more useful site and has instead become one of the soap box ranters he rails against.
posted by BlueTrain at 10:34 AM on August 30, 2004


As far as Seth's attack goes, according to him, both my post and I, personally, were fair game more because I wrote the "apologia", than it was for the FPP. But, I think his track record speaks for itself. Generally, I think that ad hominem attacks are pretty lame, but since I was called out (I mean, how could it possibly be that a 30-something, New England raised, post punk rocker has ever been a Republican?*), how can I resist? To date, Seth has only put himself out there exactly once, with one FPP (only recently) in five years, while freely attacking everyone whose posts don't live up to his standards. Is this an example of restraint, taste, or some other personality trait that might be a little unsavory? Really, if I see a link to something that doesn't look like it will enrich my life, rather than obssess on it and vent my spleen for all to see, I usually don't click on it.

To be clear, my first follow up post was more an advance mea culpa than it was an argument in its defense (which is what apologia actually means). In other words, I knew that posting the piece as a single link would cause the FPP police to lash out, but I felt that Keillor's impassioned writing was so good, it was worth braving the fallout.

* Full disclosure: for lack of a better choice, I did vote for Reagan in 1984, even though his coziness with the Religious Right and his fiscal policies that seemed use public funds (via deficit spending) to finance the pseudo boom of the 1980s made me uncomfortable, that principally benefitted Wall Street (where I worked at the time) and Defense. My heroes in those days were George H.W. Bush (whom I voted for twice), the pre-1996 version of Bob Dole, and Jack Kemp, to a degree.

posted by psmealey at 10:35 AM on August 30, 2004


The post sucked. Like most of the politcal crap on this website does.
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 10:37 AM on August 30, 2004


Wow. That was a(nother) helpful contribution, S@L.
posted by terrapin at 10:47 AM on August 30, 2004


*anticipation*


posted by Shane at 10:51 AM on August 30, 2004


He calls himself a Democrat but he's only seen opposing anti-Bush threads

damn, Mickey Kaus is on MeFi

The post sucked. Like most of the politcal crap on this website does

95% of your admittedly-not-stellar MeFi output is in political threads. you've got to be one hell of a Masochist.
posted by matteo at 10:52 AM on August 30, 2004


He calls himself a Democrat but he's only seen opposing anti-Bush threads.

Not so.

But even if he's an equal-opportunity asshole, it doesn't change the fact that he knows mathowie often doesn't agree with him (even if he, gosh, just *cannot* understand why) but still thinks he's doing a service by shitting on mathowie's site whenever he sees fit (and contributing precious little else).

Maybe it's an "I had to destroy MetaFilter in order to save it" thing.
posted by Armitage Shanks at 10:54 AM on August 30, 2004


...

(NSFW, sound)
posted by PrinceValium at 10:56 AM on August 30, 2004


BlueTrain,
Thanks for your thoughts. I will consider them.

But for a bit of an explanation. The reason for me speaking up in an increasingly forceful manner is because I see the last chance for us to be able to right this ship disappearing. I have loved this site for a long time, and I have seen it go through cycles around political things. But it always seamed to track back to the original goal of this website: a unique place where the best of the web was to be filtered. Unfortunately, this site has been trending down a road from which it will not return. Starting with the Iraq war moving up to now, the site lethally devolved away from its original goal.

And as I have seen this trend coming down the pike for the past year or so, I have tried to suggest that we need to be careful and enforce standards. And the site has slowly but consistently devolved over the past year. FPPs that we would never have accepted two years ago, have become increasingly common. So if my tone has become more "shrill" or more common, it is because the thing that I trying to oppose has become more common.

I honestly believe this site has been hijacked by people who think this site is some sort of political soapbox for them to spread their Idea of the Day. No effort is made to present things in a thoughtful, balanced, helpful or filtered way. People truly feel that this is their forum to get on a soapbox and let everyone else know what they think about something.

Why is this dangerous? Well, for numerous reasons. For one, it throws the signal to noise ratio far out of whack. Second, it creates an echo chamber as people are shouted down. Third, it creates an image of MeFi as a partisan political site, so that if we opened up registrations, we will be getting people who want to add their "me too" to the political preaching. Open registration aren't going to get us new ideas. Why would anyone who thinks differently want to join up? They know they will be shouted down, called names, etc. So, because of the signal that MeFi is sending out to the WWW community at-large, opening registrations won't get anything new in here.

But the biggest danger is that politics devours everything. The site cannot maintain a dual function as a political website and a filter of the best of the web. It will be devoured by politics.

So BlueTrain, I hope you understand a little more where I am coming from. I don't care about popularity. I don't care if people like me here or not. I DO care about the site. That is why I am willing to be prick in order to help the site. But I will consider your point about me hurting the site because that is the last thing I would want to do.
posted by Seth at 10:57 AM on August 30, 2004


but still thinks pretends he's doing a service by shitting on mathowie's site whenever he sees fit
posted by y2karl at 10:58 AM on August 30, 2004


Can we please stop using shit as a metaphor for gratuitous undesirable behavior? I just had lunch.
posted by monju_bosatsu at 11:01 AM on August 30, 2004


*taking bets on winners/losers/eventual huge # of comments*


posted by Shane at 11:07 AM on August 30, 2004


Right now, in Portugal, a man is sobbing into his drink.
posted by crunchland at 11:10 AM on August 30, 2004


Seth, everyone understands your position. And pretty much everyone seems to disagree with your strident, monotonous, all-noise-no-signal tactics.

Your police-actions are the equivalent of vigilantism in real life. Just as in real life societies, MeFi has ways of promoting compliance with norms. You're trying to circumvent those mechanisms: you seem oblivious to the fact that you are just another poster, among thousands.

I'd strongly advise you to: contribute to increasing the signal-to-noise ratio, refrain from using MeFi for MeTa purposes, keep your place as "one among many" in perspective, and remember that this is just a website, not a premature infant in an incubator. MeFi will change organically, and your ranting is ultimately not going to have much of an effect one way or the other.

If you don't follow this advice, more and more people are simply going to write you off as either dishonest or mentally ill.
posted by stonerose at 11:11 AM on August 30, 2004


The site cannot maintain a dual function as a political website and a filter of the best of the web. It will be devoured by politics.

I think that it continues to do an excellent job as both, and I see no basis for your prediction. Of the 15-25 posts that we see every day on the Blue, on average, fewer than two of them qualify as political posts (and maybe one of those might be quite hamfisted and dumb fro time to time). Would the number of nakedly biased political posts increase exponentionally were it not for your high-minded vigilance? I doubt it. Your screeds to tend to do more to increase the level of coarseness than they do to protect some ideal that you are trying to defend.

There are some first-rate minds that regularly contribute posts and discussion to subjects of all types on Metafilter. Why not occasionally stimulate some discussion and/or debate among them an an assortment of political issues? I'm not saying the Keillor post was the best example of such a thing, but just because you don't like the political aspects of what goes on here from day to day, doesn't mean that you're right, and everyone else is wrong.

I know that this goes a bit far afield of what Matt's original vision for the site is ("best of the web"), but how interesting would it be if we stuck to that? Hama7 could continue his amazing Asian art photoblog posts, and Y2Karl could continue to awe us with his meticulously researched abstracts... and the conversation would be limited to nothing more than {this is good} and {thanks for the post} follow ups. If that's what you want the site to be, I think it would be far less engaging that it is.
posted by psmealey at 11:18 AM on August 30, 2004


Can we please stop using shit as a metaphor for gratuitous undesirable behavior?

We're talking about the guy whose use of the word and metaphor is the highest per capita.
I'll bet he has the highest shit-to-any-other-word count here--he's been a regular Johnny One Shit Note.
posted by y2karl at 11:20 AM on August 30, 2004


I agree with seth but he's so damn annoying that he kills his point.
posted by cell divide at 11:23 AM on August 30, 2004


seth is the kind of guy that got fragged regularly in 'nam.
posted by quonsar at 11:25 AM on August 30, 2004


I think this post bears re-visiting:

After months of this junk, I've realized a few things.

Metafilter does politics, religion, and other hot-button issues poorly. It's supposed to filter the web for interesting bits, which it does largely well, but when things veer into this territory, things go wrong more often than not.

There are several reasons for this, and much of it has to do with the role that emotion plays in these debates. People get way too involved too quickly, say things they don't take time to think about, and once someone flies off the handle, the whole thread is shit. These sorts of subjects also have a deep polarizing effect on the membership. If I post a link to an amazing lego site, we're not instantly split into pro- and anti-lego building blocks. Heated arguments don't take place about the author ignoring erector sets when speaking of lego. A polarizing thread quickly turns south as people bicker the points of "us vs. them" and quickly becomes fruitless. Heated, polarized discussions rarely, if ever, convert anyone to your point of view and frequently reduce the understanding of your peers who might be on the opposite end of your viewpoint.

That said, a few other observations.

The second post, that prompted this metatalk post does a couple more bad things. There's a link to an op-ed. I've already covered why op-eds make for shitty posts to MetaFilter. In the absence of any evidence or any supporting links, it's just one journalist's view vs. everyone else, which often leads to pointless threads that go nowhere.

MetaFilter isn't the place to advance your political viewpoint because again, the site doesn't do politics particularly well. While Kaslo said his point in posting it was this:
That's the whole point of this forum - to introduce news items of interest that the participants can discuss intelligently and respectfully. I'm new to Metafilter and I guess you guys are the self-annoited bullies of this annoyingly PC mefi schoolyard.
It seems he's gotten off on the wrong foot in thinking the point of MetaFilter was to discuss news items in the first place. Intelligent, respectful discussions will not come from op-ed screeds.
posted by mathowie at 10:03 AM PST on October 30 (2002)


Doesn't that seem like a perfectly rational standard? Now look at the this post at issue. Ask yourself if the standard still exists, and if it should.
posted by Seth at 11:27 AM on August 30, 2004


Again, Seth, you aren't listening. You are one among many citizens here. You haven't been appointed sheriff. The community is trying to tell you that you've overstepped the boundaries of politeness and effectiveness in promoting your agenda. You're being worse than a dick: you're being a flaccid, ineffectual dick.
posted by stonerose at 11:32 AM on August 30, 2004


You know what, Seth? Considering you're supposed to have been here since 1999, you really have a poor memory. Metafilter has always been plagued with politics -- the 2000 election? When every other post was about Ralph Nader? -- and you know? It's survived somehow. And your Bernie Goetz schtick is really fucking annoying. Throwing a tantrum every time someone "shits in the blue" -- oh, how noble of you to throw yourself on the shit grenade! -- doesn't make you a hero, it makes you a prick.

If you want Metafilter to be a forum for the best of the web, go out and find it and post it here.
posted by solistrato at 11:36 AM on August 30, 2004


Seth, why not just keep a two or three day list of threads that you feel are too one-sided and then create one MeTa post that links to all of them, demonstrating a trend when the discourse sucks? As it is, you've been tainting every one of these posts with repetitive comments, and I have no clue if anything interesting would be posted because you've torched the village by the time I arrive.

If you hate fire so much, stop trying to put it out with a gas can. I have absolutely no clue what you mean when you say you ".. see the last chance for us to be able to right this ship disappearing." Is the ship tipping over? Is it because you're the first to rush to the side when something seems to cause the ship to lean?
posted by mikeh at 11:40 AM on August 30, 2004


Solistrato -
Please read my post again. I said MeFi does get political cycles, but it always returns to what is good. But this time is different. The tone for over a year now has been this way, and there doesn't seem to be any hope to change it. Things are too entrenched. And if Bush wins the election, then this site is royally screwed. So please read closer next time. I already addressed your point.
posted by Seth at 11:41 AM on August 30, 2004


mikeh,
I tried that. Some people don't read MeTa. And others do know what they are doing is wrong, but they do it anyhow and then offer apologies as the first comment. (See the thread at issue.)
posted by Seth at 11:43 AM on August 30, 2004


Seth-- I agree with you on many points.

You are wasting your time.
posted by trharlan at 11:46 AM on August 30, 2004


He calls himself a Democrat but he's only seen opposing anti-Bush threads.

Say what you will, but you have to admit it's impressive that Zell Miller has a MeFi account. And with such a low user number, too!
posted by scody at 11:47 AM on August 30, 2004


I agree w/ Seth to a point. I was a member at Plastic way back right after it came out of beta. I've since watched a clique of douchebags, lead by MayorBob, turn it from a witty, funny webfilter to a gigantic political echo chamber where people with dissenting views are downmodded into oblivion and submission standards are slightly less stringent than most medical journals.

I'd hate to see that happen to Metafilter.

PS: Anyone want a Plastic account w/ 140 karma?
posted by keswick at 11:47 AM on August 30, 2004


And if Bush wins the election, then this site is royally screwed.

If Bush wins the election we're all screwed, and I'm heading for a shack in the Canadian Rockies where I'll talk to mountain goats instead of Mefites.
posted by Shane at 11:49 AM on August 30, 2004


keswick,
I witnessed it, too, at Plastic, and other sites, as well. That's exactly the point.
posted by Seth at 11:54 AM on August 30, 2004


Mikeh, just take a look at August 27th. Roughly half the posts were tidbits from the news, swiftboatfilter or other politically related posts of varying quality. There are certainly more than 1 or 2 of these types of posts a day. Personally, I like the political threads, even the silly knee-jerk anti-bush ones, as long as they're well thought out and interesting, with new information and presented at least somewhat fairly. Too many are repetitive, shrill and opinion masquerading as fact. Case in point. Oh and don't forget this.
posted by loquax at 11:57 AM on August 30, 2004


PS: Anyone want a Plastic account w/ 140 karma?

Plastic karma......it's worth nothing in my local boozer, so no thanks.
posted by SpaceCadet at 12:00 PM on August 30, 2004


F.O.Seth.
posted by five fresh fish at 12:06 PM on August 30, 2004


The post sucked. Like most of the politcal crap on this website does.

Perhaps much of it does. But the point you are missing is that it doesn't suck 1/10th as much as you, Seth, EB, and the others who feel entitled—nay, obliged!— to shout others down if they dare hold an opinion that differs from theirs on the subject. In the history of the site (and probably the world), yelling and insulting has never changed a single mind.
posted by rushmc at 12:07 PM on August 30, 2004


Don't insult Zell Miller!
posted by ParisParamus at 12:07 PM on August 30, 2004


I've seen some excellent threads come from short, opinionated FPPs. It's the discussion and synthesis of ideas that makes this a community, not the "me too" posts and "this is partisan" posts.

On preview: I'd tend to agree with loquax. I think I'm letting the community down by just not commenting on overly political or partisan days, because unless there's a point for thoughtful discussion, I just don't post. Maybe I just need to make a good FPP for each one I think isn't worth commenting on. It's the lack of good stuff that bothers me, not the influx of the negative. Because the negative can eventually go away post-November, or post-hostilities in Iraq, or whatever. I have hope. But we have to make sure there's something left when it's all over.
posted by mikeh at 12:08 PM on August 30, 2004


I find the idea that Seth doesn't have a right to an opinion on this because he hasn't posted enough in the blue awful. His first page posting history has nothing to do with his feelings on the matter, or his right to post.

Secondly, despite the source and the "I like this" commentry from the older MeFi members who should know better, Seth was pretty much on the button with this one. It's useless, inflammatory OpEd which has no place on MeFi.

Thirdly, Seth, you should have taken this up on MetaTalk. I understand your frustration, but you're going to achieve nothing by constantly derailing threads you disagree with.

As a counterpoint to that: I suppose the real question is Seth, whether you'll achieve anything by playing by the rules. If not, then maybe you're doing the only thing left available to you.

Truth be told, Metafilter is sinking into a political mire. Constant newsfilter posts are good for the Select Vocal Few, but they bore the rest of us to tears. You can scream and shout about how important these issues are, but we've heard them all before.

From now on, if you've got anything important to say, I'll be in the green, where I probably won't hear it.
posted by seanyboy at 12:11 PM on August 30, 2004


seth is the kind of guy that got fragged regularly in 'nam.

He holds no position of authority here.
People fragged didn't respawn.
Thanks for comparings some trite silliness to human suffering. Maybe we can meet online when Medal of Valor comes out on X-Box!
posted by yerfatma at 12:15 PM on August 30, 2004


1. Seth is a mammal.

2. Seth fights ALL the time.

3. The purpose of Seth is to flip out and kill people.
posted by dhoyt at 12:15 PM on August 30, 2004



But the biggest danger is that politics devours everything. The site cannot maintain a dual function as a political website and a filter of the best of the web. It will be devoured by politics.

maybe...your opinion cannot maintain that a thread can filter itself into "the best of the web" which devours a post's politics. Why their are comments.
posted by thomcatspike at 12:27 PM on August 30, 2004


4. Profit.
posted by seanyboy at 12:29 PM on August 30, 2004


dhoyt, are you saying Seth is a wombat?
posted by sequential at 12:34 PM on August 30, 2004


Yes.

Yes I am.
posted by dhoyt at 12:40 PM on August 30, 2004


The post sucked. Like most of the politcal crap on this website does.

What sucks is the self-fulfilling prophesies Seth and his like bring about. The thread may be fine, but as soon as someone who is anti-anything-I-don't-like-is-agendafilter drops the proverbial turd in there, the thread spirals down the shitter. Thus bringing about the "MeFi doesn't do politics well."

It is a brilliant piece of strategy for those who don't like the so-called MeFi Liberal Groupthink because it enables them to derail commentary and then blame the poster.

But it is getting tiresome. What is so hard about simply ignoring the threads that don't interest you? Seriously, unless your name is Matt and your user number is 1, you really should use MetaTalk to voice your concerns. Not the thread.
posted by terrapin at 12:41 PM on August 30, 2004


Either that or he's a Ninja
posted by seanyboy at 12:42 PM on August 30, 2004


It was a turd, even if I am a Kiellor-lovin' lefty Kiwi. Seth may be annoying but he is right on this one.
posted by i_am_joe's_spleen at 12:55 PM on August 30, 2004


Dhoyt made a funny comment. I laughed.
posted by iconomy at 1:02 PM on August 30, 2004


But... but.. wombats are cute! This does not compute!
posted by y2karl at 1:15 PM on August 30, 2004


I think terrapin has it right. It's not a particularly complex strategy to crap in the thread and then complain how crappy it is.

I have found many of the crapped-on threads interesting and informative and I find Seth's trolling to be very, very irritating.
posted by milovoo at 1:16 PM on August 30, 2004


seth ... these are intense times for politics ... and not just because it's an election year ... in a lot of places where it hadn't gone on before, the argument continues to build ... and it was the iraq war that pretty much started it

politics has changed from, "god, who cares what these idiots do" to "$ideology must win" ... like it or not, we're stuck with it now and we're going to be stuck with it, even after the election

it's not a few "politics-filter" posters ... it's not a side interest that a few people are indulging in to the expense of others ... it's a central and critical part of our world now and metafilter is bound to reflect it
posted by pyramid termite at 1:40 PM on August 30, 2004


Wombat!
posted by hackly_fracture at 1:54 PM on August 30, 2004


Then the onus is still on you, Seth. If you want a better MeFi, free of political threads, post interesting links. But screeching about it doesn't improve anything.
posted by solistrato at 2:17 PM on August 30, 2004


I'm just hoping someday Seth is provoked into such egregious behavior that he gets banned. If quonsar does it, I'll give him twenty bucks.
posted by beth at 3:01 PM on August 30, 2004


OK, so I can see both sides. The post wasn't the greatest (it was on opinion editorial), but it wasn't something that I would have sought out. So MeFi's job of bringing the Best (or at least the unseen) of the Web to its members is partially fulfilled. Maybe I'm wrong here, but if I see a post that doesn't interest me, instead of posting that I think it is shit, I just pass on. I don't understand the constant bitching about MeFi - make better content and MeFi will be better. To Seth, et al if you have ideas of what makes for a better MeFi, lets see it in your posts, your comments, and your demeanour here. I want there to be good political posts so that both sides can argue - it often lets me see the other side. I think what happens, and happened on the thread in question and this MeTa post, is that there becomes a point where people just continue to pile on. I think this needs to stop on both sides - it will be a long few months until November, and we all have to deal with each other.
posted by plemeljr at 3:15 PM on August 30, 2004


Steve_at_Linnwood
cell divide
keswick
trharlan
loquax
seanyboy
i_am_joe's_spleen

Some agree with Seth that it's a general problem getting worse; some agree that the post in question was bad. Monju_bosatsu posted recently about an alternative to "electionfilter", and got a fair bit of agreement (and excitement) in that thread. There's a good number of people who think that news/politics/election discussion should not be the largest single category of posts (and the reason for posts). The example of plastic.com is apt—there's already a bunch of people who want MeFi to be a politics site and they've already made it much of one. There's a such thing as inertia that's too great to overcome.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 3:20 PM on August 30, 2004


That'd be nice too plemeljr, but a certain percentage of users will always use MeFi as a place in which to act out their self-important, righteous indignation, which presumably gives meaning to what must otherwise be empty lives. Seriously, what's worse, a single-link FPP, that admittedly was a screed (but an unexpected one from a prominent person not known for such things), or post after post of obnoxious and insulting invective about one person's idea of what posts should and should not be?
posted by psmealey at 3:25 PM on August 30, 2004


Seth, I suggest you take mikeh's advice about consolidating the posts that you think are bad, and, if necessary, posting them all into one MeTa post every few days or week or whatever. That'll annoy everyone, too, but it'll be keeping within Matt's guidelines for how to use the site. He made MeTa for the express purpose of keeping this out of the blue. I share your suspicion and frustration that MeTa isn't working like it should in this case—but flaunting the rules is not going to help your (our) case.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 3:42 PM on August 30, 2004


What's your take on Cassavetes?
What's your take on Cassavetes?
What's your take on Cassavetes?
What's your take on Cassavetes?

Misogynist! Genius!
Misogynist! Genius!
Misogynist! Genius!
Misogynist! Genius!

What's your take on Cassavetes?
What's your take on Cassavetes?
What's your take on Cassavetes?
What's your take on Cassavetes?

Alcoholic! Messiah!
Alcoholic! Messiah!
Alcoholic! Messiah!
Alcoholic! Messiah!
posted by ZippityBuddha at 3:44 PM on August 30, 2004


Vaginal Creme Davis!
posted by dhoyt at 3:47 PM on August 30, 2004


I miss pancakes.
posted by konolia at 3:52 PM on August 30, 2004


psst : >

maybe an altered quote from Keillor's piece is apt here: This is a great country site, and it wasn’t made so by angry people.
posted by amberglow at 3:53 PM on August 30, 2004


Its true tho: Hot topic is the way that we rhyme.
posted by Quartermass at 4:16 PM on August 30, 2004


So I guess nobody wants my Plastic account? Geez, can't give 'em away. :)
posted by keswick at 4:31 PM on August 30, 2004


Hey! Where's Gina?
posted by shoepal at 4:39 PM on August 30, 2004


oh crap, I think I might have an STD!
posted by mcsweetie at 4:49 PM on August 30, 2004


That'd be nice too plemeljr, but a certain percentage of users will always use MeFi as a place in which to act out their self-important, righteous indignation, which presumably gives meaning to what must otherwise be empty lives. — says psmealey

Oh, the irony, the exquisite, beautiful, pristinely-glistening-like-the-fucking-morning-dew lack of self-awareness!

You can't buy this kind of comedy
posted by IshmaelGraves at 5:34 PM on August 30, 2004


You can buy any kind of comedy.
posted by Sinner at 6:18 PM on August 30, 2004


...a gigantic political echo chamber where people with dissenting views are downmodded into oblivion and submission standards are slightly less stringent than most medical journals.

I'd hate to see that happen to Metafilter.


Which is why we don't 'mod' at MetaFilter.
(Note to self: register ModiFilter.com)
Okay keswick, I'll take your Plastic account, even though I won't have any time to use it for a while.

And I'll sell any kind of comedy at Costco prices.
posted by wendell at 6:42 PM on August 30, 2004


...and get what you pay for!
posted by quonsar at 8:43 PM on August 30, 2004


Reading this thread, it is to cry.
posted by five fresh fish at 8:55 PM on August 30, 2004


Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth Seth
posted by troutfishing at 9:16 PM on August 30, 2004


What are you saying, troutfishing? That all of Seth's protestations are really an attention-getting ploy, and that dozens of people on metafilter are continuously netted by his trollish tactics?
posted by crunchland at 10:05 PM on August 30, 2004


Wouldn't that be... a Seth Net?
posted by soyjoy at 10:16 PM on August 30, 2004


It seems to me that Seth's problem is exactly the same as his detractors': the inability to countenance a variety of opinions and deal with diversity, disagreement and uncertainty. Like some others, he has his own idea of what MeFi is and how we should all behave. Both are not only wrong but downright pernicious.

Every time people gang up on him - which they regularly and lamentably do - all they're doing is agreeing with him in a perverse, roundabout way. Behind every whiner there's a little dictator. Post and let post; live and let live; express yourself and enjoy the expression of others.

Sameness, conformity and orthodoxy are the enemy of creativity, fun and intelligence.

Let Seth be Seth and stop wasting time, I'd say.
posted by MiguelCardoso at 10:26 PM on August 30, 2004


You're wrong, Miguel. Seth's problem is not that "he has his own idea of what MeFi is and how we should all behave" but the manner in which he tries to imposet that idea on everyone else, with no regard for the right of others to hold a differing viewpoint. I should think that you would recognize the difference between a detractor and a tyrant.

maybe an altered quote from Keillor's piece is apt here: This is a great country site, and it wasn’t made so by angry people.

Nicely done, amberglow.
posted by rushmc at 10:43 PM on August 30, 2004


"Sameness, conformity and orthodoxy are the enemy of creativity" - Oh, yes. miguel - I once said this to an ex-girlfriend, a philosophy student concentrating on the work of Wittgenstein : "A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds." Although the comment may have been apt, I later felt like a consistent ass

________________

Words of a different Seth : Who and What is Seth ? Seth, by his own description, is a personality who is no longer focused in physical reality:

[A Seth quote] "You should tell yourself frequently 'I will only react to constructive suggestions.' This gives you positive ammunition against your own negative thoughts and those of others." "
posted by troutfishing at 10:58 PM on August 30, 2004


Rush: I agree, but that's exactly what I said: "[his] inability to countenance a variety of opinions and deal with diversity." My point was that his detractors exhibit the same vice.
posted by MiguelCardoso at 11:02 PM on August 30, 2004


>>>Seth, everyone understands your position. And pretty much everyone seems to disagree with your strident, monotonous, all-noise-no-signal tactics.

In his first post in the other thread, didn't Seth also ask some interesting questions? Questions the "fuck off and shut up" brigade chose to ignore?

"But I have a question for you psmealey. It seems from your profile that you live in Connecticut and are in a punk rock band. But, then, in your apologia, you seem to want to suggest that you "used to be a Republican." WTF? I'm pegging you at no older than 30ish, so that leaves your Republican views as Reagan-onward. But you are telling us that "Today's" GOP has you feeling alienated? "Today's" as opposed to what? Eisenhower's? Lincoln's? The article that Keillor is presenting is a post-Nixon to present assault on Republicans, but he is capturing your view of Republicans?"



>>>>I'm glad you posted this. Seth is truly out of control. He causes more disruption to MeFi than the original posts.

Speak for yourself. I honestly can say that his name doesn't ring a bell. But I tend to ignore metatalk and the political threads.

Everyone could have ignored his first post, y'know?
posted by uncanny hengeman at 11:19 PM on August 30, 2004


Can't we just KILL without dragging HATE into it?!?
posted by Jimbob at 12:48 AM on August 31, 2004


What are you saying, troutfishing? That all of Seth's protestations are really an attention-getting ploy, and that dozens of people on metafilter are continuously netted by his trollish tactics?

That's poimpish tactics, crunchland.... poimpish.
posted by Witty at 6:32 AM on August 31, 2004


ah.
posted by crunchland at 6:53 AM on August 31, 2004


Why would anyone who thinks differently want to join up? They know they will be shouted down, called names, etc. So, because of the signal that MeFi is sending out to the WWW community at-large, opening registrations won't get anything new in here.

This is in a word, bullshit.

Only someone incredibly weak-willed would avoid joining a site because they're afraid of getting a few insults thrown at them. Plus there are plenty of users, like dhoyt, rushmc, mayor curley, and myself who definitely take a devil's advocate/contrarian/gadfly approach on occasion, and we've survived just fine.

NTM, we do it without incessant whining.
posted by jonmc at 7:17 AM on August 31, 2004


My point was that his detractors exhibit the same vice.

I hear you, I think, but I can't concede that the persecuted are as guilty as the persecuting for protesting their persecution. Obviously I won't attempt to speak for anyone else, but I'm perfectly happy for Seth to express his views here if he'd just quit being offensive and insulting and insisting upon ramming them down everyone's throats rather than presenting them in a manner in which they might be taken seriously.

Who listens to someone who shouts in your face and calls you names? Whether or not you agree with what they are ranting about is irrelevant.
posted by rushmc at 9:15 AM on August 31, 2004


Seth has made it so that he has no credibility whatsoever. That is why he should just fuck off: he's burned his bridges and made himself irrelevent. All his wailing and gnashing of teeth, no matter how right, is mooted simply by it being his wailing and gnashing.

Could that he change his name and establish himself as a rational and valuable member of the community, he might be taken seriously once again.
posted by five fresh fish at 9:38 AM on August 31, 2004


Everyone can reform. No one ever becomes completely irrelevant here, especially if they renounce (or refine) their ways. A person's stock rises and falls and rises again. We've seen it time and again. Eventually, all is forgiven.
posted by crunchland at 10:04 AM on August 31, 2004


fff and crunchland both make very good points.

But, you know, my impression has been that Seth is much more reasoned and calm than not. He's very serious and lectures, true. However, I do that—and while I grok why some/many people find that very objectionable, because of my experience being myself I take the generous interpretation when other people do it and assume that it's more a matter of temperment and legitimate style than the various unflattering motives and whatnot that many people infer.

Aside from scarabic, whom I consider very much a like-minded ally in this debate, most of the anti-newsfilter folks are, it seems, at least as much anti-leftist-MeFi as they are anti-newsfilter. I still think they're right, but they're so selectively right. Seth, however, is a bit of an enigma to me. He does often seem like an anti-leftist-Mefi in his complaints...but not always. And he doesn't speak up as an anti-leftist on whatever topic comes along. The problem is that MeFi tilts enough to the left, or is so strongly left-majority, that most of the newsfilter/preachfilter posts are inevitably going to be to the left.

In general, Seth seems to me to be both right and reasonable. So I support him. He's monomaniacal—I don't know why, but I don't think it matters much. Other than that his hectoring may have diminishing returns or actually be counter-productive.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 10:22 AM on August 31, 2004


wendell, you should have the account info in your inbox. enjoy. *washes his hands of plastic*
posted by keswick at 3:06 PM on August 31, 2004


Everyone can reform.

But not everyone has the desire to do so.
posted by rushmc at 6:32 PM on August 31, 2004


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