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A Word of Advice for New Users, From Your Uncle y6y6y6
November 18, 2004 9:43 AM   Subscribe

A few words to our new users, from someone hardly qualified to give them. [more inside]
posted by y6y6y6 to MetaFilter-Related at 9:43 AM (116 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

1) Shake things up. Seriously. We old timers have some interesting personalities, and we're a creative bunch, but after a few years it just gets old. The best thing you could do for MetaFilter is bring the place something radical and new. Don't be afraid to show us your cool hacks and outrageous links.

Yes, you *will* get bitch-slapped for such behavior. Please do it anyway. You'll get bitch-slapped regardless (see 3 below).

2) When someone posts just a dot or period as a comment it means, "a moment of silence". Please don't be the sorry fool to ask this question the 273rd time in MetaTalk.

3) It can get rough here. Even if 5000 people are nice and love everything you do, there will be 3-5 people who will attack you for some silly little thing. We try and keep a lid on that, but it's just not going to happen. This many members and this many comments are guaranteed to generate some serious bad blood.

My advise? Get a thicker skin. Ignore trolls and idiots. Engage only those who are willing to debate reasonably. Don't take it personally. This is a public forum, people very rarely get banned, and many of us are drunk. It's not Usenet, but it's not moderated either. Don't. Take It. Personally.

4) Just because 20% of users seem to love posting and discussing current events, breaking news, politics, and lame op-ed articles, that doesn't make it right. Don't do it. Seriously. The quickest way to get a label you'll never be able to shake here is to engage in political threads.

5) If you want to know why Matt deleted your post, just manually enter the address. Note the number at the end of each thread URL? There will be a gap where yours is located. He always gives a reason. You won't like it. But we almost always agree with him. So only ask in MetaTalk if you want us all to explain in detail why you're a whiner who needs to just deal with it.

6) The FAQ sucks. There are no rules. Try to play nice with others. Don't be so uptight. Repeat the words, "best of the web" three times before posting. Don't comment mad. If you post drunk you'll regret it the next morning. Yes, you will. Don't self-post (ever ever ever).

7) It's not a boy zone. But you'd never be able to tell unless you asked straight up. It has a very liberal lean. Which most of us like, so rock the boat if you want, but expect to get laughed at when you talk about the many successes of the Bush administration. We are gay friendly. Handi-capable. Anti-SUV. Pro-Apple.

We're "okay" with Jesus, but Mormons will get a scowl, and Scientologists will be road kill in 3... 2... 1.... We're not sure about the Jews, and Islam confuses us. But we're open to learning about those.

We're America-centric. But that's just the way the cards were dealt. We'd like to be more "global", and maybe you can help make that happen.

8) AskMetaFilter is not MetaFilter. Be nice and helpful there, or just don't bother.

9) Please resist the urge to make snarky comments at the beginning of a thread. Even if you don't like it, or you think it's stupid, please give the thread a chance. With 20,000 users, even if you think it's a dumb post, 100 other folks will think it's a great find. Snark if you must, not if you can.

10) Some of us care about grammar and spelling. Most of us don't. Much more important are - Solid logic, good research, sound debate points, and primary sources.

11) Matt is just one guy. And he's busy. Don't count on him to play mom. MetaFilter is what *we* make it, not what Matt makes it. Please try to make it something good.
posted by y6y6y6 at 9:43 AM on November 18, 2004 [3 favorites]


That's not bad at all, y63. I think if I'd read that when I was but a baby MeFite, I would have found that useful.
posted by orange swan at 9:48 AM on November 18, 2004


To which I would add:

12) It's possible to disagree without being disagreeable. Learn how to do this.
posted by Vidiot at 9:58 AM on November 18, 2004


Solid logic? Good resear....what the hell kinda place is this?

Just joshin'. Sound advice, y6y6y6.
posted by hojoki at 10:00 AM on November 18, 2004


addendum to #1:

NewsFilter posts are not "shaking things up around here," in case you were wondering.

Welcome to the slaughterhouse, bitches.
posted by scarabic at 10:06 AM on November 18, 2004


Methinks veevee is working on the "spanked in MeFi" requirement for newbies.
posted by orange swan at 10:07 AM on November 18, 2004


We're not sure about the Jews

To which I'd add: this atheist is sure about the jews. They're one of 'us' just as sure as the muslims, and everyone else.

WTF Jon?
posted by dash_slot- at 10:08 AM on November 18, 2004


Looks like mathovvie is aiming to be the anti-mathowie. The Bizarro-mathowie, if you will.

Bad Bizarro-mathowie!
posted by me3dia at 10:09 AM on November 18, 2004


y6y6y6 - well said.

mathovvie - chill out
posted by papercake at 10:10 AM on November 18, 2004


most of y6's advice is highly debatable, but there's a golden little sentence in it:

"Get a thicker skin"
posted by matteo at 10:16 AM on November 18, 2004


I think we are all in agreeance - y6 is right on the money.
posted by Quartermass at 10:18 AM on November 18, 2004


"WTF Jon?"

I thought about that a bit before letting the sentence stand. We don't talk much about it. And I get the impression (just my opinion) that's because we as a group don't have a good idea how it fits into the big picture, even though we're sure it does. Of course this is a generalization that borders on silly. Please take it as such.

I didn't mean to imply anything about Jews or other believers beyond how the topic fits into MeFi culture. Right? Jews as a topic, not as a people.

And what mathowie said. My post text was intended to give people the impression that they needn't take me seriously. I've shat on the site about as much as anyone. And I've had Matt tell me I'm wrong in MetaTalk about as much as anyone.

So WTF Jon indeed.

It's a conversation that I thought needed starting. That's all. Talk amongst yourselves.
posted by y6y6y6 at 10:19 AM on November 18, 2004


I'm going to operate under the assumption that mathovvie is the real #1, signed up under a clever pseudonym to excorigate users freely.
posted by yerfatma at 10:22 AM on November 18, 2004


See also... from way back when our wizened, grizzled old April 2nders were fresh & new.
posted by soyjoy at 10:23 AM on November 18, 2004


To new members : Please note that I can get away with shit around here because of my long history of flinging small amounts of poo until I turned into this awesome shitstorm of a member now. Do not try anything I do, I have the awesome "Elder Member" status that a few others like quonsar enjoys. Haha! Let's see what status you have after a few more years.
posted by Stan Chin at 10:23 AM on November 18, 2004


I am so banned.
posted by mathovvie at 10:24 AM on November 18, 2004 [1 favorite]


14) don't feed the quonsar.

nice summary there y6y6y6. i would hasten to add getting a bitchslap ain't as bad as it looks. it stings a bit but the big red handmark on your cheek is just the mefi way of saying hello.

(and 80% of your comments will not generate a response. don't feel hurt by it.)
posted by caution live frogs at 10:27 AM on November 18, 2004


Well, I still wonder about it, mate, but anyway: mathowie hasn't posted here yet - mathovvie has.

And what mathowie said.


I hope that you meant to cite the newbie: if s/he has bamboozled you, the irony is stark, and points to some trouble in the future.
posted by dash_slot- at 10:28 AM on November 18, 2004


mathovvie, maybe we should wait a couple of days, and get settled in, before we start p*ssing in these peoples' soup. Maybe, assume y6 meant well, until proven otherwise.
posted by veedubya at 10:29 AM on November 18, 2004


"As far as I'm concerned this is nothing but self-promotion."

As is my style little camper. And you figured that out all on your own!!! [pat pat pat] Aren't you precious.

While sometimes I lay a big turd in my comments, and sometimes I pass on some food for thought, everyone here knows, or will know, that it all originates with my narcissism. If it's not about me, I really don't care.

I'm fine with that. You're not. Duly noted.

"I am so banned."

No no. I'm enjoying you. I love new users in the morning. Smells like......... victory.
posted by y6y6y6 at 10:30 AM on November 18, 2004


stan chin also used to have a yellow star.
you see - we are cool about jews (lost tribe of karate? hey, that's gone from your user page...)
posted by andrew cooke at 10:31 AM on November 18, 2004


"if s/he has bamboozled you"

And, I'm a moron. Who clearly needs an eye examine.
posted by y6y6y6 at 10:32 AM on November 18, 2004


Matt, please make that newb change its screenname. I foresee nothing but tiresome threads to the Gray about how you SUDDENLY TURNED INTO MR. HYDE if you don't, and I, for one, can't bear it.

I wonder who "mathovvie" used to be?
posted by Sidhedevil at 10:32 AM on November 18, 2004


Sorry Guys,
I'll renounce all my fake usernames when the fun has died down.
posted by y6yby6 at 10:35 AM on November 18, 2004


seanyboy, you bastard!
posted by dash_slot- at 10:36 AM on November 18, 2004


Well you are doing well so far mathovvie.


on checking profile - you bastard.
posted by longbaugh at 10:37 AM on November 18, 2004


SNAP!
posted by longbaugh at 10:37 AM on November 18, 2004


This is why we can't have nice things.
posted by papercake at 10:37 AM on November 18, 2004


I like what y6y6y6 posted, except for 7), which unlike the rest I found almost entirely debatable, unnecessary, and cringe-inducing. I'd have preferred something like:

7) Everybody here has a point of view (POV). And since it's a group, some POVs tend to dominate. Don't worry about it. At best, POV is irrelevant. Most of us are happy, nay eager, to hear from people who are different from us or who may disagree with us, as long as they stay interesting, rational and civil.

(I'm sorry, I'm a total nonentity here, but I'll post this anyway, in the hope that it's representative of the silent majority).

((Hmm, am I dreaming, or is mathowie also taking action against the ID-snobbery? I'm a person, not a 4-digit number anymore!))
posted by Turtle at 10:38 AM on November 18, 2004


What Turtle said. My 7 is ass. His is how I might have worded things if I wasn't such a troll.
posted by y6y6y6 at 10:42 AM on November 18, 2004


8) I will probably brawl with you at some point. Don't be upset. It probably means I like you. Same thing if quonsar insults you, or satapher says something inscrutable.
posted by jonmc at 10:43 AM on November 18, 2004


7) It's not a boy zone.

Yes it is. It's not as extreme a boyzone as, say, Slashdot is, and females are not excluded, but the general tone and verbal style is in the masculine mode.

Take it from a female who shuttles between boyzones and girlzones - this is a boyzone.
posted by Karmakaze at 10:45 AM on November 18, 2004


Thanks for posting the MeFi tips... I've been lurking for a while and I didn't know what was up with the single dot. Any advice is appreciated (since it will probably save me from making a jackass type move in the future).
posted by TetrisKid at 10:50 AM on November 18, 2004


Definitely a boyzone. A fact that both pretty_generic and myself curse with each passing day.
posted by seanyboy at 10:53 AM on November 18, 2004


Looks like I was dreaming about the end of IDs. But I swear, for a second, all the user links had names in them instead of IDs. Yup! The IDs are gone again! Ooh, maybe it's just on Preview that the user links use names rather than IDs. How odd.

Anyway, I kind of like seeing people's numeric IDs, which gives one indication of how long someone's been around. More relevant, of course, would be some kind of "total connection time". That could be a very scary number.

y6y6y6: FWIW, your 7) did make me laugh, if a little uneasily.
posted by Turtle at 10:58 AM on November 18, 2004


Boyzone, boyzone, boyzone. But I'm not sure I mean that in a bad way.
posted by Sidhedevil at 11:02 AM on November 18, 2004


Although I'm an adversary, I think y6's pointers are useful and well thought out, as well as splendidly presented.

Riffing on Matteo's emphasis on growing a thick skin, I agree this is probably the most important advice for new users. It doesn't mean becoming insensitive - it's grander than that.

It's all about respect and coexistence. We love this place not because it agrees with us but because it's stimulating. Well, respect means exactly what it says: being able not only to accept violent differences (and the consequent criticism) but welcoming and even embracing them, since they validate the fundamental honesty of this forum.

Strangers are treasures. Their reactions to our tomfooleries, however rude, still rest on the politeness of not only reading but considering our own opinions, making them important.

MeFi is best understood as somewhere where people feel free to interact as they choose. Even "Fuck you" can be a valuable comment, inasmuch as whatever you've written has led a complete stranger to strongly disagree, giving pause for thought.

I would add another recommendation to y6y6y6's suggestions: do not feel restricted by whatever it is you've said. We all change our minds. Each comment is much more like an attempt than a definite statement. Keep your options open. Be glad to recant or change tack.

A thick skin isn't a hard thing to achieve: all it takes is a readiness toi admit one's own fallibility and, more importantly, vollubility. The intelligent person's goal should always be to not remain the same; to change and evolve and blablabla.

Whoever you are, you already have yourself. That's a given. It's boring. Others are what can make you interesting. Whatever their animus, it makes no difference. Provoking a reaction is its own reward. So you fucked up: so you disappointed. Well, you were probably wrong or too simplified or "un-universal".

A thick skin means being able to make the best of criticism, whatever its form. Your first reaction ("Fuck you too!") is much more devoid of any utility than the original rejoinder.
posted by MiguelCardoso at 11:02 AM on November 18, 2004


seanyboy, you got me. Well worth $5.
posted by Sidhedevil at 11:03 AM on November 18, 2004


Poetry is better than politics.

And always provide a reacharound. It's the nice thing to do.

And don't sign your posts like a frikkin idjit.

Your pal,
ColdChefferton
posted by ColdChef at 11:12 AM on November 18, 2004


Here's a tip for IE users among the new crowd. Grab the bookmarklet on this page and drag it to your links toolbar. When you've got the mefi front page loaded up, click the bookmarklet and you'll get a list of all the "deleted threads."

Check them out and note well the reasons for deletion, and learn. And laugh -- because when my thread get's deleted, that's tragedy, but when yours gets deleted, it's comedy.
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 11:12 AM on November 18, 2004


Also, hands off Miguel. Bitch is mine. Bought him from Kafkaesque for a pack of Kools.
posted by ColdChef at 11:14 AM on November 18, 2004


When can I post my enormous vagina links?
posted by orange clock at 11:21 AM on November 18, 2004


Goodby Cruel World.
posted by mathovvie at 11:22 AM on November 18, 2004 [1 favorite]


Funniest £2.50 I've spent today.
The real Matt's onto me, and Mathovvie dies tonight.
posted by seanyboy at 11:25 AM on November 18, 2004


12) Double posts happen. We know the search doesn't help much in preventing them. Even though we'll get snarky in your post before Matt puts the ax to it, we understand. We feel your pain.

13) While many will find your one-liner clever, most of us will cringe as we envision the thread turning into something unfunny at best, but more typically, stupid. One vibrating overlord pancake pony is fun. But even 3-4 of them quickly turn the new hotness into old and busted. And make the baby Jesus cry.

14) While AskMetaFilter is friendly, and MetaFilter rather snarky, MetaTalk is a war zone. This is where fights get moved. This is where people try and defend bad behavior. This is where people will call you a bigot to your face (as it were). This is where self-policing can get nasty. Or not. But if your flame resistant panties will get in a bunch anywhere, it will happen here. Be prepared to have people drop the niceties here if you get "called out", or if you bring some matter here for adjudication.

And don't expect Matt to personally give the last word. Sometimes he does, but many times he doesn't.

15) Self-policing means that we gently try and encourage people to maintain a level of civility, rhetoric, and conformity in line with the prevailing MetaFilter culture. But everyone has a different idea of what that is. And at the end of the day, Matt will insist there are no rules. So take self-policing with a grain of salt, but please don't discount it either. On average it works very very well.

16) Don't feed the trolls. If someone is saying something outrageous, please consider the idea that they are only saying it in an attempt to get some newbie to take the bait and actually present a time consuming rebuttal to their obvious silliness. People do this here all the time. If someone says Hitler was a great leader, just let it go. They don't believe it any more than you do. They just want to see if you'll fall for it. It's painful for us to see you fall for it. Please just don't.
posted by y6y6y6 at 11:27 AM on November 18, 2004


stupidsexyFlanders: It works for Firefox too. I use it everyday.
posted by karmaville at 11:31 AM on November 18, 2004


And always provide a reacharound. It's the nice thing to do.

Are you trying to put me out of a job? With new meat coming in? Are you insane? I ask seriously...are you insane?!
posted by WolfDaddy at 11:32 AM on November 18, 2004


jesus, y6, how's the weather up there on mount sinai?
posted by _sirmissalot_ at 11:32 AM on November 18, 2004


17) .

18) Pony.
posted by y6yby6 at 11:33 AM on November 18, 2004


17) Okay. It *is* a boyzone. Lesson learned - We don't know what sort of zone it is. We delude ourselves into making MetaFilter in our own images. Find your own reason to love MetaFilter and don't waste too much time trying to convince other users they don't get it. What many people do here, and whet they seem to think the point is, will confuse the hell out of you. This is a good thing.
posted by y6y6y6 at 11:37 AM on November 18, 2004


You're doing that [16] thing aren't you?
I can tell.
posted by y6yby6 at 11:41 AM on November 18, 2004


19) Some have cameras.

20) Pancakes are good.
posted by grabbingsand at 11:45 AM on November 18, 2004


Can I bring my dog?

Love,
Will (a new user)
posted by willc at 11:47 AM on November 18, 2004


This dog, it vibrates?
posted by Sidhedevil at 11:56 AM on November 18, 2004


Looks like I was dreaming about the end of IDs. But I swear, for a second, all the user links had names in them instead of IDs. Yup! The IDs are gone again! Ooh, maybe it's just on Preview that the user links use names rather than IDs. How odd.

Didn't even have to make a MeTa post!
posted by me3dia at 12:00 PM on November 18, 2004


It's a boyzone in the sense that the majority of users are male and so the content and atmosphere reflects that. This was really brought home to me the time I posted an AskMe question requesting recommendations on movies involving cars, and got something like 85 responses. The knitting threads are considerably smaller (though men contribute to those too).

It's not a boyzone in the sense that the men here are misogynist and hostile to women. I can think of only one member who has a warped view on women and feminism, and he gets flamed plenty by members of both genders. Mathowie also *really* doesn't like anything even vaguely misogynist and cracks down on it faster than any other issue I can think of.

So, newbie female members, I suspect you won't find the whole reputed boyzone thing to be a problem. Personally, I look upon this fine boyzone as my oyster:-)
posted by orange swan at 12:09 PM on November 18, 2004


Fucking brilliant, y6y6y6. Seriously. Most worthwhile MeTa post in months.
posted by nthdegx at 12:16 PM on November 18, 2004


Can #21 be where you tell the unenlightened which site "The site that shall not be named" is?

/contradiction
posted by Miss Bitchy Pants at 12:23 PM on November 18, 2004


Lessee if I have any useful advice to offer any newbies based upon my (relatively) notorious experience in my first few months here earlier this year...

Hmm.

α) Community standards inevitably evolve, and flaunting them for any reason (even if good, or well-intentioned) will generate resentment. Presenting your case or explaining yourself will only help slightly. Deal with it.

β) Worth repeating from y6y6y6: if you're really pissed-off or someone's hurt your feelings, whatever you have to say will be better said later. If you still want to make your cutting remark...it'll probably be even better crafted an hour from now.

That's all I've got.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 12:29 PM on November 18, 2004


1. Jangle when you move, so the fat don't stick.
2. Go light on the vices of society.
3. Never eat fried meat, it angries up the blood.
4. Never run.
5. If your stomach disputes, lie down and pacify it with cool thoughts.
6. Don't look back, 'cause somethin' might be gainin' on ya.
posted by DrJohnEvans at 12:32 PM on November 18, 2004


Beautiful Satch - err DrJohnEvans
posted by petebest at 1:12 PM on November 18, 2004


FLOUTING! "Flaunting" community standards would be to display them conspicuously.

DrJohnEvans, I love you for so many reasons, but especially because nobody else quotes Satchel Paige on MeTa.

And anyone who wants to know what the site which cannot be named is should be aware that a synonym for its name is "small viridian soccers".
posted by Sidhedevil at 1:12 PM on November 18, 2004


Although I'm an adversary, I think y6's pointers are useful and well thought out, as well as splendidly presented.

Who else read this first sentence and thought "that can only be Miguel?"

Come on, I know you're out there.
posted by soyjoy at 1:13 PM on November 18, 2004


.
posted by Kleptophoria! at 1:20 PM on November 18, 2004


Great list, y6y6y6. I think #1 is the most important thing on it. Newsfilter posts have, especially in the past year, sapped a lot of MeFi's vitality. Now that the election is over, I for one am hoping that MeFi will return to the best of the web and the best of the web only. Time will tell.

Also, you old-timers should not make the mistake of assuming new users don't know what's what. I for one have been reading MeFi for a few years, long enough to know what's what, who's a jerk and who isn't, and who makes the best FPPs.
posted by stinkeye at 1:21 PM on November 18, 2004


.
posted by jewzilla at 1:36 PM on November 18, 2004


Can #21 be where you tell the unenlightened which site "The site that shall not be named" is?
And doesn't the other unnamed place rhyme with smiledial?
posted by amberglow at 1:48 PM on November 18, 2004


? ) Remember, in posts, and especially in comments, it's better with THE LINKS. This is the web, so use links to bolster arguments you make, bring up related shit, or to make fun of someone. Links people, links.
posted by zpousman at 1:51 PM on November 18, 2004


Here's my special plea: If you don't read MeFi every day, please at least check the entire front page before adding a new link to a current event.

(Sorry trout, but I really, really, really hate this)
posted by soyjoy at 2:03 PM on November 18, 2004


Re mathovvie: If it had been a collect call an actual new user, that would've been daring.

What, this isn't the movie quotes thread?
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 2:03 PM on November 18, 2004


Do not try anything I do, I have the awesome "Elder Member" status that a few others like quonsar enjoys. Haha!

Mmm... sorta. I think your special status only extends as far as cracking Asian jokes, Stan, and that only after many embarassing years of self-deprecation. Quonsar's been banned (more than once?) as an expression of his special latitude. Don't do as they do, indeed, kiddies.

Still, it is true, ironically enough, that it's only okay to be a spastic, insolent ding-a-ling if you do it a LOT and if you do it ALL the time. Go figure. You can also never, ever be normal or serious, even for a moment (who wants to talk about Iraq with the class-clown?). And you can never, ever, under any circumstances call attention to this little ettiquette loophole (ahem) under penalty of your priveleges evaporating.
posted by scarabic at 2:59 PM on November 18, 2004


I'm sorry to hear the political posts are not particularly popular -- at least to judge by this thread. Reading metafilter comments through the election season was great. I kept wanting to hit "reply" .. . for better or worse. And now I can!

That said, I really thought the election day thread was a real white-knuckler. CedarSam(or something like that) had the fire stoked good and proper and the ensuing conversation seemed a perfect subset of the nation.

All that said, what's up the Godwin thing? And why is everything a straw-man? My understanding of that term, basically, is that it means a distraction from the issue.

Sorry, I'm rambling on here. I really just wanted to say hello and like that.
posted by undule at 3:21 PM on November 18, 2004


42.) listen to MiguelCardoso. he rocks. is occasionally in a sour mood but mostly crafts some beautiful posts.
posted by caution live frogs at 3:25 PM on November 18, 2004


undule: godwin = an argument goes long enough, someone is compared to a nazi. considered the death of a thread.
posted by caution live frogs at 3:26 PM on November 18, 2004


Can #21 be where you tell the unenlightened which site "The site that shall not be named" is?
And doesn't the other unnamed place rhyme with smiledial?


OK, I will readily admit that I'm unenlightened. What rhymes with smiledial?
posted by mach at 3:30 PM on November 18, 2004


I don't understand what #17 means. I keep seeing this dot all over the place--what does it mean???!?!?!
posted by grouse at 3:33 PM on November 18, 2004


I can't believe I made that mistake. Flouting, yeah.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 3:37 PM on November 18, 2004


it's only okay to be a spastic, insolent ding-a-ling if you do it a LOT and if you do it ALL the time.

Interesting. I think that may be close to true, and I'd never actually thought about it before. Neat-o!
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 3:43 PM on November 18, 2004


The strawman is a popular argument style everywhere these days. It's not so much a distraction as it is an attempt to redirect the conversation to something where you have an advantage. Rumsfeld is the king of this one.

Q: Didn't you say we knew right where the WMD were? Does that intel actually exist?

A: Look. Do I think Saddam was a danger to the free world? Yes. Did everyone think he had WMD, going back to the 90's? Yes. Is it possible terrorists were given this stuff before we went in? Of course. Do I think we need to make the world safe from that threat? You bet.

See? You restate the question and argue something else, rather than address the point directly. it's chicken shit.

Politics will never go away at MeFi. And at times it's good stuff. Especially when it's something new. Just be ready to face a few pissed off people when you post political stuff. But seriously. Don't we get bombarded with this stuff from all sides? Can't we have a calm in the storm? Doesn't it make sense to let MetaFilter stay focused on what it does well? Of course. Would I come over to your house and pee on your cat? Hell no. Can we do our peeing some place more appropriate? You bet.
posted by y6y6y6 at 3:51 PM on November 18, 2004


I might pee on your cat. That would amuse me. I am ashamed by this.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 3:57 PM on November 18, 2004


Also, you old-timers should not make the mistake of assuming new users don't know what's what.

As simians, I don't think humans have the wiring to accept--in the gut--that shared, tribal experiences could also be shared with a host of invisible and silent fellow travelers. When we strangers appear and claim to be brothers and sisters in knowledge, their hindbrain must whisper: I have not broken heads nor broken bread with you by my side! Who are you to speak with such confidence in my dealings?

So don't begrudge the covering of all bases. Odds are it's needed, if not for you.
posted by catachresoid at 4:15 PM on November 18, 2004


OK, I will readily admit that I'm unenlightened. What rhymes with smiledial?

Yes. Yes you are.
posted by scarabic at 4:22 PM on November 18, 2004



Here's a tip for IE users among the new crowd. Grab the bookmarklet on this page and drag it to your links toolbar.


there is nothing IE specific there. i've been using that bookmarklet for months with several versions of firefox.
posted by quonsar at 4:26 PM on November 18, 2004


Thanks for opening up the membership again. I just joined and have wanted to participate in the conversations. Nothing is more frustrating than being able to add something of value to AskMeFi and not being able to contact that person.

Thanks again for the tips.
posted by zymurgy at 4:36 PM on November 18, 2004


For want of anywhere else to do it, and to get the whole cherry-popping thing out of the way.. Hi. Antipodean, checkin' in.
Maybe if we get enough Monkey's over here, we can turn this place around. Take it somewhere nice, like Fiji.
Of course, I get the feeling it'll be more than a three-point turn.
posted by coriolisdave at 5:09 PM on November 18, 2004


Excellent refutation of the point made, q.
posted by dash_slot- at 5:22 PM on November 18, 2004


.
posted by TimeFactor at 6:09 PM on November 18, 2004


The strawman is a popular argument style everywhere these days. It's not so much a distraction as it is an attempt to redirect the conversation to something where you have an advantage. Rumsfeld is the king of this one.

Straw Man= effigy, imaginary person that you construct in order to make your argument. When you make up this adversary, you can give him all kinds of inane theories or faulty premises that you can then poke holes in. Thus winning you the argument.

Sentences usually start out with: Democrats believe.... or Christians think... you then put words in the mouth of your enemy in order to combat him.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 6:30 PM on November 18, 2004


If Stan Chin is the same guy who used to post funny captions to the DFC and IADL, he's ok by me.
posted by kenko at 7:06 PM on November 18, 2004


We're not sure about jews? wtf does that mean?
posted by mathowie (staff) at 7:51 PM on November 18, 2004


WEAR SUNSCREEN.
posted by mek at 9:01 PM on November 18, 2004


A "strawman" is a weak argument you attribute to your adversary, even though he doesn't actually hold that position. You then argue against the strawman rather than his actual argument.

Example:
"I think we should cut Social Security benefits by 0.001%."
"How dare you propose throwing the elderly out onto the street! What kind of inhuman monster are you??!!"
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 9:20 PM on November 18, 2004


Metafilter: We're 'okay' with jesus, but we're not sure about the jews.
posted by Arch Stanton at 9:21 PM on November 18, 2004


45. You are drunk. You write something that you think is really funny, but really insulting. You click "preview", and step outside for a breath of fresh air to think about it. While outside, you realize that you're probably just going to be seen as an asshole if you actually post the message, and that the message adds nothing to the thread but a personal attack.

You come back in, still drunk. Your post still makes you laugh, even though you've been outside for about seven minutes, and therefore have some perspective. What a zinger!

Do not shug and press "post".
posted by interrobang at 9:39 PM on November 18, 2004


I meant "shrug" So much for my "message of hope". The point stands.
posted by interrobang at 9:40 PM on November 18, 2004


haha, i love each and every one of you, especially jonmc
posted by Satapher at 11:38 PM on November 18, 2004


All of these MetaTalk threads about new members and how we should act, it's just a ploy by you old timers to keep us out of the blue isn't it. Come on, Admit it. :-)
posted by lloyder at 2:55 AM on November 19, 2004


I can't believe I made that mistake. Flouting, yeah.

EB, here I thought you were a descriptivist. Even if it was a mistake, you should've said, "sorry, but the flouting/flaunting distinction has been steadily crumbling in popular usage over the past half-century," because it has, of course, "and now it's OK to use those terms interchangeably." Or to be really cute, you could've said "the flouting/flaunting distinction has been flouted rather than flaunted, to the point that I can now just as easily say it's been flaunted rather than flouted."

Just tryin' to help.
posted by soyjoy at 7:10 AM on November 19, 2004


We're not sure about jews? wtf does that mean?

i thought it was a knowing way of referring to the middle east, the holocaust, and the associated politics - a mess of conflicting interests that can't be simply resolved.

i doubt there was any anti-semitism implied, except for the oblique reference in the phrasing, which i, at least, found amusing. but then i'm not exactly sympathetic to the zionist cause, so perhaps i'm not the best person to make the call.

(and this is a bit of a pompous post. sorry. tricky subject.)
posted by andrew cooke at 7:24 AM on November 19, 2004


No, dude, he was totally talking about the confusion over whether it's okay to use the word "jews" in Scrabble. You know, because the official dictionary doesn't list it but tournament rules say it's kosher. Also see "lez" and "gyp" which are in arguable taste but can be so very useful in a tight game. I hope that clears everything up?
posted by naomi at 7:50 AM on November 19, 2004


To sum things up :

"Go on, new user! Lift your little leg and mark some territory. Growl a bit, bare some teeth, bite some ears, howl at the moon.

But, don't piddle on the carpets or you'll be thwacked by a hundred rolled-up verbal newspapers."

_________

Meanwhile - I'm not sure about "The Jews" : are those sort of like "The Christians" or "You people" ? Me, I'm not sure about the humans - self included.

But, what are ya' gonna do ?
posted by troutfishing at 7:52 AM on November 19, 2004


"We're not sure about jews? wtf does that mean?"

It means I'm an idiot. Seriously. I have no idea what it means. I was trying to use a broad brush, and I was riffing, and I needed a way to finish the bullet point, and we bash/defend Christians here all the time but almost never Jews...........

Hell, I don't know. Can I get a freakin' do-over?

For those concerned/cringing over what I said - I can assure you I have an equal level of contempt (in principle) for all religions. And I can't think of any reason to single out Jews for an extra helping. I put all people who speak to their invisible friend who made the universe and is perfect into one bucket.

But we've established I'm a babbling asshat, so why worry about what i think?

See? No need for concern.

And, what andrew cooke said.

And, don't think I'm not aware of the pompous quality of my post. But I thought someone should do it. And no one else did. It's probably a moot point, since most of the new users seem to be long time readers anyway.
posted by y6y6y6 at 7:53 AM on November 19, 2004


y6y6y6 - I know you didn't mean it to come off that way ( also what Andrew Cooke said ), and I can see your point about the way people sometimes broad brush "Christians" without invoking such righteous wrath - my approach to that has been to brush up on my "Field Guide to Christians" and I've got them parsed now into about 500 different churches, sects, cults, and tendencies. Then, there's the Unification Church ( that gets it's own classification, as an "anomaly" )
________

I hear the Jews ( and I married one ) aren't sure about the Jews either, but they're even less sure about everybody else - Muslims in general, Arabs, and Palestinians certainly : but, they're also not so sure about Americans and are distinctly wary of Europeans overall and Germans and Austrians in particular. Meanwhile, they think they like the Post-WW2 Japanese, and are contemplating the Chinese with a mind to future strategic realignment as necessary. They think the Thais pose little threat, and are inclined to think well of Buddhist cultures. Africa generally makes them feel sad. They think they like Brazil but for all the crime and societal anomie. They have a bleakly realistic take on Russia, a guarded pessimism about Indonesia, and several squadrons of fully armed, fueled up fighter-bombers pointed towards Iran.

Moving right along to the Irish.......
posted by troutfishing at 8:17 AM on November 19, 2004


46. Be like y6y6y6. People write dumb things, people have dumb arguments. But, it's ok to back down, it's a sign of wisdom not weakness. y6 wrote some smart stuff and some dumb stuff, we ripped his stupid comment and he knows he made a silly comment and we all move on. another victory for metafilter and now we can all pat each other on the back. peace, happy, love.
posted by Arch Stanton at 8:40 AM on November 19, 2004


Until someone loses an eye.
posted by Vidiot at 9:09 AM on November 19, 2004


soyjoy, like languagehat I'm a descriptivist with strong prescriptivist sympathies. Which, I suppose, is another way of saying that I'm right and everyone else is wrong. :) Seriously, either extreme position seems silly to me and I think it comes down to common sense (as opposed to tendencies toward snobbery or knownothingism). Of course, we all disagree about what is common sense.

Thinking about the flaunting/flouting thing is odd to me because there's no doubt in my mind that I've known these two words and what they mean for as long as I can remember. On the other hand, I can hear "someone" using flaunt as flout as I did and it seems natural. So, um, it's everyone else's fault. They've confused me.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 9:14 AM on November 19, 2004


If you've got it, flout it.

(Or take up the flute.)
posted by Vidiot at 9:26 AM on November 19, 2004


this post is incredible.

NEW USERS TAKE HEED

they are arguing about jews

this is pretty much what always happens, no matter what the post is about

if its not anti-semitism, its anti-goyism, which noone ever argues about because, hey, fuck the christians.
posted by Satapher at 11:19 AM on November 19, 2004


29) never read the article or the post, but draw your own conclusions based on the comments that happen to catch your eye because they mention anatomical body parts or curse words
posted by Satapher at 11:23 AM on November 19, 2004


30) Be a really sarcastic poster who hates the world and wants to make sure everyone knows it.
posted by y6y6y6 at 12:19 PM on November 19, 2004


37) dont hate the world, hate the internet
posted by Satapher at 5:34 PM on November 19, 2004


35) understand that metafilter is always a pissing contest, no matter how veiled and civil some schmucks like to pretend it is
posted by Satapher at 5:36 PM on November 19, 2004


sixtyten) realize that some of the greatest posts usually have less than twenty comments and are generally ignored in favor of the mastabatory pissing matches mentioned above.

orange) come to terms with the fact that if you dont say YAY or NAY, you arent taking the matter seriously, like the intellectuals who always know whether something is black or white... if you say gray, or green, or sewing machine, you are a waste of time and do not hinder or bolster either of the polar extremes and therefore do not stroke or agitate the testicles of the backseat-driving-heros of the USA. A working class Sisyphus is something to be.
posted by Satapher at 5:49 PM on November 19, 2004


16) Don't feed the trolls. If someone is saying something outrageous, please consider the idea that they are only saying it in an attempt to get some newbie to take the bait and actually present a time consuming rebuttal to their obvious silliness. People do this here all the time. If someone says Hitler was a great leader, just let it go. They don't believe it any more than you do. They just want to see if you'll fall for it. It's painful for us to see you fall for it. Please just don't.

Yes, yes, yes, a thousand times yes !!

And even though it's really hard, ignore troll feeders as well as the troll. If you feel the need to caution the poor sap, please do it thru e-mail, not in the thread, because to do so, just continues to stroke the attention-hogging horny little beast cackling under the bridge.

Great job y6 !!

Late to the party as usual (sigh...)
posted by marsha56 at 7:01 PM on November 19, 2004


47. ...
48. Profit!
posted by gramcracker at 8:09 AM on November 20, 2004


All the HTML you'll ever need to use...
New users, do you see the little B, I, and link buttons at the bottom-right of the comment box at the bottom of the page? Those stand for 'bold', 'italic' and 'link'. Highlight the words in the comment box that you want to bold, italic, or link with and press the buttons. It's that simple.
posted by Arch Stanton at 11:26 AM on November 24, 2004


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