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"Please read the link" callout
February 28, 2005 2:33 PM   Subscribe

Metafilter fascism: Please click on the link at least once *before* filling up the thread with stupid comments. In this case, the poster (matteo) merely quotes pieces of a work of fiction before delmoi and TargetPractice jump in with knees in full-jerk mode.
posted by vacapinta to Etiquette/Policy at 2:33 PM (30 comments total)

Were comments deleted from that thread? I'm not sure I see the problem otherwise...
posted by spaghetti at 2:46 PM on February 28, 2005


I believe vacapinta's point is that they clearly didn't even bother to click the link before posting kneejerk responses. The quote is from a piece of FICTION and people started responding to it as though Eco had said it in an interview or the like.
posted by Justinian at 2:52 PM on February 28, 2005


Please click on the link at least once *before* filling up the thread with stupid comments.

Good luck with that request. Or, for that matter, any request in the form:

Please _________________________ *before* filling up the thread with stupid comments.
posted by casu marzu at 2:52 PM on February 28, 2005


The worst part is that the short story in question is excellent, and raises some interesting questions. It was a perfect link to elicit a great MeFi conversation. But that won't happen now, because people who are too lazy to click on links before opening their blowholes decided to turn the thread into their own snarky sandbox.

It was a major disappoint to refresh the FPP after reading Eco's story, only to discover any meaningul conversation had been headed off at the pass by all the off-topic crap-flinging. Umberto Eco wrote about morality, partisanship, loyalty, responsibility, religion and the state....instead of discussing those issues, we got a page full of sophomoric, semantic babbling about the nature of "facism."
posted by jbrjake at 2:56 PM on February 28, 2005


bukakke is facist.
posted by quonsar at 2:59 PM on February 28, 2005


instead of discussing those issues, we got a page full of sophomoric, semantic babbling about the nature of "facism."

agreed.
posted by dejah420 at 3:00 PM on February 28, 2005


Are facists body-nazis?
posted by AlexReynolds at 3:01 PM on February 28, 2005


Metafilter : Like a flower in your gun barrel
posted by Mean Mr. Bucket at 3:03 PM on February 28, 2005


This target practice person seems well named.
posted by CunningLinguist at 3:03 PM on February 28, 2005


I am embarrased for them.
posted by Quartermass at 3:11 PM on February 28, 2005


What jbrjake said. And also, is it just me, or is the blue-thread:meta-thread ratio approaching 1:1 of late?
posted by everichon at 3:17 PM on February 28, 2005


More seriously, I believe since Matt is like a junkie on a feature-request binge... there's got to be someway to add a "read this" delay. Something along the lines of 15 minutes would get rid some refreshers looking for a topic to comment on. If the feature could be turned on or off by the poster at the time of the post -- it would be a boon for more serious threads that require reading and still allow the quirky 2-minute glance links to be functional.

Should be pretty easy to put in logically (if the post is less than 15 minutes old and variable is triggered do not allow posting). Of course I realize that ColdFusion is next to Judas and Brutus in the frigid mouth of Satan.
posted by geoff. at 3:32 PM on February 28, 2005


snarky blowhole? Wow. My comments were intended as completly un-ironic, and un-malicious responses the text of the post. I could see how you could say my comments were 'reflexive' in that they were my immediate responses, but I don't see how you get the negative connotations of 'knee-jerk' along with it.

I started reading the story, but I was at work and didn't have time to finish, i was actualy looking forward to discussing what I thought was an intresting peice when I finished.
posted by delmoi at 3:41 PM on February 28, 2005


TargetPractice does seem to be a little over the top, though. Now that I've actualy read the thread in question.
posted by delmoi at 3:46 PM on February 28, 2005


I read the story and was blown away by it. I loved the whole mist/fog theme. Old memories etc.

Anyways, so I check out the comments, expecting to see observations on short story about the war-time adventure of a small boy.

Instead.....KABLAAAM!!!

Jesus Christ folks, take a deep breath before you post.

I think it's pretty obvious that the quote in the fpp, in context, represents the viewpoint of a fictional character who is just shooting the shit. A fictional character having an idle conversation.

Delmoi, are you going to have a one sided argument with a fictional character? Show just a little restaint. For Jesus Christs sake, if i didn't know better I' say you were trolling.

The least you could do is present your concerns within the context of the story itself.

on preview:
>>but I don't see how you get the negative connotations of 'knee-jerk' along with it.,

aarrrrrgh!!!
posted by kuatto at 3:47 PM on February 28, 2005


kuatto: I did not indend to have an argument with anyone, mearly make a comment on what I saw as a logical falicy in the text of the post before reading the story.

Maybe metafilter does need branching threads so that we don't need to get into arguments about the 'direction' of the thread. I mean, they can be annoying to read but given the level of acrimony around here due to 'derailments' it might be a good idea.

Or maybe people could ignore posts they think are offtopic.
posted by delmoi at 4:11 PM on February 28, 2005


Or maybe people could ignore posts they think are offtopic.

delmoi, you've been around a while. You must have noticed that the first response in a thread often determines its course. A well thought out first response will usually lead to good follow up comments. In that regard, I'd say if your own comment will be the first, try not to make it just noise.

Do you really not understand where a comment like "Is facism really wrong?" leads to around here? How is that not starting an argument?
posted by vacapinta at 4:28 PM on February 28, 2005


delmoi said:

I started reading the story, but I was at work and didn't have time to finish, i was actualy looking forward to discussing what I thought was an intresting peice when I finished.

I suspect that what people are getting at, here, is that perhaps what you intended is what should have happened. See, the thread doesn't have your thoughts on an interesting piece that you'd just finished reading in it. What the thread has is what vacapinta described: a knee-jerk reaction to something you didn't even finish reading. What resulted from that was very much amputated discussion of something that by most accounts deserved better.

I can't speak for anyone else, but I know that I certainly appreciate the fact that you didn't intend any kind of maliciousness or snarkery (it's a word, now, bitches.). However, there comes a time when one has to accept that despite one's best intentions one's actions have resulted negatively on a thread or the community. This is one of those times. Maybe, if you didn't have time to finish reading at work, you should have taken the time used to write out that response to read just a little more of the story, instead, before you continued working and reserved the comments until you'd gotten home and finished it.
posted by shmegegge at 4:30 PM on February 28, 2005


oh, and quonsar is my fucking hero. Holy shit. both in this thread and the Eco one.
posted by shmegegge at 4:32 PM on February 28, 2005


oh, and quonsar is my fucking hero.

Shoot for the stars, son, shoot for the stars.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 4:56 PM on February 28, 2005


I'm not defending the first few comments, but I don't see how they prevent anyone from having a real discussion about the story. If you want to discuss something substantive, discuss away. Hopefully other users will follow your good example.

Just ignore the derails, trolls, and snarks. They are annoying but trying to make them go away is a losing battle (this is what I was getting at in my own snarky way above). It certainly doesn't help to draw attention to them. I think part of the problem is the appearance of the word "fascism" in the post itself. It's practically a Rorschach test for some MeFites -- it invites their response. I'm quite sure that matteo is aware of this, though. Perhaps he was being deliberately provocative (which is his prerogative).

Now if you'll excuse me, it appears I'm late for the quonsar worship session.
posted by casu marzu at 5:02 PM on February 28, 2005


snarky blowhole? Wow. My comments were intended as completly un-ironic, and un-malicious responses the text of the post.

...

Un-ironic, un-malicious responses generally don't start out as negatively as one possibly can, by saying "No," followed by a pedantic attempt at correcting the FPP by pointing out that, gasp, God is only a characteristic-X if group-Y are correct in their beliefs about the cosmos. In any case, if you'd RTFA you'd have known that Gragnola is not a reliable speaker and can be a bit of a hypocrite.

For that matter, reading the thread again, I can't help but note that your comment did not even display a close reading of the text of matteo's post. Gragnola's words don't argue, even implicitly, that God being a fascist depends on pantheism. Rather, he's comparing the pervasiveness of God in pantheism to the pervasiveness of the State in totalitarianism (not authoritarianism, as Target Practice said off-handedly as he de-railed the Blue thread). By taking the excerpt as it is, you're assuming Gragnola's point about God being a Fascist is predicated on him being everywhere, per the sentence which precedes it...but Eco's character was not forging that logical chain. Had you read the story, you'd have learned Gragnola's inflammatory point is based on information that follows matteo's excerpt. For example: how the Judeo-Christian God strives to micro-manage human existence with his Commandments about property, and by demanding pointless rituals that subsume the individual.

And that's why your comments were not only reflexive, but knee-jerk.

Also, I could be totally wrong about this, but I've always inferred from the site's subtitle ("Best of the Web") that, at least in most cases, we're intended to be discussing the links--those things that someone has deemed best of what's out there on the web--and not responding to the text of the posts sharing the links. That's what Slashdot and Fark are for.
posted by jbrjake at 5:12 PM on February 28, 2005


I didn't read the thread in question, or the article. But I feel qualified to comment anyway.

You guys all suck.
posted by graventy at 5:43 PM on February 28, 2005


Delmoi,

Like this:

Hmm, Gragnola sure is a strange Italian anarchist, I wonder if his views on religion and fascism are illustrative of Eco's personal beliefs. Personally, I don't agree with Gragnola; God is only a facist if the pantheists are, in fact, correct. They may be wrong. Interesting story nonetheless.

Sometimes it's the way you say it, even if you didn't intend harm. Well, in any event, no harm done.
posted by kuatto at 6:00 PM on February 28, 2005


This is the obvious downside of being intentionally obscure in your FPP. If it had said "This is really good short story by Umberto Eco", would there have been any uninformed comments? And the same people would still have followed the link.

(I do it find it amusing how this is yet another thread where people think that somehow we can use rules or automated technology to prevent assholes from acting like assholes.)
posted by smackfu at 7:27 PM on February 28, 2005


New policy for me: I will no longer post one-line comments on the text of the FPP unless at least 4 people have posts have been made already or the post has been around for a while and is getting very few comments.

One line comments on the text of the link may be made.
posted by delmoi at 8:35 PM on February 28, 2005


*head explodes*
posted by shmegegge at 9:27 PM on February 28, 2005


Amusingly, the only reason I've read the fiction is question was because of the orgy of pee-drinking happening in this thread.
posted by Kleptophoria! at 11:16 PM on February 28, 2005


I am sorry that this discussion never took a definitive course or even had a chance from the start.
posted by Viomeda at 11:51 PM on February 28, 2005


Delmoi: That's very good of you. I'm going to use the same basis for my comments (with, perhaps, the exceptions of "This is good" or "." in the cases that warrant it).
posted by Bugbread at 3:52 AM on March 1, 2005


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