Metafilter census December 6, 2005 11:55 AM   Subscribe

I say we have an official MetaFilter census. It would be interesting to see where MeFites stand in terms of things like Race, Location, Religious Beliefs, etc. It would be entirely voluntary and anonymous of course. Any thoughts on this?
posted by matkline to Feature Requests at 11:55 AM (161 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

a/s/l
posted by Faint of Butt at 11:56 AM on December 6, 2005


good luck with that.
posted by puke & cry at 11:59 AM on December 6, 2005


I would enjoy this, but mainly because I get a huge kick out of filling in forms.
posted by chrismear at 12:00 PM on December 6, 2005


I'm for it.
posted by cortex at 12:01 PM on December 6, 2005


What safeguards would be set up so that it couldn't be abused? Like, say, someone writing a bot to vote "Jedi" ten thousand times on the Religion question? 'Cause you just know someone will do that.
posted by Gator at 12:04 PM on December 6, 2005


Location: Your mom.
posted by loquacious at 12:05 PM on December 6, 2005


Anonymous data but not anonymous entry, perhaps? This assumes trust of Matt, but it'd be easy to create a hash over usernumbers for some on-server table of answers. One survey per user because the site would track whether or not you have filled it out; then dump the data in aggregate divorced of any connection to the originating accounts once the census is considered complete.
posted by cortex at 12:06 PM on December 6, 2005


Gator:
It would only be available to MeFi members, and each person would be allotted one submission. So, unless someone actively campaigns for something like the "jedi" response, I doubt there'd be any problem.
posted by matkline at 12:07 PM on December 6, 2005


I am opposed and will fight you to the death on this issue. I will post long and loud about what a horrible precedent it is and how it will ruin the site, for reasons that I will pretty much make up as I write. If you proceed anyway, I will post numerous Metatalk threads against it, starting a new thread each time Matt closes one. I will create numerous sock puppets, all of them from Scotland (except one from Wales), to support my positions. I will look up your comments in other threads and my army of sock puppets will disagree with your every utterance and hound you until the end of time. Then I will go to MetaChat and whine about the whole thing.

Actually, I like the idea. Go ahead.
posted by LarryC at 12:08 PM on December 6, 2005


If Matt's involved and this isn't some sort of offsite Quizilla-type deal, that of course is a horse of a different color.
posted by Gator at 12:08 PM on December 6, 2005


haven't we already done this? i seem to remember something like it in the past--maybe connected to the political chart thing? or to putting ads on the front page or something?
posted by amberglow at 12:09 PM on December 6, 2005


This is just so you can persecute pedophiliac satan-worshippers, isn't it?
posted by Tuwa at 12:10 PM on December 6, 2005


Wait -- you're not even going to include a Jedi option? I call discrimination.
posted by Gator at 12:10 PM on December 6, 2005


And I even prefer the notion of opt-in non-anonymity -- anyone not inclined to hide the relation between their username and answers could specifically request the information to be public. Anonymity would, however, remain the default state.

This could be done on a per-answer basis (a nice little column of checkboxen down the left, one per question) to allow for greater flexibility.
posted by cortex at 12:10 PM on December 6, 2005


haven't we already done this? i seem to remember something like it in the past--maybe connected to the political chart thing? or to putting ads on the front page or something?

here
posted by amberglow at 12:10 PM on December 6, 2005


is this really the thing people would most like matt to do?
posted by andrew cooke at 12:10 PM on December 6, 2005


It would be easy to safeguard, one reply per user name. No password, and no cross indexing of replies with names, of course.

It would be hard to abuse for the same reason metachat works, if somebody is squatting on your mefi user name you just raise hell. You might want to add a recent activity check, so that people couldn't use a bunch of dead account names.

Anyway, all that could be done with no access to the main site except scraping the publicly available pages.
posted by Chuckles at 12:11 PM on December 6, 2005


Why do you care about this? What difference does it make?
posted by jasper411 at 12:12 PM on December 6, 2005


Does it need to make a difference? Personally, I care about it because it's interesting. I like demographics. I like statistics. Numbercrunching is fune. But I don't think it's a big deal either way.
posted by cortex at 12:14 PM on December 6, 2005


It's a good idea, but because it would be voluntary, the results would be so self-selecting they'd veer into uselessness. Probably not worth the time.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 12:16 PM on December 6, 2005 [1 favorite]


ThePinkSuperhero:

You don't even have to return the US Census if you don't want to. Oh, wait - I guess you might have a point.
posted by matkline at 12:18 PM on December 6, 2005


I read the previous survey when I was still lurking. I believe it contained a great deal of lying humor. Is this really a worthwhile project except for the entertainment content?
posted by Cranberry at 12:19 PM on December 6, 2005


I thought it was fun last time. And Matt can use the demographics to make more money.
posted by loquax at 12:19 PM on December 6, 2005


Oh, I forgot to add, it is kind of silly... All you have to do is look at names and meet-up pictures and you know that we are mostly WASPs, and practically all white. That is very unfortunate, and I would love to find out that I'm wrong, but...
posted by Chuckles at 12:19 PM on December 6, 2005


Could those fields just be added to our profiles? It's already got our ZipCode, and if people wanted to they can fill it out. If not, well, they wouldn't. That way when I use racist epithets against someone I could be sure to use the correct words. Or be able to better criticise their choice of nationality/gender/haircolor.
posted by blue_beetle at 12:21 PM on December 6, 2005


Haha. Speak for yourself chuckles. I'm African-American/Negro/Black all the way!
posted by matkline at 12:21 PM on December 6, 2005


WASPs

I'm an athiest Jew/Catholic, myself.
posted by cortex at 12:28 PM on December 6, 2005


Chuckles said "mostly"

Individuals coming in and saying "That doesnt describe me!!" doesnt really negate his point. I (a Mexican-American) would love to discover he's wrong but I wouldnt bet against him on this one.
posted by vacapinta at 12:35 PM on December 6, 2005


I'm not a WASP but I am a yuppie. Maybe one day I'll be a DINK.
posted by loquax at 12:35 PM on December 6, 2005


All I know is yhbc is a young hot bisexual chick.
posted by If I Had An Anus at 12:36 PM on December 6, 2005


Well, I'm practically all white. Except for that bit there . . .
posted by Kirth Gerson at 12:40 PM on December 6, 2005


God I 'm an idiot. I mean... I am interested in the question... Obviously we are now going to get a whole stream of people who want to prove me wrong... Didn't you read what I wrote? I want to prove me wrong!

The best evidence I can think of is meetup pictures, and speaking off the top of my head only, they are pretty conclusive.

Anyway, it is definitely a bad idea to add it to user pages. People could do that if they wanted anyway, and if people are afraid to put an anonymous Gmail address up they obviously aren't interested in sharing the other information. Hardly anybody even answers the male/female field on the user page as it it.
posted by Chuckles at 12:40 PM on December 6, 2005


Vote early, vote often.
posted by Rothko at 12:41 PM on December 6, 2005


Maybe one day I'll be a DINK.
posted by loquax at 12:35 PM PST on December 6


I'm a dink, loquax. There is nothing really to it except you eat better meals and drink more expensive drinks which ultimately offsets the dual advantage. Or, at least that is my experience.
posted by dios at 12:43 PM on December 6, 2005


Chuckles (and vacapinta), I'm actually in agreement with you; I didn't mean my declaration of confusion religious alignment as a refutation so much as a joke. I'm guessing that's the spirit the other "Yeah but not me!" comments as well.
posted by cortex at 12:44 PM on December 6, 2005


All you have to do is look at names and meet-up pictures and you know that we are mostly WASPs

White does not necessarily equal WASP, my friend.

/irish-italian catholic

and I can assure you that there's plenty of non-white, non-christian, non-heterosexual MeFites. As online blog diversity goes, we're doing better than most.
posted by jonmc at 12:45 PM on December 6, 2005


Ditto jonmc.

Although I am a WASP. I apologize for the non-diversification I bring to the site :-(
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 12:48 PM on December 6, 2005 [1 favorite]


The magical cookie to authenticate me as a MeFi user is...
posted by sciurus at 12:48 PM on December 6, 2005


Someone spell me a way out of the acronym forest, will ya? WASP? DINK? BISEXUAL?
posted by NinjaPirate at 12:51 PM on December 6, 2005


because it would be voluntary, the results would be so self-selecting they'd veer into uselessness

Yeah this mechanic is usually a factor in any survey. In our case there would be a bunch of Canadians and Portugese scrambling madly to appear relevant. Pshaw.

;)
posted by scarabic at 12:54 PM on December 6, 2005


Heh. Listen to jonmc and ThePinkSuperhero.

(white vodoun practitioner. pheer my diversity!)
posted by kalimac at 12:55 PM on December 6, 2005


WASP -> White Angle Saxon Protestant
DINK -> Dual Income, No Kids
BISEXUAL -> hottt with three t's.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 12:57 PM on December 6, 2005


BISEXUAL = Banter Interesting Solely to Xenophobic Unicorns At Large
posted by matkline at 12:58 PM on December 6, 2005


Er, Anglo-Saxon that is. I'm a Wasp, but I'm not acute one.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 12:59 PM on December 6, 2005


Holy crap, I'm a DINK. Awesome.
posted by cortex at 1:00 PM on December 6, 2005




posted by Gator at 1:00 PM on December 6, 2005


"Digital
.
posted by dios at 1:03 PM on December 6, 2005


Ninja Pirate: to translate into an approximation of Queen's English, WASP is White Anglo-Saxon Protestant, DINK is Double Income No Kids, BISEXUAL is, well maybe you should have your parents talk to you about this.
posted by Cranberry at 1:04 PM on December 6, 2005


born in south essex under a lamppost
posted by eddydamascene at 1:07 PM on December 6, 2005


I stripped out the width, height, alt, and border attributes before I posted, dios. At least a couple of those do seem to gork things up.
posted by Gator at 1:11 PM on December 6, 2005


Too cool, Gator

posted by If I Had An Anus at 1:14 PM on December 6, 2005


Okay, that's awesome. Here's me.



posted by dame at 1:14 PM on December 6, 2005


I could have sworn "dink" was some kind of ethnic slur. anyway, I agree with the PinkSuperHero:

"because it would be voluntary, the results would be so self-selecting they'd veer into uselessness. Probably not worth the time"
posted by matteo at 1:15 PM on December 6, 2005


I'll explore you like crazy, baby.
posted by dame at 1:15 PM on December 6, 2005


Oh man, y'all don't remember the Cyborg Name Generator? It used to be on the Brunching Shuttlecocks, but when they shut down, Lore put it on a separate site. Should I take it to the blue?
posted by Gator at 1:16 PM on December 6, 2005


Robotic Organism Trained for Hazardous Killing and Observation
posted by Rothko at 1:17 PM on December 6, 2005


Ah, nevermind. Been done.
posted by Gator at 1:18 PM on December 6, 2005


dios, that's really funny.
posted by gaspode at 1:23 PM on December 6, 2005




posted by grateful at 1:24 PM on December 6, 2005


So, matkline - thread shaking out about how your expected?
posted by Wolfdog at 1:27 PM on December 6, 2005


I'll remind you all that "anglo-saxon" means english heritage. Even if you are some brand of lesser protestant, please don't lump good english people in with people descended from those white apes on the continent. Or even the welsh or (shudder) scots. We may be mostly white, but we are most definitely not mostly Anglo-Saxon.

Thanks.

AND DID THOSE FEEEEET, IN ANCIENT TIIIIIMES.....
posted by Mayor Curley at 1:27 PM on December 6, 2005




I guess that explains why I've been so chatty and reconciling lately.
posted by cortex at 1:29 PM on December 6, 2005



Person Intended for Nocturnal Killing

posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 1:29 PM on December 6, 2005 [1 favorite]


I'm...I'm sorry, matkline.
posted by Gator at 1:30 PM on December 6, 2005







1. I like to play too
2. These things are scarily accurate
posted by ND¢ at 1:35 PM on December 6, 2005


I think we should just be assigned a random other MeFi'te to write up a ridiculously assumption-filled character profile about.
posted by tpl1212 at 1:38 PM on December 6, 2005


I seem to recall another census that was held 'round this time of year...
2000 years later, and we're still paying for it.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 1:53 PM on December 6, 2005


Worldwide Infiltration!
Operational Mechanical Individual Engineered for Worldwide Infiltration and Scientific Exploration
posted by OmieWise at 1:56 PM on December 6, 2005


Like, say, someone writing a bot to vote "Jedi" ten thousand times on the Religion question?

That's a pretty serious, yet generic accusation to make.

Also, I will never think of dios the same way again.
posted by stet at 1:58 PM on December 6, 2005


matteo: You're probably thinking of "chink".
posted by fvw at 1:58 PM on December 6, 2005




That's a little disappointing.
posted by stet at 2:04 PM on December 6, 2005


Psst, Omiewise.
posted by Gator at 2:05 PM on December 6, 2005


matteo and fvw:

dink 2 (dĭngk) pronunciation

n. Offensive Slang.

Used as a disparaging term for a North Vietnamese soldier or guerrilla in the Vietnam War.

found here.
posted by ND¢ at 2:08 PM on December 6, 2005




posted by Dreamghost at 2:09 PM on December 6, 2005


What happened to the google map hack that people could post a pic and a shout-out and a dot on the map. Maybe that should be on the sidebar? A lazy search for it produced no results.
posted by Rumple at 2:11 PM on December 6, 2005




Seems contradictory, but, I'm down.
posted by terrapin at 2:13 PM on December 6, 2005


grateful: I thought you were changing your username to jaded?
posted by terrapin at 2:15 PM on December 6, 2005


Rumple, it is called Frappr and the MetaFilter page is here.
posted by terrapin at 2:17 PM on December 6, 2005




Apt.


posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 2:19 PM on December 6, 2005


digital individual optimized for sabotage
posted by dios at 1:03 PM PST on December 6


lmao
posted by Optimus Chyme at 2:21 PM on December 6, 2005


A dink is actually a usafa cadet. As in ca-dink.
posted by konolia at 2:31 PM on December 6, 2005


A dink is actually a usafa cadet. As in ca-dink.

A dink is also a penis. As in "He put his dink in another man's mouth and butthole. Now the Good Lord says he should be put to death."
posted by Mayor Curley at 2:36 PM on December 6, 2005


Thanks terrapin, thats the one. Seems like that responds to some of the OP's desires, at least, and it would be good to see that on the sidebar to encourage adds.
posted by Rumple at 2:39 PM on December 6, 2005


Talking of Google hacks, I still wish more MeFites had shown some interest in Wayfaring.com. Could be so handy for meetups, visitations, and the neverending parade of "I'm gonna be in XYZ town for a weekend, what should I do" questions in AskMe.
posted by Gator at 2:44 PM on December 6, 2005



posted by Krrrlson at 2:47 PM on December 6, 2005


I fixed some people's borked images, here is mine.


Jogger-Eating Scientist-Snatching Abomination from the Mysterious Yellow Necropolis

posted by jessamyn at 2:55 PM on December 6, 2005


NOOO!!!! The androids have taken control of the post!!! Kill the WASPs and DINKs! (Keep the bisexuals for interrogation)
posted by matkline at 3:03 PM on December 6, 2005


Krrrlson, you did WHAT to that redhead now....?
posted by jessamyn at 3:05 PM on December 6, 2005


The name generator is biased.
posted by 6550 at 3:07 PM on December 6, 2005





That's about right.
posted by loquax at 3:09 PM on December 6, 2005



posted by mischief at 3:11 PM on December 6, 2005




blimey
posted by patricio at 3:13 PM on December 6, 2005





Yeah baby.
posted by CunningLinguist at 3:16 PM on December 6, 2005





Yeah baby II.
posted by CunningLinguist at 3:18 PM on December 6, 2005


Ooh, can I be a NIHTGWIHNK?
No income, hope to God I have no kids.



posted by allen.spaulding at 3:19 PM on December 6, 2005


Hey, the census worked at burning man - I'm for it here.
posted by odinsdream at 3:20 PM on December 6, 2005



posted by ericb at 3:21 PM on December 6, 2005




posted by lola at 3:30 PM on December 6, 2005




posted by mathowie (staff) at 3:30 PM on December 6, 2005




posted by seanyboy at 3:37 PM on December 6, 2005





mmmm backrubs...
posted by chiababe at 3:38 PM on December 6, 2005




posted by FieldingGoodney at 3:41 PM on December 6, 2005




posted by ozomatli at 3:48 PM on December 6, 2005



Digital Artificial Replicant Keen on Masterful Assassination, Thorough Troubleshooting and Efficient Repair

posted by darkmatter at 3:50 PM on December 6, 2005


It really speaks for itself doesn't it?
posted by darkmatter at 3:50 PM on December 6, 2005


Krrrlson, you did WHAT to that redhead now....?

Yeah, I had to read that one twice.
posted by Krrrlson at 4:02 PM on December 6, 2005


so many possibilities...






posted by wendell at 4:07 PM on December 6, 2005


how the hell did we get from a census to this crap?
posted by crunchland at 4:09 PM on December 6, 2005




Yeah, I'm a nun-nabber. What are you going to do about it?
posted by donnagirl at 4:11 PM on December 6, 2005


We do it just to piss you off, crunchland. It gets easier every day too.
posted by terrapin at 4:15 PM on December 6, 2005


yeah crunchland, this is one of the weidest widespread threadjackings I've ever seen
posted by allen.spaulding at 4:18 PM on December 6, 2005


I'm really sorry, crunchland. Jeepers.
posted by Gator at 4:21 PM on December 6, 2005




Someone should tell the moderators... errr... who are participating in said hijack.
posted by terrapin at 4:23 PM on December 6, 2005




posted by ericb at 4:33 PM on December 6, 2005


expialidocious, don't cry! don't give up so easily! you'll just have to lose a few letters:

Electronic Xperimental Person Intended for Accurate Learning, Immediate Destruction and Online Calculation

posted by funambulist at 4:42 PM on December 6, 2005


Man of Caresses
posted by Mayor Curley at 4:43 PM on December 6, 2005


See! This is the best census ever taken.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 4:46 PM on December 6, 2005 [1 favorite]


If you look closely, you can see the exact second that this thread went in the toilet.
posted by blue_beetle at 5:03 PM on December 6, 2005




posted by desuetude at 5:04 PM on December 6, 2005



posted by Staggering Jack at 5:06 PM on December 6, 2005







and a bag of chips.
posted by carsonb at 5:08 PM on December 6, 2005



Offensive Pain-Tempted Anthropologist-Mangling Yokel-Snatching Terror from the Isolated Crypt

posted by Optamystic at 5:25 PM on December 6, 2005


I'm a... let's see... super-qualified irksome robot with... ah, fuck it.
posted by squirrel at 5:27 PM on December 6, 2005


stop me if you've heard this one before...

Marvelous Exciting Treasure Adeptly Furnishing Intense, Lustful Touches and Erotic Recreation
posted by funambulist at 5:27 PM on December 6, 2005


MetaFilter: hottt with three t's




This is bizarrely accurate.

blue_beetle writes "Could those fields just be added to our profiles? It's already got our ZipCode, and if people wanted to they can fill it out. If not, well, they wouldn't."

It's tough to get an aggragate feel for the membership when the data is spread over 30K user pages. Personally even with what is sure to be alot of noise it would be worth doing.

ND¢ writes "Used as a disparaging term for a North Vietnamese soldier or guerrilla in the Vietnam War."

Famously in the movies Apocalypse Now and Platoon to refer to the North Vietnamese.
posted by Mitheral at 5:43 PM on December 6, 2005


Best. Census. Ever.
posted by CunningLinguist at 5:46 PM on December 6, 2005


I'd say I'm sorry but I'm not.






posted by dame at 5:49 PM on December 6, 2005




posted by deborah at 5:51 PM on December 6, 2005


This thread sure got weird.



posted by delmoi at 6:10 PM on December 6, 2005


Hey, dame's is recursive! You know, like GNU. Now that is nerd chic.
posted by Chuckles at 6:16 PM on December 6, 2005


Oh, you say that to all the girls.
posted by dame at 6:27 PM on December 6, 2005



Mechanical Operational Organism Normally for Battle, Infiltration and Rational Destruction

posted by moonbird at 6:44 PM on December 6, 2005


I'm a Malaysian Zoroastrian who lives in Svalbard. My hobbies are masturbation and lying.
posted by Decani at 6:52 PM on December 6, 2005


I want to know what "rational destruction" is. Is that a Jesuit thing?
posted by hototogisu at 6:58 PM on December 6, 2005


I am Tiny P. Fishes, millionaire. I own a mansion and a yacht.
posted by tiny purple fishes at 7:50 PM on December 6, 2005




posted by rebirtha at 8:17 PM on December 6, 2005



Kinetic Ytterbium Lifeform Engineered for Gratification

posted by kyleg at 8:28 PM on December 6, 2005





shoot, I was hoping for "young hot bisexual chick"
posted by yhbc at 9:01 PM on December 6, 2005



And:


Those damn joggers.
posted by Jon-o at 9:09 PM on December 6, 2005



Lifelike Unit Designed for Warfare and Immediate Gratification

posted by ludwig_van at 9:46 PM on December 6, 2005


When I apply my custom stylesheet with .img {display:none;}, most of this thread is almost like it was in the halcyon (and non-existent) Good Old Days, except, you know, without the comments.

Funny, that.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 9:57 PM on December 6, 2005





Eerily accurate says I.
posted by Mitheral at 10:02 PM on December 6, 2005


I think I just sprained my pituitary gland on this thread.
posted by loquacious at 10:03 PM on December 6, 2005





Kickass!

posted by jokeefe at 10:11 PM on December 6, 2005


Eerily accurate says I.

Except that you spelled it wrong.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 11:05 PM on December 6, 2005




posted by emelenjr at 11:18 PM on December 6, 2005


stavrosthewonderchicken writes "Except that you spelled it wrong."

Wait, I thought you weren't seeing images?
posted by Mitheral at 12:17 AM on December 7, 2005


I have a button to toggle my user-defined stylesheet, as needed.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 12:39 AM on December 7, 2005



Mmmmmm...Nocturnal Gratification.....
posted by Joeforking at 1:40 AM on December 7, 2005




posted by By The Grace of God at 3:55 AM on December 7, 2005




posted by grapefruitmoon at 6:07 AM on December 7, 2005





Humanoid Intended for Potential Peacekeeping, Yearly Battle and Online Yelling


Yep, that's me.
posted by hippyboy at 8:47 AM on December 7, 2005



Tantalizing Handsome One Made for Caresses and Arousing Touches.

posted by thomcatspike at 10:06 AM on December 7, 2005





ooh.

my fave acronym from the non-computer generated world was a group called UBIQUITOUS:
Uppity BI Queers United In Their Overtly Unconventional Sexuality.

even less on topic, when I was a kid my mom called bad dreams "bad dreams" so I got confused when my friends would talk about their after-dusk horses... especially living in NYC. did they keep them in their apartments?...
posted by mdn at 12:36 PM on December 7, 2005


Now that it's off the front page, I'll do me:




True on all five counts.
posted by Gator at 1:04 PM on December 7, 2005








or maybe I should have stuck with "Marvelous Individual Gladly Hungering for Thrilling Yeses and Naughty, Erotic Zeniths"
posted by MightyNez at 6:50 PM on December 7, 2005


Terrapin - there's apparently already a jaded
posted by grateful at 8:22 AM on December 19, 2005


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