Judiciousness in Lebanon newsfilter July 30, 2006 2:46 PM   Subscribe

Considering the recent events in Lebanon, can we perhaps consider a bit of extra judiciousness with postings like this one,and commenting therein if they stay up? I don't think anyone questions the gravity of the situation there, but most posts dealing with it are basically Newsfilter situations that devolve into extremely impassioned flamewars and insoluble arguments about the validity of a number of Big Issues.
posted by clockzero to Bugs at 2:46 PM (99 comments total)

oops, didn't mean to post that to "bugs".
posted by clockzero at 2:49 PM on July 30, 2006


And I just want to take this opportunity to welcome back insomnia_lj aka Unregistered User.
posted by Krrrlson at 2:57 PM on July 30, 2006


No, Unregistered User is Billmon.
posted by Balisong at 3:21 PM on July 30, 2006 [1 favorite]


Mmm, no. I happen to think it's something that's worth getting impassioned and downright furious about. And I damned well wish a few more people felt the same way instead of insolently suggesting that people who do must be drunk. Still, we wouldn't want to spoil the Lord's day for anyone, would we.

And Krrrlson, you relentless fucking idiot? I don't give a shit who Unregistered User is, used to be or will be in the future. I'm only interested in what he posts, which is most certainly more than I could say for you.
posted by Decani at 3:24 PM on July 30, 2006


The question isn't whether it's worth getting impassioned about, Decani, because people obviously get very impassioned about it, it's whether or not there's much chance of a real discussion; it seems to me that there isn't, and I think that's borne out by numerous examples throughout metafilter's history. Impassioned stances on exceedingly complex issues tend not to further anything but animosity.
posted by clockzero at 3:30 PM on July 30, 2006


Impassioned stances on exceedingly complex issues tend not to further anything but animosity.

That's the legacy of the past six years or so. There is no debate.
Uniter, not a divider? Bah, Decider!

Either you are preaching to the choir, or taunting the enemy.

This was carefully planned.
posted by Balisong at 3:34 PM on July 30, 2006


I guess I'm preaching to the choir. I just get surprised by how identical every thread that even mentions Israel becomes.
posted by clockzero at 3:49 PM on July 30, 2006


or circumsision.
posted by Balisong at 3:57 PM on July 30, 2006


Yeah, that's pretty reliable as well.
posted by clockzero at 3:58 PM on July 30, 2006


And Krrrlson, you relentless fucking idiot? I don't give a shit who Unregistered User is, used to be or will be in the future. I'm only interested in what he posts, which is most certainly more than I could say for you.

Be sure to stalk me around every thread and let me know whenever you care about what I have to say. It's important for me to know.
posted by Krrrlson at 4:27 PM on July 30, 2006


extremely impassioned flamewars and insoluble arguments about the validity of a number of Big Issues

What better treatment of the subject matter?
posted by scarabic at 4:38 PM on July 30, 2006


Hmmm, this should go well......



posted by caddis at 4:42 PM on July 30, 2006


Jews did WTC, et cetera
posted by mlis at 4:44 PM on July 30, 2006


Be sure to stalk me around every thread and let me know whenever you care about what I have to say

Don't flatter yourself, you pathetic little dimwit. I'll respond to you if and when you happen to drop one of your empty-headed little comments close enough to one of mine for the smell to hit. That's all.
posted by Decani at 4:45 PM on July 30, 2006


What would metafilter be without empty-headed turd comments?

You're welcome.
posted by Balisong at 4:51 PM on July 30, 2006


I'd would like it to be known that in order to register my extreme frustration and consternation with Israel, I have eaten exactly ZERO bagels since the beginning of this conflict.
posted by Kraftmatic Adjustable Cheese at 4:57 PM on July 30, 2006 [1 favorite]


I have avoided Hannukah.
posted by disclaimer at 4:59 PM on July 30, 2006


And also, since I'm not exactly keen on Hizbullah, either, I haven't blown up any Jews.
posted by Kraftmatic Adjustable Cheese at 5:00 PM on July 30, 2006 [1 favorite]


And also, since I'm not exactly keen on Hizbullah, either, I haven't blown up any Jews

Well now you're just throwing out the baby with the bath water.
posted by Reggie Knoble at 5:08 PM on July 30, 2006


Krrrlson writes "And I just want to take this opportunity to welcome back insomnia_lj aka Unregistered User."

You got some proof, or are you just hurling shit in hope it sticks?
posted by orthogonality at 5:13 PM on July 30, 2006



posted by bob sarabia at 5:19 PM on July 30, 2006


Scarabic-

I can't tell how you mean that, but I agree with you if your point is that important issues deserve serious attention.

This particular thread seems to have developed rather well so far, all things considered. I was just concerned about a possible devolution into the sort of personal attacks and propagandizing that frequently accompany such a discussion on MeFi.
posted by clockzero at 5:25 PM on July 30, 2006


cockzero the answer is no. You knew it would be but persisted. There has never been a more pointless thread on meta. Do you see dead issues? [Disclaimer: I don't hate.]
posted by econous at 6:02 PM on July 30, 2006


what? look, I'm glad if it doesn't become acrimonious. It looked like it might for a bit.
posted by clockzero at 6:59 PM on July 30, 2006


(* tries to determine whether econous deliberately misspelled clockzero's name, or whether it was just a hilarious mistake *)
posted by aberrant at 7:33 PM on July 30, 2006


it's been a fairly civil discussion so far ... as were the last couple of posts about this ... and the frequency has been fairly moderate

if you don't like it, don't read it
posted by pyramid termite at 7:43 PM on July 30, 2006


I've always wondered how Metafilter and, by extension, MetaTalk, would handle an actual World War, like say, World War III. Like, imagine MeFi during WW2. It'd be interesting.
posted by Effigy2000 at 7:58 PM on July 30, 2006


Like, imagine MeFi during WW2.

Well, to begin with, the blue would be in black and white.
posted by Kraftmatic Adjustable Cheese at 8:11 PM on July 30, 2006


Don't flatter yourself, you pathetic little dimwit. I'll respond to you if and when you happen to drop one of your empty-headed little comments close enough to one of mine for the smell to hit. That's all.

Actually, you only came to this thread to respond to my post. It's okay, though. It's cool to be shy.
posted by Krrrlson at 8:20 PM on July 30, 2006


metafilter in world war II:

"we're raining genocide on innocent germans and slaughtering the poor japanese! it's murder, pure and simple!"
posted by quonsar at 8:26 PM on July 30, 2006


Don't flatter yourself, you pathetic little dimwit. I'll respond to you if and when you happen to drop one of your empty-headed little comments close enough to one of mine for the smell to hit. That's all.

I think that was completely uncalled for.
posted by empath at 8:29 PM on July 30, 2006


You're right, no-one called for it.
posted by Jimbob at 8:55 PM on July 30, 2006


Balisong : "That's the legacy of the past six years or so."

I'm 31, and probably became remotely politically aware of the world at, I dunno, age 14 or so. From my experience, that's the legacy of at least the last 17 years. And I suspect it didn't just start with me turning 14.

Passionately divided, vocal, and angry opposition is not some new invention of George Bush. It's pretty much the default mode of people since time immemorial.
posted by Bugbread at 8:56 PM on July 30, 2006


Quoting myself:
Jesus fucking wept, what a goddamn mess. I was born during Israeli conflict (30 years ago!), I've never known serious remission of Israeli conflict, and I expect to die without knowing it.
This really covers my feelings on any M.E. conflict story I've heard, ever.
posted by boo_radley at 9:14 PM on July 30, 2006


I'm 31, and probably became remotely politically aware of the world at, I dunno, age 14 or so. From my experience, that's the legacy of at least the last 17 years. And I suspect it didn't just start with me turning 14. posted by bugbread

You missed the LBJ and Nixon years, those were the really fun ones.
posted by buggzzee23 at 10:33 PM on July 30, 2006


We need an auto-filter to improve general efficiency by removing sentences where people refer to each other. Happily the topics here are sometimes Big Issues - and a lot bigger than anyones assessment of anothers IQ, educational level, secret motivations, or personal biases - all of which I personally find phenomenally uninteresting, besides the point, and no reason to log in, click, and or read anything.
posted by scheptech at 11:50 PM on July 30, 2006


"...it's whether or not there's much chance of a real discussion; it seems to me that there isn't"

That's beside the point because the raison d'être of a post isn't its discussion. What makes it a bad post is that it's NewsFilter, and crappy at that.

"And I just want to take this opportunity to welcome back insomnia_lj aka Unregistered User."

...to which Decani reponded:

"And Krrrlson, you relentless fucking idiot?"

In isolation, that's bad enough. But this is overwhelmingly typical of Decani. He uses over-the-top, extremely provocative and personally insulting language like this all the time, at the drop of a hat. People have been banned for much more ambiguous track records and less arguably beyond-the-pale comments. This deserves its own MeTa, but calling attention to it here is sufficient.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 12:24 AM on July 31, 2006


I thought the debate got pretty good. I think we've matured as a group since the post 9/11 I/P threads. We're now able to handle I/L threads with calm and civility. Hugs all Around. By the time we get to I/S and I/S/Ir/US/Iq/Sa/Pk/In the threads will be virtually vitrol free. And not just because we all got nuked!
posted by delmoi at 12:47 AM on July 31, 2006


quonsar in wwII:

i don't think dresden has burned enough yet. and hiroshima is not enough. let's get nagasaki too.
posted by Hat Maui at 1:34 AM on July 31, 2006


aberrant, I thought s/he was being intentionally hilarious, but either way it was pretty funny.

Ethereal Bligh, you're properly correct to say that discussion is not the real aim of metafilter in general, or at least as I understand it, but I think it's one unignorable de facto benefit of the community when it's the right sort of discussion; still, I see your point, and I won't belabor mine.

I think you're right, delmoi. I'm glad that this MeTa thread ended up being unnecessary.
posted by clockzero at 1:48 AM on July 31, 2006


MeFi has about the calmest, most rational debate on the net regarding the M.E. There are quite a few people who don't just attack each other.

Is there any place less excited than MeFi where there are really people with differing views?

A bit of Newsfilter is not that bad a thing.
posted by sien at 2:11 AM on July 31, 2006


"we're raining genocide on innocent germans and slaughtering the poor japanese! it's murder, pure and simple!"

Well, you know, that's kinda how it was. But hey.
posted by reklaw at 4:28 AM on July 31, 2006


metafilter in world war II:
"we're raining genocide on innocent germans and slaughtering the poor japanese! it's murder, pure and simple!"


And at least once a week Matt would have have to delete another FDR-bombed-Pearl-Harbor conspiracy thread.

And of course there would be the AskMe questions about whether it's OK to use a ration book you found in the street.

And quonsar would be a veteran of the Spanish-American War.
posted by languagehat at 5:42 AM on July 31, 2006


You know what wars are so, so comparable?

The GWOT and WWII.
posted by sonofsamiam at 6:11 AM on July 31, 2006


I don't think anyone questions the gravity of the situation there, but most posts dealing with it are basically Newsfilter situations that devolve into extremely impassioned flamewars and insoluble arguments about the validity of a number of Big Issues

same for Iraq, US elections, Israel/Palestine threads, etc.
take them out of MeFi and all you're left with is YouTube and Apple products

becauuse, frankly, Allah forbid that Lebanon threads end up occupying, say, a millionth of the front page space usually taken by Iraq here. I still remember the 10,000 daily Katrina threads -- not many complaints there. but, really, if Americans aren't dying, who cares? let's see more of those zany youtube links with singing fluorescent pangolins, please. Lebanon is, like, controversial and stuff, and brown people being shattered by bombs are not that interesting, aren't they? certainly not as much as singing pangolins
posted by matteo at 6:41 AM on July 31, 2006


And quonsar would be a veteran of the Spanish-American War.

actually, he is
posted by matteo at 6:42 AM on July 31, 2006


And so is his wife!
posted by cortex at 7:12 AM on July 31, 2006


Once again, has anyone ever put forth a rational basis for permitting people to have sockpuppets beyond their own amusement and desire to attention whore?

It's clear that Unregistered User is a sockpuppet. And this Kraftmatic poster.

Identifying a sockpuppet is pretty damn easy. I'm honestly shocked at how dimwitted people are who go through the effort of making a sockpuppet, yet make it obvious that they are one.

Among others, obvious signs of sockpuppetry include (1) having an identifiable origin of your user name from a Mefi thread; (2) jumping right into the mix with your first post [we know how new users behave; they don't act like they have fought the wars for the last 3 years right off the bat]; (3) having an attention grabbing nick; or (4) having a grudge against a user from the beginning of posting history.

What's the point?

Why do we permit the obvious sockpuppets we have here?

All sockpuppets bring to this community (as far as I can tell) is the ablity of a poster to create a new handle with which to act like a jackass and derails of threads and people discuss to whom the sockpuppet belongs

Thanks for letting me share.
posted by dios at 8:06 AM on July 31, 2006


posted by matteo becauuse, frankly, Allah forbid that Lebanon threads end up occupying, say, a millionth of the front page space usually taken by Iraq here. I still remember the 10,000 daily Katrina threads -- not many complaints there. but, really, if Americans aren't dying, who cares? let's see more of those zany youtube links with singing fluorescent pangolins, please. Lebanon is, like, controversial and stuff, and brown people being shattered by bombs are not that interesting, aren't they? certainly not as much as singing pangolins

Indeed. We simply cannot have too many newsfilter posts about Israel/Lebanon/Palestine with pictures of mangled corpses. We've never thoroughly discussed that topic, nor have we ever seen mutilated bodies. Bring it on!
posted by fandango_matt at 8:49 AM on July 31, 2006


And Metafilter is known for being so insensitive to "brown people."
posted by thirteenkiller at 9:09 AM on July 31, 2006


Also, I don't care how many accounts people have or if they pretend to be different people. I just want people to be nice. Sockpuppets are great if you use them for nice things!
posted by thirteenkiller at 9:10 AM on July 31, 2006


I'm honestly shocked at how dimwitted people are who go through the effort of making a sockpuppet, yet make it obvious that they are one.

Uncharitable, sir. Creating a sockpuppet requires no great effort; further, there is nothing inherently foolish about having a sockpuppet that is clearly identifiable as such. Your accusation of dimwittery is unfounded, and suggests a degree of lax critical consideration of the subject.

Now, if someone were to carefully craft a guerilla sockpuppet, attempt to use it to orchestrate mad designs, and then were to accidentally lay plain to their audience said sockpuppets nature (or, better, identity!), that would be dimwitted. But that doesn't seem to be the majority case by any stretch of the imagination.
posted by cortex at 9:58 AM on July 31, 2006


Sockpuppets are great if you use them for nice things!

For instance masturbating into.
posted by sonofsamiam at 9:58 AM on July 31, 2006 [1 favorite]


Uncharitable, sir... and suggests a degree of lax critical consideration of the subject.

Cortex! No more! What have I done, that thou darest wag thy tongue in noise so rude against me?

Fie!

Although, upon consideration, I suppose you are right. There are the sockpuppets who are intended only as a joke. I'm thinking here about Pot and Kettle; benign sockpuppets who are unoffensive and who are meant as jokes in and of themselves. Such sockpuppets are not whom I was referring to with my above comments. I was referring to Unregistered User, this Kraftmatic user, Blazecock Pileon, any of Balisong's sockpuppets, and any number of other accounts that are created, not as a joke, but as a mechanism whereby people can surreptiously engage in commenting on this site, whether it be to troll, to advance grudges, to play a role, to say things that that the user doesn't want attached to the user's other acccounts, or to just cause confusion/disruption.
posted by dios at 10:11 AM on July 31, 2006


But in that latter situation, would you actually prefer that they assumed wholly innocuous handles? Is "jenleigh" preferable to "Blazecock Pileon"?

I understand that you may, instead, prefer that they simply not create the sockpuppets in the first place, but that they do is a fact of life beyond your control and mine.
posted by cortex at 10:33 AM on July 31, 2006


That is to say, going back to your original "dimwit" comment, where is the dimwit zone? It strikes me that we have two separate areas of what might be considered "successful" sockpuppet generation:

1. User creates account that is not intended to be recognized as a sockpuppet. User chooses innocuous username and behaves realistically; sockpuppet account is unlikely to be caught out as being such.

2. User creates account that is in fact intended to be recognized as a sockpuppet. User chooses precocious handle and behaves in whimsical fashion consistent with sockpuppet identity; no one mistakes account for an "identity" account corresponding holistically to an earnest human personality.

Let's call 1. "dhoyt" and 2. "pot/kettle".

Can we treat those as endpoints on a continuum and define, at least roughly, where the grey zone of dimwittery is? That is, at what points on that continuum do we bound the half-measures of the failed-guerilla/insufficiently-conspicuous accounts you're characterizing?
posted by cortex at 10:42 AM on July 31, 2006


Only sock puppets with extraordinary names should be permitted. Subterfuge should be entertaining as well as undermining!
posted by NinjaTadpole at 11:00 AM on July 31, 2006


has anyone ever put forth a rational basis for permitting people to have sockpuppets beyond their own amusement and desire to attention whore

beyond amusement and attention whore? let's see:

a) sockpuppets allow a user to post 2 questions a week on AskMeFi

and

b) sockpuppets pay Matt 5 dollars, hence they allow Matt to pay the bandwidth bill and to buy the occasional groceries for his family
posted by matteo at 11:10 AM on July 31, 2006


Okay, if this:

Don't flatter yourself, you pathetic little dimwit. I'll respond to you if and when you happen to drop one of your empty-headed little comments close enough to one of mine for the smell to hit. That's all.

Is not something that requires a time out, what is?
posted by Astro Zombie at 11:17 AM on July 31, 2006


And that's one nasty bit—can we provide a good heuristic for determinining whether a username is sockpuppet-whimsical vs. new-user-whimsical?

Pot/Kettle are obvious, at least in one another's presence; Astro Zombie 2 (and 3) are a gimme, as are any obvious* sequel/derivative usernames (I EAT TAPAS, Todd Lokken

But what of Protocols of the Elders of Awesome? What about weretable and the undead chairs? What, even, of NinjaTadpole? If we were to select ten usernames of more than, say, 12 characters, registered in the last 5000 usernumbers, consisting of 5 (apparently) new users and 5 sockpuppets, what kind of accuracy rate would the average active user have in identifying which is which?

And if the aforementioned heurstic is not forthcoming—if we have no good way of discerning new users from sockpuppets based on some qualityies of a whimsical username—where does that leave us? Do we argue against the use of not-apparently-derivative whimsical usernames to avoid the problem?

*We have to consider "obvious" its own sliding scale as well—how famous is the Todd Lokken incident, and how well know that the Todd Lokken account is not that of the original fellow? Would anyone who doesn't know of I EAT TAPES make anything of I EAT TAPAS? Etc.
posted by cortex at 11:18 AM on July 31, 2006


I actually agree with Dios on this one. Get rid of Astro Zombies 1 and 3!
posted by Astro Zombie 2 at 11:19 AM on July 31, 2006


Jesus. My sock puppets are idiots.
posted by Astro Zombie at 11:21 AM on July 31, 2006


cortex: your grasp on the dynamics of sockpuppet-ry far exceeds my own. So I defer to you on this.

My original comment was directed towards a particular kind of sockpuppet in my mind: where a user creates a new handle and then acts in derogation of the standards of the community.

What I am not referring to is when a user creates a username only to be a joke. We see this from time to time. Someone says "We don't have any rusty turd-munching hooligans here" and then a few comments later a poster named Rusty Turd-munching Hooligan posts. I consider those joke accounts, not sockpuppets (admittedly, I am speaking w/r/t to my personal categorization scheme). Jokey-accounts aren't noxious to the community beyond the beating that issues from a worn out joke.

Nor am I referring to "dios 2" and "dios 3" as mechanisms to ask more than 1 askme posts a month.

It's those other sockpuppets that I have been referring to in this thread: one's that are used to circumvent policies regarding participation requirements.

As an example of a sockpuppet used to ill purpose, the user Balisong started posting as snoz-gobblin. Snoz-gobblin was used for little else beyond provocation and baiting/insulting users. He was outed and stopped using snoz-gobblin for that purpose (and starting using another username). What was the benefit to the community there? None. And there are plenty of users like that that use sock puppets as free reign to troll and avoid the fear of having their main banned.

Another example of circumventing requirements are users who have been banned or been in trouble for specific conduct and create a new account to engage in the same conduct and circumvent the punishment.

When I was referring to "dim-witted" above, I was referring to these groups of users: ones that create sock-puppets for nefarious reasons. Those people try to be sneaky by hiding their conduct, but then they behave in such a way that shows who they are. So it is fairly dimwitted to try to hide but then make yourself obvious for you conduct. Those are the users to whom I was referring.

Ok. I'm done eating my sammich for lunch and need to get back to work.
posted by dios at 11:38 AM on July 31, 2006


When I was referring to "dim-witted" above, I was referring to these groups of users: ones that create sock-puppets for nefarious reasons.

Astro Zombie 2 is pretty dim-witted. Astro Zombie 3 is just straight-up a moron.
posted by Astro Zombie at 11:45 AM on July 31, 2006


Thanks for the clarification, dios. Let me amend my original characterization of your statement from "uncharitable" to "poorly labeled", then. While I now better understand your position, and the account-type partitioning behind it, I still feel that "dim-witted" is not very descriptive—I think it'd be better to describe such users as, say, "ethically compromised with respect to community standards of behavior-identity transparency".

Which is, granted, a lot wordier than "dimwitted", but has the advantage of separating the question of wit or intelligence (both of which seem generally to be in evidence with sockpuppeteers) from that of community expectations about behavior and identity management.

You could, in fact, argue that the sockpuppeteer is evidencing markedly more significant intelligence, in corralling his modes of behavior into (more or less) distinct identities than is the user who, while recognizing his desire to act out, can't see the clear profit in not shitting where he eats, account-wise.

Also, Astro Zombie 3 just peed on my shoes. WTF. AZ, can you put a leash on him or something?
posted by cortex at 12:13 PM on July 31, 2006


also i'm totally dhoyt lol
posted by cortex at 12:15 PM on July 31, 2006


Sockpuppets are great if you use them for nice things!

For instance masturbating into.


Boyzone!
posted by deborah at 12:25 PM on July 31, 2006


Substitute 'with'.
posted by sonofsamiam at 12:27 PM on July 31, 2006


GRRARRGHH PEE PEE PEE!

HAR HA HAR HAR!
posted by Astro Zombie 3 at 12:40 PM on July 31, 2006 [1 favorite]


I'm not so much a sock puppet as a migration.
Or an evolution, if one can evolve into a tadpole. I'm sure it would come as a mighty disappointment.
posted by NinjaTadpole at 1:05 PM on July 31, 2006


Hi Dios!!

(I know he loves the attention..)
posted by Balisong at 2:08 PM on July 31, 2006


What we need is an org-chart which also lists sockpuppet accounts.
posted by fandango_matt at 2:14 PM on July 31, 2006


My Ears are burning.

Who was it that said: don't bring people's names up in arguements they aren't participating in?
posted by shnoz-gobblin at 2:19 PM on July 31, 2006


Looks to me like you were participating. And therein lies the problem with sockpuppets.
posted by monju_bosatsu at 2:33 PM on July 31, 2006


Dios was talking about snoz-goblin; obviously, another sock puppet.
posted by Astro Zombie at 2:33 PM on July 31, 2006


don't bring people's names up in arguements they aren't participating in

A commendable policy in general, and dios' acrimony toward you seems still to be potent, but that aside this is rather a special case, don't you think? This has become a conversation about sockpuppet theory; if sockpuppets cannot be mentioned, that's a real kick in the pants.
posted by cortex at 2:44 PM on July 31, 2006


that's a real kick in the pants.

OK, but I'm first.
posted by shnoz-gobblin at 3:02 PM on July 31, 2006


Sorry, I just didn't realise that I am a whole sockpuppetry paradigm wrapped up in a perfect package in order to be presented as "The Other Kind" of sockpuppet, as opposed to Pot, Kettle, and Astro Zombies 1 and three (#2 has always been more entertaining).
posted by shnoz-gobblin at 3:06 PM on July 31, 2006


So, it would be OK, when discussing what types of accounts should be around here, to say that we need more accounts like Smedleyman and cortex, and less like mischef and Dios.

Even if Smedleyman and mischef haven't posted in the thread.

The problem I see is that neither four of those names presents the model for "what's good or bad". It's better to talk in generalized term of types of people because once you start naming names, it gets personal.
posted by shnoz-gobblin at 3:17 PM on July 31, 2006


And see if you can have him quit stalking me, I'm getting calls from the neighbors.
posted by Balisong at 3:22 PM on July 31, 2006


Give it up. You've admitted you're snoz-goblin. And you have at least one other sockpuppet that I am aware of.

Don't act righteous that your sockpuppet was brought up in a thread you have participated in.

And me stalking you? You've completely lost your mind. I don't follow your comments at all. I couldn't care less what you have to say about anything. Your a nobody to me. Yet, apparently I am a big deal to you: you are (or at least were for about a year straight) one of those people who follow me around this board and take shots at me in every thread on the blue I comment in. And *that* is how I know you are snoz-goblin (and have an idea as to your other sock puppet). I don't need to follow you around. I just need to comment somewhere. And sure as the night follows the day, the usual crew will show up.

So quit your whining. How can you possibly be indignant about your trolling sockpuppet being brought up?
posted by dios at 3:33 PM on July 31, 2006


Gah. Darn it. Breached my own policy about not responding to Balisong. I'll make sure it doesn't happen again. I blame cortex.
posted by dios at 3:35 PM on July 31, 2006


Geez, it sounds like I've really created some sort of blistering puss-wad in your craw.

Really, I haven't thought about you in a good month. (You've been on a time out, right?) I flip through a post that has lots of new comments, and here's someone bringing me up as a bad example.

I hope you know how that feels, Dios.
posted by Balisong at 3:38 PM on July 31, 2006


So, it would be OK, when discussing what types of accounts should be around here, to say that we need more accounts like Smedleyman and cortex, and less like mischef and Dios.

Even if Smedleyman and mischef haven't posted in the thread.


It'd be okay if the discussion was in or near that area, you said it with some sort of substantial examples to make your point clear, and you didn't include any sniping or malice, sure. The topic of who should and shouldn't be here is likely to be pretty charged when taken on a person-by-person basis, so it'd probably be dicey, of course, but, fundamentally? Yeah. Some of the best conversations around here are frank but civil and fair approaches to sensitive topics.

The problem is that people—this includes just about everybody—aren't good at being fair and civil and neutral when thrown into frank, personal discussions and dissections. So if you're asking if it'd be a good idea in general, eh, maybe not so much.

Sorry, I just didn't realise that I am a whole sockpuppetry paradigm wrapped up in a perfect package in order to be presented as "The Other Kind" of sockpuppet, as opposed to Pot, Kettle, and Astro Zombies 1 and three (#2 has always been more entertaining).

I realize seeing your name come up may be an eyebrow raiser, and I take no share of whatever dios/Balisong/shnoz history there is (though on that front I do wish that you two could completely ignore each other, even if the other'n fails to), but I was trying to run with dios' examples for the sake of understanding his point and thinking (half-whimsically) about the spectrum of sockpuppetry. I wasn't asserting anything one way or another about the shnoz account, merely running with the ready example.

I blame cortex.

Man, so do I.
posted by cortex at 3:53 PM on July 31, 2006


"Lebanon is, like, controversial and stuff, and brown people being shattered by bombs are not that interesting, aren't they? certainly not as much as singing pangolins..."

In the spirit of diplomacy, I can see myself making this comment, especially in the last few months when I've been very irritable and completely willing to be an asshole. Even so, it's bullshit and entirely unfair.

Maybe, perhaps probably, there's some mefite who objects to such NewsFilter posts because he/she really doesn't care about "brown people" and cares a lot more about singing pangolins. But I know I'm not one of those people, and I can't think of anyone I'm inclined to think of this way.

It's been a real shame that the majority of people who have consistently complained about NewsFilter have been to MetaFilter's right and thus it is arguable (and certainly true at least in some cases) that they'd prefer the stuff they're protesting not appear anywhere, not just MetaFilter. Because that's been the case, it lends weight to matteo's argument, even though his argument ultimately is illegitimate and its conclusions false. This is why I stopped encouraging dios's anti-NewsFilter and anti-BiasFilter complaining—it wasn't helping. (It's not fair to him or any other MetaFilter political dissident that much of what they say about procedural issues is tainted, but there it is. There's no avoiding it.) The people best equipped to stand up against NewsFilter are people like myself—those about whom it is well-known they agree with the political sentiments explicitly or implicitly expressed by the NewsFilter posts they are protesting.

And just so in this case. What's happening in Lebanon is important. The people dying there are important. (Though I think it odd and perhaps revealing that matteo ignores that in terms of innocent deaths, Lebanon and Iraq are hardly comparable and by that metric, Iraq does, in fact, deserve to be on the front page of MetaFilter much, much more often than Lebanon.)

So, yeah, the news out of Lebanon is important. I'm reading tons of it, and analysis, every day.

It still doesn't belong on the front page just like a whole bunch of other things don't belong on the front page. Or, I should make clear, it doesn't belong as a post solely on the basis of it being important news out of Lebanon. Some sort of unique, high-quality, very notable-in-itself web site/page relating to what's happening in Lebanon? Absolutely. That would belong. Imagine, as likely or unlikely as it might be, a middle-school in Lebanon with a class that is maintaining a site or blog with the schoolchildren's accounts of the war. That would be worth posting.

A link to a wire news story, or a run-of-the-mill blog entry about Lebanon? Nope. A Wikipedia link? Nope. These just aren't good enough, just like most things we could possibly link to aren't good enough.

And, yes, discussion is important to MetaFilter. It's important, very important, to the community. It's also clearly important to many of the lurkers who read the words we write. But it is not, never has been, and hopefully never will be, either necessary or sufficient to qualify a post for acceptability. It's not necessary for a post to inspire good discussion to be acceptable; and it is not sufficient that a post inspires good discussion that it is acceptable. For the purposes of the qualifications of an acceptable post, it's mostly a red herring. As the posting page implies, if the necessary characteristics are arguably there, then felicity to good discussion is a bonus which will weigh in its favor. By itself, though, it's worth little to nothing.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 4:05 PM on July 31, 2006


(BTW, This was in reference TO Shnoz, thus making a joke where my sockpuppet stalks me, but read what you will.)
posted by Balisong at 4:05 PM on July 31, 2006


i would like to recommend decani for a timeout. he appears to need an unclenching.
posted by shmegegge at 4:24 PM on July 31, 2006


Decani is one of the most offensive posters I have ever encountered. I also would like to recommend a timeout.
posted by Baby_Balrog at 4:46 PM on July 31, 2006


Oh dearie me. I appear to have offended Baby_Balrog and Ethereal Bligh. I cannot overstate the degree of difficulty I will have sleeping tonight.

Mmm. Mmmm. BB and EB don't wike someone. They don't wike the way he posts. He's MEAN. BB and EB think he should be timeouted!

Ethereal Bligh? Baby_Balrog? You're a pair of whining, pathetic, weak babies. If you don't like what I say, ignore it. Read something else.

But no. Your sort would rather have the things you don't like banned, wouldn't you? Oh yes. Ban it. Censor it. Silence it. Please take away the things you don't like. Don't let people make their own minds up about how to deal with it.

I'd call you a pair of fascists except that would be giving you way too many points in the sexual attractiveness stakes.
posted by Decani at 6:10 PM on July 31, 2006


Independent of questions of banning or censure or whatever the fuck, you do have a habit of coming off as a complete prick.

Just letting you know. You're getting it out there. The word is on the street. Good work.
posted by cortex at 6:25 PM on July 31, 2006


You're "mean" for no reason except your own self-indulgence. That type of personality is commonly referred to as "the asshole". It's no more oversensitive to insist that an asshole go the fuck away (or be escorted out) than it is to shoo the dog out the door before he squeezes out a big, smelly turd. You keep dropping them all over the carpet.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 6:27 PM on July 31, 2006


I hereby coin "Decani" as a new synonym for big, smelly dog turd, or the producing thereof.

"Don't let Spot in--last night he decanied right in the middle of the living room rug!"
posted by fandango_matt at 6:50 PM on July 31, 2006


I'm not arguing that you should be banned, Decani. I think you need a break - you're overheating - you're chi is out of balance, whatever. I don't know if it's the anonymity or what - but I seriously doubt you carry yourself this way in public.
I think this website makes you very, very angry, and I recommend that you take a breather.
posted by Baby_Balrog at 7:33 PM on July 31, 2006


see, i always thought "the asshole" was that endlessly blathering, insufferable bugbear who purports to be an authority on nearly every topic.

i guess i have my "objectionable character" taxonomy all wrong. ah, yes -- i see here in my "fiend folio" that i was actually referring to the "blowhard know-it-all."

my bad.
posted by Hat Maui at 8:56 PM on July 31, 2006


I don't think decani should be banned, or timed out. Nevertheless, apologies are in order. In the interest of social decorum, decani, you should apologize for your improvident remarks. Claim drunkenness (it seems clear) or make no excuse, but just say you are sorry and then we will all feel better.
posted by caddis at 9:00 PM on July 31, 2006


I love MondoMeta.
posted by Bugbread at 9:25 PM on July 31, 2006


You keep dropping them all over the carpet.

well, at least they're not multi-paragraph, long-winded, boring-as-fuck turds
posted by matteo at 2:15 AM on August 1, 2006


Decani, take a rest for a bit. You've been totally angry and aggressively insulting here and in MeFi for at least a week now.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 5:39 AM on August 1, 2006


totally called it.
posted by shmegegge at 11:10 AM on August 1, 2006


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