Compiling a best of Metafilter November 6, 2001 12:09 AM   Subscribe

I was thinking of doing a list of "best of" threads for metafilter, on the archives page. Do you recall any of the best threads that meet the following criteria? If so, post them here as a comment.

How about by topic?

threads on:
globalization: (I know there were at least a couple great, civil, long threads about it)
prisions: (among the 5 or 6 in recent memory there must be one or two good ones)
death penalty:
huge news threads: (the biggest kaycee one, the seattle earthquake, and the first WTC one?)
good audience participation threads:

good weird finds? best thing for $30 threads? Just plain good threads that don't meet any of the above criteria?

If you have any favorites, post a link to them, and I'll try to organize them. Think about the best MetaFilter has to offer, and find those threads that exemplify what the site can be.
posted by mathowie (staff) to MetaFilter-Related at 12:09 AM (40 comments total)

My brain just exploded. I was coming here to suggest the very same thing.

The aether is vibrating strangely tonight.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 1:05 AM on November 6, 2001

I really hope the SUV thing is a joke. That's the one topic I'd be happy to never see here again--how many ways *are* there to say 'lazy soccer moms destroy the earth, they should be outlawed'?
posted by darukaru at 4:09 AM on November 6, 2001

The original $30 item giveaway. Constructivist math. Magnificent obsessions. I'll have to dig through the stacks and figure out which of the AIDS research/patents and Napster threads I think were the best.

(For what it's worth, Matt, I'd like to see a separate bit about the best posts, as a good post and a good thread don't always go together.)
posted by snarkout at 4:27 AM on November 6, 2001

And I was coming here to explode Stavros's brain.

> 'how many ways *are* there to say 'lazy soccer moms
> destroy the earth, they should be outlawed'?

I'm sure I can come up with a few more. Can I emcee the thread?

> Think about the best MetaFilter has to offer, and find
> those threads that exemplify what the site can be.

Think about the worst, too. There should be a cautionary page.
• Sad little threads that were born underweight and never had a chance.
• Threads that were born bad and had to be destroyed shortly after they escaped the lab.
• Threads that you would never have taken home to mother but that were a good time while they lasted.
• Threads that promised to become healthy, productive members of thread society but instead spun drunkenly off the canyon road and burst into flames.
posted by pracowity at 4:28 AM on November 6, 2001

The internet streaming radio thread.
posted by machaus at 4:41 AM on November 6, 2001

I've never seen anything as utterly surreal as the initial "Evil Bert/Bin Laden" thread. That would certainly merit recognition.
posted by RavinDave at 5:41 AM on November 6, 2001

&ltPublicServiceAnnouncement style="sycophantic"&gt

I'm thinking Matt might appreciate links here, folks.

posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 5:46 AM on November 6, 2001

Crap. That's what I get for lame attempts to be clever.

posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 5:46 AM on November 6, 2001

I thought this post of mine got some good comments. Everything from free speech (or is that speach ), animal rights, webmaster morals, cultural differences etc..

I posted it just as a wierd link, not even expecting the response. I've only posted 3 links to this site though, so I doubt my vote is that weighty. Actually, self-voting should be frowned upon, but being that today is election day and all....
posted by remlapm at 6:29 AM on November 6, 2001

Will I be tarred and feathered by suggesting the Metafilter parody thread?

How about a contest for best front page post punchline? My favorite:

My imaginary friend can beat up your imaginary friend

posted by adampsyche at 6:34 AM on November 6, 2001

I'm thinking Matt might appreciate links here, folks.

Ok, I'm bored: these are the two linkless ones asked for to date.

Bert 'n' Osama and Streaming Radio

Also (like the new search functionality Matt):

This is (for my money) the best globalisation thread from within the last year.

There are just too many on abortion and prisons to sift in time for this post I'm making. Someone must have read more of them than me.

There are threads on homosexuality in the army, in Alec Guinness and in the boy scouts I nearly included the pink pistols thread just for the name, but it ended up more about gun law.

Is this the definitive Kaycee thread? Here's the first WTC thread, and I can't find the Seattle earthquake.

Ok I'm tired now: can't be bothered with SUVs, and too emotionally biased for death penalties.

Hope these helped ...
posted by walrus at 6:42 AM on November 6, 2001 [1 favorite]

Thanks walrus, I felt pre-coffee lazy this morning.
posted by machaus at 6:45 AM on November 6, 2001

Do you want good threads or good posts (or both)? Good front page posts don't always generate good comments, and good comments can come from lousy front page posts.
posted by iceberg273 at 7:39 AM on November 6, 2001

::votes for self-smite and repost::
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 7:42 AM on November 6, 2001

I thought the thread about the early color photos of Russia was good because a) it was a very interesting link in the best MeFi tradition and b) ended up with some good discussion.
posted by briank at 7:47 AM on November 6, 2001

Apologies in advance if has been mentioned before - any thought to providing ist of category choices in Metafilter (like Metatalk) then allowing sorting by topic?
posted by Voyageman at 7:51 AM on November 6, 2001

this thread, on the role of women in Muslim societies, was good -- some really good, open discussion of complex issues.

The thread on Huntington's paper on the clash of civilizations was also interesting and productive.

Regarding the big question ("is it our fault?") behind the Current Situation itself, I liked this thread, but there were others that other people might want to point out.

I also want to cast my vote for including some good posts that didn't generate much discussion. I haven't found any yet, but I'm going to look back through the archives again. Some good links can really make your day, even if there isn't much to say about them.
posted by mattpfeff at 8:39 AM on November 6, 2001

On globalization, I found 7145 and 7157 to be rather brilliant.
posted by sudama at 9:30 AM on November 6, 2001

I remember a short thread that had Ben Brown's preference to have longer posts....although I can't remember the number ;)
posted by samsara at 9:51 AM on November 6, 2001

First election controversy thread. The discussion was pretty good too.

As for organization, I would suggest best by year or even by season. MeFi like so many things has its cycles and fads that could be captured by doing a chronology of the best.
posted by rschram at 9:56 AM on November 6, 2001

oh, yeah (how could I forget?) -- and this thread in MeTa also named some good posts and threads....
posted by mattpfeff at 9:58 AM on November 6, 2001

Best of? A black tie awards dinner in December.
posted by ParisParamus at 10:07 AM on November 6, 2001

This very thread has been enlightening.
posted by Karl at 10:13 AM on November 6, 2001

Two that changed my thinking on an issue: the fat thread and the golf thread. Neither really fits into any of the specified categories, though.
posted by Shadowkeeper at 11:06 AM on November 6, 2001

Gotta love it when everyone is horsing around.
posted by riffola at 11:22 AM on November 6, 2001

I second the streaming music thread. I've had that one linked from my profile for some time now. I was gonna look for other "MeFi highlights" to complement it, but got sidetracked. It's GREAT that you're thinking of doing this, Matt. I've attempted to vault through the links throughout recorded MeFi history to which I've commented (i tried to avoid the ones i started, with one notable exception), because I'm vain and narcisistic. However, I've come to the conclusion that the BEST MeFi linkposts are the ones to which I have definitely not participated. So the below are the best ones to avoid in any "best of" list.

Here's one of my favorite are drugs cool or not threads, but I'm sure there's some out there with more detail.

Here's a best comedy movies of all time link that covers a lot of ground.

This one encapsulates the time when Courtney Love opened her big mouth about the music industry and covers the music industry from a vague I'm mad as hell and I'm not gonna take it anymore angle.

Ooh! And here's the ultimate example: why one should never link to his own crap no matter what. Because no matter how noble the intent, the topic will inevitably drift to the semantics of doing it in the first place, so any nobility will be overshadowed by one's own vanity. It's fun though. I recommend all self-defeatists and gluttons for punishment to try it. Once. See where it gets you.

Then there's the little girl riding a bike incident, which makes me personally wonder what drugs I'm taking when I come to MetaFilter.

I don't know if this is an example of best or worst, but there's something about Matt's
Something I just don't get post from way way back which seems to just typify MeFi in a nutshell for me. Strong intelligent opinions, some great links, thought provoking hypotheticals, the inevitable topic drift, and a lot of silliness mixed in. It's a great long read, but not for the MeFi newcomer or the weak of heart. It also sorta captures Matt on one of his better "WTF!" days.
posted by ZachsMind at 11:37 AM on November 6, 2001

As far as globalization goes, 7145 is the best. If you had a a category for best discussion I’d nominate it for that, too. The linked material won’t make an impression on posterity — no offense owillis — but you obviously have some very smart folks making very intelligent comments. Runner-up is 5708. The latter thread is good for awhile, but descends into irrelevant harangue. (Perhaps I’m being too harsh.)

No-to-low comment threads deserves a category. I remember seeing lots of links pre-Brill’s & Kaycee that offered exceptional material but little discussion. I remember a thread about ebonics that an actual linguist posted to. He gave a historical survey of the dialect and the political motivation behind Oakland trying to elevate it to a second language. If I remember right, the thread was tiny — ten or fifteen comments.

My nominee for the No-to-low category is 6080. It links to a well-written essay on a great personal site and the thread ends after 18 comments. Reading the essay and the ensuing discussion would take about a half an hour. Overall, the whole package is digestable and thought-provoking. The last comment of the thread is the most interesting I’ve ever read on this site. The person who wrote it is either a genius or a fucking loon.

I don’t remember reading any sex threads (damn!) except a couple of the AIDS day links.

The only worthwhile death penalty thread was the one regarding a man who killed his daughters while his wife/their mother was on the phone. I typically don’t respect too much emotion when discussing certain topics, but if I remember right, everyone mellowed out.

News: Don’t forget “Automatic Media goes bankrupt.” A MetaFilter scoop that got Automagic to fess up.
posted by raaka at 2:10 PM on November 6, 2001

Oh, and pre-dating the internet music list is the eccentric genius list.

Let’s hear it for institutional memory.
posted by raaka at 2:30 PM on November 6, 2001

The 123cheaphosting thread was infuriating, terrifying, heartwarming, and fascinating, depending on how you looked at it.

(found via this google search, which is amusing in itself)
posted by gleuschk at 2:51 PM on November 6, 2001

I think Raaka was talking about the African American Vernacular Speech thread. And lemme second the vote for the Russian color photography -- both a fabulous link and an interesting discussion.
posted by snarkout at 3:45 PM on November 6, 2001

I like all the threads that had to do with finding neat things, such as free fonts.
posted by cell divide at 3:58 PM on November 6, 2001

The 123 hosting thread was my first time on Mefi, and will always be my favorite.
posted by ParisParamus at 8:44 PM on November 6, 2001

My nominee for thread most likely to make your beverage come out your nose.

(It's the bit about kermitting that starts me snorting every time, but then it just keeps getting better.)
posted by gleuschk at 7:21 AM on November 7, 2001

that seems pretty reasonable
posted by rodii at 9:39 AM on November 7, 2001

At the risk of semi-self linking, this was the most silly fun I ever had in a thread.
posted by Optamystic at 7:08 PM on November 7, 2001

Surely there are more. Maybe toss this thread on the sideblog, in case there are people who don't frequent MeTa but have favorites?
posted by gleuschk at 12:00 PM on November 8, 2001

Surely there are more.

I'd been thinking that, too. Another thought: If you create the best-of page first, with a handful of links, and then add the link on the sidebar, you'll probably get a bunch more responses....
posted by mattpfeff at 12:12 PM on November 8, 2001

I continue to think (and Iceberg273 apparently agrees) that if a best-of page is being done, we should split it into "best threads" and "best posts". You can get a wonderful discussion out of a crappy post, but that doesn't mean that crappy posts should be the examples to go by. But I don't wish to become a crank on this issue. ("Too late!" choruses the peanut gallery.)
posted by snarkout at 3:05 PM on November 8, 2001

I agree with Skylar: the recent post about the Langley Schools music program is a good model for MeFi links, and the discussion is erudite and amusing.
posted by Marquis at 10:17 PM on November 8, 2001

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