Speculation in AskMe answers. November 29, 2006 7:45 AM   Subscribe

So idle speculation really is "what the green is for"? That's a surprise.
posted by Kirth Gerson to Etiquette/Policy at 7:45 AM (44 comments total)

In response to this, I wrote I'm guessing that this is idle speculation that's based on nothing contained in this thread. jcwagners's response was Isn't that what the green is for? My assertion that it's not was deleted, but jcwagner's claim remains. So - is that what AskMe is for?

From some occult source, jcwagner divines that the therapy client was "likely to or just may engage in violent or predatory behavior." There is absolutely no indication of anything like that anywhere in the thread.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 7:46 AM on November 29, 2006


My assertion that it's not was deleted,

Little help here?
posted by and hosted from Uranus at 7:56 AM on November 29, 2006


My assertion that it's not was deleted

Then how'd you link to it?
posted by dobbs at 7:59 AM on November 29, 2006


Kirth, seriously, do you think the majority of people actually believe that's what AskMe is for?

There are a few people who think otherwise. Their content gets deleted. One person's opinion on the matter doesn't represent the majority. Learn to live with the fact that some people don't get AskMe. Moderators are here for a reason.

To summarize, this issue should be kirthed.
posted by dflemingdotorg at 8:03 AM on November 29, 2006


The thread was going into a derail about this particular point which should have gone to MetaTalk. The question was already difficult, the OP was having trouble with the answers they were getting, and more metadiscussion really should have gone here. Once you're just having a debate with someone else in the thread and not helping the OP answer their question, you should take it to email or metatalk. jcwagner's last two posts seemedto still address the main question and so I left them, but it was a judgment call since the whole set of comments at the end of that thread had been havily flagged.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 8:03 AM on November 29, 2006


It's hysterical that this first line of the linked comment is "Defensive much, Kirth?"
posted by smackfu at 8:09 AM on November 29, 2006


My assertion that it's not was deleted

Then how'd you link to it?

I didn't - it was deleted.


jcwagner's last two posts seemedto still address the main question
The main question was:
Can a therapist (at a TRAUMA center!) essentially say, "you're too messed up, I can't treat you, go away?" What are his rights?
What part of that is addressed by making hypothetical stuff up about the client? If I posted, "They probably decided he smelled bad and just exercised their rights (generally) to provide services to those for whom they choose," would that be addressing the question?
posted by Kirth Gerson at 8:15 AM on November 29, 2006


Yes.
posted by cillit bang at 8:19 AM on November 29, 2006


So idle speculation really is "what the green is for"?

Unless people are required to show proof that they have relevant training or experience, pretty much all answers on ask.metafilter (other than good web links) should be considered idle speculation. If you're looking for a link, a posted link is its own verification, and other posters might back up someone's opinion and thus lend weight to it, but generally you are taking someone else's word for it that they actually know how to wean a water buffalo and are not simply extrapolating wildly from their scant experience with naked mole rat husbandry.
posted by pracowity at 8:29 AM on November 29, 2006


Kirth, seriously, do you think the majority of people actually believe that's what AskMe is for?
No, my question is not about what the majority of people actually believe.

There are a few people who think otherwise. Their content gets deleted.
You're saying that the few people like me, who believe AskMe isn't for speculating, get our content deleted? So, yes, that is what AskMe is for?


To summarize, I don't think you're saying what you think you're saying..
posted by Kirth Gerson at 8:34 AM on November 29, 2006


Discussing what the green is for is not what the green is for. jcwagner's comment linked here was partly answering the question, and partly discussing what the green is for. The latter part isn't appropriate, but the former is, so the comment stays up--Matt/Jess generally aren't in the habit of deleting parts of comments, for better or for worse. Your comment was entirely discussing what the green is for, so it came down.

It's not an endorsement of jcwagner's opinion of the purpose of AskMe.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 8:46 AM on November 29, 2006


pracowity, I get what you're saying, but I think there's a difference between inflating your expertise so it can cover a question and inventing conditions to the situation just so you can generate an answer.

If jcwagner had said, "they have the right to not treat anyone" (which is more or less what ikkyu2 said), it would be an answer to the question. To start conjuring up theoretical reasons why they might make that decision is not an answer to the question.

To say that they maybe were afraid the client might be "violent or predatory" is not only not answering the question, it's insulting the client, because there's no hint of anything like that in the OP's post or comments.

This happens a lot on AskMe, where some third party who's not part of the discussion gets slandered as abusive, or a bad parent, or a cheater, or whatever, when those things don't answer the question. It's like gossiping about someone you don't know at all.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 8:58 AM on November 29, 2006


Kirth, the system works pretty well but there are going to be failures. Your personal involvement in this particular squabble taints your objectivity on the subject.
posted by cortex at 9:34 AM on November 29, 2006


Kirth, maybe you should calm down about this. The world neither began nor ended with that question. The rules of AskMe did not change, and what's more, I think you know that. I'm betting that (even if you don't admit it) the only reason you're posting this is because you're involved, not because you seriously believe that AskMe has radically changed since last night.

That aside, you're still wrong. First, the answers in question are posted in a thread which is by it's nature speculative: it's based on a third-hand version of events with many details missing. In cases like that many answers are going to explore the ramifications of the elements of the question in order to determine if there is even enough information to answer the question. Second, the comment you're so upset about clearly indicates why the poster felt justified in that particular speculation. Yes, jcwagner used the phrase you quote; no, it does not appear to mean what you already know it wasn't meant to mean.
posted by OmieWise at 10:17 AM on November 29, 2006


*idly speculates abou the spectacular idol while idling spectactles*
posted by jonmc at 10:41 AM on November 29, 2006


Omie, no, I don't know that "it wasn't meant to mean" what it appears to mean. How are you so sure it wasn't?

I'm sorry to say that you also lose your bet. I'm posting this because I was implicitly invited to by Jessamyn's note in the thread. Comments like the ones I objected to degrade the quality of AskMe, and leaving them unchallenged encourages more of the same. Note that it's not just the thread that I'm involved in that I am talking about - it's a common occurrence that should be less common.

The comments in question did not "explore the ramifications of the elements of the question in order to determine if there is even enough information to answer the question." They surrounded an echo of a previous answer with a lot of irrelevant and demeaning speculation about the character and psychology of the therapy client. The question was "can they do this," not "why did they do this". That's not "by its nature speculative". The details you miss would be helpful in answering "why did they," but they aren't necessary to answer "can they". jcwagner's remarks about the client don't add any weight to his agreeing with previous answers.

Thanks, by the way, for your concern about my state of mind, but I don't need to calm down, and I never thought the thread was the beginning or end of anything.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 11:28 AM on November 29, 2006


Actually, I'm pretty sure I won my bet. Thanks for playing.
posted by OmieWise at 11:58 AM on November 29, 2006


Sure are a lot of whiners on the internet lately.

Kirth, your dudgeon is misplaced if sincere, pathetic if disingenuous. So stop bleating.
posted by klangklangston at 12:39 PM on November 29, 2006


From some occult source, jcwagner divines that the therapy client was "likely to or just may engage in violent or predatory behavior." There is absolutely no indication of anything like that anywhere in the thread.

jcwagner said that therapists may "feel that the person is likely to or just may engage in violent or predatory behavior."

Saying a therapist has a certain feeling about someone is not the same as claiming that the person is actually that way.

Fail reading comprehension much?
posted by juv3nal at 1:01 PM on November 29, 2006


There are a few people who think otherwise. Their content gets deleted.

Not often enough.
posted by phearlez at 1:40 PM on November 29, 2006


klang, this is Argument. You want Abuse, two doors down. I'm surprised you got lost. Again.


Saying a therapist has a certain feeling about someone is not the same as claiming that the person is actually that way.
Saying that some therapists feel juv3nal is a child molester is not the same as claiming that juv3nal is a child molester.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 1:53 PM on November 29, 2006


it does not appear to mean what you already know it wasn't meant to mean.

Thanks. That's the only thing I understand here. What an odd thread.
posted by peacay at 2:21 PM on November 29, 2006



Saying that some therapists feel juv3nal is a child molester is not the same as claiming that juv3nal is a child molester.


While true, you're still just being disingenuous, because that's not at all analogous to what jcwagner was saying either. He was talking about how therapists he's known might react in general to someone who made them feel uncomfortable; it should be abundantly clear from context that he wasn't talking about these therapists' reaction to the specific client mentioned in the question. It's exceedingly unlikely that the therapists he's talking about have even met the client referred to in the question.

But you go on with your bad self.
posted by juv3nal at 2:36 PM on November 29, 2006


Kirth, your dudgeon is misplaced if sincere, pathetic if disingenuous.

Just wanted to say this is the best sentence I've read here in a while. Now I'm backing out of the thread; if anyone flames out, please let me know.
posted by languagehat at 2:39 PM on November 29, 2006 [1 favorite]


*follows klang and hat two doors down to the WoWgmr72-stravaganza*
posted by Kwine at 3:11 PM on November 29, 2006


"Klang, this is Argument. You want Abuse, two doors down. I'm surprised you got lost. Again."

Your lack of comprehension and pronounced sense of performative drama does not make my calling it as such abusive, though those afore-mentioned tendencies do lead to your percieving it as such.

I'd clarify with some pithy comment instructing you to cease your self-fullfilling whining jag, but I think I covered that once already and you either didn't get it or think your personal feelings are of such high carat that I couldn't possibly be correct.

So back to telling you not to be such a goddamned baby, baby.
posted by klangklangston at 9:04 PM on November 29, 2006


(Though I will say that I've probably ruined the L-hat esteem by replying further...)
posted by klangklangston at 9:07 PM on November 29, 2006


by juv3nal: He was talking about how therapists he's known might react in general to someone who made them feel uncomfortable

And why was he talking about that, again? It does nothing to answer the question. All it does is make an unfounded association between the client and a set of bad characteristics.

It's exceedingly unlikely that the therapists he's talking about have even met the client referred to in the question.
So again, why is he injecting their supposed feelings into the discussion?

Klangklangston - your apparent inability to engage in any sort of discussion without resorting to condescending insult does not make my point invalid. That you don't see your comments as unnecessarily personal and insulting does not make them reasonable and thoughtful.

Congratulations on broadening your vocabulary beyond "retarded," though.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 4:20 AM on November 30, 2006


And why was he talking about that, again? It does nothing to answer the question.

I think when the question is "How should a therapist go about refusing to treat a patient?", describing how some therapists one knows have gone about doing that in the past is of some value. It may not be the optimal answer, but its certainly answering the question enough not to get deleted.
posted by juv3nal at 4:34 AM on November 30, 2006


Jesus H. Christ, why do people care so much about the internet?
posted by koeselitz at 8:20 AM on November 30, 2006 [1 favorite]


Again, that it is insulting to call your behavior unctuous umbrage does not mean that it is not true; sometimes your behavior deserves to be insulted, Kirth.
posted by klangklangston at 8:22 AM on November 30, 2006


juv3nal, even if the question was "how should," that's not addressed by any of the comments wagner put up, which were entirely about "why."

klang, what's interesting about you is not just your equating "insult" with "argument," but your belief that you somehow have the perspective to "instruct" anyone on behavior.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 10:49 AM on November 30, 2006


Kirth, Kirth, Kirth, it's your own lack of comprehension that leads you to believe that I am somehow equating insult with argument, and your own folly to believe that they are somehow opposed. An argument can be at once positive, insulting and correct. Perhaps you believe that all arguments have to proceed from 0 != 1? That I must first define the first principles of unctuous umbrage?

And remember, Kirth, that I don't have to be universally wise enough to instruct everyone, just awake enough to chide you (and in this case, that is a very low bar).

But, fine, don't take my perspective on this as valid. Take instead the crushing majority that has found this callout to be without merit, and hush your fevered fingers.
posted by klangklangston at 12:46 PM on November 30, 2006


No, klang, it's your posting history that leads me to that conclusion. Your favorite activity here seems to be castigating and insulting anyone who dares to ask for more constructive or more civil use of the site. While many other members are satisfied with stating an opinion, that's never enough for you; you've got to get in some personal remark, or characterize the poster's request as 'whining' or just start calling names. All of which you demonstrated in this thread. Usually, you don't even bother trying to explain why your target is so wrong; you just start in with the assertion that they are wrong, then proceed to the condescension and name-calling. That's what you did here. You're not a stupid person; it's too bad you can't bring yourself to have a civil discussion.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 6:06 PM on November 30, 2006


My posting history? My posting history on MeTa is mostly about meetups, as opposed to your prediliction toward procedural carping. My commenting history, if you'd care to peruse, has most recently focused on the lack of good parties with crepes, the people I recognize, and, yes, telling you that your concerns are without merit.

And if you can't suss out how I very clearly stated my problem with your callout in the very first comment, Kirth, you deserve to be condescended to.
posted by klangklangston at 7:31 PM on November 30, 2006


Though I will admit that I've just been kinda willfully being a jerk and I should have let you wallow in your call out. So I'll bow out now before I sully myself further with uncouth behavior.
posted by klangklangston at 8:14 PM on November 30, 2006


Since klang is gone, he won't benefit from this, but here is his first comment anyway:

Sure are a lot of whiners on the internet lately.

Kirth, your dudgeon is misplaced if sincere, pathetic if disingenuous. So stop bleating.


See where he tells me why I'm wrong? No - I don't either. All that's there is name-calling and scorn. Typical.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 7:49 AM on December 1, 2006


Actually, it looks like he said you were wrong and also possibly kind of a liar, depending. But he didn't go into detail, if that's what you mean, and he certainly wasn't being charming.
posted by cortex at 7:52 AM on December 1, 2006


Well, mistaken or lying, but no support for either opinion.

It's ironic but not amusing that I came here to point out a kind of unconscious incivility, and wound up attempting to reason with a deliberate, as he puts it, "jerk."
posted by Kirth Gerson at 7:58 AM on December 1, 2006


See where he tells me why I'm wrong?

Ah, one little word lost in the scan. My comment must not have made much sense, then.
posted by cortex at 8:08 AM on December 1, 2006


Kirth (My Comments: "Just when I think I'm out, they pull me back in")—
The point was simple. Your original outrage was over something so obviously sarcastic and not meant to be taken literally that "your dudgeon is misplaced if sincere," and since any dunce should have been able to apprehend the lack of menace in the sarcastic aside, I also pointed out that it would be pathetic if you realized that the remark was not the high crime of AskMe treason you so seemed to hope to pillory, yet went on with your gavel-banging performance.

But again, if we're looking for "typical behavior," you tend to post MeTa callouts that are whining drivel and tend to be roundly and rightly told to shut up. This continues your streak of performative sensitivity, and my brusqueness in dealing with your MeTa drama queen antics AGAIN might be borne of you seeming to willfully miss the fucking point repeatedly out of some desire to portray yourself as unduly set upon by the cruel denizens of teh intarwebs.

Was this clear enough for you, Kirth? Or did I stutter?
posted by klangklangston at 8:35 AM on December 1, 2006


If you think my posts are whining drivel, you're perfectly free to say why you think that. The fact that you don't bother to give any reason until two days later makes it clear that your appearance in this and so many other threads has nothing to do with their content. You just enjoy barging in, calling people names, belittling their concerns and telling them to shut up. There's nothing "brusque" about that, it's just stupid bullying. Even your days-late attempt to justify your opinion has to be dripping with scorn, of course. Is that supposed to make it more convincing?

You can continue to pretend that your misplaced characterizations of my motives are justification for your being a jerk, but repetition in endless and odious variety doesn't make either end of that boat float. I did not come here with any "original outrage". There was no "dudgeon" in my post. I did not perceive or write about any "menace." Nobody is talking about "high crimes of AskMe treason" but you. I did not put on any "gavel-banging performance," and I challenge you to show where I did. Your repeatedly claiming that my concerns are overwrought, making me a "drama queen" do not make the claims true. If there is anyone in this thread who's being melodramatic, it's you.

If I am so "roundly and rightly told to shut up," why do you even need to weigh in? For the record, nobody on MetaFilter other than you has ever told me to "shut up." Doesn't that tell you anything?

This is not your playground, and you don't have any justification for "willfully being a jerk." Grow up.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 10:30 AM on December 1, 2006


For the record, nobody on MetaFilter other than you has ever told me to "shut up."

Well, that's not precisely true, even if you do dodge a bullet regarding the literal string "shut up". Plenty of folks have objected, with varyingly civility, to your posts and comments, at least in the grey—because I'm killing time at work, I did a skim of the comments on your MeTa posts, and found these:

Do you people just go around looking for things to bitch about?

Nine fucking new posts this morning. Nine. And this ridiculous complaint is one of them.

Good lord, I couldn't have asked for a better illustration of the quasi-superstitious attitude some people have about racism, sexism, and homophobia. It's roughly similar to the way fundies think about Satan.

I find this callout completely baffling.

Kirth... seriously.

You're the one whose suggestion was completely without merit and was unsupported by anything other than righteousness.

Use common sense you fucking baby.

That might have something to do with Metatalk being constantly deluged with an incessant torrent of idiotic requests like your own.

I don't care about this stupid callout.

Those seem fairly dismissive, regardless of the specific word-choice. "Shut up" seems to be in the same semantic ballpark, if pithier.

I don't mean this as a pile-on, though. I just have time to spare, and statements of the form "no-one has ever" tend to pique my curiosity, partly because they are so infrequently correct. Folks certainly have ever. The frequency and justification with which that happens is a seperate question, but I don't have that much time.

I think it's likely, too, that such reactions are based on your form rather than your intention or the merit of your ideas: it seems to me that your heart is usually in the right place but your presentation pisses people off; indeed, some threads have started contentiously but then settled, after much back and forth, to reasonable discussion.

The particular rhetorical trend in your callouts (staged questions and calls to action) could well be a source of the scorn—see below.

This is a loaded question right up there with "When did you stop beating your wife?" It implies that anyone who disagrees with you about the specific AskMe in question is racist. Given that implication, I'd say the responses were remarkably restrained.

Don't mean to be all pissy here but the comment in-thread was just unnecessary. The MeTa callout without the "This thread just isn't that interesting" might not have annoyed me so much.

Then let this thread be a reminder to be more careful about the words you choose.

Full disclosure: I got in an argument with you once when I used the phrase "go to hell", which wasn't exactly gracious of me. And hey, we've had some good times. I'm not sweating it.
posted by cortex at 11:32 AM on December 1, 2006


Well, that's not precisely true, even if you do dodge a bullet regarding the literal string "shut up".

Which means that it is precisely true. You can't find any instance of anybody besides klangklangston telling me to shut up (or be quiet, or stop posting, or any equivalent), because nobody ever did. Some others have reacted to a few of my posts in klang-like tones, but even they don't go all O'Reilly on me. Maybe that's because, as much as they're annoyed, they recognize my right to post the same as anyone else's.

I do understand (now) why that 'stereotypes' question caused so much friction, and I'm not about to do that again. I don't think I did here. I was genuinely puzzled as to why wagner's assertion was left, and jessamyn's reason didn't seem well-thought out. The rest of his comments were pretty clearly irrelevant to the question, and I was trying to explain why for people to whom it was not so clear.

As for the "lots of people have said they didn't like your post" argument, I'd like to point out that every one of those posts had some people, and in at least one case, a lot of people, who supported my position. (Sorry you weren't one of them.)

If no one had ever agreed with me, I probably wouldn't have bothered any more. I don't post about stuff that bothers me just to see my words on the screen, though. I get that every day at work. I really am trying to point out something I think could be better than it is. Sometimes I'm wrong, and have said so, if the arguments against me were persuasive . "You big baby, stop whining" is not persuasive; it's browbeating.

I'm not carrying a hatchet with your name on it, either, because I think we do usually understand each other eventually - after actually discussing where we differ.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 12:40 PM on December 1, 2006


« Older Google answers goes away   |   Name That User! Newer »

You are not logged in, either login or create an account to post comments