remember to breathe July 28, 2007 8:34 PM   Subscribe

Cortex, can you chill out? More inside.
posted by blacklite to Etiquette/Policy at 8:34 PM (143 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

I keep wanting to post this as a comment, or a post, or something, and I can't imagine I am the only one.

I know that Metafilter has been kind of a bitch the past few weeks, relatively speaking. I also don't think that it is just because the summer is warm. As in a previous comment I made, I am pretty sure that a community is less inclined to self-police itself when there are riot police with shields and batons standing around.

This is a community with a lot of opinionated people. Hell, that is pretty much a thread: opinions about the post. Opinionated people (aka stubborn assholes) don't respond well to perceived authoritarianism.

I'm not saying you are coming around with sticks to beat on people, but we can compare:
cortex jessamyn mathowie. It's a little more contentious, a little more combatative, a little more shut up this is how it works.

I'm not saying you need to not be a moderator. That's not my decision. But I do think that Jessamyn eased into her role, gradually got accepted as a Matt-Equivalent, and is pretty well-liked. I don't think you are easing very well. And I don't think I am the only one who thinks you might be coming off as a bit heavy-handed.

And now, you're (I must assume sarcastically) calling out Jessamyn? I am sure it is funny, haha, and all, but ... I don't even know if you're that sarcastic. I honestly can't tell. It's sort of like that boss that comes over and goes, "haha, you probably shouldn't do that, huh?" Is it a joke? Are you supposed to be doing that? Who knows!

We're theoretically mature people here. How about you ease up a bit?
posted by blacklite at 8:34 PM on July 28, 2007 [2 favorites]


Just email the poor guy already.
posted by Burhanistan at 8:39 PM on July 28, 2007


I think it's worth discussing. I could be wrong, or crazy. It's happened before. This way everyone has the opportunity to tell me to sit down and shut up, if they'd like.
posted by blacklite at 8:45 PM on July 28, 2007


Sit down and shut up.
posted by yhbc at 8:46 PM on July 28, 2007


Alternatively:

BLACKLITE FOR MODERATOR!!!
BLACKLITE FOR MODERATOR!!!

oh, wait - blacklite's a dick.

BLACKLITE FOR DICK!!!
BLACKLITE FOR DICK!!!
posted by yhbc at 8:47 PM on July 28, 2007


jessamyn made a remark which was kind of funny and true but also one that might have been removed if somebody else had made it and a mod was having a bad day or something. cortex said something like "ha ha but let's keep this discussion on topic." This seems totally fine to me.

If you have a problem with cortex' moderation style, fine. Do call him out. But this callout is kind of weak.
posted by sveskemus at 8:49 PM on July 28, 2007


Dude, he was riffing. Stop being a Herb.
posted by klangklangston at 8:52 PM on July 28, 2007


Don't you mean a knob?
posted by Burhanistan at 8:52 PM on July 28, 2007


Oh snap?
posted by dhammond at 8:57 PM on July 28, 2007


Stop being a Herb.

A Tarlick is not necessarily the opposite of a bootlick.

And now, you're (I must assume sarcastically) calling out Jessamyn?


"Take it to Metatalk" was exactly the comment I typed in that thread, then didn't bother posting. Duh -- it's clearly the correct joke to make there, and even has the added benefit of being kinda funny (I reckon).
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 8:59 PM on July 28, 2007


I am pretty sure that a community is less inclined to self-police itself when there are riot police with shields and batons standing around.

Well, to be fair, the only reason why we need riot police is because some insurgents are attempting to hijack the Blue from it's original mission: clebrity gossip, LOLCATS and YouTube 24/7.

If they could just sit back, relax and take their petty, pointless and boring political bickering to other, unnamed websites, everything would be fine.

*fiddles while Rome burns*
posted by Avenger at 9:09 PM on July 28, 2007 [6 favorites]


We're theoretically mature people here.

Mature people don't make Metatalk callouts.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 9:15 PM on July 28, 2007 [1 favorite]


That should read "hypothetically mature".
posted by Burhanistan at 9:15 PM on July 28, 2007


Cortex : Ken Kaiser :: Jessamyn : Cal Hubbard
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 9:20 PM on July 28, 2007


Metafilter: Is it a joke? Are you supposed to be doing that? Who knows!
posted by b1tr0t at 9:21 PM on July 28, 2007


All this contention is is giving me a headache. Please, ease my pain: somebody tell me if Lindsay Lohan's pert boobies are ALL hers?
posted by davy at 9:27 PM on July 28, 2007


davy: possesion is 9/10 of ownership. And you'll never touch them anyways.
posted by Burhanistan at 9:29 PM on July 28, 2007


We're theoretically mature people here.
Hahahahahahahahahahah!
*gasp*
"theoretically" being the operative word here. Even you have admitted the last few weeks have been a bitch, I've noticed all sorts of crap that should have been edited or deleted from mods being called stasi in Askme, to the big q becoming more and more openly derisive, rickrolling, the effing "LOL...Z" mem... Lord this place needs an atomic hedge trimmer as of late. Ok, that is a big over the top, but the point stands, there may be a large number of mature people here, but there is a very vocal subset of immature jackasses, and any one of those mature people can easily slip into jackass mode if pulled into some dickweed's vortex of derailment.
You are making a callout about a mod by parenthetically calling him a jack booted thug in an open forum. You expect this to go well? The bigger a community gets the harder it is to "self police" and in reality there is little we can do to self police as the keys of power truly and honestly lie with 3 to 4 people.
posted by edgeways at 9:31 PM on July 28, 2007


blacklite: Cortex, can you chill out? More inside.

Burhanistan: Just email the poor guy already.

blacklite: I think it's worth discussing.

Maybe you shouldn't have addressed the whole thing directly to cortex then.
posted by carsonb at 9:36 PM on July 28, 2007 [2 favorites]


This way everyone has the opportunity to tell me to sit down and shut up, if they'd like.

Just ten days ago, I wrote this:

...sometimes people will only learn from being told personally how things are done, or how the logic of moderation is applied.
posted by SeizeTheDay at 9:38 PM on July 28, 2007


In fairness to cortex and jess, thye did cease making delete comments snarky in-jokes when people complained.

Buit I think that illuminates blacklite's point, so I'd say to jess and cortex:

You two put work into moderating the site, and I'm sure you want to be appreciated for that. Similarly, posters and commeters put real work into posts and comments (and without user posts, there'd be no site); having a post or comment deleted blows away that work, having it deleted in a snarky or apparently arbitrary way adds insult to injury.

It's one thing to be too-school-for-school as a commenter; it's another thing entirely when you have the power to obliterate others' work. When you're blowing stuff away, even for good reasons, it ruffles feathers a lot less if you're not cavalier, snarky, or inside-jokey about it.

Just a thought.
posted by orthogonality at 9:40 PM on July 28, 2007 [6 favorites]


blacklite, this is no different than that Metatalk thread you started where you called the mods a bunch of Mexican homos. Can't seem to find the link right now, but I remember it, clear as day. Something about 'south of the border butt bandits', remember?
posted by item at 9:42 PM on July 28, 2007


Oh, and just so I don't appear like a complete egoist, I'd comment that this MeTa was done in a completely bad faith approach. Trying to publicly humiliate or pin a mod in such a direct and unequivocal manner just sucks.

Trying to balance people's political beliefs and everyone's idea of "what the site should be" along with managing the site itself and maintaining its long-term sustainability is not an easy task, and one that we don't give Matt and company enough credit for.

And for the past couple of weeks mods have been taking shit for pretty stupid reasons, most of all fucking newsfilter, which has ALWAYS been a source of contention never been explicitly allowed in the guidelines. There were always exceptions for breaking news and significant headlines, but I think that a small political contingent here is trying to take advantage of rookie mods who don't quite have the Midas touch yet, which isn't fair.

The worst part here is that there are quite a few newsfilter veterans who know better, and are taking advantage of the fact that they don't have to argue with the site owner anymore, but instead have to deal with "mods". This is still a community. We still have to treat each other with respect, and not take advantage of transitions in "mod authority", as it were. We still self-police here. Or at least I thought we did, anyway. And self-policing doesn't mean trying to stick it to people, pouncing on any potential missteps, and using it as fuel for whatever agenda.

I haven't always seen eye-to-eye with the mods here. But at the end of the day, I've learned that it's not my site. I've also learned to give a little deference, in hope that the site's management has the site's best interest in mind. And I think that with Matt and Jessamyn, that's been proven. And I think that given some time, we'll see cortex join those ranks in a more seamless fashion.
posted by SeizeTheDay at 9:53 PM on July 28, 2007 [6 favorites]


The complaint here is that Cortex is not showing Blacklite sufficient deference?
posted by LarryC at 9:59 PM on July 28, 2007 [1 favorite]


And now, you're (I must assume sarcastically) calling out Jessamyn? I am sure it is funny, haha, and all, but ... I don't even know if you're that sarcastic. I honestly can't tell. It's sort of like that boss that comes over and goes, "haha, you probably shouldn't do that, huh?" Is it a joke? Are you supposed to be doing that? Who knows!

The notion that talk about a thread should generally go in Metatalk, not the thread, isn't new or controversial around here.

So: Jessamyn has been pretty frustrated and openly so with the Gonzales-a-thon, and that came out in the thread there in what she probably intended as a bit of wearied humor; if it had gone by unremarked, there'd be no big issue, but there's been a bunch of reactions to it, talking again about the meta-gonzales concern of what should and shouldn't be and has and hasn't been deleted. Anybody invested in the idea that discussing the content of the links in that thread is the whole lifeblood of good political discussion on the blue should recognize that derailing the thread is at cross-purposes with that. Let it be the good, insightful discussion thread that people are saying they want.

If you think I'm out of line for making a self-consciously light-hearted comment encapsulating as much of that as possible, I have to disagree: it's in basically every way congruent to (if slightly friendlier and more verbose than) any number of other "please take it to Metatalk" comments as practiced in this sort of context since well before I came on board.

If you think I'm out of line for gently publicly disagreeing with Jessamyn, I don't know what to say. We aren't the same person, we're in constant communication about admin issues, and we don't always agree. I know that she's pretty much on vacation at the moment and so I can't necessarily count on her being available tonight to follow up on that thread or this or any other, but I'm confident that she's not going to be upset at me for suggesting that a derail be taken to the grey, even if she managed to help spawn it.
posted by cortex (staff) at 10:03 PM on July 28, 2007 [3 favorites]


This post needs less "not saying" and more "saying".
posted by mendel at 10:05 PM on July 28, 2007


Oh, there's some saying. IAWTC.
posted by mendel at 10:08 PM on July 28, 2007


I was actually serious about ortho's post, I thought it was the perfect treatment for this whole Gonzales thing lately and was happy to see it stand. It was a smart (if grouchy) post and it didn't link to freaking TPM. Excellent. I should have been less sarcastic about it, but hey, everyone's meters are out of wack this week it seems.

Cortex was making a point that the post WOULD be staying -- so that people would know and not be like "OMG is this going to be deleted too?!" and made a sort of sideways jab at me because, well, it's been a shitty week and I think he'd think I'd find it funny, which I did.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 10:10 PM on July 28, 2007


I'm not saying mendel is or isn't right, but I'm also not saying I think I'm either right or not right.
posted by cgc373 at 10:11 PM on July 28, 2007 [1 favorite]


Can we all please just hold hands, take a deep breath and chill the motherfuck out?
posted by SassHat at 10:17 PM on July 28, 2007


Lighten up blacklite, after all, it's saturday night!

(srsly weak callout)
posted by vronsky at 10:24 PM on July 28, 2007


*fiddles while Rome burns*

Gather round the fire children and hear a story: Metafilter has been "going downhill" and "on the way to destruction, make your time" since user numbers went into 4 digits. By my projections, the jizzing goatse hordes of chaos should have overrun the whole place roughly two years ago. Kind of like America is already a fascist dictatorship under martial law. Chill the fuck out.
posted by Krrrlson at 10:25 PM on July 28, 2007 [1 favorite]


We all have pain.
posted by cior at 10:27 PM on July 28, 2007


"This is still a community."

No, this is still a WEB SITE. An entirely voluntary one in which leaving does not even mean renting anything from U-Haul, let alone arguing over who gets the dog.

People who persist in calling this WEB SITE "a community" need to get out more and get to know more real people in the real world. I know this is easier said than done, I'm pretty much a net.bound hermit myself, but still there really IS a difference, I've done both and I can tell them apart. Calling Metafilter "a community" is like buying your RealDoll a wedding ring.
posted by davy at 10:27 PM on July 28, 2007 [4 favorites]


I am pretty sure that a community is less inclined to self-police itself when there are riot police with shields and batons standing around.

I disagree. You are taking everything way too seriously.
That was an oblique manifestation of this term you bandy about called 'self-policing'. I know jessamyn and cortex are here, yet I feel unrestrained when I reach out with my comment and metaphorically slap you liberally around the frontal lobes (think: pillow thwump, not baseball batting) and urge you to stop taking this site too fucking seriously.
posted by peacay at 10:29 PM on July 28, 2007


Krrrlson writes on Metatalk "[claiming Metafilter is going down hill is] Kind of like [saying] America is already a fascist dictatorship under martial law."

Man, Krrrlson really doesn't understand that whole "write for your audience" idea, does he?
posted by orthogonality at 10:31 PM on July 28, 2007


Thou shalt not put websites and online communities on ridiculous pedestals no matter how great they are or were.
Kuro5hin - is just a site
Google News - Just a site
The New York Times - Just a site
Cute Overload - Just a site
YouTube - Just a site
Digg - Just a site
Kottke - Just a site
Flickr - Were just a site.
Technorati - Just a site
Instapundit - Just a site
Think Progress - Just a site
LGF - Just a site
MySpace - They're just a site
MetaChat - Just a site
Boing Boing - Just a site
The Next Big Thing - JUST A SITE
MetaFilter - JUST A SITE
posted by wendell at 10:34 PM on July 28, 2007 [1 favorite]


Come on now, lean into it a little no? It's hard times this century, for sure, but we all have to get through it together.
posted by Divine_Wino at 10:34 PM on July 28, 2007


No, we don't ALL have to get through it together. We're all just trying to avoid being the first one thrown out of the lifeboat.
posted by wendell at 10:39 PM on July 28, 2007


Metafilter has been "going downhill" and "on the way to destruction, make your time" since user numbers went into 4 digits.

Hell, it was still in the (high) three digits.
posted by cortex (staff) at 10:40 PM on July 28, 2007 [1 favorite]


Man, Krrrlson really doesn't understand that whole "write for your audience" idea, does he?

Rest assured, you're not my audience.
posted by Krrrlson at 10:41 PM on July 28, 2007 [2 favorites]


I'd comment, but I'm too afraid of Cortex beating me up with his baton.

*cowers*
posted by Many bubbles at 10:54 PM on July 28, 2007


Hey Wendell, I'm starting a new web site, but it's not just a site -- it's also a floor topping.

wait, did I get that joke right?
posted by davejay at 10:58 PM on July 28, 2007


MetaFilter - JUST A SITE
posted by wendell


WHAT.
THE.
FUCK.
WENDELL.

Is this true? I quit, then. I wanted to be part of something special.
posted by The Deej at 10:59 PM on July 28, 2007


I once wanted to be part of something special, but the Partridge Family didn't need another cute kid.
posted by wendell at 11:02 PM on July 28, 2007


>"This is still a community."

>>No, this is still a WEB SITE.


Oh lord, do we need to do this again?

Metafilter has been "going downhill" and "on the way to destruction, make your time" since user numbers went into 4 digits.

The canonical phrasing is 'imminent demise of Metafilter predicted'.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 11:04 PM on July 28, 2007


If anybody here is trying to kill MetaFilter, you are NOT doing a very good job.
posted by wendell at 11:14 PM on July 28, 2007


(Chocolate Rain, everybody. Chocolate Rain. Let it soothe you.)
posted by tristeza at 11:23 PM on July 28, 2007


I hate it when people in this community refuse to acknowledge this is a community.
posted by Kickstart70 at 11:28 PM on July 28, 2007


I hate it when people in this community refuse to recognize it's a website.

It's a community!
It's a website!
It's TWO *click* TWO *click* TWO dysfunctional entities in one!
posted by The Deej at 11:32 PM on July 28, 2007


And ya know... if we had just rewritten the guidelines, we wouldn't need to have this discussion.
posted by The Deej at 11:33 PM on July 28, 2007


I don't care what the rest of you say about cortex. I think he is a great moderator... and I love him!
posted by vronsky at 11:45 PM on July 28, 2007


You got your community in my website!

Or did I get my website in your community?
posted by spaceman_spiff at 12:03 AM on July 29, 2007


Yep, definitely a floorwax...
posted by wendell at 12:46 AM on July 29, 2007


People who persist in calling this WEB SITE "a community" need to get out more and get to know more real people in the real world...

Because of Metafilter I have made more than a dozen interesting new real world acquaintances in the last three years, and a few good friends. This "not community" has facillitated me getting out and getting to know real people in the real world.

METAFILTER IS MADE OUT OF PEOPLE! Exploit that fact, you fuckos!
posted by Meatbomb at 12:56 AM on July 29, 2007 [2 favorites]


davy: Calling Metafilter "a community" is like buying your RealDoll a wedding ring.

Awwwww... who's the lucky bridebot-to-be, davy?
posted by spiderwire at 1:23 AM on July 29, 2007


If cortex needs to chill out, I'm sure I can think of something.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 1:30 AM on July 29, 2007


It's more than a community, it's a family. We all have our places to play, and the green, grey and blue are our stages.

Some are like the drunk father who beats their children with a ear of corn, and some are like the uncle that gets drunk and pees on your dog.

At the end of the day we all love each other, however probably wouldn't survive without drugs of somesort.
posted by oxford blue at 3:19 AM on July 29, 2007 [1 favorite]


Ok everybody, time to break for drugs... er, I mean, lunch.
posted by Avenger at 3:47 AM on July 29, 2007


The jizzing goatse hordes of chaos

What a great name for a band.
posted by Joeforking at 3:56 AM on July 29, 2007


Another great thing about cortex? The dude can dance.
posted by vronsky at 4:13 AM on July 29, 2007


The jizzing goatse hordes of chaos

What a great name for a band.


We're coming to your town next week.
posted by oxford blue at 4:14 AM on July 29, 2007


Another great thing about cortex? The dude can dance.

Count Vronsky, I'm glad they specify clearly 'computer nerd'. Heavens, it may have been one of those band nerds, which are just awful.
posted by oxford blue at 4:16 AM on July 29, 2007


Good news, I found a reccent family portait:

http://i.somethingawful.com/u/salmonseason/summer/denimkite.jpg

Admit it, we look gangbusters.
posted by oxford blue at 4:20 AM on July 29, 2007


CortexEveryone, can you chill out?

This piece of shit MeTa should have been closed after the WKRP reference.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 4:37 AM on July 29, 2007


Why is it that only 1 in 2 readers are able to discern light-hearted repartee from the context of the post? I chuckled slightly at Jess' & cortex's exchange, seeing it for what it was, which was not-at-all serious, as they've now made plain here. Just becaust the have moderator powars doesnt' mean that they shouldn't have a sense of humor about it.

Exactly how many beans are on this plate, anyway?
posted by Devils Rancher at 6:31 AM on July 29, 2007


There I go abusing apostrophes again. I may have to turn in my badge.
posted by Devils Rancher at 6:33 AM on July 29, 2007


Rest assured, you're not my audience.

It's our damned opposable thumbs, isn't it?
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 6:45 AM on July 29, 2007 [1 favorite]


Why is it that only 1 in 2 readers are able to discern light-hearted repartee from the context of the post?

Because they are already annoyed at the poster and that colors their reaction? Lots of people here hold grudges, for no apparent reason.
posted by smackfu at 6:55 AM on July 29, 2007


Cortex, can you go to lunch? Please go to lunch. Go to lunch, cortex. Please go to lunch. Will you go to lunch?

But don't fucking chill out.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 6:57 AM on July 29, 2007 [1 favorite]


It's our damned opposable thumbs, isn't it?

Perhaps not so much the opposable thumbs, as the oppositional thumbsucking.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 6:59 AM on July 29, 2007 [4 favorites]


Oh, those were thumbs, Bligh? Heh, for a while there I just thought that a small group of ridiculously loud leftie MeFites simply weren't particularly well endowed. :-)
posted by SeizeTheDay at 7:07 AM on July 29, 2007


It's not a community until you know who, in a crisis, you would fuck or eat, and who would fuck or eat you. I've only figured that out for about half of you, and that answer has always been eat.
posted by Astro Zombie at 7:29 AM on July 29, 2007


Dibs on the leg!!1
posted by Meatbomb at 7:34 AM on July 29, 2007


Why is it that only 1 in 2 readers are able to discern light-hearted repartee from the context of the post?

Nuance has never been Metafilter's strong suit.
posted by Dave Faris at 7:48 AM on July 29, 2007


Sit down and shut up.
posted by languagehat at 7:53 AM on July 29, 2007


So: Jessamyn has been pretty frustrated and openly so with the Gonzales-a-thon

Personally, I think "Gonzalathon" rolls off the tongue much better.
posted by nevercalm at 8:02 AM on July 29, 2007


I think the appropriate response is to label it an "online community," which isn't exactly the same as an offline community, but isn't really all that different. I have seen enough evidence of Metafilters "community-ness" to convince me of this.

I also believe that the first people to make the argument that "it isn't a community, it's a WEBSITE!!?!!?!" are generally the ones that act aggressively towards other members, and use it as license to act like a dick because, well, it isn't real.
posted by Quartermass at 8:19 AM on July 29, 2007 [3 favorites]


How does one pronounce goatse anyways? Around the dinner table I have been saying it "goat-say." No one knew what I was talking about however, so I finally had to get my laptop and show them, which led to a certain social awkwardness. I would appreciate a pronunciation guide.
posted by LarryC at 8:27 AM on July 29, 2007 [2 favorites]


As far as I'm concerned, the sheer number of in-jokes here alone justifies calling it a community.

I agree with quartermass. That "it's a website" stuff comes out after some pretty good assholery, usually.
posted by nevercalm at 8:27 AM on July 29, 2007


I liked the part where he said ostensibly.
posted by blue_beetle at 8:43 AM on July 29, 2007


Personally, I think "Gonzalathon" rolls off the tongue much better.

Albertorama?

I think the appropriate response is to label it an "online community," which isn't exactly the same as an offline community, but isn't really all that different. I have seen enough evidence of Metafilters "community-ness" to convince me of this.

Exactly. Of course this place isn't a meatspace neighborhood, but there's definitely a greater sense of "here" to it than most places I've visited online. I think I can understand why people would dismiss the use of the word "community" for an internet entity, but I feel a lot of the time like that's more of a refusal (or situational inability) to try to actually engage that community atmosphere.
posted by cortex (staff) at 8:45 AM on July 29, 2007


Let me sum up this thread for anyone who doesn't want to read the whole thing:

1. Gonzalapalooza is officially over.
2. Some people think cortex is being a dick when he includes a very mild throw-away joke in the midst of a very rational and even-tempered suggestion.
3. Some other people think that those people from point 2., above, are even more of a bigger dick.
4. New guidelines would have prevented all this "posting" nonsense.
posted by Mister_A at 9:01 AM on July 29, 2007


Calling out an admin?
Then attempting to create a rift between admins?

Difficult to break more the generic law of most online communities "Don't be an asshole".

And not banned?
And the admins respond gracefully and politely?
Only on Mefi.

Examplary illustration of mathowie's willingness to allow public challenging of Mefi governance. I am not sure I get it but it sure is a part of what makes this place fascinating.
posted by bru at 9:02 AM on July 29, 2007


Kumbaya, my Lord, kumbaya.
posted by ericb at 9:05 AM on July 29, 2007


The admins are celebrities! They gave up their privacy a long time ago, and are subject to gossip and public examination.

I don't disagree with Cortex's admin decisions, but I'll meekly raise my hand and agree that his admin 'style' is much more 'cowboy' than jessamyn's or mathowie's.

I ain't saying there's anything wrong with it, but there is a noticeable difference that some people may take offense to. The general impression I always come away with is that whatever decisions he makes are well thought out, just not very well conveyed. But then he'll go and blow your socks off every once in a while (as he did with his first response in this thread).
posted by matty at 9:14 AM on July 29, 2007


posted by Mister_A
4. New guidelines would have prevented all this "posting" nonsense.


5. A more professional-looking white background would have prevented much of this.
posted by fandango_matt at 9:15 AM on July 29, 2007 [3 favorites]




I think I can understand why people would dismiss the use of the word "community" for an internet entity, but I feel a lot of the time like that's more of a refusal (or situational inability) to try to actually engage that community atmosphere.
posted by cortex


There are community aspects to metafilter, but for many it doesn't reach the level of off line communities. The 'we're a family, let's go to meet-ups' section of metafilter is only a very small percentage of members and lurkers. It's great that you've made metafilter such a large part of your life cortex, but to label anyone who doesn't share that view as "refusing to engage" is condescending and silly. It's simply a difference of opinion in what is required and desired in a community.

I also believe that the first people to make the argument that "it isn't a community, it's a WEBSITE!!?!!?!" are generally the ones that act aggressively towards other members, and use it as license to act like a dick because, well, it isn't real.
posted by Quartermass


I tell the counter person at starbucks please and thank you because she's a real person standing in front of me. I share no sense of community with her. You don't have to believe in metafilter as a community to be civil to one another.

The biggest lack of civility on metafilter and other places on the internet has to do with anonymity, not on whether you view it as a community or simply a website.
posted by justgary at 9:46 AM on July 29, 2007


justgary,

I totally agree with the fact that a lot of the problems have to do with anonymity, though my point (and Cortex's) is that there are people who refuse to acknowledge that there is any form of community here at all. That it is all pretend, and therefore, there are no consequences.

You tell the person behind the counter "please" and "thank you" because they are a "real person." Yet, every person who posts here are also "real people," you just can't see them. Also, just because you don't share a "sense" of community with her, doesn't mean that you are not part of some form of community with her. She might feel differently.
posted by Quartermass at 10:06 AM on July 29, 2007


How does one pronounce goatse anyways? Around the dinner table I have been saying it "goat-say." No one knew what I was talking about however, so I finally had to get my laptop and show them, which led to a certain social awkwardness. I would appreciate a pronunciation guide.

the correct pronounciation is "goat sex", as in the original domain name "goatse.cx". the shortening is a bastardization that makes no sense.
posted by quonsar at 10:07 AM on July 29, 2007


I pronounce it "goat see."
posted by jtron at 10:11 AM on July 29, 2007


It's great that you've made metafilter such a large part of your life cortex, but to label anyone who doesn't share that view as "refusing to engage" is condescending and silly.

Well, I did describe it as refusal or situational inability to do so—I have no problem with the idea that doing the meetup thing or having other meaningful non-internet interactions with mefites would be impractical for someone for any number of reasons. That's cool.

But I didn't intend it as condescending, so let me restate a little: I don't find the refusal to do social stuff related to metafilter dismissive. That's totally someone's call; I'd no sooner insist that you go to a house party or join a book club or get coffee with someone if you didn't personally want to.

But there are opportunities for genuine interpersonal goodness directly stemming from the more abstract social/community aspects of this place, and I do find the occasional refusal to acknowledge that those things meaningfully exist for the people interested and able to take part in them, in tandem with a refusal to acknowledge the notion of mefi-as-community that a lot of people here attest to, to be dismissive. It's one thing to say "I get no community value from metafilter"; it's another entirely to say "metafilter is simply not a community." There's nothing wrong with the former, but what I tend to hear from folks arguing the point—and what tends to produce friction in general when it comes up—is the latter.
posted by cortex (staff) at 10:20 AM on July 29, 2007


I pronounce it as "Quartermass."
posted by davy at 10:23 AM on July 29, 2007


Lots of correct pronunciations are bastardizations that make no sense.
posted by agropyron at 10:24 AM on July 29, 2007


go-AT-ess-ee
posted by L. Fitzgerald Sjoberg at 10:38 AM on July 29, 2007 [1 favorite]


I'm guessing people say "goat-see" or "goat-say" instead of "goat sex" because if you describe goatse.cx as "goat sex" to the uninitiated then you have to kind of reverse course and explain that it's actually a completely different appalling thing than it sounds like.
posted by cortex (staff) at 10:43 AM on July 29, 2007 [1 favorite]


Plus it sort of rhymes with cortex and there is the whole limerick prevention thing to consider...
posted by y2karl at 11:17 AM on July 29, 2007


There once was a photo called goatse.cx
Of a man with a huge gaping vortex
We were shocked and appalled
But the wort thing of all
Was that goatse.cx was actually cortex
posted by Meatbomb at 11:29 AM on July 29, 2007 [3 favorites]


A beleaguerd admin name of cortex
was busily deleting goatse.cx
when up on the grey
a callout did say
"your offhanded comments, they vex"

how'd I do?

(goddammit, meatbomb!)
posted by Devils Rancher at 11:30 AM on July 29, 2007


And mine has better meter, too. Suck it up, Devils Rancher, i am the limerick king!!!1
posted by Meatbomb at 11:33 AM on July 29, 2007


There once was a photo called goatse.
I'll like to say something nice about Grumblebee.
posted by Astro Zombie at 11:39 AM on July 29, 2007 [1 favorite]


And mine has better meter, too. Suck it up, Devils Rancher, i am the limerick king!!!1
posted by Meatbomb


Girls, girls, you're both pretty!!!!

But Meatbomb's limerick totally kicked your ass DR!
posted by The Deej at 11:58 AM on July 29, 2007


An image that made people retch
Gave cause to an admin's kvetch:
"It's all fun and games"
"When you call me names,"
"But 'Asshole' is a bit of a stretch."
posted by fandango_matt at 12:05 PM on July 29, 2007 [4 favorites]


HOYOOOOO!
posted by cortex (staff) at 12:07 PM on July 29, 2007


There is an admin name of cortex
Who discreetly enforces more text:
'Pissing elephants were fine
and lolcats divine
but deliver us from the goatsex vortex'
posted by y2karl at 12:08 PM on July 29, 2007


Uh o. Suck it Meatbomb! Fandango_matt RULEZ!!!!!!

I'm asking him to the prom now, instead. Sorry loser!
posted by The Deej at 12:09 PM on July 29, 2007


A young atheist name of Grumblebee
One day did see Jesus in Goatse
He fell in a swoon
While around him the room
Spun and spun in LOL-X-tasy
posted by y2karl at 12:22 PM on July 29, 2007




Use it in a sestina, bitches. Then I'll be impressed.
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 12:46 PM on July 29, 2007


goats dot see ex
posted by shmegegge at 12:52 PM on July 29, 2007


fandango_matt. f.t.w. that is all. Close it.
posted by Devils Rancher at 12:55 PM on July 29, 2007


Close goatse and you close us all.
posted by yerfatma at 1:03 PM on July 29, 2007


This thread is spun Comedy Gold!

I misread The jizzing goatse hordes of chaos as goatse herds, raising the multiple choice question:

Being a MetaFilter Moderator is like herding...
a: cats
b: LOLCATS
c: cunts in hats
d: goatses.

taglines!
MetaFilter: A bastardization that makes no sense
MetaFilter: oppositional thumbsucking

Gonzalathon, Gonzalarama or Gonzalapalooza? Tough choice.

Is this the first time l-hat has told someone to "sit down and shut up"? Now THAT is a dangerous precedent (as opposed to a dangerous President, which could get your post deleted).

But any thread that devolves into limerick-making is fine with me (I missed the literary limerick post, so now I get to catch up)

The MetaFi Mod who's called cortex
Was never concerned much with goatse.cx
Images were disabled
Round our breakfast table
Now there's time for a big bowl of Corn Chex.

blacklite told our cortex to chill
and the ensuing thread was a thrill
with Gonzales and goatse.cx
in such a strange context
oh dear, I've forgotten my pill
posted by wendell at 1:23 PM on July 29, 2007 [2 favorites]


quonsar, I think many people call him "goatsie" as sort of an affectionate little nickname.

I propose we all replace the lewd goatse with this sanitized family-friendly substitute. (It is SFW and other places.)
posted by madamjujujive at 2:17 PM on July 29, 2007


Limericks are the new img tag.

I can only hope we don't have to ban them for some limerick-related Firefox javascript cookie stealing security bug.
posted by smackfu at 2:36 PM on July 29, 2007


A harried moderator named Cortex
Spent his days zapping links to goatse
He said: "I don't mean to snark,
Or to bitch about Fark
But you need to establish some context."
posted by LarryC at 3:03 PM on July 29, 2007


Is this the first time l-hat has told someone to "sit down and shut up"?

By god, I think it is. This one's fairly easy to google, though of course the google index isn't perfect. Still, some analysis:

languagehat once offered conditionally to do it himself; another time, he suggested that someone else was being told to do so by the crowd; he suggested by analogy that dhoyt might have been told as much for a lame racist joke; and he pointedly refrained from telling Seth to do so, at one point. And here's a chance response to a hyperbolic Rosa Parks reference using the same language. But no prior instance of him simply giving an unqualified command.

On the other hand, a search for the phrase on mefi returns only 37 total hits, and since the google index usually includes repeats on favorite/archive pages, the total number of occurrences may be a bit lower than that. Now, a search for the phrase plus "languagehat" returns 10 unique results, including the first four of the above where he offers the phrase, unquoted, in one context or another. So there's a shockingly strong correlation between lhat and "sit down and shut up"—where the lines of cause and effect lie here is beyond me.
posted by cortex (staff) at 4:10 PM on July 29, 2007 [1 favorite]


languagehat doesn't tell people to shut up, he clocks them with an unabridged OED and takes away their glottal stops. He's like the Luco Brazi of linguists.
posted by spiderwire at 4:22 PM on July 29, 2007


I just hope lang-hat never resorts to an O'Reilly-esque "Shut up shut up shut up", because whatever else MetaTalk may be, it is definitely a "Falafel-Free Zone".
posted by wendell at 4:28 PM on July 29, 2007


A violent hot weather siege
Against MeTa, our mod and The Deej
Erupted sans causative,
But as in times positive,
I'll chill and sling beej for my liege.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 4:51 PM on July 29, 2007 [2 favorites]


Whew. That was a mouthful.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 4:52 PM on July 29, 2007 [1 favorite]


Ha. Glad I could provide a rhyme. :) Just be thankful my name isn't The Orange.
posted by The Deej at 5:00 PM on July 29, 2007


Door hinge.
posted by vronsky at 5:04 PM on July 29, 2007


A little late in commenting in this thread, but cortex does not need to chill out.
posted by KokuRyu at 5:06 PM on July 29, 2007


Door hinge.
posted by vronsky


I rest my case, Your Honor.
posted by The Deej at 5:08 PM on July 29, 2007


Just so we're clear, I was responding to this direct invitation:

This way everyone has the opportunity to tell me to sit down and shut up, if they'd like.

It's not something I'd do under ordinary circumstances, but when someone asks so nicely, how can I refuse?

Also, people who have no sense of rhythm and yet persist in trying to write limericks should be banned, tarred, and feathered.
posted by languagehat at 5:48 PM on July 29, 2007


Or possibly tarred, feathered, and banned. I leave the order up to the moderators.
posted by languagehat at 5:49 PM on July 29, 2007


But you have to put the tar BEFORE the feathers, or else it makes a mess.
posted by wendell at 5:55 PM on July 29, 2007


Can we run them out of town on a rail? I've always wanted to do that.
posted by spiderwire at 6:23 PM on July 29, 2007


Oranges smoranges.
Who said nothing rhymes with oranges?
posted by miss lynnster at 6:45 PM on July 29, 2007


It's time for me to fly...
posted by Dreamghost at 7:50 PM on July 29, 2007


You tell the person behind the counter "please" and "thank you" because they are a "real person." Yet, every person who posts here are also "real people," you just can't see them. Also, just because you don't share a "sense" of community with her, doesn't mean that you are not part of some form of community with her. She might feel differently.

True, which is why it doesn't matter if she believes we're part of a community or not as long as we see each other as people, which is much easier in person.

It's one thing to say "I get no community value from metafilter"; it's another entirely to say "metafilter is simply not a community." There's nothing wrong with the former, but what I tend to hear from folks arguing the point—and what tends to produce friction in general when it comes up—is the latter.
posted by cortex


Thanks for the explanation.
posted by justgary at 8:01 PM on July 29, 2007


Jesus those are some bad limericks.
posted by ludwig_van at 8:55 PM on July 29, 2007


I'm not a person.
posted by davy at 10:38 PM on July 29, 2007


No, it's "I am not a number!"
posted by cortex (staff) at 10:50 PM on July 29, 2007


Oooh, a Prisoner reference!

“I will not be pushed, filed, stamped, indexed, briefed, debriefed, or numbered!" Well, okay, I did let her debrief me that one time...

Then again, I am #206.
posted by wendell at 12:31 AM on July 30, 2007


Around the dinner table I have been saying it "goat-say

Jesus, you talk about goatse round the dinner table?!
posted by Joeforking at 6:03 AM on July 30, 2007


Jesus, you talk about goatse round the dinner table?!

What else are they going to talk about whilst dining on the new Franklin Mint commemorative Goatse edition plates? The faster you finish your meal, the faster you can see all of Goatse.
posted by Burhanistan at 6:41 AM on July 30, 2007 [1 favorite]


Mmm, salad bowl... /Homer
posted by y2karl at 8:16 AM on July 30, 2007


I'm not a person.
posted by davy at 1:38 AM on July 30 [+] [!]

No, it's "I am not a number!"
posted by cortex at 1:50 AM on July 30 [+] [!]

You are all individuals!
Yes, we are all individuals!
I'm not.
posted by The Bellman at 8:49 AM on July 30, 2007


No, it's "I am not a number!"

I am a user ID!

...I mean a meat popsicle
posted by spiderwire at 4:04 PM on July 30, 2007


Update: extremely chill.
posted by cortex (staff) at 7:33 AM on August 26, 2007


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