I can't has cheezburger. Do not want sense of taste July 29, 2007 12:19 PM   Subscribe

I don't like the question. Either lizzicide is a very clever troll, or she is a very foolish person. I put in an answer mostly to highlight the overall foolishness of her position, but it appears that despite clear reasons that her hypothesis (tasting less=eating less) is not a good one, she seems more convinced than ever that her idea will work. What if someone else comes along and is convinced by her "reasoning" and does this very, very stupid thing? Apparently, it's not all that acceptable in the AskMe itself to berate the questioner. So let me come out on MeTa and say it, lizzicide: your idea is bad, and you should feel bad.
posted by Deathalicious to MetaFilter-Related at 12:19 PM (140 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

What if someone else comes along and is convinced by her "reasoning" and does this very, very stupid thing?

That's their choice. You can't babysit people, merely offer what you hope is good advice. They can take it or leave it, but the choice is up them.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 12:20 PM on July 29, 2007


Oh, and for posterity, since it was deleted from AskMe:

If you're into body modifications, and can't control what you eat by yourself, why not just get a tattoo on your forehead that says, "If I'm eating a cheeseburger right now, punch me in the face."
posted by Deathalicious at 12:22 PM on July 29, 2007 [14 favorites]


Fucking stupid AskMe, fucking stupid MeTa.
Next!
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 12:23 PM on July 29, 2007


stupid MeTa

Eh. It's not any stupider than complaining that you can't put "Astrology is stupid!" in an AskMe on Astrology.
posted by Deathalicious at 12:26 PM on July 29, 2007


Let me come out on MeTa and say it, Deathalicious: your callout is bad, and you should feel bad.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 12:28 PM on July 29, 2007 [2 favorites]


So let me come out on MeTa and say it, lizzicide: your idea is bad, and you should feel bad.

They should feel bad? What? Who the fuck are you? The motherfucking Pope? Here, try this one on for size: Fuck you! Fuck you and your fucked up guilt complex!

It's fucked up social interactions like this that drive people to eat a bacon-wrapped stick of butter, you asshole.

It's just a question. Maybe it's a foolish one, but none require penance, bad feelings, guilt or any other such fucked up shit, ok?
posted by loquacious at 12:29 PM on July 29, 2007 [5 favorites]


I'm not "more convinced than ever that [my] idea will work," and I've stated that I'm, at this point, playing devil's advocate and that everything I'm saying should be taken with a grain of salt (even if you can't taste it and therefore don't want to eat it).

It's funny, because AskMe is the one place on the interwebs where I've seen questions actually get answered with the absolute minimum of side commentary on the context of the question, and yet the majority of replies have nothing to do with answering what I've asked. Good information and well-thought-out replies, yes, but not what I asked for.

I don't have anything to add, except to say that I'm not a clever troll.



I was going to mark your second answer 'best' simply because of the cheezburger reference, but you lose points for using the same joke in two different places. We get it: You're clever.
posted by lizzicide at 12:32 PM on July 29, 2007


Jeez people, it was just a turn of phrase. If the mods want to come in and clean it up so it just says, "This is not a good idea lizzicide! Keep your tongue!" or something of that effect, I'm all for it.

And now I do feel bad.
posted by Deathalicious at 12:33 PM on July 29, 2007


MetaFilter: Your idea is bad, and you should feel bad.
posted by fandango_matt at 12:33 PM on July 29, 2007 [3 favorites]


Oh, and for posterity, since it was deleted from AskMe:

If you're into body modifications, and can't control what you eat by yourself, why not just get a tattoo on your forehead that says, "If I'm eating a cheeseburger right now, punch me in the face."

I'll pay the first two people to get this tattoo fifry bucks each.
posted by item at 12:34 PM on July 29, 2007


I'm not clever, otherwise I wouldn't pull out hackneyed memes like that. Besides, the fact that it is indeed cheeseburgers that center in your predicament made their usage just...so...right.
posted by Deathalicious at 12:35 PM on July 29, 2007


I wish to retract my previous comments disparaging Deathalicious - at least he's no longer treating MeTa like it's his dream journal.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 12:35 PM on July 29, 2007


I tid id dy tutting tiggadettes oud un my ton, doo tood did id a tie.
posted by The Straightener at 12:35 PM on July 29, 2007 [3 favorites]


Body modification is for retards. Their penalty will be living long enough to regret their decisions.
posted by Afroblanco at 12:35 PM on July 29, 2007 [5 favorites]


posted by lizzicide I've stated that I'm, at this point, playing devil's advocate . . . I don't have anything to add, except to say that I'm not a clever troll.

Well, fuck you too for wasting everyone's time with your bullshit question.
posted by fandango_matt at 12:36 PM on July 29, 2007 [8 favorites]


yet the majority of replies have nothing to do with answering what I've asked.

Well, to be fair, your question is pretty fucking retarded.
posted by dhammond at 12:38 PM on July 29, 2007 [2 favorites]


*makes out with Deathalicious*
posted by loquacious at 12:38 PM on July 29, 2007


and yet the majority of replies have nothing to do with answering what I've asked.

Because the problem you have and the solution you need are not related to the question you asked. You are 19. You think you are a revolutionary variation on the concept of Human Being and that we simply can't follow your logic. The truth is that at 19 or so people, myself included, are deluded, self-important clowns. Stop coming up with clever "life hacks" and just leave the vending machine alone. An application of will power would provide the result you want without any risk.
posted by yerfatma at 12:40 PM on July 29, 2007 [12 favorites]


Alvy, I think it's safe to say that most of my MeTas have been pretty retarded: dreams, mefiwhack, and it looks like one of my older ones was even deleted. You have to post a pretty frikken stupid meta to get it deleted. I stand by my MeFis and AskMes, though.
posted by Deathalicious at 12:41 PM on July 29, 2007


I am with Alvy Ampersand. This callout is worse than the original thread which was already weird and kinda lame but didn't need its own MeTa thread.
posted by sneakin at 12:41 PM on July 29, 2007


If what you wanted were possible, lizzicide, no one would be overweight.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 12:42 PM on July 29, 2007 [1 favorite]


*makes out with Deathalicious*
*feels weirdly better*
posted by Deathalicious at 12:42 PM on July 29, 2007 [1 favorite]


It's fucked up social interactions like this that drive people to eat a bacon-wrapped stick of butter, you asshole.

I need to have more fucked up social interactions. I've been looking for an excuse for all the glory tubes I've been eating.

(If "glory tube" was not formerly the name for a stick of butter wrapped in bacon, it is now.)
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 12:42 PM on July 29, 2007 [5 favorites]


Wow, this thread is getting poisonous fast. Have we gotten to the point where personal insults and swearing in half the comments are par for the course in MeTa? OP appears to have retracted, can we close this?
posted by onalark at 12:43 PM on July 29, 2007


And, by the way, lizzicide, I think the cheeseburger joke was actually made thrice. Title of this thread + joke in original thread + same joke pasted in this thread = 3
posted by sneakin at 12:43 PM on July 29, 2007


"I'm, at this point, playing devil's advocate and that everything I'm saying should be taken with a grain of salt"

Try saying what you mean instead of being a shit-disturber. People will surely have a lot more respect for you.

(What is it with the willful ignorance games around here lately?)
posted by majick at 12:46 PM on July 29, 2007


I have found coffee. I'm a much more well adjusted human now.

Deathalicious, I'm sorry I accused you of being the Pope. That shit was totally uncalled for.
posted by loquacious at 12:49 PM on July 29, 2007


lizzicide asked a question, then began quarrelling with the answers she received, and now says she's playing devil's advocate. Sounds like a textbook case of AskMetaDramaChatFilter.
posted by fandango_matt at 12:49 PM on July 29, 2007 [1 favorite]


Wow, this thread is getting poisonous fast.

Homer: If you're going to get mad at me every time I do something stupid, then I guess I'll just have to stop doing stupid things!
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 12:50 PM on July 29, 2007


Have we gotten to the point where personal insults and swearing in half the comments are par for the course in MeTa?

Fuck no. Asshole.
posted by found missing at 12:51 PM on July 29, 2007


Body modification is for retards. Their penalty will be living long enough to regret their decisions.

Who the fuck do you think you are that you can tell people what they will and will not regret in their lives?

I regret all the years I spent not getting tattoos.
posted by baphomet at 12:58 PM on July 29, 2007


Eat, drink, for tommorrow, we die.
posted by jonmc at 12:58 PM on July 29, 2007


I'm not "more convinced than ever that [my] idea will work," and I've stated that I'm, at this point, playing devil's advocate and that everything I'm saying should be taken with a grain of salt (even if you can't taste it and therefore don't want to eat it).

If people give you the consideration to answer your somewhat odd question seriously and without a lot of excessive OMG eye-rolling, it might be a good idea to not play devil's advocate with their answers unless you're fairly clear that's what you're doing. From the outside, it just looks like arguing.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 12:59 PM on July 29, 2007


I saw that question too. The CORRECT, and actually helpful, answer would be "that doesn't work," but Mefi Precedent says we can't answer in such a way.

Which is bad policy.

I here link to my previous views on this.
posted by John Kenneth Fisher at 1:01 PM on July 29, 2007 [1 favorite]


LOLCATZSPK was funny for about 1 second. Not really funny, just a little bit.
Then it wasn't.
posted by signal at 1:01 PM on July 29, 2007


Can I just say that my favorite counterpoint was I'm not an elderly woman with nothing to lose by eating myself to death. That was just priceless.
posted by Deathalicious at 1:02 PM on July 29, 2007


the majority of replies have nothing to do with answering what I've asked.

This is because we took your question at face value, and were concerned about you.

I've stated that I'm, at this point, playing devil's advocate and that everything I'm saying should be taken with a grain of salt

Well, I feel stupid, then. I actually thought to myself, "don't waste your time, she's probably just a smart-ass kid looking for attention", but for some reason I actually believed you might really be that crazy. Congratulations on your success; I hope you have enjoyed the attention.
posted by equalpants at 1:02 PM on July 29, 2007


Dosen't anybody just eat anymore?
posted by jonmc at 1:03 PM on July 29, 2007 [5 favorites]


Have we gotten to the point where personal insults and swearing in half the comments are par for the course in MeTa?

Coincidentally, the Righteously Profane Cunts of America have just e-mailed out this month's new swears:

squelchpuddle (ex: "listen squelchpuddle, I eat mother's like yours for breakfast.")
dabhandycak (ex: "This hand thrown mug with fingerprints all over it is a piece of dabhandycak.")
calvinghole (ex: "If you don't like it, you can stick it up your calvinghole.")
stretchglove (ex: "I wouldn't use a stretchglove like you to scratch the inside of my calvinghole.")
tungstenite (ex: "Stop looking at my calvinghole, you tungstenite!")
storch (ex: "Oh, storch! I missed F-Troop!")
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 1:05 PM on July 29, 2007 [11 favorites]


fandango_matt: I did originally want answers to my question, and I am still curious on how one might kill one's sense of taste. It's not a bullshit question.

I don't believe I have argued with any of the methods people have posted - I've only responded to try and clarify my position in light of the replies I've received.
posted by lizzicide at 1:06 PM on July 29, 2007


Storch, there's a grocer's apostrophe in the first one. I just copy and pasted out of their dabhandycak newsletter, but I should have known to proofread anything I get from those squelchpuddles.
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 1:07 PM on July 29, 2007 [1 favorite]


I saw that question too. The CORRECT, and actually helpful, answer would be "that doesn't work," but Mefi Precedent says we can't answer in such a way.

No it doesn't. It says, in short "don't be an ass" about answering the question. The link you included went to the astrology question in which respondents to a [admittedly weird] question about astrology were told "your question is bullshit because atrology is bullshit" Those people probably should have stayed out of that question entirely. They had nothing to add. Similarly there are ways to answer this question that are helpful and not helpful. People have done an okay job. Saying "the method that you have chosen to achieve your desired result will not actually achieve your desired result" is an okay answer if you can not sign off with some variation of "you idiot" which some people couldn't keep themselves from doing.

That said, some of these questions probably need to wind up in MeTa and this one is probably one of them. It's 100% okay to have that conversation -- the one about asking a question with a bizarre or ridiculous premise and then getting annoyed that people wouldn't just answer the damned question -- right here.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 1:09 PM on July 29, 2007 [1 favorite]


Yours is a bullshit question.

You asked how to kill your sense of taste in order to help you lose/avoid gaining weight/eat better. People told you this doesn't work, and it's a bad idea. You then argued with these answers, and announced you were now playing devil's advocate. So you're bascially just asking a question to argue with the answers, which is just another way of trolling AskMetafilter.
posted by fandango_matt at 1:12 PM on July 29, 2007 [1 favorite]


Yes, the idea of having AskMe answers argued with, even as devil's advocate, is annoying. It can give you a reputation as someone who others would rather not bother trying to help.

It's one thing to give more information based on answers given, but once I feel someone is being argumentative, or is just fishing for answers that confirm their bias, that's when I stop trying to help.

I think you have gotten some great answers in the thread, both directly related to the question, or (like mine) perhaps more related to the overall issue of how to eat better

You have also gotten some truly mean-spirited snarky answers, which always surprises me in an AskMe. If I think a question, or its underlying issue, is just dumb, I skip it.
posted by The Deej at 1:18 PM on July 29, 2007


Would dowsing work?
posted by iconomy at 1:18 PM on July 29, 2007 [5 favorites]


I love AskMe threads like lizzicide's. I love watching people who are total strangers to the OP trying desperately to protect the OP from whatever perceived stupidity they appear to be engaged in.

What does it matter to us if lizzicide has a sense of taste or not? Why does anyone on MetaFilter care enough about her to try and influence the decisions she makes? Even if someone stupid enough to formulate her plan was somehow competent enough to bring it to fruition, she wouldn't be the only 19-year-old doing something retardedly, damagingly, short-sightedly detrimental to her future life, and I really don't understand why anyone reading her question feels compelled to stop her.

With all the young people out there who during this very hour might be contemplating suicide or considering their first hit off a crack pipe, it boggles me that there are people who have the free time and inclination to write impassioned "don't-do-its" to lizzicide, but aren't working at some hotline somewhere.

We can't stem the tide of stupidity, people. And if you think it's worth trying, there are better forums for your passion and better ways to excercise it.
posted by chudmonkey at 1:22 PM on July 29, 2007 [4 favorites]


I regret all the years I spent not getting tattoos.

Should have been more specific.

Nothing wrong with the standard earrings, noserings, or tattoos (except for the tramp stamp).

The real idiots are people like that lizard guy who had bumps implanted under his skin, or that fucked up cat guy who had his teeth filed into points and had whiskers implanted on his face, or the idiots that get hooks implanted under their skin so they can swing from the ceiling or whatever, or the retards that do that awful yucky thing where they stretch out their earlobes so that they get this gigantic gaping hole thing in their ear (eeew).

Or, for example, people who want to rid themselves of a sense of taste because that's apparently easier (!) then dieting and exercise.

Try explaining that crap to your kids.
posted by Afroblanco at 1:27 PM on July 29, 2007




I tend to agree with equalpants. I answered that question at semi-face value, but the OP is acting like a troll. Even if the OP is not actually considering themselves to be trolling.
posted by lilithim at 1:30 PM on July 29, 2007


lizzicide: It's not a bullshit question.

You might not think it is, but it really comes off as one. You admit that it's a hypothetical course of action for a non-hypothetical problem you're facing. This itself makes it a bullshit question. If you wanted advice on how to lose weight, or how to not overeat as part of a social situation, ask for that.

And your "clarifications of your position" come off as argumentative in the face of people who tell you that it won't work, and could possibly lead to unintended mood fuckups.

Do you hate having to hunt for a parking spot? Asking for advice on how to permanently handicap yourself in order to get one of those wheelchair parking permits would probably receive answers of a similar tone.
posted by CKmtl at 1:32 PM on July 29, 2007




I like the tattoo idea, but, really it should say...

POOR IMPULSE CONTROL
posted by synaesthetichaze at 1:33 PM on July 29, 2007 [5 favorites]


We can't stem the tide of stupidity, people.

Unfortunately, letting them know that doesn't help either.
posted by carsonb at 1:35 PM on July 29, 2007 [2 favorites]


The question is legitimate.

But so is, "What's the best way to amputate my dick so I can end my sex addiction."
posted by jayder at 1:36 PM on July 29, 2007 [3 favorites]


I do have one helpful advice for lizzicide, since she evidently hasn't picked up on this one yet:

Lizzicide, when you go to AskMe looking for information about doing something stupid/irresponsible/undesirable/illegal, say that you are "writing a story" and your "character needs to..."

It really cuts down on the busybodies who don't have actual answers for you.
posted by chudmonkey at 1:37 PM on July 29, 2007 [4 favorites]


You know what I've heard? Getting your tubes tied kills all sense of taste.
posted by Loto at 1:47 PM on July 29, 2007 [7 favorites]


Thanks chudmonkey. :)
posted by lizzicide at 1:47 PM on July 29, 2007


Forgive me, I am well aware that my contributions to this thread are only tangentially related to the matter at hand, and that is in the most generous of interpretations.

Nevertheless, I really would like to share this one final shiny thing with you: two gentlemen coming to blows over a cheeseburger.
posted by Meatbomb at 1:47 PM on July 29, 2007


the Righteously Profane Cunts of America have just e-mailed out this month's new swears

...do they wear hats?
posted by BitterOldPunk at 1:47 PM on July 29, 2007


Better yet, mention you need ideas for your LiveJournal and MySpace page. OMG TEH DRAMA!!!11
posted by fandango_matt at 1:48 PM on July 29, 2007


I blame metafilter for my increase in swearing.
posted by edgeways at 1:55 PM on July 29, 2007


your idea is bad, and you should feel bad.

Why should she feel bad? I've had a hundred bad ideas this year alone. Should I have felt bad each time?

You're saying that her approach to losing weight won't work or that it simply can't be attempted safely. Okay, fine. But you're also angry at her for coming up with the idea. Why anger? Why is that an appropriate response? She didn't throw rocks at kittens or steal someone's car. She just came up with an idea that's not workable. If someone suggests that you supplement your income by selling stuff door-to-door, do you call them an asshole and kick them out of your house? If someone says they're thinking of getting their belly button pierced in order to freak out their parents, does steam come out of your ears?
posted by Clay201 at 1:57 PM on July 29, 2007 [2 favorites]


Dear Metafilter: I have a taste for really ugly plaid pants combined with floral print rayon shirts with flyaway collars. Can someone suggest a way to safely put my eyes out so I can conquer this problem?
posted by Astro Zombie at 2:00 PM on July 29, 2007 [3 favorites]


"Your foo is bad and you should feel bad" is a cliche/meme. Someone else probably knows the origin.
posted by ludwig_van at 2:01 PM on July 29, 2007


Dear AskMe: I'm writing a book where one of key plot points involves the protagonists not having a sense of taste. What are some reasonable ways that one can lose their sense of taste without being killed/maimed in the process.

Answer: Buks R dum!
posted by blue_beetle at 2:16 PM on July 29, 2007 [1 favorite]


The origin is Dr. Zoidberg on Futurama: "Your music is bad and you should feel bad!"
posted by synaesthetichaze at 2:18 PM on July 29, 2007


(link is actually to the definition of the cliche of the Magic Feather, but Zoidberg's quote is given in one of the examples)
posted by synaesthetichaze at 2:19 PM on July 29, 2007


What happened to "If you can't answer the question, skip it"? If people don't think the question is a good one, why waste time getting all worked up about it and trying to psychoanalyze the poster? I've never seen more bad answers to an AskMe before. I'm not surprised the poster got defensive, considering how hard she got attacked. Saving the poster from herself is *not* the job of AskMe; if you can't answer the question or just think she's an idiot, why not just move on? All your good intentions have just helped make the thread into a shitstorm or self-righteousness.
posted by MadamM at 2:20 PM on July 29, 2007 [3 favorites]


Fuck. I fucking blame that fucking piece of fucking shit metafilter for my motherfucking metric fuckton of an increase in swearing, you fucking fuckers.


There, fixed that for you.
posted by loquacious at 2:24 PM on July 29, 2007 [1 favorite]


How many litre-hectares are in a metric fuckton?

PS: This is for a story. That I am writing.
posted by synaesthetichaze at 2:26 PM on July 29, 2007 [2 favorites]


I read all the way down here to see if anyone else explained the Zoidberg thing. It's a great line in the show, but it doesn't seem like much of a joke if you haven't seen it.
posted by teleskiving at 2:27 PM on July 29, 2007


We can't stem the tide of stupidity, people. And if you think it's worth trying, there are better forums for your passion and better ways to excercise it.

The bitterness is strong in this one.
posted by smackfu at 2:31 PM on July 29, 2007


Also, I note that this is just a thinly veiled complaint about a deleted comment.
posted by smackfu at 2:33 PM on July 29, 2007 [1 favorite]


Ah thanks, loquacious as ever. I seriously thought of adding superfluous swearing in the statement, but as my next action is thesis paper writing I figure I shouldn't mix the two so close together, glad someone picked up the fuc... slack.
posted by edgeways at 2:34 PM on July 29, 2007


Mis-noted, smackfu. I haven't had any comments deleted, as far as I can recall. And I'm not bitter, just weary and loud-mouthed.
posted by chudmonkey at 2:35 PM on July 29, 2007


*makes out with Deathalicious*

*videotapes from closet*
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 2:35 PM on July 29, 2007


Mis-noted, smackfu. I haven't had any comments deleted, as far as I can recall.

Sorry, was zagging. Deathalicious, who posted this, did have a comment deleted. And presumably that spurred him into posting since how could his comment be deleted when such a stupid post could stand?
posted by smackfu at 2:38 PM on July 29, 2007


Ah, gotcha.
posted by chudmonkey at 2:41 PM on July 29, 2007


Not at all. The deleted comment was an afterthought.

Basically, I posted my little "try boiling water in your mouth" answer and then thought, I really ought to balance that with a "this is frikken crazy" message. So I came here.
posted by Deathalicious at 2:45 PM on July 29, 2007


Yeah, it's too bad we can't have talk pages like on Wikipedia.
posted by smackfu at 2:49 PM on July 29, 2007


The answer you seek is here.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 2:50 PM on July 29, 2007


Even more handy, the Futurama with that line in it was on Friday.
posted by klangklangston at 2:59 PM on July 29, 2007


I've never seen more bad answers to an AskMe before. I'm not surprised the poster got defensive, considering how hard she got attacked.

Seriously? That question is awful. People around here had the grace to explain nicely why lizzicide was wrong (and do the research to prove it), and all they got was coy argument and indications of some eating/body issues that the poster clearly doesn't have the perspective to apprehend. As evidenced by the posts in this thread, all that was useless, and the poster is still dedicated to her less-than-intentional trolling, but that the thread did not turn into more of a clusterfuck is a testament to generosity that is AskMe.
posted by dame at 3:03 PM on July 29, 2007


MadamM: What happened to "If you can't answer the question, skip it"?

Since when does this apply to pointing out a question's faulty underpinnings, or that a proposed solution won't work? Most of the "non-answers" in that thread seem to be of that variety. And, unless it's because of deleted comments, it looks more like she's being defensive/argumentative due to people pointing out the unworkable premise.

The various flavours of 'It won't work' "non-answers" strike me as the same kind people would get if they asked for any other kind of faulty premise question. How do I technomagically increase my computer's data capacity a thousandfold, without buying more hardware? How do I make my car run solely on my sense of self-satisfaction?
posted by CKmtl at 3:14 PM on July 29, 2007 [2 favorites]


"indications of some eating/body issues that the poster clearly doesn't have the perspective to apprehend"

See, she wasn't asking people to question her relationship to food; if she had asked people to help her create a healthy relationship to food or whatever, responses helping her to do that would be warranted. Answering the question that isn't asked, it seems to me, might be ok in moderation if it accompanies an attempt to answer the question. Questioning the poster's intentions or bringing up concerns seems fine as well, but again, making that the sole focus of your answer isn't good AskMe. A lot of people in that thread seemed to be answering just to say she's an idiot, and then writing a bunch of stuff that wasn't anywhere close to being within the scope of the question. If that's all they had to say, they would have been better off just staying away. They certainly had good intentions, but they weren't helping anything, especially after the poster made it clear (whatever her tone was) that she wasn't interested in their non-answers (which is her right).
posted by MadamM at 3:17 PM on July 29, 2007


*videotapes from closet*
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 2:35 PM on July 29 [+] [!]


Like we didn't know you were in the closet.
posted by YoBananaBoy at 3:22 PM on July 29, 2007


Saying that a questioner's proposed solution won't work, stating as to why, and offering other solutions to her problem are not non-answers. The rules are, "Don't be an asshole, answer the question" not, "You must support the questioner's assumptions at all times."

Whatever, it was a bad question, asked in (at least some,) bad faith. Maybe it should be deleted.
posted by Snyder at 3:26 PM on July 29, 2007


I disagree with all of you. lizzicide wasn't asking if her hypothis was correct, she was asking a specific question.
posted by delmoi at 3:29 PM on July 29, 2007


A smart person would have just asked the question then, instead of stating the hypothesis.
posted by smackfu at 3:32 PM on July 29, 2007


Snyder, I agree with you for the most part, but in this thread some people were being assholes. You could also argue that the sort of answers/non-answers you're describing *don't* answer the question. In addition, they are more tolerable (in my opinion anyway) when they accompany a good faith attempt to answer the question. People who wish to question the asker or address an issue they're inferred from the question also need to take into account the asker's attitude, or so it seems to me. In this case, the question made it fairly clear that the asker wasn't interested in a dialogue about healthy eating habits, she wanted her specific question answered.

Think of it this way: if someone asked a question looking for good tattoo places, and nothing more, appropriate answers would suggest places and (ideally) nothing more. Any discussion of whether tattooing is a good idea or not would be out of place. If the question was asking if they should get a tattoo, or expressed doubt, or asked people for their experiences, or whatever else, then a further discussion would be more appropriate. Calling the poster an idiot would be very out of place in either example, incidentally. I'm not trying to say destroying your sense of taste and getting a tattoo are similar either, this was just the first example that came to mind where people might get as upset as they did in the original question.

So, now I think I'm going to walk away from this thread and read a book or something because I doubt my further expression of my highly inexpert opinion will help anything :).
posted by MadamM at 3:54 PM on July 29, 2007


MadamM: Answering the question that isn't asked, it seems to me, might be ok in moderation if it accompanies an attempt to answer the question. Questioning the poster's intentions or bringing up concerns seems fine as well, but again, making that the sole focus of your answer isn't good AskMe.

Even when those two separate parts of the answer are in direct contradiction? That wouldn't make any sense at all.

"Dear AskMe, I can't make myself throw up solely by using my fingers anymore. Help me activate my lazy gag reflex."

"Try using a feather. Or maybe a long spoon. Also, here are some bulimia resources in your area."

A lot of people in that thread seemed to be answering just to say she's an idiot, and then writing a bunch of stuff that wasn't anywhere close to being within the scope of the question.

Unless you're referring to deleted comments, I'm not seeing all this idiot-calling that you're seeing. Saying 'this is a bad idea', 'this sounds like a crazy idea', 'this won't work' isn't calling her an idiot.
posted by CKmtl at 3:58 PM on July 29, 2007


MadamM wrote: if someone asked a question looking for good tattoo places, and nothing more, appropriate answers would suggest places and (ideally) nothing more

Right, because that would be a totally reasonable question. (almost) Nobody answers a computer related question with "Use product X instead" because they know that's not a helpful answer.

A better analogy would be someone posting a question like,
"I think my baby boy would look just adorable with a MOM tattoo on his shoulder. For some reason, the local tattoo parlor won't do it. Where can I get tattoo equipment designed for toddlers or younger? Also, my doctor says he has 'hemophilia', if that matters."
posted by Deathalicious at 4:13 PM on July 29, 2007


Except that's not what happened. Lizzicide first stated her problem, which was "I have a hard time steering myself away from fast food, sugary food...I'd like to keep myself from heading down that path from the occasional Oreo or fifteen."

She then posted her hypothesis, which was "Eliminating my sense of taste will discourage me from eating excessively".

Based on this problem and hypothesis, her question was Any suggestions on how to accomplish this?

The answers pointed out the flaw in her hypothesis, so any answer about how to achieve her goal became moot. Even after this was repeatedly pointed out to her, she continued to disregard the responses and announced she was "playing devil's advocate." So in addition to asking a poorly-considered question, lizzicide began quarrelling about the answers which pointed out the fact her hypothesis is wrong, and then admitted she's just quarrelling for the sake of quarrelling.
posted by fandango_matt at 4:16 PM on July 29, 2007


"Your foo is bad and you should feel bad" is a cliche/meme.

Apart from the Zoidberg source, there was this recently.
posted by cortex (staff) at 5:02 PM on July 29, 2007


That's a dumb fucking question. I wouldn't have posted a MeTa thread, though, Deathalicious: you can't teach a dog to read.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 5:11 PM on July 29, 2007


Speak for yourself, Optimus Chyme! My dog finished the latest Harry Potter before I did.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 5:22 PM on July 29, 2007 [1 favorite]


Hypothesis: Eliminating my sense of taste will discourage me from eating excessively. Can't taste the Oreo, won't want the Oreo, won't eat the Oreo.

Any suggestions on how to accomplish this?


eat a live toad for breakfast every morning ... this will -

1 eventually kill your tastebuds dead

2 suppress your appetite for the rest of the day

3 give you the supreme confidence of knowing that breakfast will be the worst thing that will happen to you all day
posted by pyramid termite at 5:37 PM on July 29, 2007 [1 favorite]




The worst part of that thread was the comments about how if her taste was sufficiently refined, she wouldn't lower herself to eat something as common as an oreo.
posted by smackfu at 5:54 PM on July 29, 2007


It's the sort of question that made my teen-aged brother decline the MeFi account I bought for him. $5 down the hole, but how am I supposed to argue the merits of Ask when he can just point to "Help me destroy a sense"? The question is embarrassing for everybody here.

(And if you were really a rah-rah-body-modification sort, why wouldn't you just shave off your taste buds with a knife? It still smells of troll.)
posted by kmennie at 6:04 PM on July 29, 2007


I saw that question too. The CORRECT, and actually helpful, answer would be ‘that doesn't work,’ but Mefi Precedent says we can't answer in such a way.

I cannot understand why the concept of just answering the question is so difficult for people. There seems to be a large contingent of folk who totally lack common sense.

Here's two examples:

Q I'd like to stop aging. How do I exceed the speed of light?

Q I'm trying to get into Heaven. Should I perform good deeds?

If someone can't understand why it's appropriate to answer the first question by denying the premise of the first question but not the second, it's because they lack common sense.

There's a few differences between the questions that make this so.

First, there is a generally accepted authority for determining the factual basis of the first question, while this is not true of the second.

Whether a person can theoretically and practically exceed the speed of light, and how that will affect aging, are both matters of non-controversial scientific fact. If there is a point-of-view from which asking this question makes this scientific basis incorrect or irrelevant, it's not obvious either from the statement of the question nor common experience.

In contrast, there is not a science or common experience or religious or philosophical authority which is generally accepted as decisive for determining the factual basis of the second question. In each sphere of authority, there is controversy, not to mention that there are multiple spheres of competing authority on this question in general. We all know this, we all expect to encounter diversity of opinion on the factual basis of this question. To simply assert that there is such a factual basis and then to deny the validity of the question, is both arrogant and disingenuous.

Second, because of the previous, most reasonable and informed people will understand that a questioner's unstated premise for the second question is almost certainly held with the awareness that it is a premise many other people do not accept. In contrast, this is much, much less apparent in the case of the first question. The first question is obviously more likely to be asked in profound ignorance of competing premises than is the second. Because of this, an answer which challenges a premise and presents alternate premises is helpful in the case of the first question but unhelpful in the case of the second. Why? Because people ask questions for the purpose of learning things they did not previously know. The first questioner is unlikely to be aware of competing premises while the second questioner almost certainly is aware of competing premises.

Third, because of the previous two points, an answerer's insistence upon challenging the premise is very likely qualitatively different in each of these two examples.

In the first, because there's an almost universally accepted authority on which the unstated premise may be judged, and because the questioner is not likely to be aware of alternate premises, an answerer who provides this information to the questioner is engaging in AskMe with the proper helpful spirit. It is apparently altruistic.

In the case of the second question, because there's not an almost universally authority on which the unstated premise may be judged, and because the questioner is quite likely to be aware of alternate premises, an answerer who challenges the premise is being more a proselytizer than a helpful friend. That's why such answers are almost always antagonist and judgmental.

Lizzicide's question is far more like my first example than the second. The correctness of her unstated premise is not a matter of well-known controversy, or even of little-known controversy. An answerer who questions her premise and provides alternates is likely providing her with information she did not previously have. An answerer who does this is much more likely to cite an almost universally recognized authority for their alternate premise.

My entire comment here seems to me to be an elaborate exercise is making explicit what is quite obvious to most of us. Yes, there are many cases which lie in the gray area right in the middle between these two examples. But, by and large, it isn't these that are called out and it isn't the existence of these which is giving some people fits. No, what seems to be causing trouble for some people is that this distinction exists at all.

To those, then, I offer this piece of advice: if this comment doesn't clarify matters, then you ought simply to consider yourself unqualified to challenge the premise of any question. The ability to understand and recognize this distinction is inherent to one's qualifications for challenging premises in the first place.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 6:25 PM on July 29, 2007


what? nobody brought up
I HAS A FLAVR
yet?
posted by wendell at 6:50 PM on July 29, 2007


As if anyone would actually read that long a comment.
posted by smackfu at 6:54 PM on July 29, 2007 [5 favorites]


Bligh, you wanna go bowling or something? You seem like you been in the house a while.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:01 PM on July 29, 2007


The worst part is that I have 2 good answers to this question, but there's no way in hell I'm going to post them.
posted by 517 at 7:07 PM on July 29, 2007


I can feel eb's comment pressing down on me.

Anyway, if you're female and in need of a good trolling session on mefi - please collect your free pass from jess at the door.
posted by sgt.serenity at 7:12 PM on July 29, 2007


Wow, sgt., five days. I'm impressed.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 7:24 PM on July 29, 2007


"My entire comment here seems to me to be an elaborate exercise ... "

Agreed.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 7:25 PM on July 29, 2007


Glory Tubes are what comes out of Glory Holes.
posted by Dataphage at 7:59 PM on July 29, 2007


I was also going to point out the Zoidberg reference. But since I've been beaten to it, I will simply take this opportunity to applaud Lentrohamsanin. A LARRY STORCH reference? Now THAT's something you don't see every day.
posted by evilcolonel at 8:14 PM on July 29, 2007




lizzicide: I don't have anything to add, except to say that I'm not a clever troll.

No, not a clever troll.
posted by yohko at 9:15 PM on July 29, 2007


please collect your free pass from jess at the door.

What!? I need a good ______ing but I don't think trolling is it.

Napping, I suspect.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 10:40 PM on July 29, 2007 [1 favorite]


I thought Glory Tubes were that part of the internet that take you to web sites ABOUT Glory Holes.

What is it with the willful ignorance games around here lately?

Welcome to the Glory Tubes.
posted by davejay at 11:20 PM on July 29, 2007


It's a really weird thing when the problem people have with a question about 19 year old girl considering body modification to go from 146lbs to 126lbs is that people aren't giving sufficiently helpful answers.
posted by hindmost at 1:58 AM on July 30, 2007


I know alvy, i'm getting there though : )
posted by sgt.serenity at 4:12 AM on July 30, 2007


It's a really weird thing when the problem people have with a question about 19 year old girl considering body modification to go from 146lbs to 126lbs is that people aren't giving sufficiently helpful answers.

Condescending much, fuckface? She's an adult.
posted by nasreddin at 7:19 AM on July 30, 2007


I don't understand why people just can't learn to take out all of this reasoning nonsense. Most of the time these people need an answer to a relatively straightforward question, but add in all of this silly emotional-whatever explanations.

The question "What things can a person do to make them lose their sense of taste/smell?" would not have created much of a stir, and may have gotten useful answers.
posted by that girl at 7:29 AM on July 30, 2007


It's a long thread, and thus I cannot be bothered to read it, so maybe one of you can tell me if anyone suggested that she shoot a bottle rocket up her nose.
posted by Skot at 10:07 AM on July 30, 2007


Bottle rockets are a bit drastic. Taking up smoking helps kill your sense of taste and keeps the weight down. It also makes you look cool, and is a great way to meet new friends.
posted by solipsophistocracy at 11:31 AM on July 30, 2007


Emulating Selma would be a bad way to avoid becoming an over-eating middle-aged office-worker. Plus there's the disturbing possibility of raging Richard Dean Anderson lust as a side-effect.
posted by CKmtl at 12:24 PM on July 30, 2007


EB I am completely flabbergasted that you somehow found a way to use this thread to make fun of Christians. You are an ax-grinder par excellence, my friend.
posted by Baby_Balrog at 12:27 PM on July 30, 2007


EB I am completely flabbergasted that you somehow found a way to use this thread to make fun of Christians. You are an ax-grinder par excellence, my friend.

You're not serious, are you?
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 1:36 PM on July 30, 2007


Indeed I am. It's like you're operating on some kind of point system that nobody but you can see.
posted by Baby_Balrog at 2:12 PM on July 30, 2007


How did he make fun of Christians? Is this something that I have to have some sort of crazy Balrog Decoder Ring to figure out? Because it looked like he was arguing that the fundamental assumptions for theological/philosophical questions were rightly different than those of a "concrete" nature (phenomonological, I might call 'em, but that word has more baggage than I'd like when trying to catagorize these questions of qualia).
posted by klangklangston at 2:45 PM on July 30, 2007


Or, I think he necessarily used a lot of words to distinguish two similar, yet importantly different, examples from each other in a way that is immediately and naively apprehensible but difficult to articulate.
posted by klangklangston at 2:47 PM on July 30, 2007


I think he's just pushing his buttons to see if he can get EB to produce another burst of text. Like how you poke a squid to see if you can get it to squirt ink.
posted by found missing at 2:48 PM on July 30, 2007 [1 favorite]


Hmm. As a Christian, I tend to notice Christian-bashing, and there is PLENTY of it here on MetaFilter.

EB's comment here didn't strike me that way.
posted by The Deej at 2:52 PM on July 30, 2007


Aren't we all a bunch of delicate wildflowers.
posted by Burhanistan at 2:57 PM on July 30, 2007


Mmm, calamari.
posted by box at 4:38 PM on July 30, 2007


Hmm. As a Christian, I tend to notice Christian-bashing, and there is PLENTY of it here on MetaFilter

true - i hear the pope is beatifying several former posters from here : )
posted by sgt.serenity at 4:46 PM on July 30, 2007


Mel Gibson presents: The Passion of the tkchrist
posted by cortex (staff) at 4:47 PM on July 30, 2007


Mmmm... butter wrapped in bacon!
posted by flabdablet at 5:09 PM on July 30, 2007


It's called a "Bacon Churner."
posted by Mid at 7:18 PM on July 30, 2007


what about live octopi wrapped in bacon? ... is that a bacon squirmer?
posted by pyramid termite at 9:13 PM on July 30, 2007


As an x, I tend to notice x-bashing, and there is PLENTY of it here on MetaFilter.
posted by box at 4:58 AM on July 31, 2007


Word, brother.
posted by cortex (staff) at 8:21 AM on July 31, 2007


lol xians
posted by found missing at 8:37 AM on July 31, 2007


Indeed I am. It's like you're operating on some kind of point system that nobody but you can see.

Nobody but you, you mean.

First of all, I am more often the person defending Christians here on MeFi than I am saying anything bad about them. Second of all, nothing in what I wrote was making fun of Christians.

The example question I chose was awkwardly worded, but I chose it because it both could be a serious question and would likely to elicit "there's no such thing as Heaven" from some people. If you don't understand how my question could be a serious question, then perhaps you don't really understand much about Christianity. You should look into that Martin Luther guy.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 9:08 AM on July 31, 2007


It's... social interactions like this that drive people to eat a bacon-wrapped stick of butter

Mmm... bacon-wrapped stick of butter...
posted by commander_cool at 9:44 AM on July 31, 2007


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