how r u? August 5, 2007 4:40 AM   Subscribe

New askMe guideline: Must have a theoretical "Best Answer".
posted by sophist to Etiquette/Policy at 4:40 AM (52 comments total)

Questions such as this just invite miles of comments. Requiring that questions have a theoretical best answer would at least give a concrete guideline beyond the vague suggestion not to post chatfiltery things, which above poster alluded to, yet seemed not to feel applied to them.
posted by sophist at 4:44 AM on August 5, 2007


Ohhhhh boy am I glad you decided to post here. I thought about replying to your LAME ass posting but decided not too, as I did not want to derail the currently outstanding thread. Your right, my post mentioned that the thread may induce chatfilter, but has it? So far everybody has been very careful and all you see there are answers to the question. Good enough answers for a couple of people to mark as a favorite. Why the hell do you post to an AskMe and then come to MetaTalk and piss all over the same post? WTFRU?

Done.
posted by B(oYo)BIES at 4:56 AM on August 5, 2007


I'd say this is going swimmingly so far.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 5:16 AM on August 5, 2007


That's such an astoundingly subjective proposal that you should've dismissed it the second it popped into your head.
posted by Burhanistan at 5:28 AM on August 5, 2007 [3 favorites]


Well considering that you can boot linux on PS2 and Xbox the best answer is obvious: NetHack.
posted by Mitheral at 5:29 AM on August 5, 2007 [1 favorite]


The question amounts to "I've downloaded some emulators, what games should I get?", putting it firmly in the "help me live my life" category that countless previous threads have concluded people are free to waste their questions on.
posted by cillit bang at 5:34 AM on August 5, 2007 [2 favorites]


AskMe isn't broke. Quit trying to fix it.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:38 AM on August 5, 2007 [8 favorites]


Is this what begging the question means?
posted by carsonb at 5:42 AM on August 5, 2007


I'd say it's more like the "what are some good xyz recipes?" which are always huge favorite threads on the green.

The deep dark, dirty secret of AskMe: chatfilter is okay so long as you can learn new things and everybody likes it. So "What are some of the best books about sailing?" is great, while "What did you think of the last Harry Potter book?" is not.

Add this MeTa to the long list of "I don't have an intuitive understanding of what is and isn't a good AskMe, and I demand clear rules and guidelines, dammit" posts
posted by Deathalicious at 6:07 AM on August 5, 2007 [2 favorites]


I do dislike when they are too open-ended though. "What's the best album of the past 10 years?" for instance.
posted by smackfu at 6:20 AM on August 5, 2007 [1 favorite]


It's probably something by fucking Wilco.
posted by item at 6:24 AM on August 5, 2007 [5 favorites]


AskMe isn't broke. Quit trying to fix it.

Amen. Please never call out an AskMe question again, sophist. Thanks. And B(oYo)BIES, there was nothing "LAME" about sophist's comment in that thread; it was a perfectly legitimate and useful answer. This MeTa is another story, but the answer was fine.
posted by mediareport at 6:39 AM on August 5, 2007


It's probably something by fucking Wilco.

No, we've still got a little while where The Soft Bulletin is eligible; but after that passes over the 10-year horizon, yeah, it looks like Yankee Hotel Foxtrot will take the slot.
posted by COBRA! at 6:42 AM on August 5, 2007 [1 favorite]


Require? How would you propose to enforce it?
posted by Devils Rancher at 6:43 AM on August 5, 2007


A healthy proportion of the questions on Ask are not capable of best answers. This is a bad idea.
posted by graventy at 6:52 AM on August 5, 2007


You know, I really like chocolate ice cream.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 6:58 AM on August 5, 2007 [2 favorites]


Heuristic analysis. Artificial Intelligence.
posted by blue_beetle at 7:02 AM on August 5, 2007


New MetaTalk guideline: stop trying to fix what ain't broke.
posted by oaf at 7:08 AM on August 5, 2007


goddammit i didn't read the whole thread first
posted by oaf at 7:10 AM on August 5, 2007


Why the hell do you post to an AskMe and then come to MetaTalk and piss all over the same post? WTFRU?

Done.
posted by B(oYo)BIES at 7:56 AM on August 5 [+]


Simple: because that is precisely what MetaTalk is for. sophist did exactly the right thing in this case: post a succinct reply in the AskMe that references previous similar questions (an answer which, if you'd take the time to stop whining and think for a second, is not "LAME" but is in fact incredibly helpful for you); refrain from pissing in the AskMe thread and instead post a question to MeTa; and frame the question as a general suggestion, rather than a callout directed at a specific question.
posted by googly at 7:29 AM on August 5, 2007 [3 favorites]


New MetaTalk guideline: read the whole thread first. :)

Graventy is right, though. There are plenty of legit questions that don't have a best answer. The gaming one you linked to is perhaps analogous to your average "What to do in Podunk?" travel question. "Best answer" isn't really a meaningful way to measure the responses.

If you'll head over to one of your own Ask MeFi threads, you'll see this notice on the side regarding best answers: "If you asked a specific question with a specific answer, or you solicited advice about a problem that someone solved, by all means mark off the helpful answers with the link. It is ok to mark more than one, if they helped answer the question for you and it's ok not to mark any at all."
posted by danb at 7:33 AM on August 5, 2007


frame the question as a general suggestion, rather than a callout directed at a specific question.

My reading is less charitable. More like "I don't like this question but it doesn't break the rules, so let's create a new rule that it would break."
posted by smackfu at 7:38 AM on August 5, 2007


Entirely possible, smackfu. Maybe I'm just in a very charitable mood today. But the gist of the comment was aimed at B/o$o#BIES, who really has nothing to complain about in this particular case.
posted by googly at 7:44 AM on August 5, 2007


Who do I vote for, giant douche or turd sandwich?
posted by absalom at 7:49 AM on August 5, 2007


I'd say Douche Turd, since Giant Sand hasn't put out a decent album in the last ten years.
posted by Floydd at 8:20 AM on August 5, 2007


Howe Gelb's been hard at work, though.
posted by carsonb at 8:24 AM on August 5, 2007


B(oYo)BIES: ... your LAME ass posting ... WTFRU?

Save the indignant gamer rage for gamer forums. Sophist isn't Adam Sessler.
posted by CKmtl at 8:29 AM on August 5, 2007


Ix-nay on the sophistry, ok?
posted by Mister_A at 8:49 AM on August 5, 2007


I took at look at AskMe, and of the thirteen questions posted so far today, between one and three have a theoretical single best answer in the sense of "an answer that makes all other answers redundant and/or useless."
posted by L. Fitzgerald Sjoberg at 8:53 AM on August 5, 2007


I'm finding it really hard to accept any criticism from someone named "B(oYo)BIES".

That game thread sucked. The "best album of the last 10 years" question sucked.

Go start NostalgiaFilter or something.
posted by mkultra at 8:54 AM on August 5, 2007


does anyone know what the legality issue is for roms and emulators? I once heard it said that if the games are abandonware, then all's fair, but the wikipedia article I just linked makes it sound like that's bullshit designed to make abandonware SOUND more legal than it actually is. As far as roms and emulators go, I'm not positive of the legality, but it's my understanding that you have to own a legal copy of the game you have a rom for. Am I right about this?

Basically what I'm saying is: If I understand correctly, this question directly says that he's compiling a directory on his hard drive of software it is highly probable he does not have a legal right to compile. Add to that that he throws in a bunch of "What's your favorite x?" questions which are the very definition of chatfilter and I can't think of a reason why that question is still standing.

from the faq about what counts as chatfilter:

- Questions where everyone's answer is equally valid along the lines of "What's your favorite X?". Maybe there is a reason you want to know? Super, just put it in your question.

Great, but his reason he wants to know is to load up on as much software he doesn't have a legal right to as possible and he says so in the question. He should have just said he's writing a book.
posted by shmegegge at 8:58 AM on August 5, 2007 [1 favorite]


the wikipedia article I just linked makes it sound like that's bullshit designed to make abandonware SOUND more legal than it actually is.

Yes, exactly. Abandonware purveyors also make this as a moral rather than a legal argument.
posted by grouse at 9:13 AM on August 5, 2007


shmegegge++

Also, from the question: As a bonus, I am sure a lot of great memories will come back when this thread gets going.

Dude, don't couch it in terms of doing the community some kind of group-hug favor. Making these in-post kind of excuses is a major sign that it's not up to snuff.
posted by mkultra at 9:23 AM on August 5, 2007


I often find ListFilter a little annoying, even though I've participated from time to time. It is a long standing aspect of AskMe though, and I don't see why we need to do anything about it. Just skip to the next question!


it's my understanding that you have to own a legal copy of the game you have a rom for.

Even the justification for that requires a lot of untested legal hand waving, I think. Doctrine of first sale, legality of making a backup copy, other arcane stuff.. And then you are only addressing legality in'merica.

he doesn't have a legal right to

It's a good thing there is no policy against such questions then :)

(or at least I don't think there is, yet... Sometimes we do seem to be racing down that slippery slope, unfortunately: AskMe: Hope me break the law)
posted by Chuckles at 10:04 AM on August 5, 2007


The question is chatfilter about illegal goods, wrapped up in "I'm writing a book" wolf's clothing. But it's about video games, so it should stay.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:13 AM on August 5, 2007


The proposed rule wouldn't prevent the AskMe in question anyway. You can indeed have a best answer to "give me a list of the best (whatever)s."
posted by The Deej at 10:21 AM on August 5, 2007


What's the "hypothetical best answer" to this question, sophist. Do you think it should have been deleted?
posted by delmoi at 10:58 AM on August 5, 2007


Blazecock Pileon writes "The question is chatfilter about illegal goods,"

The question isn't inherently illegal. It's quite possible to get the vast majority of these ROMS on places like eBay. Once you own the ROM you can do whatever you wish with it whether it's use it for a coaster or rip it to your emulator as long as you don't distribute copies. Heck in Canada I can borrow the ROM, make a copy, and then return it 100% legally.
posted by Mitheral at 11:12 AM on August 5, 2007


Sometimes I wish askMe had the IMG tag ...
posted by davy at 11:52 AM on August 5, 2007


Hope Joe Clark doesn't read this thread.
posted by Cranberry at 12:06 PM on August 5, 2007 [1 favorite]


I'm just going to mark every answer as the Best Answer. Happy now, sophist?
posted by fandango_matt at 12:07 PM on August 5, 2007


I can't think of a reason why that question is still standing.

It's still standing because there isn't a good reason for it not to be. The "what's your favorite X" part of the question is also a means to an end of the list the OP is compiling. I don't htink the question is great, but I also don't think its intention is just to start a conversation about the topic.

The legality aspect doesn't really come into play. There are legal ways the OP could get these games, we don't trouble ourselves TRYING to find ways to label questions as illegal. As we've said numerous times, we're mostly concerned with questions that will send the lawyers after mathowie and endanger the future of the site, roms and emulators don't really fit into that camp.

B(oYo)BIES, sophist's answer was totally fine. There's nothing wrong with pointing out other questions that address the same topic, especially if you don't do it with an implied or stated "...you iodit" ending to it.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 12:18 PM on August 5, 2007


It's quite possible to get the vast majority of these ROMS on places like eBay.

I'm sure it is. I very strongly doubt the assertion that many people do, who also have the ROM files on their computers.

Which is all well and good, but the real issue is that the question is chatfilter. /shrug
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 12:33 PM on August 5, 2007


Like a lot of these kinds of questions, it's pretty close to purely objective, because the poster doesn't go into much detail about what they're looking for. My favorite video games aren't the same as yours, but, if you tell me that you like 2-d fighting games, especially Capcom ones (or whatever), then at least I've got something to work with. As I understand it, 'what x will I like' questions are preferable to 'what's your favorite x' ones, and for exactly this reason.

Without getting hung up on the legality (I always read the standard about legality as 'will this get mathowie in trouble,' and, historically, I don't think questions about emulation have been considered to fall into that category), the question certainly seems chatfilter-y.

(Incidentally, it seems like people often treat 'chatfilter' and 'presents-a-problem-to-be-solved' as mutually exclusive categories--they're not.)
posted by box at 12:58 PM on August 5, 2007


I'm adding a comment to this thread
posted by poppo at 1:51 PM on August 5, 2007


I agree with the proposal sophist puts forth. But that might be because that's how I find AskMe most helpful. And while I'd like more chatfilter questions axed, and try to do my chatty stuff on MeCha, I'm wary of trying to dictate too much how other people should use AskMe.
posted by klangklangston at 4:58 PM on August 5, 2007


You don't like threads asking for album recommendations? Don't read them, haterz.

However, I learned something about AskMe in that last question of mine: people don't give enough explanation or evidence in those threads' answers. It's not even chatty; it's an unwieldy list at this point, and mostly useless to me since only the albums I know could recognizably be best answers to me. However, it's (apparently!) equally useful to anyone else, with other personal tastes, looking for that tool: the ability to share music with people uninterested in looking far for music for themselves. As a questioner, I assume the answers I get will be explanatory, but as an answerer, I am often guilty of failing to provide that service. Will improve.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 10:28 PM on August 5, 2007


Jess, what's an "iodit"? Is it a necessary nutrimentalist?
posted by davy at 11:26 PM on August 5, 2007


The "Don't like it, don't read it" is bullshit— there are guidelines, and the "make me a list of stuff that might, like, some criteria, but not really" is a bullshit question that at best skirts the line. I thought about dropping by and trying to be helpful, mostly by pointing out that you can check the Pitchfork and Metacritic lists for that time period, but decided not to because, well, it's a shitty question and I didn't want to encourage you. But it's something that anyone with the rudiments of internet sense could have answered for themselves, especially because the question is so broad and the Metafilter users are so resolutely square when it comes to music (I know, I know, in some perverse way that means that it's a good place to ask for your square friend).

It should have been axed, and you should be contrite, not combative, about your retarded question. If you're so goddamned hip to be making fun of the Death Cab listening, you should have a whole slew of albums to recommend already. Instead, it smacks of "validate my taste," and you got it in spades from the dupes arguing that Wilco put out anything like one of the best albums in the last ten years.
posted by klangklangston at 8:13 AM on August 6, 2007


If you do like this kind of list-making, over at Something Awful they have a whole forum devoted to it called Post Your Favorite. As far as I can tell, no one reads it.
posted by smackfu at 8:57 AM on August 6, 2007


I like turtles
posted by jozxyqk at 9:14 AM on August 6, 2007


Yo, I thought my previous comment was sufficently contrite, being that I acknowledged that the question didn't turn out as I expected. I figured out my naivete, both about the results of AskMe questions with appealing bandwagon content, or insufficient parameters, and my ability to recognize good answers in an unfamiliar area. I don't think I should have to grovel seeking forgiveness for a poor AskMe post. It's not my fault so many people favorited it. I don't agree.

I also don't think there's anything like a consensus about these list-producing questions, as I'm now recalling that Melissa May's indie movie recommendations post was lauded in the podcast.

klang, I've never heard Wilco, or practically anything else in that thread. Which is certainly related to the fact that I needed to ask, and don't know where better to go for music recommendations. If you assume that my awareness of the fact that Death Cab is popular and easy listening makes me an elitist, maybe you should consider where your assurance about what I like, or have been exposed to, comes from. Your cynical hipster detection rays are way overpowered (this is probably the second time I've mentioned contemporary music on MeFi and the second time you've shouted me down as a hipster). All I know about you is that you're a music critic living in LA, and that if all you have is a hammer everything looks like a nail.

It's a shame you're withholding your assistance in that thread to "teach me a lesson," because I was hoping you would show up, and share some descriptive and illuminative music recommendations, which I 'm sure you're capable of writing. I guess I should be thankful you didn't, so I don't have to be belittled in two threads at once.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 9:56 AM on August 6, 2007


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