FPPs posts that are conclusive should be based on evidence. January 30, 2008 10:57 PM   Subscribe

This post is emotive, shrill and conclusive in tone. Considering it deals with emotionally charged topics, its sure to get a lot of attention. I can take emotive and shrill if the topic had been approached from an interrogative viewpoint, rather than conclusive.

The entire FPP is conclusive, and based on largely on blogs with a few links thrown in (all definitions, btw) to The Fed and other definitive sources to add credibility.

Queries were raised in the thread that would materially change the conclusions in the FPP, questions that remain unaddressed.
  • What is the relationship between Non borrowed reserves and Capital Adequacy? FPP gives the impression many banks are ill liquid, perhap insolvent? These deposits are but one component of a financial institutions overall strength. But FPP implies otherwise.
  • FPP notes that 52 banks are receiving loans from the TAF but but the Fed refuses to name who they are. then later opines that The Fed is accepting "yucky CDOs" as collateral. As previously asked - how do we the collateral for the loans if The Fed won't name the banks?
  • FPP implies ONLY CDOs are being used as collateral, when in fact a wide range of assets could be used.
  • FPP stated, without any evidence, that The Fed is "purposely" using two year old data. Please cite source of the evidence driving this conclusion.
  • Much of the information in the post and followsup is fundamentally wrong and out of date; the LIBOR rate, for example. When it dropped below Fed Funds this was big news on trading desks. I'm sure it leaked out into The Real World; noting this was no longer spiking would have changed the conclusion of htis FPP
I could go on, but I'll stop here. Overall - would have been a great speculative post. But is weak as a FPP that reaches a conclusion and tries to defend the position.

Generally I don't like to raise these problems, but my queries, informed and well intentioned queries remain unaddressed. Answers to these queries would have materially changed the FPP's conclusion.

I'm off to Amsterdam this AM on a BizTrip, won't be able to check back for six hours or so. But unlike the
posted by Mutant to Etiquette/Policy at 10:57 PM (66 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

Six hours for closure on that last sentence? Screw that in its motherlovin'
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 11:08 PM on January 30, 2008 [1 favorite]


Wow, you left for Amsterdam kind of suddenly.
posted by MrMustard at 11:09 PM on January 30, 2008 [18 favorites]


But unlike the

I can't stand the suspense!
posted by amyms at 11:10 PM on January 30, 2008


Yeah ... umm, you've apparently posted your questions/objections in thread. What exactly are you looking for from Metatalk?
posted by tkolar at 11:10 PM on January 30, 2008


i've finally found the meaning of life and i want to share it with all of you - always keep a
posted by pyramid termite at 11:12 PM on January 30, 2008 [6 favorites]


but if you can't do that, one way to wealth and happiness is
posted by pyramid termite at 11:14 PM on January 30, 2008


All the answers are in Amsterdam.
posted by jouke at 11:20 PM on January 30, 2008 [3 favorites]


Why didn't I see it before? In retrospect it's obvious that on a conveyor belt, the plane
posted by whir at 11:20 PM on January 30, 2008 [6 favorites]


May we conclude that Mutant doesn't like conclusive posts?
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 11:22 PM on January 30, 2008


He'll love this thread.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 11:22 PM on January 30, 2008


I'm guessing this is kind of a general thread asking what to do about opinionated posts that draw conclusions that seem unsupported after the discussion gets going? What should we as a community and/or admins do about those kinds of posts?

If that's the goal of this post, I'd say the answer is that the community is pretty much self-regulating. Make a big boastful post drawing all sorts of unsupported conclusions and watch as dozens of people tear your post apart bit by bit. Do it over and over again and an admin will probably ask you to stop grinding your ax on front page posts. Keep doing it and you might get bounced and/or people just won't read or rise to your bait. It's happened like that with a few users that fixated on certain topics in several posts that weren't really supported by the links presented.

In this case, I think Asparagirl has done several insightful interesting posts on the mortgage market and banking industry over the past few months that didn't suffer from any hyperbole. This one might have a couple leaps of faith, but there is definitely a big bank crunch and market correction on the horizon and I'm not sure how outlandish the post is (without reading the entire thing -- it's late and I'm about to head off to sleep). I don't think Asparagirl's specific post is a problem but it seems to have struck a chord with you and I'd suggest making your points in the thread which you have apparently done.

I guess my conclusion is
posted by mathowie (staff) at 11:24 PM on January 30, 2008 [21 favorites]


If I grow up I am not sure if I want to be just like mathowie or
posted by Cranberry at 11:30 PM on January 30, 2008


Discussing this in the original thread would have been more
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 11:38 PM on January 30, 2008


Furthermore, the octopus
posted by misozaki at 11:40 PM on January 30, 2008 [4 favorites]


Answers to these queries would have materially changed the FPP's conclusion.

look who's being emotive, shrill, and conclusive in tone now!

but my queries, informed and well intentioned queries remain unaddressed

We all have questions. The FPP laid out one version of reality reasonably well. If you have disagreements with the data, tells us what they are and why you disagree. Bonus points for bringing your own data to the discussion.

You want to assert that banks are going to the TAF with good collateral. Why the hell would they do that when they've got trillions of crappy collateral that the Fed will given them 85c on the dollar on -- and it's all this bad collateral that is causing the banks to become undercapitalized in the first place??? Lack of transparency in this area, in these times, is NOT indicative of fiscal good condition.

The FPP's collection of bubblehead-intelligence may understate, overstate, or accurately portray the current situation we find ourselves in. The very existence of the TAF, and the, need I remind you, TRILLIONS, of mortgage lending that went out 2003-2007, and HUNDREDs of BILLIONS of losses that are coming down the pike strongly indicate, to me at least, that the bubblehead pessimism is entirely warranted.

Now, saying this is not the same as wishing it so, and in fact saying this even if it were so is actually not conducive to the least damaging unwinding of this situation. If I were Ben Stein (with a public) I too would LIE MY ASS OFF if the situation were really as precariously Jengasized as it appears to the bubblehead bears.

I may joke about calling this graph that I made from the most recent Federal Flow of Funds report the "Flight of the Challenger II", but even my untrained eye can see a disaster of historical proportions looming ahead in the realities underlying this curve.
posted by panamax at 11:44 PM on January 30, 2008


All the answers are in Amsterdam.

Call for Van der Valk. He'll get to
posted by PeterMcDermott at 11:58 PM on January 30, 2008


I'll do all the funny stuff.
posted by uncanny hengeman at 12:01 AM on January 31, 2008


I
posted by seanyboy at 12:12 AM on January 31, 2008


So I said to the prostitute, hey for that kind of money I
posted by LarryC at 12:15 AM on January 31, 2008


All the answers are in Amsterdam.

I told you! But would you listen to my shrill ranting?!

Go to Amsterdam! Take
posted by Meatbomb at 12:20 AM on January 31, 2008


I used to see Van Der Valk when I worked in Amsterdam, and for an extra 50 guilders he always got to
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 12:25 AM on January 31, 2008


One fine evening a Mefite named Mutant
found a post on the Fed quite pollutant.
He proclaimed it "conclusive,"
and disappeared - so elusive!
'pon returning, he responded: "I
posted by googly at 12:36 AM on January 31, 2008 [6 favorites]


All this talk about Amsterdam reminds me of something really fucking hilarious that happened to me there once. You see, I was walking toward the Leidseplein, when a
posted by flapjax at midnite at 12:37 AM on January 31, 2008


Mutant, obviously you are welcome to disagree with Asparagirl in the thread. Why are you dragging your disagreement here? I don't think the fact that you don't think your queries have been answered to your satisfaction is reason enough. No one owes you anything. Frankly, your post here in MeTa is awful axe-grindy in itself.

FPP gives the impression many banks are ill liquid, perhap insolvent?

The FPP says that the banks aren't meeting their reserve requirements without the TAF, which is certainly true. The shutting down bit is over the top certainly, but I'm not sure it is the same as claiming the banks are illiquid (and certainly not the same as insolvent).

then later opines that The Fed is accepting "yucky CDOs" as collateral. As previously asked - how do we the collateral for the loans if The Fed won't name the banks?
FPP implies ONLY CDOs are being used as collateral, when in fact a wide range of assets could be used.

As many others have pointed out, it is pretty likely that the banks are using sketchy CDOs as collateral. I don't think that reasonable supposition, when the real data is being hidden, is invalid. It don't think it is a reasonable reading of the post to claim that it says ONLY CDOs are being used as collateral.

FPP stated, without any evidence, that The Fed is "purposely" using two year old data. Please cite source of the evidence driving this conclusion.

There is nothing about two year old data in the FPP and the linked blog post only claims that the data is over one year old.
You've been pointed to the current available data (of which the substantive part is more than a year old, but the most recent update was only about 5 months ago) on the Fed's website once in the post and again in the thread. There is nothing to suggest that table isn't current on the Fed's website. That would count as a cite to most people, your objection that the Fed might not always apply that rate notwithstanding.
posted by ssg at 12:39 AM on January 31, 2008


I can't believe I ate the whole
posted by item at 12:43 AM on January 31, 2008


and while the sprain did go away I had to have three vertebrae fused. It was worth it.
posted by maxwelton at 12:55 AM on January 31, 2008


 
posted by C17H19NO3 at 1:05 AM on January 31, 2008


When she awoke, the dinosaur was still there because
posted by Free word order! at 1:08 AM on January 31, 2008


It was a great post not because it was 100% accurate but because it
posted by Skorgu at 4:08 AM on January 31, 2008


"... your post here in MeTa is awful axe-grindy in itself."


Gosh I certainly didn't intend it to be axe-grindy but the fact is I posted queries in the thread and OP ignored them. Answers to these queries would materially change the conclusion of the FPP. As I mentioned, if the FPP was intended to drive discussion, I'd have no problem. But as a series of factoids (of rather dubious intellectual righour), leading up to a conclusion, well, the FPP is weak.

"As many others have pointed out, it is pretty likely that the banks are using sketchy CDOs as collateral..."

Well, there is a large difference between sketchy and non-performing. Following the web links we learn that The Fed has clearly stated any and all collateral, CDOs included, must be performing. If sketchy implies of dubious credit quality, then that will be priced in. The Fed isn't offering a fixed price for all assets, regardless of specifics. In fact I posted a quote off The Fed's own web site where they stated the same. So we see a trail of bloggers apparently selectively quoting The Federal Reserve to support their argument.

And there is absolutely no evidence produced that CDOs and only CDOs are being used as collateral. Besides the fact The Fed is offering a market price for these instruments (NOT $0.85 as was claimed both here in MeTa and in the original thread) often these instruments have convenants attached which limit what the holder can do with them. It's entirely possible that market participant may wish to post a very low quality CDO tranche as collateral, but can't due to constraints imposed. Either by the organisation that structured the CDO, by one of the market particpants own internal groups (someone else is using the instrument as part of yet-another structured product), or by an external creditor, perhaps another bank. There may be an upcominig market event this instrument is needed for (i.e., in the US Government Security market bonds are said to "go special" when they are deliverable into a Bond Futures Contract, etc). So more often than external viewers might think, market participants don't always have a totally free hand with their own property. Strange how that works.

So what percentage of collateral being posted is CDOs? Nobody knows except The Fed, and they ain't talking. However the FPP clearly states that "yucky CDOs" are being posted as collateral. Once again, as I queried in the original thread - please cite source of the assetion that while The Fed isn't saying what banks are using the TAF but somehow we know the collateral.

I also disagree about banks not meeting their regulatory requirements without drawing upon the TAF - a few points here. First, the data series posted showed no such thing. It was simply one component of regulatory capital. Just one. I asked and nobody posted the capital ratios - instead its implied in the FPP that the banks are ill liquid.

Secondly, if The Fed offers prices that are materially different from market they will be swamped with sellers as folks arbitrage the difference between the two markets (the totally open and free market and the closed "special market" FPP implies exists as part of a bailout). If this is the case please cite source. I've got access to a Bloomberg terminal and I see no evidence this is happening, that The Fed is stepping up and taking on large quantities of securities as buyer of last resort.

Finally, about The Fed posting security prices on the public internet; well, I asked "Has anyone priced a loan using The Feds own interbank pricing system? " for a reason - The Fed isn't like eBay, posting bid / ask spreads for all to see. Member banks use special systems for pricing. The data posted on the internet - indicative pricing only. These things do change vallue, very frequently. The Fed isn't going to purchase securities at two year, one year or even one day old prices. They reprice in real time and Mondays price for a three month T-Bill will be different than Friday's price.

I used to work on a CDO structuring desk, and currently teach this topic part time tutor at a University in London. So I guess the thing that bugs me most about this post is that it argues a case for a very emotive topic, and draws upon very questionable sources to drive the conclusion.

And then reasonable discourse, dialog is noticably absent. Sorry, but I disagree about folks owing something - if you post a topic to the front page, something that is approaching a thesis or theory, an FPP that is conclusive rather than interrogative, then I believe one is obliged to defend this conclusion, and engage in discourse with folks that might raise questions.

Otherwise, it's the equivalent of drive by posting. We've got multiple incidents of Google Experts in AskMeta. Without responses to queries I can only conclude this is an FPP made by an Instant Authority.

This is an exceedingly acrane and complex area of modern finance. It took me a while to go through the set'o'links provided and call bullshit. What chance would laypeople, those who don't work in this area have to arrive at their own conclusions? As much as I respect some of the other posts previously made - and I mean that genuinely - I think OP was in over her head on this one.

If this isn't an appropriate use of MeTa
posted by Mutant at 4:51 AM on January 31, 2008


then feel free to close the thread and I can reconvene in the original.

Ha! I have no idea what happened this AM, except it was early and I was rushed...
posted by Mutant at 4:51 AM on January 31, 2008


an entirely different thread.
posted by Wolfdog at 5:07 AM on January 31, 2008


Gosh I certainly didn't intend it to be axe-grindy but the fact is I posted queries in the thread and OP ignored them.

The post garnered a number of comments. As there is no threading feature, or some other mechanism to call attention to your concerns, it is quite possible the OP simply did not see your comment. Perhaps MeMail would have gotten your point to the OP faster?
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 5:22 AM on January 31, 2008


I think Asparagirl has done several insightful interesting posts on the mortgage market and banking industry over the past few months that didn't suffer from any hyperbole

There are plenty of hand-waving, OMG! posts on markets from her but they tend to suffer from the exact complaints Mutant mentions. This just feels like another topic Mefi does poorly; the community does not shred them "bit by bit" because the ratio specialized knowledge to Chicken Little-ism is low. Which is true for most any subject, except these posts tend to bring out everyone with $5 in the stock market to provide variations on "Asparagirl, I understand about 10% of that fpp, but it sounds scary and I think you blew my mind", drowning out the reasonable discourse, as suggested by BP above. And then the troop of Illuminati Watchers come out to explain how there's nothing left in US banks but shredded lotto tickets and a couple of old issues of Hustler.

I do admit the final graf, presenting some weird-ass Second Life banking crisis as buttressing evidence is a friendly indicator the poster might be a few bubbles off plumb, but the community does itself no credit* in these threads which tend to devolve into a competition to see who can make the most assured prediction of Apocalypse. I don't think anything's going to change and I don't know how the posts could be better policed, but I did want to agree with Mutant.

I'd like to see an increase in the comment savings rate.
posted by yerfatma at 5:42 AM on January 31, 2008 [2 favorites]


I like having end-of-the-financial-world posts every week or so. I liked that John Titor guy too. Freaky!

If y'all don't like them you can eat a bowl of
posted by dirtdirt at 5:45 AM on January 31, 2008


so she says, "Listen, Saint Peter -- if I have to gargle that stuff, there's no WAY I'm waiting till after Mary Jo washes her ass with it!"

...What?

...oh, DANG
posted by kittens for breakfast at 5:52 AM on January 31, 2008


I hate to open this can of worms, but "emotive" and "shrill" are, like the subtly backhanded "poised," code words for
posted by breezeway at 5:53 AM on January 31, 2008 [7 favorites]


Yeah, the post wasn't good, but Mutant, your comments are better suited in the original thread, not MeTa.
posted by chinston at 5:59 AM on January 31, 2008


"...but Mutant, your comments are better suited in the original thread, not MeTa."

Not a problem; I never really hang out here anyways as you MeTa folks are
posted by Mutant at 6:08 AM on January 31, 2008 [2 favorites]


Asparagirl gets points for her enthusiasm, but she sure does wave the F.U.D. flag high.
posted by Eideteker at 6:12 AM on January 31, 2008


You have to love that this complaint about "materially changing conclusions" and lack of "intellectual rigor" and questionable "factoids" is in reference to an FPP on the subject of economic and fiscal prognostication. Next we'll be objecting to the lack of scientific method in phrenology and Ouija board threads.
posted by FelliniBlank at 6:16 AM on January 31, 2008 [2 favorites]


This just feels like another topic Mefi does poorly; the community does not shred them "bit by bit" because the ratio specialized knowledge to Chicken Little-ism is low.

Really? I find it pretty easy to see who the specialists are in these threads. I think this is the kind of thing metafilter does brilliantly because you get to see all the different types of arguments at once . There is something about seeing hyperbole and calm reason side by side that is comforting to me. It's like when Indiana Jones pulls out his pistol after all the sword waving.

So be Indiana Jones if you can.
posted by srboisvert at 6:16 AM on January 31, 2008 [3 favorites]


yerfatma: And then the troop of Illuminati Watchers come out to explain how there's nothing left in US banks but shredded lotto tickets and a couple of old issues of Hustler.

Is that aimed at Malor? Because if it is, it's a ridiculously unfair characterization of his position, which is hardly in "Illuminati-Watching" territory. He's extremely pessimistic about all the borrowing, yes. I would love to see you engage that position directly - if you actually have something useful to say about it instead of just snark.

This just feels like another topic Mefi does poorly

Funny, even Mutant doesn't agree:

There is some really good commentary in this thread (as usual for MeTa finance topics)...

Although if "I posted queries in the thread and OP ignored them" becomes a common justification for starting a MeTa thread, this part of the site is doomed. DOOMED I TELL YOU.
posted by mediareport at 6:18 AM on January 31, 2008


I can't decide if this callout was good or
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 6:24 AM on January 31, 2008


you know who else was
posted by iamkimiam at 6:24 AM on January 31, 2008


I don't really get it
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 6:24 AM on January 31, 2008


Wait, Malor's got Orbital Mind-Control Lasers? Look out, California!
posted by breezeway at 6:42 AM on January 31, 2008


Well, hell, late to
posted by rtha at 6:43 AM on January 31, 2008


"You have to love that this complaint about "materially changing conclusions" and lack of "intellectual rigor" and questionable "factoids" is in reference to an FPP on the subject of economic and fiscal prognostication. Next we'll be objecting to the lack of scientific method in phrenology and Ouija board threads."

Hold on a second; The Dismal Science does indeed have dark corners and crevices where reason doesn't prevail - some Econometricians call that part of Economics "hand waving" - but when one approachs the realm of Structured Products and The Federal Reserve - in particular Fed Open Market Operations (realised either via the Discount Window or the TAF or other mechanisms) this could hardly be considered "prognostication".

Federal Reserve Open Market Operations are almost always announced as they happen (on a Bloomberg you'll see a flash in the vertically scrolling newsbar with amounts), and are called Open Market for a reason - The Fed wants the public to know what its up to in the market. Full and public knowledge of what The Fed does and does not do in the markets is part of the solution.

Structured Products - e.g., CDOs - are very highly quantified instruments and very rigourous analysis, design, construction and scenario testing. So no hand waving here either.

I'd suggest while the topic itself hardly involves prognostication, concerns I raised addressed how the arguement was presented.

And don't bad mouth phrenology! I'm a practictioner of retrophrenology myself.
posted by Mutant at 6:57 AM on January 31, 2008


Mutant: Gosh I certainly didn't intend it to be axe-grindy but the fact is I posted queries in the thread and OP ignored them... I think OP was in over her head on this one.

Well, then, by all means, put it in a report, and I'll present it at the next meeting I have with the division supervisor. As it stands, I agree, and I'm glad you chose to come to me with this. We need to make sure our people on the ground are functioning according to the standards of our organization, and it's just not profitable to have someone ignoring the chain of command like this; having stuff like that presented as the face of the company tends to decrease our profit margin.

I'm certain that I can convince HQ to have OP REQ'd to be transferred away from financial to another posting campaign, for example 'posts about frogs' or 'posts about the use of the term "canadian" to mean black', where I believe OP can do the company more good. It's a good thing we have people like you in this department who understand how Metafilter works and are well-equipped to move forward. You followed the SOP on this and filed the proper TPS reports with their appropriate coversheets; in addition, it's probably very good that you FAP'd the BBS's for the MPQ.
posted by koeselitz at 7:13 AM on January 31, 2008 [4 favorites]


Sorry, Mutant -- fish, barrel, I keed. Although to the ig'nant layperson, it can be perplexing to see knowledgeable folk look at all the same arcane information and disagree significantly about where things are headed.
posted by FelliniBlank at 7:16 AM on January 31, 2008


Just a note for the future: this callout would've went very well if you'd just said, "Asparagirl's post here was well-written, but it was really thin on good links, and it was very sensationalist. I don't think it was a very good post."
posted by koeselitz at 7:17 AM on January 31, 2008


Is that aimed at Malor?

Not at all. The kind of comments I'm talking about all melt together into one giant ball of goop, like that summer I got 5 pounds of Gummy Bears and left them in the back window of my aunt's VW Rabbit by mistake.
posted by yerfatma at 7:23 AM on January 31, 2008


but the fact is I posted queries in the thread and OP ignored them

Perhaps the OP -- er, me! -- has been almost-round-the-clock caring for and breastfeeding an infant and simply hasn't had time to respond to your late-in-the-thread comment yet...?

(But will shortly, I hope!)
posted by Asparagirl at 7:31 AM on January 31, 2008


Mutant, let me respectfully suggest that you back off your arguments in favor of a centralized Metafilter economy and embrace a more Keynesian attitude. Let the posters post their posts and compete in the marketplace of ideas, and reserve mod interference only for macro-level policy changes and response to extreme circumstances. The mods shouldn't vet every post for truth and logic; instead, they can let all but the most egregious posts of debatable veracity stand, and allow contrary positions to be aired.

OK, I'm being cheeky. But seriously: I favorited asparagirl's post (and have favorited others), because I felt it was a useful aggregate of information, and I have found her trustworthy in the past. Your critical comments, and the comments of others, enhanced the post by vetting its sources and offering relevant critiques, making it an educational experience for myself and others (including asparagirl, who says so in the thread). In my eyes, that is a win-win situation.
posted by googly at 7:35 AM on January 31, 2008 [2 favorites]


and the bartender says, "Hey, that's not a duck!"
posted by marxchivist at 7:37 AM on January 31, 2008


Perhaps OP isn't even required to (or in fact usually shouldn't) respond to comments in the thread. CP (comment-poster) can say his piece if he pleases, and make a new post if he pleases, but it's not the duty of OP to defend FPP in-thread.
posted by koeselitz at 7:38 AM on January 31, 2008


Gosh I certainly didn't intend it to be axe-grindy but the fact is I posted queries in the thread and OP ignored them.

Mutant, someone who posts to Metafilter isn't by contract beholden to respond to any and all queries or objections regarding their post. There are a lot of people in that thread, she's only one mefite, and it's not a duel; if you really need a one-on-one conversation with her, write her an email or something.

People have in fact gotten flack from the community many times for being too responsive, coming back to every challenge or comment; it's been called "[over]moderating the thread", among other things.

Answers to these queries would materially change the conclusion of the FPP. As I mentioned, if the FPP was intended to drive discussion, I'd have no problem. But as a series of factoids (of rather dubious intellectual righour), leading up to a conclusion, well, the FPP is weak.

I honestly don't think that's a good basis for a Metatalk thread. It sounds like you're mostly bothered that you didn't get sufficient intellectual satisfaction (metanoia?) from Asparagirl, and that's not really a site policy issue. We're not going to track her down and force her to answer your questions, so demanding answers here instead of in the thread where you've already been an active, involved participant seems really unnecessary.
posted by cortex (staff) at 7:40 AM on January 31, 2008 [2 favorites]


No worries, I got a great inside tip, and if you want to make sure you come out of this rich put all your money in
posted by Salmonberry at 7:57 AM on January 31, 2008


Maybe Asparagirl didn't answer Mutant's points because she had to jet off somewhere to an important business trip.
posted by Nick Verstayne at 8:00 AM on January 31, 2008 [1 favorite]


"Mutant, someone who posts to Metafilter isn't by contract beholden to respond to any and all queries or objections regarding their post."

If someone makes a post that is expository, intended to raise question, I'd agree with this line. But someone posting a position, an argument, supported by premise and clearly reaching a conclusion, I'd maintain that individual really should be prepared to supplement and defend. I don't think this would detract but in fact would strengthen the post.

In academic terms, when asked to cite your source, if you can't, it's your opinion. Nothing wrong with opinions (hey I've got some myself!), except when they're taken at face value as fact. I was / am genuinely curious - as this is my line of work - about some of the points raised, and asked for citatation.

And let's take names out of this; I certainly don't have a problem with OP and in fact mentioned that some earlier posts were (and still are) appreciated. But the point is simply this - as the topic is very arcane and very complex, most folks - indeed many people replying in that thread - by their own admission understood little.

But the conclusion was clear. And wrong.

If this isn't an approprate MeTa thread then I apologise, but as I mentioned before - I don't hang here much. Once again, feel free to close the thread.
posted by Mutant at 8:13 AM on January 31, 2008 [1 favorite]


20 dollars, same as in
posted by tristeza at 8:15 AM on January 31, 2008


I agree with
posted by brain_drain at 8:29 AM on January 31, 2008 [1 favorite]


If someone makes a post that is expository, intended to raise question, I'd agree with this line. But someone posting a position, an argument, supported by premise and clearly reaching a conclusion, I'd maintain that individual really should be prepared to supplement and defend.

As it happens, asparagirl had quite the comeback to what you've had to say here and in the thread, Mutant. I guess you must have just missed it. To recap her major points, I'll start by saying
posted by kittens for breakfast at 8:34 AM on January 31, 2008


This joke was funny the first few times but now it's getting really
posted by Metroid Baby at 8:45 AM on January 31, 2008 [1 favorite]


And let's take names out of this; I certainly don't have a problem with OP and in fact mentioned that some earlier posts were (and still are) appreciated. But the point is simply this - as the topic is very arcane and very complex, most folks - indeed many people replying in that thread - by their own admission understood little.

The problem with this thread is that you weren't remotely leaving names out of it or making a general argument; you presented a big bullet-pointed rebuke to the premise of a thread. You've acknowledged that you don't spend a lot of time in the grey, so I'm happy to nod and refrain from knocking you over the head about it too much, but, yes:

This was a response much better fit for the thread you were in (and maybe something to consider in terms of private communication, and with some grace in thinking that the person you're demanding answers from is not avoiding you so much as busy living their life between visits to the site). Demanding a personal response from someone by posting a Metatalk is pretty much a universally bad idea, and not really what this place is for.

And yeah, let's close this up.
posted by cortex (staff) at 8:47 AM on January 31, 2008


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