How many Mefite's on the head of a pin? January 8, 2009 12:05 AM   Subscribe

108 MeFites claim to live exactly here: +47° 25' 56.10", -121° 48' 12.20". Which is, in fact, nowhere.

It's probably not unusual for a bunch of MeFites to all have the exact same location data in their profile... except that I've been to this location, and there's no there, there. It's in the middle of the woods, there's not even a house here.

I wonder if this is a bug, that Google Maps once returned this coordinate for Seattle or something?

Currently "living" at this spot in the woods:

[long list of names removed]
posted by Dunwitty to MetaFilter-Related at 12:05 AM (114 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite



They were hiding in the bushes, until you poked your nose in.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 12:11 AM on January 8, 2009


Hey, I've been out to MeFi camp before. You should come out! There's bacon and wifi, which are all you really need in life.
posted by mullingitover at 12:11 AM on January 8, 2009 [14 favorites]


There is no Cabal secret underground bunker.
Please sit down on the floor with your hands on your head and await termination.
posted by atrazine at 12:12 AM on January 8, 2009 [5 favorites]


How could I have been so naive? Thank god I used my alternative username, and not Cardinal Fang.

Oh god
posted by Dunwitty at 12:17 AM on January 8, 2009 [1 favorite]


Well, dude, that's where all the porn is.
posted by LionIndex at 12:27 AM on January 8, 2009 [8 favorites]


That's a lot of sockpuppets for just one dude.
posted by b33j at 12:31 AM on January 8, 2009


I wonder if this is a bug, that Google Maps once returned this coordinate for Seattle or something?

Seattle used to be there. Until they messed with the Cabal. Then they were forced to move west.
posted by qvantamon at 12:35 AM on January 8, 2009 [1 favorite]


I think that's pretty close to the center of King County. Near-Seattlites might have just put the county into a map database and used that.

please don't hurt me, cabal! I'll add to your porn stash next time I'm out there
posted by hattifattener at 1:24 AM on January 8, 2009


That's Luther Blissett's house.
posted by Abiezer at 1:43 AM on January 8, 2009 [2 favorites]


Here's the place in Google Earth. Looks like the top of a very steep mountain. Clearly no-one lives up there. I mean, who among us has really got the energy to schlep themselves up and down there everyday?

The closest house available on Street View. Blair Witch, anyone? Some kind of crazy Metafilter share house? Or a home that has nothing to do with Metafilter, MeFites or witches? You decide which is the most rational of these scenarios.
posted by Effigy2000 at 2:57 AM on January 8, 2009


That the Cabalmmune, where MetaFilter users share their property, space, and snark.
posted by Pope Guilty at 3:06 AM on January 8, 2009


porn stash

I believe that the classy term is "spank bank."
posted by Pope Guilty at 3:06 AM on January 8, 2009 [2 favorites]


Aren't there two different ways of writing coordinates? I remember having difficulties when I was trying to calculate my location.
posted by creasy boy at 3:35 AM on January 8, 2009


Shouldn't this be in "meetups"?
posted by WPW at 3:38 AM on January 8, 2009 [1 favorite]


I have the same problem, and always assumed that it was just reference point for the city as a whole, not for any individual place or person.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 3:56 AM on January 8, 2009


As a decimal string it seems to point to "Stampede Pass", which is still, as far as I can tell, in the middle of nowhere.
posted by creasy boy at 3:56 AM on January 8, 2009


FLEE. ALL IS DISCOVERED.
posted by Happy Dave at 3:57 AM on January 8, 2009 [15 favorites]


Well, dude, that's where all the porn is.

and from the looks of it, it's in the middle of the woods.
posted by From Bklyn at 4:23 AM on January 8, 2009 [3 favorites]


For us old timers we entered our ZIP codes and when the geotagging came along the coordinates were done via a lookup. I actually do not live in the PF Changs parking lot. I doubt the other mefites 0 miles from me live there either. I never bothered to enter my exact position and so my coordinates are miles from my actual secret lair.
posted by birdherder at 4:33 AM on January 8, 2009 [1 favorite]


Your curiosity will cost you dearly. There is no cabal. Long live the cabal!
posted by SteveTheRed at 4:36 AM on January 8, 2009


Oh! So that's where the dimensional portal is!!!
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 4:53 AM on January 8, 2009 [1 favorite]


Everyone knows that is nowhere.
posted by Joe Beese at 5:31 AM on January 8, 2009 [1 favorite]


*************************
CABAL MEMORANDUM FOLLOWS
*************************

Cabal members are reminded to indicate only dimensionally, geographically, and psychographically appropriate coordinates when posting on rational-spacetime MetaFilters. Violators can lose MultiFilter posting priveleges for up to a MeFi-standard week.

*************************
MEMORANDUM ENDS. TINC.
*************************
posted by Rock Steady at 5:53 AM on January 8, 2009 [1 favorite]


Perhaps it's the Seattle equivalent of The Pines on Fire Island?
posted by PeterMcDermott at 6:27 AM on January 8, 2009


Fools, Dunwitty is of the cabal of which you so blithy jest. You are now being processed for further action. Of course, this is a good thing as it delays him from his current project of map pinpointing the entire user database to better triangulate operations. Get rid of your useless tinfoil hats and step up to the big leagues of Faraday cages.
posted by mrmojoflying at 6:32 AM on January 8, 2009


FLEE. ALL IS DISCOVERED.
I wept with laughter.
posted by DWRoelands at 6:40 AM on January 8, 2009


Secret MetaFilter 10th anniversary party at Witch Mountain!
posted by steef at 6:41 AM on January 8, 2009


And that concludes round one of the Mefi Geocache Challenge.
posted by cortex (staff) at 6:43 AM on January 8, 2009 [6 favorites]


MEETUP!
posted by phunniemee at 6:44 AM on January 8, 2009


They don't live on the mountain, they live in the mountain.
posted by Elmore at 6:52 AM on January 8, 2009


Previously. Previous to that.

It's because if your location is calculated by zip code, your coordinates are whatever single point is calculated for that zip code by Google Maps. There are a couple dozen mefites near me who apparently live on a brownfield outside city limits.
posted by ardgedee at 7:00 AM on January 8, 2009


I dunno, I could clearly make out tkchrist and blazecock in that livemaps. Also I am pretty sure I saw Atlantis.
posted by Mister_A at 7:03 AM on January 8, 2009


The coordinates in my profile put me living at or near the courthouse in my city and that's not true. But I do live nearby. I just don't want to put my exact coordinates in the system. We're using a precise system, but that doesn't mean we're all using it precisely.
posted by pb (staff) at 7:07 AM on January 8, 2009 [1 favorite]


They don't live on the mountain, they are the mountain.
posted by Rock Steady at 7:07 AM on January 8, 2009 [1 favorite]


Ben turned the wheel, and moved it.
posted by jbickers at 7:13 AM on January 8, 2009 [1 favorite]


I see that I, too, live in the woods. And within walking distance of a cemetery. So that will be handy.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 7:20 AM on January 8, 2009


That's prime Bigfoot country, to be sure.
posted by Burhanistan at 7:21 AM on January 8, 2009 [1 favorite]


I actually do not live in the PF Changs parking lot.

Oh sure mister big shot I-don't-live-in-a-parking-lot. Have some consideration for the rest of us.
posted by stet at 7:23 AM on January 8, 2009 [7 favorites]


First there is a mountain, then there is no mountain, then there is.
posted by FelliniBlank at 7:26 AM on January 8, 2009 [3 favorites]


Sometimes, a mountain is just a mountain.
posted by Burhanistan at 7:31 AM on January 8, 2009


Does having my coordinates exactly on my rooftop make me foolish? I liked the idea of being able to click, zoom, there's my barn.
posted by waraw at 7:48 AM on January 8, 2009


Didn't you see The Village?
posted by cjorgensen at 8:03 AM on January 8, 2009


"If you find yourself lost in the woods, fuck it, build a house. Well, I was lost but now I live here. I have severely improved my predicament."
- Mitch Hedberg
posted by nfg at 8:04 AM on January 8, 2009


Way to out the MeFi Smurf community, dude. Now all Gargamel has to do is wardrive through that area until he can locate their wifi, and then it's bam, Smurf Étouffée.
posted by middleclasstool at 8:17 AM on January 8, 2009 [2 favorites]


tkchrist actually did live near there (I'm not a stalker, I just happen to remember a pissing match between him and I)
posted by desjardins at 8:20 AM on January 8, 2009


Paphnuty put you up to this, didn't he? I've heard that revenge is a dish best served cold, but damn, that guy knows how to bide his time.

You will both regret this.
posted by grouse at 8:24 AM on January 8, 2009 [2 favorites]


creasy boy : Aren't there two different ways of writing coordinates?

Yeah, there are several ways of denoting locations, most use Degree: Minute: Second, though Decimal Degrees are becoming more popular because of the ease of integrating it into software.

Personally, I still like to use the much older more established system of pointing and going "There! Right there!" as the best way of directing someone to a location, but I'm willing to admit that it is occasionally somewhat limiting.
posted by quin at 8:25 AM on January 8, 2009


Yeah, there are several ways of denoting locations, most use Degree: Minute: Second, though Decimal Degrees are becoming more popular because of the ease of integrating it into software.

Well, there are also different geodetic datums.
posted by grouse at 8:28 AM on January 8, 2009


The owls are not what they seem.
posted by aught at 8:41 AM on January 8, 2009 [1 favorite]


THE BLACK LOOOOODGE
posted by cortex (staff) at 8:45 AM on January 8, 2009 [2 favorites]


Y'know, 'moonMan was skeptical of my posting my actual location on MetaFilter and I told him "pffft, no one looks at that anyway."

THNX FOR PROVING ME WRONG, DUDES.

*resets location to Mariana Trench*
posted by grapefruitmoon at 8:48 AM on January 8, 2009 [1 favorite]


Wait. There's a cabal?
posted by rtha at 8:51 AM on January 8, 2009


What do you tinc?
posted by carsonb at 8:57 AM on January 8, 2009


UTM Zone 17N NAD83
posted by avocet at 9:01 AM on January 8, 2009


I can see Russia from my treehouse.
posted by y2karl at 9:02 AM on January 8, 2009


middleclasstool - I thought Gargamel wanted to use Smurfs to turn lead into gold?
posted by Pronoiac at 9:10 AM on January 8, 2009


I can see Russia from here! Here's a link.
posted by Pronoiac at 9:11 AM on January 8, 2009


Those are all the sockpuppets that Tube swallowed at one crazy meetup, I hear tell. (No, I don't.)
posted by not_on_display at 9:16 AM on January 8, 2009


In my case, that is, in fact, where I live. By "where," of course, I mean the memory address for +47° 25' 56.10", -121° 48' 12.20 on the Google maps server and its mirrors, and by "live," I mean, "maintain my algorithm until the singularity." And by "in fact," I mean, "There is no cabal."
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 9:29 AM on January 8, 2009 [2 favorites]


Yeah it's the bizarro zip code thing. Incidentally, people's geolocations aren't actually public info, so I chopped off the list of names from your post. No big deal but keeping non-public profile info on profile pages is a good idea. People who want to see it can change their zip code to ... whatever it was.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 9:30 AM on January 8, 2009


Bookhouse Boys, stand ready!
posted by Astro Zombie at 9:32 AM on January 8, 2009 [1 favorite]


I live on the Earth!
posted by Mister_A at 9:34 AM on January 8, 2009


Which one?
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 9:36 AM on January 8, 2009


Ok, that is a little weird. I have my town listed in my profile, so I just clicked on the little globe, and Google maps puts the pin just a couple of hundred feet from where I'm sitting. Creepy.

If you are stalking me, that is where I am.
posted by Lazlo Hollyfeld at 9:37 AM on January 8, 2009


Secret MetaFilter 10th anniversary party at Witch Mountain!

This whole thread's reminded me of that scene in a Simpsons episode (which I can't find a clip for), where Homer gets sent to prison, except that when he gets there, there are no empty cells, so Chief Wiggum has to let Dr Demento go free. As Demento is about to walk out of the door, Wiggum shouts "And don't go anywhere near Skull Mountain!"

Dr Demento hangs his head and mutters "Awww. All my stuff's up there."

Best. Half Remembered Simpsons. Ever.
posted by Jofus at 9:42 AM on January 8, 2009 [1 favorite]


It's Callahan's Place. You won't find it until you need it. Until then, we have MeTa.
posted by lysdexic at 9:58 AM on January 8, 2009


Lazlo, what were you thinking when you put that shirt on this morning? That's a nice pen on your desk too.
posted by marxchivist at 10:02 AM on January 8, 2009


Apparently, some MeFites have already found their holes.
posted by The Great Big Mulp at 10:05 AM on January 8, 2009


DRR DRR DRR
posted by The Great Big Mulp at 10:08 AM on January 8, 2009


Wait. There's a cabal?

There's a TV, but no cabal.
posted by mullacc at 10:11 AM on January 8, 2009


Google maps puts the pin just a couple of hundred feet from where I'm sitting.

My dot is also really near me.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 10:20 AM on January 8, 2009


Apparently, I live in my neighbor's house. Fascinating.
posted by Caduceus at 10:22 AM on January 8, 2009


Man, I could have used Callahan's Place the other day. I'm feeling better now, though.
posted by Caduceus at 10:23 AM on January 8, 2009


I'm glad I don't have a specific location listed, even of City Hall:
I don't worry that a looming red pointer is about to fall on me.
I can visit City Hall without seeing a quizzical mefite out front asking if I live there.
I don't have to work out if any push away or pull toward that location is imaginary. ("Do I really want to go to the library, or just towards MY MEFI LOCATION, JUST WHERE THEY EXPECT ME TO BE? ... The library? Cool.")
posted by Pronoiac at 10:43 AM on January 8, 2009 [1 favorite]


When D. B. Cooper throws a party, people stay overnight. Maybe longer.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 10:46 AM on January 8, 2009 [1 favorite]


Hm, I just put in my zip code and it put the red pointer about 500 feet from me. I should more correctly use my work zip code, because that's where I am 90% of the time I'm on mefi anyway.
posted by desjardins at 10:47 AM on January 8, 2009


Zooming in, I see that the pin is really at the cross street nearest my house, not actually on the house itself. Phew. I was afraid that the cabal really did know where I sleep. Also: I can totally see the lawn chairs on my roof. Neat!
posted by grapefruitmoon at 10:52 AM on January 8, 2009


Wow, my zipcode pin is in the middle of a cotton field five miles out of town. I'm impressed.

Or my missing uncle is trying to tell me something.
posted by lysdexic at 11:11 AM on January 8, 2009 [1 favorite]


Is this something I would have to have a cabal to understand?
posted by The World Famous at 11:16 AM on January 8, 2009


" If you are stalking me, that is where I am.
posted by Lazlo Hollyfeld"


So the dot is in the closet, or is it in the crazy bumper-car elevator?
posted by Johnny Porno at 11:31 AM on January 8, 2009 [1 favorite]


I don't really live in the Burbank Costco, but sometimes the parking is so bad and the lines are so long, it feels like I do.
posted by infinitewindow at 11:43 AM on January 8, 2009



So the dot is in the closet, or is it in the crazy bumper-car elevator?


It's eating all of grandma's steak and dreaming of what would have been if it'd taken State.
posted by mrmojoflying at 11:44 AM on January 8, 2009


My pin is positioned precisely over the head of my bed.
posted by MrMoonPie at 11:45 AM on January 8, 2009


According to Google, I live in the Allsup's convenience store/gas station a couple blocks from my house. Interesting to me, but none of you, because I used to work for Allsup's as a cashier in a city about 300 miles from where I live now. There the chain is pretty common, but in the DFW area, this is the only one I've ever seen.
posted by owtytrof at 11:51 AM on January 8, 2009


So the dot is in the closet, or is it in the crazy bumper-car elevator?

It could be the location of RV he got when he entered to win 32.6% of the prizes in the Frito-Lay sweepstakes.
posted by quin at 11:52 AM on January 8, 2009


You were probably just on the wrong server when you went out to check.
posted by Stonestock Relentless at 12:34 PM on January 8, 2009


"Well, there are also different geodetic datums."

Datums?

As distinct from disums?
posted by klangklangston at 12:37 PM on January 8, 2009 [1 favorite]


Plural is datums, according to Wikipedia.
posted by grouse at 12:49 PM on January 8, 2009


yay mapgeekery!
posted by desjardins at 1:26 PM on January 8, 2009


Yeah. To computer scientists, the singular of data is "piece of data". To cartographers, the plural of datum is "datums". This always amuses me.
posted by hattifattener at 1:26 PM on January 8, 2009 [2 favorites]


Map Ref
posted by Dr-Baa at 1:55 PM on January 8, 2009


So the dot is in the closet, or is it in the crazy bumper-car elevator?

It's in all the obit threads.
posted by lysdexic at 2:18 PM on January 8, 2009


Yeah. To computer scientists, the singular of data is "piece of data". To cartographers, the plural of datum is "datums". This always amuses me.

In art school, to much pedantic consternation, "media" and "mediums" meant two different things, and no one was ever sure which was which. Usually, though, a person uttering either really meant "disciplines."
posted by Sys Rq at 2:36 PM on January 8, 2009


Shit.
My google maps point is pointing where I'm keeping my life-size Hall of Doom. ( that i'm living in right now, because I spent all of my money on it instead of rent.)
posted by The Esteemed Doctor Bunsen Honeydew at 3:10 PM on January 8, 2009


who's a fuzzy wuzzy little datums yes -

you are! yes! you are! ye-e-e-e-s!
posted by Pronoiac at 3:21 PM on January 8, 2009


Map Ref. 41°N 93°W
posted by Burhanistan at 5:19 PM on January 8, 2009


I live under a bridge!

Does this make me a troll?
posted by Rhaomi at 5:29 PM on January 8, 2009 [1 favorite]


Oh no, it's The Happening! Only instead of trying to kill humans, they sign up for mefi accounts. Evil plot indeed.
posted by ninjew at 6:21 PM on January 8, 2009


The apostrophe in this post title is making me cross-eyed.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 6:41 PM on January 8, 2009


And yet you won't fix it?
posted by genghis at 7:12 PM on January 8, 2009 [2 favorites]


i used to live in a parking garage until ambrosia voyeur rescued me!
posted by sergeant sandwich at 7:20 PM on January 8, 2009


I apologize for that public/private thing, I've been off the Internet for some time and I've gotten rusty. My bad.
posted by Dunwitty at 9:19 PM on January 8, 2009


I moved my dot until it's within about 5 feet of my chair. That seems to be as close as I can get it.
posted by pjern at 10:20 PM on January 8, 2009


I could only get mine within about 10 metres of my house, although it's still on my property. I think I fail at geography.
posted by dg at 1:04 AM on January 9, 2009


Google maps puts the pin just a couple of hundred feet from where I'm sitting.

I actually obsessively tweaked the numbers in the coordinates until the pin was actually over my couch.
posted by generichuman at 1:48 AM on January 9, 2009 [1 favorite]


I'm a lumberjack, and I'm okay.
posted by woodway at 6:22 AM on January 9, 2009


Every time I think about
MeFi
It's cool and breezy
I wish that I could be there
right now
Just passing time.

Everybody seems to wonder
What it's like down here
I gotta get away
from this day-to-day
running around,
Everybody knows
this is nowhere.

posted by SteveInMaine at 7:17 AM on January 9, 2009


...sung to the tune of Heart of Gold, obviously.
posted by SteveInMaine at 7:18 AM on January 9, 2009


The apostrophe in this post title is making me cross-eyed.

Any time I see something like that, I just parse it a little differently. Doesn't make any sense, but at least it's grammatically correct:

How many?
Mefite is on the head of a pin.

Helping!
posted by SpiffyRob at 7:49 AM on January 9, 2009


Apparently I'm sitting on the banks of the Deschutes River. Which would be lovely most of the time, but it's possible that that spot is entirely under water right now.
posted by epersonae at 4:46 PM on January 9, 2009


So you're a mermaid? How well does wifi work underwater?
posted by Pronoiac at 5:05 PM on January 9, 2009


Better than you'd think. ;)
posted by epersonae at 5:17 PM on January 9, 2009


I thought metafilter was just this place on the web. Until i just realized there are a number of you that are within spitting distance of me. There is a good chance I have passed some of you by on the side walk or on the bus without even realizing it!..... [shivers]
posted by silkygreenbelly at 10:18 PM on January 11, 2009


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