Can't Find the Right Metafilter Search-Fu For This Question August 6, 2009 9:03 PM   Subscribe

I am wondering if people could assist me in locating Ask Metafilter questions along the lines of this and this. I know it's a concept frequently asked about, but evidently the concept's too amorphous for tags to be of help, Related Questions just circularly refer to each other, and I can't find the right Google-fu for this one.

Mefites usually have a knack not only for wisdom borne of their own thoughts/struggles/etc. in stuff like this, but also usually for communicating that wisdom both clearly and memorably ... I've come to some (good, helpful) realizations lately and would appreciate incorporating some of that Mefite wisdom early on in the process, but frustratingly, I can't seem to get a read on the location of the stuff I know I've seen.
posted by WCityMike to MetaFilter-Related at 9:03 PM (11 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite

I don't mean to be necessarily stating the obvious here, but did you check the related questions at the bottom of each?
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 9:08 PM on August 6, 2009


I would've sworn that one thread referred to the other. Still, no, the related questions don't seem to lead to other instances of the question being answered. And given I'm more active on the green than the blue, I'm pretty sure this is one of those ones that I've seen crop up a lot ... just can't seem to get my hands on the threads themselves for some reason. The fu's failing me on this one.
posted by WCityMike at 9:13 PM on August 6, 2009


Can't Find the Right Metafilter Search-Fu For This Question

What's the question?
posted by dhammond at 9:42 PM on August 6, 2009


You're looking for good advice for life in general?
posted by Pronoiac at 10:16 PM on August 6, 2009


This is casting a pretty wide net without some more specific idea of what you're looking for, but going with the notion that you seem to be talking about threads discussing something like achieving some emotional resilience and positivity in the face of potential negative environmental factors, I did a search on the green for "positivity".

Of the four or five questions that came up using the term, these two might be relevant:
Being Influenced By Negativity in Relationships
How can you tell when someone is confident?

That wasn't much to work with, so I took a quick stroll through the 90-something results for comments with the word "positivity" in 'em, did a mouseover on the permalinks for each, and grabbed the posts that looked from the url title text like they might be in the right neighborhood:

How to stay motivate in tough times?
Can circumstances change attitude?
Help me keep my cool.
How to be a happier/less-worrier person?
Help me with my negativity!
gotta find my purpose; gotta find me.
Has anyone here ever actually learned to be more optimistic?
Practical strategies for learning how to accept yourself, failures and all?
How can I become less of a pessimist and less of a negative thinker?
Why are people so negative?
How does an eternal pessimist find a ray of sunshine in a gloomy world?

More generally, what I'd recommend for your own further searching is that you do this:

1. Identify domain-specific terms for the situation/phenomenon you're trying to track down. "Positivity" is pretty decent because it's not a particularly common or broadly applied word, and so when it does come up, even in a comment rather than the question itself, there's a decent chance it's relating specifically to the domain of e.g. optimistic thinking or facing adversity in a healthy fashion. Try and figure out other borderline-jargon words to search against.

2. Identify useful (and, for culling purposes, not-so-useful) antonyms our counter terms and search on those too. "Negativity" in this case is probably not a great choice because it's probably applied more liberally and broadly than "positivity", but in general it may be useful to search for "problem" words along with "solution" words.

3. Scan through comment results on search. There are so many more comments than posts that comments are usually where the meat is on a thorough search; and folks will often help introduce useful vocabulary with their answers to a question from someone who doesn't quite know how to say what it is they're looking for in the question.
posted by cortex (staff) at 10:21 PM on August 6, 2009 [2 favorites]


Sometimes I really resonate with a piece of advice or a truism of some kind, but then go back to it later and it just seems flat to me. A large part of what we consider as help from words really comes from our own particular receptivity at that time. What I'm saying is that you might've seen something helpful or useful before but now what you need isn't that thing, and perhaps you already even know but are chasing a particular feeling instead of a discrete formulation.
posted by Burhanistan at 10:29 PM on August 6, 2009


Oh fuck. It really sucks when you're all dooo-deee-doo-dee-do, hmm what's on MeFi? Oooh, a new MetaTalk thread, yippeee! oooh, it's one of those if-you-liked-this-post-then-what-other-posts-might-I-like threads! I like those! I bet I'll like this one. Hmmm, what's it about? Clicky-clicky. Hmmm, How to be imper...wait a min...ooooohhhnnnOOOOOOHHHHHH. That post that I made at the beginning of my MeFi where I pulled some statistics out of my ass, bled out my cheated heart all over the table and then fretted all night when I realized that I left the paper containing a list of men's names and a bunch of numbers all over it on my public desk at work, YAAAAYYYY!!! I was hoping to NEVAAR FORGET!

(In other news, I did take many people's advice on that Q. I quit my job, found new friends, and moved. And I'm feeling pretty damn impervious to the suck of people these days. In fact, I just had a horrendous day today – this last part is truly cherry on my turdcake of a day - and I'm thinking that it's gonna be all right. Off to laugh and cringe myself to sleep now.)
posted by iamkimiam at 1:28 AM on August 7, 2009 [2 favorites]


"... (In other news, I did take many people's advice on that Q. I quit my job, found new friends, and moved. And I'm feeling pretty damn impervious to the suck of people these days. In fact, I just had a horrendous day today – this last part is truly cherry on my turdcake of a day - and I'm thinking that it's gonna be all right. Off to laugh and cringe myself to sleep now.)"
posted by iamkimiam at 4:28 AM on August 7 [+] [!]

One of many stories that have convinced me that, should I ever post a non-anonymous AskMe query, it will be to inquire about flame-free barbecue techniques, or terrarium horticulture.
posted by paulsc at 3:06 AM on August 7, 2009


Agreed. All relationshipfilter should be anonymous.
posted by ocherdraco at 6:47 AM on August 7, 2009 [1 favorite]


(So should all relationships.)
posted by FelliniBlank at 7:54 AM on August 7, 2009


Thanks, cortex. I appreciate both the links and the search tips.
posted by WCityMike at 7:06 PM on August 7, 2009


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