Jose Saramago joins Metafilter February 18, 2002 4:59 PM   Subscribe

An appeal: "I've stopped posting to the front page" is increasingly said by our most experienced and respected posters, sometimes with an absurd sense of pride. Various reasons are given - usually to do with some decline in standards or overcrowding.

What would happen, though, if everyone stopped posting links? What would be left? Surely quality can't be promoted by inactivity. It's easy to criticize and go on about how MetaFilter is going downhill. So why don't critics lead by example? Would it kill them to post good links a little more often? This would probably be the best way to quickly raise the standard here and restore the "glory days". As it is, not to be rude or anything, it looks more and more like a "put up or shut up" situation.
posted by MiguelCardoso to MetaFilter-Related at 4:59 PM (95 comments total)

For one the quality of the site would rise... ZING!
posted by geoff. at 6:01 PM on February 18, 2002


what is it with web communities and their reminiscing of 'glory days'?
posted by kv at 6:17 PM on February 18, 2002


Perhaps they are tired of all the histrionics associated with "As MetaFilter Turns." As much as I love MetaFilter, I keep coming back to the fact that it is still just a website. Continually fixating on its every move and turn does nothing to help it in the long haul. I can find cool links at well edited sites like boingboing.net, so why would I care about MetaFilter? Because there used to be a time when MeFi came very close to incisively determining the truth of very cloudy issues.

What might be getting in the way of cogent commentary? Spending so much time here that it feels like high school, commenting on things before thinking it through or having anything substantial to offer, or maybe just tiresome threads like this. See a good link? Craft an unbiased, un-selfaware post and sit back. See a post on the front page with subject matter that you are truly passionate about? Voice a well-reasoned response, and enjoy the diverse views of others. Ignore everything else. Simple as that, and I won't feel bad if you ignore me here or in a place with a #006699 background.
posted by machaus at 6:18 PM on February 18, 2002


This would probably be the best way to quickly raise the standard here and restore the "glory days".

Ummmm. I, for one, think we've yet to hit our "glory days."
posted by ColdChef at 6:20 PM on February 18, 2002


I would like to make an official announcement that I will now only respond to threads using one-line zingers. Thank you.
posted by geoff. at 6:47 PM on February 18, 2002


Zingers?
posted by ColdChef at 7:03 PM on February 18, 2002


Oh! I got it. You mean zingers. Well...okay.
posted by ColdChef at 7:05 PM on February 18, 2002


Okay, okay. Sorry for the sidetrack there. Lemme just say that I don't think anything is "wrong " with the front page. Quality ebbs and rises just like everything else in the entire world. That's nature, baby. It's a little too soon to say it's gone to hell, and it's far from being the best it could be.

People come here for different reasons, man. You got your peanut butter on my chocolate. You got your "ying" stuck up my "yang".

My personal belief is that instead of saying MeFi should be "this" or "that" is to just let it run it's course. If it gets too far off (and some will argue that it has--some will argue anything) then it should be nudged back. Right now, I think we have a nice balance of the flip and the grim, the groovy and the gravy. Let's not flip the boat by overcompensating for the waves.
posted by ColdChef at 7:13 PM on February 18, 2002


This is a cheerleader post.

machaus said : "What might be getting in the way of cogent commentary? Spending so much time here that it feels like high school, commenting on things before thinking it through or having anything substantial to offer, or maybe just tiresome threads like this. See a good link? Craft an unbiased, un-selfaware post and sit back. See a post on the front page with subject matter that you are truly passionate about? Voice a well-reasoned response, and enjoy the diverse views of others. Ignore everything else. "

That was so damn spot-on, I wanted to repeat it.

Fifty-foot letters of freaking fire.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 7:29 PM on February 18, 2002


Honey, the only thing on fire here is moz -- did I just say that? Send me out to sea! ZING!
posted by geoff. at 7:36 PM on February 18, 2002


"What would happen, though, if everyone stopped posting links? What would be left?"

me!

muhahahaha!
posted by jcterminal at 7:47 PM on February 18, 2002


I thought that there were some excellent MeFi posts today, Feb. 18, 2002. In fact, this day's "blue and yellow" page will stand out in my mind as one of the best days for MeFi threads ever. Great links and intelligent commentary. Today gets my vote for "Best MeFi Day Ever."
posted by Lynsey at 8:09 PM on February 18, 2002


Miguel, my man, as one of the few "old-timers" who thinks that our glory days are still ahead of us, I'm trying. The Roadfood thread turned out great, as did the 'Zine thread, however the Lummox post died on the vine.
So, as you can see, it's hit or miss. When deciding what to post to the front page, I post what interests me. Sometimes other people dig it, sometimes they don't. To try and "improve" it, somehow, suggests we should try and guess what everyone else is into, which is pandering to demographics, which of course is slow death.
posted by jonmc at 8:34 PM on February 18, 2002


I don't post links anymore not because I'm too good for it (I'm no veteran here), but because I feel it would crowd the front page and simply draw attention away from equally valid and engaging links and discussions.

If I find something truly interesting, that has never been posted to MeFi before (that single criterion has become an immensely tall order), I will consider posting it. But until that day, I am just going to sit back and enjoy the contributions of others.
posted by insomnyuk at 8:40 PM on February 18, 2002


My name is liam and I'm a linkaholic. I especially like sexy paintings from stylish French structuralist psychoanalyst sites.
posted by liam at 8:51 PM on February 18, 2002


why don't we just enjoy mefi as it is and as it will be, and not try to force it to be interesting or controversial or whatever? I mean, guidelines and all are good to curb some of the crap, but I just don't get it when people say mefi is getting worse. I enjoy mefi now as much as I did when I started reading it, if not more. maybe I am just too easily amused?

also, if people wanna leave because they can't cope with their values being challenged, or if their heads are so large they can no longer hold their head up to read the computer screen, then so be it! please insure that the door smacks your bottom upon exitting.
posted by mcsweetie at 8:55 PM on February 18, 2002


There sure is a lot of chatter about MeFi being worse, the same or better than it used to be. When did the grousing about Front Page Posts begin in ernest? Was it pre- or post- 9/11? Furthermore, didn't anybody drop out of MeFi before this huge influx of people? If so, what were their reasons? Just curious.

Second question: why do you suppose so many people use MeFi as their crutch? What is behind the actions of people who make the place seem so high school? Why is MeFi so important to so many? Why are there so many personal revelations in such a public forum? Once again, just curious.
posted by ashbury at 8:58 PM on February 18, 2002


Are we masturbating again? Shit, I'm still getting over the last thread...
posted by BlueTrain at 9:08 PM on February 18, 2002


Actually, Miguel, your Richie Havens post was not a bad example--and I'm telling you here rather than there 'cause I've blabbed enough there. I like well-crafted posts but I like distinctive flair and having fun, too--Why do you think I sometimes cut-and-paste on Spoon? This place comes in several flavors and I don't see an all-vanilla standard as the answer.

Plus we're all in this virtual room together and sometimes we got to let off steam by subtler ways than making blanket political condemnations/smears, calling each other assholes and talking about all the heads of state we know in sneering patronizing tones.

Reasoned, cogent and concise are fine, and well mannered's something I endorse even if sometimes I honor it in the breach. Unselfaware's for the Zen masters--people have personalities here, have quick wits, communicate ironically and are multidimensional. To suggest we drop the tacit dimension and the embedded metacommunications that come with self-awareness, well, that's dumbing down to me.

Which is why Stavros' blanket endorsement of Mauchaus' prescription baffles me--and where's your posts, Stavros? Huh?--considering his eminent style. No harm, no fowl is the kind of thing I like to read but it ain't unselfaware, I tells ya.
posted by y2karl at 9:08 PM on February 18, 2002


Miguel (and hey, everybody else), you’re saying some of MetaFilter’s “most experienced and respected posters” aren’t very active. Then you say they could make the site better by leading by example.

Did it cross your mind that they are leading by example?

Fewer posts (and less fretting) may very well make this site a helluva alot more interesting.
posted by raaka at 10:05 PM on February 18, 2002


By March 23, 2000 it was already going not as good as it used to be. It took all of 25 metatalk threads to get there.

I think that's about the time I started reading MeFi, so really, I blame myself.
posted by willnot at 10:17 PM on February 18, 2002


And, as long as I'm plumbing the archives, just 6 days later our fearless leader already perfectly understood what MetaTalk's true pupose was.

By the way, by that time there had already been two other treads talking about how cool MeFi used to be. Although to be fair, one of them was a sarcastic comment on the other thread so I'm not sure that really counts.

You know actually, I think we do a much better job now moaning about how much cooler it used to be, so taken objectively, MeFi has actually gotten better with age.
posted by willnot at 10:47 PM on February 18, 2002


Man, this is so reminiscent of when i first got into the punk scene. I was about 15, intimitated by everyone, especially the old, crusty dudes. I knew i had no place there, int their minds', yet it felt so comfortable. Seven years later, i talk to some of the old fogeys. They always seem to drink their Pabst Blue Ribbon and talk about the old days. I enjoy the stories, yet, they are pointless. If you only go to shows to bitch to people about how it used to be better to the point where you don't have fun anymore, save your time and money. Same with MeFi. I'm a new user, but I think i've quickly adapted to the way things are. And, sorry, but i don't care enough to wax philosophical about the meaning of the almighty MeFi-. If you want to sit around and bitch about the way it used to be, then get on a rocking chair and whiddle some wood. It doesn't bother me. Sorry, I've got better things to do.

As a side note, I almost think it would be worth Matt's time and saving an argument like this to limit FPP's to once a week. Most people don't do more than that, and most that do more than that, tend to post Fark-ish wierd stories that aren't worth much. What do you think?

posted by Ufez Jones at 11:10 PM on February 18, 2002


raaka has it right

I oppose any movements for more metafilter posts and support any movements for fewer.
posted by palegirl at 11:12 PM on February 18, 2002


as a sidenote to Palegirl and Raaka's pov's, I agree, to an extent. Whatever happened to K.I.S.S.? It should reign here, and i think the three posts that I've published have only been done with carefull consideration and expecting the best. If only everyone else could to the same.
posted by Ufez Jones at 11:26 PM on February 18, 2002


Okay, upon reading that last post, it seemed really self-righteous. A thousand apologies. I should've stuck by my first post on this thread.
posted by Ufez Jones at 11:35 PM on February 18, 2002


y2karl said : "Which is why Stavros' blanket endorsement of Mauchaus' prescription baffles me--and where's your posts, Stavros? Huh?--considering his eminent style. No harm, no fowl is the kind of thing I like to read but it ain't unselfaware, I tells ya."

Perhaps it's the old terminology issue again, Karl. My understanding of the word 'post' in machaus's wee diatribe is FPP (hah! I used the forbidden abbreviation!) - a post to the front page, in other words. All the stuff that machaus said about posts to the front page (of MeFi or MeTa) I agree with, and the self-awareness thing, like the self-linking thing, is just damn fine within a comments thread, but not on the front page.

That's how I understood what he was saying, and I still agree, fully. I am self-referential to the point of disappearing up my own butt, but not on the front page, dammit! I don't even bother posting there anymore - I'd rather self-aggrandize in subtler ways.

Heh.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 1:56 AM on February 19, 2002


I think it's just an excuse. Good links don't fall out of the sky - you have to go looking for them and it's an enormous waste of time. So when people say "I'll post when I find a worthwhile link" what they really mean is they can't be arsed to go look.

Jonmc, as well as wise man y2karl, have the right approach. Think of something that interests you, google away and, if you're lucky enough to find interesting coverage - two links is nice - then go ahead and post.

You're just bone lazy, stav! ;)
posted by MiguelCardoso at 3:59 AM on February 19, 2002


MetaFilter: When You Can't Be Arsed To Go Look.
posted by rory at 4:34 AM on February 19, 2002


You're just bone lazy, stav!

True.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 4:41 AM on February 19, 2002


I think it's just an excuse. Good links don't fall out of the sky - you have to go looking for them and it's an enormous waste of time. So when people say "I'll post when I find a worthwhile link" what they really mean is they can't be [bothered] to go look.

A number of people who post infrequently but well would simply rather spend their time contributing to their own weblog, where they have control over the temporal spacing of posts (ensuring that their contribution doesn't get buried) and the tone of the site. That's their call, and it's a good one. Nobody has to share links here if they don't want to, and they are already sharing by writing a focused weblog. This also keeps the front page to a dull roar; it's very difficult to dig through dozens of posts to find the good ones - a good weblog is more signal and less noise.

Moreover, some people find [what other people would call] great links all the time but have a very high standard for deciding what to post to the front page, and so they contribute those links elsewhere instead. The absence of front page posts from a user does not imply laziness at all. If someone who you consider to be an experience and respected poster writes somewhere else online, you might want to just visit that site for your fill of great links.

[some people] have the right approach. Think of something that interests you, google away and, if you're lucky enough to find interesting coverage - two links is nice - then go ahead and post.

It's not entirely clear that this is what people in general are doing to find quality front page post material. At any rate, your suggestion supposes that posting to the front page is not something that users can do, it's something that users must do, inasmuch as it implies hunting for a link. I fail to understand why users need to go looking for something to post on the front page. Why can't they just wait for that once in a while when a great link falls into their laps? For everything there is a season, patience is a virute, and all that.

Frankly, I think that there are other ways to contribute good linkage to this site - first and foremost in the area of providing supporting links for some of the weaker posts that appear. Increasing the rate of posting to the front page is not the only way to improve the signal to noise ratio.
posted by iceberg273 at 5:53 AM on February 19, 2002


What iceberg273 said. If I find something in the process of surfing worthy of discussion *and* not a double post, then it's post-worthy. I *never* go out hunting for stuff just for MeFi--I have a weblog of my own if I want to make an online bookmark collection for myself. I go to MeFi for the discussions about the issues pointed to & the interesting finds on the 'net (the Henry Darger post is still one of my faves.) Matt created this as a place for *discussion* in addition to a place to teach himself code. I'm sure he never imagined he'd be babysitting a bunch of monkeys. If you're just looking to post links, take it to memepool.
In the "good ol' days" we threw "Signal Vs. Noise" around a lot (then we moved on to such hot-button language as 'Nader' and 'troll') but it's always held true--less linking for the sake of linking; more thoughtful discussion & good-natured debate.
posted by macadamiaranch at 6:21 AM on February 19, 2002


Good note, iceberg273. I know I've appreciated it when people like Carol Anne have thrown in some excellent links to augment front-page posts.

"I've stopped posting to the front page" is increasingly said by our most experienced and respected posters, sometimes with an absurd sense of pride."

I think that's a bit of a value judgement. At least, I haven’t noticed that the people who say this are at all full of "an absurd sense of pride" I think what happens is that sometimes people have different priorities re. time spent on the web.

I don't think people are contributing any more or less if they don't post front-page posts. I don't think there should be any pressure, either outspoken or subtle, to make them feel that they somehow aren't doing their duty by commenting or reading rather than posting to the front page. Otherwise, the quality of notes and posting overall seems to devolve.
posted by lucien at 7:53 AM on February 19, 2002


posting is an art. some just...(gets on bike)
posted by clavdivs at 7:58 AM on February 19, 2002


My impression of late has been that there's less of interest on the Web in general. Or perhaps that it's harder to find signal among the noise. It would make sense that such a phenomenon (if it's real) would eventually be reflected at MetaFilter.
posted by anapestic at 7:58 AM on February 19, 2002


....just "google away and, if you're lucky enough to find interesting coverage - two links is nice - then go ahead and post" You make sound like rabbits out the hat...finding an interest, then crafting a banner-tag line takes little skill, what is the good thread, is one that can create legitimate discourse and even a well meaning debate (even cat fight like) those are the fun ones. The last descent one was the one with holgate and lj duke and earl'in it out. and both are pretty much else-where are they not?...even asses like me know when to clam up. (to a degree)
posted by clavdivs at 8:09 AM on February 19, 2002


well, i've poked a lot of vitriol at the 'meficops' over the last several months so i have little room to whine - but for almost 2 years i have excercised a strong restraint in my FPP's - trying to post only mefi 'quality' links and funnelling most of what i would by default have posted to my own blog, which is intended for silly stuff. in fact, i started blogging because my links are not usually mefi material. my earliest interactions with users here involved discussions in which it was made clear that my particular sense of humor was not what mefi was looking for. what bothers me now is the number of blortlike links posted here by others these days. hell, i could have made those FPP's myself. ah well....
posted by quonsar at 8:10 AM on February 19, 2002


Hey - I for one have never said that I would stop posting to the front page.

That is, as long as you're including me in the 'experienced and respected users' list.

I just find myself spending too much time trying to set all the people who post misguided comments straight. I think people should argue with me less so I have more time to find good front page material.

(the preceeding has been an example of a comment that on the surface is a wasted comment that is meant to increase the noise ratio by just letting the poster do a quick 'shout out' but really, under the surface, has deep philosophical meaning about the posting of front page material and the ensuing comments that inevitably forms the basis of what makes metafilter useful and fun)
posted by rich at 8:33 AM on February 19, 2002


Hey...guys?

Remember how earlier in the thread I was saying how I thought the front page was fine and that we shouldn't try to overturn the boat?

Well, apparently that little "outage" this morning gave everyone a little time to find some crap. So, I take back what I said. This place is going to hell on a monorail.

Get your war on, indeed.

posted by ColdChef at 8:52 AM on February 19, 2002


Other side of the coin: my profile marks me as a comment-monkey; 1 fpp, 1031 posts.Generally, that's because I am not as savvy a linkmeister as most Mefi, combined with a rather literal interpretation of the guidelines for what makes a good post. But at the same time, does that mean I am not fullfililling my obs as a Mefi-In-Good-Standing? Personally, I always sort of thought of it as showing some much needed retraint. At the same time: often I've had ideas that I'd love to post for discussion here - but they are not links in and of themselves (though links would be an inherent part of the post, obviously), rather topics of interest (to me, and I hope to others), perhaps questions, that I feel would make for good discussions. I queried Matt on this, and he was dubious, though did not specifically say that he felt it was a bad idea. Is it? Are the guidelines too strictly interpreted for some, too loosely interpreted by others?
posted by UncleFes at 9:02 AM on February 19, 2002


i don't know if people are "withholding" their excellent links, per se. i can tell you my website isn't a link filter by any stretch, and all my good links are usually posted here. the fact is that i don't find so many. i wish there were some way to emphasize not posting simply for the sake of posting a link; a way that would mesh with metafilter's way of doing things.

how about a week of nothing but quality links? what if matt turned off thread posting for one week, and a bunch of people (theoretically anyone from mefi) coordinated with him to put together a full week's worth of links? the people and matt could vote on what links to allow or not to allow. i think that would be a nice changeup from the usual, and by no means could it replace metafilter's usual way of doing things, but perhaps it would provide a good example for people to see what's good out there.
posted by moz at 9:20 AM on February 19, 2002


As it is, not to be rude or anything, it looks more and more like a "put up or shut up" situation.

Heh. MC is the new cC.

So here's the scoop. I too have called on the ancient and wise users of MeFi to tell us newbies what to do, to put up or shut up, and like those elitist bastards, I too have ended up wandering off into pretty hardcore lurk mode.

Why? Because the site's changed. The community's changed. The people are different. The things the site does has changed.

And I don't say that as an insult, I say that as a statement of fact. That's not a bad thing at all, it's just a thing. The community is still strong, the site is still active and there is still very very much of worth on the site, please don't think I'm suggesting otherwise.

I joined the site almost two years ago now. I have changed and grown as a person, and MeFi has changed and grown as a site. That doesn't make either of us bad, it just makes us different*.

It can take a long time to realise that a media source you know and love is no longer something you're really into. I carried on my subscription to Nintendo Power for years after I gained anything relevant from it, I watched X-Files for two joyless seasons because it had me hooked in so early.

We don't like letting go when things change, and quite frankly handing over the reigns of the community to a set of people who love and enjoy it for completely different reasons than I do sucks donkey ass.

One final disclaimer: This isn't a prolonged goodbye post, I'm going to continue lurking for the things that appeal to me, and it's not meant to be a diatribe against the current regular users, I don't even know who most of you are or what you're like. It's just an explanation as to why I'm not nearly the active user I once was, a somewhat curious response to Miguel's question.

* Goodness, I don't think I've ever asked a website if we could still be friends.
posted by cCranium at 10:28 AM on February 19, 2002


There are other factors, you know. I've been watching (sometimes more closely, sometimes less) MetaFilter from the beginning. I think I finally registered so I could say something nice about Wendell... or maybe it was Ethel, don't recall.

Anyway, I will probably never post an FPP for two reasons:

1) MetaFilter doesn't have enough of a unique personality for me to be able to say "this link will entertain the folks at MeFi, I should post it there." It's kind of random and hodge-podge. Which is fine, of course. I skim the front page somewhat frequently and am often amused by the flamefests in the comments sections. But I'm hard-pressed to come up with a general description of what makes this place unique and, therefore, what would make a good FPP. Maybe that could be a good introspective thread at MetaTalk -- for those who are actively part of this community (and I consider myself a lurker, so wouldn't qualify), how would you describe the site/community as a whole to an outsider? And I'm talking about substance, not form or function.

2) If I find a juicy enough link, I'll probably post it on my own weblog. Which is just another way of saying: what's special about this community that would a) encourage participation and b) make clearer what kinds of links and commentary are 'good'?

Just some food for thought... flame away.. my days on the Usenet of yore have made me pretty flame-retardant.
posted by Medley at 10:48 AM on February 19, 2002


And you have the ego to prove it.
posted by y2karl at 1:33 PM on February 19, 2002


*blink*

That's rather ad hominem.

Do you have a problem with something I said, specifically? Something to discuss beyond your impression of my "ego"?
posted by Medley at 1:41 PM on February 19, 2002


Five bucks on medley.
posted by Kafkaesque at 1:55 PM on February 19, 2002


With a two buck rider if MidasMulligan weighs in.
posted by MiguelCardoso at 2:06 PM on February 19, 2002


It's like cockfighting without the cocks!

(Possible new MeFi tagline)
posted by Kafkaesque at 2:14 PM on February 19, 2002


On the minus side, Kafkaesque, Medley's famous flame-retardant suit wasn't all it was trumped up to be. Just thinkin' about our money, is all. And if y2karl brings out his surrealist army of badly drawn nine year olds we're all fucked.
posted by MiguelCardoso at 2:18 PM on February 19, 2002


Miguel and y2karl, are you secretly admiring Midas, or are you just trolling in your ever-so-evocative manner? You have a grievance with him or his style, start a thread...otherwise, enough with the jabs. It's not becoming of such eloquent writers.
posted by BlueTrain at 2:21 PM on February 19, 2002


ummm... i think there are plenty of cocks here.
posted by goneill at 2:24 PM on February 19, 2002


For the record, BlueTrain, I not only like and admire Midas, I actually agree with almost everything he says. It's that lefty y2karl who's trying to split our tiny conservative cabal. Now step away please. ;)
posted by MiguelCardoso at 2:28 PM on February 19, 2002


Right right... A bunch of MetaTalk threads specifically mentioning that there is no liberal conspiracy, and yet here we have people constantly mentioning the "small" or "tiny" conservative cabal. Do you understand that if you keep referring to yourself as minorities and a cabal, then most readers will assume as much when they post?

If I run around calling myself any label for long enough, people will simply accept it as such and fail to make their own decision. Enough with referring to yourself as a "cabal". Enough with posturing that conservatives are a tiny minority around here. Why don't we try to discover the truth, instead of bullshitting? It's not funny; it's rather ridiculous and insulting to those who may hold conservative views.
posted by BlueTrain at 2:35 PM on February 19, 2002


Ahh... I see.. pre-emptively letting people know that one isn't intimidated by vigorous discussion is now seen as 'ego.'

Pointing out obvious logical fallacies is now seen as sensitive.

What a strange place the Net has become.

I'm still interested in a discussion of how people perceive of this place, but thread degeneration happens, I guess. Oh well. So much for a discussion of 'quality' (see Miguel's initial post to this thread.)
posted by Medley at 2:37 PM on February 19, 2002


Medley, I think it's just been discussed ad infinitum already. Miguel knows this and honestly seems to be tramping over the same old territory again.

Of course I'm just saying that because I've only ever posted three posts to the front page, but there you go.

And BlueTrain, I think the "cabal" thing was just a reference to an old MeFi in-joke.
posted by Kafkaesque at 2:48 PM on February 19, 2002


An old joke that Miguel, who joined in September, and evanizer, who joined in February, are part of? I think not. If it is a joke, so be it. My fault. However, those who use this term tend to be relative newbies, which makes me believe that all the term is used for now is stereotyping.
posted by BlueTrain at 2:52 PM on February 19, 2002


Really? Then just briefly sum up. How do you (generic you) describe the character and content of Metafilter in a paragraph or less? (Again, I don't care about form -- if it's a weblog or a journal or a links page or whatever... and I could imagine what I might say in such a paragraph, but I'm curious what regular participants think.)

But, also glad to pass... just offering some other reasons as to why interest in trying to participate in a meaningful fashion might be waning among those who've been around awhile.
posted by Medley at 2:56 PM on February 19, 2002


Dr. skallas, paging Dr. skallas. Please bring the rules to the emergency room.
posted by Wulfgar! at 3:00 PM on February 19, 2002


As to why interest may be waning...
-People not following the link guidelines.
-People chatting on the site
-Perceived site domination by people who annoy you.
-Don't really care what happens to MeFi.
-Increased membership has broadened scope of participants.
-Lack of material specifically pertaining to the care and feeding of monkeys.
-Members' use of MeFi to further one's own agenda, or to discuss politics/religion/other "hot button" topics.
-cnn.com is a shorter URL than metafilter.com.
posted by Kafkaesque at 3:14 PM on February 19, 2002


I've been meaning to bring up the monkey thing...
posted by liam at 3:22 PM on February 19, 2002


ForTheLoveOfGodCouldWeQuitTheOverwroughtNavelGazing?
posted by owillis at 3:36 PM on February 19, 2002


That Oliver, he tells it like it is.
posted by Kafkaesque at 3:45 PM on February 19, 2002


"As it is." Watch that grammar, bitches.
posted by ColdChef at 3:56 PM on February 19, 2002


No. He was telling it as it is. Now he's telling it like it is. In a little while he's going to be telling like it were.

Ha! I'm making up grammar and sh*t! Dig me!
posted by Kafkaesque at 3:59 PM on February 19, 2002


No. He was telling it as it is. Now he's telling it like it is. In a little while he's going to be telling like it were.

Ha! I'm making up grammar and sh*t! Dig me!
posted by Kafkaesque at 3:59 PM on February 19, 2002


Now children, spot the differences between the last two posts.
posted by Kafkaesque at 4:00 PM on February 19, 2002


The following is in response both to this thread and this thread to which Mathowie properly asked "I'm just saying putting your comments in the original thread would have worked fine, no?"

Technically it wouldn't. This post is going to be buried now, but I'm doing my best to abide by the master's wishes because I tire of fighting the current of peer pressure in this place. I'm simply too old.

Geoff: "The Kafster's comment got me thinking. Anyone want to join me in refraining from posting anything "hot button" or anything so far left or right that all it will get is a bunch of flames? Come with me and take on the Mefi burden."

Uh. No.

I've posted one MeFi FPP this month, and prior to that haven't posted an FPP (that wasn't deleted) since early December. I don't post FPPs much anymore because whenever I do, my admittedly paranoid mentality senses people attacking the poster and not the topic. Or it's largely ignored, again because of the byline under the FPP. I'd have to change my name and pretend to be someone else, and that's just not my style.

Yet, others get away with two headed cats, multi-ethnic barbies and wacky news links with relative impunity. I just pull a Tom Servo where I personally feel appropriate and move on.

Often I see something interesting that I'd like to see FPP'd on MeFi, but by the time I find a suitable link, someone's beaten me to it. I humbly admit that others are just better at FPP'ing than I am. *shrug* It's not a contest.

I dislike any topic police mentality in here, and don't persue it myself. One man's trash is another's treasure. This is simultaneously a great place and a pathetic place. It is what we as a chaotic community make of it. In fact it's not really a community. Perhaps virtual communities evolve from MeFi, but it's mostly little more than cliquism. We are truthfully individuals all over the planet who opt to congregate here of our own volition each for our own reasons.

For some the reason is to be exposed to what others find on the 'Net. For others the reason is to be exposed to the often thought-provoking commentary that goes on in here. And for some people the reason is to be funny. I got no bones to pick with that, provided they are funny.

So, join you in taking on the MeFi burden? Hardly. It's only Matt's burden. Believing otherwise is rather egotistic. We bring to MeFi, for better or for worse, the baggage with which each individual carries in their lives. If it's trash? We've only ourselves to blame.

Kafkaesque: "Can I just complain instead?"

Works for me.
posted by ZachsMind at 4:07 PM on February 19, 2002


I guess I'll comment on this here... I think... what I meant about the Mefi burden was kind of a joke on the white man burden thing... dont' look too much into it.

What I was trying to get across till it was blown out of the water was that a lot of times the loudest, angriest members get their point across by demanding that things stop and other things get done. I'm sure there a lot of people out there who only see that and think "Well I guess that's what everyone does." What I was trying to do was say "I'm not going to do [blank] anymore, if anyone else does it good for them, hell I may even enjoy it." I've seen the same philosphy applied in various situations and when people simply voice what they won't do, people tend to listen as opposed to being yelled at and told what to do.

That's why I thought it deserved a separate thread.
posted by geoff. at 4:25 PM on February 19, 2002


What I was trying to get across till it was blown out of the water was that a lot of times the loudest, angriest members get their point across by demanding that things stop and other things get done.

I think thats one of the bigger problems with online forums. Usually a moderator or a moderation system knocks the abusive, the spammers, the trolls, the agenda pushers, etc down below a threshold or just deletes them. Here, every post is displayed equally with rare deletions by just one guy dealing with dozens of posts and hundreds of comments a day.
posted by skallas at 4:39 PM on February 19, 2002


Geoff:"..the loudest, angriest members get their point across by demanding that things stop and other things get done..."

HA! Hahahahahahahahaha!!

*falls out of his chair*

ouch. i think i hurt myself.
posted by ZachsMind at 4:53 PM on February 19, 2002


I guess your chair couldn't hold the weight of all that sarcasm -- ZING!
posted by geoff. at 5:02 PM on February 19, 2002


I've only ever posted three posts to the front page

says K. Yeah but what posts! One was the famous Bert n'Osama discovery, another was on formidable Tom Lehrer and his inaugural post was about...well, you know that already. My initial point exactly.
posted by MiguelCardoso at 5:30 PM on February 19, 2002


"As it is." Watch that grammar, bitches.

Actually, I'll dispute this. "Like it is" and "as it is" can have different meanings, and I don't see what's gramatically wrong with using the first one.
posted by bingo at 5:52 PM on February 19, 2002


Bingo is right. ColdChef is a cold, heartless bastard. "Like it is" suggests a simile; whereas "as it is" is as is. "Telling it like it is" is exempt because it's become a colloquialism, although, literally, it would mean "describing something very similar". [This is only my own little way of later being corrected by rodii].
posted by MiguelCardoso at 6:02 PM on February 19, 2002


?
posted by rodii at 6:09 PM on February 19, 2002


?

Beats me.
posted by iceberg273 at 6:50 PM on February 19, 2002


I was just afraid I was wrong and that rodii, whose authority on these grammatical matters is obvious, would correct me. I didn't look anything up and so I was hedging my opinion. Does this mean what I said was roughly right?
posted by MiguelCardoso at 6:55 PM on February 19, 2002


I don't understand the difference between "as far[as it goes/I'm concerned,etc.]" and "so far[as it goes/I'm concerned,etc."] either. You'd better not encourage me on these matters as I could easily abuse your patience. ;)
posted by MiguelCardoso at 6:59 PM on February 19, 2002


We make a grammatical error?

YOU GET HALF OFF THE PIZZA!
posted by Kafkaesque at 7:35 PM on February 19, 2002


whose authority on these grammatical matters is obvious

Do I correct people's grammar? *bes puzzled*
posted by rodii at 8:00 PM on February 19, 2002


I always remember that you should say "tell it as it is" instead of "tell it like it is" because Miss Grundy told Mr. Weatherbee that once in an Archie and Jughead comic I had.

Really.

That's what I based my correction on.

I don't deserve to live.
posted by ColdChef at 8:47 PM on February 19, 2002


Miguel, I'm not sure that I've ever seen "so far as" in a modern publication (though I've heard it spoken a lot), unless it was part of the phrase "insofar as," another fairly archaic expression that means something close, but not exactly identical to, "so far as."

Obviously, you can switch "so" for "as" in other cases: "so long as"/"as long as." But if we look at

So long as men can breathe, or eyes can see,
So long lives this, and this gives life to thee.


There's really no reason, other than it sounding terrible, that you can't make the first word "as." And yet, the first word of the second line cannot be changed to "as," even though it seems to be part of the same expression as the phrase at the beginning of the first line. The "so" suggests a continuation of the thought from the first sentence, where the use of "as" would suggest a new thought.

Aw, heck, I'm not going anywhere with this. There may also be a British/American difference involved here.


posted by bingo at 12:24 AM on February 20, 2002


*bes puzzled*

be's puzzled? best puzzle? bes pizzled?

I claim this possibly misspelled grammatical error for my heirs.

...in Fifty-foot letters of freaking fire.


posted by y2karl at 1:04 AM on February 20, 2002


umm have we degenerated into grammatival wanking here?... just checking
posted by tj at 1:42 AM on February 20, 2002


It's only wanking if you do it alone...
posted by bingo at 2:22 AM on February 20, 2002


be's puzzled? best puzzle? bes pizzled?

Sings songs, runs with scissors, looks distraught, bes puzzled. I am, you are, he bes. It's the impersonal inceptive desiderative of "be". What?
posted by rodii at 6:32 AM on February 20, 2002


History lesson:

'Cabal' - early metafilter 'in' joke. Wasn't a joke, but took by objects of accusation and turned into a joke. Accusers not amused by cabal's turning of cabal label into joke.

Picked up on by later netizins of metafilter. Saw used in joke context, with some 'serious' undertones. Adopted as sarcastic in-joke add-on.

Oh, and Zach;

Buddy, pal, you know I love ya. But we've been in this territory before. It's the making a big deal out of it all, and not letting the chip fall from the shoulder. It's never about what the other kids are doin' man. Don't worry what they get away with or do. Live your own life.


posted by rich at 6:35 AM on February 20, 2002


'Cabal' - early metafilter 'in' joke.

(Predates MeFi by at least ten years.)
posted by rodii at 8:16 AM on February 20, 2002


'Cabal' - early metafilter 'in' joke.

(Predates MeFi by at least ten years.)
posted by rodii at 8:22 AM on February 20, 2002


I think it's a Nightbreed thing.
posted by Kafkaesque at 8:24 AM on February 20, 2002


(Sorry)
posted by rodii at 8:24 AM on February 20, 2002


Yes, sorry rodii.. but didn't want to get into the whole Fierce vs. Smug thing. Was it ten years, though? I was thinking about 2-3 years.. 1995-ish. (I'm, of course, referring to the specific cabal in-joke that appeared on Metafilter every so often, but existed elsewhere first, and applied to that internet cabal group).

Man, this is hard to do without actually giving out all the specifics.
posted by rich at 8:25 AM on February 20, 2002


Sings songs, runs with scissors, looks distraught, bes puzzled. I am, you are, he bes. It's the impersonal inceptive desiderative of "be". What?

Oh that. I thought that was supposed to be 'bees' like that Brit science fiction novel This Bees Speech, which Kingsley Amis wrote about in New Maps Of Hell, where 'bees' was the only conjugation of 'is'--Yesterday we bees working in the coal mine, today we bees donating organs, tomorrow we bees dead and so forth. And this was decades before it became a widely known African-American--and how is that spelled? be's or bes?--idiom, mind you, dazed readers. So, which idiom were you using, rodii?

So, um, obviously that would make bes a spelling error for Kingsley? OK, I claim this misspelling of the deceptive derogatory for my heirs!
posted by y2karl at 9:05 AM on February 20, 2002


oops, I checked and found this--in an essay on imaginary books. (Which we need more of...)--

An Anthony Boucher sf story features a future manual of simplified English grammar called, logically enough, This Bees Speech.

here
posted by y2karl at 5:57 PM on February 20, 2002


So, which idiom were you using, rodii?

Excellent question, karl.
posted by rodii at 7:06 PM on February 20, 2002


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