Deja Voodoo September 6, 2010 4:05 PM   Subscribe

Seems to me this question was already asked and answered a week ago.
posted by zadcat to Etiquette/Policy at 4:05 PM (39 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

And?
posted by That's Numberwang! at 4:09 PM on September 6, 2010


Is there a policy against a user posting a question and then posting a follow-up question a week later? She's providing additional information and seeking additional feedback. What's wrong with that?
posted by GnomeChompsky at 4:16 PM on September 6, 2010


FIAMO (Flag It And Move On) if you have an issue, or mail the mods.
posted by booksherpa at 4:17 PM on September 6, 2010 [1 favorite]


Okay. Who's next?
posted by vidur at 4:19 PM on September 6, 2010


OK fine. It just sounded very familiar. Mods, please delete this as I'm clearly wrong.
posted by zadcat at 4:32 PM on September 6, 2010


It's a little ironic, I suppose, that the rational answer to the questions in question is "let it go" and here we are in MeTa, not letting it go. Not ironic enough, though.
posted by carsonb at 4:33 PM on September 6, 2010 [2 favorites]


It's a little weird, but short of it developing into a Really Problematically Weird sort of situation I'm not sure there's much to do but shrug and move on with your day, yeah. I'm not in love with it, but we're keeping half an eye on the whole thing on what is otherwise a pretty laidback holiday weekend.
posted by cortex (staff) at 4:36 PM on September 6, 2010


So, recipes. They're this year's elephant-shitting jpgs.
posted by nevercalm at 4:50 PM on September 6, 2010


If you had a whole eye on half the thing, that would be 4x the eye/thing ratio.
posted by DU at 4:56 PM on September 6, 2010 [2 favorites]


Okay. Who's next?

Me! Me! Oooh oooh! Pick Me!

What am I volunteering for?
posted by marxchivist at 4:56 PM on September 6, 2010


Is this where I can get all old and crotchety (Andy Rooney™) and complain about texting as a medium for conducting important relationship discussion? It's horrifically passive (aggressive?), and, I don't know, cold? If the person isn't a) responding to your messages, or b) worth talking to face to face, isn't something kind of fucked? I mean, in a), they aren't into you enough to respond, and in b) you're not into them enough to actually have a real conversation with them. Either way, it kind of smacks of being unready for emotional human interaction.

(Insert "kids these days"/"In my day" anecdote to end rant.)
posted by Ghidorah at 4:59 PM on September 6, 2010




August, 2008: What do I write, and give to him the last day of a friendly brake up?.
August, 2010: What to say the last day of a break up when returning stuff?


If we could not go question trawling through a user's history, that would be great.

Basically this user seems like she's in a terrifically messed up place w/r/t this relationship and yeah if she continues to ask "how do I break up with this guy" without acknowledging that she's read or unerstood any of the previous answers then yeah we'll talk to her. As it is, it seems like she read the answers last week and is still in a jam. I assume English may not be her first language. I'm not sure what else she's working with here. It's something we're keeping an eye on.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 5:17 PM on September 6, 2010


Did you check her Askme history?

I expect this won't be her last 'how do I get over a breakup' question. Not being snarky, just honest.
posted by malibustacey9999 at 5:17 PM on September 6, 2010


Oh bugger. Should've previewed. Again.
posted by malibustacey9999 at 5:17 PM on September 6, 2010


>If we could not go question trawling through a user's history, that would be great.

Isn't that what the history is for? So we can get a better sense of what someone's about/into/afraid of/obsessed with? I think in this case it's pretty useful/relevant context.
posted by Joseph Gurl at 5:30 PM on September 6, 2010 [1 favorite]


If you had a whole eye on half the thing, that would be 4x the eye/thing ratio.

My opthamologist has suggested I avoid that sort of thing.

Isn't that what the history is for? So we can get a better sense of what someone's about/into/afraid of/obsessed with?

Yes and no. Yes, as an answerer it can be useful for you to do that if you want to have better context for how to formulate constructive, detailed feedback in a current askme question. No, as a jabbering-in-metatalk thing, it's not great to go and throw this stuff out there as fuel for a potentially kind of crappy pile-on sort of situation.

If something is a "this person is unambiguously abusing/hurting metafilter through malicious behavior" sort of situation, that's one thing, but that's rarely, rarely the case and the stuff that is more in the territory of "this person has kind of weird foibles that are notable" thing it's probably doing nothing but (a) making for gossip fodder and (b) potentially making that user really, really uncomfortable as a participant here to idly chat about it in public.

Mentioning this sort of "huh..." stuff to us via the contact form is a decent compromise if you think it's worth nothing but don't want to make a public spectacle of someone else's idiosyncrasies, and I think much of the time that's the better move by far.
posted by cortex (staff) at 5:37 PM on September 6, 2010 [1 favorite]


Isn't that what the history is for?

I'm with Joseph Gurl on this one. The fact that a user has a string of related questions can be highly relevant to understanding their situation and trying to provide a solution or advice. It's not at all like a trawling through a user's history to post flamebait in a political thread or something.
posted by monju_bosatsu at 5:39 PM on September 6, 2010 [1 favorite]


Isn't that what the history is for? So we can get a better sense of what someone's about/into/afraid of/obsessed with? I think in this case it's pretty useful/relevant context.

Getting some sense of history and context to inform a more helpful answer is one thing but throwing it back in the person's face ("but we already told you what to do and you didn't do it so you're stupid!") is not productive. Note that I'm not saying you're doing that, or that anyone here is doing that, just giving my take on why posting about (vs. digging) past questions/answers can turn ugly.

And the reality is we're all human - sometimes we know exactly the thing that we should do but for whatever reason we just can't. Or don't. Or won't. Sometimes it takes getting knocked around a bit to finally give us the strength/motivation/whatever to do the thing we know we should do.
posted by hapax_legomenon at 5:39 PM on September 6, 2010


Isn't that what the history is for?

Sure, yes but if you're going to do that, then include links as part of a longer comment with your own words explaining what your issue is or why you are including the links or what you have to say about them. Just pulling out two of a user's eleven AskMe posts as if you're standing next to the links waggling your eyebrows saying "see what I mean?" is not helpful. I do not see what you mean. Say what you mean.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 5:48 PM on September 6, 2010 [2 favorites]


Is it really a problem if people keep asking the same question? It's not like Metafilter, where I feel strongly about keeping related comments together. We keep seeing the same relationship questions on AskMe anyway, they just get posted by different people with similar problems.
posted by Joe in Australia at 6:03 PM on September 6, 2010 [1 favorite]


Isn't that what the history is for?

"The history" just means your profile keeps track of every single thing you've posted on the site within an organized interface. A user's AskMe questions are grouped together because everything is grouped together by where it was posted and whether it's a post or a comment. That doesn't make it appropriate to call someone out in MeTa on a personal question they asked two years ago.
posted by John Cohen at 6:15 PM on September 6, 2010


I haven't checked any of the links here yet. Is this another xbeautychickenx thread?
posted by slogger at 6:33 PM on September 6, 2010


No, no it's not.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 6:35 PM on September 6, 2010


It's Labor Day! You should be out ghost ridin' the whip or something. Don't worry about people who post AskMe questions about their problems. It doesn't concern you.
posted by Burhanistan at 6:37 PM on September 6, 2010 [1 favorite]


monju_bosatsu writes "I'm with Joseph Gurl on this one. The fact that a user has a string of related questions can be highly relevant to understanding their situation and trying to provide a solution or advice."

Linking to that activity in Metatalk is rarely if ever going to provide a solution or relevant advice.
posted by Mitheral at 7:17 PM on September 6, 2010


Is this another xbeautychickenx thread?

Well, there is no user called xbeautychickenx, so, no.
posted by John Cohen at 7:49 PM on September 6, 2010


Dude, you're too littoral.
posted by Burhanistan at 8:14 PM on September 6, 2010 [1 favorite]


jessamyn: "If you're going to do that, then include links as part of a longer comment with your own words explaining what your issue is or why you are including the links or what you have to say about them."

I originally wrote a longer intro piece and then, as I sometimes do, paused for a quarter hour or so and went back to re-read what I had written. My intro sounded like a pile-on, and was needlesly editorialising and cruel. I have been called out before by Jessamyn for strongly explaining my point of view when it comes to to these pseudo-therapy questions, so it's now something that I specifically avoid participating within. If I really wanted to make a "public spectacle of someone else's idiosyncrasies" I'd have called out that OP in her original thread, using her history (which I do believe is fair game). Without context, many of these questions are virtually meaningless (with context, only slightly less so). With context, I see a dependent personality type unable to benefit from advice that contrary to her pathology and using Metafilter merely as a transitive, extrojective object. I have written before on the absolute uselessness of pretty much all ReFi questions and answers outside of goal-directed/utilitarian/identification questions. The problem is usually not something that can be mapped easily or concisely into words. The motives and goals and narrative summary of the person asking the question are themselves occult, primarily due to their engagement with the situation. The "answers" given by others are also transmitted haphazardly through their personality filters, and many of them project badly fitting memories of former or current significant others onto the other(s) specified by the asker. The map is never the territory, but in this case the map doesn't even come close to approximating the territory. Most of the "answers" are therefore useless, and serve only as funhouse reflections of the spectacle of the "question". It is DramaFilter.
posted by meehawl at 8:23 PM on September 6, 2010


Burhanistan, I'll be whatever I want to be.
posted by John Cohen at 8:46 PM on September 6, 2010


Thanks Cortex. That makes sense. I agree that the trotting out of histories in MeTa is counterproductive.
posted by Joseph Gurl at 8:53 PM on September 6, 2010


I really do not understand the problem here. People often struggle with something in their life. Sometimes people need more than one piece of advice on a given topic. In the last MeTa on this topic, someone gave a very apt hypothetical series of questions: "should I buy this old house?" "i have so many repairs to do! how should I prioritize them?" "do I really need to fix this old water heater?" They are questions on a theme where earlier advice might be being ignored, but it's how life works.

Life in this situation is someone trying to figure out how to feel closure about a breakup. Haven't many of us had one particular topic or person that we just could not figure out? Maybe we were even unaware of how much the issue recurred? So meehawl, I don't think it would have been horrible if you had gently and helpfully pointed out, "this seems to be your fourth question on this topic. This seems to be a real challenge for you. Have you considered [whatever you would recommend]." Similarly someone could say, "if I remember right, you said your old house had three stories, so you not only need to replace your water heater but you'll need one with a strong pump [or whatever]."

I'm put off by this callout because it seems to take a hard and unsympathetic line against someone who is asking for help and doing their best to earn it. The OP specifically said she had asked before; she copied in the old question for our convenience; she gave new information ("you said to do ABC and I've tried that, and I've tried waiting, and it didn't help. Are you sure your original advice was correct, or does this change things?"); and for me, the new information actually did change my answer. I think that kind of thoughtful back and forth is a decent use of later questions.

If it was literally the same question with zero awareness of earlier responses, then yes, we know the mods will start to contact the poster about seeking help elsewhere, and I'm glad for that. But I really don't get this particular callout (no hard feelings to zadcat), and I'm tired of these "User X is asking too many questions about ___" callouts and would love to see them stop. They're usually the kind of sensitive topics that do better in the safe space of the green than in the free-for-all space of the grey where super-judgy comments like meehawl's get posted.
posted by salvia at 8:59 PM on September 6, 2010 [10 favorites]


I don't know, I feel like there are signs of progress. I support this user being allowed to ask this question a couple more times if it helps her to kick this dink decisively to the curb. These kinds of general life drama questions are always going to border on chatfilter, dramafilter, obsessionfilter or whatever territory. On the other hand a lot of people clearly don't have a smart big brother or a savvy best friend on hand to dispense a little much-needed objectivity and I think the ability to tap into a pretty significant well of distributed life-experience is a valid use of AskMe.
posted by nanojath at 9:51 PM on September 6, 2010 [2 favorites]


Where did the elephants go? I miss the elephants.
posted by languagehat at 10:25 AM on September 7, 2010


If you had a whole eye on half the thing, that would be 4x the eye/thing ratio.

Fortunately, I wear bifocals.
posted by at by at 12:29 PM on September 7, 2010


salvia: "the free-for-all space of the grey where super-judgy comments like meehawl's get posted"

See, this is why I don't get into ReFi "help". I posted a deliberately open-ended observation on the poster's history of apparently repeating themselves, having removed my initial judgemental framing. Four words of introduction to two items of a posters' history enabled some reading it to frame the poster's behaviour as repetitive and recidivist and their prospects for obtaining "help" minimal, whereas others saw the repetitive pattern as offering a beacon of hope for reformation (your interpretation being an examplar of this). Upon being called out for *not* editorialising, I editorialised, and am condemned.

Condemned if you do, called out if you don't. This is why offering "help" that runs contrary to a plurality of consensus is not a good idea on AskMe, and why so many ReFi "questions" are more about amplifying the crowd-sourced self-regard of the "answerers" than the provision of "help" to the asker.
posted by meehawl at 12:39 PM on September 7, 2010


You know meehawl, you don't have to read those questions or respond to them (here or in the green). If they annoy you, skip them.
posted by jeoc at 7:43 PM on September 7, 2010


meehawl, just for the record, I did not "condemn you." I described one comment you made as "super-judgy." I'm sure anyone could find one super-judgy comment from me. Or from almost anyone else who has been around long enough to have had a bad day. Those sorts of comments are more common here in MetaTalk, was my point.
posted by salvia at 11:27 PM on September 7, 2010


She has posted a follow up at the end of the question. It's worth reading and reflecting on.
posted by fire&wings at 6:01 AM on September 8, 2010


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