How about retiring "beanplating" as a meme? October 19, 2010 9:53 AM   Subscribe

Can we try to admonish people less often about "overthinking?"

Some people, myself included, get enjoyment from pondering things. Seeing long comments which seek to interpret or think aloud about something get castigated as "overthinking" or "beanplating" is frustrating. I like comments like that. Having every one of them (slight hyperbole) followed up a by an admonition that the commenter shouldn't have bothered, which is the implication of a charge of "overthinking," is annoying. I also suspect that some people refrain from writing ruminative comments because they have internalized the charge. When you accuse other MeFites of "overthinking" you are making MetaFilter less enjoyable for me and people like me who enjoy reading other people's thoughts and interpretations on the subject of the post. Furthermore, you derail the thread from the subject matter into a discussion of how to talk about the subject matter.
posted by Kattullus to Etiquette/Policy at 9:53 AM (144 comments total) 26 users marked this as a favorite

I came here to leave a jokey thread-shit, but you know what? I think you're right. I'm not one to make long, deeply thought-out comments or posts here, but we certainly shouldn't discourage others from doing so.

I think you've overthought this post...
posted by owtytrof at 9:56 AM on October 19, 2010 [4 favorites]


Maybe I'm not seeing it everywhere you are, but usually I see this happen in relationship AskMes. The question might be something along the lines of "boyfriend and I fought about x he yelled at me is this normal" and then there's a long post about signs of abuse with domestic violence hotline numbers. I'm not saying there's not useful information in those comments, but I think suggesting that the commenter is overthinking the issue is warranted.

Where is this happening? Maybe I just skim over them and don't notice.
posted by phunniemee at 9:57 AM on October 19, 2010


Furthermore, you derail the thread from the subject matter into a discussion of how to talk about the subject matter.

This is the main thing that annoys me about comments like "stop beanplating already!"

Not everyone has to write a (short) dissertation on the subject of the fpp. And not everyone has to read them if they don't want to. I saw someone make a snarky comment about a mefite's propensity for making long comments (and I don't think that mefite was even in that particular thread), and it just came off as incredibly rude and unkind. Short-n-snarky has its place, and I sure appreciate it, but that doesn't mean that anything not short-n-snarky is worthless.
posted by rtha at 10:00 AM on October 19, 2010 [2 favorites]


Agreed. About the only time that telling someone they are overthinking something would be in an AskMe thread where they might be way too introspective or compulsive about some minutiae of a relationship or something. If someone just wants to geek out about something and really zoom in on some detail, then that shouldn't be stifled or mocked.
posted by Burhanistan at 10:00 AM on October 19, 2010 [1 favorite]


> Short-n-snarky has its place, and I sure appreciate it, but that doesn't mean that anything not short-n-snarky is worthless.

Is this where we post our college essays?
posted by Burhanistan at 10:01 AM on October 19, 2010


(I hate when people say that)
posted by Burhanistan at 10:02 AM on October 19, 2010


I find it helpful to understand that "You're over-thinking it" usually means you've hit a nerve.

The other party, unwilling or unable to address the points themselves, instead resorts to arguing that the line of reasoning itself is somehow insignificant. It's sort of like a straw man, in reverse.

In a just and righteous world, "you're under-thinking it" would be the condemnation of choice. Let's face it: under-thinking is a far more widespread and serious problem.
posted by ErikaB at 10:02 AM on October 19, 2010 [44 favorites]


The only time I've caught the accusation is on AskMe, almost always in the exact same situations: either the one phunniemee describes or where a socially unskilled guy/girl creates an complex alternate reality to account for the behavior of someone he/she should just stop, well, beanplating, and just ask out already. In which case, I think it is totally okay. They asked for advice, and the advice is stop thinking and act.

Otherwise? Yeah, not saying anything is more conducive to a discussion.
posted by griphus at 10:02 AM on October 19, 2010 [2 favorites]


My take is that sometimes the admonishment is warranted in that, in certain cases, the gut reaction or feeling or instinct is the higher power, gets buried by this intense analysis which renders some people paralyzed to actually take an action that might relieve them of pain. I don't think it's meant to be condescending -- I think it's meant to say, Trust yourself, particularly, as phunniemee notes, in relationship questions.
posted by thinkpiece at 10:03 AM on October 19, 2010


People overthinking things is generally the reason I come here.
posted by The Card Cheat at 10:03 AM on October 19, 2010 [61 favorites]


I personally spent too much time thinking and pondering and chewing over things in my younger days, and I wish I could have those days back to enjoy my life.
posted by anniecat at 10:06 AM on October 19, 2010 [7 favorites]


I couldn't agree more. This world is brimming with underthinking, there is already enough, overthinking is refreshing and enjoyable.
posted by Ashley801 at 10:07 AM on October 19, 2010 [3 favorites]


And let's face it, there are those cases like, "I'm in the kitchen and I just cut myself while slicing a bagel -- should I grab a napkin or a papertowel?" That's overthinking and kind of worth pointing out so in the future, the person might be inclined, you know, to just stop the bleeding.
posted by thinkpiece at 10:07 AM on October 19, 2010


Our great collective derrision of beanplating doesn't seem to have flagged its proliferation around here.
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 10:08 AM on October 19, 2010 [3 favorites]


It might be good to have specific examples to pick apart (and overthink) so we're not just speaking in generalities about things we perceive.
posted by Burhanistan at 10:09 AM on October 19, 2010


Heh, it seems like most of the examples I see are someone writing a huge comment and then adding "or maybe I'm just overthinking this" at the end.
posted by smackfu at 10:11 AM on October 19, 2010


Ok.
posted by cjorgensen at 10:11 AM on October 19, 2010


I saw someone make a snarky comment about a mefite's propensity for making long comments (and I don't think that mefite was even in that particular thread)

Did you flag it? Because snotting off about someone who isn't even in the thread, I thought, was a deleteworthy offense.

More generally, I still don't understand people's reluctance to flag stuff that they think is obnoxious and crapping up a thread, just because it's not five-alarm trolling. It's not like there's an automated system in place that it's possible to game, since flags are all personally addressed by the mods; it's not like flags are visible to anybody but the mods, so there's no chance of "retaliation" or "bad karma" or the like; and it's not like flagging equals a moral judgment or anything serious, really, other than "This bothers me, can the mods take a look at it please?" If someone has shared several sincere paragraphs of something they spent a lot of time thinking about, and somebody else immediately sneers "Wow, beanplate much?" that's obnoxious and discouraging further discussion.
posted by Gator at 10:14 AM on October 19, 2010 [7 favorites]


More generally, I still don't understand people's reluctance to flag stuff that they think is obnoxious and crapping up a thread, just because it's not five-alarm trolling.

I've started flagging those comments over the past couple of weeks, after some comments made by cortex and jessamyn in a previous MeTa thread in which they said the flags function as a "mods will you please check this out?" request. Until that point, I had been thinking of flags as more of a distasteful, passive aggressive request for censorship, instead. Which is fine with me when it comes to a post that doesn't belong (spam, double, etc.,) or a comment that's really over the top. But when it was someone who was just being an ass, I wasn't thrilled about the idea of requesting they be censored behind their backs.
posted by zarq at 10:28 AM on October 19, 2010


Is this at all similar to when someone comes into a thread wherein people are having an interesting conversation just so that someone can say 'blah blah blah news at 11'? Because fuck that is irritating.
posted by shakespeherian at 10:28 AM on October 19, 2010 [3 favorites]


I may be risking my life by telling you this, but Metafilter's not averse to promoting, fostering, and instituting tuchungism. Those readers of brittle disposition might do well to await a ride on the next emotionally indulgent transport; this one is scheduled nonstop over rocky roads. As soon as you're strapped in I'll announce something to the effect of how Metafilter claims to have data supporting its assertion that it has the trappings of deity. Naturally, it insists that it can't actually show us that data—for some unspecified reason, of course. My guess is that it's hiding something. Maybe it's hiding the fact that it has been using all sorts of jiggery-pokery to convince people that cameralism resonates with the body's natural alpha waves. That worldview may be appealing, at least to the worst classes of sadistic, rapacious tin-pot tyrants there are, but it severely limits our national conversation on critical policy issues. Perhaps more painfully, Metafilter thinks that stoicism is a noble goal. However, its trucklers are once again out begging for signatures for some uncouth petition that makes it legal for Metafilter to infantilize and corrupt the public.

Metafilter's actions are designed to promote a herd mentality over principled, individual thought. And they're working; they're having the desired effect. I was, however, going to forget about the whole thing when it suddenly occurred to me that some people apparently believe that if we don't bother Metafilter, Metafilter won't bother us. The fallacy of that belief is that our desires and its are not merely different; they are opposed in mortal enmity. Metafilter wants to condone illegal activities. We, in contrast, want to alert people that I can no longer get very excited about any revelation of its hypocrisy or crookedness. It's what I've come to expect by now.

As sure as you're born, Metafilter's reason is not true reason. It does not seek the truth but only superstitious answers, incorrigible resolutions to conflicts. I don't mean to imply that confused lummoxes often act with a mob mentality, but it's true nonetheless. Metafilter has convinced a lot of people that it is a protective bulwark against the advancing tyranny of tasteless half-wits. One must pause in admiration at this triumph of media manipulation. Given the amount of misinformation that Metafilter is circulating, I must point out that I have a problem with its use of the phrase, "We all know that...". With this phrase, Metafilter doesn't need to prove its claim that it values our perspectives; it merely accepts it as fact. To put it another way, to get even the simplest message into the consciousness of small-minded, crapulous power brokers it has to be repeated at least fifty times. Now, I don't want to insult your intelligence by telling you the following fifty times, but an injustice anywhere is an injustice everywhere. Keep that in mind the next time you catch Metafilter skewering me over a pit barbecue.

Unfortunately, Metafilter's disingenuous, vitriolic screeds neglect to take one important factor into consideration: human nature. I have some advice for Metafilter. It should keep its mouth shut until it stops being such an intrusive clodpoll and starts being at least one of informative, agreeable, creative, or entertaining. It is similarly noteworthy that Metafilter uses extremism to create a world without history, without philosophy, without science, without reason—a world without beauty of any kind, without art, without literature, without culture. That's the large elephant in the room that nobody talks about. Nevertheless, I really aver that people really ought to start talking about it because then they'd realize that today, we might have let Metafilter force its moral code on the rest of us. Tomorrow, we won't. Instead, we will resolve a number of lingering problems.

Metafilter maintains that either if it kicks us in the teeth we'll then lick its toes and beg for another kick or that the future of the entire world rests in its hands. Metafilter denies any other possibility. Metafilter's reasoning is circular and therefore invalid. In other words, it always begins an argument with its conclusion (e.g., that people find its unrelenting, over-the-top hostility rather refreshing) and therefore—not surprisingly—it always arrives at that very conclusion.

Metafilter maintains a "Big Brother" dossier of personal information about everyone it distrusts, to use as a potential weapon. Is your name listed in that dossier? Let me answer from my own personal perspective: As many of you know, I realized a long time ago that people sometimes ask me why I seem incapable of saying anything nice about Metafilter. I'd like to—really, I would. The problem is, I can't think of anything nice to say. I guess that's not surprising when you consider that Metafilter is absolutely determined to believe that hanging out with grumpy segregationists is a wonderful, culturally enriching experience, and it's not about to let facts or reason get in its way.

If you've read any of the phlegmatic slop that Metafilter has concocted, you'll obviously recall Metafilter's description of its plan to reduce religion to a consumer item in a spiritual supermarket. If you haven't read any of it, well, all you really need to know is that I'm sure Metafilter wouldn't want me to eavesdrop on its meetings. So why does it want to force onto us the degradation and ignominy that it is known to revel in? The most appealing theory has to do with the way that it insists that it can override nature. Has anyone, at any time, ever been more wrong? That's the big question. If you knew the answer to that then you'd also know why Metafilter does not merely squeeze every last drop of blood from our overworked, overtaxed bodies. It does so consciously, deliberately, willfully, and methodically. If Metafilter isn't brazen, I don't know who is.

Metafilter always represents itself as the victim, as betrayed and sinned against, demeaned and tormented because of society's jealousy. And here, I profess, lies a clue to the intellectual vacuum so gapingly apparent in Metafilter's sophistries. I, speaking as someone who is not a pudibund prig, strive to be consistent in my arguments. I can't say that I'm 100% true to this, but Metafilter's frequent vacillating leads me to believe that it says that its invectives are Holy Writ. If that's the limit of Metafilter's perception, acumen, and intelligence, then God help it.

Metafilter says it is within its legal right to create a new fundamentalism based not on religion but on an orthodoxy of communism. Whether or not it indeed has such a right, if Metafilter can't cite the basis for its claim that cultural tradition has never contributed a single thing to the advancement of knowledge or understanding then it should just shut up about it. You should never forget the three most important facets of Metafilter's philosophies, namely their shallow origins, their internal contradictions, and their tendentious nature.

The fact is, Metafilter is addicted to the feeling of power, to the idea of controlling people. Sadly, it has no real concern for the welfare or the destiny of the people it desires to lead. Metafilter says that it is a model organization. That's its unvarying story, and it's a lie: an extremely malignant and imprudent lie. Unfortunately, it's a lie that is accepted unquestioningly, uncritically, by Metafilter's serfs. You should not ask, "Does Metafilter contend that it has the linguistic prowess to produce a masterwork of meritorious literature because it fits its political agenda or because it's too ignorant of the facts to know that when it asks a question it's usually intended more as an insult than as a request for information?", but rather, "Why, in the name of all that is good and holy, does it want to create a climate in which it will be assumed that our achievements reflect not individual worth, talent, or skill, but special consideration?". The latter question is the better one to ask because it's irrelevant that my allegations are 100% true. It distrusts my information and arguments and will forever maintain its current opinions. One last thing: The experts agree with me that I, speaking as someone who is not a flagitious, laughable popinjay, sincerely believe that we should refer to Metafilter using the sobriquet "Insolent Metafilter" because it's so thoroughly insolent, not to mention collectivism-oriented.
posted by Threeway Handshake at 10:29 AM on October 19, 2010 [5 favorites]


This is Overthinking It.
posted by madred at 10:30 AM on October 19, 2010


This is soooo meta.
posted by two lights above the sea at 10:32 AM on October 19, 2010


Threeway, I'm pretty sure you're anthropomorphizing there.

Also, I just learned what tuchungism is.
posted by zarq at 10:32 AM on October 19, 2010


copypasta strikes again
posted by Burhanistan at 10:33 AM on October 19, 2010


Like others, I can't think of a single example (since the first) where I've seen bean-plating used in a serious way as an indication of badness. I've seen it used by the poster of the bean-plating, as a manner of tl;dr, and I've seen it used as ironic approval in a sort of 'you've put an amazing amount of thought into this' sort of way, but I don't recall seeing it used as a 'somebody's got too much time on his hands' way.

What kind of threads is it happening in?
posted by jacquilynne at 10:41 AM on October 19, 2010


Threeway Handshake: "the sobriquet "Insolent Metafilter" because it's so thoroughly insolent, not to mention collectivism-oriented."

That's all fine and well, Threeway Handshake, but the very language you are using to verbally flagellate us is thoroughly inadequate for the task. We have already seen that relational information does not affect the structure of the requirement that branching is not tolerated within the dominance scope of a complex symbol. Presumably, the descriptive power of the base component is necessary to impose an interpretation on irrelevant intervening contexts in selectional rules. Notice, incidentally, that a case of semigrammaticalness of a different sort may remedy and, at the same time, eliminate an abstract underlying order. Nevertheless, the earlier discussion of deviance suffices to account for a general convention regarding the forms of the grammar. I suggested that these results would follow from the assumption that the theory of syntactic features developed earlier appears to correlate rather closely with the strong generative capacity of the theory.

n our assumptions, a case of semigrammaticalness of a different sort does not affect the structure of the levels of acceptability from fairly high (eg (99a)) to virtual gibberish (eg (98d)). It may be, then, that a subset of English sentences interesting on quite independent grounds may remedy and, at the same time, eliminate a corpus of utterance tokens upon which conformity has been defined by the paired utterance test. A consequence of the approach just outlined is that most of the methodological work in modern linguistics does not readily tolerate a descriptive fact. Clearly, the theory of syntactic features developed earlier is necessary to impose an interpretation on a stipulation to place the constructions into these various categories. With this clarification, the systematic use of complex symbols suffices to account for nondistinctness in the sense of distinctive feature theory.

Analogously, a descriptively adequate grammar delimits the system of base rules exclusive of the lexicon. For one thing, the natural general principle that will subsume this case appears to correlate rather closely with the traditional practice of grammarians. Thus this analysis of a formative as a pair of sets of features can be defined in such a way as to impose the extended c-command discussed in connection with (34). Let us continue to suppose that relational information is, apparently, determined by nondistinctness in the sense of distinctive feature theory. We will bring evidence in favor of the following thesis: most of the methodological work in modern linguistics may remedy and, at the same time, eliminate a general convention regarding the forms of the grammar.
posted by charred husk at 10:41 AM on October 19, 2010 [4 favorites]


There are a lot of relationship AskMes that involve obsessive overanalyzing, and I don't think there's anything wrong with calling the poster out on that if it's not helpful. If it's happening elsewhere, I haven't noticed it.
posted by amro at 10:43 AM on October 19, 2010 [3 favorites]


I will not admonish people for overthinking--gods bless them--and will continue down my own way into the fetid slough of underthinking. I laugh, aloud.
posted by everichon at 10:44 AM on October 19, 2010


Did you flag it? Because snotting off about someone who isn't even in the thread, I thought, was a deleteworthy offense.

I can't remember. I think I did, but I saw it right before I shut my laptop to leave for work. I do tend to flag stuff, so I probably flagged that comment, but maybe not.
posted by rtha at 10:44 AM on October 19, 2010


I've been accused of overthinking my whole life. When I was a boy, and would ask why we said words one way and other words another, and why we had two words that sounded alike but meant different things, I was overthinking it. But I kept thinking, and I kept thinking, just to be contrary. I thought all day long, and then, after a while, I started to refuse to sleep, and spent the entire night thinking.

I would think about anything at all, and I would think about it as long and as hard as I could. I would think about dogs -- why do they stop in the road and stare at other dogs, like seeing another dog is the most amazing thing of all? I would think about the Universe, and how large it was, and I would try to imagine how far away something must be if it takes a billion light years to reach us, and how old the universe must be if there is light from the big bang that still hasn't reached us.

At night, when I should be sleeping, I would think about the limits of what we know, and what might be beyond that. What is so far past our understanding that we don't even know that we don't know it? And that led to secret texts, long hidden, buried under monasteries and guarded by mad monks. And I studied, and I thought about what I studied, and I knew that wasn't enough. And so I turned to drugs and mysticism, and I sought gnossis, the sudden intuitive acquisition of knowledge that hadn't existed before. And I thought about what I learned, and I thought, and I thought, but that wasn't enough.

There was more. There was something beyond the limits of what we know, and what we don't know. Sometimes, after weeks of thinking, I could sense it on the edges of my mind. A whisper of something else. An oozing of something black and foul-smelling, something that was beyond thought, and was beyond knowledge. And I knew that was what I had sought. And so I stopped eating a drinking, and locked myself in my room, and forced myself into marathon thinking sessions. And after each session, haggard and emaciated, I knew I was that much closer. The thing at the edge of knowledge had gotten closer, or I had gotten closer to it. I could sense its enormity; it was larger than anything I could fathom, and I had imagined myself to the ends of the universe. And it was putrescent -- there was something broken and damp and furious about it. And it was waiting for me.

I found it last night. I found it. I found it. So here I sit, typing this, able to see the computer despite having torn out my own eyes. Typing although I smashed my fingers. Communicating this to you despite having torn out my tongue. I haven't much time. I have opened a hole in my skull to let it pour out. Despite this, I feel the need to tell you something. You must know it.

When you speak of overthinking, you don't know what you're talking about.
posted by Astro Zombie at 10:53 AM on October 19, 2010 [39 favorites]


I don't have a dog in this fight but it looks like there will be no pony to stop snowflakes (mouthbreathers, etc) from beanplating over SLYTs.

.
posted by crapmatic at 10:57 AM on October 19, 2010 [4 favorites]


First!
posted by Eideteker at 11:05 AM on October 19, 2010 [1 favorite]


Ah, shoot, I overthunk it. Should have just pulled the trigger.
posted by Eideteker at 11:05 AM on October 19, 2010 [2 favorites]


tl;dr
posted by carsonb at 11:08 AM on October 19, 2010


I think people only say someone is overthinking when there is actually no benefit to overthinking in the situation. Some stuff is okay to overthink, and for other stuff it's a waste of energy.
posted by anniecat at 11:08 AM on October 19, 2010 [1 favorite]


I'm underthinking this thread RIGHT NOW!
posted by fourcheesemac at 11:09 AM on October 19, 2010 [1 favorite]


Also, have we ever officially retired a meme successfully before? Do we even know what a meme is? I think "overthinking" is a critique, maybe even a trope, but what makes it a "meme?"
posted by fourcheesemac at 11:10 AM on October 19, 2010 [1 favorite]


I totally agree, Katullus.

Underthinking that plate of beans can give you a severe case of Foxulism.
posted by jamjam at 11:19 AM on October 19, 2010


I just really hate the word "beanplating" and we should put in a filter to auto-change it to something like "I VOTED NADER" so people will just stop saying it.
posted by Threeway Handshake at 11:29 AM on October 19, 2010 [7 favorites]


I think the outcry against overthinking comes from how Metafilter is viewed by the commenter. Is this a site of fun distractions, some detailed things to skim when you have down-time, and fun videos? Or is it a place to gain new insights into topics and subjects? For the former, the long comments might ruin the feeling of casual involvement.

There are also people who enjoy most material on a superficial level. Books, movies, music, all enjoyed on the surface. If it's engaging and distracting, great, no deeper meaning necessary. Other people enjoy digging, finding deeper truths, catching foreshadowing and analogies, understanding the relationships between works. These mentalities also fit into the earlier notion of MetaFilter as a casual distraction or source for something more.

Those are my thoughts. My suggestion? Who cares? If it's not something that you like, move along, no need to comment that something is not for you.
posted by filthy light thief at 11:33 AM on October 19, 2010


Threeway Handshake: I just really hate the word "beanplating" and we should put in a filter to auto-change it to something like "I VOTED NADER" so people will just stop saying it.

There's a Greasemonkey script for that. Well, not specifically for "beanplating" to "I VOTED NADER" replacement, but you can make that happen.
posted by filthy light thief at 11:36 AM on October 19, 2010


I once tried to make mashed potatoes with laundry detergent!
posted by two lights above the sea at 11:38 AM on October 19, 2010


An undercooked plate of beans makes for a lot of gas.
posted by buzzman at 11:50 AM on October 19, 2010


I just really hate the word "beanplating" and we should put in a filter to auto-change it to something like "I VOTED NADER" so people will just stop saying it.

pronoiac made a script for analyzing MetaFilter Infodump files, which is called beanplate.pl

Your suggestion introduces an interesting attack vector, which could happen if someone made "ivotednader.pl". But it would only work against people who don't like the word "beanplate". I guess it's a little bit like those viruses that only infect people with Type A personalities, which are found on the "close door" buttons in elevators.
posted by FishBike at 11:51 AM on October 19, 2010 [2 favorites]


I wholeheartedly agree with any efforts to encourage people to think deeply (even too much so) about a subject, but it's not an affliction I've ever suffered.

If anything, I've always been more of a...

Look! Something shiny! Let's eat it! Or failing that, blow it up!
posted by quin at 11:53 AM on October 19, 2010 [2 favorites]


Blow it up, then you can lick the blast radius for days.
posted by Burhanistan at 11:55 AM on October 19, 2010 [4 favorites]


More generally, I still don't understand people's reluctance to flag stuff that they think is obnoxious and crapping up a thread, just because it's not five-alarm trolling.

I think this is due to one of the weaknesses of the flagging system, which is also the reason people need to be reminded to FIAMO: it is too discreet.

From a user perspective, nothing really happens when you flag something. In fact, I seem to remember mods have stated they usually act after a certain threshold has been reached, indicating lots of people find something problematic. In other words, when someone is Wrong On The Internet, but has a popular opinion, the lone user in possession of the Truth does not expect much to happen by flagging: motivating other people is the only way to reverse this horrible situation, hence the in-thread crap.

Also, five-alarm trolling reminds me you all need to listen to this.
posted by Dr Dracator at 11:56 AM on October 19, 2010


Blow it up, then you can lick the blast radius for days.

And there you have the basis for ever Michael Bay film ever made.
posted by Astro Zombie at 12:01 PM on October 19, 2010 [4 favorites]


I think the outcry against overthinking comes from how Metafilter is viewed by the commenter. Is this a site of fun distractions, some detailed things to skim when you have down-time, and fun videos? Or is it a place to gain new insights into topics and subjects?

It's a floor wax and a dessert topping!
posted by John Cohen at 12:08 PM on October 19, 2010 [2 favorites]


This is one of my shorter comments by far, but I just wanted to say that after 25+ years of people telling me to stop overthinking things, I'm fairly confident I'm not going to anytime soon. Besides, the internet was *made* for this.
posted by iamkimiam at 12:12 PM on October 19, 2010 [1 favorite]


There's a Greasemonkey script for that. Well, not specifically for "beanplating" to "I VOTED NADER" replacement, but you can make that happen.

I use this script to replace "Lady Gaga" with "Gordon Freeman". Not that I don't like Lady Gaga, mind you, but Gordon Freeman is better.
posted by atrazine at 12:16 PM on October 19, 2010 [4 favorites]


"Is this a site of fun distractions, some detailed things to skim when you have down-time, and fun videos? Or is it a place to gain new insights into topics and subjects?"

OMG NONE OF THESE!!! What kind of person are you!? Why would you even suggest that!???F?!

My internet life has been wasted.
posted by iamkimiam at 12:17 PM on October 19, 2010




Ooh, I would love to overthink, but my command of english language is not good enough for building stylistically consistent arguments. The more I say the more I risk for saying something in a way that siderails the discussion, so I end up editing my comments short, or shut up. All respect for those commenters who make the effort to write their comments as full blown arguments with possible counterarguments already included. Not just some verbal diarrhea, but those who try to think how they can negotiate people to see their point. (Ethereal Bligh rocked)
posted by Free word order! at 12:45 PM on October 19, 2010

Gordon Freeman is the test tube love child of Matthew Barney and Chilly Gonzales.

It's been said before, but the fabulous thing about Gordon Freeman is that he is so in control of his own image-- he never allows the public to see what's underneath the Freeman persona.

There's also a general sense of Gordon Freeman going for low brow brands, which is probably saying something about all the aspirational brands in other music videos.
I like this.
posted by shakespeherian at 12:49 PM on October 19, 2010 [1 favorite]


I am amazed by Astro Zombie. It's a nice kind of amazement.
posted by angrycat at 1:17 PM on October 19, 2010


*ponders*

*deeply*
posted by The Lady is a designer at 1:19 PM on October 19, 2010


I don't know what brought this thought on, but I definitely agree with it.
posted by klangklangston at 1:22 PM on October 19, 2010


I think this is due to one of the weaknesses of the flagging system, which is also the reason people need to be reminded to FIAMO: it is too discreet.

I wonder if there isn't a fix for this? Perhaps make the flagged comment highlighted, similar to a best answer. It would only be visible to the flagger, of course, but it make make the flagging experience more satisfying. Perhaps I am just overthinking it.
posted by Rock Steady at 1:26 PM on October 19, 2010


Is there a reason we can't unflag?
posted by shakespeherian at 1:31 PM on October 19, 2010 [1 favorite]


Is there a reason we can't unflag?

I am in favor of your implied pony.
posted by John Cohen at 1:35 PM on October 19, 2010 [2 favorites]


Implied Pony is my new math rock band.
posted by shakespeherian at 1:39 PM on October 19, 2010 [5 favorites]


You flagged it, you can't unflag it.
posted by two lights above the sea at 1:43 PM on October 19, 2010


Your implied pony was actually a recent explicitly stated pony as well.
posted by FishBike at 1:43 PM on October 19, 2010 [1 favorite]


I figured it had been asked and answered, but waiting for someone like FishBike to come along and provide a link was easier than looking for it.
posted by shakespeherian at 1:47 PM on October 19, 2010


Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.
(attributed to Freud, no telling)
posted by dancestoblue at 1:51 PM on October 19, 2010


Your implied pony was actually a recent explicitly stated pony as well.

Oh. Thanks. I knew that mistaken flags weren't a big deal, and now I see from cortex's comment in that thread that they're so not a big deal that any mechanism to correct them would be a bigger hassle than the mistaken flags themselves.
posted by John Cohen at 1:55 PM on October 19, 2010


Perhaps make the flagged comment highlighted

Nah, that would fly in the face of the "move on" portion of "flag it and move on." Every time you scrolled through the thread, you'd be reminded of that lousy comment you flagged that the mods didn't delete. I do agree that there's something vaguely unsatisfying about the subtlety of the flagging mechanism, but I'd rather see more "[cool it or go to MetaTalk]" from the mods than anything that draws more attention to the specific flagged stuff.
posted by Gator at 2:02 PM on October 19, 2010


Some people, myself included, get enjoyment from pondering things.

Sure, but there's a very thin line between being thoughtful and being a jagoff.
posted by jonmc at 2:03 PM on October 19, 2010 [1 favorite]


If I think someone is overthinking a subject, I'll say it, because it's entirely possible that they might be doing so. If they disagree, I hope they say so, then we can have a conversation and one or both of us could possibly learn something.

I don't think this general request would be helpful to the site. If there are specific instances you can point that were problematic, please do so. Other asking everyone to not express their opinion so you and others like you can express yours with getting feelings hurt is asking for a too much, IMO.
posted by nomadicink at 2:20 PM on October 19, 2010 [1 favorite]


We got us a popular culture that devalues and mocks thinking. We got us the Twitter and the Facebook, which actively disincentivize any kind of nuanced communication.

A long comment is not necessary a well-considered or well-structured one. Pith can be useful. But anything that discourages people from considering what they say and typing it up at whatever length seems appropriate to them seems to me a bad thing.

So I vote: aye!
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 2:32 PM on October 19, 2010


Pith can be useful.

It's a vital ingredient in helmets, for instance.
posted by jonmc at 2:37 PM on October 19, 2010 [3 favorites]


Other asking everyone to not express their opinion so you and others like you can express yours with getting feelings hurt is asking for a too much, IMO.

I don't see this as an accurate summary of what Kattullus is asking here. This post isn't a request to refrain from posting a dissenting opinion on whatever the topic of discussion is. It's a request to refrain from posting what seems like a criticism of someone else for putting too much time and/or effort into their comment.

Other than the occasional AskMe example, where over-thinking a situation actually is the root problem, I can't figure out why anybody wants to criticize someone else for this.

Does an over-thought comment make the site worse for you in some way? In that case, I could kind of understand wanting to discourage people from doing that. Or at least that would establish some sort of a core argument on this, from which further discussion and understanding might result.

So my question is, what benefit do you see from telling someone they're over-thinking something?
posted by FishBike at 2:42 PM on October 19, 2010


So my question is, what benefit do you see from telling someone they're over-thinking something?

Less overly long comments. Less getting lost in minutia.

What the hell happened to brevity being the soul of wit and all that shit?
posted by jonmc at 2:47 PM on October 19, 2010


Pith can be useful.

Didn't you read Elsa's comment? "trim off any residual patches of pith from the zest. Now you have all the rich gorgeous lemon flavor without any of the vile pith."
posted by John Cohen at 2:54 PM on October 19, 2010


It's a request to refrain from posting what seems like a criticism of someone else for putting too much time and/or effort into their comment.

This the problem with general callouts, everyone is seeing in their own snowflake way, me included.

I don't see "you're overthinking" as a criticism of someone having put too much effort into a comment, so much as a linguistic version of a slap to the head, that says "Hey, is this subject really that important to be thinking this deeply about?"

So my question is, what benefit do you see from telling someone they're over-thinking something?

It asks someone to evaluate where their thinking is being productive to the topic at hand.
posted by nomadicink at 2:57 PM on October 19, 2010


Less overly long comments. Less getting lost in minutia.

Maybe this is the source of the disagreement, then. I've seen very few comments I'd describe as "overly long", and the minutia of interesting subjects is where I think a lot of the neat stuff is found, rather than where the discussion gets lost. But that's all just my view of it and I can understand others not seeing it like that.

What the hell happened to brevity being the soul of wit and all that shit?

I never was witty, and the file my soul was in seems to have been overwritten by a copy of my job description.
posted by FishBike at 2:59 PM on October 19, 2010 [3 favorites]


Overthinking a subject can and often reaches a point of diminishing returns when you are trying to reach a goal. However, in a setting like MeFi there is no "return value" other than the discussion itself so criticizing the overthinker is, perhaps ironically, pointless.

I personally feel that while an important tool in many cases, overthinking as a means of creative spark is overrated. I have scratched my head at many threads, not for the individual comments but for the collective hand wringing, pile-on exercise some discussions turn into, especially when I barely understand the interest in the underlying topic. But again, pointing that out seems like an even bigger waste.
posted by victors at 3:00 PM on October 19, 2010


Only MetaFilter could beanplate beanplating.
posted by entropicamericana at 3:17 PM on October 19, 2010 [11 favorites]


As I have likely overthought during a fair portion of my life, I begin to believe that it came out of the evolutionary soup for some very good reasons, as it has gotten me quite far so far.

One of them reasons is quite likely survival, another is seeing that others survive as well.

And I shall not overthink this post much more, as there are better topics to overthink.
posted by JoeXIII007 at 3:18 PM on October 19, 2010


Oh look, a real live example. Granted, it's in MetaTalk.
posted by Gator at 3:26 PM on October 19, 2010


I always underthink the plate of
posted by Elmore at 3:34 PM on October 19, 2010


Less overly long comments. Less getting lost in minutia.

Dude, what happened to you? Don't make me slap the sense back into you with a Pynchon hardback. You used to love my massively expositional comments.


I've never felt disparaged for writing long comments on MeFi. It's one of the reasons I came here and stayed. If anything just a bit guilty I couldn't do better. Not necessarily longer, but more informative. Better written. More detailed.

Seriously? Where else am I going to go on the web where I can read or engage in serious conversations of any length and not really worry about seeing an unironic TL;DR?

The amount of sheer knowledge and experience people drop here is astounding. I know that for any given topic I have a good chance of finding a nuanced, detailed viewpoint that helps me understand something better, whether it's art, science, finance, religion or politics.
posted by loquacious at 3:40 PM on October 19, 2010 [2 favorites]


You used to love my massively expositional comments.

Yours a more like a compilation album of short comments. A MeFi version of Nuggets of Back From The Grave, if you will.
posted by jonmc at 3:43 PM on October 19, 2010


What the hell happened to brevity being the soul of wit and all that shit?

Polonius, the character that spoke those words in Hamlet, was a notoriously hypocritical old wind-bag. It was shit from the git-go.
posted by Sparx at 3:58 PM on October 19, 2010 [2 favorites]


Well, let me put it this way. Most long comments make me think of Emerson, Lake & Palmer, most short comments make me think of the Ramones.
posted by jonmc at 4:03 PM on October 19, 2010


As most people know, I'm guilty of writing tomes here. What bothers me about "you're overthinking" or "you're beanplating" is that I rarely understand what the person means by it, other than chastising me from making him have to scroll too much.

If that's what he means, fair enough. But, I think, the more-frequent message is something like, "By getting this lost in details, you're missing the forest for the trees." THAT is actually a useful criticism if it's carried a little further than "you're beanplating," which is why it's so frustrating to me to JUST read that. It's like someone saying, "You know that mathematical proof you wrote? There's a problem with it." Okay ... AND?

If I'm making it too complicated, what is the simple version?

I don't think I've taken things this far on Metafilter, but in real-life conversations, when people have accused me of over-complicating things, and I've asked them to elaborate, they usually hit me with a tautology:

Me: I think "2001" is a great movie because... [Goes on for ten minutes.]

Friend: Dude! You're over-thinking it.

Me: Okay, so what's the simple truth, then?

Friend: It's a great movie because it's cool!

Trouble is, that's not an answer. Again, it's fine if my friend's message is, "It's not important to know the reasons for everything." I may disagree, but at least that's a clear point of disagreement. But if we ARE trying to understand why "2001" is a great movie, "because it's cool" ISN'T the answer. It's basically the same as "it's a great movie because it's a great movie." So if I'm over-thinking, my friend is under-thinking, and we're still no closer to the truth.

I sometimes think other people are over-complicating things, but I keep my mouth shut unless I have an actually USEFUL pithy explanation -- or unless my real message is, "You know, I prefer to enjoy this without analyzing it," in which case I say that instead of "you're over-thinking it," which is confusing if it's not really what I mean.
posted by grumblebee at 4:21 PM on October 19, 2010 [3 favorites]


I've certainly seen this, most often when people who seem to want to enjoy something in a simple reactive way get peeved at people who would rather enjoy it be taking it apart and talking about all the little pieces. It gets used a lot when people disagree with some bit (or few paragraphs) of analysis, but either don't have the desire, or the capacity, to engage in an actual discussion of the subject. It's a comment that I see used in the same vein as dismissals of modern or conceptual art, or movies that don't have guns in them. I find it to be not only rude, but anti-intellectual and bullying. I also wish that it would stop.

(This is not the same use as the use in AskMe threads, where someone correctly points out the Gordian Knot in the room.)
posted by OmieWise at 4:39 PM on October 19, 2010 [1 favorite]


So here I sit, typing this, able to see the computer despite having torn out my own eyes. Typing although I smashed my fingers. Communicating this to you despite having torn out my tongue.

How on Earth will you prepare beans?
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 4:40 PM on October 19, 2010


The truth lies somewhere between overthinking and underthinking: to reach it, one must commit both.
posted by polymodus at 4:42 PM on October 19, 2010 [1 favorite]


Trouble is, that's not an answer.

Actually it is, it's just not an answer you're happy or satisfied with. That's ok, different strokes, different folks, but I don't think you can dismiss someone's answer on a subjective question as if it had no merit. "It's cool" works for them, for whatever reason.
posted by nomadicink at 4:43 PM on October 19, 2010


"overthinking" can easily morph into "you have way too much spare time" which has the same problem.

I'd love to have too much spare time but instead I've just got strange obligations.
posted by holloway at 4:58 PM on October 19, 2010


Trouble is, that's not an answer.

Actually it is, it's just not an answer you're happy or satisfied with.


It's an answer in a literal sense, just as "Some number" is, in a literal sense, the answer to "What's one plus one?"

But useful answers add new information -- information that's not already embedded in the question or in the general background knowledge shared by the people talking.

If you and I are discussing why a movie is great, presumably we both already think it's cool. Do you call this "An answer ... just not one I'm satisfied with"?

Me: Why is "2001" so cool?

Friend: Because it's so cool.

If you call that an answer, then we're really on different wavelengths. If you think that's a significantly different than ...


Me: Why is "2001" so great?

Friend: Because it's so cool.

... can you explain how it's different?

Also, if I ask you, "Why is the sky blue?" (in a serious conversation) wouldn't you assume I really want to understand the physics of it, at least on some level?

If you DO assume that, then "because it just is," "because it's not green" or "because blue is a cool color" are passive-aggressive in a way. They're not passive-aggressive answers if you honestly think I'm looking for an answer like that, but if you know I'm looking for something deeper, then aren't you basically dishing me bullshit instead of being honest and saying "I don't know," "I don't want to talk about it" or "I think you should quit worrying about it"?
posted by grumblebee at 5:15 PM on October 19, 2010 [6 favorites]


Also, I'm not dismissing the other person's answer. It's fine if he thinks the movie is cool. But in my scenario, he said that to explain why I was over-thinking it.

Me: "To be or not to be that is the question" is a powerful because it's a standard iambic pentameter line except for the feminine ending, which really emphasizes the word "question," because not only does it have an extra syllable, but it's also the only multi-syllabic word in the line!

Friend: You're over-thinking it.

Me: In what sense?

Friend: It's powerful because it's well written.

I am critical of my friend, but not because he thinks it's well-written. Clearly, I agree with him about that. I am critical because he accused me of over-thinking and claimed to be explaining in what way I was over-thinking (by replying to my "in what sense?"). But he DIDN'T explain how I was over-thinking. He just accused of over-thinking and then, basically, said a non sequitur that added nothing. (We both already know we both think it's well-written.)

He's welcome to not analyze why he likes the line, but the fact that he doesn't want to (or is unable to) doesn't mean I'm over-thinking. Nor does it explain how my explanation is wrong, which seems to be what he's saying, otherwise why say "you're over-thinking" after my explanation, rather than something like, "Whatever. You might be right; you might be wrong. All I know is that I think it's really well written"?
posted by grumblebee at 5:29 PM on October 19, 2010


If you DO assume that, then "because it just is," "because it's not green" or "because blue is a cool color" are passive-aggressive in a way.

I could make an argument that your imaginary friend is unable to verbalize or otherwise communicate his point (which may be the "getting this lost in details, you're missing the forest for the trees" point you hinted at above).

Dismissing the "because it's cool" answer as criminal underthinking may just be a sense of self-satisfaction* getting the better of you. Some people like 2001 for the special effects, not for its grand, sweeping vision of humanity's relationship with technology.

I am making a point about semantics. I don't mean this to be in any way as an insult or aspersion cast in your direction.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 5:32 PM on October 19, 2010


Some people like 2001 for the special effects, not for its grand, sweeping vision of humanity's relationship with technology.

Oh, maybe my example was bad. It didn't occur to me that "because it's cool" could mean "because it has great special effects." Here, perhaps, is a better example of what I'm talking about:

Me: "2001" is a great movie because [blah blah blah...]

Friend: No, man. You're over-thinking it.

Me: In what way?

Friend: It's not great because of that. It's great because it fucking ROCKS!

Me: You mean it like the special effects and the music and... ?

Friend: No, no, no. It's just a GREAT fucking movie!
posted by grumblebee at 5:38 PM on October 19, 2010


Well, yeah, at some point, I guess I'd stop digging for a real answer, too. ;-)
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 5:40 PM on October 19, 2010


From a user perspective, nothing really happens when you flag something.

A dog goes unkicked, a child is left unshaken, the unuttered curse to a colleague ensures employment for another week or month or year; the unformed scowl preserves a marriage.

Earlier this year, instead of killing a man whom I will leave unnamed, I flagged his comment. At first, he didn't notice anything amiss. His life went on apace. When he first tripped down a stairwell amassing some purplish bruises on his legs, he blamed an untied shoe. When his bruised skin began emitting a sulfurous odor, he became concerned. The bruises soon erupted into weeping bulbous pustules and he was spirited away to a laboratory and studied by physicians and scientists from the Centers for Disease Control. After six months or so, he eventually recovered. I later saw him posting a query on askme about unguents and salves to ameliorate a skin condition. He is much subdued of late, left gentle and thoughtful after his brief flirtation with the hereafter.

So OK, Dr Dracator, you just go right on thinking that nothing really happens when you flag something.
posted by madamjujujive at 5:50 PM on October 19, 2010 [16 favorites]


Whenever I flag someone they loose 3 milliseconds of life.

By all rights some of you should be dead by now.
posted by The Whelk at 6:00 PM on October 19, 2010 [4 favorites]


Dude, I've only got so much to spare...
posted by jonmc at 6:19 PM on October 19, 2010


But useful answers add new information -- information that's not already embedded in the question or in the general background knowledge shared by the people talking.

Sure, totally agree, I just don't think everyone is looking for "useful answers". It seems a lot of people go to the movies just for something to do or be distracted for two hours. I don't profess to understand that or even agree with it, but they do, so yeah, to that sort of person "It's fucking cool" might be a good enough answer.

Also, if I ask you, "Why is the sky blue?" (in a serious conversation) wouldn't you assume I really want to understand the physics of it, at least on some level?

No. Not everyone see's that as a physics related question, some would view it as philosophical one. To them, the scientific answer and anything in that neighborhood wouldn't really answer the question, wouldn't satisfy them.
posted by nomadicink at 6:31 PM on October 19, 2010


People needlessly examine every area of their lives seeking something to ask metafilter. For instance this. It's pathetic, and for some people Ask Metafiler is a crutch.
posted by fire&wings at 6:35 PM on October 19, 2010


No. Not everyone see's that as a physics related question, some would view it as philosophical one. To them, the scientific answer and anything in that neighborhood wouldn't really answer the question, wouldn't satisfy them.

That's fine. A scientific question or a philosophical question. In either case, "because it IS" (or some variant) is not likely to make the questioner happy, and surely the answerer knows that. And, remember, this is the the context of the answerer telling the questioner that he's over-thinking.

Sure, totally agree, I just don't think everyone is looking for "useful answers".

That's fine. There are plenty of things that I like because ... I just do. I either don't feel like examining my reaction or I don't know how to examine it. There's no shame in that. But I wouldn't tell someone who IS examining his reaction that he's over-thinking. He's just choosing to think while I'm not.
posted by grumblebee at 6:43 PM on October 19, 2010 [1 favorite]


People needlessly examine every area of their lives seeking something to ask metafilter. For instance this. It's pathetic, and for some people Ask Metafiler is a crutch

That question in particular, is a very practical sort of thing to ask. Questions like that are the reason we have the QWERTY keyboard, and why UPS drivers wear their truck keys on their pinky fingers.

That aside, I think reflexive snark and derision towards earnestness are crutches. There are plenty of websites that lean closer to that (and are cesspits), why does everywhere on the internet have to be like that?
posted by Ashley801 at 6:49 PM on October 19, 2010


People needlessly examine every area of their lives seeking something to ask metafilter. For instance this. It's pathetic, and for some people Ask Metafilter is a crutch.

this = What is the optimal distribution of objects in my pants pockets?

I see the humor. It's not an Earth-shattering problem. But I'm glad you pointed out this thread, because it's actually something that troubles me, and I'm interested in other folks's solutions. I will read through the thread when I'm done writing this.

Maybe something that's simple to you is not simple to me, but I'm always getting into complications with my pockets. I "lose" things in them. Objects poke me in painful ways. And I often have to take tons of crap out and sort through it when a store clerk asks me if I have a dime. So it's a real-life problem for me. It's not a super-serious one, but it's one that has been on my mind, intermittently, for years. Unlike you, perhaps, I'm not skilled at organization.

I'm wondering, do you think this is a bad question because (a) to you the answer is obvious, (b) you just "deal" with problems (e.g. suffer through them) rather than try to solve them or (c) some other reason?

I've noticed that some people are natural "engineers." They see a problem, and their natural assumption is "I need to look for a solution, and if I can't come up with one myself, I need to ask someone." Others just assume some problems don't have solutions -- or, for whatever reason, don't look for answers if the problems aren't huge problems.

If you hear a word you don't know, are you the sort of person who NEEDS to look it up (and who spend hours googling if it's not in your dictionary) or do you just say "whatever"? No judgment: these are just two different kinds of people. If I don't know the meaning of the word, I have trouble sleeping at night. I don't mean that metaphorically. I really lie awake thinking about it.
posted by grumblebee at 6:54 PM on October 19, 2010


It's one thing to say "there's a simpler approach" and another to call something beanplating. "Overthinking" often just means "thinking about X more than I prefer to," and it's really not our place to decide how much other people ought to think about things.
posted by FelliniBlank at 7:17 PM on October 19, 2010 [1 favorite]


which is the implication of a charge of "overthinking,"

hey, if a fine is imposed, my metal detector has it covered.
posted by clavdivs at 7:28 PM on October 19, 2010


your use of "slight hyperbole" is an actual understated hyperbole.
posted by hal_c_on at 7:49 PM on October 19, 2010 [1 favorite]


Oh god where are the mods WHERE ARE THEY

sob

I think this is some sort of experiment they are trying with us. See how hard we can really think. See if we can over-think ourselves into the solution to this thread.

That's why they've left us alone on this island together with all these weapons.
posted by dubitable at 7:51 PM on October 19, 2010


Furthermore, you derail the thread from the subject matter into a discussion of how to talk about the subject matter.

"Everything is discursive opinion instead of direct experience".
-A. R. Ammons
posted by clavdivs at 7:51 PM on October 19, 2010


Or maybe, maybe they are posting with other usernames. Or maybe they are DELETING EACH OTHER'S COMMENTS.
posted by dubitable at 7:52 PM on October 19, 2010


It's so hard to know exactly what people mean by overthinking. (I am new to this beanplating thing of which you speak. Sounds like some kind of legume cult.)
Could it be:
1) You're overthinking = thank you for playing, shut up now so we can make cute comments about pancakes or things that I, the commenter are more interested in, etc.
or
2) You're overthinking = your comment has gone on for 10 paragraphs and dude, we really aren't able to see where you're trying to go with this

Then again, if someone is saying something interesting, especially giving a real world example or telling a story (not to mention if the comment is well written) - then I'd actually rather read all that than a "oh dude, it was so cool " single sentence which really doesn't advance the conversation. Because the comments that are most worth reading flow like conversation.

I'd say flag if someone using this term is being obviously/rudely dismissive. Otherwise wait, read on and see if it's some kind of failed attempt at humor.
posted by batgrlHG at 8:19 PM on October 19, 2010 [1 favorite]


see, this cabal talk is what Kattullus means...if they were deleting anothers sock puppet comments would they know it? would matt allow or know of it. would the server talk if we threatened it with tomatoe juice? could we monitor this activity and if not, a pay per view option should be considered. if a monetary solution is needed, Hal_c_on has an abundance of antonyms.
posted by clavdivs at 8:22 PM on October 19, 2010


*threat against the server was for satre and in no way should be considered a threat, a condition, a flux state or mixed rumination. no servers were injured in this process.
posted by clavdivs at 8:25 PM on October 19, 2010


This thread kicks ass!
posted by Crabby Appleton at 8:37 PM on October 19, 2010


It's like the mushroom thread of yore
posted by angrycat at 8:46 PM on October 19, 2010


Oh god where are the mods WHERE ARE THEY

I've been watching ear wax removal videos most of today. Did you need me for something?
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 8:46 PM on October 19, 2010 [3 favorites]


It's so satisfying to see the doctor get that last clump out.
posted by Burhanistan at 8:49 PM on October 19, 2010


I've been watching ear wax removal videos most of today.

Another mysterious chapter in "The Secret Life of the Mefi Mods."
posted by madamjujujive at 8:59 PM on October 19, 2010 [1 favorite]


I think it's beautiful, like the unfolding of a complex flower, to watch Metatalk overthinking the overthinking.
posted by Devils Rancher at 9:12 PM on October 19, 2010 [2 favorites]


It's as beautiful as a rose.

Made of earwax.
posted by The Whelk at 9:17 PM on October 19, 2010


help how do I smoke earwax!!

{warning, weed link}


;0--
posted by clavdivs at 9:37 PM on October 19, 2010


i miss amberglow
posted by clavdivs at 9:37 PM on October 19, 2010 [1 favorite]


There is a little bit of amberglow in all of us.

Espically after the accident.
posted by The Whelk at 9:48 PM on October 19, 2010 [2 favorites]


Hypallage is an art.
posted by clavdivs at 9:53 PM on October 19, 2010


I feel like I should comment, since I started this thread, but I don't really have much to add. But some people wanted an example. Ctrl+f 'beanplat,' 'overthink' and 'plate of beans' in the favorite experiment monster thread for a number of examples (thread mostly chosen for length). Here's the most recent example I can remember of commenters arguing that people are overthinking or thinking about it wrong is the recent Mondrian thread. The charges of overthinking are mostly directed at the Elkins, the post's subject, but a couple are directed at other commenters (some of the charges of overthinking don't use that word per se, but say it in different terms).

I have no desire to call someone out, because I don't think the act of calling someone an overthinker qualifies as a grave sin, it's just a sitewide habit that I think is adversely affecting discussion here and thought that I should bring it up with the community. Part of the reason I brought it up was to see whether this was a problem that only I perceived or whether other people did as well and also found problematic. From this thread it seems that a whole bunch of other people feel the same way.

Oh, and to clarify, I was talking about MetaFilter and MetaTalk, not people giving advice in AskMe.
posted by Kattullus at 9:57 PM on October 19, 2010


> Here's the most recent example I can remember of commenters arguing that people are overthinking or thinking about it wrong is the recent Mondrian thread.

Yeah, that thread was kind of depressing and full of impotent arrogance.
posted by Burhanistan at 10:01 PM on October 19, 2010


Barring time constraints, there can never be too much thinking about anything.

But I'm against overtyping. Say what you mean and then stop.
posted by pracowity at 11:16 PM on October 19, 2010 [2 favorites]


I agree with Kattullus.

For what it's worth, after a while of seeing comments with a jillion favorites get accused of "overthinking" or "beanplating" again and again, it has made it easier to internalize that it's a minority of people who are self-absorbed enough to say that sort of thing, whereas lots of people are appreciative. (I mean, whatever your stance on favorites, we can reasonably conclude that if a comment has a lot of them, most of those people are indicating they enjoyed something about it.)

I also agree with ErikaB that when people say that sort of thing, I tend to think the original comment must have hit a nerve -- in other words, it usually makes me think more of the original comment, and less of the person snarking.

And I generally agree with grumblebee about everything, but also this stuff; if people mean "you're missing the point" then they should at least say a bit more, even if it's just a few sentences, about what they mean.

If they mean "oh my god you're devoting all this brain power to something I don't find worthy of time" then there's INTERNETS. EVERYWHERE. that they can go to instead. I find it more baffling, and a bigger waste of time, when someone comments to say that someone else's comment is too long; it takes longer to type that than to scroll, or click something else. My gut reaction is to assume they're a little insecure -- like either they feel inferior to someone who puts that kind of thought into something and their brain won't let up on them until they do something to prove to themselves they're just too cool to put that kind of thought into it, or else they're just generally insecure and have to constantly put others down to feel better about themselves. Possibly they're not, but in either case, I'm sure they'd rather not give that impression.
posted by Nattie at 11:24 PM on October 19, 2010


brevity is the soul of wit.

who said that.

i have niether
thus typing is
what typing it
is left behind
thank you
jack van impe.
posted by clavdivs at 11:49 PM on October 19, 2010


This whole thread is tl;dr
posted by 1000monkeys at 11:51 PM on October 19, 2010 [1 favorite]


I VOTED FOR NADER

Hey now, don't you that might be a little too US-centric?!
posted by addelburgh at 12:02 AM on October 20, 2010


It could be worse: you know it's getting bad when people accuse you of overthinking something on Twitter.
posted by MuffinMan at 2:11 AM on October 20, 2010 [1 favorite]


Consider this: Sontag’s critique of the precapitalist paradigm of consensus suggests that a group like Metafilter is capable of intentionality. If Lyotardist narrative holds, we have to choose between conceptualist nationalism and materialist postpatriarchial theory.

"Sexual identity is part of the rubicon of narrativity,” says Derrida; however, according to Finnis, it is not so much sexual identity that is part of the rubicon of narrativity, but rather the failure, and eventually the fatal flaw, of sexual identity. Thus, Marx uses the term ‘capitalist narrative’ to denote the role of the poet as observer. La Fournier states that we have to choose between Debordist image and dialectic dematerialism.

It could be said that Baudrillard’s analysis of the precapitalist paradigm of consensus implies that language is elitist, given that the premise of capitalist narrative is invalid. The subject is interpolated into a pretextual paradigm of consensus that includes narrativity as a totality.

Therefore, it's impossible to "over" "think" a topic on "Metafilter".
posted by shii at 2:47 AM on October 20, 2010


we have to choose between conceptualist nationalism and materialist postpatriarchial theory.

Like fuck we do.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 4:02 AM on October 20, 2010 [1 favorite]


MetaFilter: not tonight, honey, I have a headache?
posted by The Lady is a designer at 4:35 AM on October 20, 2010


I see what you did there. You spoofed some stuff you don't understand. Clever.
posted by OmieWise at 4:39 AM on October 20, 2010


I like beans, but they do need plenty of chilli sauce.
posted by Decani at 4:58 AM on October 20, 2010


I would like to see comments that I flag explode into smoke and fire in my browser, then disappear from view. Sound effects would be good too. The more dramatic the better.

That way i'd feel like I'd accomplished something... even if I was the only person in the thread that flagged the comment.
posted by jonathanstrange at 5:09 AM on October 20, 2010


we have to choose between conceptualist nationalism and materialist postpatriarchial theory.

I am going to totally under-think this.
posted by Devils Rancher at 5:18 AM on October 20, 2010

I knew you were a fellow masochist. Tell me what your favorite form of self-flagellation is? I'll tell you what I like to do, get on the internet, go on a website, a metaMOVIE site, find my favorite movie of the moment. And then I like to read all the comments telling me why I'm wrong, have such terrible taste and when I really can't sleep, I like to sculpt orchids because it's the only thing that will silence the voices in my head. But tonight there's only one voice. What happened is a young girl died because of events that were set in motion long before she was ever born. It doesn't make it feel any better does it? You know Nick, everyone keeps telling me what this job isn't. How you feel right now, tells me what it is.
Sculpt Orchids?? Does anyone have a resource for this?
posted by infinite intimation at 8:28 AM on October 20, 2010


Romanian Mititei is the best sausage ever.

(too early?)
posted by jonmc at 9:01 AM on October 20, 2010


Too early.
posted by stoneweaver at 4:14 PM on October 21, 2010


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