Show me your your world through story November 17, 2010 11:58 AM   Subscribe

Please point me towards any more threads like these ones.

Due to some recent circumstances freeing up large amounts of free time, I have only in the last month begun to look further into the internet than Gmail and Wikipedia. MetaFilter is amazing, and is now on my favorites bar. Although pretty much all of what I have come across here has been quality material, the threads I linked to above were especially moving due to the stories that people have (very bravely) shared that make issues incredibly personal and very real. Are there any more of these gems you can show me, so I can continue to expand my understanding of the world apart from my fairly sheltered and my (now acknowledged) privileged point of view?
posted by LarrenD to MetaFilter-Related at 11:58 AM (40 comments total) 35 users marked this as a favorite

I skimmed a little bit through the childhood tag because that's where I remember a few of these being. I pulled out these

1. What does it take to be a dad?
2. What experience most shaped who you are?

Skimming the popular favorites in AskMe can be a good way to find some of these as well, though they're not all personal story sorts of things. I really like the "bonding with your SO" thread even though it's not really that out of the ordinary, just people talking about how they go through life with other people.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 12:04 PM on November 17, 2010


Funny to find myself impulsively twiitching to flag stuff as noise in threads that have been closed for six years.
posted by hermitosis at 12:04 PM on November 17, 2010 [2 favorites]


Hi Larren, welcome to Metafilter!
posted by nomadicink at 12:05 PM on November 17, 2010


hermitosis, I had the same thought when I saw that.
posted by amro at 12:23 PM on November 17, 2010


Try this! And welcome!
posted by thinkpiece at 12:26 PM on November 17, 2010


The InfoDumspter is definitely your friend if you want to find great AskMe threads.
posted by auto-correct at 12:30 PM on November 17, 2010 [3 favorites]


I love jonmc's comment on that "What's up with kids?" thread. Ah, the AskMe rules were clearly a bit more lax in those days... :-)

This is because you never were a child.
I built you in my laboratory to be a grown man. Sorry you had to find out like this.

posted by Decani at 12:32 PM on November 17, 2010


Would that first one be deleted as chatfilter if it were posted today?
posted by crunchland at 12:32 PM on November 17, 2010


Ah, the AskMe rules were clearly a bit more lax in those days.

Yeah, I'm not sure I miss the Good Ol' Days.
posted by bondcliff at 12:37 PM on November 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


Would that first one be deleted as chatfilter if it were posted today?

Probably yeah. Oh for the days of 20-ish AskMe questions per day.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 12:38 PM on November 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


Yeah, I'm not sure I miss the Good Ol' Days. --- Yoink. Looks like it was unremembered.
posted by crunchland at 12:53 PM on November 17, 2010


Heh. Apparently closed threads can still be messed with by the mods.

I'm kinda sad now, actually. My kid was a punk ass bitch back then.
posted by bondcliff at 12:57 PM on November 17, 2010


When people flag old crappy totally rule-breaking comments [as opposed to just mild noise comments or what-have-you] we may go back and delete them. We don't usually and we'd prefer that people not go back and look for old deleteworthy stuff just to give us more to do, but I'd much more rather not get into the back and forth of "how come that comment was okay?" discussions that seem to follow these situations where someone links to something old and against the rules.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 1:00 PM on November 17, 2010


Well, it's noteworthy that the very things this guy is saying are the best of Metafilter are things that wouldn't be allowed today. It makes it seem like we're cutting off the flowers to keep the stems.
posted by crunchland at 1:07 PM on November 17, 2010


If in your analogy the stems are things that we can use to achieve some specific positive goal (perhaps building something), and the flowers are pretty but useless for this task that we have to accomplish, then yes, it is an apt analogy.
posted by klangklangston at 1:16 PM on November 17, 2010


Thanks jessamyn, both of those look like pretty good reads as well.

It is interesting that this turned towards discussion of "the good old days," because in reading through all of the most recommended and favorited threads on here, I'd want to jump into the discussion and share some of my own thoughts, but all of them seemed to be from 2004-2006. If I understand what you guys are saying, these sorts of questions required being filtered out as site traffic and numbers of posted threads increased.

The next question for me, a newcomer, would be why was it the questions that provoked the most thought and discussion that were filtered out and the short, simple one answer questions preferred?
posted by LarrenD at 1:32 PM on November 17, 2010


Also, before going to bed was a horrible choice of time to initiate my first discussion on the internet, as going to bed is now second to refreshing this page every few minutes.
posted by LarrenD at 1:38 PM on November 17, 2010


It makes it seem like we're cutting off the flowers to keep the stems.

Yes, I am aware that there are people who think that. At some level I see it as an unavoidable side effect of trying to manage growth and try to actually plan for it as opposed to waiting until we're all too overworked and can't pay attention to the site anymore and it suffers from its own popularity.

We wanted, from the get go, for AskMe to be a place where people could go to get problems solved. It happens to also be a place that people would also like to do things like

- poll the audience
- find people to interview for homework assignments
- find someone in their locality to help them move a heavy couch
- talk about various topics, some controversial and some not

So, in order to deal with the fact that some people would literally ask a question nearly every day, we instituted some limits. One question a week [which we moved to two weeks, and then back] and questions need to have a problem to be solved. There are lots of people who have "just wondering" types of questions that also solve a problem. Craniac, for example, was about to [or just had] become a father and wanted advice to prepare him for fatherhood. Fine, problem to be solved.

Nowadays we sort of require that "why are you asking" aspect to keep us from presuming something is just chatty. It's somewhat arbitrary [as in, we had to draw a line someplace] and it's confusing to some people, but for the most part it works. People have other places they can go if they just want to BS about topics. We want to keep the site having high utility and the threads that are sometimes the most fun for people to read and go "awwwwww" about aren't always ones that are useful. The scale has shifted over time to be a little more strict about how people frame and present their questions and we're still pretty damned lenient most of the time. Most people never have a question deleted.

The site was significantly smaller in 2004-2005 and people also knew each other better when there were a fraction of the number of regular users here. If people want to actively [again] have a discussion about why there is a chatfilter guideline, what purpose it serves and what we think the site would be like without it, feel free to talk about it. This is one of the few site guidelines that we have had almost from the get-go and it's not something we're likely to change but we can certainly talk about how we got to where we are right now.

So the short answer to your question LarrenD is that it's not really that tough to provoke discussion, but that part of the site is really for solving problems and so that's where we focus our energies and attention.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 1:47 PM on November 17, 2010 [2 favorites]


The next question for me, a newcomer, would be why was it the questions that provoked the most thought and discussion that were filtered out and the short, simple one answer questions preferred?

My guess would be for every chatty question that ended up being moving and filled with interesting and thoughtful responses there were 100 chatty questions that devolved into name-calling, inflammatory comments and useless bickering. With the increase in activity, I imagine it would become extremely difficult for the mods to keep cleaning up the shitty chatty questions. The rule of no chatfilter eliminates all the potential shitty chatty threads, is easy to follow and focuses AskMe on dealing with answerable questions.

Also, just ask whatever chatty question you want and say it is for a book you're writing and you're golden.
posted by Falconetti at 1:50 PM on November 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


Alright, in context it all makes pretty good sense. I guess I was just looking at AskMe the wrong way, because those were the Qs I was reading when first introduced to it. I see how having somewhere utilitarian to ask a question that needs an answer would be compromised by all the chatty stuff, and there still seems to be some pretty good discussion that follows actual MeFi posts.

Putting that towards the original question, what are some of the MeFi threads that you feel I need to read? (Although I do realize that thats the whole point of the site, would the MeFi popular favorites be for the discussions or the actual linked content?)

And if I should just chalk this whole question up to a loss, please also feel free to say so.
posted by LarrenD at 2:20 PM on November 17, 2010


Also, just ask whatever chatty question you want and say it is for a book you're writing and you're golden.

Neat!

Who is right, Israel or the Palestinians? It's for a book.
posted by Artw at 2:21 PM on November 17, 2010


Who is right, Israel or the Palestinians?

Whichever side declaws their cats.
posted by entropicamericana at 2:26 PM on November 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


My book is actually made of declawed cat pelts. I should have mentioned that.
posted by Artw at 2:27 PM on November 17, 2010 [2 favorites]


There was a really good thread where people were asked something like "what are the one or two most important tricks of your trade?"

Answers included things like "If you're a mechanic, always put some of that coppery lube on the battery terminals, because for some reason even if you do nothing else, customers always check to see if the battery is lubed up & take this as a sign that you've done a proper job..."

I can't find it right now, but this thread looks similarly good:

How do you manipulate the system? What sorts of code words, specific language or techniques are used in your industry, profession, or area of expertise that can be used to manipulate the system? Or, what sorts of tricks have you found that work in similar ways?
posted by UbuRoivas at 2:44 PM on November 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


LarrenD : as going to bed is now second to refreshing this page every few minutes.

Oh yeah, this place is a drug. You'll eventually find yourself living on the Recent Activity page and thwacking the F5 button every couple of seconds to keep up with the 12 simultaneous conversations you're involved in.

There is another word for this, I think it's called "happiness".
posted by quin at 2:47 PM on November 17, 2010




I want to be pointed at more threads like this one.

Then I thought "What if I could find a dungeon that would lend out its mistresses to beat the shit out of 20-30 dudes?"

Bravo, young sportsman. Bravo.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 2:56 PM on November 17, 2010


Your mother
posted by Artw at 3:08 PM on November 17, 2010


My book is actually made of declawed cat pelts.

thank heavens you had the cat declawed first because the Hogwarts Textbook Publishing guidlines are purriity darn pat.

welcome LarrenD
asKme is a great resource and it has at least helped me frame questions that would take along time to research and it could prevented my house from burning down. I found it neat that some person in the real worlds bad advice could confirmed by someone i do not know.

I bought the mortar: The trick is to that get the fool into the wine cellar
posted by clavdivs at 3:16 PM on November 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


Take a look at the Sideblog Archive.
posted by nangar at 3:22 PM on November 17, 2010


I got some great, personal, thoughtful answers to this question.
posted by headnsouth at 4:32 PM on November 17, 2010


It makes me so sad that the WolframAlpha answer to "Your mother" isn't "sucks cocks in hell."
posted by 256 at 4:51 PM on November 17, 2010


For the love of God, Montresor!
posted by languagehat at 5:00 PM on November 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


I should have put "Amontillado" in the alphabet drinking thread.
posted by misha at 5:31 PM on November 17, 2010


Alphabet drinking?

(Though I'm not sure about any drinking that ends with Zima.)
posted by klangklangston at 6:07 PM on November 17, 2010


I thought that was "knits socks that smell". Maybe I watched it on network TV.
posted by Crabby Appleton at 6:21 PM on November 17, 2010


I feel really badly about threadshitting in the first comment of that second link. I continually underestimate others: especially Mefites! Sorry!
posted by muddgirl at 7:31 PM on November 17, 2010


Welcome! I really enthusiastically second reading the sideblog. Make sure to click through on each of the links, as mostly they are amazing stories that people have shared in the comments to a post.
posted by stoneweaver at 7:57 PM on November 17, 2010


My book is actually made of declawed cat pelts. I should have mentioned that.

If you want your book to be MeFi Flamefest Approved (tm) you're going to have to add the foreskins of obese people.
posted by The Bellman at 9:20 AM on November 19, 2010


thats cutting things close don't you think.
posted by clavdivs at 9:35 AM on November 19, 2010


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