I don't like that comment button. December 21, 2010 11:30 AM   Subscribe

I know it wouldn't fly on Metafilter or AskMetafilter, but can Metatalk have some sort of downranking system for comments? The opposite of a favorite?

I've been reading Metatalk, sometimes wishing that I could downrank a comment that I feel is really poor.

Sometimes it's not worth moderation, or I know for a fact that while it's a poor comment: It won't be moderated into oblivion.

The one of the biggest offenders seem to be members insulting other members.

Downranking usually consists of making the comment harder to read (in graphics terms, usually turning down the alpha of the text).. This doesn't remove their comment, and it's still there for people to read, and at the same time I can skim and know to skip over the comments that aren't contributing to the subject of discussion (or are especially unfunny)

Shot in the dark, and probably not going to happen for ten reasons I haven't considered.. but I've felt compelled to at least try.
posted by royalsong to Feature Requests at 11:30 AM (60 comments total)

If such a system were to exit, I would downrank this post.
posted by yeoz at 11:31 AM on December 21, 2010 [14 favorites]


Eh. Metafilter isn't Reddit or Digg.
posted by chimaera at 11:31 AM on December 21, 2010 [3 favorites]


exist* goddamnit.
posted by yeoz at 11:31 AM on December 21, 2010


This idea sucks and you should feel bad for suggesting it
posted by Curious Artificer at 11:31 AM on December 21, 2010 [4 favorites]


I wish ask.me could have antifavorites (for bad or dangerous answers).
posted by 2bucksplus at 11:33 AM on December 21, 2010 [6 favorites]


!
posted by Cranberry at 11:35 AM on December 21, 2010 [2 favorites]


No, this is not something that we are going to implement. If people feel the need to hide comments that they don't want to read again, they are welcome to use some sort of greasemonkey solution. We see too many downsides to a downvoting system and no real upsides to the site as a whole. Some people might like it, many would not, and it's our poinion that any sort of voting system dilutes everyone's responsibility to be a decent community member.

Flagging doesn't always just say to us "hey delete this" it can also mean "hey that guy is doing that THING again" which can give us some useful informaiton in a general sense even if we might not do anything in a specific sense.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 11:36 AM on December 21, 2010 [12 favorites]


Much love, jessamyn.
posted by fiercecupcake at 11:38 AM on December 21, 2010


This is an idea I really don't like because I hate the idea of making a specific comment harder to read; it's really passive aggressive and it feels sort of smug, like "Oh, no, I'm not deleting your comment, you can't get mad, it's totally there, someone could read it if they wanted to, just you're not good enough to contribute on par with the rest of the site and we don't take you seriously." Just delete it or leave it, don't be cutesy about it, it's juvenile and insulting, plus it's a pain in the neck to read really small stuff.

I'm also against this because it seems like a great way for unpopular opinions to be shouted down; there's not really a way to restrict this to name-calling.

Finally, at least for me, the fact that every comment is given the same visual weight is something I like about MetaFilter; it means that if you don't like something or disagree with it you have to address it rather than just trying to move it out of everyone's consciousness. Sometimes people make shitty comments and it sucks but I think you can't always trust an entire website to make that determination for you, which is why we have mods to delete stuff that is inappropriate and brains to decide for ourselves what we do and don't appreciate reading. I totally get wanting a visual way to separate out the signal from the noise and I often feel that way too but I don't think it's something that could be implemented in this way.
posted by Mrs. Pterodactyl at 11:38 AM on December 21, 2010 [7 favorites]


FAVORITES ARE NOT UPVOTING

FAVORITES ARE NOT UPVOTING

FAVORITES ARE NOT UPVOTING

also

FAVORITES ARE NOT UPVOTING

You have no idea if someone favorited a comment because they agree with it or because they want to show someone how dumb it is or because they think it's well-written but wrong or because they want to remember come and watch the trainwreck later.

If it's a poor comment then assume everyone else is either concluding the same thing, in which case it's not a problem, or they disagree with you, in which case downvoting wouldn't help.
posted by mendel at 11:39 AM on December 21, 2010 [20 favorites]


Does the ability to favorite things get treated like a voting system?

(Recently someone insulted another member and got like 15 favorites for it. It really rubbed me the wrong way that this person was getting kudos for being a jerk and prompted me to wish for an antifavorite button so he could have fewer kudos)
posted by royalsong at 11:42 AM on December 21, 2010


doesn't the ability* Sorry. (Is what happens when you rewrite a sentence twice)
posted by royalsong at 11:43 AM on December 21, 2010


And I think I still came off asking that question as some sort of opposition or trying to point out that your logic is flawed..

That's totally not how I meant it, I am genuinely asking if that's how everyone sees it, or if it's just me and mendel is welcome to his repetitive shouting about it.
posted by royalsong at 11:48 AM on December 21, 2010


FAVORITES ARE NOT UPVOTING

Yes. See also: favorites as beans.

Also: can Metatalk have some sort of downranking system for comments? The opposite of a favorite? ... Downranking usually consists of making the comment harder to read

What you are describing is not the opposite of a favorite. Comments with more favorites aren't presented in a larger or brighter font, nor made more visible or easier to read in any way within the thread.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 11:52 AM on December 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


Mmmmm nothing I like better than a burger with tomato, lettuce, and poinions....
posted by Grither at 11:54 AM on December 21, 2010


As someone who uses Reddit frequently, and who takes advantage of hiding links/comments that really get my goat, let me say that the ratio of comments I hide to the ones I read is very low. Maybe one out of thousands, and typically it's a headline that I find really offensive.

Mefi moderation/flagging makes it so that the ones that I would normally hide get deleted, and headlines that are overly fighty/obnoxious get deleted too.

The insults that you mentioned get trimmed pretty quickly, so I wouldn't worry about it. Hiding/downranking links is only necessary when moderation can't make up for it. Thankfully, ours are paid to do so.
posted by hellojed at 11:58 AM on December 21, 2010


DevilsAdvocate: I didn't know if anyone else knew what downranking was. I've only ever encountered it in two blogs, and had no idea Reddit or Digg used them as well. I was describing how I've seen it. I can argue that comments with more favorites are presented differently though, and anti-favorites could be treated in the same fashion.

I'm beating a dead horse though, one that died very quickly; so I'll shut up now.
posted by royalsong at 11:59 AM on December 21, 2010


If this were implemented then obviously users' primary (and probably only) use for it would be to downvote comments which are not explicitly about how fantastically wonderful I am, and while I can only support such an endeavor, it would also create more work for users and probably mods, too.
posted by FAMOUS MONSTER at 12:02 PM on December 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


The last thing we need is a mechanized way of ostracizing people with unpopular or opposing views. It's bad enough as it is without any sanctioned program to allow people to unsee stuff they disagree with.
posted by crunchland at 12:06 PM on December 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


royalsong: there's an option in your profile to change how favorites are displayed. You might like it.
posted by box at 12:14 PM on December 21, 2010 [2 favorites]


Man, downvoting anywhere is a bad idea, but especially here in MetaTalk. This part of metafilter.com is specifically set apart to be a place of reasonable discussion, where members of the site can discuss the site and its policies, norms, and overall culture (and a do bunch of other stuff too now, of course). If something—or someone—isn't working right on MetaFilter, we come here to discuss it, hash it out, and try to make it right. The basis and composition of that effort is reasoned discussion.

Downranking here isn't clicking a button. That easy-way-out crap is for lazy assholes*, and results in shitty discussions. On MetaTalk (and MeFi and AskMe too for that matter), you downrank a comment by quoting the relevant portion of it and responding with words, reasons, and ideas that support why it should be discounted. Fallacies (like ad hominem*) are to be avoided. Benefit of the doubt should be given in most cases. A general willingness to see the broader picture is employed.

Sure, that's all nice and wonderful and everything, but it often doesn't happen. 'Everyone else is doing it' is no good excuse though, so one tries and perhaps forgets occasionally with the errant 'asshat' thrown about but the general result is a strong, open-ish community that is wildly entertaining and benefits both to and from its members.

Use your words. Everyone needs a hug.
posted by carsonb at 12:15 PM on December 21, 2010 [2 favorites]


Downvoting is a serious problem. There's probably a better writeup of this somewhere on the web, but take the example of the Sims Mafia. Or the various downvote factions of Digg (and probably reddit). Reputation as you might want it comes with side effects that are not easy to predict or design for. It might be easier, even more productive, to just skip it, and downplay the existence.
posted by pwnguin at 12:17 PM on December 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


box: Haha, I don't think I've messed with my settings since i signed up. Thanks for pointingi t out box.
posted by royalsong at 12:17 PM on December 21, 2010


Gotta say, downvoting is not needed here. Otherwise we're a $5 reddit.
posted by Ironmouth at 12:30 PM on December 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


SAIT.
posted by BeerFilter at 12:33 PM on December 21, 2010


Now, you could argue that you shouldn't be able to favorite comments in MetaTalk, which would have the same practical effect.

But then everyone who uses favorites as bookmarks would have no possible way to bookmark the comments they like.
posted by smackfu at 12:40 PM on December 21, 2010


Does[n't] the ability to favorite things get treated like a voting system?

In practice, yes, I think that's mostly what it's used for, although people will always be quick to point out that people use favorites for different reasons and it's not always agreement and sometimes just a disapproving bookmark for future refutation and yadda yadda yadda. But in practice, I think it's pretty obvious, and the "Popular Favorites" pages make this pretty clear. ("Popular" and "favorite" being words that pretty clearly convey approval, even if it's not 100% always used for that reason.) That doesn't mean that having downvotes or anti-favorites of any kind is a good idea. It's not. That way dragons lie.

Flag stuff that bothers you. Please. There are a lot of people who seem reluctant to flag stuff unless it's five-alarm trolling, who think that flagging is somehow equivalent to censorship or bullying, and it's not. (And even if you tried to use it that way, the mods would catch you and thwack you.) Flagging is a simple tool to alert the mods (AND NO ONE ELSE) about something that could be troublesome, and it's something that would probably help the site if more people used it in lieu of threadcrapping, starting pointless fighty MeTa threads, or quitting the site in a huff. If more people flagged and used the contact form, mod attention would be drawn more quickly to problematic stuff -- they've said before that a single flag on the Blue doesn't usually warrant their attention, but a bunch of flags says "Hey, people don't like this." We already have tools at our disposal in this community, let's use 'em.
posted by Gator at 12:41 PM on December 21, 2010


carsonb: Man, downvoting anywhere is a bad idea, but especially here in MetaTalk. This part of metafilter.com is specifically set apart to be a place of reasonable discussion,
Except, of course, that MetaTalk is also the part of the site where noise, derails, offensive comments and personal attacks don't get moderated away. Some people might be attempting a reasonable discussion, but others will be posting recipes, making ostensibly smart quips, or discussing jonmc's remarkable intestinal fortitude. I think it may be frustration with this state of affairs that prompted royalsong's post (please correct me if I'm wrong!). I don't think downvoting is the answer, but it is a problem that the place reserved for reasonable discussion is also the place for general chit-chat, deranged ramblings, antisocial outbursts and performance "art". I can't think of a good way to separate the reasonable discussion from the chimpanzees' tea-party, otherwise I'd suggest it here, but I do think the "anything goes in MeTa! Trousers off, let's party!" attitude is a problem.
posted by nowonmai at 1:09 PM on December 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


LET'S PARTY!
posted by not_on_display at 1:11 PM on December 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


I'm beating a dead horse though, one that died very quickly; so I'll shut up now.

Aw, dead pony request. :(
posted by maryr at 1:20 PM on December 21, 2010 [4 favorites]


Couldn't have said it better myself nowonmai. :) Thanks.

I obviously don't want to go stomping on people's fun, because that's what's nice about MetaTalk. And current moderation methods is why I said it wouldn't fly for askMefi or the blue.. because a lot of the.. fluff is cleaned up there already.
posted by royalsong at 1:21 PM on December 21, 2010


I do think the "anything goes in MeTa! Trousers off, let's party!" attitude is a problem.

I'm actually in agreement with this. I know it's been The Way Of Things since time immemorial to leave MeTa practically unmoderated, but you know, other things have gradually become less okay on MetaFilter over the years as the site has grown. Might be worth thinking about.
posted by Gator at 1:25 PM on December 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


Might be worth thinking about.

MetaTalk has actually gotten a lot more moderated in the past few years in both specific [deleting truly shitty/hateful comments] and general [telling people to cool it] ways. I'm sure it lags behind the rest of the site in this way, but there's a general tension there and while MeTa remains the least moderated part of the site, it is in no way unmoderated.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 1:37 PM on December 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


No, this is not something that we are going to implement.
Thank you, thank you, a million times thank you.

MetaTalk is also the part of the site where noise, derails, offensive comments and personal attacks don't get moderated away. Some people might be attempting a reasonable discussion, but others will be posting recipes, making ostensibly smart quips, or discussing jonmc's remarkable intestinal fortitude. I think it may be frustration with this state of affairs that prompted royalsong's post (please correct me if I'm wrong!). I don't think downvoting is the answer, but it is a problem that the place reserved for reasonable discussion is also the place for general chit-chat, deranged ramblings, antisocial outbursts and performance "art". I can't think of a good way to separate the reasonable discussion from the chimpanzees' tea-party, otherwise I'd suggest it here, but I do think the "anything goes in MeTa! Trousers off, let's party!" attitude is a problem.
That's not a bug, it's a feature.

In theory, it should be a problem and all the textbooks will tell you this is the case, but it simply isn't. For whatever reason, MeTa simply works as it is. Without the recipes (in moderation), chit-chat and banter that goes on here, a lot of the 'community' vibe would go away for the sub-set of users that are regulars here. I think that, if MeTa was more defined as a functional component of the site, you would see a lot more angst and complaining here, because the bar would be perceived as lower (ie 'this is the place you go to complain about every tiny thing that bothers you').

One of the biggest contributors to how well MeFi works so well overall is the concept of not having rules and instead using moderation that is effective largely because of the respect that members have for the moderators. If you set defined rules for MeTa, you start to chip away at the capacity of members to have their voice in a way that works for them and that decreases the engagement that many would have with the community. MeTa isn't for everyone, that's for sure but, again, that's a feature, not a bug. In the same way that AskMe works so well because of the tight moderation, MeTa works because of the lack of it. If you restrict what can be discussed in MeTa and how, you might as well close it up and just use the contact form. Some may think that's a good idea anyway but, for me, MeTa is what makes MeFi what it is.

On preview, yeah, MeTa is somewhat more moderated than it used to be, although it's easy to see why people would think otherwise (with the enormous growth in members, it had to be, I guess). I wouldn't say that it 'lags behind the rest of the site' exactly, but it's certainly moderated with a much different approach to, say AskMe and, again, that's a good thing.
posted by dg at 1:49 PM on December 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


Downranking usually consists of making the comment harder to read (in graphics terms, usually turning down the alpha of the text).. This doesn't remove their comment, and it's still there for people to read, and ...

... and it will become more tantalizing because people instinctively want to see what they're "not supposed to see." See?
posted by John Cohen at 1:53 PM on December 21, 2010


Favorites are the the opposite of favorites.

See also:

Favorite != Favorite
posted by blue_beetle at 2:11 PM on December 21, 2010


2buckplus:

I wish ask.me could have antifavorites (for bad or dangerous answers).

I agreed with the sentiment enough to favorite, and then had to think about it for a minute :)

Anti-favoriting would turn a bunch of askmes into popularity contests. Think about how various nutrition asks would go: all the vegetarians would anti-favorite the atkins-ers, and vice versa, and all the nutrition skeptics would anti-favorite both of them. Actual sources would get lost in the chaos of whether an answer was popular.

It bothers me when I check on a health question and see potentially dangerous advice given. But being able to anti-favorite that post wouldn't do anything to relieve the situation-- if all the asker had to go on were flags like this, it's just as likely that there'd be ignorant flagging of good answers.

The only reasonable way to handle bad answers is to call them out-- to explain why, to give evidence. Yeah, that relies on the asker having some sense, but then a lot of this site is based on assuming the best of each other. If the asker is incapable of reasonable discrimination, there's no system that is going to protect them from bad answers.
posted by nathan v at 2:19 PM on December 21, 2010


Favorite != Favorite

I miss Forum 2000. Right now the Ayn Rand bot would be melting down.
posted by cortex (staff) at 2:33 PM on December 21, 2010 [3 favorites]


Applying pressure socially to try and make people conform is at least a more respectful method of trying to change their behavior, as opposed to making people's comments disappear, either by downranking or outright deletion, though the latter two methods are probably more expedient.
posted by crunchland at 2:36 PM on December 21, 2010


dg: That's not a bug, it's a feature.
I couldn't disagree more. It's hard to participate in a serious conversation when a clique of "regulars" elbows you out of your seat and starts shouting in-jokes and sharing recipes. I agree that this environment being so hostile to noobs raises the bar to participation, but I don't share your opinion that this is a good thing. When you say: "MeTa isn't for everyone, that's for sure but, again, that's a feature, not a bug." I think "well, that's not very nice; perhaps the uncool kids should be encouraged to join in the discussion too".
I think it would be great if serious discussion and common-room hijinks could each have their own places; I just don't have a good suggestion as to the implementation.
posted by nowonmai at 2:40 PM on December 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


"I do think the "anything goes in MeTa! Trousers off, let's party!" attitude is a problem."

This certainly complicates things when it's time to dispense hugs. Now that everyone is in their underwear (or less, if they were going commando that day), do you really want to front-to-front hug them and risk grinding your respective pants-less bits together? Do you lean over for an A-shaped hug? Or go for the awkward side-hug?
posted by Jacqueline at 3:10 PM on December 21, 2010


Anti-favoriting would help me to forget comments I don't like.
posted by Combustible Edison Lighthouse at 3:15 PM on December 21, 2010


Comment favorites style :

profile page gives three options for the member.
posted by clavdivs at 3:18 PM on December 21, 2010


.
posted by special-k at 3:29 PM on December 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


nowonmai: I couldn't disagree more. It's hard to participate in a serious conversation when a clique of "regulars" elbows you out of your seat and starts shouting in-jokes and sharing recipes.

But it's all text, with some adornments, so shouting isn't all that loud in here. You can "elbow" back by posting a large block of text, hopefully something that contributes to your concern. And if you feel it really is worth discussing, you could ask a mod to see if it's OK to start a new thread in a few days, and you could probably start again (if the last thread derailed).

Or maybe this isn't something the community wishes to discuss further, at which point, you may want to MeMail folks for private discussions.
posted by filthy light thief at 3:33 PM on December 21, 2010


It's hard to participate in a serious conversation when a clique of "regulars" elbows you out of your seat and starts shouting in-jokes and sharing recipes. --- No one elbows anyone. Every comment stands by itself. A jokey off-topic one doesn't push your serious, on-topic comment off the page. What I or anyone else writes doesn't in any way inhibit or overshadow what you write.
posted by crunchland at 3:44 PM on December 21, 2010


It's hard to participate in a serious conversation when a clique of "regulars" elbows you out of your seat and starts shouting in-jokes and sharing recipes.
I can understand how some people could feel they are being treated this way, but that's more about their perception than reality, I think. As crunchland alludes to, there is room in MeTa for serious conversation and for other content to co-exist. To me, it's one of the great things about MeTa - it's a lot like a 'real' group conversation in that there are often multiple threads going on at once, but that doesn't detract from working towards the purpose of the thread in any way. In many ways, the 'aside' comments contribute by relieving the pressure. Having said that, there is a fine line between an aside comment and a derail and that can be hard to predict, because the outcome depends a lot on how the rest of the participants view each comment.
posted by dg at 3:53 PM on December 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


filthy light thief: You can "elbow" back by posting a large block of text, hopefully something that contributes to your concern. And if you feel it really is worth discussing, you could ask a mod to see if it's OK to start a new thread in a few days, and you could probably start again (if the last thread derailed).
I guess what I'm saying is that it would be nice to be able to have a reasonable discussion without having to resort to "elbowing back" or having to abort and try again. I don't understand why you and others prefer a dysfunctional forum where discussion has so many barriers.
Or maybe this isn't something the community wishes to discuss further…
The problem is that the discussion is essentially over when a couple of loudmouths have decided to filibuster it with recipes or peace treaties or other nonsequiturs, regardless of whether others wish to continue. If the community no longer wishes to discuss a topic, the thread could just be allowed to peter out rather than somebody having to quench discussion with a deliberate derail. There are plenty of deserted beaches on which to beach the longboats, without all the rowdy vikings singing their Spam song over people who are trying to talk.
I know it's not quite as bad as the bad old days of inline images, where an itchy trigger-finger could initiate a crapflood from the bowels of 4chan and the thread was completely over, but I suspect that there are many people who, like me, get put off or are intimidated by all the cliquery and shouting and for that reason withhold their contributions.
Anyway, it seems that there a lot of people who like it the way it is, and they of course are the ones who shout louder than those who would prefer a more constructive MetaTalk, so I know I'm wasting my time and yours and will STFU now.
posted by nowonmai at 3:58 PM on December 21, 2010


The problem is that the discussion is essentially over when a couple of loudmouths have decided to filibuster it with recipes or peace treaties or other nonsequiturs, regardless of whether others wish to continue.

We've pretty much shut this down, for what it's worth. Our feeling as mods is that if there's still active discussion going on about the main topic, we'll tell people who want to get their lulz on to wait it out. Older threads where discussion is not really going on can taper off into joke threads or alphabet threads, but this is really the exception rather than the rule nowadays.

So I don't think you're wasting anyone's time to be raising this as a definite issue, it is, I just think it's been mitigated substantially lately. Put another way: if you see it happening in an active thread and crowding out discussion, drop us a line. We may disagree on the larger issue of whether the multiple-topics threads are dysfunctional or not, but the "hey it's jokes time now!" pants-dropping thing is something we try to curtail somewhat.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 4:01 PM on December 21, 2010 [2 favorites]


Now, you could argue that you shouldn't be able to favorite comments in MetaTalk, which would have the same practical effect.

But then everyone who uses favorites as bookmarks would have no possible way to bookmark the comments they like.


Actually, no. If you look at things like reddit, where something appears on the page is based on upvoting/downvoting. So favorites are not really like that. Some people dislike them because they see it as a popularity contest, which for some it obviously is. But it is basically just an "I like this." What's proposed here is actively letting "popularity" control what people see. That's wrong.
posted by Ironmouth at 4:07 PM on December 21, 2010


I miss Forum 2000. Right now the Ayn Rand bot would be melting down.

OMG SO DO I SO MUCH! I think about it all the time.

My AIM screen name in high school was something very much like (although not actually) "ReardensGirl" JUST BECAUSE of Forum and sometimes people would be ask "Oh, like from Atlas Shrugged?" and I'd be like "Sort of, but it's kind of a private joke" and then I'd try to explain Forum to them and it never worked. Man, I used to submit questions all the time. That thing helped me survive high school.
posted by Mrs. Pterodactyl at 4:08 PM on December 21, 2010 [2 favorites]


At the risk of being the "that's my last word on the matter. Also one more point…" guy, I would say that yes the derails do inhibit or overshadow on-topic conversation. Once there has been a few versions of "this thread is now about pie", a text-wall of lorem ipsum and a few screenfuls of quoted Lady Gaga lyrics, it becomes very difficult to be confident that any comments added on the original subject of the thread will be read. I should point out that offline, I speak quietly and frequently get interrupted and fail to get my point across. Perhaps the answer is for me and people like me to sack up and wade into MeTa like real men. I don't know.
posted by nowonmai at 4:08 PM on December 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


One more then, in reply to jessamyn: while I hadn't actually noticed a change in MeTa moderation, I also can't think of any recent egregious examples of what I'm whining about, so maybe I'm fixated on yesterday's problems. It wouldn't be the first time! Thanks for addressing this! I understand exactly why MeTa is one place you're extremely reluctant to delete comments, and a gently managed culture change is surely the best possible solution.
posted by nowonmai at 4:17 PM on December 21, 2010


I would say that yes the derails do inhibit or overshadow on-topic conversation. Once there has been a few versions of "this thread is now about pie", a text-wall of lorem ipsum and a few screenfuls of quoted Lady Gaga lyrics, it becomes very difficult to be confident that any comments added on the original subject of the thread will be read.

I think you were overstating the severity of the noise/derails a bit there -- I agree with jessamyn that the mods have discouraged the worst of the recipe-jacking and Westphalianisms -- but yeah, when the jokes and side conversations get going, before you know it you've got a thread full of them to wade through, which can be discouraging for someone who might otherwise have wanted to take part in whatever policy discussion the thread would have been about. I've said before that I'd be happy just to see more of that mod disapproval out in the open (sitewide, not just here), as opposed to rampant deletions, which everyone of course hates.
posted by Gator at 4:27 PM on December 21, 2010


Mrs. Pterodactyl: "
OMG SO DO I SO MUCH! I think about it all the time.
"

This thing? Never heard of it. However, this intrigues me:
The propositions as types paradigm (for a nice introduction, see this), yields a correspondence between a propositional system and a lambda calculus -- variants of this are also known as the "Curry-Howard Isomorphism"
That was just the opening sentence. I think this paper proves that sufficiently advanced CS theory is indistinguishable from markov chains.
posted by pwnguin at 5:05 PM on December 21, 2010


I should point out that offline, I speak quietly and frequently get interrupted and fail to get my point across. Perhaps the answer is for me and people like me to sack up and wade into MeTa like real men. I don't know.
I have exactly the same problem, although to a much lesser extent on-line, so I sympathise with you on this. I wouldn't say that the answer is to 'sack up', but I would agree that simply 'wading in to MeTa' is a good approach, as long as you have an understanding of the 'MeFi culture', which you clearly do. I don't see MeTa as a place where you need to be scared to contribute and I do see it as a place where contributions are judged on their merits and where people like me (us?) can have the voice that we wish we could have in meat-based interactions.
posted by dg at 5:23 PM on December 21, 2010


do you really want to front-to-front hug them and risk grinding your respective pants-less bits together? Do you lean over for an A-shaped hug? Or go for the awkward side-hug?
Yeah, perhaps a warm handshake is a better fit for MeTa. Not that I'm against the grinding together of pants-less bits in general, but I'd prefer a bit more choice about who I grind against.
posted by dg at 5:28 PM on December 21, 2010


Favorites are seen by some members as upvoting? Shocker!
posted by Joseph Gurl at 5:32 PM on December 21, 2010


I think this paper proves that sufficiently advanced CS theory is indistinguishable from markov chains.

Actually, it mostly proves that any sufficiently advanced bullshit is indistinguishable from CS theory. Not that we weren't a bit suckered and wanting-to-believe when it first made the circles on campus back in the day.
posted by cortex (staff) at 5:48 PM on December 21, 2010




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