Below the fold portion of this AskMe should maybe have more views, I think. January 27, 2011 12:54 PM   Subscribe

I think that perhaps this AskMe should have more people trying to help with the below-the-fold part of the question than might look at it based upon the above-the-fold part.
posted by Flunkie to MetaFilter-Related at 12:54 PM (38 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

Do you mean that people are telling the OP that a long hike in the wilderness is not going to solve their debt problems?
posted by Burhanistan at 1:05 PM on January 27, 2011


How much of a pile on do you want? Seems like it's pretty well balanced now. Do we need this Meta?
posted by Jahaza at 1:07 PM on January 27, 2011 [2 favorites]


Serious question: What do you hope to accomplish by posting this to MeTa?
posted by rollbiz at 1:08 PM on January 27, 2011 [2 favorites]


I see this as two questions
1) can I go on this long trip with my dog?
2) is this trip idea a crazy one, especially with the possibility that I use it to avoid my real financial problems?

I think the answers are suitable. It sounds like you want the questions re-stated for the asker, (1. should I avoid my soul-crushing debt by running away, and 2. how could I run away to the Appalachian Trail with my dog?), which isn't done around here. There are no dumb questions, or something like that.
posted by filthy light thief at 1:10 PM on January 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


I focused on the hiking aspect, but plenty of others have already posted about the debt side of things. Not really sure why you felt the need to post this metatalk either.
posted by meta87 at 1:10 PM on January 27, 2011


I think your intentions are good but it looks like most people are already focusing on the below-the-fold part.
posted by Tin Man at 1:13 PM on January 27, 2011


Nearly all of the current answers address at least in part the escaping debt query.

If your goal is to get more people to convince this person that their idea to hike the trail to escape debt is indeed 'half baked,' well congratulations and contact a mod to close this up.
posted by librarylis at 1:13 PM on January 27, 2011


Yeah, I'm a bit confused too. I thought that thread was actually going pretty well. Asker had two inter-related questions, both questions are getting good answers. Maybe part of the reason why they're getting matter of fact, non-judgemental answers is because they were pretty straight forward and unemotional in their question? Either way I don't really see the problem here.
posted by shelleycat at 1:16 PM on January 27, 2011

Serious question: What do you hope to accomplish by posting this to MeTa?
I hope to get people who can actually help with the underlying issue, rather than simply saying "Yes, half-baked".
How much of a pile on do you want?
I don't want a pile on at all.

I'm sorry if this is an inappropriate post for MetaTalk. I'll shut up now.
posted by Flunkie at 1:16 PM on January 27, 2011


I hope to get people who can actually help with the underlying issue, rather than simply saying "Yes, half-baked".

It looks to me like there's a pretty good mix of answers to both of the OP's questions, which is why I am genuinely confused.
posted by rollbiz at 1:21 PM on January 27, 2011


I don't mind living a shorter lifespan, but I sure would like to breathe more easily during time I have left.

i'm surprised more people weren't as disturbed by this sentence as I was. kinda makes it seem like he's not planning on coming back. ever. wtf? i don't know, i'm having a hard time figuring out what that sentence is supposed to mean.
posted by GastrocNemesis at 1:31 PM on January 27, 2011 [3 favorites]


I hope to get people who can actually help with the underlying issue, rather than simply saying "Yes, half-baked".

There is no part of the OP's question either above or below the fold that says, "Please help me figure out the underlying issue causing me to think this is a good idea. Should I consider therapy? Is there a motherfucker I should expediently dump?"
posted by katillathehun at 1:31 PM on January 27, 2011 [5 favorites]


I hope to get people who can actually help with the underlying issue, rather than simply saying "Yes, half-baked".

It seems like this is already happening. And actually, I thought your answer in that thread was really good (even before I realised the connection to this thread).

I'm not sure what more you can or should do to get the point across, but starting a meta to bring more attention to the thread doesn't really sit right with me. I'm not saying it's inappropriate necessarily, others may disagree with me and think it's useful or something. But the asker chose to frame their question the way they felt was appropriate, and it seems to be working for them even if it's not how you (or even I) would prefer. We don't need to point extra people over there to pile on to one specific bit, and that still seems like the aim of this thread.
posted by shelleycat at 1:34 PM on January 27, 2011


It looks to me like there's a pretty good mix of answers to both of the OP's questions, which is why I am genuinely confused.

I think Flunkie's point is that if the short version of the question had included something about debt or escaping from debt via dropping out of society, more people who are experts about that or otherwise have unique insight would click through and answer the question. As it is now, a lot of helpful people are answering, but theoretically only people who wanted to read or thought they could answer a question about hiking with dogs or the Appalachian Trail would have seen those details. Sort of like if a question had been "I need some help planning my wedding - 2 part question" and the second part of the question involved repairing a '78 Corvette, the question might not get as much traffic from gearheads as one that had included that detail in the short version.

Personally I'm not sure that special insight is really necessary for this particular question because it's clearly not a super great idea and it doesn't take an expert to point that out.
posted by burnmp3s at 1:37 PM on January 27, 2011 [2 favorites]


But the asker chose to frame their question the way they felt was appropriate, and it seems to be working for them even if it's not how you (or even I) would prefer.

Yeah. This. People already read into questions more than requested as is, which has its good points and its bad points. But you can't control the way someone else's AskMe thread goes, especially when they haven't asked what you're wanting other people to answer.
posted by katillathehun at 1:38 PM on January 27, 2011


i'm surprised more people weren't as disturbed by this sentence as I was

Personally, I was disturbed, but I can't think of a relevant answer that addresses it, besides telling him that he's a shitty person if he takes his dog into the wilderness and then dies, leaving the dog to fend for itself.

But again, probably less than helpful, all things considered.
posted by muddgirl at 1:47 PM on January 27, 2011


FIAMO
posted by Mister Fabulous at 2:09 PM on January 27, 2011


So hungry for pie...
posted by fixedgear at 2:12 PM on January 27, 2011


I'm sorry if this is an inappropriate post for MetaTalk. I'll shut up now.

Eh it's fine. Sometimes with really short MeTa posts people will read into what they think you're saying and stuff goes a little higglety-pigglety, but yeah. It's a good post for people to have an eye on, has a ring of Chris McCandless to it and I think people are giving the OP some good advice, really mostly about part 2.

One of the eye opening things to me about AskMe and being around for six years of it, is really seeing that a lot of people honestly have no idea how to create questions to assist them in problem-solving, at least not effectively. Sure, some people write great questions right off the bat, but even my own questions have surprised me in how not-good they have been sometimes even when I thought I was clear on what my problem was. Getting help solving problems is often realistically an iterative process for most people.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 2:19 PM on January 27, 2011 [7 favorites]


I'm all for nutty adventures if one is convinced it is their path. You only know how miserable it is in reality if you do it. Money isn't everything. If it is, how dare poor people be happy. Risk! Survival! Tear your bubblewrap cocoon off (and learn that you want to immediately jump back inside)! Sure, it's a cockeyed idea likely to lead to the OP's misery. Doesn't mean it's bad.

After so much romanticism of Into The Wild, I'd have thought people would be less rigid about this. Hiking the Appalachian Trail is way, way tamer. My dad hiked the Muir trail in his twenties. People do this. Why not the OP?

The dog likely has a fine chance of surviving situations that would kill the owner.
posted by griselda at 2:20 PM on January 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


The dog likely has a fine chance of surviving situations that would kill the owner

If the dog survives, it is now wandering the Appalachian Trail unable to safely obtain food and shelter. Dogs are not one step away from being wolves.

I don't expect the owner is going to, like, die of natural causes on the AT.
posted by muddgirl at 2:24 PM on January 27, 2011


I don't expect the owner is going to, like, die of natural causes on the AT.

In the internet-causes-oversharing department, here is a photo of my great-grandfather the day he dropped dead on the Long Trail from natural causes [heart attack] in 1932. It could happen!
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 2:28 PM on January 27, 2011 [10 favorites]


I think Flunkie's point is that if the short version of the question had included something about debt or escaping from debt via dropping out of society, more people who are experts about that or otherwise have unique insight would click through and answer the question.

Sure. But people order their questions badly all the time, particularly putting stuff below the fold that shouldn't be. I see it multiple times each day. I figure, those people don't get as many good answers as they otherwise could, and that's kind of tough luck. I agree with jessamyn that writing a good question is difficult and I certainly haven't always managed it.

But if we have metatalk threads highlighting something we think is extra important every time this happens then we'd be here all day. I think that's why this doesn't sit so well with me really, instead we should let people take some responsibility for doing a good job and leave them to it. If someone asks for advice about question asking or wonders why their question went badly then sure, but in this case it all seemed to be working out fine anyway.

At the same time if people only ever posted things here I thought were a good idea then it would be a very different (boring!) place. So eh *shrug*.
posted by shelleycat at 2:30 PM on January 27, 2011


I was trying to be... circumspect. I don't think the person who asked that particular question is planning on dying of natural causes on the AT, but I could be wrong. I should probably just stop posting now.
posted by muddgirl at 2:30 PM on January 27, 2011


Somewhat related, but I'm a bit annoyed at how this question is being answered. The OP needs help not resenting her husband for only doing stuff after she tells him to. They're in couple's therapy and she's learned that she needs to be a good communicator to get what she needs out of the relationship.

About half of the answers are telling her that in order to get what she needs from her husband, she should ask him. Well yes, she's doing that. That's why she's asking the question. The question isn't "How can I get my husband to do things that make me happy?" or even, "As someone who has skimmed Men Are From Mars and Women Are From Venus can you tell me why my husband can't remember what I like?"
posted by ODiV at 2:33 PM on January 27, 2011


has a ring of Chris McCandless to it

One thing I'll say for him and Timothy Treadwell is at least they didn't drag some poor dog into their schtick.
posted by FelliniBlank at 2:54 PM on January 27, 2011


ODiV, I see really no answers that are merely telling her to do what she's already doing. Most of the answers seem to be of the form "here's a way to think about your asking that might make you feel better about it," or "here's how he probably feels about being asked (or not asked," or "your expectation that asking means he doesn't really love you is wrong, and here's why." I haven't read every answer in the thread with a fine-toothed comb, but nearly all of them seem to be addressing feelings about the asking she's already doing.
posted by decathecting at 3:12 PM on January 27, 2011


Yeah, I think you're right. Reading the answers again I was being uncharitable.
posted by ODiV at 3:21 PM on January 27, 2011


Flunkie: I think that perhaps this AskMe should have more people trying to help with the below-the-fold part of the question than might look at it based upon the above-the-fold part.

I disagree. I think the exact opposite is true.

If you don't think that his plan to walk-down and drop-out will work, from a practical point of view, then that's fine and you should say so and explain why, because that is exactly what he asked.

But if you think that abandoning your worldly debt is morally unacceptable, then saying so is no different from St Allia telling people that their relationship is fucked up because they are living in sin. It doesn't answer the actual question and it doesn't help anyone in any way, it's just your chance to piss and moan that you don't want someone else to make a choice for him- or herself.
posted by paisley henosis at 4:26 PM on January 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


(No offense to St Allia intended, just that those specific Ask answers are a good example.)
posted by paisley henosis at 4:27 PM on January 27, 2011


I also got the impression that the asker needed help beyond dog and debt issues. I have (had?) a friend who got sort of stuck on the outside of a "normal" life, though in his case it was a felony conviction and assorted related mistakes. He hobo'd around for a couple years but last I saw him it was pretty clear he just wanted a place to be normal but he had bounced from New York without telling his parole officer (and with a stolen credit card) and it seemed pretty unlikely that any of his desperate schemes would pan out. I still wonder what happened to him, if anyone's met a guy in the last few years named Alex Hard (possibly going by Ethan McCloud) with red hair and bad ideas, drop me a line.

Anyway, that question sort of reminded me of my buddy and how miserable his "dropping out" experience seemed to be.
posted by ghharr at 7:06 PM on January 27, 2011


I know a lot about credit and would have never looked at the AskMe if not for this MeTa, so I appreciate the pointer because I may be able to offer some useful advice (once I have an idea of the size of the debt in question).
posted by Jacqueline at 10:15 PM on January 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


One thing I'll say for him and Timothy Treadwell is at least they didn't drag some poor dog into their schtick.

Timothy Treadwell, however, did drag his poor girlfriend.
posted by arcolz at 11:10 PM on January 27, 2011


here is a photo of my great-grandfather the day he dropped dead on the Long Trail from natural causes [heart attack] in 1932. It could happen!

Dear god, but what a way to die!
posted by Afroblanco at 12:22 AM on January 28, 2011


If the dog survives, it is now wandering the Appalachian Trail unable to safely obtain food and shelter. Dogs are not one step away from being wolves.

The trail seems like a popular thing. Some 2000 people attempted and 500 people completed this last year. I live in a remote area that is genuinely dangerous to travel, so forgive me if it seems like this is practically supervised every step of the way like an adult summer camp and highly unlikely to result in the death of the owner or animal. There are shelters and hotels and restaurants along the way? People do this to meet other hikers? That's kind of luxe. Again, coming from my distant point of view. I lived for two years without indoor plumbing. The trail doesn't sound like an extreme rough experience to me.

It's not that I don't have sympathy for the dog's plight, or think that it would be cake for him, but he's better off in a survival situation than his human. He wouldn't have an automatic death sentence, like he would if his owner decided to wander in my local area and got hurt.
posted by griselda at 1:36 AM on January 28, 2011


here is a photo of my great-grandfather the day he dropped dead on the Long Trail from natural causes [heart attack] in 1932. It could happen!

It almost happened to me, on the Long Trail, when I woke up on a full moon night to find what looked like a million large spiders crawling on the outside of my tent. Like a moving carpet of spiders, covering every inch of my goddamn tent. Seriously the closest I've ever come to a panic-induced bowel movement.
posted by rollbiz at 6:05 AM on January 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


In the internet-causes-oversharing department

!! Haha ha

the day he dropped dead on the Long Trail

oh

:(
posted by fake at 6:46 AM on January 28, 2011


I don't mind living a shorter lifespan, but I sure would like to breathe more easily during time I have left.

i'm surprised more people weren't as disturbed by this sentence as I was.


Me too. That was the sentence that leapt right out at me and said "Dude may be thinking of topping himself after this." Alarm bells going off like mad. I hope I'm wrong and he just means "...in my life generally"
posted by Decani at 6:59 AM on January 28, 2011


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