I love the thread-ends April 25, 2002 2:59 AM   Subscribe

When a MeTa thread has played its course, chattiness and jokes sometimes rush in. Although I realize it's a minority sport, I just love thread-ends. There's something ecological about using left-overs for imaginative and friendly banter. Is my excuse, anyway...

Like soon-to-be-deleted threads on MetaFilter, they serve a useful pressure-valve purpose: they redirect playfulness away from serious discussions and probably inhibit initiating purposefully chatty posts. At least for me. Is this acceptable, now that MetaTalk has become specifically Meta again? Or, at least, can it be lived with? I hope so.
posted by MiguelCardoso to Etiquette/Policy at 2:59 AM (124 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

Miguel: "Or, at least, can it be lived with?

Probably not, but I'm with ya brother.
posted by ZachsMind at 4:16 AM on April 25, 2002


miguel you chatty bitch...

...rock on.
posted by jcterminal at 4:41 AM on April 25, 2002


Thread ends are why threads exist. I also shop at Syms.
posted by ParisParamus at 6:13 AM on April 25, 2002


I hope so too Miguel. It just adds to the general camaraderie and helps to bring the different personalities alive. Most people like to laugh, those that don't are just miserable sods.
posted by Tarrama at 6:22 AM on April 25, 2002


And yet Our Noble Leader resists the notion of a specialized category just for such a pressure-release valve, even as it exists in practice. And thus the thread-ends and abandoned threads become their own MetaSpaces.

And how ARE things at 1142 these days?
posted by briank at 6:23 AM on April 25, 2002


Personally, I get at least as much out of the casual banter and (attempted) humor as I do from the "serious discussions". Funny, since the thought of making small talk with strangers at a party fills me with dread.

Given a choice, I'll take a chatty thread with a few personal asides and lame jokes, over a series of verbose, prefabricated ideological rants ANYTIME.


posted by groundhog at 7:21 AM on April 25, 2002


So, tell me, what the hell is 1142?
posted by groundhog at 7:22 AM on April 25, 2002


Here's one of the links
posted by Tarrama at 7:35 AM on April 25, 2002


I hope so.

I vote no. Find, or make, your own playpen, and pay for your own bandwidth.

Honest opinion: I'm finding MeTa to be a near-total waste of time these days. I don't say much because I don't feel welcome here anymore. I don't feel like I have the right to have an opinion, because some asswipe that never knows when his little 15-minutes-of-fame joke is played out will call me a pastel-suited jackal if I do. And even straightforward conversation about the site gets buried in the great circle-jerk that is the MeTa crew telling each other how much they like their haikus and their cocktails.

I'm not denying that any community has a need for "phatic communion," for pleasantries, emotional support, for responding to each other as people. I understand the attraction; I'm not pretending I'm blameless, either. Do you know how many times I've worried that I helped bring this about by starting MeTa's 1142 when Miguel was a newbie, and thereby sending the message that anything is OK here? And après Miguel, le déluge.

But it has gone too far here. MeTa has a purpose, trivial as that purpose may seem in the face of your overwhelming need to chat. By deciding that this space--and this bandwidth, which after all is not free--should be used for your hangout, you have essentially become parasites. Mostly benign parasites with the best of intentions, no doubt, but parasites nevertheless.

Miguel's pressure-valve image is completely spurious. There is no pressure building up inside you to post; ideas are not flatulence. What there is is desire, self-indulgence, and love of the spotlight. There is nothing restricting your "flow" and causing the "pressure" to build up--the internet is a big place, and the opportunities are infinite to make places for you and your friends to hang out. You wouldn't be the first colony to bud off Metafilter. So bud already.
posted by rodii at 8:32 AM on April 25, 2002 [1 favorite]


Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes. What rodii said, in forty-foot letters of fire.
posted by sennoma at 8:38 AM on April 25, 2002


they serve a useful pressure-valve purpose: they redirect playfulness away from serious discussions and probably inhibit initiating purposefully chatty posts. At least for me.

I don't think that they do. On the contrary, they seem to encourage more chattiness and silliness in serious posts, especially when folks think that a thread has "ended" and start in with the goofiness, even if serious discussion later attempts to emerge.
posted by Avogadro at 8:41 AM on April 25, 2002


There is no pressure building up inside you to post; ideas are not flatulence.

Amen, bruvva. Rodii speaks the truth!
posted by arielmeadow at 9:43 AM on April 25, 2002


Rodii, et all :
You've simply decided where the line of amusement is for you personally, and are upset that everyone else doesn't share your sensibility.
This place doesn't belong to you either, and your limitations as to what constitutes a valid and relevant bit witting are important only to you.
I like reading, and often contributing to the "the fluff". I like it as much as the more purposeful witting. My enjoyment is no less valid than yours. Everything here exists only for amusement. Nothing needs to be justified as pressure release. It exsists for the same reason as the rest of what happens here does. It's what some of us like to read.
posted by dong_resin at 9:55 AM on April 25, 2002


I was just popping in here to refute everything Miguel said, and it seem rodii did most of it for me.

I'll also add: pointless chatty "thread end" comments tax the server, especially when people are constantly reloading it. The big "cult" threads are MetaFilter are an extreme waste of resources. Everyone knows that every page request comes direct from the database, right? If anyone loads the original 1142 metafilter thread, it is fetching over a thousand comments from the database to show you, denying others from accessing the database and getting "server too busy" error messages. And yes, I know I need to do something to remedy the situation, but it is one of those things you can never plan for. I never imagined people would post several times a day to something that was two years old.

Dong also has a point, but I guess I'm siding with rodii here because of Miguel's tone. He's using this as a cause to celebrate, when my tolerance for it is low, and I wish in some cases it would go away completely. Some joking is good. Some humor is fab. Some silliness is warranted. Filling every dead thread with haiku and proclaiming it a victory for merriment is not, however.

Anyone wanting to talk about anything and everything with other members should check out one of the offshoots communities. They largely exist for non-serious pressure-releasing types of chat, and many of the posts people are protesting here remind me of what you can find in places like that.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 10:08 AM on April 25, 2002


dong_resin, at the top of metatalk.metafilter.com it reads:

MetaTalk is a discussion area for topics specific to MetaFilter itself, or weblogs in general.

Kindly elucidate how, from that, you arrive at "Everything here exists only for amusement." Particularly the only part.

Wouldn't it seem that certain interests have priority here? And that when other interests interfere, they should be curtailed?
posted by mattpfeff at 10:09 AM on April 25, 2002


*gulp*

"I love my dead gay threads!"

Or, something.
posted by dong_resin at 10:11 AM on April 25, 2002


mattpfeff, everything that is written here exists only for amusement.
All of Metatalk, and Filter, is a big chinwag. How relevant you find it is a personal decision.

If mathowie wants to call out cult threads, that's one thing, it's his dime.
The rest of you simply seem like you've found your Next Thing To Complain About For The Day.

posted by dong_resin at 10:15 AM on April 25, 2002


Of course, now that I've been made aware of how taxing cult threads are, I won't feel comfortable playing with them anymore. Thanks a lot, Miguel.
*grumbles*
posted by dong_resin at 10:21 AM on April 25, 2002


This place doesn't belong to you either, and your limitations as to what constitutes a valid and relevant bit witting are important only to you.

This amounts to "you're not the boss of me." And no, I'm not, and I'm not trying to be. I'm pointing out the purpose of Metatalk, which the Matts have pointed to.

I like reading, and often contributing to the "the fluff".

And this amounts to "it's good because I want it." And you should be able to do anything you want, because after all, it's your site! No, wait...

Not very persuasive.
posted by rodii at 10:21 AM on April 25, 2002


mattpfeff, everything that is written here exists only for amusement.

Children won't play with other children who are mean and selfish, even if the mean and selfish children are having fun. In this case, unbridled silliness might be fun for some, but it costs others in stifled discussion, bandwidth, server performance, and sheer information volume.

A community means, among other things, that it's not all about you.
posted by iceberg273 at 10:25 AM on April 25, 2002


And yet Our Noble Leader resists the notion of a specialized category just for such a pressure-release valve, even as it exists in practice.

96% of the appeal of the Remains of the Thread are the fact that it's attached to what began as a "serious" discussion. Take away the dog, and the tail has no appeal.
posted by ParisParamus at 10:25 AM on April 25, 2002


The rest of you simply seem like you've found your Next Thing To Complain About For The Day.

Hey, if I had a chance, I'd complain about your attitude every day. Your argument seems to stem from the familiar old "everyone's opinion matters just as much as everyone else's," which is crap, considering that some people's opinions are based on ignorance, selfishness, shit-stirring, etc.

"I can post this because I find it amusing!" = "I can post anything!" Which is death.
posted by Skot at 10:28 AM on April 25, 2002


MetaFilter: It's all about the tail-less dogs

MetaFilter: I love my dead gay threads


(see, some amusement is good, but not unbridled ever-present goofs)
posted by mathowie (staff) at 10:30 AM on April 25, 2002


everything that is written here exists only for amusement

Look, I get that you think that. And, sure, to the extent that you're making a trivial claim, it's true. But that trivial observation is no more a justification for jokes than it is for personal attacks here.

All I'm asking is, Given that this place has a clearly stated purpose, shouldn't comments that are detrimental to that purpose be frowned upon?

Oh, and give me a break with your "Next Thing To Complain About". You're the one who's whining; the rest of what I've heard has been reasonable discussion.
posted by mattpfeff at 10:32 AM on April 25, 2002


Ack! That's twice! (I didn't see either of mathowie's comments on preview for either of mine. I must be cursed.)

*crosses fingers, prays*
posted by mattpfeff at 10:34 AM on April 25, 2002


Roddii, don't paraphrase me, I clearly said what I mean to say.
For the rest of you who disagree with me, and hence, are completely wrong, I say:
blah, blah, blah , blah blah blaaaah.

There. Twist that as you please.
Also, you seem bitter.
posted by dong_resin at 10:43 AM on April 25, 2002


No. It's about dog-less tails. Or tales.
posted by ParisParamus at 10:44 AM on April 25, 2002


For the rest of you who disagree with me, and hence, are completely wrong, I say:
blah, blah, blah , blah blah blaaaah.


Oh, bravo.

Also, you seem bitter.

I am bitter. Because "me me me!" yammering assholes like you are gradually ruining a site I used to love.
posted by Skot at 10:47 AM on April 25, 2002


I smell thread 1142bis in the making....
posted by ParisParamus at 10:49 AM on April 25, 2002


I'm chiming in with rodii. I wish these chatty posts would just go away. It seems to always be the same twenty or so people, making inside jokes, patting each other on the back and, in general, behaving like some high-school clique.

I'm guessing there's more like me, who stumble on these hug-fests, roll their eyes and move on to the next post. Probably I could just keep ignoring it but Matt and others bring up and interesting point: this a commons - Matt places no restriction on how often you post.

But, this is a commons limited by bandwidth. You're using the commons as your own playground and setting a tone for Meta-Talk that says "There's an in-crowd and you (other active 3K mf users) are not part of it)" I'm sick of reading posts by the same twenty people. Give it a break, already. Go get a chat-room somewhere.

BTW, I didnt answer iconomy's quiz. My posting style is my own. And the whole thing smacked of a high-school popularity contest.
posted by vacapinta at 10:52 AM on April 25, 2002


rodii: if you don't have any plans for Saturday night, wanna run away and get married?

if you're otherwise engaged (!), I think I'll fill the time immortalizing your above screed in needlepoint, suitable for framing.

I wish people wouldn't default to thinking that "there's a time & place for everything" equals "I have no sense of humor and you shouldn't either."
posted by Sapphireblue at 10:53 AM on April 25, 2002


Lurker Perspective:

some asswipe that never knows when his little 15-minutes-of-fame joke is played out

That's bitingly accurate.
posted by zzero at 10:59 AM on April 25, 2002


I pretty much agree with vacapinta's comment, I mean sometimes the threads are funny. But the threads are awfully cliquish, and I think they discourage shy posters from posting.
posted by patrickje at 11:36 AM on April 25, 2002


Michelle, it wouldn't last, I'm too bitter for a sweet gal like you. ("I'm a loner, Dottie, a rebel...")
posted by rodii at 11:39 AM on April 25, 2002


The big "cult" threads are MetaFilter are an extreme waste of resources.

Kill them, Matt. We'll live. Just my opinion of course.
posted by Kafkaesque at 11:40 AM on April 25, 2002


Ditto.
posted by dong_resin at 11:56 AM on April 25, 2002


I agree with Kafkaesque (and with dong_resin also, apparently). The cult threads are fun and hilarious, but if their continued existence is causing division and resentment, they should be closed.
posted by yhbc at 11:58 AM on April 25, 2002


I have to add my piddly voice to the majority here. I love levity and bonhomie as much as (perhaps more) than the next fellow. But there is a threshold where it becomes incredibly annoying and callous. I've been a party to some of the silliness here, I'm not ashamed to admit, because as mathowie said, a bit of fun is fab and necessary. But sometimes the sheer volume of dopey-ness chaftes. It's all about moderation. We're not rats in a Skinner box who can't stop pushing the post button till we drop over. We are intelligent people with a modicum of self control. I don't think anyone should get sanctimonious about this situation (except mathowie since it's his site), but I understand why some people would get irritated by the japery as well. If I'm annoyed, and my tolerance is pretty high, then some people must be really annoyed.

And Miguel, you're basically a nice, good guy, and you've toned it down in the last couple weeks, but if you devoted the sheer verbiage that you put on Metafilter to your writing, you'd be Portugal's answer to Joyce Carol Oates by now. And you'd get money for it, unlike here.

Now off to make a foolish ass of myself at the New York Mefi party.
posted by evanizer at 12:02 PM on April 25, 2002


*nods silently to rodii*
posted by gleuschk at 12:08 PM on April 25, 2002


Mostly, what rodii said. He's right on every count that matters.
Yes, thread-ends can be fun. They're full of mad-wacky comraderie. This doesn't mean they need to be hyped, praised, or encouraged elsewhere.
The good ones occur of their own volition, anyways, not because a bunch of people decide that they're going to start one.

mathowie -- not my place to ask, but cut off the ginormous threads and serve them up as static pages for posterity.

One other thing: Tarrama linking? Shouldn't that have been riffola?
posted by j.edwards at 12:12 PM on April 25, 2002


they redirect playfulness away from serious discussions

um, irc.metafilter.com
posted by chrisroberts at 12:17 PM on April 25, 2002


rodii: I've got you fooled. A prime side effect of MeFi/MeTa addiction is an inexorable increase in one's Bitterness Quotient. I'm getting there ;)
posted by Sapphireblue at 12:18 PM on April 25, 2002


rodii - this is not the way to make me flirt with you...
posted by goneill at 12:53 PM on April 25, 2002


Interestingly, even a thread about the merits of threads degrading into gay banter degrade into gay banter. Condemn it all you want, it just happens.
posted by crunchland at 12:58 PM on April 25, 2002


oh my goodness. I totally backspaced over an addendum to my second comment on this thread. If memory serves---and I think it does---it said: "And now I will stop talking, lest the oppressed masses here stand up as one and cry NOW YOU'RE DOING IT TOO YOU HYPOCRITCAL FASCISTIC CENSOR WAH WAH WAH."

Nothing personally against you, crunch, and double extra points for you that this is your first post to this thread, but just---I saw *that* one coming a mile away.

Just the same. It does happen, but sometimes it happens because it happens, and sometimes it happens because people will it to happen and happen and happen and happen. You wouldn't catch me dead composing haiku here now that the thread is "done"... Even IF the subject of how it gets to be the man's fault when some random floozy hits on him is truly one of those universal questions that begs the careful examination of Literature's all-seeing eye.
posted by Sapphireblue at 1:07 PM on April 25, 2002


Condemn it all you want, it just happens.

But if the angle of the slope wan't so steep, wouldn't that be a good thing?
posted by iceberg273 at 1:09 PM on April 25, 2002


Let's just leave it that I saved everyone else from stooping to point out the obvious. But my point was more that unless Matt actually goes to the trouble of deleting individual messages inside threads (something that will surely go over well, and cause hundreds of daily metatalk threads about why so-and-so's witty comment got axed, there will be no way -- even with the pressure of all the jackals -- to prevent people from being jocular.

On the other hand, maybe a little self-restraint is a good thing.
posted by crunchland at 1:12 PM on April 25, 2002


It's a badinagerie here, for crying out loud!
posted by liam at 1:14 PM on April 25, 2002


Stuggling to rise
it's like quicksand
sucking me down.
Please God,
succor me,
unstick me,
don't let me
plunder
bandwidth.
Keep me
upright
and tight
and Rodiite.
Let SapphireBlue
luv me 2.
But wait
it's 2 late
in the end
they 2
succumb,
and buckle,
and knuckle,
and all
become
wrong
as
Malabar
dong.
Mercy
Percy
O
curse
this
cursed
Entr
op
y.
posted by Opus Dark at 1:28 PM on April 25, 2002


goneill: I really am sorry. I really don't like being the poopyhead. And like I and others have said, it's not that banter is intrinsically bad, it's that it has gone too far and taken on a life of its own. I mean, Miguel is asking in this thread for quasi-official sanction for it, even!

I find the banter amusing, I just think it's the wrong place to do it in such volume and with such dedication, and having to deal with jack-usations every time someone asks for the noise level to be lowered is frustrating, to say the least.
posted by rodii at 1:28 PM on April 25, 2002


rodii--poopyhead? No-o-o-o...

As for Miguel, there is a remedy.



posted by y2karl at 1:48 PM on April 25, 2002


Er, more No-o-o-o... concisely.
posted by y2karl at 1:57 PM on April 25, 2002


I second the IRC suggestion by chrisroberts.

Most of the chattiness belongs in chat, where it is logged by individual users and the server is not taxed.

Just download mIRC or IrcLe, connect to irc.metafilter.com, and join #mefi. It's that easy.
posted by insomnyuk at 2:19 PM on April 25, 2002


I obviously agree with rodii, but I just wanted to address a couple of points that bothered me.

I wish these chatty posts would just go away. It seems to always be the same twenty or so people, making inside jokes, patting each other on the back and, in general, behaving like some high-school clique. - vacapinta

Sounds like sour grapes to me. IMHO, the only people who complain about high school cliques were never part of them. Such a shame, too, I'm sure you were cool in your own way, but just because a couple of people here like to have fun doesn't give others the right to essentially condemn their fun. When a thread has run its course, I don't mind seeing some BS going on. What bothers me is when they do this during a thoughtful conversation.

But the threads are awfully cliquish, and I think they discourage shy posters from posting. - patrickje

The only thing that discourages shy posters are a lack of confidence. This community is incredibly open, and for fuck's sake, we're text on screen. If you have that little self-esteem to be scared off by words, surely your opinion probably doesn't mean much to you, which tells me that your opinion isn't worth anything to me.

If I'm annoyed, and my tolerance is pretty high, then some people must be really annoyed. - evanizer

Heh...I'm sorry, I just wanted to highlight this because I found it rather amusing. This reminds me of a D.L. Hughley comment, "If you know how many black people came to your house, you're racist as a muthafucker." On the same line, if you openly call yourself tolerant, something tells me that probably isn't very true.
posted by BlueTrain at 2:48 PM on April 25, 2002


I realize this has likely been discussed before, but I propose a unilateral and automatic closing of all MetaFilter and MetaTalk threads after they reach X (3? 6?) months old. I would wager that all true conversation ceases to take place after a month, and those whose activity linger are either cult threads or other meaningless oneupmanship. Furthermore, no year-old discussion is going to be revitalized by a comment today, regardless of whether it appears on the 'sorted by activity' page.

Here's this solution, in three lines of PHP:

$months = 3; // variable duration
$stopDate = time() - ($months * 2592000); // seconds per month
mysql_query("UPDATE threads SET closed='1' WHERE timestamp < $stopDate");

Not sure how Mr. Haughey's database is actually structured, or how an NT/ColdFusion server would handle this task, but I could easily set up a crontab on my server to execute the above code at midnight on a daily basis.

(Yes, I'm guilty of it, too, but I at least recognize the stupidity of my actions.)
posted by Danelope at 3:09 PM on April 25, 2002


Damn, BlueTrain, that's gotta be record for you ... taking three personal pot shots at people not on what they said, but on what you assume is behind it. Isn't that clever

Re. the vacapinta quote; most of us have left behind high school behavior, for good reason. To adults, that kind of behavior can be very annoying. Its pretty specious to make assumptions about someone's high-school sensibilities when they've left high school behind.

Re. the patrickje quote; what was said could easily be true, and detrimental to the community whether it parses in your head or not. And what is your justification for falling into second person accusations here? Since you seemed to have missed it, I'll clarify: patrickje DID have the self esteem to post.

The pseudo-attack and blithe dismissal of evanizer, based only on innuendo, is just that laughable. The Hughley quote doesn't apply at all. All evanizer said was that he was annoyed, and he believes (with very good reason as proven by many of the opinions in this thread) that others less tolerant are more annoyed. And here you take a shot at the person, instead of the issue. Since two of those more annoyed than evanizer were mathowie and rodii, and you agree with rodii, perhaps you could explain exactly where your comments are coming from?
posted by Wulfgar! at 3:10 PM on April 25, 2002


I am bitter. Because "me me me!" yammering assholes like you are gradually ruining a site I used to love.

Skot, tell us, how's Stage 4 feel?
posted by brittney at 4:08 PM on April 25, 2002


taking three personal pot shots at people not on what they said, but on what you assume is behind it.

*tee hee* Is this irony or hypocrisy? Or a little bit from column A, a little bit from column B. You accuse me of assuming what's behind them, and continue by making your own assumptions?

And I did neglect a part of the Hughley comment. I should elaborate:

"I'm not racist. In fact I've had 3 African Americans to my house." to which Hughley responds, "If you know how many black people came to your house, you're racist as a muthafucker." ~not a direct quote, but best to my recollection
posted by BlueTrain at 4:38 PM on April 25, 2002


Anything to speedup mefi is good in my book. Someone just needs to buy www.metafuckaround.com and run greymatter or something and let everyone post about kitties, bunnies, and pancakes.
posted by skallas at 4:48 PM on April 25, 2002


Maybe if you ask real nice-like Matt will redirect fuckaround.metafilter.com to your site.
posted by skallas at 4:50 PM on April 25, 2002


If you disapprove of the cult threads, why not just delete them, Matt? If they're putting a strain on the server and soaking up bandwidth I would think you would have deleted them or at least closed them long ago.

Miguel:Is this acceptable, now that MetaTalk has become specifically Meta again?

What do you mean?
posted by iconomy at 4:54 PM on April 25, 2002


As threads go, I hope this one goes on forever.
You're all so cute when you're angry.
posted by dong_resin at 4:55 PM on April 25, 2002


hey, dong, don't tease them. they're just angry at my dashing good looks.
posted by eyeballkid at 5:01 PM on April 25, 2002


What rodii said -- flaming letters, Goodyear blimp, etc.

What I am surprised by is that the main offenders are largely silent in this thread. This thread is pretty much a catalog of chatty annoyance. Participants in 2115 -- exactly how was this supposed to be interesting to anyone outside the small circle of posters mentioned in the poll and their hangers-on?
posted by Mid at 5:03 PM on April 25, 2002


Mid: I, am only speaking for myself when I say, I think the poll was cute and imaginative. I commented in the thread because I thought that iconomy's idea was original. I haven't seen anything like that before. How many posters do that on their weblogs? Perhaps the chatter inside was unnecessary, but the post itself was, IMHO, worthwhile.

disclaimer: although I was on that poll, I hardly consider myself biased because I am typically ::wink wink:: abrasive and honest.
posted by BlueTrain at 5:13 PM on April 25, 2002


What's this? I recognize a lot of inveterate banterers among the finger-wagging, deep-voiced, pretending-to-be-all-serious posters in this thread. It's funny how quickly they whip out their stuffed shirts from their previous-life funsters' knapsacks and do the James Earl Jones thing. It's probably some kind of elaborate joke. Quite good, too. But not very convincing. Thank God!

posted by MiguelCardoso at 5:20 PM on April 25, 2002


No, Miguel, it's that some of us realized that Matt's repeated requests that people not turn MetaFilter and MetaTalk into all-purpose chat boards were not, in fact, some sort of po-faced Dadaist playacting but instead were, in fact, repeated requests not to turn them into all-purpose chat boards. If any of my previous-life funster banter led to your perception that MetaFilter and MetaTalk are meant to serve as all-purpose chat boards, I hereby authorize Matt to throw a water balloon at my head the next time I'm in San Francisco. If free-wheeling jabber gives you such pleasure, why not take it to email or another site? Or set up your own site? I'm sure Matt would give you suggestions, as it would help him reverse the trend of MeFi and MeTa serving as all-pupose chat boards.

In conclusion, anyone who likes books will like this book MetaTalk and MetaFilter are not all-purpose chat boards.
posted by snarkout at 6:18 PM on April 25, 2002


snarkout, will you marry me?
posted by jessamyn at 7:17 PM on April 25, 2002


Heh. I agree, snarkout. Matt doesn't rule out chattiness - he just hates that people use MetaFilter and MetaTalk for shooting the breeze and useless playing around. Quite right. We all agree with that and, I think, we've all been less selfish and cliquey lately. That trend has been reversed, I think.

I'm chatty by nature but I've toned it down a lot. If you reread my initial post you'll find I was consulting the community about "end-of-thread" comments on exhausted MeTa threads. Of course I can't deny that I love banter and that it's one of the main reasons I adore MetaFilter.

I mean if I want serious commentary and analysis, which I do, I prefer reading books and magazines rather than a weblog. No contest there. I love MetaFilter because of the people, the personalities, the quirks, the quickfire opinions, the unadorned humanity. It would be foolish to pretend otherwise. Serious thinking is incompatible with spontaneous web chatter - which is all it is. And wonderful it is too.

My surprise is how a lot of posters here make jokes and chat 50% of the time(certainly much more than I do) but, in this thread, they come across as prim and proper. That's funny.

Btw, I dislike all this talk of "set up your own site", "go elsewhere". Most of us have done. But everything in its place. Take a fine comb to any thread, eliminate everything that could be considered banter, jabbering or inconsequential remarks and you'd be left with very little. My humble opinion is that this is how it should be.
posted by MiguelCardoso at 7:28 PM on April 25, 2002


I'm chatty by nature but I've toned it down a lot.

This reminds me of a diet I used to be on -- a Big Mac meal super-sized with fries and a Diet Coke. For some reason I never lost weight.

Even if you've toned it down "a lot," you remain the most garrulous person this site has ever seen, celebrating and encouraging more empty chatter than Jerry Springer working a crowd.

Maybe it's time you acknowledged the large number of people who get something more serious from this site than "spontaneous web chatter" and abandoned your quest to let no Comment box go unfilled.
posted by rcade at 8:02 PM on April 25, 2002


But everything in its place.

Good god. Are you really this oblivious? For the nth time: "MetaTalk is a discussion area for topics specific to MetaFilter itself, or weblogs in general." That's what everything is in this place. What is the place for what you're asking for? Because I don't see it in that definition.

An argument could be made that the blue side is perfectly appropriate for what you're asking for. I dunno; I think MeFi has signal-to-noise problems of its own. But why Metatalk? What do you see in the mission statement here that indicate a constant "flow" of clubby chat is appropriate? "Everything in its place", not "everything in this place." Or, as crunchland perhaps indicates, everything in balance.

Take a fine comb to any thread, eliminate everything that could be considered banter, jabbering or inconsequential remarks and you'd be left with very little.

Stop to think why this might be. Could it be that many people who would other wise have "consequential remarks" have essentially given up and left the place to the chatters? And that we're possibly losing some of the very discourse you would otherwise like to see? Or even simply that we're failing to be as good as we could?
posted by rodii at 8:16 PM on April 25, 2002


What do you see in the mission statement here that indicate a constant "flow" of clubby chat is appropriate?

I said nothing of the sort, rodii. Those are all entirely your own words. (Why does the word "flow" have inverted commas around it?) I made an enquiry about whether the community could live with some chatting and joking at the end of MeTa threads. Apparently not. Fine.

I did not post a "Long live chat!" or "Bring on more jokes!" thread. And I expressed my own opinion long after others had commented, as is my right. The amount of chatting and joking is certainly "a topic specific to MetaFilter and weblogs in general". It's something people do a lot. and MetaTalk is the place to discuss it. And people have. And we are discussing it.

Making this all about me and insulting me("are you really this oblivious?"), not to mention rcade's Jerry Springer comparison, is chattiness at its worst and most personal. To each his own, I suppose.
posted by MiguelCardoso at 8:46 PM on April 25, 2002


now that MetaTalk has become specifically Meta again

Like iconomy, I am confused about what this statement is referring to. Was it not, some time in there?
posted by redfoxtail at 8:57 PM on April 25, 2002


miguel first wrote:

When a MeTa thread has played its course, chattiness and jokes sometimes rush in. Although I realize it's a minority sport, I just love thread-ends. There's something ecological about using left-overs for imaginative and friendly banter. Is my excuse, anyway...

Like soon-to-be-deleted threads on MetaFilter, they serve a useful pressure-valve purpose: they redirect playfulness away from serious discussions and probably inhibit initiating purposefully chatty posts. At least for me. Is this acceptable, now that MetaTalk has become specifically Meta again? Or, at least, can it be lived with? I hope so.


and then later:

Making this all about me and insulting me ... is chattiness at its worst and most personal.

you must admit, miguel, that like many metatalk threads the focus of this particular thread was an opinion. while opinions regard a particular subject, they necessarily concern you as well. people are allowed to address your biases and behavior. as for insulting you; well, if it's unwarranted it'll reflect poorly on the insulter, so i suppose everything evens out.
posted by moz at 9:07 PM on April 25, 2002


I did not post a "Long live chat!" or "Bring on more jokes!" thread.

Aaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhh! Consider, just for once, that you might be wrong, Miguel. Your post, if not intentionally, was easily construed as a half-assed attempt to get official sanction for your brand of inane blather.

Making this all about me and insulting me("are you really this oblivious?"), not to mention rcade's Jerry Springer comparison, is chattiness at its worst and most personal.

Bullshit. It's pointed commentary, not chat, and you ARE apparently oblivious. As for insults, I find your claim that "Serious thinking is incompatible with spontaneous web chatter - which is all it is" insulting. Many people, including myself, are trying to have serious conversations here. Humour is welcome, but when it devolves into in-group chat sessions that take over the damn site, take it elsewhere. This is not only about you, it's about you and the twenty or so usual suspects who, like you, are willing to waste someone else's bandwidth for your own sophomoric gratification.

Finally, this:

I dislike all this talk of "set up your own site", "go elsewhere". Most of us have done. But everything in its place. Take a fine comb to any thread, eliminate everything that could be considered banter, jabbering or inconsequential remarks and you'd be left with very little.

is insulting and ridiculous. Not only would there be plenty of value left if the jabbering could be removed, but "everything in its place" is exactly what we are trying to tell you. MetaTalk/MetaFilter is NOT your personal playground. Back off some. Shut the fuck up once in a while. Let the other kids have a turn.


posted by sennoma at 9:10 PM on April 25, 2002


Could it be that many people who would other wise have "consequential remarks" have essentially given up and left the place to the chatters? And that we're possibly losing some of the very discourse you would otherwise like to see? Or even simply that we're failing to be as good as we could?

This I think is very possible. I too dislike chat and jokes at the beginning or in the middle of threads - unless they're very brief and duly presented as off-topic with appropriate small tags and some sort of apology. These probably discourage serious commentators - they certainly devalue the discussion and MetaFilter as a whole.

But I repeat my question was about thread-ends; not about threads in general. There I think most of us are in complete agreement. But that would be another thread.

[On preview]:

redfoxtail: I misunderstood MeTa for a long time - the "talk" part - and so did make quite a few silly and inappropriate banter-seeking posts. But that was a relatively long time ago. But these last few weeks MeTa has returned to its designated function and is all the better for it.
posted by MiguelCardoso at 9:11 PM on April 25, 2002


your brand of inane blather

shut the fuck up

Well, sennoma, at least your standards of what constitutes serious discussion are clear enough.
posted by MiguelCardoso at 9:25 PM on April 25, 2002


I too dislike chat and jokes at the beginning or in the middle of threads - unless they're very brief and duly presented as off-topic with appropriate small tags and some sort of apology.

Why? Why is it that if you admit to making a mistake it's okay? I'll admit that I've done it before; I've temporarily hijacked a thread to argue something. But it's wrong. So my question is, why is it okay in your mind?

But I repeat my question was about thread-ends

What's the difference? Most want chatter to end. You enjoy chat at the end of a thread. But then you say chatter during a thread is wrong. Why the double standard?
posted by BlueTrain at 9:45 PM on April 25, 2002


Honestly, Miguel, you'd drive anyone to say what Sennoma said. You started this thread with a question about whether this sort of banter was a good thing or should at least be tolerated. People answered. Matt answered. You didn't like the answer, so you kept rationalizing and talking and saying that the people who gave answers you didn't like were making personal attacks.

It is clear that you're not going to tone down your posting. It's equally clear that Matt is going to put up with you, and that you've recruited a squadron of Miguelistas to chime in with you. The banter you talked about was already being accepted, albeit grudgingly in some quarters, and nothing is really going to be done about it. You've won, ok? You've turned the site into the red-headed bastard of IRC and your own personal blog. Do you have to continue to rub our noses in it? Can't you just keep quiet and enjoy the mess that you have wrought?
posted by anapestic at 9:53 PM on April 25, 2002


But I repeat my question was about thread-ends; not about threads in general. There I think most of us are in complete agreement. But that would be another thread.

Miguel, I think you're ignoring an important point, mainly that chatter all-too-often prematurely ends discussion in a thread all on its own.

Who's to say when a thread has run its course? And how can you be so sure that intelligent conversation wasn't simply driven away by the usual suspects hijacking it for their own amusement?

Better to end inane chatter altogether, and be rid of the silly controversy.
posted by dogmatic at 10:02 PM on April 25, 2002


Anapestic: please. I don't want to be annoying. I don't want to go against the community, even when I disagree. It hurts me when you say I'm still annoying. But I believe and trust you. And it hurts. It must be true. But I'm posting much less - every week I make some progress - and will keep on trying until I finally fit in. Please believe me. I apologize for any mess I made. I'm not a competitive person at all. What winning? What rubbing noses? I love MetaFilter just as it is.
posted by MiguelCardoso at 10:16 PM on April 25, 2002


I realized a little while ago that goofing around too much on MeFi was irresponsible and selfish. I still do it a bit because it's in my nature I guess.

I get along with all you guys, Miguel and rodii alike. The 9622s and the 1142s. There is a lesson to be learned from the 1142s, though. They took it elsewhere. I took it elsewhere this afternoon. This is no attempt to be elitist or cliquish, just an attempt to assuage the aggravation going on here.

Pesty, Snark etc have a point about you Miguel. You have an overbearing style and you talk a whole lot. I don't mind it though. Some people do. That's unavoidable.

The final analysis, in my opinion: MeFi was not created for all the different types of people here. It was created by high-end web geeks for sharing neat stuff on the net. Everybody piled in here out of respect for what was being done, and because they wanted to be like the original gang. But there was a problem: the vast majority of newer MeFis don't really fit this original mold, and have subsequently tried to mold the site into a place where they feel comfortable. This changed it into a larger, more encompassing, but less elite and groovy place.

I know I've gotten on the wick of more than a few of the old-timers, and I've tried to respect them and show them the deference they deserve, because after all this place was created with them in mind, not all of us new lot. If the old-timers rail against MeFi trends, listen to them. They built this place. If people here that I respect tell me to take it elsewhere, it's probably for a very good reason.

Sorry for rambling, but I wanted to make everything clear.
posted by Kafkaesque at 10:19 PM on April 25, 2002


Compared to some, I'm a veritable Sphinx, but I've posted a few dippy comments too. So shoot me. But this bloodletting and, worse still, lecturing and preaching is no better.
Yes, the badinage goes too far sometimes, but, rodii, when you bitched about the owillis/Britney jokes after my April Fool's Day participation, I did apologize to you "and everyone" and sinned no more, at least in that thread. But I don't kid myself that I'm part of any clique, I'm just the occasional wiseass buttinsky. Even less often, I get annoyed enough to chime in on these crappy arguments. (Silent gagging being my usual response to this stuff, just as it is to comments like "I want to be called King Cock Gobbler!" Give me Britney serving me flapjacks any day.)

Carry on, jokers and haters. I can be both, but both fields seem overcrowded, and besides, my 15 minutes are up.
posted by StOne at 10:46 PM on April 25, 2002


Miguel, I'm being completely serious. From what I can tell from others, including myself, the typical behavoir is to check out metafilter, post on all the threads you're interested in. Mosey on over to metatalk, post on threads you're interested in and then idle hands start doing the devil's work. Why not run a baby metafilter just for general bullshit? Here's what I'm thinking. I'm not sure if its already been done so apologies in advanced if I'm ripping anyone off:

1. Allow unlimited posting and comments using the same username you have here.

2. No rules, just free for all fun. Kind of like the discussions in filepile minus the [good] [bad] tags.

3. Make it truly meta. Post what you feel. "Is skallas too sexy for metafilter?" "Holy crap did today's batch of posts suck ass." "Anyone know where I can get a cheap 19" monitor?" "I have a few naked pictures of Iconomy, wanna see?" etc. I guess generally stuff that's really not appropriate for metalk, but something that others might want to chime in on.

Go crazy with it. It wouldn't be too hard to implement and it would take the strain off from the ancient cult threads. Heck you can probably run it for next to nothing using weblog software with a built in commenting system.

posted by skallas at 10:51 PM on April 25, 2002


Well, sennoma, at least your standards of what constitutes serious discussion are clear enough.

Right, so now you get to ignore any point I made, and all of YOUR insults to the community are justified. Nice bit of rationalization there.

If you read through the (relatively small volume of) posts I've made, you will see what my standards for serious discussion are. If one wades through your veritable tsunami of posts, it becomes equally clear that you consider yourself exempt from community mores, all of your disingenuous wailing to the contrary notwithstanding.

I am being frank to the point of insult because you have simply ignored the many gentler attempts that have been made to get you to stop playing with yourself in public. There must be some way to get through to you!
posted by sennoma at 11:24 PM on April 25, 2002


sennoma
Many people, including myself, are trying to have serious conversations here

Where exactly does this appraise on your transcendent discourse scale, sennoma?
posted by Opus Dark at 11:38 PM on April 25, 2002


I am all for archived threads to be closed. The only minor issue this raises is double posts. It would be nice to clarify how DPs will be handled if the original thread is closed.

Sorry for the banter but j.edwards asked "One other thing: Tarrama linking? Shouldn't that have been riffola?"

I was out of town, and I really not that big a MeFioso. :)
posted by riffola at 12:04 AM on April 26, 2002


But this bloodletting and, worse still, lecturing and preaching is no better.

Amen, St0ne, amen. I was gone all day--this is so depressing to come back to--one of those days when I wish I could erase everything I've ever written here or on MetaFilter proper.

And props to you, Opus Dark!
posted by y2karl at 12:23 AM on April 26, 2002


Where exactly does this appraise on your transcendent discourse scale, sennoma?

The comment you linked was my response to an egregiously poisonous remark and was entirely serious.
posted by sennoma at 12:33 AM on April 26, 2002


Skallas: Why not run a baby metafilter just for general bullshit?

Nice to see someone is saying something constructive. And I'm not just saying that because he's blackmailing me with those pics.

I think a multi-user weblog with commenting would be fantastic. I know Blogger does a team weblog thing where you can have as many users as you like, for instance. Combine something like that with commenting and you have a place to post or remark on anything you want and get lots of feedback and conversation in the process. A no-rules off-site unaffiliated weblog run by a bunch of chatty Mefioso would be a lot of fun, and like skallas said, it would take the strain off the server by giving people another place to go vent. It would keep Metatalk tight, and keep the chattier among us on good behavior (hopefully) at the same time. It's worth thinking about. I could definitely see Miguel at the helm of something like this.
posted by iconomy at 12:56 AM on April 26, 2002


I second everything Anapestic said. I also greatly appreciate Kaf's remarks.

Miguel (and others), why do you always understand "take it elsewhere" as an insult? Why not make 9622.org or whatever you want to call it? I'm sure you'd enjoy it, and it would necessarily cut down on fights like these, which are tiring for even the most patient lurker.
posted by J. R. Hughto at 5:52 AM on April 26, 2002


Let me try to clarify my position here. I apologize for the length.

I am just one person, not the voice of a clique or a cabal, not a self-appointed MeFi cop, expressing my ideas about what I think should be done. All I have to back me up is my arguments and whatever credibility I have built up as a member of this community--same as anyone else. I'm not trying to enforce conformity, the sneers of Opus and dong_ notwithstanding, I'm trying to argue for a sense of responsibility. I have my vision, sure, of the purpose of MeTa, which I think is in line with the actual "charter" of MeTa, and I'm suggesting we try to stick to that. You may, of course, disagree, ignore me, or argue back. Some good points have been made here, especially by crunchland, I think, that aren't totally consonant with what I said. Fine.

I don't dislike the people I'm talking about here. I (obliquely, but not very) pointed the finger at one person who I think has behaved obnoxiously, but the point was not to personalize the argument. (In fact, I enjoy the banter on its own terms quite a lot.) If Miguel insists on taking things personally, that's his choice, but it wasn't my intent. It wasn't me who coined the term "Miguelista" or used it here (but, hey, doesn't the very fact that people use such a term, and everyone knows what it means, send up some kind of warning flag?). In fact, it's not even about personalities so much as it's about a general ethos. StOne's division of everyone into "jokers" and "haters" is off-target and insulting. I'm not a hater; he brings up his Britney example, but I didn't even remember it until he brought it up, and I certainly didn't connect it with him. It is possible to try to be dispassionately constructive here.

And this is the thing that's getting to me. When one tries to be a good "citizen" of the site, the response is often ridicule, agression, Opus' brand of above-it-all scorn, or dong's anger that "someone is trying to spoil my fun" . I've been called a jackal, a whiner, a prick, a hater, an asshole, a fascist, a self-appointed MeFi cop...I've gotten a couple emails in the last 24 hours that made me just recoil. And I hardly even post any more. I haven't been selfish, haven't said everyone has to pay attention to me or do what I say, and still I have to deal with the kind of routine bullshit that gets dished out in this thread and many others.

I hang out (on line) with a number of people who were once major contributors to MeFi and MeTa. They're not fascists or jackals or hyper-serious eggheads. (We engage in much the same sort of banter we're discussing here--indeed, amped up to an almost unbelieveable degree--but we don't do it here.) And almost every day, a major topic of conversation is what a train wreck MeTa, let alone the main site, has become. And I find myself in the awkward position of defending a lot of the people here that think I'm attacking them--no, he's a good guy, no, she really is smart and funny, no that haiku really was quite clever. But these people are generally so discouraged (or have been flamed enough) that they just don't see much of value here anymore.

So what I see here is a bunch of people who, in part because Matt's relatively hands-off style, have developed such a sense of entitlement that they feel that anything they do is OK. So we hear arguments like "unless Matt expressly tells me I can't do something, I can, and I don't have to listen to anyone else." Or "but this is the way I have fun, and I really like and value this kind of discussion." Or "Serious thinking is incompatible with spontaneous web chatter - which is all it is." The costs, such as they are, are mostly hidden--bandwidth, Matt's time and mental health, people feeling too intimidated to post, conversations prematurely dying because pancakes have taken over...(I talked to someone yesterday who wanted to post something to a Metafilter thread, but felt like he was too late--everyone had already moved on to some other topic. If you only get to read MeTa every few days, and a thread has flipped because someone decided that "the discussion is over and now we can play", then you have the option of INSISTING you be heard or shutting up, and most people will take the latter option.)

The argument seems to be that this is all all right, because the space is here and nothing is stopping us from using it, so let's do whatever we like. I used the image of parasites in my first post, and I stand by it. Either you feel some sense of responsibility to the community, or you feel like the site's just there so you can enjoy your dead gay threads and fuck the pastel-suited jackals if they don't like it. I submit that, to the extent you choose the latter, you're a parasite. Do you want to be a parasite?
posted by rodii at 6:47 AM on April 26, 2002


actually, what annoys me most about "thread-ends" is not that they happen, but more about who decides and when a thread has "ended" and when the duck waddling and cigar wagging begins.

Sometimes it seems that if you don't get your thoughts posted within the first 20 or so messages, there's really no point in posting, because it'll get lost in the bullshit anyway.

I'm almost thinking that there's a certain hour of the day (or actually, night) where the little elves come out and turn perfectly good threads into crappy little back-and-forths, amusing to mostly just the participants. I suspect alcohol or other intoxicants are to blame.

And I'd also like to point out that I run a message board where chatty messages by mature and witty people are actually encouraged.


posted by crunchland at 7:27 AM on April 26, 2002


Very well put, rodii. I would simply amend it with SapphireBlue's "There is a time and a place for everything". When the banter debases MetaFilter, or stifles it, it should be purged.
posted by Marquis at 7:55 AM on April 26, 2002


I've gotten a couple emails in the last 24 hours that made me just recoil.
rodii, I was going to send you an email to counterbalance one of those, but your address isn't available right now. As much as I've been resisting a contribution to this ever-sprawling thread, I do have to give major respect to you for your position and your calm tenacity in presenting it. Thank you for both. (I also have to say that Miguel should change his name to Ivan Pavlov for the way he gets people wound up into these big fights. An unwarranted MeTa post saying he likes to chat and the thread fills up with vituperation and name-calling. Gee, who woulda thunk it?)
posted by Dean King at 8:07 AM on April 26, 2002


And I'd also like to point out that I run a message board where chatty messages by mature and witty people are actually encouraged.

so ugly, though--ow, my eyes!
posted by y2karl at 10:16 AM on April 26, 2002


Well, stOne me if a satisfactory conclusion hasn't been reached:

a)banter on thread-ends is officially discouraged on MeTa;

b)rodii's well-reasoned argument(specially in his last post, but also in his first and second)against taxing resources and members' attention is irrefutable. "Do it somewhere else" is a good idea.(I apologize for having been touchy about this, due to my illegal alien mentality).

c)skallas sketched out a useful model for, following his felicitous typo, a "mefilter", or "baby mefi" for discussing how sexy he is and how important those iconomy photographs are to the unserious community.

d)most importantly, Matt has set out how costly and selfish the cult threads are and suggested that the sort of conversation that goes on there is better carried out on an "offshoot" site.

e)towards that end, Kafkaesque has opened a place anyone who likes joking and chatting about MetaFilter can join, which will severely reduce cliquey behaviour, shooting-the-breeze and private jokes. It now exists and the benefits should be felt immediately.

All's well that ends well.
posted by MiguelCardoso at 10:31 AM on April 26, 2002


Now that's what I'd like to see more of... Thread wrap-ups.
Would save me from using actual brain power to filter out all the snarky in-line comments.
posted by FreezBoy at 11:43 AM on April 26, 2002


Bravo rodii. So eloquently put and spot on.

If I had the power to christen April 26th as National Thank Rodii Day, I would do so.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 12:15 PM on April 26, 2002


rodii, again I apologize for being "insulting" and if I seemed to imply any personal animosity from you to me or vice versa. I apologized for my bad Britney joke because I was in the wrong...
...because, for whatever it's worth, I mostly agree with your points. The joking (again) goes too far, but so does the attacking. I just want to make it clear I'm not taking sides against you any more than I am against anyone else here. I hate the lynch-mob mentality worse than anything, whether it's you, me, Miguel, ParisParamus or fold_and_mutilate who takes the heat.

...I wish I could erase everything I've ever written here or on MetaFilter proper.
Me too, y2karl. All I know to do is stop adding any more fuel to the fire and return to lurker mode, precisely because I do feel some sense of responsibility toward the community.
posted by StOne at 1:37 PM on April 26, 2002


*still trying to visualize rodii's statement in forty-foot letters of fire...*
posted by adampsyche at 1:53 PM on April 26, 2002


*...and in needlepoint...*
posted by adampsyche at 2:01 PM on April 26, 2002


so ugly, though--ow, my eyes!

Perhaps. Keeps out the wimps.
posted by crunchland at 2:38 PM on April 26, 2002


OK, I appreciate all the kind words, though I would really rather this wasn't about me. And I apologize to those of you who think I'm being a wet blanket. I'm really quite a funster, see? *does amusing dance* And to that particular person (you know who you are) who plans to follow me around and needle me every time I get a little chatty, I have to say (1) knock yourself out; (2) remember I'm not the only one who feels this way; (3) this was not personal and I am not a "hater"; (4) as I've stated several times, it's only a problem when it starts to hurt the site--I'm not asking everyone to be little automatons, and if you would get over your snit you would realize that.

OK, I'm done. I apologize again for any ill feelings I caused.
posted by rodii at 3:20 PM on April 26, 2002


No problem, rodii. I am proud and humble to have lent my nick to so epochal a document. Twice mentioned, twice vilified. Bonhommie rush, pure gold.
posted by Opus Dark at 4:53 PM on April 26, 2002


Selections from Day One of a new! improved! commons limited by bandwidth so far:

Spin Magazine continues pathetic slide into utter mediocrity.
Squirrels Invade Stanford!!!!!
Ebert: "Jason X sucks on the levels of storytelling, character development, suspense, special effects, originality, punctuation, neatness and aptness of thought."

Exceptions noted: Freaky Friday exclusionary rule in effect...

And in the serious threads, the preponderantly profound quality of thought :
McDonald's meat from antibiotics-injected livestock is now the primary source of antibiotics for U.S. children, particularly for uninsured youths from low-income households.
TLC's Lisa "Left Eye" Lopes dies.

just sayin' ;รพ

by the way, St0ne, I'm ok with what rodii said & it makes sense to me--I'm on a phone line and to sit and wait for a cult thread to load, and then if you want to join in the fun, to load again for preview, and then again for post--life's too short. And then what Matt said about the way it closes people out really clinched it: why waste other people's time on top of it, too?

It was just the over the top Miguel pile ons by certain old timers extremely less senior than newbie me that depressed me. And low blood sugar was involved. Since I'm guaranteed persona non grata status via King Stork v. King Log reasons at 9622 anyway, I'll have to try to inject some gravitas in my ongoing cognitive decay hereon in, barring the usual short term whatchmacallit loss--and the imp and impette of the perverse, of course!


posted by y2karl at 5:41 PM on April 26, 2002


Wow, and I missed all this!

Put me in the rodii camp on this one. If only the jokes weren't so bad and the banter so inane...but we get what we get.

I do think that this is a red herring, however:

I am all for archived threads to be closed. The only minor issue this raises is double posts. It would be nice to clarify how DPs will be handled if the original thread is closed.

The notion that (serious) threads are in any meaningful sense useful, living organisms after a week is a damned dirty lie that interferes with improving the one great flaw of the otherwise superb Metafilter system.
posted by rushmc at 5:44 PM on April 26, 2002


I understand perfectly, y2karl--both about the dialup and that (as I hope my last comment made clear) this wasn't about rodii. And I hope it's understood my "stop adding fuel to the fire and return to lurker mode" remark was only about me.

Hopefully I've learned that however much I disapprove of the way some of these MeTa discussions go, they're not improved by my participation.

[politely excuses self...puts on coat of #666666 to blend into background]


posted by StOne at 10:43 PM on April 26, 2002


(I've been away for a few days, and offline. Just got back.)

show them the deference they deserve

Oh dear. I, for one, show deference to none until they demonstrate why that deference is appropriate, Kaf. 'course, I defer to rodii like a diesel-powered deferring machine, 'cause he deserves the deferrin'.

I must say I feel like a parasite now, in the words of somebody or other above, for loading up a couple of the cult threads for the first time in (weeks? months? a fair while, anyway) a few days ago and adding my two bits to the banter there. Bad timing.

Friend rodii, you are the man, as everyone and his dog attests, but I really need to draw a little line in the sand when you tell us that with The Gang Of Groovy Kids Who Shall Go Nameless (but many of whom have put in an appearance here) "almost every day, a major topic of conversation is what a train wreck MeTa, let alone the main site, has become". I understand that a fairly significant chunk of the reason that the aforementioned Groovy Guys and Gals express this opinion has to do with the growth of what has variously been described as 'chattiness' and 'banter', and that many would target the metastasizing of this trend as around the time that Miguel made his appearance.

And you know, you're right.

[Large chunk excised on preview, as I remember how often annoyed I've been by endless tomfoolery in MeTa in recent times][With awareness that I've done quite a lot of it myself.]

I've sung paens to this place, repeatedly, in the past. I'm not going to bother doing it again. I've even spent some time hanging out in the cool spots with some of the Groovy People. I'm probably transgressing the unwritten law here after Matt dubbed you Sir Rodii The EverBlessed by saying it, but : despite some of the purple prose above, I can't agree with you and others about how bad this place has become. But to each his own, perhaps.

I do very much think that locking the 'cult' threads and encouraging culties to form new offshoot sites is wise, and I don't know why, other than that it would mean that 1142 must also be locked, Matt hasn't done it already.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 5:06 AM on April 27, 2002


See, then I go over and read the NYC MetaMeat thread and all the happy hangover loving inside, and feel bad about being so, like, serious and stuff.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 5:22 AM on April 27, 2002


Yes. This place is one big contradiction.

St0ne, I for one think all discussions are improved by your participation.
posted by iconomy at 6:05 AM on April 27, 2002


I feel like I've about used up my quota of opinions for the month (year?) in this thread, but let me hazard a couple more:

karl: I was only talking about MeTa here, not about the larger problem, if it is a problem, of Metafilter. I certainly wasn't talking about the question of, in someone's arbitrary judgment, "frivolous" vs. "serious" threads. I'm sure everyone has their own idea of what good content is on MeFi. I wouldn't dare to try to impose mine (except through the time-honored way of offering a "good" link when I find one, and trying to contrinute to the threads I find interesting). So I'm not really sure what your point is.

Stavros is my friend, but as I wade through all the barbs I'm not so sure that he feels the same about me anymore, which makes me sad. But Stav, snarkiness aside, I think you need to be clear about what you mean by "this place." I mean Metatalk, and Metatalk only, and I have never suggested all banter must end. I'm only trying to get people to stay true to the "charter" of the place: it's a place to discuss Metafilter (etc.). That means (a) people should, with some reasonable allowance for the fact that we're naturally chatty beings, discuss Metafilter (etc.); and (b) people should be able to discuss Metafilter without being called pastel-appointed meta-jackals.

I have more to say, but I think it would be best if we took it off-line.

stOne, I've never had any problems with you (not that it should matter if I did). I'm sorry if I've given that impression.
posted by rodii at 8:45 AM on April 27, 2002


rodii, buddy, I meant no snark. When I said you are the man, I meant it. I agree with you, for the most part! I did not mean to place any barbs.

Words are poor tools, in my hands, at least.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 8:51 AM on April 27, 2002


Same here, rodii. I did think it was about the larger frame with MetaFilter included, since what started it rolling was Miguel's post up there about thread ends in the blue. And Matt weighed in on that. I got prickly over Sennoma and Blue Train, but jeez, I'm no old timer, and more and more I realize this is mild compared to everywhere else for nastiness.

It's funny, over at monkey island there's a pot shot at y6y6y6 with a link to his farewell rant about Miguel--then I read about how he went to SXSW and mentions meeting and admiring some venerable pioneer who wants to instill civility and manners into e-discourse. Here, for the better part, everyone grows. Ideally it's like--as I've said before--a fair fight between husband and wife, where both eventually edge closer to common ground and being able to take in each other's point of view.

Me, clavdivs impressions and SDB eureka insights aside, right now I feel stale, tired and uninspired for the most part--I don't give a rat's ass about much of what's been posted lately. But that will pass.

What I do like about this place is its inclusivity. Matt's pretty much King Log here and doesn't intervene until things threaten the commonwealth. I get exposed to a grand spectrum of personalities, opinions and ideas that I would never have run across and get to see even the non-anonymous cranks as human beings after awhile. It's all very stimulating and edifying.

So, yes it, should be Thank rodii day--and, maybe, a little bit thank Miguel day, too: he always seems to be the lightning rod, scapegoat and strawman hereabouts. Yet his putting a foot in it again wrought a general consciousness raising. Think of him as the sorcerer's apprentice.

posted by y2karl at 1:05 PM on April 27, 2002


Huh, I thought the thread was about thread ends in MeTa. Though it's true, the issues kid of run together.

By the way, enough of the "thank rodii" stuff, everybody, OK? I'm cringing here. All I did was shoot my mouth off. It's probably moratorium time, PP-style.
posted by rodii at 3:53 PM on April 27, 2002


"Beating themselves into eyes which have had enough/
Thank you, no more thank you./ And they come on like scenery mingled with darkness..."

-John Ashbury, 'The one thing that can save america'

saving the kicker for a later date...

I am guilty of funsy-fun in 1142. and it was directed toward Rodii. But outta respect...but as an ass, these things can be construed wrong. we must do better. I was shamed by this thread, though i really havent lurked that much, and humbled by rodiis words. Rodii, gonna turn in soon. please e-mail me soon. i would like that.(takes down styrofoam barricade)
posted by clavdivs at 10:15 PM on April 27, 2002


Just to sum up, I think it's fair to say I didn't take any of this personally, because I don't actually make many jokes, merely chatty remarks or haikus. When I do, I fall flat on my face. I just very much enjoy those who do. For a European like me, it's refreshing and true that intelligent, sensitive people here let down their guard and hold forth on what impassions then.

I'm a writer and an academic, a political philosopher no less. The great thing about MetaFilter, which I've found nowhere else, is how people from different backgrounds and perspectives(not to mention cultures and countries) join together to celebrate their differences and engage in spontaneous - yet high-minded and informed - discourse.

I'm also quite old, a bookish person with a happy life, full of friends and pleasures - the opposite of an outcast. My books are best-sellers, I'm in love, married to the woman I love(Schweppes Girl!); I earn a lot of money doing exactly what I like; and come onto MetaFilter because I love reading what my fellow members have to say.

MetaFilter's main attraction, as constantly reaffirmed by Matt, is precisely this strange, international, multicultural and, above all, multiprofessional mix. I like the geeks' and nerds' threads. I learnt a lot about snarkiness and honesty here. I love the lack of falsity and the almost universal disregard for hypocrisy.

I try to bring to Metafilter a European, philosophical, literary, bohemian and non-webby approach. But just because I appreciate the opposite of what I try to bring and believe every person is best at what he loves and knows. Jokes, snarkiness, chattiness and haikus are exciting to people like me and seem to fit the medium very well. But these were things I learnt of on MetaFilter. For 45 years of my life I'd never come across them.

So please don't represent me as chatty, jokey Dan - as some have done here - because I just don't deserve it. :)
posted by MiguelCardoso at 5:12 AM on April 28, 2002


Thank you Miguel... Nuff said? Nuff said!
posted by Mack Twain at 7:15 AM on April 28, 2002


y2karl, whimsy does not automatically equal abuse. I don't know what your problem with my Jason X post is because it is squarely within the bounds of propriety for MetaFilter.
posted by NortonDC at 11:00 AM on April 28, 2002


i am dismissed by the literary world with quizzical looks, mockery and the occasional polite, knowing nod. in this way i feel as though i have been treated like most authors, though i am not published, and this provides for me a sense of connectedness and contentedness. perhaps one day i shall write a cute story for the inside cover of a belle and sebastian album, and the members of metafilter can say: "oh, moz -- i knew him before he fucking sold out. the fucker." to you i say fear not, for saint etienne once had a cute story in an album cover.
posted by moz at 10:51 PM on April 28, 2002


...Roger that, Hazmat - we have thread end, repeat we have thread end...send in first responders...and please escort one moz from the spill site...
posted by Opus Dark at 11:12 PM on April 28, 2002


i was responding to miguel's mention of his best-sellers, opus. i had some fun with the comment, too, which (hopefully) no one minds. (and if you do, may i say you've lost your way from the issue of no-cult-threads-on-metafilter.)
posted by moz at 12:01 AM on April 29, 2002


moz, I greatly enjoyed your comment. Just flipping a piece of mildly sarcastic litter out the window as I drove past - nothing meaningful, nothing malevolent, nothing at all, really.
posted by Opus Dark at 12:12 AM on April 29, 2002


OK, last dog to pee on the hydrant: NortonDC, you're absolutely right. Over and out.
posted by y2karl at 1:19 AM on April 29, 2002


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