Can we 3D print that in Steampunk? March 31, 2012 9:43 PM   Subscribe

There seems to be a little, well, very dry churlishness towards BoingBoing on Metafilter. Is there a paricular reason why, or is it one of those ironic in-jokes that I am failing to pick up on? Any enlightenment is appreciated.
posted by roboton666 to MetaFilter-Related at 9:43 PM (280 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

I don't know exactly. BB is like MeFi in a lot of ways but their front page is more exclusive and the moderation is different. They use different software, are very image- and ad-heavy and have a lot more of an editorial bent including a self-promotion thing that is anathema here. I've always liked BB just fine but I don't read it very often. There seem to be a few people here who have really aggressive axes to grind about BB or Cory Doctorow in particular and those people should maybe ease off a little since it just seems odd to spend time on one website bitching loudly about another one. I don't think it's an ironic in-joke but I'm not so good at irony.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 9:47 PM on March 31, 2012


So there's not some down-low incident where Mark totally started this "east coast vs. west coast" rap beef between the Blue and the Boing?

I don't get it either. I read both everyday. Participate here way more here, but scan often there.
posted by roboton666 at 9:56 PM on March 31, 2012 [1 favorite]


It's just way too boingy.

you picked the wrong day to ask a question here and expect straight answers
posted by oneswellfoop at 9:56 PM on March 31, 2012 [7 favorites]


It's like people hating their own siblings more that total strangers.

So on MetaFilter we can't talk about great people like Cory Doctorow but also Bruce Sterling or Kevin Kelly.

Beats me. We should be able to set the rules of an FPP and delete the haters like we delete jokes in Ask.
posted by bru at 9:57 PM on March 31, 2012 [1 favorite]


People are bitter.
posted by dfriedman at 10:08 PM on March 31, 2012 [1 favorite]


I just want to see my tag.
posted by rewil at 10:11 PM on March 31, 2012 [12 favorites]


An example of why BoingBoing can be incredibly irritating: 90 percent of US net users don't know from crtl-F.

In this headline plus two paragraphs, Cory manages to:
1. Write it as "crtl" instead of "ctrl", twice, despite that being the thing that zomg everyone should know.
2. Write mostly about himself when discussing the finding of the study.
3. Ungrammatical headline is make.
4. Imply that a reasonably uncommonly-needed keyboard shortcut is in the top 10 (or 3?) list of things people on the internet should know, which is borderline nonsense.

From what I hear he's a good guy, but the constant drone of self-promotion is grating and seemingly unnecessary at this point. There were a few solid months there where it felt like every third post was about Little Brother. The other editors also seem to have a bit of "Here's a thing I did/am doing" vibe going on.

I think sometimes the editors have this feeling that they have to provide some comment on every thing they post, and that commentary can be facile and off-base in a way that INTJ-type people really, really hate - if you don't know something about this, just shut up instead of writing up a paragraph of the first egocentric thing that comes to mind. A recent example where Maggie spends a bunch of text talking about how she doesn't know a lot about pink slime but hey maybe it's okay, or maybe not, and maybe pink slime is just like French Provencal [sic] cooking. Oh, and turns out the picture posted wasn't actually of pink slime. Please shut up and let someone informed talk.
posted by 0xFCAF at 10:12 PM on March 31, 2012 [27 favorites]


We're dryly churlish about nearly EVERYTHING.
posted by a humble nudibranch at 10:12 PM on March 31, 2012 [10 favorites]


I don't read BoingBoing, but I'll agree that the repetitive personality-based critiques of it that I see here get old. Even if they are correct critiques, it just seems to me like way too much bile to waste on what at the end of the day is just a stupid website.
posted by Forktine at 10:19 PM on March 31, 2012


(And I'm loving that I have a big "stupid" flag appended to my name on that post; that whole "eponysterical" thing gains a new level with this.)
posted by Forktine at 10:20 PM on March 31, 2012 [1 favorite]


It's like people hating their own siblings more that total strangers.

Yes, exactly. It's what Freud called the narcissism of small differences.
posted by strangely stunted trees at 10:20 PM on March 31, 2012 [15 favorites]


I'm loving that I have a big "stupid" flag appended to my name

I see "stavrosthewonderchitlin"
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 10:21 PM on March 31, 2012 [4 favorites]


A lot of it is fashionable cynicism.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 10:22 PM on March 31, 2012


It's a longstanding Yankees/Red Sox or Arsenal/Manchester United* or Harvard/Yale thing that goes back so far into the mists of the Internet prehistory that nobody quite remembers anymore.


* This may be extremely outdated as an example, because I do not follow the football so much. Substitute Boca Juniors/River Plate if you like, but with fewer fistfights.
posted by Sidhedevil at 10:22 PM on March 31, 2012


The archnemesis of Metafilter is BoingBoing? Seems wrong somehow.
posted by ZeusHumms at 10:25 PM on March 31, 2012


Hol-E-Crap: Strangely Stunted Trees just provided the factual evidence of what I have been suspecting as the root cause of the tension in my marriage...
posted by roboton666 at 10:25 PM on March 31, 2012


I'm mentioning disemvowling just to get a tag. :o!
posted by eyeballkid at 10:30 PM on March 31, 2012 [3 favorites]


Step? STEP? Weak.
posted by eyeballkid at 10:30 PM on March 31, 2012 [1 favorite]


Oh random. I'm stupid. And drinking.
posted by eyeballkid at 10:31 PM on March 31, 2012 [1 favorite]


There is a little intersite history, in that there was some kind of minor flap here over the Boing Boing unpublishing Violet Blue's posts thing. And then (or relatedly?) over the "disemvowelling" style of the moderator they hired for their comments section when they first had comments, Teresa Neilsen Hayden, who's a well-known blogger in her own right.

I don't remember the details, but there are probably some who do and so it might be a piece of the backstory for some people who say stuff about BB.
posted by LobsterMitten at 10:32 PM on March 31, 2012 [14 favorites]


Interestingly, the tags you're seeing aren't the sames ones I'm seeing. Unless I've been drinking, too.
posted by Lieber Frau at 10:33 PM on March 31, 2012


THIS IS NOW THE "WHAT'S MY FLAG" TEST THREAD!

If you have any information regarding the beef between the Blue and the Boing, that would be cool too.
posted by roboton666 at 10:34 PM on March 31, 2012


I..

I had a glass of wine tonight, about 100% more alcohol I've had since sometime last year. Is—

Is the hallucination happening again?

Am I awake?
posted by carsonb at 10:35 PM on March 31, 2012


Aha. No drink, just foolin'.
posted by carsonb at 10:36 PM on March 31, 2012


Tag Check!
posted by pjern at 10:37 PM on March 31, 2012


These tags are random, but they are AWESOME. I'd post on topic, but... RANDOM TAGS!!!
posted by Deoridhe at 10:39 PM on March 31, 2012


THAT'S OKAY DEORIDHE!

This is now the "What's my tag thread!" On-Topic is optional!
posted by roboton666 at 10:41 PM on March 31, 2012


regarding the beef between the Blue and the Boing

I don't think there is a generalized beef between the Blue and the Boing. A lot of people read both and like both. I think Jessamyn's right that there are a smallish number of people who feel very strongly about it, so it may come off as if there were a sitewide thing, but I don't think there is.
posted by LobsterMitten at 10:44 PM on March 31, 2012


I've never had a problem with BB, don't really go there much though.

At first I thought the tags were useful indicators of your contacts, then I realized that some of you people aren't really my spouses. What have you done with them?
posted by arcticseal at 10:46 PM on March 31, 2012


What have you done with them?

At this point, I'd have an easier time telling you what I haven't done with them.
posted by Tomorrowful at 10:51 PM on March 31, 2012 [1 favorite]


Achoo!
posted by pmcp at 10:54 PM on March 31, 2012


Excuse me.
posted by pmcp at 10:54 PM on March 31, 2012


I always thought the BB-rage here was amusing rather than anything too malicious. It does seem a lot less welcoming in general than MeFi, though, and the comment areas are a little onerous. YMMV.
posted by neewom at 11:01 PM on March 31, 2012


Dry has no vowels.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 11:04 PM on March 31, 2012


I've met Doctorow and he's a sweet fellow. A little over the top, but so what? His heart's in the right place unlike some people around the Internets.
posted by artof.mulata at 11:05 PM on March 31, 2012 [1 favorite]


I am disappointed that it's not the same tag every time. What's April 1 without a convoluted one way hash and a giant lookup table?
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 11:05 PM on March 31, 2012 [2 favorites]


And sometimes 'Y' and 'W' is how I learned it as a kid.
posted by artof.mulata at 11:06 PM on March 31, 2012


I found mefi through boingboing. Mainly it was a lot of "huh, a lot of things on this site are coming from mefi, I should check it out" and then I had to wait a few years to get a paypal account to register here.

There's no animosity, I mainly stopped reading it because Cory Doctorow would go on anti-corporation rants, and then gush about going to Disney world, and I thought it was in-congruent.

Plus, they do "unicorn chasers" all wrong. If reading the site as is, you'll read the unicorn chaser before the bad thing. So it actually serves as a grim warning that bad things are ahead if you keep scrolling down the page. They need to post the bad thing AND have a Unicorn Chaser posted just a few seconds earlier (probably in a queue, all this is scripted, of course)

But other than that, can't really hate 'em, to be honest.
posted by hellojed at 11:10 PM on March 31, 2012 [1 favorite]


0xFCAF: I see how that can irritate people. I guess I just kinda "peruse" BB, rarely comment, and use it mainly as a list of maybe interesting things.

MetaFilter is a superior collaborative platform in my opinion, but it serves a different purpose.

The VioletBlue incident starts to explain it a little deeper.
posted by roboton666 at 11:17 PM on March 31, 2012


artof.mulata: and 'W'?

AND 'W'???

Where are you from, Wales????
posted by tivalasvegas at 11:18 PM on March 31, 2012 [1 favorite]


Where are you from, Wales????

Sometimes pronounced Ooooo-ales.
posted by Pater Aletheias at 11:20 PM on March 31, 2012 [2 favorites]


hmm
posted by lampshade at 11:21 PM on March 31, 2012


The self-promotion is grating. It used to bug me more but I still visit every once in a while. I skim and just skip authors i'm not into. There's better things to kvetch about.
posted by andendau at 11:23 PM on March 31, 2012


I googled it and apparently it is a thing. My world is shaken. Shaken.
posted by tivalasvegas at 11:24 PM on March 31, 2012 [1 favorite]


The archnemesis of Metafilter is BoingBoing? Seems wrong somehow

The arch-nemesis of Metafilter is a guy named Fred Duncan who lives in Toledo.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 11:35 PM on March 31, 2012 [3 favorites]


That Cory guy might be a bit of a steampunk hep cat but he ain't no aunty cripes.
posted by islander at 11:37 PM on March 31, 2012


This is amazing.
posted by two lights above the sea at 11:38 PM on March 31, 2012


The arch-nemesis of Metafilter is a guy named Fred Duncan who lives in Toledo.

I was dating The Frisky long before you showed up, Fred!
posted by Meta Filter at 11:38 PM on March 31, 2012 [1 favorite]


Dry Churlishness

- 2 oz Bulleit 95 Rye
- 1/2 oz dry vermouth
- 1 dash angostura bitters
- orange twist

Shake with ice and pour into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish and serve.
posted by churl at 11:41 PM on March 31, 2012 [15 favorites]


metafilter is to boingboing as siskel&ebert are to aintitcoolnews
posted by AElfwine Evenstar at 11:50 PM on March 31, 2012 [2 favorites]


Speaking as one who had Boing Boing in my daily bookmarks for several years starting roughly in 1998, here's why I hardly ever read the site anymore. Remember this is entirely my personal observations of the last decade or so of Boingery.

When I first started reading BB, it was consistently informed, and nearly always ahead of the curve on interesting links and "internet culture" in general. This is largely due to the main editors Mark and David being much more frequently participatory.

After a few years it literally degraded to be the Xeni and Cory Show. All day every day, it was one, or either, or both of them relentlessly self-promoting non-BB projects. The links werent so interesting any more, and they were picking up FAR fewer things really ahead of the curve.

Perhaps it's because I started following more news/link aggregating sites (Fark, in the early part of the decade, then later Digg for its ascendant year-or-so), or because the cutting-edge was moving to the content creators (i.e. Warren Ellis and his now-defunct Die Puny Humans blog) from the BB-style curators, but I was finding fewer and fewer links on BB that I hadn't seen elsewhere.

By the latter part of the 'aughts, I only went to BB on my second-round of bookmarks (the sort I check maybe twice a week instead of daily), and while they had a brief shining moment with Boing Boing Gadgets before Joel went elsewhere, and Maggie's initial foray in BB as the Science editor showed great promise, that didn't prevent the blog over all from continuing to disappear up its own backside. Relentless self-promotion continued to trump being "a directory of wonderful things" and then... oh dear science, THEN they started opening for comments.

And with that the bottom finally fell out of Boing Boing. Their choice of moderator for their blog was the standard buddy-system move, but it brought "disemvoweling" into the wider lexicon (for those users who didn't see it in action on TNH's own blog). For those unfamiliar with "disemvoweling" the moderator considers a comment not egregious enough to be deleted, but wishes to convey their disdain for the comment (or, often just the commenter) by removing all of the vowels from their post. Rather than simply disappearing noxious content, disemvoweling is the equivalent of broadcasting to all and sundry who the moderators "think the cool kids are." I've decoded many an innocuous statement only to discover that that user upthread had roused a moderator's ire. It became a tool for in-crowd/out-crowd bullshit that I thought we had all left behind in middle school. Disemvoweling is not only mocking the user by keeping a mutilated form of their contribution, but its use was clearly an enforcement mechanism to shun those who didn't seem to toady to the BB staff.

And in case you wonder whether my comment above is motivated by personal experience (being a commenter targeted by the BB mods for frequent disemvoweling) that's not the case. I don't think I submitted so many as 2 or 3 comments there ever. I just watched how the comment pool became a way to enforce the "cult of personality" of the more sensitive mods and editors.

And THEN came the Violet Blue "unpublishing" scandal. I'm not going to talk too much about that, but suffice to say we seemed to have been witness to some sort of very intense personal relationship go sour on the site, all the while the editors involved continually flipping their Business Card from Journalist (with the attendant ethical obligations thereof) to "we're not Journalists, just Bloggers (with no responsibility for accuracy, reliability, or to the record of our work) -- and back again. They became Serious Journalists when it suited them and became Just Bloggers when being a Journalist wasn't so fun.

In the last couple years or so, I must say that Boing Boing has started pulling themselves a bit out of the spiral they had been in before. I suspect it's the influence of the two more level-headed editors Mark and David being felt again. But BB still hasn't made it into my daily reading.

So yeah, that's my personal take on why I don't like Boing Boing much anymore.
posted by chimaera at 11:52 PM on March 31, 2012 [80 favorites]


What's going on?
posted by peacheater at 11:57 PM on March 31, 2012


I like boingboing. They have pictures.
posted by polymodus at 11:57 PM on March 31, 2012 [2 favorites]


I'm just posting to see what shows up next to my name.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 11:58 PM on March 31, 2012


STOUT?
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 11:58 PM on March 31, 2012


That's okay bunny, I have officially converted this thread to a "WHAT'S MY TAG?!?!" thread, on-topic is optional.
posted by roboton666 at 11:59 PM on March 31, 2012


I forgot it was stay off the internet day (though I always like the MeFi ones)
posted by CitrusFreak12 at 12:09 AM on April 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


I see "stavrosthewonderchitlin"

That would have made The Sixth Sense an entirely different sort of movie.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 12:10 AM on April 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


I think W should taken of the consonants list. It's a vowel-like thingy!
posted by roboton666 at 12:17 AM on April 1, 2012


This post prompted me to think about the word "cheeky" and its similarities to "churlish."

You could probably creatively employ the words together (alongside "cheery," "chipper," and "cheesy" to balance flavors) to create a linguistic chutney, if you will.

At 31 years' of age I can't think of the last time I've heard anyone say "cheeky" or "churlish" in conversation but a couple of years ago I was watching "Thomas the Tank Engine" with my son and there was one episode in which Thomas was feeling cheeky so he played some pranks on the other engines and subsequently learned a lesson about not taking the piss out of his mates on a lark (for fuck's sake).

It was especially amusing to hear George Carlin say "Thomas was feeling cheeky."

That is all.
posted by aydeejones at 12:26 AM on April 1, 2012 [2 favorites]


I don't think there is a generalized beef between the Blue and the Boing.

But you would be wrong.
posted by taz (staff) at 12:31 AM on April 1, 2012 [28 favorites]


cory doctorow isn't a doctor

he should be called cory bloggerow
posted by This, of course, alludes to you at 12:36 AM on April 1, 2012 [13 favorites]


jsph grl hts bngbng bcse ts mdrtrs r nnyng nd ts cntnt s dmb.
posted by Joseph Gurl at 12:41 AM on April 1, 2012 [4 favorites]


If this were an "ask" Taz would be marked "answered".

And Aydeejones, I'm glad you took note of the word Churlish. I have been itching to use that word for a few months now and I was excited to pull it out of the grab-bag for this one.

I am also totally in love with Thomas' usage of the word cheeky.
posted by roboton666 at 12:42 AM on April 1, 2012


my tag was "newborn calf" and that is fitting
posted by This, of course, alludes to you at 12:43 AM on April 1, 2012


There must be some way to simultaneously contribute to this thread and figure out what my tag is. Crossing my fingers that I don't become a newborn calf.
posted by Happydaz at 12:46 AM on April 1, 2012


Actually that is not all; I need to get my hate on about Boing Boing. Here we go! I stumbled upon their website vaguely around the time that I started branching out from Slashdot and Everything2 into other sites like Memepool, Plastic, and Metafilter. There's a 2-3 year "cloudiness" here and I don't remember the exact order, but I started with Slashdot around '98-'99, then E2, then...blah...blah...and somehow Metafilter defeated them all in kumite (the fight for your lye-eeff!).

I thought Boing Boing was "alright" but they didn't make my "custom home page." I still have this goofy local "index.html" page I created years ago which contains big fat H2 links to various websites that I considered "favorites" but largely never peruse anymore. I've long since switched to just using Google as my home page but I remember being turned off from Boing Boing specifically after reading about them in Wired magazine. There was a little blurb about how nifty their site was and they talked about how you pronounce "Xeni" and I was somehow put off by it.

I was really just jealous of their success and wanted to label them as pretentious and not-authentically-nerdy-enough: here I'd been using "[Anti?]Social Media" like bulletin boards (ranging from some dude's basement to srs bzns 16-line MajorBBS systems with MUDs), gopher "resources," graduating to lynx (my PC couldn't handle Mosaic) and one day Netscape, etc...and writing pointless source code to make things like "shade bob" screensavers and TI-85 RPGs until the wee hours of the night. But I never spun up a sweet web presence other than a couple of horrible stereotypical Geocities pages. I was kinda good at ranting and raving on other peoples' slick dynamic perl/cgi-bin masterpieces, but never got around to building my own.

So they were among the first wave of people who made me think "Why didn't I think of that?" Somehow Metafilter didn't strike me in the same way (with its humble understated general appearance, I s'pose), and despite all of the snark (and perhaps in some ways because of it -- I do enjoy watching the occasional tit-for-tat conflagration or train wreck) I was seduced very quickly by the blue.

So I don't really have any valid reason to hate Boing Boing and so I don't. I just remember feeling smug 'n jealous. And heard tangential things about "disemvoweling" and steampunk over the years and being all "pssssshhhh." I also have dissed 4chan and Reddit in face-to-face conversations as if I could only promote MeFi by bagging on other sites, and have come to appreciate them. And by "them" I mean "some subreddits :)"

Metafilter seduced me big-time: I couldn't post any comments for eons, and just had to read and read the conversations to make sure the thing I would want to say was in fact said (and usually it was said much better and with more eloquence and less lazy-man parenthetical noise like this) having missed the boat on signups for a very long time (including the various opportunities where limited quantities were doled out here and there). Even if I wanted to post a comment, I was largely intimidated by the larger-than-life personalities here but you won the battle for my soul, you bastards, you won. The prize? A certificate for a free CAT-SCAN upon purchase of a cat declawing. lulz
posted by aydeejones at 12:51 AM on April 1, 2012 [6 favorites]


I've been reading Metafilter since 2004. I finally joined last year.
posted by roboton666 at 1:11 AM on April 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


I still read BB quite regularly, but one of my beefs if the submitterator - a smart commercial move but which, to my eyes, just takes its readers' finds and spits them out again. So far, not so bad. But BB is crammed full of ads, and whatever crappy system they use to render those ads hoses my puny netbook every time. That, combined with the old Cory_and_Xeni_self-promotion thing, made me feel less like a reader and more like some dumb cog in Cory's business model.
posted by MuffinMan at 1:19 AM on April 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


you won the battle for my soul, you bastards

indeed. BB is ok as a redundancy filter, but its conversation to trainwreck ratio is orders of magnitude below our usual soul repository..
posted by ivancho at 1:27 AM on April 1, 2012


I've been reading boingboing since it was a print magazine, I still read boingboing a couple times a week. With Adblock, it's a lot more tolerable than without. I think Mark Frauenfelder rocks. I do think that for various reasons, Cory and Xeni have eased off on the Cory and Xeni show in recent months. Cory still goes on his anti-corporate jags. Xeni still pushes Die Antwoord, or whatever it is, and I can't help but think she got some sort of payola to do it, tho it might just be that she loves the band. Now that she's dealing with breast cancer, maybe I've developed a little more compassion for her.

I can't begrudge bloggers for injecting a lot of themselves into their blog. They made some fabulous missteps when it comes to dealing with their userbase, but then, I think Metafilter has made a few, too, so what do I know?

Boingboing (and Metafilter, for that matter) has managed to become a profitable venture doing stuff I myself have been doing since the 80's. They all been lucky and managed to quit their day jobs, while it never managed to completely click for me, personally. I think that "Metafilter hates boingboing" mostly out of jealousy, and if it weren't boingboing, it'd be some other site. (I vote we start hating Drudge Report, henceforth.)
posted by crunchland at 1:33 AM on April 1, 2012


I started reading boing boing in the late nineties when they had various neat things everyday. They are what led me to mefi in 2001. They are also the site where I saw goatse for the first time (for a while it was in all there comment threads. Perhaps that accelerated my departure. I have looked at boing boing a dozen times in the past decade but they don't seem "cutting edge", more like look at this thing that is happening that we are connected to (but not necessarily the driving creative effort).
posted by saucysault at 1:35 AM on April 1, 2012


Literally commenting to see if I get a cool name tag...
posted by Kloryne at 1:39 AM on April 1, 2012


Awww. That wasn't cool at all!
posted by Kloryne at 1:40 AM on April 1, 2012


Ok that's better.
posted by Kloryne at 1:40 AM on April 1, 2012




Yeah, okay, I'll tag check.

As for BB, they're just kind of. There's this weird thing where it's like YOU MEAN YOU DIDN'T ATTEND THE TRANSGENDER MAKE FESTIVAL PICKLE BATTERY RELAY. It's very "lol norms", which is kind of neat but also kind of exhausting.
posted by GilloD at 1:50 AM on April 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


so, what's my random tag, then?
posted by progosk at 1:50 AM on April 1, 2012


exchange stax, please...
posted by progosk at 1:50 AM on April 1, 2012


(previously.)
posted by crunchland at 1:52 AM on April 1, 2012



(previously.)
posted by crunchland (nobody understands him but his woman ) at 1:52 AM on April 1 [+] [!] Other [2/2]: «≡·

I want to capture stuff like this for posterity ^
posted by eyeballkid at 1:53 AM on April 1, 2012


exchange stax, please...
posted by progosk (stack exchange) at 1:50 AM


FOR POSTERITY TOO.
posted by taz (staff) at 1:54 AM on April 1, 2012


I found this tag next to my name, can I eat it?
posted by ellenaim at 2:01 AM on April 1, 2012


The archnemesis of Metafilter is BoingBoing? Seems wrong somehow.
posted by ZeusHumms (stack exchange) at 5:25 AM on April 1 [+] [!]

posted by Acheman at 2:03 AM on April 1, 2012


I'm just doing this because all the cool kids are.
posted by gracedissolved at 2:04 AM on April 1, 2012


Now I'm going to refresh until I can get a stamps.com on that.
posted by Acheman at 2:04 AM on April 1, 2012


The archnemesis of Metafilter is BoingBoing? Seems wrong somehow.
posted by ZeusHumms (stack exchange) at 5:25 AM on April 1 [+] [!]
posted by Acheman (stamps.com) at 9:03 AM on April 1 [+] [!]

posted by Acheman at 2:05 AM on April 1, 2012


stppd gng t bng bng whn rlzd tht t ws shrt stp frm dsmvwl to dsmbwl.
posted by HuronBob at 2:22 AM on April 1, 2012


So yeah, that's my personal take on why I don't like Boing Boing much anymore.
posted by chimaera (graft)


QED
posted by infini at 2:34 AM on April 1, 2012


(Had to run off to a party...) 'W' is a vowel as 'vowels' are sounds and not symbols.
Here's some more vowels for you: ow; uh; oy. Vowels are cool and weird.

Cory Doctorow is full of vowels. His name is a vowel-movement. And I still think he's a nice guy.

Somebody with vowels and consonants in their name upthread said that they were annoyed that Doctorow would go anti-corporate and then be blissed about some corporations output. That's not a contradiction; that's a fact of modern life. You can't participate in his fucking 1st world bullshit and not have that happen. If you're a USAian and you vote Republican you're going to see a lot more of it, too. Then we will all be Cory Doctorow.
posted by artof.mulata at 2:45 AM on April 1, 2012


Holy Shit. My tag is stavrosthewonderchicken. Stavros is the reason I bought a membership to this site in the 1st place. DREAM LEVEL FULFILLED.
posted by artof.mulata at 2:47 AM on April 1, 2012 [2 favorites]


The Violet Blue Thing had a general harshening effect on my lifebuzz. After that, I deBoinged in earnest, where in the past I had backslid a little. I graduated to MeFi and guess I never knew it was a thing between the two sites.

Now gimme my tag. Thx!
posted by S'Tella Fabula at 2:56 AM on April 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


For me the turning point was really when Little Brother came out and for about a month, every second post was about the book. I haven't read it, entirely out of annoyance. Which is perhaps petty, but I really am not very comfortable with aggressive self-promotion.
posted by Zarkonnen at 3:32 AM on April 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


They seem to be promoting a lot of stuff that's dumb or boring. Perhaps they're trying to scum some money out of referrals or just fill up space. And there's the whole Violet Blue thing and the weird in-group moderation mentioned above. I think the moderators just delete most comments they dislike; the disemvoweling is reserved for people they want to humiliate.
posted by Joe in Australia at 3:52 AM on April 1, 2012


I don't like BB 'cause tits initials match mine, which confuses me.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 3:58 AM on April 1, 2012


Dry Churlishness

- 2 oz Bulleit 95 Rye
- 1/2 oz dry vermouth
- 1 dash angostura bitters
- orange twist

Shake with ice and pour into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish and serve.
posted by churl (farts) at 11:41 PM on March 31 [4 favorites +] [!]

churl farts is going to be the name I give this awesome cocktail.
posted by honey-barbara at 4:36 AM on April 1, 2012 [2 favorites]


churl farts is going to be the name I give this awesome cocktail.
posted by honey-barbara (stars in your eyes) at 4:36 AM on April 1 [+] [!]

And "honey-barbara stars in your eyes" is the name of the drink in front of me right now: freezer-chilled Żubrówka.
posted by honey-barbara at 4:40 AM on April 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


I dunno, I used to be a big boing boing reader, then I just kind of got annoyed at all the self-promotion and axe-grinding and gradually stopped reading it. I don't like hate them or anything, just don't read it any more.
posted by empath at 4:51 AM on April 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


I found out about Die Antwoord from BoingBoing. Then I kept finding out about Die Antwoord from BoingBoing.
posted by 41swans at 4:52 AM on April 1, 2012 [6 favorites]


boing
posted by ddaavviidd at 5:03 AM on April 1, 2012


If I ever need to make a sock puppet account, its name will totaly be "TRANSGENDER MAKE FESTIVAL PICKLE BATTERY RELAY"
posted by Aznable at 5:18 AM on April 1, 2012


I usually only read BoingBoing via Google Reader with Ad-Block so I don't see comments or ads and it's entertaining enough for a quick daily skim-through. Don't really get the hate.
posted by octothorpe at 5:23 AM on April 1, 2012


If you substitute vodka for the rye in a Dry Churlishness, you get an Arid Astringency, which is a far better cocktail.
posted by subbes at 5:23 AM on April 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


Yeah, I don't understand all the self-promotion on BB. They should really get their own ... Wait.

And yeah for Ad Block with cats!
posted by carter at 5:38 AM on April 1, 2012


whoami
posted by DU at 5:43 AM on April 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


Tag
posted by nathancaswell at 5:59 AM on April 1, 2012


"HURF DURF BUTTER STAFFER" I LOVE IT
posted by nathancaswell at 5:59 AM on April 1, 2012

"This is the display of the inquiry of Herodotus of Halicarnassus, so that things done by man not be forgotten in time, and that great and marvelous deeds, some displayed by the Mefites, some by the BoingBoingers, not lose their glory, including among others what was the cause of their waging war on each other..."
TL;DR: it all started with some spouse-stealing. And then some other stuff happened including a couple of long digressions about one really rich guy, and also some events on a completely different website that may or may not have happened years ago. Things were said, and then Cory for some reason paid someone to follow him around repeating "remember the Mefites" over and over and over again. And then Cory got all mad, but instead of just firing the guy who he was paying to be a living PDA he decided to start A WAR. I know, right? So everyone from BoingBoing came over and there was a big fight out the back of Matt's place in slow motion and all the Mefites were oiled up and there was a definite homoerotic subtext and I just lost my train of thought. Oh yeah! There was another fight in the swimming pool but we won that one too. We won all the fights. So, yeah, yay.

Also I took too long typing this so I don't get to see what my tag was :(
posted by Ritchie at 6:04 AM on April 1, 2012 [2 favorites]


Oh no, it just vanished in preview! I'm star trek!
posted by Ritchie at 6:05 AM on April 1, 2012


You're not, though, reload the page and ALL the tags are randomised. =/

It's probably some kinda meta commentary on identity. Or.. or something.
posted by curious nu at 6:06 AM on April 1, 2012


For me: too much self-promotion, too little understanding of the meaning of Zen.
posted by tommasz at 6:13 AM on April 1, 2012


You title the post that then ask why some of us hate BB? I mean.......
posted by nathancaswell at 6:15 AM on April 1, 2012 [2 favorites]


Anyway I stopped reading BB years ago because Cory would have these fixations where every other post would be about whatever thing he was currently into, papercraft or steam punk or DRM of knitting or whatever and it made the site pretty intolerable to read if you didn't care about that topic.
posted by nathancaswell at 6:18 AM on April 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


"HURF DURF BUTTER STAFFER" I LOVE IT
posted by nathancaswell (nobody understands him but his woman ) at 8:59 AM on April 1 [+] [!]


Oh man, does that work!
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:34 AM on April 1, 2012


"HURF DURF BUTTER STAFFER" I LOVE IT
posted by nathancaswell (fapfapfap) at 8:59 AM on April 1 [+] [!]


Jesus, it's like a goldmine!
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:35 AM on April 1, 2012


tag check
posted by tickingclock at 6:39 AM on April 1, 2012


True or False? The tag I see (for myself or for anyone else) is not necessarily the same tag others see (for the same person?) Data: I am reading my tag saying "Cory Doctorow."
posted by Obscure Reference at 6:43 AM on April 1, 2012


They randomly change on refresh, which is kind of a shame.
posted by nathancaswell at 6:44 AM on April 1, 2012


Ah! If you reload the page, all the tags change. (Note: Mine never said "Cory." I just wanted my comment to be relevant to the thread.)
posted by Obscure Reference at 6:45 AM on April 1, 2012


0xFCAF wrote An example of why BoingBoing can be incredibly irritating ... In this headline plus two paragraphs, Cory manages to: [list of four irritations]

I would add add:
5. Have a confusing year-less date for the article which appears to come from August 2011, not August this year. Things like this are done better on MetaFilter.
posted by exogenous at 6:45 AM on April 1, 2012


Y'know, I don't believe I've ever even briefly looked at Boingboing, despite my using the internet and all of its variants for nearly two decades. I totally was on the Boingboing BBS back in the day, though, dialing in at 2400 bps to play Steampunk Dope Wars.
posted by item at 6:48 AM on April 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


This thread isn't going to make a lot of sense come April 2.
posted by crunchland at 6:52 AM on April 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


Ok, now I have briefly looked at Boingboing. I did not like what I saw very much at all. In all honesty, I must've checked it out at some point in the last, what, 13-14 years, but for the life of me I can't remember doing so. Then again, I also can't remember most of the last 13-14 years (or the 10 before that), so mea culpa I guess.
posted by item at 6:53 AM on April 1, 2012


Anyone remember the Mark F Longhorse business? It was this utterly tedious prank/running joke that he was trying to get into Wikipedia around the same time Cory begun linking any old Steampunk shite, and may have contributed just as much to me dropping the site.
posted by Artw at 6:57 AM on April 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


True or False? The tag I see (for myself or for anyone else) is not necessarily the same tag others see (for the same person?) Data: I am reading my tag saying "Cory Doctorow."
posted by Obscure Reference (stanley kubrick) at 9:43 AM on April 1 [+] [!] Other [1/2]: ·≡»


That's okay. "stanley kubrick" is a much cooler tag.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 7:05 AM on April 1, 2012


I'm not cool enough for Boing Boing, then they changed their interface to make it interactive and I disliked it more. Back in the day it did have more cutting-edge stuff, now it just seems like it's on a loop. I find it much more tolerable following them on Twitter so I only click what seems interesting.

Anxiously awaiting tag.
posted by haunted by Leonard Cohen at 7:06 AM on April 1, 2012


This is not the Metatalk thread I was looking for, but it'll do for tagging purposes.
posted by anotherpanacea at 7:08 AM on April 1, 2012


Metafilter mentions on Boingboing are overwhelming positive. Food for thought, eh?
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:10 AM on April 1, 2012


Gm n clbr fft mrbgrnr tlkd mm ggt pflghgtb jjr zr hmbrgr. BKLZ M PRTBNG!
posted by Metroid Baby at 7:15 AM on April 1, 2012


I blame them for steampunk. Although they front-paged a Metafilter post of mine one time, so that's softened me a little. I'm a cheap date.
posted by codacorolla at 7:18 AM on April 1, 2012


mst s tg
posted by localroger at 7:19 AM on April 1, 2012


Mine's gonna say farts.
posted by emelenjr at 7:30 AM on April 1, 2012


Maybe I should try reading BoingBoing someday to see what the problem is.

And then maybe I can work on keeping my cat off the damn keyboard.
posted by dilettante at 7:32 AM on April 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'm old, so was was on the internet before there really was an internet. Sure, it was around, but most school, businesses, and people didn't have a website, and you actually had to pay for a browser. For years I had a shrink-wrapped box of Netscape Navigator in m office with the price tag still on it. I threw it away when I had to change offices. Anyway, If you owned a domain it was most likely because you wanted to run an ftp server or a mail server. BoingBoing and Wired were print products back then. They had overlapping audiences, but an entirely different culture. BoingBoing was printed on newsprint and was very low budget, while Wired seemed to have money to burn (they had a spine artist for fuck's sake!).

I read them both. I liked the interviews and the tech speculation. And these magazines actually have websites. Seriously, you don't know what it was like back then. A popular source of entertainment among geeks was to issue a finger command to a pop machine at MIT to see how much coke was in it.

I was the target audience and demographic for both magazines. Kickass! William Gibson is writing about watches! I think I read everything either did for years. Then as the futurists got old they realized they were wrong more often than not and had little credibility left. They were like the Consumer Reports of today, trying to find something edgy to say so people will read them.

I watched these publication decline and went from a fan to downright respiring them. Less content, more ads, increasing irrelevant opinion.

But you don't generally see me with a hate-on for these magazines/sites. I've gone from actively despising Cory Doctorow to being amazed he's still around every time I see him in the news.
posted by cjorgensen at 7:35 AM on April 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


Anyone brave the contact form yet? When you click the staff badge it takes you to the "Who's in charge" page. One email to all of metafilter!
posted by cjorgensen at 7:36 AM on April 1, 2012


Just taking up space.
posted by doctor_negative at 7:44 AM on April 1, 2012


> I'm glad you took note of the word Churlish. I have been itching to use that word for a few months now and I was excited to pull it out of the grab-bag for this one.

That's my cue to link to Doing the Churlish Pule. Try it, you'll like it!
posted by languagehat at 7:45 AM on April 1, 2012


cjorgensen, did you have a design for a super cool custom van?
posted by localroger at 7:59 AM on April 1, 2012 [3 favorites]


Too much yellow
posted by jonmc at 8:26 AM on April 1, 2012


...and then I had to wait a few years to get a paypal account to register here.


Damn! I thought buying a closetful of firearms was a hassle.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 8:31 AM on April 1, 2012


Dry Churlishness

- 2 oz Bulleit 95 Rye
- 1/2 oz dry vermouth
- 1 dash angostura bitters
- orange twist

Shake with ice and pour into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish and serve.


Needs more bile.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 8:32 AM on April 1, 2012


That's okay bunny, I have officially converted this thread to a "WHAT'S MY TAG?!?!" thread, on-topic is optional.
posted by roboton666 (farts) at 2:59 AM on April 1 [+] [!]


Well, somebody has let their fake mod tag go to their head.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 8:34 AM on April 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'm only writing this so I can see my mod tag. Because I've EARNED it.
posted by dazed_one at 8:39 AM on April 1, 2012


Everyone sees different mod tags for the same people dazed_one, so the ones you see are for you alone to enjoy!
posted by pharm at 8:53 AM on April 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


What chimaera said

I don’t see anything similar about Metafilter and Boing Boing.

Boing Boing on a typical day;

Cory writes about Cory
Xeni writes about Xeni
Cory writes about Cory
3D printing
Cory writes about Cory
Snark
Young Adult novel
repeat
posted by bongo_x at 9:57 AM on April 1, 2012 [3 favorites]


That's right kirth. I SURE HAVE.

(this thread has major ADD...)
posted by roboton666 at 10:09 AM on April 1, 2012


chimaera's comment was spot on for me. I hate in-group cliquishness.
posted by Justinian at 10:21 AM on April 1, 2012


wut?
posted by hot_monster at 10:28 AM on April 1, 2012


The banana thing is getting old. Just look at it.
posted by hot_monster at 10:30 AM on April 1, 2012


it's yucky
posted by kittens for breakfast at 10:37 AM on April 1, 2012


Oooh, yellow banana tag!
posted by generichuman at 10:38 AM on April 1, 2012


There was a while where it seemed like every link on MeFi came via BoingBoing, which was annoying because I already read BoingBoing. Then for a while, it seemed like every link on BoingBoing came from MeFi first, which was annoying too. Then, per chimera, I kinda stopped reading BoingBoing because I felt like their content fell off, and now I don't mind links from BoingBoing because I never really read it first (unless those links go to some kinda self-promotional stuff, then I feel annoyed for checking them out again).
posted by klangklangston at 10:44 AM on April 1, 2012 [2 favorites]


For me, it's not the in-group cliquishness. It's that Cory and Xeni are, for want of a better word and I'll apologize for this one in advance, scenewhores, and their emergence as the natural editorial voice of what used to be the cutting edge voice of internet culture is exactly as if the Kardashians took over for Carl Sagan on Cosmos.
posted by felix at 10:48 AM on April 1, 2012 [15 favorites]


posting for my own mod tag. oh yeah, and MeFi > BB.
posted by exlotuseater at 10:52 AM on April 1, 2012


I just want to see what my staff tag says.
posted by k8t at 10:52 AM on April 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


The difference between BoingBoing and MeFi to me is this:

MeFi: Hey, here's something we found on the Internet. Cool, isn't it?
BB: Hey, here's something we found on the Internet! Cool, aren't we?
posted by Spatch at 11:02 AM on April 1, 2012 [27 favorites]


Everybody Hates Cory
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 11:41 AM on April 1, 2012


.
posted by Beardman at 12:14 PM on April 1, 2012


Cool, studmuffin!
posted by Beardman at 12:14 PM on April 1, 2012


cjorgensen, did you have a design for a super cool custom van?

That comic strikes way too close to home. I got a rejection slip from OMNI.

I interacted with a lot of those people way back in the day and was once quoted in a book that came out explaining the internet (and predicting its demise).

I had to skip parts that were too painful, but I too was close to becoming that guy.
posted by cjorgensen at 12:21 PM on April 1, 2012


me too.
posted by mean square error at 12:28 PM on April 1, 2012


I like BB. But I like seeing my tag more.
posted by StephenF at 12:37 PM on April 1, 2012


Tag!
posted by Decimask at 12:51 PM on April 1, 2012


mic check mic check 1 2 1 2
posted by en el aire at 12:59 PM on April 1, 2012


In linguistics, w (and y) is considered a semivowel.
posted by Gordafarin at 1:18 PM on April 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


In linguistics, w (and y) is considered a semivowel.

The obvious solution, then, is to translate w into v and y into /.
posted by localroger at 1:29 PM on April 1, 2012


Yeah, I want to see my tag too.
posted by defenestration at 1:33 PM on April 1, 2012


BoingBoing and Wired were print products back then. They had overlapping audiences, but an entirely different culture. BoingBoing was printed on newsprint and was very low budget, while Wired seemed to have money to burn (they had a spine artist for fuck's sake!).

There was a half decade or so that really seemed like a golden age of periodical print, though in retrospect it looks more like a flash at sunset. Boing Boing, Mondo 2000, Wired, The Nose, Spy, Factsheet Five, Might, Ray Gun, The Baffler, and more I'm forgetting. I used to go to this little newsstand and carry that shit out by the armload. I still have a lot of them. Gibson on watches. Gibson on Singapore. Bruce Sterling seeing the future of war. Eggers on shiny Adidas tracksuits.

I rarely ever read Boing Boing (or Wired) these days, but I still like the idea of them.
posted by octobersurprise at 2:01 PM on April 1, 2012 [2 favorites]


Searching for BoingBoing I found this thread from August 2007, about a BB redesign and the re-introduction of comments.

I also found this, although the links no longer work: Ron the music maker, as in L Ron. The Mefi link was posted in 2001. The links are to ram files!!
posted by marienbad at 2:15 PM on April 1, 2012


Tag. Yes, I'm weak.
posted by The Michael The at 2:46 PM on April 1, 2012


Boing Boing is a lot better than it used to be 3 or 4 years ago when everything was steampunk remix open source blargh. This Metafilter grudge is one of many that's past its sell-by date.
posted by furiousthought at 2:48 PM on April 1, 2012


In honor of this MeTa post, (cory doctorow) has been added to the random April Fools Day tags.
posted by oneswellfoop at 2:55 PM on April 1, 2012 [4 favorites]


Interesting. Lots of people here tag-checking themselves are those who never seem to comment in MetaTalk. Obviously a lot more people read here than the usual culprits who argue endlessly over pointless shit.

Also, I think it's time we stopped belittling ourselves when we talk about things that happen across the MeFiverse. Instead of 'site-wide', I think it's time we referred to such items as happening 'nation-wide'. 'Country-wide' is an acceptable alternative.
posted by dg at 3:23 PM on April 1, 2012


what's a boing boing?
posted by OsoMeaty at 3:56 PM on April 1, 2012


Every few months I add Boing Boing to my feed reader and then remove it a few weeks later. It's an on again off again relationship.
posted by The Devil Tesla at 3:58 PM on April 1, 2012


My tag is farts. <3
posted by The Devil Tesla at 4:00 PM on April 1, 2012


boing
posted by pwally at 4:09 PM on April 1, 2012


test du uberville.
posted by cloeburner at 4:14 PM on April 1, 2012


Definitely not just posting this to see my gag tag.
posted by EatTheWeak at 4:32 PM on April 1, 2012


Oh heavens no, EatTheWeak. None of that.
posted by rmd1023 at 4:49 PM on April 1, 2012


Why am I always late to the party? It's not like I'm never in the neighborhood.
posted by Serene Empress Dork at 4:54 PM on April 1, 2012


In linguistics, w (and y) is considered a semivowel.

Which means "oy" oughta be a sesquivowel, but somehow that never caught on.
posted by nebulawindphone at 4:54 PM on April 1, 2012 [2 favorites]


That's my cue to link to Doing the Churlish Pule.

That this came about by way of an FPP featuring Ye Olde Grape Stomp Video gives me undue pleasure.
posted by exogenous at 5:00 PM on April 1, 2012


Are we done discussing and just posting for lulz now?

Goody, that's my favorite part.
posted by oddman at 5:40 PM on April 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


I read both sites everyday, and my main gripe with boingboing is the harshness of the commentators. Most people are really trying hard to make smart snarky points, and it does not lead to good conversations. I also find the moderators over there to be actively involved in the discussion, and their moderating style seems to contribute to the snarking. It makes me greatly appreciate the quality of the discussion on Metafilter, and also that the moderators here are civil and objective (and nice!).

I like some of the ideas that boingboing accumulates but I do find it behind the curve frequently. I also dislike that they work in ads now that look like posts also; it seems pretty sneaky. The self-promotion can be a bit breathless which is also tiresome, but it's their site and I'm not paying anything to read it......
posted by a womble is an active kind of sloth at 5:48 PM on April 1, 2012


What in the hey now is happening here now?
posted by ferociouskitty at 6:03 PM on April 1, 2012


.
posted by UbuRoivas at 7:09 PM on April 1, 2012


Oh, it must be April 1st in the US. YOUR JOKES DON'T WORK IN THE FUTURE. In fact, you get a punch on the arm for doing April Fools jokes after midday April 1st.

*administers metapunch*
posted by UbuRoivas at 7:12 PM on April 1, 2012


I quite like BB, I read it once in a while.
posted by seawallrunner at 7:37 PM on April 1, 2012


*ducks*
posted by lysdexic at 7:43 PM on April 1, 2012


I. am. so. excited.
posted by endless_forms at 8:09 PM on April 1, 2012


I. am. so. excited.
posted by endless_forms (studmuffin) at 8:09 PM on April 1 [+] [!]


You should be, apparently.
posted by gc at 8:10 PM on April 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


Tag check one two one two
posted by smartyboots at 8:13 PM on April 1, 2012


Gonna post my tag check after you
posted by davejay at 8:55 PM on April 1, 2012


noooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo bahahahahahaahahahah
posted by davejay at 8:56 PM on April 1, 2012


oh, it changes each time. Nevermind. The first time, it came up "davejay [farts]", and I'm five years old.
posted by davejay at 8:56 PM on April 1, 2012


There was a phase that Boing Boing had were everything was a Disney-fied mashup of anagrammed subway maps, and I found I just didn't care anymore. Then the network nanny at work blocked the site, and I just couldn't be bothered to look at it when I got home.
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 9:02 PM on April 1, 2012


I pretty much agree with everything chimaera said, and I just want to say that my last favorite thing that was associated with BoingBoing was Offworld. That was a fun place to read about video games, and I have high hopes that Venus Patrol will be a better spiritual successor to that.
posted by Doleful Creature at 9:12 PM on April 1, 2012


MAKE IT STOP! oh.
posted by not_on_display at 9:17 PM on April 1, 2012


MAKE IT START AGAIN!
posted by not_on_display at 9:17 PM on April 1, 2012


oops. I seem to be in the wrong thread entirely. good night.
posted by not_on_display at 9:25 PM on April 1, 2012


Damn, too late for a tag. *sniff*

Anyway, I never really got into boingboing. I would see links there every once in a while, but nothing seemed that interesting. The whole unpublishing thing seemed ridiculous, and I certainly think they earned some derision.

There are some people who seem to have an absolute hate-on for it, and those people need to get a life.
posted by delmoi at 10:35 PM on April 1, 2012


If you're looking for a happy medium between BoingBoing (without its irritating tendencies) and MetaFilter, I'd highly recommend Jason Kottke's site.
posted by schmod at 10:37 PM on April 1, 2012


It tries hard, yet has little to say.
posted by ead at 11:36 PM on April 1, 2012


I used to read BoingBoing every day as well, many years ago. Then, on any given day there'd be at least one NSFW photo or glaring NSFW headline about porn or sex robots or something (usually by Xeni) that I didn't want on my screen during my lunch break at work.

So I started trying to keep up from home, but the tone of the posts became really mean and unpleasant. Then I fell out of the habit of reading it.

On the topic of their self-promotion, notice that the skullcap t-shirt that they're hawking on the sidebar today was designed by Sarina Frauenfelder - Mark's kid. The more things change...
posted by ladygypsy at 4:47 AM on April 2, 2012


For posterity, I got "Stella' as my tag.
posted by oddman at 5:20 AM on April 2, 2012


I used to check BB out daily, but stopped when every other article seemed to be about steampunk teledildonics.
posted by jquinby at 6:35 AM on April 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


On the topic of their self-promotion, notice that the skullcap t-shirt that they're hawking on the sidebar today was designed by Sarina Frauenfelder - Mark's kid

So? It's their website. Charlie sells his books on his website. A number of you self promote. I fail to see the problem.

I love me some MeFi, I really do -- I've been a part for mumble years, and I consider you crazy kids, overall, friends. I've learned a lot, laughed a lot, taught a lot, spoke a lot, listened a lot, and cried a little. This little corner of the Internet is, by and large, a good think, and I'm thankful I've been able to be a part of it for (fuck me,really?) over a decade.

But the one time I felt ashamed about MetaFilter was sitting next to Cory and John Scalzi as Cory read one of the MeFi flamethreads on him.

It was just unspeakable, and IIRC, both jscalzi and I* found it hard to watch. Fortunately, Cory understand that the world is full of fuckwits and refuses to condemn the whole for the actions of the few.

Yes, Cory Doctorow self promotes. So do cstross and jscalzi, but they don't get the vitrol. Cory and Charlie also happen to be friends, and I know John pretty well too -- had the honor of having him as GoH at the last convention I chaired. We drank a lot of Coke Zero. And I simply cannot figure out why some of you hate him so. He's a good guy. He's trying to do good things. He has good family, and he's one of the nicest people I've ever met.

I just don't get why he, and BB in general, gets all the hate -- and it is deep, dark, vitrolic hate. Even when, hell, esp. when, you don't know what the hell is going on.

You know, this site would be well served if, before you hit post, you ask yourself "Am I being a dick? Do I intend to be a dick?"

Sigh. I like this site, I really do, but sometimes, it acts *exactly* as old as it is.


(I am deeply thankful to the mods)

* I apologize in advance to jscalzi in particular and everyone in general if I've miscategorized John's reaction.
posted by eriko at 7:58 AM on April 2, 2012 [11 favorites]


I was about to post some snarky one-liner, but eriko's comment just guilted me out of it.
posted by slogger at 8:48 AM on April 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


Yes, Cory Doctorow self promotes. So do cstross and jscalzi, but they don't get the vitrol. Cory and Charlie also happen to be friends, and I know John pretty well too -- had the honor of having him as GoH at the last convention I chaired. We drank a lot of Coke Zero. And I simply cannot figure out why some of you hate him so. He's a good guy. He's trying to do good things. He has good family, and he's one of the nicest people I've ever met.

I said this the last time this came up, but one thing that I deeply suspect does not help is that some people are reacting strong to Cory Doctorow, the writer (and that includes Cory Doctorow, the blogger), but the defenses are of Cory Doctorow, the person. cstross and jscalzi are rarely the subject of FPP thanks in part to the kind of writing they do, so I think it''s a bit disingenuous to assume that Mefites wouldn't have the same reaction to the type of self-promotional posts that draw vitriol here. Different sample size, different people (that cstross and jscalzi have been active here is surely a major difference), different public personas and media approaches.

I get that it's hard to separate the person from the public persona when you know the person. I've fallen victim to that, too. I get, also, that the internet can be bloodthirsty if it decides it doesn't like you (you want to see hate? I just watched a bunch of kids on goodreads shame an established YA author into quitting writing and then sit around speculating that she quit "for attention"). I also think it doesn't pay to be a dick. But every time this type of thing comes up about Cory--who, again, I'm sure is a gem of a person!--valid criticisms are raised about his blogging and writing and dismissed with, "Well, he's a nice person. For shame for criticizing him!!!" And I really don't think it helps. It makes me dread mentions of his name here on metafilter because the moment any poster gets the least bit critical (and we get critical about everything) it's answered with, "Why's metafilter gotta hate this lovely dude?" And the source of the criticism is almost never his loveliness. It's tiresome. I don't think it helps Cory's public persona at all, either.

(I don't read boingboing and haven't read Cory's books. I saw him talk at a con once. It was a good talk, but I thought the way he brought certain aspects of his anti-copyright argument back to him weakened it somewhat. Generally, I dislike that kind of thing. This recent Hunger Games "review", for example, though I like the writer's writing generally.)
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 9:25 AM on April 2, 2012 [5 favorites]


I've never understood the Cory hate. I enjoy BoingBoing. Even when BB gets into "phases," such as with Steampunk or whatever, it's not as if anyone was forcing you to read it.

Cory promotes himself, but he's no more of a scenewhore than anyone else with something to promote.

I've never read Cory's fiction, but even if it's terrible, that doesn't mean a whole lot. Mine's even worse.
posted by Sticherbeast at 9:37 AM on April 2, 2012


Yes, Cory Doctorow self promotes. So do cstross and jscalzi, but they don't get the vitrol.

I’ve been reading this site for a year or so and I have no idea who cstross and jsclazi are (If I had to guess I’d say an Eastern European detective team). I don’t think anyone could say that after reading BoingBoing for even a short time. I don’t think it’s the same thing.

And hate seems like a really strong word for most of what I’ve read. I really think that word is overused.
posted by bongo_x at 9:40 AM on April 2, 2012


the moment any poster gets the least bit critical (and we get critical about everything) it's answered with, "Why's metafilter gotta hate this lovely dude?"

Your impression and mine of how these things go down is very different. My feeling is that people mention something that's actually sort of ancillary to BB or Cory or whatever and then people show up and get all angry because they don't like his daughter's name or dislike his fiction even though the subject of the FPP is something he did for EFF.

So yeah it's no good if we're putting people in the "Hey you can't ever say anything bad about the dude" box. but my feeling has always been that it's actually more of a "fuck you if you don't admit that his shit is tired and overplayed!" situation where you literally can't make a post about something the guy did without people arriving in the thread to make the same complaints about him that they did in the last dozen BB threads. It's embarrassing. We see the same thing happen with political threads and some other topics where some people just have this tic where they can't see someone's name without showing up to make their same complaint.

I'd be thrilled if people wanted to discuss cogent critiques of his writing in a thread that was about his writing. That is really not what I see happening or what the OP here seems to be asking about. I see people unable to somehow stand that the guy is popular/successful and that other people like him and/or respect him when they personally have decided he sucks or is not worthy of respect and then they Can't Let It Go. And at the very least, knowing that you're making those critiques in a community where at least some people consider the guy a friend seems oddly tone deaf.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 9:47 AM on April 2, 2012 [2 favorites]


I’ve been reading this site for a year or so and I have no idea who cstross and jsclazi are (If I had to guess I’d say an Eastern European detective team). I don’t think anyone could say that after reading BoingBoing for even a short time. I don’t think it’s the same thing.

BoingBoing is, in large part, Cory's site. Of course you're going to know who Cory is after reading BoingBoing for a while.

Charles Stross and John Scalzi, on the other hand, both have their own websites. If you read their websites, you'll figure out who they are, as well.
posted by Sticherbeast at 9:53 AM on April 2, 2012


as Cory read one of the MeFi flamethreads on him.

Did he do the flames in different voices? 'Cause I would pay to hear some of that.
posted by octobersurprise at 9:55 AM on April 2, 2012


I think you and I view the interactions about it in a really mirror-reversed way, jessamyn. The last time we had one of these metatalks, over that "Martian Chronicles" thing was pretty much what lead me to feeling this way. The way that one played out--people discussing the exact subject on a FPP, someone pre-emptively assuming it was a derail, MeTa to discuss what we have against Cory . . . and what was never really acknowledged, I think, was that the whole "Martian Chronicles" title thing was completely on-point and the derail was actually whether or not we like Cory Doctorow. That felt very frustrating, and counter to the policies of metafilter, and deep down, I can't help but wonder if the friendship between you & Cory colors your perception of those interactions. The subject here is "Why don't people like BB?" and several posters, including chimaera, have responded at length addressing exactly why. It doesn't seem like "hate" there to me, but rather a rational reaction to something that they explained pretty deftly.

(I don't mean that to be incisive criticism or anything, because honestly, there are a few authors I know personally who I am very defensive of and do not get the criticism of either and assume it comes from a worst place than it probably does. I try not to participate in those conversations about them on the internet. I'm glad I don't moderate a community where they come up. Because I think it would be impossible.)
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 9:57 AM on April 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


then people show up and get all angry because they don't like his daughter's name

With respect, I've never seen that happen, but I seriously doubt that's has ever or ever will be a significant reason for why most here criticize him.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 9:57 AM on April 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


I can't help but wonder if the friendship between you & Cory

I am not friends with him. We know each other enough to shake hands and say hi if we run into each other and we mutually admire each others' work but I've never even had a beer with the guy or been in a social situation that he's been at. I think people have valid reasons not to like him but I just come from a place where even if you don't like someone, showing up to talk about your own personal dislike in a place where it's not on-topic is really not cool and sort of toxic to having a discussion about anything else.

people discussing the exact subject on a FPP

To my recollection we deleted a few early Cory hate comments and got a lot of crabby email from people noting that all people wanted to talk about was the title of the book [and whether it was a fuck you to Bradbury because we all know Cory is like that] when the post was about the book itself and a podcast talking about it or reading it. I'm firmly of the position that you can't affect the direction a post takes once you've made it, so it was just one of those "well what can you do?" situations, but the community's tendency to do that in general [hyperfocus on one point and basically blow off the rest of the post] is too bad no matter what the topic is.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 10:11 AM on April 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


Sticherbeast: "
Charles Stross and John Scalzi, on the other hand, both have their own websites. If you read their websites, you'll figure out who they are, as well.
"

True, but somehow their self-promotion there comes off as far less annoying than Doctorow's does.
posted by Chrysostom at 10:14 AM on April 2, 2012


I meant friendship pretty loosely--personal interactions? You know him on a different level than some other people do.

And at the very least, knowing that you're making those critiques in a community where at least some people consider the guy a friend seems oddly tone deaf.

This is where I think the solution of talking about how nice he is actually exacerbates the problem. The complaints many people have raised about BB are that they feel like it's self-serving and that the moderation style favors a certain in-group. By saying that this (public figure who is controversial in his genre) is off-limits because he's someone who some community members are friends with kind of only reinforces the idea that there's a cult of personality at work here.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 10:16 AM on April 2, 2012


Complaining that discussions of Cory Doctorow’s writing get derailed seems sort of like being upset that people can’t discuss Andy Dick’s acting without bringing other aspects in. Something about making your bed...
posted by bongo_x at 10:21 AM on April 2, 2012


I'm probably misrembering this, but I seem to recall the boingboing hate increasing after they closed comments the first time. If people couldn't bitch about boingboing on boingboing, they'd do it somewhere else.
posted by stavrogin at 10:21 AM on April 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


“First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, and then you win.” ― Mahatma Gandhi
posted by infini at 10:30 AM on April 2, 2012


“First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, and then you win.” ― Mahatma Gandhi
posted by infini at 10:30 AM on April 2 [+] [!]


What comparison are you trying to make here?
posted by entropicamericana at 10:35 AM on April 2, 2012


Didn't Gandhi rip that off of Doctorow?
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:44 AM on April 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


I've never read Boingboing, but a couple of years ago when I was bored at work I read the entire Violet Blue thread (yup!) so I'm happy to share the reasons I decided NOT to read it:

1) Disemvowelling. It seems like the most irritating, passive-aggressive thing you can do and a coy way to get away with silencing people who disagree with you without taking responsibility for it. "We didn't delete your comment! See, it's right there, anyone can read it!" Well, sure, I usually CAN, but it's a huge nuisance. If you want to delete something, take some damn responsibility for it.

2) My big problem with the Violet Blue thing (based on my reading of the thread, admittedly) was also the lack of responsibility. Shit happens, people get pissed off, I get that, but at some point Ms. Hayden apparently came in and said something like "The Boingers are the sweetest, kindest people in the world and I don't know how you can accuse them of this. You are way off base." I remember thinking what a fantastic opportunity this was for some self-reflection; maybe censorship and cover ups don't always happen because Bad, Evil People want to censor things, maybe it sometimes happens because kind, well-meaning people want to protect their friends and things that are important to them. That's pretty reasonable, caring about someone and not wanting them to get hurt. This seems to me like a great chance to say "Wow, we fucked up, and look, censorship, our BIG ISSUE, is even more pernicious than we thought! This goes to show that we need to maintain vigilance even in terms of ourselves and those with whom we agree. It's not only monsters that propagate these horrible cover-ups, if we're not careful we can be guilty of the very thing we hate! Wow, look at that, I'm so sorry guys, we've emerged from this even more staunchly against censorship and with a more thoughtful perspective on how it happens and how we can approach it and band together with other well-meaning people to keep information free" or something like that. Instead, you get "No, only monsters would do that, and we're Good People, so we can't have done what you said. How dare anyone imply otherwise? Perhaps YOU'RE the monster". I apologize if I'm mischaracterizing any of this and the responses (it's been a while since I read that stuff) but again, this lack of responsibility really bothered me. Yeah, you did something shitty, you're fucking grown-ups, own up to it, learn from it, move on. I don't want to read a whiny website where people get aggressively defensive instead of acknowledging that they have flaws.
posted by Mrs. Pterodactyl at 10:56 AM on April 2, 2012 [8 favorites]


The fact that my wife (Mrs. Pterodactyl) just typed 500 words on the faults of a person she's never met based on one thing she read about a couple of years ago is why I have to make sure we never get divorced.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 11:22 AM on April 2, 2012 [8 favorites]


That felt very frustrating, and counter to the policies of metafilter, and deep down, I can't help but wonder if the friendship between you & Cory colors your perception of those interactions.

Well, I don't know Cory from Adam and pretty much completely with what Jessamyn's saying on this stuff, so I don't think it's that, no. If I had to come up with something specific to say about Cory about all it would be is a critical comment about his lack of engagement with that whole Violet Blue mess years ago.

This stuff with the site we're talking about is not something Cory- or BB-specific; one or another person or group of people are sometimes weirdly, needlessly overt and jerkish about a lot of different thing on the site, and it is honestly one of the more embarrassing feelings to have about this place watching that go down. I get that people have things they don't like, but when it gets to feeling like either who-cares-what-the-context-is axe-grinding ("Topic x? Let me vehemently tell you about something related to topic x!") or weird performance art dickery, that's pretty crappy and makes for lousy conversation and makes it hard to point to this place and say "this place is great, I like how people interact".

That for whatever reason BB/Cory/etc is a "let's be sort of gripey" trigger for some folks pretty much at that twitch of a knee is frustrating not because we really care whether anybody like Cory or his writing or his self-promotion but because it pretty much means embarrassing messes for no good reason when people fail to keep their reactions proportional to what's actually worth noting in a random public conversation.

It doesn't make every criticism anyone ever has about the guy inappropriate or anything like that, but the distinction between people discussing something critically in a reasonable way and people getting sort of needlessly shitty gets blurry when both are going on and then someone has an issue with the latter and people look at the former and say "no, that's fine". A lot of talking past each other on this sort of thing, especially when we've already had to deal with some of it by removing the particularly shitty stuff.
posted by cortex (staff) at 11:27 AM on April 2, 2012 [3 favorites]


Huh, did BoingBoing unpublish the epic "That Violet Blue Thing" response thread? If so, that would kind of be an lesson not learned.
posted by lalex at 11:30 AM on April 2, 2012


The fact that my wife (Mrs. Pterodactyl) just typed 500 words on the faults of a person she's never met based on one thing she read about a couple of years ago is why I have to make sure we never get divorced.

You jest (and you have no sense of humor and are mean to me) but I do take stuff like this seriously. It drives me completely bonkers when people don't take the opportunity to reflect and make things better. Obviously no one can do it all the time but this seems like such a big, perfect, GLARING opportunity to recognize the fascinating complexity of an issue they'd treated as black and white and it pisses me off that they didn't take it, just like I was mad when you made me go to Alien vs. Predator and for some reason they didn't make that mythical culture thing Atlantis. It would really have tied the movie together. I'm still mad about that, just like I'm mad about BoingBoing not taking responsibility for the way they interact with others.

I leave it as an exercise for the reader to determine whether I'm a) mad at my husband for taking me to see Alien vs. Predator b) mad at Alien vs. Predator for not doing something so simple that would deeply have improved the movie c) all of the above.
posted by Mrs. Pterodactyl at 11:38 AM on April 2, 2012 [4 favorites]


Man, I remember spending the whole of an entire waking day sucked into the rabbit hole of that Violent Blue crapfest. Despite not knowing who Violet Blue was, and not giving a damn one way or another about BoingBoing. Why? Why??

Anyway, good times.
posted by El Sabor Asiatico at 11:45 AM on April 2, 2012


DMTFA

I think...

Is that the answer?

posted by infini at 11:45 AM on April 2, 2012


Violent = Violet, except not really.
posted by El Sabor Asiatico at 11:46 AM on April 2, 2012


I had entirely forgotten that I had commented on the Violet Blue Unwonderfulling Affair thread in limericks.

I should do that more.
posted by Sidhedevil at 12:19 PM on April 2, 2012


So maybe our inability to let go of our collective anger over something that happened on another website half a decade ago, that didn't really involve any of us personally, is something we should own up to as a communal character flaw instead of being aggressively defensive about.
posted by crunchland at 12:22 PM on April 2, 2012


I disagree, crunchland. I think the Violet Blue Unwonderfulling was an exemplar of what bugs me (slightly) about BoingBoing, and what I love that doesn't happen on MeFi. Not that I lose sleep about this "rivalry" but I do think that the two sites have different approaches, and I prefer the approach over here. I don't think that's a "communal character flaw" but an expression of my preferences.
posted by Sidhedevil at 12:29 PM on April 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


jessamyn [star]: " I see people unable to somehow stand that the guy is popular/successful "

Classic Tall Poppy Syndrome behaviour. I think it's even worse when a not-insignificant portion of a community (in voice if not in numbers) aspires to what the 'tall poppy' has achieved, but hasn't been able to achieve it themselves. I've never understood this whole 'Cory = the enemy' thing here, know bugger all about the man himself and couldn't give a rat's arse about whether people like him or not. But I always cringe inside a little when I see people here, people who I respect and who are generally balanced in their view of the world, foaming at the mouth with hatred at an individual for no other apparent reason than he's gained a measure of success and done so in ways that don't align with the commentator's view of how success should be achieved.

It's sometimes hard for people to accept that someone has been successful because they worked hard, developed their talent and promoted it successfully. It's much easier to believe that they are successful because of factors that the envious have no possibility of duplicating (rich family, just plain luck, influential friends, whatever). Those that extrapolate dislike for a person into dislike for a community do this community a disservice.
posted by dg at 3:31 PM on April 2, 2012 [2 favorites]


Well and I guess I look at it like this thread from today on MeFi. Some people don't like xkcd, totally fine. However in a thread where someone is posting a link to an xkcd comic that they think meets the bar for a good post to MeFi some people still show up to say they don't like it and then others say they don't like other people not liking it and bitch about the site, in the thread, because some people do that thing. It's kvetching all the way down. If you don't like xkcd, maybe it's just not the thread for you instead of you showing up to be like Still don't care about xkcd, thanks for asking!" because no one asked.

There's no real reason just to show up and say "This sucks." If you want to have a discussion about how, hey maybe Randall has done better work, or how this was a little opaque for people, or the jokes aren't funny or whatever, great. There's a conversation to be had there. Showing up like you've been ornery since this morning and you were just waiting for something or someone on MeFi to piss you off so that you could bitch them out is not really this community at its greatest.

People seem to be under the misapprehension that if someone makes a post about something they think is good [as opposed to just "these people are being assholes" or whatever] that there is some balancing community value in saying "Well I didn't like it!" That's not conversational. That's just you talking about you and reflects, basically, only on you. This is not me saying in any way "Hey, be nice" There is a huge range of options between "This sucks" and being nice many of which can be critical or otherwise non-positive. But they're often more cognizant that this site is, at its core, about having a conversation about things on the internet with the people here. The difference between this site and your own blog is that you are expected to talk to everyone who is meeting the basic guidelines for discourse here in a way that makes the conversation not just about you. Some people are not so good at this. Certain topics seem to bring that out.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 4:33 PM on April 2, 2012 [5 favorites]


That's a pretty poor representation of MeFi, unfortunately. I mean, I didn't understand the xkcd cartoon that I got (hot dogs vs buns in sacks of ashes or something), but I assume that's just me not getting the joke due to some cultural reference I don't have (or, more likely, I'm just not smart enough) and that's often the case but I still think most of them are great. I get that it's edgy enough that lots of people won't like it, but I don't understand the need for people to tell everyone that they don't like it. It's not as if it's mandatory to vote for or against it.
posted by dg at 5:04 PM on April 2, 2012


I spent -- what? a decade? -- kind of knowing that xkcd was a thing, peripherally aware that it was maybe a web comic or something like that, kind of just gliding past mentions of it here and elsewhere. Somehow, I just didn't bother to look at it. Set in my internet ways, me.

Then I installed the iPad app and read a whole bunch of them, and now I like it very much. Don't know anything more about the person who makes it or anything like that, but it amuses me.

So that's nice.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 5:18 PM on April 2, 2012


It's sometimes hard for people to accept that someone has been successful because they worked hard, developed their talent and promoted it successfully.

Well, not if you're Mitt Romney, I suppose. Then you get it.

The last time this came up, I said basically the same thing I'll say now, which is that the deal with Cory Doctorow is going to be the deal going forward; i.e., as traditional promotional/distribution schemes fall away, people who once would have retreated to their monastic towers of Franzenhood and let those gross PR people do all the legwork...those people will be bloggers/twitterers with a few hundred followers, and people who are able to self-promote will be the ones with an audience. Some lucky people will win so many acolytes that those people will do the street team stuff for them, but most successful artists of the World That's Coming! will be the ones who can at least fake The Social Skills. Right now, it makes some people uncomfortable that to them it seems Cory Doctorow is liked for being Cory Doctorow and that like has spilled over into like for his creative output, because it might kind of look like a personal popularity contest and a lot of sci-fi/computery people have ugly high school associations with that sort of thing. But this is a dilemma we are all going to have to sort out in our own ways, because I just don't see how people are going to be successful artists in the future if they can't figure out interpersonal relations. The people who used to do that for you won't be doing that anymore.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 5:32 PM on April 2, 2012 [3 favorites]


(hot dogs vs buns in sacks of ashes or something)

Hey man, that's pretty groovy. I'll bet I could do something with that.
posted by octobersurprise at 6:37 PM on April 2, 2012


I don't like liver and onions. I've never had it where I thought it was good, and I usually run in the opposite direction when I hear it's being served. But that in no way means that YOU have to hate it, too. In fact, if you like it, more power to you.

We've all got our petty annoyances. I know I've groused in the past about frequent front page references to Roger Ebert, or that OK Go churns out a viral video, and Metafilter seems to reliably take their bait. I actually don't have any real issues with any of those fellows. I've made efforts to try and squelch my inclinations to grouse about them when they do make their inevitable reappearances. But just because I've got a bug up my butt about these things doesn't mean I should expect the rest of you to as well.
posted by crunchland at 6:47 PM on April 2, 2012


I don't like liver and onions.

My mom used to buy fresh liver from the farm down the road and fry it up with onions, green peppers and a little bacon. Mmm! And then my dad would always start to sing "Summertime .... and the liver is greasy ..."
posted by octobersurprise at 7:01 PM on April 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


Jessamyn: what's the particular reason why it's 'oddly tone deaf' to critique a polarizing public figure, even if he has friends and supporters in the crowd? Does this epithet apply to people discussing Ron Paul, Bieber, Obama? The OP asked specifically about the reason why people dislike BB -- there's going to be discussion on that...
posted by felix at 7:19 PM on April 2, 2012


dg:
Classic Tall Poppy Syndrome behaviour. I think it's even worse when a not-insignificant portion of a community (in voice if not in numbers) aspires to what the 'tall poppy' has achieved, but hasn't been able to achieve it themselves.

Or how about this. Maybe a not-insignificant portion of a community recognizes tone-deaf carpetbagging, wholesale culture appropriation by non-members, and plagiarism-in-all-but-name when they see it.
posted by felix at 7:26 PM on April 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


I don't mean in this thread, I mean in MeFi threads in general. If there's a thread on some uke-playing Brooklynite and someone else says "Oh hey I know them, they're in my knitting club" and someone else says "Hey me too, we carpool together" and then someone else does that nerdy "Well I think their music sucks and they must have been dropped on their head as a child; it make sme angry just to think about their senseless twanging!" thing, it's just tone deaf.

Famous people are different, sure, but I think we treat our own nerdy microcelebs as if they're as famous as actual celebrities and then go after them the same way... Personally I don't think threads are very interesting when people just co-trash someone together but this may be where my personal perspective varies from the community at large. This is not about critiquing or disliking things, this is about being really overtly aggressively shitty about the subject of a thread. It's ungreat no matter who folks are talking about, but it's really not cool when it's someone who a lot of people know and/or are friends with. It's just weird to me.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 7:27 PM on April 2, 2012 [2 favorites]


Given my recent in-thread poop on Gawker (which isn't really person, but) it probably comes off as disingenuous, but I couldn't agree more, jessamyn.

But I don't think your perspective varies from the community at large. I think there might be a vocally first-to-crap-on-something brigade, but I don't think they represent this community (even if they are everywhere on the internet at large).
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 7:51 PM on April 2, 2012


vocal
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 7:52 PM on April 2, 2012


I feel it's incorrect to paint this criticism as 'that nerdy thing' as if it was axiomatically a no-true-scotsman hipster reflex. Such a native reflex exists on mefi, in huge quantities, it's true. So I feel your pain. But this isn't that.

This is 'that culture thing', where people who love and prize and treasure a culture get angry (even 'overtly aggressively shitty') about the outsider who steals and plagiarizes under the guise of repurposing or sampling.

Is that better or worse? Me, I think it's morally better. But we might differ.

Regardless -- I don't think it'd be good for MeFi if we all circumscribed our thoughts based on our best guess as to how many supporters might clutch their pearls. I agree that kindness, fellow feeling, and thoughtful attention to each others' feelings should be the natural state. But on the flipside, it should be okay to call out people's bullshit when and where it does occur.
posted by felix at 7:56 PM on April 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


The last time this came up, I said basically the same thing I'll say now, which is that the deal with Cory Doctorow is going to be the deal going forward;

I totally agree, I don’t like it, but there it is.

Famous people are different, sure, but I think we treat our own nerdy microcelebs as if they're as famous as actual celebrities and then go after them the same way...

But it’s not about some guy who does something on the internet. He sells himself, as kittens for breakfast has pointed out, he makes his living selling Cory Doctorow, more blatantly than most, and that’s why it’s open season on criticizing him. It’s not just your friend who plays the uke on youtube.

This came up in another discussion, but I don’t think you can have it both ways, selling yourself as a celebrity in the new online economy, and then claim exemption from criticism by virtue of just being some guy on the internet. He’s not a talented amateur, what he does is no different than what Beyonce’ does.

This is not about critiquing or disliking things, this is about being really overtly aggressively shitty about the subject of a thread.

Well yeah, it’s best not to get carried away.
posted by bongo_x at 7:57 PM on April 2, 2012


We liked Cory back in early 2004. Then in June, the grumbling started. (Note: 4 years before the Violet Blue incident.) And continued in earnest in August 2004. By June, 2006, the satire and mocking was evident elsewhere on the internet. By October, 2006, the haters outnumbered the supporters. In June, 2007, the disdain was palpable. In September, 2010, Joe Beese defended Cory against accusations of hypocrisy in regards to the Violet Blue incident, and there's actually many voices defending against the kneejerk negative comments about him in that thread. But the haters outnumber the supporters in an April, 2011 thread about him releasing a new book. In May, 2011, two threads (1, 2) have his name tagged, but they don't show much in the way of real vitriol, but the floodgates opened up in January of this year.
posted by crunchland at 9:06 PM on April 2, 2012 [4 favorites]


felix: "dg:
Classic Tall Poppy Syndrome behaviour. I think it's even worse when a not-insignificant portion of a community (in voice if not in numbers) aspires to what the 'tall poppy' has achieved, but hasn't been able to achieve it themselves.

Or how about this. Maybe a not-insignificant portion of a community recognizes tone-deaf carpetbagging, wholesale culture appropriation by non-members, and plagiarism-in-all-but-name when they see it.
"

Or maybe a little from column A and a little from column B?

felix: "
Regardless -- I don't think it'd be good for MeFi if we all circumscribed our thoughts based on our best guess as to how many supporters might clutch their pearls.
"

In general, I agree wholeheartedly with what jessamyn has said here, but I don't think anyone should hold back on expressing a genuine opinion on someone or something on the basis that friends/family/supporters/fans might be present. Apart from being practically impossible with such a large membership base, it would be too much restriction (to my mind) on the community expectations (again, to my mind and there are a disappointingly high number of exceptions) that free and open discourse is welcomed, no matter how controversial the topic and no matter that some may not wish to hear it. However, there is open discourse and then there is just acting like an arsehole.

I think comments about someone's perception of bad behaviour of any public (by whatever measure) figure are fine. I don't think it's OK to make judgements on a person's character based only on the slice of their life that the average person sees. I guess that, for true 'celebrities', there is sometimes sufficient information in the public domain to make this judgement, but I don't think that is the case very often. I wouldn't know Cory Doctorow if I fell over him and I could care less about Boing Boing, but I always feel a little uncomfortable about the level of hatred that so many seem to have for him. Sometimes I feel like I need to wipe the spittle from the inside of my monitor after getting sucked into reading a thread that devolves into a contest to find out who hates him the most.
posted by dg at 9:08 PM on April 2, 2012


So, I think Crunchland got the history there that captures it. Can we mark this "answered"

I liked this thread better when we were talking about the letter W.

(Really, I'm kinda sorry I asked.)
posted by roboton666 at 9:29 PM on April 2, 2012


dg: Or maybe a little from column A and a little from column B?

*rolls eyes*
posted by felix at 9:51 PM on April 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


*rolls eyes*

You keep doing that and your eyes are going to fall right out, Johnny.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 9:58 PM on April 2, 2012


"There's no real reason just to show up and say "This sucks.""

Did you delete a whole bunch of comments or something? Because while I saw some kvetching, most of the snark aimed at the comic was fairly on point — I thought the comment from hincandenza rather mischaracterized the criticism.

Is that the problem too, that people can't see "I don’t think a little explanation would diminish the joke," as "This sucks"? There was a little mild grousing in that thread, but I just don't see people really saying that it sucks. Even "not funny" is different from "sucks."
posted by klangklangston at 12:02 AM on April 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


Regardless -- I don't think it'd be good for MeFi if we all circumscribed our thoughts based on our best guess as to how many supporters might clutch their pearls.

Well, and generally it's not a problem to just have a critical take on stuff. The majority of folks who have something critical to say about Subject X manage to do it in a totally decent "here are my not-positive thoughts on X" way where they'll substantiate something reasonable about their impressions of or experiences with X, and that's great. If that generates pearl-clutching from X's fanbase or X's mom or X's inventor, that's pretty much fine.

Basically the key problem is something that's really only a minority of what happens here; for every ten or fifty totally reasonable and varyingly substantial critical comments on the site we might see one bout of angryman ranting or axe-grinding or performance art crap-standing. If the ratio were significantly worse than that I wouldn't want to work here and I think a lot of people who spend time here wouldn't want to, so in that sense it's nice that the ratio is what it is.

But that exceptional stuff tends to attract a lot of attention internally and externally and tends to be the most obvious thing in a thread to someone coming from the outside who is more invested in Subject X than they are in the holistic view of the commentary ecosystem on Mefi. In other words, the one-in-ten or one-in-fifty (and I think this is a number that varies from topic to topic) is a bigger problem than what the raw numbers would suggest, for two reasons:

1. It's what starts the fights. An overtly snipey comment or rant is often what polarizes an otherwise totally civil conversation into (a) people hollering at the ranter for taking a dump in the conversation and/or a dump on something they feel positive about and then (b) people who might not like the ranter's presentation but agree with his general critical stance hollering at the folks hollering at the ranter and then (c) suddenly we've got a pointlessly galvanized trench warfare situation in what might have otherwise been a decent conversation where people disagreed with each other thoughtfully and conversationally.

Exchanges of "I see what you mean, but I disagree and here's why" gets replaced by exchanges of "the worst comment defending YOUR SIDE was terrible! How dare you! You're terrible!"

2. It makes us look like obnoxious internet shitheels. This is still really only a secondary concern—I care how this site is functioning internally as a community with all its quirks and idiosyncrasies more than anything else—but there are times when a bumpy discussion here becomes really visible to the outside world, and when there's dumb stuff happening it is, indeed, genuinely embarrassing to deal with. Because when someone from outside the site culture sees someone going on a crazy angry rant or saying terrible shit or pulling some sarcastic "I will pretend to have horrible opinions, geddit, lulz, my implied criticism is wicked trenchant bro" shit, they see it without any of the cultural context that surrounds it.

Mefites might see a discussion about Subject X as being a metafilter discussion, but most people on the internet aren't mefites and the non-mefites most likely to see a mefi discussion about X are folks who have some stake in the subject of X, whether fans or anti-fans. The fans will see the shitty stuff and basically think Metafilter is horrible; the anti-fans will see the shitty stuff and use it as a bludgeon in their own grudge-blogging, which makes us look just as bad.

So, there's this serious amplification factor when people act out here, one that undercuts the otherwise comforting fact that it's only a small percentage of what happens here that gets into weird shitty territory. Because that stuff has an outsized effect on a lot of stuff, both in terms of how stuff goes here and how folks outside view the site.

I want to be clear that the fact that we as mods are frustrated by the small fraction of crap is not an expression of frustration with the much larger fraction of folks who do a fine job of just being reasonably critical about stuff. That this is a problem on Mefi does not mean that it's a problem with most mefites or most mefi comments. But at the same time, the fact that it's not most mefites or most comments does not mean that it's not a legitimate, long-running problem on the site. It is a source of ongoing frustration.

To the extent that otherwise reasonable people can occasionally go a little over-the-top or knee-jerk about stuff that particularly pushes their buttons, about all we can ask is that you try and be aware of that and maybe be more ready to restate something more gently or disengage from a heated exchange or just close the browser window in the first place.
posted by cortex (staff) at 8:24 AM on April 3, 2012 [4 favorites]


> I don't think it'd be good for MeFi if we all circumscribed our thoughts based on our best guess as to how many supporters might clutch their pearls.

"Clutch their pearls" is a shitty expression that makes you look like a lazy person who uses malignancy as a substitute for actual argument.
posted by languagehat at 8:32 AM on April 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


there are times when a bumpy discussion here becomes really visible to the outside world

*mental note to wear pants while participating*
posted by octobersurprise at 8:44 AM on April 3, 2012


but the floodgates opened up in January of this year. -- Not to belabor the point, but I need to say that I mischaracterized this thread. Now that I've really re-read it, the comments about Cory are a lot more nuanced than the threads that came before. I guess I remembered it being much worse than it actually was, and if it's any indication, our angst is evolving to be more than just grar. (The metatalk thread about that thread, though, might indicate the opposite.)
posted by crunchland at 8:48 AM on April 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


(The metatalk thread about that thread, though, might indicate the opposite.)

I really think that providing a forum for people to talk about why they hate someone is going to make the hate look more intense and/or widespread than it is. Though I still think that several people in both threads have provided pretty explicit and rigorous explanations for why they dislike like both Doctorow and boingboing.

I think it's one thing to say "less threadshitting and griefing" in a thread when it's really a problem, and maybe there have been a lot of deleted comments in these threads that make it seem more mild from my perspective than it does from a mod's perspective but I still feel like characterizing all of this as baseless haterade isn't really fair to people who have answered questions here about why they feel strongly about him in good faith. Or something. I dunno.

I also don't generally think we look like obnoxious internet shitheels though. It makes me feel sad that this is something the mods worry about.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 9:07 AM on April 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


The Cory Visits a Radioshack link is extra funny because it was apparently used as a design document for android.
posted by empath at 9:11 AM on April 3, 2012


It makes me feel sad that this is something the mods worry about.

I don't worry about it, it just comes up a lot in casual conversation. "Oh you work at MetaFilter? Isn't that site populated mostly with adolescent assholes?" and I'm comfy enough to say no, not exactly, but it's one of the things that people who are not part of this community think about this community. And we're responsible to it at some level, and as one of the people who has a role in setting the tone, it concerns me.

When people are discussed here in a non-flattering way (or just a not-totally-flattering way) and then come here to be part of the discussion it's a crapshoot whether the discussion will be reasonable ("Hey I don't really like the way you did this thing, why did you do it that way?") or whether it will go all haywire ("You're a totally privileged douchebag for going about that thing in the way you did"). We're always "Yay the subject of the thread showed up to talk about their ideas!" and then about half the time we're like "Awww a few people were total assholes to them and now they're never coming back and I don't blame them."

So it's not like this happens a lot, but that when it does happen it can sometimes get a lot of attention and that's problematic. And I'm not saying that we don't do pretty well most of the time [better than most, honestly, I cant think of a place with lighter moderation that does better] but that failures are public and I think sometimes they help keep this community a little more limited in its scope and reach than it could be. Which, hey okay, maybe everyone has different goals for what the site could be but I think the odd nastiness breakouts are actively inhibiting more people from wanting to be a part of this community and I think that's too bad.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 9:26 AM on April 3, 2012


I don't worry about it, it just comes up a lot in casual conversation. "Oh you work at MetaFilter? Isn't that site populated mostly with adolescent assholes?"

Ugh. I'm sorry you have to deal with that. That sucks.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 9:33 AM on April 3, 2012


I also don't generally think we look like obnoxious internet shitheels though. It makes me feel sad that this is something the mods worry about.

It's not something I'm losing sleep over nightly or anything. It's something that worries me a little bit whenever I see a thread going in a weird direction, but usually weirdness around here is somewhat self-correcting and usually no one is paying a whole lot of attention to a mefi thread anyway, so it's just a little worry and then I move on with my day. Only when something blows up into An Internet Thing does it really manage to like wreck my day a little, and that's thankfully more of a rare perfect-storm situation than anything likely to happen regularly.

But when it does happen, it's a lot of work to try and communicate to outside parties the context, to be an ambassador to the site in a context where I'm not saying "hey, we are two awesome communities, it is nice to interact!" but rather "hey, I know we're meeting each other under shitstorm conditions but I assure you were are not actually a collective of obnoxious internet jerks...". So it's a thing that's always in the back of my mind when I'm watching something that might be nothing or might be brewing into a Thing. And the thing is that the stuff that foments a potential Thing is almost never stuff that's actually a good part of this place anyway. People being awesome or thoughtfully critical in a reasonable way don't really cause shitstorms.

I'm sure it's something that's more on my mind than it is on the average users, and that totally makes sense. And I try to keep that in check, I sort of reality check the ambient grousing-about-mefi noise I pick up on a weekly basis, because to some extent external people with no investment in mefi but some investment in Subject X will be bothered by anything negative they see on that subject, and I don't worry about that stuff so much. If someone on twitter beefs about mefi not being nice about some website or book or academic theory or whatever, I'll track down the thread and glance in probably but I expect most of the time (and find most of the time) that it's fine, it's just people being mostly normal.

But it's not never that I pop into a thread and see that, yeah, someone actually is being kind of a prick, someone's saying shit that might be valid in terms of substance but is doing it in a way that's pretty shitty in terms of presentation. It's always a bummer seeing that. Usually it's still not a Thing, and what do you do, but it'd be nice to see less of it, and it'd be nice to have less reason to worry sometimes about whether a thread is going to blow up.
posted by cortex (staff) at 9:40 AM on April 3, 2012


languagehat: "Clutch their pearls" is a shitty expression that makes you look like a lazy person who uses malignancy as a substitute for actual argument.

ah, the vaunted unintentionally ironic cherrypicked leftfield threadshit. A fine, fine vintage.
posted by felix at 9:51 AM on April 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


Yeah I agree with cortex, not a huge deal most of the time, but since it comes up when things are often already a little frayed already, then it's less cool. Coming into a thread to see someone saying "Hey we should totally firebomb those assholes' houses!" or "I bet that author was dropped on her head as a child" just leads me to think to myself "You know, other people can read that." And the very rare cross-site griefing when people go to other websites saying "I'm from MetaFilter" and act like total assholes is really problematic. It only happens maybe a few times a year, but it's a few times a year too many in my opinion.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 10:24 AM on April 3, 2012




Maybe someone should just organise a MeFi vs Boing Boing trivia contest and establish once and for all which is the better site? This time, though, we play for pink slips.

languagehat: " I don't think it'd be good for MeFi if we all circumscribed our thoughts based on our best guess as to how many supporters might clutch their pearls.

"Clutch their pearls" is a shitty expression that makes you look like a lazy person who uses malignancy as a substitute for actual argument.
"

Actually, I thought it was a totally appropriate expression to explain the behaviour of many fanbois (and, to a lesser extent, girls) when these dramas rear their ugly head. But then, I am a lazy person.
posted by dg at 2:34 PM on April 3, 2012


I don't worry about it, it just comes up a lot in casual conversation. "Oh you work at MetaFilter? Isn't that site populated mostly with adolescent assholes?" and I'm comfy enough to say no, not exactly, many of our assholes are middle aged to elderly.
posted by a humble nudibranch at 9:55 PM on April 3, 2012 [3 favorites]


We liked Cory back in early 2004. Then in June, the grumbling started. [...]

Goodness. That was thorough.
posted by Zed at 2:49 PM on April 4, 2012


And just a bit creepy.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 3:45 PM on April 4, 2012


Nah, tamimism is creepy. That's just some basic elbow grease.
posted by cortex (staff) at 3:51 PM on April 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


tamim! I was trying like hell to remember who did those capsule bios. Scared me away from posting personally identifiable stuff here for years.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 11:32 PM on April 4, 2012


And just a bit creepy. -- Pish posh. Creepy? Not to give away any data-mining secrets here, but I just looked at all of the posts tagged with Cory Doctorow, and read how they played out.
posted by crunchland at 8:09 AM on April 5, 2012


Damn! Can't believe I missed this splendid thread.
posted by beschizza at 3:03 PM on April 6, 2012 [2 favorites]


I have always wondered, beschizza, how you manage to avoid all the RARAR that seems to follow around the other BB folks?
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 4:16 PM on April 6, 2012


My limit was when they refused to correct a factual error. That’s a rather cut-and-dried case, I believe. On the Web, we correct our errors.
posted by joeclark at 12:55 PM on April 7, 2012


Jessamyn, no idea! I feel like I'm failing, somehow.

Joeclark, what's the factual error? I will fix it right now.
posted by beschizza at 8:06 PM on April 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


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