Missing out on Projects? October 18, 2012 6:48 PM   Subscribe

I've looked at the Projects section maybe once or twice during my time in the Metaverse; am I missing out on anything solid these days?
posted by mr. digits to MetaFilter-Related at 6:48 PM (90 comments total)

Yes. There is some nice stuff there.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 7:01 PM on October 18, 2012 [10 favorites]


Would you care to elaborate?
posted by mr. digits at 7:07 PM on October 18, 2012


Well I guess I don't really understand what you're asking instead of heading over there yourself. Here are all the things I've personally voted for. Here are the most popular posts by month. My favoerite one recently was the 9000+ photos of North Dakota which was also made into a MeFi FPP. I'm sure other people will have other favorites but without knowing more about why you're asking here instead of just going over there and poking around, I don't know what to tell you.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 7:18 PM on October 18, 2012 [5 favorites]


I find the Projects section is pretty easy to scan, since it doesn't get as many posts as the other subsites, and the "vote" tallies call out the obvious crowd favorites. So maybe just remind yourself to click over there once a month or so, and you can go through the month's posts quickly.

Also, a nice way to keep up with the subsites you don't read is to check out the Podcast posts. Even if you don't have time to listen to the Podcast, they link to all the notable posts they discuss, and frequently will point out especially cool Projects posts. (For example, here's the thread from the most recent Podcast, you can see they link a few Projects posts there.)

And finally, you can use the newish Best Of blog, which pulls out great comments and other tidbits from across the site.
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 7:19 PM on October 18, 2012 [3 favorites]


Sidereal Time and Tiny Fix Bike Gang are two recent ones I like a lot.
posted by box at 7:23 PM on October 18, 2012


Fair enough to the both of you... I'd be remiss if I didn't admit that I followed your initial (inferred) advice, jessamyn, and that the series of North Dakota pictures was a real stunner for me.

On the other hand, I'm not particularly interested in any of the filtering that one can do with tags or whatever. Just what anyone feels is worthy of mention, both so that I can find some solid content and out of curiosity to see what people are digging on. You know, some "metatalk".

(and on preview, thanks, box)
posted by mr. digits at 7:23 PM on October 18, 2012


(and thanks for the other tips too, LobsterMitten).
posted by mr. digits at 7:24 PM on October 18, 2012


Oh! There is a new Harvey Girls album! This is good news! Thanks, box!
posted by Pronoiac at 7:50 PM on October 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


Several of my favorite (and most popular) MeFi Posts have been Projects.

You Are Listening To Los Angeles
The Big Map Blog
A Handsome Atlas

I check Projects every day; it's usually worth it.
posted by carsonb at 7:58 PM on October 18, 2012 [3 favorites]


Missing out on Projects?
Yes. There is some nice stuff there.
Would you care to elaborate?
FUCK, DUDE. I DON'T FUCKING KNOW WHAT YOU LIKE. JUST GO LOOK AROUND, OK?
posted by special-k at 8:06 PM on October 18, 2012 [14 favorites]


I'd try clicking on the yellow words.
posted by maryr at 8:46 PM on October 18, 2012 [3 favorites]


I've never looked at it either, so I just checked it out. Definitely worth the trip. I particularly liked cartophile.
posted by Egg Shen at 9:00 PM on October 18, 2012




What a weird question. It's akin to coming to MetaTalk saying "I don't really get on the Blue that much. Anything good I should check out?" Just go to Projects and peruse it. There is a lot of wonderful stuff there. I find that I end up there some nights when I've scanned MetaFilter and Ask and MeTa and not really found anything all that interesting; I don't go as often because it scrolls much slower, but probably once every couple months I end up there and always discover some new and interesting corners of the web that MeFites are doing work in.
posted by Miko at 9:30 PM on October 18, 2012 [3 favorites]


If you could sort by vote, I think this would be in the top ten. You should be able to sort by vote.
posted by unliteral at 10:35 PM on October 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


Ok, so scanning Projects is pretty easy. But if you want another list of pre-approved Projects check the podcast posts. They always pick some Projects they liked and link to 'em.
posted by grapesaresour at 11:06 PM on October 18, 2012


I like Projects! I'll list a few projects that I've favorited, but I enjoy browsing it in general. It's low-key, eccentric, surprisingly unpretentious, and just fun to click around. It gets a nice diversity of posts, from small light-hearted toy websites to very-deep very-narrow projects that have been in the works for years.

Built Dublin - a lovely collection of photos and information about lovely old buildings.
The Adventures of Painless Parker - historical fiction dentistry comics!
Examples of Targeted Email Attacks - an interesting topic if you're into security.
The Dingbat Project - a blog about a specific type of 1960s-ish apartment building common in LA and other warm cities, a type of building that a lot of people hate and a lot of other people find oddly endearing.
Making Something New Everyday - a cheerful collection of craft projects by a person with a good eye.
posted by dreamyshade at 11:20 PM on October 18, 2012 [3 favorites]


Ooh! Have a look at A Stray in The Woods.
posted by empatterson at 11:21 PM on October 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


I like things. Some other things, though, not quite so much.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 11:55 PM on October 18, 2012 [3 favorites]


I never really look at projects, as it's just depressing to see how creative and productive other mefites are.
posted by MartinWisse at 2:29 AM on October 19, 2012 [5 favorites]


metafilter(slyt): WOULD YOU CARE TO ELABORATE!?
posted by mannequito at 2:49 AM on October 19, 2012


I like things. Some other things, though, not quite so much.

This is how it works in the greater scheme of things.
posted by Devils Rancher at 6:16 AM on October 19, 2012 [2 favorites]


Thanks for participating, and especially to those of you who went ahead and suggested projects of potential interest. As for the rest of you: I’m not angry, just disappointed. I had been under the impression that MetaTalk was a place suitable for relatively uncosseted topics. But then, maybe I haven’t been dealing with people who are in a particularly speculative mood on this one.
posted by mr. digits at 6:20 AM on October 19, 2012


In other words, you wanted us to do all the perusing for you.
posted by two lights above the sea at 6:23 AM on October 19, 2012 [4 favorites]


Welcome to Metafilter, mr. digits.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 6:28 AM on October 19, 2012


Here's a question: after I explicitly tell people that I'm curious about what they consider a notable project, what do they think they're contributing when they repeat to me that I'm asking them about notable projects?
posted by mr. digits at 6:39 AM on October 19, 2012


I'm typing this at my desk. The curtains over the windows are still closed. Am I missing out on daylight or sunshine outside?
posted by Wordshore at 6:40 AM on October 19, 2012 [2 favorites]


To be less subtle:

"...after I explicitly tell people that I'm curious about what they consider a notable project..."

No you didn't. Did your query need a yes/no response? And "Am I missing out on solid stuff" - I haven't a clue what you mean by "solid". I'm not you, you're not me, don't know what lights your fuse or makes you go "meh".

The annoyance in some of the responses could be that your query comes over as bone idle lazy. The Projects page for the last few months takes seconds to scan. Not hours or minutes, but seconds. And there's a couldn't-be-easier-to-scan voting tally so you can see how many other MeFi's collectively think a particular project is, in their opinions, "solid".

Seconds. About the amount of time to type out a redundant question on MetaTalk.
posted by Wordshore at 6:55 AM on October 19, 2012 [2 favorites]


mr. digits, as it happens, it's sort of a shtick in MetaTalk for some people to throw heavy snark at every opportunity. With that in mind, I'd advise you to not take most of that stuff as as much of a judgment on you as it might seem. For whatever reason, that's just part of the culture in this part of the site.
posted by Anything at 6:58 AM on October 19, 2012


There have certainly been other questions here asking people to share their favorite xxxxx's. And projects has several years worth of stuff in it to search. And a lot of stuff that is not particularly notable. And even quite a bit of stuff that is notable but that I just glide over because I don't know enough about the subject to understand it much unless someone highlights the awesomeness for me.
So I think it is perfectly fine to ask for recommendations.

On the other hand, the wording of your question is a little off putting. If you had said, "I've been looking at projects and I just don't get it," I think people would have been more helpful.

Most of the comments here are not kind. Or helpful. And that is just sort of embarrassing.
posted by SLC Mom at 7:01 AM on October 19, 2012


The question sounds dismissive and certainly could have been better phrased, if you're genuinely interested in knowing more about what Projects is for and what kinds of things appear there. Maybe something like

"I find I don't go to Projects often. How do you use Projects? What are some of the best things you've found there?"

would have engendered a better response.
posted by Miko at 7:20 AM on October 19, 2012


What Miko said. I think the way you phrased your question is what got people's snark level raised.
posted by arcticseal at 7:21 AM on October 19, 2012


I find a lot of the great projects get moved to Metafilter fairly quickly, but heading into Projects once a week (I sometimes go more often, but you can cover most of a week's worth of entries on Projects really easily with a scan) is definitely worthwhile.
posted by xingcat at 7:52 AM on October 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


Thanks for more germane comments, to those who left them.

There also certainly appear to be those who assume my question is vague due to lack of intellectual rigor, or abject laziness, or something. Those who’re cynical enough to reach such conclusions ought to also be cynical enough to understand that assuming they can read someone else’s mind is ill advised, and that such tendencies could work against them in any number of situations. So I thought I’d go ahead and direct some condescension to the relevant parties. Shame! Shame! Pride goes before destruction, and haughtiness precedes the fall!

That is not to say that my delicate sensibilities have been offended. To those who passed me some snark, if that was your intention that’s fine by me. It’s certainly a practice that I’m familiar with, and no one needs to be told that the Metaverse is practically the Athenian polis relative to the bulk of sites.

It's also true that my initial question could have been much more explicit. But it wasn't. On purpose.
posted by mr. digits at 8:15 AM on October 19, 2012


It's also true that my initial question could have been much more explicit. But it wasn't. On purpose.

Garbage in, garbage out.
posted by Ipsifendus at 8:22 AM on October 19, 2012 [3 favorites]


So you deliberately chose to write a post that made you look like the laziest person on earth and somehow that makes the people who responded to that construction haughty and condescending. Okay.
posted by winna at 8:24 AM on October 19, 2012 [6 favorites]


Hey, seriously, I love Projects and I really like people to be able to get questions answered on Metatalk, but if you're vague up front, vague on followup, and then kind of treat people like it's their fault that they don't know what you want, that's a recipe for a bad metatalk thread. Being specific and turning the other cheek work really well for getting helpful responses and de-emphasizing whatever friction might crop up in the mean time.
posted by cortex (staff) at 8:24 AM on October 19, 2012 [3 favorites]


Shame! Shame! Pride goes before destruction, and haughtiness precedes the fall!
posted by box at 8:28 AM on October 19, 2012


But it wasn't. On purpose.

Exactly. I found your question cryptic. You don't have much of a history on MeFi. I looked through your brief participation here to see if I could offer any "Well you talked about this in AskMe so I could suggest this on Projects..." sorts of suggestions. But it seemed like you had some sort of ulterior motive which was unclear and the question, as phrased, felt like "Please go look at this section of the website we all belong to and tell me what I should look at?" to which my next question was "Why?"

Absent more details and with the specific "Am I missing out on anything solid" caveat it just made me scratch my head because, sure, this is a website full of many people who put together creative and interesting things all the time and the Proejcts section of the website is always overflowing with different little things that I personally find interesting and rewarding. If you haven't found that to be the case in the past (Is that the case? I honestly can't tell) then I'm not sure why which would help me find some things that you might like in the future.

Instead you appear to be conducting some sort of a long form though experiment for reasons unknown and denying any agency in the completely predictable responses that you got to that thought experiment. MetaTalk is available for people to do any number of things, but it's sort of a textbook trolling maneuver to provoke people into a specific reaction and then jump on them for having the predictable reaction.

I assume that's not what you're doing just because I can't imagine someone would do that here but I'm still not sure what you are getting at, so I remain,

yr obd serv.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 8:30 AM on October 19, 2012 [9 favorites]


I send all of you a "duly noted".
posted by mr. digits at 8:43 AM on October 19, 2012


And again, a "thanks" as well. I had my own intentions, but they were not to troll.
posted by mr. digits at 8:44 AM on October 19, 2012


So what were they?
posted by Miko at 8:45 AM on October 19, 2012


Roughly, as I wrote above, "I'm not particularly interested in any of the filtering that one can do with tags or whatever. Just what anyone feels is worthy of mention, both so that I can find some solid content and out of curiosity to see what people are digging on. You know, some 'metatalk'."

With a strong emphasis on curiosity on what people are personally enjoying, and on seeing what sort of discourse results from a very vague statement. I was, perhaps, a bit of a pollyanna in regards to this. One sometimes learns best by doing, no?
posted by mr. digits at 8:54 AM on October 19, 2012


(and as for "denying agency to predictable responses", jessamyn, the fact is that I was being a bit of an asshole, as one is wont to be here and there (but hopefully not everywhere))
posted by mr. digits at 9:05 AM on October 19, 2012


If you're interested in what the community finds notable in Projects, that's precisely what the voting is for, no?
posted by chiababe at 9:22 AM on October 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


the fact is that I was being a bit of an asshole, as one is wont to be here and there

Huh. I'll have to adjust my A-dar. I thought you were just slow.
posted by SLC Mom at 9:30 AM on October 19, 2012 [2 favorites]


seeing what sort of discourse results from a very vague statement

welp

now you know
posted by elizardbits at 9:33 AM on October 19, 2012


I would recommend that you click arbitrarily on Projects posts until you find one that is very uninteresting to you. Once you've located something boring, read it or look at it or think about it for twice as long as you already have. If it's still boring, read it or look at it or think about it for twice as long again. Repeat until it becomes interesting. Think about why that switch happened. No need to report back here with your results.
posted by sleevener at 9:34 AM on October 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


To answer your question: you might want to check this out; I found it super interesting!
posted by Greg Nog at 9:42 AM on October 19, 2012 [2 favorites]


mr digits, I'm not sure if you know this, but as you can see the MetaTalk section of the site can be fairly testy and snarky, and does not suffer fools. It never goes well to intentionally be an asshole here. Sometimes even well-intentioned posts go badly, which is unfortunate. Step with caution in this part of the site.

I can appreciate a post asking "what are your all-time favorite projects". But as we see here, phrasing really matters a lot. Your phrasing ended up sounding like "what are some good recent projects, I cannot look for myself for some reason", which is just puzzling given the low volume of projects posts and the very obvious ranking-by-votes. (So of course, people focus on the puzzling aspect.)
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 9:50 AM on October 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


In my own defense -- not to opine that there really is a defense, nor to say that I believe that I am obligated to rationalize myself to anyone -- my assholishness partially rises from frustration. It seems that some keep either asking the same questions (why so lazy?) or focusing and basing assumptions on the vagueness of the initial post and eliding over the later further explanation. If people are not bothering to address the topic in a constructive way, how much civility do I owe them?

And no, I am not ignorant of the fact that a little catalyst of assholishness is liable to simply beget more assholishness on the part of others. Nor that this holds does not true in the Metaverse. This isn't my first time at the rodeo.
posted by mr. digits at 10:06 AM on October 19, 2012


(that ought to read "Nor that this holds true on the Metaverse"... operator error)
posted by mr. digits at 10:12 AM on October 19, 2012


Well, moving the focus back to "all time favorite projects", thanks dreamyshade for pointing out that Dingbats project. I hadn't seen that and it's cool!
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 10:17 AM on October 19, 2012 [2 favorites]




Now that's what I'm talking about!
posted by mr. digits at 10:19 AM on October 19, 2012


So I'll expand a little on how I get something out of Projects.

First, as I noted, Projects scrolls more slowly so I don't go there every day. I do visit the blue and the gray every day, and the green also on most days, but not Projects. So the scenario in which I visit Projects is something like: it's Tuesday night, I've read everything I'm interested in on the main three sites (I don't read everything), and nothing new is happening in any of the threads I'm following, but I'm not ready for bed yet. Hey, wonder what's new on Projects?

Once there, I scan down the page, just as with MeFi blue or MeTa. I read the title and the short description. If interested in it, I click. It's not everything. My last visit was October 11, so there's not all that much new. Today, for instance, I clicked on the Studies in Semicolons blog. I'm interested in ed. tech so that was cool. I liked it so I gave it a vote. I didn't comment.

Sometimes I comment, but usually only if I have a suggestion for improvement, a related resource, or something else I think will help the person with the project development. At rare times with something finished I will just say "great project, thanks."

I do vote. Pretty generously. It's not, as far as I can tell, a vote for anything so much as a thumbs up. So I use them at will to say "this is good." Something with a high vote count is usually really good, or at least funny.

Project titles are highlighted if they've been posted to the blue. A lot of the really good ones end up posted to the blue, so in some sense you're not missing anything if you read the blue and if you're just interested in the best of the best Projects highlights.

I don't really think of Projects as an FPP incubator or even a popularity contest. Just as a place to share things people made. I like knowing Harvey Girls has a new album, or somebody wrote a book or developed an exhibit, or built an app. It lends me more appreciation for the creativity in our community overall. So I just like to wander in the aisles every now and then and get a feeling about what MeFites are up to. They sure do make interesting stuff.
posted by Miko at 10:22 AM on October 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


It never goes well to intentionally be an asshole here.

I've got an idea for the next round of t-shirts.
posted by box at 10:39 AM on October 19, 2012


Seeing as I've been attempting to handle this as a running discussion, and as some appear to be offended that I'm not strictly defining what I desire to read or click-through in their theoretical response, and also seeing as I imagine that this horse is dead and is likely only to benefit from some additional content, should anyone cares to contribute some, I'll further clarify my reasons for phrasing the initial question so vaguely: as Miko wrote above, it is a "weird question".

Initially I was interested in what responses I would get, believing that the responses would be interesting. Indeed, as a group they have been. I did not anticipate that people would expect a lot of lines to color inside of, seeing as the Metaverse is a deliciously discursive and sometimes veritably intellectual site.

If anyone will entertain further discussion, I pose this question: is it suspicion that I am seeking to "analyze" your input which prompts a hostile response, if your response was/is hostile? I could see that being the provocation in my own case. Is there any nuance at the base of the hostility that some of you are showing, or is a knee-jerk response?

(And does it never go well to be an asshole here? Depends on what you're hoping for in response, I should think.)
posted by mr. digits at 10:45 AM on October 19, 2012


It's just lazy to ask others to serve up interesting content for you on Metafilter...particularly since this is already what Metafilter does in spades. I'm not at all surprised you got the reaction you did.
posted by agregoli at 10:53 AM on October 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


When people ask ridiculously open-ended nonspecific questions on AskMe, the community gets frustrated because no one knows where to start. It's like someone saying to you I'M HUNGRY WHAT KIND OF FOOD IS GOOD FOOD TO EAT? When it's done in MeTa, it's even more frustrating because presumably you are already familiar enough with site culture to understand how Meta works. Why then is it so fucking hard to give examples of things that interest you, so we can tailor our answers to your needs? People want to help answer your question and you're all LOL NOPE.

I don't think it's that anyone suspected you of some weird desire to analyze the answers. I think it's more like people resent having their time wasted by someone they suspect is acting in less than good faith. To have those suspicions later confirmed? Ugh, go away.
posted by elizardbits at 10:54 AM on October 19, 2012 [3 favorites]


Initially I was interested in what responses I would get, believing that the responses would be interesting.

In what way did you believe that the responses would be interesting?

I think it would be interesting to see the varying responses of people if I walked up to them on the street and said "You smell bad," but that doesn't make it a useful project.

is it suspicion that I am seeking to "analyze" your input which prompts a hostile response, if your response was/is hostile?

Ermmm....no. It's your game-playing that does it. I don't think you have any framework for 'analyzing' responses to such a vague question. But the fact that you screwed up your question and are now retreating to a "But AM I? Who am I really and what sophisticated scheme am I masterminding" stance is sort of patronizing.

Is there any nuance at the base of the hostility that some of you are showing, or is a knee-jerk response?


It's just impatience. Be straightforward. This is silly.
posted by Miko at 10:56 AM on October 19, 2012


For what it's worth, my snark was exactly the help I would give someone in person were they to ask an unhelpfully vague question, but in person you'd be able to see from my body language that I was teasing. I would then follow up with actual help. But then, I also enjoy answering rhetorical questions in pop music and such, so perhaps I'm just not so helpful.

(Why, yes, I have seen the rain. No, I guess I don't know who wrote the book of love. I'm not sure how to solve a problem like Maria, I'm thinking maybe a field trip?)
posted by maryr at 10:59 AM on October 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


You'll note that I didn't confirm that this is or was even supposed to be some kind of psychological game, elizardbits -- and I suspect that this is hard to receive in text without believing that I'm messing with you, due to internet conditioning, but thanks for the feedback (and Miko and maryr). But if I people won't tell me what they're interested in I can at least learn a little about what makes them angry.

Why so angry? I have the most skin in this game, I should think, and it comes thus far to about as much as I'd expend doing the dinnertime dishes. And you'll note that my question started out simple, to those of you who believe my sole intention was to mess with anyone. I then thought that I could explain myself (see 9:23 pm last night) but, I shit you not, people seem to be heaping a lot of their own assumptions on top of this. I am not above messing with them if they're going to go ahead and do so.
posted by mr. digits at 11:03 AM on October 19, 2012


Also: when I said that I didn't "confirm" the analysis game, I should have added that that is because that wasn't my intention. I'll mess with people, sure, but not generally coming out of nowhere.
posted by mr. digits at 11:04 AM on October 19, 2012


(ahem, as I then get messages like "Geez, you're pretty slow," which don't give me much to think about in particular)
posted by mr. digits at 11:05 AM on October 19, 2012


You'll note that I don't actually give a fuck if this was supposed to be some kind of psychological game, and lol at internets conditioning.

jesus wept, i thought i was a condescending schmuck. you have stolen my crown, sir.
posted by elizardbits at 11:05 AM on October 19, 2012 [5 favorites]


Please do not be coy about your intentions. Messing with people is not okay here. If you want to engage in performance art, this is not the place. If you want helpful responses to a straightforward question, great. Step back from your keyboard and maybe people will come in and contribute more favorite Projects posts.
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 11:13 AM on October 19, 2012 [4 favorites]


In all fairness to LobsterMitten's above advice, outside of seeking clarification in response t the mod-related question that I posted above I'll be leaving this one alone for 24 hours or so.

But not before I say: how am I the asshole here? I didn't begin things in the clearest vein, but other people are projecting a lot of shit onto me.
posted by mr. digits at 11:15 AM on October 19, 2012


I think we just saw when it crosses the line. When you assert that all you're doing is, in fact, messing with people.

I am not above messing with them if they're going to go ahead and do so.

Then rise above it. It's entirely up to you how you participate.
posted by Miko at 11:16 AM on October 19, 2012


To be clear, the line is somewhere around the comment of yours I just deleted. You need to give this a break and pronto; I am sorry you are having trouble figuring out why you are rubbing people the wrong way but continuing to aggressively rub them and say "WHY? WHY?" isn't gonna help.
posted by cortex (staff) at 11:18 AM on October 19, 2012


continuing to aggressively rub them

This is not how the genie works.
posted by arcticseal at 11:29 AM on October 19, 2012


I'M HUNGRY WHAT KIND OF FOOD IS GOOD FOOD TO EAT?

Beer-can chicken is what you're looking for here, I think. Although Cracklin' Oat Bran is pretty boss, too. Just not wood screws; those are pretty inedible.
posted by Greg Nog at 11:42 AM on October 19, 2012 [2 favorites]


Also there's this plate of beans. But it's been sitting here for a while.
posted by MsMolly at 11:57 AM on October 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


is it suspicion that I am seeking to "analyze" your input which prompts a hostile response, if your response was/is hostile?

It's because you asked a "please do my homework for me" question. No one likes that guy.
posted by MsMolly at 11:59 AM on October 19, 2012 [3 favorites]


But not before I say: how am I the asshole here?

Perhaps because after a post and no less than 18 comments from yourself on this thread, still no-one knows what you want. Or wanted.

Or probably cares any more. I won't be back to see if there's a reply/center-of-attention comment #19. Bored.
posted by Wordshore at 12:09 PM on October 19, 2012


Cracklin' Oat Bran

seconded
posted by sleevener at 12:12 PM on October 19, 2012


Some more that I've liked, just for fun. I'm trying to stick to recommending ones that haven't been posted to the front page:

Movies About The Future - a few essays on science fiction movies.
Gulch: Biology! - "thoughts on some interesting (and some slightly disgusting) animals and plants."
The Pointless Weblog - scanned ephemera, but not just traditional old stuff - stuff from the 1990s and 2000s too.
Pink Plastic Flamingos - apparently there is such a thing as a flamingo flocking fundraiser. I didn't know about that phenomenon until reading this Projects post.

And can I cheat and link one of my own projects? My friend and I get a crazy amount of enjoyment out of writing a math-physics-art blog together: Dan's Geometrical Curiosities.
posted by dreamyshade at 12:27 PM on October 19, 2012


Holy shit Cracklin' Oat Bran IS pretty boss and I haven't had it in forever.
posted by SpiffyRob at 12:28 PM on October 19, 2012


*pokes head into MeTa after weeks, looks around, disappears back behind the iron curtain*
posted by infini at 12:55 PM on October 19, 2012


Those beercan kebobs Ernerst P Worrell was trying to sell me yesteray looked might tasty.
posted by mannequito at 1:00 PM on October 19, 2012


mr. digits, as it happens, it's sort of a shtick in MetaTalk for some people to throw heavy snark at every opportunity. With that in mind, I'd advise you to not take most of that stuff as as much of a judgment on you as it might seem.

mr. digits, pay no attention to Anything's comment here. The people who are snarking at you in this thread aren't the snark for snark's sake brigade.

They're trying to tell you send you a serious message about how online culture in general, and Metafilter in particular works.

Ignore it at your peril.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 4:34 PM on October 19, 2012 [4 favorites]


I love mine to bits - despite stav shamefully not shilling for it here and subsequently being permabanned from portobello :) There was a problem with chrome which has been fixed and then with ipads which is beyond my powers.... anyway, it's got a wonderful trainspottingesque feel, there's something for everyone and who doesn't want to help get a reformed cocaine smuggler a laptop ?
posted by sgt.serenity at 5:54 AM on October 20, 2012


Alright. As I said I would, I spent about a day away (c.f. my post from 1:15 p.m. yesterday). Here's a brief summary of the conclusion that I've reached, based upon the progress of this post: the general principle of avoiding chatfilter-type material is well founded in the Metaverse.

Therefore, if one is interested in eliciting various cogitations on a general subject, as I originally was herein, one would be well advised to instead present an explicit question and hope for the best. It follows that, as opposed to asking “So, anyone care to name a good film,” one should formulate a specific question that hews to the theme; thus: “I’ve recently become interested in foreign films that feature seasonal/holiday themes. Would you please suggest some classics and/or contemporary films that would be germane to this”?

There it is, presented as a offhand précis. Thanks to everyone for participating.
posted by mr. digits at 9:53 AM on October 20, 2012


That's an excellent question for Ask Metafilter, a different subsite.
posted by infini at 10:45 AM on October 20, 2012


...in conclusion, MetaFilter is a land of contrast. Thank you.
posted by gauche at 11:16 AM on October 20, 2012 [6 favorites]


A final N.B., just for fun: as we see here, it is possible that the reaction that I received could have been less playful yet.
posted by mr. digits at 7:26 PM on October 20, 2012


I don't understand at all what is fun about that.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 9:37 PM on October 20, 2012


One rests assured in the assumption that you won't be holding your breath.
posted by mr. digits at 6:36 AM on October 21, 2012


Your phrasing was weird. Here's two examples of the same question. One elicits an immediate and useful response, the other implies to the person to whom the question is asked that I'm either very lazy, confused or possibly playing some weird trick:

"What time is it?"

"I'm in a room with four clocks, including the one in the upper-right corner of my computer screen. I don't feel like looking at those clocks, even though they are fairly accurate. Can someone come to my house and tell me what time it is?"
posted by double block and bleed at 1:00 AM on October 23, 2012


You're right. An explicit and straightforward question with specifics is much better, and engenders more helpful answers, than a vague question. This was a pretty long and difficult way to learn that, but it's true.

I learned about something related to communication on MetaFilter last week which I wish I'd learned a long, long time ago: the Cooperative Principle and its components, known as Grice's Maxims. I've been reading up on it quite a bit. These are basically the implicit rules people use to govern conversation. Whether on MetaFilter or anywhere else, if you don't begin with the principle that you are here to cooperate in conversation, and if you violate the maxims that describe behaviors which support that principle, people will have a hard time communicating with you.

You seem to enjoy employing a range of vocabulary and using complex and literary sentence structures in your writing here. There's nothing inherently wrong with that, and certainly almost all of us can do that if and when we choose to. But it's helpful to be mindful of when you are choosing to do that and why. What is your intended outcome? If the idea is to have productive communication with others aimed at achieving a transfer of useful information from them to you, then being vague or unnecessarily circumlocutory is sometimes a hindrance. It violates the maxim of manner. The shift in tone is also notable - early on, your question was so vague as to make it difficult to offer useful information. Only when someone took a stab at the idea that maybe you wanted specific recommendations for great recent finds in Projects, and you indicated a positive response, did it become clear that that was what you wanted. But later in the thread, you showed you were able to construct clear and specific comments. If you can do that, it's a good idea to do that when writing new questions. The example you came up with is excellent, so I know you get it. In general, writing good questions is an important skill. Because a question defines a set of answers, the better question you write, the better answers you will get (the corollary to GIGO, sure).

Let's look at why your sample question is good. A good question will usually include the conditions under which the question was prompted: "I've recently become interested in...." which is different from "I am a beginning film director seeking non-cliche ways of depicting holidays so..." which is different from "My Italian mother is recovering from surgery and needs some holiday entertainment but hates modern movies so..." which is different from "I'm studying the popular culture of New Year's Eve comparitively across European and American culture so...." and so on. Describing the conditions motivating a question can help potential answerers select for responses more relevant to your inquiry. A good question also describes qualities of the desired response, offering criteria for excluding responses that aren't desired. For instance, by saying you want "foreign films that feature seasonal/holiday themes" you exclude all domestic films and all films with no seasonal/holiday themes. By saying "classics and/or contemporary" you make clear that you are not only interested in recent films. That is a question that's bound to get productive responses.

When you violate the maxim of manner, people predictably grow impatient, because they need further clarity on what you are asking about. What happened here is that people asked for further clarity about your question, in so many words, and also critiqued your question itself for being vague. There wasn't enough information to understand what your aim was at first. Then you crtiqued others for critiquing you, and when things wandered off into what an interesting experiment we all are with your suggestion that you were sitting in the analyst's chair watching all the puppets dance, others can legitimately develop the perception that your central aim is not cooperation on an information transfer, but some other unstated motive. And that is offputting - not because something is wrong with everyone else, but because we're all enculturated to participate in conversations this way, by assuming mutual cooperation, and because people are trying to approach your question in good faith - trying to cooperate - and your approach initially stonewalled the effort.

9 AM and a big plate of beans already. It's gonna be a great day!
posted by Miko at 5:55 AM on October 23, 2012 [5 favorites]


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