This is important March 21, 2014 3:38 PM   Subscribe

Sorry, but I need to make a couple of callouts.

eriko, divabat, and Nelson... your contributions to this thread have had the unavoidable effect of making it enlightening to read, informative, and a pretty damn good example of MetaFilter handling a current event in a thoughtful way. divabat has also gone above and beyond the call of duty by collaborating on whereisMH370.com, an excellent blog curating and fact-checking the news coming out.

And as for you, blasdelb, your commentary here has provided facts and a much deeper knowledge of how the immune system works than I think most of us were familiar with.

Thanks, people!
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering to Etiquette/Policy at 3:38 PM (65 comments total) 19 users marked this as a favorite

(This is not to say there aren't lots of other people who've been posting awesome stuff, I just felt these four needed to be thanked for elevating the discourse in truly awesome ways.)
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 3:39 PM on March 21, 2014


Yup, I've been following that MH370 thread closely and have appreciated the knowledgable people helping the rest of us to parse and sanity-check what's been reported.
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 3:41 PM on March 21, 2014


(oh crap, I didn't link blasdelb's name. LobsterMittern can you fix that for me? http://www.metafilter.com/user/90947)
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 3:44 PM on March 21, 2014


I too have been following along (mostly checking in once a day or so) and it's really been amazing. Thanks for this meTa, and thanks to the excellent contributors in that thread.
posted by rtha at 3:44 PM on March 21, 2014


Sure, linked.
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 3:48 PM on March 21, 2014


For this we have to take down the DAYS WITHOUT A METATALK THREAD sign?
posted by Curious Artificer at 3:52 PM on March 21, 2014 [21 favorites]


you prefer a cut-my-hand-off alternative?
posted by edgeways at 3:54 PM on March 21, 2014 [4 favorites]


MH370 is the source of some of the most moronic gibbering masturbation in the media/internet in recent memory. I hate everything about it.

Ahem, pardon me.
posted by planetesimal at 3:56 PM on March 21, 2014 [5 favorites]


"For this we have to take down the DAYS WITHOUT A METATALK THREAD sign?"

GAH, we were getting close. Let the floodgates open; bring on all the MeTas (let's just hope they are all happy like this one).
posted by iamkimiam at 4:04 PM on March 21, 2014




For this we have to take down the DAYS WITHOUT A METATALK THREAD sign?


There was about a month of nuetral-to-happy metatalk threads last fall. I was afraid to mention it at the time.
posted by Diablevert at 4:09 PM on March 21, 2014 [5 favorites]


For this we have to take down the DAYS WITHOUT A METATALK THREAD sign?

I'm sorry, I just wanted to be nice.

I'll refrain in the future.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 4:32 PM on March 21, 2014


There has definitely been an attack of the schmoopy lately.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 4:34 PM on March 21, 2014 [1 favorite]


That's actually Episode 2: Attack Of The Schmoopy. Episode 3: Revenge Of The Trolls follows this. (We will just ignore Episode 1: The Phantom Favorite. It sucked.)
posted by hippybear at 5:02 PM on March 21, 2014 [5 favorites]


Absolutely agree. That's a model thread, especially due to the contributions of those called out in this post.

The mods have been great about derails in there, too, I've noticed.
posted by troika at 6:15 PM on March 21, 2014


1000% concur. All the aforementioned have indeed gone above and beyond in threads that I've been following closely. Many thanks and here's an extra hug. {{{ }}}
posted by pearlybob at 6:35 PM on March 21, 2014 [1 favorite]


I'm sorry, I just wanted to be nice.

I'll refrain in the future.


I seriously can't think of anything that better epitomizes The Gray than posting a glurgey thank you thread and then raining down passive-aggressive snark on the first person to make an infinitessimally critical joke that wasn't actually directed in the least.
posted by threeants at 6:38 PM on March 21, 2014 [16 favorites]


Can we maybe not immediately turn this thread into interpersonal sniping?
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 6:43 PM on March 21, 2014 [9 favorites]


I seriously can't think of anything that better epitomizes The Gray than posting a glurgey thank you thread and then raining down passive-aggressive snark on the first person to make an infinitessimally critical joke.

MetaTalk, never change.
posted by en forme de poire at 6:44 PM on March 21, 2014 [5 favorites]


Sorry, it was rather insensitive of me to call anything "glurgey"-- I was thinking about this type of thread rather than the linked thread, which is of course about some really heavy stuff that may affect some Mefites and that I wouldn't want to minimize.
posted by threeants at 6:47 PM on March 21, 2014 [3 favorites]


I am so happy Blasdelb fielded that one because while I think immunology is fascinating, I was starting to get flashbacks about not being able to remember whether I meant Cd52 or Cd25, and then deciding to go with "Cd-.̸̸̸̸̸̸̸̸̸̸̸̸̸̸̸̸̸̸̸̸̸̸̸̸̨̨̨̨̨̨̨̨̨̨̨̨.̸̸̨̨" and hoping for partial credit or a very generous TA.
posted by en forme de poire at 6:52 PM on March 21, 2014 [5 favorites]


No but seriously, he does an awesome job around here and his participation in life-sci-related threads is one of the things I really appreciate about MeFi.
posted by en forme de poire at 6:53 PM on March 21, 2014 [3 favorites]


I haven't read the airplane thread because I'm too annoyed by all the guessing...

As someone involved with stuff like this in the gov't and media in the very distant past....

My immediate assumption was that the plane was hijacked and this was some James Bond level type action - just totally outside the norm.

My second assumption (yet or never to be proven) is that militaries and others were likely tracking the flight almost simultaneously from when the flight exited traditional radar, and that some force independently or with agreement with other forces, shot the plane down at some point because whether the plane was hijacked by conventional force or remote control, there were too many variables at play for non-action.

Since no government wants an international incident over this, we the public get what I like to call, "Investigation Theater."

There is also a very real concurrent possibility that aside from whoever terminated the flight by force, other governments, militaries, and the like, have sifted through their own satellite and radar intel, and for Reasons, are going along with the current narrative of, "WOW! What a Mystery!" Mostly because, no one wants to tip their hand concerning how much surveillance data their concerned power structure has access to.

It is completely a tragedy. It is also very obvious, overall.

Please hip me if anyone credible is espousing this viewpoint. Thanks.

Otherwise, I'll wait the requisite 10 to 30 years for the info to trickle out.
posted by jbenben at 12:21 AM on March 22, 2014 [3 favorites]


(I can't believe I posted that comment above, but I was just so immediately irritated when the plane first disappeared that the official story was to throw hands up in the air and naively claim, "We Don't Know!"

This is the Data Age.

Satellites, radar, and general surveillance abound.

Just. No.)
posted by jbenben at 12:27 AM on March 22, 2014


I disagree
posted by philip-random at 1:02 AM on March 22, 2014 [1 favorite]


I disagree.

But on what basis?

My whole point is that whether governments or interests are waiting to collate data, or they have already done so and there is a lot of behind the scenes negotiating going on, there is a ZERO chance this plane went untracked.

Layman's understandings don't even come into play, although those are not misaligned with my understanding thus far, that an airplane went untracked. There is no chance someone was not tracking this flight, and every chance that many interests, government and otherwise, are and do regularly monitor the airspace this flight followed.

This is not how radar and satellites work. Governments and interests don't selectively avoid surveilling areas .
posted by jbenben at 1:54 AM on March 22, 2014 [1 favorite]


Saying "callout" on a meta thread when it isn't a real call out should be banned. It's like shouting "fire" in a crowded theater. But more clickbait.
posted by hal_c_on at 2:21 AM on March 22, 2014 [9 favorites]


You know, there are a lot of non-lay analyses in the original MAS370 thread, and we have been around the "why aren't they tracked by satellite all the time?" issues about 7 times in that thread, with actual expert commentary. Same for the cell phone thing. And radar tracking. Just saying you don't believe the plane wasn't tracked or uplinked at all times to GPS is no different than any other ill informed conspiracy theory, and this MeTa doesn't need to be "Thread II:The Redundancy."

The point of the callout here is that there are actual informed Mefites offering actual informed commentary to quell random ignorant speculation. Even the OP of this meta jumped in that thread with the fifth or sixth version of "why don't planes have always-on gps?" and appears to be thanking, here, the experts in the thread who patiently explained the technological and economic limitations when reality is not a Tom Clancy novel and the world is a big place full of humans who make cost/benefit tradeoffs every day.

Just because you don't understand something doesn't mean someone is lying about it.
posted by spitbull at 2:54 AM on March 22, 2014 [82 favorites]


I hadn't looked at that thread since it fell off the front page. It was well worth a second look. Thanks for the callout.
posted by klarck at 4:28 AM on March 22, 2014


There was about a month of nuetral-to-happy metatalk threads last fall. I was afraid to mention it at the time.

I noticed it while it was going on too! And I didn't say anything because I didn't want to jinx it either.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 4:49 AM on March 22, 2014


This is hard to admit but spitbull is right.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 6:17 AM on March 22, 2014 [4 favorites]


RE: speculations I mean. This thread is for praising the great posters mentioned in the OP. Great job informers! I'm glad Snow wrote that song about you!
posted by Potomac Avenue at 6:19 AM on March 22, 2014 [3 favorites]


Saying "callout" on a meta thread when it isn't a real call out should be banned. It's like shouting "fire" in a crowded theater. But more clickbait.

I read it as a joke.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 7:26 AM on March 22, 2014 [3 favorites]


Whenever I see eriko's name in a thread I find myself again as a five year-old boy overcome with wonder that there are people out there with an incredible encyclopaedic knowledge and I think "This is awesome. I wonder what new thing I will learn today." So, thank you eriko.
posted by urbanwhaleshark at 7:45 AM on March 22, 2014 [7 favorites]


I am here to hug everybody who wants to be hugged and offer orange slices and reassuring words.
posted by The Whelk at 8:22 AM on March 22, 2014 [2 favorites]


The airline thread has been one of the threads I've been checking regularly in RA as an antidote to the fevered ravings of the press (I'm looking at you, CNN). The reasoned discussion there has been great.
posted by arcticseal at 8:23 AM on March 22, 2014


I made a (noninteresting) comment at some point in that MH370 thread, and boy, am I glad I did because I've been glued to my Recent Activity ever since. There's been some great links and insight there. And divabat, that tumblr you helped make is awesome.

jbenben, you should check out the thread and the tumblr. There are links to and discussion of a lot of non-layperson written articles, not just idle speculation.
posted by bluefly at 8:25 AM on March 22, 2014 [1 favorite]


Bunny Ultramod: I read it as a joke.

And I read what hal_c_on said as a joke. The word "callout" gets some people excited for a contentious thread, only to be disappointed by a false alarm.
posted by gman at 8:27 AM on March 22, 2014 [1 favorite]


Yeah. I popped all this popcorn for nothing?!
posted by Jacqueline at 8:59 AM on March 22, 2014 [1 favorite]


We can eat popcorn and discuss tags we like about other people in a friendly, supportive environment.

Or we could just do whippets.
posted by The Whelk at 9:06 AM on March 22, 2014 [6 favorites]


Go on.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 9:17 AM on March 22, 2014 [1 favorite]


wah-wah-wah-wah-what's to tawwwwwk abowwwwwt?
posted by gman at 9:25 AM on March 22, 2014 [1 favorite]


Whippets are dogs.
posted by planetesimal at 9:41 AM on March 22, 2014


I say whip it!
posted by h00py at 9:42 AM on March 22, 2014


>>Or we could just do whippets.
>>
>Whippets are dogs.
>

Shake it a bit, hold it upside down, and suck up whatever comes out of one end. Either way it makes for a memorable party.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 10:01 AM on March 22, 2014 [3 favorites]


Thanks guys, I've had a pretty rough couple of weeks and I really appreciate the call out.
posted by Blasdelb at 10:26 AM on March 22, 2014 [22 favorites]


Keeping up with the actual information provided in the MH370 thread, which has been head and shoulders above anything else I've been reading, has been one of the things that's kept me interested in the site during a period where I otherwise might have buttoned out. Nthing the kudos.

And thanks for the pointer to the other good stuff, so I can go read it too.
posted by immlass at 11:07 AM on March 22, 2014


Every time I see Blasdelb show up in a thread, I think "Oh thank God, some actual SCIENCE." He's like MeFi's version of Neil deGrasse Tyson.
posted by KathrynT at 11:47 AM on March 22, 2014 [39 favorites]


Thanks for your contributions in the vaccination thread, Blasdelb. I just read the thread last night because of this MeTa and learned so much -- I really appreciate you taking the time (as well as other people in the thread, there were a lot of informative comments).
posted by rue72 at 12:41 PM on March 22, 2014


This is frustrating.

I was all ready to glurg, but I've decided to whippet.
posted by mule98J at 3:30 PM on March 22, 2014


Whippet good?
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 6:06 PM on March 22, 2014 [2 favorites]


eriko, divabat, Nelson and blasdelb are all very fine Mefites, and this is a worthy callout.
posted by daisyk at 3:26 AM on March 23, 2014


That post is great. The bad thing is that I got busy with work and now I'm over 1000 comments behind.
posted by double block and bleed at 5:27 AM on March 23, 2014


As for "callouts" with the grar above the fold and schmoopy below, when oh when will someone make a post that reverses that order?
posted by double block and bleed at 5:30 AM on March 23, 2014 [2 favorites]


Those are the nastiest ones!
posted by h00py at 8:13 AM on March 23, 2014


Even the OP of this meta jumped in that thread with the fifth or sixth version of "why don't planes have always-on gps?" and appears to be thanking, here, the experts in the thread who patiently explained the technological and economic limitations when reality is not a Tom Clancy novel and the world is a big place full of humans who make cost/benefit tradeoffs every day.

Well, we were also told by the OP that our reasons for aircraft not having constant GPS reports were irrelevant and "not sane" and that we would never change their mind and should stop trying, so forgive me if I feel a little conflicted here.
posted by kiltedtaco at 8:43 AM on March 23, 2014 [2 favorites]


Well, one could point out that the Inmarsat gizmos are always on and always ping, thus giving location... but nah, that would be silly, wouldn't it? Because you'd have to admit that your dogmatic assertions were, in fact, incorrect.

It's also worth noting that other people also pointed out the feasibility of GPS units that were fire-shielded from the rest of the plane and could be always-on... but I guess that would be silly too.

Oh well, this just goes to show me that there's no fucking point in being nice to people on Metafilter, because no matter what you do someone's going to show up and call you an asshole.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 9:18 AM on March 23, 2014


Guys, let's not re-debate the GPS issue in here, we've been over it a few times in the original post.
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 9:21 AM on March 23, 2014 [1 favorite]


feckless fecal fear mongering: "Oh well, this just goes to show me that there's no fucking point in being nice to people on Metafilter, because no matter what you do someone's going to show up and call you an asshole."

I hope you're not referring to my comment. I was being a smart-ass. I'm not calling anyone an asshole.

At least not in this post.
posted by double block and bleed at 10:12 AM on March 23, 2014


Oh well, this just goes to show me that there's no fucking point in being nice to people on Metafilter, because no matter what you do someone's going to show up and call you an asshole.

Is that really your takeaway? What word would you use for someone that thinks that "there's no fucking point in being nice to people?"

I've been staying out of this thread for the past couple of days because I didn't want to be the guy who jumps in with the third comment of a happytimes Meta with a negative comment. But I really didn't like the framing of this post. I find the fighty framing ("This is important", "Sorry, but I need to make a couple of callouts.", "your contributions to this thread have had the unavoidable effect", "And as for you,") and then the ha-ha, surprise reveal to be distracting from the point of this post. Why not just say what you actually mean? Why not something along the lines of, "I'd like to point out of all the thoughtful, knowledgeable information from the following posters...?" I get it that it's a joke, but I also think that the Gray can get argumentative quickly and that this type of edgy framing is bound to get some people's hackles up unnecessarily. The tags are at odds with the framing and the tags are all positive.

So I've stayed out of this because I didn't want to add needless grar to what is supposed to be a positive, non-fighty Meta (which is an admirable thing that we don't always get enough of.)

But then you've jumped on two people who you've decided dared to disagree with you. The first one reads to me as a joke, not as a real criticism and the second one you started swearing and mischaracterizing what was said. Nobody called you an asshole. Nobody called anybody else an asshole here. You are the first person to throw out a "fuck" or an "asshole" in this thread.

If the point of this Meta was not to start a fight, why do you keep trying to start one?
posted by ActingTheGoat at 10:29 AM on March 23, 2014 [13 favorites]


I'm not. Why are they?

I tried to do something positive for the site and got shat on.

Grow up.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 10:37 AM on March 23, 2014


And as for the framing of the post, you may wish to familiarize yourself with the term 'tongue in cheek.'

Mods, please close this. Being nice to MeFi is an exercise in failure and disappointment. If you ever see me posting such a thread again, just preemptively delete it. Thanks.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 10:40 AM on March 23, 2014


No one shat on you. For this we have to take down the DAYS WITHOUT A METATALK THREAD sign? was a joke. Jokes and other lighthearted comments tend to happen pretty quickly in "hey, here's a nice thing" threads like this, precisely because the mood is positive. No one was attacking you, seriously.
posted by scody at 10:41 AM on March 23, 2014 [13 favorites]


Whatever. Seriously. close this shit please, I had had the stupid hope that maybe just maybe saying thank you to some people would be met with "Hey those people are awesome" and not an opportunity to criticize me on my personal failures, with which I am intimately familiar.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 10:43 AM on March 23, 2014


While I'm hopeful it's not your intent, the aggressive shouting for the mods to close this thread has the unfortunate tinge of "You're not playing with my toys the way I want you to! I'm going to take them and go home!"

Just an observation.
posted by dotgirl at 10:50 AM on March 23, 2014 [11 favorites]


I'm going to go ahead and close this; fffm please check your email in a few minutes.
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 10:51 AM on March 23, 2014 [2 favorites]


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