Link and Think November 27, 2002 11:36 AM   Subscribe

Sunday, Dec 1st is Worlds AIDS Day, and part of the observance that relates to the realm of weblogs is the Link and Think Project.

Like last year, and the year before, I'll be redesigning MetaFilter to use a stark black and white template, and asking everyone to focus every post that day to something related to AIDS and HIV.

I'm posting this now to get everyone thinking about it early. If there is some aspect of the subject that interests you, whether that's how not to get the virus, that it gets too much funding, that pop stars do a bad job promoting awareness, or even that you don't think it exists, I encourage you to do some research to unearth some links to help you craft a post on the matter.
posted by mathowie to MetaFilter-Related at 11:36 AM (49 comments total)

Tomorrow, I will give thanks for MetaFilter and the people who keep her going.
posted by ColdChef at 12:09 PM on November 27, 2002


*starts mounting a multi-linked y2karl-style thoroughly moused-over mega-post about French symbolists, sexually transmitted diseases and their relevance to contemporary chanson, via some criminally neglected bluesman's influence.*

No, thanks for the warm-up, Matt. Last year there were a few hastily cobbled-up, just-to-participate posts (including one of mine) and this gives us time to come up with something more challenging and imaginative. Though it is notoriously difficult.
posted by MiguelCardoso at 12:21 PM on November 27, 2002


and wish me a happy bday on Sunday!
posted by amberglow at 12:25 PM on November 27, 2002


Miguel said "mounting".

Heh heh heh.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 12:41 PM on November 27, 2002


Tomorrow, I will give thanks for MetaFilter and the people who keep her going.

Metafilter's a woman?
That explains everything.
posted by PrinceValium at 12:43 PM on November 27, 2002


<petition the lord with prayer>
craft a post on the matter?
craft a post on the matter?
YOU CANNOT CRAFT A POST ON THE MATTER!!!!
</petition the lord with prayer>

sorry. there's a neurological storm, the skip is in and jim broke on through from the other side and won't leave me alone.
posted by quonsar at 3:50 PM on November 27, 2002


Thanks for the heads-up. I will be happy to skip reading the site on the first (like last year) and leave the rest of you to your fun, which I find pretty pointless but fairly harmless.
posted by rushmc at 3:54 PM on November 27, 2002


which I find pretty pointless but fairly harmless

As long as you can continue to observe by celebrating your smugness, everyone's happy.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 4:04 PM on November 27, 2002


Yeah, rushmc, it would, like, suck if you came here and learned anything about HIV and stuff.

I am personally looking forward to perhaps my first FPP, seeing as I work in HIV/AIDS and all, I might finally find something goddamned interesting to say.
posted by tristeza at 6:11 PM on November 27, 2002


So does sennoma, tristeza. I wonder how many in the field we've got here...
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 6:23 PM on November 27, 2002


i do have a question, does this mean all other non-AIDS related topics will be deleted?
posted by clavdivs at 7:21 AM on November 28, 2002


i do have a question, does this mean all other non-AIDS related topics will be deleted?

One hopes it would not come to that.
posted by jjg at 8:07 AM on November 28, 2002


one hopes but the question is still relevant
posted by clavdivs at 8:12 AM on November 28, 2002


AidsFilter
posted by quonsar at 8:15 AM on November 28, 2002


clavdivs, we just need to word our posts carefully:

Study reveals Bush Stupidity and Greed Not AIDS-related.
Weapons Inspectors Discover Aerosol AIDS Canisters In Iraq.
RIAA To Experiment With AIDS-contaminated CD Distribution.
AIDS and Michael Jackson's Nose.
posted by quonsar at 8:23 AM on November 28, 2002


Not everyone reads MetaTalk or the MetaFilter sidebar, so there are probably going to be some non-AIDS related posts.
posted by iconomy at 10:43 AM on November 28, 2002


I don't think there were any non-AIDS links last year, were there? I think that both the site redesign and the explicit message that we're talking about AIDS that day serve as a disincentive to all but the stupidest, most determined fuckwads.

If not, MetaTalk is going to sing on Sunday.
posted by mcwetboy at 11:09 AM on November 28, 2002


Just don't talk about barebacking. Or include links to gay porn.
posted by WolfDaddy at 11:24 AM on November 28, 2002


...not without appropriate warnings of course. Wouldn't want to offend anyone.

And yes, I will delete any non-HIV related posts that day. If I remember correctly, I only had to ax a couple in 2000 (remember, Bush wasn't president yet and it was still a daily nail-biter to figure out who would be our leader), and I can't remember cutting any last year. I just checked the thread IDs, and there isn't a single gap.

At the stroke of midnight, I'll throw the switch, change the design, put a warning on the posting page, and make the first post to mark the occasion. If someone can't figure out what's going on at MetaFilter that day, I don't know what to tell them. It'll be a weekend this year, so I bet it'll be kinda quiet.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 11:51 AM on November 28, 2002


So you're saying this AIDS thing, it vibrates? Perhaps we need more bling bling in our HIV? Can you catch it from Pancakes? That's so gay. I for one, would like to welcome our AIDS infected Bush-hating, Baby-dangling, Poem Telling overlords.
posted by blue_beetle at 11:58 AM on November 28, 2002


Just don't ... include links to gay porn.

What would be the connection between porn and AIDS. Are you suggesting that everyone stay home and jerk off as a way to prevent the spread of infection?
posted by timeistight at 12:08 PM on November 28, 2002


Also, quonsar, Michael Jackson Rotting Nose Picture Meme is the Internet's AIDS du jour
posted by y2karl at 12:15 PM on November 28, 2002


timeistight, I'm pretty sure it was a joke (as was my response). It was a nod to this thread.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 1:37 PM on November 28, 2002


timeistight: ~winkwinknudgenudge~

on preview: high fives matthowie.
posted by WolfDaddy at 1:41 PM on November 28, 2002


I realize that. I just had to respond to WolfDaddy's whine.
posted by timeistight at 1:45 PM on November 28, 2002


~winkwinknudgenudge~

A nod's as good as a wink to a blind horse, eh? Say no more; say no more.
posted by timeistight at 1:47 PM on November 28, 2002


Matt's in the Wired story on it up today...
posted by amberglow at 11:28 AM on November 29, 2002


With all due respect, Matt, and out of sheer curiousity, why do you do this each year? Are you personally affected by AIDS -- family, friend, co-worker, other? None of our business, I realize, but for those of us who are not directly affected by this disease, it does seem a bit puzzling, given the amount of time you invest, the site temporary re-design, the obligatory MeTa discussion over the pros/cons, the well-meaning but sometimes poorly-received posts about alternative views, etc.

Just curious.
posted by davidmsc at 12:27 AM on December 1, 2002


(lovely design, mathowie)
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 12:33 AM on December 1, 2002


Yeah I reckon some elements of the design should be incorporated into the normal layout (although the mind boggles as to what could sit at the top-right to represent the site..?)...
posted by malevolent at 1:22 AM on December 1, 2002


Is it uncouth to post comments to previous non-AIDS-related threads today?
posted by hippugeek at 2:01 AM on December 1, 2002


It's a lovely design and very fitting, but it's quite difficult to read - tiny font is almost impossible. Highlighting it helps a lot. I tried to customize to a larger font but apparently it's disabled for today.
posted by MiguelCardoso at 2:13 AM on December 1, 2002


Also, to continue being nitpicky, I don't see the logout button on the front page.
posted by MiguelCardoso at 2:15 AM on December 1, 2002


I think it looks fine.
posted by y2karl at 2:44 AM on December 1, 2002


I appreciate the significance of World AIDS Day -- like a lot of MeFi'ers, I've known friends who succumbed to AIDS -- but frankly the alternate color scheme sucks.
posted by alumshubby at 7:24 AM on December 1, 2002


With all due respect, Matt, and out of sheer curiousity, why do you do this each year?

In 1999, I didn't post to the site, and many people made their sites dark that day. I'm guessing Brad Graham noticed this and thought it'd be more useful if those with weblogs posted as much out-of-the-way information as they could. Instead of sites going black to remind you of the loss to the art community, the alternate seems that a weblog goes black in the sense that you won't see typical content that day, and instead see HIV/AIDS themed posts for that period.

If anyone is wondering why I ever started doing it, it's because a friend organized everyone to take part in this thing and I wanted to give it a try. The past two years have been really enlightening. I thought I knew all the ways to contact it and get tested, but each year there are new developments.

This year's crop of posts are kind of standard and non-challenging, but it's early. I look forward to seeing posts or links to sites with attitudes counter to prevailing opinion. It's not supposed to be a calm day of "wear a condom, get tested" being repeated over and over. I want to hear perspectives from people that think the disease gets too much funding, that gets too much exposure, that is impossible to fight. There are nuiances worth discussing in all those.

As to the question of why HIV/AIDS? Well, the answer is that no one else has organized weblogs around anything other topics. If there was a movement of a couple hundred weblogs talking about landmines one day a year, or education, or civil liberties, I'd probably support all those too.

I know there's a war on and all, and after 20 years of HIV/AIDS it seems we all know all there is to know about it, but the past two years has uncovered lots of information for me personally that I wouldn't have ever been exposed to if it weren't for MetaFilter and other weblogs doing this.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 9:53 AM on December 1, 2002 [1 favorite]


Does National Breast Cancer Awareness Day warrant a similar site re-design? If not, why not?

How about Domestic Abuse?

Seems like AIDS is one amongst a plethora of modern-day scourges that warrant such attention.
Why single AIDS out?

Seems that it has been the sexy, red ribbon cause celebre at the expense of many equally worthy subjects for many years now.
posted by Zoyd Wheeler at 1:49 PM on December 1, 2002


Matt: Thanks for the response. While I certainly don't think that AIDS/HIV warrants this much attention (at the expense of other deadly diseases that I am much more likely to contract), MeFi remains your baby and I salute you for your involvement & determination to do something to promote the cause & the discussion.
posted by davidmsc at 4:44 PM on December 1, 2002


although the mind boggles as to what could sit at the top-right to represent the site...

Hmm. No clue here either. Have to think on that one.
posted by iconomy at 4:58 PM on December 1, 2002


Sometimes I feel as if AIDS is the only disease in history with its own political constituency. What if other diseases got the same level of attention? Get *every* woman in America mobilized on breast cancer to the point where they'll all register and vote up-or-down on candidates' dedication to it as a bloc issue, and breast cancer would eclipse AIDS easily.
posted by alumshubby at 6:19 PM on December 1, 2002


I love the design, despite the small-text problems. Kudos to you mathowie for supporting a worthy cause.
posted by dg at 6:28 PM on December 1, 2002


breast cancer would eclipse AIDS easily.

Probably. However, the fact that HIV/AIDS is a communicable disease that continues to fetch a heavy social stigma and is growing exponentially in third world countries makes it a unique target for education efforts such as Link and Think. AIDS has far more potential to negatively effect third-world countries than diabetes, cancer, and heart disease combined, and I think it's fair to treat it differently.
posted by daveadams at 7:26 PM on December 1, 2002


the fact that HIV/AIDS is a communicable disease that continues to fetch a heavy social stigma and is growing exponentially in third world countries makes it a unique target for education efforts such as Link and Think

...because we get so many third-world readers here at MeFi? :::scratches head:::
posted by rushmc at 9:48 PM on December 1, 2002


No, but we do get linked to and - some - get publicity in The Other World. We also pay taxes, support chariities, know teenagers, vote and write - many of the ways in which intelligent web users influence those with power & money.

As it happens, AIDS has hit the creative and media communities particularly hard - esp. in the early days - maybe because they also happened to be the the sectors most accommodating to gays, in social/employment terms. That is your original AIDS constituency: and it probably remains so today.

When we all have [e.g.] mothers, sisters, aunts and daughters, why isn't [e.g.] Breast Cancer so 'sexy'? It's a good question.
posted by dash_slot- at 10:07 PM on December 1, 2002


O, and I like the design, concept & exercise - and I personally have never had a friend/lover/relative affected by this virus.
posted by dash_slot- at 10:09 PM on December 1, 2002


Why single AIDS out?

I don't understand how this sort of reasoning is at all compelling. The only relevant questions, I think, are, Is this a good thing to do; and Does the publisher of this site want to do it. The answers to both apparently being Yes, this seems like something to be grateful for.

There are, of course, other things of a similar nature that would also be good to do. Cancer awareness would be such a one, in my opinion, and, if mathowie were to recognize it as well, that would be something to be grateful for, too.

But is the right reaction to a person's doing one good thing really to ask why they don't also do every other good deed within their power? And does that somehow make the good thing not good?

No -- not at all.
posted by mattpfeff at 10:14 PM on December 1, 2002


..because we get so many third-world readers here at MeFi? :::scratches head:::
posted by rushmc at 9:48 PM PST on December 1

You know, I was really hoping you'd keep your word.

I really was.

posted by Winterfell at 10:22 PM on December 1, 2002


All this AIDS stuff is mostly irrelevant unless you plan on having intimate contact with people.

I post on Slashdot. I create virtual machines in my spare time.

You figure the logic.
posted by wackybrit at 6:44 AM on December 2, 2002


You know, I was really hoping you'd keep your word.

I did, Winterfell. I scanned the posts yesterday but didn't read a single one (and not just because I'd said I would, but because not a one of them interested me a whit). So what's your point?
posted by rushmc at 3:10 PM on December 2, 2002


« Older A political broadside   |   big, bad idea Newer »

You are not logged in, either login or create an account to post comments