Why can't MeFi do better? February 4, 2003 6:55 AM   Subscribe

I don't know what's worse: slamming Courtney over a photo shoot, getting riled up over the Bloggies or speculating over actors who may or may not be gay. Cult of personality or just plain boredom? Or is this a coping phase after the shuttle thread? Why can't MeFi do better?
posted by ed to MetaFilter-Related at 6:55 AM (83 comments total)

Brion Gysin
A quirky local comic book character/spokesperson
Volkswagen hydrogen car test

And, uh, you could always post something yourself (which you've done quite well in the past) instead of shaming the threads you don't approve of.
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 7:05 AM on February 4, 2003


I think mefi does better when it complains about mefi not doing better.
posted by crunchland at 7:18 AM on February 4, 2003


Metafilter is fine. You just don't like it.

This is what you get for not having a firm editorial policy - A chaotic and dynamic community weblog. Maybe you want something more rigidly edited? Like a newspaper?

Not me. I like my Metafilter diverse and slightly questionable. You see the glass half full, I see a really great forum.

Can't MeFi do better? Better at what? It's clearly the best at what it does.
posted by y6y6y6 at 7:21 AM on February 4, 2003


spoken like the perpetually satisfied member we all know you to be!
posted by quonsar at 7:28 AM on February 4, 2003


Stupid TV. Be more funny!
posted by PrinceValium at 7:31 AM on February 4, 2003

Why can't MeFi do better?
You gotta make do with what's available. You don't like what's posted, get off your ass and post something you like. Really, it's as simple as that.
posted by mischief at 7:31 AM on February 4, 2003


I spend plenty of time hating Metafilter. But I also figure that's my problem. Rather than something 5000 strangers need to fix.

"Hey, Metafilter doesn't meet my standards. Can't we do better?"

Whatever.
posted by y6y6y6 at 7:39 AM on February 4, 2003


The inference here is that I don't like MeFi. But it's because I do like MeFi that I'm wondering why the two Fark-like threads have recently made the rounds. The results are inexplicable. But then evolution is often unpredictable. I'm sure a great thread will pop up and ease the malaise. But if 5,000 strangers can set the bar slightly higher, including me, then more power to the community.
posted by ed at 7:52 AM on February 4, 2003


MeFi is indeed a bit farkish/popbitchy these last few days. I don't object to those two sites and I visit fark, but they're already there for whoever wants tidbits of one kind or another.
The thing is, too much posts about TV ads and supposedly funny vids etc drain the energy of the site away from what it does best: thorough, well-researched posts and in-depth discussion of news, sites, trends, memes etc. Besides, the anything goes policy tends to make people self-indulgent if not outright lazy.
Regarding that, since last week I detected more than one fpp which had appeared a few days before somewhere else (boingboing and aldaily, for instance) and then was posted here without credit. Could have been a coincidence, though.
So yes, I agree with ed in the sense that there's a shallowness in the air, going back to the Nike/Superbowl ads posts.
posted by 111 at 8:34 AM on February 4, 2003


"We are here to go. If all nations saw the earth as a space station and landing feild, the concept of war would be irrelevant."

-Gysin
posted by clavdivs at 8:47 AM on February 4, 2003


ed, MetaTalk is no place to ask questions about MetaFilter. What were you thinking?
posted by Skot at 8:49 AM on February 4, 2003


Personally, I blame the shitweasels.
Hey! What'rrre you looking oot, Sgt. Serenity!?
Why I was wrestling cheese eatin' surrender monkeys
when you were back at your mother's teat!
posted by y2karl at 8:55 AM on February 4, 2003


Metafilter: it doesn't meet your standards.
Metafilter: Can't we do better?
posted by blue_beetle at 9:00 AM on February 4, 2003


I'm doing my best! There's only so many 100 year old serial killer stories out there, people!! Or, if you want, here's a story about a rodeo where monkeys ride on the backs of dogs while they herd sheep.
posted by jonson at 9:00 AM on February 4, 2003


What bothers me about these things is that Metafilter used to be a place that I could come to for fairly mature reflections on things. This was especially visible during the whole September 11 mess--or at least that's how I recall it. In the wake of the shuttle disaster, it's becoming apparent that there is a more childish MeFi contingent around. The poorly-cued and juvenile satire linked to from Kuro5hin today is a perfect example. That's something I would not have expected to see on Metafilter. The "look how daringly cynical I'm being" pose may be a revelation to a fifteen year old who's just discovered irony, but to me it's just tiresome.

The "why don't you just post good things yourself and stop whining" response to this thread is also a little confusing to me. Isn't self-policing the very quality that makes Metafilter so good? It's every good Metafiltarian's responsibility to point out what does and doesn't belong here. That's how the site keeps its personality. Ed's been here a long time--he's qualified to have an opinion.

I mean, yes, it is just a website. But it's one of the few websites I read every day and I'd be saddened to fire it up one day and find that it no longer holds anything of interest for me.
posted by vraxoin at 9:20 AM on February 4, 2003


nostalgia is funny that way. It makes you think that everything used to be great, even when it was just as crappy then as it is now.
posted by crunchland at 9:23 AM on February 4, 2003


I'm noticing something for the second time, although I'm sure there are more examples. Ed is being taken to the woodshed for asking/wondering/speculating about higher standards. The same thing happened to stavros on this thread.

I personally don't have a problem with the front page posts themselves. If it's a bad one then the poster will learn the hard way, the capitalist way if you will, as the comment # turns over from 0 to 1 to maybe 3 after a few days. That's brutal but it's a good lesson. I have a problem with a thread, good or bad, being peppered with inane comments and constant ridicule that have nothing to do with the topic. (I thought the superdiva/Kuro5hin post was good, and I thought the Courtney post was fine and entertaining).

Isn't self-policing the very quality that makes Metafilter so good? Word.
posted by vito90 at 9:30 AM on February 4, 2003


Nostalgia nowadays - what a crock of shit. Remember back in the 90s when we pined for the early 80s? That was nostalgia, dammit! And nothing since had even come close.

Same with MetaFilter - for those of us lucky to be around in the Summer of 2002, when the good old days were so painfully recollected and missed, this current version is just not the same. As Simone Signoret said in the title of her autobiography: "Nostalgia Isn't What It Used to Be."
posted by MiguelCardoso at 9:31 AM on February 4, 2003


Why can't MeFi do better?

Double word to the nth power.

Or another way to phrase it is, why wouldn't we strive to? Or want to? Or ridicule those and mock those who would like to?
posted by vito90 at 9:32 AM on February 4, 2003


im particulary dismayed by the recent morrissey thread,
what a load of shite that was.

personally y2 I blame the Piss-lizards , who although not as annoying as the arse-vultures or the love-gherkins, are nevertheless primarily culpable.
posted by sgt.serenity at 9:39 AM on February 4, 2003


Or another way to phrase it is, why wouldn't we strive to? Or want to? Or ridicule those and mock those who would like to?

Because (as you point out yourself in an early comment) many of us see nothing wrong with the posts in question. Thus some of us also find the "we all need to do better than these" message unwarranted and unwelcome. These posts are all part of a balanced diet.
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 9:42 AM on February 4, 2003


and dont get me started on the glory-hamsters, ok?
posted by sgt.serenity at 9:58 AM on February 4, 2003


Or another way to phrase it is, why wouldn't we strive to? Or want to?

Exhaustion. Remember usenet?
posted by walrus at 10:09 AM on February 4, 2003


besides, all the cool kids know that it's #mefi that's the up-and-coming happenin' place. This place is just a ghost town, full of nostalgic, rear-end lookers. It's a question of whether we're going to go forward to the future, or past to the back.
posted by crunchland at 10:14 AM on February 4, 2003


Internet relay chat, the wave of the future -- in 1989.
posted by Mid at 10:38 AM on February 4, 2003


The "why don't you just post good things yourself and stop whining" response to this thread is also a little confusing to me. Isn't self-policing the very quality that makes Metafilter so good?

I'm pretty sure self-policing means policing yourself, not policing everyone else. A self-policing community is one in which a member thinks "Oh! These are the guidelines and the community mores. I will try to embody and obey them" rather than "I need to go tell others how to interpret these rules and reprimand them when they don't." That's a policing community.
posted by RJ Reynolds at 10:38 AM on February 4, 2003


What vraxoin said. Even more depressing than the crap on the front page is the number of people eagerly defending the crap and attacking anyone who points it out. People are even attacking those who point out double posts and self-links. "Just ignore it!" Perhaps if we all ignore the shit, it will stop stinking.
posted by languagehat at 10:42 AM on February 4, 2003


One other thing MeFi's had enough is self-referential look-at-me attempts at irony. I propose, in order to foster discussion and at the same time discourage lameness, the following simple, well-known features:

1-an ignore edit which could enable us to filter threads and comments by users who are boring, unintelligible, unintelligent, preachy, sectarian und so weiter;
2-two rating systems for every post; one by MeFiers and other by the public at large;
3- a weekly or daily limit on certain dangerous, unpleasant topics (like evolution, SUVs, George W. Bush, Iraq and Courtney Love).

It would mean more work for Matt I know, but it could work. It would put Filter back in MetaFilter.
posted by 111 at 10:42 AM on February 4, 2003


I'm pretty sure self-policing means policing yourself, not policing everyone else.

And I'm pretty sure it means both. You try to use the term "policing" in its most oppressive sense, but nobody here wields guns or gets arrested. You're being totally disingenuous.
posted by Skot at 10:53 AM on February 4, 2003


right on rj, right on.
keep coming back ! ;)
posted by sgt.serenity at 11:15 AM on February 4, 2003


The courney post needs to stay so the more people can follow the link here. Hilarious!

Seriously, even if the front page post is a little weak, we don't need to weaken the thread by complaining about it. Try to bring something cool to the table instead of bitching and metafilter will get "better" (although I think we're doing fine). It might be a link, or a story from your own experience or it might be another mefi discussion, but come up with something.
posted by wobh at 11:24 AM on February 4, 2003


PinkStainlessTail - sorry for being vague, what I was saying is I rarely have a problem with a lousy FPP. If I'm not interested in a FPP then I don't read it, comment in it, or get annoyed by it. And if it's really a lousy one then it should die a painful, embarrasing, lonely death, which often happens. It's more the shitty comments within a thread I dislike, because the FPP you dislike and I dislike is likely liked by somebody, and what right do we have to come in and diss on the quality of the FPP itself through juvenile comments and derails and regurgitated memes while other people find it worthy of discussing?

personally y2 I blame the Piss-lizards , who although not as annoying as the arse-vultures or the love-gherkins, are nevertheless primarily culpable

You can always count on somebody to prove your point for you.
posted by vito90 at 11:26 AM on February 4, 2003


The thing that has made MeFi great in the past is its controlled anarchy. With the influx of more users, the level of control has become about as viable as Tip O'Neal squeezing himself into Kate Moss's G-string. This leaves anarchy, which can often be fun or even thoughtful. But the kind of anarchy encouraged here is sometimes sophomoric. Knowing the variegated interests and conversational knack that our user base has, all I'm saying is that, dammit, yes, we can do better.

So how do we go about doing it?

Understand that it is not a thread about Courtney Love in the buff that I have a problem with, but the pisspoor level of commentary. What could have been a fun (although admittedly frivolous) speculation into how Courtney's sensationalism dates back to the photography of Helmut Newton deviated into something one step removed from variations on "I hate the cunt."

If the level is set that low, then the potential remains low. Because what is not being expressed in these arguments is the number of people who are discouraged to post because they see a thoughtless or outright savage argument. It would be far preferable to instill an environment in which people, all people, are encouraged to post. And that involves all users taking some responsibilities for the words that they post, or even a few private and courteous suggestions to the people who regularly shanghai threads.

However, this also involves being inclusive of the new crowd and allowing them to have their frivolous threads. I'm of the belief that people can talk interestingly and thoughtfully about anything, if they are familiar enough with the basic points. And if you put all 5,000 MeFites in a room, they'd have just about the whole of human knowledge at their disposal. Why not increase the potential? A community is not about living in the past. It is about evolving the strengths that have allowed it to subsist. But it is also about brainstorming unpopular concepts that pertain to the community. Such as demanding the best out of its participants.
posted by ed at 11:28 AM on February 4, 2003


Hmm, I don't agree with you, Skot, but that's okay. I don't self-police with guns or incarceration, so I don't think Metafilter will be, err, non-self-policed with weapons and arrest. You're being totally fallacious. ;) Anyway, I'll continue to try (and sometimes fail) to police myself and let other users who feel so compelled educate the newbies.

However, I will point out the Indecent Proposal submitted just above your comment. Time and time again, users are ready to edit, police, or otherwise control their or our use of the benign anarchy. Matt and MeTa discussions always say "No, we don't do that here" and then we move on.

Everybody hates something. Ed (bless him) found two threads (and one canard) that he hated and made a post about it. (And, on preview, has made a great comment about participation, I see.)

Me, I'm not happy with a thread unless it's a pro-war registration-only op-ed viral marketing scheme about celebrities who starve babies at jello wrestling gay nightclubs and the ensuing Photoshop contests, so, ya know, diff'rent strokes.
posted by RJ Reynolds at 11:39 AM on February 4, 2003


"instill an environment in which people are encouraged to post. And that involves all users taking some responsibilities, or even suggestions to the people who regularly shanghai threads. "

[slightly edited]

Nicely put. However, I don't see how this is different than what we have right now.

" Why not increase the potential?"

Well, okay, sure. I just don't see it happening without a hell of a lot more editing. The deal is, some people think it's fine, some people think it's gone downhill. If you lobby everyone to "do better" you're still going have things all over the map. Even if everyone changes their behavior.
posted by y6y6y6 at 11:42 AM on February 4, 2003


I think we have the balance of community, anonymity, freedom, accountability, and unspoken rules. You end up getting flotsam on either side of the middle, but, hey, you'll never get rid of that.

And you can't force people to think before they post, or to try and understand what people write instead of scan-and-assume-then-attack. But it's kind of there.

As for front page posts.. well, same ol' same ol' there.. Go back and read mathowie's first year of posts. Things haven't changed all that much.
posted by rich at 11:51 AM on February 4, 2003

You're being totally disingenuous.
Ever since Plastic incorporated this adjective as a downmod, it has become its own little meme.
posted by mischief at 11:54 AM on February 4, 2003


it is not a thread about Courtney Love in the buff that I have a problem with

Oh, it should be. Remind me to post the next washed-up-celebrity spread that winds up in Maxim and try to pass it off as commentary on pop culture.

The problem with self-policing only yourself is that people don't follow your example and excercise similar self-control. How are we to deal with unacceptable behavior (or decide what is acceptable) without talking about it?
posted by Yelling At Nothing at 11:59 AM on February 4, 2003


You're being totally fallacious.

I try to play to my strengths. And for the record, I never read Plastic, and have no idea what a "downmod" is.
posted by Skot at 12:08 PM on February 4, 2003


And if you put all 5,000 MeFites in a room, they'd have just about the whole of human knowledge at their disposal.

But do they have the knowledge from with-in this thread.

As do all MeFites Mefights read Meta-Talk?
posted by thomcatspike at 12:16 PM on February 4, 2003


Tip O'Neal squeezing himself into Kate Moss's G-string.
what marvelously fark-like imagery.
posted by quonsar at 12:33 PM on February 4, 2003


Why can't MeFi do better

Because it's dead. It's like the Roman Empire. It had it's day, then faded out.
posted by websavvy at 12:43 PM on February 4, 2003


I'm not dead yet!

(couldn't resist)

But really.. how many time has Mefi been declared dead?

Sheesh.. the more things change, the more they stay the same.
posted by rich at 1:13 PM on February 4, 2003


Well, I'm OK with the shamefully electrified corpse thereof, I guess.
posted by y2karl at 1:22 PM on February 4, 2003


*electrified cricket corpses*
posted by quonsar at 1:32 PM on February 4, 2003


"how many time has Mefi been declared dead?"

Oh, it's been dead for a long time. Everyone says so:

June 14, 2000
November 18, 2000
March 3, 2001
06/10/2001
January 30, 2002
posted by y6y6y6 at 1:35 PM on February 4, 2003


I will point out the Indecent Proposal submitted just above your comment. Time and time again, users are ready to edit, police, or otherwise control their or our use of the benign anarchy. Matt and MeTa discussions always say "No, we don't do that here" and then we move on.

I could understand resistance against item #3 (limit some subjects), but the "ignore user" filter is a decent, rational and normal option. Why are you scared of it? I want to have the right not to read anything written by you or quonsar, for example. It's a normal feature of most message boards.
As a compromise, I offer the suggestion of one ignore user system which wouldn't show threads or comments from certain users and another ignore system which would eliminate threads containing words previously indexed by each individual user according to his preferences. That wouldn't be censorship; it's called empowering the individual. The rejected threads and comments would be there for those foolish enough to read them.
Regarding the rating system, I've seen it work elsewhere; since most posts are motivated by vanity/whuffies and whatnot, that would encourage users to do their best. People with good reputations like y2karl and madamjujuive would have nothing to lose or fear either way.
I may develop these suggestions later on, but so far what I ask is a way to prevent earnest uses from wasting their time. I think MetaFilter is a truly excellent site and I want it to get even better: the freedom to costumize and choose is inherently democratic and unavoidable.
posted by 111 at 1:52 PM on February 4, 2003


From y6's earliest link:
If these overblown discussions were happening on more than a handful of threads, I'd worry. However, we only seem to be getting into this Meta-Meta-Meta BS on one thread every week or so, rarely attached to any post that has its own substance. Yes, it's fully possible that MeFi will, somewhere down the line, turn into Trolldot despite Haughey's best intentions. I think we're a long way from that, even if the site has been going downhill since it got to user #450 or so.
posted by harmful at 7:00 AM PST on June 14
One thread every week. Think about that, and tell me things haven't gone downhill in fact as well as in our overheated nostalgia.
posted by languagehat at 2:13 PM on February 4, 2003


I want to have the right not to read anything written by [RJ Reynolds] or quonsar, for example.

Ouch.

I seriously can't think of too many people here who fit the description of boring, unintelligible, unintelligent, preachy, sectarian to the point where they are corrupting my experience/not easily ignored, to make the required cost of such a feature seem worthwhile. I imagine I'm not a minority on that one.

but is he saying that b/c he believes it or because he knows his ass would be the most uniformly blocked? Tune in next time...
posted by dgaicun at 2:30 PM on February 4, 2003


"One thread every week."

That's just because we didn't call out crap back then. Metatalk was very new.

"tell me things haven't gone downhill"

Things haven't gone downhill. Here are some of the posts from that day:

-Epithets for gays and lesbians.
-A FPP alerting everyone something had been posted in Meta.
-A Courtney Love story.
-"Professor paid to study strippers"
-An alert to people in the Bay Area that power might go off soon.

If anything Metafilter has gotten better. Go back to June 14th, 2000 and then tell me what we have today on the frontpage, and in the discussions, isn't better. Go ahead. Go go.

Smartass.
posted by y6y6y6 at 2:37 PM on February 4, 2003


Maybe it isn't Metafilter that's dead. Perhaps it is the individual Mefite. That would certainly explain the multiple obituaries.
posted by konolia at 3:14 PM on February 4, 2003


RE: IgnoreUser

Wouldn't it be kinda weird, with the stream-of-conscious style board we have here? It seems like the discussion would get confusing quickly.

User ratings would be a little better, but I still think the bad would outweigh the good.
posted by Yelling At Nothing at 3:37 PM on February 4, 2003


Last night I had a dream about a talking monkey who followed me around asking if he could eat my good parts and every time I said no, he would bring up intelligent subjects to discuss so I would let him hang around. Soon thereafter I found a bullet hole in my chest.
posted by oh posey at 4:04 PM on February 4, 2003


june the 14th
this may be the single greatest webpage i have ever seen in my life!
they sure knew how to make quality,brainfood type posts in those days...
er....ignore rj and konse ?
i'd like to see the stats on their comments versus yours actually and weigh them up.
lets go with one of your more intellectual ones:
"Ursula Plaichinger, a 27 year-old viola player, is the first woman to be (partially) admitted into the Vienna Philharmonic since the orchestra's creation 161 years ago."
now , i dont know about you folks, but my pulse is racing already.
then you get into your comedic stride:
Is Ursula's case merely an example of "Rent-a-Frau?"
which is pure comedic gold my friend, no wonder quonse lies awake at night seething with envy.
poor old lame ass quonsar can only come up with things like this:
"Fermented beaver blamed as 13 fall ill.
I humbly offer this link for your 'consumption' without further comment."

and as for rj, he can only offer us pap like:

Frank Moore [NYT], the originator of the red ribbon, died of AIDS last week. His gorgeous paintings depicted politics from Yosemite to Versace. As one of the few incredibly contemporary but still publicly accessible artists, he will be missed.

which your tremendous posts put in the shade 111.
y'know i never realised frasier was actually based on real people.
posted by sgt.serenity at 4:26 PM on February 4, 2003


Posey - this monkey, did he ride a dog while herding sheep?
posted by jonson at 5:48 PM on February 4, 2003


y6: OK, you got me.
posted by languagehat at 5:49 PM on February 4, 2003


Thanks for trying, ed. For what it's worth, I don't know. MeFi still does produce the occasional smart, fun, make-it-all-worthwhile thread, even if it seems to me as if those are fewer and further between than once they were. But I've had my say repeatedly, and won't bother mounting my hobbyhorse again for another ride... I still love it, most days, warts and all.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 6:12 PM on February 4, 2003


gee 111, thanks for the shout out, but hey! Please don't be dissin' my homey quonsar! He's witty, smart and and one of the truly funniest people I know. And despite an occasional caustic comment, a guy with a true heart of gold. If he is buggin you, you are taking him way too seriously.

ok, q, you can send the $5 to my paypal account now.
posted by madamjujujive at 6:45 PM on February 4, 2003


right guys,
only ed and 111 post today. (feb 5th)
dazzle us boys.
posted by sgt.serenity at 7:26 PM on February 4, 2003


quonsar is MetaFilter's Frank Zappa. Some people just don't get it until weasels rip their flesh.

i want my 5 bucks too.
posted by hama7 at 7:38 PM on February 4, 2003


Rzzzz!
posted by hama7 at 7:40 PM on February 4, 2003


dont insult the man, frank zappa's shite.
posted by sgt.serenity at 8:42 PM on February 4, 2003


Like Democracy and Government, we don't get the best possible MeFi, we get the MeFi we deserve.
posted by blue_beetle at 9:11 PM on February 4, 2003


Hmph. There are lots of folks whom I disagree with on a regular basis, but I honestly can't think of a single active user I'd ignore. (The only inactive one I think I'd ignore is Mr. ASCII Duck-Guy.) I tend to think that a marketplace of ideas does best when it has the most opinions possible...even those that piss me off.
posted by Vidiot at 10:39 PM on February 4, 2003


MetaFilter's not what we wish it could be; but then again and then some, neither is me.
posted by Opus Dark at 11:16 PM on February 4, 2003


What stavrosthewonderchicken said.
posted by dg at 3:24 AM on February 5, 2003


ed - 'kate moss' g-string'

hmm.
*stares idly out of window for twenty minutes or so*

sorry, lost track of the thread there. right, what was the subject again?
probably proving someone's point here.

and ditto stavros.
posted by asok at 7:33 AM on February 5, 2003


OK, first of all, sgt, would you care to explain that thread where you posted dozens of nonsense phrases over and over? Why and how? Because that's one of the things I'd like to avoid. The ignore user filter would be optional and could be used on everyone except Matt for obvious reasons.

You could block me and never ever read another word written by yours truly. It's win-win! It would be "talk to the hand, MeFifriend"!!! It would also prevent pointless bickering and sub-par posts. I really don't see where the resistance against a user filter comes from. I'll try to get back to that since it really is a necessary feature for sites like this.
posted by 111 at 7:50 AM on February 5, 2003


I really don't see where the resistance against a user filter comes from.

Not from me, I assure you! I've floated the idea a couple of times. I'd like something that allows me to list the users whose comment text should be the same colour as the background. That way, if I did want to read them, I could always just select to highlight. I get the impression that such a filter is not something Matt wants to implement as part of Metafilter itself, so perhaps it could be something like a browser plug-in, or a custom display for the RSS feed. If you do develop such a thing, 111, please let me know; I'd happily pay for a copy.
posted by sennoma at 8:18 AM on February 5, 2003


Hehe. matt, your reason post was deleted in the "wow - she's fat! Look!" thread was exactly what I was going to add to the 75 comments that were already there. Question asked, and answered. I loves ya, matt.
posted by iconomy at 9:05 AM on February 5, 2003


You could block me and never ever read another word written by yours truly. It's win-win! It would be "talk to the hand, MeFifriend"!!! It would also prevent pointless bickering and sub-par posts. I really don't see where the resistance against a user filter comes from.

yah really. people are such a pain. maybe you can still get a refund on that computer. then you could lock yourself in your room, turn out the lights, and pretend there was nobody extant in the entire world to annoy you. you could invite a few kindred souls and grope each others craniums in the dark. assist one another with your mensa applications. write, rehearse and present musical comedies for each other which celebrate the wonderfulness of your oh so superior debatorial selves. or, you could just get a life. after all, metafilter finally is.
posted by quonsar at 1:07 PM on February 5, 2003


I really don't see where the resistance against a user filter comes from. I'll try to get back to that since it really is a necessary feature for sites like this.

Can you imagine a conversation with a group of people, where some of the people could not hear some of the other people, yet the conversation was linear? Just think about how that would sound for a minute and then maybe you will understand. For (inferior) sites with threaded conversations, it would not be so bad, as the threading makes the conversation nonsensical anyway, but the linear format is one of the things that makes MetaFilter better than "those" sites.
posted by dg at 1:53 PM on February 5, 2003


yah really. people are such a pain. maybe you can still get a refund on that computer.

See, with a filter, I'd never have read that. I wouldn't be stopping anyone from shitting on the site, nor would I be stopping anyone else from stepping in it to their hearts' content. I'd just be blissfully unaware of certain individuals. It would only take a blacklist of a dozen or so users to make this site a much more pleasant read for me. (Yes, I'm aware I'd make a few blacklists myself; what's that to me? That's the beauty of the individual custom filter.)

Just think about how that would sound for a minute

As a matter of fact, the idea of certain users determinedly flapping their mouths but making no sound that could reach me fills me with glee. Most replies use pull quotes, as I just did, and if I *did* want to read something posted by a user I'd filtered out I could always use select to highlight and reveal that text.
posted by sennoma at 2:48 PM on February 5, 2003


Wait a minute, wait a minute....

111--you've been here since when? November 4, 2002?

Normally, I would be the last one one to pull rank, but seriously, I don't think you've been around long enough to realize the magnitude of change that you are proposing.
User filter? No. N-O.

No, it would just make for bad William Burroughs. There is not a user here I would want to silence., not one. We're all in this together.

Upon review: Sennoma, you have a hair up your ass: get a life.

Kiddin'!

OK, maybe not...
posted by y2karl at 3:06 PM on February 5, 2003


Can you imagine a conversation with a group of people, where some of the people could not hear some of the other people, yet the conversation was linear?

Yes, I can. This is exactly how Salon's forums work (or used to work--it's been a while), and it's quite wonderful. You can see the user, but not the comment. One click and the comment is also visible if you choose. That way if you think you've missed some context, you can easily get it.

Just think, no more listening to y2karl's personal problems with Sennoma. Suh-weet.
posted by frykitty at 3:21 PM on February 5, 2003


There is not a user here I would want to silence

No one is proposing that you should silence anyone, or that Metafilter itself should change in any way. The filter/app/whatever that I am wishing for would be a client-side deal: my filtering would have absolutely no effect on anyone's experience of Metafilter but my own.
posted by sennoma at 3:46 PM on February 5, 2003


y2karl, the dumbness of your remarks to me and sennoma are disappointing. First of all, had I arrived here 24 hours ago, I'd still be entitled to suggest whatever feature I find useful; that's why there's a feature requests category. Nobody here except for Matt has acquired greater powers than anyone else.
This is not your territory. This is not your neighborhood.There's no seniority clause here. You're just one among 17139 users.
It has also probably escaped you that I have a username since november. As a lurker, I could have gotten here before you did.
Re sennoma, instead of rationally, politely saying why you think he's wrong, you simply offend him; again, yet another reason for an ignore user option. Don't worry about the Burroughs thing; I can find my way through it, and the users I'd block wouldn't be too many and wouldn't be making comments on every thread.
posted by 111 at 4:26 PM on February 5, 2003


I don't like it.

I'm not pulling rank.

If it's a user side feature, may I suggest a lower bandwidth one--ignore the comment.

It's certainly a concept I honor far more in the breach than the observance but, all the same, one of the things I have found valuable about belonging to this place is that I have learned things about myself and others through exchanges that have been other than pleasant, but in this I have learned to be a bit more tolerant... well, t times, at least.

And I have learned to appreciate people with whom I violently disagree about 99% of the time. And that by reading things that seem out of character, which makes me see that person as a human being. You can't have a pick and choose feature and and ever hope to to see such incongruities

It just seems to me that what you are proposing is the virtual equivalent of sticking your fingers in your ears and saying la-la-la-la I can't hear you. It's anti-social, elitist, narcissistic. We're here to learn. And part of that learning is to appreciate people for who they are, to get along..

The signal to noise around here has improved, not diminished in my time here, in my opinion. This concept is an unecessary bells-and-whistles sort of thing, a gadget to me. An elitist, anti-communitarian idea that's more obnoxious than any vibrating pancake overlord overrepeated cliche.

We're all in this together. Which means we have to learn how to get along, learn that we are wrong sometimes, learn to put up with and tolerate other people--which is usually painful if it's for real.

I say Let a hundred flowers bloom, let a hundred schools of thought contend--not a selected few hothouse flowers massage their exquisite sensibilities by screening out the oafs. Ixnay, no, bad idea.

This is MetaFillter, a community weblog--what you propose is MeFilter
posted by y2karl at 8:52 PM on February 5, 2003


Ooh, missed that extra 'l'! Well, what the hell, fill 'er up!
posted by y2karl at 8:53 PM on February 5, 2003


111- that nonsense thread is not what we are talking about, it has also been dealt with by matt apologies put forward and recieved and you know that full well so bring up something a wee bit better than that, eh?
i agree with a lot of what you just said actually,
so there you are, everybody being equal and all that,i agree with you that length of time means nothing and i was a lurker here for millions of years bc etc myself.
if there was an ignore button, i might not have seen this subsequent comment of yours.
You see, people change here or they leave one way or the other.
In a couple of weeks time you will be a loved and respected member with a sense of humor and self depracation and if there was an ignore button ,
maybe i would have missed that.
if i am going to have a healthy debate i cant have an ignore button.
who likes getting their ego dented ?
cmere and give me a hug 111....
can you imagine being matt ?
apart from the abilty to heal people and all that , it must be terrible having to make sure your contributions are always really good.
i notice you and ed didnt post anything today.
anyway it seems to me it was a good day for posts.
But just to please you and ed , i am going to raise the bar yet higher we are going to go for the superculture award!

from now on i will be posting top class stuff until you all beg me for mercy.
posted by sgt.serenity at 9:04 PM on February 5, 2003


/me begs sgt for mercy. I would prefer Farkish posts like my own earlier today, I'm willing to suffer the slings and arrows (and wild False Drudge accusations) of 111, just don't turn this place into HighbrowFilter. Let's try for a balance between crass & entertaining. Or perhaps, sir would prefer something along the lines of a monkey riding a dog, while herding sheep.
posted by jonson at 10:27 PM on February 5, 2003


...considers taking tefal heid off.........
posted by sgt.serenity at 8:14 AM on February 6, 2003


jonson: If people like posts like that, go to fark."
posted by languagehat at 10:28 AM on February 6, 2003


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