Don't say the I-word February 13, 2003 9:37 PM   Subscribe

I wish to take my turn beating the dead horse [more inside].
posted by Yelling At Nothing to Etiquette/Policy at 9:37 PM (59 comments total)

Although, I wish to beat him a bit more constructively. There are, at this moment, two posts on the front page pertaining to the impending war with Iraq. This despite the obvious request not to post them.

I would therefore like to call members' attention to three other sites: WarDebate, America's Debate, and The ACLU Civil Liberties Forums. Perhaps I'll see you all there for some good political discussion, hmm?

Then we can quit having it here.
posted by Yelling At Nothing at 9:38 PM on February 13, 2003


So, here's what you're going to hear in this thread:

1) This is possibly the most important issue since baby jesus was born. There possibly cannot be enough posts about it, because lives are at stake.

2) If you don't like the threads, you can skip over them.

3) People are obviously interested, or else there wouldn't be a discussion or so many posts about it.

4) Someone will bring up some obscure Mathowie quote and twist it to support their position that he absolutely loves Iraq threads.

5) All this Metatalking isn't going to do any good

6) Nader Nader Nader

Let me know if I missed something.
posted by Stan Chin at 9:56 PM on February 13, 2003


Great job Stan! You just saved a few hundred people a lot of reading and writing. Thank you, really.
posted by qbert72 at 10:00 PM on February 13, 2003


Let me know if I missed something.

Probably, but I know it will involve someone finding a clever use of a cliche that we discussed 24 hours earlier about how grating it is to hear people use it for just that reason. Or something using the word "ass."
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 10:01 PM on February 13, 2003


No, Stan Chin, I think you got it. Unless someone starts with vibrating-assed pancake overlords or whatever the kids are calling out in class now.

Seriously, I agree with Yelling At Nothing (and what an appropriate user name for this discussion).
posted by dg at 10:03 PM on February 13, 2003


Good thought, posting the other three forums.
posted by Hildago at 10:09 PM on February 13, 2003


This war with Iraq thing, is this something you would need a computer to know about?

(someone kill this meme quickly please!)
posted by blue_beetle at 10:10 PM on February 13, 2003


obligatory mathowie quote (as per item 4):
When you see "Iraq" in a post, it doesn't instantly mean it is doomed, as the oil economics thread shows. Saying it should be deleted is a kneejerk response. It is possible to have a perfectly good or informative thread that has something to do with Iraq, especially if it's a new angle (like the oil euro/dollar one was). - mathowie*

*Not an endorsement of the linked threads.
posted by eddydamascene at 10:30 PM on February 13, 2003


Suggestion that will get shut down immediately:

Why not add a killfilter list of terms which autodelete a thread. I.e. Something containing "Iraq" "Osama" or "Get your war on" would trigger auto deletion. These could then be undeleted if number 1 so deems that they have merit. Obviously this has censorship issues -- but for craps sake, today had a lot of troll threads...
posted by phatboy at 10:46 PM on February 13, 2003


Also, I wouldn't mind seeing the occasional "Day without politics" theme day, enforced by threat of deletion.
posted by phatboy at 10:48 PM on February 13, 2003


Also, I wouldn't mind seeing the occasional "Day without politics" theme day

I would really love this too. There's just so much dark, anxiety-promoting news these days... it would be nice to, in MeFi's own small way, point out that there's still more to life than the games of nations.
posted by gsteff at 11:21 PM on February 13, 2003


Or, how about "Thursday Politics", on the model of Friday Flash? Better, hell, put 'em both on Friday and I'll use that day to catch up on my non-mental masturbation.
posted by nicwolff at 11:30 PM on February 13, 2003


I agree completely. Someone named mathowie posted about an Iraq antiwar rally. Ban that guy!
posted by raaka at 12:10 AM on February 14, 2003


Nader Nader Nader
posted by monju_bosatsu at 6:45 AM on February 14, 2003


phat: how to kill keyword killfiles: I.R.A.Q.

Stan: you missed "those stories and the resulting flamewars draw good numbers in page hits that eat up Matt's obligations for text ad impressions". Think of them as the MeFi sin tax. ;-P
posted by mischief at 6:53 AM on February 14, 2003


"Let me know if I missed something."

Yes, you missed this:

I think it would be nice to see fewer Iraq/war/Bush posts. If we only post one or two everyday isn't that enough? Can't we get in some good war/politics discussions in two threads a day? Why more? Wouldn't it make Metafilter easier to use? Wouldn't we enjoy the site more? Wouldn't we yell at each other less?

Just because Matt will let you get away with it doesn't make it a good idea. You don't have to post it.

No, it's not the most important thing since Our Lord Jesus. It just seems like a good plan. Let it go. Don't post it. If you check, your post might fit wonderfully inside some other thread we already have.
posted by y6y6y6 at 6:54 AM on February 14, 2003


This is possibly the most important issue since baby jesus was born.

Let me know if I missed something.


the obligatory derail: there was no baby jesus.
posted by quonsar at 7:00 AM on February 14, 2003


This is what is wrong with Metafilter. Someone who obviously cares posts a constructive suggestion. Then we get a string of snarky bull shit.

Snarky...... Fucking..... Bull shit.....

Why? Do you want to make sure we all know how clever you are? Only dorks make constructive suggestions?

I really get the idea that many here care and many just enjoy spinning around with their dick out, spraying urine all over the place. Self policing doesn't work if self policing = "I'm more snarky than you".

"Suggestions? What a stupid idea. We're tired of suggestions. Let's pee in the fridge instead."

This crap has it's place on Metafilter. I don't see what good it does here.
posted by y6y6y6 at 7:11 AM on February 14, 2003


the ralph song

Nader Nader Nader
I made you out of clay
Nader Nader Nader
With you I will play
posted by mkelley at 7:18 AM on February 14, 2003


Snarky...... Fucking..... Bull shit.....

Save the endangered Snark!
Or alternately: Won't Someone Please Think of the Poor Snarks?
posted by Shane at 7:43 AM on February 14, 2003


the obligatory derail: there was no baby jesus.

well, not really; we can argue until we're blue in the face _if_ Jesus really was the son of God etc, but the historical truth of the birth and life (the death's details are fuzzier) of a Jesus from Nazareth -- call him (Him) a preacher if you want -- can not be denied and is historical fact.
posted by matteo at 7:50 AM on February 14, 2003


apparently mkelley can't read, can only pee
posted by Big_B at 7:53 AM on February 14, 2003


can not be denied and is historical fact.
Unless I deny the whole friggin' world exists and this is one big sick, twisted dream.
posted by jmd82 at 8:01 AM on February 14, 2003


Some humble suggestions:

-instead of thinking once or twice, take a while longer to consider whether yet another Iraq fpp is good enough for MeFi; cool off for 15 min on the preview page and reread the article(s) before posting anything;
-refrain from using the post as a veiled anti/pro-Bush rant;
-don't give in to purely conspiratorial, borderline lunatic speculative stuff;
-consider the daily internal balance of the site; if there are already one of two posts about Iraq, that's probably more than enough unless you have something really good.
posted by 111 at 8:06 AM on February 14, 2003


I like. Thank you. All suggestions are welcomed, humble suggestions even more so.
posted by iconomy at 8:12 AM on February 14, 2003


Kudos to Yelling At Nothing for posting constructive criticism to MetaTalk.

I cast my vote for the "Day Without Iraq" as well. Fridays especially ought to be war-free, unless there's a Flash cartoon about the war, or a war fought over Flash animation, in which case I will take them on a case-by-case basis.
posted by vraxoin at 8:16 AM on February 14, 2003


Well here's the thing, there's already a giant obvious request on the posting page to refrain from Iraq topics, but these assholes (yes, they're assholes) willfully ignore it because they're on a mission to save the world. Whatever consensus we come to here isn't going to work. I'm sure despite what we see on the front page Matt's deleted almost twice as many Iraq threads. So that wasn't working.

Other than throwing your hands up in the air and letting the inmates run the asylum what are you gonna do?
posted by Stan Chin at 8:24 AM on February 14, 2003


MetaFilter: Spinning Around with Our Dicks Out, Spraying Urine All Over the Place
posted by dhoyt at 8:37 AM on February 14, 2003


"one or two posts"
posted by 111 at 8:45 AM on February 14, 2003


Why? Do you want to make sure we all know how clever you are? Only dorks make constructive suggestions?
i don't know about anyone else, but i do it just to piss off y6y6y6.
posted by quonsar at 8:54 AM on February 14, 2003


Other than throwing your hands up in the air and letting the inmates run the asylum what are you gonna do?

The only thing you can do: try and talk about it in Metatalk. Unfortunately, it is now apparently the coolest thing ever to simply be snotty and dismissive about actual discussion over posting guidelines, usually while citing some crap about misplaced nostalgia.
posted by Skot at 8:58 AM on February 14, 2003


"Other than throwing your hands up in the air and letting the inmates run the asylum what are you gonna do?"

Make fun of the very suggestion that we try harder?

Look... [sigh] We have a closed culture here. Things are crowded, but it's still closed. It's not new people coming in who don't get it. It's people who have been here for a while and do get it and still decide to start threads that are bound to start arguments. Or at the very least bound to be the same discussion we had 24 hours earlier.

These are people who enjoy Metafilter enough to keep coming back day after day. We aren't talking about inmates. We're talking about dedicated users.

There do seem to be fewer "argument anyone?" posts. And fewer people seem to be falling for the obvious flame bait. All Yelling At Nothing is asking for is a bit more. You might think that this is pointless, but remember - things are closed here. If we only change behavior a little bit it can have a big effect over time.

A polite reminder can only help.

If the first reaction is to be dismissive then you drive out the people who want to make things better. You change the culture to one where being dismissive and snotty is the norm. I don't have a problem with that. But Metafilter is just too big for it to work here.
posted by y6y6y6 at 9:23 AM on February 14, 2003


What proof do we have of Jesus's birth? They didn't keep great records. Maybe it wasn't jesus that was born, but Hesus or Jebus? We may be able to prove tht some guy named Jesus was born in Bethlehem, but that's about as informative and useful to theology as proving somebody named Bob was once born in Pittsburgh, PA. If Jesus wasn't the Son of God, then he wasn't Jesus, he was just some guy everyone called 'Jesus.' /derail

Look, I think things are fine. People seem to be having a good time and occasionally somebody gets flammed. Of course things could be better, and will get better in time, but I think there will always be a newsfilter element to metafilter - the point is to not let it get out of control. So just because there are news stories (um, Iraq is a news story) on the front page doesn't require a meta thread. If a post is an obvious troll and a flame war ensues, then start a meta thread. Pick your battles, brother.
posted by elwoodwiles at 9:28 AM on February 14, 2003


I agree that there are too many Iraq posts (to me, any number greater than zero is too many) but I also agree that there's not much anyone without a delete key can do about it.

My plan is to stay out of the blue until the thing is over.
posted by timeistight at 10:03 AM on February 14, 2003


Wait wait wait, if there's no Baby Jesus, then who does the crying when I lie/cheat/masturbate?
posted by Ty Webb at 10:17 AM on February 14, 2003


The fact that mathowie is conspicuously absent from this thread (and threads like it) indicates that nothing is going to change when it comes to Iraq threads. Self-policing occasionally works for small things, but for major problems like this the benign dictatorship model is the only antidote. We've been trying to curb unnecessary posts about the news item of the moment for years, and it never works except when Matt gets pissed enough to start kicking ass.

So maybe taunting Matt is the solution?
posted by Hildago at 10:24 AM on February 14, 2003


Wait wait wait, if there's no Baby Jesus, then who does the crying when I lie/cheat/masturbate?

I dunno, Domo-kun maybe?
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 10:26 AM on February 14, 2003


So maybe taunting Matt is the solution?

Nyah-nyah! Matt is a poopyhead and his mommy eats oat bran!

Wait...is that what you meant?

Seriously though, threads like this let Matt know what everyone thinks. While he's the only one with the delete key, he's always been great about listening to the community. And just because He hasn't blessed us with His presence, it doesn't mean He isn't watching.
posted by frykitty at 10:43 AM on February 14, 2003


Wait...is that what you meant?

Yeah, actually. I'm trying to spur a Bill Bixby-esque tranformation, hoping that where self-policing fails, smashing things might just work.
posted by Hildago at 11:06 AM on February 14, 2003


i LIKE smashing things.
posted by quonsar at 11:13 AM on February 14, 2003


"So maybe taunting Matt is the solution?"

My feeling about that (which may be completely wrong and I don't want to speak out of turn but I'm going to anyway) is that Matt lets us build Metafilter into whatever we're going to build it into. I don't think taunting him will make him embrace the dictator role.

We know:

1) Matt likes news posts that present a unique and thought provoking take on the issues. But everyone's take on that will be different.

2) Matt isn't going to make hard rules since hard rules would exclude some good stuff while not stopping some of the of crap. But without hard rules many users just don't seem to be able to resist.

3) Even if 100% of the people reading this agree to back off on the News/Iraq/Bush stuff, it won't help since lots of users will never read this.

4) Going into a thread and making silly pancake references will annoy more than it will help. And I notice most of the time that when people say a thread is going to get deleted, it doesn't get deleted.

I think we're left with gentle prodding. Not gentle piling on. Not snarky prodding.

Or, and this idea sounds like fun, Matt could start one thread each day with the title, "Bush is a [moron|great American], and the war on Iraq is [stupid|necessary], and our civil liberties [are|are not] being subverted, and some [liberals|conservatives] did something dumb today".

Then every such discussion would have to take place there and other posts like this would be a double post.

Or, as elwoodwiles says, maybe we're already doing the gentle prodding, and it's working okay, not great, but okay, and things are fine. I sort of fall into that camp.

We can banter all day about what is and is not a good candidate for deletion. Personally I thought Neverland post yesterday was an obvious delete. But what we need is a culture change. It's the culture here that drives people to back out rather than hit post. And the only way to do that is to gently nudge people in the direction we want. Sure, we'll all be nudging in slightly different directions, but that's okay. It's when we throw up our hands and just give in to the stupidity that we lose the possibility to make things better.
posted by y6y6y6 at 11:15 AM on February 14, 2003


I taunted Matt once today and he deleted me within seconds. I shan't taunt him again.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 11:30 AM on February 14, 2003


Has anyone else noticed the dearth of Israel/Palestine posts since this whole Iran thing started?
Man, those were the days. ;-P
posted by mischief at 11:35 AM on February 14, 2003


Hate Iraq posts? Don't click on them. Don't comment in those threads because comments beget more comments. Pass on by. If everyone hates Iraq posts and simply avoids them, they will wither up and die.

Or not. But it won't matter if not because you won't have seen them or read them. Simple!

With many of the in-thread anti-Iraq-post comments, I find the cure to be as bad or worse than the disease.

Yelling at Nothing, I don't mean you or this post. I think MetaTalk is the appropriate place to bring the topic. Thanks for posting those other discussion sites.
posted by madamjujujive at 12:18 PM on February 14, 2003


Fridays especially ought to be war-free

Shrub, you here that? Start the war on some other day of the week.

(But if it starts on a Friday, I say we have one post about it.)
posted by Shane at 12:19 PM on February 14, 2003


But if it starts on a Friday, I say we have one post about it.

...because we'd never hear about it otherwise.
posted by timeistight at 12:36 PM on February 14, 2003


"If everyone hates Iraq posts and simply avoids them"

Just my read, but I think a vocal minority like Iraq threads. And like pointless arguments. So the majority suffer something divisive and noisy so that the minority can pee in the pool. We only have one pool. Avoiding the threads doesn't seem to be that easy.

We were beating a dead horse here right? No one minds if I just keep going on and on about this right? Good.
posted by y6y6y6 at 12:37 PM on February 14, 2003


But if it starts on a Friday, I say we have one post about it.

...because we'd never hear about it otherwise.


You really think the war could start without at least one post? Better one big thread than 25 little ones. I say we start a pool right now guessing how many posts are started (and how many deleted) in the first week, should a war begin.
posted by Shane at 1:04 PM on February 14, 2003


3)
2)
5)
posted by kirkaracha at 1:09 PM on February 14, 2003


Wait wait wait, if there's no Baby Jesus, then who does the crying when I lie/cheat/masturbate?

That would be me.
posted by homunculus at 1:39 PM on February 14, 2003


If Jesus wasn't the Son of God, then he wasn't Jesus, he was just some guy everyone called 'Jesus.' /derail

Sorry, but no. Even if he was not the Son of God, even if God does not even exist, the historical Jesus would be one of the most influential men in the last 2,000 years of world history. And of course, a very, very good speechwriter, too
posted by matteo at 1:52 PM on February 14, 2003


See that's the thing, I wonder if Jesus wasn't nearly as influential as these other guys named Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. It also seems that St Paul of tarsus (sp?) had great influence over the last 2000 years. Jesus isn't a historical necessity as much as the writers of the gospels and the later founders of what we know to be the Catholic church.
okay, okay, I'll knock it off.
posted by elwoodwiles at 2:51 PM on February 14, 2003


Well here's the thing, there's already a giant obvious request on the posting page to refrain from Iraq topics, but these assholes (yes, they're assholes) willfully ignore it because they're on a mission to save the world.

Somebody needs a hug! :$ O__o
<3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3
posted by eddydamascene at 3:49 PM on February 14, 2003


Here's an excellent Iraq-centred discussion. The shame of it is, it's not here.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 6:16 PM on February 14, 2003


Maybe it wasn't jesus that was born, but Hesus or Jebus?

As charming as it is to have my sacred beliefs so casually mocked and ridiculed, could you at least wait until a thread comes along that has, say, anything whatsoever to do with religion before you do it? Historical note: Jesus's name wasn't Jesus, it was Yeshua. Iesus is the latinization of the Hebrew name.
posted by vraxoin at 6:20 PM on February 14, 2003


And the English version is Joshua.
posted by konolia at 9:06 PM on February 14, 2003


And I don't give a rat's ass. Why are we arguing Jesus anyway? Man, that's how war in the Middle East started.

Oh. I see.........
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 7:29 AM on February 15, 2003


If everyone hates Iraq posts and simply avoids them, they will wither up and die.

And if everyone simply sends me a dollar, I shall be rich. I thought the point of this discussion was that people AREN'T ignoring them, against the stated wishes of a goodly proportion of the community and it's benevolent dictator? Much as I laud the intention, wishing won't make them go away ...
posted by walrus at 2:03 AM on February 16, 2003


"There are, at this moment, two posts on the front page pertaining to the impending war with Iraq. This despite the obvious request not to post them."

If you read my comment on that post (which I made) you would realise that was the reason I posted it, just as you did here ...

Are you the kind of person that finishes other's sentences and claims the story as their own? ... thought so.
posted by h0ney at 12:04 AM on February 17, 2003


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