What's the deal with the dot? March 11, 2004 7:29 AM   Subscribe

What's the deal with people posting a comment whose sole content is "."? Example here, but I've been seeing it more and more. Perhaps I missed out on some kewl new meme, but it just seems like lazy, bandwidth-sucking, "me too" ego stroking.
posted by mkultra to Etiquette/Policy at 7:29 AM (142 comments total)

I think it stands for a moment of silence, or condolences/grief which one can't articulate. I'm not sure when this started, but I think it's been a couple of years since I saw it here.
posted by crunchburger at 7:32 AM on March 11, 2004


.
posted by soyjoy at 7:42 AM on March 11, 2004


Like the Spaulding Gray thread. It's not new, it has shown up for years in other obit threads and even the Bali bombing thread, IIRC (and the follow-up thread about stavro's buddy being one of the victims.)
posted by eyeballkid at 7:44 AM on March 11, 2004


I think of it as a way of saying "I don't know what to say."
posted by carter at 7:45 AM on March 11, 2004


I'm sure it means "I'm here, I'm reading this and caring but I don't knwo what to say". Unfortunately I tend to read it as 'me too'.
posted by twine42 at 7:55 AM on March 11, 2004


  
posted by y2karl at 8:01 AM on March 11, 2004


"Bandwidth-sucking"? Are you serious? If you're that worried about the bandwidth sucked by a single dot, you should have saved the immense bandwidth eaten up by this thread answering a question posted solely to satisfy your curiosity (and one, moreover, which had already been posted and answered). Sheesh

.
posted by languagehat at 8:02 AM on March 11, 2004


languagehat- first, chill. There's more at stake than my personal curiosity.

Second- "." isn't the easiest thing to search for, nor is "period".

Third- You're taking up two extra server requests (preview + post), and a database entry on top of it. It's going through a lot, IMHO, to say nothing.

Call me heartless, but unless you've got some personal attachment to the matter at hand, the expression seems more about calling attention to yourself than your grief.
posted by mkultra at 8:16 AM on March 11, 2004


Think of it as a virtual moment of silence. It's part of the MeFi culture. Chill.
posted by subgenius at 8:40 AM on March 11, 2004


I'm sorry, but if expressing condolences and sadness is "lazy, bandwidth-sucking, 'me too' ego stroking," then call me guilty. Of course we're calling attention to ourselves; isn't that the what we do here? If there was no interaction, no element of "us," then the front page would be mere links with no context, meaning, or emotion attached to them. The fact that there are comments pages further cements the idea that this place is as much about discussion as it is about links; have it otherwise and it's just another linklog. In order to interact, you have to give an element of yourself to the conversation. In this case, it's a simple period to express grief when there are no other words to explain how you feel.
posted by monju_bosatsu at 8:45 AM on March 11, 2004


I'm sorry, but if expressing condolences and sadness is "lazy, bandwidth-sucking, 'me too' ego stroking," then call me guilty.

.
posted by moonbird at 8:52 AM on March 11, 2004


.
posted by clavdivs at 8:54 AM on March 11, 2004


There's more at stake than my personal curiosity.

Yes, the very fate of the world is at risk!

[dot]
posted by five fresh fish at 8:58 AM on March 11, 2004


Search results for . If you got nothing to say other than typing in a . why not move along with your own silent thoughts, other than saying absolutely nothing?
posted by brent at 8:58 AM on March 11, 2004


Call me heartless, but unless you've got some personal attachment to the matter at hand, the expression seems more about calling attention to yourself than your grief.

When people say "grief" about an atrocity that happens to perfect strangers, I think they mean "shock". I totally agree with you that strangers grieving over other strangers is ingenuine - otherwise, we'd all be incapacitated by grief comprehending the sum of world atrocities each day.
posted by SpaceCadet at 9:00 AM on March 11, 2004


OH MY GOD. YOU PEOPLE WHO PUT DOTS ON THE SCREEN AND NOTHING ELSE MAKE ME WANT TO PUKE. DON'T YOU REALIZE I AM A VERY IMPORTANT PERSON AND HAVE NO TIME TO DILLY DALLY OVER YOUR DIPSYDOODLE DOTS?!
posted by crunchland at 9:02 AM on March 11, 2004


We could argue this in circles, but consider this- do you feel the same way about people whose sole comment is "what [xxx] said"? MetaFilter is about conversation, but it's about adding something unique and constructive to it, not treating it like a group hug/support group. I'm as sad about Spalding Gray and the bomb victims in Spain as the next person, but I don't feel the need to announce it to the world. It just lowers the signal-to-noise ratio of the thread.
posted by mkultra at 9:02 AM on March 11, 2004


mkultra: Unclench. Seriously.

Also: drop it.
posted by bshort at 9:04 AM on March 11, 2004


It's not just about "grief", it's about sympathy and empathy as well as an aknowledgement of both communal and personal loss.

.
posted by ashbury at 9:05 AM on March 11, 2004


why the hell would anyone search for "." ?
posted by eastlakestandard at 9:06 AM on March 11, 2004


what monju_bosatsu said.
posted by subgenius at 9:06 AM on March 11, 2004


Also: drop it.
No you drop it. mkultra has a valid point.

That period thing is lame, and is about as fresh as acting out Saturday Night Live skits at work on Monday morning. Or Monty Python quotes. Really clever.

I for one hope I never have to see another lonely period again.
posted by rocketman at 9:07 AM on March 11, 2004


I always thought it meant "haha that person is dead whatta a loser".

Guess I am off-base with that one.
posted by xmutex at 9:08 AM on March 11, 2004


MetaFilter is about conversation, but it's about adding something unique and constructive to it, not treating it like a group hug/support group.

I'm so tired of the "everything you say and do must be utterly unique and valuable to the community" idea. Guess what: not every emotion I feel or thought I think is unique. That doesn't mean they're not worth sharing with the community. Metafilter--or at least some of it's members--had a shared experience of grief with the loss of Spalding Grey. I couldn't share that loss with my coworkers; they didn't know who the hell I was talking about. My expression of emotion was not intended to be new and original, it was intended to share in the community experience.
posted by monju_bosatsu at 9:13 AM on March 11, 2004


i understand what you're saying mkultra - it looks silly to me too - but it's been around here a while and seems to be accepted (i checked in your profile to see if you were british, because to me it seems a very american "me too" "group hug" kind of thing, but i see you're in brooklyn, so i guess i'll have to juggle my personal prejudices round a little).
posted by andrew cooke at 9:15 AM on March 11, 2004


I wonder what the bandwidth / server resource consumption of this thread is, as measured in dot-posts.

I also nominate "dot-posts" as the official base measurement unit of MeFi resource consumption. As in:

"Dude! You burned like 50 dot-posts with that screed!"
posted by George_Spiggott at 9:18 AM on March 11, 2004


I also nominate "dot-posts" as the official base measurement unit of MeFi resource consumption.

Well, I'm glad something constructive came of this :)

bshort- Bite me. Seriously. You've managed to contribute even less than a dot-post (wow, I'm starting to like that meme...).
posted by mkultra at 9:23 AM on March 11, 2004


If you're that worried about the bandwidth sucked by a single dot, you should have saved the immense bandwidth eaten up by this thread answering a question posted solely to satisfy your curiosity (and one, moreover, which had already been posted and answered). Sheesh

mkultra: Unclench. Seriously.

I'm sorry, but if expressing condolences and sadness is "lazy, bandwidth-sucking, 'me too' ego stroking," then call me guilty. Of course we're calling attention to ourselves; isn't that the what we do here?

Guess what: not every emotion I feel or thought I think is unique. That doesn't mean they're not worth sharing with the community.

Jesus. This thread should have as many dots as possible to fill up all the holier-than-thous.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 9:24 AM on March 11, 2004


That period thing is lame, and is about as fresh as acting out Saturday Night Live skits at work on Monday morning. Or Monty Python quotes. Really clever.

Then I'll spit on your grave rocketman. See you in hell.
posted by eastlakestandard at 9:26 AM on March 11, 2004


Ok, how about this:

mkultra, what do you care? If it were really, truly a drain on system resources, then Matt would say something. Since he hasn't, it's not an issue yet.

If you don't like obituary posts, then don't read them. Would you rather see a thread full of people saying "this makes me sad, too"?
posted by bshort at 9:37 AM on March 11, 2004


i think the point is that a thread of "this makes me sad too" posts seems to trvialize things, and that is what "." means (as far as i can see - although i do like xmutex's interpretation). some of us were (like it or not) raised in cultures where grief is more of a private thing, so this kind of behaviour seems odd/disrespectful. something done more for the benefit of the poster than out of respect for the deceased.
posted by andrew cooke at 9:49 AM on March 11, 2004


Metafilter: .
posted by Mick at 9:51 AM on March 11, 2004


I think it's dumb personally, but you're not going to win this one.
posted by rushmc at 9:58 AM on March 11, 2004


I for one hope I never have to see another lonely period again.

Wouldn't we all?
*sniffles, goes back to eating lunch by self*
posted by me3dia at 10:03 AM on March 11, 2004


I haven't seen so much anguish over a period since Carrie.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 10:06 AM on March 11, 2004 [1 favorite]


mkultra, what do you care? If it were really, truly a drain on system resources, then Matt would say something. Since he hasn't, it's not an issue yet.

If you don't like obituary posts, then don't read them.


I care more that people's compulsion to be heard gets in the way of real contributions. I'm not a huge fan of obit posts (NewsFilter), but I occasionally do check them out- god forbid someone actually has something interesting to say.

Andrew, you're spot on, I think. It is a uniquely American behavior, to air private emotions in public (c.f. talk shows, reality tv).

Crash- you made my day.
posted by mkultra at 10:09 AM on March 11, 2004


it's becoming more popular in the uk, too.
posted by andrew cooke at 10:15 AM on March 11, 2004


Links, people! This place is all about the links!

Where are the links showing the psychological effects that group (dot)s have on the average reader?

Where are the charts showing the incidence of (dot)ing in a regional breakdown?

Where are the graphs of monthly (dot) growth with the week of 9/11 used a base for comparison?

How do Molly Ivins, Andrew Sullivan, and Spongemonkeys feel about using (dot)s? Any Israel/Palestinian/Hitler connections?
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 10:23 AM on March 11, 2004


You know, I do get the idea - it's the equivalent of signing the visitors book at the funeral parlor when you don't have anything to say to the bereaved and just want them to know you've been there. Which is ok, I completely understand the sentiment behind this. It's just that in here where there are only words it comes off as "me too."
Actually I think it's even dorkier - more like :( - which comes off as trite.
I'm still saddened over the deaths of Gray and Dave of the Dead Milkmen - but I didn't feel I had anything to say - so I didn't comment. Frankly it doesn't bother me if someone simply posts "this is sad news" - which tells me much more than "." - before someone explained "." to me I interpreted it as "so what?"

And it's worth pondering all this every now and then because this community generally has no problem expressing sentiments in words.

Now, if there was a way I could post a symbol that indicated I'm sending flowers to the post....or maybe a tasteful fruitbasket...
posted by batgrlHG at 10:27 AM on March 11, 2004


You are all f'in idiots.
posted by Stynxno at 10:46 AM on March 11, 2004


.
posted by quonsar at 10:46 AM on March 11, 2004


!
posted by mrbill at 10:48 AM on March 11, 2004


I, for one, welcome our new period overlords . . .
posted by christian at 10:53 AM on March 11, 2004


...
posted by whatnot at 10:55 AM on March 11, 2004


I like to think of it as a single tear.

It's a show of respect and of mourning. Not everything has to be utilitarian.
posted by konolia at 11:03 AM on March 11, 2004


1. Wouldn't a single tear look more like a comma?
2. It could also be a depiction of the world's smallest violin.
posted by me3dia at 11:08 AM on March 11, 2004


Re. Lax.
posted by ColdChef at 11:08 AM on March 11, 2004


Back to the topic at hand, I'm confused. I recall the . thing starting around 9/11, and I checked out the link that was supposed to start it all, except I noticed instead of periods like I recall, people were posting dashes. Do other people see the same thing on that link, or is Mozilla just trippin'?
posted by jmd82 at 11:13 AM on March 11, 2004


Good lords, mkultra. Who pissed in your Cheerios this morning? I'd rather see a thread with the dots representing people showing they care, than one post by someone bitter over not having enough lube to shake the stick out of his ass.

Move the fuck on and eat some fiber. Sheesh.
posted by FunkyHelix at 11:26 AM on March 11, 2004


?
posted by Blue Stone at 11:28 AM on March 11, 2004


¡
posted by eyeballkid at 11:32 AM on March 11, 2004


jmd82: this is my first recollection of it.
posted by eyeballkid at 11:38 AM on March 11, 2004


Since we're sharing our thoughts on the matter:

If you're sad, and have nothing to say, I'd say don't say anything. Even "Crikey", however, or "This is bad news" or something, is better than a "."

It just seems like these full-stops suffer from near-instant hackney-fication. As such they aren't a fitting tribute at all - at least, I don't read them as such.
posted by Blue Stone at 11:40 AM on March 11, 2004


ñ
posted by 40 Watt at 11:45 AM on March 11, 2004


The point is to get the user name up there. There is a solidarity and a comfort in the list of names. As someone said upthread, it is a bit like signing the book at a funeral viewing. If you are unsentimental enough to find this objectionable, perhaps you should find another thread. There are a few of them around here to choose from...

(The capacity around here to find the least little thing around here to bitch about is truly amazing. )
posted by konolia at 11:48 AM on March 11, 2004


.

posted by quonsar at 10:46 AM PST on March 11


*rubs eyes*

Wait, am I dreaming or did I just see a priceless quonsar dot whizz by?

If so, Welcome Back!*

all done up in mother-of-pearl dots, in big letters encrusted with the finest illegal ivory dots, surrounded by a sea of diamond dots, of course.
posted by MiguelCardoso at 12:42 PM on March 11, 2004


There is a solidarity and a comfort in the list of names.

Well it's good to know you feel that way. Being part of the majority is so self-affirming.
posted by rocketman at 12:45 PM on March 11, 2004


"There is a solidarity and a comfort in the list of names.

Well it's good to know you feel that way. Being part of the majority is so self-affirming."


And it's good to know that you feel that way about her feeling that way. Thank you for taking the time to share!
posted by mr_crash_davis at 12:52 PM on March 11, 2004


No fucking shit, konolia! What the fuck is the matter with you guys? The dot thing is a simple way to show one's appreciation for the life and times, as well as to let other people know that they aren't alone in their appreciation/sadness/grief of the person who has died. It's simple and not worth beating people up about. It's supposed to be a gesture of respect THAT IS BEING CORRUPTED BY YOUR DEMEANING BY SAYING THAT IT'S lazy, bandwidth-sucking, "me too" ego stroking. So, if you can, kindly allow other people their little way of showing that they care without disprespecting it.

Furthermore, if you think that it's me too" ego stroking, maybe it is, if you drop down a period in a thread, but it isn't for me and I suspect that it isn't for most other people.

And rocketman, slowly and gently fuck the fuck off with your armchair pop psychology pigeon-holing superiority.
posted by ashbury at 12:52 PM on March 11, 2004


ashbury is my new hero.
posted by bshort at 12:55 PM on March 11, 2004


I sense a little hostility.

Let's all stand on the peace mat for a while.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 12:55 PM on March 11, 2004


I hear George Bush favors tax cuts for people who use "."
posted by Cyrano at 1:09 PM on March 11, 2004



posted by eddydamascene at 1:10 PM on March 11, 2004


ashbury, I'm just fatigued by everyone's need to show how the death of someone they didn't even know affected them so much. So much that all they can say is "."

Which, to me, amounts to nothing. It's noise. It says nil.

Are you sad Spaulding Gray is dead? That's fine, say so. Were you moved by "Swimming to Cambodia"? Say so. Did George Harrison's totally foreseeable passing take you completely by surprise? That's okay, say so, and say how much you really liked that one song he did.

But if you don't feel like you have anything to say, don't make a statement of your having nothing to say. I'm not saying don't be sad, don't grieve.
posted by rocketman at 1:13 PM on March 11, 2004


No, I take that back. Grieve however you want. Make a public show of your speechlessness. Go on the record about how the passing of celebrities affects you so.

It's none of my business. There are other threads to read. I don't read the obits anyway.
posted by rocketman at 1:17 PM on March 11, 2004


÷
posted by Peter H at 1:19 PM on March 11, 2004


Wouldn't "me too" be this:

"

At least we got a couple of good taglines:
  • I think it's dumb personally, but you're not going to win this one.
  • The capacity around here to find the least little thing around here to bitch about is truly amazing.

posted by kirkaracha at 1:20 PM on March 11, 2004


 
posted by Danelope at 1:23 PM on March 11, 2004


I hereby resolve to never use a dot again.
posted by five fresh fish at 1:23 PM on March 11, 2004


Damn! My bad.
posted by five fresh fish at 1:24 PM on March 11, 2004


Wait, am I dreaming or did I just see a priceless quonsar dot whizz by?

Impossible, the free quonsar site says he's still banished. That dot is an obvious forgery.
posted by homunculus at 1:28 PM on March 11, 2004


I mean,

My bad

I'm going to have to pry the period key off my keyboard It's a hard habit to break And I think it makes sentences look just damn goofy But, hey, whatever it takes to please the uptight righteous around here!

Ah, fuggit. They can make diamonds for all I care: if I want to show my quiet respect and memory of the deceased, I'll use a dot. Maybe a really large dot, maybe a very small dot, but a dot nonetheless. And I've just got to use them at the ends of my sentences. It's otherwise unnatural and, I'm sure, unhealthy.
posted by five fresh fish at 1:29 PM on March 11, 2004


*
posted by Ufez Jones at 1:33 PM on March 11, 2004


:

(two dots having sex)
posted by strangeleftydoublethink at 1:35 PM on March 11, 2004


Well it's good to know you feel that way. Being part of the majority is so self-affirming

And it happens to me so seldom.
posted by konolia at 1:38 PM on March 11, 2004


Damn, you people are all so right! I suddenly feel the need to stop being so silent and thoughtful over everything and start posting in all threads! Even if I have nothing to say! And I shall use a lot of !!!!

No wait, that's not it - I'll just post . - but I'll have to post that several times, perhaps returning again and again, noting that I'm still with you, but I'm still too moved to have something to say. Yes, so very emotional, can't type, must remain misty eyed and hit the . So you'll know that I'm still part of this big thing we all have here, and goddamn it I care.

Politics, gay marriage, pie filling - I don't have to state a point of view or post an insightful story or, heaven forbid, a link - I can leave a . anywhere! And you all will understand by what I'm not making any effort to say that I'm just too overwhelmed to say anything! And all will approve and love me! Nothing in that to mock, no not at all!


*goes off to mix another cocktail*
posted by batgrlHG at 1:41 PM on March 11, 2004


As someone who went searching the FAQ, the wiki and the web to find the meaning of the ".", I suggest that those who have such powers include ashbury's definition somewhere so others will know what the dots mean....

"The dot thing is a simple way to show one's appreciation for the life and times, as well as to let other people know that they aren't alone in their appreciation/sadness/grief of the person who has died."

That is the best explanation I have seen. Thanks.
posted by terrapin at 1:42 PM on March 11, 2004


:

(two dots having sex)


Is that missionary position or anal?

(Or maybe 69? I don't know.)
posted by Tin Man at 1:46 PM on March 11, 2004


A Proposed Punctuational Symbology
by
A. Smallman Inahatwith Anausatria Naccent
of the University of Ulm

. I am speechless; words fail me; how shocking

= Me too; I agree; couldn't have said it better myself

: I leave it to others to better express my feelings on this matter OR I'm divided on this matter, in two minds

" What the last person said or the one before last if some idiot has jumped in in the meantime, while I was doing all this typing

& A lot more could be said on this matter; the usual observations apply; I'll save everybody the trouble of going through them

() With certain provisos, I agree; with a grain of salt; OK, although I wouldn't go so far

+ I'd like to add my name to those expressing whatever they've expressed

# I agree with a number of thoughts and opinions in this thread

? Hello Mom!
posted by MiguelCardoso at 1:48 PM on March 11, 2004


Ufez Jones, that's the best laugh I've had in days.
posted by Wulfgar! at 1:51 PM on March 11, 2004


Oh, and BTW, for all those who insist on making crass comments about a pole up my ass- fuck you. Seriously.
posted by mkultra at 1:57 PM on March 11, 2004


Man, I love how everyone's looking for clever opportunities to make a single period comment now as if it's some kind of defiant position or some dumb shit like that. Talk about ego-stroking, you're all acting like mkultra was 9/11 and it's time to put up as many fucking flags as possible.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 1:57 PM on March 11, 2004


One final comment...
The dot thing is a simple way to show one's appreciation for the life and times, as well as to let other people know that they aren't alone in their appreciation/sadness/grief of the person who has died.

To further the analogy of funeral guestbooks- do you just sign them with a dot as well? Want to show appreciation or solidarity? Say so.

If everyone here who is so uppity in their defense of The Dot put the same amount of effort into actually stringing a few words together, we wouldn't be debating this, would we?
posted by mkultra at 2:01 PM on March 11, 2004


Wow, it doesn't get much dumber than this.
posted by cedar at 2:06 PM on March 11, 2004


The capacity around here to find the least little thing around here to bitch about is truly amazing.

And to determine which things are "least" and "little," please refer to the Gospel According to Konolia, as any other opinions on the matter are not revealed and, therefore, both insignificant and wrong.

Also, lol Miguel.
posted by rushmc at 2:10 PM on March 11, 2004


If this is the best that people can come up with to bitch about, I tend to think things are going pretty well.
posted by jmd82 at 2:14 PM on March 11, 2004


.
posted by lucien at 2:21 PM on March 11, 2004


Want to show appreciation or solidarity? Say so.

So, wait.. instead of using a '.' in the 9/11 thread, you would prefer that 200+ people say, "I am showing solidarity with the grieving"? And that's supposed to avoid "bandwidth-sucking, 'me too' ego stroking"?

If everyone here who is so uppity in their defense of The Dot put the same amount of effort into actually stringing a few words together, we wouldn't be debating this, would we?

Now this I love. Two comments earlier you were asking people to not insult you, and then you go on to call people who don't agree with you "uppity" and not capable of forming sentences? Umm. Pot. Kettle.
posted by jess at 2:21 PM on March 11, 2004


You see, we are all in the Matrix.

The Dot Matrix!!!
posted by wendell at 2:25 PM on March 11, 2004 [1 favorite]


Oh, and BTW, for all those who insist on making crass comments about a pole up my ass- fuck you. Seriously.

One person. Me. But I understand how hard it is to actually scroll and count when bitching over others making an effort in threads.
posted by FunkyHelix at 2:26 PM on March 11, 2004


Now this I love. Two comments earlier you were asking people to not insult you, and then you go on to call people who don't agree with you "uppity" and not capable of forming sentences? Umm. Pot. Kettle.

Ugh. Okay, so how many levels of hypocrisy has each user been accused of now? We need to keep count, because as you all know this argument clearly will eventually have a winner.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 2:27 PM on March 11, 2004


And to determine which things are "least" and "little," please refer to the Gospel According to Konolia, as any other opinions on the matter are not revealed and, therefore, both insignificant and wrong.

What does that mean?
posted by timeistight at 2:33 PM on March 11, 2004


Miguel, you forgot:

! I request that the administrator consider deleting this useless thread. It served no purpose beyond allowing others to verbally abuse eachother, particularly in light of the fact that this question had already been answered.
posted by Danelope at 2:37 PM on March 11, 2004


To further the analogy of funeral guestbooks- do you just sign them with a dot as well? Want to show appreciation or solidarity? Say so.

No. I just sign my name. Which I can't really do on MeFi, since it takes a tiny bit of tech savvy to post an (apparently) blank post. So people post dots (or periods, or decimal points -- you choose) because its the smallest, least intrusive character on the keyboard...

I can't even believe we've had 92 93 comments about this. Honestly. This, right here, both mkultra's original complaint and a lot of the asinine, vulgar responses to it that makes it sometimes slightly embarrassing to admit that I'm an active member of Metafilter.....
posted by anastasiav at 2:42 PM on March 11, 2004


Oh, and BTW, for all those who insist on making crass comments about a pole up my ass- fuck you. Seriously.

Bite me. I can't believe you people are arguing over a dot. IT'S A FUCKING DOT!
posted by Stynxno at 2:55 PM on March 11, 2004


To further the analogy of funeral guestbooks- do you just sign them with a dot as well?

No. I usually attach my name. But, if you haven't noticed, that already happens on this website.
posted by eyeballkid at 2:56 PM on March 11, 2004


To further the analogy of funeral guestbooks- do you just sign them with a dot as well? Want to show appreciation or solidarity? Say so.

If everyone here who is so uppity in their defense of The Dot put the same amount of effort into actually stringing a few words together, we wouldn't be debating this, would we?


To further the analogy of funeral guestbooks- when you go to funerals, do you piss and moan about how people don't sign the guestbooks in a way you find acceptable?

AWAY FROM THAT FUNERAL GUESTBOOK, LAZY GRIEVER! YOUR DISPLAY OF GRIEF IS BANDWIDTH-SUCKING, "ME TOO" EGO STROKING -- MAKE WAY FOR MY AWESOME STRING OF WORDS!
posted by subgenius at 2:57 PM on March 11, 2004 [1 favorite]


No fucking shit, konolia! What the fuck is the matter with you guys?

And rocketman, slowly and gently fuck the fuck off with your armchair pop psychology pigeon-holing superiority.

Jesus fucking christ you fucking guys what the fucking fuck are you fucking doing. I mean, fuck.
posted by The God Complex at 2:59 PM on March 11, 2004


Politics, gay marriage, pie filling - I don't have to state a point of view or post an insightful story or, heaven forbid, a link - I can leave a . anywhere! And you all will understand by what I'm not making any effort to say that I'm just too overwhelmed to say anything! And all will approve and love me! Nothing in that to mock, no not at all! - batgrlHG

It's not the same circumstance, though, is it? We are talking about an incident that often transcends politics, religion and social issues - death. The fact that so many people with so many different viewpoints can get together and do the equivalent of "signing the guestbook" with a dot (which has a name attached to it btw, mkultra, {it's not just a blank area in the thread} so you are, in effect, signing the guestbook) is a wonderful gesture that is showing respect to the deceased as well as those who may have been impacted in some slight way by the life no longer lived.

batgrlHG, mkultra, rocketman, if you don't like the dot, fine, I respect that. But I see no reason why you have to insist that those who do like the dot are pandering to public opinion, playing a game of keep-up-with-the-joneses. It's not a popularity contest, as you seem to think.

Be a little tolerant.

Fuck off, god. :)
posted by ashbury at 3:01 PM on March 11, 2004


The long string of mournful silences in the thread about my dead friend that ebk pointed to above brought me to tears when I read it, and still does, when I go back and see it again. The simple fact that so many people here -- although they had no idea what to say -- wanted to express that they were grieved, and feeling for me and for his friends and family, was probably the moment when I realized that I'd never be able to leave this place, and it touched me more than I can adequately express.

When it the '.' is similarly used to mourn the passing of a pet parakeet or something, I'm a little let down, but when the emotion is genuine, it's entirely appropriate.

So, what so many others said in ALL CAPS.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 3:21 PM on March 11, 2004


OK, point taken on the funeral guestbook dot-vs-name.

Do you know what's lamer than arguing over a dot? Posting in a thread just to say how lame it is. Wow, you must be bored.
posted by mkultra at 3:23 PM on March 11, 2004


jmd82: this is my first recollection of it.

It may have its origins, along with all manner of variations, commemorating a death that never was back in May 2001.
posted by liam at 3:30 PM on March 11, 2004


OK, point taken

lol.
posted by sgt.serenity at 3:42 PM on March 11, 2004


You know what pisses me off? Those Indian women that go around with dots on their foreheads. Jesus Christ, people - if you want to adorn yourselves would you at least take the time and effort to come up with some sort of stylized figure with an interesting color scheme?!
posted by rks404 at 3:51 PM on March 11, 2004


Maybe I'm a terrible person, but I'm completely and hopelessly entertained by this thread. And even though I'm sort of on mkultra's side (mostly because of my disappointment when I open a thread with 20 comments and it's mostly dots, but whatever), I really, really enjoyed

AWAY FROM THAT FUNERAL GUESTBOOK, LAZY GRIEVER! YOUR DISPLAY OF GRIEF IS BANDWIDTH-SUCKING, "ME TOO" EGO STROKING -- MAKE WAY FOR MY AWESOME STRING OF WORDS!

that, subgenius. I love you all. Thank you and good night.
posted by onlyconnect at 4:07 PM on March 11, 2004




For a few weeks metatalk was realitivly calm but the last few days have been a real shit-storm. The next 8 months are going to be a really tragic thing to watch.

Thank god I'm buying a cinema display so I can watch it all in its w i d e s c r e e n glory.

/me runs off to stock-up on munchies.
posted by Mick at 4:37 PM on March 11, 2004


When the USA has angst, the entire world gets to suffer it along with it.
posted by five fresh fish at 5:06 PM on March 11, 2004


What's really cool is mousing over Opus Dark's comment over and over. Mouse on, mouse off...mouse on, mouse off...
posted by rushmc at 5:28 PM on March 11, 2004



posted by George_Spiggott at 5:30 PM on March 11, 2004


Move the fuck on and eat some fiber.

That not only is a tagline but also offers some sound nutritional advice.

Which I can't really do on MeFi, since it takes a tiny bit of tech savvy to post an (apparently) blank post.

A very tiny bit. You type &-n-b-s-p-; all close together without the hyphens in between, which is HTML for a space--I learned about it here from a comment Kindall made it in the W.B. Yeats thread--then copy it and then hit preview. Then paste it back in the comment box and hit post. I think its use preferable to the dot, myself, but it's too late to switch.

But as for the dot:

The long string of mournful silences in the thread about my dead friend that ebk pointed to above brought me to tears when I read it, and still does, when I go back and see it again. The simple fact that so many people here -- although they had no idea what to say -- wanted to express that they were grieved, and feeling for me and for his friends and family, was probably the moment when I realized that I'd never be able to leave this place, and it touched me more than I can adequately express.

When strangers express sympathy for the sorrows of another stranger, this is not a bad thing. As to whether it should be employed for every death of note is a matter of opinion. My opinion is that people can complain about the pettiest things and this was one of them. If anything about MetaFilter is shameful of late, it is MetaTalk of late.
posted by y2karl at 5:38 PM on March 11, 2004


Now THAT's Dot Comedy...
posted by wendell at 5:40 PM on March 11, 2004


Whatever you do, don't read this thread over the airwaves, especially if it's a Clear Channel station.
posted by konolia at 7:14 PM on March 11, 2004


You know, stavros, that thread is what gave me pause in my judgement. I'm about the least empathetic person I know, and I was moved by it.

But just as you said and y2karl said, using the gesture for every passing that comes cheapens it. My objection isn't the "meme" aspect of it, but rather that any minor or major celebrity that dies gets a thread of dots - and really, are we that sad about the death of these people? We don't even know them, or know people who know them.

Anyway, I'm intoxicated now, so I'm much happier about all of this. Even you, konolia.
posted by rocketman at 7:31 PM on March 11, 2004


"batgrlHG, mkultra, rocketman, if you don't like the dot, fine, I respect that. But I see no reason why you have to insist that those who do like the dot are pandering to public opinion, playing a game of keep-up-with-the-joneses. It's not a popularity contest, as you seem to think.
Be a little tolerant."


Er, hello, I was the one that brought up the funeral home guest book comparison in the first place. The period doesn't really bug me. But don't freak out if I interpret it as a "me too" - because I don't really have any words to interpret, now do I?

And why is it that everytime people think a thread is really a waste of time they still feel the need to pop in and point out "PEOPLE YOU'RE ARGUING ABOUT PANCAKES! FOR GOD'S SAKE, IT'S ONLY PANCAKES! MOVE ON AND LEAVE THE PANCAKES ALONE!!!!"
How bout leave us be to gripe about the damn dot? I mean, it's not like I'm suggesting an alternative or to do something else - I hadn't put that much thought into it. Just saying I prefer to read what people think as opposed to .

Oh and I'd like to point out that even though I used the example of a funeral home guestbook my point was that it doesn't quite carry over because in here you can actually post words - in fact here the point is to say something and make some kind of point (theoretically). The original concept of the funeral guestbook was twofold - if there were too many mourners to actually approach the bereaved and express condolences verbally it was a way to let them know who had been present. Other reason - so thank you notes could be sent.
Don't make me tell you embalming stories....
posted by batgrlHG at 7:42 PM on March 11, 2004



posted by namespan at 7:46 PM on March 11, 2004


A very tiny bit. You type &-n-b-s-p-; ...
Holding down the "alt" key on your keyboard while pressing 255 on the number keypad should do the same thing without all the cut and pasting. PC only, as far as I know.
posted by dg at 8:32 PM on March 11, 2004


Wow. That's a hella dot, namespan. You must really feel bad about that guy's death. Or whatever.
posted by five fresh fish at 9:44 PM on March 11, 2004


DOT ANGRY! DOT SMASH!
posted by namespan at 9:46 PM on March 11, 2004


.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.

Whoa. 100+ comments in one day about a dot. How do I feel about that?:

.
posted by Shane at 10:25 PM on March 11, 2004


This is great, maybe next we'll be arguing about the spaces between the letters and words. Sometimes they really annoy me, and I think a 100+ MeTa thread would help clear things up.
posted by attackthetaxi at 10:28 PM on March 11, 2004


Spalding's still dead.
posted by muckster at 10:40 PM on March 11, 2004


My objection isn't the "meme" aspect of it, but rather that any minor or major celebrity that dies gets a thread of dots - and really, are we that sad about the death of these people? We don't even know them, or know people who know them.

That isn't necessarily true in every case, you know. But even if it is... those minor celebrities affected someone, even if they didn't affect you. Maybe you're not that sad. Maybe someone else is. Be decent enough to allow others their own way to mourn.
posted by litlnemo at 10:48 PM on March 11, 2004


The dot can elicit powerful emotions, Shane:

"What's left of the sticker is plastered to a newspaper box at the corner of San Francisco's Third and Townsend streets. It has mostly been scraped away, but you can make out the words "KillTheDot." Next to that is a large black dot circled in red, with a slash-through.

The slogan is fading but unmistakable, too: "BlowTheDotOutYourAss.com."

Of course, that was back when the dot was used as some sort of status symbol.
posted by namespan at 10:52 PM on March 11, 2004


Of course, that was back when the dot was used as some sort of status symbol.

Yeah, that's a silly dot. But I like this dot:

.

And the black spot, as a mode of communication, is truly underused these days, but may be making a comeback. Um ... Okay.
posted by Shane at 11:48 PM on March 11, 2004


Alright, bring out the Midol already.
posted by konolia at 3:51 AM on March 12, 2004


...?
posted by DaRiLo at 5:34 AM on March 12, 2004


Opus Dark wins the best comment ever award.
posted by jpoulos at 7:28 AM on March 12, 2004 [1 favorite]


I hope never, ever to do this again but...

What jpoulos said.
posted by liam at 8:35 AM on March 12, 2004


This is the best thread in ages. I originally thought mkultra was a complete . for making a trivial double post, but now I see it was all worthwhile. Let the cannon roar!

C'mon, we can make 300!

.
posted by languagehat at 8:47 AM on March 12, 2004


Quonsar was banned?

.
posted by ginz at 8:51 AM on March 12, 2004


What are we going to bitch about now?
posted by bshort at 9:25 AM on March 12, 2004


I think it's dumb, but then again I also think a lot of people mistake
the web for therapy and act accordingly.
Less on this site than some others, but every now and then.
posted by milovoo at 9:53 AM on March 12, 2004


Let's bitch about quonsar.
posted by jpoulos at 9:54 AM on March 12, 2004


So . = dotto?
posted by liam at 10:09 AM on March 12, 2004


He didn't call it MetaTalk for nothing.
posted by divrsional at 1:51 PM on March 12, 2004


Remember the MeTalk post asking how to mark a thread for further reading despite the reader's lack of a relevant comment?

Well, here's your answer:
.
posted by mischief at 5:10 AM on March 13, 2004


So . = dotto?

10 points for liam.
posted by rushmc at 10:00 AM on March 13, 2004


Reading and clicking around within all this brought me to revisit here.

It's incredible, how a series of pauses (".") can effect you. Even now, on March 14 on '04, reading that thread, or rather - not reading it, brings tears to the eyes.

Those dots, periods, pauses, call them what you will, ironically display more of just how human MetaFilter is than any other method of posting.
posted by bluedaniel at 11:55 PM on March 13, 2004


From now on I'll just sit in front of my computer and emulate Victor Borge.
posted by BT at 8:08 AM on March 14, 2004


Thankfully, this thread is nearly dead.

.


 
posted by five fresh fish at 8:58 AM on March 14, 2004


eastlakestandardwhy the hell would anyone search for "." ?

To find out if anyone ever asked about the "." before.
posted by Mitheral at 2:17 PM on March 15, 2004


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