The catty came back, the very next day April 7, 2004 4:58 PM   Subscribe

In surprise twist, "Where can I get away from you idiots" AskMe thread turns catty.
posted by inksyndicate to Etiquette/Policy at 4:58 PM (103 comments total)

Yes, that's exactly what I said. You didn't twist my words around at all.
posted by keswick at 5:03 PM on April 7, 2004


What, I'm not being critical. Groupthink = idiocy. At least in my book
posted by inksyndicate at 5:04 PM on April 7, 2004


If you want to be technical, I didn't accuse MeFi of groupthink in that thread. It was in one of the many, many Iraq threads on the Blue right now. And it's not the entire user base that is guilty of it, it's a small, obnoxious, vocal minority. (And you have a point. Groupthink is idiocy.) I just wish Matt would give in and make a news.metafilter.com, so the people who get off on that sort of thing can go in and fap the night away, and the Blue can get back to filtering the Web.
posted by keswick at 5:09 PM on April 7, 2004


maybe it's the new, cool way of saying "bye"? No more melodramatic MeTa posts -- just asking for a ticket out on AskMe?
posted by amberglow at 5:10 PM on April 7, 2004


maybe. i'm not the one who starting calling people "pricks" in the thread, though, so if i am splitsville, i should have good company. is it 5:30 yet?
posted by keswick at 5:13 PM on April 7, 2004


There are 2 or 3 Iraq posts out of about about 40 posts on the front page right now, by a quick count.
posted by crunchburger at 5:13 PM on April 7, 2004


not by my count, but hey, whatever. substitute "newsfilter" for "Iraq" if that makes you happier.
posted by keswick at 5:24 PM on April 7, 2004


I want to know more about the personality cults.
posted by iconomy at 5:24 PM on April 7, 2004


Well, I tried to start one, but then I realized I didn't have a functioning personality.
posted by wendell at 5:26 PM on April 7, 2004


begone, troll.
posted by crunchland at 5:28 PM on April 7, 2004


So let me get this straight: keswick announces his intentions to storm off in a huff, but only after we offer soliciting appropriate suggestions for a place he'd like better? Are we expected to hold the door open and hail a cab, too?

Biggest laugh I've had all day.
posted by scody at 5:46 PM on April 7, 2004


argh... delete "we offer" before "soliciting." Stupid sexy bad editing.
posted by scody at 5:47 PM on April 7, 2004


So fucking split already, man. Don't drag it out like this. No one likes long goodbyes. Leave, goodbye, saranoya, thanks for all the fish.
posted by five fresh fish at 5:49 PM on April 7, 2004


it's like he marched up to his neighbor's house, knocked on the door and said, "You guys are assholes so I am going to move. Do you know any houses for sale?"
posted by jerseygirl at 5:52 PM on April 7, 2004 [1 favorite]



So fucking split already, man. Don't drag it out like this. No one likes long goodbyes. Leave, goodbye, saranoya, thanks for all the fish.


but that would be SOOO unlike keswick. he needs to start at least 8 metatalk threads about it before he actually does something.
posted by Stynxno at 5:54 PM on April 7, 2004


*prostrates self before wendell*
posted by homunculus at 5:54 PM on April 7, 2004


Good riddance. As someone who enjoys reading some of the big political/news threads [this is why] I've found that keswick is one of the users who tend to disrupt political threads with trouble-making comments. This Like in this one which was turning into a really engrossing & well-behaved thread until the snarkforce moved in.

Pissing on threads to make a point (in your case 'I don't like NewsFilter') is childish, counter-productive & against the point of this community.

YOU are part of the 'obnoxious, vocal minority.' Fuckez offez.

However your self-indulgent pissy-fitting is good for a laff. It's been a while since someone flipped out & left & it's good of you to do it for the young 'uns who've just arrived.
posted by i_cola at 6:13 PM on April 7, 2004


At the risk of being labeled an ass-kisser, kudos to mathowie for his classy response in that thread.

hey, matt, wtf does a guy have to do to get a sidebar notice about a MeFi meetup?
posted by stonerose at 6:26 PM on April 7, 2004


Eagle, begone!
Myself, return!

50 cents to the first person who gets the reference
posted by PrinceValium at 6:51 PM on April 7, 2004


google says it's a game called King's Quest ; >
posted by amberglow at 6:55 PM on April 7, 2004


I hope Keswick is following one of the suggestions politely offered to him by the Metafilter Groupthink Collective that he had just moments before insulted rather snottily. Further, I hope it works out well for him.
posted by Hildago at 7:01 PM on April 7, 2004


I knew that without Google. So there. Eight hours a day for three months of my life wasted climbing up that fucking mountain path before the Wizard comes home.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 7:04 PM on April 7, 2004


Just for the record, itwas the presentation of the "I'm leaving, don't try and stop me," with which I took exception. I'm all for the dramatic huff if it's presented here in Metatalk. (but being called "bitch" like we're transvestites or white rappers from 1999 was aesome!)

Please don't leave, Keswick. I never got a chance to say that I love you!
posted by Mayor Curley at 7:41 PM on April 7, 2004


No no Mayor! Let the angry mob run him out of town! You can't quit! You're fired!
posted by ericost at 7:48 PM on April 7, 2004


I suppose it was to much to ask that you all would respond graciously and politely.

Also, didn't matt request that we keep the chattiness off of AskMetafilter, and only respond when we had a substantive contribution to make?
posted by gd779 at 8:16 PM on April 7, 2004


Shh! Shh! Teacher's back!
posted by Mayor Curley at 8:18 PM on April 7, 2004


So Keswick says that it's not all of MetaFilter affected by this 'groupthink' but rather a small set of people who posted in a given thread. That isn't groupthink, pishdit, that's 'a group of people who agree with each other'. Last time I checked that was still allowed.
posted by Space Coyote at 9:05 PM on April 7, 2004


in any given day, there are a handful of posts that don't interest me at all. I don't read them. not even the comments. it's teriffically easy.
posted by mcsweetie at 9:25 PM on April 7, 2004


I can't say as abusing Keswick is groupthink. I decided to abuse him all on my own. I'm sure the others abused him of their own accord. He does, after all, rather invite abuse.
posted by five fresh fish at 9:36 PM on April 7, 2004


I want to know more about the personality cults.

Wow, this is the second thread I've seen today on which iconomy made an appearance! Woo-hoo!

*circles date on calendar, sits back and gazes at it, exhales slowly*

(That help?)
posted by soyjoy at 9:36 PM on April 7, 2004


The problem was, I had to walk all over town to get the items I needed for the spell that turned the wizard into a cat, so I kept figuring that I might as well get all the other stuff I needed while I was here. Therein lay the mad dash up the mountain to stash everything I had under the bed before the wizard returned from his journey.
posted by PrinceValium at 10:17 PM on April 7, 2004


good god! are you dudes talkin' King's Quest 3 in here?
posted by mcsweetie at 10:24 PM on April 7, 2004


So long, keswick. No hard feelings, eh bucko?

But cheer up. If you've done nothing else here on MetaFilter, at least in leaving you join a long line of others who cut-and-ran in a self-righteous huff/hiatus when the heat on their ideas or behavior got too unpleasant.
posted by fold_and_mutilate at 11:19 PM on April 7, 2004


jerseygirl said it best. and i have to say the whole drama queen askme thread was pretty laughable. either leave or stop bitching about it.

Although I am of the opinion that the newsfiltering has really been stinking this place up. I dont know about a news.metafilter.com section though, since it would probably turn out to be worst of the politically-motivated-web.
posted by bob sarabia at 11:57 PM on April 7, 2004


Take a look at some of these so-called Newsfilter/Iraqfilter posts. They consist mostly of people agreeing that Bush/Sharon/neocons/puppy eaters are bad, bad men, and largely ignoring and putting down people who say otherwise (occasionally, they flood them with mostly biased links, a la y2karl, which is more of a courtesy than is usually extended).

I'll be the first to say that I agree with some of their points. I also agree that right-leaning viewpoints are not always expressed in the most courteous or reasonable manner. Neither are many left-leaning posts. (Here feel free to post any links where *I* do not express my thoughts in the most courteous or reasonable manner... I'm sure some folk here have memorized them, now that they have "refuted" many of my posts merely by linking back to a statement made in anger.)

However, I do believe the apparent homogenuity of political opinion here, coupled with what is often downright intolerance for other opinions, amounts to groupthink. At best, it is a lack of (intelligent) diversity. And thus, I can't blame someone for leaving. Of course, posting a melodramatic "question" is not the most graceful way out, but then again neither is calling the person a prick in the very first reply and coming up with creative ways to twist his words later. The amount of joy and the sentiments of victory expressed here suggest that, surely, keswick must have been one of the absolute worst members of the community here. But hey - enjoy it if it makes you happy. I personally don't give a damn.

As for the dreaded Newsfilter, I don't see the point of a discussion wherein everyone agrees and the few dissenters are reduced to defensive insults, and I'll probably be toning down my own participation in such threads. Fortunately, MeFi still has quite a lot to offer. It's not a news site and I don't see it as such.
posted by Krrrlson at 11:58 PM on April 7, 2004


However, I do believe the apparent homogenuity of political opinion here, coupled with what is often downright intolerance for other opinions, amounts to groupthink.

The problem is - how many different political opinions would you regard as being ideal? It's easy to categorize people into left, right, and occasionally centre, but I think if you go through every post made by every "groupthinker" on every topic, you will see quite a diverse range of opinion. Most people aren't just relaying their opinion from a book, whether it's Atlas Shrugged or The Communist Manifesto. If you pay attention you'll see that's actually pretty rare, and that there are, in reality, over 17,000 completely distinct views being put forth here in their totality. Some of them just happen to quite often coincide on particular threads.
posted by Jimbob at 12:21 AM on April 8, 2004


Jimbob - I am not trying to detract from the uniqueness of the users (moreover, in case I was not clear enough on this, my comments apply to political threads only). However, the frequency and intensity of this "coinciding of opinions" does amount to a lack of diversity. About half of America voted for Bush, after all, and I'm sure a lot of these people have intelligent comments to make. How often is their side intelligently represented here? Rarely, at best. Which brings me to the second, and really the more significant part of the problem - the disregard for opposing viewpoints that is often seen here. I'll grant you that not everyone who rants and raves has a valuable opinion hidden beneath it all, but an atmosphere where opinions are all but shut out discourages intelligent commentary, putting people on the defensive and very possibly preventing them from said valuable contributions.
posted by Krrrlson at 12:43 AM on April 8, 2004


About half of America voted for Bush, after all, and I'm sure a lot of these people have intelligent comments to make. How often is their side intelligently represented here? Rarely, at best.

1) Everyone here is not American.

2) That is not our fault. That is the fault of the purportedly intelligent "lot" that you mention but I fail repeatedly to see materialize anywhere, on television, on the internet, or otherwise. Miguel is an intelligent conservative if you judge him with European sensibilities, but he's not, you know, American conservative (I sincerely doubt there are many intelligent people capable of trying to defend the outright lying and manipulation of facts the whitehouse throws out, but that's neither here nor there).
posted by The God Complex at 12:54 AM on April 8, 2004


has anyone tried my skipping-posts idea?
posted by mcsweetie at 5:56 AM on April 8, 2004


So fucking split already, man. Don't drag it out like this. No one likes long goodbyes. Leave, goodbye, saranoya, thanks for all the fish.

Saranoya? Right phonetics, wrong order.
posted by SpaceCadet at 6:00 AM on April 8, 2004


So fucking split already, man....If you've done nothing else here on MetaFilter, at least in leaving you join a long line of others who cut-and-ran in a self-righteous huff/hiatus when the heat on their ideas or behavior got too unpleasant....either leave or stop bitching about it.

Ah, Metafilter: Love It Or Leave It.
posted by jonmc at 6:41 AM on April 8, 2004


Saranoya?

I think that's short for "doesn't qon-saranoya?"
posted by soyjoy at 7:14 AM on April 8, 2004


Ah, Metafilter: Love It Or Leave It.

Or similarly, You're With Us or Against Us. Funny how some folks privately embrace all the views they rail against.

/reap the whirlwind
posted by dhoyt at 7:27 AM on April 8, 2004


How dare you.
posted by Quartermass at 7:31 AM on April 8, 2004


MetaFilter: You're With Us or Asking Us How to be Against Us.
posted by DrJohnEvans at 7:34 AM on April 8, 2004


MetaFilter: How Dare You?
posted by oissubke at 8:18 AM on April 8, 2004


Saranoya.
posted by hama7 at 8:48 AM on April 8, 2004


Kick-assiest one, I posted three comments yesterday, not two. You missed one!

dg: Please tell me that you're collecting these taglines.
posted by iconomy at 8:51 AM on April 8, 2004


It's been a while since someone flipped out & left & it's good of you to do it for the young 'uns who've just arrived.

Agreed, but people used to flip out much more entertainingly. This is just kind of... rancid. Where are the tears, the hallucinations, the desperate threats?

Me, I'm joining homunculus in the Cult of Wendell.
But I'm sure he won't mind if I worship iconomy too.
posted by languagehat at 9:21 AM on April 8, 2004


Hatogira very much.
posted by MiguelCardoso at 9:21 AM on April 8, 2004


opps. well, what can I say: I've never had any knowledge of Japanese!

I do believe the apparent homogenuity of political opinion here...amounts to groupthink.

I rather suspect that were you to give shit sundaes to a group of people, you'd find they uniformly disliked the taste. Would that be a case of groupthink, or just solid common sense?

The Bush Administration is a shit sundae. Don't expect people to enjoy it.
posted by five fresh fish at 9:52 AM on April 8, 2004


three comments yesterday

Well, sure, I could just bookmark the "iconomy's comments" page and check it obsessively every day, but that would be cheating. Stumbling into a thread that iconomy has commented in means that I must've done something right with my life that day!
posted by soyjoy at 10:00 AM on April 8, 2004


Me, I'm joining homunculus in the Cult of Wendell.
At the rate the cult is growing, I'm gonna have to get more Kool-Aid...
posted by wendell at 10:01 AM on April 8, 2004


I joined the cult of wendell long ago.
it's like Scientology, only without the alien stuff.
I hear Tom Cruise is interested in joining, too



(occasionally, they flood them with mostly biased links, a la y2karl

heh.

CNN/CBSNews/NYTimes/AP = biased
Arutz Sheva = unbiased
posted by matteo at 12:29 PM on April 8, 2004


It's all biased. Our only hope is to find oppositely-biased sources and guesstimate the truth.
posted by five fresh fish at 12:39 PM on April 8, 2004


mcsweetie, isn't it in the rules somewhere that you must read everything that is posted? I thought that being a member of this exclusive club of ours required at least that small bit of devotion.

Dammit, I've been reading 8 hours of Iraqfilter, news posts, and comments about flash fun for nothing! It's hard enough work trawling through the piles of excrement that tend to get posted every day without having to trawl through posts bitching about the other posts. For goodness sakes, people, how am I supposed to maintain a non-Mefi life with all these posts to read?!

Truth be told, I like reading the excrement, and sometimes, the posts where people go crazy and leave forever are quite entertaining. Keep up the good work, people!
posted by graventy at 2:34 PM on April 8, 2004


Nah, matteo - Al Jazeera seems kinda unobjective sometimes, though. And I wonder when Juan Cole became the undisputed authority on Iraq. Maybe it's just my crazy imagination. Anyway, what's the score now, my one link to Arutz Sheva (being the only link to the story I could find, until someone kindly linked to Globe and Mail) vs. the 13,921,831 or so biased links contributed by certain other posters?

five fresh fish - I don't know if so many Americans like the taste of shit sundae, but I don't hear a landslide victory being predicted for Kerry just yet. Another explanation is that half of America consists of drooling retards, and that subset just happens to overlap exactly with the subset of Republicans. Condemning the current administration is one thing (there are certainly things it should be condemned of), but pretending that the issue is that clear cut is childish. If it were, the outcome of the election would be already clear.
posted by Krrrlson at 3:24 PM on April 8, 2004


It's all biased. Our only hope is to find oppositely-biased sources and guesstimate the truth.

Can't help but agree here, but one side of the bias always seems vastly overrepresented. Sure, I could take the average of MeFi, freerepublic.com, whatreallyhappened.com, LGF, a bunch of generally asinine diametrically opposed blogs, and whatever else... but WHAT HAPPENED TO "BEST OF THE WEB??" [sob]
posted by Krrrlson at 3:28 PM on April 8, 2004


Another explanation is that Bush is indeed a shit sundae, that only a perverted few actually like shit sundaes, and that others choose that particular shit sundae only because they think shit sundaes are the only thing on the menu.

Which isn't going to prevent them from being unhappy with their shit sundae. The whole of American politics appears to be tainted with fecal matter, and a lot of people are really getting annoyed with it all.

Judging by your comments history, I don't think "BEST OF THE WEB" is what you're really after. You appear to participate quite a bit in the political discussions. It looks like MetaFilter is, in fact, giving you what you want.
posted by five fresh fish at 3:45 PM on April 8, 2004


Wasn't keswick's desire leave in a somewhat debatable dramatic fashion made even moreso by inksyndicate starting a MeTa thread about it?
posted by Witty at 4:02 PM on April 8, 2004


five fresh fish - So you are really suggesting that the large percentage of Americans willing to vote for Bush again are either masochistic, ridiculously misinformed, or too stupid to see an alternative? Right-o.

As for my comment history, what the hell does that prove, other than that I choose to comment on political threads? Does it mean I don't read other links/threads? You think, or rather presume, incorrectly.
posted by Krrrlson at 4:12 PM on April 8, 2004


Can't help but agree here, but one side of the bias always seems vastly overrepresented.

What a tired little canard that is. OOOhhhh, more people said X than Y, so either we must believe X or argue for the silencing of X (or perhaps hold to the idiocy that everyone must present X and Y for a post to be "worthy"). Uhh, not so much. What you've really just harped on is the idea that more people here have chosen to believe X than you are comfortable with. I'm sorry for your loss.

I'd like to think (call me a dreamer) that people will believe based on the weight of the arguments, not their frequency.

And logically speaking, if MeFi is only to present the "Best of the Web", than there should only be one post ... the best, you know. All the rest would just be deciding whether or not it really is. Anything else will be subjective and argumentative. Is NewsFilter the best of the Web? Damn right, at times. Who here can really adjudicate what news isn't or what news is? Matt can decide what stays and what goes, but the rest of us get to choose what we like and what we don't. And when we comment on news posts more than others (other than Seth's incessant calls for censorship), I would argue that we've chosen to advocate such posts as worthy. That should answer this question, Krrrlson:

As for my comment history, what the hell does that prove, other than that I choose to comment on political threads?
posted by Wulfgar! at 4:35 PM on April 8, 2004


half of America consists of drooling retards

must....not...make..snarky....comment.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 4:55 PM on April 8, 2004


So you are really suggesting that the large percentage of Americans willing to vote for Bush again are either masochistic, ridiculously misinformed, or too stupid to see an alternative?

In a word, yes.

How has Bush's reign benefited the United States? As far as I am aware, he has been a complete failure on all accounts.

If you have information to the contrary, please report it.
posted by five fresh fish at 5:01 PM on April 8, 2004


I'd rather have a shit metafilter full of newsfilter FPPs than a bunch of precious wankers bitching over each other and being fucking pathetic. This is depressing. It makes you wish MeFi would go back to zero and start again.
posted by boneybaloney at 5:09 PM on April 8, 2004


I'd rather have a shit metafilter full of newsfilter FPPs than a bunch of precious wankers bitching over each other and being fucking pathetic. This is depressing. It makes you wish MeFi would go back to zero and start again.

you could always start your own.
posted by Stynxno at 6:02 PM on April 8, 2004


If a bar you go drinking in develops a clique of shouty blokes in the corner who create a bit of a tense atmosphere around the place, you start a new bar? Hell, I might give up drinking. But I was never really that much of a boozer, I suppose.
posted by boneybaloney at 6:13 PM on April 8, 2004


If a bar you go drinking in develops a clique of shouty blokes in the corner who create a bit of a tense atmosphere around the place, you start a new bar?

Go to another bar. Instead of insulting people here, and expecting them to empathize while you tear them a new one, just leave, or create a more constructive message.
posted by BlueTrain at 6:17 PM on April 8, 2004


Apologies for any offence caused, just realised I've had 'Creeping Death' on repeat for the last hour.
posted by boneybaloney at 6:22 PM on April 8, 2004


That's nice Wulfgar -- in one swell foop you manage to misconstrue my words, make unfounded assumptions about me, belittle my opinion, AND throw in some self-righteous commentary. Good show.

five fresh fish -- I think that your statement is overgeneralization taken to its utmost extreme, but that's your choice. On another note, I don't think anyone will appreciate a MeTa thread about Bush so, let's not go there.
posted by Krrrlson at 9:54 PM on April 8, 2004


MetaFilter: You're With Us or Asking Us How to be Against Us.

Nearly wet myself.
posted by precocious at 10:31 PM on April 8, 2004


YOU are the one claiming "I do believe the apparent homogenuity of political opinion here...amounts to groupthink."

I'M the one telling you that it isn't groupthink: MeFi doesn't have an untoward bias against Bush. He really is a shitty President.

YOU, then, being the one that feels MeFi is deficient, should put together front page posts that remedy that deficiency. Start giving us front page posts that show Bush is a good president. I double-dog dare you!

yer gonna get your tongue stuck to the flagpole!
posted by five fresh fish at 10:51 PM on April 8, 2004


First off, my original post did not focus exclusively on Bush, and second of all, I don't think he's a terribly good president either. I also don't think he's the devil incarnate. You're drifting close to that friendly straw man standing over there...

As for putting together a pro-Bush FPP... please. We both know that the instant it appears, it'll be shouted down without so much as an attempt to rationally address whatever is contained therein. Nor will I defend all that Bush represents.

A bias against Bush in itself is not the problem. A bias against those who dare speak against the mainstream is the problem. The widespread disrespect directed towards any such arguments is the problem. The resultant suppression of discussion is the problem. That is the groupthink I refer to.
posted by Krrrlson at 11:22 PM on April 8, 2004




About half of America voted for Bush, after all, and I'm sure a lot of these people have intelligent comments to make. How often is their side intelligently represented here? Rarely, at best.

The preposterous thing is that you seek to blame the rest of us for that failure.
posted by rushmc at 11:01 AM on April 9, 2004


How has Bush's reign benefited the United States? As far as I am aware, he has been a complete failure on all accounts.

He's still not a Democrat... and that's good enough for a lot of people.
posted by Witty at 11:27 AM on April 9, 2004


He's still not a Democrat... and that's good enough for a lot of people.

And that is pathetic.
posted by terrapin at 11:42 AM on April 9, 2004


Well, it works both ways. Sticking with a certain party isn't anything new... as I'm sure you know.
posted by Witty at 12:19 PM on April 9, 2004


Krrrlson: About half of America voted for Bush, after all, and I'm sure a lot of these people have intelligent comments to make. How often is their side intelligently represented here? Rarely, at best.

rushmc: The preposterous thing is that you seek to blame the rest of us for that failure

About half of America is female, yet women earn only $.76 to every male dollar. The preposterous thing is that you seek to blame men for that failure.

The Klu Klux Klan no doubt has a view of Affirmative Action, but you never seem to hear it espoused by prestigious University Professors. The preposterous thing is that you seek to congratulate the University for that success.

Geez, the political left loves the concept of a hostile work environment, even an untentional one, but no one here can even entertain the idea that smart conservatives (those who aren't busy running the world, that is) don't feel the need to frequent MetaFilter very often? Hmm.
posted by gd779 at 6:21 PM on April 9, 2004


The preposterous thing is that you seek to blame the rest of us for that failure. I blame you for creating an environment where such attempts are discouraged and sneered at.

gd779 -- huh?
posted by Krrrlson at 6:32 PM on April 9, 2004


Your comments make no sense, gd779. If you are aware of mysterious forces on Metafilter that prohibit conservatives from making intelligent posts and comments that rationally advance their causes and philosophies, please expose them. The issue is not those who choose not to participate here—who cares about them?—the issue is why those who DO choose to participate here so often resort to personal attacks, straw men, and "oh yeah? well, your guys do TOO!" modes of debate. Disagreeing with someone is not the same as being intolerant of their opinion. Certainly, those with overwhelmingly conservative viewpoints are likely to encounter substantial disagreement here, at least until such time as enough of them participate as to skew the political compass of the site rightward. Of course, those of us with every conceivable viewpoint also get our share of disagreement, but never mind.

Overall, however, I think Metafilter is very tolerant, even welcoming, of perspectives that vary from the majority—much more so than most similar sites online (conservative users who have argued rationally and demonstrated a humanity beyond knee-jerk reactionism have been embraced and valued by the community; granted, they have been few). But what you and others seem to demand is that users not only accept the expression of any and all ideas and viewpoints but automatically accept them as valid, which is ridiculous. If proponents of conservative viewpoints are failing to persuade people here, then they need to try harder. I, for one, am not about to patronize them by granting them special unearned status.
posted by rushmc at 6:42 PM on April 9, 2004


I blame you for creating an environment where such attempts are discouraged and sneered at.

People should never be discouraged or sneered at (well, rarely); ideas, however, often should be. Declining to debate or deflate a bad idea because it might hurt the feelings of its proponent(s) is both patronizing to the person, as I said above, and dangerous to the community. All ideas should be fairly and intelligently challenged, but it is absolutely vital that bad ones be, before they can take root.

This, of course, is true independent of any sort of political spectrum that people might imagine or identify themselves with.
posted by rushmc at 6:46 PM on April 9, 2004


Okay, bad analogy. Plus, I probably missed the point of this conversation entirely.

My point was simply that intelligent conservatives are forced out of MetaFilter through "soft" discrimination. (Evanizer is the perfect example, if I recall correctly, but maybe I don't). A woman who fails to compete economically vis-a-vis men isn't inherently inferior; the system is simply arrayed against her. (Or so a Democrat might argue). Similarly, the fact that there are no KKK members in the ivory tower is not evidence for the non-existence of the KKK; the system is simply arrayed against them. And, by analogy, the fact that intelligent conservative voices are relative few on MetaFilter is not evidence for the non-existence of intelligent conservatives, and it's not evidence that conservatives are inherently inferior; they system is simply arrayed against them. They are harassed and abused until they leave. But, again, it looks like that's not what you were talking about in the first place. Sorry for the intrusion.
posted by gd779 at 7:41 PM on April 9, 2004


But what you and others seem to demand is that users not only accept the expression of any and all ideas and viewpoints but automatically accept them as valid, which is ridiculous.

I can't speak for anyone else, but I argue (and have always argued) merely for common civility and politeness. I agree with you wholeheartedly on the value of debate. But you can have spirited, critical debate without vitriolic abuse or impolite aggression. Except on MetaFilter, where you usually can't.
posted by gd779 at 7:44 PM on April 9, 2004


rushmc -- this time it is you with the straw man. The subject is tolerance for people, not for ideas. And you seem to forget how often this so-called criticism of ideas is laced with personal attacks. I agree with what gd779 said about harassment.
posted by Krrrlson at 10:14 PM on April 9, 2004


rushmc -- this time it is you with the straw man. The subject is tolerance for people, not for ideas. And you seem to forget how often this so-called criticism of ideas is laced with personal attacks. I agree with what gd779 said about harassment.

That would actually be begging the question, and he didn't really do that either. He said that one is wrong, the other isn't, and was obviously attempting to make clear that he by and large believes that people on metafilter attack ideas, not people.
posted by The God Complex at 10:39 PM on April 9, 2004


God Complex -- he appeared to "refute" an argument I never made, which would be a straw man if that were his intention (I hope it wasn't). His belief that people here attack ideas (with which I respectfully disagree) is not the thrust of his argument, but rather an underlying assumption.

It would be great if he were right about MeFi's tolerance, though, but what I've seen points to the contrary.
posted by Krrrlson at 11:05 PM on April 9, 2004


You are blind, then, to the attacks made by the right against the left. The sniping goes both ways.
posted by five fresh fish at 11:31 PM on April 9, 2004


you seem to forget how often this so-called criticism of ideas is laced with personal attacks

On the contrary, check my MetaTalk post record. I have long been on record condemning such behavior, by anyone, and arguing for stronger, more uniform enforcement of basic civility, so clearly I am aware that it occurs. However, I do not see that so-called liberals are more frequent abusers and so-called conservatives more frequent victims. In fact, if you adjust the numbers for proportional representation on the site, I would suggest that it skews strongly in the opposite direction, which in my opinion is one of the main reasons that conservatives have so little success selling their message.

To sum up: If someone gets tired of people disagreeing with them every time they express an opinion on Metafilter and chooses to seek more philosophically-compatible pastures, I wish them well but certainly feel no sympathy for them, won't conclude that they were victimized, nor will I concede as a result that the site is brutal and persecutory and needs major corrective moderation. In a free marketplace of ideas, one shouldn't blame the customers for not buying what one is selling.

If, however, someone (anyone) is subjected to meanspirited personal attack or ridicule (by anyone), then I will be the first to condemn such behavior and hope for proper redress. The problem is, people are often wont to confuse these two situations, which only makes matters worse, and I think that's what you are doing, Krrrlson. On Metafilter, people do not respond negatively to Mr. LMNOP because he is shy, ugly, belches or stutters; they respond negatively to him because of the ideas that he expresses.
posted by rushmc at 12:46 PM on April 10, 2004


five fresh fish -- I'm most certainly not blind to it, as a simple reading of my previous comments would have shown. The attacks you speak of receive constant attention here, unlike the attacks I mention.

rushmc -- you speak of adjusting numbers for proportional representation. Yet what is the reason behind these current numbers? I have a strange suspicion that any worthwhile concervative posters have been driven away, leaving only the loudmouth idiots behind to trade insults with the loudmouth liberal idiots.

I don't believe I'm confusing the disdain for ideas with disrespect. When I have to look long and hard for a post that responds to a conservative user calmly, objectively, and without petty attacks and humiliation, I think it is a problem. Also, I haven't looked at your track record, but my thanks to you if you stick to your principles.
posted by Krrrlson at 1:48 PM on April 10, 2004


Somehow, rushmc, I doubt that my definition of civility is the same as yours.
posted by gd779 at 2:27 PM on April 10, 2004


I'll stick up for rushmc's civility -- we've had a couple of extended arguments in a few threads that have been remarkably civil and stuck to the points.
posted by namespan at 3:15 PM on April 10, 2004


(but I also think Krrrlson has some good points. I'm going to shut up now and go outside. Thanks)
posted by namespan at 3:20 PM on April 10, 2004


To his credit, rushmc does stay on point and he generally doesn't get personal. I respect that and he is, in that sense, very civil. But, to me, civility is more than that. Civility also requires that you calmly make an explicit rational argument when you disagree with someone, even if you think that the other person is stupid or dangerous. Instead, rushmc tends to enter a thread, loudly state that someone is obviously wrong and arrogant to boot, and then repeat this pattern when challenged. (That doesn't mean he repeats himself. He responds to the specific challenge, but only in a compulsory and aggressive way).

And this is, perhaps, why conservative people get chased off of MetaFilter. People comment on MetaFilter for three basic reasons: to make their point loudly and feel good about themselves, to change someone else's mind, or to learn and maybe change their own minds. But conservative opinions are immediately screamed at, which gives the impression (true or not) that 1) no one is likely to honestly listen to conservative opinions here and 2) no one here has anything to say that I want to hear. (Because few people bother to listen to people who are screaming at them). That just leaves the people who are interested in making their point loudly and feeling good about themselves, and obviously you don't need to be reasonable or persuasive to accomplish that goal.

The thing I want to emphasize about this dynamic is that it is absolutely unrelated to truth. It doesn't matter who was right, and in fact we'll never know who was right, because dissenting voices were shouted down, driving away people interested in conversation and leaving only those who want to shout.
posted by gd779 at 3:36 PM on April 10, 2004


Not "compulsory way", "conclusory way". I should read the spell-checker more closely.
posted by gd779 at 3:38 PM on April 10, 2004


Well, I was going to snark "except that there's no such word as 'conclusory'"—but it turns out there is (OED):
conclusory (k@n'klu:s@rI), a. rare. [f. L. conclu¯s- ppl. stem + -ory: on L. type *conclu¯so¯ri-us.] Relating or tending to a conclusion; conclusive.
1846 Worcester cites Clarkson. 1868 J. H. Stirling in N. Brit. Rev. Dec. 357 The peculiar tediousness, prolusory, interlusory, and conclusory [of Browning]. 1876 Contemp. Rev. XXVIII. 128 This conciliatory and conclusory chapter.
Learn something every day.

Oh, and I agree with you.
posted by languagehat at 5:46 PM on April 10, 2004


Hmm. Merriam-Webster defines conclusory as "consisting of or relating to a conclusion or assertion for which no supporting evidence is offered". The OED definition is not the way I"m used to thinking of the word. Is OED superior to MW?
posted by gd779 at 6:20 PM on April 10, 2004


For some things (like citations), but not for contemporary meanings (although once they finish the complete revision promised for the next decade they'll be all caught up there too). I'd go with M-W on this, and I thank you for the additional info.
posted by languagehat at 7:32 PM on April 10, 2004


Yet what is the reason behind these current numbers? I have a strange suspicion that any worthwhile concervative posters have been driven away

We will just have to agree to disagree on this, I guess, for my suspicions are different.

And gd779, I might take your criticisms more seriously were it not for the pattern of petty sniping at me that you have established over the past year or so (since I said something you didnt like about dogs or something, Im not really sure). When you can restrain yourself from periodic unprovoked personal attacks for a while, I will give your remarks regarding civility more credence.
posted by rushmc at 8:57 AM on April 11, 2004


gd779, I might take your criticisms more seriously were it not for the pattern of petty sniping at me that you have established over the past year or so

If I have, in fact, been doing that, then I was wrong and I apologize. But I assume you are talking about something like this?

Because, to the best of my recollection, I've never said anything about you in any other thread that I haven't said in this thread: namely, that you don't listen to others, that you consistently fail to provide a sufficient basis for your conclusory claims, and that you often put those claims forward in a very aggressive and arrogant way. I stand by that, and I don't think it's a personal attack. Furthermore, I don't just randomly pop into threads to slam you. I only make remarks like that in threads where another user is already irritated at you, or at behavior like yours, and is trying to change your behavior or behavior similar to yours (I often mention you and skallas in the same breath). My point in those instances is simply to tell that other user that "rushmc has been told that he's like this, and he's choosing to continue being like that, so just shut up and live with it because it's not going to change".

That is not, in my view, a personal attack. I'm not making these comments during a discussion of an issue on the blue, only during a discussion (initiated by someone else) about your particular type of behavior (often not you directly, I do sometimes use you as an example) and whether that behavior should be changed (which is, after all, the purpose of MetaTalk). Self-policing and all that.

But again, if I have ever gone beyond that, please show me and I will sincerely apologize.

Dogs? I think you've got me confused with someone else.
posted by gd779 at 12:05 PM on April 11, 2004


Rushmc: I just went through all of my comments from about the past year. (It's not that hard, because I'm not terribly prolific and the number of threads where I expect to have mentioned you is very small).

I found four comments mentioning you in the past year, none of which went beyond what I've just said. So I feel fairly confident that you've got me confused with someone else, rushmc.
posted by gd779 at 12:23 PM on April 11, 2004


I would feel more comfortable discussing this if it involved someone other than myself, because I´m inevitably going to sound defensive, which I´m not particularly, but I guess I question the value of repeatedly citing a specific user and reiterating your opinions regarding their supposed sins every time you see a chance to do so. I suppose this happens fairly often here, with everyone from Miguel to quonsar to skallas to the members of the self-identified conservative cadre, but I think it´s counter to the community ideal. If you don´t like an idea that someone puts forth, by all means dispute it, but presuming to analyze a person´s character based upon their occasional scribblings here seems to me to be a thin cover for promoting a personal grudge one chooses to have with someone based upon something they once said that one can´t let go of.

You are certainly free to hold an opinion concerning me and my posts--I don´t even begrudge you the right to express it here. I just think that plugging it into any thread where you feel you can score points (with whom I don´t know) is a bit excessive. And meanspirited.

And, of course, I would dispute many of your specific contentions about me, but there´s no point in going into that here, since neither of us is likely to convince the other.
posted by rushmc at 9:58 AM on April 12, 2004


Eh? I sincerely apologize if you feel attacked or slighted, but I've mentioned you all of four times in the past year, and always in threads directly related to you in some way. I think that's a pretty weak grudge. Nevertheless, I will try to be more considerate in the future.
posted by gd779 at 10:42 AM on April 12, 2004


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