User's single-track history invokes callout May 19, 2004 5:25 PM   Subscribe

One-trick pony.
posted by Kwantsar to Etiquette/Policy at 5:25 PM (129 comments total)

what now?
posted by bob sarabia at 5:28 PM on May 19, 2004


Is this a case of out of hand agendafilter, or just a long-time member posting about the things that are important to him?
posted by Kwantsar at 5:28 PM on May 19, 2004


ohh ok. well there is some none islam stuff in there too, just not a majority. but i vote for agenda
posted by bob sarabia at 5:32 PM on May 19, 2004


I agree postroad has a bad history here, but this is significant news.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 5:36 PM on May 19, 2004



Is this a case of out of hand agendafilter, or just a long-time member posting about the things that are important to him?

And why does it matter?
posted by dg at 5:49 PM on May 19, 2004


The article is a few paragraphs long, and very similar to many other reports, articles and poll results that show support waning for the US. Maybe this is news for those who rely exclusively on CNN or FOX for their news, but surely few Metafilter readers who follow the Iraq/politics posts. By this standard, every single analysis from Slate, TNR, Foreign Policy or whatever is post worthy.
posted by loquax at 5:54 PM on May 19, 2004


Skip it. Skip it, skip it, skippity skip, skip the fuckin' skip it. Skip, hop jump, skip over, you know, like, it. Skip skip skip, chip dip, skip, and skipping the skip skip, over it with a skippity skip.

Seriously, one adult to another, how tough is it to fricken skip right over the post you don't want to see? You know, it is possible to, well, skip it?
posted by Wulfgar! at 6:27 PM on May 19, 2004


He uses spell check now. Rejoice.
posted by machaus at 6:29 PM on May 19, 2004


This from a new user with one blue link under his/her belt and a stunning lack of creativity when it comes to choosing a username?
posted by Irontom at 6:40 PM on May 19, 2004


I'd love to see newsfilter die, but it's is never, ever going to happen. The best you can do (esp. if you disagree with whatever agenda), is not fall into the trap of posting retaliatory posts. Blow off your steam in the newsfilter threads other people post.

Hama7 is a good example, you just know he is dying to counterpost, but he keeps his responses in the threads and makes an effort to post things on the front page which are actually "best of the web".

So, yeah, basically: skip it.
posted by malphigian at 6:41 PM on May 19, 2004


What Wulfgar! said!!!!!!!!!!!

So Postroad is trying to stimulate some more anti-war discussion (the post is good for nothing more). So what?

One, two or three (even in a row) Iraq posts do not bother me. MeFi has been rich with great links lately, as well as rich with politics. I find that a strength, not a weakness.

Quit yer complainin and go read some Boccaccio.
posted by caddis at 6:44 PM on May 19, 2004


Indeed, the very "pony-hood" you describe, inasmuch as a trick can represent the unity you ascribe thereto, belies the essential discourse so obviously intended in "the blue" - since a color so clearly links the form with the function of this format.

I completely agree - Postroad's posts rode slipshod o'er the hilly countryside we so dearly held as prime semantic model for what a "community weblog" can be. Yet the hoofbeats of this rider - do they not lend a rhythmic poignancy to the terrain? See, see rider: who, in the end, is really seen in this dynamic mirror? And isn't, in the end, to be "obscene" just to be "oft seen"?
posted by freebird at 6:45 PM on May 19, 2004


In all fairness, Irontom, I don't think that kind of ad hominem dismissal is worth a hill of beans. But, it could be pointed out that Kwantsar, new user or old, could have just, well, skipped it! Postroad posts news articles, and this is no exception, save that it matters more than most for the course of the "war". Seriously, a clarification is needed here. Why was this posted to MetaTalk?
posted by Wulfgar! at 6:48 PM on May 19, 2004


Kwantsar, rather than complain, go have some fun and put the devil back in hell.
posted by caddis at 6:48 PM on May 19, 2004


Besides, how would we know what the "best of the web" is without something for contrast?
posted by dg at 7:22 PM on May 19, 2004


this is significant news

Huh? It's an opinion poll. Should we make an FPP every time Kerry pulls even with Bush in the Gallup?

It's your site Matt, but that's kind of an odd statement.

Postroad consistently takes dumps on the site; he doesn't seem to notice that Metatalk exists even when he's dragged in here; and he copies and pastes paragraphs of text instead of contributing his own words (even to the extent of keeping the ALL CAPS DRUDGE HEADLINE). What's there to like? I don't get why this is tolerated.
posted by PrinceValium at 7:23 PM on May 19, 2004


every time Kerry pulls even with Bush in the Gallup

Ah yes, the Galloping Push toward Opinion!
Should we all pull, even with those for whom our "political compass" seems a ninja star?

This is truly an important issue, well worth a MeTa post! How can this be questioned - save by the very dissolution of the dialectic you so fervently seek to avoid?
posted by freebird at 7:29 PM on May 19, 2004


One-trick pony.

what now?



posted by Shane at 7:30 PM on May 19, 2004

What's there to like? I don't get why this is tolerated.
Now now, no need to get pissy. Take your Valium, Prince.
posted by mischief at 7:45 PM on May 19, 2004


I want a pony, one-trick's okay.
posted by wendell at 8:07 PM on May 19, 2004


but this is significant news
ha...HAHAHAHHAH.

how so?
posted by clavdivs at 8:12 PM on May 19, 2004


You're all twits.
posted by The God Complex at 8:15 PM on May 19, 2004


I, too, wish NewsFilter would freakin' die. But it won't.

The thing that annoyed me most about the UT J-school dude was his assumption that MeFi was intended to be, or should be, some sort of alternative, user-created, progressive news aggregator. It wasn't. And—many of us think—it shouldn't be.

But, more to the point, fucking create or join one already if you think that's the whole point.

<sarcasm>
I mean, I'm really disapointed that ABC is not a responsible news outlet serving first and foremost the civic interest. They keep giving us sitcoms and crap like that.
</sarcasm>
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 8:21 PM on May 19, 2004


I wonder if there is a God Simplex
posted by clavdivs at 8:22 PM on May 19, 2004


No, but I'm opening a God Cinaplex soon.

The thing that annoyed me most about the UT J-school dude was his assumption that MeFi was intended to be, or should be, some sort of alternative, user-created, progressive news aggregator. It wasn't. And—many of us think—it shouldn't be.

Twit.
posted by The God Complex at 8:24 PM on May 19, 2004


It wasn't. And—many of us think—it shouldn't be.

What is and what should never be, should never impinge upon the effulgent fungibility of what was, though, don't you think?

I think we can all agree that's really the issue here.
posted by freebird at 9:02 PM on May 19, 2004


Postroad consistently takes dumps on the site ... he copies and pastes paragraphs of text instead of contributing his own words...

Hmm... sounds just like another user I seem to recall. When people object to him, though, they are immediately shot down and ridiculed. I'll let you guess who it is.


UT J-school dude

Gah? Someone enlighten me?
posted by Krrrlson at 9:11 PM on May 19, 2004


I think they're talking about this.
posted by interrobang at 9:21 PM on May 19, 2004

"Twit."—The God Complex
Fuckwit.

Is there a point to this?

Matt didn't set up MeFi as a politically progressive, user-created news aggregator. Most, but not all, of the people that have joined, did not think they were joining such a community. It's not what MeFi was intended to be, Matt's expressed his dislike of NewsFilter pretty consistently; he still owns the damn place; and at the very least a substantial portion of the user community isn't that happy with NewsFilter, either.

What the j-school guy thinks, and perhaps you think, MetaFilter should be is, I agree, a good thing that should exist, if it already doesn't. I'd join such a community myself. If it's so damn important, then get off your ass and create it already instead of trying to hijack a differently-oriented community.

Nothing I've seen indicates that more than a minority of outpsoken front-page-posters think that MeFi is some sort of politically active, current-events themed user community. "The Web" is far more than "Politics on the Web", and the "Best of the the Web" is correspondingly more than "The Best Politics on the Web" (not to mention "The Best Progressive Politics on the Web").

There is nothing of any true news import that's ever appeared on MeFi that I haven't already seen elsewhere, earlier. You people that think you should be getting your current event news from MeFi are like the fuckwits that get their current events news from broadcast television. It's pathetic. Twit, indeed.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 9:29 PM on May 19, 2004


There is nothing of any true news import that's ever appeared on MeFi that I haven't already seen elsewhere, earlier. You people that think you should be getting your current event news from MeFi are like the fuckwits that get their current events news from broadcast television. It's pathetic. Twit, indeed.

You're so cultured. I almost forgot but then you reminded me again. Fwap.

I was always under the apparently mistaken impression that this was a community with loose guidelines where people could filter the web as they see fit and share it with other people. Unfortunately, it appears that I was mistaken and the silent majority of metafilter has contacted you through a yet-unknown channel so you could speak for them.

Fwap fwap.
posted by The God Complex at 9:33 PM on May 19, 2004


You people that think you should be getting your current event news from MeFi are like the fuckwits that get their current events news from broadcast television. It's pathetic. Twit, indeed.

Damn, not that I don't agree with you, because I do, but how could you possibly be so bitter already? More to the point, since we've already seen through many past member burnouts that bitterness hurts the poster and site more so than it changes behavior, don't you find your bitterness to be unnecessary?
posted by BlueTrain at 9:34 PM on May 19, 2004


Skip it. Skip it, skip it, skippity skip, skip the fuckin' skip it. Skip, hop jump, skip over, you know, like, it. Skip skip skip, chip dip, skip, and skipping the skip skip, over it with a skippity skip.

When I skip (you know, for joy and stuff), people point and laugh and occasionally pelt me with rocks and garbage, and that makes me feel bad.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 10:09 PM on May 19, 2004


You're all forgetting the genius that is Paul Simon:

He's a one trick pony
One trick is all that horse can do
He does one trick only
It's the principal source of his revenue
And when he steps into the spotlight
You can feel the heat of his heart
Come rising through

See how he dances
See how he loops from side to side
See how he prances
The way his hooves just seem to glide
He's just a one trick pony (that's all he is)
But he turns that trick with pride

He makes it look so easy
He looks so clean
He moves like God's
Immaculate machine
He makes me think about
All of these extra movements I make
And all of this herky-jerky motion
And the bag of tricks it takes
To get me through my working day
One-trick pony

He's a one trick pony
He either fails or he succeeds
He gives his testimony
Then he relaxes in the weeds
He's got one trick to last a lifetime
But that's all a pony needs

-- Paul Simon


So there.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 10:17 PM on May 19, 2004


EEE BOO DAH, MUTHERFUCKERS!
posted by quonsar at 10:45 PM on May 19, 2004


I've only recently been a member, but I've been experiencing the encroaching NewsFilter for far longer. Pretty much everything that makes MeFi suck, when it does, is connected with NewsFilter. BiasFilter, I-hate-you-because-you-disagree-with-my-politics-Filter, TGC thinking it was appropriate to answer my comment with "twit". It all comes down to some form of self-righteousness involved in the struggle to somehow make the world a better place via MetaFilter. The most humorless, predictable, and typically perpetually outraged members are the ones who think that their participation in MeFi is "important". So we get preached at by the zealots on the left and right, and we get WarFilter, and we get some lame-ass news aggregator.

I don't have the least problem with being politically active, earnest, pursuing an agenda, and certainly not with creating an alternative, user-driven news site. I live online other places, places that are intended to be political/current events oriented, and I play that role on those communities expressly designed for that purpose.

MeFi is not an alt.* newsgroup that doesn't even require a RFC and is, thus, only the sum of its current participation. As long as Matt exercises any editorial control over MeFi—and he does, both with deletions and posting and comment guidelines—MeFi is not whatever the most outspoken/aggressive/active members or the majority decide that it is. By my reckoning, NewsFilter is almost exclusively defended by the habitual NewsFilter posters; while there are constant complaints against it.

Some of the NewsFilter folks are people that I agree with ideologically, and some of them I like personally—both in my interactions here and on #mefi. I know they mean well. I respect their earnestness. But until they get Matt's cooperation in turning MeFi into NewsFilter, select an ideological bias, and scare away the dissenters, MeFi can't be what they or the j-school guy wants it to be and the efforts to make it so would be better expended, to everyone's benefit, elsewhere. Again, build it. I know some of you have the bandwidth.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 10:56 PM on May 19, 2004


MMMMM. BANDWIDTH. AUGHAUGHAUGH...
posted by quonsar at 11:11 PM on May 19, 2004


Okay. After a moment to reflect...

First, I really am very impatient with NewsFilter, I was long before I joined. On bad days, it made me want to stop coming here.

On the other hand, I do have a limited amount of respect for the people that honestly, earnestly think it's what MeFi should be (or, more specifically, honestly think it's what it is). And while the "just skip it" point of view annoys me (because it's very much in the "if you don't like what I do, it's your problem" school of avoiding responsibility for one's actions), I also recognize that only a certain amount of expressed annoyance at NewsFilter is either appropriate or productive. So I usually try to temper my remarks.

But TGC's "twit" really, really rubbed me the wrong way.

And, although this isn't and shouldn't be an excuse, I'm having a really bad day related to the suddenly failing health of my cat of the last 14 years and the fact that this hits me harder than most because I'm a shut-in and I've come to rely on her for companionship. So I'm in a really, really pissy mood today.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 11:11 PM on May 19, 2004


TWITFILTER

on preview - i'm putting my 16 year old cat down next week. i share your pain, ethereal...
posted by quonsar at 11:15 PM on May 19, 2004


geez, that looks really, , , inappropriate.

i have a hard time keeping a dry eye when i see my cat slouch by, eth - and while i'm not a shut-in in the physical sense, the cat has been my most frequent contact with another living being for quite some time (aside from #mefi, and that's just words on a screen). i really DO share your pain, man.
posted by quonsar at 11:19 PM on May 19, 2004


Thanks, Q. Really. I'm force-feeding her on the off-chance she'll recover, so there's some hope. But I wasn't prepared for her to go so soon. I only started thinking about and trying to prepare myself for it last year—I thought there were at least two or three years left. And she's with me 24/7, been through a divorce and two breakups. She's always been there the last fourteen years when no other living creature has been. So, I'm upset. But this is off-topic. I suppose, though, that I wouldn't have taken TGC's "twit" so personally if I weren't emotionally frazzled.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 11:25 PM on May 19, 2004


i've done a lot of thinking about this, and shed a lot of tears already. my "feesh" was a constant and enthusiastic companion to my daughter from age 8 through adulthood. the last 5 years or so since lisa grew up and left home, she's been pretty much my companion, and for the last two years, she and i have exclusively occupied our own apartment. she always hears me coming up the stairs and always greets me at the door. until rising and walking recently became obviously painful. i can't bear to see my friend in pain. she looks at me and meows, and i know she is saying "i'm tired now, man." she needs to be released from her body. and i know that after a grieving period, i am going to have another cat pal, and in him/her i will have the next piece of a long history of mutual, unconditionally loving friendships with the most remarkably fascinating and intelligent of creatures.
posted by quonsar at 11:48 PM on May 19, 2004


Yeah, I feel for you, but I must say that what I expected to happen was more along those lines—a preiod of declining health where I could feel pretty certain that it was time to put her down. Instead, though, she's been perfectly healthy and then suddenly slowed and then stopped eating several weeks ago. She's got liver disease now, unknown if it's the effect or the cause. If I had the money, they'd have wanted to keep her and put her on a tube for perhaps two weeks, the vet said. The alternative that I could pay for was to try to force feed her and see if she improves. But even that's a bit of a blessing. This morning I thought I was being faced with an immediate decision on her demise, and it was very unpleasant. This way, I can at least spend some days with her and try to do whatever I can.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 11:54 PM on May 19, 2004


noooo, not felicia. geez quonsar i'm so sorry. and you too eb (but seriously dude, way to take an off the cuff comment way too seriously) i know how you both feel, i know how difficult it is. i lost my 17 yr old cat, garbo, to cancer 1 month after my dad died last summer. talk about harsh. actually i've had to euthanize 3 elderly cats in 4 years.

cod liver oil helps liver disease eb, one of my cats, jezebel, was given a few days to live when her liver failed but after rehydrating her for a few days with subq injections i used an eye dropper to admin the cod liver oil and she recovered and lived another few years. the liver disease is probably because of the rapid weight loss... too much fat being processed in a short period of time. if they did an eco cardiogram on your cat they'd probably find a cancer is at the root of it all. that's what we found the underlying prob was with jez.
posted by t r a c y at 12:08 AM on May 20, 2004


EB, I'm sorry to hear that. My kitty is about the same age, and I know the end can't be far. She has elevated thyroid function. However, they don't want to do the radiation treatment because the raised metabolism may be what keeps her liver and kidneys working. Quality of life is still good, and weight loss (despite massive eating) has stabilized, but I know her health could collapse pretty quickly. That cat is like the last link to my youth, and has been with me through some hard years. I'm going to take it bad when the time comes.
posted by crunchburger at 12:35 AM on May 20, 2004


Thanks for the concern and thoughts everyone. Quonsar, Felicia is a cutie and I'm sorry for the tough decision you've had to make. But it really sounds like you've made it with much love and the utmost concern for Felicia, which is what's most important.

I wish I knew I was doing right by Simone, but I'm not sure what that would be, and my delay in taking her to the vet in the first place was wrong. It's just that I literally don't have the money to pay for even a simple vet appointment—to say, "I'm sorry, I can't pay for this, at least right now" was something I didn't know how to say and I just hoped I could figure out how to get her to eat. So I delayed. Sigh. But now I'm doing something, and it's probably about as much as I could do, even compared to having the money to pay for diagnostic stuff and tube feeding her. I mean, this way, she's at home where she's comfortable. And, I've been encouraged because she's kept down what I've force-fed her, which is already more than the vet throught she probably would. Boy, though, is she jaundiced. I couldn't believe I hadn't seen that myself when I noticed it in the exam room. But I don't keep my bedroom very well lit.

My best friend and roommate is taking it pretty seriously—he has two cats that he loves quite a bit. And he's fond of Simone, even though she doesn't like anyone else but me. He's asked me a couple of times if there's anything he can do.

It's a shame that our culture doesn't take pet deaths very seriously. I mean, I even have trouble taking other people's pets' deaths that seriously. But it really is like losing a member of one's family. Not quite as traumatic as losing a human relative, probably, but I think a lot more traumatic than we correspondingly accord importance to it socially. There should at least be sympathy cards or rituals or something.

I don't think I'm a crazy cat person at all, but, you know, she's here with me all the time, I talk to her, she has lots of personality and she's extremely attached to me. She always stays within a few feet of me at all times. And there's been too many lonely nights, after my divorce or breakups, where this warm, devoted, purring animal was an enormous comfort. I'm deeply grateful to her for that, even though maybe that's irrational. So, I'm really, really scared of losing her. I knew it would hurt, but I didn't guess that it would scare me as much. I think, "what am I gonna do?", even though I know that sounds silly.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 2:16 AM on May 20, 2004


Fuck it. I'm going all-NFL posts, all the time. Hey, it's what I like... and to me, when the Raiders picked up Troy Hambrick off waivers the other day (as insignificant as it was), I just thought everyone here should know. So no more holding back. I don't know why I have so far, come to think of it... couldn't have been because the community asked "me" not to.

Anyway, I suppose if you're not into sports or whatever, you'll just skip it. Just try to ignore the fact that my NFL posts, usually with nothing of any real value, litter the front page every other day. Peace!
posted by Witty at 2:40 AM on May 20, 2004


I'm sorry, Bligh and quonsar. I just lost my dog a recently, adopted a wonderful new dog and couldn't keep her because she wanted to eat my cats... I've been in a funk for a month. The last time I lost a cat I was out of it for ages.

Animals are the best. And they're still with you after they're gone.
posted by Shane at 7:14 AM on May 20, 2004


Just try to ignore the fact that my NFL posts, usually with nothing of any real value, litter the front page every other day.

Sportsfilter Muthafucker

Seriously, though, that community has been created and is great. An all Iraq-filter type of community would probably lose its charm after a little while, so this is the type of place that gets any posts on subjects that can't sustain their own seperate community.

Still though, heaven bless he who created the scroll wheel for this reason.
posted by dflemingdotorg at 7:17 AM on May 20, 2004


I don't need no steenkin' sportsfilter bicsh. Why, I've got full access and free reign right here at www.metafilter.com. Please, the people need to know EVERY free-agent signing that happens in the next couple of months. June 1st is a big day in the NFL off-season. Aren't you pumped? I'll make sure to have a doozy post planned... totally. Anyway, if you don't like it, just remember the magic words - Skip it!
posted by Witty at 7:28 AM on May 20, 2004


Most.Orthogonal.Thread.EVAR.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 7:32 AM on May 20, 2004


Wity, you're actually being somewhat witty for a change. But maybe I just think so because my judgment's impaired due to our unusual, but nevertheless real, agreement.

"Just skip it" really isn't a good defense. That can be used to defend anything, which is almost certainly not the desired result—I think you're effectively pointing that out.

I'll admit there's a big gray area in the NewsFilter continuum. I was nervous that one of my FPPs was an example. And maybe it was.

But are we going to get a FPP about the raid on Chalabi's house? I bet we do.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 7:44 AM on May 20, 2004


Ethereal Bligh, have you considered this computer upgrade? And what's with the personal info discharge whenever you get into a disagreement about someone on MeTa? It's like some weird 3 card monte that even the tourists don't want to play.
posted by yerfatma at 7:47 AM on May 20, 2004


Thanks, Q. Really. I'm force-feeding her on the off-chance she'll recover, so there's some hope. But I wasn't prepared for her to go so soon. I only started thinking about and trying to prepare myself for it last year—I thought there were at least two or three years left.

DyingCatFilter: My wife is also housebound and our cat (who is only nine and has been my wife's constant companion) is about a week away from being put down barring an incredible miracle (which is not going to happen, I need to quit thinking that it will). She's gone from a jolly 12 pounds to a bony slinky five in just over a year. The whole thing has been devastating for both of us.

posted by PinkStainlessTail at 7:48 AM on May 20, 2004


what Witty said


I mean, Chalabi's house has been raided by US troops. it's news. how long before we find it on the Front Page here?

Posty should try to chill out a bit. after all, I'm quite sure he's the user who has had the most deleted posts ever -- but apparently mathowie's message didn't really come across. Posty should be more careful, edit his fpp output a little more. but I'm sure he won't.
posted by matteo at 7:56 AM on May 20, 2004


Although I hate extremely chatty behavior (ample evidence can be found in the first 3 months of my life here, battling with Miguel), I have to admit that a small amount of personal disclosure does this site good. It helps the community remember that we're all people behind the words, and not just anonymous assholes. This is why I appreciate the personal touches by Miguel, amberglow, Ethereal Bligh, etc.

Extreme "snarkiness" in such a large community seems to cause more friction than camaraderie. If we all knew each other in real life, an occasional jab wouldn't be so bad.
posted by BlueTrain at 8:00 AM on May 20, 2004


The "twit" comment was half-serious at best, which I thought was pretty clear after I said everyone in the thread was a twit to begin with. Sorry about the cat though. We had to put one down six years ago (I had her from the time I was three until I was sixteen).
posted by The God Complex at 8:30 AM on May 20, 2004


Okay, sorry I misunderstood and too-quickly took offense. Careless reading on my part, I'm sure.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 8:32 AM on May 20, 2004


I still disagree with your claims that the silent majority all dislike the interesting newsfilter links, to be clear ;)
posted by The God Complex at 8:52 AM on May 20, 2004


See, see rider...

What is and what should never be...

freebird, I like ya, but turn off the radio when ya post.
posted by jonmc at 8:55 AM on May 20, 2004


turn off the radio when ya post

I only turn it up to eleven for the MeTa posts about what Metafilter should or should not be. This is so I can chant to myself "Your post is tired and jaded, boring and complicated. If that's your best, your best won't do...we're not gonna take it, NO! We ain't gonna ..etc etc"

That and Blue Train...choo choo!
posted by freebird at 9:24 AM on May 20, 2004


But seriously - what happened here? Last I looked this was decending into the usual meta-mess, I was having k5 flashbacks, the usual. Next thing you know, everyone's apologizing for misunderstanding and telling heartwrenching stories about their CATS?!!? What the hell is going on here?

Dare I hope we're done arguing about *Filter?
posted by freebird at 9:29 AM on May 20, 2004


Oh, well. C'mon and take a free ride...
posted by jonmc at 9:37 AM on May 20, 2004


(tried to post this in trouts
disappeared censorship day MeTa post)

"being asked what was the most beautiful thing in the world, he replied: "Freedom of Speech"

-Someguy who talked to Diogenes.

I recall alot of people handwringing the phrase"if you do not like it (metafilter), go to another site"....I think all the best have.

what a "great site"
posted by clavdivs at 9:52 AM on May 20, 2004


Kurt Warner won't be in the Rams' upcoming mini-camp. The writing on the wall is in bold folks.
posted by Witty at 10:04 AM on May 20, 2004


hey, i posted Chalabi. for some reason, it surprised the hell out of me. i think big news like that is appropriate for the front page. i'm curious for more information that i hope a thread will bring.
posted by mrgrimm at 10:06 AM on May 20, 2004


Seriously, though, that community has been created and is great. An all Iraq-filter type of community would probably lose its charm after a little while

Good point. Warfilter was already tried and failed. Sportsfilter works because the people who want to discuss sports have (normally) no secret desires to reach millions and change their opinions.
posted by justgary at 10:26 AM on May 20, 2004


Sportsfilter works because the people who want to discuss sports have (normally) no secret desires to reach millions and change their opinions.

So true that I wanted to see it twice.
posted by BlueTrain at 10:30 AM on May 20, 2004



So true I wanted to see it twice.
posted by The God Complex at 10:36 AM on May 20, 2004


C'mon and take a free ride...

I've got nothing to say, but it's okay.
posted by timeistight at 10:39 AM on May 20, 2004


Sportsfilter works because the people who want to discuss sports have (normally) no secret desires to reach millions and change their opinions.

As if that's the point of MetaFilter. I don't think anyone is necessarily asking people start their own filter (although no one is stoppin' ya)... just to chill a bit on the daily rehash of every shot fired 'round the world.

In other news... what chance do you think the Flames have in the NHL finals this year? Not bad for 6 seed.
posted by Witty at 10:58 AM on May 20, 2004


secret desires to reach millions and change their opinions

Frankly I blame it all on Ender's Game.
posted by freebird at 11:05 AM on May 20, 2004


Sportsfilter works because Metatalk threads like this one aren't allowed.
posted by letitrain at 11:23 AM on May 20, 2004


When I have nothing to say, my lips are sealed. Say something once, why say it again?...
posted by me3dia at 11:42 AM on May 20, 2004


TGC: I am in one of the buildings across the street from that protest. Pretty funny stuff.
posted by monju_bosatsu at 12:00 PM on May 20, 2004


We have six cats at home, each of whom are valued and much loved companions. My heart goes out to EB, PST and q for their poor kitties and I hope their passing will be peaceful and as painfree as possible. IMHO, the kitty comments saved this thread.
posted by Lynsey at 12:21 PM on May 20, 2004


First half of thread: wappa wappa wappa
2nd half of thread: dead kittens

So it's really true?
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 12:36 PM on May 20, 2004


"just skip it" point of view annoys me (because it's very much in the "if you don't like what I do, it's your problem" school of avoiding responsibility for one's actions

Except that if you don't like what I do, and what I do is within the site guidelines, then it IS your problem.
posted by rushmc at 12:38 PM on May 20, 2004


TGC: I am in one of the buildings across the street from that protest. Pretty funny stuff.

You should have snapped some photos when they led some of them away in handcuffs. It would have been fascinating. Halliburton deserves all the negative publicity they can get, even if people have to dress up like pigs and throw around fake money to get attention ;)
posted by The God Complex at 12:52 PM on May 20, 2004


As if that's the point of MetaFilter.

Nothing in what I said comes close to emplying that statement.
posted by justgary at 12:59 PM on May 20, 2004


Sportsfilter works because Metatalk threads like this one aren't allowed.

I couldn't agree more.
posted by justgary at 1:02 PM on May 20, 2004


I'm either very tired or I should have been paying more attention, but Metafilter seems a much darker place than I remember. Or has it always been like this? What happened to the happy place?
posted by feelinglistless at 3:36 PM on May 20, 2004


Sorry to hear about the impending loss of your companions, quonsar and Ethereal Bligh. It is a tough decision you have both had to make.
posted by dg at 3:39 PM on May 20, 2004


It's all George Bush's fault, feelinglistless.
posted by keswick at 3:39 PM on May 20, 2004


This thread has multiple personality disorder. But that's OK. And q, EB, PST: very sorry about your cats. That's a hell of a thing to go through.
posted by languagehat at 6:40 PM on May 20, 2004


I'm sorry as well, q, EB, pst, and everyone else with fuzzy friends.

I'm embarrassed to link to it, because I stopped updating my pathetic blog months ago, the pictures aren't available any more (changed providers, haven't fixed the links), and apparently blogspot now has problems with the "smartquotes" in my text that wasn't a problem before their recent upgrade, but here's my eulogy for D.C. from over a year ago.

Reading it again makes me first, feel sad; second, feel happy to know that now we have two new young cats who are very different and very much their own personalities and who we both love very much; and third, want to fix the damn blog. Maybe I'll finally do it this time.
posted by yhbc at 6:44 PM on May 20, 2004

"Except that if you don't like what I do, and what I do is within the site guidelines, then it IS your problem."—rushmc
I completely agree. But isn't the point of contention whether stuff is within guidelines, or not? Trying to guess your reponse (or your intent in your comment), I'm thinking that your point was that there's x,y, and z that are explicitly unacceptable and that, otherwise, stuff is within site guidelines and NewsFilter is an example.

But my response to that is, yes, NewsFilter isn't egregious—that's why we're arguing about it. There's no need for MeTa'ing stuff that is indisputably a violation of guidelines. Matt just deletes it. Okay, sometime it needs to be called to his attention. But there isn't a need for discussion.

On the other hand, what is that phrase?, "Law is made on the margins"? Or am I mangling that? Anyway, if everything was about the easy stuff, the world would be a very different place. In reality, though, we have to deal with these sorts of "is NewsFilter in the spirit, and therefore, acceptable for MeFi, or not?" questions. I think a strong case can be made for "it isn't", with, at minimum, an argument from Matt's stated preferences.

As we see, mrgrimm made the predicted Chalbi post. He's right: it was surprising and interesting. And interesting to talk about. But does it belong on MeFi? Especially when it's plastered across every newspaper and news webpage? Seems to me the answer is "no".
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 10:34 PM on May 20, 2004


Except that if you don't like what I do, and what I do is within the site guidelines, then it IS your problem.

You seem to be under the delusion that "not deleted by Numbuh One" and "within the site guidelines" are synonymous. By no means was this post within the guidelines.

I still disagree with your claims that the silent majority all dislike the interesting newsfilter links

Oh, I get it. If I complain about Newsfilter posts, I'm told I should just shut up and skip them, because complaining isn't going to change anything. If I don't complain, that's interpreted as evidence that maybe I don't have a problem with NewsFilter posts after all.

And yes, I'm aware that since I've never made a front page post of my own, I am a motherfucking piece of cocksucking cunt shit. I don't even have the right to think that someone else's post is bad, since I haven't made dozens of bad posts on my own.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 11:01 PM on May 20, 2004


so, what is everyone's opinion of "newsfilter?"
posted by mcsweetie at 11:11 PM on May 20, 2004


*hopes mcsweetie is wearing a cup and a helmet...*
posted by t r a c y at 11:43 PM on May 20, 2004


Actually, in light of my exhortations to "build it", I spent some considerable time awake in bed last night thinking about building a "NewsFilter".

Admittedly, although I'm politically active and outspoken, I have to admit my greater interest was in the technical side of things. I spent a lot of time thinking about what it would mean to engineer and build something from the ground up that's intended to do what MeFi does (except as ProgNewsFi), but with a scalability/reliability emphasis. Because of my past professional experience in this area, I heavily favor caching mechanisms to the point of a bias, I imagine. But still, I see the structure of db-driven, personalized, user-contributed websites to be fundamentally similar to the traditional computer hardware storage architecture pyramid model that moves from te high-latency base to the low-latency apex. I'd want to cache everything at or as close to the client as possible.

But that's just what I was thinking about NewsFilter. I'm only doing my $.02 at keeping this thread as orthogonal as possible.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 1:03 AM on May 21, 2004


No insult to our glorious leader intended, but there are in fact hundreds of mefi-sized community sites that manage to get high reliability with a traditional single webserver with single database backend setups. Still, technical things should be done because they're interesting, fun or entertaining, never for practical reasons, so I'm all for it. Especially if it reduces the number of newsfilter posts here.
posted by fvw at 1:44 AM on May 21, 2004


Capn' Bligh, oh dearest one, have you ever considered silence as a way of life?
posted by MiguelCardoso at 2:54 AM on May 21, 2004


MetaFilter is already a news filter, you silly things*. MetaTalk pillory is the metawarp, Haughey's vague and capricious disapproval is the metawoof, and together they weave a MetaFilter metafilter which seems to allow just the right number of newsy posts to drip through (metadribble).

It's an interesting and effective filtering mechanism. Of course, in pointing this out, I risk Heisenberging the MetaTalk component of the filtering system...but, self-indulgence being what it contemporarily is, I'm not terribly worried.

*I might have used "twits" here, but for some reason when 'merican me uses the word I always feel inauthentically British; and too, everyone knows that in preparation for its use, one should poll the vicinity for moribund cats.
posted by Opus Dark at 3:47 AM on May 21, 2004


what
posted by darukaru at 5:35 AM on May 21, 2004


Opus Dark has spoken.

I wouldn't add a thing except to say :

My wife finally had her technically-dead-for-several-years-but somehow-still-pissing-and-shitting-all-over-the-house-with-her-brain-almost-totally-fried-by-doggyzeimer's 18 year old female Dobermann euthanized a few weeks ago.

She had been closer to the dog than to her father (dead for several years now). We love (and hate) most those who pay attention to us.

Dogs and cats pay attention.

I dug a five foot deep hole, beside a slowly dying Catalpa tree in my back yard, and we buried the dog's body (with a generous sprinkling of lime) and then planted on top a flowering Dogwood tree.

Which I plant, too, now on this thread - and with the hope that the corpse doesn't came scrabbling, crawling, and then lurching back out, to shuffle about in search of brains.
posted by troutfishing at 7:15 AM on May 21, 2004


NewsFilter isn't egregious

And I completely agree with that.

My point, however, is that opinions on "Newsfilter" have been solidified long since and any further debate is pure noise, not signal, because despite what DevilsAdvocate says, the fact is that mathowie's administration of the site trumps the guidelines every time in determining what the site is and will be, and he clearly has a higher threshold for news-related filtering than some members do. And it's kinda silly to keep voting long after the election is over.
posted by rushmc at 12:27 PM on May 21, 2004


One-trick pony.

Neigh. I mean, nay.
posted by kindall at 1:30 PM on May 21, 2004


postroad always beats me to the punch. damn him.
posted by specialk420 at 2:26 PM on May 21, 2004


I can't find my cat. Gretel. She went outside 32 hours ago, and has not been back. She's done this 2 or 3 times before, with the hot summer weather, but she's old kitty and I think she's dead. Or dehadrated, sick, and lost and almost dead.
posted by crunchburger at 12:22 AM on May 22, 2004


She is 14 -16 years old with the chronic organ problems. Aall things musyt pass... but I was not ready
posted by crunchburger at 12:24 AM on May 22, 2004


wow cat is back and alive, just after I posaterd/ Not her time yet after all.

MetaTalk: RESPECT THE COCK
posted by crunchburger at 12:33 AM on May 22, 2004


She is 14 -16 years old with the chronic organ problems. Aall things musyt pass... but I was not ready

The previous net community didn't help you find your cat?
posted by justgary at 12:41 AM on May 22, 2004


cat camr back on her own, you tossers were useless
posted by crunchburger at 12:47 AM on May 22, 2004


kitty is a friend of andre, that is why IT IS ALL GOOD
posted by crunchburger at 12:49 AM on May 22, 2004


It's all clear now.
posted by justgary at 1:17 AM on May 22, 2004


boogie oogie oogie
posted by crunchburger at 1:37 AM on May 22, 2004


jeebus, crunchburger maybe at her age it's time to stop letting her go outside...?
posted by t r a c y at 3:03 AM on May 22, 2004


people who let their domestic cats roam outdoors don't deserve to ever see them again.
posted by quonsar at 3:10 AM on May 22, 2004


seriously, do cat lovers in 2004 still not know that viruses such as feline leukemia, and feline aids are easily caught outdoors, just from rubbing noses with another cat, let alone from getting into a bloody fight with a feral. yearly vaccinations are no guarantee folks. not to mention cars, racoons, possums, and a myriad of other dangers.
posted by t r a c y at 9:53 AM on May 22, 2004


It's a dangerous world out there, but - presumeably - the cats are at some level quite aware of this.

Indoor/outdoor cats live happier, shorter lives.
posted by troutfishing at 9:57 AM on May 22, 2004


I don't own a cat, but many of my friends do. On this point, I am divergent from the sage quonsar and the wise t r a c e y:
cats are outdoor animals, and - bearing in mind that cat germs and diseases are not of recent origin - it is unkind to coop them indoors. They need to hunt, to smell the moonlit air, to mark their territory and - if needed - protect it.

That's why, even tho' I have long wanted a cat, in my small, 1st floor (up 1 flight of stairs) flat, I won't have a pet that needs access to the outside.
posted by dash_slot- at 10:45 AM on May 22, 2004


Hell yes cats should spend as much time outside as they'd like. And dash_slot-, consider going to your local shelter and picking up the oldest cat they have. Chances are he won't be too crazy about the outdoors, and since he'd probably be dead without you, you shouldn't feel to bad if he only goes outside at your convenience.
posted by trharlan at 11:31 AM on May 22, 2004


Cats and Wildlife... A Conservation Dilemma

What effects do domestic cats have on wildlife?

Although rural free-ranging cats have greater access to wild animals and undoubtedly take the greatest toll, even urban house pets take live prey when allowed outside. Extensive studies of the feeding habits of free-ranging domestic cats over 50 years and four continents indicate that small mammals make up approximately 70% of these cats' prey while birds make up about 20%. The remaining 10% is a variety of other animals. The diets of free-ranging cat populations, however, reflect the food locally available.

Observation of free-ranging domestic cats shows that some individuals can kill over 1000 wild animals per year, although smaller numbers are more typical. Some of the data on kills suggest that free-ranging cats living in small towns kill an average of 14 wild animals each per year. Rural cats kill many more wild animals than do urban, or suburban cats. Several studies found that up to 90% of free-ranging rural cats' diet was wild animals, and less than 10% of rural cats killed no wild animals. Recent research suggests that rural free-ranging domestic cats in Wisconsin may be killing between 8 and 217 million birds each year. The most reasonable estimates indicate that 39 million birds are killed in the state each year. Nationwide, rural cats probably kill over a billion small mammals and hundreds of millions of birds each year. Urban and suburban cats add to this toll. Some of these kills are house mice, rats and other species considered pests, but many are native songbirds and mammals
whose populations are already stressed by other factors, such as habitat destruction and pesticide pollution.

Despite the difficulties in showing the effect most predators have on their prey, cats are known to have serious impacts on small mammals and birds. Worldwide, cats may have been involved in the extinction of more bird species than any other cause, except habitat destruction. Cats are contributing to the endangerment of populations of birds such as Least Terns, Piping Plovers and Loggerhead Shrikes. In Florida, marsh rabbits in Key West have been threatened by predation from domestic cats. Cats introduced by people living on the barrier islands of Florida's coast have depleted several unique species of mice and woodrats to near extinction.

Not only do cats prey on many small mammals and birds, but they can outnumber and compete with native predators. Domestic cats eat many of the same animals that native predators do. When present in large numbers, cats can reduce the availability of prey for native predators, such as hawks and weasels.

Free-ranging domestic cats may also transmit new diseases to wild animals. Domestic cats have spread feline leukemia virus to mountain lions and may have recently infected the endangered Florida Panther with feline panleukopenia (feline distemper) and an immune deficiency disease. These diseases may pose a serious threat to this rare species. Some free-ranging domestic cats also carry several diseases that are easily transmitted to humans, including rabies and toxoplasmosis.

posted by y2karl at 2:06 PM on May 22, 2004


People get really upset when arguing about this. One thing that some folks don't realize is that there a deep cultural divide on this issue between, for example, the US and Britain. So, a point of view that seems really peculiar and inhumane from one perspective is the norm from the other.

I'm in the "indoor" crowd; but purely on the basis of a cat's assumed joie de vivre, I can see the "outdoor" point of view. But I do think that that assumption is questionable, and that there are other important considerations (such as y2karl discusses).

In any case, saying that "you deserve to have your cat never come home" is gratuitously hurtful at the worst time. There are better ways to make the point, yes?
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 5:39 PM on May 22, 2004


MyCatFilter: after the first day of force-feeding her (about 9cc of a food water mix), Simone's condition improved, as evidenced by a slight increase in activity. However, I haven't been able to discern much improvement since then. She has gotten a bit more uncooperative and surly about the feedings, though.

Incidentally, I've received a few very, very kind emails (I've yet to respond to each of them, but I will). And of course there's the nice comments here. Thanks everyone for caring; and for those of you with your own ailing pets, or late beloved pets, you have my deepest sympathies and warmest thoughts.

posted by Ethereal Bligh at 5:45 PM on May 22, 2004


I keep my cat in an hermetically-sealed box. It may be artificial, but at least that way I can keep her forever, and that's all that really matters, right? Right?

The cat posts in this thread are irrelevant and misplaced. Get a blog.
posted by rushmc at 6:30 PM on May 22, 2004


I thought for a moment about saying something clever in response to that, but instead I'll just point out that you're an asshole.
posted by yhbc at 6:41 PM on May 22, 2004


I keep my cat in a hermetically sealed box as well. Along with a vial of poisonous gas and a radioactive trigger mechanism.
Sometime I think she is probably OK. Sometimes I think not.

It's so hard to tell for sure.
posted by thatwhichfalls at 6:42 PM on May 22, 2004


Also my sympathies to all those who told about losing pets in this thread - Ethereal Bligh was probably right when he said that as a society we don't take the loss of other peoples pets seriously enough.
posted by thatwhichfalls at 6:44 PM on May 22, 2004


We had a cat who had been taken off the streets, where she had clearly led a very insecure life -- she hid behind the refrigerator for the first week or so. Once she was convinced we weren't going to try to harm her, she started coming out and even letting us touch her. Eventually she was comfortable sitting on our laps and wandering around the place as though she owned it. She never showed the slightest interest in going back out outside. Guess she was just deficient in hunting instinct or something.

rushmc, I happen to know you're not an asshole, but you're sure doing a good job of impersonating one.
posted by languagehat at 7:18 PM on May 22, 2004


Oh yeah - Karl, good point. I should qualify my statement ;

I don't believe in "owning" "pets" at all. Farm animals are another thing. They're just captives. But, there are far too many cats chasing too few birds.

The coyotes should help out with that problem.

And - my sympathies with the owners of eaten pets.
posted by troutfishing at 9:27 PM on May 22, 2004


Oh, and - to riff off languagehat's cat tale....

I love cats (and have "owned" a few) and also think they're now an important bridge between humans and the larger natural world (which also makes human life possible).
posted by troutfishing at 9:30 PM on May 22, 2004


metatalk: not an asshole, but sure doing a good job of impersonating one
posted by t r a c y at 11:09 PM on May 22, 2004


Ontopic: within the next 48 to 72 hours, someone will post a link, probably to the NYT or the like, about the grand jury subpoenaeing two or more journalists about the Plame affair leak. Bonus prediction: the FPP will appear shortly after Josh Marshall blogs the story.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 9:28 AM on May 23, 2004


Prediction: Ethereal Bligh will continue to excessively state the excessively obvious at excessive length an excessive number of times with excessive personal anecdotage in excessive detail. Let No Opinion Be Left Behind.
posted by y2karl at 2:25 PM on May 23, 2004


That's it karl, let's start trying to discourage people who post well-thought out, lengthy comments, in favour of more snarks, quips, and one-liners.

EB's style and point-belabouring annoys me too, a bit, but I'd rather have his longwindedness than any number of self-styled humorists posting 'this X, it vibrates?' or its equivalent over and over a-fucking-gain, or, to be honest, long passages of journalistic copy pasted into threads.

Point being we all have our tics and our pet peeves. Glass houses and all, cap'n.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 4:48 PM on May 23, 2004


Cough.
posted by trharlan at 5:37 PM on May 23, 2004


What makes me sad, is that I like y2karl and Miguel—I wouldn't have expected them to be among my consistent and snarky critics. But, as a friend said to me earlier today, we hate most in others what we hate most in ourselves.

It occurs to me that some folks out there may have misunderstood the (with only a couple of exceptions) silence I've returned the various snarky insults that have been directed my way lately. The silence doesn't signal indifference, or arrogance, so you don't need to keep laying it on thinking that I'm not getting the message. I am. My feelings have been hurt, if that was the intent; and I've modified my behavior, somewhat, if the intent was at least partly constructive.

I lurked MeFi for a long time, and I very much have wanted to be a part of this community. I'm new to most of you, but most of you are like old friends to me. I'm happiest when I know that my contribution to a community has been positive, that I've made it a better place; I deeply regret it and feel badly when I believe that I've made it worse. But the devil's in the details and a particular problem for me is that, I am guessing, my virtues are also my vices and it's problematic to attempt to eliminate the latter without eliminating the former. But I continue to try.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 8:13 PM on May 23, 2004


EB, I don't think anybody would say you've made this a worse place -- at least I hope they wouldn't. You're thoughtful and polite, and you even spell correctly. You do tend to be... a bit wordy. I presume you're aware of this, and I suspect if you just preview your posts with an eye towards tightening them up you can probably eliminate most of the criticism. Pretend you have a 250-word limit or something. But if you have a lot to say, say it, and screw 'em. People have complained about y2karl for years, and he pretty much ignores them and keeps doing what he's doing, and MeFi is a better place for it. You can't please everyone.

And you're definitely onto something with the remark about hating most in others what we hate most in ourselves.
posted by languagehat at 8:32 AM on May 24, 2004


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