Enough with the complaining May 25, 2004 11:26 AM   Subscribe

Why the complaints all the time?

As is often the case, people seem to prefer pointing out errors and criticizing fpps to a discussion of the material. This was not a lazy fpp, I contend. What can be done to discourage complainers? I admit that my approach to the complaints in this thread was not ideal.
posted by mcgraw to Etiquette/Policy at 11:26 AM (73 comments total)

I admit that my approach to the complaints in this thread was not ideal.

6 of 8 comments on your part quickly screwed up that thread. A wiser approach might have been to ignore the more or less inappropriate complains.
posted by Eirixon at 11:35 AM on May 25, 2004


And that's not how the Underpants Gnomes in-joke works.
posted by nicwolff at 11:36 AM on May 25, 2004


It's a somewhat interesting topic, but there's not a lot to be said about it. That's to say, it's a good enough post, but you will get few if any comments in general.

You started it off by calling someone "nit-fucking-picky" because you neglected to include a title in your post, then continued to raise hell about it. In terms of total complaining, you're taking the cake in that thread.

It's not that much work to make up a quick simple title like "protecting antiquities in War" or something like that, and you should try not to take things so seriously.

Here, I'll ax all the lame comments and add the title for you.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 11:42 AM on May 25, 2004


Actually I think from now on my posts will have totally misleading titles, just to mess with RSS feed readers:

William Gibson in Pedophilia Shock
Flash cartoon of Oliver Willis and Glenn Reynolds doin' it
Bin Laden location traded for Gmail account
Matt Haughey hosted afternoon talkshow a go!
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 11:43 AM on May 25, 2004


Thank you very much, Matt. I will temper my replies to such remarks from now on. I hope you and others understand the frustration.

I didn't realize about the RSS readers.

Nicwolff was hostile for no reason. I responded in kind.
posted by mcgraw at 11:48 AM on May 25, 2004


It's a very interesting topic, Mr. Howie. There is a lot to be said about it:

MetaFilter
posted by dfowler at 11:49 AM on May 25, 2004


As is often the case, people seem to prefer pointing out errors and criticizing fpps to a discussion of the material.

So, what, you'd rather have us discuss the topic at length, only to have it all be for naught since your post was riddled with errors? Seems to me, having corrections near the top would improve the quality of the conversation. I don't know much about the military, but I'm somewhat certain that the Air Force gets pissed off when you mistake them for Army.

As for the problem with the title, I don't use RSS, so it doesn't to matter to me for what little that's worth. Then again, the reason I don't use RSS is that people don't put enough information in their feeds.

Do you realize that "nicwolff, you haven't fppd in two years. get off my thread, whiny bitch" is a highly illogical argument?

Besides all that, the post was definitely interesting.

[not that any of this will make sense now that Mat's fixed the post...]
posted by jbrjake at 11:53 AM on May 25, 2004


That's fucking hilarious! I feel like a rock star and I've never been happier. Thanks, dfowler!

And I'm told that the fact that I haven't "fppd" in two years is one of my best qualities.
posted by nicwolff at 11:57 AM on May 25, 2004


Great. Nicwolff, jbrjake. Nice to meet you. Friendly couple of blokes, you are.

So, what, you'd rather have us discuss the topic at length, only to have it all be for naught since your post was riddled with errors?

Riddled with errors-- yes, yes it was. "Riddled."

I would rather not have fppd at all. Maybe I won't any more, thanks to your considerate feedback.
posted by mcgraw at 12:01 PM on May 25, 2004


Bin Laden location traded for Gmail account

Damn. I've read it so many times but I really did just snort coffee up my nose. Ow.
posted by i_cola at 12:04 PM on May 25, 2004


> What can be done to discourage complainers?

Be better. ha ha, just kidding, hugs and kisses
posted by Capn at 12:34 PM on May 25, 2004


I would rather not have fppd at all. Maybe I won't any more, thanks to your considerate feedback.
mcgraw, damn, calm down.

As I said, I thought your post was interesting. I liked it.

But it was riddled with errors. First you didn't include a title. Then you confused Army and Air Force, even when the correct branch of the military was included in the very URL to which you were linking. Then you implied the first link was about a Colonel protecting nearby ancient sites (note the plural) when it was really about a Colonel who protected some artifacts from exposure to the elements and a Major who cordoned off one site for excavation. Finally you made the logical error of using an ad hominem attack against nicwollf, as if somehow his posting history vindicates your mistakes. You take umbrage to "riddled," so, in your opinion, how many problems can there be in a few hundred characters of text before one can say it's damaged throughout? If you don't want to argue these details, maybe you shouldn't have asserted "This was not a lazy fpp, I contend," on the top of this page. Contend, as in, make the subject of dispute or contention. Yet you get all huffy when someone takes up the opposing side of the argument.

No one's forcing you to post on the front page, just like no one is asking for you to refer to him as a whiny bitch. But I certainly didn't tell you to stop, and I never would.

Thanks for not answering either question I asked in my comment, it really shows how committed you are to engaging in dialogue.
posted by jbrjake at 12:44 PM on May 25, 2004


hands i_cola a napkin PinkStainlessTail, youknow I'd throw myself over those threads if I read them in my RSS reader, and look you're giving people ideas.... ;)
posted by dabitch at 12:45 PM on May 25, 2004


Disclaimer: I didn't see the deleted comments, so my observations here are general ones, and not necessarily directed at the thread at hand.

As is often the case, people seem to prefer pointing out errors and criticizing fpps to a discussion of the material.

Well, those are two different things. Pointing out errors is entirely legitimate and on-topic. I was here, at first, going to distinguish between errors which are material to the point one is making, and errors which are immaterial, but then I reconsidered, remembering that MeFi is (in theory, at least) more about the links than the discussion. So a comment relevant to the link--including pointing out that a post mischaracterizes something or other in the link--is always relevant, even if it is not relevant to the discussion the poster was trying to engender.

What can be done to discourage complainers?

Which brings me to the other issue, that of criticizing the merit of posts. That belongs in the brown, not the blue. If someone criticizes the merit of your post in the thread, the respectable thing to do is either a) ignore it, or b) take it to MeTa. (No, I haven't always done this myself. No need to go looking for evidence of my hypocrisy, because I'll be the first to admit that it exists. Bad DA!)

Yes, there will be those who complain that virtually every post is being called out to MeTa. That's largely what MeTa is for, IMO: it gives us a place to shit, so we don't have to shit over in the blue. To extend the analogy, everyone shits. A civilized society doesn't solve that problem by telling its members they can't shit; it solves it by giving them an appropriate place to shit, so they don't have to shit elsewhere. MeTa is, figuratively, such a place.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 12:46 PM on May 25, 2004



I would rather not have fppd at all. Maybe I won't any more, thanks to your considerate feedback.


Well, it'd be a tough loss, but please don't take dfowler with you.
posted by trharlan at 12:50 PM on May 25, 2004


Ok. I made errors in the fpp. I mistakenly called fvw "nit-f*****g-picky" because he didn't like the thread title. I didn't know about the RSS issue.

I'm glad the factual errors have been corrected [To answer #1, jbrjake]. But both fvw and Nicwolff took an aggressive or sarcastic tone in their criticism (well, maybe I misinterpreted fvw's intention-- something like "Is it really too much trouble to make a proper title?"). I've already admitted that my replies were aggressive, but I was replying in-kind -- at least to Nicwolff.

#2, jbrjake: Yes, that's illogical, isn't it? You're right.
posted by mcgraw at 1:26 PM on May 25, 2004


I have tried to keep my posts positive, trharlan, particularly in recent months. I'd appreciate more positive feedback and constructive (not sarcastic) criticism.
posted by mcgraw at 1:39 PM on May 25, 2004


I'd appreciate more positive feedback and constructive (not sarcastic) criticism.

Umm.. this is Metafilter, not your annual compensation review. People care about what you post and what you have to say. Think before you write and perhaps you'll get the kind of reaction to which you assume you are entitled.
posted by PrinceValium at 1:55 PM on May 25, 2004


Thanks, PrinceValium.

1) I wasn't thinking, prior to posting.
2) I "assumed" which, as we all know, is faulty.
3) I wrongly believed I was "entitled" to something.
posted by mcgraw at 2:02 PM on May 25, 2004


mcgraw-- people might respond to your MeTa callout better had you responded when you yourself were called out.
posted by trharlan at 2:10 PM on May 25, 2004


There is an endless battle online (much more so than in real life, at least in my experience) between people who value politeness and people who don't.

By MY value system, someone is behaving badly if they post something meanspirited, i.e. "keep self-links off the front page, fuckhead!"

I don't think this solves ANY problems, but it certainly creates some.

And I don't like self-links on the front page. And I think someone who DOES post self-links (or violates some other rule), should be told not to do it again.

But there are polite ways of doing so.

I've argued this a million times, and I'm pretty convinced that the polite people will always be upset and the ruder people will always be ruder, and no one will ever change anyone's mind or behavior.

The impolite method generally leads to flame wars. I used to assume (wrongly thinking the whole world was like me), that people got into (or started) flame wars our of ignorance. But now I believe that many people enjoy them. They think of trading insults as a game.

Fine.

It's just hard for all of us to co-exist happily.
posted by grumblebee at 2:11 PM on May 25, 2004


this is all very confusing
posted by mr.marx at 2:20 PM on May 25, 2004




I think that mcgraw and his pal dfowler have used up a lot of people's goodwill by wasting our time and bandwidth with their endless in-jokes in the comments to other people's FPPs.

Perhaps some of the impatience carried over to mcgraw's FPP; it was already edited back to coherence (title) and civility (comments) by Matt before I read it.

However, I'm certainly surprised to see mcgraw whining to Matt like a spoiled third-grader that people are being meeeean to him!
posted by Sidhedevil at 2:29 PM on May 25, 2004


So are you saying that we all get a certain allotment of good will, and when we use that up, it's okay for people to be mean to us?

Why be mean?
posted by grumblebee at 2:41 PM on May 25, 2004



Here, I'll ax all the lame comments and add the title for you.


ASSHOLE.

yes , you, mathowie.
posted by quonsar at 3:17 PM on May 25, 2004


HERE IS NOTHING ABOUT MEFI THAT PISSES ME OFF MORE THAN THAT ASSHOLE MATHOWIE REWRITING HISTORY. GODDAMMIT MATT, CUT IT OUT! WHO THE FUCK DO YOU THINK YOU ARE, GEORGE W. BUSH?!?!?!?!!
posted by quonsar at 3:19 PM on May 25, 2004


is this like when the cop gets his wife's head in a box and isn't meant to kill the bad guy?
posted by andrew cooke at 3:30 PM on May 25, 2004


Now call him Meta Censor Adolph.

Unless someone has taken over your account, you are over the line. I would say to take it to MeTa, but since we are already here, maybe you should take it to Monkeyfilter.
posted by thirteen at 3:39 PM on May 25, 2004


Whoa. C'mon there, quonnie. Calm the fuck down. I understand your sentiments (what's posted is posted) but it is HIS site. What he says goes.

Also...a comparison to GWB? C'mon, man, I think it's fairly obvious that mathowie can and does read. And eat pretzels. And ride a bicycle. A better analogy would be Disney.
posted by graventy at 4:02 PM on May 25, 2004


Just a word of advice, mcgraw. Post your best, and then hang back for a while. Let a good number of comments come through before you start responding to them. The post is yours, but the discussion doesn't belong to you. You're not the moderator, and presumably, you've already had a say in the post itself. Don't jump in to defend yourself immediately. If you let enough comments come in, they usually include a variety of viewpoints sooner or later. If there's more than one side to the topic you posted, they'll both probably come out without any more help from you. And if your pride/emotions are at stake in how well people receive you, then you've got a bit of a chip on your shoulder and aren't in good condition to discuss anything fairly anyway. This is a recipe for disaster with a controversial subject, including anything war-related. I applaud you for learning your lesson here, and I hope this advice is helpful for your future posts.
posted by scarabic at 4:06 PM on May 25, 2004


maybe you should take it to Monkeyfilter

no thanks
posted by mr.marx at 4:16 PM on May 25, 2004


quonsar: medication-free since 3:17 PM PST on May 25.
posted by PrinceValium at 4:22 PM on May 25, 2004


ASSHOLE.

yes , you, mathowie.

HERE IS NOTHING ABOUT MEFI THAT PISSES ME OFF MORE THAN THAT ASSHOLE MATHOWIE REWRITING HISTORY. GODDAMMIT MATT, CUT IT OUT! WHO THE FUCK DO YOU THINK YOU ARE, GEORGE W. BUSH?!?!?!?!!


"Rewriting history"? That's rich. Get a grip, quonsar -- the asshole here is the one dumping on the site with his own self-satisfied crap, not the one trying to clean up everyone else's shit.
posted by alterego at 5:00 PM on May 25, 2004


um, I kinda assumed quonsar was kidding.

If he wasn't, I'd just like to say: "Double your dosage, good buddy."
posted by keswick at 5:04 PM on May 25, 2004


Whose alterego here are you, alterego?
posted by BlueTrain at 5:07 PM on May 25, 2004


MY WHOMPUS IS FLERBLING! FLERBLING I TELLS YA! MY GODDAM FUCKING WHOMPUS IS FLERBLE, AND MATHOWIE DOESNT CARE! OH, THE SNOWING SWORDFISH! MY PATRONISING UMFORT CLOSES EVENTUALLY UPON THE WRETCHED SCAR TISSUE INHERENT WITHIN THE BOXER SHORTS OF RANDY JACKSON!
posted by quonsar at 5:08 PM on May 25, 2004


Um, I believe those are Randy Johnson's. Perfect, ain't they?
posted by gleuschk at 5:10 PM on May 25, 2004


And it was his Adam's apple, not his boxer shorts.
posted by y2karl at 6:12 PM on May 25, 2004


um, I kinda assumed quonsar was kidding.

Or attempting to, sure -- but failing. I mean, that crack came out of nowhere, and made a tight circle, fast.

Anyway, does his lack of sincerity somehow make him any less of a self-serving prick?
posted by alterego at 6:30 PM on May 25, 2004


if you are considering making any whompus related posts , please reconsider , as this topic has been discussed many times previously.
posted by sgt.serenity at 6:33 PM on May 25, 2004


All caps, q?

Poor form, old boy. Poor form.

wappa-wappa-wappa.
posted by dash_slot- at 6:33 PM on May 25, 2004


we're all self-serving pricks. i only worry about the ones who refuse to acknowledge they're self-serving pricks.
posted by keswick at 6:41 PM on May 25, 2004


Hey quonsar, where can *I* get some of those free passes you keep using?
posted by timeistight at 7:40 PM on May 25, 2004


WHOMPUS: White Human Ordinary Male Person Under Stress;
FLERBLING/FLERBLE: Feeling Largely Extraneous Reading Better, Longer, Informative Notes Greedily / Feeling Largely Extraneous Reading Better, Longer Explanations.

?
posted by snarfodox at 7:49 PM on May 25, 2004


thank you, each and every one, for the colon-vibrating belly laughs. and let there be no doubt about this: i love the howie with an intensity that expands every inch of my mighty manly flerble.
posted by quonsar at 8:10 PM on May 25, 2004


puppies and roses, puppies and roses, cute little puppies and roses

no, plumeria... the sweet smell of plumeria
posted by quonsar at 8:18 PM on May 25, 2004


terra terra iraq democracy freedom terra terra
posted by quonsar at 8:21 PM on May 25, 2004


dude, quit posting!~
posted by quonsar at 8:22 PM on May 25, 2004


More than any other community weblog, MetaFilter and MetaTalk are associated with drunkenness and even alcoholism
posted by mr.marx at 8:55 PM on May 25, 2004


mr.marx: That's cuz all us druggies are on Plastic. ;-P
posted by mischief at 9:06 PM on May 25, 2004


Metafilter: It's just hard for all of us to co-exist happily.
posted by rushmc at 10:15 PM on May 25, 2004


Wow. Turns out I have a Plastic account. Thanks for the reminder mischief.
posted by snarfodox at 10:24 PM on May 25, 2004


Wow. There are still people who take quonsar seriously? Pat yourself on the back if you spend so little time here that you haven't heard him cry wolf enough times to know better.
posted by scarabic at 11:59 PM on May 25, 2004


cry wolf?
methinks someone is reading something into his reading.
posted by quonsar at 4:02 AM on May 26, 2004


or perhaps you are just stunningly ignorant of your basic fairy tale.
posted by quonsar at 4:03 AM on May 26, 2004


or perhaps, my puppies have anally violated my roses.




ouch.
posted by quonsar at 4:06 AM on May 26, 2004


or perhaps, the bushista range police have succeeded in removing me fro the range, in which case, I AM CLEARLY DERANGED.
posted by quonsar at 4:08 AM on May 26, 2004


Quonsy, baby, you are outta yer frickin mind. Big laffs, tho.
posted by Mo Nickels at 4:16 AM on May 26, 2004


big laffs are what counts, mo. remember this. see you all around.
posted by quonsar at 4:44 AM on May 26, 2004


There is definitely a line where editing stops and censorship starts and it seems like this was pretty close to that line. I'm not really sure, but it seems somehow, well, icky.
posted by dg at 5:22 AM on May 26, 2004


see you all around.

Sounds ominous. I'm kinda tired of ominous. I'd rather this weren't ominous. If we could just eliminate ominous for a couple of days, I think my left eye might stop twitching.
posted by Opus Dark at 5:43 AM on May 26, 2004


dude, quit posting!~
posted by quonsar at 8:22 PM PST on May 25


q, you forgot to switch over to the "dfowler" account for that one. please be more careful.
posted by FeetOfClay at 9:22 AM on May 26, 2004


Thank goodness Quonsar finally got himself noticed. It's been a long time coming. I look forward to more threads involving Quonsar, particularly ones that are entirely non-Quonsar-related.
posted by Skot at 9:48 AM on May 26, 2004


I vote for MY WHOMPUS IS FLERBLING! to be added to the cycle of MetaFilter logo taglines on the main page.
posted by DrJohnEvans at 11:58 AM on May 26, 2004


Yeah, I can't get enough of quonsar "look-at-me" nonsense posts and amazing wit in half the threads here. The best part is, mentioning how tiresome it is just feeds his ego! It's a loop!
posted by Snyder at 12:12 PM on May 26, 2004


So are you saying that we all get a certain allotment of good will, and when we use that up, it's okay for people to be mean to us?

No, Grumblebee, I'm saying that people who show disrespect for others might do well not to be surprised when they are shown disrespect themselves. Are you running for Mr./Ms. Congeniality of MetaFilter or something? 'Cause I'm already voting for stavrosthewonderchicken.
posted by Sidhedevil at 12:38 PM on May 26, 2004


or perhaps you are just stunningly ignorant of your basic fairy tale.

...perhaps, or I've misappropriated it as a term for "desensitizing others to serious complaint with constant comedic pranks" I think that's a fair enough use, actually.
posted by scarabic at 1:24 PM on May 26, 2004


...to much the omnibus
posted by clavdivs at 2:43 PM on May 26, 2004


Are you running for Mr./Ms. Congeniality of MetaFilter or something?

I don't understand this. Have I somehow offended you? Or are you joking around. Kindness and politeness is important to me. Maybe it's more important to me than it is to you. I don't want to misread your comment, but it seems a little antagonistic to me. If so, why?
posted by grumblebee at 5:50 PM on May 26, 2004


In the series finale of Angel, the hero says to the arch-villain, "People like you who don't care will never understand those of us that do." The villain replied, "Yeah, but we won't care."

Some people think it's amusing to respond to pleas for courtesy and respect with snark. They will continue to do so. There is not really a basis for effective communication here. But you get my vote for Mr./Ms. MeFi Congeniality, Grumblebee.

Gee, you're not very "grumbly" for someone named "grumblebee", huh?
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 11:03 PM on May 26, 2004


Thanks, but I'm not running for any office.

If there's going to be a constant rude voice here, I think it's important for there to also be polite voices. I'm not the only one here who doesn't like rudeness.
posted by grumblebee at 5:19 AM on May 27, 2004


If we could just eliminate ominous for a couple of days, I think my left eye might stop twitching.

Maybe you have an allergy in one eye.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 10:10 AM on May 27, 2004


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