Media related metanoia September 20, 2004 11:08 AM   Subscribe

Media related metanoia - I feel that things I (and others) write and post on Metafilter seem to pop up a little too often up as stories, talking points, and as linguistic affectations of the chattering classes, on Public Radio: media succubi and incubi leeching off the juices of Metafilter and the blogoshpere at large. This has been discussed before, and will no doubt be discussed again - as at once a reality, a paranoia, and an irritant.
posted by troutfishing to MetaFilter-Related at 11:08 AM (62 comments total)

Does our "original authors" copyrights cover blurbs and soundbites?
posted by Space Coyote at 11:12 AM on September 20, 2004


Complaining about this is sortof like complaining about newsfilter, although it is interesting to observe.
posted by namespan at 11:16 AM on September 20, 2004


It certainly couldn't be that people who contribute to public radio might possibly draw from the same sources as you. It's those damn psychic vampires.
posted by darukaru at 11:20 AM on September 20, 2004


darukaru, you just called trout a liar. (in that you implied he was not being truthful when he asserted that something that was, as far as he knew, original to him, showed up in other places.)

Did you mean it?
posted by Space Coyote at 11:31 AM on September 20, 2004


Got any examples?
posted by PrinceValium at 11:33 AM on September 20, 2004


So trout, are you concerned about being part of the engine that's driving the Great World Brain?

Because somebody has to push new ideas & concepts through to where ideas get traded among the greater unwashed (public radio being one large place for these things), and I'd reckon it's better we-all are involved than some other bunch of witless yahoos who aren't as naturally endowed with genius as we of the Great 17k.

I'm only slightly kidding.
posted by chicobangs at 11:41 AM on September 20, 2004


Media related metanoia

No. 2 in a series of studies on MetaFilter-specific psychic disorders, brought to you by troutfishing.

posted by soyjoy at 11:47 AM on September 20, 2004


Sorry trout, but you lost me with the whole "chattering classes" thing. My personal idea is that if you didn't want a lot of unqualified people reading what you think, you wouldn't post here. This is not the best place to stake out exclusive rights on an idea.
posted by taz at 11:47 AM on September 20, 2004


We need stronger copyright laws to stop things like this. No, seriously. No ... I mean it. No really. I'm not kidding.

Trout, can you tell me why it matters?
posted by Blue Stone at 11:50 AM on September 20, 2004


"leeching off the juices of the blogosphere"?

That sounds like a good tagline for Metafilter. Not sure why it's bad when The Mass Media does it.
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 11:50 AM on September 20, 2004


If we tell bloggers to stop quoting stuff perhaps we could call it even.
posted by Space Coyote at 11:53 AM on September 20, 2004


I submitted this post with a much funnier headline.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 12:04 PM on September 20, 2004


What the hell is that link, trout? Google results of you using the phrase "chattering classes"?

I'm going to turn around now and count to five. When I come back I want this thread gone.
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 12:08 PM on September 20, 2004


D--- WOULD NOT READ AGAIN
posted by dflemingdotorg at 12:11 PM on September 20, 2004


Yea... I noticed the other day that whenever I read a thread on the Iraq war, not even a full hour goes by before I hear a similar story on NPR. What the fuck?
posted by Witty at 12:19 PM on September 20, 2004


I'm going to turn around now and count to five. When I come back I want this thread gone.

Preferably before this page shows up on that Google search too.
posted by Armitage Shanks at 12:26 PM on September 20, 2004


What chicobangs said.

The greatest damage done by IP and copyright law is the current "common sense" idea that just because you said or thought something, you own it. You don't.

Someone vaguely quoting you, without permission or attribution, isn't illegal. Rather, it's the way ideas work. Ditto for taking your ideas and building on them.

Disney and other Big Media very much want you to buy in to the concept that these things need to be owned and controlled and litigated. I say screw that. Ideas should flow and develop. Holding onto a MetaFilter quote with bother hands and yelling, "Mine!!! Mine!!! Mine!!!", is silly.

Or, perhaps you could get over yourself. Do you give attribution for all the ideas you leech from others? If you read an article and then carry it's ideas into your comments here, do you always give us the source of each idea? Or are you using that article as part of a larger body of knowledge to draw from? People in the media are succubi and incubi if they read MetaFilter? Piffle.

Time to unclench, step away from the media teat, and rediscover some perspective.
posted by y6y6y6 at 12:33 PM on September 20, 2004


I'm less skeptical of your claims than the mob, but I'd be really interested to see specific examples also, especially linguistic affectations.
posted by callmejay at 1:05 PM on September 20, 2004


This American Blog.
posted by ParisParamus at 1:11 PM on September 20, 2004


I'd take it as a compliment, personally..
posted by ascullion at 1:14 PM on September 20, 2004


at once a reality, a paranoia, and an irritant

you forgot "a vanity"
posted by scarabic at 10:47 PM on September 20, 2004


9/14/98 Molly Ivins column. Starr report still news.

9/23/03 Oldest cite from trout
posted by swell at 12:14 AM on September 21, 2004


Metafilter: leeching off the juices of the blogosphere++

But really, who cares?

And furthermore, how else are we going to co-opt a complex and often centrally-controlled global broadcast mode media juggernaut unless we become it?

How else are we going to smash one-to-many with many-to-many?

Let the information spread. There's more than just a few news/information junkies out there that pay attention to how information spreads, from the most casual to the most scientific.

And really, isn't Metafilter all about free information and community and all that? Think of it as a privately funded or volunteer university. Of course there are going to be information leeches. Any decent real-world university - state, private or public - has them in droves. From cash-strapped housewives to homeless folk and crazy weirdos and more. It's intentional, you dorkus. It's practically a designed function of any really excellent university, this openness.

And we all benefit from it, today and tommorow.

Information will be free. There's not a lot we can do to stop it.
posted by loquacious at 12:33 AM on September 21, 2004



posted by bob sarabia at 1:03 AM on September 21, 2004


Could someone please explain what the fuck troutfishing is going on about, exactly? Is he complaining about the bad ol' media using the phrase 'chattering classes'? If he thinks that's his he's in for a shock -- it's been about for donkeys. Or is he complaining about some wider "they steal all my stories" kind of thing?
posted by bonaldi at 4:04 AM on September 21, 2004


It does happen, and I think it's really neat actually. :)
posted by dabitch at 4:32 AM on September 21, 2004


Of course that happens -- MeFi is a virtual pub, and all the best stories come out of the pub. I've nicked a few in my time.
posted by bonaldi at 4:49 AM on September 21, 2004


Or is he complaining about some wider "they steal all my stories" kind of thing?

I'm similarly confused, but if so you have to love the indignation from someone who cuts'n'pastes whole texts.
posted by yerfatma at 5:21 AM on September 21, 2004


It's a compliment--we have our finger on the pulse of the world? (or our hands around their necks?) or something : >
posted by amberglow at 5:23 AM on September 21, 2004


the engine that's driving the Great World Brain?
posted by yoga at 5:42 AM on September 21, 2004


Do you hear me complaining because Clive Barker gave the name 'mischief' to a character in Abarat?

"at once a reality, a paranoia, and an irritant"

Wrong perspective, trout. Look at this as an opportunity. ;-P
posted by mischief at 7:36 AM on September 21, 2004


Could someone please explain what the fuck troutfishing is going on about, exactly?

You took the words right out my mouth

/meatloaf

That's what I'm thinking....the Google links give no clue either - they link back to Metafilter posts. Is this some kind of back-handed self-compliment he's giving himself, that other people are stealing his anecdotes and stories, phrases, original words created by himself? Does he want royalty cheques? Where exactly are these plaigerists? Care to give actual links (you know, it does help to have evidence of such stealing)??
posted by SpaceCadet at 7:39 AM on September 21, 2004


There are comments and there are comments. If you keep half an eye on the sidebar on metafilter's front page, Matt tends to link to super-comments, where users put time and energy into lengthy contributions. I'd hate to see some of these pilfered, without attribution - and I mean attribution beyond "from a comment on metafilter". The other comments I'm not so fussy about.

The same applies to front page posts.
posted by nthdegx at 7:55 AM on September 21, 2004


It's one thing if writing on MeFi is quoted verbatim without attribution, which is naughty, but I don't think that's what our good trout is burbling about. He seems (and I emphasize seems) to be complaining (?) about things mentioned on MeFi showing up in the media. This has indeed been discussed before (so... why this post?), and I've never understood why it would bother anyone that the media get ideas from MeFi. As ascullion says, it's a compliment. And if you stand on a soapbox shouting, don't you want people to pass it along?

So, trout: hook got yer tongue?
posted by languagehat at 8:15 AM on September 21, 2004


Why is it irritating to contribute to the public conversation?
posted by rushmc at 8:16 AM on September 21, 2004


A lot of the info in those "super comments" on the sidebar is widely available in books, manuals, newspaper articles, whatever. How aquifers work? A brief history of Chechnya? Does anyone think that this information broke here and isn't available at every library in the nation? I like to see someone directly involved with a story speak up and get mentioned there, but the page-from-an-encyclopedia posts are, IMO, something less than MetaFilter Brand Gold Boullion that the ignorant hordes of the media would love to get their hands on only too well.
posted by scarabic at 8:40 AM on September 21, 2004


There are 14 signs of a serial killer. And this post has 9.
posted by yerfatma at 8:43 AM on September 21, 2004


Trout! Don't touch the brown acid! It's bad! (did someone forget to tell him?)
posted by Blue Stone at 8:46 AM on September 21, 2004


It's not so much bad, as "not, specifically, too good." If I recall correctly. And I may not.
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 9:04 AM on September 21, 2004


I'm less skeptical of your claims than the mob, but I'd be really interested to see specific examples also, especially linguistic affectations.

Specific Example:

July 10, 2002 Metafilter post on Harry Smith and Anthology of American Folk Music

July 17, 2002 NPR story on Harry Smith and the Anthology of American Folk Music

The Anthology of American Folk Music had long been reissued, there was no anniversary involved and there had been no media coverage of Harry Smith or the Anthology of American Folk Music. I've long known who the larger readership here includes.
posted by y2karl at 9:39 AM on September 21, 2004


*wags weenie at dan rather*
posted by quonsar at 10:11 AM on September 21, 2004


As long as MetaFilter has timestamps on its posts, participants can (rightly or wrongly) show all their friends "I said it before NPR/FoxNews/DailyShow/WeeklyWorldNews did." And if, for example, some Hollywood asshat made a Lifetime Movie out of my long post in the Marriage thread last Thansgiving, I'm sure I could find a lawyer to sue their hats off.

Still, it is much more satisfying to see your ideas pass into the Mass Media via MetaFilter, even without attribution (and let's face it, half of the times somebody has given attribution to a MetaFilter-ite, it's written so nobody can understand it), than to get a dozen "Right on, man!" responses within the thread and then have nobody ever mention it again.

So, troutfishing, it's too small. Throw it back.
posted by wendell at 10:16 AM on September 21, 2004


yeah, it looks like this is one of those rare threads that really needs a [more inside ...] Mr. Fishing?
posted by terrapin at 11:20 AM on September 21, 2004


"I'm sure I could find a lawyer to sue their hats off."

But could you find one that would kill at the whim of a hat?
posted by mr_crash_davis at 12:28 PM on September 21, 2004


Maybe I listen to NPR more than I read MetaFilter, but I notice quite often the flow going from NPR to MetaFilter main page.

What I assume happens is that someone hears something interesting and then does some googling and finds relevant links and then forgets that the idea to look for the site/s came from NPR story.
posted by zeikka at 1:35 PM on September 21, 2004


at the whim of a hat?

Dude, I'm pretty sure TCS said something just like that more than three weeks ago!
posted by soyjoy at 1:51 PM on September 21, 2004


If I understand you trout, you think the threads posted in Meta-filter have become the one of the main sources that the news medium you use for hearing and seeing it. True, the Internet is a quicker source for hearing, seeing & finding the news stories today. Don't watch TV or Cable news as your theory will really be ballooned. You will be telling your friends, “the rest of the story” before the news broadcaster finishes the initial news flash.
posted by thomcatspike at 3:48 PM on September 21, 2004


Meta-filter has become one of the main sources for the all the news mediums you use for hearing and seeing it.
posted by thomcatspike at 3:50 PM on September 21, 2004


Meta-filter has become one of the main sources for most of the news mediums you use for hearing and seeing it.
posted by thomcatspike at 3:51 PM on September 21, 2004


MeFi is embarrassing far behind the breaking wave of the Good Shit these days.

But that's still in a far more clued-in timezone than The News.

I'm not sure if it's ever been much different.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 4:34 PM on September 21, 2004


not sure if it's ever been much different.
Comparing last year to this year. It seems last year I saw more stuff posted first at Meta-Filter then heard it later on in the news outlets. Now I'm reading post that I first saw on the news. Most of the time days later. The unfortunate part is some of the posts I could have posted days or even weeks earlier. Guess no pony for me. YMMV.
posted by thomcatspike at 5:05 PM on September 21, 2004


"troutfishing, it's too small. Throw it back." - wendell, crazy like a fox

"It certainly couldn't be that people who contribute to public radio might possibly draw from the same sources as you." - darakaru, more public radio? But.... show me your browsing, I'll show you mine, OK ?

"So trout, are you concerned about being part of the engine that's driving the Great World Brain?

"
- chicobangs, what actually annoys me is to notice the parallel phenomenon of 1) stories and - more to the point - themes and perspectives passing from the net to mainstream media and 2) nonetheless the degraded quality of mainstream media talking head discourse : of people getting paid a fair amount of money to emit shit from their mouths.
posted by troutfishing at 8:34 PM on September 21, 2004


yeah, we should get paid too! ; >
posted by amberglow at 8:48 PM on September 21, 2004


It is possible to get it before the major media without handing it to the major media. I think there are probably lots of situations where people have scored a scoop but don't deserve attribution in some news article that follows a post. Posts come from somewhere. The fact that they're easier to slap together than radio and print stories gives them a time advantage.

Besides, all most posts do is report on something. It's not customary for reporters to attribute any and all other reporters who've worked on similar subject matter prior.
posted by scarabic at 8:50 PM on September 21, 2004


amberglow - and then we'd get fat and lazy and do the same. It's only fair.

scarabic - I bet there are whole courses about the ethics of news attribution.....

"Sorry trout, but you lost me with the whole "chattering classes" thing" -taz, it's an in joke, sort of. Use "chattering classes, Thatcher" as conjoined search terms on Google : You'll get a part of my drift.
posted by troutfishing at 9:33 PM on September 21, 2004


"I want this thread gone." - "Out, out damn spot!" (try Tide?)
posted by troutfishing at 9:36 PM on September 21, 2004


"...you forgot "a vanity" "(scarabic) - Yup, I did. Isn't that the nature of vanity ?

*Dan Rather wags back at George Bush with substantial weenie*
posted by troutfishing at 9:44 PM on September 21, 2004


troutfishing, it's not that I don't agree with you, but -- what solution would you propose that any public radio wonk or other talking head would ever adopt?

You can't control them. If you have an idea that's too good to give away, then sell it. Write an article, or print it up yourself (Chattering Classes is a great zine name). The only other option is hiding your light under a bushel.

At which point your insight (which is considerable) isn't even considered in the first place, and we're all weaker for it.

That's what I mean by the Big World Brain. Brother, you get plenty of credit here in the Blue, and as you've proven, shit written here doesn't exactly go unread.
posted by chicobangs at 9:48 PM on September 21, 2004


I'm sure that J-school does go quite into depth about *source* attribution as regards quotes and material plagiarism, but as for giving attribution to someone who simply made you aware of something which you then reported on yourself, and wrote about in your own words, no, I really don't think so.
posted by scarabic at 10:21 PM on September 21, 2004


scarabic - other than cutting and pasting whole blocks of text and then passing that off as one's own, it's a very murky issue.

chicobangs - I had a covert agenda with this post. The overall transmission of ideas and material is damn hard to prove and - as scarabic notes - there's not necessarily any dishonor in reading Metafilter (to the extent this happens) to pick up on up-and-coming stories and to gauge their hot-button index levels - presumeably by # of comments.

Not scientific, but it would work - and that's fine by me.

My post theme was actually a red herring of sorts - I wanted to send up this little, wee flare to possibly help reinforce big mass media's sense - keen this week from the rather/CBS debacle of the forged docs just outed on the Blogosphere - that it's pants are down.

Well, it's pants ARE down, and that's not news here.

[ nota bene - also, CBS has been be going all Fox-ish against Bush. - as of last night. Docugate almost toppled Rather from his porch, and he (rightly or wrongly) no doubt smells Rove all over it. ]

Stories propelled upwards from the Blogosphere have rocked the boat several times now, and people are slowly turning away from big media - now running a bit scared for the fact that they don't have a clue where this whole blog thing is heading - and to the Net for real news and analysis.

So, I wanted to send up a little flare - for those who read the brown - to reiterate the mesage to big mass media ("BMM", for short) that trash opinion and shoddy bias and framing won't cut it anymore.

Open source truth is going to - God willing - chew a hole through that sort of crap, to let some sunlight in - and not a minute too soon.

So, my covert agenda was to send up such a message as I can - "we're watching you".

My personal agenda, as well - and to be shamelessly open about it - certainly involves jealousy at not have a wider forum from which to spread my opinions which certainly surpass, as do those of many here on Metafilter, much of the garbage - that passes for discourse - shovelled out the door from on high to rain down on our heads : that's my own damn responsibility and fault, sure.

But, much of the punditocracy on the American right gets fat stipends simply for having a pulse, while the Democratic Party shops for influence at the cheap plastic and cardboard shop, and Public Radio : Don't get me started - last week, I heard Dan Schorr covering the poll controversy, from high on his emimence gris tenured Public radio pedestal, and discovered later that he'd just served up a rewarmed - and clearly bias - NYT article.

He might as well have taken a crap and called it art.

I more and more often find smoke coming out of my ears - for the inanities of mass media talking head platitudes, bromides, and stinking eructations that smack of ignorance, denial, and lies - due to an awareness that has been honed to a far keener edge from to Metafilter.

I'm wrestling with what to do with that other than consuming less mass media and complaining, tangentially and uselessly, on Metatalk.

But, as for solutions.....I think there's no solution, only struggle.

*struggles*

Or, there are only big solutions which will involve much struggle.

_____________

Also - about my reasons behind this devious little this post - people on Metafilter need something to yack about - "Trout, what an idiotic post! WTF ?", and so on. It helps us to bond.
posted by troutfishing at 9:56 AM on September 22, 2004


I like "nattering nabobs".
posted by mr_crash_davis at 10:35 AM on September 22, 2004


Ah, but the nabobs are just a clique from the larger set of chatterers.
posted by troutfishing at 7:55 PM on September 22, 2004


« Older Become a pirate for a day   |   Photo thread busted Newer »

You are not logged in, either login or create an account to post comments