Discussion of y2karl's posting style (Feb. 2005) February 22, 2005 9:31 PM   Subscribe

Discussion of y2karl's small quote posting style in this thread got me thinking. I wonder what a pie chart or Venn diagram showing a breakdown of his contributions to MeFi into quotes, small quotes, alt-text quotes, his own words, etc. would look like.
posted by techgnollogic to MetaFilter-Related at 9:31 PM (189 comments total)

Also: Mine is a non-critical, purely academic curiosity.
posted by techgnollogic at 9:35 PM on February 22, 2005


here's some idea

And I wouldn't bother being critical, anyone. I tried that once.
posted by scarabic at 9:58 PM on February 22, 2005


Wow, look at that posting history! Others may come and go but y2karl will outlast them all.
posted by vacapinta at 10:05 PM on February 22, 2005


Like Cher.
posted by smackfu at 10:11 PM on February 22, 2005


I didn't want to derail the thread, or start a y2karl-bashing shitstorm in MeTa either, so I didn't take it here. Apologies for what ended up being a derailment that I really didn't want to see, but I've bit my tongue about it so many times that I had a bit of a brainfart. If that makes sense.

Now that we're here, I will say that I think that being told "well, you can just change the settings in your preferences" is a bit out of line, though. I'm expected to go into my MeFi settings and alter my font-size preferences every time I want to read a (admittedly, usually excellent) post from y2karl? And, by extension, everyone else with large monitors ought to do so as well?

That seems a bit much to expect. So, yeah, I guess I'll have to keep skipping them. My loss.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 10:16 PM on February 22, 2005


Just noticed scarabic's link to an old, similar request, and that I said much the same thing last time (which I totally forgot about). Oh well.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 10:18 PM on February 22, 2005


Not that any of us care, but I personally feel small'ed comments, when they are very long and/or tangential, are excellent. Small for the front page is a bit much. If your front page post is so long one feels it needs to be small'ed, one is clearly posting too much. The askme tradition of "more inside" is not a bad one. Post the guts, the heart, the hook on the front. The expanded post, if you believe it necessary, can be inside.
posted by theatrical matriarch at 10:31 PM on February 22, 2005


I wonder what a pie chart [...] quotes, small quotes, alt-text quotes, his own words, etc. would look like.

Probably like this.

posted by Civil_Disobedient at 10:40 PM on February 22, 2005


Someone more technically-inclined than I could possibly use the Firefox extension Greasemonkey to give each FPP/comment on MeFi a CSS class with the name of the poster in it, allowing for userContent.css rules like this:

div.y2karl small {
font-size: inherit;
}


And voila: normal-sized, eye-friendly text.

(If you think this is a bad idea, it'd also give one the ability to do things like this:

div[class="S.C."] {
display: none;
}
)
posted by S.C. at 10:45 PM on February 22, 2005

I'm expected to go into my MeFi settings and alter my font-size preferences every time I want to read a (admittedly, usually excellent) post from y2karl?
If you were using Opera as your web-browser, you could freely zoom MeFi (or any other site), just by holding down control and using your scroll wheel. Seriously - it makes running 1400x1050 on a 15" LCD bearable.

/Opera shill
posted by kickingtheground at 10:46 PM on February 22, 2005


Um, kicking, that works on IE and Firefox as well, providing you're using XP. Probably works with 2000, too.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 10:56 PM on February 22, 2005


the cool thing is that you can scale without bounds in firefox. Tee-hee
posted by delmoi at 11:01 PM on February 22, 2005


I don't know what I hate more, the people who complain about font size, or myself for reading the worthless comments. I understand a lot of what makes this blog good is the self policing. It's also a lot of what makes it bad. In a preemptive move, this isn't directed at anyone in particular - but really, aren't there more important things to care about?
posted by iamck at 11:04 PM on February 22, 2005


More important than the font size of a post? Are you out of your fucking mind??!?!?!
posted by jonson at 11:07 PM on February 22, 2005


iamck: no.
posted by theatrical matriarch at 11:18 PM on February 22, 2005

Um, kicking, that works on IE and Firefox as well, providing you're using XP.
You're right about FireFox (didn't know that, actually). Wrong about IE/XP however (IE will zoom text, but not if the size is definited in points, as it is on MeFi). For the record though - Opera will also zoom images, and even Flash. FireFox won't (at least not out-of-the-box).
posted by kickingtheground at 11:23 PM on February 22, 2005


Hey... is it y2karl Appreciation Day again?
posted by Witty at 11:52 PM on February 22, 2005


It is! Woo, y2karl!
posted by theatrical matriarch at 12:00 AM on February 23, 2005


>I'm expected to go into my MeFi settings and alter my font-size preferences every time I want to read a (admittedly, usually excellent) post from y2karl?

I thought it was just a setting change so that small text would be shown at whatever minimum you set there. I didn't realize all it was easier to just get mad and complain in the thread than to change a simple setting once.

But hell, I suppose I just don't understand the whole purpose of having MeFi preferences... It worked for me, though.
posted by MightyNez at 1:00 AM on February 23, 2005


I thought it was just a setting change so that small text would be shown at whatever minimum you set there. I didn't realize all it was easier to just get mad and complain in the thread than to change a simple setting once.

I'm not sure if you're misunderstanding me, or I you. I'm happy with my fonts as they are, and the size differential between regular and small is set up the way I like it, and the way to which I've become accustomed over the years, for everything else on the site.

Karl's oceanic washes of <small> text are hard to read, at the settings I like. To actually read what he's written (or pasted) without a headache, it would be necessary to change my preferences, go read his thread, then go back and set it back to the levels that work for me everywhere else.

My assumption has been that others may have the same problem (an assumption that seems justified, since scarabic pointed to another thread about it that I've forgotten).

If not, like I've said before, that's fine. I have a little trouble understanding why y2karl posts things that way, and thought that it might be because he doesn't understand, exactly, the problems that I (and others) might have in trying to decipher all the unnecessarily teeny-weeny text.

No biggie. In future, as in the past, I guess I'll just skip his posts, as I assume others may do, for the same reason. I get the feeling that karl considers his posts a sort of performance art, and thus somewhat sacrosant in formatting as well as content. That's totally fine with me. He has his own unique style, and if he really doesn't want to change it, OK. Live and let live.

aren't there more important things to care about?

Yes. Yes, there are. And?
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 1:46 AM on February 23, 2005


I like y2karl a lot nowadays, but his posting style in this regard drives me absolutely batshit. He says in the thread that he doesn't trust people to follow links, so he quotes large blocks of text. That...that's...so paternalistic and pushy.

I think that this offends my sensibilities much more than it does most people, but I also know I'm not alone. There is a very frequent commenter on Bad DeLong's blog who, like karl, has many insightful and interesting things to say that are often very relevant stuff she's found elsewhere. But blog entries on DeLong's site are almost universally weighted down so to speak, by all the cut-and-pasted articles—sometimes quite long—that this commenter thinks are appropriate to the conversation. And it drives me batshit crazy there, too.

I mean, the whole point of the web are hyperlinks. So it offends my delicate OCD sensitivies in that regard. But it's oddly invasive, too. Many people complain that my long comments are self-indulgent and similarly "pushy" because it's implicit that I expect people to read them. Except, really, I don't. As I've said before, my comments are there for the people who want to read them, and I have no expectations of the people that don't. (But don't read this as a dismissal of the understandable concern and objection that you can't really know my intent and if I give this impression, I simply do and I have to recognize that. I try.) In contrast, y2karl has said explicitly that the he doesn't trust people to make the correct judgment for themselves and so his long cut-and-paste quotes are forced upon us for our own good. That's exactly the expectation that I'm accused of having, but that I don't. However, we know from y2karl himself that he does.

I've said this before, but it's a general problem with y2karl's and some other people's posts: they think they know what's best for us, they're wanting to change the world (in some small sense) with their mefi posts and comments. I applaud activism and share most of y2karl's convictions, but crusaders are often monomaniacs, it's all about their crusade. But the world is a much bigger place.

y2karl posts using "small" out of the necessity that these torrents of texts he's so keen on having us read would be even more overwhelming, and oppressive, were they regularly sized. His use of "small" is an implicit concession that there's a deeper problem with what he's doing.

No offense intended, y2karl—I have a great deal of respect for your curiosity, your intelligence, your earnestness, your obvious goodness, your values, your passion. But most of us are gownups and find being told that we have to eat our spinach or we don't get desert to be very off-putting.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 3:29 AM on February 23, 2005


I so love you EB, but damn near everything you have posted ought to be in the small's. Anything more than paragraph of two is a bit much for us drunkards.
posted by zombie theatrical matriarch at 3:58 AM on February 23, 2005


damn near everything you have posted ought to be in the small's

Aye, there's a conundrum in these waters, methinks. Also, the small text isn't paternalistic, it's patronizing.

But hey, if you donna-lika it, you-a donna havta read it.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 5:25 AM on February 23, 2005


Also, the small text isn't paternalistic, it's patronizing.

It's both. "I'm doing this for your own good", and "I'm doing this because you're such a lazy so-and-so".

Personally, I just skip them, so it doesn't bother me. It's paternalistic and patronizing to readers, but since I don't read y2karl's posts, it doesn't really bother me. Kinda like someone being a jerk to Britney Spears fans: I'm not one of them, so I've got no complaints.
posted by Bugbread at 5:43 AM on February 23, 2005


I might just fuck bugbread on principal, rather than interest -- just to prove the evil poinless-ness.
posted by zombie theatrical matriarch at 5:55 AM on February 23, 2005


K -- second bit is missin: evil zombies might exist regardless of what you do with the flesh.
posted by zombie theatrical matriarch at 5:58 AM on February 23, 2005


The small text makes them stand out and easier to skip past, so I think it's a net positive for me.
posted by smackfu at 6:37 AM on February 23, 2005


I guess I'm unclear on the problem... isn't increasing the text size as simple as hitting (command +) in nearly any browser? That's what I do when I can't read something.
posted by dead_ at 6:51 AM on February 23, 2005


I heart y2karl, but I do pass over the tiny text.
posted by taz at 6:52 AM on February 23, 2005


My assumption has been that others may have the same problem

I wouldn't mind if he did this once or twice. However it seems like almost all his front page posts lately employ this same smalltext gambit to fit more on the front page, frequently have one or more "more inside" posts, sometimes as many as five, to say nothing of the huge excerpts in the title tags. That last post and its five more insides are almost 800 words. As such, they seem to me to really be pushing the envelope of "what is a good front page post" by turning a FPP into a hyperlinked essay that would definitely be greeted with GYOFW if he were a newer member. I skip them, always. That said, some people just seem to love them.
posted by jessamyn at 7:19 AM on February 23, 2005


I don't see the problem myself, but then I have no problem reading the small text. Of course, I also read the condensed OED without using the magnifying glass, so ignore me.

I do think, though, that since y2karl's posts are uniformly excellent, better than 90% of what's posted on MeFi, it might be worth a tiny bit of extra effort, like increasing font size, to enjoy them. But that's just me.
posted by languagehat at 7:40 AM on February 23, 2005


Opinions differ on "uniformly excellent", I guess. I look at that thread and see a blowhard trying to beat everyone over the head with sheer volume, backhanded racist allegations, and generally being an ass. Jessamyn is exactly right, if were anyone beside the revered (by some) y2karl, Mr. Look at me, I'm the bestest poster ever, this would be a classic GYOBFW situation.
posted by GeekAnimator at 7:55 AM on February 23, 2005


GYOFW...

Get Your Own Fucking Wog?
Grind Your Own Frickin Wheat?
Grope Your Own Foreign Woman?
Go Your Own Farty Way?
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 8:04 AM on February 23, 2005


GeekAnimator: I said posts, not comments. I agree that his behavior in threads can get heated (and the backhanded accusation of racism was particularly over the top), but he's having a tough time these days, so I tend to be forgiving. At any rate, I stand by my assessment of his posting history.

Secret Life: You forgot Poland the B!
posted by languagehat at 8:26 AM on February 23, 2005


I also like y2k's posts, in theory, but the endless small-text dumping is very unpleasant for me and I usually pass both the text and the links up because of it.

My suggestion: if you must quote from your own links, please condense or summarize them - despite my distaste for sound-bites, I will read a couple of sentences over a dozen paragraphs.

And yes, I also find the current method patronizing.
posted by crazy finger at 8:27 AM on February 23, 2005


yeah, fuck y2karl, what we need is more fpp's linking to flash sites or mp3 sites or the new new iPod case.


and, frankly, the fact that one of our two editors here thinks that "hyperlinked essays" are somewhat bad really makes the baby Jesus cry. karl always links to interesting stuff, without users like him the blue would be a giant flashfilter/techfilter/productfilter/USPoliticsfilter/Iraqfilter. without posts like karl's or, say, madamjujujive's, or languagehat's and many others we'd basically be a less interesting BoingBoing. or a less civil KevinDrum.
with a lot of flash links, though. god aren't flash links cool. I really like those cute flash penguins flying all over my screen.

so much for the alleged "best of the web".
posted by matteo at 8:29 AM on February 23, 2005


and I'm not defending karl's massive use of small text, I just think that attacking one of our most interesting posters for that reason is quite lame.

really lame

posted by matteo at 8:31 AM on February 23, 2005


I'm not personally attacking y2karl's contribution, I'm saying that the contribution is lost due to poor presentation. People don't buy the best wine, they buy the wine with the prettiest label. What good is a post if nobody reads it?
posted by crazy finger at 8:49 AM on February 23, 2005


"yeah, fuck y2karl, what we need is more fpp's linking to flash sites or mp3 sites or the new new iPod case."

Yes, that seems to be the consensus here. Thanks for such a excellent summary.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 8:53 AM on February 23, 2005


Easy to read or not, easy to preference-your-way-around-or-not, let's face it: the y2karl small thing has risen to the level of an affectation.
posted by scarabic at 8:57 AM on February 23, 2005


"hyperlinked essays" are somewhat bad really makes the baby Jesus cry.

Perhaps I should have said "massive hyperlinked essays" then? I'm sure there's people who hang on each and every word and click each and every link in those posts [same as the one-link-per-letter posts], but I agree with crazy finger. It's so clear y2karl has a lot of great things to say, but a lot of it gets lost in super-verbose posts that reprint a lot of the text from the links they contain. As a result, people skip them.
posted by jessamyn at 9:00 AM on February 23, 2005


languagehat:

that would definitely be greeted with GYOFW if he were a newer member. I skip them, always. That said, some people just seem to love them.
posted by jessamyn at 7:19 AM PST on February 23 [!]

posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 9:00 AM on February 23, 2005


matteo: yeah, fuck y2karl, what we need is more fpp's linking to flash sites or mp3 sites or the new new iPod case.

No, what we need are more fpps linking to the kinds of sites that y2karl links to, but with more concise descriptions.

This is a complaint about presentation, not content. Lots of folks find the linked material to be good, just not the approach of quoting half the linked material on the front page or start of the thread.

And, matteo, while some people are attacking y2karl, more people are attacking y2karl's method of summarizing / introducing links. If you're seeing both as an attack on y2karl, you're going to get the complete wrong impression about what people are trying to say.
posted by Bugbread at 9:02 AM on February 23, 2005


I love 'em.
posted by Quartermass at 9:03 AM on February 23, 2005


Who needs y2karl when there are port-a-potty threads to join in on?
posted by AlexReynolds at 9:04 AM on February 23, 2005


"It's so clear y2karl has a lot of great things to say, but a lot of it gets lost in super-verbose posts that reprint a lot of the text from the links they contain."

When I see people doing this—as I said, it's done by other people besides y2karl at other places—I wonder why, if they have so much to say here, that they don't say something themselves. They could link to what they're referencing, perhaps offer a short excerpt, and then summarize or otherwise place it in the context of the discussion using it as an organic part of their argument.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 9:04 AM on February 23, 2005


the y2karl small thing has risen to the level of an affectation.

But we all have our habits, or affectations if you will. I've noticed I tend to use blockquote in my posts a lot. So what? Does everyone have to post the same way? It's well established that some people are put off by y2karl's style, but others aren't; why should he change to suit the first group? They can (and apparently do) skip his small-type quotes; problem solved.

Secret Life: Oopsie! Never mind!

*mourns theatrical matriarch's vanished self-immolation*
posted by languagehat at 9:06 AM on February 23, 2005


I might be miss-reading, but I thought this:

Server load

Our server was unable to complete your request due to high volume. Please try again by clicking your browser's reload button. If you receive this message again, wait a few minutes before attempting to access the page again.


might explain why y2karl was posting the large blocks of text in this particular case.

As regards his repeated use of the device, I can see his point that re-hashing the issues raised and explained in a linked article is not the best use of a discussion thread. I am often amazed by some posters inability to actually reading a linked article before posting. Never mind those who (also) don't read the preceeding comments in a thread before posting.
Thanks to those who do take the time and effort to peruse the presented information before enriching the community with their observations.

On preview, what languagehat said: Diversity is good.
posted by asok at 9:22 AM on February 23, 2005


y2karl's posts are well researched and well worth reading.

While I understand he's trying to respectfully not take up too many "column inches" on the front "page" I too wish he wouldn't use small, as it's hard to read.

And, uh, why do I sense a disturbance in the Force, as if 115 responses to, and a Metatalk post, just disappeared into the Memory Hole?

Why can't Metafilter readers be trusted to read "bad" posts and decide for themselves?

It's one thing for Mathowie to close a post, but to delete it outright suggests that it had more import than it probably did.

Someone ranting in the street about conspiracies I pay no mind to. But when beefy guys in Brooks Brothers suits with radio ear-pieces haul the ranter away, and tell me "there's nothing to see here, move along", I begin to pay attention.
posted by orthogonality at 9:24 AM on February 23, 2005


yeah, fuck y2karl, what we need is more fpp's linking to flash sites or mp3 sites or the new new iPod case.

I am the only one who thinks it's a little off-putting when people slam these kinds of links because somehow they're not important enough.
posted by Cyrano at 9:25 AM on February 23, 2005


I always thought GYOFW meant get your own fucking weblog, I have been reading it wrong all this time. Hey I like this smalltext....
posted by jessamyn at 9:27 AM on February 23, 2005


Yeah, it's like whispering...
posted by Quartermass at 9:39 AM on February 23, 2005


shhh!!!
posted by Quartermass at 9:39 AM on February 23, 2005


I'm hunting wabbits. Here's a pancake.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 9:45 AM on February 23, 2005


Yes. Join us here in tiny land.
I stumbled over the GYOFW-- thinking for a moment it was some new cool kid abbrev. There are so many, that sometimes I have to puzzle them out. Of course I realized after a double take you probably just left out the B.

So I have always assumed it was:
GYOFB= Get Your Own Fucking Blog
GYOBFW= Get Your Own Blog, Fuck Wit


The Theatrical Matriarch suicide was a lame ass joke that went nowhere. If you are going to have a huge flameout, I will come and bring the wieners. But two things have to happen:
1. You must really leave, not resurrect yourself in the same thread.
2. You must be fairly recognizable. Two months of occasional jokiness just wasn't enough to make me give a damn about whether she stayed or left.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 9:50 AM on February 23, 2005


GYOFB could mean Get Your Own Flog, Buckwheat. But somehow I don't think so.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 9:53 AM on February 23, 2005


Languagehat: It's well established that some people are put off by y2karl's style, but others aren't; why should he change to suit the first group? They can (and apparently do) skip his small-type quotes; problem solved.

What Languagehat said.
posted by Bugbread at 9:57 AM on February 23, 2005


I'm tempted to create a sockpuppet names BuckwheatBDSM, but I'll restrain myself.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 9:58 AM on February 23, 2005


Regarding the [small] issue, I'm kind of in the "meh" camp, myself, but just wanted to note that this thread is entirely where the style-related rantings should have gone in the first place. The whole top half (more?) of the actual FPP thread was a completely unacceptable derail, and I am amazed that there is any actual good discussion below it.
posted by norm at 9:58 AM on February 23, 2005


Maybe if people would actually READ THE LINKS (or at least one of them!?!) before spouting off so often (see jon's ignorance about govt. involvement in the Tulsa horrors), then maybe he wouldn't feel like he had to post excerpts. And they're not essay-length--at all. (EB has posted far longer comments, for instance.)

And what norm said--i should have brought it here, but it doesn't stop jon and others when they're on a roll, unfortunately.
posted by amberglow at 10:15 AM on February 23, 2005


"Maybe if people would actually READ THE LINKS (or at least one of them!?!) before spouting off so often (see jon's ignorance about govt. involvement in the Tulsa horrors), then maybe he wouldn't feel like he had to post excerpts."

But that's not his job. It's presumptious of him to think it's his job. Less presumptious and likely more effective is criticism of those who comment in ignorance.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 10:26 AM on February 23, 2005


[same as the one-link-per-letter posts],

I hate them, too. karl's formatting is certainly not for everyone, and I'm not defending it. but karl's been called out often about the small text, and he clearly doesn't think that the community's objections are worth very much. then, either Matt/Jessamyn start editing his formatting after he's posted or we all have to live with his small text.
want to skip a good link because you don't like the formatting? go ahead.

but slamming karl's posts for the small text is like going to a concert and saying "yeah, really good music but I didn't like the guy's shirt"

not to mention I smell personal reasons in some of karl's attackers' zeal. after all, linking mercilessly to Abu Ghraib and race riots and the Iraqi disaster like karl does probably chaps some people's asses

hi technollogic!
posted by matteo at 10:28 AM on February 23, 2005


Maybe if people would actually READ THE LINKS (or at least one of them!?!) before spouting off so often (see jon's ignorance about govt. involvement in the Tulsa horrors), then maybe he wouldn't feel like he had to post excerpts.

Why not just address errors like the one you mention in the ensuing discussion instead of making a burdensome, ugly post?

And in the case of the link-essays mentioned earlier, why not make your point briefly, and interestingly, and put the rest inside instead of bombarding users with piles of links?

Brevity is good. Long excerpts and link-heavy posts are ugly, less likely to be read, and make the front page less useful.
posted by nyterrant at 10:32 AM on February 23, 2005


Have something to say, and say it as clearly as you can. That is the only secret of style. -- George William Russell
posted by boaz at 10:33 AM on February 23, 2005


but slamming karl's posts for the small text is like going to a concert and saying "yeah, really good music but I didn't like the guy's shirt"

I'd say more like going to a concert and saying "that could have been good music, but the pianist decided to strike the keys with a jackhammer."
posted by crazy finger at 10:36 AM on February 23, 2005


Another backhanded accusation of racism—directed toward anyone who may disagree with him—and another monster paragraph in bold print. This seems less the method of someone who wants to educate and more the method of someone fixated on obnoxiously browbeating all his perceived opponents.

I like the subject matter of karl's posts, too, but I wonder if he knows how the self-moderating, chiding tone and maximalist approach looks to other people who are trying to indulge him in the topic at hand. Usually, he drowns them out with multiple paragraphs, gets defensive at any opposing views, then bookends the thread with more self-moderation. jonmc was right: karl didn't give the impression he was interested in what anyone else had to say. Which is too bad because it's a great topic.
posted by jenleigh at 11:13 AM on February 23, 2005


Have something to say, and say it as clearly as you can. That is the only secret of style. -- George William Russell

Can I sing it?
posted by thomcatspike at 11:20 AM on February 23, 2005


Y'know, just because somebody posts interesting links dosen't mean their above criticism. And just because somebody holds a contrary opinion, or even questions your opinion, dosen't make them part of a conspiracy to silence you, although that fantasy may boost some peoples opinion of themselves. It is not the job of the MeFi readership to merely affirm people's beliefs.

matteo: yeah, fuck y2karl, what we need is more fpp's linking to flash sites or mp3 sites or the new new iPod case.

Sometimes people like to talk about complex matters of extreme importance, sometimes like to talk about trivial matters for fun. It's great to talk about the nature of the universe, it's also nice to bullshit about the ball scores. That what people in all kinds of communities do. I don't recall it being written into the MeFi bylaws that we had to restrict ourselves to one or the other exclusively.
posted by jonmc at 11:42 AM on February 23, 2005


Can I sing it?

Is that you, Andy?
posted by boaz at 11:50 AM on February 23, 2005


Mo one's saying anyone's above criticism...but don't derail a post because of the poster's style.

If you know y2k's style and don't like it, and have said so previously, why go into his posts at all? what's the point? to shit on him? It's no wonder at all he reacts the way he does--people are attacking the messenger's clothes and make of scooter and hairstyle. I don't think he'd mind if his posts got less viewers, as long as those commenting commented on the content of his links.
posted by amberglow at 12:16 PM on February 23, 2005


If you know y2k's style and don't like it, and have said so previously, why go into his posts at all? what's the point? to shit on him?

Because the actual subjects he posts are ineteresting. But his style is getting the way of his substance. And it's not even the way he writes, it's a minor but persistently annoying quibble that people have called him on.

If I gave brilliantly erudite speeches, but insisted on inhaling helium before hand so I could deliver them in a squeaky falsetto, you'd probably stop listening no matter how eloquent the actual speech was. See what I'm saying?
posted by jonmc at 12:24 PM on February 23, 2005


That would be awsome!
posted by Mid at 12:33 PM on February 23, 2005


If I gave brilliantly erudite speeches, but insisted on inhaling helium before hand so I could deliver them in a squeaky falsetto, you'd probably stop listening no matter how eloquent the actual speech was. See what I'm saying?

I'd keep listening, and then I'd wait for you to sniff a piece of a robe and attack Isabella Rossellini.
posted by COBRA! at 12:34 PM on February 23, 2005


aaaaagh. stupid italics.
posted by COBRA! at 12:35 PM on February 23, 2005


people are attacking the messenger's clothes and make of scooter and hairstyle

The messenger's hairstyle and clothes obstruct his mouth and his scooter is so loud that it impedes clear communication.

The purpose of Mefi (to me) is to communicate and spread information. If I posted FPPs in the Klingon language, some Mefites might express concern. The reasonable reaction from me would then be to translate into English rather than to dump more information in Klingon into the thread. Telling people to keep quiet because they can't read Klingon would transform Mefi from a place for the communication of diverse ideas into a personal soapbox.
posted by crazy finger at 12:44 PM on February 23, 2005


If I gave brilliantly erudite speeches, but insisted on inhaling helium before hand so I could deliver them in a squeaky falsetto, you'd probably stop listening no matter how eloquent the actual speech was.

I'd probably drop what I was doing to tune in.
posted by AlexReynolds at 12:46 PM on February 23, 2005


I'd probably drop what I was doing to tune in.

Yes. To laugh at the ridiculousness of it all, but would you pay much attention to what was actually being said? That's exactly what I mean by style overwhelming substance.
posted by jonmc at 12:49 PM on February 23, 2005


If I gave brilliantly erudite speeches, but insisted on inhaling helium before hand so I could deliver them in a squeaky falsetto, you'd probably stop listening no matter how eloquent the actual speech was.

But stopping listening has nothing to do with reading the links (and even the excerpts). Either you decide to pay attention to the content (think back to boring, droning teachers in school), or you tune out altogether, which would mean skipping the post. And the helium thing is already known once you see the format of the post and the username.

You have a decision to make--go in, or not. Not go in and complain about the style.
posted by amberglow at 12:56 PM on February 23, 2005


You have a decision to make--go in, or not. Not go in and complain about the style.

And we're saying that if he made a minor stylistic adjustment, the discussions would go much better. And his continued blithe dismissal makes me wonder if he even cares, and it reveals a patronizing paternalism.
posted by jonmc at 1:02 PM on February 23, 2005


jon, this site's not about links posted by nice warm people, it's about good links
posted by matteo at 1:11 PM on February 23, 2005


jon, this site's not about links posted by nice warm people, it's about good links

look, I realize that at this point, this discussion is more about people's need to always be right, rather than anyone actually listening to (or god forbid learning something from) eachother, but we post links, at least partly in hopes of fostering discussion. And I sincerely doubt you'd be so strident in karl's defense if he were someone you personally disliked or who's politics you generally disapproved of. That's not an accusation, simply an observation of human nature.

We're not asking him to say "please" and "thank you" or bow and scrape here, as someone who employs a contrarian, even confrontational style myself, I'd find that off-putting as well. We're asking him to make a minor, functional adjustment.
posted by jonmc at 1:16 PM on February 23, 2005


I've never read any of y2karl's links. I've just always skipped over them, like the fine print at the bottom of an advertisement. I wouldn't argue that they should be banned, but I think y2karl should know they have this effect on me, and are probably a little counterproductive if he's worried about me not reading the article.
posted by grouse at 1:26 PM on February 23, 2005


we are so vain that we even care for the opinion of those we don't care for. -- Marie Ebner von Eschenbach
posted by boaz at 1:27 PM on February 23, 2005


To use an example, a while back someone complained about "you/you're" "it's/its" confusion, which seems to be a minor quibble to me, but it seemed to irritate a lot of people, so I've tried to wath my punctuation to minimize it.

It's on that level, that's all.

Now, I gotta go do laundry.
posted by jonmc at 1:28 PM on February 23, 2005


if he were someone you personally disliked or who's politics you generally disapproved of.

"strident"? from jonmc? jesus christ.
for the record, not that it's any of your business jon, I've only exchanged a handful of polite but very formal, on-topic e-mails with karl. I certainly do have a few friends here, people whose kindness never ceases to warm my heart (they know who they are), and I can report that karl is not among them.

and I agree with him sometimes but not as much as you think jon (about Iraq and American torturers I certainly do agree with him 100%, but really, outside of the US almost everybody does my friend).

I maybe clannish in real life -- aren't you half-Italian, by the way?, you should get that -- but not really on MeFi: among my all-time favorite users here there are people -- Faze, clavdivs in his less insane moments -- whose MeFi personalities, frankly, I don't like one bit. but I find what they have to say interesting.

it's about the links jon -- karl links good stuff. he's not my friend. he just puts good stuff in this site we all share. that's why I consider the attacks on him to be pretty lame.
posted by matteo at 1:41 PM on February 23, 2005


I'm sure there are a few attacks on karl, here, but I think a lot more people are interpreting a critique/criticism of one aspect of y2karl's style as an "attack" on karl. Folks are just saying "he'd probably have an increased readership if he changed his style". That's not an attack. Sure, some people are attacking y2karl himself, but most of the thread, from what I can tell, is just criticizing one little aspect of his posting style, with a surprising (for MeTa) amount of support for the content of his links themselves.
posted by Bugbread at 1:59 PM on February 23, 2005


Bugbread's point is worth repeating. If this had been a whole lot of other people, this thread would have been vicious. That says something about y2karl and his posts.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 2:13 PM on February 23, 2005


...and, even though a lot of y2karl's posts are political, people aren't just supporting him here because they agree with him. I think one of the reason's y2karl's posts are so good is because they are the very essence of what is most powerful about the internet-- the ability to reference all kinds of things and connect them in a small space. Most of karl's posts are references to interesting things on the web that pertain to and help explain problems, and he's slower to rant and rave about his own point of view than anyone I know here. For that reason, even though I do wish y2karl would say more about what he thinks, I also think mefi would be better off with more like him.

What's more, to be honest, even though it's well-intentioned, I think this post is out of line. If it were a lot of people that were doing it, I think objecting to a lot of small text would be appropriate; but karl isn't even in on this discussion, it seems, and, since people have already pointed this out to him, they should let it go. It gets increasingly difficult to criticise something as tiny as someone's posting style without being insulting. And, if you're reading this, y2karl: your posts are damned good. Keep doing whatever you're doing, however you want to do it.
posted by koeselitz at 2:23 PM on February 23, 2005


I think it was an excellent thread, I dislike the small print but that's easily adjusted.

I feel his posts are worth the hassle. But there's no real reason there has to be a "hassle" involved. Let the post stand or fall on its own, post the links, let people read them and then allow the discussion to unfold without the constant distraction of the formatting issues.

Just like a blogger I knew who's a brilliant and inciteful guy who also happens to be an unrepentant asshole. I stopped paying attention because of the need to filter everything he said or wrote. y2karl's posts are good but why make them a pain in the ass to read?
posted by fenriq at 2:28 PM on February 23, 2005


I think it was an excellent thread

There is a good section of it. The way it goes in the toilet is emblematic for some of the typical problems of current Metafilter discussions.
posted by norm at 2:41 PM on February 23, 2005


It's well established that some people are put off by y2karl's style, but others aren't; why should he change to suit the first group?

Well, with readability as the issue, I think it makes less sense to make the group change to suit his affectation. But he seems quite content to make people work to read his posts. I think in his mind he's got some kind of fanbase. Those people will "get" him, while others will not. As you say, LH, lots of people just skip him routinely.

But IMHO, people who settle into a little niche and try to service just that niche to the exclusion of everyone else really do need to get their own fucking weblogs. The more fans they have, the stronger that argument gets.
posted by scarabic at 2:50 PM on February 23, 2005


Ethereal Bligh, isn't there some condition where people like to lecture that you talked about recently on MeTa? It sure seems like Karl is that way.

He lectured and hectored continously in that thread, and when anyone tries to engage him in a discussion, he ignore things and just data dumps more stuff. It is truly lame behavior.
posted by dios at 2:54 PM on February 23, 2005


truly lame behavior.

There are three or four posters in that thread that act like complete assholes. You included, sir.
posted by norm at 3:06 PM on February 23, 2005


How was I being an asshole in that thread?
posted by dios at 3:07 PM on February 23, 2005


He lectured and hectored continously in that thread.

I agree, that's very lame behavior, Dios. Your behavior so far is immaculate.
posted by AlexReynolds at 3:14 PM on February 23, 2005


But IMHO, people who settle into a little niche and try to service just that niche to the exclusion of everyone else really do need to get their own fucking weblogs. The more fans they have, the stronger that argument gets.

I always thought that lots of different posters servicing a lot of different little niches was the key to diversity.
posted by vacapinta at 3:16 PM on February 23, 2005


that's why I consider the attacks on him to be pretty lame.

If you consider what I've said, either here or in that thread, anything resembling an attack, you're fucking bugshit insane, matteo.

If you know y2k's style and don't like it, and have said so previously, why go into his posts at all? what's the point? to shit on him?

Perhaps, as I tried to explain, carefully, we want to read them. But find it unnecessarily difficult because he insists on these smalltag ctrl-V jerkfests.

That last phrase was an attack, matteo, in case you're keeping track.

jessamyn: here's a wallpaper I made back when Get Your Own Weblog Fuckwit was all the rage amongst the metarati and such, a couple years back. Share and enjoy.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 3:21 PM on February 23, 2005


Note: I use 'metarati' in a megnutty, semi-faux-ironic, no-I-didn't-actually-mean-it-that-way kind of way.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 3:23 PM on February 23, 2005


stavrosthewonderchicken: It's a smalltag Shift+Ins jerkfest, you insensitive clod.

Raise your hand if you still use CUA shortcuts.
posted by grouse at 3:37 PM on February 23, 2005


Self-moderation of threads is almost always bad. y2karl posts about things he cares about and he's relatively easy to provoke and he often responds inappropriately and he carries grudges. All that is a good reason to avoid provoking him, especially if you recognize these more as foibles than as some fundamental personality flaw.

...which is asking a lot on the Internet, I know. In this universe, not only do we tend to think the worst of people rather than the best, we're downright eager to think the worst.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 3:42 PM on February 23, 2005


y2k gives good link--all else is secondary.

To click on his links doesn't even require you to look at the excerpts.

To trash his thread without even clicking on any of them is wrong--whether his style is good or bad.
posted by amberglow at 3:42 PM on February 23, 2005


->But alas, I know y2Hotkarl will try to have the last word. Even if it is in 28 days, 14 hours and 6 minutes.

A day later, the battle for Last Word continues, four posts at a time.

As predicted, he's driven most people from the thread in attempts to create a solitary airtight chamber for himself, bookended on either side by gobs of tiny pasted text. It's strange to watch.
posted by jenleigh at 3:52 PM on February 23, 2005


How was I being an asshole in that thread?

I hesitate to get drawn into the specifics, because I strongly suspect I'm just feeding troll, but the thread disintegrates into ad hominem attacks, self-moderation, and mean-spirited hectoring. A dispassionate reading will reveal that several users contribute to this effect.
posted by norm at 3:53 PM on February 23, 2005


and I agree with him sometimes but not as much as you think jon (about Iraq and American torturers I certainly do agree with him 100%, but really, outside of the US almost everybody does my friend).

as do I, matteo. It's more along the lines of being reluctant to criticise faults in those we admire and respect (and believe it or not, whatever he thinks of me, I do actually still respect and admire karl). As much as I do this, I'm still gonna call him on it when he says something that makes me cringe, I just see tha as being fair.

I maybe clannish in real life -- aren't you half-Italian, by the way?, you should get that

Yeah, but my mom's from one of those farm villages by Lago Di Como, she describes it as going beyond clannish into inbred ;).
posted by jonmc at 4:22 PM on February 23, 2005


I'm confused as all hell, as others in this thread have been. How is it okay to post half an article as a description for the article, but not okay to make the text smaller so that you don't have to scroll for 10 years to get past it?

Really, the fact that karl drops these massive clips on the fp is ridiculous. Especially if, as ethereal said, it's because he doesn't trust the community at large to read the articles he links to. I mean, it's at the point now where when you start to see an already long fpp run past the bottom of the browser window you know it's yrkarl and just skip it if you don't want to read his posts.

What drives me nuts is that in my rss reader, I have the standard fare of blogs that I get, including slashdot and boingboing. Those two combined don't reach the number of daily posts I sometimes get on metafilter, especially on dense news days, and having to deal with 4 page long posts IN ADDITION to the already massive amount of data MeFi normally has is intolerable.

For the love of God, karl, keep posting, but understand the hobbes was wrong and so are you. Fascism won't make people read your posts or click you links, even the mini-variety you seem to employ here.
posted by shmegegge at 4:32 PM on February 23, 2005


furthermore, self-policing is what makes a civilized discourse civil. If you honestly believe that a "don't provoke him because he's fiery and stubborn" approach is necessary, that's a problem with him and not the person commenting. If he's just giving himself a soapbox to proselytize from, and then he's childish and mean-spirited in discussion, why is he a part of this community? Since when is it EVERYONE else's job to walk on eggshells around an asshole?

Mind you: I don't think karl is that big a problem in mefi, but as a rule I think that the "self-policing is wrong and you should just avoid discussions with karl" policy is assinine.
posted by shmegegge at 4:35 PM on February 23, 2005


I always thought that lots of different posters servicing a lot of different little niches was the key to diversity.

Yeah, I agree with you there, Vacapinta, but I've been turned off by karl's attitude that if you don't like it you're not a fan and don't fucking matter (to paraphrase several nasty exchanges). I don't think that relishing one's own imagined celebrity and wallowing in stylistic affectation is really "the key to diversity," hence my qualifier "to the exclusion of everyone else." I'm not the only one who chooses to skip because of the style thing.

My personal opinion on that subject is, however, of no consequence. I just tend to like people who want more readers, not fewer. My impression is that karl uses "small" more following several incidences of protest over it. That's just lame.
posted by scarabic at 4:42 PM on February 23, 2005


self-policing is wrong and you should just avoid discussions with karl" policy is asinine.

As a policy, it is, but trust me, from experience I can tell you that he takes criticism very personally, never forgets it, and has this ingrained belief that no matter what you're criticising about his posts, it's motivated by a personal vendetta against him. So engage him at will, but don't expect to get anywhere. This is why I say his attitude sucks. He continues to post here long past the point where he's ceased to care what most people may or may not think of his posts. Enough people like them to satisfy him, and to hell with everyone else.
posted by scarabic at 4:46 PM on February 23, 2005


"y2k gives good link--all else is secondary.
"To click on his links doesn't even require you to look at the excerpts.
"To trash his thread without even clicking on any of them is wrong--whether his style is good or bad."

This is really interesting to me. Amber, I love you, but I read this and wonder whether y2karl's formatting is a passive-aggressive attempt to stake out the "moral high ground" by making it difficult or aversive to "prepare appropriately" for discussion.

Mostly y2karl's ponderous posts remind me of Mark Twain's apology for writing a long letter, noting that he didn't have time to write a short one.
posted by caitlinb at 4:55 PM on February 23, 2005


maybe it is, but if that were so, he'd be combative towards everyone, no? or respond to everyone that way?
posted by amberglow at 5:16 PM on February 23, 2005


Does y2karl complain that people aren't reading his posts? If so, it might make sense to explain why some people don't like his posting style. But to have someone's posting style affect you so much as to comment on it is just as patronizing as quoting large blocks of text because people have shown that they don't read the posted links.

There's nothing wrong with not caring that one's personal style doesn't appeal to everyone.
posted by 23skidoo at 5:22 PM on February 23, 2005


There seem to be lot of petty whining wankers around.
y2karl gives good, very thorough and referenced posts - my opinion.
So his posts have a difficult format - get over it - I don't think he's going change - do you? And more over I don't think the fashion gestapo should make him change.
If you still object so much - what is more important to you - the content or the form?
I'm here for content. Stop whining. You all have scroll bars.
posted by adamvasco at 5:36 PM on February 23, 2005


hobbes was wrong and so are you

I'm totally stealing that line.
posted by boaz at 5:51 PM on February 23, 2005


Okay, I stopped reading this about 30% of the way down. I will say this, I do pass by most of y2k's posts due to the prolific cut n' paste and poor fonts. However, it is clear that y2k is not going to change and the mods are not going to reformat his posts. It is also apparent that there are methods of changing the font so that if I decide to read one of these incredibly long and I will say at times patronizing cut n' pastes it will at least be easier on my aging eyes.

My question is this, how I can do this and not change the settings for all of the font on MeFi/MeTa/AskMe? I have IE/XP at work and (don't laugh) IE/98 at home. I will not be using Firefox or any other alternate browser even if oodles of people tell me to and it is undoubtedly in the best interest of the human race.
posted by Juicylicious at 6:07 PM on February 23, 2005


Hey, at least it isn't small AND italic!
- Feeling like a "glass half full" kind of guy today
posted by spock at 7:00 PM on February 23, 2005

My question is this, how I can do this and not change the settings for all of the font on MeFi/MeTa/AskMe? I have IE/XP at work and (don't laugh) IE/98 at home. I will not be using Firefox or any other alternate browser even if oodles of people tell me to and it is undoubtedly in the best interest of the human race.
Hmm...without testing this, I'm pretty sure something like this would work:

Create a blank document, paste the following line of css into it, and save it as antikarl.css
div.copy small { font-size: 12pt !important;}
Then, go into Internet Explorer -> Tools -> Internet Options -> General (tab) -> Accessability. Click the checkbox that says 'use my style sheet,' hit browse, and select antikarl.css. That should do the trick.
posted by kickingtheground at 7:14 PM on February 23, 2005


My bad: make that line of css
div.copy small, div.comments small { font-size: 12pt !important;}
posted by kickingtheground at 7:17 PM on February 23, 2005


I'm in the "yeah I normally agree with you karl, but please post so I can read it". The content of the posts are generally good; the framing of the issues thoughtful, and in the main they hold the potential to generate some truly great debate. But why-oh-why post in a way that discourages people from reading it?

It becomes too cumbersome, much like EB in his unbridled days, and one is tempted to tap that scroll wheel and get to the next comment.
posted by cosmonik at 7:18 PM on February 23, 2005


WhineFilter.
posted by iamck at 7:32 PM on February 23, 2005


Perfect! Thanks kicking!
posted by Juicylicious at 7:41 PM on February 23, 2005


I don't have any problems with Y2Karl's posting style. He's one of the few that even has a style. I immediately know who is posting it before I've spent the ten seconds to scroll down to the name. It's the same opinion I have with McGraw, it's just a style.

If you find his links interesting anyway, then it shouldn't be a problem to read everything that he's cut and pasted. Yeah sure, it's a bit too much information at times and not many can even go through everything that he posts, but that's what makes him different. And different is good.
posted by Arch Stanton at 8:12 PM on February 23, 2005


I don't think WhineFilter really describes it, though. Maybe if you consider this thread strictly to be about font size in fpps. But, really, what it comes down to (even if the thread originator(s) don't realize it) is the appearance to a decent portion of the MeFi community that y2karl doesn't give two shits about the rest of us, so long as he has a soapbox to yell from.

See, it's about being a part of a community, really. Maybe y2karl is muddying the water. The defense of "If you don't like muddy water, don't drink it" doesn't work if you live in the pond being muddied. To further confound the metaphor: there's also the argument of "you shouldn't criticize the muddy water if you haven't drunk it." Well, that's the point. Nobody wants muddy water.

[/muddy water analogy]
posted by shmegegge at 8:15 PM on February 23, 2005


This has gone on far too long for my opinion to mean anything, but here goes:

I don't click on or read any posts longer than a paragraph, with more than a half-dozen links, or with any small font. I'm sure many of them may be interesting, but I just don't want to.

I don't click on or read any posts that are single-link inscrutable phrases that don't give a hint as to their content. I'm sure many of them may be interesting, but I just don't want to.

Balance, people!
posted by yhbc at 8:22 PM on February 23, 2005


on y2karl: without users like him the blue would be a giant ... USPoliticsfilter/Iraqfilter

haha, what?
posted by Krrrlson at 8:48 PM on February 23, 2005


well, he IS incredibly prickly, and self-moderating in every thread he posts, but on the plus side, karl's stayed out of this thread chock full of people criticising him, which shows a good amount of restraint.
posted by jonson at 9:43 PM on February 23, 2005


stayed out of this thread

heheh. kinda like PostRoad except without the porno blog.
posted by scarabic at 9:49 PM on February 23, 2005


PostRoad has a pr0n blog? brb...
posted by KevinSkomsvold at 9:54 PM on February 23, 2005


I am not such a big fan of the blue these days, but I enjoy y2karl's method of posting FPPs. I may not scrutinize the entire thread, but I always appreciate the post and skim through the comments. If smalltext is the biggest problem we have, then people have been doing a kickass job of deleting all the posts evidencing the bigger ones....
posted by subgenius at 9:57 PM on February 23, 2005


Some like it, some don't (as karl has pointed out in the past).

But does anyone *not* like normal sized text? :)

Perhaps I shall post in all-italics from now on. Then, at least I will
have a style. And I'm sure some people will like it.

Goodnight once more to a long-buried non-issue.

posted by scarabic at 10:48 PM on February 23, 2005


and
i
will
only
type
like
this!

hey,
at
least
I'll
be
one
of
the
few
that
even
has
a
style.
posted by jonson at 11:02 PM on February 23, 2005


appearance to a decent portion of the MeFi community that y2karl doesn't give two shits about the rest of us, so long as he has a soapbox to yell from.

no, it's an illustration of "the squeaky wheel." there's a crapload of members, and those complaining here...well, that's not a very substantial portion, sorry.
posted by iamck at 2:23 AM on February 24, 2005


I like you, iamck. But since I'm the only one saying so, I must be the only person who does. How sad.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 3:38 AM on February 24, 2005


That's not bad jonson, although I'd prefer sdrawkcab gnitirw.
posted by Arch Stanton at 4:55 AM on February 24, 2005


Here is a better solution to that y2karl if you have Firefox.

Download the greasemonkey extension and then install the mefi user script.

Then you can create style rules like:
_metafilter_user_y2karl small {
    font-size: inherit !important;
}
or
_metafilter_user_y2karl {
    display: none !important;
}
and then you won't have to look at his rants.
posted by drscroogemcduck at 5:24 AM on February 24, 2005


Well, I use Ctrl + mouse wheel and it's just fine
posted by nims at 6:14 AM on February 24, 2005


I forget to link to how to edit the default stylesheet on firefox. After editing you need to restart the browser as well.
posted by drscroogemcduck at 7:01 AM on February 24, 2005


drscroogemcduck (or anyone): has this been discussed in more detail anywhere on metafilter? I've done searches but haven't found anything. However, I do recall this being discussed before I started using firefox (so I didn't pay attention then).
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 7:17 AM on February 24, 2005


because it's not working for me. how can I verify the the new div attribute from the metafilter user script has been created?
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 7:34 AM on February 24, 2005


Nobody wants muddy water.

If by that you mean "nobody wants y2karl's posts," you're full of shit. If you're just talking about water, I guess you're right, but it seems a little irrelevant.
posted by languagehat at 7:48 AM on February 24, 2005


Nobody wants muddy water.

If by that you mean "nobody wants y2karl's posts," you're full of shit. If you're just talking about water, I guess you're right, but it seems a little irrelevant.


I think you're forgetting other possibilities, like "nobody wants poorly laid out FPPs". Not necessarily agreeing (I'd have said "nobody wants their FPPs to be poorly laid out"), but it does seem like another possible (and likely) interpretation.
posted by Bugbread at 8:11 AM on February 24, 2005


So am I missing something or are all these creatively-named "antikarl" CSS tricks going to change the appearance of ALL < small> text on the site? Or just his posts?
posted by scarabic at 8:47 AM on February 24, 2005


Just the user specified as "metafilter_user_y2karl". The metafilter-css user script adds a class attribute for the div tab in the form of "metafilter_user_*". The stylesheet rule affects only "metafilter_user_y2karl". But I can't get it to work. Because I'm an idiot.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 8:59 AM on February 24, 2005


Nobody wants muddy water.

I do
posted by matteo at 10:09 AM on February 24, 2005


Ooh, thank you matteo. That's one of my idols!
posted by ramix at 10:20 AM on February 24, 2005


Damn, matteo beat me to it.
posted by jonmc at 10:46 AM on February 24, 2005


I'll take wine, please. ;)
posted by scarabic at 11:20 AM on February 24, 2005


its pretty much impossible to verify the new div attribute..

i'm not sure if the small rule works or not cause i just tested it by adding
_metafilter_user_drscroogemcduck {
   background-color: red;
}
should look something like this
posted by drscroogemcduck at 11:29 AM on February 24, 2005


You added that to userContent.css and installed the metafilter user script into greasemonkey as is?
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 12:12 PM on February 24, 2005


What about a
soapbox: none;
tag?
posted by GeekAnimator at 12:30 PM on February 24, 2005


By the way, I'm not trying to install this in order to killfile y2karl. I just think the concept is neat. I'm sure I'll find some use for it.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 12:44 PM on February 24, 2005


ahhhhhh... i pasted the wrong css! silly silly silly silly silly me
._metafilter_user_drscroogemcduck {
    background-color: red !important;
}
i forget the leading "."
posted by drscroogemcduck at 2:21 PM on February 24, 2005


No comment(s) from y2karl, which means this was about us, the other members, than him?
posted by thomcatspike at 2:43 PM on February 24, 2005


Yes, but, interestingly, despite (or very possibly because of) his absence, instead of the thread turning into a meltdown, it turned into a discussion of technical methods to make the problem disappear (referring to EB and drscroogemcduck's posts above)
posted by Bugbread at 2:48 PM on February 24, 2005


Yeah, I wondered about that. But I thought I had changed it. :) Let me try again.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 3:10 PM on February 24, 2005


Got it working fine now, thanks!
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 3:29 PM on February 24, 2005


Please publish your final solution. And if anyone can adapt it to simply make a user's posts disappear, then we will have a killfile feature, QED!
posted by scarabic at 3:53 PM on February 24, 2005


And if anyone can adapt it to simply make a user's posts disappear, then we will have a killfile feature, QED!

I was already thinking that. EB, drscroogemcduck, what's the final code and method of implementation?
posted by Bugbread at 4:01 PM on February 24, 2005


Am writing something up, will appear shortly—no one else needs to go to the trouble!
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 4:12 PM on February 24, 2005


is that really necessary?
posted by amberglow at 4:32 PM on February 24, 2005


I'm sure EB's writeup will be better and more complete, but here's a quick start:

1. Install greasemonkey in Mozilla/Firefox.

2. Quit and relaunch browser.

3. Right-click (or control-click) and select "Install User Script": mefi.user.js

4. Quit browser.

5. Open userContent.css in a text editor. (Location is application- and platform-dependent; For Firefox in OS X, it would be ~/Library/Application Support/Firefox/Profiles/[default]/chrome/.)

6. Add this rule to killfile my postings:
._metafilter_user_macrone {
    display:none !important;
}
(Replace "macrone" with the username to be killed; I'm not positive how to escape it if it includes spaces, but it looks like you need to replace spaces with underscores, and underscores with double-underscores.)

7. Restart browser and experience Metafilter macrone-free.

(It can take a few seconds for the stylesheet to be applied, so you may see the killed posts briefly.)

On preview: Everyone can evaluate the necessity for themselves. Let diversity bloom!
posted by macrone at 4:35 PM on February 24, 2005


Oh, and to reset y2karl's small text to normal size, add this rule to userContent.css:
._metafilter_user_y2karl small {    font-size: inherit !important;}
posted by macrone at 4:41 PM on February 24, 2005


"No one wants muddy water" was meant to imply that if y2karl's posts basically polute the otherwise tolerable appearance or readability of the Metafilter front page (in some peoples' minds. I am sort-of included among them), then to claim that you can't criticize him if you haven't clicked the links is stupid. If someone doesn't want to click the link or read the article, THEN THEY DON'T WANT THE WHOLE ARTICLE POSTED ON THE FRONT PAGE. But again, that's not what the thread originator was asking. I personally don't think the font size is the problem, but rather the post length.
posted by shmegegge at 4:48 PM on February 24, 2005


you also have to use a slightly different syntax if the persons name contains special characters like "."s
*[class~="M.C"] {
   background-color: red;
}
posted by drscroogemcduck at 4:54 PM on February 24, 2005


Well, gee, now I'd just be duplicating a bunch of stuff. So I'll offer a few notes/additions/clarifications instead.

  • Killfiles are quite explicitly contrary to Matt's design philosophy for MetaFilter—he's said this in a variety of places. They're arguably damaging to the community and you oughtn't use one. But you can alter the css to do other things, such as un-shrinking y2karl's small text as in macrone's example.
  • Greasemonkey is a Mozilla/Firefox extension that allows arbitrary javascript to run in every page from a particular location. It allows wildcards.
  • If you've followed the link to mefi.user.js, then you can also select "Install User Script" from the "Tools" menu.
  • Make sure your metafilter user script is enabled in the greasemonkey extension configuration window.
  • userContent.css probably doesn't exist; if not, you'll need to create it. As macrone says, the location depends upon the OS, but drscroogemcduck's link on editing this stylesheet tells you where to find it.
  • You'll add a css rule such as macrone provides. Don't forget the “.”. A wildcard (“*”) can appear before the period—that's the full syntax—but it's implicit if missing.
  • If you look at the script you've installed, mefi.user.js, you'll find that it's commented and explains how spaces and other characters in member names are handled. In the case of a space, it is replaced with an underscore.
  • This is a stylesheet that's applied to every page you view. That's why you (probably) only want to add rules to it that rely upon attributes that are specific to a page or a website. mefi.user.js does this for you, creating a special attribute for all/some metafilter pages that you may reference in the stylesheet. Since the attribute doesn't appear anywhere else, the rule won't affect anything else. But if you refer to some common attribute, then the rule will apply everywhere. So to do custom things with this stuff, you'll need to write your own user script to generate site-specific/page-specific attributes.
  • However, as macrone's un-shrink rule demonstrates, the mefi.user.js script allows you to write rules specific to any tag appearing within a particular user's comments.
  • In case it's not clear, you can put as many rules in your customer stylesheet as you want. Within reason. Here is a site with information on css.

posted by Ethereal Bligh at 5:11 PM on February 24, 2005


The un-shrink rule doesn't work, I don't think. I'd be really interested in a selector/rule that did.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 5:20 PM on February 24, 2005


and if you just want to apply css to all users and not just particular users then URIid is a useful plugin.
posted by drscroogemcduck at 5:20 PM on February 24, 2005


And if anyone can adapt it to simply make a user's posts disappear, then we will have a killfile feature, QED!

First they killfiled the people who didn't use capital letters
and I did not speak out
because I use the Shift key.

Then they killfiled jonmc for not using contractions properly
and I didn't speak out
because I wasn't using them improperly.

Then they killfiled y2karl for using <small>
and I did not speak out
because I did not need reading glasses.

Then they killfiled me
and there was no one left
to speak out for me.
posted by AlexReynolds at 5:29 PM on February 24, 2005


the problem is the blue doesn't nest each comment in a div unlike ask, and meta.. i have a version that will work on the blue i just gotta merge it
posted by drscroogemcduck at 5:41 PM on February 24, 2005


Then they killfiled jonmc for not using contractions properly
and I didn't speak out
because I wasn't using them improperly.


He'll no, I wont go!
posted by jonmc at 5:58 PM on February 24, 2005


Then they killfiled me
and there was no one left
to speak out for me.


I'd love to respond to this Alex, but unfortunately you're in my killfile so I haven't seen it.
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 6:17 PM on February 24, 2005


latest version works on the blue as well.

and
._metafilter_user_y2karl small {
    font-size: inherit !important;
}
works
posted by drscroogemcduck at 6:40 PM on February 24, 2005


I'd love to respond to this Alex, but unfortunately you're in my killfile so I haven't seen it.

I sort of figured I'd be first in line.
posted by AlexReynolds at 6:44 PM on February 24, 2005


I sort of figured I'd be first in line.

Don't worry about it: if I could see your comments here (which I can't, because you're in my killfile) I'm sure I'd regret it.
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 6:48 PM on February 24, 2005


First post!
posted by Saucy Intruder at 6:48 PM on February 24, 2005


(get it?)
posted by Saucy Intruder at 6:49 PM on February 24, 2005


Killfiles are quite explicitly contrary to Matt's design philosophy for MetaFilter—he's said this in a variety of places. They're arguably damaging to the community and you oughtn't use one. But you can alter the css to do other things, such as un-shrinking y2karl's small text as in macrone's example.

Good on you to remind us of this.

Unfortunately, I think it's push comes to shove in this case. The "no I won't get my own fucking weblog and if you don't like it, screw you" attitude I described before is pretty counter-community as well. My guess is that karl will be glad to hear that his "detractors" (as he seems to imagine them) will be free to ignore him and get off his back. This will leave him free to chatter to his little flock with impunity.

Not having to scroll past PostRoad's daily rant will, over time, reclaim a major portion of my life. Like 20 whole minutes. What can you really do with 20 minutes, anyway? I'm thinking oral sex.
posted by scarabic at 7:05 PM on February 24, 2005


Well I for one feel very spooky. Ghost-like in fact.
Because there is no telling if I
appear or
I do
not.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 7:20 PM on February 24, 2005


You don't have to hide everything y2karl writes, you could just hide anything ⟨small⟩ that he writes:

._metafilter_user_y2karl small {
    print: inherit !important;
}

posted by Ethereal Bligh at 7:37 PM on February 24, 2005


Oops. That was very stupid of me. Should be:

._metafilter_user_y2karl small {
      display: none !important;
}

posted by Ethereal Bligh at 7:38 PM on February 24, 2005


The chromedit extension makes creating/changing your userContent.css file easier. As well as your userChrome.css, through which you can mod the UI of the browser pretty aggressively.

Do you really need that "Help" menu item?
posted by catachresoid at 7:51 PM on February 24, 2005


Sweet! I am totally killfiling everybody but myself.
posted by weretable and the undead chairs at 7:56 PM on February 24, 2005


Also, Firefox 1.0.1 is out.

A security and stability release.
posted by catachresoid at 7:58 PM on February 24, 2005


Well fuck me runnin'. You people ROCK. macrone, your 1/2/3 hooked me up nicely. Incidentally, I didn't killfile karl, just bumped up the smallishness. PostTroll is fresh outta here, though. I so look forward to enjoying MeFi without having that "Oh my GOD. AGAIN?" experience every 3 days. THANK YOU.

Did I just kill the community? Sorry. Some people like the community. Others don't.

Alex: funny, and incredibly offensive, too.
posted by scarabic at 9:03 PM on February 24, 2005


So, does AlexReynold's adaptation of that priest's speach fall under Godwin's Law?

I mean, I thought it was hysterical, but I wonder.
posted by shmegegge at 9:18 PM on February 24, 2005


Oh, and I'd like to second the "good on you" toward EtherealBligh for pointing out that KillFiling violates the Howie Statutes.

But then again, so does being an asshole, sort of. I mean, we're mostly supposed to police the community ourselves, but with civility, and only the occasional Word From On High to clear up matters when necessary, right?

So at what point do we distinguish between laissez faire and Vigilante Action?
posted by shmegegge at 9:22 PM on February 24, 2005


Well, I draw the line somewhere near the users who irritate me so much that I find myself contributing slag and bile to the community. I can adjust my attitude (though it will never be perfect) and now I can execute scripts against web pages as I view them, too. Every tool in the toolbox, as they say.

As a principle, perhaps rolling out user blocking isn't a good plan for the site as a whole. But I think I'm at the point with the small-text where it's best for all of us if I just make it go bye bye. I don't even want to count the number of people in this thread who took the time to say "sheezus, can't you find something more important to care about?" (a complaint I always find hypocrticially hilarious - but nevermind that).

This is a true pony for me. Ponies can't always solve deep problems, but only ponies can take the issues that once were and make them non-issues forever, instantly.
posted by scarabic at 11:04 PM on February 24, 2005


None of this has anything to do with Venn diagrams. You're all fired.

(C_D: heh. )
(drscroogemcd, Ethereal B, macrone, any code monkeys i missed: excellent work.)

posted by techgnollogic at 11:57 PM on February 24, 2005


First post!
posted by Saucy Intruder at 6:48 PM PST on February 24 [!]


I laughed hard ^_^
posted by Bugbread at 2:30 AM on February 25, 2005


I just wanted to address one thing here. I did not mean to infer jonmc was a racist. I don't think he is a racist. I do think it was easy for him to jump to that conclusion and I wish I had not gone off that way but my questions were not invalid. And he answered them to my satisfaction--he's against to ambivalent concerning reparations to Holocaust survivors or Japanese-Americans interred during World War II.

He had every right to defend himself against what he thought was my insinuation but for a fact I don't play the calling out people for being racist game. For example, consider this MetaTalk thread of yore:

September 25, 2003

In Japan, don't they use the Lichter Scale?
posted by dhoyt at 2:52 PM PST on September 25 (earthquake thead)

rook! I can see my house from here!
posted by jonson at 11:59 AM PST on September 25(Chinese space program thread)

Hooray! Metafilter's full of ignorant fuckwads! GO TEAM!
posted by cCranium to etiquette/policy at 3:03 PM PST [!]


This was my take:

I think the word racist should be reserved for egregious offenses.
I don't think dhoyt and jonson are racists.
posted by y2karl at 3:39 PM PST on September 25 [!]


to which dhoyt said this in part:

1) It was big of Karl to stick up for two people who've given him flack. I'm kinda touched by that. And essentially he was pointing out something obvious. Neither Jonson nor I are 'racists'.

and jonson :said this

Also, additional props to y2karl for sticking up for me when I've been such a prick to him in the past.

How soon we forget, jonson.

Like I said, I can understand jonmc taking offense.

But as for dios, well, he was rude and abusive towards me at #mefi long before he ever became a member here. He's is a bad actor and got himself a timeout for doing in spades what he complains others do to him--making an untrue, vicious personal attack.

Now, I have been on jonmc's case a bit too much--thinking about the hard time jonson gave me way back when has made me want to slack off on jumping on his case. If there is anything I owe jonmc an apology for it is that--getting on his case. And for that I am sorry.

And, boy, jonson, talk about holding grudges... Here you are taking a shot at rushmc here--that's like, what? two years after getting on his case in the first place. Man, even I don't hold a grudge that long.

So, for the record, I don't think dhoyt or jonson or jonmc are racist. I don't play that game. I don't beat up on Christians either. I did not call jonmc a racist and I regret that he inferred I was insinuating he was. I can see perfectly well how it seemed I might be. But I wasn't.

dios's motive, however, in taking up the cudgel by insisting I did can be explained by personal dislike and pure malice. Such is my opinion.

As for jenleigh and the rest taking up the meme, well, you can either take me at my word or insist you know better than I what I was trying to say. And if the latter, I will likely, right or wrong, be as inclined to give you as much benefit of the doubt as you have given me.
posted by y2karl at 10:47 AM on February 26, 2005


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