User quit; grief management techniques? July 15, 2005 7:27 PM   Subscribe

I was going to post this in AskMe but I've already used my question this week and this is more generally MeFi-related. My problem is this. I really miss orthogonality. I'm pining for him. I think the whole business was a damned shame. Does anyone have any suggestions for coping mechanisms and grief management techniques?
posted by Decani to MetaFilter-Related at 7:27 PM (166 comments total)

he's still around here i think. He just changed names because his cover got blown.
posted by puke & cry at 7:35 PM on July 15, 2005


Karl Rove blew orthogonality's cover?
posted by Krrrlson at 7:43 PM on July 15, 2005


No, Linda Lovelace.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 7:49 PM on July 15, 2005


Background story here - what happened? Who was ortho? Links?
posted by jonson at 8:10 PM on July 15, 2005





I'm with jonson.

Did a teddy bear get thrown out of a pram? Were feelings hurt? Were friendships broken?

I must know. Links, info, please!
posted by uncanny hengeman at 8:18 PM on July 15, 2005



Woops, thanks p&c.
posted by uncanny hengeman at 8:20 PM on July 15, 2005


Have you emailed him?
posted by greasy_skillet at 8:40 PM on July 15, 2005


Now that's an embarassment to the community.
posted by mischief at 9:07 PM on July 15, 2005


Okay, so I've read through that whole thing, and I'm still a little confused. Is If I Had An Anus a sockpuppet, as Ortho claims? If so, is he a sockpuppet for DanOstuporstar? If not, then for whom? And whomever IIHAA is a sockpuppet for, what grudge did that person have against Ortho?
posted by jonson at 9:32 PM on July 15, 2005


I missed that. It did not go well. I wish it had gone differently.

On preview: Go back and look at one of IIHAA's last comments, follow the links, his user page says he used to post as DanO, and then there is a link to the offending thread where DanO says he is changing his name. It's not really a sockpuppet, it's a new account.
posted by OmieWise at 9:42 PM on July 15, 2005


If you're reading this orthogonality, it was really nice to have you around.
posted by odinsdream at 9:52 PM on July 15, 2005


Now that's an embarrassment to the community.

I couldn't have said it better myself. That was truly sad and embarrassing. It definitely makes me think twice about the possibility of ever trying to help the community. Ortho was a decent guy, the rationality behind the witch-hunt escapes me.
posted by purephase at 10:32 PM on July 15, 2005


Linda Lovelace blew Karl Rove?
posted by quonsar at 10:40 PM on July 15, 2005


P&C is bobsarabia. Huh. Never knewed it. I'd always asssumed you were banned, bob, though I don't know why. Weird.
posted by dobbs at 10:42 PM on July 15, 2005


I don't even bother trying to keep track anymore.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 11:18 PM on July 15, 2005 [1 favorite]


This is so damn weird that I'm having difficulty grasping all the ins and outs. I had no idea that people could get so wrapped up in pseudoanonymity or whatever the heck has been going on. It reminds me of that old british horror movie about the ventriloquist and his evil controlling puppet.

I think larryc is right when he says things would be a lot more civil if people didn't work so hard at concealing their identities.

*shakes head*
posted by warbaby at 11:47 PM on July 15, 2005


In answer to your question, there's this sheet on Critical Incident Stress, but the things to try are actually worth doing any old time - good fer ya, perk ya right up.
posted by warbaby at 12:02 AM on July 16, 2005


Really have to agree with stavros.
posted by Quartermass at 12:22 AM on July 16, 2005


I knew I shouldn't have skipped that thread.
I hope he comes back someday.
posted by hototogisu at 12:36 AM on July 16, 2005


This is like that Rober Altmant movie "Shortcuts". Hopefully nobody gets hit in the head with a rock at the end.
posted by KevinSkomsvold at 12:51 AM on July 16, 2005


and of course I meant "Robert Altman". [wtf?]
posted by KevinSkomsvold at 12:52 AM on July 16, 2005


warbaby, I think you mean Magic.

It's not a great movie but it has its moments. The best scene involves a bet : Burgess Meredith, as Hopkins' agent, fearing that Hopkins is losing his mind bets him that he can't keep Fats [the dummy] quiet for five minutes. It is a frightening scene watching Hopkins squirm and sweat and is the longest five minutes of his life.

And that's a shame for orthogonality. Sorry to hear about that.
posted by gsb at 1:37 AM on July 16, 2005


orthogonality was one of my favorites here. He is very bright, has good insights, and posts quite rational and well thought out comments.
posted by caddis at 4:17 AM on July 16, 2005


Decani posted "Does anyone have any suggestions for coping mechanisms and grief management techniques?"
Psychadelics.
posted by peacay at 4:25 AM on July 16, 2005


i hope the door hit his ass on the way out.
posted by Stynxno at 4:28 AM on July 16, 2005


hototogisu : "I hope he comes back someday."

I hope he's already back, and none of us are any the wiser.
posted by Bugbread at 4:31 AM on July 16, 2005


Of course he's already back. I would rather he weren't. I don't like being lied to.
posted by gleuschk at 4:44 AM on July 16, 2005


gleuschk writes "Of course he's already back. I would rather he weren't. I don't like being lied to."

Are you kidding me? You mean by someone who wrote a really helpful piece of code for us and then wanted to keep quiet about it? If you don't like him, as with Stynxno, that's fine. I think the "He lied to us" position is really wierd.
posted by OmieWise at 5:40 AM on July 16, 2005


i think the whole anonymity thing is really weird.
posted by andrew cooke at 5:57 AM on July 16, 2005


This is like that Rober Altmant movie "Shortcuts". Hopefully nobody gets hit in the head with a rock at the end.

I hope someone does full frontal.
posted by ColdChef at 6:55 AM on July 16, 2005


*drops trou*
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 6:58 AM on July 16, 2005


i think the whole anonymity thing is really weird.

Why? A few people here are vindictive and petty. I understand his motivations completely.
posted by Rothko at 6:59 AM on July 16, 2005


I understand the motivations, what I don't understand is how ortho (or anybody else) could manuver himself to get so invested in an online persona that he would cut himself off from other options for coping with the situation.

I fully understand people being mean. This thread taught me that. Which is why I pretty much avoid the grey unless I have a reason to be here.

I'm glad I missed ortho's exit thread when it was happening. I doubt I would have been able to make it less bad and nobody needed this grief.

Yesterday y2karl got all pissed at me and it had some weird outing undertones. I think he might be upset about ortho and is acting out. He made an issue out of my identity. I don't care because it's never been an issue and well-meaning friends have already seen to it that I get credit for some things I've done as warbaby.

But the principle of pseudoanonymity frequently gets people all messed up. Be careful out there.

(Oh, and the movie I can't remember the name of was British and made around 1948. Magic uses the same plot device, but the one I can't remember was an ensemble of four little films and the ventriloquist one was the last. It's probably the onset of senesence.)
posted by warbaby at 7:31 AM on July 16, 2005


Now that's an embarrassment to the community.

Yup.

And what Rothko just said. This episode is an excellent example of why people would want to keep their anonymity. Some of y'all can be real assholes.
posted by languagehat at 7:31 AM on July 16, 2005


P&C is bobsarabia. Huh. Never knewed it. I'd always asssumed you were banned, bob, though I don't know why. Weird.

nope, although then I would have something to talk about. Also, alex guessed that the unicode character guy is ortho.
posted by puke & cry at 7:36 AM on July 16, 2005


I understand his motivations completely. - says "Rothko".

Coming from the guy who created multiple accounts and used them, and yet has publicly denounced them entirely, I seriously wonder if you're in any position to judge this particular element of MeFi.

I guess it costs $5 to be a cowardly weasel. Hope you enjoyed it. Me, I'd have spent the money on music or something fun. - AlexReynolds, five minutes ago

In hindsight I should have posted this under a different account. - AlexReynolds, 10 hours ago
link

This is not to diminish your awesome contribution of the widget, however. I am truly appreciative and grateful that you came up with something so slick, and were able to take into account other people's suggestions as well. That takes class to still want to help the community even though so many have given you a hard time. But regarding multiple accounts, your opinion carries less weight.

BTW, my opinion on the subject is this: I don't think there's anything wrong with starting fresh, just so long as you've learned something from previous mistakes and keep a relatively low profile through the transition. People change all the time; their identities should be allowed some flexibility to show it.
posted by SeizeTheDay at 7:40 AM on July 16, 2005


Also, alex guessed that the unicode character guy is ortho.

And knowing now that ortho decided to leave, and seeing why in this thread, I strongly regret opening my mouth and making my guess known. I would have preferred to give whomever his or her anonymity, if it is ortho.

I hope you come back, pal, by whatever measure. Your contributions are genuinely missed.
posted by Rothko at 7:41 AM on July 16, 2005


Coming from the guy who created multiple accounts and used them, and yet has publicly denounced them entirely, I seriously wonder if you're in any position to judge this particular element of MeFi.

I never used a sock account to go after someone, which is what motivated the "cowardly weasel" comment — which I stand by.

I used the socks almost entirely to ask and answer questions on AskMe, for what it's worth.

I think that's an important difference, and I would disappointed if you would not grasp that.
posted by Rothko at 7:43 AM on July 16, 2005


In fact, I would have been happy to go back to the AlexReynolds account, but that was the site administrator's decision. I never received a response back from my request to reactivate that account a couple weeks after its time-out, so in lieu of the silent treatment I was getting, the option was either to keep posting as Rothko, wait for Rothko to get banned (which would have been Matt's prerogative), or leave. Rothko was not banned, so I stayed.

If it makes you feel any better, I decided to put my personal info in the Rothko page after AlexReynolds was deactivated permanently. Any impression of maintaining deception is a fantasy.

While I may have some regrets for things I've said, I have nothing to hide. If I did, I would not have used my name in the widget. I don't regret using Rothko to stay here.

Further, my behavior as Rothko has been damn near immaculate. Your decision to misrepresent comments from my past would seem to make you vindictive and petty — which demonstrates precisely why I understand ortho's motivations for secrecy.
posted by Rothko at 7:57 AM on July 16, 2005


Ortho was a decent guy, the rationality behind the witch-hunt escapes me.

There was no witch hunt. I inadvertently got the ball rolling because I wanted to know what the username was for the person I met at the DC meetup who said "I am not orthogonality." I believed this person, and simply wanted to know who the user was who showed up at the meetup. I liked the guy who showed up at meetup and was hoping to add him to my contacts page and follow what he contributed to the community. Another user did a little detective work and innocently made a guess that that the person that came to the meetup was, in fact, ortho.

I did make my opinion known in the "outing thread" that I didn't like being lied to and that if a user genuinely wanted anonymity (which is their right) that they should not show up at a meetup. They should also find a better way to distribute their very cool Firefox extension via a site that doesn't have their real name on it, if they really want to remain anonymous. And I stand by that. Ortho brought this upon himself. You know, tangled webs when deceiving and all that. He also made assumptions about the intentions of others (me and IIHAA) in that thread. I e-mailed him to let him know his assumptions about me were unfounded and he replied that he appreciated my clearing things up, and saw that I had no ill-will against him.

In an effort to clear some things up and stop the rumors, I will share (sorry ortho) that he made a decision to drop out of this community after being identified with his real life identity because he has concerns about things OTHER than the discussions that occurred here. Or at least in-addition. So, in that regard as least, Rothko is correct. Guessing if he has re-joined and speculating about which new user account he may be using is not helpful if you want him to continue to to be a part of this community.

Ortho apparently wished to have anonymity, and was unable to go about doing so. I suspect if he joins again, he will be more careful.

One thing I will share that he told me in e-mail was that he intended to continue to develop MetaFilthy. In case that was of concern to anyone.
posted by terrapin at 8:20 AM on July 16, 2005


Your decision to misrepresent comments from my past

All I did was quote you word for word. Any "representations" are in the eye of the beholder, and not through any implications that I have made. My only opinion, or representation, was that your double standards, shown through your own words, undermine your position.

my behavior as Rothko has been damn near immaculate

That's up for argument, but not something I would pursue anyway. If you'd like to defend yourself, go right ahead. But I'm not trying to attack you. I'm simply suggesting that your opinions regarding sock puppets are inconsistent and your corresponding behavior has revealed that to be true as well.
posted by SeizeTheDay at 8:22 AM on July 16, 2005


BTW, Rothko is contributing a very cool tool for this community as well (MetaDash is awesome). And he is correct that since he adopted the new (and not secret) identity that he has avoided getting into pissing matches.
posted by terrapin at 8:24 AM on July 16, 2005


alex guessed that the unicode character guy is ortho.

Hmm. Is that what he meant? Sorry to disappoint you (that is, if telling you this is a disappointment), but I'm not ortho.

(digression: does the fact that I'm denying being ortho actually lend credence to your suspicion that I'm ortho? Since, after all, he didn't want anyone to know who he was? In any case, even if you do think I'm ortho, I think it will become apparent after a while -- if it isn't now -- that I have different opinions and writing style from ortho).

Also, agree with languagehat and Rothko about why ortho might wish to remain anonymous.
posted by 김치 at 8:31 AM on July 16, 2005


What a sad mess. After reading the linked thread, it seems to me that Ortho is no more weird than the rest of us, but considerably harder working. I hope he returns.

There is an interesting side discussion percolating through this thread about the advisability of using a pseudonymous internet identity at all. I can absolutely see the point that Languagehat and others make, that using a pseudonym shields you from the some of the odder and even creepy things that happen around here. But the advantage of using an open, real world identity is that it keeps you away from most of those things in the first place.

I can’t tell you how many times I have read through some angry debate here, begun writing an equally heated reply, and thought better of it as I thought about my wife, employer, or students reading what I had written, or some unhinged MeFite contacting one of them. This isn’t just good for me, it is good for MetaFilter, which does not need my bile. How many of the shit storms, personality conflicts, and petty vendettas that cheapen this site would still exist if we all posted under our real names?
posted by LarryC at 8:31 AM on July 16, 2005


I missed the original thread, and I must admit that I'm a fan of both ortho *and* IIHAA. Apparently, it's possible. I would like for him to return, preferably under his original moniker (or, if you insist, ortho, as 'orthogonality++'). This sock puppet thing is way confusing.

I think this story shows us two things:

-Whenever a new user builds a personality in the community through his or her contributions, other users start to form an image of this user; correct or not, but that's moot. Any user still has the right to anonymity, but if you switch nicks or start posting under multiple names this just has the effect of confusing people (and ultimately, perhaps, making them like that user less). At the very best you're just diluting people's attention. AFAIC this doesn't have to apply to some of the more gimmicky sock puppets, as long as they're humorous and 'limited' in time and/or scope (personally, I loved theatrical matriarch, never liked mathowie's baby, and don't care for [!] and JRun).

-Using sock puppets (perhaps because of their enigma-wrapped-in-a-mystery-contained-in-a-riddle nature) inspires some kind of Sherlocky detective hunt in some people. Understandable, but that can hardly be the point.

Also, can someone draw me a diagram? Or can we start a page somewhere or something? I'll start:

AlexReynolds = Rothko
DanOstuporstar = If I Had An Anus

:)
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 8:32 AM on July 16, 2005


All I did was quote you word for word. Any "representations" are in the eye of the beholder, and not through any implications that I have made. My only opinion, or representation, was that your double standards, shown through your own words, undermine your position.

If there was a criticism of sock puppets in calling someone a "cowardly weasel", it was pretty clearly directed at those who use sock puppets to pick fights anonymously.

The only double standard is in your own head, no disrespect.
posted by Rothko at 8:33 AM on July 16, 2005


I'd like to change my nick to "Mike Hawk".
posted by dhoyt at 8:35 AM on July 16, 2005


I hope orthogonality pulls Metafilthy off the web, stops development, and revokes all of your licenses in reward for the ingratitude and moral indignation some of you are showing.
posted by gd779 at 8:58 AM on July 16, 2005


Is "Mike Hawk" the cousin of "Mike Hunt"?
posted by Balisong at 9:00 AM on July 16, 2005


(I just have to comment on how I *love* the fact that people feel that their behavior as account A should be completely distinct from their behavior as account B. Are you not the same physical person at the keyboard? Is this some bizarro world here wherein your account is separate from, you know, the human that signed up for it? It's analogous to a politician saying, "I was mayor of Dinkytown then, but now I'm mayor of Tinytown, so you can't hold anything I did there against me here!")
posted by delfuego at 9:09 AM on July 16, 2005


Well, as I started this and it's taken off all over again I suppose I should make a serious remark as opposed to a tongue-in-cheek one.

I liked ortho. I think he took quite a lot more flak than he deserved for making comments that were occasionally unpopular but usually pretty rational. I think the thread that led to his departure was pretty weird and I think his choosing to hide his identity at a meetup was also pretty weird. But hey, people do weird shit. We all have our strange, sensitive areas. I hope he comes back, shrugs off the inevitable joshing that will follow, and gets on with it.
posted by Decani at 9:13 AM on July 16, 2005


What larryc said.

I hadn't considered that non-mefi members could be involved in the desire for anonymity. That does sound like a sticky situation, but one that involves the external relationships, not mefi per se.

Which sort of returns to getting boxed in by fate, life choices, evil pointy-haired bosses, wind-up psychokillers and all the rest of the real world.

*delves into Five Rings for inspiration*
posted by warbaby at 9:18 AM on July 16, 2005


Well, it's sad to see someone lynched for (essentially) wanting to give to the community anonymously, but then MeFi has a number of unsavory characters in its midst.

I guess that's one of the sad realities that makes a greasemonkey script like mefi-killfile all too necessary.
posted by clevershark at 10:19 AM on July 16, 2005


Ok, I read this entire thread an I'm still confused. Ortho was already outed, everyone now knows his mild-mannered identity. So why stop posting under the name? Since we all know, you might as well continue. Can anyone explain this to me?
posted by cyphill at 10:54 AM on July 16, 2005


I guess it's time for me to out myself as mathowie's sockpuppet. I can't go on living the lie anymore.
posted by UKnowForKids at 11:14 AM on July 16, 2005


AlexReynolds = Rothko
DanOstuporstar = If I Had An Anus


pft. everybody knows mathowie = quonsar
posted by quonsar at 11:31 AM on July 16, 2005


i confess. i am michael jackson. and i have a sock in my pants. *grabs sock, squeals*
posted by weretable and the undead chairs at 11:51 AM on July 16, 2005


LarryC writes "How many of the shit storms, personality conflicts, and petty vendettas that cheapen this site would still exist if we all posted under our real names"

Don't forget to balance that possible benefit against the fact that some of us would not post at all if required to be identified by our real name.
posted by Mitheral at 11:57 AM on July 16, 2005


There are a couple of different issues here, which shouldn't be conflated: there's anonymity, and there's sockpuppetry. Orthogonality, as far as we know never indulged in sockpuppetry, but did end up in a sort of strange situation regarding anonymity, and that's all we know.

If I weren't living very far away from pretty much anyone who might get it in their head to show up on my doorstep uninvited, I might not be so casual about being almost totally un-anonymous. As far as not wanting my real identity tarnished by my online identity, well, that's not a thing for me, since I'm too egocentric to be anything other than me, online or off. For the same reason, I don't do sock puppets.

For the record, I dislike sock puppets, and completely understand the various reasons for anonymity.
posted by taz at 11:59 AM on July 16, 2005


This is starting to feel like the end of a Scooby-Doo episode.
posted by goatdog at 12:13 PM on July 16, 2005


Oh, and for the record, I am tkchrist's sock puppet. It's a hard road, believe me.
posted by Decani at 12:18 PM on July 16, 2005


Don't forget to balance that possible benefit against the fact that some of us would not post at all if required to be identified by our real name.

Why not?
posted by LarryC at 12:35 PM on July 16, 2005


Because LarryC, some people have lives where, if there MeFi comments were publically known as bound to their real name then it's conceivable that it would affect their employment prospects and other aspects of their lives in which they don't necessarily project the same *dare I say it* liberal openness.
posted by peacay at 1:00 PM on July 16, 2005


If every username were a real person, this would be too David Lynch.
posted by The Jesse Helms at 1:51 PM on July 16, 2005


This is starting to feel like the end of a Scooby-Doo episode.

I'm also old man Wilikins from the amusement park down the street.

Some people have lives where, if there MeFi comments were publically known as bound to their real name then it's conceivable that it would affect their employment prospects and other aspects of their lives in which they don't necessarily project the same *dare I say it* liberal openness

Fears like this, and my own lack of foresightedness, are why I have shut down my entire old weblog (and why I stay out of some MeFi threads I'd otherwise dive right into). It's up to each person if they want to use their own name or an alias, and not for the rest of us to judge them for it or try to play Columbo. (barring extraordinary circumstances)
posted by John Kenneth Fisher at 2:01 PM on July 16, 2005


As an addendum to the above, though, this specific situation seems more like an "accidental" outing than the "witch-hunt" it's being characterized as by some.
posted by John Kenneth Fisher at 2:03 PM on July 16, 2005


People are anonymous for all the reasons that are being mentioned here. It all boils down to one thing -- it enables them to liberate themselves from real-world complications arising from their behavior here. It can be used to keep your name off of completely reasonable but passionate opinions that would find disapproval from an employer, coworkers, or family. It could be to keep your whereabouts hidden from a psychotic ex. Of course, it could also be used to keep yourself hidden from the FBI.

As with the reasons for anonymity, the effects cut both ways. Anonymous trolls are harmful to the community, sure. But anonymity allows people to be open in ways that they might not be otherwise, and that can help build community too.

The bottom line is: you can't make any kind of judgement about someone based on their decision to remain anonymous. You can only judge what they choose to do with it.

As far as orthogonality is concerned, I'm sure he had his reasons for wanting to remain anonymous. I'm not sure I understand why anyone would be angry at him for what was ultimately his personal decision in that regard. At the same time, I don't get the impression that he was "outed" maliciously -- he basically made the relevant information available of his own volition (remember, we're talking about someone who widely propagated a link to his own personal website, and then claimed not to be its owner). And I'm not sure how someone who was so stylistically distinctive and visible in the community could return without being noticed. So my guess is, wherever ortho is right now, he's kicking himself pretty hard over this. If you're reading this, ortho, whatever you decide to do, best wishes.
posted by 김치 at 2:50 PM on July 16, 2005


a lot less opinions would be "unacceptable" if people simply had the guts to express them in public. hiding behind anonymity to say these things (whatever they are) encourages the very attitudes these people are apparently suffering from.

grow some balls. and stop working for oppressive bastards.
posted by andrew cooke at 3:45 PM on July 16, 2005


don't be a jerk. and start using capital letters.
posted by languagehat at 3:56 PM on July 16, 2005 [1 favorite]


You know, if use liberal breaklines in that last two comments, it makes a great ee cummings poem.

grow some balls
and stop

working

for oppressive
bastards

dont
be a
jerk.
and
start using

captial letters.
posted by cyphill at 4:07 PM on July 16, 2005


i, of course, am steven den beste.
posted by yerfatma at 4:15 PM on July 16, 2005


Cyphill rules.
posted by LarryC at 4:34 PM on July 16, 2005


I am Keyser Soze. sgt.serenity is Spartacus.
posted by MrMoonPie at 4:42 PM on July 16, 2005


It seems that we as a community have failed to support own.

"You maniacs! You blew it up! Damn you! God damn you all to hell!"
posted by furtive at 5:55 PM on July 16, 2005


everybody knows mathowie = quonsar

ROFL
posted by caddis at 6:08 PM on July 16, 2005


Yesterday y2karl got all pissed at me and it had some weird outing undertones. I think he might be upset about ortho and is acting out. He made an issue out of my identity.

Oh, buh-loney.

What identity ? You don't have your name in user page. You have a weblog on war and security that hasn't been updated since June, 2004.

It's not your identity you're talking about but your self-descriptions on MetaFilter:

...I have done anti-terrorism work in the field, published on it, recieved human rights awards for it, get quoted in journals, present at anti-terrorism conferences, blah, blah, blah.

Addressing the question of human rights is exactly the way to best Al Qaida (or any other terrorist movement) according to everything I know, have done, studied, etc. These things are very real and I've had to deal with situations where being wrong meant real people suffered and died.


You sound like a real expert. But after the exchange I got into with you here, I found that hard to believe. You started out by claiming the title was plagiarised from an article written by another guy--which was silly for any number of reasons;--you can't copyright a title, for one, and, gee, two guys write serious analyses on the topic of suicide terrorism at about the same time and both entitle them The Logic of Suicide Terrorism. Who'd a-thunk? That's just too impossible to be a coincidence, right?

And from there you turned into a one man train wreck, writing comment after comment in purple prose:

Shorter Pape: War on Terra good! Flypaper theory good! (pounds chest and yodels war cry.) Sheesh, another cocktail party commando.

or

The first page is mostly chest-pounding and gloating that Pape's pro-war faction is now guiding policy and Hoffman's faction is mostly sidelined. I guess all the wonderful progress in Iraq and Afghanistan is evidence of how smart Pape's clique is.

to describe a paper where the author wrote:

Perhaps most important, the close association between foreign military occupations and the growth of suicide terrorist movements in the occupied regions should give pause to those who favor solutions that involve conquering countries in order to transform their political systems. Conquering countries may disrupt terrorist operations in the short term, but it is important to recognize that occupation of more countries may well increase the number of terrorists coming at us.

That was so wack that I called you on it. Your responses were:

If you don't know the positions of the authors, I can see where you wouldn't understand my initial comment...

I see Pape's subtext, you don't...

Yes, I know these guys and have worked with several of them...


Well, after all the rash things you wrote in that thread, I just found that hard to believe. I've read a lot of informed comments here on such topics. I've read dhartung's comments, for example, and you, sir, are no dhartung. Nosirree.

We got into the sort of silly exchange of the sort that happens around here. You made all sorts of wild claims and got called on them. I dogged you about it. Later, when I saw that present at anti-terrorism conferences, blah, blah, blah in the torture thread du jour, I was irked enough to comment there.

Your identity is not in question, it's who you claim to be. Technically speaking, that's your persona, I believe.

Well, you wrote me and signed your name. I'm not putting it out here but I've Googled your name and there isn't that much about you online. Your weblog is no Informed Comment or Intel Dump or even Orcinus but more the kind of thing one would expect from a fairly intelligent guy who lives in a small town in Washington state and has opinions and goes to town meetings and honks off. Which is what you are as far as I can tell--a local activist as they call them in the newspapers hereabouts.

So, if we are to believe you are as important and well-informed as you say you are, we have to take your word. For me, after all the bullshit you wrote the other day, your word on how informed you are is a $3 bill. And then I have trouble when anyone says what a big shot they are over and over without backing it up.

As far as I can tell, you're just another guy with a weblog trying to make himself sound more important online here than he is in real life.

Which is why I found your comment to me--

I think you are a little too much in love with your self-manufatured identity as the bullgoose conspiracy kook of the blue. If you want to be owned by your pose, fine...

--utterly ironic.

I don't claim to be an expert. I post links mostly. I don't make a practice of writing wack claims I can't or won't back up. I don't talk about the human rights awards I've gotten or the anti-terrorism conferences to which I go. I just read the papers and surf the net. I'm not important online or off. I just get annoyed when someone starts talking bullshit and then tries to back up their bullshit with bullshit about what a big player they are.

You're the one who wrote about how experienced and important you are--all those human rights awards! You're the one who claimed I've had to deal with situations where being wrong meant real people suffered and died. Jesus, how melodramatic can you get ? After what you wrote in that first Logic of Suicide Terrorism thread, jeez, I just find that both a little hard to believe and a scary thought if true.

And note this--I would not have written any of this had you not brought my name up here.
posted by y2karl at 6:26 PM on July 16, 2005


"Some of y'all can be real assholes."

Which is easy to do when

"...it enables them to liberate themselves from real-world complications arising from their behavior here."

...and because they're cowards and/or fuckwits.

"Because LarryC, some people have lives where, if there MeFi comments were publically known as bound to their real name then it's conceivable that it would affect their employment prospects and other aspects of their lives in which they don't necessarily project the same *dare I say it* liberal openness."

Because they're cowards. This is public. Either take responsibility for your words or shut the fuck up.

"Don't forget to balance that possible benefit against the fact that some of us would not post at all if required to be identified by our real name."

Good riddance.

A lot of you people hate me. I say lots of controversial things, and have been doing so online for at least 15 years. I have never shielded my real name, and usually even my address and phone number have been easily available. I have never received even a threatening email, much less some form of hostile contact in real life. I've also never had any negative blowback at the workplace from anything I've said online.

I recognize that women are often sexually harrassed and stalked when they are identifiable. That's the exception. Everyone else, and for every other reason, quit making excuses for your own cowardliness or your inability to be responsible for what you write.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 7:14 PM on July 16, 2005


So, Ethereal Bligh, we should force everyone to post under their real name except all women and the occasional effeminate man?

On another note, things learned from this thread: don't fuck with y2karl.
posted by cyphill at 7:20 PM on July 16, 2005


Wow, EB, what happened. I admit I haven't been reading MeFi much lately, but you used to be extremely thoughtful, eloquent, and civil. But you seem so angry now. What has this place done to you?

Everyone else, and for every other reason, quit making excuses for your own cowardliness

It's fun to judge other people, isn't it?
posted by gd779 at 7:24 PM on July 16, 2005


You are aware that there are plenty of anonymous users here who are both thoughtful and civil contributors, right? They still might have very good reasons to be anonymous -- how would you know? -- but if you are going to dismiss them out of hand based solely on the fact of their anonymity, it's no one's loss but your own. Look, I think it's great for you that you're in such a secure position in life that you have nothing to lose by revealing your identity. Not everyone is so lucky, though. Most people don't have the financial wherewithal to just stop working for oppressive bastards.

In any case, thanks for illustrating so starkly that anonymity isn't a prerequisite for being a jerk.
posted by 김치 at 7:35 PM on July 16, 2005


"...anonymity isn't a prerequisite for being a jerk"

*kisses two-squares fully on the lips*
posted by mr_crash_davis at 7:39 PM on July 16, 2005


Yes, but being a jerk will presumably have real-world consequences for me, won't it? Which is as it should be.

I'm being a jerk because this issue annoys the living hell out of me. Some people may sincerely believe that there's a great risk in not being anonymous on the net...that doesn't mean they're right. I don't think they are. In fact, I'm nearly certain they aren't, based upon my own experience and everyone I know that isn't anonymous (including people posting here, and even some women I know). And then there's the people who build their rationales around this fear of repurcussions, but who really, at their core, like to be completely unaccountable for their words. They are cowards.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 7:59 PM on July 16, 2005


Then there's the people who build their rationales around this fear of repurcussions, but who really, at their core, like to be completely unaccountable for their words. They are cowards.

I guess, in the end, we all have to have something to hate, something that we seek to punish. Whether it's cowardice, or conservatives, homosexuality or Christianity, we all like to have that feeling of moral superiority over others.
posted by gd779 at 8:12 PM on July 16, 2005


"...including people posting here, and even some women I know..."

So women aren't people?
posted by mr_crash_davis at 8:14 PM on July 16, 2005


EB, you are outdoing yourself in the Spectacularly Full of Shit Sweepstakes this time.

Unless you're trying to be funny, in which case: try harder.

we all like to have that feeling of moral superiority over others.

I'm with you there, gd779, but don't conflate moral superiority with plain old superiority. I'd argue that there's no moral component to calling someone on their bullshit.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 8:15 PM on July 16, 2005


EB: People get fired because of things they discuss on the net all the time (try googling "fired because of his blog"), just because you don't personally know doesn't mean it never happens. If we want people on Metafilter to discuss their lives and opinions openly then we have to be able to guarantee them some degree of anonymity. The only other solution is for people - like doctors, lawyers, politicians - who could be fired for talking about issues that concern their job, not to talk about their field at all. Which, in my opinion, would cause Metafilter to suffer. (see the thread immediately above this one)
posted by cyphill at 8:16 PM on July 16, 2005


Of course, in addition to the many reasons beyond ones people here for some reason want to default to, some people have been made to have alternate accounts by the dictates of your prime user, for whatever his many reasons might be.

If you want to play what is user x thinking, why not pick someone everyone knows? If and when ortho returns, i will wish it well.
posted by philida at 8:19 PM on July 16, 2005


The bottom line is: you can't make any kind of judgement about someone based on their decision to remain anonymous. You can only judge what they choose to do with it.

Bingo!

orthogonality never abused his anonymity, although he certainly did cherish it. Perhaps he cherished it too much while still feeling driven to personally meet the people he interacted with online.

We need more people like him around here. He was more insightful, more thoughtful, and more interesting than your average bear.
posted by caddis at 8:19 PM on July 16, 2005


I'm with you there, gd779, but don't conflate moral superiority with plain old superiority. I'd argue that there's no moral component to calling someone on their bullshit.

Yeah, I see what you mean. Good point.
posted by gd779 at 8:31 PM on July 16, 2005


Ethereal Bligh : "Because they're cowards. This is public. Either take responsibility for your words or shut the fuck up."

Come on now, EB, I think you're forgetting your functional nature. While you might like people to either take responsibility or shut up, remember that the third option: "use an anonymous handle to post under" works in 99% of the cases here. Telling people "take responsibility or shut up" is just saying "pick only the choices I would pick, and no others, because, dammit, I want you to!"

Next time you go to Baskin Robbins, buy Rocky Road ice cream or get the hell out of the store, because I don't like the other flavors, so you shouldn't eat them!

(Note: I'm not saying you don't have good reasons for your statement. I'm just saying that, here, you haven't really bothered to put them forth)
posted by Bugbread at 8:53 PM on July 16, 2005


Everyone else, and for every other reason, quit making excuses for your own cowardliness or your inability to be responsible for what you write.

this is coming off pretty self-righteous, don't you think? ... some people like their online lives and their offline lives to be seperate ... it's not really up to us to decide that for them ... and the whole "your words don't mean anything because you don't put a real name to them" argument is basically ad hominem

for the record someone who was really dedicated could find out what my real name is and possibly even where i work ... i'm not anomynous, just obscure
posted by pyramid termite at 9:10 PM on July 16, 2005


oy
look,
Familiarity breeds contempt, usually for the least valid of reasons.
All users who are recognizable by name or volume become targets which is why strav feels he can sharply point at EB and vice versa and everyone else jumping in who thinks they can because someone else started it.
Everyone has personal issues.
Make it personal and everyone gets all emotional.
Just quit it and maybe people will take you on your text and not your handle reputation, for better or worse.
Now if everyone could just step back, let go and stop thinking you really know anyone here unless you do.

posted by philida at 9:23 PM on July 16, 2005


Oh, and EB, stop putting your own sense of "honor" on everyone else (i sympathizes but get over it), and everyone chill out so we can get people like ortho to stay.
posted by philida at 9:27 PM on July 16, 2005


Ethereal Bligh writes "A lot of you people hate me. I say lots of controversial things, and have been doing so online for at least 15 years. I have never shielded my real name, and usually even my address and phone number have been easily available. I have never received even a threatening email, much less some form of hostile contact in real life. I've also never had any negative blowback at the workplace from anything I've said online."

Well thank you mr. extrovert. Some of us value privacy a bit more than that. I'm glad Matt doesn't feel the way you do or I'd still be lurking here.
posted by Mitheral at 10:08 PM on July 16, 2005


.
posted by If I Had An Anus at 10:21 PM on July 16, 2005


I'm not putting it out here but I've Googled your name and there isn't that much about you online.

To be fair to warbaby, the email sent had his real name pre-Googled. There were several hits regarding mostly three things. He has written about a meeting of a right wing militia he attended in 1995, for which he was cited by Dave Niewert of Orcinus. He has written about the WTO demonstrations in Seattle for Indymedia. He has written about the anthrax letter investigations. On his weblog, he labels himself an open source researcher, i.e. a guy with a computer and an internet connection. Another fair description for him in my opinion would be 'freelance writer.' There was nothing about human rights awards he received, him making life and death decisions for other people or him hanging with Bruce Hoffman, anybody at the Rand Corporation or any of the other names he dropped. Oh, it's possible but there's nothing online to support this. I'm guessing he hasn't been on Oprah yet, let alone Democracy Now...

Now that's an AskMetaFilter question--has any one here been on Oprah yet ?

On another note, I have had my differences with EB but I think he's getting a little too much flak here for what he has said here. He gave his point of view and it's consistent with his moral compass as I understand it. I can't say I agree entirely but neither do I disagree entirely. People may wish to be anonymous for all sorts of reasons, right or wrong or mixtures thereof. Anonymity is one thing, however, sock puppets are another. People should have only one handle or maybe none at all. I don't like it when people have more than one, that is for sure.
posted by y2karl at 10:42 PM on July 16, 2005


I sometimes post things that my wife thinks would be cool.
She refuses to get a membership, but still lurks quite a bit, and just has me do her dirty work, in my own words, sometimes.

So I'm like a negative sock puppet. Someone else will pick up the slack, I'm sure.
posted by Balisong at 11:54 PM on July 16, 2005


Really incredibly depressing stuff.
I liked EB back when it was neither fashionable nor profitable, but he is getting a bit cranky.
I will always have a connection between my name on the net and my real name. That means that I have to not contribute sometimes (especially in a recent mefi thread). That's the way I prefer it. Other people prefer to be anonymous.
I couldn't do it, but if they want it that way - fair enough.
Sock puppets, however, can just fuck off.


"Unless you're trying to be funny, in which case: try harder".
stavrosthewonderchicken

Ever tried.
Ever failed.
No matter.
Try again.
Fail again.
Fail better.

Samuel Beckett

posted by thatwhichfalls at 11:59 PM on July 16, 2005


y2karl writes "On another note, I have had my differences with EB but I think he's getting a little too much flak here for what he has said here."

Well, he reaps what he has sown. When you start calling people 'cowards' in a blanket statement (in effect "everyone but me is a coward") you shouldn't expect that people will be lining up to kiss your ass or anything like that.

As for me, well, anyone with the most elementary Google skills can find out my name easily enough, especially given that I've been using the same handle for just about every online purpose since the mid-90s, but I can see why some people wouldn't be comfortable with that.
posted by clevershark at 11:59 PM on July 16, 2005


I meant to be provocative. And I am in a bad mood. And, again, this matter is hot-button for me. I apologize to all the good and brave people I insulted.

'Net discourse is perverse and it shows the worst of people, and a whole bunch of people take one look at the things people say to each other daily on sites like MetaFilter and are disgusted and walk away. I'm not immune to bad behavior and my worst nature showing through, but at least it's me that's saying those things and who has to take responsibility for them. I strongly believe that the net would be a much better place if this were universaly true. The only way that will happen is if there's a social stigma attached to being gratuitously (effectively) anonymous. It's a sort of a tragedy of the commons--each person now feels they have a good reason to act (speak) in public and yet not be publicly accountable.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 1:04 AM on July 17, 2005


Ethereal Bligh, you've often given me reason to think about things in a different way or consider a viewpoint I hadn't noticed previously, but your venom here seems to me to be somewhat misplaced. The currency of this community is one's reputation and there is ample input from members when the fuzzy boundaries of acceptable behaviour are crossed.

Our usernames are our identity here. Most of us want those usernames to have some measure of credibility and for others to either respect or acknowledge the validity of the points of view we express here using those usernames.

When I say something childish or stupid or insightful it's still ME that's being stupid or smart, whether what you see below my comments is peacay or Paul K***** (it's longer than that but I like a one-step-from-my-email-inbox level of anonymity) and it's MY reputation here in public that has been either elevated or sullied. Either way I have to live with what I've said and how it reflects upon my position in the community.

Perhaps instead of vicariously slandering the vast majority of us that don't specifically identify our real world names in our profiles for being cowards, you should otherwise redirect your energies into advocating for an end to sockpuppet accounts or making it obligatory that profiles contain email addresses so that the true detrimental elements of anonymity are more appropriately muzzled, mollified, quelled, dissuaded, muted, nullified and silenced.

And on preview....I shouldn't wander off and eat while in preview.... I'll leave it stand but acknowledge you've had a rethink.
posted by peacay at 1:34 AM on July 17, 2005


..and I hadn't even noticed the sockpuppet thread....and I'm still hungry.
posted by peacay at 1:48 AM on July 17, 2005


The only way that will happen is if there's a social stigma attached to being gratuitously (effectively) anonymous.

considering that almost all of the people here are anonymous, that's unrealistic
posted by pyramid termite at 5:09 AM on July 17, 2005


I'm being a jerk because this issue annoys the living hell out of me.

Which distinguishes you from all the other jerks how? It's always "I'm an asshole because I care so goddam much!" Not a good excuse. Go have some breakfast and come back when you can be your usual civil self. I care much more about whether people are intelligent, humane, and/or thought-provoking than whether they post under their "real name" or not (and frankly, how do we know what your "real name" is, just because you say that's what it is?). And you've never had negative consequences? Good for you! I've never been mugged, so I sneer at people who take precautions while walking dark streets at night!
posted by languagehat at 6:11 AM on July 17, 2005


EB-
I really sympathise with your frustration at bad behavior that is shielded by anonymity. On the other hand, as I posted in the sock puppet thread, I think that there are valid reasons to keep internet and RL separate. I also think, and this is where I think I both agree with you the most and disagree with you the most, that the most important consequnce of being a jerk here is being thought a jerk here. That's the danger of sock puppets, that people can have a primary identity with which they behave well, and then still be a jerk elsewhere without sullying their name. But, for people who are jerks with their primary account, everyone knows they're jerks. And, this is how it works in real life as well. If I have a reputation for being even-handed and kind among my friends, that reputation is not damaged by screaming at a check-out clerk in the drugstore in the next town over. Sure, it might be, but as we see time and again here, pseudonyms only protect so much, it's usually pretty easy, especially for the MeFi Ninjas, to find information about RL identities and share it.
posted by OmieWise at 6:29 AM on July 17, 2005


A lot of you people hate me.

That's quite the ego you're hauling around. Quite the ego indeed.
posted by five fresh fish at 7:00 AM on July 17, 2005


Geez. I'm proud to use my real name and link to the rest of my identity. And I'm glad I treat Mefi as a sideshow. If some people want to hang out here all day, that's cool, but it would destroy me.
posted by NickDouglas at 7:18 AM on July 17, 2005


...have never shielded my real name, and usually even my address and phone number have been easily available. I have never received even a threatening email, much less some form of hostile contact in real life.

That's pitiful! You clearly haven't been trying nearly hard enough. I've had loads! Of both!
posted by Decani at 7:35 AM on July 17, 2005


A lot of you people hate me.

Yes, but I like you, and that's what's important.
posted by jonmc at 7:58 AM on July 17, 2005


Quite the ego indeed.

For anybody here to suggest anyone else here has quite the ego is a bit rich. EB has pushed a lot of people's buttons for various reasons and, as a consequence, takes a lot of crap for it. People take shots at him and then other people show up and take more shots. I personally don't think people hate him but I can see where he could end up feeling that way. And gratuitous comments like that will just reinforce the feeling.
posted by y2karl at 8:01 AM on July 17, 2005


The only way that will happen is if there's a social stigma attached to being gratuitously (effectively) anonymous. It's a sort of a tragedy of the commons--each person now feels they have a good reason to act (speak) in public and yet not be publicly accountable.

Ethereal Bligh, why do you continue using this account and not KeithMEllis? Honestly curious.
posted by Rothko at 8:29 AM on July 17, 2005


y2karl continues his inadvertant campaign of defamantion. This all blew up when he more or less called me out with a comment about me just making shit up. The argument started because he was posting links that he hadn't read and got exactly backwards. I pinned him on it and now he's pissed, but continues to be lazy, not do his homework, and distort things 180 degrees from the facts so he can be right.

This is malicious, and with a reckless disregard for the truth, but clearly unintentional, to the extent that he doesn't know what he's talking about, so he makes shit up to prove himself right. Which is what he's so angry about in the first place.

For the record, he has my relationship with Indymedia and RAND exactly backwards in regards to "Netwar in the Emerald City."

Which takes all the way back to the sort of harm that comes from pseudoanonymity and how ortho got a punishment that didn't fit his non-crime. I think I can fairly say I understand that this sort of injustice hasn't been resolved, since I'm currently having my reputation (which has value and is essentially my property) by willful falsehoods growing out of an ignorant understanding, projection and a false sense of immunity due to pseudoanonymity.

Karl, you at least owe me an apology for the last several days of bullshit.
posted by warbaby at 9:00 AM on July 17, 2005


warbaby writes "ortho got a punishment that didn't fit his non-crime"

Ironic how you are talking about distorting the facts (in a side-thread I have no horse in, mind you) while saying this sort of thing. The following isn't aimed at you, warbaby, it only served as the last straw in what I see is misinformation spreading.

For the record, Ortho brought his self-removal on himself. Remember he wasn't banned. There was NO witch hunt. YES he had a right to anonymity. YES he wrote one helluva cool tool for the community (your soaking in it!). YES he was a nice guy. YES he was a pompous ass. YES he was smart. YES he was verbose. YES he was contributing to the community. YES he will be missed, even by those whom he pissed off ... or even lied to.

But ultimately it boils down to this: He came to a meetup where people he had sparred with here had openly said they would be. He made assumptions about his physical well-being at this meetup should he go, and (incorrectly) assumed he was going to be jumped by 2 or 3 people who openly said they would be in attendance. He still attended. He CHOSE to deny he was orthogonality AFTER he arrived. When asked what his username was he made one up that doesn't exist (tdiffen, I think he said). He said his reason for showing up was to meet users of his helluva cool tool, and find out what they liked and didn't like about it. He said orthogonality was simply a beta tester for this helluva cool tool. He shared ice cream with a group of people who treated him with kindness and respect.

He was outed accidentally.

He could have avoided this scenario, possibly, by simply creating the "tdiffen" account and using that account to post about his helluva cool tool. But he didn't. Maybe it was shortsightedness on his part. Maybe he didn't want to be a hypocrite and use a sockpuppet (which I think it is safe to assume he disliked). Instead, he came to the meetup on his own, and tried to pretend he was someone else (and not simply because he was afraid of users, but because he had others reasons to want to be anonymous).

It is an unfortunate event that occurred accidentally. There. was. no. witch. hunt. Please stop implying that orthogonality was somehow run out of town with pitchforks and torches, or that those of us who innocently played a role in his outing had ulterior motives, or should somehow be ashamed. In the end, only ortho can decide whether to come back or not (sockpuppet or not, too). And only he can explain why being outed as the author of a helluva tool tool warranted quitting the community. But don't assume that all of the reasons have been spelled out by him, or that you know all there is to know about his reasons. Consider that some of this unfortunate drama has occurred off-stage and for good reason. And lastly, consider that if ortho comes back and he wants anonymity, it may also be up to you--fellow members in the community--to respect that by not wondering who each new member (or currently member with a new sock on his or her hand) is. Let sleeping dogs lie.

Ortho, as I have told you, I am sorry for my role in your outing. I would like it very much of you were still a contributing member of this community, but I understand your reasons for believing you can't. Thank you for creating MetaFilthy. I started using it shortly after meeting you, and I find it an incredibly useful feature for this site. Good luck in whatever you decide to do.
posted by terrapin at 9:41 AM on July 17, 2005


five fresh fish : "That's quite the ego you're hauling around. Quite the ego indeed."

FFF, I've read comments from a lot of folks who hate EB. Realizing it is not an ego issue.

terrapin : "There. was. no. witch. hunt."

Agreed. Ortho was outed accidentally.
posted by Bugbread at 9:50 AM on July 17, 2005


terrapin, I agree totally. My point was that ortho suffered, sort of tragically in the classical sense, not that he fucked his mother and poked his eyes out, but the suffering was manifest.

I am vastly aware of the irony of my situation and am doing my best to resolve it to the benefit of the community, y2karl and myself, in that order. It's hard and I'm still formulating exactly how to proceed with the object lesson, but I, like others enmeshed in the web of public goods and public evils, may be pissed off (a selfish emotion) but I intend no harm and plan on continuing to proceed cautiously, but proceed nevertheless.

But first, I'm going bowling since there's a 2-for-1 discount on Sunday mornings.
posted by warbaby at 10:20 AM on July 17, 2005


This all blew up when he more or less called me out with a comment about me just making shit up.

I can't speak for anyone else but someone who writes

Shorter Pape: War on Terra good! Flypaper theory good! (pounds chest and yodels war cry.) Sheesh, another cocktail party commando.

should be able to back it up. You didn't. You completely distorted his position, changed the subject, made stupid taunts, introduced new topics, blew gas out your ass about these supposed factions and then claimed to be an authority. You are not an authority just because you say you are. Describing yourself in other threads as a real big shot does not demonstrate authority. You are an authority when you demonstrate authority.

When languagehat had posts a snarky comment in some thread about theories of protolanguages, he also explains exactly why he thinks so and likely as not he links to some supporting texts. He doesn't just say You don't understand the subtext, I do. Writing a statement as intemperate and so on the face of it obviously wrong as the one quoted above does not demonstrate authority or burnish your reputation. You are an intelligent guy and have intelligent things to say. Many of the things you wrote in the thread referenced were not. From my point of view, you honked off and then tried to cover your ass by making stuff up.

And now anyone can now Google your name, since you linked to a signed article.

For the record, he has my relationship with Indymedia and RAND exactly backwards in regards to "Netwar in the Emerald City."

I suspect that the article linked was a reprint of the original on your own website and that your association with the Rand Corporation is negligible to non-existent beyond that reprint. I think you are, as you describe yourself, an open source researcher with a website--more or less, a freelance writer also--I'll stick with that call. I, personally, am dubious about your claims of receiving human rights awards and your implying you have made life and death decisions on the other hand. Others may see it differently.

You are obviously an intelligent person and can make intelligent comments. I called you out when you made one that made no sense. Saying in so many words Trust me, I'm an expert just doesn't cut it for me when you write something so stupid and over the top and then can't or won't back it up.
posted by y2karl at 10:40 AM on July 17, 2005


Thanks y2karl for support from an unexpected direction.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 10:46 AM on July 17, 2005


Oops, correction, I see you have received an award from the Whatcom Human Rights Task Force.

We are pleased to have Paul de Armond as a guest speaker. Mr. de Armond is nationally recognized published researcher of the far right. He is a recipient of WHRTF's 2001 Human Rights Award.

A nationally recognized published researcher of the far right does not quite translate to your being an authority on suicide terrorism or having possession of insider knowledge regarding your so-called factions in my book, all the same.

On review: Well, OK then, EB, you hold warbaby while I punch him, OK ? kiddin'!
posted by y2karl at 10:54 AM on July 17, 2005


Has anyone mentioned you can google warbaby's real name yet?
posted by If I Had An Anus at 11:26 AM on July 17, 2005


I personally don't think people hate him but I can see where he could end up feeling that way. And gratuitous comments like that will just reinforce the feeling.

That was, in fact, my point. To think that people hate him requires a rather inflated sense of importance to them.

Hate is not the opposite of love: indifference is.

Hate requires a depth of emotional investment that is the equal of love. I rather doubt anyone on MetaFilter is in love with EB, just as I rather doubt anyone on MetaFilter actually hates him.

If people are hating EB, then I congratulate him: he has accomplished a fairly rare degree of personal connection on the Internet, something that is usually restricted to those internet dating channels that have lead to actual marriages.
posted by five fresh fish at 11:29 AM on July 17, 2005


One more note:

Black Flag Over Seattle (February 29, 2000) by Paul de Armond , Albion Monitor

Biweekly 'alternative newspaper' published since 1995; commentary by Alexander Cockburn, Jim Hightower, Norman Solomon, others; news and investigative ...

See also Google: "Black Flag Over Seattle"

was later condensed and, under a new title, reprinted in Networks and Netwars: The Future of Terror, Crime, and Militancy, by John Arquilla and David F. Ronfeldt, Editors, (RAND, 2001)

Completed shortly before terrorists attacked New York and Washington, the volume includes an Afterword analyzing the Attack on America. The events of September 11, 2001, tragically reinforced Arquilla and Ronfeldt's conclusion that in order to confront this new type of conflict, it is crucial for governments, military, and law enforcement to begin networking themselves.

for what it's worth

On review: Has anyone mentioned you can google warbaby's real name yet?

Well, yeah.... three comments up from yours.
posted by y2karl at 11:49 AM on July 17, 2005


"If people are hating EB, then I congratulate him: he has accomplished a fairly rare degree of personal connection on the Internet, something that is usually restricted to those internet dating channels that have lead to actual marriages."

I got two mocking emails from Adam Greenfield just today. Maybe he's really in love with me?

Mine was more of a relativistic statement--the only thing I really know, or was claiming, is that I'm disliked by some more than is usual. I don't have any ego investment in this; I remain baffled why so many people are so quick to assume that everything comes down to that (with me and everyone else). Believe me, I don't get any sort of reinforcement from being disliked; I find it uncomfortable just like most everyone else does.

Incidentally, I've been long wondering what the community ethos is regarding multiple replies to different people, on relatively different subjects? I'm going to respond to a couple of other comments in this comment; but I'm not totally comfortable with that, or with serial responses posted as seperate comments.

"Ethereal Bligh, why do you continue using this account and not KeithMEllis? Honestly curious."

For all the reasons given by me and others about accountability and against sock-puppets (though that wouldn't be a sock-puppet. strictly speaking).

I'd prefer it, I wish I could have been "kmellis" from the beginning. But there's already a "kellis" and I didn't feel right establishing a username that could easily be confused for an existing one. I was tempted to switch but felt that I ought to live with my record here, good or bad. Making the equivalence explicit in the profile wouldn't be sufficient: to most people I'd be a new member.

I think I've said this before, but an insight into why this issue is such a big deal to me is probably greatly influenced by how much my essential sensibilities differ from most people on the underlying issue. In the real world, I don't have different personas. I am exceptionally the same person in all my interactions, from close family to friends to aquaintances, etc. I am unnerved and distrustful of people who partition their lives and have notably differing personas. I almost never lie about anything. I keep no secrets. On a drive last week, my young cousin was asking revealing questions (from some book) of everyone in the car. One of the questions was "if you could trade places with anyone you know, who would it be?" My life sucks right now, and it's sucked a lot in the past. I have a pretty profound physical disability. But my answer was "I don't want to be anyone else", which elicited a note of surprise from my mother, who worries quite a bit about me. I can't explain it, but I just don't have any desire to be anyone else, and that includes establishing different personas in distinct public places. I'm who I am, good and bad (and indeed there is bad), and I'll die that person.

Having this pseudonym of "Ethereal Bligh", being called "EB" and such, is a new experience for me and I've never been comfortable with it. It doesn't feel "right". But it also makes me uncomfortable because I can see the attraction of being someone different than who I normally am. I've come to think of myself as "Ethereal Bligh", as a distinct persona that appears on MetaFilter, and I'm really uncomfortable with that. I feel a sort of guilt.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 12:12 PM on July 17, 2005


I got two mocking emails from Adam Greenfield just today.

That's disappointing. I've gone drinking with adam a few times, and generally speaking he's a very nice guy. But there's many ways to take volatile responses from people. I've gotten tons of email from members and lurkers over the years, some applauding, some foaming-at-the-mouth hostile. That just means my writing is doing it's job and getting people thinking and feeling. Your writing does the same.
posted by jonmc at 12:31 PM on July 17, 2005


OK, y2karl, you're forgiven.
posted by warbaby at 1:37 PM on July 17, 2005


terrapin writes "There. was. no. witch. hunt."

After reading that thread a couple of times this is my feeling about it too. (I'm sorry I left the DC meetup early, I would have liked meeting orthogonality.)
posted by OmieWise at 1:55 PM on July 17, 2005


Forgiven for what ? You made yourself sound like a big whoop security expert. A humanitarian award from some small ad hoc activist group in your home town does not impress me. Your revised and reprinted article for a left-wing alternative paper does not equal RAND corporation heavy. You ducked and dodged backing up your crackpot Shorter Pape: War on Terra good! Flypaper theory good! claim entirely. Your reputation here depends on what you write. Write hooey and and there goes your reputation.
posted by y2karl at 2:41 PM on July 17, 2005


Has anyone written ortho an email? A link to this post, specifically. I'd consider it, but I don't really know him that well, so I don't know if he'd open an email from me.

It seems to me that there's a lot of open support for him here, and some people who don't like how he acted. That seems like more of a positive balance than most on MeFi. If he's already been "outed", then he has already become associated with everything he's ever written on these sites, so I can't see how continuing to post could do him more "harm" - he just may need to be a slight bit more circumspect on certain topics in the future.

I, among many, would welcome his return to posting.
posted by birdsquared at 2:56 PM on July 17, 2005


Karl: OK, I take it back. I clearly misunderstood your correction to part of your defamation campaign. Evidently, you are just tuning up your noise machine. Hell, I was going to offer you a drink next weekend. Your loss.

You're not forgiven for malicious and wilful misrepresentation of my reputation (since you continue to do so) and we go on to the next stage.

I've asked you to halt the slimefest and you've declined. Fair comment, railery even, I don't mind, but your vendetta doesn't meet that test. Didn't to start with and certainly doesn't now.

Just to knock out another of your apparently endless evasions:

I say Pape says "War on Terra good!" - in the paper you posted, he supports the use of military force to attack other countries as part of the GWOT. There's no other way to read his position there and it's backed up by his stance about building a whole new intercontinental bomber force to replace B-1s and B-52s.

I say Pape says "Flypaper theory good!" - (see my previous paragraph) plus his notion of fighting the GWOT is foreign offense via airpower combined with sealing off our borders through customs and immigration restrictions, a fortress America, if you will. Pape supports an agressive military policy overseas that consists of bombing, but not committing troops to combat. So he wants to escalate the GWOT through airpower while reducing troop commitments. This equates to the "flypaper" notion of fight them there so we don't fight them here, which is exactly what he said.

So that should remove your latest bogus objection to this silly spat. I'm sure you will pick some new fabrication or return to an already stale one.

My apologies to the huddled multitudes for y2karl's inability to behave like an adult and my diversion from this thread.

To return to this thread, the preceeding unpleasantness illustrates a rude attempt at exploiting the contradictions of pseudoanonymity. It is an unsolved problem, but one that clearly has implications for the entire community, and mathowie in particular, should someone feel injured enough to resort to civil litigation. That problem won't go away, but it can be mitigated.

One problem is that in the asynchonous world of the internet, it is very difficult to spontaneously arrange a social ritual that discharges the accumulated guilt of (real or imagined) injustice. Which then leads to the circumstances of classical tragedy.

What is needed is some form of "purgatorial politics" (the phrase is Scott Buchanan's) which will allow the release of the tensions created by the accumulted guilt in the community. (See Buchanan's "Eleven Propositions about Justice, Consent and, Guilt" in So Reason Can Rule.)
posted by warbaby at 3:20 PM on July 17, 2005


EB, you do realize that your name is not you, right? It was a name your momma chose for you. You could just as easily have been named "Ethereal". Your name is arbitrary and wholly meaningless.

If you had logged in as Kevin Ellis, or whatever it is you have for a given name, you'd still be anonymous to most of us. There are a few people who use what appear to standard momma-given names... but it's not like I know whether they really have that name, and it certainly isn't important in any way whether it is real or not.

As for being concerned that your EB isn't really you, so what? It could well be that you are a three-legged psychopath who beats puppies into mush using a cast-iron fry pan; or you might be a veritable Father Theresa, feeding orphaned lepers the food from your own plate. Doesn't matter, except so far as that life influences your behaviour in this community.

Quite frankly, I'd rather not know that you're a puppy-musher, and I don't much care if you're a leper-lover. That stuff would just be a distraction from what's really important here: to wit, the ideas you promote through the things you say.

Get over it, man. Your name isn't important, your physical life isn't important, and in the long run, a whole lot of what you say here isn't important either.

Relax, promote the things that are important to you, and have fun with the rest of it.
posted by five fresh fish at 3:49 PM on July 17, 2005


I say Pape says "Flypaper theory good!" - (see my previous paragraph) plus his notion of fighting the GWOT is foreign offense via airpower combined with sealing off our borders through customs and immigration restrictions, a fortress America, if you will. Pape supports an agressive military policy overseas that consists of bombing, but not committing troops to combat. So he wants to escalate the GWOT through airpower while reducing troop commitments. This equates to the "flypaper" notion of fight them there so we don't fight them here, which is exactly what he said.

You are committed to some pretzel logic there, fella.

Um, by the way, I will reprint my last comment from the original thread here:

Also, speaking of Clauswitzian,

and quoting your Pape completely misses the point that Hoffman makes about religiously motivated terrorism being different from "Clauswitzian" warfare as an extension of political policy, let's look at the date and title of the article you list:

Holy Terror: The Implications of Terrorism Motivated by a Religious Imperative, Dr. Bruce Hoffman's RAND report with a post-Oklahoma City bombing postscript is dated May 1995.

So it was written when the phrase al Qaeda wan't part of the common vernacular. Hoffman certainly doesn't mention it. The paper seems to be devoted to what was then known about Islamic terrorist groups and domestic far right Christian militias. Clausewitz is not mentioned nor does Hoffman really make a distiction between terrorism and warfare. He doesn't address Papes's central thesis--suicide terrorism’s goal arises from secular, nationalistic political demands while religion comes into play as a secondary ideological platform, as this reviewer puts it--at all as Papes had not published anything on the topic until 2003.

There were no factions. And their papers are, essentially, apples and oranges, separated by a decade.

In fact, from Hoffman, here is an interesting quote:

Moreover, today, when old empires and countries are crumbling and new ones are being built and when new assertions of religious and ethnic identity are made with uncompromising ferocity, the possession of a nuclear bomb or the development of a chemical or biological warfare capability may become increasingly attractive either to new nations seeking to present their sovereignty or to would-be nations seeking to attain their independence. In both instances, terrorists may find new roles for their skills and expertise. Terrorists may be employed by countries either to steal nuclear weapons or strategic material from another country or themselves be paid to stage a covert nuclear, chemical, or biological attack in order to conceal the involvement or complicity of their state patron. In the future, terrorists may become the "ultimate fifth column": a clandestine, cost-effective, force used to wage war covertly against more powerful rivals or to subvert neighboring countries or hostile regimes. In this respect, the lesson of Iraq's overt invasion of Kuwait loom large.

Um, I may be wrong here, but wasn't this terrorists paid... to stage a covert nuclear, chemical or biological attack in order to conceal the complicity of their state patron stuff essentially the administration's initial argument for invading Iraq post haste ?

By your cherry-picking-one-sentence-or-so ad hominem smear 'logic', that could be

Shorter Bruce Hoffman: War on Terra good! Flypaper theory good !

YMMV
posted by y2karl at 4:07 PM on July 17, 2005


To return to this thread, the preceeding unpleasantness illustrates a rude attempt at exploiting the contradictions of pseudoanonymity. It is an unsolved problem, but one that clearly has implications for the entire community, and mathowie in particular, should someone feel injured enough to resort to civil litigation. That problem won't go away, but it can be mitigated.

And run that one by us again in English.
posted by y2karl at 4:21 PM on July 17, 2005


Y2karl: "You axe-grinders & grudge-holders disgust me!"
Unless, of course, it's convenient to grind axes and hold grudges to make a point, which is somehow totally different from when the rest of thr rabble does it.
y2karl: "Googling someone's real name is tantamount to stalking!"
Unless, of course, Googling is necessary to sufficiently humiliate the person while stretching the grudge out over a just a few...more...dense...paragraphs
y2karl: "Don't you MeFites have a life outside the petty hairsplitting matches?"
I mean, except when the hairsplitting is, like, really really important and helps fuel riposte after riposte after riposte...
The hypocrisy is rich n' creamy. You're in no position to lecture anyone about this crap, karl.
posted by dhoyt at 4:44 PM on July 17, 2005


Tastes like nougat!
posted by five fresh fish at 5:02 PM on July 17, 2005


My apologies to the huddled multitudes for y2karl's inability to behave like an adult and my diversion from this thread.

Suggested rewrite: My apologies to the community for allowing my bruised ego to get the better of me. If I had not made an unfounded accusation against y2karl in this thread, y2karl would not have pointed out the many flaws in my comments in the blue.

This thread was not the place to engage y2karl. After all, this thread was entirely unrelated to y2karl & I. Still, I made it about me.

If I had kept my mouth shut the community would also not have seen my bizarre, incoherent rambling about civil litigation. I have to live with that.
posted by mlis at 5:05 PM on July 17, 2005


MetaFilter sucks more every day.
posted by yhbc at 5:06 PM on July 17, 2005


You're in no position to lecture anyone about this crap, karl.

But, you, by your own lights, dhoyt are and do. With the same people over and over, with me, now one of them for getting on your case for your doing so over and over. So, of course, you show up here to wax sancitimonious on the drop of a pin, because, as the song goes....

Grindin, grindin', grindin'!
Keep them axes grindin'!
Grindin', grindin', grindin'!
dhoyt!


As for warbaby, I said it before and I say it again: he's seems like an intelligent person with intelligent things to say. By my lights, he said some things I found dubious about which we simply will not agree. Egos are involved on both sides and hairs have been split so thin that there is no point in continuing. It's hard for people to back down in a forum like this.

And there's always some ax grinder you've had a run in with before to pop up and take a shot. I daresay I get into it less often and with fewer people than dhoyt. His hypocrisy is richer and creamier than mine. Or so it seems to me.
posted by y2karl at 5:26 PM on July 17, 2005


*slaps everyone, then hugs them*

now, go outside and play!
posted by jonmc at 5:28 PM on July 17, 2005


One last huh ?

There's no other way to read his position there and it's backed up by his stance about building a whole new intercontinental bomber force to replace B-1s and B-52s.

Wait a minute. There is no mention of bombers in his 2003paper. He wrote two sentences in twoplaces suggesting border scecurity be improved to help stop suicide terrorism and went on in the second to suggest the US seek energy independence. No. bombers. mentioned. No bombers except suicide bombers, that is. It's just amazing to me how you come up with this stuff.

warbaby, you, to my mind, created a straw man by claiming Papes was pro-war on Terror and pro-flypaper theory.

You then changed the subject and said he was an isolationist militarist by insinuating he was somehow one with the racialist, as you called him, Pat Buchanan because the interview was in American Conservative. When called on this, you provided one sentence fragment regarding the wall in Israel to which you gave the most laboriously creative interpretation. Even without the surrounding context, the sentence fragment could be just as creatively interpreted to the contrary.

Then you produced this story about battles between factions of security advisers, seemingly out of whole cloth, and when asked for proof, claimed to be an authority with insider knowledge.

When you finally provided an argument for your cheesy 'Shorter Papes: War on Terra Good! Flypaper Good!' , you provided the most tortured logic possible and continued your misrepresentations of his thesis. New bombers to replace the B-52s and B-1s? Jesus. Um, the B-2s were on the drawing board in the Carter administration, by the way and first deployed in 1993. That was ten years before Papes wrote his paper in 2003. Papes mentions no new bombers. But you said so just the same. I just don't know how you keep coming up with this stuff.

To paraphrase Ronald Reagan, there you go again, dragging in your own baggage and putting words in the guy's mouth. If you believe what you wrote, you see this as a battle between Papes on one hand and Hoffman on the other. I fail to see any of that. If you do not believe it, you are too proud or too dishonest to admit you painted your self into a corner with your wacky Shorter Papes rant.

As for me, I made no claims nor any insinuations about Hoffman. I just responded to your wild and illogical accusations regarding Papes. I have no horse in the race. I just think you're wildly misrepresenting what the man is trying to say and making less sense as you go on.

Perhaps we should write each man and ask their opinion on this little brouhaha We can table this back and forth until we hear from them. I rather suspect both would be stunned at your leaps of illogic and misrepresentations of their positions. But who can say ?

I'll write Papes and Hoffman and see if they answer. I will put their answers in the thread in the blue. OK, I'm done here.

ps. that Shorter Bruce Hoffman bit ? I was kidding. I feel like I have to make this clear for some reason. I have no idea what Hoffman's position on the Iraq invasion was, prior to and as of now. I must say that now I am interested to see what he has to say about this tempest in a teapot.
posted by y2karl at 11:13 PM on July 17, 2005


Are you guys finished yet? Because a bunch of us were hoping for more discussion of the original topic. In other words, get a room.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 4:00 AM on July 18, 2005


Aparently, there's this thing called email! It's really neat for the more personal correspondance that one might not want to share with the whole community, especially when one is discussing something not directly related to a thread or sorting out a disagreement that drags on and on.
Just get a room.
All three of you.

/on preview I am emailing Kirth Gerson about their obvious plagerism of my post_comment_preview, with legal threats. See how easy it is to sort these things out? ; )
posted by asok at 4:44 AM on July 18, 2005


And Kirth Gerson is such an *obvious* sock puppet! I mean, really. Sorry, it's just too tempting.

On topic

*Cheers*
Ra ra orthagonality go go go
Or should that be - return return return?

Anyway - best of luck in all your endevours
posted by asok at 4:50 AM on July 18, 2005


I think they should go beyond mere "get a room," and get a webcam, too. Might as well turn a good buck doing what they love.
posted by five fresh fish at 5:24 AM on July 18, 2005


Kirth Gerson writes "Are you guys finished yet? Because a bunch of us were hoping for more discussion of the original topic. In other words, get a room"

Come on, this is getting good. I've never seen someone paraphrase Ronald Regan before.
posted by Mitheral at 6:15 AM on July 18, 2005


Mitheral writes "I've never seen someone paraphrase Ronald Regan before."

I've certainly never seen y2Karl paraphrase Ronald Reagan.
posted by OmieWise at 6:42 AM on July 18, 2005


But, you, by your own lights, dhoyt are and do. With the same people over and over, with me, now one of them for getting on your case for your doing so over and over. So, of course, you show up here to wax sancitimonious on the drop of a pin, because, as the song goes....

Basically, you can't admit hypocrisy.

You've chided my Googling riviera a handful of times in the past six months, karl, because it was tantamount to "stalking" (eyeroll) which is why I find it particularly ironic you did a little 'necessary research' on warbaby to pursue your grudge.

You also love to make the "X needs to get a life!" arguement when someone else is splitting hairs to ridiculous ends. Yet your hackles raise when someone else points out you doing the. same. thing. for ten dozen paragraphs.

"Lastworditis" is an ailment you love to diagnose others with, unless, of course, you need to drag out some weird off-topic grudge, in which case it ceases to be an ailment and becomes a attribute.

My point about your hypocrisy speaks rather loudly for itself which is why I particularly resent your lectures from on high about these issues.

I'll write Papes and Hoffman and see if they answer. I will put their answers in the thread in the blue. OK, I'm done here.

Warbaby was done—and showed considerably more charm—about eighteen hours ago.
posted by dhoyt at 6:55 AM on July 18, 2005


If you had logged in as Kevin Ellis, or whatever it is you have for a given name, you'd still be anonymous to most of us. There are a few people who use what appear to standard momma-given names... but it's not like I know whether they really have that name, and it certainly isn't important in any way whether it is real or not.[...] Quite frankly, I'd rather not know that you're a puppy-musher, and I don't much care if you're a leper-lover. That stuff would just be a distraction from what's really important here: to wit, the ideas you promote through the things you say.

Get over it, man. Your name isn't important, your physical life isn't important, and in the long run, a whole lot of what you say here isn't important either. Relax, promote the things that are important to you, and have fun with the rest of it.


That's perhaps the wisest thing I've read on MetaFilter about this particular issue, so I thought I'd repeat it for those who might have missed it the first time. Well said, fff.
posted by languagehat at 7:00 AM on July 18, 2005


I took issue with warbaby because, to me, it seemed he wrote somethng rash, dug himself in deeper and then had to read so much into so little to defend it. Or so it seemed to me. In retrospect, I wish I had merely noted that and had not made such an issue of it. In this whole 'I'm an expert/Oh no, you're not' push me pull you that went on, I had no intention to out him or trash him or his accomplishments, which are real. I read Black Flag Over Seattle yesterday and it was a very thorough and accurate account of the WTO demonstrations. It was really well written and something in which he should feel some pride.

This whole orthogonality saga really made me sad. I came across this some time ago and it horrified me. The rant regarding me, I could care less about but the part about u.n. owen was so petty and vindictive. Oh, I can get mad at what people write at times and can have attitudes about and grudges against people I have never met because of what they write here but that just seems so sick--to gather so much of what someone has written in order to trash them. I want no part of that.

warbaby's accomplishments are real and what they are and I had and have no wish to diminish them. I really feel bad about talking about them or linking to them at all. I have my issues with what you wrote but not you. It's something I hate to see done to others and yet here I saw myself doing as much--looking up, linking to and spinning someone's online record because of some stupid beef I had with them over something they wrote. For that, warbaby, you have my apologies.



On review: Well, I wasn't reading the thread. Now I have. So I will add...

Fuck you, dhoyt, you self-righteous vindictive prick. You and your personal attacks----that's what this place is all about for you.
posted by y2karl at 7:17 AM on July 18, 2005


*shrug*

You lectured others, then fled from accountability when your hypocrisy was exposed in the mirror. Had you not made it such a practice to swoop in to thread after thread and chide me about GoogleStalking or Grudges, I never would have commented in this clusterf*cuk with warbaby. You're reaping what you sowed.
posted by dhoyt at 7:39 AM on July 18, 2005


To paraphrase Ronald Reagan,

"Buhhhh...meh...Nancy...want potty... muh... Maggie ... Nancy... bvvvvvveeeehhhhh...GORBY! Go win.... Gipper.... veeeeehhh... There y' go again."

That was in his later years, mind.

Sorry.
posted by Decani at 7:46 AM on July 18, 2005


I do once what you do all the time--so that makes me a hypocrite, yes, dhoyt. But I remember when matteo said something nice about jenleigh in a MetaTalk thread--after being nasty to her a number of times before. Now maybe he was being a hypocrite but he at least made a gesture towards civility. But you had to swoop in to bring up all the bad things he'd said about her before. You had to make sure that everyone knew what a hypocrite he was for saying something nice about her for once. Your beef with matteo was more important than the common good. I get into it with people now and then and then I get over it. You go on and on, over and over. To quote Dylan--cares not to get up any higher / but rather to get you down in the hole he's in. Personal Attacks 'R dhoyt.
posted by y2karl at 8:22 AM on July 18, 2005


Given the conversation above re: why didn't Ethereal Bligh register as "KevinMEllis", is it wrong to guess that MLIS is Ethereal Bligh? Am I late to this party?

man, my head hurts....
posted by melimelo at 8:32 AM on July 18, 2005


y2karl, thank you. Expect an invitation to a publication party (not mine, I'm the bartender) next Saturday.

Free Otho Cocktail
1 oz. Chartreuse
1 oz. Gin
1/2 oz. Dry Vermouth.

stir with ice and strain into a chilled tesseract-shape glass with ice cubes and an olive.
posted by warbaby at 8:38 AM on July 18, 2005


Well, for one thing, my first name is "Keith". And, by the way, my last name isn't "mellis", which is just plain weird that people think that. Have you ever met a "mellis"?
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 10:26 AM on July 18, 2005


All this is most unfortunate.
posted by Specklet at 10:28 AM on July 18, 2005


It was a dumb joke based on Rothko's comment (with an unfortunate typo where "Keith" became "Kevin") and on the nifty sound-alike quality of "M Ellis" (again, from Rothko's comment) and "MLIS".

I apologize for such abject silliness *goes off to stage puppet show*.
posted by melimelo at 10:43 AM on July 18, 2005


I AM NOT A SPOCK MUPPET!
posted by Kirth Gerson at 3:50 PM on July 18, 2005


Ethereal Bligh : "Have you ever met a 'mellis'?"

No, but come to think of it, I've never met an "Ellis" either. Closest I've come is perhaps an "Elin".
posted by Bugbread at 5:52 PM on July 18, 2005


Iain Mellis, Cheesemonger. David A. Mellis, monger of some flickr script which found this totally hot chick with a deformed arm. (No relation)
posted by If I Had An Anus at 6:07 PM on July 18, 2005


Hmm. Weird. There's a lot of "Ellises" about in the US and it's of Scots extraction, so I would have thought there'd be some over thataways. As a matter of fact, some Brit footballer named "Keith Ellis" comes up in web searches of my name. And a self-help guru. Ugh.

Anyway, wow. I have never heard of the surname "Mellis", ever. And for whatever reason, somehow I got familiar enough (probably from some of the jobs I've had) with US surnames that I usually know how to spell them. But never heard of it. And "Mellis" is sure weird-sounding, isn't it?
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 6:23 PM on July 18, 2005


five fresh fish - upon reading languagehat's praise for your post (with which I agree), I was wondering whether you thought about posting it as well to the MeTa on sock puppets (where it is also aposite, IMHO).

I'd email you but your profile says you don't check that very often.
posted by birdsquared at 6:27 PM on July 18, 2005


As a matter of fact, some Brit footballer named "Keith Ellis" comes up in web searches of my name. And a self-help guru.

Ha ha. My googleganger fucks with multi-nationals. Please don't actually quote my name on this website. Pretty please with syrup on top?
posted by If I Had An Anus at 6:34 PM on July 18, 2005


IIHAA-She is totally hot, I'm not sure her arm is really deformed.
posted by OmieWise at 6:36 PM on July 18, 2005


This crap is why i hang out at metachat more and more...

There is less vindictive useless crap there...admittedly there still is useless crap, but vindictive it is not...

i miss ortho a lot...
posted by schyler523 at 7:48 PM on July 18, 2005


Mellis is either from the place name Mellis ('the mills') in Suffolk or a variant of Malise (also Melles, Meliss, Mellish), from Gaelic Maol Iosa 'tonsured servant of Jesus' (literally 'Jesus's baldie').
posted by languagehat at 6:43 AM on July 19, 2005


Iain Mellis, Cheesemonger.

You know, when I started reading this thread, snacking on a sandwich filled with a fine, well-aged Lancashire purchased from Mr. Mellis this very morning, I really didn't expect his name to enter into the discussion.
posted by jack_mo at 8:33 AM on July 19, 2005


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