Miguel Miguel Miguel, and his "zero posters" thread. September 23, 2001 3:21 PM   Subscribe

Miguel. Miguel Miguel Miguel, and his "zero posters" thread.
posted by jpoulos to Etiquette/Policy at 3:21 PM (33 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

Miguel, please. You seem like a very nice guy, but your being extremely presumptuous in attempting to direct people around the site. And breaking the rules, even with an "excuse me for breaking the rules" just ain't right. We all need to follow the rules for a while, if we hope to influence others to do the same.
posted by jpoulos at 3:23 PM on September 23, 2001

Miguel, I just deleted it. Please don't create circular threads (new thread: "hey everyone look at this old thread/comment/section of the metafilter site...")

It creates a circle jerk, where people are making threads about threads and threads about comments and it's just not good.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 3:35 PM on September 23, 2001

I'm sorry, people. I meant well.
I was just trying to revitalize old threads which seemed noteworthy and to encourage all those ex-readers who love Metafilter to check out the archives.
You'll forgive me for not pointing out other posts and threads which were not deleted and seem much more detrimental to your wonderful community.
But I know when I'm not wanted. I'll go back to being a dedicated reader and thank all of you who understood I was genuinely trying to be a part of MeFi.

It was great while it lasted though and I wish you all - and future members less unlucky than I was - the very, very best.

Keep up the good work!


posted by MiguelCardoso at 3:59 PM on September 23, 2001

Oh don't get all martyr-ish about it! No one wants you to stop posting, just to follow the rules. I would suggest if your goal is to let people know about old threads and comments, start a thread in MetaTalk about "great recent threads," highlight a couple and ask others to contribute.
posted by chaz at 4:31 PM on September 23, 2001

You heartless BASTARDS! Look what you've done! I hope you're all proud of yourselves. We're all in this together my ass! I'm never posting here again!
posted by Doug at 8:22 PM on September 23, 2001

Maybe I should've told you guys this sooner, Miguel has a special condition which forces him not to leave his house, or go to any other web page. MeFi was all he had and you took that away from him. I remember how he always fed the pigeons outside his window. He used to go on for hours about the pigeons until they died of the lead paint on the window seal. He also had several extremely cute kittens that also died in a series of unrelated deaths. In his free time he'd save bread for the poor... even though he didn't have enough to eat. You cruel, cruel people.
posted by geoff. at 9:18 PM on September 23, 2001

Why are you being so mean? Does it make you feel smart?

Don't sulk, Miguel - it doesn't become you. Besides, I like your posts.
posted by Marquis at 10:03 PM on September 23, 2001

You people sicken me.
That's right. Sicken.

posted by dong_resin at 10:06 PM on September 23, 2001

This really should have died at Matt's comment. He and jpoulos explained the complaint clearly enough, and it's been taken care of.
Geoff: that was totally unnecessary.
So maybe he's trying a little hard for your tastes--yes, mine too at times--but this thread was not intended as a lead-in for a roast.
posted by Su at 11:37 PM on September 23, 2001

in his response he attempts to tell us something about us while abjecting himself, elevating 'us', and using scientific language to increase credibility:
You'll forgive me for not pointing out other posts and threads which were not deleted and seem much more detrimental to your wonderful community.

it's phony, false humility. he's scared off because people are mean. so say it like you feel, miguelcordoso. he, in posting that thread, was trying to please the o.g. members, not surprising considering the newbie bashings. i thought his comments in general were pretty genuine except for the instances of emotion-reinforced rhetoric. this a 'wonderful community' because the act of discourse actually intended to facilitates thinking about what's discussed instead of concurring to whoever is the loudest... intended to.

unfortunately, we at mefi can't explore the topic of emotions without the armour of mockery because we are such emotional idiots ourselves, geeks; case and point the the cam thread. is that what you meant by detrimental, miguelcordoso? that thread is left there to make a point about what metafilter is about: valuing what people have to say, even people who don't think that about this site. that's what i gathered.

if what you have to say is valuable to those ends, inducing thought, then it is valuable. you've shown that you don't understand those ideals even though you have something to offer. mockery aside, nobody should feel sorry for hurting feelings if others can't accept their ideas.
posted by elle at 2:24 AM on September 24, 2001

I was making a joke... I think no one got it. I wasn't making fun of miguel I was just trying to be sarcastic and show how cruel you guys were, like a Frank Grimes kind of thing. Oh well no one got it and it came off mean.
posted by geoff. at 5:00 AM on September 24, 2001

Geoff., I got it. That is, I got it until you said it was a "Frank Grimes kind of thing". Then I lost it.
posted by donnagirl at 6:31 AM on September 24, 2001

This is like when that certain other member claims he is quitting, until everyone begs him not to. It's ridiculous. Jpoulos was very polite about his reminder, and Miguel over-reacted, acting as if he was under attack. But he wasn't at all. Little constructive criticism never hurt anyone.
posted by Doug at 6:51 AM on September 24, 2001

jah. Miguel, I think it would be a mistake for you to interpret the post being deleted as a personal affront. There were clear guidelines which the post violated, and which you knew of when you made the post, too. Taking it personally only suggests that you think an exception should have been made for your post. It's simply wrong of you to presume that.

Anyway, I for one have learned from your posts in the past, and hope to see them here again.
posted by mattpfeff at 11:25 AM on September 24, 2001

Forget the Frank Grimes kind of thing, I don't know what I was thinking, I just woke up.
posted by geoff. at 1:32 PM on September 24, 2001

I think it was a pretty poor post and deserved to be deleted, however, an e-mail to Miguel would have probably have sufficed.

I believe calling people out in Metatalk is bad - there has been too much lately and I think it only serves to increase the bad feeling - only those who really break the rules, i.e. ongoing trolls, etc, should be called out in their own Metatalk thread.

posted by johnny novak at 1:55 PM on September 24, 2001

And now, in today's lesson : how to feel like an a-lister even if you're a 10ker!

That might sound mean, and I don't mean it to. That sort of elitist crap is beneath me, I know. Just a joke...

Miguel has had some worthwhile stuff to say (even got quoted by quonsar on his blog a while back), although he tends to say a bit too much of it in any given time period for my taste.

But I must say, "I know when I'm not wanted" is a bit of an overreaction.

johnny novak - I agree with you, but from my perspective, even though I appreciated many of miguel's posts, and will hopefully be able to do so in the future, I thought he was alternately bellowing and pandering to a degree, and maybe (just maybe) jpoulos felt something of the same, and felt it was justified to call him on it, just to get him to rein things in in general....(please correct me if I'm out of line there jpoulos).

And miguel - as far as the deletion by mathowie goes, I made a boo-boo and double-posted last week and begged him to delete it and shield me from the ire of the community (which he did, more to keep things neat than for my sake, I imagine - thanks regardless, Matt). It's not the end of the world, mate. In your case, it just got to MeTa before it went bye-bye.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 1:28 AM on September 25, 2001

Dear all,

Thank you so much for bothering. Although I still think I stick out like a sore thumb here , don't really fit in and will stick to reading from now on, I think my experience may be helpful in the future.

First of all, I have nothing but praise for the way Metafilter self-polices itself and the inherent benevolence and tolerance which have been built into it. But lately, there has been an overcrowding problem and Kottke's poser about Metafilter no longer being Meta or Filter, though simplified and less than innocent, does identify a growth problem. It can be solved, I'm sure. I hope my tiny, one-man example can help in some way.

There must be a culture gap or something. We Portuguese, like the Italians, are very sincere and sentimental and we express ourselves in what must seem an overblown way. However, this is the stuff of Western civilization and the fact that many of you regard it as "rhetorical" is only proof of an unfortunate clash of modes of expression. Here - since Aristotle - "rhetoric"(in the singular)is a classical discipline, intended to help people express themselves; more important than grammar or semantics. It is not a boo-word.

Also, of course, English is my second language. I can only express myself properly in Portuguese. So there's probably another cause for irritation there. It probably sounds wooden and sort of badly translated. For this I apologize.

I have never before written anything without being paid for it. I'm one of Portugal's most successful writers and, thank G-d, the books I've written, as well as the newspapers and magazines I've founded and edited, are all very popular. In fact, the only other Portuguese writer who sells more books than I do is José Saramago, the recent Nobel Prize winner.
The weekly newspaper I founded and edited, "O Independente", is Portugal's number two weekly, though admittedly far behind "Expresso".

Mock me at will - mockery is the single most important self-deflating device in the world - but this does show that I love Metafilter and really enjoyed myself. I'm sure many other writers who hate publicity and all the insincerity of the book world and the media would jump at the chance to become engaged with such an honest and uncompromising community, where everybody is truly equal.

Having been a reader of Metafilter from the start - I mentioned it several times in my columns - I naturally felt at home here. So I decided to start contributing. And enjoyed it immensely. It was very liberating to participate in such innovative and intelligent discussions.

Perhaps Su is right - I did try too hard. This has been said of me since my very first report card. But I meant well and did my utmost, taking time off from my burdensome but uplifting work to make sure I kept up with all of you. I got so much from members' posts and comments that I felt is was only fair to make my retributions worthy of their - our! - standard.

Like a lot of members, though with diminished legitimacy due to my very recent participation, I am worried that Metafilter is being taken over by less serious contributors who would do better if they improved more welcoming and adequate communities, since they clearly do not lack the imagination or the resources to do so.

My feeling is that they are too smart and demanding for those other sites and, instead of doing battle there, have preferred to import their passions into a no less frivolous, but more rigorous and morally-informed forum like MeFi.

The reason I feel slighted and will not continue to post and comment is trivial to you but important to me.

When I posted my suggestion that we all look back to 1999 and other forgotten threads - many of which were unjustly passed by due to the small number of members - I meant it as a homage to Matt.

I now recognize that, thanks to your kind explanations - I specially thank John Poulos for his email - it was a lousy post and, besides, counter-productive and circular. I still think, though, that "todayism" is a great enemy of thought and deliberation and that there is too much "recentism" going about. As a member I am entitled to that opinion and obligated to follow it through.

But I accept that I did break the rules. I can explain why - Matt had said somewhere he allowed a semi-self-link because it was a Saturday - but the fact remains it did not belong on the front page. However, I swear I did not think I was breaking the rules, only bending them slightly, in order to defend MeFi's principles of interactivity between Metafilter and MetaTalk. I was wrong but, hey, I was new here, I deserved a little consideration.

However I disagree strongly with current policy which seems to place quantity(number of posts, comments,etc)over quality. If self-policing is to make any sense surely it must direct itself to content and not to number. But I accept it. Specially because it really isn't enforced - only suggested. This seems a good compromise. I'm a great believer in following rules and I was only a guest here. So far be it from me to want to change them.

The results of these rules are here before us - this wonderful forum we have, unlike any other in its depth and freedom - and this is its best justification probable.

So why do I quit? Because I feel there is a double standard and that I was not decently treated. Some people, if they're loud enough or old enough, get away with murder. They flame and troll at their hearts' content, make inane comments, take no trouble to search or check out their references and generally make themselves heard only to prove to themselves - and patient co-members - they exist.

My post was summarily deleted as if it was offensive and deleterious. Other members will never have a chance to judge. It's been put along with all sorts of rubbish and ill-intentioned, destructive posts which were deservedly confined to non-history.

If someone had e-mailed me first I would have gladly have accepted Metafilter's decision. I would have been even happier if the post had been moved to MetaTalk, where it better belonged and would have been, I'm sure, a topic worth discussing.

I keep reading about certain members being e-mailed and warned - members with clearly silly or pejorative agendas - without their offending posts being deleted.

Perhaps it's a product of having lived under fascist censorship here in Portugal - every week I had to submit the playlist and poems for my radio programme to a sinister, wormy creep with two blue pencils behind his ears.
I just hate people being denounced and deleted. Things should be debated before decisions are taken; if they should be at all.

So in future - if you're still listening - whenever a well-meaning new guy overdoes it, give him a chance. It doesn't have to be an email. It can be a comment. As it happens I was just about to move my post to MetaTalk, thanks to a co-member's comment, when it was suddenly deleted.

This method is unfair and - worse - discretionary. If you never know how things are going to be accepted or not how can you proceed?

Please get back to self-policing, Matt. Leave it to the members. They know. People get the message, eventually.

And, lastly - thank you. Participating and engaging in conversation with so many of you has made me love Metafilter even more. It is uniquely important, specially now.

Lots of love, in the real, non-ironic sense of "lots", "of" and "love",


posted by MiguelCardoso at 3:03 AM on September 25, 2001

Miguel, you shouldn't have to change the way that you express yourself just because others may not understand your intensity or passion. You also need not show your credentials, thus trying to prove that you belong here; we all belong here, we are all equals.

I enjoy the different cultures expressed here, for I grow weary of what I perceive to be my own bland culture. What a boring place this would be if everyone were exactly alike! Does this mean that you were blameless in posting a circular link? No, you yourself acknowledged the miscue. However, I do not believe that you posted out of malice or with the intent to break MeFi. And nobody here is attacking Miguel-the-person.

Oftentimes at MeFi, folks say that they are going to leave for good because of a perceived slight. And, sometimes they do. Unfortunately, they are quickly forgotten by the community, for there are others to take their places. However, we are all impoverished by their absence.

Also know that you do not see the many double-posts, bad links, and offensive threads deleted by Matt on a daily basis. I tell you this so that you do not believe yourself to be singled out. For every bad thread or post that you see on MeFi, there is probably at least one other that you don't see, due to Matt's vigilance (a formidable task that makes him weary).

So in future - if you're still listening - whenever a well-meaning new guy overdoes it, give him a chance.

I agree. Please know though that you have a chance. The question remains: are you going to take it?
posted by Avogadro at 8:48 AM on September 25, 2001

Well don't I feel like a big pile of poo...

While I still believe Matt was justified in deleting the post, and while I still feel that "calling" Miguel out politely was perfectly reasonable, I can't help but wish things had gone differently here.

If the worst problem MeFi had was that some of its members were a bit overzealous or too sincere, we'd be in much better shape than we are.
posted by jpoulos at 8:55 AM on September 25, 2001 [1 favorite]

Don't feel bad jpoulos - you've been scrupulously reasonable, equitable and kindhearted in all your interactions with miguel that I've seen. You did the right thing.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 9:46 AM on September 25, 2001


Miguel, you wouldn't be reverse-trolling in the Morrisy "I'm going into the garden now to eat worms because I suck and no one should have to gaze upon my wretched form as I am merely the MiguelCardoso-shaped hole in the fabric of reality rather than a real human being worthy of true love and regard", Would you?

Because if you are, wow, well done, dude.

If you're not, consider that you're as welcome as anyone else, and that your inadequacies exist only in your own head.
posted by dong_resin at 10:24 AM on September 25, 2001

re: differences in culture.

So why do I quit? Because I feel there is a double standard and that I was not decently treated. ...

My post was summarily deleted as if it was offensive and deleterious.

You have some cause to feel this way, and I suspect that mathowie truly wishes he had the time to email everyone before having to delete a post. But your post wasn't deleted for being offensive or deleterious (by the way, you write in English very well indeed...), just for breaking the rules (it had, after all, turned into a thread about itself, not about its intended subject).

It's unfortunate that the gruff, impersonal, American, business-like reaction you got came across so badly. I think it's a difference in culture, not a deliberate message, that struck you as so inconsiderate; just as your manner of writing struck some here as a little too colorful. But your style is unlike that of anyone else here, and, as others have said, added something unique and, to me at least, extremely valuable.

Even if it's just to make the point that yes, our cultures can learn to coexist and work together, I suggest you consider continuing your active participation. Ask yourself if it's your opinion that we can overcome cultural differences, or that the community can learn from your perspective. If yes, as I suspect it is (and believe personally), then, as you say, you are obligated to follow it through, far more so than you are justified in abandoning a community that values your participation because of a misunderstanding.
posted by mattpfeff at 3:56 PM on September 25, 2001

I'd love to buy one of your books. Can you point me to a link? I can't seem to find one anywhere.
posted by norm at 4:34 PM on September 25, 2001

Miguel, the general sentiment (flame me if I misrepresent) is that:

We'd like you to continue posting. At least I would, and although I'm not a member of the old guard, I do have a dignified nickname.

We're sorry you got offended, but the other posts you refer to in your "double standard" place go against the spirit of MeFi, and yours went against the rules. But rest assured those who post the things that don't get deleted but should will roast in Malbolge, the eighth circle of hell, where as "sowers of discord" they must rend themselves asunder for eternity.

Besides, there's a severe lack of eloquent newbies with well-formed ideas here, and at the risk of being a self-aggrandizing jerk, we've got to stick together and work to make MeFi the best it can et cetera.

So what do you think?
posted by j.edwards at 4:50 PM on September 25, 2001

Yeah, I know... but I'll say it anyway... Y'know, the second page concept would have avoided all of this...
posted by Perigee at 5:49 PM on September 25, 2001

right on, j.edwards. Someone's got to stop the first 10,000 MeFiers from running this place into the ground....
posted by mattpfeff at 5:57 PM on September 25, 2001

Norm : I'm guessing this is Miguel.

(...passed through the google translator, for those of use whose Portuguese is a bit *cough* rusty)

I note this now after reading this post from tamim after Miguel's recent return to the fold, which questions a bit whether he is who he claims to be. I'm guessing he is.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 10:28 PM on September 28, 2001

It's the worst link imaginable, Chris, but OK. I'd much prefer you'd checked the Bodleian Library, my own Biblioteca Nacional or even the Library of Congress. Or even a simple "Miguel Esteves Cardoso" Google search.

I've been often baited and doubted, here at Metafilter, about supposedly coming out, but the truth is I signed in with my own name, gave my real email address and not hidden who I am or what I've done.

I did this, of course, because I love and respect MeFi and hate lies. Athough I do think it's all inconsequential. No credentials are necessary or desired. While here, at the place we love. with the people we love to be with, all that matters is what we say and do here.

That is the freedom, the fresh air that Matt has been able to institute.

I hate anonymity, by the way - not to mention false IDs. Each of us will die knowing almost nothing. Why should we hide the little we know from those who are no different from us?
posted by MiguelCardoso at 8:31 AM on September 30, 2001

Or even a simple "Miguel Esteves Cardoso" Google search. :That's precisely what I did, cap'n, except for the 'Esteves', as there was no way of knowing that was your middle name. Your fame and name, sadly, have not penetrated to the benighted backwoods of South Korea.

Out of a small few google hits, the one I linked seemed to have the most information content.

And despite being reasonably well-lettered, I have no idea what the Bodleian Library is, or where on god's green web the Portguese Biblitoteca Nacional might be. Get over yourself, will ya?
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 8:40 PM on September 30, 2001

You could always ask António João Leather strap. He's a big fan.
posted by rodii at 8:43 AM on October 1, 2001

Oops, sorry, António João Leather strap is here.
posted by rodii at 7:19 AM on October 3, 2001

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