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Why THINQon?
February 13, 2011 3:38 PM   Subscribe

Mathematical logician Asaaf Peretz discusses his new "Social Thinking" site THINQon.

"There's a relevant story I like. Someone calls a circus director asking for a job. He says he can read a book from beginning to end and from the end to the beginning. He can instantly multiply numbers up to 30. The circus guy is not interested and hangs up. The caller puts down the phone and thinks: 'Oh. I forgot to mention I'm a horse.' It's a great joke on why without a full enough conversation, you just don't know what important elements are missing in what you're saying or asking, and that can be crucial."
posted by Sticherbeast (20 comments total) 16 users marked this as a favorite

 
They've got the "kids room" right above the "garage," but the "bedroom" and the "kitchen" are several stories away. They better check the odometers, once those kids hit their teens.
posted by StickyCarpet at 3:53 PM on February 13, 2011


I looked at THINQon for 20 seconds. Couldn't understand why it was cool. Surfed away.
posted by persona at 3:54 PM on February 13, 2011


I'm thinq-ing that this is a lot like the Metafilter.
posted by Guy_Inamonkeysuit at 4:07 PM on February 13, 2011 [2 favorites]


I can't completely pin down why, but that site looks like it came from 1998. I think it's the UX which looks like it hasn't learned anything from the past decade or so of web development practice. And crap like naming different parts of the site very confusingly after rooms.

Comments like this in that dumb HuffPo article don't help:

"I really believe this, and wanted to develop a platform to allow such conversations to be available anytime, anywhere, and on a large scale. The Internet allows us like never before to redefine and expand who our potential conversation fellows are."

Yes! Some day people will be having whole conversations online! Imagine!
posted by chasing at 4:16 PM on February 13, 2011 [5 favorites]


Yeah don't get, just seems like open forums with anything goes. The opening screen about establishing knowledge versus categorizing sounds great, but that's a complicated thing and just saying it doesn't make it so. Is there a more lengthy manifesto on how this site plans to achieve its lofty goal?
posted by stbalbach at 4:23 PM on February 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


I can't completely pin down why, but that site looks like it came from 1998. I think it's the UX which looks like it hasn't learned anything from the past decade or so of web development practice. And crap like naming different parts of the site very confusingly after rooms.

The house UX brings back memories of Microsoft BOB for me.
posted by Sticherbeast at 4:23 PM on February 13, 2011


I can't completely pin down why, but that site looks like it came from 1998. I think it's the UX which looks like it hasn't learned anything from the past decade or so of web development practice. And crap like naming different parts of the site very confusingly after rooms.

Yeah, its as if they've never seen a forum before.
THINQon takes on what Wikipedia leaves out – our personal subjective understandings. Through these public conversations, a tremendous resource for living well is created, exchanging the Q&A model for an experience.
(Right, because Wikipedia = The Internet.)

They've also done that classic Forum Planning Noob mistake of creating 20+ different categories to post under, so that you have to think for 20 minutes before working out which one you should post the thing-you-want-to-say in. (There's a name for that tendency in forum design, but I can't remember what it is; model village, or something like that)
posted by memebake at 4:38 PM on February 13, 2011


Although, it does look like they've managed to nurture a polite and wordy community there, so thats something good.
posted by memebake at 4:54 PM on February 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


It's a great joke on why without a full enough conversation, you just don't know what important elements are missing in what you're saying or asking, and that can be crucial.

Oh man, I know exactly about this. NOW. I used to really hate the chit-chatty way technical conversations (and others, I suppose) "end".

Me: So, I'll do X.
Him: Right. I just need X because Y, you know.
Me: Yes, you mentioned.
Him: Because Y causes A, B and C.
Me: Exactly. So I'll do X.
Him: Great, because that'll really relieve my Y.
Me: I get it.
Him: And Y is bad, because A, B and C.
Me: Understood. Consider X done.
Him: Awesome, I can't wait for Y to be over because...
ETC

However, I've noticed that if you let these conversations go for a few iterations, the other person eventually reveals a little more, like "Not that A, B and C are really the problem. It's actually D." and you are all WHOA, X implies D, dude! You don't want X! You want W!
posted by DU at 5:10 PM on February 13, 2011 [6 favorites]


I played around with it for about an hour. Clunky, ill-conceived design. Extremely dated navigation. Lots of stale, low response threads. Looks like a graveyard. No thanks...
posted by jim in austin at 5:59 PM on February 13, 2011


I tried it out (back when it was called Pandalous) and just never really saw the point -- I found a lot of threads turned into philosophical masturbation. There were also many odd discriminatory comments, and the community seemed to accept them.
I tend to be a lurker (see: my posting history here versus actual time spent browsing) and never felt the need to go back and read more. His end goal is laudable, but either it wasn't well executed or I'm just not the target audience.
posted by OLechat at 6:06 PM on February 13, 2011


WHY HELLO POTENTIAL CONVERSATION FELLOWS
posted by jtron at 6:16 PM on February 13, 2011 [2 favorites]


There's a name for that tendency in forum design, but I can't remember what it is; model village, or something like that

Potemkin village?
posted by zippy at 6:48 PM on February 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm a longtime lurker, though I never felt the need to post, and actually discovered Thinqon from a previous post here.
Reading the interview, he says:

"This takes me to another aspect we cared about when developing THINQon -- to have the conversations be substantive and durable -- creating a new kind of resource, like Wikipedia, but for subjective matters. (Instead of sound-bites, a word we sometimes use to describe the conversations is "diablog," a dialogue of blogs.)"

From my experience with Thinqon I definitely agree with that. I don't know any place online where these kind of diablogs take place, besides Thinqon. Chats are everywhere, forums, Twitter, here, but there really isn't anywhere online for serious conversations, at least none that I know of.
I love MF, but I use the two sites very differently.
posted by Socratess at 9:50 PM on February 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


Potemkin village?

That or cargo cult maybe. Same general result—thing designed more for the formal resemblance than for actual utility/necessity/functionality—but different connotations.

Fundamentally, it doesn't matter where you start if you get somewhere good; I can't tell at a glance if Thinqon has something good going on or not, I agree with the BOB reference and the So This Is Another Overstructured, Understocked Forum feeling from the poking around I did, but if folks there are enjoying what they've got going on then more power to 'em.
posted by cortex at 9:53 PM on February 13, 2011


You don't want X! You want W!

I, however, don't want any more W.
posted by BrotherCaine at 11:53 PM on February 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


It seems a bit like Quora, but less geeky / techy
posted by DanCall at 1:36 AM on February 14, 2011


Looked middle class/liberal/elitist/smug to me.Of course, I have a chip on my shoulder. But I still think we should be worried that the gentleman's club mindset has already done lots of damage.
posted by Iktik at 6:30 AM on February 14, 2011


I only care about the perspectives of my Facebook friends and those who pay $5 to a certain website. The rest are just spammers, trolls and photoshop contest junkies. Also you want perspective click the edit history on Wikipedia. Also that site is crap. Rollovers and graphics on text without css what is this 1999?
posted by humanfont at 4:57 PM on February 14, 2011


I like the beans here.
posted by Jacqueline at 3:24 AM on February 15, 2011


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