Join 3,418 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


You Are Not Alone
March 14, 2011 7:01 AM   Subscribe

"You probably don’t believe everything you read, hear or see in news, culture and advertising, but maybe you don’t know why." MeFi's own The Last Psychiatrist and Pastabagel have created a new open blog, PartialObjects.com

PartialObjects is devoted to unraveling the hidden "...underlying biases, assumptions, and frames of mainstream politics, culture and media."

While the blog is still in its first days, the inaugural posts are already revolving heavily around criticism of American pop culture and infotainment.
posted by overeducated_alligator (41 comments total) 41 users marked this as a favorite

 
Cool.
Registered.

One thought...Your "Welcome..." email probably shouldn't have both the member's username AND password in cleartext.
posted by Thorzdad at 7:17 AM on March 14, 2011 [2 favorites]


It seems a bit heavy on the screed and light on the actual social science (for instance -- the post about looting has lots of anecdata and personal opinion but little actual interrogation as to whether or not looting is common following natural disasters). This is the purview of mass consumption social science (when it's done well) -- what is the "received wisdom" about a particular topic? Is it correct? How can we know? Substituting one's own views and biases for those of the "mainstream" isn't really how you answer these kinds of questions. I commend the exercise, though.
posted by proj at 7:19 AM on March 14, 2011 [3 favorites]


Pastabagel left a note in the post about looting, saying that it wasn't generally the type of post that they are looking for.

On the one hand, I like the idea. On the other hand, this seems like a place for people to post their one-off blog posts when they don't actually want to maintain their own blog.

Is there a more specific mission statement than just exposing hidden bias?
posted by Think_Long at 7:22 AM on March 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


While deconstruction is something of a sport among the under-40 set

I just turned 40. Do I have to now stop deconstructing and start decomposing?

Other community driven sites do this haphazardly, but in a way that either buries thoughtful writing under mountains of oh-so-clever sarcasm and one-liners, or that rewards consensus of opinion rather than diversity.

Speaking of hidden agendas...
posted by Horace Rumpole at 7:24 AM on March 14, 2011 [5 favorites]


I'm a bit confused. From the explanation page:

"Partial Objects is a user-driven community blog that articulates the underlying biases, assumptions, and frames of mainstream politics, culture and media."

... I like that goal, and will be bookmarking this to review, but from the actual content it's entirely unclear how you'll be achieving this. Are you moderating heavily, or fleshing out user contributions with some research? That would be neat, but it doesn't seem to be what's actually going on.
posted by odinsdream at 7:25 AM on March 14, 2011 [4 favorites]


Neat. I thought this short post on frat culture was interesting.
posted by l33tpolicywonk at 7:26 AM on March 14, 2011


well, we killed it. Way to go people, this is why we can't have nice things.
posted by Think_Long at 7:32 AM on March 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


It would appear we have strangled the server already.
posted by Thorzdad at 7:32 AM on March 14, 2011


Interesting idea for a community intarweb bbs chatboard. It will be interesting to see if they can maintain it.

It's got threaded comments though. I hadn't realized how much I dislike them now until I read through some of the posts.
posted by bonehead at 7:41 AM on March 14, 2011


Blocked at work due to "Potentially Damaging Content".

I don't know if that's a good sign or not.
posted by ArgentCorvid at 8:13 AM on March 14, 2011


Omg, omg, I've wanted to subscribe to a pastabagel newsletter for so long (his amazing Mr. Rodgers quote will always be with me), and now it seems I (sort of) have my chance. So excited to read more of his thoughts/comments, etc. Thanks for posting this.
posted by lagreen at 8:21 AM on March 14, 2011


Neat. Registered.
posted by Phire at 8:26 AM on March 14, 2011


Great idea, long overdue. Thanks guys.
posted by Duug at 8:28 AM on March 14, 2011


Omg, omg, I've wanted to subscribe to a pastabagel newsletter for so long (his amazing Mr. Rodgers quote will always be with me), and now it seems I (sort of) have my chance. So excited to read more of his thoughts/comments, etc. Thanks for posting this.

Pastabagel has had a guest post or two over at The Last Psychiatrist's blog. TLP himself has a surprising cult following (myself included), and an intriguing theory of everything. Most of the posters on PartialObjects seem to be followers, because there's quite a bit of TLP quoting and references to the themes of his blog.
posted by overeducated_alligator at 8:29 AM on March 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


I believe virtually everything I read, and I think that is what makes me more of a selective human than someone who doesn't believe anything.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 8:32 AM on March 14, 2011 [2 favorites]


It won't let me register. It must know me.
posted by oneswellfoop at 8:41 AM on March 14, 2011


Mr. Rogers blockin my u-haul screamin "You aint movin here!"
posted by cashman at 8:50 AM on March 14, 2011


l33tpolicywonk: Neat. I thought this short post on frat culture was interesting.

Short? That's four tweets strung together.

I applaud the effort to make a "thinking person's discussion site," but I agree that it currently seems like a dumping ground for deep thoughts without deep inspection.

In short: too soon.
posted by filthy light thief at 8:52 AM on March 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


Loving high concept, high-brow, high minded pursuits such as these, I registered the username Ethereal Bligh and posted an ascii dick to the homepage.
posted by Jofus at 8:55 AM on March 14, 2011 [4 favorites]


Wait, threaded comments? Heretics! Burn Them!

Also, registration's broke, "Could not open socket".
posted by These Premises Are Alarmed at 9:10 AM on March 14, 2011


It won't let me register, which is a shame, because now I can't say "Great blog! Check THIS out" and link you to my TGP site.
posted by Sticherbeast at 9:11 AM on March 14, 2011


"You probably don’t believe everything you read, hear or see in news, culture and advertising, but maybe you don’t know why."

I blame Chomsky.
posted by ZenMasterThis at 9:16 AM on March 14, 2011


Could we please add PartialObjects to the list of social app links that we can display on our profiles? tia
posted by cashman at 9:17 AM on March 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


Also, registration's broke, "Could not open socket".
It's the site itself, not just registration.
I get that when trying to post a comment.
posted by Thorzdad at 9:32 AM on March 14, 2011


Registration's broken for me too, though it looked like it went through and sent me to the login page, which won't accept my name and pw.
posted by klangklangston at 9:34 AM on March 14, 2011


I agree with filthy light thief that the posts seem a bit insubstantial, pointing out issues but not really reflecting much on why these issues are coming up.

I was eager to read the Pearl Harbor post, for example, because I feel that the idea of anyone immediately thinking the horrendous conditions the Japanese are suffering now are in any way connected/justified/payback is just absurd, and I really cannot understand how that kind of thinking emerges.

But there's really no in-depth analysis there, so I am left with, "Some people are dicks."

Which, hey, I knew already.

I'm also concerned that the comments are going to be the breeding grounds for the worst examples of bias the site is intending to "expose."
posted by misha at 9:44 AM on March 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


While we're talking about high-minded concepts, I've been wondering for the longest time... What the fuck's a pastabagel?
posted by These Premises Are Alarmed at 9:45 AM on March 14, 2011


Gel you put on your pastaba, duh.
posted by cashman at 10:02 AM on March 14, 2011 [10 favorites]


On the one hand, I like the idea. On the other hand, this seems like a place for people to post their one-off blog posts when they don't actually want to maintain their own blog.

Hey, that describes what I want exactly! I would like to use this website as that, if it's OK with the founders.
posted by Jon_Evil at 10:10 AM on March 14, 2011


I just read an analysis of an ad for an online psychic.

Bias identified:
It is correct to talk to somebody other than your SO about your relationship problems.

Replacement bias:
It is not correct to talk to anybody other than your SO about your relationship problems.
posted by justkevin at 10:15 AM on March 14, 2011 [3 favorites]


It seems a bit light so far ...
posted by mrgrimm at 10:24 AM on March 14, 2011


this is why we can't have nice things.

Do you want ants? Because this is how we get ants!

posted by zippy at 10:27 AM on March 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


Also, registration's broke, "Could not open socket."

You're gonna need a socket wrench for that.
posted by octobersurprise at 10:50 AM on March 14, 2011


You probably don’t believe everything you read, hear or see in news, culture and advertising, but maybe you don’t know why. This is the place to go to find out. Partial Objects is a user-driven community blog that articulates the underlying biases, assumptions, and frames of mainstream politics, culture and media.

This mission statement sets me up to assume that the site will operate like a blog-form of "Manufacturing Consent"...which would be awesome. I don't necessarily see that happening in the content. This is confusing.
posted by jnnla at 11:05 AM on March 14, 2011


... and this is different from Metafilter how?
posted by Afroblanco at 11:08 AM on March 14, 2011


The fastest way to fix the content on a community weblog is to make good stuff yourself. It's from MeFi's own, and the intent is in the right place, and that's enough for me to give it a shot.
posted by l33tpolicywonk at 11:08 AM on March 14, 2011


Hi everybody. Thanks for taking in interest in our little project.

I think the registration problems are fixed. At least I just tried it and it worked. Please let me know if there are any problems at pastabagel@gmail.com.

We are trying to encourage more in-depth and thoughtful posts and comments than you'd find in most other places. What makes this different than Metafilter is that we encourage editorializing in the posts, and discourage straight links to pop culture, memes, or best of the web without some thoughtful analysis to go along with it.

It is still early and we are trying aggressively to moderate comments first so people get a sense of what is acceptable discourse and what isn't, but we are balancing that with letting some posts get through on the front page and seeing how they develop. We will be taking a much stricter line on posts in coming days.

I would really really love to see mefites on partial objects because they tend to be very well-read, very articulate, and have cultivated a sense of common courtesy online that I'm finding is rare. Please come by and post.

Thanks for being so supportive, and thanks overeducated_alligator for the attention!

On a related note, I have roughly a billion times more appreciate for what cortex, jess and the mods have to deal with.
posted by Pastabagel at 12:07 PM on March 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


I've always liked the idea of a wiki blog using some notion of authorship. Any registered user would be free to improve upon a post or even a comment, but then an existing author either accepts their co-authorship, marks their contributions as minor if they didn't already yourself, or rejects their changes.

You could approach such a wiki either by using a standard flat page wiki like mediawiki but disable the editing of multiple sections and adding code for the fine grained rollbacks. Ideally, you'd just roll the whole thing around editing posts and comments as separate entities though.

It's particularly amusing imagining people starting wiki wars over what's the optimal improvement on some particularly esoteric snark. :)
posted by jeffburdges at 1:42 PM on March 14, 2011


Registered also.

I like the idea of a hive mind analysis, it's what I like to do quite a bit of on the blue. I'd be more comfortable being surrounded by the mefite community, but since it's sorta related I went ahead and registered and played the game a bit....

Needs an editing feature/time frame and also needs a faves feature, in spite of the trying to undo the group consensus thing. Maybe the faves could be displayed in a different way or tally up in a manner that gives some sense of movement either up as in trending up in approval or down, as in trending in the negatives (driven by a time=x, fave=y logarithm, so something like: y minus x... with color coded arrows for greater upwards or downwards trend....).
posted by Skygazer at 1:55 PM on March 14, 2011


I'm in. Let's analyze!
posted by Kitty Stardust at 2:38 PM on March 14, 2011


Man, that Captcha for every comment is excessive and irritating.

Not to mention probably useless at that point in the interaction.
posted by Skygazer at 11:18 PM on March 14, 2011


« Older Happy half-τ day! What's a half-τ? You know it as ...  |  What it takes to write a great... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments