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It just goes to show, you can't be too careful!
March 15, 2009 9:35 AM   Subscribe

"A friend of mine has come up with an idea to stem the tide of bile. He wants people to post, as a comment, on as many opinion-garnering web pages as possible, as often as they can be bothered, the phrase: 'It just goes to show you can't be too careful!'"

A fairly routine column by David Mitchell on the inanity of comment threads is made rather wonderful by its comment thread.
posted by WPW (54 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite

 
"Christ, what an asshole."
posted by notyou at 9:43 AM on March 15, 2009 [2 favorites]


If I ever see this guy trip, or drop his groceries or spend four hours cooking a delicious meal only to burn it at the last moment I'm going to say "It just goes to show you can't be too careful!"

And then I'll punch him in the dick and tell him his idea is an obviously ineffective approach that will just add more and more noise in what's sure to become a self feeding hate fest on more webpages.

He should listen to the latest MetaFilter podcast where this very thing is talked about for a while.
posted by Science! at 9:49 AM on March 15, 2009 [4 favorites]


It just goes to show you can't be too careful!
posted by Locative at 9:50 AM on March 15, 2009 [6 favorites]


Sorry.
posted by Locative at 9:52 AM on March 15, 2009 [1 favorite]


Don't be -- it had to be done.
posted by Devils Rancher at 9:54 AM on March 15, 2009 [1 favorite]


It is apparent that the authors of the above comments have not read the article.

How fitting. Oh, and sad.
posted by Sys Rq at 9:54 AM on March 15, 2009 [1 favorite]


"Christ, what an asshole."
posted by notyou at 9:43 AM on March 15 [+] [!]

eponysterical .
posted by 5imian at 9:56 AM on March 15, 2009


Warning: Youtube contains Youtube comments. When I accidentally encounter them, here's what works for me: Command+w.
posted by Devils Rancher at 9:56 AM on March 15, 2009


(I should probably point out, before my previous comment gets flagged a million times and deleted for breaking the guidelines, that it was intended as an example of the useless things people say in comments.)
posted by Sys Rq at 10:03 AM on March 15, 2009


Heh, I was going to argue with you, but I figured that this is the internet and you probably meant something other than how I took it. That's usually how it goes.
posted by Science! at 10:06 AM on March 15, 2009


Careful, you can't just show it to the Bee Gees.
posted by box at 10:07 AM on March 15, 2009


Kibo knows you can't be too careful.
posted by namespan at 10:10 AM on March 15, 2009 [3 favorites]


It just goes to show, that's Numberwang!
posted by Sys Rq at 10:12 AM on March 15, 2009 [11 favorites]


i am a heron. i ahev a long neck and i pick fish out of the water w/ my beak. if you dont repost this message on 10 other threads i will fly into your kitchen tonight and make a mess of your pots and pans
posted by fullerine at 10:14 AM on March 15, 2009 [16 favorites]


Oh man, I love David Mitchell. Not only for The Peep Show but his sketch comedy series with Webb is a riot. This line from the article especially made me laugh: "if there's one thing the internet demonstrates it's that a lot of angry people can read."

That comment thread is just amazing.
posted by Kattullus at 10:15 AM on March 15, 2009


David Mitchell is funny on QI, too. Also:

Metafilter: a self-selecting bunch of inexplicably livid weirdos
posted by Ella Fynoe at 10:24 AM on March 15, 2009


it goes to show that all sorts of wonderful can't be too careful :)
posted by liza at 10:36 AM on March 15, 2009


"It doesn't go away from hide that I can be insufficiently incautious," chibbed the contrarian.

Kibo knows you can't be too careful.

The USGS has put out a Giant H warning. If you see angry men in Starfleet uniforms, lock your doors.
posted by cortex at 10:40 AM on March 15, 2009


Gordon Brown wants citizens to be able to " comment online about GPs, hospitals, nurseries, schools and the police, just like they can on Amazon, eBay, TripAdvisor and, indeed, the Observer website" ?! What the hell, has he even used the internet?
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 10:50 AM on March 15, 2009


I like to lurk. I'm not going to leave my boring comments all over the place.
posted by Chorian at 10:56 AM on March 15, 2009 [1 favorite]


Hey mefi, there's a US version of http://ifyoulikeitsomuchwhydontyougolivethere.com/?
posted by sswiller at 11:04 AM on March 15, 2009 [1 favorite]


See 1st comment
posted by netbros at 11:10 AM on March 15, 2009


t jst gs t shw, y cn't b t crfl!
posted by furtive at 11:17 AM on March 15, 2009 [2 favorites]


hehe. Funny stuff. It was meant to be funny, right?

From the article : "There are many perfectly reasonable remarks put online, and others that are only bland or harmlessly nonsensical, but if there's one thing the internet demonstrates it's that a lot of angry people can readmash their keyboards with one hand while flinging poo at their next door neighbour with the other.

Phew, that was one hell of a typo, glad I caught it.
posted by mannequito at 11:41 AM on March 15, 2009


It just goes to shizzle you can't be too carefizzle.
posted by DaddyNewt at 11:52 AM on March 15, 2009 [2 favorites]


Hey, cool, let's start a new Internet meme. The sentence isn't particularly apt, and is likely to get snarked into even more meaninglessness.
posted by theora55 at 12:01 PM on March 15, 2009


if there's one thing the internet demonstrates it's that a lot of angry people can read.

Also demonstrated by every "Letters to the Editor" page of every printed publication ever. Not unique to the internet. I think that angry people read more to fuel the bile cycle than the average non-angry person. Bile is made out of words, angry, angry words. You must ingest the words to create the bile!
posted by grapefruitmoon at 12:14 PM on March 15, 2009


I didn't read the above mentioned article; reading the comments, I'm not going to.

I'm not sure what is meant y the "too careful" statement.

I do know that I'm aghast when I see hundreds of comments on a NYT or Huffington Post article. WTF? Why do people take the time? Of what possible motivation do these comments arise?

Regardless of what deep emotion an article provokes, I am not about to read 300 comments or throw my dollar bill from the top of the Empire State Building.

Arguing on the internet is like sex with oneself, it might feel good, but it touches no one else. It is the editorial page run amok. If the NYT or any newspaper or magazine ran every letter, every day, they'd have gone out of business 50 years ago.

It's a shame, in a way, that many very insightful, well reasoned opinions are buried in a sea of inanity.

One reason I read MeFi and AskMefi, is because there are mostly reasonable contributors. And moderators who keep things sane. And why, like this post, many times I will peruse the comments before the links. The comments made it clear that there was nothing of substance to follow.
posted by private_idaho at 12:50 PM on March 15, 2009 [1 favorite]


Mitchell 1 Metafilter 0
posted by Artw at 1:00 PM on March 15, 2009 [1 favorite]


I just don't know.
posted by jtron at 1:17 PM on March 15, 2009


You know who else wasn't too careful?
posted by Schmucko at 1:25 PM on March 15, 2009


See also.
posted by Sys Rq at 1:32 PM on March 15, 2009 [4 favorites]


This is why people don't like you, internet.
posted by Ynoxas at 2:18 PM on March 15, 2009


Are salt and vinegar really biodegradable?
posted by kittyprecious at 3:02 PM on March 15, 2009


Intermocracy
posted by edgeways at 3:48 PM on March 15, 2009


Why does our new conciliatory phrase sound vaguely like a threat?

"That's a nice column you've got there, Mitchell. It'd be a shame if something happened to it. Didn't you hear what happened to Louie Bucco? It just goes to show, you can't be too careful."
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 3:49 PM on March 15, 2009 [1 favorite]


The.
posted by Navelgazer at 3:55 PM on March 15, 2009


@private_idaho
I didn't read the above mentioned article; reading the comments, I'm not going to.
...
I am not about to read 300 comments or throw my dollar bill from the top of the Empire State Building.
...
It's a shame, in a way, that many very insightful, well reasoned opinions are buried in a sea of inanity.
...
The comments made it clear that there was nothing of substance to follow.

You didn't read it and decry the absence of meaningful comments, but felt that you were qualified/needed to comment on it? Am I missing some deep sarcasm here?

FYI and for the edification of others who haven't read the article, and yet have formed an opinion of it and wish to share:
David Mitchell was suggesting that the bile seen in a lot of comment threads could be diluted by the silent majority posting the innocuous phrase; 'It just goes to show, you can't be too careful'
posted by JustAsItSounds at 4:45 PM on March 15, 2009


ifyoulikeitsomuchwhydontyougolivethere.com is the perfect rebutal to annoying web dude in the FlickTubeFaceSpace.com post.
posted by Artw at 4:54 PM on March 15, 2009


I have striven all my life to be too careful.

I wore mittens and a full bodysuit when delivered in hospital. I spent my formative years in extensive padding, and rolled about my home and school in a specially-made bubble. Everything I ate or wore was inspected by a pair of qualified women hired by my parents from the ER of a local hospital.

My first word was: beware.

It took me several decades of intensive physical and mental therapy to get where I could walk barefoot and buy my own food.

All for naught now, it seems.
posted by Lipstick Thespian at 6:41 PM on March 15, 2009 [1 favorite]


It's insane, this guy's taint.
posted by stargell at 7:19 PM on March 15, 2009


It's true, you can't be too careful, I mean, if it wasn't for my horse, I wouldn't have spent that year in college.
posted by Smedleyman at 7:21 PM on March 15, 2009 [1 favorite]


*has an aneurysm*
posted by tehloki at 11:20 PM on March 15, 2009


Stem?

If I see a tide of bile coming, I grab a surfboard. To Hell with careful.
posted by louche mustachio at 3:32 AM on March 16, 2009


Wow. Context is really important. I'm going to be chuckling over "The." all day.
posted by aniola at 6:36 AM on March 16, 2009


private_idaho I didn't read your comment but I favorited you anyway since you wrote alot of words, and for all intensive purposes that means you win this thread.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 11:51 AM on March 16, 2009


ifyoulikeitsomuchwhydontyougolivethere.com

Holy shit, http://www.ifyouloveitsomuchwhydontyoumarryit.com/ is like totally available!
posted by Devils Rancher at 12:40 PM on March 16, 2009


Well why don't you marry it then?
posted by Artw at 1:24 PM on March 16, 2009 [2 favorites]


Mods may particularly enjoy the section on moderation martyrs.
posted by Artw at 1:26 PM on March 16, 2009


Well why don't you marry it then?

Because I'm going to marry Potomac Avenue for his ironic misuse of 'alot' & 'intensive purposes.'
posted by Devils Rancher at 2:15 PM on March 16, 2009


Mods may particularly enjoy the section on moderation martyrs.

That's actually a pretty damn funny site, now that I read through a bit of it. Thanks.
posted by Devils Rancher at 2:23 PM on March 16, 2009


Oh dear lord, Artw.
posted by cortex at 2:32 PM on March 16, 2009


The mods don't want you to know! I bet this comment gets deleted!
posted by Artw at 2:47 PM on March 16, 2009



First of all, I meant no criticism or sarcasm toward anyone. I haven't engaged in that stuff since the days of DOS, 1200 baud modems and BBS's. I'm 61, and I have my own issues to address.

But I do respect MeFi. It has remained an interesting place only because the mods seem to allow an eight lane highway on ideas and content, but keep conversation fairly civil.

Though my comments here are rare, I feel comfortable doing so when I have something I feel is meaningful.

I peruse the Huffington Post daily along with dozens of other informative sites. I'm a ruminant. A lot off chaff but some very worthwhile reading.

On Saturday I noticed a front page story that was less than 24 hours old. 750 comments! I cannot bring myself to believe that it contributes anything to anything.

One of the blogs I read is "The Daily Dish" by Andrew Sullivan. He allows no comments. You wanna comment? Email him and he may publish it. I think it is a matter of self preservation.

My point was merely that unabated "free speech" leads to insignificance.

respectfully,

PI
posted by private_idaho at 6:55 PM on March 16, 2009


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