Lileks doesn't like us anymore.
January 30, 2002 9:42 AM   Subscribe

Lileks doesn't like us anymore. He's had it with Metafilter and is looking for some other place to go on the web. Suggestions? [His journal entry will be up until late tonight, then will go into the "previous" section.]
posted by braun_richard (122 comments total)

 
this should probably be taken to MetaTalk.
posted by ColdChef at 9:45 AM on January 30, 2002


Who is Lileks?
posted by muckster at 9:46 AM on January 30, 2002


it's his choice; not everyone has to like metafilter.
posted by moz at 9:49 AM on January 30, 2002


Complaining about the content here without posting is like complaining about elected officials but refusing to vote.
posted by MegoSteve at 9:52 AM on January 30, 2002


oooh, good analogy, MegoSteve
posted by msacheson at 9:54 AM on January 30, 2002


MegoSteve... more like complaining about politics, but refusing to run for election. Once you join the thing you hate, you are part of it. Any fanciful dreams of changing it from within are just that - dreams.
posted by fleener at 9:55 AM on January 30, 2002


No, not everyone has to like metafilter. And just like anything else, we all have cycles that we follow, a routine. After a while, that routine becomes a little boring ie been there, done that. In this case, Lileks has gotten bored of Metafilter and the repetitiousness of it. So be it.

FWIW, non-posters are just as important as the posters. If you took account of non-member, non-poster readership, metafilter has a huge following, which is important. IMO
posted by ashbury at 9:56 AM on January 30, 2002


[If you combined Noam Chomsky and Emily Post at age 22 and set them in front of a computer after their 89th consecutive dateless Saturday, you’d have a perfect example of the recent MeFi member.]

You've made my day! Thank you for the laugh.
posted by revbrian at 10:00 AM on January 30, 2002


I found his description of the "typical" MeFi user particularly amusing. If I learned anything from the NYC MeFi party it's that there is no typical MeFi'er. Most of us have SO's or dates, politically everyone from skallas and elpapacito to MidasMulligan and UncleFes is seated at the table and most of the time everyone is civil if not downright convivial in my experience.
I actually located the MeFi group in the Blah-Blah by looking for the group that didn't look like they belonged together, and we did make for a well, diverse, looking gathering. Which is why this site is so cool. I like arguing about southern rock with linguistics Ph. Ds and forming anti-cell phone aliiances with maniacs from Portugal.
So lileks, put your anger in your pocket and come and join in our reindeer games..
posted by jonmc at 10:04 AM on January 30, 2002


Noam Chomsky

~Who exactly is this Chomsky feller?~
posted by iceberg273 at 10:07 AM on January 30, 2002


And that, to answer a few emailers’ questions, is why I don’t post.

Own up, you brown-nosing("Oh Lileks, why don't you post here anymore?")emailing creeps! If you exist.

People who say they read MetaFilter only for the links but stay up all night reading the State of the Union thread(for which much dedication is required)remind me of those old coots who tell their children they read Playboy only for the interviews and the Updike stories.

My guess is he loves MetaFilter but just feels a bit forgotten, lonely and lost at the moment.(That "Who's Lillek?" comment can't help either). Here's hoping he rises to the bait and turns up to affectionately tell us all to piss off. ;)
posted by MiguelCardoso at 10:11 AM on January 30, 2002


this should probably be taken to MetaTalk.

Tell me that was irony, Coldchef.
posted by luser at 10:11 AM on January 30, 2002


Lamenting the death of MetaFilter has become one of my favourite things about MetaFilter.

Zombie MeFi is hungry for brains!
posted by D at 10:12 AM on January 30, 2002


fuq lileks. i thought that was a great play by play.
posted by danOstuporStar at 10:20 AM on January 30, 2002


MeFi has evolved from what it was (a place where people posted interesting links others wouldn't necessarily see, adn those interested by said links chatted about them in the comments section) to a more general bulletin board where most FPPs are current events, and simply cues to have a "water cooler" chat about same.

This evolved primary role is not at all an unworthy or uninteresting one, except when the current events are at once polarizing and predicatable. The State of the Union thread is a great example of that: the Bush-haters (who are a MeFi majority, not that there's anything wrong with that) and the peaceniks (who are, I believe, a vocal MeFi minority) said exactly what would be expected of them to say, and those who could bother themselves to defend Bush against attacks which were entirely unnovel engaged in a rote defense with no expectation of persuading anyone of anything.

However, for each of these, there are at least half-a-dozen of the current events commentary threads which evoke interesting, thought-provoking, and not all boringly partisan points of view.

And, there are still plenty of "interesting thing you wouldn't otherwise find on the web" posts ... the presence of same is reason why I still visit MeFi daily.
posted by MattD at 10:20 AM on January 30, 2002 [2 favorites]


I don't care what he thinks of Mefi as much as I am troubled by his criticism of bus stations. I doubt he even rides the bus.
posted by chrismc at 10:20 AM on January 30, 2002


Plus, everything is so much greater before it ever begins. I mean, isn't it all down hill once something evolves..? Maybe as we strive to reach the intellectual heights aspired to by said article writer, we can criticize all good ideas before they're even thought of!
posted by clowersayshaw! at 10:22 AM on January 30, 2002


He does sort of have a point though.
posted by bondcliff at 10:24 AM on January 30, 2002


Speaking of lileks, here's his latest output
posted by Lynsey at 10:25 AM on January 30, 2002


I salute its founder’s intentions and dedication

me too bruddah...
posted by roboto at 10:27 AM on January 30, 2002


The way I see it, MeFi was begun as a community blog that was populated by web design people (or higher end users). That was its main focus, as a result of its membership.

As the net has become more user friendly and accessible, a wider variety of people found MeFi (myself included...I am no web designer), and consequently the tone and focus changed. It is probable that the original membership could see this as a "dumbing down" effect or loss of focus.

As far as Lileks criticizing the site, I think Lileks produces some real quailty work, and some hilarious items. This puts him high in my estimation. Therefore, I take his opinion seriously and consider it valuable.
posted by Kafkaesque at 10:31 AM on January 30, 2002


Every six months, somebody screams "Metafilter is dead!". Yet it lives. I count on you to link to my site in July, I need the traffic. Deal?
posted by owillis at 10:37 AM on January 30, 2002


he makes some good points, and he is entitled to his opinion. How many mefi users have complained about stuff in their blogs? Does it only matter when a well known, published author-type does it? what is up with me and question marks lately? i don't know.
posted by th3ph17 at 10:41 AM on January 30, 2002


This is certainly sad to see. Lileks was a great contributor, a funny man, and a good writer.

There's something to be said about the predictability that seems to be happening here. I'm always a bit disappointed when people say or do predictable things. When there is the umpteenth "Dubya is a goof, here's why" thread, you and I both know how it might go, and sure enough, there are a few dozen people that willingly jump in to take the obvious positions, make the obvious jokes and the whole thing seems pointless. I just wish people would keep an open mind about things and try to excercise the muscle that helps them bite their tongue. There was a time when discussions weren't here for discussion's sake, and people changed their minds often about issues, thanks to informative posts, not cannon blasts of opinion.

I had to ban a couple people yesterday for acting like jerks, and they're reasoning was "I had seen much worse." How sad is that? A year or two ago, one user calling another an idiot just didn't happen, ever. If there is anything to take away from my comment here, it's think before you post and continue to try and keep this a civil place.
posted by mathowie at 10:43 AM on January 30, 2002


Even though I posted this originally, I must come to Lileks' defense. The people here have made some odd assumptions about this whole thing.

One, Lileks has posted many times here. It's not as if he visits and doesn't post and then shits on us (and that politics analogy above is lame). He hasn't posted in a while, but he explains why.

Two, someone above said "who's Lileks?" Well, that means you haven't been a Me-fi member long and/or your web surfing habits are lacking.

Three, he might have made some (hilarious) comments about recent Me-Fi members, but his site remains one of the top 20 or so sites on the web. Amazing stuff, actually.
posted by braun_richard at 10:45 AM on January 30, 2002


Lileks took the words out of my mouth... well, if I were as clever as he is, that is. I've had a love/hate relationship with MeFi since about my second month (which, admittedly, wasn't all that long ago). My biggest beefs are, in order:

1) a general spirit of negativity and hypercynicism
2) attacking positions instead of discussing positions
3) attacking positions without suggesting alternatives
4) dogmatically bashing one's political opposition (usually, that means Bush & Co.)
5) personal pettiness (getting bent out of shape over double posts, etc.)

So, I go away for a while, and then I come back. I love the idea of MeFi. I certainly haven't given up on it. And I find some of the posters awesomely smart, persuasive and resourceful -- and hilariously funny at times, too, thank god. But I do get turned off more often than I'd like, let alone expect, by a general lack of peace, love and understanding.

Anyhow, I'm only saying this here 'cause some have criticized Lileks for not doing so. Groovy?
posted by verdezza at 10:52 AM on January 30, 2002 [1 favorite]


Luser: Why would ColdChef's comment be irony? I doubt that one person's choice not to visit MeFi constitutes an FPP.

Braun: As far as I can find, Lilek's last comment was nearly three months ago, and he's only ever posted one link. That's more than enough reason for some people not to know who he is/remember him. Not everybody pays attention to every single user name.
Myself, I know who he is because of the interior design catalogs at this site a while back. Didn't even know he was a MeFi member. It's unfortunate he's going, as with anybody, but, eh.
posted by Su at 11:01 AM on January 30, 2002


i love that he blasted the meficops.
posted by quonsar at 11:08 AM on January 30, 2002


1) a general spirit of negativity and hypercynicism
2) attacking positions instead of discussing positions
3) attacking positions without suggesting alternatives
4) dogmatically bashing one's political opposition (usually, that means Bush & Co.)
5) personal pettiness (getting bent out of shape over double posts, etc.)


It's funny, because I came here from plastic, which I find to be exponentially worse than MeFi in the above regards. Lileks complains about liberal hand-wringing, but I think this site is pretty level-headed and tame (which I think is good).

Overall, I have a love/hate relationship with the Internet. When Yahoo! News won't load after five minutes, when imdb throws pop-unders at me, when my hotmail is all busted up with a fat lip, then I want to quit and go home.

But yet I remain.

I don't know much about Lileks, but maybe he should hang at plastic (nothing against them: it's just not my cup of tea) for six months and then come back. He'd probably look at MeFi differently.
posted by rocketman at 11:12 AM on January 30, 2002


I had to ban a couple people yesterday for acting like jerks, and they're reasoning was "I had seen much worse."

tu quoque, en masse ...
posted by walrus at 11:19 AM on January 30, 2002


I'm a fan of Lileks writing, but complaining that "MeFi Cops" ruin MeFi is just about the dumbest proposition ever. MeFi Cops put it in MeTa. Don't like the cops? Don't read MeTa. Assume everything is fine unless Matt emails you. Done.
posted by NortonDC at 11:20 AM on January 30, 2002


how does lileks stand up against verdezza's beefs?

1) a general spirit of negativity and hypercynicism: "filled by people who have boundless contempt for things they have not bothered to understand"
2) attacking positions instead of discussing positions: "What a boring site mefi has become."
3) attacking positions without suggesting alternatives: "I don’t post"
4) [n/a]
5) personal pettiness: ".... a perfect example of the recent MeFi member."


apart from some friends who love the gallery of regretable food ... i'm one of those "who is lileks people." but i don't really see anything about him that is positive. making fun of others seem to be what he's based his career on. and frankly, bitching about metafilter is about the most boring pursuits one can follow.
posted by danOstuporStar at 11:21 AM on January 30, 2002


The more users MeFi attracts, the more chaotic it becomes (I have a graph here somewhere...) and Fearless Leader does a good job of keeping out the riff-raff. Thanks Matt. Metafilter could be better, like anything in life could be better, but this site, despite the noise, continues to be my most visited.

If you want to be truly frightened, visit Fark (no link provided.) *Shudder*
posted by Tacodog at 11:33 AM on January 30, 2002


Su: Lileks might have posted 1 link, but he's posted over 225 comments. I think that makes him a veteran and entitles him to his opinion. And as far as knowing him, I wasn't talking just about Me-fi members. Lileks is pretty well known beyond here as well.

danOstuporStar: You don't see anything about him that is positive? He's based his career on making fun of others? You should really read his site and his books. Don't really know what the hell you're talking about. Sure, I guess he can be sarcastic and cynical and irreverent, but so what? Read his stuff and you'll find a heart. Seems to me to be an intelligent guy (without being pseudo-intellectual) and a nice guy to boot.

This isn't to say I completely agree with his Me-Fi viewpoint. I find it much like other blogs or message boards: lots of smart people, lots of idiots. Lots of cool people, lots of assholes. Interesting posts, lame posts. But I'll be sticking around Me-Fi.
posted by braun_richard at 11:33 AM on January 30, 2002


Lileks complains about liberal hand-wringing, but I think this site is pretty level-headed and tame (which I think is good).

Politicians don't look at themselves as corrupt; drug users don't feel that what they do is illegal. What am I saying? Willful ignorance, at best, is why people feel that MetaFilter is "pretty level-headed and tame". Fluffing leftist statements by using well-versed rhetoric does not make a good argument. A good reason why not too many conservative voices are heard here anymore is that they're drowned out by their antithesis. Fair is fair, I suppose...but don't act like MeFi is centrist by any standard. People like Lileks present a great argument against trying to have too much control over your environment. Let the comments flow freely (left and right); any good economist will tell you that a free market is essential for growth and prosperity. So this is true as well with ideas, thoughts.
posted by BlueTrain at 11:36 AM on January 30, 2002


Su, the irony (intended or not) in ColdChef's comment is found in the part of Lilek's piece where he complains about that very sort of comment: "half of the remaining posts devolve into pissing contests over etiquette (ooh! A double post! Call 911! Ooh! A Front Page Post unworthy of the concept - thwow him to the gwound, wufly)"

That's not to say that ColdChef was right or wrong, just that his suggestion that this topic isn't worthy of a FPP appears ironic in light of Lilek's "Ooh! A Front Page Post unworthy of the concept." Intentional or not, it made me laugh.
posted by pardonyou? at 11:42 AM on January 30, 2002


in spite of what good lileks may have contributed, i think that his criticisms of metafilter seem empty. there aren't any examples, but rather snarky generalizations. of course, i wouldn't expect lileks to really argue against what bothers him about metafilter; he does not care much any longer and it shows. perhaps that was the problem; not that lileks has decided to leave now, but that indifference and perhaps bitterness has been welling for some time.

to enjoy metafilter, i think you have to have the patience to sort the wheat the chaff. not everyone cares to do so, and that's fine. you might say it was unrealistic to expect metafilter not to change in the way it has to so many.
posted by moz at 11:48 AM on January 30, 2002


feelingmoody
posted by feelinglistless at 11:50 AM on January 30, 2002


Lileks seems like a really nice guy, has an interesting web site, and writes well. He was just being honest about how he felt. I think he made it really clear why he wasn't posting many front page posts. He hasn't said that he would stop using Metafilter; just that Metafilter is good for links, but bad for conversation. That this is his opinion.

We can do what we want with what he says. We can take it on board, we can take some of it on board, whatever we feel is relevant. We can ignore it. We can even be offended I suppose, for what good that does.

Unfortunately, I don't have any other suggestions as to other sites he could use for a home site.

Do we have to use Plastic as a comparison? Not that I dislike it, but different sites, with different aims.
posted by lucien at 11:51 AM on January 30, 2002


can I interject something here?

I think we are overanalyzing ourselves to death...a little introspection is good...too much and you will find yourself in line with me at the pharmacy.

Step away from the computer awhile, go for a walk, play with the dog if you have one(I will have to settle for our hamster)....

Come back refreshed, go seek out some obscure yet intriguing post for the rest of us to ponder....

and I think we will find that things will get along just nicely, for a day or so at least.
posted by bunnyfire at 12:03 PM on January 30, 2002


Who is this guy and why should I care that he's not posting here anymore? Why is his opinion drawing such a response?
posted by Hugh2d2 at 12:03 PM on January 30, 2002


I could do without the political stuff, which triggers a lot of the pointless acrimony Lileks doesn't like. Sometimes, after reading a really long, gassy political wrangle on Metafilter, I feel empty and out of sorts with the world... Then I go back to the MeFi main page, discover some absolutely off-the-wall link that has nothing whatever to do with anything that will ever appear on CNN, and that I would never have discovered on my own, and am refreshed and reconciled to existence. For all our flaws, we love our MeFi.
posted by Faze at 12:05 PM on January 30, 2002


Who is this guy and why should I care that he's not posting here anymore? Why is his opinion drawing such a response?
It's called hitting a nerve, Hugh2D2. Everybody who uses this thing seems to have a strong feeling about it. Better to have strong feelings about MeFi than to waste one's emotions on partisan national politics.
posted by Faze at 12:09 PM on January 30, 2002


First rule of MetaFilter: You have to talk about MetaFilter.
posted by talos at 12:21 PM on January 30, 2002


Fair is fair, I suppose...but don't act like MeFi is centrist by any standard.

I wasn't trying to act like MeFi is centrist. My comment "pretty level-headed and tame" compared tone, not stance. They're different things. I found the tone on Plastic to be very "the-sky-is-falling-good-God-except-I-don't-believe-in-god-we-have-to-do-something-to-stop-the-evil-Republicans". If you catch my drift.

I find things less hurried here. People seem to think before posting. Threads don't jump to 100 comments in twenty minutes. Many threads are comfortable with twenty or fewer comments. It fits my life, and the way I use the Internet.

The reason why MeFi and Plastic draw so many comparisons are because the prevailing ideologies seem so similar. How those ideologies are expressed is what matters to me.
posted by rocketman at 12:21 PM on January 30, 2002


Lileks can go on sticking his tongue up the Little Green Footballs team. He's a nonce.
posted by Jongo at 12:25 PM on January 30, 2002


I'll second (or third or I've lost count) the vote that etiquette is, by 'net standards, well-observed here. Whether we should use 'net standards in evaluating any forum is an open question.

I'd also say that groupthink runs at a relatively low hum on MetaFilter, as compared to the mind-splitting screech it generates in forums elsewhere -- and this, I say, by the standards of life and not just the internet (visit any graduate school classroom and you might agree with me). I still think ideas get kicked around fairly heartily here.

If I wanted to test an idea, I'd submit it to the MetaFilter jury before I'd go just about anywhere else. I'd still suspect the verdict was imperfect, but I would bet I'd learn a great deal.

I like this place; I'm glad it's around.
posted by argybarg at 12:27 PM on January 30, 2002


I just finished reading Lileks comments. As I read it, he's upset over the level of discourse here.

However, I don't consider his description of the typical metafilter member to be thoughtful, insightful or interesting. It's just pissy and doesn't add anything to his argument. Which is kinda ironic, since he is complaining about the level of discourse.

Everything changes, including this place. The ebb and flow of "regular" posters and commentors changes as our lives change. Hell, I don't see comments from UncleFes and Miguel as much as I used to; and I kinda miss them - but I got over it.
posted by xena at 1:00 PM on January 30, 2002


He's had it with Metafilter and is looking for some other place to go on the web. Suggestions?

Go fark himself?
posted by Karl at 1:00 PM on January 30, 2002


I never understood why people who leave metafilter have to have to make some grand exit or a final stab at the site. I would be more impressed if someone just said goodbye and said the site doesn't do it for them anymore. Instead Lileks picks out one thread, decides it represents the site, and takes off with a hanky in his hand.

Everyone has their own personal point where they'll get fed up with something. I don't think that reflects the whole and I'm always suspicious of generalizations about metafilter which is in its nature massive and out of control.

If Lileks thinks that SotU thread was bad, well he mustn’t have been here during the election. The one good point he makes is that this place has changed. Everyone knows what a weblog is now, Metafilter is everywhere, and there's new people. He simply doesn't like them. So what ever happened to the whole democratic web ideal? Maybe it just applies to fellow web designers and people who can write smart-ass articles about 70s fashion. Leave the elitists to their castles, I say.
posted by skallas at 1:00 PM on January 30, 2002


jcterminal's "response-o-matic":

crap on this! i wish i was smart enough to complain about mefi on my blogger. then i could get tons of traffic without really trying.

or:

crap on this! if he doesn't like this site, he can make his own damned replacement.
posted by jcterminal at 1:17 PM on January 30, 2002


For those who don't know him, James Lileks is a newspaper journalist who writes slice-of-life and political columns, an author, a prolific web publisher obsessed with odd bits of discarded American culture, and the writer of an erudite, hilarious, and personal daily journal. If you let his newfound distaste for MetaFilter keep you from reading more of his work -- especially the journal -- you're missing out.
posted by rcade at 1:30 PM on January 30, 2002


rcade's right kids. I love, love, love lileks' writing. 'specially his Institute of Official Cheer. Genius.
posted by Tacodog at 1:37 PM on January 30, 2002


I Like MetaFilter! (and I don't care if some people don't)

That's legal and moral and proper, right? Move along, people...
posted by davidmsc at 1:54 PM on January 30, 2002


What is Metafilter and how do I join?
posted by Postroad at 2:06 PM on January 30, 2002


Bunnyfire, please feel free to take your own advice. We're just fine, thanks.
posted by jpoulos at 2:11 PM on January 30, 2002


Not to be all disloyal, but are there any alternatives? What, fark? Plastic? Slashdot? Memepool? Kuro5hin? Maybe it's one of those "it doesn't exist because it can't" things. (i.e., lack of civility because of critical mass)
posted by Charmian at 2:19 PM on January 30, 2002


I've read the majority of this thread, and I still fail to see why it's such a big deal that this guy is leaving Metafilter. Is he so important to the community, that without him, things will never be the same? I hardly think so. I've been reading Metafilter for over a year, and commenting for a few months.

Is it sad that Lileks is leaving? For some, sure. Personally, it doesn't really matter too much to me. People move on, and I wish him luck with whatever. Does it warrant a front page post, or even a Metatalk post? No.

This thread has a faint smell of some derivative of celebrity worship. I've read some of his writing, and while some of it is funny, it's certainly not a high water mark of journalism, online or off.

His Metafilter rant is insulting to most users (way to stereotype most mifi'ers as dateless, rabid rule enforcing, political idiots), and reeks of elitism. Just because he's been visiting a web site for X amount of time before other people, does it make his opinions any more valid than anyone else's? It doesn't.
posted by SweetJesus at 2:22 PM on January 30, 2002


There's nothing wrong with MetaFilter that couldn't be fixed by Matt going on vacation for a week, and shutting off the server... Maybe we all need a break to reflect.
posted by machaus at 2:29 PM on January 30, 2002


NO!!!!!!!!!!!!
posted by ColdChef at 2:38 PM on January 30, 2002


" ... A good reason why not too many conservative voices are heard here anymore is that they're drowned out by their antithesis ...".

This is probably true. While I'm not a conservative in real life (as with most libertarians, I'm considered a conservative in liberal circles, and a liberal in conservative circles) I do think the fellow makes a couple of pretty valid points. I perceive, as he apparently does, a pretty deep river of bitterness and cynicism coloring a lot of posts here - especially if anything resembling the mention of republican or conservitive people or positions is mentioned.

I'm fairly new here, but I stay around precisely because I am quite in the minority, and think that seeking to exist outside of one's comfort zone (instead of looking only for places where people agree with my perspective) keeps the mind sharp and the eyes open. In fact I'd often like nothing more than to hear a well-articulated and fully coherent argument for postion directly opposed to my own. Now and then here I have ... but all too often it does seem to turn out as the guy said - not a discussion, but simply the continual re-assertion (usually accompanied by some anecdote) that anything even remotely connected to corporate business or republican politics is evil and corrupt, and anyone even daring to hint otherwise is naive.

I notice that the guy posted his opinion on his own board - not here. No one needs to be threatened, or take it as an attack. However, before just dismissing him it might be worth it to engage in a bit of self-reflection. MiFi does seem to contain value. In my own opinion, it might contain more value if that fellow's points were considered ... especially by those most ready to dismiss him.
posted by MidasMulligan at 2:41 PM on January 30, 2002


machaus - its happened, just last August in fact. And yet, here we are ...
posted by Wulfgar! at 2:43 PM on January 30, 2002


that's what I was referring to... I think we could use it again.
posted by machaus at 2:45 PM on January 30, 2002


I still fail to see why it's such a big deal that this guy is leaving Metafilter. Is he so important to the community, that without him, things will never be the same?

The big deal isn't the loss of Lileks - its the bigger issue behind his departure. There's a saying that for every customer who complains, there are 10 who feel the same way and just don't care enough to say anything. His leaving is a symbol of what is 'possibly' wrong with Mefi.

I've been around MeFi for a long while - and while I don't post or comment alot, I do read much of what goes on around here. Clearly MeFi has changed over that time. It has become more politically orientied, and as that has continued, I've seen a noticable drift to the left. Where there was once discussion and balance, there is now a chorus of liberals ranting at a very few ranting conservatives. [Generally, don't get all in a hissy over generalizations].

I've noticed it, I'm sure others have too. But there is enough other good stuff about MeFi to keep me around - I just try and avoid the political threads because I know exactly how the discussion is going to go. Sounds like Likeks feels pretty much the same way.
posted by schlyer at 2:50 PM on January 30, 2002


" ... A good reason why not too many conservative voices are heard here anymore is that they're drowned out by their antithesis ...".

This is probably true.


I stridently disagree. Just because many more scream X as one is writing Y doesn't mean anything. This is a written forum. The words go on to perpetuity and those who think that a drowning effect happens are only concerned with their personal ideal that people aren't giving them credence (i.e. paying enough attention to them). Lileks attacked many of the posters here in a personal manner simply because he felt attacked. Hard to maintain a superior stance when you fall victom to the very thing you use to victomize, wouldn't you agree?

As one who has left MeFi many times, and keeps coming back, I would like to posit that this isn't supposed to be ego driven. Considering Lilek's view does not mean one has to agree with it, or change behavior thereby. That one's view is not shared by an adequate sample of agreement is the ego driven problem of that one. It is not mine, or this website's, to lament.
posted by Wulfgar! at 2:56 PM on January 30, 2002


I don't think its an ego thing - its a community thing. Why be a part of a community that doesn't share or value either your viewpoints or the method in which you express yourself?
posted by schlyer at 3:06 PM on January 30, 2002


I have no worries that I will be missed, but I do suspect that I won't be able to keep up with MeFi much longer. Even on a simple level of traffic, most threads are too long -- like this one -- to add a reasonably signalacious reply by the time one gets to it, even checking the site twice daily.

I'm not the first to say this, nor the first to leave -- after a time, there's a point at which you don't know enough of the people and the comments are too filled with dross. I've seen it happen before and it will most likely happen to the next site I join as well.
posted by dhartung at 3:22 PM on January 30, 2002


Ahhh, maybe it’s just me.

Honestly, that would be my vote.

But I welcome his criticisms, even while finding little substance in many of them.
posted by rushmc at 3:37 PM on January 30, 2002


A good reason why not too many conservative voices are heard here anymore is that they're drowned out by their antithesis.

I think a more accurate reason is that the arguments of certain voices don't hold up well to the light of day, and MeFi (at its best) glares brightly upon our words. Extremist thought is almost always, to some degree, masturbatory and thrives best as a solitary, small-scale, or hidden activity.
posted by rushmc at 3:40 PM on January 30, 2002


There's nothing wrong with MetaFilter that couldn't be fixed by Matt going on vacation for a week, and shutting off the server... Maybe we all need a break to reflect.

Bully. If you feel you need a week to "reflect," I'm sure you can easily arrange it without involving the rest of us.
posted by rushmc at 3:42 PM on January 30, 2002


There's nothing wrong with MetaFilter that couldn't be fixed by Matt going on vacation for a week, and shutting off the server... Maybe we all need a break to reflect.

Bully. If you feel you need a week to "reflect," I'm sure you can easily arrange it without involving the rest of us.
posted by rushmc at 3:42 PM on January 30, 2002


I think a more accurate reason is that the arguments of certain voices don't hold up well to the light of day

I've got to call "shenanigans" on that one, rushmc. Mefi is decidedly more tolerant of what I would call wacky pie in the sky feel good liberal ideas than sober, fiscally-realistic, "I'm sorry but they just have to deal" conservative stances. I'm not saying whether that's bad or good but rather that it "is", versus the notion that the "good" ideas just bubble up.

Siding with conservatives. I'm all dirty now.
posted by owillis at 3:47 PM on January 30, 2002


"A good reason why not too many conservative voices are heard here anymore is that they're drowned out by their antithesis"

If you want to post anything here deemed to be politically conservative, pro-Bush, anti-liberal or pro-Republican; be prepared for an onslaught of flames. Despite this, Mefi is my favorite place.
posted by Oxydude at 4:10 PM on January 30, 2002


I would be more impressed if someone just said goodbye and said the site doesn't do it for them anymore.

I would be even more impressed if people didn't feel the need to announce their departure at all. If you want to "leave," you just stop coming back. This is not real life, so it's not as if you have to make small talk or justify yourself in any way.
posted by kindall at 4:13 PM on January 30, 2002


I would be even more impressed if people didn't feel the need to announce their departure at all.

<snark>And I would have been much more impressed if someone had not taken it upon themselves to announce it for him.</snark>

Frankly, how many of us would have read it if it hadn't magically become an FPP? He posted his views on his website - that's hardly an "announcement" to MeFi users...
posted by RevGreg at 4:23 PM on January 30, 2002


Just because [Lileks has] been visiting [MetaFilter] for X amount of time before other people, does it make his opinions any more valid than anyone else's?

This is, what I believe is called, a rhetorical question.
posted by KLAX at 4:33 PM on January 30, 2002


kindall: I think holgate's way of letting people know he'd left was a sensitive way of doing so.
posted by davehat at 4:36 PM on January 30, 2002


Well, I can take Lileks going away as long as I know Kottke is still with us.
posted by briank at 4:48 PM on January 30, 2002


"A good reason why not too many conservative voices are heard here anymore is that they're drowned out by their antithesis."

I think a more accurate reason is that the arguments of certain voices don't hold up well to the light of day, and MeFi (at its best) glares brightly upon our words. Extremist thought is almost always, to some degree, masturbatory and thrives best as a solitary, small-scale, or hidden activity.

I heartily disagree with your blanket condemnation of other-than-liberal thinking, rushmc. And while MeFi "at its best" does indeed shed light upon our ideas, more often than not, in political discussions, at least, it (that is, we) typically generates a lot more heat (conflict, angry backtalk) than light (enlightenment).

Example:

If you want to post anything here deemed to be politically conservative, pro-Bush, anti-liberal or pro-Republican; be prepared for an onslaught of flames.

Translation: "Fuck you if you don't think like we do." Is that attitude acceptable to the rest of you? Because it isn't to me. And while I gather that Oxydude's meaning in saying it was, "That's just the reality of participating here," I assert that that is not a defensible position.
posted by verdezza at 4:50 PM on January 30, 2002


Ooh, is it a case of in the residential community of the visually impaired, the most functional member is administrator, or, is it a case of the seven sightless savants and the extremely large trombipulating quadruped?

I wonder if it's another fallout from September 11th, myself--I knew about Lileks long before I knew about MetaFilter but his politics? Why should I have cared?

I know it's been a hot button issue for Lileks since the WTC attack but it's been a hot button issue all around.

It's like Carl Sagan on the last five seconds of cosmic history around here, things change so fast. Who knew about warblogs four months ago? Who knows what will happen next?
posted by y2karl at 4:52 PM on January 30, 2002


I hang out with a group of people who use to be MeFi regulars and also hung out at the 'dog. There is foundness for what these to communities ment to us but there is also a great sadness and fear about what happens to growing communities.

I think this feeling goes much deeper than just a few people, and by examining what causes such things to happen we can better know how to fix or avoid them in online communities.

Internet Anthropology, the early years.
posted by Mick at 5:01 PM on January 30, 2002


Things have definitely changed since Sept. 11th. Before then, conservatives thought liberals were annoying, but harmless. Now they are a threat to national security. The flip side is that previously liberals thought conservatives were exasperating, but harmless. Now they are threats to liberty.
posted by cell divide at 5:08 PM on January 30, 2002


Mefi is decidedly more tolerant of what I would call wacky pie in the sky feel good liberal ideas than sober, fiscally-realistic, "I'm sorry but they just have to deal" conservative stances.

I'm really trying to grok your point here, owillis, but I'm not getting it. These things confuse me: 1) "Mefi" is not a unified being, so I'm not sure of the value of attributing monolithic tolerance to this mythic being; 2) the general categorizations of "wacky pie in the sky feel good liberal ideas" and "sober, fiscally-realistic, "I'm sorry but they just have to deal" just don't speak to me about specific issues argued here. Perhaps part of the problem is that those definitions are so obviously loaded and rife for disagreement. 3) This may be a sub-part of 2, but "I'm sorry but they just have to deal" could only be accurately termed "fiscally-realistic" in a limited subset of cases. And your delineations of "liberal" and "conservative" are provocative and already open to immediate and widespread disagreement. See why I hate labels and like specific issues?

Anyway, I'm not trying to be snarky. I'd really like a clearer explication of your point here, if you would.
posted by rushmc at 5:09 PM on January 30, 2002


I heartily disagree with your blanket condemnation of other-than-liberal thinking, rushmc.

I would heartily join you in disagreement, if you can show me the condemnation? When I said "extremist thought," I clearly (I thought) intended it to cover BOTH (or ALL, depending upon your viewpoint) extremes.

Certainly, there is often more heat than light in the discussions here, but I would argue that the vast majority of it stems from people's reactions (positive and negative) to labels and perceived memberships, not to other people themselves nor even to the ideas themselves (if someone makes a statement that is clearly, demonstrably inaccurate, one simply refutes it--there is nothing to provoke heat; if someone calls you a name, or questions your sincerity/ability/value as a human being, well...).
posted by rushmc at 5:11 PM on January 30, 2002


" ... A good reason why not too many conservative voices are heard here anymore is that they're drowned out by their antithesis."

" ... I think a more accurate reason is that the arguments of certain voices don't hold up well to the light of day ...".


Well, you've certainly demonstrated my point (however inadvertantly) - and Likeks' - about as thoroughly as it's possible to do in one sentence.
posted by MidasMulligan at 5:20 PM on January 30, 2002


Thanks for explaining, rushmc; it wasn't clear to me. Since the quote you were commenting on singled out "conservative voices," I thought you were, too, and equating "certain voices" and "extremist thought" to conservative (or, as I put it, other-than-liberal) viewpoints.

Thanks again for clarifying!
posted by verdezza at 5:27 PM on January 30, 2002


I'm really trying to grok your point here, owillis, but I'm not getting it

No, there is no monolithic "it" but I (and you) have hung around here long enough to get a semblance of a feel for how certain issues may be received.

Example:

1. If I were to post something along the lines of "we should tax the rich more and give the homeless more help" the overwhelming sentiment within about 80% certainty would be "yes, we should do it"

2. OTOH, if I posted something about how "many of the homeless are lazy and we shouldn't hand out so much money" it would only be a matter of time before I got called "cold and heartless" - when to me this is being "realistic" and "too bad".

I'm not saying the response is straight party line (I tend to believe way-left ideas are as unrealistic and intrusive as way-right ideas), but you can sort of predict responses on a lot of issues.

In these cases, "liberal" and "conservative" most definitely apply to the American versions of these, because to the Euros we're all hard-line righties...
posted by owillis at 5:30 PM on January 30, 2002


owillis, those are pretty bad examples, even for you.

"we should tax the rich more and give the homeless more help" the overwhelming sentiment within about 80% certainty would be "yes, we should do it"


We already tax the rich and everyone else to pay for social programs. Its not a new or unconvential idea and because of that, for the most part, you would get more agreement than disagreement. Not because Mefi hates rich people, but because the idea is sound and in practice.

"many of the homeless are lazy and we shouldn't hand out so much money" it would only be a matter of time before I got called "cold and heartless"

This statement ignores the various causes of homelessness. You make the absolute statement of them being lazy, which takes a complex social issue and tries to jam pack it into one cause. This is what you'll get the most grief about and you'd probably be called ignorant more than heartless if you claimed this was true.
posted by skallas at 5:50 PM on January 30, 2002


" ... Not because Mefi hates rich people, but because the idea is sound and in practice ..."

Hhhmmm ... interesting. You sort of prove the point opposite to the one you're trying to make. There are many circles in which the idea isn't considered sound, and most certainly is open to dispute. In fact the previous president cut welfare and general assistance, and the current one wants tax reform (and both are quite attuned to pollsters). The very fact, however, that on this board it is self-evident that one should tax the rich more and give the homeless more help, but we should not be equally content with a blanket statement about the homeless, but rather drill down into the various causes of homelessness is a fairly clear statement of the direction it leans.
posted by MidasMulligan at 6:43 PM on January 30, 2002


[owillis, those are pretty bad examples, even for you.]

The "even for you" part is really necessary?
posted by revbrian at 6:46 PM on January 30, 2002


I'm not saying the response is straight party line (I tend to believe way-left ideas are as unrealistic and intrusive as way-right ideas), but you can sort of predict responses on a lot of issues.

I guess that's the point I'm trying to stress. I can predict on the issues you pose, and most others, a variety of responses from Metafilter users that are simply not captured by such black-and-white terms as "conservative" or "liberal." I think it is a disservice to those who post here to try to fit them all into two limited boxes, the very nature of which no two of us here can probably agree on in the first place!

I would like to think that outright nonsense will be called out more often than not, obvious sense will be acknowleged more often than not, and most of what is discussed here--which falls somewhere in the middle--will be debated rationally and calmly most of the time. What more can one aspire to?
posted by rushmc at 6:53 PM on January 30, 2002


Sigh. What Midas said.
posted by owillis at 6:54 PM on January 30, 2002


skallas - the fact that you don't allow for a rational position opposite either of the statements you take as givens is exactly the problem they're talking about.
posted by adamsc at 6:55 PM on January 30, 2002


Well, I guess it's pretty clear, then. Lileks doesn't like Metafilter, and it's Skallas' fault.
posted by crunchland at 6:58 PM on January 30, 2002


"Example:

If you want to post anything here deemed to be politically conservative, pro-Bush, anti-liberal or pro-Republican; be prepared for an onslaught of flames.

Translation: "Fuck you if you don't think like we do." Is that attitude acceptable to the rest of you? Because it isn't to me. And while I gather that Oxydude's meaning in saying it was, "That's just the reality of participating here," I assert that that is not a defensible position."

Thank you verdezza for proving my point.
posted by Oxydude at 7:00 PM on January 30, 2002


You sort of prove the point opposite to the one you're trying to make. There are many circles in which the idea isn't considered sound, and most certainly is open to dispute.

First off, the whole statement is loaded. We're not defining rich and "helping the homeless" can mean all sorts of things. The point I was trying to make was that taxation for the benefit of others isn't a very controversial statement in general. While characterizing the homeless problem as just laziness is a statement that'll encourage a venomous repsonse.

Maybe I shoudn't have used the phrase 'sound practice' but these examples are still very loaded and make for a poor way to distinguish between the right, center, and left and don't really say anything about metafilter at all.
posted by skallas at 7:17 PM on January 30, 2002


these examples are still very loaded and make for a poor way to distinguish between the right, center, and left and don't really say anything about metafilter at all.


I agree, and I would argue that that is because a) "right, center, and left" are artificial constructs that have outlived any relevance/usefulness they may have once had, b) too many people are more interested in quibbling over terminology, trying to prod their personal definitions into ascendance rather than focusing on gaining a fuller understanding of the issues, and c) Metafilter is far more heterogenous than many are giving it credit for.
posted by rushmc at 7:35 PM on January 30, 2002


Does no one else in this world find Lileks appalling?
Okay, I'm on my own. I'll shut up now.
posted by lagado at 7:40 PM on January 30, 2002


A better example would be something like what if I posted:

"Gay marriage is wrong because it goes against the tradition of family and marriage"

vs.

"Gay people should be able to marry whoever they please."

I'm certain you'll get a lot more positive responses for the second post here but if the first post was presented properly a decent discussion could break out. Sure you'll need to toss is a disclaimer or perhaps phrase it differently, but in the end its about knowing how to present something to an audience. If someone with an agenda on either side of the fence were to post without taking the audience into regard you might learn something about how metafilter and its members really act. For instance:

"Gay people don't deserve the god-given right to validate their sinful and immoral relationships."

"Not allowing gay marriage is the way Emporer Bush II keeps the gay community in check in his wanna-be theocracy. "

Both threads would be pretty gruesome.
posted by skallas at 7:42 PM on January 30, 2002


lagado: Why do you find Lileks "appalling?" I'm curious (and I thought I'd get this conversation back to the original post - about Lileks leaving - and away from all this right/left, political, etc talk that proves his point).
posted by braun_richard at 7:51 PM on January 30, 2002


a) "right, center, and left" are artificial constructs that have outlived any relevance/usefulness they may have once had

I agree with this because of fact that a liberal idea that's aged about 30+ years then becomes a conservative idea. The anti-segregation/civil-rights movement is a good example, its only the fringe that has problems with this today. The tired and true definitions fail and that's why we have more wacky terms to describe modern ideologies like free-market socialist, progressive, compassionate conservative, social libertarian, ultra-conservative, etc.
posted by skallas at 8:01 PM on January 30, 2002


How about "folks who think for themselves, expose themselves to a broad cross-section of the world and life experience, examine each issue carefully as they are exposed to it, come to their own conclusions, and remain open to modifying their views as new facts/angles come to light"?

Nah, too wordy, huh?
posted by rushmc at 8:09 PM on January 30, 2002


Look, Lileks can complain all he wants, but the reality is that metafilter represents its members perfectly, warts and all. If the majority of the membership is liberal on an issue, a thread devoted to that issue is going to swing left; same for conservative issues and threads.

But that's neither here/there; if Lileks doesn't like the tone of the conversations, he can opt not to participate. I posted far more often pre-9/11 than I do now, as xena observed; not because I am disatisfied with Metafilter in general, but because I have since personally tried to avoid the obvious flamefests. You know what? It's easy to do. It took me an abortive attempt to do exactly what Lileks is doing now, but once I thickened up my skin a bit I realized that, if Metafilter is going to be free for all, it must necessarily be free for those who would speak coarsely, right and left, for those who would argue in capital letters, as it were.

The Mefi Police are the finest I've found, and though (as jonmc points out) I feel I hold opposing views from the majority of members on many (if not most) issues, I'm staying, because the level of discussion here - even taking into account the occasional troll, the occasional hijack, the occasional flameout - is far superior to what is available elsewhere on the web. I believe it is why we are all here. It is why Matt has to shut down the new member signup - people are screaming to join, because they too want the collegiality that makes up the vast majority of content found in these posts and threads.

And the fact that we are here, 100+ posts into this particular discussion, in my opinion beggars what Lileks says.
posted by UncleFes at 8:35 PM on January 30, 2002


Too wordy is a key point. It's much easier to snipe and criticize than express complex ideas in 3-4 lines.

Lileks, MidasMulligan, dhartung, Miguel, Steven have beautiful prose style, so their long posts are a delight to read. Sorry to hear that one of the more artistic writers is leaving. The rest of us will struggle on to achieve your mastery of this new genre!

I find myself amused by the emerging internet orthodoxy- "We find politics and current events highly offensive, wouldn't you post on bizarre or sexual topics, or make idle threats of violence instead?" Can I get a rise out of somebody by calling this "Geekism Rampant!"

(BTW I really enjoy the more conservative commentators on this site.)
posted by sheauga at 8:44 PM on January 30, 2002


skallas: I agree with this because of fact that a liberal idea that's aged about 30+ years then becomes a conservative idea.

This isn't quite true. A better statement might be that some ideas pan out, and become accepted parts of society, and others don't. The Civil Rights Act and the Clean Air Act are now universally accepted as Good Things, even by conservatives, but other parts of LBJ's Great Society programs, and state-level social interventions of the 1960's, have never been accepted by conservatives, and in the 1990's a Democratic president took credit for rolling back the US welfare state.

The liberal idea of the 1970's, advanced by the Carter administration, that foreign policy should support good countries, and oppose evil ones, is continually at war with the conservative idea that foreign policy should support nations that support us, and oppose those that don't, regardless of whether we like those nations or not. That battle hasn't been won by either side, and may not be won in the foreseeable future.

An example of a proactive conservative idea that has now become conventional wisdom is the efforts of Paul Volker, chairman of the Federal Reserve Board in the late 70's and 80's to restrain rampaging inflation by restraining the money supply. It was successful. The double-digit inflation and economic stagnation of the 70's is gone, and the economy is healthier (yes, even given our current downturn). Fed policy in the early 80's was strongly opposed by liberals, who claimed it would hurt the poor and the middle class. In retrospect, it was the correct policy, even liberals are happy with its results.

Ideas that succeed become the conventional wisdom, whether they were originally 'liberal' or 'conservative'.
posted by Slithy_Tove at 9:02 PM on January 30, 2002


Two, someone above said "who's Lileks?" Well, that means you haven't been a Me-fi member long and/or your web surfing habits are lacking.

Oh my ! My surfing habits are lacking ! I don't own to my status of MeFi member ! The world has come to an end ! I will hereby confess my sins and slit my wrists open on your altar, oh thou great Lileks.


No, seriously, call me weird but I hardly have any attention for the login names here, except by checking that they're different from comment to comment and actually make a discussion. I read MeFi threads for the words and opinions, not the personas. I can recognize some people's login names from thread to thread, but I couldn't say I remember any particular user.
I do not feel less of a MeFi user, thank you. Who's Lileks ?

If someone has an ego trip (or a personality cult is built upon them) just because they're a very active member of a community like MeFi, where's the world MeFi going ? Move on. :)
posted by michel v at 3:43 AM on January 31, 2002


michel v - the above comment neatly sums up what Lileks was trying to say about recent Metafilter members. Well done.
posted by Markb at 5:00 AM on January 31, 2002


A question: when an active member of a community leaves, should we care? My purview is that no, that shouldn't matter. A community is built out of a number of individuals, some more vocal than others.

From my point of view, Lilek can leave if he feels like it. He may not be happy about the way MeFi is evolving and has the right to think that way. Does it reflect on the community as a whole? I don't think so.

This seems to be similar to discussions on usenet about the evolution of the net as a whole ("Imminent death of the internet predicted, movie at 11"). When the net moved from a small group (and by small, I mean around 1 million net users) to a more mainstream world, a lot of old timers got annoyed. I was among them but ultimately, I think I was wrong.

Sure, none of us want things to change. We find a spot, start hanging out there, make friends there, and some new people show up. However, the fact that we were there first does not give us more right to an opinion than newcomers.

I think you see the same thing happen in every community. However, the arrival of new people means that there are more diverse opinions to be shared. THAT, I think, is a good thing as it allows us to see a wider world.

I am not a BIG contributor to the MeFi community (I think so far I've contributed about 20-30 comments) but I read it almost daily. Most of the lurking allows me to see different opinions and change my mind over time. I may not agree with what a lot of the newcomers are saying but I believe they have as much of a right to say it as old-timers do.
posted by TNLNYC at 6:11 AM on January 31, 2002


Metafilter Community 'blog

Seems to sum it for me. People come, people go, some quietly, some with fanfare. I enjoy MeFi, I like reading interesting links(don't care too much for the newsy FPP, but take the good with the not as good). Most of the comments from all who post and comment have some value, either to make me think or laugh. I have been a member since July 18, 2000, but was lurking since Christmas of 1999, so I have seen a lot of folk go away for awhile and come back, like moving back home.

Unless Matt pulls the plug MeFi "Will Survive!"
posted by bjgeiger at 8:15 AM on January 31, 2002


Oxydude, how can you possibly suggest that I am "proving" your point? Did you understand that when I said, "translation," I was putting into other words your words, capturing the damning spirit of what you had to say in appropriately profane language?

By saying what you did -- If you want to post anything here deemed to be politically conservative, pro-Bush, anti-liberal or pro-Republican; be prepared for an onslaught of flames. -- you are defending those who flame people for posting "anything here deemed to be politically conservative, pro-Bush, anti-liberal or pro-Republican."

I called that an "indefensible" position, and I reassert that it is.

Why has no one else joined me in saying just that, when I expressly asked, in my initial response to Oxydude's comment, Is that attitude acceptable to the rest of you? Because I simply can't believe that his is the consensus view here.
posted by verdezza at 8:19 AM on January 31, 2002


(P.S. - I would've taken this up directly with you, Oxydude, but by not listing an e-mail address in your profile, you preclude me from doing so.)
posted by verdezza at 8:23 AM on January 31, 2002


Verdezza: If I say you'll catch a cold if you go out in the rain, am I defending the rain?
posted by rcade at 9:35 AM on January 31, 2002


Rain is impersonal. Human behavior is volitional. Hence, an inaccurate comparison.
posted by argybarg at 9:40 AM on January 31, 2002


Steven DenBeste is following Lilek's lead. Here's why.
posted by David Dark at 10:21 AM on January 31, 2002


A community without a dominant voice will drift and mutate uncontrollably. --from the linked entry. Excuse me, but I'd rather not see A Dominant Voice here myself. Methinks a community = many voices, and it can be noisy. But whereas I merely lurk at sites like Slashdot and Plastic, MetaFilter somehow pulls me in even when I think "I'm not gonna go there."
Den Beste faults Matt for not imposing such a Dominant Voice on MeFi, implying that he doesn't use enough of an iron fist and that this is responsible for the growing pains or just plain headaches of doing something like this for so little reward. Personally, I find MetaFilter refreshing in part because of that. It really does feel like a community weblog and not "My Web Forum"...and maybe that's why so many want in, while a few will always decide for themselves it's now time to go.
(To paraphrase a dimly-recalled quote, "Under the most carefully controlled conditions...the organism will do as it damn well pleases." Uncontrolled mutation--c'est la vie.)
No mention I saw of the generally poor reception here to his recent FPP about "the best weblog entry I've ever read" (I kept my $0.02 out of that discussion, but it was a struggle). It's all subjective...but if you post your personal favorites on MeFi rather than your own site, you're likely to draw more argument, and he didn't seem to like it.
posted by StOne at 12:00 PM on January 31, 2002


Ha.

I'm getting an image of Lileks lurking in the back, reading these comments like a Gilligan's Island episode where Gilligan shows up at his own funeral.

You there, Lileks! Come out from behind the casket!
posted by Kafkaesque at 12:38 PM on January 31, 2002


I think MeFi may be moving into step 6B of the lifecycle and not 6a but I guess people leaving our community will always feel it's 6a.
posted by TNLNYC at 2:08 PM on January 31, 2002


(P.P.S. - Oxydude, it just occurred to me that when you said I "prove [your] point," you may have meant that you appreciate my opposition, shared with you, to the common practice of flaming people for posting pro-conservative, etc., messages. [By contrast, I had interpreted what you wrote as meaning that my response to your post was, in fact, an example of the kind of flaming that we both abhor; hence, my strongly stated reaction, above.] If that is the case, and if I misunderstood your statement, please accept my apology.

And if that is the case, then I misinterpreted the messages of both the people I responded to earlier. [Sigh.] Some days, no matter how hard you try...)
posted by verdezza at 4:53 PM on January 31, 2002


A community without a dominant voice will drift and mutate uncontrollably. It's like truck moving down the highway with no-one's hand on the wheel. For a while it will still go straight, but over time it will gradually veer off the road, until it crashes. The overall voice of the community changes but not in a predictable fashion. It's a crap shoot; it's completely random, and the damage is cumulative as the bad drives out the good. --SDB

Or vice versa. Sounds like a great definition of evolution to me. In other words, LIFE, as opposed to controlled, stagnant staleness.

I think that the participants in MetaFilter want a unifying voice, a personality for the forum. --SDB

There is nothing I, personally, want LESS. That's why I frequent Metafilter and NOT personal weblogs.
posted by rushmc at 5:19 PM on January 31, 2002


Verdezza: you are a gentleman and an example, sir.
posted by MiguelCardoso at 6:01 PM on January 31, 2002


As someone who's been here for quite awhile(though never posted all that much,) I'm kinda sad to see more old familiar faces go.

Just the fact that people had to ask who Lileks is is instructive of how much this place has changed. It's not an anti-newbie elitism so much as a feeling of having lost that old close sense of community, where most everyone was at least roughly familiar with everyone else, and often due to their work elsewhere on the web before mefi even existed. That's probably neither here nor there for the newbies, but it takes some getting used to if you've been here for the whole ride.

On the left/right conflict, as a stereotypical raging liberal mefite, but one who likes to question the strength of his positions and opinions as often as possible, it's sad to see people who hold opposing viewpoints, and can actually elucidate them in a rational manner(a rarity these days, on either side) go away. You don't learn much when everyone is preaching to the choir. Nor do you when everyone is shouting past one another.

I think mefi still manages to skate that thin line between the two(as well-exemplified in the religion thread right before this one) often enough to be worthwhile. Will it keep doing so in the future? Well, that's sort of up to us.

Just 2 more cents from a perhaps more dispassionate observer...
posted by jdunn_entropy at 2:46 AM on February 1, 2002


"Sort of up to us"--yes, which is why I think SBD's contention that it's all up to Matt to "steer" MeFi (and pour even more of his time into it) is off base.
Clarification: I've got nothing against SDB and as for swearing-off MeFi participation, I've been there and done that myself--I think it was just a couple weeks ago, in fact.
posted by StOne at 6:22 AM on February 1, 2002


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