Subtle whooshing in GQ is a dickish thing to do

First, please note that I don’t think doing so makes you a dick, but it’s a dickish thing to do. Hence the generalized lack of vitriol in this post, and the preference for not linking to particular post. I also know it’s a fine line, but there are easily discernable zones outside of the grey area where shitty behavior should be apparent. Kind of like knowing whether an esoteric reference is too subtle for your audience.

That being said, when someone asks a question about a subject that is fairly obviously out of their scope of knowledge, coming in and adding a subtle, misleading fact or answer is, IMHO, rude and runs counter to the spirit of GQ. Even if it is funny (and many are) and your facetiousness would be apparent to even a slightly sophisticated reader, it’s still laughing at someone’s ignorance, not fighting it. In general, it can result in either someone asking a follow-up “can you explain that” question or taking from GQ intentionally false information.

I don’t have a problem with joke-responses in GQ—I must say that while I appreciate the general “hold off on the jokes until the question has been answered” rule, I think banning comedic posts would be a tragic mistake. But please, realize that hard-to-discern whooshes don’t really belong in GQ. Blatantly obvious ones—fine.

This is not a call for a rule.

This is not junior modding: continue to do as you have; this is just my opinion.

This is not about Opal.

This is not name-calling of anyone in particular.

Are you seeing much of this? I don’t spend too much time in GQ, but I don’t recall having seen this.

It’s somewhere between not too common and not too rare. I’d noticed it before, it happened to someone today, and I thought to post.

Perhaps I’m just cranky because of the outage.

Is this referring to the *dniw * post?

Agreed. This one for example. The first response to a question should not be a subtle woosh. I thought it was rude.

I’m honestly not trying to be coquettish or obtuse, but since I like the poster, got the humor for what it was, and really don’t want to make this any kind of a personal attack, I’d rather not confirm or deny.

I like **Friedo ** too, but it was a annoying thing to do. I really wish the joke posts could wait for an answer to be forthcoming first. We have no shortage of jokes in GQ, it comes down to timing and a first post joke is tasteless.

BTW: Yes, I do see this and WAGs to often in GQ, too early in the threads.


I saw that reponse to my question by friedo, and started to type a reponse. I then decided he just wasn’t worth it, and hoped that someone with more substance would come along.

Rude? Hardly. More like clever. Responses like that are what make you go, “Hmmmm…” Sharpens your discrimination senses. Is it a good answer, a bad answer, or one that requires some thought? What’s wrong with the reader having to do a little mental work once in a while?

Unless corrected quickly it can actually spread misinformation and there are roughly 6 other forums to make jokes in at will and no one ever frowns on the jokes after the question has had a real answer. It serves no useful purpose and they can wait to show off their wit later.

I thought friedo’s answer was pretty clearly a whoosh, and I presume FGiE just hadn’t had his coffee yet or something… but it shouldn’t have been the first response anyway.

The first response did give an answer the question, “A. Routine maintenance.”, so, technically, the joke was made after an answer was given. Second, dniw is not exactly what I’d call subtle.

OK, I sometimes do this, but I have two ways of balancing it.

If I post a joke answer, I make it clear that it’s a joke and that I don’t know the real answer. Sometimes I’ll post an additional question about the subject.

If I want to post a real joke answer, I’ll wait until the question has been reasonably answered. Like when in the thread on what space was composed of, my entire answer was “Spacium 360”.

I dunno, I really don’t think it’s that big of a deal unless your intention is to mess with the OP’er.

I agree. He answered the question, then made a good joke. Works for me.

Hmmm. I think this is the very first time I’ve actually been pitted, even if it was in a roundabout way.

I would like to note for the record that I provided a plausible answer before making a stupid joke.

The example given does look dickish to me. Giving one real answer and one joke answer that early in a GQ thread doesn’t seem like a good idea to me - it did look like a real answer.

ETA: I’d save the jokes for after the real answering was done.

No no no no no … you’re not being pitted!

I think my general umbrage rests in the subtlety and plausibility (to a non-scientist or science-leaning person) of the joke answer, wrapped tightly up with a serious reply. Without looking closely, dniw can look like a host of other acronyms or math terms, and could have easily passed for one of those things that doesn’t need to be closely considered to understand the overall point. Many of us read the advanced science, engineering, etc. posts and while we can follow along, we generally take what we’re reading as serious—without necessarily understanding or giving terminology significant attention.

Granted, someone like Una could take great advantage of that, but I for one hail our new Anthr… oh, sorry.

There’s also a difference between a somewhat serious sounding answer and the Don Quixote answer – both humorous, but one is more obvious than the other. Again, this wasn’t about you or the specific post per se, and I did want to acknowledge that there was plenty of gray area between what is too subtle and what is not. But if you get that there is a distinction (and it’s entirely plausible that this is not a clear enough example; hence the generalized nature of the OP), you may understand where I am coming from. It’s kind of like your boss sending you to find a left-handed steam sifter. In many environments it’s great, but if you’re not expecting it – if you trust the source – you don’t really take the time to consider whether or not the statement itself is valid.

And once again for the record: I did not intent to pit friedo or put his(?) post under a microscope. I hope he accepts my apology for the poor timing.

It wasn’t “pretty clearly a whoosh” to me–I didn’t get it, thought it was actual information, thought “hm, how interesting”, and even after someone upthread said it was a whoosh, I still didn’t get it, and hadda go and google “dniw” before I finally got it. Still not sure I’m on the same page though–is it an Internet meme, besides simply being wind spelled backwards?

And yes, I do tend to be slow on the uptake when it comes to jokes and pop culture and stuff like that, why do you ask? :smiley:

I agree wholeheartedly with this that was added to the GQ FAQ a while back:

After that was added, I tend to assume that the first few responses are truly factual, and thus I am nonplussed to learn that wind turbines do not, after all, create their own vacuum. So now I have to unlearn a fact. Not going to be easy. :smiley:

So you won’t get sucked into the vortex as fast the next time?

I think the complaint tells us a lot about the complainer. Tell us, Rhythmdvl, did you get taken in by the semi-scientific language, then feel embarrassed to find out later that you believed it? Eh?

If so, no big deal. I think I know enough about wind turbines that my first reaction was, “Unh…don’t think so…oh, that’s a whoosh, right?” but if you hadn’t been as savvy as I turned out to be, you would have been redfaced when you found out. Isn’t that the real reason behind this pitting? Your ignorance?