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OOPS what am I doing here?

by Frank Schnittger Wed Nov 28th, 2007 at 05:04:18 PM EST

I feel like a stranger who has wondered into a new club where everyone else seems to be a long-time member.

There are strange looks, friendly smiles, even a welcome or two, but what am I doing here?

Yes, I am interested in the EU, and, coming from Ireland, I may have a different perspective on things.  

But who are the readers? Is it just a few midnight nerds with words to spare? How many are there? Why would I bother writing here?


I am used to contributing to Blogs like Charles Bremner's on Timesonline where you can be sure of a readership of thousands and where you know the terrain - the usual bevy of Brits and Yanks having a go at the Frogs - who get all upset and prattle on about L'exception Française.

And what's all the this HTML stuff?  do I really have to learn all that to prepare a presentable story?

Scoop sure does seem to have a lot of useful functionality, and I like the idea of a self regulating on-line community, but it all reminds me a bit of the old folk musicians who went ape-shit when Dylan went electric.  

You know the inverted snobbery stuff -it can't be good if it's popular or accessible and easily usable by the masses who don't even know html!

And what are the hidden agendas, the implicit value systems, the no go areas?  I get the impression that liberal/social democrat, human rights, environmental ethics and even a bit of anti-capitalism is almost de rigeur - but then I may be doing you all an awful disservice because I haven't been here a wet week (as we say in Ireland) and have read only a tiny sample of diaries and comments.

Are we all frustrated journalists here, failed academics, or seers whose genius the world just plain refuses to recognize?

Or is this just that wonderful human institution, an Irish pub without any beer, but where everybody gabs just for the sheer fun of it?

Every newcomer wonders how and where they will "fit in", and whether they would be better off going elsewhere.  Just what is your unique selling point?

The "about us" tab gives very little of the history of this blog - who are the distinguished contributors, who are the editors, what have you all achieved in the past other than allowing people to let off some steam?

I don't expect you all to rush off to justify yourselves, particularly to the new kid on the block, but what exactly are your brand values and why should I spend time here rather than elsewhere?

Is it a mutual admiration society, a community learning experience, an opportunity to brag about how much I know on certain topics, a forum to exercise my debating skills or just a nice friendly place to be?

In other words, what have YOU gotten out of it, being a participant here, and, given the chance, would you do it all over again?

Poll
I like this Blog because:
. It allows me to sound off on my favourite topics 8%
. I have gotten to know some of the other contributors and feel part of a virtual community 11%
. I learn some new stuff written from interestingly new angles 41%
. It confirms all my dearest prejudices 5%
. I can slag off on all the people I hate 0%
. It makes me feel all virtuous as a contributing member of society 2%
. I am all screwed up and hope somebody else here can sort me out 0%
. I am looking for a lfe partner with compatible views 2%
. I am just a sad git with nothing better to do 2%
. I want to save the world 11%
. I m hoping that somebody will recognise my genius and offer me a really great job 2%
. I am what I am, and I just can't help it 2%
. I have suffered for my art, and now it's your turn 5%

Votes: 34
Results | Other Polls
Display:
And what are the hidden agendas, the implicit value systems, the no go areas?  I get the impression that liberal/social democrat, human rights, environmental ethics and even a bit of anti-capitalism is almost de rigeur - but then I may be doing you all an awful disservice because I haven't been here a wet week (as we say in Ireland) and have read only a tiny sample of diaries and comments.

You've got the right impression, generally.  Someone somewhere has a graph plotting the political spectrum of the members...  Still, I think most people are welcome here so long as you are respectful and your ideas can be intelligently defended.  Even if they are unpopular.  We have a way of getting people to come around ... ;)

Are we all frustrated journalists here, failed academics, or seers whose genius the world just plain refuses to recognize?

Lord help the poor journalist who finds themselves here.  Academics, some.  Failed?  Define "failed."  Seers?  I think you can get banned for any mention of the occult.  Or at least you have to put up with Jerome complaining it.  The world does not refuse to recognize our genius.  They just haven't been properly made aware of it yet.

Or is this just that wonderful human institution, an Irish pub without any beer, but where everybody gabs just for the sheer fun of it?

Yes.

Every newcomer wonders how and where they will "fit in", and whether they would be better off going elsewhere.  Just what is your unique selling point?

Selling?  Has someone asked you for your money?  Ignore them.  They'll just waste it on beer and obscure economics texts.

I don't expect you all to rush off to justify yourselves, particularly to the new kid on the block, but what exactly are your brand values and why should I spend time here rather than elsewhere?

Brand values?  What part of "anti-capitalist" do you not understand?!  ;)  Why should I tell you where to spend your time?  ...

Is it a mutual admiration society, a community learning experience, an opportunity to brag about how much I know on certain topics, a forum to exercise my debating skills or just a nice friendly place to be?

Yes.

In other words, what have YOU gotten out of it, being a participant here, and, given the chance, would you do it all over again?

LOL.  Not only would I do it all over again, but I have!  Several times!  

I can't speak for everyone, but I like that I can come here and let my mad thoughts out and sometimes people even listen to them.  And I enjoy the mad thoughts of others.


"Pretending that you already know the answer when you don't is not actually very helpful." ~Migeru.

by poemless on Wed Nov 28th, 2007 at 05:39:15 PM EST
"LOL.  Not only would I do it all over again, but I have!  Several times!  "

I'm surprised you didn't tick the "sad git" box so!  And for one so poemless you sure write a lot of prose - I'm still engrossed by your limited edition love poem to Putin.  Your family politics makes the Russian mafia look easy going, but what made you such a Kremlinologist?

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Wed Nov 28th, 2007 at 06:32:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
BTW, I'd vote "All of the above" or something.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Wed Nov 28th, 2007 at 06:53:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
"BTW, I'd vote "All of the above" or something."

It's a forced choice questionnaire, damn you, so choose!!! :-)

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Wed Nov 28th, 2007 at 07:07:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Did in the end, guess what :-)

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Wed Nov 28th, 2007 at 07:11:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Aha!  So you're the sad git! :-)

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Thu Nov 29th, 2007 at 05:50:00 AM EST
[ Parent ]
All of the above sounds about right to me.

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Anas Nin
by Crazy Horse on Wed Nov 28th, 2007 at 07:11:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
sad git?!  No, I've suffered for my art...

LE love poem to Putin?  What?  I do not write poetry, and certainly not romantic poetry (like Stalin did, apparently.)  My family politics are complicated, yes, but I love them all.  If there is any resemblance to the Russian mafia, it may have to do with the fact that my (adopted) family is Sicilian...  uh huh.  You don't want to mess with them.  No sir.  And I am many things, but not a Kremlinologist.  I just have cruel weakness for that country, and its men in particular...

"Pretending that you already know the answer when you don't is not actually very helpful." ~Migeru.

by poemless on Thu Nov 29th, 2007 at 11:35:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The ET Political Compass (for what it's worth) is here.

The x and y axes are explained lower down the page with the compass of the UK political parties as an example. But, roughly speaking, ET members find themselves in the lower left quadrant, that is, the libertarian* left.

* not in the US sense!

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Nov 29th, 2007 at 01:47:52 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Hey! Is linca off the map, or was the graph not updated?

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Thu Nov 29th, 2007 at 02:53:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Not updated. Everyone from "findmeaDoorIntoSummer" down is not in the picture. I'm all for an update because I have a pretty space all for myself. But maybe do another round of testing first?

P.S. let's call ourselves the libertine left.

by nanne (zwaerdenmaecker@gmail.com) on Thu Nov 29th, 2007 at 05:23:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Lest anyone take it too seriously, I will say that I view the compass as an amusing toy, nothing serious.  And I'll note that the people here with whom I most frequently agree are not located particularly near me (or each other, for that matter) on the graph....
by the stormy present (stormypresent aaaaaaat gmail etc) on Thu Nov 29th, 2007 at 05:48:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, it is also a wonder for me.
by FarEasterner on Thu Nov 29th, 2007 at 05:59:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Stormy, FF, now tell us. Where are you on the graph?

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Thu Nov 29th, 2007 at 06:42:50 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Many thanks for the link to the Compass - for a newcomer it is a useful orientation tool - not to be taken too seriously, I agree.

It would be interesting to update say, on an annual basis to see if the centre of gravity of the blog is moving in any particular direction.

PS  given this is a European blog, can we not have an English rather than an American spell checker?

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Thu Nov 29th, 2007 at 06:55:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]
SCOOP is not at all internationalised, sadly. At one time, we wanted to create non-English-language ET branches, but too much is hard-coded in SCOOP.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Thu Nov 29th, 2007 at 06:59:16 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm at -5, -5.74, sort of between Metatone and MarekNYC, but I've taken the test at another time and gotten a different score.  I find some of the questions too vague and badly worded to be able to answer them consistently, and I don't think they accurately measure the things they attempt to measure.
by the stormy present (stormypresent aaaaaaat gmail etc) on Thu Nov 29th, 2007 at 07:09:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I have taken it and ended up between about -7, -6 and -8, -8 before  this time I'm at -7.5, -7.13.

I'm fairly sure I'm not changing that much.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.

by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Thu Nov 29th, 2007 at 09:46:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Goodness! Look what this conversation has descended into: slop and the Pointer Sisters! :) But such is the fate of very long threads. Going back to the initial points, now that I've been tempted out of lurkdom: I voted "I learn some new stuff written from interestingly new angles" in the poll, and I second Nanne's words above:
ET is an antidote to the meaningless, self-satisfied and often spectacularly uninformed discourse in traditional media



You're clearly a dangerous pinko commie pragmatist.
by Vagulus on Fri Nov 30th, 2007 at 06:50:11 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I like chatting and I like learning and I like being around people who challenge my thinking process and who I feel overall are 'good eggs' even if I don't always agree with what they say or some things they stand for.

Sometimes ET brings me clarity, sometimes it confuses but whenever I have a diary in me, on whatever topic, this is the perfect place for my rants, thoughts, observations, attempts to pass my own knowledge onto others. I like seeing what topics are important to others, and what their take on things may be.

I've learnt so much about Europe, and America, and many other places.  I've learnt about political parties, political structures and how they vary, cultural differences and norms in other countries, I've learnt about people's localities, their specialisms, their thoughts and feelings.  Bits of information feed into how I do my job, how I view myself, my neighbourhood, my country in the grand scheme of all these sometimes incomprehensible goings-on.  

I feel as though I am part of a great community here.
The only thing I would change would be to have started posting earlier.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Wed Nov 28th, 2007 at 05:58:39 PM EST
Is it a mutual admiration society,

Occasionally, but usually tongue in cheek, and only when you've been a very, very good boy.

a community learning experience,

Like no other.

an opportunity to brag about how much I know on certain topics,

God help anyone who tries to brag on this site! Your knowledge will speak for itself.

a forum to exercise my debating skills

Absolutely, and from entirely unexpected directions.

or just a nice friendly place to be?

... just about sums ET up.

"The future is already here -- it's just not very evenly distributed" William Gibson

by ChrisCook (cojockathotmaildotcom) on Wed Nov 28th, 2007 at 05:59:16 PM EST
Well it's often an opportunity to find out really how much you know about a subject.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Wed Nov 28th, 2007 at 06:03:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I feel like a stranger who has wondered into a new club where everyone else seems to be a long-time member.

Indeed most comments are by regulars rather than hit-and-run posters (probably selection by registration has that effect), though there are regulars who comment maybe once a month.

Yes, I am interested in the EU, and, coming from Ireland, I may have a different perspective on things.

Should be interesting. So far we have two Irish regulars, one of whom is soon-to-be site administrator Colman, but he prefers short snarky remarks when it comes to Ireland (or anything else) :-)

But who are the readers? Is it just a few midnight nerds with words to spare? How many are there? Why would I bother writing here?

The last everyone answers for him/herself. According to Sitemeter, we have much more readers than commenters. Registered number over two thousand, regular commenters I recognise (including those activising once every month) are maybe two hundred. They are very varied: geographically (from Japan through Egypt to New Zealand, in-between from Russia through Hungary to Spain, and Norway through Germany to Greece), age-wise (from students to retirees), job-wise (from bankier through railway engineer to housewife), and within the left spectrum, even politically (from liberal centrist through social democrat and Green to communist).

And what's all the this HTML stuff?  do I really have to learn all that to prepare a presentable story?

No, but it helps :-) It's all in the New User Guide. An ET reader even made a Firefox extension to make things easier. It is said that on ET we like graphs. We certainly like to see arguments supported by linked data.

You know the inverted snobbery stuff -it can't be good if it's popular or accessible and easily usable by the masses who don't even know html!

No worry. Daily Kos is just about the biggest blog around, and it runs on SCOOP.

And what are the hidden agendas, the implicit value systems, the no go areas?

If you stick around, you'll see that different regulars and even different frontpagers have different agendas, value systems and no go areas. But you got the big picture about right. I will emphasize a general disdain for 'neoliberalism', and 'reform' talk, and that not infrequently with a France vs. Britain angle (that comes from ET having been created by Jerome a Paris, but may get consent from non-French too...)

Or is this just that wonderful human institution, an Irish pub without any beer, but where everybody gabs just for the sheer fun of it?

That, too.

Just what is your unique selling point?

"If you expect agreement, go someplace else." "Do you have graphs to prove it?"

Is it a mutual admiration society, a community learning experience, an opportunity to brag about how much I know on certain topics, a forum to exercise my debating skills or just a nice friendly place to be?

The first s bit, but admiration must be earned hard. The second definitely. The third definitely not, expect to be cut to pieces. The last two too, with the addition that one must stay friendly in situations when on other blogs a flame war would break out.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Wed Nov 28th, 2007 at 06:50:24 PM EST
"If you expect agreement, go someplace else."

Unless you are criticizing neoliberalism, "anglo"-inspired free-market reforms, almost all U.S. foreign policy, etc.

Truth unfolds in time through a communal process.

by marco on Wed Nov 28th, 2007 at 07:07:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Or communism, socialism, almost all European foreign policy,  most European politicians, etc.

We do rather like justification for people's positions.

by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Wed Nov 28th, 2007 at 07:08:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
True.

Truth unfolds in time through a communal process.
by marco on Wed Nov 28th, 2007 at 07:57:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
US has a Foreign Policy?

"The future is already here -- it's just not very evenly distributed" William Gibson
by ChrisCook (cojockathotmaildotcom) on Wed Nov 28th, 2007 at 07:12:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I forgot to mention U.S. domestic policy, of course.  Or lack thereof.

Truth unfolds in time through a communal process.
by marco on Wed Nov 28th, 2007 at 07:43:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
empire.
by wu ming on Fri Nov 30th, 2007 at 03:13:09 AM EST
[ Parent ]
There, you disagree with me?

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Wed Nov 28th, 2007 at 07:12:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I very much agreed with pretty much your entire post, except that one point.

Truth unfolds in time through a communal process.
by marco on Wed Nov 28th, 2007 at 07:46:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
We could assemble a list of "majority views on ET", but on each view we would have dissident regulars. Above, you :-) (Even Jérôme feels himself in the minority -- on his views on the EU and its Constitution/Treaty -- though I feel that is in part imagined.)

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Thu Nov 29th, 2007 at 05:26:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Now I turned into a 1am (CET) nerd. G'night!

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Wed Nov 28th, 2007 at 07:15:40 PM EST
I'm not quite a lurker on this site, but I'm far from a regular.  I know enough to keep up with most of the disucssions on the site, and as such am able to learn new things constantly.  I'm rarely qualified to comment substantively on much of anything, but that doesn't stop me from making the occasional snarky asides, or from requesting clarification here and there.  I sort of feel like the slightly annoying younger brother who's always trying to hang out with the infinitely cooler older kids.

I also read DKos, but I've long since stopped bothering with the comments on that site.  Too much for too little of value.  Here, on the other hand, there's almost always something worth reading.

Finally, I absolutely love the morning News Roundup and Klatsch diaries.  Thanks Fran, Metaone, and everyone else who posts stuff there!

by Zwackus on Thu Nov 29th, 2007 at 01:32:11 AM EST
What Zwackus said.

Karen in Austin

'tis strange I should be old and neither wise nor valiant. From "The Maid's Tragedy" by Beaumont & Fletcher

by Wife of Bath (kareninaustin at g mail dot com) on Thu Nov 29th, 2007 at 01:31:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
There are so many ways to describe this site, and all of them would leave something out. For me, it suffices to say that ET is a place with a high signal-to-noise ratio. The most universal implicit value is probably that Firefox is the preferred browser. Once you start posting, the rest of your questions will answer themselves.

Except perhaps HTML, of course. Which is where Firefox comes in (via someone's TribEXT, and a few other goodies out there for the downloading).

The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman

by dvx (dvx.clt t gmail dotcom) on Thu Nov 29th, 2007 at 03:20:34 AM EST
dvx:
it suffices to say that ET is a place with a high signal-to-noise ratio.

Most of us have days when we're fairly convinced that we're providing the noise rather than the signal, and some posters seem to so rarely be noise as to be intimidating.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.

by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Thu Nov 29th, 2007 at 03:33:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Noise is signal. Get postmodern.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Nov 29th, 2007 at 03:57:42 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The fact that I am cracking out loud at your comment also shows that some americans would use a clear adjective to define us :)

A pleasure

I therefore claim to show, not how men think in myths, but how myths operate in men's minds without their being aware of the fact. Levi-Strauss, Claude

by kcurie on Thu Nov 29th, 2007 at 05:24:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Hey!

John Cage - 4'33" by David Tudor



Don't fight forces, use them R. Buckminster Fuller.

by rg (leopold dot lepster at google mail dot com) on Thu Nov 29th, 2007 at 05:43:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Is he a lurker?  Having nothing to say doesn't seem to disqualify commentators here!  :-)

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Thu Nov 29th, 2007 at 05:52:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Hi Frank!

A particular aspect of ET is that it has a maths element.  I am a very slow learner, but I have been trying.  So:

Is "he"

er...

Hmmmm.  I think of ET as an educational resource, where I can ask people with great knowledge questions and receive enlightening answers.

I also think it has high humour and a superior jukebox.

I think ET will die when it is no longer possible to click on "Write a new diary entry..." and write...whatever comes to or has been burning in one's mind.

I think having nothing to say is fine as long as this nothing is elegant and/or humorous...in which case...hmmm...something is being said, or is it?

(There's a nice comment from David Tutor at the end of the video about the reaction to John Cage's piece.)

(And then there's this:)

~%87})

(moustache-based emoticon)

Don't fight forces, use them R. Buckminster Fuller.

by rg (leopold dot lepster at google mail dot com) on Thu Nov 29th, 2007 at 06:08:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Oh, and great reporting from around the world and excellent pictures.

Don't fight forces, use them R. Buckminster Fuller.
by rg (leopold dot lepster at google mail dot com) on Thu Nov 29th, 2007 at 06:12:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The above two comments from are from the poster who does more than his fair sharw of keeping the Jukebox well stocked.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Thu Nov 29th, 2007 at 09:49:26 AM EST
[ Parent ]

ET is addictive, so be warned!
by Solveig (link2ageataol.com) on Thu Nov 29th, 2007 at 04:08:01 AM EST
"what are you doing here?"

Meet people like me :) And well, maybe get some status.

Oh  and Nice to meet you.

A pleasure

I therefore claim to show, not how men think in myths, but how myths operate in men's minds without their being aware of the fact. Levi-Strauss, Claude

by kcurie on Thu Nov 29th, 2007 at 05:22:16 AM EST
The salt of ET is its unpredictability and generally good level of discussions which is extremely rare even in professionals discussion as far as I know.

Most people here do not post too much but try to present some valuable ideas and information to others - even in ordinary comments, that's why it is not degenerated into banal mud-slinging which is the order of the day in majority of MSM outlets and popular forums like DK.

About "fit in" - I think there's absolutely no need to fit in discussions - we retain our individuality without taking contrary views as personal assaults on our integrity and just move on.

"Frustrated academics, journalists.." - no absolutely. I can speak of myself - my job has almost no relation to what I am writing about. I do not care to press for my ideas - they may be accepted or ignored, whatever.

by FarEasterner on Thu Nov 29th, 2007 at 05:55:22 AM EST
yeah, frank, what are you doing here?

as if you have to ask..!

this is the last chance cafe, where doom meets snark and they both collapse into hilarity.

there's a right bunch of weirdos here, don't worry, you'll fit right in!

unless you have a prickly side, or too thin a skin...

welcome, you too can be splendidly wrong, and live to tell the tale.

the only taboo so far is astrology, lol.

"We can all be prosperous but we can't all be rich." Ian Welsh

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Thu Nov 29th, 2007 at 07:04:43 AM EST
You must know me from another life - or another blog - if you think I'll fit right in.  But I'm not so sure.  There must be more to life, isn't there?  Is this it, THE END?

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Thu Nov 29th, 2007 at 07:23:47 AM EST
[ Parent ]
There must be more to life, isn't there?

That's what the politicians promise you, but in all honesty, is there? (Asks PeWi a failed Academic, bored IT professional and Comfortable Christian)
by PeWi on Thu Nov 29th, 2007 at 08:04:02 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Those politicians never give a satisfactory answer though do they to what that "more" is?

I prefer to think of ex academics less as failed, more as escaped or cured ;-)

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.

by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Thu Nov 29th, 2007 at 09:59:15 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I definitely think of myself as more of an escaped academic, rather than a failed one.
by Zwackus on Fri Nov 30th, 2007 at 01:20:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Is this it, THE END?

Frank, if you ask questions like that you have to expect something like this as an answer (Isle of Wight version, incidentally, since you made a remark about Brit spelling upthread ;-):



The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman

by dvx (dvx.clt t gmail dotcom) on Thu Nov 29th, 2007 at 08:13:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
We have a saying in Ireland:  "God never closes a Door without opening another" or as Cat Steven's said - "Life is like a maze of doors...and they all open from the side you're on.... but you're going to wind up where you started from!"

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Thu Nov 29th, 2007 at 11:06:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Cat Stevens....once(1972) got banned for English lessons in (a catholic) school for a week because I brought in the lyrics of "Father and son" to discuss a proper Dutch translation.
Cat Stevens (now Ysuf Islam) still has 'the magic': from april 2007:


The struggle of man against tyranny is the struggle of memory against forgetting.(Kundera)
by Elco B (elcob at scarlet dot be) on Thu Nov 29th, 2007 at 11:39:18 AM EST
[ Parent ]
no, what you do when not blogging is the end...here we're in the middle!

you will doubtless regale us with vivid accounts of what particularly makes your life interesting and meaningful, and we will draw wisdom or howl like loons, possibly simultaneously...

blogging is cutting edge, donchaknow, and we are the brave pioneers, machete-ing away through the jungles in our minds and the daily newsfodder to add more pathways to the cybersphere...

or maybe there's just nothing good on tv!

we are growing like a snowball, flake with us!

from our relaxed positions behind our screens, we will dominate ze planet!

:)

"We can all be prosperous but we can't all be rich." Ian Welsh

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Fri Nov 30th, 2007 at 04:14:53 AM EST
[ Parent ]
where doom meets snark and they both collapse into hilarity.

Brilliant, melo, I wish I'd said that...

<you will, Chris, you will>

"The future is already here -- it's just not very evenly distributed" William Gibson

by ChrisCook (cojockathotmaildotcom) on Thu Nov 29th, 2007 at 07:12:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
This merits a very long answer but I don't have time for that. So I'll say it without the nuance.

Like many left-wing blogs, ET is an antidote to the meaningless, self-satisfied and often spectacularly uninformed discourse in traditional media, which is pulling the centre of what is 'acceptable', 'serious' and the very idea of what we can do to the right. By participating we contribute to the antidote, co-create meaning, expand the scope of what is politically possible in our minds.

There are many other 'things' ET is 'about', but I say that is the main thing.

There are many other blogs out there doing the same thing, but ET is one of the best and at the same time the only one adapted specifically for Europe.

As a reference, see redstar/jerome's post Why we blog

by nanne (zwaerdenmaecker@gmail.com) on Thu Nov 29th, 2007 at 09:51:17 AM EST
Afeter poemless and dodo reading I thought I  wanted to write soemthing like this.. but I knew someone would do it better than myslef..

Here's nanne.

case in point... this is the best place where other people will explain what you think, saying it one hundred times better than you would ever do.

A pleasure

I therefore claim to show, not how men think in myths, but how myths operate in men's minds without their being aware of the fact. Levi-Strauss, Claude

by kcurie on Thu Nov 29th, 2007 at 10:26:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Ditto here!

And it is a great place for learning, be it about concrete, oil, bubbles - finally found a use for the statistic lectures I had at the university some decades ago and wondering what I should be doing with - helps some with all those charts. And it is a great community, great people!

by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Nov 29th, 2007 at 10:32:47 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Now stop the mutual admiration society routine before you get suspicious :-) Let's talk a bit about nuclear energy or...

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Thu Nov 29th, 2007 at 01:14:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
aren't we all here just for the Meet-ups?

Next year in Paris, yeah baby!

by PeWi on Thu Nov 29th, 2007 at 11:44:20 AM EST
Well, there's the probability of another turored beer tasting/pub crawl from yours truly.

Interestingly, I think I had many of the same questions when I first drifted through the site, it took me a while to get a handle on it. I think you just do it, either it works for you or it doesn't. There's no real why, is or isn't. Obviously it works for me cos I'm still here.

But yea, without meaing to be intimidating you just have to get used to the intellectual level here, some of these guys are frightening. But a lot of us aren't, so it all balances.

And you may even get used to some of my strange late night spelling as the booze kicks in.


keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Thu Nov 29th, 2007 at 03:27:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
There's no real why, is or isn't.

</yoda> ;-)

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.

by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Fri Nov 30th, 2007 at 09:09:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm here because its such a good relief from the usual USA bullshit.  Really helps to get perspective and its a very bright bunch of people who write on a regular basis.  Its sometimes aggravating to read opinions that are critical of the US that seem to lump us together with the positions of the government, when many of us are trying to change the situation here, but it is pretty terrible what is being done in our name, and it is good criticism that focuses on specific faults generally.  It seems a bit disingenuous sometimes when one looks at the actions of some of the European governments that closely mirror the corporate visions of the US.  But, I like the proof that Europe gives that things can get better, and I appreciate the continual effort on the European left to fight against the slippage.

"I said, 'Wait a minute, Chester, You know I'm a peaceful man...'" Robbie Robertson
by NearlyNormal on Thu Nov 29th, 2007 at 12:34:47 PM EST
I think something like 1/3rd of the traffic is from the US too.

you are the media you consume.

by MillMan (millguy at gmail) on Thu Nov 29th, 2007 at 02:03:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Right now it's 54% according to sitemeter... but sitemeter only tracks the last 100 visits, so it will differ depending upon the time of day... Eurotrib gets something like 100 visits per hour.

To really tell something we'd need to get our hands on the server log files...

by nanne (zwaerdenmaecker@gmail.com) on Thu Nov 29th, 2007 at 05:40:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I know Jerome / Miggy have posted fairly comprehensive breakdowns in the past, which is what I was trying to conjure up.

you are the media you consume.

by MillMan (millguy at gmail) on Thu Nov 29th, 2007 at 05:55:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Alright. I like comprehensive breakdowns. Let's have more :-)
by nanne (zwaerdenmaecker@gmail.com) on Thu Nov 29th, 2007 at 06:11:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I come here to meet chicks!

Hey, Grandma Moses started late!
by LEP on Thu Nov 29th, 2007 at 01:15:42 PM EST
So how come you didn't tick the appropriate box in the poll?  NO ONE has ticked that box yet.

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Thu Nov 29th, 2007 at 01:23:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Are you referring to:
I am looking for a life partner with compatible views

I already have a life partner.

Hey, Grandma Moses started late!
by LEP on Thu Nov 29th, 2007 at 01:34:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Perhaps he doesn't understand the difference, you old goat you. ;-)

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Thu Nov 29th, 2007 at 01:37:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Obviously, he's not from the continent.

Hey, Grandma Moses started late!
by LEP on Thu Nov 29th, 2007 at 01:41:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Clearly - I mean, if you are not an aesthete, you are not alive ;-)

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Thu Nov 29th, 2007 at 01:59:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
No, he's really just here to pick up chicks.  Nothing to do with looking for a compatible life partner...

"Pretending that you already know the answer when you don't is not actually very helpful." ~Migeru.
by poemless on Thu Nov 29th, 2007 at 01:37:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Fortunately, chicks these days come in convenient boxes of 25, 50, and 100.

For example . . .

Someday I'll learn to post pictures.

by Zwackus on Fri Nov 30th, 2007 at 01:27:00 AM EST
[ Parent ]
What's unclear in the New User Guide instructions? Let us help!

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Nov 30th, 2007 at 03:48:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I am shocked no one's chosen the option:

"I am all screwed up and hope somebody else here can sort me out"

Someone's not telling the truth.

"Pretending that you already know the answer when you don't is not actually very helpful." ~Migeru.

by poemless on Thu Nov 29th, 2007 at 01:39:48 PM EST
What's your problem with someone?

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Thu Nov 29th, 2007 at 01:46:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
LOL.  Well, she does have pink hair.  That's messed up.  Not to mention that she chose the handle "someone," forcing the rest of us to have to write nonsense like "someone (not the someone)" so she does, in fact, need some sorting out...

;)

"Pretending that you already know the answer when you don't is not actually very helpful." ~Migeru.

by poemless on Thu Nov 29th, 2007 at 01:50:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Is Poemless a variant on some slop?

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Thu Nov 29th, 2007 at 01:53:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Ok, that's the second insult I've gotten from you in less than 24 hours, and I don't even know you...  I suppose you can decide for yourself if I am a "sad git" or "some slop"...  

And for clarification, "someone" is the user name of one of the members of ET.  

"Pretending that you already know the answer when you don't is not actually very helpful." ~Migeru.

by poemless on Thu Nov 29th, 2007 at 01:57:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
What's "slop"?

Hey, Grandma Moses started late!
by LEP on Thu Nov 29th, 2007 at 02:32:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
slop


  1. Spilled or splashed liquid.
  2. Soft mud or slush.
  3. Unappetizing watery food or soup.
  4. Waste food used to feed pigs or other animals; swill. Often used in the plural.
  5. Mash remaining after alcohol distillation. Often used in the plural.
  6. Human excrement. Often used in the plural.
  7. Repulsively effusive writing or speech; drivel.


"Pretending that you already know the answer when you don't is not actually very helpful." ~Migeru.
by poemless on Thu Nov 29th, 2007 at 03:07:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I really don't understand what that comment meant.

Hey, Grandma Moses started late!
by LEP on Thu Nov 29th, 2007 at 03:21:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Mine?  

I don't understand Frank's comment, myself...  What did I say?  Was it the love poem to Putin?   Hey, I'm free to love whomever I choose; no one has to agree with me...  The snarkiness of my response to his questions?  I did try to answer them honestly...  Basic miscommunication?  The "someone" thing is confusing...

Why would anyone want to me mean to me?  </ sniff>

I hope he sticks around and clears things up...

"Pretending that you already know the answer when you don't is not actually very helpful." ~Migeru.

by poemless on Thu Nov 29th, 2007 at 03:30:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
No his. I'm not sure he was being mean to you. Well, we can just chalk this one up as one of those comments not to be understood.

Hey, Grandma Moses started late!
by LEP on Thu Nov 29th, 2007 at 03:41:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Maybe he meant meaning 7 as synonym for your handle?

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Thu Nov 29th, 2007 at 03:50:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Do you think I write drivel, DoDo?  

The thing is, I'm really not thin skinned.  Or up for some good debate (frankly, I'm patiently waiting for someone to challenge me on my Russian stuff, I'm practically picking a fight, but there are no takers...)  But I know that while I may be completely and utterly wrong about most everything, I am a good writer.  That I know.   It's a fact!  And accusations to the contrary must be defended!!  LOL.

"Pretending that you already know the answer when you don't is not actually very helpful." ~Migeru.

by poemless on Thu Nov 29th, 2007 at 04:11:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It's an (almost) anagram of poemless. Frank probably does the Times crossword. Sample clue:

5 across : Some slop got mixed for the barren bard. (8)

(No, he's not calling you a barren bard... And yes, I know, it's an anagram of poemloss. Or poomless. Whatever. Pretend not to notice.)

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Nov 29th, 2007 at 04:14:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
OK - my deepest apologies for the confusion.  I was rushing out the door and thought that poemless might be an anagram for something - and in my rush I didn't notice that it wasn't in fact an exact anagram of "some slop".  No insult intended.  The truth is much more prosaic.  i was sloppy in my writing. I blame the onset of dyslexia myself.  I didn't think that anyone who could write so eloquently about (ras)Putin could possibly be described as poemless.  

You are indeed a poet,
even if you do not know it.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Thu Nov 29th, 2007 at 05:11:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
See, told you we have ways of making people come around.

;)

Seriously, though, sorry for any confusion.

"Pretending that you already know the answer when you don't is not actually very helpful." ~Migeru.

by poemless on Thu Nov 29th, 2007 at 05:14:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
All's well that ends well!

Hey, Grandma Moses started late!
by LEP on Thu Nov 29th, 2007 at 05:34:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
So you've stopped shaking then? ;)

sorry...  I tease...

"Pretending that you already know the answer when you don't is not actually very helpful." ~Migeru.

by poemless on Thu Nov 29th, 2007 at 05:37:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Hey, what's wrong with pink hair?

Admittedly, I prefer orange or green, but pink is still quite nice.

One of the reasons I love Japan . . .

by Zwackus on Fri Nov 30th, 2007 at 01:28:26 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Why am I being warned now?

I am so totally confused...

"Pretending that you already know the answer when you don't is not actually very helpful." ~Migeru.

by poemless on Thu Nov 29th, 2007 at 04:16:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
LEP's thinking about the chicks and his hand ain't steady!
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Nov 29th, 2007 at 04:34:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Sadly, it would not be the first time I've had such an effect on a man...  ;)

"Pretending that you already know the answer when you don't is not actually very helpful." ~Migeru.
by poemless on Thu Nov 29th, 2007 at 04:47:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Sadly?
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Nov 29th, 2007 at 05:01:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
A man should have a steady hand.

"Pretending that you already know the answer when you don't is not actually very helpful." ~Migeru.
by poemless on Thu Nov 29th, 2007 at 05:13:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You like men with a steady hand?  There's hope for me yet!  Can't stand people fidgeting around, myself.

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Thu Nov 29th, 2007 at 05:23:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
So you're here to meet chicks too.

Hey, Grandma Moses started late!
by LEP on Thu Nov 29th, 2007 at 05:36:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You scare me sometimes ...:)

je jejejejejeje

oh and you must always think the best of newcomers who make great diaries like this one...except proven like say four times wrong he he

otherwise this will take... ok ok ok no no I'd better do not finish the joke...

je jejeje steady hand.. je jejejeje

A pleasure

I therefore claim to show, not how men think in myths, but how myths operate in men's minds without their being aware of the fact. Levi-Strauss, Claude

by kcurie on Thu Nov 29th, 2007 at 05:27:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You scare me sometimes ...:)

je jejejejejeje

It's mutual.  ;)

je jejejejejeje!

Hey go back over to my diary and answer my question for you, ok?

"Pretending that you already know the answer when you don't is not actually very helpful." ~Migeru.

by poemless on Thu Nov 29th, 2007 at 05:35:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Ok, Frank, I'm thanking your excellent diary; I have had a lot of fun at its expense.  A million thanks.

"Pretending that you already know the answer when you don't is not actually very helpful." ~Migeru.
by poemless on Thu Nov 29th, 2007 at 06:19:30 PM EST
No problem.  I hope you find your steady hand....

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Thu Nov 29th, 2007 at 06:38:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Now here was me thinking it was a sloooow hand women liked... ;-)

"The future is already here -- it's just not very evenly distributed" William Gibson
by ChrisCook (cojockathotmaildotcom) on Thu Nov 29th, 2007 at 07:06:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
pointer sisters!!

great tune..

"We can all be prosperous but we can't all be rich." Ian Welsh

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Fri Nov 30th, 2007 at 04:28:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You got the reference...what a great tune, as you say, but not exactly balm to the male ego... ;-)

"The future is already here -- it's just not very evenly distributed" William Gibson
by ChrisCook (cojockathotmaildotcom) on Fri Nov 30th, 2007 at 07:09:16 AM EST
[ Parent ]
i want a lover with an easy touch...

they're doing us a favour, by giving us a clue..

"We can all be prosperous but we can't all be rich." Ian Welsh

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Fri Nov 30th, 2007 at 03:54:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]


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