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1:32 AM
Q: "Grok" defined as "to dig, without hang-up" on which late-60's or early-70's sci-fi drama on PBS?

DavidAs a kid in the late 60's or early 70's I remember seeing a fictional drama on PBS of several people who were on a deep space journey. A young person said something like "I grok that." When an older man asked what the word meant, the youth said "to dig, without hang-up." I was a child and I ne...

2 hours later…
3:12 AM
Q: Which translation (Russian or English) of The Witcher books is closer to the Polish original?

DVK-on-Ahch-ToI'd like to read Sapkowski's The Witcher book series. Unfortunately, I can't understand Polish; so can't read the originals. Fortunately, I am fluently bilingual in English and Russian; so have the luxury of choosing which of the two translations to pick to read. As someone intimately familia...

3:52 AM
Q: What is the movie/show where a boy and a girl enter a video game?

CarlosI remember this from my younger years, and now I've been searching all over the internet and can't find it. Here's what I can remember: 1- The game is designed by the girl's father (I think). At some point she enters a place/room that is all white, and she says that this part of the game has no...

4:35 AM
Q: Paperback book, read in the 1990s, involving a man's son playing a too-good pirate video game with friends who disappear

FuzzyBootsAs noted above, I read this as a paperback book in the 1990s or so, somewhere around 250 pages. I think the cover was dark with a crude but colorful line drawing of a child. The main character is a computer programmer who has moved to a new house with his son. I don't remember why they moved, but...

2 hours later…
6:14 AM
Q: Why doesn't the jin nadakhan take out the ninja when they sleep?

The lake in HyruleIn the ninjago masters of spinjitsu series Why doesn't jin the nadakhan take out the ninja when they sleep?

Q: Has Dan Abnett said that The Anarch is his last Ghosts book?

CherubelAfter writing The Anarch has the author said anywhere that this is his final book in the series? I mean the last 3 books are together called "The Victory"...

1 hour later…
7:33 AM
Q: In AVPR, why does predator bother dissolving the “evidence”?

KimI don’t understand why the predator bothers using the dissolving liquid? He is leaving his own evidence everywhere, skinning the cop? Why bother dissolving everyone that has had a Xenomorph burst out of their chest? Also, no markings showing he is a hunter, no carved tusks? Lame.

This is a very good take on Stack Exchange's continuing difficulties with new users: stackoverflow.blog/2019/07/18/…
7:53 AM
Q: What book did The Emperor speak with The Ultramatrine Primarch?

CherubelAfter finishing Dark Imperium: Plague Wars i found out that Robute spoke to the Emperor at some point after coming out of stasis. Has this happened in any book or is this just something that has not yet been penned??

8:13 AM
Q: I want help with the title of a book

Stephanie AlakoumiIn the book the heroine was living in a Covent ,but then some gods became greedy for power and fought they war caused Jade to be unleash on the earth so she had to travel with companions to restore balance and take back power from the gods on her way she met a boy who can shape shift but cannot t...

2 hours later…
9:59 AM
Q: Are works whose SciFi and Fantasy elements turn out to have been created by conventional means on-topic?

O. R. MapperOccasionally, the resolution of a movie is that all the scifi or supernatural elements turn out to be fabricated with some conventional technical tricks. For instance, "ghosts" may have be en simulated with light effects, etc., possibly to make one or more characters erroneously believe they are ...

10:52 AM
Q: Is the Marvel anti hero/villain Taskmaster a really good actor?

Photographic HermioneIs the Marvel anti hero/villain Taskmaster a really good actor? He can portray that he is simply "a man" and not who he actually is and the way he does it "though as elaborate as DC's Batman but without the malice of the bat". And similar but unlike Batman, Marvel's Taskmaster can make friends q...

11:32 AM
This seems like a weird UI change
Yeah that seems odd to me.
If anything I think it looks worse but I can't put my finger on why
Maybe because it seems out of place there? Stats is something that should be pushed off to the side not placed as the second most important thing on the page
Was there an announcement on the change?
Wow, is that intentional?
Appears to be
I posted a main meta Q asking why the change so we'll see if it gets a response or not
Q: A question's sidebar stats are now under the title, why?

TheLethalCoderVery recently, past few minutes or so?, a new build was pushed out that changed the location of a question's stats from the top of the sidebar content to underneath the title. I can't exactly put my finger on why this change feels odd. Perhaps it is because statistical information like that be...

I guess it's part of their cleaning up the right sidebar. But...that place might be a little unfortunate, given that noone really ever gives a crap about these stats.
11:43 AM
Exactly my point
There's something else that feels weird about it though but I can't put my finger on it yet
11:59 AM
Oh they also removed the exact view count and replaced with rounded numbers with no option to see the exact number anymore
Probably when it gets above 1k I think
12:57 PM
Interview with @Catija here: unicorn-meta-zoo.github.io/episodes/catija.mp3 (I only just noticed; it's two days old).
@SQB Clearly you don't follow me on Twitter. ;)
Apparently not.
And I'm on Twitter under my own name.
Or look at the Featured on Meta sidebar
So I'll have to think about it.
The SE twitter account also tweeted about it. Did you enjoy it? (anyone who listened)
1:04 PM
I haven't listened to any of them, I prefer to just skim the responses and see what people have to say about it myself
@TheLethalCarrot Whilst you're here though @Catija do you know why this change was done?
@TheLethalCarrot Because people have been asking for something like it since we switched to responsive design.
@TheLethalCarrot Do not like. Just some extra random crap for my eye to skip over on the way to the question.
Listening now.
We have to deal with the right sidebar on smaller screens... somehow... and if we can push the valuable info out of the sidebar and then just kill it on narrow screens rather than dropping it to the bottom of the page, it's much better.
@TheLethalCarrot you misspelled "ugly"
1:08 PM
@Catija Thought it was to do with the responsive design, any reasons for why it is so prominent? Seems like it would be a lot better to be under the question where the share, edit etc. links are
I mean there's the SE nav/search bar, the masthead, the title (which I've already read, since I decided to click on the question) and now there's some extra junk before finally I reach the question, which was the only reason I clicked in the first place.
Also the weird feeling you get is probably due to it being located between the Q's title and body
Which is where the "this post has been edited" banner usually gors
@Jenayah Yeah probably part of it
Well at least that's what's triggering me
@TheLethalCarrot There's about twice as many links there for mods, so it makes it a bit more cluttered than you might think... I'm not saying that's not an option, just something we have to think about. There was definitely indications that y'all want the info to be easy-to-find... so maybe this was just a bit ... too easy?
1:09 PM
I always think stuff has been edited
I didn't see this design until this morning so I'm mostly guessing.
Don't they show it to like, employees before deploying?
Ah fair enough, I think it's just the prominence and that it's between the title/body as Jenayah says that makes it awkward and feel off
TBH I've never really understood why it matters so much how many times a post has been viewed...
Also it has less functionality with total view count being rounded rather than absolute which is a negative in my opinion
1:11 PM
@TheLethalCarrot Yeah, at least having a hover option would be good.
@DavidW It has some uses, some users commented on a few in my meta post. I use it to see if a post has probably hit the HNQ or if it is in it on mobile
@Catija You do have the room to show the full count... more than there was before but on hover should be a minimum
@Jenayah For some stuff, yes. And they may have shown it to other people ... I'm not all-seeing. ;)
Well yeah but if you have to communicate on it, better for you to know what's going on than being thorwn the hot potato 😐
Listened to it. Much too short, really.
@Catija I understand that it's not core SE business, but I wouldn't mind longer SE podcasts / interviews.
1:22 PM
Mmmmh... As TLC's question is a support one, it's not really the right place to give feedback, right?
Will there be an announcement to give feedback on?
@SQB I think there's some discussion about bringing back the SO podcast... Probably not with Joel... not sure who it'd be with... but we have a really awesome new marketing team who are doing a lot of work to evangelize what SE is... will be interesting to see where it goes.
@Catija I really, really like Sara Chipps' piece on ehr... let's call it "user interaction", by the way.
I'm glad! :D It's a really nice framing of where we're going. It's going to take some work to get there but I'm really hopeful ... the next few months will probably be somewhat bumpy but I think things will get much better once that's done.
I think it really highlights that it's not that most users are behaving bad, but that when you're new to a big, intimidating site, even minor corrections or suggestions can feel like complete dismissal.
Especially since there will be so many of them.
It's a rejection by a thousand cuts.
@Jenayah I ... don't think so. I suppose there's room for a FR/discussion about improving the placement.
But... be nice about it? "Thanks for trying to preserve the info, I think it's good to have around but could we do X, Y, Z instead?"
Not that you wouldn't ... just... y'a know.
1:31 PM
I found the suggestions by Steve very useful: put a cap on the amount of negative feedback a new user will receive, and allow for them to pull the brakes.
@Catija FWIW I think that's a bit of a problem itself, someone wants to give feedback and your mind immediately goes to "Uh oh they're not gonna be nice"... I don't see a lot of "not niceness" in feedback when I look at the meta posts just constructive criticism. SE employees seem to see constructive criticism as someone not being nice and that's probably not helping bridge the gap between the staff and community
That's not to say there aren't people who aren't being nice, I've seen some of it but mostly it doesn't seem bad
@SQB I'm sure most well-meaning people won't arbitrarily decide to pile onto someone. But on a site as active as SO, half a dozen people can easily decide to provide some feedback within a few seconds of one another.
@DavidW that's exactly the problem.
It's like a TPS report.
@TheLethalCarrot that's exactly what Sara's post is about.
As long as people are being constructive though it isn't a problem in my mind. It might look a little like you are being "jumped on" and people are "piling on" but any reasonable person should be able to work out what happened
Then the solution - assuming the site is active enough for this to be a problem - is to hold the post back from the main site until review is completed.
1:37 PM
@TheLethalCarrot I see ad hominem attacks on our designers all the time... so...
@TheLethalCarrot Did you read her post? That's exactly how it happened. But in the moment it's hard to see it.
And yes I read the post the other day :)
@Catija Like I said I don't doubt there are attacks but immediately jumping from "I want to give feedback" to "this person is going to attack "us"" is a problem. Assume best intent and if it turns out to be an attack react accordingly
For example... months ago Donna asked a question on MSE asking for info about how to improve profile pages. While most of what she got was useful, the onslaught of "you should be focusing on other stuff, this isn't important"... and "It's perfect the way it is, don't touch it"... is unhelpful and tiring. Saying that over and over doesn't change that she's collecting info and 20 people don't all need to say it.
@Catija Weren't the responses on that through a survey that others couldn't see?
Or do you mean comments on the announcement linking to it?
The comments and answers on MSE were not private.
1:41 PM
Gotcha, I saw the post quite early on and took the survey so missed most of that
Q: Help us improve the user profile and settings

DonnaUpdate: Findings are shared here. You might know the user profile and settings. It’s what appears after you click on your profile picture. Maybe you come here to track your Q&A activity or to update your Developer Story. Maybe you’ve stopped by to manage your email settings, opt-in to Be...

There's 52 deleted comments on the question.
To be honest I quite liked that we got asked for feedback on that but I did agree that not much needed changing
I have to run into a meeting but I'll say one last thing... We do have a problem - our very talented staff, particularly those who are newly-hired, are often hesitant to go to meta for anything. Even just responding to bug reports with "we fixed it, thanks for the report". I know it's unfair of me to remind people to be nice but every constructive and open post I can encourage rather than bad one I fix means that I might be able to show that meta is nice and useful.
@Catija It was certainly interesting
@Catija Maybe I just don't see meta as negative as SE staff do and that might be in part because I'm not on the receiving end but it appears to me that the more that attitude develops on SE's side the worse things are going to get. A lot of the animosity I see is down to those on meta feeling ignored. If SE staff are purposefully ignoring it then that's only going to get worse. Just my 2 cents though
2:27 PM
@TheLethalCarrot That's ... kinda what I'm trying to prevent. I'm used to it. Have been since before I was hired. Doesn't make it pleasant but it's part of my work and what I signed up for. We can't force our designers and devs to be tanks the way the CMs are.
Q: Is anything known about the entity in the Centauri system that the matrix was talking to?

DavidWAt the very end of Neuromancer the matrix (the AI combination of Wintermute and Neuromancer isn't given a name) says that it's talking with another AI in "Centauri system." The end of Mona Lisa Overdrive says that contact with the (non-human-derived) Centauri AI is what caused the matrix to frag...

@Catija Oh sure you CMs are there for a reason, maybe I don't see it as much as something that needs getting used to in terms of a meta thing. With such a wide user base you're going to get criticism no matter what and that's not specific to SE meta but happens in everything we do.
It's not about criticism of our work. It's about pile-on and just downright rude comments about the qualifications of our staff.
Well the rudeness I don't particularly see, the mods and staff must be doing a good job of clearing... as they do all over the network tbh
Piling on isn't really a problem... just redundant... I mean you get it on normal questions on the network with users just reiterating the same answer again
Some even see it as a good thing if done well because a different explanation can be valuable
@TheLethalCarrot I was going to say; overt rudeness is pretty rare. To that extent at least the site moderation system seems to work.
2:41 PM
That's not to say a comment/answer just saying "Don't like" is good and should stay but a proper well thought out response, even if largely reiterating and "piling on" is valuable in my opinion
@TheLethalCarrot Maybe a way to collapse redundant feedback - especially in comments, where it's just cluttering things up.
Well in comments it's fair game to delete a lot of stuff that is redundant
When you get every ping, each mention of the same thing over and over and over... wears on you.
@Catija oh of course, of course
@Catija Oh yeah it'll wear you down but that doesn't mean it doesn't contain value... which is largely what my point is I suppose
2:43 PM
Wearing you down is what makes you not want to post again.
Yeah I guess barging in and saying that I thought it was ugly was off-putting ;) but I wouldn't go on that way in a meta answer. Chat's more informal
When posting on meta drains your energy for a week and fills you with dread for the next time...
Part of the problem is that we don't show up on meta often any more... when we were there all the time, we were less like a fish in a bowl. When we're there infrequently, everyone needs to have their say because "OMG STAFF!!!!!11!!!".
@Jenayah Hmm. Yeah, I kinda did the same thing. But I had different reasoning, so I still felt the need to say something... Which I guess is part of the problem.
@Catija I think that is a large part of the problem as I said earlier the community feels ignored and jumps at every chance they get to be heard
(And of course you're almost never going to hear from the people who think you're doing a perfectly fine job, and have no complaints.)
2:46 PM
Yes! Comments are actually one of the biggest problems. We really want to encourage people who have thoughts to write an answer and then people can add to the answer and we can see the info in a clean way... but comments are so easy... you don't have to put any thought into a comment.
Aye and when you get a large amount of comments people don't read them so they don't necessarily know if they are reiterating
Greetings, Earthlings.
@Catija Can I just say that other than the occasional UI change ('cause I hate change :) I find the site works really well, and I think you (collectively) have done and are continuing to do a great job.
@TheLethalCarrot Precisely!
I don't know how effective it would be but maybe adding a comment under an announcement post when posted saying "use the answers blah blah blah comment swill be purged" might be one way to eliminate that fact. Though I'm sure it'd annoy some...
2:50 PM
@TheLethalCarrot It doesn't help that the comments are collapsed if there are more than 5/10/whatever and only some are visible. Which probably includes most of the less constructive comments, since they won't be upvoted.
@Catija Exactly. Along with this, I really feel it's sort of what Sara was writing about - it's not so much the individual rudeness, it's the piling on.
@DavidW That's appreciated! And, actually another thing we don't do... meta doesn't really give room for anyone to say "thanks"... and it probably should have something. And not just for our benefit. Y'all put in a ton of work and I'm guessing that it'd be nice to say "congrats to X for reaching N answers" or "Congrats for making it five years and staying active!"...
@Catija SFF does shoutouts on meta at times, which I like
@Mithrandir You're welcome :P
@Donald.McLean greetings, Hubble guy!
2:51 PM
@TheLethalCarrot I mean... there's always the possibility that we'll just prevent comments on announcements entirely.
... where is my comments only lock... I left it somewhere...
@Catija I was thinking about that but it is an abrupt initial step which is likely to annoy more than doing it in baby steps
Though if explained well with "we want more constructiveness" might work well
We've already tested and found valuable a intermediate step... if we stop calling them "comments" it ... actually changes how people use them.
Pretty sure last time that was suggested it did not go over well...
I wonder how much work it would be to have "suggested comments" like there are suggested questions as you fill in a question title. So when you start typing a comment, it shows you similar comments that have already been left, and you can upvote one of them instead of leaving your own.
@TheLethalCarrot Most of my feedback posts on MSE have little instructions like that at the bottom.
> If you have any questions about something - whether it's a feature I've mentioned here or not - feel free to ask about it in an answer.
2:54 PM
(Assuming of course that "31^ I hate this!" is better than "I hate this!" repeated 32 times...)
Q: Updating the Hot Network Questions List - now with a bit more network and a little less "hotness"!

CatijaSome of you may have noticed that we've been making some changes to the Hot Network Questions on the back end over the last week or so. I'm here announcing our first round of changes to how the HNQ works and give you some ideas of why we're starting here and where we're planning to go in the futu...

@Catija Yeah it is hard to say our appreciations and there's the whole thing where people are more likely to complain than say thanks anyway
@Catija Now you mention it I remember seeing it :)
Yep! We want to make meta a place for good and bad... If you have an outlet for positive things, the negative stuff doesn't weigh on you so much.
Like Mith said we do some of that positive stuff here, at least I've been trying to for some of the higher up rep milestones but it does feel a bit awkward
@DavidW It's definitely better... it'd be better if they said "This change breaks how I use the site." or something that we can actually take action on. We need to know why you "hate" the change so that we can actually change something. Just knowing it's awful gives us no info.
@TheLethalCarrot Sure. And it's great that you do it. I think that we don't really support it, so it can feel out of place. However, if we created a top level "kudos" tag... you'd know it was OK to post that sort of thing... or if we had a "good thoughts" ticker in the right sidebar on meta so that people could say thanks in little ways... There's all sorts of fun ideas... who knows what we'll do. :P
3:03 PM
@TheLethalCarrot It may feel a bit awkward to do - at first maybe - but it does enhance the sense of community. I know I got a bit of a thrill when Rand popped in to congratulate me.
@Catija Oh! There's hectares of blank space on the left side of the screen! You could put something there! :)
@Catija I think the awkwardness is just that [discussion] is the closest tag but it doesn't really feel like a discussion... maybe adding a top level [announcement] tag would be worthwhile? Covers, well, announcements and things like this
Har har ahr
@TheLethalCarrot We use announcements for more official stuff... (on MSE, anyway) so I don't think we'd use that... but we are definitely recognizing that the four required tags could be broken up into a few more.
And "announcement" should be one of them... when we announce things on MSE or on child meta sites (elections, for example) we shouldn't also need to tag those "discussion". :D
The idea of a [kudos] tag actually seemed pretty reasonable. (Without being sure how well-understood the term would be in international English.)
@DavidW Use [jolly-good-old-chap] instead I reckon
3:11 PM
As long as people don't think granola bar, we're good.
American product I imagine?
Wow comes with real chocolate! Haha
@TheLethalCarrot I don't know if I'd go so far as to call American "milk chocolate" real chocolate... :-P
Hey, you can't argue with advertising... it never lies
3:15 PM
@Catija Having only those 4 tags, one of which is required, leads to 90% of the content of meta being tagged [discussion], which rather reduces the tag to just a bit of extra noise.
"Discussions" are weird... there's a bunch of people who will just treat them like FRs, even if they're honestly looking to discuss the idea... which means the voting is all wonky. We want good discussions! Even if you disagree with the question in the discussion, don't downvote it! Let the answers indicate your agreement/disagreement.
@Catija ahah that reminds me of TLC's anecdote about cigarettes and sausages (or maybe that was Ed...)
Nah was mine
Yeah it was a Brit chatter​ last summer but wasn't sure which one :D
Was to do with Richmond sausages/cigarettes I believe
3:23 PM
Jul 31 '18 at 15:23, by TheLethalCarrot
@Jenayah On a similar note to that my bosses friend got asked to buy a pack of Richmond for an underage kid, he gave her the money and she came back and gave him a pack of 8 sausages :P
Jul 31 '18 at 15:25, by Jenayah
@TheLethalCarrot is Richmond a beer or something?
Well that was almost a year ago
How time flies
*watches watch plummet to the ground*
1 hour later…
4:31 PM
Q: Are Emily and Corvo members of the Abbey of the Everyman?

StormblessedIn Dishonored and Dishonored 2, the Abbey of the Everyman’s Overseers are a really powerful anti-Outsider, almost militant, group that is shown to like to murder people for such small things as having Bonecharms and Runes. The Abbey is the state religion. However, Emily gets the Mark in the secon...

4:51 PM
Q: What movie had an AI computer called "Shoshone"?

moopetThe computer's name wasn't mentioned very often during the movie. It had a role like "mother" in Alien. I think the main character was a mid-30s military woman. This was a cheaply-made b-movie set in the future but I can't remember much plot. I saw it at the latest in 2015 and would guess I wa...

1 hour later…
6:05 PM
Yeah, I don't want this to turn into one of those sites where every time you look for a question to be answered half of the answers start with "I know this is an old thread but..." and having tons of "WHAT THE HECK IS WRONG WITH U U NECROPOSTER" comments. It doesn't matter to people who are looking for answers if a good answer was posted late, and those things should stay in the sidebar so we don't end up yelling at each other about necroposting. — Stormblessed 36 secs ago
Q: Move question info from underneath question title back to sidebar on wider viewports

Sonic the Anonymous WizHogRecently, the system was changed to show question statistics (asked, views, last active) underneath the question title, rather than on the sidebar as before. This appears to be in response to this feature request, which requests that this be done for narrower viewports. However, this was also im...

6:50 PM
Q: River Tam's reaver body count in Serenity?

RoseWhat was the body count in the fight scene between River and the reavers near the end of Serenity?

This user has been posting a lot of one-line, crappy answers @Null
7:11 PM
Q: Book about young girl who ends up in space after apocolypse

SteveI remember a book from about 25-30 years ago. The main character was a young girl in possibly her early teens. She was in a fall-out bunker of some kind alone, but had learned a lot about survival and science from her father. When she leaves the bunker, she initially thinks she is alone, but dis...

7:38 PM
@Stormblessed Is there something wrong with your flag button?
And just like that, my first announcer badge.
8:11 PM
Q: What is the life span of a Flerken?

codeczarAs we know that cats have a very short lifespan and Goose in Captain Marvel looked like an Earth cat but was an alien species. What is the life span of a Flerken?

8:37 PM
@Marvin Hmmm don’t know why my answer here has been downvoted... :/
@TheLethalCarrot ?
I posted an answer on that question and it was downvoted... if you have friends hidden that might look odd I suppose
A: What is the life span of a Flerken?

TheLethalCarrotKevin Feige has spoken about this with Slash Film but gives no definite answer only stating that they probably have a longer lifespan than cats. I’m wondering what has Goose been doing for the last 20 years? Can we get like a short film on Disney+ where we would like see that Goose was secre...

@TheLethalCarrot oh I misread it as “hasn’t” somehow
What’s that about friends hidden?
Meant to say feeds... autocorrect
2 hours later…
10:30 PM
Q: Seeking Identification of Short Story Hollywood 40s or 50s Where Movie Set is Actually Real Aliens and The Blasters Work

InterocitorI am dimly remembering a short story (?novela)in a Hollywood 1940s or 1950s movie set where an actor discovers the weapons and 'aliens' are real. I can't remember even approximately when it was published. An actor hired for this movie as a last-minute replacement finds out that the movie set is...

1 hour later…
11:50 PM
Q: Short story where man sells a baseball stadium

drdavehereI've been trying to find this one short (I think) story, in which a man is touring a Japanese man around the states, trying to sell him historical/cultural sites. Eventually he realizes (with some definite disdain/racism) that the man doesn't care at all for these pretentious sites, and wants som...


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