What do you think of the new ‘Ask Follow-Up’ feature?

Feature Releases by Rob Lion on The Insurgency

This really illustrates everything that’s wrong with Quora’s feature-release process. This new feature capability hasn’t been “rolled out” to me yet (maybe tomorrow? or next week? or six months from now?), but I’m exposed to it, because Quora users ask questions about Quora features on Quora. But, the extent of that exposure that I get is relatively wild speculation from other users who are nearly as uninformed as I am about fairly fundamental things about this feature such as:

  • In what contexts is this feature available?
  • Where in the Quora UI (web, mobile app) can this feature be accessed?
  • What are the appropriate circumstances in which to apply this feature?
  • What are the circumstances in which it is not appropriate to apply this feature?
  • What are the steps in the sequence of using this feature, and what information do I need to input to it?
  • What were Quora’s design goals in developing this feature?
  • What benefits did Quora’s design team expect this feature to offer to the user, and/or to Quora?
  • How did this feature’s designers intend for this feature to be applied by users?

Meanwhile, the Quora Product Updates blog hasn’t seen an update in more than two months, not that even that announcement mechanism does any good to anyone except the tiny fraction of users (2.4k, out of how many millions?) who actually follow that blog.

Let me reiterate:

But, the extent of that exposure that I get is relatively wild speculation from other users who are nearly as uninformed as I am about fairly fundamental things about this feature

I haven’t had this feature rolled out to me; this question is all I know about it. But so far, I disagree with everything in Mrinal Bhattacharya’s answer. From “is intuitive” right through to “Please don’t exploit the feature unnecessarily”. (How on earth are we to know when this feature is necessary?)

Oh, and:

Answered Jan 11, 2011, by Yishan Wong, Quora’s #1 fan!

Originally Answered: Why did Quora remove the “Add Follow-Up Question” feature?

See What, if anything, is to be done about sarcastic/rhetorical follow-up questions on Quora?

So we’re getting a feature reintroduced that was last seen 6 years ago.


EDIT: some research on Iteration #1 of this functionality: Quora as Eternal Recurrence: The history of the first iteration of Follow-Up Questions by Nick Nicholas on The Insurgency

What do you miss about Michael Masiello?

I miss missing him.

I bonded tight with the Magister when I first alighted on this site, and so did he. (I named him that, after all.) He was my confrere and I his. We challenged each other, and we learned from each other, and we fought in the same trenches.

And then, I guess, Robert Maxwell’s peacocks fell on both of us. (Nick Nicholas’ answer to What revelations about fellow Quorans did you discover which surprised you?) He reacted with venom, I reacted with rabble-rousing. And as first the peacocks roused him, and then the Greater Jihad of activism, and then the Greatest Jihads, of helpmate and child and teaching once more—I watched as he gradually, wearily, proudly sloughed off this place, and looked to higher things than this. And I, meanwhile, have stuck with the Lesser Jihad; to admire a well-turned phrase, while the barbarians and the peacocks lay siege.

I’ve farewelled Michael a few times, and I think I’ll be farewelling him a few times yet. This place is not just an Existentialist Parable, it’s also a Buddhist parable, on the impermanence of all things, and the severing of all attachments.

I’ve missed him, il miglior fabbro. I’ve missed his superior discernment, his wider erudition, his wiser soul. And then, I’ve gone back my way; and by the time I posted his quietus, I frowned to myself that he was already long gone. Gone to more fulfilling things, yes, dropping this distraction like a bad habit. Dropped like smoking, his helpmate tells us. We’re the poorer, not him; he’s just fine.

But long gone, really. Months before that quietus was made official.

I miss missing him.

Does the “Ask follow-up” feature come at the expense of the “comments” feature?

Who knows; but if the new Ask Follow-Up questions are meant to be like the old Ask Follow-Up questions from 7 years ago, the answer is no:

Charlie Cheever’s answer to What were “follow-up questions” on Quora, and how did they work? (2010)

Once a follow up question is created, it is just the same as any other question on the site.
This means it should be able to stand on its own as a question and, as much as possible, make sense and be clear outside of the context of the original question.
A follow-up question is not a request for clarification on the original question; i.e. “What do you mean by ‘derivative works?'” or similar would not make a good follow-up question since it doesn’t make any sense outside of the context of the original question. The best place for requests for clarification on the original question is in the comments on the original question.

Are there any Crimean Gothic loanwords in Pontic Greek?

Are there any Crimean Gothic loanwords in Pontic Greek?

Actually, OP, you mean Mariupolitan Greek. The answer is, I’ve read a fair bit on Mariupolitan, and I haven’t seen any mention of it anywhere.

That’s the answer. Now the background.

The Goths of various vintages are an important part of the history of Europe, and Gothic is an important part of the history of Germanic. What we have of Gothic is some of the Bible translation and a little bit of theological commentary, and a tiny amount of inscriptions. Gothic pretty much died out by the 8th century AD…

… except, bizarrely, for Crimean Gothic, a version of the language that survived, nowhere near where the other Goths were. There are scattered mentions of Gothic spoken in the Crimea from the 9th through to the 18th century; our records of Crimean Gothic are a word list gathered in 1562, and (this was news to me) some stone plates dating from around 900, and deciphered in 2015.

Crimean Gothic was already dying out in 1562; of the two people that the word list came from, “one was a Greek speaker who knew Crimean Gothic as a second language, and the other was a Goth who had abandoned his native language in favour of Greek.”

The Greek spoken in the Crimea, then, would be the Greek in which one might expect to see survivals of Crimean Gothic.

The Greek spoken in Crimea is just about dead now; but it isn’t spoken in Crimea any more. Catherine the Great invited the Greek Orthodox population of the Crimea to move to a new town in the Ukraine, Mariupol. (Mariupol is under Ukrainian control—just, but is right next door to the Donetsk People’s Republic, and has been shelled.) The variant of Greek spoken in the villages surrounding Mariupol is called Mariupol Greek. Noone has reported any Gothic in it. A whole lot of Russian, sure, and some Pontic (one of those villages was actually settled from the Pontus in 1826). And a whole lot of Urum, including possessors preceding their nouns.

Urum (“Roman”) is the version of the Crimean Tatar language spoken by ethnic Greeks. It was traditionally regarded as a “bazaar” (urban) language by the Mariupol Greeks, and the Urums settled in Mariupol proper. Just as Mariupolitan Greek seems to have been a successor language of Crimean Gothic, Urum was a successor language of Mariupolitan Greek: Urum-speaking Greeks remained Christian, but adopted the Turkic language of the Crimean Khanate.

Given that the Tatars moved into the Crimea in the early 1400s, and Tatar was widely spoken in the Crimea, it makes sense that Crimean Tatar would also be a successor language of Crimean Gothic.

And it’s in Crimean Tatar, Wikipedia tells me, that the one possible lexical survival of Crimean Gothic is to be found: the Gothic word razn ‘house’ may be reflected in the Crimean Tatar word for ‘roof lath’. (Hunting down the reference, I don’t know that I’m convinced.)

EDIT: from Crimean gothic : it turns out that some guy heard from some guy in 1928 that Biblical Gothic razn has survived in Tatar. Dunno as what, and it’s a semantically somewhat distant loan. Tatar has been studied since 1928, and I’d hope that there was some progress in investigating the word since.

Nice skewering of Humour as Virtue Signalling

Trump Hasn’t Killed Comedy. He’s Killed Our Stupid Idea of Comedy.

The thing about “Ooh! Look at us! We’re such taboo-breakers!”, as Michaelis Maus will tell you, is that “Radical” is the new Conservative: it’s breaking obsolete taboos that not many people are fussed about anymore, and it’s not breaking the actual current taboos that matter. And patting itself on the back for it.

The alt-right are vile? Why yes. Historically, when you violate a taboo, that makes you vile! Taboos are there for a reason.

Money quote:

Comedy, evidently, is neither necessarily moral nor inevitably liberal. Andrew Anglin, a neo-Nazi blogger, has linked trolling to “culture jamming,” a late 20th-century wave of anti-consumerist media pranks. Mark Dery, who introduced the term to the mainstream with a 1990 essay in the New York Times, replied in a 2016 interview that Anglin’s tactics are actually a “bastardized form of cultural jamming” because they “discredit the official narrative” and “suggest a false equivalency between viewpoints and positions where there truly is a right and a wrong.” Never mind that the whole point of culture jamming was to discredit the official narrative: Anglin’s culture jamming must be wrong because it targets the wrong people. This is like saying that a gun is not a real gun because it was used in a homicide.

Which is not to suggest that racist trolling, like murder, is ever justified—just that it’s still a species of humor. A bad joke is a joke, just as Der Ewige Jude is a movie. Trolling, culture jamming, and deceit may currently be the comic armaments of people you don’t like, but it hasn’t always been this way. (Remember: “We called them lies.”) And comedy’s survival may depend on it not being so again.

A year in Quora Product Releases

Inspired by the last post, I thought I’d go through the last year’s worth of posts on Quora Product Updates, and check on their longevity.

So: in one year,

  • 26 posts.
  • 4 are announcements.
  • 12 are for features that are still in place.
  • 6 are withdrawals of features.
  • 4 are features that were since withdrawn, or superseded. (None reported explicitly.)

What’s the slang word for “blowjob” in your language or country?

In Greek, pipa “smoking pipe” (cf. Blandine Meyrieux-Lefevre’s answer for French), or tsimbouki “hookah pipe” < Turkish çubuk.

That was a Google Image search for “hookah pipe”. Let’s just say that doing a Google Image search in a public place for τσιμπούκι was a mistake…

As τσιμπούκι – SLANG.gr informs me (Hi, Melinda!), the Turkish çubuk has not picked up that connotation. The Turkish equivalent is boru ‘pipe’ or saksafon.

tsimbouki has also picked up the secondary meaning of ‘extremely difficult’; Προσπαθώ να λύσω μια άσκηση αλλά είναι πολύ τσιμπούκι “I’m trying to solve this exercise, but it’s very blowjob”. πίπα – SLANG.gr reports for pipa the secondary meanings ‘nonsense; fiasco; something of low quality’.

Linguistic sexism. It really blows…

Other terms reported over at slang.gr: κλαρίνο – SLANG.gr “clarinet” (Northern Greek, usually with reference to losing soccer teams); Wiktionary adds γλειφιτζούρι “lollipop”.

What’s the hamartia (fatal flaw) in your story?

A good question, and I hope to hear more stories from others.

Hamartia is about viewing your life as an Aristotelean tragedy. So,

The Decalogue of Nick #2: I’ve trained as a linguist, and I have done computational linguistics stuff by Nick Nicholas on Opɯdʒɯlɯklɑr In Exile

Scratch me just a little bit, and I will lament the defining woe of my life, that I did not become a professional linguist: Nick Nicholas’ answer to What is your personal experience with obtaining a linguistics degree?

And the fatal flaw of the hero in Ancient Greek tragedy is more often than not hubris, arrogance.

Well, here’s the arrogance part:

  • Where did you hope the degree will take you? To being a tenured academic, lecturing with adoring audiences at my feet, writing 20 papers a year, and living the dream.

But more insightful is this answer: Nick Nicholas’ answer to What are your 3 worst mistakes? Would you fix any of them if you could go back in time?

And, perhaps most critically, I wasn’t prepared to leave Australia and spend the rest of my life hunting for the next tenure-track gig, like some modern day wandering minstrel. I knew myself—not just what I’d been brainwashed to be: what I actually was. I needed to lay down roots. I needed a sense of place.

[…] That Cavafy poem? He titled it Che fece… il gran rifiuto.

He left out two critical words in the Dante verse he was quoting. Che fece per viltade il gran rifiuto. He who made the grand refusal—through cowardice.

Was I a coward? Yeah. But I was also being me.

My hamartia was not so much arrogance, in the end, as fear of instability.