Mohammed Hakim, who A2A’d me this, has just been banned. The last straw seems to have been him creating a retaliatory question against someone who wrote a question badmouthing another teen.
Ah well. He was nuts, he was amusing, and he was not for this site. RIP.
I spent maybe four days posting comments on the announcement, writing posts about it at The Insurgency, writing posts and forwarding answers about the broader implications for the community, the proper nature of dissent, the limits and aims of dissent, and the past parallels of it.
Halfway through, I decided “fuck this”, and spent a day writing a translation of a Greek scatological parody of the Mass. That’s the kind of thing I actually joined Quora to do.
What do I think, now that the dust has settled?
- It makes life quite painful for question askers.
- I’m extremely disinclined to ask questions, but I think I’ll get over that: I’m just going to use comments on questions, while they still exist, and resort to other subterfuges such as writing my own answer more often, in order to give others a first look at what kind of answer I’m seeking. It will still be at times demotivating.
- But, just as with credentials, it doesn’t matter if you write fewer questions to meet your needs, as long as the questions remaining meet Quora’s needs. Cf Designing Your Own Metrics by Jackson Mohsenin on Quora Design, on how successful Quora believe their credentials roll-out was.
- It doesn’t have as severe an impact on question answerers, who always felt licensed to ignore details (when the UX even showed them to them). But it does sever any notion that you’re addressing a specific querent when you answer a question. By design, of course.
- I’m somewhat disinclined to write. Not very, but somewhat. Quora is getting less enjoyable by steps for me; the grass keeps looking greener elsewhere. (What are some Quora alternatives?)
- It helped me crystallise a notion: that Quora often gets in the way of me doing what I want to do here, pushing me to do what Quora wants me to do instead, in a totality of ways that I really don’t think you see elsewhere (Quora Obtrudes by Nick Nicholas on The Insurgency).
- I don’t care about canonical questions, except inasmuch as clearly redundant questions pollute the search space. I never held that much ire about the “snowflake” question. And even if details were often dumb, they were just as often helpful. Quora hates them; that’s Quora’s problem, which Quora has now seen fit to make my problem.
- One of the many witticisms accompanying the announcement: https://productupdates.quora.com… “I’m starting to believe that Quora’s core values include “don’t worry about the baby, getting rid of the bathwater is the important bit”.”
- I’m not angry. I could see it coming from the German Quora. Mostly, I’m pretty numb to the bans and UX merry-go-rounds and refreshes and all the rich tapestry that is Life On Quora.
- Things on Quora still get me angry, I’m bemused to note. For example, the deletion of the question Can you write a limerick about a Quoran?, not least because my answer to it was likely one of the saddest, bleakest limericks ever penned. (You can click that link: I’ve forwarded it to my blog.) I swore a fair bit when I was alerted of that. Alas, BNBR forbids me saying how angry I am.
- I have a lot of Schadenfreude at the Upper Middle Class of Quora Writers, who appear from their reactions to have suddenly discovered that Quora Obtrudes. The pitchforks being wielded at the Quora Facebook Lounges have a certain… appeal.
- It’s a malign appeal, it’s a nihilist appeal. It’s the “let it burn” I occasionally feel here, the Tear it down, Elias!. The “pass the popcorn.” The Portuguese expression I’m grateful to Alfredo Perozo for introducing me to (https://insurgency.quora.com/The…): watching the circus catch fire.
- Goes well with popcorn, I gather. To the sound of bouzouki singers, and bulldozers demolishing nightclubs.
- But not a reaction that can be sustained. As Alfredo agreed, mentioning his bout of it with Brazilian politics.
I’m still here. I owe Kat a positive post, on what good there is that keeps me here. I didn’t sign up to join this site, just so I can protest every bumble of its staff.
But I keep saying it, and it keeps being true:
Θέλω ν’ αγιάσω μα δεν μ’ αφήνουν. I’m trying to be a saint; but they won’t let me.