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Retort Depository

A better place to respond to lame ideas
  (+4, -2)
(+4, -2)
  [vote for,

We've had this debate about how to handle lame ideas. I personally agree with the view that moronic ideas should be fishboned and left to fall to the bottom of the pile (i.e., not annotated, except perhaps for a single m-f-d). This voids the refuse from our collective digestive system in the most efficient manner.

I cannot deny, though, that it is also sometimes tempting to post a witty retort, or possibly even a sincere and impassioned lambasting.

But we could do both if we had a place (say, this idea posting, for instance) where the retorts could be posted separate from the offending idea itself. Regular halfbakers would read the amusing taunt, and if the retortor wanted the retortee to see it too, then a simple link to the retort depository would provide the desired direction.

So a stupid idea would contain the idea, perhaps a single m-f-d annotation (properly formatted), and perhaps a link to the retort depository, and then it would quickly disappear.

Meanwhile, the depository would allow the posting of wit and bile without keeping the garbage afloat.

Rather than isolate a specific victim, I'll demonstrate an example (with waugsqueke's help - thanks, waugs) using one of my own earliest, lamest ideas.

beauxeault, Jan 16 2002

Reliable UFO Detector http://www.halfbake...le_20UFO_20Detector
[beauxeault, Jan 16 2002]

m-f-d, m-f-e explanations http://www.halfbake...editorial/help.html
72% of way down via scroll [thumbwax, Jan 16 2002, last modified Oct 21 2004]


       for [beauxeault]: Hey clown boy, does your "Reliable UFO Detector" mean you're telling us you've never seen a UFO?
waugsqueke, Jan 16 2002

       My pleasure, Monsieur b. It's not often I get to call you "clown boy" and have you thank me for it.   

       An interesting idea. I'd use it if it were common practice to do so. My only concern is that the depository would build up a collection of orphaned retorts as the m-f-d's are executed. It would work better if there was a method to have the associated retorts vanish when the idea does, in the manner that ideas/annos vanish when an account is deleted.
waugsqueke, Jan 16 2002

       I did figure it would take some periodic cleaning. You wouldn't want a retortee to have to scan for miles to find the pertinent comment. I also figure we'd eventually want to delete most of this early discussion about the Depository itself for similar reasons.
beauxeault, Jan 16 2002

       As I started to say over at the UFO detector, I misunderstood and thought the idea was to have a place to stick retorts to MFDs, to prevent retorting on the MFD itself and thus inadvertently keeping it alive. But yes, I re-read now and see the plan is to let the moronic-but-not-yet-MFDs sink into the mud as well.   

       And you propose this idea itself to become said depository? I gotcha.
waugsqueke, Jan 16 2002

       By the time I navigate over to the retort depository, I likely will have forgotten the retort I was going to post but I will go along with this if this is what the ancients want. My wit has a very short shelf life.
bristolz, Jan 16 2002

       Personally, most of the witty retorts end up drawing off topic chatter that I wish I had a way of preventing.
jutta, Jan 21 2002

       jutta - though I am as much a part of the problem as the solution, I've often wondered...
How many pages are there in the halfbakery - i.e. right now?
How much space does this all take up on your server?
How much time do you spend 'dealing' with the bakery?
How much space did this annotation just take up?
thumbwax, Jan 21 2002

       ...and something I've often wondered; how is all this funded? Not just by T-shirt sales, shirley.
angel, Jan 21 2002

       So this idea's not about a warehouse for old lab equipment? Not sure whether I'm disappointed or not.
Gordon Comstock, Jan 21 2002

       Off topic problems aside, it would be a shame to me if the wit of this site was lost. It is so much fun to read often because of the acerbic quality of many of the contributors.
lummox, Jan 22 2002

       Sorry to take so long to get back to you, thumbwax.   

       Yes, every annotation currently takes up a fragment in the file system. This wouldn't normally be a problem, but it is right now. The server's disk is full; we're working on getting a bigger disk in; in the meantime, I periodically remove pieces of the halfbakery backup. I'm not happy about that, but hey.   

       Generally, the halfbakery doesn't scale in many ways (many of them technical, but not all of them).   

       All things are temporary, and the halfbakery will at some point go away, too. I don't have specific plans to shut down, but after two years of sticking almost all my free time and energy into one project, I'm worn out, and little things that I would have shrugged off two years ago annoy me beyond what would be reasonable.   

       The halfbakery mailing list was a really good idea. I hope people will use it more.
jutta, Jan 23 2002

       Try not to put down bad ideas and especially the people who give them. Every idea has some worth - just as every person does. Consider ideas as stepping stones - you can take them away, and you're left stranded until the next one comes along - or you can simply add on another one and keep going.   

       Some people were brought together to think up a snow and ice-removal system for a Canadian airport, and they were encouraged to simply think up ideas no matter how ridiculous they were (of course they had to be relevant). BUT noone was allowed to criticise or put down an idea - if it wasn't worthwhile, it was ignored, or added upon.   

       The turning point was when someone suggested that they should get a giant frog to use its long tongue to scrape the snow and ice away - ridiculous right? But that gave the team inspiration to use what is currently in service today - jets of hot steam and air installed around the place that blast the offending frozen material away.   

       If the need to criticise is great however, try asking questions instead - one thing it does is force the person who voiced the idea to think - and that encourages better ideas. (e.g the issue of cost - instead of simply saying "money, dummy..." - say "what about the cost?") And a retort library isn't a bad idea - retorts can be really funny. e.g when some careless, narcisstic shmuck tries to pick up a girl.
twarp, Jan 23 2002

       I can understand your position jutta. It would be a shame to lose this place but I cannot imagine how you have managed to keep it up and running as it is. I have a hard time staying on top of a busy e-mail inbox let alone a busy Web server running a lot of custom code.
bristolz, Jan 23 2002

       halfbakery mailing list... I must have missed that memo. Qu'est-ce que l'halfbakery mailing list?   

       jutta, if/when the time comes to flip the hb knife switch to the off position, would you consider allowing someone else to take over?
waugsqueke, Jan 23 2002

       rods.. right, okay. Yes, I think I visited there in a previous life.
waugsqueke, Jan 23 2002

       And as for GeorgeTheRobin's "animal stunt" idea... Christ, I don't even know where to start. Fishbone anyways.
CoolerKing, Jan 23 2002

       could we not have a <marked-for-immediate- deletion>?
po, Jan 23 2002


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