Why It’s Good to Follow Links

The excellent folks at io9 do me a solid and link to my AMC column on Speed Racer today, but some of the folks commenting there don’t appear to have actually read the column before commenting, because a fair portion of the comments boil down to “John Scalzi is completely wrong about this because [insert point actually discussed in the column].” At least one of them was nice enough to note he/she didn’t read the column before trying to disprove my point using information I specifically note in the column, though.

Lesson: It’s always a good thing to read what you’re commenting on. Just sayin’.

41 Comments on “Why It’s Good to Follow Links”

  1. Gee, lookie here. A blank space for me to drivel in. Yay me — see? I’m contributing to the Interwebz!

    What was the question?

    (dumb — really dumb)

    Dr. Phil

  2. Yeaaaah… unfortunately I’ve noted that that particular io9 writer has a particular, blind, and endless affinity for Speed Racer, and somehow I suspect the link dumped a similar set of people on the article.

  3. Geez, John, you’re always harping on things like this. I don’t know why you would want to force people to follow links, but it certainly smacks of facism to me. It would be one thing if someone said something dumb about an article that they didn’t read, but how often does *that* happen?

  4. re: San Dimas

    I don’t know why, but whenever I hear ‘San Dimas,’ I always get it confused with Santa Carla, the murder capitol. A nice place except for all the damned vampires.

    I guess Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure kind of overwrote that town name for me for all time. What if it was vampires that were afoot at the Circle K?

    Clearly, I need to get some lunch…

  5. Hey, while you are talking about that, you should really say something about all the idiots posting without actually reading the article.

  6. Really? There is one there. Or at least, was when I lived there.

    Michelle Sagara:

    What part is the problem?

  7. If people actually read the article before commenting on it they would have no chance of being __–**FIRST!!!**–__ to post in the comment thread. Surely you can se the dilemma Scalzi.

  8. Howdy
    Do me a solid is an old colloquialism. Trace it back to “The Mod Squad” a late 60’s Cop drama.

    Makes me feel old to hear it, but I always use it. That was a cool show.

    I have such mixed feelings about io9. On the one hand I’m happy that it exists; on the other, I get a distinct feeling it could use an old guy like me to give history and fact-check. I’ll still read them tho.

  9. I didn’t read Scalzi’s whole post, but I think it would be better if it were to make explicitly clear what the intended lesson of the post is.

  10. I read your title and now I’m qualified to form an opinion on your opinion.

    If you don’t want those kinds of mix-ups, you might as well put your whole article in the title field and float the title after it.

    That’s the only way these damn kids nowadays read anything…

  11. My husband keeps having to remind me that I’m not like most people because I do things like follow links to the original source of the commentary/statistics/facts to get the full context of what the original author had in mind. Because, ya know, people have been quoted out of context before and the intent of their message has been lost. I’ve corrupted my daughter into doing it, too.

  12. Nobody ever said anything said anything intelligent in a comment.

    *explodes in a puff of logic*

  13. My brother used to do me a gas. Didn’t care for it.

    If they do you a plasma, seek medical attention.

  14. Two things:

    1. This was my grandest, most operatic peeve when I was a discussion-list moderator: people who *clearly* didn’t read what the original poster said. You’d tell them, “Hey, take another look at that; I don’t think that’s what she means at all,” and they’d come back with, “Oh, I [got it the first time / know what she’s like / can spot this argument a mile away].” Besides annoying me, it always made me *tired* to deal with.

    2. Nicole @6 raises another . . . not a peeve, so much as an ongoing perplexity of mine: “that particular io9 writer has a particular, blind, and endless affinity for Speed Racer.” Folks get it in their head that Speed Racer is AWESOME (or that Jehovah created the earth and all its stratigraphy in six days, etc.), and therefore (illogically) *anyone* who says *anything* that casts doubts upon *anything* associated with The Beatific Speed Racer, Of Whom Nothing Ill May Be Uttered — well, let’s get the vat of oil boiling, what?

    The worst case of the latter I’ve ever experienced was on a baseball discussion board: There was a Yankees fanatic who would not hear a word spoken against Derek Jeter, ever, under any heading. You could not say, “Well, there are some shortstops in the league who have better hair than Jeter” without starting a holy war. (Heaven help you if you questioned his *defense*.) The most painful part was that the board was otherwise loaded with thoughtful types who would, metaphorically, look at Speed Racer’s box office numbers — actual, y’know, facts ‘n’ stuff — and try to break down the issue analytically. Nope, not on Mr. Yankee Fan’s watch. Again with the making-me-tired thing.

    Anyway, I liked your take on the film, and especially the image of the W. brothers sitting in a secluded room thinking, “What the f— do we do now?”

  15. On most sites that allow comments, I can’t stand to read them (The Whatever being an obvious exception).

  16. San Dimas High School rules

    Clearly, you are a little confused. I believe you meant to say that Charter Oak High School Rules.

    There. Isn’t that better now?

  17. Tom – It should be obvious that Charter Oak has nowhere NEAR the vampire to human ratio necessary to put forth a truly competitive team. Suck on that!

  18. Yeaaaah… unfortunately I’ve noted that that particular io9 writer has a particular, blind, and endless affinity for Speed Racer, and somehow I suspect the link dumped a similar set of people on the article.

    Ummm, can you explain that? A blind, endless affinity for Speed Racer? I see five articles about Speed Racer on i09, four of which are hers. One asks what would make it better than the Matrix, another says she saw the movie and liked it, a third asks if he’s gay and the fourth is the link to Scalzi’s article. The only article she didn’t write is the one about the original show.

    I mean, I’m far from i09’s biggest fan, as it seems like a lot of their articles are simply attempts to ruffle fanboy feathers in pointless debates…but I don’t see some mindless fangirl agenda here. Any more than I do Iron Man, Doctor Who or a host of other properties they cover. Did I miss something?

  19. I completely disagree with you. Sausage links should never be followed by anything. As a way to cap off a meal, they’re great, especially dipped in the leftover syrup from the pancakes.

  20. io9 has its good points and bad points, like any sort of single-subject blog.

  21. I would argue that io9 is not “any sort” of single-subject blog. It is a very specific sort, one that encourages facile entries and (more than the average number of) mindless responses. I bounce off it just as hard as I bounce off of the other Gawker Media sites, and for all the same reasons.