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This reminds me of the shelving cart at the library when I was in undergrad. It had a sign taped to it that said "I AM THE SHELVING CART" and I used to puzzle for entire afternoons over whether that sign had truth value.

Related humorous anecdote: I attended a conference and everyone put on name tags. I idly wondered whether name tags had truth value; someone replied with the rather snappy, "Yes, but only if they start with "Hello, My Name Is"."

Edit: I seem to be getting downvoted a lot today. Have I earned someone's animosity? Is there something wrong with a couple of brief, mildly entertaining anecdotes as a response to a post that consists entirely of a related cartoon? Help me out here.

Seems that anybody who talks about being downvoted gets upvoted.

That's my observation as well. Personally I feel the urge to downvote whenever someone complains about being downvoted. I haven't actually done so yet, mostly because I haven't managed to explain the sentiment to myself.

I don't think such comments should be downvoted if they're a geniune, non-whining attempt to find out what they're doing wrong so if it needs fixing they can fix it.

Thank you, MichaelHoward. You've made my day with a single sentence.

It's (probably) because you see it as (1) an attempt to play on people's sympathy for the underdog and get upvotes simply for having been downvoted, and (2) an attempt that's likely to work. So (1) you want to discourage such rhetorical trickery and (2) you want to undo the damage it does.

In many other fora with karma systems, I think that's entirely reasonable and correct. LW is (in my judgement) less afflicted than average with exploitative whining about being downvoted; perhaps the response is less appropriate here.

(The other thing about waah-I-was-downvoted complaints is that they divert discussion onto what's usually an irrelevant side topic. Like what's happening now; oops.)

I agree. I tend to downvote anyone complaining about upvotes or downvotes, as well as the entire discussion thread that ensues. But I am out of downvotes.

I didn't complain about the first three downvotes I got all in a row yesterday. While I didn't understand why they occurred, I figured the comments were such that it wasn't out of the question for someone to have an issue with all of them. But this one seemed inexplicable, and I wanted it to either go away or explain itself. If I'm actually doing something wrong, I want to know what it is so I can stop doing it deliberately instead of relying on eventual operant conditioning to kill the bad habits. If I'm not actually doing something wrong, then the downvote is unfair and it's kind of others to counteract it.

I tend to downvote posts complaining about being downvoted, not really to counteract "sympathy upvoting", just because it doesn't bring anything to the conversation.

It's true that there should be a way to get information as to "why a post was downvoted", and the only way to do so is to ask, which comes off as "complaining". I don't really see a good solution for this, maybe slashdot-like tags would be better.

In a somewhat similar vein, a friend of mine has this t-shirt (For anyone not hip to René Magritte, the text translates as "This is not a pipe").

I've tried to think of ways to make similarly confusing statements applied to objects without relying on references to "this" or "I" or such, but haven't found anything satisfying thus far. Certainly nothing with the same elegance as "'Yields falsehood when preceeded by its quotation' yields falsehood when preceeded by its quotation".

Reminds me of our old friend suicide rock.

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