I got McDonald's today. Fourth time in three days... these Monopoly promotions have a funny way of making me buy food that I would normally have a high distaste for. Those fries aren't made out of potatoes, I swear. Of course, the hamburger isn't really made out of cow meat either, and the chicken nuggets are probably processed plastic... Actually, everything but the fries are tasty, but I digress.

On the outside of my McDonald's bag today was the relatively new advertising motif featuring the annoying "I'm lovin' it" tagline. God, seeing it written makes the three note jingle run through my brain. Anyways, mine had a cute little girl getting her hair brushed by a woman who was ostensibly her mother.

"Look mom, I'm just like you...
    ...I'm lovin' it"

My first reaction was a snide comment: "Yeah, you're gonna get fat like her too!" Of course, neither the mother nor the daughter was fat, nor Destiny's Child on the other side (I wish I was joking about Destiny's Child getting pulled for this stuff).

Of course, that was also the exact moment that I realized that... "I'm eatin' it"

After the ensuing crying fest ceased, I opened my bag and proceeded to scarf down some fries and the sandwich, all the while not noticing one crucial detail: there were no Monopoly pieces on my Diet Coke (yes, very funny, I ordered a Diet coke with my large-sized meal) or the sandwich box, both of which were advertised to have Monopoly pieces. I was outraged. For the first time in three days, I realized just what I had put into (into, and not through, this was McDonald's, not Taco Bell) my body to have a tiny shot at winning something I could most likely pay for with the cash I was wasting on the food, not to mention the medical bills. Realization turned to shock, which turned to anger, which turned to denial, which turned to acceptance, which finally coalesced into a food-induced haze of sluggishness.

Could it get any worse? Well, if I was a bit more proactive, I would have driven straight back to McDonald's and demanded an explanation. That would probably net me my deserved monopoly coupons, but would also likely put me straight on the downward spiral back to eating McDonald's again. Thus, by being lazy, I am saving myself more gluttony and heartbreak.

I'm cured. I'm not eating McDonald's again during this promotion, and probably not for a while. Thankfully, that still leaves plenty of other fast food options open; as I'm headed to New York this weekend, White Castle is in my future. It's probably a blessing that they don't have any of those around here... I'd be there all the time.

In which Justin ruminates about quality, length, and the state of e2.

There was discussion in the catbox today about scaring off new members. It seems that some of us disagree about everything and anything when it comes to quality. Is it okay for one node to add to another or should the new node incorporate the old node's information and supersede it? How does this change when the author of the original node is an active user (logged in within the last month)? Why do we, the voting community, seem to think that length is equitable to quality, or at least that brevity is evidence of a lack thereof?

This is my take on the matter. If a noder is active, and you think you can add to the node then go ahead. It isn't my goal to take nodes away from people that are actively contributing to the database. If the author of the node you want to supersede has been gone for over a month, feel free to supersede it and request a nuke. If your addition to a node only constitutes a sentence, /msg the author and ask him or her to add it. If you don't get a reply or if nothing happens, then try to supersede the old one. The point here is "give the original author a chance."

If you've genuinely got something to add then do it. It shouldn't matter if you're adding one paragraph or seven. Meaningful information is meaningful information, and we as voters seem to have lost sight of that. Short writeups are downvoted with reckless abandon. A short writeup doesn't mean that the subject wasn't well researched and well written. It could just mean that the subject can be adequately covered in only a paragraph's worth of text.

So next time your finger hovers above that minus sign, ask yourself why. Is it because the writeup is short? If so, decide if it adds to the node and is well-written. If so, either throw it an upvote or leave it alone. If not, consider messaging the author with tips for improvement or a link to the FAQ or the university. We're just going to keep scaring off new noders if our only feedback to their initial efforts is that minus sign and a collection of insulting softlinks.

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