5

This seems counterintuitive to the vertical nature of Stack Exchange itself, but I cannot manage to browse to meta.stackexchange.com: I get redirected to meta.stackoverflow.com, instead.

This is also despite the fact that these URLs resolve to separate IP addresses...

; <<>> DiG 9.7.3-P3 <<>> meta.stackexchange.com
meta.stackexchange.com. 3421    IN  A   64.34.80.165

; <<>> DiG 9.7.3-P3 <<>> meta.stackoverflow.com
meta.stackoverflow.com. 684 IN  A   64.34.119.12

Am I being dumb somehow, or is this "the way it is"? If so, why?

6

Yes, they're the same.

MSO was the first meta site to be introduced, before the per-site metas, and now functions as both the meta for SO, and as a sort of über-meta for the StackExchange network.

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12

At the moment, yes, MSE points to MSO. MSE used to be the support site for Stack Exchange 1.0 sites, but enough of those have been shut down that it no longer needed to exist. Meanwhile, as Stack Exchange evolved, MSO became the meta-site for the whole network (longer version). Jeff has said that it's only a matter of time before MSO gets renamed.

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