46

Meta Stack Exchange (which emerged from Meta Stack Overflow after the Stack Exchange network was spawned) is great; it gives you a chance to talk about the Stack Exchange network in a disconnected forum so that you don't have to break the fight club rules of talking about Stack Exchange sites on Stack Exchange sites, and can do so generically.

But what about the cases when you want to talk about Meta Stack Exchange? I would assume that the same rules apply in that you cannot talk about Meta on Meta. So where is a guy to go?

  • 24
    given a meta-level of n, the statement that discusses it is n+1, and this statement thus generalizes all depths of meta recursively within itself. Its a miracle I just didn't accidenty the universe with infinite meta multiplying by itself infinite numbers of times. – Kent Fredric Jun 29 '09 at 23:26
  • 3
    What kind of things do you want to talk about? You know you can break some recursion with tail calls - you implicitly replace your current frame with the next frame yielding practically the same level? – akarnokd Jul 13 '09 at 22:21
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    +1 You just caused a Stack Overflow of Stack Overflows. – Andrew Grimm Jul 31 '10 at 6:24
  • ok this might not be a serious comment but meta of meta itself will be leading to stackoverflow (never ending :) ). so i guess questions about meta should be there in Stackoverflow... – Umer Jan 19 '11 at 14:04
  • @Umer: See my answer Jun 29 '09 at 12:58. – Steve Powell Apr 28 '11 at 14:48
  • 1
    Infinite recursion leads to inception.... and stackoverflow – jasonleonhard Oct 30 '12 at 22:14
28

http://blag.xkcd.com/2008/01/14/robot9000-and-xkcd-signal-attacking-noise-in-chat/

The big problem we ran into, actually, was meta-discussion overwhelming the channel. Every new person wanted to speculate about the rules and their effect, and every violation was followed by a long postmortem. At first, we had a scoreboard showing who was the best at talking without violation, but this quickly turned into a competition, destroying actual chat. When we took down the scoreboard and banished meta-discussion of the channel to #meta-discussion, everything worked out nicely. (And, of course, for discussion of the concept of #meta-discussion people had to go to #meta-meta-discussion, and for chat about how silly that whole idea was, we created #meta-meta-meta-discussion …)

30

"Where do we go to discuss the Stack Exchange network?"

"Meta Stack Exchange."

"And to discuss that?"

"Meta meta Stack Exchange!"

"...And that?"

"Good god man it's metas all the way down!"

  • Yes, but where do I ask a question about how to ask a question about Meta Meta Meta Meta Stack Exchange? – Robert Columbia Jan 21 '17 at 1:23
18

meta can be called recursively, yielding meta-meta-meta-meta-meta-....

11

One meta level in any system is all you ever need for unbounded recursion. e.g., higher-order logic can be used to reason about higher-order-logic constructs as well as first-order logic.

meta.stackoverflow implies meta(.meta)*.stackoverflow

  • Hmm.... Late reply, but those "links" should be either formatted as "links" or code.. in my opinion. – stevefestl Sep 4 '17 at 12:41
3

When i first came to StackExchange sites, i assumed that http://stackexchange.com is a meta for its every site. I would really want it to be this all-encompassing meta with tags or categories like [ask-ubuntu] and [superuser] to navigate between sites. Currently http://stackexchange.com is useless for me with its "Top questions" from topics i have no idea about like Bible hermeneutics.

That is my solution.

-2

Well it's pretty obvious where THAT line of inquiry will go :P

I'd assume that any meta-level is allowed on meta.stackoverflow.com

-3

oh, come on -- meta-meta-SO is meta as well, therefore it belongs here as well. :-)

-3

Correct me if I'm wrong but there is no rule that you're not allowed to talk about Meta-StackOverflow on StackOverflow?

This would allow meta**(2n+1)-stackoverflow discussion here, and meta**(2n)-stackoverflow discussion on stackoverflow.

Loops are far more efficient than recursion and we avoid stack overflow, too!

  • By the way, the highlighting markup (underscores and asterisks) don't work in the dynamic preview the same way as in the post. This is annoying. – Steve Powell Jun 29 '09 at 13:00
  • It would be off-topic, though. – Joe Z. Dec 22 '12 at 21:38
-4

It would be possible for the developers to create an infinite chain of metas, each for discussion of the one hierarchically above it.

The problem that could be encountered here is on incredibly low levels, almost no moderation would exist. A way to combat this would be a mod-only page showing all threads in metas below x many metas, allowing all mostly-unused metas to be moderated.

Another solution would be an Out Of Community community, where one may discuss all communities (including OoC) and their metas. This would allow for meta discussion of all communities, including meta communities, and easy moderation without a separate page.

  • Your last paragraph perfectly describes the actual MSE site as it in fact exists, aside from the name. – Nathan Tuggy Jan 23 '17 at 5:03
  • Not exactly - I meant that the OOC site could be used to talk about itself. The question being asked here is essentially ‘Can one discuss MSE on MSE?’ - and if the answer is no, the OOC site would be different from MSE. – Theo C Jan 23 '17 at 7:24
  • My point was that, in point of fact, the answer is yes, and the described function of the OOC site is precisely the function MSE fulfills. There are any number of hypothetical possible designs that the network doesn't use, but proposing one that differs only in the most trivial of ways from what already exists is not really worthwhile. – Nathan Tuggy Jan 23 '17 at 7:32
  • Can I have a Meta OoC? Just kidding. – stevefestl Aug 23 '17 at 3:31

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