Archive for June 30th, 2012

New Blog Comment Rules

One problem in this country is that political discourse has become hyper partisan and personalized.   Discussions are to yield insight and to often they become personalized and create more noise than light.

Therefore comments on this blog must follow a few rules:

1) Ad hominems are not tolerated.   An attack on the person (name calling, ridicule, labeling, etc.) is a logical fallacy.   One can say “your argument is absurd” or “you have ignored my points and pretended I didn’t make them, which indicates intellectual dishonesty.”   So it’s not like personal criticism is not allowed – heated debates are fine.   But when it becomes name calling and personal attacks, it’s not worthy of this blog.

2) Keep comments cogent and clear.   Long, verbose rambling comments create a kind of comment pollution that hides shorter, thoughtful comments and takes over a discussion.

3)  There will be less patience with anonymous posters than those who put their own identity out there and take responsibility for what they write.   While I recognize and respect the legitimate need/desire of some to remain anonymous, for a minority that anonymity makes it easier to undertake behaviors they would not engage in if their names were attached to their words or actions.

4) Repetitive posting is strongly discouraged – discussion involves an evolution of an argument, not simply restatements.

5) I will take these rules seriously.    I’ve contributed to the breakdown of discussions by allowing myself to be egged on by someone with no desire for a real conversation.   Given that, I do not plan any bans on anyone.   If the above rules are adhered to, everyone can say their piece.

Walter Lippmann noted that democracy requires opposition, and that people listen to each other.    That’s what I hope my commentators will do, and what I aspire to do.