I have been engaged on the internet for a long time. I’m no erudite n00b who is shocked by how wonderfully, brilliantly, disgustingly horrible this space can be.
Despite that I have always maintained an open comment policy. If you weren’t going on a fag/nigger/cunt rant (I don’t abide by those) or trying to sell me and my readers on a free iPad or a SugarDaddy website then I approved the comment.
Of late, however, that has not served well my purpose for this space.
And that purpose is to dialogue with people who are genuinely interested in the ideas I put forth here. Note, they don’t have to agree but they do have to be engaged with my ACTUAL idea, not the idea they misread or want me to have made or imagined a green space alien made. I’m happy to disagree with people. My cardinal sin isn’t disagreement but boredom. As such, I’m often at odds with people I like, love even, and respect immensely. But I’m never bored.
Red herrings bore me.
Logical fallacies derail and bore me.
Weird asides that seem to be about one’s personal issues that are best worked out with professional help are not conducive to what we do here.
So, until they devise a logical fallacy captcha I am going to experiment with NOT automatically approving all spam-free comments.
Comments are welcome and invited. However, like my friend Douglas I think comments become part of the post:
Comments become attachments to the post itself. I think you’re justified in insisting that they attempt to add constructively.I do believe (contrary to what Crooked Timber’s comments policy infamously states) that a concept of censorship does apply but that only means that you shouldn’t try to skew the narrative by selectively deleting opposing points of view. IMO you can insist on quite a strong criterion of *relevance* to the post they’re attaching their comment to.
So, comments should engage the actual content. They should be relevant. If you want to tell me I’m stupid (or, brilliant!) email me, don’t do it passively aggressively in the comments.
Hopefully it will help my blood pressure and encourage other readers to engage more often, more thoughtfully knowing they are safe to disagree without being flamed or bludgeoned with random asides.
We’ll see how it goes.