Comment Policy

Everybody needs rules to follow.  I will make all effort to ensure that I enforce the rules fairly and without prejudice.

  1. Try to stay on topic.  It is easy to get caught up in side issues.  Since a lot of my posts are going to be side issues themselves, we’ll quickly end up missing the point if we diverge too much.  I will give fair warning before taking any action.
  2. Make points, don’t score points.  Throwing in a zinger here and there is fine and makes for lively discussion, but comments should focus on addressing the topic.  Likewise, holier-than-thou comments about politeness are disfavoured.  Be creative, but don’t use insults or politeness as a crutch for discussion.  Violations of this rule are less likely to recive advance notice before action is taken.
  3. Make good points, not the last point.  Arguments aren’t won by who makes the last point.  Don’t keep repeating the same point over and over – if they didn’t get the point the first five times, odds are they won’t get it the 6th time.  I reserve the right to halt a discussion and trim it back to the last good point made if the discussion devolves into an attempt to get in the last word.
  4. Grammar isn’t the point.  We all make typos – or is that typoes?  As long as the person is communicating clearly, don’t mock minor mistakes.  Exception: polite corrections may be necessary for finding specific information – and yes, I do expect politeness under these circumstances.  If a person is not communicating clearly, ask politely for a clarification.  Note: logical fallacies do not fall under this rule.  Comments that serve solely to mock these minor mistakes are subject to immediate action without prior warning.
  5. If you think I’m the one missing the point, let me know.  The quickest way to earn my respect is to successfully argue against a position I have taken.  I don’t have perfect knowledge, and I do make mistakes.  Agreement with me does not grant special privileges, and disagreement does not cause prejudice.  I spend enough time trying to keep my ego within the confines of my skull – I have no need for others to feed it.
  6. Admit your mistakes.  That’s the next quickest way to earn my respect.  On the other hand, I reserve the right to mock you if you refuse to admit a mistake or try to blame it on others.  Laziness is not an excuse.
  7. Back up your points with sources.  Bald assertations are not very convincing.  I allow a large number of links in comments so that you can back up your statements; take advantage of that.  On the other hand, don’t get bogged down in overdocumenting minor details and side issues.
  8. No spam.  No warnings.
  9. Don’t blogwhore.  If you want to direct attention to something you have written on the topic being discussed, at least give a brief synopsis or just use trackbacks.  In other words, add something of substance to my blog if you want the free advertisement.
  10. No sockpuppets.  That means that I will not allow people to stage fake arguments by adopting multiple identities.  Occasional use of a second identity for comedic purpose (see Lenny’s Pizza Boy at Panda’s Thumb) is permitted.  Additionally, if you actually manage to reach the point where I have to censure you, the use of alternate identitities (including requesting other people to act for you) in attempt to avoid censure will result in harsher penalties.
  11. This blog is the cyber equivalent of my front lawn.  Anyone passing by can listen in to the conversation, and they can say whatever they want on public property or their own private space, but I reserve the right to prevent troublemakers from stepping in to the blog itself via temporary or permanent ban.  The First Amendment only applies to public speech – all speech made here is private, and my speech is the only protected speech on the blog.  Hopefully I will never need to invoke this rule.  As a corollary, I have zero tolerance for suppression of protected speech.  Any advocation of Denial-of-Service attacks or the like will be treated with extreme prejudice, regardless of target.
  12. The meta-rule.  I reserve the right to add, delete, or change these rules at any time as I see fit.  I will try to give warning of changes as they occur.
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One Response to “Comment Policy”

  1. kaysy Says:

    Great Website!


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