Casaubon's Book

On Comments

I’ve noticed that the comments have been kind of nasty lately around here, and I just wanted to remind everyone of my comment policy. The major part of it can be summed up as “please make an effort not to be a complete jerk.” Look, I know we all get angry sometimes and say what we oughtn’t – me too. But for the most part I expect you to keep such incidents to a comparative minimum, say what you oughtn’t fairly creatively, without resorting to obvious expletive, and confine your insults, if you must offer them, to me. That is, within reason you are free to call me a jerk or an idiot or whatever, although again, greater imagination is always rewarded. I figure this is part of the deal with blogging – you open yourself up to, let’s just call it, the free flow of debate. That doesn’t mean I’ll tolerate everything, but for the most part, you can say what you like about me – I’m a big girl.

But I don’t think that merely commenting on a blog – even commenting regularly – represents the same kind of opening yourself up to attack that blogging does. So where I do draw the line is in the kind of nasty personal attacks that have occurred *between* readers lately. If you can’t make your point without name calling your fellow commenters, you won’t be permitted to make it. I don’t mind fierce argument, or passion, but keep the personal attacks out of it – or save them for when I say something stupid ;-).



  1. #1 Brad K.
    July 19, 2010


    On (about keeping draft horses), I recommend “talk about the horses, not the visitors to the site.”

    Gossipy comments – talking about people – turn the focus from ideas and growth to defensiveness and social positions, and get divisive, too. I consider “gossip” to be one of the true social evils.

    I hope you get the change in comments you are looking for. The words we use, the comments we make and the choices we make on what and how to share – all define and change how we think, and affect who we are. Harsh words cannot be recalled, and they define us to ourselves and others.

    Blessed be.

  2. #2 Eric Smith
    July 19, 2010

    Thanks so much for the reminder! I love the passion that your readers bring to the blog but I detest the infantile name calling that sometimes pops up.

    When people get defensive – there isn’t room for good conversation and exploration of differing viewpoints, just sucking it in or blowing it up.


  3. #3 Art
    July 19, 2010

    Could you, perhaps edited to keep it short and PG, show a particularly egregious example or two?

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