Comment policy

This is my site, and one of the facilities I provide is a signal to noise ratio. You want unmoderated discussion? Go and drown in usenet, which I abandoned years ago.

In other words, I reserve the right to trim or delete junk [*]. Naturally, since they are your words, you will not see them as junk and will instantly accuse me of censorship and membership of the Sekret Kabal (though you may misspell it). If you accusations are amusing, I’ll keep them and reply with mockery. If they are boring, I may delete them [*]. Although usually I’ll shuffle them off to the Burrow where they slumber quietly not interrupting the flow.

If you have loong things to say then you really need to put them into your own webspace and post a link as a comment, together with a brief summary. The world will either love you or (more likely) ignore you. Loong things that are on topic, and well referenced or well argued, will generally be kept. Loong things that are off topic, or which tendentiously rehash basic theory, won’t.

A corollary of the I-will-delete-trolling policy is that regular folk should avoid feeding the trolls.

Finally, a plea for politeness and civility, though it will appear strangely misplaced after the above. Obviously rude words are out; deliberately dismissive diminutives of other peoples names are discouraged; I know it irritates me when people do it to me, so I don’t see why anyone else should do it here.

[*] It has been pointed out to me that simply deleting comments means that those who reply to comment #17, or whatever, look silly when they all get out of order. Ah well, I’ll try to blank rather than delete tripe, but I don’t promise anything.

Even more finally: email addresses. The comment section has a portion for email address. Please use it, with a valid address. I won’t disclose your address. But if I delete your comment, I may well tell you why if you’ve given a valid address. In this world of throwaway gmail addresses that can do redirect, you have no excuse for not providing a valid address. Not providing a valid address is grounds for having your comment deleted, if I care.

I may experiment with http://whatever.scalzi.com/2013/01/21/the-kitten-setting/

History

Updated on: 2012/11/25

Comments

  1. #1 Gareth
    2008/08/16

    Nicer? Perhaps – but the signal, such as it is, is not (yet) overwhelmed by the noise from the cranks. Mostly, they just make me laugh. Especially when my favourite crank, the all-round lunatic Ken Ring shows up. He just doesn’t know when to stop…

  2. #2 John Mashey
    2008/08/17

    Yes, good, I wish more would do it.

    If one does not actively work to keep the S/N ratio OK, quality degrades, and sooner or later, knowledgable people don’t bother. That happened to many once-fine USENET newsgroups. While individual cranks may be amusing, it doesnt’ take very many to make a blog simply useless.

  3. #3 Eric Steig
    2008/08/19

    William,

    Just checking in on your site, on a bit of a whim. I was at BAS a month ago giving a talk, and they all miss you there….

    Best wishes!

    Eric

  4. #4 uBeR
    2008/08/20

    Do you always drown your readers in this much irony?

  5. #5 Alastair McDonald
    2008/08/24

    William,

    I suspect that your concern over comment policy was raised by a recent item in Bob Grumbine’s blog, More Grumbine Science.

    [Errr, no. It was caused by the comments you can't see because I deleted them -W]

    That item, I also suspect, was the result of a comment from me regarding his previous item Greenhouse Misnomer . I argued that a greenhouse does indeed operate in the same way as the atmosphere, pointing out that it was Horace de Saussure not Fourier who discovered that effect.

    [It was? Refs would be good. From the Fourier-translation stuff I recall: We owe to the celebrated voyager M. de Saussure an experiment which appears very important in illuminating this question. It consists of exposing to the rays of the sun a vase covered by one or more layers of well transparent glass, spaced at a certain distance. The interior of the vase is lined with a thick envelope of blackened cork, to receive and conserve heat. The heated air is sealed [contenu] in all parts, either in the box or in each interval between plates. Thermometers placed in the vase and the intervals mark the degree of heat acquired in each place. This instrument has been exposed to the sun near midday, and one saw, in diverse experiments, the thermometer of the vase reach 70, 80, 100, 110 degrees and beyond (octogesimal division[30.5]). Thermometers placed in the intervals acquired a lesser degree of heat, and which decreased from the depth of the box towards the outside. The effect of solar heat on the air trapped by the transparent envelopes has been observed long since. The apparatus which we have just described has the objective of taking the heat acquired to its maximum, and above all to compare the solar effect on a high mountain to that taking place on the plain beneath. This observation is principally remarkable for the sound [juste] and extensive consequences [results?] that the inventor has been able to make: it has been repeated several times at Paris and Edinburgh, and has given analogous results. I’m not sure that S applied this to the atmos at all -W]

    His reasons for rejecting my comment appear to be threefold: no references, I accused him of being a sceptic and or a denier, and that I told him he was wrong.

    The reason I didn’t add any references to my post was because Bob had only included one in his article. As you may know, that was to one of your web pages which contains a short paper by R.W. Wood showing that it is not that IR is “unable to penetrate the glass”, which warms a greenhouse. But this comment is not about trying to get my ideas out through your blog, when I have failed on Bob’s, so I won’t expand on my thoughts about that.

    I did not keep a copy of my comment, but I do not recall calling him a sceptic and or a denier. Moreover, since I was arguing that he was wrong, I tried to do that as diplomatically as possible. But I am no diplomat :-( and the fact that I was saying he was wrong seems to have been the main reason for the censorship.

    Anyway, the point of this comment is to agree with you, and say that as a result of that incident I have taken your advice, given to me when I posted to the then new RealClimate blog and repeated here, by creating my own blog. It is called ComplexClimate, and my first post is here.

    I am not sure how you will feel about this comment which publicises two rival blogs. However, there seems little point in my putting out my ideas on my own blog if no one knows it is there!

    TIA,

    Cheers, Alastair.

    [As I said, refs to blogs are fine, though spam to the Dark Side isn't. Good luck -W]

  6. #6 Robert Grumbine
    2008/08/28

    Sorry I hadn’t gotten around to doing anything with your note yet (nor another I received, which had the same problem). Nothing about whether you called me a skeptic or denier, which you didn’t.

    Problem was no support for your comment
    I’ve got some good news for you. Greenhouses do work the same way as the greenhouse effect. In fact it is the greenhouse effect which heats greenhouses.
    If you think Wood did the experiment wrong, or it doesn’t show what I thought it showed, something more than unsupported assertion is needed.

    Several people have told me that I was wrong and been posted. That alone is not reason for rejection or (in this case) delay. Saying so without support is.

    Interestingly (to me) the other person says I’m wrong, again without support, but says it’s for a different reason than you did. How should a reader consider between the two equally unsupported statements?

  7. #7 Apple iPod touch
    2010/02/25

    I argued that a greenhouse does indeed operate in the same way as the atmosphere, pointing out that it was Horace de Saussure not Fourier who discovered that effect.

  8. #8 Edward Green
    2010/10/30

    We want to hear from you and encourage comments, critiques, questions and suggestions. We ask that you simply stay on topic, respect other people’s opinions, avoid profanity, offensive statements, illegal content and anything else that might violate our standard terms and conditions… blah, blah…everyone knows it (though no one reads!), but no one follows these rules( just an interesting video on the topic http://www.tubehome.com/watch/first-comment )))

  9. #9 Boca Resort Wedding
    2011/01/30

    Every blog should have a cool comment policy regulator. Like the wordpress’s akismet and stuff like that. Why would we need one when all these comments really came from our very brilliant thoughts. :)

  10. #10 JBL
    2011/07/19

    Does your comment policy also forbid commercial link-spam, as in the posts 7 and 9 above?

    [Thanks. Unfortunately mt make sit irritatingly tedious to go back and find old comments, so I'll leave them now -W]

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