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Someone has asked me why I don’t permit comments on my blog.  I answered that it was because I didn’t want the headache of moderating the comments.  I’m only one person and I do have a life apart from this blog, time and energy being in my life, as in your own, a limited quantity.  On the other hand, it isn’t as if this blog gets an undue amount of traffic, but it does get a regular if modest amount, so it’s unlikely that I’ll have to spend all that much time trying to get the occasional troll to behave or to just go and play somewhere else.

So . . . I’ve decided to open up the comments.  But there will be rules of propriety and if in my fallible estimation a comment should fall outside the bounds of what I consider to be civil commentary, it will be disappeared without mercy or recourse to any appeal.  So be nice, and I’ll be nice.

So what are the rules?

A)

Never attack the man or the woman — no matter how clueless he or she may appear to be in your regard, and that applies to me especially, since I often am clueless about a lot of things — but do feel free to attack his or her argument or to correct his or her lapses of ‘fact.’

B)

Try to stay on topic. Take your cue from the subject matter of the post above the comment section in which you will be commenting.  If you stray too far or too often, you should expect to be deleted without my having to apologize or justify the annihilations of your lapses into woolgathering.

C)

Back up what you say with sources. Groundless claims or accusations about what someone may have said or done will disappear, never to be heard from again, at least not in these specific parts of the blogosphere.

I can’t think of anything else for the time being, but if you have any suggestions about how comments should be moderated so as to create a pleasant and thought provoking atmosphere, to not intimidate people who would otherwise comment or to not abuse people who may have – please, don’t be shy, serve them up below, and if they are sufficiently compelling, I’ll make them part of this blog’s policy on “comments.”

And keep in mind that I am only one person and, no, I’m not always going to be around to be doing the housekeeping that permitting comments will inevitably entail.  Things that will go into “moderation” may not get dealt with as immediately as you would like.  So let me apologize for that, right here and right now.  I’ll try to get around to it in as timely a manner as I can.

Now I’m going to go and see how I can set up the blog to permit comments and automate some appropriate filters.  So please, a bit of patience over the next few days or so, as I try to sort myself out over this.  I’m old(er) than I’d like to be and also a lot more obtuse.

Be nice, play nice.  Or, as they used to say up north, “fuck off.” (Yes, colorful language is permitted, so long as it’s not nasty or overdone.  You know perfectly well what I mean.)

–Norm

P.S. Trolls get one, not two, but only one chance.  Merely a whiff of suspicion will be your exile. It’s not that I don’t like games, I do.  It’s that I’d rather spend my time learning something than whittling it away trying to be wittier than I actually am, which isn’t “very,” my children and others have often assured me, and would just be, in any case, an exercise in self-embarrassment, if not for you, than for me, and masochism is really not my strong suit.