Reimagined and Revamped. Fighting the spread of nonsense often feels like a Sisyphean task. However, the joy is in making the information available, not the hope of conversion.

Tech's Comments Guidelines

Its sad that I even have to write a post like this. But I guess all blogs are prone to trolls, even mine.

For the most part of the last three years, I have been pretty free of dorks who just write useless blather. I have been pretty free of spam too. It was nice. But those days are over I guess.

I'll probably find a better comment system than the one blogger provides, but until I do and can specifically ban a trolls IP, I have to put on moderation, which is more work for me, and annoying for you. Let's all repeat after me, "Thank you, stupid trolls"

OK, for the future however, I'd like to get some foundation here for commenting. This blog is increasing in its readership, but its still not anywhere near any of the more popular blogs like PZ or Skeptico. I probably won't have to institute strict rules, but here are the basics:


Short notes:
If you are just going to write a short note, without debatable claims, then I don't really see any limitations to impose. If you want to tell me you liked a post, or hated a post, I'm all for it. I would encourage you to do this so I can have some feedback as to what I am doing right to entertain and inform, and what I am doing wrong.

Disputing Claims
If you disagree with me, or think I left out something glaringly stupid, or something like that, please tell me! I blog, read blogs, and write comments to learn. No where in this entire blog will you find me saying that I am 100% certainly right. I'm happy to change my mind about something, but I am not willing to do it based on fallacious arguments.

Avoid logical Fallacies.
I dislike responding by saying "Strawman, argument from ignorance, poisoning the well, ad hominem..." It boring and a waste of everyone's time. However, I do recognize that it actually takes some time to realize that you are making them, or even detecting them in other people. I ask that you put in your best effort. Here is a list of common ones, and why they are fallacies.

Name Calling
Also boring. I don't care if you think I'm an asshole. I care if you think I am wrong, and more importantly, why you think I am wrong.

Support your claims
If you think I am wrong, guess what, I don't believe you. I would not have written the post if I thought I was wrong. If you want to show me how I am wrong, you need to be using reasoned arguments and provide links to information that backs up what you said. I will change my mind on a subject with referenced data and logical reasoning. If you blather on this blog without supporting your claims, I'm simply going to ignore or delete you.

None of this is to say that if you type a single, short unsupported statement that I'm gonna go all medeival on your ass. But if you actually want to make your point, spend the extra time to back up what you say. Further, I encourage you to coment and truly enjoy calm reasoned debate, its one of the reasons I do this. So don't feel shy, don't feel like any innaccuracy is going to release the fllodgates of hell.

Other folks have pretty good commenting guidelines. Instead of duplicating all that here, I encourage you to read them to get a feel for what I find important.

Update: I have installed IntenseDebate. Mostly because I am lazy and didn't want to spend a lot of time looking for a tool that gives me better power over my comments and VJack recommended it.

Please sign up and use it. I may go threaded if the chatter gets confusing, but for now, i'm leaving threaded comments off.

Update II: OK, looks like I got IntenseDebate to work. Hope you like it. Took me a while becuase of the way I post (using Livewriter) and my custom template. But after I got that worked out it looks like it is working ok.

8 comments:

On 2/21/09, 3:46 PM , Techskeptic said...

Err uh... i guess it will start working on the next new post.

 
On 2/22/09, 3:47 AM , Jason said...

Communist!

Anyways, looking forward to the IntenseDebate program. If it works well, I'll try it on my future site.

 
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