Rules for Comments

I have received hits by the thousand this weekend that I did not expect because of two very different posts. I am posting some rules for comments and will eventually create a page for the rules. I have tried to write these rules without getting anyone upset and have tried to avoid an overly harsh tone.

I aspire to an informed discussion that stays on topic as much as possible. I like comments that clarify the ideas, correct details, and offer important parallels. I also like comments that discuss the application of an idea to life.

Also since many of you have just showed up after three months, feel free to give substantive comments to older posts. I am still engaged with most of these topics.

First, I like the quote from Eleanor Roosevelt that goes like this: Great minds discuss ideas. Average minds discuss events. Small minds discuss people. So please comment on the ideas.

Second, I have little tolerance for basic questions: if you could answer your question with a quick trip to Wikipedia, a Google search, Stanford Encyclopedia of philosophy, or opening the Mishneh Berurah, then do so. I am not teaching a class here.

Third, the blog assumes that you read academic works, social theory, and Jewish texts. If you’re not an insider to the various discourses we participate in and you’re still interested in the topic, figure out a way to become more of an insider.

Fourth, no comments with an overly harsh tone, snark, or condescension to major authors. And no snappy reactions to the title of a post that has little to do with the content of the post.

Fifth, do not parachute in with a personal agenda or think that this is another place for  graffiti tagging with your 1 millionth comment of your personal view of the world. If you want a venue with unrestricted free speech where you can comment indefinitely and be cherished for the unique intellectual snowflake you undoubtedly are, then you definitely shouldn’t comment. (I admit this one is a bit harsh; I got caught in the string of similes.)

I allow comments in the hope that reader input will spur thinking in interesting directions. Answering basic questions or fielding snarky comments do not stimulate thinking.

If you find that the blog posts have spurred your thinking and believe you are able to return the favor in some way, then you should definitely comment.

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