I have tried to write these rules without getting anyone upset and have tried to avoid an overly harsh tone.
first, Due to recent events of phony names, comments will no longer be allowed from an unknown email or IP addresses. You can remain with an anonymous screen name such as EJ or IH, but you need a verifiable email and IP addresses corresponding to a person known on the web. No more malinator email accounts and no phony emails. I will not place an ID program on the blog. Just give me an email that I can google to verify with a matching IP. (I understand if you have a separate IP for home and work.) If you need to explain yourself, then do it in the line for URL. I already have a stable IP address and email for many of my long time commentors but for those whom I don’t, you will need to start using one. Don’t take it personally.
Second, I aspire to an informed discussion preferably academic 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. However, I view the blog as my possession, my home. I do not owe the random reader entrance or participation. If you dont like what you read, then this is just not the place for you to hang out.
Third, 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. If your comment is not a discussion of an idea then make sure it contributes to the discussion.
Fourth, 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.
Fifth, 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. Posts should at least be informed by relevant scholarship; claims about thinkers and texts should be verifiable through reference to primary texts or refereed scholarly sources.
Sixth, 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.
Seventh, do not parachute in with a personal agenda or think that this is another place for graffiti tagging with your 1 millionth comment displaying 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 here. (I admit this one is a bit harsh; I got caught in the string of similes.)
Eighth, please dont show up with lists of articles from Rambi or well known Torah journals. Add to the discussion not to trading names of articles.
Ninth, try to avoid self-advertising and links. I have WordPress set to limit links in order to keep out as much spam as possible.
I allow comments in the hope that reader input will spur thinking in interesting directions. If your comment does not add to the intellectual discussion then this is not the place.
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.