- Be kind.
- Be curious.
- Be relevant.
- Don’t be evil.
- Don’t be an asshole.
- Don’t be annoying.
No Tolerance Policy
In the comments section, there is no interest in nor tolerance for giving voice to certain topics, attitudes, and behaviors; and with greatest emphasis on zero tolerance for intolerance, not to mention even less tolerance for bullshit (for example, a pet peeve is false equivalency; just don’t!). Discussion along such lines will only be allowed in terms of criticism, analysis, and understanding or otherwise in adding context and background. The naughty list (that will change over time) includes but is not limited to the following (in no particular order):
- Inegalitarianism, illiberalism, anti-democracy, unfreedom, anti-leftism, and privatization of the commons;
- Prejudice, bigotry, stereotyping, xenophobia, misogyny, anti-immigrant stances, hatefulness, and mean-spiritedness;
- Cruelty, violence, oppression, authoritarianism, social domination, sociopathy, psychopathy, sadism, narcissism, and Machiavellianism;
- Far right ideology, neo-imperialism, neo-colonialism, neo-conservatism, war-mongering, militarized policing, and police statism;
- Oligarchy, autocracy, plutocracy, kleptocracy, capitalist realism, neo-feudalism, neo/pseudo-liberalism, and social Darwinism;
- religious fundamentalism, theocracy, anti-Semitism, anti-Palestinianism, and sectarianism;
- Ethno-nationalism, fascism, Nazism, cultural Marxism, QAnon, and extremist conspiracy theory;
- Scapegoating, racism, race realism, racial supremacy, apartheid, eugenics, genetic determinism, and human biodiversity;
- Reactionary rhetoric, doublespeak, dog-whistle politics, corporate media narratives, ‘mainstream’ frames, and pushing the Overton window right;
- Groupthink, hyper-partisanship, lesser evilism, false equivalency, faux moderate centrism, elitism, and paternalism;
- Anti-intellectualism, scientific denialism, ideological dogmatism, lack of humility, willful ignorance, and unwillingness to listen;
- Excessive contrarianism, argumentativeness, criticalness, antagonism, divisiveness, aggression, and incendiary words;
- Trolling, trollish behavior, dishonest rhetoric, game-playing, off-topic comments, acting in bad faith, and reactionary co-opting from the left;
- Et cetera.
Expressing, defending, advocating, or sympathizing with any of these — particularly if blatant, egregious, and persistent — could result in an immediate deletion of comments and possibly a permanent ban. Prior to such actions taken, there may be no warning or explanation given. But, generally, this only applies to extreme cases. Benefit of the doubt will be offered. And no ill will is intended. The purpose is to create and maintain a positive atmosphere for relating well.
Despite what may appear as harshly restrictive prohibitions, there is plenty of room allowed for nuanced discussion. It’s not so much that entire topics are being silenced within and banished from respectable society but that only meaningful and moral dialogue is desired. The prohibitions, rather than absolute and unforgiving, are conditional and context-dependent. Their application will be determined case by case.
That is to say nothing is entirely out of bounds. The prohibitions are less about the topics themselves and more about how they are discussed. So, tread lightly. Besides disallowing bad behavior (e.g., trolling), it is primarily inegalitarianism, the reactionary, and such that is prohibited. Before commenting, simply ask yourself if your words in any way oppose, contradict, or conlict with the basic moral vision of this blog. Ask yourself if you are positively contributing or detracting from those positively contributing. If your intentions match the intentions of the blog, you should be fine.
Let there be no confusion and misunderstandng. If further explanation or clarification would be helpful, please ask. Or if any part of the comment policy seems morally wrong or unfair according to the blog’s stated values, make your case in the comment section below and do so with as few words as possible. This page is not meant for debate. Any decision made is final.
A General Message
Welcome! You have entered someone’s personal space. All commenters are here as guests and should treat this blog like visiting a close friend’s home. There is no reason to keep your guard up nor to treat others as suspect. Be respectful and use your best manners, but also relax and leave your problems at the door. If you do so, the host will treat you with hospitality and graciousness.
Diverse views and new information is welcomed and encouraged. Open debate and challenging positions are tolerated, within the above detailed constraints. Even direct disagreement and harsh criticism can be fine, up to a point. But easygoing discussion, friendly conversation, and fruitful dialogue is preferred. There are no debating points to be won. Truth can only be sought in collaboration, through shared understanding.
This blogging project is motivated by radical imagination and revolutionary vision. It is dedicated to intellecual inquiry, liberal-mindedness, and the public good. If you oppose those values and that worldview, if you are unable or unwilling to keep your mind open and change your views, if you can’t back your arguments with evidence and careful thought, if you lack goodwill and refuse to offer the benefit of the doubt to others, then you are in the wrong place — you are free to voice your opinions elsewhere, but not here.
At the most fundamental level, a moral impulse cannot be logically argued, cannot be scientifically proven. Attempting to do so would be pointless, frustrating, and unhelpful; and so debate on this level will not be allowed. One either shares a common moral attitude or not. The moral vision represented here is of fierce compassion, unrelenting and uncompromising, but specifically siding with the underdog, to speak truth to power, and to stand against oppression and injustice. It is hoped that others will join in this aspiration.
Keep in mind that no space will be given nor time wasted on pointless arguments over basic issues of fact, values, and principles. The territory of topics covered in this blog is immense, but the intention is narrow and focused in maintaining a holding space. Please respect this intention and respect others here who agree with this intention. Thanks in advance for your cooperation.