Here is my policy for accepting comments that you make on this blog:
1. I moderate all comments. I accept comments for one or more of the following reasons:
– I value a dialectic approach to learning. So I appreciate critical comments, and I will respond to them. If I don’t write a specific response, that means my response is “Hmm. Interesting point.”
– I value an incisive mind. I get excited when someone is not merely critical, but engages an argument I make and skillfully picks it apart. I definitely respond to those comments.
– I consider comments to be a great way to help me communicate better. In other words, by commenting on my blog, you help me see my own message more clearly. Sometimes I accept a comment just because it gives me an invitation to riff or rant on something that I care about.
– A non-critical, supportive comment is cool, too. I prefer comments that add some new evidence or analysis to the discussion.
– It is okay to challenge my competence or ethics, unless you offer no evidence or argument to back up your challenge.
2. I will probably not approve a comment that merely insults me or dismisses my arguments without engaging them. I may make an exception if I feel like ridiculing you, but on my better days I feel that publicly humiliating a crazy person isn’t the best strategy for making the world a better place.
3. If I don’t publish your comment, feel free to ask me why. I promise to explain.
4. I will not edit or redact a comment that you submit unless I have your permission, with the possible exception of fixing an obvious typo. I may interpolate my replies, however. If you don’t like that, you can email me privately to complain, or you can post your comments about my stuff on your own blog, and then you’ll have total control.
5. If you want to comment on a reply I made to one of your comments, consider replying to me privately, so we can have the whole conversation. Then when you are ready to make your follow-up comment, I’m more likely to approve it.
6. By publishing your comment, I am implicitly endorsing it as potentially useful to the audience of this blog.
7. If you want me to remove or modify an earlier comment of yours, I will do so.
8. You retain copyright over your comments.