Comment Policy

Readers can submit comments to new posts on this blog within 180 days (approximately six months) of their publication, after which time comments close. All comments on this blog are also moderated and may not receive approval for any of the following reasons (moderation can take anywhere from 1-7 days, depending on my schedule):

1. Comments must be relevant to the post. Comments that are not relevant may not receive approval and, likewise, discussion threads that evolve to becoming off topic will be concluded once they extend beyond the scope of the original post.

2. Comments must be respectful. Any comment that shows disrespect towards me or another commenter may not receive approval. Likewise, any comment that is intolerant towards race, gender, or sexual orientation will immediately not receive approval.

3. This blog is not an ad service. If all you post are links to other websites without any meaningful contribution of your own, your comment may not receive approval.

4. No sockpuppets. If you post multiple comments under the same article, please do not change your name or email address in subsequent comments. It is important for me and other readers to know that you are the same person. Suspected attempts at sockpuppeting may not receive approval.

5. Comments must be substantive. If all you post is a complaint that contains no substantive points, or make a prayer notification that basically just boils down to the statement that you will pray for me because I do not belong to your religion, etc., your comment may not receive approval.

[Likewise, if all you do is post a brief complaint with no substantive points, and then try to post a longer comment after someone calls you out on it, your attempt to save face may not receive approval. See examples of this kind of behavior here and here. Either post a substantive comment the first time around, or do not post one at all.]

6. Comments must be organized and coherent. If I have to spend a considerable amount of time sorting through the formatting or making sense of a poorly stated and scattered argument, I may not approve the comment to avoid the tedium.

[For example, while quoting previous comments is certainly acceptable and useful in certain instances, comments whose style is simply to quote a couple sentences of text, raise a few complaints, and then to quote another couple of sentences and complain, are discouraged. These comments after one or two replies degenerate into scattered and tangential writing that becomes tedious to read and difficult for outside readers to see what is being discussed. For an example of this type of discouraged “quote and complain” comment style, see here. Instead, try to formulate your comments into organized paragraphs of your own words that discuss your main points in a clear fashion.]

7. Comments should be limited in length. You have a life, I have a life, and my readers have lives. Long-winded or Gish Gallop comments that are too long to read or respond to may not receive approval. As a general recommendation, please restrict comments to being about 750 words. Likewise, if you post multiple comments at the same time, the same range applies, so that your combined comments (not just each individual comment) should be about 750 words. If you have something more to say, say it on your own blog.

[An exception to this rule is, if I have posted a critical review of a book, article, or blog post that you have authored, you may post a longer response than what is prescribed above, if it is necessary to address the points that I have raised. This is an exception allowed only for the direct author, not for fans of his or her work.]

8. Arguing ad nauseam is nauseating. If a discussion thread continues to drag on only nitpicking minutia, raising red herrings, or dragging out points with no fathomable end, future comments may not receive approval. I reserve the right to conclude any thread that I feel has lost its value in contributing to the subject. This is, after all, my blog.