Thanks, everybody, for trying out the new World Table comment system. I can relate to the frustrations some of you are registering. Thanks also to Jack Donaldson of World Table for commenting on the various threads. We should rate him as “helpful,” “strongly agree.” He wrote me an e-mail with the subject “Wow! Loving your community!” That shows a great attitude, given how many of you were “rating” his system rather poorly, but he is right to be impressed with your thoughtfulness and your high level of discourse. He said this: “Great feedback coming in so far. I’ve been in the thread answering people’s questions this morning. So far, most everything mentioned is in the works, but we are feeling the pressure, having heard a ton of feedback from your folks.” We’ll see what happens with all of this.
Anyway, one larger point was raised that deserves discussion in itself. Is this attempt to create a climate of civility by means of an algorithm part of the same syndrome that has given us politically correct speech codes, trigger warnings, and the hypersensitivity to being offended that shuts down the freedom of speech? The syndrome that we have mocked and criticized on this very blog? Do we have such thin skins that we need to be protected from other commenters, lest our feelings be hurt?
I’d like to hear what you think about this, but I think there is a difference in what this new comment system is trying to do, which I will explain after the jump. [Read more...]