Some folks have asked about a comment policy. Let’s keep it simple:
1. Don’t be a jerk. This ought to be self-explanatory, but there is a point at which conversation, even energetic conversation or expressing strong disagreements, crosses into just plain being a jerk. Don’t go there, k? Be respectful, even if you disagree with me or another commenter. And if you are a jerk, you’ll get a warning and/or a block.
2. Don’t have an agenda. Internet comments suffer from a terrible malady of agenda-pushing and axe-grinding. The post or other comments are often completely misinterpreted/disregarded because they are merely props for the agenda. If you take this tack, again, warning and/or block.
3. Stay on topic. This is closely connected to #2, but the most important part of fruitful conversation in this context is not veering off into all kinds of tangents. Aim to talk to, not at, and definitely not past. And talk about the subject at hand, for the love! Good rule of thumb: if nothing from the actual article you’re commenting on is in your comment, you’re not staying on topic. Result: warning and/or block.
Now, let’s have some good conversations, readers!