In comments on various recent posts, some of our faithful readers have responded to our policy on comments. Some have even taken the trouble to suggest to us what our comments policy should be, and some of these have indicated their intent to subvert the wishes we have expressed in clearly stating our policy.
We are, of course, grateful for the suggestions.
Our intent in allowing readers' comments to be placed directly on the site is to create a sort of Letters to the Editors section which would (1) be self-regulating and (2) allow a direct dialogue among our readers. The standards of conduct we have outlined in our comments policy are intended to foster an intelligent and refined dialogue on the ideas brought up on the main page. We hope that all readers will bear in mind that we want our comments section to be a dialogue, not a debate. That is our choice, and we hope that all readers will respect our wishes in this regard. Comity and good manners must reign, and although we would greatly dislike having to close out free commentary by our readers and institute a formal editorial process for such comments by requiring them to be submitted by email, the tone of the discussion here is more important to us than any other concern, including readership numbers.
We prefer to remain on the honor system in this matter. Specifically, we ask that readers whose comments are removed not resubmit the identical comment. Obviously our removal of a comment indicates our desire that it not be on the site, and to put it on again, unaltered, is a definite breach of trust. Such behavior, now that the request has been given, can be seen only as caddish and vile. We trust that all readers will accede to our wishes in sustaining the kind of dialogue we wish to present.
We appreciate your cooperation in attaining this goal.