I used to have a comments policy that was all about the reader and what they should and shouldn’t do when they come to my page. But let’s be honest — it’s not you, it’s me. Sometimes I just don’t have the emotional energy for a certain kind of interaction. You’re entitled to your beliefs, your anger, your low opinion of me, perhaps your dogged determination to get to the truth — whatever it is that finally caused us to part ways. I make no claim that I will be somehow “fair” in deciding to delete a comment or ban a commenter. Which I hope is a relief for you — it certainly is for me. As owner and moderator of the blog, I obey no law except my own sense of what I’m willing to put up with in a given moment — a sense that is necessarily inconsistent, partial, and unwise.
The downside of this is that I’m not setting out clear rules. But that’s because I don’t know what they would be. I can’t give you a formula for getting along with people. Between free people, interactions are negotiated through behavior, and each person always reserves the right to withdraw. Online, that involves the right to end the conversation. Still, if I could give one piece of advice it would be this: like most people, I am basically wired for what game theorists call “generous tit-for-tat.” When people are polite to me and approach me in good faith, I’m pretty likely to do the same, allowing some leeway for mistakes, miscommunication, and human frailty. When people are dicks, or even just if I perceive them as dicks, I’m probably going to opt out at some point.
That’s all I got. I welcome your comments, but I am human.