This blog is devoted to free, frank, and open discussion of issues relevant to the discipline, the profession, and civil society. We believe in and encourage free comment. Comments on this blog are not screened in advance and will appear as soon as you have passed Typepad's not-a-machine test.
We ask commenters to abide by the standard norms for intellectual debate: no irrelevant ad hominems, no hate speech, no deliberate derailing of the discussion, no excessive cursing, and so on. We reserve the right to delete comments that do not respect these norms. We may also ban commenters if we feel it necessary to preserve the quality of the discussion or if they are being unnecessarily aggressive, obtuse, or just plain annoying.
We allow anonymous and pseudonymous comments, except when they cloak personal attacks. In such cases, we delete the comment; repeat offenders are at some point banned altogether. Given that non-self-identified authors have our implied permission to post anonymously or pseudonymously, we will not permit other commenters to name, or otherwise reveal the identity of, anybody who has posted under the assumption of anonymity or pseudonymity. Any such comment will be deleted as soon as it is detected; repeated offenders may be banned altogether.
We encourage the use of real names, but we realize that some people have a legitimate need for anonymity or pseudonymity. We encourage the use of consistent pseudonyms, and consider sock-puppetry (use of multiple pseudonyms to give the appearance of debate or agreement) to be grounds for banning a commenter.
We also recognize that anonymity or pseudonymity places the commenter under the obligation to be prudent in the choice of language. Since it is often unfair to make personal criticisms under the cover of anonymity, we will hold anonymous or pseudonymous comments to a higher standard. It is to the advantage of such commenters to provide legitimate email addresses so that we can contact them in borderline cases. If we can't get in touch with you to discuss and / or clarify comments, we're much more likely to delete a borderline comment.
Original: 15 September 2010. Modified: 26 May 2011 / 22 November 2011 / 4 December 2011 / 19 December 2011