DATARAMA

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July 14, 2014

This site doesn't have a comment system. This isn't for technical reasons: Although Plutonium, being a static generator, doesn't in itself feature any neat way of supporting comments, it'd be easy enough to have it emit some Javascript that called out to some external comment server, like Isso or talkatv. No, I've deliberately opted out of having a comment system. There are several reasons for this.

First of all, a comment system turns any website into a discussion forum, and I have no particular desire to be a forum admin – in fact, I have a strong desire to not be one. The kind of discussions that spring up on tech/nerd websites tend to be incredibly negative, profoundly useless, and more about posturing than about anybody actually learning anything. I'd much rather be coding, or reading.

Second, comment systems invariably attract the attention of two particular types of entities that I want to minimize my dealings with: Raging assholes trying to get people worked up, and robots trying to sell penis enlargement potions.

Finally, when I know that I'm writing for a commentariat, I find that my writing changes, for the worse. I inevitably slide into defensive writing, full of hedges and absurd clarifications, but devoid of any interesting rhetorical devices or style that some deliberately uncharitable jerk might use to prove that I am the second coming of Stalin or something. I stop writing in order to explore or communicate ideas, instead focusing on not saying anything that could be interpreted as wrong. In essence, I start writing Academese.

I should probably note here that this shouldn't be interpreted as an attack on all comment systems. I use comment systems on various blogs and sites — yes, sometimes including the wretched hive of scum and villainy that is the Youtube comment section. My Facebook profile is public, for instance, and all my posts there allow unlimited commenting.

But my own site, for now, is an island of calm in the sea of madness.

If you think I'm Wrong

If you think I'm wrong about something and you want me to know how wrong I am, feel free to send me mail. If you'd like to debate me publicly, I'd be more than willing to work something out.

 
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