Pessimist's Mailbox - Special Delivery Edition
I received the following email from a sender I'm keeping anonymous on purpose:
"Hey, didn't you say that you're going to get the comments back up? If so, when's going to happen?"
What I said was I would consider it. For me to consider making changes after last week's free-for-all in the comment thread requires more inspection than introspection.
I said that I would consider allowing comments for my posts again if conditions improved. I want to point out to you that if you read all of today's comment threads [as of post time] you will note something interesting.
Start reading. Use your back command to return to this page for the next thread.
Now we'll compare notes.
What I think you found on the comment threads was rational discourse.
I can't tell you what caused a serious lack of trolls, and there was no distracting personality clash when scout showed up. It may just be a coincidence, but my not allowing comments appears to be having a positive effect, especially on the conduct of commenters on the other threads. Only by continuing to follow this policy on my part can this hypothesis be tested.
As today's exemplary behavior is to be encouraged, I'm loathe to mess with what seems to be working. If this pattern holds, then - and only then - will I consider reversing the comment ban for my posts on a provisional basis.
I also miss the discussion on my topics, and without comments I have little feedback to know whether my posts are of any interest to you.
But there is a flip side to this longing. Considering the bad behavior which seemed to focus on my posts in the past, what conclusion can I draw but that my posts were of great interest to the trolls who came by to disrupt things? Was I touching a nerve? I don't know.
But when one stops banging one's head hard against a brick wall, positive healing can begin to occur. When there are signs that the healing process was successful, then we can take the bandages off and see if respectful discourse still dominates the comment threads.
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