Thursday, April 29, 2010

Blogroll and comments

I've trimmed my blogroll. I'm keeping only:
  • Blogs I read regularly
  • Blogs that I don't read, but I think are important
  • Blogs that link to me, unless I really dislike them.
I may have made a mistake. If you're linking to me and I'm not linking to you, I may not know about the link, or I may have deleted you in error (the mouse does slip from time to time). If you care, send me an email.

AFAIK, most site ranking algorithms ignore blogrolls. I almost never click blogs from other people's blogrolls. I conclude their utility is limited.

I've also turned off comments. Some blog authors like them and find them valuable, but I don't. As far as I'm concerned, there are three useful functions for blog comments: To build a community (e.g. Pharyngula), to correct errors of fact, and to conduct reasonable debate about complicated issues. I'm not interested in building a community, and I'm careful enough about the facts; if you want me to correct an error of fact, you're welcome to email me.

I'm interested in reasonable debate, but 95% of the people who disagree with me are either flat-out liars (e.g. Christians) or idiots (e.g. anarchists). There have been a few good exceptions, but not enough to be worth the trouble of the jackasses whining that I'm some sort of Maoist tyrant because I won't publish their stupid, argument-free dogma in the comments on my blog. Regardless of whether I'm correct or mistaken, it seems like I'm so far out of any ideological box that my opinions put seemingly reasonable people into a state of apoplectic rage or embittered betrayal. I just don't care that you don't like me any more because of what I said. I learned long ago that most people don't like me no matter what I say or do; if that's the result of a flaw in my character or intellect, it's one I'm powerless to correct.

If you don't like what I have to say, write about it on your own blog. If you do like what I have to say, write about it on your own blog. I don't pay much attention to links, so if you want me to respond, you'll have to email me.

You are free to republish without changes anything original I publish here, with attribution and a link. (For content I republish, you'll have to follow the licensing of the original author.) Of course fair use permits excerpts for several purposes, including critical commentary.

If you have questions or want clarification about something I've written, email me. Unless you tell me otherwise, I'll refer to you anonymously and paraphrase your comments. If you want to argue — with evidence and reasoning — that I'm wrong, email me. I'll anonymize and paraphrase by default, but if you give me explicit, specific permission I'll consider publishing your unedited argument as a post, with whatever attribution you specify.

If you want to tell me what a big jerk I am, you can email me. If it makes you feel better to get it off your chest, good for you. Remember, though, I assume unless proven otherwise that everyone thinks I'm a jackass, so don't expect me to be crestfallen that you personally think I'm a jackass.