Friday, February 01, 2008

Roger works it out

Cleveland Equanimous Philosopher: Oh, Philosopher, Where Art Thou? -- Like the chronically constipated novelist Henry James, Roger Bundy has worked through and unbound a complex issue; Henry used to do it with a pencil, Roger uses a blog.

Based on Roger's fine arguments, I, too, am resolving the issue of anonymity here and on the Save Our Land blog. Henceforth, I will no longer rail against or abuse the anonymous commentors, nor will I continue to collaborate with them or to host them; I will not moderate comment, but will instead require that the commentor at least be a registered Googler. That should help somewhat. Here's Attorney Bundy's well-reasoned if prolix take, pro bono publico:

I believe that one of the fundamental aspects of a blog necessary to accomplish the above goals is to be open to comments with no restrictions or editing. This gives a blog credibility. I also believe that one of the fundamental, if not THE fundamental, aspects of enlightened public discourse is that participants stand by their views, comments, thoughts and ideas with their name. This gives credibility to their participation in the discourse.

Unfortunately, these competing principles have created, for me, a conundrum -- accepting unresricted comments to be a credible blog permits anonymous posters with little or no credibility to hijack and crash the level of public discourse I hope to attain and maintain.

And that conundrum is a giant cold prickly that made me subconsciously avoid my blog since September. Until this morning.

I know there are many of you out there who are thinking right now -- Whoa, this guy is certifiable. Who cares, just post, you are WAY overthinking this. Well, part of me feels that way too. However, because I put my name on my blog and my posts, because I genuinely care about community, and because I sincerely want my blog to be a positive contributer in this new paradigm of communication; I'd rather err on the side of overthinking these matters than do otherwise. If nothing else, you now know that I take these matters very seriously. Hopefully, that will add to my credibility. If you just think I'm nuts, well that's fine too, as there is probably a grain of truth to that statement for all of us, even you.

If you look at the most recent posts prior to my hiatus, I spent a great deal of time sparring with Anonymous posters about issues that, as far as I am concerned, are in the gutter of public discourse and community dialogue. I made no bones about the fact that I think anonymous posting and anonymous blogs are an act of cowardice and are antithetical to enlightened community dialogue. After all, community and anonymity are practical antonyms. They cannot co-exist. You simply cannot have a community of anonymous people.

Therefore, beginning today, Cleveland Equanimous Philosopher has adopted a new commenting and posting policy.

Cleveland Equanimnous Philosopher will no longer accept unsigned, anonymous comments or posts. If you have factual information regarding a post or comment on my blog that contradicts or enhances the dialougue, but need to remain anonymous for extraordinary reasons, you may feel free to contact me directly to discuss your factual information and I will incorporate it into subsequent posts and/or comments and I will protect your identity. If you don't trust me, then you shouldn't be reading my blog anyway because you already believe I have no credibility. Opinion and commentary will not be entertained from anonymous sources under any circumstances.

The conundrum being, temporarily at least, resolved, Philosopher doth return.

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