Barely A Blog (BAB) Comments Section is now closed.
For years, I’ve moderated this forum, hoping to educate visitors. The goal was noble, but naive. The labor-intense effort involved considerable opportunity costs, and few returns (Comments do not drive traffic to BAB or to IlanaMercer.com).
Time is scarce and thus precious.
With the exception of a few valued voices (who may, like Myron Pauli, submit editorials), this public-minded forum attracted a lot of maladroit, often maladaptive, men and women, who, for the most, hadn’t the faintest idea how to behave on private property (BAB).
As for learning or researching? Forgetaboutit!
The BAB forum was seen as an opportunity not to broaden horizons, but to abuse the host and display ignorance. Generosity, and an invitation to debate with civility and decorum: These were treated by most as yet another entitlement; free-reign on a domain for which they were not paying, and to which only a few contributed funds.
Unfettered freedom became a standard demand. As good libertarians know, you have no automatic rights of free speech on private property; you have the right to petition private property for that prerogative. Few did so, and few complied with the minimum standards of grammatical, polite speech.
For such irremediable attitudes and sense of entitlement one develops contempt.
Why labor over irredeemably rude individuals, who will never imbibe the basics of liberty, and will resent you and diss you for your efforts?
So, for now, “Comments” are no more. If you’ve had a change of heart; if you wish to discuss posts—and do battle for liberty in a civilized way—do so @Twitter, on my Facebook Wall, or on WND’s and RT’s Comments Sections.
I trust that good friends of BAB and IlanaMercer.com will do what they can to support and contribute to the ongoing work on these sites.
UPDATED (July 3): Militating for a policy of minimal contact going forward is the following: I used to be critical of writers who never-ever responded to their readers, even writing the blog post “Manners As Virtue.”
As a person with a strong sense of duty and propriety, I used to answer almost all my mail. Imagine the kind of opportunity costs involved! (In other words, the extra book I might have written had I not been self-sacrificing and nice, as Ayn Rand would, no doubt, castigate this “good-girl” behavior.)
The goal was to galvanize readers to the ideas of liberty and to my idiosyncratic way of conveying these ideas.
The outcome after 15 years of doing this? I made about 3 really good personal friends.
For the rest, readers are freeloaders—individuals who’re interested in “access” to you and, thus, in ego affirmation. They will use your civility to drain your energies, to no avail. A gush with praise for you in private, they are generally too cowardly to defend important ideas publicly.
A prime example: Most longtime correspondents of mine, individuals who’ve enjoyed the outlet afforded them on Barely a Blog for years, responded not at all in my defense, following the repulsive Karen-Klein pack-attack I sustained.
The detritus of humanity unleashed itself on their supposed favorite writer. But these individuals could not muster one cutting comment in defense of ideas and writing they say they favor and would like to see prevail.
Damn straight Comments (and other communications) are closed.