Thanks for reading. Here are a few basic guidelines for those wanting to leave a comment on New Oxonian.
All responses are welcome and will be reviewed in the order in which they are received.
The standard for this site is civil discourse, using Kenneth Gergen’s standard now widely used in colleges and universities. The national crisis in civil discourse is created, not least, by the speed and ease of communication, which create opportunities for the abuse of language, ideas and persons. Civil discourse is therefore: “The language of dispassionate objectivity [which] requires respect of the other participants, such as the reader. It neither diminishes the other’s moral worth, nor questions their good judgment; it avoids hostility, direct antagonism, or excessive persuasion; it requires modesty and an appreciation for the other participant’s experiences.”
Underlying this principle is that while the ideas and the actions of individuals are always subject to scrutiny and correction, attempts to discredit ideas through personal insult are never appropriate.
The site is moderated: no posts that do not meet the following editorial criteria will be published:
2. Posts that are tangential to the topic, oratorical, overly pedantic, or just plain strange will be trashed. (If you want to be pedantic, get your own blog).
3. Posts that, given a fair response from me but devolve into the argumentative (not to be confused with argument which is highly valued), will be trashed.
4. Theoretically I will not post a comment that I can’t reasonably respond to, or don’t have time to respond to, but there are exceptions–if, for instance, I hope to be able to respond, or if the respondent has a dialogue going with another commentator (as long as it meets other criteria).
5. Occasionally, but not without asking, I like to make a respondent’s views the jumping off point for another blog and quote from your response.
6. Because I do not have time to whittle overly long comments down to size, I ask you to try to keep comments under 500 words, and preferably shorter.
7. Comments will be closed on most posts after 10 days. Old news is old news.
8. If you think one of your comments has been unfairly judged and that you were really just trying to help the conversation along, let me know about it.