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INSIGHT at Skeptic.com: Comment Policy

Sep. 17, 2014 by | Comments (4)

There are few things so central to the projects of scholarly, journalistic, and scientific truth-seeking than conversation. Talking things out is humanity’s greatest superpower. It is the true telepathy—a way for one mind to reach out and attempt to understand another.

With the fruitful alchemy of conversation in mind, we’re pleased to allow comments on most posts at INSIGHT at Skeptic.com. We invite and encourage civil discussion, scholarly debate, and open exchanges of ideas.

To that end, comments on blog posts at Skeptic.com are moderated, and should be considered a privilege. If you choose to submit comments, please remember:

  • Comments should be polite, charitable, on-topic, and reasonable.
  • Comments should not be abusive, disruptive, libelous, annoying, or spam.
  • Comments judged to be inappropriate will be deleted. Commenters who abuse the comments policy in any manner may be banned.
  • Commenters are encouraged (though not required) to engage in discussion under their own names.

From time to time we may tweak our Comment Policy, posted here.

I hope all commenters will keep these useful principles of “Proper Criticism” articulated in 1987 by pioneering skeptic Ray Hyman firmly in mind. Please be courteous toward readers and authors, and please (especially) be generous in your use of the principle of charity when responding to others.

We all know comments sections can be problematic—there are reasons for some popular science portals to move away from them altogether—but they can also be very special, and very encouraging for writers.

Perhaps unwisely, I’ve always read the comments on everything I write. Generally, at the scale I work at, the good far outweighs the bad. I’m grateful when eagle-eyed readers spot errors, happy when people mount civil, good faith challenges to my arguments, and excited when people put themselves out there and share their own ideas (sometimes a nerve-wracking choice on the internet, I know).

I look forward to reading your thoughts on future posts!

Daniel Loxton

Daniel Loxton is the Editor of INSIGHT at Skeptic.com and of Junior Skeptic, the 10-page kids’ science section bound within Skeptic magazine. Daniel has been an avid follower of the paranormal literature since childhood, and of the skeptical literature since his youth. He is also an award-winning author. Read Daniel’s full bio or his other posts on this blog.

4 responses to “INSIGHT at Skeptic.com: Comment Policy”

  1. Max says:

    Wouldn’t blogging without comments feel like you’re talking to yourself?

  2. Pinky says:

    Correction on my last comment:

    The program read what I wrote as a nonsensical command. I was referring to the buttons for:

    PREVIOUS INSIGHT & NEXT INSIGHT

    I apologize for the inconvenience.

    My mistake makes me think of another suggestion; a sandbox to review the comment before submitting it.

  3. Pinky says:

    Congratulations on the new blog aggregation. I have been looking for scientific, skeptic, open minded blogs to read and participate in since my once favorite blog combine became strident.

    One small suggestion; add an additional set of buttons for
    <>
    at the end of the comments so readers may navigate without scrolling up to the end of the blog post.

  4. Colin Feltham says:

    What I want to know is the scope of scepticality here. I’m all for puncturing religious and paranormal claims and using the best science to do so. But errors and illusions are rife throughout all human endeavours. My own field is psychotherapy, which is full of nonsense (I used to be involved in primal therapy, for example), but we can see similar problems in every discipline. It seems probable to me that all of us have cherished illusions or intellectual and lifestyle no-go areas.

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