Wednesday, January 25, 2006

That's class

Glenn Reynolds, as usual, goes right to the heart of the "interactivity" debate over blogging:
I love open comments, just as I love free beer, free pizza, and other giveaway goods. But I'm not entitled to them. And those who partake, I think, owe a certain degree of civility to their hosts.

In an age where there's less control, I think that such informal measures matter more, not less.

Free beer will, no doubt, attract a lot of beer drinkers to the party, but what the Washington Post experience showed is that once they're there and drunk and the party has deteriortated into a brawl not a discussion, and at some point you have to send in the bouncers and clear the house. Civility is the fundamental requirement for interactivity. Too many libertarians and angry liberals don't understand that, which is why they aren't, as a group, taken very seriously. I don't agree with Glenn all the time and some of his interests are not my own, but he challenges me to think and articulate my own responses. If he just lobbed obscenities at anybody who doesn't agree with him. I'd be gone.


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