July 20, 2013

At the Garden Swirl Semi-Café...

Untitled

... you can comment about anything... with moderation.

35 comments:

Ann Althouse said...

Say what you like, but it won't go up automatically. I'm going to approve and disapprove comments in a few hours.

To get approved, say something interesting that other people would enjoy reading.

RiverRat said...

Is the gardener a dyslexic musician...just kidding...it beautiful. Hint...G Clef.

virgil xenophon said...

Your attempt at moderation "in a few hours" isn't going to cut it, an. It totally defeats the ability of the commentariat to bounce ideas off one-another as well as respond to the original post, thus eliminating effective nuanced reply to others comments about your subject, thus rendering the entire effort a sterile exercise. The WHOLE POINT of allowing "comments" is to attract a commentariat that can lively debate in real-time, otherwise people lose interest and drift of after recording a single missive, thus eliminating forever many interesting alternate points of view from the commentariat--views that often serve as additional layers of knowledge about the subj. at hand, much like geological superimposed alternate layers of diverse sediment/rock.
Don't do it, bring back the real time dealio. In for a dime, in for a dollar, Ann.

Lezer said...

The topiaris

As tender trees are bent until they grow
In strange unnatural shapes, so we who prate

Of freedom, all our thwarted lives must show
The stringent bending of our gardener — Fate.

- Louis V. Ledoux

Smilin' Jack said...

"Whatever may be the limitations which trammel inquiry elsewhere, we believe that the great state University of Wisconsin should ever encourage that continual and fearless sifting and winnowing by which alone the truth can be found."

Lezer said...

Edit: "topiaris" could do with a final t.

Greetings,
L.

traditionalguy said...

Phil Woosnam has died at age 80. Phil was hired from Manchester United to be a player coach of the new Atlanta Chiefs in the new North American Soccer League in 1967.

The guys who had bought the Braves from Milwaukee had also built a Stadium in 18 months, and it needed more sports events.

The Chiefs practiced at our University fieldmand as part of the idea for a Soccer League each team had some local American players mixed in with the pros from England and Australia.
I had learned soccer at Emory, but was never good enough to be on the team but a close friend was. We watched them practice every afternoon and we got to know the players well with the British accents hearing about their latest groupie girl friends as we changed in the Gymn.

I had season tickets to their games, and watched Atlanta's first team that won a National Professional Sports Championship in 1968...by 1 to nil, of course.

Soccer may seem dull because the ball goes back and forth and no kicks gets past the defense and the goalie...until one scores, and then all the pent up frustration bursts out. I understand why soccer games turn into riots.

Anyway Phil Woosnam had been a star stryker who could use long strides to accelerate away from the half backs and score goals when he put himself in at the end of close games. It is sad that he died.

Mark said...

maybe I'll be an astronaut and work for NASA.
maybe I'll see you on the moon,
I'll see you on the moon,
I'll see you on the moon.

Ann Althouse said...

"Don't do it, bring back the real time dealio. In for a dime, in for a dollar, Ann."

If so, I'm out, which may be where we have to go.

This middle approach is, as I've said, an experiment. I can't go forward with all the bad faith commenters whose aim is to ruin this blog and waste as much of my time as possible.

It went on for 8 years, and it put a lot into it. The way you are speaking to me does not at all inspire me to believe that the people who wanted this forum cared about me enough and appreciated what I gave.

Lem said...

I used to read Althouse for the articles.

Now I come for the comments.

Ann Althouse said...

I took the moderation off for a while (that is, while I'm hanging about the computer screen).

somefeller said...

"Don't do it, bring back the real time dealio. In for a dime, in for a dollar, Ann."

Funny how proprietary some people are with other people's blogs.

Anyway, I like the no-comment or moderated comments format. If you have something worth saying in response to a post, you can say it with one or two comments. I realize some people may feel like this is their one chance in life to shout at (or even interact with) a law professor so they want to max out the opportunity, but that is tiresome for a lot of other readers. And for the proprietor here, I suspect.

Mark said...

Am I the only one bothered by how little notice there is on the Interwebs about something pretty significant that happened on this date 44 years ago?

Clyde said...

It looks like a dollar sign that went through a salad shredder.

Clyde said...

Mark, come back in 2019. Round numbers make people sit up and take notice.

I was hoping that the royal baby might be born today, and if a boy, might be named Neil in honor of the first man to walk on the moon. Yeah, fat chance...

Truckee Man said...

Ann, I still want to know what you think of Hillary Clinton as a potential president in 2016
Thx

Revenant said...

Is there a different forum commenters have migrated to?

This blog isn't interesting enough without the comments, even with the regular trolls polluting the waters.

tim maguire said...

"In for a dime, in for a dollar."

Blogger is free.

Yes, ideally, I'd like the old comments back, but a thread hundreds of comments long is useless, too big to read. And the prof.'s right about a mean spiritedness that has crept in over the last few years.

I vote we go back to exactly what we had in 2007. How about that?

lightcat said...

Revenant- many commenters have gone here
http://comonocreerendios-lem.blogspot.com/?m=1

Revenant said...

Good to know! Thanks.

Ann Althouse said...

I like Blogger. It's sleek and straightforward, and I believe it will be around a long time, so it's the best choice for "immortality."

There are limits to what I can do with the comments, chiefly that I can't exclude particular people. I'm working with the tools I have.

It's irritating that some people think I stay here because I'm cheap and/or lazy, but they are wrong, and I'm soooo bored with the same old petty misunderstandings.

This is stuff I've had to hear about for more than 9 years.

Please say something interesting!

MomRunningFromCancer said...

I enjoy the blog and have been a long time reader. This is my first comment. There are pluses and minuses to the comments. I know you KNOW this - but it is YOUR blog and you should do with it what works best for you.
I read the blog for your posts - not necessarily to see other peoples comments.

On a totally different track - I road in the Boys and Girls club ride this morning - biking 50 miles and it kicked my butt. I love to bike, but find 20-30 miles my preferred distance.

Mumpsimus said...

Moderating comments consumes a lot of time and energy, in addition to the large amounts already being spent on the blog. It also impedes the back-and-forth and the sense of community, as noted by Virgil Xenophon above. (I agree with what VX said, except for his final plea to bite the bullet and Do It For Your Fans.)

Not moderating comments seems to attract people who genuinely enjoy trying to wreck the community and spoil its members' enjoyment. In the online gaming world, this is called "griefing," and they don't seem to have a solution for it either.

A couple of blogs I can think of -- Megan McArdle's and Tom Maguire's -- do a decent job of maintaining a commenting community. McArdle has the resources of a big media company; I don't know how Maguire does it. Both blogs are narrower in scope than Althouse's, and don't post nearly as frequently.

Gabriel Hanna said...

I don't think that it is possible to keep trolls out, and people on topic, not with the sort of time Ann and Meade have for moderating.

It would take a great deal more objectivity than I possess, to moderate my own blog closely and keep from skewing the discussion the way I think it ought to go. My comments section might eventually become my echo chamber and my megaphone. There would be the illusion of engagement without its substance. Others might be better at resisting this temptation.

The marketplace of ideas is like the marketplace of things in that 90% of it is crap, and that everyone disagrees on which 90%. And there are always those who think it would be so much better if someone was in charge of making sure only good stuff got in to the market.

I am not singling out Ann and Meade--it's a plains ape thing, it can happen to anyone.

virgil xenophon said...

"The way you are speaking to me..."

Jesus H Christ, Ann, are you that thin-skinned? I thought you were better than that. I've never engaged in the extended local flame wars but have always tried to be professional. I appreciate that you might be tired and frustrated--I don't know how you keep at it, as anything gets stale over time in the best of circumstances. And I was unaware of the technical limitations with Blogger to ban IPs, etc., However that said, the invigorating "fiesty repartee"
(Fwiw, another female attny Louisiana blogger once had a blog by that name, btw) between your intellectually engaging commentariat in real time is fully 50% of your blogs allure, believe me. Expanding one's intellectual horizons via the intellectual fencing between the commentariat as various points of view are bounced off your quite frankly often intellectually intriguing take on things is the name of the game. Your original posts are necessary, of course, for this intellectual adventure, but by their very nature they beg fleshing out and, as such, are by themselves alone sadly insufficient for total enjoyment of the journey..

As Cromwell told his King: "I beseech yea from the bowels of Christ consider yea be wrong."

YMMV..

Ron said...

At first I thought it was a swastika, then I thought it was a dollar sign, then I thought it was a swastika AND a dollar sign, like it was some Rent-seeking Nazi Gardener or something....

Man, I've been in the heat too long today...I need iced tea.

Revenant said...

The normal way to moderate public forums is to have a system for voting comments "up" or "down". Individual users can set a threshold for what kind of up/down ratio they're willing to see.

The system works well. Blogger, sadly, doesn't have anything like it.

Ann Althouse said...

"The normal way to moderate public forums is to have a system for voting comments "up" or "down". Individual users can set a threshold for what kind of up/down ratio they're willing to see. The system works well. Blogger, sadly, doesn't have anything like it."

It's not sad to me. I think Blogger comments look sleeker. I loathe those voting systems. I like chronological order, like the blog itself.

I've heard so much running down of Blogger over the years. I think it's great!

Ann Althouse said...

"I read the blog for your posts - not necessarily to see other peoples comments."

Good. I think there are a number of readers like you, and I hope to put the time saved monitoring comments into the front page.

Ann Althouse said...

"Not moderating comments seems to attract people who genuinely enjoy trying to wreck the community and spoil its members' enjoyment. In the online gaming world, this is called "griefing," and they don't seem to have a solution for it either."

Thanks for the slang... and the confirmation of the belief that I've formed in the last couple months. It's been tough to admit it to myself, but I must to go forward.

Ann Althouse said...

"The marketplace of ideas is like the marketplace of things in that 90% of it is crap, and that everyone disagrees on which 90%. And there are always those who think it would be so much better if someone was in charge of making sure only good stuff got in to the market."

Yeah. I don't think that can be my job.

Ann Althouse said...

I've closed all the other threads that were open today. This one will stay open, but on delay, with moderation, perhaps until tomorrow morning, as I complete the experiment this weekend.

Going forward, the new format of the Althouse blog will be nothing but Althouse (and the things she finds around the web to quote and talk about).

It's been 9 years of running a blog with comments, and there was good as well as bad, but over time, the bad overwhelmed the good, and I've decided to pare this blog back to only my front page writing, which I hope to make better than ever.

Thanks to all the good commenters who contributed. For those who have been reading only for the comments — thank you all for telling me that. It's been helpful in making my decision.

For everyone who keeps reading, for my writing alone, I am quite thrilled that you are reading to hear what I have to say and what interesting things I've found to show you.

traditionalguy said...

Thanks for the great blog, it has been an amazing run of education for me, and I will always be great full to you.
See you in the morning.

RiverRat said...


'twoud really be nice commentator and the moderator could limit themselves to the topic of the original post.

Ann Althouse said...

"I used to read Althouse for the articles. Now I come for the comments."

My thing is writing the front page, and going forward, I hope to please the readers who like the front page, but I'm going to do it in the spirit with which I began, writing as an exercise in living and thinking freely, for its own sake. These days, I also have Meade to bounce things off of, but he's here in the room. Maybe you have someone there in the flesh to talk to, and I'll be happy if you have a conversation there, perhaps inspired by something you read here.