I probably commented on your blog between four and six times a year, but read it daily. I bothered with reading the comments about once a week but I always faced the problem of distinguishing between the few interesting comments and the sea of slime. I understand the value of free speech zones, and I respected that, and I respected you for providing it, while at the same time not thinking that I wouldn't want to wade in there. Then what do I think of shutting down the comments?... I'll admit that I found it kind of interesting to imagine that there was some kind of community existing underneath it all. Even besides the most obvious example, some commenters seemed to have developed real relationships with each other. But there was so little of that left, and so much ugliness. The main reason I read your blog is because the perpetual, cruel challenging of dogmas, frameworks, questions, heuristics, and assumptions which eventually has come to seem not so much cruel as a playful and even joyful kind of investigative destruction. I read Instapundit, though I know what Glenn is going to say, because I want to know what Glenn is reading. I read Jonah Goldberg, though I often know what he is going to say, because I like seeing how he'll say it, how he'll manage to drag Cosmo into it. But I read Althouse because even though I spend my professional life thinking about political philosophy it still challenges me to rethink things and keep challenging the conventional wisdom. For that, the comments don't make a difference.Thanks!
July 17, 2013
"I understand the value of free speech zones, and I respected that, and I respected you for providing it, while at the same time not thinking that I wouldn't want to wade in there."
Another reader emails about the closing of the comments section at Althouse. Here's the full text: