Wednesday, August 31, 2005

My house, my rules

If I send you here I think you have violated my code of conduct I might get tired of repeating myself.

If somebody invites you to their house and you are meeting for the first time, would you enter the house and exclaim 'you are a jackass'?. If you would, dude, you have issues. So let's make this clear, this blog is MY 'house'. That is the basic rule of conduct that I expect from my visitors, and I will have absolutely no qualms to enforce it. If that seems dictatorially fascist to you, I am sorry, but to me is a very basic rule of civilized people.

1. Be civil

I can accept and welcome any dissent, as long as it is rational and based on arguments and facts (not labels). I am interested only in rational arguments, not in boxing matches. I will not waste my time on ad-hominem attacks, so I will ban and/or censor anyone that makes me waste my time.

If I consider your conduct _extremely_ offensive, defamatory, or illegal, I might decide to publicly post either or both your geographical location and internet address so that fellow bloggers, or any authority, can be aware of who you are. I consider the use of someone else's handle an extreme offense. You have been warned.

Keep in mind that ad-hominem attacks are not arguments, moreover indicate the lack of an argument and an admission of 'defeat'. Don't attack me, attack my arguments. So unless you have something to write about my arguments, I suggest that you do not write anything.

If your post looks like this:
You are a moron, you have no idea of what you are talking about. The jackass author of the article is a right wing wacko.
Consider rephrasing it like this:
The ideas you are expressing are erroneous as can be seen in such and such article, the source you cite is a known right wing extremist.
If you go for the first option don't complain if I teach you some manners. You will not manage to offend me, and I will make sure to make you look as ridicule as possible.

Stand behind what you write, the apparent anonymity of the internet allows people to assume any personality they want, but I have access to tracking your different personalities, and I will unmask you at will. Changing personalities like a snake sheds skins is a very bad sign of lack of moral fortitude and the strength of character to stand behind what you say, admit your mistakes and move on. Anything else is a shady or at least childish behavior to say the least. The use of multiple personalities to fake agreement in a debate is another serious offense in my book.

2. Stay on topic

The topic of a blog entry should be the topic for most comments pertaining to it. Beware of conversational drift. If your comment is longer than the post, maybe you should rewrite it.

This is a blog that mainly deals with information on, about, or somewhat related to Venezuela. It is a terrible world out there and I understand the need to vent, but if it does not concern Venezuela in any way I almost surely don't want to hear it unless it relates to the specific topic of the post.

If you feel like discussing about how much you love/hate Bush, Bin Laden, Zapatero, Chirac, Madonna, the smelly guy next door, the war in Iraq, or the sound of your keyboard, there are plenty of blogs devoted to those topics. Visit them, or just create your own.

Of course, all work and no play..., humor in between friends is welcome, what kind of host would I be if we could not have some e-tertulia.

3. Be brief

I understand the precepts of communism, capitalism, socialism, christianity, judaism, and Pastafarianism. I know the intentions are good, but don't try to convert me to your _religion_. Remain on topic, if you feel like explaining Communism/capitalism/socialism to me you are very probably going way off topic (point me to a source, if you feel it's that important). I mostly consider such arguments just noise , I am only interested in the signals. I will normally just ignore it, unless it starts getting on my nerves. The same applies to all the very bad things that the imperialists have done in the world all the way back to the early pleistocene.

4. Don't take it on the wrong side

If you read my headline, I plan to be very methodical, after all I am a mathematician by training. I like to make my 'proofs' very structured, so that these become, concise, logical, and easy to follow. This allows me to keep the signal to noise ratio in a discussion as high as possible. I want these discussions to be constructive, wordiness leads to misinterpretations.

I will ask you for the obvious, if you read my labels 'issue' you will see why, I want to know how YOU define your words, so that there is no possible missinterpretation that ccould keep us going forever. Remember, a mars lander got lost because someone thought that the units where in a different system, conversations can go down for much less than that.


Several of the rules have been adapted from Miguel's you might want to read them if the term 'common-sense' is too hazy for you, in this post I used the ones that I consider the most relevant.
Updates:
  • Wed, August 31 10:45 PM, added all of section 4.
  • Wed, October 26 6:40 AM, added the 'multiple personality' rule to section 1

I might change (or re-post if the modifications merit it) this topic from time to time to accommodate for universal drift.
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