Comments Policy

Every few months I find it is good to repost my comments policy. A permanent link to the policy is available on the left sidebar.

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There is no need to be insulting or rude if you do not like what someone else says. This is not a chat room or a message board where posters engage in insult wars. I don’t mind criticism or disagreement, but I ask that you be polite. Before you post something, ask yourself if any statements that you make are irrelevant to the discussion. Could what you are posting be perceived as mean-spirited, snarky, or patronizing? Phrases like, “I normally like what you have to say, but X is ridiculous”, “you are wrong”, or “you’re an idiot” add nothing to the discussion except to insult me or other commenters. They should be excluded. I could respond, but I don’t really care to get involved in discussions with such people. I just remove such comments in order to keep things civil. If you don’t like this, feel free to start your own blog and rant about me all day long. I don’t care.

Comments are allowed to encourage productive and polite discussion. Comments deemed to be inappropriate will be removed. If you follow these guidelines, you should be fine.

— Be polite. Would you say what you wrote if you were sitting in a room with the person you are writing to? If not, don’t write it.

— Read what others have written carefully before posting critiques. Many bad comments are driven by individuals not becoming familiar with what has already been written on the topic. In the worst cases, the post on which the comment is made has not been read.

— Anonymous posting is allowed, but each person is allowed only one persona. Using an alias to bolster your own point is inappropriate. If you want others to take you seriously, then you should use your real name, not a pseudonym. If you are serious about what you have to say, then you should not be afraid to put your reputation on the line.

— Limit critiques to the work of the site’s author. If you have a criticism of a study by an outside author, please direct your critique directly to the author via e-mail.

— When debate is not productive, cease participation.

— Do not to expect to make up for a lack of familiarity with a topic in an afternoon by reading a few blog posts or papers. In some cases, years of reading are required to get up to speed on a topic. I do not explain concepts taught in introductory economics, statistics, logic, or econometrics courses.

— Do not lecture.

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