Tom Gilson

There is someone who in the past has commented on this blog, but in more recent private email correspondence said to me, “You’ve succeeded in making me angry, congratulations.” From that auspicious start, that email went on to say that what I had written on a certain post was an “abomination…. BS [repeated twice]…. malicious lie and pure slander…. ”

I have excluded this person from commenting, based on clear guidelines given in the discussion policies, linked from just above the comment box. The response I just now received by email was,

I did not realize that [email] would exclude me from posting to a supposedly open discussion board!

Suit yourself. Don’t be upset if I convey an unfavorable opinion of you to other people.

This is not an unrestricted discussion board, and has never been represented as such. I clarified the spirit of the discussion policies here not long ago. Free-flowing disagreement has characterized this blog since the start, but only within limits of civil discourse. Angry private emails may certainly affect who I want to be in dialogue with, even if they’re sent outside the channels of the blog discussion, just as having someone ream me out at work would affect whether I wanted to sit and have coffee with them afterward.

If the person complains as s/he has threatened, and tells the truth, well, I know that’s what happens when you blog, and that’s just life; so one level I’ll have to say that’s fine. Untrue or unsupportable accusations, on the other hand, are not wise for any person to make in print, on the Internet, or in any public venue. I’m not expecting that sort of thing, but I thought I needed to add that.

Update 9/27/08, 9:30 pm. This post was originally published after 10:00 pm on Sept. 24, but I prefer not to leave it at the top of the page where it would be the first thing one sees, so I changed the time-stamp on it.

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