If I post something it typically means that I've put a lot of thought into it or feel very deeply about what I'm saying. I know that when I read criticisms of my opinions that carry an overtly argumentative tone, or if I feel like I'm being taken way out of context with no regard toward what I'm actually saying, or just flat our called names, it flips a switch in my brain that makes my synapses start firing in a different way. I immediately stop really looking for any meaning in what I'm reading and immediately start looking for things to attack.
I think a solution to this is for all of us to commit to not using inflammatory language with one another. If it does happen, we have to try to bring it up with the other person in a non-threatening way. If I say, "Don't talk to me like that," there is an implied consequence and it will immediately put the other person on the defensive, or perhaps on the attack. If instead we ask the other person to explain what they mean by that, it gives them the opportunity to withdraw, or clarify their point using softer language.
The issue of humor brought up as well. There was some fairly offensive, though good natured humor used on a thread recently. We have to be careful not to post offensive comments, even in joke form, because it has an effect on the comfort level of the blog for many people. Also, in my opinion, if we feel the need to use sarcasm we should make it abundantly clear that it is sarcasm and not serious. I've seen some threads get fairly heated because of misunderstandings around humor.
That's my two cents, what are yours?
Does anybody know a cheap (the freer the better) way to get rid of squirrels?
This is for the most part, an honest and true description of what I claim to believe when I say that I am an anarchist.
More on the developing story from Sports Illustrated
Mariners players linked to the report, from The Seattle Times