Folks asked for my opinion on these topics, and we have new folks (which is good!) since we started in 2009, so here goes:
This blog was specifically started to have discussions between academics and practitioners. Therefore, any claims can be brought here, peer-reviewed or not. Part of the point is to look at the forest as perceived by people who work and live there, people who belong to interest groups, academics, lawyers, scientists of all stripes, and see how their pieces of information fit together, or don’t.
When someone posts something, I like to hear what they think. So when I post something, you will usually find a note from me..sometimes as simple as “I find this interesting because” but not always. I LIKE people to share why they posted it; what they agree or disagree with, because I am interested in the people on this blog and what they think. But it’s not required.
Now when I post something, I am not going to defend the claims made, unless a) I agree with them and b) I have the time and inclination..otherwise, the authors speak for themselves. The authors are welcome to contribute to the blog and defend their positions. A great many people I speak with don’t want to do that, though,… one of the reasons being..
Lack of civility found on many blogs and sometimes on this blog. While Bob says we have more readers when people are like that, my feeling is that we are/should be better than that. And if we are few and civil, that would be better than having more readers and being rude and disrespectful. Look at the U.S. Congress, for example, how’s jerkiness workin’ for them (and us)?
In the past, I’ve noticed that sometimes people get into uncivil disagreements. When that happens, there is no way I can drop everything else I do, and moderate it. So I have asked folks 1) not to do it, and 2) any other folks around who observe it to call people on it.
I told Steve Wilent this week that those discussions are like “fingernails on the blackboard of my soul.” Sometimes in the past, I have thought that I was being gender- insensitive to want to get rid of it, as maybe it’s a guy equivalent of puppies play-fighting. They get over it and go on about their business, just letting off steam, and perhaps I shouldn’t be so judgmental. But I’m neither going to read those comments nor moderate them.
Other reasons people who write papers don’t want to discuss it on blogs, including this one include 1) it can suck up a lot of time for 2) no professional or other rewards. I like to think of blogging as 21st Century Extension (in the research, extension, education model) but so far this idea has not caught on with anyone with funds. So here we are :).
Finally, sometimes whether folks reveal their real names becomes an issue. This started with people “outing” Larry, lo those many years ago. I personally want to hear more from current FS people so I want people to have fake names if they otherwise feel they wouldn’t participate. People have their own reasons, and as long as they bring something thoughtful to the table and are respectful, I am fine with it.