In what may optimistically be construed as a sign of this blog’s maturity, I have just had to delete a comment for being mean. Mean to me, no less! (It was to an ancient post, by the way, not to any of the recent ones.) I knew it was going to happen eventually.

So I might as well make it official: As a matter of blog ecology, my policy is to delete comments on this blog that contain personal attacks, even if the personal attack is on me. Disagreement is fine, and corrections of fact are welcome, but contempt and ridicule are not. I also delete comment spam, comments that advertise items not relevant to this blog (but self-promotions for a book, an article, or a blog post elsewhere are fine), comments that seem to have been intended as personal email messages to me, comments that seem to be recruitments for organizations whose nature I can’t verify, intemperate generalizations about groups of people, and the occasional total non sequitur. I reserve the right to delete other categories of comment, too, and to change these guidelines at will, but I’ll try to be conservative.