Friday, August 12, 2005

Re: Venomous, mean-spirited anonymous comments

From Anonymous:

Are venomous mean-spirited comments improved by being signed? I, too, focused a decades-long career on serving the nation and LANL to the best of my ability, yet I found myself labeled an "enemy of the Laboratory" in one of your [Gary Stradling's] recent signed posts. Because a person disagrees with management does not make them an enemy of the Laboratory. To disagree with management publically requires courage because it is almost guaranteed to destroy one's career. The British have a term that you might consider using instead of your insults, "the loyal opposition." Those of us who are brave enough to point out the lack of clothes on the emperor are also loyal to the laboratory.

No, venomous mean-spirited(*) comments are not improved by being signed. They are reduced, however, by the requirement of being signed. Far fewer people are willing to slam others from the light of day than they are from the shadows. I think Doug's taken a tremendously positive step for the blog by disabling general anonymity.

(*) Also, can we get a moratorium declared on the term "mean-spirited"? It is too often used to reject an argument advanced passionately, esp. when said argument takes someone to task. For an example of this practice, send a letter to the LANL Newsbulletin protesting the souls who'd see the lab's monies siphoned off to provide babysitting.
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