I comment on two blogs/forums. I used to comment on more. I don’t comment on the two that I still comment on nearly as often as I used to. The reason, I think, is that the lively conversations that attracted me to these forums in the first place have devolved into predictable kneejerk bloodbaths, with certain prolific parties on the left and right treating most new threads like they were WWI battlefields, fighting over every square inch of dirt whether it makes sense or not. The threads degrade into exercises in name-calling in the blink of an eye. So now, most times, I read a comment I want to reply to, I write a reply to it, then I erase it before posting. I think “why bother?” Sometimes I have an insight into something because of what I do or have done or where I’ve been. It usually doesn’t get posted anymore. Why bother? These people don’t need or want to know what I know. It’ll be just another square inch of dirt in Verdun.
These people aren’t interested in conversation. I know that’s a pretty broad brush, and not true for many, but it seems that way. It seems that way because those who do want to have a conversation, who want to learn or teach something, don’t anymore because they see the same battlefield I do.
It’s amazing: it’s almost as if there is a natural lifespan to a good forum. Because eventually the Tribes find it and squash it and leave it when it’s dried and dead, and then they look for the next one to kill.
So here’s to the good forums. May they spring eternally from the ashes of those that came before.