Back in September, 2006 (see "No More Anonymous for You") I tried a short-lived experiment on this blog barring anonymous comments. Today, I'm re-instituting that rule.
It's not because I want to know who you are; I don't, unless you want to share that information.
It's simply because once again "anonymous" comments are flooding the comments section of many articles, making it difficult for us all to tell which "anonymous" is which. When attempting to respond to a particular anonymous post, it's hard to separate and conceptualize which "anonymous" you're talking to.
So — please — open a Blogger or Google account. Use whatever name you want, whether it be some noble historical figure or some geeky character from Dungeons and Dragons or even your dog's name. Just give us a "face" to address our comments to. Simply responding to "anonymous" isn't like having a conversation; it's like taking turns spraying graffiti on a wall.
If you still insist on posting using the anonymous feature, at least sign it consistently with some "name" so we can tell the anonymous's apart.
A secondary consideration is this: If someone has to maintain a "persona," maybe he or she will exercise a little Masonic self-discipline and slow down with all the childish name-calling and finger-pointing that's beginning to surface again.
Your comments are most welcome here, and I appreciate you reading and responding to articles posted on The Burning Taper. However, I would like to see the quality of the discourse improve a bit. After all, no matter what you think of what's going on in Freemasonry these days, and no matter what dislike you have for someone else's viewpoint, we are (or should be) ladies and gentlemen, and should be able to interact with at least the same manners and dignity as I hope we would face-to-face.
This "rule" is voluntary at this time. When I return from Thanksgiving festivities, I'll make a decision on whether to make it mandatory by toggling the "no anonymous comments" switch.
I wish each and every one of you a happy Thanksgiving. Remember to give thanks for that which you have: Friends, family, Masonic brothers and sisters, food and water, shelter, the freedom to interact via the Internet....
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