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Goodbye, Mark

Goodbye, Mark.

I don’t say this lightly. I am an extremely strong advocate for free speech and for open discussion. In 4+ years – and despite numerous wide-ranging and contentious dialogues here at this blog (many of them sparked by my own stupid statements) – until today I have never blocked or deleted a non-spam comment or commenter. But you are now the first person I have blocked as a commenter. Here’s why…

You’re mean, you’re arrogant, and you’re rude. You go out of your way to belittle others and, for some reason, you’ve decided that my blog is the place to spew your invecture. I’ve received numerous private e-mails about your online behavior and I’ve read far too many of your personal insults. I’ve repeatedly asked for civility from you and you’ve just masked your vituperation with more-generalized ad hominem attacks which fool no one. By all definitions, you’re an Internet troll.

Most importantly, however, I’ve watched many of my readers try to engage with you. Folks I really respect have tried desperately to have meaningful, productive dialogues with you. All to no avail. So, forced to choose between you and the members of my learning community, I pick them. Hands down.

It shouldn’t have taken me so long to decide this. Torn between my deeply-held convictions about open dialogue and my unease with your comments, I defaulted toward openness and discussion. But Bill’s recent statement resonated deeply with me and helped me realize that it’s time to put a stop to you:

I’m tired of seeing your unproductive angst and negative personal attacks in the places where I’m trying to learn.

I want to give people a platform for dissent. I believe strongly in the Hegelian dialectic. But in the end it’s my blog. It’s my party. It’s my and my readers’ learning community and you’re the jerk that’s ruining it. You’ve redirected too much of our time and energy in nonproductive directions. You’ve contributed nothing to our learning and I’m pretty certain that you’ve caused other of my readers to disengage. You’re an energy suck, a psychic vampire. I’m tired of it and I’m tired of you. You can have your own community and be as vile and mean-spirited and righteous as you like. But not here. Not anymore.

Go spit your vitriol somewhere else. Goodbye and good riddance. Oh, and for the record, I feel deep pain for the students whom you supposedly serve and for whom you have so little regard.

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