February 19, 2003

A Question Of Civility:

Thanks to Michele, I discovered Arthur Silber's blog today: The Light Of Reason. There's much to read here, all of which is well-written and thought provoking. This post in particular, which is about the current trend away from civility in the blogosphere and beyond, is worth the read.

A lot of people are behaving very badly. I think we are all very understandably on edge right now: the ongoing concerns with terrorism; ratcheted up alert levels (based on information that all too often turns out to be wrong); the looming war with Iraq; economic worries; and on and on. People's nerves are frayed, and tempers flare. Many of you reading this are undoubtedly familiar with the abuse that was recently hurled in Megan McArdle's direction, and her temporary withdrawal from blogging. In that case, the abuse came from the left side of the political spectrum ...

... I submit that all of this is very ugly stuff -- and that everyone should take a deep breath, step back a pace or two, and consider the impact of comments like this. And I myself am not interested in determining which "side" is more frequently rude, ill-mannered, or simply nasty and cruel. My point is that there is far too much of it everywhere. The net result is a very poisonous atmosphere, a dehumanizing of one's ideological opponents, and a lack of civilization -- the very thing we're fighting to preserve in the war on terror.

Posted by Avocare at February 19, 2003 08:57 PM
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