It’s comments the likes of which you’ve seen popping up on the Atlantic’s site lately that convince people blogging is interminably vapid and amateur. It’s a tough situation for the Atlantic, popular enough that it’s readership is high, but then also drawing the kind of inane banter that has set up shop there. One would hope that people would have enough respect for the organization/site to elevate the discussion to something productive and useful.
The thread that turned really nasty was about Steve Sailer, and whether or not there was something automatically suspect about anyone who cites his work. I basically agree that there is, but regardless, a more than usual amount of vulgarity and antagonism should be expected under posts that reference him without any caveats. Sailer is a vulgar and antagonistic writer himself.
Funnily enough, the worst offender defended his Sailer-abuse by asserting that “identifying a rancid, worthless bastard as a rancid, worthless bastard is a public service.”
As a practical matter, there’s only one jerk who’s always been at the root of 95% of the problems in Ross’ comboxes. That guy was “banned” briefly, but never went away, and never relented.
Ross probably didn’t have the time or energy to police the combox, and I can’t blame him for that. But I’d have thought it would be easier to just delete postings from that one offending idiot than to have interns searching through all the daily posts.