Belle Waring asks:
Question of the day: is the unremitting, permanent badness of Matthew Yglesias’ comments the result of intentional sabotage, or can it be chalked up to his policy of utterly ignoring them at all times? I favor the former explanation, because he’s influential enough that I can imagine some testy Republican or two taking it on as a volunteer project to wreck it up constantly. There was never a time when they were good, either, even in the early days.
I would simply deny that “ignoring” takes place. I read the comments most days, and even chime in from time to time. But it’s hard to engage too thoroughly when they’re so sucky. The primary interpreative technique that takes place in the section is “let’s willfully misread what Matt’s saying so as to make it something I strongly disagree with.” It’s not very fun. But I actually think things have gotten a lot better since the latest update to the software. The ability to do nested threads means some interesting chains of thought can emerge and I would encourage more people to try to participate constructively and shift the norms away from the soullite & warstler model.