Civilized Discourse and the Blog

Jon Reed, a consultant in the SAP world, recently posted a blog entry about  some lessons he learned years ago from Hampshire College President Gregory Price.  John feels, and I agree, that these principles of discourse are a model of behavior and belief that we bloggers would do well to emulate. I rarely post about “stuff I saw somewhere else” but I couldn’t resist this one, and I offer it without further commentary. You can read Jon’s original post here. I believe these are words bloggers can live by:

  1. That we value truth and the process of seeking truth as ends in themselves
  2. That we accept responsibility to articulate a position as close to the truth as one can make it, using to the best of one’s ability, available evidence, and the rules of reason, logic and relevance
  3. That we listen openly, recognizing always that new information may alter one’s position;
  4. That we welcome evaluation and accept and even encourage disagreement and criticism even to the point of seeking out for ourselves that which will disprove our position;
  5. That we refuse to reduce disagreement to personal attacks or attacks on groups or classes of individuals
  6. That we value civility, even in disagreement
  7. That we reject the premise that ends, no matter how worthy, can justify means which violate these principles.

Published by Merv Adrian

Independent information technology market analyst and consultant, 40 years of industry experience, covering software in and around the data management space.

4 thoughts on “Civilized Discourse and the Blog

  1. Excellent!

    I don’t think it’s been much of an issue in technology analysis until the blog era. People commented on the subject matter, without a lot of back-and-forth dialogue. Until the past few years, almost all the nasty shots I took were straight from companies rather than from other observers. Those included attempts at both legal and physical intimidation — but nothing to be scared of if one knew ones rights and options.

    But wow. Things have sure gotten personal now. I’m still reeling from the last go-round, not least because the shots keep coming in. Obviously, there’s even less to be afraid of … but they’re just so STUPID, which in some cases is very disappointing considering the source.

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