Randy Barnett gently ribs his co-blogger for his penchant for providing open threads on a topic when others (Barnett himself, David Bernstein, Jim Lindgren and I think sometimes Eric Posner) close comments on a controversial topic. As a commenter on Barnett’s post points out, even in threads started by others Orin is more willing to engage the commenters. I’m not going to bother insisting that other bloggers do so, there are other things they can do with their time (I forgot to check back in at a thread at the Bloggingheads forum where I kicked things off, appropriately enough for this post, on the subject of censoring comments). Not so for closing comments. I don’t understand how a troll or spam filled comment section is worse than no comment section at all unless the real objection is the easier airing of criticism. I don’t think it’s any coincidence that Orin’s post tend to be more thoughtful than those without comment sections.
It’s quite possible I’ve made an earlier post/s promoting this norm and even specifically referencing the Volokh Conspiracy. Another blog norm I don’t think I’ve highlighted here before is that of linking directly to pieces on the web you are referring to.
As long as I’m taking about V.C comments, a Chester A. Arthur “dualer” (don’t call us “birthers”!) gives a hilarious example of cui bono reasoning.