The Jury Talks Back


New: “Recent Comments” at The Jury Talks Back!

Filed under: Uncategorized — Patterico @ 6:24 pm

The Jury Talks Back now has Recent Comments on the sidebar!

They’re not pretty. I activated a plugin myself — having had some trouble getting in touch with Admin Guy — and so these are not the Recent Comments you are used to at the main site. They’re uglier and contain a lot of text from the recent comment. There aren’t as many of them. They don’t readily tell you which post they apply to.

But they work! No longer do you have to refresh every thread you might be interested in.

In case you are not familiar with The Jury Talks Back, it is an old subdomain I revived for the purpose of having a civil comments section. There is a strict adherence to civil conversation. There are no personal attacks and no strawman arguments. The rule is that you behave the same way you would if I had invited you to my living room.

Sounds kinda nice, doesn’t it?

The comments section there has been less lively than at the main site, which I attribute partly to habit, partly to the extra effort involved in an extra click (you’d be surprised at what a deterrent that can be), but also partly to the lack of Recent Comments section there (until now!). When there is no Recent Comments section, it takes more effort to maintain a conversational flow, as you have to refresh each post you are interested in, and scroll to the bottom to see if there are new comments. Now that there are Recent Comments at the Jury, you can follow the conversation in much the same manner you do here.

After a brief dip into a couple of main site comment threads in the last couple of days, a couple of commenters have resumed the predictable B.S. personal attacks and mischaracterizations that drove me to seek civil conversation to begin with — conversation that focuses on issues and arguments rather than personalities. Any post with the word “Trump” in it inevitably devolves at some point into personal commentary, usually accusing me of bias against Trump. As I have said before, even when this sort of commentary comes from only one or two people, I find it irritating. I don’t need to be irritated on my own blog. I’m not hiding from debate — but I am supremely uninterested in your opinion that any negative comment about Trump by me shows my deep awful anti-Trump bias.

Those interested in civil commentary, please join me at The Jury Talks Back!


  1. Ding!

    Comment by Patterico — 2/3/2017 @ 6:24 pm

  2. Testing.

    Comment by Patterico — 2/3/2017 @ 6:47 pm

  3. Testing again

    Comment by Patterico — 2/3/2017 @ 6:53 pm

  4. I just deleted all the confusing updates because I think the issue is now fixed.

    Comment by Patterico — 2/3/2017 @ 7:00 pm

  5. Progress noted, and thanks. I look forward to the day when the main site is the “living room standard” site, and the alternate site is the one for more … exuberant conversation.

    Comment by Quibus Vigilius — 2/3/2017 @ 7:23 pm

  6. The main room seems civil enough and has so since this curious split.

    Hope you don’t mind me posting this one comment here, the other one says comments closed.

    Comment by harkin — 2/3/2017 @ 8:19 pm

  7. I look forward to the day when the main site is the “living room standard” site,

    That’s a good point, and I have thought about whether the rules should be reversed. So far I think I made the right call, because civil commentary is actually hard work and demands a self-selected group of people who care about it. Making those people go through the extra step seems to help ensure that the people who come here are the people who really care about engaging in civil conversation.

    Comment by Patterico — 2/4/2017 @ 9:52 am

  8. The main room seems civil enough and has so since this curious split.

    For me, personally, I am uninterested in posting in an environment where there is a continued obsession on the part of some to make personal attacks on me literally — and I choose that word carefully and mean it — literally every time I criticize Donald Trump.

    Even when most of my posts are about media bias or defending Trump’s nominee, and I make ONE on-topic comment about Trump’s lack of honesty (do people think he is HONEST? Really???) in the middle of a broadside against Big Media, it is still necessary for one or two people to mischaracterize my arguments and explain to me that I have a prejudice against Trump.

    And — and here’s the thing that gets me — nobody speaks up for me.

    One or two people would not bother me if most of the commentariat rose to my defense. But they don’t, meaning I must defend myself, if I am to inhabit those threads. And I have done that, and it is not pleasant, and I’m not doing it again.

    I’ll return when people calm down or never, whichever comes first.

    Comment by Patterico — 2/4/2017 @ 9:58 am

  9. Or when people start paying me to comment. I think a fee of $10 per comment sounds about right.

    Comment by Patterico — 2/4/2017 @ 9:59 am

  10. Well, despite a certain level of pleasant surprise since the Inauguration, I am one who could not bring himself to vote for Trump, even as an anti-Hillary vote, precisely because I couldn’t form a confident assessment of what he said because he meant it and what he said just because it sounded good to him in the moment. I hope you’ll take my presence in the “jury pool” as speaking up for you. Also, do you offer bulk discounts on your comment rate? Wait, will it cost me $10 to find out?

    Comment by Quibus Vigilius — 2/4/2017 @ 5:23 pm

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