Comments Policy


Against the Grain’s guiding comments philosophy can be summarized as “Stay On Target.” Rhetorical flourishes, dodges, twists, topic changes, fallacies, faulty generalizations–all of these and more are recognized as the weaselly avoidance ubiquitous in so many areas of discourse. I call this the “chaff.”

Comments are routinely moderated. I try to filter out the chaff and curate constructive discussion. Snark strongly encouraged. On-topic snark usually wins my comments awards, which come with a complementary box of celebratory confetti.

There are other boundaries I maintain on AtG for the sake of encouraging minority participation:

  • Hate speech and/or discriminatory slurs, including cloaking such in the guise of “legitimate inquiry.”
  • Making a Point Refuted A Thousand Times.
  • Making a point refuted in the post you just opened.
  • You’ve been an arsehole elsewhere on this network.
  • You ping my trolldar.
  • You’re cis and talking over trans participants concerning trans-related issues.
  • You’re fractally wrong and I can’t be arsed to try and uproot your absurd reasoning, nor subject someone else to it.
  • Emotions are raised in the topic and I’m enforcing a delay to make people sleep on it.
  • My personal discretion otherwise.

I usually scan comments quite often, so your first comment will likely be checked within a few hours at most unless I am asleep.

Side note: Whether or not I engage in constructive or reasonable criticism is largely a matter of “depends.” Factual corrections, especially if sourced, are usually quickly adopted–but a counter-argument that appears reasonable might make it through the filter without necessarily getting a direct answer from me, depending on how much time I have or if my spoons are invested elsewhere.

-Shiv