The Last Word
For further refreshment, see the post and accompanying comment thread at A2H:http://tinyurl.com/6r4m5a
For the record, I left a total of three comments on that thread, but only the first survived moderation. The second and third sank into oblivion. Contrary to my usual custom, I neglected to save local copies of these comments before posting them, but that is small matter for concern since they were very short and simple.
In the first of the two suppressed comments, I responded to Marcella Chester's response to my own surviving comment. In this response, I put to Marcella three brief but structurally important queries meant to initiate a chain of clarificatory dialogue. Marcella's response, as will be noted, was to drop my statement down the memory hole and to respond to what I hadn't said, or rather, hadn't had a chance to say.
Noting this some time after Marcella's response was posted, I wrote a third comment which did nothing more than request to know why my second comment had been moderated. (I can vouch that neither my second or third comment contained anything of an even remotely offensive or scurrilous nature that would warrant moderation.)
My third comment likewise has not appeared. The total number of published comments on the thread (by various commenters) is now six, and I somehow sense that this is the end of the line. At any rate, I'll not be making any further additions myself.
Admittedly, this has been a minor episode. Still, I like to learn what I can learn from such episodes. In the present case, what I see is an effort to control the discourse, by preventing it from moving along a particular line that would open onto particular avenues, which in turn might lead to particular discoveries.
My policy in such dialogues (which I recommend to others) is to eschew anything like "debate" or "argument", and endeavor merely to elicit the other person's exact standpoint, in the fullness of its naked precision, and in the context of other factors that would afford a possibly unanticipated illumination. Such a proceeding, in my view, is of greater utility in the simple quest for truth -- inasmuch as it frees the questor from the onerous necessity of advancing any particular thesis, thereby liberating more energy in the service of a structured enquiry.
Think of it this way: you are simply a buyer in the marketplace of ideas, and your concern is simply to inspect the wares of the various merchants in their various booths. Is it cracked? Is it warped? So in the end, only YOU can decide how to spend your money. Whoever pretends to make that decision for you, is practicing a form of larceny.