i have commented on comments before

there’s no such thing as just reading anymore — passively absorbing information being presented to you — without an invitation to voice your opinion. i can’t even be alone in goddamned books anymore. a dotted underline appears: “153 people highlighted this,” the kindle tells me. why on earth would that matter to me. get out of my book

comment sections have value as avenues for discussion as long as discussion actually can occur there. youtube still has comments, but they could be replaced site-wide with a picture of a small horse, and be of greater service to its users. sometimes you need to know what a horse looks like. how many legs, etc.

the bleated message of the internet is: everything that pops into your head is important. your most fleeting thought matters every bit as much as what you just read. your hottest possible take needs to be made visible this instant.

i want conversation, exchange, analysis, thought, dissection. i want discourse. but we live in a post-discourse society. “i read this article” is a modern colloquialism which means “i saw most of the words in this headline.”

we need to be exposed to opposing views. it rounds us as people. it tests our arguments, and allows us to rethink or discard bad ones. but in such a landscape, purposefully-truncated methods of communication — the tweet, the status update, the collapsible comment — become 140-character lathes to sharpen existing beliefs to little points, to jab at someone else with, who then prepare their own pointy stick in rebuttal

at some sad point on the curve, comments are just a way to drive up pageviews

but what do you believe? sound off below!