The Welcome Mat

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Happy MLK Day, everyone.

As I sit here in my office, early in the pitch-black morning (and having woken up, as I often do, much earlier and thinking in bed about Slope – yes, I am serious) I am doing what the rest of you are doing: eagerly await BDI's latest Evil Plan which, in its odd-numbered glory, with enlighten us this entire day.

As we await, dressed in our robes or otherwise, I wanted to muse ever-so-briefly about the heart and soul of this blog, which is the comments section. I have been doing a major re-thinking about how this entire blog (and its related content) are organized and presented, and in the process of doing so, I've been perusing other popular financial blogs.

One in particular that I shan't name (but is one of the few other blogs I read, and I'm sure many of you read it) is terribly popular, but the host makes it shovel-banged-on-your-forehead clear that he thinks almost all the people who make comments are idiots. 

Long ago, I put up a few sentences to provide guidelines about behavior in the comments section, and 99.999% of the time there are no problems. But the aforementioned other blogger has page after page after page of what is and isn't acceptable and why, on the whole, he thinks comments are simply an unfortunate side-effect of having a popular blog.

From my own point of view, comments are, in fact, the raison d'être of Slope. On rare occasions, though, by way of someone misbehaving, I am reminded of an instance where Steve Jobs (who is basically the Jesus Christ of the Silicon Valley) was, in the earliest days of his triumphant return to Apple, publicly insulted by a jerk in the audience, who says:

Mr. Jobs, you're a bright and influential man, but it's clear on several counts you don't know what you're talking about……….perhaps you could tell us what you personally have been doing for the past seven years.

The insult – and Steve's thoughtful response – are shown below. Of course, if this dickhead had dared pull a stunt like this a few years later, he would have been beaten to death by those surrounding him. But Steve was still seen as weak and vulnerable back then (relatively speaking), so whoever this dickhead was could actually get away with it.

I wonder where he is now?

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