Political Discourse

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I wanted to – – yet again – – address the issue of the comments section.

It has been well-established that the Slope of Hope is a website dedicated to providing tools to help traders make better decisions. These tools are principally centered around my lifelong passion of reading charts.

When I began this site in 2005, it was merely a blog, and the first custom code I had created for the site was for comments beneath blog posts. Millions of comments later, the 24/7 discussion that goes on has become a staple of the site where friendships have been made, knowledge has been imparted, and even celebrations arranged.

It should not be a place for digital fistfights, personal attacks, or an outlet for lonely men wanting to push their agenda – – or push others around – – just because they have nothing better to do. It poisons the site, and I have found trying to tame the tiny handful of people stinking up the joint to be tiresome. Indeed, at this very moment, I am typing these words from the balcony of my residence in Jackson instead of relaxing.

There are several muscle-headed solutions to my problems. I could eliminate the comments section completely. I could go back to the “Polite Conversation/Anything Goes” version of the comments I created. Or I could just ban any account that caused any offense. None of these is an elegant or desireable solution.

My friend and colleague Molecool has for years expressed bafflement at why I should give two craps about any of this nonsense. He has expressed to me, in lengthy and heartfelt emails, how he too was caught in the same trap of trying to please everyone and keep everyone happy – – the overwhelming majority of whom had never given him one single penny – – and once he finally gave them all the proverbial middle finger and focused on selling products and nothing else, he was vastly happier (and not one cent the poorer for the change).

I feel naïve and perhaps disrespectful to ignore the advice of my friend, but I’m a sensitive soul, and I project this to the rest of the world. I’m not inclined to do any of the above. But in spite of my pleas and entreaties, for some, it has all fallen on deaf ears.

I want to take a moment here and recognize someone who gets ZERO credit, and that is The Director. This is not some random guy in a basement who is bored. He is a respected medical professional who, even though he has never complained, probably has better things to do with his time than try to bring some kind of civility to the sometimes-raucous Slope. His is an utterly thankless job, but I’d like to say thank you nonetheless. I know The Director in real life, and he does not get his jollies from this kind of task, but he sees it as important, and thus has volunteered.

I have reached a decision as to what to do, and I am doing so with The Director’s blessing. And the decision seems counter-intuitive, but it is as follows: for the rest of the quarter (that is, through the end of September 30th), talk about whatever you want. If you think Trump is evil incarnate, as I do, have at it. If you think Biden is a doddering old fool, go ahead. If you think snorting baby laxative is a better choice than getting vaccinated, by all means, spread the word. Make a fool of yourself. It’s on you. Reputations here are quickly understood by others.

We’re going to try an experiment – perhaps an ill-advised one – to see if this crowd can act like adults or not. Obviously if someone violates the bounds of decency (e.g. engages in ad hominem attacks, posts pornography, says anything but praise about the founder of this site, etc.) then out they go. But otherwise, we’re going to lay off the attempt to whack-a-mole with you lunatics and see if basic order can be maintained.

I hope that this experiment is successful enough that we collectively agree that we can maintain it as such. God Save the King.