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How Comments Work

The Curiosity website is both a blog and a discussion forum. People have long, serious discussions here (and short or unserious discussions, too).

Every blog post is a discussion topic. There are over 2000. Discuss in any relevant topic, use the generic open discussion topic, or request a new topic. We’re not picky about staying on topic, anyway.

Replying to years-old posts or comments is fine. We don’t have the recency bias found at many forums. Many ideas we discuss have timeless or longterm importance, and continuing old discussions is often better than starting over. The common ways that people find new comments don’t depend on how new the post is.

Comment Rules

I favor free speech and do not moderate comments. Posting anonymously is allowed and commonplace (you can even have multiple identities and/or change identities). Self-promotion is fine. Off-topic or tangential comments are fine. It’s discouraged to be a jerk or do anything to harm rational discussion (and people may complain or ignore you), but there’s no rule about it. Misquoting is discouraged. If something isn’t an exact, literal quote, you're advised not to use quote marks.

The actual rules are: no doxing, spam, illegal activities or initiation of force. An illegal activity would be posting copyrighted material (quoting parts is fine; that’s fair use). Spam means e.g. an automatic bot that advertises viagra or posts links to websites to try to increase their Google rankings. Doxing includes trying to reveal the identity of an anonymous poster, posting about where people live or work, or posting people’s private characteristics (photos, race, age, who they are dating or married to, etc.). And don’t impersonate other people.

You will never be punished, censored or moderated based on your ideas. You can disagree with whatever you want, advocate whatever you want, and even flame people. The most anyone will do to you is write words back or stop listening. Comments are neutral ground where everyone is equal; there are no special privileges.

Formatting Comments

The title and author fields are optional. Some markdown formatting is supported:

*Italic* and **Bold** are written with asterisks.

Links: A link is automatically created from a URL with whitespace before and after it. You can also do: [link text](url)

Images: ![](image url)

> block quote

>> level 2 block quote (add more > for additional levels)

A level 2 block quote is used to quote a quote. A level 3 block quote is used to quote a quote of a quote. And so on. Contrary to markdown, blockquotes apply until the next newline, not the next double newline.

You can refer to other comments like #1234 and it’ll create a link to the comment. Click “reply” at the bottom of a comment to auto-generate a reference. Click “quote” at the bottom of a comment to get the full text with block quotes added (then just delete the parts you don’t want to reply to).

You cannot edit or delete your comments. If you want to change something, reply to yourself stating the correction. I will try to make comment links keep working forever.

New Comment Notifications

Find new comments on the recent comments page. For automatic updates, you can use an RSS feed reader (they’re easy) and the comments RSS feed (you can add the blog post feed too). RSS readers include Vienna (Mac, free), bazqux (website, $19/yr) and many others. You can also use automatic website change notification software (it’s easy) or an auto-refresh browser plugin.


Elliot Temple on June 12, 2019

Comments (7)

Criticism and suggestions for better policies are welcome.


curi at 2:34 PM on June 12, 2019 | #12755 | reply | quote

Posting Images

Some people get confused about how to post an image. Replace the text "image url" with the URL for your image. It's that easy. Don't delete the parentheses. If you need further help, google how to post images with markdown. The bold, italics, quoting, links and images are all the same as markdown.


curi at 12:49 PM on July 2, 2019 | #12951 | reply | quote

Test: asterisks without italics

I'm trying to figure out how to get math expressions involving asterisks to show up without italics in curi.us comments. In this comment, I'm testing putting a backslash in front of each asterisk:

2\*2 = 4


Josh Jordan at 10:34 AM on July 10, 2019 | #13017 | reply | quote

Now I'll test putting spaces around the asterisks:

2 * 2 = 4.


Josh Jordan at 10:45 AM on July 10, 2019 | #13018 | reply | quote

Have now patched so that if you put whitespace around asterisks, and use single asterisks, they will not create italics.

Test: * no italics * but then *this* is italic


curi at 11:27 AM on July 10, 2019 | #13019 | reply | quote

Distill.io does website change tracking. Someone from the site emailed me and claimed to be a fan of my work. He offered $5 off the basic plan for my readers. There is a free plan too. Based on the homepage, it looks like it might work pretty well.

https://distill.io

He might have just found me because I link to an article with website change tracker recommendations which ranks high on Google. He could find everyone who links to popular articles about the type of thing he's selling, then suggest his app to them.


curi at 2:01 PM on September 24, 2019 | #13596 | reply | quote

> Distill.io does website change tracking. Someone from the site emailed me and claimed to be a fan of my work. He offered $5 off the basic plan for my readers. There is a free plan too. Based on the homepage, it looks like it might work pretty well.

> https://distill.io

> He might have just found me because I link to an article with website change tracker recommendations which ranks high on Google. He could find everyone who links to popular articles about the type of thing he's selling, then suggest his app to them.

Distill.io has an iPhone app that has notifications which you can get on a paid plan


J at 2:58 PM on September 24, 2019 | #13598 | reply | quote

(This is an unmoderated discussion forum. Discussion info.)