Shortly after yesterday’s post introduced the new features of GeoCurrents, the site was subjected to a malware attack and had to be taken down for a security fix. Such are the challenges of web-based publishing: constraints are lifted but vulnerability increases. I do wonder whether the strike could have been related to any of a number of people whom we may have offended by writing on controversial topics.
GeoCurrents does consider controversial issues, but it strives to do so in an impartial manner. We try to stay as close as possible to an empirical basis. If you think that our facts are wrong, please give us your corrections. (Although we might respectfully argue with you—facts are often slippery.) If you think that our interpretations are incorrect, or that we have taken only one side of a two-sided issue, feel free to let us know. The blog is meant to increase knowledge of the world—ours more than anyone’s. The more we are corrected, the more we learn. In fact, the blog’s most elaborate creation, the Linguistic Map of the Caucasus, is meant to be crowd-sourced. It is now in beta form, and we invite all knowledgeable readers to send in corrections.
Comments, corrections, and criticism from informed readers are thus always welcome, but that does not mean that anything goes. This is not a forum for political advocacy or ideological statements. We are interested in the specifics of the situation at hand, not in overarching theories or moral positioning. If we have offended your heartfelt beliefs, please do not respond with a discourse on the greatness of your people or your cause and the perfidy of others. And for all comments, please try to be brief. Two hundred and fifty words is a good upper limit—most readers ignore longer responses. Most important, be nice and keep it clean. Profane language used in anger or contempt will be immediately scrubbed. Comments with purposefully inflammatory or insulting language are also subject to deletion.
On too many websites, commentary sections deteriorate into insult exchanges. Admittedly, such forums can be diverting and even amusing, but they are almost never instructive. When abusive words fly, learning comes to an end, defeating the purpose of GeoCurrents.