I apologise. I honestly am trying to learn this lesson. Much effort has been expended of late to learn exactly this! I have that nasty bug where "OMG, SOMEONE IS WRONG ON THE INTERNET" causes me to post things. Sadly, this causes me to post a great many things. I keep forgetting that the Internet is a great big gong show /about/ being as wrong as humanly possible. Truthiness before truth, gut instinct before logic.
Hatred and prejudice before compassion and understanding.
The overwhelming negativity of El Reg commenters as regards a lot of topics is slowly hardening my heart and making me lose hope, compassion and possibly the will to live. I still think some of the smartest people on the internet hang out here…but I begin to understand that “smart” seems to correlate directly with “stuck-up” in far too many cases. “Stuck-up” is sadly often cognate with “stubborn” and “unwilling to even consider to opposing views” and thus you get really smart people who think everyone else is retarded and utterly refuse to consider any opinion or idea they didn’t have first. (Listening does not mean being converted to someone else’s point of view, it is merely the concession that there may be multiple simultaneously valid opinions about a given subject. Sadly, this is apparently a highly unfavoured view.)
Attempting logic and reason against such a backdrop is madness. On the other hand, my fiancée is home now; she is an excellent distraction from Internet commenting. Additionally, I have tossed El Reg into an RSS reader that allows me to do all sorts of neat things that scrape the site and reformat it. The most critical is that it removes that “post a comment!” links at the bottom of the article.
This is spanktabulous because it means that if I think an article is worth commenting on, I have to actually bust out a web browser and navigate there manually. It took me about a week of off and on coding to write a scraper, but I have removed the whole “Impulse commenting” bit. If you were to look at my commenting history, it probably crashed through the floor about two weeks ago.
Sadly, it’s a bit like a drug; you have to weak yourself off slowly. Cold turkey is just too hard for some people. (Like me!) Thus, articles that I have a very strong opinion about (like this one) are ones I do actually take the time to bust out into a browser and comment on.
You’re right however; it’s probably daft to participate even on a reduced level. Logic and clear thought have no place on the internet. In fact, I shouldn’t be writing this comment. I should be finishing my last four El Reg articles and/or fixing some widget at work that has decided to implode. Being productive > commentacular pointlessness on them thar intertubes!