Set forth below is the text of a comment recently posted to another blog entry at this site:
I have to question whether you wrote that guest post. Your name appears nowhere on the page, you didn’t claim authorship of Wade’s paper, and most telling of all, you didn’t reply to the comment.
I had lunch with the author of the MoneyCrush blog and with the author of the Budgeting in the Fun Stuff blog at the Financial Bloggers Conference (FinCon14). The topic was: What to Do About the Goons So That We Can Get More Bloggers Writing About Valuation-Informed Indexing.
Their idea was to ignore you Goons. I have heard this advice from hundreds of people, including my wife. I’ve never seen the tiniest bit of evidence that it works. The Goons and the Normals are working at cross-purposes. The Normals want to see investing advice that is research-based and that works in the long run and the Goons want to never, ever have to say the words “I” and “Was’ and “Wrong.” It’s pretty darn hard to see how those two desires can be reconciled without working through some conflict.
So I did not think too much of the advice that they were giving me. But I thought that they were kind to meet with me and I thought that they were being sincere in the advice that they were offering and I thought that I should be open to doing anything that at least did not look like it would do harm.
They said that it would be better if I didn’t respond to Goon comments and challenged me to test the idea. They also said that it would be better if my name did not show up on Guest Blog Entries because then you Goons wouldn’t be able to find the Guest Blog Entries with Google searches. I said that I would go along with the tests even though I didn’t see how doing these things would help.
So we did that. We exchanged a number of e-mails following the posting of the two Guest Blog Entries. Eventually, we just stopped sending e-mails back and forth. We never reached agreement on what should be done. There was no hostility. They stuck with their position — that I should ignore the Goons, that I should give short answers, that I should say what works and not point out what doesn’t work. I stuck with my position — that we should all unite in opposition to stuff that it is so abusive that it constitutes criminal behavior under the laws of the United States, that we should encourage Buy-and-Holders to say what they believe because we can learn from them but that we should not tolerate death threats and other insanely abusive stuff, that all bloggers should be doing what is best for their readers and not just what is popular and what makes them a quick buck or earns them an easy link.
The comment was real. They said that it was okay to respond to real comments under this experiment, just not to respond to Goon comments. But they said that the responses should be short. I wrote a short response. The woman who owns the site said that she had no problem with my response. I think she may have just forgot to approve the comment. Probably she turned the moderation on because she was thinking you Goons might show up and then, after we got into the long e-mail exchange, either she forgot to approve the comment or perhaps it seemed like a trivial thing because of the other issues that came up in our discussion and that remain unresolved.