Go not to the Elves for counsel for they will answer both no and yes.
—Frodo Baggins

Note: as far as the Elf thing goes, I am more a Dwarf, from the Neal Stephenson perspective (see his Cryptonomicon). Still, it’s best not to come to me for counsel. The title concept I steal from one of Neal’s conceits. When G+ was a thing, he had a pinned post or whatever (or maybe it was on his website), about how it was his official account or web presence, unless it had been hacked or something. This kind of thinking sends one such as myself down all sorts of self-referential mental byways. Inspired thereby I declare that the words you are reading are from someone who is, belike, me: Dean Calahan.

Here on this blog I offer a curated view of my thoughts and habits, and in some cases accomplishments, with the whole world free to ignore it or not. Don’t “be like” me, unless you do so responsibly – double check everything I say and come to your own conclusions. Nothing I communicate, unless specifically declared to be so, should be construed as, for example, counsel, advice, suggestion, recommendation, instruction, encouragement, or imperative. Specifically, the phrase “belike me” is not an imperative: look it up! (That last was, of course, an imperative).

As this blog is my own, it operates by my own rules, which, although compressible to “be reasonable”, are probably better left somewhat less vague. So. Although my posts are not necessarily trying to start conversations (a vague feeling of getting “plus ones” via, for example, web metrics, would probably be sufficient, should I pursue that, but at least to start with I can’t be bothered), comments will not always be closed, and if a great conversation ensues, so much the better. Remarks on the substance of a post will at least get my attention. Pertinent questions or comments about my stylistic approach will at least be pondered. Neither is guaranteed to solicit a direct reply, although by altering my considerations they may have indirect effects downstream, such as in future posts. I believe that the current configuration requires a first post by a given commenter to require moderation, after which it won’t be required. As of day one of this blog I have been a WordPress user for less than a day, so I may have gotten things wrong in all my configurating.

Note that I am unlikely to ignore anything resembling what I call “performative toxicity” (trolling, using loaded or disparaging terms, changing the topic, sealioning, codewords, dogwhistles, sneering, etc. I’ll not supply a complete list). Such comments may simply be deleted without further comment; there may even be moderation or banning of toxic performerators. I might instead convey that some particular comment was unfortunate. If I do, I hope its author draws back from their rhetorical gambit and studies (or re-studies) the word “curation”. That all assumes I even get any traffic. These considerations may all be moot, as this may be a mostly write-only blog anyway.

If you do comment, know that I reserve the perpetual right to utilize any or all blog comments (including deleted ones) in future endeavors of any kind, for example (but not limited to), publishing my memoirs, scholarly data analysis, or engaging in Oulipo-style grandiosity.

TLDR: if you stick with “be reasonable”, for values of “reasonable” that are reasonable, I won’t be unreasonable.