Paul's Internet Landfill/ lj/ Disclaimers


I have been meaning to write this for a while. It applies to those who read my journal, those whose journals I read and/or comment on, and pretty much anybody else who interacts with me.

It was last updated on 2006-06-08.

  1. You are free to read this journal or not. I write it for a few reasons: to practice articulating ideas, to clear out garbage in my head, to entertain and inform others, and for fame, praise, and LJ comments. You are welcome to read whether you are a friend, an enemy, my boss, a coworker, one of my students, my mom... whomever.

  2. I participate in LJ for education, entertainment, and to procrastinate and relieve stress. It is a hobby, not a vocation. In particular, when LJ interferes with my work and life too much I will drop it.

  3. Be aware that I reserve the right to put upsetting things in my LJ. Within LJ rules and hate laws, this is my space.

  4. For the most part, I take responsibility for what I write. That means I accept the consequences of my words. However, be aware that I write wrong things (which I will retract) and that I change my opinions frequently.

  5. I am uncomfortable with the LiveJournal semantics of "friends". Read this journal if you find it worthwhile; otherwise don't feel obligated to. Yes, I have an ego and want lots of readers. But there is not a strong correlation between the websites I read and friendship, and I don't expect that of others.

  6. The cardinal rule: if I screwed up, if I have upset you, if you would like to request a change in my behaviour, please contact me. Leave me a comment or send me an e-mail. My e-mail addresses consist of my username at or my username at . When I do wrong things I want to know about it.

  7. I have many bad habits, and screw up a lot: I swear, I insult people, I post when I am angry, I make jokes in poor taste, I repeat ignorant opinions, I say incorrect things, I take criticism poorly, my beliefs are incorrect, I wallow in self-pity, I take jokes too far, I write flippantly instead of solemnly, I am negative, etc. You need not forgive me for these things, and you have the right to speak up about them when they upset you. However, understand that I have been struggling with these things all my life. I will not fix my bad habits overnight. I post anyways, and I guarantee that I will continue to screw things up. However, I rarely act out of malevolence, and I promise to make amends when I do screw up. Please let me know; another bad habit is that I am not very good at reading social cues or subtle hints.

  8. The Web has an echo-chamber effect. I spend time reading blog posts, they influence me, and then I come up with variations or responses to those posts. In many senses this is another bad habit. It does mean that I may react to or comment on your blog post. If/when this upsets you there are some things you can do about this:

    • You can request that I not comment on your LJ.

    • You can request that I not react to your posts, react to posts on certain topics, or mention your LJ entries on my posts.

    • You can request that I no longer read your LJ. If you post public entries then banning me or unfriending me is not enough of a hint, because I often don't log in when reading LJ. I will honour such requests out of courtesy. However, I do not promise never to write about certain topics on my own LJ, especially when I do not refer to you. I will not go out of my way to antagonize you, but I have a hard time with censorship (which is another bad habit that gets me in trouble).

  9. Another bad habit of mine is that I am a pretty negative person. If I respond to your post as often as not I am criticizing it (which is hypocritical since I seek praise from others). However, when I am negative I ask you to put my negative comments in context: I am reading your journal because you write informative, interesting things. Most likely I admire you and your writing, even as I yap at you about being wrong.

  10. . I tend to write a lot of comments/posts that are absurd or seem incorrect. Here is a non-exhaustive list of reasons I tend to do this:

    • I am going for a laugh.

    • I am trying to provoke a reaction.

    • I am exploring an idea by stating something that seems wrong but which I suspect has some truth to it.

    • I am making a genuine statement. I understand that my intentions are not always clear (even to myself). Thus, if you are concerned about a particular comment please ask for clarification.

  11. . I don't move at the speed of the Internet. It may take me a while to respond in conversations. (In fact, as I am trying to wean myself off the Internet I am hoping delays will be longer.) I am also not good at thinking fast, so I will often reflect on an idea for a while before posting a comment.

  12. . Even though (or because?) I am a negative person I take criticism (about myself, not my bad ideas) pretty harshly. However, I would much much much rather be criticised than do something wrong without being called on it. I am incredibly serious about this.

  13. . I welcome conversations about the things I write from anybody. Until/unless it becomes a problem I will welcome comments from anonymous users or arbitrary LJers. I do ask that you keep the tone respectful. Discuss and criticise my stupid ideas all you want, but avoid the flamewars and name-calling, please.

  14. . I find thinking, conversations, and criticisms emotionally draining and time consuming. If I am feeling overwhelmed (because of the discussion or other things in my life) I may ask to postpone or conclude a discussion. Please respect this. If the discussion is important to you then we can resume it when I am a little stronger.

  15. . Of course you don't need permission to read or link to my journal. I keep my public entries public so they can be read.

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