Regular readers know that a certain poster often departs from what many would consider to be the conventions of civility. (I am making no judgments in this post.) Recently Gene succumbed to the pleasures of his power as Administrator and began deleting comments from the person in question. This raises the question of what the final solution should be to our Silas Problem. I offer some possibilities, with commentary, below.
(1) Ban him. The problem here is that he can come back in alternate guises. Once we "out" him, is that new persona immediately banned too? Or does the new and improved Silas have to earn a fresh banning at that point? Also, we then run into problems of consistency. We have to start banning others if they cross "the line," meaning we have to define the line. There is also the efforts of enforcement. I for one don't feel like judging whom to ban, and going to the trouble of deleting posts. If we have a "hey we never ban" policy, then we can't be held liable for the ridiculous and offensive things you may see here. But if we ban one person, then the next time Robert W. puts up anti-Islamic screeds, we are implicitly giving him a nod and wink if we don't ban him too. You see the problem.
(2) Ignore him completely. This is neat because it dovetails with pacifist ostracism strategies. But it too is subject to some of the above problems.
(3) Ignore him when he is being particularly rude and/or incomprehensible. This is my preference.
(4) Have Gene assign Silas' death and dying as a class project. This is surely illegal, an obvious strike against it.
(5) Something we are overlooking?
We invite reader feedback, inasmuch as we need to know how many lurkers are entertained by these shenanigans, versus how many decide to spend their time at other "serious" blogs.