I keep getting comments and emails saying that it was mean to go after Zack Beauchamp because he is inexperienced, or because the person writing presumes that he's young. I have no idea on either front.
I think this sort of thing illustrates the great distance between some of my ideas about what argument is, how democracy works, and what real intellectual respect entails. I have a whole host of complaints about how discussion goes down on blogs, but I'll be brief and just say: when you are overly protective of a writer on the Internet, you inevitably create the impression that the writer needs protecting. So is Zack Beauchamp someone who needs protecting? I'll extend him the preconditional respect of saying that he is not.