The Curiosity website is both a blog and a discussion forum. People have long, serious discussions here (and short or unserious discussions, too).
Every blog post is a discussion topic. There are over 2000. Discuss in any relevant topic, use the generic open discussion topic, or request a new topic. We’re not picky about staying on topic, anyway.
Replying to years-old posts or messages is fine. We don’t have the recency bias found at many forums. Many ideas we discuss have timeless or longterm importance, and continuing old discussions is often better than starting over. The common ways that people find new messages don’t depend on how new the post is.
I favor free speech and do not moderate messages. Posting anonymously is allowed and commonplace (you can even have multiple identities and/or change identities). Self-promotion is fine. Off-topic or tangential messages are fine. It’s discouraged to be a jerk or do anything to harm rational discussion (and people may complain or ignore you), but there’s no rule about it. Misquoting is discouraged. If something isn’t an exact, literal quote, you're advised not to use quote marks.
The actual rules are: no doxing, spam, illegal activities or initiation of force. An illegal activity would be posting copyrighted material (quoting parts is fine; that’s fair use). Spam means e.g. an automatic bot that advertises viagra or posts links to websites to try to increase their Google rankings. Doxing includes trying to reveal the identity of an anonymous poster, posting about where people live or work, or posting people’s private characteristics (photos, race, age, who they are dating or married to, etc.). And don’t impersonate other people.
You will never be punished, censored or moderated based on your ideas. You can disagree with whatever you want, advocate whatever you want, and even flame people. The most anyone will do to you is write words back or stop listening. Messages are neutral ground where everyone is equal; there are no special privileges.
The title and author fields are optional. Some markdown formatting is supported:
*Italic* and **Bold** are written with asterisks.
Links: A link is automatically created from a URL with whitespace before and after it. You can also do: [link text](url)
Images: !(image url)
> block quote
>> level 2 block quote (add more > for additional levels)
A level 2 block quote is used to quote a quote. A level 3 block quote is used to quote a quote of a quote. And so on. Contrary to markdown, blockquotes apply until the next newline, not the next double newline.
You can refer to other messages like #1234 and it’ll create a link to the message. Click “reply” at the bottom of a message to auto-generate a reference. Click “quote” at the bottom of a message to get the full text with block quotes added (then just delete the parts you don’t want to reply to).
You cannot edit or delete your messages. If you want to change something, reply to yourself stating the correction. I will try to make message links keep working forever.
You can test/preview comments/formatting by posting in Formatting Test Thread.
New Message Notifications
Find new messages on the recent messages page. For automatic updates, you can use an RSS feed reader (they’re easy) and the Discussion RSS feed (you can add the blog post feed too). RSS readers include Vienna (Mac, free), bazqux (website, $19/yr) and many others. You can also use automatic website change notification software (it’s easy) or an auto-refresh browser plugin.
See also: Use RSS to Subscribe to Blogs
If I and others don't respond to you, you can try again (saying something similar or something new), ask why, ask what you can do better, or read some of these posts about how to discuss well. Talking about what your goals are, and why you want my attention personally or my community's attention (instead of just wanting discussion with anyone smart), can help. If you think I'm mistaken about something important, see my Debate Policy.
Criticism and suggestions for better policies are welcome.
Some people get confused about how to post an image. Replace the text "image url" with the URL for your image. It's that easy. Don't delete the parentheses. If you need further help, google how to post images with markdown. The bold, italics, quoting, links and images are all the same as markdown.
Test: asterisks without italics
I'm trying to figure out how to get math expressions involving asterisks to show up without italics in curi.us comments. In this comment, I'm testing putting a backslash in front of each asterisk:
2\*2 = 4
Now I'll test putting spaces around the asterisks:
2 * 2 = 4.
Have now patched so that if you put whitespace around asterisks, and use single asterisks, they will not create italics.
Test: * no italics * but then *this* is italic
Distill.io does website change tracking. Someone from the site emailed me and claimed to be a fan of my work. He offered $5 off the basic plan for my readers. There is a free plan too. Based on the homepage, it looks like it might work pretty well.
He might have just found me because I link to an article with website change tracker recommendations which ranks high on Google. He could find everyone who links to popular articles about the type of thing he's selling, then suggest his app to them.
> Distill.io does website change tracking. Someone from the site emailed me and claimed to be a fan of my work. He offered $5 off the basic plan for my readers. There is a free plan too. Based on the homepage, it looks like it might work pretty well.
> He might have just found me because I link to an article with website change tracker recommendations which ranks high on Google. He could find everyone who links to popular articles about the type of thing he's selling, then suggest his app to them.
Distill.io has an iPhone app that has notifications which you can get on a paid plan