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.