Anybody who spends a lot of time in the TechRepublic fourms has

probably noticed that things have been a bit quiet for the last few

months. A lot of factors have probably contributed to the lull, and

some of us Community staffers have been asked to try and get the old

discussion engine revving a little higher again.

So I’ve decided to have an opinion. For the last 4 and half years, I’ve

trod very carefully in the discussion forums, making it a point not to

step on any toes or take a public position on a controversial issue.

I’m supposed to be a neutral party, friend to all, enemy to none. And

while I’m not going to start shopping for enemies, I am going to get my

hands a little dirtier, figuratively speaking, by throwing out some

threads that I feel strongly about, and soliciting a reaction from the

virtual masses.

I’m going to tag these little missives with firestarter.

That’s been our insider term for threads with the potential to launch

into flame wars, and it seems appropiate here. I’m not asking for these

topics to devolve into childish namecalling, but I’m no longer going to

anesthetize my language to prevent such reactions. It’s a futile

effort, and it does more harm than good.

Let the flaming begin.