We have all seen or experienced when something controversial is posted on a website, anywhere in the world, and its comments section devolves into chaos. At a final glance, the conversation below the original story or opinion has become so mangled and detached from the starting point that it bears no resemblance to it at all. It is just some sprawling exercise in free association, typically infused with malice and vindictiveness, and certainly incoherence. It needn’t be a formal website either. It happens everywhere, from Twitter to Facebook, to blogs to news sites. At some point or other, we all would have played our part too. It is true, given the degree to which formal websites have clamped down on comments sections, this kind of thing is more prevalent on social media these days. Nevertheless, the impulse towards it seems unrestrained, even as it lacks an outlet. But is it as chaotic as it first appears? Is there not hidden among all the intellectual decay some structure? A kind...

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