I see a lot of parenthetical "discussions" taking place in comments section of this site. That raises an interesting question — Comment-discussions are typically deleted as off-topic, but how can we redirect those energies to say "okay, that's interesting… just not here." Chat is really where these discussions belong.
Take a look at comments following these questions:
The comments about the questions veer off into a debates about moral relativism, Natural Law, and intelligent design. Nothing wrong with that but…
Comments were never meant to branch off into chatty, forum-style discussions. Comments are simply to ask for clarifications about the post. Yet, if someone mentions a tenet of philosophy in a post, it seems perfectly natural to want to discuss the underlying principles… even beyond the specific question being asked.
So what do we do when these discussions emerge? I'm looking for moderation policies or, perhaps, features added directly to the site.
I want to encourage the learning aspect of the site. I'd rather not have to blindly delete these comment threads just to make the point "stop frigging doing it…" but we have to find a way to redirect those energies in a way that does not break the underlying software behavior.