first of all, everyone can calm down. few if any of Silliman's comment threads are lost forever. skip below for a list of resources that will help you recover his old comment sections. you do probably want to act quickly though.
Kent Johnson, and a few other people that he's managed to convince, are upset that Ron Silliman might have deleted all the old comment archives from his blog. he writes:
the deletion of that public record [Silliman's blog comment archive], with all its good and bad both, would be nothing short of–from an ethical and literary standpoint–a stunning instance of malfeasance.someone should probably address this on a more well-read blog, because there is a huge misconception here. really, it's a little scary to think that anyone could possibly have been contributing comments somewhere for years under the assumption that Blogspot (or as Kent seems to think of it "Ron Silliman") would keep them forever.
archiving this amount of information takes a good bit of time and resources. why do people keep thinking that Ron Silliman needs to be putting in all this extra effort and resources into protecting your writing?
don't you keep copies of poems you send in to publishers? don't you keep copies of your side of a correspondence with someone? how could you possibly think that anyone besides you has an obligation to be archiving your own written material? especially when you're writing in a medium that's so famously ephemeral.
it's a little late now for Silliman's blog, but anyone who finds it important to archive comment sections should know that it's their own responsibility, but that it's not difficult to do at all. just subscribe to the "all comments" RSS feed on a person's blog (which you should then be backing up if it's important to you). also, on Blogspot, there's an option to have all comments on any thread you participate in sent to your email address (which you can then also back up somewhere else).
resources for recovering "lost" web content:
you can use the internet archive and the wayback machine to recover old webpages. (here's an example of an old Silliman thread with the comments still viewable using wayback). a little spotty, but you can find many of the comment threads.
also, you can use the google cache function. just press the "cache" link under any google result, or search "cache:example.net" on google. (example of viewable comments using google cache). google's cached pages do expire after 3 months (thanks to Steven Fama for reminding me), so be quick about grabbing stuff using this. you can get a text version of the cached results, which will make it a tiny file for saving purposes.
here is a greasemonkey script that's useful for browsing the internet using google cache (learn how to use greasemonkey here.)
find more resources for recovering old webpages here.
also, there's some likelihood that Silliman has old versions of his blog backed up, which would have all the comments in tact. i'll let everyone know if he gets back to me.