It is well known among my loyal readers that I am an ardent supporter of pseudonymous and/or anonymous blogging and posting, and indeed, I’ve got two or three pseudonyms of my own. But, just because I follow this practice now and then, I do not simply give the pseodoanonymous a pass to do whatever they want. I don’t give that pass to anyone, pseudo-anon or not. Why should I? Why should anybody?

I have suggested in the past that anonymity can allow a person to hide, which can be a good thing or it can be a bad thing. And pseudonymity can disconnect a person from the normal social cues that keeps discourse at least semi-civil. It is not an accident, I’ve claimed, that so many asshats on the internet are not known to us by name. So, in short, I’ve suggested that the pseudoanonymous have a responsibility to not ruin this modality of discourse for those who really need the protection by abusing this modality.

But Raphel Haim Golb has gone ahead and done exactly what I’ve said he should not do. He’s abused an anonymous pseudonym in a most egregious way.

The son of an expert on the Dead Sea Scrolls impersonated other experts in order to further his father’s views on the 2,000-year-old documents, New York prosecutors said on Thursday.

During a six-month period in 2008, Raphael Haim Golb, whose father Norman Golb is a University of Chicago professor of Jewish history, created dozens of Internet aliases in the names of individuals who were active in Dead Sea Scrolls scholarship.

[source]

The sock pupped is now being “charged with identity theft, criminal impersonation, and aggravated harassment” and could be sentenced to up to four years in prison, according to reports, if he is convicted.

Mr. Golb was not available to reporters for comment. However, several dozen letters in support of Golb have arrived at the local courthouse.

Hat Tip: A pseudonymous commenter.

Comments

  1. #1 Comrade PhysioProf
    March 6, 2009

    Dude, how the fuck is this “abus[ing] an anonymous pseudonym”!?!?!?!? He fucking impersonated real people using their real names!!

  2. #2 Greg Laden
    March 6, 2009

    And how is using a persons name who is not yours not sock puppetry?

    Comrade Pee Pee, you are the last person I expect to agree with this (or possibly even to understand this), because it is not in your interest to recognize the problem. You are essentially blind to it. Where one draws the line between categories of anonymity or pseudonymous identity is often very self serving, as we saw recently when I used a non-anonymous pseudonym (and used it to make a point that was lost on those whom it mocked) and was called, arbitrarily, a sock puppet. I was called a sock pupped by a pseudonymous ex-cheerleader (apparently) who seems to think she is an Egyptian goddess with an over the top shoe fetish. Which is funny. Like how clowns are funny.

    You need to understand (and I know you have the background and training to see this if you look) that this is the sort of bullshit that gets laws at least introduced, if not passed. This sort of identity abuse (to use a broader term that you may agree with) is not helpful in making the case that people should not have to have verified ‘real’ identities when conversing on the internet. You know, like when people start getting thrown in jail for this sort of thing.

  3. #3 Isis the Scientist
    March 6, 2009

    Greg, once again you misrepresent those who write truly pseudonymously, assuming that we act in a way in the blogosphere that is not parallel to how we would interact in real life — as though those (especially more prominent bloggers) who write pseudonymously do so in order to be able to adopt some character. Or perhaps the more appropriate word is “trope?”

    It is clear to me that you consciously fail to respect the reasons why someone might choose a pseudonym (other than to “have fun” or engage in asshattery as you outline in your post above)in your writing simply because you place no value upon them. They are not important to you, so why should you?

    What you describe above is not sockpuppetry or pseudonymous shenanigans, but outright fraud. He impersonated others, using the real names of experts to further his own agenda. That would be like me going around and posting on my blog as “Greg Laden” (then again, the only thing I think I would get from that is a bunch of people wondering why my blog had suddenly become so incomprehensible).

    It’s not a sock puppet, it’s deception. I don’t have a Harvard education and even I can tell the difference.

  4. #4 Comrade PhysioProf
    March 6, 2009

    was called, arbitrarily, a sock puppet

    Actually, you were called a sock puppet mistakenly because no one got your “joke”, as usual.

    In relation to this dead-sea-scroll caper, there is an entire fucking dead-sea’s-width distinction between adopting a consistent–but obviously made-up–pseudonym and fraudulently impersonating real fucking people. If this dude goes to jail, it’ll be for fraud. No one’s going to jail because they piss you off.

  5. #5 Comrade PhysioProf
    March 6, 2009

    Greg, once again you misrepresent those who write truly pseudonymously, assuming that we act in a way in the blogosphere that is not parallel to how we would interact in real life — as though those (especially more prominent bloggers) who write pseudonymously do so in order to be able to adopt some character.

    Yeah! Those who know Comrade PhysioProf in “real life” will tell you he’s a totally annoying motherfucker there too!! HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  6. #6 Isis the Scientist
    March 6, 2009

    Yeah! Those who know Comrade PhysioProf in “real life” will tell you he’s a totally annoying motherfucker there too!! HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    There are currently 5 pairs of shoes on the floor behind my desk. I don’t see how this is any more “over the top” than the discussion of any other non-science related topic a blogger might choose to post about. I have never called your discussions of atheism or frequent posting of wacky YouTube videos “over the top” even though they have nothing to do with science. It’s something that makes you happy and I value the freedom to post about topics that we find interesting. I happen to find fashion interesting as a form of art intriguing. But, perhaps that I because I am just a silly girl, Greg, and not a more “serious scientist?”

    The Egyptian Goddess Isis was the goddess of motherhood who both cared for her husband and son while answering the petitions of those who came to her for help, both the rich and the poor. I see nothing wrong with being incredibly proud with the extremely high quality science that is done in our laboratory, the sincere and heart-felt mentoring I provide to more junior scientists (both in real life and in the blogosphere), or the fact that I do these things while keeping a home and raising a family.

    Then again, as I have pointed out before, this duality (of motherhood and science) is often not valued in academia and the fact that you would call me a clown for taking pride in the work that I do only provides the proof of concept.

  7. #7 Greg Laden
    March 6, 2009

    Here we go again with the basic lack of thoughtful attention to this matter.

    Isis, you couldn’t possibly be more wrong. You are, once again, characterizing what I believe based on something I did not say, but that you imagine. Or, perhaps you are merely trying to control the rule making process in this conversation. Not really your forte, though, I suppose. It is absurd of you (but apropos, I suppose) to say this.

    Are you actually telling us here that your shoe thing, etc., is not intentionally over the top? Seriously? This is not a parody? Honestly, I really had no idea. None.

    (OK, I’ll shut up about that now. /stepping quietly and slowly backwards and out the door….)

    CPP: I agree that this is a very different sort of event than we usually see. You are right about that. But, your failure to see the overlap, and the parallels, and the potential outcome, is sad. Strategically, not good. Look, I know you get your rocks off disagreeing with me no matter what it is I happen to say, and later when you look like the ass you truly are, pretending that it was somehow my fault, but you need to think about this a bit more. Here, you are hurting people who need the coverage of personal identity management. Once again, Comrade, you are ruining the Internet for everyone, especially yourself in this case.

    Yeah! Those who know Comrade PhysioProf in “real life” will tell you he’s a totally annoying motherfucker there too!! HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    This made me laugh too.

  8. #8 Isis the Scientist
    March 6, 2009

    Or, perhaps you are merely trying to control the rule making process in this conversation. Not really your forte, though, I suppose.

    I have not the foggiest idea what this means or what my “forte” is. Am I not a serious enough blogger to engage in this conversation? Do you need to see my CV before I can play with the big boys? I have no idea how to interpret this because the language lacks clarity.

    It is absurd of you (but apropos, I suppose) to say this.

    It is absurd of me to comment when I see that you have called me a clown for expressing my femininity as I see fit? Seriously, Greg? You are going to call it “absurd?”

    Are you actually telling us here that your shoe thing, etc., is not intentionally over the top? Seriously? This is not a parody? Honestly, I really had no idea. None.

    (OK, I’ll shut up about that now. /stepping quietly and slowly backwards and out the door….)

    I simply fail to see how this is humorous? Is there a problem with the popular conventions of femininity that I choose to embrace and how I choose to embrace/express them? Why do you choose to condescend them repeatedly? Why must something I enjoy, and the outward expression of the person I am, be a parody? Again I point out that I do not ever condescend posts about things you enjoy/favor. I have never considered your atheist posts to be a pardoy of anything but, when I have read them, I have done so with an open mind in an attempt to glean some insight. Is it because I write pseudonymously that you assume I must be a “character?” Is this why you call me a “trope?”

    I have not before personally attacked you publically without provocation and yet you continue to bring me into every spat you have with the bloggers you identified as “cliquish.” The above post was about our earlier disagreement? So why didn’t you say so instead of using my name in a disagreement with PhysioProf?

    I don’t get it, Greg. I really don’t, but I fail to see how you can call yourself a feminist ally when you write things like this.

  9. #9 Jason Thibeault
    March 6, 2009

    Far be it from me to stick my nose into an apparently forever-raging battle, but I suspect the problem here is that the use of the term “sockpuppet” in this context doesn’t quite jibe with the commonly accepted definition on the intertubes — that of creating alternate names specifically to laud you on a forum wherein you’re getting beaten up by seemingly everyone else. It’s commonly a tactic used by trolls, and each sockpuppet usually has a unique pseudonym and, in the case of some trolls, unique personality traits as well.

    I agree that anyone posting as someone else is an abuse of the privilege of pseudonymity, but I also agree that this Golb bastard is guilty of outright fraud.

    As for the rest of this, I can’t comment — obviously Isis dislikes Greg for some perceived sexist slights. If a link could be posted to catch us new readers up on this particular blood feud, it would be appreciated.

  10. #10 Xavier
    March 6, 2009

    Isis: Derivative, trite, not quite ready for prime time. One wonders. Is Isis really Janet, playing out some … fantasy?

    CPP: Hackneyed, Samo samo. Needs new act.

    Laden: You troublemaker!

  11. #11 pixelsnake
    March 6, 2009

    Wow guys, seriously.
    ‘Comrade PhysioProf’ and ‘Isis the Scientist’, not that this will mean anything to either of you, but I just felt the need to say that for me, a young woman interested in entering the world of science, this is really disappointing. I’m just a layperson and I come to scienceblogs to try and learn while I’m saving up money to get a real education. I see you guys as examples and right now the example is very sad.
    I’m not going to let this put me off, but it might do so for others.

  12. #12 Liz
    March 6, 2009

    Formulaic. Unoriginal. Canned. Deja Vu. Sock puppet like almost.

  13. #13 Stephanie Z
    March 6, 2009

    Jason, the discussion on rule-making is here. If you really want to know, follow the first link for the full playbook up to that point.

  14. #14 Jason Thibeault
    March 6, 2009

    Oh my.

    Oh my word.

    Thank you Stephanie. I now have an excuse to drink the rest of my Crown Royal while I try to slog through the entirety of this dizzying bit of internet drama.

  15. #15 Xavier
    March 6, 2009

    @pixelsnake: Do not despair. How do you know they are really scientists?

  16. #16 The Science Pundit
    March 6, 2009

    Isis said: (comment #3)

    What you describe above is not sockpuppetry or pseudonymous shenanigans, but outright fraud. He impersonated others, using the real names of experts to further his own agenda.

    According to Wikipedia:

    A sockpuppet is an online identity used for purposes of deception within an online community. In its earliest usage, a sockpuppet was a false identity through which a member of an Internet community speaks with or about himself or herself, pretending to be a different person,[1] like a ventriloquist manipulating a hand puppet.

    In current usage, the perception of the term has been extended beyond second identities of people who already post in a forum to include other uses of misleading online identities. For example, a NY Times article claims that “sock-puppeting” is defined as “the act of creating a fake online identity to praise, defend or create the illusion of support for one’s self, allies or company.”[2]

    The key difference between a sockpuppet and a regular pseudonym (sometimes termed an “alt” which is short for alternate, as in alternate identity) is the pretense that the puppet is a third party who is not affiliated with the puppeteer.

    I don’t know, but it seems to me that “using the real names of experts to further his own agenda” is in the very definition of sockpuppetry.

  17. #17 Blake Stacey
    March 6, 2009

    Furthering your own agenda by making remarks under a fake name is a dick thing to do. Ripping off a real person’s name adds an extra level of dickery. In the Venn diagram of prickitude, the circle for the latter is encompassed by the circle of the former, although the severity of abusing a real person’s identity is greater.

  18. #18 Isabel
    March 6, 2009

    Why must something I enjoy, and the outward expression of the person I am, be a parody?

    Seriously? The inner you, whoever it is that you are, is that? This is an expression of your nekit self and not an act crafted to make some point?

    Well, I congratulate you for releasing your well shod inner Egyptian Goddess chick. It is creepy as hell (to think that this is not a parody), but not everyone can put their disturbing Jungian innards on the table like that. You go, girl! I mean, goddess?

    (If I look at you will I die?)

  19. #19 pixelsnake
    March 6, 2009

    Thanks Xavier, good point.

  20. #20 Mankel
    March 6, 2009

    Maybe Mr. Laden is a pain in the neck, his jokes and general writing hard to understand for some and probably in person he even smells bad. But the impression I get after reading this and other previous exchanges is that Goddess Isis and Comrades have a certain tendency to put themselves in difficult positions when desperately trying to make their points. As an example:
    Isis: “Why must something I enjoy, and the outward expression of the person I am, be a parody?”. Wow That’s Funny.

  21. #21 Stephanie Z
    March 6, 2009

    Mankel, having sat next to Greg at the Dawkins lecture, I could tell you how he smells in person. However, saying anything nice about Greg during one of these…things apparently temporarily revokes my membership in the feminist sisterhood.

    Insightful I may be the rest of the time, but call DrugMonkey a bad ally, and I…oops, wait. Tell CPP what words he can’t use, and I…damn, did it again. Suggest that Zuska’s strong statements are alienating, and I…hmm, once more. Try to tell Isis what her viewpoint is, and I…oh, I give up.

  22. #22 Greg Laden
    March 6, 2009

    Saying that I don’t smell bad is a nice thing do say? Well, I guess…. comparatively.

    (Or did I smell like something? Like flowers or something? That was Lizzie, I swear. She was sitting on my other side, upwind.)

  23. #23 Stephanie Z
    March 6, 2009

    Nothing that I noticed, Greg. The only thing I noticed, smell-wise, is that Northrup smells just as Northrup has always smelled for the last 36 years or so. It smells like a theater, but it also just smells like itself.

  24. #24 the real Napoleon Dworkin
    March 6, 2009

    ISIS: “once again you misrepresent those who write truly pseudonymously, assuming that we act in a way in the blogosphere that is not parallel to how we would interact in real life”

    Isis, you are on notice that you have been caught lying about Laden again. I for one am perhaps the most irrefutably obnoxious pseudonymous poster–poster child– for annonymity ever on these faux-left blogs, and Greg LADEN does not censor, or otherwise mis-represent himself or others who use pseudonyms.

    I can’t say that for the feminfisters, you, or your crone-ie Doucheka, and so many other fauxminists who censor any opinion that challenges your cliquish, self effacing and incestuous viewpoints.

    Even the exalted PZ Meyers and his cock clipping PalMD’s and denialist crackpotz follow you smelly girlzz around hoping for just one whiff of your second hand privileged whitewoman feminism so that they can validate themselves as ‘real’ Laccannian mirror-via-fauxminist-men, but Greg Laden does not disrespect, or devise plans against the pseudonnymous.

    Greg, what is up with those fauxminiSS?… misrepresenting womens empowerment at the expense of 1) their actual audience, which is purportedly women 2) men and others who are stuck negotiating the moral morass these fakes leave behind ( Nadya Suleman’s exponential “right” to create all them future dishwashers at taxpayer expense, for instance)

  25. #25 Chris
    March 7, 2009
  26. #26 anon
    March 7, 2009

    Greg LADEN does not censor

    Actually there were a couple of comments on his recent fish post last night that have mysteriously disappeared, but that’s neither here nor there.

  27. #27 Adriaan
    March 7, 2009

    There is a cognitive dissonance in the two threads of discussion. A man was arrested for pretending to be someone he is not on the internet, with no visible identity theft or something else than what should be a civil suit. A gaggle of bloggers have made for themselves individual personae clearly fictional and cartoon like. And they do not understand why they are not taken seriously. Perhaps the next generation of internet users will understand this, how this operates.

  28. #28 Notagod
    March 7, 2009

    Oh come on that wasn’t censorship, that was sweeping up a dust bunny.

  29. #29 G. Brno
    March 7, 2009

    Maybe Mr. Laden is a pain in the neck, his jokes and general writing hard to understand

    When children still in school fail to come up to the challenge of a good piece of literature, we usually say the children need to spend more time in their education. Do not be fooled. This whole thing started long ago when the pseudo blogger calling himself Physioprof got caught in a deception and needed to distract his wide eyed and close mind audience. I am convinced that not every ONE is meant to understand every THING laden or anyone writes. Much good writing is done this way. When clarity is needed it can be there. Have you read the blog of Isis or Physioprof? Hours of reading nothing but self adulation and preening before the first bit of meaning. Not that I spend hours …

  30. #30 Mankel
    March 7, 2009

    Mr. Brno, Are your question directed to me? I suppose it’s not, as my sentence was: “his jokes and general writing hard to understand FOR SOME…”. As you can see, English is not my first language but I’ve been able to understand most if no all of Mr. Laden’s writings. Probably my command of the language is not good enough to make my point while instilling some irony into the language. My position is similar to yours in this affair, and there’s not an inch of irony there ;-)

  31. #31 G Brno
    March 7, 2009

    We see eye to eye,then even as we struggle a little with language.

  32. #32 dreikin
    March 7, 2009

    Ok, this is getting ridiculous – how many posts on this thread are sockpuppets? I’m starting to lose track…

  33. #33 dreikin
    March 7, 2009

    And as a note, andrews-corner.org (linked by the Xavier-puppet) does not appear to like that type of linking.

  34. #34 Barn Owl
    March 7, 2009

    So, if commenters appear to subvert the dominant PP-aradigm, they are necessarily sockpuppets?!?

    *rolls eyes*

  35. #35 Reginald Selkirk
    March 7, 2009

    once again you misrepresent those who write truly pseudonymously

    Including yourself? But to claim that “Isis” is a fictional name would be to insult someone else’s religious beliefs; perhaps some of us out here think that Isis is a real person/god. I know that you would not condone the mocking of anyone’s religious beliefs.

  36. #36 Comrade PhysioProf
    March 7, 2009

    Once again, Comrade, you are ruining the Internet for everyone, especially yourself in this case.

    Dude, I know this is very difficult for you to understand, but you really need to wrap your mind around the fact that pissing off Greg Laden <> ruining the Internet.

  37. #37 Comrade PhysioProf
    March 7, 2009

    That “greater than” was supposed to be “does not equal”.

  38. #38 Greg Laden
    March 7, 2009

    You should try to make yourself clear the FIRST time, Comrade Physioprof. The first time!!!!

    dreikin: quite a bit fewer than you seem to be imagining. Maybe lot of pseudonym but I think only one sock puppet, unless everyone is getting on airplanes and traveling back and forth across the country. But you are not the first person to think that.

    Earlier, someone remarked abut the posts I deleted. That was a single individual who is a spam/troll sort of angry crazy and threatening type person and the Internet police are after him/her. I’ve called in OP Center for this one .

  39. #39 Reginald Selkirk
    March 7, 2009

    unless everyone is getting on airplanes and traveling back and forth across the country

    Anonymizing proxy server

    Of course I would never do anything like that, but it is technologically possible the someone else is doing so.

  40. #40 DDeden
    March 7, 2009

    ItS: “There are currently 5 pairs of shoes on the floor behind my desk.” ok. (me too, not a problem. I need a flippers.)

    GL: sockpuppetry hushpuppery. Why did fish evolve hairlessness? That’s what I wanna know.

    Everybody else: Good Day! (Rest in Peace, Paul Harvey)

  41. #41 DDeden
    March 7, 2009

    [oops. I need a pair of flippers. for diving. and a tropical island lagoon to match. and HHamid. but that's another story.]

  42. #42 DuWayne
    March 7, 2009

    Holy fucking silliness!!!

    Are you people actually fucking adults? I mean yeah, I generally think that adults are just people who are good at pretending, but for fucks sakes this is fucking ridiculous.

    Some people feel the need to blog pseudonymously, there is nothing wrong with that. People who choose to impersonate other actual people are not pseudonymous bloggers, nor are they engaged in some kind of sockpuppetry (not that the latter is conscionable), they are committing outright fraud.

    As for Dr. Isis actually loving shoes; so fucking what?

    As well as often wearing skirts and generally having a profound interest in tearing down social gender constructs, I also love to hunt, use power tools and used to be quite scrappy (i.e. purposefully going to bars where I knew I could get into brawls). The fact that I happen to have certain tendencies that are in line with social male gender constructs doesn’t somehow detract from my overall desire to tear those constructs down. Those aspects of my personality do not define my gender, any more than my skirt wearing does.

    The point of tearing down social gender constructs is that “typical” gender roles do not define gender. I have no doubt that Dr. Isis is more “manly” than I am in certain regards. I also imagine that I have characteristics that are more “feminine” than those same characteristics in Dr. Isis.

    Fuck it, I need to write this into a better post at my own blog….

  43. #43 Greg Laden
    March 7, 2009

    DuWayne, you are getting off topic, as far as I can see. Which is fine, but I thought I’d mention that. A post on your blog about this would be nice.

    I’m pretty sure. since I wrote it, that this post is not about Isis’s masculinity. It’s about acting responsibly when messing around with identity on the internet. Notice the NAME of the post. See that multisyallbic word up there? Thik about that..

    The question of responsibility is not obviated in a particular case when someone acts TOTALLY wrong.

    In other words, the use of a hand gun to carry out a mass murder IS relevant to conceal and carry laws.

    (Instructions on reading stuff: You may find that some of the previous statements are hard to understand. This is done on purpose. This blog is written at a 12 grade or above reading level. In reading this blog, you may have to spend more time working on the meaning of some statements than on others. As you begin to understand what I mean in the harder parts, you may begin to learn something new. Or, you already get it, and can simply read it and move on to the next thing. Feel free to ask questions. Thee may or may not be references to things that only a subset of the readership, perhaps not including you, can understand because of the use of an obscure reference. You can ask about these things if you like. This is one of the functions of the comments section.)

    Oh, DuWayne, those instructions were not for you. At all.

  44. #44 Isis the Scientist
    March 7, 2009

    Greg, I am trying to understand the source of the ire. I really am, but I have having a difficult time. Let me highlight why:

    Where one draws the line between categories of anonymity or pseudonymous identity is often very self serving, as we saw recently when I used a non-anonymous pseudonym (and used it to make a point that was lost on those whom it mocked) and was called, arbitrarily, a sock puppet.

    So you used a pseudonym specifically for the purpose of mocking other pseudonyms? This tells me that you do not, as you claim in your post, value the use of pseudonyms by those who might seriously employ them.

    But, if the point of this from the beginning was to mock my pseudonymity, then why all the attacks on the content that I write. Again, do you think I write under a pseudonym specifically so that I can say these things with no ramifications? I really simply don’t understand.

    You may find that some of the previous statements are hard to understand. This is done on purpose. This blog is written at a 12 grade or above reading level. In reading this blog, you may have to spend more time working on the meaning of some statements than on others.

    In my blog I try to make the point of my prose as explicit as possible. It is very important to me that my readers not question my position on an issue. I don’t think my problem is the inability to understand writing aimed at those with a grater than 12th grade education, but I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt here. Why don’t you shoot for 8th grade reading comprehension and explain the source of your specific ire towards me?

    Unless, of course, this whole thing isn’t actually about me. I am beginning to think this is the most logical conclusion.

  45. #45 DuWayne
    March 7, 2009

    Sorry, that specifically was not a response to your post, rather was a response to people who seem to think the notion that Isis shoe shtick being founded in reality is somehow a bad thing….

  46. #46 Greg Laden
    March 7, 2009

    Isis, thanks for the comment.

    Almost none of this is in any way about you. The whole “I write in many mysterious layers” bit is all about PhysioProf’s assertion, backed up by Janet’s recent post, that the responsibility for any variance or misunderstanding by a reader is entirely on the writer. (I only slightly over characterize their point.) If this were true, it would be entirely new to anthropologists, linguists, literary critics, and so on. It just isn’t true.

    It is, in my view, an absurd and self serving idea designed to set the rules for one single somewhat ill defined purpose. It is bullies setting the rules in an argument they made up and feel the need to win. It is not constructive.

    My occassional use of the pseudonym Name Withheld, or Name Withhled Out of Fear, is to comment on threads when I feel that the conversation is being controlled by a subset of participants and open dialog is risky. I do it when I feel the situation is set up such that the venue is not a “safe place” for someone (not necessarily me) or some subset of people. I actually don’t think YOU were making that an unsafe place. I think the rules were being set by the usual suspects, as I’ve already alluded to. I was mocking that.

    I don’t mean to mock your pseudonymity. I do feel that your on-line personality crosses all kinds of lines, and breaks all kinds of rules, rules that would normally emerge from what I would think of (very loosely) as a 1970s/80s brand feminism. A bit outdated, that, and you are more modern. The whole shoe thing is, as some have suggested, playing into the hands of the patriarchy from that perspective. That is not a perspective that I hold, but it is a perspective very close to the often not very well thought out (IMHO) versions of feminism that many bloggers who are not really in the social sciences seem to engage in. And I find it just amazing that the particular relationships have formed as they have. I feel that there is some ingenuous stuff going on here, but not by you. But I also recognize that life is complex and people are complex. And I really wouldn’t give a shit about any of this were it not for the inappropriate disparaging remarks that come dripping out of this particular place now and then.

    I personally, and I mean this in all respect, think what you are doing on your blog, with your particular approach/personality/’tropes’ and so on is interesting but not, when it comes to actually reading it, not what I am personally interested in. I hasten to add that there are things that I do on my blog, that I KNOW people like (because they tell me) that I would probably not read if it was on some other blog! This communication thing is complex. Efforts to make it seem simple, which are often done for inappropriate purposes, should be identified as such and in my view, ignored.

    In my blog I try to make the point of my prose as explicit as possible. It is very important to me that my readers not question my position on an issue. …

    And I assume that because you have chosen this particular approach that you would then NOT insist that anyone else, doing something different, should also chose that approach. I have been judged, negatively, by some of my colleagues as being of lesser form than they because they perceive me as different from them. Hmmm. To this, they’ve added an additional rule (see PhysiProf’s comment above): If I complain about this, or object to it, then THAT is also not allowed. Hmmm. Do you see how this works? Do you see how bullies operate? This is almost exactly what I was seeing all last year with Julia in seventh grade. Now that she’s in 8th grade, the kids have mostly grown beyond it. The bloggers who set the rules of engagement, not so much growing there. And bullies are the milder form of this sort of studied, systematic, and conspiratorial intolerance.

    Here is something that may be a very important point: Your blog is focused both stylistically (especially that, really) and topically. Mine is not. Mine does not have to be. There is not a rule that says it has to be. I think some of my regular readers like that. I get complaints now and then about it (Oh, you’re not blogging enough SCIENCE!!!11!!), so not everybody likes it. But there is no way to assert a valid rule that says that a blog must be a certain way.

    This is what I am, this is what I do. Those who decide that a blog should be a certain thing, that writing should be a certain thing, such that a person they wish to denigrate can then be made to look bad by reference to this made up rule, are simply being immature bullies, and those that blindly follow along with this are missing out on something … like respectful, intelligent discourse.

    As an example, I give you a post that I’ve got coming out literally in a few minutes. (Evolution of the Lexicon) Anyone with a modest background in language or genetics can appreciate it. But it is full of inside jokes. Half the jokes will be understood only by Mark Pagel. One of the jokes will be understood only by two people (probably) named Cheryl and Tim. One of the jokes will be understood, for instance, by Henry Harpending and a couple of hundred other people (none of whom read this blog, so really, just Henry). One or two, perhaps only by myself.

    And with a little time, and the right questions asked by commenters, etc., and a little teasing by me, it is possible that some of these inside jokes will turn into mildly entertaining blog posts. In other words, if you ask nice, I might tell you a story. Eight out of ten people do not want to hear my story. The other two want to. Or at least, this is what they tell me.

    SO WHAT IF I WRITE MY BLOG FOR ONLY TWO PEOPLE NOT COUNTING THE PEOPLE WHO LIVE IN MY HOUSE WHOM I FORCE TO READ IT??????

    Isis, I appreciate your questions.

  47. #47 DuWayne
    March 7, 2009

    Where one draws the line between categories of anonymity or pseudonymous identity is often very self serving, as we saw recently when I used a non-anonymous pseudonym (and used it to make a point that was lost on those whom it mocked) and was called, arbitrarily, a sock puppet.

    There is a huge difference between pseudonymous blogging and creating an alter-ego. While I can see non-nefarious utility to creating an alter-ego, I also can see people finding it rather a negative. Mainly if one uses said alter-ego to pretend to be someone else supporting your own points.

    When I first started blogging, I used a pseudonym. But wherever I went, whatever conversation I was involved in, I was Treban (the main character in a short story I wrote when I was eleven). I didn’t just arbitrarily change my ident to suit my mood or pretend that someone different agreed with something I said. Even now, if I have something to say that I don’t want easily found under my name with a simple google search, I refer to myself as someone who normally doesn’t post anon. Making it clear that I am probably a regular commenter on that forum, who for whatever reason, wishes that comment to be non-attributable. Personally, I can’t really hide behind that – a lot of people know it’s me making a comment because of my voice. When I do that it’s because I don’t want it to be found via google.

    But when I do that, I make no pretense to being someone I’m not.

    The underlying problem I have with your original post though, is that what Golb was doing isn’t even sock-puppetry, a vile enough habit in itself. Golb was flat committing fraud and a sort of identity theft. It might be different if he was using a name like George Bush to be ironic. But he was actually making statements that he intended to be attributed to the people who’s names he was using. There’s just no comparison.

  48. #48 Stephanie Z
    March 7, 2009

    DuWayne, the problem is that there isn’t consensus on what is sock puppetry and what isn’t. Look at the number of different opinions in this comment thread. So when someone does something like Golb did, the feelings about that–and the action that someone might want taken to deal with it–can bleed over onto other forms of identity management because the terms and categories aren’t well-defined.

    Sure, this is an extreme example, but when have you ever known Greg to use one of those? :)

  49. #49 Comrade PhysioProf
    March 7, 2009

    Just to be clear: I have taken no position on the use of the term “sockpuppetry” in relation to the Dead-Sea-Scrolls caper. The idea that it has anything to do with the pragmatics and ethics of Internet pseudonymity in general is what I consider to be a ridiculous joke.

  50. #50 DuWayne
    March 7, 2009

    Stephanie -

    Even giving that identity issues aren’t that cut and dry, I still don’t see the connection to what Golb did. There is a huge difference between what he did and issues of pseudonymity online. While the issues of identity online may not have clearcut definitions, Golb’s fraud is very clearcut and definitive. He committed fraud and identity theft. The fact that his theft didn’t involve money, doesn’t make it any less a theft. The difference between what he did and if he has started writing checks or borrowing money in their names, is simply a matter of what was gained – the crime is the same.

  51. #51 Isis the Scientist
    March 7, 2009

    The whole shoe thing is, as some have suggested, playing into the hands of the patriarchy from that perspective. That is not a perspective that I hold, but it is a perspective very close to the often not very well thought out (IMHO) versions of feminism that many bloggers who are not really in the social sciences seem to engage in. And I find it just amazing that the particular relationships have formed as they have. I feel that there is some ingenuous stuff going on here, but not by you. But I also recognize that life is complex and people are complex. And I really wouldn’t give a shit about any of this were it not for the inappropriate disparaging remarks that come dripping out of this particular place now and then.

    Alright Greg. But then why specifically make statements about me when you are in a disagreement with PhysioProf? Why refer to me as a high school girl when I was engaged with a blogger without specifically also engaging you? Why refer to a clique that you believe I am a member of and in the same comment thread call my writing both clownish and interesting?

    Before this little flame fest began I can’t recall ever publicly saying anything negative about Greg Laden the person. When this first began you didn’t simply disagree with me, but attacked me personally using “Isis is a…” language. I have publicly disagreed with many of my Sciblings and other science bloggers, but it has never come down to being personally disparaging. So, why continue to mention me when you fight with other bloggers? Are you pulling my pigtails, Greg? Or does the fact that I have publicly admitted to respecting PhysioProf’s posts on professionalism mean that I am a collateral party in any disagreement with him?

  52. #52 Greg Laden
    March 7, 2009

    What about the person who I secretly believe is Physioprof who has been using an anonomizer to leave repeated obnoxious comments on my site (referenced above, the guy who was deleted). He uses other names than his own, and changes the name. Is that a sock puppet?

    Yes.

    Oh, one of the names he uses is mine. In fact, he left two or three comments on my blog using my name, that other commetners on this blog responded to thinking it was me. Was that still sock puppetry, or do we suddenly change the definition of sock puppet because the effect and one detail of how it is done have shifted a little?

    No, it was still sock puppetry.

    Golb used the technique of sock puppetry … which is, clearly, using (typically multiple) names that are not you to make it appear that more individuals are saying the thing you want said. This. Is. Sockpuppetry. It is what it is and that is what Golb was doing.

    Physioprof is once again trying to change the rules for his own interest, and in this latest bit he is trying to move away from his previously stated position in a way that does not require that he simply admits that he is wrong. Because he is incapable of admitting that he is wrong. Because he is a shallow, thoughtless bully with very little to offer this conversation, because a long time ago he decided on a tact that he is regretfully stuck with. Over on his own blog, talking about things that are in no way related to Greg Laden, perhaps he can make some sense sometimes, make some contribution some times. But here, in this conversation, he can do nothing but dig himself in deeper and deepet until he is up to his eyes in his own shit.

    DuWayne, this is sock puppetry. It is perhaps among the worst kind. And, once again, I bring it up here as an illustration of the kind of behavior that Physiprof, Stephanie Zvan, Isis, Orac, Me, and Coturnix to name a few have engaged in …. using a pseudonym … that kind of behavior, which is often justified and reasonable, gone terribly bad. The parallels between this conversation and the gun control conversation are, in my view, becoming more and more clear the more I think about this.

    Every time some joker like Golb comes along and does this sort of thing, we risk legislation or regulation. Why is this in any way unclear?

    Physioprof, pull your enormous head out of your extraordinarily tight ass and maybe you can see this. This Golb thing is something YOU should be blogging about. Something like this is going to happen in your area of specialty some day, and perhaps you’ll take an interest in it.

  53. #53 Greg Laden
    March 7, 2009

    Isis, mainly I’m pulling your pigtails. As you have pulled mine. No big deal, really.

    (Actually, I’m terribly miffed that you stood me up that one time.)

  54. #54 the real DuWayne
    March 7, 2009

    ::The Isis Recipe for the Creation of Dogmatic r Readers::
    “It is very important to me that my readers not question my position on an issue”

    Quote from DuWayne ( if I got it wrong, tell me)
    “Im gonna kick yer ass, wearing nothing but a skirt and tites, with tightie wighties over them–um:clarification: the tightie wighties will be OVER the tites, but UNDERNEATH the skirt.”

  55. #55 Comrade PhysioProf
    March 7, 2009

    Physioprof is once again trying to change the rules for his own interest, and in this latest bit he is trying to move away from his previously stated position in a way that does not require that he simply admits that he is wrong.

    Dude, what the fuck are you talking about? Please explain how I am “mov[ing] away from” some “previously stated position”.

    And BTW, holmes, I totally agree with you that the Sea-Scroll Caper is very, very bad. But it’s no more relevant to the general issue of Internet pseudonymity than fertilizer-fuel-oil truck-bombs are to Fourth-of-July fireworks.

  56. #56 the real Napoleon Dworkin
    March 7, 2009

    Isis’ female as victim language rule, displayed: “Are you pulling my pigtails, Greg?”

    Greg falling for the fauxminist paradigm of women as victims rather than women as perpetrators, but cleverly noting that women are indeed perpetrators:”Isis, mainly I’m pulling your pigtails. As you have pulled mine”

    Isis admitting that the patriarchal paradigm of women on their knees rendering service to pricks is a valid construct, hard to shake even no matter wut, or how hard they work to overcome the stereotype of women :”Or does the fact that I have publicly admitted to respecting PhysioProf’s posts on professionalism mean that I am a collateral party in any disagreement with him?”

    Question: is Physio Prof male, gendered male, or female, empowered and engendered creatively, and with self-determination, with the support of allies and others as an “other”?

  57. #57 DuWayne
    March 7, 2009

    Quite honestly, I am fond of wearing nothing under said skirts and indeed, I have kicked ass while wearing a skirt. Terrible misogynist that I am, I have even taunted people who decided to get on my case for wearing a skirt, by asking how they would like their friends to watch them get a beating from a guy in a skirt. While I have since grown out of my love for a good brawl, I used to be quite the feisty little fucker.

    And if the whole devoted reader bullshit was intended for me, re-read what I wrote. It has nothing to do with Isis, who I do happen to fond of (Oddly, I rather like Greg and CPP too). For further clarity, click my name. It’s not about Isis – it’s about the bullshit underlying the criticisms of her that I addressed. It would make no difference if Isis actually happened to be antifeminist. My point would still be valid.

  58. #58 anon
    March 7, 2009

    Every time some joker like Golb comes along and does this sort of thing, we risk legislation or regulation

    There IS legislation and regulation. That’s why he’s, y’know, “being charged with identity theft, criminal impersonation, and aggravated harassment.”

    I think I get what you’re trying to say, but I don’t buy the slippery slope from Golb’s real, illegal fraud to forcing internet users to use their RealIDs(tm). Partly because I can’t really imagine how something like that is enforceable and partly because in-the-flesh crime happens all the time, yet – where I live, at least – I’m not required to have ID on me at all times.

    For example, credit card fraud happens all the time. It’s even happened to me: hundreds of dollars of shoes and gas were charged on the other side of the country (shortly after a visit there) while I still had the card in my possession! Yet how often am I asked to show ID when I use my credit card? Pretty much never.

  59. #59 Greg Laden
    March 7, 2009

    And if the whole devoted reader bullshit was intended for me, re-read what I wrote.

    Actually, no it was not.

    Isis, who I do happen to fond of (Oddly, I rather like Greg and CPP too)

    Me to. Seriously.

  60. #60 Stephanie Z
    March 7, 2009

    DuWayne, I’m not saying that there’s no difference (or even just a small difference). I’m saying there’s a problem in that people don’t agree on what behavior is a subset of something else or completely different from something else or really all the same thing as something else. As such, it’s important to both condemn this kind of behavior and differentiate it from the behavior that is important, useful, convenient or even just kind of silly or fun.

    The fact that there are already fraud laws that cover this kind of idiocy won’t stop people from claiming there need to be ways to specifically control what people do online. We’ve seen it happen with other laws–obscenity and intellectual property to name just two. They’ve passed, too, because it’s a fairly small subset of people who not only spend significant time online, but also actually think about what they do here.

    Anon, do you know how often ID laws are proposed and passed?

  61. #61 Stephanie Z
    March 7, 2009

    Me to. Seriously.

    Me three. There’s a tendency to think that the people you agree with on most things would agree with you on everything if they just understood where you were coming from. Not that it works this way, of course.

  62. #62 Greg Laden
    March 7, 2009

    Right… I’m not claiming (nor did I claim to claim) that something RATIONAL would come of abuse of pseudonymity by this guy or some other joker. Nor should needed or proper uses of pseudonmity/anonymity be shied away from out of fear.

    I’m speaking quite explicitly about responsibility, and that includes openly criticizing this sort of behavior rather than avoiding the obvious (if irrational) implications.

  63. #63 Isis the Scientist
    March 7, 2009

    ::The Isis Recipe for the Creation of Dogmatic r Readers::
    “It is very important to me that my readers not question my position on an issue”

    Oh, don’t be dramatic. I value readers who disagree with my interpretation of an issue. I’m a scientist, that’s how I roll. When I write, however, I try to do so with clarity to prevent lack of clarity from causing a reader to misinterpret my intent or conclusions. But I’m a scientist and that’s how I roll.

    Isis admitting that the patriarchal paradigm of women on their knees…

    Respecting a colleague = Sucking his cock?

    There’s some classy commenters on this blog. Are you the one sending me emails, Dworkin?

  64. #64 The real Stephanie Z
    March 7, 2009

    Steph: No, tell me how often ID laws are prop’d/passed?

    We bicker about this sort of thing as our constitution lays in ashes after Bush.

    Why don’t we argue as vehemently about the current suggestion that we employ a national divers license so we can get in to Canada? Or why not support Patrick Leahy as he attempts to get to the bottom of the torture scandals of the Bush Admin?
    Instead, we have an Ur-fascist discussion about anonymity on the web–the web the last vestige of free speech….

  65. #65 The real Dr. Isis
    March 7, 2009

    Isis: don’t flatter yourself. How does me criticizing you for taking an inflexible dogmatic approach towards propagandizing readers equate with “sending [you] e-mails?”

    Oh, yeah: this is the “menz are stalking me and cyberbullying a female blogger” setup, right? Or is it further proof that womens fanatasies often cloud their judgements and perceptions of reality…?

    And in regards to your query “Respecting a colleague= Sucking his cock?” um, sure, if you really, REALLY respect him….otherwise, it was a poke at the laughable, outdated patriarhy-as-primary problem paradigm itself.

    But the big joke here is that the pseudonym of Physio is non-gendered–so who knows if it even has a cock?

    Now a phallus, that’s a different ding…a-ling, entirely.

  66. #66 anon
    March 7, 2009

    Anon, do you know how often ID laws are proposed and passed?

    No, I don’t. Do you?

    Do you know how often the obscenity or IP laws you mention are successfully enforced?

    I’m also not a USAian, so maybe my concerns about where something like this can lead are coloured differently.

    That said, after Greg’s latest comment I have a better understanding of what he was trying to say.

  67. #67 Greg Z I C P P
    March 7, 2009

    I’m speaking quite explicitly about responsibility, and that includes openly criticizing this sort of behavior rather than avoiding the obvious (if irrational) implications.

    Dammit – if you were all that clear, I wouldn’t have misunderstood you. The sad thing is, now that I’m stoned you’re making much more sense.

    …the web the last vestige of free speech….

    But really, only if you blog pseudonymously and are confident in your anonymity. Because if you aren’t, you will inevitably filter what you write, through the lens of what you truly want attributed to your name, even by the people around you. This is not truly free, even if the limitations are self-imposed. Of course anon is still not truly free, because the filter is merely shifted onto another persona, with only a measure less concern for attribution.

    Down with the motherfucking self-repression of free speech!!!

  68. #68 Greg Laden
    March 7, 2009

    Do you know how often the obscenity or IP laws you mention are successfully enforced?

    Just to expand a bit … very rarely, and the laws introduced are very rarely passed, but there are reasons for that.

  69. #69 Comrade PhysioProf
    March 7, 2009

    Dude, you gonna explain how I am “trying to move away from [my] previously stated position”? Or were you just blustering?

  70. #70 Andrew
    March 7, 2009

    When I write, however, I try to do so with clarity to prevent lack of clarity from causing a reader to misinterpret my intent or conclusions. But I’m a scientist and that’s how I roll.

    Roll or rule?

  71. #71 Matt McIrvin will now explain the joke
    March 7, 2009

    Greg falling for the fauxminist paradigm of women as victims rather than women as perpetrators, but cleverly noting that women are indeed perpetrators:”Isis, mainly I’m pulling your pigtails. As you have pulled mine”

    Indeed, look at the way Majel Barrett was able to finagle a role on Star Trek just by being married to William Shatner!

  72. #72 Comrade PhysioProf
    March 7, 2009

    Dude, you gonna explain how I am “trying to move away from [my] previously stated position”? Or were you just blustering?

    Dude, you gonna put up? Or are you just totally full of shit as usual?

  73. #73 Greg Laden
    March 7, 2009

    Holy crap, I get busy with something else for an afternoon, come back, and I find that Comrade Physioprof has once again gotten utterly obsessed with every word I say and every thought I think. How many times have you clicked back on this site, man? You’re breaking my Click-O-Meter software!

    If you want to know about your own inconsistencies, just read your own comments. If you want to make an argument that you are not changing your previously held position, that’s fine, I believe you. Whatever it is you want. But do try to make yourself more clear in the future. Maybe you could take a communications class or something.

  74. #74 This is boring even to us sockpuppets
    March 7, 2009

    *yawn*

  75. #75 Greg Laden
    March 7, 2009

    Boring: I agree, but that is easily solved. There are numerous other posts on this very site that you can read.

    If you haven’t read the Congo Memoirs yet, you might go here and have a look. Or look at the post I just put up on a cool Linux utility. Or have a look at this funny cartoon. Or, did you ever wonder, “Is blood ever blue”?

  76. #76 Mankel
    March 7, 2009

    Greg, how come that this guy (person?) asks you if you are “totally full of shit as usual”, and when for the first time I go to his (its?) site, all the post titles are full of “shit” and of “motherfuckers”?
    Maybe being full of shit is something he (she?) appreciates, or even worships. Maybe he/she/it likes you. Maybe you are a wet dream of someone (not your wife).

  77. #77 bored (and procrastinating) sockpuppet
    March 7, 2009

    Thanks for those entertaining links. I have enjoyed reading some of the Congo pieces before. I remember the blood post, and even commented on it (using my usual non-sockpuppeting pseudonym). The comment thread under the cartoon is…weird.

  78. #78 Greg Laden
    March 7, 2009

    Mankel: He is totally hot for me. Seriously.

    Bored: That comment thread is indeed strange. The post got Farked. Indeed, of all of my posts ever, that one has been viewed by more people than any other because of this.

    Just when you think you kinda understand the internet ….

  79. #79 the real Mat McIrvin
    March 7, 2009

    Matt, I think you meant to say ; ” or look at the way that Hillary used Bill as a sockpuppet for so-called womens issues ( which completed her fantasy of imprisoning/otherwise neutering males, while simultaneaously opening new doors for Bills trouser snake…er…and her “brown girl” fetish) and then landed here a suhWeeet spot as the new Secretary of State…imagine that: all of those years as a VAWA harpy, and then she STILL only gets to be a secretary!

  80. “Is there a problem with the popular conventions of femininity that I choose to embrace and how I choose to embrace/express them?”
    Dearest Dr. Isis, you know I love you but… If your wanting to have shoe-babies (if you could!) is not “over the top” / hyperbole, well… I will say this: perversions that don’t hurt anybody are none of my business to judge (and they in no way affect whether you are a good scientist, of course). But I still can’t quite shake the feeling that fucking shoes is one step below furries.

    “In reading this blog, you may have to spend more time working on the meaning of some statements than on others.”Snark is best served pithy, Greggie.

  81. #81 Anon
    March 8, 2009

    Indeed, look at the way Majel Barrett was able to finagle a role on Star Trek just by being married to William Shatner!

    Actually, she was married to Gene Rodenberry.

  82. #82 Anon
    March 8, 2009

    /offtopic

  83. #83 The real Dr. Isis
    March 8, 2009

    Trekkies are such ass snifferds…

  84. #84 dreikin
    March 8, 2009

    Huh – Greg, until I read this comment of yours, I thought you were simply fond of trolling. Still may be, but it’s interesting to know that (a) you can write quite clearly when you wish, and (b) you seem to have more than just that simple motive. Interesting.

  85. #85 Comrade PhysioProf
    March 8, 2009

    If you want to know about your own inconsistencies, just read your own comments.

    Just as I thought, dude. Totally full of blustery bullshit, as usual.

    Why don’t you just stick to copy/pasting dumbfuck Youtubes and shilling Linux? You seem to do a much better job avoiding making an ass of yourself that way.

  86. #86 Propter Doc
    March 8, 2009

    (struggling to remain on topic having made the mistake of reading half the comments thread so far)

    I think that identity fraud is at the very serious end of the spectrum that includes sock puppetry. Being a sock puppet in internet comments is just like making a prank phone call as someone else. Neither are particularly serious, probably cause some offense but aren’t necessarily legal matters. Pretending to be someone else for some kind of gain (money, power) is far more serious, but I see no reason why it is not analogous to being a sock puppet.

    This comment thread – the usual bullshit from the usual people. What, do they hang around just for you to post, Greg, then come running with their hysterics?

  87. #87 Greg Laden
    March 8, 2009

    CPP: I gave you a way to save face, and all you did was slap mine. Again. What is it like to be “person” with absolutely no social intelligence at all? Or, for that matter, no redeeming qualities whatsoever? What do the people who have to work for or with you, or worse, who are related to you, do? I’m sure they would never let you know to your face. In this regard, I know only one story from a good source, and I didn’t want to hear it when I heard it, and I’ll never repeat it. But it made me laugh. Then it made me feel sorry for you.

    Is this the product you’ve intentionally cultivated? Why would you do that? What sort of abuse happened to you as a child that makes you want to be this thing you’ve become.?

    What is astonishing here is that this post is about an important issue, one that affects you, CPP, and many that you claim to defend, but you’ve made it all about you. Do you have no shame? well, clearly, CPP, the characterization, does not. But what about the person behind the puppet? I’m speaking to YOU. Do YOU have no sense of responsibility?

    I’m afraid your pseudonym may burst from abundance of ego.

    And your obsession with this is unseemly. I can see how often you click on this post to see if I’ve responded. Get a life, man.

    dreikin: Well, thank you for the critique and judgment based on a single comment. Glad you found a good one.

    You people should know better than to act like such morons when you KNOW I’m still having my first cup of coffee.

  88. #88 Greg Laden
    March 8, 2009

    Propter Doc: Basically, we have nothing better to do.

    But yes, I think your analysis is dead on. Thanks for contributing actual substance!!!!!

  89. #89 DuWayne
    March 8, 2009

    Propter Doc -

    Some of us just get off on selfrighteous indignation!!!

  90. #90 Greg Laden
    March 8, 2009

    A little selfrighteous indignation can be very humbling.

  91. #91 DuWayne
    March 8, 2009

    Occasionally humbling, but even then often productive. I really don’t mind having to apologize for flying off the cuff, when having done so helps foster interesting discussions. And I have managed to get a good spate of emails that lend me to think it worked out as a net positive.

    Besides, I need to be humbled once in while.

  92. #92 Isis the Scientist
    March 8, 2009

    This comment thread – the usual bullshit from the usual people. What, do they hang around just for you to post, Greg, then come running with their hysterics?

    HA HA HA HA!!!!! Oh, PropterDoc, are you still hung up on our silly shenanigans?

    Hysterics, from the Greek hustera or womb. From the belief that hysteria in women originated in disorders of the womb. An interesting choice of words.

  93. #93 Abel Pharmboy
    March 8, 2009

    Sorry to be late to the show. Greg, I find it very poor form for a scholar of your reputation to have included a disparaging remark toward Isis when you responded to a comment by PhysioProf that legitimately questioned the intellectual leap you made from the Golb case to internet pseudo/anonymity. Indeed, take issue with CPP as you have tried, albeit without responding directly to the argument at hand. But please have the decency to leave out unnecessary attacks on those completely unrelated to the current proceedings.

    I must say that I enjoyed meeting you in person. However, your online persona is very disturbing, condescending, obsessive, and hostile. This is the primary reason I have chosen not to engage with you online for the last year or so. But I do look forward to seeing you again.

  94. #94 Stephanie Z
    March 8, 2009

    Abel, the incident in which Isis called Greg out for sockpuppetry is directly relevant to whether or not the lines between different types of online identity management are clear.

    As for the personalization of the remark, well, there’s history. Did you talk to Isis about whether her tagging of her Sciblings was appropriate for someone of her position? If they want to fight, let them fight, or pull pigtails, or whatever. They’re both quite capable of taking care of themselves.

  95. #95 Greg Laden
    March 8, 2009

    Abel: I also enjoyed meeting you in person, and look forward to the next opportunity.

    I don’t think I’m ever going to like the “Isis Pseudonym” which I still choose to believe is a made up thing and not a real person, as much as I would probably like the person herself in real life. But that really is my choice. People … like you, for instance … don’t like me on the blog, but do (more or less) in real life.

    I’m reminded of this: Some time back, PZ Myers and I did a thing with Chris and Matt here in Minneapolis (the “framing slapdown”). When we were done with this public presentation, many, many of our readers in person that evening, later in person and emails, and on the blogs, commented that they were rather disappointed to have not seen more blood. Everybody who knows, for instance, PZ or me in person knows that we are not the same person as the blog presents.

    This is true of almost everybody. A part of a person is represented in their form of expression, and that part may or may not be what is seen in real life, and there are certainly parts in real life that can’t be expressed in a given non-real-life medium.

    I personally think that a pseudonym allows a person to be much farther than real life than others may be, but that is only a general rule. I estimate that you as pseudo and you in real life are not terribly different. I estimate that Isis and whoever is behind Isis are very different. When a person does not use a pseudo, it is easy to assume that this does not happen, but it does, and not necessarily consciously,

    Thanks for the comment.

    Isis, don’t be mean to PropterDoc. PropterDoc is cool.

  96. #96 dreikin
    March 8, 2009

    dreikin: Well, thank you for the critique and judgment based on a single comment. Glad you found a good one.

    Not exactly – it was an ‘enlightening moment’, not a critique or judgment.

  97. #97 Greg Laden
    March 8, 2009

    Good. Enlightenment is good.

  98. #98 Isis the Scientist
    March 8, 2009

    Greg, your statements tell me that you still just don’t get it, and that the major reason you feel my pseudonym is an act is because you lack the ability to appreciate that there may be people that are different than you and that might value things that you do not. I think that is a shame, champion of academic diversity.

    But it comes down to the fact that Greg Laden has always believed pseudonymity is a front to allow people to ignore the mores of polite society. That too is a shame and reflects that you are unwilling to imagine other reasons why a female academic who writes about her personal experiences as a mother might not want her blog to be the first thing people see in a trivial Google search for her scientific work. Again, a shame.

  99. #99 Greg Laden
    March 8, 2009

    Isis, the reason I think your pseudonym is an act is because it is an act. In real life you do not walk around calling yourself an Egyptian Goddess, ending half of your conversations with a reference how you are going to go home and have sex with your husband now, speaking of almost nothing but shoes and using only the third person to refer to your self.

    Of course, I’m only guessing at that.

    As for your assessment, it is absurd, offensive, bullshit, and belies a lack of thoughtfulness (or even thought, really) and self reflection. I don’t ever have the sense from you that you’ve comprehended anything I’ve said. And no, I do not subscribe to the assertion that your inability to get me or what I’m saying is my fault or responsibility. You come into this discussion with your mind clearly made up.

    Yes, I believe this is an act, and I hope it is an act.

    And please understand that you are wasting your time trying to get me to like you. It could happen, but it has to happen on its own, naturally.

  100. #100 The real Dr. Isis
    March 8, 2009

    Isis: “it comes down to the fact that Greg Laden has always believed pseudonymity is a front to allow people to ignore the mores of polite society.”

    Well it certainly allowed you to infer above that I, Napoleon Dworkin, was somehow “sending you e-mails”, that inference insinuating some e-stalker possibility that caused a friend to question if it were true.

    So, maybe Greg is wrong here if indeed he is infering that your pseudonym is a front, because I believe you are exactly the kind of petty, white-female JERK who would level such flase allegations because false allegations fit the whitewomans fauxminist script of “Mores of polite society.”

  101. #101 Isis the Scientist
    March 8, 2009

    HA HA HA HA! Greg, you’re hilarious!!! You’ve got it all wrong. I do refer to myself and my science in real life (occasionally in the third person)as totally hot and, when I learned that two of my lab members have birthdays within 2 days of mine, instituted Princess Week in the lab. We wore tiaras in the lab and office for a week. Students dig a woman who teaches in a tiara. Because we do work that is physically demanding and can be quite messy (thus demanding the wearing of scrubs or other manual labor attire), we have deemed Friday, when we have meetings and seminars, to be “High Fashion Friday.” I think it is important for people to be proud of who they are and the work they do, and to feel comfortable expressing themselves and their creativity. Especially women who sometimes undervalue their own abilities and contributions to science. I understand that you don’t.

    I think I wrote about sex with my husband for one week because I appreciated that one of the things that is easy to do as an academic is to neglect one’s marriage. But, that’s what you remember of everything I’ve written? That I wrote about sex with my husband? Are you scrolling through all the posts of professional advice to read the naughty ones? And the shoes? Seriously? It’s about the weekly shoe post? Should I switch to posting 5 or 6 hilarious YouTube videos a day?

    Greg, I don’t need you to like me. I don’t care if you like me, and am frankly amused that you don’t. I’ve got a fun blog where I get letters from junior scientists asking for help, a stellar career in a laboratory full of hot talent, exciting science, and a beautiful family. Whether or not Greg Laden likes me is not going to make me lose sleep. But I like coming back to this thread because you are hilarious and I love things that are hilarious.

    What I do find utterly laughable is the fact that you are unable to see through your own bullshit. You sincerely believe that the problem is that people lack the ability to understand you instead of accepting the reality — your writing is inconsistent and often difficult to comprehend. Man, I wish I had read you in graduate school when I was submitting my first article. I could have used this as a response to my first reviewers:

    As for your assessment, it is absurd, offensive, bullshit, and belies a lack of thoughtfulness (or even thought, really) and self reflection. I don’t ever have the sense from you that you’ve comprehended anything I’ve said. And no, I do not subscribe to the assertion that your inability to get me or what I’m saying is my fault or responsibility. You come into this discussion with your mind clearly made up.

    That would have been amazing!

    I am amused by the fact that your dislike of me keeps you trolling around the internet, badmouthing me. Is my ruining of ScienceBlogs keeping you up at night, Greg?

  102. #102 Isis the Scientist
    March 8, 2009

    would level such flase allegations because false allegations fit the whitewomans fauxminist

    Isis? A white woman? HA HA HA. Do you two sit around and make this shit up together?

  103. #103 Greg Laden
    March 8, 2009

    Isis: Don’t get me wrong. I’m sure I’d like you very much in person. It is also interesting to hear that you actually are a domestic and laboratory goddess in real life and not just making it up. I had no idea. I had assumed otherwise, obviously incorrectly.

    We should get a beer some time.

  104. #104 Isis the Scientist
    March 8, 2009

    Isis: Don’t get me wrong. I’m sure I’d like you very much in person. It is also interesting to hear that you actually are a domestic and laboratory goddess in real life and not just making it up. I had no idea. I had assumed otherwise, obviously incorrectly.

    We should get a beer some time.

    Yes, Greg. We should and next time I am in the twin cities I’ll look you up. Only, do let me know if I have said anything that would warrant an ass kicking.

  105. #105 Greg Laden
    March 8, 2009

    Same here, you too. Hope it’s soon.

  106. #106 the real Napoleon Dworkin
    March 8, 2009

    “Isis? A white woman?”

    Yup, to the core. Foot fetish paraphilia and all.

    Using false allegations/inferences as a means of empowerment,and attention seeking, while hiding behind anonymity.

  107. #107 Andrew
    March 8, 2009

    The final conclusion from this discussion has got to be that pseudonymous bloggers stick together and do not acknowledge any flaws in the system. Such individuals seem to believe in things that just can’t be true.

  108. #108 Greg Laden
    March 8, 2009

    Andrew: I like the term “final” here. This blog really is for things other than these childish immature fights among bullies and babies. I’m closing comments on this thread and I’ll be discouraging future discussions in this vein. Let’s get on to other things appropriate for a science blog. Like story telling and anti Republicanism, fighting the good fight against racism and gender stereotyping, and cool stuff about dinosaurs!

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