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Omigawd! Surprised by Reality!

by sierrathedog04 (Hermit)
on Jul 13, 2001 at 02:30 UTC ( #96213=monkdiscuss: print w/ replies, xml ) Need Help??

Ovid says on his homepage of Perlmonks poster Abigail:
We spoke, but never were introduced. I don't think he would care to be identified as a Perlmonk, though.

It inspired me to think that a person with Abigail's level of Perl knowledge was a woman, because to be honest one meets very few superb programmers, and my regrettable experience has been that with all due respect the superb programmers I have met have been almost all male. Abigail was an inspiration because if one can have a top-flight woman programmer then one can also have a top-flight 48-year-old programmer.

Too bad.

Edited 14 Jul 01 - 23:45 (PDT), by footpad

Comment on Omigawd! Surprised by Reality!
Re: Omigawd! Surprised by Reality!
by John M. Dlugosz (Monsignor) on Jul 13, 2001 at 02:35 UTC
    His home node doesn't help matters, either. The graphic is effeminate and there is no personal information given. You would think that he would say, "That's Mr. Abigail" on his page, or somesuch. Perhaps he wants to remain anonymous, and keeping his sex a matter of discussion is part of staying private.

      Don't mean to gossip, but maybe he is a pre-op. Not that there is anything wrong with that on a personal level. But I just feel that we as Perl Monks cannot be silent in the face of the rampant transgenderism among our ranks. I mean, that is what led to the fall of Rome!
      Oooops there goes some more XP...
      Update: After reading the above posts, I realize that this post, and this one alone, went too far. I assumed that the individual who called himself 'Abigail' was simply someone fooling around. Apparently he has genuine issues that he is working out. I assumed that a reference to 'rampant transgenderism in our ranks' would be obviously satirical but apparently I am dealing with a real unusual circumstance here. So now I know. Don't mess with the online personna 'Abigail.'
        Actually, you may gather from the downvotes that others feel that dealing with your "issues" is what constitutes an unusual circumstance.

        If someone identifies herself with a feminine name obviously she considers her gender to be female.  To you this is news.

          p

Omigawd! Reality is surprising!
by myocom (Deacon) on Jul 13, 2001 at 02:54 UTC

    <parody>

    It inspired me to think that a person with sierrathedog04's level of Perl knowledge was actually a dog, because to be honest one meets very few superb programmers, and my regrettable experience has been that with all due respect the superb programmers I have met have been almost all human. sierrathedog04 was an inspiration because if one can have a top-flight canine programmer then one can also have a top-flight 29-year-old human programmer.

    And his home node doesn't help matters, either. The graphic clearly shows a dog, but I guess he must be the human in the picture. You would think that he would say, "I'm the human" on his page, or somesuch. Perhaps he wants to remain anonymous, and keeping his species a matter of discussion is part of staying private.

    </parody>

    Seriously, folks, do you really think this sort of discussion is appropriate or necessary?

      The graphic clearly shows a dog, but I guess he must be the human in the picture. You would think that he would say, "I'm the human" on his page, or somesuch
      Good point! I should update mine, too.
Re: Omigawd! Surprised by Reality!
by sierrathedog04 (Hermit) on Jul 13, 2001 at 03:47 UTC
    Wow. This is the most downvoting I have ever gotten in awhile, and I am not even sure what I said wrong!

    I just finished reading the book The Hacker Ethic by Pekka Hakkonen, and he comments in the book that while theoretically hackers can be either male or female, unfortunately they are almost always male.

    Is what I wrote so different? Most programmers including I regret me are mediocre, and among that large group of mediocrities one finds both men and women. Of the several dozen top flight programmers I have met, I guess that two or three have been female.

    Offensive to say so? I am not glad about it. Good programmers create work for other programmers in their successful projects.

    With all due respect, integrating women into the upper reaches of programming and not just management doesn't seem to be happening. With all due respect. The people who are great, world famous hackers include Linus Torvalds, RMS, LW, and people in the Perl community like Lincoln Stein and even a few of the posters here.

    It doesn't help women or feminists to pretend that there is not a problem here.

    As for the disappointment that I am not a dog, yes it is a shame. Dogs are earth's most wonderful creatures. We humans were put on earth to serve them. I believe that my dachshunds would be master programmers except that their paws cannot manipulate the keyboards.

      I downvoted it and posted my parody not because you said anything wrong about there being few "high level" female programmers, nor for any of the related discussion, but because the subject text annoyed me.

      A public node about someone else's choice of name, and subsequent discussion about this "discovery" smacks of gossip, and it leaves a bad taste in my mouth.

      But no harm intended by my parody post; I was simply trying to make a point with it.

        No offense intended and none received. If you think what I wrote was bad, you should have been on the CB a few months ago. Malicious PM gossipers were accusing Merlyn of being a transvestite! Can you imagine? (It's not true, is it?)

        Speaking of Merlyn, where is he? I haven't seen him post in awhile. I always thought that he had the hacker ethic that Pekka Hekkonnen writes about. I mean, Merlyn is a pretty big man in the Perl world, but he took the time to hang out with guys most of whom know a lot less than he does because it was fun to talk about Perl.

        Tres cool. What if we all did Perl for 20 years? Would we all know as much as Merlyn/Tilly/Tye and yes, "Abigail."? In my case I think my gas tank would keep getting topped off and the extra Perl knowledge would run out onto the pavement.

      I did vote you down. In part because this has come up before and I frankly don't give a floating point about Abigail's (or anyone else's) gender. Ab's tone may be harsh, in a merlynesque sort of way, but the info is usually soundly based. Indeed, as a programmer, Abigail is worth listening to. (Granted, I don't always agree; but I do listen. To me, that is valuable, too.)

      I will grant you that programming and geekdom have each been traditionally considered male sports, however, I have met a number of smart people in the business over the past fifteen years. Many men and many women. What's impressed me the most was not their gender, but what they'd been able to create using the same tools available to me. The way they've solved problems. And so on.

      Yes, it's good to be inspired by people's achievements; however, it's very rare that a person's physical attributes are more commendable than their accomplishments. I believe it's dangerous to base inspiration on physical attributes. Certainly, appreciate their achievements...however, use care when basing that hope on anything else. Discrimination comes in many forms and not all of them are obvious.

      I am not saying you were or are. I'm identifying, like a good programmer, a risk.

      Let me put it this way. There are several monks that I have mental images of, ideas about what they look like, what they think, what they know, and (to some degree) who they are. It's common to wonder about the people behind the phosphors. It's also common, in my experience, to find that reality is far different than our idealism. To finish the point, I may have theories about the people behind the handles, but I am more than happy to be able to fit truthful images to my ideas, instead of fantastic ones.

      One should certainly be idealistic and hopeful. However, you must temper that with a recognition and understanding that things may be very different than you hope. Expect that and you should be fine. However, please do not base your hope on any specific, physical, or tangible attribute--especially when dealing with something as difficult to interprete as online messages. Focus on the achievements and you'll be fine.

      In other words, I believe your underlying idea is correct...if others can do it, then you can, too. I believe that very strenuously. However, I would rather you focused on actions, and not attributes. Learn the methods and live with the properties, if you will.

      And the main reason your puppies aren't able to program is very simple: the Master Feline Domination Plan is working. ;-)

      --f

      P.S. FTR: Update (a year later): we I have two a cats and one dog.

        Well, I would say that something not very good for women is going on. The hi-tech field is the highest paid one. Not that many American-born women are becoming programmers. Whatever it is they do instead, I think they often earn less than they would doing programming. Probably they would like programming, but for some reason they do not do it.

        Feminist groups often approve of female role models for female programmers. Perhaps it works. I don't know. I have heard it said that Lady Ada Lovelace is NOT a good role model for female programmers. Yes, she worked on 19th century prototypes of computers, but she was literally insane.

        I don't care whether Abigail is a man or a woman. I assumed he was a woman and that he was an example of a woman succeeding in spite of the statistics. If someone who possesses dangly bits wants to go under the name 'Abigail' then who am I to argue? But people will be surprised.

      Dogs are earth's most wonderful creatures. We humans were put on earth to serve them. I believe that my dachshunds would be master programmers except that their paws cannot manipulate the keyboards.
      A friend of mine has a plaque that reads something like "I only pray that I can be as good as my dog thinks I am."

      As for dogs on the computer, I came up with a doggie keyboard. It would look like a wrist-rest, being a large pad in front of the normal keyboard. Divided into 3 zones, decorated with spots, horizontal stripes, and diagonal stripes, respectivly. This appears distinct to the dog's visual system without "reading".

      Now, you teach the dog to hit one of the three areas on cue. Given a sequence of hits, that's really traversing a menu system, isn't it? I have no doubt that some dogs, such as my former Austrialian Shepard, would go beyond simply doing it as a trick and would play with it for her own enjoyment.

Re: Omigawd! Surprised by Reality!
by Jouke (Curate) on Jul 13, 2001 at 11:41 UTC
    If you really want to know the truth, attend YAPC::Europe where Abigail is a speaker :)

    Jouke Visser, Perl 'Adept'
    Using Perl to help the disabled: pVoice and pStory
Re: Omigawd! Surprised by Reality!
by jmcnamara (Monsignor) on Jul 13, 2001 at 11:49 UTC

    Supposedly, high ranking British Civil Servants play a verbal game where they avoid any mention of the gender of the Prime Minister.*

    Equally, Perl people in the know seem to avoid using personal pronouns when discussing Abigail.

    On one occasion Abigail left c.l.p.m over this sort of discussion. Perhaps we can ignore this in future or at least not follow up on it.

    John.
    --
    * Based on "The Child in Time", by Ian McEwan.

(kudra) We see what we want to see, I suppose was Re: Omigawd!
by kudra (Vicar) on Jul 13, 2001 at 12:27 UTC
    I don't think that your original point was at all what you later expressed here. You weren't talking about the 'shortage of female programmers,' you were loudly expressing your apparent shock over something irrelevant in a way I and many others consider rude. It is, quite simply, none of your business. If a person doesn't go out of her/his way to mention something to you, then you can safely conclude that s/he doesn't want it shouted in public. For whatever reason.

    Had you skipped the first post and arrived at the second in response to your surprise, and then posted a discussion on why there might not be many women programmers and what could be done to change that, I expect the response you got would have been quite different.

    If, as you say, you want the inspiration of female programmers, why don't you look at the stars instead of space? For example, you could think of Skud or Elaine Ashton (who seems to feel that Perl needs more women). Or, since you weren't limiting yourself to Perl, what about Evi Nemeth?

    However, I think you do them a disservice when you treat them as being as odd as a three-legged talking cow. "if one can have a top-flight woman programmer then one can have" <something totally unrelated> is almost the same as saying "If a woman can do that, so could anyone."

      And the first ever programmer was a woman, Ada.
        I mentioned that. However, Grace Hooper or the woman who invented the way of avoiding loops in networks (sorry I forgot her name) are better role models, because Ada Lovelace was insane and believed in fairies and leprechauns.

        I want to be a great programmer also, but not at the cost of going crazy.

      Wow.

      'Abigail' is a fictional female personna created by a male programmer. 'Abigail' does not exist. I was not rude to 'Abigail.'

      Some years ago there was a song called "A Boy Named Sue." Now "Sue" did not actually exist. No rational person would say that "you were rude to Sue by calling her a man."

      If 'Abigail' walked into my office it might be rude to tell 'her' that she is a man. However, this whole conversation has become Kafkaesque.

      (Kafka by the way was not actually a slug even though he wrote a story claiming to be one. I was not rude to the slug in Kafka's story by calling him a man.)

      I too sometimes confuse the online world with the real one, but get this. There is no such person as 'Abigail' and one cannot be rude to a fictional character.

      Otherwise:

      "Homer Simpson, you are not a man, you are a cartoon."

      How could you be so rude to Homer, it is none of your business whether he is a man or an animated figure.
      Let's get real.
        Hi.

        You might be thinking of 'Metamorphosis'. In that story, Kafka was a cockroach ( as opposed to a slug ).

        Concerning the issue of gender. There is mounting scientific evidence to suggest that gender and sexual orientation ( two *completely* unrelated topics ) are hard-wired in the brain. Neither of them is a 'life style' or a choice. When I worked in a psychology lab, I was privileged to interact with several transgendered individuals and I was deeply impressed with their intelligence and depth of insight. It is thought that since *many* of them possess a larger, more integrated corpus callosum ( the central nerve bundle that connects the left and right hemispheres of the brain ) they are able to process information in a simultaneous dual sense ( emotionally and logically ). Viewing them as a 'circus freak' or 'side show exhibit' not only ignores the phenomenal contributions these individuals are capable of making, it reveals a staggering level of ignorance. In traditional Navajo culture, transgendered individuals ( referred to as 'Two Spirit' people ) have been revered for centuries. They are privileged members of the tribe ( permitted to conduct religious and funeral rituals, etc. ). In many aspects, Western culture has always displayed a level of ignorance / intolerance for things they were taught to fear. How many gifted individuals have taken their own lives when confronted with such bigotry?

        -Katie.
      However, I think you do them a disservice when you treat them as being as odd as a three-legged talking cow. "if one can have a top-flight woman programmer then one can have" <something totally unrelated> is almost the same as saying "If a woman can do that, so could anyone."

      What a wonderful example of how if one bends over backwards to try and be offended then one can find offense anywhere.

      The stereotype is that hackers are young and male. A successful female hacker and a successful middle-aged hacker have both overcome the tendency to internalize this stereotype. That is why a successful female hacker can inspire a successful middle-aged male one.

      "if one can have a top-flight woman programmer then one can have" <something totally unrelated>"
      Run this by me again. Being a middle-aged hacker is "something totally unrelated" to being a female hacker? Really?
Re: Omigawd! Surprised by Reality!
by synapse0 (Pilgrim) on Jul 13, 2001 at 12:53 UTC
    Not that this really has anything to do with Perl, but really.. Many of us (or maybe just me) are neither male nor female on the internet (or bbs's in the old days), and some of us are both. Myself, i'm just a bunch of type you see on your screen, what i am in real life is for the most part, incosequential to most acquaintences i meet on the net. Particularily physicality. To much crap comes from thinking of person.X as male or female when what they really are is someone to learn from (even the seemingly psychotic ppl can be learned from). So I don't really care if you know me as a male, or a female. I wouldn't want to be a role model (heh right) for my gender, just for what i have to offer to whatever community i am in..
    anyway...
    -Syn0
Re: Omigawd! Surprised by Reality!
by coreolyn (Parson) on Jul 13, 2001 at 17:55 UTC

    Abigail was an inspiration because if one can have a top-flight woman programmer then one can also have a top-flight 48-year-old programmer.

    Too bad.

    What's too bad is that you'd respect a woman for struggling to the top, yet you fail to realize that gender ambiguity is frought with far more struggles internally and externally than come with just being anatomically correct. Personally I find the ability of Abigail to maintain gender ambiguity on-line while being so high profile over the years and maintaining a high level of excellence is inspiring in itself.

    Too bad you can't see that.

    coreolyn - Anatomical gender should be irrelevant socially and especially programatically.
      Cannot see what, again? "Gender ambiguity?" I wasn't aware that the name 'Abigail' was ambiguous.

      'Pat', 'Chris', 'Shawn' these are all ambigious names. However, 'Abigail' is not ambiguous.

      If I ever meet the creator of this personna and he wants me to call him by the name of his fictitious character I will of course do so. I will even pretend that he is a she. But I was not aware that this individual is apparently widely known in Perl circles and is sensitive about the subject.

      Okay, now I know.

        Helllooo.. McFly! Anybody in there?

        It's not any persons level sensitivity or ambiguity that is at issue. It is your over-reaction that exposes and creates one. It just simply shouldn't matter. If it does, than you should explore why and I believe you'll find whole worlds of human personalities you were never socially trained to even acknowledged their existance.

        This is so NOT Perl.. Sorry my knee jerk reactions have wasted bandwidth

        coreolyn
Surprised by Reality! Omigawd!
by clintp (Curate) on Jul 13, 2001 at 19:45 UTC
    I've had the pleasure of spending time with Abigail both online and in person. Abigail's talent for writing clever bits of code is unequaled in this forum and -- as a bonus -- this is a nice person to spend time with chit-chatting in a pub about darn-near any topic. At the conferences, Abigail is someone I make a point to seek out to visit with.

    I hadn't actually noticed...Abigail has a gender? I never really thought it was that important of a topic. Apparently some do. Maybe these monks should get out more.

      Under normal circumstances it would be okay to express surprise that an individual who assumes the name 'Abigail' is a male. What makes the situation taboo is that the individual is not simply someone fooling around with screen names but rather is making a lifestyle statement.
        No sir. Your postings (not just the one that started this thread) have identified you as either a bigot and a troll, or so woefully immature that your opinions on sexuality should be kept to yourself until those issues are worked out. You are not a child and no longer have license to be this socially akward about gender.

        Substitute black/white for male/female. Or Christian/Muslim, or gay/straight or any other potentially opposable groups and re-read your post. You should be horrified and ashamed.

        And now you backpedal and make excuses. Be an adult: admit you were wrong and move on. *plonk*

Re: Omigawd! Surprised by Reality!
by petdance (Parson) on Jul 13, 2001 at 20:22 UTC
    I don't know what the hubbub is about. Me, I'm just amazed that Alligator Descartes is able to use a keyboard in the swamp.

    xoxo,
    Andy
    --
    <megaphone> Throw down the gun and tiara and come out of the float! </megaphone>

Re: Omigawd! Surprised by Reality! (WHO CARES???)
by dragonchild (Archbishop) on Jul 13, 2001 at 22:22 UTC
    <DISGUST>
    I've been on the Net for years. While on the net, dragonchild has been male, female, human, fairy, and any number of other personae. I've been hit upon by gay and straight men and women.

    Very rarely have I ever had an angry reaction. Usually, it has been a reaction of "Oh, ok. So you're a insert gender here. Now, where were we?"

    This is the Net, for crying out loud. Gender is irrelevant. I was perfectly happy knowing that Abigail is an excellent coder, with an incisive wit and wonderful grammar. And, in fact, that's all I care to know. Whether or not Abigail is an 'innie' or an 'outie' doesn't change the fact that the code written is some of the best I've ever seen.

    This discussion is fruitless, baseless, groundless, and can only serve to hurt a very valued member of this community and disgust the rest of us.

    Quit posting on it! Please.
    </DISGUST>

    Believe me, I understand the desire to increase the percentage of female programmers, especially in the US. If that's the case, then discuss that. Discussing a monk in this public, and embarassing, a fashion is completely rude.

      What angry reaction? The crowd members are angry at me. I am not angry at Abigail.

      Look. It is reasonable to think that someone who takes the name 'Abigail' is a woman.

      It is reasonable to view an extremely competent woman coder as someone who avoided internalizing the stereotype that competent coders are young and male.

      It is reasonable to view such extremely competent female coders as role models.

      It is reasonable therefore to be disappointed if 'Abigail' is a man. 'Abigail' may be a marvelous person. He may not have had to overcome the stereotype of the young male hacker.

      So I am disappointed that someone I thought of as a role model who defeated the stereotype of the young male hacker may not be a role model in that regard after all.

      The intense reaction to my commonsense musings is simply the mass thinking of a crowd reinforcing itself...

        It is reasonable to think that someone who takes the name 'Abigail' is a woman.

        In a gender-myopic society like the US, maybe. On the Net, when I have no clue (or desire for such a clue) as to the genders of people around me ... no. It's not reasonable.

        It is reasonable to view such extremely competent female coders as role models.

        I would hope you also view merlyn, tye, and japhy (to name a few) as role models as well! The root cause of why there are so few <gender> in <profession> is precisely because people differentiate between the genders. Gender should NEVER be an issue. Ever. If a woman wanted to be a fireman, great! Just make sure she can lift 250 pounds and carry it 50 feet down a ladder. Most men can't do that. That's all I care about.

        It is reasonable therefore to be disappointed if 'Abigail' is a man. 'Abigail' may be a marvelous person. He may not have had to overcome the stereotype of the young male hacker.

        No. It is NOT reasonable to be disappointed. Is it important for a role model to have overcome great distress? What about the role model who didn't have to, yet still succeeded? There is too much of a victim-overcomes-strife mentality in the USA (and Europe) today. Just do your best and succeed! Whatever happened to that?!?

        What I'm saying, sierrathedog04, is this - you have said "Aw, shucks. <Name> isn't a member of <Group>, so they aren't a role model." Put like that, it doesn't sound so great, does it?

        I still strive to achieve Abigail's ease of coding, sparse writing style (!), and willingness to work with those who probably piss her the hell off.

        Yes. "her". Abigail is female, irregardless of the typist's plumbing.

        Just think about it this way - is her code any worse cause the person typing is male? Is her knowledge any less cause the person typing is male?

        Or, you could consider the reverse question. What if george suddenly was revealed as a female. george happens to be a great programmer, similar to Abigail's stature. Is george's knowledge suddenly greater simply because the typist is female?? I would seriously hope the answer is a very quick "No". Cause, if it's not, you have your own prejudicial demons to work through. No, you're not chauvinist. You're worse - you're a pitier. Instead of treating a person differently because of their gender, treat them the same, despite their gender. Try that for a change.


        You may be a very reasonable man, but PL/1 was a reasonable programming language*. Would you want to spend time with it? The point is that you've made many individual reasonable assumptions, but the whole is not better than the parts. You have taken your reasonable assumptions and corrupted the logic to come up with something faulty.

        What's worse, you have embarrassed a member in good standing in this community while doing this, and brought shame to perlmonks for having such a pointless discussion.

        Please do not reply to this post, I will not make any further points. I will not cast a -- vote on your post, because I feel it has received enough bad attention already. Next time you feel inclined to share something with the community that seems broken, remember: "select is broken".

        Anonymous Monk

        * In PL/1, if you tried to say "25 + 1 / 3", the result was 5.333...; not 25.333. This was because of many "reasonable assumptions" the programmer's made in the logic of PL/1.

Re: Omigawd! Surprised by Reality!
by Abigail (Deacon) on Jul 14, 2001 at 04:08 UTC
    Goodbye.

    -- Abigail

      Please don't leave over this.

      Michael.


      Reason: (tilly) This troll is a response to Abigail's goodbye.

      For more information on this node visit: this

      Kind of funny the person (whatever a man or woman left), and indeed broke the promise and later came back.

      It is a very sick idea to gain attention by putting on a show like this, a great tragedy? The fact is that it is neither a comedy nor a tragedy. Who cares!

      Hopefully Abigail-3 is not around.

        I will welcome back Abigail, being 3 or 4. have strong oppinion is not a bad thing.

Insert-Poster-Name-Here is This-or-That
by chromatic (Archbishop) on Jul 14, 2001 at 04:49 UTC
    If I made headlines in a high-profile computer crime case several years ago and choose not to divulge my legal name online, what business of that is yours? If I were well-known in another field and wished to retain my privacy while participating in this forum, should it matter? My Perl and programming advice would be the same. My opinions stand on their own.

    If you and I were to enter into a legal contract, that would be a different matter. Creating an account here is not a legal contract.

    For whatever reason, some people prefer to keep personal details personal. If you discovered the truth, that may also surprise you. I don't think it's fair to assume that Abigail has any "lifestyle issues". Nor would it be fair to expose personal details without consent of *the person involved*.

    That's just common respect. If your positions were reversed, Abigail would owe you an apology.

    Abigail may not hale from the Americas, or English-speaking Europe. Perhaps Abigail chose the name based on transliteration of a birth name, or perhaps it is an ambiguous name, like 'Evelyn'. Another possibility is that Abigail thinks none of this should matter.

    You are entitled to be surprised. You are not entitled, though, to post a meditation entitled, "chromatic worked at the NSA as a counterterrorist!" You are not entitled to spread your assumptions that chromatic has a problem with veracity or that chromatic is on the run from the law.

    To summarize, the unstated assumption that the hidden identity of any Monk is up for debate without the consent of the person in question is, in my opinion, wrong.

Re: Omigawd! Surprised by Reality!
by Jonathan (Curate) on Jul 17, 2001 at 19:53 UTC
    Oh, Well done sierrathedog04 I'm sure we'd all like to thank you for this ridiculous node and the outcome.

    BTW, I've played Quake online for many years. I've always used my wife's middle name and 'worn' a female 'skin'. In all that time, playing with some VERY juvenile people. I've never heard anything like the nonsense expressed here.
Pain (Re: Omigawd! Surprised by Reality!)
by mattr (Curate) on Jul 18, 2001 at 18:51 UTC
    What a horrible thread. This must be the most depressing online discussion I've come across in years. Just coming upon this thread at the very bitter end, I feel a strange desolation, and this from a relative newbie at perlmonks compared to all the higher ranked crowd. I didn't know Abigail was so famous as to be a speaker for Perl but I have felt much respect for her posts.

    I hope you come back some time to this community where you spent so much of your energies Abigail, some day when this doesn't hurt so much.

    Thanks for your presence, and for helping so many people with Perl. I know I learned from your experienced, clear voice.

    Sincere regards.

    Matt Rosin
    mattr@telebody.com

Re: Omigawd! Surprised by Reality!
by Anonymous Monk on Aug 04, 2001 at 23:26 UTC

    After reading this thread, I have decided to make my first post as the ubiquitous Anonymous Monk.

    What this thread represents to me, (Note here that I am refering to my own perception of reality and what is right and wrong, to mediate my understanding of this thread) is that while many of us may claim to be open-minded and accepting of other people's different belief systems. The fact of the matter is that it only extends so far as you agree with the other person's perception of reality.

    While I may not personally agree with sierrathedog04's personal perception of reality, that doesn't make either he or I wrong. As a community, we have demonstrated ourselves as no better than those who participated in witch hunts, the Red Scare, or so many other injustices that have occured at the hands of a mob. In my own personal opinion, it appears Abigail has left becuase YOU, the Perlmonks community have driven him away. If sierrathedog04 had posted this and out of disgust the Perlmonks community had ignored it, then perhaps such a result as Abigail leaving would not have occured. However, do note that Abigail did not post his exit from the community until a large majority of the populace had strung sierrathedog04 up on a pole and beat him and his perceptions into the ground. Thus making it a far more explosive issue than it needed to be.

    It's too late to change what has happened. However, we can learn from our mistakes, how else is anything constructive going to come from our experiences here? Take what has happened in this thread and let your heart think on it for just a little while. We have here two humans Abigail and sierrathedog04 driven from the community, BY the community. It is not sierrathedog04's fault, nor is it Abigail's fault (though in my opinion if Abigail is having such transgender issues, a better way not to call attention to yourself is not make such a blantently obvious choice in name, leaving yourself open for such debate. If you're going to survive, you're going to need a thicker skin.)

    So it comes down to this, two people have had their feelings hurt. Abigail, I believe is hurt more for the explosion of gossip that occured because of the incredible hullaballoo made by all of you who responded to sierrathedog04. Sierrathedog04, I believe is hurt because of the way those of you who responded to him treated him as sub-human, unworthy of an intellectual opinion, and devaluing his perception of reality (which according to your very arguments, sierrathedog04's right to have an opinion was actually validated. Though many of you twisted your logic to fit your own political/social/spiritual/whatever agendas).

    So now here I am posting anonymously, because I get the feeling the community would tie me to a stake and burn me alive if they could. Thank all that is good, that in a supposedly democratic society, we are allowed to have our own opinions.

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