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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

Replies are listed 'Best First'.
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.
(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.
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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 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>

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.

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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.

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 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.

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.

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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 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.
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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.

      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.

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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.
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