Jun. 28, 2010 10:45 PM ET
SB COMMUNITY DEEMS PSEUDONYMOUS SOCKPUPPETERS ACCEPTABLE TARGETS FOR MOCKERY, DERISION
Douchey McDoucherson, ScienceBlogs Writers
Scientists have recently discovered that popular bloggers can taunt and gloat over the downfall of unpopular bloggers, and bask in the warm glow of widespread support – but only if proper precautions are taken while engaging in this dangerous enterprise. Most of the relevant research was published in a leading online linguistics journal.
Noted meangirl, petulant whiner, and internet gadfly Zuskaids was quick to critcize the major finding on a blog nobody reads, in the aggressive snark favored by her hellish mob: “These results cannot be generalized to the population at large. They did their study on a population comprised entirely of white males. I cannot believe the government continues to fund studies like this. Even the cress fanciers are bitching about this sort of thing these days.”
At a recent online conference convened to celebrate the discovery, Professor Inoya R. Butwutumi observed,
This is no more bullying than an isolated incident of the most popular kids at school gloating at the least popular kid when it turns out that all the friends he claimed to have are made up.
If they go on an on about it and hound him all over the place and never let him forget it, that could approach bullying, but only then.
Otherwise it is nothing more than a reaction to finding out that someone you don’t like who has been criticising you is a liar and a hypocrite. Just because Greg and Myers are popular doesn’t mean they can’t gloat a little.
Esteemed blogger and skepticod00dtastical Übermensch Haddid Kumingtoim observed that these sorts of dominance challenges from nomadic males naturally provoke a swift and deadly response in kind from the alphas, who must defend their territory and kill or oust those who violate the rules of the tribe. “No mercy,” declared Kumingtoim. “It seems harsh to us, but the herd must be culled of the weak and unfit.”
At press time, it was not yet clear whether the Domestic Sockpuppet Threat Level, currently listed as High or Orange, would soon be reduced to Elevated or Yellow. Dedicated DSTL analysts were tense, yet hopeful, that this terroristic threat to blogging’s credibility might yet be defeated.
ScienceBlogs writer Douchey McDoucherson contributed to this report.
Welcome to WordPress.com. This is your first post. Edit or delete it and start blogging!
I was just traveling around the blogosphere and landed on this most helpful post; thanks to Bill Hooker, of Open Reading Frame, who launched my odyssey. Zuzu, who writes for Feministe, will explain much you need to know about keeping your place. This is invaluable information for any white women, or minority women or men, who are contemplating questioning the powers-that-be. Zuzu quotes Jill, who suggests one way to avoid being pegged as angry and hysterical:
…[preface your comments with] “I think y’all are SO awesome, and I totally love what you do and you’re all so talented and fantastic and I’m totally not trying to insult anyone here, but don’t you think it’s a little strange that there aren’t any women on this panel? But I mean you all are good representatives so really, don’t worry about it, it’s cool, I’m just saying…”
Of course, as Jill notes, this strategy will not work if you, like Jill and Zuska, are not generally good at prefacing your comments in this manner.
Perhaps, from now on, people could just pretend that I’m prefacing all my comments that way. You know, when I say something like “Colleges of engineering in the United States are bastions of entrenched sexism, racism, and homophobia, and all of us non-white-males are expected to be grateful for the miniscule amounts of change grudgingly ceded over the last 50 years of concerted struggle, and not make a big fuss about the huge remaining inequities,” you could imagine all that pretty language coming before it. If it makes you feel better.
Then, at nighttime when you go to sleep, imagine that angels come from heaven and sprinkle pixie dust over your bed to give you sweet dreams and protect you from anything unpleasant.
It’s the start of the fall semester. New committees are being formed, old committees are having new members appointed and all of them are convening for their first meetings of the year. I happened to get hold of the minutes of the first meeting of the Committee on the Status of Women in Science and Engineering (CSWSE) at IncrediblyLowPercentageOfWomenInEngineering Polytechnic University (ILPOWIE Tech). The committee members were appointed by the provost, and they included the Engineering Dean, the Women in Engineering (WIE) Program Director, and a Women’s Studies (WMST) Professor. Read and see if any of it seems vaguely, horribly familiar. WARNING: WIE directors, in particular, may suffer flashbacks.
Each year, Beloit College publishes a list that gives you a sense of what the world looks like to matriculating college students. Read the latest list and weep at just how out of touch you are with this year’s entering college students.
If you are a long-time reader, thanks for following me here.
New folks can look up all the prior good stuff here. Information available under the “About” tab may help orient you in the Zuskasphere.
You should note straight off that this is not a blog about hearts and flowers and kittens and happy thoughts (the beautiful picture of my Globemaster Allium to the left notwithstanding). I often write about things that are so unbelievably atrocious and disgusting, you’ll feel like horking up your breakfast. Thus, I do not recommend reading Thus Spake Zuska while eating, except for those with the strongest of stomachs. I cannot be held responsible for damage to keyboards, laptops, or any other electronic device should you choose to ignore this warning.
Other Things to Keep In Mind
Periodically there will be long gaps between posts, sometimes lasting a week or more. This is because I suffer from chronic disabling migraines. I don’t know if I am the first disabled scientist/engineer blogging here at Sb; if not, hello to my comrades, whoever you are! If I am the first, I look forward to others joining me someday. All you currently able-bodied folks should remember: able-bodiedness is only a temporary stage in life. Sooner or later, if we don’t die first, we all end up disabled in some manner.
In my next posts, I’ll be picking up a few loose threads from the old blog site, including:
- A response I received from Rollins President Lewis Duncan in regard to my post on his apparent endorsement of pragmatism (meaning $$$) over concern for sex discrimination;
- My response to his response;
- And a long-overdue response to a young woman who commented on one of my posts on the ludicrous Screen Goddess IT calendar.
Thus Spake Zuska is not for the faint of heart. It is, however, for anyone who believes that you shouldn’t have to possess white skin and a penis to obtain a passport to Science-and-Engineering Land.