I just pulled the the entry entitled It’s not just open source that has a problem with sexism. Here’s why:
My intention was to point up the kind of unthinking, ingrained sexism that is all too common in our field. My friends’ email exchanges with a conference organizer were textbook examples of the sort of thing I mean, so I used them and posted them pretty much verbatim without a thought. I was aware that it might cause offence, but my aim was to make the organizer stop and think about the message his conference website was sending out. So, basking in the knowledge that I Was Right, I pressed publish and was damned.
Then I watched as the organizer’s reaction grew increasingly more aggressive, opening with a demand to remove the material, followed up by a ranting phone call and a couple of “I know where you live!” messages. His weblog entry on the affair mutated over time too. He ended up accusing me and my ‘cohorts’ of an orchestrated campaign of hacking, abuse and fraudulent spam signups.
Since I had orchestrated no such campaign, I took the view that I would not dignify such ludicrous allegations with a denial.
This morning, I learned from someone I trust that the organizer has indeed been subject to sustained attacks on his webserver. That both he and his 8 months pregnant wife have been signed up to porn mailing lists and have seen massively increased levels of spam.
What kind of infantile idiots do stuff like that? Seriously? How on earth is this kind of victimization of one side of a debate supposed to help anyone? For heaven’s sake, I don’t think the organizer set out to offend, that much is apparent from his reaction to my post.
If you, reading this, are responsible for the attacks and you believe yourself to be doing it at my behest, then please stop it and, if you have it in you, apologise. Your actions are despicable and I hope that, should you persist, you are caught and punished to the full extent of the law.
Why pull the entry?
I still stand by what I intended to say in my earlier message, but after more reflection and a bad night’s sleep, I also realise that what I wrote was hurtful. It’s all too easy to forget that the people we debate with are flesh and blood too. Frankly, being right isn’t a good enough reason to cause as much pain as I appear to have done, and for that I apologise.
This message has been removed.
Please see Second thoughts… for the reasons.
Has anyone seen my passport?
Found it! I shall go to EuroOSCON 2006. See you all there, or at RailsConf Europe.
It may not be a nice theme, but it’s my theme. Look! There are adverts again!
Why not click on some of them?
Ahem. Sorry about that. I shall shortly return you to more usual fare.
I’ll let you into a secret. You can tell when I’ve done a big
svn up on this blog simply by looking at the theme. If it’s all black and white and sans serif, then it’s a racing certainty that I’ve just done an upgrade which has broken my usual custom theme.
So, later today I shall be sitting down with my local theme repository and bringing things up to speed with all of Scott’s changes. Who knows, I might cheat and put back a few helper methods.
Oops, it seems that there was a bug in the Scribbish theme which meant you couldn’t read articles at their permalink…
Just in case you’ve been caught by it, the recent instability of this site doesn’t appear to be because of typo and rails bugs, but because the hard disk at my hosting services appears to be in the process of going bad. Hopefully it’ll be resolved soon.
Are you reading Mark Dominus’s Universe of Discourse? and if not, why not?
Mark’s one of the cleverest and most entertaining guys I’ve ever met; if you get a chance to attend one of his courses, you really should do it. Your mind will be expanded. Which is by the by, but hey.
The reason I bring this up is that Mark started an occasional series of articles discussing some of the ‘interesting’ queries that show up in his server logs, and he gets some pretty spiffy queries – if I ever get a query as interesting as “if n + 1 are put inside n boxes, then at least one box will contain more than one ball. prove this principle by induction” I think I’ll print out the log report and frame it. And how can you not love a blog that somebody found by searching for “consciousness torus photon core”?
Which is a roundabout way of saying I’m about to pinch Mark’s idea and attempt a pale imitation of it here.