What's in a Name?

"You don't know me, son, so let me explain this to you once: If I ever kill you, you'll be awake. You'll be facing me, and you'll be armed." -- Malcolm Reynolds

Every time I attach my name to my opinion on the internet, I take a little bit of a risk. It's a small, almost imperceptible risk, but one that could have real consequences that stretch beyond the scope of this online ether. For a long time, I did not write that name. I wrote a made up name. I did it because it's safer. It's a small, almost imperceptible amount of safety, but that barrier between the online me and the real me felt like a well insulated firewall, a safety blanket lining, a pillow of anonymity between myself and my strange bedfellow the internet.

I still use that nom-de-plume, but more as a clarification than a mask. There is the Sean that is also Elysium, rather than the Sean that is Dad, or employee or last place in fantasy football. It's a different Sean in distinct and meaningful ways -- at least to me -- but it's still me.

If I was going to stand up and have an opinion, a voice in the crowd, then I was going to take ownership and responsibility for what I say. My words would be mine, and I would be accountable for them.

There are a lot of reasons people might choose not to be the One True Themselves online. It would be easy to lump everyone who stands behind a false identity into one group and say, "they're the problem," but not only would that kind of indictment be aggressively sweeping and naive, it would be patently unfair.

The recent Blizzard Real ID program was but one example of hundreds that brought the problem of being yourself online to light, which is that any exposure holds the potential for destructiveness and abuse. There are online forces that revel in anarchy, chaos and indiscriminate meanness in a way I simply don't understand, and it is flatly ignorant to not realize that the possibility for random online violence is omnipresent.

Cyber-stalking, abuse and campaigns of harassment take a real world toll.

And, why can these people conduct campaigns of online terror without repercussions of their own? Because they hide behind their own cloaks of anonymity. Online anonymity has power, it unbinds people from responsibility, accountability and consequence. While many choose anonymity because it insulates the online from the real, others choose it because it is allied territory from which long-range attacks can be fired without fear of reprisal.

This is who I take exception with. The most recent example is that of the disgruntled employee at EA Mythic who has opted to slink in the shadows and lob questionable allegations with all the classic hallmarks of conclusions drawn as much from watercooler gossip and ham-fisted logic as actual information. In his righteous fury, he casts broad and wide dispersions, and gleefully throws his soon-to-be former bosses, who presumably paid him for his service and never once engaged in indentured servitude allowing him at any time to take his disatisfaction to another employer, under the bus.

The one piece of information conspicuously missing from his tirade is obvious. His name.

Why is it not there? If the treatment was so egregious, the mismanagement so obvious and the culture so destructive, why not stand up and be part of a solution? Because if his identity is revealed, given the careless, probably baseless and irresponsible nature of the post, he’ll have a hell of a time getting another job in the industry, and he knows it. That act of omission, of the cowards path of hiding in the closet and sniping without identity, reveals the impotence of his rant. It’s a selfish act, meant not to change a culture or a company, but to slake a primal lust for revenge.

Because of this, he deserves neither sympathy nor serious consideration. He deserves reproach for a whack-job delivery.

The company I work for recently suffered the vocal annoyances of someone similar, a nameless individual who posted his litany of complaints online anonymously. Internally, the response was not, “oh thank goodness someone is finally speaking up for us little people.” No, instead it was derided as a cowardly and unprofessional act, the retaliation of someone with not enough brains to stay employed and not enough guts to stand up and take responsibility for their complaints.

I don’t indict everyone who speaks behind a mask, particularly those who do so responsibly, because it’s not always the wrong choice, but I applaud and want to be counted among those who stand behind their words. If I drag you through the mud, you'll know that it's me doing it.

Comments

philosofrenzy wrote:

"I don't know the circumstances. Neither do you."

Nor will we know, because this person posted anonymously. It was EAL's choice to remove personal circumstances from the public's perception of the post. No one can be faulted for judging based only on the available facts--especially when the person being judged is the one who has made the choice to keep the available facts to a minimum. . . .

Finally there is the point that has already been raised: there is no noble, justifiable purpose behind this post. It is just an angry person venting that anger publicly and anonymously. Were there an justifiable purpose behind EAL posting, I would be disposed to consider possible justifications for the choice to remain anonymous. As it is, I consider the anonymity to be a moot point. It's just the rotten cherry on top.

Right. The whole time I read it, all I could think of was Wikipedia's "citation needed". It's an angry screed, and maybe it's 100% truthful, but there's no way to know since the author provides nothing except a tongue lashing. Unless he or someone else can substantiate the post, the whole thing can be ignored. Anonymity is beside the point.

Elysium wrote:

And, why can these people conduct campaigns of online terror without repercussions of their own? Because they hide behind their own cloaks of anonymity. Online anonymity has power, it unbinds people from responsibility, accountability and consequence. While many choose anonymity because it insulates the online from the real, others choose it because it is allied territory from which long-range attacks can be fired without fear of reprisal.

And yet when there is a lack of anonymity, it seems to be holding people back less and less, starting at very young ages. What's up with school kids taunting other kids on Facebook (because no one will know who I am there!) till they kill themselves? I don't know that it's happening enough to start sensationalizing, but that it seems to be happening more than in the past worries me.

Keep in mind, we don't really know anything about EALouse. We don't know he's an artist at EA. We don't know he's at EA at all. We don't know that he has any accurate information about the internal goings-on at Mythic. All we know is that someone posted this stuff under an alias on the internet. That is to say, we don't know anything of value. EALouse could be 100% truthful. EALouse could be lying about everything. We have no way of knowing. Given the level of asshattery that goes on online, especially among most corners of gamer culture, I see no reason to believe EALouse's comments are anything other than just some stuff someone posted online. Maybe truth, maybe lies, maybe just attention mongering. We have no way of knowing.

I've solved the case, EALouse is Bobby Kotick. Spread the word, because now that I've discovered the horrible truth, I'm a dead man.

SpacePPoliceman wrote:

I've solved the case, EALouse is Bobby Kotick. Spread the word, because now that I've discovered the horrible truth, I'm a dead man.

Considering how far some of EA's pr stunts have gone, I wouldn't be surprised if this was just a triple twist reverse reverse psychology backwards flip stunt to try to promote SW:TOR.

And Bioware? Don’t make me laugh. They’ve spent more money making the Old Republic than James Cameron spent on Avatar. sh*t you not. More than $ 300 million! Can you believe that?

And you know what they’re most proud of? This is the kicker. They are most proud of the sound. No seriously. Something like a 20Gig installation, and most of it is voiceover work. That’s the best they have. The rest of the game is a joke. EA knows it and so does George Lucas,they’re panicking , and so most of Mythic has already been cannibalized to work in Austin on it because they can’t keep pushing back launch.

Extolling the huge budget? The huge amount of work put into the vocal work? Not that big a stretch...

Elysium wrote:

Then if it carries such potential for recourse, a point I'm not actually willing to concede, then it is best left unsaid. Every day I make the choice (a pretty easy one actually) to not drag my company's or industry's dirty laundry out on the internet.

I think this is the major sticking point. The apparent god-like assertion that your thought and word are untouchable. Thing is, without going into specifics, your world - the world you think you know and understand only exists for you in this moment. There are a whole lot of worlds out there, most of them are much less exciting and nice for their occupants and your seeming ignorance of these worlds and experiences and the lack of a want to even contemplate that what you experience isn't true for everyone just, to me, seems crazy and incredibly egotistical.

It's like saying "there's no glass ceiling because i never had a problem advancing through the ranks - everyone is judged on skill and effort". These things people say but they are not true, no matter how much you may personally adhere to those values.

I still assert that the name is unimportant compared to the content. I don't remember an angry screed from you back when EA Spouse was around. There was a similar lack of evidence then too and a similarly anonymous poster on a blog. In fact all the details were pretty much the same with the exception of the fact that she posted in a well-written manner. I think that backs up my point that it's the content that is king, not who posts it and the fact that this sentiment of unwitting discrimination (because that's the road you're walking here) always comes out when these sorts of things are poorly handled by the perpetrators also seems to support my view.

If i take it from a top-down approach instead, why is a name important? You don't know who those people are..... Gregory Pett of EA aka EA Louse* is no more valid a name than Touranga Leila at EA. Neither name means anything to you..... knowing it doesn't make the facts any more or less truer. So what's the advantage other than some misplaced sense of honour that you seem to be putting on other people in situations you have no idea about?

You have a family and you're walking along and you're mugged. What's the smart thing to do? Try and be the hero and fight them or just hand over your wallet and be done with it in the safest possible manner? Now, you're in a precarious position because you cannot sit by and do nothing when your company or the government are doing something despicable.... Do you possibly endanger your family and their futures as well as your own by revealing your name or do you play it a little smarter and safer? After all, they hold all the power and you are nothing. Imagine if you've just started a family and you've two children and the well-being of your family depends on your income.... So do you start an open conflict with your company when you see them doing something you despise or do you say nothing? You seem to be advocating saying nothing at all.... or saying it with your name. Saying it with your name can lead to termination due to your outing of 'confidential information', stopping your income and also making you ineligible for jobseekers allowance/the dole (i can't remember what it's called in the US).

But i digress, back to the name thing. So you're hung up on whether someone is called Greg or Gregory or G0r0n21 and you need to know their surname in order to believe and validate their point of view. Or are you not saying that? Because if you're not then i don't get what the point of this post was....

To take it a step further - because i truly believe that outing someone's name means nothing in most contexts unless you want to hurt them specifically - who are you? I mean, You're Sean Sands, right? Why should i take what you write at face value any more than this EALouse or EASpouse guy? I mean, as far as i can tell, you're just a writer... on the internet (of all places). You're not a doctor - or if you are you haven't put the letters in front or behind your name -, you're not anyone important.... so why does your point of view gain more credibility just because you put a name there - a name i (and no one else) has any idea if it's really you or yours. Sean Sands is just as valid as Elysium as an interaction for all the people on these boards because you're not backing up who you say you are.

It's a slippery slope.... I can dismiss you because, hey, who's Sean Sands..... or because, are you really Sean Sands? Or even because.... you're a writer! I mean a complete layman! You don't even have PhD behind your name or Dr in front of it. Your opinion is worth less because you don't have those things. Or is it? Does having those few letters being different actually change the content or validity of what you write? Does/should having or not having those letters in a certain order allow me to discriminate against or for you? Or should we be looking at the worth of what you write rather than who wrote it?

The sad fact of life is that many people believe that you can and should. If i write to my MP as a Mr., my opinion is likely to be worth less compared to if i do it as a Dr.. In certain circumstances, yes, it makes sense to prioritise those with knowledge over those without (e.g. you hurt your arm and go to the doctors rather than the carpenter) but in the arena of common ground it's the opinion that should be prioritised over the person.

I'd bet (if i were a betting man) that your and other people's reaction to this isn't anything to do with a name or a lack of a name.... it's to do with the way the person handled the event.... the hate and bile that spewed from that anonymous maw. You're just mis-interpreting why you dislike that and why it offends you.

It actually makes me sad and despair for the human race when i see opinions as in this thread and elsewhere when the BlizzardiD thing came up especially the "Anonymity will end up just being for people with something they want to hide.". It'd be nice if the world was all roses and cream but it's not and people discriminate every chance they get otherwise female authors would never have had to write behind male pseudonyms to get heard or accepted, people wouldn't be discriminated based on the colour of their skin** or their lot in life*** and people wouldn't act rashly or with hate based on nothing but rumour and speculation. I bet the people in that last link all had names and they all heard the rumour from someone with a name, making it more credible....

* I'm making up an anonymous name here - this is not EA Louse

** Because "aspirations of being a lawyer were "no realistic goal for a nigger."" (Malcolm X)

*** An immigrant or refugee.... or even just someone who is poorer than you or has a medical condition. What about all the people who had Asian or Mulsim-sounding names after 11/09/2001? Or are these valid excuses? And if so, how come they get protection and other people don't?

Duoae wrote:

[...] I don't remember an angry screed from you back when EA Spouse was around. There was a similar lack of evidence then too and a similarly anonymous poster on a blog. In fact all the details were pretty much the same with the exception of the fact that she posted in a well-written manner. I think that backs up my point that it's the content that is king...

You're right that the content is what matters most. The thing is, this is precisely what we've already suggested: did EAL's post have any value--were it aspiring to make a positive impact (which EA Spouse's post not only had as an aspiration, but had as an effect), then yes, we would be more forgiving of EAL's anonymity. As it is, it was vicious and hateful with no such noble aspirations. So the situations were not the same in all but a trivial detail (i.e., how well written it was). They were fundamentally different acts.

Isn't it reasonable for the anonymity to have a different meaning and value in a different context? In the one case it can be necessity that allows an otherwise impossible, brave action, while being, in another case, an act of cowardice which keeps a hateful action from having consequences. Isn't it reasonable to have a different reaction to the anonymity in these different circumstances? I agree that the anonymity is the least repugnant part of EAL's post, but I think your post overstates its irrelevance.

We respect the pre-meditation of a grandmaster of chess. We punish the pre-meditation of a murderer.

I'm a little confused. There seem to be some really smart people reading a lot into what Elysium has said, and I think that they are victims of their own intelligence a bit. Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.

I don't see how what is said here has anything to do with gender, race or any other sociopolitical factor.

It has to do with one anonymous asshole throwing crap like a chimp at the zoo.

It seems like people may not have actually read the EA Louse post, so maybe it would be helpful to point people at the actual post.

Hi everyone,

I would think myself to be part of some noble cause, like the original EA Spouse trying to save her husband from a hellish work environment at EA. That had a happy ending, however, with tons of publicity and a total change of overtime wages and salaries and how they are handled within the company. I do not expect a happy ending, so I’ll be personal and selfish, and this is just for me.

So just call me EA Louse.

Then it goes on to throw insults at every management related person at EA and Mythic.

This isn't a noble whistleblower. This is not someone hiding behind their anonymity to make positive change, it's not someone frustrated by their career being limited by race or gender. It's a bitter little person who didn't like his or her bosses, so instead of moving on under positive circumstances they have held on to the point of bitterness, then when the writing is on the wall, they hide behind internet anonymity, and the gamer's fondness for dirt, to make waves.

Sometimes a chimp throwing poop, is just a chimp throwing poop.

Elysium even goes out of his way to say that sometimes anonymity is a positive thing. I'm sure EA Spouse would be one of those.

I don’t indict everyone who speaks behind a mask, particularly those who do so responsibly, because it’s not always the wrong choice, but I applaud and want to be counted among those who stand behind their words.
MrDeVil909 wrote:

I'm a little confused. There seem to be some really smart people reading a lot into what Elysium has said, and I think that they are victims of their own intelligence a bit. Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.

I don't see how what is said here has anything to do with gender, race or any other sociopolitical factor.

It has to do with one anonymous asshole throwing crap like a chimp at the zoo.

It seems like people may not have actually read the EA Louse post, so maybe it would be helpful to point people at the actual post.

Hi everyone,

I would think myself to be part of some noble cause, like the original EA Spouse trying to save her husband from a hellish work environment at EA. That had a happy ending, however, with tons of publicity and a total change of overtime wages and salaries and how they are handled within the company. I do not expect a happy ending, so I’ll be personal and selfish, and this is just for me.

So just call me EA Louse.

Then it goes on to throw insults at every management related person at EA and Mythic.

This isn't a noble whistleblower. This is not someone hiding behind their anonymity to make positive change, it's not someone frustrated by their career being limited by race or gender. It's a bitter little person who didn't like his or her bosses, so instead of moving on under positive circumstances they have held on to the point of bitterness, then when the writing is on the wall, they hide behind internet anonymity, and the gamer's fondness for dirt, to make waves.

Sometimes a chimp throwing poop, is just a chimp throwing poop.

It appears the source of the disagreement is that Elysium is saying there is NEVER any justification for getting angry enough to throw poop at people, and other people are saying wrong, there ARE circumstances that would jusify throwing poop, and you can't tell whether they apply in this case or not.
I'm not entirely sure anyone is trying to justify throwing poop as being either good or useful.

Duoae wrote:
Elysium wrote:

Then if it carries such potential for recourse, a point I'm not actually willing to concede, then it is best left unsaid. Every day I make the choice (a pretty easy one actually) to not drag my company's or industry's dirty laundry out on the internet.

I think this is the major sticking point.

(insert the virtues of anonymity)

I don't think Elysium was saying that anonymity has no potential for recourse, but that EA Louse's particular tirade doesn't. It's not going to change anything that happens in EA, and it's not going to suddenly "open everyone's eyes", force a mass boycott of EA, and get everyone fired or change the corporate structure.

If he posted it under his real name, he would certainly be fired immediately and maybe never work again. So he posted it under an anonymous alias (which probably didn't prevent them from knowing exactly who it was anyway). But the question we're asking isn't why post it anonymously, the question is why post it at all?

"I don't know the circumstances. Neither do you."

Nor will we know, because this person posted anonymously. It was EAL's choice to remove personal circumstances from the public's perception of the post. No one can be faulted for judging based only on the available facts--especially when the person being judged is the one who has made the choice to keep the available facts to a minimum.

Are there imaginable circumstances that would make this less of a cowardly act? Sure--but we have nothing to suggest any such circumstances. The language and tone of the post certainly don't hint at any hesitation or regret. Imagine the opposite scenario, wherein someone posted a calm, collected post and attached a name to it. In this case, would we be required to imagine circumstances wherein the person was in fact raging and hostile, but hiding behind a passive-aggressive facade--just in case this was the reality? Not if we had no reason to think this were the case.

Finally there is the point that has already been raised: there is no noble, justifiable purpose behind this post. It is just an angry person venting that anger publicly and anonymously. Were there an justifiable purpose behind EAL posting, I would be disposed to consider possible justifications for the choice to remain anonymous. As it is, I consider the anonymity to be almost a moot point. It's just the rotten cherry on top.

I'm sorry Duo, but your response is such a twisted, funhouse-mirror view of what I'm saying that I don't know how to respond.

MrDeVil909 wrote:

I'm a little confused. There seem to be some really smart people reading a lot into what Elysium has said, and I think that they are victims of their own intelligence a bit. Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.

I don't see how what is said here has anything to do with gender, race or any other sociopolitical factor.

It has to do with one anonymous asshole throwing crap like a chimp at the zoo.

It seems like people may not have actually read the EA Louse post, so maybe it would be helpful to point people at the actual post.

Hi everyone,

I would think myself to be part of some noble cause, like the original EA Spouse trying to save her husband from a hellish work environment at EA. That had a happy ending, however, with tons of publicity and a total change of overtime wages and salaries and how they are handled within the company. I do not expect a happy ending, so I’ll be personal and selfish, and this is just for me.

So just call me EA Louse.

Then it goes on to throw insults at every management related person at EA and Mythic.

This isn't a noble whistleblower. This is not someone hiding behind their anonymity to make positive change, it's not someone frustrated by their career being limited by race or gender. It's a bitter little person who didn't like his or her bosses, so instead of moving on under positive circumstances they have held on to the point of bitterness, then when the writing is on the wall, they hide behind internet anonymity, and the gamer's fondness for dirt, to make waves.

Sometimes a chimp throwing poop, is just a chimp throwing poop.

Elysium even goes out of his way to say that sometimes anonymity is a positive thing. I'm sure EA Spouse would be one of those.

I don’t indict everyone who speaks behind a mask, particularly those who do so responsibly, because it’s not always the wrong choice, but I applaud and want to be counted among those who stand behind their words.

Couldn't agree more. I think that Elysium was just saying don't be a dick because the internets let you - and somehow this became a discussion about gender and the glass ceiling. Those are important conversations - but they are offtopic from the original post.

As an aside to the the people who say - "you as a white male can't possibly know what it is like to be x,y,z" - you need to take a step back. Chances are we are the spouse, friend, family member of one, and while we can't directly say, yes - I have been discriminated against, I bet we can empathize and through our family (in my case, wife), have had to deal with some of those issues.

That is some pretty solid reverse-discrimination there.

-- The I _Do_ Kind of Get It Post --

Just to put a few minds at some ease, I really do understand that there is an intrinsic danger anytime someone says "X person's voice should be silenced". While that's not at all what I'm actually saying, I do understand that it's just a jump to the left and a step to the right from there.

That place is a haunted forest of age-old discrimination. But just cause I'm driving on the overpass above that forest, doesn't mean I'm going to leap from the car and dive in.

Accountability is not racism/sexism/classism or any other ism. Not every personal slight or unfairness needs to be spoken from the mountain. And not everyone who abuses the security of anonymity -- a security many people genuinely deserve -- is entitled to it.

I've never seen so much argument over semantics...

...that I had absolutely nothing to do with.

*Legion* wrote:

When the teen girls find out my real name, it's all over. That's why it's *Legion* forever, baby.

Speaking of baby, people often talk of Bieber Fever--would this be the teen girl phenomenon known as Legionnaires Disease?

I'm with you, pillow buddy.

CheezePavilion wrote:

I've never seen so much argument over semantics...

...that I had absolutely nothing to do with.

Spit take...

Elysium wrote:

Not every personal slight or unfairness needs to be spoken from the mountain. And not everyone who abuses the security of anonymity -- a security many people genuinely deserve -- is entitled to it.

Well said.

Certis wrote:

I'm with you, pillow buddy.

I really think Elysium needs to put this in his sig.

Elysium wrote:

Accountability is not racism/sexism/classism or any other ism.

You're right, it isn't. I think what people are trying to get at is that the standards for accountability can be, though. Beyond "X person's voice should be silenced" there's the danger of coming from the standpoint of someone in our own shoes and not those of another in deciding when accountability is required and when it isn't.

It's like...it's like the Xbox controller. It's built for right-handers, and if you just give it to people a lot of lefties are going to have trouble with it and their performance is going to be poor. Now allow something like re-mapping buttons and you get a better performance.

Same thing with standards of accountability: there's a danger of only considering the issues that affect us, personally, in determining those standards. And if we have less issues than someone else, we can set that bar at the wrong position just like we can set the buttons on the Xbox controller so that it makes it really hard to judge the skill of some lefties accurately.

SallyNasty wrote:

As an aside to the the people who say - "you as a white male can't possibly know what it is like to be x,y,z" - you need to take a step back. Chances are we are the spouse, friend, family member of one, and while we can't directly say, yes - I have been discriminated against, I bet we can empathize and through our family (in my case, wife), have had to deal with some of those issues.

That is some pretty solid reverse-discrimination there.

I think what is being said is you can't possibly know until you try and empathize. It's easy to forget about problems you personally don't have. Even as a left-hander, because it doesn't get in *my* way of playing games, I forget about...left-handed people!

+++++

edit: and of course to be clear, the EALouse character doesn't seem like the sort of person who could pass *any* test short of one calibrated to having a contract out on one's life.

"I think what is being said is you can't possibly know until you try and empathize."

I think that's bending over backwards to be as fair as possible to what has been said. A lot of posts here have suggested that Elysium not only failed to empathize, but failed to even consider the possibility of extenuating circumstances that would justify remaining anonymous--this despite his having carefully qualified his opinion to include this possibility.

Several posts have even implied that it's not possible to judge until you know for sure that there aren't such extenuating circumstances, which is a bizarre reversal of the burden of proof--a kind of argument from ignorance: 'we don't know if there are extenuating circumstances, so there probably are.'

MrDeVil909 wrote:
CheezePavilion wrote:

I've never seen so much argument over semantics...

...that I had absolutely nothing to do with.

Spit take...

Ha, you know, it's when you wrote:

I'm a little confused. There seem to be some really smart people reading a lot into what Elysium has said, and I think that they are victims of their own intelligence a bit. Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.

That the thought occurred to me "hey, this looks like one of MY threads, only...I'm not involved at all."

IMAGE(http://i1036.photobucket.com/albums/a447/cheezepavilion/GWJ%20iCandi/LOLCatNap.jpg)

philosofrenzy wrote:

"I think what is being said is you can't possibly know until you try and empathize."

I think that's bending over backwards to be as fair as possible to what has been said.

Probably--I tend to do a lot of bending over backwards to try and see the disagreement as one that can be resolved.

A lot of posts here have suggested that Elysium not only failed to empathize, but failed to even consider the possibility of extenuating circumstances that would justify remaining anonymous--this despite his having carefully qualified his opinion to include this possibility.

Several posts have even implied that it's not possible to judge until you know for sure that there aren't such extenuating circumstances, which is a bizarre reversal of the burden of proof--a kind of argument from ignorance: 'we don't know if there are extenuating circumstances, so there probably are.'

I think what they were trying to get at is that a hetro/abled/white/male/blah blah blah under this kind of system will fear far fewer repercussions: if we all have to identify ourselves when we drag someone else's name through the mud, that will act as less of a deterrent towards male jerks than female jerks, or cis-gendered jerks than towards trans-gendered jerks.

It's an interesting question of equality: we all pretty much agree that everyone should get equal protections when they're doing the *right* thing, but how about when they are doing the *wrong* thing?

edit: I guess I could clarify--it's the question of whether it is it better to give female jerks equal access as male jerks to acting out even if it means more jerks overall with access to acting out, or to give male jerks greater access than female jerks to acting out if that means less jerks with access to acting out overall?

I think once the conversation becomes a discussion about what people earlier in the discussion actually meant it's pretty much run its course. Let's keep it focused, folks. A new thread is a fine way to go if you want to explore these other themes in more depth.

Elysium wrote:

Not every personal slight or unfairness needs to be spoken from the mountain. And not everyone who abuses the security of anonymity -- a security many people genuinely deserve -- is entitled to it.

Absolutely, but I believe the passionate responses posted above come when you ask the obvious next question. "Who gets to decide?" Now you've dived head first into that haunted forest, whether you intended that or not.

Edit - sorry If I trod over you there, Certis. I was too long checking my editing and didn't see your post.

Mousetrap wrote:
Elysium wrote:

Not every personal slight or unfairness needs to be spoken from the mountain. And not everyone who abuses the security of anonymity -- a security many people genuinely deserve -- is entitled to it.

Absolutely, but I believe the passionate responses posted above come when you ask the obvious next question. "Who gets to decide?" Now you've dived head first into that haunted forest, whether you intended that or not.

Edit - sorry If I trod over you there, Certis. I was too long checking my editing and didn't see your post.

Why is "Who decides?" such an obvious next question? No one's talking about passing a law over this, and no one's claiming that their opinion is the One True Opinion of the Internet.

I'm overlooking the Louse thing because of the content of the original post, not because of the anonymity. I just don't feel that bad leadership is a good reason to jump on the soapbox.

I can't speak to whether Louse should have chosen anonymity. If Louse were part of some minority, I can easily see how even a well argued plea for improvement could have been dismissed by many because of that minority affiliation. I can't know if privilege issues are at play there, but I will grant that Louse could have felt pressures that privilege may obscure in the eyes of others.

I pretty much agree with Elysium when it comes to folks like EA Louse/Spouse/Pick your vitriolic anonymous person. They either need to be more constructive or keep their vitriol to themselves.

In the military, there is a group of people whose entire existence revolves around handling whistleblower complaints, known as the Inspector General. They're all lawyers, and exist outside the "normal" chain of command within each branch of service. They can take both anonymous complaints and non-anonymous complaints. What makes this interesting, however is that anonymous complaints tend to receive a great deal more scrutiny.

The reasoning behind this is rather simple, at least to me. When someone files an anoymous complaint, there is generally a great fear of reprisal as Kannon was unfortunately subjected to. That reason is why whistleblower protection is so important, in my mind. However, if someone in the military were to submit a complaint in a similar manner to EA Louse/Spouse/pick your vitriolic anonymous complainer, at the least the complaint would be tossed out on its' head.

Folks like EA Louse, IceFrog's great detractor and many others in the history of the internet have done very, very little to change anything I'd think. All they're really doing is stirring the chamber pots, which I think most folks can agree is not a pleasant experience.

It does not matter what name I use. If I write something and someone comes back and calls me an asshole for it, especially when that was not my intent, it hurts.

burntham77 wrote:

It does not matter what name I use. If I write something and someone comes back and calls me an asshole for it, especially when that was not my intent, it hurts.

Gotta say that's a bit ironic coming from a guy with a Carlin avatar.