The saprobe Panellus Stipticus displaying bioluminescence

Open thread: bioluminescence

… you have to admit, it’s pretty!

The saprobe Panellus Stipticus displaying bioluminescence

You also have to admit that we haven’t had an open thread in a while. Thus, this is an open thread for general discussion on any topic, as long as it’s within the comment policy.

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About Mary

Mary is a women in tech activist, a programmer, a writer, and a sometime computational linguist. She writes at Her previous projects include co-founding the Ada Initiative and major contributions to the Geek Feminism blog. She's @me_gardiner on Twitter.

9 thoughts on “Open thread: bioluminescence

  1. koipond

    Ooh. This got up there while I’m up and about.

    I’ve got an Indie Go Go page set up for the game I’ve just finished called Critical!: Go Westerly.

    The basic premise is that it’s a funny fantasy RPG that doesn’t rely on being goofy, or misogynistic, for laughs.

    If you’re interested, please check it out!

  2. Dorothea

    So (TRIGGER WARNING, rape talk) last night I deleted my account at the new MMORPG Glitch owing to at least two reenactments of the age-old Julian Dibbell MUD chronicle of one avatar making rape threats or pretending to “rape” another.

    Tiny Speck is IMO not handling this well — they seem a bit blindsided (why? do they not know about standard-issue misogyny in MMORPG culture?) and they’re holding to one policy in particular that strikes me as counterproductive: never telling complainants about disciplinary actions taken as a result of complaints. This does not fill me with entire confidence that they’re handling these sensitive matters correctly; I’d be far more okay if I heard complainants say “TS has handled this to my entire satisfaction.”

    The forum comments, as you’d expect, are bingo-card city.

    I played Glitch in the first place over some tripping of my personal skeeviness meter (the spice trees in particular emit what look like solicitations for prostitution alongside special item drops), but the invasion of rape culture into what’s for the most part a charming timewaster just made me throw up my hands and say NO.

    Any other Glitchens who care to comment? Suggestions for TS? I think they want to get this right, and MMORPG misogyny is assuredly not their fault… but they’re still stuck trying to figure out how to deal with it.

  3. Zack

    A little while ago, I saw an article go by with a really thorough and convincing explanation of why social science surveys should avoid the stock demographic question “Sex: []M []F” and what should be done instead, but I can’t find it anymore. Would anyone happen to have a link?

    1. Mary Post author

      I doubt it’s what you saw (what you describe probably matches 100 or more documents, any idea where you might have seen it?), but there’s Creating GLBTQIA-Inclusive Forms. I think there’s considerable dispute over offering “Male/Female/Transgender” though, which is one of the options it discusses, because many trans people identify with “Male” and “Female” just as cis people do: being trans does not necessarily mean a non-binary gender id.

      1. Zack

        I think that is in fact the thing I saw go by; but on a reread it’s targeted at medical research, social work, and other situations where one or more of these things may indeed be relevant. What I’m really looking for is advice for people who are doing human-subjects studies where demographic information (including sex, gender, etc) is not directly relevant; I’ve done (and may do again) research on human factors in computer security, for instance, where the only reason to ask about race, sex, gender, etc would be as part of an attempt to assess the WEIRDness of one’s participant pool, and there are perhaps better ways to do that.

  4. TheBlackCat

    I apologize if this has already been covered, but I came here after hearing about the long-standing threats and abuse to women in this community by a group of repeat offenders.

    Although the case is not identical, there are some superficial similarities to a case of a long-standing threats and abuse by a repeat offender against science bloggers over the last 15 years or so. Although, as I said, the cases are not identical, and this other case was more extreme, I thought there might be lessons that could be learned from that case and applied to your situation as well.

    The people involved sounded helpful, and many of them are very strong supporters of feminism and women in general, so it may be a good idea to contact some of the prominent people involved directly to see if they can help. It seemed like the absolute key to breaking the case was getting the press involved, but spreading word about the issue can’t hurt either.

    Trigger warning: threats of violence, threats of violence against women, disturbing and threatening imagery, this guy has pretty threatened anything imaginable:
    Case Study: How a notorious spammer was brought down via Twitter

    I was not directly involved in the case, but I can point you in the direction of people who were and I think would be likely willing to offer you help, spread the word, or get you in touch with people who can help (note: trigger warning: these blogs deal with threats and violence against women, sometimes extreme violence, the first one in particular):
    Butterflies and Wheels

    You may be able to find more, these are simply the ones I am most familiar with that seem most involved in this issue. Being pro-active, organizing, and working as a group also seemed to be critical to stopping that threats. I hope this is helpful, and good luck stopping these scumbags.

    P.S. I apologize if the trigger warnings are not warranted, I am not familiar enough with them to apply them appropriately so I am trying to play it safe. Feel free to edit, extend, remove, or modify them as you see fit. Note that the latter two are blogs, so the stuff I am warning about may or may not be right on the front page.

  5. Ann

    I hope I’m doing this right… I wasn’t sure how to contact anyone otherwise, I was just wondering if ya’ll had seen It’s a blog done by a feminist gamer who documents her experiences as a female gamer. It’s pretty shocking, but informative at the same time.

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