I thought it was interesting that as I am struggling with the issue of anonymity, Feministe was also discussing this issue.  It seems like women especially come in for abuse online–something I’ve mentioned before. (And which several bits of research support.)

I think Merlin Mann was spot on when he said “email combines intimacy and distance in a way that sociopaths really seem to enjoy.”  I’d extend that to all online communication–forums and blog comments especially.

Having said that…

I actually am missing blogging, and I think it’s obvious I can’t resist the temptation to occasionally come back and tell you about random things that strike my fancy. The plan to disconnect myself isn’t working too well.

Interestingly, EvolutionBlog covered the topic of blogging and mental health, and suggested it’s therapeutic.  The part that really caught my eye was this (in the original article):

“The frontal and temporal lobes, which govern speech—no dedicated writing center is hardwired in the brain—may also figure in. For example, lesions in Wernicke’s area, located in the left temporal lobe, result in excessive speech and loss of language comprehension. People with Wernicke’s aphasia speak in gibberish and often write constantly. In light of these traits, Flaherty speculates that some activity in this area could foster the urge to blog.”

Would anyone like to guess which parts of my brain were damaged when I had my head injury?  :D

Of course, this got my attention because it helps me rationalize something I want to do anyway, that might not  actualy be a good idea.  The other problem with frontal lobe damage is impulsiveness…..

So I wrote ScienceBlogs and asked them if I could become a Sb’er.  If you know anyone, please feel free to  pull some strings.

Posted by Gwen Pearson

Writer. Nerd. Insect Evangelist. Have you heard the good news? BUGS!


  1. My recollection is that I have suggested you in the past! But I have to tell you that we Sb bloggers have nothing to do with these decisions, and we know nothing about them, and whatever we do know or can infer (because we’re pretty smart) we are required to not say out loud. But I would think you’d be a great edition.

  2. Awwww…..*blush*

    Thanks! and I do hope you are feeling better soon.

  3. In my experience, Wikipedia and other so called “online communities” are places where misogynistic cyberbullies go to harass independent artists and riot grrrls. Case in point: Jeanne Marie Spicuzza, a leading artist and tarot card reader, had her article yanked from Wikipedia for no apparent reason. And when her sister Mary Spicuzza, a print journalist, wrote an article about it, she was forced to resign for “violating journalistic ethics.” You can read about it here:


    BTW, you can also read what happened according to the creep who sexually harassed Jeanne Marie on Wikipedia starting here::


  4. I’ve read the Feministe thread and lots of people’s horror stories, but so far have not experienced any problems blogging under my real name. Good luck with the S*b app!

  5. bornagainbirdwatcher May 26, 2008 at 1:09 am

    I just discovered your blog through the good people at InsectaPod Cast Blog. I’m very sorry to learn that you have been “outed” and can no longer safely blog. Please keep the faith, as they say. If I find that I have a string to pull anywhere, given the high quality of what I have read here, I will certainly pull it on your behalf.

  6. I am sorry to hear that you’ve been having ‘trouble’.

    When I first began ‘blogging’ I too initially retained ‘anonymity’, but, overtime, that desire has diminished, partially as a result of my own growing confidence and persona ‘here’, and also because anyone who REALLY wants to figure out who I am, can. I am very interested in how these very individualized ‘personal journals/scrapbooks’ aka ‘blogs’ are flung into the universe looking for like-minded types, or not. I think the desire to use our brains in both reading and writing about subjects that interest us is fairly common. The internet has exploded this opportunity. There will always be ‘creeps’, as will there always be supportive, and enthusiastic friends. Separating the wheat from the chaff is the trick. You do present/offer an interesting and engaging blog. It would be a pity to ‘lose your voice’ from the community just because of a bully. Bullies are cowards at heart so stand your ground and don’t give up. Speak your truth. Be heard, and keep writing about what interests YOU.

    Very best, c

  7. I’ve thought about quitting blogging as well. Although, I’ve found that it is therapeutic for me in the sense of being some form of outlet for my thoughts. And it’s constantly evolving. I’m starting to have more fun writing about things other than science.

  8. The blogo-sphere is weaker in your absence. :)

  9. Men can get a torrent of abuse and vitriol, too. I’ve had death threats, anonymous tip-offs to animal welfare officers, and hundreds of obscene, vicious and malignant comments in response to my blog. I’ve had to suspend comments several times until the nutters went elsewhere.

    But I’ve never had a problem with sticking my head above the parapet and when someone lets fly an arrow, I respond with a cauldron of boiling oil… Oops, is that too much of a male response? ;)

  10. Nah. I think you’ve definitely seen me pouring some oil on the blog here :D

  11. What’s weird is, I collected both of my stalkers while posting anonymously. They seemed to think it a challenge. Since going public I’ve had zero problems, but thanks to the practice I got dealing with those two if I DID have problems, I’d immediately take them to the cops and they would know me and have a track record…they would know I wasn’t making stuff up. Because cops always assume that anything online is crazy. If you get some crazy stuff and bring it to their attention, they’re more inclined to take what you say seriously in future.

  12. I edited this story and I can assure you that Mary did not get fired for this story or any other. Mary decided to leave the paper to take a job with a local documentary filmmaker. She gave her notice before the Wikipedia story was published. She disclosed to me early in the reporting process her sister’s fights with Griot and her sister’s role is mentioned high up in our story. Bottom line: We stand by the story.

    Comment by Will Harper, Managing Editor, SF Weekly on Feb 26th, 2008, 13:55 pm

  13. This is extremely interesting–first we have “Mary” telling her story, and then the editor of her former employer shows up.

    Sounds like someone is scanning for Mary’s name, and making sure their side of the story is covered. Since I never mentioned this in the actual post, I”m wondering if this is a cut/paste reply they just have automated each time her name shows up?

  14. What is the best way to contact bug girl?

  15. you can find my email on the “about” page.


  16. BTW, I am NOT INTERESTED in getting involved with whatever is going on with Mary Spicuzza.

    Note that the authenticity of several of these comments are in question. Each has originated from a different IP, but that’s pretty easy to spoof. I’ll leave all the comments on this post alone for now, since they may in fact be a good illustration of online stalking.

    Either way, take it elsewhere.

Comments are closed.