The day Steve Modena's ego escaped

Duncan Rouch ROUCHDA at VAX1.COMPUTER-CENTRE.BIRMINGHAM.AC.UK
Wed Feb 3 08:00:00 EST 1993


Dear Steve,
	Your ego is sticking out perhaps a little too much on this one,
in fact anyone looking out the window at the time of writing could
have seen it from this side of the pond.
	Let's do a little analysis of the subtext of your comments
to see what your motives were. >, marks Kate's original message;
[], marks Steve's editing; and my comments are unmarked.


[Newsgroups: bionet.general
From: samodena at csemail.cropsci.ncsu.edu (S. A. Modena)
Subject: Sticking to WOMEN IN BIOLOGY
Message-ID: <1993Feb2.022821.781 at ncsu.edu>
Organization: Crop Science Dept., NCSU, Raleigh, NC 27695-7620
Date: Tue, 2 Feb 1993 02:28:21 GMT]

[Of general interest, I'm sure....
   --------Cut Here---------- ]
>Article: 173 of bionet.women-in-bio
>From: MCCAINKW at DUVM.BITNET (Kate McCain)
>Newsgroups: bionet.women-in-bio
>Subject: flame dousing
>Message-ID: <9302020055.AA15451 at net.bio.net>
>Date: 2 Feb 93 00:34:44 GMT
>Distribution: bionet

>Gosh Marivonne -- you must have gotten a LOT of personal mail.  Not mine--
>since I felt we both understood each other's positions and concerns. I
>too would like to see the list swing to a slightly different focus -- if one
>is naturally forthcoming -- and be temporarily quiescent if one is not.

[I'm wating for the other shoe to drop.]

  Facetious comment 1. Steve says in effect "you're predictable and I'm not,
  so I'm better than you: I'm so clever".  Each comment in itself has little 
  significance in the analysis, but putting them all together reveals what's 
  going on.  Steve's ego is out without chaperone, and wants to prove how
  good he is. The strategy he uses is to show how good he is by denigrating
  someone else, so in comparison he looks like a brilliant guy. 
  Steve sees Kate's message as a easy target for the strategy.


>I would like to note -- at the risk of raised heat -- that some of my
>_personal_ correspondents (not all of the same opinion, I might add) were
>male.  Several expressed the opinion that, while they would like to participate
>in a more general discussion, that they felt unwelcome -- in at least one
>case because he had been thoroughly trashed (for apparent gender-attributed
>sins) when expressing an opinion.

[Obviously that male poster didn't read the FAQ for women-in-bio.]

  Steve is saying "I know something you don't: I'm so clever"

>So let me offer a new (or retreaded?) topic -- which some of us who are old
>enough will recall as a basic issue in the early days of the feminist
>movement -- what IS the status of male participation on this list?  Are
>are we secure enough to entertain divergent opinion from persons with a single
>X chromosome -- and attribute inquiries, positions taken, etc as representative
>of _personal_ opinion, experience, etc. recognizing that EACH of us has
>both unique (personal) and shared (gender-based, racial/ethic group id based,
>age-based, etc.) variance in our personal experiences that affect our
>perspectives (what Kenneth Boulding called our "Images")?

[ I'm sure the answers are to be found somewhere is the FAQ for
women-in-bio or on WISENET.]

  "I'm sure" means he is not certain. Again he is saying
  "I know more than you: so I must be better than you"

>If we are "exclusive" then we eliminate ideas from the other part of the world
>(and maybe a chance to educate, enlighten, or inform). Are we really
>comfortable "preaching to the converted" or -- to argue the opposite as we did
>in the olden days -- is it more important to build community than to enlarge
>it?

[This sounds so much like the mental train that Stalin's lavisher would use
on each Anniversary of the Great Wise One.  References supplied upon
request.]

	Steve,"I know so much more than you, what a great guy I am"

>Can we take _anyone's_ expression of interest at face value and not be so
>impolite as to trash someone for personal traits -- recognizing that offering
>an opinion means that trashing the _opinion_ is certainly an option? (Remember
>the children's psychologist who told many of us to be sure and distinguish
>between the person's _behavior_ and the _person_.)

[I like that: women look to child psycologists for adult guidance.]

  Steve,"Damn it, I'm just so jello clever" 

>Listservs are -- in general -- remarkably democratic institutions.  One can
>"lurk" without participating and "hide" one's e-mail address so as to be
>truly invisible.  I would hate to have _anyone_ feel they had to do so here.

[After all, this isn't Khomer Rouge Cambodia where one was shot for wearing
glasses.]

  Steve,"Well I am clever, just so damned clever". This 'clever' message
  is getting a bit boring, but then egos on the loose need constant
  attention.

>The standard statement at this point is to apologise if anyone felt a little
>crisped. Quite frankly, that was NOT my intent. Perhaps I am escalating
>to a level of "metadiscussion" that the majority feel is inappropriate or
>uninteresting.  No problem. My data analyses just came out congruent and I
>am at peace with the world.

[And they say that *men* blabber on!  :^)]

  And Steve has a sexist attitude too, what a surprise.  People can
  pretent they don't hold certain attitudes (racist, sexist etc), 
  but what they find amusing can reveal the underlying truth.
 

>Kate McCain                          "die Gedankenexperimente sind frei"
>College of Information Studies
>Drexel University

>mccainkw at duvm.ocs.drexel.edu
[    -----Cut Here------ ]

[Well, I loved it. Juicey, if you ask me.
But I'll fax it off to Rush...bet it makes it onto one of his shows for a
wider audience than this to appreciate.]

[Steve   a.k.a. Prisoner #6]
[Without a FAQ, my opinion is unofficial.]

[P.S. Anything unsuitable for an (over-specialized) newgroup, ends up right 
in the overflow bucket...according to the BIO-SCI FAQ.  :^)]

   Posting his comments on Bionet.General instead of the original
   .Women-in-bio is the real give away. Steve's ego wants maximum
   attention so he shifts to a more widely followed newsgroup. 
   Moreover, Steve's ego probably calculated that more people (men)
   with his kind of values read .General than .Women-in-bio.	

   I suggest Steve that you keep your ego a little more under
   control in future, if you don't want;
    (a) to look so stupid, and
    (b) risk the chance of hurting someone's feelings for no good reason.

  I believe in 'live and let live' but to a point. When egos are
  out on their own, usually little intelligent discussion can take
  place and people can get hurt.  Steve's ego strategy used here depends
  on denigrating another person, Kate McCain. Now Kate might be
  the kind of person who shrugs off comments like Steve's without
  a second thought, or then again she might not: Steve doesn't
  know Kate so he can't tell.  Letting your ego take over
  tends to make you self-centred and selfish, as Steve has demostrated,
  which is antagonistic to good communication.  
  

[---
+------------------------------------------------------------------+
|     In person:  Steve Modena     AB4EL                           |
|     On phone:   (919) 515-5328                                   |
|     At e-mail:  nmodena at unity.ncsu.edu                           | 
|                 samodena at csemail.cropsci.ncsu.edu                |
|                 [ either email address is read each day ]        |
|     By snail:   Crop Sci Dept, Box 7620, NCSU, Raleigh, NC 27695 |
+------------------------------------------------------------------+
         Lighten UP!  It's just a computer doing that to you.    (c)
OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO ]
         

Duncan Rouch, Biological Sciences, University of Birmingham, U.K.



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