Don’t Start None, Won’t Be None

[Final update: DNLee's blog post has been reinstated at Scientific American. I'm therefore removing it from here; traffic should go to her.]

[Update: The original offender, "Ofek" at Biology Online, has now been fired, and the organization has apologized. Scientific American editor Mariette DiChristina has also offered a fuller explanation.]

Something that happens every day, to me and many other people who write things: you get asked to do something for free. There’s an idea that mere “writing” isn’t actually “work,” and besides which “exposure” should be more than enough recompense. (Can I eat exposure? Can I smoke it?)

You know, that’s okay. I’m constantly asking people to do things for less recompense than their time is worth; it’s worth a shot. For a young writer who is trying to build a career, exposure might actually be valuable. But most of the time the writer will politely say no and everyone will move on.

For example, just recently an editor named “Ofek” at Biology-Online.org asked DNLee to provide some free content for him. She responded with:

Thank you very much for your reply.
But I will have to decline your offer.
Have a great day.

Here’s what happens less often: the person asking for free content, rather than moving on, responds by saying

Because we don’t pay for blog entries?
Are you an urban scientist or an urban whore?

Where I grew up, when people politely turn down your request for free stuff, it’s impolite to call them a “whore.” It’s especially bad when you take into account the fact that we live in a world where women are being pushed away from science, one where how often your papers get cited correlates strongly with your gender, and so on.

DNLee was a bit taken aback, with good reason. So she took to her blog to respond. It was a colorful, fun, finely-crafted retort — and also very important, because this is the kind of stuff that shouldn’t happen in this day and age. Especially because the offender isn’t just some kid with a website; Biology Online is a purportedly respectable site, part of the Scientific American “Partners Network.” One would hope that SciAm would demand an apology from Ofek, or consider cutting their ties with the organization.

Sadly that’s not what happened. If you click on the link in the previous paragraph, you’ll get an error. That’s because Scientific American, where DNLee’s blog is hosted, decided it wasn’t appropriate and took it down.

It’s true that this particular post was not primarily concerned with conveying substantive scientific content. Like, you know, countless other posts on the SciAm network, or most other blogs. But it wasn’t about gossip or what someone had for lunch, either; interactions between actual human beings engaged in the communication of scientific results actually is a crucial part of the science/culture/community ecosystem. DNLee’s post was written in a jocular style, but it wasn’t only on-topic, it was extremely important. Taking it down was exactly the wrong decision.

I have enormous respect for Scientific American as an institution, so I’m going to hope that this is a temporary mistake, and after contemplating a bit they decide to do the right thing, restoring DNLee’s post and censuring the guy who called her a whore. But meanwhile, I’m joining others by copying the original post here. Ultimately it’s going to get way more publicity than it would have otherwise. Maybe someday people will learn how the internet works.

Here is DNLee. (Words cannot express how much I love the final picture.)

——————————————————–

(This is where I used to mirror the original blog post, which has now been restored.)

This entry was posted in Humanity, Science and Society, Science and the Media, Women in Science, Words. Bookmark the permalink.

84 Responses to Don’t Start None, Won’t Be None

  1. Lord says:

    So that’s what line of work he is in.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 29 Thumb down 5

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  3. Truck Captain Sirak says:

    There is no reason whatsoever for ANY public persona to call a woman a whore. Even a prostitute prefers other terminology, and for a public persona to stoop to such behavior is unconscionable and vile.
    Even though i have been a soldier and i fought for freedom of speech for all, there are repercussions for actions, and if someone should be so irresponsible as to vilify another, using sexist epithets, then said individual should be boycotted, and the organization that supports said individual should then also be affected in some manner.
    This is about responsibility for one’s actions. As a subscriber to Scientific American, it shocks me that they would so casually discard one blogger because another used strong and offensive language and the first took umbrage! As a subscriber, i will DEFINATELY send my thoughts about the abhorrent behavior of “Ofek” and the support i perceive them as giving! It appears that Scientific American either SUPPORTS the denigration of women, especially minority women, OR that Scientific American did not want to call attention to the especially repugnant behavior of their pet “Ofek”. Either way, their actions thus far SUPPORT sexist and prejudicial behavior.
    Scientific American needs to rethink its support and publicly apologize for the behavior of its blogger. It needs to censure said offender for his (Ofek’s) malicious behavior, otherwise it cannot be taken any other way than that it supports this kind of behavior.
    Shame on you, Scientific American.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 271 Thumb down 6

  4. Shecky R says:

    “…Ultimately it’s going to get way more publicity than it would have otherwise. Maybe someday people will learn how the internet works.”

    THAT ought be a KEY take-home message for the powers-that-be at SciAm. Whatever their reasons behind their decisions, there are SO MANY ways this could’ve been handled better!
    I’m guessin’ someone at SciAm is getting a tongue-lashing (…or email-lashing) from BoraZ as I type this (but just my guess).

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 66 Thumb down 3

  5. Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

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  6. Mike Taylor says:

    Just to be clear, Brother Nihil: you’re blaming DNLee for this? Is that right?

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 82 Thumb down 15

  7. BWTidwell says:

    The person requesting a free writer was out of line with his comment.
    There is no excuse and no place for that in business, science, or authority.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 91 Thumb down 4

  8. Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

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  9. Mike Taylor says:

    Nope, still not understanding your point. When you say academic climate is conducive to “this sort of thing”, what thing do you mean? Do you mean that it’s conducive to people calling scientists whores? Or do you mean that it’s conducive to scientists objecting? Or do you mean that it’s conducive to blog networks removing posts about this?

    No innuendo, no inquisition. Just perplexity about what you meant.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 96 Thumb down 5

  10. Eb says:

    Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

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  11. Sun says:

    Nihil is a troll, don’t feed the trolls.

    Calling someone a whore because they politely refused to do you (an unknown off the streets) a favor, wow, that’s over the top. That’s like calling a woman who refuses to sleep with you a whore. Sour grapes much?

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 95 Thumb down 10

  12. Erica says:

    Umm, Brother Nihil, being flat-out construed as a ‘whore’ doesn’t leave much room for perception as anything other than an offense. I’m a pretty apathetic person when it comes to insults, and I tend to avoid confrontation whenever possible, but I’m pretty sure I would have bit back if someone had insinuated that I was a whore for refusing to provide free labor. A person’s time and energy are very precious. I can definitely understand why someone you don’t even know acting like they have a right to it and disrespecting your decisions would set a person off.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 79 Thumb down 5

  13. Wolfy says:

    Brother Nihil seems to miss the point that it was simply and completely unacceptable on a professional level, to call someone a “whore” based on the premise that they ‘assumed’ that the sole reason for the declining of the offer to do free content creation for them, let alone the fact that the person he was addressing was a woman. You don’t call a woman a whore like that and not expect at least severe indignation (and face it, most males would be just as incensed at the usage towards them in the same situation), any more than you would call a woman the “c-word” and expect them to not become very angry towards you. “Academic climate” has zero to do with the situation, he’s just a pompous ass who obviously feels that this has something to do with “political correctness”, when in fact it is nothing of the sort, but rather just that of basic human decency.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 62 Thumb down 4

  14. Scientist says:

    This is an outrageous story. I am less concerned about the fact SciAm removed the post (I can believe their motives were honest and objective), but the editor who had the exchange with DNLee does not have basic dignity to others.

    I was curious to see who stands behind biology-online.org, and checked who registered the domain. Apparently it is a company called “AAA Marketing World” based in Australia. The amusing thing that if you look up their page, you find:

    http://www.blognow.com.au/about-us/

    “We believe anybody should be able to blog for free.” they say there — maybe “We believe anybody should blog for (us for) free” is more appropriate.

    I just hope that this Ofek person does not represent everybody in his/her company.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 60 Thumb down 3

  15. vitz says:

    this is a subject worthy of frontline. would be awesome if you could get them interested in doing a program on this cultural paradigm :)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 2

  16. Jarrod says:

    If you are a woman you are damned if you do, damned if you don’t…

    Give a service away for free or sheer enjoyment you are a “Slut”
    Charge for a service and you are a “Whore”

    Meanwhile a man would be considered an altruistic philanthropist or savvy entreprenuer for the same actions.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 116 Thumb down 3

  17. Emily says:

    Wow. I’m actually dumbfounded. I wonder in what society Ofek lives where the only people who work for money are whores (sex workers)? Surely he could have offered something by way of barter, like a basket of fish or a tin of tea, if “exposure” weren’t tempting enough. Maybe you should tell him that only whores benefit from exposure? ;)

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 1

  18. Vanessa says:

    WTF!!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  19. Wendy Woods says:

    It is really not acceptable to call someone whom you don’t know (or even someone you do know), who politely asked some questions and politely declined your offer, a whore. It doesn’t matter why they declined, Mr Ofek should have thanked her for her time and that is that. I don’t understand what made him think that if someone declines an offer that its okay to be rude and slanderous. Maybe he should grow up or take the chip of his shoulder!

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 33 Thumb down 0

  20. Charvakan says:

    Thanks, Dr. Carroll. This is needs to be addressed by the Scientific American immediately. They should go beyond merely apologizing and discuss the whole assumption that writers shouldn’t ask to be paid if it’s online.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 31 Thumb down 0

  21. Tara G says:

    I love you and miss you! Keep up the good fight!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  22. tlarue says:

    Danielle: I don’t know you, but I support you and your articulate, on-point replies. It was a cheap and disgusting attack made against you; give ‘em hell.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 23 Thumb down 0

  23. Pingback: Don’t Start None, Won’t Be None – a Proud Repost | Phil Alban

  24. Deb says:

    You rock! Love the attitude and the way you write.

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  25. John says:

    Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

    Poorly-rated. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 62

  26. Elizabeth Landry says:

    Awesome!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 3

  27. Gary says:

    It’s the same for IT professionals, never tell anyone you work in IT! They all have ‘Stuff’ they need done & never want to pay for it. I tell them, “My car needs a service will you do that for me for free?” or “I have a pile of laundry needs done, can I bring that to you for you to do for me for free?”. That works for most of them :-)
    Best to tell people you work in the mental health or infectious disease fields!

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  31. Jennifer Dunne says:

    I am emailing Biology Online right now to let them know how appalled I am by their conduct.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 19 Thumb down 1

  32. Pete Langman says:

    Goodness!
    Well, there are two issues here. The first is the use of the word ‘whore’. Obviously, and undeniably, this is offensive. There is, however, a similarity to the phrase ‘corporate whore’ which is non gender-specific. Use of this term to someone you don’t know is, I believe, also offensive. This means that the insult is both a) in terms of gender and b) in totally gender-neutral terms. This is quite an impressive feat.
    The second relates to this part of the response:

    After all, Dr. Important Person does it for free so what’s my problem? Listen, I ain’t him and he ain’t me. Folks have reasons – finances, time, energy, aligned missions, whatever – for doing or not doing things. Seriously, all anger aside…this rationalization of working for free and you’ll get exposure is wrong-headed. This is work. I am a professional. Professionals get paid. End of story. Even if I decide to do it pro bono (because I support your mission or I know you, whatevs) – it is still worth something. I’m simply choosing to waive that fee. But the fact is I told ol’ boy No; and he got all up in his feelings. So, go sit on a soft internet cushion, Ofek, ’cause you are obviously all butt-hurt over my rejection. And take heed of the advice on my khanga.

    This guy doesn’t do it for free. It’s basically his job. Which makes his attitude even more offensive, frankly. A similar thing happened recently over here, just to someone more famous, so it made the papers. See my blog for more exciting details.
    You’re absolutely right. Both of you. And your responses absolutely, if you’ll pardon the expression, ‘on the money’.

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  34. Getty says:

    Hi. I wonder if he is British. The reason I say this is because the British use that expression a lot, generally as humour. “I’m a words whore” meaning I’ll write for anyone, I’m not particular about which newspaper publishes me. But they generally use it with levity. They also use the word “scumbag” a lot, and it’s not nearly as offensive as it is in the United States. Surprisingly, they use the word “cu*t” a lot. An awful lot. But usually it’s used towards men, when they want to say that a man is a total and utter nasty, cretinous degenerate. It’s kind of like calling someone an asshole but more so. Sometimes we have to take culture into account because some words and idioms are highly offensive in America and less so in other English-speaking countries.

    Thumb up 5 Thumb down 8

  35. Pete Langman says:

    I keep attempting to edit in order to sort the personal pronoun issue in my comment (I’d just woken up), but keep failing. Apologies …

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  36. Bridie says:

    Go Girl, you did good! Loads of exploiters out there, armed with more cunning and subtle tactics than Ofek used. Be wary all!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 2

  37. Tbrunt says:

    Here’s an idea – why not send your thoughts directly to Biology Online admins and tell them how disgusted you are by this BS? – http://www.biology-online.org/siteinfo/contact.php?sid=fab6d71f8c3ec1b196cc81d4ce830bd7

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  38. No matter how much education some people subject themselves to, no matter how well mannered one grows up, no matter how important one thinks they are, grace to one’s fellow man in the face of the word “NO,” they lack. Dr. Lee is right on target with her reply, this human from bio online seems to think he is more important and is entitled to a, “YES,” reply from all. The question remains, how do you people plan to make this, this, person, feel due retribution? And as for calling Dr. Lee a whore, it should be noted that even whores get paid for their services.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 2

  39. Rosa says:

    @Gary, Don’t tell people you work in Mental Health: you get a nervous laugh and a query about anxiety!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  40. GavBo says:

    I think this is rather fitting

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  41. Barry Best says:

    Scientific who ??? do you mean they make money by exploiting bloggers for free ?
    sounds like a good business !! Very good business. Better than robbing the Bank

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  42. William Drake says:

    Way to go! I`m not a scientist( just a flag printer)but my dad was a Geophyisist,( and a humble but brilliant man)so I grew up with a love for science. How the jerk treated you was completely unprofessional and just pig headed. God Bless you and you scientific work.

    Sorry this was supposted to go to DNL blog. but you get the point . Will write to her.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  43. Ron Murphy says:

    There is a forum thread on this, and one of the site’s main people honee_v has posted on planned action

    http://www.biology-online.org/biology-forum/about34625.html

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

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  47. Peter says:

    “Son, your mother and I are organizing movie nights with the neighbors and their kids. This is a huge opportunity for you to meet the girls of the neighborhood; there will be plenty of them. Will you join us?”

    “Gee Dad, I don’t know. Can you be more specific? How often do you plan to go to the movie? And will you pay for the theater?”

    “We plan to go once a month, son. There is a little caveat although; since it will be late at night you won’t be able to go out that late for the next two weeks after. Regarding payment, we won’t pay for it. It will be paid from your monthly pocket money. Do you know George? The popular kid of the neighborhood… Well he has already accepted these conditions without complaining. And son, don’t forget that it’s a huge opportunity for you to meet with the cute girls of the neighborhood.”

    “Thanks dad, but I’ll pass on this one.”

    “Because we won’t pay for the theater? Are you my son or are you a whore?”

    “Dad, did you just call me a whore?”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  48. Tonie Carl says:

    I think your responses are completely appropriate and I am glad you brought this to the public’s attention.

    I am a professional woman working as a corporate aviation pilot, and all too often I am asked to fly for less pay than I deserve. Aircraft owners (or other pilots) ask if I want to fly for (or for them) without pay or exchange of services, as if they are doing me a favor. New and young pilots often pressure themselves into “getting hours,” and they will fly for free or reduced pay just to get enough hours to sign on with a commercial airline. I know that when I decline to work for free, there are a dozen others willing to step in, and although I think this is wrong it does not deter me. I know what I am worth and it is a lot more than nothing. Once when I declined a request to fly for free, the guy said, “Come on, don’t be a bitch.” Calling someone names has no place among professionals.

    I agree with your comments on some people thinking that because of a person’s gender/race/socioeconomic status that person can be easily manipulated. I have experienced this first hand and have become more aware and hardened to it as I enter my 7th year in the industry. You inspire me and I only wish there were more women willing to stand up for themselves as you are.

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  49. Kristofer Osterhout says:

    I’m disgusted by the treatment you received; so disgusted, in fact, that I had to send an e-mail to Ofek:
    ————
    Hi Ofek,

    I don’t actually have a blog contribution request. Instead, I’d like to let you know that you make me absolutely sick to the core of my being. How DARE you call someone a whore for not wanting to contribute to your two-bit shoddy online blog? You’re disgusting. I sincerely hope that your blog dies a slow, painful death and you see substantial monetary losses from it. Ultimately, I hope that you are NEVER in a position of power or authority again, because you’re incapable of being a proper member of society.

    In short, please remove yourself from the public. Move to a country that doesn’t have readily-available internet. Do us all a favor and make yourself unknown.

    Now, if you’ll excuse me, thinking about you has made me physically ill so I must go vomit.

    Revolted,
    Kristofer Osterhout

    ——–

    You don’t deserve that treatment. We must let Ofek know how cantankerous and abhorrent he really is.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 2

  50. Dave Hall says:

    Thanks for sharing a solid piece of work.

    As a retired professional communicator, I ran into this shit. I think being a woman of colour probably got you a bit of extra ignorance from this person, but you are right that it is not a unique problem. And that the lower down they see you on their bigoted little pecking order, the more arrogant they get.

    I read Scientific American, although I am not aware of this blog. I will send them a note saying how appalled I am that ‘Ofeck’ is still affiliated in any way with Scientific American and that they have not offered an apology for his behavior in general and insults in particular.

    Have a good day!

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  51. Ms Kate says:

    Just in case anyone’s wondering about “Brother Nihil” – he considers himself an Elite Troll on a Mission:

    http://galdrux.com/blogs/24

    “I was in a mundane mode today so I decided to troll the blog of a cosmologist named Sean Carroll (see http://www.preposterousuniverse.com/blog/2013/10/12/dont-start-none-wont-be-none/). The substance of the troll is relatively uninteresting – something about me playing devil’s advocate in a case involving an angry black female biologist who had been called a whore by someone in a position of authority, with all the usual ideological innuendo (and an impressive number of downvotes).”

    Then follows a bunch of blah blah he’s better than everyone blah blah he’s somehow saving the world from stoopid scientists…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

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  53. Unfortunately, this is wrong on so many levels and I am not just talking about the horrible treatment of Dr. Lee. The Biology-Online website should not only take part of the blame for hiring this guy but for the practice of not paying bloggers. Not paying someone for their time and expertise sends a message that you don’t see value in their work. It doesn’t just disrespect Dr. Lee but all science writers and bloggers who are honestly trying to get fair pay for their time and efforts. It disrespects and diminishes us on so many levels. We can’t or shouldn’t say there is just one bad guy here.

    These barbs also are aimed at Scientific American. You should stand up for your own once it can be shown that what is being said is true. Taking down the post without contact or explanation to the blogger sends a bad message to everyone. It is disloyal and shows a lack of interest in standing up for what is right. I can understand contacting Dr. Lee that her post is temporarily being taken down while SciAm investigates. I don’t understand just taking it down with little to no communication. I get that Scientific American needs to protect themselves legally but there is the right and professional way of handling things on their end.

    This goes to the statements that Scientific American constantly make about supporting women. How can anyone trust them to do this when a woman is being disrespected and denigrated for being a professional?

    Kudos to Dr. Lee for standing up for herself first by saying that the no paying gig was not an opportunity she should be thankful for and for not posting on her blog about what happened. I also hope that Scientific American reverses their decision and reinstates the blog post.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  54. Cynthia says:

    I’ll be honest, I’ve never heard of you, or him, and I only just got linked here by IFLS.
    But I’ve gotta say: THANK YOU. Thank you for sticking up for yourself about this because when you do, you are sticking up for me and my friends and every woman I know. Thank you.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

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  56. James Gallagher says:

    lol

    SciAm need to be aware of the Striesand Effect

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Streisand_effect

    and kudos to Dana Lee for being so effective at communicating that SciAm’s position just got demolished really easily all over the place

    http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/at-scientific-american/2013/10/13/a-message-from-mariette-dichristina-editor-in-chief

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  57. Sheri Divers says:

    As a fellow black female professional myself, I just want to say, “You go, girl!” I love EVERYTHING about your measured and thoughtful response!

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  58. Doc C says:

    Inexcusable behavior by Sci-Am, by Biology-online.org, and of course by the idiot blog editor who has no morals. However, I would like to point out that “Don’t start none won’t be none” is nothing like the golden rule, which says “Do unto others as you would have done unto yourself”. The difference in attitude and personal commitment between those two statements should be quite obvious, so I will not explain it. Having grown up as a street kid I can understand holding the former as a vision of how to conduct our lives, but I think that holding that it up as variant of the golden rule sheds some light on why our society has become so polarized. Until it’s not about staying on top, but about cooperating and connecting, we will make precious little progress.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  59. Sean Carroll says:

    Note to new visitors: I am a white dude. All kudos should go to Danielle Lee, whose post I’m merely mirroring here (at least until it might be restored).

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  60. Good for you sticking to your guns, we also get asked to do lots of articles, seminars ect for free in our line of work, some of which we are happy to do, but like you we will not be coerced into providing a professional service for free just because some one else thinks it is a good idea often we are asked in the same vein, e.g. it will be good for you professionally. It is you right and ours to choose what and why we offer services without payment in some instances.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

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  62. Stand firm.
    Stay clear of these fools’ lottery analogy. If you contribute for free, you may win a paying gig because I know someone who once did.

    Immediately recognizing your banner, I find it an honor to cite Ludwig’s memorial.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  63. Vanessa Mercer says:

    You go, girl!
    You make your point eloquently and with humour, and with a level of restraint I could only aspire to. Love your work.
    (For the record, photographers unfortunately get this treatment too.)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  64. sndsfnny says:

    Dr. Sheldon Cooper thinks Ofek has multiple issues 8P

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

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  66. Nate Thayer says:

    Thank you DNLee, for a principled and dignified and unequivocal response. Nate Thayer

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  67. Pingback: He Called Her… What?? | Ma Vie En Rose

  68. greg says:

    I’m a graphic designer and I deal with this all too often.

    Now, I’ve never been called a whore, but the sheer idiocy and unprofessional demeanor of that ENTIRE email is astounding. Not on our heroin’s side, I mean.

    Want to know what that one key word is that tells me to hang up/break contact/dismiss a client? It’s the old “you’ll be compensated in other ways”. I’ve heard that a MILLION times in a million different forms. Usually it’s “we can’t pay you now, but we’re an upstart company and we’ll have many opportunities for you in the future” or some such nonsense.

    Any creative professional that makes a living doing what they do to feed themselves, their kids, and pay the bills knows this and has gone through something similar.

    But NEVER have I been called out on that in that manner. I’m DNLee’s newest fan.

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  69. Pingback: On Science, Communication, Respect, and Coming Back from Mistakes | morganicalhy465

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  71. meh says:

    I’m glad there are still people who “don’t know how the internet works”. It allows you to see who a person really is. It’s like I’ve seen again and again in life; just because a person is intelligent in some aspects does not mean they are not a complete idiot in others. And what is it with Australia? The website that Ofek works for is based out of Australia, so I’m only assuming that he too is Australian. Whenever I hear about a scientist who blows my mind with their ridiculous behavior, they always seem to be from Australia. Does Australia have some sort of cultural issue that causes people to be complete assholes upon rejection? I just don’t understand how it can be such a polarized country for science, producing amazing people like Brian Schmidt on the one hand, and lunatics like Ofek on the other.

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  72. Pingback: Don't Start None, Won't be None | Random Musings from Bill Ryan

  73. Stephen Crowley says:

    thats why you should communicate with retroshare and not some shoddy ass corporate blog system which is vulnerable to censorship

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  74. Pingback: Oklahoma State Post-Doc Called ‘Urban Whore’ For Politely Turning Down Offer … – University Herald | Everyday News Update

  75. Tom Weidig says:

    The choice of wording “whore” is not appropriate at all.

    But the practice of firing someone because they did one mistake is an over-reaction. We say or do stupid things out of the blue at times. The person should be given a second chance, if the person recognizes his or her mistake and apologizes.

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  78. ehuman says:

    “Words cannot express how much I love the final picture.”

    Allow me to try: “me too!”

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  79. Pingback: “We’re girls,” we said, “we can’t do math.” | 3 lbs of Thought

  80. John Smith says:

    Science is not something in which you need to depend on other to get a result, if one has good skill then there should be no reason to say that only because of some biological difference one can’t do well good in a certain field.

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  82. Dan says:

    They just misunderstand what a whore really is. Take a moment to read below and see what I mean.

    PeAcE of MiNd…

    We here at Horbegon believe that men and women alike equally share the esteemed opportunity to rid themselves of a whore in today’s society. This whore can be literal or figurative, and can be a person, place or thing. It can even be an idea or a bad habit. We honestly don’t care what your whore is; just as long as you want to get rid of it.

    WhY dID wE dO tHiS ?
    This idea, this concept, this action, this statement, this observation (hell, even this proper noun) started as a joke amongst friends. And hilarity ensued…

    First and foremost, we thought the whole concept was pretty damn funny. With the creation of Horbegon, you now have a legitimate reason to discuss all the creative ways to “get a whore to be gone”. For those who have a burning desire to never see or hear from someone, place, thing, or idea again, you now have a way to subtly express yourself with a stylish t-shirt, and without having to share a cell with a person of questionable motivation for the rest of your life.

    Secondly, we feel that dumping baggage, whether tangible or ideal, is an effective way to positively influence one’s well-being. Carrying a chip on your shoulder is not good for one’s constitution. It can lead a person to live a life of misery and self-pity, and prevent the necessary healing required for true happiness and serenity.

    want to see our shirts? http://www.horbegon.com

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  83. Pingback: Tall poppies, tall corn and creating the right environment | Biotech, Baseball, Big Data, Business, Biology...

  84. Gizelle Janine says:

    I’ve been thinking long and hard about this incident and what I should really say, because as a woman who has had the same thing happen, I should really have something to say.

    One of the reason I started to consistently write comments for this blog had a lot to do with knowing very little about physics and wanting to get answers for a lot of the questions I had (I immediately agreed with Sean about violations in quantum mechanics.) Giving out ideas scared me, one because of how little I know, and two, god forbid an idea that came about because of a good drinking night just so happens to be nobel peace prize stuff? And what’s the chance a good idea will get stolen? I much rather get paid for a good idea than have some retard that knows nothing about vectors get paid for an idea I came up with, it has nothing to do with being “Urban” it’s basic self respect.

    Now as far as being called a whore: Putting it out there (No pun intended…) was the best thing that girl could have did. Why treat a magazine with any kind of professional respect when it’s writers call women whores for not being able to steal an idea with permission? That guy pretty much said “Because you wont give me your idea for free you’re a whore.” And believe me, Scientific American is on my shit list to begin with.

    In my own experience with being called a whore, it’s been for the same reason. With the exception that the insult was said to make me feel stupid, not to use me or possibly an idea I have. Let’s put it this way: It was not I can’t have your idea you’re a whore, it was more to just call me a prostitute for coming up with a good idea. “Do you give head?” must be Columbia’s school motto or something. My love goes out to this girl for serious.

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