Blog by Sumana Harihareswara, Changeset founder

11 Mar 2016, 15:43 p.m.

Endorsements, Sort Of

Hi, reader. I wrote this in 2016 and it's now more than five years old. So it may be very out of date; the world, and I, have changed a lot since I wrote it! I'm keeping this up for historical archive purposes, but the me of today may 100% disagree with what I said then. I rarely edit posts after publishing them, but if I do, I usually leave a note in italics to mark the edit and the reason. If this post is particularly offensive or breaches someone's privacy, please contact me.

This week, when searching for my own name online, I came across these three judgments of my works and character:

  1. About my January talk "Comparing Codes of Conduct to Copyleft Licenses", which I delivered without visual accompaniment: "Sumana gave a very well argued speech without media support, leaving clues of a probable theatrical past (or present)." Indeed I suspect my stand-up comedy practice helps me deliver good presentations, as does my experience teaching, and that both those skillsets serve me well when I choose to go slidesless.
  2. In response to a Salon article I wrote in 2003, a contemporaneous reader listed me as #1 in a list of "People who smoke crack". (I do not.)
  3. Discussing a WisCon panel I spoke on a while back, an anonymous and often scurrilous message board includes this chunk of conversation, neither as laudatory as #1 nor as scornful as #2 in this list:

    That list of panelists is like a who's who in horrible people and their enablers.
    Does Sumana have a wanky reputation? I didn't know that.
    I was thinking of everyone other than her, her I don't know that well.

    I find it hilarious that the anonymous poster is not, at this time, smearing me, but that I should not count on their permanent forebearance in this matter.

As the skeptical idiom goes, take it with a grain of salt -- in some cases a grain so large it may serve as a lick for deer.