Tuesday, July 19, 2011

A Katie Cornucopia.

I'm sure this isn't all-inclusive, but I've linked to some great "Katie" moments. If you haven't read Cal's account in the comments below Katie's post this morning, it might give you an overview.

But, suffice it to say, SOMEONE has been posting as "Katie" for a few years now, and the material has always been pretty rich. And what's useful to remember, is that nearly all of the RYS/CM Katie posts have near identical posts on her own blog - even up to and including (God save me what wrath this might bring me) shit about her cats.

I don't feel like exerting any more energy on her today, but it's an odd story. Given my knowledge of how email accounts and IP servers work, I'm pretty confident that much of the "Katie" material has come from someone in a certain building on a certain campus where the real Dr. Crazy works. As Cal has more or less said, someone who knows her has invested a ton of time in turning Dr. Crazy posts into Katie posts (they are identical oftentimes in events, and sometimes even in language), or, Katie is Dr. Crazy.

Yet, the most recent email I have for her (and this is not the first time it's happened), asks me to ignore what I think of as fairly conclusive evidence.

In an effort to put a stop to this, I'm not going to leave up any material that comes in purportedly from "Katie." I extend my apology to Dr. Crazy if indeed someone from her own academic building has been so successfully reposting her material through our blog (and by extension, I guess, the earlier RYS blog, though of course I never worked for it.)

"Katie," cut it out.

Dr. Crazy, this blog never intended you any harm. The material that came to us from "Katie" came from your college, and mirrored in many ways your own posts. Rightly or wrongly, it was assumed you'd created a second pseudonymous identity in order to get feedback from a large academic audience who didn't have daily contact with your original online persona. We won't post any more "Katie" material.



  1. Well, "Katie," whoever she is, is at least good for the mid-July doldrums. But re-reading some of her posts with the connection to Reassigned Time in mind, I have to say that either Dr. Crazy really is crazy, in a particularly unhappy way, or they're written by a very nasty disgruntled colleague (or student, or staff member, or genetically enhanced lab rat, or whatever). Taken by herself, "Katie" is a persona; taken as a variation on Dr. Crazy, she's a really mean (and not, to my mind, particularly successful) attempt at parody. There's a good deal of hatred -- self- or other- -- going on there (and, assuming it's "other," something akin to stalking). Either way, banning "Katie" (and being really, really careful of anything coming from that cluster of IP addresses) sounds like a good idea.

    Okay, now I really am signing off, all the more so because I'm pretty sure that the best way to react to this kind of behavior, whoever is behind it, is not to feed it with attention.

  2. I'm a reader of Dr. Crazy's blog (and her earlier one,) so I'm a little nervous about saying this:


    I think Cal and Fab's roundabout explanations of her trying out another name in another forum makes the most sense. That it hasn't been met with universal acclaim might have convinced her to pull the plug on the idea.

    But nobody I know is capable of composing such a long and detailed ruse of this sort.

    But, yeah, if "Katie" is gone, that's okay. I mean, the same content is at Dr. Crazy's real site anyway, including the nauseating - and more than a little creepy - tales of her BFF (BES, best student ever, on her site).

  3. Well, as someone who made the ReassignedTime connection from her very first appearance back on RYS, I'm with Darla on calling bullshit. The behavior of "Katie" both here and on RYS is more consistent with the idea that Dr. Crazy was trying some of the same things out in a different style and venue than it is with the idea that someone else in her department is engaged in an extremely long and pointless con at everyone's expense. For one thing, if someone were intent on making Dr. Crazy look and feel bad, he (let's make a gendered assumption here) would have done more to help everyone make the connection and would have done a lot less of the pulling all the evidence off the site in a huff stuff.

    Or maybe it is all performance art.

    Or maybe Crazy really is crazy as in seriously so.

    Also, this may seem weird, but I always thought Katie was way easier to take than the "real" Dr. Crazy. Katie was a very funny parody of a certain academic type we all know. But she struck me as no more real than, say, Strelnikov. And while I've outed myself as an occasional reader of Reassigned Time, Dr. Crazy is often a little too saccharine for my tastes. I like cynicism, and there always seemed like there might be a secret cynic at the heart of Katie that Dr. Crazy was afraid to let shine through because she didn't want to risk the adulation of her personal echo chamber (as Cal pointed out, the responses on Reassigned Time are truly, sometimes pointlessly, laudatory).

  4. I think a few words should be said about academic bloggers. Just like most academics, they are a clusterfuck of idiocy.

    Isn't that why RYS was started in the first place: "If it's little, we say it's little." Or however the aphorism goes.

    RYS (and CM) go off the rails when they try to co-opt some of the academy bullshit, the professionalism, the collegiality.

    It's nauseating. We all get enough of that on the ground, in the classrooms, in the labs, in the faculty buildings.

    I spend 12 hours a week wanting to eat my own head. The rest of the time - as you must know - I spend driving fast in a gold Camaro on the flat two-lanes of the greatest nation on the earth, Texas.

    This Dr. Crazy person, with the cats and her new haircut and drinking wine with her students, she's the fucking devil. She's what's wrong with the entire fucking profession. She condescends to sites like this or proffies like us who can at one point love and hate the job, the students, and the Dean who looks like he should be a villain in one of those Harry Potter bricks.

    I don't trust a one of them. This tale of Katie is mildly interesting because Katie was funny as shit. I think Arch is right. Katie was the best part of Dr. Crazy, regardless of what she may say. Katie got it. Katie tweaked it. Katie stirred the shit up.

    If you get sucked into a vortex and end up at Dr. Crazy's real site, she's talking about her new fucking glasses, and her readers are telling her "Huzzah." I want to pee into a beaker of benzene when I see shit like that.

    Anyway, I know I don't say howdy very much, but you can't believe how much money I have to spend in the lab over the next few months, so really, I don't have the time.

    But I'm with you, you crazzy few, I'm calling out to Calico and Chlamydia and that savage youngun' Compound Cash - if they is still around.


  5. It's not hard to imagine academic bloggers brewing up something like this to increase their blogs' impact factors. At first glance, it looks like a desperate perversion of the need to publish. At second glance, though, it seems like merely a reflection of all the real-life shit in academic research: journal retractions, fabricated data, plagiarizing, insanity, etc....

    I'm sad that I don't feel more baffled by this episode.

    There was a time when a Newton--or Leibniz, or whoever you want to believe invented calculus--would bow his head and lay the golden fiddle on the ground at Gauss's feet. But, now, we are puzzling about mentally-ill Midwestern proffies' digital sockpuppets, intentions, and IP footprints. At times like this, I do miss Frod.

  6. Whooo, the crazy gets crazier. Dr. Crazy, indeed.

  7. Well, just to make things interesting, one of Katie/Crazy's readers over on reassigned time says he's going to "punish" us. Not sure what he means, but he does sound a little like their version of Strelnikov.

    Reading her version of events over there, I'm now 100% convinced that there is no third party here. Katie is Crazy (read that both ways if you like) and she's covering her tracks so that her little sycophants over there don't abandon her. I'm guessing one of them was slumming our way, saw a Katie post, put two and two together, and wrote her a "how could you" email. So Crazy put on a show this morning to make it look like she never had anything to do with Katie. And now Comrade Physiofuck is going to do some unspecified thing to us with his mad computer skillz. But never fear, the guy is a Yankee fan, and therefore a guaranteed retard.

    Occam's razor says that's the simplest explanation.

    Good times. Way to help relieve the summer doldrums Katie! Despite the entertainment value of watching all of this, I am sorry that you have to put up with this bullshit Fab.

  8. Crazy stuff on the Interwebs! From checking out her most recent post on her academic blog, Crazy needs to chill the fuck out, apparently she thinks Fab actually gives enough of a shit to make this stuff up to save face. I for one would be delighted to hear about the circumstances of the IP address shenanigans - assuming a 'typical' institutional setup for internet access, if "Katie" was strapped in via an Ethernet port, as opposed to a wireless connection, the IP address can be tracked to the exact specific office from which the Katie posts were sent. All it takes is a couple of emails to the ITS peeps to figure out who at Katie's institution is batshit crazy. I doubt Crazy Katie will give it a shot.

  9. Meh. Granted someone is probably crazy, but lots of somebodies are crazy, so trying to identify one more probably isn't a pressing issue. So I just used the links to take a pleasant stroll down Katie memory lane.

    The only think to irk me, tangentially, is Bubba's observation that now even bloggers seem to be worrying about impact factors. Don't get me wrong Bubba, what bugs me is that you're absolutely right.

    But Strooth! Impact factors for blogs? Next we'll be counting hits on Tweets and doing bibliometrics on academic flatulence!

  10. Archie, there's one difference between the two. Their Comrad likes to read posts about Dr. Crazy's new eye glasses while Strelnikov reads the funny shit that we post. I'm not the least bit worried.

  11. Ben, true that! Combine the love of reading about new glasses with the Yankee fanness, and I'm pretty sure their Comrade is the ultimate toothless dog.

    And, by the way, the eyeglass thing is the reason why I would never, ever, ever, have my own blog. I'm good for about a post a month and a few smart-ass remarks in the comment threads. If I had to generate all the content myself, I'd soon be reduced to something similarly inane. Like my man Walt says, most academic blogs are a clusterfuck of idiocy, and that's pretty much why.