Wow, those images were remarkably tame compared to the buildup they got in this article and its comments.
Some of them were quite arresting, even. (Admittedly, for me, not the ones drawing attention here.)
I was nervous that I would see something along the lines of images from the Rape of Nanking or the corpses left in the wake of the Union Carbide explosion in Bhopal. Those who have not looked can rest assured that there's nothing even close to those horrors on offer in the slide deck, whether in tone or content. James Joyce's _Ulysses_, published something like 90 years ago, and today recommended as a landmark work of literature to the sophisticated reader, offered more to offend the sensitive reader than Mark Pesce's slide deck.
Any growing society--as FLOSS is, and will, with luck, remain--undergoes ineluctable evolution as it assimilates new members. But such assimilation processes are never wholly one-way. New people will change the FLOSS community, but will also be changed by it. Some of that evolution we can direct, and some we cannot. I counsel our community to think carefully about what is to be gained and lost before we deliberately restrict our shared social spaces exclusively to the intersection of presentation and paper content that all participants find utterly, or even substantially, unobjectionable.
I cannot yet comment substantively on the verbal content of the presentation. However, given the panoply of images on offer, and the nature of the subject matter, I'm not surprised that the incidental facts that vertebrate sex and people dressing in funny clothes came up. (The Internet is, after all, the book in which Rule 34 is written.)
That any significant number of people in the FLOSS community are scandalized by any of these images, or believe they will lead to personal verbal harassment, gropings, or sexual assault, saddens me. (I'll be even more saddened if this is actually true.)
LCA can manage its conference as it sees fit. But I would urge its sponsors to reflect on the role they are playing in the evolution of the FLOSS community, and to retain in mind the significant distinction between creative materials submitted to an audience for its edification and education, and interpersonal contacts that either "fly below the radar" or are deliberately concealed from public view. Incidents like those reported by Valeria Aurora should not be tolerated; apart from the serious legal and liability issues they pose for the conference organizers, they are affronts to personal dignity--a resource our community, which stresses individual, voluntaristic contribution, would do well to guard jealously.
In contrast to most creepy guys with lascivious words--or worse--to offer their fellow conference attendees, presenters like Mr. Pesce instantaneously face a large jury of their peers, and those peers may render their verdicts vigorously, as they are doing here. It behooves us to recall that, for the most part, the individuals whose actions provoked the development of LCA's anti-harassment policy in the first place have remained anonymous. I conjecture that, in part, Mr. Pesce is enjoying the experience of facing some music he had no hand in inspiring, simply because no environment quite so perfect for the immediate pronouncement of outrage has presented itself. I don't feel sorry for Mr. Pesce on this account--I do think this response was predictable, and I expect a fellow intelligent member of the community with sufficient cachet to keynote a major conference to have anticipated it. The annealment of Mark Pesce may even be a necessary step as the community takes its first crude steps toward facing up to and rectifying the admitted injustices of the past.
At the same time, when we locate a slide deck like Mr. Pesce's near to the offenses reported by Ms. Aurora on the continuum of conferee behavior, we fail to cultivate the development of individual judgment that is our first line of defense--before conference policies, before the hand-on-the-shoulder friendly advice of conference organizers and sponsors, and before the courts of law--against verbal, physical, and sexual assaults in the first place.