Become a fan of Slashdot on Facebook


Forgot your password?

Comment: Re:Mod parent up, it has data (Score 1) 204

by sphealey (#48664889) Attached to: Tech's Gender Gap Started At Stanford

Fair request. Unfortunately that's based on 30 years of reading the history of computing (as well as being there when some of it occurred), generally in sources which were never transferred to digital/online. Also working for a professor who had a NSF contract to study that question ~1983 and helping him collate surveys (again - paper!), run stats, etc. Probably read a lot of the papers he had ordered prints of as well. Would probably take a PhD research effort to put it all into citation form, even if some of that data is still available.


Comment: Re:Are you kidding me? (Score 2, Insightful) 204

by sphealey (#48664477) Attached to: Tech's Gender Gap Started At Stanford

Yes, the women who were finally admitted to engineering school in 1943, 44, and 45, and who were then kicked out (in some cases bodily) in 1946 without being allowed to graduate (much less take the jobs for which they had sought education) were just playing out a male-centric fantasy of evolutionary biology "explaining" pre-historic history. Got it.


Comment: Re:As always, looking at this wrong. (Score 2) 204

by sphealey (#48664419) Attached to: Tech's Gender Gap Started At Stanford

- - - - - Step 1: Stigmatize the traits that lead people to excel in tech fields, men posessing those traits, and anyone in tech - - - - -

Technology people were global heroes from the late 1970s through the early 1990s. Whilst arising from groups and cultures that had been stigmatized in the 60s/70s their success at opening up the new world was lionized as the PC/technology revolution got rolling. Nerd became a cool thing to be.

  Problem is that starting in the 1990s and really rolling after 2000 the tech world damaged itself in some fundamental way, and is now being looked on much more skeptically. Source of that damage isn't totally clear (well, then there's Uber) but it isn't accurate to blame society for stigmatizing technology people out of nowhere; there are reasons.


Comment: Re:superficial read... (Score 3, Interesting) 204

by sphealey (#48664397) Attached to: Tech's Gender Gap Started At Stanford

I remember reading "how to interview in Silicon Valley" articles during that time period that described firms doing things such as flying entire recruiting classes to Las Vegas and eliminating any candidates who didn't gamble and drink in large quantities. That's behavior that predictive for success in complex business-focused entities for sure.


Comment: Re:Slashdot is exceeding itself lately... (Score 3, Informative) 204

by sphealey (#48664373) Attached to: Tech's Gender Gap Started At Stanford

- - - - - So before 1994, women were nearly equally represented in computing? HAHAHAHA. - - - - -

Um, much more nearly, yes.

1943 to 1945 - women were about 95% of the computing workforce.

1946 to mid/late 1950s - still a very large percentage of women, since they had the experience (from the war) and were pushed back out of other engineering fields. Computing, being a branch of applied mathematics, was considered "acceptable" for women to take up

1960-1980 - still a large percentage of women in "data processing" (as programmers and systems analysts, not just keypunch operators), esp in very large companies.

1980 - boom in university computer science begins and many women are interested. 1984 is the peak post-war year for women graduating from engineering programs (around 40% IIRC); a large percentage are CS with many of the rest EE. Many of these women (my classmates) go on to critical roles in companies and universities building out this " 'net " concept (later renamed the Internet).

post-1990 - something goes completely wacky in the industry and women are driven out of computing in large numbers; younger women don't even enter the field.

So, since you seem to be a younger dude perhaps you could explain exactly what it is that happened 1990-2000 that made the field so undesirable to women.

Comment: Re:Sexual Harassment shouldn't cost us knowledge (Score 1) 416

by Chuck Chunder (#48579397) Attached to: MIT Removes Online Physics Lectures and Courses By Walter Lewin

Deleting all of Cosby's TV shows and movies would still be wrong as they are a part of our cultural history.

No one is doing that though, there is a difference between no longer promoting something and erasing it from history.

To stretch the Cosby link further, you might (quite reasonably) think things Cosby did in the past are funny and even have value beyond pure humour, as social commentary etc. If that were the case and you know someone who had been abused by Cosby, would you choose to put a Cosby video on for them and expect them to find it an enjoyable experience?

That is the situation MIT is in. They aren't just dealing with 'theoretical' students who might somehow be deprived of some value that only those videos can impart. They are dealing with real students actually effected by the situation at hand.

If you wouldn't knowingly ask someone you care about to be entertained by someone who had abused them, why would you expect MIT to ask someone to be educated by someone who harassed them?

Comment: Re:Just wondering... (Score 1) 416

by Chuck Chunder (#48579327) Attached to: MIT Removes Online Physics Lectures and Courses By Walter Lewin

If you can't separate presenter from content, that's your serious character flaw, leave the rest of us out of it.

If you were someone taking the course who had been harassed by him would you consider it a "serious character flaw" not to be able to "separate presenter from the content"?

I imagine a lot of people might find that difficult and wouldn't need to have a "serious character flaw" to struggle with it. I think it's entirely reasonable for MIT to ditch (and replace) the content if it means the effected people can continue on with their education without having the chap popping up in their courseware.

I don't think it makes sense to worry about the (theoretical) "students (...) punished by removing good lectures" and not consider the (evidently real) students actually effected by what has happened.

Comment: Re:Just wondering... (Score 1) 416

by Chuck Chunder (#48579029) Attached to: MIT Removes Online Physics Lectures and Courses By Walter Lewin
Probably not much for the average person.

However I think that if there are people he harassed taking the courses (or who might like to take further courses in future) then it isn't a bad idea to cut him out of them rather than ask those people to interact with him further, even relatively passively on video.

Even if the lectures are high quality, they probably aren't irreplaceable.

Comment: Re:Who cares... (Score 4, Insightful) 346

Supporting Excellent Iraq War II, pumping the _Bell Curve_, publishing the racist fantasies of Stephen Glass, joining the anti-public education movement, and also publishing the "No Exit" hatchet job on Bill Clinton's health care reform proposal isn't in any way shape or form liberal. And that's not even taking into account Martin Perez' racism and ethnic hatred which is of a variety that is a bit harder to criticize in US society but which most liberals reject.

Representative quote from Andrew Sullivan: "The middle part of the country—the great red zone that voted for Bush—is clearly ready for war. The decadent Left in its enclaves on the coasts is not dead—and may well mount what amounts to a fifth column." [note that he later altered that essay as published on his blog to make it less self-damning; this is the original wording]. Yes, he's gay. No, he's not liberal.


Comment: Re:yea no (Score 3, Insightful) 346

Which admittedly is darkly amusing as from 1980 forward TNR - under multiple editors - was as engaged as any neoliberal [*] entity in destroying economic security for the majority of US citizens. Now they get re-engineering/outsourced/disrupted and it is a tragedy.

Also, the failure of any of these people to resign during TNR's era of deep racism under Peretz/Sullivan should disqualify them from uttering even a peep.


[*] neoliberal = hard right Republican with a prettier face

Comment: Re:Hard to say (Score 4, Insightful) 346

Firing the editor who had at least made some progress in recovering the publication (the "franchise" or "brand" is corpro-speak) from the disastrous Peretz/Sullivan era via press release - without the courtesy of even calling said editor before he saw the news on Twitter - was not considered auspicious.


Comment: Re:Who cares... (Score 4, Informative) 346

From about 1975 forward TNR was in the vanguard of "neoliberalism", which basically amounts to packaging hard right Republican ideas + hippie punching and selling in to "moderate" Democratic politicians and DC insiders who think they need to "move right" to get re-elected. Classifying TNR (cf Andrew Sullivan) as a 'liberal rag' is a bit, oh, silly.


Only through hard work and perseverance can one truly suffer.