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Submission + - How Geek Culture is Hostile to Women (

An anonymous reader writes: We analyzed over 1,000 research articles to determine what distinguishes the more gender-balanced fields— biology, chemistry and math — from computer science, engineering and physics, which have greater gender disparities. We found that the difference comes down to culture. Computer science, engineering, and physics have more masculine cultures than biology, chemistry, and mathematics, and that these masculine cultures are turning women away. Specific factors include male-oriented stereotypes about the people in the fields, stereotypes that women have lower abilities, and a dearth of female role models.
When courses are optional, as is typical for computer science, students rely on their stereotypes about the fields to decide whether to enroll. And as one undergraduate research participant in our lab put it, the current stereotypes of computer scientists is that they are “nerdy guys” who “stay up late coding and drinking energy drinks” and have “no social life.”
This geeky image is at odds with the way that many girls see themselves. Work from our lab shows that when high school girls see Star Trek posters and video games in a computer science classroom, they are less interested than boys in taking the course. When the classroom is devoid of décor, girls still opt out. It is only when an alternate image of computer science is presented by replacing geeky objects with art and nature posters that girls become as interested as boys.

Submission + - Facebook deleted famous Vietnam War photo as child pornography (

An anonymous reader writes: A few weeks ago the Norwegian author Tom Egeland posted an entry on Facebook about, and including, seven photographs that changed the history of warfare. You in turn removed the picture of a naked Kim Phuc, fleeing from the napalm bombs – one of the world’s most famous war photographs.

Comment Re:Experts are usually wrong when.. (Score 1) 609

The reason that politicians cannot admit mistakes is because it is political suicide to do so in front of a finicky public. And the fact that they answer to the public and the public is allowed to discard politicians as they please is where they get their legitimacy. Where do these experts get their legitimacy? How can they convince a public that had no say in how they are selected or do their job to accept hard decisions? The "noble lie", a la Plato's Republic? The Enlightened Despotism of the Renaissance? If you don't trust the public and are unwilling to accept suboptimal decisions, then the rulers here are going to just end up justifying their actions to the public with "because I say so". And if they do answer to the public then you'll just end up with more politicians.

Comment Re:Which bit is true? (Score 1) 609

If it cannot in principle be measured or observed (with past, existing or future technology) then it cannot be true.

You seem to have "true" confused with "provable". There are uncountably infinitely many true things that can never be proven with any finite or countably infinite amount of time or evidence (proved via Gödel). There either is a god or there isn't: one of those must be true, even if we never know which.

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