Godel, Escher, Linkspam (6 December 2013)

Christine Fox, Top Gun Inspiration, Appointed #2 at Pentagon: “Simpson and Bruckheimer were inspired by a very intelligent woman able to command respect in a predominantly male, macho work force.”

Twitter Adds a Real, Live Woman to It’s Board: On December 5th, Twitter announced Marjorie Scardino as their newest–and first female–board member.

The Power of a Pronoun | Joyent: “On the one hand, it seems ridiculous (absurd, perhaps) to fire someone over a pronoun — but to characterize it that way would be a gross oversimplification: it’s not the use of the gendered pronoun that’s at issue (that’s just sloppy), but rather the insistence that pronouns should in fact be gendered. To me, that insistence can only come from one place: that gender?specifically, masculinity?is inextricably linked to software, and that’s not an attitude that Joyent tolerates.”

A Theory on Tech Community Drama | Garann Means: “Which is to say: because open source is so non-diverse, and presents itself as hostile and obsessed with meritocracy to the point that it drives people who might add to its diversity away, it will always be cleaning up the artifacts of that imbalance after the fact, once people have noticed and drawn conclusions, and once those privileged enough to succeed under the meritocratic system have gotten all fucking defensive about it.”

Things I Wish Someone Had Told Me When I Was Learning How to Code: “Knowing how to code is mostly about building things, and the path is a lot clearer when you have a sense of the end goal. If your goal is “learn to code,” without a clear idea of the kinds of programs you will write and how they will make your life better, you will probably find it a frustrating exercise.”

Science Reporter Emily Graslie Reads Her Mail ? And It’s Not So Nice | NPR: “In her new video, Emily (with help from director and video editor Michael Aranda) gives us samples from her mailbox, She’s not mad, not exactly. Instead, she just explains why these matter-of-fact little letter bombs make it harder for her to work, and how they hurt ? every single day. And, being Emily, she explains it very well.”

Hyperemployed or Feminized Labor? | CUNY Academic Commons and Femininity as Technology: Some Thoughts on Hyperemployment | The Society Pages: Two pieces reflecting on Ian Bogost’s Atlantic piece on hyperemployment.

No Girls Allowed | Polygon: “A few aisles over, in the video game section, there is a similar marketing story that Maida has yet to learn. Unlike in the toy aisles, she won’t find an expansive selection of video games for boys and an equally expansive selection for girls. Most “girls’ sections,” if they exist, are lined with fitness titles and Ubisoft’s simplified career simulation series, Imagine, which lets players pretend they’re doctors, teachers, gymnasts and babysitters. As for the boys section — there isn’t one. Everything else is for boys.”

Let Us Speak: “On a personal note, what has most defined my career and my experiences in tech above anything else is the struggle and drama to be seen, heard, recognized, acknowledged, promoted, respected and paid equally despite the overwhelming dominance of men, the deep implicit and explicit sexism, the blatant misogyny, and the profound boredom and antipathy that comes with being surrounded on all sides by a largely homogeneous community with little to no social consciousness.”

All Technology is Assistive Technology: “Undoing the distinctions between design for disability and design in general yields a couple of goods: It brings new attention to technologies that are profound in their use and impact on physical and political accessibility. The advanced replacement limbs, all-terrain wheelchairs, and exoskeletons you can find now are evidence of this new attention.”

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Thanks to everyone who suggested links.

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