Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Where did the women go?

This article in NY Times has new numbers on the participation of women in the computing/programming work force. New and much worse than I had realized. The decline of the percentage of women who have jobs in software engineering was a shock to me perhaps because the particular place I work does have closer to 20% women and they work as both senior managers, researchers and engineers. The gains in technical fields by women stand in stark contrast to the decline in the computing related disciplines. WTF is going on? The article presents several theories but no consensus or even much breadth of agreement is reported for any of these ideas:
  • The popular perceptions have changed from computer-as-tool in business or science due to the rise of computer gaming which is culturally male.
  • The notion that computing is a geeky pursuit has become more wide spread and girls are turned off to that.
  • Nursing, for instance, is more attractive in terms of employment prospects.
  • In order for women to feel uninhibited about pursuing a computing career, it helps for them to have been raised in a home where both parents had careers in technical fields and computing was a visible activity in the household.
If that last notion held water, my daughter would be in computing instead of ecology...a well adjusted upbringing is a not a predictor of career outcomes but quite the opposite since it is the greatest granter of freedom to choose an interest.
I don't buy any of those explanations. The "build a computer game girls like and you will wind up with women programmers" seems a slight favorite among the researchers queried but it strikes me as terminally male-chauvinist: Just because the gaming route is an attraction to the field for men does not mean it should be for women.
I will buy and review Beyond Barbie and Mortal Kombat: New Perspectives on Gender and Gaming when I my projects at work stop spilling over into my hours at home;)

DOH! its the friggen hours! Its the unbalance of work and home life?

Monday, November 10, 2008

She was mostly an object in the mirror

Whether an object in the mirror is real or an illusion depends on whether you are aware of the mirror.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

And it is a very very low limit too.

There is a limit to the utility of letting the past as you remember it or the future as you imagine it haunt your present.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

A little crow bar for when your relationships are stuck.

Honesty burns all the right bridges.

[and you don't even have to rack your brain keeping sundry stories straight]

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

just do it, do it justice

Election 2008 Voting Information

Today, November 4th, is Election Day! Remember to vote--not just for Barack Obama, but for Congressional, state and local candidates as well.

Where and when do I vote?

Find your polling place, voting times, and other important information by checking out these sites and the hotline below. These resources are good, but not perfect. To be doubly sure, you can also contact your local elections office.

What should I do before I go?

  • After you've entered your address on either Vote For Change or Vote411, read the voting instructions and special rules for your state.
  • Voting ID laws vary from state to state, but if you have ID, bring it.
  • Check out all the voting myths and misinformation to look out for: http://truth.voteforchange.com/

What if something goes wrong?

  • Not on the voter list? Make sure you're at the right polling place, then demand a provisional ballot.
  • If you're voting on an electronic machine with a paper record, verify that the record is accurate.
  • Need legal help? Call 1-866-OUR-VOTE
  • Try to get video of the problem and submit it to VideoTheVote.org

Want to do more?

  • Text all of your friends: "Vote Obama today! Pass it on!"
  • Volunteer at your local Obama office. Find an office here or here.
  • Make calls from home for Obama.

Now everybody go vote!!!