Darren Barefoot
Darren Barefoot


Thinking Chaos, Thinking Fences

This is for those who descend into the code
and make their room a fridge for Superman

August 25, 2003

On BoingBoing, Cory talks about Bob Hunter discussing the newspapers from his breakfast table. This reminded me of the BBC (in fact, all the British news shows), who regularly review the newspapers each day. The Beeb would regularly get guest pundits in to hold forth on the day's news. Radio does the same thing over there, I think.

When I first saw this, I couldn't believe it. One media organization is giving air time to another? And it suggests that TV news recognizes their inherent inferiority to the print media. It was all very strange, and I never really got used to it. Besides, at its heart it's media reporting on media, and that's always a bit distasteful to me.

9:50:40 AM  Permanent link to this entry    Trackback []    Canada Technology

LiveJournal, as many of you know, is the most popular online diary service on the Web. The always inventive Steven Frank has written a script to pull random samples from Live Journal diaries and render them as a sort of newspaper. I like anything that plays with randomness, so this is right up my alley. At the moment one of the entries reads 'So I'm sitting in Charlseton right now, and I can't believe I'm engaged.'

9:44:13 AM  Permanent link to this entry    Trackback []    Internet

Yes, it's a link round-up with a theme! Ooo, aaahhh. This one's all about new technology gadgets:

  • A great idea for classical music noobs: a handheld device that provides real-time information about the concert concert you're attending.
  • A car that parks itself. Hopefully by the time I'm a septuagenarian, they'll have cars that drive themselves too. Get on that, car designing guys. This is also handy because both times I've damaged a car, it's been parking.
  • Finally, a tracking device for the masses.
  • Air traffic controllers may go the way of the buggy whip and the non-self-parking car.
  • How sci-fi. People getting busy trying to replace the light bulb.

9:27:48 AM  Permanent link to this entry    Trackback []    Link Round-up Mixed Bag

In the past couple of years, there's been a lot of press about the lack of women in science and technology. Furthermore, a lot of grant money has been thrown at the issue. Frankly, I think people are going about this the wrong way.

I fully believe that women should receive equal pay for equal work, and should have the opportunity to work in any position they desire. Obviously, these are critical issues which society continues to (slowly) address. However, I don't believe that men and women are, on average, equally good at or inclined towards every job. That doesn't mean that woman can't be brilliant code monkeys or men can't be fantastic care-givers, but on average we are not equal. That's simple, scientific fact.

While we must ensure both genders can work in any job, we shouldn't be overly concerned with achieving demographic parity in a given field. If we're serious about such parity, why don't we have 'get boys into nursing' or 'make more girls soldiers' programs? Is it urgent that we have a 50-50 split in science and technology? What's acceptable? 35% women? 45% women?

Clearly girls are aware of opportunities in science and technology--they do better than boys in those subjects throughout school and university. So why expend resources 'programming' them to like science and technology? Parents, if your girl's a geek, just send her to computer camp.

The real barriers to entry are the parents, professors and employers who are discouraging or preventing women from entering and excelling in science and technology. That's where this money should be spent--lobbying, convincing, legislating and otherwise demonstrating that women deserve the same opportunities and compensation as men do.

9:16:42 AM  Permanent link to this entry    Trackback []    Technology