Is there honour among linkspammers? (4th August, 2010)

  • “CAUSE I’M NERDCORE LIKE THAT: Toward a Subversive Geek Identity: In the meantime, subversive nerd subcultures form communities and alliances, fostering a collective cultural cross-fertilization that is strengthened by our multiple intelligences and identities.
  • reaction rant: First of all, it can’t be simultaneously true that women and men are equally suited to technology jobs and also that women have specific immutable characteristics that need to be catered to. Sure it can. Some characteristics that may need accommodations are not related to one’s actual skill in programming. But more to the point, some of those common gendered characteristics are in no way immutable; they’re cultural.
  • Soil change for our larva: women and wiggly things that live in dirt make for an exciting day.
  • The FSF reminds me of PETA sometimes: deborah is angry at a thread in which Richard Stallman advocates compromising accessibility in favour of Free Software.
  • Woman in technology: Stubbornella responds to criticisms of grants for women: I resent the notion that women are inferior and that is why they are getting grants. Google is correcting for women being less likely to stand up and say “me, me, me!”, not for their technical skills or development prowess.
  • How privileged is a geek girl, anyway?: Deirdra Kiai reflects on her privileged access to computer skills: I suppose that when I remarked that making games isn’t really that hard, what I really ought to have said was that making games shouldn’t be so hard. I need to be helping to create a world where anyone can have access to a computer at an early age…

If you have links of interest, please share them in comments here, or if you’re a delicious user, tag them “geekfeminism” to bring them to our attention. Please note that we tend to stick to publishing recent links (from the last month or so).

Thanks to everyone who suggested links in comments and on delicious.

6 thoughts on “Is there honour among linkspammers? (4th August, 2010)

  1. KevinL

    I don’t have a “Dreamwidth” account to respond to the “The FSF reminds me of PETA sometimes” post, is it OK if I post here?

    It seems like RMS’s stance on accessibility is actively biased (ableist). Though I understand and support his reasoning *in general* regarding proprietary software – namely that it’s better to do with less (or even without) for a while than relinquish freedom – accessibility is a special case IMHO.

    First item: the embedded software in non-computer appliances. RMS acknowledges that insisting on free software for your toaster is silly because the toaster is not trying to be a general purpose computer. But any “general purpose” computer becomes a brick to certain people when it lacks the right accessibility software. It doesn’t become a less capable computer, it becomes *no computer at all* for those users.

    Second item: the FSF has been instrumental in duplicating functionality even in really deep and hard problems. Example: GNU Classpath. For several years Java was in general regarded as a trap to avoid, but eventually GNU Classpath got decent enough that free software could run well on it. And now the original JDK is itself free software (openjdk). So the existence of a deep proprietary market is no barrier to the FSF.

    I don’t see why the FSF can’t in this case advocate for the following:

    1) If the only option available to turn your brick into a general purpose computer is to use proprietary software, then do so, BUT

    2) Use the free software accessibility tools as much as possible and support efforts to replace the commercial offerings.

    The original GNU toolchain was built using commercial compilers because no other option was available. Why can’t discussion of the “accessibility toolchain” be framed as a similar problem?

  2. figleaf

    Speaking of grants for women, Zilla, a nerdcore commenter on my site, had such a great economics-based argument for why women (and by extension any underrepresented demographic) should receive preferential treatment I turned it into its own post: A Microeconomic Case For Preferential Treatment of Underserved Women Even Though They’re Not Essentially Superior. The great thing about Zilla’s case is it’s self limiting: when investment is at parity there’s no further benefit to preferential treatment.

    figleaf

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