Linkspam on My Mind (7 November 2014)

  • The Dads of Tech | The Baffler: “Dad’s simplified Internet is a meritocracy, a place where the best rise to the top and competition makes regulation unnecessary. It is a realm where heroic innovators build on the work of their predecessors, steadily advancing and bettering humankind through the incessant upgrading of algorithms and apps, insistent that they are making the world more democratic and egalitarian even as they hoard wealth and influence for themselves.”
  • Codes of conduct and why my opinion about this doesn’t really matter: “Once a few events had accepted Codes of Conduct I started asking people new in the community, particularly women, how they felt about them. What they said, fairly unanimously, was that the Code of Conduct made them feel a lot better, and safer, about attending their first conference and joining the community. Of course I adopted a CoC after this, not just because they change how I felt about CoC’s, but because my opinion didn’t ever really matter. I’m a white guy, I don’t get to decide what makes non-white non-male people feel safe and accepted. This is even more important to remember during enforcement of the CoC where the goal must be to make those effected by harassment feel safe again.”
  • Handling of Sexual Harassment Case Poses Larger Questions at Yale | New York Times: [CW: Harassment, abuse of power] “A sexual harassment case that has been unfolding without public notice for nearly five years within the Yale School of Medicine has roiled the institution and led to new allegations that the university is insensitive to instances of harassment against women.”
  • Female academics: don’t power dress, forget heels – and no flowing hair allowed | The Guardian: “Essentially, the message is the same: unless women dress modestly and conservatively, they look out of place in academia, because fundamentally, they don’t have the right bodies to be academic authorities. This infuriates me, and I refuse to accept it. My intellectual abilities as an academic should be judged on my work: my research, my publications, and my lectures. This is how I have earned and now own my place in academia, regardless – or in spite of – my “feminine” appearance.”
  • They Call Me Doctor Berry | New York Times: “I was typically one of only two or three female students, and one of only one or two African-American students. I wanted to change the face of engineering by showing that the profession could be cool, interesting, exciting, engaging and, most important, diverse. In that way, insisting that students use my title isn’t just about me — it’s about broadcasting, to any female and black students who might hear it, that I am black, a woman, and an engineer, and that they can be the same.”
  • We’re Sexist Toward Robots | Motherboard: “But what’s weirder than our insistence on assigning gender to non-sentient machines is that we then sometimes treat them differently as a result. We’re sexist to robots. It would be funny in its absurdity, if it didn’t so harshly reflect the prejudices already ingrained in human society, and risk entrenching them even further.”
  • Why is Firefox tweeting Gamergate nonsense? | The Daily Dot: “Whatever strategy of back-and-forth inclusiveness Mozilla may be incorporating in order to warrant this kind of dual-sided approach, the women and other progressive gamers who have had to suffer the effects of Gamergate for the last two months (and counting) have lost all patience for it. Firefox may think it’s just being objective, but the reality is that the encouragement is amplifying the voices of Gamergate members who are already planning to branch out to Tumblr just as the rest of us are trying to declare the whole thing dead.”
  • The Other Side of Diversity — Medium: “I avoided the one place in the Bay Area I could go and feel not so different. It never dawned on me that the people who were telling me not to go there were the people who might go there and feel uncomfortable. It never dawned on me that I’d let other peoples experiences and cultural upbringing completely negate my own. It never dawned on me that I really wasn’t in the set of Us.”
  • For A Culture At War, PAX Australia Was The Perfect Antidote | Kotaku Australia: “Most of all it was reassuring to find that, face-to-face with the people who make up gaming culture, the negative element was absolutely a small group making a nasty unruly noise. It confirmed to me what I had suspected all along: the people who want to tear it all down, the people who want to harass and prod and bully: they are in the minority. And we can all applaud ironically as they finally leave the building.”
  • Gamergate and Academia | ICA Newsletter: “You might feel that these events do not relate to your research area, your position, or your students. You are wrong. The harassment members of our community have experienced is a problem that can have chilling effects on academia – both in and out of the communication field. Already, graduate students (and even some colleagues) have conveyed to us that they are frightened to speak up or study video games. When fear enters academia it is the research that suffers as all of our research becomes suspect and ‘under investigation.'”
  • Let Me Fix That For You, New York Times | Red Ink : “Yesterday, the New York Times dropped an opinion piece by Cornell researchers Wendy Williams and Stephen Ceci, making the bold claim that Academic Science Isn’t Sexist (<– that IS the title of the post, Gentle Readers)…. In order for any persuasive piece to be effective, internal consistency and logic is the rock-solid foundation upon which to pile on your massive heap of shite.  We’ll let the good people of science decipher the treatment of data, and tackle the post for the masses instead.  In the interest of bettering persuasive science writing, New York Times, let me fix that for you…”

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Thanks to everyone who suggested links.