technology

technology, computers, internet

predominantly male versus male

"Hackers, gamers and cyborgs" by Brendan Keogh
https://overland.org.au/previous-issues/issue-218/feature-brendan-keogh
"The story of computers transitioning from the flesh to the digital, from the clerical (feminine) to the militaristic (masculine), provides a compelling origin myth for the digital computer." is a great sentence. where clerical (feminine) is in the context of women being the first "manual computers", where the name "computer" came from - it was good to see that the writer acknowledged this.

BUT this paragraph needs to be clarified:
"Even as computers became increasingly significant devices in the last decades of the twentieth century, they remained entrenched in broader patriarchal structures that inscribed them as mathematical, scientific, important – that is, as male. They were embedded, more often than not, in parts of society already explicitly gendered: the science lab, the maths classroom and, when they moved to the home, the son’s bedroom rather than the daughter’s."

I think the writer should add a "predominantly" to next paragraph: "that is, as male" --> "that is, as predominantly male" & another clarification in the next sentence also. it was not "explicitly gendered", it was "predominantly gendered".

because there were and are some women who fit his example, myself being one. it was always annoying to be classed as "male" in this regard, when clearly, I and other women are not male. university researchers even did studies on us (two) female engineers at work in late 1980s/1990s asking how we felt to be doing "male jobs" which I found to be strange since I was doing my job, so how could it be a male job. & since I did physics (albeit only girl in class), chem, higher maths when at high school the statement is not true that it's male only. it needs to be clarified: "predominantly male", yes ok, I can agree with that

these statements are still annoying. as if we don't exist / are invisible.
and there are many more girls & women doing these things these days also - just as there were other women when I started, and women before me too. plus I did have a computer at home growing up (it was in the loungeroom so both I and my sister could use it, not the bedroom), not only the boys did. I programmed it too. as everyone did back then. and I'm sure there were other girls doing it too, across the world.

I can't see where to comment of the article, so ranting here (& twitter). if anyone has the writer, Brendan Keogh's contact pls let me know so I can let him know. if he's a PhD candidate at RMIT University then surely he should know better. I'm surprised his supervisor allows these declarative statements, and the editors of Overland Literary Journal too. with all the articles every day about women leaving technology you'd think people would start writing the history more accurately. adding one clarifying word can make a difference. women have been written out of history already too much!!

and now that article is in print, for yet another inaccuracy to continue. it seems things will never change.

I find it completely ironic that Brendan Keogh should write an article about gamergate and women in gaming "in the context of the broader patriarchal structures" and yet he write about women in computing / technology by applying those same patriarchal structures, leaving them out of history, and even though he admits that the article is flawed, does not want to correct the mistakes or improve it. how different is this to gamergate really anyway? to me, it's the exact same attitude.

it's just annoying and disappointing. when people write the history of tech / computing without women, and especially the exact examples used in that article which I know to be incorrect (as I was doing them) it feels like they are dissolving the past ~30 years of my life. why wouldn't they just add 1-2 words to include women in tech. someone else complained about his comments on gamers being male-only too, so I was glad to read it wasn't only me taking issue with it. not that it made much difference.

and yes, I was playing games during this time also - it's not a male-only characteristic as is implied later in the article.

I'm disappointed in overland too - I expected more, especially after reading their values on 'about' page. so much for "democratisation of politics and culture, providing room for diverse and marginal voices alongside the established and the authoritative" & the rest

update: I posted this on the Overland Facebook page for the article also. I was sent the author's contact details via twitter and had a conversation with him about changing the article. it may be possible to have the web version updated, but sadly the printed version will still be inaccurate.

update 20/04/2015: I asked the author, Brendan Keogh, how the update was going and he said he wasn't going to update it.
he also questioned why I replied to his tweets so my followers could see - well, it's not so they could reply also (although one friend did), it's because I believe it's safer for women, online and offline, to have witnesses when dealing with difficult men, which he proved himself to be

Brendan Keogh @BRKeogh · 11m 11 minutes ago
@AliaK Hi! Saw your tweets but didn't wanna just jump in. Ultimately, yes I agree. I leave things implied that should've been more explicit





@AliaK: Apr 16 @BrendonKeugh hi, I think there should be a few clarifications rather than declarative statements in your article.
@AliaK: Apr 16 @BrendonKeugh I enjoyed the history you wrote about, but it's not 100% male. I wrote my comments on overland fb page https://www.facebook.com/overland/posts/912913555397284
@BRKeogh: Apr 16 @AliaK Hi! Saw your tweets but didn't wanna just jump in. Ultimately, yes I agree. I leave things implied that should've been more explicit
@AliaK: Apr 16 can you have the article changed? @BRKeogh it makes a difference
@BRKeogh: Apr 16 @AliaK possibly tho it's just a reprint of a print article. Do you just want 'overwhelmingly' replaced with 'predominately?'
@BRKeogh: Apr 16 @AliaK Or am i misunderstanding which part you take issue with?
@AliaK: Apr 16 @BRKeogh overwhelminly is fine. the paragraph starting with ""Even as computers became increasingly significant devices" needs clarifying
@AliaK: Apr 16 @BRKeogh "that is, as male" -> "that is, as predominantly/overwhelmingly male" whichever word, just to clarify not imply 100% male. +
@BRKeogh: Apr 16 @AliaK Right I getcha. I meant 'inscribed as male' as in 'naturalised by society as male' not 'only males use computers' but i see how...
@AliaK: Apr 16 @BRKeogh + "in parts of society already explicitly gendered" this needs clarifying too. explicitly reads as though it's 100% male, when not
@BRKeogh: Apr 16 @AliaK ..that is unclear. Really I should've used 'masculine', not 'male'.
@AliaK: Apr 16 @BRKeogh even masculine is not correct. I think if you wrote 'inscribed as male' even, it would have been better.
@AliaK: Apr 16 @BRKeogh as there are women/girls doing these things too, how can it be male-only or masculine-only. it's not logical. majority, sure
@BRKeogh: Apr 16 @AliaK well my intent was to say 'inscribed as male'! 'Inscribed as x, y, z--that is, [inscribed] as male'
@AliaK: Apr 16 @BRKeogh each declarative statement saying male only, just belittles women's work. we are ignored enough as it is without continually being
@BRKeogh: Apr 16 @AliaK but maybe. I should've repeated the verb rather than have it implied that's the verb the clause is linking back to
‏@AliaK: Apr 16 @BRKeogh written out of history
@AliaK: Apr 16 @BRKeogh I've made suggestions on how to improve the wording. I'll leave it up to you to decide what is best to use
@BRKeogh: Apr 16 @AliaK But i don't think I ever say 'male only'. Huge difference between a space being inscribed/naturalised as male and...
@BRKeogh: Apr 16 @AliaK no women at all being in that space. I say as much explicitly further down to stress that point.
@BRKeogh: Apr 16 @AliaK And I appreciate the feedback. Thanks!
@AliaK: Apr 16 @BRKeogh "that is, as male" - where are the female here? explicitly gendered - the son’s bedroom rather than the daughter’s.
@AliaK: Apr 16 @BRKeogh each sentence should be correct or it's wishy washy anyway.

update 20/04/2015: I asked the author, Brendan Keogh, how the update was going and he said he wasn't going to update it.


@AliaK: Apr 20 how did you go changing the overland article @BRKeogh to be more inclusive of women in tech? it still seems unchanged?
@BRKeogh: Apr 20 @AliaK I respect & appreciate your critique of the piece but I don't agree that edit needs to be made and I won't be changing it, no.
@AliaK: Apr 20 that's different to what you said last week? why the change of view? @BRKeogh
‏@BRKeogh: Apr 20 @AliaK I still agree the piece overall could be better, which is what I said last week.
@BRKeogh: Apr 20 @AliaK Also, I'd appreciate it if you didn't move my @ to the end of the tweet to try to get your followers onto me.
@AliaK: Apr 20 why would that worry you @BRKeogh. I also don't appreciate lip service "respect & appreciate" - actions speak louder than words
@AliaK: Apr 20 you also said the web version could be updated and then proceeded to talk about what word to use over numerous tweets. then nothing @BRKeogh
@BRKeogh: Apr 20 @AliaK Well I do appreciate the feedback even if I disagree on the particular sentence. Anyway, have a good evening.

web version of the article archived 21/04/2015: http://www.aliak.com/files/Hackers_gamers_and_cyborgs-218_Autumn_2015-Br... (ZIP)
letter to Overland editors 22/04/2015: http://www.aliak.com/files/predominantly_male_versus_male-email_to_overl... (PDF)

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tech chix links

http://groups.drupal.org/drupalchix
Drupal Chix

http://groups.drupal.org/node/13312 is the drupalchix thread about conferences

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some in Australia / NZ regions
interestingly, most of these seem to be using drupal too!

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Cybernetics Serendipity Redux - A moderated discussion on YASMIN

Leonardo/OLATS, co sponsor of YASMIN, is pleased to announce

Cybernetics Serendipity Redux
http://www.media.uoa.gr/yasmin/viewtopic.php?t=4385 (ed: discussion link seems to be broken now 15/02/2009)
http://www.media.uoa.gr/yasmin_oldarchives - has archive of yasmin mail list
http://www.media.uoa.gr/yasmin - new Yasmin list

A moderated discussion on YASMIN
Beginning September 1 2008

Discussion On YASMIN, led by Ranulph Glanville.
Moderators Ranulph Glanville, Paul Brown, Paul Pangaro

40 years ago, Jasia Reichart's exhibition "Cybernetic Serendipity" showed that cybernetics, computing and art had arrived.

40 years later, while computers and art remain, cybernetics has nearly vanished, although there is a reviving interest in art.

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2007 ANAT emerging technologies mentorship - call for applications

ANAT is calling for applications from young and emerging practitioners working with distributed, portable, online, wearable, mobile and emerging platforms to undertake a three-month mentorship with an established practitioner of their choice.

Managed by ANAT, the mentorship is a part of the Australian Government's Young & Emerging Artists Initiative through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body.

The mentorship provides an opportunity to explore new artistic directions, to expand technical skills and increase knowledge of networks, debates and business practice. Applicants are invited to select a mentor and develop a program of activity spanning a three-month period. The mentorship may be largely a program of skills, development however applicants are encouraged to explore programs which incorporates critical investigation and dialogue, business skills development as well as marketing and exhibition opportunities. Utilising emerging technologies the mentor may be accessed locally, nationally or internationally. Additionally the successful applicant will maintain a blog for the duration of the mentorship hosted on the ANAT server.

read more or visit the ANAT emerging technologies mentorship website

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1st International Congress Art Tech Media

1st International Congress Art Tech Media @ www.artechmedia.net
8-11th may . Madrid. Spain

The First International Art Tech Media Congress - call for submissions

The First International Art Tech Media Congress has been set up in order to reflect upon and analyse questions currently being raised about art and new technological media within an international context.

artechmedia.net is calling on all creatives of the world to participate. Submissions will be accepted from the following categories:

A
- Video art
- Net-art
- 2D & 3D Computer Animation
- Blog, videoblog
- Creation for mobile platforms
- Digital Music
- Videodance

B
- Digital Communities
- Geospatial storytelling
- Artificial Life, Software art, Transgenic art, Generative art

read more for more information or visit www.artechmedia.net

identity 2.0

I've been watching the identity 2.0 presentations from 2005 oscon and web 2.0 conferences. I'd been meaning to watch more of the presentations from these conferences but hadn't got round to it yet. I came across this again via another site, presentation zen blog, which was talking about different styles of presentations - Dick Hardt from sxip.com (pronounced skip) was recommended as having good presentation style. He in turn borrowed this style from Lawrence Lessig, the well known copyright lawyer and advocate. They both use many slides with short phrases or single words, with a scattering of images and are displayed with a fast pace. It does make the presentation more interesting! - well compared to the traditional powerpoint style anyway. This topic has been on my mind recently - not presentations per se, but events and conferences - as the iDC mail list has been having interesting discussions about the different styles of presentations at digital arts / music / new media conferences. Mostly the conversations have been regarding providing remote connections and contributions for people to attend the conferences remotely either during the conference or after it. Discussions on presentation style came up - different ideas, particularly wrt academics presenting papers and just reading them to the audience when they may have been available prior to the conference, then running out of time for questions. Anyway, I find it interesting as I'm not able to attend all the conferences I'd like to, though I try to attend as many as feasible, but it's really handy to be able to watch a video or listen to audio of the presentations after the conference. I find most of the larger IT based American conferences have video lectures / presentations available - perhaps this is because they have deals with ISPs and video production / distribution people. I think videoblogging could help with this as there's many more people recording video these days, but I suppose it won't be videoblogging as such, but using videobloggers to apply their skills to provide documentation and video on the web. Really useful for online education also!

read more for links used in this post

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mondo 2000

Finding my old bookmark files has made me nostalgic for the early computing days when everything was new and exciting and full of possibilities. One of my favourite magazines back in the early 90s was Mondo 2000. It was hard to get - only a few places in Brisbane stocked it, actually only two that I recall and even then it was occasional. By the time I got round to subscribing to the magazine it had finished being published and I lost my subscription renewal to the cause so to speak. At the time, it was cutting edge and the full gloss images and interviews with leading thinkers made it a great read. R.U. Sirius who was the editor of the mag has a podcast these days and can be found around mondoglobo.net. Here's a collection of links to mondo 2000 stuff:

mondo articles from the well (link updated : original link broken 25/09/2008 : http://www.well.com:70/1/Publications/MONDO )

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holographic data storage

I remember reading about holographic storage / crystalline data storage in the mid 90s but back then they could write the data but couldn't read it back off. seems like they've fixed the problems according to the tests run last november. looking forward to the personal device using these to be available.. they've been doing tests with broadcasters for hdtv and the like. http://www.hiptechblog.com/2005/11/25/maxell-introduces-groundbreaking-h...

"The Book of Knowledge of Ingenious Mechanical Devices" by al-Jazari (1206)

"The Book of Knowledge of Ingenious Mechanical Devices" was a manuscript written by al-Jazari in 1206 which described automata and mechanical devices used in early Islam. One of the more famous is the "The Elephant Clock" pictured here. Other machines include wine servers. The devices were 'programmed' to be random and unpredictable.

There is an excellent explanation of some of these devices and the book in general @ http://66.244.200.112/D1006Gunalan_Nadarajan.wmv - this is a conference presentation by Gunalan Nadarajan on his paper :

Islamic Automation: A Reading of al-Jazari's The Book of Knowledge of Ingenious Mechanical Devices (1206)
http://www.banffcentre.ca/bnmi/programs/archives/2005/refresh/lisiten.asp

Professor Noel Sharkey from Sheffield University is building a replica of al-Jazari's automata boat which acts like a programmable drum machine.

[quote]
"Al-Jazari's machine was originally a boat with four automatic musicians that floated on a lake to entertain guests at royal drinking parties. It had two drummers, a harpist and a flautist."

"The heart of the mechanism is a rotating cylindrical beam with pegs (cams) protruding from it. These just bump into little levers that operate the percussion. The point of the model is to demonstrate that the drummer can be made to play different rhythms and different drum patterns if the pegs are moved around. In other words it is a programmable drum machine."
[/quote]

The guys from pawful.org have been working on a livecoding game called Al-Jazari which is a musical robot livecoding system based on the principles of al-Jazari's automata boat.

view the video demo at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zxwLllYchlw

[quote]
"Al-Jazari is written in scheme for fluxus, and continues in the gamepad driven vein of BetaBlocker.
Livecoding for all the family! Only for use at royal drinking parties."

"The language consists of instructions to move and turn the robot, along with conditionals based on the external state (blocked, robot to my left, right etc) and jump instructions to switch between 4 seperate code states. A simple signalling system to allow the bots to communicate is planned."
[/quote]

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Onion Robots website

Onion Robotics website contains a great deal of technical, creative and background information on robotics for hobbyists and even those more experienced. Some areas of the site also form a dictionary for some of the terms and concepts used in robotics, electronics, porgramming, Lego building and engineering.

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