ursamajor: Scully knows how to use her Sig Sauer. And she's pissed. (not your damsel in distress)
[personal profile] ursamajor
Random sexism of the day: paging through the Pinboard popular links as I am wont to do. Click on Why We Created Julia because, hey, they created a whole new computer language? Sounds nifty, wonder what for, worth the 30 seconds to skim a summary.

Couldn't even make it to 50 words into a 500+ word document before the following sentiment was expressed:

There are those of us who used Mathematica before we could grow facial hair. There are those who still can’t grow facial hair.

Before and still, with the implication that the only reason "those of us" who can't grow facial hair is due to youth, rather than gender or genetics.

Dear Viral, Jeff, Stefan, and Alan: you publish these words; you tell us your target audience is "power Matlab users" and "male," and then you give your language a female name. Please tell me you're not surprised I find this sexist. (No, I am not a Matlab user myself, but this certainly would turn me off from using your language if I were. And yes, I do know female Matlab users, thank you.)

Then again, we live in a society where this week, a Congressional hearing on a women's health matter was held and the only two female witnesses allowed to speak came from conservative religious colleges:

From a smart but depressing article on the culture war over birth control:

If we’re wise, we’ll keep our eyes on the long game, because you can bet that those angry men are, too. The hard fact is this: We’re only 50 years into a revolution that may ultimately take two or three centuries to completely work its way through the world’s many cultures and religions. (To put this in perspective: it was 300 years from Gutenberg’s printing press to the scientific and intellectual re-alignments of the Enlightenment, and to the French and American revolutions that that liberating technology ultimately made possible. These things can take a loooong time to work all the way out.)


So if you like your chocolate chip cookies chocolatey, I recommend Guittard's "super cookie chips." Holy cow. (Cambervillains and Bostonians, they are available at Whole Foods; I suspect some place like Pemberton's or Formaggio Kitchen is likely to carry them as well.)

The chocolatiest chocolate chip cookie in the East. (Used Guittard "super cookie chips." Oh wow.)

At least part of this is due to the recipe on the back, which cuts the proportions of the non-chocolate ingredients in half relative to the chocolate chips, but the size of the chocolate chips in question - larger than thumbnail, when most standard chocolate chips are pinky-nail size - plays a significant role as well. And they are yummmmmmy.

Misogyny and its discontents

Date: 2012-02-19 06:23 pm (UTC)
amaebi: (Default)
From: [personal profile] amaebi
FWIW, it cheers me up tremendously to read you noting and commenting on the humdrum sexism of our ambient environment.

Date: 2012-02-19 08:04 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] warsop.livejournal.com
Unsurprisingly, the comments from the author continue with the gender privilege:
Math notation is highly polymorphic, however, so if you want a language where you can write things like `x*y` and have it either mean "multiply these two floating point numbers" or "crank up the cluster, gentlemen, we have a huge matrix product to compute", you're going to need polymorphism and ideally also multiple dispatch.

Because, after all, only gentleman have clusters, and only gentlemen would need to do matrix computation.

Having been 'round this particular block before, I'm loathe to point out the sexism and gender privilege inherent in both the original post and the comments from the author. Doing so will make me "shrill" or "overly PC" or "seeking offense", which then tends to quickly devolve further. I am glad to see someone else noticing and commenting on such things, if only so that I know that I'm not alone in it.

I used to be extremely involved with the programming languages community. I was on the committee for the top PL conference for several years. (And, for the record, that conference has a well-established tradition of having a 50/50 M/F ratio of committee members, and a surprisingly strict rule about alternating the genders of the conference chair from year to year.) Although PL isn't my top love any longer, I'm still quite the languages geek, and I've seen more than my fair share of them. I want to follow this one more, but I'm not sure if I can stomach it. :/

Date: 2012-02-19 09:39 pm (UTC)
troisroyaumes: Painting of a duck, with the hanzi for "summer" in the top left (Default)
From: [personal profile] troisroyaumes
Agreed on the sexism but...wow, the language is something that could be really useful for me. >>; Which just makes it all the more annoying, really.

Date: 2012-02-19 11:40 pm (UTC)
troisroyaumes: Painting of a duck, with the hanzi for "summer" in the top left (Default)
From: [personal profile] troisroyaumes
The one that came first to mind was Piet (after Piet Mondrian)? Though I don't think people actually use it.

I asked S., and he said Haskell, which was named after Haskell Curry.

Date: 2012-02-20 02:48 am (UTC)
kudzita: (Default)
From: [personal profile] kudzita
See, I found it fascinating that they chose 'Julia', because that's a very telling name from a Classicist's point of view - harkening back to the Roman way of naming daughters, for one thing (take the name of the gens, slap a feminine ending on it, and distinguish with Prima, Secunda, Tertia, etc. if necessary), and taking it a step further with the fact that most of the historical Julias we talk about are, like most upper-class Roman women of the time, used as bargaining chips in the power games of the men.

Also: thank you for posting this. As noted earlier, it's good to see other people seeing the same sorts of things.

Date: 2012-02-20 08:01 pm (UTC)
jld: (oratory)
From: [personal profile] jld
I'm curious how these guys came up with "Julia"

My guess is Gaston Julia, of Julia set fame.
Edited Date: 2012-02-20 08:01 pm (UTC)

Date: 2012-02-21 04:14 am (UTC)
jd: (Default)
From: [personal profile] jd
Yes, fractals were my immediate reaction as well.


ursamajor: people on the beach watching the ocean (Default)
she of the remarkable biochemical capabilities!

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