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Old 03-06-2019, 03:19 AM   #31
Lysander666
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Excellent example, Trihex. I disagree with your comment, ondoho, it's politically correct claptrap which I thought you were above. As Trihex has shown, there is no suitable replacement for the word him/her in his sentence and not only that, but specifying the sex is not only relevant, but vital in comprehending the context and value of his story.
 
Old 03-06-2019, 06:46 AM   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by syg00 View Post
Did you happen to get a nanosecond of wire ?.
Unfortunately not.

Marketing convinced people that pink is a girl color and blue is a boy color...

My mother was dissuaded from becoming a Certified Public Accountant by her brother because of gender bias and that customers would not respect her for being a women similar to the article that a women lawyer would not be able to try cases in court. My mother became a teacher instead.
 
Old 03-06-2019, 07:08 AM   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trihexagonal View Post
The use of "her" in this instance is no different than when using "him" to refer to a male. Using "their" would not be seen as appropriate use of English language to anyone fluent in its use:


Quote:
We would usually work the sledgehammer job because it was hard work for us let alone thier but she could do it and not hesitate if asked. If we didn't all respect thier we wouldn't have given thier a hard time like we did each other.
I think you meant

Quote:
We would usually work the sledgehammer job because it was hard work for us let alone them but they could do it and not hesitate if asked. If we didn't all respect them we wouldn't have given them a hard time like we did each other.
IMO, singular they is usually fine, but it's silly in this case where you talk about a specific person with a known gender.
 
Old 03-06-2019, 03:44 PM   #34
Trihexagonal
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ntubski View Post
IMO, singular they is usually fine, but it's silly in this case where you talk about a specific person with a known gender.
It did sound silly in my example and that was the point.

I meant it as it appears in my OP and parsed my words carefully when "she" was the subject in any statement I made in reference to "her" when thinking of "them" in regard to "their" character.


That was back in the day when it wasn't considered bad manners for a man to open a door for a woman, although I still do so as practice despite the odds of being berated for it.

Why, I even stretched the limits of good taste and opened the passenger side door for a girl the other day. Instead of being insulted and commenting on how inappropriate my toxic masculinity was she was surprised and remarked that I was a "real man" in her opinion fo doing so.

She was probably still in shock from my unmitigated audacity and daredevil attitude in risking life and limb by saying I'd be glad to give a lady a ride home from the store.
 
Old 03-18-2019, 03:33 AM   #35
freemedia2018
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hazel View Post
When I first started to use computers, "programmer" was used for people who did donkey work. The people who actually designed programs were called "systems analysts". But in those days, all computer programming was done within big companies, and their organisation was probably more hierarchical than would be tolerated now. The kind of hobby and community coding which we are so familiar with didn't exist. Maybe that's why people nowadays prefer to call themselves coders or hackers, not programmers.
Not blaming you for this (on the contrary) but I can hardly stand these distinctions when they're leaned on so heavily. I figure that while there are other definitions with greater accuracy, "coding" caught on because people were just tired of typing (and saying) "programmer" all the time.

Then you have very important people who realise that "programmer" sounds more impressive on a resume. RMS has his own distinction between them, he thinks coding is something different (and wouldn't include scripting, which makes his definition historical at least) but everybody wants to "learn to code." With a programming language. That is probably a scripting language.

I have heard, for those leading classes in whatever we call it, that female students are "less likely" to participate in classes with males present. I don't lead any classes with more than one gender present, but I have found that in a tutoring session it is just the opposite.

When tutoring, my experience is that female students engage readily and ask questions and are eager to learn-- while my experience on a limited scale with males is that they lean towards not saying anything that would reveal they don't know something. I'm definitely not impling this is out of arrogance, nor is there enough of a sample to be a statistic. So far, it is easier to teach female students because they aren't afraid to ask questions or tell me when they stop following. For males, it is like debugging a program without error messages. I'm a huge fan of Grace Hopper, and very grateful than she gave us the modern command name.
 
Old 03-18-2019, 03:53 PM   #36
ondoho
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Quote:
Originally Posted by freemedia2018 View Post
I can hardly stand these distinctions when they're leaned on so heavily. I figure that while there are other definitions with greater accuracy, "coding" caught on because people were just tired of typing (and saying) "programmer" all the time.

Then you have very important people who realise that "programmer" sounds more impressive on a resume. RMS has his own distinction between them, he thinks coding is something different (and wouldn't include scripting, which makes his definition historical at least) but everybody wants to "learn to code." With a programming language. That is probably a scripting language.
you do realise that hazel was talking of a time when PCs weren't even a distant idea?
where you possibly had to walk down into a noisy, humming, hot basement to enter the code somebody in a nice, airy office conceived?
 
Old 03-18-2019, 06:18 PM   #37
freemedia2018
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ondoho View Post
you do realise that hazel was talking of a time when PCs weren't even a distant idea?
where you possibly had to walk down into a noisy, humming, hot basement to enter the code somebody in a nice, airy office conceived?
I am not taking issue with anything hazel said at all. she had a good guess (as far as I know-- I have to guess too) what the origins of quibbling about terms were.

As I said already, I wasn't blaming any of the quibbling on hazel. I was simply pointing out that I wish there wasn't so much quibbling. We are past any point where people are going to develop agreed-upon distinctions between the terms, and people who qualify to make the distinction don't even agree on the same distinctions. As for the timeframe, I consider the past relevant for context and explanation, and the present quite relevant-- since most people are only expected to use the contemporary meaning of the words.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hazel View Post
Maybe that's why people nowadays prefer to call themselves coders or hackers, not programmers.
I was commenting further on this.

Last edited by freemedia2018; 03-18-2019 at 06:22 PM.
 
Old 03-20-2019, 02:26 PM   #38
ondoho
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Quote:
Originally Posted by freemedia2018 View Post
I was simply pointing out that I wish there wasn't so much quibbling. We are past any point where people are going to develop agreed-upon distinctions between the terms, and people who qualify to make the distinction don't even agree on the same distinctions. As for the timeframe, I consider the past relevant for context and explanation, and the present quite relevant-- since most people are only expected to use the contemporary meaning of the words.
well the time frame is very relevant for this discussion, because it deals with an article that is exploring this: When computers first came about, a significant--at times a majority--of persons writing code were women.
see post #1 and from there onwards.
 
Old 03-20-2019, 04:48 PM   #39
freemedia2018
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ondoho View Post
When computers first came about, a significant--at times a majority--of persons writing code were women.
I'm aware of this. Also this: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:G...and_UNIVAC.jpg (note that it's Hopper who gets the keyboard. And why not? She invented the compiler.) Also Ada Lovelace invented the loop. The teamwork of Babbage developing the machine and it taking Lovelace to figure out what it was really capable of repeated many years later IMO, with Howard Aiken and Grace Hopper.

Also this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kTn56jJW4zY (Margaret Hamilton)

Also speaking of weaving / knitting / crocheting, the Apollo Guidance Computer: (1 minute in, look who is weaving the program in)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P12r8DKHsak It was always a collaboration, with women making many of the most vital pioneering advances, to be certain. I would probably not enjoy coding without Grace Hopper's contributions. Thanks to her, (also Kemeny and Kurtz, but those were smaller advances) Linus Torvalds and I both learned coding as kids.

Last edited by freemedia2018; 03-20-2019 at 04:53 PM.
 
Old 03-20-2019, 05:11 PM   #40
scasey
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ondoho View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by scasey
I once had an artist friend say that writing html code was like painting with her eyes closed...which is, I thought, a pretty good description of coding.
btw, interesting how in english language, using the small word "her" just once polarises your sentence.
that's why some people like to use "their" instead (esp. since sex doesn't seem to have any impact on what you described).
Really? What's polarizing about it? Not arguing, just curious. I used "her" in that case because she was a woman...I use "their" all the time when I don't know the gender or sex of the individual being referenced.

Last edited by scasey; 03-20-2019 at 05:14 PM.
 
Old 03-21-2019, 04:02 AM   #41
Lysander666
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scasey View Post
Really? What's polarizing about it? Not arguing, just curious. I used "her" in that case because she was a woman...I use "their" all the time when I don't know the gender or sex of the individual being referenced.
The argument is that relating sex is irrelevant where it doesn't [apparently] affect the actions of the participants. I wouldn't rise to it.
 
Old 03-21-2019, 05:18 AM   #42
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The biggest factor here is that not enough women are applying for computer-related jobs.

It is scary, but I have seen some companies saying that they will choose women over men, purely to increase the number of women. That seems to be an insult to women, but they state that the problem is that the proportion of women applying for the jobs is really small.

So that is the crux of the issue - it seems to start with blaming other people for why the numbers are low, but it is not that simple, nor is it a particular group's fault.

It starts at school mostly, but also parenting and social groups - these three factors will determine what any boy or girl forms in their minds as acceptable jobs. I've seen it from 3 year olds where parents have pushed girls to play with toy ponies, anything pink and have princess birthday parties. What you find is that any child will play with any toys they are given, but if parents push a particular stereotype, it will stick often.

I think that in senior school, the stereotypes can be broken if enough inspiration is shown with good role-models - perhaps for innate reasons, boys tend to follow male role-models and girls follow female role-models. It is important to set the right scene by the time children are teenagers because they will start to choose subjects and look ahead to potentially studying something towards a career.

When I was at university, the student population was 55% girls, but on my computer science course, out of 110 students, there were 4 girls. One girl left in the first month as she found the number of boys too offensive and that clearly she had chosen the wrong subject!

The seeds are sewn at an early age though - I remember buying baby clothes and immediately you see that sleepsuits and fairly generic baby clothing are separated into boys or girls - nothing neutral. So parents are forced into gender stereotypes from the moment their children are born...
 
Old 03-21-2019, 02:01 PM   #43
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Originally Posted by Samsonite2010 View Post
The seeds are sewn at an early age though - I remember buying baby clothes and immediately you see that sleepsuits and fairly generic baby clothing are separated into boys or girls - nothing neutral. So parents are forced into gender stereotypes from the moment their children are born...
IMO the problem isn't that we have genders. I had a friend that was a girl in kindergarten, we had the same kind of computer at home and I don't doubt she is good at computers, even before school. But she is very gifted musically, learning to play the violin with skill at age 7, so her interest in computers is smaller than mine.

The problem is that we use gender as a platform for whatever society expects of people. And this can't be corrected 100%, because it isn't only about what society puts onto gender but I think it's nature AND nurture-- some of the disparity in career choices is due (indirectly, of course) to something innate.

When we make all allowances for equality, this innate preference doesn't decrease but increases. It has nothing to do with ability-- women are VERY capable, it has to do with career choices.

There are other factors, including the ones that happen early on. By age 10, most people have already decided if they're a "computer person" or not. This includes girls, some of whom definitely identify as "computer people." Regardless of gender, and regardless of career choice-- I don't think we can afford a computer-illiterate society anymore, and exposing everyone (including girls) to computing, not just superficial "application training" or abstract "logical thinking" (which coding requires, but also teaches alongside itself) is vital so that the chance to consider the self a "computer person" isn't missed. When paired with the visceral fear of learning that traditional education instills in people with its ham-handed Confucian methodologies, "I'm not a computer person" becomes a badge of iconoclastic honour. At least that's rare with other forms of illiteracy, but it's still costly.

Last edited by freemedia2018; 03-21-2019 at 02:02 PM.
 
Old 03-21-2019, 03:16 PM   #44
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I wonder if the retreat from single-sex schooling has something to do with it. When I went to school, a lot of secondary schools were single-sex. I went to the Camden School for Girls, having deliberately asked my parents to choose a girls' school because I was sick and tired of little boys fooling around in class and interfering with people who were actually trying to learn something.

At Camden, we were frequently told that we were just as good as boys and that not having boys around would make it easier for us to learn. We didn't learn anything about computers because this was the 1950s, but we did learn physics and chemistry and were encouraged to apply for university courses in science if we felt that we had a talent for it. I ended up with a chemistry degree and later started using computers when I got a job in the library of the Building Research Establishment.

So I have no experience of mixed-sex secondary education but I have often read that in modern mixed schools, boys monopolise the computers and girls are unwilling to put themselves forward because they are unhappy about what the boys will think of them.
 
Old 03-21-2019, 03:35 PM   #45
freemedia2018
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Originally Posted by hazel View Post
boys monopolise the computers and girls are unwilling to put themselves forward because they are unhappy about what the boys will think of them.
And if the school does nothing to fix that, it's a problem.

Not to negate the problem, though this is a problem in school in general-- so many people are afraid of being wrong, and looking stupid. There are probably situations where that affects girls more than boys, but as I mentioned, when dealing with one person at a time, males are relatively quiet and females volunteer more. So it's different experience by gender-- but it also depends on the situation.

School should be making certain that everyone is learning, but the blame for that is always in flux-- is it the school, the teacher, the student, the class-- who is doing the most to prevent a good education?

Letting anyone monopolise the computers is a problem-- mediocre teachers routinely pit students against each other in a less-than-constructive fashion (I don't think it's always a bad thing, but it is when you can show the result is a lesser education for half the students.) Schools and teachers are not directly accountable for this, but they may easily be partly responsible. If we can fix it as easily as segregating by gender again, maybe we should-- I prefer to think we could fix it by ending the reenactments of Lord of the Flies in class, made worse by some teachers who lack the skill (or sometimes the authority) to manage a class reasonably. I'm not saying teachers don't have enough to worry about-- I'm only saying that a lot of them aren't very good at teaching.
 
  


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