[poem] (I'm gonna let it shine)

Sep. 21st, 2014 12:07 am
kaberett: A drawing of a black woman holding her right hand, minus a ring finger, in front of her face. "Oh, that. I cut it  off." (molly - cut it off)
[personal profile] kaberett
I will burn.
I will burn for who I am
and I will be a beacon.
I will burn with rage
and light up skies
with starfire, eye-searing
incandescence, a guiding
pillar of flame.
I will be lighthouse.
I will burn warning.
I will burn jubiliation,
firework-bursts of fierce joy.
O ye dispossessed, take heart:
I shall light for ye a path.
I shall consume
(I shall consume the dark).
And I will say: this
I would choose again.
I choose. I choose, and choose to burn.
[syndicated profile] lazyevaluationranch_feed

Posted by everwest









9/8 Harvest. Grapes on the grapevines, apples in the apple trees, and strange Fuzzy Grey Fruit on both grapevines and apple trees. 

The Fuzzy Grey Fruits are quite energetic. They run around in trees and knock apples onto your head, bat at dangly grapes, and sleep in the bushels. I’m sure they will make a delicious cider. Especially if they don’t stop snuggling my ankles while I’m on a ladder picking fruit.

(no subject)

Sep. 20th, 2014 01:22 pm
staranise: A star anise floating in a cup of mint tea (Default)
[personal profile] staranise
Shoutout to The Montmaray Journals by Michelle Cooper for being historical novels with very historically accurate attitudes about sex.

Like, "Darling, we're aristocrats; if anyone were going to mind about homosexuality, they'd have to arrest half the British upper classes." "That's true for everyone at Eton you snogged, but if YOU don't stop pissing off your RAF superiors, they're going to use it as a manufactured reason to discipline you." "Of course they wouldn't; I'm much too good a pilot, and anyone who can fly a Spitfire right now is untouchable."

Or, "The Blitz has been ongoing for three years and the house next door just got levelled and nothing is safe and life is ephemeral and we're probably all going to die SO even though we're not really in love and understanding that I don't have a Dutch Cap and therefore we can't do PIV sex but I know you can work with that, FUCK ME NOW."

(no subject)

Sep. 20th, 2014 04:48 pm
synecdochic: torso of a man wearing jeans, hands bound with belt (Default)
[personal profile] synecdochic
Cutest damn blissface in the world. Read more... )

(no subject)

Sep. 20th, 2014 03:42 pm
synecdochic: torso of a man wearing jeans, hands bound with belt (Default)
[personal profile] synecdochic
Can't go to bed, cat has all the covers. the one flaw in our "don't bother making the bed" thing: Gabe likes high places. Like Mount Duvet. )

Just One Thing (20 September 2014)

Sep. 20th, 2014 04:28 pm
nanila: (old-skool: science!)
[personal profile] nanila posting in [community profile] awesomeers
It's challenge time!

Comment with Just One Thing that you've accomplished in the past 24 hours or so. It doesn't have to be a hard thing, or even a thing you think is particularly awesome. Just a thing that you did.

Feel free to share more than one thing if you're feeling accomplished!

Extra credit: find someone in the comments and give them props for what they achieved!

Nothing is too big, too small, too strange, or too cryptic. And in case you'd rather do this in private, anonymous comments are screened. I will only unscreen if you ask me to.

Go!

(no subject)

Sep. 20th, 2014 02:33 am
staranise: A star anise floating in a cup of mint tea (Default)
[personal profile] staranise
Having finished (in dramatized audio form, which was sufficient for some purposes) Dorothy L. Sayers' Gaudy Night, I now understand more than half-a-dozen other books that made reference or homage to it much better. As comments on this journal have proven, Sayers fans love to talk Sayers.

It's days like this I wish I liked mysteries as mysteries. I don't; if the character arcs aren't sufficiently thrilling I don't like them at all, and I'd be just as happy, or happier, if the mystery plot was replaced by meandering human dramas without a deliberately-shaped narrative arc. Gaudy Night, in highlighting the difference between detective fiction and most ordinary real-life crime, sadly makes that even more evident than usual.

a peculiarity of patterns

Sep. 19th, 2014 05:20 pm
etb: entailment of BBQ under assumption OMG in the WTF system (omgwtfbbq)
[personal profile] etb
(Datasort refinements and pattern typing. May not be comprehensible without unusual specialist background. May not be comprehensible to anyone but me at this moment. That's just how I roll.)
Go through the door marked 'Unicode' )

WE DID IT!

Sep. 19th, 2014 05:03 pm
tim: Tim with short hair, smiling, wearing a black jacket over a white T-shirt (Default)
[personal profile] tim
See that number? It has five digits in it.

Donation button

Donate to the Ada Initiative

Comprehensive retrospective and thanks post coming soon once I'm done having all the feels. For now, I just want to thank the last batch of donors from this afternoon (the ones who tweeted and/or gave permission for their names to be used):

[twitter.com profile] alleynoir
Dan Licata
David Smith
Eric Rasmussen
Glenn Willen
Holly M
Lucas Bradstreet
wilkie

As always, if I left out anyone, let me know.

And if you weren't paying attention all week? Now it can be told: if you donate now, the money still goes to exactly the same place :)

(no subject)

Sep. 19th, 2014 01:26 pm
staranise: A star anise floating in a cup of mint tea (Default)
[personal profile] staranise
Uuuugh I feel the urge to somehow prevent myself from spending the entire weekend loafing in bed and whaaaaat.

I have to go to Vancouver either this weekend or the next to pick up a dress. DUNWANNA.

My plan so far has been to get up, go bathe, maybe eat something, and go to the local shopping centre to buy shelf brackets and spend some time writing. After forming this plan, I have lain here for an hour and a half, loafing.

So when the doctor I saw yesterday was like "You should see a psychiatrist to get your meds tweaked instead of asking GPs" I was like, oh hey, that might actually help! and filled out the referral form.

(Which reminds me I have a government cheque to cash.)
tim: Tim with short hair, smiling, wearing a black jacket over a white T-shirt (Default)
[personal profile] tim
We've achieved our $8192 goal!!!! But wait, there's more: we're increasing our goal for a second time and are trying to raise $10,000 by 5 PM Pacific time today. (If we raise $16,384, there will be filk singing.)

Donation button

Donate to the Ada Initiative

Thanks to those who donated between 6:00 PM September 18 and 12:15 PM September 19 and gave permission for their names to be used and/or tweeted about it on #lambda4ada:

Aaron Miller
André Arko
Andy Adams-Moran
Dan Licata
[twitter.com profile] dorchard
Eni Mustafaraj
Eric Sipple
Glenn Willen
Justin Bailey
Ken Keiter
Kevin Scaldeferri
Kristy
[twitter.com profile] lindsey
Lyn Turbak
M Wallace
Michael Greenberg
Peter Fogg
Rob Simmons
Ryan Wright
[twitter.com profile] simrob

If your name is not on the list, you've donated, and you'd like it to be, send me an email (catamorphism at gmail).


A thought for today:

On Reddit, user green_mage asked:
"Why ask us to pay for something you don't want to talk about?"

This was in reference to what I said in my initial post:

"I would rather not talk about diversity, inclusion, feminism, gender, race, and sexuality with my colleagues. The difference between me and -- say, the young male graduate student who attended Wouter's Haskell Symposium talk and later tweeted something to the effect that Europe didn't have a good record when it came to distinguishing people based on race and gender -- isn't how interested we are in lambdas, type theory, theorem proving, compilers, or whatever happens to make our synapses light up. We both are. The difference is that I cannot do my job while ignoring the constant drone of small -- and occasionally big -- indignities and violations that make my friends who are also my colleagues sad and, sometimes, drive them out of the field altogether."

I don't want to fix bugs in code. I would much prefer it if my code worked the first time I wrote it, so I could focus on implementing new features. Wouldn't everybody?

I fix bugs anyway. Not just because I get paid to do that -- I'd still do it even if I became independently wealthy and decided to devote the rest of my days to open-source volunteering. The reason I fix bugs is that -- as anyone who's ever used a computer knows, not just programmers -- bugs in software detract from the pleasure and delight that using good software can bring. All the new features in the world don't do much good for someone using my code if it crashes when they try to save a file.

I try to fix bugs in culture for the same reason. That we exclude people who look different from ourselves from our professional cultures -- usually without meaning to -- is a bug in human behavior. We are taught to hold onto our power; that part of the value in who we are and what we do is excluding other people from it. (This is why most women were driven out of computing in the 1960s, when it began to be a professional and profitable occupation.) Exclusion and marginalization, deliberate or accidental, distract attention from the things that unite those of us who like to program in functional languages: beauty, elegance, the Curry-Howard isomorphism.

I don't want to fix bugs. But I do it because it's part of being a programmer. I don't want to do advocacy. But I do it because if I don't, I don't feel like I'm doing my job, either.

I hope this answers green_mage's question.

Donation button

Donate to the Ada Initiative

Just One Thing (19 September 2014)

Sep. 19th, 2014 11:58 am
nanila: One of the members of Parkour Generation being awesome (exercise)
[personal profile] nanila posting in [community profile] awesomeers
It's challenge time!

Comment with Just One Thing that you've accomplished in the past 24 hours or so. It doesn't have to be a hard thing, or even a thing you think is particularly awesome. Just a thing that you did.

Feel free to share more than one thing if you're feeling accomplished!

Extra credit: find someone in the comments and give them props for what they achieved!

Nothing is too big, too small, too strange, or too cryptic. And in case you'd rather do this in private, anonymous comments are screened. I will only unscreen if you ask me to.

Go!
staranise: A star anise floating in a cup of mint tea (Default)
[personal profile] staranise
If the French dub of Stargate: Atlantis didn't give Rodney McKay a belligerently Quebecois accent, they have missed out on the most golden opportunity of their lives.
tim: Tim with short hair, smiling, wearing a black jacket over a white T-shirt (Default)
[personal profile] tim
We're on day 3 of 4 in the functional programming community challenge -- we're less than $1000 from our $8192 revised goal! We have exceeded our second goal, $8192, and have increased the goal to $10,000!

Donation button

Donate to the Ada Initiative

Thanks to the people who donated between 3:00 PM September 17 and 6:00 PM September 18 who gave permission for their names to be used and/or tweeted saying that they donated; if your name is not on the list and you donated, then you either didn't give permission, didn't use the ?campaign=lambda URL suffix, or something somewhere got messed up; if so, email me (catamorphism at gmail) and we'll fix it.

AlephCloud Systems -- our first corporate donor! (We'd love more.)
Corey "cmr" Richardson
Eric Kow [twitter.com profile] kowey
Jack Moffitt
Philip Wadler

As well as those who donated earlier, but whose names got left off the first list somehow:

Aaron Tomb [twitter.com profile] atombeast
algebraic affects [twitter.com profile] joshbohde
Bob Atkey [twitter.com profile] bentnib
Maggie Litton [twitter.com profile] MaggieLitton

And finally, thanks to [twitter.com profile] haskellnow, [twitter.com profile] haskellorg, and [twitter.com profile] lambdaladies for help publicizing!

Giving money is a good start, and I hope that at least some people will be moved to collaborate with the Ada Initiative in other ways. In any case, it shouldn't end there. Here are 12 other things that functional programmers who want to support and include women can do:


  1. Know what intersectionality is
    This is tricky to talk about, because TAI and the loosely affiliated Geek Feminism Blog and Geek Feminism Wiki are all run mostly by white people (like me). We all know there's a problem here; we talk about how there's no excuse for companies and open-source communities to be 100% male, yet we're almost 100% white.

    With that said, to be an ally, being open to feminist perspectives isn't enough. Intersectionality, a term coined by Black feminist scholar Patricia Hill Collins, refers to the ways in which membership in multiple oppressed groups is not compositional. That is, a Black woman's experiences (for example) are not merely the result of composing a prototypical white woman's experiences with a prototypical Black man's experiences; rather, multiple marginalizations compose in a more complicated way. When it comes to understanding a concept like intersectionality, functional programmers have an advantage: like intersectional feminists, we are often criticized for using too many long and unfamiliar words. So we should know as well as anyone that sometimes, technical language is necessary for clarity. (Insert pun about intersection types here.)
  2. Attend an Ally Skills workshop

    The Ada Initiative runs workshops that teach men how to better support women in their workplaces and other communities. I participated in the Ally Skills track during this year's AdaCamp in Portland, and I appreciated that it was designed primarily around small-group discussions of hypothetical but realistic scenarios. For a reasonable fee, TAI will hold one at your workplace, and one thing that donations finance is holding them at nonprofit organizations for a reduced cost. You just have to ask.
  3. Listen to women

    When a woman talks about her experiences, and you have never had the experience of being perceived as a woman, try something: assume she is reporting on her own experiences accurately. Almost all the time, your assumption will be correct. But more than that, it's an important skill to be able to temporarily suspend your programmerly desire to find edge cases and point out errors, and just listen. Listening doesn't always mean shutting the heck up, although sometimes that's what's needed too. Rather, active listening means acknowledging that you understand what's being said: you can do this non-verbally (for in-person discussions) or by rephrasing what the person said in different words to indicate your comprehension and validate what she is saying. In light of point 1 about intersectionality, the more intersecting oppressions somebody has, the more important it is to listen to and let them know that you hear them.

    This doesn't mean you have to believe everything all women say all the time. Rather, it means that there are already enough men in the world automatically casting doubt on everything a woman says, and you don't need to be one more. Indicating that you hear what somebody is saying doesn't mean agreeing. It means that for the moment, you prioritize understanding their message ahead of showing off how much you know or how good you are at debates. You can decide offline whether to agree.
  4. Believe women

    But I just said you didn't have to agree! Well, yes, you don't have to, but in a world that bombards more or less all women with gaslighting, believing a woman is a radical act. In particular, if a woman is talking about her experience of harassment or another adverse experience that typically involves men mistreating women when no other men are present, assume she's telling the truth (and if anything, understating how bad it was). You will almost never be wrong if you believe her, and it's better to have a vanishingly low chance of being wrong than to contribute to the systematic psychological torture of women who are honest about their lives.
  5. Help women get heard

    Say you're in a meeting and a woman says something; it's ignored, and 15 minutes later, a man rephrases the same idea and gets praised for it. At that moment, you can speak out by saying, "How does that compare to the idea that [woman's name] proposed?" This is a non-confrontational way to re-center the woman as originator of an idea. In general, if you're in a conversation and other people are steamrolling a woman or women, say something -- you don't have to say "you sexist pigs, why don't you listen to her?" unless you want to, but there are many different ways to indicate that, if nothing else, you heard her.
  6. Hire women

    If you work at a software company and have any influence over hiring, hire women. The same goes if you work at a university, even if the hiring process is a bit more byzantine. In computer science or in software, anybody who is not a cis man is more qualified than an imaginary person who is identical except being a cis man. Isn't that "reverse sexism"? No, for the same reason that it's harder to do a pull-up with 50 pounds of weights strapped to your ankles than without. Give women (as well as people of color, disabled people, trans people, queer people...) credit for the enormous amount of work they've had to do just to be seen as equally competent to a given man who is actually less competent. In functional programming, nobody would do this work just for fame and wealth, because there is very little of that to be had; someone purely interested in a high-paying job or other extrinsic motivators would never choose our field if they also had to deal with others' bias along with the risk of not getting rewarded at all. The people who do persevere do it because they love the work they do, probably more than you do.
  7. Practice your empathy

    If you have lived your entire life in the Western Hemisphere being seen as a white, cis, abled man, you probably have some work to do here. It's not your fault: it's likely that you've rarely been rewarded for taking the perspective of someone unlike yourself, and indeed have been coddled for solipsistic thinking rather than being encouraged to think of others' feelings. Fortunately, empathy is a skill that can be learned. Kronda Adair's talk Expanding Your Empathy (from Open Source Bridge 2013) is one place to start.
  8. Encourage double-blind reviewing

    This one applies to those of you who review for and/or help organize academic conferences. It is documented beyond a shadow of a doubt that innate bias affects decisions about people's work: when evaluators know that a particular article is by somebody with a name they interpret as female, they grade it more harshly than if all of its authors had male-coded names. Most people don't want to exercise bias against women, but they do anyway, subconsciously. Concealing author names during reviewing goes part of the way towards addressing this problem. It's not perfect, but someone claiming that it doesn't reduce bias is making an evidence-free claim.

    Non-academics can try applying this one by having their recruiting team (if they have one) redact names from resumes during the first round of candidate evaluation.
  9. Show fallibility and humility

    This one has to be exercised carefully, but if you are someone with a relatively high amount of power (for example, if you're a white cis man who has a tenure-track or tenured academic position, or are a manager in an industry position), it's helpful to others around you if you say "I don't know" when you don't know, admit mistakes when you are wrong, and acknowledge when you're finding something difficult. Sometimes people underestimate just how much influence they have. If you're white, cis, and male, whether you like it or not, the people around you will tend to believe the things you say. With that increased power comes increased responsibility: to scrupulously distinguish what you believe to be facts from what you know are your opinions.
  10. Volunteer to mentor women

    For example, the GNOME Outreach Program for Women matches promising women getting started in open source with mentors from various projects. This is one of the most direct, personal ways you can help. If you don't work on an open-source project, find out what your company can do in the way of outreach at local schools, or if you're a faculty member, figure out what your department can do to support women in undergrad and graduate CS programs instead of just tallying up your admission numbers and cheerfully declaring diversity a done deal while all the women get constructively dismissed.

    If you do this, though, be prepared to learn as much from your mentee as vice versa.
  11. Try to be kinder than you have to

    I don't mean that you need to be kind to people who are abusing or oppressing you; you don't. What I mean is that you have the affordance of being patient when somebody asks the same beginner question for the nth time on a forum you're on, or when somebody makes a wrong assumption based on their knowledge of a different programming language. It's easy to lose patience with people who don't know as much as you do; I've done it a lot myself. But it takes very little to make somebody give up on a community that is new to them, and I've personally seen that happening with functional programming. When somebody else genuinely seems to be acting in good faith, even if they're confused or seem to be slow on the uptake, just remind yourself that you have a privilege that they lack (knowledge) and give them the benefit of the doubt.
  12. Remember that functional programming is a part of programming, and programming is part of the world.

    You might react to some of these suggestions with, "what does that have to do with functional programming? That happens everywhere." Indeed. Most of these bullet points are not specific to our field. But global problems must be addressed locally, in the community that you're in. The good news is that everything you do to make functional programming a safer field for women, and genderqueer and non-binary, people to be in will also make programming as a whole that much safer, as well as the world as a whole.

Donation button

Donate to the Ada Initiative
Don't forget to tweet to #lambda4ada when you donate! Suggested tweet, though you're encouraged to use your own words:

I donated to @adainitiative b/c I want @TheOfficialACM events to announce their anti-harassment policy. https://supportada.org?campaign=lambda #lambda4ada

[poem] Survival

Sep. 19th, 2014 02:29 am
kaberett: a watercolour painting of an oak leaf floating on calm water (leaf-on-water)
[personal profile] kaberett
The clouds that scud across the the heavens of my moods
are only water, for all they cast me into intermittent
shade. The tears that scour my face are only water, too;
so too my thunderstorms, so too the streams
through which I tread, on which I float, reminded
I can move. My heartbeat echoes through the spaces
between atoms. I am two-thirds water: I'm
composed of opposing forces; it's
the water with which I quench my thirst that snows
bitter-cold upon the seedlings in the garden of my soul.
I am two-thirds water. I am whole.

Thinky thoughts about writing

Sep. 19th, 2014 01:21 am
kaberett: a watercolour painting of an oak leaf floating on calm water (leaf-on-water)
[personal profile] kaberett
Clearly I am not terrible at writing in general; clearly, in general, I enjoy writing, hence the fic and the poetry and the blog essays. I'm even pretty comfortable sitting down and bashing out an explanation of my work for lay folk.

I think my key issue is probably audience: not knowing what knowledge it is reasonable to expect, and so on. I think this is something that will get easier with (1) practice and (2) better-defined writing exercises - the kind of detail required for a transfer report is apparently huge amounts of extraneous background that you would never include in a paper, and that's some of the stuff that trips me up.

Currently I am working on trying to practice doing at least a tiny amount of technical writing for a known target audience every day. It is hard and maybe my supervisor will hate it, but then again maybe she won't and I'll have a draft paper I can rework then submit?

I also seriously need to work on the fact that I genuinely have trauma around this (partly arising from the winter of my discontent; partly from various other things where I have Done It Wrong and been hideously stressed, as cumulative thingy) (wow I really need that formal PTSD diagnosis) - I go into panic reaction when I start trying to write, I have to come at it sideways - open the file up, do something else, remind myself what else I needed, do something else, open up the necessary adjuncts, do something else, etc - and this is a problem. And. I kept shying away from writing this post because I don't believe I really have trauma; I'm putting it up half-baked as it is because it hurts to look at straight on.

This is a step.

Nine days

Sep. 18th, 2014 06:46 am
serene: mailbox (Default)
[personal profile] serene
A week from Saturday, we'll hitch up the rental trailer, fill it with what's left of our belongings (not much, I'll tell you), and drive almost exactly 500 miles to our next home. I'm not exactly excited, but I'm looking forward to it. Not counting work-related stuff, I'm not very stressed at all, so that's good. I tend to like change, and I'll be moving nearer my mom and living in an apartment I like with a person I adore, so mostly, this is happy stuff.

James is a little stressed, but mainly because he spends all day home with no moving work to do. We (mostly he) started doing the work of moving months ago, and it's basically all done. Now we just wait. My last day of work is the 26th. We leave the next day.

Work will go on without me, but regardless of my expendability, I am trying to leave my stuff in as neat and take-over-able a condition as I can for the next guy, who is doing just fine in his training.

I don't have a job in San Diego yet. I'm a little stressed about that, but money will be fine for a few months, and by then I'll know if I can make enough from home to tide me over until I start a master's program in the fall. *If* I start a master's program in the fall.

So yeah. Lots of change, but a relatively small amount of stress. I'm fine with that.

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tim: Tim with short hair, smiling, wearing a black jacket over a white T-shirt (Default)
Tim Chevalier

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