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It’s about the thinking

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At some point in the past, programmers used to recommend drawing flowcharts before you start coding. Then they recommended creating CRC cards, or acting through how the turtle will behave, or writing failing tests, or getting the types to match up, or designing contracts, or writing proofs, but the point is that in each case they’re there for eliciting thought before the code gets laid down.

None of these things is mutually exclusive, none of these things is the one true way, but the fact that they all isolate some part of solving the problem from some part of coding the solution is the telling point. The problem is not having the correct type system or test coverage or diagram format, the problem is trying to work in two (or more) levels of abstraction – the problem domain and the computer – at the same time.

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diannemharris
58 minutes ago
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acdha
22 hours ago
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JimB
14 hours ago
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Not just computing. Law making, rule making : they both need to have a clear idea of the desired result AND the unintended consequences AND catching all input scenarios (aka gaming the system)

Fighting Erasure: Women SF Writers of the 1970s, Part II

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Once more into the past, this time armed with a more comprehensive list of women who debuted in the 1970s¹. In fact, my list has become long enough that I am going have to tackle the authors letter by letter, moving forward. In this case, I am looking at women authors who debuted between 1970 and 1979 and whose surnames begin with G.

 

Sally Miller Gearhart

Gearhart may be best known now for her political activism and her decades of scholarly work. The Sally Miller Gearhart Chair in Lesbian Studies at the University of Oregon is named for her. SF fans unacquainted with her work might do well start with The Wanderground, a novel about feminist separatism set in a near future. Any of you planning to write a feminist separatist novel (or found a separatist feminist community) might want to explore prior art, including Gearhart’s contributions.

 

Mary Gentle

Author photo by JohnDallman

The least-aptly surnamed author in speculative fiction, Gentle is prolific, talented, and in no sense gentle. The best starting point for Gentle is her 1983 two-cultures-in-contact story, Golden Witchbreed, the first in the Orthe series. Caveat: you might want to be wary of the sequel, which expands on the setting in ways that many fans of Golden Witchbreed have disliked and loudly protested.

 

Dian Girard

Under her maiden name Girard, Dian published a number of short pieces in venues like Amazing, Galaxy, and Jerry Pournelle’s 2020 Vision². As J. D. Crayne, she made a lateral move into mystery—yet another loss for SFF and gain for the mystery genre. (The mystery audience is ten times the size of SF’s; mystery writers can often indulge in such luxuries as food, clothing, and shelter.) Her story “Eat, Drink, and Be Merry,” which sets one determined woman against a society determined to monitor her diet for her, would be an excellent starting point for Girard… if it had not been out of print for more than four decades.

 

Lisa Goldstein

A better-read reviewer than I would almost certainly recommend reading Lisa Goldstein’s award-winning The Red Magician. However, I have not yet gotten around to it; the book has been living in my Everest-emulating Mount Tsundoku since it came out in 1983. I can, however, recommend A Mask for the General, which relates an artist’s unconventional struggle against the brutal autocrat who has ruled America ever since an economic crisis undermined American faith in democratic institutions³.

 

Jeanne Gomoll

Editor, artist, and essayist Gomoll’s body of science fiction is comparatively small; I don’t think I’ve read any of it. No worries, because the Gomoll I would recommend is her non-fiction (but SF-related) essay “An Open Letter to Joanna Russ,” available online here. In it she discusses yet another example of the sort of historical erasure I am hoping to, in turn, erase.

 

Eileen Gunn

Gunn’s fiction has thus far been of the short variety; the trick with such authors in this collection-and anthology unfriendly world—curse you, Roger Elwood!— can be to find something still in print. Happily with Gunn, this is no problem. Her 2004 collection Stable Strategies and Others contains (among other works) the 1989 Hugo Award Finalist “Stable Strategies for Middle Management,” the 1990 Hugo Award Finalist “Computer Friendly,” the 2004 Nebula Award winner “Coming to Terms,” and the 2006 Nebula Award Nominee and James Tiptree Jr. Award Shortlisted novelette (co-written with Leslie What) “Nirvana High.”

 

***

The best part of having greatly expanded my list of women who debuted in the 1970s is that I can now appreciate just how much I do not know, Learning new things gives me an endorphin rush, so I look forward to new and better drug highs. Please help. I am unfamiliar with the following authors and would invite useful commentary:

 


1: Nota bene: this series only covers women whose published careers began between 1970 and 1979. If their career began before 1970 or after 1979, then they fall outside my target range.

2: Which I will review on my own site Sunday, Jan 5th, 2020, probably about 3:30 AM. Kitchener time. Because stuff and things.

3: A Mask for the General is inextricably entangled in my mind with Pat Murphy’s The City, Not Long After, which also pits artists against autocrats.

In the words of Wikipedia editor TexasAndroid, prolific book reviewer and perennial Darwin Award nominee James Davis Nicoll is of “questionable notability.” His work has appeared in Publishers Weekly and Romantic Times as well as on his own websites, James Nicoll Reviews and Young People Read Old SFF (where he is assisted by editor Karen Lofstrom and web person Adrienne L. Travis). He is surprisingly flammable.

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diannemharris
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Opinion | #MeToo Has Done What the Law Could Not

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Opinion | #MeToo Has Done What the Law Could Not:

Sexual harassment law — the first law to conceive sexual violation in inequality terms — created the preconditions for this moment. Yet denial by abusers and devaluing of accusers could still be reasonably counted on by perpetrators to shield their actions.

Many survivors realistically judged reporting pointless. Complaints were routinely passed off with some version of “she wasn’t credible” or “she wanted it.” I kept track of this in cases of campus sexual abuse over decades; it typically took three to four women testifying that they had been violated by the same man in the same way to even begin to make a dent in his denial. That made a woman, for credibility purposes, one-fourth of a person.

Even when she was believed, nothing he did to her mattered as much as what would be done to him if his actions against her were taken seriously. His value outweighed her sexualized worthlessness. His career, reputation, mental and emotional serenity and assets counted. Hers didn’t. In some ways, it was even worse to be believed and not have what he did matter. It meant she didn’t matter.

Put this clearly and simply, it’s horrifying.

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diannemharris
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I Am the Very Model of a New York Times Contrarian

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“It goes without saying that child molestation is a uniquely evil crime that merits the stiffest penalties. But … ” A.S. Seer/Library of Congress/Adam Cuerden I…
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diannemharris
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OMG this is amazing!
notadoctor
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The GOP has the BEST PEOPLE

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Republicans frolic at a Swamp Draining party.

In the past 24 hours:

Rob Porter, staff secretary. Out of the White House due to allegations of domestic violence.

David Sorensen, speechwriter. Same, while singing the abuser’s favorite song: She’s lying, she hurt herself acting crazy and I’m the real victim.

The Washington Post’s Elise Viebeck reports that David Sorensen, a speechwriter, is resigning. His ex-wife, Jessica Corbett, has accused Sorensen of physical and emotional abuse in their two-and-a-half-year marriage. The couple divorced in September.

Timothy Nolan, former judge, Tea Partier, school board member and Kentucky campaign chair for Old Beast Dotard. Off to the Big House for multiple counts of human trafficking.

Today, Attorney General Andy Beshear announced that former Campbell County District Judge Timothy Nolan has pleaded guilty to numerous felony charges, including human trafficking of adults, promoting human trafficking of minors and unlawful transaction with minors.

I keep thinking that these are the things we’re finding out now. A decade from now articles about the Republican Party during this period will merit a warning to keep a receptacle for vomit handy.

Somewhat related — It’s going to be fun watching Mike Pence run as the Vote for Me, I Knew Nozzing! candidate eight years from now.

When Pence was asked about the Porter scandal earlier this week, he said he had only just learned about the story and tried to avoid addressing it.

“We’ll comment on any issues affecting White House staff when we get back to Washington,” he said. One reporter asked why Pence “often seem[s] a little bit out of the loop of some of this major news.”

“You know, it’s a great honor for me to serve as vice president,” Pence responded.

It is the same sort of self-serving language Pence employed when Trump campaign connections to Russia operatives were verified, and Pence then insisted it had all taken place before he joined the ticket.

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diannemharris
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This Congressman is Too Grossed Out About Women to Do His Job

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Support more videos like this at patreon.com/rebecca!

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Transcript:

Imagine there are state-run prisons in which prisoners get 10 squares of toilet paper a week. Single ply. If they want any more, they have to buy it, but because they only earn about 5 cents per hour, they can’t afford it unless they have someone on the outside giving them money.

And imagine that if they run out of toilet paper and end up getting feces or urine on their uniforms, they’re punished by not being allowed to buy things from the commissary. Things like…more toilet paper.

I’m sure if you described that situation to state lawmakers, they’d be appropriately shocked (I hope) and want to do something about it, like make toilet paper a basic sanitary right.

Unfortunately, a very similar situation didn’t go nearly so well for prisoners in Arizona, where menstruating people are given 12 menstrual pads per month, about half of what the average person uses while menstruating. If they want tampons or more pads, they have to buy them. If they run out and bleed on their clothes, they are punished. They are sometimes punished by not being allowed to buy more menstrual items.

State representative Athena Salman introduced a bill to correct this by providing unlimited sanitary items to prisoners, and she brought it before the Arizona Committee on Military, Veterans and Regulatory Affairs. That panel is made up of nine men, none of whom, I am assuming, have ever experienced a period. That normally doesn’t have to be a problem — a decent human being should be able to sympathize even with humans who are in situations they haven’t personally experienced. Unfortunately, women who have periods don’t really count as human, because periods are gross.

I mean sure, poop is gross, and so is urine and blood and bile, but those are all things that men experience, so it’s okay to talk about. Nothing about menstruation is “normal” to these men, and unfortunately to many men around the world, who prefer to pretend it doesn’t exist, even when it’s drastically important to acknowledge that it exists.

For instance, when Representative Salman introduced the bill she pointed out that a box of pads costs $3.20. One of the panelists, Representative Jay Lawrence, interrupted her to say, ““Rep. Salman, Can you keep your conversation to the bill itself? Please?” He later said on the record, “I’m almost sorry I heard the bill. I didn’t expect to hear pads and tampons and the problems of periods.”

I find all this particularly ironic considering that Lawrence himself has a face that looks exactly like a puckered asshole. I mean, it’s ironic because of how sensitive he is about disgusting things, when he is one, but it’s not ironic because so much shit seems to come out of that puckered asshole that I guess it’s appropriate. Anyway.

How embarrassing is it that this man who is clearly old as fuck isn’t doing his fucking job, and is getting in the way of women doing their job, which is to help other women, because he thinks periods are icky.

Oh, then he said that he thinks most of the prisoners are liars and questioned whether or not this was a real issue at all.

Luckily, despite the puckered asshole’s objections, the bill just barely passed the committee 5-4 and now it may move on to a floor vote. I hope it makes its way to law so that, as one of the supporters told the news, we can start treating these prisoners like human beings, which then is likely to help them behave like human beings and stand a chance at actually leaving prison with a semblance of their humanity intact. In the meanwhile, men: grow the fuck up and learn what half the population has to deal with on a regular basis. It’ll make the world a better place.

 

The post This Congressman is Too Grossed Out About Women to Do His Job appeared first on Skepchick.

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