39 stories

Дрочка на метрики

1 Share
Многие ребята с утра до вечера дрочат на метрики. Почти любую хуйню можно померять и прикинуть, что вариант А работает лучше, чем вариант Б.

Но в реальной жизни все гораздо сложнее. И очень часто работает и побеждает не обмерянное решение, а совершенно нелогичное, спонтанное, эмпирическое, эмоциональное и взятое с потолка решение.

И когда оно побеждают, тут же прибегает сто человек с метрикой, которые доказывают, что это и есть проверенное и годное решение.

И таким образом блядство с метриками как будто всегда побеждает. Хотя на самом деле всегда побеждает талант и удача. Никто и никогда ни с какой метрикой никого не победил, все только примазались к неформальному успеху.

Read the whole story
1469 days ago
Share this story

Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal - Social


Click here to go see the bonus panel!

Why aren't any covid models factoring this in?!

Today's News:
Read the whole story
1489 days ago
Share this story

Coronavirus Clarity

1 Share

Apple and Google, who last Friday jointly | announced new capabilities for contact tracing coronavirus carriers at scale, released a new statement yesterday clarifying that no government would tell them what to do. Or, to put it in the gentler terms conveyed by CNBC:

Apple and Google, normally arch-rivals, announced on Friday that they teamed up to build technology that enables public health agencies to write contact-tracing apps. The partnership is being closely watched: The two Silicon Valley giants are responsible for the two dominant mobile operating systems globally, iOS and Android, which together run almost 100% of smartphones sold, according to data from Statcounter…The fact that the apps work best when a lot of people use them have raised fears that governments could force citizens to use them. But representatives from both companies insist they won’t allow the technology to become mandatory…

The way the system is envisioned, when someone tests positive for Covid-19, local public health agencies will verify the test, then use these apps to notify anybody who may have been within 10 or 15 feet of them in the past few weeks. The identity of the person who tested positive would never be revealed to the companies or to other users; their identity would be tracked using scrambled codes on phones that are unlocked only when they test positive. Only public health authorities will be allowed access these APIs, the companies said. The two companies have drawn a line in the sand in one area: Governments will not be able to require its citizens to use contact-tracing software built with these APIs — users will have to opt-in to the system, senior representatives said on Monday.

The reality that tech companies, particularly the big five (Apple, Microsoft, Google, Amazon, and Facebook), effectively set the rules for their respective domains has been apparent for some time. You see this in debates about what content to police on Facebook or YouTube, what apps to allow and what rules to apply to them on iOS and Android, and the increasing essentiality of AWS and Azure to enterprise. What is critical to understand about this dominance is why it arises, why current laws and regulations don’t seem to matter, and what signal it is that actually drives big company decision-making.

Scale and Zero Marginal Costs

Tech, from the very beginning of Silicon Valley, has been about scale in a way few other industries have ever been: silicon, the core element in computer chips, is basically free, which meant the implication of zero marginal costs — and relatedly, the importance of investing in massive fixed costs — has been at the core of business from the time of Fairchild Semiconductor. From The Intel Trinity by Michael Malone:

What Noyce explained and Sherman Fairchild eventually believed was that by using silicon as the substrate, the base for its transistors, the new company was tapping into the most elemental of substances. Fire, earth, water, and air had, analogously, been seen as the elements of the universe by the pre-Socratic Greek philosophers. Noyce told Fairchild that these basic substance — essentially sand and metal wire — would make the material cost of the next generation of transistors essentially zero, that the race would shift to fabrication, and that Fairchild could win that race. Moreover, Noyce explained, these new cheap but powerful transistors would make consumer products and appliances so inexpensive that it would soon be cheaper to toss out and replace them with a more powerful version than to repair them.

This single paragraph remains the most important lens with which to understand technology. Consider the big 5:

  • Apple certainly incurs marginal costs when it comes to manufacturing devices, but those devices are sold with massively larger margins than Apple’s competitors thanks to software differentiation; software has huge fixed costs and zero marginal costs. That differentiation created the App Store platform, where developers differentiate Apple’s devices on Apple’s behalf without Apple having to pay them; in fact, Apple takes 30% of their revenue.
  • Microsoft built its empire on software: Windows created the same sort of platform as iOS, while Azure is first-and-foremost about spending an overwhelming amount of money on hardware and then charging companies to rent it (followed by software differentiation with platform services); Office, meanwhile, has shifted from the very profitable model of writing software and then duplicating it endlessly for license fees to the extremely profitable model of writing software and then renting it endlessly for subscription payments.
  • Google spends massively on software, data centers, and data collection to create virtuous cycles where users access its servers to gain access to 3rd-party content, whether that be web pages, videos, or ad-supported content, which incentivizes suppliers to create even more content that Google can leverage to make itself better and more valuable to users.
  • AWS is the same model as Azure; Amazon.com has invested massive amounts of money on logistic capabilities — with huge marginal costs, to be clear, which has always made Amazon unique — to create an indispensable platform for suppliers and 3rd-party merchants.
  • Facebook, like Google, spends massively on software, data centers, and data collection to create virtuous cycles where users access its servers to gain access to third-party content, but the real star of the show is first-party content that is exclusive to Facebook — making it incredibly valuable — and yet free to obtain.

None of the activities I just detailed are illegal by any traditional reading of antitrust law (some of Google’s activities and Apple’s App Store policies come closest). The core problem are the returns to scale inherent in a world of zero marginal costs — first in the case of chips, and then in the case of software — that result in bigger companies becoming more attractive to both users and suppliers the larger they become, not less.

Understanding Versus Approval

Facebook, earlier this year, took this reality to its logical conclusion, at least as far as its battered image in the media was concerned. CEO Mark Zuckerberg, on the company’s earnings call in January, said:

We’re also focused on communicating more clearly what we stand for. One critique of our approach for much of the last decade was that because we wanted to be liked, we didn’t always communicate our views as clearly because we were worried about offending people. So this led to some positive but shallow sentiment towards us and towards the company. And my goal for this next decade isn’t to be liked, but to be understood. Because in order to be trusted, people need to know what you stand for.

So we’re going to focus more on communicating our principles, whether that’s standing up for giving people a voice against those who would censor people who don’t agree with them, standing up for letting people build their own communities against those who say that the new types of communities forming on social media are dividing us, standing up for encryption against those who say that privacy mostly helps bad people, standing up for giving small businesses more opportunity and sophisticated tools against those who say that targeted advertising is a problem, or standing up for serving every person in the world against those who say that you have to pay a premium in order to really be served.

These positions aren’t always going to be popular, but I think it’s important for us to take these debates head-on. I know that there are a lot of people who agree with these principles, and there are a whole lot more who are open to them and want to see these arguments get made. So expect more of that this year.

The social network, for once, was ahead of the curve, as the coronavirus showed just how critical it was to allow the free flow of information, something I detailed in Zero Trust Information:

The implication of the Internet making everyone a publisher is that there is far more misinformation on an absolute basis, but that also suggests there is far more valuable information that was not previously available:

A drawing of The Implication of More Information

It is hard to think of a better example than the last two months and the spread of COVID-19. From January on there has been extensive information about SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19 shared on Twitter in particular, including supporting blog posts, and links to medical papers published at astounding speed, often in defiance of traditional media. In addition multiple experts including epidemiologists and public health officials have been offering up their opinions directly.

Moreover, particularly in the last several weeks, that burgeoning network has been sounding the alarm about the crisis hitting the U.S. Indeed, it is only because of Twitter that we knew that the crisis had long since started (to return to the distribution illustration, in terms of impact the skew goes in the opposite direction of the volume).

The Problem With Experts

If I can turn solipsistic for a moment, while preparing that piece, I warned a friend that it would be controversial, and he couldn’t understand why. In fact, though, I turned out to be right: lots of members of the traditional media didn’t like the piece at all, not because I attacked the traditional media — which I mostly didn’t, and in fact relied on its reporting, as I consistently do on Stratechery — but because I dared to suggest that a world without gatekeepers had upside, not just downside.

I went further two weeks ago in Unmasking Twitter, arguing that the media’s overreliance on experts was precisely why social media should not be censored:

It sure seems like multiple health authorities — the experts Twitter is going to rely on — have told us that masks “are known to be ineffective”: is Twitter going to delete the many, many, many tweets — some of which informed this article — arguing the opposite?

The answer, obviously, is that Twitter won’t, because this is another example of where Twitter has been a welcome antidote to “experts”; what is striking, though, is how explicitly this shows that Twitter’s policy is a bad idea, not just because it allows countries like China to indirectly influence its editorial decisions, but also because it limits the search for truth.

Interestingly, this self-reflective piece by Peter Kafka, appears to agree with at least the first part of that argument:

As we head into the next phase of the pandemic, and as the stakes mount, it’s worth looking back to ask how the media could have done better as the virus broke out of China and headed to the US. Why didn’t we see this coming sooner? And once we did, why didn’t we sound the alarm with more vigor?

If you read the stories from that period, not just the headlines, you’ll find that most of the information holding the pieces together comes from authoritative sources you’d want reporters to turn to: experts at institutions like the World Health Organization, the CDC, and academics with real domain knowledge.

The problem, in many cases, was that that information was wrong, or at least incomplete. Which raises the hard question for journalists scrutinizing our performance in recent months: How do we cover a story where neither we nor the experts we turn to know what isn’t yet known? And how do we warn Americans about the full range of potential risks in the world without ringing alarm bells so constantly that they’ll tune us out?

What is striking about Kafka’s assessment — which to be clear, should be applauded for its self-awareness and honesty — is the degree to which it effectively accepts the premise that journalists ought not think for themselves, but rather rely on experts.

But when it came to grappling with a new disease they knew nothing about, journalists most often turned to experts and institutions for information, and relayed what those experts and institutions told them to their audience.

Again, I appreciate the honesty; it backs up my argument in Unmasking Twitter that this reflected the traditional role the media played:

In the analog world, politicians and experts needed the media to reach the general population; debates happened between experts, and the media reported their conclusions. Today, though, politicians and experts can go direct to people — note that I used nothing but tweets from experts above. That should be freeing for the media in particular, to not see Twitter as opposition, but rather as a source to challenge experts and authority figures, and make sure they are telling the truth and re-visiting their assumptions.

This, notably, is another area where the biggest tech companies are far ahead.

The Waning of East Coast Media

Yesterday the New York Times wrote an article entitled, The East Coast, Always in the Spotlight, Owes a Debt to the West:

The ongoing effort of three West Coast states to come to the aid of more hard-hit parts of the nation has emerged as the most powerful indication to date that the early intervention of West Coast governors and mayors might have mitigated, at least for now, the medical catastrophe that has befallen New York and parts of the Midwest and South.

Their aggressive imposition of stay-at-home orders has stood in contrast to the relatively slower actions in New York and elsewhere, and drawn widespread praise from epidemiologists. As of Saturday afternoon, there had been 8,627 Covid-19 related deaths in New York, compared with 598 in California, 483 in Washington and 48 in Oregon. New York had 44 deaths per 100,000 people. California had two.

But these accomplishments have been largely obscured by the political attention and praise directed to New York, and particularly its governor, Andrew M. Cuomo. His daily briefings — informed and reassuring — have drawn millions of viewers and mostly flattering media commentary…

This disparity in perception reflects a longstanding dynamic in America politics: The concentration of media and commentators in Washington and New York has often meant that what happens in the West is overlooked or minimized. It is a function of the time difference — the three Pacific states are three hours behind New York — and the sheer physical distance. Jerry Brown, the former governor of California, a Democrat, found that his own attempts to run for president were complicated by the state where he worked and lived.

Jerry Brown ran for President in 1976, 1980, and 1992; this analysis was likely correct then — before the Internet. What seems more likely, now, though, is that this article takes a dose of my previous solipsism and doubles down: the New York Times may not pay particular attention to the West, but that is not necessarily reflective of the rest of the world.

Critically, it is not reflective of tech companies: what has been increasingly whitewashed in the story of California and Washington’s success in battling the coronavirus1 is the role tech companies played: the first work-from-home orders started around March 1st, and within a week nearly all tech companies had closed their doors; local governments followed another week later.

This action by local governments was, to be clear, before the rest of the country, and without question saved thousands of lives; it should not be forgotten, though, that executives who listened not to the media but primarily to social and non-traditional media were the furthest ahead of the curve. In other words, it increasingly doesn’t matter who or what the media covers, or when: success comes from independent thought and judgment.

Coronavirus Clarity

This gets at why the biggest news to come out of Apple and Google’s announcement is, well, the lack of it. Specifically, we have a situation where two dominant companies — a clear oligopoly — are creating a means to track civilians, and there is no pushback. Moreover, it is baldly obvious that the only obstacle to this being involuntary is not the government, but rather Apple and Google. What is especially noteworthy is that the coronavirus crisis is the one time we might actually wish for central authorities to overcome privacy concerns, but these companies — at least for now — won’t do it.

This is, in other words, the instantiation of Zuckerberg’s declaration that Facebook — and, apparently, tech broadly — would henceforth seek understanding, not necessarily approval. Apple and Google are leaning into their dominant position, not obscuring it or minimizing it. And, because it is about the coronavirus, we all accept it.

It is, in fact, a perfect example of what I wrote about last week:

At the same time, I think there is a general rule of thumb that will hold true: the coronavirus crisis will not so much foment drastic changes as it will accelerate trends that were already happening. Changes that might have taken 10 or 15 years, simply because of the stickiness of the status quo, may now happen in far less time.

This seems likely to be the case when it comes to tech dominance, or at least the acceptance thereof. The truth is we have been living in a world where tech answers to no one, including the media, but we have all — both tech and the media — pretended otherwise. Those days seem over.

The truth, though, is that this is, unequivocally, a good thing. To have pretended otherwise — for Facebook to have curried favor, or Apple to pretend like it didn’t have market power — was a convenient lie for everyone involved. The media was able to feel powerful, and tech companies were able to consolidate their position without true accountability.

What we desperately need is a new conversation that deals with the world as it will be and increasingly is, not as we delude ourselves into what once was and wish still were. Tech companies are powerful, but antitrust laws, formulated for oil and railroad companies, don’t really apply. East coast media may dominate traditional channels, but those channels are just one of many on social media, all commoditized in personalized feeds. Centralized governments, predicated on leveraging scale, may be no match for either hyperscale tech companies or, on the flipside, the micro companies that are unlocked by the existence of platforms.

I don’t have all of the answers here, although I think new national legislative approaches, built on the assumption of zero marginal costs, in conjunction with a dramatic reduction in local regulatory red-tape, gets at what better approaches might look like. Figuring out those approaches, though, means clarity about where we actually are; for that, it turns out, a virus, so difficult to understand, is tremendously helpful.

  1. Above-and-beyond the whitewashing about what happened in the San Francisco Bay Area
Read the whole story
1525 days ago
Share this story

Осколок Российской империи

1 Share

Среди лесов и полей штата Нью-Йорк, в четырех часах езды от самого большого мегаполиса в США, можно найти осколок огромной империи, которая долго билась в конвульсиях и, наконец, навсегда исчезла 102 года назад, изменив судьбы миллионов людей проживавших на ее территории. Так получилось, что оказался я там именно вчера, а сегодня решил об этом написать и показать.

В маленьком городке Джорданвилль, который больше похож на деревню стоящую среди бескрайних полей, расположен главный монастырь Русской православной церкви заграницей, основанный спасшимися от пожара Октябрьской революции священниками, основавшими церковь в изгнании и много лет не признававших то, что осталось на их исторической родине. В СССР их называли "контрреволюционной, антисоветской, монархической эмигрантской религиозно-политической группировкой".

Сейчас все смешалось и от прежней взаимной вражды не осталось и следа, но Русская православная церковь заграницей по-прежнему сильно отличается от своей российской версии. В храмах нет тотальной коммерциализации и к посетителям (не только к верующим) относятся открыто и радушно. Как-то я, к примеру, был в Ново-Дивеевском монастыре рядом с Нью-Йорком, где была трапеза на которой присутствовал митрополит Илларион (главный в иерархии РПЦЗ человек) и всех желающих звали разделить обед за одним с ним столом. И это обычное тут дело, которого я, к сожалению, не представляю в России.

В Свято-Троицкиом мужском монастыре в Джорданвилле живут люди приехавшие со всего мира изучать православие, русский язык и культуру и среди них много американцев. Тут незнакомые вам люди машут рукой, улыбаются и с радостью заводят беседу. А еще тут удивительным образом сохранился дореформенный русский язык, который используется в навигации по территории монастыря и семинарии.

От посещения вообще остаются очень необычные эмоции. Как будто ты попал куда-то, где все хорошо и понятно, но чего в принципе быть не может. Открытость и радушие незнакомых людей говорящих по-русски это очень непривычное для меня явление. Туда стоит съездить хотя бы за этим. Религия это лишь форма, которая удивительным образом все это сохранила.

Я не буду углубляться в историю (она есть в википедии), а просто попробую передать атмосферу места через фотографии.

1. Необычная для американской глубинки картина.

Neobycnaa dla amerikanskoj glubinki kartina.

2. Навигация.


3. Яблони растущие на территории монастыря. Яблоки никто не собирают и они своими яркими красными пятнами разбавляют насыщенную зеленость травы вокруг.

Abloni rastusie na territorii monastyra. Abloki nikto ne sobiraut i oni svoimi arkimi krasnymi patnami razbavlaut nasysennuu zelenostʹ travy vokrug.

4. Осень дышит отовсюду. Даже небо ей наполнено.

Osenʹ dysit otovsudu. Daze nebo ej napolneno.

5. Главный храм.

Glavnyj hram.

6. Очень необычно читать такое :)

Ocenʹ neobycno citatʹ takoe :)

7. Удобства.


8. Я так и не понял, что они имели ввиду.

A tak i ne ponal, cto oni imeli vvidu.

9. Коты, они и в Америке коты. Хорошо откормленные и очень независимые. На кис-кис-кис вообще не реагируют.

Koty, oni i v Amerike koty. Horoso otkormlennye i ocenʹ nezavisimye. Na kis-kis-kis voobse ne reagiruut.

10. Кладбище на территории монастыря.

Kladbise na territorii monastyra.

11. Семинарское общежитие. Монастырь не выглядит чем-то лощеным и вылизанным. Видно, что в деньгах они нуждаются и много чего требует ремонта и уходя.

Seminarskoe obsezitie. Monastyrʹ ne vygladit cem-to losenym i vylizannym. Vidno, cto v denʹgah oni nuzdautsa i mnogo cego trebuet remonta i uhoda.

12. Могила архиепископа чикагского и детройтского.

Mogila arhiepiskopa cikagskogo i detrojtskogo.

13. Монастырское здание.

Monastyrskoe zdanie.

14. На обочине дороги рядом с монастырем. Видно, что объявление о том, как надо ходить по обочине дороги не просто так написано.

Na obocine dorogi radom s monastyrem. Vidno, cto obʺavlenie o tom, kak nado hoditʹ po obocine dorogi ne prosto tak napisano.

15. Кто не работает, тот не ест. Экспонаты из небольшого музея Русской истории, который находится в здании семинарии.

Kto ne rabotaet, tot ne est. Eksponaty iz nebolʹsogo muzea Russkoj istorii, kotoryj nahoditsa v zdanii seminarii.

16. Альбом в дар Великому русскому соотечественнику, мировому певцу Федору Шаляпину. Харбин, 1936 год.

Alʹbom v dar Velikomu russkomu sootecestvenniku, mirovomu pevcu Fedoru Salapinu. Harbin, 1936 god.

17. Обложка журнала Безбожник, 1935 год.

Oblozka zurnala Bezboznik, 1935 god.

18. Георгиевские кресты. Справа золотой крест которым был награжден священник Александр Паевский за мужество проявленное на поле боя во время Первой мировой войны.

Georgievskie kresty. Sprava zolotoj krest kotorym byl nagrazden svasennik Aleksandr Paevskij za muzestvo proavlennoe na pole boa vo vrema Pervoj mirovoj vojny.

19. Войска перед отправкой на Русско-Японскую войну, 1904 год. Фото знаменитого петербургского фотографа Карла Карловича Булла.

Vojska pered otpravkoj na Russko-Aponskuu vojnu, 1904 god. Foto znamenitogo peterburgskogo fotografa Karla Karlovica Bulla.

20. Текст Библии написанный на куске ткани, чтобы его не смогли найти при обыске.

Tekst Biblii napisannyj na kuske tkani, ctoby ego ne smogli najti pri obyske.

21. Книга изданная Киево-Печерской лаврой в 1746 году.

Kniga izdannaa Kievo-Pecerskoj lavroj v 1746 godu.

22. Из посетителей были только я и вот этот американец. Все подписи к экспонатам даны только на английском.

Iz posetitelej byli tolʹko a i vot etot amerikanec. Vse podpisi k eksponatam dany tolʹko na anglijskom.

23. Внутри главного храма.

Vnutri glavnogo hrama.

24. Дверь открыта и я был единственным человеком внутри. Очень необычные ощущения.

Dverʹ otkryta i a byl edinstvennym celovekom vnutri. Ocenʹ neobycnye osusenia.

25. Интерьер. Все лежит на своих местах, но никто не беспокоится, что вы что-то украдете или не заплатите за свечи. Они просто лежат в коробках.

Interʹer. Vse lezit na svoih mestah, no nikto ne bespokoitsa, cto vy cto-to ukradete ili ne zaplatite za sveci. Oni prosto lezat v korobkah.

26. Еще интерьер.

Ese interʹer.

27. Роспись.


28. Объявление у лестницы ведущей на балкон.

Obʺavlenie u lestnicy vedusej na balkon.

Источник: Осколок Российской империи

Минутка саморекламы. Это тоже важно 🙂 Я занимаюсь индивидуальными экскурсиями по Нью-Йорку и специализируюсь на всяких нетуристических местах и маршрутах. Пишите если вдруг собираетесь в Нью-Йорк и вам интересно посмотреть на него с разных сторон, а не только с той, которая описана во всех путеводителях. Я не покажу вам Таймс-сквер, Уолл-стрит и Статую Свободы, зато покажу массу другого не менее интересного. У меня свои собственные уникальные маршруты, которых нет ни в одном путеводителе. Я показываю тот город, что находится за пределами туристических троп и таким, каким его видят сами нью-йоркцы. Вы узнаете как устроен устроен Нью-Йорк, чем живет и дышит. Я расскажу о его истории, покажу современность и поведаю о его будущем. Обещаю, что после экскурсии со мной вы будете знать о Нью-Йорке больше, чем многие его жители. Тем, кто едет в Нью-Йорк впервые и хочет увидеть достопримечательности из путеводителя, я порекомендую хорошего гида, который расскажет вам об этом замечательном городе так, чтобы он остался в вашем сердце навсегда.
Больше информации об экскурсиях тут: samsebeskazal.com/tours
По всем вопросам пишите на samsebeskazal@gmail.com
Read the whole story
1664 days ago
Share this story

One of these days I’m going to figure this out

1 Share

If something is outside your grasp, it’s hard to know just how far outside it is.

Many times I’ve intended to sit down and understand something thoroughly, and I’ve put it off for years. Maybe it’s a programming language that I just use a few features of, or a book I keep seeing references to. Maybe it’s a theorem that keeps coming up in applications. It’s something I understand enough to get by, but I feel like I’m missing something.

I’ll eventually block off some time to dive into whatever it is, to get to the bottom of things. Then in a fraction of the time I’ve allocated, I do get to the bottom and find out that I wasn’t that far away. It feels like swimming in a water that’s just over your head. Your feet don’t touch bottom, and you don’t try to touch bottom because you don’t know how far away bottom is, but it was only inches away.

A few years ago I wrote about John Conway’s experience along these lines. He made a schedule for the time he’d spend each week working on an open problem in group theory, and then he solved it the first day. More on his story here. I suspect that having allocated a large amount of time to the problem put him in a mindset where he didn’t need a large amount of time.

I’ve written about this before in the context of simplicity and stress reduction: a little simplicity goes a long way. Making something just a little bit simpler can make an enormous difference. Maybe you only reduce the objective complexity by 10%, but you feel like you’ve reduced it by 50%. Just as you can’t tell how far away you are from understanding something when you’re almost there, you also can’t tell how complicated something really is when you’re overwhelmed. If you can simplify things enough to go from being overwhelmed to not being overwhelmed, that makes all the difference.

Read the whole story
1729 days ago
Share this story

A Day in the Life at a Bell Labs Datacenter in the Late 60s

2 Comments and 5 Shares

Larry Luckham was a manager at a Bell Labs data center in Oakland in the late 60s and early 70s. One day, he captured daily life at the company with his camera.

Bell Labs, 69-70

Bell Labs, 69-70

Bell Labs, 69-70

Note how many of his coworkers were women, including women of color. From The Secret History of Women in Coding:

A good programmer was concise and elegant and never wasted a word. They were poets of bits. “It was like working logic puzzles — big, complicated logic puzzles,” Wilkes says. “I still have a very picky, precise mind, to a fault. I notice pictures that are crooked on the wall.”

What sort of person possesses that kind of mentality? Back then, it was assumed to be women. They had already played a foundational role in the prehistory of computing: During World War II, women operated some of the first computational machines used for code-breaking at Bletchley Park in Britain. In the United States, by 1960, according to government statistics, more than one in four programmers were women. At M.I.T.’s Lincoln Labs in the 1960s, where Wilkes worked, she recalls that most of those the government categorized as “career programmers” were female. It wasn’t high-status work — yet.

Tags: Larry Luckham   photography
Read the whole story
1922 days ago
Share this story
2 public comments
1925 days ago
I worked in computing from the mid-70s until retirement in 2012. Particularly in the 80s, seemed like there were a lot of talented women working in computing. 10-20 years later, not so much :-(
1925 days ago
High tech, pre-bro culture. Amazing how hard we have to work now to achieve the same level of diversity...
Portland, Oregon, USA, Earth
Next Page of Stories