Geek Doillies

Mundane day again. Mediocre time at gym. Moderately sparse, weight bouncers few and restrained (absent?) and educationalists sparse enough to keep the noise level down. Podcast poor, an episode of the CBC’s “Best of Ideas” dealing with some minor immigration incident a century ago in Canadia. 

This did lead me to the current practice of issuing apologies for incidents (?) of the past. I am not sure these do any good except to possibly open the path to communication. If they do that, they are worthwhile. However, given that they are issued by politicians their veracity has to be highly unlikely.

This seems a corollary to the rule that all advertisement contain at least one deliberate inaccuracy. Which leads to the observation, only recently obtained, that once the density of advertisement in a segment of television programming reaches some critical amount – which may vary with the individual observer – the observer ceases to watch the programming and either goes elsewhere or does something else. Hence, More is Failure.

On which note, I ran across an article [Link] entitled “Girls prefer computer science without the geek chic”. This article is about a social science (sic) experiment that is claimed to indicate that girls – pre-maturity women – are more comfortable in computer science classrooms that are decorated for girls and not for geeks. Presumably this partitions between girls and geeks so there are no girl geeks in this sample?

Some of this is unsurprising. I always found myself more comfortable in old classrooms with squeaky board floors and pipe visibly above than in more modern classrooms with linoleum (preferable to indoor/outdoor carpeting) and sound absorbing tile pseudo-ceilings. I also never cared for work-spaces with motivational posters. Such were the opposite of motivating and always made me consider whether management was whacked to think these had some effect or that the bogs were so whacked they were motivated by such. I later found out – as a manager – that they are cheaper than artwork and saving money is more important than employee satisfaction or effort.

The question is then how important is the disciplinary decoration of a classroom. Thinking back to my college days I recall that all chemistry classrooms had a periodic table which came in handy maybe once per term. All physics classrooms have blackboards on all walls except the back wall which is usually the entry/exit wall. Maths classrooms are similar. But I do know – from a solitary FORTRAN course and a couple of applied maths courses – that engineers set great store in having “inspirational” or “camaraderie” artwork in classrooms. And despite its name computer science isn’t a science and is more like an engineering discipline. 

So why don’t girls want to be part of the group? That is a question that isn’t answered by the survey. Is this one of those things where people want to know something to make money but not to be part of the group of the something. If so, why is such behavior desirable, or abided? This seems the relevant question. If the group malfunctioning and malfunctioning because of its social nature, then it should be altered. Otherwise we should question the motives of those who do not wish to be part of the group but profit by it. That sounds like theft.

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