Society

Category archives for Society

Somebody on Twitter linked this article about “brogrammers”, which is pretty much exactly as horrible as that godawful neologism suggests. In between descriptions of some fairly appalling behavior, though, they throw some stats at you, and that’s where it gets weird: As it is, women remain acutely underrepresented in the coding and engineering professions. According…

Via Joerg Heber on Twitter, a great post on gender divisions in STEM by Athene Donald: As children try to work out their personal identities, the difference between ‘boy’ and ‘girl’ is as fundamental and omnipresent as it gets – and they receive the clear messages that collectively society gives out about the attributes implicitly…

EBooks and Agencies

The big publishing news this week is the US Department of Justice bringing an anti-trust suit against the major book publishers and Apple for allegedly colluding to force the “agency model” of ebook pricing on Amazon and other retailers, resulting in higher prices for consumers. I already links dumped an article about the detailed charges,…

Over in Scientopia, SciCurious has a nice post about suffering from Impostor Syndrome, the feeling that everyone else is smarter than you are, and you will soon be exposed as a total fraud. Which is nonsense, of course, but something that almost every scientist suffers at some point. The post ends on a more upbeat…

I was thinking about attitudes toward physics the other day, and realized that whenever I meet somebody (not a physicist) for the first time and tell them that I’m a physicist, their initial responses most frequently fall into one of three general categories: “You must be really smart.” “I hated that when I took it…

I mentioned this in the Links Dump this morning, but Timothy Burke’s post on the inherent tensions in the residential part of small college life is really excellent stuff, and deserves more than the 1000 characters I can quote in Delicious: At Swarthmore this semester, for example, some students were deeply annoyed that the administration…

In Which I Am Grumpy About Education

In comments to Friday’s snarky post, I was chided for not engaging with the critique of standardized testing offered by Washington Post education blogger Valerie Strauss. I had intended to say more about the general topic, as there have been a bunch of much-cited articles in a similar vein crossing my RSS reader recently, but…

The Evitability of History

As mentioned earlier in the week, I recently read Charles C. Mann’s 1493 (see also this interview at Razib’s place), which includes a long section about the colony at Jamestown. Like most such operations, the earliest colonists were almost comically incompetent, managing to nearly starve to death several times, despite being in an absurdly fertile…

Of Education Bubbles and Bad Graphs

The new school year is upon us, so there’s been a lot of talk about academia and how it works recently. This has included a lot of talk about the cost of higher education, as has been the case more or less since I’ve been aware of the cost of higher education. A lot of…

On Nymity

The whole issue of pseudonymity has come up again, both on Google+ and on ScienceBlogs. While I’ve been on the Internet for nigh on 20 years, my initial point of entry was through a Usenet group that strongly preferred real names (or something real-name-ish). As a result, I’ve never tried to maintain a separate Internet…