George Costanza in Jerry Seinfeld’s “Comedians In Cars Getting Coffee”. Pretty slight, but I’ll take whatever reminders of Seinfeld I can get.
The Popular thread on Britney Spears’ first UK number one wandered into some depressing territory, thanks to the song’s controversial video. Here are some of my comments from it.
Don’t assume that the last one is only for programmers; it’s almost entirely about writers, and has lessons for anyone seeking to create anything. It’s made me reflect on my own efforts to create stuff online, and how and why they’ve dwindled in recent years; it might even serve as a spur to do something about it.
The Internet’s First Family (or, What Is All This “Via Mefi” Stuff, Anyway).
When Women Stopped Coding. I was a teenager when personal computers were first making their way into homes and schools and being monopolised by boys. Before then, everyone taking computer science at university was coming to it cold, so young men and women were starting on a level playing field. By the time I took first-year comp sci, you could already see the “computers are for boys” narrative bedding in.
In a related vein: The Dads of Tech.
I’ve spent far too much time in recent weeks following the depressing saga of Gamergate, a collective outburst that should really have lasted no more than a day but thanks to Twitter has dragged on for months, making life miserable for numerous female gamers, developers and critics. As someone who was a nerdy, shy teenaged male obsessed with computers and games, my sympathies are naturally with... the people who haven’t been waging a misogynistic hate campaign. I mean, Jesus.
UKIP's own goal: support for the EU at its highest in 23 years.
After mentioning in my last entry on the late Gough Whitlam that I once interviewed him for my student mag, I dug out the interview to remind myself how it went. Even though it’s about the fleeting events of the day, I thought I’d scan it and share it here.
Gough Whitlam shaped my life more than any other politician. His government’s investment in higher education meant my father got a pay rise and our family could afford the house I grew up in from the age of five. The introduction of equal pay for women meant that Mum’s wages were on a par with Dad’s throughout my teenage years, which was tremendously important for our family finances and for the message it sent to her two sons. I was one of the last to benefit from a free higher education as an undergraduate, during the 15-year window of opportunity his government opened in 1974. Because of Whitlam, I was able to vote in my state election in 1986 and the federal election in 1987, three years earlier than I otherwise could have, and was able to vote for senators when I later lived in the ACT. I grew up singing “Advance Australia Fair” at school, not “God Save the Queen”.
Neill Cameron of The Phoenix on why reading comics matters. Makes me wish for some way back to cheap-paper black-and-white comics with four-colour covers. Also part two, the (new) golden age of children’s comics.