On females in CS:
I think long, hard and often about being a woman in computer science.
Sometimes I have to work twice as hard to prove I can do it in situations
where a man would be given a chance before proving himself. Other times I
think I get a break because companies are under pressure to promote women.
Right now I'm feeling the balance weighing heavily against me (there was a
recent re-org in my group). I have been told that I get angry too quickly,
even though I can count on the fingers of one hand how many times I've
gotten angry in meetings in the past year. This, in a company which prides
itself on a confrontational style: it's just that this style is not accepted
in women, whereas it is respected in men. I have to constantly prove my
technical ability to gain trust, even though I have an engineering degree:
men have to prove that they're incompetent before they lose the trust that
is automatically granted. On the other hand, I would never give up this
kind of job for such dinky obstacles.
On cool haikus:
A friend of mine living in Korea complained that too often Westerners think
that oriental people are inscrutable, that everything they do is imbued with
deep thoughts about philosophy, that Eastern Mysticism pervades every
action. Parodying this attitude, he wrote: "We should be like them and
everything would be like a still pond -- groovy." An unintended
characteristic of this sentence is that it is a perfect haiku, down to the
reference to nature in the last line:
We should be like them
and everything would be like
a still pond -- groovy.
He can't get away from it!
On Rohit's Soulmate:
Adam, your latest calculation failed to eliminate women who are already in a
firm relationship. How many Asian Indian American women between the ages of
18-34 with advanced degrees do you really think are single? Come to think
of it, I think Anita Moorthy is still single...
But that's not the way I like to think about soulmates. I used to be
convinced that my soulmate would play guitar, cello or trombone (I did,
after all, date 6 cellists in my teens) but he doesn't. So who knows if
Rohit's true soulmate is all those things you've listed? Perhaps he needs a
foil, not a match.
On Canadian music:
It's good to see some Canadian music recommendations (I am Canadian -- and I
especially love Holly Cole Trio). I think that for a country with fewer
people than California, we have a pretty kick-ass bunch of musicians. Some
of you would probably like "Moxy Fruvous" and "Arrogant Worms". Both groups
sing rich harmony, sometimes a cappela, and have incredibly funny lyrics
which are characteristic of a uniquely Canadian sense of humour. I leave you
with some sample lyrics. There's a bunch, but I'll tell you now the last
one is really good so you have to look through the whole list.
This first batch is from Moxy Fruvous' "Bargainville"
"Truth faced leaves a strange taste
When joy and sadness meet
A country rain on a city street
This life is bittersweet"
"B.J. Don't Cry":
"From the Fruvous quill comes a sorry tale of love and illin'
Romeo found the balcony too high, ended up with second billin'
She loved in triplicate, left his heart a blank to fill in
Lost his faith immaculate when cupid became a villain"
"Fell In Love" (sounds like it's about Rohit's soulmate):
"Something I never would have known
Not knowing knowledge never ennobles
All her ideas were like smoke rings, I had to know things
She was a tangle of questions
How many eggs make up a pound?
How many ears of corn in a niblet? "
"My Baby Loves A Bunch Of Authors" (now I really think one of the band is
dating Rohit's soulmate):
"Well you should see my story reading baby,
you should hear the things that she says,
She says "Hon, drop dead, I'd rather go to bed
with Gabriel Garcia Marquez.
Cuddle up with William S. Burrows,
leave on the light for Bell Hooks,
I've been flirtin' with Pierre Burton
'cause he's so smart in his books"."
"Spiderman", sung to original tune:
"Spiderman's master plan
Build his own little spider clan
In the woods, now they're troops
Fighting for special interest groups, Look out...
wherever there's a bang-up
wherever there's a hang-up
you'll find a spiderman!
Dooby dooby dooby dooby-do-wah wah..."
"He was a rock, to the end, a solid reminder
Couldn't deny a friend
We lived in the noise and the sweet amber poison
Peekin' up the skirt of the end
And we'd drink, two gnarly dudes and some records
Much like plates of black food
We filled up our faces, saw some far places
Stood on the roof in the nude..."
Now, some Arrogant worms (http://www.cyberus.ca/~jeffmay/worms/worms.htm)
"Big Fat Road Manager", the video that MuchMusic (Canadian MTV) won't play,
worth downloading even at >5 MB: http://arrogant-worms.com/bfrm.avi
"Carrot Juice is Murder": http://www.cyberus.ca/~jeffmay/worms/veggie.wav
"Malcolm Solves His Problems with a Chainsaw":
Finally, lyrics from the song "Jesus' Brother Bob" (the first-person in this
song is Jesus' previously unknown brother...) (I wrote these down from
memory so it's my fault if they're wrong)
"I have to take the ferry
To cross the Galilee,
But not my brother, no not he,
He walks across for free...
I'm finally at work
About a quarter after nine,
And already he's turning water into wine!
Jesus' brother Bob, Jesus' brother Bob,
A nobody relative of the son of God,
If only I'd been born, just a little sooner,
I'd be more than just the brother of God Jr.!"