As the father of both a son <http://dydax.com/camp/camp1001.jpg> and a
daughter <http://dydax.com/camp/camp1002.jpg> , I can't let this one go.
Even if all of your children are boys, it is important to use language that
makes it clear that girls can be Hackers too! Even as early as 8 or 9,
girls start hearing that they need to conform to be accepted, and that it is
not OK to act smart or, be good at math, or like computers, or even to be
quick with words (boys are quick-witted, but girls have sharp tongues -
how's that again?). This is NOT about being PC (which is about the exercise
of power), but is about how the words we use change the way we think
(newspeak is double-plus ungood). My daughter is 9, and math is her
favorite subject. If she is lucky, she'll get a good grounding in math by
the time she graduates high school. A boy doesn't have to be lucky to get
that, he just has to show up.
Why does this matter? I mean, as long as we have *somebody* learning this
stuff, it'll keep on going - right?
It matters because one important way to innovate is to have a group of
people working on a problem that don't all think in the same way. The
interaction between different thought processes adds to the richness of the
solution space, and to the quality (and QWAN) of the solution. Women and
men think differently. Having women on a team makes for a better team. If
we tell our daughters they can't (or shouldn't) do math or science, we're
cheating them. If we only talk about our sons as new gurus, we deprive them
of women as peers in work that many of us love doing!
Children with computers are the source of our new gurus - all of them!
P.S. This was not intended to attack anyone, I just got started typing and