Of Geeks and Girls

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The Keymaster and the Gatekeeper will be meeting face to face at a conference in May for an unscripted chat. Thus begins the rule of Gozer. Actually, it should be pretty interesting — maybe they’ll settle that whole teachers’ unions issue once and for all.

In other news, the people at Inkling magazine — possibly being even more desperate for traffic than I am — are hosting a Girl Geek Photo Contest. Have at it, though it’s an open question whether a genuine girl geek would actually want to take part in such a contest, preferring instead to be judged on the contents of her brain. Which would be tougher to represent photographically.

First prize is a poster of Ada Byron, who’s usually touted as the world’s first programmer, for work she did relating to Charles Babbage’s Analytical Engine (which was never actually built). Back in the day I wrote a really, really long article about Ada Byron, who was Lord Byron’s daughter, for a magazine called Lingua Franca, which sadly no longer exists, and has fallen off the Web, or I would link to it. The upshot was, people are a little too quick to anoint her as a kind of programmer-saint — she was a gifted but deeply troubled and unhappy woman, whose intellectual pursuits were passionate and scattershot, and there’s a lot of very heated debate about what her work really amounts to.

Just remember: at the end of the day, we all have 200 billion of Shakespeare’s atoms in us.

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