High Tech Holiday: Ada Lovelace Day
March 24th, for the past two years, has been a new kind of holiday: one created on the Web, with most celebrations occurring online, using technology to turn an eye on society, and vice versa.
Today is Ada Lovelace Day, a day when bloggers and writers post links and stories about women in technology and science. Lovelace was a nineteenth-century scientist and mathematician who wrote some of the first computer programs--in fact, her work was so prophetic that the machine for which she created her programs was never even built.
Though that fact could have condemned her to obscurity in our time, her legacy was revived last year when Suw Charman-Anderson saw her as a fitting representative for the new annual celebration of women in technology. As the Guardian's Mercedes Bunz reminds us, technology continues to be a male-dominated field, and that's why today is so important. The main purpose of the day is to spread the word about the new paths women are blazing in technology today, and my contribution to the discussion focuses naturally enough on the intersection of technology and media: one of the more interesting experiments in citizen journalism I've seen recently has been Women's Creative Collective for Change's imMEDIAte Justice program. Putting the technological media tools in the hands of young women, the imMEDIAte Justice program lets participants see for themselves the impact those tools can have on self expression and empowerment. The program provides young women with mentoring and training on reproductive health and sexual education, and then gives them video cameras to spread the word. According to IJ's site, the program's mission is to provide "young women and queer people of color with the knowledge and skill-sets to generate new images of reproductive freedom." The program is currently in the running for a significant grant from Pepsi's Refresh Project, so if you like the idea, feel free to cast your vote for the program.
Image: Ada Lovelace (1815-1852), Science Museum, London/Science and Society Picture Library.
Swipe right to make the connections that could change your career.
Swipe right. Match. Meet over coffee or set up a call.
No, we aren't talking about Tinder. Introducing Shapr, a free app that helps people with synergistic professional goals and skill sets easily meet and collaborate.
Upload your mind? Here's a reality check on the Singularity.
- Though computer engineers claim to know what human consciousness is, many neuroscientists say that we're nowhere close to understanding what it is, or its source.
- Scientists are currently trying to upload human minds to silicon chips, or re-create consciousness with algorithms, but this may be hubristic because we still know so little about what it means to be human.
- Is transhumanism a journey forward or an escape from reality?
The Harvard psychologist loves reading authors' rules for writing. Here are his own.
- Steven Pinker is many things: linguist, psychologist, optimist, Harvard professor, and author.
- When it comes to writing, he's a student and a teacher.
- Here's are his 13 rules for writing better, more simply, and more clearly.
A completely unexpected discovery beneath the ice.
- Scientists find remains of a tardigrade and crustaceans in a deep, frozen Antarctic lake.
- The creatures' origin is unknown, and further study is ongoing.
- Biology speaks up about Antarctica's history.
SMARTER FASTER trademarks owned by The Big Think, Inc. All rights reserved.