As a humble neighbour from the North I wish for you to consider placing Grace Hopper on your upcoming ten dollar bill. Your Commander in Chief, Barack Obama, has suggested that the new ten spot sport the face of a woman. Who has had more of an impact on the world than the “inventor of programming” Grace Hopper? For those of us who are not in the knowledge sphere of geekdom Grace Hopper invented the compiler. The compiler is the thing that made natural programming languages possible. She is one of the giants that all of your wonderful tech industries stand on the shoulder of. That includes Google, Apple and Facebook. It does not include Ashley Madison, which is a Canadian Company.
In a recent discussion group, comprised mostly of rich white men, many suggestions were made who should be on the ten dollar bill. One of those rich white men suggested Margaret Thatcher. Speaking from a Canadian perspective, we have tried having a famous English woman on our currency and it has not helped us very much.
There have been lots of wonderful other suggestions for women to be put on the ten dollar bill. However there is one reason for Grace Hopper to be on the 10 dollar bill and all those other amazing women should be put on other bills. Ten is also a binary number. So Grace Hopper could be on the 10 which is 2 in binary. Nothing more apt that than putting the most influential woman programmer in history on your binary 10 dollar bill.
The social mediaverse is aghast and abuzz over a local zoo keeper who cursed at his monkey slave for not doing his bidding. While showing the world how adept a monkey is in it’s natural environment (riding a bicycle) tempers flared. See the video here.
Recent events have helped me crystallize what kind of journos I respect and when I respect them. News today is very binary. Yes versus no. Hate versus love. Support versus destroy. Discussion is crushed by fanaticism, righteousness and positionizing. The newest and most successful media in our world have turned out to be the most destructive. However to avoid being binary about this topic myself I will rephrase this to say “most challenging.” Reporters deliver facts without editiorial. Journalists record facts and craft a position. Both reporting and journalism need to speak truth to power. Much of what repulses us with tabloid media is that they are rarely speaking truth to power. We all will slip up, we all will make wrong choices, we all will be lazy once in a while (but not me ever). So with this we should not prejudge our friends in the fifth estate. However some are savage pundits speaking power to crush truth. Here in Canada we are fairly lucky, our press is mostly subverted by cutting of funding, corporate pressure, or bribery. These elements will always be a pressure on journalists in a somewhat civil and corporate society. There are other states where reporters and journalists are obstructed, attacked, raped and murdered. How can we help these folks speak truth to power? Amnesty International and PEN are good starts. There is a new player on the field. Check out Google Ideas
And I am also assessing WP’s new autopublicize feature.
Presently stwirling (combination of swirling and twirling) my brain around Google’s new mobile friendly web page requirements. Awhile back the multi-hued behemoth let the world know that they were making a huge change to their search engine rankings. Pages that were not mobile friendly would be bumped down the search results in place of those sites that are mobile friendly. I am an advanced WordPress applicateur. I like my ‘things’ to line up, which is the extent of my design skill. It is hard to line things up when some slightly drunken server decides where things go depending on how wide the screen is. Arrrrgh.
I have not seen the spectacle of motorized death that is Mad Max. I live near an urban highway so not sure that I need a fix of high speed carnage. When I had the chance to catch a movie last weekend. I chose to see Tomorrowland instead. What a wonderful movie that was. Robots, blasters, comedy, dystopia, utopia, parallel dimensions, everything a science fiction geek loves. I am not sure why people need to choose between the two movies. Watch them both.
I spent a few years posting on Facebook. Unfortunately Facebook has chosen to not play well with others. The final straw for me was when the “entity” chose to repeatedly post that I was supporting a particular political candidate in our last civic election.This caused me some personal grief, and wtf (what the Facebook??!?!) . I think doing this sort of unsolicited advertising is bad enough for commercial entities, could it not be dangerous for some people when you do it with political parties. Presentably I am still on the FB, but I am only posting to help improv comedy events at The Staircase.
Lac-Mégantic is Harper’s Walkerton. The horror of the tragedy in that small town is beyond description. I remember the similar anger and helplessness felt 13 years ago as people were dying in Walkerton Ontario. The parallels are staggering. Same collection of bullies in power. Same “deregulatory common sense foo foo.” Same fluff about how humans somehow run a private company better than humans run a government organization.
Eventually these lies catch up with them. The spin of their media trolls at CFRB, CHML, and SUN could not hide the deaths in Walkerton. Nor can they hide the deaths in Lac-Mégantic. Mr. Harper referred to the devastation as “unbelievable.” It is not unbelievable. It is predictable when no one is watching the decay of the tracks. It is predictable when leaving one man to watch an 50 car train has become common sense. It is predictable when dinosaur owners like Edward Burkhardt are considered captains of industry. Regardless of all the approaching committees, punditry, blamestorming, and crocodile tears Canadians will remember Lac-Mégantic like Ontarians remember Walkerton.
There are no proper words of consolation for people that have lost a dozen loved ones at the same time. But there is action. The burning train sits firmly at the feet of Mr. Harper and the choices that put safety in the caboose behind profit. Shame.