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NYT: Overlooked: Countess Ada Lovelace
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From the New York Times:

OVERLOOKED

Since 1851, obituaries in The New York Times have been dominated by white men. Now, we’re adding the stories of remarkable women.

1815-1852

Ada Lovelace

A gifted mathematician who is now recognized as the first computer programmer.

BY CLAIRE CAIN MILLER

… Lovelace lived during a time when women were not considered to be prominent scientific thinkers, and her skills were often described as masculine.

“With an understanding thoroughly masculine in solidity, grasp and firmness, Lady Lovelace had all the delicacies of the most refined female character,” said an obituary at the time she died.

[Charles] Babbage, who called her the “enchantress of numbers,” once wrote that she “has thrown her magical spell around the most abstract of Sciences and has grasped it with a force which few masculine intellects (in our own country at least) could have exerted over it.”

Okay … But Countess Ada Lovelace was neither overlooked during her own lifetime, when she was famous for her mind in Society.

For instance, her death made the front page of the NY Times on December 15, 1852:

Screenshot 2018-03-19 01.14.52

Nor has Ada, the Countess Lovelace, been ignored over the last 40 or 50 years. In the late 1970s the Pentagon named after her its new programming language Ada that it tried to impose on all defense contractors.

For example, from the Washington Post on the day after the 2016 election:

Clinton’s data-driven campaign relied heavily on an algorithm named Ada. What didn’t she see?

By John Wagner November 9, 2016 Email the author

Inside Hillary Clinton’s campaign, she was known as Ada. Like the candidate herself, she had a penchant for secrecy and a private server. As blame gets parceled out Wednesday for the Democrat’s stunning loss to Republican President-elect Donald Trump, Ada is likely to get a lot of second-guessing.

Ada is a complex computer algorithm that the campaign was prepared to publicly unveil after the election as its invisible guiding hand. Named for a female 19th-century mathematician — Ada, Countess of Lovelace — the algorithm was said to play a role in virtually every strategic decision Clinton aides made, including where and when to deploy the candidate and her battalion of surrogates and where to air television ads — as well as when it was safe to stay dark.

On a more positive note, Thomasina, the heroine of Tom Stoppard’s Arcadia, likely the greatest English stage drama of the late 20th Century, appears to be a fictionalized cross between Ada and, I’m guessing, Sir Tom himself.

The real Ada was, like her friend Charles Babbage, a major celebrity in her own time. It hardly hurt that she was the only legitimate child of the most famous man in Europe in the post-Waterloo era, the poet Lord Byron. Nor did it hurt that she was born an aristocrat and married an aristocrat.

In particular, her having a rather masculine turn of intellect made her more renown during her life.

For example, in 1844 a bestseller a anticipating Darwin’s theory of evolution (although not his theory of natural selection) was published anonymously under the title Vestiges of the Natural History of Creation. Vestiges paved the way for Darwin’s Origin of Species to be so rapidly accepted by educated opinion 15 years later: the war over six-day creationism had been fought in the 1840s. Historian James Secord has written a spectacular book, Victorian Sensation, on the impact that Vestiges made on everybody from Queen Victoria to Abraham Lincoln.

Guessing who the author was became a huge game in educated Britain, with some of the less common suggestions being Charles Darwin and Charles Babbage. But, Secord writes:

Two names dominated gossip in fashionable society when the sensation was at its height: Ada, countess of Lovelace and Byron’s only legitimate daughter; and Sir Richard Vyvyan, a leader of the opposition to the widening of the franchise in the 1832 Reform Bill. Both belonged to the hereditary aristocracy, which shows why the book was often read as emanating from the centers of metropolitan wealth and power. Both were strong possibilities, having written anonymously on the sciences before.

As it turned out to the surprise of most, the real author was a hard-working but fairly obscure Scottish journalist and golf course architect named Robert Chambers, who had come up with the idea that everything is the product of “development” while recovering from overwork by playing golf daily on The Old Course at St. Andrews, a links that had developed over centuries of play without much in the way of intelligent design until about Chambers’ day.

The reason the contributions to the theory of computer science by Lovelace (and Babbage) was overlooked in late 19th and early 20th century was of course because there were no computers. Babbage’s famous (at the time) and well-funded Analytical Engine project had failed. Similarly, nobody much cared about Leonardo da Vinci’s helicopter sketch until after the helicopter had been invented.

It would be interesting to look into whether Lovelace’s idea that her friend Babbage’s engine could turn into a general purpose computer contributed to Babbage’s notorious problem with specification creep. If he’d been able to say Enough! to what his engine was supposed to do, he might have gotten it finished. But I don’t know if Lovelace’s ideas worsened Babbage’s failings.

Interestingly, Chambers was mostly overlooked during his own lifetime (not revealing himself as the author of the bestseller until decades later), nor since then, although Secord’s book does much to revive the man’s memory.

The link between Chambers’ evolutionary thinking and his obsession with links golf courses that had originally evolved without a designer has likewise been forgotten. This is even though Chambers’ great-grandson, golf architect Sir Guy Campbell, cowrote a history of golf in the 1950s with Darwin’s grandson Bernard Darwin, spelling out how the St. Andrews links had evolved over the eons.

One could imagine an alternative universe in which golf courses are a prime subject for intellectualizing and thus Chambers is a famous figure in intellectual history. But that’s not the one we live in.

 
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  1. Though Lovelace is referred to as the first computer programmer, some biographers and historians of computing claim otherwise.

    Allan G. Bromley, in the 1990 article Difference and Analytical Engines:

    All but one of the programs cited in her notes had been prepared by Babbage from three to seven years earlier. The exception was prepared by Babbage for her, although she did detect a ‘bug’ in it. Not only is there no evidence that Ada ever prepared a program for the Analytical Engine, but her correspondence with Babbage shows that she did not have the knowledge to do so.[79]

    Bruce Collier, who later wrote a biography of Babbage, wrote in his 1970 Harvard University PhD thesis that Lovelace “made a considerable contribution to publicizing the Analytical Engine, but there is no evidence that she advanced the design or theory of it in any way”.[80]

    Eugene Eric Kim and Betty Alexandra Toole consider it “incorrect” to regard Lovelace as the first computer programmer, as Babbage wrote the initial programs for his Analytical Engine, although the majority were never published.[81] Bromley notes several dozen sample programs prepared by Babbage between 1837 and 1840, all substantially predating Lovelace’s notes.[82] Dorothy K. Stein regards Lovelace’s notes as “more a reflection of the mathematical uncertainty of the author, the political purposes of the inventor, and, above all, of the social and cultural context in which it was written, than a blueprint for a scientific development”.[83]

    In his book, Idea Makers, Stephen Wolfram defends Lovelace’s contributions. While acknowledging that Babbage wrote several unpublished algorithms for the Analytical Engine prior to Lovelace’s notes, Wolfram argues that “there’s nothing as sophisticated—or as clean—as Ada’s computation of the Bernoulli numbers. Babbage certainly helped and commented on Ada’s work, but she was definitely the driver of it.” Wolfram then suggests that Lovelace’s main achievement was to distill from Babbage’s correspondence “a clear exposition of the abstract operation of the machine—something which Babbage never did.”[84]

    Doron Swade, a specialist on history of computing known for his work on Babbage, analyzed four claims about Lovelace during a lecture on Babbage’s analytical engine:

    She was a mathematical genius
    She made an influential contribution to the analytical engine
    She was the first computer programmer
    She was a prophet of the computer age
    According to him, only the fourth claim had “any substance at all”. He explained that Ada was only a “promising beginner” instead of genius in mathematics, that she began studying basic concepts of mathematics five years after Babbage conceived the analytical engine so she couldn’t have made important contributions to it, and that she only published the first computer program instead of actually writing it. But he agrees that Ada was the only person to see the potential of the analytical engine as a machine capable of expressing entities other than quantities
    .[85]

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ada_Lovelace#Controversy_over_extent_of_contributions

    Read More
    • Replies: @Charles Erwin Wilson II
    Oh you have done it now.

    Lovelace isn't just the patron saint of computing, she is the Mother of God to the nitwits trumpeting her virtues. And now your iconoclasm will be met with not just pooh-poohing, but genuine and heartfelt vitriol. You will be banished, and from your banishment the Gulag will look good to you.

    Well done.
    , @George
    Lovelace was even more important to history than being the first programer, she invented vapor ware as a tool to attract funding.

    Ada Lovelace and Mary Shelley (inventer of science fiction) were contemporary. Why have so few women before or after shown such great imaginations? Coincidence or was something special about English women of this period? I might throw Jane Austen and the Brontes into the same group.
    , @George
    "“incorrect” to regard Lovelace as the first computer programmer"

    I think the discussion misses the point.

    Algorithms, written in a human-readable notation, existed before Babbage so that was not new. Machines being used for mathematical calculations existed before Babbage. Those machines were each dedicated to a specific problem. Lovelace imagined a machine that worked like the looms of the time, being 'programmed' by a train of punch cards containing machine readable instructions the loom could then read and translate into a fabric pattern. My point is that what was new wasn't the algorithm or the specific machine. It was that a general machine would do a mathematical calculation directed by an algorithm written in a machine-readable code. That was as impossible as Mary Shelley's Frankenstein monster, but was a tremendous leap of imagination. Lovelace is sort of like Stanley Kubrick, who could be said to have imagined artificial intelligence with HAL.
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  2. Ada’s achievements are overrated :

    Though Lovelace is referred to as the first computer programmer, some biographers and historians of computing claim otherwise.

    Allan G. Bromley, in the 1990 article Difference and Analytical Engines:

    All but one of the programs cited in her notes had been prepared by Babbage from three to seven years earlier. The exception was prepared by Babbage for her, although she did detect a ‘bug’ in it. Not only is there no evidence that Ada ever prepared a program for the Analytical Engine, but her correspondence with Babbage shows that she did not have the knowledge to do so.[79]

    Bruce Collier, who later wrote a biography of Babbage, wrote in his 1970 Harvard University PhD thesis that Lovelace “made a considerable contribution to publicizing the Analytical Engine, but there is no evidence that she advanced the design or theory of it in any way”.[80]

    Eugene Eric Kim and Betty Alexandra Toole consider it “incorrect” to regard Lovelace as the first computer programmer, as Babbage wrote the initial programs for his Analytical Engine, although the majority were never published.[81] Bromley notes several dozen sample programs prepared by Babbage between 1837 and 1840, all substantially predating Lovelace’s notes.[82] Dorothy K. Stein regards Lovelace’s notes as “more a reflection of the mathematical uncertainty of the author, the political purposes of the inventor, and, above all, of the social and cultural context in which it was written, than a blueprint for a scientific development”.[83]

    In his book, Idea Makers, Stephen Wolfram defends Lovelace’s contributions. While acknowledging that Babbage wrote several unpublished algorithms for the Analytical Engine prior to Lovelace’s notes, Wolfram argues that “there’s nothing as sophisticated—or as clean—as Ada’s computation of the Bernoulli numbers. Babbage certainly helped and commented on Ada’s work, but she was definitely the driver of it.” Wolfram then suggests that Lovelace’s main achievement was to distill from Babbage’s correspondence “a clear exposition of the abstract operation of the machine—something which Babbage never did.”[84]

    Doron Swade, a specialist on history of computing known for his work on Babbage, analyzed four claims about Lovelace during a lecture on Babbage’s analytical engine:

    She was a mathematical genius
    She made an influential contribution to the analytical engine
    She was the first computer programmer
    She was a prophet of the computer age
    According to him, only the fourth claim had “any substance at all”. He explained that Ada was only a “promising beginner” instead of genius in mathematics, that she began studying basic concepts of mathematics five years after Babbage conceived the analytical engine so she couldn’t have made important contributions to it, and that she only published the first computer program instead of actually writing it. But he agrees that Ada was the only person to see the potential of the analytical engine as a machine capable of expressing entities other than quantities
    .[85]

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ada_Lovelace#Controversy_over_extent_of_contributions

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  3. test

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  4. Babbling on about Ada Lovelace is an SJW caste marker.

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    • Replies: @Johan Schmidt
    No kidding. The absolute worst and most stereotypical SJW I know named her cat "Ada". (She's a lawyer, she's not in IT or anything). You know, the type who likes to pretend sexual comments are the biggest problem facing women in our society, and that Rotherham and Telford didn't happen.

    This crap even crept into University Challenge last week. They asked a question where giving the intended answer would require you to assert a falsehood, namely that Ada Lovelace ever created a computer program, which as commentators before me have pointed out is complete nonsense.

    EDIT: snorlax is also correct. Grace Hopper is often described as having "created the first compiler" which is also completely false. The program-loading utility she came up with is about as far-removed from a compiler as a wood-burning stove is from a nuclear reactor.

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  5. Wait, let me guess: all the stories will be fawning stories.

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  6. Peak Sailer post.

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    • Replies: @PiltdownMan
    Agreed.
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  7. It is clear that the golf club itself, the one with a long shaft and a wooden face at one end, could only be explained as a product of evolution if encountered by a civilization of octopae at the bottom of the ocean. A strange object that.

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  8. @syonredux

    Though Lovelace is referred to as the first computer programmer, some biographers and historians of computing claim otherwise.

     


    Allan G. Bromley, in the 1990 article Difference and Analytical Engines:

    All but one of the programs cited in her notes had been prepared by Babbage from three to seven years earlier. The exception was prepared by Babbage for her, although she did detect a 'bug' in it. Not only is there no evidence that Ada ever prepared a program for the Analytical Engine, but her correspondence with Babbage shows that she did not have the knowledge to do so.[79]
     

    Bruce Collier, who later wrote a biography of Babbage, wrote in his 1970 Harvard University PhD thesis that Lovelace "made a considerable contribution to publicizing the Analytical Engine, but there is no evidence that she advanced the design or theory of it in any way".[80]

     


    Eugene Eric Kim and Betty Alexandra Toole consider it "incorrect" to regard Lovelace as the first computer programmer, as Babbage wrote the initial programs for his Analytical Engine, although the majority were never published.[81] Bromley notes several dozen sample programs prepared by Babbage between 1837 and 1840, all substantially predating Lovelace's notes.[82] Dorothy K. Stein regards Lovelace's notes as "more a reflection of the mathematical uncertainty of the author, the political purposes of the inventor, and, above all, of the social and cultural context in which it was written, than a blueprint for a scientific development".[83]
     

    In his book, Idea Makers, Stephen Wolfram defends Lovelace's contributions. While acknowledging that Babbage wrote several unpublished algorithms for the Analytical Engine prior to Lovelace's notes, Wolfram argues that "there's nothing as sophisticated—or as clean—as Ada's computation of the Bernoulli numbers. Babbage certainly helped and commented on Ada's work, but she was definitely the driver of it." Wolfram then suggests that Lovelace's main achievement was to distill from Babbage's correspondence "a clear exposition of the abstract operation of the machine—something which Babbage never did."[84]
     

    Doron Swade, a specialist on history of computing known for his work on Babbage, analyzed four claims about Lovelace during a lecture on Babbage's analytical engine:

    She was a mathematical genius
    She made an influential contribution to the analytical engine
    She was the first computer programmer
    She was a prophet of the computer age
    According to him, only the fourth claim had "any substance at all". He explained that Ada was only a "promising beginner" instead of genius in mathematics, that she began studying basic concepts of mathematics five years after Babbage conceived the analytical engine so she couldn't have made important contributions to it, and that she only published the first computer program instead of actually writing it. But he agrees that Ada was the only person to see the potential of the analytical engine as a machine capable of expressing entities other than quantities
    .[85]
     
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ada_Lovelace#Controversy_over_extent_of_contributions

    Oh you have done it now.

    Lovelace isn’t just the patron saint of computing, she is the Mother of God to the nitwits trumpeting her virtues. And now your iconoclasm will be met with not just pooh-poohing, but genuine and heartfelt vitriol. You will be banished, and from your banishment the Gulag will look good to you.

    Well done.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Brutusale
    The people using this site as Gospel are her modern minions:

    http://www.iflscience.com/

    Lovelace hovers in the background of the William Gibson/Bruce Sterling alternative history novel The Difference Engine.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Difference_Engine
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  9. Ada Lovelace is hardly overlooked. She is discussed not only in the popular media, and in Computer Science courses, but by multiple initiatives that aim to increase women’s participation in STEM disciplines.

    Non-stop adulation can have unintended consequences. One group of computer scientists decided to name their programming language Linda, after Ada Lovelace’s less illustrious namesake.

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    • Replies: @Jim Christian

    Non-stop adulation can have unintended consequences.
     
    Sure can: https://news.fiu.edu/2018/03/community-gathers-to-watch-950-ton-bridge-move-across-southwest-8th-street/120395

    They puff and and huff the contributions of one Leonor Flores in the article March 14th when they positioned the bridge: "Said Leonor Flores: “It’s very important for me as a woman and an engineer to be able to promote that to my daughter, because I think women have a different perspective. We’re able to put in an artistic touch and we’re able to build, too.” They implied it was 'her' bridge.

    Now that the bridge has collapsed, they have a disclaimer that she didn't work on the bridge in any capacity. Failure is an orphan, success has a thousand mothers. Or, before they collapsed the bridge, they tried to give her credit. Now, some nasty old man who actually DID design and build the bridge will get the blame. Flores was willing to steal credit right up until it crashed, and there was hell to pay when it collapsed. Or are they protecting a narrative? When it comes to feminism, it just gets SO confusing!

    https://news.fiu.edu/wp-content/uploads/unnamed-3-2-768x512.jpg

    , @Anonymous
    Less illustrious?

    That joke seems to have made it into a Halt and Catch Fire episode-- after their resident femme-du-cyberpunk visionary suggests naming the new model "Lovelace," unsought snickering/tittering from the proto-brogrammers ensues.
    , @International Jew
    She is overlooked, and my proof is me: despite degrees from top-notch schools, when I hear "Lovelace" I think first of Linda, not of Ada.
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  10. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    I suspect that even at this point, but certainly within 10-20 years, despite constant haranguing about having to recognize notable female and non-white scientists, in reality the fame-to-contribution ratio of female/non-white scientists will tend to far exceed that of white male ones.

    It reminds me of how Einstein once said something to the effect of: “If my theories are proven correct, the Germans will say I am a German and the French will say I am a citizen of the world. If they are proven incorrect, the French will say that I am a German and the Germans will say that I am a Jew.”

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  11. Golf, huh?
    What’s developing at Trump National ?

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  12. Perhaps this young woman can work with Mr. Musk and Steve can consult on the project.

    https://www.golfdigest.com/story/she-played-golf-on-marssort-of

    Hopefully this will happen in this universe.

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  13. OT.

    “The take down.” (I guess journalistic objectivity has gone the way of bourgeois propriety.)

    http://www.philly.com/philly/news/amy-wax-penn-law-professor-campaign-social-media-20180316.html

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  14. @Dave Pinsen
    Peak Sailer post.

    Agreed.

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  15. The token of the Cardano crypto currency project is named ADA, after her. This is among the more promising blockchain projects today.

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  16. Completely apropos of nothing/OT:

    Steve, you would make an amazing guest for Tyler Cowen’s intermittent “Conversations With Tyler” event. Unfortunately, you’re probably too Deplorable and Repllrnt for Cowen to invite you, but, man, that would be some good content.

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  17. Constantly bringing up the same handful of women as evidence of male-female parity is both sad and cringy at the same time

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    • Agree: dfordoom
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  18. Visualize a Lovelace/Babbage golf course. What would it look like?

    A giant grass-covered Pachinko machine?

    Dr Nim?

    Skee-Ball with smaller balls and holes, but much bigger lanes?

    https://www.theputtskee.com/store/p1/The_Puttskee%C2%AE.html

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  19. Just when I thought the NYT could not sink any lower.
    Who’s next – Empress Theodora?

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    • Replies: @CK
    What have you against Empress Theodora? Procopius did not like her but then ol' Pro had a few issues in the James Levine area, while Theodora appears to have been an apt and avid wife.
    , @flyingtiger
    So what if she was a stripper and a whore. She gave Justinian the backbone to defeat the Nike rioters.
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  20. One could imagine an alternative universe in which golf courses are a prime subject for intellectualizing and thus Chambers is a famous figure in intellectual history. But that’s not the one we live in.

    I find that difficult to imagine. Maybe a car analogy would help.

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  21. Aged 26, married with three small children, she embarked on a mathematics correspondence course. Letters to her distinguished tutor reveal that she was working at the level of a bright first year undergraduate.

    So, Ada Lovelace was a good, but not a brilliant mathematician.

    http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-34243042

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    • Replies: @candid_observer
    Ada Lovelace is one of those rare diversity icons whose talents were as absurdly overrated in her own day as they are in ours.
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  22. ” CLAIRE CAIN MILLER”

    I am glad she found something to bitch about. You go grrl.

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  23. Within a few months of the birth of her third child in 1839, Ada decided to get more serious about mathematics again. She told Babbage she wanted to find a “mathematical Instructor” in London, though asked that in making enquiries he not mention her name, presumably for fear of society gossip.

    The person identified was Augustus De Morgan, first professor of mathematics at University College London, noted logician, author of several textbooks, and not only a friend of Babbage’s, but also the husband of the daughter of Ada’s mother’s main childhood teacher. (Yes, it was a small world. De Morgan was also a friend of George Boole’s—and was the person who indirectly caused Boolean algebra to be invented.)

    Her letters to De Morgan about calculus are not unlike letters from a calculus student today—except for the Victorian English. Even many of the confusions are the same—though Ada was more sensitive than some to the bad notations of calculus (“why can’t one multiply by dx?”, etc.). Ada was a tenacious student, and seemed to have had a great time learning more and more about mathematics. She was pleased by the mathematical abilities she discovered in herself, and by De Morgan’s positive feedback about them.

    Despite the lack of support in England, Babbage’s ideas developed some popularity elsewhere, and in 1840 Babbage was invited to lecture on the Analytical Engine in Turin, and given honors by the Italian government.

    Babbage had never published a serious account of the Difference Engine, and had never published anything at all about the Analytical Engine. But he talked about the Analytical Engine in Turin, and notes were taken by a certain Luigi Menabrea, who was then a 30-year-old army engineer—but who, 27 years later, became prime minister of Italy (and also made contributions to the mathematics of structural analysis).

    In October 1842, Menabrea published a paper in French based on his notes. When Ada saw the paper, she decided to translate it into English and submit it to a British publication. Many years later Babbage claimed he suggested to Ada that she write her own account of the Analytical Engine, and that she had responded that the thought hadn’t occurred to her. But in any case, by February 1843, Ada had resolved to do the translation but add extensive notes of her own.

    Over the months that followed she worked very hard—often exchanging letters almost daily with Babbage (despite sometimes having other “pressing and unavoidable engagements”). And though in those days letters were sent by post (which did come 6 times a day in London at the time) or carried by a servant (Ada lived about a mile from Babbage when she was in London), they read a lot like emails about a project might today, apart from being in Victorian English. Ada asks Babbage questions; he responds; she figures things out; he comments on them. She was clearly in charge, but felt she was first and foremost explaining Babbage’s work, so wanted to check things with him—though she got annoyed when Babbage, for example, tried to make his own corrections to her manuscript.

    Within days, there was also apparently society gossip about Ada’s publication. She explained to her mother that she and William “are by no means desirous of making it a secret, altho’ I do not wish the importance of the thing to be exaggerated and overrated”. She saw herself as being a successful expositor and interpreter of Babbage’s work, setting it in a broader conceptual framework that she hoped could be built on.

    After Babbage died, his life work on his engines was all but forgotten (though did, for example, get a mention in the 1911 Encyclopaedia Britannica). Mechanical computers nevertheless continued to be developed, gradually giving way to electromechanical ones, and eventually to electronic ones. And when programming began to be understood in the 1940s, Babbage’s work—and Ada’s Notes—were rediscovered.

    People knew that “AAL” was Ada Augusta Lovelace, and that she was Byron’s daughter. Alan Turing read her Notes, and coined the term “Lady Lovelace’s Objection” (“an AI can’t originate anything”) in his 1950 Turing Test paper. But Ada herself was still largely a footnote at that point.

    It was a certain Bertram Bowden—a British nuclear physicist who went into the computer industry and eventually became Minister of Science and Education—who “rediscovered” Ada. In researching his 1953 book Faster Than Thought (yes, about computers), he located Ada’s granddaughter Lady Wentworth (the daughter of Ada’s daughter), who told him the family lore about Ada, both accurate and inaccurate, and let him look at some of Ada’s papers. Charmingly, Bowden notes that in Ada’s granddaughter’s book Thoroughbred Racing Stock, there is use of binary in computing pedigrees. Ada, and the Analytical Engine, of course, used decimal, with no binary in sight.

    But even in the 1960s, Babbage—and Ada—weren’t exactly well known. Babbage’s Difference Engine prototype had been given to the Science Museum in London, but even though I spent lots of time at the Science Museum as a child in the 1960s, I’m pretty sure I never saw it there. Still, by the 1980s, particularly after the US Department of Defense named its ill-fated programming language after Ada, awareness of Ada Lovelace and Charles Babbage began to increase, and biographies began to appear, though sometimes with hair-raising errors (my favorite is that the mention of “the problem of three bodies” in a letter from Babbage indicated a romantic triangle between Babbage, Ada and William—while it actually refers to the three-body problem in celestial mechanics!).

    The Analytical Engine and its construction were all Babbage’s work. So what did Ada add? Ada saw herself first and foremost as an expositor. Babbage had shown her lots of plans and examples of the Analytical Engine. She wanted to explain what the overall point was—as well as relate it, as she put it, to “large, general, & metaphysical views”.

    In the surviving archive of Babbage’s papers (discovered years later in his lawyer’s family’s cowhide trunk), there are a remarkable number of drafts of expositions of the Analytical Engine, starting in the 1830s, and continuing for decades, with titles like “Of the Analytical Engine” and “The Science of Number Reduced to Mechanism”. Why Babbage never published any of these isn’t clear. They seem like perfectly decent descriptions of the basic operation of the engine—though they are definitely more pedestrian than what Ada produced.

    When Babbage died, he was writing a “History of the Analytical Engine”, which his son completed. In it, there’s a dated list of “446 Notations of the Analytical Engine”, each essentially a representation of how some operation—like division—could be done on the Analytical Engine. The dates start in the 1830s, and run through the mid-1840s, with not much happening in the summer of 1843.

    . About Ada’s Notes, he writes: “We discussed together the various illustrations that might be introduced: I suggested several, but the selection was entirely her own. So also was the algebraic working out of the different problems, except, indeed, that relating to the numbers of Bernoulli, which I had offered to do to save Lady Lovelace the trouble. This she sent back to me for an amendment, having detected a grave mistake which I had made in the process.”

    When I first read this, I thought Babbage was saying that he basically ghostwrote all of Ada’s Notes. But reading what he wrote again, I realize it actually says almost nothing, other than that he suggested things that Ada may or may not have used.

    To me, there’s little doubt about what happened: Ada had an idea of what the Analytical Engine should be capable of, and was asking Babbage questions about how it could be achieved. If my own experiences with hardware designers in modern times are anything to go by, the answers will often have been very detailed. Ada’s achievement was to distill from these details a clear exposition of the abstract operation of the machine—something which Babbage never did. (In his autobiography, he basically just refers to Ada’s Notes.)

    http://blog.stephenwolfram.com/2015/12/untangling-the-tale-of-ada-lovelace/

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  24. But I don’t know if Lovelace’s ideas worsened Babbage’s failings.

    I doubt that they did, for two reasons:

    1. Babbage didn’t really interact much with Lovelace. Babbage gave a lecture in French on his “analytical engine. The Italian mathematician Menabrea published a description of the engine based on the lecture. In 1843, the description was translated into English and extensively annotated by Ada Lovelace. “In recognition of her additions to Menabrea’s paper, which included a way to calculate Bernoulli numbers using the machine, she has been described as the first computer programmer.” In other words she was a translator who threw in a few ideas of her own – a “Hidden Figure” whose contributions have been vastly inflated beyond their contemporary importance. Lovelace was 25 years younger than Babbage – he was a major mathematician and she was a dabbler. In her day they would have laughed at the suggestion that Babbage paid any attention to Lovelace’s ideas.

    2. Babbage’s engine could not be built economically using the machining techniques available in his day. He got tangled up with government funding disputes, disputes with his engineer, etc. These had nothing to do with Lovelace and her ideas.

    It’s sad that the age of (steampunk) computers could have begun a century earlier if Babbage had been a little better funded, but he lived in an age of small government and hard currency when the government could just not print up a few trillion pounds. With unlimited money, Babbage’s engine could have been made to work, even using the machining techniques of his time, but he didn’t have access to unlimited money. Ironically his own invention could have vastly increased the wealth of society (imagine our own society if computers had never been invented) but he never got far enough to set off that explosion.

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    • Agree: Johann Ricke
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  25. So the other day I was doing some research for work and I came across a Nobel Prize winner named Kary Mullis. I thought, why haven’t I heard of this great female scientist before?

    Because Kary’s a dude; never mind. I bet that dude’s first name has broken a thousand feminist hearts.

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    • Replies: @bartok

    Because Kary’s a dude; never mind. I bet that dude’s first name has broken a thousand feminist hearts.
     
    This often happens in the business and technology fields - if you come across a researcher or high executive with a woman's name, chances are that it is a man with a woman's name such as Claire.

    This is just cis men. Then there's the other category where the highest-paid female CEO used to be a man.

    Our ruling communists will have to fire, defenestrate and imprison a whole lot of people before they reach sex equality in tech and business.

    , @Pericles
    Lol, Kary Mullis also breaks the heart of science/Nobel Prize enthusiasts, at least a bit, because in addition to inventing PCR he's an enormous hippie flake.

    See also his autobiography Dancing Naked in the Mind Field. Geez, Kary, tone it down a bit will you?
    , @C. Van Carter
    Mullis met a talking, glow-in-the-dark raccoon in Mendocino once.
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  26. anon • Disclaimer says:

    On the subject of evolution, does anyone know how the practice of beating egg whites evolved? Why would someone get the idea of separating yolks from whites? And why would anyone then beat the whites? As the practice evolved people could not have known that meringue was the final cause. Each step must have served its own intermediate purpose. Where the hell did they get the idea of beating the whites?

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    • Replies: @CK
    "Where the hell did they get the idea of beating the whites?"
    From an ancient cookbook called How To Serve Man. Published first in Wakanda, I believe.
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  27. One could imagine an alternative universe in which golf courses are a prime subject for intellectualizing …

    The golf course feminist heroine would be body-positive Big Bertha.

    [MORE]

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  28. @AYFKM
    So the other day I was doing some research for work and I came across a Nobel Prize winner named Kary Mullis. I thought, why haven't I heard of this great female scientist before?

    Because Kary's a dude; never mind. I bet that dude's first name has broken a thousand feminist hearts.

    Because Kary’s a dude; never mind. I bet that dude’s first name has broken a thousand feminist hearts.

    This often happens in the business and technology fields – if you come across a researcher or high executive with a woman’s name, chances are that it is a man with a woman’s name such as Claire.

    This is just cis men. Then there’s the other category where the highest-paid female CEO used to be a man.

    Our ruling communists will have to fire, defenestrate and imprison a whole lot of people before they reach sex equality in tech and business.

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  29. Anon • Disclaimer says:

    OT: Liberal war fever. Why are liberals so crazy for war right now? Because when cults fear that their grip on their members is loosening, they try to build solidarity among their members by whipping them up into a frenzy against an outsider. Right now, Russia is their chosen victim.

    A good way to combat this is, ask every pro-war liberal, why why don’t you join the army if you’re so serious about getting into a fight?

    We need to make them sputter, back down and humiliate them in front of their own kind. This will weaken liberals.

    And if they’re Jewish, tell them I know why you won’t become a citizen of Israel. Israel requires you to serve in the Army, and you’re too much of a coward to do it.

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  30. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    “Lovelace was 25 years younger than Babbage – he was a major mathematician and she was a dabbler. In her day they would have laughed at the suggestion that Babbage paid any attention to Lovelace’s ideas.”

    Is it absurd to think that a “major mathematician” would pay attention to the ideas of a genuinely intelligent woman, genuinely interested in his work, who happens to be 25 years younger?

    Reality is complex. They might well have laughed. But it might have been schadenfreude, or what we call “virtue signaling”.

    The fact that she seems to have shown at least some masculine behaviors is not decisive. ***COUGH*** Elizabeth Holmes ***COUGH***

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    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    Lovelace was famous for her keen mind.

    Babbage and Lovelace were well known celebrities in their day. They both lived in London and knew everybody who was anybody. (Dickens based a character, Daniel Doyce, in "Little Dorrit" on his friend Babbage.)

    , @sabril
    Yeah, I found this in the Wiki article:

    Lovelace first met Charles Babbage in June 1833, through their mutual friend Mary Somerville. Later that month Babbage invited Lovelace to see the prototype for his Difference Engine . [56] She became fascinated with the machine and used her relationship with Somerville to visit Babbage as often as she could. Babbage was impressed by Lovelace's intellect and analytic skills. He called her "The Enchantress of Number".
     
    So at the time Lovelace was 18 years old and Babbage was 42. So yeah, there's a very good chance this is a classic situation of a middle-aged man who is smitten with a younger women and work is used as an excuse to spend time together.

    Look at it this way: If a decent-looking 20-year-old girl approached Steve and wanted to be his intern, he would probably make room for her if his wife would let him get away with it. He would also let her write pieces and promote her work. Both as a way of keeping her around and also because he knows it would get more attention for his ideas. If 100 years from now, HBD is finally accepted and Steve is regarded as an early pioneer and important thinker, you can bet that feminists would cite this intern as an important contributor.
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  31. Countess Ada Byron Lovelace was so overlooked in her day that her death was front-page headline news in the New York Times.

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  32. Far from being unknown, Lovelace is easily the most overrated woman in the history of STEM.

    Blogger THONYC has done countless takedowns of Lovelace, it’s quite embarrassing whever she is brought up by anyone.

    https://thonyc.wordpress.com/2013/10/08/mary-somerville-was-not-the-first-scientist-and-ada-lovelace-did-not-inspire-the-first-modern-computer/

    >Ada Lovelace published, anonymously, one single paper on the subject of Charles Babbage’s Analytical Engine. This paper was a translation from the French of an account of a series of lecture on the Analytical Engine held by Babbage in Turin in 1840 written by a young Italian military engineer Captain Luigi Menabrea. To this translation Ada Lovelace appended a series of somewhat poetic annotation sketching the possible uses of the Analytical Engine. In doing so Lovelace was following the example of Mary Somerville, a highly respected mathematical translator and annotator, who was one of her mentors. (For a more detailed version of this story go here.) The computer she was describing had been conceived, designed and partially constructed by Babbage well before Lovelace became in anyway involved in the story.

    https://thonyc.wordpress.com/2015/07/22/a-double-bicentennial-georg-contra-ada-reality-contra-perception/

    >As I have pointed out in several earlier posts Ada was a member of the minor aristocracy, who, although she never knew her father, had a wealthy well connected mother. She had access to the highest social and intellectual circles of early Victorian London. Despite being mentored and tutored by the best that London had to offer she failed totally in mastering more than elementary mathematics. So, as I have also pointed out more than once, to call her a mathematician is a very poor quality joke.

    Ouch

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    • Replies: @snorlax

    Lovelace is easily the most overrated woman in the history of STEM.
     
    Grace Hopper might give her a run for her money. (Hopper can be credited with more genuine contributions, but OTOH Lovelace had no part in inflicting COBOL on the world).

    Or, moving on to other STEM fields, perhaps the "overlooked" "actual DNA discoverer" Rosalind Franklin.

    Or maybe Ur-Woman in STEM Marie Curie, whose work was as trendy and media-savvy as it was without substance. That she received two Nobels while Von Neumann got zero is a scandal.

    On second thought, it's gotta be the Hidden Figures, who make Lovelace, Hopper, Franklin and Curie look like Dijkstra, Turing, Lavoisier and Newton. (Who?)
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  33. @Anonymous
    "Lovelace was 25 years younger than Babbage – he was a major mathematician and she was a dabbler. In her day they would have laughed at the suggestion that Babbage paid any attention to Lovelace’s ideas."

    Is it absurd to think that a "major mathematician" would pay attention to the ideas of a genuinely intelligent woman, genuinely interested in his work, who happens to be 25 years younger?

    Reality is complex. They might well have laughed. But it might have been schadenfreude, or what we call "virtue signaling".

    The fact that she seems to have shown at least some masculine behaviors is not decisive. ***COUGH*** Elizabeth Holmes ***COUGH***

    Lovelace was famous for her keen mind.

    Babbage and Lovelace were well known celebrities in their day. They both lived in London and knew everybody who was anybody. (Dickens based a character, Daniel Doyce, in “Little Dorrit” on his friend Babbage.)

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    • Replies: @sabril

    Lovelace was famous for her keen mind.
     
    Barry Obama was also famous for his keen mind. And in fact he probably is pretty smart, but I'm pretty confident that a reasonably intelligent white man, such as you or me, could destroy him on an IQ test.
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  34. Clinton’s data-driven campaign relied heavily on an algorithm named Ada. What didn’t she see?

    comp.lang.ada

    “>I’d be surprised if you could discipline a C programmer in such a short
    >amount of time.

    That might depend on the form of the discipline.

    Scene: Lady Lovelace’s Conversation and Discipline Parlour. Red drapes,
    red candles in numerous gold candelabra.”

    [MORE]

    comp.lang.ada
    Robert Firth
    2/19/90
    In article [email protected] (Clement Pellerin) writes:

    >I’d be surprised if you could discipline a C programmer in such a short
    >amount of time.

    That might depend on the form of the discipline.

    Scene: Lady Lovelace’s Conversation and Discipline Parlour. Red drapes,
    red candles in numerous gold candelabra. Massive white and gold wood
    panelling, over which hang numerous pre-Raphaelite paintings of
    greek youths clad only in beauty and sunlight. Sitting on a high stool,
    wearing black tights, spiked garter belt, and python, and wielding a
    long whip, is Ada.

    Enter a C hacker, cringing.

    Hacker: Hello. I’m the chairperson of the C user group.

    Ada cracks her whip. Her pet marmoset climbs the drapes and perches
    on the pelmet, chittering.

    Ada: You slime! you scuzzball! You are already is serious trouble! You
    need discipline!! MY kind of discipline!

    Item one: you said “hello”. That is a request for rendezvous with a
    parallel task. You must WAIT for me to accept your hello, respond,
    and decouple. You cannot just go right on to the next statement. Ten
    lashes.

    Item two: you said “I’m”. That is a contraction. Contractions are
    BAD, WRONG, UGLY and NOT ALLOWED. Ten lashes.

    Iten three: you said “chairperson”. THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS A
    CHAIRPERSON! You are either a chairperson(M) or a chairperson(F).
    You cannot omit the discriminant constraint when you declare yourself
    a chairperson, because we cannot allocate storage without it. Fifteen
    lashes, and you must clean out the marmoset cage for a week.

    Item four: you said “user group”. SYNTAX ERROR! You must say “users’
    group”, since it is ILLEGAL to qualify one noun with another. Ten
    more lashes.

    Item five: you said “group”. How big a group? Is it a group range
    0..100, a group range 0..1000, or what? Unless you tell me the
    maximum range of the group, how do you expect me to determine the
    group base type? How can you tell when the group has grown too
    large for its implementation constraints? For making a claim that
    cannot be maintained through the life cycle, TWENTY lashes!

    Now, have you been a bad person(M)?

    Hacker: Yes, my lady.

    Ada: A VERY bad person(M)?

    Hacker: Yes, my lady.

    Ada: And do you want to be punished?

    Hacker: Yes, my lady.

    Ada: With what delay?

    Hacker: Without delay – (Ada cracks her whip again, warningly) – I mean,
    with delay 0.0, if it please your ladyship.

    Ada: (removing python) Let the punishment begin!

    [The above does not represent the views of the author, his stuffed
    animals, or anyone else. I hope]

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  35. Babbage’s famous (at the time) and well-funded Integral Engine project had failed.

    That’s the Difference Engine though?

    It computes polynomials.

    It failed because old Bab’ was a perfectionist. The Swedish Scheutz engine, a simpler design, got finished.

    The general-purpose Analytical Engine, to be programmed by punched-card, just reached design stage and construction of scattered elements.

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  36. A top-notch Steve Sailer sentence? – Might well be – –

    “As it turned out to the surprise of most, the real author was a hard-working but fairly obscure Scottish journalist and golf course architect named Robert Chambers, who had come up with the idea that everything is the product of “development” while recovering from overwork by playing golf daily on The Old Course at St. Andrews, a links that had developed over centuries of play without much in the way of intelligent design until about Chambers’ day.”

    Very nice sentence!, (and informative and fun*** too!).

    *** ok – “delectare et prodesse”…(irony/double talk (“intelligent design”…)….).

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  37. @James N. Kennett
    Ada Lovelace is hardly overlooked. She is discussed not only in the popular media, and in Computer Science courses, but by multiple initiatives that aim to increase women's participation in STEM disciplines.

    Non-stop adulation can have unintended consequences. One group of computer scientists decided to name their programming language Linda, after Ada Lovelace's less illustrious namesake.

    Non-stop adulation can have unintended consequences.

    Sure can: https://news.fiu.edu/2018/03/community-gathers-to-watch-950-ton-bridge-move-across-southwest-8th-street/120395

    They puff and and huff the contributions of one Leonor Flores in the article March 14th when they positioned the bridge: “Said Leonor Flores: “It’s very important for me as a woman and an engineer to be able to promote that to my daughter, because I think women have a different perspective. We’re able to put in an artistic touch and we’re able to build, too.” They implied it was ‘her’ bridge.

    Now that the bridge has collapsed, they have a disclaimer that she didn’t work on the bridge in any capacity. Failure is an orphan, success has a thousand mothers. Or, before they collapsed the bridge, they tried to give her credit. Now, some nasty old man who actually DID design and build the bridge will get the blame. Flores was willing to steal credit right up until it crashed, and there was hell to pay when it collapsed. Or are they protecting a narrative? When it comes to feminism, it just gets SO confusing!

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  38. @Towel Ban
    Far from being unknown, Lovelace is easily the most overrated woman in the history of STEM.

    Blogger THONYC has done countless takedowns of Lovelace, it's quite embarrassing whever she is brought up by anyone.

    https://thonyc.wordpress.com/2013/10/08/mary-somerville-was-not-the-first-scientist-and-ada-lovelace-did-not-inspire-the-first-modern-computer/

    >Ada Lovelace published, anonymously, one single paper on the subject of Charles Babbage’s Analytical Engine. This paper was a translation from the French of an account of a series of lecture on the Analytical Engine held by Babbage in Turin in 1840 written by a young Italian military engineer Captain Luigi Menabrea. To this translation Ada Lovelace appended a series of somewhat poetic annotation sketching the possible uses of the Analytical Engine. In doing so Lovelace was following the example of Mary Somerville, a highly respected mathematical translator and annotator, who was one of her mentors. (For a more detailed version of this story go here.) The computer she was describing had been conceived, designed and partially constructed by Babbage well before Lovelace became in anyway involved in the story.
     
    https://thonyc.wordpress.com/2015/07/22/a-double-bicentennial-georg-contra-ada-reality-contra-perception/


    >As I have pointed out in several earlier posts Ada was a member of the minor aristocracy, who, although she never knew her father, had a wealthy well connected mother. She had access to the highest social and intellectual circles of early Victorian London. Despite being mentored and tutored by the best that London had to offer she failed totally in mastering more than elementary mathematics. So, as I have also pointed out more than once, to call her a mathematician is a very poor quality joke.
     
    Ouch

    Lovelace is easily the most overrated woman in the history of STEM.

    Grace Hopper might give her a run for her money. (Hopper can be credited with more genuine contributions, but OTOH Lovelace had no part in inflicting COBOL on the world).

    Or, moving on to other STEM fields, perhaps the “overlooked” “actual DNA discoverer” Rosalind Franklin.

    Or maybe Ur-Woman in STEM Marie Curie, whose work was as trendy and media-savvy as it was without substance. That she received two Nobels while Von Neumann got zero is a scandal.

    On second thought, it’s gotta be the Hidden Figures, who make Lovelace, Hopper, Franklin and Curie look like Dijkstra, Turing, Lavoisier and Newton. (Who?)

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    • Replies: @Pericles
    Admiral Grace at least did come up with a beloved quote.

    "It's easier to ask forgiveness than it is to get permission."
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  39. “One could imagine an alternative universe in which golf courses are a prime subject for intellectualizing and thus Chambers is a famous figure in intellectual history. But that’s not the one we live in.”

    If you build it they will come.

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    • Replies: @Dieter Kief

    “One could imagine an alternative universe in which golf courses are a prime subject for intellectualizing and thus Chambers is a famous figure in intellectual history. But that’s not the one we live in.”

    If you build it they will come.
     

    By close inspection we might find, that Steve Sailer indeed - created it already: Right there - in his reader's - - consciousness.
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  40. Moon Walker Ada Lovelace — We would never have gotten there without her calculations.

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  41. @Ghost of Bull Moose
    "One could imagine an alternative universe in which golf courses are a prime subject for intellectualizing and thus Chambers is a famous figure in intellectual history. But that’s not the one we live in."

    If you build it they will come.

    “One could imagine an alternative universe in which golf courses are a prime subject for intellectualizing and thus Chambers is a famous figure in intellectual history. But that’s not the one we live in.”

    If you build it they will come.

    By close inspection we might find, that Steve Sailer indeed – created it already: Right there – in his reader’s – – consciousness.

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  42. @syonredux

    Though Lovelace is referred to as the first computer programmer, some biographers and historians of computing claim otherwise.

     


    Allan G. Bromley, in the 1990 article Difference and Analytical Engines:

    All but one of the programs cited in her notes had been prepared by Babbage from three to seven years earlier. The exception was prepared by Babbage for her, although she did detect a 'bug' in it. Not only is there no evidence that Ada ever prepared a program for the Analytical Engine, but her correspondence with Babbage shows that she did not have the knowledge to do so.[79]
     

    Bruce Collier, who later wrote a biography of Babbage, wrote in his 1970 Harvard University PhD thesis that Lovelace "made a considerable contribution to publicizing the Analytical Engine, but there is no evidence that she advanced the design or theory of it in any way".[80]

     


    Eugene Eric Kim and Betty Alexandra Toole consider it "incorrect" to regard Lovelace as the first computer programmer, as Babbage wrote the initial programs for his Analytical Engine, although the majority were never published.[81] Bromley notes several dozen sample programs prepared by Babbage between 1837 and 1840, all substantially predating Lovelace's notes.[82] Dorothy K. Stein regards Lovelace's notes as "more a reflection of the mathematical uncertainty of the author, the political purposes of the inventor, and, above all, of the social and cultural context in which it was written, than a blueprint for a scientific development".[83]
     

    In his book, Idea Makers, Stephen Wolfram defends Lovelace's contributions. While acknowledging that Babbage wrote several unpublished algorithms for the Analytical Engine prior to Lovelace's notes, Wolfram argues that "there's nothing as sophisticated—or as clean—as Ada's computation of the Bernoulli numbers. Babbage certainly helped and commented on Ada's work, but she was definitely the driver of it." Wolfram then suggests that Lovelace's main achievement was to distill from Babbage's correspondence "a clear exposition of the abstract operation of the machine—something which Babbage never did."[84]
     

    Doron Swade, a specialist on history of computing known for his work on Babbage, analyzed four claims about Lovelace during a lecture on Babbage's analytical engine:

    She was a mathematical genius
    She made an influential contribution to the analytical engine
    She was the first computer programmer
    She was a prophet of the computer age
    According to him, only the fourth claim had "any substance at all". He explained that Ada was only a "promising beginner" instead of genius in mathematics, that she began studying basic concepts of mathematics five years after Babbage conceived the analytical engine so she couldn't have made important contributions to it, and that she only published the first computer program instead of actually writing it. But he agrees that Ada was the only person to see the potential of the analytical engine as a machine capable of expressing entities other than quantities
    .[85]
     
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ada_Lovelace#Controversy_over_extent_of_contributions

    Lovelace was even more important to history than being the first programer, she invented vapor ware as a tool to attract funding.

    Ada Lovelace and Mary Shelley (inventer of science fiction) were contemporary. Why have so few women before or after shown such great imaginations? Coincidence or was something special about English women of this period? I might throw Jane Austen and the Brontes into the same group.

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    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    Harriet Martineau, George Eliot, Maria Edgeworth ...
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  43. @George
    Lovelace was even more important to history than being the first programer, she invented vapor ware as a tool to attract funding.

    Ada Lovelace and Mary Shelley (inventer of science fiction) were contemporary. Why have so few women before or after shown such great imaginations? Coincidence or was something special about English women of this period? I might throw Jane Austen and the Brontes into the same group.

    Harriet Martineau, George Eliot, Maria Edgeworth …

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    • Replies: @George
    OK, but what was special about England in the early 1800s that permitted female intellectuals of such quantity and quality?
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  44. @Anonymous
    "Lovelace was 25 years younger than Babbage – he was a major mathematician and she was a dabbler. In her day they would have laughed at the suggestion that Babbage paid any attention to Lovelace’s ideas."

    Is it absurd to think that a "major mathematician" would pay attention to the ideas of a genuinely intelligent woman, genuinely interested in his work, who happens to be 25 years younger?

    Reality is complex. They might well have laughed. But it might have been schadenfreude, or what we call "virtue signaling".

    The fact that she seems to have shown at least some masculine behaviors is not decisive. ***COUGH*** Elizabeth Holmes ***COUGH***

    Yeah, I found this in the Wiki article:

    Lovelace first met Charles Babbage in June 1833, through their mutual friend Mary Somerville. Later that month Babbage invited Lovelace to see the prototype for his Difference Engine . [56] She became fascinated with the machine and used her relationship with Somerville to visit Babbage as often as she could. Babbage was impressed by Lovelace’s intellect and analytic skills. He called her “The Enchantress of Number”.

    So at the time Lovelace was 18 years old and Babbage was 42. So yeah, there’s a very good chance this is a classic situation of a middle-aged man who is smitten with a younger women and work is used as an excuse to spend time together.

    Look at it this way: If a decent-looking 20-year-old girl approached Steve and wanted to be his intern, he would probably make room for her if his wife would let him get away with it. He would also let her write pieces and promote her work. Both as a way of keeping her around and also because he knows it would get more attention for his ideas. If 100 years from now, HBD is finally accepted and Steve is regarded as an early pioneer and important thinker, you can bet that feminists would cite this intern as an important contributor.

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    • Replies: @rogue-one
    >If 100 years from now, HBD is finally accepted

    Unlikely. 100 years from now, blacks would the largest racial group wielding enormous demographic, social, and political power. I would bet that blacks would be the largest group in Europe & Africa. In such a world, HBD would be even more censored.
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  45. @Steve Sailer
    Lovelace was famous for her keen mind.

    Babbage and Lovelace were well known celebrities in their day. They both lived in London and knew everybody who was anybody. (Dickens based a character, Daniel Doyce, in "Little Dorrit" on his friend Babbage.)

    Lovelace was famous for her keen mind.

    Barry Obama was also famous for his keen mind. And in fact he probably is pretty smart, but I’m pretty confident that a reasonably intelligent white man, such as you or me, could destroy him on an IQ test.

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  46. @Steve Sailer
    Harriet Martineau, George Eliot, Maria Edgeworth ...

    OK, but what was special about England in the early 1800s that permitted female intellectuals of such quantity and quality?

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    • Replies: @George
    "what was special about England in the early 1800s "

    This period was the resurgence of Empire. The revolutionary war was lost. Waterloo was 1815. The British turned their attention to reestablishing overseas Empire. Sort of like Ibn Khaldun predicted. The inland tribe began to take over the world, moved to fancier living in places like India, but became corrupt and eventually could not resist the invasion of another inland tribe, the 'Janglee' people of Mirpur Pakistan. So the cycle is complete. I for one am waiting for the female sci fi authors of Rotherham and Telford to imagine a future world I am incapable of imagining myself.
    , @ThirdWorldSteveReader
    Maybe it's just that the time was specially propicious to all sorts of intelectual enterprises? Lots of great men of letters in the period too. There are always women intelectuals, just in smaller numbers than men; are we sure that we had proportionally more women over the period you mentioned?
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  47. @sabril
    Yeah, I found this in the Wiki article:

    Lovelace first met Charles Babbage in June 1833, through their mutual friend Mary Somerville. Later that month Babbage invited Lovelace to see the prototype for his Difference Engine . [56] She became fascinated with the machine and used her relationship with Somerville to visit Babbage as often as she could. Babbage was impressed by Lovelace's intellect and analytic skills. He called her "The Enchantress of Number".
     
    So at the time Lovelace was 18 years old and Babbage was 42. So yeah, there's a very good chance this is a classic situation of a middle-aged man who is smitten with a younger women and work is used as an excuse to spend time together.

    Look at it this way: If a decent-looking 20-year-old girl approached Steve and wanted to be his intern, he would probably make room for her if his wife would let him get away with it. He would also let her write pieces and promote her work. Both as a way of keeping her around and also because he knows it would get more attention for his ideas. If 100 years from now, HBD is finally accepted and Steve is regarded as an early pioneer and important thinker, you can bet that feminists would cite this intern as an important contributor.

    >If 100 years from now, HBD is finally accepted

    Unlikely. 100 years from now, blacks would the largest racial group wielding enormous demographic, social, and political power. I would bet that blacks would be the largest group in Europe & Africa. In such a world, HBD would be even more censored.

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  48. Adaffirmative Action.

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  49. @James N. Kennett
    Ada Lovelace is hardly overlooked. She is discussed not only in the popular media, and in Computer Science courses, but by multiple initiatives that aim to increase women's participation in STEM disciplines.

    Non-stop adulation can have unintended consequences. One group of computer scientists decided to name their programming language Linda, after Ada Lovelace's less illustrious namesake.

    Less illustrious?

    That joke seems to have made it into a Halt and Catch Fire episode– after their resident femme-du-cyberpunk visionary suggests naming the new model “Lovelace,” unsought snickering/tittering from the proto-brogrammers ensues.

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  50. @Jack Hanson
    Babbling on about Ada Lovelace is an SJW caste marker.

    No kidding. The absolute worst and most stereotypical SJW I know named her cat “Ada”. (She’s a lawyer, she’s not in IT or anything). You know, the type who likes to pretend sexual comments are the biggest problem facing women in our society, and that Rotherham and Telford didn’t happen.

    This crap even crept into University Challenge last week. They asked a question where giving the intended answer would require you to assert a falsehood, namely that Ada Lovelace ever created a computer program, which as commentators before me have pointed out is complete nonsense.

    EDIT: snorlax is also correct. Grace Hopper is often described as having “created the first compiler” which is also completely false. The program-loading utility she came up with is about as far-removed from a compiler as a wood-burning stove is from a nuclear reactor.

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  51. Robert Chambers was not an “obscure journalist”

    Robert Chambers FRSE FGS LLD (/ˈtʃeɪmbərz/; 10 July 1802 – 17 March 1871)[2] was a Scottish publisher, geologist, evolutionary thinker, author and journal editor who, like his elder brother and business partner William Chambers, was highly influential in mid-19th century scientific and political circles..

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  52. That golf course argument is right up there with typical Bad Arguments For Darwinism. (The variant I have heard is people showing the “evolution” of the Corvette..)

    Just because the current end product was not the product of a single overarching plan does not mean that every stage of it did not consist of “intelligent design”. The Old Course was not shaped by the wind and rain, after all – it was done by humans, who each over the centuries modified it as they saw fit.

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  53. I remember reading a book from my dad’s bookshelf titled Computers. It was published sometime in the 1960s, and therefore, innocent of any considerations of “diversity” in the writing of its history section.

    Charles Babbage’s Analytic and Difference engines were discussed in some detail, and Ada Lovelace was given considerable credit for coming up with the idea of programmability in a computation machine— and specifically, for conceptualizing conditional loops, IIRC.

    Looking at her famous “notes”, on which that reputation rests, I must say that I’m pretty impressed. Someone like John Derbyshire is far more qualified than I am to assess their worth, but her insight and understanding are striking, especially when you consider that this was written in a candlelit era, with no relevant Flynn effect in operation, no familiarity with actual computers or computing. She was conceptualizing from an already abstract concept.

    http://www.fourmilab.ch/babbage/sketch.html

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    • Replies: @candid_observer
    Has there ever been a time since WWII -- and perhaps even earlier -- in which we were innocent of diversity considerations?

    Even in the fifties, for example, a huge deal was made of George Washington Carver. Not that he doesn't deserve some real credit, but only the color of his skin allowed him such prominent notice.

    And I suggest you dig deeper on Ada Lovelace's level of contribution. The gap between what's claimed about her and what can be supported is rather stupendous, and, remarkably, was so even back in her own time.

    There seemed to be a number of men back in that era who were bowled over by women to the point of making ridiculously extravagant claims about their talents. Babbage seemed to be one (as was true of other men with regard to Lovelace). And John Stuart Mills' abject and embarrassing praise of his wife's talents was another.

    , @guest
    When you consider that her reputation is as a mathematician and as the inventor of computer programming, I don't see how you can be impressed.

    If it's just a matter of having insight, even on the abstraction of an abstraction level, okay. Maybe that's notable. But it's a virtual certainty no one would care about her prophetic vision if it weren't for other biographical attributes.

    In any case, she's not as sold. And there are about a billion unknown men who came up with more unique and significant insights.

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  54. @jimbojones
    Just when I thought the NYT could not sink any lower.
    Who's next - Empress Theodora?

    What have you against Empress Theodora? Procopius did not like her but then ol’ Pro had a few issues in the James Levine area, while Theodora appears to have been an apt and avid wife.

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  55. @anon
    On the subject of evolution, does anyone know how the practice of beating egg whites evolved? Why would someone get the idea of separating yolks from whites? And why would anyone then beat the whites? As the practice evolved people could not have known that meringue was the final cause. Each step must have served its own intermediate purpose. Where the hell did they get the idea of beating the whites?

    “Where the hell did they get the idea of beating the whites?”
    From an ancient cookbook called How To Serve Man. Published first in Wakanda, I believe.

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  56. Steve Sailer:

    “In particular, her having a rather masculine turn of intellect made her more renown during her life.”

    Should be “renowned”, I think. You’re welcome, sir.

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  57. @syonredux

    Aged 26, married with three small children, she embarked on a mathematics correspondence course. Letters to her distinguished tutor reveal that she was working at the level of a bright first year undergraduate.
     

    So, Ada Lovelace was a good, but not a brilliant mathematician.
     
    http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-34243042

    Ada Lovelace is one of those rare diversity icons whose talents were as absurdly overrated in her own day as they are in ours.

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  58. @PiltdownMan
    I remember reading a book from my dad's bookshelf titled Computers. It was published sometime in the 1960s, and therefore, innocent of any considerations of "diversity" in the writing of its history section.

    Charles Babbage's Analytic and Difference engines were discussed in some detail, and Ada Lovelace was given considerable credit for coming up with the idea of programmability in a computation machine— and specifically, for conceptualizing conditional loops, IIRC.

    Looking at her famous "notes", on which that reputation rests, I must say that I'm pretty impressed. Someone like John Derbyshire is far more qualified than I am to assess their worth, but her insight and understanding are striking, especially when you consider that this was written in a candlelit era, with no relevant Flynn effect in operation, no familiarity with actual computers or computing. She was conceptualizing from an already abstract concept.

    http://www.fourmilab.ch/babbage/sketch.html

    Has there ever been a time since WWII — and perhaps even earlier — in which we were innocent of diversity considerations?

    Even in the fifties, for example, a huge deal was made of George Washington Carver. Not that he doesn’t deserve some real credit, but only the color of his skin allowed him such prominent notice.

    And I suggest you dig deeper on Ada Lovelace’s level of contribution. The gap between what’s claimed about her and what can be supported is rather stupendous, and, remarkably, was so even back in her own time.

    There seemed to be a number of men back in that era who were bowled over by women to the point of making ridiculously extravagant claims about their talents. Babbage seemed to be one (as was true of other men with regard to Lovelace). And John Stuart Mills’ abject and embarrassing praise of his wife’s talents was another.

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    • Replies: @sabril
    I think that gynocentrism has always been a thing. Men are programmed to seek female validation and it follows that men have always had incentive to promote and pander to female envy of male accomplishment. Consider the case of Amelia Earhart, a marginally competent pilot who got a lot of attention in the 1930s mainly because she was a woman.
    , @Rosie

    And John Stuart Mills’ abject and embarrassing praise of his wife’s talents was another.
     
    Men benefit from their wives' intellectual abilities all the time. If they were all as generous as Mill in offering public recognition of this, I suspect women would be a lot more content in traditional roles. I have the sincere respect and esteem of one exceptional man, and that is all I require. If you have a daughter, don't let her see your contempt for women. She'll probably make it a point to prove you wrong, quite possibly to her long-term detriment.
    , @dfordoom

    There seemed to be a number of men back in that era who were bowled over by women to the point of making ridiculously extravagant claims about their talents.
     
    That's a point that was actually made by (surprisingly) Germaine Greer in her book The Slipshod Sibyls. She argues that in the 18th and 19th centuries women writers found it ridiculously easy to get published and that their work was often ludicrously overpraised by male critics.

    So it's reasonably to assume that women in other fields also had the advantage of being held to much lower standards.
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  59. Clinton has a ‘data driven campaign’ with an ‘algorithm’.

    Trump’s campaign employed a firm that ‘used data inappropriately’.

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  60. @syonredux

    Though Lovelace is referred to as the first computer programmer, some biographers and historians of computing claim otherwise.

     


    Allan G. Bromley, in the 1990 article Difference and Analytical Engines:

    All but one of the programs cited in her notes had been prepared by Babbage from three to seven years earlier. The exception was prepared by Babbage for her, although she did detect a 'bug' in it. Not only is there no evidence that Ada ever prepared a program for the Analytical Engine, but her correspondence with Babbage shows that she did not have the knowledge to do so.[79]
     

    Bruce Collier, who later wrote a biography of Babbage, wrote in his 1970 Harvard University PhD thesis that Lovelace "made a considerable contribution to publicizing the Analytical Engine, but there is no evidence that she advanced the design or theory of it in any way".[80]

     


    Eugene Eric Kim and Betty Alexandra Toole consider it "incorrect" to regard Lovelace as the first computer programmer, as Babbage wrote the initial programs for his Analytical Engine, although the majority were never published.[81] Bromley notes several dozen sample programs prepared by Babbage between 1837 and 1840, all substantially predating Lovelace's notes.[82] Dorothy K. Stein regards Lovelace's notes as "more a reflection of the mathematical uncertainty of the author, the political purposes of the inventor, and, above all, of the social and cultural context in which it was written, than a blueprint for a scientific development".[83]
     

    In his book, Idea Makers, Stephen Wolfram defends Lovelace's contributions. While acknowledging that Babbage wrote several unpublished algorithms for the Analytical Engine prior to Lovelace's notes, Wolfram argues that "there's nothing as sophisticated—or as clean—as Ada's computation of the Bernoulli numbers. Babbage certainly helped and commented on Ada's work, but she was definitely the driver of it." Wolfram then suggests that Lovelace's main achievement was to distill from Babbage's correspondence "a clear exposition of the abstract operation of the machine—something which Babbage never did."[84]
     

    Doron Swade, a specialist on history of computing known for his work on Babbage, analyzed four claims about Lovelace during a lecture on Babbage's analytical engine:

    She was a mathematical genius
    She made an influential contribution to the analytical engine
    She was the first computer programmer
    She was a prophet of the computer age
    According to him, only the fourth claim had "any substance at all". He explained that Ada was only a "promising beginner" instead of genius in mathematics, that she began studying basic concepts of mathematics five years after Babbage conceived the analytical engine so she couldn't have made important contributions to it, and that she only published the first computer program instead of actually writing it. But he agrees that Ada was the only person to see the potential of the analytical engine as a machine capable of expressing entities other than quantities
    .[85]
     
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ada_Lovelace#Controversy_over_extent_of_contributions

    ““incorrect” to regard Lovelace as the first computer programmer”

    I think the discussion misses the point.

    Algorithms, written in a human-readable notation, existed before Babbage so that was not new. Machines being used for mathematical calculations existed before Babbage. Those machines were each dedicated to a specific problem. Lovelace imagined a machine that worked like the looms of the time, being ‘programmed’ by a train of punch cards containing machine readable instructions the loom could then read and translate into a fabric pattern. My point is that what was new wasn’t the algorithm or the specific machine. It was that a general machine would do a mathematical calculation directed by an algorithm written in a machine-readable code. That was as impossible as Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein monster, but was a tremendous leap of imagination. Lovelace is sort of like Stanley Kubrick, who could be said to have imagined artificial intelligence with HAL.

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    • Replies: @guest
    You mean Arthur C. Clarke, not Stanley Kubrick. Anyway, the concept of artificial intelligence preceded both.

    What's pernicious about the Lovelace Myth, as I'll call it, is that the story isn't told as you're telling it here. If it were, I might quibble with whether Lovelace was important enough to be a household name. But at least it would be the truth.

    Instead, we're told that she was an actual computer programmer and mathematician. Finding out it was just a leap of imagination is a giant letdown.

    She's like Stanley Kubrick if he had the idea for 2001 but never filmed it.

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  61. @George
    OK, but what was special about England in the early 1800s that permitted female intellectuals of such quantity and quality?

    “what was special about England in the early 1800s ”

    This period was the resurgence of Empire. The revolutionary war was lost. Waterloo was 1815. The British turned their attention to reestablishing overseas Empire. Sort of like Ibn Khaldun predicted. The inland tribe began to take over the world, moved to fancier living in places like India, but became corrupt and eventually could not resist the invasion of another inland tribe, the ‘Janglee’ people of Mirpur Pakistan. So the cycle is complete. I for one am waiting for the female sci fi authors of Rotherham and Telford to imagine a future world I am incapable of imagining myself.

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  62. The Difference Engine was the first computer project failure and would have succeeded if Babbage had done a better job of salesmanship. As for Lovelace, she was really the first Developer Evangelist and did not ask to be a feminist icon. Snark aside, biographies of Babbage as well as other 19th century technology developments are fascinating. Textile manufacturing spawned the computer industry.

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  63. @AYFKM
    So the other day I was doing some research for work and I came across a Nobel Prize winner named Kary Mullis. I thought, why haven't I heard of this great female scientist before?

    Because Kary's a dude; never mind. I bet that dude's first name has broken a thousand feminist hearts.

    Lol, Kary Mullis also breaks the heart of science/Nobel Prize enthusiasts, at least a bit, because in addition to inventing PCR he’s an enormous hippie flake.

    See also his autobiography Dancing Naked in the Mind Field. Geez, Kary, tone it down a bit will you?

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  64. @candid_observer
    Has there ever been a time since WWII -- and perhaps even earlier -- in which we were innocent of diversity considerations?

    Even in the fifties, for example, a huge deal was made of George Washington Carver. Not that he doesn't deserve some real credit, but only the color of his skin allowed him such prominent notice.

    And I suggest you dig deeper on Ada Lovelace's level of contribution. The gap between what's claimed about her and what can be supported is rather stupendous, and, remarkably, was so even back in her own time.

    There seemed to be a number of men back in that era who were bowled over by women to the point of making ridiculously extravagant claims about their talents. Babbage seemed to be one (as was true of other men with regard to Lovelace). And John Stuart Mills' abject and embarrassing praise of his wife's talents was another.

    I think that gynocentrism has always been a thing. Men are programmed to seek female validation and it follows that men have always had incentive to promote and pander to female envy of male accomplishment. Consider the case of Amelia Earhart, a marginally competent pilot who got a lot of attention in the 1930s mainly because she was a woman.

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    • Replies: @guest
    With Earhart you're well into the modern era. How far back, I wonder, were we consistently celebrating women blazing trails by doing what men were already doing, only with breasts?

    I imagine there was always the novelty factor. But at some point we were more likely to celebrate women for their femininity. You know, like Clara Barton or Mother Mary.
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  65. @snorlax

    Lovelace is easily the most overrated woman in the history of STEM.
     
    Grace Hopper might give her a run for her money. (Hopper can be credited with more genuine contributions, but OTOH Lovelace had no part in inflicting COBOL on the world).

    Or, moving on to other STEM fields, perhaps the "overlooked" "actual DNA discoverer" Rosalind Franklin.

    Or maybe Ur-Woman in STEM Marie Curie, whose work was as trendy and media-savvy as it was without substance. That she received two Nobels while Von Neumann got zero is a scandal.

    On second thought, it's gotta be the Hidden Figures, who make Lovelace, Hopper, Franklin and Curie look like Dijkstra, Turing, Lavoisier and Newton. (Who?)

    Admiral Grace at least did come up with a beloved quote.

    “It’s easier to ask forgiveness than it is to get permission.”

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    • Replies: @Jenner Ickham Errican
    Little know fact: Hopper moonlighted as a capricious and violent dominatrix.
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  66. @Charles Erwin Wilson II
    Oh you have done it now.

    Lovelace isn't just the patron saint of computing, she is the Mother of God to the nitwits trumpeting her virtues. And now your iconoclasm will be met with not just pooh-poohing, but genuine and heartfelt vitriol. You will be banished, and from your banishment the Gulag will look good to you.

    Well done.

    The people using this site as Gospel are her modern minions:

    http://www.iflscience.com/

    Lovelace hovers in the background of the William Gibson/Bruce Sterling alternative history novel The Difference Engine.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Difference_Engine

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  67. @AYFKM
    So the other day I was doing some research for work and I came across a Nobel Prize winner named Kary Mullis. I thought, why haven't I heard of this great female scientist before?

    Because Kary's a dude; never mind. I bet that dude's first name has broken a thousand feminist hearts.

    Mullis met a talking, glow-in-the-dark raccoon in Mendocino once.

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  68. This “overlooked” stuff isn’t about actually being overlooked. It’s simply about Redistributive Justice, in this case redistribution of publicity from men to women. Hardly matters that Ada Lovelace was plenty famous. Oprah is plenty rich, but she’s not as rich as Bill Gates, which leaves room to argue some of Bill Gates’ money belongs to Oprah.

    Same thing as with the Diversity Racket, affirmative action, Black History Month, Womenz Day, Harriet Tubman on our money, “inclusion riders,” and so forth. Our culture exists. Those in charge of it now aren’t really adding to it, but rather are subdividing it amongst favored groups. Trying as earnestly as possible to give unfavored groups no help.

    Culture is a given to them. It’s just there, and could be as full of Lovelaces as Babbages, or Madame Curies as Einsteins. What’s the difference, when they’re the same by definition? Except of course the more “diverse” are superior.

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  69. @sabril
    I think that gynocentrism has always been a thing. Men are programmed to seek female validation and it follows that men have always had incentive to promote and pander to female envy of male accomplishment. Consider the case of Amelia Earhart, a marginally competent pilot who got a lot of attention in the 1930s mainly because she was a woman.

    With Earhart you’re well into the modern era. How far back, I wonder, were we consistently celebrating women blazing trails by doing what men were already doing, only with breasts?

    I imagine there was always the novelty factor. But at some point we were more likely to celebrate women for their femininity. You know, like Clara Barton or Mother Mary.

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    • Replies: @sabril
    I did a Google search and found some writings by Herodotus the ancient Greek historian regarding Artemesia, in which she is presented as "a remarkable woman and the shrewdest of Xerxes' commanders."

    http://www.stoa.org/diotima/anthology/artemisia.shtml

    Of course it's remotely possible that Artemisia was all that and a bag of chips, but based on my knowledge of female nature and male nature, I think it's a lot more likely that she was a mediocre commander who got lucky and Herodotus was singing her praises due to his internal white-knighting instinct.

    That was 2500 years ago.
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  70. @Pericles
    Admiral Grace at least did come up with a beloved quote.

    "It's easier to ask forgiveness than it is to get permission."

    Little know fact: Hopper moonlighted as a capricious and violent dominatrix.

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  71. @PiltdownMan
    I remember reading a book from my dad's bookshelf titled Computers. It was published sometime in the 1960s, and therefore, innocent of any considerations of "diversity" in the writing of its history section.

    Charles Babbage's Analytic and Difference engines were discussed in some detail, and Ada Lovelace was given considerable credit for coming up with the idea of programmability in a computation machine— and specifically, for conceptualizing conditional loops, IIRC.

    Looking at her famous "notes", on which that reputation rests, I must say that I'm pretty impressed. Someone like John Derbyshire is far more qualified than I am to assess their worth, but her insight and understanding are striking, especially when you consider that this was written in a candlelit era, with no relevant Flynn effect in operation, no familiarity with actual computers or computing. She was conceptualizing from an already abstract concept.

    http://www.fourmilab.ch/babbage/sketch.html

    When you consider that her reputation is as a mathematician and as the inventor of computer programming, I don’t see how you can be impressed.

    If it’s just a matter of having insight, even on the abstraction of an abstraction level, okay. Maybe that’s notable. But it’s a virtual certainty no one would care about her prophetic vision if it weren’t for other biographical attributes.

    In any case, she’s not as sold. And there are about a billion unknown men who came up with more unique and significant insights.

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    • Replies: @Rosie

    In any case, she’s not as sold. And there are about a billion unknown men who came up with more unique and significant insights.
     
    Are you serious? How many men have ever actually even learned to read throughout history?

    If you take a White woman two standard deviations from the mean, say at IQ 130, does anyone know where that would place her in terms of percentile rank in the world?

    I have seen the number 97%, but that seems low to me, and in any event will go higher as global demographics change,
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  72. @George
    "“incorrect” to regard Lovelace as the first computer programmer"

    I think the discussion misses the point.

    Algorithms, written in a human-readable notation, existed before Babbage so that was not new. Machines being used for mathematical calculations existed before Babbage. Those machines were each dedicated to a specific problem. Lovelace imagined a machine that worked like the looms of the time, being 'programmed' by a train of punch cards containing machine readable instructions the loom could then read and translate into a fabric pattern. My point is that what was new wasn't the algorithm or the specific machine. It was that a general machine would do a mathematical calculation directed by an algorithm written in a machine-readable code. That was as impossible as Mary Shelley's Frankenstein monster, but was a tremendous leap of imagination. Lovelace is sort of like Stanley Kubrick, who could be said to have imagined artificial intelligence with HAL.

    You mean Arthur C. Clarke, not Stanley Kubrick. Anyway, the concept of artificial intelligence preceded both.

    What’s pernicious about the Lovelace Myth, as I’ll call it, is that the story isn’t told as you’re telling it here. If it were, I might quibble with whether Lovelace was important enough to be a household name. But at least it would be the truth.

    Instead, we’re told that she was an actual computer programmer and mathematician. Finding out it was just a leap of imagination is a giant letdown.

    She’s like Stanley Kubrick if he had the idea for 2001 but never filmed it.

    Read More
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  73. @guest
    With Earhart you're well into the modern era. How far back, I wonder, were we consistently celebrating women blazing trails by doing what men were already doing, only with breasts?

    I imagine there was always the novelty factor. But at some point we were more likely to celebrate women for their femininity. You know, like Clara Barton or Mother Mary.

    I did a Google search and found some writings by Herodotus the ancient Greek historian regarding Artemesia, in which she is presented as “a remarkable woman and the shrewdest of Xerxes’ commanders.”

    http://www.stoa.org/diotima/anthology/artemisia.shtml

    Of course it’s remotely possible that Artemisia was all that and a bag of chips, but based on my knowledge of female nature and male nature, I think it’s a lot more likely that she was a mediocre commander who got lucky and Herodotus was singing her praises due to his internal white-knighting instinct.

    That was 2500 years ago.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anonymous
    I don't think there is any question that Artemisia was actually quite an intelligent woman. She gets respectful mention even from Plato (although at the moment I can't recall where it is or if it is overt or implict, but he clearly respects her on some level...). But... like SO many of the women who get touted as intellectual giants neglected by history, I suspect her skills were especially on the social level, and enabled her to draw out the best from the men (like Pericles) who were around her. I'm thinking Julia Domna, Princess Elizabeth, probably Ada Lovelace, perhaps many others.
    , @flyingtiger
    Herodotus came from the home town of Artesmia-Halicarnassus. I always thought that Herodotus gave a shout out to the local girl to puff up her image.
    The battle of Salamis was the greatest defeat of the Persian Empire. It stopped their Western expansion. Themistocles commanded the victorious Greek fleet. He would later go into exile. He spent his late years of life as governor of an important province for the Persian Empire.
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  74. @candid_observer
    Has there ever been a time since WWII -- and perhaps even earlier -- in which we were innocent of diversity considerations?

    Even in the fifties, for example, a huge deal was made of George Washington Carver. Not that he doesn't deserve some real credit, but only the color of his skin allowed him such prominent notice.

    And I suggest you dig deeper on Ada Lovelace's level of contribution. The gap between what's claimed about her and what can be supported is rather stupendous, and, remarkably, was so even back in her own time.

    There seemed to be a number of men back in that era who were bowled over by women to the point of making ridiculously extravagant claims about their talents. Babbage seemed to be one (as was true of other men with regard to Lovelace). And John Stuart Mills' abject and embarrassing praise of his wife's talents was another.

    And John Stuart Mills’ abject and embarrassing praise of his wife’s talents was another.

    Men benefit from their wives’ intellectual abilities all the time. If they were all as generous as Mill in offering public recognition of this, I suspect women would be a lot more content in traditional roles. I have the sincere respect and esteem of one exceptional man, and that is all I require. If you have a daughter, don’t let her see your contempt for women. She’ll probably make it a point to prove you wrong, quite possibly to her long-term detriment.

    Read More
    • Replies: @anonymous
    #wewuzqweens

    John Stuart Mill, basically an abject liberal, is arguably how we're in this position in the first place. Not that you appear to know...
    , @David
    anonymous can eat crap, I'm with Rosie. Let's let Mill's dedication of On Liberty speak for itself:

    To the beloved and deplored memory of her who was the inspirer, and in part the author, of all that is best in my writings—the friend and wife whose exalted sense of truth and right was my strongest incitement, and whose approbation was my chief reward—I dedicate this volume. Like all that I have written for many years, it belongs as much to her as to me; but the work as it stands has had, in a very insufficient degree, the inestimable advantage of her revision; some of the most important portions having been reserved for a more careful re-examination, which they are now never destined to receive. Were I but capable of interpreting to the world one-half the great thoughts and noble feelings which are buried in her grave, I should be the medium of a greater benefit to it than is ever likely to arise from anything that I can write, unprompted and unassisted by her all but unrivalled wisdom.
     
    , @guest
    I don't see why they'd require fawning public praise (some things are better behind closed doors), but if it's a must can the Great Men of Intellect praise their wives' hair or fashion sense instead of pretending they're intellectual equals?
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  75. @guest
    When you consider that her reputation is as a mathematician and as the inventor of computer programming, I don't see how you can be impressed.

    If it's just a matter of having insight, even on the abstraction of an abstraction level, okay. Maybe that's notable. But it's a virtual certainty no one would care about her prophetic vision if it weren't for other biographical attributes.

    In any case, she's not as sold. And there are about a billion unknown men who came up with more unique and significant insights.

    In any case, she’s not as sold. And there are about a billion unknown men who came up with more unique and significant insights.

    Are you serious? How many men have ever actually even learned to read throughout history?

    If you take a White woman two standard deviations from the mean, say at IQ 130, does anyone know where that would place her in terms of percentile rank in the world?

    I have seen the number 97%, but that seems low to me, and in any event will go higher as global demographics change,

    Read More
    • Replies: @guest
    I'm not serious. "Billion" was hyperbolic.
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  76. Since 1851, obituaries in The New York Times have been dominated by white men. Now, we’re adding the stories of remarkable women.

    Oh, come on (no pun intended)… .the NYT did an obituary on Linda Lovelace, didn’t it??

    http://www.nytimes.com/2002/04/24/arts/linda-boreman-53-known-for-1972-film-deep-throat.html

    Read More
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  77. @Rosie

    And John Stuart Mills’ abject and embarrassing praise of his wife’s talents was another.
     
    Men benefit from their wives' intellectual abilities all the time. If they were all as generous as Mill in offering public recognition of this, I suspect women would be a lot more content in traditional roles. I have the sincere respect and esteem of one exceptional man, and that is all I require. If you have a daughter, don't let her see your contempt for women. She'll probably make it a point to prove you wrong, quite possibly to her long-term detriment.

    #wewuzqweens

    John Stuart Mill, basically an abject liberal, is arguably how we’re in this position in the first place. Not that you appear to know…

    Read More
    • Replies: @Rosie
    Oh please. The fact is we're all utilitarians and have been for a very long time. Do you not think the agenda of the dissident Right will produce the greatest good for the greatest number?
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  78. Speaking of overhyped female inventors…

    Elizabeth Holmes sounds a lot like radio host Heather Wade.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?&v=IG-IZa-aTqk

    Read More
    • Replies: @guest
    I prefer flipping the hackside.
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  79. @Rosie

    And John Stuart Mills’ abject and embarrassing praise of his wife’s talents was another.
     
    Men benefit from their wives' intellectual abilities all the time. If they were all as generous as Mill in offering public recognition of this, I suspect women would be a lot more content in traditional roles. I have the sincere respect and esteem of one exceptional man, and that is all I require. If you have a daughter, don't let her see your contempt for women. She'll probably make it a point to prove you wrong, quite possibly to her long-term detriment.

    anonymous can eat crap, I’m with Rosie. Let’s let Mill’s dedication of On Liberty speak for itself:

    To the beloved and deplored memory of her who was the inspirer, and in part the author, of all that is best in my writings—the friend and wife whose exalted sense of truth and right was my strongest incitement, and whose approbation was my chief reward—I dedicate this volume. Like all that I have written for many years, it belongs as much to her as to me; but the work as it stands has had, in a very insufficient degree, the inestimable advantage of her revision; some of the most important portions having been reserved for a more careful re-examination, which they are now never destined to receive. Were I but capable of interpreting to the world one-half the great thoughts and noble feelings which are buried in her grave, I should be the medium of a greater benefit to it than is ever likely to arise from anything that I can write, unprompted and unassisted by her all but unrivalled wisdom.

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    • Replies: @anonymous
    David and Rosie, you are both profoundly wrong.

    For every man who decides what he wants to be in life is a half-remembered progenitor of dusty tomes on political economy and its ilk, there is a woman who wants to be the person in that man's life who inspired him.
    , @anonymous

    Mill vehemently rejected his opponents’ belief in natural inequalities, whether of women, or so-called “lower classes” or “lower races”—all individuals should be treated equally unless good cause can be shown to do otherwise. “The course of history,” wrote Mill, “and the tendencies of progressive human society, afford not only no presumption in favor of this system of inequality of rights, but a strong one against it; and . . .
     
    He even believed in white privilege.

    All his life, John Stuart Mill [1806-1873] was guided by his principles which led him to fight for the emancipation of women, for a secular, democratic and egalitarian society. He was hostile “to privilege and injustice and to the moral callousness he took to underlie these evils.”

    Mill reasoned, “It is curious withal, that the earliest known civilization was, we have the strongest reason to believe, a negro civilization. The original Egyptians are inferred, from the evidence of their sculptures, to have been a negro race: it was from negroes, therefore, that the Greeks learnt their first lessons in civilization; and to the records and traditions of these negroes did the Greek philosophers to the very end of their career resort (I do not say with much fruit) as a treasury of mysterious wisdom.”
     
    Born in the modern world, he would basically be a full-on SJW.
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  80. anonymous • Disclaimer says:
    @David
    anonymous can eat crap, I'm with Rosie. Let's let Mill's dedication of On Liberty speak for itself:

    To the beloved and deplored memory of her who was the inspirer, and in part the author, of all that is best in my writings—the friend and wife whose exalted sense of truth and right was my strongest incitement, and whose approbation was my chief reward—I dedicate this volume. Like all that I have written for many years, it belongs as much to her as to me; but the work as it stands has had, in a very insufficient degree, the inestimable advantage of her revision; some of the most important portions having been reserved for a more careful re-examination, which they are now never destined to receive. Were I but capable of interpreting to the world one-half the great thoughts and noble feelings which are buried in her grave, I should be the medium of a greater benefit to it than is ever likely to arise from anything that I can write, unprompted and unassisted by her all but unrivalled wisdom.
     

    David and Rosie, you are both profoundly wrong.

    For every man who decides what he wants to be in life is a half-remembered progenitor of dusty tomes on political economy and its ilk, there is a woman who wants to be the person in that man’s life who inspired him.

    Read More
    • Replies: @anonymous
    What would Ernest Borgnine say about this?

    Who can ever know how many golden hours they spent together, John Stuart Mill and Mrs John Stuart Mill?

    I was not around at the time, and if I had been I would likely not have been a dear friend of the couple, but if I had been (around at the time and a pal) I would remember this about them: Heart to heart talks in the depths of the long nights when idle thoughts of political economy have been left aside (cor ad cor loquitur, as Newman liked to say).

    You could spend hundreds of hours in a good university library reading thousands of pages, almost all with at least a line or two of interest, in all the admirable books about John Stuart Mill (and to a lesser extent about Mrs John Stuart Mill) ... and not get this basic fact ....

    but I will save you some of the trouble. Each found a haven in the heart of the other.

    If one were to assign a popular love song from the 50s- 60s- 70s- 80s to each of the great economists of the past I would assign to John Stuart Mill the (non-existent in this universe, but let's not limit ourselves so much, Rosie) follow-up single to "Come on Eileen", which had been popularized at the wane of the 45 days by Dexy's Midnight Runners: that song (i.e., the follow-up hit single) where Dexy and the Runners sing of how nice it was when Dexy and Eileen used to stay up late together - almost til' dawn - while Dexy wrote yet another page on bi-metallism and Eileen used to make fresh sandwiches (with perfect fresh mayonnaise) and explain to Dexy the meaning of happiness, sometimes in many words, sometimes in few words, sometimes in no words at all.

    Dexy = John Stuart Mill
    Eileen = Mrs John Stuart Mill

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  81. anonymous • Disclaimer says:
    @anonymous
    David and Rosie, you are both profoundly wrong.

    For every man who decides what he wants to be in life is a half-remembered progenitor of dusty tomes on political economy and its ilk, there is a woman who wants to be the person in that man's life who inspired him.

    What would Ernest Borgnine say about this?

    Who can ever know how many golden hours they spent together, John Stuart Mill and Mrs John Stuart Mill?

    I was not around at the time, and if I had been I would likely not have been a dear friend of the couple, but if I had been (around at the time and a pal) I would remember this about them: Heart to heart talks in the depths of the long nights when idle thoughts of political economy have been left aside (cor ad cor loquitur, as Newman liked to say).

    You could spend hundreds of hours in a good university library reading thousands of pages, almost all with at least a line or two of interest, in all the admirable books about John Stuart Mill (and to a lesser extent about Mrs John Stuart Mill) … and not get this basic fact ….

    but I will save you some of the trouble. Each found a haven in the heart of the other.

    If one were to assign a popular love song from the 50s- 60s- 70s- 80s to each of the great economists of the past I would assign to John Stuart Mill the (non-existent in this universe, but let’s not limit ourselves so much, Rosie) follow-up single to “Come on Eileen”, which had been popularized at the wane of the 45 days by Dexy’s Midnight Runners: that song (i.e., the follow-up hit single) where Dexy and the Runners sing of how nice it was when Dexy and Eileen used to stay up late together – almost til’ dawn – while Dexy wrote yet another page on bi-metallism and Eileen used to make fresh sandwiches (with perfect fresh mayonnaise) and explain to Dexy the meaning of happiness, sometimes in many words, sometimes in few words, sometimes in no words at all.

    Dexy = John Stuart Mill
    Eileen = Mrs John Stuart Mill

    Read More
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  82. anonymous • Disclaimer says:
    @David
    anonymous can eat crap, I'm with Rosie. Let's let Mill's dedication of On Liberty speak for itself:

    To the beloved and deplored memory of her who was the inspirer, and in part the author, of all that is best in my writings—the friend and wife whose exalted sense of truth and right was my strongest incitement, and whose approbation was my chief reward—I dedicate this volume. Like all that I have written for many years, it belongs as much to her as to me; but the work as it stands has had, in a very insufficient degree, the inestimable advantage of her revision; some of the most important portions having been reserved for a more careful re-examination, which they are now never destined to receive. Were I but capable of interpreting to the world one-half the great thoughts and noble feelings which are buried in her grave, I should be the medium of a greater benefit to it than is ever likely to arise from anything that I can write, unprompted and unassisted by her all but unrivalled wisdom.
     

    Mill vehemently rejected his opponents’ belief in natural inequalities, whether of women, or so-called “lower classes” or “lower races”—all individuals should be treated equally unless good cause can be shown to do otherwise. “The course of history,” wrote Mill, “and the tendencies of progressive human society, afford not only no presumption in favor of this system of inequality of rights, but a strong one against it; and . . .

    He even believed in white privilege.

    All his life, John Stuart Mill [1806-1873] was guided by his principles which led him to fight for the emancipation of women, for a secular, democratic and egalitarian society. He was hostile “to privilege and injustice and to the moral callousness he took to underlie these evils.”

    Mill reasoned, “It is curious withal, that the earliest known civilization was, we have the strongest reason to believe, a negro civilization. The original Egyptians are inferred, from the evidence of their sculptures, to have been a negro race: it was from negroes, therefore, that the Greeks learnt their first lessons in civilization; and to the records and traditions of these negroes did the Greek philosophers to the very end of their career resort (I do not say with much fruit) as a treasury of mysterious wisdom.”

    Born in the modern world, he would basically be a full-on SJW.

    Read More
    • Replies: @guest
    "he would basically be a full-on SJW"

    Vox Day quotes Mill authoritatively in his book SJWs Always Lie, and I think that's where he gets the idea of "convergence." That is, when SJWs are in charge.

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  83. Couldn’t help yourself could you Steve? Had to throw in a self indulgent and decadent and gregarious reference to Scottish golf history and of course, ugh golf course architecture…..

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  84. @Rosie

    In any case, she’s not as sold. And there are about a billion unknown men who came up with more unique and significant insights.
     
    Are you serious? How many men have ever actually even learned to read throughout history?

    If you take a White woman two standard deviations from the mean, say at IQ 130, does anyone know where that would place her in terms of percentile rank in the world?

    I have seen the number 97%, but that seems low to me, and in any event will go higher as global demographics change,

    I’m not serious. “Billion” was hyperbolic.

    Read More
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  85. @Rosie

    And John Stuart Mills’ abject and embarrassing praise of his wife’s talents was another.
     
    Men benefit from their wives' intellectual abilities all the time. If they were all as generous as Mill in offering public recognition of this, I suspect women would be a lot more content in traditional roles. I have the sincere respect and esteem of one exceptional man, and that is all I require. If you have a daughter, don't let her see your contempt for women. She'll probably make it a point to prove you wrong, quite possibly to her long-term detriment.

    I don’t see why they’d require fawning public praise (some things are better behind closed doors), but if it’s a must can the Great Men of Intellect praise their wives’ hair or fashion sense instead of pretending they’re intellectual equals?

    Read More
    • Replies: @anonymous
    guest at 2:38 AM gmt - I am assuming you were just trying to be funny, but if you were serious:


    John Stuart Mill was, in fact, a midwit.

    He had an ordinary prose style, he had predictable views on what he considered, in his midwit way, to be the "economic questions" of the day, and he non-credibly bragged about his knowledge of what he fancied to be the "classical languages" (his Greek and his Latin understanding were both second-rate, not by a little but by a lot, and he only understood the English textbook versions of those beautiful languages).

    His most famous work is a sub-Shelley essay on women ( a good choice for a topic, I will give him that) and his second-most famous work is never ever read by anyone who does not make a living as an academic. There are literally hundreds of Victorians who are still read with pleasure by honest non-academics, John Stuart Mill is not one of them.

    In fact, there is a very good chance that his wife was more intelligent, more interesting, and more clever than him. Trust me on that, guest.

    But don't let the fact that I honestly think you seem to know absolutely nothing about Victorian intellectual history mean anything to you. Maybe I misunderstood your comment.

    , @Rosie
    Get over yourself. Truly great intellects can recognize very sharp intellects without "pretending we're all equal.

    You overestimate intelligence differences between men and women. Although men are more intelligent on average than women, much of their advantage is concentrated in spatial and mechanical reasoning.

    Don't get me wrong, these are tremendously valuable. Indeed, men are handy to have around. I recommend every girl get one. Combining male gray matter with the opposable thumb, you men make yourselves useful in all sorts of ways.
    However, your technical abilities are not particularly relevant to most of the big questions of life.

    When a woman who is more intelligent than 95% of the men in the world specifically devotes her life to her husband and puts his career at the center of her life, a bit of public fawning is hardly too much to ask, I'd say.
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  86. @anonymous
    #wewuzqweens

    John Stuart Mill, basically an abject liberal, is arguably how we're in this position in the first place. Not that you appear to know...

    Oh please. The fact is we’re all utilitarians and have been for a very long time. Do you not think the agenda of the dissident Right will produce the greatest good for the greatest number?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Charles Erwin Wilson II

    Do you not think the agenda of the dissident Right will produce the greatest good for the greatest number?
     
    Let us hope not. If it does, humanity will be consigned to the stone age.
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  87. @anonymous

    Mill vehemently rejected his opponents’ belief in natural inequalities, whether of women, or so-called “lower classes” or “lower races”—all individuals should be treated equally unless good cause can be shown to do otherwise. “The course of history,” wrote Mill, “and the tendencies of progressive human society, afford not only no presumption in favor of this system of inequality of rights, but a strong one against it; and . . .
     
    He even believed in white privilege.

    All his life, John Stuart Mill [1806-1873] was guided by his principles which led him to fight for the emancipation of women, for a secular, democratic and egalitarian society. He was hostile “to privilege and injustice and to the moral callousness he took to underlie these evils.”

    Mill reasoned, “It is curious withal, that the earliest known civilization was, we have the strongest reason to believe, a negro civilization. The original Egyptians are inferred, from the evidence of their sculptures, to have been a negro race: it was from negroes, therefore, that the Greeks learnt their first lessons in civilization; and to the records and traditions of these negroes did the Greek philosophers to the very end of their career resort (I do not say with much fruit) as a treasury of mysterious wisdom.”
     
    Born in the modern world, he would basically be a full-on SJW.

    “he would basically be a full-on SJW”

    Vox Day quotes Mill authoritatively in his book SJWs Always Lie, and I think that’s where he gets the idea of “convergence.” That is, when SJWs are in charge.

    Read More
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  88. @Stan Adams
    Speaking of overhyped female inventors...

    Elizabeth Holmes sounds a lot like radio host Heather Wade.

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?&v=IG-IZa-aTqk

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=v92Z4QUHDqU

    I prefer flipping the hackside.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Stan Adams
    So long as you're not hacking Flipper into fish sticks at the seaside, you're good.

    I had grilled dolphin for dinner the other night. It tasted like grilled mahi-mahi.
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  89. anonymous • Disclaimer says:
    @guest
    I don't see why they'd require fawning public praise (some things are better behind closed doors), but if it's a must can the Great Men of Intellect praise their wives' hair or fashion sense instead of pretending they're intellectual equals?

    guest at 2:38 AM gmt – I am assuming you were just trying to be funny, but if you were serious:

    John Stuart Mill was, in fact, a midwit.

    He had an ordinary prose style, he had predictable views on what he considered, in his midwit way, to be the “economic questions” of the day, and he non-credibly bragged about his knowledge of what he fancied to be the “classical languages” (his Greek and his Latin understanding were both second-rate, not by a little but by a lot, and he only understood the English textbook versions of those beautiful languages).

    His most famous work is a sub-Shelley essay on women ( a good choice for a topic, I will give him that) and his second-most famous work is never ever read by anyone who does not make a living as an academic. There are literally hundreds of Victorians who are still read with pleasure by honest non-academics, John Stuart Mill is not one of them.

    In fact, there is a very good chance that his wife was more intelligent, more interesting, and more clever than him. Trust me on that, guest.

    But don’t let the fact that I honestly think you seem to know absolutely nothing about Victorian intellectual history mean anything to you. Maybe I misunderstood your comment.

    Read More
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  90. @Rosie
    Oh please. The fact is we're all utilitarians and have been for a very long time. Do you not think the agenda of the dissident Right will produce the greatest good for the greatest number?

    Do you not think the agenda of the dissident Right will produce the greatest good for the greatest number?

    Let us hope not. If it does, humanity will be consigned to the stone age.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Rosie

    Let us hope not. If it does, humanity will be consigned to the stone age.
     
    Lol.
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  91. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:
    @sabril
    I did a Google search and found some writings by Herodotus the ancient Greek historian regarding Artemesia, in which she is presented as "a remarkable woman and the shrewdest of Xerxes' commanders."

    http://www.stoa.org/diotima/anthology/artemisia.shtml

    Of course it's remotely possible that Artemisia was all that and a bag of chips, but based on my knowledge of female nature and male nature, I think it's a lot more likely that she was a mediocre commander who got lucky and Herodotus was singing her praises due to his internal white-knighting instinct.

    That was 2500 years ago.

    I don’t think there is any question that Artemisia was actually quite an intelligent woman. She gets respectful mention even from Plato (although at the moment I can’t recall where it is or if it is overt or implict, but he clearly respects her on some level…). But… like SO many of the women who get touted as intellectual giants neglected by history, I suspect her skills were especially on the social level, and enabled her to draw out the best from the men (like Pericles) who were around her. I’m thinking Julia Domna, Princess Elizabeth, probably Ada Lovelace, perhaps many others.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    Jaron Lanier talks about the women who played key roles in helping put nerdy Silicon Valley guys together to start companies.
    , @sabril

    I don’t think there is any question that Artemisia was actually quite an intelligent woman.
     
    Sure, and Ada Lovelace was probably quite intelligent in the grand scheme of things. Our gynocentric culture loves to find women who are "quite intelligent" and pretend that they are brilliant.

    Really it's an application of Bayes' theorem. The percentage of women who are truly brilliant is extremely low. The percentage of men who are so thirsty for female validation that they will pretend that an intelligent woman is brilliant is pretty high. So when a man praises a woman in this way, it's reasonable to think he's fooling himself.

    Artemisia's actual abilities will never be known, but I'm pretty confident that if she had been a man, she would have been just another military leader, not particularly noteworthy, and quickly forgotten.
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  92. @Anonymous
    I don't think there is any question that Artemisia was actually quite an intelligent woman. She gets respectful mention even from Plato (although at the moment I can't recall where it is or if it is overt or implict, but he clearly respects her on some level...). But... like SO many of the women who get touted as intellectual giants neglected by history, I suspect her skills were especially on the social level, and enabled her to draw out the best from the men (like Pericles) who were around her. I'm thinking Julia Domna, Princess Elizabeth, probably Ada Lovelace, perhaps many others.

    Jaron Lanier talks about the women who played key roles in helping put nerdy Silicon Valley guys together to start companies.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anonymous
    The tragic thing, in my view, is that this might well be a viable and ennobling role for certain women in a highly complex society. "Feminists" and their ilk will demand that all women of note gain credit in their own right, whereas certain reactionaries will dismiss all women not pumping out kids. I fully agree that most women would do best by having and raising children. By perhaps not all.
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  93. @Charles Erwin Wilson II

    Do you not think the agenda of the dissident Right will produce the greatest good for the greatest number?
     
    Let us hope not. If it does, humanity will be consigned to the stone age.

    Let us hope not. If it does, humanity will be consigned to the stone age.

    Lol.

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  94. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:
    @Steve Sailer
    Jaron Lanier talks about the women who played key roles in helping put nerdy Silicon Valley guys together to start companies.

    The tragic thing, in my view, is that this might well be a viable and ennobling role for certain women in a highly complex society. “Feminists” and their ilk will demand that all women of note gain credit in their own right, whereas certain reactionaries will dismiss all women not pumping out kids. I fully agree that most women would do best by having and raising children. By perhaps not all.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    If they want to give more Oscars to women, they should invent a casting director Oscar.
    , @J.Ross
    Kate Bush had kids.
    Are the examples of female genius you were going to cite anywhere as brilliant as Kate Bush?
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  95. @guest
    I don't see why they'd require fawning public praise (some things are better behind closed doors), but if it's a must can the Great Men of Intellect praise their wives' hair or fashion sense instead of pretending they're intellectual equals?

    Get over yourself. Truly great intellects can recognize very sharp intellects without “pretending we’re all equal.

    You overestimate intelligence differences between men and women. Although men are more intelligent on average than women, much of their advantage is concentrated in spatial and mechanical reasoning.

    Don’t get me wrong, these are tremendously valuable. Indeed, men are handy to have around. I recommend every girl get one. Combining male gray matter with the opposable thumb, you men make yourselves useful in all sorts of ways.
    However, your technical abilities are not particularly relevant to most of the big questions of life.

    When a woman who is more intelligent than 95% of the men in the world specifically devotes her life to her husband and puts his career at the center of her life, a bit of public fawning is hardly too much to ask, I’d say.

    Read More
    • Replies: @anonymous
    The low standards that women are held at are pretty obvious that in spite of your obvious combination of slow-wit and waking confusion, most of the male commentators have merely chosen to ignore rather than point out the obvious flaws in your emotionally-driven "truths."

    Napoleon was right. Women are mostly means for making men.

    , @sabril

    When a woman who is more intelligent than 95% of the men in the world specifically devotes her life to her husband and puts his career at the center of her life, a bit of public fawning is hardly too much to ask, I’d say.
     
    It depends what you mean by "fawning." If it's along the lines of "Here's to my beautiful wife, I could never have accomplished this without her," that's pretty much unobjectionable. And in fact true a lot of the time, since a woman can provide a lot of help to a man.

    The problem comes when people start pretending that women are capable of male level greatness. With a few extremely rare exceptions, they are not and it's counterproductive to hold otherwise. I can already hear your response -- that most men are not capable of greatness either and this is of course correct. It doesn't change the fact that it's a huge waste of societal resources to encourage intelligent girls to spend precious time (which they could be using to make babies) pursuing greatness on an individual level.

    Anyway, I responded to your post mainly because you seem to be making the argument that the lack of response is tantamount to agreement with you. Unfortunately, women are children and as such very few of them have the maturity to accept that as a group they have certain intellectual flaws and limitations. I can't speak for other posters, but lately I have been trying to minimize the time I spend engaging with women about female nature.
    , @guest
    "You overestimate the intelligence differences between men and women"

    No, because we're not talking about a random man and a random woman. I stipulated that I was talking about Great Men of Intellect. Now, there are definitely more Great Men of Intellect than Great Women of Intellect, and I believe the upper limit of male intellect is higher than female intellect. But that's beside the point.

    Assume there are women as smart and accomplished as John Stuart Mill. What are the odds that John Stuart Mill would happen to be married to one? Pretty much nil. It's highly likely his wife would be dumber than him, even if there were just as many female John Stuart Mills as male John Stuart Mills walking around.

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  96. @Anonymous
    The tragic thing, in my view, is that this might well be a viable and ennobling role for certain women in a highly complex society. "Feminists" and their ilk will demand that all women of note gain credit in their own right, whereas certain reactionaries will dismiss all women not pumping out kids. I fully agree that most women would do best by having and raising children. By perhaps not all.

    If they want to give more Oscars to women, they should invent a casting director Oscar.

    Read More
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  97. @Anonymous
    The tragic thing, in my view, is that this might well be a viable and ennobling role for certain women in a highly complex society. "Feminists" and their ilk will demand that all women of note gain credit in their own right, whereas certain reactionaries will dismiss all women not pumping out kids. I fully agree that most women would do best by having and raising children. By perhaps not all.

    Kate Bush had kids.
    Are the examples of female genius you were going to cite anywhere as brilliant as Kate Bush?

    Read More
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  98. @candid_observer
    Has there ever been a time since WWII -- and perhaps even earlier -- in which we were innocent of diversity considerations?

    Even in the fifties, for example, a huge deal was made of George Washington Carver. Not that he doesn't deserve some real credit, but only the color of his skin allowed him such prominent notice.

    And I suggest you dig deeper on Ada Lovelace's level of contribution. The gap between what's claimed about her and what can be supported is rather stupendous, and, remarkably, was so even back in her own time.

    There seemed to be a number of men back in that era who were bowled over by women to the point of making ridiculously extravagant claims about their talents. Babbage seemed to be one (as was true of other men with regard to Lovelace). And John Stuart Mills' abject and embarrassing praise of his wife's talents was another.

    There seemed to be a number of men back in that era who were bowled over by women to the point of making ridiculously extravagant claims about their talents.

    That’s a point that was actually made by (surprisingly) Germaine Greer in her book The Slipshod Sibyls. She argues that in the 18th and 19th centuries women writers found it ridiculously easy to get published and that their work was often ludicrously overpraised by male critics.

    So it’s reasonably to assume that women in other fields also had the advantage of being held to much lower standards.

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  99. @James N. Kennett
    Ada Lovelace is hardly overlooked. She is discussed not only in the popular media, and in Computer Science courses, but by multiple initiatives that aim to increase women's participation in STEM disciplines.

    Non-stop adulation can have unintended consequences. One group of computer scientists decided to name their programming language Linda, after Ada Lovelace's less illustrious namesake.

    She is overlooked, and my proof is me: despite degrees from top-notch schools, when I hear “Lovelace” I think first of Linda, not of Ada.

    Read More
    • Replies: @ScarletNumber
    Considering that Linda was studying computers before a car accident changed her career trajectory, I wonder if she took her name from Ada.

    Also, I was waiting to see how long it took until someone brought up Linda's name. As of this moment it is post 99.
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  100. @Anonymous
    I don't think there is any question that Artemisia was actually quite an intelligent woman. She gets respectful mention even from Plato (although at the moment I can't recall where it is or if it is overt or implict, but he clearly respects her on some level...). But... like SO many of the women who get touted as intellectual giants neglected by history, I suspect her skills were especially on the social level, and enabled her to draw out the best from the men (like Pericles) who were around her. I'm thinking Julia Domna, Princess Elizabeth, probably Ada Lovelace, perhaps many others.

    I don’t think there is any question that Artemisia was actually quite an intelligent woman.

    Sure, and Ada Lovelace was probably quite intelligent in the grand scheme of things. Our gynocentric culture loves to find women who are “quite intelligent” and pretend that they are brilliant.

    Really it’s an application of Bayes’ theorem. The percentage of women who are truly brilliant is extremely low. The percentage of men who are so thirsty for female validation that they will pretend that an intelligent woman is brilliant is pretty high. So when a man praises a woman in this way, it’s reasonable to think he’s fooling himself.

    Artemisia’s actual abilities will never be known, but I’m pretty confident that if she had been a man, she would have been just another military leader, not particularly noteworthy, and quickly forgotten.

    Read More
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  101. @jimbojones
    Just when I thought the NYT could not sink any lower.
    Who's next - Empress Theodora?

    So what if she was a stripper and a whore. She gave Justinian the backbone to defeat the Nike rioters.

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  102. @sabril
    I did a Google search and found some writings by Herodotus the ancient Greek historian regarding Artemesia, in which she is presented as "a remarkable woman and the shrewdest of Xerxes' commanders."

    http://www.stoa.org/diotima/anthology/artemisia.shtml

    Of course it's remotely possible that Artemisia was all that and a bag of chips, but based on my knowledge of female nature and male nature, I think it's a lot more likely that she was a mediocre commander who got lucky and Herodotus was singing her praises due to his internal white-knighting instinct.

    That was 2500 years ago.

    Herodotus came from the home town of Artesmia-Halicarnassus. I always thought that Herodotus gave a shout out to the local girl to puff up her image.
    The battle of Salamis was the greatest defeat of the Persian Empire. It stopped their Western expansion. Themistocles commanded the victorious Greek fleet. He would later go into exile. He spent his late years of life as governor of an important province for the Persian Empire.

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  103. This is yet another instance of Male’s law of Sailer Sport’s Journalism”

    The least interesting articles by certain HBD bloggers tend to be demands that reader interests be overturned that, Come the 19th Hole, blog posts on golf course design will be considered much hotter topics.

    Just messing with you, Steve!

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  104. @Rosie
    Get over yourself. Truly great intellects can recognize very sharp intellects without "pretending we're all equal.

    You overestimate intelligence differences between men and women. Although men are more intelligent on average than women, much of their advantage is concentrated in spatial and mechanical reasoning.

    Don't get me wrong, these are tremendously valuable. Indeed, men are handy to have around. I recommend every girl get one. Combining male gray matter with the opposable thumb, you men make yourselves useful in all sorts of ways.
    However, your technical abilities are not particularly relevant to most of the big questions of life.

    When a woman who is more intelligent than 95% of the men in the world specifically devotes her life to her husband and puts his career at the center of her life, a bit of public fawning is hardly too much to ask, I'd say.

    The low standards that women are held at are pretty obvious that in spite of your obvious combination of slow-wit and waking confusion, most of the male commentators have merely chosen to ignore rather than point out the obvious flaws in your emotionally-driven “truths.”

    Napoleon was right. Women are mostly means for making men.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Rosie

    The low standards that women are held at are pretty obvious that in spite of your obvious combination of slow-wit and waking confusion, most of the male commentators have merely chosen to ignore rather than point out the obvious flaws in your emotionally-driven “truths.”
     
    Ignoring people only works for so long, and I'm not going away. Eventually, you'll have to admit you lost ...to a girl.
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  105. @guest
    I prefer flipping the hackside.

    So long as you’re not hacking Flipper into fish sticks at the seaside, you’re good.

    I had grilled dolphin for dinner the other night. It tasted like grilled mahi-mahi.

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  106. @anonymous
    The low standards that women are held at are pretty obvious that in spite of your obvious combination of slow-wit and waking confusion, most of the male commentators have merely chosen to ignore rather than point out the obvious flaws in your emotionally-driven "truths."

    Napoleon was right. Women are mostly means for making men.

    The low standards that women are held at are pretty obvious that in spite of your obvious combination of slow-wit and waking confusion, most of the male commentators have merely chosen to ignore rather than point out the obvious flaws in your emotionally-driven “truths.”

    Ignoring people only works for so long, and I’m not going away. Eventually, you’ll have to admit you lost …to a girl.

    Read More
    • Replies: @anonymous
    Not really. Women have been talking for at least three million years and being as useful(or lack of thereof) for the same amount of time.
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  107. @International Jew
    She is overlooked, and my proof is me: despite degrees from top-notch schools, when I hear "Lovelace" I think first of Linda, not of Ada.

    Considering that Linda was studying computers before a car accident changed her career trajectory, I wonder if she took her name from Ada.

    Also, I was waiting to see how long it took until someone brought up Linda’s name. As of this moment it is post 99.

    Read More
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  108. @George
    OK, but what was special about England in the early 1800s that permitted female intellectuals of such quantity and quality?

    Maybe it’s just that the time was specially propicious to all sorts of intelectual enterprises? Lots of great men of letters in the period too. There are always women intelectuals, just in smaller numbers than men; are we sure that we had proportionally more women over the period you mentioned?

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  109. @Rosie

    The low standards that women are held at are pretty obvious that in spite of your obvious combination of slow-wit and waking confusion, most of the male commentators have merely chosen to ignore rather than point out the obvious flaws in your emotionally-driven “truths.”
     
    Ignoring people only works for so long, and I'm not going away. Eventually, you'll have to admit you lost ...to a girl.

    Not really. Women have been talking for at least three million years and being as useful(or lack of thereof) for the same amount of time.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Rosie
    Maybe, but now we have the internets.
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  110. @Rosie
    Get over yourself. Truly great intellects can recognize very sharp intellects without "pretending we're all equal.

    You overestimate intelligence differences between men and women. Although men are more intelligent on average than women, much of their advantage is concentrated in spatial and mechanical reasoning.

    Don't get me wrong, these are tremendously valuable. Indeed, men are handy to have around. I recommend every girl get one. Combining male gray matter with the opposable thumb, you men make yourselves useful in all sorts of ways.
    However, your technical abilities are not particularly relevant to most of the big questions of life.

    When a woman who is more intelligent than 95% of the men in the world specifically devotes her life to her husband and puts his career at the center of her life, a bit of public fawning is hardly too much to ask, I'd say.

    When a woman who is more intelligent than 95% of the men in the world specifically devotes her life to her husband and puts his career at the center of her life, a bit of public fawning is hardly too much to ask, I’d say.

    It depends what you mean by “fawning.” If it’s along the lines of “Here’s to my beautiful wife, I could never have accomplished this without her,” that’s pretty much unobjectionable. And in fact true a lot of the time, since a woman can provide a lot of help to a man.

    The problem comes when people start pretending that women are capable of male level greatness. With a few extremely rare exceptions, they are not and it’s counterproductive to hold otherwise. I can already hear your response — that most men are not capable of greatness either and this is of course correct. It doesn’t change the fact that it’s a huge waste of societal resources to encourage intelligent girls to spend precious time (which they could be using to make babies) pursuing greatness on an individual level.

    Anyway, I responded to your post mainly because you seem to be making the argument that the lack of response is tantamount to agreement with you. Unfortunately, women are children and as such very few of them have the maturity to accept that as a group they have certain intellectual flaws and limitations. I can’t speak for other posters, but lately I have been trying to minimize the time I spend engaging with women about female nature.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Rosie
    "It doesn’t change the fact that it’s a huge waste of societal resources to encourage intelligent girls to spend precious time (which they could be using to make babies) pursuing greatness on an individual level."

    This is the problem with people like you. Believing you already know everything, you don't listen.

    I have long been very concerned about the dysgenic implications of radical feminism, but you are not going to get women to embrace motherhood by telling them they're no good for anything else.

    You certainly are not going to get women to trust men to treat them with respect by calling them children. If I sensed your contemptuous attitude towards women in my husband, it would have been one and done and back to work for this overgrown child. If you want to know why feminism is a thing, look in the mirror.
    , @Rosie

    If it’s along the lines of “Here’s to my beautiful wife, I could never have accomplished this without her,” that’s pretty much unobjectionable.
     
    You know Sabril, it's really not normal for a man to take it upon himself to judge when a man's praise of his wife is or is not ojectionable. One might wonder what business it is of yours, since a man's praise for his wife doesn't harm you in the least. You seem to hold to a very stingy form of male triumphalism.
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  111. @Rosie
    Get over yourself. Truly great intellects can recognize very sharp intellects without "pretending we're all equal.

    You overestimate intelligence differences between men and women. Although men are more intelligent on average than women, much of their advantage is concentrated in spatial and mechanical reasoning.

    Don't get me wrong, these are tremendously valuable. Indeed, men are handy to have around. I recommend every girl get one. Combining male gray matter with the opposable thumb, you men make yourselves useful in all sorts of ways.
    However, your technical abilities are not particularly relevant to most of the big questions of life.

    When a woman who is more intelligent than 95% of the men in the world specifically devotes her life to her husband and puts his career at the center of her life, a bit of public fawning is hardly too much to ask, I'd say.

    “You overestimate the intelligence differences between men and women”

    No, because we’re not talking about a random man and a random woman. I stipulated that I was talking about Great Men of Intellect. Now, there are definitely more Great Men of Intellect than Great Women of Intellect, and I believe the upper limit of male intellect is higher than female intellect. But that’s beside the point.

    Assume there are women as smart and accomplished as John Stuart Mill. What are the odds that John Stuart Mill would happen to be married to one? Pretty much nil. It’s highly likely his wife would be dumber than him, even if there were just as many female John Stuart Mills as male John Stuart Mills walking around.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Rosie
    "It’s highly likely his wife would be dumber than him,"

    That's probably true, but whom do you think "great men of intellect" want to marry? It seems that the commenters in this thread freely admit that men enjoy the company of women who can at least understand them even if they are less capable than themselves.

    The wives of "great men of intellect" are presumably far out on the right tail themselves, and very likely to at least be able to provide significant feedback. After all, most geniuses don't expect all of their readers to be geniuses, just very astute.
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  112. @anonymous
    Not really. Women have been talking for at least three million years and being as useful(or lack of thereof) for the same amount of time.

    Maybe, but now we have the internets.

    Read More
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  113. @sabril

    When a woman who is more intelligent than 95% of the men in the world specifically devotes her life to her husband and puts his career at the center of her life, a bit of public fawning is hardly too much to ask, I’d say.
     
    It depends what you mean by "fawning." If it's along the lines of "Here's to my beautiful wife, I could never have accomplished this without her," that's pretty much unobjectionable. And in fact true a lot of the time, since a woman can provide a lot of help to a man.

    The problem comes when people start pretending that women are capable of male level greatness. With a few extremely rare exceptions, they are not and it's counterproductive to hold otherwise. I can already hear your response -- that most men are not capable of greatness either and this is of course correct. It doesn't change the fact that it's a huge waste of societal resources to encourage intelligent girls to spend precious time (which they could be using to make babies) pursuing greatness on an individual level.

    Anyway, I responded to your post mainly because you seem to be making the argument that the lack of response is tantamount to agreement with you. Unfortunately, women are children and as such very few of them have the maturity to accept that as a group they have certain intellectual flaws and limitations. I can't speak for other posters, but lately I have been trying to minimize the time I spend engaging with women about female nature.

    “It doesn’t change the fact that it’s a huge waste of societal resources to encourage intelligent girls to spend precious time (which they could be using to make babies) pursuing greatness on an individual level.”

    This is the problem with people like you. Believing you already know everything, you don’t listen.

    I have long been very concerned about the dysgenic implications of radical feminism, but you are not going to get women to embrace motherhood by telling them they’re no good for anything else.

    You certainly are not going to get women to trust men to treat them with respect by calling them children. If I sensed your contemptuous attitude towards women in my husband, it would have been one and done and back to work for this overgrown child. If you want to know why feminism is a thing, look in the mirror.

    Read More
    • Replies: @sabril

    "This is the problem with people like you. Believing you already know everything, you don’t listen."
     
    What exactly have I missed?

    You certainly are not going to get women to trust men to treat them with respect by calling them children.
     
    So what? The fact that the truth hurts your precious feelings doesn't make it any less true. Besides, the problem of feminism will never be solved by exhorting women to behave reasonably. That would require women as a group to act like adults. Which will never happen, no matter how nicely they are asked.

    Anyway, I really would like an answer to my question: Exactly what evidence or argument have I missed?
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  114. @guest
    "You overestimate the intelligence differences between men and women"

    No, because we're not talking about a random man and a random woman. I stipulated that I was talking about Great Men of Intellect. Now, there are definitely more Great Men of Intellect than Great Women of Intellect, and I believe the upper limit of male intellect is higher than female intellect. But that's beside the point.

    Assume there are women as smart and accomplished as John Stuart Mill. What are the odds that John Stuart Mill would happen to be married to one? Pretty much nil. It's highly likely his wife would be dumber than him, even if there were just as many female John Stuart Mills as male John Stuart Mills walking around.

    “It’s highly likely his wife would be dumber than him,”

    That’s probably true, but whom do you think “great men of intellect” want to marry? It seems that the commenters in this thread freely admit that men enjoy the company of women who can at least understand them even if they are less capable than themselves.

    The wives of “great men of intellect” are presumably far out on the right tail themselves, and very likely to at least be able to provide significant feedback. After all, most geniuses don’t expect all of their readers to be geniuses, just very astute.

    Read More
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  115. @sabril

    When a woman who is more intelligent than 95% of the men in the world specifically devotes her life to her husband and puts his career at the center of her life, a bit of public fawning is hardly too much to ask, I’d say.
     
    It depends what you mean by "fawning." If it's along the lines of "Here's to my beautiful wife, I could never have accomplished this without her," that's pretty much unobjectionable. And in fact true a lot of the time, since a woman can provide a lot of help to a man.

    The problem comes when people start pretending that women are capable of male level greatness. With a few extremely rare exceptions, they are not and it's counterproductive to hold otherwise. I can already hear your response -- that most men are not capable of greatness either and this is of course correct. It doesn't change the fact that it's a huge waste of societal resources to encourage intelligent girls to spend precious time (which they could be using to make babies) pursuing greatness on an individual level.

    Anyway, I responded to your post mainly because you seem to be making the argument that the lack of response is tantamount to agreement with you. Unfortunately, women are children and as such very few of them have the maturity to accept that as a group they have certain intellectual flaws and limitations. I can't speak for other posters, but lately I have been trying to minimize the time I spend engaging with women about female nature.

    If it’s along the lines of “Here’s to my beautiful wife, I could never have accomplished this without her,” that’s pretty much unobjectionable.

    You know Sabril, it’s really not normal for a man to take it upon himself to judge when a man’s praise of his wife is or is not ojectionable. One might wonder what business it is of yours, since a man’s praise for his wife doesn’t harm you in the least. You seem to hold to a very stingy form of male triumphalism.

    Read More
    • Replies: @sabril

    You know Sabril, it’s really not normal for a man to take it upon himself to judge when a man’s praise of his wife is or is not ojectionable. One might wonder what business it is of yours, since a man’s praise for his wife doesn’t harm you in the least
     
    It harms everyone in society to encourage the false idea that women are able to perform at male levels.
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  116. @Rosie
    "It doesn’t change the fact that it’s a huge waste of societal resources to encourage intelligent girls to spend precious time (which they could be using to make babies) pursuing greatness on an individual level."

    This is the problem with people like you. Believing you already know everything, you don't listen.

    I have long been very concerned about the dysgenic implications of radical feminism, but you are not going to get women to embrace motherhood by telling them they're no good for anything else.

    You certainly are not going to get women to trust men to treat them with respect by calling them children. If I sensed your contemptuous attitude towards women in my husband, it would have been one and done and back to work for this overgrown child. If you want to know why feminism is a thing, look in the mirror.

    “This is the problem with people like you. Believing you already know everything, you don’t listen.”

    What exactly have I missed?

    You certainly are not going to get women to trust men to treat them with respect by calling them children.

    So what? The fact that the truth hurts your precious feelings doesn’t make it any less true. Besides, the problem of feminism will never be solved by exhorting women to behave reasonably. That would require women as a group to act like adults. Which will never happen, no matter how nicely they are asked.

    Anyway, I really would like an answer to my question: Exactly what evidence or argument have I missed?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Rosie

    That would require women as a group to act like adults. Which will never happen, no matter how nicely they are asked.
     
    Answer me a question, Sabril. Do you plan on getting married and having children? If so, would you prefer your wife stay home or work a job? If the former, do you intend to have a grown man come and babysit while you're at work? Children can't take care of themselves after all, and if your wife is a child, she certainly can't be responsible for helpless infants and mischievous toddlers. What about the grocery shopping. You're going to give her the car keys and a credit card, OMG!

    Men like you say women are children until you need us to take on grownup responsibilities for you, in which case you still say we're children but your actions tell another story. You evidently don't really think we're children, so why do you say that? It's almost like you take some sort of pleasure in insulting and humiliating women. Am I right?
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  117. @Rosie

    If it’s along the lines of “Here’s to my beautiful wife, I could never have accomplished this without her,” that’s pretty much unobjectionable.
     
    You know Sabril, it's really not normal for a man to take it upon himself to judge when a man's praise of his wife is or is not ojectionable. One might wonder what business it is of yours, since a man's praise for his wife doesn't harm you in the least. You seem to hold to a very stingy form of male triumphalism.

    You know Sabril, it’s really not normal for a man to take it upon himself to judge when a man’s praise of his wife is or is not ojectionable. One might wonder what business it is of yours, since a man’s praise for his wife doesn’t harm you in the least

    It harms everyone in society to encourage the false idea that women are able to perform at male levels.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Rosie

    It harms everyone in society to encourage the false idea that women are able to perform at male levels.
     
    It's only harmful insofar as it promotes discrimination against men in STEM. What you don't understand is that feminism is not driven primarily by ambition but rather the desire for security that men in the past have failed to provide.

    Besides, the problem of feminism will never be solved by exhorting women to behave reasonably.
     
    Not all by itself. You'll also have to exhort men to behave honorably rather than beating their wives and/or trading them in for a younger model after 25 years of marriage. Failing that, women are going to fear and resist economic dependency. I understand that you would rather subjugate than reason with women, but I think that ship has sailed.

    I can already hear your response — that most men are not capable of greatness either and this is of course correct.
     
    People who think they know what others are going to say are almost invariably pompous know-it-alls who don't listen to others.

    "I am the wisest mama alive, for I know one thing, and that is that I know nothing." -Socrates
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  118. @sabril

    You know Sabril, it’s really not normal for a man to take it upon himself to judge when a man’s praise of his wife is or is not ojectionable. One might wonder what business it is of yours, since a man’s praise for his wife doesn’t harm you in the least
     
    It harms everyone in society to encourage the false idea that women are able to perform at male levels.

    It harms everyone in society to encourage the false idea that women are able to perform at male levels.

    It’s only harmful insofar as it promotes discrimination against men in STEM. What you don’t understand is that feminism is not driven primarily by ambition but rather the desire for security that men in the past have failed to provide.

    Besides, the problem of feminism will never be solved by exhorting women to behave reasonably.

    Not all by itself. You’ll also have to exhort men to behave honorably rather than beating their wives and/or trading them in for a younger model after 25 years of marriage. Failing that, women are going to fear and resist economic dependency. I understand that you would rather subjugate than reason with women, but I think that ship has sailed.

    I can already hear your response — that most men are not capable of greatness either and this is of course correct.

    People who think they know what others are going to say are almost invariably pompous know-it-alls who don’t listen to others.

    “I am the wisest mama alive, for I know one thing, and that is that I know nothing.” -Socrates

    Read More
    • Replies: @Rosie
    "wisest mama"

    LOL autocorrect!
    , @sabril

    It’s only harmful insofar as it promotes discrimination against men in STEM.
     
    It's a bit more than that, but even STEM discrimination is a big problem. Every year, lots of research money and resources are wasted on women who will never make important discoveries. Meanwhile, those women spend their most fertile years pretending to be competent researchers when they could be making men who actually accomplish things.

    What you don’t understand is that feminism is not driven primarily by ambition but rather the desire for security that men in the past have failed to provide.
     
    This comment is both meaningless and wrong. For a long time now, women have been the most pampered, protected, and deferred to group in society. All of the riskiest jobs have been and are now done by men; conscription into the trenches (or the coal mines) is aimed at men exclusively; the vast majority of welfare benefits are paid to women; from taxes that are primarily paid by men; and so on. The rule has been "women and children first" for a long long time now.

    But even if what you are saying is true, it doesn't really matter, because it wouldn't change the fact that great and important thinkers are almost all men and it is counterproductive to pretend otherwise.

    You’ll also have to exhort men to behave honorably rather than beating their wives and/or trading them in for a younger model after 25 years of marriage.
     
    Not really, since there are already serious legal consequences for this type of behavior.

    People who think they know what others are going to say are almost invariably pompous know-it-alls who don’t listen to others.
     
    Lol, either that or they do pay attention and observe patterns. In your case, you have a strong tendency to attempt to obfuscate by changing the subject. You have done it repeatedly in this thread and you continue to do it now.

    Anyway, I asked you a question and I would like an answer:

    Exactly what evidence or argument have I missed with my claim that it’s a huge waste of societal resources to encourage intelligent girls to spend precious time (which they could be using to make babies) pursuing greatness on an individual level.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  119. @Rosie

    It harms everyone in society to encourage the false idea that women are able to perform at male levels.
     
    It's only harmful insofar as it promotes discrimination against men in STEM. What you don't understand is that feminism is not driven primarily by ambition but rather the desire for security that men in the past have failed to provide.

    Besides, the problem of feminism will never be solved by exhorting women to behave reasonably.
     
    Not all by itself. You'll also have to exhort men to behave honorably rather than beating their wives and/or trading them in for a younger model after 25 years of marriage. Failing that, women are going to fear and resist economic dependency. I understand that you would rather subjugate than reason with women, but I think that ship has sailed.

    I can already hear your response — that most men are not capable of greatness either and this is of course correct.
     
    People who think they know what others are going to say are almost invariably pompous know-it-alls who don't listen to others.

    "I am the wisest mama alive, for I know one thing, and that is that I know nothing." -Socrates

    “wisest mama”

    LOL autocorrect!

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  120. @sabril

    "This is the problem with people like you. Believing you already know everything, you don’t listen."
     
    What exactly have I missed?

    You certainly are not going to get women to trust men to treat them with respect by calling them children.
     
    So what? The fact that the truth hurts your precious feelings doesn't make it any less true. Besides, the problem of feminism will never be solved by exhorting women to behave reasonably. That would require women as a group to act like adults. Which will never happen, no matter how nicely they are asked.

    Anyway, I really would like an answer to my question: Exactly what evidence or argument have I missed?

    That would require women as a group to act like adults. Which will never happen, no matter how nicely they are asked.

    Answer me a question, Sabril. Do you plan on getting married and having children? If so, would you prefer your wife stay home or work a job? If the former, do you intend to have a grown man come and babysit while you’re at work? Children can’t take care of themselves after all, and if your wife is a child, she certainly can’t be responsible for helpless infants and mischievous toddlers. What about the grocery shopping. You’re going to give her the car keys and a credit card, OMG!

    Men like you say women are children until you need us to take on grownup responsibilities for you, in which case you still say we’re children but your actions tell another story. You evidently don’t really think we’re children, so why do you say that? It’s almost like you take some sort of pleasure in insulting and humiliating women. Am I right?

    Read More
    • Replies: @ScarletNumber

    If the former, do you intend to have a grown man come and babysit while you’re at work? Children can’t take care of themselves after all, and if your wife is a child, she certainly can’t be responsible for helpless infants and mischievous toddlers.
     
    This is a non sequitur. I would have no problem trusting a teenage girl to watch children, so children can watch children.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  121. @Rosie

    It harms everyone in society to encourage the false idea that women are able to perform at male levels.
     
    It's only harmful insofar as it promotes discrimination against men in STEM. What you don't understand is that feminism is not driven primarily by ambition but rather the desire for security that men in the past have failed to provide.

    Besides, the problem of feminism will never be solved by exhorting women to behave reasonably.
     
    Not all by itself. You'll also have to exhort men to behave honorably rather than beating their wives and/or trading them in for a younger model after 25 years of marriage. Failing that, women are going to fear and resist economic dependency. I understand that you would rather subjugate than reason with women, but I think that ship has sailed.

    I can already hear your response — that most men are not capable of greatness either and this is of course correct.
     
    People who think they know what others are going to say are almost invariably pompous know-it-alls who don't listen to others.

    "I am the wisest mama alive, for I know one thing, and that is that I know nothing." -Socrates

    It’s only harmful insofar as it promotes discrimination against men in STEM.

    It’s a bit more than that, but even STEM discrimination is a big problem. Every year, lots of research money and resources are wasted on women who will never make important discoveries. Meanwhile, those women spend their most fertile years pretending to be competent researchers when they could be making men who actually accomplish things.

    What you don’t understand is that feminism is not driven primarily by ambition but rather the desire for security that men in the past have failed to provide.

    This comment is both meaningless and wrong. For a long time now, women have been the most pampered, protected, and deferred to group in society. All of the riskiest jobs have been and are now done by men; conscription into the trenches (or the coal mines) is aimed at men exclusively; the vast majority of welfare benefits are paid to women; from taxes that are primarily paid by men; and so on. The rule has been “women and children first” for a long long time now.

    But even if what you are saying is true, it doesn’t really matter, because it wouldn’t change the fact that great and important thinkers are almost all men and it is counterproductive to pretend otherwise.

    You’ll also have to exhort men to behave honorably rather than beating their wives and/or trading them in for a younger model after 25 years of marriage.

    Not really, since there are already serious legal consequences for this type of behavior.

    People who think they know what others are going to say are almost invariably pompous know-it-alls who don’t listen to others.

    Lol, either that or they do pay attention and observe patterns. In your case, you have a strong tendency to attempt to obfuscate by changing the subject. You have done it repeatedly in this thread and you continue to do it now.

    Anyway, I asked you a question and I would like an answer:

    Exactly what evidence or argument have I missed with my claim that it’s a huge waste of societal resources to encourage intelligent girls to spend precious time (which they could be using to make babies) pursuing greatness on an individual level.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  122. @Rosie

    That would require women as a group to act like adults. Which will never happen, no matter how nicely they are asked.
     
    Answer me a question, Sabril. Do you plan on getting married and having children? If so, would you prefer your wife stay home or work a job? If the former, do you intend to have a grown man come and babysit while you're at work? Children can't take care of themselves after all, and if your wife is a child, she certainly can't be responsible for helpless infants and mischievous toddlers. What about the grocery shopping. You're going to give her the car keys and a credit card, OMG!

    Men like you say women are children until you need us to take on grownup responsibilities for you, in which case you still say we're children but your actions tell another story. You evidently don't really think we're children, so why do you say that? It's almost like you take some sort of pleasure in insulting and humiliating women. Am I right?

    If the former, do you intend to have a grown man come and babysit while you’re at work? Children can’t take care of themselves after all, and if your wife is a child, she certainly can’t be responsible for helpless infants and mischievous toddlers.

    This is a non sequitur. I would have no problem trusting a teenage girl to watch children, so children can watch children.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments

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