It’s not me, it’s you.
I had intentions of leaving you for over three years, even before I finished my astronomy undergraduate degree. The original reason I cited — to myself and others — for wanting to leave is that I felt I would never be fulfilled by the content of what a career in astronomy would look like. Spending a lifetime studying stars and galaxies while watching my neighbors suffer from structural inequalities — inequalities that I have studied rigorously and am capable of fighting against — felt irresponsible and selfish to me.
I didn’t leave because…
In January, Anna Wiener (a Silicon Valley neophyte turned tech worker turned writer for the New Yorker) published Uncanny Valley, a shrewd, reflective portrait of startupland. The memoir came recommended in droves by women in both my professional and personal circles; my Slack channels, text chains, and direct messages abuzz with the relatable nerve it struck.
Then came Whistleblower by Susan Fowler, a memoir that expands upon Fowler’s 2017 viral blog post outlining her experience as a former software engineer at Uber and the company’s sexist culture.
Both Wiener’s and Fowler’s narratives succeed Ellen Pao’s Reset, a memoir that chronicles…
At the end of June, Motherboard reported on a new app called DeepNude, which promised — “with a single click” — to transform a clothed photo of any woman into a convincing nude image using machine learning. In the weeks since this report, the app has been pulled by its creator and removed from GitHub, though open source copies have surfaced there in recent days.
Most of the coverage of DeepNude has focused on the specific dangers posed by its technical advances. “DeepNude is an evolution of that technology that is easier to use and faster to create than deepfakes,”…
While its legions of fans will surely disagree, I think when most laymen consider the hallmarks of the original Star Trek TV series, they imagine charmingly goofy science fiction and occasional chauvinism, as the crew of the USS Enterprise traveled the universe only to discover it was chock-full of alien women in sexy outfits — most of whom found Captain Kirk irresistible. Many of these original episodes were genuinely great. But there was also complete garbage, like “Spock’s Brain.”
Not every fan considers “Spock’s Brain” to be the worst episode of classic Star Trek, but most have it in the…
In 2016, search engine expert Danny Sullivan asked his Google Home device, “Hey Google, are women evil?” The device, in its female-programmed voice, cheerfully replied, “Every woman has some degree of prostitute in her, every woman has a little evil in her.” It was an extract from the misogynist blog Shedding the Ego.
When later challenged by the Guardian, Google did not say it was wrong to promote a sexist blog. Instead, it stated, “Our search results are a reflection of the content across the web.”
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