Foreword: Women in Computing Living History
Hey,systers and others, I Just Found this fascinating website!!! “A Chip On Her Shoulder!!!
This is an historical, hypothetical, autobiographical, reference-loaded novel that portrays long active female lives in computing. Get ready to visit a modified 2019 world that will make you want to rewrite ours now in 2025! Plus, these stories are great for people like me who are always looking for their next job without considering the hopefully long arc of our careers and contributions to society.
Synopsis: Whose Chip Is this story?
- Try to Wrap your 2025 mind around this hypothesis. The year 2019 is when the Internet really grew up. A 2017 web market radically changed when advertising-enriched Silicon Valley founders surrendered their troves of “living data” to the CumuLinker Trust to be managed by activists thinking back to the 1995 Dawn of Web Time. Opportunities opened for collaborative CumuLinker CALM. conversations using synthetic speech and artistic wearable Whisperers. Hoarded private data supports Life Replayed documentaries rather than advertising targets. The trickster-dominated country is breaking free from surveillance capitalism to explore healthier Internet practices. Got that???
- Casey Hawke starts her “hero’s journey” at her 50th college reunion bearing a chip on her shoulder. She witnesses an algorithmic calamity among CumuLinker’s CALM and Life-Replayed demonstrations. On the same trip, threat casting unsafe software concludes her professional participation in the “Endless Frontier Funding” research program. Returning home to Dellville AZ, Casey consults with local police on verbal terrorism then survives a county-wide Internet outage.
- A CumuLinker CALM event revives a mid-life liaison with a Canadian environmental writer who is also aging gracefully.
- Her reunion-review trip had caught her up with a long-time colleague Sally Rhodes, who uses her low vision disability to work on web accessibility and synthetic speech applications. These retired computer scientists bemoan complexity threatening the Internet that wasted Usenet hierarchical group and hypertext theory discussions.
- Casey and Sally happen into a cooperation with younger generations: Sally’s divorced niece Marilyn is re-entering technology journalism after raising a son now fascinated with wildfire apps. They encounter chatty recovering entrepreneurial “Millennial Matt” who is clueless about computing history. The three generations form Team 3G to tackle the Pink Page Rebellion against CumuLinker breaking up personal data advertising.
- The elders resolve unhappy periods of their careers, including “that chip on Casey’s shoulder” and the social/medical models ruling Sally’s disability. Casey builds community CumuLinker through Consequential Reasoning to illicitly oppose conventional programming.
- After Casey and Sally perform a needed social media makeover, niece Marilyn gathers Team 3G, and one Pink Page rebel, into a podcast that elicits overviews of their technology prowess. Odd moments of history recur in their netizen conversations that explain struggles with the Web.
- The 2019 year of inter-generational teaming and CumuLinker demonstrations end prematurely. A tragedy and the pandemic take Casey out of action while she compiled her legacies and tries to give away a useful search engine hack (included with the book).
I enjoyed reading Casey’s far-out messing around with her Consequential Reasoning prototype to support community safety improvements. The young gents in the story are familiar caricatures. Several technologies are bundled by Marilyn into lessons well taught through podcast-style interviews. I now appreciate that threat casting should intervene in the so-called innovation process that encourages “breaking things” And carelessly cluttering social spaces. Casey Hawke’s 2019-2020 journey gives me advance notice for my own personal and professional endeavors.
History Influences and the Dawn of Web Time
Here are computing events that influenced history and vice versa. Inter-generational context and brief references provide a good study program to broaden my career choices. Anybody want to form a book club to discuss the references and catch up on the 20th century?
Before Web Time
- Countess Ada Lovelace explains data representation and Babbage’s Analytical Engine (circa 1835).
- WWII planner Vannevar Bush envisions “endless frontier” research and effective Memex browsing “trails”.
- Eisenhower-era Sputnik-driven science education broadens career paths.
- The Fundamental Theorem of Testing challenges’s correct specification and code.
- Structured programming experts make “goofs in proofs”.
- Theorem provers encourage security verification projects in UUSA and Europe.
- BASIC, Plato, and Usenet computing communities motivate ArpaNet.
- Hand-held calculator errors spur numerical standards.
- The USA defense industry adopts a language named Ada for reliable system development.
- Reagan-era missile defense challenges system reliability for software versus physics.
- The Risks Digest documents threats for Computers and Public Policy.
- CPSR promotes socially responsible computing.
- Killer cancer machine Therac 25 spotlights software safety on TV.
- Wang Institute and Software Engineering Institute implement professional education.
- Admiral Grace Hopper lectures “length of a nanosecond” on TV to Letterman.
- European/Japanese/US research agencies compete on software qualities.
- The Japanese “5th Generation”project challenges US industry cooperation.
- logic programming models rise and fall against object methods.
- VLSI design training advances machine industry.
- Usenet groups provide structured social and technical communication.
- wicked problem theory explains requirements challenges.
- hypertext models loosely influence early HTML.
- “Robotic” voices assist print-impaired individuals.
After Dawn of Web Time
- Bell Labs synthetic speech algorithms advance uses beyond assistive technology.
- Applications of formal methods encourage international safety standards.
- Software “hacks” (the good kind) encourage application flexibility.
- Search engines compete on quality before ads rule private data.
- pre-CumuLinker social media disinformation advanced through UK Cambridge Analytica.
- personal reputation management is required to defend against public records.
- Groupware provides disciplined interaction and facilitated meetings.
- student and hobbyist experiment with wearables often shown at Science Fairs.
- UseNet maintains network groups outside Internet.
- post 9-11 Total Information Awareness research expands privacy concerns.
- Trickster-era election distracts democracy.
- Layered open source platforms increase tolerance for Web errors.
- “Bug bounty” and penetration testing professions bloom.
How does the journey end? What next?
The pandemic takes over in 2020 and leaves us with Casey’s legacies and Sally’s free search engine hack (I love it!). so, read up about careers, getting older, historical moments, logic-driven computing, and a hypothetical industry not governed by surveillance capitalism.
Thanks, author, for healing that chip on your shoulder. You’ve given me great advice for my impending job change.
Contact me at WhoIsShe@WhereSheWorked.com