July 20th, 2010


Quiet dear, men are talking

When I saw that TED was having a special 'women only' conference called TED Women, it made me blink. A lot.

I guess one could consider this affirmative action in one respect - I mean, TED has a history of underrepresenting women and it's nice they're trying to do something about that - but I'm dubious. I mean, if there are enough women speakers to fill a conference of their own, why are only 20% of speakers at the standard conferences women? Are women thinkers really only interesting if you separate them off into a niche category? And doesn't that attitude relegate the ideas of these women to the same category as 'chick flicks', women's studies groups and all the other things associated with women that have been sidelined into the non-mainstream-doesn't-matter-as-much niche?

Here's a novel concept, TED. How about you just include more women in your normal program? If they're interesting enough to talk at a women-focused conference, they're interesting enough to talk at the main one. And vice versa. So let's see some real representation, in a real way, instead of lip-servicing us into the corner over there where the men don't have to hear us talking.

Seems I'm not the only one that feels this way.

Meanwhile, still snotty, still at home, done with this now.

And I'm having trouble gaining study momentum. I missed the first two lectures last week and feel no desire to make the effort to catch up. I will, of course - but BLERGH.

Inauspicious start

So I attempted to go to my lecture today. The ethics of staying home from work to save my colleagues but being willing to spread my bugs to other students are questionable, yes - but given the circumstances, I've already missed the first week and just wanted to catch up.

It was not to be. The nearest parking space to the University was up past the Kelburn shops, and having driven around for 20 minutes, I gave up.. Yes, the irony of this is not lost on me, given that if I'd been at work I wouldn't have needed to find a park. However there was a 5 min parking space so I thought I'd at least get the course notes and do the readings so I'd have some idea come Thursday, right?

This was not to be either. They're out of the readings for my course, there won't be more till Thursday. So I guess I'll just make Thursday my official course start date, and try to find the named readings on the internet in the meantime.

And on getting home, there was yet another of those "Congrats on a top mark" letters. That's four of them I've collected now and each time I get one I wonder more about what the criteria are for sending them. I have trouble believing I'm that good to get THE top mark in 4/6 courses. I can imagine being one of the top ten or top five..

Why do I even care?