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One of the things I think he's overlooking:

Frequently the reason that people don't go the extra mile of giving talks or otherwise sharing their thoughts and experiences is that they think that they're not good enough or worth less than other people. Sometimes this results in someone with a really great idea or a unique voice staying quiet.

In an industry dominated by men, women have been discouraged from participating or speaking up. It takes time and effort to reverse that damage. I'm glad that he took the time to invite women specifically, but I think his anger at the result is misplaced when it could be more effectively directed at a system that holds decades of inequality in place.

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fuck. same can be said of geeks who don't speak up. there is no one advocating for them. if the stage is open, and you don't take the fucking chance to get in, don't complain.

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Two interesting aspects of your argument here. One, you've quietly dismissed any possible sexism. And two, after accurately pointing out a problem, your solution is basically, "well fuck them, then." Nice.

I've been involved in selecting conference speakers, and we went out of our way to find geeks who aren't used to speaking up. Quiet people often have the most interesting things to say.

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Having "too few" women give talks isn't a problem. It's just a symptom of the fact that the community is unwelcoming toward women. That's what we're really trying to fix.

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Why do you assume that the community is unwelcoming toward women? Isn't it just equally plausible that women just don't really want to be in technology-oriented fields? Maybe they just much rather prefer other areas. I know, the thought that men and women are actually different is deeply troubling to those who think that the only differentiator beween the sexes are a couple of sex organs.

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I'm not just making assumptions. e.g. https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=3731441 and https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=3894404 and https://plus.google.com/106119964731604142156/posts/DkFAzuwm... and a lot of other stories.

I do believe that's the only difference, actually. Girls are not encouraged to enter tech nearly as often as boys are. Also they have fewer women as role models in tech. So it's not surprising that they don't enter the field as often.

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having 10 anecdotes is not data. and opinion is not data. you do understand that much right. if i were to give you anecdotes, probably i can pull off a hundred of those right of the internet (probably there's a subreddit for that too), arguing the exact opposite.

of all the people saying how they are so pro-evidence are falling back to these one off anecdotes, just upsets me. no you didnot provide evidence, you showed a case.

if a gender has to be given a easier option to be included just because of their gender, what kind of stupid equality is that.

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I don't think I said, or linked to anyone saying, that women should get an easier option than men. My links were intended to show the overall feeling that people in tech have, but if you want hard data, here you go: http://narrowthegapp.com/aat39.txt Here is a description of the environment https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=1965472 and a non-comprehensive list of infamous events http://geekfeminism.wikia.com/wiki/Timeline_of_incidents . Obviously these incidents do not involve every member of the hacking community; the point is that they form a pattern of harassment that makes an atmosphere that is not welcoming toward women.

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1) about the wage gap. i agree that there is a wage difference, but that's not the point we are discussing. we are discussing if people are openly welcoming women or not. so, are people welcoming women to participate more than men? if women are still less in number, is still ok to blame one or two idiots who ruin it. if you are a white male who doesn't drink, would you stop going to conference where you find a non-white female who made ruckus while drunk? how many men would stop?

2) wage gap is hugely debated because all it takes is how much you get paid, rather than any other condition (hours, vacations planned/unplanned, etc). i don't have full details, and would not agree with that. even then it's not full data.

3) also i give in to women being harassed, the point is how much is being exagerrated. some women just complain about people putting fuck in the presentation slides (case in point: dhh's slides from some years ago). we should avoid alcohol then where people get offended by people drinking alcohol at conferences.

4) about the timeline. a) do you think games which involve men getting shot at doesn't invite men to play games, did it stigmatize them from getting into games? i know that rape game is offensive, but like every women is looking at that game and goes, fuck this computers shit, i won't every be a programmer. b) how many times have you heard idiot, stupid, at conference and people got offended at a conference and never came back to the conf again? (in reference to bitch being used in multiple incident, pornstar in slides etc). c) there are some trolls who harass women/women confs. do you know much zed shaw gets trolled? i don't see him complaining about how uninviting the community is and blaming them for not getting things done (also, he would not agree with any point I make, but that's not the point of this reply) d) there is a difference between getting offended by something and anything.

let me tell you a story: there was a famous author who wrote a book once, and at the book signing, one group of women came to talk to him, and told him that they were happy that they didn't find a single offensive word in the book. he said he was happy they know what they were looking for.

also, i agree some women are being harassed, but blaming solely these incidents as the reason for lack of women is misrepresentative and just making women objects to whom people have to provide support to get them in, rather than making them people who want to get in.

no matter what my point is: if you (men or women) want to get something, and can't do it, don't blame it on other people for that not happening.

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The gender pay gap is a complete myth and noting but propaganda. In fact, accounted for hours, women actually earn slightly more than men. Seriously, if any employer can get a woman to do the same job as a man then why on earth does anyone even bother to hire men in the first place?

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The gender pay gap varies widely, but it's pretty clear from the data I gave you. Programmers make similar amounts of money, but sysadmins make quite a bit less. This isn't data from what's-her-name that had a political agenda, or the survey from the 80's that everyone quotes as if it's recent and accurate. This is from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. http://narrowthegapp.com/aat39.txt

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i think the point factorial is making is: this doesn't account the hours, and input one puts in, but it's just straight out how much for same position (not same job).

but i paraphrase

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Hmm... Couldn't it just be that men are discouraged (!) from entering basically any field other than science/technology these days? Just have a look at the gender distribution in most majors. Why is nobody making a fuss about creating more "education opportunities" for men in medicine, journalism, communications, education, or just about college in general?

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No. There is a shortage of software engineers right now. And geeks might be cooler than they used to be but that doesn't mean that everyone is a geek.

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Huh? How does this relate to anything either you or I have written in this thread? Now all of a sudden we have to get more women into tech because there is a "shortage right now". Why not motivate more men who may be more interested in tech to begin with?

By the way, the alleged shortage is addressed by H1-B visas. They have the welcome side effect of driving down prices of domestic developers, and if this doesn't help, the corporations just collude a tiny little bit and make anti-poaching agreements.

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OK I think I don't know what you're talking about. :) You wondered if men are being pushed into tech instead of other things. But this is clearly not happening because there is a shortage. So men might be more welcome in tech than women, but clearly neither men nor women are being pushed into tech. We know this because there are not enough men (or women) in tech. If they had been pushed, there would not be a shortage. Clearly both men and women should be pushed more :)

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Logic is completely absent from your argument. Imagine you are a your typical US high school graduate, and the message you've gotten for years was that women are better at anything, that they are more likely to finish school, get a degree etc. pp. Somehow, you think you want to fight the odds, and have a look around, wondering what you might study. You find that many departments at university lack rigor and due to your preference for logical thinking you go into science/engineering because you find them more welcoming than, say, male-bashing on an institutional level like in Gender Studies and humanities.

The claim that there is a shortage has nothing to do with the fact that tech is more welcoming to men. It's two completely separate issues. Or do you think that just hiring a bunch of unqualified women (or men) will be what solves the problem? There is a lack of skills, not bodies, and it takes some hard work to acquire those skills. Because there are not enough skilled people around, and because tech is booming, there is now a shortage. (I doubt that it's as bad as you think it is. Just look at the Dice board for plenty of disgruntled IT people.)

Maybe we should encourage more men to actually consider college. What about that? Sure, it doesn't gel well with your feminist agenda.

Lastly, do you actually work in tech or are you merely on a PR trip? Sockpuppets are quite common these days and I wouldn't be surprised if some "think tank" had sent a couple of drones to pollute the otherwise intelligent discussion on HN.

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Sure I work in tech. (Check my HN karma or history.) And almost everyone I work with is male.

Your first paragraph is pretty vitriolic. Actually I chose to go to a liberal arts college with a strong focus on the humanities, because I knew it would get me a more serious education as well as better connections in business. I didn't feel like I was fighting the odds, I was getting a massive leg up on my career.

There were a lot more women than men around because the nursing program was the best in the area. I think only 4 people graduated with me from the CS department, it was very small. The entire CS faculty was women, but even so there was only one girl student in the entire CS program (not counting the beginning classes which most people didn't pass). This was mainly because the boys in the classes had started studying computers much earlier, so the girls thought they must somehow be less smart when really they just didn't have the same head start. That's also discussed here https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=3836440

The claim that there is a shortage has nothing to do with the fact that tech is more welcoming to men. It's two completely separate issues. I know. You brought it up when you said that men were being encouraged to go into tech, to the point that they were almost being pushed away from other fields. Demographically speaking (looking at the whole population) no one - neither men nor women - is encouraged to get into tech. Therefore there is a shortage of skilled workers.

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I'd say that the statistics speak for themselves. If you (sp332) say that women are discouraged from entering tech, it's just as valid to claim that men are discouraged from entering basically any other field. Besides, I get the uncanny impression that you have some political agenda, as evinced by your lack of facts and reasoning in your arguments, and substituting it by mere claims and rhetoric.

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Me? You asked, Isn't it just equally plausible that women just don't really want to be in technology-oriented fields? And I said, yes, but that's not the whole story. Also, I don't believe there's a biological imperative to enter tech. Of the two of us I'm the only one who's presented any evidence.

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Why would one assume that?

Aside from the millennia of oppression of women, you mean, keeping them out of every professional field? And aside from endemic gender stereotyping that pushes women strongly away from "hard" professions and toward "soft" ones? Oh, and aside from the dozens of conversations I've had with women in tech talking about how they've been mistreated?

Aside from all that, mainly because I'm really suspicious of unprovable arguments for a status quo that's very convenient for the speaker.

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This is so tired. Plenty of others responded with arguments and data and yet somehow I doubt you'll change your ignorant mind. Upset that I made an unfounded conjecture about you based on insufficient data? Exactly.

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This is the boat I'm in. Everyone seems to be applying this exclusively to BUSINESS and DAY JOBS and MISSION-CRITICAL APPLICATIONS and CLIENTS and CUSTOMERS.

Why not empower people to spend their leisure time or their artistic pursuits in a new, challenging way?

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(makes you do it)

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I know a large number of librarians, some male and some female, and have had a discussion with most of them about the dearth of men in their profession. Most of them are concerned by it. So now we both have anecdotes, hooray!

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A mild tangent: When the Internet was being rolled out beyond the initial research labs it ended up being part of the library's remit. Thus there are a bunch of women of a certain age who were there at the early days of the Internet who know a lot about protocols and netiquette etc.

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It's not about whether or not it was serious, it's about the repetition and legitimization of things that are being taken seriously by plenty of people and are a legitimate problem for the people who are disadvantaged as a result.

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It's interesting that Rohrer played around with the idea of taking Chain World online-- when I heard about Chain World, the first bit of sacrilege that came to my mind was "well, why should this be restricted to a USB stick? There's no reason a multiplayer server couldn't be governed to do this."

I wrote Lonecraft as a way of replicating the Chain World idea, but using an Amazon EC2 instance as a multiplayer server with a few custom Minecraft server plugins and a Heroku instance as a web app to govern the rules of the game (to make sure only one player plays at once and no one plays more than once).

The code is here: http://www.github.com/ckolderup/lonecraft It needs some more work to flesh out the idea of resetting the world after a set number of players and exposing the blog entries of each player after the world resets, but the general game mechanic is there and functional.

My instance of it is technically up and running, too, but one thing my friends and I quickly discovered while testing it is that people who have been playing Minecraft for a while have a nasty habit of not... really... dying. Once you've learned the ropes it's pretty easy to make armor, carry food, and fight monsters. Death usually comes only occasionally and as the result of a careless mistake.

I've toyed with the idea of imposing a time limit or a number of logins that you're allowed before you're also kicked off, but that seemed to defeat the whole purpose of giving meaning to the in-game death.

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Could you make it so that the longer someone plays, the harder it is to stay alive? Armour provides progressively less protection, you require more food, there are more monsters, monsters are more powerful, lightning more frequent etc...

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It was something I had discussed with some friends who were testing it, but the combination of "would require more work" (although not necessarily too much-- there are various mods based around "survival" concepts that I could theoretically use) plus "gets away from the basic concept of out-of-the-box Minecraft" left me unmotivated to continue.

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The basic concepts of OOTB Minecraft include bugginess and poor performance. Don't be afraid to make something new.

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Game designer here.

Why not put in a time limit, but wrap it up in some kind of imminent death? "You have 30 days left to live." (Game days, of course).

It might be really interesting to see what comes from it, as people start with grand aspirations, but eventually flip to frantically trying to complete something.

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As long as they keep playing and don't cheat, those careless mistakes will happen. It may take months but the game is great at dealing random misfortunes. I've been struck by lightning.

And future versions will likely have more dangers and more things to tempt you into danger.

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You're right. The project just ended up being underwhelming when we only got 3 players deep after a month or two of alpha testing. :P

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What if the game was driven by a countdown clock? For example, you only have 60 minutes?

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I considered it, but to me part of the impact of the meaning of your "life" in the game being a "life" would mean that it would have to last long enough for you to carry out some meaningful work before you die of "natural causes" (i.e. a timer running out). In that case, the timer would probably be long, on the order of months, and I was just hoping that something else could be done to make the game harder to survive (there are lots of server plugins to do things like require you to eat to stay alive, etc; I looked into those a little bit but then got busy with other things).

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The amount of maximum time should probably be random ideally with some distribution. It might also be good if people didn't quite know how long they had to live but had some signs the time was running out.

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24 hours sounds about right.

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