Technology is taking jobs away from men—and reviving a pre-industrial version of masculinity — Quartz

Many men lost their jobs when technology made them obsolete. The new jobs available were soul-crushing, undignified, and required an arduous commute—and that’s assuming companies would hire them. Most employers wouldn’t, because the men were considered too old and unskilled for the new work. And then a false prophet with messy hair emerged, promising to…

via Technology is taking jobs away from men—and reviving a pre-industrial version of masculinity — Quartz

New York City’s Tech Industry Is 62 Percent White, 60 Percent Male

Let’s not stop at merely describing what the current state is but continue to ask why and what we can do to change this.

TechCrunch

New York City’s tech industry is mostly white (62 percent) and male (60 percent), according to a recent analysis from the Center for an Urban Future. The fact that white men make up the majority of NYC’s tech force isn’t a huge surprise, but what’s interesting is how those figures compare to the diversity stats big tech firms like Apple, Amazon and Google have reported over the last year or so.

The Center for an Urban Future analyzed tech employment in each of New York City’s five boroughs using the Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s new definition of tech employment, which is simply companies that “use technology as their core business.” More specifically, the tech sector includes seven industries: computer manufacturing, electronic shopping, software publishing, data processing and hosting, Internet publishing and broadcasting and web search portals, computer systems design and scientific R&D services.

Most male employees in NYC…

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Georgia’s electric vehicle tax credit ends June 30

There are others issues involved here that will become more apparent with time.

Political Insider blog

Georgia’s $5,000 tax credit for purchased of electric vehicles is getting unplugged on June 30.

A Model S electric vehicle (EV) charges at a supercharger station at the Tesla Motors Inc. Gallery and Service Center in Paramus, New Jersey. Ron Antonelli/Bloomberg A Model S electric vehicle (EV) charges at a supercharger station.

That’s when new legislation takes effect that ends the per-vehicle tax credit and also imposes a $200 yearly registration fee on zero-emission vehicles.

That double-whammy has some car-buyers faced with the decision to take advantage of the expiring credit in the next week or hang tight for a new class of electric vehicles with supercharged battery life expected to roll off the assembly lines within the next few years.

Car dealers are trying to make the most of impending deadline. Many have unleashed screaming advertisements urging shoppers to buy now before the tax credit disappears. (A $7,500 federal tax credit on the cars will still remain intact).

The program’s supporters said it helped reduce pollution and smog in Georgia and made the state a…

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Why No Black Students Took the AP Computer Science Test in 11 States in 2013 and What I Intend to Do About It

Philip Emeagwali, computer scientist who black students can be inspired by.

There has been a lot of speculation concerning the lack of black students in technology fields.  Consistently, critics of policies promoting greater inclusiveness and differentiation of teaching strategies have argued that the reason for the disparities are rooted in mental capability and interest–not in structural problems.

Statistics released by the AP College Board in January of 2014 reveal some troubling disparities:

  • 11 states had no Black students take the exam: Alaska (21 exam takers -4.3% Black by population), Idaho (47 – 0.9% Black), Kansas (47 – 6.2% Black), Maine (161 – 1.0%), Mississippi (1 – 37.3%), Montana (11 – 0.67%), Nebraska (46 – 4.5%), New Mexico (57 – 3%), North Dakota (9 – 1%), Utah (103 – 1.2%), and Wyoming (0 – 1.2%).

Some people believe that this is a matter of inherent intelligence, arguing that black students are not good at computer science.  I disagree. I believe that this is a problem largely about pedagogy and less about aptitude.  Recent reports have emphasized how particular problem-based approaches to computer science and other fields have benefited minority students.  There is a lack of accessibility to these approaches and tech courses in many struggling schools where minorities are disproportionately represented.

Surely, in states where more than 25% of the population is African American yet less than ten black students attempt the test, common sense and probability would point to serious questions of accessibility not ability.

I think the solution to addressing this problem will probably not be championed by STEM field professionals alone. Integrated, interdisciplinary, cross-cultural approaches poses significant promise in educating the general public and aspiring STEM students about the barriers preventing access and achievement in the STEM fields by black students. It is necessary to tackle this problem from outside of the self-contained silo that often precludes effective minority recruitment to STEM fields.   This is what I intend to do about it.

1. Have students in my history classes identify the historical reasons for the disparity and write open letters to school districts and educators that should be doing better.

2. Request that the AP College Board donate promotional materials and preparatory resources to districts who have low numbers of black students who are participating in the exam.

3. Raise awareness about the popular misconceptions surrounding this issue.

The $19 Spark Photon Can Turn Anything Into A Web-Connected Whatsit

Here we go again…

TechCrunch

The original Spark Core was a Kickstarter hit but it had a fatal flaw: you had to be a total electronics nerd to figure it out. Now, however, you can be less of a nerd with the Spark Photon.

The Photon is very similar to the original Core but it’s slightly faster and more compact. To use it you connect a sensor or motor to the core and then interact with it using a simple programming interface. The goal is to make things far easier for hobbyists, artists, and tinkerers and at $19 you probably can’t beat the price.

The team is triggering a manufacturing run when they sell 10,000 units, a clever marketing effort. If this new unit is anything like the old Core it should be a fun little thing to mess around with while waiting for the coming wireless robot apocalypse.

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What Technology Wants (From the Oppressed)

What Technology Wants (From the Oppressed)

What_Technology_Wants,_Book_Cover_Art cabral

Norman Kelly’s What Technology Wants (2010) argues that technology is falsely understood as physical outgrowth of human ingenuity.  Instead, says Kelly, technology is a living force that predates human innovation and is somewhat of a cosmic sibling also spawned from life.  For Kelly, the technium (the term he uses to describe technology’s autonomous attributes) is capable of not only fulfilling human desires but also to desiderate on its own terms.

I took liberty here to push Kelly’s line of reasoning into a realm of thought regarding exploitation that some would find absurd.  Nonetheless, if the technium sent an email to oppressed people, what would it say?

Dear Species So Enthralled with Selfies That You Are Willing to Destroy Thousands of Lives to Procure Precious Metals and Millions More Through Narcissism and Snark:

  1. The technium wants oppressed people to understand that I prey on resources; I will aid in ‘progress’ as you call it but by my nature I must exploit the weaker. This is not personal though you may believe so.  The technium needs resources to expand and simply follows “the path of least resistance” as you would put it.  The rationale is a bit more complex but this simple heuristic will do.  It’s not about you.  It’s about me and my cronies.
  2. The technium wants oppressed people to understand that although it is used by the powerful, it also uses the powerful. The powerful claim that their particular genius and their scientific superiority is why they command wealth.  This falsity is accepted as truth by both the strong and the weak.  You should understand that the sole basis of power is consent.  Is this not evidenced in how your cultures so willingly accept prevailing doctrines of wealth?  In how you so willingly adopt every new innovation I deliver while accepting the loss of your own autonomy, resources, and sense of humanity in the process?  The technium does not think of money as wealth but rather the ability to survive, to evolve, and to expand.  While most humans, particularly the powerful, have signified money alone as a measure of these traits, technology wants more of the following: efficiency, opportunity, emergence, complexity, diversity, specialization, ubiquity, freedom, mutualism, beauty, sentience, structure, and evolvability. (270)  Both the oppressed and the powerful base their faith in monetary instruments to achieve freedom.  However, all living things that use me–including human beings–are my currency because they consent to allow my influence to reign.  In this way, you can think of your powerful as larger denominations ($100) that I use to purchase my will as they help me to constitute the masses of lesser units ($1s, $5s, $10s) and the billions of pennies.  Neither powerful nor weak have any inherent value to me beyond the ability for coordinate my will–to be my tools even as they use me.
  3. The technium wants oppressed people to listen to the insight of Max More’s  philosophy but without abandoning the psycho-social inquiries of W.E.B. Du Bois.  As Amilcar Cabral wrote: “…however fine and attractive the reality of others may be — can only be transformed by detailed knowledge of it, by our own efforts, by our own sacrifices.”

P.S. Stop wasting so much time on twitter.