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Is Computer Science Education Racist and Sexist?

timothy posted about 7 months ago | from the what-the-does-the-magic-8-ball-say dept.

Education 612

theodp writes "What's wrong with this picture?" asked Code.org at its launch earlier this year, lamenting the lack of Computer Science students in a race and gender reference-free infographic. But as the organization has grown via public/private partnerships and inked agreements to drive the CS curriculum for the Chicago and NYC school systems, the same stats webpage has adopted a new gender and racial equity focus, positioning Computer Science education as "a chance to level the playing field" for women, Hispanic and African American students. The new message is consistent with the recently-forged Code.org partnership with the NSF-funded Exploring Computer Science (ECS, "a K-12/university partnership committed to democratizing computer science") and Computer Science Principles (CSP, "a new course under development that seeks to broaden participation in computing and computer science"). According to The Research Behind ECS, an "insidious 'virtual segregation' that maintains inequality" is to blame for keeping the number of African Americans and Latino/as CS students disproportionately low. So, what might the future of Code.org's proposed equity-based U.S. K-12 CS education look like? "Including culturally relevant instructional materials represented a driving focus of our course development," explained ECS Team members who now advise Code.org. "Cultural design tools encourage students to artistically express computing design concepts from Latino/a, African American, or Native American history as well as cultural activities in dance, skateboarding, graffiti art, and more. These types of lessons are important for students to build personal relationships with computer science concepts and applications – an important process for discovering the relevance of computer science for their own life." And — ironically for Code.org — it could mean less coding."

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612 comments

Is Computer Science Education Racist and Sexist? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45761395)

Is Computer Science Education Racist and Sexist?

Well, no. Unless there are roaming gangs of white nerdy kids beating up anyone with the wrong color that I haven't heard of.

Re:Is Computer Science Education Racist and Sexist (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45761733)

I'm pretty sure there are many colors I haven't heard of.

Re:Is Computer Science Education Racist and Sexist (4, Funny)

savuporo (658486) | about 7 months ago | (#45761751)

Betteridge's Law of Headlines.

Yes it is rascist, and a little sexist (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45761761)

If you're not from Bangalore you don't have a future. ...and as for sexist, I actually knew girls who took the IT course to meet a husband because of the insane ratio of males:females. One of them even stayed through the course and earnt her degree.

FUCK this is bullshit.

IQ (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45761401)

Computer Science is much easier if you have a high IQ. Ergo African Americans, by and large, won't do well in C/S. (Ducking... and anonymous...)

Re:IQ (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45761467)

You don't need high IQ for computer science, just above average IQ.

Re: IQ (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45761515)

You don't need an above average IQ for CS, you just need to think you have one.

Re: IQ (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45761645)

you just need to kill yourself

Re: IQ (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45761705)

Actually, you have to be able to think very logically. However, good logic skills also correlate with higher average IQs. There is also a bias in the black community that devalues education as it "trains you to be like the man" and ruins street cred.

As a manager in IT, I used to go out of my way to hire attractive women in CS, but they are just super rare. They hardly exist, and the smart ones are very expensive.

All in all, people need to relax and understand we are all different. Just like most pro sports are dominated by blacks because they kick ass athletically, the geeky "brain" sports are dominated by people who spend more time developing their brains (Chinese, Indians, and whites typically). If we would stop judging people for being "weak" or "stupid", humans wouldn't have such a big issue with this simple fact. Fact is, we make fun of dumb jocks and geeky nerds. For a long long time, it was totally uncool to be a weak geeky nerd (Revenge of the Nerds anyone??). It's only because geeks make the most money (on average) that we are cool now. Otherwise, we'd still be outcasts as we were for 30 years.

So, again - if you want to be great in CS, you have to exercise your brain. And it helps if you are introverted and truly enjoy sitting in front of a computer screen for 13 hours a day. Simple as that. If that isn't you, you aren't going to be a good programmer.

Re: IQ (5, Insightful)

epyT-R (613989) | about 7 months ago | (#45761755)

Interesting how biasing hiring towards women is not considered sexist yet biasing towards men, is? All in the name of 'equality' of course.

Re: IQ (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45761767)

As someone who works with developers on a daily bases, I can only concur.

Re:IQ (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45761709)

Averages don't matter; you just need to be intelligent, and that has nothing to do with IQs.

sexist? pah! (5, Insightful)

gbjbaanb (229885) | about 7 months ago | (#45761415)

I don't see anyone complaining that nursing or primary school teaching is sexist, yet those professions have a definite bias towards one sex.

So men tend to like computers more than women, does anyone seriously think this is somehow the industry keeping women from participating? (well, ok, but only because a lot of the "men" in the industry tend to be about as mature as the primary school children I referred to earlier!)

Racist? I can't answer that so readily, but I know a lot of foreign chappies working in IT, and my last company actively discriminated against white guys by only hiring Indian developers - though admittedly they were located in India, and cost a lot less. The one previous to that recruited a lot of Lithuanians, so they could hardly be said to discriminate against the usual native causcasian population.

Now ageist... that is definitely a problem in IT.

Re:sexist? pah! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45761533)

I know a lot of foreign chappies working in IT, and my last company actively discriminated against white guys by only hiring Indian developers - though admittedly they were located in India, and cost a lot less. The one previous to that recruited a lot of Lithuanians, so they could hardly be said to discriminate against the usual native causcasian population.

Now ageist... that is definitely a problem in IT.

I'm guessing this might have something to do with the reason you don't work for either of these companies any more. Good luck on finding greener pastures, although I suspect if you want to start getting treated and paid respectfully you should look into starting a more... um... respectable career.

Re:sexist? pah! (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45761621)

Unix guide - unzip ; strip ; touch ; finger ; mount ; fsck ; more ; yes ; umount ; sleep

That is all.

Re:sexist? pah! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45761633)

The computer industries as a whole are multi-billion dollar pillars of our economy. High-ranking computer jobs are seen by the public as desirable and wealthy, as well as respected careers.

There's a growing segment of society who wish to enter this computer industry, but who can't invest in the skills or hard work to learn the technical requirements.

Their goal is purely rent-seeking: they will bully and con the tech sector to let them in and hopefully grab one of the management jobs.

For them, it's just another opportunity for career advancement. If calling someone racist or sexist will help them land the job, that is all that matters!

PS. Captcha = "Result"

Re:sexist? pah! (2)

phantomfive (622387) | about 7 months ago | (#45761665)

This program is agnostic to problems of race and gender. Think of the motivations of the people who started it, to 'encourage' people to program.

What they really care about is getting more workers, so they don't have to pay as much. They saw women as an easy demographic to target, large and untapped. This 'sexism' is the way they decided to market that would be most effective, that is, most manipulative.

"These types of lessons are important for students to build personal relationships with computer science concepts and applications"

WTF does that even mean? Her? [youtube.com]

Re:sexist? pah! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45761703)

I don't see anyone complaining that nursing or primary school teaching is sexist, yet those professions have a definite bias towards one sex.

Not so long ago, nursing and school teaching was by and far by men. By contrast, in the same timeframe, women in computer science by and large were... glorified calculators.

Re:sexist? pah! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45761793)

No they were not. Not so long ago smart girls were pushed towards nursing and smart boys towards medicine, but nursing has been female dominated as long as it has existed.

The mote in god's eye. (4, Interesting)

westlake (615356) | about 7 months ago | (#45761739)

I don't see anyone complaining that nursing or primary school teaching is sexist, yet those professions have a definite bias towards one sex.

If you haven't heard any complaints, it can only be because you haven't been listening:

Why Men Don't Teach Elementary School [go.com] [ABC News, March]

Men in Nursing [nurse.com] [October]

Re:The mote in god's eye. (3, Insightful)

epyT-R (613989) | about 7 months ago | (#45761779)

Men avoid working for public school systems because their policy is now dictated by feminist trained soccer moms who think all men are potential rapists/pedophiles.

Re:sexist? pah! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45761775)

I don't see anyone complaining that nursing or primary school teaching is sexist, yet those professions have a definite bias towards one sex.

You must not be looking into the industry then.

It IS a concern.

Type sexism in nursing and teaching.

Read all the links.

Don't confuse "It hasn't been posted on Slashdot" with "Nobody cares about this" .

Question asked. Answer NO. (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45761419)

Is computer science racist or sexist? Nope.

Really of any industry, computer related fields are way more accepting of ANYTHING than any other i've seen. Race, sex, sexual orientation, religion, lifestyle, anything! People into computers don't really give a damm who or what you are. As long as you're not an idiot you'll do fine.

Now... Are some races or sexes less likely to go into computer science? Hell yes.

Why? Well now.. You could write a book about WHY...

For women i imagine it has alot to do with the power of sex. And in computer fields that power is gone. They can't smile and look pretty and get ahead like so many many other industrys allow. Or even demand. In computer related fields nobody cares how hot you are.

For races? Well.. I won't touch that subject. Everyone gets mad.

Re: Question asked. Answer NO. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45761501)

Obviously never seen the only girl in a CS class. Most dudes crush on her, and most of the time she doesn't want any part of it. She demonstrates not all women use sex even when she could.

Re: Question asked. Answer NO. (0)

celle (906675) | about 7 months ago | (#45761537)

"Obviously never seen the only girl in a CS class. Most dudes crush on her, and most of the time she doesn't want any part of it. She demonstrates not all women use sex even when she could."

      So in other words, the CS classes get the girls that are duds.

Re: Question asked. Answer NO. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45761729)

the only girls in my CS classes were always ugly

Re:Question asked. Answer NO. (4, Funny)

gbjbaanb (229885) | about 7 months ago | (#45761505)

In computer related fields nobody cares how hot you are.

possibly the wrongest thing I've ever read on Slashdot! :-)

I'll touch it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45761589)

For races? Well.. I won't touch that subject. Everyone gets mad.

Learning computers is acting white.

Re:Question asked. Answer NO. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45761771)

Speaking as a white guy... please oh please never work with me or on any projects that I have anything to do with.

PC means Personal Computer,not Politically Correct (1)

drwho (4190) | about 7 months ago | (#45761425)

Give me a break. So tired of all this bullshit. Hey I know since Asians have higher representation than Europeans in CS, let's put them in the óppressed' pile too.

Re:PC means Personal Computer,not Politically Corr (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45761479)

Exactly. They imply that the way to fix this is to make computer science "more appealing" to women and minorities.

The fact is, computer science (real understanding of information technology) is hard. I'm sorry if you get your feelings hurt when you attempt something hard and you can't hack it. The only advice I can give you is "try harder" if you really want to learn it. You know, MAN UP!

All kidding aside, this comes down to trying to persuade people to go into a field they aren't really interested in... whether that's due to cultural factors or some innate proclivity, the jury is still out. But if it's YOUR goal to get certain people interested, YOU have to persuade them. It's not the industry's business or the schools' prerogative to talk you into studying any particular subject.

Re:PC means Personal Computer,not Politically Corr (3, Interesting)

Skinkie (815924) | about 7 months ago | (#45761527)

Why would you want to make computer science "more appealing" to women? Just look at science students and computer science students in Russia. Women are the majority!

Does this count? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45761427)

I'm transitioning from male to female? The SRS is in 6 months time.
I've been writing software for nearly 10 years after graduating in CS.

Re:Does this count? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45761529)

Well you won't have that thing between your legs distracting you from doing techy things. You are sure to succeed.

Re:Does this count? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45761813)

No it doesn't. You're a male with physio/psychological issues. Disfiguring yourself will not make you female, any more than those guys who have sex changes to compete in female sports just so they can win.

Who cares? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45761431)

Maybe nogs and spics are too stupid

What the... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45761439)

I don't even...

No. (2, Interesting)

Max Threshold (540114) | about 7 months ago | (#45761445)

The white male dominance of computer science begins with little girls being given dolls instead of engineering toys, and poor children (which includes many racial minorities, although not because they're racial minorities) going to shitty schools where they're lucky if their education is only twenty years out of date.

In all fairness... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45761517)

The fact that the field is dominated by men who are known for lacking social graces, to put it mildly, doesn't help draw women into the field and doesn't help to keep the ones who were given engineering toys in.

Re:In all fairness... (1)

Max Threshold (540114) | about 7 months ago | (#45761643)

I think that stereotype is less deserved than it once was. One does not need to make so many social sacrifices to succeed in CS. And in some ways, geeks have become social heroes.

Re:No. (5, Interesting)

demonlapin (527802) | about 7 months ago | (#45761717)

Little girls, given the choice between dolls and building blocks, overwhelmingly choose the dolls. You can't reverse biology, and it's idiotic to do so.

That's not to say women can't do CS. Plenty can. Most choose not to do so.

Re:No. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45761749)

Bullshit, Lego used to be popular among both genders until parents and marketing decided Lego was for boys unless it was pink and mostly set pieces instead of bricks.

Re:No. (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45761783)

Wrong. You can't change advertising. Advertising comes in many forms: novels, television shows, films and so on. No matter how hard you attempt to shield your children, girls tend to want to be pink princesses because that's how women are portrayed in a majority of children's media. It's not a matter of bad parenting either, you can actively ignore mentioning this stuff and little girls still want to be pink simply because their friends do and everywhere they look it's ingrained in society.

Re:No. (0)

enthused i swear (641133) | about 7 months ago | (#45761847)

That's just false, and shows a blindness on your part to the overwhelming gender cues and conditioning that go on in society. Next you'll be saying girls "just naturally love pink, it's biology!" Further, saying "most choose not to" is a total cop-out. Why do they choose not to? Your suggestion that it's overwhelmingly biological is, again, just false and ridiculous in the extreme. CS environments are frequently unfriendly to women, and comments like yours are specific examples of why.

Re: No. (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45761719)

The barrier for entry in learning to code is virtually nil. You need a computer - it doesn't even have to be a good one - and access to the Internet.

That's it. If you have that, you have all of the resources, tutorials, books, exercises, and help documentation needed to start learning CS.

Oh yes - and the motivation to do self-start and learn something yourself.

CS Grads are unemployable (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45761833)

in my company. We prefer real science or engineering grads to CS people.
The difference is that CS people (from my interviewing over the past 4 years) don't have a clue about real world problem solving.

CS grads seem to think that they know everything but in reality they know very little that is of practical use at the sharp end.

Then there is their inability to understand that Flight Avionic Systems must be tested properly and 'near enough' is nowhere near good enough.

Re:No. (5, Insightful)

epyT-R (613989) | about 7 months ago | (#45761841)

no.. Girls innately prioritize socialization, which, for whatever reason, is given more respect these days than abilities (like computer programming) that actually accomplish something. Give girls toy trucks, and they treat them like dolls, anthropomorphizing them.. Give dolls to boys and they'll treat them like space ships, or have them fight or whatever..

Gender is not a social construct. Society is a gender construct.

Re:No. (1, Interesting)

ADRA (37398) | about 7 months ago | (#45761857)

To further the point, Indian's and Chinese students have been learning and shoving IT and STEM down childrens throats for a while and one could argue how successful they've become (I wouldn't, they rock like its hot), there is definitely a gap between them and say Black / Hispanic students who are typically from much more impoverished areas (at least in tyhe US anyways).

you know you are in a CS bubble when ... (5, Interesting)

peter303 (12292) | about 7 months ago | (#45761447)

- There are crazy stock valuations of computer companies that have almost no revenue.
- People claim that everyone should write computer software including those with minimal STEM background and minmal interest in such.
- When crazy articles about computer science racism starting appearing.

Awesome post! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45761541)

The US population has trouble with reading and math [cbsnews.com] compared to the rest of the World and these guys are worried about computer science being taught in school.

Something tells me that this isn't so much about improving society and more about increasing supply of technical labor and the subsequent decrease in pay for said workers.

Oh, and "non-profit" is just a tax status - you are just limited on what you can do with the profits you make. non-profit != charity.

Anti-Homogeneity (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45761449)

Can we possibly get away from this equality PC BS and just accept that some classes of people are generally better at things than others please? It appears to be screwing things up.

What are we Teaching Students (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45761455)

How about just teaching people to code, if they are interested. If they aren't then leave them alone. They don't need to learn how to skateboard, do graffiti etc to become proficient coders. People are looking for racism where it doesn't exist, or trying to teach people a skill who don't want to learn that skill, all in the name of multiculturism

Mandatory... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45761457)

"Any headline which ends in a question mark can be answered by the word no."

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Betteridge's_law_of_headlines [wikipedia.org]

Poor fit for leveling the playing field ... (5, Insightful)

perpenso (1613749) | about 7 months ago | (#45761461)

Computers science is a poor fit as a vehicle to level the playing field. Its not the sort of job you can do well if you don't have some sort of inherent interest or curiosity in.

Certainly any group can have members that have such an interest in programming. Finding those individuals would be a good thing. I just have severe reservations against trying to push anyone into this field. I've seen too many programmers who got into the field not because they have any inherent interest or curiosity rather somebody told them it was a good career path. They don't do well.

Should some sort of CS or programming classes be availably to anyone in K-12 that is interested or curious? Sure. It would be a great elective class.

Re:Poor fit for leveling the playing field ... (1)

celle (906675) | about 7 months ago | (#45761561)

"Should some sort of CS or programming classes be availably to anyone in K-12 that is interested or curious? Sure. It would be a great elective class."

        Mod this guy up 100. Remember though, kids only go for the 'exciting' classes.

Re:Poor fit for leveling the playing field ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45761693)

Sure it is, since the goal is to limit white male success, and drag them down to lowest air-headed ghetto ho.

Re:Poor fit for leveling the playing field ... (4, Interesting)

phantomfive (622387) | about 7 months ago | (#45761725)

Its not the sort of job you can do well if you don't have some sort of inherent interest or curiosity in.,

I used to think that too, but since I've met a number of people who don't really like programming but are still very good at it. YMMV.

Re:Poor fit for leveling the playing field ... (1)

ADRA (37398) | about 7 months ago | (#45761831)

Hey, we all need our foundations to learn, and I think computer use and extended, computer IT/programming should at least be taught in schools as a core course. If they can justify physical 'education' (yes of course keeping kids fit is a good thing), then they can consider computers a core as well.

Some will absolutely bomb in it and that's ok. Its oik to know what you are good aty and what you aren't without wasting 4+ yerars in post-secondary and $50k to realize you've make a horrible horrible mistake in choosing something you're interested in. Worse, imagine all of those that hated computers out of ignorance who could've been brilliant CS students/employees if only given enough motivation.

why does my cs dept issue run just 1 os? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45761465)

obsoletely primitive to start

Computers don't know how to be racist or sexist. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45761481)

The computer doesn't care if you are black or white. It doesn't care if you are male or female. It doesn't ask who your daddy is and it doesn't care what value (if any) you have assigned to $DEITY.

What's keeping African Americans, Latinos, and Native Americans away from Computer Science? Simple: Computer access costs money and these groups are disproportionately poor. Increase access to the equipment and you solve the problem.

Re: Computers don't know how to be racist or sexis (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45761555)

That's not really true. You can learn to code BASIC on a $5 hand-me-down 486 from Goodwill. Any Internet connection can provide you with more help documentation and tutorials than you can shake a stick at.

As an activity, the entry barrier for learning coding is set very, very low. The socioeconomic rewards (in terms of employability and marketable skills) is high, so you get a good return on your investment.

What is keeping poor ghetto children from learning to code, given that it is a cheap way to improve your lot in life?

Culture - coding is seen as something not worthwhile, or "white", or otherwise non-desirable in the ghetto.

So instead of seeing coding as a free way to educate yourself out of the ghetto, the ghetto culture encourages children to try for a 1 in 1,000,000 chance of being the next big rap or basketball star....

And that is not the fault of the CS community.

Re: Computers don't know how to be racist or sexis (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45761687)

Actually, you can learn to do Object Pascal, C, C++ and Assembler on a cheap goodwill PC - all of which are useful commercially (although the pascal is less so these days).

Re: Computers don't know how to be racist or sexi (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45761747)

Sure, that would work too, and would probably be a good first step.

Just pointing out that you don't need a "good computer" to learn CS. Hell, you don't even need "books" - there are an enormous amount free resources out there.

All you need is the motivation.

How does advanced CS have any tie to culture? (4, Insightful)

SuperKendall (25149) | about 7 months ago | (#45761485)

From near the end of the ECS Team Member [exploringcs.org] link:

The learning environment of the more advanced computer science classrooms has supported the culture of these students and often made others to feel as "outsiders," as if their concerns, perspectives, were not valued in the field.

So what exactly does that mean? I don't remember any CS classes having a "culture" of any kind. Unless they are saying that "dry and sometimes boring" is "white culture"?

The whole reason you TAKE a CS class is because you are a relative "outsider" to the concepts being presented and want in.

They talk about the solution being "vision of success" for all cultures. But in the end the only possible "success" from a CS class is a better understanding of how to build software. Not only is that not tied in to a culture, ideally it's not even tied to a language! It's totally abstract, yet they seem to want to make it more concrete somehow...

I don't understand how the deride access as "not being enough" when access is EVERYTHING. Grafting hip-hip or graffiti into a college CS class is way, way too late. You want to help people from "other cultures" - well then figure out how to get them something they can and will program on when they are five years old up until college age. Then if it takes they will happily end up at the "dull" CS classes years later to learn mastery of the thing that they love.

Re:How does advanced CS have any tie to culture? (5, Insightful)

Max Threshold (540114) | about 7 months ago | (#45761617)

I think CS has a culture, but what culture it does have is all its own. There is nothing intrinsically white or male about it, as evidenced by the fact that it's totally alien to the majority of white males.

But perhaps the white males who thrive in CS do have one quality that enables them to succeed where others fail: the ability to assimilate into an alien culture without considering yourself a victim of its unfamiliarity. I suspect that all humans are born with this ability, but some people are taught that every difficulty they encounter in life is some form of victimization.

Re:How does advanced CS have any tie to culture? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45761657)

Answer: It turns the culture into a bunch of low paid technical workers to further enrich the billionaire class.

The billionaire class has run out of ideas to innovate and create value thereby increasing everyone's standard of living. So, they plan on doing what they do best; fucking over the little guy to further enrich themselves.

Re:How does advanced CS have any tie to culture? (4, Interesting)

Solandri (704621) | about 7 months ago | (#45761829)

I don't remember any CS classes having a "culture" of any kind. Unless they are saying that "dry and sometimes boring" is "white culture"?

CS culture is the same any other cultural block - the sense that your peer group is superior because you believe or know something that other groups do not. You see it in Mac vs PC, Android vs iOS, Windows vs Unix, Debian vs Ubuntu, x86 vs MIPS, etc. It's the same thing that made the football team superior to the basketball team. Or Hondas better than Toyotas, or domestic cars better than foreign cars. Or vegan better than a regular diet. Or heavy metal better than pop. (Or vice versa for all of these)

In other words, it's just the way people are. It affects all aspects of society including CS. If there's one black mark I'd give CS about this, it's that it tends to have a greater percentage of socially mal-adjusted people, and so tends to hang on to this sense of superiority more than other cultural blocks. Most regular people eventually figure out that it's not really important whether the football team is better than the basketball team, or whether you bought a Toyota or a Ford. But people in CS tend to defend and promote their preferred systems with almost religious fervor well into adulthood. This can be very off-putting to regular people thinking of getting into CS. (To be fair, it's a minority of people in CS who behave like this. But they can be a very vocal minority.)

Men and women are different (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45761495)

Men and women have different brains, you fucking assholes. Africans are different from European are different from Asians are different from Native Americans. So there are certain demographics which are more drawn to computer programming than others, just as some people prefer to knit stockings and others design engines. Who gives a flying fuck?

Is height sexist? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45761499)

Men tend to be taller than women. Is height sexist?

Well, yes. And following the model for all other solutions to every other -ism, men will now have their legs cut off and women will be given lifters.

Scapegoat away. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45761509)

Why not just report the findings for what they seem to be: education is sexist and racist in the sense that impoverished communities have crummier curricula. I can dig wanting to use tech education as a test-bed for that hypothesis, but it's starting to sound like people think computer education is maliciously designed for the purpose of inequality, and that it's the ONLY field where this is a problem. I wouldn't be surprised if they become the scapegoat for all of society's inequality ills at this rate.

Culturally Relevant == Irrelevant to CS (5, Insightful)

CodeBuster (516420) | about 7 months ago | (#45761531)

This is totally bullshit and it's being done for bullshit political reasons. Nothing good comes from the politicization of science and yet the politicians cannot resist making a political issue of the lack of "diversity" in CS education. In my own CS experience nobody gave a shit about whether you were black, white, asian or latino and yes we had all of those races represented in the program. What mattered was whether or not you could hack it and continue advancing through the curriculum. The grades were always on a curve and the competition was intense. If you weren't smart enough or fast enough you washed out. In CS, as in other sciences, people respect knowledge, ability and intelligence, not the color of your skin or your cultural background. If you wanted to major in foo-fa the Humanities department was on the other side of campus.

Re:Culturally Relevant == Irrelevant to CS (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45761631)

Maybe we need to lower the standards so that everyone can get a fair chance to participate.

Re:Culturally Relevant == Irrelevant to CS (1)

Stan92057 (737634) | about 7 months ago | (#45761773)

Ya why should athletes be the only ones to have standards lowered to play college sports.

Code.org lies down with dogs, catches fleas (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45761545)

Sounds like another government funded public-private partnership on the road to pc mediocrity.

Equal opportunities for kids of English descent (3, Funny)

Daniel Oom (2826737) | about 7 months ago | (#45761547)

Children of English or British ancestry are handicapped by their cultural heritage, so they deserve extra stimuli and attention in education.

Their language is fraught with an enormous vocabularity, which impediments their efforts to become literate. To make things worse, the spelling is arcane, non-intuitive, and non-phonetic, and then American, British, Canadian, etc. English have different spellings.

Their ascent in the scientific and computing subjects is further jeopardised by a labyrinthine system of ancient units of measurement, which drives even the smart to seek a career in the humanities.

why another code.org news item ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45761553)

Why are they getting so much play on slashdot ?

I also take issue with most of the stated goals.
To repeat: there is no shortage of good technical
job candidates in the United States.

What about african-english? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45761573)

Or african-german? Always wondered why I never met an african-hispanic, or have I? Hm. Do these people carry cards to make IDing them easier one should ask. Nevermind women. I can usually spot one of those.

Racist and sexist? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45761575)

Haters gonna hate.

Got it backwards (1)

amightywind (691887) | about 7 months ago | (#45761579)

Hmm. An interesting notion. But rather it seems to me that very fields of math and science are racist and sexist. Just like cooking, flower arranging, and basketball are.

Yes, stay the fuck away (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45761581)

I used to welcome any and all, but I'm not sure it's worth it anymore. Computer science is math-heavy, highly technical and you're going to look at a screen most of the time. Computer science is not about skateboarding, graffiti or dance. It is however about philosophers who are scrimping on cutlery. It is about an ancient Greek and a tortoise. It is about infinitely long words made of only 'a's and 'b's (occasionally there can be 'c's). If that sounds boring, racist or misogynist to you, then computer science is not for you. It is not toying around and playing games. It's SCIENCE. That doesn't mean it can't be fun, but you're not going to enjoy it if you're not prepared to do the work.

Re: Yes, stay the fuck away (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45761641)

As a GIS specialist that is employed to do basic scientific research (geology) using CS, let me say:

Science is fucking boring. 99% of science is a tedious slog through the most mundane of details.

The payoff is that 1% that happens after you're done slogging through QA/QC of thousands of data points....

Graffiti? Really? (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45761583)

"Cultural activities in dance, skateboarding, graffiti art, and more."

As a black software engineer I am tired of needing things dumbed down (or "hipped up") to be made more acceptable to minorities. We don't need skateboarding, "graffiti art", or dancing to teach a kid how to code. Just like we didn't need a substandard English (Ebonics) to teach kids how to properly read and write.

If under representation of minorites in computer science is racist, I'd love to know what they think of the under representation of non-Asian minorities in all science, medicine, and technology fields. By their metric there would be rampant racism.

Racism is a real thing, and a very terrible thing, and it's offensive to assume a lack of minority representation automatically means racism. I came from a culture that shunned academic excellence of any kind, and I think that's the reason there is under representation. But nobody wants to talk about the elephant in the room which is asking people to blame their perceptions and beliefs instead of their environment. Racism makes a convenient enemy when the enemy is within.

FUCK THIS NEW PAGE FORMAT (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45761603)

I no longer want to read slashdot.

Fuck you and fuck this. Seriously.

Lets make things FAIR! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45761605)

I have an idea, every white students grade will be "redistributed" to a minority. So for every 100 the white kid gets, he'll give 30 points to every one else!. Then all the women and minorities can pass the class with B's and A's and the white kids can pass with C's. The better gpa will land them jobs, and poof problem fixed right! Who needs knowledge of your field, what really matters is that you bring "diversity"

Does the tin man have a sheet metal cock? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45761651)

My question is about as intelligent as this article is.

We bent over backwards whenever a woman showed up. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45761655)

It's not, oh-my-god, a woman! We must chase here away! it's more like, oh-my-god, a woman, we should do everything we can to make sure she sticks around.

White people (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45761659)

Still to blame for everyone's problems.

What? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45761669)

So we got to make programing classes with less programing and more cultural because its important that there is a balance of race/gender in that field? I think the guy who wrote this story is a racist, trying to hide the fact he is a racist by writing it.

Sexist Mnemonics (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45761681)

Bad boys rape our young girls but Violet gives willingly.

Anyone know some others?

CS is Race/Gender neutral (2)

Crashmarik (635988) | about 7 months ago | (#45761685)

It's applied mathematics how much more abstract and removed do you want it to be ?

What this is about is getting particular groups of people interested in the subject. That may be good or bad, but the problem is not with the material.

Black bitches don't code (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45761695)

And dat's de problem!

Kids aren't stupid (1)

benjfowler (239527) | about 7 months ago | (#45761701)

Kids aren't stupid. They know then they're being patronised by dumb adults trying to make something cool by being "down with the kids". If anything, doing this triggers suspicions that there is a bad taste or smell that needs masking.

Betteridge (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45761735)

Betteridge: No.

There is no reason why you should /expect/ race, gender, ideology, sexual preference, handedness, hair colour, or whatever to be proportionally represented for a group of people selected by some other unrelated criteria you pick. If you DO expect it, your brain has been steeped in PC thinking for so long that it has turned to mush.

more post-modernist bullshit (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45761753)

blablabla

if i need a bipolar transistor do make a circuit neded by a post modernist author, he will insist that i use a fet, afterall, bipolr is a offensive word for those who suffer from maniac depression........
we can all answer post modernist bullshit by saying blablabla...

from a marxit viewpoint i can understand the tue feminist viewpoit. femists unschooled in maxist theory are prone to post-modernist bullshit. the reason is imple: machism is the result of an historical structure founded on the original patriarcal soieties (long topic to eaborate). the post modernist bullshit inverts this logic, and finng no underlyng causes for machism, loses roots and spin around widely:

original feminists wanted equality, ie: they wanted to make good female computer scientists on the same game as males of before

current, post-modernist feminists, having little to fight for in the central capitalistic societes now want to create a "feminist computer science"

this is akin to the mistakes of urss era, by trying to present hard sciences as ideological, they might very well recreate a kind of lyssenkoist computer...

Betteridge's law of headlines (1)

andy1307 (656570) | about 7 months ago | (#45761781)

The answer is no....slashdot used to be a great site....now it's all about theodp's jihad against code.org and "the man"

This Story is Crap But.... (1)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | about 7 months ago | (#45761795)

On the Infographic there is a link:

A Google employee's comparison of Computer Science education in Vietnam compared to the US. #WeCanDoBetter http://t.co/oRPRy2pSFm [t.co]

THIS IS THE REAL STORY. What really needs to be done.

FIX THE EDUCATION SYSTEM.

No. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45761799)

I'm seeing free courses for women, and no similar freebies for men.
http://www.railsbridgeboston.org/ [railsbridgeboston.org]

done with this (0)

Velex (120469) | about 7 months ago | (#45761811)

I am sick of womyn-born-womyn investing more energy in bitching about how computers are "too technical" rather than just getting out a compiler and making something. I am sick of the feminist movement that enables this kind of utter failure. Womyn-born-womyn, like anybody else, are perfectly capable of doing this crap on their own; except, apparently, when the privileges feminism has given them prevent them from doing so.

Except, why do I care what womyn-born-womyn want to do?

It's clear that Code.org wants to limit enrollment in STEM classrooms in order to drive down wages in engineering and computer fields. They're merely riding on the coat-tails of the idea that there's something sexist about this little blurb:

The Analytical Engine has no pretensions whatever to originate anything. It can do whatever we know how to order it to perform. It can follow analysis; but it has no power of anticipating any analytical relations or truths. Its province is to assist us in making available what we are already acquainted with.

Gee! Who the hell wrote that?!

Oh! It was a womyn-born-womyn!

We need to stop believing that there's some mystical force keeping womyn-born-womyn out of the field. We need to tell Code.org to go fuck itself, because feminism is completely off base here.

I'm a trans woman, and I do computer-y shit for a living. Womyn-born-womyn can either bitch about how hard it is to sign up for CS-101 or they can just sign up.

And hell, womyn-born-womyn won't even need to deal with the sexist shit I need to deal with when I go to college like mandatory date rape classes and all the little other ways that assigned males are discriminated against in college.

In a world run by sexists and racists (1)

wisnoskij (1206448) | about 7 months ago | (#45761853)

Any group who does not subscribe to the rhetoric, will be seen as sexist and racist.

This is why groups who are outsiders, and who have huge reasons to not care about who or what you are or how society says you should be treated are always considered the most racist and sexist.

The tech industry.
Gamers, Online communities (they do not even know the race or gender of each other, yet they are "outrageously sexist and racist" places).
Anarchists.

Treating everyone the same is the new sexism.

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