Yitang Zhang, an unknown mathematician who worked at Subway while trying to find an academic position earlier in his career, has written a paper that makes significant progress towards understanding the twin prime conjecture, “one of mathematics’ oldest problems”.
Editors of prominent…
Bravo, Yitang Zhang! I love these stories of mathematicians in the literal or proverbial woods delivering unexpected progress on big problems.
But the prejudice will follow you. What will save you is tacking into the love of the work, into the desire that brought you there in the first place. This creates a suspension of time, opens a spacious room of your own in which you can walk around and consider your response. Staring prejudice in the face imposes a cruel discipline: to structure your anger, to achieve a certain dignity, an angry dignity.
Former software engineer and current author Ellen Ullman had a fabulously thoughtful op-ed in The New York Times about her experiences being female in the tech world, and speaking about the changes she’s noticed (not ones for the better, really) in the world of coding and software for women.
I love this last paragraph (the one quoted above) in particular, partly because it’s so real but also so genuinely hopeful. It has real promise but it casts no illusions over what it means to be female in any sort of man’s world. Ullman is talking about a prejudice that women far afield from the world of coding can instantly understand. It may not be phrased identically, but the language of dismissal, neglect and prejudice is at its heart universally recognizable and understood, as is the process of structuring the reaction to it.
Definitely read the full op-ed.
This weekend’s accomplishments: 20 freezer burritos and planting my window box with herbs (ignore the sad cilantro— hoping it makes a comeback).
This is brilliant, kiddos. A+.
“40 percent of Americans are clueless about [Obamacare’s] sheer existence. Some think it’s been repealed by Congress. Some think it’s been overturned by the Supreme Court. A few probably think it’s been vaporized and replaced with a galactic edict beamed down from one of Saturn’s moons. With…
Civics education. We need it.
Wow. I didn’t think it was possible but Trump actually trumped his own idiocy with this.
I’m not sure he even knows what his point is here, but no matter what it’s terrible. Men are inherently rape-y? Women should leave the public sphere so they don’t get hurt and/or so they don’t seduce men into raping them? People who believe in treating men and women like individual grownups and holding them accountable for their behavior should give up and go home, because it’s a terrible idea? What are you even talking about, you idiot.
Seriously, if we believe a 14 year old is too immature to know how to take a pill, do we really think she’s adult enough to handle an unwanted pregnancy?
The truth is that the age restriction is completely arbitrary, tied only to our puritanical comfort levels. And listen, I get it; I think it’s fair to say that most people are uncomfortable with the idea of a 14 year old having sex. But here’s the thing - access to Plan B isn’t about keeping a 14 year old from having sex - by the time she gets to the pharmacy, that ship has sailed - it’s about keeping a 14 year old who has already had sex from getting pregnant. And despite what urban legend (or past embarrassing FDA memos) may tell you, making emergency contraception more available is not more likely to make young teens have sex - it will just make them less likely to end up pregnant.
We can’t let our discomfort with teen sex trump young people’s right to sexual and reproductive health and we can’t continue to let politics trump science. If we care about young women’s health and bodily autonomy and integrity, we’ll drop all age restrictions from emergency contraception. Anything less isn’t just illogical - it’s immoral.
“Hey, FDA: Drop the Plan B Age Restriction,” my latest at The Nation (via jessicavalenti)
Co-sign. Providing contraception will not undo the 14 year old having sex. Yes, it’s uncomfortable to acknowledge young teens having sex, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t give those who do every tool available to avoid an unwanted pregnancy.
Suicide rates among middle-aged Americans have risen sharply in the past decade, prompting concern that a generation of baby boomers who have faced years of economic worry and easy access to prescription painkillers may be particularly vulnerable to self-inflicted harm. More people now die of suicide than in car accidents, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
… the socialization of boys regarding masculinity is often at the expense of women. I came to realize that we don’t raise boys to be men, we raise them not to be women (or gay men). We teach boys that girls and women are “less than” and that leads to violence by some and silence by many. It’s important for men to stand up to not only stop men’s violence against women but, to teach young men a broader definition of masculinity that includes being empathetic, loving and non-violent.
Don McPherson, former NFL quarterback, feminist and educator (via seraphmachine)
There’s not much wrong with the world that can’t be explained by this.