NightMar on Elm St.🎃 (yes i know it’s january) Profile picture
historian of technology, professor, & former sysadmin. occasional dad jokes & rabbit pictures. they/them. books:…
Sep 23, 2018 15 tweets 4 min read
This is how women's histories disappear right before our eyes--their images used as window dressing while they are anonymized right out of their own stories, by folks who assume they are nothing more than stock photos & deprive them of any say over how their images are used. Just to add a little background about why I'm banging on about this, why it's a big deal:

In my research, I found hundreds, if not thousands, of pictures of unnamed women computer operators and programmers. And:
Aug 13, 2018 7 tweets 2 min read
Lol. Tell that to the millions of women faking orgasms for most of modern history. We are *well* into the age of artificial intimacy.… If you think this kind of one-sided non-empathic emotional connection came from the age of bots, plz let me introduce you to this thing called "the history of gender and sexuality."
Jul 26, 2018 11 tweets 3 min read
Once again for the people in the back:
TOXIC CONTENT👋🏼 Facebook started as Facemash--a hot-or-not ripoff site that stole women undergrads' pics off internal Harvard "facebook" servers in order to humiliate and demean them. FOR CLICKS. FOR FUN. JUST TO SEE IF HE COULD.
Jul 11, 2018 9 tweets 4 min read
Yesterday I spoke with Lorna Cockayne, one of the last surviving people who ran the first computers in the world--the Colossus computers at Bletchley Park. Lorna is in her 90s but still vividly recalls the (often tedious) work. Her job as a Colossus operator was to crack the encryption, which changed every day, for Lorenz--the code used for German high command to receive their marching orders. It was far harder to crack than Enigma.
Jun 21, 2018 5 tweets 3 min read
"Dr Isabel Gal worked at Queen Mary’s hospital for children in the 1960s, when her research suggested that a hormone-based pregnancy test drug called Primodos caused birth defects similar to those seen with thalidomide."

And she's not even listed on Wikipedia's page for Primodos It talks about her important research but obscures her, while nonetheless prominently naming a man who did far less relevant research. This is how the myth of men's contributions being greater than women's persists. It infects the very structures through which we know the world:
Jun 16, 2018 19 tweets 5 min read
Love this question--and would love to hear all of your answers to it: Here's mine, going from undergrad to grad school: when I got the idea for my undergrad thesis I was sitting in a lecture on medieval women, and the lecturer mentioned, totally as an aside, that she hadn't been allowed into most of the Oxford colleges when she was a student...
Jun 10, 2018 4 tweets 1 min read
Sunday family history quiz: Did your grandmother(s) work "outside the home" for any period of time? If so, what did they do?

Mine: farmer, then textile factory worker

(Don't know about the other one.) Bonus if you can describe how it relates to the larger context of what was going on in the world at the time.
Jun 7, 2018 30 tweets 10 min read
Today's google doodle is for Dr. Virginia Apgar: she is the reason a significant number of those of us born in the US did not die within the first 24 hours of birth. Apgar initially studied to become a surgeon, but because of the sexism on the part of the men training her she was told to go into the newer & less prestigious related field of anaethesiology instead. Later she'd become the 1st woman to make full professor at Columbia--in 1949.
May 16, 2018 5 tweets 2 min read
Another reminder that free speech is a fiction and freedom to speak is disproportionately given to some people and not others. It's also a reminder that your free speech *actually being violated* means the government comes crashing down on you: just like they did to this man. Think about how white identity extremists are handled, and given the benefit of the doubt, & how nothing is done to them until after they shoot someone, or shoot up a school or church. And even then, they're not even named as such, so it can happen again & again.
May 15, 2018 9 tweets 3 min read
"Google moved into military work without public debate or deliberation, domestically or internationally. While Google regularly decides the future of tech w/o democratic engagement, entry into military technologies casts these problems of into high relief”… “If ethical action by tech companies requires consideration of who might benefit from a technology & who might be harmed, we can say w/certainty no topic deserves more reflection—no tech has higher stakes—than algorithms meant to target & kill at a distance w/o accountability"
Apr 28, 2018 4 tweets 3 min read
Look at all these computer programmers Since folks have asked, here's the info on these programmers. 2 names are known, the rest weren't recorded w/their pics.
I shared without names initially to make the point that there were women all over the place in early computing--and that we need to reckon with what happened.
Mar 31, 2018 7 tweets 3 min read
ok so quick question: how many of you on here are old enough to have actually *dialed* a phone in your lifetime? (and not as a novelty in some sort of hipstery hotel or something) Fave for old enough, RT for too young I guess.
Mar 15, 2018 14 tweets 5 min read
This great thread is yet another reminder that when women aren't named in photos or archives too many ppl just assume they were secretaries or had no special education or skills This makes my blood boil because for years I was told tthe women in the computer photos I was researching weren't real computer workers, just pretty faces brought in for the picture. Even when I presented clear evidence to the contrary!
Nov 2, 2017 9 tweets 2 min read
Today I learned that if you are wearing a panty liner that gives the TSA carte blanche to push their fingers up into your groin and ass. Their machines are now calibrated to alarm for "feminine hygiene products." This is embarrassing as hell to talk about, but it needs to be put out in the open.