RDF Writing

Reverse Spin

Recovered from the Wayback Machine.

I just sent my last edit of the proofs to Simon for the Practical RDF book, which means I’m finished with the writing. Put a fork into me my babies and call me done!

Well, I still have to set up the book support site when it publishes, but the next time I see the writing is when that sexy baby falls into my hands, soft sides cool and sleek to the touch, come hither birdie on the front with legs that go all the way up!

Just in case you’re wondering what I’m talking about, it’s he’yah:

Now, go forth and buy. Send that puppy’s sales numbers through the roof! Buy till it hurts, babies!

Other good news is that I actually managed to setup the nameserver for the new site and it works, as you should be able to see over the next day or two with the domain Next up is moving my sites and this weblog, but first I want to finish that Linux for Poets: what’s in a name, for the co-op members. And maybe I’ll have more pics for you later. And maybe even some other writing.

Sometimes all you need to perk up is to accomplish something. I feel so good, why I’m going to go clean the bathrooms. And then I’m going to go for a nice lo-o-o-o-ng walk. This will give you plenty of time to go out to Amazon, and reserve your advance copy.


The authoritarians

Though I edited the post that led to the comment, I did want to promote what Joel said here to the forefront, because I think it’s worth being highlighted:

A few people are so intense that they fail to think through processes. It may take years before a simple reform takes place because these power brokers don’t want to be bothered or they want to build in obstacles to prevent the redelineation of a structure that they built and that they hold precious.

It’s authoritarianism at its most subtle that you’re facing, Shelley. Putting a system in place and then never, ever really considering how it might be rethought to allow for more input from others. It’s the creation of a priestly class (think electoral college) which exists primarily to prevent radical change. Often, however, it turns into a tool for those wishing to promote a radical change that most people don’t want.

“Hysterics” is a buzzword used by some authoritarian types for anything that stops them cold in their tracks and asks that they think again. Stiff people accustomed to using stiff language use the accusation of emotion to attempt to make others think that they are dispassionate. The truth is they rattle easily and they don’t want you to know this. So, unless you are up all night and unable to put this stuff out of your mind, their labels are likely nothing more than a projection of the turmoil they feel inside of themselves when you suggest leveling the playing field, changing the way that decisions are made and, maybe, the players.

In particular the statement, stiff people accustomed to using stiff language use the accusation of emotion to attempt to make others think that they are dispassionate. I would expand on this that the same people use accusations of emotion in order to undercut what another is saying – to lessen the value.

This is the battle I face and have faced in the technology world. When I get angry, I’m accused of being ‘overly emotional’ or ‘hysterical’ where men are just accused of being hot headed, and though it’s subtle, there is a difference between the two. And this difference becomes very, very frustrating.

I was also told this week, though kindly and well meant, that I have a ‘my way or the highway’ approach to many of these discussions – that when I get pushback, I leave. Guilty. Guilty as charged, especially lately. But it’s not because I’m being disagreed with, or I’m not getting ‘my way’ and I’m pouting – it’s because I see this subtle or not so subtle shift happen again, and I just don’t want to continue the fight.

I’d rather just go for a walk or a drive and take photos and write stories. But that’s a cop out, isn’t it? Because if I leave these technology efforts, especially here in the weblogging work – the discussions such as those on the current weblogging metadata and RSS and others of these nature – there will be no other woman involved. No other woman.

What’s wrong with this picture?

Joel said:

It’s authoritarianism at its most subtle that you’re facing, Shelley. Putting a system in place and then never, ever really considering how it might be rethought to allow for more input from others.

That’s what this is all about, isn’t it? We create this open means of publication, where anyone can be heard. And then we constrain it with rules and regulations – mustn’t forget the links, m’dear – and elect kings and queens and become so many bobbing cats in a row, agreeing with everything they say, ready to tromp on any who disagree. The ‘echo bloggers’ I’ve heard about so much this week.

(Which is kinda funny because I just echoed the bloggers who talked about echo bloggers who… never mind. )

No answers. Back to work.

Diversity Weblogging

Marriage Bashing?

Recovered from the Wayback Machine.

Halley was kind enough to link back to me and Liz yesterday after we referenced her README post. However, she added a follow-up note about her post that caused me to choke on my morning coffee:

I guess I want to add that README is not about male-bashing, since I’m crazy for men, but rather marriage-bashing, which drives me crazy. There is something new coming along to replace marriage. I don’t know what it’s called, but I know it’s coming and it’s high time.

Halley is a lovely woman with a zest for life and smart and capable, but my first reaction reading this was an unqualified: What? Well, it was really: WTF!?

My original/edited response yesterday to Halley’s post is that I don’t think that weblogging necessarily does even the playing field for women. This week, during an email exchange with another weblogger – a well known A-List weblogger – he used the term ‘hysterical’ to describe both my disagreement with a procedure another group was following, as well as my reaction to comment editing – something he said no one else disagreed with.

(Before you ask, no it wasn’t Sam. Sam would never use a term like this in a technical discussion.)

I wasn’t going to talk about this online because I’m still thinking about the exchanges from this week, trying to figure them out, and my energy is elsewhere at this time. But when I read about Halley’s README post being a pushback against marriage, I had to say something. Had to.

Marriage has nothing to do with women and respect in our fields and other aspects of our lives. That’s the battle we’ve been fighting all along – that there are other options for women other than being caregiver and wife, though these are also valid choices. Women can be police, doctors, soldiers, nuclear scientists, and yes, even computer technologists – and still be content and happy to be a woman, be ‘feminine’, and yes, be happily married or otherwise paired.

To me a great marriage is one in which both partners are free to grow and to reach beyond their internal boundaries if this is what they want and need. However, we go through our lives being who we are, making the most of what we are, regardless of our gender – a good marriage should be nothing more than a perk.

Contrary to the songs, we’re not complete and made whole through the love of a good man or women; we should be complete in and of ourselves, by ourselves. But a good marriage or partnership, and children if this is what we want, can add to the joy, the contentment, the excitement, and the adventure.

Women and equality in our chosen professions has nothing to do with being married or not. Unless you want to be a nun.

I am a passionate person, and I freely admit I have a temper. And if someone were to tell me, Shelley, you’ve got a bad temper and you need to back off and cool down, I can live with this. And if they tell me I’m not listening, or I’m rocking the boat, I can live with this, too. I can even live with being called an a**hole. But when they use gender dismissive terms such as ‘hysterical’, well then I see we have a ways to go – even in this egalitarian world of weblogging.

But fighting the good fight because we’re searching for a replacement for marriage? Well, that doesn’t rock the boat, it misses it altogether.