Tuesday, August 30, 2011
Monday, August 29, 2011
Male & Female: 3
Female & Family: 4So women have at best a 16:136 world wealth ratio. I'm betting that if you sample the lot then you can say less than 1/10th of world personal wealth is owned by women. Or that men own 9/10ths of the world.
This was Forbes' 25th annual list of the richest people on the planet. Kind of interesting to see who owns the world isn't it? "This year's list broke records in size (1,210 billionaires) and total net worth ($4.5 trillion)." I did a quick survey for gender distribution of the first 15 pages. I random sampled the rest of the 221 total pages and the figures get even less female friendly as you drop down into the ordinary billionaires.Male & Family: 21
Male & Female: 3
Female & Family: 4
So women have at best a 16:136 world wealth ratio. I'm betting that if you sample the lot then you can say less than 1/10th of world personal wealth is owned by women. Or that men own 9/10ths of the world.
More interesting to me are the 5 powerful females, the fields they are in and the relation of their position in the All Powerful list compared to the Women's Own list.
1st amongst Women is Angela Merkel, Chancellor of Germany, 6th in the All Stars.
2nd Woman is Hillary Clinton, Secretary of State, 20th in the All Stars.
3rd Woman is Dilma Roussef, President of Brazil, 16th in the All Stars.
7th Woman is Sonia Gandhi, President of India NCP, 9th in the All Stars.
14th Woman is Oprah Winfrey, Media Personality, 64th in the All Stars.
Doing the math. There are 9 women ahead of Oprah on the Women's Own list who don't get a look in on the 'really' powerful list. Why not? These women are largely in the business fields. They are CEOs and COOs and MDs. For women, that's a pretty big deal obviously, but one that doesn't cut it in the 'real' world. This gender imbalance is interesting because there are two apparent issues.
One is that the methodologies for choosing each list were subtly different although Forbes appear to be selecting by the same criteria; power, as shown by wealth, size of empire and influence. Subtle differences in selection criteria, i.e. appearance perhaps, show the impact of that selection bias can sneakily have in many fields leading to gender and race imbalances.
The second really interesting thing though is the evidence of female and male cultural spheres. This gender bias is still going strong from the bottom, to the pointy end of the most powerful people. Women are still nurses, teachers and entertainers. Men are still businessmen, bankers and engineers.
The problem with that is the overt way in which power is not evenly distributed across occupations. Didn't Angela McRobbie say that 'if visibility equalled power, teenage girls would rule the world'. Still doing the math. The figures show an exponential decrease in power as occupation changes from 'masculine' to 'feminine'. Oprah is 14th in the Powerful Women list but only 64th on the All Powerful list.
The entire All Powerful list is comprised entirely of rulers, CEOs and MDs. The only entertainment aside from Oprah is the inclusion of Julian Assange in last place. Women's power even in the rarified Forbes business world reflects a lower level of penetration and a feminine touch. About one third of powerful women are heads of small countries or large NGOs. About a third of powerful women are running female centric businesses, media, fashion and health oriented. The remaining powerful women are split between entertainers, women with inherited or partner given power and some really powerful people who nonetheless, aren't powerful enough to make the top list of 'really' powerful people.
No wonder women are bad at math. Nothing ever adds up right.
Thursday, August 25, 2011
It's Forbes magazine, so the focus is on wealth. But what is there to disagree with in their methodology for calculating influence? Reach, power and wealth. I have two questions. Are we normalizing a masculine model of power, therefore downplaying areas in which women have power? (Or ought to be seen as powerful.) And would that not create an apples vs oranges scenario? Perhaps the interest is in exploring the areas in which women are most successful compared to men and vice versa and watching the shifting demographics. The feminization and subsequent remaking of certain industries, or occupations within them. These lists can only go so far.
Women are still more powerful in entertainment and politics than business or technology. Although, arguably a few women have always had strong political influence, so what is changing? These days a women is not always politically powerful through family and marital alliances.
Sunday, August 21, 2011
As I reach the end of my first week learning viola, I can already see a slight improvement. I'll record Twinkle again tomorrow. I can admit though that practise hurts. It's hard to find time and energy for it. I sympathise with the children more. They also practise more when they hear me trying. The neighbours must really love us!
Sunday, August 7, 2011
The naming of robots bears witness to their emergence as a new ontological category, birthed in robotics competitions, forming a laboring companion species. This thesis is the result of a sociological survey into the naming practices of competition robots, informed by my auto-ethnographic research into the culture of robot competitions. Many interesting names and connections appeared. Most robots in competitions were named and gendered as well. Names reflected human/machine hybridity, as well as anthropomorphism. The names demonstrate interesting levels of 'subjectification' in even the least anthropomorphic or lifelike of robots.
Overall, this data supports the 'robot as a new ontological category' hypothesis (Kahn Jr. et al), and further poses the questions, how does this come about and what does that mean? Donna Haraway has made interspecies translation her specialty and so I knit this investigation of a new being becoming into her 'cats cradle' with both factual and fictional robots.
My conclusion is that robot naming in competitions is a performance of companion species co-shaping in the contact zone between organic/technic, master/slave and subject/object, supporting the 'robots as new ontological category' hypothesis. Robot naming demonstrates human-robot social relationships and both slave, pet and hybrid naming characteristics. My thesis suggests that competitions function as a birth rite of passage, and that naming dubs or introduces the new being to the world and brings the world into the robot.
Thursday, August 4, 2011
CHIBOTS TO HOLD LIVE STREAMING ROBOMAGELLAN CONTEST
Robo-Magellan is a robotics competition emphasizing autonomous navigation and obstacle avoidance over varied, outdoor terrain. Here’s a peak at a past CHIBOTS (Chicago area robotics group) contest, click here. Robots have three opportunities to navigate from a starting point to an ending point and are scored on time required to complete the course with opportunities to lower the score based on contacting intermediate points. The Chicago Robotics Club, CHIBOTS, will be holding their next RoboMagellan contest Saturday, and will webcast it on USTREAM, so don’t miss the action!!
Inspired? I'm feeling inspired to find a vehicle for a study on the tactility and textures of robotics.