This video is private.
Sorry about that.
What's all the hubbub bub?
IBM is killing a controversial web video that employed hairdryers to supposedly promote women in STEM following an online roasting. The video was part of a campaign to: “Reengineer misperceptions about women in tech”, in which hair dryers – performing functions not normally associated with the handheld hot air device – feature …
Maybe they're saying we need more ideas...
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Does it really still use 'fewer'?
Yes, it does.
In "Fewer than three in ten science and engineering jobs", "fewer than" is essentially qualifying "three jobs". Jobs come in unit quanta (are countable things) so you use "fewer" instead of "less". To show this, and that it's not qualifying the fraction, you can rephrase as: "fewer than three science and engineering jobs in ten". The meaning of the re-ordered sentence is exactly the same.
If we were qualifying an actual fraction or percentage (or weight, volume and so on) like "three tenths" or "30%", you would use less than: "Of all science and engineering jobs, less than 30% are filled ..." or "less than 30% of all jobs ..."
It's actually pretty simple. Less for singular, fewer for plural. Fewer cars, because there are lots of them, less traffic, because there's only one traffic, even if it contains many cars. Fewer sugar cubes, because there are many of them, less sugar, because there's only one sugar, even if it contains many sugar cubes, or many grains of sugar.
In this case, there are ten jobs being talked about. This makes it plural, so you use fewer. If the sentence were rewritten to use the term "employment" rather than "jobs" then you would use "less", as "employment" is singular.
And while we're on singular and plural, completely unrelated, but someone might be reading and give a shit: "panini" is already plural. It's the plural of "panino", which is the Italian for "sandwich". If you write "paninis" you are saying sandwicheses. And if you write "panini's" then you didn't pay attention in school.
It's actually pretty simple. Less for singular, fewer for plural.
AC, I'm in complete agreement with you, but do notice that contemporary English appears to use plural for most things. For example, it is common to say "Microsoft are these days - even in the press. I foresee that people will be saying "I are" in a few years.
"AC, I'm in complete agreement with you, but do notice that contemporary English appears to use plural for most things. For example, it is common to say "Microsoft are these days - even in the press. I foresee that people will be saying "I are" in a few years."
You're right. I don't think it's even that contemporary. As far as I know we've always thought of the police as plural, unlike everyone else.
Mind you, English is one of the most stupid languages out there, especially when it comes to spelling and pronunciation. At least we don't have genders for inanimate objects.
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Actually, it's even easier. If it's a question of "how many?" then the correct qualifier is "fewer" (eg, "how many out of ten?" -> "fewer than 1 in ten"), while if it's a question of "how much?", then use "less" (eg, "less than 5l", "less than 5%", "less than ideal", "less than full employment", etc.).
They should have made it about periods.
When my daughter was a few months old, I gave my wife a morning off and went to meet all the mums at one of the various activities they did for the kids. And what was the subject of discussion? Periods. Yes, they were actually talking about periods and I felt the need to point this out to them. I thought it was just something men said to wind them up.
OK, so it's probably a relevant subject for a bunch of new mothers, but my point still stands.
What IS your point? So women, who have just had babies and whose hormones are all over the wazoo, and who are undoubtedly experiencing all kinds of fun with their periods at that time aren't supposed to discuss it EVER to for others (or maybe some of those same women!) to find the IBM campaign patronising at best? Please. Talk about false equivalence.
His point is the double standard you just proved, where you can find a video someone somewhere made to be 'f#cking stupid' as you claimed a few posts above and demand it be taken down, and yet, you berate him for voicing his opinion of a conversation he thinks is also 'f#cking stupid'.
@Trixr, oh dear. Sorry I've wound you up. I'll refrain from making another joke even though your comments are crying out for one.
The point is that we men tend to make jokes about women talking about periods, just as my wife and her pals like to take the piss out of men being infatuated with breasts and masturbating. It's tongue in cheek.
In the anecdote I mentioned, I was surprised to find a bunch of women actually having a conversation about periods. There was a degree of irony to the situation, which it looks like you've missed. Now, as indicated by your response, you might be surprised to find that men don't actually think that women talk about periods all the time. We're simply taking the piss.
Perhaps I shouldn't have been hanging around with the women. Maybe this is the false equivalence you're talking about. However, I've been enjoying playing a full role in bringing up my daughter. There are some points where the roles can't cross however; I'm never going to have my nipples chewed to pieces by a baby.
Incidentally, my wife uses a hair dryer and I don't. I didn't force her to have long hair, and she didn't force mine to start falling out (although I'm pretty sure she contributed).
"you might be surprised to find that men don't actually think that women talk about periods all the time"
Well, actually most men DO think that, and most women DO do that.
Personally I think women chatting about periods is a bloody waste of time, they should do something more constructive, like home-brewing beer for instance. That'd keep the waggling tongues quiet.
I get that they're trying to combine hacking with "stuff women use", but they really should have foreseen this not going over well. I suggest something like this, as a more relevant topic for their next campaign.
It's a MYTH.
There ARE brilliant women.
Hedy Lamarr's name was added to a US patent for frequency hopping as a joke. It wasn't even a real US invention but a "stolen" idea.
Possibly the only slight change was using a piano roll type card to program the frequencies at a very low chip rate
The idea was from a German demo. It's not much related to the first commercially viable spread spectrum systems (military in around 1970s) or any since.
The US Navy was uninterested as it wasn't practical and at most Hedy Lamarr's input was telling the real writer of the US patent about the German demo.
If this was the only STEM push that IBM made, I might agree with the PC Police. But it's not. Besides, it illustrates the value of lateral thinking which doesn't need a PhD or a science lab. Great people, of all sexes and colors, can be role models but they can also be intimidating. Sometimes MacGyver can inspire better than Einstein. Lighten up people.
It's a heating coil and a fan in a plastic case designed to dry hair, what exactly can you invent or is the ping pong balls some kind of Dyson reference, look I put a ping pong ball in the end and the air moves differently causing it to dry faster. Can I get a job at IBM?
Now without resorting to any vulgarities they should have been suggesting women put their collective brilliance into sanitary towels because all I see on the TV are adverts telling me different one's are better so there's obviously some design flaw with them. (Maybe except the one's that allow you to rollerskate while listening to early 90's eurodance).
And maybe if every advert for cleaning products/cooking/shopping/washing and general fuckwittery didn't just have women in them then maybe the world would start to be a better place.
"It's a heating coil and a fan in a plastic case designed to dry hair, what exactly can you invent or is the ping pong balls some kind of Dyson reference, look I put a ping pong ball in the end and the air moves differently causing it to dry faster. Can I get a job at IBM?"
Here are some wires through which a current is passing (A heating element?). Here is a fan to move the hot air produced along a particular path (Oh, a hair dryer?).
Now go think of a way to keep electronic circuitry from over heating.
Would that be by using a fan to move the heated air along a particular path?
It might seem stupid, but try thinking outside of the box for a moment: What can you learn from a hair dryer and how can you apply such a simple mechanism to something else, like cooling a server. Or, perhaps, take what you know of cooling servers and design a better hair dryer...
What campaign should be run in it's place?
Women into road laying, mining, offshore rig labour ... ?
Men into teaching, nursing, clerical jobs, doctors (check the figures), biology (doesn't this count as stem?)
What is very rarely stated is why it is important for women to achieve parity in particular subjects. The assumption is that parity is a good thing, but is this assumption correct? I'm not sure.
Systemic oppression because of who you are perceived to be as apart of a group isn't nice, but neither is the ugly rise of identity politics that is demanding treatment of an individual based on their self declared identity.
Equality of opportunity does not mean equality of result. If there is inequality of opportunity, then that should be addressed, measuring equality of result is an extremely poor proxy
Why is important for people of different races not to be
This is where the poison of identity politics starts to raise it's ugly head.
Race is a constructed fiction that has no basis in science
What happened to "content of character", to true equality of individuals? To bring race, or gender, or anything else into this is to remove the individual. That was the entire point of the civil rights movement, to ensure that individuals are judged on their own merit, not on a being a part of a perceived group.
So, I'll say again, if there is a blockage to a person achieving something based on their being perceived as part of a group, then that is a blockage to equality of opportunity.
Nothing else matters. Group identity must be irrelevant for equality to be a useful topic to discuss.
When I was in college, my girlfriend & I were both wannabe engineers. We both had hair dryers, because they are useful general purpose tools. When we decided to make a planar heater (using a hair dryer, black tape, hot glue, staple gun, paper clips, wooden dowels, and some binder clips) we destroyed one of mine to get the nichrome wire, power cord, and switch. She now has her MS as well as a couple of BS degrees, and would laugh her ass off at any woman so distracted from science & technology as to infer gender roles from a tool. Really? Would a really noteworthy female mind refuse to innovate, merely because the tools available to her were insufficiently masculine? The women protesting so passionately are followers, not pathfinders, There are no Marie Curies or Hedy Lamarrs among them.
PS - What does a MAN's hair dryer look like? Well, mine was purple.
Didn't see the video in question, so unable to comment on that However, if I wanted to create a video to encourage youngsters into getting to grips with technology, I think I'd speak to Limor Fried https://www.adafruit.com/about - I reckon if I were a teenager now (instead of being a cynical old biddy) I'd sit up and take inspiration from Limor - not so sure about IBM's (mis)marketing department!
Hello, IBMer here. There are an awful lot of things wrong with IBM, but it's attitude to women isn't one of them. The many female employees get treated with just the same respect as the men (for better or worse), there is a continual effort to promote diversity and equality within the company (very much including gender equality) as well as externally, and flexible working options help women with career progression that could be otherwise disadvantaged by family commitments that do still disproportionately affect women.
I honestly don't see the problem with this video in its wider context. Yes, we've seen some highly snarky (and amusing) comments from some very accomplished women, but I don't think the video was aimed at them. It was aimed at women who might not otherwise consider a career in STEM. It uses a fairly uncontroversial line: take everyday object X and hack it to do fun things Y & Z. I'd guess that a hairdryer was chosen on this occasion as the object because it turns out you can do some fun hacks with one, "hack a hairdryer" is a nice alliteration, and its an everyday object that many women will have and relate to. Unlike (say) a kitchen sink or hoover, a hairdryer doesn't have a negative connotation of domestic duties, it's just a thing that many women (and men) use. Certainly it's an object that is more associated with women than men, but is that really a problem in context? You might argue that hairdryers are connected with appearance, and we shouldn't be focusing on womens' appearance, but as others have pointed out, they are a practical object that enables a person with long hair to keep it clean and dry it so they can go and out and do something more interesting instead.
Personally, I think this can only offend someone who chooses to take it the wrong way, and there's not much we can do about them. IBM obviously thought it was best just to apologise, pull the vid and move on.
[What's the Paris angle? NONE AT ALL :)]