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On Woman Computers, Long Tails & Reasons to Write

This post was first sent to my newsletter on November 20th, 2021.
You really ought to subscribe :)

Ok, I’m a day late, but hopefully not a dollar short1 :)
This work letter is going out to all of you my friends, because there’s not much technical stuff in here.

And because I have a spot of good news to share.
I got a jobby job!
I’ve been trying the past few years, to switch my career to something that wasn’t as taxing, as consulting on hardware and networks and integrating systems.
While I loved the work, it was a lot of work, for not enough money and it took a toll on my physical health.2
So writing software from the comfort of my home, is it.
And two weeks in, the team’s taken me under their wing and they are guiding me along and I’m loving it!

And now that’ve gotten all that happy Wheeeeeee! out of my system, on to our letter :)


You know the drill. Click the headers to wonder off to the original articles (also, most emphases mine)…

Human Computer: The Forgotten Women’s Profession


mnwci

By WWII, with all hands needed for the war effort, the Army hired a group of women computers to calculate artillery trajectories. These women worked as support to the engineers and were brought on because computing was still thought to be menial and low status work; too dull for the highly educated men on staff who wanted more exciting jobs. This disregards the fact that in order to solve these equations these women would have to re-work the same calculations over and over again for hours. Former computer, Marilyn Heyson, recalled in an interview that the job was intellectually interesting, but a marathon. These calculations not only required great mental endurance, patience, and attention to detail, but advanced mathematical skill.


The dance between the long tail and the short head

The disconnect occurs when producers and creators try to average things out and dumb things down, hoping for the big hit that won’t come. Or overspend to get there. The opportunity lies in finding a viable audience and matching the project’s focus and budget to the people who truly want it.

And the dance continues.


Ten reasons to write a book

I’d say these translate well to just writing and publishing yourself on your blog, in general too!
Here’s four …

  • It clarifies your thinking.
  • It’s a project that is completely and totally up to you.
  • Because it’s a generous way to share.
  • It will increase your authority in your field.

So long and see you next month folks :)


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  1. I used to think that this was something from the days of the American wild west; turns out this idiom came much later, probably during the Depression in the 30s. 

  2. Folks say, they have the scars to prove it. Well, I have three slipped discs and daily physio to prove it.