Posting while I'm grouchy is perhaps not the wisest idea (they have been drilling the concrete outside my apartment since 8:30am, starting week 2 of apartment complex destruction/construction), but I think it adds a nice curmudgeonly flavor to my blog, don't you think?
Malcom Gladwell covered an intellectual "venture" group in last week's issue of the New Yorker, which re-imagines the role of the venture capital firm -- called, uninspiringly, Intellectual Ventures. (I'd post a link, but since I'm about to rail against them, why increase their web traffic?) I haven't finished the Gladwell article yet (I am reading it at a glacial pace) because it irritates me so greatly.
The gist is that many of the major innovations occur to more than one person around the same time, and there's a firm that tries to tap into the wealth of multiple intelligent people hypothesizing together. Unsurprisingly enough, all the members of this group are men. How very "innovative". It seems that if you actually want to think about how to do things differently or address long-standing problems in a field, having diversity of men and women would be useful. One of the recent podcasts I listened to of my favorite CBC podcast interviewed Ruth Hubbard about her work as a biologist and her application of feminist interpretations to biology. She talks about re-visiting The Origin of Species and thinking about how evolutionary biology anthropomorphizes the animal world and genders and westernizes it (she gives the example of using the term "kingdom" as a basic example). Clearly diversity in thought can come from all sorts of people, genders, race, etc, but it angers me that this organization exists without really including women. On their "staff inventors" they have one woman among 25 people, and there are no women on their "managing directors" board.
Ick. I hope they fail.