Recognizing the Women Who Wove the Web

Claire L. Evans has found the service to our social networks issues: “ Go back to BBS. ” She implies publication board systems, those grunge-era digital hangouts, like the Well and Echo, where users connected based upon shared interests and supported one another. (So civilized.) Previously this year, Evans even set up BBS server software application on her Raspberry Pi to evaluate her theory. “ That sort of small, self-­ policed social networks might act as a balm to all of us, ” she states.

WHO : Claire L. Evans, author and artist

    Sci-fi by Ursula K. Le Guin, Joanna Russ, and Octavia Butler; Star Trek: Deep Space Nine

    Xeriscaping: “ I ’ m a Californian. ”

  • As the author of a jaunty brand-new history of ladies in computing, Broad Band , Evans invested years discovering the contributions of tech’ s forgotten foremothers, from the designers of early compilers and Arpanet procedures to the makers of extreme videogames and, yes, inclusive preweb online forums. (Nearly half the users of Echo, which was produced by Stacy Horn in action to the Well’ s proto-brogrammer ambiance, were ladies– at a time when the web was 90 percent male.)

    These leaders acknowledged the human side of tech, making code more available and hypertext more multidisciplinary. Frequently, they came at tech sideways, from backgrounds in theater, mathematics, linguistics, even cave checking out. (Shout-out to speleologist-coder Patricia Crowther.) “ The more broadly we can consider technological issues, ” Evans states, “ the much better completion outcome will be. ” She would understand. When she’ s not narrating our ignored cyberfeminist past, Evans sings in the dance-pop group Yacht . In her vision for tech, strange is ­ welcome.

    Because of These Women   …

    Betty Holberton
    … UNIVAC made its home computer beige (not black).

    Elizabeth “ Jake ” Feinler
    … web domains are ­ classified by type:. gov,. edu.,. com.

    Radia Perlman
    … spanning-tree procedure keeps Ethernet from crashing.

    Janet Walker
    … web internet browsers have bookmarks.

    Women in Tech

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