rachel twelmeyer

“The way of Modernity”

I’ve been programming for about a year (and to call the first few months “programming” is being generous). My degree is in cultural anthropology, and when the opportunities to pursue a career in that field proved to be somewhat elusive, I learned some code. It was a satisfying fusion of math and grammar, and after a while I chose to end my part-time job, and spend time learning to program.

Despite how rudimentary my skills are, I’ve been feeling like I’m part of something I had never considered myself even remotely related to: technology. When Spencer and I first contemplated pursuing futures in programming, we liked to tell ourselves (or rather, I liked to repeat incessantly) that we’ve enlisted in “the way modernity,” even though we’re at the bottom of the “modernity” food chain. But acquiring these skills and thinking about the future of technology in our world and the role of women in all of this, I’ve been drawn to a few stories of women and technology.


First, this video of Imogen Heap and Mi.Mu gloves. She’s inspiring for so many reasons, but this latest advancement is truly beautiful. (this video shows it more in action.)

Then there’s the enigmatic and anti-social Cameron Howe from AMC’s “Halt and Catch Fire.” She is a bad-ass computer programmer in the 80’s; she’s totally over the top, but she manages to balance forward ideas and incredible skills in a way that leaves me totally jealous. These articles here, here and here discuss Cameron and those like her.

And finally this article on the most important women in tech history (which is where the photo of the women of ENIAC comes from). I learned a lot from this article, especially about lady no. 1: Ada Lovelace.


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