It has been pointed out to me that something I said at the ICFP gave ample opportunity for misinterpretation as demonstrated by the referenced thread (http://www.reddit.com/r/haskell/comments/zxmzv/how_to_exclude_women_from_your_technical/c85v45u). It has also been pointed out there that it might be wise to start a new thread with the reaction I posted there, since it might otherwise go unnoticed, so I am repeating it here:
Let me start by thanking everyone for spelling my name correctly. Usually it is causing great problems. Let me try to summarize my opinion and give some background information.
1) We just had elections in the Netherlands and being a member of a political party I was bombarded by messages like: if every member finds another member we have twice as many members
2) The speaker wanted to double the number of Haskell programmers in a year
3) As a community, and looking at the gender distribution at the ICFP , I see half of the world population being severely being underrepresented
4) I my FP classes I notice that the course is taken by many math students too, and the female part of my audience does not come from our own CS students (which has an ICFP like male/female ration). But they come to this course and tend to like it.
5) My conclusion is that if we want to get a more balanced representation Haskell offers a great opportunities.
6) Now the crucial remark, which was garbled on the video, but which definitely ended with "FOR BOTH", meaning: - I would feel less weird in more a balanced audience (i.e. going to a more balanced meeting would be more attractive to me) - I think women would feel less weird in a more balanced audience (i.e. would be more attracted to a more balanced audience)
7) Let me explain my opinion about the latter observation. I do not think that there is any reason why there should not be more women in CS. I have been lecturing for many years in Bolivia, where over 50% of the audience was female, and they liked what they learned, they were good at it, and I see no way why this should not be the case in at least the place where I am coming from. But, I also see that I have a female colleague, and she is attracting significantly more female master and Ph.D. students than to be expected based on the composition of our student population. Apparently there is something attractive in doing a project with her, most likely because women feel less isolated there. So I firmly believe that we have a chicken/egg problem: we attract few women because we attract few women. I think the FP/Haskell community and the link to math, where they do not have this problem, provides a unique opportunity to start to get rid of this unbalance in CS.
Doaitsesubmitted by doaitse
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They make 10-15 pies, everybody brings a pie, everybody eats pie until they can't eat no more.
And then we have pie for breakfast.
My travel plans to Illinois had been delayed for two days by snow and ice, so I ended up flying on Christmas day, getting to my brother's house about an hour and a half before guests were showing up for dinner. Everything on the menu was traditional in that household except for the fish, which my brother doesn't eat, so I got volunteered to cook that.
Again, I did have some warning. Several days before, my brother had mentioned on the phone that some guests had asked for fish instead of tenderloin, and that he had bought some frozen tilapia filets. All he needed was a recipe. I said that for simple white fish, I used to like the method that Julia Child had gotten from some monks in the south of France, an episode entitled ``Fish in Monk's Clothing,'' where the fish is baked covered in lots of aromatic vegetables. "Search on the internet, I'm sure you'll find a recipe," I said.
Well, he had searched and had found four recipes for tilapia, but none were Julia's. I didn't like the look of them and although I hadn't made this dish in years, I preferred to find my own way again. Fortunately, the dish turned out well, but the down side was that I had no recipe to give to the people who asked for one, only a bunch of vague constraints.
The essential thing is that the mix of vegetables should taste good, but be reasonably mild so as not to overpower the fish, and should still have a lot of moisture in it. You need enough to cover the fish reasonably well. The vegetables drip flavor into the fish while at the same time protecting it from losing moisture in the direct heat of the oven.
(For the Haskell readers, think of the following as a sort of QuickCheck test suite for the actual method.)
- Chop and saute a bunch of aromatic vegetables, season with salt and pepper, thyme or other mild herbs, and reduce with some white wine. The vegetables should be soft, but still very moist and it's good to have some liquid remaining.
- TASTE the vegetables. If they don't taste good, fiddle with the seasoning until they do.
- Season the filets with salt and pepper, then place on an oiled baking pan. If the tails of the filets are much thinner than the main part of the body, overlap them so that the fish is roughly the same thickness all over.
- Layer the vegetables over the fish along with any remaining liquid.
- Bake gently until the fish is just opaque and flakes easily. I think we did 350F for about 15 minutes, but this will vary with the amount and size. You could also microwave it for 5-10 minutes, covered, if you use a glass or porcelain casserole dish.
Any simple white fish works here, such as flounder, sole, tilapia, catfish, etc. I think I've done it successfully with bluefish, but I would avoid salmon.
How close this is to what Julia Child did, I really don't remember, because I only saw the show once long ago, but I'm pretty sure I've got the essence right. It's a simple way to marry fish with whatever vegetables are available. In any case, it was good enough for Christmas dinner.