and now, the news.

. On the other end, Wired has an article about Asperger's, the autism spectrum, and the epidemic.

Email lowers your IQ, though it seems to just disrupt the focus you would otherwise apply to those tests. And, following my suspicions about computers and kids in general, computers make kids stupid.

Jack Daniels.

Holy crap, computer science is dying. CS majors dropped 80% among women from 1998 to 2004, and it was already miserably low in 1998: something like 10% of CS baccalaureates and less for PhDs. Of course, who wants to enter a profession where you can be arbitrarily replaced by idiot management by five or more people in Bangalore for the same price? Much less get an advanced degree making you overqualified for most jobs except the overcrowded field of teaching.

I was sort of thinking about this already, because the interesting woman I met Saturday night (I haven't drawn enough of a bead yet to honestly label her "nice", though she's quite pleasant) works for Girls Incorporated, which seems like a terrific organization, essentially dedicated to encouraging girls to kick ass throughout their entire lives. I've heard a few writers and such people talk about how shining and daring girls are (and I've seen it), and then around age ten or eleven all the stupid social crap kicks in and they kind of drop the dreams, at least for a while, and start this thing of compromising themselves so their peers, male and female, think better of them. I'm paraphrasing other people; I was never a girl growing up, so I can't really speak to the experience. But, in school I did see a lot of really bright women and girls with opinions get rolled over in class, mostly by boys who harried them into silence. At Skidmore, particularly--most people attribute this to the competition for the lower quantity of available men--the men were generally not very smart, and the women were generally pretty quiet, even when they knew they were right. At Skidmore the women didn't seem to stick up for each other much, either, again often attributed to dating competition. It's a sad thing to see, because I've seen the unleashed fierce female energy, and boy, is it fun. It's fun to talk to, debate with, be around, kiss. It adds a challenge and dimension to life that can't be found anywhere else. Strong women often have the power to leave me speechless, and that's saying something if you've ever watched me being talkative.

I just read this, which is a sad and amazing story from a woman I know; and I've realized again that I don't really know shit. So I'll be quiet now.