Nannies and flexibility

Liam Hogan tweeted: Further on rebates for nannies: if they’re a response to family-unfriendly working hours, flexible childcare is solving the wrong problem. Here’s some systemic problems with childcare as it currently stands that one might hire a nanny as a possible solution to: availability (strong form) For under 2s in Sydney, you simply might not get a childcare place accessible to you, by your scheduled return to work. Full-stop. availability (weaker form) You have 2 or 3 children under 5, not uncommon. If you do get childcare places for them all, they (a) start to approach the price of … Continue reading Nannies and flexibility

The practical reality of contraception, Australian edition

Background the first: The practical reality of contraception: A guide for men, by Valerie Aurora, about contraception in the US Background the second: A layperson’s intro to paying for healthcare in Australia which I wrote as specific background to this post. Things that are the same in Australia Contraception works the same way! The side-effect risks are the same: Let’s start with estrogen-based hormonal birth control and health. I know women who get life-threatening blood clots on estrogen birth control (if the clot gets lodged in a blood vessel, effects range from loss of a limb to death). Others have … Continue reading The practical reality of contraception, Australian edition

A layperson's intro to paying for healthcare in Australia

I wanted to write a comparison post to Valerie’s The practical reality of contraception: A guide for men about the Australian equivalents. However, I realised a background in the Australian healthcare system might be needed. Hence this post. Caution: I am not a medical professional or health administrator. There are plenty of details of healthcare payment in Australia I am blissfully unaware of. This is a guide to what it is like to pay for healthcare in Australia as a relatively healthy younger woman. Summary In Australia, many people in cities can see doctors mostly for free, and get free … Continue reading A layperson's intro to paying for healthcare in Australia

Book review: Steve Jobs

Walter Isaacson, Steve Jobs. It is the day in Australia to be thinking about poor leadership and its sequelae. And coincidentally I’ve just finished up everyone’s favourite summer hardback brick (all hail the Kindle), the authorised Steve Jobs biography, and I just read this today too: However, sometimes really smart employees develop agendas other than improving the company. Rather than identifying weaknesses, so that he can fix them, he looks for faults to build his case. Specifically, he builds his case that the company is hopeless and run by a bunch of morons. The smarter the employee, the more destructive … Continue reading Book review: Steve Jobs

Sunday spam: watered-down gruel

Mmm, yum. I’ve been thinking more intensely about schooling my son since, well, he was born and also since I began reading Rivka’s homeschooling blog (she began homeschooling her then five-year-old year old daughter in June 2010, when my own son was about four months old). I probably, frankly, wouldn’t know the first thing about homeschooling otherwise, but as it is, I can bring you several links. The first couple are a defence of homeschooling from a self-identified liberal point of view, in the US sense of progressive. In fact, all of this is about the US school system. Does … Continue reading Sunday spam: watered-down gruel

Talking about his generation: you too can be a bad futurist

The X or Y posts (Gen X or Y?, On being X-ish) reminded me of something I wrote about my son, who was born in 2010, not long before he was born: I was looking at one of those “the kids of today” lists and thinking about V. What will the world of the 2010 baby look like? I came up with: September 11 will be something that happened when his parents were young, roughly equivalent to the Vietnam War for me, a bit nearer than the moon landing or Harold Holt drowning in fact by the time he’s a … Continue reading Talking about his generation: you too can be a bad futurist

On being X-ish

Now that I have described how I graduated into Generation X, I have a secret to confess: I’m starting to think that that might not be entirely wrong. Let’s stick to cohort effects here, since it’s supposed to be a cohort term. And I should add that this is all very trivial stuff, I’m focussing on media, pop culture and technology experiences. One of the major temptations of identifying as Generation Y had to do with pop culture. My teenage years were just past the wave of slackers and grunge and Seattle. I probably heard Nirvana’s music during Kurt Cobain’s … Continue reading On being X-ish

Gen X or Y?

Charles Stross: In my next novel (the one I’m going to write for publication in 2014), I’m planning on tackling the future of politics circa 2030-2040. Today’s front-rank politicians, aged 45-70 and children of the Boomer generation and their immediate predecessors and successors, will be elderly and retired or dead by that time; the pre-occupations of politics will revolve around the issues and preoccupations of Generation X and Generation Y, those born between 1965-1985, and 1986-2000. The shifting in the definition of “Generation Y” has been noticable to all my university friends (born, roughly, 1980 and 1981). The term was … Continue reading Gen X or Y?

An appeal for the Ada Initiative

When I was 15 I went on the web for the first time. A boy in my computing class went to Yahoo!, typed in “girls” and spent some time showing me porn. I’ve programmed since I was a kid. I’ve loved the idea of open technology since I read a curious article in the 1990s about people all over the world, fixing complex bugs in an operating system that a university student had named after himself. But every so often, I’m reminded how my Internet experience began. Women friends haven’t been safe on mailing lists, they haven’t been safe on … Continue reading An appeal for the Ada Initiative

Interested in women in open tech and culture? AdaCamp Melbourne wants you!

My non-profit organisation, the Ada Initiative, wants to go full steam ahead into 2012, and we’re holding an AdaCamp event in Melbourne to kick off the year! The Ada Initiative supports women in open technology and culture, ranging from open source to free culture to grassroots community organising to makerspaces to remix and fandom culture to open government initiatives and more. This stuff is powerful: it’s already shaping society and is going to continue to do so more and more. The Ada Initiative is focussed on supporting women in becoming an integral part of these communities. AdaCamp will be a … Continue reading Interested in women in open tech and culture? AdaCamp Melbourne wants you!