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Fri Apr 12, 2019, 10:26 PM

Sexist trolls claimed a white man was the real hero of the black hole photo, until he fought back

https://www.cnn.com/2019/04/12/us/andrew-chael-katie-bouman-black-hole-image-trnd/index.html

Good for him for standing up to these idiots, and giving credit back to the woman who deserved it. I will never understand the mentality that prevents a man from admitting that a woman has achieved something great. But I suppose Iím better off not understanding it.

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Reply Sexist trolls claimed a white man was the real hero of the black hole photo, until he fought back (Original post)
Clash City Rocker Apr 2019 OP
Collimator Apr 2019 #1
smirkymonkey Apr 2019 #2
Mc Mike Apr 2019 #3
ProfessorGAC Apr 2019 #4
Igel Apr 2019 #5
ProfessorGAC Apr 2019 #6
kcr Apr 2019 #7

Response to Clash City Rocker (Original post)

Fri Apr 12, 2019, 11:04 PM

1. Neurobiologist Ben Barr could have related to this.

Dr. Barr used to be Dr. Barr--that is-- Dr. Ben Barr used to be Dr. Barbara Barr. On a PBS talk show recorded long ago in a distant galaxy (the Charlie Rose show before #Metoo) Barr told a story of meeting a fellow scientist who praised his work by pointing out how much better it was than his sister's [Barbara] work.

Needless to say, Barr was an advocate for LBGT rights given his struggle with his own sense of identity. After that fateful meeting with a fellow scientist at a conference, he became very devoted to supporting women in the sciences.

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Response to Clash City Rocker (Original post)

Sat Apr 13, 2019, 07:37 AM

2. I knew the male trolls would come out in force after this was announced.

So many insecure men can't bear to think of a woman who is accomplished in a traditionally male field. It's really pathetic.

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Response to Clash City Rocker (Original post)

Sat Apr 13, 2019, 08:02 AM

3. They're such a bunch of squalling babies, such mental and moral midgets.

So stunted in their maturity. A raw open wound of hurt fee fees.

What they really don't like about women is how emotional women get.

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Response to Clash City Rocker (Original post)

Sat Apr 13, 2019, 08:22 AM

4. Why Would It Even Matter?

The whole point of trolling over this escapes me.
It's interesting and exactly who did it is irrelevant compared to someone like this woman doing very fine work.

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Response to ProfessorGAC (Reply #4)

Sat Apr 13, 2019, 11:03 AM

5. The point is, entirely, "Who did it?"

I read some accounts and she was a post-doc, meaning she didn't get the grant and wasn't the PI. That she worked on a 12-year project for a few years, which is typical for a post-doc. If she's 29, it's likely she got into the astro program at 22 and graduated at 27, maybe 28. She could be especially brilliant, but that's not typically the way to bet and her sex is not a criterion for that.

At the same time, I read the "defense" that she was the prime mover and shaker.

The defense defends her contribution by saying he didn't do the heroic job that he's claimed, unrealistically, to have done. And that the woman who's all but billed as the most important person, outshining everybody else on the 200-person team, did some important things. For example, working "with several others" on part of the project. And obviously "working with others" on writing the code. She may have come up with the final algorithm, but these things are seldom created out of whole cloth in a room by oneself these days. Typically there are ideas, somebody's assigned to implement and test the idea, it's evaluated by the lab group of the PI working on that part of the project. If the person tasked with the implementation has a better idea, s/he implements it but still farms it out for further testing.

It's the "I built this" in the interests of social justice. Her contributions were important; just as the quarterback on a football team is important, one doesn't say that the rest of the team on the field, on the bench, the coaches are, well, a pointless group of hangers on whose very presence belies the utter fabulousness of the all-important, all-achieving quarterback. She wasn't the PI. And she wasn't on the only team.

It would never have worked without "Katie's" contribution, we're told, and that's not such a difficult thing to believe; that it's billed as such is confusing, I know a large cross-section of people and few would say, "Oh, really, she's just a girl." It's not 1970 and arguing against the 1% as though they were the 99% seems odd and othering. The problem is that the claim that without her contribution it wouldn't have worked; it's to recognize that this doesn't say it would have worked just fine with just her contribution, while recognizing that without her the contribution may still have been reached. This doesn't erase her contribution. It contextualizes it. Erasure is bad, whatever the ideological goal.

Warped is warped if you really try to be fact-based.

It's important when teaching Newton to point out Galileo. It's important when teaching Einstein's relativity to point out Minkowsky, Lorentz, and what Michelson-Morley to push Lorentz. This doesn't mean Newton and Einstein were somehow unimportant; but it does mean that they're not the only stars in our heavens.

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Response to Igel (Reply #5)

Sun Apr 14, 2019, 04:50 AM

6. While Your Reply Is Well Written...

...not sure it is related to my overall question as to what would motivate trolls to attempt denigration of this woman.
I'll still say it doesn't matter the gender or age of the person doing excellent work, and don't get why someone would feel the need, absent abject proof of plagiarism, to suggest someone, anyone, doesn't deserve the credit due.

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Response to Igel (Reply #5)

Sun Apr 14, 2019, 11:53 PM

7. You read some accounts, and now you're an expert.

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