26 October


What I have learned so far

Short-term goals (known unknowns)

Long-term goals (unknown unknowns)

I realize the danger of just using this a place to blog (complain) about how I don’t understand digital technologies. So I suppose if I have a single goal, it must be: do not do that.

(I am super excited that my favorite old-timey gif is now seasonal.)

22 October

Yesterday Paul called me a millennial and then he let me into his internet club.

(To be fair, he actually called one of my interjections “millennial”.)

(To be fairer, it was a valid interjection. I’ve written plenty of lyric sentences, Paul. I᾿ll start gchatting them to you.)

This space. . . is interesting to me. Partly because I find it terrifying. I am typing into the terminal. (Am I not supposed to do that? I am finding it kind of hard to use. How do I wrap text???) I have only ever used terminal to launch a program to write in Prolog. Oh hi, I just finished a master’s degree in the digital humanities, which also means I did some time travelling.

See the thing about the DH program is more than half my classes were programming and markup. I’m good at the latter, or, at least, I was good at my XML-based job; I’m terrible at the former. I had bits of experience from my job and then I left that job and New York and America to go learn about computers in England. But the programming stuff. . . was a struggle, to put it mildly. You wouldn’t believe how long it took me to make this JS alarm clock. And it was easy to construct a narrative in my head, about how my web developer-type friends see problems and think it’s fun to solve them, unwrapping little puzzles to teach themselves new code, and I see problems and. . . write words down? Reblog a few gifs. IDK. Whatever it was, I wasn’t naturally inclined to solve problems that way. I tried, at least.

I know for a lot of people this stuff might seem like child’s play. These pages here are fun and simple and stir up nostalgia. At first glance, it didn’t seem like a space for me. I spend my online life on tumblr. That is most definitely a space for me. It’s full of ladies and we like to get riled up about books or gender politics or cats or whatever. I don’t worry about anyone making fun of me there, for not quite getting how it works; it comes naturally.

Yesterday Paul was saying that maybe half the women-in-tech problem was that we let dudes kind of talk us down into questioning what we know. Wait maybe that wasn’t exactly how he said it but you know what I mean. I thought I was going to be one of those ladies who went and learned the things and then talked down right back. And then I wasn’t. “I AM BETTER AT OTHER THINGS!” I shout defensively, fingers in my ears. True, but, like, not helpful.

I am going to use this space to learn. To try teaching myself, one more time. To try to learn to enjoy building little things on the web, even if they look terrible or work terribly or serve as little purpose as my gif reblogs. If you want to teach me things—kudos to the kind soul who already taught me how to log in to write this—I would be very grateful. I will otherwise continue to subtilde Paul, who maybe shouldn’t have given me an account.

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The basics:

Elizabeth Minkel

Fan culture columnist for the New Statesman // Staff writer for The Millions

tumblr and twitter (I’ve got a semi-active LJ too, but...)

I spent my twenties working on The New Yorker’s digital production team (and building a portfolio as a book critic) before leaving in mid-2013 to attend the digital humanities master’s program at University College London. I’m still in London, btw, but being kicked out of the country shortly and will be looking for freelance work in New York, if you need anyone to bridge the editorial/digital gulf, particularly archival content. I used to work for Paul; I possibly currently work for Paul? Unclear.

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