Tuesday, February 04, 2020

We need more women in technology

If the Iowa caucuses don't demonstrate the importance of women in technology, I don't know what will:
Hours after a debacle that marred Monday’s Iowa Democratic presidential caucuses, investors in a company hired to tabulate votes through a new mobile app worked to distance themselves from the company at the center of the chaos, scrubbing digital trails publicly connecting them to the firm.

The chaos in Iowa on Monday evening put a microscope on one of Democratic Party’s youngest and fastest-rising digital stars, Tara McGowan, prompting serious questions—and some conspiracy theories—about the constellation of advocacy, technology, and quasi-news organizations she's built.

“It is a pattern of fake it till you make it,” one top Democrative operative said of McGowan and her firm, ACRONYM. “You talk a big game and then sort of hope it becomes true.”

On Monday, all eyes turned to one company in McGowan’s portfolio, Shadow Inc., as Iowa precinct chairs reported serious flaws with the app it had developed tabulate the vote. As complaints about the app trickled in on Monday, McGowan, who is the chief executive of Shadow investor ACRONYM, took to Twitter to describe her group as just that, an investor.
Miss McGowan probably should have stuck to talking about the need for more women in technology on the conference circuit. I sincerely commend the Democratic Party's commitment to women and diversities in technology, and recommend they boost that commitment to the 100 percent level. Remember, diversity is your strength and straight white male technology is witchcraft!

Anyhow, it's not a big mystery as to why ACRONYM bombed so badly despite being founded by "the Democrats most dangerous digital strategist."
Acronym has taken hardly any time in breaking the strategy-firm ecosystem in the nation’s capital. By the end of 2018, it had raised and managed more than $18 million, registered 60,000 voters, run 105 targeted ad campaigns in 15 states, helped elect 63 progressive candidates and won 61 percent of the races it invested in. Its staff has grown from five to 38 and it has quickly become one of the go-to digital organizing forces for everyone from Planned Parenthood and Emily’s List to Everytown for Gun Safety and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. 
McGowan is just another Elizabeth Holmes. And never trust a "strategist" who couldn't beat a 9-year-old boy in checkers.

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Blogger ar10308 February 04, 2020 4:41 PM  

The sheer quantity of unintentional comedy resulting from this Iowa debacle is quite amazing. This clip of a woman voter who just realized Pete Buttigei was a gay is priceless.

The again, the Dems are known for never letting a crisis go to waste, so it would be wise to watch what the hand behind their back is doing while they flail the distraction hand.

Blogger Silly but True February 04, 2020 4:44 PM  

Go more than skin deep and the rot becomes apparent.

ACRONYM isn’t a company; it’s not even an investment shell to hold companies.

ACRONYM is a 501c4: social-welfare nonprofit.

It’s a partisan Democrat money-laundering & electioneering scheme; its “social welfare” is partisan DNC activities.

Blogger Justin Bailey February 04, 2020 4:48 PM  

As long as they are destroying the DNC and not collapsing bridges I'm all for it.

Blogger Balkan Yankee February 04, 2020 4:56 PM  

"Her operation is what the IRS classifies as a 501(c)(4) nonprofit — meaning a majority of its funds must be used to promote 'social welfare.' And yet, Acronym has a web of for-profit companies beneath it."

This set-up is just begging for a criminal investigation.

Blogger Pathfinderlight February 04, 2020 5:20 PM  

But...checkers is HARD!

Blogger Newscaper312 February 04, 2020 5:30 PM  

Re Elizabeth Holmes, I highly recommend that documentary The Inventor about her Theranos debacle. Everyone was so eager to believe in a female Steve Jobs for STEM grrlz rule! that they got taken to the cleaners.
Its laughable, because even she was lettign ehr crazy eyes show, she had this ridiculous fake almost creepy man voice, dropped low to get people to take her seriously.

Blogger Newscaper312 February 04, 2020 5:33 PM  

@1 The LIV recoils at HIV thing is hilarious and yet sad.
How many otherwise reasonable enough slightly left of center people are still voting Democrat just out of inertia, just because they don't pay enough attention to realize how far left the D's have moved?

Blogger Silly but True February 04, 2020 5:46 PM  

It’s not “destroying the DNC” — the chaos is a planned feature.

McGowan was Obama 2012 campaign’s digital media producer.

Obama hates Sanders and last fall said he would feel need to comment on 2020 Dem candidates only if it became apparent Sanders will win nomination and he needed to stop it from happening.

ACRONYM is one of his means to effect that preference.

Blogger RobertDWood February 04, 2020 6:03 PM  

This clip is an incredible moment that could only be made by a batch of progressive women.

Blogger JovianStorm February 04, 2020 6:11 PM  

Are we allowed to piss on the dumpster fire to "help" put it out?

Blogger Dr Caveman February 04, 2020 6:14 PM  

Payments for the app were only made late 2019, so it's a rush job that got either outsourced to H1B bindis or it's some kind of #girlswhocode or diversity hire mishap

Blogger Gettimothy February 04, 2020 6:23 PM  


Get smart.

It was K.A.O.S and a shoe phone app.

Blogger Ron Winkleheimer February 04, 2020 6:34 PM  

Well, if cis white males can do it, how hard can this tech thing be?

Blogger bodenlose Schweinerei February 04, 2020 6:56 PM  

From another article at that second link: "Chinese-led research around nanoparticles is creating a number of firsts, propelling the country to the forefront of a field that could hold the key to sectors ranging from biomedicine and chemical engineering to electronics. Whether using nanoparticles for more precise gene editing than is currently possible or deploying the tiny specks to target malignant cells that cause breast cancer, Chinese researchers are on the cutting edge. And the world might need to follow their lead."

Yes, everybody is going to need to be able to weaponize their viruses, and some nations might even engineer a cure too!

Wait an minute, how many of this "cutting edge Chinese scientist" are women and other PoC? This may just make the "whiteness of STEM" crisis worse.

Blogger Azimus February 04, 2020 6:59 PM  

Is McGowan the Bizarro-Vox? Minus the ability to perform and successfully accomplish tasks, I mean.

Blogger Damelon Brinn February 04, 2020 7:04 PM  

“You talk a big game and then sort of hope it becomes true.”

The motto of the modern tech industry.

Blogger Scuzzaman February 04, 2020 7:06 PM  

Perhaps she can learn to code?

Blogger Bernard Brandt February 04, 2020 7:07 PM  

But Politician Barbie says: "Math is hard!"

Blogger Doug Cranmer February 04, 2020 7:45 PM  

"Well, if cis white males can do it, how hard can this tech thing be?"

Blogger liberranter February 04, 2020 8:06 PM  

Are we allowed to piss on the dumpster fire to "help" put it out?

Only if what you're pissing is gasoline.

Blogger Skyler the Weird February 04, 2020 8:09 PM  

Didn't the Obamacare website blow up the first day too? The Democrat money laundering tech firms always deliver.

Blogger Dave February 04, 2020 8:17 PM  

I sincerely commend the Democratic Party's commitment to women and diversities in technology, and recommend they boost that commitment to the 100 percent level.

Vox Day's compassionate and charitable advice to the Democrat Party. And yet the world persists on portraying him as sexist and bigoted.

Blogger Stilicho February 04, 2020 8:20 PM  

Scuzzaman wins

Blogger Ska_Boss February 04, 2020 8:52 PM  

Perhaps these strong, independent women bosses who don't need no man should have studied Sun Tzu. Then again they probably would have dismissed it as mansplaining.

Blogger cecilhenry February 04, 2020 8:54 PM  

This would seem to be another case where 'learn to code' would have yet again been solid advice.

Blogger VFM #7634 February 04, 2020 9:22 PM  

It’s not “destroying the DNC” — the chaos is a planned feature.

@8 Silly but True
I wouldn't expect Sanders to perform a Xanatos Gambit and deliberately burn down the Iowa caucauses like the Puppies did with the Hugo awards... but it sure does look like the Dem capos now are behaving like the SJWs then.

Blogger Krymneth February 04, 2020 10:22 PM  

Silly but True wrote:It’s not “destroying the DNC” — the chaos is a planned feature.... ACRONYM is one of his means to effect that preference.

Yes, it is possible that when the enemy's position explodes on the battlefield that they've got some sort of plan to retreat somewhere else and regroup for a later push, and maybe they even let that position go on purpose for some reason.

But it still means they're in the position of blowing up their own positions and retreating. It's not a sign of strength.

Blogger Servant February 04, 2020 10:35 PM  

Didn't some internet personality call out all these tech companies as schemes?

Blogger Akulkis February 04, 2020 11:15 PM  

"As long as [ACRONYM] are destroying the DNC and not collapsing bridges I'm all for it."

Step 1: Let ACRONYM destroy the DNC.
Step 2: Sic the IRS on ACRONYM for violating the terms of 501(c)4 tax-exampt status. Pursue until its bank account is empty, and then go after key officer's prior pay, to recover the remainder of the taxes owed (if they had been paying the taxes ACRONYM owed, then those self-directed paychecks would have been smaller).

Democrats LOVE income taxes -- make sure they get them, good and hard.

Blogger Akulkis February 04, 2020 11:18 PM  

"And yet, Acronym has a web of for-profit companies beneath it.

This set-up is just begging for a criminal investigation."

Absolutely. Non-profits are flat-out forbidden to have ANY interest in any for-profit endeavor.

While it's not in the constitution, it IS in the Internal Revenue code, which absolutely DOES stipulate the existance of a wall of separation between for-profit and non-profit.

Ah, if only there were a letter from Thomas Jefferson to rub the Democrats' faces in.

Blogger Monotonous Languor February 04, 2020 11:34 PM  

This is yet another example of why leftists had to create those boogeymen “white privilege”, “male privilege”, “patriarchy”. When they complain about “white privilege”, what they're really talking about is meritocracy and meritocratic standards. By now it's obvious that NAMS and most women cannot compete on a level playing field. In terms of IQ, mental acuity, long-term planning, determination, creativity, improvisation, etc., white males do far better. Leftists can't ever admit this, so instead they attack the underlying standards of how people's performance is judged. The left's only recourse is to say that the standards themselves are flawed, because they're supposedly derived from some kind of white male mindset, all of which must be racist/misogynist.

The inevitable conclusion is that meritocracy is incompatible with anti-racism/anti-sexism. If you assert meritocratic standards, then your choice of people for jobs and promotions will not reward most NAMS or women. Conversely, if you assert affirmative action, then you have to deprecate meritocratic standards. It's an idealistic fantasy that you can maintain both, typical of clueless civic nationalists and brainwashed females. Back in the real world, you can commit to only one.

(And in other news, water is wet.)

Blogger Yukichi Sensei February 04, 2020 11:41 PM  

That video from number 1 gives me hope. Average Americans are still keeping to ethics, we need to get them the truth.

Blogger S. Thermite February 05, 2020 12:03 AM  

Having had a full-time paycheck “In technology” for two of my approx. 4 decades on this earth, I note with amusement how many women I’ve worked with who’ve gravitated towards management rather than technical competency. They desired a slightly bigger paycheck and perceived outside social status over pulling their own weight, real technical accomplishment, and earning the honor and respect of top-tier peers.

“Fake it until you make it” can come pretty naturally to the gender that’s accustomed to wearing makeup, feigning sexual interest, jumping through hoops for university credentialism/ego validation, and a feeling of birthright entitlement to profit from men’s struggles and accomplishments.

The last such woman was 50, working on ending her third marriage, and openly admitted she was “not a tech person” but had gotten stuck in my chosen career because she’d been advised it was the quickest route to management. She never made it to management, and I now work in a high-performing division with zero female managers.

Blogger tublecane February 05, 2020 12:16 AM  

"one of Democratic Party's youngest and fastest-rising digital stars"

See also one of the world's tallest midgets.

Not sure the Democratic Party has any digital stars, let alone enough to break them down by age and swiftness of rise.

That's assuming I even know what a digital star is. I'd like to think so, but it could be someone who has over 43 Twitter followers for all I know.

Blogger tublecane February 05, 2020 12:32 AM  

@16- That "fake it til you make it" phrase used to be big in self-help, where it was about the supposedly beneficial effects of confidence and optimism. It has drifted over into general culture, where one *really* must take it with a grain of salt. Because if you need to engineer tools to analyze election data or whatever, you don't sit on your hands and "sorta hope" it works. You do everything you possibly can to ensure it works, including being hopeful I guess.

@6- There is so much Deep State stench around Holmes--Foggy Bottom especially--that I must doubt the extent to which "female Steve Jobs" was the root cause. That's how she was sold, but look at her board of directors and it's a who's-who of Cold War and later-era diplomacy. Not much technological or medicinal backing evident.

My least conspiratorial guess would be the military wanted mobile kits for helping wounded soldiers in the field and fed some Silicon Valley hobby horses on that basis, and Mz. Holmes turned into a kind of Fonzie of unintentional runaway popularity. That is, popularity within circles of people willing to fund startups and publish glossy magazines with nobodies on the cover. Not popular with Joe and Jane Bloodvein.

Blogger Akulkis February 05, 2020 12:35 AM  

"Perhaps she can learn to code?"

She obviously tried and failed.

This whole vote-by-phone software should be about the same level of complexity as a programming project in a 300 / 3000 level course, with 4 weeks between the day the assignment is issued and the date for all the code to be submitted for grading.

They had a team of .. 8 PEOPLE.... which is anywhere from 4x to 8x more than what should have been needed to complete their project, INCLUDING debugging and testing all possible "edge cases" (of which I can't think of any, so there should be less than 5).

I mean, literally, it's supposed to be a server that.... increments vote totals by 1
And a client program which allows the user to choose which vote tallies to increment.

If it were not for being a web-driven app, this would be a 200 / 2000 level project, and ONLY because it involves writing two programs, one which sends data to the other.

Conversely, the core of the client app, and the core of the vote-tallying server would each be appropriate as the first, and second projects, each one given 2-weeks between date of assignment and deadline for submission for grading.

It's THAT simple.

If you want to make the client app read a list of candidates from a configuration file, then this would be an appropriate for a 3rd or 4th (out of 5) programming project in that same 100 / 1000 level introduction to programming course.

The absolute level of failure here is nearly impossible to over-emphasize, as I, someone who does no web programming, and has not done any sort of non-trivial coding since the 1990's, if given two college students who are proficient programmers, should be able to define and direct those two students to produce the required software in, 3 weeks.

At the top level in each state, a data file containing presidential candidate names would come from the State level and adding candidates for the federal Senate, before sending copies to each federal House district. Each district would then add its own federal House candidates, and pass down to the local level. Local party officials would then add state legislature candidates, add appropriate county and locality-wide candidates, and then, make multiple copies, 1 for each precinct, then adding ward- or precinct-specific candidates to each precinct file.

Sounds complicated, but by passing the file down from the top, with each layer adding a few names and locality+office titles, the entire state can be done in one day, with the vast majority of the work being done at the city/town/village/township level, and where workers available should be roughly proportional to the number of voting precincts. No individual working on building these files would spend any more than 15 minutes provided they are a touch-typist, as each step in which more candidate names are added to what was produced at the previous level has a corresponding increase in the number of people adding those names.

That being done, each of these configuration files would be uploaded to a central file server, where each config file has a title in the form of
StateName_LocalityName_PrincinctNumber (as state and even federal representation districting often cut through cities and other localities, but voting precincts are always aligned with ALL of the higher level districting)

The first step of running the app would run a child process which would query the voter for his state, locality, and precinct number, and then fetch the correct list of candidates for that voter. This should be on the order of about 20 lines of code, which is a trivial amount. A decently proficient programmer could whip this up, and fully debug it in a single morning or afternoon.... while still a college student.


Blogger Akulkis February 05, 2020 12:35 AM  


The main part of the voter app would then read the file just pulled in, allows the voter to cast their votes, confirm the voter's choices, and then send it to the server. Each vote would be of the form:
State, "Locality Name", PrecinctNumber, (Federal/State/County/Locality-[Optional Ward #]), "[Name Of Office]", "Candidate Name"
with the end of the list indicated after the last vote by sending "0" in the next State field.

All told, this takes all of about 100 lines of code, and a proficient programmer should be able to write it, and test it in less than one day.

The "server" side that receives the vote messages simply receives the "vote" name in the form indicated above, and checks to see if there is a tally associated with an identical label. If so, increment the tally by one. If not, create such a label, and associate it with a tally, with an initial value of 1.
Check for a "signal" (such as the presence of a file with a particular name). If the file exists, print the each of the data-defined labels followed by the current value of the associated tally into a temporary file. Spawn a sub-process which performs and alphabetic sort [Which will group all candidate running for particular office together, and all offices from a particular locality will be grouped together, and all localities and state and federal offices from a particular state will be grouped together]. When the sorting process completes, remove the "signal" file, and resume receiving votes.

No, your vote should NOT be lost due to the server engaging in a print operation while you are trying to vote, as TCP/IP protocol guarantees transmission from sending program to the receiving program, even if the receiver is paused and significant amounts of time (even days) elapse before the receiver resumes reading the data (provided enough memory exists to hold the pending data in data buffers either in memory or virtual (i.e. simulated using disk space) memory.

The entire server process should take no more than 100 lines of code, and again, any proficient programmer should be able to write, test, and debug it in a day.

When I wrote "proficient" programmer, by that, I mean able to consistently earn final grades of A or B in all required programming courses (up to the junior year level) for a Computer Science or Computer Engineering degree at any American university or college well-rated in that degree program, and has a track record of completing all programming projects in an academic setting on time, and fully functional according to the stipulations of the project assignments.

All bets are off if the programmer is an Indian or Pakistanki, regardless of whether an H1-B, a foreign student, or a Paper American born-and-raised here.

Blogger Akulkis February 05, 2020 12:43 AM  

"Are we allowed to piss on the dumpster fire to "help" put it out?"

Patience, young man.
Do not interfere with the self-immolation in progress.

Taunt them by pissing on other things near them, while they beg for you to piss on them.

Then wait until the immolation is complete, and piss on the pile of ashes.

Blogger The Cooler February 05, 2020 4:40 AM  

straight white male technology is witchcraft!

It really could use more Eye of Newt.

*casts the bones, reads them*

Blogger Duke Norfolk February 05, 2020 6:08 AM  

[Annie:] Anything you can do I can do better
I can do anything better than you
[Frank:] No, you can't
[Annie:] Yes, I can
[Frank:] No, you can't
[Annie:] Yes, I can
[Frank:] No, you can't
[Annie:] Yes, I can! Yes, I can!

by (((Irving Berlin))), of course.

Blogger Section 8A February 05, 2020 6:23 AM  

Makes me almost wish I was still on Twitter: "The Democrat Caucus is an unmitigated disaster. Nothing works, just like they ran the Country. Remember the 5 Billion Dollar Obamacare Website, that should have cost 2% of that. The only person that can claim a very big victory in Iowa last night is “Trump”.


Blogger Doktor Jeep February 05, 2020 7:12 AM  

They basically tried to create an election version of Practiscore and failed. Funny thing is if they actually used Practiscore it would have worked.

Blogger tublecane February 05, 2020 8:15 AM  

@40- Berlin pinned womanhood down better in After You Get What You Want:

Changeable, you've got a changeable nature
Always, always changing your mind
There's a longing in your eye, hard to satisfy
And here's the reason why:

After you get what you want you don't want it
If I gave you the moon, you'd grow tired of it soon
You're like a baby, you want what you want when you want it
But after you are presented with what you want you're discontented

You're always wishing and wanting for something
When you get what you want, you don't want what you get

Blogger Avalanche February 05, 2020 9:10 AM  

@35 "..."sorta hope" it works. You do everything you can..."

No. YOU do everything you can, because you're a hopeless, evil, mean, racist, sexist, cis, White, male, patriarchy-loving enemy to women and NAMS! You're playin' by the old oppressor rules!! You think a thing should WORK because it was built to work, or it should've been.

You know -- like the men who BUILT this civilization?

Blogger DiogenesCynic February 05, 2020 9:44 AM  

This is hilarious. After his opponents abused the system by impeaching him fraudulently, does the President now have a god-given opportunity to correctly bring criminal charges against them? Presidential debates will look really good as Trump strolls around and all his opponents are sat wearing orange overalls and shackled to their chairs!

Blogger gwood February 05, 2020 10:23 AM  

I believe it was Napoleon who said "Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by Affirmative Action hires."

Blogger maniacprovost February 05, 2020 10:33 AM  

I'm not sure why you need to spend 2 weeks writing a program when it would be possible to manually write down the results and add them up within about 2 hours. Heck, each precinct can just add their results in an Excel spreadsheet without multiuser capability and probably add them up in an hour.

Blogger Daniel February 05, 2020 11:35 AM  

From ACRONYM'S original press release, launching Shadow:

"ACRONYM is thrilled to announce Shadow Inc, a new technology company that will exist under the ACRONYM umbrella and build accessible technological infrastructure and tools to enable campaigns to better harness, integrate and manage data across the platforms and technologies they all use. As part of the Shadow announcement, ACRONYM has acquired Groundbase, a peer-to-peer SMS and CRM tool that helped 75 progressive organizations and campaigns win elections during the 2018 cycle.

co-founded Groundbase (formerly called GroundGame) in 2017 with a few of my colleagues from the Hillary for America campaign where we built tools for HFA’s field team."

Investors only? Ok. Then why did they scrub this release now?

Blogger patlalrique February 05, 2020 6:52 PM  

We need Women in technology just like we need a fifth limb!

Blogger Akulkis February 05, 2020 8:14 PM  


"I'm not sure why you need to spend 2 weeks writing a program when it would be possible to manually write down the results and add them up within about 2 hours. Heck, each precinct can just add their results in an Excel spreadsheet without multiuser capability and probably add them up in an hour."

Democrats have just as much difficulty with integer addition as they do writing a computer program to take names as input, and increment an associated counter by one.

Blogger Annabel Lee February 05, 2020 8:23 PM

Blogger spacehabitats February 06, 2020 5:02 PM  

My daughter is currently one of the VERY few girls in her university's software engineering program. She didn't use any kind of "diversity" privilege during the admissions process and is doing remarkably well compared to her male peers. Of course she is the exception to the rule and would be the first one to acknowledge that hiring and promotions should be based on merit, NOT some SJW's feminist agenda.

And although I heartily agree that diversity quotas and especially the preferential hiring of unqualified Indian programmers has tremendously degraded the quality of American software, I think you are wrong about the infamous caucus phone app.

If it failed I think it was due to a feature not a bug in the program that would give party insiders an excuse to intervene if the wrong candidate were winning.

Blogger Ominous Cowherd February 08, 2020 9:35 PM  

spacehabitats wrote:If it failed I think it was due to a feature not a bug in the program that would give party insiders an excuse to intervene if the wrong candidate were winning.
I wouldn't rule out the possibility that it worked perfectly.

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