: New: Book Report Rise of the Rocket Girls

It's a history of computers at JPL, the rocket people. But the focus is on their computers. These were "computers" in the sense of "ladies who compute things by hand because we haven't invented electronic computing machines yet." This book reminds us that historically, we were pretty stupid about things. It was difficult to find skilled computers. But when a computer got pregnant, back then it was rare for mothers to work, so of course she was fired. And why would you think to reach out to these mothers a few years later to re-hire them? Nobody else did that, so why would you? (More recently, they figured this out; the book covers decades, things get better.) Anyhow, women have it rough now, but things were teeth-gnashingly worse then.

I heard about this book from Piaw.

Tags: book los angeles mad science

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