Our thanks to Milo Yiannopoulos for linking on Twitter to an article by Emma Duncan in Intelligent Life, published by the Economist – here. Milo tweeted:
The real Ada Lovelace, shorn of feminist mythologising – fascinating stuff.
An extract, from near the end of the article:
Doubts about the extent of her contribution along with Ada’s celebrity status have led to claims that she has been over-promoted. “She was”, wrote Bruce Collier, one of Babbage’s biographers, “a manic-depressive with the most amazing delusions about her own talents, and a rather shallow understanding of both Charles Babbage and the Analytical Engine… I guess someone has to be the most overrated figure in the history of computing.”
But the world will continue to give Ada the benefit of the doubt – because it needs her. Computing is short of female heroines, and historical role models demonstrate that even in the days when it was hard for clever women to use their brains to great effect, there were female scientists passionate enough to overcome the barriers society placed in their way.
Could it be any clearer? The ‘world’ – for which, read feminists – ‘needs’ to make a heroine of Ada Lovelace and others who contributed little, by relentlessly lying about their contributions, and downplaying men’s contributions.
The same could, of course, be said for most of the women about whom feminists lie, including Rosalind Franklin, who worked on the structure of DNA before Crick and Watson cracked the code. William Collins’s piece on Ms Franklin is here.