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Women and Silicon Valley
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August 30, 2011, 05:40 AM
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Jaron Lanier reminisces about the early days of Silicon Valley in the New Statesman, with an angle I`d never heard before:
There were precious few girl nerds at the time. There was one who programmed a hit arcade game called Centipede for the first video game company, Atari, and a few others. There were, however, extraordinary female figures who served as the impresarios of social networking before there was an internet. It still seems wrong to name them, because it isn`t clear if I would be talking about their private lives or their public contributions: I don`t know how to draw a line. 
These irresistible creatures would sometimes date alpha nerds, but mostly brought the act of socialising into a society where it probably would not have occurred otherwise. A handful of them had an extraordinary, often unpaid degree of influence over what research was done, which companies came to be, who worked at them and what products were developed. 
That they are usually undescribed in histories of Silicon Valley is just another instance of what a fiction history can be. The advent of social networking software and oceans of digital memories of bits exchanged between people has only shifted the type of fiction we accept, not the degree of infidelity.[The suburb that changed the world, New Statesman, August 18, 2011]

 

Histories of the Enlightenment have been written from the perspective of the women who hosted the salons.