Diversity at Playgrounds Con

I recently came across a post by Belle Cooper about her experiences at Playgrounds Con, especially with respect to diversity and inclusion at the conference. It’s a great post, and her handling of nuanced issues sets a great bar for me and everyone else in the iOS / Mac community.

Among other things in her post, Belle discussed sexism she noticed among some of the speakers at the conference. As I had given a talk at the conference, I was particularly intrigued to hear what she had to say. She began,

The most frustrating example was a misattribution of a quote by a woman to a man. The speaker in question obviously thought this quote was useful enough to include, so they played a video of a man quoting his female colleague. After the video ended, the Playgrounds speaker attributed the woman’s quote to the man in the video who quoted her.

Quoting and attribution are always important and should be treated very carefully, but it’s especially infuriating to see a quote by a minority misattributed to someone in the majority.

My heart sank out of guilt, because I am the (unnamed) speaker here and Belle is completely correct: I misattributed a quote from Vi Hart to Alan Kay during my talk. This was 100% on me and I’m glad she pointed it out. I try really hard not to do this sort of thing, but in this case I did indeed make a mistake, and regrettably did not attribute the quote to Vi as I had intended.

I’d like to thank Belle again for taking the time to share her experiences at Playgrounds and for calling out the examples of sexism she saw. I’m sorry I misattributed Vi’s quote to Alan, and I’m glad to learn from this mistake. I hope others can learn from it too.

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