back to article Martha Lane Fox: Yeuch! The Internet is made by men?!?

Baroness Lane-Fox of Soho has talked of her discomfort that the internet is made by humans who have a penis. The former Martha Lane Fox, CBE, told the Radio Academy's Radio Festival in Salford that she felt uneasy "that something that is now fundamental, like the water, for everybody’s daily life has been entirely produced by …

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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    To be fair

    A quick survey of the media shows that the likes of Lane-Fox, Burchill et al are comfortably outnumbered by their male equivalents.

    1. TheOtherHobbes

      Re: To be fair

      Such as Tim Worstall, for example?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: To be fair

      Unless I'm mistaken, your quick survey isn't very good given that it's actually saying women in media - either the production of or the subject of - are outnumbered by men.

      I don't think you could actually work that out quickly. Seems to me there's loads of womens magazines, presumably about women, and loads of mens magazines with women in them. So it could get pretty tricky doing that as a quick survey.

      You could however just say men are far too dominant in the world, which is definitely fair.

      But that doesn't detract from the fact that Lane-Fox has, rather curiously, reached some pretty dizzy social heights off the back of being briefly involved in selling discounted holidays.

  2. Ted Treen
    Alert

    That explains it...

    It's not her fault:- springing from the British aristocracy she's bound to be a congenital idiot...

    All those centuries of inbreeding, don'cha know, old chap

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: That explains it...

      Not all of them are. The point is that the IQ spread of the aristocracy is about that of the general public, but an aristocrat of average IQ gets a leg up that would need a couple of SD's plus for the non-aristocrat. It's Peter Principle in action; aristocrats rise to their level of incompetence very quickly, whereas some of the rest of us never manage to get there. And the genuinely very competent aristocrats don't need to get in the public eye for self validation, so you don't hear about them.

      I'm going to mention just one example; the member of the House of Lords who happened to be passing by in Wiltshire when the Battle of the Beanfield was on. His integrity, reporting and testimony had a big effect on law enforcement. But few people know his name.

      As for inbreeding, the aristocracy has long had a technique for dealing with this. They tend to import attractive and intelligent young women from the rising middle classes. The Windsors are currently demonstrating how well this works as a tactic.

      1. Dave 126 Silver badge

        Re: That explains it...

        What Arnaut the less said.

        And: Bertrand Arthur William Russell, 3rd Earl Russell for his influence on logic, mathematics, set theory, linguistics, artificial intelligence, cognitive science, computer science (type theory) and philosophy.

        Also: Archibald Clark Kerr, 1st Baron Inverchapel for this classic letter:

        "My Dear Reggie,

        In these dark days man tends to look for little shafts of light that spill from Heaven. My days are probably darker than yours, and I need, my God I do, all the light I can get. But I am a decent fellow, and I do not want to be mean and selfish about what little brightness is shed upon me from time to time. So I propose to share with you a tiny flash that has illuminated my sombre life and tell you that God has given me a new Turkish colleague whose card tells me that he is called Mustapha Kunt.

        We all feel like that, Reggie, now and then, especially when Spring is upon us, but few of us would care to put it on our cards. It takes a Turk to do that.

        Sir Archibald Clerk Kerr, H.M. Ambassador"

        1. Matt 21

          Re: That explains it...

          Bertrand Russell always struck me as someone who was very adept at hiding his ignorance behind an impossibly complex veneer of logic.

          Made me wonder about Wittgenstein too.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: That explains it...

            Wittgenstein, as everybody knows, was a drunken swine. But he wasn't as sloshed as Schlegel.

            Russell - his original work with Whitehead was brilliant, and if it was rapidly superseded it was partly because they built such detailed foundations and partly because at the time foundations of maths/mathematical logic was a focus of research. He just then went on to demonstrate Famous Scientist/Mathematician syndrome - a tendency to pontificate on things he didn't know that much about at the behest of the Press.

            On the subject of the letter, above, I'm reminded (OT) of the story Humphrey Littelton used to tell about his father. One day at the breakfast table reading The Times his father started to laugh, but when asked why refused to explain. Eventually his son prevailed upon him and his father wrote him a note, enjoining him not to show it to his mother or sister. When Littelton opened the note it read "The new Prime Minister of Singapore is Mr. Bum Suk Lee."

            1. photobod

              Re: That explains it...

              "Famous Scientist/Mathematician syndrome" sounds a lot like "Member of Parliament syndrome", especially in the form of "Member of Parliament With Nothing But A Lawyer's Background Syndrome".

      2. smudge Silver badge

        Re: That explains it...

        The point is that the IQ spread of the aristocracy is about that of the general public...

        Indeed. This has been advanced as an argument in favour of a House of Lords populated by people who are there solely by birthright - not by appointment or, heaven forbid, by election.

        The reasoning being that if you select purely by accident of birth, you'll get a general cross-section of IQ range and abilities. Whereas if you include those who have succeeded in being appointed or elected, you will skew the curve towards ambitious, pushy, self-centred types - like the House of Commons.

        Not saying I agree with this - just pointing out that there is some logic in it.

        1. Nigel 11

          Re: That explains it...

          There is indeed some logic.

          Appointed by random selection from the electoral roll might be even better. A bit like jury service, but better-paid and safer.

          Personally I'd insist that the randomly selected people then passed a fairly simple general knowledge test. (that's knowledge, not trivia). We'd then have a more representative house of (mostly) non-politicians, with intelligence and abilities slightly above the average.

          We might even lose MLF.

  3. Irongut

    Does she have a similar problem using bicycles, cars, buses, trains, boats, buildings, pavements, roads, bridges, clothes, shoes and all the other things that were designed and largely built by men?

    1. Roland6 Silver badge

      Perhaps someone should tell her that electronic voting systems were largely designed and built by men...

      1. dan1980

        @Roland6

        I have awarded you an up-vote via the usual means but please take this e-mail as symbolic of the 99 other up-votes I would like to give this comment.

        1. Michael Nidd

          @dan1980

          ... take this e-mail as symbolic of the 99 other up-votes I would like to give this comment.

          With a little effort, generating those 99 other up-votes would usefully demonstrate the value of electronic voting.

      2. gkroog
        FAIL

        And since its online, its running across that same nasty internet. She seems not able to even.

  4. Jim 59

    Somebody famous for being a bit silly has been a bit silly

  5. Stevie Silver badge

    Bah!

    Is Her Gibberishness aware that a good 50% of the water in the UK is made by men?

    1. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge

      Re: Bah!

      The other 50% is due to the melting polar icecaps caused by global warming, which is the fault of men.

      1. GrumpyOldMan

        Re: Bah!

        "The other 50% is due to the melting polar icecaps caused by global warming, which is the fault of men."

        According to my wife EVERYTHING is the fault of men. Well, me, actually! My default state is "Wrong". So it doesn't matter what I say or do, I'm wrong. Which is actually very liberating - I can do and say what I please! It's going to be wrong anyway so hey-ho!

        1. Bernard M. Orwell Silver badge
          Joke

          Re: Bah!

          A womans place is in the kitchen....a mans place is in the wrong.

        2. Archaon
          Mushroom

          Re: Bah!

          "According to my wife EVERYTHING is the fault of men. Well, me, actually! My default state is "Wrong". So it doesn't matter what I say or do, I'm wrong. Which is actually very liberating - I can do and say what I please! It's going to be wrong anyway so hey-ho!"

          Be careful, friend. Many have tried this path and found that while there is no state better than wrong, there are many many states that are considerably worse than wrong. Examples of such states are 'Very Wrong', 'Don't touch me!', 'Oh-My-God-How-Could-You-Say-That-I'm-Never-Talking-To-You-Again' and 'Whacked around the face with a frying pan and buried in the garden'.

          Consider yourself warned.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Dammit the male internet made me post !!

    One MLF you just wouldn't want to ...

    1. IsJustabloke
      Joke

      Re: Dammit the male internet made me post !!

      Oh I dunno.... I probably would. I don't have to talk to her and as long as I can keep her mouth busy...

  7. Clive Galway

    Where on earth did she get the idea that the internet is "Entirely produced by men".?

    This statement belittles the contribution of every woman working in the industry.

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      "This statement belittles the contribution of every woman working in the industry."

      Abso-bloody-lutley? My wife for one! She once made a web page. With a picture of our cat on it. With a little help from me (a man. Oh, I feel so ashamed!)

    2. JRBobDobbs

      Radia Perlman

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Radia_Perlman

      There's one woman who made a very fundamental piece of the internet

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Radia Perlman

        And a rather more important bit than a website for people with poor planning skills.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Political Correctness gone MAD I tell you

    This is EXACTLY why you need a sarcasm icon and tag.

    Due to the utterly unbelievable PC nature of the world today and the festering vestiges of your monarchial system, its is nearly impossible to tell whether this article is about someone real or imagined.

    The real horror is that it could be about someone who actually exists and has that opinion.

    IF it is about someone who exists, then it is time to toss the whole institution and all it's members into a black hole before some twat says another word. Boston Harbor needs dredging, there's not enough room.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Political Correctness gone MAD I tell you

      With Sarah Palin and Michelle Bachmann as representatives of your fine country, you might just possibly want to rethink "festering vestiges of your monarchical system." Ms. Lane-Fox is unlikely to find herself on the ballot for a job equivalent to that of US Vice President. Palin actually did.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Political Correctness gone MAD I tell you (@ Arnaut the ignorant)

        Since I was commenting on the article it's an unfair comparison. however...at least those two don't have any "hereditary line to the throne" like your Lane - Fox (and the accompanying inbreeding).

        At this time I'd actually prefer Palin over Biden. It couldn't be worse and it might be better than his ineffectual bumbling. I know Palin would get more attention. She could hardly be considered manhating and PC. I'm not a fan of Bachmann but she's not covering my area. There could have been a better showing from Republicans but in my experience that was a throw away election for them.

        Any person who works hard can accomplish great things in the States, they don't need an aristocratic title to do so. Certainly money helps. But they don't have to be "born to rule" like you seem to prefer over there, the royals do what ever they want and you just go happily along with them, even when they are out of touch with reality.

        Some of us here prefer not to be led by the nose for all our decisions, you would apparently rather be led than have to make a hard decision. We threw off the monarchy a long time ago. Turns out they didn't know better than the common man.

        1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge

          Re: Political Correctness gone MAD I tell you (@ Arnaut the ignorant)

          "Some of us here prefer not to be led by the nose for all our decisions, you would apparently rather be led than have to make a hard decision"

          You have a very odd idea about our Monarchy Mr/Mrs/Ms AC (but I'm guessing Mr.)

          They don't make our decisions, we rely on the toffy-nosed upper middle-classes that went to the old-boys school to so that for us.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Political Correctness gone MAD I tell you (@ Sir Runcible Spoon)

            Never said it was just the monarchy but those who came with it fit the bill as well. Old Boys School tie types included. Anyone who talks with clenched teeth and patronizing manner as in "I'm special, you commoner".

            As I said you are not captain of your own ship. As a country you let too many others make your decisions FOR YOU.

            Brittain is losing it's very identity to the EU. It's own people are willing to give theirs to blue blood tossers that have no business telling anyone what to do.

            1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge

              Re: Political Correctness gone MAD I tell you (@ Sir Runcible Spoon)

              Well, Mr AC, I've got news for you, they are all under the sway of private money - so even the Captains aren't the Captains of the ship, and just who owns the ship eh?

            2. h4rm0ny

              Re: Political Correctness gone MAD I tell you (@ Sir Runcible Spoon)

              >>"Brittain is losing it's very identity to the EU. It's own people are willing to give theirs to blue blood tossers that have no business telling anyone what to do."

              That's an odd mix of attitudes. Joining the EU has been one of our best protections against rule by the British upper classes. Pulling out is basically playing into the hands of Eton Establishment, etc. UKIP are funded by upper middle-class and upper class.

            3. Jamie Jones Silver badge

              Re: Political Correctness gone MAD I tell you

              "Never said it was just the monarchy but those who came with it fit the bill as well. Old Boys School tie types included. Anyone who talks with clenched teeth and patronizing manner as in "I'm special, you commoner"."

              Is this the point where you start your 'quirky cockney' dance, after delighting us with that little speech no doubt voiced in a Dick Van Dyke style English accent?

        2. Jamie Jones Silver badge

          Re: Political Correctness gone MAD I tell you (@ Arnaut the ignorant)

          "Any person who works hard can accomplish great things in the States,

          ... unless they get ill and need healthcare, or shot by yet another gun nut.

          HTH

          HAND!

        3. Marshalltown

          Re: Political Correctness gone MAD I tell you (@ Arnaut the ignorant)

          Palin would be a catastrophe in hip boots. Go to Alaska and you encounter the mystery that no one seems willing to admit having voted for her. However you might be right about Palin vs Biden. Palin's handicaps are blatantly obvious while Biden is likely to be far more plausible.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: nearly impossible to tell

      No, it's easy to tell. Try googling.

      Of course, you aren't making that claim because you're actually too thick to use a search engine; you're making it because you have a pre-existing agenda that you wish to twist the facts to support.

      Now sod off back to #GamerGate, where you and your horrible friends can all sympathise with each other about how horrible things like social justice are.

      Oh, and I think she's an arsehole too, but it's not because I think she's being PC, because she isn't: she is ignorantly dismissing all the contributions women have made to computing and the internet. The fact that you cannot even see that just demonstrates the depth of your politically-driven blind spot: you see PCness where none exists because you wish to blame all the ills of the world on your one favourite little bugbear.

  9. Jelliphiish

    Baroness SOHO

    Our Lady of the Small Office/Home Office

    who says the guvmint have no sense of hoomerr

  10. malle-herbert Silver badge
    Joke

    The internet is made by people...

    Unfortunately some of them are dicks...

    1. LaeMing Silver badge
      Go

      Re: The internet is made by people...

      regardless of gender.

  11. Nigel Whitfield.

    Utopian drivel

    Unless they're going to issue everyone of voting age with a basic internet connection and a device with which to vote, then there will still be a need to have polling stations, or public internet access if it's online only, for those who don't have a suitable method of voting with them.

    And, I can't help feeling, some people would be perfectly happy with that - a situation where many people can vote at their convenience, but the most disadvantaged have to queue up at a polling station or a library to cast their vote.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Utopian drivel

      "Unless they're going to issue everyone of voting age with a basic internet connection "

      A more pressing concern is that not voting is a valid choice. I didn't have any acceptable choices for MP at the last general election, so I didn't cast a vote for any of the candidates. If Martha is too stupid to see how important the right to not vote is, then she's evidently fully qualified to be a member of the house of lords. Presumably serial stupidist Lord Vaz will be joining her soon, as he's demonstrated the necessary hypocrisy and dim-ness.

      The interesting aspect of this is that under the previous hereditary system the Lords were great - a chamber of sleeping old codgers who allowed us to sell the idea of being governed by a class system to tourists, but who never interfered with the bungling stupidity of the lower chamber, other than a few irrelevant speeches about the need to hunt foxes, badgers and peasants. Following the "reforms" by that village idiot Blair, we can now see that we don't need two chambers, and it's becoming increasingly difficult to justify the House of Patronage.

      I say shut the doors and gas 'em.

      1. John 110
        Black Helicopters

        Re: Utopian drivel

        @Ledswinger

        By and large I agree with you're sentiment, but I think in the real world if you don't vote, then you fall into the category of those who just can't be arsed. Much better to trawl along to the polling station and stuff your unmarked ballot paper into the box. (I once wrote "I don't want to vote for any of these people" on my ballot paper) The fact that you turned out to vote gets counted and none of the pillocks you didn't want to vote for gets the benefit. Oh wait, there's someone at the doo

      2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: Utopian drivel

        "A more pressing concern is that not voting is a valid choice. I didn't have any acceptable choices for MP at the last general election, so I didn't cast a vote for any of the candidates."

        I don't see that as a valid reason for objecting to compulsory voting (although there are other valid reasons) since a ballot can be spoiled, thus venting your spleen or alternatively, part of a change to compulsory voting would be add a "None of the above" choice on the ballot which is counted, totalled and announced as part of the results.

        1. Dr Scrum Master

          Re: Utopian drivel

          ""A more pressing concern is that not voting is a valid choice. I didn't have any acceptable choices for MP at the last general election, so I didn't cast a vote for any of the candidates."

          I don't see that as a valid reason for objecting to compulsory voting (although there are other valid reasons) since a ballot can be spoiled, thus venting your spleen or alternatively, part of a change to compulsory voting would be add a "None of the above" choice on the ballot which is counted, totalled and announced as part of the results."

          And if we have compulsory voting with voting machines or voting over the Internet, then is there scope for spoiling one's "ballot paper"?

        2. werdsmith Silver badge

          Re: Utopian drivel

          Well John Brown, idealism about voting doesn't go very far. I never hear about spoiled voting papers, nobody cares about them, I think the powers categorise them as juvenile tantrum activity and disregard them completely. More is made of voter apathy and low turnouts are seen as a reflection on our politicians and a message for them to up their sorry games.

          Having read the total shyte that people opine about politics on social media, guardian comments, daily mail comments etc, I have despaired that the best of a bad lot democracy system is not keeping up with the modern world and needs a bit of a looking at.

          News for Faecebookers:

          1. Torys are not going to privatise the NHS and steal all the money from ordinary working people to give to posh twats to spend on pheasant shoots in the Scottish Highlands.

          2. Labour are not going to penalise people who study hard, work hard and achieve by taxing them more so they can give the money as handouts to lazy-arse bastards to spend on piss lager and fags.

          Or are they?

          Rather blindly and sanctimoniously carry on with the dogma, and getting supercilious about people that don't vote, there are some that should be looking at the reasons for increasing voter apathy.

          After all, those people that died in wars to support democracy, also died for our freedom to choose.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Utopian drivel

            @werdsmith

            "1. Torys are not going to privatise the NHS and steal all the money from ordinary working people to give to posh twats to spend on pheasant shoots in the Scottish Highlands."

            Oh, I think they are...

          2. Evil Graham

            Re: Utopian drivel

            "After all, those people that died in wars to support democracy, also died for our freedom to choose."

            Well they died for freedom full stop. In my opinion that should include the freedom to not vote, if that's what you want.

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