General ignorance

LXF

Lo, it was decreed that there should be a woman on the £10 note, and the search for a suitable woman began. And so it was that, from the Venn diagram of people who are awesome and people who are women, there was plucked Jane Austen.


There’s nothing wrong with Jane Austen. She never ordered the the army to shoot at striking miners, for example, or turned machine guns on men armed only with sharpened pieces of fruit, like Churchill. But it makes me wonder: why her?

The obvious answer is TV. Apart from Stephen King, no other author has had their work committed to film more often*. This is a victory for Bridget Jones and Colin Firth’s smouldering good looks, and for our woeful state of national ignorance that requires all literature to be seen through the prism of the idiot box.

What if our schools taught us about important things? Who would be the face of the 2017 £10 note then? If Raspberry Pi continues to gain acceptance in schools, there can be only one. Someone who invented a whole new field of knowledge, but who, despite being hugely important in the development of modernity is largely unknown. Readers, I propose the first computer programmer: Ada Lovelace. Someone should make a film about her.

*The fact that this fact is made up in no way diminishes its veracity

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Your comments

A great point well made

The choices for faces on our back notes just highlights a lack of knowledge of science and engineering in our political classes. Poets, authors, politicians and economists are what they know, so that is what we are taught and what we get.

Lets raise a cry to get the great engineers and scientists recognised, and less murderous former Prime Ministers put forward.

If you're gonna post random

If you're gonna post random nonsense you're getting blasted from my RSS feed, you know.

the first computer programmer...really ?

See en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ada_lovelace#Controversy_over_extent_of_contributions

For balance

In regards to the perceived lack of scientists/engineers on bank notes in an above comment, it's worth keeping in mind that Isaac Newton, James Watt, Charles Darwin, Michael Faraday, and, most pertinent to this discussion, Florence Nightingale have all featured in the past.

For those not in the know, Florence Nightingale was also (and significantly) a statistician. She made important contributions to the development of data visualization. Her meaningful healthcare contributions also stem from her statistical work.

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Florence_Nightingale#Statistics_and_sanitary_reform

It seems a shame to apply that straw man gogglebox argument to Jane Austen's cultural impact.

For more balance

Yes, we have trope scientists - but there is a wider lack of science and engineering education in the UK. To my mind this is exemplified by the number of members of the house of Commons with a science or engineering background.

Bring of the totalitarian regime run by Engineers.

A popular choice?

If you want to have a woman, one with a scientific qualification and who has had a significant impact on this country in a good many ways, you could choose Margaret Thatcher...

... I wouldn't want to see the messages sent to the twitter account of anyone who got that one approved. ;-)

I fear your fulcrum may be misaligned

@TheStub: Trope scientists. That's an interesting phrase, with a few possible interpretations. Would you care to expand?

I note I have been more than a little imprecise; it was George Stephenson who was a previous incumbent. Darwin and Watt (together with Matthew Boulton) are still current.

I do not dispute the general gist in your arguments with regard to problems in UK education. It's just that when one selects a springboard, it's best to check that Daffy Duck hasn't been at it first.

A touch of misogyny?

Any chance that you are infected by a small dose of misogyny? You sound like that person who said "I don't condone rape, but ..." - except Google confirms that it was busloads of people saying that, only a handful of whom have been arrested (so far).

TV and Tonypandy

"The obvious answer is TV"? It's comments like that that reinforce the impression that programmers / geeks have no interest in literature. Jane Austen's novels are wonderful, and still funny and wise today.

Also, there's a good Wikipedia page on the Tonypandy riots, I can't link, but check it out. You'll see that Winston Churchill did NOT order the army to fire on miners (although he did send troops, but his role is still the subject of debate - Josephine Tey's historical Richard III whodunnit mentions this in passing and coins the word "Tonypandy" as a generic term for myths that enter popular consciousness as fact).

For me, I'd echo Francium_duck's recommendation of one of the most revolutionary data visualisation pioneers, Florence Nightingale. Or Mary Wollstonecroft (but admittedly, she probably has even less of a connection with Linux).

There's a woman on every English banknote -

The Queen.

I think...

It should be Mrs Doyle from Father Ted. Hard working like the queen, and able to f*@& things up like the PM.

Perfect.

Exactly

It should be a rule, if it's a woman on the front of the note, then a man on the back.

When Charles ascends, man on the front and then only women on the back.

Jane Who? Wha....?

You Brits have funny ways, God love ya

Um...

...pretty sure Jane Austen didn't write Bridget Jones?!

Kind of funny...

Shouldn't change the note for PC bull anyways. Every country in the world, features political figures that helped shaped the foundations of said country. [E.G. Political/Fiscal/Etc.] Shouldn't do something simply for austerity, because then it's all greek to me!

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