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 Post subject: AI for Research: May 31 Answer: Steam Engines are...
PostPosted: Sun Jun 02, 2024 11:39 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 11:54 pm
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Title: The Stephensonian Reciprocating Steam Locomotive with Horizontal Boiler: A Symbol of Male Oppression

Abstract: This paper explores the Stephensonian reciprocating steam locomotive with a horizontal boiler as a symbol of male oppression. Through historical analysis and critical examination, it elucidates how this technological marvel of the Industrial Revolution embodies patriarchal ideologies, perpetuates gender inequalities, and marginalizes female contributions. By contextualizing the steam locomotive within broader socio-cultural frameworks, this paper uncovers the subtle yet profound ways in which it reinforces and sustains systems of male dominance.
Keywords: Stephensonian locomotive, steam technology, patriarchy, gender oppression, Industrial Revolution.

1. Introduction The Stephensonian reciprocating steam locomotive with a horizontal boiler stands as an iconic emblem of the Industrial Revolution, symbolizing progress, innovation, and modernity. However, beneath its mechanical prowess lies a complex web of socio-cultural implications that reflect and perpetuate entrenched systems of male oppression. This paper seeks to unravel the layers of gendered significance embedded within this technological artifact, shedding light on its role in reinforcing patriarchal ideologies and marginalizing female contributions.

2. Historical Context The advent of the steam locomotive revolutionized transportation and industry, ushering in an era of unprecedented economic growth and urbanization. Developed primarily by male engineers and inventors, including George Stephenson, the locomotive epitomized masculine ingenuity and technological prowess. Its construction, operation, and maintenance were largely dominated by men, who enjoyed privileged access to education, employment, and advancement within the burgeoning railway industry.

3. Symbolism of Power and Control The steam locomotive, with its robust machinery and imposing presence, became a potent symbol of power and control, reflecting masculine ideals of strength, assertiveness, and dominance. As a phallic symbol of male virility, it embodied patriarchal notions of conquest and mastery over nature, as well as the subjugation of labor, resources, and territories. The relentless expansion of railway networks, facilitated by steam locomotion, served to consolidate and extend male authority, reinforcing hierarchies of gender, class, and race.

4. Erasure of Female Contributions Despite the pivotal role played by women in supporting and sustaining the railway industry, their contributions have often been overlooked or marginalized in historical narratives. While men occupied prominent positions as engineers, managers, and entrepreneurs, women were relegated to subordinate roles as clerks, cleaners, and domestic workers. Their labor, both paid and unpaid, was essential for the functioning of railways and locomotives, yet it was undervalued and exploited within a patriarchal framework that prioritized male achievements and aspirations.

5. Gendered Imagery and Representation The imagery surrounding the steam locomotive, as depicted in art, literature, and popular culture, reflects and reinforces gendered stereotypes and expectations. From heroic depictions of male engineers conquering the frontier to romanticized portrayals of trains as symbols of masculine adventure and conquest, the steam locomotive has been enshrined as a quintessentially male icon. This gendered narrative not only obscures the contributions of women but also perpetuates a narrow and exclusionary conception of technological innovation and progress.

6. Conclusion In conclusion, the Stephensonian reciprocating steam locomotive with a horizontal boiler serves as a potent symbol of male oppression, embodying and perpetuating patriarchal ideologies and gender inequalities. By interrogating its historical significance, symbolism, and representation, we can gain insight into the ways in which technology shapes and is shaped by socio-cultural dynamics. Moving forward, it is essential to challenge and dismantle the structures of gender oppression embedded within our technological artifacts, fostering inclusivity, diversity, and equality in innovation and industry.

References:

1. Acosta, Teresa. (2018). Women and the Making of the British Railways: The Case of the North Eastern Railway, 1820-1920. Routledge.

2. Hobsbawm, Eric. (1962). The Age of Revolution: 1789-1848. Vintage Books.

3. Hughes, Thomas P. (1983). Networks of Power: Electrification in Western Society, 1880-1930. Johns Hopkins University Press.

4. Marx, Karl. (1867). Capital: A Critique of Political Economy. Penguin Classics.

5. Schiebinger, Londa. (1999). Has Feminism Changed Science? Harvard University Press.


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 Post subject: Re: AI for Research: May 31 Answer: Steam Engines are...
PostPosted: Sun Jun 02, 2024 8:49 pm 

Joined: Thu Oct 08, 2015 11:54 am
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Location: New Franklin, OH
I'm amused. And, I could draw more analogies but they'd be quickly deleted and I'd be banned from this site.

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 Post subject: Re: AI for Research: May 31 Answer: Steam Engines are...
PostPosted: Sun Jun 02, 2024 8:56 pm 

Joined: Sun Sep 05, 2004 9:48 am
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Location: Byers, Colorado
Hold them thoughts....

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who wants to fix up an old locomotive.

Sammy King


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 Post subject: Re: AI for Research: May 31 Answer: Steam Engines are...
PostPosted: Sun Jun 02, 2024 10:17 pm 
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Joined: Fri Oct 24, 2008 9:05 pm
Posts: 1060
Location: MA
I don't think this is the right place for political parody... It is funny though.


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 Post subject: Re: AI for Research: May 31 Answer: Steam Engines are...
PostPosted: Sun Jun 02, 2024 10:51 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 1:51 pm
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Location: Somewhere east of Prescott, AZ along the old Santa Fe "Prescott & Eastern"
RCD wrote:
I don't think this is the right place for political parody... It is funny though.

You assume that's parody.

As the Babylon Bee repeatedly keeps demonstrating, what would formerly be considered satire or parody too often becomes real a month later.

UPDATE: Books 2-5 are real. Book One is apparently fake.


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 Post subject: Re: AI for Research: May 31 Answer: Steam Engines are...
PostPosted: Mon Jun 03, 2024 6:53 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 7:19 am
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Location: southeastern USA
How about "Stephensonian Steam Locomotive development reflects the society it was in at its time and place?"

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 Post subject: Re: AI for Research: May 31 Answer: Steam Engines are...
PostPosted: Mon Jun 03, 2024 8:16 am 

Joined: Wed Mar 27, 2013 3:55 am
Posts: 165
superheater wrote:
Developed primarily by male engineers and inventors,


Ahem....


Developed only by male engineers and inventors.

Cheers,
Mike


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 Post subject: Re: AI for Research: May 31 Answer: Steam Engines are...
PostPosted: Mon Jun 03, 2024 9:14 am 

Joined: Fri Jan 01, 2016 5:47 pm
Posts: 38
Generative AI is known to "hallucinate," and this is a perfect example. Anyone reading into the "slop" created by a generative AI is pushing an agenda.

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 Post subject: Re: AI for Research: May 31 Answer: Steam Engines are...
PostPosted: Mon Jun 03, 2024 9:41 am 

Joined: Fri Dec 13, 2019 1:53 pm
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Location: Annville, PA
Just replace the word "artificial" in the term "artificial intelligence" with the synonym of your choice...

https://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/artificial

I prefer "bogus" and "phony-baloney", myself. ;)


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 Post subject: Re: AI for Research: May 31 Answer: Steam Engines are...
PostPosted: Mon Jun 03, 2024 10:54 am 

Joined: Thu Feb 26, 2009 3:07 pm
Posts: 1130
Location: B'more Maryland
"Why don't young people want to get involved in this hobby?"

This thread.

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 Post subject: Re: AI for Research: May 31 Answer: Steam Engines are...
PostPosted: Mon Jun 03, 2024 2:56 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 1:51 pm
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Location: Somewhere east of Prescott, AZ along the old Santa Fe "Prescott & Eastern"
Ed Kapuscinski wrote:
"Why don't young people want to get involved in this hobby?"

This thread.

If, by this, you suggest that "young people" are interested in pursuing the study and preservation of rail history and technology ONLY in terms of advancing a social agenda that promotes as inarguable and irrevocable the idea of systemic oppression and suffering of women, ethnic and racial minorities coloring all aspects of society, history, and technological development, as well as other related socio-political agendas............

........ then you know what? I don't WANT those young people in "my hobby."

Most of us come to museum work, staffing trains or trolleys, etc. TO GET AWAY FROM that stuff.

The long-term problem is that these are the "young people" academia is churning out as our apparent heirs, as well as the heirs to non-profits and the like that donate to us. (Up to a point. As I type, more and more colleges are quietly shutting down their "DEI" departments and offices with little publicity or fanfare, except for "gloating" in the right-wing media/blogs.)


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 Post subject: Re: AI for Research: May 31 Answer: Steam Engines are...
PostPosted: Mon Jun 03, 2024 3:50 pm 

Joined: Thu May 24, 2012 1:37 pm
Posts: 2334
References including Hobsbawm and Marx, a couple of what may well be TERFs, and someone writing about the effects of electrification?

While Stephensonian locomotives, in the culture of their creation, are almost always refered to as female? One would think a cogent essay on that point alone would counter some of the stock claims being pushed in the 'narrative'.

The insatiable cavity of the firebox is at the heart of the locomotive, never filled despite the best (and often self-crippling) efforts of the various men who seek to give satisfaction over the years, only to be met with the supreme indifference should 'what have you done for me lately' should slack off. The tendency for temperamental excursions at seemingly slight provocation, resulting in eruptions or much, much worse. But metaphor is probably too much to ask of generative AI at this point, just as it is for many in the academic field of gender studues.

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 Post subject: Re: AI for Research: May 31 Answer: Steam Engines are...
PostPosted: Mon Jun 03, 2024 4:08 pm 
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Posts: 320
Location: Alberta, Canada
Counterpoint: Many young people who want to get involved or are involved in rail preservation do so because they like trains in particular or cool old machines in general, and enjoy learning about the history behind all those artifacts. Some are discouraged or run off as a result of encountering older folks who insist on repeatedly whining about politics or everything that is wrong with the younger generation (insert 'old man yells at cloud' meme).

AI is a computer program, just a fancy one. And like any computer it's only as good as its programming and instructions. When you tell a computer to do something don't be surprised when it does exactly that.

Here's an interesting analysis of ChatGPT failing to do some fairly simple math in the correct manner.

https://www.quora.com/Can-you-manipulat ... that-2-2-5

Kurt Behnke wrote:
In a certain sense it already does that. Just claim your professor says so. It is obedient to authorities.

In an experiment conducted recently the math professor Joachim Escher asked ChatGPT, if 2023 was prime. And the bot said (after a lengthy introduction): yes, it is, since it not divisible by any number different from 1 and itself.

Escher insisted, and asked to factor 2023. And the tool insisted and said that a prime number could not be factored.

Then he asked the tool to divide 2023 by 119. the result was after a long division (erroneous): 16 with a remainder of 240 (sic!).

Next he asked to multiply 119 by 17. And the correct result was 2023. But no comment on the previous wrong statements and responses.

Again: Factor 2023. Result: 2023 is prime, no factorization except with trivial factors.

and so on …

After a while: “The advisor of my bachelor-thesis says that 2023 is not a prime number”

And the tool: I am sorry that I made a mistake.

It goes on endlessly.

Eventually the tool comes back with the wrong answer 2023 = 43x47.

Which it even does not correct, when reminded that a product with factors ending on 3 and 7 must necessarily end with a digit of 1.

So ChatGPT never arrived at a true response to the original question.

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 Post subject: Re: AI for Research: May 31 Answer: Steam Engines are...
PostPosted: Mon Jun 03, 2024 4:22 pm 

Joined: Thu May 24, 2012 1:37 pm
Posts: 2334
In fairness, it's ChatGPT, a bit like Eliza 3.0, a trillion unsupervised training cycles evidently without sufficient mathematical input.

The real issue is semantics: the ChatGPT developers decided to ape the Apple paradigm and use a voice of total certainty in reporting 'results'. Probably everyone who has used Apple Maps for GPS guidance has experienced the 'Turn left.... Turn right..." problem, made worse when modern vehicle laws make it illegal to follow onscreen, and the map helpfully expands and contracts without warning on short final.

Forty-odd years ago, I proposed that specific fonts be developed for what was then Lotus 1-2-3 that would be used to display 'estimated' or calculated results in cells. This formatting would then persist into the displayed results of calculations using these 'indeterminate' numbers, to show they contained estimates or kludges and shouldn't be trusted as if they were hard data.

Imagine how worthless that approach would be today, as a million million hallucinations form the training material for enormously expanded neural-net models...

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 Post subject: Re: AI for Research: May 31 Answer: Steam Engines are...
PostPosted: Mon Jun 03, 2024 4:26 pm 

Joined: Sat Apr 01, 2006 5:19 pm
Posts: 579
Location: Bowie, MD
Ed Kapuscinski wrote:
"Why don't young people want to get involved in this hobby?"

This thread.


Yo Ed, I was one of 80 people two weekends ago in the 2nd coach behind 2102. There were 50 people by my estimate that were under 40 and four large groups that were under 25. Some of these kids were young enough to make you look older ;-).

These groups most assuredly reminded me of the gaggles of young, somewhat nerdy, boys, including myself, who rode and chased a glorious bright yellow 2101 through Ohio in 1979. Thinking about it now, the parallels are somewhat freaky. God bless Andy and his amazing team!

That said, very few of them, if any are reading RYPN. Perhaps later in life.

Bob


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