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Essay On Summers Comments On Women In Science

Discussion in 'General Electronics' started by Steven O., Apr 9, 2005.

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  1. Virgil

    Virgil Guest

    But Summers didn't say anything like that. What he said was that men
    appear to be statistically more variable than women in almost every
    measurable characteristic. This means that while men may have more of
    the extremely bright they also have more of the extrememly dim.

    It is those extremely dim at statistics who have misrepresented what was
    actually said and raised this whole foofah.
  2. Virgil

    Virgil Guest

    It could also be explained by variance for women in measures of the
    relevant talents being smaller than the corresponding variance for men.
    This could be the case even if it should transpire that women have on
    average better measurements than men, since it is only in the extreme
    upper tails of these distributions that one expects extreme talents to

    Those who do not understand the difference between means and variances
    should not pontificate on what they mean.
  3. Uncle Al

    Uncle Al Guest

    Mandatory Wymyn's studies, then sensitivity/diversity training, then
    *Anger Management,* then expulsion - with ignominy! You don't receive
    the bullet to the base of your skull until you satisfactorily finish
    your re-education.

    "Assessment of Detention and Corrections Operations in Iraq." If
    Uncle Al were in charge of Abu Ghraib prison we'd start with
    testosterone antimetabolites and estrogen in the low-protein
    high-starch food. When the prisoners are weepy-teepy and emasculated
    we add a major tranqulizer like Thorazine or have some real proximate
    fun with droperidol and the like. Strap 'em down in the dark and add
    a fat dollop of DMT plus eight hours of Enya for behaviorial
    reorientation. Give Uncle Al 90 days and he'll transform stiff-dicked
    stinking 20-year old Arab terrorists into lavender-scented
    kaffe-klatching girlies. Think of it as feminism with a PERT chart.

    MK-ULTRA was bush league. You cannot take out. You must replace -
    biologically as well as psychologically. Damnation and redemption,
    then rebirth.
  4. Mark Thorson

    Mark Thorson Guest

    Don't forget the domoic acid so that they don't . . . don't . . .
    whatever it is you use domoic acid for. :)
  5. Uncle Al

    Uncle Al Guest

    Academia properly yells "KIKE! KIKE!" Diversity admissions are inert
    material. If you let in Jews they will take over within your own
    rules, euchering out those who deserve to thrive given their pater
    familia social connections. It was an Ivy League disaster in the
    1950s and 1960s. 3% of the American population embraced everything
    that was profitable and powerful.

    Asians are the new 3% intellectual threat, but the immigrant F1 norm
    raised on traditional low-protein high-soya diets was physically
    nonthreatening (including sexually diminished males). The F2
    generation raised on beef, chicken, and heavily supplimented with
    nutrients is six-foot with normal genitalia. They stare back.
  6. Uncle Al

    Uncle Al Guest

    A little sloppy but definitely in the smorgasbord,

    If you want to play that kind of game, then enjoy ciguatoxin. The
    idea of interrogation is to disgorge information. Physical damage
    levied upon the subject is evidence of a low competency interrogator.
    Physical mutilation has other goals - most of them unachieved in the
    real world.

    What does severing fingers get you? It gets you a permanently
    motivated enemy. Vietnamese emigrated to the US and were accepted.
    Hanoi Jane is still reviled, and rightfully so. There are better,
    more useful, more profitable modalities to target in the opposition.

    Look at imprisoned Northern Irish. They had hunger strikes to the
    death and painted the walls with their feces. So? That is how they
    lived on the outside, too. If the British had any brains they would
    not have pounded on the armor, they would have pried at the cracks.
  7. I give him an E for including a gender bias in the real question
    which should have been about why Americans aren't choosing
    science and math. The current ads by one of the teachers'
    unions is bitching about how they have to teach math and
    English instead of art.<<


    Oh, that's a good question, but I think the answer's sort of obvious.
    Any political sphere will eventually be taken over by politicians. By
    "political sphere" I mean one in which power is derived
    verbally/socially, by means of who you can convince or coerce, or how
    loud you can wail, how well you kiss ass, or how good your debating
    skillls are. As opposed to other spheres in life, where power comes
    from how well you can bust heads, manipulate a machine, manipulate raw
    nature, etc. Neither machines or nature being particularly susceptable
    to threats or verbal skills (although mankind has a long long history
    of thinking otherwise-- see magic, shamanism, religion both "primitive"
    and not, etc, etc. The rise of technology in just the last half
    millennium is due partly to a VERY late post rennaisance recognition
    that "magical" or verbal attempts to control nature are worth shit).

    There are famously few engineers and physicists in congress. Do we need
    some huge academic study to figure out why? Should we hear from the
    president of Harvard on the question? But the question of why there's
    so little love of the physical sciences in modern academia and
    teacher's unions, is merely the flip side of this, and has the same
    underlying mechanism. These are simply not the same kinds of people,
    that's all.

    People differ in how they look to control the world, in order to get
    power (which is the goal of all human existance, since it leads to
    reproductive success). (1) There are people whose approach to the world
    is to get power by means of rhetoric (these days, "giving the
    disenfranchised a 'voice'-- see pure whining). This is essentially an
    infantile approach, since all humans start out in this mode. Some never
    leave, though, and we call these "progressives." (2) There are other
    people whose approach to the world is by means of theft, or bonking
    somebody on the head (these people perpetually wear helmets--- see BD
    in Doonsbury). These are conservatives and violent criminals (hard to
    tell apart sometimes). (3) there are merchants and salesmen and
    huckters whose first instinct is to buy or trade for it, and finally
    (4) there are people whose approach is to take it apart, see how it
    works, build a device to get what you want. Math and the natural
    sciences are obviously here. [There's some math in business and
    wheeling and dealing also; business requires both sorts of skill sets].

    The nonverbal math-and-mechanics oriented people flee the verbal wars
    of academia and politics as fast as they can, normally. They have been
    kept in academics historically only because of academia's domination by
    men (who, with the exception of a few natural dramatic actors, I think
    tend toward the last three categories of power-grabbing). Now that the
    era of male domination in academia is ending, with only the whiners
    left, the engineers and businessmen are simply going to be found
    elsewhere, Because they simply cannot stand the rules of the odious
    power structure that results in any place when politicians completely
    take over.

    So where are the math geeks to be found? Usually running their own
    companies and thanking god they're out of academia.

  8. Mark Thorson

    Mark Thorson Guest

    Try searching on "Amnesic Shellfish Poisoning".
    Yes, but covering your tracks is also important.
    I rather like the idea of performing the interrogation,
    implanting an RFID chip, then sending the guy back
    home. Maybe get him really drunk first, so there's
    a logical explanation for his memory lapse. Nobody
    needs to know he was captured and interrogated.

    Domoic acid is a little less sloppy when combined
    with kynurenic acid.

    Some finesse (and a watchful eye on the EEG)
    may be required to achieve optimal results
    without leaving footprints observable on MRI
    or at autopsy.
  9. I give him an E for including a gender bias in the real question
    which should have been about why Americans aren't choosing
    science and math.<<

    The subset of this question was also addressed by him and I give him an
    E for missing what I think is one part of the big picture. For those
    people who do chose the sciences, why are the women to be found almost
    exclusively in the life sciences, and those that deal with human

    Here's my take on it. This has nothing to do with math skills at all,
    except in a derivative way. There is less math in the life sciences
    BECAUSE of the sorts of people who go into the life sciences, not the
    other way around. In other words, women don't avoid physics because
    it's so math-intensive. Rather physics is so math-intensive as a
    science because the people it interests tend to be the sort of people
    who are very very good at math. And these people in turn are often
    uninterested in doing statistics and the kinds of math things that
    biologists and economists do. Until they reach their 40's, if ever. So
    such people tend to study subatomic particles instead of insects or
    viruses. Quarks instead of jaguars, if you will.

    Because of this, we get this stuff about how it somehow intrinsically
    *takes* more math to study particles than dolphins. As though there
    were some parts of nature intrinsically more mathematical than others,
    LOL. Sorry, I'm not buying.. If you have the math skills, you can find
    a way to apply them to any science you happen to be interested in. If
    anything, biology is messier and more difficult to pare down to
    something you can analyze with a mathematical model. But there's no *a
    priori* reason at all why the mathematical models themselves should be
    any less complex in the life sciences than they are in the "hard"
    sciences. The fact that they *are* is a historical result of who was
    interested in what. Yes, the math in "acceptable research topics" in
    physics, is harder. But that is NOT because physics is INHERENTLY more
    mathematical than (say) physiology. Rather, mathematical applications
    have been furthest advanced in physics because those very few highly
    skilled young mathematicians tended to be male. And not interested in
    the life sciences at that stage in their career. Women if they are
    interested in science, are often interested in life sciences from the

    Interest can change for individual scientists, of course. One thinks of
    the careers of Schroedinger, Delbruck, Szilard, Feynman, Pauling, etc,
    etc. At some point all of them looked up from their commutator brackets
    and heard the songbirds. At that point, they merely felt the way the
    average woman feels all the time. Before that, they were in a kind of
    high-testosterone shoot em up fugue-state that it really takes a Galois
    to understand. I don't think the academic politically-correct
    squat-to-piss types at Harvard will EVER get it. Fortunately, the
    progress of science (mostly) doesn't depend on it.

    The real battle is over money and power, of course. The big Harvard
    debates wouldn't care of fewer women went into the "hard" sciences, if
    there wasn't some kind of odd public perception that the "soft"
    sciences are somehow less important to progress, or that even the less
    mathematical parts of physics (ie, experimental physics and applied
    technology) were somehow less important than pure theory. They aren't.
    All are equally necessary for progress. The fact is that women have
    been working in the sciences since as long as the sciences have been
    around. But they've been doing the parts of the labor which haven't
    gotten the recognition.

    Just about anybody of average intelligence can eventually be trained to
    do algebra, simple calculus, or statistics. Most progress in science
    comes from hard work, curiosity, self-questioning, and relentless
    honesty. Much of it can be done by people who can't divide 60 by 5, if
    they have access to somebody (or something) that can. The ability to do
    the very highest sort of math is a rather Martian trait, like the
    ability to play a peice of music by ear on some instrument, after
    hearing it just once. Those people who have this kind of talent are
    rare, always young, usually male, and often somewhat odd. Left to
    themselves, they often do not drift into all areas of the sciences
    equally. So what? But they can usually be persuaded to work in them, as
    part of a team. As for the rest of science, men and women generally
    compete on a more or less equal footing so far as basic skills, and if
    they happen to have different interests in the kinds of science they
    happen to want to work in, so what? It's only our job as a society to
    make sure that we don't tend to undervalue the various scientific
    fields that women prefer, BECAUSE women tend to prefer them. Other than
    that, let the chips fall where they may.

  10. Jim Logajan

    Jim Logajan Guest

    Then how do you account for the results of the Stanford study, which was
    referenced in one of the URLs I included but that you elected to elide?
    Which part are you contesting? The statement that the dogma is thousands of
    years old, that it was a reiteration of that dogma, or both?

    I know of at least two major world religions that are centuries old which
    promote the subordination of women to men - and they are still quite active
    in the U.S. So I presume I irritated you only with the "reiteration" part?
    It is pointless, devisive, and is irrelevant to the argument so, if
    possible, please consider that part retracted.
    First, I haven't used any personal insults, so if you can refrain from them
    I'd appreciate it. Feel free to humiliate me with facts - I can deal with
    that. Secondly, Summers himself says "Now, it's pointed out by one of the
    papers at this conference that these tests are not a very good measure and
    are not highly predictive with respect to people's ability to do that. And
    that's absolutely right." And in spite of saying that it is _absolutely
    right_ that the tests aren't highly predictive, he continues on that track
    anyway! Hence my "running too far" assessment.
    The order of importance and the emphasis of his points are pretty explicit,
    and "intrinsic factors" weren't "added" - they were what he considered most
    important. He explicitly listed the factors in order of importance, and
    intrinsic motivation and intrinsic ability both top social factors in his

    "One is what I would call the - I'll explain each of these in a few moments
    and comment on how important I think they are - the first is what I call
    the high-powered job hypothesis.

    The second is what I would call different availability of aptitude at the
    high end,

    and the third is what I would call different socialization and patterns of
    discrimination in a search.

    And in my own view, their importance probably ranks in exactly the order
    that I just described."

    The paragraph beginning "The most controversial in a way, question,"
    addresses the third factor, and the bulk of it looks to me to be an attack
    on it as a factor. I think his argument might have had validity if the pool
    of applicants to colleges was already uniform and unaffected by social
    factors encountered during grade school and college, but such is not the
    case (

    Sadly, by the time students reach college it appears that the damage is
    probably done and there is nothing he can do as an administrator to improve
    the situation. Social and cultural factors don't suddenly kick in at
    college freshman year after all.
    I've never posted on this subject before, nor have I personally attacked
    you, so I don't understand what this "which is about what could've been
    expected" personal attack is referencing. And I have tried my best to
    explain why I believed his remarks were essentially dismissive of the
    social and cultural factors.
  11. Jim Logajan

    Jim Logajan Guest

    Ahem. Summers listed three factors, in order of alleged importance (my
    paraphrasing, obviously):

    1) Motivation - intrinsic or socially impressed.
    2) Intrinsic ability.
    3) Social influences.

    The first two have been used for centuries to rationalize limiting the
    rights of women - hence the bitter attacks against him. The fact that his
    argument was modestly novel doesn't erase the priority he assigned to the
    factor, nor its checkered history. Because of its use in the abuse of human
    rights, use of "intrinsic ability" and its variants seem, IMHO, to deserve
    careful scrutiny.

    If you remove entirely the "IQ standard deviation width" argument from his
    remarks (which even he acknowledged was probably ill-founded, yet he plows
    ahead anyway) you still have him invoking point 1 - and signalling that he
    sides with an intrinsic difference in motivations, rather than socially
    impressed. And is therefore _still_ reiterating dogma.

    Now look at the two dominant world religions - both of which have for
    centuries had as their canon the subordination of wives to their husbands
    and women to men. Did Summers address that "elephant in the living room"?
    God no! Talk about a literally sacrosanct subject! I'd have been supporting
    him to my death, if he had attacked those canons with a few cannons of his
  12. Well now, rather than looking at how well someone does on one of these
    "tests" let us look at what people's motivations are.

    There is a class of people who look at these tests, figure that it means
    nothing to them and fill in all the answers at random, leave the room
    and take a break.

    Another figures out that they might get something out of a good mark,
    but it is nothing to get all hyper about. They do pretty well, but
    don't break their heads on it.

    Then there are the gerbils.

    Which group is the most intelligent?

    Which is why IQ tests are worthless.

    josh halpern
  13. Virgil

    Virgil Guest

    Have you actually read, to the point of understanding, what he said
    about intrinsic ability? Do you understand what it means to say that
    one population has a larger standard deviation or larger variance than
    another? It specifically does NOT mean that either of the populations in
    question is inherently better or worse than the other, only that one is
    more variable than the other. If he had said anything about the mean
    (average) levels of ability, you might have had a case, but he
    specifically denied any such implication.
  14. Virgil

    Virgil Guest

    Tools are best used when used for the purposes for which they were

    IQ tests were originally designed as a diagnostic tool to assess the
    needs of young students thought to be below avarage enough to be in need
    of special education. For that purpose, at least, they seem to have been
    reasonably effective. But as they are misused now, they are of at best
    questionable value.
  15. Guest

    Rubbish. He was asked to deliver a general address, not a review of
    the field.
    Not relevant.
    The only way in which I can describe the reaction of the Harvard
    faculty is "shameful".
    Kindly keep your red herrings to yourself. It has a hell of a lot to
    do with the common argument that "the lack of equality at the top of
    the profession is a proof of discrimination". Very much on topic.
    Iddiotic statements do not deserve rational arguments, only derision.
    Summers presented a *rational* argument, anchored in existing data.
    This doesn't mean that the argument was unassailable. One can argue
    the accuracy of said data, the meanigfullness of the measure being
    used, the sampling procedures, etc. That could also have been a
    rational argument. But using as dismissal the statement that Summers'
    argument is "reiterating dogma that is thousands of years old", this
    is ***not*** a rational argument, just PC garbage. And same goes for
    most crap that came from Harvard faculty on the topic.
    See above and work on your reading comprehension.
    In his words, "And in my own view, their importance probably ranks in
    exactly the order that I just described". He presents his view.
    Perfectly legitimate, that's how discussion among reasonable people
    are being conducted. What PC garbage considers appropriate, that's
    another story.

    Mati Meron | "When you argue with a fool,
    | chances are he is doing just the same"
  16. Guest

    Yes, and this pretty much tells you that the so called "Western
    academic intelligentsia" pretty much descended to the level of Galileo
    detractors (who refused to look through his telescope since
    "obviously, what it shows cannot be true"). Sad, very sad.

    Mati Meron | "When you argue with a fool,
    | chances are he is doing just the same"
  17. Guest

    Yes, exactly.

    Mati Meron | "When you argue with a fool,
    | chances are he is doing just the same"
  18. Although I have run into women that like to flyfish, they are relatively
    few. They, with exceptions, just are not as single-minded about flyfishing.
    There are many men who would rather use dynamite to fish rather than flies.
    Women probably keep a better perspective. The same can be said about
    computing, cars, and even chemistry.

    Just look at the posts on this group. Most are from people with masculine
    sounding names. And chemistry appears to be of more interest to women than
    physics, mathematics, or engineering.

    I am not saying that greater devotion to a hobby or profession by men
    compared to women is better. But it is different.


  19. Guest

    I didn't "elected to elide", I'm just not going to follow any URL just
    because you happened to list, unless you'll *first* provide a good
    reason why should I follow it. Hope this is clear.
    That it was a reiteratoin of this or any dogma. And I'm not
    "contesting" it, I'm rejecting it as garbage. There is nothing in
    Summers words to the effect that "men are better than women". A
    statement to the effect that if the width of the distributions is
    different then there will be different proportions on both extremas of
    the cognitive spectrum does not translate into "men are better than
    women". Anybody with just adequate cognitive skills (well, just a
    notch or two above those of an average Harvard faculty) should be able
    to comprehend this.
    Too late for this.
    Well, I used it and I mean it. Feel free to be offended.
    While they're not a "very good measure" in terms of having a close to
    1 correlation with abilities as evidenced by an actual achievement,
    nobody came with a better measure so far. And as for "not being
    highly predctive", I would say that you won't find many 3-sigma below
    mean people among research scientist and not many 3 sigma above
    average people among janitors. The scatter in the measure is
    sufficiently large that one cannot use a difference of 5-10 points as
    a reliable predictor. A difference of 20-30 points is pretty

    Besides, the very idea that one should not say anything in a
    scientific forum unless all the i-s have been dotted and all the t-s
    crossed is ridiculous to the extreme and, in fact, downright idiotic
    (yse, here it is again and I do mean it again). Progress is being
    made through hypothesising based on incomplete data, then using the
    hypotheses as guidance in the completion of the data.
    Yes. he presented the order of importance, in his view (stating
    explicitly that this is a view, not a "research result". He did not
    say that his number three is "no longer a factor worth considering in
    his analysis", in fact he explicitly did list it. So either, as I said
    before, you lied, or you've reading comprehension problems.
    It is referencing PC crap and all those who propagate it.
    In which you failed, miserably. Go away.

    Mati Meron | "When you argue with a fool,
    | chances are he is doing just the same"
  20. Guest

    Then you're not looking in the correct places. All of my family fish.
    OTOH, we don't do it as a hobby. We fish for our supper so we don't
    waste money at the grocery store.

    This single-mindedness has nothing to do with gender differences. It
    has everything to do with economic differences. Frugal people do
    not obsess on spending all their money on one thing; if they did
    they wouldn't be frugal.
    Now think about why that is true. Is it possible that the females
    are off working and not taking time to post?
    How do you know?!!! Throughout my life there have been both males
    and females in all of the above. I simply do not understand how
    this myth got started. Well..I do understand, I just can't fathom
    people accepting the myth when actually looking around them would do.

    Of course it's different. It's even different among indiduals
    of the same gender. Who the **** cares as long as these
    people work at producing rather than work prevention.

    IME, the simple act of bringing up gender bias always has the
    side effect of work prevention, period. I have seen people do
    this on purpose so that no useful work gets done.
    Now, IMO, the Harvard president was foolish to bring this up
    because it is known to only create work prevention. Bringing
    up the subject of religion, politics, and salary comparisons would
    have a similar smoke and mirror effect.

    It would nice to be able to yak about it but these people haven't
    matured enough to be able to talk about it objectively.


    Subtract a hundred and four for e-mail.
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