It Seemed Like a Good Idea at the Time

It’s Thanksgiving, so why not stir the pot?

Larry Summers debacle, resurfaced over at incoherently scattered ponderings, (in response to a freakonomics blog post)

Do this simple experiment – go around and ask people to tell you in their words what was it that Summers said that got him in trouble. It’s an interesting Rorschach-test type question with a wide spectrum of answers. Then go to google and find the full transcript of his speech.

Political overtones aside, the question of whether there is a greater variance of certain skills in males or females is a legitimate scientific question, the one that can be answered with data, without all media hysteria. Since there are studies that show that males also vastly outnumber women on the low-IQ tail of the spectrum means that this hypothesis is not so outlandish after all. This may also be related to the fact that males are much more likely to be involved in risky (e.g. criminal) behavior.

Since I am not an expert in this field, I can’t take sides in this discussion, but the argument often presented by anti-Summers side that merely asking a hypothetical scientific question about origins of differences in cognitive abilities between genders is sexist seems very un-scientific and dangerous to me.

(edit: fixed link)

0 thoughts on “It Seemed Like a Good Idea at the Time

  1. Intelligence does exist, it can be measured, it does make a difference. If you need a six-sigma IQ or an idiot-savant to do the job you don’t care about its crotch specs. Google hires based on SAT, GRE, and gradepoint scores – and brutal entry exams. Google is a bastion of the Profoundly Gifted – a ghetto of Asperger’s and frank autistic mutant-smart mentalities that require outside nannying to survive. All Google gets in return is ineluctable success. Most of that is testosterone-fried for the same reason Alexander of Macedonia, Xerxes, Vikings, Romans, Mongols… did road trips. Women are overall better socialized until menopause (when Europe burned them as witches – Joan of Arc having been pro-active).