Re: Twin Studies [was Re: HR25Show82099 - BS]

phil osborn (
Tue, 24 Aug 1999 19:58:34 PDT

>From: "Elizabeth Childs" <>
>To: <>
>Subject: Re: Twin Studies [was Re: HR25Show82099 - BS]
>Date: Mon, 23 Aug 1999 19:49:43 -0700
>Phil Osborne said:
> > > Women - not all of them, obviously, but way too many - are
> > > and
> > > consistently resist science and technology.
>It may be the case that the organized anti-rationalists are
>disproportionately female, although probably not very much so. Some
>statistics here would be interesting - gender breakdown of
>groups, for example. Based on my years in Berkeley, I suspect you'd get
>about 60-40 female.
>But the fact that extreme anti-rationalists are disproportionately female
>does not necessarily imply that most women are anti-rationalist. As an
>analogy, most murderers are men, by a very large proportion. But most men
>are not murderers.
>It is sometimes hard for men and women to meet intellectually, as men tend
>to approach an intellectual topic in a more competitive way, while women
>to neutrally present their viewpoints and achieve consensus. Men and women
>also have tendencies to be interested in different topics.
>I tend to have a very male style and to be interested in typically male
>I have found it difficult to build intellectual relationships with most
>other women as a result, and even some men who have a more feminine style.
>There are two mistakes that are easy to make.
>The first can happen when a person with a masculine style presents his
>opinions forcefully. Many women will grow quiet and not respond. Now, if
>he were presented with a forceful argument with which he disagreed, he
>put on a spirited counterargument, and enjoy every minute of it. So the
>woman's silence is baffling. Are they stupid? Are they cowards? They
>be totally unable to mount a coherent defense of their position. What an
>Well, in reality, they just don't enjoy that style of debate. It's
>an evolutionary biology thing - women don't need to compete for status as
>much, and they may get more internal negative feedback, on average, when
>they are in conflict with another person. Lots of very quiet,
>non-confrontational people, most of whom are women, are sitting on mighty
>intellects. They will let you in on it if you ask them politely what they
>The other mistake is to assume that just because someone doesn't share your
>interests or opinions that they aren't capable of rational thought. I
>believe that there is research suggesting that women, on average, prefer to
>learn things when they can see what use the knowledge would ultimately be
>put to, while men are more willing to master something that seems to have
>practical purpose, like chess.
>I don't see how either preference is innately better than the other, but it
>will naturally tend to encourage people to pay attention to different
>things. So, physics students are mostly male by at least a 2-1 ratio, but
>medical students are a lot closer to 50-50. Both difficult, technical,
>"rational" topics, but the medical students are motivated to use their
>knowledge to help people on a day-to-day basis, while the physicists are
>often more enamored with the sheer beauty of the mathematics. We need
> >> Look at how they waited until
> > >
> > > computers became "fashinable" to finally adopt them.
>Your use of the term "they" here implies that there are no women in the
>metaphorical room, and they can thus be discussed in toto without concern
>for their response. I would appreciate it if you could refrain from making
>such gross generalizations until I'm out of earshot. Otherwise, I'll be
>forced to pound my chest, trill the distinctive tune I use to mark my
>territory, and start listing off my credentials as an early adopter.
>Yes, women, on average, have been slower to start using computers than men,
>although I don't think the gap is all that great. The commercial World
>Web started in 1995. It's four years later, and I vaguely recall reading
>that web usage now stands at 50-50 male to female. This isn't much of a
>time, and even in 1995 I think the ratio was something like 67-33.
>In the last four years, having a personal computer has become exponentially
>more useful to the average person than it used to be. Before then, unless
>person was interested in games, programming, pornography, spreadsheets,
>Compuserve, or wordprocessing, there wasn't really a lot you could do with
>your computer. You wouldn't have to be "irrational" to go to the computer
>store, decide that there's nothing in your daily life that requires any of
>these functions, and save several thousand dollars for something else.
You had the good fortune, I hope, of not having to go through trying to consult with elementary and preschools, as well as home-schoolers, regarding computer education. I well recall all the mothers who, having spent a thousand dollars or more in the late '70's thru late '80's on an "educational computer," then, after a year of tutorial sessions and hand-holding, still had not once managed to put their hands on the keyboard on their own - even while their kids were going crazy on the machines.

Then there are the computer clubs. The female membership is still miniscule. We used to get 2% women in the late '80's, and most of them were wives of members. Then there were the teaching machines of the '60's. I had the good fortune to meet two of the researchers who studied their implementation in the classrooms. (Both of them women, by the way.) They separately told me the same thing. The machines worked brilliantly within the parameters they were intended for. The problem was the teachers, mostly women, who felt challenged in their power position in the classroom by the machines.

There are many, many other examples I could cite. I'm currently starting BTW a book entitled "Cease Fire," written by an outspoken woman who is not at all shy to point out the rampant falsehoods perpetrated by the radical feminists. Just skimming a few pages, I suspect she has even more examples than I.

In north Georgia, Rome, where I grew up(?), we had a lot of over-achievers in our local elementary and high-schools, due to the sudden incursion of a whole army of techies from Schenectidy and Burlington to man the new GE plant. There were SO many guys who were reading adult SF and engineering manuals in the 7th and 8th grade!

Then the hormones hit, and almost all of them ended up marrying some high-school sweetie who was convinced she had to cure them of all that nonsense. Almost invariably, a year later the wife had gained 50 pounds, the guy had joined the Baptist Church - an agnostic before - and had high hopes of someday working his way up from tire installer to head mechanic at the Firestone store. I saw this over and over again with virtually every one of my friends, right down the tubes. I believe a lot of them are divorced now, so maybe there is hope.

There are good, smart women out there. I'm certainly a fan of Maria Montessori, Ayn Rand and Esther Dysan (sp?). Right now, however, especially in this country, women are more of a privileged, rich (70% of real property, 85% of consumer purchases) elite ruling class (60% of the vote) who are deserving of a great deal of severe critique. Statistically most women lean strongly to the left in politics - seeming to try to fit everything into the mold of the family, and contemptuous of economics. Thus, they, as the heart of the "progressive" movement, have been resonsible for an unmitigate series of national and worldwide disasters - prohibition, entry into WWI, which set the stage for Hitler, progressive education, the "War of Drugs...there seems to be no end.

As far as competitive styles of discussion, my impression has been that women are MORE competitive. I've had plenty of experiences of starting what I thought of as a discussion and watching the woman turn it into a topper session.

The socializaton of most women is certainly very different. Women are brought up to see their entire life's meaning as revolving around the opinions of significant others, especially other women. Men are brought up to see that very same thing as cause for contempt. Women typically start relationships by telling some dirty secret, to show they trust you. But that in itself tells you how they see their relationship to other people - i.e., a manipulator, allied with other manipulators.

Not that I'm accusing you of any of this. With the billions of women out there, there will always be some who buck the trend. Just not enough. Most of the values and goals that extropians and libertarians are working for are opposed primarily by women, who have the inherited money and the additional years of life, giving them the political majority to use the state's gun to force their "progressive." anti-futurist views down all our throats.

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