Skip to comments.When Academic Snobs Attack
Posted on 02/25/2005 9:02:58 AM PST by MikeEdwards
Some may say its nothing to laugh about but I cant help but find humor when the snobs of the academic elite find themselves mired in paradoxical hypocrisy. One can almost smell the heat from their cerebral wheels, the publicly funded oil burning away, as they try to come up with an explanation of why they are between such a rock and a hard place. It reminds me of the old Bill Cosby bit about the student who asked his Catholic teacher the hypothetical question, Father, if God can do anything, can He Himself make a rock so big that He cant move it? All the priest could say was Sit down, Don.
If, for the sake of analogy, our liberally slanted education community is a ship that ship is listing so hard to port all it can do is sail to the left. An image of a disabled vessel constantly drifting to port, doomed to an eternity of increasing insignificance comes to mind. Within one of these seven circles of Dantesque liberal hell is the paradox of Lawrence Summers and Ward Churchill.
Unless you have been too caught up in the non-reporting of the facts by the mainstream media, you know that liberal activists on our college campuses are in an uproar over two of their own; Lawrence Summers, the president of Harvard University, and Ward Churchill, a professor from the University of Colorado. Both of these men having made controversial statements find themselves engaged in battles involving their First Amendment free speech rights. . . . .
(Excerpt) Read more at therant.us ...
"liberally slanted education community is a ship that ship is listing so hard to port all it can do is sail to the left."
haha great comment.... Ship of Fools is more like it
port wine is red.... a clensing of the American Academia is in order.
George Carlin, not Cosby, did the bit about the rock.
it used to be prior to ww2 that college instructors were not as visible in american life. no one cared much what they did, nor interacted with them. colleges were islands.
college graduates went into business, government the military, etc. and those from "normal schools" or teaching colleges went on to teach at public schools. the latter had more interactions with the public than the former.
the post-ww2 economic boom changed that. in the 1960s a college education increasingly became a necessity, as our reliance on manufacturing lessened and our dependence on information began and steadily increased.
a college degree promoted social mobility. the degreed became consumers of various levels, some higher up on the food chain than others. successful graduates shopped at up-scale clothiers, shopped for imported autos (rebelling against their parents' cadillacs and lincolns), and shopped for organic food. it's no accident that ads for trader joe's sound like npr.
what one ate became an indicator of social class. those at the top of the food chain drank french wines and ate french cheeses.
meanwhile, colleges promoted the idea that those associated with them were better than others.
now for the mind-blowing idea--mostly democrats, college faculties promoted themselves as "for the working classes" and "for the po'".
i grew up on a dairy farm. my college friends used to come out and look at the cows and laugh at the smell of the manure. this fact dictated that i never stray too far from my origins.
Before World War II, college professors weren't visible (I guess you mean important)? Huh? Woodrow Wilson might disagree with that.
You've also confused the college educated who laugh at those of us who do real work with the faculty who work at colleges. The former are, I suspect, by and large, the children of pretty wealthy folks who're in college to get a degree to make some more money. The later are people who're interested in educating the next generation and are (relatively) modestly paid. The faculty are working pretty hard to keep bread on the table, just like a lot of other folks. They're not laughing at others who're working, too.
you didn't read or comprehend what i said.
There is a lot of truth in what you are saying. Most college professors are still invisible. The mainstream media promote the radicals. Tenure favors the radicals. It gives them a bullet-proof career while they try to destroy America. The worst of it started during Viet Nam. The hippies of that era are often tenured professors now.
Tenure is a major problem and should be abolished.
College professors vary according to profession. A physiology professor is going to be much more conservative than the average psychiatry professor. Business professors are more conservative and saner than art history instructors.
There are many who jeer at farming but I cannot imagine a more demanding and difficult job, combining the meddling of government, the whims of nature, and the power of the major food cartels.
But then, they dont fire teachers for not teaching these days, now do they.
Absolutely LOVE it.
Salvato makes a good point about the conundrum of the left. They want Summers' head and they want protection for Churchill.
But do conservatives have the same problems?
I don't understand how the university can justify keeping Churchill on board. He is teaching lunacy. Yes, he can be dismissed for lying on his job application, for violating nepotism rules, and other infractions. But his real offense is his uselessness as a teacher or a thinker. He has resided outside the bounds of propriety. There is no intellectual justification for his teachings, and he should be dismissed.
Summers, on the other hand, made a logical supposition based on empirical observations. The left is attacking him because his deductions do not agree with their religious beliefs. Their priests are persecuting him because he has come to logical conclusions that are heresy.
Ken21, you wrote "prior to ww2 that college instructors were not as visible in american life. no one cared much what they did." Woodrow Wilson was a college professor, then college president, then president of these United States of America. I'd say that he was visible and he mattered. What didn't I understand?
Summers' comments are abominably stupid.
There is no evidence that any differential in innate ability "trumps" socialization or discrimination at the highest levels of math of physics. He presented that as true and described tenured female physics/math hires as "marginal" -- marginal! Only 4 of the 55 tenured faculty members in math and physics at Harvard are women, and even then they get to be called marginal?
Conservatives should be for equality of opportunity. We're not talking about affirmative action here, we're talking about equality of opportunity. The controversial part of Summers speech -- and it's rightfully controversial -- isn't the mere suggestion that there may be a gender-based innate differential (there's surely some science to suggest that for math and physics and fields that use spacial imagery), but his further suggestion that socialization / discrimination weren't much factors in the academy at the top tenure level!!
2.4 percent of all Asian American women score about 750 on the SAT
1.2 percent of all white males do
There is *no* -- repeat *no* -- science to suggest that Asian Americans have an innate differential ability in math. They are socialized/brought up to study and focus on such things. That socialization "trumps" gender when comparing Asian women to white guys -- indicating that socialization remains a potent force in lagging female math performance.
In fact, to reach the conclusion Summers did, he had to walk on and ignore some very basic science. Women were 4 percent of all Math/Physics PhDs in 1970 and they are 18 percent now. Does nature change that fast? Or are women in the process -- in this great country, which advocates equality of opportunity -- of overcoming historically discriminatory attitudes in these fields? How exactly does Larry Summers explain this 14 percent shift in 30 years? Surely nature/evolution doesn't work that fast? How is he so certain there's no more discrimination in math and physics at places at Harvard -- for there surely is, both when it comes to women and race.
I'm ashamed at the many comments I've read about this at this website, labelling all who criticize Summers as radical feminists. You only have to be for equality of opportunity to pick the right side on this one, and it's not Summers.
My boyfriend says that conservatives are better for women's rights than democrats because we don't treat people as "groups" but as individuals.
Prove it. Give a moment's thought for the individuals who are female in the scenario and stop labelling them all radical feminists. I've got news for you: women who do graduate-level work in math and physics are more likely to be Republicans. Y'all are just hanging them out to dry -- and in defense of a Clintonista -- and it's really, really disappointing to me.
I do worry about the attitude of many here towards women. Especially, frankly, talented women.
cc: Some talented women
Skipping over the fact that your one piece of anecdotal evidence is hardly "proof" that Ken21's point (which I agree with) is invalid, I wonder why you conveniently left out the fact that Wilson served as governor of New Jersey prior to becoming President. He was also PRESIDENT of Princeton for many years in between being POTUS and a simple college professor.
Somehow I would think his presidency at Princeton and, more importantly, being governor of NJ raised his visibility on the national level much more than his being a simple teaching professor - which he hadn't done for years prior to entering the White House anyway.
From reading your (anecdotal) point, one would think Wilson was teaching PoliSci 101 one day and then taking the oath of office as POTUS the next.
Need to be a little better than that around here newbie.
P.S. Tolerance Does Not Suck Rocks. Tolerance for people who are different from you and just as smart is a good indicator of civilized behavior. Really people.
Oh spare us the sermons! As used around here, the above criticism of "tolerance" clearly relates to that word's current usage by the PC crowd to mean acceptance and even advocacy of any and all positions, as opposed to its more specific meaning. This PC usage also usually carries with it the labels of bigot, homophobe, racist, etc. for anyone who doesn't exhibit this "tolerance".
And pray tell, do you actually believe that, if not for the influence of "the patriarchy" there would actually be an equal split between men and women in ALL profesions? If so, how long have you been a radical feminist?
You write: "This PC usage also usually carries with it the labels of bigot, homophobe, racist, etc. for anyone who doesn't exhibit this "tolerance".
Then you suggest: That I am a radical feminist.
I repeat: tolerance does not suck rocks. You should try some, label-guy.
"now for the mind-blowing idea--mostly democrats, college faculties promoted themselves as "for the working classes" and "for the po'"
Straight up! That's a really good analysis. And most college professors really do think they are "of the people" and they are some of the most smug, insular, leftist elitists around.
P.S. Oh, and by the way, some of these smug elitists in the math and physics departments *do* treat women as members of groups rather than as individuals and don't provide equality of opportunity. Little fact. I think *that's* elitist too.
So please, just answer the question. Do you believe this also?
"I appears you are one of the many with reading comprehension problems."
I just thought I'd repeat your post. It's just reflective of the tenor of debate of conservatives on this one.
And no, I won't answer your silly "test" for you to determine whether I'm a radical feminist. Pshaw -- I kinda assume that just by suggesting that conservatives should rush to defend a Clintonista who is speaking out against *equality of opportunity* and speaking contrary to raw facts such as the SAT stats that show socialization is still a potent force in math and physics -- that you've already made your call.
Well, no matter. America is a great country. 30 years ago we were discussing whether women should major in math at elite schools. 15 years ago, it was whether they could go to graduate school in math and physics. now it's whether they can get tenure at elite universities at anything other than a drip-drip rate. always, the concern raised by elitist, democratic men has been treating women as "groups" and ignoring individual female performance. one would hope better of conservative men, but you guys aren't delivering.
ultimately, I'm with Ken21 -- Harvard's just one school, and seriously why should anyone care just because the Harvard-educated elite thinks Harvard's important. best math and physics isn't happening at Harvard anyway
oh, and sweetie, next time you such that I have intellectual limitations which prevent me from grasping your point, you might want to be forewarned that you have no idea who you're talking to. It might -- gasp!! -- be a female who's a whole lot smarter than you.
there's a frightening thought. go lose sleep over it
"It might -- gasp!! -- be a female who's a whole lot smarter than you."
Possible, but I'll go with the odds and say that it is unlikely.
The comments made by Summers were neither stupid nor outrageous. He didn't present anything as facts, but merely tossed some legitimate ideas on the floor to be discussed.
Only 4 of the 55 tenured faculty members in math and physics at Harvard are women, and even then they get to be called marginal?
A misunderstanding on your part. 4 out of 55 is a marginal "number", given the gender breakdown of the country.
I am sure you're smart and all that. Please don't assume that those who disagree with you aren't smart.
LOL. I don't know if that's meant as a joke, but I do think it's funny!
Um, Summers said female hires were "marginal."
As to the 4 out of 55, they're all in physics, and they're all there because the chair of the physics department, a card-carrying baptist named Howard Georgi, no radical lefty he, did statistic studies, realized that even after adjusting for grades they were discriminating against their female physics undergrads and grads, and took corrective action.
Men will be part of the solution on this too.
And actually, it's just not true that he "merely tossed some legitimate ideas" and didn't present facts. He proposed a lexical ordering of the factors that prevent women from top achievement in those fields, and he put socialization third on the list. He made this VERY clear in the question and answer, saying repeatedly in response to questions that he'd like the questioner to abandon the idea that socialziation or discrimination are real factors.
They're not in biology or chemistry or other departments, that have long ago let women in. Limitations on women in those fields may have to do with child care or inante ability. But to say that in math and physics socialization and discrimiation aren't factors -- well, just have to have been in the Harvard math or physics department to know *that's* a lie. Why, even the chair of the Harvard physics department knows that's a lie.
And I've been there. Although, of course, graduating Phi Beta Kappa in math from Harvard doesn't make me as smart as US admirer. He's male. ;)
The point you are missing is that Summers isn't being excoriated because his statements were wrong, ill-reasoned, intentionally provocative or flat out stupid. Summers is being hounded because he violated PC Orthodoxy. Summer's statements aren't being intellectually engaged and rejected for lack of merit. They are being dismissed as heresy.
Churchill is being defended by the same people because HIS wrong, ill-reasoned, intentionally provocative and flat out stupid statements endorse PC Orthodoxy. He is a supporter of the Canon, so the Church of PC is rallying around their martyr.
Yeah baby, you got the winning debating style down pat.
How do you stand up with that boulder on your shoulder?
"Please don't assume that those who disagree with you aren't smart."
I don't assume that. I assume that they're bigotted and unaware that they're bigotted, because they just can't see -- although it's as plain as in front of their nose -- that there's still a problem in math and physics for women.
So I tell them that I'm smarter than them for a different reason. To challenge them -- to get them to come out and say what they they're thinking and they don't even know they're thinking. Such as US Admirer's post that he "doubts" I'm as smart as him. Part of the solution is just for some of these guys to *listen* to what they're saying to themselves. C'mon, you guys are defending a Clintonista and saying that he's right that all the progress women have made in math and physics since 1970 -- pretty much proof that there USED to be a problem -- is as much as their innate ability will take them?!!
If you're for the First Amendment, y'all should be using it in this case and criticizing, criticizing Larry Summers. This cartoon portrayal of everyone who objects to his ideas as a radical feminist -- I just wish they would tell themselves that they believe that one thousand times until they realize what they're saying! Have they ever MET someone really good and female and in math and physics? These are the by-your-bootstraps, can-do types that generally *are not* democrats, let alone radical feminists.
It's highly ironic that supposedly everyone objects to any criticism of Larry Summres as "PC" and "radical feminists" -- seems to me that the people who are using labels to stifle the debate are on the right.
Which really really disappoints me, people.
One great Freeper here, Physcist, once said in a post colloquy with me someone so very true: "That among people of substance" the issue of equal rights for women is not subject to serious debate.
Well, I suppose that here as elsewhere, not all people are of substance.
Hey! Nah, a lot of it is just cheerful bravado. Y'know, if I posted all whiney they'd say "look, she's emotionally sensitive." If I posted with extreme confidence, as I'm doing, they'd say "she has a chip on her shoulder." In fact, if I posted at all in a thread against the words of a Clintonista (oh the irony of all this!), there would certainly be some kind of reference to how I'm either being too sensitive or too male or too [insert the emotional reaction that a particular poster is most afraid of].
So thanks for your serious post which grapples with the data and adds to the debate. ;) If I disagree with y'all, there must be a lot psychologically wrong with me, y'think? Oh, but that's right, it's the left, not the right, that's using labels.
P.S. "Baby" won't work -- I don't mind being called that at all! Why, with each passing year, it sounds nicer!!
"And I've been there. Although, of course, graduating Phi Beta Kappa in math from Harvard doesn't make me as smart as US admirer. He's male. ;)"
I can see now that I had woefully, and quite unfairly, misjudged you.
Nobody who is so accurately aware of her place relative to US admirer could be all bad. ;)
Well, you may think that you are challenging people, but it seems to me that you are coming across to many here as a jack@$$. I don't worry about the intelligence of the poster - I review the arguments, as do many of the posters here.
Now, your statements about what Summers said in follow-up are interesting.
If you're for the First Amendment, y'all should be using it in this case and criticizing, criticizing Larry Summers.
Also, no one here is saying that women aren't "equal".
No one is saying here that women aren't equal.
But everyone here is *presuming* that Larry Summers' statements are consistent with equality of opportunity.
I think in placing socialization third in the lexical ordering, he's just living on a different planet. I think it is inconsistent with equality of opportunity. Criminee, the only reason he has *any* tenured physics professors is because his own Chair of the Physics Department realized they *did* have an equality of opportunity problem.
These are facts. Yet everyone is so excited by the boring, very much already known genetic diferences (spacial imagery) of *completely unknown* impact on actual tenure/performance rates, as if an economist (JUST an economist!) somehow discovered this! He's just using that as an excuse not to clean up his own backyard.
And that's what's *really* going on at Harvard. Although, most days, I'm with Ken21: "And we care because . . . ."
You don't have to be a radical feminist to know Summers is full of it, and I've provided in my post above the stats about SATS and Asian women / white men to indicate socialization in the Asian American community (at least) trumps any innate differential male / female. Those are cold hard stats. But as I expected, those specific factual objections aren't what the guys here leap upon and discuss -- no, instead, it's my "issues" -- do I have a chip on my soldier? am I a radical feminist, etc. etc.?
So I would say I threw out some data to discuss, but what they want to discuss is what my "problem" must be if I disagree with them. I pretty much knew when I entered this debate that would happen. Because I could pretty much see that there are conservative men here who are *not* openminded on the equality of opportunity thing. Or, at least: They may say they are, but they don't behave like it.
Tsk, tsk, here at FR, it's Larry Summers as victim. I never thought I'd see the day.
LOL, I still have the creepy feeling that, as between us, it is you who are baiting me, and you are winning. ;)
Actually, just for you, let me collect some data on what he actually said. Some quotes to add to the substance of the debate and not just sink into the mud. Hang on a second.
There are three broad hypotheses about the sources of the very substantial disparities that this conference's papers document and have been documented before with respect to the presence of women in high-end scientific professions. 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.
[T]here is a difference in the standard deviation, and variability of a male and a female population. [Fine, I agree.] And that is true with respect to attributes that are and are not plausibly, culturally determined. [Fine, I agree.] So my sense is that the unfortunate truth-I would far prefer to believe something else, because it would be easier to address what is surely a serious social problem if something else were true-is that the combination of the high-powered job hypothesis and the differing variances probably explains a fair amount of this problem. [There's no science to support that!]
The second problem is the one that Gary Becker very powerfully pointed out in addressing racial discrimination many years ago. If it was really the case that everybody was discriminating, there would be very substantial opportunities for a limited number of people who were not prepared to discriminate to assemble remarkable departments of high quality people at relatively limited cost simply by the act of their not discriminating, because of what it would mean for the pool that was available. [This is truly frightening -- this is Becker's these that discrimination is economically irrational and so it doesn't exist: but historically there *has* been discrimination in America based on groups -- including yes of course a form of discrimination against white men called "affirmative action" -- so just "wishing it away" because it is economically irrational, which surely it is, is the height of verifiably false weirdness, IM-not-so-HO.]
Summers repeatedly asserts that innate abilities and the "choices" of women are far more important than other factors. In addition, notice how he urges skepiticism about evidence of discrimination, while using rather less skepticism with respect to evidence that supports his obvious a priori prejudices. The best example is his uncritical citing of Gary Becker's thesis that discrimination cannot persist because it is irrational, a claim that has the unfortunate disadvantage of being transparently false. (Yes, Sandra Day O'Connor couldn't get a job as a lawyer after graduating 3rd in the class of Stanford Law School, but that can't be because "everyone was discriminating," because obviously that could never happen. And as for the American South between between Reconstruction and 1965, we'll just pretend it never existed.) If you want to defend Summers on the merits, OK, but let's stop pretending that he didn't say what he clearly said, shall we?I think that's very intelligent.
Dear Peanut Gallery,
If you're really for equality of opportunity, and for treating people as individuals and not as groups, there will actually be times in your life when you are in favor of stopping discrimination against people who are not in your particular group.
For example, I am against affirmative action for women, although I am female.
If you view yourself as for equality of opportunity for women, then even if you are male, there will be times when you object to discriminatory or harmful behavior to women that denies them equality of opportunity.
Just fun facts. Things conservatives *of substance* should know.
I do like that qualifier, *of substance.*
Can you explain what this is?
You have mail.
Look, no one would dare deny that there has been discrimination against women in certain fields in the past, nor that there is still probably some of that going on today (though not nearly as much as before or as currently promulgated by the PC types). But your seemingly deliberate obtuseness in understanding the issue here is annoying. "Clintonista" or not, Summers is being vilified by the usual suspects for noting that, just possibly, there are inherent differences in the physiologies of men and women that mean there will never be even close to a 50/50 split between men and women at all levels of various math and science related disciplines. This clearly doesn't mean a woman can't be the top person in one of these fields, it doesn't mean women should be prohibited from these fields and it certainly doesn't mean true discrimination in any of these fields should be tolerated.
Unfortunately, the current mind-set seems to believe this, i.e., if there is anything other than proportional representation between the sexes, races, religions, etc in any field, than it MUST be because of discrimination. I'm sorry, but this is blatantly faulty logic! And if we are going to disagree on this point, then yes, unfortunately we might as well say "agree to disagree" and end this right now. (But don't hold your breath waiting for there to be equal representation on the LA Lakers between men and women).
Also, you cannot deny that the "equal proportion or it must be discrimination" ideal is a matter of faith amongst the radical feminist set. Do I think (or have I ever written) that you are one? No. But the opinions you are expressing here are right in step with this facet of their belief system, and that's what I have been clearly implying in previous messages.
"2.4 percent of all Asian American women score about 750 on the SAT 1.2 percent of all white males do "
What percent of all Asian American MEN score about 750 (I assume this is just on the math portion)? Also, under your logic, this means that white men are being discriminated against in favor of Asian women, right?
"Clintonista" or not, Summers is being vilified by the usual suspects for noting that, just possibly, there are inherent differences in the physiologies of men and women that mean there will never be even close to a 50/50 split between men and women at all levels of various math and science related disciplines. "
I'm villifying him and not for saying that.
So, empirically, you are just wrong. I also absolutely agree with the long first sentence of your second paragrap, including your observation that it's not as much of a problem in the past. I think it's understandable that you don't want to say that from the get-go in our discussion because of aforesaid radical feminists. I would add to your point that I think it's barely a problem at all nowadays in most of the natural sciences. In fact, it's really just the last vestiges of socialization and discrimination that are still blocking the very highest paths at the most intractable areas -- tenure at elite univerisities in math and physics.
In short, America's a great country, and women now have much better equality of opportunity than 30 years ago, and I think the need for affirmative action in the academy has lapsed. Women in math and physics will get there -- Larry Summers notwithstanding.
I do think everyone of good will who has been in any physics or math department at the graduate level knows that Larry Summers suggestion that discrimination/socialiation aren't issues -- both for narrowing the pipeline coming into college and thereby narrowing the PhD pipeline, and also in tenure decisions -- is a bunch of bunk. In fact, although he appears completely unaware of it, there have been studies at his own university that have shown statistical bias trends (even after adjusting for grades/scores) that have led to corrective action in his own physics department.
So I excoriate him for being a bumbling idiot. Please join me in this!!
"Unfortunately, the current mind-set seems to believe this, i.e., if there is anything other than proportional representation between the sexes, races, religions, etc in any field, than it MUST be because of discrimination."
I understand, but I'd tell you that I don't think conservatives of substance should choose their own mindset as a counterpoint to that and IGNORE vestiges of blockages in equality of opportunity. You guys get girls like me to vote the way you like because we *believe you* when you say that you'll treat people like individuals and not engage in such groupthink. So I don't think in fixing your response on Summers you should just take the opposite side of ninnies, who even randomly over time will be right now and then! The fact is, what Summers said was stupid. Sure, he's being criticized by stupid people, and in the wrong way, and for the only smart part about his whole speech. But this is Harvard: that stuff happens all the time.
Our job is to ignore the Orwellian spin and focus on reality. As Orwell said, sometimes what's right in front of you is hardest to see. And what's right in front of us that Summers downplayed any significant role for socialization and discrimination for women in math and physics, notwithstanding the last 20-30 years of rapid progress by women at a rate evolution itself couldn't sustain.
Look, I personally am used to this: a liberal man who thinks he's a feminist and is actually a sexist pig. The only one I'm calling a sexist pig is Summers. The rest of you guys, I really think you believe in equality of opportunity but you're just afraid to be on the same side of an issue as crazed vegan feminist radicals.
All I can say is that every issue has many sides, and you can still say Summers was completely wrong and a complete idiot and you don't have to be a racial feminist. I actually belive I live in such a side right now, and I assure the whether's fine and I don't feel any creeping fondness for Kerry or anything! ;)
Regarding Asian men -- yes, they totally kill Asian women -- I think that's understood. In every race, men do better than women at math SATs. (The gap has been narrowing over the years.) I compare Asian American women to white men for a different reason: to note that because there's no current science that says Asian Americans should do better than whites, and because there's *lots* of data regarding socialization-friendly activities in the Asian American community toward math and science, comparing these two groups might -- might -- indicate that, at least as between Asians and whites, socialization effects (race) trump innate ability effects (sex). But don't fault me for such tentative and weak data -- it's all anyone has got. It's truly frightening, on top of everything else, that Summers seemed so certain about his lexical ordering!!
All that said, let me add that if you gave me a pile of money to bet and keep, and asked me whether nature favors men over women in science, I'd give you the following answer: which science? and which subscience? Do most fields of biology require a lot of spatial imagery? (Tricky question -- field is changing rapidly! -- answer used to be mostly no.) In math and physics, in most subfields, I think nature may well have give the advantage to men over women.
Complicated question, since when we're talking tenture, we're talking risk-taking and creative brilliance. Men are better risk-takers for obvious biological reasons, and that's why they may take more genuis-leaps than the "average" women (YUCK! I hate this group think, people are individuals). And that's why *on average* men are also more likely to knock over liquor stores.
None of which excuses socialization/discrimination blockages for individual women. Which is what Larry Summers did.
Part of our real debate, kind sir, is whether we're doing to debate this on what Summers said and the uncertain state of the science, or whether we're going to debate this on media spin and people's reactions. I'm not doing to follow the crowd into the media spin world, and I'm tough enough to handle the intimations that I'm a radical vegan feminist!
But I repeat: Summers was stupid, stupid, stupid, and good conservatives of substance should criticize him with all the First Amendment gusto they've got.
Ah Freezie back from the wars I see. Play fair and only use one half of your 'Cliffie brain.
"Also, under your logic, this means that white men are being discriminated against in favor of Asian women, right?"
See post above. No, I've never said that nature has to give abilities equally. You keep saying that I'm saying that. I'm not. I think this is a good-faith miscommunication. Please read above again. Those stats indicate that socializaiton (Asian Americans toward math) remains a potent factor that at least in these two subgroups trumps innate abilities (a presumed natural preference/ability male over female in math). That's why I chose those two groups. It's interesting data, when thinking about Summers' thesis that socialization isn't an issue anymore.
Play fair? Ah, c'mon. That's no fun!! Just not going to let too many nice things about a Clintonista show up in our august pages.
Hee hee, someone actually called me "baby" here under the theory that it would bother me! LOL. We're actually debating whether I personally am smarter than so-and-so here, as if THAT mattered, but I think the more amusing debate would be whether I was more of a "baby"! ;)
"all it can do is sail to the left" - and, like the fabled and extinct bird, as they sail in arcs of ever decreasing circumference, they will eventually sail up their own arseholes.
First, I've never seen a complete transcript, so certainly correct me if I'm wrong, but I thought Summers was responding to the usual radical implication that the marginal number (not marginal people!) of women at the upper eschelons in certain scientific fields is ipso facto due to discrimination by men. Is this not correct?
It seems to me he then outlined three "broad hypothesis" as to what could be causing this disparity. One of which WAS "different socialization and patterns of discrimination". I don't see where he ever says that this ISN'T a problem. He only later concludes that it is NOW less of a problem than the other two reasons he describes. Where am I wrong on this? (And, if the above interpretation is correct,I must say I would tend to agree with him.)
More importantly, aren't you basically saying this also? That, while there is still certainly some discrimination out there, most of the current differences in the proportion of men to women in math and science arenas is due to other factors, one being different physiology between the sexes.
Explain to me where I'm wrong here.
Sure. Summers assumes -- economist are sooo good at that, huh!? -- that innate ability is more of a factor than socialization/discrimination.
There's just no evidence that innate ability is more of a factor. And anyone who has actually *been* in the Harvard math and physics departments would have to disagree.
I would have to say that just about *everything* in Summers speech, *except* his reference to the possibility/probability of innate differentials, is pretty much wrong. E.g., the childcare thing. Hello! On the planet earth, women who at 22 are thinking about getting doctorates in math and physics -- who are the caliber where they're a reasonable prospect for a top graduate school that might lead them into the sparse population for tenure in the fields -- are *not* thinking about starting a family? I mean, he has not met these women! I was one of them. We are the geekiest, late-marrying type of women you'd ever want to meet.
Summers really has to go and actually visit his math and physics department some day. And y'all conservative males have to be mindful, when you talk about equality of opportunity, that you don't "assume away" or "wish away" socialization and discrimination as *major* factors in this particular area of the sciences for women. That's the main thrust of Summers speech -- placing that as lower-ranking to innate ability -- and there's no science to support it. Seriously, Massachusetts Hall in Harvard Yard is not that far from the Science Center: Summers should go take a walk to the math and physics department and learn something.
Here's something I don't dispute, something I snipped from, I gag, ABC news report -- pretty good summary of what little we know of the science:
to be really really clear, I believe you accurate summarize him when you type "He only later concludes that it is NOW less of a problem than the other two reasons he describes" and I believe that -- as to women in math and science at the doctoral level -- that's complete bunk.
I can't help but agree with him that, at this point, any remaining disparities between the proportion of males to females at the top levels of certain fields IS NOT mainly due to discrimination but rather due to other inherent differences between how the sexes are wired (notice I said NOT MAINLY - there will always be some discrimination unfortunately, be based on sex, race, religion or what not).
Guess we'll have to agree to disagree, though I'm still not sure what we disagree on cause it seems to me you think the same thing.
Oh well. Thanks for the debate(?).
2. I think Ken21's original point was obvious and needed no further "evidence". Hell, how many people even went to college back before WW2?
3. Any other bogus points you want to raise lefty? Or maybe you just want to post another wonderfully insightful article from The Guardian? Either way I'm wasting no nore time with you!
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