The free speech absolutists have a martyr in James Damore


James Damore, the author of that dumbass Google manifesto, has been fired. Now he wants to sue Google, and all the usual suspects are howling about “Free Speech!”

It’s absurd. This really isn’t a free speech issue.

  • Damore was working for a private company; constitutional free speech rights apply to limits on how the government can regulate expression. He would be a fool to try and sue on free speech issues.

  • His position did not include a contractual proviso that he was allowed to use company resources and time to promote his ideas. This wasn’t a job, like tenured professorships, that encourage some degree of independence of expression as part of the job.

  • Even when free speech is part of your employment, there are restrictions. I can’t decide to teach invalid bullshit to my students, or sexually proposition my colleagues, without getting slammed hard and losing my job (admittedly, after a lot of painful bureaucratic entanglement, but even positions with public recognition of their independence have limits.)

  • Employers can have a code of conduct, and Damore apparently violated Google’s. That gives them the right to decide that one is unsuitable for a job.

  • Imagine that Damore, through incompetence or malice, had disrupted Google’s computer network. We’d have no problem seeing that that was a fireable offense, because it affected property and things. Damore in this case had deliberately disrupted the people who worked at Google. Why do we struggle to see the equivalence? His manifesto was blind to the importance of empathy and social concerns, but that doesn’t mean a multi-billion dollar organization has to be.

Most embarrassingly, Damore has a Ph.D. in Systems Biology. How the heck do you get an advanced degree in biology and hold the kind of false biases about human nature written in that manifesto?

But don’t you worry about James Damore. Julian Assange is offering him a job, and he’s guaranteed to fall upwards into the arms of rich MRA/racist asshats. He’s found regressive notoriety among these kinds of people:

Eric Weinstein, managing director of Peter Theil’s investment firm Thiel Capital, wrote a widely shared tweet to Google asking the company to stop teaching my girl that her path to financial freedom lies not in coding but in complaining to HR.

“Your girl” ought to have the freedom to code without ignorant assholes writing manifestos to poison the work environment against her; she deserves the freedom to fight back against lies, like those of Damore.

And isn’t it ironic that Damore is now achieving infamy not by his skill in coding, but in his primitive incompetence at social issues, which now requires him to find success not in coding, but in placating an alt-right mob?

Comments

  1. says

    Eric Weinstein

    You realize that if guys like you had their way, a women’s path to financial freedom would lie in marring rich and then becoming a widow, right?
    That was the case not even 100 years ago.

    The movement of social progress that brought your girl a path to any financial freedom in the FIRST place is now trying to get your girl EQUAL access to a wider range of paths.

    You should be thankful you dimwit.

  2. jtdavi3 says

    @blf You beat me to it! That xkcd is definitely obligatory.

    As I’ve commented elsewhere, the free speech argument is just so inane and stupid. I work in academia at an historically very conservative southern university. If I’d sent out a missive with half the stuff Damore sent out at google I’d be terminated immediately, and I’d be effectively unhirable by other university departments. What an idiot.

  3. A. Noyd says

    Essentially, this guy publicly declared, at length, how he can’t work effectively with a good portion of his coworkers. He didn’t mean it that way, but that’s what he did. I’d like to think that most people who announce that they are completely and unapologetically failing at a key part of their job are going to get canned. Sadly, there are a lot of white guys who, rather than losing their jobs by griping about uppity women (or whatever), end up endearing themselves to their like-minded bosses. This guy just made the mistake of attracting too much attention and embarrassing his company.

  4. Johnny Vector says

    Also, I’ll give five to one odds to anyone who will take the bet that within a year we learn that this was not the first time he was an assjacket at work. People generally don’t get fired for writing such a “manifesto” if that’s their only infraction. How many previous complaints has he had lodged against him?

  5. Saad says

    Eric Weinstein, managing director of Peter Theil’s investment firm Thiel Capital, wrote a widely shared tweet to Google asking the company to stop “teaching my girl that her path to financial freedom lies not in coding but in complaining to HR.”

    Guess who retweeted him. :)

  6. emergence says

    Damore doesn’t get to complain about conservatives being devalued in the workplace when the conservative views he thinks are suppressed are about devaluing women in the workplace. His disdain for empathy explains a lot about the rest of his screed.

    About him having a PhD in biology while promoting ignorant bullshit about gender; I’m still an undergraduate, but I’ve noticed that courses covering different aspects of biology are highly compartmentalized. Even if one or more biology courses cover the differences, or lack thereof, in cognitive ability between different genders, it’s possible that it’s an elective and that he didn’t take it. That might actually explain the existence of evolutionary psychology as a whole.

    I constantly worry that, as a biology student, I’m going to end up with a narrow, blinkered body of knowledge about biology when I graduate. People like Damore make me worry about it even more.

  7. doubtthat says

    If you told me 5-10 years ago that civil society was going to operate like a troll on the Pharyngula message board, I would have laughed, cried, laughed, then despaired:

    1. Find a privately operated forum.
    2. Say offensive, insulting things that clearly breach conduct policy.
    3. Force oversight authority to ban.
    4. Whine about the loss of your Free Speech TM.

  8. Bill Buckner says

    As most have mentioned, this is not a free speech issue and Google is certainly within their rights.

    However, it should not be forgotten that Google is run by cowards willing to kiss the Chinese government’s authoritarian ass.

  9. Larry says

    He published it anonymously. Such a hero of free speech.

    Alt-historically, all the brave individuals espousing positions unpopular with the SJWs have used the anonymous solution.

    Martin Luther, Thomas Jefferson, Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela all have used this approach to no ill effect

  10. Owlmirror says

    @A.Noyd, #8:

    Essentially, this guy publicly declared, at length, how he can’t work effectively with a good portion of his coworkers. He didn’t mean it that way, but that’s what he did.

    One of the things I’ve been thinking about is the hidden implications or inferences of a particular position or idea. So, yeah, it wasn’t stated explicitly in his screed, but it follows from what he wrote. Yonatan Zunger explains that very clearly (already linked @#8 and in PZ’s previous post on the topic, but worth emphasizing for its lucidity)

  11. Owlmirror says

    @Marcus Ranum #9:

    He published it anonymously. Such a hero of free speech.

    It had his name on it in the internal e-mail system. Journalists and bloggers left the name off at first; I’m not sure who published his name, but then as long as it was out there, the decision to shield him seemed kind of pointless.

    (Citing this Motherboard post, my emph:)

    Employees at Google also confirmed that James Damore, the name signed in the document, continued to discuss the themes contained within the document on internal discussion boards at the company through at least Sunday. These sources agreed to speak to Motherboard on the condition of anonymity, because Google has a notoriously strict confidentiality agreement.

  12. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    Thiel Capital, please stop teaching my co-workers that success on the job lies not in coding but in harassing someone until they submit to your threats and have sex with you during lunch hour.

  13. Owlmirror says

    Alt-historically, all the brave individuals espousing positions unpopular with the SJWs have used the anonymous solution.
     
    Martin Luther, Thomas Jefferson, Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela all have used this approach to no ill effect

    I am utterly baffled as to how any of the Catholic Church, the British Monarchy, the segregationist southern states, or the South African apartheid government, could possibly be characterized as being “SJWs”.

  14. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    @Larry:

    Yep. Even Emile Zola is famous for his anonymous broadsheet:

    C’est peut-être possible qu’on accuserait

  15. says

    Dollars to donuts I bet the vast majority of those bemoaning the jackass getting fired vehemently opposed anti-discriminition law. Disingenuous hypocrites.

  16. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    @Owlmirror:

    I took it as a facetious, highlighting the relative (lack of) risk coming from SJWs in comparison to those who were confronted by actual persons of historically noteworthy actual bravery.

    But I could be wrong. Probably my interpretation is colored by the fact that everything I write is satirical, facetious, ironic, or boring.

  17. emergence says

    Bill Buckner @11

    Hey, at least they’re willing to show some principles on some issues, right?

  18. unperson says

    In defense of anonymity, the ability to speak anonymously, or at least pseudonymously, is almost necessary to have any sort of frank conversation on the Internet. I’m not just talking about offensive, politically-charged stuff like this dudebro’s screed; I’ve wanted to post negative reviews of certain companies’ products and services several times, but the available options require tying those reviews to an identity that I use elsewhere. I’m not willing to do that because I don’t want searches of me to turn up what products and services I’ve used, so I don’t post reviews. Consequently, the companies in question don’t have any incentive to improve their behaviour and their potential customers are not warned.

    In days past, it’s wasn’t so much of a problem to tie things to one’s real name; even if the local archives held copies of everything that one wrote, there was no easy and convenient way for someone to dig up all of it. Now thanks to the Internet, there is. The only reason why I’m willing to write this here is because no quick Internet search will associate this with my real name or any pseudonyms that I care about. I don’t use this username on any other sites and it’s a common enough term that I’m sure that many other people use it elsewhere.

  19. nathanieltagg says

    Sigh. I’ve been a SlashDot reader since the mid-1990s, but the online responses to this are just terrible. I’m really fearing for the species to see so many people think that he was fired because Teh Feminists are terrible people in charge of everything.

  20. anbheal says

    @18 Mike Smith — yep. He may have worked at headquarters in California, and been in violation of state laws, which are among the strictest in this regard. Or he may have worked at a branch in a right-to-work state, where they can fire you for wearing checks with plaids (or having a REALLY bad haircut), which legal ability he probably lauded.

  21. chrism says

    Damore would be in serious trouble even in countries with strong labour protections. And in the US people have been fired for having private political opinions and even more trivial stuff. See here: https://www.americanbar.org/publications/insights_on_law_andsociety/15/winter-2015/chill-around-the-water-cooler.html via Roy Edroso
    May I just say “homophone”?
    Regarding Weinstein, all I’m gonna say is that Peter Thiel is, among other things, on record questioning women’s suffrage and democracy itself.
    Lastly I’ll point to actual scientists defending the Damore’s “Men drive like this, Women shouldn’t drive at all” drivel.
    https://web.archive.org/web/20170808013732/http://quillette.com/2017/08/07/google-memo-four-scientists-respond/

  22. says

    Isn’t anyone sticking up for the corporations’ right to fire anyone, any time, for any reason!? Won’t someone think of the poor C-corps!? (wrings hands) (makes crocodile tears) Poor Google’s fee speech must be respected too!

  23. says

    It had his name on it in the internal e-mail system.

    Ah, I did not know that!
    Well, good for him for standing up for his beliefs. Maybe it wasn’t the best strategy, though.

  24. Zeppelin says

    chrism, 24: I am sad to find myself not at all surprised that the defense by evolutionary psychologist Geoffrey Miller shows a complete failure to comprehend the other side’s arguments and perspective, mostly consists of beating insultingly facile strawmen, and is written in a smug, condescending tone.

    Like, I want to respect evolutionary psychology. I think it’s a really interesting and worthwhile field of study. But its loudest proponents pretty much universally seem to be smug assholes like Prof. Miller, which is really off-putting.

  25. chrism says

    @zeppelin 27

    Yeah, Miller is a, well, dubious scholar, who likes to get personal. I too believe in the need and possibility of AN evolutionary psychology. But we’ll have to sift through a lot of crap to achieve this. Current Evol Psy often is sadly deficient both from an evolutionary and psychological point of view. That said, we luckily can learn almost as much from error as from insight.

  26. says

    People generally don’t get fired for writing such a “manifesto” if that’s their only infraction.

    People generally don’t write manifestos! Let alone distribute them to thousands of co-workers.

  27. Vrabuski says

    What was sexist about that memo? I’m pretty sure most of what he said is supported by published research.

    Women are, on average, more neurotic. And the fact that sex differences in personality are actually greater in countries with less traditional gender roles and more equal opportunity doesn’t make it unreasonable to suggest a biological cause.

  28. zibble says

    Anyone want to point out how hilarious it is that conservatives, who generally support the idea that companies should be able fire anyone for any reason, especially including outright discrimination, threaten to sue and cry discrimination when they’re fired for any reason?

    Do you pricks like the free market or not?

  29. blf says

    Do you pricks like the free market or not?

    Oh the free market is just fine as long as the pricks are free to do what they want and everyone else is free to do only what the pricks want. Rather like “All animals are equal, but some are more equal than others.”

  30. says

    Vrabuski@#32:
    Women are, on average, more neurotic.

    Why do you believe that’s not just cultural conditioning? “Neurotic”, after all, is a cultural construct too.

    I predict your scintillating visit here will be brief.

  31. Vrabuski says

    @Marcus

    Overall, higher levels of human development–including long and healthy life, equal access to knowledge and education, and economic wealth–were the main nation-level predictors of larger sex differences in personality. Changes in men’s personality traits appeared to be the primary cause of sex difference variation across cultures. It is proposed that heightened levels of sexual dimorphism result from personality traits of men and women being less constrained and more able to naturally diverge in developed nations. In less fortunate social and economic conditions, innate personality differences between men and women may be attenuated.

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/m/pubmed/18179326/

  32. zibble says

    @34 blf
    Or any of the other policies of the Leopards Eating People’s Faces Party. It’s become practically undeniable at this point that conservatives don’t have any principles whatsoever beyond what they think will personally benefit them at any particular moment.

    @35 Marcus Ranum
    I’d bet good money that Vrabuski doesn’t have much to back up his “women are more neurotic” statement beyond his own prejudiced anecdotal experiences, but even if it were true, how does being neurotic imply one is bad at coding? Neuroticism is linked with intelligence, and many neuroses (like obsessive compulsive attention to detail) are advantageous in computer programming. Oops, that would imply women would be better at programming than men, better drop *that* whole line of reasoning…

  33. says

    @36 Vrabuski

    One click away from that link, another paper laying out cultural and social reasons for the same findings.

    Secondary analyses of Revised NEO Personality Inventory data from 26 cultures (N = 23,031) suggest that gender differences are small relative to individual variation within genders; differences are replicated across cultures for both college-age and adult samples, and differences are broadly consistent with gender stereotypes: Women reported themselves to be higher in Neuroticism, Agreeableness, Warmth, and Openness to Feelings, whereas men were higher in Assertiveness and Openness to Ideas. Contrary to predictions from evolutionary theory, the magnitude of gender differences varied across cultures. Contrary to predictions from the social role model, gender differences were most pronounced in European and American cultures in which traditional sex roles are minimized. Possible explanations for this surprising finding are discussed, including the attribution of masculine and feminine behaviors to roles rather than traits in traditional cultures.

    (emphasis mine)

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/m/pubmed/11519935/

  34. jrkrideau says

    @ 32 Vrabuski
    I’m pretty sure most of what he said is supported by published research.

    Then I am sure you will be happy to provide the references.

    I’d suggest having a look at the paper linked below. It will apply, in principle, to any group or profession though it is being applied to the police in the UK in that paper.
    Essentially it is saying, “Everybody know X even it the belief is totally wrong”.

    Confidently Wrong: Police Endorsement of Psycho-Legal Misconceptions
    http://nebula.wsimg.com/409c90cd6fced03dc28c60e6d73c15fc?AccessKeyId=AF62ECFBCD8F6D95BACE&disposition=0&alloworigin=1

  35. Siobhan says

    @38 Giliell, professional cynic -Ilk-

    Sure, women are totes neurotic. If we weren’t we’d just yell, slam thing, and go on killing sprees like the rational half of the population.

    Marry me.

  36. raven says

    It’s a good thing, Vrabuski doesn’t work at Google or anywhere important.
    Because he would have long ago joined Damore in being fired for being…stupid.

    As already pointed out, he is doing what Damore did.
    Steorotyping 7.3 billion people.
    There is a huge variation within each gender. Most guys aren’t glassy eyed bigots like Vrabuski.
    And many of them are, like Vrabuski and Damore….hopelessly and obviously neurotic and unable to function in a Hi Tech society. They aren’t even bright enought to try to hide their mental twistedness.

  37. robro says

    happyrabo @ #8 — Thanks for posting Zunger’s piece. I want to pass it along to my son who aspires to be a programmer, partly because he believes it means he can “work alone.” That motivation is a function of his own cognitive, emotional, and psychological issues…something his therapist is working on with him.

  38. says

    Vrabuski@#36:
    In less fortunate social and economic conditions, innate personality differences between men and women may be attenuated.

    That’s a neat bit of presupposition: acknowledge that social conditioning may override innate personality differences, while still asserting they are innate. How are they innate?

    The paper you reference (I’m not going to buy a copy…) is based on the “big five inventory” which defines behaviors in terms of other behaviors that are socially significant. I.e.: (from Wikipedia) “neuroticism” is

    Neuroticism: (sensitive/nervous vs. secure/confident). The tendency to experience unpleasant emotions easily, such as anger, anxiety, depression, and vulnerability. Neuroticism also refers to the degree of emotional stability and impulse control and is sometimes referred to by its low pole, “emotional stability”. A high need for stability manifests itself as a stable and calm personality, but can be seen as uninspiring and unconcerned. A low need for stability causes a reactive and excitable personality, often very dynamic individuals, but they can be perceived as unstable or insecure.

    Every single bit of that appears to be social behavior, learned – not innate. Or, if innate (as per the cite above) “attenuated” by social conditions.

    I’m generally skeptical of psychology, since it seems to me to be a matter of circularly defined labels, and a great inability to separate behaviors (socially influenced, or “nurture” if you will) from innate behaviors (genetic instincts, or “nature”) It doesn’t make sense to talk about one gender being more “neurotic” innately unless you can factor out the social influences. I’m even willing to presuppose for the sake of argument that there are innate differences between people, but it’s going to be difficult to break them into a simple binary gender table. Will you also claim that gay men are more “neurotic” than straight men? Whups. Cultural definition or innate? I have no idea and neither do the psychologists.

    By the way, the “big five” labelling system is a great big steaming shovel-load of pop psychology bollocks, so if I were you I’d avoid citing references based on it, unless you like being giggled at. Of course, this whole topic is really an argument between different camps of pop psychologists. The wikipedia article on the “big five” even non-ironically refers to “self-actualization” – heh. Maslow? It’s 2017!

    For extra credit: does someone code better or worse if they are “neurotic”? I actually know some of the old-school coders who built Google (Rob Pike, for one, Brien Reid, for another) and I’d personally rate them as pretty neurotic. Maybe being “neurotic” is an advantage? Shit, I used to be flat-out obsessed with the quality of my code, often testing for months what other programmers would have already shipped with bugs – was I “egotistical” about it, or “neurotic”?

  39. unperson says

    @Vrabuski: Even if that study is accurate, what is the magnitude of the difference? I don’t have access to the full paper to see their results. Is the claimed effect strong enough to account for a 10-1 (very roughly speaking) gender imbalance in many engineering-type roles? And even if the effect really is that strong, there’s still no good reason to institutionalize it. There are something in excess of 150 *million* women in the United States. That’s a huge amount of variation, which still leaves plenty of room for brilliant female engineers even if there is some massive genetic bias against women doing math. Remember, male humans are on average larger and stronger than female humans — I doubt that anyone seriously disputes that — but I’ve still met plenty of women who could kick my ass.

  40. says

    I don’t want to get in a war of throwing out anecdotes, but: Margaret Hamilton [stderr] would be too good a programmer to work at Google. Fortunately, she did flight control software for the moon landings instead. And then there’s Roberta Williams, who wrote most of the great computer games that pretty much everyone older than a coderbro at Google probably played [stderr] and of course the amazing Katherine Johnson [stderr]

    I wish I was neurotic like any of them. They changed the world, which is more than most of the coderbros at Google can say.

  41. says

    (I have to correct my phrasing. I wrote: “she did flight control software” when I should have written: “she did the flight control software” – Hamilton wasn’t part of a team of coders that worked on the FCS. She was the coder.)

  42. zenlike says

    Vrabuski
    “And the fact that sex differences in personality are actually greater in countries with less traditional gender roles and more equal opportunity doesn’t make it unreasonable to suggest a biological cause.”

    Wait, so the “fact” that there are differences between different cultures is evidence for … a biological cause?

  43. says

    zenlike@#49:
    Wait, so the “fact” that there are differences between different cultures is evidence for … a biological cause?

    Sure!! Because culture is genetically determined!
    (I just rolled my eyes so hard I did a 360 in the chair!)

  44. says

    Overall, higher levels of human development–including long and healthy life, equal access to knowledge and education, and economic wealth–were the main nation-level predictors of larger sex differences in personality… It is proposed that heightened levels of sexual dimorphism result from personality traits of men and women being less constrained and more able to naturally diverge in developed nations.

    Or maybe more developed nations have more resources to spare to enforce gender norms, resulting in a higher social pressure to conform, leading to greater dimorphism.

    I didn’t read the article. That’s just off the top of my head.

  45. Chancellor says

    Damore is lacking in demure. A total waste of those phenomenal, manly genes of uh, being better at um, stuff that women can’t do good at!

    A long winded MANifesto isn’t gonna alt(er) reality “bruh.” Women code, they think, they play, they read, they arithmetic and they do it quite well. Step into the light of the seven, you’re following the wrong gawd.

  46. chris says

    Marcus, did you read the book Rise of the Rocket Girls by Nathalia Holt? It is about the “computers” at Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Very similar to Hidden Figures, a wee bit paler and on the west coast.

    Many of the women had degrees, and did become classified as salaried engineers. Though one did not finish her degree. Well, as JPL increased its educational requirements, they decided the one woman without her bachelor’s degree should be a tech level employee.

    Only one small snag. She would now be paid overtime. Well, it seems “demoting” her from engineer to tech level got to be very expensive. So she regained her salaried engineer status.

    Which does show in a way, the kind of stress women can handle.

    Anyway, it was a nice complement to Hidden Figures. Another one is Managing Martians by Donna Shirley. Also Promised the Moon by Stephanie Nolan and The Mercury 13 by Martha Ackmann.

  47. consciousness razor says

    Damore was working for a private company; constitutional free speech rights apply to limits on how the government can regulate expression. He would be a fool to try and sue on free speech issues.

    You have other bullet points, but you should try to be clear that this extra premise that “they’re not the government” doesn’t do nearly as much in the argument as some people seem to think it does. Why bother bringing it up here, if it’s not saying anything relevant which you’re actually willing to support?

    Especially not in cases like this, where in the first place it isn’t even a violation of free speech rights (by anybody) but there are merely jabbering right-wing assholes who support the bullshit this dude said and want to try to claim it’s somehow about speech. If they have nothing better to do, maybe they’ll say that. But it’s contrary to the facts: obviously he did express himself, it’s plastered all over the internet and the news, there aren’t any plans that Google is contriving to somehow prevent him from saying it or publicizing it, etc. It’s at this point that you don’t want to say “and furthermore, if Google did carry out such plans, that would be totally alright.”

    The article you linked to even talks specifically about “controlling your speech when you are at work,” which is not a completely general statement like “they are private entities, therefore they may prevent you from speaking” that would have absurdly awful consequences presumably nobody wants. It also makes a clear distinction that this is about Google’s right to employee people under certain types of contracts, which makes firing them (not equivalent to “restricting speech”) currently legal as well as something we should think is politically acceptable.

    Anyway…. private individuals, as well as companies, should not have a right to “regulate my expression” in every conceivable way. They can obviously criticize and fire and do various other things, but not all of that. (How might they criticize? By speaking, and will you look at that, as a private entity I also don’t have the right to stop them from doing so. If you could explain how that could work fairly and for everybody all at once, it would be pretty astonishing, but you certainly can’t have it both ways.)

    Normal people aren’t generally capable of preventing me from expressing myself, not in the ways a powerful thing like the government could. So of course meritless cases like this one (if there will be an actual legal dispute) wouldn’t rise to that standard and ought to be rejected for that reason. But if they are fairly powerful people who could seriously threaten your rights (or not even people, like, for instance, Google), I don’t think we need to be in any hurry to hand over even more power to them, on the basis of some dumbass technicality written down 228 years ago on an infallible magic document. And if all you got out of the deal was some half-assed point-scoring against some noisy trolls on the internet, you should probably think a little harder about the costs you’re actually willing to pay for that.

  48. Rowan vet-tech says

    What is seen as ‘neurotic’ in women is seen as ‘detail oriented’ in men. What is seen as ‘high strung’ in women is just a guy who’s really stressed out. What is seen as ‘whiny’ or ‘shrill’ or ‘shrewish’ in women is seen in men as someone who doesn’t put up with shit. A woman is ‘controlling’ or ‘b****y’ or ‘bossy’, a man is a leader or commanding.

    So no. There are no personality differences tied to gender/sex/chromosome expression or however you’d like to try to determine it.

  49. jrkrideau says

    @ 34 Vrabuski
    Have you read the paper? Abstracts are often misleading and the intro seems to suggest that while the Big Five results seem “consistent” they also seem to be at least partly culturally determined.

    And as the paper says :
    Although sex differences in personality traits are not as large as
    sex differences in mate preferences, permissive sexual behaviors,
    or physical strength (Feingold, 1992; Schmitt, 2005b; Thomas &
    French, 1985), sex differences in personality traits do appear to be
    larger and more robust than sex differences in other domains such
    as cognitive ability, attributional style, and self-esteem (Else-Quest
    et al., 2006; Hyde, 2005

  50. chigau (違う) says

    How does one determine an average difference in personalities?
    What is the opposite?

  51. chris says

    Administer which test? How do you score? Who determines the results are valid?

    Much of what you claim are subjective, not objective. The experience I have with was when my oldest was getting a diagnosis. I took him to two different clinics, it turned out that only one was competent (information relayed to me by the office of the state Developmental Disabilities Administration).

  52. chigau (違う) says

    The average of the numbers from 1 to 10 is 5.5.
    What is an average person?

  53. jrkrideau says

    # chigau (違う)

    How does one determine an average difference in personalities?

    Well I have not read the entire paper but the normal way would be to administer something like the Big Five personality test to a fairly large sample add up the scores on the factors by sex and subtract. Well it’s a bit more complicated but that’s basically it.

    And the general consensus is that the Big Five is not as flaky as most of the older ones so it likely is measuring “something”.

    /What is the opposite?
    Sorry, I don’t understand the question.

  54. chris says

    jrkrideau: “…administer something like the Big Five personality test…”

    In 1975 I applied for a Navy ROTC scholarship. It required me to be interviewed and to take a personality test. I don’t remember much about the test, but what stuck out to me was how it asked about how much I liked several segments of people. Of course I marked that I really liked surfers. I was a heterosexual seventeen year old woman!

    I did not get the scholarship. Mostly because out of over ten thousand NROTC scholarships that year, only fifteen went to women. But, wow! Five years later when I was graduating with my BS in Aeronautics and Astronautics engineering (that I paid for, an engineering internship paid for the last two years), both the Navy and Air Force really wanted me to wear their uniform.

    Nah. I had been an Army brat. I knew what to expect, and I did not any part of it.

    Which is why this whole thing (and thread) is so popcorn worthy. Lots of eye rolling and outright laughter. Personally, the most neurotic people I have ever met were guys like my misogynist first boss, and the idiots in my program who thought it was fun to try to shock me with stupid dirty jokes).

  55. jrkrideau says

    # 62 chris
    Administer which test?

    In this case it was some version of the Big Five Personality test. I not read enough of the paper to know which one.

    How do you score?
    One probably just types response into data base unless they were using a computer administered test. Then use some standard stats package to do the calculations you need.

    Who determines the results are valid?
    Presumably the principal investigators and any psychometrians who are kicking around. There is a set of standard tests one would run to check the psychometric properties of the results. If anything looks funny one starts digging deeper. IIRC, the paper said they lost the Ukrainian sample because the psychometric properties led them to realize that the quality of the Ukrainian translation was too poor for results to be used.

  56. jrkrideau says

    @ 66 chris

    Well back in 1975 it was not the actual Big Five,but who knows, it might have been an early prototype. I’ve never even seen the blasted thing.
    And outside of clinical psych I’ve always regarded personality tests as about being about as flaky an area in the field. Reportedly the Big Five test(s?) are better because of better theory but ….

    They were, and probably still are pretty blunt instruments in almost all cases but if one is screening thousands of people they have some utility. Even if all they do is screen out a few sociopaths they are likely to be cost effective. At least better than a Ouija Board or asking if you collected stamps.

  57. chigau (違う) says

    In 3.5 hours, the 2 of us chopped for freezing, an average of 5.575 litres of green onions.
    That’s about 1.5928571 litres per hour.

  58. jrkrideau says

    @ 66 chris
    Personally, the most neurotic people I have ever met were guys like my misogynist first boss, and the idiots in my program who thought it was fun to try to shock me with stupid dirty jokes).

    Well they did say average. My guess is the distributions overlap a lot. And since I’ve never seen the thing, what we think of as neurotic may not be exactly what the test means.

  59. chris says

    Thanks, jrkrideau. Though, you will have to understand I doubt the utility due to my ridiculous history of being tested for stuff as a teenager during the 1970s.

    Another one of my faves was taking the ACT* test for college admittance, where I noted I wanted to become an oceanographer and scoring at the 99th percentile for math. And a wee bit less for English. I had actually marked the box to receive their suggestion based on my interests and test scores for a college program.

    A few months later I got that suggestion: “Reading the Great Books” was apparently an actual major in a small New Mexico liberal arts college. I laughed.

    * How I chose which college placement test to take. Go into high school counselor office, pick up both the SAT and ACT applications. Have a counselor yell at me about being selfish, dropped one and ran out of the office. One of the many reasons I hated high school, and made sure to graduate early.

  60. consciousness razor says

    That seems, uh, pretty unlikely. Well developed countries which afford women more rights and freedoms are also more strict in enforcing gender roles? I’d need to see some sort of study to back that up.

    The abstract says changes in men’s traits appear to be the primary cause. So I’ll rephrase its first statement which seems misleading. What’s supposed to be plausible about the idea that, due to biological factors, living in a more developed nation makes men exhibit relatively lower levels of neuroticism, extraversion, agreeableness, and conscientiousness? (And why is “openness to experience” left out? Aren’t all five core aspects of a personality?)

    The story seems to be that in a decent environment, men will be less neurotic, more introverted, less agreeable and less conscientious, while women won’t change as much (or won’t be judged to be so by the test, since that is certainly a possibility here). That is the kind of diverging pattern they’re apparently talking about. It isn’t just painting a vague picture of increased differences, but a specific picture having those properties.

    So…. These nice economic advantages and whatnot in well developed countries are moving men toward their “natural” state, while not having such an impact on women? Perhaps they’re not as developed as they’re advertised to be. But in any case, why assume it’s a natural thing, when there were no such nations or systems or conditions a million years ago, which is then suppressed somehow in less developed nations, only to reappear if and when they “develop” but only apparently for half of the people? Why would that suggest biological factors, instead of cultural or social ones?

    However, it may not be reasonable to expect that there would be a perfect 50/50 distribution if those social/cultural factors were minimized or eliminated (based on study I cited).

    I don’t even get what you could mean by “a perfect 50/50 distribution” here. There are five independent (or at least sort of independent) pairs of traits, which aren’t evenly distributed in any sense.

  61. chris says

    jrkrideau: “They were, and probably still are pretty blunt instruments in almost all cases but if one is screening thousands of people they have some utility.”

    It was the Navy. I think that section that I remember was to keep out “the gays.” And possibly women.

    A year or so later women were finally accepted into the military academies. My dad was very upset that I did not apply. But I was already fed up with the military, and the flak I was getting in some of my classes (numerical methods class: professor actually claimed my boyfriend was doing my homework!). But I persevered.

  62. jrkrideau says

    @ 73 chris
    I have heard of the SAT but have no idea what the ACT is. We don’t do things like that in Canada.

    Any idea of what purpose they are supposed to serve?

    I do remember having to take the Graduate Record Exam and discovering in my first psychometrics course in grad school that it was essentially useless. I think it was some ritual.

  63. consciousness razor says

    I have heard of the SAT but have no idea what the ACT is. We don’t do things like that in Canada.

    Any idea of what purpose they are supposed to serve?

    They’re just big standardized tests, run by two competing “non-profit” organizations. Both are supposed to be used for college admissions, along with grades and other criteria.

  64. Saad says

    Asshat dudebro brings out 817th variation of “Science says b****es be emotional, yo”; surprised to see people are still not buying it.

  65. consciousness razor says

    #76 and #43 are good examples of what happens when rigid ideology collides with contradictory scientific evidence.

    It’s funny how you ignored my comment in #72. It’s a joke, right?

    Wait.

    Is that what happens with more flexible ideologies? I don’t know — maybe give us some more of that much-needed evidence you deem to be worthy, then tell me how I must interpret it. I may be wrong, but I anticipate it will somehow say people with ideas like yours always go straight for low-hanging fruit and complain about being attacked, rather than addressing substantial objections… just like you’re obviously supposed to do of course.

  66. consciousness razor says

    But really, you don’t even have to treat it as an objection, just a request to understand how the fuck you think that theory might be explanatory of something. You had chances answer questions and enlighten the fuck out of me. But instead we get lectures about ideological fucking rigidity. Is that one of the big five? Is it part of the explanation? How deep into this meta-conversation do we need to go, until we get back to the actual one?

  67. chris says

    jrkrideau: “I have heard of the SAT but have no idea what the ACT is. We don’t do things like that in Canada”.

    Here you go: http://www.act.org/

    Dear hubby took the state’s version of a precollege test. Despite being a legal resident of that state (where my father grew up and signed up for the Army), I did not have that option. My choice was dictated by a random drop after being yelled at by a high school counselor in a peak of the baby boomer crowded school in the middle of Texas (it was at double its designed capacity).

    I suspect the suggestion given to me by ACT was drawing a line from where I took their test (Texas) to the mailing address where my dad retired (Arizona), which landed somewhere in New Mexico.

  68. says

    @Vrabuski
    Emotion, logic, and rationality are not only not mutually exclusive, all thought involves emotion including reasoned and logical thought. But good try in hiding your utter lack of attempt to show where illogic and bad reasoning were.

  69. chigau (違う) says

    as I go to my rest
    HTML lesson

    Doing this
    <blockquote>paste copied text here</blockquote>
    Results in this

    paste copied text here

    <b>bold</b>
    bold
    <i>italic</i>
    italic

  70. consciousness razor says

    Your comment didn’t make much sense to me, so I chose not to respond.

    Okay. I choose not to take you seriously.

  71. says

    chigau@79, I wanted to bring up bingo for Vrabuski. (insert pouting noise here)

    Vrabuski@91, as far as the rest of us are concerned you’re the “random internet dude,” and you’re whipping out arguments most of us have seen before. And before you accuse people of holding “rigid ideologies” you might want to look at your own.

  72. chris says

    Vrabuski: “Lol, bye.”

    Have fun with that. Personally has an old lady who spent most of her life dealing with idiots like you, you have been hilarious. You are like the guy who thinks anyone without a Y-chromosome cannot do math, but gets really confused when asked about Cramer’s Rule.

    Which is just basic linear algebra. Heaven forbid anyone bring up nonlinear multi-variable second order differential equations. Eigen what?

  73. Azkyroth, B*Cos[F(u)]==Y says

    There’s an emotional response, the ideology almost always comes out on top over the evidence, and the person who ascribes to that ideology will use any defense they can to justify this (typically by attacking the person using derogatory words or phrases intended to isolate them as an outsider or opponent of their group and it’s ideology).

    Oh, you mean like “emotional” and “ideology?”

    This happens with a lot of different groups and people. Arguing with creationists? You just want to sin. 9/11 truthers? You’re a government shill. Alt-right? SJW.

    Am I to understand that you’ve never argued with creationists, or 9/11 truthers, or alt-right kooks, and found yourself annoyed by their blind adherence to a predetermined conclusion and intellectually dishonest projection in that regard?

  74. chris says

    Vrabuski: “… supported by published studies in credible scientific journals.:”

    Define “credible.” Seriously I am channeling Sokal right now.

    As an outlier without a Y-chromosome, I have little regard for certain fuzzy statistics. So really convince me this “research” is actually relevant.

  75. chris says

    Azkyroth: “Am I to understand that you’ve never argued with creationists, or 9/11 truthers, or alt-right kooks, and found yourself annoyed by their blind adherence to a predetermined conclusion and intellectually dishonest projection in that regard?”

    As a parent of a disabled young adult, whose first medical crisis was when they were just two days old: try dealing with the anti-vax crowd. They actively ignore actual data (see “Mr. Big” try his thing at here). It detracts and diverts funds from the services our loved ones really need.

    Sure, I had to quit work because I gave birth to a kid with multiple medical issues. But at least I have the backbone to deal with insurance, disability services, social security, etc.

    I am actually conflicted on to who I should credit for my forged steel backbone. Would it be my brother who is six years older than me, and used me as a “victim” for boy scout projects and other things (though he told me at six years old I only played 52 card pickup once, apparently I told him that he threw the cards out, so he needed to pick them up!). Or to the fools when I was an undergraduate who thought I would listen nicely to their dirty jokes or patiently wait to do structural measurement in a lab (dude.. you failed that class, because I wrote my own lab report, and did not wait for you… sorry you failed that lab… again. Not my fault that you did not show up!).

    Mr. Damore is more clueless than my oldest child. Who is now officially autistic, with a heart condition, and about a year older. Yikes. Seriously, a 28 year old kid decided he knew everything about women. Well that is news. (not) Um, yeah. I need some more popcorn.

  76. chris says

    Vrabuski: “Relatively high impact factor.”

    Define. Make it relevant to the subject at hand. Give me objective data that your opinions are relevant.

    Do you know the difference between the terms “subjective” and “objective”?

  77. chris says

    Go for it! I don’t care about your silly opinions. Just give me objective data.

    And really, define that “Relatively high impact factor.” Because I am not seeing it.

    By the way “high impact factor” is common in actual factual scientific journals. Here is one defintion: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Impact_factor

    You are the one that claimed “Relatively high impact factor” when I asked you to define “credible.” Do not move the goal posts. Give me actual factual criteria to define actual evidence you will accept. Otherwise you will be playing with circular logic.

    You also seem to have issues with the difference between between “objective” and “subjective.”

    Seriously, why should we care about your opinions? Especially since you cannot defend them with objective data? Oh, Sokal would have had so much fun with you now! How are your eigenvectors feeling now!?

  78. chris says

    Vrabuski: “What do you think my opinions are?”

    Pure idiocy until I see evidence to the contrary.

  79. KG says

    What’s supposed to be plausible about the idea that, due to biological factors, living in a more developed nation makes men exhibit relatively lower levels of neuroticism, extraversion, agreeableness, and conscientiousness? – consciousness razor@72

    “Exhibiting” these traits, it should be remembered, is just a matter of how you answer questions in a questionnaire*. Emphatically not a matter of how people behave in everyday life, or when coding for Google. I’d be very surprised if the specific questionnaire used was not devised and tested **) primarily if not only in developed countries. It may well be measuring nothing more than differences in how people in different cultures react to being asked to fill in a questionnaire. People are prone to give answers that they think will be approved of (even if assured the testing is anonymous). It could be, for example, that men in “less developed” countries are just less willing to give answers suggesting that they are not highly conscientious and agreeable (I can’t get the download of the paper to work at present, so I don’t know if this possibility is discussed, but I have a hunch it isn’t).

    *From the abstract: “On responses to the Big Five Inventory, women reported higher levels of neuroticism, extraversion, agreeableness, and conscientiousness than did men across most nations.”

    **Insofar as such things can be tested – you can test for reliability (whether you get similar results when you retest a person), and you can include items in an effort to check whether the subject is just taking the piss; but testing for validity i.e. whether the test measures what it’s supposed to, is fiendishly difficult.

  80. KG says

    Worth noting that Vrabusky has successfully derailed discussion of Google’s dismissal of James Damore for damaging their image by spewing sexist crap, into an argument about a single paper which is entirely consistent with all personality differences between men and women being sociocultural in origin. Well done, Vrabusky!

  81. dusk says

    I agree with the vast majority in here. Of course he should be sacked. Whatever contribution to behaviours / personalities a persons biology (sex/gender) has on average it nowhere near explains the disparity in numbers of men/women in some jobs/industries. All this guy has done is create a toxic work environment.

  82. Saad says

    Vrabuski, #91

    Shoot, don’t know what I’m gonna do if random internet dude posting incoherent comments on a fringe blog site doesn’t take me seriously.

    Lol, bye.

    #91 is a good example of what happens when dudebros masquerading their misogyny as objectivity are met with skepticism. There’s an emotional response. Unfortunately, they never stick the flounce.

    That’s been my experience, at least.

  83. specialffrog says

    I’m personally convinced by anyone who cites one scientific paper whose abstract appears to agree with them and demands that everyone else refute the paper without considering what larger body of evidence might exist.

  84. jrkrideau says

    @ Vrabuski
    You do not seem to understand what a impact factor is. It is not a real good guarantee of quality of any given paper. Any given paper in a high impact journal can be a dog.

    Some journals with a relatively low impact number may be high quality but serves a small specialized body of researchers though I’d agree that a low impact number is something to worry about if you are not knowledgeable about the journal.

    In fact there are some journals out there with high impact numbers that seem to be turning into the next best thing as comics.

  85. says

    @110

    There is a big difference between rating satisfaction of a life altering procedure and asking someone to pick a response they would most likely have in a hypothetical situation. It is sad that you can’t detect circular arguments or poor research even if it’s published in decent journal. (That journal you mentioned has been known to publish terrible research, btw) You have been flattened several times by commenters on this thread, yet you still adhere to this silly notion that “science” has spoken and skepticism is not allowed. Please stop embarrassing yourself.

  86. specialffrog says

    Vrabuski: Do you recognize the distinction between dismissing the possibility of a biological explanation and dismissing the claim that there is a biological explanation based on the current evidence? How much evidence do you think is required to consider a claim of a biological explanation to be credible if you don’t treat it as if it were the null hypothesis? Do you think this level of evidence can be reached solely using psychological testing?

  87. specialffrog says

    @Vrabinski: You didn’t answer my question about how much evidence is required to consider this claim to be credible.If you don’t know the answer to this question how can you possibly justify that it seems overwhelmingly likely?

    And I think the reaction from people here is perfectly compatible with dismissing the claim based on the current evidence because a) the claim is widespread so this is almost certainly not the first time they have encountered it and b) its blind acceptance has demonstrable negative consequence.

    Also assuming that differences are due to selection pressure is extremely shaky. In fact, this may be the bad assumption that underlies a lot of evo psych. I’m pretty sure PZ has addressed this misunderstanding of evolution half a dozen times or so in blog posts here.

  88. Rowan vet-tech says

    Sooo… That paper used self reporting. And women are constantly told that they are a certain way because they are women and are trained to act in certain ways because they are women and are punished either socially or physically when they don’t act that way and are then given a test to self report their personality and they select answers that match what they have been told and trained to do but the cause is clearly biological.
    Right. That makes prefect sense.
    I’m conscientious because I’m a woman, not because I was trained to be that way and guys aren’t.

  89. emergence says

    Also relevant to this discussion; the (now-ex)googler’s argument seems to be that women are biologically less capable of coding than men, and that the company shouldn’t be trying to teach employees “female” personality traits like empathy. For all the talk about whether women are supposedly more neurotic than men, Vrabuski hasn’t bothered to cite any evidence that there are significant, biologically-rooted differences in coding or engineering ability between different genders. One of the papers discussed here even mentions that a) differences between genders are insignificant next to individual differences in personality, and b) differences in cognitive ability are far less significant than personality differences. Also, an actual engineer pointed out that the supposedly female traits that Damore was disparaging in his manifesto are crucial to effectively carrying out complicated engineering projects involving large numbers of people. Whether neuroticism in and of itself has a significant negative effect on engineering or coding ability, or the ability to work with others, also goes unquestioned.

  90. specialffrog says

    @Vrabuski: While individuals can chose how probable a claim must be before they accept it, the probability of a claim being true isn’t really subjective (though clearly there can be disagreement on the probability). So when you say it is “overwhelmingly likely” I assume that means that you think the probability of the claim being true is at least 80% or so. Is that fair or do you consider less probable claims to be “overwhelmingly likely”?

    If 80% or so is what you think, do you really think you have sufficient grasp of the evidence and the competing hypotheses to justify that?

  91. says

    I see that Mr Vrabuski is one of those people who thinks changing an email address is a legitimate way to circumvent banning.

    It isn’t.

    Any future comments from this wanker will be deleted, so don’t bother replying to him.

  92. consciousness razor says

    KG:

    “Exhibiting” these traits, it should be remembered, is just a matter of how you answer questions in a questionnaire*.

    Indeed. Although it didn’t help, I was trying to be as generous as possible about it, by treating it more or less realistically, in the sense that the data meaningfully describe features of actual human personalities in different societies. Even granting all of that, it doesn’t look to me like there’s a coherent story to tell about it that traces back to biological differences. That inference comes out of nowhere.

    It’s the same old evo-psych song and dance, that people in our civilization now are just like others living on an African savanna a million years ago — with the strange twist that less-developed societies currently in Africa (and elsewhere) aren’t the same. The men there, they don’t have the natural man-psychology their ancestors did which makes them so different from those with woman-psychology, not like men in the US who work at Google and have found their way back to a state of nature, with the help of living in a developed nation.

    That didn’t make sense to Vrabuski #1. Probably not to Vrabuski #2 either.

    Fuck, it also doesn’t make sense to me. But that’s a reason I had for thinking there’s a problem with the theory, at least that there’s something I must be failing to understand.

  93. emergence says

    Expanding on my last point, what research has been done on gender differences in coding or engineering ability, and what does it say? I don’t really get how humans are supposed to have evolved sexually determined coding ability when computers have only existed in their modern form for a few decades.

  94. specialffrog says

    Vrabuski: So you think it is reasonable to conclude something based on your limited understanding until someone proves you wrong?

  95. emergence says

    I read through the memo. Admittedly, the memo didn’t fall into the usual trap of insisting that women are biologically ill-equipped for math and computing, but it’s still packed with trite, cliched conservative talking points about women, liberals, and “political correctness”. Not being as bad as it could be doesn’t mean that he (and Vrabuski) don’t support a ton of regressive notions that are harmful to people. Red flags include complaints about “political correctness” and bemoaning incidents of violence by left-wing protestors while showing little concern for right wing ideologues who have committed floods of hate crimes and flat out assaulted and killed people.

    His argument against empathy pretty much involves packing a bunch of extraneous crap into what being empathetic means. It doesn’t mean you have to “feel another’s pain”, it means that you’re able to understand someone’s mindset and emotions from their own perspective. It means you’re able to pick up on someone’s emotions and understand why they feel that way. I don’t see how he thinks you’re supposed to be able to understand why people think and act in certain ways if you can’t do that.

    The main thrust of his argument why genetically-determined personality differences are responsible for the inequality in the STEM fields just comes down to the usual claim that woman are genetically more sociable while men are more technical. This isn’t a novel argument, and it’s also been used by right wingers who are far more openly, rabidly misogynistic than Damore. That one study that concludes that gender differences in personality are more pronounced in cultures with minimized gender roles also concludes that personality differences between genders are minor compared to personality differences between individuals.

    My problem with trying to explain gender disparity in the STEM fields using genetic differences at this point is that recent events have shown that we still live in a deeply misogynistic culture that has a lot of degrading stereotypes about women. When we live in a culture with the sort of flaming misogynist dudebros that get featured on this blog, men (and sadly, sometimes women) who openly believe that women exist to be accessories to men and are incapable of aptitude in technical fields, how can a figure in the tech industry think that it’s safe to declare that the gender gap must be largely due to genetic factors? Discussions about immutable biological tendencies should wait until we’ve corrected for culturally-embedded biases about women.

  96. says

    Remind me never to let that dude into my home. Shits on the carpet, you kick him out. Sneaks back in via the backdoor.
    You kick him out again but you forgot to close the basement window and now he’s complaining about how unfair you are.
    Totes rational behaviour.

  97. consciousness razor says

    Wow, three whole Vrabuskis. Don’t see that every day.

    You might try something like this, PZ…. As Hercules beat the heads of the hydra, another mythical guy used a torch so they wouldn’t grow back. The ninth one was then buried under a rock next to the road. (It couldn’t be killed. Maybe we should check in, see how it’s doing?)


    Eurystheus
    was not impressed with Hercules’ feat, however. He said that since Iolaus had helped his uncle, this labor should not count as one of the ten. This technicality didn’t seem to matter much to anyone else: the ancient authors still give Hercules all of the credit. Even so, Pausanias did not think that this labor was as fantastic as the myths made it out to be: to him, the fearsome hydra was just, well, a big water snake.

  98. Rowan vet-tech says

    So vrabuski, if a person tells you ‘no, leave me alone’ you ignore it if you want? You realise that is the behaviour of a potential rapist, right?

  99. says

    This Vrabuski clown, I have discovered with a little digging, has been here before under the pseudonym “Jessie Foster” and a few others. They now have 8 entries in the blacklist to keep them out.

    I’ll go through them later and delete all the post “Jessie Foster” comments, too. But right now I have a dinner date.

  100. zenlike says

    Vrabuski
    “Sorry, I’m just really not feeling why I should respect PZ’s ban.”

    Because it is HIS place. By circumventing the ban, you show that you do not care about consent, eg, no means no.

    Congratulations douchebag, you have shown that you have the mindset of a rapist.

  101. chigau (違う) says

    huh
    I’m losing my Trolly-sense.
    I would not have guessed that Vrabuski was Jessie Foster.

  102. chigau (違う) says

    So.
    What is the latest news on David Mabus?
    Has he changed his name again?

  103. Tethys says

    It is true that women self-report suffering more anxiety and resulting ‘neurosis’ in general terms, although both men and women experience mental illness at identical rates. The World Health Organization has a good report on the subject. Spoiler, cultural gender inequities and social conditioning account for the difference.

  104. Tethys says

    Another study from the american psychologists association which discusses the different ways that men and women manifest mental illness. The sub header sums it up concisely. “Men more likely to develop substance abuse, antisocial problems; women more likely to develop anxiety, depression.” Source

    Hmm, maybe it’s just me, but isn’t writing and sending a 10 page manifesto decrying diversity considered an anti-social behavior?

  105. molloy says

    @56, “There are no personality differences tied to gender/sex/chromosome expression or however you’d like to try to determine it.”
    @104, KG: “[…] all personality differences between men and women being sociocultural in origin.”
    Thank grom for actual, enlightened comment sections such as this one, where rational, vocal, public individuals are able to cut through and vaporize the specter of nuance and thereby speak truth to the powerful interests today which are being expressed in fringe political movements and braindead white guys at Google, who, with the ample aid of their benefactor cum spunk-idol Vladimir Pootin’, have highjacked the Executive Branch of the U.S. (minus those lovely holdovers, since you just can’t simply fire everybody and expect to know where the staplers are), in addition to the combined control of the legislatures and governorships of 26 States currently held by Republicans thanks to the traitorous defecture of a governor (albeit with no one truly crying over the spilled soymilk of White Virginia). Smashing racism, misogyny, sexism, and antisemitism has never been a more uphill battle, with 165 M persons living in the confines of the aforementioned States oozing with hate-pride in their “Judeo-Christian values”, “defend muh Israel,” &c.; and many other assgaloshes who are glibly spewing their horrible vitriol within States where anti-discrimination laws are (Glom’s blessings be upon us) actually enforced. It makes me want to cry when I realize that in 2017 there are asscodpieces who would co-opt otherwise sound biological narratives to suggest that the brain is somehow subject to sex differentiation, whereas, as the commenters above have pointed out, all the differentiation seen among the sexes is of the so-called “micro” variety, i.e. height and boobies and peepees and upper body strength and uteruses and plumbing and complexion and vocal apparati and such, as opposed to that differentiation which, according to all the asskneesocks of the world, might occur at a “macro” level, which, to the extent that such poppycock may exist, cannot be present in a strong enough factor to explain the 0.7:1 gender pay gap, the 10:1 hiring ratio, etc. Small differences, expressed across a population, rarely account for change/differentiation. Those phenomena are instead explained by sociocultural factors, which in turn cannot be influenced by those slime-grey neuron sacks (as we cannot afford to defeat the argument against noodled brains being the culprit), but which must have an altogether outside influence of some weird kind—drenched, I am guessing, in White trixological esoterica. (Indeed, as I was explaining to my racist, white uncle, until science can explain “social construct” using a non-ad hoc predictive model, we will have to rely on this somewhat unscientific phrase to explain a swelling host of phenomena that appear to defy our current, egalitarian models). It reminds me of many an asspyjama who would attempt to cite data pertaining to the tricky notion of IQ, which, like race, is another social construct—and as though one should be surprised that so many social constructs constructed by the same, biologically undifferentiated group of social construct constructors (who love telling you that their pet idol Son of Man also worked in the construction business prior to that fateful day when he rode a donkey into town and went on a spanking spree against the payday lenders operating out of a disused temple—that oughtta tell you something) would, oh gee, all happen to correlate. I feel as though I’m in clown-world sometimes. Anyway, thank-you for giving me the ammunition to reason with the assbrassieres walking among us. Not to take up too much space, but I never get to talk about this stuff. Thanks again for giving me hope in this wide, white, irrational world.

  106. chris61 says

    Hmm, maybe it’s just me, but isn’t writing and sending a 10 page manifesto decrying diversity considered an anti-social behavior?

    It is indeed. Of course that’s not what Damore did – but why let facts spoil a good argument?

  107. says

    molloy, if you’re going to post some passive-aggressive rant about how horrible we all are because we’re not rational supermen like you, or whatever it is you’re trying to say, you might want to at least use punctuation and sentences.

  108. emergence says

    molloy @144

    You could have saved the effort of writing that smug rant and just gotten straight to insisting that women are genetically predisposed to liking the color pink or whatever you believe. Also, nice job calling for nuance in a rant that mocks the basic idea of any human behavior being socially constructed.

    You realize that learning and socialization are neurological functions, right? Every biologist knows that environmental influences can have profound effects on the phenotype of an organism. If you think that they don’t have a significant impact on the brain, you’re even further in denial of biology than someone who says that genes don’t influence brain function.

    Also, there are plenty of biological traits that don’t vary much by gender. You can’t just point to a trait that’s significantly different between genders and use that as evidence that some other trait necessarily is too.

  109. Saad says

    PZ, #136

    This Vrabuski clown, I have discovered with a little digging, has been here before under the pseudonym “Jessie Foster” and a few others.

    Oh, that’s too good.

  110. dahl says

    Why should govt EMPLOYEES and teachers in unions get free speech protections? Google is pretty much a monopoly. But people here want google and fb controlling speech. Bet no one here read the memo. So you disagree? Was it THAT outlandish not to be debated? Or are you threatened? I think the latter. Easier to shut people down. Communists excelled at that. Enemies of the people has become “virtue”. Let’s smear the guy now as an alt right nazi. Many scientists and ordinary people were NOT offended but if we say so the cult comes for us. Evil is MAKING PEOPLE AFRAID TO TALK. Hey Why aren’t we making nurses 50% male. We can go on and on. No wait there’s no reason why there are more female nurses other than gender discrimination. Smug elite self satisfaction is the enemy of free speech and freedom. Some free thoughts! I feel so triggered by this dialogue. Web provider please disuser this evil doing person. The world you’re wishing for.

  111. dahl says

    Didn’t see damore as a misogynisti at all. I must be one of those self hating women who needs reeducation camp. I’m white but had no privilege. So I will NEVER join this brainwashed nonsense. I agreed with all damore wrote. I’ve been sexually harassed in a real way not just flirting and you jokes of free thinking have no clue what misogyny is. The world has changed so much. And not for the better. Women around me mostly whine over nothing. In the meantime I watched a shy woman be made uncomfortable understandably but she’s not the sort to Rock the boat. You guys will end up on the receiving end one day of the misogyny accusation and the roosters will come home to roost

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