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Sunday, August 1, 2010 - 7:10pmSanction this postReply
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I don't see what is so courageous about writing something that is obviously true. Not being flooded with testosterone at crucial development stages is clearly going to impact the functioning of brains, not to mention the fact that you can weigh the different parts of the brain and physically, objectively verify that there are differences in the relative average sizes of those parts between the sexes.



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Monday, August 2, 2010 - 12:12amSanction this postReply
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It's courageous, because it puts her at odds with her colleagues and could affect her career. Militant unisex feminists still have considerable clout in academia, and when you buck their politically correct orthodoxy, you are courting trouble. Look at what happened to Larry Summers who was forced to resign from the presidency of Harvard and denied speaking engagements, all because he denied the equality of men's and women's brains. He was breaking with radical egalitarianism, which is a cardinal sin in academia.



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Monday, August 2, 2010 - 5:53amSanction this postReply
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WD wrote:

Larry Summers ... was forced to resign from the presidency of Harvard ...

What would have happened had he stood his ground and refused to resign, citing studies such as this one and calling the politically correct crowd on its bullshit?

Might he have eventually garnered new speaking engagements from a different set of clients even if the Harvard Board of Trustees managed to oust him forcibly?

Something about that scenario sparks a play in my mind on a quote from 300:

BOARD MEMBERS: Mr. President, hand us your resignation!
PRESIDENT: Board Members, come and get it!

(Edited by Luke Setzer on 8/02, 6:22am)




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Monday, August 2, 2010 - 6:10amSanction this postReply
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Those enraged were militant feminists, the politically correct kind Dr. Brizendine describes so well.

Were they enraged because they had the brains of men?  Were they enraged over a long remembered failed romance or squabble?  Were they enraged because their eight-lane superhighways were processing a lot of emotion?  Were they even "enraged" at all? Were they, rather, shrewish, nagging, or bitchy?  Scorned, did they turn frigid? 

 Regardless of their own emotional expressions, what was the proper response to that? 

Or what was the male response?  Or did females collect together to natter to each other about it? 

Was the failure of Lawrence Summers to weather the storm caused by the inability of men on the Board at Harvard to understand why the women at Berkeley were feeling unappreciated?  Would it have helped if he had offered a (typically insincere but lovingly phrased) apology.  "I am sorry.  I should have considered your feelings before publishing my paper." 




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Monday, August 2, 2010 - 6:28amSanction this postReply
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Larry Summers ... was forced to resign from the presidency of Harvard ...

What would have happened had he stood his ground and refused to resign, citing studies such as this one and calling the politically correct crowd on its bullshit?
He may not have become Director of the White House National Economic Council for President Barack Obama. He may not be that much longer.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lawrence_Summers




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Monday, August 2, 2010 - 10:02amSanction this postReply
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"Look at what happened to Larry Summers who was forced to resign from the presidency of Harvard and denied speaking engagements, all because he denied the equality of men's and women's brains."

It's worse than that. He didn't even make the claim; he merely raised it as a question worth pursuing as one possible explanation for the disparity between men and women in mathematics.

So much for the Progressive's alleged fealty to science and the pursuit of fact without 'ideological' blinders.
(Edited by Jeff Perren on 8/02, 10:09am)




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Monday, August 2, 2010 - 3:14pmSanction this postReply
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Mike,

That was funny.

Ed




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Monday, August 2, 2010 - 3:29pmSanction this postReply
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A Gender (brain) Difference revealed this year

If you take away a woman's dopamine (brain neurotransmitter), she will learn better after getting punished -- but men, even when you take away their dopamine, don't:

Dopamine precursor depletion improves punishment prediction during reversal learning in healthy females but not males.

The link above is to the scientific abstract of the study (on PubMed) which shows this gender difference.

Ed

p.s. A possible moral of this story is that men -- all men (with both high- and low-dopamine) -- learn better from reward (vs. punishment). Just throwing that out there. A feminist way to look at this is that the women outperformed the men on learning tasks which involved punishment. However, I am not a feminist -- I just know how to think like one.

Okay, I must be getting in trouble by now so I will ... just ... stop talking ...

;-)

(Edited by Ed Thompson on 8/02, 3:33pm)




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Monday, August 2, 2010 - 3:37pmSanction this postReply
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Ed -- are you saying that men don't learn anything from bad experiences, regardless of the presence or absence of dopamine? Perhaps you could rephrase that sentence so your meaning is clearer?

/puzzlement



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Monday, August 2, 2010 - 3:39pmSanction this postReply
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After reading the comments above about the Larry Summers beatdown, I'm starting to think that an Ivy League education, despite the prestige, may do a person more harm than good.

Trying to persuade my 16 year old daughter to check out Hillsdale College, though she seems intent on getting into Stanford.



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Monday, August 2, 2010 - 4:24pmSanction this postReply
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Well, there is a companion book now out on
The Male Brain
so that ought to gender some interesting thoughts...[pun intended];-)



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Post 11

Monday, August 2, 2010 - 6:25pmSanction this postReply
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Okay, I must be getting in trouble by now so I will ... just ... stop talking ...
Why do you think I posted this incendiary article, Ed? I wanted to stir things up, ruin relationships, destroy marriages and just create a hell of a lot of havoc! I'm that kinda guy, one who enjoys tossing a match into a dry combustible field of academic leaves and watching it erupt into a blazing inferno. I'm an intellectual arsonist!

So, where are the feminists? I need some academic lighter fluid. You see, this is the wrong list, 'cause there aren't any on here. Rats!

Of course, I'm kidding. I do think that this unisex egalitarianism has become a secular religion. It used to be that the problem was illegitimate sexism and racism. Now the prejudice has gone the other way.



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Monday, August 2, 2010 - 7:29pmSanction this postReply
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Jim,

**************
Ed -- are you saying that men don't learn anything from bad experiences, regardless of the presence or absence of dopamine? Perhaps you could rephrase that sentence so your meaning is clearer?
**************

Sure. Folks learn stuff via reward or punishment. Either you like the outcome or you don't. If you like the outcome, you'll do more of that behavior (or learn a task required to get more of it). If you don't, you'll do less of it (or learn a task required to avoid it). All of the mental processing going on here involves dopamine.

But what happens if you take dopamine away? Well, you start to be guided more by punishment than reward. Rewards just don't feel as good if you can't enjoy them with a microgram or 2 of good ole' dopamine in your brain synapses. No dopamine, no feeling of reward, period.

But what about the learning that comes from getting punished? Benjamin Franklin said it best when he said: "That which hurts, instructs." What happens during those times when we are on a learning curve guided by punishment -- rather than any kind of reward -- what happens when we artificially lower dopamine levels then?

That was the research question that this study sought to answer. What they found was that the dopamine-depleted men didn't learn as well from getting punished (dopamine-depleted men just don't learn well, period), but the dopamine-depleted women still did. Somehow, they adapted and learned.

How could these women learn from punishment then (if men require dopamine in order to learn from the same punishment)? Well, that'll have to be explained in the future -- when we completely and totally understand women and what they want.

Ed

p.s. I'd like to add the disclaimer that I could be wrong about any and all of this stuff.
(Edited by Ed Thompson on 8/02, 7:32pm)




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Tuesday, August 3, 2010 - 1:13amSanction this postReply
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Ed -- thanks, now it makes sense to me.
(Edited by Jim Henshaw on 8/03, 1:13am)




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Tuesday, August 3, 2010 - 8:16amSanction this postReply
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Ed wrote:

Well, that'll have to be explained in the future -- when we completely and totally understand women and what they want.

Translation: Never!



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Tuesday, August 3, 2010 - 10:24amSanction this postReply
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Jim:  Sorry to get off-topic, but you mentioned Hillsdale College, so I figured I'd give you some perspective on that.  Maybe it could help your daughter out.

I spent four of the best years of my life at Hillsdale, and would happily go back for four more if I could.  You are correct that the radical feminism and other types of overbearing Leftism stereotypical of the Ivy League don't appear there.  And it wasn't difficult for me to find a cadre of libertarian-leaning individualists there, several of whom became my best friends to this day.

That said, I was the only Objectivist I knew on campus (Gennady Stolyarov started there the year after I graduated), and one of only a handful of atheists.  The overriding ideology of most of the faculty and student body is a strong religious conservatism.  It's not as restrictive or in-your-face as it is at Calvin College or Grove City, to be sure, but it definitely makes its presence known.

The other negative aspect of Hillsdale is that it is in the middle of nowhere.  The campus only has 1200 students, the town is tiny and full of hillbillys, and Ann Arbor and Lansing are at least an hour away.

Of course, the positives far outweigh the negatives.  Despite the general politico-philosophical leanings of the school, the students and faculty are all (or mostly all) quite open-minded.  I often (almost always) disagreed with the mainstream there, but I was given a fair hearing and never shouted down. 
Most importantly, the professors are fantastic, the courses are fun and challenging, class sizes are small, social and extra-curricular activities abound, and the small-school atmosphere makes it easy to meet and get to know people. 

It's not for everybody - it's a small school, as I said, and not too ethnically diverse - but all in all (keeping in mind the above caveats), I highly recommend Hillsdale, for a great education and a fun college experience.   

And that's my sales pitch.  Sorry again about the thread segue.




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Tuesday, August 3, 2010 - 11:07amSanction this postReply
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I looked at the tuition for Hillsdale and all I can say is ... ouch.

To quote my Amazon review of this book as well as the book itself:

After I graduated, I had a major surprise. My new employer offered me a job for fairly decent cash, and he never once
1. asked about my college;
2. asked to see my diploma.
Would he be paying me more if I'd gone to Yale or Harvard?


... or Hillsdale?

I am sure it is a fine college but whether it merits those costs remains the call of the student's financiers!

(Edited by Luke Setzer on 8/03, 11:18am)




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