Haters gonna hate, I suppose, but...

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gnash
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Re: Haters gonna hate, I suppose, but...

Post by gnash »

lieph82 wrote:
gnash wrote:
lieph82 wrote: That may be true, but I don't understand how it's "beyond any doubt" unless you respond to my points. Do we really know "women do much, much worse than men in chess?" Isn't it possible that a lot of the reason why there are so many more great male players than female players is that many more males play chess in the first place? Do you have research you can point to that answers this?
That question looks meaningless to me. What is the difference? One cannot be successful at something without doing it. But girls lose interest in chess once they hit puberty. This may well mean that they are smarter; from a practical point of view, chess is a waste of time for 99.9% of people who engage in it. Unlike some people, I am not making any value judgments in this discussion. Just reporting the facts as they are (except when I explicitly said I was merely guessing at a possible explanation).
If 100 men and 5 women enter a tournament, and one woman makes the top 5, the women did not do "much, much worse" than the men, the way I see it.
If 100 men and 5 women enter a tournament, then the women did much, much worse than the men.

Since when has "I would do at X just as well as you if I ever did it" become synonymous with "I am just as good at X as you"?
Why do you think girls lose interest? Do you think parents and society are encouraging girls to play chess? Chess and bridge can both be brutally competitive, but in my experience, the perception of chess for laypeople is as a strategic, warlike game whereas bridge is seen as a genteel parlor game. I can see why girls would be more encouraged to play bridge than chess.
I said I don't know why, but I gave several reasons why it is impossible to explain the magnitude of disparity by cultural influences. I disagree that the general populace ever perceived chess as a war-like game. It is one, but people think of it as an analytical game first of all. Bridge was maybe seen as a parlor game when it was popular; today I think both are perceived as nerdy/geeky hobbies. And how exactly are girls discouraged from playing chess and boys are not? If anything, there is a pretty strong incentive for girls to play if they are any good, because they can become titled players much more easily.

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lieph82
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Re: Haters gonna hate, I suppose, but...

Post by lieph82 »

I disagree with all of that, but no need for this to keep going.

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Dr. J
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Re: Haters gonna hate, I suppose, but...

Post by Dr. J »

That's interesting, Rex; I didn't read it as him solely indicting nerd culture, just implicating it as part of the larger piece of our larger sexist culture. I hardly think that nerd culture is the worst, but it raised my awareness to think about how it has filtered down even there, where we smart girls might have thought we had a safe haven. (And yes, I know "not all men" -- I'm lucky enough to be married to one -- but that argument derails the real discussion.)

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gnash
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Re: Haters gonna hate, I suppose, but...

Post by gnash »

Rex Kramer wrote:(And if I understand him correctly, this is the essence of gnash's objection: emphasizing nerd culture as a source of misogyny, to the exclusion of, say, jock culture, probably tags quite a few nerds as misogynists unfairly and gets all non-nerds off the hook.)
Yes, that's a fair characterization of the gist of my criticism. I do disagree with some other things in the article, but I don't see those as important or consequential.

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MDaunt
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Re: Haters gonna hate, I suppose, but...

Post by MDaunt »

gnash wrote: I said I don't know why, but I gave several reasons why it is impossible to explain the magnitude of disparity by cultural influences. I disagree that the general populace ever perceived chess as a war-like game. It is one, but people think of it as an analytical game first of all. Bridge was maybe seen as a parlor game when it was popular; today I think both are perceived as nerdy/geeky hobbies. And how exactly are girls discouraged from playing chess and boys are not? If anything, there is a pretty strong incentive for girls to play if they are any good, because they can become titled players much more easily.
1. The question of whether women are as good at chess as men is separate from the question of why women don't play chess.
2. You have not given any valid reasons as to "why it is impossible to explain the magnitude of disparity by cultural influences." I know you think you have, but you haven't. Just because a behavior is seen in several, or even all, cultures, does not mean it is not mostly or entirely the result of cultural influence (as opposed to having a genetic basis).

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Dr. J
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Re: Haters gonna hate, I suppose, but...

Post by Dr. J »

Gnash, it's probably too late for you to go back and relive your life as a girl, so perhaps you could just take my word as someone who did that there are MANY ways that girls are discouraged from playing chess that boys are not. It is not, however, too late for you to take a statistics class. Seems like a worthwhile investment from where I'm sitting.

[flips board and heads for local Chapter meeting of the Sisterhood]

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El Jefe
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Re: Haters gonna hate, I suppose, but...

Post by El Jefe »

gnash wrote:
El Jefe wrote:
somebody wrote:Nobody knows why this is
Wow! This has to be one of the worst non-statements ever. What does it even mean? It reminds me of the (via the excellent documentary OutFoxed, I think) the old 'Some Say...' preface that FoxNews uses (which facilitates working in anonymous quotes, rumors, and other bull$hit, selling out any principles of journalism the speaker may have).

In this case I think it could have been more helpfully phrased as one of the following:

'I'm too embarrassed about not knowing the answer to ask here'
'I'm too lazy/inconsiderate to research it and share what I've found'
'It's a complex problem worthy of a graduate-level thesis, but doggone it I just don't know because it's not a field I've been trained in.'
'I read Book X and it suggested Reason Y'
It may be news to you, but human knowledge is not infinite. Not all questions have been answered. Now if you happen to have the answer, or know a source that provides it, great, let's hear it. Otherwise, google "si tacuisses".
No, you're right- if you've never read the evidence then it must not exist. Some say that's why we should believe other people when they say 'Nobody knows why this is.'

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Re: Haters gonna hate, I suppose, but...

Post by Shmuel »

Dr. J wrote:That's interesting, Rex; I didn't read it as him solely indicting nerd culture, just implicating it as part of the larger piece of our larger sexist culture.
Likewise.

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El Jefe
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Re: Haters gonna hate, I suppose, but...

Post by El Jefe »

Rex Kramer wrote: Misogyny may coincide with nerd culture, just as it may with jock culture or prep culture, but it's trite to assert that being "force fed" a diet of Urkel, Mario, and Leonard robs men if their humanity and causes them to believe that they have a team of writers arranging for them to get the girl.
^^ This. We Americans speak glibly about things that seem truthy like 'violent video games / TV shows lead to real violence' or 'handgun deaths are on the rise' or 'childhood obesity is a growing epidemic' without really stopping to consider the facts of the situations. I don't think video game chauvinism turns people into sexists but existing losers may certainly may be coddled in their beliefs they can just create, say, the perfect woman (dang, AC, no Weird Science name-check? Maybe it just didn't make the final edit?)

Anyway, I still think many important tropes are criticized, but anybody who uses the phrases 'get girls' unironically ( to mean possess/obtain rather than understand) is in need of analysis.

Also, I wonder how many of us had this in mind while reading:

http://www.theonion.com/articles/romant ... ested,757/

bomtr
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Re: Haters gonna hate, I suppose, but...

Post by bomtr »

Well, hell, now that the Supreme Court has declared that racism is over, they can just declare that sexism is over, too, and we'll all just be hunky dory.

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gnash
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Re: Haters gonna hate, I suppose, but...

Post by gnash »

MDaunt wrote:
gnash wrote: I said I don't know why, but I gave several reasons why it is impossible to explain the magnitude of disparity by cultural influences. I disagree that the general populace ever perceived chess as a war-like game. It is one, but people think of it as an analytical game first of all. Bridge was maybe seen as a parlor game when it was popular; today I think both are perceived as nerdy/geeky hobbies. And how exactly are girls discouraged from playing chess and boys are not? If anything, there is a pretty strong incentive for girls to play if they are any good, because they can become titled players much more easily.
1. The question of whether women are as good at chess as men is separate from the question of why women don't play chess.
2. You have not given any valid reasons as to "why it is impossible to explain the magnitude of disparity by cultural influences." I know you think you have, but you haven't. Just because a behavior is seen in several, or even all, cultures, does not mean it is not mostly or entirely the result of cultural influence (as opposed to having a genetic basis).
1. OK, what does it mean to you for women to be as good as men in chess? How would you measure it? If you think that "being good at X" can be separated from "attempting X", then describe how. If I said that I was really good at Japanese calligraphy, except that I have never done it, that would sound absurd, wouldn't it?

2. Seriously? The highest rated woman in the US is the 51st highest rated player overall. The 100th highest rated woman in the US is the 3306th highest rated player overall. Do you seriously think this could be explained mainly by cultural factors? Does that even pass the laugh test?

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gnash
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Re: Haters gonna hate, I suppose, but...

Post by gnash »

Dr. J wrote:Gnash, it's probably too late for you to go back and relive your life as a girl, so perhaps you could just take my word as someone who did that there are MANY ways that girls are discouraged from playing chess that boys are not. It is not, however, too late for you to take a statistics class. Seems like a worthwhile investment from where I'm sitting.
Yeah, the problem is I never paid attention in the classes I taught. The professor had such a monotone voice...

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Re: Haters gonna hate, I suppose, but...

Post by tgs »

gnash wrote:
MDaunt wrote:
gnash wrote: I said I don't know why, but I gave several reasons why it is impossible to explain the magnitude of disparity by cultural influences. I disagree that the general populace ever perceived chess as a war-like game. It is one, but people think of it as an analytical game first of all. Bridge was maybe seen as a parlor game when it was popular; today I think both are perceived as nerdy/geeky hobbies. And how exactly are girls discouraged from playing chess and boys are not? If anything, there is a pretty strong incentive for girls to play if they are any good, because they can become titled players much more easily.
1. The question of whether women are as good at chess as men is separate from the question of why women don't play chess.
2. You have not given any valid reasons as to "why it is impossible to explain the magnitude of disparity by cultural influences." I know you think you have, but you haven't. Just because a behavior is seen in several, or even all, cultures, does not mean it is not mostly or entirely the result of cultural influence (as opposed to having a genetic basis).
1. OK, what does it mean to you for women to be as good as men in chess? How would you measure it? If you think that "being good at X" can be separated from "attempting X", then describe how. If I said that I was really good at Japanese calligraphy, except that I have never done it, that would sound absurd, wouldn't it?

2. Seriously? The highest rated woman in the US is the 51st highest rated player overall. The 100th highest rated woman in the US is the 3306th highest rated player overall. Do you seriously think this could be explained mainly by cultural factors? Does that even pass the laugh test?
I think 1 could be better argued as, "Women have an equal capacity for chess." Meaning if you took a boy and a girl at random, and taught them chess for 12 hours a day, you would be arrested for kidnapping two children.

No, wait. I mean if you train them the same, it would be equally likely the boy or the girl would be the better player. Gnash, you can't do Japanese calligraphy, but your capacity to excel at it is equivalent to a woman's.

2 does pass the laugh test and more. You'd expect gender distribution of the top players to reflect gender distribution of all players who study chess seriously enough to contend for such rankings. We'd have to know that ratio to be able to judge the data you've presented.

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Re: Haters gonna hate, I suppose, but...

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For the record, I didn't intend the article to be saying that nerds are somehow the most sexist men or the only sexist men or nerd sexism is the worst kind of sexism or anything like that. I don't think most of the positive response I've gotten has taken it that way.

If anything what I'm saying is that "nerdy" guys often feel a misguided sense that they ought to be immune from criticisms of sexism, racism, other -isms, because they themselves have suffered social exclusion or discrimination and therefore they cannot be the victimizers, only the victims. This is an extremely common narrative among nerdy men who are extremely quick to cast women who don't want to sleep with them in the "bad guy" role because they lump it together with other forms of rejection.

This is a form of sexism that offends me both because it is close to me, in my community, among the people that I think of as my friends and peers, and because it is a particularly un-self-conscious cloaked form of sexism. Outright, in-your-face "I just don't like women" sexism is at least honest and easier to locate and combat -- the Nice Guy sexism of putting women on this pedestal and then becoming wounded and hurt when they don't live up to the mental image you have of how your Soulmate should treat you is a slippery, ornery beast.

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Rex Kramer
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Re: Haters gonna hate, I suppose, but...

Post by Rex Kramer »

Shmuel wrote:
Dr. J wrote:That's interesting, Rex; I didn't read it as him solely indicting nerd culture, just implicating it as part of the larger piece of our larger sexist culture.
Likewise.
There is one paragraph which begins "But the overall problem is one of a culture . . ." which might be intended as a reference to the larger sexist culture, but since every other paragraph explicitly references nerds and nerd culture, my reading of that sentence was that "a culture" meant "nerd culture", especially since Arthur then goes on to talk about video games. But I could be wrong.

In any case, since he does lace the rest of the argument with nerds, it's hard to see this as being read at large as anything other than an indictment of nerd culture alone -- something that is both provocative and comforting to the non-nerd mainstream. And, indeed, Arthur was on CNN tonight, with a panel of other experts like Steve Guttenberg, debating whether movies and nerd culture caused the massacre, so that people who don't care about the difference between Star Trek and Star Wars can go to sleep tonight comforted by the knowledge that their groping of the waitress at the sports bar isn't part of the problem.

Rex

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ArthurChu
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Re: Haters gonna hate, I suppose, but...

Post by ArthurChu »

gnash wrote: 2. Seriously? The highest rated woman in the US is the 51st highest rated player overall. The 100th highest rated woman in the US is the 3306th highest rated player overall. Do you seriously think this could be explained mainly by cultural factors? Does that even pass the laugh test?
I think we may have a serious disconnect here when it comes to your sense of how much of *everything* is explained by "cultural factors", and that could be the root of a lot of other disagreements.

(Spoiler alert: I think most everything about most everyone is explained by cultural factors.)

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ArthurChu
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Re: Haters gonna hate, I suppose, but...

Post by ArthurChu »

Rex Kramer wrote:
Shmuel wrote:
Dr. J wrote:That's interesting, Rex; I didn't read it as him solely indicting nerd culture, just implicating it as part of the larger piece of our larger sexist culture.
Likewise.
There is one paragraph which begins "But the overall problem is one of a culture . . ." which might be intended as a reference to the larger sexist culture, but since every other paragraph explicitly references nerds and nerd culture, my reading of that sentence was that "a culture" meant "nerd culture", especially since Arthur then goes on to talk about video games. But I could be wrong.

In any case, since he does lace the rest of the argument with nerds, it's hard to see this as being read at large as anything other than an indictment of nerd culture alone -- something that is both provocative and comforting to the non-nerd mainstream. And, indeed, Arthur was on CNN tonight, with a panel of other experts like Steve Guttenberg, debating whether movies and nerd culture caused the massacre, so that people who don't care about the difference between Star Trek and Star Wars can go to sleep tonight comforted by the knowledge that their groping of the waitress at the sports bar isn't part of the problem.

Rex
Right, which is why we spent all that time talking about Neighbors, which is specifically a movie that was described as about "frat culture".

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Re: Haters gonna hate, I suppose, but...

Post by ArthurChu »

The framing of that debate on CNN was about "Hollywood", on "Should Hollywood be blamed for this attack?" (Which I think is a ridiculous and sensationalistic way to put it, but whatever.) "Hollywood" is not "nerd culture", Hollywood is everyone's culture.

And honestly I have to say if you really believe that the persecution of nerds is a serious enough danger that my comments will lead to a wholesale wedgieing of the US nerdy population, you're kind of proving one of my points here.

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gnash
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Re: Haters gonna hate, I suppose, but...

Post by gnash »

tgs wrote:I think 1 could be better argued as, "Women have an equal capacity for chess." Meaning if you took a boy and a girl at random, and taught them chess for 12 hours a day, you would be arrested for kidnapping two children.

No, wait. I mean if you train them the same, it would be equally likely the boy or the girl would be the better player.
Actually, what you said first (kidnapping two children) is correct. The rest is premised on a patently false assumption that humans are like computers, so if they have equal processors and you program them equally... But that's not how humans work. They have preferences, make choices, have more or less passion for what they do, etc. Do you know how to measure this "capacity" you talk about? And, whatever statement you make about that capacity, how would you check if you were right or wrong?

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gnash
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Re: Haters gonna hate, I suppose, but...

Post by gnash »

ArthurChu wrote:The framing of that debate on CNN was about "Hollywood", on "Should Hollywood be blamed for this attack?" (Which I think is a ridiculous and sensationalistic way to put it, but whatever.) "Hollywood" is not "nerd culture", Hollywood is everyone's culture.
The way it came across (to me) is primarily as the messages Hollywood is feeding young nerdy men.

I am generally sick of arguments that some kind of "culture" is responsible for the most egregious murderous sprees by individuals who act alone. I feel the same way about the arguments that "violent video games are responsible" and "US gun culture is responsible" (yeah, it's responsible for many bad things, but mass shootings are statistically a worse problem in Nordic countries than in the US). So the whole premise that "misogyny culture" or "rape culture" caused this is ridiculous to me. But it all seems academic until this "culture" is associated with a certain group of men, who probably commit a very disproportionately small share of violence against women.

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