Days Black People Not Re-Enslaved By Trump

Tuesday, December 04, 2018

Lead With A Lie, Bury The Facts

I used to be a fan of the NYT. I grew up in an age when serious students were required, for example, to read and summarize an article in the science section of the NYT. Now, I would only use the NYT to clean my cat box litter. Yes, they have fallen that far off. The NYT I grew up with wouldn't touch a person who would state, publicly, that a race of people ought to be eliminated. Yet today's times has not a few of these individuals drawing a paycheck. It is not much unlike Counterpunch since the passing of Cockburn. Shrill voices calling any and everyone to their right nazis and fascists for simply pointing out easily observable facts rule these kinds of publications. But this is not a gripe session about periodicals I used to like. No, this is evidence of The Narrative. So here's the deal.

Headline:Can We Finally Stop Talking About ‘Male’ and ‘Female’ Brains?

Sure it's an "opinion" so it's not supposed to be technically "news". But still, "prestige" publications ought be careful about what they allow in their pages. Anyway? Why, when we know there are statistical differences in the way men and women utilize their noggins, should such an opinion even be worth printing. Surely there are better things to write about. Long ass quote 'cause I really don't care about traffic to NYT.com

At its core is the persistent belief that men’s and women’s natures can be usefully and meaningfully carved into two categories or “natural kinds,” that are distinct, timeless, and deeply biologically grounded. Today’s version of this idea continues a centuries-long quest to find the source of this hypothesized divergence in abilities, preferences, and behavior in the brain: You can find this notion at work, for instance, in popular books like John Gray’s “Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus” in the 1990s, Louann Brizendine’s “The Female Brain” and “The Male Brain” the following decade, and last year’s “Results at the Top: Using Gender Intelligence to Create Breakthrough Growth” by Barbara Annis and Richard Nesbitt.

But a version of the same assumption is also sometimes subtly present in scientific research. Consider, for example, Cambridge University psychologist Simon Baron-Cohen’s influential Empathizing-Systemizing theory of brains and the accompanying “extreme male brain” theory of autism. This presupposes there is a particular “systemizing” brain type that we could meaningfully describe as “the male brain,” that drives ways of thinking, feeling, and behaving that distinguish the typical boy and man from the typical “empathizing” girl and woman.

Or consider studies that report sex differences in brain structure in terms of two different classes of brains. Thus, a globally publicized study by Madhura Ingalhalikar and colleagues on the human connectome — that is, the enormous set of connections between the different regions of the brain — which concluded that “male brains are structured to facilitate connectivity between perception and coordinated action, whereas female brains are designed to facilitate communication between analytical and intuitive processing modes.”

The problem with these approaches is the implicit assumption that sex differences, whether in brain structure, function, or behavior, ‘add up’ consistently in individuals to create “male brains" and “female brains,” and “male natures” and “female natures.”

Three paragraphs in order to get to what the "problem" is. Lefty types always have a "problem". One of their "problems" is "implicit" this and 'implicit" that. Shit cannot be just "this" or "that". If you say you are a nationalist you MUST be implying you are a "white nationalist" and want to enslave and exploit poor people of color around the world.

But no, see, the point here is that there are sex differences and if there are sex differences then some man or group of men somewhere will exploit these differences for their own benefit because only men exploit their differences to get ahead.

But that last quoted paragraph shows the clear lie of the piece. That there are statistical differences between men, as a group and women, as a group, it does NOT mean that any individual in either group MUST be a certain way or another. No one has ever made such a claim. Just as it is entirely true that though black people in America commit a disproportionate amount of violent crime when compared to whites, such a fact tells you very little about any particular black person you meet.

And so the author of this "opinion" piece undos their own point with:

In other words, humans generally don’t have brains with mostly or exclusively “female-typical” features or “male-typical” features. Instead, what’s most common in both females and males are brains with “mosaics” of features, some of them more common in males and some more common in females.
That is what we've known all along. So basically this entire piece is a waste of space.
: Not a single person had only feminine or only masculine scores on these variables. Rather, what was typical of both men and women (70 percent of them, to be exact) was a mosaic of feminine and masculine characteristics
No shit sherlock. Nobody said that these characteristics were mutually exclusive. The bell curve distribution of IQ for example shows that most men and women are "the same". The outliers at each end are where the differences are pronounced.
The key point here is that although there are sex differences in brain and behavior, when you move away from group-level differences in single features and focus at the level of the individual brain or person, you find that the differences, regardless of their origins, usually “mix up” rather than “add up.”
Again, no shit. We who have been following this have known this all along. And we know it is the same for other observable human phenomenon like IQ. There are group differences and there are individual differences. The mistake is to think that because you know a few individuals that you have a grasp of how millions of them generally operate. That's "the problem".