Two Short Recents @ AVI

Humanities Degrees: Emailed from a familiar source, there is this new data and opinion on humanities degrees.  The writer is able to say ” I made a wrong prediction, the data didn’t bear me out,” which is always the way to my heart. And it’s got lots of graphs, which is my second language.

The comments mostly restate the same arguments I have been hearing since the 1970’s. Some state them well, others not so much. Trust me, you will do better arguing the points in your own head.

Women At War:The premise of this study looked intuitively unlikely to me. However, I really like intuitively unlikely premises that turn out to be true, so this was right up my alley. 

It turns out it’s not unlikely.  It’s just lunatic. Notice the words “can,” “might,” and “could” in the description.  They have mathematical models that show that if women had started out being the warmakers somewhere, this would have been reinforcing over time, and their sex would be the warmaking one now.  It hasn’t actually happened anywhere, so perhaps it wasn’t quite a coin flip.  One would have to go back farther and farther into our evolutionary history – past the first primate, perhaps – to get to coulda-been-this-coulda-been-that situation.  It gives an excellent expression to the old saw “If my aunt had balls she would be my uncle.”

You will continue to hear a lot about the spotted hyena, where the females are more aggressive, because it provides an exception.  It will be held aloft, not as evidence that one-off situations under special circumstances are always possible, but that we are mostly quite malleable and can be changed to other behaviors (if we just pass the right legislation, maybe). It is similar to finding the language in the Caucasus in which “Dada” is used for mother, showing that “mama” cannot be a shared word from the first language; or the few primitive societies that are matriarchal proving that humans were equally likely to develop that way but for the merest chance, and we can change it back whenever we like.

7 thoughts on “Two Short Recents @ AVI”

  1. I’m sorry, but that “study” is moronic. One sex has babies. That sex has lots of physical attributes aimed at best accomplishing that–more body fat, wider hips, etc. The other sex, not needing characteristics to help give birth, has more physical strength, and hunts, fights, i.e. does stuff a group needs to survive except for doing the actual procreation. The notion that this is just random is stupid and unserious.

  2. re: the first link, my take on the plots is that they clearly show that Vietnam destroyed the American university system. If course the author is blind to that.

  3. Its part of GW, but Golden Eagles have started to appear in BC. I have been watching them for a few years now.

    I was out a few years ago and spied a Golden Eagle in a tree, maybe 300 meters away, across the field. Then a Bald Eagle showed up and sat in a tree some 200 meters from Golden Eagle. From behind me the Golden Eagle’s female mate, I had not seen her there, leaped from the tree and beelined right for the Bald Eagle. She was huge. Almost twice as big as the Bald Eagle and he ran as fast as he could. She contented herself with pulling a few tail feathers from the Bald Eagle and came back and sat in her tree.

    The female Golden Eagle is huge, much bigger than the male.

  4. Brian, I might disagree a bit on what destroyed the university system. It was student deferments, not the war itself.

    Leftist antiwar students stayed in grad school to avoid the draft and poisoned Humanities and everything but STEM programs.

    They became the radical professors that supported those with similar Marxist ideology and so we now have a Marxist university system. The degrees are worthless except as a path to HR departments that are corrupting corporate America.

    I now have serious reservations about college at all. Much of the emphasis on useless degrees comes from the Griggs vs Duke Power case in which the Court ruled that tests, such as IQ tests, could not be used in employment.

    Chief Justice Burger.
    The Court of Appeals’ opinion, and the partial dissent, agreed that, on the record in the present case, “whites register far better on the Company’s alternative requirements” than Negroes.[7] 420 F.2d 1225, 1239 n. 6. This consequence would appear to be directly traceable to race. Basic intelligence must have the means of articulation to manifest itself fairly in a testing process. Because they are Negroes, petitioners have long received inferior education in segregated schools,

    The college degree became the IQ test by default.

  5. Brian, if you look closely at the women in combat article you can see where they do a bait and switch from the very sensible claim that men’s physical characteristics make them more suitable for combat to the claim that it was the sex that was more aggressive. As AVI noted, and if my aunt had balls she’d be my uncle.

  6. Let’s say one wanted to pretend physical strength had no effect, it was just chance that men were more aggressive. It should be easy to then make a simulation where neighboring tribes A and B make opposite choices, A uses women to fight, and who knows what their men are for, and B uses women to fight. Given that A will have fewer fighters, because some women will be unavailable due to pregnancy and childbirth, and will have fewer women to breed due to losing them in combat, it should be easy to show that A will be wiped out almost immediately.

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