Good Math, Bad Math

Vox Day on Women in Science

After yesterday’s post about the great women of computer science, I noticed my SciBling MarkH over at the Denialism blog had discovered Vox Day and his latest burst of stupidity, in which he alleges that the greatest threat to science is…. women. Because, you see, women are all stupid.

The bizarre propositions of equalitarianism always sound harmless and amusing at first because they are so absurd. What the rational observer often fails to understand, however, is that these propositions don’t sound the least bit absurd to the equalitarian proponent because the average equalitarian is fundamentally an intellectual cave-dweller with no more interest in reason or capacity for logical thought than a hungry kitten. The idea of biology classes being taught by lesbian professors who believe that heterosexual procreation is a myth or calculus courses being taught by women who can’t do long division may sound impossible today, but tell that to any software developer, and he’ll be able to provide you with plenty of current examples of computer science engineers, some with advanced CS degrees, who have no idea how to even begin writing a computer program.

Women love education; it’s the actual application they don’t particularly like. Whereas the first thought of a woman who enjoys the idea of painting is to take an art appreciation class, a similarly interested man is more likely to just pick up a paintbrush and paint something – usually a naked woman.

This is… I don’t know a word that sufficiently expresses the stupidity of this. Vox has a long history of being a moron with delusions of intelligence, but this one really takes the cake.

First, we’ve got Vox criticizing other people for allegedly talking about stuff rather than doing stuff… When in fact, Vox is a nebbish who doesn’t actually do stuff. He writes about doing stuff, and about how other people allegedly don’t do stuff… But he’s a guy who’s career pretty much consists of cashing Daddy’s checks. He’s a classic example of wingnut welfare: a moron who couldn’t get a real job if his life depended on it, writing books that no one reads, which gets published because Daddy bankrolls the operation.

And he uses my field as an example.

I’ve definitely known some people with advanced degrees who couldn’t
write a program if their lives depended on it. And you know what? Every one of them was a man.

Of course, given the well-known gender skew of the field, I’ve worked with
many more men than women. So it’s not at all surprising that the idiots have all been men. Y’see, in research, there’s some small percentage of theoreticians who can’t code, and there’s also a small percentage of people who are, to be frank, idiots coasting on the products of other people’s work. In both cases, if the men outnumber the women by 20 to 1, you’re 20 times more likely to encounter a male idiot.

My experience has, in fact, been quite the opposite of what Vox suggests. Of the very best people that I’ve worked with, the majority have been women. That’s not a coincidence. There’s enough bias against women that
the women who persist in the field, who keep going despite all the discouragement – are some of the most talented and determined people
that you’ll ever meet.

I always like to tell a story about my experience with sexism in recruiting. Once upon a time, I was in charge of recruiting summer interns
for my department. We decided that in order to try to bring in more people
who weren’t white guys, we’d give each department a quota of students it was allowed to hire – but we wouldn’t count women or minorities against that. In fact, we had enough budget to hire about 50% more people than the official
quota.

We filled the quota within a day. The first batch of interns were all white guys.

There were, of course, lots of people in my department who still wanted to hire summer students. So I told them that they could look for a student
who was a woman or minority. Naturally, this was met by tons of ranting: “How dare you be so discriminatory? Why can’t I hire a white guy if he’s the best qualified?”

Two of the people who ranted most vociferously came back within a couple of days with women that they wanted to hire, and said “I found a woman
who was a better candidate than the guy I wanted to hire first!”

To which I responded, rather annoyed, “So why the hell didn’t you find
them in the first place? You claimed that you carefully searched for the very best candidate, and you shouted at me about how awful it was that I couldn’t let you hire them. But the moment you had to look at women candidates, you found someone better than your very best candidate?”

I worked with four summer students when I was at IBM. Two of them
were women, two were men. Both women were fantastic. The first one
was able to write beautiful code so quickly that I had a hard time
keeping up with her, to make sure she had work to do. The second
started her own research project, which was one of the most creative and
exciting projects I’ve had the good fortune to be involved in. The two men, one was good – not great, but good – and the other was absolutely dreadful, a total waste of my time.

But according to Vox, the women that I worked with are hallucinations. Because women simply aren’t capable of doing math and science. Fran
Allen clearly must not exist; a woman couldn’t have done what she did.
Grace Murray Hopper must have been a man in disguise. My wife, who’s
an amazing computational linguistics researcher must be secretly using
my brain when I’m sleeping.

Or maybe, just maybe, Vox Day is a moron who has no idea of what
he’s talking about. Gosh, y’think?

Comments

  1. #1 Susan B.
    March 12, 2008

    “…or calculus courses being taught by women who can’t do long division…”

    Funny, the last week or so I’ve had to teach my students how to do polynomial long division for their calculus classes. (I’m an undergrad, but I tutor math, and a number of students and faculty have called me the best tutor on the campus. So much for women being unable to do math!)

  2. #2 Janicot
    March 12, 2008

    My favorite story is a bit of the opposite (sort of). Years ago in a tiny company growing up, one of the owners let some of us junior developers hire a new senior engineer. The woman we picked was very much the right choice but unfortunately was more physically attractive than the owners expected.

    To their credit, they decided to let it play out (probably intending to let us ‘learn our lesson’). They gave her some time and quickly discovered the quality of her work.

    I just see it as a shame that the suspicion ever came up — our culture has so many built-in biases that even(especially?) the best people are forced to tap-dance to avoid the appearance of impropriety.

  3. #3 Hank
    March 12, 2008

    Substantiating your claims and using valid logic – Vox Day is clearly above such trivialities.

    What a vacuous, tedious windbag!

  4. #4 Josh
    March 12, 2008

    I can’t even believe what this guys is saying. Most of the female professors I’ve had (and school teachers) were not only quite intelligent (and knew what they were talking about), but were very good educators as well, which is no small task. This, and my education was (and continues to be) in math. This is so terrible I can’t even begin to describe how I feel.

  5. #5 Stephen
    March 12, 2008

    While your conclusions make more logical sense, when we combat idiocy we must not sink to using their devices. The plural of “anecdote” is “anecdotes”, not data, after all.

  6. #6 lolife
    March 12, 2008

    Holy shit — that should end his blogging/writing career if his readers have any brains whatsoever. I mean…

    Because they are the intellectual driving force of humanity, men will be fine.

    C’MON!

  7. #7 Hank
    March 12, 2008

    Stephen: While I agree that anecdotes are not data, the use of counter-examples to show that Theodore Beale’s (the real name of Vox Day) assertions are incorrect, is correct IMO.

    Did that sentence even make any sense?

  8. #8 Pierre
    March 12, 2008

    The more I learn about Beale, the more I’m amazed at how twisted his brain processes are. I’m not a psychologist, I’m a bioinformatician, but it looks to me like he’s the victim of some sort of spaghetti coding; he’s got a mess of “goto” statements in there. Or maybe he’s missing a subroutine, the one a normal human being use to re-evaluate the reasonableness of our own thoughts. All he’s got is a placeholder sub:

    Boolean IsOwnThoughtReasonable(Thought *thought) {
    return(TRUE);
    }

  9. #9 Lucas
    March 12, 2008

    Excuse me, but I’m pretty sure he knows what he’s talking about. At the bottom of the page, you find out that he’s a member of Mensa. Obviously your mind is too puny to understand his brilliance. Sheesh!

  10. #10 Cherish
    March 12, 2008

    I suspect Vox thinks women are stupid because any woman in her right mind (i.e. with an ounce of intelligence) would never want to be around such a horrible, denigrating person. So all he ever sees are the women are not smart enough to stay away from him, and I suppose that predisposes him to think that all women aren’t intelligent.

    Thanks for the great read.

  11. #11 Inquisitive Raven
    March 12, 2008

    Lessee, I’m female and in several of my high school math classes I was known as a “curve wrecker” because I consistently got the highest scores on assignments and tests.

    I majored in math in college, and I’ve been been the only person on my learning team in a basic accounting class to catch what should have been obvious math mistakes like taking the ratio of y to x when the problem asks for the ratio of x to y. I’m not kidding about that one. A male team member did it consistently, in one paper with a lot of ratios. I still haven’t figured out what another team member thought he was doing calculating some price/equity ratios, but it sure wasn’t dividing the stock price by the earned equity/share.

    In computer science, I once took an assembly language class (8088 which tells you how long ago that was), and apparently was the only person who looked up Bresenham’s original raster line drawing paper. The grad student teaching the class had handed us a pseudo-coded version of the algorithm and either neglected to tell us or didn’t realize that it only covered lines with a positive slope less than or equal to 1. Several people found a more general and elegant implementation and cribbed it for the assignment, only changing the variable names and were apparently surprised that the grad student caught them at it. I noticed that the original paper (which was much clearer than the grad student’s pseudo-code)noted the above mentioned limitation and discussed how the algorithm could be generalized. I took that and ran with it, and while I ended up programming a brute force solution, it was obvious that it was my own solution.

    So, women can’t do math or program? Riiight.

  12. #12 MRL
    March 12, 2008

    @7:

    Since VD is claiming that all (or nearly all) women fall under his argument, yes, specific counterexamples are relevant.

  13. #13 manuelg
    March 12, 2008

    > To which I responded, rather annoyed, “So why the hell didn’t you find them in the first place? You claimed that you carefully searched for the very best candidate, and you shouted at me about how awful it was that I couldn’t let you hire them. But the moment you had to look at women candidates, you found someone better than your very best candidate?”

    I would have been more than “rather annoyed”. I would have gone ballistic.

    I am glad to hear you called them out on it.

  14. #14 Kyle
    March 12, 2008

    I agree with #13. I would have been a lot more angry than just “rather annoyed”. Still, it is awesome that you called them out on it.

    One of my favorite college teachers was my number theory teacher. She was quite good at teaching, and knew her stuff quite well. She also taught real analysis, as well as other analysis classes. I was known for asking the really oddball questions that rarely come up, but she had answers for basically all of them off the top of her head. I was always impressed with that.

    Maybe we should change his name to Yax Vod, to more appropriately model the feeling I get when I swill his tripe.

  15. #15 Coin
    March 12, 2008

    Holy shit — that should end his blogging/writing career if his readers have any brains whatsoever.

    ….um. Have you ever seen WorldNetDaily?

  16. #16 Ernst Hot
    March 12, 2008

    Pierre, more likely he’s running Intercal and has a very long hardcoded sequence of COME FROMs preceding his READ OUT of nonsense.

    I bet there are no PLEASEs in there though…

  17. #17 Pierre
    March 12, 2008

    Ernst, I had to look up what “Intercal” was… that’s quite a funny language. Perfect for a brain like Ted’s.

    Other weird languages I like are “Piet” and of course the famous “Brainf***”. “Piet” is more poetic/esthetic, and “Brainf***” is just evil. “Intercal” is funny.

  18. #18 Mgccl
    March 12, 2008

    I can see his point. He believes that women are just not good in particular fields.
    In general, there are not many women doing computer science. This might be because most women are not good in that field or because most women don’t like that field and do something they like better.
    There are more male CS and math PH.D than female ones. It might not mean women are usually worse at those fields, but at least it shows male dominance in those fields.

    Biased opinions will exist until there very authoritative empirical data to disprove it.

  19. #19 Anonymous
    March 12, 2008

    Heh, didn’t know Piet… Very nice.

    I see the author also wrote this: Intelligent Design Sort – “a sorting algorithm that rejects the idea that lists can “evolve” to a sorted state.”

    :)

  20. #20 Interrobang
    March 12, 2008

    In general, there are not many women doing computer science. This might be because most women are not good in that field or because most women don’t like that field and do something they like better.

    It might also mean that any women who’ve tried to get into the field have been systematically discouraged from doing so. Such discouragement happens all the time, at all levels, ranging from:

    — early social pressure towards some subject/interest areas and away from others (and when I say early, I mean really early — studies have shown that people treat infants differently depending on whether they think they’re boys or girls, regardless of their actual sex);

    — undiagnosed learning disabilities , and a lack of consequent early intervention and remediation (because the Conventional Wisdom still is that girls don’t have LDs as frequently as boys, which is probably in part because if a boy is bad at math, that’s a problem, but if a girl is bad at math, that’s just nature);

    — parents/friends pressuring students to take certain courses in high school to the exclusion of others (thereby causing some students not to have the prerequisites, for instance);

    — social pressure against majoring in the field (“You want to major in what?”);

    — a hostile learning environment (few other women in your classes, women treated as “easy dates” or “stupid girls” by other classmates, women ignored by professors in favour of the men), and

    — a lack of mentorship and professor support at the undergraduate and graduate levels.

    Those are just the ones I can think of off the top, so I’d say the original poster’s formulation is a bit of a false dichotomy…

  21. #21 Thony C.
    March 12, 2008

    I sugest that VD should go herehe might learn something.

  22. #22 Skwee
    March 12, 2008

    Why do we even care about this guy anymore?

  23. #23 j a higginbotham
    March 12, 2008

    Women are terrible at practical number stuff. Why, most of them can’t even correctly recall their phone numbers!

  24. #24 pixelfish
    March 12, 2008

    Came here via Pharyngula.

    Women love education; it’s the actual application they don’t particularly like. Whereas the first thought of a woman who enjoys the idea of painting is to take an art appreciation class, a similarly interested man is more likely to just pick up a paintbrush and paint something – usually a naked woman.

    As a female artist, I’m equal parts amused and annoyed. From a fairly early age, it was obvious to my parents that I was going to grow up and be an artist and a graphic designer. Why? Because I just went out and made art. All the time. I designed a newspaper for my family and distributed it. I painted. Hell, I didn’t even get to art appreciation til the first year of college.

    My father defended me to his father, who felt that as a woman, I should be taking courses in teaching or nursing–vocations I could take up should my husband become incapacitated. Dad just calmly stated that I was among one of the best young artists he’d ever seen and it would be a shame to deprive the world of that, husband or no husband. (I come from Mormonland, land of patriarchy. Of course, it was expected that I would get married and make babies.)

    So, yeah, Vox, when we wimminfolk get an urge to do something, we just pick up a book and never actually do it. I mean, I’ve never painted nekkid women.*

    *Okay, I totally have. And my mother keeps asking why I can’t paint clothes on them.

  25. #25 Moses
    March 12, 2008

    I needed a tutor, once, in calculus. I had a male teacher who had me so screwed up that I was getting close to flunking.

    In 30-minutes she figured out what my problem was (bad instructions from the English as a Second Language teacher) and straightened me out. From that point on I did very well and managed to finish the course with a B+ (not bad since I was a rock-solid D- when I hired her).

    But according to Vox Day that was impossible, therefore it must have been a delusion on my part. I’m glad that’s straighted out and I guess I’ll turn in my degrees since I never really managed to pass calculus with the help of a woman.

  26. #26 Lee Brimmicombe-Wood
    March 12, 2008

    Whereas the first thought of a woman who enjoys the idea of painting is to take an art appreciation class

    All the art-inclined women I know, and I know many, haven’t been within a mile of an art appreciation class. Rather they picked up their brushes and painted something.

    It seems to me that Vox Day is full of shit.

  27. #27 ArtK
    March 12, 2008

    Women in CS, let’s see now… the woman who hired me into IBM is now the director of CS at one of the big software research labs. The architect for my area and the architect/CTO for our major product line are both women. Half of my colleagues are women and many of them are very good at what they do.

    I’d love to see Teddy B. tell Pat Selinger that she doesn’t exist. Or Fran Allen, or Josephine Cheng.

    VD/TB is just whining because the only women who will have anything to do with him are blindingly stupid; he realizes that an intelligent woman would treat him like a worm in the salad at dinner. To keep his tiny ego (a euphemism) inflated, he has to put intelligent women down.

    I just realized that his initials (both sets) are for repulsive diseases. How appropriate.

  28. #28 Angry Astronomer
    March 12, 2008

    Looking back through all the math instructors I’ve had, by far, the best have been female.

    The worst have been the fat foreign guys with an accent so thick you can’t figure out what the hell sub-bust-ta-tootin (substitution) is.

  29. #29 Pat
    March 12, 2008

    Eh, I could put the lie to that, as two of my three sisters at least (maybe all three!) and my mom have masters degrees while the menfolk are sorely lacking.

    I’m curious about the mindset that has to diminish others to make itself feel more important. It may be that “Vox Day” (a pun on vox dei? kind of narcissistic…) has some serious self-esteem issues when his narcissistic self-view conflicts with reality, causing his brain to spin off into a schizophrenic weltanschaung where he conflates his imagined importance with reality.

    Now, before the irony becomes toxic, doing an analysis is not the same as diminishing others. These are, after all, not imagined faults of his on my part; rather they are self-evident.

  30. #30 Stanton
    March 12, 2008

    It seems to me that Vox Day is full of shit.

    And water is wet because of hydrogen bonding.

  31. #31 EyeNoU
    March 12, 2008

    When my daughter was in high school, she was asked by her Algebra teacher to tutor some of her fellow students who were having trouble learning it. Care to guess the gender of every student she tutored? Hint: starts with “M”.

  32. #32 Bad
    March 12, 2008

    Mark. Mark mark mark mark. You forget. Vox has a sportscar. A Turbo Prosche. The ladies love him. He even had a recording contract at 23: you know, remember all those big hits he had? We’re all just jealous. surely.

  33. #33 peter garayt
    March 12, 2008

    You know, I can only assume people like Vox Day among others, have huge alters set up somewhere to praise, worship and sacrifice small animals in thanks for the current stupid epidemic and the internet.
    If they don’t they should, because they wouldn’t make enough of a living to eat without them.

    p

  34. #34 SLC
    March 12, 2008

    I don’t know if this is true but I seem to recall reading that many software development companies like to hire people who majored in music and art in college because they have found that such people tend to write very elegant code. The worst programmers are usually scientists and engineers who tend to write spaghetti code which is very difficult to debug.

  35. #35 David Marjanović
    March 12, 2008

    While your conclusions make more logical sense, when we combat idiocy we must not sink to using their devices. The plural of “anecdote” is “anecdotes”, not data, after all.

    Don’t shift Beale’s goalposts for him. He said no women are capable of doing math; finding one is enough to disprove that speculation.

    BTW, for a long time the only math genius in my class at school was a girl, and all those who were really bad at it were, as far as I remember, boys. I grew up thinking math is something where girls are on average better, and was quite surprised to learn that the common prejudice goes in the other direction.

    Excuse me, but I’m pretty sure he knows what he’s talking about. At the bottom of the page, you find out that he’s a member of Mensa. Obviously your mind is too puny to understand his brilliance. Sheesh!

    He’s still too stupid to notice how ignorant he is.

    Or maybe he has noticed, and comment 27 is on to something!

    a pun on vox dei?

    Quite obviously. Has always made me wonder why he doesn’t consider that blasphemy.

    BTW, Weltanschauung with four syllables.

  36. #36 David Marjanović
    March 12, 2008

    I don’t know if this is true but I seem to recall reading that many software development companies like to hire people who majored in music and art in college because they have found that such people tend to write very elegant code. The worst programmers are usually scientists and engineers who tend to write spaghetti code which is very difficult to debug.

    Being a scientist, I bet it’s true. Order, you see, is something for stupid people. Only a genius can rule the chaos!!! ;-)

  37. #37 Ebo Tebo
    March 12, 2008

    My father taught me that “It’s better to keep your mouth closed and be thought stupid than to open it and remove all doubt”. Mr. Dei, keep your beak shut!!!
    Cheers,

  38. #38 efrique
    March 12, 2008

    I’ve worked in a number of applied mathematical areas. I’ve worked with men and with women. I’ve never seen *anything* to indicate any underlying fundamental difference in ability. I’ve seen plenty to indicate differences in opportunity.

    The result is the average quality of the women was, if anything, higher than for the men, because you got more of the upper tail. (Which suggests that, if you’re working in an area where women are under-represented, when there’s an opportunity to do so, try to work with the women, because they’re more likely to be very good at what they do. Not that it’s advice I’ve consciously applied.)

    My partner is in several ways a better mathematician than me (we’re different in the way we do things, and actually would make a good team if we worked on the same problems); our daughter gives every indication of being better than both of us.

    As it happens, all my research students have been women. That’s not been choice on my part – I’ve been equally as interested in having male students – it just worked out that the students that I have managed to end up working with have been women. Some have been great, some less so … just like you’d expect if there was a spectrum of ability. I expect it would have been similar if I had had male students.

  39. #39 Stwriley
    March 12, 2008

    As an historian, I’ll just fall back on paraphrasing that paragon of pithy statements, William Tecumseh Sherman:

    “Vox Day? Vox Humbug!”

  40. #40 BlueIndependent
    March 12, 2008

    In the last tussle with VD, just last week, he also mentioned running into a woman who had a masters in economics and didn’t know who Keynes was. This seems to be a pattern. Has he done this even further back? If so, I’m liable to think that the guy is making his encounters with these unknown degreed idiots up.

  41. #41 Ted Powell
    March 12, 2008

    “At the bottom of the page, you find out that he’s a member of Mensa.”

    Don’t bet on it. As of a few minutes ago, there are only two people named Beale in the American Mensa members directory, and neither has a first name anything like Theodore.

    Perhaps he’s so clever he forgot to renew.

  42. #42 Blake Stacey
    March 12, 2008

    Why is it the people most eager to advertise their Mensa membership are the worst advertisements for the organization?

  43. #43 Holydust
    March 12, 2008

    As a female artist, and a pretty damn decent one — it seems I do not exist.

    Therefore, it won’t hurt his feelings if I point and laugh at him because he allows his initials to be “VD”.

    Vox Day. Yeah, I’m sure that’s his real name. What a cretin. He needs to lose the skinhead haircut, too.

  44. #44 Holydust
    March 12, 2008

    Whoops. I’m new to this imbecile. I see Ed Breyton plainly pointed out the toolbag’s real name. Why would he choose such a totally weaksauce pseudonym?

  45. #45 Dan S.
    March 12, 2008

    Perhaps we can set him up with Charlotte Allen (of the recent ‘us women are so stupid, ’cause we can’t drive! nonsense)? If we’re really lucky they’ll go off together and stop peeing on our metaphorical rug . . .

  46. #46 Geoff
    March 12, 2008

    Yikes! It’s SNL’s Dieter! Only weirder, scarier, more pretentious and for real.

  47. #47 Ichthyic
    March 12, 2008

    This is… I don’t know a word that sufficiently expresses the stupidity of this.

    This is…

    pure and unadulterated projection on the part of Vox.

    so there’s your word:

    projection.

    all he does is take exactly the attitude and criticism of his idiocy, and turn it back on his “opponents”.

    seriously, how can one read:

    The bizarre propositions of equalitarianism always sound harmless and amusing at first because they are so absurd. What the rational observer often fails to understand, however, is that these propositions don’t sound the least bit absurd to the equalitarian proponent because the average equalitarian is fundamentally an intellectual cave-dweller with no more interest in reason or capacity for logical thought than a hungry kitten.

    and not see the obvious projection?

    Vox projects.

    what else is new?

  48. #48 Dan S.
    March 12, 2008

    Pierre suggested: “Or maybe he’s missing a subroutine, the one a normal human being use to re-evaluate the reasonableness of our own thoughts.

    Well . . .

    Brain Network Linked To Contemplation In Adults Is Less Complex In Children
    ScienceDaily (Mar. 11, 2008) — A brain network linked to introspective tasks — such as forming the self-image or understanding the motivations of others — is less intricate and well-connected in children, scientists at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have learned. They also showed that the network establishes firmer connections between various brain regions as an individual matures.
    ” [source]

  49. #49 Leigh
    March 13, 2008

    Here is one of my more colorful encounters with threatened males: one of my calculus ta’s refused to answer a single question during office hours, with a biting snarl of hate he stuck to his Muslim faith and snorted “women are not to know mathematics.” Screw him: in the second calculus course of the series the professor with prior military experience bellowed with fear inducing ferocity, normally intended for entering grunts, that half of us would be gone by midterm; I survived quite well thank you very much and he was correct, the course enrollment dropped by at least half.

    I’m a computer scientist and I love it. I cannot imagine life without math. We are all mathematical creatures of varying degrees. And thankfully, to reuse the 20 to 1 ratio, for every one male whose math ability is far outweighed by his bombastic ego and out and out fear of the competent women who surround him, there are 20 Mark CC’s who do not harbor such unwarranted filth.

    BTW these may be repeats, but for the list of contributors some present day heavyweights are Daina Taimina at Cornell and her work on visualizing hyperbolic space and Ingrid Daubechies and her seminal work on wavelets.

  50. #50 Jim
    March 13, 2008

    My experience is that women can do math. I worked for a large insurance company and women were fairly represented in all levels of the Actuarial field. (from Actuarial students, associates and Fellows) These women weren’t getting some preferential treatment because they were women. They had the exact same standards as the men. The tests were the same and the tests were graded the same by the Society of Actuaries. (Which are darn difficult exams) So it is a myth that women can’t do math. (total BS)

  51. #51 AE Ismail
    March 13, 2008

    @48: Your Muslim TA seems to be ignorant not only on the abilities of women but also of the history of his own faith (in which Muslim women did nearly everything men did–including science–at least until the Ottomans took over and Islamic society began regressing). I’m curious as to what country he’s from.

    Also, I would have loved to see Vox Day’s head explode by taking a look at the intro to engineering course I TA’ed a few years ago–nearly 70 students, with a 4:1 gender split. 4:1 Women.

  52. #52 andrea
    March 13, 2008

    “Women are terrible at practical number stuff. Why, most of them can’t even correctly recall their phone numbers!”

    So, how often DO you call yourself??

    (Of course I can recall my own phone number; it’s how I access my voice-mail.)

  53. #53 oriole
    March 13, 2008

    Great piece. Vox Day is a disgrace who must be vigorously opposed.

    One tiny English usage correction, if you’ll excuse my pedantry: “he’s a guy WHOSE career pretty much consists of cashing Daddy’s checks”

  54. #54 Azkyroth
    March 13, 2008

    Excuse me, but I’m pretty sure he knows what he’s talking about. At the bottom of the page, you find out that he’s a member of Mensa. Obviously your mind is too puny to understand his brilliance. Sheesh!

    If he’s so fucking smart, how come he’s so fucking stupid?

  55. #55 Azkyroth
    March 13, 2008

    Interrobang:

    Not to mention many girls growing up hearing horror stories from their mothers about how hard math is and how boring science is. My wife is one of many examples, having been sabotaged by criminally irresponsible parents, lazy, prejudiced, and apathetic teachers, and an undiagnosed learning disability, but has resolutely committed herself to not re-evaluating her low opinion of math and science courses. Since our daughter shows every sign of growing up to be an engineer (or something closely related) like me, I’m doing the best I can to keep my wife from spouting off about that in front of her.

    As far as female calculus teachers, I’ve only had one. She taught a seminar on math anxiety that my wife attended, and related that she chose to major in math after a teacher whom she asked for help told her that she couldn’t do the problems because she was a woman. I was impressed with this, and she clearly was an intelligent, well-informed, and competent instructor; my reasons for dropping the class were due to personal friction rather than any issues with her pedagogy.

  56. #56 G. Tingey
    March 13, 2008

    So all the female Nobel PRizewinners in the sciences are figments of the imagination, are they?

  57. #57 Nomen Nescio
    March 13, 2008

    i can never recall my own phone number. why should i, when it’s right there in the phone info menu whenever i need it?

  58. #58 Blaidd Drwg
    March 13, 2008

    “Why do we even care about this guy anymore?”

    We care about this guy, (and his intellectual bretheren) because they are posting on websites that get read, usually by Rushbots. The more they get read, the more their ideas find homes in the minds of ~ 48% of the population (the voting poulation, that is).

  59. #59 Al
    March 13, 2008

    I don’t think you get to be able to claim to be better than anyone else intellectually when you can’t even spell “egalitarianism.”

  60. #60 folderol
    March 13, 2008

    #51, #56:

    The comment about women not remembering their phone numbers (#23) was a subtle and elegant joke. The writer (no doubt a man) was remarking that women always seemed to give *him* the, um, wrong number.

    I thought it was very funny!

    folderol (a woman who has, on occasion, forgotten her phone number)

  61. #61 Hank
    March 13, 2008

    (#8) There is only one language (might not be work safe) suitable for writing the mushware of Theodore Beale…

  62. #62 DrFrank
    March 13, 2008

    It sounds like Theodore would get on just fantastically with Bishop Williamson

  63. #63 acmegirl
    March 13, 2008

    Sometimes I find myself wondering: if conservative douchebags like Vox Day really do believe that women are intellectually inferior to men, why not just go ahead and implement measures to prevent bias and stand back and wait to see what happens. Nothing would change, right?

    I mean if women really are mind-numbingly stupid, then removing names and gender identification from papers submitted for peer review should result in only papers authored by men being published, since the women’s papers will stand out in their inferiority and be immediately dumped in the garbage. Oh, but wait, that’s been tried and the number of papers authored by women tends to increase. Hmm, that must just be a fluke. How about we just hold them to the same standards as men and let that cull the broads from the group. What’s that you say, that would mean that we’d stop expecting 2.5 times as much productivity from a female fellowship applicants as from the men – we’d be asking for less from the women than we are currently. That can’t be right. (Check out Zuska’s post on this)

    This stuff sounds just like the kinds of things bullies and their cronies used to say to me in grade school. It’s easy for three guys to beat up one little girl. But it’s just as easy for those guys to fool themselves into believing that they alone are three times stronger. In a fair fight, however, every bully knows, deep down inside, that he might lose

  64. #64 Theron
    March 13, 2008

    I would like to make a small point about Vox’s literary stylings. “Equalitarian”? “Equalitarianism”? Unless there is some wingnut ideological code here that I’m missing, is not the far more common term “egalitarianism”?

    Of course, given his general level of idiocy, I’m guessing he doesn’t read much and wouldn’t know that.

  65. #65 Pole Greaser
    March 13, 2008

    While evolutionistic women take over science and engineering with the help of the EEOC, Christian women, unliberated, confined to the kitchen, are raising the next generation. Our married ladies spend half their lives pregnant while your hairy-legged lesbos will squeeze out a maximum of one baby via in-vitro fertilization at around forty. The Christian’s hand rocks the cradle and will eventually rule the world. It is only a matter of time before the evolutionist domination of the media, schools, and judiciary crumbles before our overwhelmingly superior numbers. Then, you will all have to accept the Lordship of Christ Jesus or else!

  66. #66 GH
    March 13, 2008

    The women in his life are stupid. His wife, *Spacebunny* (Heather Beale) stays with him despite his saying he would dump any wife who couldn’t produce children (what love he has for her!) Imagine if a woman said that about her husband; he would be bitching up a storm. He bitched about women who say they want a smart man yet he talks about how horrible it is for him being so smart and having to deal with such stupid people all the time. I guess his first wife is smarter than his current thing.

    “When in fact, Vox is a nebbish who doesn’t actually do stuff. He writes about doing stuff, and about how other people allegedly don’t do stuff… But he’s a guy who’s career pretty much consists of cashing Daddy’s checks. ”

    Exactly. His convict (literally) father got him his job at Worldnetdaily. His convict father used his media power to promote ol’ Theodore’s/Vox’s failed business (real estate software). He isn’t anything.

  67. #67 GH
    March 13, 2008

    Oh yeah. His father got his friends in Naples, FL to give a quote about how wonderful his now failed business was. He can’t even get his own references.

  68. #68 Keith
    March 13, 2008

    Heh. My younger sister(masters in mathematics and statistics) teaches intro stats at a university. Me, smart older male that I am with my own degree in geology, absolutely suck at advanced math (Calculus 2 was the only course I ever failed at university…and I failed it twice. Of course, had I gone to class it might have been different).

  69. #69 rimpal
    March 13, 2008

    Vox Day is being so ridiculous and stupid and that he is not even worth laughing at. But sadlly it is the many variations of Vox Day’ish behavior that keep out women from science, math (and engg) We live in an uncharacteristically liberal public school district of some national renown, in the midwest. But here my daughter, in high school, did not find it easy taking a CS class. She was the only woman in a class of 18, and taking a junior year class in her freshman year did not help. Neither the instructor nor the class was of much help, and my daughter ended up hating Java. But she had an excellent math teacher who is known to be the encouraging sort. But again when my daughter wanted to join an engg. program there wasn’t much guidance available within the school. Now our school does have a v.good guidance department, but it is extremely good in a limited way. >75% of the class follows their parents into law or medicine, which means the guidance dept, has beome v. good at streraming the boys and girls into strong classics/humanities programs or good pre-med oriented colleges, and as a rule sends >75% of its graduating class to “top 50 schools”. My daughter had done a lot of groundwork already and identified what she believes is the best UG engg program, that also happens to offer the best support system for women engineering students. Now our school district has woken up to the idea of UG engg. and is holding info sessions etc., Very strange considering that our city hosts a university with a v.strong engg program. My daughter finds a very different atmosphere at college now and has left her demons in the past. Interestingly she still enjoys math over her science courses because she says that math is context free. But in the sciences you get into the real world and which is where induction becomes so dependent on the type of class one is into. I come from an engg family, and am the odd one out. Now my daughter carries the tradition.

  70. #70 Satori
    March 13, 2008

    I’ve definitely known some people with advanced degrees who couldn’t write a program if their lives depended on it. And you know what? Every one of them was a man.

    I’ve been a programmer for 15 years, and that was my exact thought upon reading this garbage, as well.

  71. #71 Nicole TWN
    March 13, 2008

    >Women are terrible at practical number stuff. Why, most >of them can’t even correctly recall their phone numbers!

    :D I LOL’d.

    I am typing this at a work-sponsored class (lunch break). At my table are four other women engineers, each with 20+ years experience in satellite development and deployment; at least one with 30+ years. I’m the rank n00b at the table, and even I have a M.S. in computer science.

    Oh, yeah, my Mensa rule: anyone who boasts about Mensa membership has just earned him/herself a pantsing. Mensa–and especially higher IQ societies–are like Fight Club.

  72. #72 Prazzie
    March 13, 2008

    Lesbian biology professors who believe that heterosexual procreation is a myth.

    Wait, what?

  73. #73 Robert E. Harris
    March 13, 2008

    I am (at 74) a retired chemist. I am the son of a woman, husband of a woman, brother of a woman, father of a woman, grandfather of a girl, uncle of two women, and great uncle of one girl, all people of great and obvious intelligence. These women are every bit as bright and accomplished as these men they are closely related to: me, my brothers, my nephew, my great nephew, and my grandson.

    I’ve been disturbed by this antiwoman thing for many years. I recall, while I was in grad school, a woman at a party asked me, “Why would a woman study chemistry?” I was astonished. Why would anyone study anything they did not find interesting? But when a woman expressed this view of women’s interest or ability in a scientific field, I began to wonder what is going on in the world? Fortunately, much of this antiwoman business has gone away.

  74. #74 Robert E. Harris
    March 13, 2008

    I am (at 74) a retired chemist. I am the son of a woman, husband of a woman, brother of a woman, father of a woman, grandfather of a girl, uncle of two women, and great uncle of one girl, all people of great and obvious intelligence. These women are every bit as bright and accomplished as these men they are closely related to: me, my brothers, my nephew, my great nephew, and my grandson.

    I’ve been disturbed by this antiwoman thing for many years. I recall, while I was in grad school, a woman at a party asked me, “Why would a woman study chemistry?” I was astonished. Why would anyone study anything they did not find interesting? But when a woman expressed this view of women’s interest or ability in a scientific field, I began to wonder what is going on in the world? Fortunately, much of this antiwoman business has gone away.

  75. #75 Flex
    March 13, 2008

    Acmegirl (#62), you reminded me of a story I heard several years ago about women’s representation in major orchestras.

    Apparently one conductor, a number of years ago had a much higher ratio of women to men, and was asked about it.

    There was a common belief at the time that male performers were, on average, better than female performers. The evidence presented for this optinion was by looking at the gender ratios of the various major orchestras, even though most of them being selected by playing behind screens so that gender wasn’t apparent.

    However, even with applicants being appraised by the conductor and music director behind screens, their gender was often apparent from the sound their heels made on the stage floor while walking to the place to perform. High-heels sound different than loafers.

    This subtle difference was likely not consciously noted, but it was enough to skew opinions toward male applicants, and thus the makeup of the orchestras was largely male.

    The one conductor who realized that he could recognize the gender of the applicants from their footsteps, took measures to eliminate this ability to discern the difference. I don’t remember if he required women to wear flats or put carpeting down, either would work. And his orchestra had a much higher represention of female players than others.

    My understanding is that this knowledge has been spread around, and the ratio of the gender of applicants now much more closely matches the gender ratio of the people selected.

    I submit this solely as an anecdote. I heard this on CBC2 radio several years ago, and do not even recall the conductor’s name.

  76. #76 Raphael
    March 13, 2008

    “If he’s so fucking smart, how come he’s so fucking stupid?”

    Confirmation bias, I guess. I’ve heard that it can do amazing (well, amazingly depressing) things. And for the record, I think that intelligence and stupidity are by no means mutually exclusive.

  77. #77 Louis Bérubé
    March 13, 2008

    I hope he chokes on his own haircut.

  78. #78 MiddleAgeMan
    March 13, 2008

    I have been a professional software developer for 25 years. I have worked at Rockwell Int., EDS, and various smaller companies developing business applications in a variety of languages and platforms. I can only say that my experience is that I have worked with a few (two possibly) decent women programmers. None great. Most were mediocre, give them a task and they’ll do it by the book sort of people. Not much imagination. Certainly not what you would call clever programmers.

    My anecdotal story of of a women I worked with at Rockwell who was a double major, EE/CS, from UC Irvine. She graduated with a 4.0. One day we were all talking and she mentioned that she never really “got” ohms law. All the male engineers simply cracked up. She went on to management.

    As far as the gender/racial profiling to fill your quota, I think that typifies what stinks about Google. Too much PC kool-aid.

  79. #79 MiddleAgeMan
    March 13, 2008

    Al #58

    See Equalitarian

  80. #80 Leigh
    March 13, 2008

    Hmm. Reminds me of my time at Rockwell at a SIMR meeting when a man from the aero group couldn’t remember how many RCS jets are on the shuttle. Funny how I didn’t take this as an indictment against all men in aerospace.

  81. #81 rimpal
    March 13, 2008

    As far as the gender/racial profiling to fill your quota, I think that typifies what stinks about Google. Too much PC kool-aid.,. Yeah, MAM, we know that’s why you don’t work at Google, they have these strict quotas based on capabilities; we know you didn’t make the grade! Cheer up buddy, even has beens like you can find a job!

  82. #82 Julie Stahlhut
    March 13, 2008

    Aw, I feel sorry for the poor guy. He obviously wasn’t as fortunate as I was; my mother taught me how to do long division before I entered first grade. And Mom had dropped out of high school at 16 because of family problems! I can’t even begin to imagine what she’d have done if she’d been able to get a college education.

    As a kid, I thought the impromptu math lessons were fun. And I amuse the hell out of much younger labmates because I still routinely do long division by hand in the margins of my notebook, and find this approach quicker than digging out a calculator or starting up a spreadsheet program.

    As for Mom: She’s almost 89 now. And she’s still good at long division.

  83. #83 MikeT
    March 14, 2008

    It’s not that women can’t do these things. If you go back and read what you actually quoted from a less jaundiced view, you will see that’s not what he’s arguing. The humanities and liberal arts have been all but ruined by politics coming in and dominating the discourse and policies. The sort of whackjobs that he lampooned in that excerpt are sadly all too common in those departments today. What he’s saying is that if you apply Title IX to the sciences and engineering, you will end up with a similar politicization and deterioration in quality.

    I agree. Computer Science enrollment is still pretty low for women because many intelligent women are more interested in other subjects. All of the women I met in college in the hard sciences were good, but most of the women in Computer Science were terrible. My wife was one of the only women who could compete at the same level as the men in our major. The problem with applying hard quotas, which is what Title IX would do, is that desperate departments are going to lower the standards to get as many warm bodies in both their classes and professorships as possible to meet the basic requirements.

    This whole blog post is an attack on a strawman. Good for you that you’ve worked with plenty of intelligent and capable women in research Computer Science. You’re a PhD who works for Google, so applying your personal experience to the rest of us is kind of like a coach at an elite school known for its athletics wondering why the lesser schools have a hard time recruiting top female athletic talent. Your environment should show you that your experience is not likely to be normal because the women who will want to be there are far more driven than your average Computer Science major at most state universities.

    (I can already predict how this comment will be received. “You’re a sexist pig!” “Well I’m a woman and INSERT_CREDENTIALS!” One of the reasons that subjects like this aren’t even really worth debating anymore is because for too many people, the personal is the political.)

  84. #84 Mark C. Chu-Carroll
    March 14, 2008

    The stories in the original post about women and summer interns were not things that happened at Google. I’ve worked at Google for less than a year. It was at my former employer.

    For the bozo who said “that typifies what stinks about Google”, all I can say is… You obviously don’t know diddly about Google. What I’ve found in my year at Google is that the people there are the smartest, most skillful, most creative people that you’ll find anywhere. Google is amazingly good at finding the best of the best to hire. Google’s engineers are also an far more diverse group of people than I’ve seen anywhere else – with absolutely no difference between the folks from what are typically under-represented groups.

    The “PC” kool-aid is a good thing. We’ve got amazingly talented people who probably wouldn’t have been hired by
    other companies due having the wrong reproductive organs or the wrong color skin.

  85. #85 Nomen Nescio
    March 14, 2008

    [...] She was the only woman in a class of 18, and taking a junior year class in her freshman year did not help. Neither the instructor nor the class was of much help, and my daughter ended up hating Java.

    she’s in good company then, and to be honest, she could have come out feeling the same way even from an excellent class with a great instructor.

    which is not to say it isn’t a shame that she didn’t get an excellent class, a great instructor, and a good experience — but having a freshman programming class taught in Java certainly would not have helped any toward that ideal. i’ve had one of those classes, and i counted myself quite lucky that i already knew more programming than was taught in that class, since the teaching language kept getting in the way of understanding.

  86. #86 Nicole TWN
    March 14, 2008

    What he’s saying is that if you apply Title IX to the sciences and engineering, you will end up with a similar politicization and deterioration in quality.

    Wait, what? Even supposing, for the sake of argument, that the nation’s science and engineering professors were to be brainwashed with conservatives’ ideas of leftist academic thought, how would that impact the curriculum? “Now, students, we can clearly see that binary arithmatic is a tool of the gender authoritarians, who insist that a bit can only be ‘0’ or ‘1’! Fight for genderqueer bits, students!”
    I don’t know what your CS program was like, but I don’t remember encountering politics. At all. There was too much subject matter to cover.

    but most of the women in Computer Science were terrible. My wife was one of the only women who could compete at the same level as the men in our major.

    Special pleading, anyone?

    Look, it’s great that you acknowledge that your wife was at least as good a student as the men in her major. Why aren’t/weren’t you willing to extend that same assumption to the other women? How do you know they were bad students? Did you see their grades?

    This whole blog post is an attack on a strawman.

    No, Vox Day does actually seem to believe what he says.

    Your environment should show you that your experience is not likely to be normal because the women who will want to be there are far more driven than your average Computer Science major at most state universities.

    This doesn’t seem to square with your comment about all the terrible women CS majors you encountered when you were at school. Which is it?

    (I can already predict how this comment will be received. “You’re a sexist pig!” “Well I’m a woman and INSERT_CREDENTIALS!” One of the reasons that subjects like this aren’t even really worth debating anymore is because for too many people, the personal is the political.)

    This is sort of like saying, “Airplanes never crash! I already know how people will respond to me–they’ll say, ‘well, this plane crashed’, or ‘that plane crashed’, and I don’t want to hear about it!” Vox Day’s assertion is that women don’t pursue hard sciences because they’re bad at it. A single counterexample (“I’m a woman and I have a $credential in $allegedly_masculine_discipline!”) is enough to disprove that.

  87. #87 Anonymous
    March 14, 2008

    “This whole blog post is an attack on a strawman.”

    Nope. In the context of Beale’s general worldview, it’s reasonable to assume that he is claiming that there are no, or almost no, women who have even basic competence in mathematical, scientific or computer-related subjects. (If that’s not what he claims, he’s perfectly free to say that that’s not what he claims). And he has explicitly stated that “the first thought of a woman who enjoys the idea of painting is to take an art appreciation class”. The original post, as well as some of the comments, were responses to these claims.

    “I can already predict how this comment will be received. “You’re a sexist pig!””

    If you insult a lot of people, how are you in a position to complain if they insult you back?

    “Well I’m a woman and INSERT_CREDENTIALS!”

    So, first you back up your point with your personal experiences, and then you preemptively dismiss replies that are based on other people’s personal experiences? Would you mind explaining the logic behind that to me?

    “One of the reasons that subjects like this aren’t even really worth debating anymore is because for too many people, the personal is the political.”

    What, exactly, is wrong with people treating a matter that effects them personally as a matter that effects tham personally?

  88. #88 Raphael
    March 14, 2008

    That was me.

  89. #89 Hypatia's Girl
    March 14, 2008

    @#83

    There seems to be some confusion about what exactly Title IX does. Title IX is used primarily for equal opportunities in sports – albeit not written specifically and solely for that. The primary aim of Title IX is to ensure that the institution offers incentives and opportunities to both men and women equally. Title IX says nothing about dumbing down standards or any such nonsense. The assumption behind it is, (and is generally born out), men and women aren’t that different and so it’s only fair to offer both the opportunities.

    Should an institution only permit men in Calc three, or only allow women to take Adv. Organic Chem., that institution would be in violation of the title. There is nothing which states that institutions or departments must have an equal ratio of the sexes enrolled in classes or as majors.

    That being said, I am also unsure as to what sort of politicization one would expect to see in science and math? I am assuming that you are thinking of postmodernism and its effect on various humanities departments, (I should like to point out that most of the deconstructionists were men), science should be relatively insulated from questions about objective reality. Questions of a political nature are sometimes a wise idea, such as questioning what gets studied, why and how (thinking here of medical trials which involved only male subjects, regardless of what was being studied).

    In short, questioning privilege is never a bad idea. Should one be so concerned that a woman or a minority is going to “take his place,” one would perhaps be wiser to make sure he is the most qualified candidate, rather than finding reasons as to why he didn’t get what he has assumed he deserves.

  90. #90 SteveM
    March 14, 2008

    What he’s saying is that if you apply Title IX to the sciences and engineering, you will end up with a similar politicization and deterioration in quality.

    And the reason he believes you would need to lower standards and deteriorate quality is because he believes all women are blithering idiots who take art appreciation instead of art, or are lesbians with no understanding of reproductive biology. No different than if he argued that affirmative action is bad because African Americans are inherently less intelligent than caucasians. What Teddy is missing is that women are underrepresented in science and math, not becuase of any inherent difference in ability, but because they are actively discouraged by idiotic attitudes like Teddy’s. And the point of a Title IX for science and math is to combat that, not to lower standards.

  91. #91 Lost Clown
    March 15, 2008

    So, first you back up your point with your personal experiences, and then you preemptively dismiss replies that are based on other people’s personal experiences? Would you mind explaining the logic behind that to me?

    Obviously Logic shouldn’t be considered math in his world.

  92. #92 Kristjan Wager
    March 15, 2008

    I am reminded of an old thread over at Electrolite where they tore apart VD’s ignorant claims that “Women do not write hard science fiction today because so few can hack the physics”

    You can find it here

  93. #93 Jonathan Vos Post
    March 15, 2008

    This creepy idiot was not worh my writing a new comment. However, if I may re-post from the page linked to by Kristjan Wager, as it works in this thread, too:

    Jonathan Vos Post ::: (view all by) ::: March 02, 2005, 03:54 AM:

    Sorry, I can’t get past the part that goes “Women do not write hard science fiction today because so few can hack the physics…”

    Ummmm. My wife, Dr. Christine M. Carmichael, is an Active Member of SFWA with a Ph.D. and B.Sc. (Honors) in Physics. She’s a first-rate scientist and engineer, as well as Project Manager /Principal Investigator in superconductor physics. She’s a full-time Professor of Physics. An 7-year-old (somewhat obsolete) version of her resume, which includes a few technical publication titles, may be found at Carmichael resume {htlink omitted here}.

    Since then, she’s had more Physics publications, including “Imaginary Mass, Momentum, and Acceleration: Physical or Nonphysical?” [Proceedings of the Fifth International Conference on Complexity Science, 17-21 May 2004] and “Demonstration of Beats with a Double-Driven String” [The Physics Teacher]…

    Is my wife being accused of not being a woman, or of not writing the Science Fiction that got her into SFWA, or of not having the innate ability to be — say — President of Harvard?

    Come to think of it, I will not bother to tell her about this idiot. As to Chaucer, she knows Classics better than Day/Beale — unless he also mastered Latin, ancient Greek, and Middle English as my wife did when she studied at the University of Edinburgh.

    It’s not as if I have to defend her honor as a grandmaster of Quantum Mechanics, but she fought sexism her whole academic life, since Physics in particular is a Last Bastion of male chauvinist fools.

    I suggest that Day/Beale read about how Sophia Kovalevskaya had to fight to become the first woman with a PhD in science in any European university, over a century ago, and exactly why “Madame Curie” won two Nobel Prizes. Then Day/Beale needs to think long and hard about whether he’s helping to move us into the future, or back before the 19th Century.

    And wasn’t there some dame who read up on Galvani and Volta and then penned a little manuscript about Frankenstein? Maybe the daughter of a pioneering feminist, and author of what Brian Aldiss reasonably considers the first modern Science Fiction novel? Sheesh!

  94. #94 idlemind
    March 15, 2008

    Then Day/Beale needs to think long and hard about whether he’s helping to move us into the future, or back before the 19th Century.

    He doesn’t need to think about it. It’s clear from this and other writings exactly which direction he wants to move us in.

  95. #95 OriGuy
    March 16, 2008

    I never met Rear Admiral “Amazing” Grace Hopper, but I’ve worked with those who did. She did some of the first work on programming language compilers, and is regarded as the inventor of COBOL, although others certainly contributed. The computer industry though enough of her for the Data Processing Management Association to name her its first “Man of the Year” in 1969, with other honors to follow. The Navy thought enough of her to name a guided missile destroyer, the USS Hopper (DDG-70) after her.

    I’ve got 30 years in the computer industry. My first computer science at the University of Illinois was a woman. I’ve worked at Control Data Corporation, Tandem Computers, Compaq Computers, and now Hewlett-Packard with women and for women. It’s been my experience that women run the same range of talents as men, except perhaps at the endpoints. The least capable programmers recognize their limitations and find another career path, while men are more likely to plug on until laid off. At the other end, I suspect that there are just as many brilliant programmers who are women as men, but they are less likely to make sure you know about it by making a pain in the ass of themselves.

  96. #96 Zuska
    March 16, 2008

    Zuska LOVES you, Mark! Thanks for this great takedown post.

  97. #97 Thony C.
    March 18, 2008

    I found this some how relevant to the topic under discussion:

    The Heinz Maier-Leibnitz Prize (Euro16000) of the Deutschen Forschungsgemeinschaft (German Research Association), one of the most prestigious awards for young German research scientists, has just been awarded to Dr. Christine Silberhorn, mathematician and physicist, of the Institute for Optics, Information and Photonic of the University of Erlangen. This is just the latest in a series of fellowships and awards that Dr. Silberhorn has won since she received her PhD in 2003. She received the award for the work done by her research group into integrated quantum optics.

  98. #98 John Marley
    March 18, 2008

    Really, what do you expect from someone arrogant/deluded enough to use “The Voice of God” and his nom-de-blog?

  99. #99 Jane Know
    March 18, 2008

    “Vox Day” is a moron. If there are people who take him seriously and/or idolize him (like his loyal band of commenters on his blog do), they are even more pathetic. I honestly thought he was just a parody of a woman-hater when I first read that article…Nope. He’s serious. What a waste of space. I love that he adds “Mensa” member (along with a bunch of acronyms that no one knows or cares about) at the end of the article, as if that makes the ignorant rambling and stereotype-spouting more believable.

  100. #100 Peter
    May 20, 2008

    Granted there are some smart women out there. And granted that Vox Day is an idiot. However: women do have babies. Babies are necessary for a races survival. In every egalitarian society which views women as identical to men there is a below replacement birth rate. That means these societies are dying. This does not seem like equality to me – egalitarean societies are perishing because they have birthrates stuck below replacement; and societies that specialize – male work and women raise children (usually strongly religious groups) are replacing themselves. Perhaps Mark could do the math. Italy has a fertility rate of 1.23. That means that 41.43 percent do not replace themselves every generation. So in around 4 generations, or 120 years 90 percent of the current population of Italy will be gone.

  101. #101 amy
    June 9, 2010

    Simply because the birth rate has declined does not prove that women in the workplace/college is the cause. For someone supposedly in Mensa, for him to use a correlation as a basis for removing/encouraging women from education is downright shameful. There are plenty of reasons birth rate can decrease and some of them may have to do with the philosophies reducing the importance of family, but they have nothing at all to do with the abilities women have or their intelligence or even their validity in the workplace.

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