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View Diary: Thanks to the netroots and Democratic senators with spine, Larry Summers won't be the head Fed (156 comments)

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  •  Karmic justice! (10+ / 0-)

    It can't have been much fun to work for a misogynist who maintained that women are no good at math...

    •  Hey now (3+ / 0-)

      he didn't actually say that.  He may or may not be a misogynist, but raising questions about gender disparities in certain fields doesn't make him one.

      Being pro-financial-deregulation, on the other hand, should have been career-killer in 2008 if not before.

      First they came for the slippery-slope fallacists, and I said nothing. The End.

      by Cream Puff on Mon Sep 16, 2013 at 10:33:00 AM PDT

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      •  I believe (5+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        atana, Pragmatus, CenPhx, dewtx, elwior

        Summers was suggesting that one reason there are few women in top positions in science may be "issues of instrinsic aptitude".  

        He was saying that this is a suggested theory.

        This strikes me like Faux News saying "some people are saying ..." to introduce a "news" story.

        He may not be a misogynist, but raising this type of "theory" certainly seems to "suggest" tendencies that I, for one, don't want in any position of power.

        •  Misogynists used to say "no woman could write (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          smartalek, Meteor Blades, petral

          the plays of Shakespeare".

          Today they say: "If you look at people who are 3 1/2 to 4 standard deviations above the mean in science ability, there are significantly fewer women than men. And (mumble mumble) behavioral genetics."

          We are really only now beginning to unravel the genomics and epigenetics of brain development. I emphasize genomics rather than genetics because it turns out that much of the DNA involved in human brain development codes not proteins (as genes do) but RNAs, mostly various kinds of small RNAs. There are also types of epigenetic marks -- CpH methylations -- that are rare outside neural tissue but quite common in neurons. Epigenetic marks are laid down or erased mostly during sensitive periods of development and are affected by the environment; epigenetics represents a form of "learning" that operates directly on the DNA.

          These RNAs and epigenetic marks control the expression levels of genes in brain development in ways that are specific to brain tissue. Over the next 10-20 years we should learn quite a lot about how brain development is actually influenced by these genomic and epigenetic/environmental factors as well as more about how "conventional" (Hebbian) learning affects brain function.

          And there are many women around the world working in or running the research labs doing this scientific work, which will eventually replace the "(mumble mumble) behavioral genetics" talk with real scientific understanding.

        •  Fair enough (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          elwior

          He shouldn't have said it.  It wasn't really his business or area of expertise anyway.

          First they came for the slippery-slope fallacists, and I said nothing. The End.

          by Cream Puff on Mon Sep 16, 2013 at 12:05:03 PM PDT

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      •  "...doesn't make him one." Yes it Does. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        elwior
        but raising questions about gender disparities in certain fields doesn't make him one.
        In Summers case - Yes it does.
        He wasn't questioning physical disparities like 'can you give birth'
        He was conducting the equivalent of phrenology on the ladies
        in order to keep them in their place,,,
        ...and out of his face.

        Nuclear Reactor = Dirty Bomb

        by olo on Mon Sep 16, 2013 at 12:34:25 PM PDT

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        •  In "fairness" to Larry Summers (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          akmk

          he offered three "theories" of why there are fewer women in top paying scientific jobs in the US:

          1) Women are lazy. (They aren't willing to put in the 80 hour/week effort the men do).

          2) Women are inferior (Because (mumble mumble) behavioral genetics).

          3) Men (Prejudice / old boy's clubs).

          Predictably, Larry Summer thought that 3) male prejudice was the least likely cause.

          Charitably, he thought that 1) female laziness was the most likely cause. 2) female inferiority he though more likely than 3) male prejudice, but less likely than 1) female laziness.

          When one member of the audience asked whether the same patterns could be found in the EU, Summers suggested that all Euros are so lazy that 1) might not be discernible over there.

          •  Clearly, Summers didn't expect (0+ / 0-)

            Elizabeth Warren to be "lazy".

            The thing about quotes on the internet is you cannot confirm their validity. ~Abraham Lincoln

            by raboof on Mon Sep 16, 2013 at 02:04:54 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

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