Italian Food, Gender Differences Special

This time we'll be going back to L'Allegria, a fine Italian restaurant a few blocks from Times Square, at the corner of 44th St & 9th Avenue, the menu is here . You can get a vegetarian pasta dish for $13, or meat pasta for $16. They also have Prix Fixe dinners for $25.95 and $29.95.

People are to pay $5 when they RSVP via paypal or credit card, which will be refunded in cash at 6:10pm, 10 minutes after the event starts.  No-shows and latecomers will forfeit their deposit.  Deposits will be refunded for cancellations more than 24 hours in advance.  Please don't show up without RSVP'ing.

Some of the reading this time is long, it will probably take you two hours to get through it all.

Is There Anything Good About Men?

Roy Baumeister, a professor in Florida,wrote this fascinating, though long, essay on sex differences, but it's really worth the effort.

Larry Summers' Suicidal Speech on Women

In 2005, Larry Summers, then president of Harvard, made a speech about possible reasons why we see so few tenured faculty in science and engineering.  This speech cost him his job.

He was widely reported as having said that men were smarter than women, which he didn't.  He did not say that the average man was smarter than the average woman, nor did he say that the average man was better at math specifically than the average woman.  He did say there was more variance of intelligence among males, so there are more male morons that female morons, and more male geniuses than female geniuses, and to make tenured faculty at Harvard, you pretty much have to be a genius.  Steven Pinker, one of the world's most articulate and insightful speakers on subjects involving political correctness, wrote up his own summation of the hysteria following Summers' speech, a month after it was given.

We had a 3 Topics session about Summers' speech several years ago, but somehow only one woman showed up that night, I hope this time we can do better.

I saw Summers interviewed by Charlie Rose, and Rose, who is generally very friendly to all his guests, gave Summers an opportunity to complain about how he had been unfairly lynched by a politically correct mob.  Summers declined, and said he was wrong to give the speech, because one consequence of the speech was that 6 year old girls were hearing on the radio in the morning news that "The president of Harvard said they couldn't be scientists.".  Summers said that was something he absolutely did not want to happen, and as president of Harvard it was his job to have realized that it would happen.

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  • Wendy

    Women breaking group comes in many different ways. Not just in math and science.

    http://www.studio360.org/story/...­-

    March 19

  • Wendy

    Bill, I did not read the Larry Summers article because I didn't have time to read it. I do remember he said that we should work toward gender equality in academia but first we need to have an understanding of why the inequality exists. Summers gave his speech over ten years ago so some of his ideas may be a little outdated in terms of the abilities and interests of both sexes. We also discussed diversity. I strongly believe in diversity in both the work place and in higher education -- race, ethnicity, class, religion, etc. I certainly don’t believe having or seeking a diverse work place or academy lowers standards. The beauty and strength of this country is its diversity.

    March 18

    • Bill

      Sometimes the "diversity" thing is overdone. I remember my employer had a black motivational speaker give us a lecture whose message was basically that "creativity" == "not being a white male". I was totally pissed of and insulted. If he had said the same thing about any other gender and race there would have been massive lawsuits.

      March 18

    • Wendy

      Sorry your industry is presenting so many bad examples of diversity to you and your colleagues.

      March 19

  • Bill

    I thought the reactions of Pat and Wendy last night were very interesting.

    Pat felt that both Larry Summers' speech and the "Is there anything good about men" speech were the work of bigoted, ignorant white male dinosaurs. Pat feels that he knows what the future is, and it is one where gender stereotypes will melt away with time. Talking with Pat about the first piece showed he barely paid any attention to it (and in my opinion, had a very limited understanding of it). Wendy's reaction was similar in that she didn't even bother reading Larry Summers' speech.

    March 17

    • Bill

      But many attempts to re-engineer gender roles have failed. Summers talks about the radical social engineering attempted in Israeli kibbutzes, and how the results fell far short of the gender equality sought. Genetic male children who had damage to their genitals were surgically altered to become female, and they failed to grow into happy females (even though they had no testicles).

      March 18

    • Pat G.

      Activists too far from mainstream generally have a poor track record of doing anything successfully, whatever their cause is. I'm watching the changes in the mainstream, where people are saner and change is slower.

      March 18

  • Wendy

    Finally, a liberal arts education is a wonderful thing to have. While it does not focus on particular job-related skills, something I feel you can get in graduate school, it does provide a breadth of knowledge and insights that can help you excel in any career. With that said, I don’t believe college is for everyone. We should give young adults, who decide not to go to college, the opportunity to gain the training they need to obtain a good middle-class lifestyle.

    March 18

  • Sheryl

    Wanted to come, but I'm spiking a fever. :(

    March 16

  • Bill

    The restaurant is closed. We are meeting at "Balkanika", a Macedonian restaurant on 9th Ave between 47th and 48th. Look for the mmeetup sign on the table.

    March 16

  • Pat G.

    At the venue; place doesn't look like it's open.

    March 16

  • Bill

    Someone just changed their RSVP to "no", so there's room for one more.

    "No one will ever win the battle of the sexes. There's too much fraternizing with the enemy" -- Henry Kissenger

    March 16

  • Bill

    We have 6 people on the wait list for "3 Topics" tomorrow, several hours left to cancel and get your deposit back.

    March 15

  • Bill

    An article from this week's Economist about there being more intellectually challenged males than females: http://www.economist.com/news/s...­

    March 2

4 went

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