Vive la différence.

Prompted by a recent twitter exchange – where (usual suspect) Alice Roberts blocked someone for their opinion (or being annoying enough to repeat their opinion) That exchange was related to this earlier program Alice did with Michael Mosley, where I now realise Mosley really did disagree with her and hence I agree with him. What follows is to capture my own pre-existing take on “the facts” quite independent of the content of the program or the social media exchanges:


Vive la différence.
Women think differently to men.
And that’s a good thing. (Repeat after me, and that’s a …)

In some sense – Women’s cognitive patterning is different to men’s. [Most recent.]
Left brains do function differently to right brains. [Myth or evidence?]
Women do have different left-right brain connectivity. [Myth or evidence?]

(a) How much is genetically pre-wired and
(b) how much in-utero / bio / hormonally / physiologically developed?
(c) How much is parentally / educationally / formally and
(d) how much socially / culturally / informally re-inforced and re-developed?
Are open questions, but ~[20(20:80):80(20:80)] as a rule of thumb, I’d say (after Pinker).

But anyway, we all have very plastic brains to learn new thinking tricks.
If we are going to actively train future brains to think better,
then we’d better have a good idea of “better”.

The point?

It seems unlikely that having us all thinking the same way is the best thing to aim for.
Variety would seem to be a good input for evolutionary development.
Understanding variety must be a good thing, denial a bad thing. [Recent denial.]

It’s the level playing field.
Equality in the sense of freedom and opportunity, rather than
Equality in the PC sense of believing and ensuring everyone is, and is created, equal.

Therefore : Vive la différence.


Coda 1

The reason this topic matters to this particular blogging agenda?
The “western-male” form of linear/objective/scientistic rationality dominates modern life.
This is a bad thing because it destroys a lot of value and retards progress in the world.

Coda 2

How much difference is significant?
I suggested above only 4% male-female genetic cognitive difference [20% of 20%].
Dennett & Baggini – point out that perhaps conscious vs subconscious though processing might operate at 1% vs 99% (or less) but that 1% is still real (free-will) and can be the “most significant bit”. When it comes to difference, scale and significance do not correlate. Difference matters.

[And … “odd at first sight, but the story figures. Women are typically more polymath”.]

[Post Note : And in the post #GE2015 situation with women leaders of ALL parties except the Tories, I can make my 3rd non-PC point. I believe women in general are better at management and governance than men, particularly when dealing with complexity across multiple levels and timescales, where overly-confident action-men can be counter productive. Obviously, not to the point that I want to prejudice men in relation to women – just that level playing field that recognises rather than attempts to bury differences. Again obviously, these are stereotypes I’m using, but stereotypes that disguise real archetypes.]

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