What did that evil man, Larry Summers, actually say

that got the feminists at Harvard so angry?

Was it “Lawrence Summers lost the first vote in March last year after suggesting women had less “intrinsic aptitude” than men for science.”? That’s how this BBC report described what he said.

Butterflies and Wheels is scathing about that over-simplification.

(Via comments to this post at Crooked Timber)

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49 Responses to What did that evil man, Larry Summers, actually say

  1. will says:

    The Times reports

    Sunday night’s Bafta wash-out attracted a record low of 3 million viewers on BBC One. This represented 12 per cent of the television audience

    But it seems the BBC knew that buying the rights was a waste of money

    BBC executives believe that award shows have become over-long and provide poor value. One said: “Viewers now expect to vote for the winners. They are bored with stars in frocks making ‘luvvie’ acceptance speeches.”

    But they bought it anyway. Would that be because the many of the nominated films shared the BBC view (corrupt big pharma, corrupt CIA, overpowerful Republicans & showcasing homosexuals)?

    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,2-2056132,00.html

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  2. Rick says:

    This farce at Harvard is typical of a complacent bureaucracy. Yes there are women scientists like Lisa Randall whose book on Branes and Extra Dimensions in space comes out in July, but if 75% all the scientists in history are alive today, few of them are women proportionate to the ratio of male to female in society. So what ?

    Most Science is based on Mathematics, and fewer girls enjoy Mathematics than do men – so what ?

    It is typical of the stupidity at Harvard that you cannot use the word “girl” but must call all females “women”. There is no nuance at Harvard, no subtlety it is just boring with “girls” wearing shorts like men and sporting over-developed calves and musculature.

    It is really awful how sterile the politically-correct have made this university, and if you go to UT in Austin or SMU in Dallas you can meet women who are feminine and a lot more attractive.

    Harvard is riddled with an administrator-class that has nothing better to do than initiate policies and procedures and find ways to multiply the complexity of getting an education.

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  3. Charlie says:

    OT – I can’t believe how little publicity this terrifying incident got.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/southern_counties/4739622.stm

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  4. Jason says:

    Forty years ago I earned a BA from Harvard, was given a rolled up diploma at the “commencement” cemetary, and walked out of the “Yard”. I did not look back, and have never revisited. Reading about the controversy with Summers, I’m glad I stayed away from all the silliness.
    That the BBC got it wrong is par for the course with those clowns.

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  5. Jason says:

    Sorry, meant “ceremony”; maybe cemetary was somewhat Freudian!

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  6. simo says:

    I read somewhere about an intelligence bell curve that remains remarkably consistent. At the top end, there’s fewer uber-brainy women than men, but at the bottom, there’s more stupid men than women. The girls cluster around bright to very bright. You couldn’t say that in any US university, though.

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  7. Sarge says:

    OT
    Falkland Islanders to be set free from the BBC. You lucky people!
    The Times February 24, 2006
    BBC is to silence Falklands radio service after 62 years
    By Dan Sabbagh, Media Editor

    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,2-2056162,00.html

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  8. Rick says:

    Jason – I suppose you know the rhyme about Radcliffe women ? I was across the river

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  9. Cockney says:

    ‘”girls” wearing shorts like men and sporting over-developed calves and musculature.’

    ‘if you go to UT in Austin or SMU in Dallas you can meet women who are feminine and a lot more attractive.’

    Maybe its a British thing but whilst I’m more than happy giving and taking outrageously sexist abuse with the birds in the office and will in a few hours be enjoying an extraordinarily un PC night out in a dodgy nightclub, I feel a bit queasy about this kind of earnest forensic analysis of womens’/girls’ aesthetic qualities.

    I don’t think you can really accuse the BBC of a PC approach to sexism – see Men Behaving Badly and Two Pints of Lager. Probably just nobody could be arsed taking the time to understand the original comments.

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  10. archduke says:

    “But it seems the BBC knew that buying the rights was a waste of money”

    will -> lets face it. the only awards ceremony that really matters to the vast majority of people is the Oscars.

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  11. Grimer says:

    Cockney,

    Let’s not forget that other BBC classic “How to train your husband”. Taking dog training techniques and applying them to the man in your life.

    For some reason the BBC never did the follow up programme “How to train your wife”

    The BBC only has a PC approach to sexism, if the ‘victims’ are women.

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  12. Rick says:

    I feel a bit queasy about this kind of earnest forensic analysis of womens’/girls’ aesthetic qualities.

    You may but when you’ve attended Harvard and then been to UT Austin or SMU you can offer an informed comment…..if you have not you are merely articulating one of those prejudices we so often hear expounded

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  13. Cockney says:

    It was the tone I was dubious about. I don’t doubt that girls at Harvard look and dress like men whilst those in Texas are exceptionally fit.

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  14. Grimer says:

    Cockney,

    On a lighter note, where are you spending your “extraordinarily un PC night out in a dodgy nightclub”?

    Hoxton Bar and Grill?

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  15. Rick says:

    I don’t doubt that girls at Harvard look and dress like men

    Not all, but it is a tendency…….Wellesley girls are somewhat better, but their heads are stuffed with feminist claptrap where even translations are selected from feminist authors. Southern women are much more captivating than the hard-edge you get with some on the East Coast.

    You can tell because the humourless viragos at Harvard are just too intense and miserably so

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  16. Zevilyn says:

    I like strong women, and for example think Stacey Slater in EastEnders is wonderful, because she does have a soft side under the exterior toughness and bitchiness. She’s funny too.

    But alot (not all) of the feminist types in some US universities don’t have a soft side at all (and if they do you’d need a microscope to find it), and most fatally of all, they have no sense of humour.

    Most women I know don’t mind being called girls, in fact, most women tend to refer to themselves as girls.

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  17. Cockney says:

    Rick,

    I’m convinced. I certainly have experience of the scary PCness of intra-office gender politics in the North East (at least) of the US. Happily that’s one thing that seems to have passed the UK by – outside of the BBC of course.

    Grimer,

    I reckon probably off to the Reflex 80s theme disco bar in the City tonight. See you there? Wear red and carry a copy of the Evening Standard and I’ll buy you a drink!

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  18. Cockney says:

    In fact that goes for everyone. Feeling particularly sociable after my lunchtime refreshment.

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  19. dave t says:

    Wear red? *Splutter* went the Colonel…into his pink gin!

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  20. Rob Read says:

    and there I was thikning Cockney was going to visit the White Horse, or the Rainbow Sports Bar or Browns!

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  21. Rick says:

    I like strong women, and for example think Stacey Slater

    I’d rather date Kim Basinger than Wellesley-girl Hillary Clinton

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  22. Angie Schultz says:

    It is really awful how sterile the politically-correct have made this university, and if you go to UT in Austin or SMU in Dallas you can meet women who are feminine and a lot more attractive.

    Let’s see: I can go to Harvard, where I’m doomed to be a humorless virago, but stand a chance of winning a Nobel Prize in physics. OR I can go to SMU, where I won’t meet any Nobel Laureates, but I also won’t develop any nasty old muscles, which gives me a shot at landing — be still my heart! — a man like Rick.

    Choices, choices! Too many choices for women today!

    Rick, you’re the reason there are humorless, man-eating, ball-busting, virago feminists in the first place. You, personally. Just thought you should know.

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  23. Natalie Solent says:

    Angie, you have strayed into the “chicks ‘n’ jocks” B-BBC chatroom and dating service. The “geeks ‘n’ geekettes” facility is here.

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  24. Rob Read says:

    Angie Schultz,

    I didn’t expect such victimology from you. Perhaps it’s genetic and patched in the Y chromosome?

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  25. Angie Schultz says:

    I didn’t expect such victimology from you.

    I don’t quite see how this is “victimology”. I’m only trying (in my subtle way), to hint to Rick that a woman might choose her education based on criteria other than her chances of developing calf muscles, and whether Rick (or men in general) will find her unattractive for it. Perhaps I was too subtle.

    There are many reasons why women are under-represented in the sciences. Now, it’s possible that innate ability may be one of them. However, if studies show (pulling numbers out of the air) that men have 5% more ability than women, and yet account for 90% of the top scientists, then clearly something else is going on.

    However, as I wrote on my blog last year, some men are treating this as some sort of vindication:

    The collective opinion [among male blog commenters] seems to be, “Thank god someone finally had the balls to stand up and say what we all know: men are different from women. Not better, naturally, just different. Er, except in science, where they damn well are better. It’s time you broads accepted that. Now get up and get me a beer, bitch.”

    Further opinion from me here, if anybody gives a damn.

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  26. gordon-bennett says:

    Angie:

    The “something else” that is going on is this. The spread of IQ in the bell curve for men is wider that that for women.

    There is a greater proportion of men than women at each end of the spectrum.

    This means that if Nobel Prizes and general esteem are more likely to be gained by exceptional talents then more men qualify for consideration than women.

    It doesn’t mean that no women can qualify, simply that the cohort likely to win prizes and esteem is male rich.

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  27. Natalie Solent says:

    Gordon-Bennett, if you had read the the “Summers soldiers” link in AS’s comment you would know she was already aware of the model you describe.

    I don’t know who is right. Not particularly relevant to my post, which was about the oversimplification of Summers’ remarks, as described by “Wheels and Butterflies.”

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  28. Rick says:

    Let’s see: I can go to Harvard, where I’m doomed to be a humorless virago, but stand a chance of winning a Nobel Prize in physics. OR I can go to SMU, where I won’t meet any Nobel Laureates, but I also won’t develop any nasty old muscles, which gives me a shot at landing — be still my heart! — a man like Rick.

    Angie you obviously have no Philosophy in your education. You do not understand Fallacy of Composition.

    Harvard is not as good at Science as MIT or CalTech – you know that MIT is the power house not Harvard. As for Radcliffe women they are famed. Wellesley women are much more interesting than Harvard women, and yes SMU and UT Austin do have much more attractive women – but are you telling me that UT Austin doesn’t have Nobel Prize Winners in Physics ?

    Really now you are being so ignorant.

    I was just surprised at the narrow-mindedness of women at Harvard; having come from a leading British University to a supposedly leading US one I found Closed Minds and wondered why US education had become so dull……..but I see Gerald Baker recommends a book to explain it……

    The Closing of the American Mind (Paperback)
    by Allan Bloom

    I suggest you read it.

    It is possible you have a splendid brain atop beautiful legs – but until you read this book we cannot be certain. I do thank you for your comment however You, personally. Just thought you should know

    I had not imagined I had made such an impact personally, but I now feel vindicated…………and I know that deep down you would want to date…..but I don’t know how we’ll manage it……..

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  29. Rick says:

    Angie…glad to see you’re on SuSE 10…….have you found the DVD codecs yet ?

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  30. gordon-bennett says:

    Natalie:

    She may well have been aware of the model but in her post she was disavowing that model.

    IMHO, but then I’m only a man.

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  31. Rick says:

    Oh Angie, just to help you out……

    http://www.utsystem.edu/News/Nobels.htm

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  32. Rick says:

    I can go to Harvard, where I’m doomed to be a humorless virago,

    Not mandatory but if the cap fits…….

    You really must study some Philosophy – you seem to have a poor grasp of causality and obviously your spelling of “humorless” indicates a cultural affinity to those in question but words like “I’m doomed” suggest a fatalism not attractive at all.

    Then again you didn’t go to Harvard did you Angie ?

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  33. Angie Schultz says:

    She may well have been aware of the model but in her post she was disavowing that model.

    I did no such thing. I suggested that it’s possible that the IQ spread did not fully account for the effect under consideration (the numerical under-representation of women in sciences). Perhaps the icky estrogen content of my posts prevents you from comprehending them.

    …have you found the DVD codecs yet ?

    No. But then I didn’t lose them. Very careless of you.

    It is possible you have a splendid brain atop beautiful legs…

    That description calls to mind the ads for the movie M*A*S*H. Somewhat unsettling.

    But, no, I have a perfectly serviceable brain on top of legs that you would no doubt find revolting. Somehow I shall have to carry on.

    Thank you, Rick, for your list of UT laureates. How many does SMU have? (I believe that was the school I specified in my post.) I realize that UT did have some (Weinburg, for one, although I’d somehow thought Wheeler had gotten one, too), but you must admit that Harvard has managed to rake in several times that many. Statistically speaking, you’re much more likely to net a Nobel if you go to Harvard than if you go to UT.

    I have read Bloom’s book, and found much of it utter drivel.

    Harvard is not as good at Science as MIT or CalTech – you know that MIT is the power house not Harvard.

    This is ridiculous. Different schools have different strengths. In my particular specialty (which, alas, must go unidentified) Harvard puts MIT in the shade — as do a number of state universities — but of course that’s not the case in every field.

    As you have so cleverly surmised, I did not go to Harvard. (Let’s just say that stifling political correctness was not yet ubiquitous when I went to school.) I did not make this claim, nor do I know why it matters.

    Natalie: I realize that your post was not about the truth of Summers’s remarks, but rather about their misrepresenation and over-simplification by the BBC. It was good of Rick and Gordon-Bennett to demonstrate the technique involved.

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  34. gordon-bennett says:

    Rick:

    I dont know about you but I now understand why some men prefer “Gentlemen Only” clubs.

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  35. Lurker says:

    Simo – you are straying into PC there. Women are not clustered toward the bright they cluster more closely to the average. So there are more men at the tails both of bright and dim.

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  36. Anonymous says:

    I dont know about you but I now understand why some men prefer “Gentlemen Only” clubs.
    gordon-bennett

    But nowadays the law seems only to permit gay men to have them

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  37. Rick says:

    .have you found the DVD codecs yet ?

    No. But then I didn’t lose them. Very careless of you.

    Then again Angie they are not included with Open Source software because they are copyrighted………fancy you making such a trite response to a very reasonable question.

    SuSE cannot play DVDs because it cannot bundle the codecs……….when you stop being quite so snotty you might educate yourself

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  38. Rick says:

    I did not go to Harvard. (Let’s just say that stifling political correctness was not yet ubiquitous when I went to school.) I did not make this claim, nor do I know why it matters.

    You did not go to Harvard…… I did……I comment on my alma mater and you start insulting people who don’t agree with your prejudices…………Larry Summers is a victim of this very same narrow-mindedness as displayed by Angie Schultz.

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  39. Rick says:

    Thank you, Rick, for your list of UT laureates. How many does SMU have? (I believe that was the school I specified in my post.) I realize that UT did have some (Weinburg, for one, although I’d somehow

    WEINBERG…………….spelling is essential in most fields and helps identify Nobel Laureates

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  40. David Davenport says:

    What the neo-Jacobin lesbo femininists want at Harvard and elsewhere is affirmative action programs for women students of the physical sciences and of engineering.

    “Affirmative action program:

    Translation:

    Girls get scholarships that would have otherwise have gone to boys with higher standardized test scores — i.e. more aptitude.

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  41. Rob Read says:

    http://www.free-codecs.com enjoy.

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  42. Natalie Solent says:

    Ooh, what fun, a game of university willy-waving. Can I play? Oxford, Oxford yah booh sucks and forever!

    This thread, particularly Rick’s contribution, is becoming tiresome.

       0 likes

  43. David Davenport says:

    Here’s some rilly tiresome stuff for you, Ms. Solent:

    Steve Sailer Archive

    June 05, 2005
    IQ And Disease: The Curious Case of the Ashkenazi Jews

    By Steve Sailer

    The slow liberation of the Mainstream Media from the deathgrip of political correctness accelerated last week with startlingly courageous coverage in The Economist and the New York Times of the potentially epochal scientific paper by Gregory Cochran, Henry Harpending, and Jason Hardy entitled The Natural History of Ashkenazi Intelligence [PDF file].

    The Economist headlined its anonymous article:

    “Natural Genius? The evolution of intelligence: The high intelligence of Ashkenazi Jews may be a result of their persecuted past.” (June 2, 2005).

    And in “Researchers Say Intelligence and Diseases May Be Linked in Ashkenazic Genes,”[ June 2, 2005] the NYT’s redoubtable genetics reporter Nicholas Wade reported

    “‘It would be hard to overstate how politically incorrect this paper is,’ said Steven Pinker, a cognitive scientist at Harvard, noting that it argues for an inherited difference in intelligence between groups. Still, he said, ‘it’s certainly a thorough and well-argued paper, not one that can easily be dismissed outright.'”

    The high average intelligence of the Ashkenazi Jews (essentially, Jews from Northern Europe whose ancestors spoke Yiddish, ancestors of the great majority of Jewish Americans) has had an enormous impact on the modern world.

    (Jews from the Muslim world score somewhat lower than Ashkenazis, which leads to a sizable social gap within Israel.)

    The Economist reported:

    “Ashkenazim generally do well in IQ tests, scoring 12-15 points above the mean value of 100…”

    http://www.vdare.com/sailer/050605_iq.htm

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  44. gordon-bennett says:

    Natalie:

    “Ooh, what fun, a game of university willy-waving. Can I play? Oxford, Oxford yah booh sucks and forever!

    This thread, particularly Rick’s contribution, is becoming tiresome.
    Natalie Solent | Homepage | 26.02.06 – 6:15 pm | # ”

    If I owned this blog I would delete this posting

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  45. Natalie Solent says:

    G-B writes, “If I owned this blog I would delete this posting”

    That, on the other hand, is pleasingly indirect. Much better form.

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  46. Rob Read says:

    “university willy-waving”

    LOL, and so true.

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  47. David Davenport says:

    However, if studies show (pulling numbers out of the air) that men have 5% more ability than women, and yet account for 90% of the top scientists, then clearly something else is going on.

    You fail to understand the premise. The premise is NOT that men in general, all men, have 5% or whatever percent more scientific ability than women, all women, in general.

    Instead, the hypothesis is that there are slightly more men than women with math and science aptitude located at the far right tapering end of the IQ probability density function’s bell-shaped curve.

    Most — perhaps 90 percent, of top scientists’ IQ’s may be located in this small region. In other words, fewer than ten percent of the total human population of both men and women may have the innate aptitude to be a great scientist.

    But there may be, say, perhaps, maybe five or some percent more men than women within this notional ten percent of humanity having extra powerful math and science brains.

    That’s what else is going on. Comprende?

    As to whether or not the average Hahvaad engineering, math, or science prof has a higher IQ than the tenured humanities faculty at Snobby Sisters’ College: Let’s give ’em all IQ tests and find out. Publish the results.

    ;0]

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  48. gordon-bennett says:

    Natalie:

    Glad you liked it. Dont be afraid to keep showing your masculine side!

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  49. Rick says:

    Can I play? Oxford, Oxford yah booh sucks and forever!

    Not sure your contribution is particularly edifying…….which college at Oxford did you find so deserving of a “yah booh sucks” rating ?

    Yes you can play – facts are awaited.

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