Friday, October 31, 2014

Do women make better decisions?

It depends entirely upon your definition of "better":
Mara Mather, a cognitive neuroscientist at the University of Southern California, and Nichole R. Lighthall, a cognitive neuroscientist now at Duke University, are two of the many researchers who have found that under normal circumstances, when everything is low-key and manageable, men and women make decisions about risk in similar ways. We gather the best information we can, we weigh potential costs against potential gains, and then we choose how to act. But add stress to the situation — replicated in the lab by having participants submerge their hands in painfully cold, 35-degree water — and men and women begin to part ways.

Dr. Mather and her team taught people a simple computer gambling game, in which they got points for inflating digital balloons. The more they inflated each balloon, the greater its value, and the risk of popping it. When they were relaxed, men and women took similar risks and averaged a similar number of pumps. But after experiencing the cold water, the stressed women stopped sooner, cashing out their winnings and going with the more guaranteed win. Stressed men did just the opposite. They kept pumping — in one study averaging about 50 percent more pumps than the women — and risking more. In this experiment, the men’s risk-taking earned them more points. But that wasn’t always the case.

In another experiment, researchers asked participants to draw cards from multiple decks, some of which were safe, providing frequent small rewards, and others risky, with infrequent but bigger rewards. They found that the most stressed men drew 21 percent more cards from the risky decks than from the safe ones, compared to the most stressed women, losing more over all.

Across a variety of gambles, the findings were the same: Men took more risks when they were stressed. They became more focused on big wins, even when they were costly and less likely.

Levels of the stress hormone cortisol appear to be a major factor, according to Ruud van den Bos, a neurobiologist at Radboud University in the Netherlands. He and his colleagues have found that the tendency to take more risks when under pressure is stronger in men who experience a larger spike in cortisol. But in women he found that a slight increase in cortisol seemed actually to improve decision-making performance.But the closer the women got to the stressful event, the better their decision making became. Stressed women tended to make more advantageous decisions, looking for smaller, surer successes. Not so for the stressed men. The closer the timer got to zero, the more questionable the men’s decision making became, risking a lot for the slim chance of a big achievement.
What the researchers failed to note is that this actually explains why there are so few female entrepreneurs and why it is much more often men who become very wealthy. The higher the risk, the more likely you are to lose everything, but the higher the potential reward. It's not an accident that many of the most wealthy men have gained, lost, and recovered, large fortunes. Unless your plan is to inherit wealth, accepting high levels of risk is the only way to become very wealthy.

So, what this means is that we could probably use more women in finance and fewer women in technology. We want people chasing risk in startups. We don't want them chasing it in banks.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Alpha is good for you

It should be interesting to see the various heads exploding if this study is successfully replicated:
Sleeping with more than 20 women protects men against prostate cancer, a study has suggested. Men who had slept with more than 20 women lowered their risk of developing cancer by almost one third, and were 19 per cent less likely to develop the most aggressive form.... But when asked whether public health authorities should recommend men to sleep with many women in their lives Dr Parent added: "We're not there yet."
I'm just a little curious about how sleeping with all these women is supposed to bolster a man's health. I mean, surely one has to have sex with them in order to obtain the purported beneficial effects for one's prostate, right?

Anyhow, I suspect that the effects of female promiscuity will prove to be, as in the case of homosexual men, a net negative. Unless, of course, a specifically targeting proves to be beneficial for breast cancer. And really, a girl can never be too careful.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Ignore women in public

That's the short-sighted lesson being pushed by the mainstream media today:
A 24-year-old aspiring actress has been filmed being catcalled 108 times as she strolled around New York City - even though she was wearing a plain T-shirt, jeans and sneakers. Shoshana Roberts, a graduate of Kutztown University in Pennsylvania, was captured on a hidden camera by her friend, Rob Bliss, as she walked through the city's streets. Over a ten-hour period, she was pelted with dozens of unsolicited comments, including: 'What's up beautiful?', 'Hey baby', 'Smile' and 'Have a nice evening darling'.
Unsolicited compliments and greetings? It's almost rape! It's worse than the Holocaust!

"Miss Roberts wrote: "This happens daily to so many people. We don't put up with harassment in school, at home, or at work, so why should we have to put up with it on the street?"

She's right. They shouldn't. So, the next time a strong, independent woman you don't know looks to you for help in public, just smile, tell her you don't harass women, and walk away. And if she tries to talk to you, tell her to stop harassing you.

The ironic thing is that these men have it all wrong anyhow. They'd be much more likely to get a response from her if they glanced at her and laughed, rolled their eyes, or sniffed dismissively. Street neg, one might say.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Girls in Games: setting the record straight

The constant media reports that women are just as likely to be gamers is bewildering to any genuine gamer. Where are they all? The truth is that it is nothing more than the usual media spinning the facts into a seriously distorted fiction. Consider this summary of last year's NPD survey:
PC gamers are just as likely to be men as they are women, with 51 percent and 49 percent, respectively. They tend to be older, with an average age of 38 years, and affluent, with an average household income of $69k. Gender differences become apparent by type of gamer: Heavy Core and Light Core are comprised mainly of men while Casual PC gamers are overwhelmingly female.
Talk about burying the lead! Casual PC gamers are not, and have never been, considered "gamers". Yes, they play games. So does Grandma and her bridge club. They're not gamers either.

The summary by The Escapist was more precise:
Core Gamers Mostly Male, Casual Gamers Mostly Female, Says NPD

Market research firm the NPD Group (who you may know as the guys who provide sales numbers for games every month) has conducted a large-scale survey of American PC gamers, and come up with some interesting observations. The 6,225 members survey were split into three groups - Heavy Core, Light Core, and Casual. Heavy Core gamers play "core" games for five or more hours per week, while Light Core gamers still enjoy core games, but do so for less than five hours a week, and Casual gamers only play non-core games. The survey found that the majority of gamers in the two "core" groups were male, while the casual group was "overwhelmingly female."

Just FYI, In order to qualify as a core gamer for the survey, respondents had to currently play Action/Adventure, Fighting, Flight, Massively Multi-Player (MMO), Racing, Real Time Strategy, Role-Playing, Shooter, or Sport games on a PC/Mac.

The largest segment is Casual at 56 percent, with Light Core at 24 percent, and Heavy Core at 20 percent. Though Heavy Core is the smallest segment, they spend a significantly higher number of hours gaming in an average week, and have spent roughly twice as much money in the past 3 months on physical or digital games for the computer than Casual PC gamers. Of all the participants surveyed, 51% were male and 49% were female.
Unfortunately, no actual breakdown by sex was provided, but we can work it out, depending upon what percentage you reasonably consider to be "overwhelming". I'll try 90 percent, although I suspect it might actually be higher.

0.56 x 0.9 = .504. Hmm, that won't work, because 50.4 percent is higher than the 49 percent female respondents reported. Perhaps Literally Wu was surveyed? Let's back "overwhelming" down to 85 percent. 0.56 x 0.85 is 0.476, which is at least statistically possible.

That means that if only 15 percent of casual gamers are male, the MAXIMUM number of Heavy Core female gamers are 0.62 percent of the population. .014 x .44 = 0.00616.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Women and #GamerGate

Dalrock explains the female compulsion at the root of it all:
Feminism at its core is envy of men and a desire to usurp their position. It would be difficult to overstate just how deep this feeling is. This isn’t just about the apex fallacy, it is about a deep desire to “be one of the guys”.  Any group of men getting together to create or enjoy anything will result in women wanting in. The only question is which category the women belong to. Some will want to try to experience the manly enjoyment/pride directly, and will take real steps to be (like) one of the guys. These are the ones who tend to defend the male space.  They don’t want it ruined because they want to experience it.  But others (a much larger group) will realize that they can’t actually experience this, and will then set out to stamp out what they can’t have.  The first category inadvertently paves the way for the second, assuming they don’t themselves shift priorities mid stream.
This is a remarkable explanation of what we've seen take place in the game industry since 1995. I mention that year because that was the year that I met Brenda Laurel at CGDC just prior to her founding Purple Moon, which was the first serious attempt by a woman to exploit an aspect of the vertical game market that first exploded with Facebook, then mobile.

Laurel is a feminist, with all the problems and issues that entails, but she was not only a legitimate, if pedestrian game developer, she was not at all interested with the rest of the game industry, let alone interested in trying to ruin it. Even the troubled transvestite who calls himself Spacekatgal is more interested in selling his own game than in interfering with other games, his crusade against Assassin's Creed notwithstanding. But the likes of Anita Sarkeesian fall squarely into Dalrock's second group, as she is a parasite whose primary motivation is to invade the male space and destroy it.

Is it "the curse of Eve"? Is it some yet-to-be explained female pathology? Who knows. But it is a repeatedly observable phenomenon.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

The joy of middle-aged spinsterhood

Perhaps women would be less keen to leave it until their 30s to settle down, or to Eat, Pray, Divorce, if they had a better understanding of the way they are running the chance of winding up like these women:
The mid-life shame of moving back in with mum and dad: How failed relationships are forcing more and more middle aged women back into their childhood bedrooms.

‘I always imagined that by my mid-30s I’d be married or at least living with someone and thinking about starting a family. It felt like the right age to settle down, but everything was unravelling. I’d been living with my partner in a rented house but, when we split up, I couldn’t afford the rent on my own. My illness meant I struggled to work and I was under a lot of financial pressure.’

Clare Harrison has a warning for anyone just starting out in the world of work. ‘I envy people with their own homes,’ she says. ‘Yes their lives in their 20s and 30s were more mundane than mine. They didn’t have the adventures I did, they haven’t seen the world like I have. But does that really count for anything? My memories can’t put a roof over my head.’
Now, don't be quick to assume that all women are similarly shortsighted. Remember, women, not men, are the ultimately practical sex. So, the trick simply requires convincing them that they are not special snowflakes who are immune to any such possibilities, which, of course, means playing on their fears.

Or you could simply leave them to feminism and the "every woman can be president one day" approach, which, if nothing else, is amusing to anyone with even a modicum of mathematical ability.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

All they really want is attention

A woman notices Roosh and me criticizing Chris Kluwe on Twitter and desperately wants to get some of that precious, precious male attention:
Bootleg Girl ‏@BootlegGirl
Feel free to pass on the aggro to me! I disagree with you guys too! And I'm a woman! Come get me! @ChrisWarcraft @voxday @rooshv

Vox Day ‏@voxday
@BootlegGirl @rooshv Doxxing will be $99, death threats $199, convincing death threats $250, and for only $499, you can rent a nerd-rapist.
Give her a week and she'll be on MSNBC talking about her near-rape experience on Twitter. And she'll probably burn out her vibrator in the meantime.