[ExI] Superhuman Poker

Dan TheBookMan danust2012 at gmail.com
Wed Jul 24 23:35:59 UTC 2019

On Jul 24, 2019, at 6:05 AM, William Flynn Wallace <foozler83 at gmail.com> wrote:
> I think the “males are better at it” is mostly because of culture. Males still tend — in the US — to be encouraged more in this area and females are still discouraged.
> Anyhow, you’re the psychology expert. Am I far off?
> Regards,
> Dan
> All I can tell you is that males and females are equally exposed to language skills and females at every age are better at it.  As for 3 D objects:  did you ever experience anywhere in your education seeing them from behind in your mind?  Me neither.  These are only on tests.  So males have no more experience than females.  As for the other - we know that foreign language is learned better while very young.  Older people can learn but they will never have the proper accent that the young develop.  I don't know if there are other things that young people learn better, but I suspect we will find some - sort of a critical period, only not strict.
> As for culture, it is extremely difficult to separate nature and nurture, so I suppose we can have any bias we want as long as there is no data.
> bill w

I would actually question that they’re experience is the same given studies of how children are raised. From an early age, females tend to be encouraged in most families — even in ones that are fairly openminded or even downright gender neutral. See the Cordelia Fine’s _Delusions of Gender: How Our Minds, Society, and Neurosexism Create Difference_. She covers how early and pervasive differential treatment and bias influence much of a child’s gender specific behavior. (She doesn’t paint this as one sided either. She likens young children to gender detectives figuring out what behaviors are acceptable for themselves and others and policing them accordingly.)

I think your early childhood and mine might have been very different. Video graphics and games, legos, and the like have me a pretty good bootcamp in 3D visualization. That and I was into drawing (including making technical drawings and plans of both real and imaginary vehicles, buildings, and technology) and building things at an early age. Was this the Y chromosome speaking or just something about my childhood that might’ve played out otherwise despite my genetic endowment?

Now, the thought experiment would be imagine I were born female. Culturally, I might been discouraged from drawing aircraft and spacecraft — I might have been discouraged by family members, by friends, and in school. Ditto for an interest in legos or video games. That’s kind of what I was getting at. Years of playing with objects spatially and drawing might have been foregone and then latter testing might have shown that this female version of me wasn’t good at this stuff and this would be linked to genes or hormones — ignoring that at every turn I was channeled away from spatial play. This is why I used the analogy with musical instruments: if the female version of me later became an arch-feminist and wanted to prove she was equal to any male in mental spatial manipulation, she’d be starting like the student (with no prior musical training) who takes up the violin at 18. Sure, there might be something musical that comes out of it, but the odds are stacked against them and they’re unlikely to make it into Juilliard.)


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