Monday, March 17, 2014

Why Do So Many (Incompetent) Men Become Leaders?

link...parentheses mine...

This is consistent with my own theory. Basically:  bullshit walks.

Overconfidence and bullshit are frequently winning strategies. Males are more inclined to act that way. Ergo males have an advantage.

I know both males and females who get by on overconfidence and bullshit...but I think it's obvious that dudes do it more...


Anonymous Anonymous said...

My pet theory on why we have real problem with gender imbalance in philosophy is similar to this: The woman's language* phenomenon of qualifying judgements with "I feel that...", etc. turns philosophical questions into questions of psychology or sociology. If an intelligent, inquisitive woman is used to qualifying judgements like "Murder is wrong" as "I feel murder is wrong", then the question of why that judgement is the case looks like a psychological or sociological one. Now really, a careful philosopher would begin with the personally qualified judgement, and then move to the general if the reasons warrant. But the young careful philosopher has already elected a psychology major, and is now reading Piaget instead of Kant. The field of philosophy is left to the kind of person who judges that murder is wrong, full-stop, and now seeks the explanation why, cocksure young men by and large.

1:15 AM  
Anonymous navarro said...

i've often thought that one of the reasons male political and business leaders make such bad decisions is partially the result of necties cutting into the flow of blood to their brains for so long.

8:39 AM  
Blogger Winston Smith said...

Interesting suggestion, A.

Don't forget the combative nature of the thing, too. *I* find it off-putting...and I'm not exactly a shrinking violet...

9:36 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The bloodsport element is off-putting to to a lot of people, true. I think the degree to which this keeps women out of philosophy is overstated though. (And dangerous, since as this theory is often brought into support "collegiality" rules that amount to do-not-demonstrate-error.) In my experience, the manifest willingness of women students to engage in no quarter debate goes up substantially when there are a substantial number of women in the class, or after a male student has been decisively out argued by a female student. This suggests to me that differential dread of the meanness is motivated by what the psychologists call stereotype threat, and is therefor an effect of the imbalance rather than a cause.

3:28 PM  
Blogger Winston Smith said...

Yeah, I, too, am skeptical about the degree to which the bloodsport factor matters to females. I suspect that that matters to some extent, but am far from sure that it's decisive.

Are there such "collegiality rules"??? I've never heard of such a thing... Creepy...

Re: stereotype threat: that's certainly plausible.

personally, I won't be surprised if there are natural tendencies that account for some of the sex differential in some disciplines. There's little reason to think that males and females have, as groups, identical interests.

But it'd be pretty surprising if the current differential were entirely the result of natural differences in interest and aptitude.

3:44 PM  

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