Saturday, November 2, 2013

Of math and stuff

Morpheus responds to Susan Walsh and her attempt to defend her assertion that the idea female SMV declines with age is a myth:
Let’s walk through Susan’s post here.  First, let me give credit where credit is due.  Susan is quite articulate, and has a masterful command of rhetoric.  No doubt, she would have been a successful lawyer.  I’m sure she is very persuasive to those without a sufficient IQ and critical thinking skills to see all the holes in her Swiss cheese arguments.  When it comes to basic logic though, she often stumbles in contradictions and non sequiturs.  I believe this is because she often starts with what *feels right* to her and then tries to fit the data and construct arguments to support that feeling.  As a side point, I think many intelligent women struggle with the battle between their emotions and feelings versus their intellect.  Most often, emotions and “what feels” right is the master, and the intellect becomes the servant.

Let’s start with the title of the post.  Note the use of the word “Conclusive” in the title.  This is a rhetorical gimmick.  If something really is conclusive, then the data and analysis can stand on its own.  The reader does not need to be told what follows is “conclusive”.  The word is simply there to plant in the minds of less discerning readers a false sense of authority.  This is the sort of thing that does work on most people to set the tone.  The Game parallel to this technique is what is called Frame Control.

She goes on to state: “was apparently incensed by her argument, emailing me this vaguely ominous message:”

Actually I was not incensed…perhaps that is projection on her part but I was a different “i” word.  I was incredulous that she was making the foundation of a post a random commenter claiming to be a PhD, and clearly not even understanding the details of the mathematical argument.  It is understandable that Susan might have some trouble with the math here.  In a recent comment, she made the statement that men over 35 lose 7 pounds of muscle a year.  Clearly, if one stopped to think about that point for even one second before making it, one would realize the basic arithmetic is absurd as you would lose 210 pounds of muscle by age 65.  To her credit, she did correct this egregious error, but it does point out that perhaps she has some difficulty with “math and stuff”.

She goes on to say: “but he is correct IF AND ONLY IF you believe that the homo sapien male is inherently more valuable sexually than the homo sapien female.”

Ahhhh.  Note the use of the CAPS and the emphatic IF AND ONLY IF which excludes all other possibilities.  She is so sure of herself.  Of course, this is demonstrably false.  If we assume for the sake of argument that this “area under the curve” notion has any meaning, then the OTHER POSSIBILITY where the areas could NOT be equal is if the “homo sapien female is inherently more valuable sexually than the homo sapien male”.  To be clear, I’m not outright rejecting that possibility.  One logical possibility is that the peak value of a typical female is orders of magnitude higher than the peak value of the male, but that the value decreases at a much more accelerated rate.  The key is that whether you start the top of the Y-axis from 10 or 100, that represents the peak value for each sex, not an absolute number you can compare between the sexes.  When dealing with “math and stuff” and comparing different data sets with different value ranges, this is called normalization of the data:

    In the simplest cases, normalization of ratings means adjusting values measured on different scales to a notionally common scale,

So conceivably, the 10 or 100 for a guy could be a lower absolute value compared to the 10 or 100 for a girl.  It is an interesting question.  Who has a higher absolute sexual value?  The 23-year Sports Illustrated swimsuit model with 36″ legs, a perfect body, and face of an angel, or the 38-year old tall, charismatic, handsome, wealthy hedge fund manager?  But they both could be at their respective peak values of 10 or 100 or whatever scale you normalize to.  What I’ve described here with normalizing the data is yet another reason this whole “area under the curve” business is just gibberish.

Let’s hit this from yet another angle.  When we depict SMV on a chart like this, we are essentially showing a price path or trajectory in value.  The path of the line over time and the corresponding Y-axis value is the informational content, not the cumulative area under the line.  If a woman was super-fit then gained 50 pounds, then lost it, the path of that line would show a sudden collapse and rebound.  It would be nonsensical to start analyzing the area under her particular SMV value line.  In a sense, this is basically just like plotting a stock price over time.  It is the stock price at a particular point in time that matters, not how much area is under the stock price line.  This whole “area under the curve” business is almost as nonsensical if I grabbed two random stock tickers, plotted them and then stated that somehow the areas under the curves must equal.
In general, responding to rhetoric with dialectic in this manner amounts to little more than casting pearls before swine, but not when the rhetoric is fake dialectic. In such cases, exposing it for the nonsense that it is is extremely effective, and Morpheus has done a competent job of demonstrating why Susan's reliance upon an incompetent authority was unwise.

23 comments:

Iowahine said...

As a side point, I think many intelligent women struggle with the battle between their emotions and feelings versus their intellect. Most often, emotions and “what feels” right is the master, and the intellect becomes the servant.

Well-said. Add to that fear-driven and we understand why male leadership is God's plan.

Conscientia Republicae said...

I could understand where Kelly the Ph.D was coming from if her doctorate was in chromatography. The two curves do slightly resemble component peaks that haven't been completely separated. In that case, the area under the curve is important.

Doom said...

You guys are way too bored. Yeah, I know, you invested time and effort in her, and would like the bring the mad cow back to reason, and all. But, really? Let her be outstanding in her field. I knew she would go off the rez. I warned you. They all do. If she isn't yours it isn't worth the effort to try to help her. I mean, why stop with just her? Why not try to save every old (single is she) (or not single) crazy bat that has flown the coop because they can't handle the reality that they aren't worth the effort for even an old, but high in his class, coot to bother to pick up. She will either come back to reason on her own through hard trial and error or become the next wicked witch, neither of which concerns you.

Public discourse? Yeah. You guys are bored as shit. Well... or have some really pooch screwing hobbies. Whatever. I only mess with teh stupid when it gets in my face.

JLT said...

Too good not to share, this comment on a WaPost article shows what is expected of the beta masses:

Gray wolf to lose endangered species protection as numbers rise
From the comments:

I’d like to address another, often overlooked aspect of this potentially devastating situation…the wolves themselves

They are, when not being harassed and menaced by humans, perhaps the noblest creatures on the planet…or at least in the top five…

Often called “nature’s perfect parents” wolves take a communal view when rearing their young. Only the alpha male and female mate…the rest celibate and sharing in raising, feeding and protecting the pack and it’s young. They don’t overkill…taking only what they need (unlike certain species of bear, which will kill hungry or not…especially those coke-endorsing white ones who ARE the most carnivorous creatures on the North American continent…but they get the good PR, while wolves are vilified for their incredibly miniscule impact on cattle and other livestock

If man was as true to his essential, fundamental nature as wolves are…the world would be a far better place in many ways that really matter...

James Mark II said...

Lol, you just roasted Susan with the logic rotisserie.

Sir Nemesis said...

@ JLT

Good find. It shows exactly how they want to treat the betas.

Bob said...

"As a side point, I think many intelligent women struggle with the battle between their emotions and feelings versus their intellect. Most often, emotions and “what feels” right is the master, and the intellect becomes the servant.

Heh, that and they're ABSOLUTELY TERRIFIED of being wrong, at least in public. They resort to going into a hysterical lockdown of plugging their ears and rocking and screaming "I'm right I'm right I'm right!" and blocking everything else out, lashing out with personal (or even physical) attacks when proven otherwise.

It's really weird and always brings a small smile to my face when watching a woman be proved wrong, and then go into a massive collapse of absolute chaos. Some men are similar and fly into a rage and have it come down to "well let's fight then", but at least they have ACCEPTED that they're wrong when they get to that stage, and are trying to personally overcome their "attacker", rather than expect the world to reshape itself to suit them.

Otherwise most blokes will revise their view and reform themselves in future when proved wrong, again by personally becoming better, stronger and more knowledgeable to be "right" in future, again dominance by personal improvement to overcome a problem, rather than expecting the problem to just go away and the world be happy and fluffy again.

Vox said...

Heh, that and they're ABSOLUTELY TERRIFIED of being wrong, at least in public.

Yep. That's why calmly looking them directly in the eye and saying "you're wrong" will so often cause them to completely melt down in public. Thus making your point in the eyes of everyone else there.

Bob said...

Aye, the other amusing thing is they even sympathise with someone ELSE when they're being proved wrong (female at least), even if the person in question is horrible, and as wrong as can possibly be.

They somehow emotionally connect with the shame the person is feeling and think "what if it was me being shown up like that" (if only they could put themselves in the other person's shoes in situations where it wouldn't be all about them), and then actually put down the person doing the proving. How often do we see bad people be sympathised with by women when they're (rightfully) put down. Blows my mind.

youresmelly said...

This guy is a sperg and you're a moron for approving. It's pointless to argue about it because the original graph is not based on any data, besides a fantasy in somebody's head about what the curves might look like. Arguing over whether the areas under the curve should be equal or not is idiocy because nobody knows if they should be or not. They might be, they might not be, the only thing that's going to to tell us whether they should be or not is statistical evidence. The phd chick was wrong for saying they should be, and pointing and laughing in turn that she was wrong only gets you back to the starting point, which is that the graph is the tale of an idiot, signifying nothing, because it's not based on any data. The proper counterpoint for Susan would have been doodling up another graph that showed her dog's smv was higher than the other graph's author and proclaiming it just as valid, which if you're interested in data, it would have been. And if you aren't, why go to the trouble of drawing a graph with scales and ranges and all that other shit, as if you were a fucking scientist? This is why the manosphere is a joke.

Bob said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bob said...

It's just a visual representation of how things go up and down over time, and do so different for males and females. It was hardly meant to be scientifically accurate, that was the whole point of the argument?...

Morpheus said...

This guy is a sperg and you're a moron for approving.

Question. How do you know a feminist woman is the responder? They always lead with insults because they cannot refute the argument. Not that it matters, but I took the facial recognition test some time back, and I think I missed either 1 or 2. The typical Asberger's person barely can get half right. The thing is shitty logic is shitty logic, and no amount of handwaving can change that.

Arguing over whether the areas under the curve should be equal or not is idiocy

It probably is idiocy. Of course, to the extent that is true, it still begs the question of why Susan grabbed a random comment off a post more than a year old, and then with cannons firing and trumpets proclaimed to the entire world that the graphs have been refuted on that basis. Worse yet, in comment after comment she repeated this "area under the curve" argument. It was necessary to expose it for the total horseshit it is given she continued to trump it as her "Ace in Hole" where really it was just a deuce if even that.

Morpheus said...

Just to add stubborn pride is one pain in ass trait. You've got to know when to fold up, and move on, and stop digging the hole you are in deeper. There is a takeaway for men though....this entire episode is illustrative of the problems with "smart girls". I can't imagine living with a woman or making joint life decisions with someone who is obstinately convinced they are right no matter what. Ultimately, the only two alternatives become either "Yes, dear", or "Look, bitch". My SO is rarely obstinately argumentative, but when she is I playfully nip that shit in the bud.

Vox said...

The phd chick was wrong for saying they should be, and pointing and laughing in turn that she was wrong only gets you back to the starting point, which is that the graph is the tale of an idiot, signifying nothing, because it's not based on any data.

Do you have a similar problem understanding S/D curves and the IS-LM model, Stankygirl? I mean, neither the IS-LM nor the Keynesian Cross diagram are based on any data either. They must signify nothing! Smith and Hicks and Keynes, all must be morons!

Or maybe, just maybe, it's you....

Iowahine said...

And, graph or no graph, relative to men, women have a brief window of high marketability, observable by reality.

aeolipera said...

Not that it matters, but I took the facial recognition test some time back, and I think I missed either 1 or 2. The typical Asberger's person barely can get half right.

http://docs.autismresearchcentre.com/papers/2001_BCetal_adulteyes.pdf

"Thus, the adults with HFA or AS scored on average 16 ± 3 out of 25 (SD 2.9), whereas the adults with TS scored on average 20 ± 4 out of 25 (SD 2.6). Although this was only a 4-point difference, it was significant at the p ± 01 level. The group with TS did not differ significantly on this test from the general population."

Spergbot AWAAAYYYY....

Desiderius said...

"They always lead with insults"

They always lead with insults because they were raised by their fathers to be the sons they (the fathers, due to smaller family sizes) never got to have.

Being women, their picture of manly behavior is unduly colored by their experiences with alpha males (apex fallacy), who are do in fact tend to perceive disagreement as a challenge to their alpha status and to respond in that mode rather than with rational arguments (rhetoric vs. dialectic).

Being women, they by and large suck at this in contrast to the alpha males they are attempting to mimic. Gammas have a similar problem.

Some dude said...

It is bizarre that this topic even needs more than 30 seconds. Is there really a question in anyone's head that women get uglier as they get older, and consequently nobody wants them?

mina smith said...

JLT said... (some really good observations about wolves)

Wolves are K selected species as are humans. Liberals and lefties and their related types are abominations: r selected behavior in a K selected species. Lots of good info here: http://www.anonymousconservative.com/blog/the-theory/rk-selection-theory/

Peabody said...

I remember the first class in which we were shown a graph for which the area under the curve didn't mean anything, only the shape of the curve mattered. It was an overhaul diagram in my one CivEng elective, Highway Design.

Years of calculus and physics and so forth had beaten into us, deeply, that the area under the curve was IMPORTANT. Do the math - the area MATTERS.

Everyone had trouble wrapping their heads around the concept of the area under the curve having no significance. It was the first time we'd seen such a case. The professor told us he set aside an entire class period just to help us get used to the concept.

I am still amazed at how difficult it was for me to not reject the concept, grant the premise and resume thinking. I have since seen other examples (spectrum analyses come to mind) but that was the first and, by far, most memorable.

Emma said...

Her argument about the male being inherently more sexually valuable than the female is a giant misunderstanding. If the chart actually showed the pure raw sexual market value, then the female graph would be several orders of magnitude taller than the male graph. Because women are the gatekeepers of sex, even at 40, 60 and beyond.
If this was a raw SMV graph, you would not observe a teeny tiny difference in SMV means. It would be huge. To woman's favor. All she would have to do to disprove this graph is to say that women are always the gatekeepers of sex, and thus sexual market value is mostly concentrated with the women.

However, I can't entirely blame her for misunderstanding, as Rollo did label his y-axis "SMV", like it's absolute raw SMV or something.

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