Why women overrate themselves

Veronica: Why do you have to be such a mega-bitch?
Heather #1: Because I can be.

Most men understand it when the most attractive women consider themselves too good for the average joe. Because, in short, they are, and few men have much of a problem with that. Where men get confused and irritated is when a woman who is manifestly NOT too good for them by any reasonable objective metric acts as if she genuinely believes that she is. The reason is exactly as Occam’s Razor suggests. She does. And here’s why.

Women have a strong preference to date and mate up. Men, on the other hand, are much more inclined to date broad-spectrum and mate down. And while most men understand that the definition of “up” varies according to sex – men placing extra value on looks and sexual history, women placing emphasis on social status and wealth – they don’t understand the logical consequences of women dating up and men dating down. And these consequences are further exacerbated by men generally being the pursuers and women the pursued.

Look at it this way. A woman who manages to attract the passing attention of a higher-status man, even if she does so through taking the role of the pursuer, is quite reasonably, if incorrectly, inclined to consider herself worthy of the attentions of higher status men in the future despite the declining marginal utility of her youth and sexual history. This is why a woman will always identify her status by the football star, the surgeon, or the singer in the band with whom she once spent a few hours rather than by the nondescript fellow who was her boyfriend for several years, regardless of how long ago it was. Roissy had an amusing post about a woman who had dated Anthony Kiedis a long time ago and actually carried around pictures of them in order to show them to people she had just met.

This creates an essentially Austrian problem of false signals leading to malinvestment. Because women do not distinguish between the quantity of male attention and the quality, the conflation encourages them to a) overrate their own attractiveness, and, b) invest their time and attention in men who are not likely to have any interest in them beyond the immediate term. So, the female 6 considers herself an 8 by virtue of the times that a male 9 decided that she was the best available at the moment, and quite logically feels insulted when she is approached by a male 5 or 6. Meanwhile, the male 6 is standing there in astonishment, staring at what he believes is quite clearly an appropriate counterpart and wondering who in the world she thinks she is.

What this means is that thanks to modern hook-up culture, the average woman now tends to consider herself a 7 or 8 rather than a 5, which is one of the many social factors that make it hard for her to eventually “settle”.

What makes a statement "scientific"?

Dan Gezelter of Open Science contemplates the question:

Popper concluded that it is impossible to know that a theory is true based on observations (O); science can tell us only that the theory is false (or that it has yet to be refuted). He concluded that meaningful scientific statements are falsifiable.

A more realistic picture of scientific theories isn’t this simple. We often base our theories on a set of auxiliary assumptions which we take as postulates for our theories. For example, a theory for liquid dynamics might depend on the whole of classical mechanics being taken as a postulate, or a theory of viral genetics might depend on the Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium. In these cases, classical mechanics (or the Hardy-Wienberg equilibrium) are the auxiliary assumptions for our specific theories.

These auxiliary assumptions can help show that science is often not a deductively valid exercise…. Falsifying a theory requires that auxiliary assumption (AA) be demonstrably true. Auxiliary assumptions are often highly theoretical — remember, auxiliary assumptions might be statements like the entirety of classical mechanics is correct or the Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium is valid! It is important to note, that if we can’t verify AA, we will not be able to falsify T by using the valid argument above. Contrary to Popper, there really is no asymmetry between falsification and verification. If we cannot verify theoretical statements, then we cannot falsify them either.

Since verifying a theoretical statement is nearly impossible, and falsification often requires verification of assumptions, where does that leave scientific theories? What is required of a statement to make it scientific?

In light of the increasing tendency of scientists to gravitate towards credentialism, authoritarianism, and hiding behind fictional concepts of property, I find the development of the Open Science movement to be both significant and encouraging. There is nothing that will hinder, if not outright prevent, the transformation of science from a method open to anyone into a technocratic ideologically-driven priesthood more effectively than forcing scientific papers and pronouncements to stand publicly on their own merits.

Open Source Software has transformed the world of software development; at least one-third of the programs I now use on a daily basis are OSS. I suspect Open Science has the potential to have an even more significant and even more necessary impact on the increasingly corrupt and politicized field of science. But just as the developers of proprietary software continue to fight the rising tide of open source software, one can expect the practitioners of closed science to bitterly resist open science. I, for one, anticipate hearing the convoluted arguments they will present for keeping science safely locked away behind credentialed doors.

Many things have changed in the past 46 years, but Richard Feynman’s definition of science is even more applicable today than it was when he first articulated it: “Science is the belief in the ignorance of experts.”

Mailvox: database question

Paradox looks for advice:

I have a question. What type of database software would you and the Ilk recomend for a small business? The business will be auto repair. The database entities would be customers and invoices. Atributes would be items like invoce number and car make and model etc.

All I have to say is that’s a good business in this economy. But I know nothing about databases, so if anyone has anything intelligent to offer on the subject, please do so.