Men Are From Logic, Women Are From Emotion

Wondering why there are few women in tech? Here’s the perspective of someone in tech. | Questions and Observations

Most jobs of any consequence in tech companies require people to successfully write code at some point in their careers. Writing code is a very unusual human activity. In addition to logic skills and some other cognitive capabilities that the articles usually do touch on, there is one aspect of it most people outside the industry have never thought about: you must be comfortable being wrong and prepared to constantly acknowledge and fix your own mistakes.

You are wrong a few dozen times a day. The computer tells you (via a compiler error or problem in the running program) that you are unambiguously wrong, and you *must* figure out how to fix the mistake before you proceed. The mistake can’t be overlooked or ignored. It must be fixed, and to the exacting standards of a machine with no emotions.

And here’s where I think the problem results in disparate impact between males and females: the computer is invulnerable to pleading, sweet-talking, eye blinking, hair tossing, lip licking, or any of the other things a substantial fraction of young women have learned to use to get their way in the world, via persuading a male to take care of it or overlook it.

I think this is the nub of it.  Generalizing wildly (but not too erroneously, I think), women tend to be emotional while men tend to be logical.

Machines respond to logic.  They don’t respond at all to emotion.  “Give me the right code,” the machine will say, over and over and over again, until you either give it the right code, or you walk away.

You can’t get anywhere smiling at the machine, frowning at it, cursing it, tantalizing it, blowing kisses at it, telling it that it is sexist, or unfair, or mean.  It doesn’t care.  It can’t care.  It is a machine, and you have to talk to it in a language it understands.  And that language is logic.  If you can’t speak logic, you can’t talk to machines.  A machine has no emotions to manipulate, and the manipulation of emotions is one of the strongest weapons in the female arsenal.

Most women can’t speak logic and, in fact, don’t even want to do so.  Billy says the he hires a higher percentage of female applicants than male ones, though he gets a much lower number of female applicants.  I think the reason for that is straightforward: by the time a woman reaches Billy’s hiring process, she’s already proven that she can speak logic and, given the way the world works, likely has to have become able to speak it better than the average guy in order to get ahead.

But still, bottom line:  You have to speak logic, and most women either can’t, or won’t.

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About Bill Quick

I am a small-l libertarian. My primary concern is to increase individual liberty as much as possible in the face of statist efforts to restrict it from both the right and the left. If I had to sum up my beliefs as concisely as possible, I would say, "Stay out of my wallet and my bedroom," "your liberty stops at my nose," and "don't tread on me." I will believe that things are taking a turn for the better in America when married gays are able to, and do, maintain large arsenals of automatic weapons, and tax collectors are, and do, not.


Men Are From Logic, Women Are From Emotion — 6 Comments

  1. Billy Hollis’s essay is about right, I think.

    Bill Quick’s post title and commentary are close, but not quite right. I’d rephrase along the lines of, a small fraction of men reason and act logically and a smaller fraction of women do. Ball-parking, I’d say that at most 1% of men and 0.1% of women are mentally and temperamentally suited to be programmers or engineers. (Yes, I realize that a higher fraction than that works in STEM in the US. A lot of them shouldn’t be. They’re not worth crap and productivity would go up without them.)

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