Tuesday, September 11, 2012

A Response to Why Men Fail

Regarding David Brook's column Why Men Fail:

Although I have been reading these arguments for a long time, and I am not interested in questioning them, one item irked me. It is that women who leave financial firms do better than men. I have read studies of this issue, and it partially stems from the fact that women rely on external networks, while men tend to have strong internal networks.

As an aside, economic inequality has been increasing for as long as men have been becoming social/economic laggards, and like many social issues, I wonder how much is attributable to something larger than men themselves. As an example, people cite obesity causes and cures, without realizing that obesity correlates with inequality at about .7, a very large relationship. This correlation points to potential causes that are so large and beyond the control of individuals. It is possible that growing inequality more heavily impacts men, regardless of the causes attributed to individuals.

  • Does this kind of gender disenfranchisement exist in all WEIRD (Western, educated, industrialized, rich, democratic) countries?
  • Is there some degree of correlation between economic inequality and male 'failure'?
  • If not economic inequality, is there some larger-than-individual social factor at play?

A Journey — if You Dare — Into the Minds of Silicon Valley Programmers

My responses in a NY Times comment section for the book, Coders: The Making of a New Tribe and the Remaking of the World by Clive Thompson ...