Various thoughts, here and there

Another exhausting week of work is past, and I am presented with another chance to wind down. Last night, through various casual reading, I was reminded of the concept of “effeminacy.” In many contexts, if you’re a man, the worst you can be seen as is “effeminate.” And of course, American culture stereotypes Asian men (specifically East Asian men) as effeminate. On this, there is this and this, among many other similar articles, especially the notorious this, which I stumbled on several years ago. I’ll say that there is as far as I can tell some truth to this from an objective biological point of view, in the likes of higher and softer voices and lower testosterone levels in East Asian men relative to white men, and also in white men relative to black men. On this note, I was also reminded of some comment of Michael O Church on reddit (which I cannot easily find anymore) that used “high IQ androgyny” as a factor to illustrate how super smart people (like +3.5 even +4 sigma g) get smashed in the corporate world, politically. It brought me to wonder if far tail g men really are more effeminate, which is likely to be the case, as there has got to be some biological tradeoff for the substantially larger brain that is the material source of such extreme cognitive ability. The light, nasal (or whatever you call it, for lack of better word I can think of) of voices of various mathematicians echoed back to me one after another, in contrast to the deeper and superficially more assertive and aggressive (and masculine) voices of those dumber business guys (mostly WASPs) in positions of power in the corporate world. Speaking of WASP, I could see also how Jews are perhaps more effeminate as well; I’d seen and heard enough that I feel I could intuitively recognize a Jewish voice as well, with of course there being the style of language in combination with the vocal mannerisms that sounds it more distinctively Jewish. I’ve long noticed that though East Asians reared in US mostly speak without an accent, it is still often easy to tell that it is an East Asian voice; such just goes to show how real race is, how rearing in an alien land and culture changes not the deeply engrained racial characteristics which go beyond physical appearance. It is quite a marvel indeed and a beautiful product of human evolution, a panorama of human biodiversity, that of course varies significantly more among individuals of groups than among the group averages. East Asians may be effeminate in the sense aforementioned, but interestingly, there is this “mad Asian guy” on Steve Hsu’s blog who in comments has written of the East Asian cognitive profile relative to the white one as akin to the male one vis-a-vis the female one, which is the undebatable truth born out by the result of testing that has across generations revealed East Asians to be higher by about if not at least two-thirds standard deviation in math and visual spatial, thereby making white people more effeminate in another sense.

Human (biological) development is quite fascinating, especially those of outliers, of which I am one to quite a degree, though probably not enough to make me genuinely distinguished (as in 1 in 100,000 or even 1,000,000 in terms of rarity of ability and accomplishment) in any way ever. We all know that top athletes in legit sports like Shaq are physical freaks of nature who deviate dramatically from the norm in their physical development but in one still constrained by the bell curve, physically speaking, but more consequentially, there are geniuses of mind the brains of which are extremely unusual in such a way that concrete output, in terms of quality and profundity, and to a lesser extent quantity is exponentially increasing as one goes further along the tail in our artificially created bell curve. These people, by virtue of their unusual brain structure, are able to perceive the world, engage in a form of consciousness, far beyond, and more objectively correct than, what the normal human experiences. One can only put oneself in another mind rationally; it is impossible to do so for real. As an example to illustrate, it is impossible to feel the way a mentally sick person does when one is healthy and that does not change for one who has recovered from a depressive episode with respect to oneself. Saying this brings to my mind the following quote of Huxley:

Perhaps men of genius are the only true men. In all the history of the race there have been only a few thousand real men. And the rest of us–what are we? Teachable animals. Without the help of the real man, we should have found out almost nothing at all. Almost all the ideas with which we are familiar could never have occurred to minds like ours.

This quote obviously has eugenicist overtones. It hints at a need of measure to protect against degeneration of a human species that for all its wonder and power, relative to real animals, is still mostly degenerate. It also evokes fear, especially in this day and age when genomic prediction and selection is imminent, that some elite will use it to rule an ignorant, subservient masses. We are and already have been in such a world for ages, with the heritability of ability coupled with transmission of money and power in a feudalistic manner, just now in disguise, with additional channels for mobility now for those of ability from lower background. The elite still rules and exploits the masses, just in a way more benign than ages ago with slavery and priestly spiritual opium abound. There is all the evidence that the best we can create as a society is to provide for everyone an environment and position and work appropriate for his ability and temperament taking into account of course the needs of society. There is also the observation that in general, those of higher ability have higher expectations in terms of what they do and also in terms of their material life, just as kids expect less than adults, in terms of their lifestyle. While there are significant differences in ability, and it probably wouldn’t hurt to make people a bit smarter, I would not say there is anything terribly particular one should be, and that everyone should try to find and bring out what is suitable for one’s ability and one’s circumstances, and hopefully something that is never seen before. I’ve lived long enough to be aware that every stage there is a unique personal challenge, and that one’s position relative to others does not necessarily affect one’s happiness much.

History has witnessed clashes, often in the form of war, between races, cultures, beliefs, systems. Groups have, in contempt or hatred of another, sought the other’s destruction, the other’s subjugation, the other’s cultural conversion, particularly in the religious sphere. It is human nature and also human weakness. There is a human inability to respect another far different from oneself for what the other is and a tendency in such cases to be imposing, with this’s being particularly prominent in certain religious cultures. I have had such myself, but they are as far as I can tell largely cleansed away, upon my realization of the differences in humans inherent and not permanently malleable, as evidence by significant changed in people once removed from parental pressure, once they are more free to do as they choose. In this regard, I take a more liberal attitude and come to cherish the diversity in culture, the diversity in styles of thinking, the diversity in talents across the world and across professions. I’ve come to realize over time that to feel contempt for another for his beliefs and tastes is futile, a waste of energy, and in such cases, parting ways, and viewing the difference as a mere reality, one observed and chuckled at, is the best way to go. Moreover, contempt can even metamorphize into some form of appreciation for the richness of our world in the variety it offers, in which one is but one constituent.