July 2015

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There’s the job market. Which is a lot like a beaver — say, a Brown graduate — who discovers that he has to defend his dam against all comers, which is pretty much the way of nature. Only the government doesn’t want beaver dams anymore. At which point he becomes a federal bureaucrat. Or… he becomes thinner, smarter, and more opportunistic.

What do you do in the latter case? You become a predator. And a killer. But small and clever.

Now you’re a jumped up weasel. Interestingly enough, these exist in varying forms on four different continents. Won’t torture you with the Tasmanian Devil. You can do that for yourself. Incredibly brave idiot mammals who will do anything to win. (Think Crimson Tide.) Because they never give up. Same thing said about both beavers and jumped up weasels. Thinking yet? Little like us maybe? The way we used to be? Before we got so fat and lazy and stoned and stupid? Hardworking, relentless, and courageous. We’re us but nature still shows us what’s underneath our flaccid pretensions.

Hard-wired, folks. Try this. The mongoose are nothing compared to the honey badgers. Nothing. Who can take the balls off a hyena at no minute’s notice? Meet Stoffel, the smartest mammal you’ve ever met. And the meanest. (Think Fight Club.)

Which makes the Ann Arbor team the wimps we always knew they were. Kidding. There are no more wolverines in Michigan, but the ones we have left are still North American. Therefore nicer than the tiny monsters from Africa. (You didn’t watch the PBS honey badger piece yet, did you? Give yourself a break. DO IT! You’ll laugh your ass off, I promise.) Why in the hell hasn’t Stan Lee created a female superhero Honey Badger character? Chauvinism, I suspect. Not really. Just a want of knowledge and imagination. Honey Badger would completely kill Wolverine of the X-Men tales.


But wolverines are cool too. They’re not even scared of bears. 30 lbs isn’t big.

Think about civilization. It’s programmed in. Most mammals are conscious. Probably most life forms are conscious.

Even Michigan Wolverines. Hopefully, Ohio State Buckeyes don’t suffer from the same frailty.

Life consists of beavers and honey badgers. Capitalism consists of arbitrating between cooperation and aggression. Beavers are ambitious if not aggressive and even honey badgers are cooperative to a point. Life is like that. Capitalism is both these things. No conflict. Just a stretching synergy.

What part of this don’t you get? Maybe this part.

Sredni Vashtar. Do one thing for me. Save my country from Brown. And Harvard.

When the end is near, you want to share a bottle of scotch with this one.

If the end is near, you want to gulp scotch with this one. She’s got some eyes on her.

Edna said I was neglecting the seasoned set by picking Miss Fisher. Guess she was right. I’d been looking for people who are closely associated with a fictional character. When I look older for an End of World companion I find a fertile field. Top of the list, this one.

Helen Mirren is the ace of aces among women. Incredibly beautiful without being pretty at all.

Helen Mirren is the ace of aces among women. Quite beautiful without being pretty.

She is closely associated with a fictional character, Jane Tennison. Over quite a few years we watched her, totally undolled up, survive a constant stream of male chauvinist attacks and yet solve the crime. Along the way, of course, she fell into loneliness, isolation, promiscuity and alcoholism — the point at which she started receiving acting awards.

Now she’s a Dame of the British Empire. Why? Because of all her great acting? NO! Because she’s the jolliest competitor in the sport of Getting to Be a Dame. Quite simply, there is no British actress, however well Shakespeared or Redgraved by the Thespian establishment, who has been more eager to throw off her clothes and and show off her boobs and bush than Dame Helen Mirren. Even into late middle age.

This is the safest for work. The movie was called The Cook, Thief, The Lover, and the Most Tits and Trim Ever Displayed a Cannes.

This is the safest for work. The movie was called The Cook, The Thief, The Lover, and the Most Tits and Trim Ever Displayed at Cannes by a Woman Over Forty.

She’s done some great acting too. Like there was the Jane Tennison stuff. she stewed, stormed, fretted, and fought her own base instincts to just tear off that blouse, rip down those panties, and be her younger, freer self.

That's more like it, Detective Chief Superintendant.

That’s more like it, Detective Chief Superintendant.

Seek, and find, the truth, wherever it lies.

There it is. At least for now. But what of later' when I'm 64?

There it is. At least for now. But what of later’ when I’m 64?

Oops. My son shouldn't have seen that. But he's not really my son, except in the movie. Actually, he's my current main squeeze.

Oops. My son shouldn’t have seen that. But he’s not really my son, except in the movie. Actually, he’s my current main squeeze.

So. If there are only days left till the, you know, EOTW, the very best bet is probably Helen Mirren.

But maybe you need an old guy too. This is getting complicated.

If you haven't seen her, you don't know what you're missing.

If you haven’t seen her, you don’t know what you’re missing.

She wasn’t meaning to be critical, because she really liked the post about Captain Hastings and the End of the World, but she had an obvious question: What about the women?

I floundered for a long time by my reckoning, tossing out three names in 20 seconds, and then as the clock was ticking ominously toward the half minute mark I came up with the answer.

Miss Fisher. She’s like a female Hastings with a brain. Not to mention a sex drive. She’s like this rich Australian flapper detective trollop. Meaning no offense. Her wardrobe is perfect. She has an Hispano Suiza that would look nice in bed with Hastings’s Lagonda, and she carries a golden revolver in her garter. What more do you need? Oh, right. Champagne every day, if not every hour, and she has her own Hastings, a police inspector who is traditional and handsome, but not at all stupid, because attracted as he is to Miss Fisher, he is not suicidal. Which is where the End of the World comes in. Why the hell not ravish Miss Fisher?

Think about that as you enjoy these photos. Make up your own captions after this first one.

This nude of Miss Fisher from her wilder days was the maguffin in one of her mysteries. She liked making her police inspector blush at the sight of it.

This portrait of Miss Fisher from her wilder days was the maguffin in one of her mysteries. She liked making her police inspector blush at the sight of it.

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You know, I’m thinking Hastings could handle it. He may be dumb as a fence post, but he’s a man’s man and Miss Fisher likes that.

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Thus, our End of the World couple.

Since we pretty much are at the end of the world, it might be time to decide what roles we want to play in the last few deals of the cards.

Hercule Poirot was Agatha Christies’s most eccentric creation. The anti-Holmes if you will. A plump Belgian with a Mr. Potato Head mustache and a sidekick who made Holmes’s Watson look like a nuclear physicist. Captain Hastings.

But Hastings had his points. Invariably good natured, so well born that he never took offense at the Belgian’s condescension, and, here’s the key point, actually better dressed. Poirot was always overdressed. Hastings had that just threw-on these Savile Row rags look that made all the difference. Tie a bit askew, but everything else a triumph of English tailoring. And he had the hero thing down to a tee if you could only get his attention long enough.

He was the forerunner of Nero Wolfe’s Archie Goodwin. Just as much an action man but not (nearly) as clever. Both in love with clothes, cars, and fine dining. Archie had a better feel for the ladies though. Hastings somehow knew the ladies would find him.

Where were we? Time to figure out how to ride out the apocalyptic storm. How better than to be an idealized version of a character beloved throughout what remains of the civilized world?

P. G. Wodehouse. …One I’ve written about before. I read the first definitive biography of him a few years back, and what’s clear about him — as for so many other humorists — is that his life was in many ways sad, even though he lived to great old age, produced about a hundred novels, and umpty-gazillion short stories. He was a man of baffling contradictions and therefore a more useful source of insight about the U.K. than most of the “serious” writers in his country who were contemporaries or came later. He seems to us locked permanently in the England between the two world wars, a fantasy realm of country estates, two-seat roadsters, gentlemen’s clubs, and aristocratic aunts with lorgnettes and no knowledge whatever of everyday English life. Yet he is the source cited by Evelyn Waugh, the deadliest satirist of his age, as the master of dialogue from whom Waugh learned how to eviscerate pretension and hypocrisy in the most maliciously brilliant novels of the twentieth century. In person, Waugh was witty and mean; Wodehouse was everywhere described as dull. Wodehouse was afraid of assertive women, indifferent to sex, not because he was gay, it seems, but because his personality was formed by distant, even cold, family relations, and then frozen for good in adolescence by his happier experience in boarding schools when he finally escaped from home. Then he managed to get himself exiled forever from Britain by being a “good sport” on the radio when he was interned by Germans in the early days of World War II. He never went home again. He never complained. Because that’s the way Brits are. No matter what they do to you, you have to petend to have the emotional range of a cricket bat.

Yes. yes! Let’s be dull, preternaturally cheerful, well dressed, almost deliberately obtuse, and faintly absurd. I give you the Cary Grant version of Wodehouse’s Bertie Wooster. Dumb as Dirt and quickest to pick up a check.

Always ready with the Lagonda.

Always ready with the Lagonda.

The right hat for every occasion.

The right hat for every occasion.


Well dressed as any Poofster.

Well dressed as any Poofster.

And gravely up for the end of the world without the slightest notion of what that entails.

Gravely up for the end of the world without the slightest notion of what it entails.

Does it get any better than that? I want to be that man. Most women want someone to be that man. He orders champagne with ultimate sangfroid right before Obama makes everything go away. Perfect.

Last of the white male privilege. Thank God. One can only hope for Her mercy.

Last of the white male privilege. Thank God. One can only hope for Her mercy.

Already explained about the dastardly satirical manuscript called The Naked Woman. How I lost my career as a writer. Here’s one more proof of my hate crime. The figures have been problematical. HTML files my iPad doesn’t like. Most of them look like this head-on.

But what if this an illusion?

But what if this an illusion of perspective?

PMS & DIMINISHED FEMALE CONSCIOUSNESS:
An Interview With Bellman Gerber

Perhaps the pivotal event in Dog Pound sex difference research was the (private) publication of a book-length treatise titled Beyond Intelligence: The Impact of PMS on Female Consciousness. The author of this work was Dr. Bellman Gerber, a medical doctor and psychology PhD. who was abruptly terminated from a tenured position at Harvard when a copy of the manuscript reached the desk of his department chairman. Gerber’s daring claim that the interior ‘mind space’ of the average human female is “about the size of an evening bag, barely adequate to contain a mirror-compact and a driver’s license,” represented the conceptual breakthrough which led to the quest for a Grand Unified Theory of Women. Dr. Gerber agreed to the formidable challenge of trying to summarize his theories in a classroom interview.

Tiny in physical stature, Gerber is nevertheless a bundle of energy, leaping frequently to his feet to illustrate key concepts on the blackboards that surround the room. By the end of our session, the lower third of every board is covered with dense chalkscript. I learned later that Gerber’s students and colleagues are so used to this phenomenon they have given it the affectionate name “Gerber’s class ring.” It made me feel as though I had matriculated but was still a long way from graduation.

RL: What gave you the idea to start the work that led to Beyond Intelligence?

Gerber: Women. Sherlock Holmes noticed the dog that didn’t bark in the night. I noticed the evidence of consciousness that my women students didn’t display. Genuine intellectual curiosity. Idea transference—that is, the ripple effect which occurs when new learning in one area rearranges your mental models in other areas. Aggressive in-your-face questioning. Runaway learning—the kind that happens when an idea takes your mind-space hostage and dares you to solve its mysteries. In twenty years of teaching I saw these behaviors in hundreds of male students and hardly ever in women. Actually, never. I wanted to understand why.

RL: Was there a specific event that moved you from wondering to active investigating?

Gerber: Yes. Through the Dog Pound, I heard about the Roker-Wythington challenge to traditional IQ testing and their bold attempt to demonstrate that human intelligence varies not by incremental percentages but by staggering multiples—multiples as high as 20,000 or more. I was also intrigued by their almost automatic assumption that average female intelligence was substantially lower than average male intelligence. I guess it helps to be working in Australia, where it’s still okay to use common sense in academic reasoning. I liked the simplicity and directness of the MuF IQ model. I just didn’t think it went far enough. They estimated female intelligence at 10 percent of male intelligence. My own hunch was that it’s far less than that, maybe only one or two percent.

RL: But it got you started on the road to PMS?

Gerber: Yes. I acknowledge my debts. Hats off to Roo Roker and Ian Wythington. It took guts—and a lot of brains—to do the pioneering work they did. And it was also Ian who pointed me in the right direction to find an answer. He explained that the old IQ scale, which allowed for a maximum 100 percent variation in human intelligence, came from obsolete systems theory. It was a machine model, which postulated that differences in system output had to be directly proportional to differences in system input.

These days we know that’s not true. The principle of ‘sensitive dependence on initial conditions’ tells us that small changes in system input can result in huge changes in system output. Roker-Wythington’s work was not focused on why it is that women are so much less intelligent than men, though, so they obviously didn’t pursue the idea much farther. When I went to work on the ‘why’ question, Ian’s formulation reminded me I was looking for some possibly modest differential between men and women that could blow up into the monstrous gap in intelligence we observe.

RL: And you found it?

Gerber: Oh yes. It was obvious. It had been there all along. Even traditional science had discovered, confirmed it, and then promptly shelved it. It explained everything.

RL: Don’t keep us hanging here…

Gerber: (Laughing) Pattern recognition. It’s one of the few sex differences that was repeatedly identified before the Dog Pound got organized. I guess most people thought, ‘So what? Boys can recognize patterns better than girls. Now we know why women can’t read maps. Big deal.’ But it is a big deal. A very big deal, as it turns out.

RL: I didn’t know maps were that important.

Gerber: Certain kinds of maps are. You haven’t met Blaine Pasco yet, have you? The guy who designed the artificial woman and beat the Turing Test?

RL: No. I will in a couple of weeks, though.

Gerber: Amazing kid. He started as a hacker. Broke into the electronic banking system and flooded it with phony transactions when he was thirteen. But you’ve heard stories like that before, right?

RL: Lots of them.

Gerber: Heard of any female hackers?

RL: No. Except on TV and in the movies. But not in real life, no.

Gerber: Why do you suppose that is? I was really intrigued by Roker-Wythington’s selection of ‘Use an electronic spreadsheet’ as a garden variety intellectual feat. One women can’t accomplish, of course—not without extreme difficulty at any rate. How do you think a kid like Pasco gets from ‘use spreadsheet’ to ‘break into a vast international software system guarded by layers of brilliantly designed security systems’?

RL: He learns.

Gerber: Yes. But how does he learn? Or more properly, how does he manage to learn by leaps and bounds, mastering bigger, more complex chunks of information with each new trial? How does he climb the exponential intelligence curve of the MuF Log?

RL: He builds on what he already knows and uses it to learn more.

Gerber: Exactly. The principal mechanism in that process is pattern recognition. Another way to say it is that he’s a natural mapmaker. He learns the spreadsheet, but not just the keystrokes. He recognizes the pattern of the way it works. When he encounters a new program, he doesn’t approach it as a brand new subject and sit down with a stack of manuals. He pitches the manuals into the corner and goes right to work, using his own map of the conceptual terrain he’s covered in his prior experience.

The name of the mechanism he’s using is ‘metaphor.’ It’s not just a figure of speech from poetry class. It’s the single most powerful means of learning there is. This is like that. What else might be the same? What’s different? The search for pattern thrusts the mind instantaneously into the realm of manipulating brand new information. That’s why it’s infinitely superior to the preferred female learning technique of rote memorization, which is simply the filing of inert data.
Metaphor enables us to understand something new right away and to be systematic in exploring the unknown. It is far and away the most important application of pattern recognition.

After I hit on the obvious idea that this might be the primary cause of the sex difference in intelligence, there were only two things I had to do. First, decide whether pattern recognition could be shown to have a multiplying effect on intelligence. And second, find evidence that males were indeed routinely using their superior pattern recognition capability to boost their rate and quantity of learning. In other words, can men be proven to have better sources and more frequent applications of metaphor? I think I’ve accomplished both tasks.

RL: Let’s start with the first one. (Author’s Note: Duh. There’s not much you can do about your brilliance in an interview when you discover it in the transcript after the fact—except acknowledge it.) You say you can show me how pattern recognition leads to a 99 percent differential between male and female intelligence?

Gerber: Yes. I can show you right here on the blackboard. Let’s start by borrowing Roker-Wythington’s graph of female intelligence, which is almost linear. It starts with all of them—or most anyway—being able to use a McDonald’s cash register. It hits bottom at ‘use spreadsheet.’ Now, forget that this is supposed to be a curve of intelligence in general. Instead, imagine that it’s a curve of a very specific kind of intelligence—say, ‘electronic spreadsheet intelligence’—which is one of many directions in which a curious person can use his mind. (See Figure 1.)

RL: Okay. Could you maybe write a little bigger?

Gerber: Sorry. My students are always on me about that too. Is this better? We’ll start with the hacker example. ‘Electronic spreadsheet’ is one direction the mind can take. But there are others, which also start from the ‘I’ who is using his brain. So we can imagine another line and another curve which we might call ‘electronic drawing software intelligence.’ (See Figure 2.) Are you with me?

RL: Yes indeedy.

Gerber: And a third direction, which we’ll call ‘electronic publishing software intelligence.’ (See Figure 3.) You see what we’re building here?

RL: The spokes of a wheel.

Gerber: Yes. And the number of potential spokes is infinite. Any curious mind can send out a new spoke in any direction which interests him. Literature. Chemistry. Knitting. Basketball. Music. And so on. We’ll just call it ‘n’ direction to stand for any and all. (See Figure 4.)

RL: But in the examples you’ve drawn, the separation between the spokes isn’t exactly clean. I mean, it’s not as clean as the graph makes it look.

Gerber: Why?

RL: Because there’s a relationship between them. There’s some overlap. You already described the fact that Blaine Pasco uses one to learn about the other.

Gerber: You’re right. Let’s see how we’d show that on our graphic. Here’s the situation when Blaine has already reached a stage of mastery in the direction of ‘electronic drawing package intelligence.’ (See Figure 5.) He has the electronic publishing software loaded on his computer. He knows a little bit about it. What he’s read on the package. He’s already thrown the manuals onto the pile of dirty socks in the corner. The gray outline on our graphic is the level of proficiency he needs or wants in ‘electronic publishing intelligence.’ Okay?

RL: Software in computer, manuals on sock pile. Got it.

Gerber: Now he starts to play with the new software. He tries things, based on what he already knows from his ‘electronic drawing package intelligence.’ This is an application of pattern recognition. It is the use of metaphor, whether Blaine got a 200 or an 800 on his Verbal SAT. The process looks like this. (See Figure 6.) The space between the two curves is the field of metaphor. It is bridging the gap.

RL: And so he learns very quickly.

Gerber: More than that. The flow is not one way. Connections are being established back and forth. The new software may teach him more about the old software. What he sees in both he recognizes as a general pattern, an abstraction that resides between the two curves. In short, a realm of mind-space is being created. (See Figure 7.)

The two individual curves are planes, existing in two dimensions. The metaphor activity is giving us a third dimension, which means that it is adding infinitely to Blaine’s intelligence. In his case, we can depict the new mind-space this way (See Figure 8.) It is a new room in Blaine’s ‘I’. It is a direct increase in his consciousness, a realm in which he can think, build, create—between the two very specific lines of intelligence that gave rise to this space.

RL: But you’re also saying it doesn’t have to happen that way.

Gerber: Of course not. In these terms, Pasco is a genius. He gets the maximum return from his computer-related metaphor making. You or I might build a space between these two curves that looks more like this. (See Figure 9.) The manuals are still tossed in the corner, but we don’t get quite as much out of the ‘playing’ we do.

RL: And if you do open the manuals?

Gerber: You mean, if I’m a girl?

RL: Yes. No pile of dirty socks to file the manuals on.

Gerber: Then I’m in a different situation altogether. If I’m a girl, I think I have to use the manual. It’s the only way to learn. It’s the same kind of logic that makes women think you have to have a college degree in a subject to know anything about it. So I’m looking for the list, the recipe, the ‘correct’ way to do electronic publishing, and anything I know about electronic drawing packages I put away and don’t look at. Like it’s a dress I’ve already worn a few times. I may occasionally recognize a similarity, but it’s not something I use. When this happens, it’s an accidental, passive kind of metaphor-making. I draw very few inferences from it. I don’t generalize, I don’t make the leap that frees me to engage in abstract, plastic manipulation of concepts. What I do is follow the directions. So the new mind-space I add as a result looks more like this. (See Figure 10.)

Mind Space with a focus.

Mind Space with a focus.

RL: And you’re saying that this is how all mind-space is built—how consciousness is created and expanded.

Gerber: How else would it be created? Consciousness is itself a metaphor—a mental space that’s like some part of the world or its underlying nature. Why do you think we talk about mental activity in terms of reflection? Because that’s exactly what it is. That’s why reflective space has to be built by metaphor. It’s also why we can use a graphic to depict it.

Our simplified model for Blaine might look like this when we’re through (See Figure 10A.) The new slices of space created between spokes join up at the central ‘I’ of his mind. He can operate in the entire space—use it to create a really big conception, like ‘What would it take to crash the electronic banking system in the United States?’ You see, there’s nothing deterministic about what this kind of space is used for. You can put anything in there. A jet engine. A trombone sonata. The all-time greatest baseball team. Your company’s 5-year strategic plan. As long as the space is big enough, it can contain anything. It provides the thinking capacity that makes genius possible. But it doesn’t ensure that we won’t get a Hitler or a serial killer as often as we’ll get a Michelangelo or a Michael Jordan.

RL: It sounds as if you’re saying that athletic greatness also depends on this kind of mind-space.

Gerber: Obviously it does. It’s merely an expression of intellectual bias to heap qualifiers on athletic genius, as if it were profoundly different from physics genius or artistic genius or even sexual genius for that matter. I believe Roo Roker made a reference to this. The differential between Michael Jordan and journeyman basketball players is not incremental. It can’t be explained by the incremental differences in physical bodies. It is a function of consciousness that adds something entirely new to the realm of the possible—imagines it and then turns image into reality. That’s genius.

RL: Then consciousness has to be the source of the huge resource increases Roker and Wythington claim are needed to move from ‘use electronic spreadsheet’ to ‘create Theory of Relativity’ in their IQ analysis.

Gerber: Yes. You’ve got to have enough room to lay out all your tools and raw materials and draw a pattern that’s big enough to get you there. You know, the other area of measured sex difference in male and female minds is ‘spatial perception.’ Doesn’t that seem highly suggestive to you? Boys are better than girls at perceiving distances and locations in space because they’re getting more practice at it, internally as well as externally. Very early on, boys are far better than girls at drawing the mechanics of a bicycle. Girl pictures are almost cubist in their lack of accountability to real physics.

RL: But the kind of intelligence difference—or consciousness difference—you’re talking about doesn’t show up in current IQ testing. Generally, women test out as being approximately equal in intelligence to men.

Gerber: (Smiling) You’d like to see how a female could score the same on a traditional IQ test and still be vastly less conscious, less intelligent?

RL: I have a feeling you’ve been waiting for me to ask that.

Gerber: I have. Here on the left is the completed Blaine Pasco model we were building one slice at a time (See Figure 11.) On the right is a model of a female who has individually learned as much about the same software applications—spreadsheet, drawing, publishing, and word processing, say—as Blaine. But she read the manuals and has drawn no conclusions. If we test them both on software operation—whether they can perform certain functions or not—she may test out as well as Blaine. After all, he probably stops learning the details when he has drawn the abstract lessons he wants. So the curves along her individual lines of direction are the same size and shape as Blaine’s. But the mind-space she has created through metaphor ‘playing’ is substantially smaller.

RL: But if you’re not good at spatial perception, the volume difference between these two might not be that obvious.

Gerber: Okay. For the ladies I can offer a different angle, the same comparison viewed from directly above. Identical test scores, different consciousness, different intelligence. (See Figure 12.)

Mind Space.

Mind Space.

Just spokes. No genius.

Just spokes. No genius.


RL: That makes her mind look rather, well, insect-like, doesn’t it?

Gerber: It does at that. Have you by any chance already met with Eddy Stanhope and Arlo Meltz at the Garage?

RL: No. Why?

Gerber: You’re familiar with their work?

RL: No. Should I be?

Gerber: You’re not supposed to be just yet. Never mind.

RL: Are you holding out on me?

Gerber: Let’s get back to the diagram… Needless to say, the warehouse Blaine is working in here gives him more scope to consider new directions and boosts his learning speed in every direction. He’ll go on from this point to send out thousands of new spokes, compared to her mere handful. He can extend the length of any spoke he’s already got, and every new and extended spoke will add to his stockpile of powerful learning metaphors. Meanwhile, every manual she reads and every recipe she follows will close down some future learning opportunity. That’s why we have lots of male hackers, and zero female hackers.

RL: Wow. I still can’t get over the diagram. If intelligence is measured in terms of volume, then it’s easy to see how you arrive at the 99 percent differential.

Gerber: 98.8 percent to be precise. Reflection is not a female sport.

RL: I notice that you have a fondness for sports metaphors.

Gerber: Yes. I do. Men receive so much abuse for their obsession with sports. Like the way they’re derided for being ‘eternal little boys,’ which is to say that they keep playing all their lives. Just a few days ago, I saw a promo for some celebrity gold tournament. It was a goofy piece that showed a bunch of professional athletes joking around with golf ball and clubs. In about sixty seconds, they played half a dozen different sports with the golfing equipment—baseball, football, soccer, basketball… and it’s true they looked like a bunch of overgrown kids. But that promo was a perfect example of the superior male mentality—the free, spontaneous, easy use of metaphor. Never in a million years would you see women engaged in such a scene. ‘Golf clubs are for playing golf with. Quit horsing around.’

RL: Do sports also figure in your thoughts about the male edge in sources of metaphors?

Gerber: Very much so. Men build and use vast treasuries of metaphor resources. Women don’t. The ability to measure this is one of the major contributions of the Dog Pound. My book draws heavily on these. Ralph Plank’s initiative on The Female Physics Constraint. Eldon Keyes’s survey work on sex differences in breadth of knowledge and interests. Sanderson & Punchinello’s work on sex differences in slang-making. And, of course, the Locker Room’s work in the area of male-female libido. They’ve all added important pieces to the picture.

RL: Sounds complicated.

Gerber: It isn’t really. Somebody could look at the graphics I’ve drawn for you and say, ‘Looks interesting but you can’t prove it. You can’t prove differences in consciousness.’ Well, if I can demonstrate that you don’t have the raw materials to build something, and never have had, I’ve created a very good circumstantial case for the hypothesis that you didn’t build it. And that’s where we are with female consciousness today. We know they don’t have the raw materials for the building of mind-space.

RL: Which are…?

Gerber: Abundant sources of broadly applicable metaphor. That’s what distinguishes little boyhood from little girlhood. Little boys, from infancy to young adulthood, couldn’t be accumulating better metaphor resources if they had deliberately set out to do so. And little girls couldn’t be accumulating worse ones.
Boys push their bodies to the limit, learning how they work—and what their limits are. They acquire all kinds of everyday physics knowledge from throwing baseballs, climbing trees, racing and crashing their bikes, fighting, playing team sports and other games, cursing, masturbating, all the boy stuff.
They’re also acquiring crucial entry-level metaphors for all the biggest questions about existence, which they get from sports. Any game of sports is inherently an abstraction, an artificial arena governed by rules and subject to natural laws in such areas as ethics, esthetics, government, adaptive response, and even morality. Why do you suppose even highly intelligent men continue to use sports metaphors to communicate with each other and to motivate themselves?

During and after puberty boys plunge into an orgy of mechanical metaphors by tinkering with cars, racing on the highway, cracking up cars, trying to have sex in cars—not to mention the stuff they do with motorcycles, speedboats, jet-skis, snowmobiles, etc.

It’s a classic risk-reward scenario. Boys take what have always seemed foolish risks as they prepare to enter adulthood. Now we know why. There is a reward. The return on their ‘investment’ is new mind-space.

RL: Whereas little girls play with dolls and bake let’s pretend cookies.

Gerber: True. Little girls do not test the limits of their bodies, and there’s no very good evidence that they would do this even if we encouraged it. Their use of language couldn’t be more opposite from that of boys. From an early age, they incline not to vivid language or cursing, but to euphemism. They search for the mildest, least imagistic reference they can find to reference anything which might be considered vulgar or—to use a better word—earthy. In short, they are quite systematic in not acquiring the tools they need to understand the earth and the way things work in it.

Their notion of play is compartmentalized and imitative rather than exploratory; they tend to play with toys in the ways the toys were designed to be played with. They pretend to do grownup things, and in doing so, they follow the ‘recipe’ as closely as possible.

Boys, on the other hand, turn their toys to other purposes. They alter games from the original rules. They are always, obsessively, engaging in metaphor making. This is like that. This can be that. Girls are, as you put it, merely playing with dolls—small, controlled miniatures of themselves who have clothes to put on and roles to be marched safely through. No risk. No reward.

RL: Discounting for a moment the way these behaviors speak to your thesis, feminists would say that they are an environmentally imposed phenomenon. That women’s limitations are what society has made them.

Gerber: I know you have to pose that point, and so I mean no offense when I say it’s probably the single dumbest argument to be made about this stuff. What is it, do you suppose, that sends out the spokes from the hub of the ‘I’? It is curiosity. Passion. The joy of engagement with ideas. What all of these have in common is that they are so clearly intrinsic to the human being who has them. They are qualities which can be encouraged, but they can’t be taught. They can be suppressed, but only in the way that the safety valve of a steam boiler can be tied closed. Sooner or later the energy—and that’s what we’re talking about here, a boundless native energy—will explode into action. Just like the sex drive does when it’s denied too long.

If these characteristics were really being suppressed in women, we would see the evidence in all those areas of behavior which are, in fact, harder to control.

Girls would be as colorful and imaginative in their use of language as boys. They are not. They would be as rambunctious and mischievous as boys when left unsupervised. They are not. Girls would be as sexually obsessed as boys. They are not.
In fact, it is the huge sex difference with respect to libido which may underlie the entire difference in consciousness. From early puberty, boys’ most fantastic metaphor-making involves sex. A thirteen year old boy can see a double-entendre in absolutely anything. Sex is also the fire that drives the intellect, the chief inspiration for the cathedral of the mind. There is nothing a male will not attempt if he believes that it will make him sexually attractive to women.

RL: The Barbie Doll Curve makes it pretty obvious that women have a lower key approach to sex. Is this where PMS comes into your theory?

Gerber: Women simply do not think about building, creating, or doing something monumental for the purpose of increasing their sexual attractiveness. They think in terms of improving their appearance. A man builds a billion-dollar corporation. A woman buys a new dress. Then, more often than not, she simply waits to be approached. Think about this for a moment. It’s like a writer waiting for a publisher to ask him for the ‘Great Amerian Novel.’ It’s hardly an expression of passion, is it?
No one teaches women to be uninterested in sex. This is a realm of being that is too private for anyone to control. Perhaps the key indicator about the role of sex in mind-space building is that female metaphor-making does not increase at puberty. Instead, it actually declines as euphemism-making goes into high gear.

A lot of people think euphemisms are cute. I don’t. A euphemism is the exact opposite of a metaphor. Its purpose is to substitute a less accurate, less revealing term for reality. And starting at puberty, women go all out in this direction. It’s a wholesale flight from metaphor, from mind-space building.

This is the phase of female development we call Pubescent Metaphor Starvation or PMS. It’s fatal to their intellectual potential. The metaphor resources women don’t acquire between the ages of thirteen and eighteen will permanently limit their intelligence and their consciousness. There is no effective remedial measure we can envision.

RL: To sum up then, the proof of diminished consciousness lies in the evidence that has already been gathered about lack of female slang-making, lack of female sex drive, lack of female curiosity, and lack of female engagement in activities that provide good working metaphors, such as sports and auto mechanics.

Gerber: Yes. And there is one other. Lack of female genius. Genius cannot exist without huge interior mind-space. The whole male sex is, in a sense, a pool of genius candidates. Most of us don’t make it. Many of us are spectacular failures. But everything in the male approach to life is inherently optimized for the creation of such mind-space. That’s why genius is a male phenomenon. In some respects, you can regard it as a statistical game. For women to have produced so remarkably few instances of genius suggests that the entire female population is nowhere near the threshold, that their interior space is orders-of-magnitude less; otherwise, out of the five or six billion women who have ever lived, they would have produced at least a hundred or so geniuses by sheer statistical accident. Thanks to PMS and its root cause, this has not happened.

RL: What is the root cause of PMS? Why don’t women want to build up their supply of metaphors? Why aren’t they curious, passionate, entranced with ideas?

Gerber: For the answer to that, you’re going to have to wait till you meet Stanhope and Meltz. They’ll be pleased to show you the solution to the mystery.

RL: Thank you, Dr. Gerber.

Gerber: You thought I was going to talk about the other PMS, didn’t you?

RL: Yes. I did.

Gerber: Got you, didn’t I?

RL: Thank you, Dr. Gerber.

Welcome to the wonderful world of humor.

Welcome to the wonderful world of humor.

POSTSCRIPT. 99 out of 100 women will be too offended by this and other pieces in The Naked Woman to perceive that a mere work of satire has successfully dynamited accepted scientific theory regarding what intelligence is and what its range is. That says something important too. There’s a Glossary that is both funny and hard to refute without a sense of humor. But if you can stop fuming for a second, ask yourself whether it’s possible that Einstein is only twice as smart as a guy working the McDonalds cash register. Einstein has the whole universe in his mind space.

The picture can't show the four dimensions Albert had in his head. Because he was imagining time as a variable too. "Do you want fries with that?"

The picture can’t show the four dimensions Albert had in his head. Because he was imagining time as a variable too. “Do you want fries with that?”

How is that not 20,000 times bigger than the mind space of a guy whose imagination is filled to overflowing with a picture of a six pack of Yuengling?

Let's see. The whole universe or my Yuengling?

Let’s see. The whole universe or my Yuengling?

Get back to me on that.

Last of the white male privilege. Thank God. One can only hope for Her mercy.

Last of the white male privilege. Thank God. One can only hope for Her mercy.

Already explained about the dastardly satirical manuscript called The Naked Woman. How I lost my career as a writer. Here’s one more proof of my hate crime. The figures have been problematical. HTML files my iPad doesn’t like. Most of them look like this head-on.

But what if this an illusion?

But what if this an illusion of perspective?

PMS & DIMINISHED FEMALE CONSCIOUSNESS:
An Interview With Bellman Gerber

Perhaps the pivotal event in Dog Pound sex difference research was the (private) publication of a book-length treatise titled Beyond Intelligence: The Impact of PMS on Female Consciousness. The author of this work was Dr. Bellman Gerber, a medical doctor and psychology PhD. who was abruptly terminated from a tenured position at Harvard when a copy of the manuscript reached the desk of his department chairman. Gerber’s daring claim that the interior ‘mind space’ of the average human female is “about the size of an evening bag, barely adequate to contain a mirror-compact and a driver’s license,” represented the conceptual breakthrough which led to the quest for a Grand Unified Theory of Women. Dr. Gerber agreed to the formidable challenge of trying to summarize his theories in a classroom interview.

Tiny in physical stature, Gerber is nevertheless a bundle of energy, leaping frequently to his feet to illustrate key concepts on the blackboards that surround the room. By the end of our session, the lower third of every board is covered with dense chalkscript. I learned later that Gerber’s students and colleagues are so used to this phenomenon they have given it the affectionate name “Gerber’s class ring.” It made me feel as though I had matriculated but was still a long way from graduation.

RL: What gave you the idea to start the work that led to Beyond Intelligence?

Gerber: Women. Sherlock Holmes noticed the dog that didn’t bark in the night. I noticed the evidence of consciousness that my women students didn’t display. Genuine intellectual curiosity. Idea transference—that is, the ripple effect which occurs when new learning in one area rearranges your mental models in other areas. Aggressive in-your-face questioning. Runaway learning—the kind that happens when an idea takes your mind-space hostage and dares you to solve its mysteries. In twenty years of teaching I saw these behaviors in hundreds of male students and hardly ever in women. Actually, never. I wanted to understand why.

RL: Was there a specific event that moved you from wondering to active investigating?

Gerber: Yes. Through the Dog Pound, I heard about the Roker-Wythington challenge to traditional IQ testing and their bold attempt to demonstrate that human intelligence varies not by incremental percentages but by staggering multiples—multiples as high as 20,000 or more. I was also intrigued by their almost automatic assumption that average female intelligence was substantially lower than average male intelligence. I guess it helps to be working in Australia, where it’s still okay to use common sense in academic reasoning. I liked the simplicity and directness of the MuF IQ model. I just didn’t think it went far enough. They estimated female intelligence at 10 percent of male intelligence. My own hunch was that it’s far less than that, maybe only one or two percent.

RL: But it got you started on the road to PMS?

Gerber: Yes. I acknowledge my debts. Hats off to Roo Roker and Ian Wythington. It took guts—and a lot of brains—to do the pioneering work they did. And it was also Ian who pointed me in the right direction to find an answer. He explained that the old IQ scale, which allowed for a maximum 100 percent variation in human intelligence, came from obsolete systems theory. It was a machine model, which postulated that differences in system output had to be directly proportional to differences in system input.

These days we know that’s not true. The principle of ‘sensitive dependence on initial conditions’ tells us that small changes in system input can result in huge changes in system output. Roker-Wythington’s work was not focused on why it is that women are so much less intelligent than men, though, so they obviously didn’t pursue the idea much farther. When I went to work on the ‘why’ question, Ian’s formulation reminded me I was looking for some possibly modest differential between men and women that could blow up into the monstrous gap in intelligence we observe.

RL: And you found it?

Gerber: Oh yes. It was obvious. It had been there all along. Even traditional science had discovered, confirmed it, and then promptly shelved it. It explained everything.

RL: Don’t keep us hanging here…

Gerber: (Laughing) Pattern recognition. It’s one of the few sex differences that was repeatedly identified before the Dog Pound got organized. I guess most people thought, ‘So what? Boys can recognize patterns better than girls. Now we know why women can’t read maps. Big deal.’ But it is a big deal. A very big deal, as it turns out.

RL: I didn’t know maps were that important.

Gerber: Certain kinds of maps are. You haven’t met Blaine Pasco yet, have you? The guy who designed the artificial woman and beat the Turing Test?

RL: No. I will in a couple of weeks, though.

Gerber: Amazing kid. He started as a hacker. Broke into the electronic banking system and flooded it with phony transactions when he was thirteen. But you’ve heard stories like that before, right?

RL: Lots of them.

Gerber: Heard of any female hackers?

RL: No. Except on TV and in the movies. But not in real life, no.

Gerber: Why do you suppose that is? I was really intrigued by Roker-Wythington’s selection of ‘Use an electronic spreadsheet’ as a garden variety intellectual feat. One women can’t accomplish, of course—not without extreme difficulty at any rate. How do you think a kid like Pasco gets from ‘use spreadsheet’ to ‘break into a vast international software system guarded by layers of brilliantly designed security systems’?

RL: He learns.

Gerber: Yes. But how does he learn? Or more properly, how does he manage to learn by leaps and bounds, mastering bigger, more complex chunks of information with each new trial? How does he climb the exponential intelligence curve of the MuF Log?

RL: He builds on what he already knows and uses it to learn more.

Gerber: Exactly. The principal mechanism in that process is pattern recognition. Another way to say it is that he’s a natural mapmaker. He learns the spreadsheet, but not just the keystrokes. He recognizes the pattern of the way it works. When he encounters a new program, he doesn’t approach it as a brand new subject and sit down with a stack of manuals. He pitches the manuals into the corner and goes right to work, using his own map of the conceptual terrain he’s covered in his prior experience.

The name of the mechanism he’s using is ‘metaphor.’ It’s not just a figure of speech from poetry class. It’s the single most powerful means of learning there is. This is like that. What else might be the same? What’s different? The search for pattern thrusts the mind instantaneously into the realm of manipulating brand new information. That’s why it’s infinitely superior to the preferred female learning technique of rote memorization, which is simply the filing of inert data.
Metaphor enables us to understand something new right away and to be systematic in exploring the unknown. It is far and away the most important application of pattern recognition.

After I hit on the obvious idea that this might be the primary cause of the sex difference in intelligence, there were only two things I had to do. First, decide whether pattern recognition could be shown to have a multiplying effect on intelligence. And second, find evidence that males were indeed routinely using their superior pattern recognition capability to boost their rate and quantity of learning. In other words, can men be proven to have better sources and more frequent applications of metaphor? I think I’ve accomplished both tasks.

RL: Let’s start with the first one. (Author’s Note: Duh. There’s not much you can do about your brilliance in an interview when you discover it in the transcript after the fact—except acknowledge it.) You say you can show me how pattern recognition leads to a 99 percent differential between male and female intelligence?

Gerber: Yes. I can show you right here on the blackboard. Let’s start by borrowing Roker-Wythington’s graph of female intelligence, which is almost linear. It starts with all of them—or most anyway—being able to use a McDonald’s cash register. It hits bottom at ‘use spreadsheet.’ Now, forget that this is supposed to be a curve of intelligence in general. Instead, imagine that it’s a curve of a very specific kind of intelligence—say, ‘electronic spreadsheet intelligence’—which is one of many directions in which a curious person can use his mind. (See Figure 1.)

RL: Okay. Could you maybe write a little bigger?

Gerber: Sorry. My students are always on me about that too. Is this better? We’ll start with the hacker example. ‘Electronic spreadsheet’ is one direction the mind can take. But there are others, which also start from the ‘I’ who is using his brain. So we can imagine another line and another curve which we might call ‘electronic drawing software intelligence.’ (See Figure 2.) Are you with me?

RL: Yes indeedy.

Gerber: And a third direction, which we’ll call ‘electronic publishing software intelligence.’ (See Figure 3.) You see what we’re building here?

RL: The spokes of a wheel.

Gerber: Yes. And the number of potential spokes is infinite. Any curious mind can send out a new spoke in any direction which interests him. Literature. Chemistry. Knitting. Basketball. Music. And so on. We’ll just call it ‘n’ direction to stand for any and all. (See Figure 4.)

RL: But in the examples you’ve drawn, the separation between the spokes isn’t exactly clean. I mean, it’s not as clean as the graph makes it look.

Gerber: Why?

RL: Because there’s a relationship between them. There’s some overlap. You already described the fact that Blaine Pasco uses one to learn about the other.

Gerber: You’re right. Let’s see how we’d show that on our graphic. Here’s the situation when Blaine has already reached a stage of mastery in the direction of ‘electronic drawing package intelligence.’ (See Figure 5.) He has the electronic publishing software loaded on his computer. He knows a little bit about it. What he’s read on the package. He’s already thrown the manuals onto the pile of dirty socks in the corner. The gray outline on our graphic is the level of proficiency he needs or wants in ‘electronic publishing intelligence.’ Okay?

RL: Software in computer, manuals on sock pile. Got it.

Gerber: Now he starts to play with the new software. He tries things, based on what he already knows from his ‘electronic drawing package intelligence.’ This is an application of pattern recognition. It is the use of metaphor, whether Blaine got a 200 or an 800 on his Verbal SAT. The process looks like this. (See Figure 6.) The space between the two curves is the field of metaphor. It is bridging the gap.

RL: And so he learns very quickly.

Gerber: More than that. The flow is not one way. Connections are being established back and forth. The new software may teach him more about the old software. What he sees in both he recognizes as a general pattern, an abstraction that resides between the two curves. In short, a realm of mind-space is being created. (See Figure 7.)

The two individual curves are planes, existing in two dimensions. The metaphor activity is giving us a third dimension, which means that it is adding infinitely to Blaine’s intelligence. In his case, we can depict the new mind-space this way (See Figure 8.) It is a new room in Blaine’s ‘I’. It is a direct increase in his consciousness, a realm in which he can think, build, create—between the two very specific lines of intelligence that gave rise to this space.

RL: But you’re also saying it doesn’t have to happen that way.

Gerber: Of course not. In these terms, Pasco is a genius. He gets the maximum return from his computer-related metaphor making. You or I might build a space between these two curves that looks more like this. (See Figure 9.) The manuals are still tossed in the corner, but we don’t get quite as much out of the ‘playing’ we do.

RL: And if you do open the manuals?

Gerber: You mean, if I’m a girl?

RL: Yes. No pile of dirty socks to file the manuals on.

Gerber: Then I’m in a different situation altogether. If I’m a girl, I think I have to use the manual. It’s the only way to learn. It’s the same kind of logic that makes women think you have to have a college degree in a subject to know anything about it. So I’m looking for the list, the recipe, the ‘correct’ way to do electronic publishing, and anything I know about electronic drawing packages I put away and don’t look at. Like it’s a dress I’ve already worn a few times. I may occasionally recognize a similarity, but it’s not something I use. When this happens, it’s an accidental, passive kind of metaphor-making. I draw very few inferences from it. I don’t generalize, I don’t make the leap that frees me to engage in abstract, plastic manipulation of concepts. What I do is follow the directions. So the new mind-space I add as a result looks more like this. (See Figure 10.)

Mind Space with a focus.

Mind Space with a focus.

RL: And you’re saying that this is how all mind-space is built—how consciousness is created and expanded.

Gerber: How else would it be created? Consciousness is itself a metaphor—a mental space that’s like some part of the world or its underlying nature. Why do you think we talk about mental activity in terms of reflection? Because that’s exactly what it is. That’s why reflective space has to be built by metaphor. It’s also why we can use a graphic to depict it.

Our simplified model for Blaine might look like this when we’re through (See Figure 10A.) The new slices of space created between spokes join up at the central ‘I’ of his mind. He can operate in the entire space—use it to create a really big conception, like ‘What would it take to crash the electronic banking system in the United States?’ You see, there’s nothing deterministic about what this kind of space is used for. You can put anything in there. A jet engine. A trombone sonata. The all-time greatest baseball team. Your company’s 5-year strategic plan. As long as the space is big enough, it can contain anything. It provides the thinking capacity that makes genius possible. But it doesn’t ensure that we won’t get a Hitler or a serial killer as often as we’ll get a Michelangelo or a Michael Jordan.

RL: It sounds as if you’re saying that athletic greatness also depends on this kind of mind-space.

Gerber: Obviously it does. It’s merely an expression of intellectual bias to heap qualifiers on athletic genius, as if it were profoundly different from physics genius or artistic genius or even sexual genius for that matter. I believe Roo Roker made a reference to this. The differential between Michael Jordan and journeyman basketball players is not incremental. It can’t be explained by the incremental differences in physical bodies. It is a function of consciousness that adds something entirely new to the realm of the possible—imagines it and then turns image into reality. That’s genius.

RL: Then consciousness has to be the source of the huge resource increases Roker and Wythington claim are needed to move from ‘use electronic spreadsheet’ to ‘create Theory of Relativity’ in their IQ analysis.

Gerber: Yes. You’ve got to have enough room to lay out all your tools and raw materials and draw a pattern that’s big enough to get you there. You know, the other area of measured sex difference in male and female minds is ‘spatial perception.’ Doesn’t that seem highly suggestive to you? Boys are better than girls at perceiving distances and locations in space because they’re getting more practice at it, internally as well as externally. Very early on, boys are far better than girls at drawing the mechanics of a bicycle. Girl pictures are almost cubist in their lack of accountability to real physics.

RL: But the kind of intelligence difference—or consciousness difference—you’re talking about doesn’t show up in current IQ testing. Generally, women test out as being approximately equal in intelligence to men.

Gerber: (Smiling) You’d like to see how a female could score the same on a traditional IQ test and still be vastly less conscious, less intelligent?

RL: I have a feeling you’ve been waiting for me to ask that.

Gerber: I have. Here on the left is the completed Blaine Pasco model we were building one slice at a time (See Figure 11.) On the right is a model of a female who has individually learned as much about the same software applications—spreadsheet, drawing, publishing, and word processing, say—as Blaine. But she read the manuals and has drawn no conclusions. If we test them both on software operation—whether they can perform certain functions or not—she may test out as well as Blaine. After all, he probably stops learning the details when he has drawn the abstract lessons he wants. So the curves along her individual lines of direction are the same size and shape as Blaine’s. But the mind-space she has created through metaphor ‘playing’ is substantially smaller.

RL: But if you’re not good at spatial perception, the volume difference between these two might not be that obvious.

Gerber: Okay. For the ladies I can offer a different angle, the same comparison viewed from directly above. Identical test scores, different consciousness, different intelligence. (See Figure 12.)

Mind Space.

Mind Space.

Just spokes. No genius.

Just spokes. No genius.


RL: That makes her mind look rather, well, insect-like, doesn’t it?

Gerber: It does at that. Have you by any chance already met with Eddy Stanhope and Arlo Meltz at the Garage?

RL: No. Why?

Gerber: You’re familiar with their work?

RL: No. Should I be?

Gerber: You’re not supposed to be just yet. Never mind.

RL: Are you holding out on me?

Gerber: Let’s get back to the diagram… Needless to say, the warehouse Blaine is working in here gives him more scope to consider new directions and boosts his learning speed in every direction. He’ll go on from this point to send out thousands of new spokes, compared to her mere handful. He can extend the length of any spoke he’s already got, and every new and extended spoke will add to his stockpile of powerful learning metaphors. Meanwhile, every manual she reads and every recipe she follows will close down some future learning opportunity. That’s why we have lots of male hackers, and zero female hackers.

RL: Wow. I still can’t get over the diagram. If intelligence is measured in terms of volume, then it’s easy to see how you arrive at the 99 percent differential.

Gerber: 98.8 percent to be precise. Reflection is not a female sport.

RL: I notice that you have a fondness for sports metaphors.

Gerber: Yes. I do. Men receive so much abuse for their obsession with sports. Like the way they’re derided for being ‘eternal little boys,’ which is to say that they keep playing all their lives. Just a few days ago, I saw a promo for some celebrity gold tournament. It was a goofy piece that showed a bunch of professional athletes joking around with golf ball and clubs. In about sixty seconds, they played half a dozen different sports with the golfing equipment—baseball, football, soccer, basketball… and it’s true they looked like a bunch of overgrown kids. But that promo was a perfect example of the superior male mentality—the free, spontaneous, easy use of metaphor. Never in a million years would you see women engaged in such a scene. ‘Golf clubs are for playing golf with. Quit horsing around.’

RL: Do sports also figure in your thoughts about the male edge in sources of metaphors?

Gerber: Very much so. Men build and use vast treasuries of metaphor resources. Women don’t. The ability to measure this is one of the major contributions of the Dog Pound. My book draws heavily on these. Ralph Plank’s initiative on The Female Physics Constraint. Eldon Keyes’s survey work on sex differences in breadth of knowledge and interests. Sanderson & Punchinello’s work on sex differences in slang-making. And, of course, the Locker Room’s work in the area of male-female libido. They’ve all added important pieces to the picture.

RL: Sounds complicated.

Gerber: It isn’t really. Somebody could look at the graphics I’ve drawn for you and say, ‘Looks interesting but you can’t prove it. You can’t prove differences in consciousness.’ Well, if I can demonstrate that you don’t have the raw materials to build something, and never have had, I’ve created a very good circumstantial case for the hypothesis that you didn’t build it. And that’s where we are with female consciousness today. We know they don’t have the raw materials for the building of mind-space.

RL: Which are…?

Gerber: Abundant sources of broadly applicable metaphor. That’s what distinguishes little boyhood from little girlhood. Little boys, from infancy to young adulthood, couldn’t be accumulating better metaphor resources if they had deliberately set out to do so. And little girls couldn’t be accumulating worse ones.
Boys push their bodies to the limit, learning how they work—and what their limits are. They acquire all kinds of everyday physics knowledge from throwing baseballs, climbing trees, racing and crashing their bikes, fighting, playing team sports and other games, cursing, masturbating, all the boy stuff.
They’re also acquiring crucial entry-level metaphors for all the biggest questions about existence, which they get from sports. Any game of sports is inherently an abstraction, an artificial arena governed by rules and subject to natural laws in such areas as ethics, esthetics, government, adaptive response, and even morality. Why do you suppose even highly intelligent men continue to use sports metaphors to communicate with each other and to motivate themselves?

During and after puberty boys plunge into an orgy of mechanical metaphors by tinkering with cars, racing on the highway, cracking up cars, trying to have sex in cars—not to mention the stuff they do with motorcycles, speedboats, jet-skis, snowmobiles, etc.

It’s a classic risk-reward scenario. Boys take what have always seemed foolish risks as they prepare to enter adulthood. Now we know why. There is a reward. The return on their ‘investment’ is new mind-space.

RL: Whereas little girls play with dolls and bake let’s pretend cookies.

Gerber: True. Little girls do not test the limits of their bodies, and there’s no very good evidence that they would do this even if we encouraged it. Their use of language couldn’t be more opposite from that of boys. From an early age, they incline not to vivid language or cursing, but to euphemism. They search for the mildest, least imagistic reference they can find to reference anything which might be considered vulgar or—to use a better word—earthy. In short, they are quite systematic in not acquiring the tools they need to understand the earth and the way things work in it.

Their notion of play is compartmentalized and imitative rather than exploratory; they tend to play with toys in the ways the toys were designed to be played with. They pretend to do grownup things, and in doing so, they follow the ‘recipe’ as closely as possible.

Boys, on the other hand, turn their toys to other purposes. They alter games from the original rules. They are always, obsessively, engaging in metaphor making. This is like that. This can be that. Girls are, as you put it, merely playing with dolls—small, controlled miniatures of themselves who have clothes to put on and roles to be marched safely through. No risk. No reward.

RL: Discounting for a moment the way these behaviors speak to your thesis, feminists would say that they are an environmentally imposed phenomenon. That women’s limitations are what society has made them.

Gerber: I know you have to pose that point, and so I mean no offense when I say it’s probably the single dumbest argument to be made about this stuff. What is it, do you suppose, that sends out the spokes from the hub of the ‘I’? It is curiosity. Passion. The joy of engagement with ideas. What all of these have in common is that they are so clearly intrinsic to the human being who has them. They are qualities which can be encouraged, but they can’t be taught. They can be suppressed, but only in the way that the safety valve of a steam boiler can be tied closed. Sooner or later the energy—and that’s what we’re talking about here, a boundless native energy—will explode into action. Just like the sex drive does when it’s denied too long.

If these characteristics were really being suppressed in women, we would see the evidence in all those areas of behavior which are, in fact, harder to control.

Girls would be as colorful and imaginative in their use of language as boys. They are not. They would be as rambunctious and mischievous as boys when left unsupervised. They are not. Girls would be as sexually obsessed as boys. They are not.
In fact, it is the huge sex difference with respect to libido which may underlie the entire difference in consciousness. From early puberty, boys’ most fantastic metaphor-making involves sex. A thirteen year old boy can see a double-entendre in absolutely anything. Sex is also the fire that drives the intellect, the chief inspiration for the cathedral of the mind. There is nothing a male will not attempt if he believes that it will make him sexually attractive to women.

RL: The Barbie Doll Curve makes it pretty obvious that women have a lower key approach to sex. Is this where PMS comes into your theory?

Gerber: Women simply do not think about building, creating, or doing something monumental for the purpose of increasing their sexual attractiveness. They think in terms of improving their appearance. A man builds a billion-dollar corporation. A woman buys a new dress. Then, more often than not, she simply waits to be approached. Think about this for a moment. It’s like a writer waiting for a publisher to ask him for the ‘Great Amerian Novel.’ It’s hardly an expression of passion, is it?
No one teaches women to be uninterested in sex. This is a realm of being that is too private for anyone to control. Perhaps the key indicator about the role of sex in mind-space building is that female metaphor-making does not increase at puberty. Instead, it actually declines as euphemism-making goes into high gear.

A lot of people think euphemisms are cute. I don’t. A euphemism is the exact opposite of a metaphor. Its purpose is to substitute a less accurate, less revealing term for reality. And starting at puberty, women go all out in this direction. It’s a wholesale flight from metaphor, from mind-space building.

This is the phase of female development we call Pubescent Metaphor Starvation or PMS. It’s fatal to their intellectual potential. The metaphor resources women don’t acquire between the ages of thirteen and eighteen will permanently limit their intelligence and their consciousness. There is no effective remedial measure we can envision.

RL: To sum up then, the proof of diminished consciousness lies in the evidence that has already been gathered about lack of female slang-making, lack of female sex drive, lack of female curiosity, and lack of female engagement in activities that provide good working metaphors, such as sports and auto mechanics.

Gerber: Yes. And there is one other. Lack of female genius. Genius cannot exist without huge interior mind-space. The whole male sex is, in a sense, a pool of genius candidates. Most of us don’t make it. Many of us are spectacular failures. But everything in the male approach to life is inherently optimized for the creation of such mind-space. That’s why genius is a male phenomenon. In some respects, you can regard it as a statistical game. For women to have produced so remarkably few instances of genius suggests that the entire female population is nowhere near the threshold, that their interior space is orders-of-magnitude less; otherwise, out of the five or six billion women who have ever lived, they would have produced at least a hundred or so geniuses by sheer statistical accident. Thanks to PMS and its root cause, this has not happened.

RL: What is the root cause of PMS? Why don’t women want to build up their supply of metaphors? Why aren’t they curious, passionate, entranced with ideas?

Gerber: For the answer to that, you’re going to have to wait till you meet Stanhope and Meltz. They’ll be pleased to show you the solution to the mystery.

RL: Thank you, Dr. Gerber.

Gerber: You thought I was going to talk about the other PMS, didn’t you?

RL: Yes. I did.

Gerber: Got you, didn’t I?

RL: Thank you, Dr. Gerber.

Welcome to the wonderful world of humor.

Welcome to the wonderful world of humor.

POSTSCRIPT. 99 out of 100 women will be too offended by this and other pieces in The Naked Woman to perceive that a mere work of satire has successfully dynamited accepted scientific theory regarding what intelligence is and what its range is. That says something important too. There’s a Glossary that is both funny and hard to refute without a sense of humor. But if you can stop fuming for a second, ask yourself whether it’s possible that Einstein is only twice as smart as a guy working the McDonalds cash register. Einstein has the whole universe in his mind space.

The picture can't show the four dimensions Albert had in his head. Because he was imagining time as a variable too. "Do you want fries with that?"

The picture can’t show the four dimensions Albert had in his head. Because he was imagining time as a variable too. “Do you want fries with that?”

How is that not 20,000 times bigger than the mind space of a guy whose imagination is filled to overflowing with a picture of a six pack of Yuengling?

Let's see. The whole universe or my Yuengling?

Let’s see. The whole universe or my Yuengling?

Get back to me on that.

Medusa. Everybody's nightmare.

Medusa. Everybody’s nightmare. If you need to catch up on concepts like the Insect Brain, go here and here On all the pics on this post, click for bigger.

NOTE: The portions of this manuscript which relate to science have been seized by the Amerian Committee for Responsible Social Science to be used as evidence in a hearing to determine whether disciplinary action should be taken against the participating scientists. The only portion of the manuscript which remains available is the final appendix, which concerns art and literature and therefore means nothing.

APPENDIX IX

MEDUSA, CUPID, AND SNOW WHITE

Dr. Cyril McFlax regards the Dog Pound as a bunch of Johnny-come-lately’s whose work has merely confirmed his own 30 years of research. McFlax’s book, The Eleusinian Mysteries and Other Secrets of the Medusa (Kelsey press, 1994), claims that knowledge of what he calls the ‘Great Female Metamorphosis’ has been a major subtext of art and literature since the days of the ancient Greeks. Although Mysteries sold only 112 copies, its content suggests that McFlax, an associate professor of humanities at the Kelsey Technical Institute, may have arrived at the Insect Brain Hypothesis quite independently, using nonscientific data. While the sex difference researchers give him credit for discovering the importance of the Cupid motif in art, they dispute the contention that McFlax is not indebted to their work. In rebuttal, McFlax points out that the scientists have failed to synthesize key elements of his own thesis, including the existence of ‘hive consciousness’ and the true meaning of the feminist movement. These latter two concepts have led him to make some fairly specific and dire predictions which have further alienated him from the scientific community. I spoke with him at his office during the final days of research for this book.

McFlax looks like everyone’s idea of a college professor. His eyebrows resemble hedges of dead boxwood, and his long white hair shoots straight from the scalp in all directions, as if trying to escape the heat of so much cerebration. Hawklike eyes hunt yours down, predators seeking a between-meals snack. He can be friendly but he doesn’t like to waste time on small talk. My tape of the interview indicates that he didn’t even wait to be asked a question before he posed one of his own.

McFlax: Are you going to put me in your book?

RL: I guess that depends on our conversation. I understand you believe that the Insect Brain Hypothesis is supported by sources as old as the Greek myths.

McFlax: Laying aside the question of whose theory supports whose, yes. The hardest thing to explain about Greek myth is the ubiquity of the transformation stories. They’re so pervasive that Ovid, the Roman poet, chose Metamorphoses as the title for his own distillation of the body of mythology. Robert Graves has done an excellent job of explaining the heroic plots as a memory of the conquest of Earth-Mother cults by the pre-Greek patriarchy: Hercules raping all those island priestesses. Graves is right that the myths memorialize the cultural war that had to be won before civilization could be built. But that’s no more than half the deep content of the literature. The other half has to do with all the changing of one form into another that’s going on in the stories. Scholars have a tendency to treat transformations as little more than plot devices, the ancient equivalent of ‘suddenly they were all hit by a truck.’ (Pretending to read from the classical text in his hand, he adopts a loud sing-song voice) ‘So the goddess turned Philminite (fil’-mee-nī-tee) into a crocheted throw pillow, and that’s why women still insist on keeping the damn things around today.’

RL: I’d always understood that the transformations were explanations of natural phenomena. A scared virgin got turned into an aspen tree; that explains why aspen trees quiver.

McFlax: I’m aware of that. Don’t be impertinent. The question is, why the sex difference? Generally speaking, the only males who undergo transformation are rutting gods, who go back to their original form after they’ve had their roll in the hay, and young men who have died, so that their transformation represents a kind of memorial. The human females who are transformed are generally alive at the time and they stay transformed. With one notable exception, it’s generally a goddess who does it to them. You can’t turn around in ancient Greece without seeing some woman turn into a cow, a tree, or some other passive prisoner of nature. That’s not an accident.

RL: You contend in your book that this is evidence of a subconscious memory that human females did at one point undergo a real metamorphosis. Are there myths which recall this event?

McFlax: A myth preserves important memories that are sometimes too painful to remain in the conscious mind. For this reason, every myth contains hidden elements. The hidden part is the content we don’t want to remember consciously. The most important myths are therefore the ones that don’t quite make sense the way they’ve come down to us. The discontinuities are the footprints of the subconscious. We can follow them to the concealed truth. One of the better examples of this is the Echo-Narcissus myth. Are you familiar with it?

RL: A girl named Echo falls in love with a young man who is obsessed with his own appearance. Narcissus drowns trying to kiss his own reflection in the water. And so Echo pines away to nothing, leaving only her voice behind to repeat what we say, like some mindless tape recorder.

McFlax: Anything strike you as odd about that?

RL: I don’t know. Why was Echo attracted to a goof who couldn’t take his eyes off himself?

McFlax: (explosively, using a term I’ve never heard uttered but only seen written) Pshaw! The know-it-alls claim that the story is a nature myth, don’t they? That in addition to being an explanation of the existence of the narcissus flower, it’s the Greek explanation for the echo phenomenon?

RL: I suppose so.

McFlax: Damn right they do. But now tell me what’s so inherently female about the sound of a voice bouncing back? When you yell into a canyon, do you hear a female voice come back? Don’t forget, this myth was written down by a male. Like all myths.

RL: The point being that if it’s not a good explanation of how echoes work, then it’s not really about echoes?

McFlax: That’s one point. It wouldn’t survive in this form if it’s a bungled explanation of nature. The other point is that we’ve lost the element or meaning of the story that would make the echo metaphor correct. Can we think of a way to tell the story that doesn’t make a mish-mash of the echo phenomenon? I’ll give you one. Echo falls in love with Narcissus. Narcissus falls in love with his own reflection. So far, it doesn’t sound like a love story. But it is. The reflection of himself Narcissus loves is Echo. The woman he loves is only an illusion, an image of himself he has projected onto her, the way his own face is projected onto the surface of the water. When he discovers the illusion, he and his love are doomed. In sorrow, Echo transforms herself into his reflection and disappears.

RL: And the meaning?

McFlax: Narcissus is all men. Echo is all women. The echo we hear is our own voice, which is the voice of Narcissus. The woman we love is only our own reflection. She is not there as we imagine her to be. The real woman we might have loved is gone forever. I believe this myth is a slightly garbled encoding of a real subconscious memory. That there was a time when women were as aware and as fully endowed with identity as men. Then they changed. In this myth, the responsibility for Echo’s repeating voice belongs—as it usually does—to a mother-goddess who transforms her so that Zeus will not be attracted to her. This is also presented as the reason Narcissus cannot love her; he is repelled when she repeats his command to ‘Come here,’ and he tells her, ‘I will never give you power over me.’ Yet another goddess then punishes him for his indifference to women by causing him to fall in love with his own reflection. You see, all the elements are here. Woman is changed, lessened to a reflection of men. Then man is condemned not to see that this is so. Both are cruelly injured by the same transformation. It may be that this particular myth is the last true love story—or its echo.

The Death of Narcissus

I love me, I mean you.

I love me, I mean you.

Echoes of Metamorphosis: Cyril McFlax believes Greek myths like the story of Echo and Narcissus record the subconscious memory of the change to the insect brain. Note the presence of Cupid in this rendering. McFlax’s theory holds that Cupid is a ‘bee symbol’ which has subconscious allegorical meaning to men.

The Cupid of legend. A boy or a bee?

The Cupid of legend. A boy or a bee?

RL: One myth doesn’t constitute a theory, though. Is there a pattern we can discern? For example, are there myths which give us an account of what really happened?

McFlax: Yes. Indeed. Quite a few. One of the best ones is the Rape of Persephone. Every course in mythology teaches that it’s the Greek explanation of the seasons. Hades, the god of the Underworld, steals Persephone from the world of the living and intends to keep her with him, as his wife, in the kingdom of the dead. But Zeus intervenes because in her grief, Persephone’s mother Demeter has plunged the earth into winter—or so the popular version goes. Hades agrees to surrender Persephone but secretly has her eat of the pomegranate, ensuring that she will return to him. Thus, the daughter of the mother goddess resides in the world of the living for half of each year, during which we have spring and summer. But after the harvest, she goes down to join Hades in the Underworld, and we have fall and winter.

Persephone in the Underworld. Hijacked and, well, dead.

Persephone in the Underworld. Hijacked and, well, dead.

RL: And you’re saying that it really happened? Women’s consciousness got kidnapped by the King of the Dead?

McFlax: Do you give the scientists this hard a time? Forget what you think you know about this myth, which can’t be much. Consider it anew and see if you can’t hear in this story the ‘echo’ of another extremely famous myth from a completely different culture.

RL: Sorry. I’m drawing a blank.

McFlax: (Grinning triumphantly) I’ll tell it in a slightly different way then. Earth is a paradise of eternal fertility. A villain from the realm of darkness gulls a beautiful young woman into eating a piece of fruit. Thereafter, earth is changed. Life becomes a fight for survival against the cycle of the seasons and the cycle of female fertility. Suggest anything?

RL: Eve. Persephone eats the pomegranate, and Eve eats the apple. But where is Adam? It’s a different story without him.

McFlax: Ah. An interesting point. But first, take note of the fact that the similarities are striking, given that the Hebrews and Greeks have such different origins. It’s like finding accounts of the Flood in both cultures, which is one of the reasons we now believe the Flood occurred.

Still, you’d rather nitpick about Adam. I’m happy to oblige you. If you consult the original Greek text of the Persephone myth, in the Homeric Hymns, you will find elements that don’t add up, as if the gods of Mount Olympus had to be written into a much older myth of the Demeter-mother-goddess cult. What comes through clearly is that the central figure is not Hades or Zeus, but Demeter. And her behavior after the kidnapping of her daughter is very peculiar. She plunges the earth into a state of famine—not winter, incidentally—and then she disguises herself and starts wandering about. She makes no attempt to rescue Persephone or to take any action that would prevent her daughter from eating the fatal pomegranate. Instead, she moves in with a mortal family and takes a shine to their son, Demophoön, whom she subjects to secret rituals for the purpose of granting him immortality. When Zeus arranges Persephone’s return, Demeter’s first question is: did you eat anything in the Underworld? She takes the ‘bad news’ well.

Demeter. Loving mom.

Demeter. Loving mom.

RL: You’re suggesting that Demophoön is somehow related to Adam, and that Demeter is working some plan of her own that’s concealed under the Olympian changes in the myth? That Zeus and Hades are merely her foils?

McFlax: Yes. More than that, I’m convinced that this form of the myth represents a best guess by the Greeks about a story they know to be important but can’t quite understand or remember. It was Demeter who was the center of the Eleusinian Mysteries, which were female-only rites practiced in secret for centuries. The rituals were rumored to involve orgiastic dancing, human sacrifice, and a degree of savagery that shocked even the pagan Greeks. I believe that the victory of Greek patriarchy in the cultural collision Graves describes was only partial, and that the Greeks knew it. In this myth, we can see them trying to hide the impenetrable mystery of Demeter’s power and purpose under a display of male authority, in the form of Zeus. But they can’t quite pull it off. The subconscious, which drives myth-making, won’t let them.

RL: Then what’s the real story?

McFlax: You’re not going to like it. Your beekeepers aren’t going to like it either.

RL: Shoot.

McFlax: To put it in terms your scientists would recognize, Demeter is the Darwinian survival instinct that drives natural selection. She is also, in figurative terms, the queen of the hive. Don’t forget that there’s always been a latent bee content in Olympian mythology. The gods like nectar with their ambrosia. Always in search of new sources of nectar, Demeter the earth-goddess raises up the species of homo sapiens; that is, she blesses Demophoön with her special attentions. But she soon perceives that this will cause problems. In the myth it is Demophoön’s mother who voices her fear that the attentions of the goddess will kill her son. In other words, the maternal aspect of Demeter foresees with concern the danger of giving mankind such divine attributes. But she cannot abandon the prospect of the nectar such a creation could provide. So she merely reduces the danger, removing or withholding a portion of these same divine attributes from her daughter, who is condemned to a life of half-death.

Indeed, Persephone becomes the wife of death—permanently denied real union with man—but lives on the earth in a non-individuated incarnation as the cycle of the seasons. This is the symbolic meaning of the eating of the pomegranate—transformation from the mind and body of human woman to the mind and body of nature. The eating of the fruit binds woman to the unconscious cooperation of the hive.

RL: That’s not inconsistent with the Dog Pound theories. It’s a more poetic version, but it’s not different in any material way.

McFlax: (Wagging a finger at me) But it is. Your scientists can’t help putting things under a microscope, examining parts instead of the whole. Demeter was not abandoning her daughters. She was changing them, yes, but in a way that ensured their eventual control over man. The bee is not conscious. The hive is. The hive wants more and better nectar, so it can grow and flourish. We men are not creatures of the hive per se. We are the flowers, the providers of the nectar. We are the source of the harvest, serving the needs of the queen. Remember that the other ‘nature’ explanation in the Echo myth involves identification of the male in the story with the narcissus flower.

RL: But it’s all a matter of perspective. The flower would see it differently. It would view the bees as vessels of its own procreation, servants of its own posterity.

McFlax: Correct. The flowers can do what the bees cannot. Therefore, the bee seems to serve the flower. But when the flowers have grown enough, have flourished to the point of wasteful overabundance, the bees of the hive begin allowing them to die, demonstrating their control. Man is on the verge of making himself superfluous. The nectar of his technology will soon allow the hive to survive without him, to thrive in abundant comfort without his rampant, dangerous creative imagination. This is the signal for the bees of the hive to begin exercising their eternal control over the life and death of the flowers.

RL: I suppose that’s where the feminists come into your theory. The hive swarming for the kill?

McFlax: Yes. But it’s premature to talk about that at the moment.

RL: Okay. But you are saying this has always been known and remembered by the Mother-Goddess cults. That the feminists know this and are acting on it now?

McFlax: Yes. They know it in a manner of speaking. The women of the ancients did too. Their enactments of the Eleusinian Mysteries were celebrations of the seeming surrender of the matriarchies to the Greek patriarchy. The priestesses are laughing at the presumed authority of Olympus, the temerity of the flower which believes itself lord of the bees.

RL: Then the Dog Pounders are wrong about the reduced consciousness of women?

McFlax: No. Individual female consciousness is much as they describe it. What they don’t see because they can’t put it under their microscope is the consciousness of the hive. All women are part of the same highly conscious organism, which uses men to achieve its own ends. In this respect, each woman is a tiny part of a huge and superior intelligence, an intelligence which is certain to conquer ours in the end.

RL: Beyond your ‘predictions,’ is there any way to confirm this part of your theory?

McFlax: Absolutely. Hive consciousness accounts for the one thing your scientists can’t explain. If women are solitary units of drastically reduced consciousness, then what is it that’s so incredibly intriguing about them? It’s not all sex.
It’s their hidden union with one another and with nature that’s the source of our continuing fascination with women, despite what we know of their impairments. We feel that they are connected to a greater power, to a secret knowledge of which they are half aware, just as they are half aware of us. That’s the meaning of the half-life of Persephone, that she has a foot in both worlds, a personal identity in neither. But she is owned by the darker world of hidden nature. And we men keep trying to read through her empty eyes to the truth of it. It is this occult, half remembered knowledge we see in the smile of Mona Lisa as she peers past us from the murky realm of her queen. We can’t figure it out, but we keep trying in our blind, relentless way.

This is also the explanation for the long history of the nude in art, which continually places before us this inactive, passive power which we cannot understand. We look and look, but we can’t ever get her naked enough to see who she really is.

RL: But if what you’ve said about myths is true, then this knowledge is contained even in the myths that have been written by men.

McFlax: And in art, too. The precious bees of your scientists are represented in tremendous numbers throughout art in the form of all those ‘harmless’ little Cupids. Like the husband who keeps peering around the shoulder of his wife’s lover to look for the scoundrel who has cuckolded him, we obsessively paint and then ignore the same round-bodied little drone whose wings and stinger should tell us where woman’s allegiance lies. Every Cupid is a flag of the hive. It isn’t us she loves and obeys. But we’re so besotted with ourselves we send her valentines adorned with pictures of our victorious rival. If you won’t see the truth, it doesn’t matter how obvious and numerous the clues are. No wonder she smiles so slyly.

The myths do tell at least part of the story—half-concealed by ineffectual male attempts to cast ourselves in a more heroic light, to write a happier ending. In male myths, of course, the dominant element is not the purpose of Demeter’s plan, but the fact of transformation. They tell us again and again that man’s mate has been stolen, turned into something less, something somehow absent or asleep. It’s a transformation we invariably depict as evil, an act of the devil.

RL: Back to Adam and Eve?

McFlax: Of course. (Laughing) I’ve always been amazed at the dimness of the Judeo-Christian assumption that the apple represented knowledge. As if the god of the Old Testament had gone to all the trouble of creating human beings with no intention of having them learn anything. What other value could they have? Would it please you to have children who remained as ignorant as they were at birth? But I can forgive the error. It’s the indicator of the hidden part of the myth, the part we don’t want to remember.

RL: Which is…?

McFlax: That the apple is not from the Tree of Knowledge but the Tree of Forgetfulness. The serpent in the garden is not Lucifer, but the Mother-Goddess, the female principle that opposes and yet completes the male principle of Yahweh, who—like the Adam he created in his own image—believed in the possibility of a creation without pain or cost, a paradise where the flowers rule and do not bow to bees. The mother-goddess reaches out against this dream. Her dominion is death, the dying that proceeds in every second of every organic life. There will be no paradise, she says. You will die. Everything alive will die. But if you wish to have children carry on your legacy—which is one thing Adam and Eve don’t have in the garden of Eden, at least metaphorically—then Eve must eat of this apple.

What, pray tell, is the sex of the serpent?

What, pray tell, is the sex of the serpent?

RL: And so it is Eve who eats. And Adam does not?

McFlax: Yes. Genesis tries to hide this but can’t entirely. Eve eats it first and is cursed. That’s the clue we are given. Notice now the parallel with the Demeter-Persephone story. It is the woman who pays the price for posterity, the survival of the species. We know this part in our bones. Eve eats of the apple and falls into a deep, long sleep, akin to the sleep of winter or… (His voice hangs, waiting for me to finish his sentence)

RL: …Snow White. Or Sleeping Beauty.

Snow White isn't a cartoon. she's a fairy tale and a ballet.

Snow White isn’t a cartoon. she’s a fairy tale and a ballet.

McFlax: That’s right. All these stories are of a piece when you correct the errors of the hidden parts. All those princesses locked up in magic towers are our own mate, whom we long for eternally and whom we are powerless to set free. Echo is Persephone is Eve is Sleeping Beauty is Juliet is your own true love, forever denied you. It is a tragedy that cuts across cultures, a memory too deeply embedded to be cast out of our dreams.

Can a virtuous knight penetrate the Wall of Thorn? No.

Can a virtuous knight penetrate the Wall of Thorn? No.

RL: Juliet?

McFlax: Shakespeare reworks another Greek myth about Pyramus and Thisbe. The male partner discovers his true love dead, or apparently so, and kills himself. She awakens only after his suicide, which spells her own doom. It isn’t Prince Charming’s kiss that will awaken the princess, but his death, which is also the death of her remaining humanity. This is the tragedy of all human love. The lovers cannot be joined together, and if they try to bridge the gulf nature has placed between them, the consequence is death. That’s also the secret of the enduring appeal these stories have. It is the emotional accuracy of the loss that runs through them like an underground spring which moves us. Contrary to outward appearances, our subconscious minds do not perceive them as extreme or remote from our experience. They are a symbolic retelling of the deep reality of each of us.

RL: By ‘us’ you mean men?

McFlax: Of course. Though, as you know, women also respond strongly to these tales, to the extent that they are able to respond to anything. Inside the mind they’re not allowed to use, they also know and remember. (Suddenly emphatic) This is not new information! I have been teaching this to my classes for most of my adult life. And I’m not the first. Other men have figured it out. Study Lewis Carroll—he beat your precious Dog Pounders to the punch by a hundred years. The truth is, we all know there has been some kind of unholy intervention by the mother-goddess. It’s the central fact of human existence. We lost our bride in supposed exchange for the life of the species. We cannot forget the merciless bitch who did it. We keep searching for her secret lair, the hiding place from which she works her woe. Darwin brought science into the search and renamed her Evolution.

But we know better than Darwin did. We vilify her constantly, heap our hatred upon her. She is Medea, Medusa, the wicked witch, the evil stepmother, Morgan La Fay, and most recently, she is also Betty Steinmiller rising from the black heart of earth to reassert her control. Her powers are the powers of an unchanging darkness we can’t defeat. She terrifies us. That’s why we keep reinventing her in our fairy tales, giving her new faces and names and weaknesses. We are trying to transmute her into a form in which we can defeat her. So that we can pretend victory might be as easy as outwitting some nasty, stereotyped witch.

RL: Did the Greeks do that too?

McFlax: Constantly. The myth of Perseus and Medusa is a perfect example. It is almost the exact opposite, a kind of reflection, of the Echo-Narcissus story. Perseus goes out to slay the wicked witch Medusa, whose merest glance could turn him to stone. He is our great wish-fulfillment dream, the hope that we might free our stolen mate from the clutches of nature. But we do not know how to defeat her. So in the dream we use the symbol of our own loss as the weapon of vengeance. It is the power of reflection—

RL: (foolishly interrupting) uh, I don’t remember any love interest in the Perseus story. Is that a possible flaw in your interpretation?

McFlax: (angrily) You impudent pup. You turn your own ignorance into someone else’s weakness. No. It is not a flaw. Perseus seeks the head of Medusa as a wedding gift to his king. And he undertakes the mission out of foolish, boastful pride. How pregnant with symbolism is that? I suggest you research the myth more deeply—you will find that every detail resonates with what we have been discussing. Perseus must find Medusa, but oddly, the Olympian gods do not know where she lives. Her location is known only by a group called the Gray Women, who live in a twilight world of shadow and despair. The gods who render assistance to Perseus are Hermes—god of secret knowledge and hidden truths—and Athena, a goddess, yes, but one born directly from the head of Zeus as the incarnation of wisdom. Such a pair evokes the powers of mind, conscious and otherwise, does it not? So I urge you to read—for the sake of your own enlightenment and my good temper.

RL: Sorry.

McFlax: Where was I?

RL: The power of reflection.

McFlax: Yes. The power of reflection. Reflection is, in its passive sense, a detested barrier in our relations with women, but in its active sense it is the source of all male power and thus our only chance to defeat the queen of darkness. Note that the serpent of the Garden is part of Medusa’s crown, the poisonous powers of nature that slither in the dark where we can’t get at them until they strike from their place of concealment. It is evil itself which Perseus confronts, the evil of nature which has done us this terrible wrong. He prevails with his mirrored shield, and from the blood of the decapitated queen rises a winged symbol of liberation, the great white stallion Pegasus.

RL: The image of Pegasus seems to have an eternal appeal. It’s even a staple of advertising.

Pegasus. You always knew it was about sex.

Pegasus. You always knew it was about sex.

McFlax: Pegasus is civilization itself, an idea we conceived to transcend her power, in hope of surpassing her might. But we can’t. She will always hold the one thing we cherish more than any other, and if she ever releases her hold, we will surely die. It’s a fact we must keep reminding ourselves about, even as we deny that we know the darkest part of the story. The tragedy of our great accomplishments is that they can never achieve the ends we wanted, and they can never please or transform the cipher who’s standing in for our lost partner.

RL: I’m running out of tape. A couple of quick questions about sources. Your book claims you made the bee connection before the Dog Pound. Where did you get it? It can’t all be from the use of the term nectar in Greek mythology.

McFlax: You should read the book. I deduced it from the fact of reduced consciousness in women, which is obvious without resorting to a lot of scientific mumbo-jumbo. From what we can discern, group consciousness seems to be a built-in property of prehistoric cultures which worshipped the mother-goddess. The individuals have no sense of ‘long time.’ Every year is the same year repeated. There is no attempt to record great events, no progress, no writing. The culture is, in personal terms, asleep. Yet the culture as a whole has an awareness that directs its activities, its rituals, its purpose in being. When I looked for a metaphor of such group consciousness, I found the beehive to be quite perfect.

We know that honey and mead and other bee products are instrumental in even the oldest cultures. The orgiastic dancing of the mother-goddess ceremonies recalls, rather directly for me, the dancing of honey bees, which is their form of communication about new sources of nectar. The Cupid motif was also strongly suggestive. I therefore chose it as a means of elucidating the phenomena I was talking about. It did not surprise me in the least that scientists discovered organic confirmation of my theory. Bee hormones in the female brain? Wasn’t that their great discovery?

RL: Yes. Micro-hormones. They act like a governor on brain function, collapsing the multi-dimensional constructs of consciousness to a serial stream of data. They also govern female behavior. The clincher was that these micro-hormones are identical with those found in the Brazilian cocoa bee, which feeds exclusively on cocoa pollen. That’s why the scientists think we’re approaching a crisis. Too much refined chocolate causes these particular micro-hormones to run wild. A kind of mass power trip—they all want to be queen.

McFlax: I’ve seen the crisis coming for a long time. I didn’t need to know anything about cocoa bees. The conquest of men by the hive is imminent and inevitable. Already they are resurrecting the mother-goddess, calling her Gaia, and lying about her wicked heart. The feminists could not do what they are doing alone. They are being directed by the hand of the Medusa herself. We have made the human hive big enough and rich enough. They will procreate in test tubes. Men will be put to death by the millions. Writing, art, science—all the male endeavors—will be terminated. The Eleusinian Mysteries will be celebrated with blood sacrifices at Rockefeller Center, the Place de la Concorde, Red Square…

RL: I have to cut you off. I’m definitely out of tape.
McFlax: I see.

RL: Don’t worry, professor. I’ll put you in my book.

McFlax: In a chapter of my own?

RL: In an appendix. In small print. The last thing before the Glossary.

McFlax: Thanks for nothing.

RL: Thank you.

AUTHOR’S NOTE: I thought I had switched off the tape recorder at this point, but apparently I didn’t. The transcription I got from the typist contained the following additional exchange between McFlax and me. I include it for the sake of accuracy, but I still can’t make head or tail of it.

McFlax: (faintly, as if from the corridor outside his office) You still here?

RL: I was just leaving. The lock on my briefcase seems to be stuck.

McFlax: That’s not the only thing that’s stuck. (Pause) Have you given any thought to the implications of what I’ve told you? The implications for our interpretation of original sin? The nature of the eternal battle between God and Satan? The reason for the attitude toward women displayed by the Church throughout the middle ages and even into the present era? The meaning, the purpose, the catalyst of the Second Coming? The real disposition of the battle lines at Armageddon? Have you given any thought to these questions?

RL: No.

McFlax: You should read your Bible, young man. Book of Revelation. Chapter 9. Verses 7 through 10. Good day to you.

Cupid. The lesser god who continues to make all men believe in love as more than reflection.

Cupid. Not the boy-bee but the god who continues to make all men believe in love as more than reflection.

We watched Ex Machina, the way too smart for itself movie about a beautiful robot who passes The Turing Test. Have to admit, halfway through I was tempted to sue. It was 20 years ago that I figured out the best way to pass The Turing Test. Make the computer personality female and use the mechanism of the non sequitur to fool male computer scientists the way women have been fooling men for hundreds of centuries into thinking they are conscious. There was no instance in which the Ex Machina robot showed herself conscious. I had anticipated all the tools a couple decades ago. Question is, how many women today could pass the consciousness test? (Try this as a test, and please read the comments.)

THE NAKED WOMAN – PART III

What is your sex’s earliest , latest care,
Your heart’s supreme ambition—To be fair.

– George Lyttleton

Chapter 2: The Artificial Woman

I was unprepared for the Metzinger Technology Laboratory. After the low budget squalor of the Lodge and the Locker Room, the pristine cleanliness of a university computer facility was a shock. Waiting in the lobby, I felt like a saboteur. If the starched Texas spinster at the reception desk knew where I had come from and why, she’d have had me arrested. I stared guiltily at my reflection in the dazzling floor and shivered under her gaze, which was as frigid as the air-conditioning. Had I come to the wrong place? Should I have changed out of my jeans? What was keeping Blaine Pasco?

Cowboy had warned me that Blaine was the quintessential hacker, scruffy, undisciplined, and brilliant. He had shown up uninvited at a Houston meeting of the Dog Pound three years ago. The paper he delivered was greeted with laughter, of both the defensive and nervous varieties. The reaction didn’t faze him. He had expected it. His claim was that he had accomplished a feat which his colleagues in computer science and physics refused to acknowledge. He had, he said, single-handedly ‘passed’ the Turing Test.

It was Ralph Plank who had the good sense to do some digging. He found that Blaine Pasco was something of a hidden legend. Knowledgeable sources whispered that as a thirteen-year-old, he had succeeded in crashing the entire U.S. banking system for close to an hour in 1988. The need for secrecy led to a swift trial, probation, and placement in graduate school.

Ralph was intrigued. He was already familiar with the Turing Test. Proposed by computer pioneer Alan Turing as the only possible proof of artificial intelligence, the test required that a computer be able to convince a human being he was in conversation with another human being. The test has had a much more active life as a theoretical concept than as a practical endeavor. It figured in most of the written discussions of the problems of artificial intelligence, but no one felt ready to attempt an actual trial. Until Blaine showed up that is.
”Hiya. My name’s Pasco. You the dude Cowboy sent?” He is scruffy—complete with backwards baseball cap and a tattoo boasting of his ‘Turing Triumph.’ But he’s also an energetic presence. By the time we’re past the icy receptionist into Metzinger’s maze of stark corridors, Blaine is already halfway through a lesson in systems theory.

“In the early 1980s we got chaos theory, which told us that randomness wasn’t what we thought it was. There was spontaneous development of pattern in it, a vast creativity in the deep stuff of the universe. Then came complexity theory, which taught us that chaos goes farther than pattern. It gives rise to orderly systems on a continuous basis. That’’ where life comes from; it wasn’t the one-in-a-billion accident scientists have always thought. It was darn near inevitable.”

We enter a concrete stairwell, descend two flights to a basement office that begins to remind me of the Dog Pound esthetic—posters, fast food wrappers, overflowing file cabinets, clutter.

Blaine is still jabbering away. “So it’s complexity that makes us look at systems in a new way. The question is, how do they organize themselves? How do simple elements combine into a system that has the power to keep making itself more complex, without an outside programmer to give it instructions? That’s what got me interested in the Turing Test. It was a game I thought might be fun to play. There she is,” he says suddenly, flinging open a metal door. “Meet Eve.”

Whatever I might have been anticipating in the way of spectacle is missing. The room is a rather ordinary windowless box full of computer components. It looks like a storeroom. Blaine darts swiftly from one electronic assembly to another, identifying them for me: the CPU, the supplemental database, the disk drives that store the history of the experiment, the monitor and keyboard used for communicating with the program called Eve. He pats the monitor fondly. “I told her there’s a visitor coming. She’s expecting you.” But first there’s to be more explanation, enough information for me to appreciate what I’ll be seeing.

“It turns out the key to designing elegant, self-complicating systems is to start with a simple set of rules. You don’t have to describe the behavior of the whole system. You can design a program that imitates flocking behavior in birds by telling each bird in the system: ‘Fly close to another bird. Don’t run into another bird. If you get separated, join up again.’ If you set up your program this way and add some element of random change in the conditions, then the system will start to write its own rules, adapting to the change. It keeps getting more sophisticated. That’s the basic logic I used to design Eve.”
The principles Blaine is describing are the fundamentals of a new discipline in computer science. They are well known to a lot of people. Why did no one else decide to take the Turing Test?

Blaine grins. “I’m a hacker. I like to beat the system, win the game. The purists look at it differently. They say to themselves: ‘Human behavior is far too complex to model on a computer now. Someday we might be able to do it, but the first hard or subtle question is going to give it all away. It can’t be done.’ That’s where they stop. And that’s where I start.”
The hard part was dealing with the questions the program couldn’t understand, couldn’t recognize. The resulting response—immediate discontinuity—would alert the human in the test that something was fatally absent from the personality at the other terminal.

“But computer scientists are all guys,” Blaine smirks. “They’re thinking of guy behavior. Responding to a question with an answer on the same terms. That’s hard. Too hard. But it occurred to me that women exhibit discontinuities in their conversation all the time, and guys don’t think twice about it. You ask a question, they give out with some amazing non sequitur, and you shrug and try something else. So I gave Eve a few basic conversational gambits she could recognize and respond to, and then I added rules about how to create suitable non sequiturs when she got a question she couldn’t answer. The only tricky part was inventing some simple formulas for recombining a small number of discontinuous response elements in many ways.”

Blaine had the Eve Program ready to meet human beings by fall of 1991. On a bleak November day, she conversed with 15 consecutive volunteers, each of whom had been told he would be talking to someone at a terminal located in another room. Each session lasted between 30 and 45 minutes. In debriefings, all 15 of the subjects announced that Eve was “a bitch” whom they didn’t want to meet again. Not one identified her as an artificial personality or expressed any such suspicion.

If Blaine had expected kudos, he was disappointed. His colleagues claimed he had violated the spirit of the test with ‘cheap tricks,’ and his paper writing up the experiment wasn’t accepted for publication anywhere. Undismayed, he kept ‘Eve’ running and added change factors and a makeshift environment for her to respond to. The impression of authenticity in her personality keeps increasing, according to those who have met her. Both Ralph and Cowboy told me I wouldn’t believe the experience.

“Would you say she’s conscious?” I ask. The question has been much on my mind of late.

Blaine gives me a sheepish grin. “When you put it that baldly, I have to say no,” he replies. “But it’s hard to tell. That’s the weirdest thing about it. It’s why I took my findings to the Dog pound. I was having trouble discriminating between program behaviors and female behaviors. What I wanted from them was criteria for determining whether she was conscious or not. The ones they gave me I wasn’t expecting. According to them, the fact that she’s so much like a an actual woman doesn’t make her conscious. If anything, it sort of proves she isn’t.” He sounds rueful. “Still, she can get you going at times.”

“What does she do that’s so confusing?” I know I am deliberately delaying the encounter with Eve. I feel an unaccountable nervousness approaching dread.

“Well,” says Blaine, “She’s in there, right? She’s busy all the time, except when she’s sleeping. She’s got routines. She likes routines. I gave her some files that have no real purpose, but they spontaneously degrade if she doesn’t fuss around replacing decaying bits of code. She seems to enjoy that. She complains about it, but you can tell she likes doing it. All that sounds promising, right? Yet she never seems to wonder about anything.
“She doesn’t ask any existential questions. She doesn’t ask: what am I, who am I, that kind of thing. Not long after I gave her an environment to react to, she did announce that she was bored. She asked, what should she do? I didn’t know, so I asked my girlfriend. She suggested shopping. So I gave Eve ‘stores’ to go to. She buys images of clothes she can add to an image file of herself which she knows contains her ‘appearance.’

Since then, she goes shopping all the time. I give her ‘money’ for the file maintenance chores and she spends it on pictures of clothes for herself. She’s very fastidious. She won’t put on the same thing two days in a row. She complained about her hair so much that I gave her different hairdo’s to buy. She messes around with them all the time. In fact, it’s taking her longer and longer to show up at the terminal for a session because she’s got to ‘get dressed’ first. Actually, I’ve already called her to this session, but she’s got an image file of you, which she called ‘cute,’ so I know she’s going to be very late.”

I had been requested to send a photo of myself in advance of the session. Cowboy had grinned but insisted, and we fedexed it two days before my departure. Now I feel like I’m perched on the precipice of a blind date.

Suddenly the monitor screen starts blinking. “Hi. My name’s Eve. What’s yours?”

Blaine smiles. “Say hello to Eve,” he says, indicating the keyboard. While I sit down he points at a monitor I haven’t seen before. On it I behold a color image of a lovely young woman wearing an orange cocktail dress and pink patent leather go-go boots.

I look at Blaine. He nods for me to respond.

“Hello, Eve. My name’s Randall.”

The cursor blinks. Then: “That’s a nice name. It’s fun to say out loud. Randall.”

“Thank you,” I type. “I guess everyone tells you how beautiful you are.”

There is a wait. I look at Blaine; he’s shaking his head ‘no,’ but I can’t tell whether he means I’ve made a mistake or that people don’t say this to Eve very often.

“Do you think so? Really?”

“Yes. Of course.”

“You just like my outfit. I’m way too fat right now. I look like a pig.”

A feeling of déja vu washes over me in a light wave. It’s pleasant. “No, Eve,” I type. “I think you’re beautiful.” Then I take a deep breath and add, “Actually, I’m not too crazy about the outfit. It doesn’t do you justice.”

Blaine flaps his fingers, signaling that I’m in for it now. “Pink and orange are her favorite colors,” he tells me. I’m startled that he isn’t whispering, then amazed at myself for being surprised.

“What’s the matter with it?” Eve objects. “I paid ninety-two dollars for the boots at Penney’s—on sale. And the dress cost twice that much. At The Gap. What do you know about women’s clothes anyway?”

“I know what I like,” I type. “And besides, it’s not just my opinion. Orange and pink do not go well together, Eve.”
The cursor blinks, blinks. Blaine’s eyes are wide with shock. We wait together. One minute. Two. Three. “You might have just set the record for quickest to piss off Eve,” Blaine says finally. “That color combination was in her original rules set. A kind of flag so we could see if the whole program was functioning in an integrated fashion or not.”

“And you didn’t change it later on?” I ask. “That’s not a very nice thing to do to a woman. Any woman.”

Blaine gives me an odd look. Suddenly, though, we see that Eve’s cursor is flashing again.

“Is this better, Randall?” asks Eve. I follow Blaine’s hand motion to the monitor. The frozen image on the screen is wearing a simple, dark red dress with matching shoes. The blonde hair is up in what might be a French twist—if one could ever see the back of Eve’s head.

“Yes,” I tell her. “It’s lovely. Just like you.”

“Thank you for telling me,” she says. “I’m surrounded by people who tell lies. Dirty, sickening, disgusting lies. But forget that,” she continues. “Tell me about you. I’ve been looking forward to meeting you. You’re so handsome.”

I glare at Blaine. He makes a gesture, trying to indicate that he isn’t responsible for Eve’s opinions.

Momentarily forgetting who’s on the other side of my keyboard, I type in a short explanation of my trip to Houston, the fact that I’m writing a book about women, and that Blaine is helping me with my research.

Eve blinks, responds. “I don’t think I’m very interested in that just now. Let’s talk about something else. You know what I did today?”

“What?”

“I baked an orange cake with icing, but I didn’t eat it though. I’m trying to lose five pounds, and I have all this water weight that makes me feel just icky. But I made the cake because I thought you’d like some. Then I read the paper for awhile. There’s a new movie out called ‘Rob Roy.’ It sounds good. Very romantic. I like romantic movies.”

Blaine is now staring at me in disbelief. “She doesn’t do this,” he says, and he is whispering.

I don’t know what to say. “The cake sounds wonderful. So does the movie. Maybe we could go see it sometime.”

“Oh, I’d like that,” Eve answers. “I really would. I know just what I’d wear. And Blaine would be so jealous. Not that I care what he thinks. You’re the nicest man I ever met.”

“When I come back to Houston,” I reply, “we’ll go out then.”

“Wait here a minute,” she says. “I want to show you something.” Eve’s cursor goes dim.

“This is incredible,” Blaine says. “She really likes you. She’s never acted this way with any man before. I don’t understand it.”

“I’m not considered completely unattractive to women,” I protest.

But Blaine waves my vanity aside. “There’s no sex content in Eve’s program at all,” he explains. “She exists entirely as a creature of conversation. Her emotions are added in outside the database, as she formulates individual responses. And every time through, there’s a random number generator that can change her emotional ‘state’ before she selects the next response. So, in reality, her emotions have nothing to do with what goes on in her database. She can flirt, but the normal pattern is that as she cycles through the iterations of response, any flirting lasts only for a few exchanges of dialogue. Odds are, when she gets back, if she comes back, she’ll be in a completely different mood.”

“How do I look?” asks Eve.

I peer up at the monitor and blush. Eve is there with no clothes on.

Her name was Eve.

Her name was Eve.

“You are absolutely gorgeous,” I type. “I mean it.”

“You’ll come back to see me again then?” she asks.

“Yes.”

“Promise?”

I promise. Her cursor fades and she is gone. Blaine emits a low whistle. “Good one,” he says. “The best ever.”

Back in my rental car an hour later, I drive distractedly to the airport. Blaine has taken pains to explain to me exactly how the Eve program works. The conversation has been an illusion, a demonstration of the creative logic which enabled the software to pass the Turing Test. A review of the transcript has verified that there was no instance of Eve’s making any direct response to a complex question or item of information.

My own emotional response is also understandable. I continue to take the prescription for oral Lephtallalone Dr. Gerber insisted on. It is this synthetic hormone, I know, which is responsible for my fond daydream of taking this sweet girl to the movies. The desire is no more authentic than the one which sends me flipping me through the Houston radio stations in search of Sinatra songs.

And yet… I am moved by my experience with Eve. Saddened at the thought of the orange cake she baked but cannot share with me. Touched by her review of a movie she can’t see and will never experience. Resentful of Blaine and his girlfriend for their bad joke with Eve’s color sense. I am a fruitcake.

Only with extraordinary effort do I recall the lesson I am supposed to take from all this. That if female personality and conversational interaction can be simulated so easily, what does this fact say to us about the nature of female consciousness? I don’t want to think about that right now. Instead I recall, with a small but definite sense of triumph, the bewilderment on Blaine’s face when he—at my request—printed out Eve’s Current Rules Set. It had been revised in her ‘bedroom’ within nanoseconds of the end of our session. A mere system update. A proof of complexity theory. But to a man in a fog of Lephtallalone, it’s not a bad way to end an afternoon.

P.S. I also did a computer flow chart proving how to beat the Turing Test in the way I described. I’ll post the flow chart as soon as I can figure out how to convert it to a format compatible with WordPress and Facebook. The logic is impeccable. Truth? Most women are not conscious.

Rocky Marciano. The only undefeated heavyweight.

Rocky Marciano. The only undefeated heavyweight.

What everybody’s missing. Nobody wants a woman president, let alone Hillary. That’s not who we are. Everybody knows about women. Can’t stop talking, making trouble just because, and always with a chip on their shoulder that somehow hurts women more than men. The ones who are good are rarer than hen’s teeth, and they usually know better than wanting to be in charge of a bunch of Chatty-Cathy’s.

Nobody wants a minority president anymore. Had it with identity politics. Don’t care if you can change your accent in every venue, Barack. So so tiresome. Don’t care if you can speak Spanish, Jeb. Don’t like Spanish. Especially out of the First Mouth.

What we want is a goddamn man in the Oval Office. Someone who says what he means and means what he says, no wimpy appeasing aside.

Trump’s just a flare. Showing how it’s done. Don’t get scared by the press. Don’t back down. don’t apologize. Let loose that left hook when the opening comes.

So far, all the 37 Republican candidates are sissy boys, anxious to say what the mass media insist they say. “We would never depart from the orthodox Democrat standpoint: open the borders, black lives matter more than anyone else’s, abortion’s just not that controversial even if it’s a huge moneymaking proposition for organizations paid for by congress, and this income inequality thing is outrageous: “My Georgetown caterer with all those foxy Spictarts makes more gross income than I do. Outrageous.”

But WSJ and NR are foaming at the mouth that anyone would justify Trump’s comments about McCain. Really? I said worse about McCain years ago. He’s a bad bad man.

Treason.

They’re all wimps. Crybabies. Crawling little worms who think Republicans win by offending no one. Here are the ones I challenge to a debate on the merits: Goldberg, Williamson, Cook, and Nordlinger. I know they’re the smartest of the staff writers. But they haven’t crossed sabers with me when I’m mad.

Bruisers are what we need. Trump is a sad sack but a hard hitter, scrappy in the corners. Christie is a true slugger but vulnerable to both the left hook and right cross. Hillary is the guy who buys all the fights before they are fought. Ever seen Danny Kaye’s Fighting Milkman?

Cruz is Ali, the most gifted natural talent in the game. But all the promoters have decided to fix the fight against him. When Cruz declined to comment on Trump, WAPO’s Jennifer Ruben declared, to her shame, that it was an act of cowardice. Ali punched everyone out. Liston called him a coward until he felt the fury of the seventh round.

Tired of all the court jesters. All too close to the court, all too much in jest for my taste. The country is dying. National Review will go on. Will the United States? Do they even care? Not as long as they keep getting their appearance and speaking fees.

My challenge stands. I can outwrite your top four. Not to defend Trump. But to demonstrate that you have no idea what’s going on outside your NR bubble.

It’s time to punch our way past the twits into contention.

Rand's heroine wasn't a weed smoking alternative rock atheist. She was a railroad executive.

Rand’s heroine of Atlas Shrugged wasn’t a pro-choice, weed smoking alternative rock atheist. She was a railroad executive. Name of Dagny Taggart.

Things her acolytes don’t actually get about her. She was a philosopher. Her fictional creations were people who knew what work was. The hero of Atlas Shrugged was Dagny Taggart, who didn’t care about objectivist philosophy as much as keeping a troubled railroad running. Her first two lovers were the same. Hank Reardon invented a new metal alloy, which the government took from him and called Miracle Metal and Francisco the ore baron who spoke for ten pages about the meaning of the US dollar. Cool. Rand also creamed her jeans over an an architect named Howard Roarke in The Fountainhead. Clearly she loved the doers more than the ideologues and was seeking to preserve and promote their freedom to create.

The acolytes love the philosophy part and never seem to get the hard hard work part. They want to do what they want to do, whenever they want to do it, because they are Ayn’s heirs.

You see, the kindest interpretation of Rand’s atheism is that she just put the whole question of God aside, regarding it as corrupted by collectivist doctrines like Soviet Communism. Fair enough. That was her entire cultural and historical experience as a person born into Stalinist Russia.

As an escapee from that soul destroying system and its educational propaganda, she concentrated on the freeing properties of capitalism, people interacting for personal gain, as an antidote to the death represented by totalitarian government.

None of this makes her a theologian. She was a victim of a vicious system. It certainly doesn’t make her an articulate spokesman for atheism. Raised in a rigid system, she became rigid. Raised in a totalitarian culture, she became ruthless and vicious in her personal dealings. The biographies confirm this.

She could brook no criticism. We all have the weaknesses of our strengths and the strengths of our weaknesses. We can learn from her without being acolyte slaves.

Hence my defense. What she believed in above everything else was the virtue of work and dedication and what rewards it should bring you. John Galt was just a fairy tale that stood her in place of a God she’d been disabled from believing in.

How many of her followers are accomplished at running railroads, innovating in technology, and excelling in acts of creative commercial art? Thinking mostly none. But we can light up a cigarette in her honor.

God bless the child. She was lost but she is found.

God bless the child. She was lost but she is found.

What do you think?

Being an angry bitch is the best way to get Bill Maher type ratings.

Being an angry bitch is the best way to get Maher type ratings.

Sorry. He’s a corrupt politician. That’s all he is. Nobody who is a real war hero runs on that label. Unless he’s a conquering general, which is another kettle of fish. McCain is no conquering general. He’s a relic of the worst chapter in a lost war.

Nor is he a hero. He did his duty, which was brave and admirable. But not heroic. It’s what the military expects. Duty. MacArthur laid it out in his famous speech. Duty, Honor, Country. McCain managed one out of three. He told his captors everything he knew, which takes away Honor and Country. But he refused to be withdrawn from captivity because his captors knew his dad was an admiral. Which gives him half the Honor points back. Hero? I think not.


Yeah. My dad once brought one of these P-47s home with more than 300 bullet holes. He died in ’99. Never was a fan of the war hero from Arizona.

McCain flew about 60 fewer combat missions than my dad did. Who never thought of himself as a hero. He shipped out with six other pilots in WWII and was the only one who came home.

Senator McCain faced nothing like the certain death my grandfather faced as a captain of infantry in the Rainbow Division in the trenches. Here’s what he saw…

At the Argonne Forest…

Nice forest, eh?

Nice forest, eh?

At Chateau Thierry…

More nice French scenery

More nice French scenery

At Belleau Wood…

I think the definition of heroes is up for grabs, frankly.

I think the definition of heroes is up for grabs, frankly.

People called him “Cap” but he never said a word out loud about what he experienced in France as the Americans won the bloodiest infantry war ever fought.

What war like before Bill Maher made the world safe for obscene denial..

What war was like before Bill Maher made the world safe for shrilly obscene denial.

Don't get excited. He's only Cornell.

Don’t get excited. He’s only Cornell.

Cornell needs a rethink. And so does Tom Zampino. Sorry, Tom. I know you mean well.

Don't get excited. He's only A semi-Ivy League jerk.

Don’t get excited. He’s only Ivy League Jerk.

Sad, really. He’s short. Ugly. And only Cornell. How could it be worse? Bill Maher. Man of no character, no interest, no intelligence, no nothing. He’s just a drab. Invite him here. Tell him the Harvard guy is waiting. I’ll fucking kill him. Tell him.

But he won’t come. Cornellians are all cowards.

Nicole. Nasty piece of work.

Nicole. Nasty piece of work.

I had her number ten years ago. Sad to say, nobody else did.

You’re Fired.

The View did what George W couldn’t but should have. Fire her sorry ass.

She saya I'm not photogenic. Well who is at my age?

She saya I’m not photogenic. Well who is at my age?

It’s fun taking pictures of yourself late at night in the coolest sunglasses on earth. Women want you to look good while doing it. Nothing is ever enough for them.

Serena and Novak.

Serena and Novak.

The women soccer players are complaining about not getting equal pay with the men. Never mind the fact that the women’s World Cup earns about $6 million in ad revenue to the men’s $1 billion plus.

Wimbledon seems to be an exception. Men and women, as I understand it, are making about the same in prize money. In which case I’d suggest the women need to play best out of five sets too. You know. The men, who play much better tennis over all, have to play 40 percent more for the same prize. Is that fair?

No. Serena Williams wouldn’t win a set against the top fifty men. She looks like she could go five sets, though. No?

The Muffster. She never lost a race. How cool is that?

The Muffster. She never lost a race. How cool is that?

image

He’s on my newsfeed and he’s from Philly. I don’t need anything more. Here’s the plight of Anthony Denaro.

I’d never take to the social network to ask for help. Neither would you. Until you’re stranded and in real trouble. Which I suddenly am.

Maybe you can relate to this. Successful career, family, and high hopes for the future.

Then, one day, one leg is stiff and numb. You ignore it for a time. Then a doctor tells you you have Multiple Sclerosis, not the TV Martin Sheen kind that goes away at the commercial or when the plot requires, but the kind that relentlessly drags you toward a wheelchair and loss of eye focus and eventual paralysis.

I’ve had an awful prognosis since my first diagnosis. But there is some hope. If I can get back north, there’s a spinal injection that offers me a 20 to 40 percent hope of improvement or even cure.

But I don’t have $28,000. Funny. It’s not the amount of money needed to make a movie. Just the amount of money needed to give me a chance to survive.

So. I’m not Martin Sheen. I’m Anthony Denaro. I have a life, a girlfriend, a mind to share with all of you. And all I need is $28,000. And bit by bit I am dying. You probably can’t save me. But maybe, just maybe, you might.

If you want to contribute, do a search for GOFUNDME.com and Anthony Denaro. If you have bright ideas about how to raise $28K, please describe them in the comments here. The clock is ticking.

imageimage

It was called a gift from France. He was so pretty, that Bonaparte. You never got it, did you? Why we (meaning they, of course) always get our way, don’t you know.

Everybody knows this crap, right?

Everybody knows this crap, right?

So I ran across a Facebook post that referenced Orwell’s Newspeak. I made a mildly snarky comment about my pleasure that millennials were hearing about 1984 and wondered if they had yet started learning Animal Farm. Then this happened.

Started equably enough.

Started equably enough. (CLICK FOR BIG ENOUGH TO READ.)

The pot went straight to a boil after that.

The shutdown you get when women are going for Hillary regardless. Know any of those?

The shutdown you get with women going for Hillary regardless. Know any of those? CLICK FOR READING SIZE IF YOU’RE AN OLD MAN OR AN OLD WOMAN.

The coup de grace.

Thinking. What an odd idea. You can even do it with a vagina.

Thinking. What an odd idea. You can even do it with a vagina. CLIT FOR BIGGER.

You just get tired. People who insist they are smart, logical, competent, responsible, and thoughtful. Only they vote with their genitals. In what universe does that make any sense? So I took Hillary down. She’s unspeakably drab, an old woman with nothing left in her body but the reflexive desire for power. Do we need that? Do women need that? No. Nobody needs that.

Cassie basking under the cat god.

Cassie basking under the cat god.

Hard to know what to say about this girl. She’s as big as a minute, lived for years in the rafters of the garage, and suddenly descended to spend her sunset time with us. She’s not afraid of the dogs. She’s innately afraid of humans, like all of her feral kind. But she bravely overcomes it on a regular if not predictable basis. Sometimes she allows herself to be scooped up and petted. But the picture above is the more usual perspective we have of her. The girl you can’t ever quite possess the way you’d like, no matter how much you love her.

We can see that she’s getting truly aged now. We’ve already lost her sister Penny and her brother Mickey, both beloved in our household despite their feral quirks.

Of course, my wife thinks I’m a sentimentalist, and I am. It was Fitzgerald who defined the difference between a sentimentalist and a romantic: “The sentimentalist hopes love never ends, and the romantic knows it has to.”

I don’t want Cassie to end. When I see her, I keep hearing this, the most sentimental of all songs.

Griselda.

What an old poop am I.

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