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.
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.
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.)
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.)
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.
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.
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?
Get back to me on that.