Wednesday, November 26, 2014

I shouldn't have been so rude about Thanksgiving. I'm still glad I don't have to eat a big meal tomorrow (let alone cook one) but I wish a very happy day to all of you who will be doing so. I have only spent one Thanksgiving in the UsofA since I married. That was in 1960, and there was no doubt that it drained some of the horror from Christmas. Here, in effect, we eat Thanksgiving dinner on Christmas Day – as well as doing all the rest of the stuff.

Alexander was surprised, and indeed delighted, with Thanksgiving when he discovered it. A whole day devoted to getting together and eating a good meal, with no religious or other obligations to be carried out.

I was grateful for your explanation of what “Black Friday” means, Tamar. (Comment yesterday) I didn't know that, and it makes the day seem much more cheerful.

It's time I got started on the Christmas cards.


All went well again yesterday. Two more scallops, on the edging of the Unst Bridal Shawl. Again I thought of going on a bit, again decided against it. Archie's stitches are now fully back in action, untwisted and unsplit.

Ellen, I was very grateful for your comment on Monday, suggesting that I have already knt 40% of Archie's sweater, now that I have done the raglan shapings down to the underarm. Does that take in to account the fact that the sleeves are still unknit? Looking at the lump of knitting on the floor, 40% seems plausible. Looking at it on Archie, less so. I may well finish the third skein today.

There's a new Twist Collective out. I haven't been through it yet. Franklin's there – indeed, I heard the news from his Facebook page. When I loaded the T.C. and saw the list of articles, my first hope was that he was the author of “Lessons in Goat Rearing: Part Three”. No, alas – that one seems to be about goat-rearing. Franklin is writing about EZ.

My eye (and heart) were caught by the ad for Marianne Isager's Tokyo Shawl, on the title page of the “Road Less Travelled” section. November is my most dangerous month for ill-advised stash acquisition. I'm not sure which screen I've given you the link to (if any) – I intended it to be the dark version, the one (I think) in the Twist Collective ad. It's alpaca. Oh, dear.


I've hardly written anything, and time is up. G. and I got the Disabled Parking Badge application in on Monday – 14 pages or so of boxes to tick, plus some essay questions about how far the sufferer can walk and with what support. They simply can't turn us down again.

Since we've been talking about feminism: the current New Yorker, the Tech Issue, has an interesting article about a brilliant girl computer-games player. She can beat most of the Koreans, and that's something. But it turns out, well into the article, that she is “transgender”. I have no difficulty with that, she is welcome to live as she likes and the New Yorker to use any pronouns it chooses. But I don't think she can quite be counted on the female side of the ledger, if she's got a Y chromosome.

My view, for what it's worth: we're talking about bell-curves, which largely overlap. But I think that at the very high end of technological skill and intelligence, the mega-geeks, let us call them, there are more males than females, and always will be.  


  1. Lessons on Goat Rearing from Franklin would be a treat.

  2. Honestly, I can't help wondering how much of that isn't the effects of testosterone and/or estrogen on the brain but rather that the gworld is still extremely sexist in many ways (see gamergate as an excellent and terrifying example) and girls are discouraged from pursuing geek interests.
    It could also have something to do with the instance of asbergers and autism being higher in males (perhaps testosterone influences depth of interest vs expanse of interest or estrogen increases social intelligence).
    I have this theory that we all have a maximum level of brainpower, and it's split among a whole bunch of things (emotional intelligence, physical intelligence, IQ, music/art skills, ect). The people who seem really smart often have min/maxed their intelligence skills (aka really high tech intelligence but incredibly low social and emotional intelligence) but, in my experience, the happier people are the ones who've managed to get a nice balance of intelligence across the spectrum.
    I have loads of male friends who know more about tech than I do because they care about it but are utterly clueless about how staring at a woman's breasts while she's talking to you is generally a bad idea. And quite a bit of that is socialization. Society expects women to manage not only their own emotions but also the emotions of men. Thus girls are expected and trained to have some measure of emotional and social intelligence early on where boys are not (I can't tell you how many times I got told to go play instead of read at recess while the boys who were similarly inclined were never bothered).
    I guess the tl/dr version of my rambling is that while it is entirely possible that testosterone affects the developing brain in such a way as to increase interest depth to the expense of interest breadth, we're unlikely to be able to come to that conclusion until we manage to remove all social influence or society becomes as non-sexist as possible.