Tuesday, September 13, 2011


I was sitting in the doctor's office reading an old Psychology Today. It was that or the fishing magazine. The article talked about this guy, he's a Cambridge researcher named Simon Baron-Cohen. He studies autism and his theory says autism is just an extreme version of your basic male brain. Your male brain, he explains, is all about making systems, while your female brain is about using empathy.

Now a systemizing brain is making abstractions, and some of you might think this disproves my position that males are not abstract thinkers. And you might add that empathy is not even thinking, that it's naturally muddled because you can't really separate your feelings from the other person's. 'Separating,' you big lug, is not the point.

Empathy is purely abstract, being about something a person can never know. Your feelings as you feel them can never be felt or counted or seen by me. I must make a gestalt of compassion to even come close, but I will never ever have an objective measure to tell me if I succeeded. The fruits of empathy cannot be counted. Plotting love on a graph misses the point.

Systematizing is all about you reducing a thing or things to a size you are comfortable with and into pieces you can know. In other words, it is about making everything about you and giving you the sense that everything out there is known and possibly controlled by you. You spill a bag of M&Ms on the table and sort them into colors. Eventually, when the number of reds, yellows, and blues is predictable, you feel good because you know what to expect from your bag of candy. But even your Schroedinger figured out, with the help of his cat I might add, that you can't really know how many blues or reds you got, if any, until you open the bag.

One of the 20th Century's biggest brains, famous in the world of science and this is his Big Idea. See what I mean? I do not wish to dissuade men from trying to understand science even though they are constitutionally unfit for it. I know, I know. Men invented what they call the scientific method, but that was just to impress girls by showing that the universe is objectively knowable and therefore concrete like men are concrete and who wouldn't fall in love with a guy who was mentally, like, Mr. Universe? Aristotelian Logic to Newtonian Mechanics was the golden age, creating a basically male model of how things work.

Unfortunately, Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle has revealed a definitely female bent to creation. You can't get your subatomic particles to tell you where they are and how fast they're moving at the same time, and why should they? Just asking could change the answer. At the core, creation is such a girl that no man who is stymied by such a simple question like, "What do women really want?" could possibly figure out what the universe is doing here.

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