Friday, April 6, 2007

Roboticists and economists

What's with the maleness?

Wired News: A number of people in your book don't sleep, don't bathe. Is there something about robotics that appeals to this personality type, or does the work itself take over?

Lee Gutkind: You can't just do this for eight or 16 hours and walk away. Even debugging a program will take a whole day. So I think it takes a patient but obsessive personality. Don't forget also, it's a very male-oriented culture. There's not a lot of joking, not a lot of flirting, because there's no one to joke and flirt with. You're flirting with your robot is what you're doing.

All I've got is rationality.


aes said...

It seems that the amount of patience and obsessiveness it would take to be a roboticist or economist shows a suspension of rationality more than anything. While men may be known, for whatever reason, for their rationality, they also regularly commit far more irrational actions than women. See: Jackass, crime statistics, YouTube.

Will McBride said...

I'm not saying rationality is a good thing. Quite the contrary, I think excessive rationality is what's wrong with economics.

aes said...

And how is excessive rationality not irrational?

j/k, I think I know what you mean. Though, do you hold irrationality or intuitiveness to be preferable to excessive rationality?

Will McBride said...

Yes, excessive rationality is I think an overconfidence in the powers of the conscious mind, and, thus, an ignorance of the irrationality and intuitiveness which lies in the unconscious mind.

This is related to my belief paper (see previous post). I think much of belief resides in the unconcious mind.