"Who is more the fool: the fool, or the fool who follows him?"
I bring his point up because our old friend from Harvard is back in the news again. I refer, of course, to President Lawrence Summers who suggested in a speech last January that, perhaps, the reason why males outnumber females in certain math and science-related fields is because males are smarter. No, I'm really not kidding. Exaggerating, yes, since he also argued that women are not choosing to work psychotic hours, but definitely not kidding. I'm not going to address this point myself as it's old news and others have pounded on Summers much, much, much, much, more thoroughly than I could.
What has Summers said this time? Well, as it turns out, he's got some more ideas about intelligence to share with us. Specifically, former Dean Peter T. Ellison reports:
Over lunch not long after Summers took over the presidency in 2001, Ellison said, Summers suggested that some funds should be moved from a sociology program to the Kennedy School, home to many economists and political scientists. ''President Summers asked me, didn't I agree that, in general, economists are smarter than political scientists, and political scientists are smarter than sociologists?" Ellison said. ''To which I laughed nervously and didn't reply."
So, hey, apparently Summers' own field rules the social-sciences roost. Now, I don't want to engage with this question. I think it's a pretty stupid one, on the face of it, since the inaccuracies in most methods of measuring intelligence are so great** that dealing with Summers' point would be like trying to gauge the size of a flagellum using a yardstick.
Instead of arguing about how smart Sociologists are*** I am, instead, just going to say this: maybe you should pick on a discipline that isn't getting plagiarized by your own.****
Who is more the moron, Summers? The moron, or the moron who steals his work?
* Yes, I know it's a myth that lemmings commit suicide en masse, but it's such a beautiful metaphor.
** Actually, the issue of IQ is so hazy that it has given rise to "Boring's Dictum" which reads, "IQ tests measure whatever it is that IQ tests measure." That's some rigor.
*** Answer: Pretty f-ing smart.
**** This is not to say that Economics isn't producing good work- just that, from time to time, they're a smidge behind the curve.