brain sizes: Einstein's and women's

Cary Kittrell cary at
Wed Jul 24 13:50:57 EST 2002

In article  "Parse Tree" <parsetree at> writes:
<"John Knight" <johnknight at> wrote in message
<news:CqB%8.17733$Fq6.2119128 at
<> "Parse Tree" <parsetree at> wrote in message
<> news:Wfp%8.6912$DN4.1074154 at
<> >
<> > Yes.  There are too many assumptions in these questions though.  I can
<> > why they're difficult.  There was another question about probability
<> > didn't even seem to specify if the two values involved were independent
<> > not.
<> >
<> >
<> You "can see why they're difficult"?
<> To whom are they difficult?  To the 29% of American boys (after correcting
<> for guesses), it obviously wasn't difficult.
<> Maybe to the 47.7% of Norwegian boys who got it wrong it was difficult,
<> you can't claim that the other half found it to be difficult, can you?
<> It's notable that the international average for girls who got it correct,
<> after correcting for guesses, was only 1.7%, which is lower than the 3%
<> standard error, which suggests that most women in the world probably agree
<> that with you that "they're difficult".  But is that a fact?  No.
<> What's truly awesome about this forum is that you've already been given
<> answer, and you *still* find it "difficult".  If you already know the
<> and still find it "difficult", what does it take to get you to understand
<> it?
<More details.  The questions are ambiguous, and I could answer that stats
<question given earlier in many ways.
<> You've done a great job of demonstrating the thesis of this thread, which
<> that there's no way to educate the uneducable.  It's like teaching a pig
<> sing.  It frustrates the teacher and irritates the pig.
<It's difficult because I made certain assumptions in my answer.
<Additionally, the tension is not ZERO in the string, it's just the closest
<to the correct answer.

Indeed.  To get even geekier, the tension in the string would not be zero
because of tidal effects: the top ball experiences a lower acceleration
due to the quadrapole nature of the tidal field.  Seen from the
center of mass of the system, the top mass is actually accelerating
away (upwards).  But obviously this is way beyond what the designers
of the test intended.

-- cary

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