March 1st, 2017

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A quick rant on how the market and stereotypes reenforce and drive each other

Your favorite maintream -ism seems to persist despite all market logic and all societal logic. Why? I suggest that problem is that those studying the problem has suffered from the elephant problem. i.e., We have different disciplines that examine different parts of the elephant and conclude it is because the elephant is like a snake or a wall. Worse, the way academia works, suggesting that an elephant may be a combination of a snake and a wall seems to get translated into "saying it is a snake as well as a wall is an effort to deny and undermine the essential snakeness of the elephant" or "the insistence that the wall must also (at a minimum) include a snake demonstrates the complete invalidity of the discipline that found snake and its insistance on inserting snake into the totally unrelated field of walls."

But society is complicated and complex systems have remarkable powers of re-enforcement. Worse, our failure to appreciate the elephant for what it is -- a mutually re-enforcing composite -- prevents us from understaning it or how to deal with it effectively.

Having written this specific lengthy rant as a comment on FB, I'll park this incomplete and largely unfootnoted essay here for anyone who cares.

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As a result, today the gaming word is pretty much divided 50/50 between men and women. This includes consoles, which once again boast a host of unisex games. But the stereotypes persist, which continue to impact investment, marketing and social norms. This creates, for example, a distinction between the actual market (50/50 men/women) and the existence of "gamer culture" (still heavily male). This includes a much greater number of men who identify themselves as "gamers" than women, despite the market evidence.