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African district, Guangzhou (Wikicommons: Anna Frodesiak)
Long a land of emigration, China has become one of immigration. Surprising? Not really. Life is now better there than in most of the Third World. Meanwhile, with fewer people leaving the Chinese countryside for the cities, employers have to offer higher wages and better working conditions ... or get their labor elsewhere. Finally, with... Read More
Navaho woman with a child on cradleboard. Credit: Wikimedia Commons. See video on cross-cultural differences in newborn behavior, Daniel Freedman, 1974 (posted by hbd chick)
In my last post I discussed recent research on mental differences between Europeans and Chinese people. The latter are less prone to boredom. They think less abstractly and more relationally. They're less individualistic, and less likely to punish friends for dishonesty. Mental differences also seem to exist within China, depending on whether one comes from... Read More
Boy in a cafe.  Credit: S. Yao, Wikimedia
All humans were once hunter-gatherers. Back then, versatility came with the territory. There were only so many game animals, and they differed a lot in size, shape, and color. So you had to enjoy switching back and forth from one target animal to another. And you had to enjoy moving from one place to another.... Read More
The Classic of Filial Piety, Ma Hezhi, 12th Century Credit: Wikimedia Commons
In a previous post, I asked, "How universal is empathy?" The question is tricky because empathy has three components: 1. pro-social behavior - willingness to help people out, hospitality to strangers, acts of compassion. 2. cognitive empathy - capacity to see things from another person's perspective and to understand how he or she feels. 3.... Read More
Rice paddies, China, circa 1917-1923 (source). To grow rice, you must cooperate with neighbors for irrigation and labor. Today, even with the shift to a post-agricultural society, Chinese from rice-farming areas display less individualism and more interdependence than Chinese from wheat-farming areas. Is this evidence of gene-culture co-evolution? Human populations differ in genetic variants that... Read More
Bandit with traditional tattoos (source). In premodern China, who enjoyed the most reproductive success? The thrifty hardworking farmer? Or the local bandit/warlord? In my last post, I asked how well the Clark-Unz model of selection applied to Japan and Korea (Unz, 2013). Let me now ask a more obvious question. How well did it apply... Read More
Syngman Rhee in 1905 and later South Korea’s first president (1948-1960). Though born into a rural family of modest means, he was of yangban and even royal lineage (source). Why is mean IQ higher in East Asia than elsewhere? Ron Unz (2013) sees the key cause in a scarcity of land and women that continually... Read More
“‘How could any man in our village claim that his family had been poor for three generations? If a man is poor, then his son can’t afford to marry; and if his son can’t marry, there can’t be a third generation” China’s poor were continually removed from the gene pool, their places taken by downwardly... Read More
Robert Plomin on the genetics of various mental traits (source) A Chinese research team is looking for genes that explain why IQ is higher in some people and lower in others: The head of the team, Zhao Bowen, believes this question has not be
China's working-age population is now declining. As labor becomes scarcer, the business community will either take on the challenge of moving to a higher-wage, more capital-intensive economy ... or lobby hard for immigration. (source) We like to compare ourselves with others, often seeing them as an alter ego who had gone to the right university,... Read More
Recent research, such as by historical economist Gregory Clark, suggests that differences in mental and behavioral traits cannot always be ascribed to different reproductive strategies, as Philippe Rushton suggested. There probably will never be a unified theory of human biodiversity … other than the theory of evolution by natural selection. Last March, I was asked... Read More
Western Europe began to overtake the rest of the world long before it established colonial empires in Africa, Asia, and the Americas (source) In Why Nations Fail, economist Daren Acemoglu sees global inequality as a legacy of colonialism. Wherever European settlers were numerous enough, they formed inclusive, democratic societies that aimed for sustainable growth. Wherever... Read More
Does higher IQ correlate with colder temperatures? Not among people belonging to the same cultural system, such as the Chinese. (source) Big brains are costly, not only because of their high energy consumption but also because many genes have to interact to create neural tissue. The bigger and more complex the brain, the more it... Read More
In my previous posts, I’ve argued that China is entering a demographic transition that is already occurring in other developed countries, i.e., decline of the indigenous population and progressive replacement by higher-fertility immigrants. In this post, I’ll focus on how the initial phase will play out over the next ten years. The China of tomorrow... Read More
In my last post, I predicted that China will undergo the same kind of demographic transition that is occurring in other developed countries. This transition will be characterized by: 1. Fertility rates well below the replacement level. 2. A heavy influx of immigrants from poorer regions of the world with higher fertility, mainly sub-Saharan Africa... Read More
In recent years, China has emerged as a major world power and predictions are being made that it will soon become the world’s leading economy. This trend is a source of much pride for the Ch
In North America and Western Europe, the past forty years have seen a radical shift in the marriage market. Before, there were too few single men, particularly past the age of 25. Now, there are too many at all reproductive ages … and even beyond. A similar shift has occurred in East Asia, in part... Read More
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