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"The Wobbly Guy"
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    From my new column in Taki's Magazine: Read the whole thing there.
  • @Daniel Chieh
    I look forward to Indian dominance so I can finally use my acquired language skills to ask people to do the needful and revert prompt because issue pending been so long.

    I frikkin hate seeing the word ‘revert’ when ‘reply’ is the correct word to use. The misuse of ‘revert’ has long been a staple of Singapore’s email lingo.

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    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh
    I have actually not seen much Singlish as of late; people I talk to in Singapore write in proper English or proper Mandarin. Bully for you.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @Luke Lea
    Ali Choudhury writes "Excellent column. At the end of the day there will be one winner of the 21st century, the authoritarian Chinese which will be a tremendous shame."

    Not if all the advanced industrial democracies get together and leverage their combined industrial, commercial, technological, military, and especially financial power (control of international banking system) to keep China within civilized bounds. But that will require a new Democratic League.

    Fortunately China will always suffer from a serious soft-power deficit.

    That’s surprisingly true. Despite its size n resources, China’s influence in the Greater Sinosphere over the entertainment area has never matched Japan (anime, manga), Korea (variety shows, drama), or Taiwan n Hong Kong (pop music).

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  • From MIT Technology Review: DNA tests for IQ are coming, but it might not be smart to take one Scientists have linked hundreds of genes to intelligence. One psychologist says it’s time to test school kids. by Antonio Regalado April 2, 2018 Ready for a world in which a $50 DNA test can predict your...
  • @Hans Tholstrup
    What's is Monsieur Sailer's response to those who, like psychologist Carol Dweck, promote the idea that intelligence is something you can develop and grow? I don't know exactly what Plomin can measure and predict, but I think it's unhealthy to tell people that their intelligence is fixed. I know I would not be satisfied with that conclusion.

    It depends on what intelligence Dweck refers to. She’s trying to sell snake oil by claiming it increases fluid intelligence, when all the growth mindset does is to raise conscientiousness in order to force feed knowledge n experience into crystallised intelligence.

    And we know that crystallised intelligence grows as we gain experience n knowledge. But the rate at which we accumulate it is still limited by our fluid intelligence n conscientiousness.

    You can be as positive as you want for the growth mindset. But I give you a brand new Raven’s Progressive Matrices test, n you won’t score any better n get a higher IQ.

    In other words, there’s nothing new in her theory that refutes earlier findings n current understanding of neuroscience.

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  • From the Washington Monthly:
  • @Hans Tholstrup
    Sorry but that's bogus. There is no such thing as 'math aptitude'. If you put in the work you get the results. Simple.
    The east Asians have what is called a 'growth mindset' on math, too many Americans have a 'fixed mindset' - the "I'm no good at that and I can't do anything about it, and it's unfair you expect me to".
    Complete B.S.

    The growth mindset is just a measure of conscientiousness.

    According to Jordan Peterson, it’s interesting that all other personality facets (Extraversion, Neuroticism, Openness, Agreeableness, IQ) have been linked to clear biological factors, but Conscientiousness isn’t. Oh, we know that it’s partly heritable, but that’s about it.

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    • Replies: @res
    It is interesting how few hits (one for Conscientiousness) are being found for personality traits even in GWAS with decent sample sizes.
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5278898/

    From the first reference in that: http://psycnet.apa.org/record/2015-20360-001

    Johnson et al. (2008) also estimated weighted mean broad sense heritability coefficients for core neuroticism, extraversion, openness to experience, agreeableness, and conscientiousness based on data from different kinships. These estimates were 43, .54, .48, .49, and .47, respectively, which is somewhat higher compared to our heritability estimates of single traits. However, confidence intervals of heritability estimates from Johnson et al. (2008) and 11 single trait estimates from our study are overlapping.
     
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  • @Pat Boyle
    There is another possibility. When I got divorced I advertised on the web for girls. I like tall smart girls so I wanted applicants to be at least 5'7" and have a doctorate.

    I met a girl with a doctorate who taught at Stanford. Alas it was an EdD not a PhD and she confessed that she never could do algebra. She thought it was particularly cruel to make kids learn such a subject. She was really bad at math.

    She often claimed to have an IQ of 160. I estimated her IQ to be about 125. But she wasn't lying. Her math was so bad that she couldn't grasp things like probability mass functions or interval scales. She actually thought she had a 160 IQ.

    That's why last year when a woman won the Fields Medal, it was such a big story. Girls are bad at math.

    If somebody can’t do algebra, their IQ is probably below 115.

    I teach at a mid-lower tier Junior College in Singapore (ranked abt 11 out of 16 institutions), and every student in the school can do algebra (even the Arts/Humanities students). Looking at the overall distribution, very few of the students in my school are even 1 std deviation above average.

    Yet they can all do algebra.

    Even accounting for the higher mean in Sg (106? thereabouts), 1 std deviation above is 106+15 = 121, and students of that caliber are usually found in either better schools or in the Integrated Programmes. Those who are 2 std deviations (136) are almost exclusive to Raffles Institution and Hwa Chong.

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    • Replies: @Pat Boyle
    I taught various computer science courses (Novell and Microsoft) to college undergraduates after I quit teaching statistics. I suspected that all these students who had taken math in high school actually had forgotten all of it. So I instituted my "Smurf Algebra Test'.

    The Smurfs were a cartoon show on morning TV that had a vaguely educational mission. It was aimed at pre-teens I think. They had an episode that was trying to teach a lesson on respecting Muslims. In the episode some Muslim Smurf has a problem which he solves using algebra. As I remember it required simultaneous equations. This little exercise was intended for children.

    I gave this problem in Smurf Algebra to at least three classes - mostly college sophomores. I never found a student who could deal with it. Most understood that it was an algebra problem but couldn't remember how such things were solved.

    I think there's more innumeracy in America than in Singapore.
    , @res
    Differences in math/verbal tilt might help explain the seeming inconsistency. Having a culture that doesn't consider "math is hard" a badge of honor probably helps as well.
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  • One of the booming industries in Southern California at the moment is providing drug addiction clinics in the sunshine for junkies from the Midwest. But when their insurance runs out and they still love drugs, do they go home to cold Ohio? Often they get a tent and join a homeless encampment. Asian immigrants in...
  • @Reg Cæsar

    ...which many argued don’t belong in their famously clean, safe, family-oriented planned community.
     
    What's Chinese for "NIMBY"?

    不在我后院
    Bu2 Zai4 Wo3 Hou4 Yuan4

    I think the following factors contribute to the Asian (chinese) support for Dems:

    1. Attitude – chinese are relatively politically apathetic, and not driven to debates, especially when the issue fr removed from them. Abortion, gun rights? Not really a bread-and-butter issue in their upscale gated(?) communities on the coasts. On the issue of abortion, for example, chinese are probably pragmatic – if cannot support the baby, abort it ASAP, dun waste time.

    2. Media – go with the flow.

    3. Sticking it to the white man – I think more or less there’s still something along these lines, and since the Repubs are portrayed as a bastion of whiteness by the media, the Asian perception of the Repubs also follows suit.

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  • @Daniel Chieh
    Singapore might be an example of an ethnically aware country, but they still have slots specifically given to ethnic minorities:

    http://www.thehindu.com/news/international/malay-woman-to-be-singapore-president/article19660569.ece


    Aiming to strengthen a sense of inclusivity in the multicultural country, Singapore had decreed the presidency would be reserved for candidates from the Malay community this time.

    Ms. Yacob’s experience as house speaker automatically qualified her under the nomination rules.

    Of the four other applicants, two were not Malays and two were not given certificates of eligibility, the elections department said.
     
    And there is a strong, probably almost certain chance that the next Prime Minister will be of ethnic Indian descent.

    That (s)elected Presidency thingy was actually a ploy by the ruling party to block the ascension of a contrary politician (Tan Cheng Bock) from winning the position in an open election by restricting it to a minority race on an ad hoc technicality. They burned a lot of political capital on that stunt, and even more when they disqualified several other Malays from running, even though these candidates were self-made men and infinitely more experienced in finance matters and hence suited to safeguarding our reserves than the actual winner, who had never run a business in her life.

    It was literally a life-and-death matter for the PAP, which makes many of us very suspicious about what’s going on that they would be willing to make such a blatant move.

    As for Tharman, many Singaporeans are actually in favor, as he seems to be the few politicians from the ruling party with a clue, but the ruling party still seems stuck in the old racialist thinking that only a chinese politician can gain support to be PM.

    In Singapore, we just want competent leaders. No grandstanding please, and no kee-chiu (only locals will understand this reference).

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    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh
    I don't know enough about Singapore to know if Tharman should or shouldn't be PM - but it's pretty evident by the support he has that the idea that Singapore could never have a non-Han PM is dubious.

    And last I heard from a Singapore friend, his support was very solid. SCMP, which is Hong Kong-based, also put out several pieces supporting him.

    It certainly didn't seem like his proponents are fringe, that's for certain.

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  • @Reg Cæsar

    Finally, given that SJWs n liberals (but I repeat myself)
     
    The hell you do. SJWs are the least liberal people in the land.

    My bad. I’m using the modern definition, not the historical one.

    You can try salvaging the word, but I’ve given up. At most, I’d say I’m a classic liberal. Which most know-nothings will assume to be one of them.

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    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar

    You can try salvaging the word, but I’ve given up. At most, I’d say I’m a classic liberal. Which most know-nothings will assume to be one of them.

     

    I wasn't being pedantic. There are many competing definitions of "liberal". But they all share the same root.

    And none of them fit progressives. These were they guys who took away your liquor and, in extreme cases, your genitals.
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  • Interesting. So it can affect personality and moral reasoning.

    The article mentioned affecting the part that deals with threats, so probably the neuroticism aspect of personality. The unknown always carries some potential for danger/pain, so immigrants exemplify this form of threat.

    I wonder how neuroticism correlates with the moral dimension of group loyalty, which also factors into immigration issues.

    Finally, given that SJWs n liberals (but I repeat myself) often espouse these arguments but never truly live it out, ensconced in their gated communities, is there a metric for hypocrisy or a personality profile for the same?

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    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar

    Finally, given that SJWs n liberals (but I repeat myself)
     
    The hell you do. SJWs are the least liberal people in the land.
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  • From Personnel Psychology: The Validity and Utility of Selection Methods in Personnel Psychology: Practical and Theoretical Implications of 100 Years of Research Findings Fox School of Business Research Paper 73 Pages Posted: 18 Oct 2016 Frank L. Schmidt University of Iowa - Henry B. Tippie College of Business In‐Sue Oh Temple University - Department of...
  • @Anonymous
    I was a philosophy major in college and I signed up for an elective which I had no preparation for but which fit my schedule and fulfilled a degree requirement. At the first class the professor said the course grade would be made up of our weekly quizzes and the average of the mid-term and final exam. Or the average of our mid-term and final. Or simply our final exam grade. The first day of class he started writing integrals and partial derivatives on the chalkboard. My highest math attainment was algebra and geometry. And only barely.

    So, I figured I’d just study the textbook thoroughly on my own. A month before the final I cracked open the textbook. I read and re-read the first page of chapter one and didn’t understand one thing. And forget about the calculus and equations. I freaked. I knew a copy of the mid-term was on file at the library so I went to check it out. I saw the questions and they looked suspiciously like they came from a test bank. In desperation I called the textbook publisher and did some social engineering and lying to get them to send me a test bank of questions and answers prepared for the textbook. I received the test bank book a day before the final. I smoked 3 packs of cigarettes (I didn’t and don’t smoke) cramming and memorizing the test bank questions and answers all night. Hundreds of them. The next day I sat for the final. I recognized all the questions and knew the answer. I spent most of the time during the exam scribbling some math and integrals and making them illegible and inscrutable.

    Two weeks later grades from the class were posted outside the professor’s office. Grades were listed by the last four digits of our SSN. I glanced over some of the grades. 68...71...48...75...67...42...73... Then I spotted my SSN and moved my figure across to see the grade. 93. Out of approximately 50 students in the class only one other student got over 90 and only 5 students got over 80.

    To this day I feel guilty about this.

    Consider yourself lucky your class didn’t have more asians.

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  • The Chinese sure can be exasperating. Paul Midler writes in his new book What’s Wrong with China: (Laowai is the common—informal, non-hostile—Chinese term for a foreigner, equivalent to Japanese gaijin. Pronunciation here. During my own China days in the early 1980s the usual expat term for the syndrome under discus
  • @J L
    " we do aim for long term advantages and customer relationships as inculcated by our western upbringing, although we also lapse all too frequently into our genetic heritage."

    Yes, we know. You have 300 year of glory of enslaving, pillaging, and mass murdering. Your time is up. Your advantage is gone, and you are trying to hold others at your gun (canon)point with borrowed money. It is part of your barbaric western heritage, and your genetic heritage only shows others how clueless you are.

    Lol, this reply didn’t even make sense. Most Singaporean chinese were descended from South China provincials seeking a way out from the chaos that was endemic throughout the 19th and 20th century. Don’t really get where the 300 years of enslaving, killing blah blah blah came from.

    Unless it’s referring to the Taiping Rebellion, where we chinese killed far more of ourselves. In fact, looking at Chinese history, the most frequent killers of chinese were other chinese.

    Don’t really get the borrowed money part either. On the whole, Sg is a creditor nation.

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    • Replies: @Alden
    10 million died in the Taiping rebellion. Farms, towns and workshops and factories, shipping, wagons, bridges horses and mules were all destroyed leaving a wasteland.

    A lot of the refugees ended up all over Indonesia, the Philippines and got to California a little before the Gold Rush. A lot of the old California Chinese are descended from them.

    Most western histories of China don’t even mention it. 2 retarded emperors in a row didn’t help either.

    China has had its ups and downs. It’s on a roll right now. Every country has its cycle.
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  • @Clyde
    An Amazon review for Poorly Made in China by Paul Midler:

    Like he was with me on every buy
    July 16, 2010
    Format: Hardcover|Verified Purchase
    I have done business in China since 1986. I know from experience how tricky and dangerous it is, especially for the newcomer. Curiously Mr. Midler refers to suppliers in Shantou (Canton Province) and I too have many suppliers there. Apparently this behavior amongst the Chinese is across the board no matter what product you work with. And they don't care no matter what threats or promises you make. I actually had one supplier who told me he would no longer sell to me because "you complain too much"! No loss to me, easily replaced you can be sure. Communists or not, the almighty greenback is king in China but as Mr. Midler makes very clear, it is not going to get you what you think you contracted for. Something close, maybe, but not right on target.

    The Chinese screwed up so many of my shipments that I got the distinct impression that the translaters were interpreting my directions, not translating them. So I spent years learning to speak Mandarin. I am totally fluent now, have often been mistaken for being Chinese on the telephone by those who had not yet met me. No matter, I told them straight out what I wanted in their own language and STILL they basically did it wrong to shave off a few bucks to their advantage. I could never understand that way of thinking, in America we keep the customers happy to perpetuate our business with them, we do not consistently antagonize them. This book will open your eyes if you want to do business in China and if you are already there you cannot help but agree with everything he says. Pay close attention, he knows what he is talking about.

    They will go behind your back and try to deal directly with your customer, they will yes you to death and then do whatever they please without any regard for you or your customer. I can offer dozens of examples but the one that most illustrates this is the supplier who sent the advance samples for approval, they were perfect. He then went and made the million piece order to his own liking. It was a Halloween item to be made in Orange and Black, the 1000 piece advance samples were right on the money. When the order came in, it was made in Red and Blue. They told us the factory boss thought Orange and Black was a terrible color combination so he made what he thought was pretty. Hence we had a million red and blue product with ghosts and goblins and all printed on them, in red and blue and the words "Happy Halloween". THAT is when we transferred half our entire production of all products to India. We still do some business in China but had I read this book twenty years ago I never would have gotten involved in China at all!
    I highly recommend this book, it is all true and frightening so use it well and be aware. Be very aware.

    And because of that, Singaporeans are usually derided by other chinese for being too naive – we do aim for long term advantages and customer relationships as inculcated by our western upbringing, although we also lapse all too frequently into our genetic heritage.

    As the common saying goes, “台湾人无耻,香港人无情,大陆人无耻又无情,新加坡人无知.”

    Translated – Taiwanese are shameless, Hong Kongers are merciless, Mainlanders are shameless and merciless, and Singaporeans are ignorant/naive/stupid.

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    • Replies: @J L
    " we do aim for long term advantages and customer relationships as inculcated by our western upbringing, although we also lapse all too frequently into our genetic heritage."

    Yes, we know. You have 300 year of glory of enslaving, pillaging, and mass murdering. Your time is up. Your advantage is gone, and you are trying to hold others at your gun (canon)point with borrowed money. It is part of your barbaric western heritage, and your genetic heritage only shows others how clueless you are.
    , @ThatDamnGood
    Look here now, aren't you buying into the Western kool aid that quality, being concerned about one's reputation, etc, is something that can only found in Western cultures, or some variant of it is mostly like that in the West but only sometimes like that in China...

    That there are Singaporeans thinking like you shows the negative effects of British Colonialism. Singaporeans (Chinese) do say they kept the best British culture while the UK is now full of chavs and the like while retaining their Chinese heritage which I largely agree. But it also seems to made 'you guys' more susceptible to Western propaganda at perhaps an unconscious level.

    Correct me if I am wrong, but I doubt that 名誉 is a Japanese loan word/term from the last century.

    I suppose there is a certain amount of resentment that China is eating Singapore lunch at at increasing pace. But Lee Kuan Yew anticipated this would be so and said so like 30 years when he said Singapore needed to become a knowledge economy to hold it's own against China. And you guys are still trying to be one. But it's not China's fault that the 2 Prime Ministers after him lacked his execution ability or the benefit of having Albert Winsemius as his Zhugeliang and his plans failed to come about.

    If anything, Singapore or perhaps more accurately, the PAP should learn to pragmatic and accept things and see if there is a way to make the most of things as you guys would say. I mean in spite of Lee Hsien Loong, top CPC cadres are still sent to NTU right?

    Anyway, gong xi fa cai and so on and so forth...
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  • I pointed out a long time ago that public schools go through a regular cycle in which science-denialist Social Justice Warriors decide that "tracking" students into different classes or schools by academic aptitude is racist because of the inevitable racial gaps, so they abolish the programs, only to have the teachers who actually care about...
  • @Rod1963
    What you say is true, they do study to the test and often cheat as well. One of my friends who taught at Chapman in CS used to pull his hair out over the rampant cheating among the Asian students. To them it wasn't cheating. The thing is they come from a culture where such activity is endemic. You want a degree from Beijing U. in CS with transcripts, it's yours for $4k or so. A MD costs a bit more(the rural clinics are staffed by these frauds who can't read a blood panel or x-ray.)

    Every so often the American Universities catch a bunch of Chinese imports cheating and give them the boot. They are smart but unethical as hell which is a real bad combo.

    This is the shit we're importing - basically low trust culture types

    The thing most people are missing in this is that why in the hell are we doing our damnest to import a foreign intellectual overclass on whites?

    This is what it amounts to. What's worse these Asians don't see themselves as Americans but as Chinese, or whatever. Very tribal. Not the sort of people you want.

    The solution is simple: have better tests and exams. Have more data analysis questions which tests the student’s ability to apply the right skills in unfamiliar contexts.

    That’s why nobody will question the rigor and fairness of Singapore’s O and A level exams. They can study to the test – the best they can get is a B.

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  • @Isolee
    I sometimes think the sole purpose of "educational experts" is to make economists look credible.

    Every half-baked, pseudo-scientific, either-disproven-or-not-disproveable nonsense theory ("learning styles! Unconscious bias! Institutionalised racism! Left brain/right brain!) is regularly trotted out by these charalatans; while the single most replicated, consistent and important finding in all of psychometric literature - that differences in cognitive ability are largely due to genetic factors- is downplayed, misrepresented or flat out ignored.

    Genetic factors don’t just account for intelligence – the g factor, or even more accurately, fluid intelligence.

    They also account for that other big factor of academic/educational aptitude – Conscientiousness.

    It’s possible to ‘reprogram’ personality traits in people, but only with a lot of effort and the right environment/culture.

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  • @jbwilson24
    "Be interesting to see what happens in Canada, New Zealand and Australia though"

    I can tell you what is happening in Canada. Complete asian dominance. Go to one of the world class STEM universities (UofT, UBC, McGill, Waterloo, etc) and you will see almost no whites in CS/EE/etc. None. Forget seeing a black or hispanic. It's Chineseville, albeit there is a growing contingent of Muslimas with hijabs. Those are probably diversity quota picks.

    Whites can only succeed at the weaker schools these days. I've been in classes with the asian superstudents. I've TAed them. I've taught them. They work like mad. Last time I was in Ontario I noticed asians in the computer science building at 3am, working away.

    Having said that, they cheat like mad. If they can study in groups and are forced to stay up until 3am to do the basic coursework, they picked the wrong field. You don't need that sort of effort to be competitive if you are smart.

    Asians use test prep centers, essay mills, tutors, etc etc... everything they can do to succeed. Almost no one else is competing very well right now. And the 'diversity' officers don't seem to have a problem with the gobsmacking lack of diversity.

    Don't get me wrong, I appreciate the Chinese/Korean dedication to hard work. They go a bit overboard, though.

    I don’t see this translating into political and top end economic power, not in Canada, Australia, or the US. Probably due to the verbal IQ gap.

    So what happens is that you get a white/jewish political and economic elite, directing 2nd tier whites/asian managers, with everybody else below them. And these elites and 2nd tier managers do everything in their power to keep themselves and their descendants in these comfortable positions.

    That seems very untenable in the long run.

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    • Replies: @Perspective

    I don’t see this translating into political and top end economic power, not in Canada, Australia, or the US. Probably due to the verbal IQ gap.
     
    You do see it among South Asians, and in the case of Canada, especially among Sikhs:

    http://torontosun.com/opinion/columnists/fatah-is-canada-home-to-anti-india-sikh-extremists

    Is Canada home to Sikh extremists trying to pump fresh air into the dying embers of the so-called Khalistan movement that seeks the breaking up of India to create a separate Sikh country in Punjab?

    Are there such anti-India Sikhs in the federal cabinet and the Liberal Party and its Ontario wing?

    Mainstream Canadians outside the circus of identity politics could care less about the wholesale buying and selling at ethnic vote banks, but it’s time they should. India is no longer that far-away country of 1985 when Air India 182 was blown out of the sky by Sikh extremists, killing 268 Canadian citizens among the 325 murdered over Ireland.
     
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  • In the 17th century, the Manchus conquered China, causing thousands of defeated Chinese soldiers and their families to flee to Vietnam, then divided between north and south. The Nguyen Clan, rulers of the south, granted these Chinese land in nominal Cambodian territory, paving the way for Vietnam’s annexation of a third of Cambodia. This obscure...
  • @Daniel Chieh
    Cool. I have lived in America and I have observed the behavior of all Americans so according to what I can tell, America represents profound whining, gay worship, and a strong anti-intellectual spirit which it proceeds to attempt to forcibly export as universal values upon the world. That's the same logic which you're using: its equally bunk because of that.

    So yes, the behavior of post-CR Chinese immediately after the opening up of wealth in China is representative of all Chinese and is a truth for all time and space. So why is it that Taiwan and Singapore, both which are heavily Chinese, remain capable of providing for a middle class that isn't extortionate in terms of housing?

    You might then wonder, perhaps, specifically who are the kind of Chinese that go to Vancouver and why they behave the way they do. The answer really isn't that complicated, nor has it been limited to the Chinese. Hint: there is a reason why they're trying to get out of China.

    Every culture that has had to go through that kind of deprivation creates survivors who ultimately seem harsh and brutal. Its a literal bottleneck effect, and the only way it can improve is through time and realization of values that aren't survival. And indeed, in a country of that size, the idea that there's a single overriding culture is pretty silly.

    As noted before: self-refuting nonsense. Live happy in your ignorance, though.

    I blame the Cultural Revolution for destroying what remained of the ethical roots of chinese culture (Confucianism, Taoism, Legalism – they’re not the best foundation for developmental ethics, but they’re also all we had then). Add in the deprivation, the cannibalism, the starvation, and what was left of the chinese people when Deng started his reforms were an amoral lot seeking wealth and fortune at any cost. Can’t really blame them.

    Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Singapore fared better because we still held some vestiges of traditional culture. HK and Sg particularly so when British systems were layered on top.

    It’s gonna be a long time before the Chinese people as a whole regain some semblance of socially-useful morality – noblesse oblige and the sort. I suspect that’s what the ruling CCP is concerned about nowadays – what happens after you get rich? Maybe that’s why Xi Jinping is focusing on corruption and harmony – he’s trying to rebuild an ethical culture which had been lost.

    There’s certainly some bent in PRC media towards these in recent years. My mom’s currently hooked on some PRC talk show that tries to reconcile quarreling families. I’m sure there are others lauding philanthropic works by rich chinese.

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    • Agree: Daniel Chieh
    • Replies: @Johann Ricke

    Maybe that’s why Xi Jinping is focusing on corruption and harmony – he’s trying to rebuild an ethical culture which had been lost.
     
    He's using it as a pretext to elevate himself to absolute power, much like Mao. This card-carrying member of the apparat has a family fortune estimated to be in the hundreds of millions of dollars, no doubt garnered through less than honest means. He's persecuting alleged corruption among his rivals in order to replace them with his men. That will help him create a government in harmony with anything he wants to do.
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  • My wife insists she’s able to tell Vietnamese from Chinese, though I could never do so myself. She says they have flatter faces.

    I had taught quite a lot of Vietnamese students on scholarship. Most of them scooted off to the US after getting their A Level results. Come to think of it, most of them looked almost indistinguishable from ethnic Chinese, which was why they are quite irked when local old people would talk to them in mandarin/hokkien/teochew and they would have to tell them they aren’t chinese.

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  • @Daniel Chieh

    But Chinese love to mock other Chinese. I hear Chinese in Hong Kong are filled with contempt for Mainland Chinese and vice versa. I hear Taiwanese like to shi* on other Chinese.
    And Hong Kong cinema is full of people who like to mock everything, though mostly fellow Chinese.
     

    I don't know if mock is the right word - they mostly just don't see each other as an ingroup and thus have no great reason to like each other*. A Malaysian or Indo-Chinese has as much to do with a Mainland Chinese as an Australian as to do with an Englishman(and probably a bit less so): same ethnicity, similar if modified culture, and often the same language, but with very different attitudes on values of life. There's always something to claim locally as superior after all, whether it is cinema(Hong Kong), order/civility(Singapore), democracy(Taiwan), or even having a "more laid-back outlook on life"(SEA Chinese diaspora).

    I think the Jewish have a culture to be more tightly affiliated as an ingroup and frequently have a sense of outside oppresssion as an unifying myth. Indeed, anti-Chinese sentiment tends to be the main source of Chinese unity as well - less effective because often the population will perceive themselves as something other than "Chinese"(Singaporean, Malaysian, etc) .

    In Chinese, this is called being like "沙" and is often mourned: basically being like individual granules of sand that do not actually help each other. Since this has been going on at least a thousand years, it probably isn't to change.

    *Some, of course, try to signal hard and seek acceptable by actively hating themselves: Gordan Chang being the most prominent example, but there are plenty of this in less prominent people. The sense of self-hate, the desire to be anything but Chinese, the desperate to escape is a palpable feeling those individuals exhibit.

    像一盘散沙

    “Xiang4 Yi4 Pan2 San4 Sha1″

    Maybe because there’s always a lot of us pulling in different directions. Then it takes some crisis to bring us back together. Shades of 分久必合,合久必分.

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    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh
    I always heard 散沙; its nice to see the actual proverb. This is why its always so hilarious the notion that Han somehow can mass coordinate; some time ago, I heard of Koreans who helped by lending each other money to start small businesses. Would be nice if the Chinese could manage that, but of course not.

    Guanxi exists, and I think those localized patronage networks is what is often misperceived as greater coordination.
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  • It's not just Israel that is taking decisive steps to deal with the African Population Tsunami. From The Guardian: Guangzhou is what used to be Canton, right? But is it still "Cantonese cuisine?" Or is it now "Guangzhouese cuisine?" But I can't pronounce that. Wed 7 Feb 2018 21.00 EST Last modified on Wed 7...
  • @Anonymous
    I'm just starting to get seriously into phonetics and phonology (which I recommend to all), so I don't entirely know what I am talking about, but I'll give this a shot, focusing on Peking/Beijing:
    1) It seems the "real" name of the Chinese capital is two characters that mean "North" "Capital". (But I guess they can be written in the traditional or simplified form...)
    2) There are different "dialects" of "Chinese", which on my understanding are as different as the different Romance languages. But they are all written the same way. But since Mandarin is the ruling dialect, the pronunciation of Mandarin, will be taken as the "proper" way to pronounce the name of the capital city.
    3) The IPA is a reasonably effective way of transcribing the sounds of human speech. People who know IPA can reasonably transcribe, in IPA, what Mandarin speakers say when they name the capital city of China. According to wikipedia, they say [pèi.tɕíŋ]. Here the tones signified by the accent marks and the sound [ɕ] do not play standard roles in English.
    4) Romanization is a system of transcribing non-Roman writing systems into Roman. It seems a Romanization system is shaped both by the writing system of a target language and by the actual pronunciation of a target language. "Chinese" is perhaps one of the best examples of a "language" where there is no inherent alignment between the two, allowing for considerably flux in the Romanization system.

    Ultimately there is not going to be a "proper" way to name the capital of China via the Roman "ABCs", unless via political or sociological force, just as there is no objectively proper way to name the former ruler of Libya.

    Corrections welcome...

    1. Completely agreed. Just as Nanjing means ‘South’ (Nan2) ‘Capital’ (Jing1). It’s interesting to note that there’s no Xi1 Jing1 (West Capital), but there is a Dong1 Jing1 (East Capital) – the mandarin name for Tokyo!

    2. The common writing system can be attributed to Qin Shi Huang, who massacred scholars and burned books in order to impose an unifying writing system. He didn’t succeed with the spoken languages though. And there’s evidence that more chinese dialects (languages) sprouted up over the past 2000 years since.

    Regarding Mandarin’s role as the official standard pronunciation – I’ve heard some stories from my dad and other educated chinese elites over the years about how Cantonese (Guang3 Dong1 Hua4) was actually considered for this position, due to its sophistication and historical use. In fact, many classical poems which sounded weak with Mandarin pronunciation gained impact and power when pronounced using Cantonese, which led scholars to think that Cantonese is closer to the original dialect/language used in the crafting of these poems, which was named Middle Chinese.

    Of course, nobody is really sure since the languages had changed and there was no IPA system back then to document these changes in a systematic fashion. If anybody tells you otherwise, they’re usually just trying to assert the superiority of one dialect over another. You’d be surprised at how butt-hurt some Cantonese still are about the respective roles of Cantonese and Mandarin in the Sinosphere.

    In the end, it was said that Mandarin, which was the Beijing dialect / language, was chosen because it was just as sophisticated, with the additional advantage of being spoken by capital court officials.

    3/4. Beijing is accurate enough.

    Bei3 – The starting consonant is indeed a voiced bilabial plosive, followed by a dipthong. Non-chinese speakers usually say this correctly.

    Jing1 – This one is difficult. The ‘j’ consonant is like the ‘j’ in ‘jelly’, but lighter and placed more forward, nearer the teeth. This is where, as you said, Romanisation fails, and IPA doesn’t work so well either.

    https://chinesepod.com/tools/pronunciation/section/10

    It’s like when my choral students are trying to pronounce a piece of german music, but just couldn’t master all the glottal consonants because they just are not used to them.

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    • Agree: Daniel Chieh
    • Replies: @Frankie P
    Dude,

    Read a bit more about early China. There is NO WAY that a southern dialect would have ever been considered as the standard pronunciation in Chinese. It's almost as if you are suggesting that there was some kind of committee meeting where it was decided which dialect would be standard. The southern languages are MUCH more difficult to learn and use; they have more tones and fewer sounds. They sound coarse and uncouth to the civilized Chinese ear. Southern China was barbarian territory; it was where business people who lent too much money to the aristocracy and government were exiled so that the emperor didn't have to pay his debts. Hence the huge entrepreneurial and business acumen of the southern Chinese. You do realize that the root of the name "Vietnam" in Chinese means "Barbarian South", don't you? What do you think was "Barbarian North"? You guessed it! Southern China, from Guangxi, Guangdong, to Fujian and even parts of Zhejiang. There were south asian ethnicities living there, who mixed with those exiled by the court, morphing into what today constitutes the southern Chinese. Don't tell me that you've swallowed the story about the "Han Chinese" and how all Chinese are the same ethnicity. Please.

    Frankie P
    , @Anon

    Just as Nanjing means ‘South’ (Nan2) ‘Capital’ (Jing1). It’s interesting to note that there’s no Xi1 Jing1 (West Capital), but there is a Dong1 Jing1 (East Capital) – the mandarin name for Tokyo!
     
    Tokyo was called Edo and wasn't renamed as "East Capital" until 1868 when it became the capital of Japan. There was a capital city in China called Dong1 Jing1 (East Capital) in the Song dynasty, located at today's Keifeng, Henan; a capital city call Xi1 Jing1 (West Capital) used on and off since the Han dynasty, located at today's Xian.

    BeiJing (North Capital) used to called BeiPing. (it had been called BeiPing since the warring states ) In 1421 after Zhū Yunwén dethroned this nephew emperor and became one himself, he moved the capital from Nanjing (South Capital) to BeiPing which was renamed as BeiJing. (North Capital). Nanjing was changed to "Liu Du" as it was no longer a capital city.

    When the KMT was running China, they moved the capital back to Nanjing and renamed BeiJing to BeiPing. When the CCP defeated the KMT and took over China in 1949, they moved the capital back to BeiPing which became today's Beijing. But the name Nanjing remains, although it is no longer a capital city.

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  • Here's something I wrote for last year's Super Bowl that is still relevant for this year's Super Bowl: Why Does Bill Belichick Play So Many Whites and Nobody Else Does? STEVE SAILER • FEBRUARY 6, 2017 They used to say in corporate America that nobody ever got fired for buying IBM, and in the NFL...
  • @Truth
    I think his Dad thinks so.

    http://i.huffpost.com/gen/3739696/thumbs/o-DWAYNE-ROCKY-JOHNSON-570.jpg?4

    I can't really speak for the Chinese mindset, maybe they think he is a (dot) Indian or a Mexican or a Philipino, but I think they know he ain't a white guy.

    Most east asians know he’s mixed. The exact admixture?

    I think most east asians don’t care. I mention mulatto or octaroon and most other Singaporeans (and folks from PRC/Japan/Hong Kong/Taiwan/Vietnam) think they’re names for food.

    Dunno abt the rest of Asia though. Maybe the south Asians will pay more attention to these things.

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  • @Daniel Chieh
    My understanding is that it wasn't trying to be a "woke" movie. As a general rule, the Chinese haven't been specifically against the idea of multiculturalism - both Hero and World of Warcraft are movies extremely popular in China with multicultural themes of sorts. Its a more complex perception: that multiculturalism can be worthwhile but it isn't without cost or difficulty.

    What is pretty much rejected out of hand due to "misogyny" is the idea that androgynous women will save the world(so the new Star Wars was retarded). That will not fly at all, female leaders might exist but the idea that a woman will save the world by being stronger, smarter, and more capable than her male counterparts will be met with a revulsion. It might be acceptable if her specialness is through some yin/feminine quality but androgyny(except with superior women) is not embraced.

    “…but the idea that a woman will save the world by being stronger, smarter, and more capable than her male counterparts will be met with a revulsion…”

    That’s an interesting observation. I think it’s also important to modify that statement to “INNATELY stronger, smarter, and more capable than her male counterparts”. A woman who earns her superiority through various means, for example harsh training, secret martial arts manual etc is usually more acceptable than one who simply shows up already better than men who have trained all their lives.

    Replace the word ‘woman’ with the word ‘boy’ or ‘man’, and it’s no less acceptable. And such storylines are usually stinkers.

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  • @Truth
    Hey guys, speaking of whites playing positions no one else can, a movie starring two Knee-Grows has made $100m in China, S.K, H.K and Taiwan.

    You're right about those Asians not buying into multiculturalism..

    http://www.boxofficemojo.com/movies/?page=intl&id=jumanji2016.htm

    Jumanji is entertaining, a good movie according to my friends.

    Frankly speaking, if the movie is entertaining, it doesn’t matter who’s acting.

    Will Smith is still very popular in Asia I think, but even some of his bombs really flopped here, because they simply were not good movies.

    Nothing to do with multiculturalism.

    I wonder how well Blank Panther will do. If it’s a good movie, word of mouth will make it successful. IT probably has a steeper hill to climb due to lack of name recognition from its cast. The Marvel/Avengers connection will help a bit, but in the end it must do well on its own merits.

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  • First, the bragging dummies Trump and Haley are still at it. The want to force China to take action against the DPRK by threatening to take North Korea "into their hands" if China refuses to comply. Haley said “But to be clear, China can do more, (...) and we're putting as much pressure on them...
  • @Grandpa Charlie
    The reason that South Koreans don't like to see American GIs in Korea is that it reminds them of the whole stinking mess. It's not that Koreans resent American racism against East Asians, because on a day-by-day basis, we all get along just fine. 90% of so-called American racism is propaganda by Leftists or by Globalists (but that's become the same thing, hasn't it?) What there is between Americans stationed in Korea and Koreans who live there ... it's mutual respect. Oh, I know, there's a natural tendency for Koreans (and Japanese!) to look down on us as uneducated louts. Some of that is based on the truth (Koreans set exceptionally high standards for themselves in many respects) and some of it is envy, because USA is, after all, great. Don't Chinese call America the "Great Kingdom"?

    I don't know if Koreans comprise THE most nationalistic people in East Asia. All of them -- Japanese, Koreans, Chinese -- are extremely nationalistic and even racist. Of course, the situation for Chinese is much more complex -- there are so many of them! It's a natural phenomenon. Everyone is racist and everyone is nationalistic. And that's okay, except for Americans and for white people. We have been exposed to so much anti-American and anti-white propaganda that we have a hard time remembering who we are. But that's changing.

    In Mandarin, the US is called ‘Mei3 Guo2′, translates as ‘Beautiful Nation’.

    Not quite the same as ‘great’.

    The East Asian take is varied, as expected, but everybody knows it’s a mess and wishes China would take a tighter rein on their Nork dog. Problem is, the dog has been conditioned for so long to behave this way that it can’t change its behaviour anymore, and might not even obey its master’s instructions. For all China knows, Nork’s nukes can just be easily directed at THEM.

    Beijing’s in range too.

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  • A growing trend among among social justice jihadis, especially Women of Color, is exhaustion from all the emotional labor they perform enduring microaggressions on campus. From Inside Higher Education: Surviving Institutional Racism in Academe A faculty member describes some of the lessons she’s learned the hard way. By Anonymous The author is a faculty member...
  • Some good news regarding the state of US education:

    http://www.oecd.org/pisa/pisa-2015-results-volume-v-9789264285521-en.htm

    The US score on collaborative problem solving is actually higher than expected given its PISA score for science, reading and maths.

    I would note with some pride my own country of Singapore tops the rankings by a significant margin. :)

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  • From The New Yorker: Aziz Ansari, star of Parks and Recreation, is Russian? Who knew? It looks like Kremlin infiltration goes much deeper down the rabbit hole than we could possibly have imagined. Did anyone ask Sen. Blumenthal (D-CT) just how dumb he must believe Hillary voters must be to fall for a photoshopped image...
  • @Thomas
    That's just one of many, many reasons that nobody can run for office without a lot of their own money or else the backing of a political machine and fundraising apparatus. You need, just to cite one example, specialized lawyers to navigate compliance with those campaign finance laws. The era of the "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington" citizen legislator is long, long gone.

    You need, just to cite one example, specialized lawyers to navigate compliance with those campaign finance laws. The era of the “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington” citizen legislator is long, long gone.

    That’s an interesting observation. Maybe that’s the REAL point of campaign finance laws, to prevent ordinary citizens from running for office and allowing only ‘vetted’ candidates who have the logistical support of political parties to run.

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    • Replies: @Jack D
    In a lot of states there are complicated laws for getting on the ballot - you need a certain # of petitions signed by registered voters who reside in your district, etc. People who have party support get on no problem - they have professionals that go out to gather the petitions and know all the laws regarding who is qualified to sign them, how many extra signatures you need to get to be sure you have enough, etc. If you decide to run and gather your own petitions, the party machine has election law specialist lawyers go over your petitions with a fine tooth comb and get enough of your signatures thrown out that you don't qualify to appear on the ballot. This signature was signed in the wrong color ink. The registered voter's name is Rufus T. Washington and the petition was signed by Rufus Washington. And so on - death by a thousand cuts.
    , @Thomas

    Maybe that’s the REAL point of campaign finance laws, to prevent ordinary citizens from running for office and allowing only ‘vetted’ candidates who have the logistical support of political parties to run.
     
    McCain-Feingold (which was largely struck down by the Supreme Court in the Citizens United decision) was often called the "Incumbent's Protection Act" by observers. It's probably not an accident that Trump, the first candidate in modern history to bum rush the two-party system and win, is a billionaire.
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  • America lags far behind many Asian countries in measures to stop test-takers from cheating on high stakes tests. For example, America lacks screened in test-taking cells to prevent copying and delivery of cheat sheets. Of course, even those don't always work in Asia. From the BBC:
  • @War for Blair Mountain
    I’ve been reading about this since May. Lot’s of interesting discussions about engineering tests in India on Quora. Seems to be very life and death important for India’s youth to get into the elite post-graduate Engineering Schools throughtout India....LIFE AND DEATH IMPORTANT...Graduating from one of these post-graduate Engineering Schools sets-up an Indian Youth for Life for the best engineering career tracks in India.


    Here is a question for isteve readers:How long would the Indians in India tolerate thousands and thousands of Chinese Youth colonizing India’s Engineering Schools across India...and Chinese Youth by the thousands comming to India and taking the exam for entrance into India’s elite post-graduate Engineering Schools? What do you think the youth of India would actually do?

    Uhm, I think the PRC chinese dun have a good impression of Indians (smelly, poorly organised etc). PRC are racist as hell and won’t tolerate nonsense. I think they also do not have a high regard for Indian institutes of higher learning.

    Lastly, they already have significant difficulty understanding fluent, clear (well, most of the time) English spoken by Singaporeans and other english-educated sinosphere diaspora, and will not be able to understand India(a gross generalisation here, given there are so many India languages)-accented english at all.

    I don’t think there’s any reason at all for concern here.

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  • From the New York Times Magazine: Advanced Placement tests for high school students are scored as if they were an intro 101 level course at a run-of-the-mill Directional State College. A 3 is equivalent to a C, 4 is a B, a 5 is an A. Many colleges give course credit for scores of 3...
  • @Yan Shen
    I'm not a huge fan of the AP tests either, but let me maybe push back a little bit against your comments on the STEM subjects.

    But the real problem is the STEM tests. Because the College Board guarantees not to include anything not on the list of announced topics, they cannot have a high ceiling that rewards those students who have gone above and beyond the base level (for example, they test for the integral form but not the differential form of Gauss’s law, Ampere’s law, and Faraday’s law on Physics C Electricity and Magnetism).

    Yet, they need some way of spreading out the students’ scores. So, what they do is have problems that just can’t be solved in the time allotted unless you have been especially trained to rapidly solve the sort of rather silly problems that the College Board is known to put on the STEM AP tests
     
    Well I mean isn't it sort of expected on most content based tests that the content only covers the list of announced topics? Imagine if you were taking a finals for some class in college and you were tested on something that you weren't expecting to be tested on. Wouldn't make much sense right? Hence my point about the AP exams being less inherently g-loaded/more amenable to prep compared to a pure cognitive test. Your complaint about the physics C AP exam seems to be that maybe it's not "hard" enough, which I guess might be fair? >.<

    I don't recall the AP Calc exam that I took back in the day containing "gimmicky" problems favoring those who knew special tricks. They were just basic calculus questions. I think more in general for entry level math problems, you can learn to solve certain problem types perhaps without really possessing a deep understanding of the underlying math, but I don't see that as necessarily a problem specific to the AP STEM exams, i.e. you're just as likely to do that when taking intro calculus at college, etc.

    Anyway, a bit surprised that you didn't point out that the AP exams have a pretty low ceiling given that that you can miss a decent number of questions and still get a 5. To me, that's probably the biggest drawback, along with some of the fluffier subjects like History, Geography, etc.

    Let's look at AMC/AIME scores or the likes, I say!

    Well I mean isn’t it sort of expected on most content based tests that the content only covers the list of announced topics? Imagine if you were taking a finals for some class in college and you were tested on something that you weren’t expecting to be tested on. Wouldn’t make much sense right? Hence my point about the AP exams being less inherently g-loaded/more amenable to prep compared to a pure cognitive test. Your complaint about the physics C AP exam seems to be that maybe it’s not “hard” enough, which I guess might be fair? >.<

    It’s actually quite easy to make content based tests more g-loaded. The Singapore H2 Chemistry paper (much more difficult than AP Chemistry, but at the same age group) is (in)famous for this – teaching a new concept/context in a question and then asking students to apply it immediately, as well as extending concepts they have already learned to the new situation. Needless to say, only the best students can handle it.

    You may also want to take a look at a very specific type of question common in the H2 Chemistry paper, the oft-dreaded elucidation question in organic chemistry. All the preparation and memorisation in the world is useless unless you can put together the information and make the necessary deductions. As I always say to students – the best way to prepare for these is to actually read (not watch!) Sherlock Holmes or any decent detective story.

    http://www.wewwchemistry.com/2013/09/the-mind-boggling-h2-chemistry

    I remember students trying out sample papers from AP Chemistry and complaining bitterly about the difficulty of their own exams.

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  • Here's an amusing excerpt from the book Selfie: How We Became So Self-Obsessed And What It’s Doing To Us by Will Storr about how California legislator John Vasconcelos launched the great Self-Esteem fad of the late 20th Century: And here's a more technical article from New York:
  • The latest fad in education is Carol Dweck’s Growth Mindset. Too bad research is already debunking it.

    https://www.spectator.co.uk/2017/01/schools-are-desperate-to-teach-growth-mindset-but-its-based-on-a-lie/

    The problem with all these feel-good fads is that the research is always many steps behind. Reminds me of the saying, “A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on.”

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  • Science denialists are always telling us IQ is discredited. But then ... From bioRxiv: Morphometric Similarity Networks Detect Microscale Cortical Organisation And Predict Inter-Individual Cognitive Variation Jakob Seidlitz, František Váša, Maxwell Shinn, Rafael Romero-Garcia, Kirstie J. Whitaker, Petra E. Vértes, Paul Kirkpatrick Reardon, Liv Clasen, Adam Messinger, David A. Leopold, Peter Fonagy, Raymond J. Dolan,...
  • @Alfa158
    I think the term "baizuo" syonredux discusses in comment 8 above pretty much describes the syndrome. So what would be the Chinese phrase for " baizuo era"? I'm sure Derb could help us out there.

    “Bai2 Zuo3 Shi2 Dai4″

    I included the intonation for your convenience.

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  • From the NYT: So that's why Mali and Afghanistan are where the real action is. Comparing six of the leading developed countries — the United States, Germany, Japan, Canada, Australia and Britain — I found that not only has productivity growth been slowing across the board in recent decades, but also that the gaps in...
  • @PiltdownMan
    The baby bonus used to be substantial in Singapore. I looked it up. It is huge now.

    The Working Mother Child Relief, as the baby bonus is labled, is subject to a cap of SG$80,000 in local currency, which is about US$ 55,000 per year in straight deduction from taxable income.

    https://www.iras.gov.sg/IRASHome/Individuals/Locals/Working-Out-Your-Taxes/Deductions-for-Individuals/Working-Mother-s-Child-Relief--WMCR-/

    Relief only, not a rebate. It helps a bit by moving some people down a tax bracket and reducing the amount of tax they pay, but it’s not that substantial, certainly not considered HUGE. 1st child grants a 15% relief, so for a middle income mother (annual income $80000), only $68000 of her income is assessed for taxes, for a sum of ~$2500, vs $3350 without the relief.

    This is a subtly eugenic policy. Low income families and mothers don’t get any substantial benefits, but higher income working mothers (Annual income > $100000) get substantial savings and even more with each successive child they can pop out.

    https://www.iras.gov.sg/IRASHome/Individuals/Locals/Working-Out-Your-Taxes/Deductions-for-Individuals/Working-Mother-s-Child-Relief–WMCR-/

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    • Replies: @PiltdownMan
    Thanks for the clarification. I missed that in my haste.

    Singapore's eugenic policy is subtle because the direct approach, unabashedly called the Graduate Mothers Scheme, caused a public outcry in 1984-85.

    From Wikipedia

    Lee Kuan Yew was alarmed at the perceived demographic trend that educated women – most of all the college-educated – would be less likely to marry and procreate. Such a trend would run antithetical to his demographic policy, and part of this failure, Lee conjectured, was "the apparent preference of male university graduates for less highly educated wives". This trend was deemed in a 1983 speech as "a serious social problem". Starting 1984, the government of Singapore gave education and housing priorities, tax rebates and other benefits to mothers with a university degree, as well as their children. The government also encouraged Singapore men to choose highly educated women as wives, establishing the Social Development Unit (SDU) that year to promote socialising among men and women graduates, a unit that was also nicknamed "Single, Desperate and Ugly".

    The government also provided incentives for educated mothers to have three or four children, in what was the beginning of the reversal of the original Stop at Two policy. The measures sparked controversy and what became known as The Great Marriage Debate in the press. Some sections of the population, including graduate women, were upset by the views of Lee Kuan Yew, who had questioned that perhaps the campaign for women's rights had been too successful:

    Equal employment opportunities, yes, but we shouldn't get our women into jobs where they cannot, at the same time, be mothers...our most valuable asset is in the ability of our people, yet we are frittering away this asset through the unintended consequences of changes in our education policy and equal career opportunities for women. This has affected their traditional role ... as mothers, the creators and protectors of the next generation.
    — Lee Kuan Yew, "Talent for the future", 14 August 1983

    In 1985, especially controversial portions of the policy that gave education and housing priorities to educated women were eventually abandoned or modified.
     

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  • From Reuters: Norway unseats Denmark as world's happiest country: report By Patricia Reaney March 19, 2017 NEW YORK (Reuters) - Norway displaced Denmark as the world's happiest country in a new report released on Monday that called on nations to build social trust and equality to improve the wellbeing of their citizens. The Nordic nations...
  • Another good proxy for happiness might be how many citizens leave the country in search for greater happiness.

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  • The downfall of numerous previously stable Bronze Age civilizations in the Fertile Crescent/Eastern Mediterranean around 1200 BC, leading to a Dark Ages of several centuries, is known as the Late Bronze Age Collapse (a.k.a., World War Zero). But maybe the warmer weather civilizations didn't so much collapse 3200 years ago as were knocked over, directly...
  • Wilkins argued that Troy was located in England, and that the war was fought over access to tin required to make bronze, the defining material for that era. And when the tin ran out, well… civilization and trade collapsed (people would hoard whatever bronze they had left?) until knowledge of iron spread widely enough.

    In that context, the Tollense battle could have been a battle involving trade control of key trading materials.

    There’s also the Lake Superior copper mine mystery. Wilkins’ thesis of a pan-Atlantic Bronze Age civilization matches some of these mysteries quite nicely.

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  • This table is sorted in order of scores on Science, the subject most emphasized in this 3 year period. Here's the big PDF of data. Argentina for the win! In the past, the Argentines always complained that they were doing a better job of rounding up their dimmest 15 year olds to take the international...
  • @Anonymous
    Why are people in Singapore smarter than the other people of their same race?

    By the way: a little amusing how the scores of France, England, Germany ... are lowered by immigrants.
    As for Spain and Italy, there's a wide IQ gap between their North and South, and the scores here are, probably, the overall median value. (There's a large South-North IQ gap in Japan as well).

    Simple. We’re not smarter. We’re just awfully pragmatic in figuring out how to draw out that potential compared to other systems, and then putting in back breaking amounts of effort to making it happen.

    Not to mention the sheer amount of shadow education (private tuition) that goes on.

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  • @Lathdrinor
    Chinese results seem persistently dragged down by reading. Given the nature of their writing system it is probably to be expected, since it is demonstrably much harder to master than those based on alphabets. Hong Kong and Singapore both use English as a primary language from what I understand, although I have not looked into whether their tests were done in English. But that might be a reason for why they out perform China significantly in reading.

    If we ignore the reading score, China's science and math scores are both significantly ahead of the OECD average, which reflects where we'd expect China's most developed regions to be - that is, around the level of Taiwan, Korea, and Japan. Further progress is probably possible given the example of Taiwan - listed as Chinese Taipei - which has a similar depressed reading score but is even higher above the OECD average in math and science.

    Unfortunately, it is never possible to fully control for the effects of reading as any standardized testing that is not a formal IQ test of the Raven's Progressive Matrices type will be biased by the written medium in which it is given. At the end of the day, PISA is an education achievement test, and only an above average proxy for intelligence testing. It can never substitute for intelligence tests altogether.

    All tests in Singapore are administered in English unless they are explicitly non-English language subjects eg. Tamil literature, china studies in chinese.

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  • Above is the graph of 8th graders in math scores on the 2015 TIMSS international test. There are also scores for 4th graders in math and both grades in science. TIMSS's rival PISA will release their scores on December 6th. Over the years, I've read up more on the PISA test. Anybody out there know...
  • @Pincher Martin

    Fraud and manipulation. Of Course.
     
    In Singapore? Not likely. According to every index I've ever seen (here's an example), corruption in Singapore is lower than it is in most Western countries.

    Chinese, as a rule, cheat to get ahead. But the Chinese in Singapore do not. The sanctions against cheating and other forms of minor law-breaking, which were put in place by the now-deceased Lee Kuan Yew, are too extreme.

    Actually, these indices are usually perception based. So it’s possible to be viewed as non-corrupt when the truth is otherwise. Most Singaporeans take these reports with some scepticism because we know we’re better off than many others, but we aren’t that non-corrupt.

    If corruption is measured by bribery, then sure, we score very well on these measures. On the other hand, we game systems like crazy and slide up to just this side of the line on deals.

    For example, many politicians sit on the boards of many companies, with all the attendant conflicts of interest you would expect. Nepotism is common, and auditors keep pestering for more transparency when they realise how easy it is to structure quotations and bids to favor certain arrangements.

    In the education sector, gaming the system is usually reserved for critical exams, such as school based practicals (now abolished, halleluia!), or project work because these results matter to the students and teachers. Nobody on the frontlines cares much for these international rankings – they are distractors from PSLE and O levels.

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    • Replies: @Pincher Martin

    Actually, these indices are usually perception based. So it’s possible to be viewed as non-corrupt when the truth is otherwise. Most Singaporeans take these reports with some scepticism because we know we’re better off than many others, but we aren’t that non-corrupt.
     
    The same could be said of any country with low perceived corruption: Sweden, Denmark, Norway, etc.

    I've been to Singapore many times. The people there are more law-abiding than in any other large city I've ever been to. I'm basing it on minor things - like waiting for street lights, even when cops aren't obviously around to enforce them.

    I lived in Taiwan for many years. The Chinese there are a remarkable, intelligent, hard-working people, and Taipei is a crime-free city when taking into consideration major crimes like homicide, rape, and burglary. But corruption is rampant, and you can see the Chinese cutting corners in every area of life in order get ahead.


    In the education sector, gaming the system is usually reserved for critical exams, such as school based practicals (now abolished, halleluia!), or project work because these results matter to the students and teachers. Nobody on the frontlines cares much for these international rankings – they are distractors from PSLE and O levels.
     
    But that only strengthens the notion that the PISA and TIMSS scores for Singapore are legitimate and not the result of gaming the system.
    , @Anonymous
    Lol. That's a bit (very) contradictory to say that the index is based on perception, then say that Singaporeans perceive corruption as higher than what the indices indicate, at the same time.
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  • @Hapalong Cassidy
    Perhaps only the Chinese took the test. It also seems in general that Singapore Chinese are far smarter than mainland Chinese. As the descendants of migrants from the mainland, they are probably more forward-thinking and adventurous than their mainland counterparts.

    Nah, all races took it. We don’t have race-segregated classes, at least not overtly. Classes at Raffles Institution, our top school, have a fair number of Indian and Malay students.

    The ministry of education just arrows a bunch of schools to administer the test, and that’s it.

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    • Replies: @Verymuchalive
    " The ministry of education just arrows a bunch of schools to administer the test, and that's it."
    That still doesn't rule out manipulation and fraud.
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  • AFAIK, Singapore kids don’t take these tests seriously either – just another thing to do. Whether they do well or not, the school isn’t going to tell them. There’s no reward, but no punishment either.

    They’re dead serious only when it comes to the three gateway exams – PSLE, O Levels, A Levels.

    As for the accusation of cheating, I suppose it could be possible. We game systems very well, which is why exam invigilators for national exams always have to be assigned from other schools. The other possibility is the difference between our syllabus and that of other East Asian countries – there’s a great deal of analysis and critical thought required even at lower levels that students who transfer to Singapore on MOE scholarships find it difficult to adapt to having to think through problem sets and contextualized situations.

    Finally, our primary and secondary school teachers are already badly overworked and probably don’t give a fig about putting in the minimal effort to game these international benchmark tests.

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  • From the New York Times: I know we aren't supposed to use analogies when thinking about immigration policy, because analogies are conducive to rational thought, while immigration policy is supposed to be decided based solely upon schmaltz. Still, immigration policy can be compared to college admissions policies. Trump says Amer
  • @iSteveFan
    We'll add 37 million but still be represented by 435 congressmen and 100 senators. In fact when we had 300 million people, we were represented by 435 congressmen and 100 senators When we had 200 million people, we were represented by 435 congressmen and 100 senators.

    Do you see a trend? As the population increases your vote is watered down.

    Interesting point.

    Would it also be correct to say that each politician’s absolute power has increased, since they now represent more people?

    Is that why politicians tend to favor immigration as well? Rather than saying ‘I am proud to represent the 100 people of the town A’, with immigration and increased population, they can say ‘I am proud to represent the 1000 people of the town A, so you had better listen to me!’.

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    • Replies: @guest
    No, that would not be correct.
    , @iSteveFan
    I think what has correlated more with the rise in power of politicians is the size of the budget. The budget has gotten so large that business can't afford to ignore it. Thus the amount of wining and dining to get contracts must be quite high.
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  • From the BBC: Isn't Dutee Chand sort of a boy-on-the-inside, like Caster Semenya? Is Dutee really a good example? I think Bangladesh is worse. One interesting aspect is that Indians are enamored of some aspects of their British colonial heritage, such as P.G. Wodehouse comic novels, but not Britain's sporting tradition. In the past, you'd...
  • @Stebbing Heuer
    Sprinting between wickets?

    The stamina - and powers of concentration - to 1) stay at the wicket for the hours needed to score 100+ runs - including lifting your bat repeatedly to strike the ball, or 2) bowl 3o overs in a day (essentially, 180 30-metre sprints, at the end of which you have to have the skill to land the ball in a particular spot, repeatedly)?

    Sprinting, from a standing start, to chase down the ball in the outfield?

    Throwing the ball in from the boundary to the wicket-keeper - repeatedly?

    You. Have. No. Idea. Pal.

    I note that there are no fat elite cricket players, but there are quite a number of fat elite baseball players.

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  • @JohnnyWalker123
    Indians, Banglas, and Pakis do poorly in sports in the UK too. Plenty of them are blue collar and non-academic.

    The Chinese, Japanese, Koreans, and Taiwanese are very academic too. Despite that, they do much better than Indians. Even in Singapore, Chinese outdo Indians in sports. Explain that.

    Even in Singapore, Chinese outdo Indians in sports. Explain that

    Because Indians comprise less than 10% of our population? The sikhs seem to overperform tho.

    Also, a lot of our chinese ‘talent’ is imported PRC.

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  • From the NYT: Spurs’ Tim Duncan Retires After 19 N.B.A. Seasons and 5 Titles By VICTOR MATHER JULY 11, 2016 After 19 years and five championships with the San Antonio Spurs, Tim Duncan announced Monday morning that he would retire at age 40. Duncan was an elite player on an excellent Spurs team for his...
  • Tim Duncan was incredibly self-aware. He was probably the only NBA player of his generation to reflect intensely on the best way to approach the game from a psychological viewpoint.

    Heck, he even co-authored a chapter on egos and egotistical behavior.

    https://books.google.com.sg/books?id=zY1ivEwlHP4C&lpg=PA111&ots=nl14fdGXmf&dq=Aversive+Interpersonal+Behavior+tim+duncan&pg=PA111&redir_esc=y&hl=en#v=onepage&q=Aversive%20Interpersonal%20Behavior%20tim%20duncan&f=false

    It was no surprise that he was able to build such a winning culture with his coach. He literally wrote the book on it. It may even be helpful for new NBA rookies to read his thesis… if they could even read at a college level.

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  • From the WSJ:
  • @Twinkie

    Possibly you have never read the fable of the golden goose that laid the golden eggs? There is much wisdom in childrens’ fables. In fact, I claim that there is more wisdom in childrens’ fables than in all of academia.
     
    Hence Tiberius Caesar's response to a governor who recommended an increase in taxes: "A good shepherd shears his flock; he does not flay it."

    Hence Tiberius Caesar’s response to a governor who recommended an increase in taxes: “A good shepherd shears his flock; he does not flay it.”

    Agreed.

    However, tt does seem like they like flaying by means other than taxes. How else would you describe the treatment of the citizens of the US by the USG?

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  • @Twinkie

    Sounds a lot like H1Bs, in fact.
     
    Not quite. H1B holders can elect to go back home. Slaves and serfs are bound to the land and the lord. They couldn't vote with their feet.

    I would note that past slave revolts usually relied on mass and numbers to overpower their oppressors. Technology gradually reduced this advantage such that by the time of the American Civil War, I don’t think the slaves had the power to free themselves without the intervention of the North.
     
    Even in the past, slave revolts generally failed... in the end. But they still did a lot of damage. Technology or no, would you leave your wife and children among 100 sullen, beaten down, and angry slaves to attend to some business elsewhere?

    Slaves don't have to free themselves to cause trouble. The Jacquerie revolt of my example earlier was put down quite ruthlessly in the end, but how did that vengeance help that knight who was roasted alive and whose wife was violated by a mob, and whose children perished violently (likely tortured to death)?

    I wouldn’t.

    But then again, I might have a team of heavily armed professionals guarding them and keeping watch on the slaves, and probably not in the same vicinity. Somewhat similar to gated communities, with indentured servants (one step higher than slaves) working the estate grounds, with more dangerous jobs (mining etc) left to slaves.

    In the past the slave guards were rather less well armed. In the future, with technologies like trigger fingerprint locks, I don’t see slaves having much of a chance against automatic weapons.

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    • Replies: @Twinkie

    But then again, I might have a team of heavily armed professionals guarding them and keeping watch on the slaves
     
    A Praetorian Guard? That doesn't work out well either.
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  • @Charles Erwin Wilson
    Slavery is a non-starter, at least outside of the Muslim world. And I would be a very bad slave. But of course you can kill your very bad slaves. Then again, the dead do no work.

    Do keep in mind that slavery as a model organization, at least of the present world, fails. Why are you an advocate for an obvious failure?

    Next question please.

    Not an advocate, but wondering out loud.

    And why kill when you can simply torture and make an example out of the recalcitrant ones, scaring the rest into obedience? I have never found the non-moral arguments against slavery (it doesn’t work,; it’s not more profitable etc) to be very effective.

    Even today, human slavery is flourishing beneath the radar. They are not more prevalent only because much of civilised society has decided that it is abhorrent.

    Should attitudes change, it may come back anytime, perhaps when we least expect it, or in forms so subtle we don’t realise it.

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  • @Twinkie

    [See the Jacquerie revolt]

    No slaves involved.
     
    You quibble unnecessarily. One perfectly good definition of a slave is someone who is forced to work without compensation.

    See:

    The Estates-General was too divided to provide effective government, however, and the disputes between the two rulers provoked disunity amongst the nobles. Consequently, the prestige of the French nobility had sunk to a new low. The century had begun poorly for the nobles at Courtrai (the "Battle of the Golden Spurs"), where they fled the field and left their infantry to be hacked to pieces; they had also given up their king at the Battle of Poitiers. To secure their rights, the French privileged classes — the nobility, the merchant elite, and the clergy — forced the peasantry to pay ever-increasing taxes (for example, the taille) and to repair their war-damaged properties under corvée — without compensation. The passage of a law that required the peasants to defend the châteaux that were emblems of their oppression was the immediate cause of the spontaneous uprising.[4] [Boldface mine.]
     
    The point remains that keeping slaves is always a dicey proposition. One may keep them docile when the going is good, but one defeat overseas or some internal dissension among the elites, and then all heck can break loose, during which one's womenfolk and children may meet gruesome fates. Free labor isn't so free.

    Has the arithmetic changed? Maybe change the terminology, but not the actual terms?

    “You work as you are told! If not, I’ll ship you to ________!!”

    Sounds a lot like H1Bs, in fact.

    I think slaveowners (e.g. the 1%) in the future are going to be a lot more circumspect, but even more powerful. They may not own slaves as we define it, but the practical reality remains the same anyway, backed up by weapons and well-paid ‘security personnel’.

    I would note that past slave revolts usually relied on mass and numbers to overpower their oppressors. Technology gradually reduced this advantage such that by the time of the American Civil War, I don’t think the slaves had the power to free themselves without the intervention of the North.

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    • Replies: @Twinkie

    Sounds a lot like H1Bs, in fact.
     
    Not quite. H1B holders can elect to go back home. Slaves and serfs are bound to the land and the lord. They couldn't vote with their feet.

    I would note that past slave revolts usually relied on mass and numbers to overpower their oppressors. Technology gradually reduced this advantage such that by the time of the American Civil War, I don’t think the slaves had the power to free themselves without the intervention of the North.
     
    Even in the past, slave revolts generally failed... in the end. But they still did a lot of damage. Technology or no, would you leave your wife and children among 100 sullen, beaten down, and angry slaves to attend to some business elsewhere?

    Slaves don't have to free themselves to cause trouble. The Jacquerie revolt of my example earlier was put down quite ruthlessly in the end, but how did that vengeance help that knight who was roasted alive and whose wife was violated by a mob, and whose children perished violently (likely tortured to death)?
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  • @Charles Erwin Wilson

    (in the real world, if you have no guns, why shouldn’t I just kill you and TAKE the butter?)
     
    Because my butter production goes to zero once you have killed me. If "Steve Keen’s Debunking Economics" takes the same tack it fails.

    Your argument might work, but only if you improve it.

    Uhm, so is the improvement like this:

    “in the real world, if you have no guns, why shouldn’t I just ENSLAVE you and force you to MAKE butter for me?

    Just checking.

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    • Replies: @Twinkie

    “in the real world, if you have no guns, why shouldn’t I just ENSLAVE you and force you to MAKE butter for me?
     
    Slaves have a habit of revolting, as the Spartans and the Romans discovered. And sometimes the revolts can be quite gruesome. See the Jacquerie revolt: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jacquerie

    In particular:

    peasants killed a knight, put him on a spit, and roasted him with his wife and children looking on. After ten or twelve of them raped the lady, they wished to force feed them the roasted flesh of their father and husband and made them then die by a miserable death".
     
    Which, of course, is then followed by:

    The nobles then set fire to the suburb nearest the fortress, entrapping the burghers in the flames. The mayor of Meaux and other prominent men of the city were hanged. There was a pause, then the force led by the nobles and gentry plundered the city and churches and set fire to Meaux, which burned for two weeks. They then overran the countryside, burning cottages and barns and slaughtering all the peasants they could find.

    The reprisals continued through July and August. There was a massacre at Reims, though it had remained steadfast in the Royal cause. Senlis defended itself. Knights of Hainault, Flanders, and Brabant joined in the carnage.
     
    In other words, it ends up badly for all involved, even including the people who were not involved in anyway at all. Ask the ancestors of my fellow Southerners for a closer example.
    , @Charles Erwin Wilson
    Slavery is a non-starter, at least outside of the Muslim world. And I would be a very bad slave. But of course you can kill your very bad slaves. Then again, the dead do no work.

    Do keep in mind that slavery as a model organization, at least of the present world, fails. Why are you an advocate for an obvious failure?

    Next question please.
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  • What if a society is so far superior that it can produce everything it needs without relying on trade at all?

    And what about trade imbalances? Country A is far superior at producing both video games and wines – its ‘trade partners’ can consume only so much video games and produce a limited amount of poor quality wine. With it high industry, country A can very well produce both video games and wines to satisfy overall demand. Maybe it imports a small amount of wines, but by and large they are for its lower socio-economic classes and it retains both capacity and knowledge in both fields for itself.

    Hmmm… I guess that’s what trade is for – making inferior goods affordable to lower classes.

    I would also note that we haven’t even gotten to trade imbalances yet.

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    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    Portugal in 1813 is better at making corks for wine bottles, England is better at making steam engines.

    Which language does the world speak in 2016: Portuguese or English?

    , @Anonymous
    That's absolute advantage.

    If the countries produce different quality wine that aren't substitutes, then they'd be producing different goods, not trading the same good.
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  • With movie director Spike Lee much in the news for denouncing whiteness in the entertainment industry, my Taki's Magazine column points out that Spike got in all sorts of trouble way back in 1990 for making too clear that his resentment of whites being in positions of power over black entertainers is especially focused on...
  • His article reminds me of the ‘Struggle Sessions’ from the Cultural Revolution.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Struggle_session

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  • The globalist ruling class is starting to notice that voters are starting to notice that globalism is running into diminishing returns. While the intelligent response would be moderation -- okay, we've done the globalist thing for about all it's worth, so let's back off on that for awhile -- instead they seem to have decided...
  • @rod1963
    Caracalla did it to raise tax revenues and probably to draft more soldiers for the legions for his stupid war against Parthia.

    Rome was also fighting a demographic problem - a shrinking population of native sons of Italy. All those nasty fights during the Triumvirate, then the Civil War bled Italy something fierce and killed the Republic. When Augustus became emperor he tried several measures to get the men to start families and such but with little luck.

    As to why this population drop happened, some of it can be blamed on the patrician and merchant classes that wiped out the small land owners in Italy that used to provide the manpower for the legions. They were called Latifunda - large land owners. This practice spread throughout the empire and the land worked by slaves not freemen. By the second century it was the primary source of food stock for the empire. It also had dire social consequences for the empire. The peasantry became landless and drifted to the cities, since they were landless you can be they had few if any children.

    Where did the slaves come from? Well that's what the provinces were for. In the beginning fresh provinces were looted for goods and slaves which left them depopulated. For example when the Romans moved into Asia Minor in the 2nc century B.C. Roman tax collectors followed enslaving men and women and gutting. The more they enslaved the wealthier they became. Later when the Asia Minor provinces were threatened by a outside enemy a local legion commander asked a provincial governor for more draftees and only got a letter saying that the province had been stripped of men by the tax collectors.

    Heck when Rome took over Sicily after defeating Carthage and the nobles set up absentee landlords there, they ended up depopulating Sicily by taxing and working the peasants to the point they fled.

    See these policies were self-defeating in the long term. Short term they enriched the rapacious patrician class that drove most of the wars of conquest but also planted the seeds of Rome's demise.

    They were called Latifunda – large land owners. This practice spread throughout the empire and the land worked by slaves not freemen. By the second century it was the primary source of food stock for the empire. It also had dire social consequences for the empire. The peasantry became landless and drifted to the cities, since they were landless you can be they had few if any children.

    Why does this sound familiar?

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  • Recently, I flew to Singapore to participate in its Writers’ Festival. The Lufthansa captain bade us goodbye, “We wish you a successful stay in Singapore.” Heading downtown, I became reacquainted with the lush rain trees amply shading the highway for many miles. “Lee Kuan Yew picked these himself,” the cheerful cabbie explained. “They aren’t native....
  • @jimmyriddle
    "It’s baffling that the Malaysians let it go. Maybe they thought they could snatch it back later?"

    They actually threw it out. With Singapore: Chinese+Indians > Malays. So, it had to go.

    Lee cried copious (presumably crocodile) tears about it.

    Nothing crocodile about it. He genuinely thought the whole lot of us were going to sink into poverty and starvation. An overpopulated island even then, how could we produce enough economic value to support ourselves?

    I suspect Malaysia’s plan was to cut us off and let us regress economically into debt, at which point they will consider accepting us back… on their terms and in support of their bumi policy.

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  • @Frankie P
    Linh,

    I thank you for your detailed reply, a reply that places the Singapore Writers Festival into context by describing the standard operating procedures of such cultural events worldwide while also offering a few details about the situation in Singapore. I especially thank you for your last sentence, a stinging indictment of a world in which establishment and majority ideology marginalize and stamp out individualist thought and expression in the public sphere. It bears repeating: "A man who speaks his mind, under his own name, is extremely rare." Of course with the advent of the internet, this is not entirely true, but we could add the auxiliary: A man who speaks his mind, under his own name, AND EXPECTS TO BE ABLE TO EARN ANY MONEY, is extremely rare. This leads one to an increased respect for those who dare to speak their mind with unpopular opinions not welcome in ultra-sensitive society. I find this type of truth seeking here at the Unz Review, and it's the major reason I love reading the writers here. I'm pleased that you are able to make some money and pursue your passion for writing while expressing opinions that keep you well clear of American campuses, which these days have "safe zones" for students who might be offended by the readings of Linh Dinh.

    I love the one-sentence story from Blood and Soap. I thank you for sharing it.

    Frankie P

    Like some wag commented on Sailer’s fiefdom – since they have ‘Safe Spaces’, we should have ‘Danger Zone’ for what we do here!

    Unz’s Danger Zone, lol. :D

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  • @Johann Ricke

    Regarding joining “Greater China Federation”, I highly doubt so. From what I observe, the younger citizen is either highly pro-Western or apathetic regarding geopolitics. They also perceive PRC in negative light.
     
    The fact that Singapore's leading Chinese language showbiz figures (listed by Wobbly Guy) are based in Taiwan (from their Wikipedia entries) seems to suggest that the market for Chinese language entertainment in Singapore is small.

    The cream of the crop of Singapore students are sent to Berkeley, MIT, Harvard, Cambridge and Oxford; and NOT to Tsinghua or Peking.
     
    If these students are on government scholarships, this may not be accidental. If Singapore's leaders saw the nation as a province-in-waiting, they would presumably send them to Chinese colleges in order to induct them into China's mandarinate.

    seems to suggest that the market for Chinese language entertainment in Singapore is small.

    We have a population of 5 million, of which only ~75% are chinese. Of course we’re a small market, duh. :)

    If these students are on government scholarships, this may not be accidental. If Singapore’s leaders saw the nation as a province-in-waiting, they would presumably send them to Chinese colleges in order to induct them into China’s mandarinate.

    It’s more complicated than that. It’s tough to send our elites to China simply because they have been educated in English from the start. Most of us may be fluent in conversational Mandarin, may even be able to pump out a decent essay or two with effort, but higher education in Mandarin is really very different. And difficult. Sigh.

    The point about the slow integration/assimilation between Singapore and China is good though. There are, however, significant tie-ups, collaborations, and bureaucrat exchanges between Singapore and China, which I feel seems to be much more than with other countries.

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    • Replies: @Johann Ricke

    It’s more complicated than that. It’s tough to send our elites to China simply because they have been educated in English from the start. Most of us may be fluent in conversational Mandarin, may even be able to pump out a decent essay or two with effort, but higher education in Mandarin is really very different. And difficult. Sigh.

     

    The ruling party could change this with a stroke of the pen. This was presumably an act of elite policy rather than any groundswell of grassroots sentiment:

    The Chinese-medium Nanyang University also made the switch to English as the medium of instruction despite meeting resistance, especially from the Chinese community.[20]

     

    My guess is that the leadership has cast its lot with the West, and the phenomena you've noted below are no different from the kinds of things you see with other countries because Chinese regulations (including requirements in targeted sectors that foreign investors participate in joint ventures) are so impenetrable that you need people on the ground greasing the skids. Note that Singapore is likely to want to continue trading with both sides no matter what, much as the US traded with both sides throughout much of the Great War and through the initial phases of WWII (before Pearl Harbor).

    The point about the slow integration/assimilation between Singapore and China is good though. There are, however, significant tie-ups, collaborations, and bureaucrat exchanges between Singapore and China, which I feel seems to be much more than with other countries.
     
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  • @IndoChinese
    It is great to see that there is a Singaporean (or a person who resides in Singapore) reading this website, I thought I am the only one. This may surprise you, but despite being a beneficiary of the scholarship, I believe that abolishing ASEAN scholarship may not be a bad thing. ASEAN scholarship recipients are mostly coming from middle or middle-upper class who can afford to pay for universities or education here. Furthermore, the academic requirement is too lax and needs to be increased. For example, we only need to maintain GPA or CAP of 3.5/5 which is too low a standard for a scholarship recipient. The money can be used to provide scholarship for local Singaporeans who are similarly or more accomplished. The valedictorian in my university class is a Singaporean and he continues his Ph.D education in a local university since he cannot afford to leave his family since they partly depends on him economically.

    Regarding joining "Greater China Federation", I highly doubt so. From what I observe, the younger citizen is either highly pro-Western or apathetic regarding geopolitics. They also perceive PRC in negative light. The cream of the crop of Singapore students are sent to Berkeley, MIT, Harvard, Cambridge and Oxford; and NOT to Tsinghua or Peking. Furthermore, as Linh Dinh notes, there is a US military base in Singapore but not a single PRC military base. However, significant number of PRC citizens do live in Singapore and for good or bad, Singapore's economy depends on their presence here. Most likely, Singapore will be pragmatic and try to benefit from both sides. What is interesting is what will Singapore do if a hot war breaks between USA and China and to be honest, I do not want to find that out.

    They can keep the scholarship but raise the standards. Even my wife (an ASEAN scholar herself) complained that standards have really slid in recent years. When you have ASEAN scholars with O Level L1R5s of 12 or more, what’s the point? I believe we should just focus on the top 5% of every cohort in terms of the scholarships awarded to foreigners.

    A CAP of 3.5/5 in NUS is quite decent though (dunno abt 3.5 in NTU/SMU tho). Don’t forget, it’s all graded on the curve. Now, if it’s below 3, then we have issues. If we really need to raise standards, then maybe 3.8 would be a suitable compromise, since it used to be 3.8 to get into Honours classes (for Science Fac in NUS).

    From what I observe, the younger citizen is either highly pro-Western or apathetic regarding geopolitics. They also perceive PRC in negative light.

    You may be right, but the negativity seems to come from a fear of freedoms taken away and authoritarianism, which is more than offset by material issues. Given the recent elections, it is quite clear that Singaporeans, even the young, are quite comfortable with limited freedoms as long as they get to enjoy their iPhones.

    Also, no more NS. How much support do you think that idea will get from Singaporeans?

    If a hot war between China and the US breaks out, probably over the Taiwan issue, we’ll have problems for sure. We’ll probably stay neutral and not allow the US to use us as a base until we can somehow deport all the PRCs, then observe the situation and perhaps come down on the winning side.

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  • Via Jonathan Haidt, here's a new story about an administrator at Claremont McKenna College in SoCal who was forced out today: What happened was that student Lisette Espinosa sent Dean Spellman an article Espinosa had written. Here's a representative sample: Within the first weeks of school, I told an upperclassman Latino that I felt like...
  • As this keeps up, the asians will consider carefully whether they should stick with the Dems.

    Steve suggested that the right/conservatives should brand the Democrats as the Black Party. Looks like they don’t need to do anything at all – the Blacks will automatically claim it as such, and in the process drive out other minorities.

    This is a good thing.

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  • Recently, I flew to Singapore to participate in its Writers’ Festival. The Lufthansa captain bade us goodbye, “We wish you a successful stay in Singapore.” Heading downtown, I became reacquainted with the lush rain trees amply shading the highway for many miles. “Lee Kuan Yew picked these himself,” the cheerful cabbie explained. “They aren’t native....
  • @IndoChinese
    Linh's article is quite favorable to Singapore but the country is not perfect . Living cost is not exactly low and the busboy, cleaner and other low paying jobs are often taken by elderly due to their lack of retirement fund. Some elderly rummage through rubbish bin to collect Al cans for extra cash. For those with money, they often stay with maid or old folks home. Unemployment rate of Singapore is nominally low and there is report of lack of labor at certain sector but you often heard complain of experienced locals being laid off and replaced by cheaper foreigner from PRC, India and Phillipine. Finding difficulty to find job, many end up driving taxis. Recent election shows increase in votes to dominant PAP party despite many expectation for opposition party.

    Good to have you here. Probably taught some of your peers who are also on scholarships. Heard MOE is going to stop the ASEAN scholarships though, and that’s a shame.

    As for your critiques, they are all on point. One thing you failed to mention is the intense competition and high standards constantly demanded. Also, young people don’t think about taking up construction or blue collar jobs due to cultural pressures, which in turn forces us to use immigrant labour.

    Could be a chicken and egg problem, but we need an overall rethink – we may try to behave like British, but we are still far from the West when it comes to valuing our populace on the left side of the Bell curve.

    As for Singapore’s future, I won’t be surprised if Singapore decides to join some Greater China Federation grouping in 30, 40 years time, after reunification with Taiwan. The only concerns are how our local minorities would be treated, and possible tensions within ASEAN. Local chinese, especially the older generation, still harbour fond memories of China as they perceive it, despite Mao’s disastrous reign (!!!).

    Younger Singaporean chinese do not seem to have any strong opinion on this, as long as they remain free to indulge in their hedonistic lifestyles, and merging with China does not inhibit this – see how top local artistes such as JJ Lin and Stephanie Sun have easily blended into the Sinosphere entertainment circle. Certainly, any claim towards expressing greater freedom of speech here has been decisively squashed in the recent elections, so that’ a moot point.

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    • Replies: @IndoChinese
    It is great to see that there is a Singaporean (or a person who resides in Singapore) reading this website, I thought I am the only one. This may surprise you, but despite being a beneficiary of the scholarship, I believe that abolishing ASEAN scholarship may not be a bad thing. ASEAN scholarship recipients are mostly coming from middle or middle-upper class who can afford to pay for universities or education here. Furthermore, the academic requirement is too lax and needs to be increased. For example, we only need to maintain GPA or CAP of 3.5/5 which is too low a standard for a scholarship recipient. The money can be used to provide scholarship for local Singaporeans who are similarly or more accomplished. The valedictorian in my university class is a Singaporean and he continues his Ph.D education in a local university since he cannot afford to leave his family since they partly depends on him economically.

    Regarding joining "Greater China Federation", I highly doubt so. From what I observe, the younger citizen is either highly pro-Western or apathetic regarding geopolitics. They also perceive PRC in negative light. The cream of the crop of Singapore students are sent to Berkeley, MIT, Harvard, Cambridge and Oxford; and NOT to Tsinghua or Peking. Furthermore, as Linh Dinh notes, there is a US military base in Singapore but not a single PRC military base. However, significant number of PRC citizens do live in Singapore and for good or bad, Singapore's economy depends on their presence here. Most likely, Singapore will be pragmatic and try to benefit from both sides. What is interesting is what will Singapore do if a hot war breaks between USA and China and to be honest, I do not want to find that out.

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  • I know, it's been a week since Halloween, but they're just getting warmed up at Yale U., where hundreds of students are demanding that a professor (the silver-haired man in the blue shirt who is getting screamed at in the video) denounce his wife for her not taking seriously an email from Yale's Diversity Nook...
  • @Anonymous
    You know that Brezhnev and Andropov had technical STEM type educations right? And the the Chinese Politburo is basically full of engineering degree holders?

    Which is why you don’t see the Politburo subscribing to !Diversity!. They are hard headed realists.

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  • Fifteen years ago — fifteen blessed years, readers— I wrote a piece titled “The Whining Minority.” That was at the time of the Wen Ho Lee brouhaha, for those who remember it, and the minority I was writing about was Americans of Chinese descent. Permit me to quote myself from the yellowing parchment of September...
  • @Beach
    Shhh, you're not supposed to mention them. China is one gigantic Lake Woebegon, where every child is above average. You're not supposed to notice these kids, either:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sH8sSKwS_gU

    With their excellent English skills, there is no chance whatsoever that they've gamed their way in to American universities. No one else wrote their application essays for them, either; nothing but pure merit is on display.

    It depends on how they get through the process. You would want to check their admissions data and look closely.

    Recently, a current student of mine from the PRC wanted to apply to Hampshire College (!!!) and asked me for a recommendation letter. I took one look at her Prelim results (the exam they take before their actual ‘A’ levels), and flatly told her: no way. She insisted, so I caved and told her to hammer out her personal essay portion first and let me have a look (IOW, clean it up).

    Grammar-wise, her essay wasn’t too bad. But in terms of context, the personality she tried to show, it was all negative. I simply threw it back in her face and asked her to think real hard about it. She finally decided she had better focus on her actual exams before indulging in these shenanigans. LOL.

    I guess maybe that’s why applicants (PRC or otherwise) from Singapore get a bit more legitimacy when applying to US colleges, because we still demand some standards and effort from the students instead of just typing out for them a nice fabricated piece of illusionary perfection. And a number of PRC students even take our A Level exams as private candidates (they usually don’t do well tho…).

    A few are, I suspect, exactly such kids, scions of rich PRC officials or businessmen who couldn’t swing their kids into our mainstream schools. They need to do relatively well at the O levels to enter our Junior Colleges, and no, all the money in the world cannot get them into Raffles Institution if they cannot qualify on the score criterion. So they borrow some legitimacy from our system, and it’s known that our exams are notoriously difficult.

    Of course, the really rich ones can just hire writers for their essays, maybe even other students to take their exams (even our A levels!) for them. But the legitimacy of their essays and their exam results would, in the long term, be severely degraded and highly suspected. These colleges may want the money and donations, but not to the point where they could damage their reputation and be regarded as ‘easy’.

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  • In the Claremont Review of Books, Michael Anton discusses female characters in Tom Wolfe's books from the perspective of F. Roger Devlin's subversive thinking: Woman in Full By: Michael Anton Posted: May 29, 2015 ... Wolfe tells unwelcome truths about race, multiculturalism, modern art, masculinity, and much else. At least these get noticed. His heterodox...
  • For workout regimens, I believe in bodyweight conditioning (pullups, pushups, leg raises, squats, and bridges) with high intensity interval runs. The high intensity intervals really help out with cardio and endurance – research has indicated that such workouts improve both strength and endurance, but low intensity jogging only increases endurance, not strength.

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  • From JayMan's twitter feed, car crash fatalities per 100,000 population (which isn't the same as per vehicle or mile driven): Yeah, Libya is the big black hole of bad driving. We're talking about a country where the only man with the gravitas and calming leadership necessary to keep the furious tribes from each others' throats...
  • @georgesdelatour
    I’m surprised India has better road safety than China. I’ve been to both countries; China (Beijing & Shanghai) felt about as safe as Italy, while India felt very dangerous.

    In Singapore, we always joke that the worst drivers are either female, Indian, or old. So the ultimate worst driver is an old Indian lady.

    True enough, I come across such drivers often enough that I believe it’s not just an empty anecdote.

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    • Replies: @Paul Walker Most beautiful man ever...
    Where I live a common saying is "Chinese drivers - no survivors".
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  • @Bert
    Surprised by how low Philippines is.

    From personal experience, I think the reason why it’s low in the Philippines is due to the slow speeds with all the jams, especially in Manila and even in the provinces. It’s hard to get serious crashes when you’re moving at a snail’s pace.

    Singapore, on the other hand, has a higher fatality rate as our roads are just clear enough for speeding. Ditto for Malaysia.

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  • I had an idea once for a recurring sketch comedy bit called "Korean Mother-in-Law" about a nice white liberal guy who has to live with his Korean mother-in-law who cackles mercilessly at all his nice white liberal delusions. The late Lee Kuan Yew, founder of the Singaporean state, was like the world's Korean mother-in-law, if...
  • @anon
    Venice was an independent republic for 1000 years; don't see how they failed to last a long time.

    And Europe retains its fair share of microstates to this day: San Marino, Vatican City, Andorra, Monaco, Malta, Liechtenstein... Even Luxembourg and Moldova have smaller populations than Singapore and little strategic depth to their territories. Seems like a more common thing in Europe, relative to Asia, rather than a less common thing.

    You are simply wide of the mark today, Whiskey.

    Of those states, none of them need to do the following:

    1. Deal with a multi-ethnic society with all the problems that entails

    2. Sustain a credible military.

    Nevermind about point 1. If we didn’t have to worry about maintaining our armed forces, we could have lowered our taxes even lower and have better public healthcare provisions.

    We could probably even afford to be… hippie-ish.

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  • The benevolent dictator, much like Communism, seems to be one of those semi-mythical things that seem to be good in theory but rarely if ever pan out in practice. But every so often there occurs an exception. If there was one man who embodied the archetype, it was Lee Kuan Yew, who passed away earlier...
  • I’m a Singaporean (Sinkie in local parlance). As said before, what LKY accomplished was incredible given the following three constraints not faced by any other city-state:

    1. Multiethnic demographics. Tensions have bern high throughout our colonial history, and I think LKY was implicitly aware of the threat to social capital even before Putnam discovered it. In addition, it is common knowledge that Malays tend to do more poorly at school and have higher crime rates. Despite that, they have been given substantial assistance and doing better than they ever will elsewhere (Malaysia, Indonesia).

    2. Land constraints, lack of natural resources. Given that there have been many similar city-states with these constraints, its not a big deal on its own. Our lack of substantial agriculture also means we are very vulnerable, money spent importing when it could provide jobs for the less academically inclined.

    3. National defence. Which other city state has to do this? Not Hong Kong. Not any of the piffling states in Europe. It eats up so much of our budget, manpower, and land. Almost the entire western part of Sg is reserved for military use, and of course it’s not really enough.

    If only we can somehow acquire Batam and Bintan, as well as parts of Johor, and not spend so much on defense… sigh…

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  • The thorny tangles of identity, ethnicity, nation, and race, are made thornier under a state ideology based on utopian fantasies and the denial of reality. Sound familiar? It should; it’s what we write about here at VDARE.com. As a mind-clearing exercise, it helps to occasionally step back from our domestic broils to look at how...
  • Many of these minorities also have historical ties with the Han (eg. the Manchus), so eradicating them, either via violence or inter-marriages, won’t have a lot of public support.

    The idea of making China less about Han ethnicity and more of a Proposition Nation is somewhat better, particularly if they can focus on shared history and tribulations. The problem with this approach is that it brings some minorities in while excluding others (eg. the Tibetians).

    Yet another factor is to make the idea of a Sinosphere more explicit, incorporating the greater East Asian culture and diaspora, which by definition would incorporate the minorities.

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  • From the New York Times: Chinese and South Korean Students Face Fallout From Suspicions of SAT Cheating By EDWARD WONG and RICHARD PÉREZ-PEÑA OCT. 30, 2014 BEIJING — The announcement by administrators of the SAT college entrance test that scores are being withheld for students from China and South Korea who took the exam earlier...
  • They don’t need to cheat when it doesn’t matter. Today was the A level exam for General Paper, which is essentially an advanced English language test involving argumentation and comprehension.

    The school I was invigilating at had several private candidates taking the paper, majority of whom were PRCs. A lot of them handed in blank scripts!!!

    Being the curious sort, I asked a colleague who teaches English about this. It turns out that as long as they achieve A grades for their main subjects of maths, economics, sciences etc, they would still be provisionally admitted to US universities. The General Paper is not required, and it seems that TOEFL is enough.

    I think that accounts for the poor english of east asian students evinced in the above comments.

    As for cheating, I think that if systems are lax enough, the incentives to cheat are simply too strong. Doesn’t matter what ethnicity you have.

    One thing my country got from our British colonial overlords is to establish systems that don’t easily allow gaming or cheating. I guess all that colonial experience dealing with so many different peoples and cultures must have taught them something.

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    • Replies: @Twinkie

    One thing my country got from our British colonial overlords is to establish systems that don’t easily allow gaming or cheating. I guess all that colonial experience dealing with so many different peoples and cultures must have taught them something.
     
    There is a major British trait (inherited to some extent by Americans) that I admire greatly and with which I identify strongly - the sense of fair play.

    I remember reading the description of a report an English military officer made of a German officer during World War II: "a Nazi, but a sportsman." Meaning, the German officer being profiled was a fair play kind of a fellow, something to note for a British officer.

    I always found the British adherence (especially among the older upper classes) to the sense of fair play quite magnificent (though the British weren't and aren't fools and know that all's fair in love and war).

    Along with chivalry, especially toward the weaker sex, this is a particularly Anglo-American characteristic that I feel is often absent in East Asia. But this is more of a subjective assessment on my part based on personal observations. I offer no scientific evidence or argument in its favor.
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  • As an ethnic chinese, I’d readily admit this – given a chance to cheat, many chinese will.

    In Singapore, we have two peculiar components of our A levels that is administered by our own teachers – Project Work and Science Practical Assessment. Let me just say that the integrity of these components is suspect and prone to some serious gaming on the part of the schools.

    That’s why we need to have certain systems and procedures in place, so that there isn’t even the opportunity to cheat.

    Against hapless ethnicities like filipinos, malays, and indonesians, chinese often find no reason to cheat because they can beat them easily. Its against each other that the competition ramps up and they need to exploit every edge they can get.

    I remember my wife (ethnic chinese born in the Phillipines) telling me about constantly being cheated out of first or second place in her private chinese school in Manila.

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    • Replies: @Hacienda
    This is anecdotal, too. But I when I was in law school several students during pre-lecture would openly discuss the previous year's tests, how to get photocopies. The same test the prof was giving currently.

    Cheating's become a way of life in the US, too.

    https://web.stanford.edu/class/engr110/cheating.html

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  • If you look at the London Times’s world university rankings, you find the University of Tokyo and the National University of Singapore just sneaking into the top 25. The University of Hong Kong’s at 43, then there’s a string of Asian universities from 48-52, including two from mainland China, two from Korea, and one more from here in Hong Kong. Note that the Times rankings really favor big research universities; you’ll find no liberal artsy-type colleges on this list.

    As a graduate of the National University of Singapore (NUS), I don’t even think we are that good.

    In contrast, Asian universities typically have much smaller graduate programs and receive surprisingly little resources for research from their governments. Universities in East Asia largely serve as “country clubs” for those who made it through “the exam hell.” To put crudely, American kids party in high school and East Asian kids party in college. For the latter, “serious” studying is done at the secondary school level, which is generally more rigorous than its counterpart in the West.

    Right. It was party time in NUS only because in comparison to pre-university (junior college A Levels), which is insanely tough. It’s difficult to cheat in NUS exams, and many exams have shifted to an open book format which rewards critical thinking, not mere regurgitation.

    Still, we are facing problems with cheating technology. Due to the proliferation of pen-shaped radio transmitters, watches with handphone functions, and other cheating devices, this year’s A levels would have a slightly different procedure (students to be seated first, and papers to be issued only within ten minutes of the start of the exam, nobody to be allowed to leave the exam before time), and invigilators are told to watch out for suspicious activity.

    To prevent the problem of invigilators facilitating cheating for their own students, in Singapore they have to do invigilation for another school, neatly solving the problem.

    I know a Chinese PhD who was so worried about the 2012 Mayan apocalypse that he called an insurance company and asked for insurance against his house falling into the ground.

    There was a story going around two/three years ago about this PRC couple with doctorates who thought that just lying in bed side-by-side would lead to pregnancy.

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  • From the Boston Globe: Perhaps Candidate Obama's essential objection to the policies of the national security state was that President Obama wasn't in charge of them? Critics tend to focus on Obama himself, a leader who perhaps has shifted with politics to take a harder line. But Tufts University political scientist
  • It’s not just the US. Entrenched bureaucrats who are relatively independent of any elected politician exist in all countries with a professional civil service. Who holds more power, the politicians who make decisions on a few given choices, or the civil service professionals who decide what the choices are in the first place?

    I’ve always felt this entrenchment got worse since the beginning of the 20th century when academics argued for a an ‘impartial’ professional civil service that is not beholden to any political party. Before that, it was essentially patronage, and resulted in high turnover of personnel whenever there was a change in elected officials.

    Well, considering what this supposedly ‘impartial’ professional civil service has led us to, I can’t help but wonder if the old patronage system might have been better. It certainly offers more accountability, since any mistakes or policy errors by the lackeys results in their patrons, the elected officials, getting the boot by the electorate, and them following suit immediately.

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  • David Brooks writes: Great for hiking, walking? A lot of the Bay Area is suburban sprawl, because that's what engineers like (where
  • I don’t think it’s about the left controlling big biz or vice versa. It goes back to what Steve said before – the elites making use of the lower classes (immigrants and natives) to squeeze the middle and garner even more spoils (money, political power) for themselves.

    Why should the left elite stop immivasion? After all, they’re completely in cahoots with the biz elite, and deep down in their dark souls, they’re probably laughing at all the saps who still believe in all the leftist claptrap.

    The biz elite? We already know they want GDP, mo’ money, blah blah. But why do they seem to favor the left just a tad more than the right? Because the left’s ability to control the discourse and lack of principles (or at least, lack of principles that support the notion of a coherent nation) in their elites are more useful and malleable for their purposes.

    The right elite kowtows just as often to the biz elite, but their innate nativist streak is an obstruction, so they tend to be unreliable allies.

    At least, that’s what I think.

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  • From the New York Times Magazine, a long article about how the Japanese have revolutionized the teaching of math in their schools using brilliant progressive methodologies invented in America. But American math teaching in the public schools remains stuck in the era of Dotheboys Hall, Wackford Squeers headmaster (see video of what American schools are...
  • @Lot
    Is there an easier job in education than math teacher in a NE Asian school?

    Those kids look so far from loud or rowdy I bet they could be taught is classes of 100 so long as they were properly tracked first.

    Unfortunately, maths teachers and students in NE Asian schools are given even more difficult tasks to tackle. So the students still get frustrated and demoralised at their lack of ability, and end up not doing their work, being disruptive in class, etc. Maybe not to the extent of being rowdy, but they are regarded as ‘ problem students’.

    My school just had its mid year exams. 50% of the cohort failed the mathematics paper. The mathematics syllabus for pre-university students in Singapore can be found here:

    http://www.seab.gov.sg/aLevel/2014Syllabus/9740_2014.pdf

    So it depends on what is being taught. If simple stuff relative to their ability, sure, groups of 100 may be possible. If stuff that stretches their ability, then classes of 25-40. If advanced material, better have small groups still.

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  • Paul Tough in the New York Times has a long article "Who Gets to Graduate" on the high college dropout rate of working class kids, focusing on some black girl from a mediocre Dallas area high school who gets into desirable U. of Texas at Austin, the state flagship school, despite being down around the...
  • In other words, Vanessa's high school sucks. And this is further evidence of the importance of having a standardised test across all schools, which the SAT or ACT do.

    Also, take note of the photo of Yeager meeting his graduate students. Notice anything interesting there? Of course, it won't be surprising to us HBDers.

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  • I've mentioned this before, but it's worth repeating:Spices from the tropics were always a luxury item to medieval Europeans, and now their descendants can afford more of them. Spicy plants are more common at lower latitudes because spices are commonly anti-parasite poisons evolved to protect the plant from the teeming variety of parasites found more...
  • Bland traditional Japanese food is also probably why curry became very popular in Japan after it was introduced from India.

    Their own spin on curry is distinctive.

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  • Consider three levels of classroom technology:- Blackboard- Whiteboard- SmartboardThe second doesn't do much that the first can't do, but dry erase markers are more convenient than chalk, so whiteboards are replacing 18th Century technology blackboards (but some teachers still prefer chalk due to the nicer smell, or whatever). Electronic smartboards can do more than either, but...
  • Agree with Melykin. I use Microsoft Windows Journal in conjunction with whiteboards, markers, and projector screens.

    I mix it up – sometimes I use the tablet/pen combo, and sometimes to drive home a point, I'll take away the projection screen and whiteboard marker directly on the image on the whiteboard.

    Generally, I prefer a wide whiteboard with the projector screen covering half of it. The half not covered by the screen can be used to show examples, answer questions from the students, or to get them to present their answers. The half covered by the screen is used to flash-dump information or key concepts which they have to use to answer and understand questions.

    Lessons are semi-structured – rather than hearing my own voice all the time, I speak about 20-30% of the time on the notes I have prepared. Another 20% for students to answer questions I shoot at them and make their own notes, the remaining 50% for them to think, exercise their brains, and figure out what they need to write down. I'm not unique in this style of teaching.

    As you can see from Sg's PISA scores, it works.

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  • Ron Unz writes in the NYT:The 
  • Silly Americans.

    If one of the goals of minimum wage is to discourage immigrant labour, I will assure you it won't work. The employers and immigrant workers will simply work out a deal where the workers kickback a fraction of their earnings back to the employer in exchange for having a job.

    End result? Still cheap labour. The minimum wage just appears correct on the books.

    'Let's enforce it more strictly!' – I can already hear this comment. Well, if we can't do it in Singapore, you know, death penalty Singapore, offenses are punished with caning Singapore, nobody can.
    http://www.transitioning.org/2012/02/16/eight-reasons-why-foreign-workers-are-preferred-over-local-ones/

    If you want to restrict immigration, then RESTRICT immigration directly. Don't resort to indirect means – it won't work.

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  • Here are today's 2012 PISA average scores ranked by the mean across the three subjects. Americans' scores by race are broken out to make the comparisons less misleading. In summary, each race in America appears to average a little better than their racial cousins overseas. (By the way, in the following list, the italicized names...
  • Singapore's scores look better and better. Considering that we have only 70% chinese population, and probably held back by our malay and indian minorities, it's arguable the PISA score would be even higher if it only considered the ethnic chinese.

    I doubt the US Chinese American population, even if composed of the elite, can compare with ours. :p

    Our teaching methods are just plain better. And no, it's not rote memorization. Our students only WISH it was so.

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  • Despite what the PISA scores say, programs and policies matter a great deal, and Germany's vocational programs do a great job with their lower ability kids, which greatly contributed to their economic success.

    Are we therefore placing too much emphasis on the PISA results when policies to train and get gainful employment for the left hand side of the Bell Curve may be even more important?

    As for Singapore, almost every child is in the system, in one school or another, even if it's in the dreaded lowest-of-the-low Normal(Technical) stream. Given that virtually every sec school in Sg was represented, that also means extremely lousy schools on the totem pole were included.
    http://schoolranking.blogspot.sg/

    The question to ask: for the 167 sec schools used for the PISA survey, how were the students selected? The best students in each school? The strictly average? A smattering of each?

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  • Oops, one final note:

    Singapore is not homogenous (70% chinese, rest is malay and indian). I think we're the highest ranked multi-culti country. Hmmm…

    What would the results be if we tracked only the chinese?

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  • I think it's been commented on that that the Asian American score could be due to selection effects – these are the elites who migrate to the US.

    In addition, a similar bureaucratic effect could be in play in virtually all the East Asian nations – cherry picking schools that are apt to perform well.

    For my own country of Singapore, they used a fair number of students for the survey, and the sample population seemed to be large enough that I don't think cherry picking was done.
    http://www.moe.gov.sg/media/press/2010/12/programme-for-international-student-assessment-2009.php
    http://www.todayonline.com/singapore/spore-students-closer-top-table-pisa-test?page=1

    With 167 participating secondary schools (out of a total of about 175?), already segregated by ability, it should be quite fair, unless they went out and cherry picked the top 5% of students from even the weakest schools.

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  • *surprised*

    Malaysia scored lower than African Americans?!? I know their educational system sucks, and the cognitive potential of Malays is low, but… this is a real surprise.

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  • Why do the Common Core educational standards (e.g., a list of what needs to be taught in each grade dreamed up by David Coleman) need to be common across the country? Why is it crucially important that 45 states upend what they're doing to jump on board this untested bandwagon? Wouldn't it make more sense...
  • Chinese is much harder to learn than English for precisely the reason it has to be learned via whole word method instead of phonics.

    In Singapore, both languages are taught side by side for ethnic chinese. Guess which language is picked up much more easily?

    In addition, weaker students have more problems with learning chinese. The reverse is seldom true.

    Given the intelligence potential of the various ethnic groups of the US, why make learning more difficult than it needs to be? The whole word method is just plain wrong.

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  • As we all know, conservatives hate science, while the left is the Reality-Based Community. Thus, from the leftist Independent:"[He] suggested lots of different things, for example, that genetic research might allow us t
  • Easy way to prick the hides of these fools.

    Mention that China doesn't give a damn about their political correctness, is already well-underway on the research, and will overtake them when (not if) it succeeds.

    And then they'll be scraping and bowing to their eugenically bred chinese overlords, wondering what happened to their 'facts'.

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  • In a public debate on Open Borders (topic: "Let anyone take a job anywhere"), Bryan Caplan and Vivek Wadhwa got crushed by Ron Unz and Kathleen Newland. (Transcript, video).Before this debate on the Upper West Side of Manhattan (i.e., perhaps the best possible location for Caplan and Co. in the U.S. -- the Upper West...
  • I don't know why they thought a minimum wage would be effective in maintaining the living standards of middle and lower class citizens.

    What will happen instead is that immigrant workers will kick back some of their earnings back to their employers in exchange for being hired. On paper, it still seems as though they are paid minimum wage, but they are actually not. This still works out for the immigrant because their income is still great back in their own home countries.

    In Singapore, employers abuse the special passes (which require certain wage limits) all the time.

    One way to equalise this is to allow not just free labour movement, but capital movement as well. If poorer Americans and Singaporeans can purchase cheap property in third world countries, build gated communities there, and take advantage of the same arbitrage the immigrants are enjoying, then sure, I'd be less opposed to open borders.

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  • Mounted Mongol warriorsVia Dienekes:Warfare intensity, in turn, depended on the spread of historically attested mi
  • It's not just the Western Way, it's the same all over the world. Guerilla war only became feasible when 'civilised' peoples became less and less accepting of genocide.

    For a large chunk of human history, any semblance of guerilla war would have brought swift and painful extinction (try it against Genghis Khan!).

    So everybody knew a standup fight was what mattered, and when you lost, the victors had every right to exterminate you, unless you were willing to knuckle completely under and avoid causing any more trouble.

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  • Riot police assemble to rescue test proctorsMalcolm Moore reports from China for The Telegraph:When students at the No. 3 high school in Zhongxiang arrived to sit their exams earlier this month, they were di
  • In Singapore, national exams are ALWAYS supervised by teachers from other schools. Keeps everybody honest.

    The prevailing attitude we have is: even if you can cheat now, can you cheat throughout your life?

    I have it on good authority that other than chinese language and chinese literature, all the other 'A' level (pre-university) subjects tested in Singapore are magnitudes of difficulty beyond PRC exams.

    I have top PRC students come in as government sponsored scholars,and then find themselves struggling, surprisingly not because of language barrier issues. It's because the level of critical thinking required goes well beyond rote memory and is just something they actually don't have too much practice in (or may not be very good at it in the first place).

    Few in Singapore have any high opinion of the national exams in PRC.

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  • BUSINESS AS USUAL. A meter maid issues a parking ticket for a burnt-out car following a night of riots in the Stockholm suburb of Alby. (Photo by Fria Tider)From Fria Tider:”We go to the crime scenes, but when we
  • Dun worry abt the chinese. Our fertility rates in modernised societies suck. Even more so than the white fertility rate.

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  • Malvinder Singh, 2004I know that nobody is interested in stories about pharmaceutical corruption, but this Fortune article "Dirty Medicine" by Katherine Eban about the Indian generic drug manufacturer Ranbaxy is an absolute must read.Ranbaxy got the U.S. legal monopoly on making the generic version of Lipitor, the world's biggest drug. It also made a host...
  • China? I'm ethnic chinese, but I'm not blind to the sheer amount of ingenius corruption we are capable of.

    We all know about the melanine in milk powder affair.

    Then we have discarded sewer oil being reprocessed and sold as cooking oil.

    Next we have fake chicken eggs.

    Taiwan isn't much better. They used plasticiser as clouding agents.

    I'm sure Hong Kong and even my own country of Singapore has their share of corruption we'd like to sweep under the rug. Our only saving grace are the institutions the British bequeathed to us which helps to check these excesses. And we are small city states, which helps too.

    India is just too big to be governed or regulated effectively.

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  • Over at Daily Kos, somebody calling himself Erasmussimo (not a bad nom de blog, by the way) has posted a long takedown of the study of Human Biodiversity: "Racism Has a New Name: HBD."Surprisingly, it's not at all that bad. Poor Erasmussimo must feel himself teetering on the edge of the rabbit hole because he includes...
  • @Jack Bolling,

    “wouldn’t have a Chinaman’s chance of getting a grant”

    Uhm, maybe we can point out that China is probably interested in this technology in order to squeeze out the maximum potential of their populace.

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  • The Myers-Briggs personality test is popular with Human Resources departments in the U.S. Extrapolated from the thinking of Swiss psychoanalyst Carl Jung, everybody gets lumped into one of 16 personalities based on four dichotomies:I never really got the Sensing v. Intuition dichotomy, but now I've finally understood why. Here's Wikipedia's explanation:Sensing and intuition are the...
  • Another way to explain the Introvert vs Extrovert part is that Introverts CAN socialise, but it drains their energy and after a while, they need to withdraw back into isolation to recharge. Come to think of it, that seems to describe Obama almost perfectly.

    Extroverts, on the other hand, GAIN energy from being around other people, and can just go on and on. The extreme example is the all night party goer.

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  • One way of looking at the various splits is this: you can use the other mode, but you're just not comfortable with it, or you do it after using your primary mode.

    For Steve, I suspect he's borderline Intuition, able to easily shift to Sensing because of his ability to spot overall patterns first, and then burrow into the details to back up the big picture.

    A more extreme Intuitive fellow will still be able to shift into Sensing mode, but he'll be much more easily irritable, or only resorts to it when he has no other choice, e.g. explaining his intuitive guesses to others who are not so inclined.

    Same for Sensing people. They focus on details but only go to Intuition when they need to, and then they'll get all prissy and impatient.

    I've seen both types at work in my students, and it's fun when I point it out to them, and the light bulb comes on in their eyes.

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  • Here are unique visits by top 50 country to my Blogspot blog (i.e., not including my archive) over the last or month or so. Not surprisingly, the top 4 countries are English-speaking, but then  we get to Germany, Sweden, Finland, and India. I make a lot of jokes about all my loyal Finnish readers, but...
  • Hmmm… Singapore's got quite a number of unique visitors.

    I try to post links to Steve's articles on local alternative media like The Online Citizen and Temasek Review Emeritus in order to expose more locals to the arguments used here, which are all too applicable to our own circumstances.

    Dunno how successful it has been though.

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  • Researching my current Taki's column, I came upon the following 2007 column by New York Times columnist Stanley Fish, the prominent professor of literature. If you ever read David Lodge's old novels about academic life, Fish is the original of the comic character Professor Morris Zapp, an extremely energetic and intelligent (but not terribly self-aware) intellectual:Some years ago [Morris Zapp]...
  • Hmmm… if the younger jews don't even consider themselves jewish anymore, then the question then becomes – do the non-jews agree?

    If they agree, then there's no problem, save for the issue of the ever shrinking and exploited white majority/minority. Nobody is going to call for expelling the jews, and even if they do, these young people wouldn't be affected because for all intents and purposes, they are no longer jews in the eyes of the gentiles – they are gentiles themselves.

    If the gentiles disagree – a jew is always a jew regardless of what the person himself thinks, then Mr Fisher may be right.

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  • Education Realist has a long post up entitled "An Alternative College Admissions System." Here's a sample:Okay, but this isn't to say that white parents shouldn't push farther out on the diminishing returns curve than they are doing right now on average.Amy Chua isn’t kidding. If a white parent tried to drive her kid the way...
  • A test that Asians can't crush whites on? I think it's quite easy. When devising a subject test (eg. Chemistry), contain the following types of questions:

    1. Some knowledge questions. No more than 40% of the score. Memorise, ho hum types. Easy as heck.

    2. Some application/data response questions. Again, no more than 40% of the score. Requires some brainpower, but set at a level that the slightly above average student can work through.

    3. Have 20% of the score based on questions that teach a concept right on the spot, and ask the candidate to solve them using the concept outlined. It's great fun for the intellectually curious, but not so fun for the grinders, who might do well for the other question types but fall apart here. It's the content version of the IQ test, assessing the student's ability to identify and apply the patterns taught. In essence, the raw core of intelligence.

    To avoid disadvantaging the non-grinders (eg. whites), you can make questions belonging to type 1 and 2 really damn easy, or even make it pseudo-open book (you can bring in an A5 sized card, for example) that enables good students to be able to go well even if they didn't really prep hard enough for it.

    Then toss in type 3 questions to sieve out the really brilliant who deserve to get into the elite ranks. Works every time, and almost impossible to prep for, because the type 3 question content is often university level and there's just too much content at that level to grind through.

    BTW, I believe virtually every A level student (ages 16-18) in Singapore can explain the derivation of the quadratic formula – that's 30% of the cohort. Either the teaching is just too lousy, or the foundation just isn't there.

    And they have to be able to explain it, because maths at their level is quite horrible.
    http://www.seab.gov.sg/aLevel/2013Syllabus/9740_2013.pdf

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  • From a Gallup Poll written up in the Guardian.
  • @John Marzan,

    It depends. Are you interested in becoming a citizen, or just as a place to stay?

    If the former, Hong Kong is the better bet. If the latter, either is fine. Hong Kong is freer and more chaotic, lively. S'pore is staid, efficient, and well-run. Depends on what sort of person you are. Introverts would find Singapore more comfortable, and extroverts for Hong Kong.

    Hong Kong has one huge advantage over Singapore – it doesn't need to operate a military. That alone enables more social spending / less and more competitive taxation. And of course, no wasting of their young people to serve in the military for any period of time.

    There is also a slight downside, of course: the overbearing PRC government. But hey, compared to Singapore's ruling party, it's hardly any different. In fact, wags have considered HK to be still very much freer than Sg, and most S'poreans and Honkies concur.

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  • Jerry in Hong Kong is right.

    The religious bodies in Singapore are also heavily infiltrated and controlled by the government and the ruling party PAP. Officials from PAP are inserted at all levels of society and business.

    I guess it's a good thing, but it can also feel stifling to those who favor more overt displays of free speech.

    Still, I'm here, aren't I? Shooting the breeze and making politically incorrect remarks, the same as most people here.

    There's actually one more lesson Singapore can teach the US – even a so-called enlightened immigration policy that accepts the best and brightest can be hated by citizens, and may still be detrimental to natives and the collective whole known as a 'nation'.

    Simply put, S'pore only has an indigenous population of 3 million. Countries like India and China have many times that. All they need is to send over the top 0.1% of their population, and we'll be overwhelmed anyway, leaving no trace of our customs, our social mores, our rituals that we have developed over long years of shared work and sacrifice by our forefathers.

    Sure, the newcomers may be smart and successful, but they'll probably not be very loyal, and more likely than not Davos-type people. They're certainly not going to help protect Singapore when things go sour, nor send their heirs and sons to serve in our military conscription program!

    As trends go, some here fear that if the current trend of immigration levels continue, the natives will have mostly left for greener pastures or bred out, leaving a mostly foreign-born population that lacks loyalty and national pride, and an emasculated military that has nice toys but not enough personnel to operate them.

    The ultimate expression of Singapore Inc.

    Don't let that happen to you.

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  • A reader writes [By the way, this is just the reader's rough draft, so don't blame him for anywhere that it's not fully developed.]Sword here again.Every so often, propulation replacement in the USA is lamented/castigated by the iSteve commentators. The most recent time that happened, that got me thinking:Which country is the most resitant to...
  • @Sword,

    Huh? Scotch-Irish? You mean jews? I don't think the Scots-Irish have synagogues. I could be wrong though.

    You were speaking in code, right?

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  • From a Gallup Poll written up in the Guardian.
  • I'm Singaporean. Not surprised by the result. We're usually quite stoic – being emotional doesn't get the job done and the paycheck in.

    It's partly hardwired into our genes, and partly due to environmental factors which stress the importance of pragmatism.

    On the flip side, we tend to be more cynical and suspicious, as well as having a "what-have-you-done-for-me-lately' attitude, which makes us poor guests and customers.

    We want all things to be good, cheap, and fast, and if we don't get it, we complain. Complaining and whining are unfortunately our most common forms of emotional expression. You realise I'm whining now about our whining, lol.

    It's also a very selfish mindset, which ironically makes Singaporeans prone to jumping ship to another country because of the better quality of life available once their income bracket breaches a certain level.

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  • I always try to keep up on China and India test score news, since the topic offers us important clues about the future of the world. From the Times of India: My old articles are archived at iSteve.com -- Steve Sailer
  • @stari_momak,

    No idea if they plan to stay permanently, but a figure I've seen thrown around very frequently is 1 million – both temp and permanent migrants.
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/feb/06/chinas-economic-invasion-of-africa

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  • As Obama announces his amnesty by executive fiat in the U.S., in NYTimes.com today:Even when the migrants are caught at the border, they are often released into the country for a l
  • Uhm, to the comment on Singapore, I would elaborate a bit.

    The country accepts only high-IQ, or high-income people as potential citizens. But note that high income does not necessarily mean high IQ, and vice versa. And there are rumors of immigrants from PRC getting rich by less than savory methods…

    Secondly, even without being citizens, foreigners are still allowed to work here with the same tax rates and many of the same amenities as citizens. This still puts the left half of the bell curve of the native citizenry in Singapore in direct competition with much cheaper labor from the generally impoverished region. They have difficulty finding employment, with all the social consequences that entails.

    Finally, for a male, application for citizenship below a certain age (40) carries with it the burden of national service, a military draft of two years duration. Given that choice, how many immigrants would make that sacrifice? Far smarter for them to stay as non-citizens but continue working in Singapore and enjoy virtually all the perks and benefits of a citizen without paying anything extra.

    So in the future, we should be even more, shall I say, nuanced. There's illegal immigrants, guest workers, then new citizens. The Singapore experience will tell you that you need to be careful with the guest worker policy.

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  • From the New York Times, an article on the annual Chinese college admissions test madness, the gao kao, and how Chinese test culture is spilling over to the U.S.:The story’s reporters, Tom Bartlett and Karin Fischer, wrote that Ms. Parker “has seen conditionally admitted students increase their Toefl scores by 30 or 40 points, out...
  • South Korea is going to stop teaching evolution! That's great news for China and the rest of us! :D

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  • It's a perennial Chinese problem, not just in China. It took Singapore years of effort before non-academics became a more-or-less accepted part of school life, only because they made these activties count towards the next tier of education. And still, a significant portion of students do not participate in non-academic activities at the high school (Junior College over here) level.

    It's often a problem for many ethnic chinese minorities elsewhere too. I remember my girlfriend (ethnic chinese from the Philippines) telling me that her mother discouraged her from joining any non-academic activities when she was on scholarship here in Singapore.

    Personally, I am a strong proponent of non-academic activities. You learn how to handle projects, handle people, and acquire life skills you can't get from subject specific education. Sure, you can fake it on your resume, but you will get found out, one way or the other.

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  • From my review of the hugely popular and critically acclaimed movie in Taki's Magazine:Many pundits have engaged in complicated disputes over what the subtext of the movie is, but I reveal Occam's explanation of the true deep meaning of The Hunger Games here. My old articles are archived at iSteve.com -- Steve Sailer
  • @Captain Tripps,

    Not bad… the home district of the main character IS indeed coal-miner Appalachia, squeezed dry and poor by the Capitol with its military might.

    A decent warning of centralised power in the hands of, I don't know, power-hungry elites located in some part of the US, free to indulge themselves in all sorts of silly fancy while taking by force resources from the rest of the country.

    Yup, it'll never happen!

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