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    A young friend of mine was asking for recommendations on an introduction to Chinese philosophy. Xunzi: The Complete Text would be hard going for him I suspect, as he has minimal background. My inclination is to suggest A Short History of Chinese Philosophy. My personal experience (yes, I'm still slogging through the medieval section of...
  • @AG
    During Zhou Spring-fall era, the violator of Zhou ritual/code was punished since significant people like Confucius still want to preserve Zhou traditions. If a state ruler violated code, other states would initiate war against rogue state as punishment. The war would be conducted on mutually agreeable location and time very much like a gentlemen duel. Any sneaky attack was considered violation of Zhou honor/code itself. The wars were the business of noble classes. Due to such war plan, the battlefield tended to be on open flat plain without civilian structures. Thus chariots were most effective battle machine (like modern Tanks on flat land today). Also due to such concentration of troops with chariots clashing each other, a battle casualty rate was very significant with huge number of death. Loser bodies often could be piled up like mountains. But battle was about to enforce Zhou code, not occupation or annexation. Winners only enforced their interpretation of Zhou code on the loser ( USA today enforce region change similar way). But losing state leaders or nobles were not killed or replaced. They just had to follow winners way. Indeed, noble class behaved very differently from barbarians or underclass. The rulers from barbarian kingdom would never received invitation for gathering because they did not follow Zhou code/ritual.

    The ritual/code applied to all aspect of live in Zhou, including dress, house, travel, burial. In later Warring state era, there was clearly violation of code in burial site with lower rank noble grave resembling King's grave in term of grave size, chambers, objects, sacrifice.

    Interesting enough, European medieval times shared a lot of similarity with Zhou China in term of noble behavior and knight codes of chivalry.

    re: heredity. i take a different view in that the zhou were marginal and liminal people in comparison to the shang. to justify their rule over the core, dominated by the shang and their federates, the zhou promoted a system of ethics predicated on merit accrued through proper behavior, what became the mandate of heaven. in contrast, the shang were a more customary bronze age society where blood was more important, and the relationship of of the ruling family to the patron god, shangdi.

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  • @AG
    I welcome different opinion/interpretation on Confucianism.

    In early Zhou dynasty, its society had clear feudal classes with well clearly defined ritual and rules. The classes were hereditary. The relationship between classes are clearly defined and enforced. The punishment was clearly defined for the violation of ritual, class relationship ect. (This reminded me of punishment of violator in Indian Caste system.) Certain punishment was only applied to lower class. There was no death penalty for upper class in Zhou dynasty. With most of society adhere to the rule and ritual, there were few violators and society was peaceful. Most rulers even did not have much to do except perform their class rituals. When Zhou You king violated such honorable system in 711 BC, the system started decay. People started to violate all the rule and ritual defined for each class. That was at least what Confucius believe how the trouble began. If top leaders did not respect the rules, the rest of society would not respect the class rule. Thus he advocated going back time before 711 BC. But he failed. With increasing violation and disrespect of Zhou rule/ritual, Spring-Fall, Warring states followed instead. During Spring-fall, there was still some rule/ritual followed. But Warring states pretty much abandoned Zhou rule/rituals.

    My interpretation is that society evolved against people wishful thinking. Despite wishful thinking of Confucius, some thing else caused the change in society, not due to a single fault of Zhou king false alarm/violation of ritual. In realty, China never had any classic feudal/caste system anymore since Qin dynasty despite of later ruler promotion of Confucianism. Later, Confucianism was practiced spiritually not practically, never in in a way Confucius originally advocated. Since Qin dynasty, social class was much achieved meritocratically. and the laws applied to all classes without exception. Upper class no longer could escape death penalty. No social class was hereditary anymore (except royal family).

    If Indian Caste system was hard for people accept as Confucius teaching, I would give military organization as another similar system. In military organization, the rule/rituals (rank uniform, salute, living unit, attitude toward each other) are very hierarchy based. Such highly organized system create its internal order, peace, efficiency, obedience based on ranks. Well, a true Confucius society would be a military organization. Maybe someone want to call it fascism.

    This is just my understanding/interpretation of Confucianism. I am not say it is not good. It can be very effective way to control a society or military organization. But it is only effective in specific historical time and situation. With today's increased competition and globalization, such system can be only practiced spiritually.

    . Later, Confucianism was practiced spiritually not practically, never in in a way Confucius originally advocated. Since Qin dynasty, social class was much achieved meritocratically. and the laws applied to all classes without exception. Upper class no longer could escape death penalty. No social class was hereditary anymore (except royal family).

    this varied a lot. former han had a much stronger ruling family. latter han become dominated by oligarchs. the tang dynasty diminished meritocracy as a feature of the polity, and ruling aristocracy become the norm. the sung dynasty brought meritocracy back to the fore, where it arguably remained prominent more or less for much of chinese history.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @Matt_
    Razib: this is actually much more similar to the confucian model, where mobility is possible within an ordered and hierarchical society defined by divisions of status and occupation.
    I
    was watching a program on Chinese cultural history and this sort of came to mind, and it seemed interesting to me how this sits alongside the very marked self consciousness about family history and record keeping on family history and the deep consciousness of ancestor veneration. Particularly, with the huge importance of the family history, how much social implication that held, or whether it served purely as a kind of internal self consciousness.

    As a contrast to India as well, where IRC those kind of records were not kept and ancestor worship lacked that role in Indian culture.

    The most famous expression of social mobility through cultural knowledge in Chinese culture is the merit based Civil Service examinations and appointments, although really IRC this ideal was dependent on the central government amassing sufficient power to reject patronage of aristocratic elites and powerful citizens (in a sense the trends towards merit based bureaucracy are opposite to the trends toward parliamentary government?), and is maybe hard to trace back exactly to Confucius.

    What do we know (if anything) about how the ruling authority of the patchwork of Indian empires, republics and pricedoms appointed offices? I assume that they were still on a model of patronage of elite aristocrats and gentry (people without specific power and titles, but resources and defacto power, often merchants), except with the considerations of family history present in other cultures supplemented or replaced by the "harder" considerations of caste or jati (contra revisionist ideas of caste?). Although at the same time, I would have thought that caste or jati specifically wouldn't have troubled the Muslim monarchs of India much.

    Although at the same time, I would have thought that caste or jati specifically wouldn’t have troubled the Muslim monarchs of India much.

    they needed to co-opt local (non-muslim) elites, so they cared. e.g., the mughal alliance with some rajput lineages, or the service of kayasthas at the muslim courts. additionally, some of the muslim elites were derived from hindu high castes, and ported over that sensibility (the foreign muslims also had ideas of racial superiority as white people against the black natives).

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • I would echo Bill P’s comments above regarding the difference between Western and Chinese philosophy. Most popular books on Chinese philosophy tend to obscure the difference and present it as a set of doctrines with analogues to Western philosophy. This is understandable because it obviously makes it more accessible to Westerners, but it kind of defeats one of the primary purposes of examining Chinese philosophy from a Western perspective. Fung Yu-Lan’s book for example organizes Chinese philosophy into the Platonic/Aristotelian, idealism/realism current that has dominated Western philosophy, which is convenient but probably misleading.

    The best book I’ve seen that really delves into the different fundamental assumptions and concerns Chinese philosophy has is Brook Ziporyn’s Ironies of Oneness and Difference: Coherence in Early Chinese Thought; Prolegomena to the Study of Li:

    http://www.amazon.com/Ironies-Oneness-Difference-Prolegomena-Philosophy/dp/1438442882/

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @AG
    I welcome different opinion/interpretation on Confucianism.

    In early Zhou dynasty, its society had clear feudal classes with well clearly defined ritual and rules. The classes were hereditary. The relationship between classes are clearly defined and enforced. The punishment was clearly defined for the violation of ritual, class relationship ect. (This reminded me of punishment of violator in Indian Caste system.) Certain punishment was only applied to lower class. There was no death penalty for upper class in Zhou dynasty. With most of society adhere to the rule and ritual, there were few violators and society was peaceful. Most rulers even did not have much to do except perform their class rituals. When Zhou You king violated such honorable system in 711 BC, the system started decay. People started to violate all the rule and ritual defined for each class. That was at least what Confucius believe how the trouble began. If top leaders did not respect the rules, the rest of society would not respect the class rule. Thus he advocated going back time before 711 BC. But he failed. With increasing violation and disrespect of Zhou rule/ritual, Spring-Fall, Warring states followed instead. During Spring-fall, there was still some rule/ritual followed. But Warring states pretty much abandoned Zhou rule/rituals.

    My interpretation is that society evolved against people wishful thinking. Despite wishful thinking of Confucius, some thing else caused the change in society, not due to a single fault of Zhou king false alarm/violation of ritual. In realty, China never had any classic feudal/caste system anymore since Qin dynasty despite of later ruler promotion of Confucianism. Later, Confucianism was practiced spiritually not practically, never in in a way Confucius originally advocated. Since Qin dynasty, social class was much achieved meritocratically. and the laws applied to all classes without exception. Upper class no longer could escape death penalty. No social class was hereditary anymore (except royal family).

    If Indian Caste system was hard for people accept as Confucius teaching, I would give military organization as another similar system. In military organization, the rule/rituals (rank uniform, salute, living unit, attitude toward each other) are very hierarchy based. Such highly organized system create its internal order, peace, efficiency, obedience based on ranks. Well, a true Confucius society would be a military organization. Maybe someone want to call it fascism.

    This is just my understanding/interpretation of Confucianism. I am not say it is not good. It can be very effective way to control a society or military organization. But it is only effective in specific historical time and situation. With today's increased competition and globalization, such system can be only practiced spiritually.

    During Zhou Spring-fall era, the violator of Zhou ritual/code was punished since significant people like Confucius still want to preserve Zhou traditions. If a state ruler violated code, other states would initiate war against rogue state as punishment. The war would be conducted on mutually agreeable location and time very much like a gentlemen duel. Any sneaky attack was considered violation of Zhou honor/code itself. The wars were the business of noble classes. Due to such war plan, the battlefield tended to be on open flat plain without civilian structures. Thus chariots were most effective battle machine (like modern Tanks on flat land today). Also due to such concentration of troops with chariots clashing each other, a battle casualty rate was very significant with huge number of death. Loser bodies often could be piled up like mountains. But battle was about to enforce Zhou code, not occupation or annexation. Winners only enforced their interpretation of Zhou code on the loser ( USA today enforce region change similar way). But losing state leaders or nobles were not killed or replaced. They just had to follow winners way. Indeed, noble class behaved very differently from barbarians or underclass. The rulers from barbarian kingdom would never received invitation for gathering because they did not follow Zhou code/ritual.

    The ritual/code applied to all aspect of live in Zhou, including dress, house, travel, burial. In later Warring state era, there was clearly violation of code in burial site with lower rank noble grave resembling King’s grave in term of grave size, chambers, objects, sacrifice.

    Interesting enough, European medieval times shared a lot of similarity with Zhou China in term of noble behavior and knight codes of chivalry.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Razib Khan
    re: heredity. i take a different view in that the zhou were marginal and liminal people in comparison to the shang. to justify their rule over the core, dominated by the shang and their federates, the zhou promoted a system of ethics predicated on merit accrued through proper behavior, what became the mandate of heaven. in contrast, the shang were a more customary bronze age society where blood was more important, and the relationship of of the ruling family to the patron god, shangdi.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • I welcome different opinion/interpretation on Confucianism.

    In early Zhou dynasty, its society had clear feudal classes with well clearly defined ritual and rules. The classes were hereditary. The relationship between classes are clearly defined and enforced. The punishment was clearly defined for the violation of ritual, class relationship ect. (This reminded me of punishment of violator in Indian Caste system.) Certain punishment was only applied to lower class. There was no death penalty for upper class in Zhou dynasty. With most of society adhere to the rule and ritual, there were few violators and society was peaceful. Most rulers even did not have much to do except perform their class rituals. When Zhou You king violated such honorable system in 711 BC, the system started decay. People started to violate all the rule and ritual defined for each class. That was at least what Confucius believe how the trouble began. If top leaders did not respect the rules, the rest of society would not respect the class rule. Thus he advocated going back time before 711 BC. But he failed. With increasing violation and disrespect of Zhou rule/ritual, Spring-Fall, Warring states followed instead. During Spring-fall, there was still some rule/ritual followed. But Warring states pretty much abandoned Zhou rule/rituals.

    My interpretation is that society evolved against people wishful thinking. Despite wishful thinking of Confucius, some thing else caused the change in society, not due to a single fault of Zhou king false alarm/violation of ritual. In realty, China never had any classic feudal/caste system anymore since Qin dynasty despite of later ruler promotion of Confucianism. Later, Confucianism was practiced spiritually not practically, never in in a way Confucius originally advocated. Since Qin dynasty, social class was much achieved meritocratically. and the laws applied to all classes without exception. Upper class no longer could escape death penalty. No social class was hereditary anymore (except royal family).

    If Indian Caste system was hard for people accept as Confucius teaching, I would give military organization as another similar system. In military organization, the rule/rituals (rank uniform, salute, living unit, attitude toward each other) are very hierarchy based. Such highly organized system create its internal order, peace, efficiency, obedience based on ranks. Well, a true Confucius society would be a military organization. Maybe someone want to call it fascism.

    This is just my understanding/interpretation of Confucianism. I am not say it is not good. It can be very effective way to control a society or military organization. But it is only effective in specific historical time and situation. With today’s increased competition and globalization, such system can be only practiced spiritually.

    Read More
    • Replies: @AG
    During Zhou Spring-fall era, the violator of Zhou ritual/code was punished since significant people like Confucius still want to preserve Zhou traditions. If a state ruler violated code, other states would initiate war against rogue state as punishment. The war would be conducted on mutually agreeable location and time very much like a gentlemen duel. Any sneaky attack was considered violation of Zhou honor/code itself. The wars were the business of noble classes. Due to such war plan, the battlefield tended to be on open flat plain without civilian structures. Thus chariots were most effective battle machine (like modern Tanks on flat land today). Also due to such concentration of troops with chariots clashing each other, a battle casualty rate was very significant with huge number of death. Loser bodies often could be piled up like mountains. But battle was about to enforce Zhou code, not occupation or annexation. Winners only enforced their interpretation of Zhou code on the loser ( USA today enforce region change similar way). But losing state leaders or nobles were not killed or replaced. They just had to follow winners way. Indeed, noble class behaved very differently from barbarians or underclass. The rulers from barbarian kingdom would never received invitation for gathering because they did not follow Zhou code/ritual.

    The ritual/code applied to all aspect of live in Zhou, including dress, house, travel, burial. In later Warring state era, there was clearly violation of code in burial site with lower rank noble grave resembling King's grave in term of grave size, chambers, objects, sacrifice.

    Interesting enough, European medieval times shared a lot of similarity with Zhou China in term of noble behavior and knight codes of chivalry.
    , @Razib Khan
    . Later, Confucianism was practiced spiritually not practically, never in in a way Confucius originally advocated. Since Qin dynasty, social class was much achieved meritocratically. and the laws applied to all classes without exception. Upper class no longer could escape death penalty. No social class was hereditary anymore (except royal family).

    this varied a lot. former han had a much stronger ruling family. latter han become dominated by oligarchs. the tang dynasty diminished meritocracy as a feature of the polity, and ruling aristocracy become the norm. the sung dynasty brought meritocracy back to the fore, where it arguably remained prominent more or less for much of chinese history.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • Razib: this is actually much more similar to the confucian model, where mobility is possible within an ordered and hierarchical society defined by divisions of status and occupation.
    I
    was watching a program on Chinese cultural history and this sort of came to mind, and it seemed interesting to me how this sits alongside the very marked self consciousness about family history and record keeping on family history and the deep consciousness of ancestor veneration. Particularly, with the huge importance of the family history, how much social implication that held, or whether it served purely as a kind of internal self consciousness.

    As a contrast to India as well, where IRC those kind of records were not kept and ancestor worship lacked that role in Indian culture.

    The most famous expression of social mobility through cultural knowledge in Chinese culture is the merit based Civil Service examinations and appointments, although really IRC this ideal was dependent on the central government amassing sufficient power to reject patronage of aristocratic elites and powerful citizens (in a sense the trends towards merit based bureaucracy are opposite to the trends toward parliamentary government?), and is maybe hard to trace back exactly to Confucius.

    What do we know (if anything) about how the ruling authority of the patchwork of Indian empires, republics and pricedoms appointed offices? I assume that they were still on a model of patronage of elite aristocrats and gentry (people without specific power and titles, but resources and defacto power, often merchants), except with the considerations of family history present in other cultures supplemented or replaced by the “harder” considerations of caste or jati (contra revisionist ideas of caste?). Although at the same time, I would have thought that caste or jati specifically wouldn’t have troubled the Muslim monarchs of India much.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Razib Khan
    Although at the same time, I would have thought that caste or jati specifically wouldn’t have troubled the Muslim monarchs of India much.

    they needed to co-opt local (non-muslim) elites, so they cared. e.g., the mughal alliance with some rajput lineages, or the service of kayasthas at the muslim courts. additionally, some of the muslim elites were derived from hindu high castes, and ported over that sensibility (the foreign muslims also had ideas of racial superiority as white people against the black natives).
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @Twinkie
    I agree wholeheartedly about the privilege of knowledge over ethnic background in Confucianism, especially in comparison to the caste system in India. Confucianism, in the main, deals with social relationships between positions rather than lay down strictures about how the positions are to be attained and maintained (and to the extent there are strictures, "moral superiority" and organic, familiar relationships is emphasize rather than birth).

    people unfamiliar with the culture were flooding into the undefended valleys of Shang civilization on all sides.
     
    Surely you meant "Zhou"?

    Zhou civilization (or Warring States civilization), indeed. A slip of the keyboard there… I’m out of practice.

    Slingerland’s MOOC is excellent for anyone wondering how to approach Confucius.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • Edx.org just started a free online course (mooc) with lectures by Edward Slingerland of UBC. We just finished week 2 on Confucius. I’m enjoying the video lectures.

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    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @Billy Liu
    "Chinese culture is so deeply imbued with Buddhism and Taoism – both fundamentally religious schools of thought"

    No they're not - Chan Buddhism is at times vehemently impious and irreligious, and pre-Qin Taoism (Lao Zi and Zhuang Zi) are forms of speculative philosophy.

    "And don’t forget that Confucianism itself is as much religion as philosophy."

    That again depends - pre-Qin Confucianism isn't, and I'd say the post Han Wudi form of Confucianism is a syncretism incorporating Legalism and even aspects of Mohism.

    No they’re not – Chan Buddhism is at times vehemently impious and irreligious, and pre-Qin Taoism (Lao Zi and Zhuang Zi) are forms of speculative philosophy.

    At times, but taken as a whole Chan Buddhism is a religion, as is Taoism. To draw a distinction, does one see common people in the West (aside from some eccentrics) practicing Platonism as though it were a faith?

    The distinction between philosophy and religion is blurred in China, and maybe what that means is that Chinese schools of thought are not “philosophy” as Westerners understand it. Confucius drew so deeply from religious ritual – from sacrifices to numerology – that on reading The Analects one might recognize something akin to the practices ascribed to various barbarians in a Tacitus or Herodotus text.

    That isn’t to say that it wasn’t ordered or enlightened, or that it was barbaric, but rather that it would be disingenuous to attempt to strip the mystical elements from this and other Chinese philosophies.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @Bill P
    Oh I'd have to dig back in time for this one. Chinese philosophy is not teleological, so you can't approach it the same way you would Western philosophy. There are numerous different "threads," and yet they are interwoven throughout imperial Chinese history. One doesn't end and then another begin so much as there's a sort of warp and weft.

    So the approach to take in my opinion is not to study Chinese philosophy per se, but rather study the history and how each school has risen and fallen in accordance with the times. That said, you can't neglect the profound influence of Buddhism despite it being a religion more than a philosophy. Chinese culture is so deeply imbued with Buddhism and Taoism - both fundamentally religious schools of thought - that its philosophical tradition has been indelibly stamped with their precepts. And don't forget that Confucianism itself is as much religion as philosophy. The Chinese concept of Emperor is fundamentally that of high priest, which is why there was such conflict between the Catholic Church and the Chinese Empire.

    So in studying Chinese philosophy you have to abandon the separation between church and state, because that reduces it to a mere appendage of the civilization, sort of like statutory law in Western countries.

    “Chinese culture is so deeply imbued with Buddhism and Taoism – both fundamentally religious schools of thought”

    No they’re not – Chan Buddhism is at times vehemently impious and irreligious, and pre-Qin Taoism (Lao Zi and Zhuang Zi) are forms of speculative philosophy.

    “And don’t forget that Confucianism itself is as much religion as philosophy.”

    That again depends – pre-Qin Confucianism isn’t, and I’d say the post Han Wudi form of Confucianism is a syncretism incorporating Legalism and even aspects of Mohism.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Bill P

    No they’re not – Chan Buddhism is at times vehemently impious and irreligious, and pre-Qin Taoism (Lao Zi and Zhuang Zi) are forms of speculative philosophy.
     
    At times, but taken as a whole Chan Buddhism is a religion, as is Taoism. To draw a distinction, does one see common people in the West (aside from some eccentrics) practicing Platonism as though it were a faith?

    The distinction between philosophy and religion is blurred in China, and maybe what that means is that Chinese schools of thought are not "philosophy" as Westerners understand it. Confucius drew so deeply from religious ritual - from sacrifices to numerology - that on reading The Analects one might recognize something akin to the practices ascribed to various barbarians in a Tacitus or Herodotus text.

    That isn't to say that it wasn't ordered or enlightened, or that it was barbaric, but rather that it would be disingenuous to attempt to strip the mystical elements from this and other Chinese philosophies.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @Twinkie
    I agree wholeheartedly about the privilege of knowledge over ethnic background in Confucianism, especially in comparison to the caste system in India. Confucianism, in the main, deals with social relationships between positions rather than lay down strictures about how the positions are to be attained and maintained (and to the extent there are strictures, "moral superiority" and organic, familiar relationships is emphasize rather than birth).

    people unfamiliar with the culture were flooding into the undefended valleys of Shang civilization on all sides.
     
    Surely you meant "Zhou"?

    i agree that the analogy to indian culture is misleading. it seems that the confucian ethos was one of cultural cultivation, to which one could aspire. the disciples of confucius came from a variety of positions in the ancient chinese class hierarchy. indian caste in contrast is rigidly hereditary, though its professional connotation in many cases is now tenuous. a revisionist (common among some hindu nationalists) is to assert caste reflects earned merit, rather than being a status into which one is born. this is actually much more similar to the confucian model, where mobility is possible within an ordered and hierarchical society defined by divisions of status and occupation.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @Kenneth the Signal
    I'm glad to see you recognize the parallels between India and China. But I disagree that Confucius wanted to "restore caste," because he rarely talked about caste. I think ancient China privileged cultural knowledge far, far over ethnic background. From Confucius' words, it seems that he was speaking to an era when rituals were being abandoned, moral rules were being rejected, and people unfamiliar with the culture were flooding into the undefended valleys of Shang civilization on all sides. Confucius became worshiped because he saw a way to protect a civilized core from this natural slide into depravity. In today's world, well-considered commentaries on Confucius should be essential reading for everyone on this website. Too bad most of them are written in academic language...

    I agree wholeheartedly about the privilege of knowledge over ethnic background in Confucianism, especially in comparison to the caste system in India. Confucianism, in the main, deals with social relationships between positions rather than lay down strictures about how the positions are to be attained and maintained (and to the extent there are strictures, “moral superiority” and organic, familiar relationships is emphasize rather than birth).

    people unfamiliar with the culture were flooding into the undefended valleys of Shang civilization on all sides.

    Surely you meant “Zhou”?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Razib Khan
    i agree that the analogy to indian culture is misleading. it seems that the confucian ethos was one of cultural cultivation, to which one could aspire. the disciples of confucius came from a variety of positions in the ancient chinese class hierarchy. indian caste in contrast is rigidly hereditary, though its professional connotation in many cases is now tenuous. a revisionist (common among some hindu nationalists) is to assert caste reflects earned merit, rather than being a status into which one is born. this is actually much more similar to the confucian model, where mobility is possible within an ordered and hierarchical society defined by divisions of status and occupation.
    , @Kenneth the Signal
    Zhou civilization (or Warring States civilization), indeed. A slip of the keyboard there... I'm out of practice.

    Slingerland's MOOC is excellent for anyone wondering how to approach Confucius.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @AG
    Regarding Confucianism.

    He (Confucius) believed that the only effective system of government necessitated prescribed relationships for each individual: "Let the ruler be a ruler and the subject a subject".
     
    https://youtu.be/OG8Kves8CbI


    Good example of ideal Confucius society is current Indian Caste system. An Indian priest at Brihadeeswara Temple explained to me about Caste system. He believe every body should have appropriate place in this world. If every body know his or her role in a society, there will be harmony in human relationship. There is no need to fight or compete. Without that, people will be confused and start to fighting each other for social positions. He believed Caste system should be used in the whole world to avoid human conflict. Indeed, it is actually a kind of job security for every body. For example, funeral service, slaughter, cleaning garbage etc. are reserved for lower caste people. No body will compete from upper caste. When I was in Varanasi, a low caste funeral guy bragged about his job security and good income.

    Confucianism was product of reaction to the breakdown of Zhou dynasty Feudal (Caste) system. People started to rebel against feudal boundary and fierce social competition emerged with increasing conflicts instate and interstate. Confucius wanted to restore old harmony based on Caste.

    I’m glad to see you recognize the parallels between India and China. But I disagree that Confucius wanted to “restore caste,” because he rarely talked about caste. I think ancient China privileged cultural knowledge far, far over ethnic background. From Confucius’ words, it seems that he was speaking to an era when rituals were being abandoned, moral rules were being rejected, and people unfamiliar with the culture were flooding into the undefended valleys of Shang civilization on all sides. Confucius became worshiped because he saw a way to protect a civilized core from this natural slide into depravity. In today’s world, well-considered commentaries on Confucius should be essential reading for everyone on this website. Too bad most of them are written in academic language…

    Read More
    • Replies: @Twinkie
    I agree wholeheartedly about the privilege of knowledge over ethnic background in Confucianism, especially in comparison to the caste system in India. Confucianism, in the main, deals with social relationships between positions rather than lay down strictures about how the positions are to be attained and maintained (and to the extent there are strictures, "moral superiority" and organic, familiar relationships is emphasize rather than birth).

    people unfamiliar with the culture were flooding into the undefended valleys of Shang civilization on all sides.
     
    Surely you meant "Zhou"?
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • Oh I’d have to dig back in time for this one. Chinese philosophy is not teleological, so you can’t approach it the same way you would Western philosophy. There are numerous different “threads,” and yet they are interwoven throughout imperial Chinese history. One doesn’t end and then another begin so much as there’s a sort of warp and weft.

    So the approach to take in my opinion is not to study Chinese philosophy per se, but rather study the history and how each school has risen and fallen in accordance with the times. That said, you can’t neglect the profound influence of Buddhism despite it being a religion more than a philosophy. Chinese culture is so deeply imbued with Buddhism and Taoism – both fundamentally religious schools of thought – that its philosophical tradition has been indelibly stamped with their precepts. And don’t forget that Confucianism itself is as much religion as philosophy. The Chinese concept of Emperor is fundamentally that of high priest, which is why there was such conflict between the Catholic Church and the Chinese Empire.

    So in studying Chinese philosophy you have to abandon the separation between church and state, because that reduces it to a mere appendage of the civilization, sort of like statutory law in Western countries.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Billy Liu
    "Chinese culture is so deeply imbued with Buddhism and Taoism – both fundamentally religious schools of thought"

    No they're not - Chan Buddhism is at times vehemently impious and irreligious, and pre-Qin Taoism (Lao Zi and Zhuang Zi) are forms of speculative philosophy.

    "And don’t forget that Confucianism itself is as much religion as philosophy."

    That again depends - pre-Qin Confucianism isn't, and I'd say the post Han Wudi form of Confucianism is a syncretism incorporating Legalism and even aspects of Mohism.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • Chinese Thought from Confucius to Mao Tse-tung by Herrlee Creel is excellent, a gentle read, and available online.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    I would recommend Bryan Van Norden’s _Introduction to Classical Chinese Philosophy_ (published by Hackett). It is in large part designed as a companion to the book _Readings in Classical Chinese Philosophy_ (edited by Van Norden and Philip J. Ivanhoe, also published by Hackett), which is a collection of primary sources in translation. The books do not cover the whole Chinese tradition, but for someone without the benefit of an actual, in-person instructor, they would provide a good foundation.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • Regarding Confucianism.

    He (Confucius) believed that the only effective system of government necessitated prescribed relationships for each individual: “Let the ruler be a ruler and the subject a subject”.

    Good example of ideal Confucius society is current Indian Caste system. An Indian priest at Brihadeeswara Temple explained to me about Caste system. He believe every body should have appropriate place in this world. If every body know his or her role in a society, there will be harmony in human relationship. There is no need to fight or compete. Without that, people will be confused and start to fighting each other for social positions. He believed Caste system should be used in the whole world to avoid human conflict. Indeed, it is actually a kind of job security for every body. For example, funeral service, slaughter, cleaning garbage etc. are reserved for lower caste people. No body will compete from upper caste. When I was in Varanasi, a low caste funeral guy bragged about his job security and good income.

    Confucianism was product of reaction to the breakdown of Zhou dynasty Feudal (Caste) system. People started to rebel against feudal boundary and fierce social competition emerged with increasing conflicts instate and interstate. Confucius wanted to restore old harmony based on Caste.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Kenneth the Signal
    I'm glad to see you recognize the parallels between India and China. But I disagree that Confucius wanted to "restore caste," because he rarely talked about caste. I think ancient China privileged cultural knowledge far, far over ethnic background. From Confucius' words, it seems that he was speaking to an era when rituals were being abandoned, moral rules were being rejected, and people unfamiliar with the culture were flooding into the undefended valleys of Shang civilization on all sides. Confucius became worshiped because he saw a way to protect a civilized core from this natural slide into depravity. In today's world, well-considered commentaries on Confucius should be essential reading for everyone on this website. Too bad most of them are written in academic language...
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • A summary of ancient Chinese philosophy

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

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  • I would recommend

    http://www.thegreatcourses.com/courses/philosophy-intellectual-history/great-minds-of-the-eastern-intellectual-tradition.html

    It’s broader than just Chinese. But it covers Chinese.

    Right now the course is not “on sale”. But every one of their courses goes on sale at least once a year – so you should be able to get it for circa 70% off if you wait.

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  • He writes: China isn't anywhere near as backward as he portrays it. (1) The urban-rural ratio was essentially 50/50 according to the 2010 Census. Furthermore, rural Chinese don't really suffer from the absolute destitution common to peasants in Third World countries. They own their own land and it is almost impossible for them to lose...
  • […] solves one of the stronger challenges raised against the Unzian Asian Exception conjecture, asking why it was not East Asians who produced the […]

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  • Undoubtedly the reason Europeans developed technologically vs. the Chinese is due to the ways of thought that are biologically innate. Asians are good at copying and doing rote work, but not innovation.

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  • One of the biggest questions in global history is why it was Western Europe that industrialized first, and ended up colonizing most of the rest of the world. As late as 1450, the possibility of such an outcome would have been ridiculed. By almost any metric, China was well in the lead through the medieval...
  • Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    web /google search for a history of china

    1. china was the “”” sick man of asia /century of shame. china has been going on decline for 300 years.

    china has contributed nothing to the world for last 500 years. now.

    china in 1980 has an annual income $200. Two dollars. is this nation that any can be proud.

    2. china did NOT have scientific revolution .industrial revoluton. china only to industrialize in the 1980s. this is after NO progress for 500 years.

    $200: TWO HUNDRED ANNUAL INCOME IN 1980. After 200 years of history, china has annual income of $200 dollars. or less than $20 dollars a month.

    3. Intel corporation ceo Craig Barrett went to china and said “”””80 % are Dumb Peasants””””” china is an pre-industrial . pre-science. pre-industrial nation till the take-off in 1980.

    china had NO change for 500 years till 1980.
    f
    4. Feudal emperor rule till 1911. The last emperor was Puyi in 1911 ( 3-year baby in 1911) and red -emperor /blue ants in 1949.

    5. SICK MAN OF EUROPE = TURKEY SICK MAN OF ASIA = CHINA.

    china needs to follow example of “”” republic of turkey”

    a. abolish all ugly hanzi , primative, barbaric ugly. no civilized nations uses such ugly, primative characters.

    b. free vote for National congress. Turkey has “grand national assembly. china a two -house National Assembly where all work of government can be monitored by the National congress.

    c. US has 1% of worker in farming. one percent farming /10% in factory. Hence, 90% do NOT work in either farming or manufacturing.

    All advanced nations move from Farming (1%) to Factory (80%) to Service / Information processing./cloud.

    90% of people farming to 1% farming. Farming (1 %) to to 80% service /information cloud computing.

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  • He writes: China isn't anywhere near as backward as he portrays it. (1) The urban-rural ratio was essentially 50/50 according to the 2010 Census. Furthermore, rural Chinese don't really suffer from the absolute destitution common to peasants in Third World countries. They own their own land and it is almost impossible for them to lose...
  • “Why was it Europe, and not China, that first underwent the Industrial Revolution? And the (initially unrelated) Scientific Revolution, for that matter?

    When you’re talking about industrialization, you’re actually referring to both political and technological revolution (and of course political structures may determine investment in technology). But I think since you’re referring to intelligence, you’re focused more on the matter of technological innovation than politics.
    In fact, China had all the home-grown technologies–spinning wheel, cotton gin, mechanical clock (which reflected a lot of innovations like the escapement and chain drive), cast iron, etc. As well as more basic but no less revolutionary ones like the paper, printing, gunpowder, and the compass. For more on China’s history of invention, check out Needham’s Science and Civilization in China. Interestingly, the Chinese had interchangeable parts way back in 200 BC, according to a recent PBS show which found that crossbow triggers were made by the thousands, with tolerances less than a millimeter.
    But China’s massive population made widespread automation not just unnecessary, but a source of social instability–it would have put tens of millions out of work. And the Chinese, with their work ethic (Mark Twain said There’s no such thing as a lazy Chinaman) would’ve made most machines look downright silly, halting progress on automation and machinery before it got started.
    This isn’t just idle theorizing on my part: the CEO of BYD, 15 years ago, tried to secure Japanese machinery to make cell phone batteries, but the Japanese refused to sell. So, this CEO simply enlisted workers to make the parts painstakingly by hand and assemble the batteries. And they achieved a level of quality approaching that of the Japanese battery makers, who were using industrial robotics. Now, industrialization isn’t just about machinery (of course, it’s a political and social program) but it is rooted in automation and mass production. And if you can mass produce without machines, without complex organizations like corporations, there is little incentive to industrialize and take on all the other aspects that go along with it.
    The other piece is that China wasn’t in the mood for any kind of revolutionary change, circa 1500 when Europe really got going. Their last “chance” was the Sung when they invented the mechanical clock (which was actually a tool to study the heavens) and rudimentary guns and rockets, but then they got conquered by the Mongols, ushering a period of stagnation and then conservatism.

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  • In the discussion at the previous post, in which I took exception to Ron Unz's theory of the East Asian Exception, he alerted me to so additional work on the matter he'd done as a Harvard freshman on Chinese IQ. You can read his summary of Social Darwinism and Rural China as well as Steve...
  • anon • Disclaimer says:
    @AG
    Great debate! You raise very important question. The east asian countries that use hanzi汉字, chopsticks, and practice confucianism, zen buddism are China (Han), Japan, Korea, Vietnam. At the same time, these countres also have higher national IQ exept vietnam. Other eas asians including Tibetan do not have impressive national IQ. Like rec1man mentioned, 5% of the Indian population is of Oriental race and they dont have a high IQ..

    Does Han Chinese cultues over thousands years influence on Korea, Japan make the difference in national IQ? Or high IQ people tend to embrace Han culture? This is chicken-egg issue. Fenjia might be part of han culture influence. But I do not know for sure.

    东亚高智商国家都是在中华文化圈中。

    .’ Like rec1man mentioned, 5% of the Indian population is of Oriental race and they dont have a high IQ..’

    Rec1man is no authority. His arguments are full of holes and best to be ignored. He claims an IQ ~ 120 for Indian Brahmins which is laughable at best and around 35-45 points inflated. The oriental Indians (NE Indians ) have the highest literacy ~100% and better standards of living despite the hilly (and agriculturally unproductive) environment they live in. I do think they have IQ in range of Maynmar/SE Asians ~90 which is ten points above rest of India.

    Disclaimer: I am not a North East Indian.

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  • @Anonymous
    I think Korean/Japanese/Han Chinese had some IQ increasing mutation after they came to Manchuria. If we look at Y-haplogroup history and distribution, that must have happened around 7-8 thousand years ago. That would explain the current IQ distribution in the region completely (Japanese have slightly lower IQ since they have 1/3 Ainu admixture). I also don't think south Chinese have this mutation (may be as Han admixture but not originally).

    Hans are not the original aborigines of south china. I suspect the aborigines were australoids similar to philipinos or khmers and south china was quite sparsely populated those days. As the chinese empire expanded or when it was under threats of futher north nomads, hans migrated south. Most of the australoid aborigines moved to places such as present day cambodia, some stay behind and became minority tribes and are mostly assimulated. Even N vietnamese are 70% han by ancestry. One good example is 6th century chinese poems written by northern poets rhyme better in the guangzhou(a southern) dialect

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  • Anonymous • Disclaimer says:
    @Jim
    @Glossy

    "I don’t own a copy of “IQ and Global Inequality.” If you own one, can you quote the place that cites Mongolian IQ at 101?"
    See:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Shokioto22/sandbox

    “I have Lynn’s “Race Differences in Intelligence” here, published in 2006. On p. 240 he says:
    There is a further anomaly in the intelligence of the peoples of Northeast Asia concerning the IQs of the Mongols of Mongolia and the closely related Samoyeds of Northern Siberia. There are no studies of the intelligence of these peoples but their low level of cultural development and technology suggests that it is not so high as that of the East Asians of China, Japan and Korea.”

    It seems a bit strange that the Mongols can be compared to the reindeer-herding Samoyeds of the Arctic. I'm not saying they are stupid (in fact the Samoyeds may be quite intelligent) but the Mongols should clearly be on another level. First the Samoyeds are only 45,000 and have been reindeer-herding in the far-northern Arctic for the past 5000 years. Mongols are 10 million and starting from the Donghu 3500 years ago have been constantly engaged in complex herding of sheep, goats, horses, cattle, camels and yaks (around 50 million animals at any time). The Monguor are a Mongol-speaking people numbering 250,000 who practice only agriculture and follow Confucianism mixed with Daoism and Buddhism. The Mongol lands have always (for the past 3500 years) been connected to China by an intimate umbilical cord of direct political, economic and social relations which places Mongols firmly within East Asia. They have a history of statehood stretching back 3000 years. In many respects they outdo the Tibetans if you look at the larger picture.

    The Samoyeds have been living in one stagnant social system (reindeer-herding) for the past 5000 years. The Chinese have been living in one closed social system (strictly sedentary agricultural) for the past 6000 years. The Mongols on the other have been living in a much more diverse and challenging social system incorporating steppe nomadic empires, Chinese settled agriculture, South Siberian hunting lifestyle, Tibetan religious complexity and Manchurian pastoral-agricultural hybrid lifestyle. And to this one must add the recent intensive Russian cultural influence.

    So Mongols should be studied within the sphere of East Asian IQ studies. One should remember that the Koreans and Japanese also came from Mongolia and the Lake Baikal region.

    I think Korean/Japanese/Han Chinese had some IQ increasing mutation after they came to Manchuria. If we look at Y-haplogroup history and distribution, that must have happened around 7-8 thousand years ago. That would explain the current IQ distribution in the region completely (Japanese have slightly lower IQ since they have 1/3 Ainu admixture). I also don’t think south Chinese have this mutation (may be as Han admixture but not originally).

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    • Replies: @ObaMahdi
    Hans are not the original aborigines of south china. I suspect the aborigines were australoids similar to philipinos or khmers and south china was quite sparsely populated those days. As the chinese empire expanded or when it was under threats of futher north nomads, hans migrated south. Most of the australoid aborigines moved to places such as present day cambodia, some stay behind and became minority tribes and are mostly assimulated. Even N vietnamese are 70% han by ancestry. One good example is 6th century chinese poems written by northern poets rhyme better in the guangzhou(a southern) dialect
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  • He writes: China isn't anywhere near as backward as he portrays it. (1) The urban-rural ratio was essentially 50/50 according to the 2010 Census. Furthermore, rural Chinese don't really suffer from the absolute destitution common to peasants in Third World countries. They own their own land and it is almost impossible for them to lose...
  • SM says:

    I think that there is the erroneous belief that Europe started the Industrial revolution. It actually started in England and then spread to Europe. It then subsequently spread to the rest of the world. The question should be why did the Industrial revolution start first in England and not in Poland, Bulgaria, France…..

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  • In the discussion at the previous post, in which I took exception to Ron Unz's theory of the East Asian Exception, he alerted me to so additional work on the matter he'd done as a Harvard freshman on Chinese IQ. You can read his summary of Social Darwinism and Rural China as well as Steve...
  • @Jim
    "I’m pretty sure that they didn’t have real statehood at the time of their conquests of the 13th century. A real state is bigger than any man or any family. A real state cannot be split among the children of a king. It is not any man’s or any family’s property. It has large bureaucratic institutions that tend to endure in a stable fashion through many changes of leadership. It can go on functioning without anyone at the top."

    They did have a state, in a sense, because they were part of or closely connected to a bigger truly state-like entity, the Jin Dynasty (1115-1234). The Borjigin Mongols of Khan were the Menggu Shiwei and they had long been part of the civilized Liao Dynasty (907-1125) and later had intimate relations with the equally civilized Jin Dynasty. Khan was actually given the title "chautquri" (battle ruler) by the Jin Emperor Wanyan Madage. So the Mongols always had an imperial mindset.

    One day a Mongol could be alone hunting deer near Lake Baikal or chasing wild asses in the remotest part of the Gobi Desert (like a hunter-gatherer, developmentally a stage below pastoralism), a few weeks later he could be seated in the presence of the Chinese emperor (in many cases an ethnic Mongol himself as was the case with the Khitans and Tuoba) in Beijing or Chang'an (where half-Mongol Tang emperors ruled) discussing military affairs, trade relations and matters of imperial administration. This pattern can be seen all through history.

    For example (from Wikipedia) 'the Mongolic-speaking Xianbei originally formed a part of the Donghu confederation, but existed even before that time, as evidenced by a mention in the Guoyu ("晉語八" section) which states that during the reign of King Cheng of Zhou (reigned 1042-1021 BC) the Xianbei came to participate at a meeting of Zhou subject-lords at Qiyang (岐阳) (now Qishan County) but were only allowed to perform the fire ceremony under the supervision of Chu (楚), since they were not vassals by covenant (诸侯).'

    I may not know the fine details but I know that there was a succession of rather advanced empires on the Mongolian steppes starting with the Donghu (c. 1200B.C.-209B.C), Xiongnu (209B.C.-93A.D) and continuing with the Xianbei (93-234), Murong (235-670), Rouran (330-555), Turk (552-744), Uyghur (745-840), Liao (907-1125) and all these before the Mongols of Khan. These states were big and complex enough and had close enough relations with China so I would call them states. They all had a physical territory, a subject population, formalized foreign relations, an organized state bureaucracy, so I think most of the basic criteria are met.

    I'm not sure if the same 3000 year old tradition of statehood applies in Central Asia, in the Stans. It's far from China. It's true though that Iran exerted a lot of influence culturally and genetically from the Achaemenids onward. There (in Central Asia) IQ strangely decreases as we move from Mongoloid to Southern Caucasoid: Kazakhstan (94), Kyrgyzstan (90), other three Stans (87), Iran (84).

    I think Central Asian underdevelopment (Kazakh/Kirgiz) has alot to do with socio-cultural/geographic vs HBD/genetic factors.

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  • @Jim
    "I’m pretty sure that they didn’t have real statehood at the time of their conquests of the 13th century. A real state is bigger than any man or any family. A real state cannot be split among the children of a king. It is not any man’s or any family’s property. It has large bureaucratic institutions that tend to endure in a stable fashion through many changes of leadership. It can go on functioning without anyone at the top."

    They did have a state, in a sense, because they were part of or closely connected to a bigger truly state-like entity, the Jin Dynasty (1115-1234). The Borjigin Mongols of Khan were the Menggu Shiwei and they had long been part of the civilized Liao Dynasty (907-1125) and later had intimate relations with the equally civilized Jin Dynasty. Khan was actually given the title "chautquri" (battle ruler) by the Jin Emperor Wanyan Madage. So the Mongols always had an imperial mindset.

    One day a Mongol could be alone hunting deer near Lake Baikal or chasing wild asses in the remotest part of the Gobi Desert (like a hunter-gatherer, developmentally a stage below pastoralism), a few weeks later he could be seated in the presence of the Chinese emperor (in many cases an ethnic Mongol himself as was the case with the Khitans and Tuoba) in Beijing or Chang'an (where half-Mongol Tang emperors ruled) discussing military affairs, trade relations and matters of imperial administration. This pattern can be seen all through history.

    For example (from Wikipedia) 'the Mongolic-speaking Xianbei originally formed a part of the Donghu confederation, but existed even before that time, as evidenced by a mention in the Guoyu ("晉語八" section) which states that during the reign of King Cheng of Zhou (reigned 1042-1021 BC) the Xianbei came to participate at a meeting of Zhou subject-lords at Qiyang (岐阳) (now Qishan County) but were only allowed to perform the fire ceremony under the supervision of Chu (楚), since they were not vassals by covenant (诸侯).'

    I may not know the fine details but I know that there was a succession of rather advanced empires on the Mongolian steppes starting with the Donghu (c. 1200B.C.-209B.C), Xiongnu (209B.C.-93A.D) and continuing with the Xianbei (93-234), Murong (235-670), Rouran (330-555), Turk (552-744), Uyghur (745-840), Liao (907-1125) and all these before the Mongols of Khan. These states were big and complex enough and had close enough relations with China so I would call them states. They all had a physical territory, a subject population, formalized foreign relations, an organized state bureaucracy, so I think most of the basic criteria are met.

    I'm not sure if the same 3000 year old tradition of statehood applies in Central Asia, in the Stans. It's far from China. It's true though that Iran exerted a lot of influence culturally and genetically from the Achaemenids onward. There (in Central Asia) IQ strangely decreases as we move from Mongoloid to Southern Caucasoid: Kazakhstan (94), Kyrgyzstan (90), other three Stans (87), Iran (84).

    According to DODECAD, Kyrgyz have a higher Mongoloid/East Asian component than Kazakhs (70-80% vs 60-70%).

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  • @HX (Huax)
    whoops.

    To be honest, this table is completely irrelevant, because different provinces even have different full marks…….Shanghai is at the bottom…

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  • One of the biggest questions in global history is why it was Western Europe that industrialized first, and ended up colonizing most of the rest of the world. As late as 1450, the possibility of such an outcome would have been ridiculed. By almost any metric, China was well in the lead through the medieval...
  • Anonymous • Disclaimer says: • Website

    Why were dark age europians not advanced with alphabets.
    Why, after renaissnace, did industrial revolution happen?
    Why was Japan be able to industrilize it’s nation after the western influence?
    It is self-evident that without chinise letters, Japan could not traslate western books in Meiji era.
    In Asia including Japan, Korea, China, without chinise character, 3 nations could not translate western books.
    Kanji in Jananese and Korean alphabet are only used fuctional words such as preposition in English or very easy words.
    Most abstract words can be expressed only in Chinese character or the way it is pronounced in korean and japanese alphabet.
    It is like, in Eglish most abstract and conceptualized words are borrowed from Latin, Greek.

    So, whethere it is alphabet or chinese is not important. The important thing is what contains in languages.
    Among great civilazations, only ancient greek made a giant scientific leap.
    Only those who were influenced by ancient greek culture did industrilize.

    Alphabet is not a cause of industrialization, it is just one of the attributes of Greek culture.

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  • In the discussion at the previous post, in which I took exception to Ron Unz's theory of the East Asian Exception, he alerted me to so additional work on the matter he'd done as a Harvard freshman on Chinese IQ. You can read his summary of Social Darwinism and Rural China as well as Steve...
  • @SP
    "Can you imagine how many African Americans could actually develop the functional ability of being able to read and write 3000 or so Chinese characters with any degree of fluency?"

    I would imagaine, if with life-time dedication and under the gunpoint, 13? 12 perhap? None of them is named Obama, surely.

    AK: This is a moderation note. Please avoid overt racism here.

    Obama’s half brother Mark Ndesandjo lives in China. http://content.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,1939695,00.html

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  • He writes: China isn't anywhere near as backward as he portrays it. (1) The urban-rural ratio was essentially 50/50 according to the 2010 Census. Furthermore, rural Chinese don't really suffer from the absolute destitution common to peasants in Third World countries. They own their own land and it is almost impossible for them to lose...
  • @charly
    Nourishment is very important factor in IQ. NK experienced 2 famines in the last 20 years so it would be surprising if they did have the same IQ as SK. I know you don't want to hear this because otherwise you wouldn't call it crap.


    High average IQ doesn't make groups affluent but affluency makes group have a high IQ. There is no known genetic reason why some groups should be smarter that others (except sickle cell) but we do know of many not genetic reasons why some groups have higher IQ scores (training, food, general health)

    Gimme a break. The only paradox here is why you are such an [snipped].

    AK: I don’t tend to actively moderate, but please cut out the name calling.

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  • @William
    This also explains the apparent paradox of "why Europeans should become the rulers of the world even though they have lower IQ than East Asians".... again, it's a combination of factors including the environment and the mindset of the people, in addition to intelligence. Bear in mind that the difference isn't that great (European 100 vs. East Asian 105). If the gap were much wider then it would've made a difference.

    One more interesting observations: Ashkenazi Jews have much higher IQ than Germans (120 vs 100). Then why is it that it was the Germans who exterminated the Jews during World War II and not the other way around? Again, it's not their IQ that made the difference (obviously).

    There is no paradox.

    Europeans were smarter than malnourished and uneducated Asians.

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  • @William
    Ok, my point is that IQ doesn't necessarily have anything to do with wealth of nations. I used South Korea and North Korea as an example because they are one people (should have same IQ) but yet their wealth are day and night. But now you're saying that North Koreans have much lower IQs than South Koreans, which sounds ridiculous but let's just assume that is the case. But there are obviously many more examples out there than the Koreas. Look no further than Hong Kong and Mainland China's Guangdong province. IQ obviously does not explain why Hong Kongers are much more affluent than their Cantonese counterparts in Guangdong. And please... don't give me some crap like "Oh Cantonese people have much lower IQ than Hong Kongers and they are 1 inch shorter".

    Point is, there are much more to it than IQ when it comes to generating wealth. You can be the smartest people, but if you don't have the right mindset or methodology, or you live in a crappy environment like a dessert, then your ability to generate wealth can be very limiting.

    Nourishment is very important factor in IQ. NK experienced 2 famines in the last 20 years so it would be surprising if they did have the same IQ as SK. I know you don’t want to hear this because otherwise you wouldn’t call it crap.

    High average IQ doesn’t make groups affluent but affluency makes group have a high IQ. There is no known genetic reason why some groups should be smarter that others (except sickle cell) but we do know of many not genetic reasons why some groups have higher IQ scores (training, food, general health)

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    • Replies: @William
    Gimme a break. The only paradox here is why you are such an [snipped].

    AK: I don't tend to actively moderate, but please cut out the name calling.

    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @William
    Ok, my point is that IQ doesn't necessarily have anything to do with wealth of nations. I used South Korea and North Korea as an example because they are one people (should have same IQ) but yet their wealth are day and night. But now you're saying that North Koreans have much lower IQs than South Koreans, which sounds ridiculous but let's just assume that is the case. But there are obviously many more examples out there than the Koreas. Look no further than Hong Kong and Mainland China's Guangdong province. IQ obviously does not explain why Hong Kongers are much more affluent than their Cantonese counterparts in Guangdong. And please... don't give me some crap like "Oh Cantonese people have much lower IQ than Hong Kongers and they are 1 inch shorter".

    Point is, there are much more to it than IQ when it comes to generating wealth. You can be the smartest people, but if you don't have the right mindset or methodology, or you live in a crappy environment like a dessert, then your ability to generate wealth can be very limiting.

    This also explains the apparent paradox of “why Europeans should become the rulers of the world even though they have lower IQ than East Asians”…. again, it’s a combination of factors including the environment and the mindset of the people, in addition to intelligence. Bear in mind that the difference isn’t that great (European 100 vs. East Asian 105). If the gap were much wider then it would’ve made a difference.

    One more interesting observations: Ashkenazi Jews have much higher IQ than Germans (120 vs 100). Then why is it that it was the Germans who exterminated the Jews during World War II and not the other way around? Again, it’s not their IQ that made the difference (obviously).

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    • Replies: @charly
    There is no paradox.

    Europeans were smarter than malnourished and uneducated Asians.

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  • @charly
    IQ is like height. For individuals it is dominated by inheritance but for groups is is dominated by environment. See SK which is a foot taller than NK on average. If you consider the periods of severe malnutrition in NK than the IQ differences should be expected to be as big as their height difference.

    ps. NK statistics should be distrusted by default but we do have the South Korean and Japanese numbers and we know what the scholastic achievements of the Korean minority in Japan is so saying that South Koreans score higher than Japanese Koreans should be without controversy.

    Ok, my point is that IQ doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with wealth of nations. I used South Korea and North Korea as an example because they are one people (should have same IQ) but yet their wealth are day and night. But now you’re saying that North Koreans have much lower IQs than South Koreans, which sounds ridiculous but let’s just assume that is the case. But there are obviously many more examples out there than the Koreas. Look no further than Hong Kong and Mainland China’s Guangdong province. IQ obviously does not explain why Hong Kongers are much more affluent than their Cantonese counterparts in Guangdong. And please… don’t give me some crap like “Oh Cantonese people have much lower IQ than Hong Kongers and they are 1 inch shorter”.

    Point is, there are much more to it than IQ when it comes to generating wealth. You can be the smartest people, but if you don’t have the right mindset or methodology, or you live in a crappy environment like a dessert, then your ability to generate wealth can be very limiting.

    Read More
    • Replies: @William
    This also explains the apparent paradox of "why Europeans should become the rulers of the world even though they have lower IQ than East Asians".... again, it's a combination of factors including the environment and the mindset of the people, in addition to intelligence. Bear in mind that the difference isn't that great (European 100 vs. East Asian 105). If the gap were much wider then it would've made a difference.

    One more interesting observations: Ashkenazi Jews have much higher IQ than Germans (120 vs 100). Then why is it that it was the Germans who exterminated the Jews during World War II and not the other way around? Again, it's not their IQ that made the difference (obviously).

    , @charly
    Nourishment is very important factor in IQ. NK experienced 2 famines in the last 20 years so it would be surprising if they did have the same IQ as SK. I know you don't want to hear this because otherwise you wouldn't call it crap.


    High average IQ doesn't make groups affluent but affluency makes group have a high IQ. There is no known genetic reason why some groups should be smarter that others (except sickle cell) but we do know of many not genetic reasons why some groups have higher IQ scores (training, food, general health)

    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @JT
    You said ".. it is also true that extra-ordinary claims need extra-ordinary proof. I don’t think that secret NK statistic will disproof that South Koreans are much taller than North Koreans" .But you didn't just claim SKers are much more taller than Nkers... you claimed they are taller by a foot, that's a full 12 inches ! That's an "extra-ordinary" claim, if I have ever heard one ..so where is your "extra-ordinary proof?"

    I did come upon this article while googling on the subject : http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-17774210. According to Professor Daniel Schwekendiek who has compared the heights of both populations, "North Korean men are, on average, between 3 - 8cm (1.2 - 3.1in) shorter than their South Korean counterparts." The study is done on NK refugees in SK, so one has to question whether this population is truly representative of the entire NK population. But Prof. Schwekendiek dismissed the objections and claimed that the refugees come from all walks of life and from all regions Regardless, his estimate of 1.2 to 3.1 inches is a far cry from the 1 foot that you cited.

    Of course, the discussion on height is a digression; the subject of Anatoly's post is on IQ. Unfortunately, I can't find any reliable NK data on this. "IQ and The Wealth of Nations" by Lynn and Vanhanen lists the NK IQ as 105, a very high number that's close to the SK average, but the methodology is flawed at best. The authors simply took the average of neighboring countries.

    A much more interesting discussion would be Vietnam's performance in the recent PISA test. It ranked 17th overall among all countries tested, a surprisingly decent result for a very poor country. Not as good as the North-East asians but better than many wealthier nations ... and certainly much better than it's neighbors like Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia. Unlike the SouthEast Asians that it is often lumped with, Vietnam is heavily Confucian like the Chinese, Koreans and Japanese. So what does this say -- or doesn't say -- about the “East Asian Exception” hypothesis?

    I’m European so foot as measurement isn’t baked into me. But you are right, 30cm does seem to me a little excessive especially considering that Koreans aren’t exactly big. But it is true that there is a very significant height difference between NK and SK. Refugees are normal coming from a better than average environment so that hight difference would be even bigger for all North Koreans.

    Height is not a digression. Problem with IQ is that it is very politicized and not very clear defined. Height does not have that problem.

    Vietnam is also communistic and relatively monolingual and classless. Reasons which are much more obvious linked to high scholastic achievements.

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  • You said “.. it is also true that extra-ordinary claims need extra-ordinary proof. I don’t think that secret NK statistic will disproof that South Koreans are much taller than North Koreans” .But you didn’t just claim SKers are much more taller than Nkers… you claimed they are taller by a foot, that’s a full 12 inches ! That’s an “extra-ordinary” claim, if I have ever heard one ..so where is your “extra-ordinary proof?”

    I did come upon this article while googling on the subject : http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-17774210. According to Professor Daniel Schwekendiek who has compared the heights of both populations, “North Korean men are, on average, between 3 – 8cm (1.2 – 3.1in) shorter than their South Korean counterparts.” The study is done on NK refugees in SK, so one has to question whether this population is truly representative of the entire NK population. But Prof. Schwekendiek dismissed the objections and claimed that the refugees come from all walks of life and from all regions Regardless, his estimate of 1.2 to 3.1 inches is a far cry from the 1 foot that you cited.

    Of course, the discussion on height is a digression; the subject of Anatoly’s post is on IQ. Unfortunately, I can’t find any reliable NK data on this. “IQ and The Wealth of Nations” by Lynn and Vanhanen lists the NK IQ as 105, a very high number that’s close to the SK average, but the methodology is flawed at best. The authors simply took the average of neighboring countries.

    A much more interesting discussion would be Vietnam’s performance in the recent PISA test. It ranked 17th overall among all countries tested, a surprisingly decent result for a very poor country. Not as good as the North-East asians but better than many wealthier nations … and certainly much better than it’s neighbors like Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia. Unlike the SouthEast Asians that it is often lumped with, Vietnam is heavily Confucian like the Chinese, Koreans and Japanese. So what does this say — or doesn’t say — about the “East Asian Exception” hypothesis?

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    • Replies: @charly
    I'm European so foot as measurement isn't baked into me. But you are right, 30cm does seem to me a little excessive especially considering that Koreans aren't exactly big. But it is true that there is a very significant height difference between NK and SK. Refugees are normal coming from a better than average environment so that hight difference would be even bigger for all North Koreans.

    Height is not a digression. Problem with IQ is that it is very politicized and not very clear defined. Height does not have that problem.


    Vietnam is also communistic and relatively monolingual and classless. Reasons which are much more obvious linked to high scholastic achievements.

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  • @charly
    That they are a foot smaller is common knowledge and easily observed. IQ and periods of severe malnutrition don't go hand-in-hand. But why do you not ask about the data for South Koreans and Japanese Koreans?

    It is true that common knowledge and easily observed doesn’t make it true but it is also true that extra-ordinary claims need extra-ordinary proof. I don’t think that secret NK statistic will disproof that South Koreans are much taller than North Koreans

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  • @charly
    That they are a foot smaller is common knowledge and easily observed. IQ and periods of severe malnutrition don't go hand-in-hand. But why do you not ask about the data for South Koreans and Japanese Koreans?

    Well, we’re going to need data for Koreans outside of NK too for proper comparisons. But those should be easy to obtain from reputable sources. I was just curious if you have good data on North Korea as the government is notoriously secretive and unreliable. Unfortunately, if we’re going to settle the “East Asian Exception” debate we need more solid data. Claiming that something is “common knowledge and easily observed” does not make it true. That’s not how science works.

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  • @JT
    Can you point us to your sources on NK height and IQ ? Where did you get these data? Some hard facts should go a long way towards settling the debate over Ron Unz's "East Asian Exception" hypothesis.

    That they are a foot smaller is common knowledge and easily observed. IQ and periods of severe malnutrition don’t go hand-in-hand. But why do you not ask about the data for South Koreans and Japanese Koreans?

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    • Replies: @JT
    Well, we're going to need data for Koreans outside of NK too for proper comparisons. But those should be easy to obtain from reputable sources. I was just curious if you have good data on North Korea as the government is notoriously secretive and unreliable. Unfortunately, if we're going to settle the “East Asian Exception” debate we need more solid data. Claiming that something is "common knowledge and easily observed" does not make it true. That's not how science works.
    , @charly
    It is true that common knowledge and easily observed doesn't make it true but it is also true that extra-ordinary claims need extra-ordinary proof. I don't think that secret NK statistic will disproof that South Koreans are much taller than North Koreans
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  • @charly
    IQ is like height. For individuals it is dominated by inheritance but for groups is is dominated by environment. See SK which is a foot taller than NK on average. If you consider the periods of severe malnutrition in NK than the IQ differences should be expected to be as big as their height difference.

    ps. NK statistics should be distrusted by default but we do have the South Korean and Japanese numbers and we know what the scholastic achievements of the Korean minority in Japan is so saying that South Koreans score higher than Japanese Koreans should be without controversy.

    Can you point us to your sources on NK height and IQ ? Where did you get these data? Some hard facts should go a long way towards settling the debate over Ron Unz’s “East Asian Exception” hypothesis.

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    • Replies: @charly
    That they are a foot smaller is common knowledge and easily observed. IQ and periods of severe malnutrition don't go hand-in-hand. But why do you not ask about the data for South Koreans and Japanese Koreans?
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  • @William
    Where did you get the idea that NK have lower IQ than SK? It's like saying NK are significantly darker looking than SK. Makes no sense. They are one people and their mental as well as physically capabilities should be equivalent on average. Please... have some common sense.

    IQ is like height. For individuals it is dominated by inheritance but for groups is is dominated by environment. See SK which is a foot taller than NK on average. If you consider the periods of severe malnutrition in NK than the IQ differences should be expected to be as big as their height difference.

    ps. NK statistics should be distrusted by default but we do have the South Korean and Japanese numbers and we know what the scholastic achievements of the Korean minority in Japan is so saying that South Koreans score higher than Japanese Koreans should be without controversy.

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    • Replies: @JT
    Can you point us to your sources on NK height and IQ ? Where did you get these data? Some hard facts should go a long way towards settling the debate over Ron Unz's "East Asian Exception" hypothesis.
    , @William
    Ok, my point is that IQ doesn't necessarily have anything to do with wealth of nations. I used South Korea and North Korea as an example because they are one people (should have same IQ) but yet their wealth are day and night. But now you're saying that North Koreans have much lower IQs than South Koreans, which sounds ridiculous but let's just assume that is the case. But there are obviously many more examples out there than the Koreas. Look no further than Hong Kong and Mainland China's Guangdong province. IQ obviously does not explain why Hong Kongers are much more affluent than their Cantonese counterparts in Guangdong. And please... don't give me some crap like "Oh Cantonese people have much lower IQ than Hong Kongers and they are 1 inch shorter".

    Point is, there are much more to it than IQ when it comes to generating wealth. You can be the smartest people, but if you don't have the right mindset or methodology, or you live in a crappy environment like a dessert, then your ability to generate wealth can be very limiting.

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  • @charly
    North Korean IQ is significantly lower than SK. Also Japanese Koreans are less smart on average than South Koreans even though their (great)grandparents were smarter than Koreans on average.

    The main reason why North Korea is that they don't have access to the American market (and a lot of other markets) and economic achievements are mainly dominated by network effects.


    ps. Some people will claim that it has to do with how the economy is run and that capitalism doesn't work etc. using North Korea as example but it is purely the network effect

    Where did you get the idea that NK have lower IQ than SK? It’s like saying NK are significantly darker looking than SK. Makes no sense. They are one people and their mental as well as physically capabilities should be equivalent on average. Please… have some common sense.

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    • Replies: @charly
    IQ is like height. For individuals it is dominated by inheritance but for groups is is dominated by environment. See SK which is a foot taller than NK on average. If you consider the periods of severe malnutrition in NK than the IQ differences should be expected to be as big as their height difference.

    ps. NK statistics should be distrusted by default but we do have the South Korean and Japanese numbers and we know what the scholastic achievements of the Korean minority in Japan is so saying that South Koreans score higher than Japanese Koreans should be without controversy.

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  • @William
    AK,

    IQ sometimes has no correlation to the economic performance of the people... just look at North Korea vs. South Korea. They are essentially the same people with equivalent IQ, yet their economic achievements are night and day. Same with China and Europe... just because Chinese has higher IQ, doesn't mean it should outperform Europe... there are many other factors at play here. I do agree that everything should eventually regress to the mean (meaning that high IQ populations should eventually outperform lower IQ ones)... but sometimes this process can take a very long time (perhaps centuries :)

    North Korean IQ is significantly lower than SK. Also Japanese Koreans are less smart on average than South Koreans even though their (great)grandparents were smarter than Koreans on average.

    The main reason why North Korea is that they don’t have access to the American market (and a lot of other markets) and economic achievements are mainly dominated by network effects.

    ps. Some people will claim that it has to do with how the economy is run and that capitalism doesn’t work etc. using North Korea as example but it is purely the network effect

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    • Replies: @William
    Where did you get the idea that NK have lower IQ than SK? It's like saying NK are significantly darker looking than SK. Makes no sense. They are one people and their mental as well as physically capabilities should be equivalent on average. Please... have some common sense.
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  • AK,

    IQ sometimes has no correlation to the economic performance of the people… just look at North Korea vs. South Korea. They are essentially the same people with equivalent IQ, yet their economic achievements are night and day. Same with China and Europe… just because Chinese has higher IQ, doesn’t mean it should outperform Europe… there are many other factors at play here. I do agree that everything should eventually regress to the mean (meaning that high IQ populations should eventually outperform lower IQ ones)… but sometimes this process can take a very long time (perhaps centuries :)

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    • Replies: @charly
    North Korean IQ is significantly lower than SK. Also Japanese Koreans are less smart on average than South Koreans even though their (great)grandparents were smarter than Koreans on average.

    The main reason why North Korea is that they don't have access to the American market (and a lot of other markets) and economic achievements are mainly dominated by network effects.


    ps. Some people will claim that it has to do with how the economy is run and that capitalism doesn't work etc. using North Korea as example but it is purely the network effect

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  • Mr Karlin, you won’t be saying a lot of what you have been saying if you acquaint yourself with the history of China. A good place to start is “Science and Civilization in China” by Professor Joseph Needham.

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  • In Search of Wealth and Power by Benjamin Schwartz, published in 1964. Rating: 4/5. In Search of Wealth and Power is a very dense but richly rewarding tome by Benjamin Schwartz, a noted China scholar. He focuses on the life of the translator Yan Fu to illustrate the culture clashes that arose when traditional Chinese...
  • “…much as he perceived Christianity to have laid the groundwork for English public spirit…”

    If by public spirit he meant trust towards non-relatives, then he was wrong about its origins. That sort of public spirit is nearly absent in some Christian countries and present in huge quantities in others.

    “But what if it was impossible to build the new fort, bristling with modern weapons, without also “destroying the sanctum”?”

    From the outside it seems that Japan has mostly succeeded at it. And the Chinese are well on their way. I think that deep cultural differences mostly reflect biological ones, and biology is slow to change.

    “…technological changes that would shrink the world and make it more generally conductive for the evolution of democracies.”

    I don’t think there’s a lot of democracy in the modern world. There’s a lot of “democracy” – aping of old British and American institutions, long after they lost most of their original meaning in Britain and America. There are a lot of parliaments and elections, but those can be easily made into a sham. I suspect that there was more democracy in the world a thousand years ago (in the form of “things”, veches and similar gatherings) than there is now.

    “Yan Fu would have had his faith restored by Singapore’s Lee Kuan Yew. The state there was not a full democracy, but a managed democracy…”

    I think that real democracy was a European peculiarity. And already at the beginning of the extensive written record in Europe, in classical Greece, it was difficult to translate it from the level of tribal gatherings to the level of real states. Real democracy rarely survived that transition even in pre-modern Europe. I think Iceland is a good example of such non-survival. I don’t think that democracy ever had a chance anywhere outside of Europe. The sort of thing that’s described by the “Jante Law” is one of the psychological foundations of democracy. The indiscriminate application of the who-does-he-think-he-is attitude – that’s purely European, mostly northern European. The distaste for flattery – same thing. Democracy was fragile even in societies in which almost everyone instinctively subscribed to such attitudes. It suffered from the weakest-link problem. Why should people who are capable of dictating their will to others abstain from doing so? Through a local understanding of conscience? In a large enough group, just through random mutation, there were always going to be a few people who were both deficient in conscience and overflowing in leadership qualities. What typically happened, even in pre-modern northern Europe, was that democracy was subverted by such individuals. But the populace had an instinctive attachment to democracy, so a phony facade was kept up to appease it. Outside of the West people don’t even have an instinctive attachment to Jante’s Law type feelings. Democracy could have never been anything but a sham there.

    I suspect that the smartest thing for the Chinese to do is to continue to catch up technologically while looking towards their own past for political models and ideological direction. The political organization and ideologies of China’s past fit the local mindset. They were organically born out of the Chinese mindset, so they must necessarily fit it. There are many human natures. Trying to graft foreign ideologies leads to either violence or hypocrisy.

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  • Mr. A. Karlin,

    I recently discovered your blog via your writing on Sino-Russian relations. I must say that I found your writings on Russia a breath of fresh air.

    back to the topic, Yan Fu would represent the typical elite from the traditional culture when confronted by relentless pressure of the modern West. Despite all the intellectual angst about what is essentially Chinese and what is Western value, China itself continues to marches on the road of Modernization/Westernization (It doesn’t matter what you call it, it’s the same thing).

    China today would look shockingly “Western” to a Chinese person living in 1970s. I know, because I lived in China in 1970s as a kid.

    I happened to think Kenneth Pomeranz nailed “The Needham Question” in his book “The Great Divergence” on why China lagged behind Western Europe in recent times. But we now live in a Age of Great Convergence,whereby China is finally catching up by adopting Western technology and institutions (or rather adopting the Japanese model of development of copying the West). Even today there are still some who worry that ‘ what if it was impossible to build the new fort, bristling with modern weapons, without also “destroying the sanctum”?’. But hey, who cares if a cat is black or white, as long as it catches mice, right?

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  • Chinese Characteristics by Arthur Henderson Smith, published in 1894. It is available free here. Rating: 5/5. In rich and evocative prose reminiscent of De Tocqueville's writings on America, Arthur H. Smith lays out what he sees as the core features of the Chinese character and his values. The tone is bold and fearless, making sweeping...
  • Never hear of this guy or the book. Thoroughly enjoyed your review (and ordered the book), thanks!

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  • @Craig James Willy
    Interesting assessment. I do find the "doomed civilization/Yellow Hordes" schizophrenia rather amusing. A bit like how, during the Enlightenment, China was often held up as the epitome of the rational, meritocratic State.. A lot of projection going on.

    On Western-Chinese(-Russian) convergence: Emmanuel Todd has suggested that free trade and globalization may not only lead to economic convergence, which is happening both in terms of standards of living and inequality, but also *(un)democratic convergence*: free trade with underdeveloped countries both empowers Western oligarchies and creates pressures for social regression that can only be implemented if universal suffrage is bypassed. A plausible scenario.

    I would find it interesting to research whether the "get-rich" materialism is an inevitable part of modernity or part of "contamination" from the West (or a reaction to Communist hysteria). Was Japan, prior to 1945, similarly obsessed with money? To what extent do others nations'/civilizations' paths to modernity remain parallel but separate to the West, to what extent must they converge?

    I do find the “doomed civilization/Yellow Hordes” schizophrenia rather amusing.

    The problem with China achieving global hegemony is that they are surrounded
    by powerful neighbors like Japan, India and Russia that all either have nuclear weapons or could have them in short order if they wanted to. Geography doesn’t help them either. China’s regional competitors are protected by fearsome natural barriers that heavily favor the defender and Chinese own industrial might sits next to coastlines that are very vulnerable to naval and air attacks.

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  • Describing another’s cultural and cognitive habits is always a bit tricky, for it is hard to do so objectively. James Palmer’s “The Bailinghou” article for Aeon is one of the best articles of this type I have seen in a long time. But at the end of the day these descriptions can always be challenged with a short, “Can you prove that?” Subjectivity is the curse of the anthropologist and culture critic alike.

    There are a few people who are trying to do this in a more objective fashion. I recently reviewed at length Richard Nisbett’s book Geography of Thought, wherein he describes how experimental psychologists have racked up a great number of studies showing how Japanese, Chinese, and Korean people think differently from Americans and the rest of the Anglosphere at the unconscious, cognitive level. But that is really just scratching the surface.

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  • @AG
    Ignorance is bliss. Truth migh hurt.
    http://www.nri.org.uk/science.html

    It is you, my friend, who are being ignorant. The West is the birth place of science. There was no science anywhere in the world until it appeared in the West. That’s a fact, not an opinion. Anyone who tells you otherwise is a charlatan. At various times various non-Western countries have adopted Western scientific ideas and, with various rates of success, joined the scientific process. This happened in Russia in the early 18th century. It happened in Japan in the late 19th century. To this day the overwhelming majority of all scientific activity is performed by Westerners.

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  • Ignorance is bliss. Truth migh hurt.

    http://www.nri.org.uk/science.html

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    • Replies: @Glossy
    It is you, my friend, who are being ignorant. The West is the birth place of science. There was no science anywhere in the world until it appeared in the West. That's a fact, not an opinion. Anyone who tells you otherwise is a charlatan. At various times various non-Western countries have adopted Western scientific ideas and, with various rates of success, joined the scientific process. This happened in Russia in the early 18th century. It happened in Japan in the late 19th century. To this day the overwhelming majority of all scientific activity is performed by Westerners.
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  • @Glossy
    "American Indigenous innovation came much later."

    This is not true. Robert Fulton, an American, built the first steam boat in the late 18th century. The inventions of Bell, Edison and others came in the 19th.

    All you know is western.

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  • AG says:
    @Anatoly Karlin
    Devil's advocate position: It's probably (probably? definitely!) a lot tougher to come up with true innovation today than it was back in the 1950's. Shoulders of giants and all that.

    In fairness to China, in sectors where there is a lot of unharnessed innovation potential, such as genetics, they seem to be doing okay. Indeed, it might even have a better future in China than in the West because of the latter's stultifying PC orthodoxy.

    When comments here arguing about innovation, it is like arguements“consist exclusively of predicates”, which are “attached to nothing whatever”
    Without data, you are just another person with opinion. Opinion formed based on verbal arguements is not too much different from delusional thought of schizophrenia. Verbal IQ is about manipulation of others brain or brain washing. Some people exhibit quite bit here, who, at end, are not very original at all. They are typical products of brain washing.

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  • @Glossy
    The USSR lay in ruins in 1945, yet in 1957 it achieved something that no country had done before: it created the first artificial satellite of the Earth. The amount of real economic activity in today's China is stunning. I'm talking about manufacturing, construction and infrastructure development. No one's ever built or manufactured that much in that short a time. And all of it represents copying of existing technologies.

    There are many motivations for innovating, but one of them should be especially clear to the politicians running China: prestige. Stunning the world in a positive way. The Olympic Games are such a triviality compared to major sci-tech stuff like building a space elevator, starting a lunar colony, looking for life on the moons of Saturn, learning to grow human organs in a lab. The West isn't going back to the Moon, etc. because it's bankrupt. And sure, that reflects badly on Western countries. But China doesn't have that excuse.

    A small example of the copying:

    I sometimes hang out at the skyscraperpage forums. A few years ago someone there posted a characteristic picture of Moscow. Not of central, historical Moscow, but of the type of neighborhood where I grew up and where most Moscovites live. A forum member, most likely not a Russian one, commented below:

    "/ wicked shots. The last one looks like it's from a Chinese interior city."

    And below that someone replied:

    "Or Chinese inland cities look like Moscow

    They invented the commie block..."

    That's absolutely true. I have a feeling that in the future millions of tourists visiting formerly Soviet cities will think that they look just like Chinese ones.

    The comments I quoted can be found below the 5th photo on this page:

    http://forum.skyscraperpage.com/showthread.php?t=174390&page=2

    Devil’s advocate position: It’s probably (probably? definitely!) a lot tougher to come up with true innovation today than it was back in the 1950′s. Shoulders of giants and all that.

    In fairness to China, in sectors where there is a lot of unharnessed innovation potential, such as genetics, they seem to be doing okay. Indeed, it might even have a better future in China than in the West because of the latter’s stultifying PC orthodoxy.

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    • Replies: @AG
    When comments here arguing about innovation, it is like arguements“consist exclusively of predicates”, which are “attached to nothing whatever”
    Without data, you are just another person with opinion. Opinion formed based on verbal arguements is not too much different from delusional thought of schizophrenia. Verbal IQ is about manipulation of others brain or brain washing. Some people exhibit quite bit here, who, at end, are not very original at all. They are typical products of brain washing.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • Jing says: • Website
    @Glossy
    The USSR lay in ruins in 1945, yet in 1957 it achieved something that no country had done before: it created the first artificial satellite of the Earth. The amount of real economic activity in today's China is stunning. I'm talking about manufacturing, construction and infrastructure development. No one's ever built or manufactured that much in that short a time. And all of it represents copying of existing technologies.

    There are many motivations for innovating, but one of them should be especially clear to the politicians running China: prestige. Stunning the world in a positive way. The Olympic Games are such a triviality compared to major sci-tech stuff like building a space elevator, starting a lunar colony, looking for life on the moons of Saturn, learning to grow human organs in a lab. The West isn't going back to the Moon, etc. because it's bankrupt. And sure, that reflects badly on Western countries. But China doesn't have that excuse.

    A small example of the copying:

    I sometimes hang out at the skyscraperpage forums. A few years ago someone there posted a characteristic picture of Moscow. Not of central, historical Moscow, but of the type of neighborhood where I grew up and where most Moscovites live. A forum member, most likely not a Russian one, commented below:

    "/ wicked shots. The last one looks like it's from a Chinese interior city."

    And below that someone replied:

    "Or Chinese inland cities look like Moscow

    They invented the commie block..."

    That's absolutely true. I have a feeling that in the future millions of tourists visiting formerly Soviet cities will think that they look just like Chinese ones.

    The comments I quoted can be found below the 5th photo on this page:

    http://forum.skyscraperpage.com/showthread.php?t=174390&page=2

    And where exactly today is the USSR? The Soviets were ideologically driven to compete with the United States, a competition which resulted in them pauperizing the majority of its population by funneling close to 20% of their GDP into the military and military related research. Spectacles like the Olympics are prestige projects not necessarily to show the world the superiority of the Soviet system, but rather primarily to grease the incestuous nexus of the Chinese construction industry and politicians first and impress the Chinese people second. For all of the talk of a Sino-American rivalry, the kleptocrats in the Chinese communist party are primarily interested in self preservation and their own luxuries than any apocalyptic showdown with the United States, which is why they don’t devote even a tenth of their resources at their disposal to truly compete but are more content to print money, “loan” it to politically connected companies and state owned industries, and take their finders fee.

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  • One of the biggest questions in global history is why it was Western Europe that industrialized first, and ended up colonizing most of the rest of the world. As late as 1450, the possibility of such an outcome would have been ridiculed. By almost any metric, China was well in the lead through the medieval...
  • @smile
    Hieroglyphic system is very different from alphabetic system.
    In hieroglyphic script, a character is usually means a phrase just like ancient chinese. To cut done the uncertain of chinese characters, it has change the one character to two characters as a words. “否”, in pinyin is "fou" means no or negative in english has changed to "不是"/“不” which in pinyin are "bushi" and "bu". The pronunciation has already changed without changing in the meaning and increase the efficiency of understanding.
    It is very hard to learn at first but after you learn plenty of characters, it is much easier than alphabetic system. Because it do not have as much grammar as alphabetic system. For example, when a action took place , the "take" need to change to "took" to shows that it is in the past time. But it is very simple in chinese. It just need to add a time without changing anything, etc. Hence, it is easier to combinate a sentence. Usually chinese students need 4000-5000 are enough to read almost all the chinese books(except the ancient chinese which the characters have different meanings). But students in alphabetic system need at least 8000 words for sure(but basic english just need 26 character LOL).
    I can't say chinese is more efficiency than english not just in mechanic side but when you search some translations between chinese and english you will find the chinese article usually shorter than english one.
    And also I found that many chinese philosophical thinking just under the chinese characters which is amazing. It is easy to find this in the common conversation.

    I agree that the chinese writing may be a reason to its industrialisation but in fact it because the philosophical thinking under the writing. For example to be filial is very important in chinese culture. This may cause children do not do what their parents not like to especally a sentence I remember: Children do not travel far away when parents are alive. Because they have the responsibility to take care of their parents. Is that might explain why ancient chinese not travel the whole world in ancient when they already have the great seamanship during Song dynasty(960-1279A.D) and also Ming Dynasty(1368-1644A.D). The size of Zhenhe's ship in 1405 A.D is about 130 meter long and 50 meter wide. The fleet have over 200 ship 27,000 staff and with over 1,000 tonnes of displacement. Sadly, after Zhenhe no one traveled again hence many of technology used to build these great wooden ship had lost.

    Most Chinese words are not made of one character but 2 or more. So if you know those 4000/5000 characters you can “read” all words but you don’t knowing the mean of all words nor can you pronounce all words. Also the fact that you claim that Chinese grammar is easier is not due to using characters but is something that is innate to the Chinese spoken languages .

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • Chinese Characteristics by Arthur Henderson Smith, published in 1894. It is available free here. Rating: 5/5. In rich and evocative prose reminiscent of De Tocqueville's writings on America, Arthur H. Smith lays out what he sees as the core features of the Chinese character and his values. The tone is bold and fearless, making sweeping...
  • @papizha
    I am guessing you are not from a engineering background.

    There is a line from "Pirates of Silicon Valley":
    Good programmers copy, Best Programmer steal.

    When the game is playing catch up, simply copying would be sufficient in closing the existing gap. There is no need for China to innovate much at this stage in game, maybe in 10-20 years...

    More apt comparison would be to Japan and Korea. China is merely following the development model first pioneered by Japan, adopted by other East Asian regions such as Korea and Taiwan. Except on a gigantic scale, Japan X 10

    I grew up in China in the 80s, and to me, the opening up of China since 1978 is rather like Meiji Restoration of Japan in the late 19th century when Japan decides to copy West in earnest. On the other hand, the massive industrialization and urbanization is similar to that of United States of the late 19th century. British capital and European technology applied (+waves of immigrant labor and abundant resources) made the rise of the American Power possible. American Indigenous innovation came much later.

    “American Indigenous innovation came much later.”

    This is not true. Robert Fulton, an American, built the first steam boat in the late 18th century. The inventions of Bell, Edison and others came in the 19th.

    Read More
    • Replies: @AG
    All you know is western.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @Jing
    I fail to understand why people demand "innovation" (as if anyone could be assed to quantify the term) presently from China. Actually I have a solid hypothesis that its simply because most people are illogical simpletons who couldn't train themselves for greater comprehension no more than I can train a cat to jump at whim. Pushing any technical frontier entails a great degree of risk, expense, and the possibility of failure. For all of China's economic growth, it must be kept in mind that it started out somewhere BELOW sub-saharan Africa in per capita GDP in the post Mao era and even today, it's nominal per capita GDP is about 1/8th that of the West. Simply put there is still considerable room left for catch up growth by simply absorbing more already established skills and technology from the West. There is simply no overall need yet to pursue risky marginal returns on unproven "innovation" that is even arguably grinding to a standstill in the US when other avenues are still available.

    The USSR lay in ruins in 1945, yet in 1957 it achieved something that no country had done before: it created the first artificial satellite of the Earth. The amount of real economic activity in today’s China is stunning. I’m talking about manufacturing, construction and infrastructure development. No one’s ever built or manufactured that much in that short a time. And all of it represents copying of existing technologies.

    There are many motivations for innovating, but one of them should be especially clear to the politicians running China: prestige. Stunning the world in a positive way. The Olympic Games are such a triviality compared to major sci-tech stuff like building a space elevator, starting a lunar colony, looking for life on the moons of Saturn, learning to grow human organs in a lab. The West isn’t going back to the Moon, etc. because it’s bankrupt. And sure, that reflects badly on Western countries. But China doesn’t have that excuse.

    A small example of the copying:

    I sometimes hang out at the skyscraperpage forums. A few years ago someone there posted a characteristic picture of Moscow. Not of central, historical Moscow, but of the type of neighborhood where I grew up and where most Moscovites live. A forum member, most likely not a Russian one, commented below:

    “/ wicked shots. The last one looks like it’s from a Chinese interior city.”

    And below that someone replied:

    “Or Chinese inland cities look like Moscow

    They invented the commie block…”

    That’s absolutely true. I have a feeling that in the future millions of tourists visiting formerly Soviet cities will think that they look just like Chinese ones.

    The comments I quoted can be found below the 5th photo on this page:

    http://forum.skyscraperpage.com/showthread.php?t=174390&page=2

    Read More
    • Replies: @Jing
    And where exactly today is the USSR? The Soviets were ideologically driven to compete with the United States, a competition which resulted in them pauperizing the majority of its population by funneling close to 20% of their GDP into the military and military related research. Spectacles like the Olympics are prestige projects not necessarily to show the world the superiority of the Soviet system, but rather primarily to grease the incestuous nexus of the Chinese construction industry and politicians first and impress the Chinese people second. For all of the talk of a Sino-American rivalry, the kleptocrats in the Chinese communist party are primarily interested in self preservation and their own luxuries than any apocalyptic showdown with the United States, which is why they don't devote even a tenth of their resources at their disposal to truly compete but are more content to print money, "loan" it to politically connected companies and state owned industries, and take their finders fee.
    , @Anatoly Karlin
    Devil's advocate position: It's probably (probably? definitely!) a lot tougher to come up with true innovation today than it was back in the 1950's. Shoulders of giants and all that.

    In fairness to China, in sectors where there is a lot of unharnessed innovation potential, such as genetics, they seem to be doing okay. Indeed, it might even have a better future in China than in the West because of the latter's stultifying PC orthodoxy.

    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • One of the biggest questions in global history is why it was Western Europe that industrialized first, and ended up colonizing most of the rest of the world. As late as 1450, the possibility of such an outcome would have been ridiculed. By almost any metric, China was well in the lead through the medieval...
  • @georgesdelatour
    I think you're on to something.

    I was listening to an iTunes University series by the philosopher John Searle, who's been lecturing in China. Just as an aside, he said (approximately) … "Will Mandarin become the world's first language of international communication? They'll need to get an alphabet first."

    Hieroglyphic system is very different from alphabetic system.
    In hieroglyphic script, a character is usually means a phrase just like ancient chinese. To cut done the uncertain of chinese characters, it has change the one character to two characters as a words. “否”, in pinyin is “fou” means no or negative in english has changed to “不是”/“不” which in pinyin are “bushi” and “bu”. The pronunciation has already changed without changing in the meaning and increase the efficiency of understanding.
    It is very hard to learn at first but after you learn plenty of characters, it is much easier than alphabetic system. Because it do not have as much grammar as alphabetic system. For example, when a action took place , the “take” need to change to “took” to shows that it is in the past time. But it is very simple in chinese. It just need to add a time without changing anything, etc. Hence, it is easier to combinate a sentence. Usually chinese students need 4000-5000 are enough to read almost all the chinese books(except the ancient chinese which the characters have different meanings). But students in alphabetic system need at least 8000 words for sure(but basic english just need 26 character LOL).
    I can’t say chinese is more efficiency than english not just in mechanic side but when you search some translations between chinese and english you will find the chinese article usually shorter than english one.
    And also I found that many chinese philosophical thinking just under the chinese characters which is amazing. It is easy to find this in the common conversation.

    I agree that the chinese writing may be a reason to its industrialisation but in fact it because the philosophical thinking under the writing. For example to be filial is very important in chinese culture. This may cause children do not do what their parents not like to especally a sentence I remember: Children do not travel far away when parents are alive. Because they have the responsibility to take care of their parents. Is that might explain why ancient chinese not travel the whole world in ancient when they already have the great seamanship during Song dynasty(960-1279A.D) and also Ming Dynasty(1368-1644A.D). The size of Zhenhe’s ship in 1405 A.D is about 130 meter long and 50 meter wide. The fleet have over 200 ship 27,000 staff and with over 1,000 tonnes of displacement. Sadly, after Zhenhe no one traveled again hence many of technology used to build these great wooden ship had lost.

    Read More
    • Replies: @charly
    Most Chinese words are not made of one character but 2 or more. So if you know those 4000/5000 characters you can "read" all words but you don't knowing the mean of all words nor can you pronounce all words. Also the fact that you claim that Chinese grammar is easier is not due to using characters but is something that is innate to the Chinese spoken languages .
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • Chinese Characteristics by Arthur Henderson Smith, published in 1894. It is available free here. Rating: 5/5. In rich and evocative prose reminiscent of De Tocqueville's writings on America, Arthur H. Smith lays out what he sees as the core features of the Chinese character and his values. The tone is bold and fearless, making sweeping...
  • @Glossy
    "this cultural and cognitive chasm has now closed."

    Not when it comes to innovation. They've had more industrialization than the USSR under Stalin and they've moved more people from villages into apartment blocks than the USSR under Khruschov. Yet they haven't even tried to do anything as cool as Sputnik, Gagarin's flight and the first nuclear power stations were at their time. Their biggest technological novelty is that magnetic levitation train line, designed by Germans. Stunning economic might without any innovation at all.

    I am guessing you are not from a engineering background.

    There is a line from “Pirates of Silicon Valley”:
    Good programmers copy, Best Programmer steal.

    When the game is playing catch up, simply copying would be sufficient in closing the existing gap. There is no need for China to innovate much at this stage in game, maybe in 10-20 years…

    More apt comparison would be to Japan and Korea. China is merely following the development model first pioneered by Japan, adopted by other East Asian regions such as Korea and Taiwan. Except on a gigantic scale, Japan X 10

    I grew up in China in the 80s, and to me, the opening up of China since 1978 is rather like Meiji Restoration of Japan in the late 19th century when Japan decides to copy West in earnest. On the other hand, the massive industrialization and urbanization is similar to that of United States of the late 19th century. British capital and European technology applied (+waves of immigrant labor and abundant resources) made the rise of the American Power possible. American Indigenous innovation came much later.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Glossy
    "American Indigenous innovation came much later."

    This is not true. Robert Fulton, an American, built the first steam boat in the late 18th century. The inventions of Bell, Edison and others came in the 19th.

    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • Jing says: • Website
    @Glossy
    "this cultural and cognitive chasm has now closed."

    Not when it comes to innovation. They've had more industrialization than the USSR under Stalin and they've moved more people from villages into apartment blocks than the USSR under Khruschov. Yet they haven't even tried to do anything as cool as Sputnik, Gagarin's flight and the first nuclear power stations were at their time. Their biggest technological novelty is that magnetic levitation train line, designed by Germans. Stunning economic might without any innovation at all.

    I fail to understand why people demand “innovation” (as if anyone could be assed to quantify the term) presently from China. Actually I have a solid hypothesis that its simply because most people are illogical simpletons who couldn’t train themselves for greater comprehension no more than I can train a cat to jump at whim. Pushing any technical frontier entails a great degree of risk, expense, and the possibility of failure. For all of China’s economic growth, it must be kept in mind that it started out somewhere BELOW sub-saharan Africa in per capita GDP in the post Mao era and even today, it’s nominal per capita GDP is about 1/8th that of the West. Simply put there is still considerable room left for catch up growth by simply absorbing more already established skills and technology from the West. There is simply no overall need yet to pursue risky marginal returns on unproven “innovation” that is even arguably grinding to a standstill in the US when other avenues are still available.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Glossy
    The USSR lay in ruins in 1945, yet in 1957 it achieved something that no country had done before: it created the first artificial satellite of the Earth. The amount of real economic activity in today's China is stunning. I'm talking about manufacturing, construction and infrastructure development. No one's ever built or manufactured that much in that short a time. And all of it represents copying of existing technologies.

    There are many motivations for innovating, but one of them should be especially clear to the politicians running China: prestige. Stunning the world in a positive way. The Olympic Games are such a triviality compared to major sci-tech stuff like building a space elevator, starting a lunar colony, looking for life on the moons of Saturn, learning to grow human organs in a lab. The West isn't going back to the Moon, etc. because it's bankrupt. And sure, that reflects badly on Western countries. But China doesn't have that excuse.

    A small example of the copying:

    I sometimes hang out at the skyscraperpage forums. A few years ago someone there posted a characteristic picture of Moscow. Not of central, historical Moscow, but of the type of neighborhood where I grew up and where most Moscovites live. A forum member, most likely not a Russian one, commented below:

    "/ wicked shots. The last one looks like it's from a Chinese interior city."

    And below that someone replied:

    "Or Chinese inland cities look like Moscow

    They invented the commie block..."

    That's absolutely true. I have a feeling that in the future millions of tourists visiting formerly Soviet cities will think that they look just like Chinese ones.

    The comments I quoted can be found below the 5th photo on this page:

    http://forum.skyscraperpage.com/showthread.php?t=174390&page=2

    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @Glossy
    "this cultural and cognitive chasm has now closed."

    Not when it comes to innovation. They've had more industrialization than the USSR under Stalin and they've moved more people from villages into apartment blocks than the USSR under Khruschov. Yet they haven't even tried to do anything as cool as Sputnik, Gagarin's flight and the first nuclear power stations were at their time. Their biggest technological novelty is that magnetic levitation train line, designed by Germans. Stunning economic might without any innovation at all.

    Not when it comes to innovation, true. Although who knows? But by and large you’re right, 95%+ of it is copying and adoption of best practices right now.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • “this cultural and cognitive chasm has now closed.”

    Not when it comes to innovation. They’ve had more industrialization than the USSR under Stalin and they’ve moved more people from villages into apartment blocks than the USSR under Khruschov. Yet they haven’t even tried to do anything as cool as Sputnik, Gagarin’s flight and the first nuclear power stations were at their time. Their biggest technological novelty is that magnetic levitation train line, designed by Germans. Stunning economic might without any innovation at all.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin
    Not when it comes to innovation, true. Although who knows? But by and large you're right, 95%+ of it is copying and adoption of best practices right now.
    , @Jing
    I fail to understand why people demand "innovation" (as if anyone could be assed to quantify the term) presently from China. Actually I have a solid hypothesis that its simply because most people are illogical simpletons who couldn't train themselves for greater comprehension no more than I can train a cat to jump at whim. Pushing any technical frontier entails a great degree of risk, expense, and the possibility of failure. For all of China's economic growth, it must be kept in mind that it started out somewhere BELOW sub-saharan Africa in per capita GDP in the post Mao era and even today, it's nominal per capita GDP is about 1/8th that of the West. Simply put there is still considerable room left for catch up growth by simply absorbing more already established skills and technology from the West. There is simply no overall need yet to pursue risky marginal returns on unproven "innovation" that is even arguably grinding to a standstill in the US when other avenues are still available.
    , @papizha
    I am guessing you are not from a engineering background.

    There is a line from "Pirates of Silicon Valley":
    Good programmers copy, Best Programmer steal.

    When the game is playing catch up, simply copying would be sufficient in closing the existing gap. There is no need for China to innovate much at this stage in game, maybe in 10-20 years...

    More apt comparison would be to Japan and Korea. China is merely following the development model first pioneered by Japan, adopted by other East Asian regions such as Korea and Taiwan. Except on a gigantic scale, Japan X 10

    I grew up in China in the 80s, and to me, the opening up of China since 1978 is rather like Meiji Restoration of Japan in the late 19th century when Japan decides to copy West in earnest. On the other hand, the massive industrialization and urbanization is similar to that of United States of the late 19th century. British capital and European technology applied (+waves of immigrant labor and abundant resources) made the rise of the American Power possible. American Indigenous innovation came much later.

    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @Craig James Willy
    Interesting assessment. I do find the "doomed civilization/Yellow Hordes" schizophrenia rather amusing. A bit like how, during the Enlightenment, China was often held up as the epitome of the rational, meritocratic State.. A lot of projection going on.

    On Western-Chinese(-Russian) convergence: Emmanuel Todd has suggested that free trade and globalization may not only lead to economic convergence, which is happening both in terms of standards of living and inequality, but also *(un)democratic convergence*: free trade with underdeveloped countries both empowers Western oligarchies and creates pressures for social regression that can only be implemented if universal suffrage is bypassed. A plausible scenario.

    I would find it interesting to research whether the "get-rich" materialism is an inevitable part of modernity or part of "contamination" from the West (or a reaction to Communist hysteria). Was Japan, prior to 1945, similarly obsessed with money? To what extent do others nations'/civilizations' paths to modernity remain parallel but separate to the West, to what extent must they converge?

    In China, the overwhelming view is that the current bout of “get-rich” materialism is the result of deprivation experienced under 30 disastrous years of Mao (Greap Leap Forward + Cultural Revolution). Culturist believes this is because Cultural Revolution destroyed the basic moral fibers of the traditional Chinese culture. I don’t place too much stock in this line of thinking. If you starve a man for a long time, then set food in front of him, what do you expect?

    Mainland Chinese society had been subjected to terrific man-made famine from 1956-1963 and then continuous material deprivation and political upheaval from then onward to 1976. Is it any surprise after all that prevailing ethos is “get rich quick”?

    Add to that this is a society that’s rapidly going through industrialization and urbanization on a vast scale. What we witness in China today, I could not have imagined in my wildest dreams as I was growing up attending elementary school in Chongqing in the early 80s.

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  • Interesting assessment. I do find the “doomed civilization/Yellow Hordes” schizophrenia rather amusing. A bit like how, during the Enlightenment, China was often held up as the epitome of the rational, meritocratic State.. A lot of projection going on.

    On Western-Chinese(-Russian) convergence: Emmanuel Todd has suggested that free trade and globalization may not only lead to economic convergence, which is happening both in terms of standards of living and inequality, but also *(un)democratic convergence*: free trade with underdeveloped countries both empowers Western oligarchies and creates pressures for social regression that can only be implemented if universal suffrage is bypassed. A plausible scenario.

    I would find it interesting to research whether the “get-rich” materialism is an inevitable part of modernity or part of “contamination” from the West (or a reaction to Communist hysteria). Was Japan, prior to 1945, similarly obsessed with money? To what extent do others nations’/civilizations’ paths to modernity remain parallel but separate to the West, to what extent must they converge?

    Read More
    • Replies: @papizha
    In China, the overwhelming view is that the current bout of “get-rich” materialism is the result of deprivation experienced under 30 disastrous years of Mao (Greap Leap Forward + Cultural Revolution). Culturist believes this is because Cultural Revolution destroyed the basic moral fibers of the traditional Chinese culture. I don’t place too much stock in this line of thinking. If you starve a man for a long time, then set food in front of him, what do you expect?

    Mainland Chinese society had been subjected to terrific man-made famine from 1956-1963 and then continuous material deprivation and political upheaval from then onward to 1976. Is it any surprise after all that prevailing ethos is “get rich quick”?

    Add to that this is a society that’s rapidly going through industrialization and urbanization on a vast scale. What we witness in China today, I could not have imagined in my wildest dreams as I was growing up attending elementary school in Chongqing in the early 80s.

    , @The Undiscovered Jew
    I do find the “doomed civilization/Yellow Hordes” schizophrenia rather amusing.

    The problem with China achieving global hegemony is that they are surrounded
    by powerful neighbors like Japan, India and Russia that all either have nuclear weapons or could have them in short order if they wanted to. Geography doesn't help them either. China's regional competitors are protected by fearsome natural barriers that heavily favor the defender and Chinese own industrial might sits next to coastlines that are very vulnerable to naval and air attacks.

    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • One of the biggest questions in global history is why it was Western Europe that industrialized first, and ended up colonizing most of the rest of the world. As late as 1450, the possibility of such an outcome would have been ridiculed. By almost any metric, China was well in the lead through the medieval...
  • Anon • Disclaimer says:

    You’re absolutely correct with regards to the deficits forced by the Chinese script. Comparing Japan and China in the 1800s, Japan had a literacy level superior to that of many European states, and all it requires is learning / memorizing 100 or so characters. This is not for strict literacy; it doesnli’t mean that the Japanese can actually read their Kanji, but it means that they can communicate and write using their Kana systems with Furigana attached to Kanji as necessary. China, on the other hand, kept to around 10% or less of the population being literate, and this was with the traditional script, which is myriads more complicated than the simplified version promulgated by the Communists.

    As I mentioned elsewhere, there’s also Sapir-Whorf effects enforced by a character-based system; the time required to write full Chinese words (Hou 後 takes 11 strokes to write, and requires the activation of a drawing system, as opposed to a more simple writing system for “back” or “rear”, the former requiring 7 strikes and the latter requiring 5) impacts linguistic evolution and forces terseness in communication.

    ===

    By the way, the Chinese already had mass production / industrialization in the Qin dynasty, sort of how like the Romans also had a workshop system. The Qin state produced weapons in government-controlled workshops, complete with quality control inspectors, punishable by death for Q&A failures. And Chinese lacquerware was produced in stages and in batches, whereas the Japanese switched off to a simpler techinque (and innovated in their own way) because they didn’t understand how to do mass production.

    Chinese porcelain is also the result of workshop systems, not individual craftsmen producing each piece piece by piece; these things would be painted and fired in batches, not on a piece by piece basis.

    ” Expectations of output ranged from 100 per day for a man throwing small bowls and saucers to 10 per day for a man making large vessels.11 Clearly, porcelain was mass-produced by a specialized workforce engaged in a highly organized process. While not a matter of individual inspiration, porcelain production provides an impressive precedent for large-scale manufacturing.”

    http://www.seattleartmuseum.org/Exhibit/Archive/porcelainstories/process/process.htm

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  • He writes: China isn't anywhere near as backward as he portrays it. (1) The urban-rural ratio was essentially 50/50 according to the 2010 Census. Furthermore, rural Chinese don't really suffer from the absolute destitution common to peasants in Third World countries. They own their own land and it is almost impossible for them to lose...
  • Anon • Disclaimer says:

    Also, Karlin, read up on the Song Enlightenment. The Europeans were very exceptional in the way they used their historical inheritance to provide radical new concepts, but the Europeans in the 1500s were undergoing the same crisis as the Chinese or the Muslims; their agricultural productivity was not growing faster than population. The Europeans were lucky enough to manage to expand into the Americas; allowing them to build wealth and agricultural capability to escape the Malthusian trap that doomed the Chinese.

    The Chinese actually achieved the same result back in the Song dynasty in 1100, 1200, complete with paper money and other innovations. They used new strains of rice, promoted by the Chinese State to radically increase productivity, and productivity increased faster than population growth as a result. During that period, radical new ideas emerged in China, like Neo-Confucianism, and most importantly, orthodox Neo-Confucianism, which espoused a type of proto-science based in the investigation of things as a mode of moral self-improvement. China made its greatest leaps in mathematics in that era, and achieved the majority of its technological innovations in the same era. The Chinese had joint stock companies, and after the collapse of the Northern Song, the Southern Song state was too weak to prevent the emergence of a commercial class, which began voyages into Southeast Asia.

    After the destruction of the Southern Song by the Mongols, however, China became significantly more autocratic as a result and the need for solid state power to defend against powerful external enemies crimped innovation. Mathematics, believe it or not, became a kind of Chinese eugenics, which became morally suspect due to its association with Mongol collaborators like eugenics became suspect due to its association with the Nazis, and many key technologies were lost, such as advanced bronze casting. China also never regained the radical improvements in agricultural productivity under the Song; while agricultural productivity continued to rise, in part due to the introduction of American crops, most of the productivity improvements were absorbed by population increases, until the state ultimately experienced a Malthusian collapse.

    ==

    Compare Japan as a counterpoint. Japan, after the Tokugawa consolidation, grew its population rather slowly, due to exacting taxes from the political class. Productivity improvements were still possible, however, but increased production was mostly channeled back into the political class and economic elites. This allowed the development of urban culture, elite culture, and proto-capitalism in Japan with the rise of an affluent merchant class. China, under the contemporaneous Qing dynasty, actually had a policy of low taxes and minimal government as a Confucian concept of benevolent rule. So by the time of the Meiji Restoration, China had 15 times Japan’s population and significantly inferior per capita incomes and human development.

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  • Anon • Disclaimer says:
    @AG
    "consist exclusively of predicates, which are woven together in an intricate planner, the whole mass seeming, like Mohammed’s coffin, to hang in the air, attached to nothing whatever. "

    Sounds like good training for math. lol.

    People don’t get listener-oriented languages versus speaker-oriented languages. Chinese is often all predicates, but the nominative is already understood through context by the listener. It’s probably related to the Chinese written language; if you’re going to write a pictographic language where each word has a discrete meaning and also takes up to 20 seconds or even a minute to write, you are not going to spend hours writing a 500 word essay when a 100 word essay where most of the meaning is encoded in implication can suffice.

    On the other hand, it is a limiting language. If you have the choice of being terse and talking about one subject incessantly versus the choice of having to insert new referents, you’re more likely to stick to a single topic. This results in lower creativity as knight’s leap thinking is effectively discouraged because you don’t want to switch to a new nominative. And Chinese philosophy, for all its splendors and precociousness (relativism millennia before the West, understanding of systems, paradoxes, humanism as state religion), developed only one interesting logical system, which was ultimately suppressed as heterodox. Compare even the Indians, who came up with several distinct logical systems. You have more difficulty chaining ideas together if terseness is your goal, and for that matter, if Chinese is an allusive language, you create more potential for misunderstanding and increase the imprecision of the language.

    The lack of inflection is also a problem. In Latin, where words have case and tense and conjugation, you must decide what you want to think before you come out with your sentence. In Chinese, you can change your mind mid-sentence and get away with it.

    Modern Chinese is less limited by characters, though, since simplified Chinese is radically easier to write, being derived from cursive Chinese, and since typewriters allow the more loquacious among them to rant forever and ever. Through Western and Japanese influence, Chinese now uses more compound words derived from simpler concepts and the terseness of the language comes to better advantage when complex ideas are struck together as in German, providing the ability to specify a concept with extreme precision. For instance, I’ve encountered multiple Chinese phrases which form an extremely elegant noun phrase, when in English the number of specifiers mean that you need to use conjunctions and prepositions to make the concept grammatical; and when struck into a common understanding in the lexicon, these terms can be easily shortened a la Newspeak, providing the ability for both terseness and precision in the same word.

    ===

    What screwed them over in languages is quite similar to a lot of Chinese cultural weaknesses. They came up with an extremely precocious technology or technique long ago in their ancient history, and because it was so good, there was never any incentive to create an innovation complex and radically improve it; any incremental improvement would be a step backwards. Now that the West has forced China to modernize, they are now using their inherent advantages to make themselves exceptional in the world. It’s like the child prodigy who becomes a disappointment in adult life because his innate intelligence allowed him to avoid learning so many important life skills. If he’s lucky, he’ll pick them up in early adulthood and still become a high-performing member of society, but not without a lot of pain.

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  • In the discussion at the previous post, in which I took exception to Ron Unz's theory of the East Asian Exception, he alerted me to so additional work on the matter he'd done as a Harvard freshman on Chinese IQ. You can read his summary of Social Darwinism and Rural China as well as Steve...
  • @Anonymous
    in my opinion, mongols and others barbarians of Siberia are mixed with eskimos
    if you see, the culture of siberians barbarians and mongols are similares of apaches indigenous, there some eskimos tribes in north and northeast of Asia, are almost impossible theys do not meet


    I heard that the IQ of mongolia is a estimated based in mean of your neighbors(Rússia and China)

    Your knowledge is worse than 5 year old child’s.

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  • @Glossy
    "There’s no serious data on them except ‘IQ and Global Inequality’ which puts Mongolian IQ at 101."

    I didn't know that. I have Lynn's "Race Differences in Intelligence" here, published in 2006. On p. 240 he says:

    "There is a further anomaly in the intelligence of the peoples of Northeast Asia concerning the IQs of the Mongols of Mongolia and the closely related Samoyeds of Northern Siberia. There are no studies of the intelligence of these peoples but their low level of cultural development and technology suggests that it is not so high as that of the East Asians of China, Japan and Korea."

    I don't own a copy of "IQ and Global Inequality." If you own one, can you quote the place that cites Mongolian IQ at 101?

    Read this: http://www.photius.com/rankings/national_iq_scores_country_ranks.html
    Low level of cultural development and technology doesnt suggest anything my friend. This depends on life circumstances and the system.

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  • @Kiwiguy
    Peter Frost commented on Ron's unpublished paper. In respect to the differences across Japan, Korea & China, he notes:

    "Was this factor strong enough to raise the mean level of intelligence? One objection is that the Chinese civil service exam was only partially adopted by Korea and Japan. Yet mean IQ is similar in all three societies.

    This objection ignores the broader emphasis on education in all East Asian societies. China, Korea, and Japan have long been "exam cultures," even if we exclude the civil service exam. This exam grew out of values that were embedded in Confucianism and present throughout East Asia:
    .....

    Clearly, the higher mean IQs of East Asians cannot be solely or even mainly attributed to the Confucian exam culture. The main cause was the establishment of a State society, its monopoly on the use of violence, and its creation of an orderly, rules-based society. Reproductive success depended on being able to play by the rules.

    The rules, however, were formalized in the teachings of Confucius. One’s knowledge of these teachings became a proxy for one’s ability to succeed in East Asian society. More generally, it became a proxy for intellectual performance, all the more so because one had to memorize Chinese characters (a minimum of 10,000 for functional fluency) and understand an archaic form of the language. Thus, Confucian exam culture might explain some of the differences between European and East Asian intellectual performance.

    But why did this exam culture develop in East Asia and not in Europe? Greco-Roman society similarly valued study of classical literature and proficiency in archaic Greek and Latin (as opposed to the contemporary Koine Greek and Vulgar Latin). With the advent of Christianity, however, classical “pagan” literature became viewed with suspicion. Emphasis shifted toward study of the Bible, and such study usually involved entry into celibate religious orders. Insofar as academic success was linked to heritable predispositions, the overall impact of natural selection would have been negative."

    http://evoandproud.blogspot.co.nz/2011/02/east-asian-intelligence.html

    But Japanese did not take these exams. I believe Koreans did, but not Japanese. So why the high IQ there when they had not received significant immigration from Mainland China for 2,000 years and it was never as much as they got from Korea or their own aboriginal input.

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  • @charly
    North Chinese look exactly like Southern Chinese so it doesn't fuck your theory up that Shanghai is the brainy part of China. Also people speaking the language of the capitol is unheard of.

    No Southern and Northern Han Chinese don’t look exactly alike, that is false, even Chinese will say this. Northern Han tend to look more like Koreans and MOngols, and even some Turkic groups (because much of NOrthern China was controlled by these groups on and off for centuries)…and many Southern Chinese look very much like Thai and Vietnamese because Thai and Vietnamese came from SOuthern CHina and the Han migrated down there and mixed with the local “barbarians” as well as pushing many of them into Southeast Asia.

    Classic Northern Chinese look -
    Classic Southern Chinese look –

    Southerns tend to be darker and shorter with flatter wider noses and deeper set eyes…northerners the opposite.

    This reflects a genetic cline from north to south in China as well:

    http://pmsol3.wordpress.com/2008/01/24/chinese-y-chromosome-testing/

    Han men married local women where they migrated, and raised their kids as Han Chinese, which makes up most of the genetic difference.

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  • I shall make some nationalist comments here.

    Celtic Europe (The Atlantic coast from Morocco to Iceland) divided land equally between all the children. This included the English, a mixture of Germans and Celts, until 1066 when the Normans introduced primogeniture.

    The modern rise in standard of living in England began in the Eastern counties after the Black Death when age for men at marriage rose to 28 or so from 23. Women married around 22 years old rather than 20. (This is from memory – it was in the New Scientist and on some now ancient BBC history program). Basically, after a period of overpopulation when expectation of young males was low so women were indifferent, some young males had access to land and were more valuable for marriage than others. We can expect diligence, impulsivity and intelligence to give advantages in a struggle for land. In those days and for much longer, the labouring poor reproduced less successfully than the yeoman class (renters of a farm).

    But intelligence as the key to human achievement is hokum in more ways than I am going to list here. As the Cookie Test demonstrated, other factors are at least as important in terms of achievement. Managed impulsivity is one (do smokers have lower IQ’s – no, they are less able to control impulses). Motivation is another. Only a few highly intelligent, diligent and motivated people are required to make the big advances.

    Other thoughts.
    European Neolithic and Bronze ages – very little warfare in the archaeological record. So, not much coercion, selection depends on personal choices.
    European Iron Age to Black Death – armed warrior aristocracy makes the social decisions. So, aristocratic genes dispersed into population in preference to slave/serf class males who died unmarried.
    Basic English has a German vocabulary with very few Celtic words but in recent years it has been observed that almost all Grammatical variations from German involving verbs are derived from early Welsh. So English doesn’t just have a huge vocabulary. It has multiple sources of grammar. Very tough for someone who speaks a more logically consistent language.

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  • Anonymous • Disclaimer says:
    @Kiwiguy
    Peter Frost commented on Ron's unpublished paper. In respect to the differences across Japan, Korea & China, he notes:

    "Was this factor strong enough to raise the mean level of intelligence? One objection is that the Chinese civil service exam was only partially adopted by Korea and Japan. Yet mean IQ is similar in all three societies.

    This objection ignores the broader emphasis on education in all East Asian societies. China, Korea, and Japan have long been "exam cultures," even if we exclude the civil service exam. This exam grew out of values that were embedded in Confucianism and present throughout East Asia:
    .....

    Clearly, the higher mean IQs of East Asians cannot be solely or even mainly attributed to the Confucian exam culture. The main cause was the establishment of a State society, its monopoly on the use of violence, and its creation of an orderly, rules-based society. Reproductive success depended on being able to play by the rules.

    The rules, however, were formalized in the teachings of Confucius. One’s knowledge of these teachings became a proxy for one’s ability to succeed in East Asian society. More generally, it became a proxy for intellectual performance, all the more so because one had to memorize Chinese characters (a minimum of 10,000 for functional fluency) and understand an archaic form of the language. Thus, Confucian exam culture might explain some of the differences between European and East Asian intellectual performance.

    But why did this exam culture develop in East Asia and not in Europe? Greco-Roman society similarly valued study of classical literature and proficiency in archaic Greek and Latin (as opposed to the contemporary Koine Greek and Vulgar Latin). With the advent of Christianity, however, classical “pagan” literature became viewed with suspicion. Emphasis shifted toward study of the Bible, and such study usually involved entry into celibate religious orders. Insofar as academic success was linked to heritable predispositions, the overall impact of natural selection would have been negative."

    http://evoandproud.blogspot.co.nz/2011/02/east-asian-intelligence.html

    SeekiYan said: According to the statistics of Chinese characters used in newspapers, 90% of the daily used Chinese characters are around 600 only. 97% of the daily used characters are up to 2000 characters. That means if you know about 600 characters you can read and thoroughly understand the newspaper written in Chinese already.
    My own experience in studying English: After studying English for more then ten years and sit for the SAT, in the analogy session, they give a pair of words and then required me to choose the answers from four other pairs of words in the questions. I don’t know any one of it out the ten vocabulary, not in only one question, but in most of the questions. The English speaking people always proud of their rich in vocabulary, but in fact this is a nightmare for a foreigner of different culture to learn their language. After forty years of using English, I still cannot grasp the simple (as native English speaking people say) grammar in English.

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  • Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    in my opinion, mongols and others barbarians of Siberia are mixed with eskimos
    if you see, the culture of siberians barbarians and mongols are similares of apaches indigenous, there some eskimos tribes in north and northeast of Asia, are almost impossible theys do not meet

    I heard that the IQ of mongolia is a estimated based in mean of your neighbors(Rússia and China)

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    • Replies: @selly7
    Your knowledge is worse than 5 year old child's.
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  • He writes: China isn't anywhere near as backward as he portrays it. (1) The urban-rural ratio was essentially 50/50 according to the 2010 Census. Furthermore, rural Chinese don't really suffer from the absolute destitution common to peasants in Third World countries. They own their own land and it is almost impossible for them to lose...
  • [...] Disagree With Ron Unz’s Conclusions on Chinese IQ, Anatoly Karlin, August 17, 2012 [...]

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  • In the discussion at the previous post, in which I took exception to Ron Unz's theory of the East Asian Exception, he alerted me to so additional work on the matter he'd done as a Harvard freshman on Chinese IQ. You can read his summary of Social Darwinism and Rural China as well as Steve...
  • @Kiwiguy
    Peter Frost commented on Ron's unpublished paper. In respect to the differences across Japan, Korea & China, he notes:

    "Was this factor strong enough to raise the mean level of intelligence? One objection is that the Chinese civil service exam was only partially adopted by Korea and Japan. Yet mean IQ is similar in all three societies.

    This objection ignores the broader emphasis on education in all East Asian societies. China, Korea, and Japan have long been "exam cultures," even if we exclude the civil service exam. This exam grew out of values that were embedded in Confucianism and present throughout East Asia:
    .....

    Clearly, the higher mean IQs of East Asians cannot be solely or even mainly attributed to the Confucian exam culture. The main cause was the establishment of a State society, its monopoly on the use of violence, and its creation of an orderly, rules-based society. Reproductive success depended on being able to play by the rules.

    The rules, however, were formalized in the teachings of Confucius. One’s knowledge of these teachings became a proxy for one’s ability to succeed in East Asian society. More generally, it became a proxy for intellectual performance, all the more so because one had to memorize Chinese characters (a minimum of 10,000 for functional fluency) and understand an archaic form of the language. Thus, Confucian exam culture might explain some of the differences between European and East Asian intellectual performance.

    But why did this exam culture develop in East Asia and not in Europe? Greco-Roman society similarly valued study of classical literature and proficiency in archaic Greek and Latin (as opposed to the contemporary Koine Greek and Vulgar Latin). With the advent of Christianity, however, classical “pagan” literature became viewed with suspicion. Emphasis shifted toward study of the Bible, and such study usually involved entry into celibate religious orders. Insofar as academic success was linked to heritable predispositions, the overall impact of natural selection would have been negative."

    http://evoandproud.blogspot.co.nz/2011/02/east-asian-intelligence.html

    Weird, but i always taught that Latin was still required until the early 19 century to function intellectually and that Europe has always loved lawyers. But who am i to claim that this sounds to much like finding proof to a predetermined conclusion.

    ps Isn’t the bible written in another language and big?

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  • @HX (Huax)
    Mongolia liberalized fairly late and they are in the process of stabilizing now - in Taiwan, SK and China's formative economic years GDP growth was likewise all over the map. Their's is growing at 15%+ now, and will probably stay high due to relatively large mineral wealth per capita.

    Bhutan is another (mostly) EA nation though it's nominally 25% South Asian (illegals)

    Having large mineral wealth and becoming successful are to different thing. I would even argue that there is a negative correlation. There is a reason why Norway scores so low.

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    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • Peter Frost commented on Ron’s unpublished paper. In respect to the differences across Japan, Korea & China, he notes:

    “Was this factor strong enough to raise the mean level of intelligence? One objection is that the Chinese civil service exam was only partially adopted by Korea and Japan. Yet mean IQ is similar in all three societies.

    This objection ignores the broader emphasis on education in all East Asian societies. China, Korea, and Japan have long been “exam cultures,” even if we exclude the civil service exam. This exam grew out of values that were embedded in Confucianism and present throughout East Asia:
    …..

    Clearly, the higher mean IQs of East Asians cannot be solely or even mainly attributed to the Confucian exam culture. The main cause was the establishment of a State society, its monopoly on the use of violence, and its creation of an orderly, rules-based society. Reproductive success depended on being able to play by the rules.

    The rules, however, were formalized in the teachings of Confucius. One’s knowledge of these teachings became a proxy for one’s ability to succeed in East Asian society. More generally, it became a proxy for intellectual performance, all the more so because one had to memorize Chinese characters (a minimum of 10,000 for functional fluency) and understand an archaic form of the language. Thus, Confucian exam culture might explain some of the differences between European and East Asian intellectual performance.

    But why did this exam culture develop in East Asia and not in Europe? Greco-Roman society similarly valued study of classical literature and proficiency in archaic Greek and Latin (as opposed to the contemporary Koine Greek and Vulgar Latin). With the advent of Christianity, however, classical “pagan” literature became viewed with suspicion. Emphasis shifted toward study of the Bible, and such study usually involved entry into celibate religious orders. Insofar as academic success was linked to heritable predispositions, the overall impact of natural selection would have been negative.”

    http://evoandproud.blogspot.co.nz/2011/02/east-asian-intelligence.html

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    • Replies: @charly
    Weird, but i always taught that Latin was still required until the early 19 century to function intellectually and that Europe has always loved lawyers. But who am i to claim that this sounds to much like finding proof to a predetermined conclusion.

    ps Isn't the bible written in another language and big?

    , @Anonymous
    SeekiYan said: According to the statistics of Chinese characters used in newspapers, 90% of the daily used Chinese characters are around 600 only. 97% of the daily used characters are up to 2000 characters. That means if you know about 600 characters you can read and thoroughly understand the newspaper written in Chinese already.
    My own experience in studying English: After studying English for more then ten years and sit for the SAT, in the analogy session, they give a pair of words and then required me to choose the answers from four other pairs of words in the questions. I don't know any one of it out the ten vocabulary, not in only one question, but in most of the questions. The English speaking people always proud of their rich in vocabulary, but in fact this is a nightmare for a foreigner of different culture to learn their language. After forty years of using English, I still cannot grasp the simple (as native English speaking people say) grammar in English.
    , @Anonymous
    But Japanese did not take these exams. I believe Koreans did, but not Japanese. So why the high IQ there when they had not received significant immigration from Mainland China for 2,000 years and it was never as much as they got from Korea or their own aboriginal input.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @HX (Huax)
    Mongolia liberalized fairly late and they are in the process of stabilizing now - in Taiwan, SK and China's formative economic years GDP growth was likewise all over the map. Their's is growing at 15%+ now, and will probably stay high due to relatively large mineral wealth per capita.

    Bhutan is another (mostly) EA nation though it's nominally 25% South Asian (illegals)

    “I’m pretty sure that they didn’t have real statehood at the time of their conquests of the 13th century. A real state is bigger than any man or any family. A real state cannot be split among the children of a king. It is not any man’s or any family’s property. It has large bureaucratic institutions that tend to endure in a stable fashion through many changes of leadership. It can go on functioning without anyone at the top.”

    They did have a state, in a sense, because they were part of or closely connected to a bigger truly state-like entity, the Jin Dynasty (1115-1234). The Borjigin Mongols of Khan were the Menggu Shiwei and they had long been part of the civilized Liao Dynasty (907-1125) and later had intimate relations with the equally civilized Jin Dynasty. Khan was actually given the title “chautquri” (battle ruler) by the Jin Emperor Wanyan Madage. So the Mongols always had an imperial mindset.

    One day a Mongol could be alone hunting deer near Lake Baikal or chasing wild asses in the remotest part of the Gobi Desert (like a hunter-gatherer, developmentally a stage below pastoralism), a few weeks later he could be seated in the presence of the Chinese emperor (in many cases an ethnic Mongol himself as was the case with the Khitans and Tuoba) in Beijing or Chang’an (where half-Mongol Tang emperors ruled) discussing military affairs, trade relations and matters of imperial administration. This pattern can be seen all through history.

    For example (from Wikipedia) ‘the Mongolic-speaking Xianbei originally formed a part of the Donghu confederation, but existed even before that time, as evidenced by a mention in the Guoyu (“晉語八” section) which states that during the reign of King Cheng of Zhou (reigned 1042-1021 BC) the Xianbei came to participate at a meeting of Zhou subject-lords at Qiyang (岐阳) (now Qishan County) but were only allowed to perform the fire ceremony under the supervision of Chu (楚), since they were not vassals by covenant (诸侯).’

    I may not know the fine details but I know that there was a succession of rather advanced empires on the Mongolian steppes starting with the Donghu (c. 1200B.C.-209B.C), Xiongnu (209B.C.-93A.D) and continuing with the Xianbei (93-234), Murong (235-670), Rouran (330-555), Turk (552-744), Uyghur (745-840), Liao (907-1125) and all these before the Mongols of Khan. These states were big and complex enough and had close enough relations with China so I would call them states. They all had a physical territory, a subject population, formalized foreign relations, an organized state bureaucracy, so I think most of the basic criteria are met.

    I’m not sure if the same 3000 year old tradition of statehood applies in Central Asia, in the Stans. It’s far from China. It’s true though that Iran exerted a lot of influence culturally and genetically from the Achaemenids onward. There (in Central Asia) IQ strangely decreases as we move from Mongoloid to Southern Caucasoid: Kazakhstan (94), Kyrgyzstan (90), other three Stans (87), Iran (84).

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    • Replies: @Casian
    According to DODECAD, Kyrgyz have a higher Mongoloid/East Asian component than Kazakhs (70-80% vs 60-70%).
    , @Casian
    I think Central Asian underdevelopment (Kazakh/Kirgiz) has alot to do with socio-cultural/geographic vs HBD/genetic factors.
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  • @Glossy
    Among steppe nomads the entire adult male population fought on horseback. In Russia and the West only the aristocracy was trained to fight on horseback. Most of the population in both the West and China had to spend their time tilling land instead of daily improving their riding and raiding skills. Because of this, before firearms were perfected steppe nomads punched above their weight in war, were more successful in war per capita than settled peoples. The Mongols did more than their predecessors, but there had been precedents: the Huns, Hungarians, Polovtsy, Skythians, Turks, etc.

    I don't think any of these peoples contributed much to civilization. Modern Turks, Hungarians, Iranians, etc. are mostly descended from the people whom steppe nomads conquered, not from the nomads themselves.

    Anecdotally Kazakhs have lagged behind Russians in Kazakhstan. I don't know if this has been quantified anywhere in any way. And aren't the Kyrgyz descended from nomads too? I don't think independent Kyrgyzstan has been a success story. Almost every East Asian country has boomed in recent decades except for N. Korea (ideology) and Mongolia. It makes one think.

    Mongolia liberalized fairly late and they are in the process of stabilizing now – in Taiwan, SK and China’s formative economic years GDP growth was likewise all over the map. Their’s is growing at 15%+ now, and will probably stay high due to relatively large mineral wealth per capita.

    Bhutan is another (mostly) EA nation though it’s nominally 25% South Asian (illegals)

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    • Replies: @Jim
    "I’m pretty sure that they didn’t have real statehood at the time of their conquests of the 13th century. A real state is bigger than any man or any family. A real state cannot be split among the children of a king. It is not any man’s or any family’s property. It has large bureaucratic institutions that tend to endure in a stable fashion through many changes of leadership. It can go on functioning without anyone at the top."

    They did have a state, in a sense, because they were part of or closely connected to a bigger truly state-like entity, the Jin Dynasty (1115-1234). The Borjigin Mongols of Khan were the Menggu Shiwei and they had long been part of the civilized Liao Dynasty (907-1125) and later had intimate relations with the equally civilized Jin Dynasty. Khan was actually given the title "chautquri" (battle ruler) by the Jin Emperor Wanyan Madage. So the Mongols always had an imperial mindset.

    One day a Mongol could be alone hunting deer near Lake Baikal or chasing wild asses in the remotest part of the Gobi Desert (like a hunter-gatherer, developmentally a stage below pastoralism), a few weeks later he could be seated in the presence of the Chinese emperor (in many cases an ethnic Mongol himself as was the case with the Khitans and Tuoba) in Beijing or Chang'an (where half-Mongol Tang emperors ruled) discussing military affairs, trade relations and matters of imperial administration. This pattern can be seen all through history.

    For example (from Wikipedia) 'the Mongolic-speaking Xianbei originally formed a part of the Donghu confederation, but existed even before that time, as evidenced by a mention in the Guoyu ("晉語八" section) which states that during the reign of King Cheng of Zhou (reigned 1042-1021 BC) the Xianbei came to participate at a meeting of Zhou subject-lords at Qiyang (岐阳) (now Qishan County) but were only allowed to perform the fire ceremony under the supervision of Chu (楚), since they were not vassals by covenant (诸侯).'

    I may not know the fine details but I know that there was a succession of rather advanced empires on the Mongolian steppes starting with the Donghu (c. 1200B.C.-209B.C), Xiongnu (209B.C.-93A.D) and continuing with the Xianbei (93-234), Murong (235-670), Rouran (330-555), Turk (552-744), Uyghur (745-840), Liao (907-1125) and all these before the Mongols of Khan. These states were big and complex enough and had close enough relations with China so I would call them states. They all had a physical territory, a subject population, formalized foreign relations, an organized state bureaucracy, so I think most of the basic criteria are met.

    I'm not sure if the same 3000 year old tradition of statehood applies in Central Asia, in the Stans. It's far from China. It's true though that Iran exerted a lot of influence culturally and genetically from the Achaemenids onward. There (in Central Asia) IQ strangely decreases as we move from Mongoloid to Southern Caucasoid: Kazakhstan (94), Kyrgyzstan (90), other three Stans (87), Iran (84).

    , @charly
    Having large mineral wealth and becoming successful are to different thing. I would even argue that there is a negative correlation. There is a reason why Norway scores so low.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @maopai
    The first table in your link shows a ranking of the minimum score required for admission, not the average score of each region.

    whoops.

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    • Replies: @Anonymous
    To be honest, this table is completely irrelevant, because different provinces even have different full marks.......Shanghai is at the bottom...
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  • @HX (Huax)
    http://learning.sohu.com/s2007/2007gkcx/

    Link to 2007 Gao Kao scores. Shandong and Henan are on top but I don't know how representative those scores are. At first glance it sounds about right to me, though, people from that region are pretty smart.

    For sciences Shandong, Shanxi, Henan, Hebei, Heilongjiang, Jilin are all northern Chinese provinces that outscore Zhejiang - more or less all descendants of the same group of people.

    The first table in your link shows a ranking of the minimum score required for admission, not the average score of each region.

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    • Replies: @HX (Huax)
    whoops.
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  • @Glossy
    Among steppe nomads the entire adult male population fought on horseback. In Russia and the West only the aristocracy was trained to fight on horseback. Most of the population in both the West and China had to spend their time tilling land instead of daily improving their riding and raiding skills. Because of this, before firearms were perfected steppe nomads punched above their weight in war, were more successful in war per capita than settled peoples. The Mongols did more than their predecessors, but there had been precedents: the Huns, Hungarians, Polovtsy, Skythians, Turks, etc.

    I don't think any of these peoples contributed much to civilization. Modern Turks, Hungarians, Iranians, etc. are mostly descended from the people whom steppe nomads conquered, not from the nomads themselves.

    Anecdotally Kazakhs have lagged behind Russians in Kazakhstan. I don't know if this has been quantified anywhere in any way. And aren't the Kyrgyz descended from nomads too? I don't think independent Kyrgyzstan has been a success story. Almost every East Asian country has boomed in recent decades except for N. Korea (ideology) and Mongolia. It makes one think.

    At this point I have to make the always pertinent reminder that not everything in development is reducible to HBD. :)

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  • @Anatoly Karlin
    To have a state as you define it, you need an agrarian society, and the technological conditions simply didn't exist for the Mongols to create one in the South Siberian environment they inhabited at the time.

    But I certainly think the Mongols are a high IQ people like the East Asians. They created by far the most advanced nomadic steppe civilization in history. Their military tactics were unprecedented for their time; they exploited the military resources of civilization (e.g. Chinese siege engines), unlike most barbarians; military leadership was based on strongly meritocratic principles, which many countries hadn't gotten round to implementing even by the 19th century.

    Come to think of it, given their very small population and the climatic features of their spawning grounds, their achievements were nothing short of amazing.

    Among steppe nomads the entire adult male population fought on horseback. In Russia and the West only the aristocracy was trained to fight on horseback. Most of the population in both the West and China had to spend their time tilling land instead of daily improving their riding and raiding skills. Because of this, before firearms were perfected steppe nomads punched above their weight in war, were more successful in war per capita than settled peoples. The Mongols did more than their predecessors, but there had been precedents: the Huns, Hungarians, Polovtsy, Skythians, Turks, etc.

    I don’t think any of these peoples contributed much to civilization. Modern Turks, Hungarians, Iranians, etc. are mostly descended from the people whom steppe nomads conquered, not from the nomads themselves.

    Anecdotally Kazakhs have lagged behind Russians in Kazakhstan. I don’t know if this has been quantified anywhere in any way. And aren’t the Kyrgyz descended from nomads too? I don’t think independent Kyrgyzstan has been a success story. Almost every East Asian country has boomed in recent decades except for N. Korea (ideology) and Mongolia. It makes one think.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin
    At this point I have to make the always pertinent reminder that not everything in development is reducible to HBD. :)
    , @HX (Huax)
    Mongolia liberalized fairly late and they are in the process of stabilizing now - in Taiwan, SK and China's formative economic years GDP growth was likewise all over the map. Their's is growing at 15%+ now, and will probably stay high due to relatively large mineral wealth per capita.

    Bhutan is another (mostly) EA nation though it's nominally 25% South Asian (illegals)

    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @Glossy
    "They have a history of statehood stretching back 3000 years."

    I'm pretty sure that they didn't have real statehood at the time of their conquests of the 13th century. A real state is bigger than any man or any family. A real state cannot be split among the children of a king. It is not any man's or any family's property. It has large bureaucratic institutions that tend to endure in a stable fashion through many changes of leadership. It can go on functioning without anyone at the top. The Roman and Byzantine Empires were real states. In the Dark Ages and the early Middle Ages Europe didn't really have states. They re-emerged there in the late Middle Ages. Ivan III is sometimes credited with creating the first real Russian state in the late 15th century. The word Russia existed for many centuries before that, but there were no states separate from the property of princely families.

    China has had real states, sometimes one at a time, sometimes several at a time, for a very long time. I'm pretty sure that at the time of their peak notoriety (the 13th century) the Mongols didn't have a real state. As I said before, a real state cannot be treated as a family's inheritance, to be split among the children, and that's how Genghis's heirs treated their conquests.

    To have a state as you define it, you need an agrarian society, and the technological conditions simply didn’t exist for the Mongols to create one in the South Siberian environment they inhabited at the time.

    But I certainly think the Mongols are a high IQ people like the East Asians. They created by far the most advanced nomadic steppe civilization in history. Their military tactics were unprecedented for their time; they exploited the military resources of civilization (e.g. Chinese siege engines), unlike most barbarians; military leadership was based on strongly meritocratic principles, which many countries hadn’t gotten round to implementing even by the 19th century.

    Come to think of it, given their very small population and the climatic features of their spawning grounds, their achievements were nothing short of amazing.

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    • Replies: @Glossy
    Among steppe nomads the entire adult male population fought on horseback. In Russia and the West only the aristocracy was trained to fight on horseback. Most of the population in both the West and China had to spend their time tilling land instead of daily improving their riding and raiding skills. Because of this, before firearms were perfected steppe nomads punched above their weight in war, were more successful in war per capita than settled peoples. The Mongols did more than their predecessors, but there had been precedents: the Huns, Hungarians, Polovtsy, Skythians, Turks, etc.

    I don't think any of these peoples contributed much to civilization. Modern Turks, Hungarians, Iranians, etc. are mostly descended from the people whom steppe nomads conquered, not from the nomads themselves.

    Anecdotally Kazakhs have lagged behind Russians in Kazakhstan. I don't know if this has been quantified anywhere in any way. And aren't the Kyrgyz descended from nomads too? I don't think independent Kyrgyzstan has been a success story. Almost every East Asian country has boomed in recent decades except for N. Korea (ideology) and Mongolia. It makes one think.

    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @Glossy
    "They have a history of statehood stretching back 3000 years."

    I'm pretty sure that they didn't have real statehood at the time of their conquests of the 13th century. A real state is bigger than any man or any family. A real state cannot be split among the children of a king. It is not any man's or any family's property. It has large bureaucratic institutions that tend to endure in a stable fashion through many changes of leadership. It can go on functioning without anyone at the top. The Roman and Byzantine Empires were real states. In the Dark Ages and the early Middle Ages Europe didn't really have states. They re-emerged there in the late Middle Ages. Ivan III is sometimes credited with creating the first real Russian state in the late 15th century. The word Russia existed for many centuries before that, but there were no states separate from the property of princely families.

    China has had real states, sometimes one at a time, sometimes several at a time, for a very long time. I'm pretty sure that at the time of their peak notoriety (the 13th century) the Mongols didn't have a real state. As I said before, a real state cannot be treated as a family's inheritance, to be split among the children, and that's how Genghis's heirs treated their conquests.

    OK, correction: Novgorod was a real state going back to the Middle Ages. It’s more correct to say that Ivan III created the state from which the modern Russian state descends.

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    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @Jim
    @Glossy

    "I don’t own a copy of “IQ and Global Inequality.” If you own one, can you quote the place that cites Mongolian IQ at 101?"
    See:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Shokioto22/sandbox

    “I have Lynn’s “Race Differences in Intelligence” here, published in 2006. On p. 240 he says:
    There is a further anomaly in the intelligence of the peoples of Northeast Asia concerning the IQs of the Mongols of Mongolia and the closely related Samoyeds of Northern Siberia. There are no studies of the intelligence of these peoples but their low level of cultural development and technology suggests that it is not so high as that of the East Asians of China, Japan and Korea.”

    It seems a bit strange that the Mongols can be compared to the reindeer-herding Samoyeds of the Arctic. I'm not saying they are stupid (in fact the Samoyeds may be quite intelligent) but the Mongols should clearly be on another level. First the Samoyeds are only 45,000 and have been reindeer-herding in the far-northern Arctic for the past 5000 years. Mongols are 10 million and starting from the Donghu 3500 years ago have been constantly engaged in complex herding of sheep, goats, horses, cattle, camels and yaks (around 50 million animals at any time). The Monguor are a Mongol-speaking people numbering 250,000 who practice only agriculture and follow Confucianism mixed with Daoism and Buddhism. The Mongol lands have always (for the past 3500 years) been connected to China by an intimate umbilical cord of direct political, economic and social relations which places Mongols firmly within East Asia. They have a history of statehood stretching back 3000 years. In many respects they outdo the Tibetans if you look at the larger picture.

    The Samoyeds have been living in one stagnant social system (reindeer-herding) for the past 5000 years. The Chinese have been living in one closed social system (strictly sedentary agricultural) for the past 6000 years. The Mongols on the other have been living in a much more diverse and challenging social system incorporating steppe nomadic empires, Chinese settled agriculture, South Siberian hunting lifestyle, Tibetan religious complexity and Manchurian pastoral-agricultural hybrid lifestyle. And to this one must add the recent intensive Russian cultural influence.

    So Mongols should be studied within the sphere of East Asian IQ studies. One should remember that the Koreans and Japanese also came from Mongolia and the Lake Baikal region.

    “They have a history of statehood stretching back 3000 years.”

    I’m pretty sure that they didn’t have real statehood at the time of their conquests of the 13th century. A real state is bigger than any man or any family. A real state cannot be split among the children of a king. It is not any man’s or any family’s property. It has large bureaucratic institutions that tend to endure in a stable fashion through many changes of leadership. It can go on functioning without anyone at the top. The Roman and Byzantine Empires were real states. In the Dark Ages and the early Middle Ages Europe didn’t really have states. They re-emerged there in the late Middle Ages. Ivan III is sometimes credited with creating the first real Russian state in the late 15th century. The word Russia existed for many centuries before that, but there were no states separate from the property of princely families.

    China has had real states, sometimes one at a time, sometimes several at a time, for a very long time. I’m pretty sure that at the time of their peak notoriety (the 13th century) the Mongols didn’t have a real state. As I said before, a real state cannot be treated as a family’s inheritance, to be split among the children, and that’s how Genghis’s heirs treated their conquests.

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    • Replies: @Glossy
    OK, correction: Novgorod was a real state going back to the Middle Ages. It's more correct to say that Ivan III created the state from which the modern Russian state descends.
    , @Anatoly Karlin
    To have a state as you define it, you need an agrarian society, and the technological conditions simply didn't exist for the Mongols to create one in the South Siberian environment they inhabited at the time.

    But I certainly think the Mongols are a high IQ people like the East Asians. They created by far the most advanced nomadic steppe civilization in history. Their military tactics were unprecedented for their time; they exploited the military resources of civilization (e.g. Chinese siege engines), unlike most barbarians; military leadership was based on strongly meritocratic principles, which many countries hadn't gotten round to implementing even by the 19th century.

    Come to think of it, given their very small population and the climatic features of their spawning grounds, their achievements were nothing short of amazing.

    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @HX (Huax)
    http://learning.sohu.com/s2007/2007gkcx/

    Link to 2007 Gao Kao scores. Shandong and Henan are on top but I don't know how representative those scores are. At first glance it sounds about right to me, though, people from that region are pretty smart.

    For sciences Shandong, Shanxi, Henan, Hebei, Heilongjiang, Jilin are all northern Chinese provinces that outscore Zhejiang - more or less all descendants of the same group of people.

    Thanks, Huax. I’ll have a new post on this.

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    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @SP
    What most commenters from the West build their varies hypotheses upon are the following implicit assumptions that:

    1, All Han Chinese are about the same (oke, even sort of north-south divide, but only about 2 or 3 pts). - just like all Europeans have about the same IQ and a universal variance, right?

    2. Chinese, Japanese and Koreans are about the same. - just like continental Germans, British islanders and nord Finns are all about the same stock, yes?

    3. Japanese IQ, and increasingly S Korean IQ, represent post-Flynn ceiling for all Orientals, which is of course the natural ceiling for all Han Chinese after China is fully developed.

    4. Point (3) is further "confirmed" by varies test results of HK, USA, UK, Taiwan and Singapore.

    All above 4 are patently false, unfortunately.

    [ need to mention here: HK=Cantonese Han Chinese, USA West coast and UK = old timers are Cantonese mainly, Taiwan = Fujianese Han + aboriginals + a bit of everything, Singapore = descendents of mainly Fujianese+Cantonese landless peasants who went out of China striving for better livinghood throughout ages + minority but fastly increasing lower IQ Malays & Indians due to breeding + some recent top IQ economic migrants from China/HK.]


    Guess Jing has to find out what are the Gaokao stats of the last decade on diff han regions. Through all the conversations I’ve had with Chinese students the consensus seems to be that Fujianese and Cantonese are very good, but definitely not the toppers in Gaokao.

    Only from Gaokao stats, particularly heavy g-loaded Gaokao Science, one could gauge where are all sorts of Han Chinese, alongwith the Japanese and Koreans, stand in the rank, in combination with PISA and TIMSS that we’ve already known.

    First be clear on where they each are in the real world and get a grip on basic underlying assumptions, then build models/hypotheses to explain it, not the other way around increasingly a la “Multi-factor Random Bingo Modelling Rec1man Style” ( lol), agree?

    http://learning.sohu.com/s2007/2007gkcx/

    Link to 2007 Gao Kao scores. Shandong and Henan are on top but I don’t know how representative those scores are. At first glance it sounds about right to me, though, people from that region are pretty smart.

    For sciences Shandong, Shanxi, Henan, Hebei, Heilongjiang, Jilin are all northern Chinese provinces that outscore Zhejiang – more or less all descendants of the same group of people.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin
    Thanks, Huax. I'll have a new post on this.
    , @maopai
    The first table in your link shows a ranking of the minimum score required for admission, not the average score of each region.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • “I don’t own a copy of “IQ and Global Inequality.” If you own one, can you quote the place that cites Mongolian IQ at 101?”
    See:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Shokioto22/sandbox

    “I have Lynn’s “Race Differences in Intelligence” here, published in 2006. On p. 240 he says:
    There is a further anomaly in the intelligence of the peoples of Northeast Asia concerning the IQs of the Mongols of Mongolia and the closely related Samoyeds of Northern Siberia. There are no studies of the intelligence of these peoples but their low level of cultural development and technology suggests that it is not so high as that of the East Asians of China, Japan and Korea.”

    It seems a bit strange that the Mongols can be compared to the reindeer-herding Samoyeds of the Arctic. I’m not saying they are stupid (in fact the Samoyeds may be quite intelligent) but the Mongols should clearly be on another level. First the Samoyeds are only 45,000 and have been reindeer-herding in the far-northern Arctic for the past 5000 years. Mongols are 10 million and starting from the Donghu 3500 years ago have been constantly engaged in complex herding of sheep, goats, horses, cattle, camels and yaks (around 50 million animals at any time). The Monguor are a Mongol-speaking people numbering 250,000 who practice only agriculture and follow Confucianism mixed with Daoism and Buddhism. The Mongol lands have always (for the past 3500 years) been connected to China by an intimate umbilical cord of direct political, economic and social relations which places Mongols firmly within East Asia. They have a history of statehood stretching back 3000 years. In many respects they outdo the Tibetans if you look at the larger picture.

    The Samoyeds have been living in one stagnant social system (reindeer-herding) for the past 5000 years. The Chinese have been living in one closed social system (strictly sedentary agricultural) for the past 6000 years. The Mongols on the other have been living in a much more diverse and challenging social system incorporating steppe nomadic empires, Chinese settled agriculture, South Siberian hunting lifestyle, Tibetan religious complexity and Manchurian pastoral-agricultural hybrid lifestyle. And to this one must add the recent intensive Russian cultural influence.

    So Mongols should be studied within the sphere of East Asian IQ studies. One should remember that the Koreans and Japanese also came from Mongolia and the Lake Baikal region.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Glossy
    "They have a history of statehood stretching back 3000 years."

    I'm pretty sure that they didn't have real statehood at the time of their conquests of the 13th century. A real state is bigger than any man or any family. A real state cannot be split among the children of a king. It is not any man's or any family's property. It has large bureaucratic institutions that tend to endure in a stable fashion through many changes of leadership. It can go on functioning without anyone at the top. The Roman and Byzantine Empires were real states. In the Dark Ages and the early Middle Ages Europe didn't really have states. They re-emerged there in the late Middle Ages. Ivan III is sometimes credited with creating the first real Russian state in the late 15th century. The word Russia existed for many centuries before that, but there were no states separate from the property of princely families.

    China has had real states, sometimes one at a time, sometimes several at a time, for a very long time. I'm pretty sure that at the time of their peak notoriety (the 13th century) the Mongols didn't have a real state. As I said before, a real state cannot be treated as a family's inheritance, to be split among the children, and that's how Genghis's heirs treated their conquests.

    , @Anonymous
    I think Korean/Japanese/Han Chinese had some IQ increasing mutation after they came to Manchuria. If we look at Y-haplogroup history and distribution, that must have happened around 7-8 thousand years ago. That would explain the current IQ distribution in the region completely (Japanese have slightly lower IQ since they have 1/3 Ainu admixture). I also don't think south Chinese have this mutation (may be as Han admixture but not originally).
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @Car Guy
    Great, Haux is here. As if one Han supremacist wasn't enough...

    I’ve always been here, but I posted under a different name (HX). Stop pulling the race card.

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    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • What most commenters from the West build their varies hypotheses upon are the following implicit assumptions that:

    1, All Han Chinese are about the same (oke, even sort of north-south divide, but only about 2 or 3 pts). – just like all Europeans have about the same IQ and a universal variance, right?

    2. Chinese, Japanese and Koreans are about the same. – just like continental Germans, British islanders and nord Finns are all about the same stock, yes?

    3. Japanese IQ, and increasingly S Korean IQ, represent post-Flynn ceiling for all Orientals, which is of course the natural ceiling for all Han Chinese after China is fully developed.

    4. Point (3) is further “confirmed” by varies test results of HK, USA, UK, Taiwan and Singapore.

    All above 4 are patently false, unfortunately.

    [ need to mention here: HK=Cantonese Han Chinese, USA West coast and UK = old timers are Cantonese mainly, Taiwan = Fujianese Han + aboriginals + a bit of everything, Singapore = descendents of mainly Fujianese+Cantonese landless peasants who went out of China striving for better livinghood throughout ages + minority but fastly increasing lower IQ Malays & Indians due to breeding + some recent top IQ economic migrants from China/HK.]

    Guess Jing has to find out what are the Gaokao stats of the last decade on diff han regions. Through all the conversations I’ve had with Chinese students the consensus seems to be that Fujianese and Cantonese are very good, but definitely not the toppers in Gaokao.

    Only from Gaokao stats, particularly heavy g-loaded Gaokao Science, one could gauge where are all sorts of Han Chinese, alongwith the Japanese and Koreans, stand in the rank, in combination with PISA and TIMSS that we’ve already known.

    First be clear on where they each are in the real world and get a grip on basic underlying assumptions, then build models/hypotheses to explain it, not the other way around increasingly a la “Multi-factor Random Bingo Modelling Rec1man Style” ( lol), agree?

    Read More
    • Replies: @HX (Huax)
    http://learning.sohu.com/s2007/2007gkcx/

    Link to 2007 Gao Kao scores. Shandong and Henan are on top but I don't know how representative those scores are. At first glance it sounds about right to me, though, people from that region are pretty smart.

    For sciences Shandong, Shanxi, Henan, Hebei, Heilongjiang, Jilin are all northern Chinese provinces that outscore Zhejiang - more or less all descendants of the same group of people.

    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @SP
    "Can you imagine how many African Americans could actually develop the functional ability of being able to read and write 3000 or so Chinese characters with any degree of fluency?"

    I would imagaine, if with life-time dedication and under the gunpoint, 13? 12 perhap? None of them is named Obama, surely.

    AK: This is a moderation note. Please avoid overt racism here.

    Oops sorry. Just a light-hearted banter. Pls feel free taking it out.

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    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @Richard Sharpe
    The only way to resolve this would be to compare English Language Verbal IQ tests with Chinese Language Verbal IQ tests. Of course, I could probably not adequately deal with the Chinese test, but I am sure they could be compared.

    Does anyone have links to any that are claimed to be equivalent?

    Great, Haux is here. As if one Han supremacist wasn’t enough…

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    • Replies: @HX (Huax)
    I've always been here, but I posted under a different name (HX). Stop pulling the race card.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.