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A Different Take on China
Reflections from a Former Life
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Ages ago, for reasons I no longer remember, I was wandering across Asia and decided to spend some time in Taiwan. The Chinese interested me, and Taiwan was then as close as it was practical to get. Then, as now, the Chinese were thought by many to be exotic, inscrutable, devious and unlike normal people such as ourselves. You know, opium dens, dragon ladies, assassinations by puff adder, that sort of thing. Given the importance of China today, the nature of these multitudinous people might bear thought.

As was commonly done in those days, I found a (very) cheap place to stay in the winding alleys downtown and settled in. Nice enough place, I thought, agreeable people, pretty girls. It is curious how unweird people turn out to be if you actually live among them, this being a principle I had discovered among the Thais, Viets, Mexicans, and Cambodians. I shared an apartment with another wandering young gringo, and a little Japanese mathematician named Sakai–”whiskey well” if I remember the characters of his name–and two young Chinese guys. One of them, Ding Gwo, played the guitar and wanted to be a rock star. The whole bunch were extraordinarily ordinary. The Chinese are in fact as exotic as potatoes. The kids act like kids anywhere, the women like women. They are not another species.

The girls dressed to be attractive and pretty, hardly a novelty among young women, and were often wildly successful. (Oriental women tend to appeal greatly to Western guys, the condition being known as “yellow fever” or “rice fever.” It is not a matter of sexual availability, the middle-class girls being less promiscuous than American, but just lovely and feminine. Chilly they were not.)

At night we sometimes went to a local hangout for the young, pretty much like any other though more innocent than the American today: Taiwan was decidedly authoritarian and being caught with drugs would not have led to a happy ending. Dim lights, soft drinks, Western rock, and considerable flirtation. It could have been Memphis.

Exotic murderess Chin Ping distracts Fred with humor while temple dragon sneaks up behind to bite his hand off. It’s how the Chinese are, crafty, and hang out with concrete animals.

Exotic murderess Chin Ping distracts Fred with humor while temple dragon sneaks up behind to bite his hand off. It’s how the Chinese are, crafty, and hang out with concrete animals.

I studied Mandarin hard for nearly six months, on the principle that most things are possible with a combination of modest intelligence and obsessive-compulsive disorder. The school was Gwo Yu R Bao, literally Mandarin Newspaper, but it had a language school above. My teacher, Jang Lau Shr, was a mid-fortiesish woman who seemed quite old to me at the time. She was competent and likable, and not devious, sneaky, or mysterious. She probably didn’t have a single puff adder. I guess she hadn’t gotten the word.

When the government realized that I was a journalist of sorts, she was suddenly replaced by a very attractive young woman who I know damned well was from Guo Min Dang intelligence. Manna from heaven.

Sisters of Chin Ping the Wiley Murderess. You could almost mistake them for, you know, just kids, unless you knew of their eerie genetic affinity for puff adders.

Sisters of Chin Ping the Wiley Murderess. You could almost mistake them for, you know, just kids, unless you knew of their eerie genetic affinity for puff adders.

Several things I noticed, young and dumb as I was (the two conditions overlap greatly). Taiwan was not Uganda. At the time all manner of countries in the bush world had Five-Year Plans or the equivalent. These countries usually consisted of a patch of jungle, a colonel, and a torture chamber. Decades later, they would still consist of a patch….

Taiwan, then in the Third World–whatever that is–had an equally ambitious program of advancement. Perhaps it was for five years. It included the Jin Shan reactors, a new port, a steel mill, a major highway, and so on. Thing was, they were actually coming into existence. Later, for the Far Eastern Economic Review, I would interview the head of the nuclear program. Harvard guy. On a press junket I would visit many of the projects, such as the steel mill, which was in production.

With my honed capacity for recognizing the inescapable, I concluded that these people could get things done. Things like industry, organization, technology. That sort.

At some point I had passed through Hong Kong and concluded that it was New York with slanted eyes. The Chinese; I judged correctly though young and dumb, could play hardball finance.

And in the US, Chinese students were reported to be doing very well at places like MIT. Hmmm….What if that great American ally, Mousy Dung, stopped paralyzing the mainland and the world had to compete with all 800,000,000 of them?

We are finding out.

I loved the language, the characters that seemed almost of dance on the page in old, old documents in the national museum, which was filled with wonderful works of art saved from the communists when Chiang fled to the island. I couldn’t begin to read them, of course. However, modern Chinese is remarkably easy provided you don’t want to read or write it, having none of the complexities of tense, mood, or person of, say, Spanish. By dint of pathological application, I ended able to communicate reasonably and grind my way through a pulp novel with lots of help from the dictionary–using which was an adventure unto itself. It made people lots less mysterious to realize that they were not talking about the hidden Blue Jade Eye of God, worth millions and protected by a curse, but about Grandma’s congestive heart failure and what to do about it.

And, for a young man, there was practical Chinese: “Wo mei-you kan-gwo numma pyauliang-de syau-jye.”

On blazing hot evenings we wandered through the twisting lanes past rows of what appeared to be orange crates at which sat children doing their homework. Inside, they would have cooked. I thought this studiousness impressive, but had no idea how much it would later pay off at MIT.

ORDER IT NOW

A traffic overpass near where we lived had a steamy enclosed food market beneath with stalls selling just about anything edible and some maybe not quite. We would go there for sheets of fried squid–”you yu”–and fruit juice, the latter sold by a young woman who became a friend. We called her “Shwei Gwo Syau Jye,” or Fruit Juice Girl. Taiwan had not then become the economic Mighty Mouse that it is today and most people, though not hungry, were poor. She spent long, long hours in her stall with a small fluffy dog to keep her company. She had a subscription to Newsweek that she read to learn English and walked home with her dog every night, exhausted, to take care of a father of some eighty years.

She deserved better. There was a lot of that going around.

There were relics, fast disappearing, of the old China, more closely resembling the exotic image. In Wan Wha (“Ten Thousand Glories”) there was the street of the snake butchers, definitely memorable by night. At stalls live snakes, some of them deadly, hung by strings around their necks, if that is what snakes have. The proprietor on request slit a snake from head to tail, massaged the blood into a glass, squeezed the gall bladder into the mess, and sold it to, usually, a laborer to drink. Dwei shen-ti hen hau: Good for the body. Not mine, though.

At the time what was called Madame Chiang’s hotel was going up on a hillside. Most new buildings in Asia look like buildings in Philadelphia. This one was deliberately Chinese, and glorious. I had no idea that years later on a junket the Taiwanese government would put me up there, and several other reporters, for a week. Funny how things work.

I came to have immense respect for China as a civilization. Given the dismal record of immorality, poor judgement, and venality that is the baseline for humanity, China is impressive.

Madame Chiang’s. Not too shabby.

Madame Chiang’s. Not too shabby.

Among racial sites on the web today one frequently sees the assertion that Asians can copy but not invent. Maybe. There is a chain of thought that begins with “Screwed up like a Chinese fire drill,” then “Well, they can make pencils and toys,” (“Made in Japan,” remember?), then “OK they can make easy things like washing machines,” then “Well, yes, they can assemble iPads, but can’t create anything.” Then it turns out, as it has turned out, that they are designing world-class supercomputers all of their own, oops, heh.

On the one hand, the condescension sounds like wishful thinking. On the other, in painting for example, there is more creativity between the Impressionists and Klimt than in centuries of Chinese painting, which usually consisted of making copies of past masters. We had better hope.

Street, Shanghai, a few years ago. China ain’t what it used to be. Getting rid of Mao did the trick. PhredFoto

Street, Shanghai, a few years ago. China ain’t what it used to be. Getting rid of Mao did the trick. PhredFoto

Years later, on the junket aforementioned, my wife and I and our very small daughter came to Taipei and stayed in Madame Chiang’s. I don’t know how old babies are when they first sit up unaided, but that’s how old Macon was, because it is what she did. Anyway, we came into the lobby, Blonde Poof in arms. gorgeous vases on pedestals, columns in red lacquer, everything but the Empress Dowager, and they may have had her in a closet somewhere.

The staff, mostly young girls, came running over, charmed by anything so exotic and golden-haired. The Chinese can do many things, but golden hair isn’t one of them. They all wanted to look at this wonder child. A girl smiled and unceremoniously took Macon from my wife’s arms. The mob raced about the lobby showing their prize to everyone they knew, disappeared into the kitchen for a couple of minutes, and came back, delighted, and put Macon back where they had found her.

I have a hard time getting from there to weaselly, sinister, and devious.

We went to Gwo Yu R Bau to say hello to Jang Lao Shr, who was still there, and to the bridge to see Shwei Gwo Syau Jye, who also was still there. Still reading Newsweek, still working long, long hours. It was delightful. I never saw either again.

Note: I idiotically called last week’s piece of robots Rossiter’s Universal Robots, a reference to Capek’s play, but of course it is Rossum’s. Relying on high-school memories is not too smart.

(Republished from Fred on Everything by permission of author or representative)
 
• Category: Economics, Race/Ethnicity • Tags: China 
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  1. “Street, Shanghai, a few years ago. China ain’t what it used to be. Getting rid of Mao did the trick. PhredFot”

    Mao was not there before 1949 There were a lot of other players Most of them were western or western inspired powers. What went wrong before that was corrected by the presence of mao and by the presence of his shadow after he was gone?

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    • Replies: @Ace
    What went wrong is that China was completely upended in 1911 and after some confusion entered upon a period of even more confusion marked by crooked warlords and a boatload of communist subversives. The latter organized to destroy the KMT and then the Japanese arrived to help out by attacking the KMT.

    Mao wasn't a solution to any of this but a hideous amplification of it with all the insanity and murder of which communist fanatics are capable.
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  2. Thanks for your perspective Fred. Always enjoy reading your columns. We seem determined to go to war with Russia so would be interested if you have any thoughts on that as well.

    Also, I recall you saying years ago that your advancing blindness had convinced you to give up writing. Gary North wrote an impassioned open letter asking you to reconsider. I am very, very glad you did. Would you be willing to write about your decision?

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  3. I visited Taipei three times in 1966, and remember it fondly. In a taxi, I got caught in a massive traffic jam caused by a parade in honor of the Generalissimo’s 80th birthday. Several large banners in the parade had Chiang sitting at a table with Roosevelt and Churchill. When I asked the cabbie what the banners said, he replied “Of the three great leaders of the War, only the Generalissimo is still leading his people.”

    I also fondly remember the girls at the Casablanca Bar and the Playboy Bar. I had plans to return as a partner to purchase one of these or a similar emporium with a local businessman who had been crippled from an airplane crash in the war against Mao. But circumstances intervened. Sigh!

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  4. Taiwan is a wonderful place. Friendly and helpful people, good food and very very safe.

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  5. My one brief trip to Taiwan was a wonderful experience, delivering a short talk to engineering students in the 90s. One of my strongest memories was talking with my guide about his 15 year old daughter, his only child, and the hours she dedicated to study and to school.

    The engineering students were bright, polite, and well educated.

    One should not underestimate these people.

    BTW, I also remember a delicious dumpling lunch in Taipei at a little narrow restaurant that I recollect was five stories high. It was less than 20 feet wide and one entered through a over-the-counter set up with a kitchen visible behind. Food went up on elevators to waiters/waitresses who communicated by 2-way radio. Seems the name was something like Dim Tai Fong. Does anybody know about this place – can you help me with the name? Food was absolutely great.

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    • Replies: @Anonymous
    The romanization they use is "Din Tai Fung." You are not the only one who loved their xiao long bao, they have locations all over the world now.
    , @DB Cooper
    The restaurant you referred to is probably 鼎泰丰 (Din Tai Fung). They are a chain store and have many locations in mainland China also. The dumpling you ate is probably 小笼包 (little basket bun). It is a very famous Shanghainese food.
  6. And the battle goes on!

    Maybe we should think more of ending the battle, than who the victors are going to be?

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  7. Anonymous says:     Show CommentNext New Comment
    @another fred
    My one brief trip to Taiwan was a wonderful experience, delivering a short talk to engineering students in the 90s. One of my strongest memories was talking with my guide about his 15 year old daughter, his only child, and the hours she dedicated to study and to school.

    The engineering students were bright, polite, and well educated.

    One should not underestimate these people.

    BTW, I also remember a delicious dumpling lunch in Taipei at a little narrow restaurant that I recollect was five stories high. It was less than 20 feet wide and one entered through a over-the-counter set up with a kitchen visible behind. Food went up on elevators to waiters/waitresses who communicated by 2-way radio. Seems the name was something like Dim Tai Fong. Does anybody know about this place - can you help me with the name? Food was absolutely great.

    The romanization they use is “Din Tai Fung.” You are not the only one who loved their xiao long bao, they have locations all over the world now.

    Read More
  8. @another fred
    My one brief trip to Taiwan was a wonderful experience, delivering a short talk to engineering students in the 90s. One of my strongest memories was talking with my guide about his 15 year old daughter, his only child, and the hours she dedicated to study and to school.

    The engineering students were bright, polite, and well educated.

    One should not underestimate these people.

    BTW, I also remember a delicious dumpling lunch in Taipei at a little narrow restaurant that I recollect was five stories high. It was less than 20 feet wide and one entered through a over-the-counter set up with a kitchen visible behind. Food went up on elevators to waiters/waitresses who communicated by 2-way radio. Seems the name was something like Dim Tai Fong. Does anybody know about this place - can you help me with the name? Food was absolutely great.

    The restaurant you referred to is probably 鼎泰丰 (Din Tai Fung). They are a chain store and have many locations in mainland China also. The dumpling you ate is probably 小笼包 (little basket bun). It is a very famous Shanghainese food.

    Read More
  9. Fred, I expect you visited the Night Market in Taipei where they concocted the most delicious dishes in huge ancient woks, beneath which roared the nozzle of a jet-engine – the ingredients cooking to perfection in seconds! All for a few cents a bowl.

    I was extensively in mainland China during the mid 1980s (using a different passport). Outside the big cities ‘white men’ were still a curiosity and the younger people were anxious to engage in conversation to practice their English – or to become an adopted son. Girls were cautious of foreigners because the penalties for fraternization were severe – one fellow from Canada woke up in the early hours in his hotel room to find four policemen disposed around his bed in which he and his local love had lately been cavorting. He was taken to jail and only sprung the next morning by his group-leader – a marked man thereafter. What happened to her, God knows.

    Tipping was forbidden – if you tried it, they would refuse. Shanghai, back then, was a depressing place – grimy open fronted shops displaying bare essentials with a room behind where children did their homework or slurped noodles directly from the bowl. As a foreigner, you usually paid with Foreign Exchange Certificates – a currency exchanged for Remimbi at the official rate (about half the street value) – in restaurants or for train tickets you paid about three times as much as the locals – I never considered that as unfair. When I took friends out for dinner I’d let them pay and then settle with them privately afterwards. That was a win-win.

    Taiwanese could visit China then and I managed to meet up with a friend who was visiting her relatives. My vast Russian-built hotel was a den of spies (a zealous guardian was seated by the lift on every floor) and when my friend visited, ‘room service’ found every possible excuse to intrude upon us so as to be able to report on our motions – never knocking before they entered to change a light bulb. They should have given me the room with the two-way mirrors.

    Like people everywhere who have not yet been affected by consumer greed, there was universal courtesy and hospitality. I was even invited to people’s homes – although this was discouraged unless they were Party Members – stewed eel with black pepper was a particular delicacy (recall that eels are the last fish to die in polluted water).

    Although the dehumanization of the Cultural Revolution had faded (the “Terrible Ten Years” they called it) you could still sense its lingering effects in people’s mannerisms and response to anything remotely political – it was still proper to bow to the image of Mao in Tiananmen Square and the padded blue tunics and matching trousers were still almost universally worn – but at home, seated companionably around the table making jiaozi (dumplings), people became ‘normal’ and we could sing Simon and Garfunkel.

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  10. Really fortunate that Taiwan, HK, and the diaspora colonies have preserved Chinese culture that was destroyed by Mao.

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  11. The American Oligarchy thinks they will out compete the Chinese in China when they can’t even compete with the Chinese in our own country.

    Sad.

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  12. Creativity, inventiveness, etc.

    That’s big question, isn’t it. Nobody doubts the ability of Asians to learn. It’s there ability to create out of nothing, to not only think outside the box but to see a whole new box, that remains in doubt.

    Of course, NE Asians have some history of creativity and invention, but it really does pale in comparison to Europeans. Given their average IQ, that’s one of the great mysteries of the past 500 years or so. Was this a fluck of history? Did the West get a little lucky and run with the low-hanging fruit while political and cultural pressures held down the natural ability of NE Asia?

    Or does the intelligence of the NE Asians lack something?

    Who knows.

    I suspect that we’ll know within a generation or two. Personally, my hope is that NE Asians are just as creative/inventive as their European counterparts. The West appears to be committing a wholly self-inflicted suicide (perhaps our intelligence lacks something as well), so it’d be nice to know that another advanced culture will survive.

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    • Replies: @another fred

    The West appears to be committing a wholly self-inflicted suicide (perhaps our intelligence lacks something as well), so it’d be nice to know that another advanced culture will survive.
     
    +1

    IMV, the Chinese are headed for interesting times with the rest of the world, but they do have a leg up on the "pathological altruism" problem.
    , @a guy
    A typical theory is their thousand+ of years of eugenics based on rewarding those who could pass the imperial exam.
    , @IA
    ". . . so it’d be nice to know that another advanced culture will survive."

    Not so nice for dogs, cats, tigers, elephants, bears, birds, sharks, anything in the water, anything in the air, anything on the ground, et cetera.
    , @polistra
    The "can't invent" meme is obvious nonsense in the big picture. China DID invent pretty much everything before 1600. But there's some factual basis in recent times. Mainland China wanted to pick up the newer inventions fast, so it sent thousands of students and spies to American universities and industries in the '80s. Those spies were in fact copying everything, and we were stupidly letting them.
  13. Thanks for the memoir, Fred, right on target based on my experience….The lack of inventiveness and creativity is real, no doubt caused by millennia of natural selection for conformity. In the words of Prof. Cochran, in Japan, the blade of grass that stuck up was pounded down, in China it was pulled out and thrown away….In the West, it will eventually be a different story.

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  14. @Anonymous
    The romanization they use is "Din Tai Fung." You are not the only one who loved their xiao long bao, they have locations all over the world now.

    Also to Tashi,

    Thank you both.

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  15. @Citizen of a Silly Country
    Creativity, inventiveness, etc.

    That's big question, isn't it. Nobody doubts the ability of Asians to learn. It's there ability to create out of nothing, to not only think outside the box but to see a whole new box, that remains in doubt.

    Of course, NE Asians have some history of creativity and invention, but it really does pale in comparison to Europeans. Given their average IQ, that's one of the great mysteries of the past 500 years or so. Was this a fluck of history? Did the West get a little lucky and run with the low-hanging fruit while political and cultural pressures held down the natural ability of NE Asia?

    Or does the intelligence of the NE Asians lack something?

    Who knows.

    I suspect that we'll know within a generation or two. Personally, my hope is that NE Asians are just as creative/inventive as their European counterparts. The West appears to be committing a wholly self-inflicted suicide (perhaps our intelligence lacks something as well), so it'd be nice to know that another advanced culture will survive.

    The West appears to be committing a wholly self-inflicted suicide (perhaps our intelligence lacks something as well), so it’d be nice to know that another advanced culture will survive.

    +1

    IMV, the Chinese are headed for interesting times with the rest of the world, but they do have a leg up on the “pathological altruism” problem.

    Read More
  16. @Citizen of a Silly Country
    Creativity, inventiveness, etc.

    That's big question, isn't it. Nobody doubts the ability of Asians to learn. It's there ability to create out of nothing, to not only think outside the box but to see a whole new box, that remains in doubt.

    Of course, NE Asians have some history of creativity and invention, but it really does pale in comparison to Europeans. Given their average IQ, that's one of the great mysteries of the past 500 years or so. Was this a fluck of history? Did the West get a little lucky and run with the low-hanging fruit while political and cultural pressures held down the natural ability of NE Asia?

    Or does the intelligence of the NE Asians lack something?

    Who knows.

    I suspect that we'll know within a generation or two. Personally, my hope is that NE Asians are just as creative/inventive as their European counterparts. The West appears to be committing a wholly self-inflicted suicide (perhaps our intelligence lacks something as well), so it'd be nice to know that another advanced culture will survive.

    A typical theory is their thousand+ of years of eugenics based on rewarding those who could pass the imperial exam.

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    • Replies: @Ron Unz

    A typical theory is their thousand+ of years of eugenics based on rewarding those who could pass the imperial exam.
     
    Actually, that widespread suggestion is very unlikely to be correct---the numbers involved are just far, far too small. However, a few years ago I published a different theory, which I believe is much more plausible:

    http://www.unz.com/article/how-social-darwinism-made-modern-china-248/
  17. @a guy
    A typical theory is their thousand+ of years of eugenics based on rewarding those who could pass the imperial exam.

    A typical theory is their thousand+ of years of eugenics based on rewarding those who could pass the imperial exam.

    Actually, that widespread suggestion is very unlikely to be correct—the numbers involved are just far, far too small. However, a few years ago I published a different theory, which I believe is much more plausible:

    http://www.unz.com/article/how-social-darwinism-made-modern-china-248/

    Read More
    • Replies: @Triumph104

    China’s academic performance has been just as stunning. The 2009 Program for International Student Assessment(PISA) tests placed gigantic Shanghai—a megalopolis of 15 million—at the absolute top of world student achievement.[1] PISA results from the rest of the country have been nearly as impressive, with the average scores of hundreds of millions of provincial Chinese—mostly from rural families with annual incomes below $2,000—matching or exceeding those of Europe’s most advanced and successful countries, such as Germany, France, and Switzerland, and ranking well above America’s results.[2]
     
    I only took a quick glance at your linked article but wanted to say that the reason rural Chinese do so well on the PISA exam is because they have an astronomically high junior high school dropout rate. About 50 percent of rural students have dropped out by senior high school. The dropout rate for 7th and 8th graders is 25 percent in some areas. The main reason given for leaving school is lack of interest, followed by knowing that they are one of the weaker students and seeing no point in continuing their studies. Of course test results look great once you get rid of the lazy and the struggling.

    Google "china high school dropout" for articles.
    , @CanSpeccy
    You postulate that the last 1000 years, during which survival of the great majority of the population depended on success in a free market agricultural economy, prepared the Chinese to achieve "the fastest sustained rate of economic growth in human history," the implication being that this "preparation" involved genetic modification manifest in "stunning" academic performance.

    You do not, however, establish that:

    (a) Darwinian selection for intellectual capacity is any greater in a "free market" agricultural economy than in, say, a hunter gatherer economy or any other kind of economy, where competition for reproductive success must inevitably occur even if outside the economic sphere;

    (b) high academic performance among ethnic Chinese is genetically, not culturally, determined;

    (c) academic performance has anything to do with rapid economic growth; or

    (d) that China's rapid economic development has anything to do with China's human capital.

    Far more realistic, it seems to me, would be the assumption that China's rapid economic development from near universal dirt poverty to mostly dirt poor with a substantial urban middle class was the result chiefly of the following factors:

    (1) the 1994 GATT agreement which not only opened Western markets to the products of dirt cheap Chinese labor, but led to a flood of Western capital into Third World economies, particularly China's, there to exploit that ocean of cheap labor;

    (2) the 1997 merger of China's economy with the advanced economy of Hong Kong, which alone added almost 25% to China's GDP, and provided the Chinese economy with a huge injection of business and technological expertise;

    (3) the relative ease and low cost of shipping today's advanced technologies and the expertise that goes with them, to wherever labor costs, taxes, and workplace health and safety standards are lowest.

    Altogether, there seems no reason to assume an ethnic basis for China's rapid economic expansion from near stone age to space age. Many other non-Chinese nations have done the same, including Japan in the 19th century, and Germany not only in the 19th century but also in the 20th century — twice. Then there was Britain, where full industrialization occurred first. Sure it took the Brits a while, but then they had to invent most of the process as they went along, which is rather different from copying what other people have already invented.

    So I think your hypothesis is just another IQist fantasy upon which to float a globalist agenda.
  18. @Citizen of a Silly Country
    Creativity, inventiveness, etc.

    That's big question, isn't it. Nobody doubts the ability of Asians to learn. It's there ability to create out of nothing, to not only think outside the box but to see a whole new box, that remains in doubt.

    Of course, NE Asians have some history of creativity and invention, but it really does pale in comparison to Europeans. Given their average IQ, that's one of the great mysteries of the past 500 years or so. Was this a fluck of history? Did the West get a little lucky and run with the low-hanging fruit while political and cultural pressures held down the natural ability of NE Asia?

    Or does the intelligence of the NE Asians lack something?

    Who knows.

    I suspect that we'll know within a generation or two. Personally, my hope is that NE Asians are just as creative/inventive as their European counterparts. The West appears to be committing a wholly self-inflicted suicide (perhaps our intelligence lacks something as well), so it'd be nice to know that another advanced culture will survive.

    “. . . so it’d be nice to know that another advanced culture will survive.”

    Not so nice for dogs, cats, tigers, elephants, bears, birds, sharks, anything in the water, anything in the air, anything on the ground, et cetera.

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    • Replies: @RadicalCenter
    Not so nice if you're a person who's not Chinese, either. Ask the Uighurs and the Tibetans.
  19. @Ron Unz

    A typical theory is their thousand+ of years of eugenics based on rewarding those who could pass the imperial exam.
     
    Actually, that widespread suggestion is very unlikely to be correct---the numbers involved are just far, far too small. However, a few years ago I published a different theory, which I believe is much more plausible:

    http://www.unz.com/article/how-social-darwinism-made-modern-china-248/

    China’s academic performance has been just as stunning. The 2009 Program for International Student Assessment(PISA) tests placed gigantic Shanghai—a megalopolis of 15 million—at the absolute top of world student achievement.[1] PISA results from the rest of the country have been nearly as impressive, with the average scores of hundreds of millions of provincial Chinese—mostly from rural families with annual incomes below $2,000—matching or exceeding those of Europe’s most advanced and successful countries, such as Germany, France, and Switzerland, and ranking well above America’s results.[2]

    I only took a quick glance at your linked article but wanted to say that the reason rural Chinese do so well on the PISA exam is because they have an astronomically high junior high school dropout rate. About 50 percent of rural students have dropped out by senior high school. The dropout rate for 7th and 8th graders is 25 percent in some areas. The main reason given for leaving school is lack of interest, followed by knowing that they are one of the weaker students and seeing no point in continuing their studies. Of course test results look great once you get rid of the lazy and the struggling.

    Google “china high school dropout” for articles.

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    • Replies: @Duke of Qin
    I actually Googled it and found the usual liberal dishonesty hand wringing and school marmy won't someone please think of the children pablum. The REAP study was done for the poorest areas of rural Shaanxi. Extrapolating drop out rates from there and assigning it to the rest of China is like extrapolating school statistics from the poorest county in West Virginia and claiming whites are under performing. Northwestern China really is dueling banjo territory as far as the Chinese are concerned. The reason that Pisa tests at 15 years of age is that it the last year of mandatory schooling in China. Sure some very poor County in rural areas have 50% drop out rates, but the national average dropout rate for the last year of junior high in China is 3%.

    The solution naturally advocated, more government money, and more nanny state control over young adults. The eventual end goal of course will be South Korea where average salaries of college graduates are now lower than high school graduates but they will have enjoyed the privilege of poneying up billions to feed the higher education bureaucratic industrial complex and wasting four years of their lives in a glorified adult day care. The same path that the US is progressing along nicely. Afterall, the Holy worthies at Harvard are naturally all for more government funding of more mandatory education. That they have a conflict of interest by making higher education more universal thereby debasing it and making the Harvard brand more valuable is neither here nor there. What could possibly go wrong with more government financed social engineering do gooderism?
    , @RadicalCenter
    I'd like to see how white American children compare on tests with Chinese kids in China.

    Our equivalent to their practice of letting or encouraging the lazy or less intelligent to drop out, would be excluding all our african-"Americans" and Mexicans.

    We look far, far better on other measures, too, compared to China and other countries, when we count only actual core European-Americans: violent crime, births out of wedlock, abortion rates.
  20. Anon says:     Show CommentNext New Comment

    The theory doesn’t hold any water. Most Chinese were illiterate or semi-illiterate until the last century. There weren’t that many people that knew enough classical Chinese to take the imperial exam. And wars in China throughout history were often brutal. It is all about survival in brutal environment. One good example is the population changes of Sichuan province — known for its Sichuan cuisine, Szechwan cuisine, or Szechuan cuisine in the U.S. — in the last few hundred years. In 1162, a population of 11.5 million was recorded, and 48 years later after fierce resistance to Mongolian invasion , it dropped down to 600 thousand. In 1578, it grew to 3.1 million. In 1661, it fell to 80 thousand after Manchurian invasion and its subsequent wars.

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  21. @Triumph104

    China’s academic performance has been just as stunning. The 2009 Program for International Student Assessment(PISA) tests placed gigantic Shanghai—a megalopolis of 15 million—at the absolute top of world student achievement.[1] PISA results from the rest of the country have been nearly as impressive, with the average scores of hundreds of millions of provincial Chinese—mostly from rural families with annual incomes below $2,000—matching or exceeding those of Europe’s most advanced and successful countries, such as Germany, France, and Switzerland, and ranking well above America’s results.[2]
     
    I only took a quick glance at your linked article but wanted to say that the reason rural Chinese do so well on the PISA exam is because they have an astronomically high junior high school dropout rate. About 50 percent of rural students have dropped out by senior high school. The dropout rate for 7th and 8th graders is 25 percent in some areas. The main reason given for leaving school is lack of interest, followed by knowing that they are one of the weaker students and seeing no point in continuing their studies. Of course test results look great once you get rid of the lazy and the struggling.

    Google "china high school dropout" for articles.

    I actually Googled it and found the usual liberal dishonesty hand wringing and school marmy won’t someone please think of the children pablum. The REAP study was done for the poorest areas of rural Shaanxi. Extrapolating drop out rates from there and assigning it to the rest of China is like extrapolating school statistics from the poorest county in West Virginia and claiming whites are under performing. Northwestern China really is dueling banjo territory as far as the Chinese are concerned. The reason that Pisa tests at 15 years of age is that it the last year of mandatory schooling in China. Sure some very poor County in rural areas have 50% drop out rates, but the national average dropout rate for the last year of junior high in China is 3%.

    The solution naturally advocated, more government money, and more nanny state control over young adults. The eventual end goal of course will be South Korea where average salaries of college graduates are now lower than high school graduates but they will have enjoyed the privilege of poneying up billions to feed the higher education bureaucratic industrial complex and wasting four years of their lives in a glorified adult day care. The same path that the US is progressing along nicely. Afterall, the Holy worthies at Harvard are naturally all for more government funding of more mandatory education. That they have a conflict of interest by making higher education more universal thereby debasing it and making the Harvard brand more valuable is neither here nor there. What could possibly go wrong with more government financed social engineering do gooderism?

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  22. the assertion that Asians can copy but not invent

    Don’t know about Asians, but in China that’s clearly a problem. Most Chinese can copy very well & they are good at rote learning. The key word here is ‘most’, though. Even though on average Chinese are probably less innovative & creative than – say – Europeans that is made up by the greater number of Chinese. There are some 1.4 billion mainland Chinese now. Even if they have only half the rate of innovators than in Europe, there are still more innovators in China than in Europe. Even if there are less, they probably still have quite a number of innovative & creative people. Brain drain may be another problem, though.

    Re PISA: Chinese are drilled to pass certain kinds of exams from early on. That may really help them to do well in PISA. From my own experience I have to say that Chinese university students seem far less knowledgeable in pretty much every area than their European counterparts. They seem to forget very quickly what they learned at school.

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    • Replies: @Crawfurdmuir
    A point that I have seen made about the supposed lack of inventiveness among the Chinese is the difficulty of learning the written language, which because it is ideographic, requires extensive memorization. A Chinese person has to spend much more time simply acquiring the vocabulary of a scholar in the Chinese language than a Westerner does in his. The relatively simple alphabets of European languages enable mastery of reading much more quickly than it can be acquired in Chinese, and free the student to spend his time learning other skills.

    Joseph Needham spent a lifetime writing the numerous volumes of Science and Civilisation in China, and one of its central questions is how the Chinese could have had such a history of early scientific and technological achievement followed by a long period of stagnation in these fields. So far as I have read Needham's work (and I have only read a little of it), he does not seem to have a definite answer. He was a Marxist and probably had a theory derived from Marxism, but that made no part of those of his volumes I read.

    Needham makes some interesting remarks in his discussion of how modern Western chemistry came to China in the nineteenth century about the way in which its chemical nomenclature was adapted to the Chinese language (Vol. V, part 3). In Western languages the nomenclature is artificial and systematic, so that a chemical's name signifies its constituent elements and even its structure. Chinese on the other hand borrowed words from ancient Chinese alchemy and simply gave them modern technical meanings. The nomenclature is systematic to a degree, but one can see that it involves more memorization, and the formula for a chemical is not at once evident from its name - as was the case before Lavoisier's time, when Western chemists still used terms such as "colcothar," "oil of vitriol," or "butter of antimony."
  23. Priss Factor [AKA "Dominique Francon Society"] says: • Website     Show CommentNext New Comment

    This film is sort of slow and clocks in at 4 hrs, but it is an interesting take on the shifting social and cultural landscape of Taiwanese society.

    Hou Hsiao-hsien has a similar style, but whereas Yang is calm and steady, Hou is heavy and turgid. Yang offers a way of seeing. Hou forces a way of seeing.

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

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  24. I wonder if the alleged lack of creativity among East Asians is more a matter of institutions than natural ability. If kids are spending more of their time in cram schools rather than working on their own hobbies and projects, they are less likely to have the sort of entrepreneurial tech ideas that American kids have.

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  25. Anonymous says:     Show CommentNext New Comment

    Neosocialism, and the masochism it both stems from and reinforces, is what is blighting the USA.

    http://www.vdare.com/articles/when-quotas-replace-merit-everybody-suffers

    (To think the article dates back 23 years ago shows how the rot we see today isn’t freshly born.)

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  26. Priss Factor [AKA "Dominique Francon Society"] says: • Website     Show CommentNext New Comment

    Some Chinese got smarts, but do they have the combo of high-tech smarts and entrepreneurial vision of men like Gates, Google kids, Zuckerberg, and etc?

    There used to be a time where geeks were most lab people who were hired and used by executive types. But the likes of Gates showed that one could be a geek and leader too.

    Anyway, it makes no sense to bunch together China with Taiwan and etc.

    China still has independence, but Taiwan is US stooge.

    Also, much of Asian population in US is concentrated in California, the most proggy state that now teaches homo history to 2nd graders.

    So, all those ‘left-coast’ Asian-Americans will grow up to become missionaries of Zio-US-controlled Homo Imperialism. And as Diversity is the religion of California(and the West), those globalized Asian-Americans will pressure their home countries to open up to massive immigration, especially as the native birthrates have tanked and most people in those nations want to come to the West anyway.

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    • Replies: @denk
    'China still has independence, but Taiwan is US stooge.'

    uncle scam is hell bent on correcting that 'anomaly'
    http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2016/07/18/bidn-j18
  27. Must you insist on making up your own form of romanization?

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    • Replies: @Anonymous
    Looks like Yale romanization, which was commonly used until the 80s:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yale_romanization_of_Mandarin
  28. @Priss Factor
    Some Chinese got smarts, but do they have the combo of high-tech smarts and entrepreneurial vision of men like Gates, Google kids, Zuckerberg, and etc?

    There used to be a time where geeks were most lab people who were hired and used by executive types. But the likes of Gates showed that one could be a geek and leader too.

    Anyway, it makes no sense to bunch together China with Taiwan and etc.

    China still has independence, but Taiwan is US stooge.

    Also, much of Asian population in US is concentrated in California, the most proggy state that now teaches homo history to 2nd graders.

    So, all those 'left-coast' Asian-Americans will grow up to become missionaries of Zio-US-controlled Homo Imperialism. And as Diversity is the religion of California(and the West), those globalized Asian-Americans will pressure their home countries to open up to massive immigration, especially as the native birthrates have tanked and most people in those nations want to come to the West anyway.

    ‘China still has independence, but Taiwan is US stooge.’

    uncle scam is hell bent on correcting that ‘anomaly’

    http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2016/07/18/bidn-j18

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  29. Anonymous says:     Show CommentNext New Comment
    @Jason Liu
    Must you insist on making up your own form of romanization?

    Looks like Yale romanization, which was commonly used until the 80s:

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

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    • Replies: @Historian

    Looks like Yale romanization, which was commonly used until the 80s
     
    Even Yale doesn't teach its undergrads Chinese with Yale romanization any more. They use Pinyin.

    Princeton was the last holdout for Gwoyeu Romatzyh. They also had to give up and switch to Pinyin.

    It's over now. Pinyin has won.
  30. Anonymous says:     Show CommentNext New Comment

    As a long-term resident of both Anglo and Asian countries, I have a cultural observation for historical and future growth patterns in Asia.

    First, the obvious…

    The further North-East you go in Asia is equivalent to going North West in Europe.
    Japan (samurai culture) = Scandinavia (viking culture)
    These cultures are defined by their reserve and discipline.

    Heading South-West into Asia is equivalent to heading South-East in Europe.
    China (ancient China) = Italy/Greece (Graeco-Roman culture)
    These cultures are more social and contain more “animal spirits.”

    Next, my observation…

    I’d venture that in modern society, the Northern type cultures lead to more scientific advances and are better suited to leadership positions. However, lacking sufficient Southern influences, society is somewhat stagnant and lacks drive (e.g. Japanese and Scandinavian economies).

    Britain and America have traditionally been in that space between the two extremes. The modern economy seems to need a combination of the two cultures to succeed. Thus America’s pre-eminent position with traditionally nordic-WASPy leaders of a diverse nation.

    China seems to be in a similar position. Leadership is primarily Northern Han (higher status in China), leading a country where the economic vitality comes from the South. Based on the above analogy, I see China continuing on a trajectory more like the US than Japan.

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  31. @Anonymous
    Looks like Yale romanization, which was commonly used until the 80s:

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

    Looks like Yale romanization, which was commonly used until the 80s

    Even Yale doesn’t teach its undergrads Chinese with Yale romanization any more. They use Pinyin.

    Princeton was the last holdout for Gwoyeu Romatzyh. They also had to give up and switch to Pinyin.

    It’s over now. Pinyin has won.

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    • Replies: @Anonymous
    Fred attended the 国语日报 (Guoyu Ribao) or "National Language Daily" newspaper’s adjunct Chinese language school, one of three popular centers for foreigners in Taipei in the 1960s to learn Mandarin. It emphasized romanization as a bridge to conversation and literacy; instruction in the Chinese characters came later.

    Without getting into details, the ‘60s was REALLY a good time for unmarried western guys to be in Taiwan. Fred intimates as much. ‘70s and ‘80s also had their charm.

    The arguments for East Asian creativity in the sciences generally miss the boat by not distinguishing between the radical creativity idealized in the West (“inter-domain,” inductive) and the creativity that accounts for the bulk of science done everywhere (“intra-domain,” deductive). East Asians are very good at the second, not so good at the first. Speculation abounds as to why, but the facts are not in dispute, especially among East Asians.

    Fred’s message that East Asians are a decent lot and like us in most respects is spot on. Try as I might, I just can’t feel much difference, and the differences I do perceive are complementary.

    This from a guy whose alt right pedigree is impeccable. Just saying.
  32. Enjoyable piece.

    I loved the language, the characters that seemed almost of dance on the page in old, old documents in the national museum, which was filled with wonderful works of art saved from the communists when Chiang fled to the island. I couldn’t begin to read them, of course. However, modern Chinese is remarkably easy provided you don’t want to read or write it, having none of the complexities of tense, mood, or person of, say, Spanish. By dint of pathological application, I ended able to communicate reasonably and grind my way through a pulp novel with lots of help from the dictionary–using which was an adventure unto itself.

    I agree with this impression. Once you get a feel for tones everyday speech becomes surprisingly easy despite its somewhat alien quality.

    Among racial sites on the web today one frequently sees the assertion that Asians can copy but not invent. Maybe. There is a chain of thought that begins with “Screwed up like a Chinese fire drill,” then “Well, they can make pencils and toys,” (“Made in Japan,” remember?), then “OK they can make easy things like washing machines,” then “Well, yes, they can assemble iPads, but can’t create anything.” Then it turns out, as it has turned out, that they are designing world-class supercomputers all of their own, oops, heh.

    On the one hand, the condescension sounds like wishful thinking. On the other, in painting for example, there is more creativity between the Impressionists and Klimt than in centuries of Chinese painting, which usually consisted of making copies of past masters. We had better hope.

    Also a lot of people don’t understand nuance and the concept that multiple things can be true to varying degrees.

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  33. Ah, Taipei. During a three-month stint there I wandered the streets and along the river at night with camera in hand, and occasionally tripod over shoulder, shooting and snacking. No anxiety or fear while alone on the streets at night. The same was true on my last visit four years ago, now a white-haired man on Medicare. There is a certain joy in walking along Roosevelt Road from the Chiang-kai Shek concert hall back to the home in which I stayed near Taiwan National University alone, watching the neon, the chaos of the traffic (ALWAYS look both ways twice). Sometimes I would stand on the pedestrian bridge over Roosevelt near the Tai Power Station subway stop to watch the traffic and people. The occasional early AM walk in the reverse direction, the air vaguely cooler with the promise of crushing heat and humidity on the way, was equally pleasant. Groups of older people would be doing tai chi in the square of in Da An Park as the city began to pulse around them, a pleasant contrast to the slow graceful movements of their exercise.

    It is quite a contrast to the always present knot in the gut when walking the streets of Georgetown, D.C. after nine PM, something I try to avoid. A sunrise walk along the Potomac. Perhaps when I could run.

    General Stillwell described the Taiwanese, both men and women, as the most beautiful people he had ever seen. No argument. Except for the godawful weather most of the year it is where, were things different, I would like to have retired.

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  34. Inventiveness:

    China has won eight Nobel Prizes. Britain has won one hundred and seventeen.

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    • Replies: @Rdm
    This kind of Nobel Prize comment always makes me chuckle.

    This is almost like saying my penis is 1cm longer than yours, that’s why I must be more reproductive than yours. Before the measuring contest, people were breeding like rabbits. Now it all comes down to Number.

    Let me first enlighten you for this inventive and creative traits.

    There is no doubt that Nobel Prize is a good estimate for each country performance on advancement in science and medicine (post-modern). Also remember that this prize was only established a century ago and we’ve seen hundreds of smartypants collecting prize only in modern inventions and creations.

    Looking at the first cohort of Nobel prize winners, you’d see tons of peace prize winners. And you wonder why? Those guys were just being mere mouthpieces for peace.
    -- One guy won because he established union.
    -- The other guy won because he’s established Red Cross.
    -- And the few others won because they were just being freaking jeezuss christ secretaries.


    Anyhoo… if we look at the winner in Physiology and Medicine, the first winner from England in 1902 was the guy named Ronald Ross who showed the mosquitoes in malaria transmission. You wonder why? Yes he’s was fucking born in India and must have observed the striking difference, where he’d see mosquitoes and many malaria patients in India, and where he migrated back to England, he saw no mosquitoes, no malaria. Wow … a genius.

    The above paragraph somehow looks like some guy named Rdm jealous of an Englishman’s accomplishment and taking a snide remark at how lowly his discovery was.

    That was 1902 and we are here arguing in 2016. It’s almost 100 years ... a century has passed.

    Of course if we lived in 1902, it was a significant discovery why we should have a proper sanitary practice, avoid mosquitoes habitats, spray mosquitoes repellant. It was quite a noble discovery for we humans because it saved people lives.

    Now if we go further beyond 1902, we have no fking discoveries worthy of Nobel prize?

    Even a century old discovery like this seems a mere happenstance in this 21st century, you have no idea how human inventions back in BC era would look like a child play.

    1. Paper (China) invented in 100BC China.
    No fking clue how they came up with an idea to produce a thin layer like a papyrus and write your thought and idea in ink. This would have been the first ever human communications farther than one can shout at the top of their lungs.

    No Nobel Prize?

    2. Seismometer
    A device to detect the earth movement or earthquake first invented in China. Maybe people in this era in some other countries believed any movement underneath their standing was due to god wrath to punish their ass. But only in China, a device to detect the continent movement was invented by a famous scientist and mathematician Chang Heng.

    No Nobel Prize?

    I can go on and on. We can argue which invention was more important, which was just a mere luck. The fact of the matter here is --

    If no one gives a shit to a century old discovery and invention, it’s understandable that we mere mortals here in this 21st century won’t give a damn to those thousands year old inventions either.

    The caveat is the counting only begins after the first Nobel prize was awarded in 1902.

    For those who still want to argue “If this is the case, why not Nobel Prize winners from China after 1902 then?”

    You are partially right about that.

    We can also argue why not Nobel Prize winner from Europe during Black death? Of course, no Nobel Prize at the time. But then any inventions worthy of significance during 1300-1500 AD? It’s because during Black death all Europeans were dumb? Or it’s because of the socioeconomic condition?

    If we go back further back 1300, we can see that Europeans also invented things. Suddenly they all become dumb and their productivity stalled from the year 1300 onwards? During the time China was the forefront of any inventions you can imagine? While Europeans suffered from the Black Plague, China sent her the greatest mariner Zheng He to explore the world.
    -- Zheng He reached Africa in 1400.
    -- Europeans reached Africa in 1600.

    If Neil Armstrong was hailed as one of the greatest American astronauts ever walked on the Moon in 1969, in 1400, Zheng He would be the first ever Mariner to reach far beyond any humans can imagine in their lifetime. China was the forefront of the maritime exploration.

    The only difference was Zheng He returned his voyage with souvenir for Emperor Ming. But those magnanimous Dutch colonized the Africa. If any person of British descent felt mighty superior during “The Sun Never Set” era, you can rightly imagine how Han Chinese in pre-modern time would feel 100 times superior than any of the walking bones deemed barbarians. Their size of the gonads was as big as your Texas.

    Bottom line is we humans have seen fluctuations of discoveries and inventions throughout human history in different geographical locations.

    The question is What time point should we start counting and what criteria should we use?
  35. I’m exceedingly glad to see that Fred has possibly taken a break from bashing the “black” and Muslim underclasses and pontificating on the silly and easily misused metric of “IQ” to describe something he probably knows something about.

    Nice, also, to see that he may have even returned to his senses as suggested by this priceless sentiment.:

    It is curious how unweird people turn out to be if you actually live among them, this being a principle I had discovered among the Thais, Viets, Mexicans, and Cambodians.

    As for the stereotype of Asian lack of inventiveness, in my experience, that’s just another sappy canard used by the simple minded to feel superior to the “other.” As usual. And as spouted by those who are clueless and without first hand experience. Spend a few months living in any of those cultures and you’ll come back with some very “enlightened” views on the matter.

    For example, how many Westerners today could even understand the (admittedly simple) concept of a fire piston, let alone conceive and build one using vegetable matter? It was probably invented and in common use among “primitive” folk in SE Asia long before Europeans started imposing themselves on Asians. Making do with a paucity of resources and plethora of creativity is another characteristic of them if I may be permitted my own stereotype.

    Anyone who knows anything about what makes a good surgeon knows that creativity “on the hoof” is a large part of what makes a good one. Take my word for it that Asian surgeons excel in that as well as in skill and judgement as well.

    In my humble opinion, any apparent lack of creativity probably has more to do with culture, values, and necessity than “creativity genes.”

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  36. Inventiveness:

    China has won eight Nobel Prizes. Britain has won one hundred and seventeen.

    Creativity:

    Awarding O-bomb-er a Piss Prize.

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  37. Anonymous says:     Show CommentNext New Comment

    The girls dressed to be attractive and pretty, hardly a novelty among young women, and were often wildly successful. (Oriental women tend to appeal greatly to Western guys, the condition being known as “yellow fever” or “rice fever.” It is not a matter of sexual availability, the middle-class girls being less promiscuous than American, but just lovely and feminine. Chilly they were not.)

    I contracted this in my mid 20′s and since then it’s only gotten worse. Prior to this I was never attracted to any females except blonde, Northern European types. Forget the explanation give by those not afflicted by yellow fever. It not about the feminine, demure, etc., reasons. I’ve narrowed it down to the eyes and behavior (not necessarily feminine, but something that has two distinct modes– obliviousness and self-awareness– and switches back and forth quickly). But the eyes have it.

    Sometimes it is difficult to tell NE Asians apart, especially Chinese and Korean. Here’s a composite of the three different NE Asian women (Korean, Japanese, and Chinese). Can you tell the difference?

    https://ricelover.wordpress.com/2008/09/05/chinese-japanese-korean-how-to-tell-the-differences/

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  38. Wow – those pics…

    I always imagined Fred Reed as a cigar-chomping marine sergeant with a neck thicker than his head.

    Turns out he’s a pencil-necked dweeb in poindexter glasses.

    This calls for some reassessment…

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  39. @IA
    ". . . so it’d be nice to know that another advanced culture will survive."

    Not so nice for dogs, cats, tigers, elephants, bears, birds, sharks, anything in the water, anything in the air, anything on the ground, et cetera.

    Not so nice if you’re a person who’s not Chinese, either. Ask the Uighurs and the Tibetans.

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    • Replies: @DB Cooper
    "Ask the Uighurs and the Tibetans."

    Yes please do it. You will be shock what you find out.
    , @denk
    'Ask the Uighurs and the Tibetans.'
    murkkans are very well trained parrots,
    hehehehe

    thank you very much they'r doing fine,
    why nobody cares to ask the native americans ,
    what happens to charity starts at home ???
  40. @Triumph104

    China’s academic performance has been just as stunning. The 2009 Program for International Student Assessment(PISA) tests placed gigantic Shanghai—a megalopolis of 15 million—at the absolute top of world student achievement.[1] PISA results from the rest of the country have been nearly as impressive, with the average scores of hundreds of millions of provincial Chinese—mostly from rural families with annual incomes below $2,000—matching or exceeding those of Europe’s most advanced and successful countries, such as Germany, France, and Switzerland, and ranking well above America’s results.[2]
     
    I only took a quick glance at your linked article but wanted to say that the reason rural Chinese do so well on the PISA exam is because they have an astronomically high junior high school dropout rate. About 50 percent of rural students have dropped out by senior high school. The dropout rate for 7th and 8th graders is 25 percent in some areas. The main reason given for leaving school is lack of interest, followed by knowing that they are one of the weaker students and seeing no point in continuing their studies. Of course test results look great once you get rid of the lazy and the struggling.

    Google "china high school dropout" for articles.

    I’d like to see how white American children compare on tests with Chinese kids in China.

    Our equivalent to their practice of letting or encouraging the lazy or less intelligent to drop out, would be excluding all our african-”Americans” and Mexicans.

    We look far, far better on other measures, too, compared to China and other countries, when we count only actual core European-Americans: violent crime, births out of wedlock, abortion rates.

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  41. @RadicalCenter
    Not so nice if you're a person who's not Chinese, either. Ask the Uighurs and the Tibetans.

    “Ask the Uighurs and the Tibetans.”

    Yes please do it. You will be shock what you find out.

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  42. US first-place Math Olympiad team:

    Members of the U.S. team included Ryan Alweiss, Allen Liu, Yang Liu, Shyam Narayanan, and David Stoner, all of whom were awarded gold medals, and Michael Kural, who earned a silver medal, just one point away from the gold. The last time the U.S. team took first place was in 1994.

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    • Replies: @DB Cooper
    No. The US team took first place again this year. The last time the US team won was last year. The US team took first place two years in a row.
    , @utu
    Gold 2016 team: Ankan Bhattacharya, Allen Liu, Ashwin Sah, Michael Kural, Yuan Yao, Junyao Peng (1 non Asian out of 6)

    Gold 2015 team: Michael Kural, Yang Liu, Ryan Alweiss, Shyam Narayanan, Allen Liu, David Stoner (3 non Asian out of 6)

    Silver 2014 team Allen Liu, Yang Liu, Sammy Luo, Mark Sellke, James Tao, Joshua Brakensiek (2 non Asian out of 6)
  43. @Fred Reed
    US first-place Math Olympiad team:

    Members of the U.S. team included Ryan Alweiss, Allen Liu, Yang Liu, Shyam Narayanan, and David Stoner, all of whom were awarded gold medals, and Michael Kural, who earned a silver medal, just one point away from the gold. The last time the U.S. team took first place was in 1994.

    No. The US team took first place again this year. The last time the US team won was last year. The US team took first place two years in a row.

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    • Replies: @Anon
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/answer-sheet/wp/2016/07/18/u-s-students-win-prestigious-international-math-olympiad-for-second-straight-year/

    Americans are generally lousy at math, right? At least that’s what we hear every time there is an international test and the United States doesn’t come in close to the top.

    But consider this: The U.S. team of high school students just won the International Math Olympiad.

    ..............................................................

    That is too funny. Look at the pic. Two Indians, three Chinese, one white. Plus a Chinese head coach.




    The 2016 International Physics Olympiad was concluded a few days ago.

    Final Ranking
    http://www.ipho2016.org/webcontent/downloads/final_ranking.pdf

    1 Chenkai Mao China 28.6 19.5 48.1 Gold
    2 Seungju Hong Republic of Korea 28.7 19.1 47.8 Gold
    2 Hongyi Luan China 29.4 18.4 47.8 Gold
    4 Gyunghun Kim Republic of Korea 28.5 19.2 47.7 Gold
    5 Aleksandr Artemev Russia 29.6 17.3 46.9 Gold
    6 Michael Gilbert Indonesia 28 18.6 46.6 Gold
    7 Yuxiang Chen China 29.2 17.3 46.5 Gold
    8 Akihiro Watanabe Japan 26.7 19.5 46.2 Gold
    9 Wounsuk Rhee Republic of Korea 26.5 19.3 45.8 Gold
    10 Yuan Lee Singapore 26.6 18.7 45.3 Gold


    And the result from the American team. Look at their names. Again, two Indians, three Chinese.

    16 Abijith Krishnan United States of America 25.6 18.3 43.9 Gold
    17 Jason Lu United States of America 24.8 19 43.8 Gold
    50 Srijon Mukherjee United States of America 19.9 18.3 38.2 Silver
    53 Jimmy Qin United States of America 19.9 17.9 37.8 Silver
    75 Vincent Liu United States of America 17.2 16.5 33.7 Silver
  44. @Fred Reed
    US first-place Math Olympiad team:

    Members of the U.S. team included Ryan Alweiss, Allen Liu, Yang Liu, Shyam Narayanan, and David Stoner, all of whom were awarded gold medals, and Michael Kural, who earned a silver medal, just one point away from the gold. The last time the U.S. team took first place was in 1994.

    Gold 2016 team: Ankan Bhattacharya, Allen Liu, Ashwin Sah, Michael Kural, Yuan Yao, Junyao Peng (1 non Asian out of 6)

    Gold 2015 team: Michael Kural, Yang Liu, Ryan Alweiss, Shyam Narayanan, Allen Liu, David Stoner (3 non Asian out of 6)

    Silver 2014 team Allen Liu, Yang Liu, Sammy Luo, Mark Sellke, James Tao, Joshua Brakensiek (2 non Asian out of 6)

    Read More
  45. @Citizen of a Silly Country
    Creativity, inventiveness, etc.

    That's big question, isn't it. Nobody doubts the ability of Asians to learn. It's there ability to create out of nothing, to not only think outside the box but to see a whole new box, that remains in doubt.

    Of course, NE Asians have some history of creativity and invention, but it really does pale in comparison to Europeans. Given their average IQ, that's one of the great mysteries of the past 500 years or so. Was this a fluck of history? Did the West get a little lucky and run with the low-hanging fruit while political and cultural pressures held down the natural ability of NE Asia?

    Or does the intelligence of the NE Asians lack something?

    Who knows.

    I suspect that we'll know within a generation or two. Personally, my hope is that NE Asians are just as creative/inventive as their European counterparts. The West appears to be committing a wholly self-inflicted suicide (perhaps our intelligence lacks something as well), so it'd be nice to know that another advanced culture will survive.

    The “can’t invent” meme is obvious nonsense in the big picture. China DID invent pretty much everything before 1600. But there’s some factual basis in recent times. Mainland China wanted to pick up the newer inventions fast, so it sent thousands of students and spies to American universities and industries in the ’80s. Those spies were in fact copying everything, and we were stupidly letting them.

    Read More
    • Replies: @anonymous european
    "China DID invent pretty much everything before 1600."


    Okay, I understand you may not mean that literally, but people really do believe that nonsense, and this has to STOP.

    As early as the 1300's, Europeans had mechanical clocks, sight-correcting eyeglasses, the tallest buildings in the world (cathedrals), nautical charts so accurate they almost look modern, the blast furnace, plate armor, and gunpowder weapons better than anything in Asia.

    All these things would have seemed astonishing to the Chinese.

    Circa 1500, the Chinese still thought that the Earth was flat. They learned it was round from the Europeans, who had known it was a globe since the ancient Greeks.
    At the time of COPERNICUS, the Chinese STILL THOUGHT THAT THE EARTH WAS FLAT.

  46. Anonymous says:     Show CommentNext New Comment

    Fred, we were in the Nam at about the same time, 68-69, USMC, in and around DaNang, etc. The stories about Chinese, Viets, Okinawa bring back heavy memories. The girls, mama san, happy endings, Australia, all come back in a rush. Even during the war life was good, outside the Nam of course. Today not so much. Appreciate the stories. Almost left out Tijuana jail, that to, drunk and disorderly, couple of days in the cooler. Schoolboy

    Read More
  47. One of the high points of my life was the five months I spent in Taiwan with the St. Olaf College Term In China. As a prerequisite, I’d had two years of Mandarin (using Yale romanization; it was designed specifically to teach English-speakers Chinese during WWII) and could already communicate to a limited extent when I arrived.

    I bitterly regret ever coming back.

    Read More
  48. Anon says:     Show CommentNext New Comment
    @DB Cooper
    No. The US team took first place again this year. The last time the US team won was last year. The US team took first place two years in a row.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/answer-sheet/wp/2016/07/18/u-s-students-win-prestigious-international-math-olympiad-for-second-straight-year/

    Americans are generally lousy at math, right? At least that’s what we hear every time there is an international test and the United States doesn’t come in close to the top.

    But consider this: The U.S. team of high school students just won the International Math Olympiad.

    ……………………………………………………..

    That is too funny. Look at the pic. Two Indians, three Chinese, one white. Plus a Chinese head coach.

    The 2016 International Physics Olympiad was concluded a few days ago.

    Final Ranking

    http://www.ipho2016.org/webcontent/downloads/final_ranking.pdf

    1 Chenkai Mao China 28.6 19.5 48.1 Gold
    2 Seungju Hong Republic of Korea 28.7 19.1 47.8 Gold
    2 Hongyi Luan China 29.4 18.4 47.8 Gold
    4 Gyunghun Kim Republic of Korea 28.5 19.2 47.7 Gold
    5 Aleksandr Artemev Russia 29.6 17.3 46.9 Gold
    6 Michael Gilbert Indonesia 28 18.6 46.6 Gold
    7 Yuxiang Chen China 29.2 17.3 46.5 Gold
    8 Akihiro Watanabe Japan 26.7 19.5 46.2 Gold
    9 Wounsuk Rhee Republic of Korea 26.5 19.3 45.8 Gold
    10 Yuan Lee Singapore 26.6 18.7 45.3 Gold

    And the result from the American team. Look at their names. Again, two Indians, three Chinese.

    16 Abijith Krishnan United States of America 25.6 18.3 43.9 Gold
    17 Jason Lu United States of America 24.8 19 43.8 Gold
    50 Srijon Mukherjee United States of America 19.9 18.3 38.2 Silver
    53 Jimmy Qin United States of America 19.9 17.9 37.8 Silver
    75 Vincent Liu United States of America 17.2 16.5 33.7 Silver

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  49. I’ve been a fan of Mr. Reed’s curmudgeonly writing for several years now. But I don’t get the whole “Dr Fredlove: How I Learned To Stop Worrying and Love Diversity” schtick. It seems like a permutation of “lie back and think of England.”

    I get it – people the world over are friendly and intelligent.

    I just disagree with the notion that we should hand over our posterity on a silver platter.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anon7
    I wonder what Fred makes of the HBD ideas that demonstrate that some of the cultural differences between people have a genetic basis that just doesn't go away over time. We're importing a permanent problem in many cases.

    I think the Brits finally rebelled when they realized that the plan was replacement of the native population (themselves). It's possible that enough Americans will figure it out by this fall (keep your fingers crossed).
  50. @Anonymous
    Fred, we were in the Nam at about the same time, 68-69, USMC, in and around DaNang, etc. The stories about Chinese, Viets, Okinawa bring back heavy memories. The girls, mama san, happy endings, Australia, all come back in a rush. Even during the war life was good, outside the Nam of course. Today not so much. Appreciate the stories. Almost left out Tijuana jail, that to, drunk and disorderly, couple of days in the cooler. Schoolboy

    Ah! TJ, the Blue Fox….

    Read More
  51. @bossel

    the assertion that Asians can copy but not invent
     
    Don't know about Asians, but in China that's clearly a problem. Most Chinese can copy very well & they are good at rote learning. The key word here is 'most', though. Even though on average Chinese are probably less innovative & creative than - say - Europeans that is made up by the greater number of Chinese. There are some 1.4 billion mainland Chinese now. Even if they have only half the rate of innovators than in Europe, there are still more innovators in China than in Europe. Even if there are less, they probably still have quite a number of innovative & creative people. Brain drain may be another problem, though.

    Re PISA: Chinese are drilled to pass certain kinds of exams from early on. That may really help them to do well in PISA. From my own experience I have to say that Chinese university students seem far less knowledgeable in pretty much every area than their European counterparts. They seem to forget very quickly what they learned at school.

    A point that I have seen made about the supposed lack of inventiveness among the Chinese is the difficulty of learning the written language, which because it is ideographic, requires extensive memorization. A Chinese person has to spend much more time simply acquiring the vocabulary of a scholar in the Chinese language than a Westerner does in his. The relatively simple alphabets of European languages enable mastery of reading much more quickly than it can be acquired in Chinese, and free the student to spend his time learning other skills.

    Joseph Needham spent a lifetime writing the numerous volumes of Science and Civilisation in China, and one of its central questions is how the Chinese could have had such a history of early scientific and technological achievement followed by a long period of stagnation in these fields. So far as I have read Needham’s work (and I have only read a little of it), he does not seem to have a definite answer. He was a Marxist and probably had a theory derived from Marxism, but that made no part of those of his volumes I read.

    Needham makes some interesting remarks in his discussion of how modern Western chemistry came to China in the nineteenth century about the way in which its chemical nomenclature was adapted to the Chinese language (Vol. V, part 3). In Western languages the nomenclature is artificial and systematic, so that a chemical’s name signifies its constituent elements and even its structure. Chinese on the other hand borrowed words from ancient Chinese alchemy and simply gave them modern technical meanings. The nomenclature is systematic to a degree, but one can see that it involves more memorization, and the formula for a chemical is not at once evident from its name – as was the case before Lavoisier’s time, when Western chemists still used terms such as “colcothar,” “oil of vitriol,” or “butter of antimony.”

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    • Replies: @colm
    And, Joe Needham was the first person, ever, to make a catalog of all the Chinese tech achievement. There were a few half-hearted attempts before but none of them reached the level of Neeham.

    Shows how the Chinese used to value Stem back then.
  52. Anonymous says:     Show CommentNext New Comment
    @Historian

    Looks like Yale romanization, which was commonly used until the 80s
     
    Even Yale doesn't teach its undergrads Chinese with Yale romanization any more. They use Pinyin.

    Princeton was the last holdout for Gwoyeu Romatzyh. They also had to give up and switch to Pinyin.

    It's over now. Pinyin has won.

    Fred attended the 国语日报 (Guoyu Ribao) or “National Language Daily” newspaper’s adjunct Chinese language school, one of three popular centers for foreigners in Taipei in the 1960s to learn Mandarin. It emphasized romanization as a bridge to conversation and literacy; instruction in the Chinese characters came later.

    Without getting into details, the ‘60s was REALLY a good time for unmarried western guys to be in Taiwan. Fred intimates as much. ‘70s and ‘80s also had their charm.

    The arguments for East Asian creativity in the sciences generally miss the boat by not distinguishing between the radical creativity idealized in the West (“inter-domain,” inductive) and the creativity that accounts for the bulk of science done everywhere (“intra-domain,” deductive). East Asians are very good at the second, not so good at the first. Speculation abounds as to why, but the facts are not in dispute, especially among East Asians.

    Fred’s message that East Asians are a decent lot and like us in most respects is spot on. Try as I might, I just can’t feel much difference, and the differences I do perceive are complementary.

    This from a guy whose alt right pedigree is impeccable. Just saying.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Ace
    I visited Hong Kong for a week in '67 after five months at ShiDa's Mandarin Training Center in Taibei. I found a room in a "hotel" in one of those sardine palaces and the family let me take their eight-year-old son around Hong Kong sightseeing by myself! It still amazes me. A cute kid and a most pleasant family. A little spillover of Cultural Revolution attitude in a movie theater but that was it.

    I took passage in steerage on a boat to Japan. The porter deposited my steamer trunk in the stateroom and announced to the four or five Chinese guys there that it belonged to the gweizi (foreign devil). They admonished him and laughed about it with me later. It was an experience memorable for one fellow, a businessman, telling me in a friendly way that Americans are too tianjen (naive). He knew what he was talking about.
  53. Not too shabby- you haven’t used Pinyin much in 50 yrs, but I can still understand what you wrote.

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  54. This piece really is a nothing-burger.

    Fred apparently thinks that White Nationalists believe that Chinese people are all troglodytic subhumans beset by what would nowadays be called psychiatric or affect disorders, incapable of participating in our civilization or sustaining rich interpersonal relationships. He then proceeds to flog this straw-man for all it’s worth, with the implied conclusion being that we should welcome living amongst and intermingling with one another because “they’re really just the same as us.”

    My God, this is ridiculous. White Nationalists believe no such thing. We just want the states constituted among us to preserve our ethnicity and culture. Why is that so freaking hard to understand? Perhaps Fred should try living around White people for a change, where indeed he might learn that they, too, are normal, suffering fellow creatures grievously put upon by the sophomoric melting-pot philosophy he gleefully espouses.

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  55. @polistra
    The "can't invent" meme is obvious nonsense in the big picture. China DID invent pretty much everything before 1600. But there's some factual basis in recent times. Mainland China wanted to pick up the newer inventions fast, so it sent thousands of students and spies to American universities and industries in the '80s. Those spies were in fact copying everything, and we were stupidly letting them.

    “China DID invent pretty much everything before 1600.”

    Okay, I understand you may not mean that literally, but people really do believe that nonsense, and this has to STOP.

    As early as the 1300′s, Europeans had mechanical clocks, sight-correcting eyeglasses, the tallest buildings in the world (cathedrals), nautical charts so accurate they almost look modern, the blast furnace, plate armor, and gunpowder weapons better than anything in Asia.

    All these things would have seemed astonishing to the Chinese.

    Circa 1500, the Chinese still thought that the Earth was flat. They learned it was round from the Europeans, who had known it was a globe since the ancient Greeks.
    At the time of COPERNICUS, the Chinese STILL THOUGHT THAT THE EARTH WAS FLAT.

    Read More
    • Replies: @anonymous european
    My bad, I just realized the Chinese had the blast furnace as well. Whatever, doesn't change my general point.

    Say what you will about the lull Europe went through during the dark ages, at least educated Europeans always knew that the earth was round.
    , @PandaAtWar

    "As early as the 1300′s, Europeans had mechanical clocks, sight-correcting eyeglasses, the tallest buildings in the world (cathedrals), nautical charts so accurate they almost look modern, the blast furnace, plate armor, and gunpowder weapons better than anything in Asia. All these things would have seemed astonishing to the Chinese."
     
    While Panda appreciates your sense of hunour, but how you managed to string so much nonsense together? ROFL
  56. @anonymous european
    "China DID invent pretty much everything before 1600."


    Okay, I understand you may not mean that literally, but people really do believe that nonsense, and this has to STOP.

    As early as the 1300's, Europeans had mechanical clocks, sight-correcting eyeglasses, the tallest buildings in the world (cathedrals), nautical charts so accurate they almost look modern, the blast furnace, plate armor, and gunpowder weapons better than anything in Asia.

    All these things would have seemed astonishing to the Chinese.

    Circa 1500, the Chinese still thought that the Earth was flat. They learned it was round from the Europeans, who had known it was a globe since the ancient Greeks.
    At the time of COPERNICUS, the Chinese STILL THOUGHT THAT THE EARTH WAS FLAT.

    My bad, I just realized the Chinese had the blast furnace as well. Whatever, doesn’t change my general point.

    Say what you will about the lull Europe went through during the dark ages, at least educated Europeans always knew that the earth was round.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Pagoda
    And building things like Notre Dame ain't exactly simple...
  57. @BenKenobi
    I've been a fan of Mr. Reed's curmudgeonly writing for several years now. But I don't get the whole "Dr Fredlove: How I Learned To Stop Worrying and Love Diversity" schtick. It seems like a permutation of "lie back and think of England."

    I get it - people the world over are friendly and intelligent.

    I just disagree with the notion that we should hand over our posterity on a silver platter.

    I wonder what Fred makes of the HBD ideas that demonstrate that some of the cultural differences between people have a genetic basis that just doesn’t go away over time. We’re importing a permanent problem in many cases.

    I think the Brits finally rebelled when they realized that the plan was replacement of the native population (themselves). It’s possible that enough Americans will figure it out by this fall (keep your fingers crossed).

    Read More
  58. @Ron Unz

    A typical theory is their thousand+ of years of eugenics based on rewarding those who could pass the imperial exam.
     
    Actually, that widespread suggestion is very unlikely to be correct---the numbers involved are just far, far too small. However, a few years ago I published a different theory, which I believe is much more plausible:

    http://www.unz.com/article/how-social-darwinism-made-modern-china-248/

    You postulate that the last 1000 years, during which survival of the great majority of the population depended on success in a free market agricultural economy, prepared the Chinese to achieve “the fastest sustained rate of economic growth in human history,” the implication being that this “preparation” involved genetic modification manifest in “stunning” academic performance.

    You do not, however, establish that:

    (a) Darwinian selection for intellectual capacity is any greater in a “free market” agricultural economy than in, say, a hunter gatherer economy or any other kind of economy, where competition for reproductive success must inevitably occur even if outside the economic sphere;

    (b) high academic performance among ethnic Chinese is genetically, not culturally, determined;

    (c) academic performance has anything to do with rapid economic growth; or

    (d) that China’s rapid economic development has anything to do with China’s human capital.

    Far more realistic, it seems to me, would be the assumption that China’s rapid economic development from near universal dirt poverty to mostly dirt poor with a substantial urban middle class was the result chiefly of the following factors:

    (1) the 1994 GATT agreement which not only opened Western markets to the products of dirt cheap Chinese labor, but led to a flood of Western capital into Third World economies, particularly China’s, there to exploit that ocean of cheap labor;

    (2) the 1997 merger of China’s economy with the advanced economy of Hong Kong, which alone added almost 25% to China’s GDP, and provided the Chinese economy with a huge injection of business and technological expertise;

    (3) the relative ease and low cost of shipping today’s advanced technologies and the expertise that goes with them, to wherever labor costs, taxes, and workplace health and safety standards are lowest.

    Altogether, there seems no reason to assume an ethnic basis for China’s rapid economic expansion from near stone age to space age. Many other non-Chinese nations have done the same, including Japan in the 19th century, and Germany not only in the 19th century but also in the 20th century — twice. Then there was Britain, where full industrialization occurred first. Sure it took the Brits a while, but then they had to invent most of the process as they went along, which is rather different from copying what other people have already invented.

    So I think your hypothesis is just another IQist fantasy upon which to float a globalist agenda.

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    • Replies: @Ivan K.
    With your criticism of Unz's article I have no problems.

    Your suggestion of the causes of China's rapid growth does have problems. China's development from 1979 onward was based primarily on its own state investments. Foreign investments have been a fraction in the total development investments in China throughout this 36 years period.

    Altogether, there seems no reason to assume an ethnic basis for China’s rapid economic expansion from near stone age to space age. Many other non-Chinese nations have done the same...

    Leaving the ethnic aspect aside, there is virtually nothing mechanical or unremarkable about a nation breaking historic world records of development.

    On a minor note, Japan and Germany didn't get from stone age to space age in the 19th century.

    Many other non-Chinese nations have done the same, including Japan in the 19th century, and Germany not only in the 19th century but also in the 20th century — twice.

    Let me just note that the comparison with 20th century post-war Germany doesn't stand scrutiny. Through the world wars, Germany had retained much of its industrial base, expertise, infrastructure, and, of course, culture. In addition, in each of the post-war periods it received huge influxes of foreign capital, larger than China relative to its domestic economy. Paul Manning recounts that in his book, in which he tells how the rise of West Germany was helped by the Bormann's organisation, by transferring wealth plundered from occupied Europe.

    Back to China:

    The Sino-American businessman Eric X. Li claims that the key to China's rise is the entrepreneurial spirit of China's people, second to none in the world, according to him. That's an intriguing and apparently little explored avenue of study.

    , @Dengue Fever
    I have lived in Asia for a decade, so I have a bit of experience in the place, from SE to SW Asia.

    One thing I observed in my travels was the huge number of Westerners like myself, who went to Asia to seek their fame and fortune so to speak.

    I have met farmers from Minnesota who were making artificial milk replacement for calf feed. Computer programmers for consumer devices, East coast hippie engineers making both sex toys and McDonalds meal toys at the same time., Florida Chicken farmers, all in Asia.

    I myself build CNC machines.

    To attribute the Asia economic success to native Chinese talent, is fallacy. It could easily also be attributed to the opening of the East to Western entrepreneurs, and the lowering of shipping costs.
  59. @anonymous european
    My bad, I just realized the Chinese had the blast furnace as well. Whatever, doesn't change my general point.

    Say what you will about the lull Europe went through during the dark ages, at least educated Europeans always knew that the earth was round.

    And building things like Notre Dame ain’t exactly simple…

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  60. @anonymous european
    "China DID invent pretty much everything before 1600."


    Okay, I understand you may not mean that literally, but people really do believe that nonsense, and this has to STOP.

    As early as the 1300's, Europeans had mechanical clocks, sight-correcting eyeglasses, the tallest buildings in the world (cathedrals), nautical charts so accurate they almost look modern, the blast furnace, plate armor, and gunpowder weapons better than anything in Asia.

    All these things would have seemed astonishing to the Chinese.

    Circa 1500, the Chinese still thought that the Earth was flat. They learned it was round from the Europeans, who had known it was a globe since the ancient Greeks.
    At the time of COPERNICUS, the Chinese STILL THOUGHT THAT THE EARTH WAS FLAT.

    “As early as the 1300′s, Europeans had mechanical clocks, sight-correcting eyeglasses, the tallest buildings in the world (cathedrals), nautical charts so accurate they almost look modern, the blast furnace, plate armor, and gunpowder weapons better than anything in Asia. All these things would have seemed astonishing to the Chinese.”

    While Panda appreciates your sense of hunour, but how you managed to string so much nonsense together? ROFL

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    • Replies: @anonymous european
    I'm very serious, Panda.

    Mechanical clocks were common in Europe in the 1300's.
    The earlier Chinese clocks weren't as advanced and can't be considered true mechanical clocks (they should be considered water clocks). Wikipedia explains why:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Escapement#Liquid-driven_escapements

    "none of these were true mechanical escapements, since they still depended on the flow of liquid through an orifice to measure time. For example, in Su Song's clock, water flowed into a container on a pivot. The escapement's role was to tip the container over each time it filled up, thus advancing the clock's wheels each time an equal quantity of water was measured out. The development of mechanical clocks, though, depended on the invention of an escapement which would allow a clock's movement to be controlled by an oscillating weight. Unlike the continuous flow of water in the Chinese device, the medieval escapement was characterized by a regular, repeating sequence of discrete actions and the capability of self-reversing action"


    Regarding the invention of eyeglasses in Europe in the 13th century, just check Wikipedia.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glasses#History

    Regarding the history of the tallest building in the world, again, just check Wikipedia. In the 1300's, it was Lincoln Cathedral.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_tallest_buildings_and_structures#History

    Regarding nautical charts - this wikipedia article exploes the topic of medieval portolan charts.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Portolan_chart
    They were astonishingly precise for "ancient" maps. They typically show a flawless outline of the Mediterranean, with windrose lines.
    https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/0/0f/Carta_Pisana.png
    If there were such precise nautical maps in China at the time, I haven't seen them. Can you show me one comparable nautical map from China?

    In 1409, the Teutonic Order cast a cannon with a caliber of 520 millimeters. That's only slightly outside the 14th century. Did the Chinese possess such enormous guns at the time? I don't think so.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Faule_Grete

    I'm getting tired here. Do I also have to provide references for plate armor being common in late medeval Europe and not in China?

    , @anonymous european
    Here is a much better looking example of a Portolan chart; it dates back to the early 1300's.

    https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/5/5c/Mediterranean_chart_fourteenth_century2.jpg

  61. @RadicalCenter
    Not so nice if you're a person who's not Chinese, either. Ask the Uighurs and the Tibetans.

    ‘Ask the Uighurs and the Tibetans.’
    murkkans are very well trained parrots,
    hehehehe

    thank you very much they’r doing fine,
    why nobody cares to ask the native americans ,
    what happens to charity starts at home ???

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  62. @PandaAtWar

    "As early as the 1300′s, Europeans had mechanical clocks, sight-correcting eyeglasses, the tallest buildings in the world (cathedrals), nautical charts so accurate they almost look modern, the blast furnace, plate armor, and gunpowder weapons better than anything in Asia. All these things would have seemed astonishing to the Chinese."
     
    While Panda appreciates your sense of hunour, but how you managed to string so much nonsense together? ROFL

    I’m very serious, Panda.

    Mechanical clocks were common in Europe in the 1300′s.
    The earlier Chinese clocks weren’t as advanced and can’t be considered true mechanical clocks (they should be considered water clocks). Wikipedia explains why:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Escapement#Liquid-driven_escapements

    “none of these were true mechanical escapements, since they still depended on the flow of liquid through an orifice to measure time. For example, in Su Song’s clock, water flowed into a container on a pivot. The escapement’s role was to tip the container over each time it filled up, thus advancing the clock’s wheels each time an equal quantity of water was measured out. The development of mechanical clocks, though, depended on the invention of an escapement which would allow a clock’s movement to be controlled by an oscillating weight. Unlike the continuous flow of water in the Chinese device, the medieval escapement was characterized by a regular, repeating sequence of discrete actions and the capability of self-reversing action”

    Regarding the invention of eyeglasses in Europe in the 13th century, just check Wikipedia.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glasses#History

    Regarding the history of the tallest building in the world, again, just check Wikipedia. In the 1300′s, it was Lincoln Cathedral.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_tallest_buildings_and_structures#History

    Regarding nautical charts – this wikipedia article exploes the topic of medieval portolan charts.

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

    They were astonishingly precise for “ancient” maps. They typically show a flawless outline of the Mediterranean, with windrose lines.

    https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/0/0f/Carta_Pisana.png

    If there were such precise nautical maps in China at the time, I haven’t seen them. Can you show me one comparable nautical map from China?

    In 1409, the Teutonic Order cast a cannon with a caliber of 520 millimeters. That’s only slightly outside the 14th century. Did the Chinese possess such enormous guns at the time? I don’t think so.

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

    I’m getting tired here. Do I also have to provide references for plate armor being common in late medeval Europe and not in China?

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    • Replies: @PandaAtWar
    Pnada also tried seriously to be honest, but still can't string so much nonsense together. So you must be gifted? LoL

    1. On Chinese ancient clocks - world's first astromical clock from 11th century, with 3 functions:

    upper layer - measument of astronomical bodies;
    middle layer - demo of astronomical bodies'movements;
    lower layer: automatic timekeeping device

    https://zh.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E6%B0%B4%E9%81%8B%E5%84%80%E8%B1%A1%E5%8F%B0

    Your 13th century what? LOL

    2. eyegalsses was an important feat, yet as important and as popular and productive as porcelain? ROFL

    3. Right, the tallest bullding, big deal? how about the biggest building? the largest man-made structure, the longest? the most productive ones? LOL

    Just check this out for a starter (Epang Palace - 200BC, Qin Dynasty): https://www.google.nl/search?q=%E9%98%BF%E6%97%81%E5%AE%AE&biw=1280&bih=870&tbm=isch&imgil=C6HOjNhp2JzE2M%253BAAAAAAAAAAABAM%253Bhttp%25253A%25252F%25252Fwww.chinatraveldesigner.com%25252Ftravel-wiki.aspx%25253Fid%25253D2743&source=iu&pf=m&fir=C6HOjNhp2JzE2M%252CAAAAAAAAAAABAM%252C_&usg=__RvtcIuV7RPpIeNRAfX4LBNsFo70%3D&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjVl5TExofOAhXWFsAKHc1lBH8QuqIBCIABMAo&dpr=1&imgrc=1roqlA29kZVhBM

    4. that nautical charts looks impressive, but again it's late 14th century on the Med, which is a just little pond on your doorstep. Never heard of (Zhenghehttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zheng_He) ? It's not an excuse but China has been historically primarily a continental land power, not interested that much to nautical maps, but land maps.

    5. the 15th century 520mm cannon wow! Pity that it was just several hundred years too late! LOL. A copy/paste of the Chinese invention though, you gotta admit, just made it bigger. Check this out: http://www.learnchinesehistory.com/chinese-cannons-history/
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cannon


    And the blast furnace? Haha plate armor? Don't you know who invented them? ROFL.

    And have you heard of Terracotta Army ? read carefully and enjoy:

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2516445/Terracotta-Army-awesome-fighting-machine-weapons-powerful-kill-enemy-single-arrow.html

    http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2014/11/141114-terra-cotta-warriors-qin-shi-huang-tomb-china-archaeology/

    http://www.chemistry-blog.com/2015/09/22/the-chrome-plated-mystery-of-the-terracotta-armys-swords/

    One thing: pre-16th/17th century Europe stood no chance comparing to China in terms of technologies, both civil and military technologies.
  63. @PandaAtWar

    "As early as the 1300′s, Europeans had mechanical clocks, sight-correcting eyeglasses, the tallest buildings in the world (cathedrals), nautical charts so accurate they almost look modern, the blast furnace, plate armor, and gunpowder weapons better than anything in Asia. All these things would have seemed astonishing to the Chinese."
     
    While Panda appreciates your sense of hunour, but how you managed to string so much nonsense together? ROFL

    Here is a much better looking example of a Portolan chart; it dates back to the early 1300′s.

    https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/5/5c/Mediterranean_chart_fourteenth_century2.jpg

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  64. @CanSpeccy
    You postulate that the last 1000 years, during which survival of the great majority of the population depended on success in a free market agricultural economy, prepared the Chinese to achieve "the fastest sustained rate of economic growth in human history," the implication being that this "preparation" involved genetic modification manifest in "stunning" academic performance.

    You do not, however, establish that:

    (a) Darwinian selection for intellectual capacity is any greater in a "free market" agricultural economy than in, say, a hunter gatherer economy or any other kind of economy, where competition for reproductive success must inevitably occur even if outside the economic sphere;

    (b) high academic performance among ethnic Chinese is genetically, not culturally, determined;

    (c) academic performance has anything to do with rapid economic growth; or

    (d) that China's rapid economic development has anything to do with China's human capital.

    Far more realistic, it seems to me, would be the assumption that China's rapid economic development from near universal dirt poverty to mostly dirt poor with a substantial urban middle class was the result chiefly of the following factors:

    (1) the 1994 GATT agreement which not only opened Western markets to the products of dirt cheap Chinese labor, but led to a flood of Western capital into Third World economies, particularly China's, there to exploit that ocean of cheap labor;

    (2) the 1997 merger of China's economy with the advanced economy of Hong Kong, which alone added almost 25% to China's GDP, and provided the Chinese economy with a huge injection of business and technological expertise;

    (3) the relative ease and low cost of shipping today's advanced technologies and the expertise that goes with them, to wherever labor costs, taxes, and workplace health and safety standards are lowest.

    Altogether, there seems no reason to assume an ethnic basis for China's rapid economic expansion from near stone age to space age. Many other non-Chinese nations have done the same, including Japan in the 19th century, and Germany not only in the 19th century but also in the 20th century — twice. Then there was Britain, where full industrialization occurred first. Sure it took the Brits a while, but then they had to invent most of the process as they went along, which is rather different from copying what other people have already invented.

    So I think your hypothesis is just another IQist fantasy upon which to float a globalist agenda.

    With your criticism of Unz’s article I have no problems.

    Your suggestion of the causes of China’s rapid growth does have problems. China’s development from 1979 onward was based primarily on its own state investments. Foreign investments have been a fraction in the total development investments in China throughout this 36 years period.

    Altogether, there seems no reason to assume an ethnic basis for China’s rapid economic expansion from near stone age to space age. Many other non-Chinese nations have done the same…

    Leaving the ethnic aspect aside, there is virtually nothing mechanical or unremarkable about a nation breaking historic world records of development.

    On a minor note, Japan and Germany didn’t get from stone age to space age in the 19th century.

    Many other non-Chinese nations have done the same, including Japan in the 19th century, and Germany not only in the 19th century but also in the 20th century — twice.

    Let me just note that the comparison with 20th century post-war Germany doesn’t stand scrutiny. Through the world wars, Germany had retained much of its industrial base, expertise, infrastructure, and, of course, culture. In addition, in each of the post-war periods it received huge influxes of foreign capital, larger than China relative to its domestic economy. Paul Manning recounts that in his book, in which he tells how the rise of West Germany was helped by the Bormann’s organisation, by transferring wealth plundered from occupied Europe.

    Back to China:

    The Sino-American businessman Eric X. Li claims that the key to China’s rise is the entrepreneurial spirit of China’s people, second to none in the world, according to him. That’s an intriguing and apparently little explored avenue of study.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Ivan K.
    p.s. I just finished reading Ron Unz's article, where, at the end, he addresses the business acumen factor, and his remarks are sensible.
    , @CanSpeccy

    China’s development from 1979 onward was based primarily on its own state investments.
     
    That China's take-off as a quasi-capitalist nation depended on a fundamental change in government economic policy is certainly and obviously true, and you are correct in stating that one aspect of the new economic policy was for the state to finance much of the new investment in China.

    Leaving the ethnic aspect aside, there is virtually nothing mechanical or unremarkable about a nation breaking historic world records of development.
     
    Well no. And with reference to China I remarked three key factors: the 1994 GATT agreement; the merger with Hong Kong; and the relative ease and speed with which industrial technology and the necessary accompanying expertise can now be moved around the world.

    On a minor note, Japan and Germany didn’t get from stone age to space age in the 19th century.
     
    True, they didn't actually reach space during the 19th century, but they definitely started their rapid industrialization then.

    Through the world wars, Germany had retained much of its industrial base, expertise, infrastructure
     
    It's true that, on discovering that it would entail the death of a large part of the population, the US relented on the Morgenthau plan to destroy German industry totally. But it is a fact that the success of Germany's post WWII economic recovery has been attributed to the destruction of major industrial enterprises, which allowed for the emergence of Germany's highly entrepreneurial mittelstand companies, which have provided the driving force of Germany's post-WWII industry.

    The Sino-American businessman Eric X. Li claims that the key to China’s rise is the entrepreneurial spirit of China’s people, second to none in the world
     
    Again the invocation of the ethnic factor with no validating evidence and ignoring the role of well defined economic factors, which it seems to me, are of overwhelmingly greater importance, since we know for a fact that many different nations and ethnicities have achieved rapid ec0nomic take-off when conditions were favorable.

    What remains to be seen is whether conditions in China are sufficiently favorable, and the Chinese are sufficiently entrepreneurial for the people as a whole to achieve a Western standard of living. With the majority still living in rural poverty, there is a way to go before China's economic miracle, for all its initial rapidity, matches in its effect on the standard of living and quality of life that of some other countries.

  65. @Ivan K.
    With your criticism of Unz's article I have no problems.

    Your suggestion of the causes of China's rapid growth does have problems. China's development from 1979 onward was based primarily on its own state investments. Foreign investments have been a fraction in the total development investments in China throughout this 36 years period.

    Altogether, there seems no reason to assume an ethnic basis for China’s rapid economic expansion from near stone age to space age. Many other non-Chinese nations have done the same...

    Leaving the ethnic aspect aside, there is virtually nothing mechanical or unremarkable about a nation breaking historic world records of development.

    On a minor note, Japan and Germany didn't get from stone age to space age in the 19th century.

    Many other non-Chinese nations have done the same, including Japan in the 19th century, and Germany not only in the 19th century but also in the 20th century — twice.

    Let me just note that the comparison with 20th century post-war Germany doesn't stand scrutiny. Through the world wars, Germany had retained much of its industrial base, expertise, infrastructure, and, of course, culture. In addition, in each of the post-war periods it received huge influxes of foreign capital, larger than China relative to its domestic economy. Paul Manning recounts that in his book, in which he tells how the rise of West Germany was helped by the Bormann's organisation, by transferring wealth plundered from occupied Europe.

    Back to China:

    The Sino-American businessman Eric X. Li claims that the key to China's rise is the entrepreneurial spirit of China's people, second to none in the world, according to him. That's an intriguing and apparently little explored avenue of study.

    p.s. I just finished reading Ron Unz’s article, where, at the end, he addresses the business acumen factor, and his remarks are sensible.

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  66. @jim jones
    Inventiveness:

    China has won eight Nobel Prizes. Britain has won one hundred and seventeen.

    This kind of Nobel Prize comment always makes me chuckle.

    This is almost like saying my penis is 1cm longer than yours, that’s why I must be more reproductive than yours. Before the measuring contest, people were breeding like rabbits. Now it all comes down to Number.

    Let me first enlighten you for this inventive and creative traits.

    There is no doubt that Nobel Prize is a good estimate for each country performance on advancement in science and medicine (post-modern). Also remember that this prize was only established a century ago and we’ve seen hundreds of smartypants collecting prize only in modern inventions and creations.

    Looking at the first cohort of Nobel prize winners, you’d see tons of peace prize winners. And you wonder why? Those guys were just being mere mouthpieces for peace.
    – One guy won because he established union.
    – The other guy won because he’s established Red Cross.
    – And the few others won because they were just being freaking jeezuss christ secretaries.

    Anyhoo… if we look at the winner in Physiology and Medicine, the first winner from England in 1902 was the guy named Ronald Ross who showed the mosquitoes in malaria transmission. You wonder why? Yes he’s was fucking born in India and must have observed the striking difference, where he’d see mosquitoes and many malaria patients in India, and where he migrated back to England, he saw no mosquitoes, no malaria. Wow … a genius.

    The above paragraph somehow looks like some guy named Rdm jealous of an Englishman’s accomplishment and taking a snide remark at how lowly his discovery was.

    That was 1902 and we are here arguing in 2016. It’s almost 100 years … a century has passed.

    Of course if we lived in 1902, it was a significant discovery why we should have a proper sanitary practice, avoid mosquitoes habitats, spray mosquitoes repellant. It was quite a noble discovery for we humans because it saved people lives.

    Now if we go further beyond 1902, we have no fking discoveries worthy of Nobel prize?

    Even a century old discovery like this seems a mere happenstance in this 21st century, you have no idea how human inventions back in BC era would look like a child play.

    1. Paper (China) invented in 100BC China.
    No fking clue how they came up with an idea to produce a thin layer like a papyrus and write your thought and idea in ink. This would have been the first ever human communications farther than one can shout at the top of their lungs.

    No Nobel Prize?

    2. Seismometer
    A device to detect the earth movement or earthquake first invented in China. Maybe people in this era in some other countries believed any movement underneath their standing was due to god wrath to punish their ass. But only in China, a device to detect the continent movement was invented by a famous scientist and mathematician Chang Heng.

    No Nobel Prize?

    I can go on and on. We can argue which invention was more important, which was just a mere luck. The fact of the matter here is –

    If no one gives a shit to a century old discovery and invention, it’s understandable that we mere mortals here in this 21st century won’t give a damn to those thousands year old inventions either.

    The caveat is the counting only begins after the first Nobel prize was awarded in 1902.

    For those who still want to argue “If this is the case, why not Nobel Prize winners from China after 1902 then?”

    You are partially right about that.

    We can also argue why not Nobel Prize winner from Europe during Black death? Of course, no Nobel Prize at the time. But then any inventions worthy of significance during 1300-1500 AD? It’s because during Black death all Europeans were dumb? Or it’s because of the socioeconomic condition?

    If we go back further back 1300, we can see that Europeans also invented things. Suddenly they all become dumb and their productivity stalled from the year 1300 onwards? During the time China was the forefront of any inventions you can imagine? While Europeans suffered from the Black Plague, China sent her the greatest mariner Zheng He to explore the world.
    – Zheng He reached Africa in 1400.
    – Europeans reached Africa in 1600.

    If Neil Armstrong was hailed as one of the greatest American astronauts ever walked on the Moon in 1969, in 1400, Zheng He would be the first ever Mariner to reach far beyond any humans can imagine in their lifetime. China was the forefront of the maritime exploration.

    The only difference was Zheng He returned his voyage with souvenir for Emperor Ming. But those magnanimous Dutch colonized the Africa. If any person of British descent felt mighty superior during “The Sun Never Set” era, you can rightly imagine how Han Chinese in pre-modern time would feel 100 times superior than any of the walking bones deemed barbarians. Their size of the gonads was as big as your Texas.

    Bottom line is we humans have seen fluctuations of discoveries and inventions throughout human history in different geographical locations.

    The question is What time point should we start counting and what criteria should we use?

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  67. @Ivan K.
    With your criticism of Unz's article I have no problems.

    Your suggestion of the causes of China's rapid growth does have problems. China's development from 1979 onward was based primarily on its own state investments. Foreign investments have been a fraction in the total development investments in China throughout this 36 years period.

    Altogether, there seems no reason to assume an ethnic basis for China’s rapid economic expansion from near stone age to space age. Many other non-Chinese nations have done the same...

    Leaving the ethnic aspect aside, there is virtually nothing mechanical or unremarkable about a nation breaking historic world records of development.

    On a minor note, Japan and Germany didn't get from stone age to space age in the 19th century.

    Many other non-Chinese nations have done the same, including Japan in the 19th century, and Germany not only in the 19th century but also in the 20th century — twice.

    Let me just note that the comparison with 20th century post-war Germany doesn't stand scrutiny. Through the world wars, Germany had retained much of its industrial base, expertise, infrastructure, and, of course, culture. In addition, in each of the post-war periods it received huge influxes of foreign capital, larger than China relative to its domestic economy. Paul Manning recounts that in his book, in which he tells how the rise of West Germany was helped by the Bormann's organisation, by transferring wealth plundered from occupied Europe.

    Back to China:

    The Sino-American businessman Eric X. Li claims that the key to China's rise is the entrepreneurial spirit of China's people, second to none in the world, according to him. That's an intriguing and apparently little explored avenue of study.

    China’s development from 1979 onward was based primarily on its own state investments.

    That China’s take-off as a quasi-capitalist nation depended on a fundamental change in government economic policy is certainly and obviously true, and you are correct in stating that one aspect of the new economic policy was for the state to finance much of the new investment in China.

    Leaving the ethnic aspect aside, there is virtually nothing mechanical or unremarkable about a nation breaking historic world records of development.

    Well no. And with reference to China I remarked three key factors: the 1994 GATT agreement; the merger with Hong Kong; and the relative ease and speed with which industrial technology and the necessary accompanying expertise can now be moved around the world.

    On a minor note, Japan and Germany didn’t get from stone age to space age in the 19th century.

    True, they didn’t actually reach space during the 19th century, but they definitely started their rapid industrialization then.

    Through the world wars, Germany had retained much of its industrial base, expertise, infrastructure

    It’s true that, on discovering that it would entail the death of a large part of the population, the US relented on the Morgenthau plan to destroy German industry totally. But it is a fact that the success of Germany’s post WWII economic recovery has been attributed to the destruction of major industrial enterprises, which allowed for the emergence of Germany’s highly entrepreneurial mittelstand companies, which have provided the driving force of Germany’s post-WWII industry.

    The Sino-American businessman Eric X. Li claims that the key to China’s rise is the entrepreneurial spirit of China’s people, second to none in the world

    Again the invocation of the ethnic factor with no validating evidence and ignoring the role of well defined economic factors, which it seems to me, are of overwhelmingly greater importance, since we know for a fact that many different nations and ethnicities have achieved rapid ec0nomic take-off when conditions were favorable.

    What remains to be seen is whether conditions in China are sufficiently favorable, and the Chinese are sufficiently entrepreneurial for the people as a whole to achieve a Western standard of living. With the majority still living in rural poverty, there is a way to go before China’s economic miracle, for all its initial rapidity, matches in its effect on the standard of living and quality of life that of some other countries.

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  68. @CanSpeccy
    You postulate that the last 1000 years, during which survival of the great majority of the population depended on success in a free market agricultural economy, prepared the Chinese to achieve "the fastest sustained rate of economic growth in human history," the implication being that this "preparation" involved genetic modification manifest in "stunning" academic performance.

    You do not, however, establish that:

    (a) Darwinian selection for intellectual capacity is any greater in a "free market" agricultural economy than in, say, a hunter gatherer economy or any other kind of economy, where competition for reproductive success must inevitably occur even if outside the economic sphere;

    (b) high academic performance among ethnic Chinese is genetically, not culturally, determined;

    (c) academic performance has anything to do with rapid economic growth; or

    (d) that China's rapid economic development has anything to do with China's human capital.

    Far more realistic, it seems to me, would be the assumption that China's rapid economic development from near universal dirt poverty to mostly dirt poor with a substantial urban middle class was the result chiefly of the following factors:

    (1) the 1994 GATT agreement which not only opened Western markets to the products of dirt cheap Chinese labor, but led to a flood of Western capital into Third World economies, particularly China's, there to exploit that ocean of cheap labor;

    (2) the 1997 merger of China's economy with the advanced economy of Hong Kong, which alone added almost 25% to China's GDP, and provided the Chinese economy with a huge injection of business and technological expertise;

    (3) the relative ease and low cost of shipping today's advanced technologies and the expertise that goes with them, to wherever labor costs, taxes, and workplace health and safety standards are lowest.

    Altogether, there seems no reason to assume an ethnic basis for China's rapid economic expansion from near stone age to space age. Many other non-Chinese nations have done the same, including Japan in the 19th century, and Germany not only in the 19th century but also in the 20th century — twice. Then there was Britain, where full industrialization occurred first. Sure it took the Brits a while, but then they had to invent most of the process as they went along, which is rather different from copying what other people have already invented.

    So I think your hypothesis is just another IQist fantasy upon which to float a globalist agenda.

    I have lived in Asia for a decade, so I have a bit of experience in the place, from SE to SW Asia.

    One thing I observed in my travels was the huge number of Westerners like myself, who went to Asia to seek their fame and fortune so to speak.

    I have met farmers from Minnesota who were making artificial milk replacement for calf feed. Computer programmers for consumer devices, East coast hippie engineers making both sex toys and McDonalds meal toys at the same time., Florida Chicken farmers, all in Asia.

    I myself build CNC machines.

    To attribute the Asia economic success to native Chinese talent, is fallacy. It could easily also be attributed to the opening of the East to Western entrepreneurs, and the lowering of shipping costs.

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    • Replies: @CanSpeccy
    Yes, the biggest innovation driving China's economic expansion was and remains dirt cheap labor employed under such awful conditions that workers have to be constrained with nets to prevent them committing suicide.

    A friend of mine, a very smart Chinese graduate student I supervised, returned to China to manage a manufacturing plant for a US multinational. But things didn't go too well. A local firm copied the technology and offered the same product at half the price, which they were able to do, presumably, either because they were able to get labor even cheaper than the US company, or they sweated the workers harder than the US company or they depended on artificially cheap government finance, or some combination of the three.
  69. @Dengue Fever
    I have lived in Asia for a decade, so I have a bit of experience in the place, from SE to SW Asia.

    One thing I observed in my travels was the huge number of Westerners like myself, who went to Asia to seek their fame and fortune so to speak.

    I have met farmers from Minnesota who were making artificial milk replacement for calf feed. Computer programmers for consumer devices, East coast hippie engineers making both sex toys and McDonalds meal toys at the same time., Florida Chicken farmers, all in Asia.

    I myself build CNC machines.

    To attribute the Asia economic success to native Chinese talent, is fallacy. It could easily also be attributed to the opening of the East to Western entrepreneurs, and the lowering of shipping costs.

    Yes, the biggest innovation driving China’s economic expansion was and remains dirt cheap labor employed under such awful conditions that workers have to be constrained with nets to prevent them committing suicide.

    A friend of mine, a very smart Chinese graduate student I supervised, returned to China to manage a manufacturing plant for a US multinational. But things didn’t go too well. A local firm copied the technology and offered the same product at half the price, which they were able to do, presumably, either because they were able to get labor even cheaper than the US company, or they sweated the workers harder than the US company or they depended on artificially cheap government finance, or some combination of the three.

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  70. I can not speak of the Chinese model but friends who recently returned from China to the Philippines where I am at, told me about how the Chinese government built these enormous industrial parks and give them space rent free until the company earns a profit.

    Other factors not readily apparent to westerners is that Asians will undertake enterprises that make no sense business wise. If they perceive that some “rich” westerner is doing it for 2 dollars then they should do it for one dollar, even of it means they go broke in the process.

    In the Philippines, on the other hand, I can find $7 a day idiots all day long. But that is what I get, a $7 a day idiot that costs me $14 to emply because they waste my resources.

    To go up the ladder one level to a $300 a month worker it becomes harder to find, and to go to a $2000 a month worker, it is damn near impossible to find, so one must grow that worker.

    The Western perception about sweatshop conditions in Asia is over rated. Even a mere 30 years ago in the US, American workers would work in non air conditioned work spaces, now they all want to work in 1 star hotels with coffee bars.

    My business model on the other hand requires very little human input. A crew of 3 workers is sufficient. I have figured out how to out-Chinese the Chinese selling a product for $1800 that the Chinese can not sell for less than $3500 delivered because of shipping, customs, and various other factors in my design process like using robotic equipment and low cost controllers.

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  71. if only the murkkans would devote their creativities to build stuffs, like what the chinese are doing,
    instead of destroying cultures, lives and the earth itself.

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  72. @anonymous european
    I'm very serious, Panda.

    Mechanical clocks were common in Europe in the 1300's.
    The earlier Chinese clocks weren't as advanced and can't be considered true mechanical clocks (they should be considered water clocks). Wikipedia explains why:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Escapement#Liquid-driven_escapements

    "none of these were true mechanical escapements, since they still depended on the flow of liquid through an orifice to measure time. For example, in Su Song's clock, water flowed into a container on a pivot. The escapement's role was to tip the container over each time it filled up, thus advancing the clock's wheels each time an equal quantity of water was measured out. The development of mechanical clocks, though, depended on the invention of an escapement which would allow a clock's movement to be controlled by an oscillating weight. Unlike the continuous flow of water in the Chinese device, the medieval escapement was characterized by a regular, repeating sequence of discrete actions and the capability of self-reversing action"


    Regarding the invention of eyeglasses in Europe in the 13th century, just check Wikipedia.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glasses#History

    Regarding the history of the tallest building in the world, again, just check Wikipedia. In the 1300's, it was Lincoln Cathedral.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_tallest_buildings_and_structures#History

    Regarding nautical charts - this wikipedia article exploes the topic of medieval portolan charts.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Portolan_chart
    They were astonishingly precise for "ancient" maps. They typically show a flawless outline of the Mediterranean, with windrose lines.
    https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/0/0f/Carta_Pisana.png
    If there were such precise nautical maps in China at the time, I haven't seen them. Can you show me one comparable nautical map from China?

    In 1409, the Teutonic Order cast a cannon with a caliber of 520 millimeters. That's only slightly outside the 14th century. Did the Chinese possess such enormous guns at the time? I don't think so.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Faule_Grete

    I'm getting tired here. Do I also have to provide references for plate armor being common in late medeval Europe and not in China?

    Pnada also tried seriously to be honest, but still can’t string so much nonsense together. So you must be gifted? LoL

    1. On Chinese ancient clocks – world’s first astromical clock from 11th century, with 3 functions:

    upper layer – measument of astronomical bodies;
    middle layer – demo of astronomical bodies’movements;
    lower layer: automatic timekeeping device

    https://zh.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E6%B0%B4%E9%81%8B%E5%84%80%E8%B1%A1%E5%8F%B0

    Your 13th century what? LOL

    2. eyegalsses was an important feat, yet as important and as popular and productive as porcelain? ROFL

    3. Right, the tallest bullding, big deal? how about the biggest building? the largest man-made structure, the longest? the most productive ones? LOL

    Just check this out for a starter (Epang Palace – 200BC, Qin Dynasty): https://www.google.nl/search?q=%E9%98%BF%E6%97%81%E5%AE%AE&biw=1280&bih=870&tbm=isch&imgil=C6HOjNhp2JzE2M%253BAAAAAAAAAAABAM%253Bhttp%25253A%25252F%25252Fwww.chinatraveldesigner.com%25252Ftravel-wiki.aspx%25253Fid%25253D2743&source=iu&pf=m&fir=C6HOjNhp2JzE2M%252CAAAAAAAAAAABAM%252C_&usg=__RvtcIuV7RPpIeNRAfX4LBNsFo70%3D&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjVl5TExofOAhXWFsAKHc1lBH8QuqIBCIABMAo&dpr=1&imgrc=1roqlA29kZVhBM

    4. that nautical charts looks impressive, but again it’s late 14th century on the Med, which is a just little pond on your doorstep. Never heard of (Zhenghehttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zheng_He) ? It’s not an excuse but China has been historically primarily a continental land power, not interested that much to nautical maps, but land maps.

    5. the 15th century 520mm cannon wow! Pity that it was just several hundred years too late! LOL. A copy/paste of the Chinese invention though, you gotta admit, just made it bigger. Check this out: http://www.learnchinesehistory.com/chinese-cannons-history/

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

    And the blast furnace? Haha plate armor? Don’t you know who invented them? ROFL.

    And have you heard of Terracotta Army ? read carefully and enjoy:

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2516445/Terracotta-Army-awesome-fighting-machine-weapons-powerful-kill-enemy-single-arrow.html

    http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2014/11/141114-terra-cotta-warriors-qin-shi-huang-tomb-china-archaeology/

    http://www.chemistry-blog.com/2015/09/22/the-chrome-plated-mystery-of-the-terracotta-armys-swords/

    One thing: pre-16th/17th century Europe stood no chance comparing to China in terms of technologies, both civil and military technologies.

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    • Replies: @anonymous european
    Panda, you address me with derisiveness, using expressions such as "LOL" and “ROFL”. Such an immature attitude could be justified if you are 10 years old. If you are an adult, it’s embarassing, or at least it is considered embarassing here in the West.
    Is that kind of impolite behavior common among Chinese people nowadays? It doesn't reflect well on the degree of civilization in your country.

    Remember, I was talking about the 14th century. I was discussing how the knowledge and skills of the europeans in the 14th century compare to China in the same period.
    What does the Terracotta Army have to do with the period we're talking about?
    What does that Qin dinasty palace, the Epang Palace, have to do with the period we're talking about?
    If you bring up the Qin dinasty, then I would have to bring up the ancient Greeks and Romans and their MANY achievements. It would be a different discussion.

    Regarding clocks - I think that your answers are based on a misunderstanding of what we mean by the phrase “MECHANICAL CLOCK”.
    The chinese clock from the 11th century depended on the flow of water to function. It was therefore a water clock, not a true mechanical clock. I already explained it in my earlier comment by quoting Wikipedia.
    Europeans had water clocks for a long time before they invented mechanical clocks. It’s mechanical clocks we are talking about.
    The pivotal advance in the development of the true mechanical clock is the verge escapement.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Verge_escapement
    It was invented in Europe, not China.

    Of course, if we broaden the discussion and we are willing to consider clockwork in general, and since you brought up the Qin period, well, the ancient Greek clearly were WAY ahead of China in clockwork.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antikythera_mechanism
    https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/7/76/Antikythera_model_front_panel_Mogi_Vicentini_2007.JPG


    Zheng He's voyages are supposed to be impressive? Big deal! He followed existing trade routes!
    https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/1/1f/Zheng_He.png
    The Norse at the time had already crossed the Atlantic and settled the new world, and only a few decades after Zheng He, the Portuguese went all the way around Africa to India, a trip around the heart of darkness: a truly gigantic continent which, take notice, had no existing ports on its western coast.
    Not the same thing as "discovering" coasts which already are civilized and have plenty of trading ports.
    Of course none of this has anything to do with the precision of maps. Europeans had better quality maps than the Chinese, you must admit.

    Is that 200 century BC complex, the Epang Palace, supposed to be impressive? I don’t see anything striking about it. What, exactly, is impressive about that collection of buildings in your opinion? Perhaps the surface area it covers?
    Building tall is not the same thing as building wide. It takes a lot of knowledge and skill to be able to defeat the force of gravity. While building wide is just a matter of budget, building tall is a challenge of engineering which requires the development of specific techniques. Which is why the ability of medieval Europeans to build those tall cathedrals is such an achievement.

    “And the blast furnace? Haha plate armor? Don’t you know who invented them? ROFL.”
    Look, earlier in this thread I posted a comment in which I corrected my own mistake about blast furnace. So you are late correcting me. That single mistake doesn’t change the general point I was making, which is that in the 1300’s Europeans had already surpassed China in a number of fields.
    Who invented plate armor? Europeans.
    I’m sorry Panda, but Europe was well ahead of China in military technology in the 14th and 15th centuries.
    “Plate armor” refers to the kind of armor in which most of the body is covered by large, anatomically shaped solid steel plates. This was the kind of armor used by European armies in the 14th and 15th centuries. Such an armor offers very little vulnerability. A soldier wearing one is like a walking tank. Something like this:
    https://ferrebeekeeper.files.wordpress.com/2011/07/gothic-armor.jpg
    On the other hand, armor consisting of many tiny plates sewn together is called a “coat of plates”, which is NOT “plate armor”, and is much simpler to make and weaker than plate armor. That was the kind of armor typically used in China. For example, this is a coat of plates – it is much weaker than plate armor:
    https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/236x/77/27/2a/77272a8f252606274582db7b57591765.jpg
    As for guns, nobody is denying that the Chinese invented guns. Of course they did, everybody knows that!
    Europeans, however, surpassed them quickly. I already showed you that Europeans around the year 1400 had the gunmaking skills to make extremely large guns, much more powerful than anything in China. Laugh all you want, laughter is no argument.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Faule_Mette
    Take a look at wikipedia:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_gunpowder
    “Around the late 14th century European powdermakers began adding liquid to the constituents of gunpowder which reduced dust, and with it the risk of explosion during manufacture. The powdermakers would then shape the resulting paste of moistened gunpowder—known as mill cake—into "corns" or granules to allow it to dry. Not only did "corned" powder keep better, because of its reduced surface area, but gunners also found that it was more powerful and easier to load into guns.”
    This is called “corning”. The invention of corning is a pivotal one in the history of guns. There is ample evidence that europeans knew how to do this, but no evidence that the Chinese knew of this until they learned it from Europeans.
    You must admit that European armor and guns in the 14th and 15th century were superior.

    By the way, thank you for at least recognizing that Europeans invented eyeglasses.

    I stand by my initial statements about 14th century Europe being ahead of China in several fields. The only part of those statements which I take back is the one about the blast furnace (a human mistake); I already took back that part in a comment earlier in this thread, no need for you to correct me.

    14th century Europe was ahead in other ways as well.

    Medieval Chinese art is pretty but there isn't even any sense that distant thing should be smaller than close things. Meanwhile, in the 1300's European artists were attempting perspective, and in 1413 Brunelleschi came up with the rules for accurate geometrical perspective. That is a central innovation in the history of art.

    And of course, the medieval Europeans inherited a number of achievements from the ancient Romans and Greeks.
    For example, deductive logic, which the Chinese didn’t really have. Here is a Chinese (China-raised) scholar who says so.
    http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11712-009-9133-x
    Or the tradition of voting to elect those in charge, as seen in Italian city-states, imperial free cities, imperial elections, and papal elections. China was always an autocracy, which is a backwards thing to be, and the Chinese never knew of anything else. Present day China is STILL backwards in that field.
    Or simply the understanding that the Earth was round.
    Those who claim that the Chinese were superior in everything must find it very embarassing that the Chinese DIDN’T KNOW THAT THE WORLD WAS ROUND until Europeans told them.

    So far, I discussed the medieval era, because my initial contention was merely that Europe was ahead of China in some fields in the late medieval era.
    But of course, I have noticed that Panda brought up the Qin dinasty, so maybe Panda is also interested in talking about the achievements of the ancient Greeks and Romans.
    Here are some fields in which Europeans of the classical period were clearly way ahead of China:

    - concrete, which allowed them to engineer durable and massive things, still standing today; that level of technology was reached again only in the 19th century
    - building things underwater with underwater concrete
    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2013-06-14/ancient-roman-concrete-is-about-to-revolutionize-modern-architecture
    - glassmaking
    - clockwork/gearwork
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antikythera_mechanism
    - deductive logic
    - democracy (not known in China yet)
    - statuary
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Classical_sculpture
    - book-binding (China stuck with impractical scrolls until Westerners showed them how it’s done) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Codex
    - the shape of the world AND how large it is exactly https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_geodesy
    - geography incorporating earth curvature
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ptolemy%27s_world_map

    (seriously, it’s really embarassing that the Chinese didn’t know that the world was round until Europeans told them).

    Of course the Chinese invented a few things in their history. But the fashionable notion that China has always been significantly more advanced than Europe, is ridiculous; a propagandistic, narcissistic delusion on the part of the Chinese; fashionable left-wing status signaling on the part of mistaken Westerners.
  73. @Si1ver1ock
    The American Oligarchy thinks they will out compete the Chinese in China when they can't even compete with the Chinese in our own country.

    Sad.

    Whitey isn’t allowed to compete in China >_<

    Read More
  74. @bunga
    "Street, Shanghai, a few years ago. China ain’t what it used to be. Getting rid of Mao did the trick. PhredFot"

    Mao was not there before 1949 There were a lot of other players Most of them were western or western inspired powers. What went wrong before that was corrected by the presence of mao and by the presence of his shadow after he was gone?

    What went wrong is that China was completely upended in 1911 and after some confusion entered upon a period of even more confusion marked by crooked warlords and a boatload of communist subversives. The latter organized to destroy the KMT and then the Japanese arrived to help out by attacking the KMT.

    Mao wasn’t a solution to any of this but a hideous amplification of it with all the insanity and murder of which communist fanatics are capable.

    Read More
  75. @Anonymous
    Fred attended the 国语日报 (Guoyu Ribao) or "National Language Daily" newspaper’s adjunct Chinese language school, one of three popular centers for foreigners in Taipei in the 1960s to learn Mandarin. It emphasized romanization as a bridge to conversation and literacy; instruction in the Chinese characters came later.

    Without getting into details, the ‘60s was REALLY a good time for unmarried western guys to be in Taiwan. Fred intimates as much. ‘70s and ‘80s also had their charm.

    The arguments for East Asian creativity in the sciences generally miss the boat by not distinguishing between the radical creativity idealized in the West (“inter-domain,” inductive) and the creativity that accounts for the bulk of science done everywhere (“intra-domain,” deductive). East Asians are very good at the second, not so good at the first. Speculation abounds as to why, but the facts are not in dispute, especially among East Asians.

    Fred’s message that East Asians are a decent lot and like us in most respects is spot on. Try as I might, I just can’t feel much difference, and the differences I do perceive are complementary.

    This from a guy whose alt right pedigree is impeccable. Just saying.

    I visited Hong Kong for a week in ’67 after five months at ShiDa’s Mandarin Training Center in Taibei. I found a room in a “hotel” in one of those sardine palaces and the family let me take their eight-year-old son around Hong Kong sightseeing by myself! It still amazes me. A cute kid and a most pleasant family. A little spillover of Cultural Revolution attitude in a movie theater but that was it.

    I took passage in steerage on a boat to Japan. The porter deposited my steamer trunk in the stateroom and announced to the four or five Chinese guys there that it belonged to the gweizi (foreign devil). They admonished him and laughed about it with me later. It was an experience memorable for one fellow, a businessman, telling me in a friendly way that Americans are too tianjen (naive). He knew what he was talking about.

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  76. @PandaAtWar
    Pnada also tried seriously to be honest, but still can't string so much nonsense together. So you must be gifted? LoL

    1. On Chinese ancient clocks - world's first astromical clock from 11th century, with 3 functions:

    upper layer - measument of astronomical bodies;
    middle layer - demo of astronomical bodies'movements;
    lower layer: automatic timekeeping device

    https://zh.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E6%B0%B4%E9%81%8B%E5%84%80%E8%B1%A1%E5%8F%B0

    Your 13th century what? LOL

    2. eyegalsses was an important feat, yet as important and as popular and productive as porcelain? ROFL

    3. Right, the tallest bullding, big deal? how about the biggest building? the largest man-made structure, the longest? the most productive ones? LOL

    Just check this out for a starter (Epang Palace - 200BC, Qin Dynasty): https://www.google.nl/search?q=%E9%98%BF%E6%97%81%E5%AE%AE&biw=1280&bih=870&tbm=isch&imgil=C6HOjNhp2JzE2M%253BAAAAAAAAAAABAM%253Bhttp%25253A%25252F%25252Fwww.chinatraveldesigner.com%25252Ftravel-wiki.aspx%25253Fid%25253D2743&source=iu&pf=m&fir=C6HOjNhp2JzE2M%252CAAAAAAAAAAABAM%252C_&usg=__RvtcIuV7RPpIeNRAfX4LBNsFo70%3D&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjVl5TExofOAhXWFsAKHc1lBH8QuqIBCIABMAo&dpr=1&imgrc=1roqlA29kZVhBM

    4. that nautical charts looks impressive, but again it's late 14th century on the Med, which is a just little pond on your doorstep. Never heard of (Zhenghehttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zheng_He) ? It's not an excuse but China has been historically primarily a continental land power, not interested that much to nautical maps, but land maps.

    5. the 15th century 520mm cannon wow! Pity that it was just several hundred years too late! LOL. A copy/paste of the Chinese invention though, you gotta admit, just made it bigger. Check this out: http://www.learnchinesehistory.com/chinese-cannons-history/
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cannon


    And the blast furnace? Haha plate armor? Don't you know who invented them? ROFL.

    And have you heard of Terracotta Army ? read carefully and enjoy:

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2516445/Terracotta-Army-awesome-fighting-machine-weapons-powerful-kill-enemy-single-arrow.html

    http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2014/11/141114-terra-cotta-warriors-qin-shi-huang-tomb-china-archaeology/

    http://www.chemistry-blog.com/2015/09/22/the-chrome-plated-mystery-of-the-terracotta-armys-swords/

    One thing: pre-16th/17th century Europe stood no chance comparing to China in terms of technologies, both civil and military technologies.

    Panda, you address me with derisiveness, using expressions such as “LOL” and “ROFL”. Such an immature attitude could be justified if you are 10 years old. If you are an adult, it’s embarassing, or at least it is considered embarassing here in the West.
    Is that kind of impolite behavior common among Chinese people nowadays? It doesn’t reflect well on the degree of civilization in your country.

    Remember, I was talking about the 14th century. I was discussing how the knowledge and skills of the europeans in the 14th century compare to China in the same period.
    What does the Terracotta Army have to do with the period we’re talking about?
    What does that Qin dinasty palace, the Epang Palace, have to do with the period we’re talking about?
    If you bring up the Qin dinasty, then I would have to bring up the ancient Greeks and Romans and their MANY achievements. It would be a different discussion.

    Regarding clocks – I think that your answers are based on a misunderstanding of what we mean by the phrase “MECHANICAL CLOCK”.
    The chinese clock from the 11th century depended on the flow of water to function. It was therefore a water clock, not a true mechanical clock. I already explained it in my earlier comment by quoting Wikipedia.
    Europeans had water clocks for a long time before they invented mechanical clocks. It’s mechanical clocks we are talking about.
    The pivotal advance in the development of the true mechanical clock is the verge escapement.

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

    It was invented in Europe, not China.

    Of course, if we broaden the discussion and we are willing to consider clockwork in general, and since you brought up the Qin period, well, the ancient Greek clearly were WAY ahead of China in clockwork.

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

    https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/7/76/Antikythera_model_front_panel_Mogi_Vicentini_2007.JPG

    Zheng He’s voyages are supposed to be impressive? Big deal! He followed existing trade routes!

    https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/1/1f/Zheng_He.png

    The Norse at the time had already crossed the Atlantic and settled the new world, and only a few decades after Zheng He, the Portuguese went all the way around Africa to India, a trip around the heart of darkness: a truly gigantic continent which, take notice, had no existing ports on its western coast.
    Not the same thing as “discovering” coasts which already are civilized and have plenty of trading ports.
    Of course none of this has anything to do with the precision of maps. Europeans had better quality maps than the Chinese, you must admit.

    Is that 200 century BC complex, the Epang Palace, supposed to be impressive? I don’t see anything striking about it. What, exactly, is impressive about that collection of buildings in your opinion? Perhaps the surface area it covers?
    Building tall is not the same thing as building wide. It takes a lot of knowledge and skill to be able to defeat the force of gravity. While building wide is just a matter of budget, building tall is a challenge of engineering which requires the development of specific techniques. Which is why the ability of medieval Europeans to build those tall cathedrals is such an achievement.

    “And the blast furnace? Haha plate armor? Don’t you know who invented them? ROFL.”
    Look, earlier in this thread I posted a comment in which I corrected my own mistake about blast furnace. So you are late correcting me. That single mistake doesn’t change the general point I was making, which is that in the 1300’s Europeans had already surpassed China in a number of fields.
    Who invented plate armor? Europeans.
    I’m sorry Panda, but Europe was well ahead of China in military technology in the 14th and 15th centuries.
    “Plate armor” refers to the kind of armor in which most of the body is covered by large, anatomically shaped solid steel plates. This was the kind of armor used by European armies in the 14th and 15th centuries. Such an armor offers very little vulnerability. A soldier wearing one is like a walking tank. Something like this:

    https://ferrebeekeeper.files.wordpress.com/2011/07/gothic-armor.jpg

    On the other hand, armor consisting of many tiny plates sewn together is called a “coat of plates”, which is NOT “plate armor”, and is much simpler to make and weaker than plate armor. That was the kind of armor typically used in China. For example, this is a coat of plates – it is much weaker than plate armor:

    https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/236x/77/27/2a/77272a8f252606274582db7b57591765.jpg

    As for guns, nobody is denying that the Chinese invented guns. Of course they did, everybody knows that!
    Europeans, however, surpassed them quickly. I already showed you that Europeans around the year 1400 had the gunmaking skills to make extremely large guns, much more powerful than anything in China. Laugh all you want, laughter is no argument.

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

    Take a look at wikipedia:

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

    “Around the late 14th century European powdermakers began adding liquid to the constituents of gunpowder which reduced dust, and with it the risk of explosion during manufacture. The powdermakers would then shape the resulting paste of moistened gunpowder—known as mill cake—into “corns” or granules to allow it to dry. Not only did “corned” powder keep better, because of its reduced surface area, but gunners also found that it was more powerful and easier to load into guns.”
    This is called “corning”. The invention of corning is a pivotal one in the history of guns. There is ample evidence that europeans knew how to do this, but no evidence that the Chinese knew of this until they learned it from Europeans.
    You must admit that European armor and guns in the 14th and 15th century were superior.

    By the way, thank you for at least recognizing that Europeans invented eyeglasses.

    I stand by my initial statements about 14th century Europe being ahead of China in several fields. The only part of those statements which I take back is the one about the blast furnace (a human mistake); I already took back that part in a comment earlier in this thread, no need for you to correct me.

    14th century Europe was ahead in other ways as well.

    Medieval Chinese art is pretty but there isn’t even any sense that distant thing should be smaller than close things. Meanwhile, in the 1300′s European artists were attempting perspective, and in 1413 Brunelleschi came up with the rules for accurate geometrical perspective. That is a central innovation in the history of art.

    And of course, the medieval Europeans inherited a number of achievements from the ancient Romans and Greeks.
    For example, deductive logic, which the Chinese didn’t really have. Here is a Chinese (China-raised) scholar who says so.

    http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11712-009-9133-x

    Or the tradition of voting to elect those in charge, as seen in Italian city-states, imperial free cities, imperial elections, and papal elections. China was always an autocracy, which is a backwards thing to be, and the Chinese never knew of anything else. Present day China is STILL backwards in that field.
    Or simply the understanding that the Earth was round.
    Those who claim that the Chinese were superior in everything must find it very embarassing that the Chinese DIDN’T KNOW THAT THE WORLD WAS ROUND until Europeans told them.

    So far, I discussed the medieval era, because my initial contention was merely that Europe was ahead of China in some fields in the late medieval era.
    But of course, I have noticed that Panda brought up the Qin dinasty, so maybe Panda is also interested in talking about the achievements of the ancient Greeks and Romans.
    Here are some fields in which Europeans of the classical period were clearly way ahead of China:

    - concrete, which allowed them to engineer durable and massive things, still standing today; that level of technology was reached again only in the 19th century
    - building things underwater with underwater concrete

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2013-06-14/ancient-roman-concrete-is-about-to-revolutionize-modern-architecture

    - glassmaking
    - clockwork/gearwork

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

    - deductive logic
    - democracy (not known in China yet)
    - statuary

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

    - book-binding (China stuck with impractical scrolls until Westerners showed them how it’s done) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Codex
    - the shape of the world AND how large it is exactly https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_geodesy
    - geography incorporating earth curvature

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ptolemy%27s_world_map

    (seriously, it’s really embarassing that the Chinese didn’t know that the world was round until Europeans told them).

    Of course the Chinese invented a few things in their history. But the fashionable notion that China has always been significantly more advanced than Europe, is ridiculous; a propagandistic, narcissistic delusion on the part of the Chinese; fashionable left-wing status signaling on the part of mistaken Westerners.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Rdm
    Stupidity at its best.

    The Norse at the time had already crossed the Atlantic and settled the new world, and only a few decades after Zheng He, the Portuguese went all the way around Africa to India, a trip around the heart of darkness: a truly gigantic continent which, take notice, had no existing ports on its western coast.
     
    Zheng He explored East Africa around 1400-1433 by Marine route.

    The first European to reach India by Sea was Vasco da Gama in 1497.

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

    The purported year Columbus discovered the New World was 1492, even then he never set foot in the New World. His voyage first landed on Caribbean islands.

    And we learned here that The Norse already crossed the Atlantic and Settled the new world even before Zheng He?

    Unless you're telling me the number "1" is numerically larger than the number "9". Otherwise, we all need to turn over all of our history.

    book-binding (China stuck with impractical scrolls until Westerners showed them how it’s done)
     
    We can also say, Europeans used a communal brush rubbing their ass with the stick/brush until Chinese told them to use a "Toilet Paper".

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

    Of course the Chinese invented a few things in their history. But the fashionable notion that China has always been significantly more advanced than Europe, is ridiculous; a propagandistic, narcissistic delusion on the part of the Chinese; fashionable left-wing status signaling on the part of mistaken Westerners.
     
    Let me just say this and end this ridiculous bantering who is better, and which invention is more important.

    - Europeans invented many significant stuff and they indeed discovered numerous things.

    - Chinese also invented many significant stuff and they indeed paved the way how society at large works. They have the Confucius teaching that holds their filial binding stronger whether for good or for bad. They have the Imperial Exam that allows any person in their life time to achieve what they deserve. They can dream to become a clerk in an Imperial Palace, a dream one can imagine during their life time. Europeans have to copy THAT meritocratic system.

    So, many inventions have been made by Europeans and Chinese in the past. We can't deny that Europeans contributed many to the later part of the modernization of the world.

    The same can be said, while China was at its peak, there's no comparable contribution from nearby countries like Japan, Korea.

    But after Meiji restoration, Japan contributed much to the world inventions while China was at its lowest.

    We all hugely benefited from Europeans inventions and discoveries in this modern time.

    We all started from somewhere down the bottom line of Wheel invention. But we can't compare if the Wheel invention is better than paper invention. They all have their own merits.
    , @PandaAtWar
    OKE, Panda is 8-year-old, happy now? yet guess that's enough to handle the issue at hand though, ROFL.

    1. Yes. you were talking about 13th-14th century, while Panda was talking in part about Terracotta Army and Epang Place from 200BC in return. So? It meant that on many tech you couldn't even reach the level of the Chinese of 200BC 16 centries later! Panda thought you stated the European "invented" deductive logic as you claimed (god knows what does that mean), yet you've managed to fail above simple deductive logical process. Is that a testament of your earlier statement, Panda wonder? LOL

    2. On the buildings' heights and width etc: surely it makes sense that heights require different tech critaria than width; yet the Chinese are practicle people. They don't build height for fun, the engineering knowhows of the Great Wall across moutain ranges and the Great Canal are way more impressive than those of some tall cathedrals.

    3. Your plate armour glamour is even more funny as that type of lousy heavy full body amours were considered completely outdated long ago in Chinese start-of-art warfare at a time. The Mongols invasion of Europe soon made a joke out of them, sending them into the historic garbage bin for good. By the way, you haven't read carefully about Terracotta Army technologies links that Panda kindly provided to you yet, because if you have done it, you would have realised that the heavy crossbow would have pearced through that kind of armour with ease (crossbows were considered about 2,ooo years ahead of its time until the emergence of modern rifles in the 18th century)

    4. on the mechanic clock( not only water clock) - yes, China invented it.


    5. on the democracy - or you meant to cast a vote. What a joke!

    Firstly democracy =//= cast a vote, and vice versus.
    Secondly, democracy is inherently inferiror low IQ system than autocracy simpley because 2 votes from 2 semi-illeiterate street-sweepers are not twice powerful than 1 from an Einstein, or you try to argue otherwise using your "deductive logic". LOL
    Thirdly, China was centries ahead of you in terms of true democracy, in the form of meritocracy which was centries ahead of you.

    "Greek Democracy"? Haha, don't make Panda laugh silly. Perhaps Greeks only could cast votes except non-human slaves? Only land-owner could vote in America 200 years ago, woman and blacks only could vore decades ago... it that a joke? ROFL.

    In comparison, China rid off slaves ( the ultimate symbol of anti-democracy) at least 1,000 years ahead of you; while in China's meritocractic system ( started in 6th century ) where ANY young adult could take part in fair imperial exams to be elected as officials and social elite class - relatively a vastly superior practice of true democracy at every single level of the society than you Euros who only came close as recent as post-French Revolution - a good 1, 200 years later! LOL

    6. on Zherghe, it's not when he went and where, but much more importantly what sort of technolgies enabled him doing so compared to the Europeans at a time.

    ...

    Too late now Panda gonna sleep...read the following 36-page Unesco document (vetted, not your random Euro-centric wiki pages for a change, lol)on ancient China's engineering inventions comparing to Europe to a get an educated clue, good luck:

    http://unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0008/000817/081712eo.pdf
  77. @anonymous european
    Panda, you address me with derisiveness, using expressions such as "LOL" and “ROFL”. Such an immature attitude could be justified if you are 10 years old. If you are an adult, it’s embarassing, or at least it is considered embarassing here in the West.
    Is that kind of impolite behavior common among Chinese people nowadays? It doesn't reflect well on the degree of civilization in your country.

    Remember, I was talking about the 14th century. I was discussing how the knowledge and skills of the europeans in the 14th century compare to China in the same period.
    What does the Terracotta Army have to do with the period we're talking about?
    What does that Qin dinasty palace, the Epang Palace, have to do with the period we're talking about?
    If you bring up the Qin dinasty, then I would have to bring up the ancient Greeks and Romans and their MANY achievements. It would be a different discussion.

    Regarding clocks - I think that your answers are based on a misunderstanding of what we mean by the phrase “MECHANICAL CLOCK”.
    The chinese clock from the 11th century depended on the flow of water to function. It was therefore a water clock, not a true mechanical clock. I already explained it in my earlier comment by quoting Wikipedia.
    Europeans had water clocks for a long time before they invented mechanical clocks. It’s mechanical clocks we are talking about.
    The pivotal advance in the development of the true mechanical clock is the verge escapement.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Verge_escapement
    It was invented in Europe, not China.

    Of course, if we broaden the discussion and we are willing to consider clockwork in general, and since you brought up the Qin period, well, the ancient Greek clearly were WAY ahead of China in clockwork.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antikythera_mechanism
    https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/7/76/Antikythera_model_front_panel_Mogi_Vicentini_2007.JPG


    Zheng He's voyages are supposed to be impressive? Big deal! He followed existing trade routes!
    https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/1/1f/Zheng_He.png
    The Norse at the time had already crossed the Atlantic and settled the new world, and only a few decades after Zheng He, the Portuguese went all the way around Africa to India, a trip around the heart of darkness: a truly gigantic continent which, take notice, had no existing ports on its western coast.
    Not the same thing as "discovering" coasts which already are civilized and have plenty of trading ports.
    Of course none of this has anything to do with the precision of maps. Europeans had better quality maps than the Chinese, you must admit.

    Is that 200 century BC complex, the Epang Palace, supposed to be impressive? I don’t see anything striking about it. What, exactly, is impressive about that collection of buildings in your opinion? Perhaps the surface area it covers?
    Building tall is not the same thing as building wide. It takes a lot of knowledge and skill to be able to defeat the force of gravity. While building wide is just a matter of budget, building tall is a challenge of engineering which requires the development of specific techniques. Which is why the ability of medieval Europeans to build those tall cathedrals is such an achievement.

    “And the blast furnace? Haha plate armor? Don’t you know who invented them? ROFL.”
    Look, earlier in this thread I posted a comment in which I corrected my own mistake about blast furnace. So you are late correcting me. That single mistake doesn’t change the general point I was making, which is that in the 1300’s Europeans had already surpassed China in a number of fields.
    Who invented plate armor? Europeans.
    I’m sorry Panda, but Europe was well ahead of China in military technology in the 14th and 15th centuries.
    “Plate armor” refers to the kind of armor in which most of the body is covered by large, anatomically shaped solid steel plates. This was the kind of armor used by European armies in the 14th and 15th centuries. Such an armor offers very little vulnerability. A soldier wearing one is like a walking tank. Something like this:
    https://ferrebeekeeper.files.wordpress.com/2011/07/gothic-armor.jpg
    On the other hand, armor consisting of many tiny plates sewn together is called a “coat of plates”, which is NOT “plate armor”, and is much simpler to make and weaker than plate armor. That was the kind of armor typically used in China. For example, this is a coat of plates – it is much weaker than plate armor:
    https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/236x/77/27/2a/77272a8f252606274582db7b57591765.jpg
    As for guns, nobody is denying that the Chinese invented guns. Of course they did, everybody knows that!
    Europeans, however, surpassed them quickly. I already showed you that Europeans around the year 1400 had the gunmaking skills to make extremely large guns, much more powerful than anything in China. Laugh all you want, laughter is no argument.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Faule_Mette
    Take a look at wikipedia:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_gunpowder
    “Around the late 14th century European powdermakers began adding liquid to the constituents of gunpowder which reduced dust, and with it the risk of explosion during manufacture. The powdermakers would then shape the resulting paste of moistened gunpowder—known as mill cake—into "corns" or granules to allow it to dry. Not only did "corned" powder keep better, because of its reduced surface area, but gunners also found that it was more powerful and easier to load into guns.”
    This is called “corning”. The invention of corning is a pivotal one in the history of guns. There is ample evidence that europeans knew how to do this, but no evidence that the Chinese knew of this until they learned it from Europeans.
    You must admit that European armor and guns in the 14th and 15th century were superior.

    By the way, thank you for at least recognizing that Europeans invented eyeglasses.

    I stand by my initial statements about 14th century Europe being ahead of China in several fields. The only part of those statements which I take back is the one about the blast furnace (a human mistake); I already took back that part in a comment earlier in this thread, no need for you to correct me.

    14th century Europe was ahead in other ways as well.

    Medieval Chinese art is pretty but there isn't even any sense that distant thing should be smaller than close things. Meanwhile, in the 1300's European artists were attempting perspective, and in 1413 Brunelleschi came up with the rules for accurate geometrical perspective. That is a central innovation in the history of art.

    And of course, the medieval Europeans inherited a number of achievements from the ancient Romans and Greeks.
    For example, deductive logic, which the Chinese didn’t really have. Here is a Chinese (China-raised) scholar who says so.
    http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11712-009-9133-x
    Or the tradition of voting to elect those in charge, as seen in Italian city-states, imperial free cities, imperial elections, and papal elections. China was always an autocracy, which is a backwards thing to be, and the Chinese never knew of anything else. Present day China is STILL backwards in that field.
    Or simply the understanding that the Earth was round.
    Those who claim that the Chinese were superior in everything must find it very embarassing that the Chinese DIDN’T KNOW THAT THE WORLD WAS ROUND until Europeans told them.

    So far, I discussed the medieval era, because my initial contention was merely that Europe was ahead of China in some fields in the late medieval era.
    But of course, I have noticed that Panda brought up the Qin dinasty, so maybe Panda is also interested in talking about the achievements of the ancient Greeks and Romans.
    Here are some fields in which Europeans of the classical period were clearly way ahead of China:

    - concrete, which allowed them to engineer durable and massive things, still standing today; that level of technology was reached again only in the 19th century
    - building things underwater with underwater concrete
    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2013-06-14/ancient-roman-concrete-is-about-to-revolutionize-modern-architecture
    - glassmaking
    - clockwork/gearwork
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antikythera_mechanism
    - deductive logic
    - democracy (not known in China yet)
    - statuary
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Classical_sculpture
    - book-binding (China stuck with impractical scrolls until Westerners showed them how it’s done) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Codex
    - the shape of the world AND how large it is exactly https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_geodesy
    - geography incorporating earth curvature
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ptolemy%27s_world_map

    (seriously, it’s really embarassing that the Chinese didn’t know that the world was round until Europeans told them).

    Of course the Chinese invented a few things in their history. But the fashionable notion that China has always been significantly more advanced than Europe, is ridiculous; a propagandistic, narcissistic delusion on the part of the Chinese; fashionable left-wing status signaling on the part of mistaken Westerners.

    Stupidity at its best.

    The Norse at the time had already crossed the Atlantic and settled the new world, and only a few decades after Zheng He, the Portuguese went all the way around Africa to India, a trip around the heart of darkness: a truly gigantic continent which, take notice, had no existing ports on its western coast.

    Zheng He explored East Africa around 1400-1433 by Marine route.

    The first European to reach India by Sea was Vasco da Gama in 1497.

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

    The purported year Columbus discovered the New World was 1492, even then he never set foot in the New World. His voyage first landed on Caribbean islands.

    And we learned here that The Norse already crossed the Atlantic and Settled the new world even before Zheng He?

    Unless you’re telling me the number “1″ is numerically larger than the number “9″. Otherwise, we all need to turn over all of our history.

    book-binding (China stuck with impractical scrolls until Westerners showed them how it’s done)

    We can also say, Europeans used a communal brush rubbing their ass with the stick/brush until Chinese told them to use a “Toilet Paper”.

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

    Of course the Chinese invented a few things in their history. But the fashionable notion that China has always been significantly more advanced than Europe, is ridiculous; a propagandistic, narcissistic delusion on the part of the Chinese; fashionable left-wing status signaling on the part of mistaken Westerners.

    Let me just say this and end this ridiculous bantering who is better, and which invention is more important.

    - Europeans invented many significant stuff and they indeed discovered numerous things.

    - Chinese also invented many significant stuff and they indeed paved the way how society at large works. They have the Confucius teaching that holds their filial binding stronger whether for good or for bad. They have the Imperial Exam that allows any person in their life time to achieve what they deserve. They can dream to become a clerk in an Imperial Palace, a dream one can imagine during their life time. Europeans have to copy THAT meritocratic system.

    So, many inventions have been made by Europeans and Chinese in the past. We can’t deny that Europeans contributed many to the later part of the modernization of the world.

    The same can be said, while China was at its peak, there’s no comparable contribution from nearby countries like Japan, Korea.

    But after Meiji restoration, Japan contributed much to the world inventions while China was at its lowest.

    We all hugely benefited from Europeans inventions and discoveries in this modern time.

    We all started from somewhere down the bottom line of Wheel invention. But we can’t compare if the Wheel invention is better than paper invention. They all have their own merits.

    Read More
    • Replies: @anonymous european
    Rdm, regarding the Norse settlement of the Americas, this is what I was refering to:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/L%27Anse_aux_Meadows

    The Portuguese exploration of Africa took several decades. It was a gradual endeavour. Reaching India was the final moment of it, but the various parts of the huge African coasts were reached throughout the 15th century, beginning with overcoming Cape Bojador in 1434. In that sense, I think of that enterprise as taking place in the decades after Zheng He.

    Zheng He sailed across seas which already had trade activity and ports. There was no such trade and no such port in the African seas explored and settled by the Portuguese. That's why the endeavour of the Portuguese is more interesting.

    Anyhow, I agree with you, Rdm, that everyone benefited from both Western and Eastern inventions.
    Just to make it clear, my whole point, all I'm trying to say, is that it's mistaken to claim that China was much superior to the West. That's all.
    I would just like to refute the arrogance of the fans of China, who say that China invented everything and used to be much superior to everyone.
    I'm not trying to make a point. I'm trying to refute a point.

  78. @Rdm
    Stupidity at its best.

    The Norse at the time had already crossed the Atlantic and settled the new world, and only a few decades after Zheng He, the Portuguese went all the way around Africa to India, a trip around the heart of darkness: a truly gigantic continent which, take notice, had no existing ports on its western coast.
     
    Zheng He explored East Africa around 1400-1433 by Marine route.

    The first European to reach India by Sea was Vasco da Gama in 1497.

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

    The purported year Columbus discovered the New World was 1492, even then he never set foot in the New World. His voyage first landed on Caribbean islands.

    And we learned here that The Norse already crossed the Atlantic and Settled the new world even before Zheng He?

    Unless you're telling me the number "1" is numerically larger than the number "9". Otherwise, we all need to turn over all of our history.

    book-binding (China stuck with impractical scrolls until Westerners showed them how it’s done)
     
    We can also say, Europeans used a communal brush rubbing their ass with the stick/brush until Chinese told them to use a "Toilet Paper".

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

    Of course the Chinese invented a few things in their history. But the fashionable notion that China has always been significantly more advanced than Europe, is ridiculous; a propagandistic, narcissistic delusion on the part of the Chinese; fashionable left-wing status signaling on the part of mistaken Westerners.
     
    Let me just say this and end this ridiculous bantering who is better, and which invention is more important.

    - Europeans invented many significant stuff and they indeed discovered numerous things.

    - Chinese also invented many significant stuff and they indeed paved the way how society at large works. They have the Confucius teaching that holds their filial binding stronger whether for good or for bad. They have the Imperial Exam that allows any person in their life time to achieve what they deserve. They can dream to become a clerk in an Imperial Palace, a dream one can imagine during their life time. Europeans have to copy THAT meritocratic system.

    So, many inventions have been made by Europeans and Chinese in the past. We can't deny that Europeans contributed many to the later part of the modernization of the world.

    The same can be said, while China was at its peak, there's no comparable contribution from nearby countries like Japan, Korea.

    But after Meiji restoration, Japan contributed much to the world inventions while China was at its lowest.

    We all hugely benefited from Europeans inventions and discoveries in this modern time.

    We all started from somewhere down the bottom line of Wheel invention. But we can't compare if the Wheel invention is better than paper invention. They all have their own merits.

    Rdm, regarding the Norse settlement of the Americas, this is what I was refering to:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/L%27Anse_aux_Meadows

    The Portuguese exploration of Africa took several decades. It was a gradual endeavour. Reaching India was the final moment of it, but the various parts of the huge African coasts were reached throughout the 15th century, beginning with overcoming Cape Bojador in 1434. In that sense, I think of that enterprise as taking place in the decades after Zheng He.

    Zheng He sailed across seas which already had trade activity and ports. There was no such trade and no such port in the African seas explored and settled by the Portuguese. That’s why the endeavour of the Portuguese is more interesting.

    Anyhow, I agree with you, Rdm, that everyone benefited from both Western and Eastern inventions.
    Just to make it clear, my whole point, all I’m trying to say, is that it’s mistaken to claim that China was much superior to the West. That’s all.
    I would just like to refute the arrogance of the fans of China, who say that China invented everything and used to be much superior to everyone.
    I’m not trying to make a point. I’m trying to refute a point.

    Read More
  79. @anonymous european
    Panda, you address me with derisiveness, using expressions such as "LOL" and “ROFL”. Such an immature attitude could be justified if you are 10 years old. If you are an adult, it’s embarassing, or at least it is considered embarassing here in the West.
    Is that kind of impolite behavior common among Chinese people nowadays? It doesn't reflect well on the degree of civilization in your country.

    Remember, I was talking about the 14th century. I was discussing how the knowledge and skills of the europeans in the 14th century compare to China in the same period.
    What does the Terracotta Army have to do with the period we're talking about?
    What does that Qin dinasty palace, the Epang Palace, have to do with the period we're talking about?
    If you bring up the Qin dinasty, then I would have to bring up the ancient Greeks and Romans and their MANY achievements. It would be a different discussion.

    Regarding clocks - I think that your answers are based on a misunderstanding of what we mean by the phrase “MECHANICAL CLOCK”.
    The chinese clock from the 11th century depended on the flow of water to function. It was therefore a water clock, not a true mechanical clock. I already explained it in my earlier comment by quoting Wikipedia.
    Europeans had water clocks for a long time before they invented mechanical clocks. It’s mechanical clocks we are talking about.
    The pivotal advance in the development of the true mechanical clock is the verge escapement.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Verge_escapement
    It was invented in Europe, not China.

    Of course, if we broaden the discussion and we are willing to consider clockwork in general, and since you brought up the Qin period, well, the ancient Greek clearly were WAY ahead of China in clockwork.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antikythera_mechanism
    https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/7/76/Antikythera_model_front_panel_Mogi_Vicentini_2007.JPG


    Zheng He's voyages are supposed to be impressive? Big deal! He followed existing trade routes!
    https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/1/1f/Zheng_He.png
    The Norse at the time had already crossed the Atlantic and settled the new world, and only a few decades after Zheng He, the Portuguese went all the way around Africa to India, a trip around the heart of darkness: a truly gigantic continent which, take notice, had no existing ports on its western coast.
    Not the same thing as "discovering" coasts which already are civilized and have plenty of trading ports.
    Of course none of this has anything to do with the precision of maps. Europeans had better quality maps than the Chinese, you must admit.

    Is that 200 century BC complex, the Epang Palace, supposed to be impressive? I don’t see anything striking about it. What, exactly, is impressive about that collection of buildings in your opinion? Perhaps the surface area it covers?
    Building tall is not the same thing as building wide. It takes a lot of knowledge and skill to be able to defeat the force of gravity. While building wide is just a matter of budget, building tall is a challenge of engineering which requires the development of specific techniques. Which is why the ability of medieval Europeans to build those tall cathedrals is such an achievement.

    “And the blast furnace? Haha plate armor? Don’t you know who invented them? ROFL.”
    Look, earlier in this thread I posted a comment in which I corrected my own mistake about blast furnace. So you are late correcting me. That single mistake doesn’t change the general point I was making, which is that in the 1300’s Europeans had already surpassed China in a number of fields.
    Who invented plate armor? Europeans.
    I’m sorry Panda, but Europe was well ahead of China in military technology in the 14th and 15th centuries.
    “Plate armor” refers to the kind of armor in which most of the body is covered by large, anatomically shaped solid steel plates. This was the kind of armor used by European armies in the 14th and 15th centuries. Such an armor offers very little vulnerability. A soldier wearing one is like a walking tank. Something like this:
    https://ferrebeekeeper.files.wordpress.com/2011/07/gothic-armor.jpg
    On the other hand, armor consisting of many tiny plates sewn together is called a “coat of plates”, which is NOT “plate armor”, and is much simpler to make and weaker than plate armor. That was the kind of armor typically used in China. For example, this is a coat of plates – it is much weaker than plate armor:
    https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/236x/77/27/2a/77272a8f252606274582db7b57591765.jpg
    As for guns, nobody is denying that the Chinese invented guns. Of course they did, everybody knows that!
    Europeans, however, surpassed them quickly. I already showed you that Europeans around the year 1400 had the gunmaking skills to make extremely large guns, much more powerful than anything in China. Laugh all you want, laughter is no argument.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Faule_Mette
    Take a look at wikipedia:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_gunpowder
    “Around the late 14th century European powdermakers began adding liquid to the constituents of gunpowder which reduced dust, and with it the risk of explosion during manufacture. The powdermakers would then shape the resulting paste of moistened gunpowder—known as mill cake—into "corns" or granules to allow it to dry. Not only did "corned" powder keep better, because of its reduced surface area, but gunners also found that it was more powerful and easier to load into guns.”
    This is called “corning”. The invention of corning is a pivotal one in the history of guns. There is ample evidence that europeans knew how to do this, but no evidence that the Chinese knew of this until they learned it from Europeans.
    You must admit that European armor and guns in the 14th and 15th century were superior.

    By the way, thank you for at least recognizing that Europeans invented eyeglasses.

    I stand by my initial statements about 14th century Europe being ahead of China in several fields. The only part of those statements which I take back is the one about the blast furnace (a human mistake); I already took back that part in a comment earlier in this thread, no need for you to correct me.

    14th century Europe was ahead in other ways as well.

    Medieval Chinese art is pretty but there isn't even any sense that distant thing should be smaller than close things. Meanwhile, in the 1300's European artists were attempting perspective, and in 1413 Brunelleschi came up with the rules for accurate geometrical perspective. That is a central innovation in the history of art.

    And of course, the medieval Europeans inherited a number of achievements from the ancient Romans and Greeks.
    For example, deductive logic, which the Chinese didn’t really have. Here is a Chinese (China-raised) scholar who says so.
    http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11712-009-9133-x
    Or the tradition of voting to elect those in charge, as seen in Italian city-states, imperial free cities, imperial elections, and papal elections. China was always an autocracy, which is a backwards thing to be, and the Chinese never knew of anything else. Present day China is STILL backwards in that field.
    Or simply the understanding that the Earth was round.
    Those who claim that the Chinese were superior in everything must find it very embarassing that the Chinese DIDN’T KNOW THAT THE WORLD WAS ROUND until Europeans told them.

    So far, I discussed the medieval era, because my initial contention was merely that Europe was ahead of China in some fields in the late medieval era.
    But of course, I have noticed that Panda brought up the Qin dinasty, so maybe Panda is also interested in talking about the achievements of the ancient Greeks and Romans.
    Here are some fields in which Europeans of the classical period were clearly way ahead of China:

    - concrete, which allowed them to engineer durable and massive things, still standing today; that level of technology was reached again only in the 19th century
    - building things underwater with underwater concrete
    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2013-06-14/ancient-roman-concrete-is-about-to-revolutionize-modern-architecture
    - glassmaking
    - clockwork/gearwork
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antikythera_mechanism
    - deductive logic
    - democracy (not known in China yet)
    - statuary
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Classical_sculpture
    - book-binding (China stuck with impractical scrolls until Westerners showed them how it’s done) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Codex
    - the shape of the world AND how large it is exactly https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_geodesy
    - geography incorporating earth curvature
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ptolemy%27s_world_map

    (seriously, it’s really embarassing that the Chinese didn’t know that the world was round until Europeans told them).

    Of course the Chinese invented a few things in their history. But the fashionable notion that China has always been significantly more advanced than Europe, is ridiculous; a propagandistic, narcissistic delusion on the part of the Chinese; fashionable left-wing status signaling on the part of mistaken Westerners.

    OKE, Panda is 8-year-old, happy now? yet guess that’s enough to handle the issue at hand though, ROFL.

    1. Yes. you were talking about 13th-14th century, while Panda was talking in part about Terracotta Army and Epang Place from 200BC in return. So? It meant that on many tech you couldn’t even reach the level of the Chinese of 200BC 16 centries later! Panda thought you stated the European “invented” deductive logic as you claimed (god knows what does that mean), yet you’ve managed to fail above simple deductive logical process. Is that a testament of your earlier statement, Panda wonder? LOL

    2. On the buildings’ heights and width etc: surely it makes sense that heights require different tech critaria than width; yet the Chinese are practicle people. They don’t build height for fun, the engineering knowhows of the Great Wall across moutain ranges and the Great Canal are way more impressive than those of some tall cathedrals.

    3. Your plate armour glamour is even more funny as that type of lousy heavy full body amours were considered completely outdated long ago in Chinese start-of-art warfare at a time. The Mongols invasion of Europe soon made a joke out of them, sending them into the historic garbage bin for good. By the way, you haven’t read carefully about Terracotta Army technologies links that Panda kindly provided to you yet, because if you have done it, you would have realised that the heavy crossbow would have pearced through that kind of armour with ease (crossbows were considered about 2,ooo years ahead of its time until the emergence of modern rifles in the 18th century)

    4. on the mechanic clock( not only water clock) – yes, China invented it.

    5. on the democracy – or you meant to cast a vote. What a joke!

    Firstly democracy =//= cast a vote, and vice versus.
    Secondly, democracy is inherently inferiror low IQ system than autocracy simpley because 2 votes from 2 semi-illeiterate street-sweepers are not twice powerful than 1 from an Einstein, or you try to argue otherwise using your “deductive logic”. LOL
    Thirdly, China was centries ahead of you in terms of true democracy, in the form of meritocracy which was centries ahead of you.

    “Greek Democracy”? Haha, don’t make Panda laugh silly. Perhaps Greeks only could cast votes except non-human slaves? Only land-owner could vote in America 200 years ago, woman and blacks only could vore decades ago… it that a joke? ROFL.

    In comparison, China rid off slaves ( the ultimate symbol of anti-democracy) at least 1,000 years ahead of you; while in China’s meritocractic system ( started in 6th century ) where ANY young adult could take part in fair imperial exams to be elected as officials and social elite class – relatively a vastly superior practice of true democracy at every single level of the society than you Euros who only came close as recent as post-French Revolution – a good 1, 200 years later! LOL

    6. on Zherghe, it’s not when he went and where, but much more importantly what sort of technolgies enabled him doing so compared to the Europeans at a time.

    Too late now Panda gonna sleep…read the following 36-page Unesco document (vetted, not your random Euro-centric wiki pages for a change, lol)on ancient China’s engineering inventions comparing to Europe to a get an educated clue, good luck:

    http://unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0008/000817/081712eo.pdf

    Read More
    • Replies: @anonymous european
    I answered with an extremely long comment, which I hope you'll read.

    But just to make it clear where I stand, I'll add this:

    I'm not making mirror claims to yours. I'm not claiming that Europeans have always been "superior". All I’m trying to say, and all I’ve been trying to say from the beginning, is that you can’t claim that China was overwhelmingly superior in everything.

    Both civilizations were very accomplished.
  80. Panda, I’m getting tired of your impolite attitude. If you wanted to improve my opinion of China, or the opinion of China in the mind of anyone who might be reading these comments, you are obtaining the opposite effect with your rude giggling.

    The problem with bringing up the terracotta army is that technology and organization over the centuries don’t necessarily improve, they may also be lost. Much of the technology of the ancient Romans was lost. So if the Chinese had a certain skill 1500 years earlier, doesn’t mean it is still around in the period we are talking about.

    China never had anything comparable to late medieval European plate armor. Lamellar armor with a breastplate hanging in front is much simpler to make and not the same thing. The idea that China had armor similar to that is indefensible, I’m sorry.

    I’ve looked at your UNESCO document, it states that the Chinese “mechanical clock” depended on the flow of water through it. It was, therefore, a water clock. All those Chinese clockwork devices were only made steady by the flow of a liquid through them.
    We can debate forever the meaning of the phrase “mechanical clock”, but you have to admit that late medieval Europeans were the first to create a clock which does NOT require a liquid to flow through it.

    Wikipedia is generally an adequately reliable source. I’ll continue to use it. According to Wikipedia, slavery was present in China in the Qin, Han, Tang, Yuan, Ming, and Qing dinasties.

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

    I suspect that you hold a simplistic and idealistic view of the history of your country.
    Yes, the Tang dinasty made it illegal to enslave Chinese people. They still held subhuman foreigners as slaves.
    In medieval Europe, the Church also took similar steps. For moral reasons, they made it illegal to enslave Christians, and slavery was mostly eradicated, but it survived in regions bordering the muslim lands; there, it was mostly the muslims who were slaves. As you can see, the Chinese were actually no more advanced than medieval Europeans regarding slavery.

    The most important thing about electoral systems in general, wheter it’s democracy, republics or whatever, is not that everyone has a chance to become the ruler, the most important thing is that there are constraints on who gets to rule and how.
    The meritocracy in Chinese bureaucracy was an important advance, but the person at the top was always an unconstrained hereditary autocrat.

    That document you linked to. It’s rather easy to list a number of “firsts” specific to a civilization, especially if you are allowed to look at niche technologies. I mean, magic mirrors? Wasn’t China supposed to be, ahem, a “practical” civilization? A slightly better value of pi than the Greeks, obtained later using the identical method as the Greeks? You call that being ahead of Europe? Do you realize that these things are extremely specific anyways, and the more specific you get the easier it is to be the first at doing something?
    Sure, there are some important inventions in there, but it’s a far cry from proving that China was overwhelmingly ahead in everything as a certain type of Chinese nationalist loves to say.
    Of course you can immediately find online such a list of “firsts” when it comes to China, simply because the chinese are very nationalistic and feel competitive towards the West, so they make such propaganda.
    Westerners don’t care that much about tooting the horn of their civilization, and they don’t care about proving themselves superior to China, so Western governments don’t feel a need to come up with lists of things that the Greeks and Romans did before or better than China, although it wouldn’t be hard.

    [MORE]

    Regarding mathemathics, the propaganda list you gave me boasts that in the third century AD the Chinese improved upon the Greeks in approximating pi, using exactly the same method, so it implicitly admits that the Greeks came first.
    In fact, before Zhang Heng, Chinese math was so primitive that they used 3 as pi! This was centuries after Archimedes proved that 3.1408 < π < 3.1429.
    The Greeks were the first to use the axiomatic method in deriving mathemathics, which is a long lasting legacy of theirs.
    Here’s an interesting one. Screws. All kinds of screws. According to a book by Chinese authors, so I guess you’ll have to believe it, the Chinese didn’t have any type of screw shaped device until they adopted them from the Europeans.

    https://books.google.it/books?id=Qei5BAAAQBAJ&printsec=frontcover&hl=it#v=snippet&q=%22screws%20or%20spiral%20devices%22&f=false

    For example, they didn’t have the water screw, that extremely useful irrigation device invented by Archimedes.
    No screw press, like the European wine press. Chinese printing had to be done by hand, without a printing screw press like we created over here.
    No fastening screw in China either. To clarify, a fastening screw is, you know, a screw. The Chinese didn’t have screws, which may explain why they couldn’t fasten together plates of armor solidly enough to justify making a suit of armor.
    Another field in which Europeans were far ahead of China is surgery. In fact, Chinese surgery was very lacking compared to the rest of the world. In page 153 of the book A History of Medicine: Primitive and ancient medicine (you should be able to view that page online), there is a discussion of why surgery was so backwards in China.
    Cataract surgery was first mentioned in Europe in 29 AD in the work De Medicinae. In China, it only appears for the first time in 752, seven centuries later, and it’s reported as having been performed by a doctor trained in India. According to the book I mentioned, it was the most advanced form of surgery done in China. So the most advanced form of surgery was seven centuries behind.
    A testament of the sophistication of surgery in ancient Europe is the variety of specialized surgical instruments.

    http://exhibits.hsl.virginia.edu/romansurgical/

    Notice the screw shape in some of those, which the Chinese could never have developed, since they didn’t have screws.
    In China, you don’t find such varied collections of surgical tools from that period. Mostly it’s just ancient acupunture needles. Acupunture is not surgery and, of course, it doesn’t do anything.
    In the first century, Heron of Alexandria, a Greek, created many devices, such as:
    A windwheel powered organ, the first example of using wind to power a machine. This was centuries earlier than the first Chinese windwheel. Thus, Europeans invented the windwheel, and were the first to make use of wind power .
    The aeolipile, an early form of steam engine. Granted, there was no practical application for it. Still, it’s interesting that such a device was known in Europe.
    A coin automated vending machine, which dispensed holy water.
    The first example of using heat to power useful machinery: a device powered by heat, which opened the heavy doors of a temple, mechanically. I couldn’t find an equally ancient Chinese example of powering a machine with heat.
    Programmable robots. There’s a Youtube video about a cart designed by Heron, whose movements can be programmed. Google “New Scientist recreates a robot made by the ancient Greeks.”
    Leaving behind Heron, we have the Antikythera mechanism. An analog computer which calculated the movements of the celestial bodies. It’s especially amazing that such a sophisticated device was contained in a small box.

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

    The ancient Greeks also connected machinery to water clocks. "Soon Ctesibius's clocks were smothered in stopcocks and valves, controlling a host of devices from bells to puppets to mechanical doves that sang to mark the passing of each hour – the very first cuckoo clock!"

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Automaton#cite_note-7

    These water clocks also had escapement devices, and this was clearly centuries before Chinese escapement devices:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Escapement#History

    Since ancient Greeks had astronomical computation gears, impressive miniaturization, liquid driven escapements, and clock operated puppet-like machinery as well, you must admit that Chinese clockwork wasn't clearly ahead of European clockwork in any way, in fact it was most likely the other way around.
    Of course, circa 1300, Europe invented the first clock that did not require a liquid to flow through it. Clearly moving ahead in clockwork technology.

    Then there are the impressive acqueducts of ancient Rome – how did they manage to keep their inclination perfectly steady and straight across endless miles, at the cost of at times going underground, at time soaring on elevated arches and bridges? Long elevated waterways are an incredible achievement of the Romans. As far as I can tell, the Chinese at the time just had canals and underground waterways.
    The water organ. Water was used to push air to feed an organ and produce music; thus, water power was trasformed into music.
    I already mentioned before how the ancient Europeans were aware that the earth is a sphere, whereas the Chinese believed it was flat until they encountered the Europeans. To think of it, I could probably win this debate just by repeating this single fact over and over.
    Europeans also had a good estimate of the circumpherence of the earth, measured by Erathostenes.
    Using geometric methods they had also managed to determine the distance of the moon, by observing the moon during eclypse. The Chinese never knews these things.
    Since all these measurements required knowing the distance between locations on earth, one instrument that proved useful here was the odometer, first created by Archimedes. Only centuries later Zhang Heng built an odometer in China. Europeans were thus ahead of China in building odometers.

    Then there are all the other things I already mentioned and linked to. The amazingly advanced concrete of the Romans, whose qualities still haven’t been replicated.

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2013-06-14/ancient-roman-concrete-is-about-to-revolutionize-modern-architecture

    The invention of glassblowing and the high quality of ancient Western glass. If someone says “porcelain”, I’ll just say “glass”.

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

    I mentioned before book-binding, which may sound like a minor thing, but in fact it was an important invention because it relates to the organization of information and intellectual activity. The codex format allows you to browse a book, to place bookmarks and go back to any page instantly. The scrolls used by the Chinese were by comparison backwards. You no longer use scrolls these days do you.
    Then there are the medieval inventions, such as:
    The eyeglasses to correct sight problems. That’s an important one.
    The engineering challenges of gothic cathedrals, the tallest building in the world back then.
    Corning gunpowder.
    Perspective in the arts. In fact, even the ancient Romans used a kind of perspective, which the Chinese never achieved: http://www.webexhibits.org/sciartperspective/perspective1.html
    The medieval nautical maps from the 13th century on, superior to any map ever made in China before contact with Europe.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Portolan_chart#/media/File:Mediterranean_chart_fourteenth_century2.jpg

    Speaking of maps, the ancient Greeks used degrees of latitude and longitude, like we do today, a method which incorporate the knowledge of the curvature of the Earth, and attempted rigorous solutions the problem of representing a sphere on a plane.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ptolemy%27s_world_map

    Look, I can’t make this list longer simply because I don’t know enough. And I don’t have that much time to investigate all kind of things. I can’t believe I already spent so much time to debate you panda, then again now if another Chinese nationalist comes up with silly claims I can counter them much more quickly.
    The ancient Greeks and Romans knew a lot of stuff of all kinds and did a lot of stuff of all kinds. Do you really believe that a list of Chinese “firsts” couldn’t be countered?

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  81. @PandaAtWar
    OKE, Panda is 8-year-old, happy now? yet guess that's enough to handle the issue at hand though, ROFL.

    1. Yes. you were talking about 13th-14th century, while Panda was talking in part about Terracotta Army and Epang Place from 200BC in return. So? It meant that on many tech you couldn't even reach the level of the Chinese of 200BC 16 centries later! Panda thought you stated the European "invented" deductive logic as you claimed (god knows what does that mean), yet you've managed to fail above simple deductive logical process. Is that a testament of your earlier statement, Panda wonder? LOL

    2. On the buildings' heights and width etc: surely it makes sense that heights require different tech critaria than width; yet the Chinese are practicle people. They don't build height for fun, the engineering knowhows of the Great Wall across moutain ranges and the Great Canal are way more impressive than those of some tall cathedrals.

    3. Your plate armour glamour is even more funny as that type of lousy heavy full body amours were considered completely outdated long ago in Chinese start-of-art warfare at a time. The Mongols invasion of Europe soon made a joke out of them, sending them into the historic garbage bin for good. By the way, you haven't read carefully about Terracotta Army technologies links that Panda kindly provided to you yet, because if you have done it, you would have realised that the heavy crossbow would have pearced through that kind of armour with ease (crossbows were considered about 2,ooo years ahead of its time until the emergence of modern rifles in the 18th century)

    4. on the mechanic clock( not only water clock) - yes, China invented it.


    5. on the democracy - or you meant to cast a vote. What a joke!

    Firstly democracy =//= cast a vote, and vice versus.
    Secondly, democracy is inherently inferiror low IQ system than autocracy simpley because 2 votes from 2 semi-illeiterate street-sweepers are not twice powerful than 1 from an Einstein, or you try to argue otherwise using your "deductive logic". LOL
    Thirdly, China was centries ahead of you in terms of true democracy, in the form of meritocracy which was centries ahead of you.

    "Greek Democracy"? Haha, don't make Panda laugh silly. Perhaps Greeks only could cast votes except non-human slaves? Only land-owner could vote in America 200 years ago, woman and blacks only could vore decades ago... it that a joke? ROFL.

    In comparison, China rid off slaves ( the ultimate symbol of anti-democracy) at least 1,000 years ahead of you; while in China's meritocractic system ( started in 6th century ) where ANY young adult could take part in fair imperial exams to be elected as officials and social elite class - relatively a vastly superior practice of true democracy at every single level of the society than you Euros who only came close as recent as post-French Revolution - a good 1, 200 years later! LOL

    6. on Zherghe, it's not when he went and where, but much more importantly what sort of technolgies enabled him doing so compared to the Europeans at a time.

    ...

    Too late now Panda gonna sleep...read the following 36-page Unesco document (vetted, not your random Euro-centric wiki pages for a change, lol)on ancient China's engineering inventions comparing to Europe to a get an educated clue, good luck:

    http://unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0008/000817/081712eo.pdf

    I answered with an extremely long comment, which I hope you’ll read.

    But just to make it clear where I stand, I’ll add this:

    I’m not making mirror claims to yours. I’m not claiming that Europeans have always been “superior”. All I’m trying to say, and all I’ve been trying to say from the beginning, is that you can’t claim that China was overwhelmingly superior in everything.

    Both civilizations were very accomplished.

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  82. @Crawfurdmuir
    A point that I have seen made about the supposed lack of inventiveness among the Chinese is the difficulty of learning the written language, which because it is ideographic, requires extensive memorization. A Chinese person has to spend much more time simply acquiring the vocabulary of a scholar in the Chinese language than a Westerner does in his. The relatively simple alphabets of European languages enable mastery of reading much more quickly than it can be acquired in Chinese, and free the student to spend his time learning other skills.

    Joseph Needham spent a lifetime writing the numerous volumes of Science and Civilisation in China, and one of its central questions is how the Chinese could have had such a history of early scientific and technological achievement followed by a long period of stagnation in these fields. So far as I have read Needham's work (and I have only read a little of it), he does not seem to have a definite answer. He was a Marxist and probably had a theory derived from Marxism, but that made no part of those of his volumes I read.

    Needham makes some interesting remarks in his discussion of how modern Western chemistry came to China in the nineteenth century about the way in which its chemical nomenclature was adapted to the Chinese language (Vol. V, part 3). In Western languages the nomenclature is artificial and systematic, so that a chemical's name signifies its constituent elements and even its structure. Chinese on the other hand borrowed words from ancient Chinese alchemy and simply gave them modern technical meanings. The nomenclature is systematic to a degree, but one can see that it involves more memorization, and the formula for a chemical is not at once evident from its name - as was the case before Lavoisier's time, when Western chemists still used terms such as "colcothar," "oil of vitriol," or "butter of antimony."

    And, Joe Needham was the first person, ever, to make a catalog of all the Chinese tech achievement. There were a few half-hearted attempts before but none of them reached the level of Neeham.

    Shows how the Chinese used to value Stem back then.

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  83. @DB Cooper
    The restaurant you referred to is probably 鼎泰丰 (Din Tai Fung). They are a chain store and have many locations in mainland China also. The dumpling you ate is probably 小笼包 (little basket bun). It is a very famous Shanghainese food.

    I think you are right about that .

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