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Why Is Brazil Decadent? Because It's Peaceful.
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Macroeconomist Scott Sumner brings up the perennial question of why Brazil is the Nation of the Future and always will be.

Brazil has made a heartening amount of progress in this century, but so has the global competition, such as China and South Korea.

Brazil averaged 402 on the 2012 PISA school test scores. That’s about a standard deviation below the OECD average and about 1.4 below Northeast Asia:

PISA scores are on a scale constructed to look like how the the SAT sections are scored, with 500 as the intended mean and 100 as the intended standard deviation.

Overall, Brazil came in 90 points behind Americans. Brazilians scored 32 points lower on the latest PISA than than African Americans, 63 points below Hispanic Americans, 116 points behind white Americans, and 146 points behind Asian Americans.

I’m sure if you broke out Brazilian scores by race, you’d see a similar pattern, but just offset by 50 to 100 points. That’s actually pretty good news for Brazil because it suggests that the country could smarten up some by trying harder.

Tyler Cowen relates that in all the hours he’s spent sitting around airports in Brazil, he’s never seen a Brazilian reading a book. Apparently there were no printing presses in Brazil until the Emperor of Brazil * arrived from Portugal about two centuries ago. That’s Islamically bad — in contrast, as Charles C. Mann pointed out in 1493 the Spanish managed to keep a printing press going on Guam for most of the last four centuries or so.

Brazil has never really had to toughen up to try to win major wars. It’s a huge country on a continent that has been blessed with more peace than most places, so it has always been able to dance along enjoying life without worrying that its failure to educate its populace might cost it in the next war.

The Prussian state pretty much invented the idea that improving their human capital by educating the peasants and teaching them to be better farmers would help Prussia win wars. This was a priority for Prussia because it’s in a tough neighborhood.

Places that aren’t particularly competitive militarily, either because they are too big (Brazil) or too small (Mexico v. America or Guatemala v. Mexico) or culturally have tended toward passivity (India), have tended not to bother to cultivate their human capital in order to win wars.

William James and Jimmy Carter searched for the “moral equivalent of war,” but decadence always beckons. E.g., As a demonstration of American superiority over the Soviets, we Americans landed on the Moon in 1969 in a sort of Wolfean “single combat” as an alternative to actually fighting WWIII. But we couldn’t get back in just eight years today because … eh, what’s the point?

The Chinese were famously decadent for several centuries in recent times. But Mao picked lots of fights (with Chiang, with America in Korea, with the Soviets) and that nationalism seems to have motivated the Chinese, at least temporarily.

By the way, William James was a great man and we should keep in mind his quest.

————–

By the way, when thinking about the Social Construction of Insanity in regard to, say, boxing promoters who decide in late middle age that they were always little girls on the inside, it’s worth noting how many lunatics once believed themselves to be the Emperor of Brazil. Yet, it doesn’t seem to come up much anymore. Why has our society become so Emperor-of-Brazilphobic that even the insane are socially conditioned not to declare themselves the rightful heirs to the Throne of Petropolis?

 
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  1. spandrell says: • Website

    Brazil has around 30% total African admixture, give or take. The Arab world has less than 10% and that sufficed to cripple them forever. This shows the 1 drop rule was the best idea ever.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Flip
    Same thing happened with Portugal.
    , @prosa123
    Brazil has around 30% total African admixture, give or take. The Arab world has less than 10% and that sufficed to cripple them forever.

    I can think of something else that's been a bigger drawback for the Arab world ...
    , @With the thoughts you'd be thinkin
    The devil's advocates argument would be that Afrikaners have similar African admixture to the Portuguese and managed fine. The Arab worlds chronic underachievement can be argued as due to pervasive long term inbreeding.
    , @Art Deco
    Blah blah blah.

    As recently as 1980, China had a nominal per capita income a grand total of 2% that of the United States. Korean War veterans well enough to travel can today visit a country more affluent than the America they returned to in 1953.
    , @athEIst
    And cousin-marriage. Generations and generation of cousin-marriage
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  2. Flip says:
    @spandrell
    Brazil has around 30% total African admixture, give or take. The Arab world has less than 10% and that sufficed to cripple them forever. This shows the 1 drop rule was the best idea ever.

    Same thing happened with Portugal.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Dave Pinsen
    Portugal reaching India by sea in 1498 was the 15th century equivalent of putting a man on the moon.
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  3. Jefferson says:

    Out of the BRIC countries, China is really the only nation that poses any economic threat to The United States.

    The stone age country of India where most people do not have indoor plumbing sure as hell does not pose a economic threat to The U.S. And neither does Russia and Brasil.

    The liberal media overhypes BRIC, but most BRIC countries are not living up to the hype.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anonymous Nephew
    "The stone age country of India"

    http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/politics-and-nation/pm-narendra-modi-inducts-indias-largest-indigenously-built-warship-ins-kolkata/articleshow/40314111.cms

    OK, the engines are from Ukraine and the missiles are Israeli. But they're getting there.
    , @unam
    I agree that india is not a threat. But stone age? Most of America didn't have indoor plumbing in 1900. And the US turned out fine. But nice try president jefferson.
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  4. Jefferson says:

    Italy ranks quite low in PISA school test scores. Thanks a lot you damn Moors.

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    • Replies: @Anonymous Nephew
    "Italy ranks quite low in PISA school test scores."

    I wouldn't be surprised if there's a big North-South gap there.
    , @Art Deco
    And yet it's an affluent country with a per capita income similar to Britain's. Just maybe there are limits to the utility of psychometrics as a predictor of economic dynamism.
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  5. timothy says:

    To go along with the search for A Moral Equivalent to War, secularists have been searching for a Social Equivalent to Religion ever since the storming of the Bastille. They occasionally hit on promising leads (Communism, Hitlerism) but nothing really suffices as a substitute in the long run.

    This quest will only get more relevant. Despite all the post-89 talk about the return of religion, we increasingly find ourselves, as Damon Linker pointed out, in world in which liberalism serves as a comprehensive view of reality and the human good. None of the major liberal theoreticians (Mill, Tocqueville, Madison, Jefferson, even James if you want to call him that) thought that liberalism ought to — or needed to — serve in such a bloated capacity. It was supposed to be an organized communal garden plot for the flourishing of other meanings, especially religious ones.

    Read More
    • Replies: @dearieme
    The idea that Jefferson was a "major liberal theoretician" is rather sweet. Though if what you meant by theoretician is just that he didn't practise liberalism, I'll concede you that. But then you'd be being cruel about the others.
    , @John Jeremiah Smith
    Oh, I have full confidence that some scam artist will come up with a slam-dunk replacement for religion any day now. The average human is as susceptible as its ever been to the prattling, predatory, flim-flam nature of the priesthood. A god per se is unnecessary. Theology has any number of variants -- whatever you can invent, you can invent a theology to substantiate it. No problemo.

    Hey, look at Facebook. Mutatis mutandis.
    , @retired
    Statist environmentalism enforced by PC acolytes, aka NeoMarxism, that's the new western religion.
    , @retired
    Statist environmentalism enforced by PC acolytes, aka NeoMarxism, that's the new western religion.
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  6. @Jefferson
    Italy ranks quite low in PISA school test scores. Thanks a lot you damn Moors.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S3yon2GyoiM

    “Italy ranks quite low in PISA school test scores.”

    I wouldn’t be surprised if there’s a big North-South gap there.

    Read More
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  7. @Jefferson
    Out of the BRIC countries, China is really the only nation that poses any economic threat to The United States.

    The stone age country of India where most people do not have indoor plumbing sure as hell does not pose a economic threat to The U.S. And neither does Russia and Brasil.

    The liberal media overhypes BRIC, but most BRIC countries are not living up to the hype.

    “The stone age country of India”

    http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/politics-and-nation/pm-narendra-modi-inducts-indias-largest-indigenously-built-warship-ins-kolkata/articleshow/40314111.cms

    OK, the engines are from Ukraine and the missiles are Israeli. But they’re getting there.

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  8. Jason says:

    I thought Brazil was a very dangerous place to be caught walking around. People who work for American companies routinely have bodyguards assigned to them. I’ve heard stories of White Brazilians being shocked to visit places like Australia where they could walk around in public, at night, safely.

    San Paulo has oceans of people living in deep poverty. Is most of that crime even reported?

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  9. prosa123 [AKA "Peter"] says: • Website
    @spandrell
    Brazil has around 30% total African admixture, give or take. The Arab world has less than 10% and that sufficed to cripple them forever. This shows the 1 drop rule was the best idea ever.

    Brazil has around 30% total African admixture, give or take. The Arab world has less than 10% and that sufficed to cripple them forever.

    I can think of something else that’s been a bigger drawback for the Arab world …

    Read More
    • Replies: @gu
    "I can think of something else that’s been a bigger drawback for the Arab world …"

    You're an imbecile.

    If Islam was so bad, how come countries like Turkey, Morocco or Indonesia are far superior to them?

    It's inbreeding, not Islam.

    But out of curiosity, what exactly does Islam do to hold countries back?
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  10. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer

    The eponymous title of the psych classic recalls another frequent avatar of the deluded: The Three Christs of Ypsylanti.

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  11. Dave Pinsen says: • Website
    @Flip
    Same thing happened with Portugal.

    Portugal reaching India by sea in 1498 was the 15th century equivalent of putting a man on the moon.

    Read More
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  12. Christian Arabs tend to do just fine, especially when they emigrate out of the Middle East, so I think the Arabs’ problem is Islam rather than African admixture.

    Portugal has only about 4% African admixture. Greece has even less and is even more of a basket case. So Portugal’s problem is probably cultural. They were messianic for a long time, waiting for a king to come out of seclusion to save the nation, and it really inhibited their motivation.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anonymous
    Christian Arab groups have less sub-Saharan African admixture than Muslim Arab groups.
    , @anon
    Re: Christian Arabs vs. Moslem Arabs--it's entirely possible that they are genetically different. For example, Copts, who do well both in Egypt and in the West, probably have a hereditary IQ advantage over the average Egyptian.
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  13. Dave Pinsen says: • Website

    Brazil may have to toughen up to win the World Cup again.

    The other blessing/weakness Brazil has is a surfeit of natural resources. To its credit, Brazil used technology to become energy independent after the OPEC oil boycott of the 1970s, but that was an initiative launched when it was a dictatorship. It’s harder to do stuff like that as a democracy, particularly one where the pull of leftwing populism remains so strong.

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  14. @spandrell
    Brazil has around 30% total African admixture, give or take. The Arab world has less than 10% and that sufficed to cripple them forever. This shows the 1 drop rule was the best idea ever.

    The devil’s advocates argument would be that Afrikaners have similar African admixture to the Portuguese and managed fine. The Arab worlds chronic underachievement can be argued as due to pervasive long term inbreeding.

    Read More
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  15. Robinson says:

    Steve,
    I’m waiting for your comments on the latest Fields Medal winners. Is the first woman and the first Latino/Brazilian a non-event?

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    • Replies: @syonredux
    "Steve,
    I’m waiting for your comments on the latest Fields Medal winners. Is the first woman and the first Latino/Brazilian a non-event?"

    Firsts should be seen as non-events. The real event will occur when we get the 8th, 9th, and 10th Latin American. Of course, that's assuming that we will get an 8th, 9th, and 10th, which is doubtful. Needless to say, the same holds true for women.
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  16. Sunbeam says:

    ” Why has our society become so Emperor-of-Brazilphobic that even the insane are socially conditioned not to declare themselves the rightful heirs to the Throne of Petropolis?”

    I think it is more a reflection of our degraded human capital.

    Reread Huckleberry Finn. I forget what country the huckster claimed to be prince of (Dauphin of France?) but the characters in that story seemed to have handle on geography and a certain amount of history, regardless of whether they regularly or ever attended school.

    Whereas “the commoners” I interact with… I’m not sure they understand the world is a sphere. Maybe they heard it somewhere, but they are totally incapable of visualizing something like that. Let alone pick out contries on a globe.

    Look people just have so much headspace. If tv and media have so much ephemera available, then something has to go to make room for it.

    You can know about Katy Perry or Brazil. It’s that simple. Even if you are delusional you have to have some kind of framework to be delusional about. And most Americans don’t have any framework besides the eternal now, and the cheeto dust coating their face as they gaze upon the screen.

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  17. SFG says:

    “By the way, when thinking about the Social Construction of Insanity in regard to, say, boxing promoters who decide in late middle age that they were always little girls on the inside, it’s worth noting how many lunatics once believed themselves to be the Emperor of Brazil. Yet, it doesn’t seem to come up much anymore. Why has our society become so Emperor-of-Brazilphobic that even the insane are socially conditioned not to declare themselves the rightful heirs to the Throne of Petropolis?”

    A little off-topic, but surely as an Angeleno you must have heard about Emperor Norton of San Francisco, if only as a joke about how silly people in SF are?

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  18. Luke Lea says:

    re: “Places that aren’t particularly competitive militarily, either because they are too big (Brazil) or too small (Mexico v. America or Guatemala v. Mexico) or culturally have tended toward passivity (India), have tended not to bother to cultivate their human capital in order to win wars.”

    How about China? Clearly, a different dynamic.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Vendetta
    China: too big.
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  19. Luke Lea says:

    Fuck Unz’s five minute editing window. I can make a decently thoughtful comment without typos and spelling errors if he will give me unlimited time (or at least ten minutes) like every other site I know with an edit option.

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  20. unam says:
    @Jefferson
    Out of the BRIC countries, China is really the only nation that poses any economic threat to The United States.

    The stone age country of India where most people do not have indoor plumbing sure as hell does not pose a economic threat to The U.S. And neither does Russia and Brasil.

    The liberal media overhypes BRIC, but most BRIC countries are not living up to the hype.

    I agree that india is not a threat. But stone age? Most of America didn’t have indoor plumbing in 1900. And the US turned out fine. But nice try president jefferson.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Lurker
    I agree that india is not a threat. But stone age? Most of America didn’t have indoor plumbing in 1900. And the US turned out fine. But nice try president jefferson.

    The lack of indoor plumbing is a polite euphemism. In 1900 most Americans were not crapping in the streets, whereas in India right now . . .
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  21. Art Deco says: • Website
    @spandrell
    Brazil has around 30% total African admixture, give or take. The Arab world has less than 10% and that sufficed to cripple them forever. This shows the 1 drop rule was the best idea ever.

    Blah blah blah.

    As recently as 1980, China had a nominal per capita income a grand total of 2% that of the United States. Korean War veterans well enough to travel can today visit a country more affluent than the America they returned to in 1953.

    Read More
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  22. Luke Lea says:

    “By the way, William James was a great man and we should keep in mind his quest.”

    Indeed, America’s greatest philosopher. His “The Will to Believe” is the credo I live by. Truth is what works over the long term, and that extends to the human realm where the Christian faith has had a smashing success in overturning the age-old order of servitude and tyranny while giving peoples’ lives meaning in the meantime. The question is, what comes next?

    Read More
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  23. Art Deco says: • Website
    @Jefferson
    Italy ranks quite low in PISA school test scores. Thanks a lot you damn Moors.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S3yon2GyoiM

    And yet it’s an affluent country with a per capita income similar to Britain’s. Just maybe there are limits to the utility of psychometrics as a predictor of economic dynamism.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Lurker
    And yet it’s an affluent country with a per capita income similar to Britain’s

    I think you meant a GDP similar to Britain's. Brazil has a somewhat smaller GDP but more than three times the population so per capita income must be around 30% of Britain's. I'm sure we could play around with different metrics but none that would make parity.
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  24. dearieme says:
    @timothy
    To go along with the search for A Moral Equivalent to War, secularists have been searching for a Social Equivalent to Religion ever since the storming of the Bastille. They occasionally hit on promising leads (Communism, Hitlerism) but nothing really suffices as a substitute in the long run.

    This quest will only get more relevant. Despite all the post-89 talk about the return of religion, we increasingly find ourselves, as Damon Linker pointed out, in world in which liberalism serves as a comprehensive view of reality and the human good. None of the major liberal theoreticians (Mill, Tocqueville, Madison, Jefferson, even James if you want to call him that) thought that liberalism ought to -- or needed to -- serve in such a bloated capacity. It was supposed to be an organized communal garden plot for the flourishing of other meanings, especially religious ones.

    The idea that Jefferson was a “major liberal theoretician” is rather sweet. Though if what you meant by theoretician is just that he didn’t practise liberalism, I’ll concede you that. But then you’d be being cruel about the others.

    Read More
    • Replies: @syonredux
    "The idea that Jefferson was a “major liberal theoretician” is rather sweet."

    Quite true. Jefferson's political thought was entirely conventional, Enlightenment boilerplate.


    "Though if what you meant by theoretician is just that he didn’t practise liberalism, I’ll concede you that. But then you’d be being cruel about the others."

    Well, Jefferson did practice liberalism in one area, dear boy. Religious liberty. The separation of Church and State:

    “The Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom was drafted in 1777 (though it was not first introduced into the Virginia General Assembly until 1779) by Thomas Jefferson in the city of Fredericksburg, Virginia. On January 16, 1786, the Assembly enacted the statute into the state’s law. The statute disestablished the Church of England in Virginia and guaranteed freedom of religion to people of all religious faiths, including Catholics and Jews as well as members of all Protestant denominations. The statute was a notable precursor of the Establishment Clause and Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution.

    The Statute for Religious Freedom is one of only three accomplishments Jefferson instructed be put in his epitaph.

    Text of statute
    An Act for establishing religious Freedom.

    Whereas, Almighty God hath created the mind free;

    That all attempts to influence it by temporal punishments or burthens, or by civil incapacitations tend only to beget habits of hypocrisy and meanness, and therefore are a departure from the plan of the holy author of our religion, who being Lord, both of body and mind yet chose not to propagate it by coercions on either, as was in his Almighty power to do,

    That the impious presumption of legislators and rulers, civil as well as ecclesiastical, who, being themselves but fallible and uninspired men have assumed dominion over the faith of others, setting up their own opinions and modes of thinking as the only true and infallible, and as such endeavouring to impose them on others, hath established and maintained false religions over the greatest part of the world and through all time;

    That to compel a man to furnish contributions of money for the propagation of opinions, which he disbelieves is sinful and tyrannical;

    That even the forcing him to support this or that teacher of his own religious persuasion is depriving him of the comfortable liberty of giving his contributions to the particular pastor, whose morals he would make his pattern, and whose powers he feels most persuasive to righteousness, and is withdrawing from the Ministry those temporary rewards, which, proceeding from an approbation of their personal conduct are an additional incitement to earnest and unremitting labours for the instruction of mankind;

    That our civil rights have no dependence on our religious opinions any more than our opinions in physics or geometry,

    That therefore the proscribing any citizen as unworthy the public confidence, by laying upon him an incapacity of being called to offices of trust and emolument, unless he profess or renounce this or that religious opinion, is depriving him injuriously of those privileges and advantages, to which, in common with his fellow citizens, he has a natural right,

    That it tends only to corrupt the principles of that very Religion it is meant to encourage, by bribing with a monopoly of worldly honours and emoluments those who will externally profess and conform to it;

    That though indeed, these are criminal who do not withstand such temptation, yet neither are those innocent who lay the bait in their way;

    That to suffer the civil magistrate to intrude his powers into the field of opinion and to restrain the profession or propagation of principles on supposition of their ill tendency is a dangerous fallacy which at once destroys all religious liberty because he being of course judge of that tendency will make his opinions the rule of judgment and approve or condemn the sentiments of others only as they shall square with or differ from his own;


    That it is time enough for the rightful purposes of civil government, for its officers to interfere when principles break out into overt acts against peace and good order;

    And finally, that Truth is great, and will prevail if left to herself, that she is the proper and sufficient antagonist to error, and has nothing to fear from the conflict, unless by human interposition disarmed of her natural weapons free argument and debate, errors ceasing to be dangerous when it is permitted freely to contradict them:

    Be it enacted by General Assembly that no man shall be compelled to frequent or support any religious worship, place, or ministry whatsoever, nor shall be enforced, restrained, molested, or burthened in his body or goods, nor shall otherwise suffer on account of his religious opinions or belief, but that all men shall be free to profess, and by argument to maintain, their opinions in matters of Religion, and that the same shall in no wise diminish, enlarge or affect their civil capacities. And though we well know that this Assembly elected by the people for the ordinary purposes of Legislation only, have no power to restrain the acts of succeeding Assemblies constituted with powers equal to our own, and that therefore to declare this act irrevocable would be of no effect in law; yet we are free to declare, and do declare that the rights hereby asserted, are of the natural rights of mankind, and that if any act shall be hereafter passed to repeal the present or to narrow its operation, such act will be an infringement of natural right.[4]”

    (WIKIPEDIA)



    It’s rather sad that Jefferson’s stalwart work for liberty of conscience has been tossed into the rubbish bin of history. Well, the PC crowd writes the history books nowadays, and they are quite in favor of thought control.
    , @Art Deco
    The idea that Jefferson was a “major liberal theoretician” is rather sweet.

    He was a more consequential figure than Edmund Burke, princess.
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  25. Shawn says:

    The future (for at least First World Nations) will look profoundly different from any country which exists today. Genetic engineering…

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  26. advancedatheist [AKA "Mark Plus"] says:

    Portugal 500 years ago must have drawn that era’s equivalent of geeks, who had the cognitive goods to master the mathematics and abstract thinking for astronomy, navigation, map making, ship engineering and figuring out the logistics of supplying these ships for long voyages. What happened to that country?

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  27. vinny says:

    “She would of been a good woman,” The Misfit said, “if it had been somebody there to shoot her every minute of her life.”

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  28. syonredux says:
    @dearieme
    The idea that Jefferson was a "major liberal theoretician" is rather sweet. Though if what you meant by theoretician is just that he didn't practise liberalism, I'll concede you that. But then you'd be being cruel about the others.

    “The idea that Jefferson was a “major liberal theoretician” is rather sweet.”

    Quite true. Jefferson’s political thought was entirely conventional, Enlightenment boilerplate.

    “Though if what you meant by theoretician is just that he didn’t practise liberalism, I’ll concede you that. But then you’d be being cruel about the others.”

    Well, Jefferson did practice liberalism in one area, dear boy. Religious liberty. The separation of Church and State:

    “The Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom was drafted in 1777 (though it was not first introduced into the Virginia General Assembly until 1779) by Thomas Jefferson in the city of Fredericksburg, Virginia. On January 16, 1786, the Assembly enacted the statute into the state’s law. The statute disestablished the Church of England in Virginia and guaranteed freedom of religion to people of all religious faiths, including Catholics and Jews as well as members of all Protestant denominations. The statute was a notable precursor of the Establishment Clause and Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution.

    The Statute for Religious Freedom is one of only three accomplishments Jefferson instructed be put in his epitaph.

    Text of statute
    An Act for establishing religious Freedom.

    Whereas, Almighty God hath created the mind free;

    That all attempts to influence it by temporal punishments or burthens, or by civil incapacitations tend only to beget habits of hypocrisy and meanness, and therefore are a departure from the plan of the holy author of our religion, who being Lord, both of body and mind yet chose not to propagate it by coercions on either, as was in his Almighty power to do,

    That the impious presumption of legislators and rulers, civil as well as ecclesiastical, who, being themselves but fallible and uninspired men have assumed dominion over the faith of others, setting up their own opinions and modes of thinking as the only true and infallible, and as such endeavouring to impose them on others, hath established and maintained false religions over the greatest part of the world and through all time;

    That to compel a man to furnish contributions of money for the propagation of opinions, which he disbelieves is sinful and tyrannical;

    That even the forcing him to support this or that teacher of his own religious persuasion is depriving him of the comfortable liberty of giving his contributions to the particular pastor, whose morals he would make his pattern, and whose powers he feels most persuasive to righteousness, and is withdrawing from the Ministry those temporary rewards, which, proceeding from an approbation of their personal conduct are an additional incitement to earnest and unremitting labours for the instruction of mankind;

    That our civil rights have no dependence on our religious opinions any more than our opinions in physics or geometry,

    That therefore the proscribing any citizen as unworthy the public confidence, by laying upon him an incapacity of being called to offices of trust and emolument, unless he profess or renounce this or that religious opinion, is depriving him injuriously of those privileges and advantages, to which, in common with his fellow citizens, he has a natural right,

    That it tends only to corrupt the principles of that very Religion it is meant to encourage, by bribing with a monopoly of worldly honours and emoluments those who will externally profess and conform to it;

    That though indeed, these are criminal who do not withstand such temptation, yet neither are those innocent who lay the bait in their way;

    That to suffer the civil magistrate to intrude his powers into the field of opinion and to restrain the profession or propagation of principles on supposition of their ill tendency is a dangerous fallacy which at once destroys all religious liberty because he being of course judge of that tendency will make his opinions the rule of judgment and approve or condemn the sentiments of others only as they shall square with or differ from his own;

    That it is time enough for the rightful purposes of civil government, for its officers to interfere when principles break out into overt acts against peace and good order;

    And finally, that Truth is great, and will prevail if left to herself, that she is the proper and sufficient antagonist to error, and has nothing to fear from the conflict, unless by human interposition disarmed of her natural weapons free argument and debate, errors ceasing to be dangerous when it is permitted freely to contradict them:

    Be it enacted by General Assembly that no man shall be compelled to frequent or support any religious worship, place, or ministry whatsoever, nor shall be enforced, restrained, molested, or burthened in his body or goods, nor shall otherwise suffer on account of his religious opinions or belief, but that all men shall be free to profess, and by argument to maintain, their opinions in matters of Religion, and that the same shall in no wise diminish, enlarge or affect their civil capacities. And though we well know that this Assembly elected by the people for the ordinary purposes of Legislation only, have no power to restrain the acts of succeeding Assemblies constituted with powers equal to our own, and that therefore to declare this act irrevocable would be of no effect in law; yet we are free to declare, and do declare that the rights hereby asserted, are of the natural rights of mankind, and that if any act shall be hereafter passed to repeal the present or to narrow its operation, such act will be an infringement of natural right.[4]”

    (WIKIPEDIA)

    It’s rather sad that Jefferson’s stalwart work for liberty of conscience has been tossed into the rubbish bin of history. Well, the PC crowd writes the history books nowadays, and they are quite in favor of thought control.

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  29. dearieme says:

    He kept slaves, for heaven’s sake, including a couple of his own children.

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    • Replies: @syonredux
    "He kept slaves, for heaven’s sake, including a couple of his own children."

    Yes, dear boy. That fact is hammered home by the PC crowd in America every day. Why, I daresay that more American secondary school students know that than can tell you who John Marshall was.And, just a few months ago , I attended a seminar whose subject was the manner in which Anglo liberalism was fatally entangled with slavery. The speaker really had it in for both Jefferson (she spent a good deal of her presentation dilating on the familial) and Locke ( speaking at length on how the architect of Anglo liberalism designed a constitution that allowed slavery).

    As for myself, seeing as how the Left focuses on Jefferson's many faults, I like to shine a spotlight on what is valuable in Jefferson's legacy: his belief in freedom of religion, freedom of speech, and liberty of conscience. Admittedly, these are unfashionable concepts nowadays, but I like to think that they are not entirely without merit.
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  30. syonredux says:

    “By the way, William James was a great man and we should keep in mind his quest.”

    I’ll second that. For that matter, if anyone here hasn’t read William James, here are two masterpieces that I heartily recommend:

    THE VARIETIES OF RELIGIOUS EXPERIENCE: Possibly the greatest book on the subject ever written.

    PRINCIPLES OF PSYCHOLOGY: Puts Freud and the psychoanalytic school to shame.

    Besides the value of their contents, the books are brilliantly written. Indeed, they are a positive pleasure to read. Frankly, I’ve long thought that American secondary schools would profit mightily by swapping out Emerson and replacing him with William James. At the very least, it would have a positive influence on American prose writing.

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  31. syonredux says:
    @Robinson
    Steve,
    I'm waiting for your comments on the latest Fields Medal winners. Is the first woman and the first Latino/Brazilian a non-event?

    “Steve,
    I’m waiting for your comments on the latest Fields Medal winners. Is the first woman and the first Latino/Brazilian a non-event?”

    Firsts should be seen as non-events. The real event will occur when we get the 8th, 9th, and 10th Latin American. Of course, that’s assuming that we will get an 8th, 9th, and 10th, which is doubtful. Needless to say, the same holds true for women.

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  32. Art Deco says: • Website
    @dearieme
    The idea that Jefferson was a "major liberal theoretician" is rather sweet. Though if what you meant by theoretician is just that he didn't practise liberalism, I'll concede you that. But then you'd be being cruel about the others.

    The idea that Jefferson was a “major liberal theoretician” is rather sweet.

    He was a more consequential figure than Edmund Burke, princess.

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    "He was a more consequential figure than Edmund Burke, princess."

    "Consequential" is a rather slippery phrase.

    Jefferson has his virtues (as I noted earlier, his defense of freedom of religion and liberty of conscience deserves more respect than it currently receives), but he was not an original thinker.Burke was much more original than Jefferson, both in terms of aesthetics (cf Burke's A Philosophical Enquiry into the Origin of Our Ideas of the Sublime and Beautiful ) and in terms of political theory (Anglo Conservative thought basically originates with Burke's REFLECTIONS ON THE REVOLUTION IN FRANCE).
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  33. Art Deco says: • Website

    Places that aren’t particularly competitive militarily, either because they are too big (Brazil) or too small (Mexico v. America or Guatemala v. Mexico) or culturally have tended toward passivity (India), have tended not to bother to cultivate their human capital in order to win wars.

    So, are Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, and Hong Kong ‘just right’?

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  34. Sal says:

    –Italy ranks quite low in PISA school test scores. Thanks a lot you damn Moors.–

    As a Sicilian, I find that kinda offensive. Be a real shame if your crushed tomatoes went missing…

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  35. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer

    “Most of America didn’t have indoor plumbing in 1900. ”
    ————————–
    You know it is 2014, right? Does Gandhi still drink urine?

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  36. E. Harding says: • Website
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  37. @timothy
    To go along with the search for A Moral Equivalent to War, secularists have been searching for a Social Equivalent to Religion ever since the storming of the Bastille. They occasionally hit on promising leads (Communism, Hitlerism) but nothing really suffices as a substitute in the long run.

    This quest will only get more relevant. Despite all the post-89 talk about the return of religion, we increasingly find ourselves, as Damon Linker pointed out, in world in which liberalism serves as a comprehensive view of reality and the human good. None of the major liberal theoreticians (Mill, Tocqueville, Madison, Jefferson, even James if you want to call him that) thought that liberalism ought to -- or needed to -- serve in such a bloated capacity. It was supposed to be an organized communal garden plot for the flourishing of other meanings, especially religious ones.

    Oh, I have full confidence that some scam artist will come up with a slam-dunk replacement for religion any day now. The average human is as susceptible as its ever been to the prattling, predatory, flim-flam nature of the priesthood. A god per se is unnecessary. Theology has any number of variants — whatever you can invent, you can invent a theology to substantiate it. No problemo.

    Hey, look at Facebook. Mutatis mutandis.

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  38. @Spandrell – It’s less than that. African admixture in Brazil for mixed-raced Brazilians is actually quadroon to octoroon, it’s about 25% to 12% black. The white male colonizers and white male immigrants were able to screw both their black and Amerindian female slaves to castizo/quadroon/octoroon status.

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  39. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer
    @Peter in Mpls
    Christian Arabs tend to do just fine, especially when they emigrate out of the Middle East, so I think the Arabs' problem is Islam rather than African admixture.

    Portugal has only about 4% African admixture. Greece has even less and is even more of a basket case. So Portugal's problem is probably cultural. They were messianic for a long time, waiting for a king to come out of seclusion to save the nation, and it really inhibited their motivation.

    Christian Arab groups have less sub-Saharan African admixture than Muslim Arab groups.

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  40. Brazil was also heavily influenced by the Arab slave trade in East Africa (e.g. castration of black males, impregnation of East African females). It’s the Arab influence.

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  41. syonredux says:

    Apparently there were no printing presses in Brazil until the Emperor of Brazil * arrived from Portugal about two centuries ago. That’s Islamically bad — in contrast, as Charles C. Mann pointed out in 1493 the Spanish managed to keep a printing press going on Guam for most of the last four centuries or so.

    RE: Printing in the New World,

    Date at which printing presses were first set up. Dates come from WIKIPEDIA, so the usual caveats apply.

    Brazil: 1808

    Chile: 1776

    Venezuela : 1808

    Argentina: 1780

    Mexico: 1539

    Cuba: 1707

    Some comparative dates from Anglo America:

    Massachusetts: Colony founded in 1630. Printing press set up in 1638.

    Pennsylvania: settled in 1681. Printing press set up in 1685.

    Interestingly, when compared to the North, the southern colonies show a lag:

    Virginia: settled in 1607. Printing starts in 1682.

    Maryland: Settled in 1632. printing starts in 1686.

    In Anglo America we can see a definite North-South lag, with printing coming early in the North (8 years after the founding in Massachusetts, 4 years after the founding in PA), but late in the South (75 years after the founding in Virginia, 54 years in Maryland). In the case of Virginia, it was a matter of deliberate policy. The Anglican elite in Virginia was quite suspicious of anything that might serve to educate the broad masses. Cf the words of Virginia governor William Berkeley: “[T]here are no free schools nor printing , and I hope we shall not have these [for a] hundred years;for learning has brought disobedience, and heresy, and sects into the world, and printing has divulged them, and libels against the best government. God keep us from both!”

    In terms of Latin America, I’m not sure about the precise nature of the forces that brought printing to Mexico City in 1539, but not to Cuba until 1707 (White settlement in Cuba began in 1511; hence, the printing lag was 196 years).

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    On a vacation to Brazil ten years ago, I scheduled a couple of business meetings for a company I was working for at the time. One of them was with the manager of the Rio branch of a US-headquartered investment firm. I had studied some Portuguese ahead of the trip, but it turned out everyone I met with knew English, because they had to pass the US licensing exam (series 7) which was offered in English.

    In making small talk, I mentioned I had spent the weekend in Paraty, which is a little cobblestoned town on the coast in the state of Rio de Janeiro, if memory serves. That launched this Brazilian, who was of Scottish ancestry, into a soliloquy about how North America had attracted a better quality of settlers. He mentioned that Paraty was an old colonial port from which ore mined in the inland state of Minas Gerais ("General Mining") was exported, and opined that while Puritans had come to New England to build, the Portuguese settlers had mainly come to Brazil to take.
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  42. anonymous says: • Disclaimer

    So Portugal’s problem is probably cultural.

    Portugal is an awful tiny country to have run the world “age of exploration” empire that lasted the longest.

    The 1755 Great Lisbon earthquake, tsunami, and fire destroyed much of the original core of the Portuguese empire and its elite in one go. There was probably a lot of interesting knowledge lost in that disaster.

    It didn’t help that
    Napoleon invaded the place in 1807
    , the court evacuated to Brazil, and the long, bloody Peninsular War began.

    In modern times, the place seems to have been exhausted by the lengthy, obscure, and expensive war in Africa, which in retrospect seems to have been both a struggle against world communism and anti-colonial wars of national liberation, the Portuguese Colonial War. It also was a war for Portugal to hang on to its empire and can be considered to include the brief war in India in which India kicked the Portuguese out of Goa.

    “…between 1961 and 1974. … The war was a decisive ideological struggle in Portuguese-speaking Africa and surrounding nations, and mainland Portugal.

    …Unlike other European nations during the 1950s and 1960s, the Portuguese Estado Novo regime did not withdraw from its African colonies, or the overseas provinces…

    …Portugal had been the first European power to establish a colony in Africa when it captured Ceuta in 1415; it became one of the last to leave.”

    This was a pretty big war. Even though Portugal won in some places, Portugal was isolated in the same manner as South Africa and a coup in Portugal ultimately changed the government and ended the unpopular war.

    It seems the Portuguese government had an active policy of encouraging intermarriage:

    “Numerous subsidies were offered by the Estado Novo regime to those Portuguese who agreed to settle in Angola or Mozambique, including a special premium for each Portuguese man who agreed to marry an African woman.”

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  43. syonredux says:

    RE: The moral equivalent of war,

    Well, there is nationalism/patriotism. Edmund Wilson, after surveying the rather unimpressive entity that is Canadian literature, remarked that nationalism plays a potent role in engendering creativity. Canadians, as British subjects, could simply enjoy the fruits of Britain’s literary heritage without feeling much need to fashion a literature of their own. American writers (Cooper, Hawthorne, Melville, Whitman, Parkman, etc), in contrast, were fueled by a patriotic desire to fashion a national literature. Henry James (himself rather ambivalent on the topic) noted the feelings of pride that greeted the publication of THE SCARLET LETTER. Here, at last, was an American work of art that was as finely wrought as anything in the Old World.

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  44. What, no love for the War of the Triple Alliance, where little Paraguay took on Brazil, Argentina, and Uruguay and held them off until half of Paraguay was dead?

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  45. @Spandrell – The “one drop rule” was mostly maternal (black female). I doubt that American biracials like Halle Berry (white mother) were common during most of the early and middle years concerning the American “one drop rule” policy.

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    • Replies: @Foreign Expert
    I have read that a great many Irish (indentured) servant girls married slave men in Virginia, etc. I suppose that on the plantations there were no other available men for a servant girl.
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  46. manton says:

    Spanish printing in Guam is news to me, but I wouldn’t give them too much credit. The Spanish started settling California in 1769, but the first printing press arrived in 1846–when Sam Brannan brought it from New York. There was only one school in the whole “department”, no newspapers, and almost zero books beyond the Mission Bibles.

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  47. Lurker says:
    @unam
    I agree that india is not a threat. But stone age? Most of America didn't have indoor plumbing in 1900. And the US turned out fine. But nice try president jefferson.

    I agree that india is not a threat. But stone age? Most of America didn’t have indoor plumbing in 1900. And the US turned out fine. But nice try president jefferson.

    The lack of indoor plumbing is a polite euphemism. In 1900 most Americans were not crapping in the streets, whereas in India right now . . .

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    To his credit, the new PM Modi has said building more toilets would be a priority ("Toilets before temples").

    Incidentally, I recently hired an Indian contractor via Elance after my first choice (an American) backed out. The Indian missed the first deadline because he was hospitalized with typhoid, which comes from exposure to feces.

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  48. outsider says: • Website

    The only way to return to the moon in eight years would be to shoot millions of entrenched bureaucrats.

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  49. Lurker says:
    @Art Deco
    And yet it's an affluent country with a per capita income similar to Britain's. Just maybe there are limits to the utility of psychometrics as a predictor of economic dynamism.

    And yet it’s an affluent country with a per capita income similar to Britain’s

    I think you meant a GDP similar to Britain’s. Brazil has a somewhat smaller GDP but more than three times the population so per capita income must be around 30% of Britain’s. I’m sure we could play around with different metrics but none that would make parity.

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  50. o/t

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/healthnews/11036491/Dogs-to-be-used-to-detect-breast-cancer-in-new-research-trial.html

    “Women at high risk of breast cancer could be screened for the disease by simply breathing into a tube which is then sniffed by a specially trained dog, in a new clinical trial after UK scientists found the animals are highly accurate at detecting other cancers. A charity is now embarking on a landmark trial to establish if the dogs can accurately detect breast cancer from samples of breath which if proven would ‘revolutionise’ how doctors think about the diagnosis of all cancers, the researchers said. The animals working for Medical Detection Dogs in Buckinghamshire have already been shown to be more reliable at detecting prostate cancer than current blood tests, with 93 per cent accuracy when sniffing urine samples.

    As I think Steve’s said before, a dog’s keen sense of smell has been selected for over millions of years – why not leverage Nature’s time investment ?

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  51. Mr. Anon says:

    “The Prussian state pretty much invented the idea that improving their human capital by educating the peasants and teaching them to be better farmers would help Prussia win wars. This was a priority for Prussia because it’s in a tough neighborhood.”

    Perhaps the Brazilians noticed that that human capital – so useful in defending a nation – is seldom used to actually defend the nation, but rather is squandered by the nation’s elites in pursuit of their own adventures.

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  52. eah says:

    I’ve heard Brazil called many things, but never “decadent”.

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  53. Jeff W. says:

    My interpretation of the meaning of the “moral equivalent of war” is that by the time Jimmy Carter used it, it was mainly being used by liberals to mean “printing money to fund government social programs in the same way as we print money to fund wars.”

    (Carter used the phrase to promote mandatory energy conservation, but I believe that was its first use in that context. I also believe that Carter’s real agenda in this, whether he knew it or not, and which was forced on him by economists and bankers, was suppression of energy prices so as to enable more money printing.)

    Back in the gold standard days, it was customary for nations to go off the gold standard (suspend specie redemption) for the duration of the war. Governments were then free to crank out as much paper money as needed to fund their war efforts.

    Advocates of increased social spending looked enviously at that money printing, and they eventually helped ease the U.S. off the gold standard, a process which was completed by 1971. Since that time, the U.S. government has issued paper money without having to worry about its price in gold terms.

    They have used that printed money to fund the “war on poverty,” the thinking being that it is right to print greenbacks to fund the war on poverty because the crusade against poverty is the moral equivalent of warfare with other nations.

    The question is, “Is government’s crusade against domestic poverty the moral equivalent of war?” I say it is not.

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  54. Outside of favelas (12 million out of 200 million Brazilians, just 6% of the Brazilian population, but concentrated among urban centers such as Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo), but most Brazilians tend to favor non-violent criminal activities such as prostitution and stealing.

    Prostitution has kept Brazil peaceful.

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  55. Lot says:

    Islam is uniquely poisonous to IQ. The single best example of this is probably Albania and Bosnia compared to their indistinguishable neighbors.

    It isn’t because of any “bad genes” brought by Arab armies.

    The Arab conquest involved very small armies, and was a garrison state whose individual soldiers were unsafe from the population in the countryside. There was simply too much hostility, and too few Arabs, and too short an occupation for any significant intermingling. Complete control over the entire island only lasted from 1042-1061 (the fall of the last Greek stronghold of Messina to the start of the Norman conquest of Italy.) And, when the Arabs were finally defeated, their civilians fled and their allies in the local population who had converted or intermarried also either fled or were murdered.

    Rather, what changed Sicily from one of the richest parts of the world in Roman times to one of the poorest and most backward parts of Western Europe was (1) the chaos of war causing high-IQ local people to flee (2) enslavement and export of high-IQ artisans (3) a reversal of the general Euro trend of selection away from warrior genes and toward high-IQ and low-violence genes (4) smarter Christians converting to Islam to avoid taxation and oppression, then fleeing following the reconquest.

    While the Arabs were mostly to blame, the Byzantines were also pretty brutal toward the locals during their multiple reconquests and attempted reconquests of Sicily.

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  56. Brazil’s relative lassitude is probably down to the same causes as why South America has been a huge also-ran compared to North America. It was colonised by an aristocratic, agrarian culture where the climate (weather\political\religious\economic) wasn’t geared to encourage the hustling, industrious middle class of colder regions. It’s the same reason the USA south was a backwater up until after WW2 when air-conditioning encouraged mid-Westerners to move down to the Sunbelt.

    It woul be an interesting exercise to see how much economic growth is contributed by air-conditioning.

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  57. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer

    Is it peaceful Steve? It’s got an appallingly high murder rate and rate of generalized violence.
    Of course Brazil is culturally Portuguese a nation that never much cared for book learning – it was mostly illiterate right into the 20th century and was more or less run as a stitch up between the nobility and the catholic church. The peasants just tended the goats cultivated the vines went to church on Sunday and either slept or rutted in the remaining time.

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  58. Paul Rain says:

    What happened to Portugal? I can’t answer that as to the period where it fell from being one of the most dynamic empires to a relatively static one at the start of the 20th century, but it’s very easy to explain the situation it’s in now. There is nothing wrong with the Portuguese national human capital. Incompetent democratic governance is at fault.

    In the early 1930′s, the great António Salazar came to power. He didn’t have to lead Portugal out of the Depression, because it came through basically unscathed. He kept her out of the second fratricidal war, and in the post-war period, his governance enabled modernizations and GDP increases on the order of 5% per year until his death in 1970. The Portuguese national culture, and the Empire, were maintained, despite American and Soviet and general communist pressure.

    After Salazar’s passing, his successors proved not to be up to the task of preserving good governance in Portugal. A military coup by a mix of misguided Portuguese loyalists and comsymps toppled the regime, and eventually brought democracy. The Church and business have been constantly under assault ever since, and the economy has been ‘planned’ by clowns who make the Federal Reserve look good.

    To quote Wikipedia quoting ‘Life’ “The Dictator has built the Nation. Most that has been built in Portugal can be credited to Dr. Salazar…he has balanced the budget, built roads and schools, torn down slums, cut the death rate and enormously raised Portugal self-esteem. Unambitious Salazar took the dictatorship by army request and holds it by popular will. The Salazar dictatorship is easygoing and paternalistic, with wide freedom of speech allowed to his enemies… Friends of democracy may deplore Salazar the dictator but they cannot deny that under the [previous democratic regime] Portugal made an unholy mess of itself and Salazar pulled it out.”

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  59. Jefferson says:

    “I agree that india is not a threat. But stone age? Most of America didn’t have indoor plumbing in 1900. And the US turned out fine. But nice try president jefferson.”

    A country where the majority of it’s citizens still no do not have indoor plumbing in the year 2014 is an extreme embarrassment and might as well be a stone age country by 2014 standards.

    EVEN THE MAJORITY OF BRAZILIANS HAVE INDOOR PLUMBING, HAHA INDIA IS PATHETIC.

    But nice try unam.

    Even in the poorest Eastern European countries, the majority of the population has indoor plumbing.

    India’s standard of living is closer to that of Sub Saharan African countries than it is to Western countries.

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  60. anon says: • Disclaimer
    @Peter in Mpls
    Christian Arabs tend to do just fine, especially when they emigrate out of the Middle East, so I think the Arabs' problem is Islam rather than African admixture.

    Portugal has only about 4% African admixture. Greece has even less and is even more of a basket case. So Portugal's problem is probably cultural. They were messianic for a long time, waiting for a king to come out of seclusion to save the nation, and it really inhibited their motivation.

    Re: Christian Arabs vs. Moslem Arabs–it’s entirely possible that they are genetically different. For example, Copts, who do well both in Egypt and in the West, probably have a hereditary IQ advantage over the average Egyptian.

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    • Replies: @Peter in Mpls
    So what accounts for this?

    Can't be predominately differential in African genes since even Muslim Arabs outside Yemen are like 10% or less.

    Smarter people disproportionately didn't convert to Islam? (smarter people were richer and could afford jizya? Smarter people saw Islam for what it was?)

    Smarter Christians having more offspring than dumber Christians while less of a differential for Muslim Arabs?

    I think you see the same dynamics in Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq, Pal territories, not just among Egyptian Copts.
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  61. Anon says: • Disclaimer

    Portugal reaching India by sea in 1498 was the 15th century equivalent of putting a man on the moon.

    Dave Pinsen, that was before the Portuguese got their modern African admixture. They were the only European colonial power that used African slaves at home, in Europe, for agricultural work. Consequently they are the only European nation that received a detectable African admixture before the 20th century. This had frightening consequences. If I remember correctly, there’s only been one Portuguese hard science Nobel laureate ever, and his work is no longer thought to have been valuable.

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    • Replies: @Art Deco
    This had frightening consequences. If I remember correctly, there’s only been one Portuguese hard science Nobel laureate ever, and his work is no longer thought to have been valuable.

    What kind of metric is that? Research science accounts for a tiny proportion of a country's domestic product and is distinct from the technological application which actually improves material well being. That aside, do you think perhaps the Prize's origin might just influence the award committees' field of vision (accounting for some of the 30 prizes given to Scandinavians, for instance)?

    I think about 15 prizes have been awarded in the natural sciences to Japanese researchers. Japan has 12x the population of Portugal. All but one or two ethnic Chinese recipients grew up in the United States or did their work there (and their number is in the single digits). I believe there is only one Spanish recipient; Spain's population exceeds that of Portugal by a factor of 4.5.


    While we're at it, your pal Richard Lynn puts Portugal's 'IQ' score higher than Ireland's and higher than a number of East European countries.
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  62. Dave Pinsen says: • Website
    @syonredux

    Apparently there were no printing presses in Brazil until the Emperor of Brazil * arrived from Portugal about two centuries ago. That’s Islamically bad — in contrast, as Charles C. Mann pointed out in 1493 the Spanish managed to keep a printing press going on Guam for most of the last four centuries or so.
     
    RE: Printing in the New World,

    Date at which printing presses were first set up. Dates come from WIKIPEDIA, so the usual caveats apply.

    Brazil: 1808

    Chile: 1776

    Venezuela : 1808

    Argentina: 1780

    Mexico: 1539

    Cuba: 1707

    Some comparative dates from Anglo America:

    Massachusetts: Colony founded in 1630. Printing press set up in 1638.

    Pennsylvania: settled in 1681. Printing press set up in 1685.

    Interestingly, when compared to the North, the southern colonies show a lag:

    Virginia: settled in 1607. Printing starts in 1682.

    Maryland: Settled in 1632. printing starts in 1686.

    In Anglo America we can see a definite North-South lag, with printing coming early in the North (8 years after the founding in Massachusetts, 4 years after the founding in PA), but late in the South (75 years after the founding in Virginia, 54 years in Maryland). In the case of Virginia, it was a matter of deliberate policy. The Anglican elite in Virginia was quite suspicious of anything that might serve to educate the broad masses. Cf the words of Virginia governor William Berkeley: “[T]here are no free schools nor printing , and I hope we shall not have these [for a] hundred years;for learning has brought disobedience, and heresy, and sects into the world, and printing has divulged them, and libels against the best government. God keep us from both!”

    In terms of Latin America, I’m not sure about the precise nature of the forces that brought printing to Mexico City in 1539, but not to Cuba until 1707 (White settlement in Cuba began in 1511; hence, the printing lag was 196 years).

    On a vacation to Brazil ten years ago, I scheduled a couple of business meetings for a company I was working for at the time. One of them was with the manager of the Rio branch of a US-headquartered investment firm. I had studied some Portuguese ahead of the trip, but it turned out everyone I met with knew English, because they had to pass the US licensing exam (series 7) which was offered in English.

    In making small talk, I mentioned I had spent the weekend in Paraty, which is a little cobblestoned town on the coast in the state of Rio de Janeiro, if memory serves. That launched this Brazilian, who was of Scottish ancestry, into a soliloquy about how North America had attracted a better quality of settlers. He mentioned that Paraty was an old colonial port from which ore mined in the inland state of Minas Gerais (“General Mining”) was exported, and opined that while Puritans had come to New England to build, the Portuguese settlers had mainly come to Brazil to take.

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  63. Jefferson says:

    “Brazil has around 30% total African admixture, give or take. The Arab world has less than 10% and that sufficed to cripple them forever. This shows the 1 drop rule was the best idea”

    The average Brazilian is not 30% Sub Saharan African.

    http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/gnxp/2011/02/brazilians-more-european-than-not/#.U-_NUFwZglJ

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  64. Dave Pinsen says: • Website
    @Lurker
    I agree that india is not a threat. But stone age? Most of America didn’t have indoor plumbing in 1900. And the US turned out fine. But nice try president jefferson.

    The lack of indoor plumbing is a polite euphemism. In 1900 most Americans were not crapping in the streets, whereas in India right now . . .

    To his credit, the new PM Modi has said building more toilets would be a priority (“Toilets before temples”).

    Incidentally, I recently hired an Indian contractor via Elance after my first choice (an American) backed out. The Indian missed the first deadline because he was hospitalized with typhoid, which comes from exposure to feces.

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  65. Jefferson says:

    I wonder where India would rank among countries in the world with the worst hygienes. It would probably rank very high.

    I have seen my fare share of Indian immigrants here in the U.S with a funky smell.

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  66. Jefferson says:

    In terms of Nonwhite fresh off the boat FOB immigrants here in the U.S, I would say Indians rank the worst in terms of hygienes and Filipinos rank the best in terms of hygienes.

    A lot of Filipina women here in the U.S have a very pleasant smell. Maybe Catholic people on average care more about their hygienes than Hindu people.

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    Filipinos may have the unhealthiest cuisine in the world. Tasty though.
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  67. syonredux says:
    @Art Deco
    The idea that Jefferson was a “major liberal theoretician” is rather sweet.

    He was a more consequential figure than Edmund Burke, princess.

    “He was a more consequential figure than Edmund Burke, princess.”

    “Consequential” is a rather slippery phrase.

    Jefferson has his virtues (as I noted earlier, his defense of freedom of religion and liberty of conscience deserves more respect than it currently receives), but he was not an original thinker.Burke was much more original than Jefferson, both in terms of aesthetics (cf Burke’s A Philosophical Enquiry into the Origin of Our Ideas of the Sublime and Beautiful ) and in terms of political theory (Anglo Conservative thought basically originates with Burke’s REFLECTIONS ON THE REVOLUTION IN FRANCE).

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  68. @anon
    Re: Christian Arabs vs. Moslem Arabs--it's entirely possible that they are genetically different. For example, Copts, who do well both in Egypt and in the West, probably have a hereditary IQ advantage over the average Egyptian.

    So what accounts for this?

    Can’t be predominately differential in African genes since even Muslim Arabs outside Yemen are like 10% or less.

    Smarter people disproportionately didn’t convert to Islam? (smarter people were richer and could afford jizya? Smarter people saw Islam for what it was?)

    Smarter Christians having more offspring than dumber Christians while less of a differential for Muslim Arabs?

    I think you see the same dynamics in Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq, Pal territories, not just among Egyptian Copts.

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  69. gu says:
    @prosa123
    Brazil has around 30% total African admixture, give or take. The Arab world has less than 10% and that sufficed to cripple them forever.

    I can think of something else that's been a bigger drawback for the Arab world ...

    “I can think of something else that’s been a bigger drawback for the Arab world …”

    You’re an imbecile.

    If Islam was so bad, how come countries like Turkey, Morocco or Indonesia are far superior to them?

    It’s inbreeding, not Islam.

    But out of curiosity, what exactly does Islam do to hold countries back?

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  70. syonredux says:
    @dearieme
    He kept slaves, for heaven's sake, including a couple of his own children.

    “He kept slaves, for heaven’s sake, including a couple of his own children.”

    Yes, dear boy. That fact is hammered home by the PC crowd in America every day. Why, I daresay that more American secondary school students know that than can tell you who John Marshall was.And, just a few months ago , I attended a seminar whose subject was the manner in which Anglo liberalism was fatally entangled with slavery. The speaker really had it in for both Jefferson (she spent a good deal of her presentation dilating on the familial) and Locke ( speaking at length on how the architect of Anglo liberalism designed a constitution that allowed slavery).

    As for myself, seeing as how the Left focuses on Jefferson’s many faults, I like to shine a spotlight on what is valuable in Jefferson’s legacy: his belief in freedom of religion, freedom of speech, and liberty of conscience. Admittedly, these are unfashionable concepts nowadays, but I like to think that they are not entirely without merit.

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    “He kept slaves, for heaven’s sake, including a couple of his own children.”

    Uh, no. There is evidence a proximate male relation of Jefferson fathered some of the children on his plantation.
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  71. What about the Paraguayan War of 1864-1870? According to Wikipedia: “In Brazil, the war helped bring about the end of slavery, moved the military into a key role in the public sphere, and caused a ruinous increase of public debt, which took a decade to pay off, seriously reducing the country’s growth.”

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  72. The idea certainly seems right for Prussia and Japan, but wrong for most other countries. For one, if war were the incentive behind getting your shit together on human capital formation, then there should have been an educational-spending arms race between rival countries. Don’t see it in most developing countries. Mexico actually has far more incentive than most, since the United States has visited upon Mexico numerous humiliations from which Mexicans continue to smart. If the Meiji elites in Japan believed Japan must become strong in order to avoid becoming sport for western powers, then surely Mexican elites should have had similar thoughts !

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  73. Anonym says:

    Whatever passivity India has probably has a lot to do with the mountain ranges on most of its borders. Good fences make good neighbors.

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    Wha? Much of India's history consists of it getting conquered over and over again by outsiders.
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  74. @Alcestis Eshtemoa
    @Spandrell - The "one drop rule" was mostly maternal (black female). I doubt that American biracials like Halle Berry (white mother) were common during most of the early and middle years concerning the American "one drop rule" policy.

    I have read that a great many Irish (indentured) servant girls married slave men in Virginia, etc. I suppose that on the plantations there were no other available men for a servant girl.

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  75. iSteveFan says:

    Mexico actually has far more incentive than most, since the United States has visited upon Mexico numerous humiliations from which Mexicans continue to smart.

    That might have been true in 1848, but the US has not been a threat to Mexico since then, except for the little incursions during WW1. Mexico knows the US doesn’t want to invade because we sure as heck don’t want to inherit their population. Well, maybe we do want to since our elite have been importing them for thirty years, but you get the point. Mexico also knows that the US would never allow anyone else to invade Mexico, the same goes for Canada.

    As a result Mexico, the 10th largest economy on Earth with over 100 million people, has exactly TEN (10), yes ten, fighter jets in its air force Now I am not counting support craft, just fighters. Mexico incredibly has ten aging, 1970s vintage F-5s. That is a ridiculously low amount and shows the benefits of being our neighbor.

    Canada, OTOH, has well over 100 CF-18s even though it doesn’t need them. But Canada goes out of its way to join the big boys and take part in no-fly zones and such. So maybe they realize that if they don’t get involved, they too might atrophy into a Mexico or Brazil

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  76. Dave Pinsen says: • Website
    @Jefferson
    In terms of Nonwhite fresh off the boat FOB immigrants here in the U.S, I would say Indians rank the worst in terms of hygienes and Filipinos rank the best in terms of hygienes.

    A lot of Filipina women here in the U.S have a very pleasant smell. Maybe Catholic people on average care more about their hygienes than Hindu people.

    Filipinos may have the unhealthiest cuisine in the world. Tasty though.

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  77. Art Deco says: • Website
    @Anon
    Portugal reaching India by sea in 1498 was the 15th century equivalent of putting a man on the moon.

    Dave Pinsen, that was before the Portuguese got their modern African admixture. They were the only European colonial power that used African slaves at home, in Europe, for agricultural work. Consequently they are the only European nation that received a detectable African admixture before the 20th century. This had frightening consequences. If I remember correctly, there's only been one Portuguese hard science Nobel laureate ever, and his work is no longer thought to have been valuable.

    This had frightening consequences. If I remember correctly, there’s only been one Portuguese hard science Nobel laureate ever, and his work is no longer thought to have been valuable.

    What kind of metric is that? Research science accounts for a tiny proportion of a country’s domestic product and is distinct from the technological application which actually improves material well being. That aside, do you think perhaps the Prize’s origin might just influence the award committees’ field of vision (accounting for some of the 30 prizes given to Scandinavians, for instance)?

    I think about 15 prizes have been awarded in the natural sciences to Japanese researchers. Japan has 12x the population of Portugal. All but one or two ethnic Chinese recipients grew up in the United States or did their work there (and their number is in the single digits). I believe there is only one Spanish recipient; Spain’s population exceeds that of Portugal by a factor of 4.5.

    While we’re at it, your pal Richard Lynn puts Portugal’s ‘IQ’ score higher than Ireland’s and higher than a number of East European countries.

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  78. Art Deco says: • Website
    @syonredux
    "He kept slaves, for heaven’s sake, including a couple of his own children."

    Yes, dear boy. That fact is hammered home by the PC crowd in America every day. Why, I daresay that more American secondary school students know that than can tell you who John Marshall was.And, just a few months ago , I attended a seminar whose subject was the manner in which Anglo liberalism was fatally entangled with slavery. The speaker really had it in for both Jefferson (she spent a good deal of her presentation dilating on the familial) and Locke ( speaking at length on how the architect of Anglo liberalism designed a constitution that allowed slavery).

    As for myself, seeing as how the Left focuses on Jefferson's many faults, I like to shine a spotlight on what is valuable in Jefferson's legacy: his belief in freedom of religion, freedom of speech, and liberty of conscience. Admittedly, these are unfashionable concepts nowadays, but I like to think that they are not entirely without merit.

    “He kept slaves, for heaven’s sake, including a couple of his own children.”

    Uh, no. There is evidence a proximate male relation of Jefferson fathered some of the children on his plantation.

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    “He kept slaves, for heaven’s sake, including a couple of his own children.”

    Uh, no. There is evidence a proximate male relation of Jefferson fathered some of the children on his plantation.
     
    Why was this addressed to me and not to dearieme?
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  79. athEIst says:
    @spandrell
    Brazil has around 30% total African admixture, give or take. The Arab world has less than 10% and that sufficed to cripple them forever. This shows the 1 drop rule was the best idea ever.

    And cousin-marriage. Generations and generation of cousin-marriage

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  80. retired says:
    @timothy
    To go along with the search for A Moral Equivalent to War, secularists have been searching for a Social Equivalent to Religion ever since the storming of the Bastille. They occasionally hit on promising leads (Communism, Hitlerism) but nothing really suffices as a substitute in the long run.

    This quest will only get more relevant. Despite all the post-89 talk about the return of religion, we increasingly find ourselves, as Damon Linker pointed out, in world in which liberalism serves as a comprehensive view of reality and the human good. None of the major liberal theoreticians (Mill, Tocqueville, Madison, Jefferson, even James if you want to call him that) thought that liberalism ought to -- or needed to -- serve in such a bloated capacity. It was supposed to be an organized communal garden plot for the flourishing of other meanings, especially religious ones.

    Statist environmentalism enforced by PC acolytes, aka NeoMarxism, that’s the new western religion.

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  81. retired says:
    @timothy
    To go along with the search for A Moral Equivalent to War, secularists have been searching for a Social Equivalent to Religion ever since the storming of the Bastille. They occasionally hit on promising leads (Communism, Hitlerism) but nothing really suffices as a substitute in the long run.

    This quest will only get more relevant. Despite all the post-89 talk about the return of religion, we increasingly find ourselves, as Damon Linker pointed out, in world in which liberalism serves as a comprehensive view of reality and the human good. None of the major liberal theoreticians (Mill, Tocqueville, Madison, Jefferson, even James if you want to call him that) thought that liberalism ought to -- or needed to -- serve in such a bloated capacity. It was supposed to be an organized communal garden plot for the flourishing of other meanings, especially religious ones.

    Statist environmentalism enforced by PC acolytes, aka NeoMarxism, that’s the new western religion.

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  82. Jefferson says:

    “I have read that a great many Irish (indentured) servant girls married slave men in Virginia, etc. I suppose that on the plantations there were no other available men for a servant girl.”

    The Irish back in the days were seen lower class trash, so a lot of them could relate with the “plight” of the Black race. I am not surprised so many Irish immigrants were open to racial miscegenation with Black slaves.

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  83. Anon says: • Disclaimer

    do you think perhaps the Prize’s origin might just influence the award committees’ field of vision

    No. Scandinavia has been consistently churning out world-class greats since Tycho Brache’s time. One would have to be utterly ignorant of the sciences not to know that.

    I think about 15 prizes have been awarded in the natural sciences to Japanese researchers. Japan has 12x the population of Portugal. All but one or two ethnic Chinese recipients grew up in the United States or did their work there (and their number is in the single digits).

    IQ is necessary but not sufficient for scientific and technological progress. East Asians are smart, but conformist. They can apply the most complex technologies in existence, but aren’t good at coming up with new ones.

    “While we’re at it, your pal Richard Lynn puts Portugal’s ‘IQ’ score higher than Ireland’s and higher than a number of East European countries.”

    Richard Lynn is a major pal of truth and courage. Thank you for inscribing me into such exalted company.

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  84. retired says:

    They are the only third world country that builds airplanes. The Chicoms copy old soviet designs and the russkies are too hung over to do r&d.

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  85. There were a few presses set up in Brazil in the 18/c–see J.C. Oswald, Printing in the Americas: A Complete History of Printing in the Western Hemisphere (1937), pp. 556-57–but, yes, Portuguese Brazil was behind the Gutenbergian curve until the 19/c. Contrast Mexico, where printing has been going on since the 1530s, and Peru, which had the press from the 1580s.

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  86. Jefferson says:

    Vladimir Putin wants Russians to have more kids. But is he going to make housing, gas prices, clothing, healthcare, and groceries cheaper in that country in order for Russians to able to afford to have more kids ? Russians on average are not like 3rd world Nonwhite people who breed big families even if they are living in extreme poverty.

    Moscow is constantly ranked among the world’s most expensive cities to live in. I can see why Russians on average do not have a lot of kids.

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  87. Anon says: • Disclaimer

    “The Chicoms copy old soviet designs…”

    At least since Mao’s break with Khruschov the Chinese have been free to choose whom to copy. Yet they have always copied Soviet models. Why? I suspect because of those models’ superiority. This goes far beyond aviation. The current Chinese space program copies from the Soviet, not the NASA past. The Chinese infrastructire model – commie blocks, subway systems, inter-city rail – is a repudiation of the US suburbs-and-highways car-centric model.

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  88. Anon says: • Disclaimer

    “I can see why Russians on average do not have a lot of kids.”

    Under Putin the Russian TFR rose from below 1.2 to above 1.7. This rise is still ongoing.

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  89. anonymous says: • Disclaimer

    What happened to that country?

    Following up on the Portuguese Colonial War, it’s an irony of history that Portugal, in struggling to hang on to its empire, played a significant role in the process that ultimately ended the Soviet Union.

    After the Cuban missile crisis the Soviets decided that instead of the Soviet military directly spearheading the world revolution, communism would spread via wars of national liberation. This put the Portuguese colonies in Africa directly in their sights.

    The war in Africa, in particular in Angola and Mozambique, was Portugal’s Vietnam and received a lot of Soviet attention. Africans guerillas were trained in the Soviet Union; much weapons aid was supplied. Like South Africa later, Portugal was diplomatically isolated and under weapons embargo. The war took 40% of Portugal’s budget.

    After revolution in Portugal ended their involvement in the war, South Africa replaced the Portuguese in many ways. The Soviets continued to be involved, by the end of the South African involvement Soviet officers were commanding the effort in Angola and Cubans were taking the lead in a lot of the fighting.

    Supporting wars in Africa, a long way from the Soviet Union, was one of the considerable economic problems that brought down the overstretched Soviet Union.

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  90. syonredux says:
    @Art Deco
    “He kept slaves, for heaven’s sake, including a couple of his own children.”

    Uh, no. There is evidence a proximate male relation of Jefferson fathered some of the children on his plantation.

    “He kept slaves, for heaven’s sake, including a couple of his own children.”

    Uh, no. There is evidence a proximate male relation of Jefferson fathered some of the children on his plantation.

    Why was this addressed to me and not to dearieme?

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  91. Bert says:

    “I am not surprised so many Irish immigrants were open to racial miscegenation with Black slaves.”

    That’s not quite the reason.

    I large amount of the Irish immigrants who came during the potato famine were single women who’s fathers and husbands had died. Since the Anglos wanted nothing to do with them, the only men that would have them were blacks.

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  92. Jefferson says:

    “I large amount of the Irish immigrants who came during the potato famine were single women who’s fathers and husbands had died. Since the Anglos wanted nothing to do with them, the only men that would have them were blacks.”

    Why would Anglo men not want to marry Irish women ? Not White enough ? Most Irish people are even more depigmented than my Italian butt.

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  93. Anon says: • Disclaimer

    I love this idea that soviet technology was better than American technology. Curiously no single neutral observor finds this view pursasive. Russia spent billions upon billions of dollars trying to steal American and European technology. Just like the Chinese do today. Curiously the United States has no interest pluck anything off the soviet scrap heap to reverse engineer. Maybe it’s just easier for the Chinese to offer a high ranking Russian General and bottle of vodka in exchange for soviet technology than it is try and steal American technology of maybe it’s just easy to copy on the cheap. Apparently IQ is determinative of national success except in Russia where the Russian soul will overcome Russia’s middling IQ and low level self control.

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  94. Anon says: • Disclaimer

    To paraphrase Stalin how many Nobel prizes did “Brache” (sp) win. Generally when claim an immense scientific legacy for a region you should probally list more than just one guy from Danemark who lived in the 17th century. Reading Socrates doesn’t give one a particularly accurate idea of the state of philosophy in Greece today.

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  95. Anon says: • Disclaimer

    “Curiously no single neutral observor finds this view pursasive.”

    As an American, you’re not a neutral observer. The Chinese are though. And they’re copying Soviet models.

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  96. anonymous says: • Disclaimer

    In addition to airplanes, Brazil is doing something else first class by world standards that has had a big impact on the world and the US–growing food:

    “The miracle of the cerrado”, The Economist, Aug 26th 2010, CREMAQ, PIAUÍ:

    “In less than 30 years Brazil has turned itself from a food importer into one of the world’s great breadbaskets… It is the first country to have caught up with the traditional “big five” grain exporters (America, Canada, Australia, Argentina and the European Union). It is also the first tropical food-giant; the big five are all temperate producers.

    …The increase in Brazil’s farm production has been stunning. Between 1996 and 2006 the total value of the country’s crops rose from 23 billion reais ($23 billion) to 108 billion reais, or 365%. Brazil increased its beef exports tenfold in a decade, overtaking Australia as the world’s largest exporter. It has the world’s largest cattle herd after India’s. It is also the world’s largest exporter of poultry, sugar cane and ethanol… Since 1990 its soyabean output has risen from barely 15m tonnes to over 60m. Brazil accounts for about a third of world soyabean exports, second only to America. In 1994 Brazil’s soyabean exports were one-seventh of America’s; now they are six-sevenths. Moreover, Brazil supplies a quarter of the world’s soyabean trade on just 6% of the country’s arable land.

    No less astonishingly, Brazil has done all this without much government subsidy.

    Brazil has as much spare farmland as the next two countries together (Russia and America). It is often accused of levelling the rainforest to create its farms, but hardly any of this new land lies in Amazonia; most is cerrado.

    But the availability of farmland is in fact only a secondary reason for the extraordinary growth…

    If you want the primary reason…Embrapa… Empresa Brasileira de Pesquisa Agropecuária, or the Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation…. When Embrapa started, the cerrado was regarded as unfit for farming…”

    Cerrado is essentially savannah. For all the impact ag research stations have, they often don’t get a lot of credit…

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  97. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer

    “Embrapa, Brazil’s Agricultural Research Corporation, adds 470,000 records to WorldCat”Embrapa, Brazil’s Agricultural Research Corporation, has added more than 470,000 bibliographic records to the OCLC WorldCat database, the world’s largest online resource for finding information in libraries.

    Embrapa’s collection, which focuses on topics such as tropical agriculture, food safety, family agriculture, natural resources, advanced technology and agribusiness, comprises approximately 315,000 titles in Portuguese; 125,000 in English; and 22,000 titles in Spanish

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  98. Anon says: • Disclaimer

    So what? China likes bulk, cheap, primitive, and easy to steal. Japan like complex and technologically advanced. Japan copies American. It’s kind of like my kid would rathercopy a cave painting than a Rembrandt because he’s three and doesn’t draw to well. China doesn’t do innovative or complex well so they opt for primitive and cheap. Maybe that’s attractive to you, but I rather think you are just mad at American superiority and don’t like to admit it. Get used to Pax Americana coming to Eastern Ukraine soon.

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  99. anonymous says: • Disclaimer

    “Embrapa, Brazil’s Agricultural Research Corporation, adds 470,000 records to WorldCat”:

    “…Embrapa, Brazil’s Agricultural Research Corporation, has added more than 470,000 bibliographic records to the OCLC WorldCat database, the world’s largest online resource for finding information in libraries.

    Embrapa’s collection, which focuses on topics such as tropical agriculture, food safety, family agriculture, natural resources, advanced technology and agribusiness, comprises approximately 315,000 titles in Portuguese; 125,000 in English; and 22,000 titles in Spanish… Nearly 18,000 records will link to full-text documents, most of which come from Embrapa’s digital repository…”

    I knew a Brazilian PhD student (actually, I’ve known a number, now that I think about it) who told me that one of Brazil’s problems is that the written language, or at least the formal written academic language, is essentially no longer the spoken language. It’s an older more formal version of the language. Sort of like a lot of academic English jargon isn’t spoken English either, but I got the impression the gap in Brazil was wider than that. Anyhow, he seemed to think it worked against widespread high literacy rates; that literacy wasn’t really “for the masses” because they couldn’t just write the language as it was spoken.

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  100. spandrell says: • Website

    Why do people insist about inbreeding? Inbreeding isn’t about Islam, it happened before the Arab invasions, and it happens in non Islamic tribes on the area.

    What neither preIslamic people not non Islamic tribes today have is African admixture.

    Point taken about Afrikaaners though.

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  101. Jefferson says:

    In addition to airplanes, Brazil is doing something else first class by world standards that has had a big impact on the world and the US–growing food:

    “The miracle of the cerrado”, The Economist, Aug 26th 2010, CREMAQ, PIAUÍ:

    “In less than 30 years Brazil has turned itself from a food importer into one of the world’s great breadbaskets… It is the first country to have caught up with the traditional “big five” grain exporters (America, Canada, Australia, Argentina and the European Union). It is also the first tropical food-giant; the big five are all temperate producers.

    …The increase in Brazil’s farm production has been stunning. Between 1996 and 2006 the total value of the country’s crops rose from 23 billion reais ($23 billion) to 108 billion reais, or 365%. Brazil increased its beef exports tenfold in a decade, overtaking Australia as the world’s largest exporter. It has the world’s largest cattle herd after India’s. It is also the world’s largest exporter of poultry, sugar cane and ethanol… Since 1990 its soyabean output has risen from barely 15m tonnes to over 60m. Brazil accounts for about a third of world soyabean exports, second only to America. In 1994 Brazil’s soyabean exports were one-seventh of America’s; now they are six-sevenths. Moreover, Brazil supplies a quarter of the world’s soyabean trade on just 6% of the country’s arable land.

    No less astonishingly, Brazil has done all this without much government subsidy.

    Brazil has as much spare farmland as the next two countries together (Russia and America). It is often accused of levelling the rainforest to create its farms, but hardly any of this new land lies in Amazonia; most is cerrado.

    But the availability of farmland is in fact only a secondary reason for the extraordinary growth…

    If you want the primary reason…Embrapa… Empresa Brasileira de Pesquisa Agropecuária, or the Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation…. When Embrapa started, the cerrado was regarded as unfit for farming…”

    Cerrado is essentially savannah. For all the impact ag research stations have, they often don’t get a lot of credit…

    I recently read that Brasil has now become the biggest exporter of food to China.

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  102. Anonitron says:

    “can’t answer that as to the period where it fell from being one of the most dynamic empires to a relatively static one at the start of the 20th century, but it’s very easy to explain the situation it’s in now.”

    Well that’s an easy one: Everyone in early modern Iberia was totally insane and half the world was sparsely populated by stone-age savages (except for Meso-America, I guess, but that was densely populated by stone-age savages whose conception of war was prelude to brutal ritual conducted not to kill but to capture). It makes sense that their empires would deteriorate to mediocrity after the world ran out of peoples to conquer who hadn’t yet invented steel.

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  103. Dave Pinsen says: • Website
    @Anonym
    Whatever passivity India has probably has a lot to do with the mountain ranges on most of its borders. Good fences make good neighbors.

    Wha? Much of India’s history consists of it getting conquered over and over again by outsiders.

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  104. I dont know much about contemporary Brazil and my knowledge about pre-modern Brazil came via a lefty professor. Anyways all I can recollect is how to properly pronounece Joao in Portugese. However I do know a little about aerospace. Despite Embraer’s ability to carve out a niche itself in smaller regional aircraft, which is quite remarkable as it is against the Boeing/Airbus duopoly, Brazil lacks the subsystem and component manufacturers that are so critical to building a autonomous “national” aircraft production. There is a whole alphabet soup of smaller (still billion dollar) companies that build everything that goes into the guts of an airplane and for those Brazil has to turn abroad.

    Regarding recent Russian and Chinese aerospace, those efforts have primarily focused on military applications rather than commercial. It would be an understatement to say it is difficult to break into the commercial market because of how entrenched Boeing and Airbus are. Russia aircraft are no longer competitive because they are simply not as cost-effective to operate and they lack the funding to keep up with the bleeding edge of Western aircraft manufacturers. Winners are now decided by such things as a half a percent in fuel savings which go directly to the bottom lines of floundering airlines. China never had a commercial aircraft industry to begin with besides an aborted effort at cloning an earlier Boeing narrow body. They actually built flying prototypes of the aircraft, but by the time it was ready, US-China relations had already improved where the US was perfectly willing to sell them Boeings which ended up being cheaper anyway. Cost considerations and the fact that the aircraft was championed by one of the now ousted gang of four ended up killing up the program. They have recently revised their aircraft industry with the much delayed ARJ-21 and the C-919 and are attempting to move into the smaller end of the market much as Brazil has done.

    Military aerospace is where China and Russia are focused today and where they have diverted their resources towards. The Russian PAK-FA is scheduled to enter service around 2016. The Chinese have moved beyond reverse engineering Soviet hardware into their own unique aircraft, with the J-20 likely to see service somewhere around 2018-2020. The secondary Chinese stealth fighter program, the J-31, is more opaque as it’s not fully understood if this is an alternative de-prioritized competing program or possibly a naval carrier based fighter. These are the only two countries aside from the U.S. realistically pursuing future fighter aircraft. There are a few countries with little more than wind tunnel models and power point slides at this point, but they are all likely to fail or never proceed for a variety of reasons.

    U.S. – Chinese military relations enjoyed somewhat of a thaw in the 1980′s where the US assisted in some upgrade programs for the Chinese military, however the U.S. has never sold combat aircraft to China since the end of WW1 (discounting the RoC on Taiwan). There were simply no aircraft for China to copy. By the time they had clandestine access to them once politics made it possible (exported F-16′s) it wasn’t worth it anymore as other avenues became available than direct cloning.

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    • Replies: @Priss Factor
    Duke of Qin, why you here?

    You say we not smart enough for you.
    , @Lurker
    Despite Embraer’s ability to carve out a niche itself in smaller regional aircraft, which is quite remarkable as it is against the Boeing/Airbus duopoly

    FWIW A family member works in aircraft maintenance and says Boeing, BAe and Airbus aircraft are built to last. Embraer are OK but won't be flying as long. Sort of cheaper throwaway planes (relatively speaking).
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  105. Priss Factor [AKA "Duke of Mongolian Beef"] says:
    @Duke of Qin
    I dont know much about contemporary Brazil and my knowledge about pre-modern Brazil came via a lefty professor. Anyways all I can recollect is how to properly pronounece Joao in Portugese. However I do know a little about aerospace. Despite Embraer's ability to carve out a niche itself in smaller regional aircraft, which is quite remarkable as it is against the Boeing/Airbus duopoly, Brazil lacks the subsystem and component manufacturers that are so critical to building a autonomous "national" aircraft production. There is a whole alphabet soup of smaller (still billion dollar) companies that build everything that goes into the guts of an airplane and for those Brazil has to turn abroad.

    Regarding recent Russian and Chinese aerospace, those efforts have primarily focused on military applications rather than commercial. It would be an understatement to say it is difficult to break into the commercial market because of how entrenched Boeing and Airbus are. Russia aircraft are no longer competitive because they are simply not as cost-effective to operate and they lack the funding to keep up with the bleeding edge of Western aircraft manufacturers. Winners are now decided by such things as a half a percent in fuel savings which go directly to the bottom lines of floundering airlines. China never had a commercial aircraft industry to begin with besides an aborted effort at cloning an earlier Boeing narrow body. They actually built flying prototypes of the aircraft, but by the time it was ready, US-China relations had already improved where the US was perfectly willing to sell them Boeings which ended up being cheaper anyway. Cost considerations and the fact that the aircraft was championed by one of the now ousted gang of four ended up killing up the program. They have recently revised their aircraft industry with the much delayed ARJ-21 and the C-919 and are attempting to move into the smaller end of the market much as Brazil has done.

    Military aerospace is where China and Russia are focused today and where they have diverted their resources towards. The Russian PAK-FA is scheduled to enter service around 2016. The Chinese have moved beyond reverse engineering Soviet hardware into their own unique aircraft, with the J-20 likely to see service somewhere around 2018-2020. The secondary Chinese stealth fighter program, the J-31, is more opaque as it's not fully understood if this is an alternative de-prioritized competing program or possibly a naval carrier based fighter. These are the only two countries aside from the U.S. realistically pursuing future fighter aircraft. There are a few countries with little more than wind tunnel models and power point slides at this point, but they are all likely to fail or never proceed for a variety of reasons.

    U.S. - Chinese military relations enjoyed somewhat of a thaw in the 1980's where the US assisted in some upgrade programs for the Chinese military, however the U.S. has never sold combat aircraft to China since the end of WW1 (discounting the RoC on Taiwan). There were simply no aircraft for China to copy. By the time they had clandestine access to them once politics made it possible (exported F-16's) it wasn't worth it anymore as other avenues became available than direct cloning.

    Duke of Qin, why you here?

    You say we not smart enough for you.

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    "...we not smart enough for you."

    LOL guess he's right.
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  106. Alat says:

    Apparently there were no printing presses in Brazil until the Emperor of Brazil arrived from Portugal about two centuries ago.

    That’s true. Early modern Portuguese colonialism was much more strict than Spanish, not to speak English, colonialism. The Portuguese authorities outlawed textile production, printing presses and any higher education in colonial Brazil, so all these things only appeared after the Portuguese king John VI had to flee Europe to escape Napoleon, in 1808, turning Rio de Janeiro into the capital of the Portuguese Empire. (His son would revolt against him and crown himself Emperor of Brazil in 1822.)

    However, the Portuguese strictness had one beneficial effect: Brazilian unity. Remember that Brazil has been larger in territory than the contiguous United States since the late seventeenth century, and that the Spanish empire broke up in dozens of countries. Brazil didn’t go that route because, since there were no higher studies in Brazil, the sons of the colonial Brazilian elite all studied together at Portugal’s University of Coimbra, where they formed the personal ties (and secret societies, etc.) that would prove strong enough to keep unity in the heady first decades of independence.

    Brazil has never really had to toughen up to try to win major wars.

    That’s waaaaaay wrong. The Paraguayan War of 1865-1870 was a very great war. For instance, over 80,000 men fought at the First Battle of Tuiuti (May 24, 1866). It doesn’t seem like it was because, well, just look at a map and look at Paraguay, and because the Paraguayan population was decimated by the end of the conflict. But this overlooks the fact that it was Paraguay that invaded Brazil, and that when the war began, the Paraguayans had over 80,000 men in arms, while Brazil – a much larger country with very many borders to protect – had only 16,000 in the whole empire.

    The war set off major changes in Brazil – the “toughening up” – including, in the medium term, the downfall of the monarchy in 1889 with Brazil’s first military coup, which proclaimed a Republic.

    Besides, it could be said that Brazil has been in a Cold War with Argentina for much of its history – until the 1980s, in fact. Fear of the Argentines played a role in many “toughening ups” since the early nineteenth century.

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  107. Alat says:

    That’s actually pretty good news for Brazil because it suggests that the country could smarten up some by trying harder.

    That’s also the conclusion of Charles Murray. In a talk he gave at Brazil’s Federal University of Minas Gerais in 2008, Murray stressed this and made back-of-the-envelope calculations which suggested that Brazil’s smart fraction must be larger than Germany’s, France’s, Italy’s or the UK’s. (Of course, Brazil’s population is much larger than these countries’).

    Brazil just has been extra lousy in finding them out, but it’s getting a little bit better every decade, despite educational fads (Paulo Freire) and the importation of American-style race baiting (including affirmative action and, increasingly, the “one-drop-rule” definition of “black”).

    I have the pdf transcription of the Murray talk, but I’m not finding the hyperlink to it right now. But it’s out there somewhere.

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  108. Alat says:

    Finally, according to the calculations of Angus Maddison’s school of cliometrics, Brazil’s GDP grew at the second fastest rate in the whole world in the twentieth century. Brazil lost only to Japan, which took first place.

    I’m not knowledgeable enough to judge the validity of Maddison’s estimates and methods, but I do know he is well-regarded and widely quoted in the relevant literature.

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  109. iSteveFan says:

    Curiously the United States has no interest pluck anything off the soviet scrap heap to reverse engineer.

    What about stealth technology? We borrowed heavily from this dude. They also pioneered the off-boresight air-to-air missile that every leading air force must now use.

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  110. anonymous says: • Disclaimer

    Brazil lacks the subsystem and component manufacturers that are so critical to building a autonomous “national” aircraft production.

    It is astounding how difficult it is to make modern, competitive, jet engines. Nuclear reactors? Computers? Bah, anyone can do that. But jet engines?

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    The operative word is competitive. Commercial jet engines is a high entry barrier market with a winner takes all dynamic. If your engine isn't the most efficient for it's particular performance target, it's not going to get any buyers unless your customer is the U.S. government in which case they can opt for multiple engines for strategic/political considerations (PWF100/GEF110). Unless an insurgent company can deploy a significantly better performing engine compared to the established players, it won't find any customers. In other words its somewhat similar to the semiconductor market where Intel has been able to smash all would be rivals in the desktop market. It sits a top a veritable market of cash and decades of accumulated R&D development. AMD can deliver a product at 90% of Intel's performance but it is difficult to find customers. Furthermore because they must sell at a discount even though their costs are similar if not higher kills their margins, basically leaving them no money to match the product development cycle of Intel which can deliver an upgraded processor every year which the customer has come to expect.

    The jet engine market has other major market barriers that semiconductors don't have. Namely that established market leaders don't actually sell their engines at cost. They are heavily subsidized, upwards of 80% of the actual upfront cost of the engine. Where the money is actually made is in the lifetime service contracts and maintenance which insurgent competitors find impossible to match. Basically someone like GE can preposition stockpiles of parts and whole engines around the world and get them to you ASAP when you need them to keep your fleet flying (time=money). This kind of service level simply cannot be matched by would be upstarts.
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  111. anonymous says: • Disclaimer

    Coming back from San Franciso toward silicon valley and Stanford. Sitting in a group with a muscular but average looking 20ish 6 foot white guy, could have been anybody. Turns out he was a Brazilian PhD student from somewhere in south Brazil. Doing his PhD in Physics or Metallurgy or somesuch and doing a stint as some sort of visiting researcher in a Stanford lab. First time he’d been to San Francisco. Somebody asked how he liked San Francisco. “I liked it, it’s very European!”

    That observation has stuck with me, it probably says something about both contemporary US and Brasil.

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  112. anonymous says: • Disclaimer

    Brazil does not seem a literary-oriented culture. Maybe that formal-literary language roadblock is valid:

    “Brazil’s Most Pathetic Profession”, Vanessa Barbara, 15-Dec-2013:

    “The average Brazilian reads just over four books a year, two of them only partially. The main reasons people don’t read: lack of time (53 percent), lack of interest (30 percent) and preference for other activities (21 percent) — overwhelmingly, for watching television.

    In line with this general shortage of readers, the initial print run for new novels in Brazil is often 3,000 copies, and it’s unusual to sell that many.”

    And:

    “…when in Brazil, do not tell anyone you’re a writer… …Brazil ranks next to last in a list of 21 countries regarding the social status of teachers. Our average teacher salary is $18,550 per year (compared with $44,917 in the United States), but the actual annual base salary at public schools is around $8,000. Only 2 percent of secondary students want to pursue a career in teaching.

    …the average mathematician, philosopher or historian earns less than $12,000 per year.”

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  113. @anonymous
    Brazil lacks the subsystem and component manufacturers that are so critical to building a autonomous “national” aircraft production.

    It is astounding how difficult it is to make modern, competitive, jet engines. Nuclear reactors? Computers? Bah, anyone can do that. But jet engines?

    The operative word is competitive. Commercial jet engines is a high entry barrier market with a winner takes all dynamic. If your engine isn’t the most efficient for it’s particular performance target, it’s not going to get any buyers unless your customer is the U.S. government in which case they can opt for multiple engines for strategic/political considerations (PWF100/GEF110). Unless an insurgent company can deploy a significantly better performing engine compared to the established players, it won’t find any customers. In other words its somewhat similar to the semiconductor market where Intel has been able to smash all would be rivals in the desktop market. It sits a top a veritable market of cash and decades of accumulated R&D development. AMD can deliver a product at 90% of Intel’s performance but it is difficult to find customers. Furthermore because they must sell at a discount even though their costs are similar if not higher kills their margins, basically leaving them no money to match the product development cycle of Intel which can deliver an upgraded processor every year which the customer has come to expect.

    The jet engine market has other major market barriers that semiconductors don’t have. Namely that established market leaders don’t actually sell their engines at cost. They are heavily subsidized, upwards of 80% of the actual upfront cost of the engine. Where the money is actually made is in the lifetime service contracts and maintenance which insurgent competitors find impossible to match. Basically someone like GE can preposition stockpiles of parts and whole engines around the world and get them to you ASAP when you need them to keep your fleet flying (time=money). This kind of service level simply cannot be matched by would be upstarts.

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  114. bobby says:
    @Priss Factor
    Duke of Qin, why you here?

    You say we not smart enough for you.

    “…we not smart enough for you.”

    LOL guess he’s right.

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  115. Lurker says:

    Wha? Much of India’s history consists of it getting conquered over and over again by outsiders.

    Toughening up only works if you get to win sometimes. What doesnt kill you etc etc

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  116. Lurker says:
    @Duke of Qin
    I dont know much about contemporary Brazil and my knowledge about pre-modern Brazil came via a lefty professor. Anyways all I can recollect is how to properly pronounece Joao in Portugese. However I do know a little about aerospace. Despite Embraer's ability to carve out a niche itself in smaller regional aircraft, which is quite remarkable as it is against the Boeing/Airbus duopoly, Brazil lacks the subsystem and component manufacturers that are so critical to building a autonomous "national" aircraft production. There is a whole alphabet soup of smaller (still billion dollar) companies that build everything that goes into the guts of an airplane and for those Brazil has to turn abroad.

    Regarding recent Russian and Chinese aerospace, those efforts have primarily focused on military applications rather than commercial. It would be an understatement to say it is difficult to break into the commercial market because of how entrenched Boeing and Airbus are. Russia aircraft are no longer competitive because they are simply not as cost-effective to operate and they lack the funding to keep up with the bleeding edge of Western aircraft manufacturers. Winners are now decided by such things as a half a percent in fuel savings which go directly to the bottom lines of floundering airlines. China never had a commercial aircraft industry to begin with besides an aborted effort at cloning an earlier Boeing narrow body. They actually built flying prototypes of the aircraft, but by the time it was ready, US-China relations had already improved where the US was perfectly willing to sell them Boeings which ended up being cheaper anyway. Cost considerations and the fact that the aircraft was championed by one of the now ousted gang of four ended up killing up the program. They have recently revised their aircraft industry with the much delayed ARJ-21 and the C-919 and are attempting to move into the smaller end of the market much as Brazil has done.

    Military aerospace is where China and Russia are focused today and where they have diverted their resources towards. The Russian PAK-FA is scheduled to enter service around 2016. The Chinese have moved beyond reverse engineering Soviet hardware into their own unique aircraft, with the J-20 likely to see service somewhere around 2018-2020. The secondary Chinese stealth fighter program, the J-31, is more opaque as it's not fully understood if this is an alternative de-prioritized competing program or possibly a naval carrier based fighter. These are the only two countries aside from the U.S. realistically pursuing future fighter aircraft. There are a few countries with little more than wind tunnel models and power point slides at this point, but they are all likely to fail or never proceed for a variety of reasons.

    U.S. - Chinese military relations enjoyed somewhat of a thaw in the 1980's where the US assisted in some upgrade programs for the Chinese military, however the U.S. has never sold combat aircraft to China since the end of WW1 (discounting the RoC on Taiwan). There were simply no aircraft for China to copy. By the time they had clandestine access to them once politics made it possible (exported F-16's) it wasn't worth it anymore as other avenues became available than direct cloning.

    Despite Embraer’s ability to carve out a niche itself in smaller regional aircraft, which is quite remarkable as it is against the Boeing/Airbus duopoly

    FWIW A family member works in aircraft maintenance and says Boeing, BAe and Airbus aircraft are built to last. Embraer are OK but won’t be flying as long. Sort of cheaper throwaway planes (relatively speaking).

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  117. anonymous says: • Disclaimer

    This is apparently a description of the situation regarding written Brazilian Portuguese, but it’s over my head:

    “… The linguistic situation of the BP informal speech in relation to the standard language is controversial. …

    …the formal register of Brazilian Portuguese has a written and spoken form. The written formal register (FW) is used in almost all printed media and written communication, is uniform throughout the country, and is the “Portuguese” officially taught at school. The spoken formal register (FS) is basically a phonetic rendering of the written form; it is used only in very formal situations like speeches…

    …Finally the informal register (IS) is almost never written down (basically only in artistic works or very informal contexts such as adolescent chat rooms). It is used to some extent in virtually all oral communication outside of those formal contexts – even by well educated speakers…” (emphasis added)

    I suppose it’s somewhat like English would be with a common street slang everyone knows versus the Queens English; it sounds like you are expect to write in the formal form even if you don’t really speak it.

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  118. It’s true that within Brazil spoken (casual) Portuguese is more utilized than written (formal) Portuguese, but that’s because Brazil was too busy improving its human capital, oral culture and religion (and less focused on written education).

    I think that in the next decades though, written Portuguese will start gaining importance in Brazil because the Internet (e.g. blogs, news articles, video clips, social networking, niche forums) uses a lot of words. Don’t forge that in Lusophone circles, Brazilian Portuguese is to Portugal as American English is to Britain.

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  119. anonymous says: • Disclaimer

    A question for a native Brazilian speaker who also if fluent in American English.

    Is the distance in Brazil between casual spoken Portuguese and formal written Portuguese similar to the distance in the US between normal spoken English and formal written English (as in a business letter)? Or is the distance more similar to the distance between normal spoken English and the English of a flowery legal contract or patent?

    Is it a case of diglossia?

    “DIGLOSSIA is a relatively stable language situation in which, in addition to the primary dialects of the language (which may include a standard or regional standards), there is a very divergent, highly codified (often grammatically more complex) superposed variety, the vehicle of a large and respected body of written literature, either of an earlier period or in another speech community, which is learned largely by formal education and is used for most written and formal spoken purposes but is not used by any section of the community for ordinary conversation.”

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  120. Vendetta says:
    @Luke Lea
    re: "Places that aren’t particularly competitive militarily, either because they are too big (Brazil) or too small (Mexico v. America or Guatemala v. Mexico) or culturally have tended toward passivity (India), have tended not to bother to cultivate their human capital in order to win wars."

    How about China? Clearly, a different dynamic.

    China: too big.

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  121. Nick Diaz says:

    @syon

    “Firsts should be seen as non-events. The real event will occur when we get the 8th, 9th, and 10th Latin American. Of course, that’s assuming that we will get an 8th, 9th, and 10th, which is doubtful. Needless to say, the same holds true for women.”

    Where are YOUR Fields Medal and Nobel Prizes, loser? Too painful for you to contemplate the fact that a wooly-haired Brazilian is smarter than you, huh?

    BTW, the U.S also didn’t have that many accolades in the high sciences and mathematics until some 60 years ago. Things can change quite quickly.

    And using the “intelligence” argument to explain lower levels of achievement is pretty weak since, in the case of a country like Brazil, they had literally a tenth of America’s population until a few decades ago and Bazilians tended to die by the millions to tropical diseases until the 1940′s. Also, the Portuguese did not create academic-fostering institutions like the English did in North America.

    These are all FAR more plausible explanations than “they have lower intellectual achievements because they are dumber.” In fact, only a stupid person(you) would propose such an incredibly unsubstantiated and difficult to prove theory, when there are many more obvious and probable explanations.

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  122. anonymous says: • Disclaimer

    “…a country like Brazil, they had literally a tenth of America’s population until a few decades ago…”

    ??

    A tenth is significantly low, are you maybe thinking of some place else?

    For Brazil:


    1950 – 51,944,397
    1960 – 70,119,071
    1970 – 93,139,037
    1980 – 119,070,865
    1991 – 146,917,459
    1996 – 157,079,573
    2000 – 169,544,443
    2010 – 192,755,799
    2014 – 203,039,000

    For the US:
    1950 151,861,000
    1960 179,979,000
    1970 203,984,000
    1980 227,225,000
    1991 252,981,000
    1996 269,394,000
    2000 282,172,000
    2010 309,330,000
    2014 318,611,000

    Very roughly, Brazil seems to have had consistently about a third the population of the USA.

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  123. anonymous says: • Disclaimer

    There is a new book out, “Brazil: The Fortunes of War: World War II and the Making of Modern Brazil”, Neill Lochery, Basic Books, 2014.

    Lockery seems to be making the case that WWII played a critical role in Brazil’s history, even though its direct contribution to combat was modest. The book seems to mostly revolve around the Brazilian strongman, Getulio Vargas (who seems to have been more of the Mussolini variety of leader than an FDR). The author is apparently an expert in the Portuguese role (as an often strategic neutral) in WWII. From the dust jacket:

    “…Brazil’s bucolic reputation as a distant land of palm trees and pristine beaches masked a more complex reality—one that the country’s leaders were busily exploiting in a desperate gambit to secure Brazil’s place in the modern world.

    In Brazil, acclaimed historian Neill Lochery reveals the secret history of the country’s involvement in World War II, showing how the cunning statecraft and economic opportunism of Brazil’s leaders transformed it into a regional superpower over the course of the war. Brazil’s natural resources and proximity to the United States made it strategically invaluable to both the Allies and the Axis, a fact that the country’s dictator, Getúlio Dornelles Vargas, keenly understood. In the war’s early years, Vargas and a handful of his close advisors dexterously played both sides against each other, generating enormous wealth for Brazil and fundamentally transforming its economy and infrastructure. …”

    In addition to strategic materials (such as rubber) Brazil played a critical role early in the war because one of the few ways to safely fly across the Atlantic was to fly from the tip of Brazil to Africa. B-24s could make that crossing nonstop.

    “South Atlantic air ferry route in World War II” (wikipedia):

    “The route was used as an alternate Air Route to ferry aircraft to Great Britain when weather closed the North Atlantic Route. It was later extended though the Middle East into Iran to send Lend-Lease aircraft to the Soviet Union, and into India, to transport equipment, key personnel and aircraft into China to aid the Nationalist government of the Republic of China in the Second Sino-Japanese War against the Japanese Empire. The route also extended into Central and Southern Africa. …

    …an American-pioneered, American-supplied and American-maintained trans-Atlantic air route between the United States and Africa. The air route was then extended across Central Africa and north to the Nile Delta in Egypt, providing a relatively fast method of resupply to the Commonwealth forces….

    …the ferrying job was turned over to Pan American Airways… made the agent of the United States government in carrying out the so-called Airport Development Program (ADP)… Brazil, as well as in Liberia… network of air routes that eventually encompassed two-thirds of the Earth.

    …The main United States concern, was to develop a staging network of airfields in Brazil… Brazil permitting American aircraft of all types, whether manned by military or civilian crews, to fly over her territory or land at bases on her soil…

    …After the war… The routes established were used by international airlines.”

    Augusto Severo… airport gained an important role during World War II as a strategic base for aircraft flying between South America and West Africa.

    In 1942, Liberia signed a Defense Pact with the United States. …

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  124. I’m fluent in both Portuguese and English (my mother is Brazilian). The comments here stating that there is a big difference between written and spoken Portuguese are exaggerating the reality. Yes, there are differences, but they are not that much bigger than the differences between formal written and informal spoken English.

    The biggest language barrier in Portuguese is that between European Portuguese and Brazilian Portuguese. Most Brazilians have a hard time understanding people from Portugal (I can usually only understand between 1/2 to 3/4 of what people in Portugal are saying). Ties between the two countries are not as tight as those between the UK and USA, and I think the linguistic divide is one reason.

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