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Rice paddies, China, circa 1917-1923 (source). To grow rice, you must cooperate with neighbors for irrigation and labor. Today, even with the shift to a post-agricultural society, Chinese from rice-farming areas display less individualism and more interdependence than Chinese from wheat-farming areas. Is this evidence of gene-culture co-evolution?

Human populations differ in genetic variants that influence a wide range of mental and behavioral traits. These differences are statistical, often being apparent only when one compares large numbers of individuals. Yet even a weak statistical difference can affect the way a culture develops. Furthermore, the way a culture develops may favor certain genetic variants over others.

East Asian cultures, for example, have diverged noticeably from European cultures, particularly those of Western Europe:

Western culture is more individualistic and analytic-thinking, whereas East Asian culture is more interdependent and holistic-thinking. Analytic thought uses abstract categories and formal reasoning, such as logical laws of noncontradiction—if A is true, then “not A” is false. Holistic thought is more intuitive and sometimes even embraces contradiction—both A and “not A” can be true.(Talhelm et al., 2014)

This is of course a generalization that ignores differences within each culture area. Historically, abstract thinking has been stronger among the French, whereas the English have tended toward empirical “bottom-up” thinking. A new study suggests that similar differences exist within East Asia, specifically between rice-farming areas and wheat-farming areas. In short, rice farming favors interdependence, whereas wheat farming is more conducive to individualism:

The two biggest differences between farming rice and wheat are irrigation and labor. Because rice paddies need standing water, people in rice regions build elaborate irrigation systems that require farmers to cooperate. In irrigation networks, one family’s water use can affect their neighbors, so rice farmers have to coordinate their water use. Irrigation networks also require many hours each year to build, dredge, and drain—a burden that often falls on villages, not isolated individuals. (Talhelm et al., 2014)

Labor inputs are thus greater for rice growing. A husband and wife cannot farm a large enough rice paddy to support their family if they rely only on their own labor. This is not the case with wheat farming:

In comparison, wheat is easier to grow. Wheat does not need to be irrigated, so wheat farmers can rely on rainfall, which they do not coordinate with their neighbors. Planting and harvesting wheat certainly takes work, but only half as much as rice. The lighter burden means farmers can look after their own plots without relying as much on their neighbors. (Talhelm et al., 2014)

A study of 1,162 Han Chinese found differences between rice-farming and wheat-farming regions on three psychological measures: cultural thought, implicit individualism, and loyalty/nepotism.

Cultural thought

The triad task shows participants lists of three items, such as train, bus, and tracks. Participants decide which two items should be paired together. Two of the items can be paired because they belong to the same abstract category (train and bus belong to the category vehicles), and two because they share a functional relationship (trains run on tracks). People from Western and individualistic cultures choose more abstract (analytic) pairings, whereas East Asians and people from other collectivistic cultures choose more relational (holistic) pairings.

[…] People from provinces with a higher percentage of farmland devoted to rice paddies thought more holistically. […] Northern and southern China also differ in several factors other than rice, such as climate, dialect, and contact with herding cultures. Therefore, we analyzed differences among neighboring counties in the five central provinces along the rice-wheat border. […] People from the rice side of the border thought more holistically than people from the wheat side of the border. (Talhelm et al., 2014)

Implicit individualism

Researchers measure how large participants draw the self versus how large they draw their friends to get an implicit measure of individualism (or self-inflation). A prior study found that Americans draw themselves about 6 mm bigger than they draw others, Europeans draw themselves 3.5 mm bigger, and Japanese draw themselves slightly smaller.

People from rice provinces were more likely than people from wheat provinces to draw themselves smaller than they drew their friends. […] On average, people from wheat provinces self-inflated 1.5 mm (closer to Europeans), and people from rice provinces self-inflated -0.03 mm (similar to Japanese). (Talhelm et al., 2014)

Loyalty/nepotism

One defining feature of collectivistic cultures is that they draw a sharp distinction between friends and strangers. A previous study measured this by having people imagine going into a business deal with (i) an honest friend, (ii) a dishonest friend, (iii) an honest stranger, and (iv) a dishonest stranger. In the stories, the friend or stranger’s lies cause the participant to lose money in a business deal, and the honesty causes the participant to make more money. In each case, the participants have a chance to use their own money to reward or punish the other person.

The original study found that Singaporeans rewarded their friends much more than they punished them, which could be seen positively as loyalty or negatively as nepotism. Americans were much more likely than Singaporeans to punish their friends for bad behavior.

[…] People from rice provinces were more likely to show loyalty/nepotism […]. In their treatment of strangers, people from rice and wheat provinces did not differ.(Talhelm et al., 2014)

Gene-culture co-evolution?

Interestingly, these findings come from people who have no connection to farming of either sort. If these psychological traits have survived the transition to a post-agricultural and largely urban society, how are they passed on? The question is raised by the authors:

[…] perhaps the parts of culture and thought style we measured are more resistant to change. Or perhaps modernization simply takes more generations to change cultural interdependence and thought style. However, most of our participants were born after China’s reform and opening, which started in 1978. Furthermore, Japan, South Korea, and Hong Kong modernized much earlier than China, but they still score less individualistic on international studies of culture than their wealth would predict. (Talhelm et al., 2014)

The authors do not use the term “gene-culture co-evolution” but this seems to be the explanation they implicitly favor. Over many generations, rice farming has selected for a certain package of psychological traits, i.e., less abstract thinking and more functional “holistic” thinking; less individualism and more collectivism; and less impartiality toward strangers and more favoritism towards kin and friends.

The predominance of rice farming in East Asia may thus explain why East Asian cultures have developed their pattern of psychological traits:

The rice theory can explain wealthy East Asia’s strangely persistent interdependence. China has a rice-wheat split, but Japan and South Korea are complete rice cultures. Most of China’s wheat provinces devote less than 20% of farmland to rice paddies. None of Japan’s 9 regions or South Korea’s 16 regions has that little rice (except for two outlying islands). Japan and Korea’s rice legacies could explain why they are still much less individualistic than similarly wealthy countries.(Talhelm et al., 2014)

References

Talhelm, T., X. Zhang, S. Oishi, C. Shimin, D. Duan, X. Lan, and S. Kitayama. (2014). Large-scale psychological differences within China explained by rice versus wheat agriculture, Science, 344, 603-607.http://www.sciencemag.org/content/344/6184/603.short

(Republished from Evo and Proud by permission of author or representative)
 
• Category: Science • Tags: China, East Asians, Individualism, Thomas Talhelm 
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  1. A previous study measured this by having people imagine going into a business deal with (i) an honest friend, (ii) a dishonest friend, (iii) an honest stranger, and (iv) a dishonest stranger.

    There is a difference between what people say and what people do.

    How did they ensure that their results were not confounded by people saying what they were expected to say?

  2. Sean says:

    Fascinating. The astonishing growth and military success of Japan was based on a hereditary propensity for cooperation. Now we know why they did so well without particularly high IQ.

  3. JayMan says: • Website

    Malcolm Gladwell provided a nice description of the arduousness and intellectually demanding nature of rice farming in Southern China in Outliers. While he was trying to debunk the hereditarian position, he (inadvertently, of course) provided some pretty good evidence for it!

  4. Anonymous I says: • Website

    "How did they ensure that their results were not confounded by people saying what they were expected to say?"

    That may not be necessary. In fact, let's assume that what they said was completely confounded by such distortions. In this case, "What they were expected to say" clearly differs from one place to another in a way that fits the same model.

  5. So, with the exception of the lower divorce rates cited in the paper, what do these north-south differences translate into in terms of social differences ? The gradient in almost everything in China is east-west. Income, HDI, life expectation, IQ, etc. Only in literacy rates and sex ratios does there seem to be a pattern. There's more illiteracy in the south, and there are more "missing" females in the south, as well. (I've assembled some maps here.) One other thing to note : virtually the entire population of the Chinese diaspora throughout the world come from the rice-growing regions. I can't think of any overseas Chinese community that's from the wheat-growing region.

  6. On the other hand many of the creative accomplishments of Chinese civilisation took place in the rice-growing region. I don't want to say most without thinking about it, but Shandung province plays a big part in Chinese intellectual history as it was the home of Confucius, Laozi (Daoism) and the birthplace of the Chinese variant of Buddhism. And Shandung is wheaty.

  7. creative accomplishments of Chinese civilisation took place in the rice-growing region

    took place in the WHEAT-growing region, I meant to say.

    I can not say all, but it seems a disproportionate amount of creativity happened in Shandung.

  8. And of the dozen or so cities which have been the seat of Chinese dynasties in the last 3000 years, all but three were in the north, either wholly in the wheat region or in the transition zone between wheat & rice.

  9. Sean says:

    There can be no argument that Japan, which is totally a rice culture, has done better than China. And this is despite the Chinese having higher average IQ than the Japanese (who the Chinese used to mock as 'dwarf pirates' and 'shrimp barbarians').

  10. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    Japan grows wheat too. Udon and soba noodles are wheat noodles.

  11. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    Rice was grown in the north as well. Wheat was always among the secondary crops to rice, along with millet, corn, barley, oats. As the Chinese expanded south to Yangtze River valley, they grew more rice as rice was more productive int he south.

  12. "Udon and soba noodles are wheat noodles."

    Actually soba are buckwheat noodles. You can tell because the word "soba" literally means buckwheat ( ?? ). And buckwheat is not even a cereal.

    But of course your point is valid : buckwheat, like wheat, is a higher latitude crop and all the major cereals and pseudocereals associated with higher latitudes are indeed grown in Japan (as well as Korea and northern China).

  13. The mention of the other major pseudocereal millet reminds me : in the film Seven Samurai the peasants give rice to the samurai who protect them, and they themselves eat millet. In general, the growers of rice in traditional Japanese peasant society ate millet but paid taxes in rice.

  14. Sean says:

    Uttar Pradesh is a rice farming area.

    "Indian state of Uttar Pradesh (American Economic Review, vol 98, p 494). In these tests, two players started out with 50 rupees each. The first could choose to give his to the second, in which case the experimenters added a further 100 rupees, giving the second player 200 rupees in total. The second player could decide to keep the money for himself, or share it equally with the first player. A third player then entered the game, who could punish the second player – for each 2 rupees he was willing to spend, the second player was docked 10 rupees.

    The results were startling. Even when the second player shared the money fairly, two-thirds of the time the newcomer decided to punish him anyway – a spiteful act with seemingly no altruistic payoff. “We asked one guy why,” says Hoff. “He said he thought it was fun.”"

    Uttar Pradesh: 22-year-old gang raped, strangled to death after being forced to drink acid "Crime against women have been has been on a rise in the state of Uttar Pradesh, the latest being the Badaun rape case in which two Dalit girls aged 14 and 15 were gang raped and hanged from a mango tree."

  15. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    There can be no argument that Japan, which is totally a rice culture, has done better than China. And this is despite the Chinese having higher average IQ than the Japanese (who the Chinese used to mock as 'dwarf pirates' and 'shrimp barbarians').

    I don't think the Chinese have a higher average IQ. At any rate it's pretty similar.

  16. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    Great article, though
    I have to strongly disagree, in the following sense: It's one thing to say the that European environment selected for individualism (obviously true), another to say there was any particular selection for "communal" traits in Asia. Resource communalism is historically very universal, and Asia has been historically the easiest continent to build (and rebuild) civilizations on, which would indicate very lax non-sexual selection.

  17. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    why I disagree about this gene-culture approach: if sexual antagonism is removed from the equation, Asian women are really more attractive than European women, just as red-headed women are really more attractive than blondes, BUT paradoxically, evolution favored men to not be more attracted tored-heads than blondes (and will/has done the same against Asian women), because of their relatively "unfit" sons. So it stands to reason that Asian culture is very feminine, more because of uncontested, runaway male sexual selection, than gene-culture co-evolution.

  18. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    Doesn't seem likely. North Chinese are individualistic because they aren't rice farmers, Russians are collectivist compared to West Europe because what?

    Why use this kind of figure height method to indirectly find individualism rather than actually surveying people on their beliefs?

    No kind of East Asians are individualistic as we'd understand them, when you actually ask them what they believe. And there are clear genetic correlates to the differences in social style and cognition that translate into individualism-collectivism.

  19. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    Doesn't seem likely. North Chinese are individualistic because they aren't rice farmers, Russians are collectivist compared to West Europe because what?

    Why use this kind of figure height method to indirectly find individualism rather than actually surveying people on their beliefs?

    No kind of East Asians are individualistic as we'd understand them, when you actually ask them what they believe. And there are clear genetic correlates to the differences in social style and cognition that translate into individualism-collectivism.

  20. Sean says:

    As I read it the post is about but one factor, it doesn't pretend to explain everything by means of a single metric(like some do with consanguinity for instance). I think the idea is that northern Chinese (wheat farmers) are less cooperative relative to Chinese rice farmers, while Chinese have more in common with other Chinese than with Russians.

    Koreans might owe some of their peculiarities to being the population under selection for rice farming for the longest.

  21. Beyond Anon,
    Why would the tendency to lie be greater among rice farmers? As Anon I points out, the results at least show that behavioral norms differ as a function of the mode of subsistence.

    JayMan,

    Malcolm Gladwell has been coming around to the idea of innate talent. Perhaps his next book will tackle gene-culture co-evolution. One can hope.

    Pseudoerasmus,

    The main behavioral difference seems to be individualism vs collectivism. Divorce rates may be a related factor. Since most overseas Chinese are from the south, Westerners have a false notion of Chinese uniformity.

    Sean,

    Is mean IQ higher in China than in Japan? Do you have a reference? Within the Indian subcontinent, rice growing is most prevalent in the east (Bihar, Bengal, Assam). My impression is that Bengalis are less individualistic than Punjabis, but that’s just an impression.

    Anon,

    There are probably many factors that influence the collectivism-individualism spectrum of behavior. No one is arguing here that rice farming vs. wheat farming explains most of the variability on a world scale. Russians are less individualistic than Westerners for other reasons (e.g., see my posts on the Western European Marriage Pattern. Hbd* chick has also written on this as well).

  22. Sean says:

    As Ron Unz pointed out "CHINESE PISA scores are far above those of the United States and nearly every European country, many of which are almost totally urbanized and have incomes ten times that of China. Even if we attempt to exclude Europe’s less affluent and lower-performing immigrant populations, and consider only the PISA averages for native Europeans, China’s numbers were exceeded only by the natives of Finland, Germany, Switzerland, and the Low Countries. Consider that this performance was achieved by a country which was still mostly rural, and whose rural incomes averaged little more than $1000 per year." That argument would also apply to the Japanese – Chinese IQ equivalence; hence the average Chinese are cleverer than the average Japanese AOTBE.

    Japanese mental and behavioral traits seem to correlate with rice production.

    Rural India's social structure is tied up with caste.

  23. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    Sean, Taiwan is a place of Chinese stock ancestry comparably urbanized to Japan (and about as wealthy).

    They're about the same in terms of smarts and their Flynn Effect seems slower than the USA (http://jntnu.ntnu.edu.tw/pub/PaperContent.aspx?cid=150&ItemId=1298&loc=en).

    I don't believe the Taiwanese are genetically dumber than the mainlanders.

    Same deal with Hong Kong.

    The PRC might be doing weird things with education, but the Chinese are not likely to be genetically sharper than the Japs.

  24. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    Some stereotypes of Chinese –

    http://www.chinahistoryforum.com/topic/33003-stereotypes-between-northern-and-southern-chinese/

    "Northern Chinese, as I was told, are known to be tough, lazy, and hard drinkers; while the southern Chinese are known to be hardworking, cunning, and streetwise"

    http://www.echinacities.com/expat-corner/North-China-vs-South-China-Stereotypes-Generalisations-and-Bigotry

    Stereotypically, the Northern Chinese are rowdy, loud, animated, free-spirited, honest to a fault, loyal, and full of ‘yang;’ they possess the souls of those who fought off barbarians, rode horses, and slept under the stars. They’re the ardent ones, susceptible to drunkenness and passionate fits of anger, not unlike Dmitry Karamazov. This spirit burns in their blood like kerosene, fire spewing from their lips (in the industrial cities, chunky fire, looking like vomit). The Northern Chinese are built to be emperors, leaders, heroes, and conquerors.

    And, stereotypically, Southerners are people reared in the pleasure-dome of abundance, raised on rolling rice fields, with silk worms nipping at their whiskers, developing as soft impressions of the calm and tranquil land. They become cultured, erudite, soft and refined, fond of art as well as industry. Southerners are said to be cunning and shrewd, industrious, scholarly, built as instruments for the improvement of culture. They’re said to be well-suited for entrepreneurship, for industry, for art, and for a scholarly life.

    That sounds linked to the perceptions of the pioneer of this study that the Northern Chinese are more "brash" and "bold".

    But it doesn't sound much like individualism. Is "brash" or thriving on conflict what we think of when we think of individualistic English or Swedes?

    I think this may have more to do with Turchin's meta ethnic frontier, of personalities adapted to the culture on the border between empires (which happens to be more wheat than rice in China).

  25. Though it’s plausible that rice/wheat faming has contributed to collectivism/individualism traits, there have been perhaps equally or even more fundamental gene-culture co-evolution factor/s at play at the same time such as testosterone level.

    Colder winter in East Asia selected East Asian higher intelligence, but gave up amount of testosterone level in return. Lower testosterone level enables higher level of collective natural defence (and associated inter-dependence/co-development,etc) social mechanism, which in turn makes the debut of a collectivism cultural and value system such as Confucius System – the very essence and foundation of East Asian culture and value system – more possible and more readily accepted by the masses.

    If “born-with-it” human individualism is a natural default setting of “1=1”, then man-made collectivism would be a more intelligent group design aiming at “1+1=2.2”. Is it merely a coincidence that individualism European civilization has usually go for “divide & conquer” since the Romans, while collectivism Chinese civilization has valued more “For to win one hundred victories in one hundred battles is not the acme of skill. To subdue the enemy without fighting is the acme of skill” by Sun Tzu?

    For a culture or a society, while individualism leaves a bigger room for higher individual development reflected by the more volatile development stages with bigger ups and downs (e.g. the Dark Age, Industrialization of fragmented Europe) depending on the random quality and quantity of “1=1” at a time, collectivism delivers more stable environment making it possible longer lived empire(e.g. united China).

  26. “Is mean IQ higher in China than in Japan? Do you have a reference?” (Peter-Fros)

    China includes some minorities such as lower IQ Uyhgers, Tibetans, Hui Muslims, etc. So I presume your question is in fact “China heartland and Japan” or “ Han Chinese and Japanese”.

    Let's brush aside the trivial fact that Chinese entities (Shanghai,Taiwan, HK, Singapore, Macao), being either equally developed or less or much less developed than Japan, took the top 5 spots of PISA Math…

    Reference 1 – The quality and quantity of geographies of China and Japan. China is almost a continent across almost all climates with vast and rich agricultural soils. The Chinese have known that for 1000s of years. Japan is a nearby earthquake and tsunami-prone small island-chain with tiny agricultural soils. The Japanese have known that for 1000s of years. Human’s natural competition for the best and biggest lebensraum make it sure that within a closely reachable geographic area, higher intelligence groups will occupy the biggest and the best ( i.e. the most arable, with the most livable temperatures, etc.) lands for the longest period, except some temporal and liberal “arrangements” from the modern era ( e.g. India, Africa).

    It is generally so in Europe from Central Europe to Ireland. It is generally so in East Asia from China to Japan. The Japanese have had > 2,000 years to take much better and bigger Han Chinese land just next door and failed. In fact Japan was only powerful enough to have a try once in the entire history at Japan’s highest point, after it was industrialised following the West in the beginning of the 20th century. That was the period of about 1900 to 1945 when un-industrialized China was at the collapse of non-Han-ruled Qing Dynasty, deadly weakened by both wars with the most of European powers and prolonged internal civil wars. But Japan still failed.

    This should give a clear hint on the corresponding IQ.

    Reference 2. – The essence of Japan’s language, culture, philosophy, clothings/dresses, architecture, morale and value system, traditional arts (either for the masses or high arts for the elites), pre-industrialisation technologies, etc, are quintessentially Han Chinese, either a direct copy/paste or a ad hoc knock-off. Most things, or even virtually any major things, that you can think of as “traditional or classic Japanese” could be traced their original roots to the Han Chinese (just use wiki or google to try some if you like). It had lasted for the entire recorded history except post-1850 when Japan started to industrialize following the footprints of England, Holland and Germany.

    ( I can’t help bursting into laughers whenever some clueless Western experts or media journalists write something like “Japan, as China’s historical arch enemy and counterweight, yada yada …”. Actually for the most of recorded history, Japan was on China’s radar as much as what Cuba is on USA's hence no counterweight whatsoever, and two were quite friendly instead with Japan sending (one direction only) countless scholars to study in China… And except the modern era of 20th century, even Korea, historically as China’s vassal state most of the time, was technologically more advanced and culturally more refined than Japan due to its closer proximity to China, the same was the northern Vietnam… Anyway, it also tells from this historical angle why the Chinese and the Koreans are so angry about Japan’s atrocities of WWII invasion and Abe’s blatant denial of any war crimes till this very day.)

    This should give another clear hint on the corresponding IQ.

    BTW, these 2 references are history-reviewed, instead of peers. As where we stand today, in relation to her immediate neighbours and the world Japan is at the highest point in her entire history, while China is still at the lowest point in her entire history.

  27. What does “De Guo Ren” mean to you people? It sounds weird and it means nothing to you. “De Guo Ren” is what the “Chinese” call the Germans. However, the Germans call themselves the Deutsch, completely different.

    Likewise “China” and “Chinese” these 2 Latinized words mean nothing to the East Asians. The “Chinese” don’t call themselves “China” or “Chinese” ( a tableware or something?) , but “Han” people, or more officially “Hua Xia” people for millenniums.

    This’s because “Hua Xia” means something, something deeply to the Han, and the East Asia at large.

    “?????????????????”

    Above is the origin of how “Hua Xia” people are named. It’s roughly translated as “the beauty of these people’s costume and dresses is so graceful that we call it Hua, the grandeur of etiquette is so large that we call it Xia” , hence “Xua Xia” people – the Han.

    Now you know, for many it’s the first time, what does “Chinese” mean to the Chinese, and the East Asia.

    One can see IQ level from many traditional things, as simple and as trivial as design of costume or cultural etiquettes:

    Watch the following clips:

    1. This is the ideal “Traditional” and “Classic” Chinese for Westerners and Hollywood: ( Note: It’s Manchus culture. Pay attention to the hairstyle, dresses, etiquette, etc – it’s like forcing the entire Europe dressed and behaved in traditional Turkey nomad costumes. This is NOT “traditional” Han Chinese):

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AttNv5-T1dI

    2. Now this is the real traditional and classic Han Chinese (Hua Xia) dresses for millenniums:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wCFKRQ1rQrM

    3. this is a traditional Han Chinese (Hua Xia) dresses & Ceremony show in a traditional setting in China (2013):

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6oayuA4XsX0

    4. Traditonal Han Chinese (Hua Xia) costumes Vs.
    Traditional Manchu Chinese Qipao (from 20th century) Vs.
    Traditional Korean Hanbok (an ad-hoc localized version of Han Chinese dresses of Ming Dynasty) Vs
    Traditional Japanese Kimono ( an ad-hoc localized version of Han Chinese dresses of Han and Tang Dynasties)

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wqW3n90amas

    Traditional costumes and gene-culture co-evolution, Peter?

  28. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    two were quite friendly instead with Japan sending (one direction only) countless scholars to study in China…

    A shame. Maybe they could've learned something – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japanese_mathematics – e.g. "Seki Takakazu founded senri, a mathematical system with the same purpose as calculus at a similar time to calculus's development in Europe; but Seki's investigations did not proceed from conventionally shared foundations"

    Then again, what do you expect from an an intellectually impoverished medieval state that couldn't even draw up its agricultural calendar without Jesuits?

    It is generally so in Europe from Central Europe to Ireland. It is generally so in East Asia from China to Japan.

    That's like how the Danes and Icelanders and Swedes are dumber than the French and Germans and Russians right?

    The Chinese are fine, but be realistic – the only thing they have on the Japanese is their favorable demographics (population, age).

    Population size has been true for a long time, and along with connectedness to the Silk Road, explains any historical advantage in Chinese advancement (e.g. Japanese Buddhism was originally Chinese, but before that was Indian, etc.).

    Once the Japanese became connected into the world system without having to filter through China, they were, at that time, able to surpass it, temporarily, being more culturally receptive to foreign studies, and not slow and culturally chauvinistic in taking them on (a trait the modern Chinese have finally shucked).

    “the beauty of these people’s costume and dresses is so graceful that we call it Hua, the grandeur of etiquette is so large that we call it Xia”

    "The people of fine dresses and etiquette". Certainly how I'd imagine a trader-ish Southern Chinese to sum up their culture, in materialism and manners. Other nations (including, perhaps, the Northern Han) have a different view of themselves.

  29. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    The Japanese were never ahead of China until European influence. Japan has always been derivative of China and more recently of the West.

  30. Then again, what do you expect from an an intellectually impoverished medieval state that couldn't even draw up its agricultural calendar without Jesuits?

    — Many tribes in the world had their calendars, and mathematicians, your point is?

    That's like how the Danes and Danes and Swedes are dumber than the French and Germans and Russians right?

    — Wrong, but nonetheless thank you for your effort in making my point anyway. The very existence of so many nationalities such as Danes, Danes, Swedes, the French and Germans and Russians, etc to day proved to some extend that they are quite similar IQ level, hence have ultimately failed to conquer others and forge a unified nationality in 2,000 years (we’ll how the latest attempt of the EU goes…) , unlike what China has done in the other end of Eurasia.

    The Chinese are fine, but be realistic – the only thing they have on the Japanese is their favorable demographics (population, age).

    — I am not comparing their current national strength statue quos you do though. The pity is that most people in the world, as this sentence of yours seems to show, have such a superficial view that they look and think on contemporary discreet points, instead of analyzing lines by connecting all the distant yet discreet data points in history – so-called see the trees, not the forests behind. In your logic, Usain “lightening” Bolt is fine, but be realistic – the only thing he has on me in 100-yard sprint is his current age, as everyone can see and I am readily to prove that I am way faster than him within the current 11 to 12 yards… Just imagine, for a teaser, where Japan would have got their high tech from if Kim Jong IL clan or Mao had governed Japan for the last 70 years, as they did to Korea and China , with little Communist red books under strict international commercial, financial and high tech boycott? Slightly better the former Eastern Germany I’d guess?

    Population size has been true for a long time, and along with connectedness to the Silk Road, explains any historical advantage in Chinese advancement (e.g. Japanese Buddhism was originally Chinese, but before that was Indian, etc.).

    — Buddhism originated in Nepal, not India, by a Nepal Prince. Googling his clan you’ll find they don’t look anything “classic Indian” at all (also see the current Buddha statue faces allover the places), but far more Orientals, because the clan is a mix between SE Asians and Northern Mongoloid. More importantly, “Indian Buddhism” is a form of religion (almost dies out in current India anyway, but more in SE Asia instead), while the Han Chinese from Tang Dynasty took this religion and transformed it into a philosophy in essence – Chan/Zen Buddhism as we see in Imperial China. Japan took it from China and made their localized version, still a philosophy rather than a strict simple religion in its original form. From racial point of view, it’s also easy to comprehend that Indians, being largely Caucasoid-Australoid mix with much higher testosterone level, were/are in fact more “alien” to peaceful and pacific Buddhism (created by a Mongoloid- Australoid Nepali tribe) as a religion and quickly they have revered to their home-grown Hinduism, whereas with lower testosterone level SE Asia (Thailand, Burma, etc) has adapted to Buddhism quite well, with even lower testosterone level East Asia (China) taking it to a complete and quite different new height.

  31. Once the Japanese became connected into the world system without having to filter through China, they were, at that time, able to surpass it, temporarily, being more culturally receptive to foreign studies, and not slow and culturally chauvinistic in taking them on (a trait the modern Chinese have finally shucked).

    — Agreed. Don’t get me wrong. The Japanese are quite smart people anyway, thanks to heavy gene flows from both Han Chinese and Koreans historically vis-à-vis the “indigenous” Japanese local tribes such as much lower IQ proto-Mongoloid Ainu and many other tiny tribes originated from other Asian Pacific islands. A major fort of the Japanese, as a group, is that they are very good at making an existing system/idea super efficient, to the extreme sometimes, and amongst the most detail-oriented people in the world. In comparison, the drastic failure of the “modern” ( I presume you refer to 20th-21st century) Chinese was, IMO, primarily due to misfortune of having 2 major events in her modern history: Manchu-ruled Qing Dynasty and emergence of hilarious Jewish Bolshevik Communist Mao. History shows that all Han-ruled Chinese dynasty have made it to the worldwide technological height, while all non-Han-ruled Chinese Dynasties the Mongols and Manchus not, but destroyed China. Manchus’ last Dynasty rejected every idea and movement originated from the Han to fastly industrialize for the fear of losing Manchu imperial power( The rise of the British eventually was unchallenged by the Han in the East, reaching their historical height by passing China in GDP as the world’s premium industrial power. And a no-one-gives-2-hoots backwater Japan at a time easily industrialized and passed China technologically for the first time in history). And the following Mao’s Communism (another non-Han-ruled dynasty) and state-feudal capitalism in disguise as Communism till today have misled and kept vast Han Chinese decadent, corrupt, inefficient hence much less innovative and developed. Contrary to what most of brainless world media claim that the current China is eugenic, China is indeed massively dysgenic because of its state-run feudal capitalism system which enable lower IQers becoming rich & famous “social-economical-intelligential elites” and could afford to have more kids by simply being as$-kissing party members, whereas the true vast cognitive elites kept as middle and lower layer societies without any power and are subject to 1-child rule. In a sense, modern China is in fact still a giant “North Korea” under a tough draconian rule after 30-year of “reform”, which gives a major reason why China can not readily innovate – China’s vast yet stupidly inefficient communist state-own enterprises have been fighting a global technological war with 2 hands tied behind all along. In comparison Japan, and most of the West for that matter, has been fighting this war freely and almost continuously for about 100 years…

    "The people of fine dresses and etiquette". Certainly how I'd imagine a trader-ish Southern Chinese to sum up their culture, in materialism and manners. Other nations (including, perhaps, the Northern Han) have a different view of themselves.

    — Don’t even try to think that the current Maoism “etiquette” , “manners”, and most twisted social-economical behaviours of contemporary China are “Classic” and “traditional” Chinese. To have a little taste (thought not entirely) of traditional Chinese – Hua Xia –, have a visit to Taiwan, or ironically Kyoto – the old capital of Japan, where the Japanese have faithfully kept all along a small localized carbon copy of what traditional Han Chinese society was like in Tang Dynasty, proudly calling it “Classic Japan”.

  32. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    Anon: The Japanese were never ahead of China until European influence. Japan has always been derivative of China and more recently of the West.

    Yes, but they were pretty comparable in average technological capability and GDP per capita from around the 1600s on, and took the lead once they were able to work with foreign cultures that didn't have a "Celestial Kingdom" view of themselves and more open systems of media and thought that they could work with.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Maddison_GDP_per_capita_1500-1950.svg

    The Japanese certainly have independent cultural traits from the Chinese.

    http://discovermagazine.com/1998/jun/japaneseroots1455/ – Jared Diamond is often patchy, but here he does a very good job at explaining what is unique vs shared between Japan and the mainland (China and Korea). There is a lot shared and a lot unique (as much as the Chinese and Choson would like it all to be simply derivative, but worse).

    China's National Animal Guy : From racial point of view, it’s also easy to comprehend that Indians, being largely Caucasoid-Australoid mix with much higher testosterone level, were/are in fact more “alien” to peaceful and pacific Buddhism (created by a Mongoloid- Australoid Nepali tribe) as a religion and quickly they have revered to their home-grown Hinduism, whereas with lower testosterone level SE Asia (Thailand, Burma, etc) has adapted to Buddhism quite well, with even lower testosterone level East Asia (China) taking it to a complete and quite different new height.

    Buddhism is definitely a spin off of Indo-Aryan religious thought. Indians religions like Hinduism and Jainism are pretty pacifistic (Indians are vegetarians). I suppose you could argue that all the tough guys have converted to Sikhism and Jainism I guess. Southeast Asians have fought many wars despite Buddhism.

    Buddhism thrives most in India in in Sri Lanka.

    I think you're correct about Buddhism taking on a philosophical bent in East Asia. To some extent, this is because of the relatively atheistic, godless and superstitious nature of Chinese society (and its spin offs) with their lack of churchgoing and prevalence of "lucky money" rites.

    But is also because it had to sit alongside ancient Chinese and Japanese beliefs of the divine (all the Shinto and Heaven Worship and ancestral rites and whatnot), as a foreign import.

    Whereas in India, Buddhism simply got spun back into the fabric of the religion that it sprung from, Hinduism, naturally.

    Manchus’ last Dynasty rejected every idea and movement originated from the Han to fastly industrialize for the fear of losing Manchu imperial power

    This sounds like typical foreigner blaming "stabbed in the back" myth thinking, typical of the Chinese and Koreans who cannot believe that their modes of society actually failed.

    In general, I think academics lay the blame on the awful Chinese political system and conservative gentry, which was also in effect in Korea where there were no foreign occupiers to blame. For instance, the Dowager Cixi, unpleasant as she is, is not a figure opposed to technological modernisation – e.g. http://ccsenet.org/journal/index.php/ass/article/download/5685/4604 (albeit this appears to be a paper written by a nutty Red Chinese Communist).

  33. //Yes, but they were pretty comparable in average technological capability and GDP per capita from around the 1600s on, and took the lead once they were able to work with foreign cultures that didn't have a "Celestial Kingdom" view of themselves and more open systems of media and thought that they could work with.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Maddison_GDP_per_capita_1500-1950.svg

    The Japanese certainly have independent cultural traits from the Chinese.//

    — I dunno which is funnier, A) the retarded “Irrational Exuberance” and outright stealing “Quantitative Easings” aside , today’s top economics gurus don’t even have a clear clue on what indeed constitute so-called “GDP” ( I presume nominal) and what are not, let lone predicting GDP of the next 3 years precisely, they have galls to stretch back and forth telling juvenile-level fairytales on what was “GDP” of a remote entity since 1500AD (and even earlier) and what that will be in 2040 and so on. Their novel-sized self-fulfilling assumptions are fancy enough to make the Obama-alike poetic. Or B) the people who actually take these fairytales with a straight face. Or both A and B?

    Anyway, he is dead right that Japan didn’t on the radar of China, in any field, or most of the history, because they were such backwater that did’t worth it for any Han-ruled Chinese dynasty to invade the islands …. It did first get China’s attention in the 17th century when the many Japanese pirates started to assault some of China’s tiny coastal villages from time to time to rob agriculture produces and women. The imperial court then sent a Chinese general, named Qi Ji Guang, training those villagers on self-defence to have defeated these pirates shortly. Since then the Han named the Japanese in general “Wo Pirates”, more or less meaning “midgets of savages” (because by looks they by and large were very short and backward).

    The 1st time in history that Japan did cause an alarm to China, and on China's radar, was about 1850 when the occupied Japan ( by American merchants, see Tom Cruise’ “The Last Samurai”) started to copy western technologies and systems from England and Holland to industrialize… The Han knew what did that mean. Pity that China was ruled by the Manchu at a time…the rest is history.

    //http://discovermagazine.com/1998/jun/japaneseroots1455/ – Jared Diamond is often patchy, but here he does a very good job at explaining what is unique vs shared between Japan and the mainland (China and Korea). There is a lot shared and a lot unique (as much as the Chinese and Choson would like it all to be simply derivative, but worse).//

    — After somehow becoming an instant Sinologist overnight explaining the key differences of China, Korea and Japan, perhaps Mr. Diamond would like make a footnote under that great piece explaining “how their IQ are also cultural construct” as well. It’d then be another Nobel Prize-class literature, surely. I have no doubt whatsoever that Mr. Diamond is a man with a great integrity and a pair of iron balls when asserting things in public, but being quite conservative in my old age, I’d very much encourage Mr. Diamond to learn perhaps how to say and write “Good Morning. How do you do? My name is Diamond” in Chinese, Korean and Japanese as the standard 1st step for the beginners willing to venture into the Far Eastern affairs before starting his master piece on what’s their key cultural and historical differences, at least that might add a bit credibility, because, excuse my naiveté, but somehow I have a feeling that these people are slightly different from Guinea Pigmies whom Mr Diamond is specialised on.

  34. // China's National Animal Guy : … Buddhism is definitely a spin off of Indo-Aryan religious thought. Indians religions like Hinduism and Jainism are pretty pacifistic (Indians are vegetarians). I suppose you could argue that all the tough guys have converted to Sikhism and Jainism I guess. Southeast Asians have fought many wars despite Buddhism.

    Buddhism thrives most in India in in Sri Lanka.//

    — granted that China's National Animal Guy’s hypothesis on correlation/causation between different testosterone levels and different nature of the corresponding religions or philosophies could be quite rough for the moment, but the claim that “Buddhism is definitely a spin off of Indo-Aryan religious thought” might need some workout, too, a bit wild one?

    //I think you're correct about Buddhism taking on a philosophical bent in East Asia. To some extent, this is because of the relatively atheistic, godless and superstitious nature of Chinese society (and its spin offs) with their lack of churchgoing and prevalence of "lucky money" rites.

    But is also because it had to sit alongside ancient Chinese and Japanese beliefs of the divine (all the Shinto and Heaven Worship and ancestral rites and whatnot), as a foreign import.

    Whereas in India, Buddhism simply got spun back into the fabric of the religion that it sprung from, Hinduism, naturally.//

    — Perhaps Peter would like add some literatures on the relationship between IQ levels and degrees of god-believing…

    //This sounds like typical foreigner blaming "stabbed in the back" myth thinking, typical of the Chinese and Koreans who cannot believe that their modes of society actually failed.//

    — It doesn’t sound like typical foreigner blaming "stabbed in the back", at least it was not my intention. Nonetheless a fact is a fact. It’s a very credible explanation, yet history has no “what ifs”.

    As for whether the modes of society of the Chinese and Koreans actually failed, yes and no, because nothing is forever. It could be a less efficient way temporarily, in a longer time span perhaps it might still be better. Of course, then we’ll have discussion on what are definitions of “efficient” , “better”, and for how long, etc… yet unless one lives under a rock in the last decade, he can’t deny the severe drawbacks for 2-party US political system, unfettered capitalism, and a whole host of suicidal cancers such as Irrational Exuberance and QEs… failed or not failed, for how long, neither you nor I is the judge.

    //In general, I think academics lay the blame on the awful Chinese political system and conservative gentry, which was also in effect in Korea where there were no foreign occupiers to blame. For instance, the Dowager Cixi, unpleasant as she is, is not a figure opposed to technological modernisation – e.g. http://ccsenet.org/journal/index.php/ass/article/download/5685/4604 (albeit this appears to be a paper written by a nutty Red Chinese Communist).//

    — except strict and proven parts of natural sciences, being China's National Animal Guy Panda for one doesn’t take general academics as some sort of Bible, using their “quotes” to refute others. A personal opinion of an academic, or a wide range of academics, on Cixi may be right or may be wrong, unless of course he has to be a Guinea Pigmy Specialist-equivalent to start with.

  35. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    Yes, but they were pretty comparable in average technological capability and GDP per capita from around the 1600s on, and took the lead once they were able to work with foreign cultures that didn't have a "Celestial Kingdom" view of themselves and more open systems of media and thought that they could work with.

    They were comparable because Japan was derivative of China. Later Japan became derivative of the more advanced and wealthier culture of the West.

    The Japanese certainly have independent cultural traits from the Chinese.

    It's all relative and depends on the scale of comparison.

  36. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    It's all relative and depends on the scale of comparison.

    Yes. How innovative would anyone actually expect a country with perhaps a tenth of China's population at the periphery of Eurasia? Close enough to be influenced by Eurasia, not near enough the centre to get in on new trends enough to claim then as their own. Japan is about the most innovative and unique culture I can imagine in those circumstances.

  37. //Japan is about the most innovative and unique culture I can imagine in those circumstances.//

    The distance from England to continental Europe (the size as well) is about those from Japan to China. With the similar conditions as Japan, England was way more original and innovative(e.g.started industrialization) , and became an empire which Japan tried to copy during WW2 but failed.

    If for hundreds of years Cuba sends 10s of 1,000s of Cuban scholars every year to nearby continental US to study and copy everything of the USA, from language to high tech to culture, from customs to costumes to architecture, everything (not authentic and complete of course, but they tried hard, and added some superficial things as well to suit the local flavors), to be implemented in Cuba, then according to you Cuba is about the most innovative and unique culture you can imagine in those circumstances? Does it require a leap of logic? Later, If USA becomes decadent, as all long-lasting empires do from time to time, and falls into a civil war and Stalin-style Communist for the following 100years while Cuba turns around and start to copy everything from the rising Europe, Is Cuba’s (or whichever’s) average IQ higher than USA?

    Human recorded history shows that generally speaking, there’re about 2 biggest, most innovative (hence authentic/original) and productive civilizations that have lasted the most in the last several thousands years or so. They are at the 2 ends of Eurasia, occupying the best (i.e. the most arable, with the best suitable temperatures, etc) and biggest land mass.

    These 2 are Chinese Civilization and European Civilization, representing the authentic East and the West correspondingly. They’re the most original and innovative ones. Most things one thinks that are probably “Oriental” or “Occidental” could be traced as being originated in China and Europe correspondingly. Japan is a sub-culture of Chinese civilization just like Iceland or Ireland is a sub-culture of European Civilization, except Iceland or Ireland have never copied from China (as far as I know, at least not in the scale Japan or Korea did), whereas modern Japan ( since the last part of 19th century) witnessed right before her eyes the collapse of China (Qing dynasty) – its all-time master, and jumped ship to start copying from upcoming European Civilization instead, namely Holland, England and Germany.

    Do you know that the first ever scholarly treatise in Japanese history that dared to have started the modern idea of ”Give up Xua Xia (i.e. the Han, China) and start to learn from Europe Instead” was as recent as about 100 sth years ago? This idea eventually gained popularity amongst the elites and was accepted by the Japanese emperor and carried through as the national policy till the WWII, or arguablely till today. In modern time, Europe is the master of Japan. In pre-modern time, China was. Yet correctly identifying which is the best in the world at a time and being able to copy from it ( even with some refinements sometimes, for better or worse, to adapt to the locals) requires a high IQ as well. So it proves that the Japanese do have high IQ nonetheless.

    Therefore, Japan is not the most innovative culture you can imagine, in any circumstances. But Japanese culture is certainly unique in another sense that perhaps is slightly too far from the scope of this blog entry so I would skip it here.

  38. People today usually laugh at China being the copy/paste master of the world.

    So wrong.

    THE single biggest copy/paste master (and probably the most successful one as well) of the world in the last 2,000 years is undoubtedly Japan, as "classic" Japan is in essence Han Chinese (or Tang China to be precise), while "modern" Japan is in essence European.

  39. Rice-farming adds some uneccesary conplications due to regional climate differences, hence "blurring" the true and/or full picture of Gene-culture co-evolution, which goes far beyond race-farming. e.g. unified national traditional costumes, which is one of the most salient factors for a culture.

    I show you below the more detailed national traditional costumes of the East Asia – one of the most prominent areas of the East Asia cultures, you tell me what are the correponding genes and IQs:

    Traditional Han Chinese (Hua Xia) Hanfu, Traditional Japanese (Nippon) Kimono, and Traditional Korean (Gaoli) Hanbok — watch and analyze:

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

    After that, I assume that you can now tell what traditional costumes/culture the following are, Chinese Hanfu? or Korean Hanbok? or Japanese Kimono? And how about the genes & IQ involved?

    1.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=85Fc2amPf34

    2.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DuHMCFYIC9E

  40. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    "The gradient in almost everything in China is east-west."

    Or the north-south gradient is outweighed by the coast effect.

    .

    "Is mean IQ higher in China than in Japan?"

    Taiwan, Japan and Korea are very coastal – as is the coastal part of China obviously.

    The Chinese seem reluctant to show their inland IQ scores.

    I think this is because their inland IQ is lower because of lower iodine intake from less seafood in their diet.

    (milk drinking in the inland areas might partially compensate for this.)

    .

    "why I disagree about this gene-culture approach: if sexual antagonism is removed from the equation"

    Sexual selection will be greatly reduced in societies where marriages are arranged by the parents.

  41. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    " The Chinese seem reluctant to show their inland IQ scores."

    —Can you give a source of this claim other than hearsays? (If you refer to 2012 PISA specifically, please save your strength.)

    Seems that any foreign academic study group can go straight into anywhere inland China (perhaps except Tibet)and carry out a decent IQ or IQ-equivalent studies. There’ve been many Western-based social-economical study groups going to inland China on any given month for many years now.

    "Chinese" include Han Chinese, Hui Chinese(a Han and Muslin cross), Tibetans, and Uighers, etc minorities. Any meaningful study should aim at the Han to be fair. 40 years ago both Han Chinese-dominated HK and Singapore were 3rd world. And now, when and whenever putting them at the same/similar starting line of Japan, both HK and Singapore beat Japan in all internationally-recognized math scores you can name of. Any excuses?

    Whenever compare the high tech and their derivatives resulted from the 1st industrial revolution, such as engines (GE, Mercedes Benz, RR, Honda, Toyota, etc), semi-conductors (with associated consumer high tech such as Toshiba, Sony, etc) etc. from Japan and China, Japan is still well-ahead, because Japan started 150 years ago and has been a free society under no high tech boycott from the rest of the world, while China started roughly 25 years ago and have been under US-led international high-tech boycott and embargo since, for an obvious reason if you think.

    However, if put the Japanese and the Chinese at the same/similar starting line as any reasonable intelligent people would prudently do when having a fair comparison, you'll find a complete different result. Case in point: high tech and their derivatives resulted from the 2nd industrial revolution of ICT (information/telecom tech) which started at about the 1990's when they were more or less at about the similar line: the Han have now many world-class software companies , mostly domestic but world-class anyway ( google them up), but where are the Japanese counterparts? And China has world-class Huawai and ZTE – 2 of the most innovative telecom companies in the world ( google them up). Where are the Japanese counterparts that at the similar sophistication?

    Unless one is an ethnic East Asian, one just can’t imagine how screwed-up the current Japanese-Chinese images in the world are in relation to their historical norms. Comparing the Japanese to the Han Chinese is a bit like comparing the Icelanders or the Irish to the Germans/Romans.

    Strange that why the ones in the Western academia, mostly following the lead of the 85 IQ-level contemporary pop culture, "think" that the Japanese are somehow smarter than the Chinese simply due to their personal experiences (that of themselves, their fathers' and grandfathers' – roughly about 100 years really) will not, and can not, argue with a straight face on the following with the exact same logic and period:

    A. the Irish and the Greeks have higher IQ than the Germans, simple because, according to our own collective and strong personal experiences of the last generation, that Ireland and Greece were light years ahead of former Eastern Germany in living standard. and

    B. The North Koreans must be much stupider than the South Koreans, because South Korea has much large costal area, let alone that fact that our personal ongoing experiences telling us the South Korea is way more high tech than the North.

    In case that you are completely misinformed, may I need to mention that at the time of North-South split decades ago, the majority of Korea's social-economical-intellectual elites were living in the North? Yes, I meant to indicate that the sons and grandsons of the vast majority of cognitive elites of the Korean Peninsula have been scrapping grass fields looking for dinners in the North, while the sons and grandsons of the less gifted South Koreans have been making Samsungs and LGs. Ditto Mao China Chinese vs. Singapore/Hong Kong Chinese. Perhaps you can help me explain these?

  42. "I think this is because their inland IQ is lower because of lower iodine intake from less seafood in their diet.

    (milk drinking in the inland areas might partially compensate for this.)"

    —–Your thinking is plausible, after, of course, you present a statistic proof that the correlation between iodine intakes and iq scores is 1, or so close to 1 that iodine intake remains as the principal cause of iq differences so strongly that renders any other causes completely insignificant. I look forward to your evidences.

    BTW for the purpose of clarity, by "milk drinking" you refer to cow milk & its derivatives, or soy milk and its derivatives, or both?

  43. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    @Panda

    "Your thinking is plausible…"

    Yes it is.

    Just to be clear. I'm not saying the Chinese are dumber than the Japanese and I'm not saying the inland Chinese are innately dumber than the coastal Chinese. I assume they have the same *potential* IQ. However their actual IQ requires specific brain nutrients in childhood.

    Inland populations will have lower iodine intake unless it is specifically compensated for.

    The inland areas of India and Russia should have the same problem.

    .

    "BTW for the purpose of clarity, by "milk drinking" you refer to cow milk & its derivatives"

    I was thinking Mongols where I believe it is mostly mare's milk. I don't know if there is some equivalent to that somewhere in north China but if there is then it would partially compensate for the lack of seafood.

    (I doubt soy milk would help as the point of animal milk containing iodine is milk is designed to provide what young mammals need – including iodine.)

  44. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    Comparing the Japanese to the Han Chinese is a bit like comparing the Icelanders or the Irish to the Germans/Romans.

    Yes. The Irish aren't dumber or less innovative per capita than the Romans, and the Icelanders (64:36 Danish-Irish crosses that they are) aren't dumber or less innovative per capita than the Germans (in the case of the Iceland-German comparison, certainly more).

    And in fact, some people might legitimately prefer Irish culture to Roman or Icelandic (or Finnish) culture to German.

    I imagine the Germans, and Romans (people who live in Rome, today) generally would take that with good graces. The Chinese, by contrast, seem not to be able to do the same with Japan (or Korea).

  45. "I assume they have the same *potential* IQ. However their actual IQ requires specific brain nutrients in childhood.”

    You assume that there is a difference btw assumed *potential* and assumed *actual*.

    Then you seem to assume that the only significant *make-or-break* factor is childhood iodine intake which you assume can mostly get from sea products or partially dairy products.

    Too many assumptions here just make me uncomfortable.

    Some inland-coastal differences, if there are any significant and sustained, could, for example, simply due to the natural draw of more talents to the coastal areas ( or for that matter could be inland Capital cities or historically important inland cities, or inland cities next to rivers or big lakes or modern railways) which are usually the natural communication hubs hence more economically prosperous generally speaking. The effect of this flow, for instance, could be way more significant than assumed childhood iodine intake differences in contributing to assumed difference btw assumed *potential* and assumed *actual*, don’t you think, unless you can provide concrete data to refute above possibilities.

    This people flow, however, does not necessarily guarantee that the inland have lower avg IQ than generally more prosperous coastal areas in the long term IMO, due to Mean Reversion of IQ of the large baseline local populations to name one ( or random mass mutual migrations due to wars or natural disasters, etc. to name two) with which both inland and coastal would theoretically produce about the similar avg IQ around their *potential* IQ, unless data shows that one-way talent flow is constant, quasi-permanent, the iodine intake is the only significant factor and effect of iodine intake on IQ is significantly heritable.

    On Chinese inland and coastal areas: the massive peasant rebellions, WW1, WW2, and the following communist-nationalist civil war of the last 150 years have produced countless mass-migrations within China, largely towards inland countryside for safety reason one could argue. E.g. The Japanese invasions of China btw 1900s to 1940s made Chinese repeatedly shift capital (and the associated social economical cognitive elites alongwith most productive population) from coastal Shanghai, Naking, to central China Wuhan, to the Western China Sichuan to avoid the attacks…many people returned to their ancestral lands but many people didn’t and resettled where they were immediately after the wars. Furthermore, Mao’s Hukou system has by and large “freezed” the natural flow of population since 1949 till today. In my own case, my family has quite close relatives in Northern China, Eastern Coastal China, Central China, Southern China, Western China, Taiwan, Europe and the States allover the places after WW2. So from this point of view it would be quite hard to argue the way most Western academics lazily do that “Chinese coastal areas have higher avg IQ than inland areas”, or “Chinese cities have higher avg IQ than Chinese countryside”. They are not quite true, yet. Shanghai kids’ mediocre to average math and science scores compared to the scores of many much poorer Chinese inland countryside in all-important Chinese Gaokao of the last decade is a clear counter evidence.

  46. “Yes. The Irish aren't dumber or less innovative per capita than the Romans, and the Icelanders (64:36 Danish-Irish crosses that they are) aren't dumber or less innovative per capita than the Germans (in the case of the Iceland-German comparison, certainly more).”

    “Dumber” is an impolite word. Not to aim to offend any of these people involved, it is generally considered that some Germanic-related tribes and some populations of today’s Northern Italy ( I assume they are the descendents of the core Romans) have higher avg IQ than the Irish and Icelanders. In fact they are about the highest in Europe. ( Ashkenazis also have heavy Germanic admixture).

    ”And in fact, some people might legitimately prefer Irish culture to Roman or Icelandic (or Finnish) culture to German.”

    Good so, and in their own rights!

    ”I imagine the Germans, and Romans (people who live in Rome, today) generally would take that with good graces. The Chinese, by contrast, seem not to be able to do the same with Japan (or Korea).”

    Your disinformation on this point, both in theory and in current situations, is way off I have to say.

    It’s one of the most important culture differences btw the East and the West:

    The West is more individualistic in a sense that one bears, and only bears, his own responsibilities ( to h*** with others), hence much more practical in a nutshell than the East – contrary to conventional thoughts.

    The East is more traditional, under Chinese Confucius system you bear the responsibility of you, your family and your ancestors. Under Confucius moral system which everyone from China, Korea and Japan we all follow that one should sincerely apologizes for what he or his family/ancestors’ wrongdoings to others before being forgiven, unlike the West where $$$ is everything. The current Japanese govt cabinet led by Abe not only refuses to recognize and apologize for Japan’s massive war crimes in China and Korea, but also deny the very existence of WW2 in Far East to the point he claims that Japanese “entering and passing through Korea and China” ( he refuses to use “invasion” as it was) was for the own good of Chinese and Koreans, and there were no war crimes, no mass killing of civilians, nothing happened, so he officially took back all the apology statements issued by previous Japanese PMs to Korea and China, and told Merkel in her face during a recent visit that “ Japan will never apologize to Korea and China for WW2 the way German did in Europe”.

    I wonder what “good graces” the Americans and the British would have shown had Merkel issued a tsunami of official statements that “Germans had not done all wrongdoings at all during the period… there were no war crimes in Europe whatsoever… German Luftwaffe and tanks only randomly passed though Europe and Britain for their own good… the tombs of Hitler, Himmler and Göring should be worshiped and celebrated by all German officials on an annual basis…Germany will never apologize to anyone for all these… Americans and British should shut up…WW2 never happened…” This kind of official statements of Abe is allover Asia for the last 2 years. It’s amazing to see that none of above has been reportedly, even 1 word, by the Western mainstream media. Guess than Yanks are so eager to let Japan fight a nuclear war (Japan in fact has world’s largest nukes producing capability and not-so-secret weapon-grade nuke storage than what current Russia and the US putting together – google it up) with rising China which threatens US global hegemony that they don’t give a hoot on anything else anymore. “good grace”? pauleeeeeez. 🙂

  47. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    it is generally considered that some Germanic-related tribes and some populations of today’s Northern Italy ( I assume they are the descendents of the core Romans) have higher avg IQ than the Irish and Icelanders. In fact they are about the highest in Europe. ( Ashkenazis also have heavy Germanic admixture).

    Not really. No conclusive evidence that Germans or any Italians are smarter than Icelanders or any Irish. Likewise, Ashkenazis have no essentially no Germanic admixture and seem to be genetically Southern Italian instead to a large degree.

    The East is more traditional, under Chinese Confucius system you bear the responsibility of you, your family and your ancestors. Under Confucius moral system which everyone from China, Korea and Japan we all follow that one should sincerely apologizes for what he or his family/ancestors’ wrongdoings to others before being forgiven, unlike the West where $$$ is everything.

    Nah. Modern day Chinese are ultra materialistic, all about the filthy lucre. Not exactly like caring and tolerant Dutchmen or Swedes or warm and family oriented Spaniards are they? You've practically said so yourself upthread. But then you launched into all this stuff about how this isn't the true essence of China (which I think is a bollocks argument).

    http://sinosphere.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/12/20/chinese-respondents-top-materialism-poll/?_php=true&_type=blogs&_r=0 – Chinese Respondents Top Materialism Poll

    I agree that Asians are generally both highly sincere and ultra vengeful, so often become ultra intolerant towards any slight expression of "insincerity". High humility, low tolerance and forgiveness. It can be a remarkably toxic combination, as we see here. In no other region of the world are people quite as obsessed with vengeful nationalism in the present day.

    The current Japanese govt cabinet led by Abe not only refuses to recognize and apologize for Japan’s massive war crimes in China and Korea, but also deny the very existence of WW2 in Far East to the point he claims that Japanese “entering and passing through Korea and China” ( he refuses to use “invasion” as it was)

    I am highly skeptical of all of this, and it has little to do with and certainly does not excuse why you and other Chinese should rant on about the historical cultural superiority of China.

    It’s amazing to see that none of above has been reportedly, even 1 word, by the Western mainstream media.

    Sounds like a good reason to see what Latin American media, Southeast Asian media (particularly useful as a group deeply involved in the history, yet without China's nationalistic biases), Al Jazeera and Russian media make of it I guess, and ignore the nationalist Chinese state and Western media media.

  48. ”Not really. No conclusive evidence that Germans or any Italians are …”

    I am no specialist on this. That’s what I assume when I look at the general up and down history of Europe of the last 2,000 years, and also from my personal experiences having studied & lived amongst what supposed to be the very top tier Euro cognitive elites of some of euro countries.

    ”Nah. Modern day Chinese are ultra materialistic, all about the filthy lucre. Not exactly like caring…).

    http://sinosphere.blogs.nytimes."

    After 150 years of living through total chaos, continuous foreign invasions and humiliations set upon a once-world’s #1, total wars & destructions, and “North-Korea” Style starvations(barely 30 years ago), countless famines – both natural and human by which I refer to Bolshevik Communism that has continued doing what it does best – destroying a national culture, it would be quite delusional for one to imagine that on average the modern day Han Chinese in China, being one of the smartest people in the world, are NOT ultra materialistic, at least for time being (no need for any survey, really), which in any definition is natural under this context ( sad but true) and is NOT an all bad thing per se for it will stimulate competitions just to name one reason.

    ”I agree that Asians are generally both highly sincere and ultra vengeful, so often become ultra intolerant towards any slight expression of "insincerity". High humility, low tolerance and forgiveness. It can be a remarkably toxic combination, as we see here. In no other region of the world are people quite as obsessed with vengeful nationalism in the present day.”

    I agree that

    1) you’re not an East Asian. 2) you have limited language skills on any of Chinese, Korean and Japanese languages, 3) you’ve never lived in China, Korea or Japan for an extended period of time studying and working, let alone conversing previously with any of top tier cognitive elites of these countries(except me of course, lol) on anything as deep as East Asian cultures, sweet & sour pork and fortune cookies aside. And
    4) probably similar to most of the “old China hands” and Sinologists of Harvard and Oxbridge, you don’t know abc about East Asians, as usual

    I know this because your default Western, academic and pop culture, clichés on the East Asians are just too way off… They are very similar and very different at the same time on national cultures for many unique reasons – completely different from the prevailing western cliché in so many areas… {sigh} Try this, without an extraordinary degrees of ultra high levels of tolerance and forgiveness throughout ages, how in your opinion that China would have become the longest continuous surviving civilization on Earth? If one goes on revenging as he will for silly personal pride, he won’t pass his 20th birthday nowadays, ditto a nation. I’d be rather careful when using NYT alike tabloids or Hollywood or semi illiterate Tweeter as prime sources of info on the issue.

    ”I am highly skeptical of all of this, and it has little to do with and certainly does not excuse why you and other Chinese should rant on about the historical cultural superiority of China.

    Sounds like a good reason to see what Latin American media, Southeast Asian media (particularly useful as a group deeply involved in the history, yet without China's nationalistic biases), Al Jazeera and Russian media make of it I guess, and ignore the nationalist Chinese state and Western media media.”

    No surprise to me that you’re surprised. Say that NYT & its worldwide associate reporters are extremely talented at picking a right time for holidays – a time-honored tradition have to admit. Al Jazeera needs nods from London in the end, and RT usually cares ONLY , mostly report only, around Russia by default.

    And yes, it is about historical, and it is precisely about (relative) Han Chinese cultural ( and perhaps more importantly in this particular case, MORALE) superiority. Nationalist bias? A fact is a fact, and facts are sacred.

  49. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    @Panda

    "You assume that there is a difference btw assumed *potential* and assumed *actual*."

    "Then you seem to assume that the only significant *make-or-break* factor is childhood iodine intake which you assume can mostly get from sea products or partially dairy products."

    "Too many assumptions here just make me uncomfortable."

    Yes, yes and fair enough. It's a theory only.

    However if correct then it could be quite significant.

  50. "Western culture is more individualistic and analytic-thinking, whereas East Asian culture is more interdependent and holistic-thinking." ( Evo and Proud)

    A counter example to this cliché: : google any high street pictures full of people of China (doesn't matter wheat-growing or rice-growing parts) and Western Europe (wheating-growing), or alternatively according to anyone's personal experiences, you'll find that some or even many European people are actually wearing the identical clothings (styles, colors, shoes, brands, etc) in Europe; whereas in China hardly you can find ANY despite having much more people density. Strange, right?

    So my cliché is that the Chinese: Individualism? the Europeans: Colletivitism?

    Nonetheless it seems reasonable to say that Europeans are generally more prone to analytic-thinking and the Chinese holistic. A test:

    the following stunning short video, one of the best I can identify in youtube, intro on classic Han Chinese on Hanfu – the Han Chinese traditional costume. If one has to watch on any vid on hanfu, he should probabaly watch this one:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ah89Ra5fcpU

    I bet that after watching it, most Europeans would have focused on the Hanfu, sequences of them, slight different styles probably, and faces of people, whereas a Han Chinese like me will mostly also notice the changes of styles of the music, the background setting of each Hanfu , the untold meaning behind each Hanfu, the people who dressed in it and the associated background (e.g. seasons, changes of music tones, colours, associated historical eras and sub-cultures, and so on…) It's a test of analytic-thinking and holistic thinking IMO.

    BTW, everything in that vid is so authentic Han Chinese that, if you pay close attention to, you would notice not less than a dozen of their corresponding knock-off versions, world-widely popular yet knock-offs anyway, from "Classic Japanese Style" claimed either by the Japanese or Hollywood illiterates.

    As at the Hanfu, the follwoing vid is about Hanfu re-emergence in everysay live across China – shot in all regions of both wheating-growing and rice-growing.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_sBuYXLQQ8o

    You can't too much difference. I strongly suspect that general Han Chinese common culture (e.g. reflected by Hanfu and mentality behind in this case) is so strong that could have already overwelmed whatever traits developed by wheating-growing or rice-growing.

  51. […] In any case, Taiwan was largely settled by immigrants from the Fuijan province of China. There is considerable regional variation within China; it is possible that there are sub-populations in the country which are less clannish than […]

  52. […] require far more interdependence and co-operation in order to work at all, conversely fostering the evolution of collectivism. Thus, not only are Asians much more introverted on average than non-Asians, they are more […]

  53. […] require far more interdependence and co-operation in order to work at all, conversely fostering theevolution of collectivism. Thus, not only are Asians much more introverted on average than non-Asians, they are more […]

  54. […] Rice farming and gene-culture co-evolution – The Unz Review (weight: 4) […]

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