1. Rob Parker Rob Parker Japan says:

    show mentalities devoid of reasoning ability. There are those who immediately used chimpanzee analogies when a black person posted, others fell back on badly expressed opinions of alleged white and asian superiority. I am white by the way.

    Yes, there is a reluctance to admit some facts owing to stifling political correctness in contemporary western society - one of them I can think of is that indigenous hunter-gatherer communities did not select for lateral thinking/ability to think outside the box that has produced innovation and technology in other human societies. The reason being that those who think creatively or challenge the status quo were swiftly dealt with by removal - cast out or often killed by other tribe members.

    It is understandable that such societies require submissiveness to the elders and established leadership but they have not produced thinkers or inventiveness. It is a norm in Australia, for example, to elevate traditional Aboriginal society as somehow superior to the white colonizers who brought ships, tools, architecture and later the telegraph, new farming methods, advancements in medicine, science and aviation. The difference is glaring and the attempts to diminish white society's superior technology and social organisations in favour of a mythical peaceful time of noble hunter gatherers is intellectually dishonest and irrational to say the least.

    However, the question of intelligence of different kinds and IQ differences between whites, blacks and asians is a complex one. One fact some of you conveniently forget is assumed knowledge. Give an IQ test for example to an Aboriginal Australian who lives in a remote community and not necessarily a traditional style one, and they will be completely unfamiliar with the formula. Why on earth should they be compared to East Asians who grow up with such tests at school and in fact spend more hours at school learning such things?

    African Americans in disadvantaged areas tend to grow up in households where a private study place is unknown. Just like white children of the same background or even white working class children - not necessarily factory workers' or manual labourers' children but working class in terms of backgrounds with no higher education of parents and grandparents etc, with homes that have little to no privacy and often include shared bedrooms with siblings. The realities also include no extra classes to learn skills such as playing the piano or tutoring in school subjects.

    If there are books at home and the parent or parents enjoy reading and learning, that will benefit their academic performance but the old fashioned financially modest/working class that was literate from self-knowledge and book reading from libraries if not buying to keep at home, is not usual these days.

    Financially and socially disadvantaged children, especially poorer African Americans in under-privileged areas, often come from backgrounds of parental alcohol and drug abuse. There is considerable research material that attests to the effects these realities have on brain development. Context is everything. Stating these kinds of children perform poorly in IQ tests and academic pursuits without referring to context is simply unhelpful and intellectually dishonest.

    As for the 'superior' East Asians, I have lived in both South Korea and Japan and I can say unequivocally that many school students, especially in Sth Korea, spend between 20 to 30 hours more per week studying including in cram schools after usual school has finished. In China the extra study hours are greater. That study includes - surprise, surprise - IQ tests.

    But, but that proves asians, in this case East Asians including Chinese who often study more, are more intelligent because they are more inclined to value and engage in education. Not necessarily - context applies here as well. Traditionally most Koreans, Japanese and Chinese people were the antithesis of the image of well-disciplined, highly educated, ambitious people that is common and reasonably factual now.

    In 19th century Japan, common folk were similar to what are identified as 'tropical' peoples - known for easygoing attitudes to time, work, etc. In 19th century Korea common folk were so ignorant of modern developments that attacks against the first bicycle riders to use the machines in Korea were seen as normal. Technological advances were suspicious aparently. China's common folk were rural in mindset when not in location, village ways persisted and in fact still do in the PRC.

    Japan's modernisation came about exclusively through adopting western technology. Japan invented nothing apart from nice swords, philosophies and ceremonial practices such as the tea ceremony which involved excessive focus on micro details and symbolism. Everything else was originally derived from the ruling class in old China and the west.

    The modernisation that came in the Meiji Period in 19th century Japan brought a militaristic influence into all sectors of society which became fascism. Education of the masses followed, but creativity and lateral thinking was denied in favour of group-think and blind obediance to the Emperor and ruling classes. Any democracy including the parliamentary system again came from the west.

    Korea was late to develop modernity, clinging to Manchu China as its protector and reluctantly accepting technology such as bicyles and modernisation such as postmen - who were initially regarded with yes, hostility. Korea did invent moveable type centuries before and claimed to have invented undergound heating called 'ondol' but in fact the Pompeians did it earlier. And we all know that China still today has some conditions namely those concering its masses, that haven't changed for centuries.

    It is no surprise that East Asian cultures prioritise fitting in, the hive mind, and accepting received wisdom from socio-economic status quos instead of lateral thinking, debate, logic and creativity. Every modern invention the world takes from granted was created by western countries.

    East Asian countries are copyists - they must have a model to use, they do not create the model. Japan received American technology post WW2 gratis in order to bolster the anti Communist bloc. Korea likewise through American occupation and proxy governments later. China is notorious for stealing technology without acknowledging copyright. One of the significant creative countries with inventors was Scotland with a very small population, proving that cultures prioritising new knowledge and individual freedom win out over cultures such as those in East Asia.

    Finally, I could write for hours on the impracticality, irrationality and yes, even sheer stupidity I have seen in both Sth Korea and Japan - and not all of it by uneducated people. Many of them - certainly not all of them - can score high on IQ tests but the unwillingness to think critically and logically creates a distinct lack of practical intelligence in daily life. Are they the most intelligent people I have met? Certainly not. However, East Asians are good mimics.

The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of News Medical.