February 12, 2012

Tiger Mom and Eagle Dad

The Daily Mail has a looong story on the Chinese businessman who makes his 3-year-old kid run around in the snow in his underpants in New York as part of his "Eagle Dad" parenting style. 
If all goes to plan, it will get him into a top university by the age of ten. 
The father himself revels in the name Eagle Dad. He said: ‘Like an eagle, I push my child to the limit so he can learn how to fly.’ 
However, He Liesheng concedes that his techniques have strained his marriage, saying: ‘His mother just wants him to be a normal boy but I want him to be exceptional.’ ... The result, Mr He claimed, is that his son had an impossibly high IQ score of 218 when he was tested at the age of 36 months.

One of the innovations that makes the Daily Mail of London such an awesome online newspaper (it recently passed the New York Times in readership) is that they understand that there's no reason for a length limit to online stories. It used to be that tabloid papers like the Daily Mail had short articles, but now it has more long stories.

If the New York Times has a reporter talk to a news source for 30 minutes, they'll use maybe one minute as the perfect quote. That's what editors are for! But if a Daily Mail reporter talks to a news source for 15 minutes, they'll post 5 or 10 minutes worth of stuff. If they take 20 pictures, they'll post six of them. After all, there's no real opportunity cost.

And if you want to read about some deplorable Chinese father tormenting his kid, then you probably want to wallow in the topic.  So, why not just dump everything in the reporter's notebook into the posting?

39 comments:

David said...

"The result [of his methods], Mr He claimed, is that his son had an impossibly high IQ score of 218 when he was tested at the age of 36 months."

Wait a minute...Is the wait for Superman over?

Luke Lea said...

About that 218 IQ score. That's almost eight standard deviations above the average isn't it? What are the chances? One in a trillion? How many questions were on the test?

Anonymous said...

So weird how people think a higher IQ at a younger age matters. It's scaled to age, chumps.

Anonymous said...

The result [of his methods], Mr He claimed, is that his son had an impossibly high IQ score of 218 when he was tested at the age of 36 months.

His method: MSG instead of baby oil.

Harry Baldwin said...

Another reason the Daily Mail is doing well is that it's the only place you can read about some of the gruesome, racially charged crimes that happen in the US but are not covered by the mainstream media.

Anonymous said...

About that 218 IQ score. That's almost eight standard deviations above the average isn't it? What are the chances? One in a trillion? How many questions were on the test?

Why take it seriously?

It's either bogus, or if it's real, it's not likely to be meaningful or reliable.

Anonymous said...

"Duo Duo’s plight emerged after the family spent a winter break in New York, where the boy went to kindergarten for three months as part of his tailor-made education..."

How long was the family in New York? I assume they were there on visitor (B1/B2) visas. While it's not against the law to go to school on a B2 visa, it should be. I hope some eagle-eyed CBP type is scrutinizing them for overstays.

as said...

The body hardening thing is a good idea (though what is discussed here is extreme). Kids these days are so soft.

Hunsdon said...

Conan the New Yorker. (Umm, Cimmerian, not talk show host.)

Lara said...

It is an awesome paper. I wish I could do something noteworthy enough to get myself a story.

Anonymous said...

"It is an awesome paper. I wish I could do something noteworthy enough to get myself a story."

Are you black and inclined to crime?

Anonymous said...

I think the father went too far with giving the kid a high and tight.

An Unmarried Man said...

It's obvious He Liesheng has nicknamed his child after his own life-long over-consumption of Chow Fun noodles. For chrissakes, stop this man from living his own personal failures through his child before we read of yet another despondent Chinese suicide at a UC campus!

Maya said...

Eh. Whatever. I know a Jewish guy who tortured his only daughter in order to make her exceptional. She always had to study extra stuff. Anytime we were in line for something or during a bus ride, she had to solve some cognitive puzzle, and the father was very much displeased if she failed. At some point, he'd wake her up at 5:00am, and have her do some sort of physical routine. Ditto extreme math and tennis lessons pressure. Even dipped her into the icy river in freezing weather on a regular basis when she was a toddler.

Results? She went to a good enough college (top 30), majored in finance and now has a good enough job (enough to live very near NYC, but not enough to be comfortable in Manhattan). But then again, her parents are similarly accomplished, and nobody ever broke ice to dip them in a winter river.

Oh, and if she was damaged by all this, it wasn't enough to leave a really big mark. She's been dating since college, is in a long term relationship now, has friends and goes on vacations. She's closer to her mom than she is to her dad, though. It probably takes a lot of effort to change a kid's destiny in either direction, given parents who also perform all their normal duties.

kudzu bob said...

Another excellent reason to check out the Daly Mail site is that it features commentary by the American paleocon Thomas Flemng.

As for this "Eagle Dad" character, even if he did somehow manage to create an unstoppable superman (which he won't), once his son rose to become all-powerful dictator of China he would no doubt make it his first order of business to have his sadistic old man deservedly liquidated by the secret police.

Anonymous said...

Another excellent reason to check out the Daly Mail site is that it features commentary by the American paleocon Thomas Flemng.

Yeah I discovered this recently.

It seems bizarre. Fleming and Chronicles aren't really that well known. I wonder how ended up writing over there.

kudzu bob said...

It seems bizarre. Fleming and Chronicles aren't really that well known. I wonder how ended up writing over there.

I have no idea, but if they could be persuaded to run work by a controversial figure such as Fleming, might they be interested in what a certain California journalist has to say?

Georgia Resident said...

And you thought Asian mothers were terrifying...

Florida resident said...

My standard concern about parents like "Tiger Mom and Eagle Dad" is whether they possess "noblesse oblige".
Given: they can be so harsh to own kid, "for kid's better place in life".
What will be their decision, if the dilemma were: "to harm or not to harm other people's kids", "to cheat or not to cheat", still with the noble goal to promote own kid's "better place in life".
Respectful parent of three children, F.r.

stonelifter said...

I have no problem with what the Eagle Dad had his son do. Three days in the snow would be over the top, but a few minutes running around....

The Spartans lasted a long time, in part by making sure their men were the toughest

Anonymous said...

More like cuckoo bird dad.

dearieme said...

It worked for John Stuart Mill. Well, "worked" in one sense anyway.

Anonymous said...

"if you want to read about the mad punk rockers.. if you wanta to know how to play guitar"


Anyway Theodore Roosevelt pushed his kids in similar manner no??

Anonymous said...

Peter Hitchen's column is awesome.

Rohan Swee said...

One of the innovations that makes the Daily Mail of London such an awesome online newspaper (it recently passed the New York Times in readership)...

I remember, back in the early days of the blogosphere, Brits of the patronizing persuasion showing up in comments to prissily inform anybody who had linked a Daily Mail article that it was a tabloid, you silly yokel.

This was funny, and not just because someone completely unfamiliar with the UK press would easily be able to discern that it was a freakin' tabloid, well before before the page completed loading.

One still sees these types, but they appear to be much thinner on the ground these days. Either they got tired of sanctimoniously pointing out the obvious to the rubes, or more of them have finally figured out for themselves that the only difference between tabloid writers and respectable broadsheet writers is that the former often abandon all standards of decency and good taste and report unspun facts.

Anonymous said...

Let idiot Chinese keep this up. They'll never get it. Chinese still seem to think success is cultural: 'study hard, work hard'. Not to knock effort but the real secret to success is being born with high IQ, and so a smart society will try to produce more high IQ kids. I mean Mark Zuckerberg and Steve Jobs weren't made to run naked in the snow as kids.
Eagle dad's kid may be smart, and THAT will be the reason for his success. But dumb Eagle Dad thinks running-in-the-snow will do the trick. What a muroon.

I'd really worry about China if they get a hold of Eugenics. If Chinese get a hold of high IQ Jewish sperm and impregnate a million of their women with it, then we really need to worry about China. But if they make their kids run naked in snow.. Rotfl.

Anonymous said...

This reminds me of something I heard at a Japan Society lecture. Some guest speaker said when he was a kid, whenever he didn't want to eat something, his father would tell him a story of how a great Japanese military officer as a child had been finicky too but his father took him outside in the middle of winter and doused him with cold water, and so the kid ate everything and became a great officer. Anyway, the guest-speaker's father told him this story to make him eat everything.

And I recall reading in the biography of Mao that his college professor had a habit of taking a cold bath all year around, even in the middle of winter.
(Hirohito also supposedly took cold showers/baths every day.)
Maybe water/coldness is a symbol/agent of purification in Asia. It cleanses and sobers you up.
I think Russians take cold swims in frozen lakes but maybe that's just for fun.

Marlowe said...

Most British broadsheet newspapers (The Times, The Guardian, The Independent, I think the Telegraph also) went tabloid in print format several years ago so the term now refers to content. The length of article has shrunk as a consequence. On the Internet I don't see too much difference in content (the serious newspaper sites seem to feature as many Yeti ate my baby and Sex scandal stories as the traditional tabloids - due I think to the leveling effect of the Internet & the necessity of getting hits off Google searches by the unwashed masses) though the Mail site does feature an enormous number of celebrity stories. In the UK, the Mail has mainly women readers (Whiskey beware!). It used to be the case that Upper middle class men read the Times or Telegraph and the wife read the Mail. It has a huge woman's section in the print edition.

British leftists naturally revile the Mail and consider every word in its pages a lie (including 'and' and 'the').

BTW: Do Eskimos attend Harvard, Princeton and Yale in unusual numbers?

Daily Mail reader said...

Melanie Phillips is also on the Daily Mail's list. She's a very smart cookie.

Chavtastic said...

I remember, back in the early days of the blogosphere, Brits of the patronizing persuasion showing up in comments to prissily inform anybody who had linked a Daily Mail article that it was a tabloid, you silly yokel.

Lol.

The great thing about the Daily Mail (apart from all the laydeez in bikinis and underwear) is that Gaurdian readers HATE HATE HATE it.

Vinteuil said...

Since nobody else beat me to it:

"Hacker: Don't tell me about the press. I know exactly who reads the papers: The Daily Mirror is read by people who think they run the country; The Guardian is read by people who think they ought to run the country; The Times is read by the people who actually do run the country; The Daily Mail is read by the wives of the people who run the country; The Financial Times is read by people who own the country; The Morning Star is read by people who think the country ought to be run by another country; And The Daily Telegraph is read by people who think it is.

"Sir Humphrey: Prime Minister, what about the people who read The Sun?

"Bernard: Sun readers don't care who runs the country, as long as she's got big tits."

But, then, that was 25 years ago. Those were the days.

omar said...

About the cold water and snow thing, its found all over the place. Jihadist Indian poet Allama Iqbal claimed he used to take cold showers and pray dawn prayers in the cold London winter. Supposedly this shows his superior character.
IN his case, it was also probably a lie. His later life (better documented than his London sojourn, for which he is the only witness) indicates a somewhat lazy dude, fond of lying around all day doing nothing (and looking for ways to drink some wine without his jihadi fan base being any wiser), trying to avoid his wife who was always on his case about not making enough money. His son also reports he didnt find it easy to fast all day (not really a tough task). Anyway, the cold water meme seems widespread.

Anonymous said...

An IQ of 218 at age 1.5 years can translate into anything between a deviation IQ of 130 to 160 in adult age. Childhood IQs are expressed as a ratio, obtained by dividing the mental age of the child by the chronological age of the child. Conversely, adult IQs are expressed but how far to the right or left of average the person's IQ deviates on a Gaussian or "normal" distribution curve. Hence, a "deviation" score. Ratio IQ scores have no relation to deviation scores because children mature at different rates and extremely intelligent people mature much faster intellectually than average children, but then the average children pick up to some degree during late childhood and adolescence. Hence, the younger the age, the more "regression to the mean" an exceptional child's IQ experiences as other children mature. An IQ of 218 at age 10 would suffer significant regression to the mean, but would still be very, very impressive as it would translate into an adult deviation IQ around 178, significantly higher than your average Nobelist in physics and much higher than your average Ivy League professor. But an IQ of 218 at age 1.5 years would suffer such massive regression to the mean that it would mean an adult deviation IQ as "low" as 130. The only thing that we can say about a child with an IQ of 218 at age 1.5 years is that he will be gifted(IQ 130+) as an adult, but by no means exceptional.

And NO ONE in the history of the Earth has had an IQ of 218 in adult age. The most intelligent person in the World according to the Guiness Book of World Records is Marilyn Savant, who scored an IQ of 228 on the Stanford-Binet LM form when she was 10. That would translate into an adult deviation IQ around 186 or 187, and her (extrapolated)scores as an adult reflect that. The highest IQ ever obtained by an ADULT for which there is undeniable evidence was by former chess champion, Bobby Fischer, who scored an astronomic, unbelievable 190+ as a young man.

An IQ of 145 in adult age is already really, REALLY high. That is what those with post-graduate degrees in mathematics from a top 20 university would score. Your typical physics Nobelist scores 155. College graduates average 113 and medical doctors and engineers average 127.

Charlesz Martel said...

What about James Sidis? He is considered to have had an I.Q. of between 250-300. Read all about him here:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_James_Sidis

Or Google him- a fascinating character. I've never considered Marilyn Savant that bright, so I'm not surprised that your explanation of regression to the mean and absurdly high child I.Q.'s fits her case.

Anonymous said...

As a long-term isteve reader, I'd like to agree that the daily mail is a terrific tabloid, refreshing in its willingness to adopt a slant, generally the correct one, which presupposes the questionable motivations of its subjects and often mining the nuanced kernels of truth out of the situations it presents. If the motive becomes the story, the news reaches a higher level of value and the media play a role in shaping values, where if the story is the story, the media often are just mouthpieces for the lucky few who get covered. The daily mail is fairly judicious in its focus on the most relevant aspects of its stories, speculating on possibilities at times when it is unable through reportage to determine the certain facts. It is not so different from isteve in many respects.

Anonymous said...

What a Christian!

Ray Sawhill said...

Movies were once looked down on. Now they're recognized as one of major art forms of the 20th century.

Pop music and rock music were once sneered at. Now they've taken over and are studied in colleges.

Pulp-fiction novels were once seen as one small step removed from porn. Now some are in the Library of America.

I'm wagering that today's best tabloid journalism -- that'd be the online Daily Mail -- will be recognized as one of the great cultural creations of our time.

Anonymous said...

"Movies were once looked down on. Now they're recognized as one of major art forms of the 20th century."

Now? Cinema was taken seriously by many people as early as the 30s. And by the 50s and 60s, it was THE most exciting art form and recognized as much by even the elites.
TODAY, your average movie is like TRANSFORMERS. Some art form.

"Pop music and rock music were once sneered at. Now they've taken over and are studied in colleges."

Actually, already by SGT PEPPER, it was being taken seriously. And even before that with Dylan. LONDON TIMES compared Beatles with Bach and Beethoven.
Today, most pop music is like Jay-Z. Some art form.

"I'm wagering that today's best tabloid journalism -- that'd be the online Daily Mail -- will be recognized as one of the great cultural creations of our time."

Does that mean porn too will be studied in colleges? But then all of our culture has been pornified. Disney teaches kids to dress like sluts.

Anonymous said...

"The highest IQ ever obtained by an ADULT for which there is undeniable evidence was by former chess champion, Bobby Fischer, who scored an astronomic, unbelievable 190+ as a young man."

Where is the undeniable evidence ? Bobby Fischer was a young adult around the time Ratio IQs were still being used, so there is no way his alleged IQ score of 190+ was a deviation IQ score. Besides, there is no evidence of Fischer's IQ score. There is a common rumor that his IQ score (taken from his high school [Erasmus Hall High School in NY] records) was 180 but that turned out to be a hoax. Even if it wasn't a hoax and that IQ score was real (which I'm certain it isn't), Fischer left high school at 16 (in 1959) and so that IQ score must have been from his early teens, and since it was in the 1950s, it must have been a Ratio IQ score.