April 22, 2014

"Why Tiger Mothers Motivate Asian Americans But Not European Americans"

Via Marginal Revolution, here's an abstract from Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin
My Mother and Me 
Why Tiger Mothers Motivate Asian Americans But Not European Americans 
Alyssa S. Fu 
Hazel Rose Markus 
“Tiger Mother” Amy Chua provoked a culture clash with her claim that controlling parenting in Asian American (AA) contexts produces more successful children than permissive parenting in European American (EA) contexts. At the heart of this controversy is a difference in the normative models of self that guide behavior. Ideas and practices prevalent in AA contexts emphasize that the person is and should be interdependent with one’s close others, especially one’s mother. In contrast, EA contexts emphasize the person as independent, even from one’s mother. We find that AA compared with EA high school students experience more interdependence with their mothers and pressure from them, but that the pressure does not strain their relationship with their mothers. Furthermore, following failure, AAs compared with EAs are more motivated by their mothers, and AAs are particularly motivated by pressure from their mothers when it conveys interdependence.

This topic is really crying out for an adoption study to determine what share is nature and what nurture. My usual guess is fifty-fifty, but it would be fun to know more about it.

In Southern California, you see the Surfer Gene express itself not infrequently among third and fourth generation Asian-Americans with trust funds. On the other hand, they tend not to be screw-ups, either.
    

66 comments:

Anonymous said...

What is meant by "the Surfer Gene"?

(Pardon my ignorance.)

jody said...

role playing games are still the best metaphor here.

east asians have their children's life mapped out 10 steps ahead of time, just like characters in a video game. it sends the kids down a narrow path with a high probability of financial success in 20 years.

it's a winning strategy, but produces less interesting people by far. without that hand guiding them, they will still turn out ok, but be less materially successful, and that's the priority. they would be more creative, dynamic, and interesting without that hand steering them down the narrow corridor continuously.

Anonymous said...

"What is meant by "the Surfer Gene"?"

Dude. You need to have grown up in southern CA coastal communities to understand it.

I once was walking thru downtown San Diego at 5:30 in the morning (don't ask), and the homeless guys were doing chin ups on the iron gates. Surfer genes.

Anonymous said...

Example of Tiger mom / child interdependence.

Former Sunset District candidate ordered away from her kids

But her efforts to motivate her own children, as alleged in documents supporting the restraining order, included threatening to cut off her son’s hand if he didn’t complete homework for a tutoring program — and her husband (who is white) told the court that during one angry confrontation he caught her in the kitchen of their home holding the boy’s wrist in one hand and a large knife in the other.

http://oceanbeachbulletin.com/2013/11/21/former-sunset-district-candidate-jaynry-mak-young-ordered-away-from-her-kids/

Anonymous said...

>>Steve Sailer duly noted:
""""In Southern California, you see the Surfer Gene express itself not infrequently among third and fourth generation Asian-Americans with trust funds."""""

Et tu? Oh, you wrote Surfer Gene. Ok, had to reread it there.

I thought it first said "Surfer" Intelligence and its like sheesh, here they go again.

Anonymous said...

The word individual is a Western Concept (the ancient Greeks in particular) and we can see thru these various Tiger Mom reports why this is the case.

It is hard to imagine the concept of autonomous individuals at large being a prominent sized majority (or even minority) of Asian society, and reviewing the various histories of China, Japan, Korea, etc. we can see why.

In point of fact true individuals who are distinct and autonomous from their interdependencies (e.g. parents; clan; tribe; prefecture; etc) has never been the norm there and most likely never will if it hasn't this late in the game.

Tiger Mom, that's apparently Asian, but the opposite a la carefree, laid back, 'I trust my kids to make their own decisions in life' that's Western.

Asians at large wouldn't know what to make of that concept; just doesn't wash with them to allow or even permit their children to make their own decisions regarding something as all important as their own lives.

sunbeam said...

Funny.

I'm sure that the usual people who know all about an ancient culture will come out of the woodwork and refer to references that say it is a modern myth and that sort of thing.

But remember the old saying "Come home with your shield or on it."

Usually this is said with a sort of admiration for the culture that produced the saying.

This is how Asians play the game. Basically you can deal with it or go home. Where home is ceding practically everything of value in the world.

And even if Asian Americans are cured of such extremism, well you have 1 billion plus a small world away playing the game in hardcore mode.

You can elevate your game or not. But if you are going to compete with people that go to such measures, well you are going to have to come up with something.

Anonymous said...

I think Tiger Mothering doesn't work in the long term if your child ends up never having children like in the article below...

Also, in the case of this 'Virtuoso' Violinist the publicists and Hollywood types who make money off of these people are going to choose Asian over white because they know that the Asian will Do EVERYTHING they want or else the Asian will get beat by their mother....A white person would stand up to the Hollywood types and say "No I'm not doing 20 concerts in one month...only 4"

So one wonders if the virtuoso is really the virtuoso or just the best Slave Laborer on a Creative level?

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2608598/My-mother-hit-kowtow-knees-Vanessa-Mae-reveals-strict-tiger-mother-slapped-face-improve-violin-playing.html

ogunsiron said...

from a commenter at MR:
Michael April 22, 2014 at 1:28 pm
#2 The fact that this racist drivel was published speaks volumes about the state of social psychology.

- See more at: http://marginalrevolution.com/marginalrevolution/2014/04/assorted-links-tuesday.html#comment-158163322
====
It says that social psychology isn't as hopeless as one would have imagined it to be (it's the academic field with a 100:1 lefty:righty ratio or something close).

Orthodox said...

Adoption studies could work, but how many white babies are adopted in Shanghai.

That could be comedy gold though. Find a rich Shanghai couple struggling to find a white baby to adopt from America, hoping to save just one white baby from a life of laziness and obesity.

Anonymous said...

The word individual is a Western Concept (the ancient Greeks in particular)...

Most people who emphasize the tired trope of Western individual vs. Eastern conformist seem to either forget or not know that, in much of Western history, including during the glories of ancient Greeks and Romans, Westerners were far more communitarian than their post-"Enlightenment" progeny are.

There was a reason why exile was such a dreaded punishment, because it cut one off from all that a person knew -- his family, friends, home, soil, culture, indeed all that shaped his identity as a human being.

Even the "rugged American individual" is a myth writ in retrospect to create an exceptionalist ideology. The West was not settled by loners -- they were settled by large families and communities (religious or otherwise), people who were united by blood or faith or both. In those days, to be alone in the wild with the wild people around meant a certain death or worse.

Americans were Tiger people once. It's just that we have lost our way while East Asians, in part because they were less affected by the excesses of the Enlightenment and because they remained more rooted as peoples and cultures, still retain much of their communitarian ethos.

Talk to Western traditionalist Catholics who recorgnize both the benefits AND the pitfalls of all that resulted from the Enlightenment (the worship of the individual and his pleasures) and you will find people who are envious of these new Tigers.

Anonymous said...

A white person would stand up to the Hollywood types and say "No I'm not doing 20 concerts in one month...only 4"

You clearly don't know very many driven white parents with gifted children.

For those averse to reading, I suggest a documentary called "The Short Game" about young golf prodigies and their parents.

The image popular among white supremacists, that of a gifted white genius who doesn't have to grind vs. an automaton Asian who has to do so to be good, is a stupid fantasy held by people who know nothing about what it takes to be great in a hyper-competitive field.

Anonymous said...

We know that American-born Asians don't falter as much as American-born others, but they do falter from their immigrant forefathers.

For example, they have higher illegitimacy rates and higher crime rates than Asian-born Asians. It's just that those rates for their parents are so low that even in their fallen states their numbers are better than our national average (or native white average).

Until recently, Asian immigrants were highly assimilative of the traditional WASP culture (you know, when CA was conservative more-or-less). Now that they are increasingly assimilative of the post-industrial, post-modern SWPL bicoastal culture, it's hard to predict where they are headed. Probably a large majority are headed where the upper middle to middle class whites are while a smaller subset is headed the black-Hispanic "yigger" way.

Of course, there is also the fact that Asian immigrants are increasingly less anti-communist Korean-Taiwanese-Chinese and more Indian-Chinese, so two major processes are simultaneously at work.

Anonymous said...

A white person would stand up to the Hollywood types and say "No I'm not doing 20 concerts in one month...only 4"

Are you sure about that? Far worse is done for "Hollywood types" by young whites hoping for showbiz gigs than doing 20 concerts in a month....

http://www.slate.com/blogs/xx_factor/2014/04/22/hollywood_sex_ring_lawsuits_a_primer_on_the_allegations_against_bryan_singer.html

Laguna Beach Fogey said...

In Southern California, you see the Surfer Gene express itself not infrequently among third and fourth generation Asian-Americans with trust funds. On the other hand, they tend not to be screw-ups, either.

I know AA guys [w/out trust funds] like this and while they're not exactly screw-ups, they aren't hitting it out of the park, either.

Anonymous said...

"""""Most people who emphasize the tired trope of Western individual vs. Eastern conformist seem to either forget or not know that, in much of Western history, including during the glories of ancient Greeks and Romans, Westerners were far more communitarian than their post-"Enlightenment" progeny are.""""""

I'll try again, since you didn't actually read what was originally written.

The WORD INDIVIDUAL is a Western CONCEPT (the ancient Greeks in particular) and we can see thru these various Tiger Mom reports why this is the case.

Translation: The CONCEPT originated from and developed out of the West. This CONCEPT is thousands of yrs old and it originated from the West.


Anonymous said...

The WORD INDIVIDUAL is a Western CONCEPT (the ancient Greeks in particular) and we can see thru these various Tiger Mom reports why this is the case.

Do you read Koine Greek? Have you read Confucious and Lao-Tzu?

The modern notion of "individual," of which you write, is largely a product of the rise of the mercantile class that accompanied Enlightenment and Renaissance (which in turn was produced by the forces unleased by the dissolution of Christiandom via the Reformation and indeed Christianity itself).

The rather ancient concept of an individual person existed in both ancient West and the East. What differed over the millenia was how that individual was to relate to institutions at large such as family, clan, tribe, religion, king, state, etc.

Anonymous said...

"The West was not settled by loners..."

Granting your point with respect to settling, the so-called Mountain Men who were at the very forefront of the frontier and broke a lot of the trails seem to have definitely been loners, some maybe outright hermits. I wonder if many weren't that different from some homeless people today. "I think I'll just keep walking in that direction."

Wikipedia has a long list and a lot of pages on Mountain Men. I wonder if Tiger Mother would understand?

Anonymous said...

But remember the old saying "Come home with your shield or on it."

ἢ τὰν ἢ ἐπὶ τᾶς (Ḕ tā̀n ḕ epì tâs -- either with your shield or on it).

As Plutarch reports, Spartan mothers equipping their sons. Men fleeing from battle typically threw away their shields to lighten themselves and avoid capture or death (the vast majority of casualty occurred in routs not in battles). The dead were carried on shields.

Sparta was one of the most militarized and communitarian of societies in human history. They didn't love so much their freedom as their land and status as peers (they couldn't trade or travel and lived in barracks most of their lives).

Indivudalism? Pah!

Anonymous said...

I mean "Confucius," not "Confucious."

Anonymous said...

"Mountain men"? And where are the celebrated mountain individuals of Europe?

As a corollary to the settling of America, how do you think the Pacific Islands were settled? By "crazy" Polynesians (originally from Taiwan-Formosa, in turn from southern China whence they were pushed by northerners of substantially different phenotype) who launched into the unknown ocean.

There were mountain men in most cultures. Most became bandits and outlaws... unless vast amount of low density lands suddenly became available.

The history of China, for example, is replete with men who rebelled against authority and became bandit lords and some who even set up non-monarchical governments.

Anonymous said...

""""Do you read Koine Greek? Have you read Confucious and Lao-Tzu?"""""

Oh, my. So...you didn't know that in 2014Land, that these major tomes have indeed been in Eng. translation for oh, about,.....a few centuries at this date?

Really?

Seriously?

Didn't know that and its a brain shocker?


""""The rather ancient concept of an individual person existed in both ancient West and the East."""""

Way way way way way way way way. Hold it. Individual Personhood IS NOT a traditionally orthodox buddhist (and other eastern religions) concept. It is Greek based and directly influenced early Christianity.

The main point of Nivana is merging into the World Soul and LOSING ONE'S (unique and distinctive) INDIVIDUALITY.

Oops.

IF it truly existed in the East and not just as a vague word, then we should be able to see direct evidence of how it has played out in Asian nations. And we don't.

The CONCEPT derives from the West. Are China; Japan; Korea; et al considered to be individualistic societies? Based on our observations of their societies? Answer: No, they are not.

The modern notion of "individual" can also be traced back to early Christianity in the Epistles and St Paul was influenced by Hellenistic?Greek

The philosophers/scholars/educated men of the society that produced the mercantile class of Ren./Enlightenment times were VERY, VERY well acquainted with ancient Greek philosophy, particularly of the individual nature of man.

Oops Oops.

But nice try though.

The post, re: Tiger Mothers, while obviously a small example, exists as a microcosm of Asian Society (if you don't accept this notion, take it up with Amy Chua as she is implicitly stating as much).

Anonymous said...

Wikipedia has a long list and a lot of pages on Mountain Men. I wonder if Tiger Mother would understand?

There is a Chinese hermit tradition of those who go off to live in the mountains alone, though it may be more akin to Catholic hermitage:

http://www.amazon.com/Road-Heaven-Encounters-Chinese-Hermits/dp/1582435235

Anonymous said...

that these major tomes have indeed been in Eng. translation for oh, about,.....a few centuries at this date?

I figured that since you were so well acquainted with ancient Greece and the original "individual" word in Greek, you'd know.

Furthermore, any literate person knows that modern translations necessarily run the dangers of modern renderings at some odds with the original terms and concepts.

The main point of Nivana is merging into the World Soul and LOSING ONE'S (unique and distinctive) INDIVIDUALITY.

Small logical consideration. One would have to recognize individuality before exhorting merging it to something larger.

"Oops," indeed.

IF it truly existed in the East and not just as a vague word, then we should be able to see direct evidence of how it has played out in Asian nations. And we don't.

Because the trajectories diverged significantly since the 16th Century.

The CONCEPT derives from the West. Are China; Japan; Korea; et al considered to be individualistic societies? Based on our observations of their societies? Answer: No, they are not.

And neither was the West until relatively recently.

The modern notion of "individual" can also be traced back to early Christianity in the Epistles and St Paul was influenced by Hellenistic?Greek

I already alluded earlier to the role of Christianity in the rise of individualism in the West. However, I emphasize the decisive role played by the dissolution of the Christiandom with the rise of the Reformation when the real differences with the East began to emerge (and I write that as a devout Catholic).

Does the pre-Reformation Aragonian/Castilian monarchy strike you as a very "individualist" society?

Clearly the West TODAY (particularly Anglo-sphere) is far more individualist than East Asia. But that is not set in stone and is largey a legacy of a relatively recent development in human history.

take it up with Amy Chua as she is implicitly stating as much).

Amy Chua is an excellent commentator on a number of interesting topics (her best book is "World on Fire," not these latest semi-comedic confessionals), but she is only a SELF-APPOINTED guardian of Asian-American parent-dom.

For that matter, not a lot of Asians here or elsewhere descend from mercantile diaspora royalty who discover memristor.

Portlander said...

One obvious confounder is that many Asians come to America to escape their oppressive parents: "I wanted to start a company, but my mother would hear nothing of it. She wanted me to work for IBM," is not uncommon.

So, while it's a Surfer Gene... it's not exactly the Spicoli allele. :)

Rainer said...

About the Greeks, Karl Popper was correct in saying that the pre-Socratians were the first people to understand the value of critique and opposition for the development of science. (We needn't generalize that to a general praise of "individualism".)

By the way, it would be interesting to compare the Asian Tiger Mother to the proverbial Jewish Mom and its long-lasting influence on the child.

Anonymous said...

The wiki on Mountain Men says they were employees and worked in groups with a leader. Hardly rugged individualism.

ogunsiron said...

Anonymous said...
...Now that they are increasingly assimilative of the post-industrial, post-modern SWPL bicoastal culture, it's hard to predict where they are headed. Probably a large majority are headed where the upper middle to middle class whites are while a smaller subset is headed the black-Hispanic "yigger" way.
=====
The only asians headed towards assimilation into black culture seem to be the philipinos and cambodians. As we all know,they're the low IQ asians. The north-east asians like some aspects of black culture a lot (cheezy R&B, breakdancing) but they don't actually hang out with black people at all. I sometimes see a couple of black kids breakdancing with the asians and it's obvious that the black kids are not the cultural leaders in those groups. The cultural appropriation of breakdancing by asians is an interesting phenomenon I find.

Anonymous said...

""""I figured that since you were so well acquainted with ancient Greece and the original "individual" word in Greek, you'd know.""""

Then, I will take it as a NO, that you were not fully aware that Eng. translations have existed for centuries. Well, dude, they have.


"""Furthermore, any literate person knows that modern translations necessarily run the dangers of modern renderings at some odds with the original terms and concepts.""""""

No, any socialist/good marxist states that. It's called decontextualisation. I mean, taken to the logical conclusion, we can't ever fully trust anything we read ever because even way back then, original sources contain biases and other prejudices.


""""Small logical consideration.""""

Balderdash. It's a large consideration and the difference between Eastern and Western philosophy of religious thought.



"""One would have to recognize individuality before exhorting merging it to something larger."""

Uh, merging it into nothingness in point of fact. And actually orthodox thought says that individuality is an illusion and nonexistent. So they really don't recognize individuality or this present material world for that matter. Life is but a dream.


"""Because the trajectories diverged significantly since the 16th Century."""""

NO, the trajectories ORIGINATED since the ancient Greeks.

"""And neither was the West until relatively recently.""""

Part true. Individualism as a concept existed for two millennium.
Oh wait. So you conceded my point, that modern Asian societies still remain non-individualism. Thank you!


"""However, I emphasize the decisive role played by the dissolution of the Christiandom with the rise of the Reformation when the real differences with the East began to emerge (and I write that as a devout Catholic)."""""

And that particular bias is showing. Another stream of Christendom would state that they were recovering the Post-Apostolic church which allowed a hybrid of community and individualism.

St Paul, was an individual. He wrote letters to the church at large, but as a solitary individual. He took missions trips, oftentimes alone. He suffered for the faith, alone. He was Christianity's first prominent individual (since Peter, James, John, etc were disciples).



""""Does the pre-Reformation Aragonian/Castilian monarchy strike you as a very "individualist" society?""""

It doesn't strike as much of anything since from 711 to ca. 1491 the reconquest of Spain/iberian peninsula was occurring. Obviously, it shouldn't have to be stated but true individualism cannot exist in times of chaos or that in theory could lead to anarchism.


"""Clearly the West TODAY (particularly Anglo-sphere) is far more individualist than East Asia.""""

See? You concede. Excellent, most excellent. Now finish your concession: 'And the CONCEPT of individualism is nearly entirely of Western Origin.'
Thanks, dude.

stari_momak said...

The Surfer Gene personified. Hobbie Alter, RIP.

http://www.ocregister.com/articles/alter-610508-hobie-water.html

It would be interesting to run a study about who actually 'created more jobs', Alter or Zuckerberg. As for high tech, I think it takes more tech genius to create a 1-2 person, superfast catamaran than to rework some code.

Steve Sailer said...

Modern foam surfboards and the catamaran -- that's a lot of serious fun Hobie Alter invented.

stari_momak said...

What non-attention grubbing meritocracy looks like

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mxrh1CrMmTY

Anonymous said...

Then, I will take it as a NO, that you were not fully aware that Eng. translations have existed for centuries. Well, dude, they have.

This is just silly and absurd. There was a time when Western gentlemen could read Latin and Greek, because being able to read the original mattered for both practical precision and tradition.

No, any socialist/good marxist states that. It's called decontextualisation. I mean, taken to the logical conclusion, we can't ever fully trust anything we read ever because even way back then, original sources contain biases and other prejudices.

Again, silly. Anyone who is decently multilingual knows that there are words that convey concepts that are difficult to translate exactly to another language (my first Latin teacher enticed me with the words, "It's quite the martial language, young man. You can say to kill with a sword a dozen different ways in Latin). Languages aren't simply carbon-copies with different letters. Add to that the fact that millenia have elapsed and anachronistic modernism has permeated translations of ancient texts and we have quite the mash.

Uh, merging it into nothingness in point of fact. And actually orthodox thought says that individuality is an illusion and nonexistent. So they really don't recognize individuality or this present material world for that matter. Life is but a dream.

Notwithstanding your effort to backtrack, a philosophy that exhorts one to merge one's individuality to someting else (your words) must recognize that individuality exists in the first place. If the latter did not exist conceptually, what is there to merge?

Furthermore, Confucianism (which is the dominant spiritual-moral philosophy in East Asia) deals a great deal with how an individual is to relate to others in society (parents, family, friends, king, etc.). It's simply silly to suggest that individual personhood as a concept was only present in the ancient West. Relations ethics can only exist if there is a recognition that there is an individual of free will who can make those choices in the first place to relate to others in moral pursuits.

NO, the trajectories ORIGINATED since the ancient Greeks.

Tell me about Spartan notion of individuality.

Oh wait. So you conceded my point, that modern Asian societies still remain non-individualism. Thank you!

It's clear that you are arguing with your own statements rather than the ones I made.

St Paul, was an individual. He wrote letters to the church at large, but as a solitary individual. He took missions trips, oftentimes alone. He suffered for the faith, alone. He was Christianity's first prominent individual (since Peter, James, John, etc were disciples).

It's apparent you did not actually read St. Paul or, if you did, did not comprehend any of it.

The Church as such is the body of ALL believers. It is a communitarian entity. Have you ever heard the expression "the community of saints"? It is very evocative of Burke's partnership of the dead, the living and the yet to be born. Does that strike you as very individualist?

Obviously, it shouldn't have to be stated but true individualism cannot exist in times of chaos or that in theory could lead to anarchism.

Individualism taken to its logical conclusion leads to warlordism, not anarchism. There is a lovely Arab proverb that captures this historical progression.

See? You concede. Excellent, most excellent. Now finish your concession: 'And the CONCEPT of individualism is nearly entirely of Western Origin.'
Thanks, dude.


I don't see how the idea that the Reformation revolution led to a much more individualist Western society is a concession that the concept of an individual personhood was inherently only an ancient Western invention.

"Dude"? Are you a character in a juvenile '80's beach movie?

Uncle Peregrine said...

stari_momak said...
"What non-attention grubbing meritocracy looks like

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mxrh1CrMmTY"

T. R. Reid has written insightfully about the differences between the group and the individual in Asian and Western societies. The American reader will think he has the best comeback when he brings up his company song, although his Japanese interlocutor is not that impressed.

http://www.salon.com/1999/04/21/confucius/

Anonymous said...

'And the CONCEPT of individualism is nearly entirely of Western Origin.'

"Nearly entirely"? What happened to "entirely"? This makes me think of "You can keep your doctor, period" turning into "most of you will be able to keep your doctors."

Anonymous said...

Might I point out that, unlike the Anglo-Saxons, Scandinavians remain to this day quite communitarian and conformist? In that regard, Scandinavians (esp. what a friend of mine calls "Country Swedes") see much more eye-to-eye with the likes of the village Japanese regarding the role of a person in the society at large than with the Anglo-Saxons on both sides of the Atlantic.

Anonymous said...

It doesn't strike as much of anything since from 711 to ca. 1491 the reconquest of Spain/iberian peninsula was occurring. Obviously, it shouldn't have to be stated but true individualism cannot exist in times of chaos or that in theory could lead to anarchism.

You do of course realize that much of their histories, the Hellenes and Latins were at war with each other and with outsiders. Spartans, in particular, existed in a constant state of war, even with their own helots.

By the way, the English term "individualism" is a product of the 19th Century, though of course, the concept of it was an evolution of all that came during the Enlightenment.

If you read enough ancient and medieval texts and learn of the ways people lived in the West during those times, you would realize just how anachronistic the modern concept of individualism is in such contexts.

Anonymous said...

"The history of China, for example, is replete with men who rebelled against authority and became bandit lords and some who even set up non-monarchical governments."

Perhaps the most extreme example of rebellion was the first emperor of the Ming Dynasty, who was born a poor peasant and eventually rose to become leader of an army which overthrew the Genghis Khan-descended Yuan rulers of China.

Sean said...

Amy Chua says it's an immigrant effect that fades out in three generations, except in Jews, though they are beginning to become complacent. Could be something to do with epigenetics which can go back to grandfathers ect .


" We find that AA compared with EA high school students experience more interdependence with their mothers and pressure from them, but that the pressure does not strain their relationship with their mothers"

Chua's mother told her to marry a nice Jewish boy?

There is probably an innate obedience in the Chinese. Or, maybe Chinese are just an awful lot more capable that anyone except Ron Unz has realised. And we have to explain that away ...

Anonymous said...

What non-attention grubbing meritocracy looks like

Asians tend to be self-effacing, not attention grubbing. Usually they're criticized for being too self-effacing and passive, but I suppose they can be anything, including attention grubbing prima donnas, if the point is just to criticize them.

Anonymous said...

"""This is just silly and absurd.""""
Reductio ad absurdum.



"""There was a time when Western gentlemen could read Latin and Greek, because being able to read the original mattered for both practical precision and tradition.""""""

Exactly. And from the original sources they discovered the western (ancient Greek) concept of individualism.


""""Anyone who is decently multilingual knows that there are words that convey concepts that are difficult to translate exactly to another language""""

Yes, but not so cumbersome that we can't ascertain the meaning of the text as a whole. The scriptures were written in Greek, Aramaic, and Hebrew. Are we really to suppose that we can't entirely ever figure out the main themes of the Old and New Testaments? Come now.


""""Languages aren't simply carbon-copies with different letters.""""

Again, modern man is not so stupid that he can't ascertain the original meanings as a whole from the writings of the ancients. We can understand , for example, the main themes within the Republic right now in 2014, Theme for theme we understand as did those who came before us and studied the texts in the original languages. Theme for theme, yes. Concept for concept, yes. Word for word? Not always.



""""Add to that the fact that millenia have elapsed and anachronistic modernism""""

Anachronistic? Not quite. Traces of it still abound.


"""has permeated translations of ancient texts and we have quite the mash."""""

NO, we can fully understand the meanings of the ancients in their writings. But if use this, that we can never fully grasp the intent meaning, etc then we're back to deconstructionism, where no one can ever know for certain what was in fact originally written.

'""Notwithstanding your effort to backtrack,""""

Was about to say the same for yours re: we can't ever know for certain what was originally written, a la deconstructionism.


"""a philosophy that exhorts one to merge one's individuality to someting else (your words)""""

Not accurately representing what I said. Merge one's individuality into nothingness, not something else.



""""must recognize that individuality exists in the first place.""""

Not necessarily. If something never existed but was a figment, an illusion, a person is in error, and is deceived if he thinks that individuality truly exists. He must overcome this error but submerging into nothingness.


""""If the latter did not exist conceptually, what is there to merge?""""

Life is an illusion. Therefore, taken to the conclusion, we never truly existed anyway.

The concept of individuality is Western.



Anonymous said...

""""Furthermore, Confucianism (which is the dominant spiritual-moral philosophy in East Asia) deals a great deal with how an individual is to relate to others in society (parents, family, friends, king, etc.)"""""

No kidding. It is community based in relations for the here an now although the dualism inherent within claims that the material world is but an illusion.


""""It's simply silly to suggest that individual personhood as a concept was only present in the ancient West."""""

The concept originated in the west. And again, we can view and examine how these ancient concepts play out today, right now. Do we see the concept of individuality at large in Asian societies today? No, we don't.


""""Relations ethics can only exist if there is a recognition that there is an individual of free will who can make those choices in the first place to relate to others in moral pursuits.""""

NO, the trajectories ORIGINATED since the ancient Greeks.

"""Tell me about Spartan notion of individuality."""

I am referring to the CONCEPT of individuality. Do you know hear what's been said? I've not claimed that particular ancient societies followed the concept in actual practice, merely that they were the ones who came up with the concept first.


""""It's apparent you did not actually read St. Paul or, if you did, did not comprehend any of it."""""

Not everyone is of your faith tradition. That is how our tradition teaches it. If you want to present yourself as anti-religion or anti-faith, that is of course your prerogative to do so. St Paul spoke to a new community, the gentile Christians, but he also lived his live as an individual. He no longer was a part of Judaism, but stressed a new faith among the gentile converts.


Anonymous said...


"""The Church as such is the body of ALL believers."""

Yes, but St Paul was an INDVIDUAL. In his life, in his practice.


"""It is a communitarian entity. Have you ever heard the expression "the community of saints"?""""

The original Christian missionaries were individuals, or pioneers of a new faith. They were reaching out to a non-community (gentiles) and forging them into a new community (followers of Christ)


""""It is very evocative of Burke's partnership of the dead, the living and the yet to be born. Does that strike you as very individualist?""""

That was Burke's observation. But since I am not of your faith tradition, and you seem to (without realizing it) belittle those not of yours, that is disappointing but shouldn't be unexpected.



"""Individualism taken to its logical conclusion leads to warlordism, not anarchism.""""""

No, warlordism comes directly from an extreme form of communitarianism. Warlords do not seek to dissolve the community. Instead they prefer to dominate/control their own tribe, or small section of a larger community.


"""I don't see how the idea that the Reformation revolution led to a much more individualist Western society is a concession that the concept of an individual personhood was inherently only an ancient Western invention.""""

Again, look at modern times to see how this has played out. Which side, East or West, is more individualist based?

The concept originated and developed over time from the West.

One point: You trace the Enlightenment as the time when individualism came into being. Actually you could say that it occurred during the late middle ages around the 13 and 14th centuries as more and more Greek manuscripts found their way into Europe and the educated classes began reading them via translation and re-discovered the concept of individualism, a concept of which was first developed in ancient Greece.


"""""Dude"? Are you a character in a juvenile '80's beach movie?"""""

The '80's? Dating yourself a bit there.

Anonymous said...

"""By the way, the English term "individualism" is a product of the 19th Century,"""

Based on concepts from the 17th century. (e.g. John Locke).


""""though of course, the concept of it was an evolution of all that came during the Enlightenment."""

The concept of the individual came from the ancient Greeks. During the 13 and 14 centuries Westerners began to read Greek manuscripts which had been lost the west for over a millennium.


""""If you read enough ancient and medieval texts and learn of the ways people lived in the West during those times, you would realize just how anachronistic the modern concept of individualism is in such contexts.""""""

FInish the thought: It was entirely non-existent then as right now in Asian societies.

I have only made mention that the concept of indiviualism was first developed from the ancient Greeks. Perhaps your faith system, which has stressed the community of saints etc. for well neigh 1500plus years would hasten to place the onus of individualism on the Reformation era (which in the eyes of the church was attempting to destroy the community or at least disunite it) and in that case it is entirely understandable.

Svigor said...

You can elevate your game or not. But if you are going to compete with people that go to such measures, well you are going to have to come up with something.

1) Whites are better soldiers. So, as long as we keep ourselves in fighting trim, there shouldn't be much threat of anyone overrunning us militarily.

2) Borders. As long as we don't stupidly let them infiltrate our societies, we'll have our own spaces.

3) Whites are perfectly capable of setting up, maintaining, and improving nice societies for themselves. They've been doing it for about 400 years and more.

Given all that, no, there's no need to "elevate our game" and try to out-grind the Asians. Let them run their legs off on a treadmill, what do we care?

Granted, we've screwed pooch #2 royally and there's no end in sight.

Anonymous said...

Asians are not really surfer types in California, more so in Hawaii. They tend to be more white when they are 2nd and 3rd but not big surfers. In La and Orange surfing has declined as the populations have become more Hispanic and Asian. The surfer culture is more popular with whites and when whites decline enough by 2025 surfing will be a thing of the past except among a small group that likes it or professional surfers. In fact the HB fest of surfing has more people into the rock gangs or skateborders which Mexicans like also and some of the Asians than people in surfing. Surfing a dying sport except among professional surfers. Low riders reign, ha ha ah and more white boys are liking the low riders since cars are more popular in California than Surfing anyways.

Anonymous said...

"As Plutarch reports, Spartan mothers equipping their sons. Men fleeing from battle typically threw away their shields to lighten themselves and avoid capture or death (the vast majority of casualty occurred in routs not in battles). The dead were carried on shields.

Sparta was one of the most militarized and communitarian of societies in human history. They didn't love so much their freedom as their land and status as peers (they couldn't trade or travel and lived in barracks most of their lives).

Indivudalism? Pah!" - it is also good advice for fighting, since as you note: the killing starts when one army breaks.

Anonymous said...

Of course, there is also the fact that Asian immigrants are increasingly less anti-communist Korean-Taiwanese-Chinese and more Indian-Chinese, so two major processes are simultaneously at work.
True, both conservative culture in so Calif was nothing to bragged about. In fact whites have less kids out of wedlock when conservative theory became less popular. In Orange County white out of wedlock births decline from about 25 percent in 1990 to about 7 percent today. Whites being less conservative in Orange County means less drug use than in 1990, still drug use in the OC higher among whites than minorities. Less out of wedlock births among whites 25 versus 7 among teenagers. Conservatives mouth they are against drugs and drinking and out of wedlock sex but they never practice what they preach. In fact even with a higher Hispanic population teen births are lower in California than in 1990 as per 1,000 births. Texas on the other hand much higher.

Anonymous said...

Is there any proof that Asian tigermoms' kids do better than than other Asian kids?

I am Generation 1.5 Asian-American myself, and my parents spoke minimal English, ran a Chinese takeout, and had no idea about my classes. They were too busy trying to make a minimal income while fighting constantly with each other. They had no idea about college applications. The few other Chinese kids in my small town were the same.

Yet here we are, decades later: many doctors and engineers. Not a tiger mom among us, no piano lessons, no push to study.



Anonymous said...

""""""Yet here we are, decades later: many doctors and engineers. Not a tiger mom among us, no piano lessons, no push to study."""""

And in the words of the Perfesser Casey Stengel, that's simply "AMAZIN' !"

Anonymous said...

I should point out that Medicine and Engineering and now Software are fields that rely less on family and connections when starting out. Smart kids from poor families should go for them.

For example, a GPA of 4 (even from a no-name school),and an MCAT of 40 (high IQ) will get you into med school and a 6 figure income for life. Or code really well, and no one cares about if you play the piano or not.

Anonymous said...

"""""I should point out that Medicine and Engineering and now Software are fields that rely less on family and connections when starting out. Smart kids from poor families should go for them.""""

Yes, that's fine as far as it goes. However, we also have to say that smart kids from poor families tend to lack an important characteristic that the upper middle and upper classes tend to have with regards to education and that's motivation. A poor person who is smart and also who recognizes that they have what it takes academically will have to work twice as hard to get into those schools since he lacks connections and extra resources.

Bottom line: while its a good theory in reality it seldom ever works out that way. Typically, a poor family hopes that their child will have superior athletic ability, and hence their lotto ticket out of poverty.

A poor person who has the academic goods will also be further hindered if he attends a mediocre HS where few superior resources are available to him.

Anonymous said...

And from the original sources they discovered the western (ancient Greek) concept of individualism.

How would you know? You cannot even read the originals. Everything you (incorrectly) infer is from second, third and fourth hand.

The scriptures were written in Greek, Aramaic, and Hebrew. Are we really to suppose that we can't entirely ever figure out the main themes of the Old and New Testaments?

Indeed, people who want to understand the Bible seriously ARE encouraged to study Koine Greek. Many modern interpretations bear little resemblance to the original meaning of crucial terms. Agape, eros, philia from Greek are all often translated as "love" when the meaningings differ significantly. And if you don't know the difference you cannot know of which the early Fathers speak when they speak of God's love.

I am afraid I do not share your notion of "Cliff notes" education as sufficient to understand Western canon (or Eastern canon, for that matter).

Not everyone is of your faith tradition. That is how our tradition teaches it.

Are we now on to "my religion is valid too"? Just as I do not indulge in moral relativism, I do not indulge in religious relativism. My "faith tradition" is, along with the Greek Rite (which is sacramentally valid for Catholics), the original Christian faith. My kind does not mutate off everytime there is a dispute over parish property or points of doctrinal contention. But good luck with "married" sodomites and women as "pastors."

NO, the trajectories ORIGINATED since the ancient Greeks.

If the above is true, tell me why both the East and the West were communitarian until roughly the 16th Century. You say that the West was "individualist" even before the Enlightenment. Why then did individualism not emerge in Western societies prior to that time? What accounts for the two millenia (and more) of silence?

Differing results c. 21st Century does not necessarily mean different trajectories since 2,000 B.C. Two societies could have very simlar trajectories until such time as one experiences a decisive event the other does not.

Yes, but St Paul was an INDVIDUAL. In his life, in his practice.

The original Christian missionaries were individuals, or pioneers of a new faith.


And yet they wrote to existing ethnic communities (including my favorite, the once fearsome Gallic barbarians the Galatians), not to individuals as such.

You again display your utter lack of knowledge of the actual substance of what the early Church fathers wrote. They were not individuals nor did they advocate individuality.

It is community based in relations for the here an now although the dualism inherent within claims that the material world is but an illusion.

Clearly you have no idea about Confucianism. Confucianism is frequently at odds with Buddhism. There is NO SUCH THING as "the material world as an illusion" in Confucianism. The latter is a moral philosophy based on social relations and hierarchy. It, somewhat akin to Catholicism, emphasizes the unbroken continuity of the dead, the living and the unborn as a communal project, a thing of permanence. It would be abhorrent for those who follow Confucian ethics to foresake the real world in preference for nothingness or even self-denial. Ancestral spirits are revered in Confucianism. Ancestors are not supposed to disappear into nothingness in Confucianism.

There is a reason why Confucianism was the dominant philosophy of the establishment in East Asia while Buddhism was frequently a religion of escape for peasants and rebels. In much of Chinese and Korean histories, for example, Buddhists were suppressed as being destructive to good social order (and they still are in modern times -- try Googling the wonderfully droll YouTube videos of ROK police suppressing riots by Buddhist monks).

Anonymous said...

No, warlordism comes directly from an extreme form of communitarianism. Warlords do not seek to dissolve the community. Instead they prefer to dominate/control their own tribe, or small section of a larger community.

Warlordism emerges when central authority collapses and chaos reigns. It is the direct result of such conditions in which men seek to preserve themselves rather than their communities. It is the outcome of the emergence of a large group of unattached, "individualist" men who seek nothing but battle, booty and rape, in other words their own survival and pleasure.

During the Thirty Years War, which decisively shaped and gave birth to modern Europe, such men were called Freibooters and their leader Condottieri. Tied to nothing, no family, no land, no religion, they frequently switched sides in search of the highest bidder and the easiest prey. They are the opppsite of community.

Since you appear averse to reading, let me recommend a film: "The Last Valley" (1971) starring Michael Caine and Omar Sharif (as a bonus you get beautiful views of Tyrol). It is the best cinematic representation of warlordism in conflict with community.

Re: '80s. I grew up in the '70s, but first encountered "dude" when I lived in Southern California briefly in the '80s. It was and remains very grating to one's ears. Frankly, it's juvenile.

James Hedman said...

"Modern foam surfboards and the catamaran -- that's a lot of serious fun Hobie Alter invented."

The first modern day cat (the Manu Kai) was built by surfer/sailors Woody Brown, Rudy Choi, and Alfred Kumalae at Waikiki in 1947.

Art Javes developed the first "beach" catamaran the Aqua Cat around 1960 which with its aluminum mast and suspended trampoline inspired Hobie Alter's later efforts.

The first builder to incorporate foam as a core material for surfboards was Bob Simmons around 1948. Matt Kivlin, Joe Quigg, Dave Sweet, and Matt Rochlen all brought the modern fiberglass covered foam board into production during the 1950's.

Sweet was really a couple, three years ahead of Dale Velzy and Hobie Alter in the invention of the fiberglass covered all foam board which he was building and surfing as early as 1956.

http://files.legendarysurfers.com/surf/legends/lsc201.shtml

Anonymous said...

"""How would you know?""""
And you?

""""You cannot even read the originals."""""
If you insist on saying so.


""""Everything you (incorrectly) infer is from second, third and fourth hand.""""

Funny irony. That was one point of the Reformation, that the Vulgate had mistranslated certain words and concepts including love/charity thing. Jerome didn't accurately translate every word correctly, but as a Catholic you may be honor bound to differ.



""""Indeed, people who want to understand the Bible seriously ARE encouraged to study Koine Greek."""""

Erasmus, Luther, and Tyndale (and Zwingli and Calvin etc) did at the time (and Hebrew in some cases) and as they began to read the Scriptures in original languages they discovered and broke away from Rome...OH I'M SORRY. You're ...right. Sorry about that.


""""Many modern interpretations bear little resemblance to the original meaning of crucial terms.""""""

That is standard Church teaching. Sort of honor bound to state that. AGAIN, the basic theological concepts in Christianity in modern Bible trans. have more than accurately been translated. But you do tell us what/which theological concepts have NOT been accurately translated, won't you?

Make sure to include the modern Catholic translations as well, for fairness. Of course, then youd be stating that there are some things that the Church did not get correct in the Scriptures.


"""Agape, eros, philia from Greek are all often translated as "love" when the meaningings differ significantly.""""""

RE: Agape....THAT is a lie. OR rather, that's a matter of opinion. That's the traditional Thomas More version contra Tyndale.


""""And if you don't know the difference you cannot know of which the early Fathers speak when they speak of God's love."""""

Just what I was about to state. But you did say, that you're a member of the church and your biases are showing. You see, not everyone here or in US point of fact, is a member of the Church.



""""I am afraid I do not share your notion of "Cliff notes" education as sufficient to understand Western canon (or Eastern canon, for that matter)."""

Ad hominem.


Anonymous said...

""""Are we now on to "my religion is valid too"? Just as I do not indulge in moral relativism, I do not indulge in religious relativism.""""""

But you did. YOU just brought up a word that was among several during the Reformation. Thomas More spent a lot of ink and paper vs Tyndale on various words, agape was among them.



"""My "faith tradition" is, along with the Greek Rite (which is sacramentally valid for Catholics), the original Christian faith.""""""""

NO, that is a matter of opinion. From the late 3rd cent. onward. yes. Post-Apostolic Fathers and Pre-Nicea Council absolutely not.

We won't agree on this one. So either drop it or I will ask for fair representation of all faiths here. I am not seeking new converts and I'm sure you're not doing so here as well. But, instructive to remember that NOT all share your view in US and yet they also call themselves believers.


""""My kind does not mutate off everytime there is a dispute over parish property or points of doctrinal contention."""""

Now that's a lie. That is a lie. The Waldensians? The Albigensians? The Catharsians? The Jensenists? These and several others broke away

What about the Great Schism (1378-1417) and the Babylonian Captivity (Avignon Papacy 1309-1377).

You're entitled to your own opinions, yes. Your own facts of history, NO.

.

Anonymous said...

""""But good luck with "married" sodomites and women as "pastors.""""""

This is a smear. I wouldn't expect you to retract it, since you learned it from somewhere. Ask yourself, this intemperate tone and verbiage of yours, do you honestly think it makes people want to join your Church or not?

Now, I want others here to take notice. I did NOT attack his faith, neither did I attack what he believes directly. HE started this. For the record, most Christian faiths do not ordain women nor homosexuals.


"""""If the above is true, tell me why both the East and the West were communitarian until roughly the 16th Century."""""

I've never denied the practice. You must not hear very well, is that it? No wonder you don't acknowledge Agape as love, since I see very little of it in your faith.



""""You say that the West was "individualist" even before the Enlightenment. Why then did individualism not emerge in Western societies prior to that time? What accounts for the two millenia (and more) of silence?""""""

The West had individualistic tendencies based on the concept that they inherited from the ancient Greeks. What accounts for the silence? War, famine, pestilence, etc.

The Vikings by the way, in their seafaring and discovery expeditions were quite individualistic. So was Marco Polo.


""""And yet they wrote to existing ethnic communities (including my favorite, the once fearsome Gallic barbarians the Galatians), not to individuals as such.""""""

Of course he wrote to individuals, he names them often. (e.g. Timothy, Trophimus, Chloe, etc). Their names are explicitly stated in the letters.

Actually, not fully accurate. Paul wrote to outcasts, such as slaves, women, the poor. These were not directly involved in the communities they were on the fringes and were often outcasts. Paul was an outcast himself from Judaism. Oh, well, you forgot that part. He was writing as a member of a new faith and made that quite clear to the Galatians re: Jewish circumsion as not essential to follow Christ.

""""You again display your utter lack of knowledge of the actual substance of what the early Church fathers wrote. They were not individuals nor did they advocate individuality.""""""

The Apostles and the Post-Apostolic gen. were indeed individuals as they were leaving Judaism behind to convert the gentiles. They were forsaking their community for a dead Carpenter, who had been executed under Pilate.



""""There is NO SUCH THING as "the material world as an illusion" in Confucianism.""""

I did mention that the world = illusion is Buddhism, not Confucianism. I'm correct about Buddhism. And what religion is China, Japan, Korea's majority of its populations then as now? Buddhism.

Anonymous said...


""""The latter is a moral philosophy based on social relations and hierarchy. It, somewhat akin to Catholicism,"""

Not true at all. Catholicism has no direct connection to either Buddhism or Confucianism.


"""emphasizes the unbroken continuity of the dead, the living and the unborn as a communal project, a thing of permanence."""""

Yes, it's also a form of ancestor worship which was prevalent in Asian societies at that time.
Both Buddhism and Confucianism have reincarnation and that concept is alien and non existent in Roman Catholicism. You show me the catechism that states the Church endorses reincarnation. I don't know any Catholic official spokesperson who believes in Reincarnation a la Eastern Buddhism and Confucianism. Catholicism does not equal either faith.


"""Ancestral spirits are revered in Confucianism."""
Wrong. WORSHIPPED. There is a difference.


"""Ancestors are not supposed to disappear into nothingness in Confucianism.""""

The way that everyone does in Buddhism.


""""....while Buddhism was frequently a religion of escape for peasants and rebels.""""

Translation: Buddhism = the majority faith of the nations in Asia. Thank you. Buddhism today has nearly 400 million adherents and Confucianism doesn't even approach 10% worldwide of that total

Anonymous said...

""""Warlordism emerges when central authority collapses and chaos reigns.""""

From within the community, check.

""""Since you appear averse to reading,""""
Or adverse to only reading from biased sources.


""""The Last Valley" (1971) starring Michael Caine and Omar Sharif (as a bonus you get beautiful views of Tyrol). It is the best cinematic representation of warlordism in conflict with community."""""

Yes, it doesn't present your faith in the best possible light. Shows a burning at the stake for heresy, which, the Church did engage in during late middle ages all the way up to the early 19th century.



"""Re: '80s. I grew up in the '70s,"""""""

Yes, it was obvious.


""""but first encountered "dude" when I lived in Southern California briefly in the '80s. It was and remains very grating to one's ears."""""

Mm hm.



"""Frankly, it's juvenile.""""

Know what ELSE is juvenile? Is this self righteous attitude of 'my faith is the superior one and the only valid interpretation of the Scriptures.'

Another one? 'My faith is the only true direct line of succession from the Holy Apostles and if you don't believe me, well, you know what we did to William Tyndale, right?"

THAT was the community of the middle ages/Renaissance. You don't do what we say? Light the flames and get the wood all ready.

You have a nice day.

Anonymous said...

Translation: Buddhism = the majority faith of the nations in Asia. Thank you. Buddhism today has nearly 400 million adherents and Confucianism doesn't even approach 10% worldwide of that total.

Somebody doesn't understand the difference between a religion and a philosophy.

As for religious demography of Asia, we'll give Wiki a whirl for lack of time:

"According to a study by the Pew Research Center of Global Religious Landscape as of 2010, 21.9% of the population in China are folk religionists, 18.2% are Buddhist, 5.1% are Christians, 1.8% are Muslims, 0.8% are of other religions, while unaffiliated constitutes 52.2% of the population.[14]"

Clearly in China Buddhism is not the "majority faith."

Let's look at South Korea:

"As of 2005, just under half of the South Korean population expressed no religious preference.[160] Of the rest, most are Buddhist or Christian. According to the 2007 census, 29.2% of the population at that time was Christian (18.3% identified themselves as Protestants, 10.9% as Roman Catholics), and 22.8% were Buddhist.[161][162] Other religions include Islam and various new religious movements such as Jeungsanism, Cheondoism and Wonbuddhism. The earliest religion practiced was Korean shamanism.[163] Today, freedom of religion is guaranteed by the constitution, and there is no state religion.[164]"

Now, Japan:

"Japan enjoys full religious freedom based on Article 20 of its Constitution. Upper estimates suggest that 84–96 percent of the Japanese population subscribe to Buddhism or Shinto, including a large number of followers of a syncretism of both religions.[2][173] However, these estimates are based on people affiliated with a temple, rather than the number of true believers. Other studies have suggested that only 30 percent of the population identify themselves as belonging to a religion.[174] According to Edwin Reischauer and Marius Jansen, some 70–80% of the Japanese regularly tell pollsters they do not consider themselves believers in any religion.[175]

Nevertheless, the level of participation remains high, especially during festivals and occasions such as the first shrine visit of the New Year. Taoism and Confucianism from China have also influenced Japanese beliefs and customs.[176] Japanese streets are decorated on Tanabata, Obon and Christmas. Fewer than one percent of Japanese are Christian.[177] Other minority religions include Islam, Hinduism, Sikhism, and Judaism, and since the mid-19th century numerous new religious movements have emerged in Japan.[178]"

Unlike in China and Korea, Japan was more heavily influenced by Buddhism, but its Buddhism is heavily syncretized with local folk-state religion of Shintoism that does not resemble any continental variety.

And of course, outside a few isolated regions like Tibet and Sri Lanka, most of the rest of Asia is Hindu or Muslim.

Contrary to yet another mistaken understanding of yours, Buddhism is not the majority religion of Asia. It's not even a plurality religion of Asia.

Most of East Asia, however, falls heavily in the Confucian cultural zone. Ancestor worshipping is alive and well, for example, in China and Korea. Cultural ethos of both countries are overwhelmingly Confucian, something that is immediately obvious if you'd been stationed, worked and lived in China and Korea (and Japan) as I have.

Anonymous said...

Not true at all. Catholicism has no direct connection to either Buddhism or Confucianism.

Now you are just cutting and pasting and putting words in my mouth. I wrote that the Catholic concept of "community of saints" was "akin" (in the sense of "similar" or "resembling without being the same") to the Confucian notion of the continuity of the dead, the living and unborn forming a permanent community (also quite Burkean -- and of course Burke was an Anglo-Irish whig often accused of being a crypto-Catholic).

I did not write that the two were "connected" or were derived from the same foundation.

Try reading the words I actually wrote, not some straw man you'd like to answer.

Anonymous said...

Know what ELSE is juvenile? Is this self righteous attitude of 'my faith is the superior one and the only valid interpretation of the Scriptures.'

Fervent faith is not juvenile. It's the very definition of seriousness in purpose and outlook. How telling that you'd conmpare that to calling random strangers on the internet "dude."

Another one? 'My faith is the only true direct line of succession from the Holy Apostles and if you don't believe me, well, you know what we did to William Tyndale, right?"

THAT was the community of the middle ages/Renaissance. You don't do what we say? Light the flames and get the wood all ready.

You have a nice day.


My parish priest tells me quite regularly that there are many priests and self-declared Catholics in Hell. I believe him.

It is a Church of sinners seeking redemption. Quelle horreur, there are imperfect people in the Church!

Sola fide doesn't wash away sins. Sorry.

Furthermore, you might look into history and find that infamous inquisitions were often launched by the likes of the Spanish monarchy for political purposes and many accused saved themselves by appealing directly to Rome (which led to the Spanish monarchy outlawing such appeals on the pain of death during the notorious Spanish Inquisition).

On the other hand, for much of their histories, Protestant national churches were the tools of their respective states and sovereigns. I think Christ said something about Caesar and God.

You might also read Martin Luther on Jews. He was affronted that they remained immune to his unbelievable charms and went a bit batty about denouncing them in the most savage, inhumane manner, advocating wholesale murder, appropriation and expulsion, to which numerous Protestant princes responded enthusiastically. So much for "a hybrid of community and individuality," eh?

stari_momak said...

"What non-attention grubbing meritocracy looks like

Asians tend to be self-effacing, not attention grubbing. Usually they're criticized for being too self-effacing and passive, but I suppose they can be anything, including attention grubbing prima donnas, if the point is just to criticize them."

Attention grubbing wasn't exactly the correct phrase. The point I was making is that the ensemble linked, the 'Presidents Own' USMC band, features some of the finest musicians in the world, and is certainly plays the tightest Sousa marches I've ever heard. And it seems to be entirely white (except maybe the conductor, who look like he might be part Asian). The reason there are no Asians is that Asians have their kids play the 'glory' instruments -- violin, cello, piano -- not clarinet or trumpet.

stari_momak said...

I don't think Hobbie Alter originated either the small catamaran or the foam surfboard. He, however, is sort of a cross between Ford and PT Barnum (i.e. he produced good produces, en mass, for the public and he popularized ocean sports).

Anonymous said...

Anon @ 4/23/14, 8:32 AM Asians tend to be self-effacing, not attention grubbing.

Asians don't have much of a self promoting drive and tend to have less inflated ideas of themselves, but avoiding shame and avoiding falling beneath expectations standards and perfectionism (not achieving anything less than the best) is very important to them.

In the cultural literature, they're prevention focused, rather than promotion focused.

This can more or less result in the same behavior when they are confronted with other people's expectations (like grade grubbing).

White people tend to do a lot of prima-donna-ish things out of pretentiousness, self importance and dismisiveness. (Christian Lander of Stuff White People like describes the unifying factor of SWPLdom as essentially pretentiousness, and he's probably right. White people are far less insecure, grievance prone and whiny than pretty much all the other races, but do tend to be rather obnoxiously self assured.).

Asians tend to be out for themselves to gain social approval and in a more defensive and desperate way, more to make themselves "safe" and "invincible" against losing face and status rather than arrogance. More of a "this is what the social hierarchy says the "best people" are, and I want to be safe from being thought of as a "low person", so I'll do anything to join the elite".

Any slight threat to their status can lead to large amounts of defensive behavior to shore up their status (imagine Japanese samurais slicing one another up over "insults" yet at the same time behaving "humbly"). This tends to have more of a status-grubbing feel than an attention grubbing feel.

(It can also result in self improvement motivation, but so can a self promoting strategy.)