Wednesday, February 10, 2016

In a High I.Q. Country

"Smart Koreans" was the title of a post I wrote a decade back after a decade living in that country "second only to tiny Hong Kong" in terms of average intelligence." Now, after having returned for a visit after a half-decade's absence, I can really see the difference this makes, not so much in the high end of the bell-curve, but in the absence of huge populations in the low-end.

My last impression of the U.S.A. was the T.S.A., minimum wage room temperature I.Q. incompetents with badges; my first impression of Korea was her competent, efficient, polite immigration officials. And that competency, efficiency, and politeness is found in all of the service-workers one encounters in this largely homogeneous society.

To get married and thus reproduce in this country, the bar has always been set much higher than it has been back home, where there now is no bar. Centuries of this kind of human husbandry have paid off.

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Blogger 導美娜 said...

I went back and read your "Smart Koreans" post and the links posted there. I hope your children (and you yourself) are also studying Chinese characters. It has many benefits. According to an article in The Atlantic titled, "Is Google Making Us Stupid?" it mentions:

Reading, explains Wolf, is not an instinctive skill for human beings. It’s not etched into our genes the way speech is. We have to teach our minds how to translate the symbolic characters we see into the language we understand. And the media or other technologies we use in learning and practicing the craft of reading play an important part in shaping the neural circuits inside our brains. Experiments demonstrate that readers of ideograms, such as the Chinese, develop a mental circuitry for reading that is very different from the circuitry found in those of us whose written language employs an alphabet. The variations extend across many regions of the brain, including those that govern such essential cognitive functions as memory and the interpretation of visual and auditory stimuli. We can expect as well that the circuits woven by our use of the Net will be different from those woven by our reading of books and other printed works.

February 13, 2016 at 5:34 PM  

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