Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Unrealistic Expectations for India

It's actually quite funny when we read in the popular and academic media social and political analysis that ignore human biodiversity. People are just blind to the truth. I see three possibilities:
1) They are aware of HBD but are part of the conspiracy to suppress it
2) They may have heard HBD arguments but are so committed to their ideals that their mind subconsciously suppresses it
3) They are totally ignorant of HBD and have never realized it
4) They have heard straw man arguments, and rejected HBD because of listening to people like Gould, Jared Diamond, or Al Sharpton.

People at the World Bank probably fit into 1. People like Kristof are probably 2. People like 3 are most people. People like 4 are psychology professors, ethnic studies professors. Personally, I think people need to start thinking seriously about intellectual honesty.

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Anyway, here is today's editorial on India by Nicholas Kristof:

"India is stirring after many centuries of torpor, and it has a chance of ending this century as the capital of the world, the most important nation on earth. You see up-and-coming cities like Hyderabad or Ahmedabad, and it’s easy to believe that India will eventually surpass China.

But here in rural Bihar state in northern India, there’s no economic miracle to be seen. And it’s difficult to see how India can emerge on top unless it takes advantage of its greatest untapped resource: its rural population.

The village of Khawaspur has no electricity. It has a school with 600 students, but — as is common in Indian state schools — many teachers show up only rarely. “We go to school, but the teachers don’t,” explained Doli, a second-grade girl.

On a typical day there will be just one or two teachers in the whole school, and the students learn next to nothing. “You have to bribe your way to be a teacher there,” explained Yogender Singh, who tutors children for payment.

No child I met in Khawaspur had ever been vaccinated for anything. And the local government hospital exists only in theory.

“There is a hospital,” said a villager named Muhammad Shaukat. “But there’s not even a door or a window. Forget about a doctor.”

That’s a common problem: the government pays for schools, clinics or vaccinations, but someone pockets the money and no education or health care materializes.

In a village in Gujarat that I visited on this trip, all the children were out of school because the teachers had decided to take a monthlong vacation. One sixth-grade student, Ramila, could not write her name, not even in Gujarati.

Another sixth grader, Janah, said that when it came time for exams, the teachers wrote the answers on the blackboard for students to copy so the exam results wouldn’t embarrass the school.

Then there’s the toll of malnutrition. India has more malnourished children than any country in the world and one of the highest rates of malnutrition, 30 to 47 percent, depending on who does the estimating.

Those malnourished children suffer permanent losses in I.Q. and cognition, and are easy prey for diseases. There is some evidence that widespread malnutrition lowers economic growth in affected countries by two to four percentage points a year.

So in the middle of this century, India will still be held back by its failure to educate, feed and vaccinate its children today. This failure will haunt India for many decades to come. Sure, China has many similar problems, with growing gaps between rich and poor and an interior that is being left far behind. But rural Chinese schools provide a basic education, including solid math and science skills.

India’s boom is real, and its overall growth rate puts India right at China’s heels. Its middle class is expanding, governance is improving, and the transformation is one of the most exciting things going on in the world today. The 21st century will belong to Asia, and young Americans need to study Asia, live in it and learn its languages.

But Indians refer to the “Bimaru” states — a play on the word “bimar,” which means “sick” in Hindi. The Bimaru states are Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh, and Orissa deserves a spot as well.

In the Bimaru states, there is no boom. “We see nothing here,” said Vidya Sagar Gupta, a businessman who once operated many factories in northern Bihar. Now he has closed most of them down and is trying to sell his properties.

Electricity is unreliable, crime is growing, corruption is endless, the agricultural sector is in crisis, supplies are difficult to get, and criminal gangs and politics are so interwoven that it is difficult to foresee improvements, he says.

For anyone who wants to see this country succeed, a visit to rural India is a bitter disappointment. Ela Bhatt, who founded the Self-Employed Women’s Association, a union of poor women that now has nearly one million members, told me that India’s economy is profoundly limited: “It is like a car having one motorized tire, and the others are cart wheels.”

So in the great race of this century, the race to see which country will lead the world in 2100, I’m still betting on China for now. I’m having my kids learn Chinese, not Hindi (or Indian English, a remarkable language in its own right).

Until India’s economic boom becomes much more broadly based, and until Indian schools manage to teach their students, this country will continue to waste its precious brainpower and won’t achieve a fraction of what it should."
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Wow. Now, don't you see how misleading ignorance can be? What if Kristof knew about the genetic diversity of India:

From vdare.com:
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There appear to have been three major waves populating India.
Several tens of thousands of years ago, an early out-of-Africa wave left behind a substratum of modern hunter-gatherer tribes, and many of the 160 million Untouchables, at the bottom of the Hindu pyramid. They come in a variety of looks, from Caucasian to Negrito to Australoid. Thus they are hard to generalize about.

The second wave seems to have consisted of early Middle Eastern farmers. They now speak Dravidian languages and are most concentrated in the South. These typically small and dark Caucasians were largely ignored by the rest of the world—until the last two decades when word of their upper castes' impressive skills at math, science, and technology caught the attention of the business world. The center of India's burgeoning software industry is Bangalore in the southern highlands.

The last and most famous of the three waves were the Indo-European-speaking Aryan invaders—tall, light-skinned Caucasians from somewhere to the northwest. They introduced Hinduism and its accompanying system of social stratification: four major castes (plus the poor Untouchables), along with countless occupation-based inbreeding subcastes, all further divided by region.

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So, what you have is the expectation that all of India, with an average IQ less than 85, will be able to rule the world. Uh, I don't think so. Already, there are complaints about Indian engineers being under qualified for outsourcing projects. Bangalore and Hyderabad represent a very, very small fraction of India's population. To think that a country that still has female slavery can be the leading nation of the 21st century is laughable. Looking back a year ago, when I went to India and saw Bangalore, I started freaking out about Indians taking over the world and no job prospects for me. Oh, how misleading fancy malls and packed bookstores could be. Ha.

Also, check out this link http://www.businessweek.com/globalbiz/blog/asiatech/archives/2006/08/science_panic_i.html
To see the backwards rationalization that Indians use to justify their pride in their country, as well as make excuses for the sorry state of the nation.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

There are poor people in every country. If you were a foreigner visiting a poor region of America, you may get a skewed impression of America. Some inner-city or rural areas of America are extremely poor and have deplorable living conditions. The existence of those dire populations doesn't mean that America isn't a world leader.

The prominence of a nation on the world stage is not determined by the state of its poor, but by the state of its privileged ruling class. It's quite possible that the ruling class in India could surpass the ruling class in China or America in terms of standard of living and the ability to manipulate resources.

However, unlike India or China, a large percentage of the U.S. population is reasonably educated and employed in reasonably paying jobs. Having a large middle class prevents social and structural strain on the ruling class and also lessens the likelihood of revolt against the ruling class.

Regarding the argument that some ethnic groups are inferior to others, you haven't taken into account numerous factors, some of which include discrimination, the cyclical nature of the rise and fall of ethnic nation-states due to internal strife, disease, or plain bad luck. If it wasn't for the storm that destroyed the Spanish Armada before they reached England, Spanish would be the global language. There are also huge intra-ethnic differences within an ethnic group to make ethnic generalizations: you can find poor Appalachians who can trace their roots to colonists.

TabooTruth said...

I agree with your point on the middle class. You need a core amount of people to be doctors, accountants, office managers, handymen, mechanics, teachers, ... in order to have a successful economy.

Discrimination is an issue that simply doesn't hold up in a capitalist society. If the backward classes in society were being discriminated against in the job market, then any company that takes advantage of their labor will reap huge profits. Sure, intra-ethnic differences exist, but differences in averages mean gigantic disparities at the poles, hence many more blacks in jail, and many less black physicists than chinese.

Spanish armada v. england is about two countries who are not very different racially, so who came out dominant between the two would be more an issue of chance (storm destroyed armada) than national IQ. However, the only civilizations to truly dominate have been relatively light skinned.

Anonymous said...

Discrimination is an issue that simply doesn't hold up in a capitalist society. If the backward classes in society were being discriminated against in the job market, then any company that takes advantage of their labor will reap huge profits.

You forget that discrimination sometimes exists to keep those in power in power. Why should privileged Americans care about educating poor Americans? At best, it doesn't increase their privileged status. At worst, it increases competition.

Plus your argument that companies in a capitalist society will take advantage of untapped labor doesn't hold true. For example, engineering grads command the highest starting salaries because there aren't enough engineers. There aren't enough because practically 50% of the population (girls) would not consider majoring in engineering. Tech companies could easily double he supply of engineers, and cut salaries, if they implemented programs to put more girls in engineering.


However, the only civilizations to truly dominate have been relatively light skinned.

Is that your way of saying blacks have never had a dominant civilization? Because most advanced civilizations or empires in history have been shades of brown: Mayans, Aztecs, Egyptians, Turks, Arabs, Carthaginians, Indians, Mongols, Persians...

MensaRefugee said...

It is closer to the truth to say the only civilizations that dominate are intelligent ones. That in turn is corelated with skin color for whatever reason.

A plausible reason is the selective pressure in cold climates.

I highly doubt India will rise much as well. China on the other hand is set to become the dominant economic force of the world.

MensaRefugee said...

P.S Taboo,
Start using Hyperlinks instead of direct posting of website addresses - or else sometimes it doesnt work.

nzconservative said...

Good post. I Hope you don't mind me tagging you. I'm told it's a blogging convention.