I have been reading allot about these tablet’s that are so popular right now. I have a HP TouchSmartTM2t , an old fashioned fold down tablet that runs Windows 7, Linux,and something HP calls “quick web”. At 4lbs it feels really heavy after having picked up an i-Pad or two. While intellectual property and invention need to be protected some of Apples patents are utterly absurd. Things like "a thin rectangular tablet with a glass screen and black bezel,” Really Apple? My HP tablet from four years ago looked like that when folded down. If Apple wins I hope they are promptly sued by HP. Let’s not forget the bizarre patent of the act of pinching ones fingers while touching a screen. I’ll bet that’s been done before. Maybe I ought to patent the middle finger and sue everyone who’s ever flipped the bird? I like the I pad but not the company that makes it anymore. (From a person who loved Macintosh computers once. I liked using a GUI only one stolen idea away from the Xerox Alto.) Someone had to say it.
With that out of the way.
What the racist Kanazawa says, which is most shockingly racist, is that Asians cannot or do not think outside the box.
While they are very good at absorbing existing knowledge via rote memory (hence their high standardized test scores in math and science) or adapt or modify existing technology (hence their engineering achievements), they have not been able to make original contributions to basic science.
Take that Sin-Itiro Tomonaga!** Ok, ok to give Kanazawa some credit he did make a nice table in which he shows the number of Nobel Laureates, what countries they are from, each countries share of prizes and share of the worlds population. China alone is, according to his numbers about 0.20 of the worlds population....they have 0.0077 of the worlds Nobel prizes. Other Asian countries fare similarly. (Notably the USA has 155 Nobel Laureates. USA! USA! Whoot!).
He claims that Asians cannot write or speak English very well and claims that Asians have a low verbal IQ. Personally I would say their fabulously complex written languages indicate otherwise, and we westerners speak Japanese and Chinese about as well as they speak English. He goes on to say that at his university many Asian students will copy the work of established scientist verbatim. In doing so they think they are honoring masters of their field. They sincerely cannot see what’s wrong with plagiarism. For my part, the best English I have heard from a professor came from a Japanese professor who had studied in Britain. On the other hand, I was in a quantum mechanics class and noted many East Asian students taking notes in Chinese or Korean. Translating on the fly English to Korean or Chinese and(supposedly) understanding the physics content at the same time. One of those processes had to suffer.
He also mentions that they do have their maverick scientist too.
The most shocking thing he says is that in the Peoples Republic of China keeps it’s first rate students in country to avoid brain drain. Then they send the second rate students to the USA, and third rate students to Great Britain. The kicker is that he claims these students are sent to the USA and Great Britain with falsified transcripts, and test scores that are “the best in their province”. All of them are “the best in their province”. The zinger is that “ Apparently it has not occurred to the LSE admissions office that there could not possibly be that many provinces in China.” He says such people fail out and end up admitting that they used a phony transcript and phony test scores.
If the above is true it puts a different face on the number of Asian students in colleges here in the USA. It was often assumed that they were all hardworking and ultra ultra smart. They were the model minority. I had also noticed that many many of those Asians were fresh off the plane immigrants and wondered where my American born, Asian American compatriots, near my age, were in science? The only one I can think of is mythbuster, Grant Imahara (a very creative person by the way). Think about it....these people are committing admissions fraud,getting into top US schools on scholarships etc taking away from people American born and immigrant who were honest about their abilities. (How come his saying this did not get more attention? It’s academic dynamite.)
Kanazawa was probably not being racist when he wrote what he felt were the evo. Psych. reasons that African women are not rated as highly on looks as women of other races. I know he was blasted for not saying it’s due to the sociology of the white standard of beauty and the devaluation of black women's beauty as an expression of white supremacy. That reason isn’t evolutionary psychology it’s sociology and he isn’t a sociologist so he wouldn’t write that. He mentions Asian culture but hey....he’s Asian. He also wasn’t writing from a US perspective which many critics out on the interwebs assumed. Like South Park making fun of Blacks, Whites, Jews, Canadians, Europeans, Japanese, …..etc in his work he is at worst and equal opportunity offender. So he could be excused.
As for the scientific quality of his work. After reading the work of some of his peers I cannot say that I find it all that rigorous. That field is much more a philosophy than a science. I am reminded of a quote from the immortal Richard Feynman.
*(Let me admit a note of sarcasm in this piece right now. I actually think this shows he’s not racist. He is at worst an equal opportunity offender or taking full advantage of the protection tenure offers him.)
**Tomonaga was awarded the Nobel Prize the same year as Ricahard Feynman and Julian Schwinger.