The Korean Anomaly

In the love-think community, it is generally accepted that East Asians are near the top of the IQ pyramid. James Watson, the man who discovered DNA and is largely responsible for modern genetics said it best:

“Among white Americans, the average IQ, as of a decade or so ago, was 103. Among Asian-Americans, it was 106. Among Jewish Americans, it was 113. Among Latino Americans, it was 89. Among African-Americans, it was 85. Around the world, studies find the same general pattern: whites 100, East Asians 106, sub-Sarahan Africans 70. One IQ table shows 113 in Hong Kong, 110 in Japan, and 100 in Britain. White populations in Australia, Canada, Europe, New Zealand, South Africa, and the United States score closer to one another than to the worldwide black average. It’s been that way for at least a century.”

I’ll just note that Watson was forced into exile after saying this, but no one has yet to show he was wrong. Even outside the love community, people generally accept this biological reality. American colleges are not discriminating against Asians and Jews because they have nothing better to do. Colleges are discriminating against males in the STEM fields for the same reason. At American universities, Harrison Bergeron is a how-to manual, not satire.

If you are going to make some sort of case against IQ, a good place to start would be Korea. South Korea is generally thought of as a first world country. They have a per capita GDP similar to Italy and France. They also have a Gini Coefficient similar to Canada. They are part of the great global trade network of the West, sending sophisticated electronics and manufactured goods all over the world.

This sounds good, but it is a recent development. Into the 1980’s, South Korea was similar to a banana republic with military coups and martial law. In the 1970’s, South Korea was poor by the standards of a third world country. Things took off in the 80’s when the new global currency arrangement made South Korea a good investment. For a smart people, it took a long time and lots of help from the round-eye to figure out how to run a country.

Then we have North Korea. It has been a repressive prison state for three generations and there are no signs that it is about to change. The new leader, Kim Jung-un, is sort of a millennial version of the insane despot. He has the love of irony we see with millennials, so he goes in for novel ways of killing his enemies. Executing people with RPG’s is the sort of the thing a video game playing millennial d-bag would find amusing.

The result of three generations of lunacy is a country that is essentially a giant concentration camp. Nighttime satellite images reveal just how backward the place is, relative to the rest of Asia. Even African countries can keep the lights on these days. Of course, North Korea is famous for not being able to feed itself. The last famine was in the 90’s and killed 300,000. Malnutrition has reduced North Korea to a nation of racist dwarfs.

The news out of the hermit kingdom is that another famine is on the way. The spate of purges, and the general incompetence of Kim Jung-un, suggest this one could be horrific. When authoritarian regimes purge enemies of the state, they inevitably purge their best talent. The people left are toadies and rump-swabs with no ability to do much of anything, other than grovel to the boss. In this case, the boss is most likely an idiot.

Both Koreas are a good examples of how IQ is just one part of the puzzle. Ted Kaczynski had a genius level IQ, but he also liked sending letter bombs to people. Ted Bundy was another guy with a high IQ, but he also liked killing young women. At the less violent end of the scale, lots of brilliant people live otherwise anonymous lives because they lack the social skills to succeed in business. Most actors are as dumb as goldfish, but they score high on extraversion.

The two Koreas also serve a good example of how small cultural changes, even those forced upon a people, can have huge changes in outcome. The South was a part of the American Empire and as a result could evolve into a first world country. The North has remained isolated, boiling off the talent it would need to advance beyond its medieval conditions. The result is a dystopian prison state in the north and a sprawling technology state in the south.

27 thoughts on “The Korean Anomaly

  1. re: “whites 100, East Asians 106.” IQ mean

    The rub is not the mean IQ of whites and East Asians (China, Japanese, Koreans specifically.) It is the SD of the mean. The SD is not the same for whites and East Asians and it is not the same between white females and white males. White males have a SD of 16 and white females at most 11 or 12. East Asians have a SD of 10 or 11. (Blacks and American Indians also have a SD of around 10. The white male SD of 16 explains why the number of 160 IQ and higher individuals is so highly skewed to white males. (Jews a said to have a tighter SD as well but I have never seen any data on this.)

  2. A little off subject, I know but do you think the world would really mind if one of our “errant” cruise missiles “accidentally” took that fat fuck Un, out? Wouldn’t the world be a much better place?

    • If that happened during the current administration it would definitely be an ‘errant missile’.

      Where’s Remo Williams and Chun when you need them?

  3. I’m surprised at you, Z-man; your misspelling of “anomoly” in the title is an anomaly; normally, you’re on the ball.
    A good piece, nonetheless. I love this line: “At American universities, Harrison Bergeron is a how-to manual.”

    • That’s what you call trolling. It’s been so long since someone commented on grammar, I threw that out almost as a taunt. I was getting a little worried.

      • It’s an interesting dynamic, tho. A single piece of bad grammar or a misspelling may ruin a beautiful piece, like buck teeth in a beautiful face. In a setting like this one it affects most readers not at all. But for some, apparently, it is and always will be a challenge. I once had a girlfriend like that, extremely literate and intelligent–far more than I–yet she couldn’t express herself well with the written word.

        • I think the grammar police are nuts. I take a very liberal view on grammar. Readability and flow come before adherence to grammar rules. Spelling, on the other hand, should always be right, but when you bang out as much content as I do you’re going to have a few slip past the goalie.

          I was originally trying to come up with some sort of word play with anomaly and anime, but I could not come up with anything. That got me thinking about spelling and then the fact no one has lodged a grammar complaint in a while so I threw one in at the top. When no one noticed, I started to wonder if I’d won the grammar war.

  4. I love North Korea! It’s the ultimate refutation of the “real communism has never been tried!” argument that everyone in the faculty lounge still subscribes to. Three or four generations have grown up in complete isolation, with commie indoctrination 24/7/365. As Theodore Dalrymple says, everything that isn’t compulsory is forbidden. If it were possible to fashion Homo Sovieticus, the Norks would’ve done it by now. Human behavior can be drastically deformed, but human **nature** never changes.

    • I know a old Cuban who has visited Cuba once a year for thirty years to visit what is left of his family. So many observations and stories. All the unique peculiarities that shape people into a shared identity have been left to rot in Cuba. Cuba no longer exists. People were not changed, they were left hollow. Two-three generations. There is no going back because there is nothing to go back to.

      • Dalrymple also said that a Romanian dissident estimated it would take 2-3 **generations** to repair the psychic damage done by communism. The fear, the paranoia, zero social trust…. all of that, all the time. If there’s any justice, every Western academic who lied about or made excuses for communism will be roasting in hell alongside Mao, Ceaucescu, Stalin, etc.

        • Pinochet threw a few thousand communist intellectuals out of helicopters. You can certainly argue about whether it was a morally correct solution, but it sure worked for Chile.

          • Pinochet ABSOLUTELY did the right thing. He literally saved Chile and the livelihoods of millions of Chilean citizens. Furthermore, if Allende had stayed in power he would have initiated a mass extermination program because that is what communists do; that would have resulted in the murder of hundreds of thousands of innocent people.
            Just look at Cuba and Venezuela today; that is where Chile would be today.

            Killing Allende and all his communist sympathizer revolutionary’s was no different than if Hitler and many of his Nazi thugs had been murdered by other Germans in 1933. It would have saved Germany (and Europe and 500,000 American soldiers). But nobody did a damn thing.

            You bet Pinochet’s actions were morally justified.

      • Grew up in SF and went to school with the kids of exiles–pretty much by the late 70s the talk of “going back” stopped because there was no “back”. They visited, primarily to bring medicine, clothes and smuggle as much hard currency as possible more out of obligation than any great desire to return home. What seems to get little space in the press is the CDR system of block monitors and informers that make the Stasi look like amateurs. Our neighbors knew that every thing they said or did was reported back–very likely by some of their own family members. And what has been the boon from European investment? Electrical engineers want to be hotel maids in order to earn hard currency tips and teenagers are becoming prostitutes to earn a buck–and the Castros and their cohorts skim most of the gain for themselves….

    • If you could just pry the nukes away from them, would be foursquare behind keeping the place as a museum. And would be interesting to see just how small they eventually get. Conventionally the NKs are likely beatable in short order. Massed artillery, wheel to wheel, looks great for the propaganda photos, but once the first three plane “box” of B-52s from Guam arc lights them, game is over.

  5. Those who support normalization of relations with Cuba cite the fact that 55 years of no relations with Cuba have not produced any positive results in changing the ways Castro runs his gulag. Therefore, they say, it’s time normalize relations because it will “help” the Cuban people and encourage the Castro thugs to embrace democracy.
    By this line of (un)reasoning, the USA should immediately open up diplomatic and trade relations with N.Korea.

    Let’s send back to N.Korea Madame Secretary, Madeleine Halfbright and have her toss back a few beverages with Kim Jr. After all, 66 years of isolating N.Korea has not worked, so hey, let’s try to be pals with them. He can give her a tour of their concentration camps – in which she would have great interest – and enjoy the 5 star Michelin rated meals provided the prisoners there just prior to their being liquefied by a few thousand 50 caliber anti-aircraft shells fired at their bodies.

    Look, FDR recognized (Uncle ) Joe Stalin’s Bolshevik Russia in 1932. So what, that by that time Stalin had only exterminated a few million peasants and enemies of the state. After all, by 1932 Hitler had exterminated……
    ….oops, nobody yet.
    Oh well, moving on, that magnanimous action by FDR really worked in convincing Stalin to change his ways and to move his Cheka police state to a true democracy; didn’t it? And it did convince Uncle Joe to finally stop exterminating folks when he finally had “only” exterminated 20 (50 ?) million souls.

    Thank god for the liberal progressives / socialists of the world. Without them we would never engage in our much needed introspection to find out why it is WE who are FORCING others to commit acts of terror, murder and violence.

    • The missing bit in the American toolkit is the willingness to leave well enough alone. North Korea is not a concern if we just leave them alone. Cut off their access to hard currency, which is the one sensible thing the Bush people did. That forces them to beg from China, who can keep them under control. Otherwise, if they want to be a hermit kingdom, let them.

      • Yes, very true.
        Too bad the USA has not followed the “leave well enough alone” policy more often in the past.

        George Washington and Alexander Hamilton warned about getting involved in the affairs of other nations.
        The USA pretty much – more or less anyway – followed this policy until 1898; it has been all downhill subsequently.

    • “…FDR recognized (Uncle ) Joe Stalin’s Bolshevik Russia in 1932.”

      That was a pretty neat trick considering that FDR didn’t become president until 1933.

  6. Before Korea was arbitrarily severed in half at the end of WWII, the northern half was were most of the industry was based and the southern half was the country’s breadbasket. Not surprising it took a while to transform South Korea into a first-world industrial power.

    • I also suspect some brain drain too. Lots of Koreans moved to the US. Long distance migration is usually by the best and most capable. Short distance migration tends to be the opposite. It’s why the US get the better Indians.

      The big boost for the south was the currency. The Louvre Accords made globalism possible. Suddenly, capital could flow into South Korea looking for cheap labor in volumes not possible in the past. There was also the growth of China which made war on the peninsula less likely.

      Even so, Korea makes a nice case study.

      • Korea suffered under the oppressive hand of the Japanese between 1910 and 1945; the Korean people were abused pretty badly and treated like subhumans. That must have had some ramifications during the postwar years. It has taken eastern Europe a full generation to shake off the soul-crushing effects of communism, and arguably they still haven’t gotten over it; maybe South Korea might have suffered a similar hangover.

        • The Japanese still regard the million or so Japanese of Korean descent in Japan as lepers.

          It should also be noted that thirty percent of South Koreans are Protestant (of a different era).

  7. “I’ll just note that Watson was forced into exile after saying this, but no one has yet to show he was wrong.”

    Actually, what got Watson into trouble were statements slightly more colorful — not that they were wrong or firing offenses, but they were…more opinionated.

  8. Asians are discriminated in college admission but not jews, if anything the Tribe is overrepsented in the Ivy League.

    Its true that intelligence isn’t everything, Philip Zimbardo study showed that intelligent people are less emotional with exception of jews who are highly emotional, explain why jews are highly involved in politics and any type of ideological movement.

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