The genetic downside of female higher education

Alphagameplan compares the Iranian and the American approach to female higher education and concludes that the Iranian approach is more sustainable:

“The USA, and most of the West, has taken the approach that encouraging female participation in advanced education will strengthen their economies. Events have thus far failed to confirm those assumptions, and indeed, are increasingly calling them into question. That may be one reason Iran feels emboldened to take the opposite approach:

Iran will be cutting 77 fields of study from the female curriculum, making them male-only fields. Science and engineering are among those affected by the decree. ‘The Oil Industry University, which has several campuses across the country, says it will no longer accept female students at all, citing a lack of employer demand. Isfahan University provided a similar rationale for excluding women from its mining engineering degree, claiming 98% of female graduates ended up jobless.’ The announcement came soon after the release of statistics showing that women were graduating in far higher numbers than men from Iranian universities and were scoring overall better than men, especially in the sciences. Senior clerics in Iran’s theocratic regime have become concerned about the social side-effects of rising educational standards among women.”
According to the mainstream Western assumption, this should weaken Iran’s economy and impoverish its society. So, barring a war that will render any potential comparisons irrelevant, this move by Iran promises to make for an unusually informative societal experiment in comparison with the control group of the USA. If Iran sees non-immigrant-driven population growth along with greater societal wealth and scientific advancement, it will justify the doubts of those who questioned the idea that encouraging women to pursue science degrees instead of husbands and careers instead of children would prove beneficial to society at large.

Of course, the Iranian action presents a potentially effective means of solving the hypergamy problem presently beginning to affect college-educated women in the West. Only one-third of women in college today can reasonably expect to marry a man who is as well-educated as they are. History and present marital trends indicate that most of the remaining two-thirds will not marry rather than marry down. So, by refusing to permit women to pursue higher education, Iran is ensuring that the genes of two-thirds of its most genetically gifted women will survive in its gene pool.

No doubt the Iranian approach will sound abhorrent to many men and women alike. But consider it from a macro perspective. The USA is in well along the process of removing most of its prime female genetics from its gene pool as surely as if it took those women out and shot them before they reached breeding age. Which society’s future would you bet on, the one that is systematically eliminating the genes of its best and brightest women or the one that is intent upon retaining them?”

A Columnist Asks What’s Wrong With India

Chetan Bhagat at The Times of India:

“Countless articles, books, thesis, papers and research reports have tried to answer the question, ‘what is wrong with India ?’ Global experts are startled that a country of massive potential has one of the largest populations of poor people in the world. Isn’t it baffling that despite almost everyone agreeing that things should change, they don’t? Intellectuals give intelligent suggestions – from investing in infrastructure to improving the judicial system. Yet, nothing moves. Issues dating back thirty years ago, continue to plague India today. The young are often perplexed. They ask will things ever change? How? Whose fault is it that they haven’t?

Today, i will attempt to answer these tricky questions, although from a different perspective . I will not put the blame on everyone’s favorite punching bag– inept politicians. That is too easy an argument and not entirely correct. After all, we elect the politicians. So, for every MP out there, there are a few lakh people who wanted him or her there. I won’t give ‘policy’ solutions either – make power plants, improve the roads, open up the economy . It isn’t the lack of such ideas that is stalling progress. No, blocking progress is part of the unique psyche of Indians. There are three traits of our psyche, in particular, that are not good for us and our country. Each comes from three distinct sources – our school, our environment and our home.

The first trait is servility. At school, our education system hammers out our individual voices and kills our natural creativity, turning us into servile, coursematerial slaves. Indian kids are not encouraged to raise their voices in class, particularly when they disagree with the teacher. And of course, no subject teaches us imagination, creativity or innovation. Course materials are designed for no-debate kind of teaching. For example, we ask: how many states are there in India ? 28. Correct. Next question -how is a country divided into states? What criteria should be used? Since these are never discussed , children never develop their own viewpoint or the faculty to think.

The second trait is our numbness to injustice. It comes from our environment. We see corruption from our childhood. Almost all of us have been asked to lie about our age to the train TC, claiming to be less than 5 years old to get a free ride. It creates a value system in the child’s brain that ‘anything goes’, so long as you can get away with it. A bit of lying here, a bit of cheating there is seen as acceptable. Hence, we all grow up slightly numb to corruption. Not even one high profile person in India is behind bars for corruption right now. This could be because, to a certain extent, we don’t really care.

The third trait is divisiveness. This often comes from our home, particularly our family and relatives, where we learn about the differences amongst people. Our religion, culture and language are revered and celebrated in our families. Other people are different – and often implied to be not as good as us. We’ve all known an aunt or uncle who, though is a good person, holds rigid bias against Muslims, Dalits or people from different communities. Even today, most of India votes on one criterion – caste. Dalits vote for Dalits, Thakurs for Thakurs and Yadavs for Yadavs. In such a scenario, why would a politician do any real work? When we choose a mobile network, do we check if Airtel and Vodafone belong to a particular caste? No, we simply choose the provider based on the best value or service. Then, why do we vote for somebody simply because he has the same caste as ours?

We need mass self-psychotherapy for the three traits listed above. When we talk of change, you and I alone can’t replace a politician, or order a road to be built. However, we can change one thing – our mindset. And collectively, this alone has the power to make the biggest difference. We have to unlearn whatever is holding us back, and definitely break the cycle so we don’t pass on these traits to the next generation. Our children should think creatively, have opinions and speak up in class. They should learn what is wrong is wrong – no matter how big or small. And they shouldn’t hate other people on the basis of their background. Let us also resolve to start working on our own minds, right now. A change in mindset changes the way people vote, which in turn changes politicians.

And change does happen. In the 80s, we had movies like “Gunda” and “Khoon Pi Jaaonga”. Today, our movies have better content .They have changed. How? It is because our expectations from films have changed. Hence, the filmmakers had to change.

If we resolve today that we will vote on the basis of performance alone, we will encourage the voices against injustice and we will place an honest but less wealthy person on a higher pedestal than a corrupt but rich person. By doing so, we would contribute to India’s progress. If everyone who read this newspaper did this, it would be enough to change voting patterns in the next election. And then, maybe, we will start moving towards a better India. Are you on board? “

My Comment

This is an interesting and, within its limits, accurate piece about the character traits that contribute to the rampant socio-economic problems India faces. Those problems are in sharp focus right now, thanks to the ongoing bungling involved in the hosting of the Commonwealth Games at Delhi.

To many libertarians, these sorts of  generalizations are specious, collectivist, and possibly racist.

I disagree.

Granted, cultural generalizations are just that and shouldn’t be misapplied, it’s still possible for an acute observer to identify cultural problems with a degree of objectivity.

Chetan Bhagat manages this quite succinctly.

But if Bhagat had wanted to be even more succinct, he could have summarized his entire thesis in one word: dharma.

Dharma is often incorrectly defined as “duty,” in the Kantian sense.

While it can encompass that too, it’s more accurate to define it as “the way things should be” (social order)…or “the way we’re wired” (nature).

Dharma is perhaps a unique composite of duty, social and natural order, and individual destiny.

In its essence, then, it is a concept of the highest refinement and wisdom.

But even supernal ideas lose their value as civilizations lose touch with their sources.

Dharma, for many Indians, has ended up being “the way things are,” or, alternatively,  “que sera sera.”

It ends up inducing passivity. Which leads to the first two flaws identified in the article –  servility and apathy toward injustice.

That passivity also reinforces people in their instinctive tendency to prefer kith and kin over strangers.

If I had to pick just one character flaw that holds up India’s development, this would be it – dharma,, in its negative mode,  as slavish passivity.

However, the odd thing is that if I had to pick one thing that constituted a special strength in the Indian character, it would also be dharma.

But dharma in its positive mode – noble acceptance.

Doing Well By Doing Good: Corporate Brand Teaching

In the old days, people who did things for love of their community, for idealism, or for a cause they believed in, were in it just for that. They deserved the respect they got. Today, volunteer work has been festooned with all kinds of goodies, and, not unnaturally, it’s drawing people more interested in the goodies than the good. And not unexpectedly, the king of “doing well by doing good” –  Goldman Sachs – is in the thick of it. Continue reading

Frank Lloyd Wright: Education Today Provides Conditioning…

This is a brief excerpt from a live interview with legendary architect Frank Lloyd Wright (June 18, 1957), when he was ninety. The audio isn’t very clear, so I’ve provided a transcript. The words are pungent and speak succinctly to the task of weaning people from dependence on the state:

“Education has been unrealistic.
Education has not seen the nature of the thing we needed as a people.
Education has not provided enlightenment. It’s provided conditioning
By way of books, by way of what has been, by way of the past,
By the habituation of the human species to date.
And it hasn’t taken the views of the men who are capable of looking beyond
and seeing what the nature of the thing was.
What is the nature of this thing we’re in.
Now that’s the grace(?) of seeing in, not seeing at.
And all education today is a seeing at.”

John Gatto On State-Controlled Consciousness

Toward the end of this video, John Taylor Gatto, the iconoclastic critic of compulsory education and state schools and ardent advocate of “unschooling,” has an especially memorable passage.
He points out that while the state can violently coerce a few people at a time (through arrest and shooting), there’s no way (outside war or genocide, I presume) to coerce large masses of people over time, except through controlling their minds.

Or more accurately, through creating the habits and attitudes that make them obedient to puppet strings in their own minds.

Compulsory schooling by the state, he argues, is a way to colonize the minds of children to make them their own police-force, eager to report other deviants.

[Preparing them to become tax snitches, as I blogged earlier, or political informants, or supporters of  biometric ID legislation].

In “Dumbing Us Down”, Gatto argues that state schooling causes the following in a child’s mind:

1) Confusion, with its jumbled ensemble of tests, memorized and then forgotten

2) Dependence on class position

3) Indifference/apathy

4) Emotional dependency

5) Intellectual dependency

6) Provisional self-esteem that needs the assurance of experts to maintain

7) Habituation to constant surveillance and the denial of privacy