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Showing posts from August, 2006

The culture of getting away with it

David Brooks, in his column below, fails to mention a key variable affecting national character traits, group intelligence, which is to say, the compilation of individual IQ by country or region. Corruption may correlate with capacity which then leads to cultural practices. Hong Kong and Singapore, and Chile for that matter, eliminated corruption in a few decades because the residents had the collective wherewithal to fashion a civil society with the necessary rules which were eventually woven into the ethos of the countries.
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THE NEW YORK TIMES

August 13, 2006
Op-Ed Columnist

The Culture of Nations
By DAVID BROOKS

Diplomats in New York rack up a lot of unpaid parking tickets, but not all rack them up at the same rates. According to the economists Raymond Fisman and Edward Miguel, diplomats from countries that rank high on the Transparency International corruption index pile up huge numbers of unpaid tickets, whereas diplomats from countries …

Once were warriors: gene linked to Maori violence

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MAORIS carry a "warrior" gene that makes them more prone to violence, criminal acts and risky behaviour, a scientist has controversially claimed.

Dr Rod Lea, a New Zealand researcher, and his colleagues told an Australian genetics conference that Maori men had a "striking over-representation" of monoamine oxidase - dubbed the warrior gene - which they say is strongly associated with aggressive behaviour.

He says the unpublished studies prove that Maoris have the highest prevalence of this strength gene, first discovered by US researchers but never linked to an ethnic group.

This explains how Maoris migrated across the Pacific and survived, said Dr Lea, a genetic epidemiologist at the New Zealand Institute of Environmental Science and Research.

But he said the presence of the gene also "goes a long way to explaining some of the problems Maoris have".

"Obviously, this means they are going to be more aggressive and violent and more likely to get involved in …