Showing posts from January, 2011

Nature vs. Nurture

Why Rich Parents Don't Matter

by Jonah Lehrer
Wall Street Journal
Janurary 22, 2011

How much do the decisions of parents matter? Most parents believe that even the most mundane acts of parenting—from their choice of day care to their policy on videogames—can profoundly influence the success of their children. Kids are like wet clay, in this view, and we are the sculptors. View Full Image Getty Images
As wealth increases, adults play a much smaller role in determining the mental ability of their children.
Yet in tests measuring many traits, from intelligence to self-control, the power

Jewish superiority

The London Sunday Times
November 5, 2003

Russia: hapless victim in heist of the century In the convulsive aftermath of perestroika, seven cunning men seized economic power By Amy Chua  from her 2003 book World on Fire

As it turns out, six out of seven of Russia’s wealthiest and, at least until recently, most powerful oligarchs are Jewish. The six Jewish businessmen most frequently called oligarchs are: Roman Abramovich; Pyotr Aven; Boris Berezovsky; Mikhail Fridman; Vladimir Gusinsky; and Mikhail Khodorkovsky. The seventh oligarch, the only “full-blooded ethnic Russian”, is Vladimir Potanin. The height of their influence was reached in 1996 when the Yeltsin Government hung on the verge of political and financial collapse. Already wealthy, the oligarchs collectively put forth the so-called “loans-for-shares” deal — now notorious, but at the time grudgingly endorsed by Western advisers and Russian economists. Essentiall…

More on the intellectual superiority of the Chinese

Amy Chua Bludgeons Entire Generation of Sensitive Parents, Bless HerBy Charles Murray January 12, 2011, 8:15 am Amy Chua is a hoot. Her WSJ op ed about the superiority of Chinese parenting, a take from her book Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother, has blogs around the world roaring at a woman who could be so cruel to her children. I was laughing out loud throughout, partly because she clearly was having the time of her life twitting the sensitive helicopter parents who can’t bear the idea that their wonderful child is stressed or criticized in any way whatsoever. I was also laughing because the mother of my first two children was half Thai and all Chinese, and it was all so familiar. The subject heading of the email attaching the Chua article to my elder two daughters was “Bring back memories?” My own archetypal memory is when my eldest daughter, then perhaps eight years old, came home with her first Maryland standardized test scores, showing that she was at the 99th percentile in reading a…