Guide Posts

Army’s Command and Staff Streams …

Posted on March 16, 2018. Filed under: From a Services Career, Guide Posts |

Maj. Stephen W. Richey, USA Ret., served as an enlisted Armor crewman from 1977 to 1979 and graduated from West Point as an Armor officer in 1984. He served in various assignments in Germany, Ethiopia, Iraq and the continental U.S. Richey holds a master’s degree in history from Central Washington University and is the author of the book Joan of Arc: The Warrior Saint.

Our Army’s penchant for operations orders that are hundreds of pages, is for dull, unimaginative people who are good at slavishly following a cookbook recipe. It is not for people who possess the spark of combat creativity.

Military history is replete with examples of great Generals, with a couple staff officers at their side, writing orders in minutes, using the hood of their personal vehicle as a desk.

Our writing to cover all possible situations in our mandatory process of planning the next battle is a fruitless attempt to eliminate the uncertainties of war. Uncertainty is a basic condition of war, and the best battlefield commanders thrive on uncertainty.

We attempt to forecast what we will do if this happens and how we will react if that happens, leaving no possibility unaccounted for. Given the unpredictable chaos of battle in which an intelligent enemy gets a vote in what happens—such attempted forecasting is a waste of time and effort.

A free-thinking and active enemy, a change in the weather, an unforeseen delay or blunder, the random whims of luck—and the fact that information about the situation is never complete and frequently wrong—will inevitably combine to produce situations not dreamed of in all what we have catered for.

Far better than over scripted staff procedures is a certain quality that should be part of the mind of every battlefield commander.

The French call this quality coup d’oeil, the “stroke of the eye” that enables the great commander to look at the terrain of a future battlefield and instantly intuit how to place his soldiers and weapons on that terrain to defeat the enemy.

Napoleon had this quality. The parallel German concept to coup d’oeil is fingerspitzengefühl, the “fingertip feeling” that enables the great commander to quickly and intuitively sense how the chaotic ebb and flow of battle is playing out and to issue new orders to his forces accordingly. Rommel had this quality.

Using an English-language phrase, we could say George S. Patton Jr. had the sixth sense that enabled him to understand a constantly changing battlefield situation and rapidly act on his understanding—always faster than either his fellow American or opposing German commanders could.

His pedestrian superior officer, Omar N. Bradley, criticized Patton for being a poor planner. Perhaps Bradley envied how Patton delivered victory after victory by boldly following his inner light rather than bogging himself down in rigid staff procedures. We need to find and nurture more Pattons.

An Army Field Manual – Army Planning and Orders Production is headed by a quotation from Patton: “A good plan violently executed NOW is better than a perfect plan next week.”

Ironically, however, the following 64 pages of that chapter quash the Patton spirit by mandating a planning process of over scripted complexity. For just one example, our staffs prepare three courses of a What’s magic about three courses of action? Why not two? Why not four?

Standardized procedure wrongfully trumps an intelligent sense of what any given unique situation requires. This insistence on a point of procedure causes the common vice of staff officers creating one or two courses of action that are intentionally so bad the commander can instantly discard them in favor of the one course of action the staff already knew he wanted.

Ginning up courses of action to deliberately see them quickly dismissed is a criminal waste of time and effort in wartime situations, in which every drop of time and effort is precious and irreplaceable.

Worse, having the staff prepare three courses of action from which the commander is to choose implies a disturbing passivity on the commander’s part.

Under the time crunch of combat, a great commander looks at the ground, looks at his own forces, looks at the enemy and—quickly—tells his staff that “this” is the one course of action he has decided on. He sets his staff to work doing the coordination to make his plan work.

He and his staff win the deadly race against the enemy who is simultaneously trying to figure out what to do and how to do it.

Based on the above, I propose the following:

First, the Army should have two career tracks for its officers: a command track for about 10 percent and a staff track for the other 90 percent. Under this system, young captains would command a company/battery/troop either before or after doing a staff job or two.

Then, based on their comparative performance as either commanders or staff officers, they would be slotted as either commanders or staff officers for the rest of their careers. Obviously, those slotted as career staff officers would outnumber those slotted as career commanders by about 10 to one.

Second, commanders at all levels must be forbidden to possess personal computers, forbidden to exchange emails and forbidden to create PowerPoint slides. Let staff officers have ranks of computers and drown in emails and PowerPoint slides.

The rationale for my proposals flows from my observation that the personality traits that make a good commanding officer and the personality traits that make a good staff officer are the perfect inverse of each other.

Patton’s performance ratings from his staff officer times were poor. Fortunately for the Allies, Marshall and Eisenhower had enough sense to know they needed a larger-than-life battlefield prima donna, and they knew where to find him.

In time of war, necessity can make anything forgivable, and as soon as the war was over, they made Patton go away. Not even the necessity of war could rescue the brilliant, charismatic, maverick Terry Allen from the safe, solid, dull Bradley.

Furthermore, leadership by PowerPoint and email is killing our ability to ever again produce somebody like Patton. Computers, emails and PowerPoint slides are a scourge that threatens to make commanders indistinguishable from staff officers.

I propose “Richey’s law” with two corollaries:

Demands from higher headquarters for more information and more staff coordination will always expand to choke whatever new communications technology has just been invented.

If radios and telephones can’t convey enough information quickly enough, then computer networks of a certain size, speed and bandwidth will. And if that previous-generation computer network can’t convey enough information quickly enough, then a new-generation computer network of greater size, speed and bandwidth will. And so on, ad infinitum ad absurdum.

First corollary: Computers are not labor-saving devices. They are labor-creating devices in that they enable more people at more echelons to micromanage more numerous and more inane issues than ever before.

Second corollary: The deluge of extra information made possible by computers does not improve combat effectiveness, because the sheer volume of information now exceeds the brain capacity of the average human commander to absorb and use in a reasonable time.

The wise commander must now know when to turn off the deluge and revert to applying classic commander’s intuition—his “feeling in the fingertips” in the old German phrase or his “stroke of the eye” in the old French phrase—just like the best commanders have done since Alexander the Great.

Also, the extra work for staff officers made possible by computers does not improve combat effectiveness because almost all of this extra work is needless “eyewash.” An old-fashioned textual after-action report describing a recent firefight is a better and simpler tool than a high-tech, high-gloss computer graphics storyboard.

Today’s commanding general at war typically exchanges hundreds of emails a day, and any commanding general who sends and receives hundreds of emails a day is not commanding! He is chained to his computer when he could and should be out on the battlefield seeing the fight with his own eyes and influencing the fight with the power of his personal presence and example.

These two truths apply to any battlefield:

First, if a commander at any level has something to say, then what he has to say is so important it must be said voice-to-voice with a radio or telephone or, even better, face-to-face.

Second, anything that needs to be said that is less important than what the commander has to say should be said by staff officers and can be appropriately said via email.

Due to the scourge of personal computers, the character of the combat leader is debased while the character of the office bureaucrat is exalted. In today’s Army, an officer who is mediocre at staff work will be passed over for command. His personality traits that could make him an ideal commander will be lost to the Army.

Our Army has cut itself off from developing more Pattons. What precious few Pattonesque higher commanders there are reached their current positions in spite of, not because of, our Army’s culture.

In conclusion, our Army should rethink its battle planning process with a view toward streamlining the process while emphasizing the commander’s role as the guiding visionary.

Our Army should consider separate career paths for commanders and staff officers of promise. In addition, our Army must liberate its bold battlefield leaders from the shackles of personal computers, emails and PowerPoint slides. We need our Army culture to develop our next Patton, not restrain him.


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FB and Maslow …

Posted on March 9, 2018. Filed under: Guide Posts |

Strike up a conversation about work values, and it won’t be long before someone brings up a pyramid — a famous psychologist’s best-known theory.

Abraham Maslow’s big idea was that we all have a hierarchy of needs: once our basic physiological and safety needs are fulfilled, we seek love and belongingness, then self-esteem and prestige, and finally self-actualization.

But that pyramid was built more than half a century ago, and psychologists have recently concluded that it’s in need of renovation.

When you review the evidence from the past few decades of social science, it’s hard to argue with Maslow’s starting point.

If your basic needs aren’t met, it’s hard to focus on anything else. If you have a job that doesn’t pay enough, and you’re up all night worrying about survival, chances are you won’t spend much time dwelling on self-actualization.

But Maslow built his pyramid at the dawn of the human relations movement, when so many workplaces in the manufacturing economy didn’t have basic physiological and safety needs covered.

Today more companies are operating in knowledge and service economies.

They’re not just fulfilling basic needs; they’re aiming to fulfill every need, providing conveniences like meals and gyms, and competing to be the best places to work (from 1984 through 2011, those that won outperformed their peers on stock returns by 2.3% to 3.8% per year).

In those environments, survival isn’t in question.

And once you get past that layer of the pyramid, the rest of it falls apart. People don’t need to be loved before they strive for prestige and achievement. And they don’t wait for those needs to be fulfilled before pursuing personal growth and self-expression.

If Maslow were designing his pyramid from scratch today to explain what motivates people at work, beyond the basics, what would it look like? That’s a question we set out to answer at Facebook, in collaboration with our people analytics team.

We survey our workforce twice a year, asking what employees value most. After examining hundreds of thousands of answers over and over again, we identified three big buckets of motivators: career, community, and cause.

Career is about work: having a job that provides autonomy, allows you to use your strengths, and promotes your learning and development. It’s at the heart of intrinsic motivation.

Community is about people: feeling respected, cared about, and recognized by others. It drives our sense of connection and belongingness.

Cause is about purpose: feeling that you make a meaningful impact, identifying with the organization’s mission, and believing that it does some good in the world. It’s a source of pride.

These three buckets make up what’s called the psychological contract — the unwritten expectations and obligations between employees and employers. When that contract is fulfilled, people bring their whole selves to work. But when it’s breached, people become less satisfied and committed. They contribute less. They perform worse.

In the past, organizations built entire cultures around just one aspect of the psychological contract. You could recruit, motivate, and retain people by promising a great career or a close-knit community or a meaningful cause. But we’ve found that many people want more.

In our most recent survey, more than a quarter of Facebook employees rated all three buckets as important. They wanted a career and a community and a cause. And 90% of our people had a tie in importance between at least two of the three buckets.

Wondering whether certain motivators would jump out for particular people or places, we broke the data down by categories. We started with age.

There’s a lot of talk about how different Millennials are from everyone else, but we found that priorities were strikingly similar across age groups.

Contrary to the belief that Millennials are more concerned with meaning and purpose, we found that younger people cared slightly less about cause — and slightly more about career — than older people.

In fact, people ages 55 and above are the only group at Facebook who care significantly more about cause than about career and community.

This tracks with evidence that around mid-life, people become more concerned about contributing to society and less focused on individual career enhancement.

But overall, the differences between age groups were tiny. And that’s not just true at Facebook. In a nationally representative study of Americans across generations, Millennials, Baby Boomers, and Gen Xers had the same core work values — and tended to rank them in the same order of importance.

As we’ve said before, Millennials want essentially the same things as the rest of us.

We also didn’t see any major differences by level, or by performance reviews: people valued these three motivators whether they were exceeding, meeting, or falling short of expectations.

And when we compared office locations, it was clear that career, community, and cause were all prized around the globe.

Finally, we turned to function. “If it weren’t for the people,” Kurt Vonnegut once wrote, “the world would be an engineer’s paradise.”

Survey says: false. Our engineers care a lot about community, giving it an average rating of 4.18 on a 1-5 scale. And just as we saw with age and location, across functions people rated career, community, and cause as similarly important.


“To know what one really wants,” Maslow argued, “is a considerable psychological achievement.”


Our data suggest that people are very clear on what they want at work — and they fundamentally want the same things. When it comes to an ideal job, most of us are looking for a career, a community, and a cause.

These are important motivators whether you’re 20 or 60, working in engineering or sales, in Luleå or São Paulo or Singapore or Detroit. We’re all hoping to find a what, a who, and a why.
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Official Assassinations …

Posted on March 8, 2018. Filed under: Guide Posts |

Most Countries with the needed power and expertise have assassination programmes aimed at elimination of perceived political threats.

Here is a Review of an authoritative Book on the Israeli Enemy Assassination Story.

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2018 Women’s Day – Some Quotes …

Posted on March 8, 2018. Filed under: Guide Posts |

International Women’s Day is also known as the United Nations (UN) Day for Women’s Rights and International Peace.

What is the point of observing International Women’s Day if we don’t listen to what the women among us have to say? We’ve compiled 20 truths about life (and how to enjoy it) from the writings of the women writers we love.

“You will never truly know yourself, or the strength of your relationships, until both have been tested by adversity.” – J.K. Rowling, Very Good Lives: The Fringe Benefits of Failure and the Importance of Imagination

“You cannot find peace by avoiding life.” – Virginia Woolf

“What do we live for, if it is not to make life less difficult for each other?” – George Eliot

“You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view… Until you climb inside of his skin and walk around in it.”– Harper Lee (To Kill a Mockingbird)

“When you can’t find someone to follow, you have to find a way to lead by example.” – Roxane Gay (Bad Feminist)

“At some point in life the world’s beauty becomes enough. You don’t need to photograph, paint, or even remember it. It is enough.” – Toni Morrison

“A book is a good substitute for a man. Fiction, preferably.” – Kamala Suraiyya Das (Wages of Love)

“Do your thing and don’t care if they like it.” – Tina Fey (Bossypants)

“The object we call a book is not the real book, but its potential, like a musical score or seed. It exists fully only in the act of being read; and its real home is inside the head of the reader, where the symphony resounds, the seed germinates. A book is a heart that only beats in the chest of another.”– Rebecca Solnit (The Faraway Nearby)

“Success is liking yourself, liking what you do, and liking how you do it.”– Maya Angelou

“I always deserve the best treatment because I never put up with any other.”– Jane Austen (Emma)

“Above all, be the heroine of your life, not the victim.” – Nora Ephron

“Life appears to me too short to be spent in nursing animosity or registering wrongs.” – Charlotte Brontë (Jane Eyre)

“If you want to know what’s in motherhood for you, as a woman, then – in truth – it’s nothing you couldn’t get from, say, reading the 100 greatest books in human history; learning a foreign language well enough to argue in it; climbing hills; loving recklessly; sitting quietly, alone, in the dawn; drinking whisky with revolutionaries; learning to do close-hand magic; swimming in a river in winter; growing foxgloves, peas and roses; calling your mum; singing while you walk; being polite; and always, always helping strangers. No one has ever claimed for a moment that childless men have missed out on a vital aspect of their existence, and were the poorer, and crippled by it.” – Caitlin Moran (How to Be a Woman)

“Nothing I accept about myself can be used against me to diminish me.”– Audre Lorde (Sister Outsider: Essays and Speeches)

And here’s a bonus: “Ignore what other people think. Most people aren’t even paying attention to you.” – Amy Poehler

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Anti Semitism …

Posted on March 3, 2018. Filed under: Guide Posts |

Antisemitism – How the Origins of World’s Oldest Hatred Still Holds Ground – By GERVASE PHILLIPS, Principal Lecturer in History, Manchester Metropolitan University. This Article was originally published on The Conversation.

Antisemitic incidents are on the rise across the globe. To understand this modern hatred we need to look into the past and understand its origins.

Antisemitism rears its ugly head in every aspect of public life, whether internal debates within political parties or accusations of conspiratorial networks or plots in politics and business.

Antisemitism is on the march. From the far-right demonstrators in Charlottesville, Virginia, with their “Blood and Soil” chants and their “Jews will not replace us” placards to attacks on synagogues in Sweden, arson attacks on kosher restaurants in France and a spike in hate crimes against Jews in the UK.

Antisemitism seems to have been given a new lease of life. The seemingly endless conflicts in the Middle East have made the problem worse as they spawn divisive domestic politics in the West. But can the advance of antisemitism be attributed to the rise of right-wing populism or the influence of Islamic fundamentalism?

One thing is clear. Antisemitism is here and it’s getting worse. Antisemitism rears its ugly head in every aspect of public life, whether internal debates within political parties or accusations of conspiratorial networks or plots in politics and business.

Or even in the accusations that Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein’s sexually predatory behaviour was somehow linked to his Jewish origins. But by focusing narrowly on the contemporary context of modern antisemitism, we miss a central, if deeply depressing, reality.

Jeffrey Goldberg, the editor of The Atlantic magazine, puts it correctly when he says that what we are seeing is an ancient and deeply embedded hostility towards Jews that is reemerging as the barbarous events of World War II recede from our collective memory.

Goldberg says that for 70 years, in the shadow of the death camps, antisemitism was culturally, politically and intellectually unacceptable. But now “we are witnessing … the denouement of an unusual epoch in European life, the age of the post-Holocaust Jewish dispensation”.

Without an understanding of antisemitism’s ancient roots, the dark significance of this current trend may not be fully understood and hatred may sway popular opinion unchallenged.

Antisemitism has been called history’s oldest hatred and it has shown itself to be remarkably adaptable. It is carved from – and sustained by – powerful precedents and inherited stereotypes.

But it also taking on variant forms to reflect the contingent fears and anxieties of an ever-changing world. Understood this way, it is the modern manifestation of an ancient prejudice – one which some scholars believe stretches back to antiquity and medieval times.

Ancient tradition of hatred. The word “antisemitism” was popularised by the German journalist Wilhelm Marr. His polemic, Der Sieg des Judentums über das Germentum (The Victory of Jewry over Germandom), was published in 1879.

Outwardly, Marr was a thoroughly secular man of the modern world. He explicitly rejected the groundless but ancient Christian allegations long made against the Jews, such as deicide or that Jews engaged in the ritual murder of Christian children.

Instead, he drew on the fashionable theories of the French academic Ernest Renan (who viewed history as a world-shaping contest between Jewish Semites and Aryan Indo-Europeans).

Marr suggested that the Jewish threat to Germany was racial. He said that it was born of their immutable and destructive nature, their “tribal peculiarities” and “alien essence”.

Antisemites like Marr strove for intellectual respectability by denying any connection between their own modern, secular ideology and the irrational, superstitious bigotry of the past.

It is a tactic which is employed by some contemporary antisemites who align themselves with “anti-Zionism”, an ideology whose precise definition consequently excites considerable controversy.

But this continuing hostility towards Jews from pre-modern to modern times has been manifest to many. The American historian Joshua Trachtenberg, writing during World War II, noted:

Modern so-called ‘scientific’ antisemitism is not an invention of Hitler’s … it has flourished primarily in central and eastern Europe, where medieval ideas and conditions have persisted until this day, and where the medieval conception of the Jew which underlies the prevailing emotional antipathy toward him was, and still is, deeply rooted.

In fact, up until the Holocaust, antisemitism flourished just as much in western Europe as in central or eastern Europe. Consider, for example, how French society was bitterly divided between 1894-1906, after the Jewish army officer, Captain Alfred Dreyfus, was falsely accused and convicted of spying for Germany.

It saw conservatives squaring up against liberals and socialists, Catholics against Jews. Yet Trachtenberg was undoubtedly correct in suggesting that many of those who shaped modern antisemitism were profoundly influenced by the older “medieval” tradition of religious bigotry.

The Russian editor of the infamous Protocols of Zion – a crude and ugly, but tragically influential, forgery alleging a Jewish world conspiracy – was the political reactionary, ultra-Orthodox, and self-styled mystic Sergei Nilus.

Wrought by fear and hatred of the challenges to traditional religion, social hierarchies and culture posed by modernity, Nilus was convinced that the coming of the Antichrist was imminent and that those who failed to believe in the existence of “the elders of Zion” were simply the dupes of “Satan’s greatest ruse”.

So modern antisemitism cannot be easily separated from its pre-modern antecedents. As the Catholic theologian Rosemary Ruether observed:

The mythical Jew, who is the eternal conspiratorial enemy of Christian faith, spirituality and redemption, was … shaped to serve as the scapegoat for [the ills of] secular industrial society.

Antisemitism in antiquity? Some scholars would look to the pre-Christian world and see in the attitudes of ancient Greeks and Romans the origins of an enduring hostility.

Religious Studies scholar Peter Schäfer believes the exclusive nature of the monotheistic Jewish faith, the apparent haughty sense of being a chosen people, a refusal to intermarry, a Sabbath observance and the practise of circumcision were all things that marked Jews out in antiquity for a particular odium.

Finding examples of hostility towards Jews in classical sources is not difficult. The politician and lawyer Cicero, 106-43BC, once reminded a jury of “the odium of Jewish gold” and how they “[stick together]” and are “influential in informal assemblies”.

The Roman historian Tacitus, c.56-120AD, was contemptuous of “base and abominable” Jewish customs and was deeply disturbed by those of his compatriots who had renounced their ancestral gods and converted to Judaism.

The Roman poet and satirist Juvenal, c.55-130AD, shared his disgust at the behaviour of converts to Judaism besides denouncing Jews generally as drunken and rowdy.

These few examples may point towards the existence of antisemitism in
antiquity. But there is little reason to believe that Jews were the objects of a specific prejudice beyond the generalised contempt that both Greeks and Romans exhibited towards “barbarians” – especially conquered and colonised peoples.

Juvenal was every bit as rude about Greeks and other foreigners in Rome as he was about Jews. He complained bitterly: “I cannot stand … a Greek city of Rome. And yet what part of the dregs comes from Greece?”

Once the full extent of Juvenal’s prejudice has been recognised, his snide remarks about Jews might be understood as being more indicative of an altogether more sweeping xenophobia.

The ‘Christ killers’ It is in the theology of early Christians that we find the clearest foundations of antisemitism.

The Adversus Judaeos(arguments against the Jews) tradition was established early in the religion’s history. Sometime around 140AD the Christian apologist Justin Martyr was teaching in Rome.

In his most celebrated work, Dialogue with Trypho the Jew, Justin strove to answer Trypho when he pointed to the contradictory position of Christians who claimed to accept Jewish scripture but refused to follow Torah (the Jewish law).

Justin responded that the demands of Jewish law were meant only for Jews as a punishment from God. Although still accepting the possibility of Jewish salvation, he argued that the old covenant was finished, telling Trypho: “You ought to understand that [the gifts of God’s favour] formerly among your nation have been transferred to us.”

Yet Justin’s concern was not really with Jews. It was with his fellow Christians. At a time when the distinction between Judaism and Christianity was still blurred and rival sects competed for adherents, he was striving to prevent gentile converts to Christianity from observing the Torah, lest they go over wholly to Judaism.

Vilifying Jews was a central part of Justin’s rhetorical strategy. He alleged that they were guilty of persecuting Christians and had done so ever since they “had killed the Christ”.

It was an ugly charge, soon levelled again in the works of other Church Fathers,such as Tertullian (c.160-225AD) who referred to the “synagogues of the Jews” as “fountains of persecution”. The objective of using such invective was to settle internal debates within Christian congregations.

The “Jews” in these writings were symbolic. The allegations did not reflect the actual behaviour or beliefs of Jews.

When Tertullian attempted to refute the dualist teachings of the Christian heretic Marcion (c.144AD), he needed to demonstrate that the vengeful God of the Old Testament was indeed the same merciful and compassionate God of the Christian New Testament.

He achieved this by presenting the Jews as especially wicked and especially deserving of righteous anger; it was thus, Tertullian argued, that Jewish behaviours and Jewish sins explained the contrast between the Old and the New Testament.

To demonstrate this peculiar malevolence, Tertullian portrayed Jews as denying the prophets, rejecting Jesus, persecuting Christians and as rebels against God.

These stereotypes shaped Christian attitudes towards Jews from late antiquity into the medieval period, leaving Jewish communities vulnerable to periodic outbreaks of persecution.

These ranged from massacres, such as York in 1190, to “ethnic cleansing”, as seen in the expulsions from England in 1290, France in 1306 and Spain in 1492.

Although it was real people who often suffered as a result of this ugly prejudice, antisemitism as a concept largely owes its longevity to its symbolic and rhetorical power.

American historian David Nirenberg concludes that “anti-Judaism was a tool that could usefully be deployed to almost any problem, a weapon that could be deployed on almost any front”. And this weapon has been wielded to devastating effect for centuries.

When Martin Luther thundered against the Papacy in 1543 he denounced the Roman Church as “the Devil’s Synagogue” and Catholic orthodoxy as “Jewish” in its greed and materialism.

In 1790, the Anglo-Irish conservative Edmund Burke published his manifesto, Reflections on the Revolution in France, and condemned the revolutionaries as “Jew brokers” and “Old Jewry.” From Marxism to Hollywood

Despite Karl Marx’s Jewish ancestry, Marxism was tainted at its very birth by antisemitism. In 1843, Karl Marx identified modern capitalism as the result of the“Judiasing” of the Christian:

The Jew has emancipated himself in a Jewish manner not only annexing the power of money but also through him and also apart from him money has become a world power and the practical spirit of the Jew has become the practical spirit of the Christian people. The Jews have emancipated themselves in so far as the Christians have become Jews …

Money is the jealous god of Israel before whom no other god may stand … The god of the Jews has been secularised and has become the god of the world. And there remain those, from across the political spectrum, who are still ready to deploy what Nirenberg referred to as “the most powerful language of opprobrium available” in Western political discourse, commonly using the language of conspiracy, webs and networks.

In 2002, the left-leaning New Statesman included articles by Dennis Sewell and John Pilger, debating the existence of a “pro-Israeli lobby” in Britain. Their articles, however, proved less controversial than the the cover illustration chosen to introduce this theme, which drew on familiar tropes of secret Jewish machinations and dominance over national interests: a gold Star of David resting on the Union Jack, with the title: “A Kosher Conspiracy?”

The following year, veteran Labour MP Tam Dalyell accused the then prime minister, Tony Blair, of “being unduly influenced by a cabal of Jewish advisers”. It is still language that is being used now.

On the far right, white supremacists have been quick to project their own time-honoured fantasies of Jewish malfeasance and power onto contemporary events, however seemingly irrelevant. This was quickly apparent in August 2017, as the future of memorials glorifying those who had rebelled against the union and defended slavery during America’s Civil War became the focus of intense debate in the US.

At Charlottesville, Virginia, demonstrators protesting against the removal of a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee, began chanting “Jews will not replace us”. When journalist Elspeth Reeve asked one why, he replied that the city was “run by Jewish communists”.

When accusations of serious sexual misconduct by Weinstein were published by The New York Times in October 2017, he was quickly cast by the far right as a representative of the “eternal conspiratorial enemy” of American society as a whole.

David Duke, former head of the Ku Klux Klan, would write on his website that the “Harvey Weinstein story … is a case study in the corrosive nature of Jewish domination of our media and cultural industries”.

‘The hatreds of our time …’ Responding to such language, The Atlantic’s Emma Green astutely commented on how “the durability of anti-Semitic tropes and the ease with which they slide into all displays of bigotry, is a chilling reminder that the hatreds of our time rhyme with history and are easily channelled through timeless anti-Semitic canards”.

There is real danger here as the spike in antisemitic hate crimes shows. This peculiar way of thinking about the world has always retained the potential to turn hatred of symbolic Jews into the very real persecution of actual Jews.

Given the marked escalation of antisemitic incidents recorded in 2017, we are now faced with the unsettling prospect that this bigotry is becoming “normalised”. For example, the European Jewish Congress expressed “grave concerns” over an increase in antisemitic acts in Poland under the right-wing Law and Justice government which won the 2015 parliamentary election with an outright majority.

The group said the government was “closing … communications with the official representatives of the Jewish community” and there was a “proliferation of ‘fascist slogans’ and unsettling remarks on social media and television, as well as the display of flags of the nationalist … group at state ceremonies”.

In response to these fears, a survey investigating antisemitism within the EU will be undertaken in 2018, led by the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights. The agency’s director, Michael O’Flaherty, commented, correctly, that: “Antisemitism remains a grave worry across Europe despite repeated efforts to stamp out these age-old prejudices.”

Given the phenomenon’s deep historical roots and its epoch defying capacity for reinvention, it would be easy to be pessimistic about the prospect of another effort to “stamp it out”. But an historical awareness of the nature of antisemitism may prove a powerful ally for those who would challenge prejudice.

The ancient tropes and slights may cloak themselves in modern garb but even softly-spoken allegations of conspiratorial “lobbies” and “cabals” should be recognised for what they are: the mobilisation of an ancient language and ideology of hate for which there should be no place in our time.


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1. Media 2. National Awards …

Posted on March 3, 2018. Filed under: Guide Posts, Indian Thought, Personalities |


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Teaching Gratitude …

Posted on February 25, 2018. Filed under: Guide Posts, Personal Magnetism, Searching for Success |

There is this ancient Japanese Teaching of REIKI  which is solely based on having an Attitude of Gratitude .. and  pretty useful too …

Way different is this WSJ Article on the same ….





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Pride in being Indian …

Posted on February 23, 2018. Filed under: Guide Posts, Indian Thought, Personalities |

 Adam Osborne on Elite Indians & Lack of National Pride – by S.Gurumurthy in The Organizer

Adam Osborne invented the portable computer. Turned a billionaire. Ended as bankrupt. His father Arthur Osborne spent the best part of his life with Ramana Maharishi.

Brought up and educated in Tiruvannamalai, Adam Osborne went back to the US and then came back to India. Settled in Kodaikanal, he was to the ordinary Indian the ‘White Tamilian’. He loved roses and died recently in Mother India’s lap.

What this man – who sought solace in India – thought about India and Indians is far more important to English-educated elite Indians.

Writing in Data Quest magazine in the US well before he came back to settle in India, Osborne recalled his life at the Ramanashram in Turuvanammalai thus: “I was surrounded by Indians who were proud of their Nationality and Heritage”.  Not just that. He says they “believed they had a lot to teach us Europeans”.  Here the reference is to the ordinary Indian, the Indian proud of his Nation.

He also finds another category of Indians – the elite and highly successful Indians and as a sample, Indian Americans. This is what he says about them. “Today I find myself dealing with Indians, many of who do not feel proud of their Indianness. Indian Americans represent the most affluent minority in America, ahead of Jewish Americans and Japanese Americans. This is a statistic and not an opinion. Indians swarm all over the Silicon Valley. Indians are recognized throughout America as technically superior. “And yet as a Group, they lack National Pride”.

Indians are not proud of their Nationality as Indians. Something I realized many years ago. Something that  puzzled me, I have frequently talked to Indians of their lack of National Pride, with telling results. Invariably, after making this assertion from the lecture podium, I find myself surrounded by Indians: Engineers, scientists, doctors, even lawyers, all asserting the correctness of my observations, ‘You are correct,’ they aver: ‘I am not proud that I am an Indian.”

Asks Adam Osborne, “Is India’s colonial heritage the sole reason? Who knows? But whatever the reasons, it is a pity.” What has it cost us? Osborne thinks this has made India a third world NationHe says: Since the day Indians learn pride, India will rapidly move out of its third world status to become one of the World’s Industrial Powers.

Moved for India he swore: ‘I will return to India, to preach Indian Pride. I will preach that Indians must learn to be proud of being Indians – irrespective of their Race or Religion.'”Suppose they regain their pride, says Adam Osborne: “Then there will be no more shoddy Indian products”. 

Why? Because every worker will generate output with the stamp of a proud man on it. With self-evident quality that screams out: “That is the work of an Indian!”

Osborne thinks this will even bring down corruption. “And corruption will decline. Even though these root causes of corruption transcend the bases of lack of Indian Pride of which I speak, nevertheless a Proud Man will pause, more than a man without pride, before extending his hand to receive a bribe.”

He concludes: “A Proud Indian will try harder to be responsible for products and services that others will praise. And it is in that praise that India’s future Industrial greatness lies.”

National Pride is thus equally the winning formula in trade wars as in actual wars. No amount of foreign investment is substitute for that. Will our elites who undermine the pride of Indians day after day realize Adam Osborne’s prescription for them?

For two reasons, I have quoted Adam Osborne.                                                 One, as he is a White man – his words are important to the Indian elite who want validation from the West.                                                                               Second, as he sought solace in India, his words are important to me.

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A PM’s Wife Enthuses Women …

Posted on February 22, 2018. Filed under: Guide Posts, Personalities |

From NDTV –

Hailing women as the “womb of humanity”, Canada’s first lady Sophie Gregoire Trudeau today asked young women to be fearless and face the world with their heads held high.

Addressing a group of Indian women students in New Delhi at the Asia launch of the global campaign — ‘She Will Grow Into It’ — she also asked them to speak up for those who cannot, and “have fun”.

The wife of visiting Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said many cultural beliefs have asked women to have “small space in society or disappear sometimes” from it, but that will not happen.

“Girls and women are the womb of humanity and they will be fully participative citizens… And men are our allies in the quest for equality,” she said.

Twelve students from Gujarat’s Patan district today interacted with Ms Trudeau as part of the campaign and shared their stories.

After listening to the story of a Class 11 student, who aspires to become a poet, Ms Trudeau appeared emotional and teary. “There is a lot that you will face growing up as a girl. And you may also feel fearful. While it is normal to feel fear, I want to tell you that you should be courageous and fearless in facing the world. Face the world with your head held high. Speak up, and be the voices of those who cannot. And, while doing all that have fun,”

Wearing a yellow dress with floral prints, she hugged all the 12 students when she walked into the hall and later also posed for pictures and selfies.

The Trudeaus and their three children are on a week-long visit to India.
Canada’s Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan also interacted with the young women and described them as “powerful agents of change”.

“Every child has a gift and endeavour to accomplish your inner potential and realise what you dream to become,” he said.


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The Smartest Jews …

Posted on February 1, 2018. Filed under: Guide Posts, Searching for Success |

Why is the IQ of Ashkenazi Jews so High? – Twenty Possible Explanations. Hank Pellissier Dec 11, 2013

Ethical Technology
Ashkenazi Jews are smart. Shockingly brilliant – in general and impressive in brain power. How did they get that way?
Ashkenazi Jews, aka Ashkenazim, are the descendants of Jews from medieval Alsace and the Rhine Valley, and later, from throughout Eastern Europe. Originally, of course, they were from Israel.

Genetic research from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine suggests that the Ashkenazi bloodline branched away from other Jewish groups there 2,500 years ago, and that 40% of them are descended from only four Jewish mothers.

Approximately 80% of the Jews in the world today are Ashkenazim, with the remainder primarily Sephardic.
Researchers who study the Ashkenazim agree that the children of Abraham are on top of the IQ chart.

Steven Pinker – who lectured on “Jews, Genes, and Intelligence” in 2007 – says “their average IQ has been measured at 108-115.”
Richard Lynn, Author of “The Intelligence of American Jews” in 2004, says it is “only” a half-standard higher: 107.5.
Henry Harpending, Jason Hardy, and Gregory Cochran, University of Utah Authors of the 2005 Research Report, “Natural History of Ashkenazi Intelligence,” state that their subjects, “score .75 to 1.0 standard deviations above the general European average, corresponding to an IQ of 112-115.”
Charles Murray, in his 2007 Essay “Jewish Genius,” says “their mean is somewhere in the range of 107-115, with 110 being a plausible compromise.”

A Jewish average IQ of 115 is 8 points higher than the generally accepted IQ of their closest rivals—Northeast Asians—and approximately 40% higher than the global average IQ of 79.1 calculated by Richard Lynn and Tatu Vanhanen in IQ and Global Inequity.

Plus, contemplate this astounding tidbit: Ashkenazi “visual-spatial” IQ scores are only mediocre; in one study their median in this category was a below-average 98.

They surmount this liability by logging astronomic figures in “verbal IQ”, which includes verbal reasoning, comprehension, working memory and mathematical skill; a 1958 survey of Yeshiva students discovered a median verbal IQ of 125.6.

What does it mean that Ashkenazim have a high IQ, in terms of producing “geniuses”?

With their population so small – a mere 0.25 of the world total – does it make any serious difference?
The answer is YES.

A “bell curve” is used to illustrate IQ percentile in a specific group – in a “general population” where IQ average is 100 the curve assumes these proportions:
less than 70 IQ – 2.5%
70-85 IQ – 12.5%
86-100 IQ – 35%
101-115 IQ – 35%
116-130 IQ – 12.5%
greater than 130 IQ – 2.5%
Applying the same bell curve for Ashkenazim, but with a 17-point upward lift in median IQ (using the From Chance To Choice digit) produces the IQ upgrade below:
less than 87 IQ – 2.5%
88-102 IQ – 12.5%
103-117 IQ – 35%
118-132 IQ – 35%
133-148 IQ – 12.5%
greater than 148 IQ – 2.5%
This shifting upward of the bell curve by more than a standard deviation (15 points) means that more than five times as many Ashkenazim are eligible for Mensa (minimum 130 IQ) and more than five times as many have the average IQ of an Ivy League graduate.

In reality, Ashkenazim are enrolled in the Ivies by a proportion ten times greater than their numbers; for example they represent 30% of Yale students, 27% of Harvard, 23% of Brown, 32% of Columbia, and 31% of Pennsylvania.

This suggests that either the “bell’s curve” is lifted for the Ashkenazi a bit longer at the high end or there are additional factors that enhance their ability to succeed.

Regarding the first possibility, Charles Murray notes that “the proportion of Jews with IQs of 140 or higher is somewhere around six times the proportion of everyone else.”

Harpending, Hardy and Cochran sport roughly the same equation; “4 out of every 1,000 Northern European is 140+ IQ, but 23 out of every 1,000 Jew is 140+.”

Murray also relays a report from sky-high up in the genius range, when he notes that a 1954 Survey of New York public school children with 170+ IQs revealed that 24 of the 28 were… Jewish.

Now that I’ve established that Ashkenazi have superlative IQ scores, let’s observe what they’ve accomplished with their highly functional brains.

In the 19th century, Mark Twain noted that:
[The Jews] are peculiarly and conspicuously the World’s Intellectual Aristocracy… [Jewish] contributions to the World’s list of great names in literature, science, art, music, finance, medicine, and abstruse learning are way out of proportion to the weakness of his numbers.
He has made a marvelous fight in this world… and has done it with his hands tied behind him.
Twain’s observation is not dated.

Ashkenazi Jews have continued to mentally out-compete other demographics since his statement, often suffering horrendous consequences for their toil.

Here is a brief list of Ashkenazi accomplishments in the last 90 years.
Nobel Prizes: Since 1950, 29% of the awards have gone to Ashkenazim, even though they represent only a small fraction of humanity. Ashkenazi achievement in this arena is 117 times greater than their population. This pace isn’t slowing down; it is accelerating. In the 21st century, they’ve received 32% of the total, and in 2011, five of the thirteen Nobel Prize winners were Jewish – 38.5%.

Hungary in the 1930s: Ashkenazim were 6% of the population, but they comprised 55.7% of physicians, 49.2% of attorneys, 30.4% of engineers, and 59.4% of bank officers; plus, they owned 49.4% of the metallurgy industry, 41.6% of machine manufacturing, 72.8% of clothing manufacturing, and, as housing owners, they received 45.1% of Budapest rental income. Jews were similarly successful in nearby nations, like Poland and Germany.

“Significant Figures”: In “Jewish Genius” by Charles Murray, the Author tallies up important contributing individuals in a variety of vocations, noting how immensely over-represented Jews are compared to what could be expected due to their small population. His conclusion in various categories is: Biology – “significant” Jews appear 5 times greater their population, Chemistry 6X, Physics 9X, Literature 4X, Music 5X, Visual Arts 5X, Math 12X, Philosophy 14X

USA (today): Ashkenazi Jews comprise 2.2% of the USA population, but they represent 30% of Faculty at Elite Colleges, 21% of Ivy League students, and 25% of the Turing Award winners.

Plus, “Jews have made up 50% of the top two hundred intellectuals… 40% of partners in the leading law firms in New York and Washington… 59% of the directors, writers, and producers of the fifty top-grossing motion pictures…”

Israel: In 1922 this swamp-and-desert land had an impoverished population of 752,000 inhabitants.

Today there are 7,746,000 residents, with a large Ashkenazi population (3 million, and 60% of the workforce) that has elevated it into a high-tech entrepreneurial nation with the highest per capita income in the region.

Israel rates 1st in the world in graduate degrees, 1st in museums, 1st in home computers, and 1st in publishing scientific papers.

Personally, I find the Nobel Prize statistic the most amazing.

Consider this: if everybody on the Planet was an Ashkenazi Jew, would the result be 117 times more Nobel Prize-winning caliber individuals, with 117 times as many spectacular achievements, per annum?

INSTANT SINGULARITY! Without any help from AI…
(Sephardic Jewish achievement is represented in many of the categories above, especially in Nobel Prize statistics.

When this article was originally published – in a shorter version, on August 7, 2011 by the Institute for Ethics in Emerging Technology ( – Sephardic Jews expressed some perturbation that they were omitted from the essay.

I’d like to acknowledge the immense contribution of Sephardic Jews with this all-too-brief list of notables from their lineage:

Elias Canetti (Nobel Prize in Literature, 1981), Tobias Michael Carel Asser (Nobel Peace Prize, 1911), Rene Cassin (Nobel Peace Prize, 1968), Franco Modigliani (Nobel Prize in Economics, 1985), Francois Jacob (Nobel Prize in Medicine/Physiology, 1965), Salvador Luria (Nobel Prize in Medicine/Physiology, 1969), Baruj Benacerraf (Nobel Prize in Medicine/Physiology, 1980), Rita Levi-Montalcini (Nobel Prize in Medicine/Physiology, 1986), Emilio Segre (Nobel Prize in Physics, 1959), Claude Cohen-Tannoudj (Nobel Prize in Physics, 1997), plus philosopher Jacques Derrida, economist/philanthropist Bernard Baruch, painter Amedeo Modigliani, and Benjamin Disraeli, the British Prime Minister.

In the medieval era, Sephardic achievements were also quite significant.

In George Sarton’s Introduction to the History of Science, the Author notes that 95 out of 626 scientists in the world from 1150-1300 were Sephardic Jews -15% – far exceeding their population proportion.

However, when Sephardic IQ is presently recorded, the sums are no higher than the northern European average, and definitively not as elevated as Ashkenazi.)

Let’s proceed. With the facts I’ve laid out, only the most obtuse reader can resist my pronouncement that Ashkenazi Jews are, on average, extraordinarily intelligent.

I’m not asserting Ashkenazi cognitive specialness because I’m Philo-Semitic, or Zionist, or pro-Israeli. I’m pointing it out because it is irrefutably true.

That said, the question that my essay seeks to unravel is… Why?
Why is the IQ of Ashkenazi Jews so high? Is the reason due to their genetics, environment, culture, education, or a unique combination of multiple factors?

In my initial publication of this essay, I provided eight reasons for high Ashkenazi IQ. But then, I received a flurry of email suggestions (many from professors) providing me with additional information.

Twenty theories are now listed in this expanded essay, and I’ve attempted to give my sources the credit they deserve, even though – in several instances – I don’t have their actual names, just their Internet chat-monikers. Here’s my new list – many related to each other – presented in roughly chronological order:

Babylonian Eugenics – In 586 B.C.E., Jerusalem was totally destroyed by the Babylonians, led by their monarch Nebuchadnezzar, who “carried into exile… all the [Jewish] officers and fighting men, and all the craftsmen and artisans… only the poorest people of the land were left.” (2Kings 24:10-14) The Indestructible Jews, by Max Dimont, defines the deported people as “the flower of Judah’s aristocracy and intellectuals.”

The exiled Jews of this first Diaspora became highly successful in Babylon.
Dimont claims, “In the libraries of Babylon, intellectual Jews found a new world of new ideas. Within five decades, exiled Jews bobbed to the surface of the top echelons on Babylonian society, in business enterprises, in the scholastic world, in court circles.
They became leaders in commerce, men of learning, advisors to kings.”

In 538 B.C.E., the Persian king Cyrus the Great granted Jews permission to return to their homeland.
Wealthy Jews – who had established successful trade routes and businesses in Babylon – financed zealous returnees who wanted to re-settle Judah.

Initial attempts failed, but eventually, 1,760 settlers led by the Prophet Ezra and the Governor Nehemiah rebuilt the wall of Jerusalem and resurrected the nation.

These “Babylonian” Jews returning to Israel discovered that their poorer brethren that were left behind a half-century earlier had slipped away via assimilation, vanishing into neighboring pagan creeds.

Cyril Darlington, in his The Evolution of Man and Society, suggests that the temporary separation of the Jewish elite, and permanent removal of the uneducated and unskilled, provided a genetic intellectual boost to the creed.

The returning Jews also instituted two customs that enhanced the mental solidity of their culture’s future. A ban on intermarriage with Gentiles was enforced, and the first five books of Moses were canonized, as the Torah.

People of the Difficult Book: The Torah (the first five books of the Jewish Bible) and the Talmud (recordings of rabbinic discussions) are intellectually complex and sophisticated.

Practitioners of Judaism are required to learn and study the extensive, mentally rigorous laws.
Thematic content of the scriptural passages is not simplistic or literal, it is, conversely, designed for comprehension on multiple, abstract, metaphorical levels.

Blind faith and slavish devotion, encouraged by other Faiths, is not conducive to Judaism.
Instead, worship in the ancient monotheism demands significant literacy skills due to the cognitive demands of the texts, with tradition maintaining that understanding the Talmud requires “study of seven hours a day for seven years.”

Charles Murray notes that, “no other religion made so many demands upon the whole body of its believers,” with the subsequent analysis that, “Judaism evolved in such a way that to be a good Jew meant that a man had to be smart.”

Healthy Hygiene & Diet: Professor Sam Lehman-Wilzig of Bar-Ilan University in Israel provided me with this theory.
His suggestion is based on the fact that – due to their customary practices – the Jews probably enjoyed better hygiene than Gentiles.
He points to the Jewish washing of hands before every meal, the men bathing at least once a week in the “mikveh” (a purification bathhouse) and the women bathing at least once a month, after their menstruation was over.
He also notes the restriction on pork prevented Jews from contracting trichinosis. (Famous casualties of this parasitic disease include Gautama Buddha and Wolfgang Mozart).

With lower disease rates, Jewish bodies would not have suffered as much as Gentiles and this would have improved their mental capacities.

This notion has been repeated elsewhere.
In 1953, research by Johns Hopkins University pharmacologist David I. Macht surmised that all the dozens of meat items banned by Jewish dietary laws in Deuteronomy and Leviticus were, in fact, more toxic than the kosher flesh that was permitted.

Additionally, in the recent book Survival of the Sickest, Author Sharon Moalem suggests that Jews removing leaven from their homes during Passover helped keep out the rats that spread bubonic plague in the 13th century.

Last but not least, wealthy Ashkenazi Jews dwelling in larger houses in eastern Europe would have survived epidemics easier because they didn’t suffer the same high multiple infection rate that occurred in smaller homes with greater crowding.

Extensive correlation between high IQ, healthy diet, infectious diseases, sanitation, and home crowding, is examined via research studies in later chapters of this book, particularly in “Early Years.”

Education Emphasized, Way Back in B.C. – Jeremiah Unterman of Jerusalem informed me that the Torah instructs every Jewish father to teach the Torah to his children, and Marisa Landau notes on a 6/4/05 discussion that it’s forbidden by the Jewish religion to keep child illiterate.

Additionally, Landau reports that Jewish women learned to read and write, a phenomenon that was unique in the ancient world.
Landau also mentions that it has long been a custom among Jews to provide a full pension – for up to 10 years – to an intelligent son-in-law who wishes to entirely devote himself to study.

The Jews, it seems, invented the notion of “scholarships.”

In the medieval era, the French monk, Peter Abelard (1079-1142) penned this about Jewish education: “A Jew, however poor, even if he had ten sons, would get them all to letters, not for gain as the Christians do, but for understanding of God’s law. And not only for his sons, but his daughters.”
Mandatory Schools For Males – In 64 A.D., the high priest Joshua ben Gamla issued and implemented an ordinance mandating schools for all boys, beginning at age 6.
Within 100 years, Jews had established universal male literacy and numeracy, the first ethnicity in history to achieve this.

The progressive, demanding edict created a huge demographic shift.
The high, oft-times prohibitive cost of educating children in the subsistence farming economy of the 2nd to 6th centuries prompted numerous Jews to voluntarily convert to Christianity, leading to a decline in Jewish population from 4.5 million to 1.2 million.

Natural “eugenics” favored two groups in this situation: 1) the sons of wealthier, ostensibly more intelligent Jews, who could provide greater funding for the schools that maintained their offspring’s membership as Jews, and, 2) the smartest boys who could quickly learn reading, writing and arithmetic at a pace at which they could afford to “stay Jewish.”

Who was left out? Removed from the gene pool? Answer: the poorer, uneducated Jews, and/or those with the lowest IQ.

Urban Upgrade – 80-90% of Jews were farmers in 1 AD. But only 10-20% remained in agriculture by 1000 A.D. The education required by Joshua ben Gamla’s edict delivered verbal and math skills to Jewish boys, enabling them to move out of subsistence rural life into highly-skilled urban professions, involving sales, trade, and financial transactions.

Moving from a pastoral environment into cities implements an IQ boost, due to urbanism’s increased complexity, literacy, and technology.

A Hanoi National University study in 2006 showed a whopping 19.4 IQ difference between city and country students.

A 1970 survey in Greece recorded a difference of 10-13 points.
Other studies note smaller discrepancies of only 2-6 points, but unanimously, urban residents always score higher, and Jews are one of the world’s longest-urbanized ethnicities.

Dialectic and Rational Thought – Dr. Sam Lehman-Wilzig informed me that one of the noteworthy approaches to Jewish learning is “dialectic.”

The Talmud itself is not a “law code” but instead, a huge compendium of ARGUMENTS.

Jews are encouraged to see different perspectives of an issue, and they’re taught to question everything, including the Law, the Rabbi’s logic, and one’s own belief system.
Rabbis developed argumentative principles, an entire system of questioning that the Jews have utilized for 2,000 years in both religious and secular debates.

Dialectic was not a ‘Jewish’ invention: it was a learning technique that Jews borrowed and adapted from Greek philosophy; the synthesis is a ‘Socratic-Jewish methodology.’
Traces of the Greek influence are evident in the Passover Seder where the Jewish father reclines on a pillow (similar to the Greeks) while the youngest Jewish child asks Four Questions. This method of learning was unique during the Middle Ages, compared to Catholic Europe’s ‘authoritative’ traditions.

Dr. Sanford Aranoff, Professor of Science and Mathematics at Rider University, conveyed to me a similar message.

In his opinion, Judaism is based on principles of rational thought. (Rational thinking begins with clearly stated principles, continues with logical deductions, and then examines empirical evidence to possibly modify the principles.)

The analytic, strategic skills developed in both Jewish dialectic and critical thinking are an important component of IQ tests, and they’re essential in legal, academic, science, and engineering careers.

Clever Clerics Propagate: A major difference between Catholicism and Judaism is that priests have been celibate since the 4th century Council of Carthage decreed that they abstain from conjugal relations, whereas Jewish rabbis have always been encouraged to marry and multiply.

In the Middle Age this resulted in massive IQ depression for Catholics, because their brightest, academically gifted boys were usually locked up in seminaries that wasted their gene pool.

Meanwhile… sage, scholastic Jewish rabbis were marrying smart women and creating large, clever families. Three tomes that examine this phenomenon are Robert Novick’s Anarchy, State and Utopia, Ernst Vandenberg’s The Jewish Mystique, and Paul Johnson’s A History of the Jews.

Breeding for Brains:
“Our Rabbis teach, Let a man sell all that he has and marry the daughter of a learned man. If he cannot find the daughter of a learned man, let him marry the daughter of one of the great men of his day. If he does not find such a one, let him marry the daughter of one of the heads of the congregation, or, failing this, the daughter of a charity collector, or even the daughter of a schoolmaster; but let him not marry the daughter of an illiterate man, for the unlearned are an abomination, as also their wives and their daughters.” P’sachim, fol. 49, col. 2.

Judaic texts like the one above emphasize repeatedly that knowledge and intelligence are supreme virtues, with ignorance the grossest liability.
Following this dictum, the Jews enhanced their gene pool for smartnesss.

In A History of the Jews, author Paul Johnson notes that, “among the Jews the most intelligent people have always been very valued and sought after as husbands, so they procreate and spread their good genes.”

Charles Murray observed another matchmaking tendency, when he notes that “by marrying the children of scholars to the children of successful merchants, Jews were in effect joining those selected for abstract reasoning ability with those selected for practical intelligence.”

Meanwhile, Catholics were marrying for “class” reasons, angling for blue-blood aristocrat gains that had no link to intelligence. Physical strength and valor was also desired, via brave knights on the battlefield – this exaltation of brawn over brains likewise did nothing to advance that religion’s collective IQ.

Trading Tongues: Ashkenazi merchants plied their wares over a vast area, originally to Islamic regions, but later internationally – from rubber in Brazil to silk in China.

To prosper in the exchange, they memorized multiple languages. The stateless tribe needed diverse fluency anyway, to communicate in adopted lands with their neighbors that spoke German, Polish, Latvian, Lithuanian, Hungarian, Russian, Ukrainian, French, Dutch, etc.

The Ashkenazi developed a “fusion” tongue: Yiddish (German, Hebrew, Aramaic, plus other Slavic languages and a touch of Romance).
At its height – before World War II – Yiddish was spoken by 13 million. The polyglot language produced exemplary culture in literature, theater, and film.

Neurologists today recognize that multiple language learning enhances memory, mental flexibility, problem solving, abstract thinking, and creative hypothesis formulation.

Explanations of the benefits abound; I recommend listening to the video, “Bilingualism Will Supercharge Your Baby’s Brain.”
Squeezed Into Brilliance: Jews in Europe were officially excluded from “common” occupations such as agriculture from 800-1700 A.D.

Indeed, they were usually not allowed to own land.
The restrictions forced Ashkenazim for 900 years into urban vocations that were cognitively more demanding, such as trade, bookkeeping, commerce, sales, and investment.

The frequent Christian prohibition against charging of interest in money lending – prohibited as “usury” – assisted in opening up financial banking occupations for Jews.
Historical records reveal that 80% of the Jews in Roussilon, southern France, in 1270 were money-lenders.

Later, after they were evicted from Western Europe, Ashkenazim were welcomed in Poland as urban investors and initiators of trade who could help modernize the nation.
They were also in great demand in middle management positions because they had mathematic and business administration skills.

Ashkenazim who weren’t mathematically and verbally adept enough to succeed in these “white collar” jobs drifted away from Judaism—low IQs were pushed out.

Conversely, the most successful merchants and number crunchers raised larger families, passing on an increasing percentage of algebraic brains.

Winnowed By Persecution: The most intelligent and/or wealthy Ashkenazim were better equipped to escape Inquisitions, pogroms, persecutions, holocausts, and other genocidal threats because they: 1) could afford to emigrate; 2) could predict the need to do so; and 3) had social and economic opportunities in the nations they fled to. Poorer, less connected, and less astute Ashkenazi ranks thus were inexorably depleted.

The repeated annihilation, expulsion, and flight of the Jewish people is universally known.
The first Diaspora to Babylonia has already been mentioned.

A second Diaspora is popularly regarded as a series of dispersals from Israel after the failure of Jewish revolts against the Roman Empire from 70 C.E. – 135 C.E. In 629 C.E., King Dagobert of the Franks ordered the Jews to convert, leave his land, or face execution.

The First Crusade, 1096-1099 C.E., cruelly slaughtered thousands of Ashkenazi, an estimated 25%.
Jews were expelled from England in 1290, France in 1394 and parts of Germany in the 15th century.

Pogroms in the Russian Empire in the 19th and early 20th century murdered substantial numbers of Jews, and the Holocaust, instigated by Adolf Hitler, led to the genocide of approximately six million, primarily Ashkenazi.

Whenever and wherever persecution began, Jews were more likely to escape if they could pay their way out, or were wealthy enough to have horses, carriages, employees as guards, rich relatives to flee to, and friends in “high places.”

High IQ has frequently been correlated with economic success.
Sick Genius: Ashkenazim are prey to about nineteen debilitating genetic diseases, and it’s been surmised that several of them might have cognitive “side effects” that can enhance intelligence.

Many of the disorders can kill or severely weaken those who have two copies of the gene, but if you inherit just one, you get a “heterozygote advantage” that can include neuron growth promotion and accelerated interconnection of brain cells. For example, having just one of the allele in Tay-Sachs and Niemann-Pick – GM2ganglioside – could moderately increase dentrite growth.

Another Ashkenazi ailment is Gaucher’s disease, which seems to promote axonal growth and branching.

A survey discovered that out of 255 employed patients of Gaucher’s disease at Shaare Zedek Medical Centre in Jerusalem, were in occupations that require IQs over 120, and 15% were scientists.
Another survey of Ashkenazim with Torsion Dystomia revealed an average IQ of 121.

I interviewed Gregory Cochran via email; he’s the University of Utah co-author of the 2005 Research Report, “Natural History of Ashkenazi Intelligence.”
In his words, “any IQ boost due to Gaucher’s [would be] a good deal less than 10-15 points [but]

It may be that big for Torsion Dystonia: everyone who has treated them marvels at how sharp they are…

[However] only a fraction [of Ashkenazi IQ elevation] is due to particular mutations like Gaucher, in our opinion.” In another interview, Cochran pinpointed the fractions as, “One in two thousand Askenazi, at most, carry a Tay-Sachs mutation and a Gaucher mutation, the two most common.”

Ashkenazim are not an isolated ethnicity, after residing with Eastern European neighbors for over a millennium.

While many observers suggest that they’re 30% European, an Emory University study concluded that researchers “were able to estimate that between 35 and 55 percent of the modern Ashkenazi genome comes from European descent.”

Positive Thinking – Aubrey Max Sandman, PhD, an electrical engineer in London, sent me an email asserting that positive attitude is what counts, not genetics. His opinion is that non-Jews do not work as hard as Jews, to attain their full potential.

In actuality, “positive thinking” actually does elevate IQ. 2011 research at Michigan State University revealed that a subject’s “mind set” makes a difference in intelligence because their attitude determines if they react productively, or self-destructively, to their mistakes. The report will soon be published, hopefully with specific data charting IQ gains, in an upcoming issue of Psychological Science.

Check Mate: Chess historically has been a highly favored activity among Ashkenazim; a 1905 magazine described it as the “Jewish National Game.”

Almost 50% of Grandmasters are Ashkenazi.

The visual, organizational, and strategic skills required for chess build up the precuneus in the superior parietal lobe, and the caudate nucleus, a part of the basal ganglia in the subcortical region. Admittedly, these benefits are not hereditary, but youngsters who practice the game can elevate their memory storage, strategic planning, and IQ.

Additional information about the benefits of chess can be found in my later chapter, “School Years.”
Melodic Minds: Music has been revered in Jewish religious traditions for 3,000 years.

Klezmer “reached a very high level of sophistication and ornamentation,” according to the Jewish Music Institute, and Ashkenazi composers and instrumentalists contribute hugely to Western classical music (one history site declares, “The Jews ‘Own’ the Violin”).

Have centuries of practice paid off?
Researchers today believe music training optimizes neuron development and improves brain function in math, analysis, memory, creativity, stress management, concentration, motivation, and science.

Additional information about the benefits of musical training can be found in the following chapters: “Early Years” and “School Years.”

Comfortable Supportive Families, With High Expectations: Success promotes success, on the neurological level.

Victory provides a rush of dopamine, a neurotransmitter that activates motivation for further accomplishments.

Ashkenazi children generally understand they are capable of high achievement, and they’re urged to develop their skills for contribution to humanity.

Is stern discipline necessary to produce these results?
Ashkenazim have long discouraged spanking of their children; strong familial ties, incessant encouragement, and hard focused work at excellent institutions, seems to be sufficient.

Available income that allows offspring to study and develop intellectually is also important; wealth also permits access to elite schools.

Surveys indicate that American Jews earn about twice the income of non-Jews, plus they have 2.5 times more capital assets.

The result?
The average American Jew receives 2.5 more years of education.
Even during the Middle Age many Jews were upper and middle class in economic status, a condition that secured good education for their children.

Untermensch Go Elsewhere?
A 40+-year old Jewish commenter from New York City with the nomenclature “ASAMATTEROFFACT” informed me that – in his opinion – Ashkenazi who lack high intelligence and creativity end up feeling inferior.

He believes this eventually leads to the “untermensch” marrying outside of the tribe.
Only the ubermensch remain to reproduce. His point of view was echoed by another poster – Efox” – who stated that less intelligent Jews incapable of being their own “Priest” inevitably left Judaism to join another religion.

Empathetic Rabbis – A commenter who identified himself as “zeev from jew york city” informed me that many rabbis were “Einsteins of Empathy” – amazingly kind, patient, loving and understanding of other humans.

The high-level “empaths” impacted their congregations, making their lives better and promoting their ambitions and enterprizes.

In later chapters (“Early Years” and “School Years”) I discuss the IQ-boosting benefits of “Emotional Support” and “Teacher Effectiveness” – two gifts that were undoubtedly provided by compassionate rabbis.

Fear of Anti-Semitism? – Commenter “Morris Wise” stated a paranoiac position after reading my original article on the website.

In his opinion, Jews are driven to attain high academic success, career achievement, and wealth, because they want to feel safe, protected and insulated from anti-Jewish feelings in the outside community.

This point-of-view can, of course, be justified by the long history of resentment and persecution that Jews have experienced.

Twenty explanations for high Ashkenazi IQ!
My opinion?

Regarding the fourscore?
They’re possibly all correct, and valuable to contemplate.
However, what I find most intriguing are the “environmental” factors that are accessible to all humanity.
I wonder: if the people of the world really want high-level intellectual achievement, why don’t we play chess with our children at night, instead of tossing them a violent video game?

Why can’t we listen to their classical compositions on the weekend, instead of urging them to get concussions on the football field?
Isn’t a “dietary code” actually an excellent idea, in American culture with its 33.5% adult obesity?

Why can’t we provide them with excellent schools, entice them to learn foreign grammar, and convince them to believe in and expand their abilities, instead of forcing them to endure years of educational mediocrity and expecting nothing back but the same?

If all humanity adopted the best available characteristics of successful cultures like the Ashkenazi, would we, as a whole, immensely benefit?

Would we learn more quickly, more deeply, and produce greater wonders?
Would we become over- instead of under-achievers?
If we promoted high IQ behavior to humans everywhere, globally, would we all become… enhanced? Better humans?

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