Searching for Success

Teenage Super Achievers …

Posted on March 17, 2018. Filed under: Searching for Success |

By Zaria Gorvett – Today’s Young are known for their mood swings, social media addiction and dubious fashion choices. But some like these teenagers break the mould.

A new generation of precocious youths is solving the problems of today with ambitious, ground-breaking tech. So in case you didn’t already feel like an underachiever, here’s our shortlist of four incredible teenagers already reshaping the world we live in.

Keiana Cavé, 18, New Orleans

Cavé’s journey of invention began with the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, which unfolded in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010. It led to the largest maritime slick in human history, consisting of 4.9 million barrels (210 million gallons, or 780,000 cubic metres) of oil in one of the most ecologically important bodies of water on the planet.

In the immediate aftermath, baby dolphins began dying at six times the usual rate, while fishermen and scientists reported “disturbing numbers” of deformed sea creatures including shrimp with missing eyes and eye sockets, and fish with oozing sores and lesions. Watching the news reports on TV, Cavé instantly felt that there must be some hidden environmental damage.

She decided to focus her attention on discovering what was really going on. The Deepwater Horizon accident caused horrendous damage to the ecosystem in the Gulf of Mexico. At 15, the teenager began studying what happens to oil when it’s left on the ocean’s surface and discovered that when it’s hit by UV rays from the Sun, it reacts to form chemicals that are carcinogenic.

Today she’s turned her work into two scientific papers and two patents, for chemical methods of detecting the carcinogens. She’s also launched a startup, Mare, which is working towards a way to disperse them so that they aren’t as damaging. Oh, and her research has just received $1.2m (£860,000) in funding.

Rifath Shaarook, 18, India

When Shaarook was a child, he’d spend hours staring through the lens of a telescope with his dad. Sadly Mohamed Farook, a local professor and scientist, passed away when his son was in primary school. But Shaarook’s passion for space lived on.

As a young teenager he joined Space Kidz India, an organisation dedicated to nurturing young people with a passion for technology. He formed a six-person team and dedicated the next four years to making a satellite, under the guidance of the organisation’s founder and director.

Every night, the teenagers would discuss their plans on video calls, often until 4:30 in the morning. Eventually they invented KalamSat: the lightest satellite in the world. At just 64g, it weighs about as much as a large battery.

It’s essentially a 3.8cm-wide cube made from 3D-printed plastic, reinforced with carbon fibres. It contains several different kinds of sensor, including those to measure temperature, magnetism, altitude and any strains on the structure as it hurtles through space.

It also has its own power source and a small computer, to turn on all the sensors at the right moment and store their data. The plan was to get KalamSat into sub-orbit, to test the performance of reinforced plastic in micro gravity.  Lightweight materials that can withstand the stresses of space travel are extremely useful, since it costs around $10,000 (£7,191) to launch a pound (450g) of any substance into space.

After reaching its destination, it would spend just 12 minutes collecting data, before falling back down to Earth and landing in the sea.

On 22 June 2017, the device was successfully launched at Nasa’s Wallops Island facility in Virginia – the very same spot that its namesake, famous rocket scientist and former president APJ Abdul Kalam, once visited over half a century earlier.

Hannah Herbst, 17, Florida

Herbst was inspired to invent at the age of 15 by her then-nine-year-old pen pal, who lives in Ethiopia and did not have access to lights. This is surprisingly common: there are 1.3 billion people alive today without electricity.

So this student came up with the Beacon (Bringing Electricity Access to Countries through Ocean Energy), which captures energy directly from ocean waves.

Herbst’s thinking was that populations tend to settle around bodies of water; about 40% of the world’s population lives within 100km (62 miles) of the coast and only 10% lives further than 10km (6.2 miles) away from a source of freshwater that you don’t have to dig for, such as a river or lake.

The technology consists of a hollow plastic tube, with a propeller at one end and a hydroelectric generator at the other. As tidal energy drives the propeller, it’s converted into use able energy by the generator.

After designing a prototype turbine as a computer model, Herbst 3D-printed a prototype which she tested in an intercoastal waterway. The Beacon can create electricity from almost any water source.

If the design were to be scaled up, Herbst has calculated that Beacon could charge three car batteries simultaneously in an hour. She suggests that the energy generated could be used to power water purification technologies, or blood centrifuges at hospitals in the developing world.

The invention won the Discovery Education 3M Young Scientist Challenge in 2015, among numerous other awards, and Herbst is currently studying for a degree in computer engineering while she completes high school.

Julian Rios Cantu, 18, Mexico

This inventor was just 13 years old when his mother was diagnosed with breast cancer. He watched in horror as the tumour swelled from the size of a grain of rice to a golf ball-sized lump in less than six months. She ended up losing both her breasts, though eventually she was cancer free.

Just a few years later, Cantu set out to protect others from the disease. Together with three friends, he formed the company Higia Technologies, which is developing a wearable device that may be able to detect the early signs.

The prototype EVA bra consists of sensors that can be attached to a normal bra, and may need to be worn for just one hour every week to work. The idea is to look for changes in skin temperature and elasticity, which are among many known signs of the disease.

After each use, data is sent to the company’s app, and artificial intelligence algorithms use it to calculate the person’s risk.

The EVA bra may need to be worn for only an hour a week. The device has already raised $20,000 (£14,300) of funding by winning the Global Student Entrepreneur Awards, but it still looks to be a long way off production.

It hasn’t yet gone through clinical trials and similar technologies have proved unreliable in the past. However, if the project succeeds, it could help save millions of lives. Nearly 1.7 million new cases of breast cancer were diagnosed in 2012 and the same year, it led to over half a million deaths.

For treatment to be successful, early detection is crucial.

Today’s teenage inventors are part of a long tradition. In fact, many of the world’s most prolific brains started young – coming up with television, telephones and trampolines, as well as braille, calculators, popsicles and ear muffs before they reached their 20th birthdays. 

So while it’s true that all four students are considerably more wide-eyed and fresh-faced than their adult colleagues, make no mistake – any one of them could be the next Thomas Edison or Elon Musk.


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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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Poverty – Prosperity of Indian States …

Posted on February 24, 2018. Filed under: Indian Thought, Searching for Success |

NATIONAL COVER STORY – A long read but comprehensive and informative – The Black Hole In The Heart by ZIA HAQ  

(West Bengal is the new Orissa, while UP, Bihar and MP remain poor and distort the India Growth Story) 

It’s been 32 years since the late demographer Ashish Bose coined that famously disparaging phrase ‘Bimaru States’, in a one-page report to the then Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi.

The acronym for Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh, which referenced the Hindi word for ‘sick’, would now be seen as a form of naming and shaming, done perhaps with the intention of prodding the guilty into trying to change.

But this burden of guilt—if we assign it to human failure, which is what a failure of vision and commitment in governance would be—is not an easy one to redress.

The term continues to cause offence, and there are periodic claims of this State or that having escaped the infamy, but the harsh reality is that, at the root, the sickness seems endemic—and it endures.

What Bose was referring to in 1985—to bundle all development indices into a simple demographic—was the huge ratio of the poor in these States, accounting for nearly 40 per cent of India’s population at the time.

These intervening decades have seen India go through some epochal changes, and it’s now routinely referred to as an engine of global growth. These States too have not been immune to the tidal churn unleashed, yet they lie at the heart of a big set of disturbing economic challenges the Country faces.

Per Capita Income as net State Domestic Product in Rs                           SOURCE    RBI, IDFC, Mospi                                                                         INCOME LADDER in 1960 and  2014

  1. MAHARASHTRA  —  409    and 2.   1,13000
  2. W BENGAL          —   390   and 10.  38000
  3. PUNJAB              —-  380        and  6.    96000
  4. GUJARAT            —–  362      and  3.    10,9000
  5. TAMIL NAIDU   —–   334    and   5.   10,6000
  6. KARNATAKA    ——  292     and  4.    10,8000
  7. KERALA           ——- 270   and   1.    1,15000
  8. RAJASTHAN    ——- 263  and     7.      64000
  9. MP                 ——–  252    and    9.      44000
  10.   UP                 ——–  252  and    11.     35000
  11.   ORISSA        —-  220       and     8.     54000
  12.  BIHAR        —— 215       and      12.     25000

In 1960, the top three states were 1.7 times richer than the bottom three. By 2014, this gap had almost doubled.

Bose’s ailing States, especially UP and Bihar, remain laggards in terms of prosperity and income, judged by the par­ameter of Net State Domestic Product, read along with a few other factors.

Despite robust growth rates, and despite Mandal politics creating new forms of social mobility, they haven’t been able to reduce the gap with the club of rich states.

It’s a troubling gap, and speaks of a huge, unfair skew in India’s economic map.

The picture of regional imbalance is so acute that it forms, as Chief Economic Advisor Arvind Subramanian puts it, India’s biggest “political-economy puzzle”.

Take UP, India’s most populous State and a political bellwether.In every general election, it decisively tilts India’s political scales. But on income, it still hugs the bottom of the graph.

A couple of quick juxtapositions. If UP were a Country, the size of its economy would be like that of Qatar. That would have been impressive, except for one minor detail: Qatar has only 2.5 million inhabitants, whereas UP has 215 million.

This massive population, about the same as Brazil’s, means its ave­rage per capita income is no more than that of Burkina Faso, a landlocked sub-Saharan country.

That implies, by common allusive practice, the gold standard in poverty.

In 1960, the richest State Maharashtra was twice as rich as Bihar. In 2014, Kerala was 4 times richer than Bihar, the poorest.

What’s cause for worry is how India has been unable, for decades now, to put into motion any kind of targeted policy thrust to address the regional imbalance.

For, the handful of States that climbed the income ladder real quick since the 1960s have ensured that they stay up there—Kerala, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka.

And Kerala, despite its lower level of industry presence and dependence on remittances, has a model that spreads its prosperity fairly evenly (though it too is not without a gap between the creamy layer and the outliers).

All this is in sharp contrast with the States that exhibit a strong developmental inertia. One piece of evidence is the share of ‘Bimaru’ States in the total income of all States.

In 2013-14, UP had a mere 1.2 per cent share! Again, throw in a few juxtapositions and the picture becomes starker.

The share of Chhattisgarh, a new entrant in the race, was way higher at 14.5 per cent. Tripura, admittedly a poor State, improved its per capita income nearly six times between 1984 and 2014. (In 1984, the average Tripura resident earned Rs 11,537, according to India’s Economic Survey, which increased to Rs 64,712 in 2014).

Himachal Pradesh, which in the ’80s ranked in the middle, upped its per capita income four-fold.

Orissa, once synonymous with the starvation deaths of Kalahandi, has cut rural poverty twice as fast as Bihar, and has consequently jumped three spots.

Its neighbour West Bengal, though, offers reasons for despair. A rich, industrialized State in the 1960s, it has slid down the ranks, letting States like Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra take its place.

One reason: de-industrialization. Between 1998-1999 and 2004-2005, Bengal recorded a fall of 4 per cent in the number of people employed in the industrial sector. With a renewed emphasis on attracting investment, this figure improved to 3.5 per cent between 2005-06 and 2012-13.

But barring this exception, the composition of the rich/poor clubs has remained largely unc­h­anged over the past four decades, according to Sanghamitra Bandyopadhyay of the London School of Economics.

Bihar is at the heart of the puzzle. It’s now one of India’s fastest growing States, mainly because of the low-base effect, a statistical phenomenon.

If growth rates had been very low, even a small increase would arithmetically show up as a high figure. The State posted the highest average growth rate during the whole of the 11th Plan period (ending 2011-12).

Consider these peaks: 15.69 per cent in 2006-07 and 14.48 per cent in 2012-13. Bihar even topped all States in terms of growth of per capita incomes. Yet, the catch-up distance is the largest for Bihar. Adjusted for inflation, its net per capita income was the lowest (Rs 26,801 in 2015-16).

UP came in just one spot above (at Rs 38,234). By comparison, Kerala was 365 per cent richer than Bihar. What would be the impact of such uneven progress on people’s lives?

If you are a young job-seeker in, say, Bihar or UP, you would be better off moving to Kerala, Gujarat, Karnataka or Maharashtra because you will likely end up being four times richer.

Ordinary Indians know this. Railway passenger traffic data, collected by the Finance Ministry, shows annual internal work migration doubled to about 9 million between 2011 and 2016. Loads of people are shifting out from these disadvantaged states.

This picture of inertia inverts global trends. Everywhere, poorer regions are climbing up. No Chinese province has been stuck at the poverty levels of three decades ago.

This is precisely how it should be, according to what economists call “convergence”: a region with poor income and consumption data sees fast growth on those counts if its markets are linked to those of richer regions.

India’s economy has those linkages, yet paradoxically its States show a polarising picture of “divergence”—judging by Net State Domestic Product (NSDP) in per capita terms, the most common measure that indicates the average income of a State’s resident.

The NSDP is a variant of State GDP, with subsidies, interests and taxes subtracted.Distributed per capita, it becomes a handy proxy for average income—a statistically kosher method. It’s not without flaws, of course.

The total economic activity in a State, which is what State GDP or NSDP show, would obviously include high-value activity—mining, for example—concentrated in a tiny segment and may not accurately reflect the lack of prosperity outside it.

Bengal’s slide after the flight of industry shows that—once you take away those pockets, the data starts reflecting the actual immiseration outside.

Maharashtra, minus Mumbai and Pune, would surely fare differently—its ranking does not reflect the distress in the farm sector.                          Kerala’s ranking, similarly, hides the destitution in its adivasi pockets.

Still, assuming any wealth will inevitably percolate to some deg­ree, NSDP is one way to generalise.

India often likes to compete with China. Poverty reduction would be a good arena to do so. China’s current catch-up rate of about 3 per cent means Gansu province—whose spectacular mountain and desert-scapes host the highest poverty levels in the country—will reach midway to the level of the richest provinces, the coastal Guangdong and Shanghai, in 23 years.

What about us? Subramanian, who analyzed the problem in the annual Economic Survey, provides a grim answer. “The evidence so far suggests that, in India, catch-up remains elusive.”

Trouble is, this stayed static through the liberalization period. Economists Vivek Dehejia and Praveen Chakravarty of the Mumbai-based IDFC Institute, in a landmark recent study, show how “pre-1990 and post-1990 look like almost two different eras”.

They blended traditional methods with a new, cutting-edge tool used for the first time in India: “night-time lights or NTL luminosity”, which uses satellite imagery of glowing specks of night-time light as a marker of prosperity. The results were, well, illuminating.

Four times are the earnings of an average person in the richest State compared to his counterpart in the poorest State. Altogether, 12 large States were analysed, including Bengal, Bihar, Gujarat, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu and UP, using US satellite data for 1960.

They noticed that the richest State in 1960, Maharashtra, was twice as rich as the then poorest State, Bihar. By 2014, the richest State was Kerala, but its income was four times that of the “still poorest state of Bihar”.

Their conclusion: “the initially richer States grew more rapidly in the liberalization period” and stayed the course. Kerala and Tamil Nadu have often been cited by Economist Amartya Sen as models. These two have famously focused big on social spending, enhancing the State-led expansion of Education, Food Security and Health.

These became critical inputs for a productive workforce and, in the case of Kerala, job emigrations.

If Kerala were a Country, it would rank alongside developed European economies. Life expectancy in Kerala is 82 years, the same as Sweden. Its infant mortal­ity rate of 12 per 1,000 live births is low, same as China’s.

There are signs of life in the Bimaru States too: consistently high growth in recent years shows Bihar is structurally changing. “But per capita income continues to be low, just as it was decades ago.

I would blame our poverty load and last-mile hiccups,” says Vishnu Dayal Pandit, Deputy Director of Bihar’s Directorate of Economics and statistics.

Pandit has a point. A World Bank Study in 2014 found Bihar limping with a huge “unmet demand” for rural jobs under NREGA. The Scheme’s impact on rural poverty in Bihar was just 1 percentage point against a potential of 14 percentage points, the Study found.

Bihar’s population below the poverty line of about 54.4 per cent in 2004-05 came down only marginally to 53.5 per cent in 2009-10, according to erstwhile Planning Commission data.


  1. ORISSA         DOWN FROM 57.2 TO 36.2
  2. BIHAR           DOWN FROM  54.4 TO 33.7
  3. W BENGAL  DOWN FROM 34.2 TO 20
  4. UP               DOWN FROM  40.9 TO 29.


Orissa, by contrast, shows a faster dec­line in poverty rates. Udit Sharma of the Institute for Studies in Industrial Development cites National Sample Survey data that shows the wages of casual workers there rising 17 per cent annually between 2009-10 and 2011-12—one of the highest.

Does economics alone explain the resistance of Bihar and UP to mobility? There is a social corollary to all this, difficult though it is to disentangle cause and effect here.

Soc­iologists point to caste—the persistence of discriminatory feudalist structures that don’t allow the markets to function independently, causing growth to disproportionately benefit the dominant castes.

In India, a “tension” exists between democracy and development, says Jeffrey Witsoe, Author of Democracy Against Development, a landmark work that looked at the economic impacts of feudalism in Bihar. Caste empowerment politics, he says, increased “democratic participation”, but “radically threatened the patronage State by systematically weakening its institutions and disrupting its development projects”.

Richer States grew more in the liberalization period, so the gap between richer and poorer States has been widening.
“Caste, landlessness and bonded labour are big culprits,” says Allahabad University Sociologist Kunal Keshri, who specialises on migration and social mobility. “Studies show lack of inter-caste marriages hampers social mobility.

Even in my city, Allahabad, or Varanasi, only recently have inter-community marriages become noticeable.” Internal migration from poor States has been of two types, Keshri says. The skilled, educated classes mostly move out permanently.

The second type—seasonal casual workers—is driven by both better income prospects and the chance to escape village-level shackles of caste. UP continues to have the highest share of India’s total population below the poverty line—at 22.17 per cent. The State anyway has the highest share of marginalized groups, such as Dalits (20.5 per cent) and Muslims (22.34 per cent, of whom only a small fraction are elite).

UP’s poverty profile is spread across about 50 districts. According to its annual plan document, 15 districts remain abysmally poor: Jaunpur, Ballia, Lalitpur, Mau, Ghazipur, Bahraich, Maharajganj, Hardoi, Deoria, Azamgarh, Balrampur, Shrawasti, Kushi Nagar, SK Nagar and Mirzapur.

Land ownership patterns hold another clue. “In most assessments of Bihar, hurdles in land reforms are often overlooked,” says Ashok Kumar Sinha of Bihar Agricultural University, Bhagalpur. On paper, Bihar was one of the first to prioritise implementation of the Abolition of Zamindari Act in 1949 to redistribute land, he says. Yet, powerful elite-caste zamindars secured many waivers after a series of court battles, including continued rights.

“Remember, zamindars were successful in exploiting the loopholes because successive governments were in reality their representatives. It was precisely to circumvent the Zamindari Abolition Act that the Bihar Land Reforms Act, 1950, was passed,” he says. Even the Ceiling on Landholding (Amendment) Act was sponsored by zamindars to prevent transfer of excess lands. “The only way to change is to create non-farm-based employment and that’s happening now,” he says.

In its pursuit of growth, India tends to ignore two facts, clinging to the well-worn shibboleths of the reform years. One, farm growth can actually cut poverty twice as fast as industrial growth. Two, they are NOT mutually exclusive areas of priority in a zero sum game: a 1 per cent rise in agricultural output in fact raises industrial production by 0.5 per cent and natio­nal income by 0.7 per cent, according to one calculation.

The rate of investment in agriculture in the 1980s and ’90s was an abysmal 8-12 per cent, so farm growth hobbled at 2.4 per cent or so. Other sectors not only saw reforms but got public investments over 35 per cent. This was reversed only with the 10th and 11th five year plans (2002-07 and 2007-12). Even today, only 40 per cent of India’s net sown area is irrigated, leaving farmers vulnerable to droughts.

And according to the government’s own findings, only 14 per cent of farmers are able to get minimum support prices. Chakravarty and Dehejia say one simple way to “understand this complex issue of economic divergence” is to take the recent example of Apple wanting to set up a manufacturing base in India.

Land and labour costs for Apple would be much cheaper in Bihar than in the “much richer states of Karnataka or Tamil Nadu”, they say. Yet, it has chosen to go South.

The “real political economy question”, they contend, is whether Bihar will continue to “tolerate” the development gap. “The best response is to allow maximum policy freedom to the States to innovate. The States, in turn, should allow greater freedom to the regions within, such as by empowering municipal cor­porations,” Dehejia says.

The whole paradigm of ‘growth’, of course, is not without its sceptics. Sociologist Ashis Nandy thinks there’s something fundamentally wrong about modern economic development. In a scholarly work, The Beautiful Expanding Future of Poverty, Nandy says the effects of development have been such that poverty, which always existed with India, has given way to utter destitution. He says he stands by it.

“One can stick out one’s neck and claim the dominant model of development, whatever else it can do, cannot abolish poverty…. Otherwise, there would be no poor people in America,”

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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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India – Where it Stands …

Posted on January 30, 2018. Filed under: Business, Searching for Success |

SA Aiyar – Economic Times –

I was asked on TV whether India was emerging as a global leader with a global vision for the 21st century.

Absolutely NO, I replied.
India is still a poor, under-developed country, internally riven over what social and economic vision it should have for itself, with barely a thought about developing a new vision for the world.

Regardless of Modi’s defence of globalisation at Davos, India is instinctively protectionist. Unlike a true globaliser, it does not see imports as a welcome ..

Absolutely no, I replied.
India is still a poor, under-developed country, internally riven over what social and economic vision it should have for itself, with barely a thought about developing a new vision for the world.

Regardless of Modi’s defence of globalisation at Davos, India is instinctively protectionist. Unlike a true globaliser, it does not see imports as a welcome way to get cheap goods from the rest of the world: it sees them as a threat to Indian employment, production and prosperi ..

Read more at:

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Bill Gates on Indians …

Posted on January 24, 2018. Filed under: Personalities, Searching for Success |

As a person, dear Bill was seldom regarded as the best of guys but his views on India n Indians do make a lot of sense …

India is the richest country in the world, “Even if you sell the temple bells in India, it could become a superpower”

But the funniest thing is people fail to understand that they are like Servants in their country. ………. Owing to which a farmer commits suicide cursing God and his misfortunes

The poor fail to recognize the true culprits behind their poverty.

The youth remain unaware of the people responsible for his unemployment.

Do you gather ‘Punya’ by offering hairs to God? Really?? Does prosperity come to you by offering a coconut??

In realty… Hair and coconuts offered make big business.

What does one achieve by offering Gold/Silver?? In fact these are just auctioned off.

Of what use is such Charity? Try to donate seeds to farmers. Try to help in a poor girls marriage.

Try to adopt an orphaned child. Try to feed a hungry person. Try to help a handicapped person.

Donate needed books to a village school library. Try to donate to an old age home.

Schools in villages have no shelter but temples have Marble flooring.
Parents make hundreds of queries for donating Rs 200/- to a school but donate in thousands to a temple with eyes closed.

Will such a nation become a superpower in the real sense?

We call ourselves an agricultural nation and our farmers commit suicides in almost every state.

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Love, Marriage in 21st Century …

Posted on January 14, 2018. Filed under: Searching for Success |

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Taxes n Black Money …

Posted on December 29, 2017. Filed under: Searching for Success |

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Saudi Arabia – What is going on? …

Posted on December 22, 2017. Filed under: Business, Searching for Success |

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China and Realpolitik …

Posted on November 19, 2017. Filed under: Chinese Wisdom, Searching for Success, Uncategorized |

Times of India –

After a decade’s hibernation Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s plan to rally Asia’s four democratic nations is again on the table. The name ‘China’ may not be in the mission of the Quadrilateral – comprising the US, Japan, Australia and India – but Beijing is understood by all to be the group’s core concern.

The rather low key launch of the Quad in Manila this week highlighted the caution of the once-bitten-twice-shy crowd. While the menace from a resurgent China has multiplied since Japan’s last attempt to bring together this loose union of democratic countries, so too have the risks of such a venture. The Quad’s members today face greater economic and even military consequences from antagonising China than they did a decade earlier.

In August 2007, fresh from his first electoral victory, Abe came to New Delhi and to the applause of Indian Parliament announced his plan for Quadrilateral Security Dialogue. The initiative had already led to its first quiet meeting on the sidelines of the Asean Regional Forum (ARF) gathering in Manila in June 2007.

Soon after Abe’s India visit, however, his government lost power and amid the more pressing priorities of the global financial crisis, the Quad project was shelved.

Strengthened by a strong new electoral mandate for his government and galvanised by China’s relentless advance towards a dominant position in east Asia, Abe has once again taken the lead in pushing for the Quad. Perhaps to avoid provoking China, at least in the initial stage, the launch was low key.

While the leaders of the four countries held consultations, they avoided a showy summit meeting. However, their differing perspectives on the Quad’s mission were revealed in the subtly different statements that they issued.

In separate statements issued by Quad partners they showed their preference and concerns in the a la carte selection of varied missions. For example, the Indian statement avoided mention of freedom of navigation and overflight – an issue that was highlighted by the others but one that is bound to raise Chinese hackles.

China has strongly criticised US Freedom of Navigation Operations (FONOPS) in South China Sea. India was silent on respect for international law and the peaceful resolution of disputes, also shying away from mentioning one of the key objectives sought by the other partners – upholding or coordinating maritime security in the Indo-Pacific. For its part, Japan was silent on “enhancing connectivity” sought by the other three, perhaps to avoid commitment on responding to China’s Belt and Road Initiative.

Behind the partners’ hesitant responses lies the hard reality of economics. While all are concerned by China’s aggressive moves in the South China and East Seas, along Sino-Indian border, and its heavy-handed moves vis-à-vis other neighbours, they cannot ignore the weight of their trade and investment relations.

In 2015-16, China ranked number one among Australia’s export markets, accounting for fully 28% of exports. China remains a major export destination for both Japan and India, and has shown no hesitation in administering economic punishment in response to what it views as hostile actions. Economic dependence on China is accentuated by economic disarray thrown by President Donald Trump among east Asian allies with his rejection of TPP.

In his single-minded transactional calculus, Trump seems to value bilateral relationships not based upon strategic or political consideration, but by some notional dollar value of a given business deal. Trump has stopped disparaging the US-Japan alliance after promise of, as Trump tweeted, “massive amounts” of military equipment purchase from the US.

Australia too has pleased Trump by ordering $1.3 billion worth of spy planes. Trump may well tweet that US support for the Quad will be contingent on American military sales to these countries.

Close economic ties form the backbone of any security cooperation and Trump’s disdain for multilateral trade pacts in favour of bilateral deals, as shown during the latest Apec summit, does not bode well for the Quad.

And yet there may be Hope —

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