For a really good chew-over of this ever-interesting topic, Greg Cochran and his commenters deliver the goods.
As far as average IQ scores go, this is what the world looks like. But there are two relevant tests: the Stanford-Binet, and life itself. If a country scored low on IQ but at the same time led the world in Cavorite production, or cured cancer, or built spindizzies, we would say “screw Stanford-Binet,” and we would be right to do so.Does that happen? Are there countries with low average scores that tear up the technological track? Mostly not—generally, fairly high average IQ seems to be a prerequisite for creativity in science and mathematics. Necessary, although not sufficient: bad choices (Communism), having the world kick you in the crotch (Mongols), or toxic intellectual fads can all make smart peoples unproductive. [Our Dumb World by Greg Cochran; West Hunter blog, July 9th 2016.]
The subtopic of East Asian creativity—i.e. the stereotype absence thereof—pops up a couple of times in the comment thread.
That caught my attention because I had just gotten through reading the current issue of The Economist
, which includes a review of two books about technological innovation in China.
From that review:
Fleet-footed and frugal Chinese firms are coming up with business-model innovations too. WeChat, a social-media and payments platform with 700m monthly active users, is more useful and fun than Facebook, Twitter and WhatsApp put together. [Out of the Master's Shadow; The Economist, July 9th 2016.]
Mrs Derb is a WeChat
subscriber. Judging by the amount of time she spends on the app—even when her handsome, witty, and attentive husband is in the same room!—The Economist's
anonymous reviewer may very well be right.