Thursday, December 04, 2014

Response to Wheat People vs. Rice People: Why Are Some Cultures More Individualistic Than Others?

A standalone comment to the article:
The do-it-alone mentality is not just individualism, but also another aspect, masculine-feminine, ala Geert Hofstede. Yes Americans and Europeans are more individualistic than eastern societies, but some European cultures care about quality of life over accomplishment, i.e., The Netherlands. 
As a small country at risk from flooding, it had to deal with interconnected concerns about water, and with a more 'feminine' culture, they are good at coordinating those interests. Contrast that with the US, which is more 'masculine' and accomplishment-oriented. Although individualistic like the Dutch, American society is not concerned with welfare of self and others, hence destructive self-interest dominates, with no coordination or recognition of aligned interests, e.g., the environment, inequality, etc.
In response to someone claiming that "the Japanese can't innovate their way out of a paper bag":
You should look at the number of patent applications, the top on numerous measures, ahead of the US. Even then, when someone in America innovates, it is often someone that emigrated to the US for education, with no intention of starting a business, and stayed for a graduates degree. In fact, Americans don't innovate much at all, but it does import talent from around the world, much of it Asian...
Post a Comment

Review: The Systems View of Life: A Unifying Vision

An excellent, incredibly insightful and informative book, somewhat marred by the tedium experienced in the authors' rehashing the ideas ...