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so I'm not surprised at being taken in. Yeah, I asked a statician to look at the site and evaluate the validity of the work, and never heard back from him.

Nonetheless, I think certain inferences can be made, and I'll hazard being called irrational, self-reinforcing, and elitist, and say that the study doesn't need to be taken as gospel and may still yield important insights.

In addition, I think that if you look closely at the cultural map, you'll see that some countries that one can characterize as developing actually score higher than the US in the traditional-rational scale. (Azerbaijan, Georgia, and Armenia. Uruguay and Macedonia. All of eastern Europe.) The authors recognize that history and religious life are hugely important.

So I'll remain in danger of committing an elitist fallacy and see where the data leads. Another wave of survey is due to be conducted in the next two years. Perhaps we'll witness the complete collapse of the validity of their conclusions.

"It Can't Be Just About Us"
--Frank Schnittger, ETian Extraordinaire

by papicek (papi_cek_at_hotmail_dot_com) on Sun Apr 19th, 2009 at 01:42:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Just looked at the cultural map. On what planet are Greece and Israel "protestant Europe", Uruguay "catholic Europe" and Portugal "Latin America"? Why is Romania not "catholic Europe"? Are Georgia Azerbaijan, Armenia, Turkey and Jordan are "South Asia"?

Most economists teach a theoretical framework that has been shown to be fundamentally useless. -- James K. Galbraith
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Apr 19th, 2009 at 04:11:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
And Switzerland is in Protestant Europe, even though they have more Catholics than Protestants.
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Sun Apr 19th, 2009 at 04:21:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Good question. There's where history applies. It's not to say there aren't anomalies in the data, I'd be amazed if there weren't, however as far as Israel goes, I'd speculate that the values they largely reflect derive from the split from the areas of Eastern Europe where most settlers came from a century ago.

Mere speculation on my part. Of course their definitions, the structure of the questionaires, their basic assumptions color the study, however it's important to stress that the positions on the cultural map are hardly static. The authors point out that any tendency towards rationality can be put into reverse. Their point is that it tends to correlate to economic conditions and their place in the human development sequence (agrarian/industrial/post-industrial).

Having said that, the data explains lots and nothing at all at the same time. For instance, I might have expected that the impulse to entrepreneurship to be exaggerated in self-expressive societies, but I happen to know that in the US, immigrant communities (whether from poorer Asian or Latin America countries) are exactly as entrepreneurial as better educated, richer, North Americans.

One of the things Inglehart and Welzel postulated was that the study might have value even if complex societal values constructs could be reduced to these two scales. Of course nuance is sacrificed. Any study acccurately reflecting the true complexities in the world would reult in a replica of the world, and be totally useless.

The value derived from a study like this, I think, tends to lie in areas where societies intersect and communication, with all the promise of the mixing as well as all the risk of misunderstanding, occurs.

Public diplomacy. International relations. Cross-cultural exchange.

Nowhere in the study do the researchers make judgements about the values they describe. I would go further than they, and speculate that the irrational faith in the "American ideal" is largely what keeps the polyglot of nationalities and regional identities from flying apart.

I credit the authors with finding a valuable line of inquiry - one that should be explored further.

"It Can't Be Just About Us"
--Frank Schnittger, ETian Extraordinaire

by papicek (papi_cek_at_hotmail_dot_com) on Sun Apr 19th, 2009 at 09:07:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]
papicek:
as far as Israel goes, I'd speculate that the values they largely reflect derive from the split from the areas of Eastern Europe where most settlers came from a century ago
Such as... Catholic Poland?

Most economists teach a theoretical framework that has been shown to be fundamentally useless. -- James K. Galbraith
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Apr 20th, 2009 at 04:00:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well I'm dubious of any servey that finds Israel more rational than Spain.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Mon Apr 20th, 2009 at 07:58:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Actually, the cultural map shows Spain, Israel and Croatia as nearest neighbours of each other, presumably within error bounds...

Most economists teach a theoretical framework that has been shown to be fundamentally useless. -- James K. Galbraith
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Apr 20th, 2009 at 09:29:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
In fact the geographical origin of immigrants to Israel is very heterogeneous, with an important contribution by Jews from Muslim countries: the Ottoman Empire, Yemen, North Africa, Iran, Iraq. See Wikipedia: Aliyah

You're clearly a dangerous pinko commie pragmatist.
by Vagulus on Tue Apr 21st, 2009 at 08:28:40 AM EST
[ Parent ]
papicek:
Good question. There's where history applies. It's not to say there aren't anomalies in the data, I'd be amazed if there weren't, however as far as Israel goes, I'd speculate that the values they largely reflect derive from the split from the areas of Eastern Europe where most settlers came from a century ago.
What is remarkable is that Israel and Greece are coloured as outliers when they are not arguably part of the group they are coloured with.

They are not "Catholic Europe" either, of course, but they are "Mediterranean".

Most economists teach a theoretical framework that has been shown to be fundamentally useless. -- James K. Galbraith

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Apr 20th, 2009 at 09:32:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Why is Romania not "catholic Europe"?

Because it is overwhelmingly Orthodox?



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Tue Apr 21st, 2009 at 10:05:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Okay, I stand corrected...

Romania - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The dominant religious body is the Romanian Orthodox Church, an autocephalous church within the Eastern Orthodox communion; its members make up 86.7% of the population according to the 2002 census.


Most economists teach a theoretical framework that has been shown to be fundamentally useless. -- James K. Galbraith
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Apr 21st, 2009 at 10:09:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]
(BTW, note that Catholics are even out-numbered by Protestants, if you combine their various branches. Most of these Catholics and almost all Protestants are among the ethnic minorities of Transsylvania.)

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Tue Apr 21st, 2009 at 10:24:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]
More on strange cultural groupings: I raised my eyebrows seeing the (un-inscribed) Orthodox camp. Bosnia is only minority Muslim, but Albania is majority so. Meanwhile Baltic countries: Lithuania is clearly Catholic; in Latvia, there is no dominant religion but of the three major groups, both Lutherans and Catholics outnumber the Orthodox; while in Estonia, Lutherans outnumber the Orthodox.

And, then again, in some ex-commie countries (including Estonia), those with religious affiliations of even just the cultural kind are a minority...

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Tue Apr 21st, 2009 at 10:35:11 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Georgia may be underdeveloped economically, but it had one of the highest rate of post secondary education in the USSR...

Un roi sans divertissement est un homme plein de misères
by linca (antonin POINT lucas AROBASE gmail.com) on Sun Apr 19th, 2009 at 04:20:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I didn't realize that. All sorts of semi-revealing factoids are out there, for example: a greater percentage of Iranian women attend university than American women. I don't know what this says for Iranian society vis-a-vis American society, but it is almost certain that most Americans don't realize this and would be stung by the comparison.

I say: more power to Iranian women.

"It Can't Be Just About Us"
--Frank Schnittger, ETian Extraordinaire

by papicek (papi_cek_at_hotmail_dot_com) on Sun Apr 19th, 2009 at 09:32:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
All you have to realize is that it is a former Soviet Republic. The "ex-communist" countries are clustered in the rational - survival region of the map.

Most economists teach a theoretical framework that has been shown to be fundamentally useless. -- James K. Galbraith
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Apr 20th, 2009 at 03:59:18 AM EST
[ Parent ]
papicek:
All sorts of semi-revealing factoids are out there, for example: a greater percentage of Iranian women attend university than American women.
When I took part in the International Mathematical Olympiad I observed the Iranian team in a study session.

The Iranian team was one of very few teams to have any girls in the team. In fact it was 3 male and 3 female students, which must have put them at the top of the female opportunity league just behind Denmark.

However, the boys and girls sat at separate tables several metres apart and studied separately, with the instructor going back and forth between the two tables.

I don't know what this says for Iranian society vis-a-vis American society
I don't either, other than it's a different society.

Most economists teach a theoretical framework that has been shown to be fundamentally useless. -- James K. Galbraith
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Apr 20th, 2009 at 05:54:16 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Integrated but separate. That's one of those things I'd note and file away. I have no idea if it means anything, what that might be, or how it all works out (in both senses).

But I' remember it.

"It Can't Be Just About Us"
--Frank Schnittger, ETian Extraordinaire

by papicek (papi_cek_at_hotmail_dot_com) on Mon Apr 20th, 2009 at 07:57:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I believe that girls do better if separated from boys in school. It may also be the case that boys also do better.

That said, there are some problems with sex segregation.

aspiring to genteel poverty

by edwin (eeeeeeee222222rrrrreeeeeaaaaadddddd@@@@yyyyaaaaaaa) on Mon Apr 20th, 2009 at 12:24:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Im sure I've read somewhere that most of seperate sex schools apparent difference in performance is down to socio-economic factors. Richer parents with more of a culture of family education are more likely to select single sex schools, and so it only appears that single sex schools outperform mixed sex schools.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Mon Apr 20th, 2009 at 12:28:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
At the Physics Olympiad, some of the Arabian teams make an explicit political point of gender balancing - or at least they did when I attended, but that's been the next best thing to five years...

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Mon Apr 20th, 2009 at 05:48:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]

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