Also, this intellectual and political spectrum seems almost exclusively Western. Many Asian political leaders range from business capitalist to fascist nationalist. Even the Commies are ethno-nationalistic. Most American liberals would have no home in such places. In fact I think most Westerners have no basis for understanding most of the non-Western world. Westerners were watching the protests in Thailand and then realized they were protesting democracy and advocating a body of non-elected officials. Thailand got a police state.
This is something that comes up a lot in international discourse with ideas like "Asian values" etc being held up as alternatives to western ideals. Taking a purely western approach to understanding political and other issues in some countries is a bit like trying to fit a square peg in a round hole.
steki47 wrote:However, what I see on some parts of the Left in the US is strong victim culture with little to no regard to meritocracy or recognition of agency and personal responsibility. I am definitely cherry picking here, but I have read pieces with titles such as "Nobel Prize Favors White Men", which to me completely ignores any sense that these white men did great things or even implies that the "white male patriarchy" is actively ignoring the achievements of blacks, women, etc. My own sense meriticracy and agency would say that these people should go out and do amazing things and the Nobel committee will find them. But, no, racism and sexism. This is not all the Left, but I have spent enough time around academics to hear these things a lot.
Well, I don't know. If the criticism in such pieces is more along the lines of "the system of education and funding of research (etc) puts women at a structural disadvantage and one piece of evidence of this is the lack of women receiving the Nobel prize" then I might agree with it, depending on what the substance of their criticism is. I wouldn't view that as a criticism of the recipients or a denigration of their work, or even that of the Nobel committee itself, but rather a critcism of these structural elements (ie de facto punishment of women in the research career ladder for having children, etc) which discourage female researchers from reaching that high level of achievement. Since women are intellectually no less capable than men of pursuing brilliant research one would expect that, if the playing field were even, you would see roughly equal numbers of women to be recipients. That they are not suggests something, not of their own fault, might be holding them back and I think it is reasonable to point this out.
On the other hand, one problem with such criticism of numbers is that the easiest solution to the perceived rather than the actual problem is just to resort to tolkien appointments. This doesn't really apply in regard to the Nobel prize, but it does in other areas. Appointments to the Board of Directors of major corporations in the US (and, perhaps in the near future Japan given Abe's stated policy) is a noticable one. When people started complaining about the lack of women on Boards, companies responded by appointing more women. The problem they faced though was a lack of a large pool of qualified female candidates on which to draw, so the few who were qualified quickly began to be appointed to numerous boards, so many in fact that it became highly questionable whether they could possibly be adequately fulfilling the functions of a director on all the boards they served on. On paper they could say "hey look, women! Problem solved!" but in reality it was largely just window dressing which served no purpose other than to deflect criticism.
steki47 wrote:Noticed we cleared out the room.
Well, in our defence it has been a pretty empty room for about the past 5 years or so. I imagine our post count just from this back-and-forth exchange is probably more than what everybody else cumulatively posted for the past 6 months.