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Maciamo
14-07-12, 17:49
I stumbled on a list of typical traits of autistic people (http://autism.about.com/od/inspirationideas/tp/besttraits.htm) and I was quite surprised to see how many of them were also typically associated with individualistic cultures (http://www.eupedia.com/forum/showthread.php?26956-Map-of-Individualism-%28vs-Collectivism%29) from Northern Europe (+ North America, Australia and New Zealand). Many traits are also typical of scientists and scientific-minded people.

Autism is caused partly by an excess of testosterone during brain development. Male homosexuals experienced just the opposite: they didn't receive enough testosterone when their brain was formed as a foetus. In theory, autistic men can never be gay, or vice versa (lesbians, however, may have autistic traits, as they brain are too 'masculinised').

I have read quite a few books on the psychological differences between men and women (e.g. Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus (http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/0007152590?ie=UTF8&tag=eupedia-21&link_code=as3&camp=2506&creative=9298&creativeASIN=0007152590) Why Men Don't Listen and Women Can't Read Maps (http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/0752846191?ie=UTF8&tag=eupedia-21&link_code=as3&camp=2506&creative=9298&creativeASIN=0752846191)), and autistic traits appear to be essentially exacerbated masculine mental characteristics. And indeed there is a very strong gender bias for autism towards boys/men.

Autism is not one condition, but a wide spectrum, from mild to profound. Profoundly autistic people may have all kinds of deficits or learning disabilities, but others may not even be recognised as autistic (some are never diagnosed) because they behave mostly like other people, except that they are less sociable or have some or all the traits in the list below. Stretching it a bit, we could almost say that all (straight) men are somewhere on the autistic spectrum, though the majority is so mildly autistic that they have become mainstream or 'normal' (whatever that means).

Here is the list of austic traits I was referring to.



1. Autistic People Rarely Lie
We all claim to value the truth, but almost all of us tell little white lies. All, that is, except people on the autism spectrum. To them, truth is truth -- and a good word from a person on the spectrum is the real deal.
2. People on the Autism Spectrum Live in the Moment
How often do typical people fail to notice what's in front of their eyes because they're distracted by social cues or random chitchat? People on the autism spectrum truely attend to the sensory input that surrounds them. Many have achieved the ideal of mindfulness.
3. People with Autism Rarely Judge Others
Who's fatter? Richer? Smarter? For people on the autism spectrum, these distinctions hold much less importance than for typical folks. In fact, people on the spectrum often see through such surface appearances to discover the real person.
4. Autistic People are Passionate
Of course, not all autistic people are alike. But many are truly passionate about the things, ideas and people in their lives. How many "typical" people can say the same?
5. People with Autism Are Not Tied to Social Expectations
If you've ever bought a car, played a game or joined a club to fit in, you know how hard it is to be true to yourself. But for people with autism, social expectations can be honestly irrelevant. What matters is true liking, interest and passion -- not keeping up with the Joneses.
6. People with Autism Have Terrific Memories
How often do typical people forget directions, or fail to take note of colors, names, and other details? People on the autism spectrum are often much more tuned in to details. They may have a much better memory than their typical peers for all kind of critical details.
7. Autistic People Are Less Materialistic
Of course, this is not universally true -- but in general, people with autism are far less concerned with outward appearance than their typical peers. As a result, they worry less about brand names, hairstyles and other expensive but unimportant externals than most people do.
8. Autistic People Play Fewer Head Games
Who was that woman, and why were you looking at her? I know I TOLD you I didn't mind if you went out, but why did you believe me? Most autistic people don't play games like these -- and they assume that you won't either. It's a refreshing and wonderful change from the Peyton Place emotional roller coaster that mars too many typical relationships!
9. Autistic People Have Fewer Hidden Agendas
Most of the time, if a person on the autism spectrum tells you what he wants -- he is telling you what he wants. No need to beat around the bush, second guess, and hope you're reading between the lines!
10. People with Autism Open New Doors for Neurotypicals
For some of us neurotypicals, having an autistic person in our lives has had a profound positive impact on our perceptions, beliefs and expectations. For me, at least, being the mom of a son on the autism spectrum has released me from a lifetime of "should" -- and offered me a new world of "is."


Not only are these traits typically "male", they are also extremely commonplace among scientists, and among Germanic and other people of Northern European descent. What else should a good scientist have if not seek the truth, be passionate about ideas, have good memories, and avoid judging something based on appearances only ? What's more, many career scientists really are less sociable, less materialistic, and care less about social expectations and keeping up with the Joneses.

It is a fact of life that most scientists in the world are men, and not by a narrow margin, especially when it comes to exact sciences like physics or chemistry (or mathematics). The ratio of scientific graduates in most countries usually exceeds 80% of males. Not only are they men, their minds tend to score high on the masculinity index, so it shouldn't be surprising if some of them should be mildly autistic (or more).

Northern European cultures (including other English-speaking cultures like the USA) are known for their individualism (http://www.eupedia.com/forum/showthread.php?26956-Map-of-Individualism-%28vs-Collectivism%29) and masculine characteristics. It is not an accident of history that Scandinavian women were the first to become emancipated, and the first who wanted to get rid of gender roles to behave like men - including taking positions of power. Northern European, and especially Germanic cultures, have always been more masculine than say Mediterranean, African, South Asian or East Asian ones.

It also just so happened that modern sciences developed more eagerly in these masculine and individualistic cultures than elsewhere. Most of the great names of science come from individualistic cultures of Germanic descent (I phrase it this way so as to include countries like France, which are not culturally Germanic but nevertheless have some Germanic roots and are also quite individualistic). The list of science Nobel prize winners per capita
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_Nobel_laureates_per_capita) speaks for itself (think of removing non-scientific Nobel prize winners, such as those won by Saint Lucia and Timor-Leste). All the countries are Germanic, and the list almost seems to go in roughly decreasing order of Germanicity, with partly Germanic countries (UK, Israel, Ireland, Germany, Belgium, France, Czech Rep., Hungary) coming after the old Scandinavian core.

Germanic people (except the British) are also known for their outspokenness and honesty, often to the point of bluntness. This is once again a trait almost always found in autistic spectrum disorder.

This all makes me wonder whether genes underlying these autistic traits were not originally more common among ancient Northern Europeans ? Could it be that North European cultures became more individualistic and scientific-minded simply because of a greater incidence of autism genes ?

Wilhelm
14-07-12, 18:20
Do you have any statisitcs or prove that is more prevalent in Germanics ?

JFWR
14-07-12, 18:57
To note: Wittgenstein was almost surely autistic and was a promiscuous, dogging homosexual. I do not think we can speak of autism as preventing homosexuality.

However, the idea that autism represents an extreme form of the male brain is not new and has much to be said for it. However, this does not necessarily speak to individualistic or scientific mindsets. Profound autism is almost like a computer being open to chaotic sensory stimulation that profoundly disturbs them. Moreover, mildly autistic people don't usually have a profound or great intelligence. One might even say Wittgenstein would fall into that, as his philosophy, despite it's popularity amongst some academics, is really quite poor and meaningless.

ElHorsto
14-07-12, 21:54
Just one short note for now: Daniel Tennet, the book author with asperger's syndrome, is also gay.

Maciamo
14-07-12, 22:05
Do you have any statisitcs or prove that is more prevalent in Germanics ?

Autism statistics are unfortunately difficult to find, and even more difficult between countries because of the different methodologies used in each country. The range of ASD will therefore not be the same everywhere. The safest way to compare ethnic groups is to look at US statistics, because the USA have some of the most detailed statistics for autism and have the unique advantage of being ethnically diverse, have a big population, and a harmonised methodology for all states.

This major nationwide study (http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/ss6103a1.htm?s_cid=ss6103a1_w) reports that, across ethnic groups in the USA, autism is most prevalent among non-Hispanic whites (12 per 1,000), and least prevalent among Hispanics (7.9 per 1,000). The same study gives data for some states. The highest prevalence given is for Utah (21.2 per 1,000) and the lowest for Alabama (4.8 per 1,000).

The per capita incidence for autism by state (http://www.statemaster.com/graph/hea_aut_num_of_chi_wit_aut_percap-autism-number-children-per-capita) (watch out, the data dates from 2003 and incidence are higher now) shows that the highest incidence of autism are markedly found in Oregon and Minnesota, where it is twice higher than the national average. Minnesota (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Minnesota#Demographics) has the highest percentage of people of recent (so relatively unmixed) Germanic descent in the US, particularly Nordics (32%) and Germans (38%). In Oregon (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oregon#Demographics), North European ancestry represents 71.4% of the population, excluding 9.4% of French and mixed white American ancestry, which could also be counted. German ancestry is the most common (22.5%).

Here is a map of autism incidence by US state (http://www.autismmaps.org/).

The 2009 statistics for France (http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Autisme#En_France) give an incidence of 6.3 per 1,000 for the whole ASD range.

ElHorsto
14-07-12, 22:51
I still have difficulties in perceiving northern-europe as individualist. Whitch-hunting is only one example that was strongest in northern europe and USA. I usually considered it as a strongly collectivist and anti-individualist phenomenon. Ijime in collectivist Japan seems also to be something similar. Further I think that things have changed drastically in northern europe since 19th century, such that today individualism (assuming it is real) is unlikely to be linked to genetics in my opinion. Regarding autism, it is still unknown why it drastically increases just during the last decade, particularily in the USA. The statistics about Hispanics and Non-Hispanics is interesting, but I'd still be careful in that it also could be a lower vs. upper class phenomenon instead.

spongetaro
14-07-12, 23:10
Here is a map of autism incidence by US state (http://www.autismmaps.org/).

The 2009 statistics for France (http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Autisme#En_France) give an incidence of 6.3 per 1,000 for the whole ASD range.

Which makes France the equivalent of the 11th US state (New Jersey), that is to say ahead of a lots of US states of Northern Europeans descent. So I don't really see what evidences backs your theory.

Also don't forget tht Hispanics are only partially europeans.

spongetaro
14-07-12, 23:13
I still have difficulties in perceiving northern-europe as individualist. .

Absolutely. In the case of the Scandinavian countries, paying high taxes means taking part of the wealth created by individuals to share it among the whole society. That is by no means a feature of an individualistic society.

LeBrok
15-07-12, 08:08
I stumbled on a list of typical traits of autistic people (http://autism.about.com/od/inspirationideas/tp/besttraits.htm) and I was quite surprised to see how many of them were also typically associated with individualistic cultures (http://www.eupedia.com/forum/showthread.php?26956-Map-of-Individualism-%28vs-Collectivism%29) from Northern Europe (+ North America, Australia and New Zealand). Many traits are also typical of scientists and scientific-minded people.



I think these individualistic similarities are only skin deep. Autistic individualism is based on their shortcoming in social skills. They luck these skills, like eye contact, reading emotions from faces, common subjects to talk about, therefore they spend time lonely, if not engaged by others.

Northern European individualism, on other hand, is not based on deficiency of social skills, but on entrepreneurial spirit, ability to organized others, free thinking and good planing for the future. Except maybe free thinking ADS people fail in the other mentioned skills. Planning is extremely difficult for them, where past and future mix with presence. If there is only presence there will be no consequences in the future. Normal people, are strongly aware of past and future, and consequences our actions can bring. That's why we lie so much, :rolleyes2:.

ElHorsto
15-07-12, 17:16
Absolutely. In the case of the Scandinavian countries, paying high taxes means taking part of the wealth created by individuals to share it among the whole society. That is by no means a feature of an individualistic society.

And I think team work is yet another example. Team work is pushed a lot in the western world nowadays, and Scandinavians are famous to be good team players. But this is also prevalent in Britain. I recall that british team work was mentioned to be one important difference between french and british culture in corporations.
Team work requires much more sophisticated social skills than strong and static (e.g. simple) social ties, because the role within the team is constantly changing and requires continuous and appropriate reevaluation. Team work and small talk is a nightmare for individuals with ASD.

Maciamo
17-07-12, 10:41
Which makes France the equivalent of the 11th US state (New Jersey), that is to say ahead of a lots of US states of Northern Europeans descent. So I don't really see what evidences backs your theory.

Also don't forget tht Hispanics are only partially europeans.

Actually no, because you compared the US stats of 2003 with the French stats of 2009. The first link I posted about the USA, which dates from 2008, gives a national average of 11.3 per 1,000 (one in 88) children, which is almost twice the French average of 2009. The 2008 US study only gives the prevalence for 14 states, ranging from 4.8 per 1,000 in Alabama (the state with the highest percentage of Black Americans) to 21.2 in Utah (which has over 50% of Germanic ancestry). With 6.3 per 1,000, France would actually have the second lowest prevalence against these US states, between Alabama and Florida.

You can see clearly on the map of autism in the USA (http://www.autismmaps.org/) is the lowest in Deep South states (Bible Belt), where the Black population is the highest, then in the former French Louisiana along the Mississippi. It is highest in the Northwest, the Lake region and the Northeast, where the percentage of Germanic ancestry is also the highest.

Maciamo
17-07-12, 10:59
I like to keep discussions organised and stay on topic. Therefore I have split the discussion about the causes of autism (http://www.eupedia.com/forum/showthread.php?27628-Is-autism-really-getting-more-common-and-what-are-its-causes), which are another debate altogether.

The primary discussion I intended, as implied by the thread title, is the relationship between autism, individualism, male brains and scientifically oriented minds, and North European/Germanic cultures.

The secondary discussion is the question with which I ended the OP: Is autism influenced by genes linked to psychological traits typically associated with Germanic cultures, such as individualism, outspokenness, honesty, directness, or giving more importance to content (facts) over form ? In other words, is autism more prevalent is societies where those traits are more common in the gene pool ?

Maciamo
17-07-12, 13:48
To note: Wittgenstein was almost surely autistic and was a promiscuous, dogging homosexual. I do not think we can speak of autism as preventing homosexuality.



Just one short note for now: Daniel Tennet, the book author with asperger's syndrome, is also gay.

I suppose it is possible for autistic people to be gay, though I still suspect, in all logic, that their extreme male brains should produce a much lower percentage of homosexuals than in the overall population.

Maciamo
17-07-12, 14:31
I still have difficulties in perceiving northern-europe as individualist. Whitch-hunting is only one example that was strongest in northern europe and USA. I usually considered it as a strongly collectivist and anti-individualist phenomenon.

Witch-hunting is a reaction to fear, and when scared people tend to stick together more.


Absolutely. In the case of the Scandinavian countries, paying high taxes means taking part of the wealth created by individuals to share it among the whole society. That is by no means a feature of an individualistic society.

I have already explained at length in this thread (http://www.eupedia.com/forum/showthread.php?26956-Map-of-Individualism-%28vs-Collectivism%29) that socialism has nothing to do with collectivism. Actually, the generous welfare system of northern European countries (not just Scandinavia, but also the UK, Benelux, Germany and France) is more likely to work well in an individualistic society than a collectivist one.

Actually, collectivists can be broadly divided into two categories: the tribal/clannish collectivists (most common in Europe, Middle East and Africa), and the nationwide collectivists (like in East Asia). Social welfare can work well in nationwide collectivist societies like Japan or China, but not in clannish ones, like in Mediterranean countries. The reason is that clannish societies always seek the good of their own extended family or small village community rather than of the whole nation or country. With such a mindset, people hate to pay taxes to a distant central government and are therefore much more likely to hide their revenues, so that there will never be enough money in the system for a generous redistribution to take place. That is essentially why countries like Greece (or most of the Balkans) are in trouble financially.

Nationwide collectivists like the East Asians place the definition of "group" at a much higher level (all the compatriots, which in East Asia usually means all the people who speak their language and share their culture and ethnicity). A welfare system can easily work because individuals feel that the greater good of their homogeneous society is important enough to pay taxes and contribute to the system.

Individualists may prosper in either system: a strong social welfare state like in northern Europe, or a fend-for-yourself system like in the USA. The main difference between these two types of societies is ethnic homogeneity. Small North European countries are far more homogeneous in every respect than the huge melting pot that are the USA. Individualists will have more faith in the system if they know that most of the other contributors are similar to them, especially if like in Germanic countries people have a generally good reputation for trustworthiness and honesty. The problem comes when too many different people (untrustworthy and dishonest) come into the system and try to get as much benefit from it while contributing as little as possible. This is the most fundamental cause of the present uproar and frustration of North Europeans against African immigrants in their countries.

Eventually, if too many cheaters infiltrate the system, North Europeans countries will have little choice but to adopt a more American-style system that benefits the most capable and industrious people and neglects the rest of the population.

In short, socialist/welfare states tend to benefit individualists in countries where most people are individualistic and honest, but fails to work in mixed societies. This is where the link with autism because interesting, because autistic people are both more individualistic and more honest than the average. This is probably because these two traits go hand in hand. Honesty is essentially the quality of not deceiving or hiding things. Autistic people don't lie (hiding the truth or facts), don't play mind games (hiding one's true feelings), and don't have hidden agendas (hiding one's intentions). These are all what constitute honesty. Honest people are almost inevitable more frank and direct too. That is a direct consequence of honesty. And we all know that very sociable people are rarely frank and direct, because it is easier to alienate people when you tell the truth to people's faces all the time than when you use white lies and insincere compliments (like the "pleasers"). That is also why politicians are almost never honest, because the democratic system is made in a way that rewards the most sociable and mass pleasing individuals. This may also be why in mixed societies like the USA, people descended from clannish collectivist societies (like South Italy or Ireland) tend to make the best politicians (I mean best at campaigning and getting elected, not necessarily best at governing).

ElHorsto
17-07-12, 14:55
I kindly would like to make additional challenging comments, if you allow.



It also just so happened that modern sciences developed more eagerly in these masculine and individualistic cultures than elsewhere.


That's certainly true for England, Germany and France ( and more in the past renaissance Italy, and why should we exclude ancient Greece actually), but I honestly can't recall that many significant breakthroughts came from scandinavian countries.



Most of the great names of science come from individualistic cultures of Germanic descent (I phrase it this way so as to include countries like France, which are not culturally Germanic but nevertheless have some Germanic roots and are also quite individualistic).
The list of science Nobel prize winners per capita (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_Nobel_laureates_per_capita) speaks for itself (think of removing non-scientific Nobel prize winners, such as those won by Saint Lucia and Timor-Leste). All the countries are Germanic, and the list almost seems to go in roughly decreasing order of Germanicity, with partly Germanic countries (UK, Israel, Ireland, Germany, Belgium, France, Czech Rep., Hungary) coming after the old Scandinavian core.


Well, the Nobel Prize is norwegian/swedish itself and it has an openly political, humanist and ethical purpose. Hence I wonder if it could be that non-dissident inventors from eastern block or - to a lesser extent - nazi germany might have been underrepresented for non-scientific reasons.

Also I see no reason to mention Ireland in particular, since it is ranked right below Bosnia-Herzegowina. And considering Hungary, Czech republic and Israel as germanic just because they rank high in nobel prizes, isn't that somewhat circular logic? Israel also should not be part of the germanic list, because Jews, were rather the pioneers than followers when they lived in many germanic countries.



Germanic people (except the British) are also known for their outspokenness and honesty, often to the point of bluntness.


Regarding the British, I don't know them personally that much, but I recall another thread:

"What the British say and what they really think"

http://www.eupedia.com/forum/showthread.php?27527-What-the-British-say-and-what-they-really-think

Regarding outspokenness, I think that's only true for Germans and possibly Danes. The problem is that Germans are often too cautious. Scandinavians (excl. Danes, they are more like Germans) have a very amicable, non-confrontative and sensitive attitude. My personal impression is that Russians are clear winners with regard to outspokenness. They really don't care much to keep a facade, and they have just became famous as being "rude" outside of russia. I really wonder whether they carry the original Viking heritage.

One particular anecdote for historical reasons: East Austrians (i.e. Vienna) and Czech on the other hand are actually not very outspoken, but there is a history that could explain it: Both wanted to be protestants, but became catholic by brute force, such that they learnt to keep a facade.

Maciamo
17-07-12, 15:35
That's certainly true for England, Germany and France ( and more in the past renaissance Italy, and why should we exclude ancient Greece actually), but I honestly can't recall that many significant breakthroughts came from scandinavian countries.

Although the Catholic Church has tried for centuries to inculcate the idea that modern philosophy and sciences emanated from ancient Greece, there is very little in modern sciences that remains from that period (except a bit of very basic geometry and physics).

Anyway I prefer to set this comparison aside because the population of ancient Greece was probably very different from that of the modern country. Greece was the recipients of perhaps more prehistoric and historical migrations than anywhere else in Europe. The longer time passes, the more gene pools in countries sharing a same language get evened out. At present we have no idea of just how different classical Athenian upper classes were genetically from modern Greeks. We might soon know once some ancient autosomal DNA gets tested.

It is true that modern sciences budded in Renaissance Italy (northern and central Italy, that is), but most of the discoveries of the time were made by a handful of geniuses like Da Vinci or Galileo. It was not a generalised trend in society like later in northern Europe.



Well, the Nobel Prize is norwegian/swedish itself and it has an openly political, humanist and ethical purpose. Hence I wonder if it could be that non-dissident inventors from eastern block or - to a lesser extent - nazi germany might have been underrepresented for non-scientific reasons.

Obviously there is some political bias in Nobel prizes. But even if Nazi Germany or the former GDR were under-represented, that would only strengthen my argument about Germanic countries. We could look at only at recent Nobel prizes in science, but the trend is still an overwhelming dominance of Germanic countries.


Also I see no reason to mention Ireland in particular, since it is ranked right below Bosnia-Herzegowina.

Actually, Ireland is listed twice: in 12th position with 6 Nobel prizes, and 27th position with 1. After double-checking, Ireland got 2 Nobel Peace prizes, 4 for Literature and only one for sciences (Physics). Ireland being a Celtic country, this only strengthen the bias in favour of Germanic countries (as opposed to North European ones in general).


And considering Hungary, Czech republic and Israel as germanic just because they rank high in nobel prizes, isn't that somewhat circular logic? Israel also should not be part of the germanic list, because Jews, were rather the pioneers than followers when they lived in many germanic countries.

Both the Czech Republic and Hungary were colonised by Germans in the Middle Ages, then became part of the Austrian Empire. In terms of Y-DNA frequencies (http://www.eupedia.com/europe/european_y-dna_haplogroups.shtml), typical Germanic haplogroups like I1 and I2b are higher in the Czech Rep. (11% + 4%) than in South Germany (10.5% + 3%) or Austria (12% + 2%), while Hungary (8% + 2.5%) comes right behind. England and Belgium aren't that different either. I think this makes them reasonably half-Germanic.

The vast majority of Jewish scientists were/are Ashkenazi Jews with roots in Germany. Both Y-DNA and autosomal DNA also proved that there was a small level of Germanic admixture among Ashkenazi Jews, as opposed to other Jews. But I agree that is is minor, and that the Jews are a unique phenomenon of their own.


Regarding the British, I don't know them personally that much, but I recall another thread:

"What the British say and what they really think"

http://www.eupedia.com/forum/showthread.php?27527-What-the-British-say-and-what-they-really-think

That is why I explicitly wrote : "Germanic people (except the British) are also known for their outspokenness".


Regarding outspokenness, I think that's only true for Germans and possibly Danes. The problem is that Germans are often too cautious. Scandinavians (excl. Danes, they are more like Germans) have a very amicable, non-confrontative and sensitive attitude. My personal impression is that Russians are clear winners with regard to outspokenness. They really don't care much to keep a facade, and they have just became famous as being "rude" outside of russia. I really wonder whether they carry the original Viking heritage.

Russia is a big country. If the type of people you refer to are more common in Northwest Russia, then that may be part of their Viking heritage. A lot of the Poles I know also tend to be quite outspoken (even by my standards!).


One particular anecdote for historical reasons: East Austrians (i.e. Vienna) and Czech on the other hand are actually not very outspoken, but there is a history that could explain it: Both wanted to be protestants, but became catholic by brute force, such that they learnt to keep a facade.

The Austrians are known for being diplomatic, so that tends to disqualify outspokenness. Genetically they are also the least Germanic of Germanic speakers - actually intermediary between the Czechs and Hungarians, as I wrote above.

spongetaro
17-07-12, 16:50
Although the Catholic Church has tried for centuries to inculcate the idea that modern philosophy and sciences emanated from ancient Greece, there is very little in modern sciences that remains from that period (except a bit of very basic geometry and physics).

Obviously, until the Renaissance, most of Mathematic knowledges came either from the Greeks or the Arabs, not from medieval Europeans.
By the way, where did you get the idea that the Catholic Church "has tried for centuries to inculcate the idea that modern philosophy and sciences emanated from ancient Greece"?



Actually, Ireland is listed twice: in 12th position with 6 Nobel prizes, and 27th position with 1. After double-checking, Ireland got 2 Nobel Peace prizes, 4 for Literature and only one for sciences (Physics). Ireland being a Celtic country, this only strengthen the bias in favour of Germanic countries (as opposed to North European ones in general).

Probably but it may not be so true concerning the Fields Medal for Mathematics.

Maciamo
17-07-12, 17:08
By the way, where did you get the idea that the Catholic Church "has tried for centuries to inculcate the idea that modern philosophy and sciences emanated from ancient Greece"?

The Catholic Church has always been an ardent supporter of Aristotle and Plato because their world view was compatible with that of the Church*. That is why these two philosophers are the most famous today, not because their philosophy was any good. Only a handful of Greek philosophers were allowed by the Vatican throughout the Middle Ages and the Renaissance.


* notably Plato's Allegory of the Cave (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Allegory_of_the_cave), which laid the ground for Idealism (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Idealism), a rational justification for the existence of a sentient God and for an immaterial human soul. In philosophy, Idealism is the opposite current of Materialism (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Materialism), the branch that is compatible with modern science and Atheism. Therefore, from my scientifically justified Atheism, philosophers like Plato are on the same side as Christianity, Islam and all the other irrational, superstitious and god-fearing religious zealots.

spongetaro
17-07-12, 17:43
I have already explained at length in this thread (http://www.eupedia.com/forum/showthread.php?26956-Map-of-Individualism-%28vs-Collectivism%29) that socialism has nothing to do with collectivism.


Socialism and redistribution of wealth trough a Welfare system is not compatible with your idea that individualistic cultures think that the rich deserve their wealth. To me this idea is typically that of Traditional (collectivist?) cultures with separate class of people. In those societies (typically the caste system in India) the fact that some people have wealth because of the birth and not their achievments is unquestioned.

This system could very well apply to our western societies if we didn't have sufficient inheritance taxes. But the trend among conservative governments (Bush, Berlusconi...) is to lower those taxes. Thus, conservative governments contribute to link wealth with birth (like in traditional/collectivist societies) rather than personal achievment.



Actually, collectivists can be broadly divided into two categories: the tribal/clannish collectivists (most common in Europe, Middle East and Africa)

That kind of collectivism tend to prevail in relgious countries.


Individualists may prosper in either system: a strong social welfare state like in northern Europe, or a fend-for-yourself system like in the USA. The main difference between these two types of societies is ethnic homogeneity. Small North European countries are far more homogeneous in every respect than the huge melting pot that are the USA.


Welfare state is alo strong in the Netherland and France which are also melting pot societies.
Germany is heading toward a melting pot society because of its huge demand in imigration due to current German demography.




The problem comes when too many different people (untrustworthy and dishonest) come into the system and try to get as much benefit from it while contributing as little as possible. This is the most fundamental cause of the present uproar and frustration of North Europeans against African immigrants in their countries.

This why Northern Africans immigrants are called "profiteurs" by National Front voters.

spongetaro
17-07-12, 17:50
The Catholic Church has always been an ardent supporter of Aristotle and Plato because their world view was compatible with that of the Church*. That is why these two philosophers are the most famous today, not because their philosophy was any good. Only a handful of Greek philosophers were allowed by the Vatican throughout the Middle Ages and the Renaissance.


* notably Plato's Allegory of the Cave (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Allegory_of_the_cave), which laid the ground for Idealism (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Idealism), a rational justification for the existence of a sentient God and for an immaterial human soul. In philosophy, Idealism is the opposite current of Materialism (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Materialism), the branch that is compatible with modern science and Atheism. Therefore, from my scientifically justified Atheism, philosophers like Plato are on the same side as Christianity, Islam and all the other irrational, superstitious and god-fearing religious zealots.

Those are not scientifical knowledges. Thales, Pythagoras, Euclid and Archimedes laid the foundation of Mathematics before the Renaissance. No one had to prove that be it the Catholic church or someone else.

Maciamo
17-07-12, 19:07
Socialism and redistribution of wealth trough a Welfare system is not compatible with your idea that individualistic cultures think that the rich deserve their wealth. To me this idea is typically that of Traditional (collectivist?) cultures with separate class of people. In those societies (typically the caste system in India) the fact that some people have wealth because of the birth and not their achievments is unquestioned.

I don't see at all why it is incompatible. The welfare state only aims at providing free or cheap education, health care, pensions and perhaps also unemployment insurance (the dole). It doesn't want everybody to have the same wealth level. That would be communism, which is an entirely different thing. As you can see by yourself, anybody in northern and western Europe is free to try to make as much money as they want. I also don't see why you should want to penalise inheritance of money. A lot of people work hard to provide for their children or grandchildren. It would be a totally unfair and totalitarian regime one that would want to suppress the right to donate or inherit money the way we want. I believe that the majority of Europeans would agree that people should have the right to do whatever they want with their money, and make as much money as they deem necessary through hard work. Socialism is only about providing the minimum necessary to everyone. After that, it's always up to individuals. And this is why socialism works so well in individualistic societies (and generally fails in clannish collectivist ones).


This system could very well apply to our western societies if we didn't have sufficient inheritance taxes. But the trend among conservative governments (Bush, Berlusconi...) is to lower those taxes. Thus, conservative governments contribute to link wealth with birth (like in traditional/collectivist societies) rather than personal achievment.

I don't see where you are going with that. Lowering taxes is especially good for big earners and companies, and reduces the amount available for redistribution. Why are you bothered about people inheriting money ? It doesn't harm the common good.



That kind of collectivism tend to prevail in relgious countries.

There is some correlation.


Welfare state is alo strong in the Netherland and France which are also melting pot societies.
Germany is heading toward a melting pot society because of its huge demand in imigration due to current German demography.


France is an exception, but otherwise most northern European countries were not melting pot societies until a few decades ago. The welfare system was established before that. Now it is experiencing problems because the conditions have changed.


This why Northern Africans immigrants are called "profiteurs" by National Front voters.

I am pretty sure it's not just the Front National voters...

Wilhelm
18-07-12, 06:33
Autisitics, suchas as Apergers are actually not individualistic, they want to socialize, but they cannot, that is one of the characteristics. The desire to socialize, but the inability.

JFWR
18-07-12, 07:56
The Catholic Church has always been an ardent supporter of Aristotle and Plato because their world view was compatible with that of the Church*. That is why these two philosophers are the most famous today, not because their philosophy was any good. Only a handful of Greek philosophers were allowed by the Vatican throughout the Middle Ages and the Renaissance.


* notably Plato's Allegory of the Cave (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Allegory_of_the_cave), which laid the ground for Idealism (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Idealism), a rational justification for the existence of a sentient God and for an immaterial human soul. In philosophy, Idealism is the opposite current of Materialism (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Materialism), the branch that is compatible with modern science and Atheism. Therefore, from my scientifically justified Atheism, philosophers like Plato are on the same side as Christianity, Islam and all the other irrational, superstitious and god-fearing religious zealots.

Four things:

Plato was not properly an Idealist. He held that universals (the Forms) were immaterial and existed above and beyond their physical manifestations, but this "idealism" did not at all imply the immateriality of all substance. The senses were not to be trusted, according to Plato, because they were often deceitful to the truth of matters as discerned by reason, but he never denied that our senses perceive physical reality which exists all around us.

The allegory of the cave also has no connection whatsoever in a belief in God. It is the allegory of coming to understand reality through rational processes, as opposed to living in dull ignorance within the cave.

Aristotle was also a materialist in most regards. I am not sure if you meant to conflate Plato and Aristotle with the Catholic Church through idealism, but it is a mistaken belief regardless. Aquinas had to insert a lot of spiritualism into Aristotle in order to make him fully acceptable to the Catholic Church, to the great benefit of Western civilization who gained the great influence of one of history's greatest minds.

Secondly, Idealism is actually more associated with empiricism (the metaphysical paradigm of modern science) than anything else. The extreme form of empiricism, which is its natural progression, is to idealism. We cannot discern substance, we can only discern sense input. Sense input may or may not have any connection to material substance, and we thus cannot deduce the existence of such from the pure testimony of the senses. This is seen first in Bishop Berkeley, also in Hume, and proceeds throughout much of the 19th and 20th century empiricism. Bertrand Russell, of all people, thought objects were "logical fictions" and what we really saw when we saw a chair was simply quanta of sense data.

Third, Idealism is not at all inherently associated with the belief in God or the soul. Neither Plato nor Aristotle, in fact, even really believed in a God in the sense of Christianity, but believed in various alternate conceptions from Plato's Demiurge (which he used to explain how things would pass) to Aristotle's prime mover (who's chief activity was thinking of thought). To say the least, neither were "zealots" either in this belief in God. Both did, however, believe in the soul, though for Aristotle it was simply the form of the body, whereas Plato suggested it was immortal due to the fact that it was held to be the source of life.

Lastly, if you think that Plato and Aristotle aren't great thinkers, then sadly you are exceedingly ignorant of the history of Western thought. Plato is the seminal figure in the history of philosophy (from whence all rational achievements aside from mathematics ultimately derive) and is a significant figure in the philosophy of mathematics, whereas Aristotle is a major philosopher and the father of logic, physics, biology, and literary criticism.

Your opinions are in dire error on this point, Maciamo, and I would highly recommend you read a work on philosophy in order to grasp these matters. I suggest the following three books:

"Wisdom of the West" by Bertrand Russell. I prefer this over his "History of Western Philosophy".

"The Dream of Reason" by Anthony Gottleib.

And the various volumes on philosophy by Father Copplestone.

Maciamo
18-07-12, 08:59
Autisitics, suchas as Apergers are actually not individualistic, they want to socialize, but they cannot, that is one of the characteristics. The desire to socialize, but the inability.

You completely misunderstand the meaning of individualistic. This has nothing to do about socialisation. It's not because British or American people are extremely individualistic that they are not sociable. On the contrary, they may be more sociable that most other people because their lives do not revolve around a small clan or community, like in clannish collectivist countries.

There are plenty of mildly autistic people (including Asperger's) who want to socialise, at least at some level. It's not because one lacks social skills that they crave a solitary life. On the other hand, there are non-autistic people who have become lone wolves by choice, even though they can socialise. So so shouldn't confuse social skills and desire to socialise. It's not because you are bad at something that you don't want to do it. Actually plenty of autistic children improve their social skills through hard work so that they can become functional adults. That's why autism concerns far more children than adults.

Maciamo
18-07-12, 09:17
Secondly, Idealism is actually more associated with empiricism (the metaphysical paradigm of modern science) than anything else. The extreme form of empiricism, which is its natural progression, is to idealism. We cannot discern substance, we can only discern sense input. Sense input may or may not have any connection to material substance, and we thus cannot deduce the existence of such from the pure testimony of the senses. This is seen first in Bishop Berkeley, also in Hume, and proceeds throughout much of the 19th and 20th century empiricism. Bertrand Russell, of all people, thought objects were "logical fictions" and what we really saw when we saw a chair was simply quanta of sense data.
...
Lastly, if you think that Plato and Aristotle aren't great thinkers, then sadly you are exceedingly ignorant of the history of Western thought. Plato is the seminal figure in the history of philosophy (from whence all rational achievements aside from mathematics ultimately derive) and is a significant figure in the philosophy of mathematics, whereas Aristotle is a major philosopher and the father of logic, physics, biology, and literary criticism.

Your opinions are in dire error on this point, Maciamo, and I would highly recommend you read a work on philosophy in order to grasp these matters. I suggest the following three books:

"Wisdom of the West" by Bertrand Russell. I prefer this over his "History of Western Philosophy".


I am more than familiar with Western Philosophy as I studied it at university. Bertrand Russell is actually one of my favourite philosophers. Empiricism is a theory of knowledge and not an alternative current to idealism or materialism. However, empiricism asserts that knowledge comes from sensory experience, and is much more compatible with materialism, and even goes again most forms of idealism.

Plato and Aristotle may have laid some of the grounds of Western Philosophy, but their philosophy is just as dated today as ancient technologies. Actually, quite a lot of "modern" philosophers can be discarded too (Descartes, Leibniz, Hegel...) in my eyes.

I don't have the time or envy to discuss this at length now. Let's just say that I have learnt about all major philosophers, chosen my path, and have thrown away all philosophers whose views were not compatible with atheism, hence my reaction.

JFWR
18-07-12, 09:43
I am more than familiar with Western Philosophy as I studied it at university. Bertrand Russell is actually one of my favourite philosophers. Empiricism is a theory of knowledge and not an alternative current to idealism or materialism. However, empiricism asserts that knowledge comes from sensory experience, and is much more compatible with materialism, and even goes again most forms of idealism.

Not at all. Matter is an un-empirical notion. What we have direct and certain knowledge of, according to empiricism, is purely sense data. This sense data need not inhere in any substance, such as matter, nor can we do such things as induce causality as there is no necessary connection between things. Therefore, from a purely empirical matter, we can only speak of our sense data and the non-causal semi-uniformity we witness in this data. For Hume, nature could simply be chaotic at its core, whereas for Kant our empiricism must transform into Transcendental Idealism where the uniformity is a condition of our thought.

These arguments owe their origin to Locke who first began to critique substance, were then vastly expanded upon by Bishop Berkeley, still expanded by Hume, given further thought by Kant, and have persisted till the present day through such figures as the aforementioned Russell.

Materialism is nothing but a sad mistake in empiricism. It cannot be justified under empirical knowledge alone, but must derive in some sense from inductions beyond what is given purely by sensory report.

There is, of course, another, more "spiritual" trend in Idealism following after Hegel. There is also religious Idealism which finds its greatest exemplar in Hindu and certain Buddhist doctrines.


Plato and Aristotle may have laid some of the grounds of Western Philosophy, but their philosophy is just as dated today as ancient technologies. Actually, quite a lot of "modern" philosophers can be discarded too (Descartes, Leibniz, Hegel...) in my eyes.



Hardly. This seems merely like your dismissal is a result of argumentum ad novitam (argument from novelty). What is new is not inherently superior to that which is old.

The figures you mention have remarkable stable ideas in philosophy and their works in other related disciplines are foundational. Clearly, not everything that they wrote on various other topics is still useful today, but their work was crucial in leading to future discoveries that refine it over the progress of science. That being said, mathematically they are incorporated into modern mathematics. Examples: Descartes was the man who united algebra and geometry and Leibniz created modern calculus (independently of Newton). For a figure you didn't mention, Kant was the first to hypothesize the existence of galaxies.

Oh, and if you want a really good foundation for civil society and the state, I would recommend Hegel's "Elements of the Philosophy of Right". Reading that work you will see a fine justification of the modern nation state and its legal roles, even moreso than the less extensive works of (the also brilliant) English philosophers.


I don't have the time or envy to discuss this at length now. Let's just say that I have learnt about all major philosophers, chosen my path, and have thrown away all philosophers whose views were not compatible with atheism, hence my reaction.

How unphilosophic AND unscientific. Closing your mind to any but which fit into a pre-established paradigm. That's not very proper of you, Maciamo. I would highly recommend you expand your horizons less you hamstring yourself.

ElHorsto
31-08-12, 20:08
Northern European cultures (including other English-speaking cultures like the USA) are known for their individualism (http://www.eupedia.com/forum/showthread.php?26956-Map-of-Individualism-%28vs-Collectivism%29) and masculine characteristics. It is not an accident of history that Scandinavian women were the first to become emancipated, and the first who wanted to get rid of gender roles to behave like men - including taking positions of power. Northern European, and especially Germanic cultures, have always been more masculine than say Mediterranean, African, South Asian or East Asian ones.


Coming back to the topic of northern europe, feminism, science and individualism, here is a famous video made by Harald Eia, which eventually lead to the ending of the norwegian gender "science" in 2011, which was funded before by 56 million EUR per year.

"The Gender Equality Paradox"

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KQ2xrnyH2wQ

Essence of the video is, that paradoxically the women in Norway are those who mostly choose typical female professions like nursing and kindergardening while avoiding typical male professions like engineers and constructors. In other countries with lesser gender equality, women are paradoxically more likely to choose typical male professions. I think this contradicts the association of northern feminism with individualism or masculinity. Feminism in northern europe was not a folk movement but rather an imposed social democrat agenda, which the majority was just following without thinking too much.

ElHorsto
31-08-12, 20:48
It was not a generalised trend in society like later in northern Europe.


Scandinavia, which I consider northern european, was rather backwards until 20th century. The uptrend during 20th century was due to welfare among others. I highly doubt that the whole population genetics has suddenly changed that much since 100 years. Scandinavians became more progressive in the early middle ages, when they travelled far. They were great seafarers indeed. But the later middle ages were really dark in northern europe.



Obviously there is some political bias in Nobel prizes. But even if Nazi Germany or the former GDR were under-represented, that would only strengthen my argument about Germanic countries. We could look at only at recent Nobel prizes in science, but the trend is still an overwhelming dominance of Germanic countries.


No, GDR was actually the only germanic country whithin the eastern block.



That is why I explicitly wrote : "Germanic people (except the British) are also known for their outspokenness".


Ok.



Russia is a big country. If the type of people you refer to are more common in Northwest Russia, then that may be part of their Viking heritage.


No, they are from Siberia and Moscow. On the other hand, viking influence stretched far to south-eastern russia, before Russia started expanding into asia.

Ernesto Grandi
27-03-14, 23:28
rs1858830 (http://www.snpedia.com/index.php/rs1858830)(C;C) (http://www.snpedia.com/index.php/rs1858830%28C;C%29) 2x risk of autism
i'm from italy
what's your genotype about it?

Dabeho
19-12-14, 23:49
Witch-hunting is a reaction to fear, and when scared people tend to stick together more.



I have already explained at length in this thread (http://www.eupedia.com/forum/showthread.php?26956-Map-of-Individualism-%28vs-Collectivism%29) that socialism has nothing to do with collectivism. Actually, the generous welfare system of northern European countries (not just Scandinavia, but also the UK, Benelux, Germany and France) is more likely to work well in an individualistic society than a collectivist one.

Actually, collectivists can be broadly divided into two categories: the tribal/clannish collectivists (most common in Europe, Middle East and Africa), and the nationwide collectivists (like in East Asia). Social welfare can work well in nationwide collectivist societies like Japan or China, but not in clannish ones, like in Mediterranean countries. The reason is that clannish societies always seek the good of their own extended family or small village community rather than of the whole nation or country. With such a mindset, people hate to pay taxes to a distant central government and are therefore much more likely to hide their revenues, so that there will never be enough money in the system for a generous redistribution to take place. That is essentially why countries like Greece (or most of the Balkans) are in trouble financially.

Nationwide collectivists like the East Asians place the definition of "group" at a much higher level (all the compatriots, which in East Asia usually means all the people who speak their language and share their culture and ethnicity). A welfare system can easily work because individuals feel that the greater good of their homogeneous society is important enough to pay taxes and contribute to the system.

Individualists may prosper in either system: a strong social welfare state like in northern Europe, or a fend-for-yourself system like in the USA. The main difference between these two types of societies is ethnic homogeneity. Small North European countries are far more homogeneous in every respect than the huge melting pot that are the USA. Individualists will have more faith in the system if they know that most of the other contributors are similar to them, especially if like in Germanic countries people have a generally good reputation for trustworthiness and honesty. The problem comes when too many different people (untrustworthy and dishonest) come into the system and try to get as much benefit from it while contributing as little as possible. This is the most fundamental cause of the present uproar and frustration of North Europeans against African immigrants in their countries.

Eventually, if too many cheaters infiltrate the system, North Europeans countries will have little choice but to adopt a more American-style system that benefits the most capable and industrious people and neglects the rest of the population.

In short, socialist/welfare states tend to benefit individualists in countries where most people are individualistic and honest, but fails to work in mixed societies. This is where the link with autism because interesting, because autistic people are both more individualistic and more honest than the average. This is probably because these two traits go hand in hand. Honesty is essentially the quality of not deceiving or hiding things. Autistic people don't lie (hiding the truth or facts), don't play mind games (hiding one's true feelings), and don't have hidden agendas (hiding one's intentions). These are all what constitute honesty. Honest people are almost inevitable more frank and direct too. That is a direct consequence of honesty. And we all know that very sociable people are rarely frank and direct, because it is easier to alienate people when you tell the truth to people's faces all the time than when you use white lies and insincere compliments (like the "pleasers"). That is also why politicians are almost never honest, because the democratic system is made in a way that rewards the most sociable and mass pleasing individuals. This may also be why in mixed societies like the USA, people descended from clannish collectivist societies (like South Italy or Ireland) tend to make the best politicians (I mean best at campaigning and getting elected, not necessarily best at governing).

My honest​ compliments for this post.