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Rise of the Tiger Nation: Asian-American Success (wsj.com)
44 points by azth 1608 days ago | hide | past | web | 56 comments | favorite



'Success'

As an Asian male, even though I might be highly educated, make a comfortable amount of money, own properties, be a productive citizen (blah blah blah), nothing softens the blow of hearing women (both Asian and non-Asian) saying they'd never date an Asian guy or saying Asian guys aren't attractive. Or seeing advertisements/movies that always show mixed couples as White male - Asian female. Or watching 21st century American movies/TV shows that still typecast Asian men as asexual action stars / comedic relief.

If I had to choose between either this 'success' or being a white male with less success, I'd easily choose the latter.


Stop complaining.

As a card-carrying member of Asian-American yuppie stereotype, I live in the rapidly gentrifying area of East Cambridge, MA. Most of the inner-city kids who live nearby don't have a slightest clue about SAT, much less career-ambitions like BigLaw, med school or engineering school. Guess who else is lowest on the sexual hierarchy? Inner-city black women. But we all fixate on the attractive Asian and Caucasian chicks in downtown clubz or the Stanford/MIT types who lead "interesting" lifestyle (and with of course lucrative career-paths). What about all the Chinese/Indian migrant workers who are working in the coastal cities, scaling the sexual hierarchies and self-actualization aren't even in their consciousness.

Yea, I guess if we are talking about a 6ft+, good looking WASP guy who graduated from HYPS working in the Left Coast in finance/law/finance/management. Shit, if I was an Asian girl or gay, I'd get on that gravy train too! But maybe I shouldn't announce it for fear of being coming off too crass in public?

Get over it, human nature is crass - human beings are the most predictable robots.


Also, poor people in Dorchester shouldn't complain because they have it much better than people in the developing world.

Obviously it's a matter of degree. The poster is complaining about a real phenomenon.


I agree it's a real phenomenon. I and my buddy go out a lot in Boston to pick up chicks, we get blown out 80% of the time right away, then conversation/interaction dies 80% of the time before we ask for number, then chick flakes 70% of time after text, then interest dies on first date 70% of the time. Well, but if you get past that all these probabilities and first date, well, the chick is pretty into you that you pretty have to shoot yourself in the foot to screw it up. You just have to be persistent and shameless. Mostly shameless.

Chris Paul is only 6ft tall and he's one of the elite players in the NBA. Also see Nate Robinson (5ft 8), Allen Iverson (6 ft), Isiah Thomas (5ft 8) who at one point scores 15+ pt. What these guys lack in height, they make up for in speed, ball-handling, shooting and playing smart. In fact, there are plenty of guys in the NBA who are 7-footers who are slow-footed, can't shoot and can't play and purely there for their size (see Kwame Brown, Michael Olowokandi, all 1st draft picks).

Now ever seen WASP frat boys hollering their fraternity alphabets, rich boys crusing in their Porsche, Maserati's or preppy guys in ivy league schools clutching onto their Andover/Exeter letter jackets, well those are the Kawme Brown/Kandiman of the world. Let them go to Goldman Sachs/Skadden/McKinsey whatever and I'm sure the groupies, both the Asian-wanabe's and the high-society gold-diggers will follow that well-beaten path.

You and I, bro, we are the lucky one's. We have been dealt the hand of having the opportunity to actually better our circumstances without falling back to a silver spoon that was put in our mouth at birth. I agree, Asian chicks are shallow but so are we. But what doesn't change is that human beings are crass animals. In high schools, they'll love the QB in home-coming games but in mid-twenties, they'll try to get their way desperately into high-society cocktail parties full of doctors and lawyers.

So don't caught up in this whole rat-race pretension-sexual-socio-economical game. Dont' play the coy game, if you want sex, just ask for it and if she doesn't put out, next her. Same thing goes for raises at the job, more responsibilities professionally or asking your buddy to do some social/recreational activity you want to do. You'll get blown out a lot of times, but that's the whole point. Be honest with yourself; no, it's not the Asian girls you are complaining about but the upwardly mobile, attractive white-washed Asian and white girls that you feel sexually frustrated about.

But it's okay, that's what you want to go for; then be prepared to put in the work like CP3 and AI.


Ok, let's see

Based on your numbers I did the math, and this means that 1 in 277 girls will pass the filter

That number may look high, but it is very feasible


To noname123: "I and my buddy go out a lot in Boston to pick up chicks, we get blown out 80% of the time right away, then conversation/interaction dies 80% of the time before we ask for number, then chick flakes 70% of time after text, then interest dies on first date 70% of the time."

This sounds pretty normal for the bar "pick-up" scene, though. You may have overinflated expectations of the success rates of others.


This basically sucks, but it's the nature of the dating game. People have a right to be attracted to the people they're attracted to, even if that involves excluding an entire race. It's depressing to see all the match questions on OKCupid that say "Do you strongly want your mate to be of the same race as you: Yes", but that's the way it goes.

I've also found that there are many white women who say they're not interested in Asian guys, but when the right guy comes along, they suddenly change their mind. I have several white female friends that never considered dating an Asian guy and are now dating/engaged/married to one. My parents were an Asian male and a white female, and I'm dating a white girl.


> It's depressing to see all the match questions on OKCupid that say "Do you strongly want your mate to be of the same race as you: Yes", but that's the way it goes.

Yep, you should never rely on online dating as an Asian guy in the West. It's a complete waste of time.

> I've also found that there are many white women who say they're not interested in Asian guys, but when the right guy comes along, they suddenly change their mind.

The key is to meet women in real life and deemphasize your race as much as possible. Of course, you will still have to be that much better than a white guy in other categories (be personable/funny, be in shape, be wealthy, dress nicely) to make up for your race, but meeting women face-to-face makes it much more difficult for them to just outright dismiss you.

This is because that latent racism feels much more acceptable to women when they're sitting alone, in private, in front of their computer. On the other hand, when they're in a public social setting, they (just like everyone else) feel judged by society. For an Asian guy who wants to date white women, that social pressure is the best weapon for combating racism. After breaking past that initial barrier, the rest is up to the individual.



According to one online dating study [1], asian men can compensate with income to appeal to a white woman. An asian guy must make $247,000 more than a white guy for them to have the same appeal to a white woman.

[1] page 49, http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/Papers.cfm?abstract_id=895442


The implication of that study is either that Asian men are really unattractive to white women, or attractiveness is less sensitive to income than people assume.


That's a fascinating paper, thanks.


Or you know... just compensate in old good personality: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=64Ixzp94ksw (Asian guy in weelchair doing pretty good)


Physical disabilities garner sympathy, being non-white does not.


They were not even mad when he stood up to reveal he is not actually disabled; and there are another bunch of videos when they dress as ridicule as possible and still get away with it.


Yeah, basically it sucks. As another commenter stated, it's just the nature of the game. In this arena, for females, being asian is often an asset, but for males a liability. There's sometimes an elitist air among asian women that they can do "better" than settling for an asian man.

At least in my experience, it gets better with age. When women begin favoring stability over excitement/looks, the things you can control become more of a factor such as career, maturity, interests. As long as you're financially stable and reasonably normal (no basement full of blow up dolls) you stand a good chance, I think.

Also, this is a tough area for asian guys, but you're going to have to find a way to exude confidence. This is somewhat circular since society is not really reinforcing your self esteem, but it's up to you to break that cycle. In my case, I pretty much gave up on relationships and then they started happening. I guess people seem more secure when they don't care? (Oh, and don't be bitter. Bitter people suck to be around.)

I'm married now (to an asian girl) and even though women cannot be blamed for having a preference, I still can't help feeling injustice at this predicament. Anyway, I said "you" in this comment a lot, but I mean it generally and it's written just as some offhand advice for my asian brothers out there. But for you personally, I just wanted to say "I feel ya, bro".


As a white male who has dated Asian females in the past (and is currently in a relationship with a white woman, if you must know, and to ward off the inevitable charges of "yellow fever"), I find at least part of this sentiment highly irritating. I'm really not sorry at all for "taking" something from you that you don't "own" to begin with. They aren't "your" women and they can date whoever they want to. They're not "betraying" anyone in dating outside of their race. (I use quotes not to quote you but rather others who have made similar arguments).

This basic idea, that you can't even get the women you were entitled to by your birthright, is based on fundamentally flawed assumptions.


> There's sometimes an elitist air among asian women that they can do "better" than settling for an asian man.

This is probably what you're responding to. Read this as the perception held by some asian guys. I don't mean that asian girls should feel obligated in any way to "their group". It's just that they sometimes go out of their way to associate outside of it. It's not to their detriment because everyone's preference is their right. I'm merely noting that the demographic most likely to connect with asian males due to physical/cultural familiarity is still somewhat disinclined to accept them. This situation does not need correction; I'm only trying to identify with the parent commenter.


I think you read differently from me, I did not saw anything you answered for in the above comment.


> nothing softens the blow of hearing women (both Asian and non-Asian) saying they'd never date an Asian guy or saying Asian guys aren't attractive

This complaint is common, but I also find it a little bizarre. Do ugly women get super offended when guys all want to date attractive women?


Yes. Older women also get offended when men want to date younger (looking) women.


> "Do ugly women get super offended when guys all want to date attractive women?"

I've seen it, so without speaking for the entirety of a gender: sure, it happens.

Getting excluded from the dating pool because of something you have little/no control over fucking blows, I can see why anyone would be pissed. Applies to anything - age, race, attractiveness, you name it.


I hear you, but believe it or not it's slowly but surely changing.

On the bright side, "Asian male" in the USA may mean a severe handicap (order of magnitude really) in the dating arena vs. "white male", but it's also a tremendous advantage over "black male", "hispanic male", and "south asian male".

All in all as an east Asian, not complaining too much. It could be much, much worse.


> it's also a tremendous advantage over "black male", "hispanic male", and "south asian male".

Are you joking? I don't know about Hispanic or South Asian, but white girls love black guys.


I'm talking about the dating scene, not the hookup scene - OKCupid's own data bears it out, black males get by far the least interest out of any race group.

East Asians are stereotyped as effeminate and geeky. Blacks are stereotyped as criminals and deadbeats. World of difference really.

They can have the better odds in a club - with my condolences. It's the least they could get for the raw-ass deal they have in every other corner of life.


While there's some truth in what you say, the glass ceiling is mostly within yourself.

In my experience, it's been the case that if you are actually taking actions to pursue females be it white or yellow or brown or red, rather than taking a backseat to complain and/or victimize yourself, you'll get somewhere. Provided that you are self-aware enough to learn lessons and improve your game. Also, a lot of white girls by way of social expectations might say things like they are not into Asian guys, but very few of them will actually turn you down if you pursue them, have some game and are not a complainer - certainly no more than the number of rejections white guys will get trying to woo Asian girls.

Also, most Asian females are not automatically more attracted to white males - it's highly dependent on their upbringing and aspirations. But if you are mainly into the barbie-doll type of sorority girls, then it's not exactly a surprise that girls like that are shallower than average and are more into money, status and how things look from the outside - all of which are more easily associable with the dominant ethnic group of the country - whites. There's also another subtle detail which is the fact that as Asian Americans males, we've done our fair share of suppressing our women in an environment where they have alternatives, but I'm not going into that in this comment.

One last thing I'd also like to add: make sure you are actually Brad Pitt before you go in hot and heavy trying to sweep Angelina Jolie off her feet. Actually even if you are Brad Pitt material it's likely that you'll have to work your way up to Angelina. I've seen too many Asian American guys who were brought up with too much of an introverted ego such that they won't go for the girls who are at their level whom could be a good match but are not 8s, 9s, or 10s. As a result, they flop and flop and flop again and start to believe that they are cursed by their Asian American identify.

background: I'm a Chinese guy who came to the US at age 15 not knowing how to speak much English at all with a single mother who was busting her ass getting a Doctorate from UC Berkeley. My current gf of 3 years is of Irish, English and Italian heritage.


It could be worse, you could be a black woman.


Do not let those that you cannot be with, blind you from those that you can.


This is probably cultural rather than any objective reason for it.

If you go to Asia, you shouldn't have any problems. But here in the West where most people are white, and what's portrayed as handsome and sexy in the media, arts, and culturally significant works like movies will predominantly be white people.

I theorize that the reason Asian women will fair a little better is because the society here is still patriarchal and therefore the males are the dominant force in relationships (and they obviously will be much less likely to pick Asian males). This is probably why you see White male - Asian female couples being portrayed more often. A TV show or movie will most likely have a white male protagonist and he will then have his pick of women.

Women in the West like to be tanned. Women in the east like to be fair-skinned. The perception of beauty or handsomeness appears to all be subjective.

Here are some Asian Male white Female cases:

Bruce Lee and his wife

Jackie Chan was in a kung-fu movie where he ended up going out with Jennifer Love Hewitt at the end.


> If you go to Asia, you shouldn't have any problems. But here in the West where most people are white, and what's portrayed as handsome and sexy in the media, arts, and culturally significant works like movies will predominantly be white people.

Actually, if you go to Asia, the same imbalance is found - white men have an amazingly easy time of picking up women there, without even knowing the local language and/or customs. Asian women who have never even left their home countries and can barely speak English see white guys as handsome and sexy.

In fact, white guys who couldn't get any action in the West (with white women) find tons of Asian women in Asia who will literally throw themselves at them. This applies to almost all countries in Asia, regardless of wealth - Japan, Korea, China, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam, etc. Ever heard of Charisma Man?[0]

But can you imagine an Asian guy coming to America and doing the same - not knowing English or anything about American customs but trying to pick up American women? He wouldn't have a snowball's chance in hell of succeeding - he'd be laughed out of the clubs (literally).

0: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charisma_Man


At least in China, I'd think it has to do more with status than necessarily physical attraction.

Plus wasn't there a survey that said Asian women preferred their own race more than any other type of women?


> At least in China, I'd think it has to do more with status than necessarily physical attraction.

That's entirely possible, but that's why I mentioned the fact that it occurs in all Asian countries, regardless of wealth. Even in Japan, a first world country, you will find this exact same phenomenon. In fact, China's adversarial relationship with the West and general social conservativeness means that it's probably more so in Japan than in China. Either way, it's not just for money (assuming that's what you meant by "status").

> Plus wasn't there a survey that said Asian women preferred their own race more than any other type of women?

From this chart[0], it's actually the exact opposite for Asian women in America. Notice how the ratio of Asian men marrying women of other races to Asian women marrying men of other races is lower than for any other race, while the reverse is observed among blacks (black men are much more likely to marry someone of another race than black women):

> Gender differences are most pronounced among blacks and Asians. Black men marry someone from a different group twice as often as black women do, while among Asians, the gender pattern is reversed.

My personal theory as to why this disparity exists is that Asian physical characteristics are seen as feminine, while African physical characteristics are seen as masculine. So Asian men are seen as effeminate, which reduces their attractiveness to women of any race. Similarly, black women are seen as masculine, which reduces their attractiveness to men of any race.

However, there have been some anomalies. For example, through the hallyu and the internet, Korean pop and dramas have gained great popularity amongst a significant number of white, black, and Hispanic women over the last 5-10 years. This has created a lot of non-Asian women with a so-called "Koreaboo"[1] fetish for Asian men. This is largely an illusion though, as the vast majority of Asian men don't look like Rain[2] or Song Seung Heon[3].

0: http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2011/01/29/us/20110130mix...

1: http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=koreaboo

2: http://i.imgur.com/0K7JF.jpg

3: http://i.imgur.com/7oAGm.jpg


I think the Koreaboo thing largely supports my culture argument for what determines sexual desirability. While most Asian men don't look exactly like those two guys, they certainly are repping the more Asian traits as they do not resemble the traditional Western style of masculinity.

I'm sure most white guys in Asia don't look like George Clooney or Brad Pitt either.

I also want to point out that the West exports more of its culture out to other countries of the world than do Asian cultures out in the West, so that also creates more desirability for Westerners.

My relatives in China know who Tom Cruise, Michael Jackson, and Brad Pitt are, but I doubt anyone in the US knows anyone who's famous only in Asia.


> they certainly are repping the more Asian traits as they do not resemble the traditional Western style of masculinity.

I wouldn't say that's true. Rain is a (famous) exception in this regard, but most Korean entertainers get blepharoplasty[0], a surgery that makes Asian eyes look more Western.

Moreover, why is it that Korean popular culture has succeeded in such a big way in the West when Japan did not in the 70s/80s, when it was a rising economic star? Well, Japan is a much bigger country and so the entertainment industry is more than content to appeal to only domestic tastes, since they can make a decent living off of that. Even the most rabid Koreaboo would not go for popular Japanese styles in men, such as this[1].

Korea, OTOH, has strived to display more internationally appealing (read: Western) characteristics in their entertainers, because they're a smaller country and the rate of IP infringement is much higher (OTOH, Japan has one of the lowest rates in the world). They need foreign interest in their entertainment industry to turn a decent profit. They initially aimed to have pan-Asian appeal, but that has (luckily, but unintentionally for them) morphed into global appeal.

You're absolutely right that Hollywood actors do not represent the average white guy. But I've been to Japan and seen white guys who look nothing like Clooney or Pitt, guys who are total geeks ("Charisma Men"), get treated like royalty by the local women.

Could you ever see the reverse happening in the West? No, all those Koreaboos are rudely awakened when they find out that most Asian guys don't look like their favorite Korean drama actor. And the statistics back this up.

The export of culture from the West to Asia definitely plays a role in all this, and could very well be the primary reason for this phenomenon. Western views of masculinity and femininity are exported to the rest of the world and shape Asian views of what is attractive in men and women.

0: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Asian_blepharoplasty

1: http://i.imgur.com/9Trha.jpg


I think the double eyelid thing is pretty minor (with respect to looking Western). I know a lot of Asian people who naturally have this. You definitely don't just start looking white just by having double-eyelids. If it were Western looks influencing double eyelids, are guys also going blonde/brunette or doing anything else? http://media.carbonated.tv/51637_story__cruisehaircut3.jpg <- I'd say the double-eyelids of Tom Cruise aren't even that noticeable. What's more noticeable are his prominent eyebrows.

In fact I honestly think (with enough grooming and styling) you can get more fit Asian guys looking like those two examples you gave than you could get white guys to look like them. So just because of that, it's probably benefitting Asian guys more that they're being flaunted as sexy.

As for Japan, they didn't have a well-developed live-action film industry (not sure of the reason why), which according to what I read on Wikipedia, is why they developed a big Anime industry. I'd imagine cartoons would have a harder time to catch on in the West with adults, but it did catch on with kids (Digimon, Pokémon, Yu-Gi-Oh).


> If it were Western looks influencing double eyelids, are guys also going blonde/brunette or doing anything else?

Absolutely, dyed hair is almost universally present amongst celebrities. Usually brown or red, but sometimes blonde.

You'll also see other surgically obtained Western facial features, such as a more elongated face and larger noses, in Korean celebrities. I'm not a facial structure expert so I can't scientifically enunciate it, but they don't look anything like your average Korean. For example, I wouldn't be surprised if they're modifying their foreheads too, to look like Tom Cruise in that picture you linked.

> In fact I honestly think (with enough grooming and styling) you can get more fit Asian guys looking like those two examples you gave than you could get white guys to look like them.

Oh, of course. No matter what you do, you'll never truly bridge the gap between races.

A good recent example of this is Cloud Atlas, which has drawn a lot of controversy for one of its story arcs, which is set in a futuristic "Neo-Seoul". Whereas the female actresses are Asian (Bae Doona of Korea and Zhou Xun of China), they used "yellow-face" to make male white actors look Asian, instead of using Asian actors.[0] Predictably, it's not at all a convincing makeover and has drawn harsh criticism from Asian American advocacy groups for the continued discrimination against/marginalization of Asian men by Hollywood.

> So just because of that, it's probably benefitting Asian guys more that they're being flaunted as sexy.

Right, and that's definitely the case. If you look at the expat blogosphere for Korea, what was dominated by men a few years ago is now dominated by women who write about their fairytale romances in Korea (no idea how true a lot of it is, but there you go)[1]. Either way, that's still a very small percentage of a very small percentage (remember that women like to blog about dating a lot more than men). And I'm just saying that obtaining Western features played a big role in the hallyu spreading to the West.

> As for Japan, they didn't have a well-developed live-action film industry

This is not exactly true. A lot of foreigners think that Japanese adults all read manga and watch anime, and while it is common to see salarymen reading manga on the train, its certainly not a widespread pastime the way that TV is in the West.

Japan does have a live-action film industry, but it's pretty shitty. The production values aren't nearly as high as in Korea (the sets look grungy, the background music isn't as good), the actors/actresses don't use as much plastic surgery/makeup, and they're not going for international appeal. Not to mention the acting/writing is even worse than in K-dramas, if you can believe that.

0: http://nerdreactor.com/2012/10/26/cloud-atlas-gets-heat-for-...

1: http://imnopicasso.blogspot.com/2010/10/myth-part-iv-awakeni...


> Absolutely, dyed hair is almost universally present amongst celebrities. Usually brown or red, but sometimes blonde. You'll also see other surgically obtained Western facial features, such as a more elongated face and larger noses, in Korean celebrities. I'm not a facial structure expert so I can't scientifically enunciate it, but they don't look anything like your average Korean. For example, I wouldn't be surprised if they're modifying their foreheads too, to look like Tom Cruise in that picture you linked.

This might be because the current definition of attractiveness/manliness in males is still a Western look so. Eventually, if they keep pushing it towards the Asian look, those modifications might slowly disappear.

Apparently they also do this in Japan: http://izismile.com/2012/09/26/donut_head_freaks_from_japan_... But I don't think that's inspired by Westerners.


Japan is definitely more insular than Korea, but keep in mind that whenever you see a "weird Japan" story on the internet, it's probably "weird in Japan" too. Tokyo has such a large number of people living in such close proximity that it enables the birth of some very weird subcultures, but these people are most definitely not taken seriously by your average Japanese person.

Compare this to a story I saw on AC360 the other day - there's a salon in San Francisco that rejuvenates your skin by punching and slapping you. Imagine a Japanese person reading about that and thinking "wow, Americans are so weird!" That's the same position you're in with that donut head thing.


It's funny, my wife and I were just talking about this a week or so ago...except that we were noticing that things seem to be changing. 10 years ago the only white female-asian male couple we could even think of was Bruce Lee and his wife. These days we personally know of 3 couples in this category and it appears to be growing.

But that being said I personally think the qualities of who you see is more important than their race.


Status symbols change over time.


I wonder how much of this is because American immigration policy is basically a high-pass filter for Asians. When my dad came over in 1959, pretty much the only way you could immigrate to the U.S. was to be highly educated and work your ass off to impress some organization that would sponsor you. Nowadays it's much the same thing with the H1-B system: one of the largest categories of Asian visas is specifically to bring in highly-educated tech workers. It's no wonder that they and their kids tend to do well; they wouldn't be able to come here if they couldn't.


This selection bias is evident when the performance of first generation Asian Americans immigrants is compared with the performance of second and third generation Asian Americans. The drive that pushes poor (by middle-class American standards) immigrants to succeed causes them to push their children to succeed in school. But this drive appears to be diluted over subsequent generations.

http://news.brown.edu/pressreleases/2010/09/immigrants


Your statement reminds of some colleges here in India which admit only the best students and then claim to produce the best results.

The fact is you can build a hub where the best can gather and produce the best results. You can then claim that you will take in the best, because the results or so. This can go on in a never ending cycle.


@kamaal, it's the same story everywhere. I think you haven't understood it at all.


The IITs and IIMs.


I find this as interesting as Katy Perry voting for Obama. There are about 4.2 billion (60%) people living in Asia. If they weren't affecting the U.S. — something would be very odd. I am not surprised that they're doing well as they are not forced to emigrate.

EDIT: 'Katy', apparently.


Katy.


Typical WSJ red scare claptrap. This paper is seriously still caught in the McCarthy era, especially when it comes to anything at all related to Asia. Sure this article seems positive on the surface, but underneath it all is a deep, abiding, white fear of being overtaken as the dominant racial group.


Do Indians count as 'Asians' in the American vocabulary? If yes then I can shed some light on why they become so successful.

The people who immigrate to the US are basically as somebody mentioned in this thread can pass the 'American high pass filter'. This is true. For a long time here in India, the only employment arena's were civil services(government jobs) where there was absolutely to growth, Medicine, Or Engineering. But either way you had to depend working on a public sector company, which are basically massive bureaucracies whose whole intention was to run a massive payroll for to provide people with jobs. So you had only a few options in your career as an Indian.

Obviously those Indians when they immigrated to the US prospered, there is a big reason for that. Starved for opportunities, growth and wealth here they pounced on anything and everything they got and made very good use of it. Its called 'milking the opportunity', however most people I know have told me although they got what they wanted, 'It was not worth it'- any Indian immigrating to the US is basically immigrating for his kids. His whole life is likely to go towards building that platform for his kids so that they can lead a better life. He has to start from a scratch, he needs to build a family, connections, social circles etc. Nearly everything you can ever imagine has to start from the scratch. And that is difficult you are likely to go into your late forties to early fifties doing that.

That scenario is rapidly changing today. Besides, most of the 'developing countries' you can talk of are doing very well today. Recently a relative of mine who has immigrated to US had to fly down due to a family medical emergency. He was shocked and surprised to how much Bangalore has changed just in 12-15 years. He even admitted that reasons why people left India to go the US are quickly drying out.

Indian is seeing a unique period in its growth, I mean the youth even a decade back used to look our growth story as a momentary spur and 'Nothing much is going to happen in this country' attitude. That is rapidly changing. More and more people I've met are confident about things here. There are start ups coming up all over the place, People are more open to taking risks. Basically the Indian economy and country as a whole is maturing rather rapidly. Infrastructure development is massive, and I can tell you in another 15-20 years India would have prospered so much it will make current day immigration decisions look bad.


> Do Indians count as 'Asians' in the American vocabulary? If yes then I can shed some light on why they become so successful. No. Asians refers to people from East Asia. The terminology is different in England, I believe.


You mean small selective sampling mixed with faulty reasoning.

Immigrants are usually self-selected hard working, smart and relatively rich (otherwise you can't afford to emigrate), risk taking people - because you'd otherwise have a lot of trouble surviving in America. Stating "Asian-American" success, is like stating "Harvard-American" success - your sample is already biased.

Reversion to the mean always kicks in. Give immigrant Asians 30 more years - and you'll see them well integrated and achieving the same as average Americans.

People centric exceptionalism is vastly overrated - what's more important is the wind at their backs (cheap resources/labour/stable society/technology convergence) and the benefits they receive when they are born (rich/schooling/health/connections).


Reversion to the mean always kicks in. Give immigrant Asians 30 more years -and you'll see them well integrated and achieving the same as average Americans

Yeah, just like Americans of Jewish ancestry! A group that came over most poor and not speaking the language very well and with low social capital and mostly did very well, and whose children did very well will revert all the way to average.


The vast majority of that can be explained by randomness, the extreme variance of small samples and inappropriate use of the fundamental attribution error.

Minorities live or die not because of anything intrinsic - but merely because of prevailing environmental forces. The "Jewish-success", like the article's "Asian-success", is merely a statistical fluke, just as is the failure of other oppressed minorities throughout the world.

No group of people is better or worse than any other. They merely inhabit different environments. Thinking otherwise leads to fundamentally faulty thinking, inappropriate cultural stereotyping and general stupidity. Humans as a species are highly homogenous and population variances can usually be explained through environmental factors and random genetic mutation than by any inherent ability.

> Long and Kittles show that indeed, African populations contain about 100% of human genetic diversity, whereas in populations outside of Africa diversity is much reduced, for example in their population from New Guinea only about 70% of human variation is captured.

-- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_genetic_variation

> While biologists sometimes use the concept of race to make distinctions among fuzzy sets of traits, others in the scientific community suggest that the idea of race is often used in a naive or simplistic way, i.e. that among humans, race has no taxonomic significance: all living humans belong to the same species, Homo sapiens. Social conceptions and groupings of races vary over time, involving folk taxonomies that define essential types of individuals based on perceived traits. Scientists consider biological essentialism obsolete, and generally discourage racial explanations for collective differentiation in both physical and behavioral traits.

-- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Race_(classification_of_human_b...

So I call bullshit on biologically derived differentiation across human populations by people with poor statistical and genetic understanding.

There are ~2 billion Asians - reversion to the mean works highly effectively in these cases as immigration pressures stabilise.

Race violates my rule that if it's vague, it's bullshit.

Hence racial/cultural/fuzzy explanations for differentiating phenomena are discarded for the crap that they are.


The debate around the original asian exclusion acts is kind of interesting to read. A lot of articles from the time are reproduced online. The common sentiment was that white americans didn't want to compete with people willing to work 16 hour days. The fear was a generally compromised quality of life. Of course all this nuance gets boiled down to mere "toxic racism" by the NYT. I mean it's not like large numbers of asians willing to study huge numbers of hours a week have had any affect on quality of life or opportunities for today's students...


The important word being "compete". As far as I know Americans are fine with poor people working multiple jobs for minimum wage. In fact the sentiment often seems to be that they are not working hard enough. If you want to avoid a "race to the bottom" you raise the bottom.


> The common sentiment was that white americans didn't want to compete with people willing to work 16 hour days.

Upon Federation in Australia, the first Act of Parliament that passed was the Immigration Act.

Its key objective? Keeping out asian, particularly Chinese, workers.

Why? Because they would work harder. "Asiatics" were naturally better suited to the North than the white man, you see.




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