There is a big reason for this. Uneducated people get played for easily and there is that huge disadvantage in non-knowledge driven based jobs. Take for example the job of a cab/bus driver. Or some body like mason, the problem the money you earn is directly related to number or hours/quantity of work you get delivered. And since quantity is largely related to a physical activity in this case. It means you will do a lot of physical labor to earn more money. This is not scalable and becomes blatantly clear to a lot of people involved in this. Add to this that these kinds of jobs don't get much social respect.
My dad was a bus driver. And I know what it was for me as a kid. It was always to study my ass off or be doomed. And yes all other standard social problems apply. You are always considered poor and assumed to remain such till eternity. No one likes knowing that he being a educated white collar knowledge worker, his kids and the kids of a bus driver ultimately get the same destiny. I even had problems getting married. Coming from a low financial background creates big problems. People find it hard to accept if you win, and pass sympathies if you don't.
So the only way remains: Study and fight your way out of the situation.
My teenage through early 20's was the most stressful phase of my life. Because failure was not an option. No money to do business, So if I fail it will going back to same life.
I'm not saying life is rosy as a programmer. It has its own problems both financial and in other aspects of life. But yet its far better than what I saw in early parts of my life(Nothing I will tell you, can explain you what it feels to be in that place- I only hope no other kid goes through that). I don't feel sad that I can't buy an iPhone. But rather its satisfying to know I don't have break my back just to eat, wear clothes and live under a roof.
Its still same here in India for a large number of people. Education and a white collar job doesn't fix all problems. But it does fix enough problems in your life to make it livable.
Although I was a really good student at school, when I finished school, I was told by my extended family that it was the end of education for me and that I should go find a job (Masonry, construction, etc.)
I had to work hard to convince everybody that I would do well at college and they should bet on me.
Looking back, my family did make a risky bet on me as the amount of money they spent on my college education was way above what they could afford and they had to borrow a lot.
I worked my socks off at college and have been able to change a lot of things in my extended family.
I can understand what you're trying to say, the problems, issues and challenges are on so many levels and there are so many layers that unless you experience it yourself there is no way you can put words to it ...
- first of all, parents are uneducated and to motivate them to educate their kids is the biggest challenge of all ...
- then double it with lack of resources (this includes time, money, energy, good schools, good teachers etc.)
- triple this with no free schooling in india, not even primary , there may be few government schools which are like good for nothing (although there might be an exception like one in million)
- then there is peer pressure for parents whose kids are not earning but spending time in school.
- then there is huge corruption and bureaucracy
- then there are other family responsibilities like getting your sister married (when u dont even have money for your kids school fees or even worst when you cant provide proper food, clothing and shelter) OR taking care of your elderly parents when you cant afford medicines OR someone died in the family and you have to burden the burial cost etc etc etc..
And the list goes on and on.....
SO I SALUTE to all those parents who won uphill battle by going against the tide and made sure that their kids are well educated ...
There is a paragraph in Richard Feynman's "What do you care what other people think?" where a carribean cab driver asks Feynman how is it that his Indian neighbor (presumably of the same economic standing) has a son studying medicine at Maryland? Which is when Feynman explains this hypothesis.
On a tangential, I have always found matrimonial ads a very interesting mirror on the Indian society. The way these ads show people's ambitions and fears is amazing.
As they say, China's the first country to "get old before it got rich".
So that's certainly true in America, and perhaps even more so in China. I think platforms like Coursera/Udacity can start leveling the playing field again for two reasons: first, if the technology is good enough (from personal experience, I would say so) and remains free, the studying-resources gap between rich and poor shrinks; second, even if you can't squeeze your way into a top school, you can still get a top-notch education for free. At the end of the day, i'm grossly oversimplifying things (i.e. the weight of credentials in Chinese society probably still far outweight actual demonstrated skill-set; or consider for a moment whether a family that lives on rice and a few vegetables a day can realistically afford a computer+internet-connection for their kids...), but i still think there's a sizable impact in here somewhere.
Having rural hukou is a b*tch.
Only the absolute poorest Chinese won't be able to get internet access and a computer. The computer might cost ~1000 RMB (2 month's salary, for an extremely poor household). Maybe less, if they can put up with an old P4 getting tossed out by an internet cafe, which is now the color of a smoker's lungs. Internet will be ~50 to 100 RMB a month, and that's entertainment (and information) for the whole family. Getting access to online courses (which might rely on YouTube, which is blocked) might be tricky, as is the language barrier, but I'm sure China will have localised versions of the course. It's a major cost, but Chinese aren't starving, just poor. Once you have more than $2 a day, food isn't the only priority; healthcare and education is.
Migrant workers might be worse off than the poorest peasants, though, as they may not have a stable abode. You can't get your kid a computer if you're sharing a shanty-town room with 2 other families. Plus, getting a connection might not be possible. That's probably why migrant workers often leave their kids with grandma.
And yes, credentialism is an issue.
> That's probably why migrant workers often leave their kids with grandma.
Not really the main reason. Without Hukou, their kids can't even attend school. China is almost a caste-based society these days, where caste is determined by your Hukou.
Well, not really, there is a huge part of online courses translated/subtitled to Chinese. That's my wife's job actually.
Remember that in India universities are not judged by the quality of their research, but solely on the "success" of their alumni. Since govt. colleges are cheaper, even though they might not be good, they do attract smart students. One thing that the Indian govt. did do right was to have a highly meritocratic system of admission, although that has recently suffered many setbacks
Do you mean rural china or a second/third tier city? I'm not sure what an exotic dancer would be doing in a village.
Playboy has articles, eh? :)
Obviously they are two kinds of educations /smarts: street and book smart. I have a feeling (could be wrong) that people in those parts of the world, maybe due to pressure, just lock themselves in a room and study /memorize, "day and night."
If you'd need a social scale for some l practical reason, I suppose the only workable one is education level. it ids not fair to everyone but I think it is the last horrible.
To use a computer analogy, we divide laptops into clusters like 'netbook', 'budget laptop', 'desktop replacement', 'ultrabook', 'gaming laptop' and so on - based on their position in the screen size-performance-cost-weight configuration space.
These aren't clear-cut lines, there are border cases and people's opinions vary - but we can still tell an Eee PC from a Alienware from a Macbook Pro!
In this particular article these statistics I assume, would move the needle. I hope it's not considered "racist" of me to say so, but from my experience living in China and cross-studying in the humanities and computer science, Chinese students tend to study the hard sciences (engineering, science, accounting), whereas I never even saw a Chinese student in any of my humanities classes.
Too many liberal arts & french classical literature graduates, no viable agriculture to feed the country without external help, help being cut.
And then it tells about previous ruler investing in education heavily without then caring about employment of graduates, all this on top of population surge.
I'm assuming IQ testing practises have improved since then, it is also possible that his IQ raised significantly as he got older due to extensive study as it is also possible that his IQ test was simply poorly administered for whatever reason.
Which is why an IQ is useless. If it can rise then it is not really measuring intelligence. Rather it is measuring what you know so far. Which explains why kids from better income families have better IQs.
And yet people treat IQ as a constant. Glad I decided never to let a single number define me. To all you that believe the IQ is important I say ...
Whilst you can probably influence your IQ by working your brain really hard every day or lower it by doing a lot of drugs I doubt it is really that meaningless as it does tend to correlate well with success.
However I'd be curious to know how it correlates with lifetime income once you control for family income. I assume this has been researched.
There is some incentive to maximize a child's success in order to ensure your own retirement - after all, if they can't make ends meet, you're even worse off.
This may seem strange by western standards, but I'd caution against extrapolating this to mean that the parents don't care for their child. The parent-child relationship in Chinese society is different than it is modern American society, but parents universally care deeply about the well-being of their children.
A big caveat to all of the above is that modern, urban Chinese society is very rapidly shedding this model. There remains a sticky issue of there being a massive "lost generation" who suffered financially caring for their own parents, but due to shifting societal mores, cannot expect the same from their own children.
It shouldn't be strange by Western standards. It was the way it was in the US before WWII or so. It also works very well because it frees up what might otherwise go into retirement savings, and this gets spent on helping the kids get established instead.
I am not in China, but my wife is Chinese-Indonesian and her mother is starting to get closer to retirement, and that system, while it has transformed in urban environments like Jakarta, is still very much alive at least among the Chinese diaspora here.
That goes for almost every society! Pensions a typically paid out from the earnings of the current generation to the previous one, it's quite rare to have pension funds hold on to 'your' money long enough that it gets paid back out to you. Instead they pay it out immediately and when it is your turn you get it from someone that earned that money the month before.
If only pension funds would be required to be able to pay out at a minimum what you put in then the world would be in lots better shape.
China will have a serious problem with their largely-unsupported elderly.