Some thoughts and historical background on those stereotypes of Asian scientists not having that rock the boat creativity personality conducive to “zero to one” work

I wrote this to Steve Hsu after he discussed the matter in the title of this post to me.

I saw a wechat moment involving 吴文俊 Wu Wenjun who did seminal work in algebraic topology and later automated theorem proving who I mentioned.
The Chinese who first did seminal work in modern science tended to be in pure math the field that is aside from a brain at the far tail arguably lowest barrier to entry. In theoretical physics the arbiter is experimental validation so there is more politics/connections/cred involved whereas for pure math if the proof is correct then it’s absolute truth.
Before 1950 Chinese in pure math already produced SS Chern (differential geometry) Hua Luogeng (analytic number theory and some other fields too to be fair he may well have been smarter and also more discerning than Terry Tao) Weiliang Chow (algebraic geometry) Wu Wenjun (algebraic topology), Chern and Chow stayed in US after PRC was founded while Hua and Wu returned. Hua’s student Chen Jingrun proved best current result towards Goldbach conjecture (every sufficiently large even number is sum of two primes or sum of prime and semiprime). I read that he and his students in the 50s in China did some seminal work in several complex variables that was published as a monograph that was translated to Russian and then English. Also Zhang Yitang’s breakthrough started with his learning the work of Chen Jingrun as a teenager on his own before he went to college at age 23.
To be fair pure math got only more abstract and esoteric and divorced from the rest of science after WWII. Chinese mathematicians were still kind of minor the really mainstream stuff was happening in US France USSR Japan. To my take it was really only Chern who really revolutionized math and he was born in 1911.
As for physics aside from Yang and Lee in theory I know there was a guy 赵忠尧 who experimentally discovered but likely didn’t fully explain the positron in the early 30s (at Caltech I believe), I think he had to go back to China after getting his PhD and if not for that likely he would’ve done more there and maybe actually gotten full credit for that thing. Back then there was just much more low hanging fruit. Nowadays we’ve kind of reached a bottleneck in science.
In experimental physics I also know of 王淦昌 who led a team that discovered some particle while in USSR in late 50s but it was not quite Nobel prize level maybe close. And of course there were some ethnic Chinese in US like Steven Chu who did win Nobel in experimental physics.
Certainly it was very difficult to do such level work in China or in the four Asian tigers due to lack of powerful scientific community at the forefront in those places. I think Japan was different after WWII they already had first rate science of their own by then. So naturally the best Chinese in pure science were the ones who went to US and stayed before PRC or went the Taiwan/HK route afterward. Mainland China really only had access to USSR in 50s and also during that era the best people tended to be pressured into applied work.
Again the era of fundamental advances seems to be kind of over. There hasn’t been much serious breakthrough in science and technology since end of cold war. World Wide Web and AI doesn’t really count in my view. Nothing compared to semiconductors and satellites and computers and lasers which all happened during cold war. AI is just a natural product of advances in computing power and GPUs.
My Indian friend also said that Indians did better in pure physics than Chinese due to Brit education. CV Raman Bose Chandrasekhar their elite got into modern science arguably earlier than the Japanese too let alone the Chinese. Modern science is a Western thing East Asians just got into it quite late with Chinese much later than Japanese and Koreans even later really.
Access and tradition matters a lot too it’s not just about g or the right maverick personality. It’s just too bad that East Asians didn’t create modern science or anything close to it on their own despite obviously being quite gifted in it based on their achievements after they got into that stuff. But not long after it became kind of saturated.
You’re free to publish this on your blog credit me for it of course.
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A revisit of the chosen people (the Jews)

From almost two years ago: https://gmachine1729.com/2017/07/13/the-chosen-people/.

After I sent this to a physicist, he responded:

I scanned that article a long time ago to see who you are
it is out of date just like my vixra article, because after UNZ showing that jewish achievement is way down now, there is no longer any question that the main reason is jewish people favoring other jews and lying and hyping all the time. you see it in academia all the time – and whites as well as asians slurp it up hook line and sinker. sad

This physicist is also quite obsessed with psychometrics and hypothesizes that verbal IQ is associated with self-deception, which also, according to him, is inversely correlated with autism/Aspergers. Sounds roughly right to me.

I wrote in response to his message above

I would bet JvN’s intelligence was also vastly exaggerated and hyped. Surely he was outlier in intelligence but the eidetic memory stuff and multiplying six digit numbers easily in his head stuff I now have hard time believing.

Genius tends to be exaggerated in biographies. That stuff doesn’t help for teaching young people. Much of the stuff in popular math and science books including of mathematicians and scientists is actually kind of a negative for actually learning the math and science.

The way to excel in anything is not to sensationalize it but to realize the simple and systematic ways and thought processes behind it. Once they are grasped there is nothing much more to it and they are straightforward. But you know many scientists for grants and misleading young people won’t do that and I would bet that Jews do more in that direction. I think Asians are probably the least in this regard though there are exceptions like Michio Kaku so they come across as uncharismatic/uncool. It’s uncool to say that there is actually a surplus of scientists (and engineers too in many fields) though it should be obvious if one examines closely. Jews are good at and inclined to hype and exaggerate especially in Anglo context.

His response:

yeah – the jews hype their jews that way – einstein was not all that clever either – he was not the one who first and best understood relativity, nor did he grasp quantum mechanics. the jews still today try to falsify the record on that – see the attachement – (did I send it to you – I just have it on this desktop for some reason)

That attachment I have uploaded to https://gmachine1729.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/Winterberg0715.pdf.

I had also written to him:

I think it’s still pretty high at the highest level especially in academic research. They do have the advantages of access to older generation. But in terms of test scores and contest results and maybe grades too they’ve surely declined. But they can always say those don’t matter as much as research/work.

But yeah the Jewish social science people they need to go.

Relatedly, http://kskedlaya.org/putnam-archive/putnam2018results.html came out lately. While the problems do not involve any deep mathematics, they do require some cleverness to solve, and to be able to solve them under the 6 hour time constraint is even more impressive,. There are a total of 12 problem each worth 10 points. To place top 5 required 100, top 15 87, top 25 79, top 100 56, top 500 23, according to https://kskedlaya.org/putnam-archive/putnam2018stats.html. And there’s no subjective component. So it does say something Continue reading “A revisit of the chosen people (the Jews)”

张首晟的去世

周四,我认识的一位同样搞理论凝聚态物理的人微信发给我了张首晟去世的消息,让我感到吃惊。这么牛逼的人,不光有资格得诺贝尔奖的理论物理学家,而且还很有钱,好像他90年代末凭他斯坦福大学教授的关系做了搞虚拟机器(virtual machine)的VMware(其创始人是斯坦福大学计算机系教授)的天使投资,赚了一大笔钱,也得到了为后来做风险投资的资历和关系。一流理论物理学家很少是多么有钱的,美国名校物理教授每年也就15万,最多30万的工资(当然,现在极少数最牛的理论物理学家可以通过什么突破奖发点大财了),而张首晟成为了极其罕见的即大物理学家又大发财的人,一种几乎不存在的令人惊叹不已的人生赢家。可惜他近年做得过度了,最终出现了悲剧。可以说他当初运气太好了,拿到的教职确是斯坦福的,才得到了这种天使投资的机会。反而他要是是什么麻省理工或哈弗的,很难想象到他这么去做。可是,反过来,也可以说最终好事变成了坏事,他的这种运气所迎来的成功引发了他后来自以为是的做一件物理教授不应该做的事情而运气不好彻底倒闭了,英年夭折失去了得诺贝尔奖的机会。

Continue reading “张首晟的去世”