NOT BREAKING NEWS: Chinese and Korean Students Suspected of Cheating on SAT Again

In addition to the sun setting in the west yesterday, Chinese and South Korean students have again been suspected of cheating on the global public officer test SAT.  From Pravda:

BEIJING — The announcement by administrators of the SAT college entrance test that scores are being withheld for students from China and South Korea who took the exam earlier this month has infuriated many and raised anxiety about what for a number of them is a high-stakes college application process.

The Educational Testing Service, the company that administers the test worldwide, said Wednesday that it was withholding the scores of those who took the test on Oct. 11, at least temporarily, because of suspicions of cheating “based on specific, reliable information.” The company referred in a statement to “organizations that seek to illegally obtain test materials for their own profit, to the ultimate detriment of all students.

Though increasingly common, stories about Chinese and Korean students cheating are important because these students are often trying to get in to universities in the U.S., which means your kids may be competing against kids raised in cultures where cheating is not considered such a deadly sin.

In shame cultures, you feel bad after getting caught, whereas in guilt cultures, you ought to be guilt-tripping yourself before you even commit a foul.  Ergo, those from the former have the advantage.  There, that’s the broadest brush I could find.

The Institute of International Education estimates that from 2012 to 2013, China accounted for 29 percent of foreign students at American colleges and universities, and South Korea 9 percent. Those were the largest and third-largest contributors to the international student pool in the United States, while India was second, at 12 percent.

That the Republic of Mountains and Mudflats contributed 9% of international students to the U.S.—less than only China (population 1.3 billion) and India (population 1.25 billion)—is almost unreal. Regular bell curve-o-nomics would suggest that something fishy is going on in Korea.

Also, with ever greater numbers of international students enrolling in U.S. universities, it’s increasingly obvious that universities promote diversity uber alles mainly for financial reasons, rather than simple purity of heart.  You’ve been sold a pack of lies.

 

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Do Western Women Get Catcalls in Korea?

On the recent topic of catcalling in NYC, a commenter at Steve Sailer’s Blog linked to a Western writer in Tokyo who laments her sexual invisibility among Japanese men.  It plays well into many of the themes I like to run.

Cute baristas at Starbucks wouldn’t look at me, business men on bicycles ran over me and college students hurriedly backed away from me with mumbled apologies whenever I tried to strike up a conversation about the weather or ask for directions. They wouldn’t even give me the time of day. Literally.

“You’ve got to be assertive,” my Japanese girlfriends advised. “Japanese guys are shy so you have to make the first move.” So I smiled invitingly at men in bars and on busses. I asked for help reading restaurant menus and subway signs.

This lack of catcalls dovetails pretty well with the Korean experience.  Christian Thurston did a great survey of waeg teachers in Korea which looked into the crimson affairs of these itinerants and found that Western men were in higher demand in Asia than Western females.  The reasons why are obvious.

But as wide-spread as the problem seemed to be, it was one that many women avoided talking about. Understandably it was a tough subject to discuss without grossly overgeneralizing fifty percent of a country’s population or worse, sounding like a racist or a man-hating, snob.

Quick, we need a diversion… I know!  Self-aggrandizing platitudes!

The pervading theory though, among expats and Japanese alike, was that Japanese men were in fact attracted to western women but were just too intimidated to do anything about it. Western women in Asia were like the Jennifer Anistons of the expat world. Strong, independent, assertive and outspoken, they were interesting to admire from afar, but no man would ever dream of striking up a conversation with one. Western women were so different, so foreign, they were virtually un-datable.

Phew, stamp that shit Not Racist, lick it closed and send it.

Not true for their Y-chromosome-carrying expat buddies though. While the female expats spent Saturday nights alone, crying into their Ramen bowls, their male counterparts drank freely from the dating pool like they owned it. Which in a way, they did.

Now we’re talking about white guys, so any hand-wringing over generalizations can go out the door.  (Because white privilege.)

If you’ve ever visited Asia, you’ve likely seen the pale, rail-thin, greasy-haired white boy walking hand-in hand with a perfectly made-up, mini-skirt wearing Asian chick. This would never happen anywhere else in the world. Because everywhere else, Barbie ends up with Ken, not his underemployed, socially-awkward, samurai-sword-collecting neighbor, Kevin. But in Asia, dating rules defy all logic or evolutionary law. In Asia, the nerd is king.

Behold, the bitter fruits sown with tears of involuntary celibacy.

Not that I wished it otherwise. For the most part, I was happy for them. These men wouldn’t have been able to score a date at home if they’d been a calender but in Asia they’d nabbed the prom queen. They were true success stories. Who could blame them for taking advantage of a magical loophole that allowed them to date women out of their league? If such a nirvana existed for Western woman, I’m sure I’d have moved there too.

[...] But it was hard not to feel jealous. Especially as I spent weekend after weekend, bravely facing the club’s dance floor alone while my dorky expat brothers expertly flirted for phone numbers and first dates. They were like kids in a candy store. The Japanese women were gourmet truffles, while the western women were the three-year-old tootsie rolls melted to the bottom of the barrel. The Japanese men might have been frightened of us but the other expat men just flat-out ignored us.

[...] Most days I felt unattractive, unwanted and worst of all, unfemale. When not even a short skirt or slinky top attracted more than a passing glance and even construction workers, who could usually be counted on for a leer, regarded me with bored, blank expressions, I felt like a Martian. And very, very alone. Perhaps I’d been wrong not to leave when the last shipload of foreign women sailed away to brighter horizons and better dating odds.

A Western friend of mine gets lots of aggressive catcalls from Sri Lankan construction workers and factory hands here in Korea.  She admits that it’s disgusting but, hey, it at least proves that you can find catcalls in Korea.  Sort of.

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One Nation of Kims, Under Hyundai

Mr. Kim didn’t quite know how to relate to me during our little visits.  He spoke to me in terms most familiar to him, i.e. money, and would often give me little pep talks about what he saw in me and thought I was capable of.  That is, what he thought I was capable of earning.  He frequently encouraged me to open an English academy.  The more I stressed that I wasn’t cut out for running my own business, the more he’d pile on the praise.  My eyes would roll, but that’s just the way Mr. Kim was.

There was something about the topic of money that fascinated Mr. Kim.  Whenever it came up, he’d speak in the most animated way, licking his lips like a lizard and keeping his back straight.  On warmer days his temples would get a little sweaty and his shirt would become noticeably clammy.  The effect was something more than a caffeine rush but less than a full-on aphrodisiac.  I admit that I used to indulge him just for the sake of observing him.

For all his intense monomania, Mr. Kim seemed unusually forgetful.  He’d tell the same money-related stories over and over and introduce them anew each and every time.  It’s one thing to begin a story with “Did I tell you the story about…?” but entirely another to begin again as though prior tellings never occurred.  Mr. Kim was neither stupid nor old.  He graduated from an electrical engineering program at KAIST—a very prestigious science and technology university in Korea.  He was a whiz with numbers and good at English, though he wasn’t a very good businessman (which is another story).

The thing that really bothered me about our exchanges was that Mr. Kim knew I had heard these stories already—some of them as many as five times over the previous few months—but he told them anyway.  It was a quirk of our conversations for him to begin a story and for me to pretend to be hearing it for the first time.  As time went on, it felt more like a ritual of insanity than a simple quirk.  I was worried that one of my friends might sit in on a few of our chats, recognize a story and mention that it had been told before.  Then Mr. Kim and I would be faced with an awkward psychological impasse.

Doesn’t he know that this has all been said before, and if so, why doesn’t he say so?

Fortunately, Mr. Kim and I never had to confront this reality.  He’d retell accounts and stories and I’d listen again.  Each time I’d feign the same emotions at the right points, but never a moment too soon; a look of surprise here; a prodding question there; and either a burst of laughter at the end or a solemn tut tut to conclude his more somber tales.  We’d both no doubt be thinking, “Doesn’t he know?” , but it simply never came up.

Mr. Kim’s favorite story was, of course, about money.  His brother owned a pizza shop but sold it for a handsome profit so that he could study full-time to become a real-estate agent.  In his studies, the brother learned of a government scheme to get more poor people into new apartment buildings under construction.  All they’d have to put down was a million won—depositing it in a special account with the bank—and their names would be entered into a lottery for apartments being built.  When a name was chosen, that person could either choose to buy it at a discount or sell it and collect a small profit, usually a few million won.

Lucky Lotto fever swept the Kim family and soon everyone eligible had a million won deposited in his name and a little bank book as proof.  The real-estate brother was raking it in since he had gotten into the scheme early.  There’s a six-month waiting period before a name is first entered into a lottery.  Mr. Kim licked his lizard lips and coated his temples in sweat recounting the lottery scheme again and again during those six months.  To keep from getting bored with the same story, each time I’d interject a little kernel of doubt about what looked to me like an inflating housing bubble.

It wasn’t until Mr. Kim suggested that I, a foreigner, see about getting involved in the housing lottery myself that I went into full doubter mode.  He’d reassure me that all I needed to do was deposit a million won in an account for six months and cross my fingers.  If I was selected, just sell the apartment to the next loser as the price rises in the later stages of construction and voila! money for nothing.  “But what if nobody wants to buy it off of me?”  was my simple pin prick.  This exact thing happened to all those “flippers” during the American housing bubble.  The market simply ran out of bigger losers to toss hot potatoes to.

Mr. Kim had an assuaging answer every time.  “That’s why it’s safer to enter into lotteries for apartments that are always in high demand, like those built by trusted construction companies such as Hyundai Group’s construction subsidiaries.”  He had a point.  Having come directly from the epicenter of the housing crisis, however, I clung to my doubts.  The Great Depression shaped the way my grandparents looked at the world, just as the housing bubble shaped the way I see things now.

I never took Mr. Kim up on the suggestion—I doubt a foreigner with my visa status would qualify anyway—but he left me with a sentence that I’ll never forget.  Regarding the stability of Hyundai, he said, “I don’t think there’s a housing bubble in Korea, but if there is, Hyundai construction projects will probably be the safest bet because if Hyundai fails, Korea fails.

Most people residing outside Korea probably don’t know that Hyundai builds the most housing units of any construction company in Korea.  It’s much more than a car company.  To adapt this to the U.S., imagine living in a suburban neighborhood built entirely by General Motors—and GM building the most housing units in the nation.  Sounds weird, doesn’t it?  Especially when GM is hooked up to the taxpayer-funded corporate welfare IV.  To get a better idea of how this works, imagine that the U.S. government is instead getting most of its sustenance from GM rather than the inverse.  If those GM-constructed houses went into foreclosure in sufficient quantities, the engine of the entire country would bottom out.  That’s a basic sketch of why Korea needs to avoid inflating a crazy housing bubble more than other countries.

I wish the best of luck to all the lottery-playing Kims of Korea.  Maybe there’s nothing to worry about and I’m just unusually cautious when it comes to housing.  Or maybe all hell will break loose in a few years.

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The Neighborhood That Perished – Part II

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You’re More Religious Than You Think

Christianity in Western countries may be in steady decline, but rather than signal the slow death of religiosity in the West, it merely marks a transition to a new, civilizational quasi-religion that Europeans and their diaspora can dump their undying missionary spirit into.

But this time they’ve got it right.  Swear!

Rather than globe-trot with old-fashioned bibles and advanced weaponry in hand as they did in the bad old days—thinking it was what the swarthy masses needed—today they globe-trot with updated bibles and even more advanced weaponry in hand because it’s what the swarthy masses desperately need.  It’s for their own good, of course.

Today we live under the influence of the neo-Puritans, though if you call them that they’ll  swear up and down that they aren’t (because they love irony).  To give an example of neo-Puritanism in action, you know those people who just don’t get it?  You know, the ones who fail to accept the new commandments of tolerance, diversity, democracy, mass immigration, multiculturalism, etc., no matter how many missionaries they encounter?

I know!  Fucking unwashed heathens!

Sure, our forefathers might have seen non-Christians as hell-bound barbarians, but really, not showering adulation on homos, trannies, manjawed feminists and all the other fringe barnacles attached to the West’s juggernaut of modern values?  Pardon our ancestors’ French, but what hell-bound barbarians!  Ditto for those nobody countries which reject Western precepts; they deserve whatever harm comes their way.  Anyone who’s anybody in today’s world knows that all the West’s modern teachings are civilizing!

Even worse are those particularists who don’t mind when other civilizations abide by their own values in their own territories (and stay there).  The level-headed are always such pussies!  Get off the fucking fence and take up the sword for your new religion already! Let’s conquer.

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Dorms That Died

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Street Shawomen of Korea

Gilf gets stopped on the street by more than a few shawomen claiming to have spiritual VIP access to her ancestors.  Just last night she was late to see me because she had one such encounter with a lady who stopped gilf in her tracks with “Your relative who had palsy,” which was surprisingly accurate, “and your other ancestors are using up their virtue to contact you from the spirit world through me.  I can see from your energy that you are the only living person in your family through whom I can help clear up any retribution for past wrongdoings.  Please come with me so we can talk more.  I can see that today is the best day for making a spiritual connection with them.”

1) Start with a strong hook. 2) Make a personal connection. 3) Give your client a savior complex. 4) Suggest a more private venue. 5) Add a sense of urgency. 6) Make the sale.

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I smell a steaming pile of shtick.

This picture represents my idea of what these street shawomen look like.  They must either look like walking tchotchkes or like they’re homeless.  “No way!” squeals gilf with playful indignation, “They’re just regular-looking ajummas.  Not strange.”

Gilf has gotten a similar spiel at least five times and they’ve all started out the same way.  Is there some sort of religious hagwon for street shawomanism?  Where else would they learn such a monotonous pitch?  And why palsy of all ailments?  Maybe an unusually high percentage of elderly Koreans has palsy, so it often strikes a cord with listeners.  Or maybe it’s palsy on Tuesdays, osteoporosis on Wednesdays, etc.

They’re probably folks from 대순진리회 or 대진성주회 looking to get gilf to buy a ritual sacrifice.  That’s innocent enough, but the one part of these exchanges that doesn’t make me wanna grab my junk, tip my head back, and give a dismissive guffaw is when they admonish gilf to follow them back to their lair of lies for further consultation, and that if she doesn’t go, her “life will get harder and her blessings will diminish.”  That’s where I lose my morbid fascination and want these people to go auto-sex themselves.

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