Saturday, April 27, 2013

The bright young man who comes here and tries to build something

"The Tsarnaev brothers offer a grisly story of American immigration and integration, and Danny offers another ..."
New Yorker: ... A sedan swerved in behind him, a man banged on his window, the door opened, a pistol appeared, and soon they were off.

Danny is an immigrant from China who came to Boston as a graduate student. He now works for a start-up in Kendall Square. The Tsarnaev brothers offer a grisly story of American immigration and integration, and Danny offers another: the bright young man who comes here and tries to build something. It’s twinned in some ways with the tale of Lingzi, who also came from China as a graduate student. “Do you remember my face?” Tamerlan yelled at Danny at one point in the car. “No, no, I don’t remember anything,” Danny lied. “It’s like white guys, they look at black guys and think all black guys look the same,” Tamerlan said.

One of the mysteries of the case has been why the brothers killed a cop but didn’t kill the man whose car they had stolen. Now we know. Danny kept his cool when they picked up Dzhohkar and the trunk was loaded with heavy bags. The three men then drove through Boston, and the brothers asked Danny if he could take them to New York. Eventually, they pulled up to a gas station, hoping to use Danny’s credit card. The station took only cash, so Dzhohkar got out to pay. Tamerlan, allegedly an aspiring mass murderer and a man known by some as the best boxer in Boston, put his gun in the door pocket for a moment. Seeing his chance, with one motion Danny unbuckled his seat belt and opened his door. And then he raced off at an angle, fearing a bullet in the back. In a moment he was across the street in another station, and the attendant there was on the phone as the Tsarnaevs drove off. Cops would come, the shoot-out would commence, and the horrible saga would end with no more innocent people killed. If Danny hadn’t had the courage to run or if he hadn’t gotten his seat belt off, more people would have likely died—very possibly including Danny.

... “I don’t want to be a famous person talking on the TV,” he told Eric Moskowitz of the Globe. “I don’t feel like a hero … I was trying to save myself.”


Yan Shen said...

I think that Danny will be in for a culture shock once he realizes that America is the land of self-entitled whining and rampant Asian-bashing, a stark contrast to the no-nonsense Confucian culture he grew up in.

Christopher Chang said...

Said like a man who has not yet seen any "Confucian" nonsense for himself.

There is nonsense everywhere; it's just the details that vary. Some things are better done in the East today--that's why I'm there now--but the West still has important advantages.

tractal said...

Please don't bomb anything.

Yan Shen said...

"There is nonsense everywhere"

Might I disagree with the great Christopher Chang?

"The Dunning–Kruger effect is a cognitive bias in which unskilled individuals suffer from illusory superiority, mistakenly rating their ability much higher than average. This bias is attributed to a metacognitive inability of the unskilled to recognize their mistakes.[1]

Actual competence may weaken self-confidence, as competent individuals may falsely assume that others have an equivalent understanding. David Dunning and Justin Kruger of Cornell University conclude, "the miscalibration of the incompetent stems from an error about the self, whereas the miscalibration of the highly competent stems from an error about others".[2]

""Regardless of how pervasive the phenomenon is, it is clear from Dunning's and others' work that many Americans, at least sometimes and under some conditions, have a tendency to inflate their worth. It is
interesting, therefore, to see the phenomenon's mirror opposite in another culture. In research comparing North American and East Asian self-assessments,
Heine of the University of British Columbia finds that East Asians tend
to underestimate their abilities, with an aim toward improving the self
and getting along with others."


East Asians tend to underestimate their abilities, with an aim toward
improving the self and getting along with others.

tractal said...

If you just want to troll your own country I recommend starting your own blog for the purpose.

Christopher Chang said...

My comment was almost comically uncontroversial. I'm not sure what you think you are proving by pretending I didn't write the "it's just the details that vary" clause, since everyone else can see it, and most readers of this blog are aware of some relevant forms of nonsense peculiar to China.

HughLygon said...

Yes. But why with all its advantages has China been behind the West for at least 500 years? IMHO for 2500 years.

HughLygon said...

It is acceptable in the US to ridicule "Asians". I suppose this includes Indians. It is not acceptable to ridicule blacks, Latinos, or Jews unless one is one of these. One reason is the almost total absence of Asians in mass media.

HughLygon said...

Nothing wrong with that as long as it's the right people being blowed up;)

HughLygon said...

The other side of the immigrant story:

Cabbie #1: came to US from Iran in 1977 for school. Stayed after the revolution. What did he study? Did he graduate? Driving a cab 36 years later.

Cabbie #2: Sikh from Punjab came to San Jose to get rich. Said his life was better in the Punjab.

Ken Condon said...

Yawn. You really need to calm down. Or go on the roof of your convenience store with your rifle and hold off the niggers attempting to loot it……….... Sorry---I mistook you for a Korean.

If you just kick back for awhile and be patient, you just might find your esteemed Chinese will dominate globally. Assuming they are more diplomatic than you have proven yourself to be. You, of course,-with your negative attitude-will be relegated to the back of that bus.


Ilgar Aliev said...

Mr. Sailer, I am a government official from azerbaijan interested tasked with improving test scores in my country. I've been doing some research through your blog and others (Jayman, Mr.Malloy's excellent Human Varieties). Is there any way to get in touch with anybody at BGI about nationwide pre-natal cognitive testing? Azerbaijan is a small country and performed quite poorly on the 2009 PISA/PIRL tests (we scored about 431 in the math section) --- most of our national product is oil -- and its running out, so I and a small advisory group here are interested in contacting BGI for future programs in the baku area - is it possible?

HughLygon said...

If you're for real Steve should talk to you. I hear one of the central Asian republics is sterilizing poor women. Good on them for that. Azerbaijian has the Ogre of Baku Gary Kimovich Kasparian Weinstein.

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