August 7, 2007

Amazing fact of the day

"According to official statistics, Pakistan [population: 165 million] has produced only eight patents in the past 43 years."

Pervez Hoodbhoy,
chair of the department of physics at Quaid-i-Azam University in Islamabad, Pakistan

Physics Today


That's bad, really bad. Pakistanis in the US must come up with eight patents patents every, what, year? Month? Still, Pakistanis don't seem to to do that well in invention and high tech entrepreneurship in the U.S., ranking down around Mexican-Americans, but they sure do better than their cousins in Pakistan.


My published articles are archived at iSteve.com -- Steve Sailer

29 comments:

tommy said...

When Thomas Crapper beats out your entire nation of 120 million in the patent department, you've got problems.

Steve Sailer said...

Heck, Hedy Lamarr was probably a more important inventor.

Vol-in-Law said...

In Britain, television is celebrating the partition of India 60 years ago. They sent a Sikh comedian back to India, but they could not find one single Pakistani celebrity to go back to Pakistan, the nearest they could find was a Kashmiri muslim contestant on 'The Apprentice' to go there and talk about her non-existent Pakistani 'roots'.

Clearly some groups of people are much less given to achievement than others, as Steve often explains here.

tommy said...

Invention isn't the only place where Islamic countries are lacking. Muslim countries aren't exactly literary powerhouses either. Take a fairly wealthy nation like Saudi Arabia: currently they are experiencing something of a golden age in novels with an entire 50 published each year. This is way up from only 26 in 2005. Woo-boy! I think Random House's Juvenile Books division alone probably publishes four or five times as many novels as Saudi Arabia does each year. Naguib Mahfouz is the only Arab winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature.

All this lack of productivity in the Islamic world reminds of Winston Churchill's very un-PC commentary on Islam:

How dreadful are the curses which Mohammedanism lays on its votaries! Besides the fanatical frenzy, which is as dangerous in a man as hydrophobia in a dog, there is this fearful fatalistic apathy. The effects are apparent in many countries. Improvident habits, slovenly systems of agriculture, sluggish methods of commerce, and insecurity of property exist wherever the followers of the Prophet rule or live.

I would love to find out about Pakistan's literary output.

Ali said...

Azad Kashmiris get lumped in with Pakistanis from the rest of the country for the purpose of statistical surveys here, so I don't see why Saira Khan wouldn't qualify. I'm not sure if the number of comedians an ethnic group produces is an indicator of achievement though.

I'm surprised the figure for patents is as high as eight. India has the IIT colleges which are a magnet for attracting the best engineering talent around and they have enough heft to maintain fairly decent research bodies. Pakistan's higher education sector is a lot worse off.

There's also the issue that Pakistanis with brains are pressured to get into well-paying jobs as soon as possible, with most students opting to join the workforce as soon as possible instead spending another three to five years getting a Phd. Also a lot of the best talent opts to go into medicine rather than engineering which isn't seen as being as prestigious.

bjdouble said...

But you gotta give the Pakistanis credit for creating the 1-800-NUCLEAR held desk.

Adam said...

One thing that has often perplexed me is, it would seem that Pakistanis and Indians share a phenotype, except that some of them have distant ancestors turned bitch to the Arab/Persian invaders (by taking on their Muslim religion), while others have ancestors that resisted and stayed true to themselves. And yet there seems to be such a difference to their societies, in terms of openness and even "sweetness" (subcontinental non-Muslims) verses hate, dysfunction, bitterness, and closedness (subcontinental Muslims). Also, one sees a huge difference in achievement and crime levels among subcontinental immigrants in the UK between those of Hindu/Sikh (high ach, low crime) and Muslim (low ach, high crime) backgrounds. Is the difference only societal and cultural? Or is there some marked difference in phenotype between the two? It does look like religion and culture is the deciding factor : I'd have to think that, genetically, Hindu Bengalis are Muslim Bengladeshis and Hindu Rajasthanis and Muslim Pakistanis are more similar than either pair of co-religionists.

dearieme said...

How come Pakistan has a Patent Office? Or any Patent Lawyers?

A Luddite said...

So the value of a country increases with the number of engineering nerds it produces?

I wonder how many of those Saudi novels are anti-West and specifically anti-Semitic... Then there are the imperious imperialist personalities prevalent among Arabs and "Persians" - you might want to considering something other than nerdiness when evaluating a country. Eh gads, then you have those nasty Brahmins from India, great engineering talents no doubt but the intrapersonal "production noise" that goes along with the intelligence. Is it worth it?

The truth is we could do more with what we already have. Invention creates obsolescence which creates tons of inorganic waste (ie discarded cell phones & computers).

jody said...

i continue to not understand why this should be surprising to a race expert like steve. south asians produce almost nothing in any field. i've pointed this out several times, but it seems to be ignored continuously. especially by people who research this stuff like rushton.

anybody doing research on the "sliding scale of human racial traits" has to ignore a gigantic mountain of contrary evidence that there are, in fact, several large groups of humans who do not excel at anything, who are very mediocre, and who are surpassed by europeans in everything.

indonesia produces so much nothing that the fourth largest nation is completely off the radar. discussion of indonesian anything never appears anywhere, ever. a relatively small nation like the netherlands can surpass indonesia in anything they wanted.

the majority of india, indonesia, paksitan, and bangladesh account for almost nothing.

Ali said...

Well, I hope you're not wearing yourself out using those Roman numerals.

Anonymous said...

nice post sir.

this is very interesting and it points to how important culture is.

basically you take the same people as far as genetics go, put them in two totally different environments, and you get different results.

it goes to show that the key things we are debating in this country have to do with what kind of CULTURE we would like to see develop in america.

not what kind of GENETICS we would like to see.

excellent post.

i'm glad to see you are finally seeing the light! :)

tommy said...

And yet there seems to be such a difference to their societies, in terms of openness and even "sweetness" (subcontinental non-Muslims) verses hate, dysfunction, bitterness, and closedness (subcontinental Muslims). Also, one sees a huge difference in achievement and crime levels among subcontinental immigrants in the UK between those of Hindu/Sikh (high ach, low crime) and Muslim (low ach, high crime) backgrounds. Is the difference only societal and cultural?

Most Pakistani immigrants come from the poor, rural areas of the country. Most Indians come from the upper castes.

Still, there must be a reason why even upper class Pakistanis seem to produce little of anything. Maybe Winston Churchill was right.

Vol-in-Law said...

"Most Pakistani immigrants come from the poor, rural areas of the country. Most Indians come from the upper castes."

Where I live in London there's a large Tamil Hindu population and a large (mostly) Pakistani Muslim population. Both mostly poor rural background etc. There have recently been intra-ethnic gang murders in both groups and in most ways they're quite similar, low achievers; however in the 2006 World Cup the Tamils supported the England football team and flew the England flag, the Pakistanis did not. The Tamils are not seen as a threat to the UK - I'm sure that would change rapidly if we stuck our oar in the Sri Lanka war (we send 'peacekeepers', they sen suicide bombers), but as long as we don't get involved in their homeland they're fine.

I think there's a lesson there...

PRCalDude said...

Something's not right here. I see plenty of Indian overachievers all over the place in the science and engineering fields in the US. Maybe the country does have a low IQ, but not from what I've seen.

Pakistan and Indonesia are both Islamic countries that forbid free inquiry and oppress women. While their may be quite a genetic difference in IQ between them and their East Asian counterparts, I think Islam has a heavy influence on the level of intellectual achievement in those countries. Winston Churchill and Robert Spencer are completely correct. Culture matters as well.

tommy said...

The patenting power of select inventors in Pak Units (PU) (that is, multiples of the number of patents Pakistan has produced in 43 years):


Thomas Edison 136.6
Nikola Tesla at least 34 and by some estimates ≈ 150
Jerome H. Lemelson ≈ 75
Reginald Fessenden > 62.5
Thomas Crapper 1.1
Philo Farnsworth ≈ 37.5
Edwin Howard Armstrong 5.3
Elisha Gray > 8.8
Lloyd Groff Copeman ≈ 87.5
Joseph Friedman 1.1 (in U.S. patents, at least)
George Devol 5
Francis C. Osborn 6.3

essex said...

In Britain, television is celebrating the partition of India 60 years ago.

One has to ask whether the Partition is really worth celebrating. Not only did millions die in the resulting chaos and bloodletting, but Pakistan was cut off from the rest of the subcontinent, which history has shown to be the more productive part. It's not ethnic - Indian Punjab is wealthy, and Indian Punjabis do well at home at home and abroad. Pakistani Punjabis might do well abroad, too, but their home country seems not to encourage innovation, independence or entrepreneurship.

We get a skewed picture in the US because Indian immigrants are so prosperous - the richest and best educated ethnic group in America, apparently. Nevertheless, it does appear that ambitious Pakistanis would be much better off if there had never been a Partition. And yet, I wonder how many you could find who would admit such a thing ... who would be willing to trade their Muslim exclusivity for much greater, but secular, opportunity.

Anonymous said...

Ali said...
Well, I hope you're not wearing yourself out using those Roman numerals.

I concur, Ali, Pakis have plenty of smarts. They're often extroverted and can tell great stories. I learned about elephant garages from a Paki (the elephant would enter the house so that the veiled female members of the family could climb aboard from the upstairs balcony). If you can't manage to assimilate a group of Pakis you're just antisocial.

Anonymous said...

Thats right Anon at 12:52 PM, as long as we remember we have no right o stop nice Indians entering our countries in whatever numbers Indians see fit.

MensaRefugee said...

Just goes to show IQ *AND* culture is important...

Ali said...

It's hard to say how things would have turned out if Partition hadn't happened. Muslims in Pakistan would have certainly benefited from India's political stability but that region of north-Western India would have likely remained even more backward and undeveloped than it is now. It wouldn't have grown nearly as fast following Nehruvian economics. Partition or no partition, the real tragedy was the animosity that developed between Hindus and Muslims which killed millions then and is responsible for a lot of pointless bickering and wasteful defence expenditure to this day.

Anyway, like I said upper-class Pakistanis overwhelmingly opt for professions like medicine, law, accounting etc. The top engineering Pakistani grads graduating from Western universities opt for investment banking and management consulting rather than staying on for Phds.

Islam has next to no influence in stifling free scientific enquiry in Pakistan. The abysmal state of education is. Eastern Punjab is doing OK but not nearly as well as Mumbai, Chennai and Bangalore.

Pakistan has a small arts and literature scene although a lot of the awareness of that is lost if you don't speak Urdu.

Sideways said...

Jody- Most of Indonesia is not particularly repressive to women. It's more like the West 80 years ago than 2000 years ago (women aren't generally encouraged to go for high degrees of education, attempt truly high status careers,etc. They do vote, most of them work, headscarves aren't generally worn, they can go outside without male family members.)
Sadly, this is changing rapidly as the country heads towards fundamentalism. Alcohol and pork become less widely available, you see more women in the various levels of Islamic dress, etc.

Indonesia's problem is that its main ethnic groups are less intelligent than those on the subcontinent. It would be pathetically backward without the 5% of the population that's Chinese. Leads to cute customs like Chinese families having to pay all their non-Chinese neighbors significant sums when they move into a new house, along with more official methods of redistribution.

Really, the Indonesia/Malaysia/Singapore contrast is all that you need to see to understand the effects of IQ on a country.

PRCalDude said...

"Partition or no partition, the real tragedy was the animosity that developed between Hindus and Muslims which killed millions then and is responsible for a lot of pointless bickering and wasteful defence expenditure to this day."

I think the animosity started with Surah 9:29. You know what I'm talking about.

Ali said...

Nope, Hindus and Muslims kept separate in the centuries before partition but religiously-inspired conflicts between the two had petered out. Otherwise you wouldn't have had Hindu and Muslim villages sitting cheek by jowl next to each other in the Punjab.

Mark Wadsworth said...

Brilliant!!

Winston Churchill seems to have made a pithy and accurate quote on just about every important topic, and a lot of them are still valid today (could he see into the future or was he just lucky? How much of what he said would seem laughable today?).

And I say that as a tax/welfare reform campaigner!

John of London said...

This is so crude. To start with, is there any point in filing patents in Pakistan? Many countries have no effective Intellectual Property protection, so if you invent something it's best to keep it secret.
I guess the main intellectual current on this site is what's been called "Arts faculty science", so maybe it's not surprising you don't know that Abdus Salam won the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1979, and there are many outstanding physicists from (and some even in) Pakistan largely inspired by his example.
Jody deserves this topic's prize for most ignorant and bigoted post. "south asians produce almost nothing in any field. " Nearly right, Jody: they did invent zero, along with what we call "Arabic" numerals. Apart from clearly knowing nothing whatever about modern South Asian achievements, Jody uses the common fallacy of lumping "Europeans" together as achievers. Probably the majority of nations in continental Europe have achieved very little, mainly due to circumstances. Jody picks out the Netherlands, which is indeed one of the minority of high-achieving European nations. But even they have their gaps. I read 2 or 3 Indian novels every year, but I can't think of a Dutch novelist since Jan de Hartog died. Any suggestions?
As for the drag of Islam,in my experience in London Muslim East African Asians are similar achievers to Hindu EAAs.

Respin said...

The Tamils are not seen as a threat to the UK - I'm sure that would change rapidly if we stuck our oar in the Sri Lanka war (we send 'peacekeepers', they sen suicide bombers), but as long as we don't get involved in their homeland they're fine.

Yes, they could bring this country to a standstill by closing down all the petrol stations they operate.

I think cricket is also a major civilising influence in the subcontinent.

Colin Campbell said...

I believe the consequences that you document will underpin societal development in many countries for many centuries. It is like a two tier world, with a great deal of resentment underpinning the anger present in many muslim countries. This has spilled over into many countries and will likely get worse. Proscribing the more radical elements will not keep the bottle top closed on this development.

pervez said...

Really interesting discussion, but the good doctor mentioned in the article is late by say almost 100 years. In 1910 the King of Afghanistan the uncle of the present Zahir Shah decreed that all chiefs coming to the Jirga(ie annual tribal council) wear western clothes and also bring their wifes. He insisted that that there will be a ball with the wifes dancing with the men like the europeans do. Kemal Ataturk did the same in Turkey he changed the turkic script from arabic to cryllic decreed religon should be only at home. Modest women in Hijab were caned by policemen if the appeared on the streets or any public place. So did the Shah Of Iran.
Lets just ask the question how many patents does Turkey produce.
Russian language never prevented USSR to send Rockets in space much to the envy of the Americans. Neither did Japanese hinder japan from being the consumer product design mecca.
Yes you will also find instances where leaders decided(this was in Iran in turn of century)that beards were not conductive with science and advancement and were the root cause of underdevelopment.
Some people are still under the impression that democracy is essential for scientific progress. Well forgetting the achievements of russians in technology and Science soon China will follow them.
The truth is changing your facial hair style, clothes, language, religion is going to change the level of achievement in science and technology.
Ultimately high level of science and technology depends on a having high internal consumption and economy which provides for jobs, industries and supports investments and needs for research institution's. When china's internal market gets strong you will find the need and market for research and development. Similarly India has a long way to go as its economy needs to develop much further much till it is able to be rich enough to afford to have research programs on a large scale. This is why Buddhist thailand lags behind as does catholic argentina or chile or animist/christian uganda.