How the fuck do Asian Americans raise their kids so well? -

Webby's Boyfriend

reality cartoonist
In my experience even the lower socioeconomic scale East Asian children (like middle to high school age) have an extraordinarily consistent and firm grasp of the in-depth mechanics of university-level physics and math that far exceeds many American college and graduate students who aren't in a hard-science field or engineering. And the East Asian peasants didn't have fancy graphing calculators or Wolfram Alpha with which to check their work until the last few years.

Even more remarkably is that they retain that proficiency through much of their life, unlike Americans. I know in the American academic culture, once final exams are over, you kind of chuck it out of your mind unless there's a recurring career-type need for you to use it.

But I will be regularly bumping into some elderly East Asian people who last sat in a math or physics class more than 50 years ago and learned by chalkboard and slide rule and had no major career-pressure to keep up with it, yet they have a better working knowledge of theory and practice of just about every mathematical or physics topic than I, who am only a few years removed from the last math or physics course!

For me, math and physics is just the most readily available example on account of how poorly I retain it and how often am forced to relearn it, but it holds true for many other disciplines and subjects, I'm sure
Maths and physics isn't everything in life, autistics often understand maths and physics perfectly but they are still retarded losers.
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The Yellow Rose of Victoria, Texas
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Maths and physics isn't everything in life, autistics often understand maths and physics perfectly but they are still exceptional losers.
I think the way they are taught to learn and retain those things must have some kind of beneficial effect when it comes to applying themselves to other practical disciplines.

It's like the difference between someone being able to derive a formula from scratch through his comprehensive knowledge of the underlying mechanics compared to someone having to memorize the formula so he can plug in the numbers because he doesn't fully understand why the formula works.

Time and again, I keep hearing East Asian engineers scoffing at their American coworkers' inability to "do math", which isn't meant to imply that they are better at mental arithmetic and better at being human calculators. Rather, they mean that the average American has grown so accustomed to the "plug your data into the formula and trust that the formula always works" mentality that he doesn't know where to start troubleshooting when things don't go according to plan. If you understand the why and how of things, it's a lot easier, faster, and more efficient for you to improvise and adapt when dealing with unexpected variables.

That's not to say that Americans don't learn learn the how and why behind such-and-such formula, just that once they are satisfied that they can "trust" the formula, they don't think twice about allowing their functional knowledge of the how and why to lapse. I guess the more intellectually rigorous and disciplined East Asians aren't so lackadaisical with that.
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