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Read 'em and weep, folks. Read 'em and weep.


By evidentialist8
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How many times do we need to get this same old rhetoric and yet we get people from all over the world flying in 24/7, plus all other ports of entry receiving a mind boggling number of legal immigrants....let alone the thousands trying to sneak in every day illegaly...... We must have been doing something right day in day out consistently for over 200 years.

IamNobody Level 8 Mar 11, 2019

Materially the Us has been fucking up the countries those immigrants come from. That’s been pretty lucrative.

@OwlInASack boy did I say rhetoric??

@IamNobody -- Flywheel effect.


I was very lucky to have a plethora of scientists, engineers & musicians in my extended family during my formative years. Also some really great teacher's in my early years of education. I am glad that I am well informed in these areas because of them.


Sad for America...and with so much money to spend elsewhere!


I hate to say it, but there are a lot of lazy Americans. Not dumb, even only mildly so, but don't have much of a work ethic in their education. Not all, of course, but far too many...

Rustee Level 7 Mar 10, 2019

Couldn’t figure out where these numbers come from. If self reported, you are just showing how much grade inflation each country allows. If not, what were the sample sizes?

Detritus Level 6 Mar 10, 2019


@evidentialist thanks for the link. The methodology seems pretty sound. Sample sizes of 500 per entity should give pretty stable estimates, which idea is born out by the reproducibility of the results. It is difficult to asses the reprentativeness of the sample, but that problem is common to all surveys. We really do need to think about these results.

@Detritus -- I suspect, but do not know, that samples are random across a broad spectrum. At least, I would hope so.


The data indicates the correlation between intelligence and income is weak and that there is almost no correlation between intelligence and wealth. []

Intelligence is not being measured here.



Better than I expected!

jerry99 Level 8 Mar 10, 2019

Problem is that we keep slipping down the list. Not a good trend.

@evidentialist I'm kinda old and out of touch, so all I see with young people these days is cell phone and social media obsession along with some expectation that they're all going to become billionaires by posting stupid shit on Twitter or Instagram. So I'm not surprised that their STEM ratings are mediocre and probably getting worse. Only hope is that we get a good change in leadership and start emphasizing science and technology over religion and popularity.


Thusly we need IMMIGRANTS to fill the 6 million jobs no one left unemployed can qualify for.


We've been in the middle of the pack for years. It's just showing we're consistent and holding steady. What it doesn't show is that we lead the world on innovation and the number of patents held. There is no correlation between scores on this test and success in business and industry.

linxminx Level 7 Mar 10, 2019

Yes but it’s worrying: I hate seeing that the UK languishes in the middle here as though thats Ok. Education for educations sake is a great thing. The commoditisation of education in service of industry gives us trickle down economics and Trump

@OwlInASack What are you worried about? What's going to happen if our scores continue to stay in the middle? And, what do you forsee would be the benefit of our country's scores rising to the top?

@linxminx our populations would be better able tonthink for themselves

I see political classes in the US and the uK who rely the population being uneducated. It is hard to avoid the conclusion that rightvwing cuts to public education aren’t driven by this realisation.

So solid education across the board will potentially help with producing a decent bunch of youngsters who have something that can be appealed to politically rather than just their own self interest, if apathy lets it get even that far

Explicitly I worry about the devastating effects of trickle down policies and Trump-like political regimes which funnel the economy into the hands of the few and increase our likelihood of war

@OwlInASack All excellent points. However, can you correlate that doing well on a test will achieve the results that you want? I'm an educator. I have been for close to 30 years, during a time in our country where we "reformed" education so student test scores would go up. The more we have done this, the less critical thinking I see kids doing. Trying to achieve high scores on standardized tests actually promotes the opposite in terms of people thinking for themselves. They think less critically and less creatively. They are taught the "what" for the test, but not taught to consider the "why." A good book to read is "Catching Up or Leading the Way" by Dr. Yong Zhao. He was raised in the educational system of China and now teaches here in America, so he is able to compare and contrast the two educational systems, and has some interesting things to say about being to test-centered in education.

@linxminx well I can only agree about the exam factory approach to education. It’s horrible.

But I’d rather that than no education which so many folks seem to end up with now.

It’s been a long time in the UK since we provided education for education’s sake. I run an education charity in W Africa and even there, to get funding, we have to lay the exam results game. It’s utterly depressing.

@OwlInASack I hear what you are saying, and you certainly deserve respect and thanks for the work you are doing. Even though I'm critical of the focus on testing, I've been there too, and played the "exam results game."


So looking at this again, I’m curious what these scores even are. Without knowing a maximum score (I’ll assume zero is the minimum) the numbers are somewhat meaningless and arbitrary. The green, yellow and red categories also lose some meaning.

The higher the maximum score, the smaller the differences become. Now this may be all out of whack. After all, I’m from one of the yellow countries, so...

So, enlighten yourself.


@evidentialist Other than being scaled by 500 and having a standard deviation of 100, I could not really understand what the scoring algorithm is. Can you help?


The USA are above Luxembourg (which is the country with the highest per capita income in Europa, and whose inhabitants are all trilingual) and above Iceland, another liberal and wealthy country.
I would not take these lists too seriously

Matias Level 7 Mar 10, 2019

Bad reasoning there.
Luxembourg's figure is heavily distorted. The wealth in the country is NOT distributed amongst the general population. It comes from being a sort of legal tax haven within the EU.
The vast majority of Kenyans are at least trilingual, many speak 4 or 5 languages. Yet they are poor.

@Petter I agree that the number of languages that are spoken in a population has no effect on wealth, but you are mistaken if you think that only a small elite is wealthy in Luxembourg.
The value for GINI index (World Bank estimate) in Luxembourg was 31.20 as of 2014, which is in the same league as Germany or Canada (USA: 41)

@Matias So how come the woman on the till in the fuel station I visit struggles to pay her bills?

@Petter It may be best to ask her instead of @Matias ?

@Matias -- The lists are not based on wealth or intelligence.



USA! USA! We’re number thirty one! USA!


@evidentialist Make America Green Again


UK... 499.7! So close and yet so far...

Iceland surprises me.

It's ATTITUDE to learning that matters - and quality of teaching and daily life. When a country has TV presenters who cannot speak English correctly, for example, what effect does that have on children who are told what they write is bad grammar? They assume the TV presenter (or celebrity being interviewed, etc.) is correct, the teacher is wrong, and this spills over into ALL schooling.
It becomes "cool" to pay scant regard to education.

@Petter I find validly in both the proscriptive and descriptive view on language. Though, I mostly have to agree. It’s often better to know how language is supposed to be used and practice it that way, especially in a professional/career situation.

I am unsure what these two replies have to do with my comment; I was simply remarking in a light hearted manner on the fact that the UK is a mere whisker away from being in the higher group...

@Cassiopeia -- If it will help, I understood you.

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