Secret to Survival in a World of Corrupt Dysgenic Decline

Four guys are standing on a street corner…
an American, a Russian, a Chinese man, and an Israeli…
A reporter comes up to the group and says to them:
“Excuse me… What’s your opinion on the meat shortage?”
The American says: What’s a shortage?
The Russian says: What’s meat?
The Chinese man says: What’s an opinion?
The Israeli says: What’s “Excuse me”?

__ Mike Leigh “Two Thousand Years

A World Without Risk-Taking Startups is a Corrupt World of Stagnation and Endless Decay

According to the pioneering work of Nobel Prize winner Robert Solow, technological innovation is the ultimate source of productivity and growth. It’s the only proven way for economies to consistently get ahead — especially innovation born by startup companies. Recent Census Bureau data show that most of the net employment gains in the United States between 1980 and 2005 came from firms younger than five years old. Without startups, the average annual net employment growth rate would actually have been negative.

Economist Carl Schramm, president of the Kauffman Foundation, which analyzes entrepreneurial economics, told us that “for the United States to survive and continue its economic leadership in the world, we must see entrepreneurship as our central comparative advantage. Nothing else can give us the necessary leverage.

__ Start-Up Nation from Introduction

We Had Better Learn from Cultures that Have More of What We Need While There is Time

Pound for pound, Israelis are the world’s champion technological innovators today. More

Why do Israelis discover and invent so far beyond their numbers? Does Israel cultivate a nation of risk-takers, innovators, and entrepreneurs that has allowed the tiny nation to survive with elan for so long in one of the world’s worst neighborhoods?

Sure, Israel has large numbers of high IQ Ashkenazi Jews. But high IQ is neither enough to assure survival from surrounding barbaric desert cultures nor to succeed in the global world of hard knocks big business. Several other things exist within the Israeli and Jewish cultures which give the high IQ smart fraction of Israel that “extra boost,” pushing it past its enemies and competitors.

Israelis took a barren desert and made it bloom. They built an oasis of modern, innovating civilisation in the middle of a primitive wasteland. To do that — and to survive and thrive for so long — requires IQ, prudent risk-taking, chutzpah, tolerance of reasonable failures, and an independent minded approach to innovation.

There is also a very high level of arousal in Israeli and Jewish cultures, which no doubt contributes to the active ferment of ideas, and motivates a great deal of higher baseline achievement.

According to Fischer’s proposed spectrum of arousal in the image above, everyday routine and relaxation occupies a relatively small part of the built-in potential spectrum — and creativity occupies an even smaller portion! To be creative, the human mind requires the proper internal and external milieus. And to be creative on a world-class level, the combination of genes and early childhood environment must be enhanced well beyond the ordinary.

To Understand Israeli Innovation, One Must Understand “Mashups”

Mashups are “when innovation is born from the combination of radically different technologies and disciplines.” This is the type of innovation that is most likely to create disruptive technologies which spawn new markets and spin-off entire new industries. And always remember that most Israelis are trained in the very unconventional and multidisciplinary Israeli Defence Force — the IDF. This often free-wheeling military training leaves an indelible imprint of “can do-ism” on large numbers of young Israelis passing through the system.

The Israeli penchant for technological mashups is more than a curiosity; it is a cultural mark that lies at the heart of what makes Israel so innovative. It is a product of the multidisciplinary backgrounds that Israelis often obtain by combining their military and civilian experiences. But it is also a way of thinking that produces particularly creative solutions and potentially opens up new industries and “disruptive” advances in technology. It is a form of free thinking that is hard to imagine in less free or more culturally rigid societies, including some that superficially seem to be on the cutting edge of commercial development. __

Start-Up Nation Chapter 12

In some ways, the rise of Israeli invention is reminiscent of “The European Miracle,” when small independent nations such as the Netherlands were forced to overachieve due to competition from more developed centres such as Paris, Vienna, London, etc. Singapore is another top innovator that reminds one of the frantic competition between city-states and small states during the rise of Europe.

It should be obvious that the world needs far more thriving, independent centres of innovation that are not completely under the thumbs of either Russia, the US, China, or any other of the so-called superpowers that have largely given themselves over to the corrupt, groupthink rent-seeking mentalities. Not that the more established nations should try to emulate Israel, Singapore, Hong Kong, or the Swiss cantons. But the massive monolithic bureaucratic structures of government that hobble large parts of Europe and North America can certainly be downsized, sliced, and diced, after careful study and preparation.

Perhaps a President Donald Trump can truly drain the swamps of US corruption and groupthink scattered along the seaboards and within media, academia, foundations, and faux environmental activist groups. But such things take time, and there are never really any guarantees for long-term success. The tendency toward a greedy corruption seems innate in much of human populations, and is thus almost certainly evolved into the species. Only strong and almost unbending incentive structures can push such populations back toward an honest risk-taking productivity. You get more of what you subsidise, and less of what you tax.

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