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к упрёкам в обобщениях - Наместник Карлсона На Земле
June 7th, 2004
08:34 am
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к упрёкам в обобщениях

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From:anna_i
Date:June 9th, 2004 08:16 pm (UTC)
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>Wouldn't you agree that in certain cases, you do?
In certain cases, certainly. I am not saying that no generalization is possible. In case of the Japanese, however, I don't them at all. People who worked with them say that they exist in a completely parallel universe which is hard to define because it is so different. My husband, while working for NDS, sat on several standards committees and chaired a couple of them. There were representatives of various other nations, but with them he didn't have a fraction of the problems that he had with the Japanese. There were cases of disagreement or personal dislike, but that's to be expected. With the Japanese, he couldn't even understand what their problem was most of the time. They weren't happy with any proposal and wouldn't say why. Personally, I think that they didn't like the way he was dressed - not formal enough for them. Nobody knows.
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From:elcour
Date:June 10th, 2004 02:01 am (UTC)
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People who worked with them say that they exist in a completely parallel universe which is hard to define because it is so different
All of them? Most of them? :)
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From:anna_i
Date:June 10th, 2004 03:29 am (UTC)
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They were in a group and acting as a group. So, yeah, you could say all of them. I don't know what one-to-one communication would be like.
Anyway, with the Japanese it is easier because they are such a homogenious society which, in addition, is not so open to the outside influences (I think). It is much harder to generalize Israelis and Americans. At my last place of work we had wasps, American Jews, Russian Jews, French Jews, a Turk, a Canadian, a Canadian Jew, Chinese, Indian, Syrian, and an Egyptian Copt. And that's in a company of 20-odd people.


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From:elcour
Date:June 10th, 2004 10:37 am (UTC)
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It is much harder to generalize Israelis and Americans.
Well, let's see.
Israelis... Mmm... For one thing, the Israelis at large are... how shall I put it? - Informal, that's it! Way more so than, for instance, Europeans or North Americans. Don't you think they are?

Now, you speak of the diversity of races and nationalities at your last place of work. First of all, let's not count those who only recently came to the country - they are not "Americans" yet per se; since it is American culture and mentality we are discussing here, obviously, one doesn't adopt it on their day one on American soil.
Second, thank you for a good example. Let's look at that group.
How many of them did not take very seriously such matters as private property, sexual (or other) harrasement, legal charges? (And I mean - way more so than in Europe, not to mention Russia or Israel.)
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From:anna_i
Date:June 11th, 2004 03:14 am (UTC)
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>How many of them did not take very seriously such matters as private >property, sexual (or other) harrasement, legal charges? (And I mean - >way more so than in Europe, not to mention Russia or Israel.)
Well, I didn't ask, and there was no way to tell.

I guess what I am trying to say is this: I completely agree that there is such a thing as a national mentality or characteristics. And, definitely, the Russian society has very little respect for private property or for the law, and on the whole, is much more shauvinistic than Americans or Israelis.
However, one has to be careful with generalization. First, it can be misleading as I attempted to show with the Russian laziness. You have to have your criteria very well defined.

Second, the obvious characteristics might be a sign of something else, more important. For example, the US has less of a social support than Europe. However, the flip side of this coin is that the Americans have a much higher degree of personal responsibility and charity on personal level. The same way the fact that the Japanese are hardworking might mean the lack of ingenuity. You know what they say - the laziest programmer is the best one. So, if you chose a Japanese worker over a Russian one, you may be hiring a hardworking dummy.

And thirdly, generalizations on the personal level are dangerous. Do you remember a story of Jerome K. Jerome about a person who gave advice?






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From:elcour
Date:June 11th, 2004 11:28 am (UTC)
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First, it can be misleading as I attempted to show with the Russian laziness. You have to have your criteria very well defined.
True. But then, the same is true of anything you say, of any thesis you present, not just your generalizing estimates.

However, the flip side of this coin is that the Americans have a much higher degree of personal responsibility and charity on personal level.
Would you say, then, that the Americans on the whole are more mature than the Europians?

The same way the fact that the Japanese are hardworking might mean the lack of ingenuity.
I agree. It might, indeed.

So, if you chose a Japanese worker over a Russian one, you may be hiring a hardworking dummy.
True, I might. However, having no way of comparing (and such was the case in my example) their intellectual capacities, I might well end up with a lazy dummy, were I to opt for his Russian counterpart.

And thirdly, generalizations on the personal level are dangerous. Do you remember a story of Jerome K. Jerome about a person who gave advice?
They are. I do.
Would never want to bring generalizations down to the personal level.
Once you have a way to estimate individual qualities and achievements, it would be unwise to base your view of the person on a mere generalization. I've written pretty much the same here, referring to the inductive approach.
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