Progress is never a conciliation with the Norms.. Understanding is never an isolation from Cross-Borders.. and Love is never a Loneliness nor Greed..!

Thursday, April 16, 2015

How the Ottomans Ruined the 20th Century

World War I was only a global conflict when the Ottoman Empire joined the fray. Those consequences—from genocide to new borders—are still felt today.
After reading the fascinating initial chapter of Eugene Rogan’s new history of the Ottoman Empire in the First World War, The Fall of the Ottomans: The Great War in the Middle East, I was struck with a recurring thought: The wonder is not so much that this sprawling 600-year-old Muslim empire fell victim to the convulsions of world conflict in 1918, but that it somehow managed to survive at all as a world power up to the war’s opening salvos. Founded by Central Asian Muslim tribes in 1299, at its height in the late 17th century the empire spanned three continents, taking in the Balkans in southern Europe, Arab lands from Mesopotamia to Morocco, and much of Asia Minor. Since the beginning of the 18th century Istanbul found itself almost continually at war with Europe’s imperial powers.

Invariably, it came out on the losing end. Egypt and most of North Africa were lost to Britain and France by 1882, while Russia gobbled up one province of eastern Anatolia after another.

Nor were the predations of the Great Powers the only serious problem. The Ottomans were mired in internal conflicts between the dominant Turks and the many other peoples who paid allegiance to the Sultan in Istanbul, including Serbs, Kurds, Armenians, Assyrians, and Arabs. These groups had begun to absorb Western ideas of nationalism and self-determination—ideas that sparked numerous rebellions and crackdowns on suspected subversives within the Empire. The most notorious of the latter would ultimately fester into the 1915-1916 deportation-mass murder campaign against the Christian Armenians from their Anatolian homelands. As many as a million defenseless Armenians lost their lives.

It was not a foregone conclusion that the Turks would fight in World War I at all. Many leading political figures in Istanbul favored neutrality as the surest road to bringing about long-overdue administrative and economic modernization with the aid of investments from all the European powers. In the end, however, the triumvirate of pashas who ruled the Empire came to believe an alliance with an ascendant Germany, in which Berlin would pay for much of the war effort and military training, would be the surest path to re-conquest of lost provinces, the shoring up its faltering influence in the Middle East, and internal modernization. It was the Ottoman entrance into the war on the side of the Central Powers that transformed a European war into a truly global conflict.

For their part, the Germans gained the use of a large Ottoman army that could take the pressure off their inevitable battle against Russia in the East by launching a campaign in the Caucasus. More important, Germany hoped to exploit the Ottoman sultan’s role as caliph over the entire world community of Muslims. Of course, the British, Russian, and French empires contained millions of Muslims. The Germans wanted the Caliph to declare a jihad against their adversaries, hoping to bring about mass uprisings that would cripple the war efforts of the Triple Entente, and the Caliph was happy to oblige.

The initial Ottoman campaigns did not go well. Enver Pasha, the Ottoman minister of war, hoped to duplicate the Germans’ masterful envelopment at Tannenberg against the Russians, prompting the destruction of an entire Russian army. Geography, poor weather, and inadequate logistics, however, led to a crushing Ottoman defeat and the loss of 80,000 troops. Several divisions of Armenian Christians fought on the Russian side in the campaign, and in the wake of the loss, the large Armenian population within the Ottoman Empire found themselves victims of the 20th century’s first genocide. Rogan unpacks the complicated tragedy of the Armenian persecution deftly and sensitively, concluding that “the bitter irony is that the annihilation of the Armenians and other Christian communities in no way improved the security of the Ottoman Empire,” though that was its primary object.


Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Didat and Coexistence..

It is all about Coexistence.. Muslims are too arrogant to adhere to..
Not only Sudanese, but all Muslims can not survive further, unless structural changes happen to their epistemic consensus..

Moonfleet Eldai I agree. Remarkably, Muslims should be able to strike remarkable examples in coexistence for Islam is truly diverse given all the races and linguistic and ethnic groups that identify as Muslims across the globe. Some of us are better at coexistence than others but collectively we perhaps should think deeper about emphasizing coexistence and diversity.

I think Christianity are more diverse than Islam, as well as Buddhism. . Muslims are cordially believe that Arabs are distinct and honorable race, at least that the Prophet PBUH had said so in some hadeeth. . Therefore Muslims have their own hurdle to exercise genuine belief of coexistence.. Let us face it..!

Moonfleet Eldai I am not sure about Buddhism geographic distribution beyond the Asian continent. I am trying to recall if there has been ever a hadeeth to the effect of Arabs special place or whatever. If you can refer me to one please go ahead so that I can learn something new. I am aware that politically the earlier Ummayyad empire was particularly pro-Arab and in that effect it allegedly mistreated the Muslims in the lands that came under the Arabian influence. But my source for this information has been the Iranian historical documents which I sort of doubt their absolute impartiality.
الحديث عن بعض الصّحابة:
إنّ الله تعالى اختار لنبيّنا خير الأنساب من لدن آدم إلى أنْ اُخرج من صلب أبيه عبدالله، فجعل خير الناس من ولد إسماعيل، فتكلّم بالعربية وتكلّم إسحاق على لسان أبيه، فولد إسماعيل العرب، ثم جعل خير الناس كنانة، ثم جعل خير العرب قريشاً وخير قريش بني هاشم، ثم جعل خير بني هاشم بني عبدالمطلب، ثم خير بني عبدالمطلب نبيّنا محمّد صلّى الله عليه وآله فبعثه رسولاً واتّخذه نبيّاً وأهبط عليه جبرئيل بالوحي وقال له: طفت مشارق الأرض ومغاربها فلم أر أفضل منك

Moonfleet Eldai Wow, this is very interesting indeed. I'd take this with a grain of salt because the ahadeeth mentioned there sound more like the characteristic self-serving exaggeration of the Shia Imams. On the other hand I have come uponthe Ibn Baz opinion on the correctness of such ahadeeth, they are invariably dismissed as week. We grew up instructed that no Arab is better than non Arab and no non Arab is better than an Arab except in their piety.

Well.. despite the denial or rejection, it had worked perfectly with the sub-consciousness, leading to many atrocities in the names of Islam, civilization and/or honor.. what we had had in South, Nuba and Darfur are just small samples.. Also in Hyderabad, Malaysia and Muritania (which has today more than 150,000 salves) are other examples

Moonfleet Eldai This has happened to me !. I used to play the classical guitar some long time ago. I mastered works by Beethoven and other famous composers. My problem was that, my friends always wanted something Sudanese. It was like, if you do not do that then you do not know how to play. That was not encouraging but of a herd mentality

Change is always associated with denial and resistance.. The more resistant people are, the more enthusiastic for more change (or revolutionary one) they would be..

Moonfleet Eldai: Note that these atrocities were also met by atrocities in response and perhaps fiercer in kind. In Hyderabad, Zanzibar and before that in Spain during the Reconquest Arabs were really massacred in the thousands after the population revolted. The Arab Moriscos in Sapin for example were killed if they spoke Arabic and they were forced into Christianity. They used a language called Aljamiado to at least try to preserve their culture at the face of the new more superior force coming at them.

To avoid double standards.. Had Muslim armies peacefully invaded the regions beyond Arabia? Otherwise, mutual violence is not a surprise.. I strongly believe that there were boundaries that marked the peaceful Muslim spread, or likely so, while beyond it was unwritten and unspoken bloodsheds..

The Prophet PBUH had implicitly called Mua'tah battle as the last one (Junior Jihad); what had happened after was humanely driven, not divinely done, or likely so...!!

Somebody has to start the research by counting and comparing the number of causalities across those early wars.. I shall not be surprised by the results.. Interesting..!!

Friday, March 13, 2015

Egypt's New Capital

This is a creation of Capital Region.. despite the failed Megapolis..

Unfortunately, Egyptian Planners did not adhere to the decentralization concepts, which had made many nations, wealthier, healthier and mightier.. Adding 30% to existing urban land is not a solution.. Threats of Eastern-Invasion are not valid anymore..! However, threats of urban poverty are more likely and further destructive..
Egyptian "Urban Lobbyists" had created a distinct culture, which many middle-eastern nations had copied, and further excel.. Property is a market known for secrecy, which enables monetary greed to grow.. Urbanity is synonymous for the Excellence of Living.. Urban poverty is not measured by building quality, but by Tenants Quality, which is not only the GDP share, but scores at MGDs.. Egypt sharply slumps, despite the generous donations and loans.. despite the fantasy homes on the desert..!!

Most officials of Egyptian urban developments are known for their corrupt processing, which had wasted tens of billions during the last 50 years.. Many tycoons had merged from ordinary businesses, construction related or otherwise..

On parallel, Egyptian civic bodies are "discretionally" short of empowerment to stand guarding the codes of practice and standards.. They had evolved their professional roles into politics and transformed into ladders for public offices.. Academics have no feet on the Egyptian development arena, unless needed for cosmetics and decorations.. It is a noisy question about scientific seriousness, integrity and efficiency..!

Egypt, the most populous and historically urban Arabic nation, had influenced both formal and common mindsets among the 400 million Arabic speakers.. The grown media and academic institutions had exercised patriarchy on other Arabs, despite declining economics and deteriorated urbanity.. Inevitably, Arabic bureaucracy had been infested by the early waves of migrant professional workers, who had unintentionally copied their Egyptian inheritance elsewhere.. Yes, Public offices everywhere are known for favoritism, uncreatively and slow, yet when combined with the underdeveloped scenes; it creates toxic mix for urban opportunities and solutions..

If Egyptians live on only 4% of the Egyptian soil, they can spread else where within their one million square kilometers.. However, creating a "Capital Region" will be challenging for City Managers, whom are well known for their inefficiency and short-sighting.. In a way, there is a valid accusation of how short-slightness had infested the Egyptian intellectuality, with little medication..

By default, Corruption and Favoritism allow no excellence to urban structure, therefore, opportunists have no chance in diversifying the new urban profiles, but to profit from the complexity of the existing suffocated one..

Egyptian solutions should not be Satellite Cities, but independent cities and towns; where new demographic, economic and political opportunities would healthily grow.. It is not a matter to respond to public cries for opportunities within current congested fabrics, but leading the public towards sustainable and innovative solutions.. Healthy nations do not have that focal urban spots, but as many as possibly can.. This is the only way to balance the state and the people..

As usual; the happening in Egypt are great lessons for others to learn..

Friday, March 6, 2015

A New Sudanese Passport

During the last few days, I had went through the experience to obtain a new "electronic" Sudanese passport.. It is electronic, thanks to UAE for donating the system, in order to comply with the global database systems.. It is Sudanese, as my only valid ID.. and it is a passport, as being "Homeless" for many decades now..!!

It was a painful, time-wasting, and ridiculous process, at the Sudanese Consulate in Dubai.. On daily basis, tens of Sudanese citizens are making the pilgrimage to the "bizarre" building, which was meant to resemble "Suakin"; to obtain their new documents, as the existing "Green & Hand-Written" one will be obsolete by end of 2015.. They are coming from all over UAE.. Some rumors said from Qatar, Bahrain, Oman and Kuwait as well..
I had to be there at 7:00 am, where a good citizen had brought a plain paper, for people to list their names.. Then people stand chatting, or seat on the curb.. I had preferred to seat in my car to review some academic papers.. Some where attending since 6:00 am..!!

At 8:00 am, the doors were opened, for the waiting crowd to get in, and rest on the chairs.. The staff starts to report in by 8:30am, bring excitement to the waiting gathering.. A gentleman, starts to call the listed names in the paper, checking availability of supporting documents, then handing over a coded blank forms for the applicant to fill.. It was unnecessary crowded and noisy..!
I proceeded filling the forms, which had included naming the "Tribe".. Then, I asked a gentleman next to me to witness his papers; while he witnesses mine.. Witness-Signature is a British legal code, which Sudan adheres to.. It all took about 5 minutes to complete..
Then, I join a small queue at the migration officer, who reviewed the paper, put his processing instructions, and signature and stamp..  It was another 5 minutes..
The cashier took my 400 Dirhams, fill a receipt, stipulated it to my papers, and gently asked me to seat to be called.. I understood that an officer would electronically filed my data, and coded my paper file..
It took more than 3 hours for my name to be called.. I went upstairs as instructed, to another hall.. Women, kids, and men where crowded there, yet matching the number of chairs (about 20) whereas a long bench divided between 2 officers processing the "National ID" and another 2 processing the "Electronic Passport".. It took about 15 minutes to be called..
The officer inserted my data, scanned my finger prints, asked to stand for a photograph.. Then gently said it is done, and I'm free to go.. Replying my query that it will take about a month to be issued..
When I lift the building, it was 12:30pm..
I had spent more than 5 hours for less than 30 minutes processing..!
Sudan Consulate Dubai
During the time, I was scanning the people around, the officers, and the Indian office-boy.. It was strange mix of voices, chats and kids cries.. Waves of calm and tensions were frequent as some felt sickness waiting.. During my drive away, I recalled the similar processing for UAE ID, Visa or permits.. Apparently, the marvel of UAE is engineering the processing..
Despite the electronic system, Sudanese officers had replaced the pens by keyboards and screen..
Despite being in Dubai, no one has the idea of queuing the officers, so applicants can walk trough to get the job done in less time and more efficient manner..
The current system is burden on officers and people as well..

This is not AlBasheer thing, nor his corrupt court.. It is the intellectual system that fatally rules Sudan.. It is the people who decorate their names with academic and professional degrees, while they almost know nothing.. It is the cycle of greed, selfishness and favoritism, which consumes all good and meaningfulness in our slow-motion life style..
The gaps are getting wider.. The future is getting purple..!!!!

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Successful Positioning

How to Successfully Position Your Product or Service
Ahmed Al Akber
Managing Director
ACK Solutions
+971 50 316 4956
If your business did one thing well, what would it be? Is that one thing recognized by your customers as something that is done better by your business than by any other? That is what positioning is about – being positioned in the prospect’s mind. Positioning is about fanatical focus on doing one thing really well.

To reinforce your position in the prospect’s mind, you must sacrifice. You must let go of anything that may detract from the core positioning of your product or service in the mind of the prospect.

No company can create its own position. A position is in the mind of the customer. All you try to do is to influence that position. In the classic book Selling The Invisible, Harry Beckwith asserts, “…your positioning is a place, and someone else puts you there: your prospects. Even services that do nothing to market their company have a position. A prospect simply takes what he knows about the company and positions the company accordingly.”

Beckwith goes on to explain the difference between position and a positioning statement:

A position (or statement of position) is a cold-hearted, no-nonsense statement of how you are perceived in the minds of prospects. It is your position.

A positioning statement, by contrast, states how you wish to be perceived. It is the core message you want to deliver in every medium, including elevators and airport waiting areas, to influence the perceptions of your service.

To understand where you are positioned, the best way to start is to ask your current customers what they care about most when it comes to choosing a product or service like yours. These are the critical factors on which they will compare your business to others. Then ask them to rate how your business performs against these critical success factors. Finally, ask them to rate other competing companies along the same lines. How is your business positioned in your customers’ minds?

Doing this has two distinct advantages. The first is a reality check – is your positioning statement believable, or completely out of touch? Are you claiming to be something that your customers don’t perceive you are? Companies fall in this trap all the time. They claim themselves to be the “leading”, “first”, “best”, and other exaggerated superlatives without really being that at all (a lot of the time they also don’t take into account whether prospects care for dealing with the leading, first, or best).

The second advantage is that in understanding where the gaps in your positioning vs. your positioning statement are, you’ll be in a better position to narrow that gap. The trick is to narrow this understanding of how you are positioned, with how you desire your business to be positioned (your positioning statement). Narrowing this gap will bring you closer to what you desire to be.

Take the example of Long Island Trust Company, a bank that Al Ries and Jack Trout wrote about in the marketing classic Positioning: The Battle For Your Mind. A new banking law allowed for less restrictions for big city names like Citibank and Chase Manhattan to enter the Long Island market. Long Island Trust Company was the biggest bank on the island, and stood to lose a lot from the influx of large competitors.

To help develop a competitive position for the Long Island Trust Company, formal positioning research was commissioned to map the prospect’s mind. Prospects were given a set of six attributes and asked to rate them on a scale of 1 to 10. These included: (1) many branches, (2) full range of services, (3) quality of service, (4) large capital, (5) helps Long Island residents, (6) helps Long Island economy.

The results of the first four traditional attributes (traditional reasons for doing business with a particular bank) were not looking good for Long Island Trust Company. In fact, out of six banks that they were compared to, they fared the worst on these first four factors.
However, they fared the best on the last two factors, which were specific to Long Island. This meant Long Island Trust Company had a strength – a better connection to Long Island than the big city banks. So they decided to leverage this strength, developing advertisements that had the following theme:

Why send your money to the city if you live on the Island?

It makes sense to keep you money close to home. Not at a city bank. But at Long Island Trust. Where it can work for Long Island.

After all, we concentrate on developing Long Island. Not Manhattan Island. Or some island off Kuwait.

Ask yourself, who do you think is most concerned about Long Island’s future?

A bank-come-lately with hundreds of other branches in the greater metropolitan areas plus affiliates in five continents?

Or a bank like ours that’s been here for over 50 years and has 33 offices on Long Island.

Further ads ran as follows: “If times get tough, will the city banks get going? (Back to the city).”

Fifteen months later, the same research was repeated. Long Island Trust Company went from lowest to highest in two of the four traditional attributes, and made solid gains in the other two.

The success in improving the positioning of the Long Island Trust Company is an example from a large, established company. One with large resources. What about smaller companies? How can small companies position themselves in the market?

In my experience, people who sell in small businesses are the most likely to face an inferiority complex. Their business is small, so they link that to their sense of self-worth. “You are small, so you must be lesser in many ways” is what many small business owners think. But there are significant advantages that prospects can benefit from in choosing to work with a small company. Here they are:
  • Greater access to the owner or head of the company. Most large companies bring in their senior most staff on occasion, and usually in the selling process. These senior people tend to disappear once the deal is signed, leaving less experienced staff to fend for themselves and deliver what was promised. In dealing with a small company, customers usually get greater access to the head of the company, who will make sure that the job is done well and customized to fit the need. This is a significant advantage and should not be overlooked!
  • Smaller companies are faster. There is less bureaucracy involved, which means they can make quicker decisions, which in turn means they can serve their clients better. The quicker you can solve a client’s issue, the more money and time you will make or save for the client.
  • Better understanding of customer needs. Small businesses tend to have more face time with their clients, which means they can understand their clients needs better than larger businesses can. Understanding the issues your clients face (and helping to communicate that back to them) is one of the single most valuable things you can do for a client.
  • Excitement. Due to its high capacity for risk, there is a lot of adventure around the innovation, change and challenge of running a small business. You never really know how it will turn out, and this can be very exciting. This will keep your employees excited too, and they in turn will be motivated as their efforts help shape the company, which reflects well on the service they deliver to your clients.
As a small business owner, building these strengths into your marketing is a great way to influence your position in the mind of your customer. It requires focus and attention to detail that takes a lot of work but is worth it in the long run. 

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Between Entrepreneurs and Employees

Steve Jobs
Justin Sullivan / GettySteve Jobs said you need a broad "bag of experiences."

Read more:

Around 13% of Americans are starting or running their own companies.
Almost everyone else is an employee.
We may have found out the difference between the two types. 
According to a 2013 Swiss-German study, the difference lies in disposition: While an employee is a specialist, an entrepreneur is a jack-of-all-trades. 
"Entrepreneurs differ from employees in that they must be sufficiently well versed in a whole set of entrepreneurial skills," write Uschi Backes-Gellner of the University of Zurich in Switzerland and Petra Moog of the University of Siegen in Germany. 
On the other hand, they say that employees are "specialists who work for others and whose talents are combined with those of other specialists (employees) by the entrepreneurs."
In their study, Backes-Gellner and Moog analyzed survey data from 2000 German college students. Their analysis showed that people with a broader portfolio of experiences were more likely to have a "disposition toward entrepreneurship." Qualities that predicted against entrepreneurship included a desire for job or income security, as well as, perhaps surprisingly, having an apprenticeship or internship — since those lead to specialization. 
Their study built on a decade's worth of research.
The "jack of all trades" theory first came from Stanford University economist Edward P. Lazear, whose studies of Stanford MBAs show that students who take a broad range of classes and a wider range of jobs are more likely to become entrepreneurs. A follow-up German study replicated those results. 
Backes-Gellner and Moog expanded on that finding by taking in social networks. Their research suggested that entrepreneurs don't just have a diverse set of skills, but they also have a diverse network of relationships — friends, parents, and business contacts that they can call on when launching a business. Findings in network science show that having such a diverse social network is hugely beneficial at a creative level, too, since the more perspectives you're exposed to, the more refined your ideas become.
So it's a double-diversity that leads to entrepreneurship: lots of experiences, lots of contacts. 
"It is the jacks-of-all-trades across a whole portfolio of individual resources and not the masters-of-one who are likely to become entrepreneurs," Backes-Gellner and Moog write. "The mere social butterflies or the mere computer nerds are not likely to become entrepreneurs because they are both too imbalanced and thereby less likely to be successful as entrepreneurs."
The research confirms a lot of folk wisdom about what makes founders function. None other than Steve Jobs used to say that creative people have a more diverse "bag of experiences" than everybody else. In a 1982 speech, the Apple founder told his audience that "if you're gonna make connections which are innovative ... you have to not have the same bag of experiences as everyone else does." 

Read more:

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Most and Least Racially Tolerant Countries

May 15, 2013

When two Swedish economists set out to examine whether economic freedom made people any more or less racist, they knew how they would gauge economic freedom, but they needed to find a way to measure a country's level of racial tolerance. So they turned to something called the World Values Survey, which has been measuring global attitudes and opinions for decades.

Among the dozens of questions that World Values asks, the Swedish economists found one that, they believe, could be a pretty good indicator of tolerance for other races. The survey asked respondents in more than 80 different countries to identify kinds of people they would not want as neighbors. Some respondents, picking from a list, chose "people of a different race." The more frequently that people in a given country say they don't want neighbors from other races, the economists reasoned, the less racially tolerant you could call that society. (The study concluded that economic freedom had no correlation with racial tolerance, but it does appear to correlate with tolerance toward homosexuals.)

Unfortunately, the Swedish economists did not include all of the World Values Survey data in their final research paper. So I went back to the source, compiled the original data and mapped it out on the infographic above. In the bluer countries, fewer people said they would not want neighbors of a different race; in red countries, more people did.

If we treat this data as indicative of racial tolerance, then we might conclude that people in the bluer countries are the least likely to express racist attitudes, while the people in red countries are the most likely.

Compare the results to this map of the world's most and least diverse countries.
Before we dive into the data, a couple of caveats. First, it's entirely likely that some people lied when answering this question; it would be surprising if they hadn't. But the operative question, unanswerable, is whether people in certain countries were more or less likely to answer the question honestly. For example, while the data suggest that Swedes are more racially tolerant than Finns, it's possible that the two groups are equally tolerant but that Finns are just more honest. The willingness to state such a preference out loud, though, might be an indicator of racial attitudes in itself. Second, the survey is not conducted every year; some of the results are very recent and some are several years old, so we're assuming the results are static, which might not be the case.

Here's what the data show:
• Anglo and Latin countries most tolerant. People in the survey were most likely to embrace a racially diverse neighbor in the United Kingdom and its Anglo former colonies (the United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand) and in Latin America. The only real exceptions were oil-rich Venezuela, where income inequality sometimes breaks along racial lines, and the Dominican Republic, perhaps because of its adjacency to troubled Haiti. Scandinavian countries also scored high.

• India and Jordan by far the least tolerant. In only two of 81 surveyed countries, more than 40 percent of respondents said they would not want a neighbor of a different race. This included 43.5 percent of Indians and 51.4 percent of Jordanian. (Note: World Values’ data for Bangladesh and Hong Kong appear to have been inverted, with in fact only 28.3 and 26.8 percent, respectively, having indicated they would not want a neighbor of a different race. Please see correction at the bottom of this post.)

• Wide, interesting variation across Europe. Immigration and national identity are big, touchy issues in much of Europe, where racial make-ups are changing. Though you might expect the richer, better-educated Western European nations to be more tolerant than those in Eastern Europe, that's not exactly the case. France appeared to be one of the least racially tolerant countries on the continent, with 22.7 percent saying they didn't want a neighbor of another race. Former Soviet states such as Belarus and Latvia scored as more tolerant than much of Europe. Many in the Balkans, perhaps after years of ethnicity-tinged wars, expressed lower racial tolerance.

• The Middle East not so tolerant. Immigration is also a big issue in this region, particularly in Egypt and Saudi Arabia, which often absorb economic migrants from poorer neighbors.

• Racial tolerance low in diverse Asian countries. Nations such as Indonesia and the Philippines, where many racial groups often jockey for influence and have complicated histories with one another, showed more skepticism of diversity. This was also true, to a lesser extent, in China and Kyrgyzstan. There were similar trends in parts of sub-Saharan Africa.

• South Korea, not very tolerant, is an outlier. Although the country is rich, well-educated, peaceful and ethnically homogenous – all trends that appear to coincide with racial tolerance – more than one in three South Koreans said they do not want a neighbor of a different race. This may have to do with Korea's particular view of its own racial-national identity as unique – studied by scholars such as B.R. Myers – and with the influx of Southeast Asian neighbors and the nation's long-held tensions with Japan.

• Pakistan, remarkably tolerant, also an outlier. Although the country has a number of factors that coincide with racial intolerance – sectarian violence, its location in the least-tolerant region of the world, low economic and human development indices – only 6.5 percent of Pakistanis objected to a neighbor of a different race. This would appear to suggest Pakistanis are more racially tolerant than even the Germans or the Dutch.

Update: I've heard some version of one question from an overwhelming number of readers: "I've met lots of Indians and Americans and found the former more racially tolerant than the latter. How can these results possibly be correct?" I'd suggest three possible explanations for this, some combination of which may or may not be true.

First, both India and the U.S. are enormous countries; anecdotal interactions are not representative of the whole, particularly given that people who are wealthy enough to travel internationally may be likely to encounter some subsets of these respective populations more than others.

Second, the survey question gets to internal, personal preferences; what the respondents want. One person's experiences hanging out with Americans or Indians, in addition to being anecdotal, only tell you about their outward behavior. Both of those ways of observing racial attitudes might suggest something about racial tolerance, but they're different indicators that measure different things, which could help explain how one might contradict the other.

Third, the survey question is a way of judging racial tolerance but, like many social science metrics, is indirect and imperfect. I cited the hypothetical about Swedes and Finns at the top of this post, noting that perhaps some people are just more honest about their racial tolerance than others. It's entirely possible that we're seeing some version of this effect in the U.S.-India comparison; maybe, for example, Americans are conditioned by their education and media to keep these sorts of racial preferences private, i.e. to lie about them on surveys, in a way that Indians might not be. That difference would be interesting in itself, but alas there is no survey question for honesty.

Correction: This post originally indicated that, according to the World Values Survey, 71.7 percent of Bangladeshis and 71.8 percent of Hong Kongers had said that they would not want a neighbor of a different race. In fact, those numbers appear to be substantially lower, 28.3 percent and 26.8 percent, respectively. In both cases, World Values appears to have erroneously posted the incorrect data on its Web site. Ashirul Amin, posting at the Tufts University Fletcher School’s emerging markets blog, looked into the data for Bangladesh and discovered the mistake. My thanks to Amin, who is Bangladeshi and was able to read the original questionnaire, for pointing this out. His analysis is worth reading in full, but here’s his conclusion:
The short answer is, yes, someone did fat finger this big time. "Yes" and "No" got swapped in the second round of the survey, which means that 28.3% of Bangladeshis said they wouldn’t want neighbors of a different race – not 71.7%.
26K Facebook likers and 2.5K Tweeters, take note.
Amin adds, “Bangladeshis are a tolerant bunch — it’s ok to come visit.” The error in the Hong Kong data, first discovered by Chinese-speaking users on Reddit, was flagged by Engadget Chinese editor Richard Lai. Ng Chun Hung, a University of Hong Kong professor who was the principal investigator on World Values' survey there, confirmed via e-mail that the data had been transposed on the survey company's Web site. He added that he has written the World Values Survey team to alert it to this and ask it to remove the faulty data. My thanks to him, as well as to Lai and the Reddit users who dug through original Chinese-language survey forms to demonstrate the error.