Re: true abundance?

From: Samantha Atkins (
Date: Tue Jan 30 2001 - 11:18:10 MST

Chris Russo wrote:
> >I was referring to the population of the world when I said most
> >people spend the majority of their time doing things they don't want
> >to be doing. I've never been to China or India, but I've known
> >people from both places. From what they tell me and from what I've
> >read, it seems that the majority of the people there spend more time
> >working than people in the US and most of the work is pretty tiring
> >and definitely not what you'd call fun or uplifting.
> Don't completely trust people who live in a country to give you an
> objective opinion. I spent several months working in India about 6
> years back, and I have a completely opposite opinion of the work
> ethic there.
> During my time in Hyderabad (large city toward the center of India),
> I had a chance to observe a number of different classes of people in
> their day-to-day lives.
> My fellow Americans and I were absolutely astounded at the milling
> around going on. You'd see large groups of the same men standing
> around for hours during the day. At first, I thought the men
> standing outside my window on the side of the road were waiting for a
> bus or something, but soon, it became apparent that these guys were
> just hanging out shooting the breeze. This was day after day,
> everywhere we went. I'm not talking about one or two guys hanging
> out on an isolated corner, I'm talking about clumps of dozens all up
> and down the roads.

Are you sure these guys had jobs? Or homes for that matter? The
unemployed will often be seen even in Western countries passing time
with one another.

Now, on the other hand I have been told by Indian friends that things
are strange at the University level. There is pretty strong competition
to get in but once in it is almost impossible to flunk out.

> The engineers in our office were better, although I was a bit
> surprised at the lack of drive and enthusiasm. We were a successful
> American startup with Indian ownership, so we had good funding and
> lots of "connections" to locals who could find good people,
> equipment, etc. We had lots of modern workstations, tons of
> documentation, a good Internet connection, and we let our engineers
> know that we were more than willing to allow them after-hours and
> weekend use of the computers for their own projects. The
> universities that these guys attended had old crappy computers that
> they could only get access to for a couple of hours a week. We were
> offering them a technological playground, and making ourselves
> available to teach them anything they wanted to learn.
> They couldn't have cared less. For the most part, they came in,
> worked their hours, then went home.

That has not been my experience with the people from India that come to
the US generally. Actually it is mixed as you would expect. Some
people want to
"do their time" and leave much like many US natives. Others are the
among the most dedicated and tenacious learners and engineers I have
ever worked with. But perhaps being different in that way is strongly
correlated with choosing to come to the US?

I can believe that generations of poverty plus generations of foreign
rule have bred in a bit of a dearth of ambition. Plus religions that
teach this world is maya do not help.

- samantha

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