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Israel vs. the Arabs, sort of.

I read today that Israelis received 970 US patents in the last year. That number of patents, from such a small country, is amazing. It made me wonder how many patents were obtained by all those enlightened Arab countries. I was willing to bet real money that tiny Israel has more patentable ideas than all of the Arab nations combined. Well, I found the information of the US Patent office website's search page. The population data is from the 2001 CIA Factbook. Here are the results:

Arab Emirates402.4
Saudi Arabia312122.8

Arab Totals7924288.7


Well, it seems that my data is not the exact same as what is claimed in the Jerusalem Post article, but it's close.

Productivity of the two works out this way:

RegionInventor Ratio*****Assignee Ratio******
Arab Totals.274.083

In raw numbers, Israel produces 20 times as many patentable ideas as the Arab countries. Corrected for population*******, Israelis overall produce patentable new ideas 587.65 times more per person than Arabs overall. Israeli companies in Israel produce patentable ideas 1114.96 times more per person than Arab companies in Arab countries.

Why is that? I don't buy into race-based nonsense about intelligence, so I am left to believe that it must be political and/or cultural. Clearly, repressive societies throughout history have been outpaced economically and scientifically by free societies. I think that is key to the difference.

Islam must have something to do with it. In a country where blasphemy is a crime, it has to have a chilling effect on the kind of freewheeling thought experiments that typify creative activity. We in the West have our own examples of that effect, such as the Catholic Church's resistance to scientific inquiry in the Middle Ages.

Political repression, I believe, is the most important factor in the manifest backwardness of the Arab world. Steven Den Beste has an article about the importance of independent thinking and trust in the military sphere, and I think that much of that applies to economic and intellectual pursuits as well. In addition, corruption and cronyism are rampant in the Arab world, and these too have a deleterious effect on economic endeavors.

I have no answers about what to do, or whether we should do anything, to assist the Arabs out of their self-made squalor. A cynical little voice in my head tells me "it's their bed, let them sleep in it." However, they have become a threat to us through their religious fanaticism. For our own sakes, we are going to cause changes in the Arab world. Perhaps, those changes will work out to the benefit of the Arabs as well.

*Number of patents where the inventor is from this nation.
**Number of patents where the patent is assigned to an inividual or company in that nation.
***Djibouti does not have a country coded listed in the patent database.
****This was an error in the patent database, this one patent should have been for Japan.
*****Inventors per million population.
******Patent assignments per million population.
*******This first calculation makes a big assumption about the number of Arabs and Israelis living outside of their home countries. The calculation would not be off by much, even if the assumption is wildly wrong.

UPDATE: This seems to have set off a storm of interest over at Charles Johnson's site.

Posted On 8/14/2002 by Kieran Lyons

George Galloway, our modern day Tokyo Rose

George Galloway is a radical leftist MP from Scotland who is notorious for his anti-Americanism. He has recently been in the news for calling others liars in Parliament. He also was the butt of a John Malkovic comment, where Mr. Malkovic said he would like to fight him to death. Well, our George is back in the news, continuing his second career as an apologist for Saddam Hussein. Tim Blair has the goods on Galloway.

I had been saving this graphic for the next time Cynthia McKinney or Barbara Lee do something stupid, but I'll use it here for our Georgie boy.

Leftists will stop hating America when they learn to love logic more.

Posted On 8/13/2002 by Kieran Lyons

Where's the outrage?

Leftists are rightly outraged when the Ken Lay's of the world build immense personal fortunes through fraud and theft. Now, we have a greedy thief who has pulled of a hat trick of fraud, theft, and wanton murder of innocents.

Somehow I doubt that there will be much outrage from the left about this one, though.


Posted On 8/13/2002 by Kieran Lyons

Oh, so they don't like us either.

It appears the Saudis don't much like the attention they are getting in US media, according to this editorial by Nawaf Obaid. I love this paragraph
American determination to remove Yasser Arafat and Saddam Hussein with or without the support of the kingdom or the Arab world has strengthened the domestic perception that Americans hold the Saudis and Arabs in disdain.
Mr. Obaid, you have no idea how true that is. And your people and their governments have earned every iota of our rightful disdain.

Posted On 8/12/2002 by Kieran Lyons

Our enemies the Saudis

Once again, the Saudi regime is showing its true colors. They are refusing access to 16 Al-Qaida suspects, and will not allow us to interrogate them.

Just like the Khobar Towers investigation. Look for these 16 to be swiftly executed, just to put them beyond our reach.

Posted On 8/12/2002 by Kieran Lyons

Homeland security does something smart.

For once, it looks as if the feds are doing something at least a little bit smart. They are investigating Arab businesses for links to terrorist financing. Coupon fraud, while it sounds silly, is very big money. Coupons are redeemed for cash by the coupon issuer, so the idea is that a grocery store can misrepresent the number of coupons presented, and simply bank the money.

Of course, Ibrahim Hooper from CAIR got his panties in a twist over this:

"It wouldn't surprise me that authorities are singling out Arab and Muslim businesses for scrutiny, given the presumption of guilt we've confronted from government since September 11,"
Yeah that's right, presumption of guilt. Like when we rounded up all the Arabs and Muslims and put them in detention camps. Just put a sock in it, Ibrahim.

Posted On 8/12/2002 by Kieran Lyons

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