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Michio Kaku 2011 Debate: Discussion on the H1B Visa and the American Scientific Establishment

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posted on Feb, 20 2017 @ 12:52 PM
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So I'm usually pretty critical of this guy, for no other reason then the fact that he makes way more money doing television interviews and History Channel documentaries than he ever would from his own scientific research. He's published some books, and continues to teach physics, but the bulk of his income comes from simplifying science into a sort of television media that is marketable to the masses. So that is my predisposed bias towards him and it's founded on my hatred of celebrity culture.

Now that being said, I do not think that Dr. Michio Kaku is ignorant, nor is he irrelevant.

In this debate (uploaded in 2011) Dr. Kaku delves into a discussion about the connection between the H1B Immigration Visa and the American Scientific Establishment. All celebrity status set aside, this is a topic that Dr. Kaku is uniquely qualified to comment on.

It will be interesting to note that he begins by outlining the fundamental failure of America's own education system. He explains this by demonstrating historically, and statistically, how American universities (Ivy League in particular) are outsourcing their educations to the greatest minds from all around the world, particularly China & India.

Taking into consideration the fact that today, 70% of H1B Visas are issued to citizens of India who come here legally, I found this little gem from the not so distant past to be strikingly relevant to the ongoing discussions related to immigration and the way this current administration is beginning to address the problem.

One of the major problems in immigration identified by our current POTUS's administration is that we actually do want immigrants to come here, despite what some (many) in the media have been saying. Legal immigration is a major component in our economy, they work legally, they pay taxes, they are documented citizens of another nation with the United States' approval to enter our society.

One could argue that there has been a failure in the American media to address the logistical problems with our immigration system, this (I believe) is partly because of all of the emotionally charged immigration rhetoric, coming from either side, but being (so obviously) sensationalized by the MSM. It's preventing us from having real debates on immigration, on education, on foreign policy.

Another aspect of this discussion is how the American Scientific Establishment is inherently reliant on the H1B Visa Program to sustain itself. I for one, have absolutely nothing against the most brilliant minds in the world seeking to get their educations in America. What I am critically opposed to, however, is the lack of emphasis of the Scientific Method in American public schooling.

It seems to me, as somebody who graduated high school 11 years ago, that this country's public school system has shifted away from focusing on critical thinking and cognitive development, and has instead become a cesspool for political/religious/ideological indoctrination. Science classes in the middle and high school levels spend more time (in my opinion) advocating for climatology than actual critical thinking skills that are universally applicable and beneficial. I base this on nothing, by the way, other than my own observations, and the fact that Americans are a minority among the most prestigious scientific universities in its own land.

So I guess what I am asking of you ATS is:

How connected are the immigration and education systems in this country? How do they affect each other, if at all?

Will the H1B Visa system prove to dominate the American Scientific Establishment as it has for more than half a century?

What can be done to fix the problem of less Americans graduating from American schools, particularly in the Sciences?

Does the solution to the education problem involve adjustments to our immigration?

(Friendly reminder, this is not the mud-pit).




posted on Feb, 20 2017 @ 01:18 PM
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I don't know how much of it I would put at the feet of immigration. I think most of it has to do with money more than anything. This became obvious to me when the state I lived in at the time set up a rule stating that 8 missed days would result in credits lost for that semester, ( This was highschool ) regaurdless of the childs grade. They were losing to much federal money. Follow that with a major push for college with outrageous tuitions. A student debt crisis that now rivials credit card debt in America. As with so many things, follow the money.



posted on Feb, 20 2017 @ 01:28 PM
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All most all Americas greatest archivements from landing on the moon to splitting the atom was done with teams bad up of international scientists.



But the skill shortage in STEM is a problem in the USA (and UK!).

One thing I would do to fix that is cancel all the generous subsidised loans and government funding for useless degrees and instead use that money to fund free scholarships for Science and medical degrees.



posted on Feb, 20 2017 @ 01:31 PM
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I know there are a lot of people that aren't so smart here, but they seem to have a lot more fun than I do. I am a little jealous that they can just enjoy the spontaneous world. Michio Kaku is delusional in his assumption that a society cannot exist without the geniuses. We were doing better back in the sixties and seventies than now as a society. Knowledge is not the same as intelligence or wisdom. He actually seems to be lacking in Wisdom to me. He believes that people are intimidated by his bashing of them, it is quite the opposite, I think he has gone over the edge into a delusional world.

All we really need is food, warmth, shelter, and companionship. We also need something to do so we have a sense of belonging to a group. Michio has a lot to learn, he mistakenly believe we need him, we do not need the technology we have now, in fact the technology these geniuses make is making many of us dumb and irrational. The new generation cannot even use a roadmap anymore.



posted on Feb, 20 2017 @ 01:33 PM
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originally posted by: crazyewok
All most all Americas greatest archivements from landing on the moon to splitting the atom was done with teams bad up of international scientists.



But the skill shortage in STEM is a problem in the USA (and UK!).

One thing I would do to fix that is cancel all the generous subsidised loans and government funding for useless degrees and instead use that money to fund free scholarships for Science and medical degrees.


Did we really need to go to the moon? did we really need to split the Atom? Have nuclear power plants actually caused us to destroy our environment more by allowing us way more available energy?

Remember, you also are one of the inferior people he is talking about, unless your IQ is at least one sixty.
edit on 20-2-2017 by rickymouse because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 20 2017 @ 01:37 PM
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a reply to: rickymouse


Michio Kaku is delusional in his assumption that a society cannot exist without the geniuses. We were doing better back in the sixties and seventies than now as a society.


Just how were we doing better back in the 60s? I wasn't around then, so I am asking.



posted on Feb, 20 2017 @ 01:52 PM
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a reply to: ColdWisdom

Let's see, the kids did not need exercise equipment, most of them were skinny from actually playing outside.

It would take me fifty paragraphs to tell you how much better things were back then. A simpler life, less stress for most people. People actually walked to the store and they would hop in the car and go out and visit friends and relatives instead of sitting in front of the computer or staring at their phones.

They have created a society that is far from reality and taken all the real fun out of it.



posted on Feb, 20 2017 @ 02:45 PM
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a reply to: rickymouse

Well, from what I have gathered, in the 60s the music was better, movies were better, true liberalism gave rise to the 60s counter culture movement and the civil rights movements, and the acid was stronger.

I would love to have lived in the 60s.



posted on Feb, 20 2017 @ 03:05 PM
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Progressives once again are in a circular firing squad in regards to their own policies. On one hand, you have libs justifying H1-Bs using the excuse that our own educational institutions aren't doing a good enough job education American students in STEM. Then in the next breath, these same libs complain that the conservatives want to hold the Department of Education and public schools accountable and that any problems with public school are blown out of proportion. Which one is it?

Either our schools are good or they are not.

H1-Bs are popular because they are cheaper than Americans with the same skill set. I've worked for companies that hire a lot of H1-Bs and they absolutely did not pay the same wages. Of course, what is ironic is that most of these H1-Bs come from an educational system (India) that gives zero ph*cks about diversity, feelings, LBGTS, and whatever catchy feel good liberal cause is of the day. The singular focus is educating the best students in reading, writing, and arithmetic. Ask any Indian about their education system, particularly getting into IIT.

I have no problem with immigration of highly skilled immigrants. However, if our school system is not producing enough of these workers, we need to figure out why and fix the problem.



posted on Feb, 20 2017 @ 03:45 PM
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a reply to: ColdWisdom

Dr. Michio Kaku is well respected in scientist and I do think his income comes from him being an excellent host and in high demand.
On the H1B visas yes, there is some need sometimes for them but I do know that a lot of companies are abusing the system and hiring foreigners for very low wages...



posted on Feb, 20 2017 @ 03:47 PM
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a reply to: Edumakated


On one hand, you have libs justifying H1-Bs using the excuse that our own educational institutions aren't doing a good enough job education American students in STEM. Then in the next breath, these same libs complain that the conservatives want to hold the Department of Education and public schools accountable and that any problems with public school are blown out of proportion. Which one is it?


This guy gets it.



posted on Feb, 20 2017 @ 06:35 PM
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originally posted by: ColdWisdom
a reply to: rickymouse

Well, from what I have gathered, in the 60s the music was better, movies were better, true liberalism gave rise to the 60s counter culture movement and the civil rights movements, and the acid was stronger.

I would love to have lived in the 60s.


The seventies were much better, Rock and Roll. Then came Disco....
I went to a few disco bars, but I liked the biker bars much better.



posted on Feb, 20 2017 @ 07:08 PM
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Bullsh!t
The h1b visa is made to lower the cost of work for higher end jobs the way illegal immigrantion is for getting unskilled or trade skill labor at a lower cost.

Lol all the hyper genius indian computer scientists. I have a degree in computer science and had a professor who worked for nasa. They allowed the indian space agency team to come in and control the mars rover. The head of the indian information security team wanted to get on the nasa network and was kicked off twice. When he asked why he was informed he had multiple viruses on his computer. He got pissed stated he had a phd ect ect ect until they told him to run an antivirus on his computer. It found multiple viruses. This super indian genius almost got people fired because his couldn't run an A/V.

#2 Asians from china have been getting destroyed in some colleges or haven't lived up to the hype. What some of the colleges found is they have people take the tests for them so they can get accepted into our ivy league schools.

Its all bs to make people feel how the government wants them to feel.
That americans are lazy and under educated and if you beat that excuse its because your white or male lol.

The truth is pajit from india will take a job thats 60,000 for 30,000 and the same with lee fong from china. They will do that for for 2 or 3 years until they are citizens saving companies 90,000 over the course of 3 years now multuple that by 20 indian guys and 13 Chinese guys. After a couple of years they just fire 80 percent of them and hire new talent keeping the most productive 20 percent and raise their wage to actual current market value.

The story of getting the best of the best from other countries is a joke. First off if your the best in some high demand field most countries will treat you like a king to stay and work for them because its in their best interest to do so even if that country is poor they are doing better then 95 percent of the population.

Also our educational system is broken because its about money. New books every 2 years where they just scrabble the chapters from the previous book. Bs assignments which dont show you how to actually do the work. No real world testing on skills learned. To many filler classes which dont actually do anything for the persons field of study and the cost is made to put you in debt with little hope of climbing out.


edit on 20-2-2017 by digital01anarchy because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 20 2017 @ 07:57 PM
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a reply to: digital01anarchy

I can attest to that, on a personal level. I too have an advanced STEM degree, and have worked in the high-tech related industry for over 30 years. I have trained my "replacements" 3 times already.

One was from China, who barely spoke English and could not understand the material, but could (and would) work 12 hour days for 1/2 my pay. But, he would make 3x the mistakes, meaning I would have to go over the areas and fix them each time. Then, he went back to China to do my work there....badly but for 1/10th the cost.

Two were from India.

One was a great person, intelligent and attentive, and picked stuff up quickly. She really was good....to a point. When anything deviated from the norm, and required on-the-spot analysis and out-of-the-box thinking, she was totally lost. I would spend time hinting, and making vague suggestions to lead her into a different direction, but it never went very far. I think it was a culture thing since she still seemed unwilling to question any man's opinion or decision. Lots of yes...yes....in those cases when a different answer was warranted to save time and money wasted.

The other Indian H1B was a repeat of the Chinese case above. In addition, he was more interested in American culture and trying to imitate the latest fads, etc... It was essentially a culture shock thing IMO, and that distraction negatively affected his performance. However, when I mentioned this to HR, I was warned that it could be considered by some to be a racially motivated opinion. Nice. We wasted so much time and money to be PC that when he returned to India to do my job there, it was a disaster. Eventually, it came back for me to fix...until....that is....I was let go because I was finding too many faults in his work. PC nation, you got what you paid for.

The reason I mention this is that the H1B VISA program can be a wonderful thing for the right person (see #2 above). But in my experience, that is more the exception than the rule. Legal immigration, when done correctly, is great for all those involved and great for our country as a whole. When done wrong, it is the 180 opposite effect and it has a drastic affect on the whole country. IMO, we have been doing it wrong for at least 15 years now.

We need to change doing it wrong, regardless of the PC crying and accusations. It isn't about us or feelings, it is about sustaining the future of the citizens of THIS country, not the entire world.


edit on 2/20/2017 by Krakatoa because: spelling



posted on Feb, 20 2017 @ 08:33 PM
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I don't see any issue with the program and any future proposed changes would ensure that the applicant stays in the US for a period of time after graduation.
The problem I have is peoples views on our education system. We do need some changes and policy shifts, but it isnt all that bad. There are some really good schools in my area. The point is, I understand and agree to a point in regards to our education system, but it isnt all that bad and even though we will most likely introduce reform, it really boils down to a cultural and societal issue in that we have to want our children to be better instead of just saying "good job" to everything, without even looking away from the smart phone.
To know just even the basics in education is enough to merit an educated society. Thats how I feel about our current public system, provide at the very least the baseline information. Its really up to that person to pursue more education for furthur enlightenment, its all part of the discipline which ultimately comes back to culture and society, us. The tools are available, are they not?



posted on Feb, 20 2017 @ 09:24 PM
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a reply to: ColdWisdom

As a black person, anytime before the 1970s is a no go.



posted on Feb, 20 2017 @ 09:45 PM
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Nobody is saying immigration is a problem. What is the best way to deal with the illegal population that seems to be a popular topic these days



posted on Feb, 21 2017 @ 09:44 AM
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a reply to: Krakatoa


The reason I mention this is that the H1B VISA program can be a wonderful thing for the right person (see #2 above). But in my experience, that is more the exception than the rule. Legal immigration, when done correctly, is great for all those involved and great for our country as a whole. When done wrong, it is the 180 opposite effect and it has a drastic affect on the whole country. IMO, we have been doing it wrong for at least 15 years now.


I feel as though we could address the problems you have experienced by shifting to place more emphasis on the Scientific Method in public American schools. Teachers should be smarter, and get paid more, by the way.

In fact, teaching should be the highest paid profession in this country. That way you would have the best and brightest competing to teach our children.



posted on Feb, 21 2017 @ 09:51 AM
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originally posted by: ColdWisdom
a reply to: Krakatoa


The reason I mention this is that the H1B VISA program can be a wonderful thing for the right person (see #2 above). But in my experience, that is more the exception than the rule. Legal immigration, when done correctly, is great for all those involved and great for our country as a whole. When done wrong, it is the 180 opposite effect and it has a drastic affect on the whole country. IMO, we have been doing it wrong for at least 15 years now.


I feel as though we could address the problems you have experienced by shifting to place more emphasis on the Scientific Method in public American schools. Teachers should be smarter, and get paid more, by the way.

In fact, teaching should be the highest paid profession in this country. That way you would have the best and brightest competing to teach our children.


If schools were privatized and no union, teachers would be paid more. Schools would compete to hire the best teachers and it would drive up salaries for the really good teachers much like how rock star employees are paid more in the private sector.



posted on Feb, 21 2017 @ 10:18 AM
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The last time I can remember America being interested in science, engineering, and mathematics was in the 1950-60s. Atomic research, jet age, and the Space Race highlighted those times. GI's returning from wars went to college using the GI Bill, many getting degrees in those areas. By the 1970s, when I went through college, students were already heading for degrees in more lucrative fields of business, accounting, and law.

By the late 1980's, American adults were publicly laughingly apologizing for their lack of math skills, seeming to find basic skills as too difficult to do (fractions were considered on par with calculus)! Algebra was something others did, you know, those "class brains". Interest in business and finance degrees increased (although finance turned to mathematicians to devise financial derivatives!). Science became labeled "junk" and derided. Under those conditions, who would want to study in those areas?

America thought that if you just forced students to take STEM classes, that would do it.... but, as the old saying goes, you can lead a horse to water but you can't make him drink. Other countries place great importance and value on math and science, while America pays lip service.




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