Did Hong Kong become a culturally confused society?

Apr 2018
355
Upland, Sweden
Well Im not surprised that there are alot of and standardisation in term of the desired answering format, or narration, for the Exam questions, after all it is the most reasonable thing to do since each year there would be tens of thousands of people taking the test. However, even with a standardized format, the test taker would still need to do critical thinking, in a way to 'guess' what kind of answer the examiners want to see. In a way, this is what most standardized tests is like even today, from CIE A levels, SAT, to GaoKao, all of these huge standardised testing have what we call "Marking Scheme", which follow a set of expected answering scheme, but does not mean that these tests doesnt require critical thinking and are only pure memory test.

But regardless of all the controversies, the Chinese Examination system form the foundation of what we now know as a standardised test, which is still widely employed in todays world, and responding to NordicDemosthenes , the system is still much better than anything europe had to offer at the time.
Critical thinking as a way to "guess what kind of answer the examiners want to see". Brilliant: I bet that kind of mentality is exactly what you want to encourage in a large organization if you are to maximize efficiency, not to speak of fairness. The true sign of a bureaucracy inculcating a mentality of uncorruptability, objectivity and concern with the public good in its future scions.

Or not.

Lawyers and doctors for example usually have not (since the renaissance, and middle ages in the case of lawyers) been examined primarily by test-taking alone, but have been taught by shadowing one in their field or sitting in on lots of court-room decisions/ dissections etc. Standardized tests are a great way to, as JBI pointed out, shape your candidates mental processes. Some standardized tests are fairly objective (IQ-tests for example), but as soon as you start writing tests with more instrumental or subjective knowledge you will always end up in a situation that is shall we say, sub-optimal.

The reason standardized tests have been implemented as a recruiting tool in the West have much more to do with 1) the need for larger bureaucracies meant that traditional forms of advancement in government became difficult or impossible 2) as a way to combat corruption. I honestly don't think anyone considers standardized tests in and of themselves to be this brilliant invention for testing suitability: it might do a good job of raising the average base-line, but point me out a situation in which test-taking ability is a good indication of true excellence and I will point out a broken system.

That arch administrator, Bismarck, only passed his tests for the Prussian Civil Service by hiring a "crammer" - repeatedly his academic merits were quite... spotty, overall. He got most of his knowledge by selecting his own lists for reading and practical experience. Modern bureaucracies and organizations often seem to promote mediocrity.

Anyway, as for your second claim that Europe did not have anything better to offer.... here is where you misunderstand my point. Europe at the time (when exactly is that by the way? Before the 1850s?) didn't have as large a bureaucracy a China, because overall there was no need for it. The more decentralized nature of European governance, the greater prominence of wars and the warrior aristocracy etc. meant that government bureaucrats were simply not responsible for as many matters of state as Chinese bureaucrats - they were mainly concentrated to the legal system and book-keeping. Unlike in China (from what I know), lawyers, doctors etc. had their independent tests and so on, decided by local guilds and communities - not the state. They varied somewhat, but usually had some kind of "test-dimension" but with a large focus on other issues: legal practice in the case of lawyers, and increasing elements of dissection, anatomy etc. in the case of doctors from the Renaissance onward.

Also, since when is having a huge and powerful bureaucracy actually an advantage to a country? You can argue that point if you will, I don't believe so.

Regardless, my points are - I believe - quite illustrated by where the British first decided to implement standardized tests. It was 1) for administration of the Colonies and 2) Education. These are areas which were well suited to (or needed) both larger bureaucracies, and are comparatively well suited to standardized testing. In the colonies for example it is quite easy for the government to decide what is "rational" and "desirable" over the heads of the people - as the people are not free, but rather subjected to a foreign power. While the chinese imperial bureaucracy was perhaps not seen as "foreign" by the provincials in the same way the European colonial powers were, I believe the dynamics are still quite similar, are they not?
 
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Apr 2018
355
Upland, Sweden
I did not know the test questions were so open ended and multi-faceted though @Roger Smith.

Perhaps I did not do enough research, event if these more open ended questions were something more limited to the Ming forward.

Regardless, I believe the points I made in my above post still stand.
 
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Feb 2011
5,811
This was what Roger Smith said:
However, it should be noted that just passing the Imperial Exam is no guarantee that a candidate can climb up to the highest positions in the government, it only secure entry to base level official position based on their results, but promotion and honor to a higher level/power is usually granted by more senior officials or the emperor based on merits and achievements of the the official (and of course, also by connection, money, corruption still exist). Just like a university degree in engineering only help you entry into the field, but your success and position as engineer will ultimately be determined by your work, not your degree. In this case, the imperial exam works as the first filter to select the view people with excellent work ethic and enough intelligence to pass the test, but the rest of their career is not 100% only based on their exam results. For example, if you did pass the exams but not rank high, you may become a county commissioner in some remote location, or staff under a governor; if you ranked high, you might get higher starting position, but it is only a start of your political / civil servant career, and you work up your future career from there.

This was what you said:
Lawyers and doctors for example usually have not (since the renaissance, and middle ages in the case of lawyers) been examined primarily by test-taking alone, but have been taught by shadowing one in their field or sitting in on lots of court-room decisions/ dissections etc.

I'm not seeing the contradiction. I think enough explanations are given already that the imperial exams are 'pass to play', not 'pass to win'.

NordicDemosthenes said:
Unlike in China (from what I know), lawyers, doctors etc. had their independent tests and so on, decided by local guilds and communities - not the state. They varied somewhat, but usually had some kind of "test-dimension" but with a large focus on other issues: legal practice in the case of lawyers, and increasing elements of dissection, anatomy etc. in the case of doctors from the Renaissance onward.
I would like to read about the evidence for the tests done by doctors and lawyers during the Renaissance, as well as example problems.
 
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Oct 2018
12
Somewhere
1) for administration of the Colonies and 2) Education. These are areas which were well suited to (or needed) both larger bureaucracies, and are comparatively well suited to standardized testing. In the colonies for example it is quite easy for the government to decide what is "rational" and "desirable" over the heads of the people - as the people are not free, but rather subjected to a foreign power. While the chinese imperial bureaucracy was perhaps not seen as "foreign" by the provincials in the same way the European colonial powers were, I believe the dynamics are still quite similar, are they not?
Wrong, British India is where Standardized Testing first tried, but soon after it was proven to be successful it was widely implemented to other British Commonwealth, and later to Europe and America as well. It has nothing to do with controlling what is "desirable" or "rational", and all these mind controlling stuffs you implied.
 
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Apr 2018
355
Upland, Sweden
Wrong, British India is where Standardized Testing first tried, but soon after it was proven to be successful it was widely implemented to other British Commonwealth, and later to Europe and America as well. It has nothing to do with controlling what is "desirable" or "rational", and all these mind controlling stuffs you implied.
I never claimed what you claim I did - and even if I did you are missing the point. Read my post.
 
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Apr 2018
355
Upland, Sweden
This was what Roger Smith said:
However, it should be noted that just passing the Imperial Exam is no guarantee that a candidate can climb up to the highest positions in the government, it only secure entry to base level official position based on their results, but promotion and honor to a higher level/power is usually granted by more senior officials or the emperor based on merits and achievements of the the official (and of course, also by connection, money, corruption still exist). Just like a university degree in engineering only help you entry into the field, but your success and position as engineer will ultimately be determined by your work, not your degree. In this case, the imperial exam works as the first filter to select the view people with excellent work ethic and enough intelligence to pass the test, but the rest of their career is not 100% only based on their exam results. For example, if you did pass the exams but not rank high, you may become a county commissioner in some remote location, or staff under a governor; if you ranked high, you might get higher starting position, but it is only a start of your political / civil servant career, and you work up your future career from there.

This was what you said:
Lawyers and doctors for example usually have not (since the renaissance, and middle ages in the case of lawyers) been examined primarily by test-taking alone, but have been taught by shadowing one in their field or sitting in on lots of court-room decisions/ dissections etc.

I'm not seeing the contradiction. I think enough explanations are given already that the imperial exams are 'pass to play', not 'pass to win'.
My first point is that in Europe before the 1850s your supposed score results on tests was not enough to "pass to play": practical experience or some artificial substitute for it seems to have been also required for admittance. If that is correct there is a contradiction

My second point is that it seems to be difficult to speak of a bureaucracy in the Chinese sense in Europe until the 1850s, and then it was usually confined to the colonies and imperial administration to begin with. Bureaucracies are not inevitable, but often the product of political centralisation. In states organized like most European states were, generalized bureaucrats who's dream job was to govern and "enact policy" like the Chinese once (or modern English PPE-graduates for that matter) are simply not very suitable

I would like to read about the evidence for the tests done by doctors and lawyers during the Renaissance, as well as example problems.
Since they weren't provided by the government but rather by independent universities and guilds etc. the evidence situation is a bit different. But I'll try to find a few sources if you want
 
Feb 2011
5,811
NordicDemosthenes said:
My first point is that in Europe before the 1850s your supposed score results on tests was not enough to "pass to play": practical experience or some artificial substitute for it seems to have been also required for admittance. If that is correct there is a contradiction
If that is correct then prove it is correct, either for the government officials, or the doctors and lawyers of Reinassance Europe you mentioned.

Especilly because I don't understand how you could claim that "practical experience" would be a requirement prior to actually working in the field. You have to first work in order to gain "practical experience". So please show the evidence to explain this seeming contradiction.

NordicDemosthenes said:
My second point is that it seems to be difficult to speak of a bureaucracy in the Chinese sense in Europe until the 1850s, and then it was usually confined to the colonies and imperial administration to begin with. Bureaucracies are not inevitable, but often the product of political centralisation. In states organized like most European states were, generalized bureaucrats who's dream job was to govern and "enact policy" like the Chinese once (or modern English PPE-graduates for that matter) are simply not very suitable
Saying bureaucracies is "often the product of political centralisation" implies that you can have political centralisation without bureaucracy. Can you give an example? Why is it not suitable for bureaucrats to govern Europe? Because it's decentralized? Then are you saying all states in pre-1850's Europe were better of decentralized? On what basis?

NordicDemosthenes said:
Since they weren't provided by the government but rather by independent universities and guilds etc. the evidence situation is a bit different. But I'll try to find a few sources if you want
It is irrelevant. If you make a claim then I will assume you have the evidence to back up said claim. If you don't have the evidence then you shouldn't make the claim because that's the definition of making things up. So when you made the claim, I assume you have the evidence, as I should give people the benefit of the doubt.
 
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