From "plugs": the 'we are superior to you' syndrom


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The thread below is composed of posts removed from the “plugs” discussion (click) of this forum.

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“Just pull the third prong out”

Ayoh! As an electrical engineer, the electrics in Taiwan really scare me. If the manufacturer of a product thinks that an earth pin is needed - then it is needed! If you pull out the earth pin, and the product shorts, then YOU are the earth. OWW!


Great! Just what we need. Another electrical engineer that thinks he knows everything. Welcome to Taiwan, buddy, where everthing that makes sense is null and void. People 'round here have been pulling the pin from their plugs for decades. If they’d been having problems, they’d probably quit doing so. Besides…this shit is all made here. The manufacturers are the same people you think are full of shit! Just 'cause a man’s an OBGYN doesn’t mean he knows how to have better sex than someone who’s not. Spare me your “qualifications” and get a real job. Like a pimp!

Originally posted by Mo' Joe: People 'round here have been pulling the pin from their plugs for decades. If they'd been having problems, they'd probably quit doing so. [/QB]

Other things people here have been doing for decades:

Building apartments on moutains prone to mudslides.

Standing on piers to watch the heavy seas before a typhoon.

Breathing the air.

Riding a scooters with a baby on the floorboard and one strapped to Mom’s back.

Eating at the Ta-An night market.


What’s up, Jeff? Have you ever heard the phrase “When in Rome, do as the Romans do?” If people in Taiwan want to live like westerners, they’ll f@$%ing move west. People here live simplistic and practical lives, and that’s part of the charm of the culture. So what, if a mistake is made here and a mistake is made there? That’s how people learn.

Compare this to the west where:
-STD’s are spreading like wildfire, while people support, market and promote promiscuous lifestyles, at the same time shouting “safe sex” (which there consequently is no such thing as, seeing as all methods (except abstinence) only stop a limited number of STD’s)
-kids are growing up without fathers and shooting each other in the schools, while the governments support these lifestyles with welfare programs
-people live in wooden houses all along hurricane/typhoon-prone coasts (now that’s a good one!)

As you can see, you aren’t God to Taiwan, as you might like to believe. Take your “common-sense” antics back home where you came from, or learn to adapt.


Hey Jo, no need to get so offensive, man. The guy was just offering an expert opinion on the dodgy electrics found around Taiwan. Why do you find the need to start insulting the guy?



The mentality that “we are superior to you” is something I find offensive. In Taiwan, practicality wins over safety, every time. That’s what keeps the cost of living what it is.


I can accept a considered decision to favour practicality over safety. I am not sure that everyone is making a considered decision, that’s all.


Mo Joe,

I agree that the ‘we are superior to you’ syndrome that some foreigners in taiwan get is appalling. I agree with most of the advice you offered to Robbie in the other forum. I just want to add two important things.

Also beware of the second ‘we are superior to you syndrome’. This is where some foreigners admirably immerse themselves in Taiwanese culture, but overdo it to the point where they consider themselves superior to foreigners who have lesser Chiense ability to them or would lower themselves to eating in a western restaurant etc.

Theat kind of foreigner also gets the ‘everything about Chinese culture is betetr than everything about western culture’ syndrome. It’s important to remember that some things are done better in the west than Taiwan. Some people might think that safety standards are one of these things.



I agree, Bu Lai. It’s very adult of you to post such a humble assesment of yourself. But I have to say that what we, as foreigners, percieve as “best” is often different in the eyes of the locals. While living here, I have learned to look at things from different perspectives. There are many situations where there is no “perfect” way, and you must make compromises.

We cannot have the convenience of transportation without taking a risk. For instance…riding a motor scooter is risky. But considerably cheaper and more convenient than buying a car. What about nuclear power? There’s a risk of a meltdown that could kill thousands, but it’s a cheaper, cleaner and plentiful supply of energy. Every time we get on an airplane, we risk our lives in someone elses hands. 100 years from now, people are going to look back at us and say “Man, those people of the 21st century led RISKY lives!”

People 100 years ago led much riskier lives than we do, today. But I’ll argue that we aren’t necessarily “better off” today than we were 100 years ago. In some ways we are. For example, life is full of conveniences, and people live longer lives than they used to. Education is more accessible, and there’s more wealth than there used to be. But most people today are not as self-reliant and individualistic as those living 100 years ago. Look how many people DEPEND on the government for things. Welfare, health care, retirement, etc… They even COMPLAIN when these things are threatened, even though they’re capable of taking care of that shit by themselves. Look at how so many highly educated people lack common sense and wisdom. We’ve replaced life’s experiences with automatic tellers and drive through McDonalds’.

Here in Taiwan, things are a little bit more like they used to be in the west. Practicality. It’s not perfect, but I love it. There are some great things about the west, too. But if I were Taiwanese, I wouldn’t go to the U.S. and start ripping in to how stupid it is to build wooden houses on typhoon-prone coasts. It’s MY job to be critical of my country! Because at least I can do something about it. But here, it ain’t my business. I’ll just enjoy the good things about Taiwan. And, believe it or not, that ain’t too difficult. I never said I was better than anyone else. But neither are you, so don’t tell me what’s “best”!


Hi Mo’Joe:

Take the time to read your own post before you go off half-cocked. You’re the one who said “Welcome to Taiwan, buddy, where everthing that makes sense is null and void.”

My point was that the fact that people have been doing something for years doesn’t mean it’s a good idea. I limited my examples to Taiwan because your post focused on Taiwan, but thanks for backing me up with a couple nice examples from the States.


Just what the hell is your point, Jeff? I think I was pretty clear in making mine. Lower cost and convenience often outweigh safety concerns. Whether this is a “good idea” or not is your opinion. Should a good driver be as concerned about the risks of driving a motor scooter around as a bad one? Maybe some people are intelligent enough to know their limitations, and also be conscious of their abilities. Of course, far be it for you to at least award someone that.


The reason I responded to begin with was to point out that just because something is common practice does not mean it’s a good idea, and that (although I didn’t point this out)you had no reason to go off on Richard for pointing out the dangers of removing the third prong. And from this you decided that I have a God complex. I’m impressed! Usually it takes people a lot longer to figure that one out.

Yes, many people are aware of their own abilities. For example, I know that I’m an excellent conductor of electricity. That does not mean it’s a bad idea to point out dangers that people might not be aware of.

That’s what my point was. I don’t know how to make it any simpler than that.


Why is it that so many forums on websites like this that hold the potential to be so insightful and educational wind up in some self-righteous debate between two people who are so ready to be defensive and overly sensitive about racial issues. We are here to learn and to try to understand each other. If you are not interested in that then stay at home alone in your room and talk to yourself. I find these to be such pathetic examples of close mindedness and reverse racism. We should be thankful that there are so many different kinds of people in the world to bring greater richness to our lives. Have you missed the point?

quote[quote] Why is it that so many forums on websites like this that hold the potential to be so insightful and educational wind up in some self-righteous debate between two people who are so ready to be defensive and overly sensitive about racial issues. [/quote]

You have to be self-righteous to actually call someone that. As far as I can tell, a lot of negative observations were made about Taiwan. I merely pointed out that there are many positive things about Taiwan, and that these negative observations were nothing more than one-sided criticisms. I don’t recall race ever once being mentioned in this thread. Apperently, you’re confusing “culture” with “race”. If there’s any close-mindedness in here, it’s the one’s bitching about everything that’s wrong with Taiwan.


Hey Mo chill a little. This started out as a warning to removing the third prong by someone who might just happen to have a little more knowledge about things electrical then the averge “Joe”. Have you never received a shock here in Taiwan from un-grounded (earthed) appliances. Well in my many years I have. And no, do not read into what I have said in any way that I am comparing East vs. West, with the West being better. Just from experience!!

I would like to know and understand how this became a “everything that is wrong with Taiwan thread”

PS Mo I have also had the odd electrical shock back home



quote[quote] The mentality that "we are superior to you" is something I find offensive. [/quote]

Are you not trying to show that you are superior to the others posting on this thread??


Bingo, Craig, you win the grand prize! You’re precisely right, when you say: “Are you not trying to show that you are superior to the others posting on this thread??” I am NOT trying to make any claims as to my superiority. As a matter of fact, I’m doing just the opposite, which is to point out that “westerners” are not superior to Asians, as many of the muthas here would have us believe. I think I WILL have another drink, thank-you. Don’t let the lack of ground wiring shock you in the a$$ on the way out.


Let’s face it, Mo’Joe, people complain, or at least comment, about where they live. People like to vent. It relieves stress. And there’s no point in bit@#ing about somewhere you don’t live. I’m in southern California now and complain about the cost of living, the way people drive, and draconian rules imposed by homeowners associations, among other things. This doesn’t mean that I think people here have an inferior culture to those in Taiwan. When I was in Taiwan I complained about the pollution, people cutting in front of me in line, triple parking, and right turns from the left lane, among other things. Mostly I complained about issues that affected me on a daily basis. This does not mean that I hold Taiwanese people or culture in disdain.

My point is that you don’t need you infer a sense of racial or cultural sense of superiority from every negative comment about Taiwan you see on this forum. And on this “plug” thread, there wasn’t really a negative comment about Taiwan. Just advice that pulling out the ground prong might not be such a hot idea. Hell, we got the same advice during orientation at my new job in the States.


Racial/technical issues

I got this 4 times in 4 different asian countries - totally unconnected.

Just one example here - they were all the same technically.

“Sir - you are offering a 1600 amp circuit breaker - your generator is capable of - by my calculations 1602 amps - therefore your circuit breaker is not big enough!!”

It would never happen in a western country - unless the person questioning you was asian.