trubadour wrote:Seems strange how many posters here seem to be able to accept that people have, say, that fixed commuter face in London but can't accept that people have a similarly fixed face thing going on here!
I am sure that is something one can see in many cities in various countries on several continents. And i haven't noticed anybody objecting to that observation. OTOH, the objection that started this thread seems to have been triggered by someone's suggestion that old people in Taiwan must be unhappy because they don't smile - that suggestion is in my view at best a hasty conclusion, i.e., nothing more than a guess, related to insufficient experience (with this I agree with the point the OP - of this, the forked off, thread - appears to have tried to make).
It all comes off like a strange case of exceptionalism to object to this particular generalisation.
Which generalization are you speaking of here?
at least two caveats: that they should beware of drawing false conclusions
Here we speak the same language!
they aught to try to evaluate the validity of said conclusions by other means (but what further means are there but more observation and knowledge obtained by other sources)
Exactly - that goes a long way toward preventing false conclusions! Floating a hypothesis on the flob and thus inviting a discussion is one of those means that some can use - and through the discussion that has ensued it has perhaps become obvious already that not every suggestion about why Taiwanese people (or a subset of them) do what they do holds up to scrutiny. So everybody is a winner, no? BTW, I don't agree with the assessment "awful thread" - I think the other thread is quite educational and
"very normal" (by flob standards) - but the term "awful" is an emotional expression that at the time seemed right for the OP, and i feel free to leave that aside and concern myself with the ideas that have come out of this discussion (as a multicultural person with life experience in several countries I find discussions of this sort a great opportunity for learning and teaching ).