Pumpkin Person rating: 8/10
Dark Matter (based on a true story) is a fascinating little film about some of the problems high IQ East Asians face when trying to cope with U.S. universities. The film tells the story of Liu Xing, a large cranium physics PhD student from China with the highest qualifying score in the history of his American university’s physics program.
His professor is eager to meet such a brilliant mind, but finds his extreme humility, bad English and worshipful attitude (yes sir, whatever you say, sir) a bit socially awkward. I remember thinking that if the professor were aware of Rushton’s theory that East Asians are more highly evolved than the rest of us because of their recent divergence from the evolutionary tree, he wouldn’t find this behavior so weird.
The professor makes clear that Xing is allowed to challenge him, which Xing finds refreshing because in his home country, students are so respectful of teachers that they never challenge authority and as a result, they have fallen behind the West culturally despite being genetically more advanced according to Rushton.
Now free to challenge his professors, Xing makes a brilliant discovery that greatly improves his professor’s model for understanding the universe, but because the professor’s ego can’t handle being upstaged by a university kid, and because he cares more about his status than advancing science, he starts giving Xing a hard time.
He tells Xing that his mathematical tests were not rigorous enough to prove Xing’s ideas, even though those tests were previously considered the gold standard.
Coming from a more evolved race where such psychopathic and aggressive behavior was weeded out in part by 40,000 years of cold winters, Xing simply can’t understand how people can be so evil and shady, and is absolutely devastated.
The professor’s hatred for Xing grows as he notices the irony that someone as humble and worshipful as Xing is publicly correcting his theory. Seeing a group of East Asians on campus, the professor makes the bitter observation that their humility is just a façade to hide their deep arrogance. Rubbing salt in the wound, the professor’s receptionist states that the Chinese achieved civilization 2000 years before whites did.
Furious, the professor forbids Xing from pursuing his “dark matter” theory of the universe, and this leads to Xing dropping out of school to sell lady’s moisturizer, a job he clearly lacks the English and social skills to pursue.
Seeing his fall from grace is absolutely devastating to Joanna Silver (played by Meryl Streep) a wealthy sinophile who so desperately wanted Xing to succeed.
Adding insult to injury, Xing is rejected by a white girl he has a crush on.
Finally, he just can’t take it anymore, and he returns to the physics department with a gun and goes on a killing spree. This is a classic example of what Lion of the Blogosphere calls beta-male rage. Lion writes:
The overwhelmingly vast majority of violent crime is committed by thugs.
Beta-male rage is rare, but is on the rise. It happens when a lesser beta male, with no history of violence, criminal behavior or thuggishness, surprises everyone by committing a violent crime.
By a lesser beta male, we mean a male who has below-average success with women. Beta-male-rage crimes are never committed by men with girlfriends or wives.
Also, to be beta-male rage, the perpetrator cannot be suffering from mental illness such as schizophrenia. A lot of crimes that initially appear to be candidates for beta-male rage turn out to be schizophrenia.
Sadly, it’s not just primitive thuggish people that engage in senseless violence. More evolved life forms do so too, but their motives for doing so are very different.