Quite frequently, when Dr Livingstone — that great Victorian discoverer — the first white man to explore the ‘dark depths’ of rain-forest Africa — came across another new tribe he’d find a village shop there. A Gujurati trader might have been there for a century or more. They were the ones who’d penetrated sub-Saharan Africa long before the European nations, tripping over themselves in their haste, when starting to colonise the Continent.
The Gujuratis, an specially intelligent and enterprising culture of western India, were either adventurous because they were intelligent, or hey were especially intelligent as a result of being world travellers. The same applies to three more especially bright cultures — the Jews, the Armenians and the coastal Han Chinese. World travellers all for different reasons — often persecution — they all also became wide ranging diasporas and, wherever they found themselves, they all tended to became more successful than those of the indigenous populations in which they settled.
Modern studies show that there’s a disproportionately high perccntage of 1st or 2nd generation immigrants among the most successful in any generation. The 60,000 Gujurati small business people whom General Amin threw out of Uganda and who arrived in this country in the 1960s with little more than the clothes they were wearing and a change of them in their suitcases spawned hundreds of businesses in this country, including two billionaires.
We’re probably going to have to be more intelligent in future decades and centuries — the nature of our increasing specializations will see to it. But, in any case, I suspect that this would happen anyway. There are so many young people travelling the world — particularly in the crucial period before 25 years of age while their frontal lobes are developing new ideas that have a chance to build neuronal network of their own..