Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Merit & Nudges

'A pretty reliable rule is that everything you think was invented somewhere other than China was probably invented in China' (Tim Urban). Part of the enlightenment and humanism was the raising of the individual, and crediting people with merit rather than divine rights mixing feudalism and religion to entrench hierarchy. Mostly good. Except most of the credit for what we do IS hereditary. It just doesn't belong to any individual, or because of any bloodline. Social Capital - the tools at our disposal like language, money, laws, professions, science - is cumulative with each generation nudging it forward. Our personal merit is tiny. A thin slice that is mostly the connecting of other people's ideas. No one, ever, was or will be self-made.

 

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