House of Paint - 2009
Consumers, complainers, or agents of change. And how to..

Myth of Meritocracy

I saw this TED lecture Tweeted by Imogene Heap - it's not music related but I tend to follow people like her that have eclectic tastes similar to mine.

The presenter, Alain de Botton, talks of Success and Failure, and how we determine it. I wanted to add more to the tweet - they go to my Facebook status, so I went in to add to the text via a comment. However, I hit the bar for number of characters. So added it here, with a link....

Alain talks of how when we meet people, we ask "what do you do", so that we can easily pigeonhole and judge them. We assume they are defined by whether they are a dentist or an undertaker, and then apply snobbery to decide it they are better than us or not, since some occupations have more status in our mind than others.
Try asking someone what some of their passions in life  are - rather than if they are a fireman or a politician or a welfare recipient.

Some people can answer the question, many are surprised and intrigued, others seem afraid that the snobbery will extend to whatever their passions are. Personally I don't care what your passions are, just that you have some. I'm just looking for the differences, to learn. As I've said in here before, I believe we are here to enjoy life, and also to make some positive contributions, to leave the campground in better shape than when we found it. For the people that have no passions, that are just complacent consumers, I feel sorry for you. I suppose every society needs drones, but it seems such a waste. 
Alain also discusses the myth of meritocracy -we say we want people to be promoted and succeed based on merit, rather than on who they know, or on blind luck. But if we accept that, we also must accept that  some people will not gain in status/money/influence on merit. Some will lose all those things - based on merit. And as society should we not then follow through on our argument and be prepared to leave them there? With no social net of those "less fortunate", because we have taken fortune/luck out of the equation?

I'm off to a singles thing shortly - a casual affair on an outside patio. I'll troll for passions.


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