Fairness Creates Crybaby Snowflakes Who Create Nothing

The Unfair Advantage of Discomfort

In 1962, psychologist Victor Goertzel published a book called “Cradles of Eminence: A Provocative Study of the Childhoods of Over 400 Famous Twentieth-Century Men and Women.” They selected individuals who had had at least two biographies written about them and who had made a positive contribution to society. They found that less than 15% of their famous men and women had been raised in supportive, untroubled homes, with another 10% in a mixed setting. Of the 400, a full 75% grew up in a family burdened by a severe problem: poverty, abuse, absent parents, alcoholism, serious illness or some other misfortune.

Boldfaced emphasis added by me.

And this quote jumped out at me:

To really enjoy the better things in life, one must first have experienced the things they are better than. – Oscar Holmolka

That quote alone is the story of the iPhone triumphing.

And I loved this because it’s what everyone overlooks:

The most uncrowded path to profound wealth is often subtle improvements in an existing industry so beautifully boring as to not attract attention from those attempting to sharpen a unicorn horn instead.

Boldfaced emphasis added by me.

That’s the lesson pounded home in two books by Max Gunther: The Very, Very Rich and How They Got That Way: The spectacular success stories of 15 men who made it to the very, very top and Instant Millionaires: The Secrets of Overnight Success (the “instant” is a bit misleading).

And ask yourself: How many unicorns are actually innovative? What they’re basically doing is moving existing chess pieces around. AirBnB doesn’t own property. Uber and Lyft don’t (generally) own cars. Apple didn’t create the cellphone (but they did reinvent it). And whoever thought there was an opportunity in the boring and millenia-old wheel?

Listen to Holohan!

If You Can’t Make A Living In America, You’re Not Paying Attention

Previously here:

Human Variables category

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5 Responses to Fairness Creates Crybaby Snowflakes Who Create Nothing

  1. I get what you’re saying here and agree. But it’s a slippery rhetorical slope – this is how we get to extremists claiming that disadvantage is advantage and oppression is good (while experiencing neither for themselves. It’s how we get politicians claiming that victims of abuse actually have it good because now they have “victim status” and can profit off of that in some way. So it’s a tricky needle to thread here.

    • mikecane says:

      No one is fooled. And if you were to ask all of those people in the 75% if they would have rather had a non-traumatic upbringing, they’d go for it over their riches and rewards. Money isn’t everything. But comfort is often a disaster that doesn’t build resilience and imagination.

      EDIT to add: And those who claim “victim status,” well, they’re just hopeless to begin with.

      • We are very much on the same page. Victims would like to run away from “victim status” as quickly as they possibly can.

        I see a lot of coddled wealthy people who are absolutely CLUELESS about what the rest of us are going through. This business about Bezos’s helipad is sticking in my craw in a way other inequalities aren’t, for some reason. I can’t even get into the office today and he gets a fucking HELIPAD? Winter is NOT going to be kind to Amazon here. It’s going to amplify the oligarchal bifurcation.

      • mikecane says:

        I’ve tried to ignore, as much as possible, the Amazon HQ thing in Queens. The most ridiculous thing I’ve seen is how thousands of people will be descending on that area. Ermmmm… this happens every damn day in the city, everywhere. The idiot writer made it sound like an invasion. Meanwhile, is anyone paying attention to how rents will become unaffordable and landlords are licking their chops? Frankly, I don’t even want to know. I’m got my own battle on this damn Island.

        As for victim status, some of the people claiming it have it as their damn *profession* these days.

      • Yeah, it’s the rents, and how people are going to be priced out of what is considered a reasonable area to live in. Very not okay.

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