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tsuomela : meritocracy   33

Frank, R.H.: Success and Luck: Good Fortune and the Myth of Meritocracy (Hardcover, Paperback and eBook) | Princeton University Press
"How important is luck in economic success? No question more reliably divides conservatives from liberals. As conservatives correctly observe, people who amass great fortunes are almost always talented and hardworking. But liberals are also correct to note that countless others have those same qualities yet never earn much. In recent years, social scientists have discovered that chance plays a much larger role in important life outcomes than most people imagine. In Success and Luck, bestselling author and New York Times economics columnist Robert Frank explores the surprising implications of those findings to show why the rich underestimate the importance of luck in success—and why that hurts everyone, even the wealthy. Frank describes how, in a world increasingly dominated by winner-take-all markets, chance opportunities and trivial initial advantages often translate into much larger ones—and enormous income differences—over time; how false beliefs about luck persist, despite compelling evidence against them; and how myths about personal success and luck shape individual and political choices in harmful ways. But, Frank argues, we could decrease the inequality driven by sheer luck by adopting simple, unintrusive policies that would free up trillions of dollars each year—more than enough to fix our crumbling infrastructure, expand healthcare coverage, fight global warming, and reduce poverty, all without requiring painful sacrifices from anyone. If this sounds implausible, you'll be surprised to discover that the solution requires only a few, noncontroversial steps."
book  publisher  meritocracy  merit  success  luck 
december 2017 by tsuomela
Late Afternoon of the (Academic) Elites | Easily Distracted
"So let’s take the one small corner of American life that’s at stake in the exchange between Bérubé and his commenter: the training, hiring, and continuing employment of faculty in higher education."
academia  work  meritocracy  jobs  phd  fairness 
april 2013 by tsuomela
Guest Review by Aaron Swartz: Chris Hayes’ The Twilight of The Elites — Crooked Timber
"Hayes pins the blame on an unlikely suspect: meritocracy. We thought we would just simply pick out the best and raise them to the top, but once they got there they inevitably used their privilege to entrench themselves and their kids (inequality is, Hayes says, “autocatalytic”). Opening up the elite to more efficient competition didn’t make things more fair, it just legitimated a more intense scramble. The result was an arms race among the elite, pushing all of them to embrace the most unscrupulous forms of cheating and fraud to secure their coveted positions. As competition takes over at the high end, personal worth resolves into exchange value, and the elite power accumulated in one sector can be traded for elite power in another: a regulator can become a bank VP, a modern TV host can use their stardom to become a bestselling author (try to imagine Edward R. Murrow using the nightly news to flog his books the way Bill O’Reilly does). This creates a unitary elite, detached from the bulk of society, yet at the same time even more insecure."
elites  expertise  inequality  income-distribution  power  politics  economics  american  meritocracy 
june 2012 by tsuomela
Heather Wilson - Our superficial scholars
"I have, however, become increasingly concerned in recent years - not about the talent of the applicants but about the education American universities are providing. Even from America's great liberal arts colleges, transcripts reflect an undergraduate specialization that would have been unthinkably narrow just a generation ago. "
education  meritocracy  elites  rhodes-scholarship  academic  pedagogy  specialization 
january 2011 by tsuomela
Everyday Sociology Blog: Hard Work Has Its Limits
"It’s disturbing to think that the American Dream isn’t available to everyone all of the time. It’s frustrating to consider that hard work gets some people nowhere. I’m not suggesting that we start reading books with titles like “Failure is Inevitable” and “Laziness is a Virtue.” And I don’t expect to see an author on Oprah Winfrey’s show promoting a book called “Stop Trying.” Hard work and achievement will probably always be core American values. I just want to acknowledge what I think is a cold economic fact: hard work has its limits."
work  purpose  meritocracy  success  america  american-dream 
december 2010 by tsuomela
Open Left:: The pedagogy of the oppressors: The Cold War university & the roots of our current crisis
"On further reflection, however, I believe I have a clearer view of what's going on here.  Yes, conservative hegemonic warfare plays an important unacknowledged role.  But it has been successful in part because of the nature of the so-called "liberal establishment" which defined itself  in the context of the Cold War."
...Mario Savio, free speech at Berkeley, Clark Kerr and the uses of the university, administrator overreach, decline and fall of liberal education
education  conservatism  markets  ideology  cold-war  economics  meritocracy  academia  decline  liberal  liberal-arts  corporatism 
december 2010 by tsuomela
Notional Slurry » Richard Rorty, Voltairine de Cleyre, Peter Drucker and Clay Shirky walk into a bar…
The risk these social forces pose is that the increased potential for general and popular success of smart people draws our local unsung luminaries up and away. So they can talk amongst themselves.

And not with us.

We should be linked to one another by conversations that look back and forward and down, and most of all sideways at one another. Not just “up” at our luminous colleagues, our canon, but across at the friend we never suspected knew so much about that thing we were working on together.

I’ve come to detest the consensus of shared culture and its keepers, and our canon, and the news we’re told. I’m trying to rely more on the people in my presence, and the people they know personally.
...
We’re all of us always wrong. I pity the famous, the canon-makers, the revealers of truth, my professor friends because they’ve sacrificed their right to be wrong at the altar of Progress.

And as far as I can tell, that means they’re stuck; they’re not allowed to make mistakes in public.
community  pragmatism  anarchism  critique  business  success  professionalization  meritocracy  thinking 
november 2010 by tsuomela
NAS - The National Association of Scholars
NAS was founded in 1987, soon after Allan Bloom’s surprise best-seller, The Closing of the American Mind, alerted Americans to the ravages wrought by illiberal ideologies on campus. The founders of NAS summoned faculty members from across the political spectrum to help defend the core values of liberal education.

The NAS today is higher education’s most vigilant watchdog. We stand for intellectual integrity in the curriculum, in the classroom, and across the campus—and we respond when colleges and universities fall short of the mark. We uphold the principle of individual merit and oppose racial, gender, and other group preferences. And we regard the Western intellectual heritage as the indispensable foundation of American higher education
academia  education  pedagogy  political-correctness  meritocracy  liberal-arts  conservative 
july 2010 by tsuomela
The Myth of the Meritocracy - National - The Atlantic
Intelligence is a process, not a fixed, gene-determined, thing. This process begins very early on, before we can even really see it, and we therefore often confuse these early, invisible stages with some sort of innate giftedness. Then we test kids and report the results as innate differences--this one is gifted, this one is not. This one has extra promise; that one does not. We send the "gifted" ones to good schools with small class sizes, better-trained teachers, better infrastructure, better relationships with parents, and higher expectations. We send the apparently-unpromising kids to under-funded, teach-to-test schools with minimal expectations.

And then we tell ourselves that we live in an educational meritocracy. Jennifer Senior's piece helps expose that fallacy.
meritocracy  education  iq  intelligence  gifted 
march 2010 by tsuomela
Ezra Klein - Why Americans hate (some of) their elites
Oddly for Brooks, however, this column operates entirely outside the realm of human agency. After all, doctors and the military are very trusted, and we've turned massive amounts of responsibility over to new elites, like those out of Silicon Valley, with nary a peep. So it's not simply that Americans hate elites. It's that they don't like certain institutions. And there's a perfectly plausible explanation for why.

The institutions they don't like are the institutions that have been the subject of well-organized and extremely costly attack campaigns for decades now.
expertise  politics  leadership  trust  society  talent  meritocracy  elites  elitism  public 
february 2010 by tsuomela
Op-Ed Columnist - The Power Elite - NYTimes.com
by David Brooks - "Yet here’s the funny thing. As we’ve made our institutions more meritocratic, their public standing has plummeted. We’ve increased the diversity and talent level of people at the top of society, yet trust in elites has never been lower."
expertise  politics  leadership  trust  society  talent  meritocracy  elites  elitism  public 
february 2010 by tsuomela
"So You Just Squandered Billions . . . Take Another Whack at It" By Steven Pearlstein
The bad stuff happened after I left. . . . The losses that occurred on my watch were more than offset by our profits during the boom. . . . I saw it coming and sold off most of it before the crash. . . . Our securities performed better than most.

There is probably some truth to these excuses, but taken as a whole, they are really nothing more than a cop-out. It's hard to believe that large organizations could really go from being smart and honest one day to being stupid and deceitful a year later. Nor is it credible that the money they earned during the good years was the result of individual brilliance while the money lost in the bad years was the result of uncontrollable market forces. It is also a peculiar moral code that says it is okay to traffic in crappy securities, just as long as you don't get stuck with them in your own portfolio when the market finally craters.
economics  finance  elites  power  wealth  meritocracy  success  money  banking  morality  ethics  business  business-as-usual  behavior 
september 2009 by tsuomela
Lawyers, Guns and Money: The Sub Prime Kristol Meltdown
I remember back in the late '90s when Ira Katznelson, an eminent political scientist at Columbia, came to deliver a guest lecture to an economic philosophy class I was taking. It was a great lecture, made more so by the fact that the class was only about ten or twelve students and we got got ask all kinds of questions and got a lot of great, provocative answers. Anyhow, Prof. Katznelson described a lunch he had with Irving Kristol back either during the first Bush administration. The talk turned to William Kristol, then Dan Quayle's chief of staff, and how he got his start in politics. Irving recalled how he talked to his friend Harvey Mansfield at Harvard, who secured William a place there as both an undergrad and graduate student
conservatism  affirmative-action  meritocracy 
october 2008 by tsuomela

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