Open Thread, June 16-30, 2012

Related to: List of public drafts on LessWrong

Is meritocracy inhumane?

Consider how meritocracy leeches the lower and middle class of highly capable people and how this increases the actual differences both in culture and in ability between the various parts of a society. This then increases the gap between them. It seems to make sense that ceteris paribus they will live more segregated from each other than ever before.

Now merit has many dimensions, but lets take the example of a trait that helps you with virtually anything. Highly intelligent people have p... (read more)

I see at least two other major problems with meritocracy.

First, a meritocracy opens for talented people not only positions of productive economic and intellectual activity, but also positions of rent-seeking. So while it's certainly great that meritocracy in science has given us von Neumann, meritocracy in other areas of life has at the same time given us von Neumanns of rent-seeking, who have taken the practices of rent-seeking to an unprecedented extent and to ever more ingenious, intellectually involved, and emotionally appealing rationalizations. (In ... (read more)

Open Thread, June 16-30, 2012

by OpenThreadGuy 1 min read15th Jun 2012350 comments


If it's worth saying, but not worth its own post, even in Discussion, it goes here.