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I'm a bit confused about the point that you are trying to make here. As far as I can see there is nothing in this about social class in the traditional meaning of the phrase. It's about your view that people who study quantitative subjects (rather than poor benighted arts students like me) do better in "business", make more money, and become more successful.

You've cited some examples of people who, it is undeniable, are successful, but who also happen to fit your argument. But equally there are many successful businesspeople who did not study maths/CS/physics (John Paulson, hedge fund manager, started NYU doing film studies) and there are many examples of people with qualifications that you would probably argue show them to be intellectually gifted, who have completely failed in business (the example par excellence here is Long Term Capital Management, stuffed full of PhDs from top schools).

A key in this whole discussion is to define success. If you are just using money to keep score, then consider Tom Cruise, who didn't attend any university and is worth around half a bill.


Actually I found it very difficult to understand how it had happened. At school I was one of the best, I enjoyed maths, I understood the concepts and mostly found it easy. At University that all reversed: I was one of the worst, I couldn't do the assignments, I found the lectures boring, and I thoroughly disliked it. I found it very hard to comprehend how such a complete reversal had happened. And more than 15 years later, I still don't really get it... It's rather destabilising when you can't do the thing you expected to devote three years of your life to!


I'm finding this discussion very interesting because of my personal background. The general population would describe me as "good at maths". I would describe myself (because of context) as "bad at maths". I was one of the best all the way through high school and then started an undergraduate maths course known for being challenging. After a few weeks I completely hit a wall and couldn't progress any further with it. (I changed course to music.) My sister, father and brother-in-law all completed a whole undergraduate course in maths - I couldn't finish the first year. So I think I am bad at maths.

Following on: I think I have a much deeper aesthetic understanding of music than my father and sister. They, the "better" mathematicians, are excellent musicians, but in a functional sense. I'd say that I, the "worse" mathematician, have a much more profound insight into music than they do.


Iron overload / haemochromatosis occurs in approx 0.5% of the population of Northern European origin (and less in other ethnicities). Undiagnosed and untreated the iron will build up in the liver and other organs and cause a variety of unpleasant side effects. Venesection is the standard treatment, though I suggest that less than 0.5% of the population is not significant enough to explain the other studies.