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Monday, December 18, 2017

The Age of Outrage

This article by Jonathan Haidt, to me, is the most insightful of the year and perhaps the millennium. It's tough to excerpt so I'll just provide the link.


Hey Skipper said...

I just read that yesterday. You are right, it is an excellent piece.

No time to comment now, though.

Clovis e Adri said...

A nice piece, though I think he places far too much emphasis on universities, and its students, as clock keepers.

Erp sent me, a few days ago, this interesting article, wherefrom I take this excerpt:

To me, Costco represents the best of American capitalism. It is a corporation known for having its customers and employees in mind, while at the same time it has compensated its shareholders handsomely over the years. To the customers, it offers the best combination of quality and low cost. Whenever it manages to reduce costs, it passes the savings on to customers immediately. Achieving a 10 percent gross margin with prices below Amazon’s is truly incredible. After I had been there once, I found it hard to shop elsewhere.


Eventually I was able to meet the chief financial officer of my favorite company, Costco. He told me that they don’t hire any MBAs. Everyone starts by pushing trolleys. (I have seriously thought about doing just that. But my wife is strongly against it.) Maybe, I thought, that is why the company is so successful—no MBAs!

I think part of the secret of America is that its clock keepers are all out there, even pushing trolleys, while University fads come and go.

Clovis e Adri said...

Forgot to link the article:

erp said...

Clovis, glad you posted this article. One of the most interesting parts was that the author had so much trouble with Chinese testing which was in his native culture and had so little trouble acing testing in the UK and the US. Does this mean do you think that his competition in China was so much brighter than ours or that he was was more comfortable with our way of thinking than his native land?

I wish he had expanded that part of the article.

Clovis e Adri said...


It is hard to know from his paragraphs what he really thinks about it, but I offer to you what I think: you could take all the test-takers doing better than him back in China, and place in the position he was later in the UK, and they would all do very well in those tests too. It does not mean, though, they would do as well as he apparently did later on after his graduation.

There is some correlation between being very good at tests, and doing fine in real life, but it is not so strong a correlation. The people I know, from University or school times, who are doing better, aren't the ones with the best grades, and it looks like my experience is no exception.

erp said...

You're right depending on what path one takes. I have two sons. One is a certified (by the Princeton testing service) genius. The other is very bright as well -- their IQ's don't differ by much, but in entirely different way. They are opposite sides of the coin. Luckily each chose a path that made the best use of his talents.

Example: Elder son in grade 6 is asked to write a paper on "Our Friend the Beaver." He researches same to the extent he becomes the foremost authority on beavers on the planet -- gets an A+ on the paper. Younger son has the same assignment when he gets to grade 6, reads the book jacket on a children's book on beavers, writes a paper complete with some interesting drawings, gets an A+.

Younger son hires people like his big brother to do the brain work while he takes care of business.