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Comments (29)

Jan 13, 2022 - 10:33am

For instance, would you agree that advancement in our society(assuming you live in NA) is based on our performance? Considering that some people are born with a silver spoon and more opportunities than others, while also taking into account how race plays a role in the number/quality of opportunities you encounter, systemic racism etc...

Jan 13, 2022 - 10:36am

Yes but the only way to combat inequality is to generally provide the same base-level education and opportunity. I do think there is more nuance than saying 100% meritocracy as no two people have the same upbringing, but past high school, yes I do believe your performance should be paramount. College is not the only route to success. I know a lineman making more than me as a Senior person in a F500 company.

Jan 13, 2022 - 10:34am

I am a freedom maximalist. Meritocracy is a good thing but I don't care about it as much as I do freedom.

Also it's hard to define exactly what a perfect meritocracy would look like. Yes, yes, "selection based purely on ability". But how should one judge another's ability? What factors are important? I'm sure a debate could be held for a lifetime without any real resolution.

So, meritocracy is a good idea in theory, but I have no idea what it would actually look like. Freedom, on the other hand, is much simpler to define and, in my opinion, should be maximized above all else.

Jan 13, 2022 - 10:38am

Freedom, on the other hand, is much simpler to define and, in my opinion, should be maximized above all else.

How does my freedom interact with your freedom? Do you get the freedom to drive down my street at 100 MPH or do I get the freedom to cross the road safely? Do you get the freedom to play music at max volume at any time of the day or night or do I get the freedom to enjoy my property in peace and quiet?

"Maximising freedom" is a meaningless dead-end.

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Jan 13, 2022 - 10:41am

Im assuming he is talking about freedom that does not steps into other people's freedom, but it can be ambiguous. If i may add, an example that went through my mind is vaccination in Quebec, it was said that those who made the choice to be unvaccinated will have to pay a fee at the end of the year, so at the end of the day, how would you define freedom if your choices are « free » but mostly based on consequences that are put out with these choices.

Jan 13, 2022 - 10:46am

This is a question of hierarchy. Not all freedom maximalists will agree with my opinion on this, but here is how I see it:

If you want to drive on a road, then you have to abide by the road's rules. If the people who built the road say you can only drive 15mph, then you ought to only have the freedom to drive 15mph. The same goes for blasting music in a building.

One important caveat is that if you are compelled to drive on a specific road/live somewhere specific then you should not be compelled to follow the rules because you're being forced into following specific rules (which is not freedom).

Jan 13, 2022 - 11:07am

Legitimate meritocracy yes but there will never be 100% full but its still really good compared to other options in my opinion. Like for example getting hired due to relationships or certain deals and people being legacy but it's way better than forcing everyone to be mediocre and lots of these relationships can also be a work of skill in itself.

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Jan 13, 2022 - 3:03pm

No. Similar, but not exact. Just like how the U.S. isn't a true democracy but is a democratic republic. The concept of meritocratic advancement is certainly there, but is very much influenced by things such as inherited wealth or resources, inherited genetics, environment (social, legal, ethical, hell even phsyical featuers such as climate and geography) and more. A large part of it also comes down to timing whether you can influence it or not. We all have examples of being in the right place at the right time but just a dollar short so we can't capitalize on it, or the other way around of having nothing but time and resources but nothing to apply it to.

We've seen all too many times where someone is born "with a silver spoon in their mouth" as said above, but then becomes a smack addict and dies at the age of 32. On the flipside, we have stories of people coming from Apartheid South Africa to becoming the richest man in the world (Elon Musk, look him up some time).

Jan 13, 2022 - 3:07pm

100% pure? Absolutely not. Those with money can push others to power who aren't deserving. However, this is the case for all nations everywhere.

In the USA, if you work hard and make good grades, you will succeed. My entire family came here for college, worked hard in college to get jobs, and continued working hard. Now they are all successful. Sure, not multi-millionaires with yachts, but more than enough to live comfortably.

You can work hard in a third world country and have almost no hope of making it out of relative poverty. I too know this, as I've visited orphanages where kids dream of becoming fighter pilots and doctors, yet the sad truth is they're more likely to grow up and never leave the area where they'll work a local job in the market.

I truly believe that if you work not only hard, but smart as well, you will be rewarded.

Jan 14, 2022 - 8:16pm

Light in the dark tunnel

Do you think us is a meritocracy, why and why not :)

Not a straight answer, some areas yes say like academia but in most fortune 1000 companies no. Politics, people you know and do not know comes into play to change meritocracy.

SafariJoe, wins again!
Jan 14, 2022 - 8:16pm


Political economy has a strong correlation with a country's meritocracy. 

I think the U.S. is still (probably) the most meritocratic country in the world. 

And you are basing this on what data exactly? Or just your experience?

SafariJoe, wins again!
Jan 13, 2022 - 11:00pm

If you take one event in vacuum it's pretty clear to me that nothing is truly 100% meritocratic, but if you take them in aggregate luck sort of evens out and hard work and merit triumph.

It's absolutely possible to be the best candidate for a job and to get passed over, but it's very unlikely that'll you get passed by tens of them if you're really the best one.I stress hard-work here, because even if you're the best guy you need to go out there and prove for people to believe in it.

Jan 14, 2022 - 4:00pm

High school sports - nepotism for sure, working for a chance at D1 college for...

College - play for glory, bragging rights and to show up in an EA game, and hopefully be good enough to parlay that into a pro league paycheck

Professional - paycheck first and foremost, then bragging rights. They already drill it into you them if you're on an MLB/NFL/NHL/NBA roster you're the 1% of the 1% which is ironically why most of those cats are really chill people off the court because they already know they're on the top of the game.

Jan 14, 2022 - 1:05pm

Tbh, I think sales is one of the few places where you can find TRUE meritocracy. Some people can start from the ground up - zero connections, zero domain knowledge, and just sell the shit out of whatever products they're tasked to sell. 

I worked for one B2B tech company, where one of the top sales folks was this 26 year old guy, with something like 4-5 years of experience. Netted around $100k a month in commission...blew through his targets the first few months, and just continued. Had the most average Joe background you could think of. 

Jan 14, 2022 - 6:12pm

What is the measure for meritocracy?

Hard work, good grades, sweat equity?

Meritocracy is a concept much like virtue or good and evil. It can't exit since there is no objective measure for it. Society is full of selection mechanism that one must mature through. These selection are systematic filters that enable the functionality of our system (e.g everyone cant be a banker/Swe/consultant the system needs garbage men and maids too). 

Though there are baseline metrics that create the façade of "meritocracy" it is rife with bias by the selectors (eg why do quarterbacks need to be 6'4./ why SWE used to need a elite college degrees). Therefore the term much like god is left as a concept society strive towards keeping selector honest but even then cant be perfect (eg Asian-Americans with perfect grades being filtered out of ivies for legacies/athletes/diversity).

Jan 14, 2022 - 6:44pm

The measure for meritocracy is results.

"If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them." - Bruce Lee

Jan 14, 2022 - 8:16pm

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Jan 14, 2022 - 8:16pm

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