Quote: Egalitarian Dream

Title: Outliers
Author: Malcolm Gladwell
Page: 268

To build a better world we need to replace the patchwork of lucky breaks and arbitrary advantages that today determine success—the fortunate birth dates and happy accidents of history—with a society that provides opportunities for all.

It seems that some of the arbitrary advantages could be made more egalitarian but lucky breaks in history would be harder to handle since no one knows what the lucky break is until years later. I am sure all schools would like to have had computers earlier so their kids could ‘play’ on them as did Bill Gates, but alas it is not possible.

Usually for the valleys to be filled the hills must be leveled, giving all the kids equal access to computers probably would have meant Bill Gates would not have had the access he had cause it would have had to be shared with others.

One Response to “Quote: Egalitarian Dream”

  1. I don’t think he’s talking about giving everyone access to top of the line computers. The sense I got from it was that when we can recognize completely arbitrary advantages, advantages that exist as an accident, there may be steps we can take not to lower the level of opportunity to the lowest common denominator, but to raise it. Like with the hockey players being born in Jan-Feb. The current system of leagues and dates benefits them, and because of this many kids who could become just as good are ignored. It’s a tremendous waste of potential. By changing cutoff dates and adjusting league age ranges, it’d be possible to give many more young hockey players the chance to stand out.

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