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FOS

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One of the unquestioned assumptions of our age, which is foundational to liberalism and capitalism, is that merit should decide who gets what job or what reward. The ideal society is supposed to be one where we all compete against eachother in a fair game-with the state only existing to ensure the game is fair-and whoever wins is naturally whoever was best.

this is a perfectly reasonable idea and quite intuitive...and does seem to work in the world of say...sports. anyone no matter what their race or class or religious background etc. Might be an excellent football quarterback, for example...we can observe that. It would seem logical that this trend would also work in politics and the building of human societies.

But as a rather scientific minded person, I tend to have little faith in the human powers of deduction when dealing with real world things. Science has proven that the real world does not always operate in a way that makes sense to us. And if we look at the track record of meritocracy in history...without prejudice or assumptions...it clearly has been a horrible thing.

all of the greatest empires in history arose in an environment where all authority...both political and academic...was deeply exclusionary. You were expected to be the correct ethnicity, religion, a man, and of noble birth. And every time an empire tried to remove such privileges we can observe a rapid decay of the empire into chaos and brutality: the  bolshevik revolution, The French revolution, the fall of the roman empire folowing caracalla removing privileges of ethnic romans, the end of the Persian empire, the short life of Macedon,  and indeed the obvious collapse of the anglosphere that we can see today.

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FOS

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But what can explain this? How could our intuition about merit be wrong?

I would suggest a few reasons: first of all, it may be more important to give people power and responsibility based on their LOYALTY rather than their ability. And the best way to ensure loyalty is to offer the person a strong sense of belonging. Thus the Macedonian army under Alexander were willing to fight with far more dedication than the diverse armies of persia...most of whom were not even Persian and probably could not imagine why exactly it was good for them to be subjects of persia.

And nobody really 'feels' like they belong to a society because they won a competition. What brings people together has to be something deeper. Family, for example.. which is simply a microscopic version of race....the sense of shared ancestry and thus legacy.

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FOS

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Also, I believe we should remind ourselves that we are biological life forms...not purely rational creatures with perfect free will. The way humans develop a society is the result of instinct and genetic adaptation...just like any other social animal. A wolf pack that is made up of many different kinds of wolves will cease to function correctly ..because of the slight differences in their instincts and talents. Why would it not be the same for humans? We are genetically tuned to a certain way of living...the one we thrived in...and any revolution will result in an evolutionary mismatch...something we are not adapted to.
 

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FOS

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Furthermore; I believe we drastically overvalue having 'the best person for the job'. It really is not necessary for someone to be the best...they merely need to be good enough. Indeed.. in real life fortune often matters far more than ability. Without question napoleon was the greatest general of his day...but did he win? No, he was ultimately defeated. If it costs a huge price to actually find the BEST person.. then perhaps you are allowing the perfect to be the enemy of the good.

having a simple and well ordered selection process may simply be better than a complex and deeply involved selection process for only a tiny increase in the person's ability.
 

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SJConspirator

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I agree that meritocracy has never existed. I disagree that it would be a bad thing

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Cannonpointer

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SJConspirator » 22 Sep 2022, 8:19 pm » wrote:
FOS » 22 Sep 2022, 6:00 pm » wrote: having a simple and well ordered selection process may simply be better than a complex and deeply involved selection process for only a tiny increase in the person's ability.
I agree that meritocracy has never existed. I disagree that it would be a bad thing
I don't think he is saying that meritocracy is a bad thing. I think he's saying it's over-rated and unachievable.

One of the things you will never see me cuss a man for is nepotism - on the simple principle that I don't cuss folks for doing the same **** I do.

Being a fellow who will **** on meritocracy to hook up a relative, I'm in no great position to champion it, outside of the realm of theory - which is the only realm in which a meritocracy ever has existed or ever will exist.

What we have done, historically, is meritocracy-ish. The question FOS raises is whether a PURE meritocracy (could such exist) would have served better. I believe he makes a pretty strong argument that it would not have done.

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Deezer Shoove

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Cannonpointer » 22 Sep 2022, 9:17 pm » wrote: I don't think he is saying that meritocracy is a bad thing. I think he's saying it's over-rated and unachievable.

One of the things you will never see me cuss a man for is nepotism - on the simple principle that I don't cuss folks for doing the same **** I do.

Being a fellow who will **** on meritocracy to hook up a relative, I'm in no great position to champion it, outside of the realm of theory - which is the only realm in which a meritocracy ever has existed or ever will exist.

What we have done, historically, is meritocracy-ish. The question FOS raises is whether a PURE meritocracy (could such exist) would have served better. I believe he makes a pretty strong argument that it would not have done.
Nepotism rarely has anything to do with merit.
A family business, teeming with nepotism, would have loyalty as the glue that makes it work.
If that glue isn't there (cousin Knuckles **** up everything, so is disliked) the biz suffers.

So, FOS is truly onto something in that regard.

A big corporation (I have experience in this) with rampant nepotism alienates a LOT of good people.
Why be loyal? Just there for the paycheck since most are not related to a big shot.
...and a lot of those relatives really like their asses kissed. The biz suffers...
The favored few rule. Poorly. And nobody says much of anything about it.

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FOS

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SJConspirator » 22 Sep 2022, 8:19 pm » wrote: I agree that meritocracy has never existed. I disagree that it would be a bad thing
We have never had zero meritocracy. Even in the least merit driven systems when the king was a babbling idiot a steward would quietly run the country. 

 

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omh

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FOS » 22 Sep 2022, 5:43 pm » wrote: One of the unquestioned assumptions of our age, which is foundational to liberalism and capitalism, is that merit should decide who gets what job or what reward.

why is it unquestionable? Oh your ideology said so and history of obedience to power of suggesting life exceeds being eternally separated as conceived to replace previous 4 generations next 4 generations nobody is duplicated twice between event horizons as inception of a species and extinction of all ancestral lineages developed between.

9 gates of Eternal Hell Established since original ancestors became dead 1 of 16 great great grandparents and every great great grandchild added had 30 ancestors making up their personal DNA like no other ever born until all ancestries never deliver another great great grandchild again.


follow the stages of genetic evolving as naturally timed apart per ancestor occupying space now. origins of the species which ancestors became became 1 of 16 great great grandparents to each great great grandchild having 6.25% their DNA.

that same great great grandchild has 12.5% their 8 great grandparents progresses to 25% each grandparent up to combined 50% each parent's maturing reproductive cell that made the conception to a specific replacement forward that either becomes one of 2 parents or that specific DNA result doesn't continue ever changing lineage present.

that same great great grandchild that did become 50% a next generation, is able to might become 25% a grandparent to their children's children. inversion conversion geometrically accounted for in DNA never duplicates people same way oxygen and hydrogen never duplicate a snowflake. the same raindrop never enters a river twice. Morning dew is never same dew each rotation of the planet each 24 segment intellectually calculating ways to corrupt next generation born one at a time now.
Last edited by omh on 23 Sep 2022, 6:17 am, edited 1 time in total.

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FOS

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The evil nazis were more meritocratic than monarchy...and i would argue more than we are today. You did not have to be of noble birth or rich to become a member of the elite in nazi germany. But you did have to be german.

Many people try to meme that the nazis suffered because they did not allow jews to do technology. But that is actually total rubbish. The nazis in fact had a technological edge over the allies despite rejecting jew scientists. They invented the rocket, the jet engine, and many other things well before the allies.

They did not develop the nuclear bomb not because they couldn't but because Hitler refused to support the project, saying such a weapon would be too destructive.

They also suffered from a general lack of resources. Their airplane and tank design was far superior to ours.. but they had to build things that would not cost too much oil or rubber...cause they didn't have such resources

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omh

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FOS » 23 Sep 2022, 6:16 am » wrote: The evil nazis were more meritocratic than monarchy...and i would argue more than we are today. You did not have to be of noble birth or rich to become a member of the elite in nazi germany. But you did have to be german.

Many people try to meme that the nazis suffered because they did not allow jews to do technology. But that is actually total rubbish. The nazis in fact had a technological edge over the allies despite rejecting jew scientists. They invented the rocket, the jet engine, and many other things well before the allies.

They did not develop the nuclear bomb not because they couldn't but because Hitler refused to support the project, saying such a weapon would be too destructive.

They also suffered from a general lack of resources. Their airplane and tank design was far superior to ours.. but they had to build things that would not cost too much oil or rubber...cause they didn't have such resources
always channeling the talking point as the core of the debate instead of the means life is never same total sum population existed prior to living going forward now twice currently here. Describe the connection sustaining eternal separation of evolving results balancing out what arrived to date.

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