From: Samantha Atkins (email@example.com)
Date: Wed Feb 06 2002 - 15:23:10 MST
Olga Bourlin wrote:
> No envy here. I just don't understand how some human beings (one not
> essentially different from another) are worth billions and some are barely
What do you mean by "not essentially different"? I fail to
comprehend this because I find incredible variety in people in
terms of their level of GI, their motivations, goals,
dedication, energy and so on. I have met a few people in my
life who are so different from me in some critical ways they I
have wondered if they are even of the same species.
Now I agree perfectly that what Gates has done includes a lot of
very slimey things that are a great part of his acheiving his
billions and that this should not be. But I don't agree that
there are not essential differences in people in actuality
(perhaps less so in potential) that will and should lead to
different outcomes in how much they acheive and how much they
are rewarded (as long as that kind of system exists and/or is
> valued at all (no matter how hard they work - and by "work" I mean doing
> something that takes away from one's leisure and personal time). That some
This is a rather cynical view of work, isn't it? While I have
been fortunate enough to meet a few people in my time that I
consider significantly brighter than I, I was bright enough in
school (I suspect many here were) to understand "effortlessly"
things that most had to struggle mightily with. I used to feel
guilty for getting the A while others worked many, many times
harder to eek out a C. But does that mean the system was unjust
or simply that we are not all born or nurtured or somehow
[randomly] meta-programmed equally?
> human beings are worth a BIT more than others I can understand. But the
The major innovators and achievers in most any profession are in
fact "worth" considerably more in the magnitude of their
accomplishments and their significance to the work and
organization they are part of. Whether or not they should
receive all or a lot of that difference is another question. In
point of fact, most of the major contributors are "in the
trenches" and often do not receive anywhere near the true market
value (to their organization) of their work.
> HUGE earnings gap by those at the top to those at the bottom - that I don't,
> and looks like I never will - understand. I've read the explanations
> (written by the hunters, not the hunted), but they don't make sense to me.
> Human beings are not that different one from another, and that's that.
Well, I believe it is more complicated than that. And whether
humans are that different from one another or not isn't even the
crux of the question imo. The question is one of relative
influence, well-being, access to tools and power to acheive.
Personally I think that maximizing the last three for all people
should be near the top of extropian goals. But we don't need to
deny differences in people to do this.
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