Winner-Take-All Nation

From Techcrunch We Are All Venture Capitalists Now

In Extremistan, we are all tournament players, investing our limited time and money in unpredictable ventures that may succeed or fail, quickly or slowly. Wins are fewer, but bigger; losses are more common; and, importantly, volatility is high.

The elephant in the room here is IQ, which Mr. Evans ignores. It’s the high-IQ people who, especially since since 2008, having been winning the ‘tournament’ of life, rising to the top as everyone else either stagnates or falls between the cracks. In our smartist era, smart people are getting rich with perpetually rising stocks & real estate, and wages that beat inflation, not lag it. In a winner-take-all world of Social Darwinism, being smart makes you the most fittest. Even obtaining connections, such as by getting into an elite school, requires high intelligence. An it’s more than money. As we’ve seen with the rise of the STEM celebrity, being smart garners adoration and attention, as intelligence itself has intrinsic value.

This ties into an article by Popular Psychology Why People Don’t Acknowledge You, in which this passage stood out:

In one way or another, virtually everybody dreams of standing out, being admired, acclaimed—even, well, applauded. To be viewed, and to view ourselves, as merely “average” or “adequate” really doesn’t do very much for us—or rather, our ego. And this may be all the more so because we live in a meritorious, American-Idol-type society that refuses to celebrate or lavish praise on individuals unless they’re judged exceptional. This circumstance explains why we may experience a certain envy when we hear drums banging for someone else. Secretly, we long to hear a drum roll beating for us.

That kinds describes the state of post-2008 America, where ‘salvation‘ is not through a traditional religion, but through internal factors (high-IQ) and external ones (recognition, wealth, celebrity), both of which are unobtainable for the vast majority of people. A high-IQ excludes 99% of the people who are average, as does wealth and fame. In the past, it was ‘good enough’ just being a decent person. Now people are expected, compelled to be exceptional, and individual exceptionalism is rewarded in the marketplace, more so than ever.

Related:

Autopilot Nation & The Winner Take all Economy

In Today’s Economy, It Seems Like IQ Is More Important Than Ever

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