Alain de Botton on Snobbery, Meritocracy, Success
Is a lazy, untalented person any more to blame for his laziness and lack of talent than a bald person is for his hairlessness?
But I have to ask: How far are we to take the supposed sympathetic view with its emphasis on initial conditions and external destiny? Are individuals left with any freedom at all to affect their own fates?
Relatedly, there’s the question of social necessity. Guilt, hierarchy, ambition, misery, ridicule. Without them can we have an ordered society?
Jonathan Haidt on Order/Disorder and the Liberal/Conservative Moral Code
Second law of thermodynamics: the universe tends toward disorder. The great conservative insight is that order is really difficult to achieve, and very easy to lose.
From the talk:
Liberals speak for the weak and oppressed; they want justice, even at the risk of chaos. Conservatives speak for institutions and traditions; they want order, even at the cost of those at the bottom.
This is an excellent talk. I feel like I’ve been trying to get at this for a long time.