The Cult of Mediocrity

  • Mike C

    SSC-Insane

    Points: 23224

    Comments posted to this topic are about the item The Cult of Mediocrity

  • IceDread

    SSCertifiable

    Points: 5000

    Intelligence does not make you great. Some studies I read showed that if you had reached what you wanted or were content with what you had you stop to drive forward and you instead enjoy life as you have it. Then of course there are those who enjoys driving forward and with enough intelligence these people can reach very far.

  • mtucker-732014

    SSC Eights!

    Points: 815

    The implied rule is that the bigger the risk the bigger the potential pay off. This is not true in many situations - for example it is a big risk to run blind fold across the road for essentially no pay off - even when you dont get hit by a truck.

    If your company is not flexible enough to offer rewards to encourage high pay off risk taking then there is no upside for an individual employee - if company gets the benefit and the employee gets at best a pat on the back why would any rational person stick their neck out?

  • Phil Parkin

    SSC Guru

    Points: 243705

    IceDread (6/19/2012)


    Intelligence does not make you great. Some studies I read showed that if you had reached what you wanted or were content with what you had you stop to drive forward and you instead enjoy life as you have it. Then of course there are those who enjoys driving forward and with enough intelligence these people can reach very far.

    How many people manage this, I wonder. If you spend the first 30 or 40 years of your life striving for education, knowledge, experience, achievement and advancement and then 'arrive', can you switch your outlook to one of peace, contentment, contemplation and enjoyment of your situation? If you are accustomed to progress, accepting stasis is tough.

    If the answer to your question can be found with a brief Google search, please perform the search yourself, rather than expecting one of the SSC members to do it for you.

  • yohannn

    SSC Enthusiast

    Points: 102

    I guess if you want to be like everyone else, than you should strive for mediocrity. However if you have pride in you work then you will strive for more. You sell your time to the company; it is up to you to take personal ownership of the quality of your work. Just remember you can be replaced but ask yourself, will you be missed?

  • julian.fletcher

    SSCrazy

    Points: 2615

    "Or defeated the Nazis."

    Wow - that's some achievement! Did you need any help doing that?

  • Phil Parkin

    SSC Guru

    Points: 243705

    julian.fletcher (6/19/2012)


    "Or defeated the Nazis."

    Wow - that's some achievement! Did you need any help doing that?

    I think that some Canadians might have been involved too.:rolleyes:

    If the answer to your question can be found with a brief Google search, please perform the search yourself, rather than expecting one of the SSC members to do it for you.

  • IceDread

    SSCertifiable

    Points: 5000

    Phil Parkin (6/19/2012)


    IceDread (6/19/2012)


    Intelligence does not make you great. Some studies I read showed that if you had reached what you wanted or were content with what you had you stop to drive forward and you instead enjoy life as you have it. Then of course there are those who enjoys driving forward and with enough intelligence these people can reach very far.

    How many people manage this, I wonder. If you spend the first 30 or 40 years of your life striving for education, knowledge, experience, achievement and advancement and then 'arrive', can you switch your outlook to one of peace, contentment, contemplation and enjoyment of your situation? If you are accustomed to progress, accepting stasis is tough.

    If you wanted to be the worlds greatest pianist you probably would be. If you are not, you probably did not want it enough since you didnt invest the time and effort into it. Just like that, if you are happy enough with a specific woman and have enough wealth to make you happy, why invest more time and effort into something when you have what actually makes you happy or content?

  • Phil Parkin

    SSC Guru

    Points: 243705

    IceDread (6/19/2012)


    Phil Parkin (6/19/2012)


    IceDread (6/19/2012)


    Intelligence does not make you great. Some studies I read showed that if you had reached what you wanted or were content with what you had you stop to drive forward and you instead enjoy life as you have it. Then of course there are those who enjoys driving forward and with enough intelligence these people can reach very far.

    How many people manage this, I wonder. If you spend the first 30 or 40 years of your life striving for education, knowledge, experience, achievement and advancement and then 'arrive', can you switch your outlook to one of peace, contentment, contemplation and enjoyment of your situation? If you are accustomed to progress, accepting stasis is tough.

    If you wanted to be the worlds greatest pianist you probably would be. If you are not, you probably did not want it enough since you didnt invest the time and effort into it. Just like that, if you are happy enough with a specific woman and have enough wealth to make you happy, why invest more time and effort into something when you have what actually makes you happy or content?

    Easy enough to say from a totally logical standpoint (though quite what happens when 1,000 extremely driven people all want to be the world's greatest pianist is unclear.)

    But, in my opinion, not so easy in practice - we're not computers & there are other factors in play here. Even developers have emotions :hehe:

    If the answer to your question can be found with a brief Google search, please perform the search yourself, rather than expecting one of the SSC members to do it for you.

  • IceDread

    SSCertifiable

    Points: 5000

    Phil Parkin (6/19/2012)


    IceDread (6/19/2012)


    Phil Parkin (6/19/2012)


    IceDread (6/19/2012)


    Intelligence does not make you great. Some studies I read showed that if you had reached what you wanted or were content with what you had you stop to drive forward and you instead enjoy life as you have it. Then of course there are those who enjoys driving forward and with enough intelligence these people can reach very far.

    How many people manage this, I wonder. If you spend the first 30 or 40 years of your life striving for education, knowledge, experience, achievement and advancement and then 'arrive', can you switch your outlook to one of peace, contentment, contemplation and enjoyment of your situation? If you are accustomed to progress, accepting stasis is tough.

    If you wanted to be the worlds greatest pianist you probably would be. If you are not, you probably did not want it enough since you didnt invest the time and effort into it. Just like that, if you are happy enough with a specific woman and have enough wealth to make you happy, why invest more time and effort into something when you have what actually makes you happy or content?

    Easy enough to say from a totally logical standpoint (though quite what happens when 1,000 extremely driven people all want to be the world's greatest pianist is unclear.)

    But, in my opinion, not so easy in practice - we're not computers & there are other factors in play here. Even developers have emotions :hehe:

    That's the point, our emotions, our will, what we actually want without perhaps even thinking about it. That is what you do.

    I want to be insanely rich, but I'm not. Obviously I'm happy enough as is and more slowly doing something about it than devoting all my time to it.

  • george sibbald

    SSC Guru

    Points: 104200

    Its interesting this editorial was first written in 2007, pre the credit crunch.

    I wonder if the promotion of risk would be so enthusiastic now we know just how much risk banks were taking.

    People have confused risk taking with gambling in recent years.

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  • Duncan Pryde

    SSCertifiable

    Points: 7956

    Taking a risk for a big payoff is one thing, but many people (without any other kind of safety net - e.g. a wealthy family) will not want to experience the flip side of risk i.e. failure, given that it could entail losing their job or livelihood. Keeping what you have, which is tangible, is worth more than some intangible reward that may or may not come your way.

    I'm all for taking a risk, providing I don't have to suffer too much if it all goes wrong!

  • TravisDBA

    SSCoach

    Points: 15780

    Often the difference between a successful person and a failure is not that one has better abilities or ideas over the other, but the courage that one has to bet on one's ideas, to take a calculated risk and to act. Taking a risk is a gamble. Always has been. 😀

    "Technology is a weird thing. It brings you great gifts with one hand, and it stabs you in the back with the other. ...:-D"

  • archie flockhart

    SSCrazy

    Points: 2339

    The worship of 'risk-takers' seems to me to be based, at least in large part, on "survival bias": pointing at a few lucky people whose risks paid off.

    There were far more 'risk takers' who tried to build flying machines and never got off the ground ( or worse, plunged to a messy end on the rocks below ); and thousands of people who set up computer companies that went broke, taking their founders' and investors' money with them.

    The guy in this Dilbert cartoon is every bit as much a 'risk taker' as, say, Bil Gates.

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    As for "Joe"'s company in the article: encouraging risk and encouraging excellence are two different things.

  • TravisDBA

    SSCoach

    Points: 15780

    archie flockhart (6/19/2012)


    The worship of 'risk-takers' seems to me to be based, at least in large part, on "survival bias": pointing at a few lucky people whose risks paid off.

    There were far more 'risk takers' who tried to build flying machines and never got off the ground ( or worse, plunged to a messy end on the rocks below ); and thousands of people who set up computer companies that went broke, taking their founders' and investors' money with them.

    The guy in this Dilbert cartoon is every bit as much a 'risk taker' as, say, Bil Gates.

    [/url]

    As for "Joe"'s company in the article: encouraging risk and encouraging excellence are two different things.

    But that's life. Progress always involves risk; you can't steal second base and keep your foot on first. 😀

    "Technology is a weird thing. It brings you great gifts with one hand, and it stabs you in the back with the other. ...:-D"

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