dglenn: Me in kilt and poofy shirt, facing away, playing acoustic guitar behind head (Default)
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posted by [personal profile] dglenn at 05:24am on 2012-07-06

"Cheaters may almost never win but, given equal opportunity and a large enough competition, the winners are almost always cheaters.

"Why?

"Well, no one cheats because they think if that even if they get away with it they will be worse off. No, they cheat because if they get away with it they will be better off. Cheaters are taking a gamble.

"Even if the system is pretty good and the odds are stacked against the cheaters, if there are enough players then some of the cheaters will get away with it, nonetheless.

"When they do they will gain an advantage. Now, imagine that life is a series of such competitions played over and over again. Each time some people will cheat and some will get away with it. Each time some will gain an advantage.

[...]

"After enough rounds the front of the pack is completely dominated by cheaters."

-- Karl Smith, Forbes, "The Dark Secret of Meritocracy: Reality is Rigged", 2012-06-20

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