A ROM COM Called ” Meritocracy “

Merit might seem like a ROM COM, but there is merit in talking about it I guess.


Meritocracy is our social ideal, particularly among good liberals. Equality of opportunity, but not of outcome.


To this day, the origin of the term meritocracy is widely attributed to the British sociologist Michael Young, who used it pejoratively in his book “The Rise of the Meritocracy “. For Young, merit is defined as intelligence plus effort.


The triumph of meritocracy as a social ideal was a turning point in human history. Before the Enlightenment, most societies were elaborately stratified- be it England‘s hierarchy of king, duke, earl, viscount, and baron, or China‘s imperial order of Emperor, heshuo qinwang, duoluo junwang, duoluo beile, and gushan beizi. In these regimes, the vast majority of people- peasants, servants, slaves – had little hope of bettering their station.


Many philosophers like John Locke, Charles Montesquieu and Jean Jacques Rousseau in fact questioned the idea of an unelected elite. On the eve of the American Revolution, Thomas Paine boldly proclaimed that ” of more worth is one honest man to society and in the sight of God than all the crowned ruffians that ever lived“. In Paine’s view, power was the gift of the people rather than the divine right of the monarch.


Meritocracy raises the returns on talent by ensuring that individuals are free to contribute and succeed, whatever their social rank or personal connections. That said, its troubling that bureaucracythe world’s most ubiquitous social structure– systematically undermines the cause of meritocracy. A recent survey in the Harvard Business Review had 76% of big company respondents saying that political behaviors highly influence who gets ahead in the organisation.  Though in theory bureaucracy is a ranking of merit where those with exceptional abilities get promoted over those are less accomplished. But, in practice, organisations rarely come even remotely close to achieving this idea.


It is said that it is more honorable to be raised to a throne than to be born to one. Fortune bestows the one, merit obtains the other.


That is the great danger of meritocracy: the people who reach the top of the system are precisely the people who have most completely identified with the system and its demands, creating a vicious circle preventing any actual change. It is no accident that conservatives tend to employ the rhetoric of social mobility so readily, as social climbers generally do not ask questions about the ladder.

— Adam Kotsko



As I conclude, may I direct you to read this article in BrandKnew where Bridgewater Investments Founder Ray Dalio talks about Investing in Idea Meritocracy



Emotions that have no speed limit when it comes to virality !

Rage seems to be in Rage when it comes to emotions traveling the farthest and fastest across Social Media networks.
The omnipresence of social media, the glut of messaging and content distribution platforms, the sophistication of social listening, combined with readily available news(breaking and broken) and events round the clock, the Damocles Sword hanging on people’s head called ‘ status anxiety ‘, the perennial quest for the next and best viral; all provide the perfect foil for brands and marketers to understand what kind of emotions travel the quickest on social networks and strategise what to ‘avoid‘ and what to ‘adopt‘.

If one were to go granular with the emotions’ basket, we would have the following and more in the bucket list:Happiness/Joy; Sadness/Depression; Rage/Anger; Pride/Prejudice; Disgust/Disillusionment; Wonder/Awe and so on and so forth.

Researchers at the Beihang University in China gauged various online emotions by tracking emoticons embedded in millions of messages posted on Sina Weibo, a popular Twitter-like microblogging platform. Their conclusion: Joy moves faster than sadness or disgust, but nothing is speedier than rage. The researchers found that users reacted most angrily—and quickly—to reports concerning “social problems and diplomatic issues”. It’s diabolical that a strong anti social emotion like rage gets the maximum social attention and currency!!!

In many cases, these ‘ social flare ups ‘ triggers a chain reaction of anger with multiple circles of the social community getting influenced and participating with equal or more venom.

In another study conducted by Jonah Berger and a colleague at Wharton based on 7000 articles covered by The New York Times, they discovered that if there was one emotion that overtook rage in billings, it was awe. The wonder and excitement of a new discovery of beauty or knowledge or a breakthrough in the fight against cancer; puts awe as an emotion in overdrive thus heaping bagfuls of viral.“Awe gets our hearts racing and our blood pumping,” Berger says. “This increases our desire for emotional connection and drives us to share.”

For all those who thought that sadness would emerge triumphant in the race to viral stardom, sorry to disappoint you. Sadness was considered to be a ‘ deactivating emotion ‘ where people pull down or withdraw leaving it with little torque to go the distance. If you feel a little melancholic about it, let that stay.

​So, the next time you see or experience road rage​, talk yourself into believing that it need not be infectious(or go viral).