Bao's weblog


Meandering thoughts of a Bay Area college student… be prepared for some bipolar vocabulary

What do we owe success to?

America is the greatest engine of innovation that has ever existed, and it can’t be duplicated anytime soon, because it is the product of a multitude of factors: extreme freedom of thought, an emphasis on independent thinking, a steady immigration of new minds, a risk-taking culture with no stigma attached to trying and failing, a noncorrupt bureaucracy, and financial markets and a venture capital system that are unrivaled at taking new ideas and turning them into global products.

-Thomas Fiedman


Filed under: General

5 Responses

  1. cutelilgaara says:

    But we’re also a brutally individualistic culture. We do attach failure to trying and failing, and it’s called homelessness.

    • Eddie says:

      Regardless, there’s no social stigma related to trying and failing. You may associate failure with homelessness, but that is one of many possible consequences that can occur because of failure, not a social stigma. American innovation encourages us to do our best, while in other countries, men and women are expected to perform their roles in society as dictated by cultural norms. At least, in America, individuals are encouraged to try something new and we are not reprimanded through a cultural backlash for it.

      What does it mean for something to be brutally individualistic? For me, I see that everybody is in an environment where their own natural talents and skills are appreciated and encouraged to develop.

  2. Bao Pham says:

    I agree with everything in that quote except the “noncorrupt” bureaucracy… what with the exorbitant amount of spending of local government officials in California. But I guess in the grand scheme of things, when compared to countries out there such as India, Somalia, and Myanmar, we’re doing alright…

    • Eddie says:

      But what about cutting expenses for support services for battered women, foster children, the homeless, and the working poor?

      We, as Californians, should be ashamed of ourselves because we do not take the initiative and we are not willing to make concessions.

      If we spend too much, okay, stop spending. But what will fund the social services, highly developed higher educational programs, and the maintenance of existing structural systems? One option is to raise taxes, but Californians want the best of all possible worlds and do not want to think about the consequences. If we maintain these services and do not fund them, then there are obviously going to be budget deficits.

      There are always two sides to a story.

  3. map0wt0fu says:

    This quote reminds me of Benjamin Franklin and every time I think of him I see him running through the French castle butt naked trying to get some punany.

    But this quote also reminds me of the 200+ year old history behind it. From the signing fathers, to Lincoln, to the abolitionist, to the health reformers of the Guilded Age, and beyond. We live in an environment were radical thought is not suppressed but even encouraged. That we get to be surrounded by like minded people and even if we’re not, they’re not all that hard to find. Even though America is about individuality, it fosters a family, a community of new thinkers.

    One of the results of such a culture is that I get to pursue a future career in a female dominated world and no one will try to ridicule me for it.

    It’s nice to see some optimistic realism around here :]

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