[–] CDanger 3 points (+3|-0)

Nassim Taleb has discussed this idea. I wouldn't disagree that the difference between the upper .01% and .1% is purely luck. But I'm 100% confident that there is an immense difference in intelligence, perserverance, etc between the upper 10% and the bottom 10% (certainly within the same country, but probably even across the whole world).

[–] mindtrip 3 points (+3|-0)

Kind of junk science but even if you accept the premise your chances go up the more opportunities you take and the more you persevere through failed attempts.

[–] oddjob 0 points (+0|-0)

I think this is a lot closer to the truth than anything else. You have a much better chance at rolling a 20 if you pick up the die and roll again and again.

[–] smallpond [OP] 1 points (+1|-0)

See also: https://www.technologyreview.com/s/610395/if-youre-so-smart-why-arent-you-rich-turns-out-its-just-chance/

Obviously the title claim is a very difficult thing to prove, and I don't think they've done it, but I Iike the ideas discussed.

[–] Justintoxicated 3 points (+3|-0)

Also here's the paper linked, keep in mind this is a toy model and just based on an arbitrary system with assigned values.


[–] CDanger 3 points (+3|-0)

Academic papers like this always crack me up. Physics has been so successful using mathematical models that all other disciplines seek legitimacy by trying to ground their work in mathemtical models and then proving consequences, making assumptions, etc. But as you say it all usually comes down to some unrealistic assumptions, questional initialization values, and in the end these things are worth fuck all. But if you trump up your work with enough mathematical sophistication you will get published no matter what, so it is what researchers optimize for instead of worrying about if the models actually match reality.