“Average is Over” Quotes

I recently read “Average Is Over: Powering America Beyond The Age Of The Great Stagnation” by Tyler Cowen. Below are the quotes I found most interesting. As always, if you like the quotes, please buy the book here.

Average Is Over

“Technological progress slows down when there are too many people who have the right to say no.” (17)

“The ability to mix technical knowledge with solving real-world problems is the key, not sheer number-crunching or programming for its own sake.” (21)

“At some point it is hard to sell more physical stuff to high earners, yet there is usually just a bit more room to make them feel better. Better about the world. Better about themselves. Better about what they have achieved.” (23)

“For the high earners, life will feel better than ever before, but at the same time life will feel more harried and more overloaded with information than ever before. These phenomena are in fact two sides of the same coin, and this tends to get overlooked.” (24)

“Workers are most likely to apply for disability following a job loss.” (52)

“Ask just about anyone in a human resources department, “What percent of the labor force do you simply not wish to hire, no matter what, no matter how low the wage?” (57)

“Players do their absolute best when they are faced with a slight disadvantage in their position. When players are decisively up or down, they don’t seem to think or concentrate with the same facility. Again, this is a sign of human rationality, at least if there is some need for a conservation of effort.” (103)

“Uniquely creative acts often scare us or intimidate us or make us feel uncomfortable. It means that someone out there is able to act without facing much accountability.” (129)

“it seems that we care more about drama than about perfection.” (157)

“Just as labor market outcomes will move toward the poles of either “very good” or “very bad,” so will the same be true for a lot of cities, states, geographic regions, and countries.” (171)

“When humans and computers work together and cooperate, the rewards flow more readily to top talent, not to the socially well connected. Machine intelligence is the friend of the educational parvenu, albeit the disciplined, gusty parvenu with high IQ.” (190)

“…in ways that make the job harder to outsource. The instructor who teaches human qualities like conscientiousness and who motivates his student needs to be there.” (195)

“In the longer run, professors will need to become more like motivational coaches and missionaries.” (196)

“The professor, to survive, will have to become a motivator and coach in essence and not just accidentally or in his or her spare time.” (196)

“It will become increasingly apparent how much of current education is driven by human weakness, namely the inability of most students to simply sit down and try to learn something on their own.” (197)

“It’s open to debate how much education can boost innate aptitude or IQ, but the trait of “conscientiousness” does consistently predict educational and job success and also subjective happiness.” (201)

“Economics is becoming less like Einstein or Euclid, and more like studying the digestive system of a starfish.” (222)

Liked the quotes? Buy the book here.

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