Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Culture

Today, in an offline paper, I read a column about how the most successful members of society are those who are marginal members of conservative religious orders. The columnist credited this to the questioning of established orders that such a position entails. It seems to me that there is a different explanation: culture matters. If one has the culture background that leads to success, which is strongly correlated with religion (for example, thrift, delayed gratification, a healthy lifestyle, etc.), but has abandoned those principles which would retard success (charity, self-sacrifice, service) one would have the best of both worlds.

4 Comments:

Blogger Karl said...

Could you find it by searching site:madison.com? I wouldn't want to argue over something like this if the basic thesis is founded on some anecdote about George Bush being a bad Methodist.

4:58 AM  
Blogger Octavo Dia said...

I tried. Apparently it is a syndicated column, and they only republish their local columns. They also give them their own title, so I can't even search by title, and I didn't remember his name, because it wasn't until I left work that I reconsidered it.

5:25 AM  
Blogger Karl said...

It turns out it's David Brooks, which means I'm not going to spend another second thinking about it, but Half Sigma did. (Half Sigma's not that smart either but I prefer him to David Brooks.)

3:18 PM  
Blogger Octavo Dia said...

I surrender my cultural argument to the much better social-network argument in the Sigma article. The rest of his explanations seem rather thin to me.

10:43 PM  

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