Quote of the Week

From a section on self-esteem,

…[I]f the number of dimensions is not unlimited and if great strides are made to eliminate differences, that as the number of differentiating dimensions shrinks, envy will become more severe. For with a small number of differentiating dimensions, many people will find they don’t well on any of them.

— Robert Nozick, Anarchy, State, and Utopia (New York: Basic Books, 1974), p. 245.

I also like the argument he makes about perfect equality along all, or given, dimensions. We feel good about ourselves when we compare our ability to that of others, and when we can see that our ability is high relative to others. But, if all of our abilities are equal, then we all feel equally frustrated at the fact we are just normal with respect to others. A better world is where the amount of dimensions approaches infinity, so that everyone can find a dimension along which they are superior.

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