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Relative deprivation is why Gladwell takes issue with the belief that elite schools are automatically better.
He cites the example of one student, under the pseudonym "Caroline Sacks," who was determined to go into science until attending Brown University. The worst STEM students at Harvard, he claims, may be as smart as the top third at a lower ranked college.
Its website describes the company as "Leaders in intelligent IT support services".
The company describes its ethos thus: "Littlefish is positioned as a credible alternative to the 'usual suspect' managed service providers (MSP's) and IT outsourcers who offer rigid support solutions from large, often off-shore, contact centres.
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The concept Gladwell draws on is called "relative deprivation." It was coined by Samuel Stouffer, a sociologist, during World War II to describe how we measure ourselves against the people immediately around us.
Our successes are always compared to their successes, as are our failures.
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Paul OYER: When men are deciding who to contact on dating sites, looks matter a great deal. Women are in general a little bit more attracted to lawyers, doctors, men in the military and firefighters, which I’d always heard was a stereotype, but apparently it turns out to be at least a little bit true.
[MUSIC: All Good Funk Alliance, “Timely Convo” (from Social Comment)] DUBNER: Paul Oyer usually writes papers with sexy titles like “Fiscal Year-Ends and Non-Linear Incentive Contracts: The Effect on Business Seasonality,” and “Are There Sectoral Anomalies Too?
OKCupid, in case you don’t know, is a dating website. REED: …got a lot of messages of, hey, you seem nice. And that was what I was trying to reflect in Aaron Carter Fan. REED: On a typical Friday night she is knocking the cups out of homeless people’s hands because she thinks it is so funny to watch them try to pick it all up. And so Aaron Carter fan is stunningly good-looking. And so tell me about following up with some of these replies.
[MUSIC: The Mackrosoft, “The Game In F# Minor” (from Antonio’s Giraffe)] DUBNER: So you set up a profile, and your name is what? [AARON CARTER MUSIC] REED: And there is just no substance there in his music at all. [MUSIC: Seks Bomba, “It Takes Two to Tango” (from Somewhere In This Town)] DUBNER: So you created a profile for a girl named Aaron Carter’s Fan who likes to party and knock over homeless people, or at least their cups, and she’s a racist, gold digging, fake pregnant-getting, 25 year old girl, white girl. I asked my friend Rae Johnston, who is an Australian-based model and actress, if I could raid her Facebook photos and she very kindly said yes.
[MUSIC: Tear Ceremony, “I Dream of You Endlessly” (from Resin)] Alli REED: I had been personally on OKCupid on and off for a few years… REED: I actually, believe it or not, did not want to meet any of these men in real life. Alli Reed wrote a fake OKCupid profile for a really good-looking 25-year-old woman who also happened to be a racist, gold-digging, fake-pregnant-getting nightmare – and she got almost 1,000 replies. OYER: Just to give you one statistic that comes from the OKCupid blog, and I’m quoting here, “A hot woman receives roughly four times the messages an average-looking woman gets and 25 times as many as an ugly one.” And then there’s this interesting superstar effect where the very hottest 5 percent of men get twice as many emails as men who are just below that, who are more like the 10 percentile most attractive, but not among the very top 5 percent.