You won’t expect or see this episode coming… First, consider a truism: Asian American students dominate in academia. Asian Americans know that if they get the right scores, and check off all the boxes, they get the good school. However, this is not how it works at Harvard and other Ivy League institutions. They don’t operate based on who has the best test scores.
Michael reads a passage from a New York Times article illustrating the injustices in Harvard’s admission processes. Once one ethnic quota has been filled, that’s it. No more students can me admitted. Public universities handle their admission process differently. Asian Americans make up 34% of The University of California’s student body as apposed to about 15% of Asian Americans allowed to attend the Ivy schools due to diversity regulations.
“America, the home of equality?” This catch phrase has gone by the way side. When students work hard, but then are slapped down because of their race, this goes against the American dream. And when the system turns against you its time to make a choice: Fight against it or walk away? Michael’s answer is counter-intuitive and dovetails with trend following.
To the trend following skeptics who have whined up a storm here in the last week, I offer a quotation from Paul Arden:
“Nearly all rich and powerful people are not notably talented, educated, charming, or good-looking. They become rich and powerful by wanting to be rich and powerful. Your vision of where or who you want to be is the greatest asset you have. Without a goal it’s difficult to score.”
I bet there are some people who have arguments why that is not true!
Let me take it a step further with controversial Mark Cuban:
“With every effort, I learned a lot. With every mistake and failure, not only mine, but of those around me, I learned what not to do. I also got to study the success of those I did business with as well. I had more than a healthy dose of fear, and an unlimited amount of hope, and more importantly, no limit on time and effort…The point of all this is that it doesn’t matter how many times you fail. It doesn’t matter how many times you almost get it right. No one is going to know or care about your failures, and either should you. All you have to do is learn from them and those around you because all that matters in business is that you get it right once. Then everyone can tell you how lucky you are.”
Larry Hite extends:
“Most of the Ivy League guys I know are so used to being ‘right’ they get very uncomfortable dealing with uncertainty – when there is no right answer. Their ego often makes them so afraid of being ‘wrong’, that they’re unable to make good bets. They are not comfortable with the idea of risk, because they don’t know how to assess it or measure it. [They have been] taught to absorb knowledge, not what to do with it.”
And Hite takes brings it home with even more clarity:
“There are just four kinds of bets. There are good bets, bad bets, bets that you win, and bets that you lose. Winning a bad bet can be the most dangerous outcome of all, because a success of that kind can encourage you to take more bad bets in the future. You can also lose a good bet, but if you keep placing good bets, over time, the law of averages will be working for you.”
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