"People don't rise from nothing. We do owe something to parentage and patronage. The people who stand before kings may look like they did it all by themselves. But in fact they are invariably the beneficiaries of hidden advantages and extraordinary opportunities and cultural legacies that allow them to learn and work hard and make sense of the world in ways others cannot ... Biologists often talk about the 'ecology' of an organism: the tallest oak in the forest is the tallest not just becaue it grew from the hardiest acorn; it is the tallest also because no other trees blocked its sunlight, the soil around it was deep and rich, no rabbit chewed through its bark as a sapling, and no lumberjack cut it down before it matured. We all know that successful people come from hardy seeds. But do we know enough about the sunlight that warmed them, the soil in which they put down roots, the rabbits and lumberjacks they were lucky enough to avoid?"
~ Malcolm Gladwell, Outliers: The Story of Success
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Also? I have another tech post up at Babble.com. Check it out here, and leave a comment for a chance to win a brand new desktop computer.
Image: The Jefferson Memorial, photographed from the Martin Luther King Memorial, Washington D.C. Shot with the new Olympus E-PM1 camera given to me by Olympus as part of their PEN Ready Project (I'm #874).