Thursday, 10 November 2011

From Bill Gates, to #OccupyWallStreet

A simple way to understand the anger of the #OccupyWallStreet crowd is not to look at what you think they might be saying, it’s to look at what they were taught. It explains virtually everything—their foot-stamping petulance, their flights from reality, their know-nothing certainty, their wishing that their wishing would “make it so.”

They are a perfect product of their classrooms, with everything that implies.

Take as an example the letter said to be by Bill Gates circulating by email a few years ago.

Bill Gates's Message on Life

For recent high school and college graduates, here is a list of 11 things they did not learn in school.

In his book, Bill Gates talks about how feel-good, politically-correct teachings created a full generation of kids with no concept of reality and how this concept set them up for failure in the real world.

RULE 1......Life is not fair. Get used to it.

RULE 2......The world won't care about your self-esteem. The world will expect you to accomplish something BEFORE you feel good about yourself. This may come as a shock. Usually, when inflated
self-esteem meets reality, kids complain it's not fair. (See Rule No. 1.)

RULE 3......You will NOT make 40 thousand dollars a year right out of high school. You won't be a vice president with a car phone, until you earn both.

RULE 4......If you think your teacher is tough, wait till you get a boss. He doesn't have tenure.

RULE 5......Flipping burgers is not beneath your dignity. Your grandparents had a different word for burger flipping; they called it opportunity.

RULE 6......If you mess up, it's not your parents' fault, so don't whine about your mistakes, learn from them.  This is the flip side of "It's my life," and "You're not the boss of me," and other eloquent proclamations of your generation. When you turn 18, it's on your dime.

RULE 7......Before you were born, your parents weren't as boring as they are now. They got that way from paying your bills, cleaning your clothes and listening to you talk about how cool you are. So before you save the rain forest from the blood-sucking parasites of your parents' generation, try "delousing" the closet in your own room.

RULE 8......Your school may have done away with winners and losers, but life has not. In some schools they have abolished failing grades; they’ll tell you that effort is as important as results; they'll give you as many times as you want to get the right answer lest anyone’s feelings be hurt. This doesn't bear the slightest resemblance to ANYTHING in real life. (See Rule No. 1, Rule No. 2 and Rule No. 4)

RULE 9......Life is not divided into semesters, and you don't get summers off.  They expect you to show up every day. While we're at it, very few jobs are interesting in fostering your self-expression or helping you find yourself. Do that on your own time.

RULE 10.....Television is NOT real life. Your problems will not all be solved in one soundbite, nor in 30 minutes minus time for commercials. In real life people actually have to leave the coffee shop and go to jobs.

RULE 11.....Be nice to nerds. Chances are you'll end up working for one.

This neatly tells you what they were, and weren’t being taught by their “teachers.”  One could be forgiven that in boiling down the litany of complaints and manifestoes emanating from the #Occupy movements, these complaints are at their root: that the world is not how their teachers taught them it would be.

As I said, they are a perfect product of their classrooms.


  1. URBAN LEGEND ALERT!! Bill Gates NEVER wrote these!

  2. Anonymous Alert! What I said was "the letter said to be by Bill Gates." And what I linked to was the story about the fine chap who actually wrote it.
    Not that it changes anything.

  3. Sadly, this doesn't sound a thing like Bill Gates, who believes many of the things the OWS crowd are touting.

    That he has acted opposite to many of those beliefs for most of his adult life is to his credit in one way, but not another.


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