The Meritocracy’s Silent Offspring

An observation from Phoebe:

Highly educated, socially-awkward parents often produce socially-adept but academically apathetic offspring… But mostly, we just don't hear from the lighthearted, popular offspring of the super-serious. They're not writing introspective articles in the New York Times. They're not publishing novels…

The shame of their situation, combined with their lack of writing skills, keeps them from telling their story. We hear lots – as well we should – about the external factors preventing worthy students from making it to four-year colleges. But the fact is that we don't hear about the set who've had every meritocratic advantage, yet who can't make it off the couch.

Her larger point is that, contra Charles Murray, an elite determined by school performance isn't actually self-perpetuating, because sometimes smart parents produce kids of below average intelligence. They just don't talk about it, so we're blind to the phenomenon.