Why the universe is fundamentally unfair


The universe is fundamentally unfair. It would be nice, perhaps, to imagine we’re all part of some plan or other but there’s no evidence to suggest that’s true. 

Things just go on as they are, evolving and unfolding along fairly well understood and to some extent predictable lines, and we, for good or ill, sometimes just get in the way.

Is this fair?


I was born autistic and struggled mightily for the first 54 years of my life wondering what the ever living fuck was wrong with me.

If you're autistic you don't wend your way through a normal life and suddenly wonder if you might have a couple of random strands of autistic DNA because you occasionally express one or two vaguely autistic traits.

No, it's more a case of you've spent your entire life silently screaming inside Why the fuck am I on the wrong planet?!

And the older you get, the more intense it becomes


Because when you're a kid you assume everyone's the same. You're just accepting of it all, as kids are.And as you get older you realise you're not the same at all, and you really are the odd one out; and as time goes by you and the rest of humanity diverge even more acutely and profoundly

I'd imagine it's a bit like if you're gay, say. You don't wake up one morning and decide you fancy a bit o' dick. It's a deep, visceral certainty you are different

Why anyone in his or her right mind would casually want to identify as autistic is beyond me. People look at the likes of the rare and gifted savants and romanticise the bejasus out of the condition

What those who hanker for the trendy label don't see is the constant lifelong struggle we have. More to the point, they focus on only the successes and the high points of autistics' lives and turn a blind eye to the floundering and unsuccessful majority

For example, autism is correlated with low intelligence not high (contrary to popular belief), with something like 30% of us having an IQ of under 70. Moreover, most autistics suffer from associated disorders and conditions: depression, OCD, general anxiety disorder (that's me), PTSD, ADHD, and so on. And let's not even get started on the horrendous stats on suicide, alcoholism, abuse, and drug addiction

(This all adds up to one reason you won't get a favourable response from me if you trot out the ignorant and bigoted line "but we're all a little bit autistic").

Short story: it's no picnic 

Is this fair?


Believe me, while I now like being this way and wouldn't want to change even if I could, if I'd been given the choice at birth I suspect I'd not have touched it with a stolen dick.

But that’s not the point. 

It is what it is, and there’s nothing I can do about it, save play the hand I was dealt to the best of my abilities.

And that, in microcosm, is how it is for all of us. Sure, we can nibble around the edges maybe and perhaps make some small general improvements in the world as a whole and society in particular, but in the grand scheme of things we’re stuck with what the universe throws at us.

What this means in broad terms is good things happen to bad people, bad things happen to good people, and we all have shit come our way.

In business terms it means 80% of businesses fail in the first five years, and of those who remain, the top 20% enjoy 80% of the success.

This, too, is probably unfair.

And it all looks designed and it’s tempting to imagine we can radically change things by imposing order from the top down if only we can find the right combination of rules, regulations, and laws. 

Alas, all these attempts are doomed to failure because economies and societies are examples of what we call complex adaptive systems. Without getting into the maths of it all, what it means is these kinds of systems look designed and planned, but in reality they get their order from the actions of the large number of elements comprised in the whole all following a relatively small set of surprisingly simple rules. 

This is how ant colonies, bee-hives, and termite hills all manage to look like they’ve got some guiding intelligence behind them. Human societies and economies are more complex, of course, but that’s mere detail: the principles are the same.

So to change the structure of how businesses perform on the whole, you’d have to change the behaviour of a large majority of the individual business owners. And that simply isn’t going to happen, or a least, not any time soon. So once more, we’re stuck with it. 

In other words... 

We cannot change the numbers... but we can decide which group we want to belong to

Whether you make a conscious choice or not, you’re still choosing. If you choose to ignore what I share with you in my work and squeamishly avoid marketing because you don’t want to draw criticism, or you think selling is somehow tacky and wrong, or you think it’s just “unfair” and wrong to make more money than your hard-working competitors who “deserve” the same success you might enjoy, you are choosing to remain among the 80% who won’t get the results they want and need from their marketing. 

Your choosing not to become exceptionally good at marketing and growing an incredibly profitable business won’t stop anyone else from making a different choice and enjoying the profits you could be enjoying. Nor will it help anyone else who chooses the easy and most commonly trodden path of mediocrity. 

In short, your choices won’t help or hinder anyone but you.

Their effect on the market and society as a whole will be as close to zero as makes no difference.

And, while you are free to choose anything you like, you’re not free of the consequences of the choices you make.

So choose wisely.

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