The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.

—Marcel Proust

We used to live in a much more hierarchical and class-based society. Whether individuals were literate, whether they had a degree, where they got their degree from, how they dressed, whom they socialized with—these weren’t just accomplishments. They were social signatures of where the individuals came from and how they lived in the hierarchical and social food chains. In short, these things defined an individual’s status. Ingrained in human nature is a continuous need to make rapid-fire assessments about other people’s abilities. In the past this ranking wasn’t done for convenience. It was ...

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