Equality of Opportunity


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If this is my imaginary world from the basis of oppression and if you have read the history of chi and mochi, then you know that I have an agenda and it is to reduce the gap, I care about equality. To solve a problem the first step is to understand it and the second step is to recognize a need to solve it. Hence, the natural question you should ask is what is the equality I’m talking about? Do I want the exact same outcome for chi and mochi, in the sense that they should have the same amount of money, education, status and everything. But nope, equal outcome can come as a side effect but that’s not what I aim for. I aim for the equality of opportunity.

When there is an equality of opportunity, the things which shouldn’t matter don’t matter. For example, I think the area of programming is pretty high the on the equality of opportunity. You bank balance doesn’t matter too much, your college doesn’t matter too much, your country matters somewhat but I guess not too much. To be a good programmer all you need is a good internet connection, lots of free time and lots of hard work. But take other areas, say you want to be the biggest builder in India. Then if you are not sufficiently rich, you are out of luck. If you don’t have great contacts then you are out of luck. These things shouldn’t decide if you’ll be a great builder or not, but they do. A whole set of people never gets the opportunity to compete on the basis of their hard work, perseverance, intelligence, knowledge, and skills.

Why is equality of opportunity important? Because it is good for everyone. Equal opportunity for everyone means the world gets to have a great computer scientists, biologists and entrepreneurs from the largest set possible and not only from chi people or rich people or white people. On the other hand, equality in outcome can mean equally bad outcome for everyone. Every sect of the population would have the same number of computer scientists if there were no field like computer science.

Equality of opportunity looks good in the concept, but it can be very hard in practice. Providing equal initial conditions doesn’t always lead to equal opportunities because same conditions can play out differently for different people. For example, if you are providing the same right handed chairs to everyone in the class then you are not providing everyone with the same opportunity to have comfort because left handed people write on the left side.

Now I claim that equal opportunities should statistically lead to the same outcome. Because I believe that factor which should matter for success in any area, that is the ability or willingness to work hard, ability to get excited about a subject area and perseverance are equally distributed in the population. It is okay to have variations, some wins, some losses. But when a particular group of people, almost always, gets the same adverse outcome, then there is something wrong with the system. It is like, wondering why the athlete in the inner circle of the race track is always winning when all the athlete have to run a full circle.

People will say that the X group just don’t work hard enough, X are not really excited about this area. Then probably we are teaching them that they are not good enough, probably we are teaching them that they are not supposed to like that subject.

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