But good judgment comes from experience. And experience comes from bad judgment — from failures. The key question is how you respond, whether you learn from failure and rebound.
Sorry, but like more and more of what McArdle indulges herself in these days, this is bullshit. Experience comes from bad” judgment and failure. It also comes from good judgment and success, and from the whole spectrum between them.
Everybody is experienced. The key is what you do with that experience, how you evaluate it, and how it influences the decisions you make in the future. And her musings about hunters and farmers only indicate her complete ignorance about either.
Talk to a hunter about the “luck” involved in spending ten or twenty years learning tracking, trapping, and killing skills. Talk to a farmer about the “hard work and conscientiousness” involved in seeing your harvest washed away by rain or shiveled by drought.
And she even drags out that ancient Goldman Hollywood chestnut, “Nobody knows anything.” Even Goldman knew that was bullshit. Goldman knew how to write a script. I made well over six figures writing screenplays. I know how to write them, too.
What Goldman was trying to get at is that there is no certainty in whether what you do know – everything that goes into making movies – will be profitably offered to the public. If you could know what would be a hit, you’d never write anything but a hit. This is patently ridiculous. This is also rather a far cry from the idiotic twist McArdle attempts to put on the statement. In fact. Goldman’s notion distinctly contravenes the idea that failure leads to success. Goldman is saying that even writing a very good script is no guarantee that the next script will be a success. Or the next, or the one after that. There is nothing you can learn from consecutive failures that will guarantee future success. Nobody knows anything, in other words. Nor can they. Each roll of the dice is fresh.
But hey. McArdle’s pop economic psychobabble will probably meet with great success in certain quarters, never mind that at its heart it is in large part wrong, and certainly barely rises to the level of even average intelligence.
Now, if she’d attempted to make the case that some people are smarter than others, and are able to rationally evaluate their experience of both success, failure, and everything else, and come up with strategies more likely to succeed in the future than those with less native intellectual prowess, that might have been interesting. In short, if you want to be successful, on average, being intelligent will goose the odds in your favor.
But since that would violate everything about the modern radical egalitarian culture, I can see why she didn’t go there. Probably wouldn’t have been a successful book in that case.