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Rahul Ramchandani @Rahul_Ramc
, 14 tweets, 6 min read Read on Twitter
Mimetic desire (or triangular desire) and influence run the show at elite universities.

An object of desire becomes desirable by virtue of being desired by someone.

Add a pinch of scarcity effect, risk aversion and throw some money - you've got the perfect bait.
Aversion to failure (and more generally risk) is magnified in middle class indian kids because failure is associated with extreme shame.

The result - a risk averse generation that doesn't know what to do and thus follows the herd.
The resume arms race at IITs and IIMs is real. I'd promised myself in freshman year not to fall prey to it but ultimately I succumbed to peer pressure.

It's amazing what risk aversion and zero sum mentality can do to you.
Of course, parental insecurity and overprotection make matters worse.

In India, this seems to be more of a defense mechanism and rather innocent desire more than anything else.
And yes, we're ambitious as well.

Nothing but world domination Rick level ambition.

Is that a bad thing? How to square off ambition and disappointment (resentment/depression)? Both seem inextricably linked.
No story is complete without the shovel sellers.

Prep institutions, resume makers, application reviewers and gatekeepers exist to increase the perceived value of the opportunity to study at elite places.
How much of the blame can be attributed to capitalism ? Did it ruin education?

Did it also create positive externalities and consumer surplus?

Is it just an inefficient but necessary condition for innovation?
This is indubitably true.

While opportunities exist plentiful at IITs; you have to pursue them.

Not saying it's a good thing but the fact that it's an incredible place to grow up can't be denied.
The inevitable ROI calculation that everyone does.

Let me just say that INR to USD conversion rate doesn't help us one bit.

Is the purpose of college education just producing more workers for elite jobs so that they in turn get more money?
Finding your passion

This is incredibly similar to what @naval says - start with things you were good at as a kid.

@paulg version - do what doesn't feel like work.

How does society do this at scale when inequality exists among jobs; making some more coveted than others?
United by the desire to be "uncommon" we're only moving towards conformity and groupthink.

Litmus test - are you doing it for the approval? For the coolness?
This is true from my observations as well.

Growing up with less makes you resilient and you can live with less.

That itself (low burn rate, fewer needs) is a good enabler of some kind of exploration.
Gap years can be a good way to decompress and think about what you want.

I was fortunate enough to have an extra year (by pure luck) for myself and it was one of the most productive years I'd had.

Gap years will never be acceptable in India. We're too caught up in the race.
This is so true.

"Leadership" has lost all meaning.

I was once asked in an interview why I think I can be a good leader if I don't have any "leadership positions" on my resume in sophomore year. This was a consulting job interview 🤦🏻‍♂️
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