One of the most important contributions that the Steveosphere can make is to demonstrate and promulgate the reality and durability of unequal abilities. Radical egalitarianism has been a deeply destructive force in the West, and it's based on the assumption that everyone is interchangeable and thus any observed inequalities are unfair.
The truth is that abilities vary widely, sometimes by an order of magnitude. Let's use a convenient example--vocabulary. Most years that the General Social Survey is conducted, respondents are given a vocabulary test of ten words. I have not been able to track down the actual questions, but I'm sure they ask about words that are beyond a basic vocabulary. I'm treating the test as a sample of the population of advanced vocabulary words. Prior analysis has shown that vocabulary increases through age 30, so I've listed the percent earning each score for those ages 30 and up:
dictionary with 75,000 definitions for about six bucks. Yet with all this easy access, there are people who don't even have 10 percent of the the vocabulary of the folks in the smartest category. Over one-fifth of the sample doesn't even know half the words that the smart people do.
This wide variation is largely genetic. This article cites studies that put the heritability of vocabulary at over 70 percent. Malcolm Gladwell assures us that anyone can have a mammoth vocabulary if he just puts in the hard work necessary to build it, but wishing it to be true doesn't make it so. In the world of actual people, some absorb difficult words like sponges while others can't get past the basics. Simple as that. I run up against a wall every time I try to teach people what standard deviation means. It is just beyond many of us. God knows I've got my limits as well. I feel like an adult admitting that. We need to help everyone else grow up too.