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Being recognized as a leader in thought, innovation, or creativity is frequently a greater individual motivator than simple monetary reward.

Our nature as social animals places 'recognition from peers' at least equal in importance to 'simple monetary compensation'. Many popular arguments assume that the reason freedom to create overrides monetary compensation as a powerful motivator is that we value freedom or creativity over money. This is often true, but peeling the onion back further, I would contend that the deeper reason for these priorities are simpler but not as socially laudable as first assumed. Such recognition is often more individually valuable than money. Social status can often open more doors than money thereby offering even more individual opportunities. At the deepest levels, it is total freedom and maximum number of choices that has been selected by evolution. This talk and many like it ignore the individual profit realized by being recognized and elevated up the social ladder versus simple fiscal profit.

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  • Feb 8 2013: The valences may vary from person to person.
    • Feb 8 2013: Always. But bell curves still allow us to understand questions and find answers that generally can help on the whole.

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