43. I was a late bloomer and always envied those people who stood out in high school because I didn't. I learned early on, although, that it's essential to set yourself apart from the group. Life is one struggle after another to succeed, particularly when you're starting out. If your bio-data is sitting at the bottom of a pile of junk mail, sometimes a distinctive approach will get you noticed, especially if the competition is fierce.
Once my partner Jerry and I asked the other freelance writers of a TV serial what characters they hated to write for the most. Everybody said the same thing - they disliked writing for the minor characters because they felt that writing for them wouldn't help them get other jobs. Jerry and I decided that we would write scripts for the minor characters because that's what was needed and we needed to set ourselves apart.
In the first script Jerry and I wrote; a school girl falls in love with a boy in her class. The producers loved the story. And with that one script, Jerry and I were no longer just another comedy- writing team.
What can help one get identified above the rest in today's harsh competitive world?
46. Until he was ten, young Alexander Fleming attended the nearby Loudon Moor School. He was then transferred to Dagvel School, which he attended with his brothers. Alexander learned a good deal about nature during that four-mile downhill hike to school and the four-mile uphill return trip. He was a quick student and at twelve, the age limit prescribed for Dagvel School, he was sent to Kilmarnock Academy. After two years he joined his brothers, John and Robert, at the home of his elder brother Thomas, who was to become a successful oculist in London. However, the economic success of the family was yet to be and Alexander was forced to leave school for economic reasons. When he was sixteen, he obtained a job in a shipping company. Good fortune, however, was on his side and on the side of humanity. In 1901, he received a share in a legacy which made it possible for him to return to school where he decided to study medicine.
How did Alexander Fleming learn about nature?
49. The great event of the New York cultural season of 1882 was the visit of the sixty two year old English philosopher and social commentator Herbert Spencer. Nowhere did Spencer have a larger or more enthusiastic following than in the United States, where such works as ?Social Statics and ?The Data of Ethics were celebrated as powerful justifications for laissez fair capitalism. Competition was preordained; its result was progress; and any institution that stood in the way of individual liberties was violating the natural order.Survival of the fittest a phrase that Charles Darwin took from Spencer made free competition a social as well as a natural law. Spencer was, arguably, the single most influential systematic thinker of the nineteenth century, but his influence, compared with that of Darwin, Marx, or Mill, was short lived. In 1937, the Harvard sociologist Talcott Parsons asked, ?Who now reads Spencer? Seventy years later, the question remains pertinent, even if no one now reads Talcott Parsons, either. In his day, Spencer was the greatest of philosophical hedgehogs: his popularity stemmed from the Page 54 fact that he had one big, easily grasped idea and a mass of more particular ideas that supposedly flowed from the big one. The big idea was evolution, but, while Darwin applied it to species change, speculating about society and culture only with reluctance, Spencer saw evolution working everywhere. ?This law of organic progress is the law of all progress, he wrote, ?whether it be in the development of the Earth, in the development of Life upon its surface, in the development of Society, of Government, of Manufactures, of Commerce, of Language, Literature, Science, [or] Art. Spencer has been tagged as a social Darwinist, but it would be more correct to think of Darwin as a biological Spencerian. Spencer was very well known as an evolutionist long before Darwin's ?On the Origin of Species was published, in 1859, and people who had limited interest in the finches of the Galapagos had a great interest in whether the state should provide for the poor or whether it was right to colonize India.
Why did Spencer have a large enthusiastic following in the United States?