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Dear Phil, in you essay "Why I'm not a writer" you made the following remark in conjunction with a bitter-sweet life story of James Wilcox: "There are people who are good at doing things. There are people who are good at kissing ass and taking credit. These bundles of skills seem to be at odds so that one rarely finds them in the same person. In most areas of human endeavor, if you want to become famous or just put food on the table and are forced to choose between the skill bundles, it is much better to pick ass-kissing and credit-taking." If you combine this remark with the Darwinian theory you'll see why our society is the way it is, probably as long as your remark remains relevant we are doomed to be a species where ass-kissers and credit-takers dominate.