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The Evolution of an Accidental Meme

Have you seen this picture, or a variation of the idea, around the internet? It’s been in many places, in many versions. Craig Froehle put together the original in PowerPoint, of all things.

Back in 2012, shortly after the US elections, I had crafted up a graphic to illustrate my point in an argument I was having with a conservative activist. I was trying to clarify why, to me (and, I generalized, to liberals), “equal opportunity” alone wasn’t a satisfactory goal and that we should somehow take into consideration equality of outcomes (i.e., fairness or equity). I thought the easiest example of this concept is kids of different heights trying to see over a fence. So, I grabbed a public photo of Cincinnati’s Great American Ball Park, a stock photo of a crate, clip art of a fence, and then spent a half-hour or so in Powerpoint concocting an image that I then posted on Google+.

In four short years, the idea has been redesigned, redrawn, re-captioned, and used for myriad purposes. It’s been appropriated, critiqued, and has even crossed international borders. Froehle posted a timeline of the many versions he’s seen and the changes that were made. Artist Angus Maguire drew the version at the top. Here’s Froehle’s original.

Here’s a version drawn by Mary at Off She Goes

And here’s one from the Saskatoon Health Region.

For the most part, Froehle is delighted with the spread of his idea, but he has plenty to say about it, with dozen of examples and updates, at Medium. -via Metafilter


This is exactly why some (most?) liberals scare the hell out of conservatives. In a meritocracy, we all start at the same line. In a leftwing "justice" society, we all finish on the same line. Natural advantages like intelligence, good looks, social skills, education--count for nothing. We're all just interchangeable cogs in the Socialist machine.
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I like the one that has three frames. The last shows how the fence is turned into chain link, representing how the 'problem was resolved', equality has been achieved and now the boxes can now be removed since all parties can see the game.
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Something interesting to note is that the opposite of "equity" is "iniquity". You know, the thing that people in the bible are always getting berated for.
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This meme has started to bother me, although it also can serve as the focus of a good discussion.
The baseball game inside a stadium is supposed to have access limited to paying customers. The three kids on boxes are attempting to 'steal' admission to the game by looking over the fence! That's not right!
Perhaps some other desirable goal could be used. Some public spectacle that is not normally access-limited to paying viewers?
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