@language - all my life, people have asked, usually in shocked tones, "What makes you think you can just do whatever the h-e-l-l you like whenever you like?!" and on those occasions when I deign to answer my reply is usually "Experience".
The primary function of most social institutions is to instil or enforce conformity.
Some things are completely predictable. For example, I will die, and it will be some time in the next fifty years. I could hope otherwise and babble about medical advances, but the fact is that the useless gits can't even fix my haemorrhoids, so I don't hold high hopes for life extension.
In between it is a certainty that I will indulge my own intellectual and physical pleasure at every opportunity.
But you cannot know whether it will take my fancy to indulge myself with a sleep-in, throw a leg over, or get up early because I feel like going down to the river for some fishing or even just a cup of coffee in the morning sunshine. And therein lies my free-will. It's probably quantum.
This is one of the subjects where Scott strays ever too close to profound and deeply scary topics like free-will.
Crediting an individual with 'success' implies they caused it. When you start to break down their 'contribution' and their control over their 'contribution' the entire system crashes (under determinism).
You didn't cause yourself to be smart, and in case of Scott's worldview, you don't cause anything because choice is an illusion. In fact, in such a worldview, identity is an illusion as well. Something Scott has alluded to many times in his blog. Without a soul we simply don't exist, as discrete individuals. If we are not, then there is noone to claim credit for success anyway.
For those with 'faith' in freewill, this topic is a limitless source of humility. Our strengths and talents are not our own, we only own our choices. Whatever talents we then DO HAVE just become a larger moral obligation to maximize them. with great power comes great responsibility. we can then see the humanity of a janitor with an 80 IQ and no friends, family, or social life to speak of. Its what we do with what we are given, not the final heights we achieve.
An autistic with 2 friends is more amazing than a socialite with 1000.
Without a free-will, then all events in the known universe are the result of electro-weak, strong, and gravity. Literally EVERYTHING. you didn't cause anything. you need an x-factor to map uniquely to a self that overrides GUT to have ANY moral responsibility period. soulless husks inexorably bound by GUT have no fault, they have no choice. they are not moral actors and cannot be moral criminals. simply put, they don't even exist. you can falsely refer to a grouping of atoms as 'them', but there is no identity to point at.