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The Spread of Knowledge

I was watching a documentary about CERN and the LHC when I found myself thinking:
"How is it possible that within one society, one person can build the LHC and another can't put up a shelf"
Don't get caught up on the examples here. I am just commenting on the difference between the knowlegde/education of some and others.
I not talking about the third world here, more developed countries with access to state education.
It is about life chances (money, parents)?
Is is about aspiration?
Is it a natural and healthy balance? e.g. We need footballers and scientists.
Is it genetic?
Is it better or worse then finiancial inequality?
Is being smart "uncool"?
What can be done?
Should anything be done?

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