Apparently, it’s uncool in certain countries to be especially ambitious or distinguish yourself academically/professionally. I can see how this may be good in cases where you want to prevent excess competition or ensure the success of the group as opposed to the individual, but the drawbacks are obvious. If you will be “cut down” for doing things well or setting yourself apart, you will have no reason to. See also the “law of Jante” and “crab mentality”
Functional stupidity is organizationally-supported lack of reflexivity, substantive rea-
soning, and justification. It entails a refusal to use intellectual resources outside a narrow
and ‘safe’ terrain. It can provide a sense of certainty that allows organizations to function
smoothly. This can save the organization and its members from the frictions provoked by
doubt and reflection. Functional stupidity contributes to maintaining and strengthening
organizational order. It can also motivate people, help them to cultivate their careers,
and subordinate them to socially acceptable forms of management and leadership.
Thought it would be tongue-in-cheek, but it really isn’t. I haven’t finished it yet, but it seems to reinforce the notion that sometimes, irrationality is good (at least in the business world).