Diversity

A nice passage from Rogers & Hammerstein, which I heard on John McWhorter's excellent Lexicon Valley podcast.

|The Volokh Conspiracy |

"Diversity" is often a political label for things I disagree with (such as race-based preferences in university admissions); but, as with many such broad concepts, there's often a good deal of truth to it (at least in some of its versions) even if it's also misused.

One thing that I try to stress to my students is the reality of diversity: You can't be a good lawyer (or be good at sales, business, or many other things) without realizing that people—clients, judges, jurors, witnesses, opposing counsel, and others—may be very different from you, and may react differently than you might at first expect. They may differ in their culture (which is often linked to race or ethnicity), their sex, their religion, their politics, their educations, and in many other things.

You might wish for a more homogeneous environment, but your wishes don't really matter: It's not what you'll likely face. And even if you think a particular group is homogeneous, you're probably missing just how diverse they are in their views and attitudes.

In any event, I thought of this yesterday: I was listening to Prof. John McWhorter's superb Lexicon Valley podcast (or perhaps the superb Prof. John McWhorter's Lexicon Valley podcast, since so much of what he has done has been excellent), and he played a passage from one of Rodgers & Hammerstein's lesser known songs, All Kinds of People:

It takes all kinds of people to make up a world,
All kinds of people and things.
They crawl on the earth, they swim in the sea,
And they fly through the sky on wings.
All kinds of people and things,
And, brother, I'll tell you my hunch:
Whether you like them or whether you don't,
You're stuck with the whole damn bunch.

Indeed.

NEXT: Cultured Meat Turkey to Your Table?

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  1. “You might wish for a more homogeneous environment”

    Why would I wish to be deprived of learning opportunities?

    Perhaps out of laziness or an unhealthy avoidance of conflict. I fight those tendencies in myself.

    Thank you, by the way, for flagging a key insight. “And even if you think a particular group is homogeneous, you’re probably missing just how diverse they are in their views and attitudes.” That is critical to keep in mind when interacting with unfamiliar and/or marginalized populations.

    1. A nerdy Fred: Glad we agree on the virtues of diversity, but there are also virtues of homogeneity. Among others, if you’re trying to persuade a group of people — such as a jury, an appellate court, or a set of prospective customers who are coming in the door, even one by one — it’s easier if they share a lot of traits, so that one argument can work well for everyone. Likewise, homogeneous groups may sometimes work together better. On balance, a mix of different people may be more effective for different projects than a mix of very similar people, or maybe there’s a sweet spot somewhere in the middle between maximal and minimal diversity; but it’s important to remember that there are pluses and minuses to diversity and to homogeneity, as there are as to most things.

      1. On balance, a mix of different people may be more effective for different projects than a mix of very similar people, or maybe there’s a sweet spot somewhere in the middle between maximal and minimal diversity; but it’s important to remember that there are pluses and minuses to diversity and to homogeneity, as there are as to most things.

        Having worked in the tech industry for my entire career and I have found diverse teams more effective in almost every case. I won’t even consider looking at working for an organization that doesn’t have diversity programs in place and shown progress in meeting certain goals. Recently I was approached by a recruiter a about joining a new startup (this actually happens about once a week). I looked at their leadership team and I found it was 100% white and male. And with one exception – so was the board of directors. I turned the recruiter down without further discussion (and I’m white and male).

        1. How virtuous.

        2. ” I looked at their leadership team and I found it was 100% white and male.”

          A team that’s 100% white and male can’t be diverse?

          1. No, they obviously have the same experiences and values, which is why they don’t worry about diversity while he does.

          2. As usual from the pro-diversity front. Diversity *can* be beneficial – under certain circumstances. Genetic diversity is good for the long-term survival of the species, for example.

            However, not one person has been able to justify why sexual or racial diversity in beneficial on an engineering team designing a new computer chip. Does being female give a greater understanding of electron flow? Do some skin colors result in better measurements of resistance? Personally, I’d rather work with competent and experience electronics engineers without regard to irrelevant features.

            Anyone here want to try to justify it?

            1. In that example it’s hard to see how racial or sexual diversity would be of any use (though for other engineering problems some diversity might be useful, since an engineering problem is not a physics problem – it contains “values” as well as mere science.)

              But even in the nerdiest engineering team, some personality diversity might be valuable. The guy (and since it’s nerdy enginering, I’ll unleash my inner Damore and stick to “guy”) with the best ideas may not be the same guy who’s obsessive about completing the job with no loose ends, or the guy who wants to keep everyone focussed on the goal rahter than endlessly discussing interesting nerdy variations. And so on.

              1. Toranth and Lee Moore. With his mention of the value of genetic diversity, Toranth has raised a better point than he seems to appreciate. He also says, skeptically, as if it were a counter point, “However, not one person has been able to justify why sexual or racial diversity in beneficial on an engineering team designing a new computer chip. Does being female give a greater understanding of electron flow?”

                There are some natural processes, genetic diversity being a prime example, that operate at a level of complexity which humans will probably never be able to understand, or “justify.” In processes of that sort, what you come to appreciate is that the process delivers surprises, for good or ill, depending on interactions with other factors that are essentially chaotic.

                You never looked for those results, but there they are. I suggest that it would be pretty foolish to suppose without evidence that there is nothing about sexual or racial diversity that could not improve insight into electron flow itself, or a process to develop a project related to electron flow, or the uses of key insights into electron flow. One of the great potential values of diversity is that it can better attune groups to recognize and make use of surprises.

                You do have to be careful, though. If you try to get diversity by salting in a diverse assortment of hammerheads, beneficial insights might decrease. For instance, too many nerds might do that. Facebook looks like a developing example.

                1. what you come to appreciate is that the process delivers surprises, for good or ill, depending on interactions with other factors that are essentially chaotic

                  Sure. But ill beats good roughly 99.999% of the time. The winnowing process is called death. Genes are unbelievably conservative, so the idea of chucking a few diverse ones in together to see how it turns out is not a good model of how, occasionally, new combinations are found to work. Every cell in your body is working flat out, 24/7, to stamp out any new genetic diversity.

                  Human efforts at genetic experimentation have been quite successful over millenia, but entirely at the level of selection by phenotype – ie you see what seems to work and then you try to build on it by selective breeding. You don’t just chuck a square on in with a green one and hope for the best. Cos then you just get a dead one.

                  Perhaps a better model of the unforseeable, but beneficial, effects of new combinations is the market. But again, there’s a ruthless winnowing process. You find out which new combinations work from your profit and loss account.

                  And the market is just the place to test the notion that (and when) “diversity” works better than homogeneity. Not college. Because in college there’s no proft and loss account.

                  1. In summary, diversity helps explore the fitness gradient descent space as far as escaping a local minima in favor of a better one. This may be of good benefit to social problem solving, but perhaps detriment to technical problem solving in the short term, but beneficial in the long term because inclusion increases the number of future problem solvers who didn’t see their parents excluded.

                2. While a nice paean to “The Infinite Possibilities of Diversity!” that is so old, even hoary old original Star Trek cited it… your argument cannot actually point to examples.

                  You claim it would be foolish to suppose “without evidence” that sexual or racial diversity cannot give key insights into physics. And yet, you (and other diversity proponents) are the ones claiming that there *must* be differences – advantages, even! – in those genetic differences. You are the ones suggesting, without evidence, that extraordinary effort needs to occur to bring about diversity in all things.

                  Given that we’ve had centuries of physical science research, and tens of millions of people studying these topics, why is it that we’ve seen no signs that any given race is better at physics or biology?

                  As a former professional statistician, I’ll tell you: Foolishness is assuming your hypothesis by default. “Potentials” and “possibilities” are nice to dream about, but claiming your dreams of biology are true and forcing others to act in accordance is no different than religion – faith backed by force.

                  1. “And yet, you (and other diversity proponents) are the ones claiming that there *must* be differences – advantages, even! – in those genetic differences.”

                    Speaking as a diversity proponent, you’re either mistaken in your understanding of our argument, or you’re deliberately mis-stating it.

                    The claim isn’t that genetic differences produce differences in insight, but the totality of both nurture and nature. People have different experiences in their lives… some of them caused by differences in genetics, some from other factors.

        3. Can’t be too diverse if you haven’t hit language barriers in critical situations. Try to explain to a traveling scholar how an experiment won’t work when they can’t understand you, wasting valuable time and resources. Try to explain to people with little English best practices and safety methods; you’ll end up grinding your teeth and worrying until they can understand better (which is not guaranteed to happen).

          1. ” Try to explain to a traveling scholar how an experiment won’t work when they can’t understand you, wasting valuable time and resources.”

            In the past, a university education was considered incomplete if it didn’t include study of one or more foreign languages. For scientists, for example, you’d want to read publications in their original language, to solve this particular problem.

            But, of course, it’s THEIR fault that YOU only speak one language…

            1. Yes, out of thousands of languages I have fluency in one and reasonable ability in two. It’s unreasonable to expect anything to be able to communicate with everybody in their native language, especially when those people aren’t in their native environments.

              In many fields, publications are all in English. In mine there used to be some in Russian, but not anymore.

        4. “…I have found diverse teams more effective in almost every case.”

          Out of curiosity, how many Trump supporters on your team?

          1. You made a mistake. You used “effective” and “Trump supporters” in the same paragraph.

        5. regexp’s story is a good example of performative contradiction.

          He thinks he believes that all white men are alike, such that they bring the same assumptions to the party, and then he – a white man – walks away, and is shown to bring different assumptions. Demonstrating that he isn’t like the herd of other white men, that he thinks he believes in.

          Your real beliefs are revealed by your actions, not your words. Even if you don’t realise it.

        6. So, if all white men are alike, are all back men alike? Are all Asian men alike? And if they are, or even if they mostly are, is racial profiling bad?

        7. Yep. Ted Nugent and Bernie Sanders are exactly the same, since they’re both white males.

          1. The both rely on playing the same old hits over and over instead of developing new material.

          2. Ted Nugent and Bernie Sanders are exactly the same, since they’re both white males.

            I have spent time with both men (Ted in a trailer before a show, Bernie over lunch). They are dissimilar.

      2. The last thing that we can allow is for common people to decide which level of diversity or homogeneity is beneficial for ourselves, instead we need credentialed experts in the judiciary to impose their will upon us.

        1. That is a relatively smooth, although not necessarily elegant and not close to morally sound, argument for bigotry. It is certainly a stride up from the ‘Jews will not replace us’ level.

          1. what is your point?

            1. Pining for pre-Brown v. Board of Education America is the work of failures.

              Carry on, clinger.

              1. You don’t know what I am pining for you just infer that from what I said. I don’t like you for example, and it has nothing to do with race.

      3. If the argument for homogeneity in a group is that they are more easily manipulated, that sounds like an argument in favor of diversity both from the group’s perspective and from that of interested third parties. I would have more confidence in the judgment of a diverse jury if it means they have fewer shared prejudices to exploit.

        1. If the argument for homogeneity in a group is that they are more easily manipulated, that sounds like an argument in favor of diversity both from the group’s perspective and from that of interested third parties.

          Beat me to it.

          Part of what Eugene describes as “virtues of homogeneity:”

          if you’re trying to persuade a group of people — such as a jury, an appellate court, or a set of prospective customers who are coming in the door, even one by one — it’s easier if they share a lot of traits, so that one argument can work well for everyone.

          doesn’t seem like a virtue at all. If people tend to bring their biases – broadly defined – into their decision-making, and most surely do, then we don’t want all the jurors to have the same set of them.

          It’s nice for (one of) the lawyers, maybe, but not so much for justice.

        2. But there are plenty of circumstances where easy “manipulation” of a group is a good thing and would be seen as a good thing by all those who are being “manipulated.”

          eg teaching a class of students at an advanced level would be really hard if the students all had different levels of introductory level preparation and different languages; clearing people from a building when a fire alarm goes off is easier if those people all know the evacuation rules and routes. A Greek phalanx would have worked poorly if each hoplite had decided to do his own thing. Ditto the offensive line.

          Nor is dealing with people as individuals free from “bad” manipulation. If I talk to the whole group, I have to tell the same story and make the same justifications to the whole group. But if I can catch you one by one I can tailor my manipulations, and my story, to each person.

          Homogeneity or diversity in a group is a horses for courses thing.

          1. I’d go even simpler: almost everything is easier if everyone speaks the same language.

            1. “almost everything is easier if everyone speaks the same language.”

              YMMV. British, Australians, and Americans all allegedly speak the same language. For that matter, most Americans speak the same language… why is finding agreement between them so hard?

              1. Yilning ahmoq g’oyasi g’olibi

              2. “Easier” doesn’t mean the same thing as “easy”.

              3. But it is easier than with people speaking in diffrent language.

          2. Lee,

            I don’t disagree with you.

            That’s why I referred to “part of what Eugene describes,” rather than “what Eugene describes.”

            Another way to look at it is that “diversity” can exist on many dimensions, and depending on the specific objective, it can, on a given dimension, be helpful, or harmful, or neutral.

            1. Another way to look at it is that “diversity” can exist on many dimensions, and depending on the specific objective, it can, on a given dimension, be helpful, or harmful, or neutral.

              Or all of the above. I wouldn’t want you to think that my fence is less comfortable than yours.

              1. Sometimes the fence is the smart place to be.

                The search for simple rules can often lead us astray (but not always).

      4. Among others, if you’re trying to persuade a group of people — such as a jury, an appellate court, or a set of prospective customers who are coming in the door, even one by one — it’s easier if they share a lot of traits, so that one argument can work well for everyone.

        This line of thinking kept black people off juries for decades. It persists in race-targeting gerrymandering and voter suppression efforts and apparently still has a following at conservative blogs.

    2. so your assertion is that avoidance of conflict is unhealthy?

  2. I tried explaining to someone why taking offense at other people is counter-productive: I have enough problems knowing what amuses me or offends me at any particular time; it depends on my mood, the context, who is talking, who else is listening, what I am trying to do, and a zillion other variables of which I am almost entirely ignorant.

    How in the dickens can I make any reliable predictions about what offends other people? If they have told me “no raccoon jokes”, and if I remember that, and if I realize that they really mean no burglar jokes, then maybe I can avoid providing offense in one tiny corner of my life.

    People just need to grow thicker skin, and recognize that most of the offense they take was never intended to be offensive; and if it was, then they should distance themselves from the offender. If that is impossible or unreasonable, such as a co-worker or even a boss, then tell someone higher up the food chain, and find out what they think of the situation. Maybe the jerk is far more valuable to them than you are. Maybe retaining the jerk and offending lots of co-workers is their chosen option. Maybe you need to …. who knows.

    But stop dragging the government sledge hammer into such variable and trivial details. It just makes a mess.

    1. People just need to grow thicker skin

      I share your expressed disdain for political correctness. That is why I call a bigot a bigot, a deplorable backwater a deplorable backwater, and a half-educated, superstitious, credulous, stale-thinking yahoo an ardent Trump supporter.

      The bigots don’t like it — they no longer wish to be known as bigots, at least not in public — but I consider accuracy to be a great virtue.

      Thanks for the support.

  3. “I tried explaining to someone why taking offense at other people is counter-productive…”

    If they don’t already understand this, they were probably greatly offended. And that’s just too fucking bad.

    Being perpetually offended is a political strategy suited for two-year-olds and Marxists, not reasonable adults.

    1. This was meant as a reply to Remember to keep it all polit. I apologize if I caused any offense.

  4. For years I have been saying, “It takes all kinds to make a world…but did it ever strike you that the proportions were off?”

  5. Mix things up a little…go to an Irish psychiatrist and drink at a bar which has a Jewish bartender.

    1. (I wish I could find the cartoon with that theme)

  6. So an Irishman, an African-American, a Jew, and a lesbian, walk into a bar.

    The bartender says, “what is this, some kind of joke?”

  7. Ethnic humor is really diverse. The more jokes you tell, diverse they get.

  8. They may differ in their culture (which is often linked to race or ethnicity), their sex, their religion, their politics, their educations, and in many other things.

    Those “many other things” may include – their personality, their intelligence, their interests, their friends, their family, their life story so far, their health. In short “many other things” quite different from, and cutting across, the usual suspects : race, ethnicity, sex, gender, sexual orientation etc. Consequently the assumptions that “all gay people are alike” or “all Pakistanis are alike” are just as wrong as “all people are alike.”

    Hence the absurdity of aiming to achieve “diversity” with “race-based preferences in university admissions.” Well, absurdity isn’t the right word, because the goal of diversity is simply a fig leaf for trying to achieve equality of outcome in admissions for certain politically specified “victim” groups. Nobody has ever attempted to achieve “diversity” in university admissions across the spectrum of say, conscientiousness, neuroticism or urban/rural upbringing.

    1. ‘Those “many other things” may include – their personality, their intelligence, their interests, their friends, their family, their life story so far, their health.”

      Yes. There are differences that are readily apparent at first glance or very shortly thereafter, and differences that make take considerable effort to identify.
      The fact that different people are different does not mean that it’s wasteful to seek out people whose differences are more obvious. If harmony is your goal and you fear that people who are obviously different from you may be hostile, it’s worth remembering that the biggest disagreements are between people who are closest to agreement, and some of the most heated arguments come up over the most trivial of issues.

    2. What do you make of diversity-based arguments promoting increased hiring of movement conservatives for the faculties of strong schools? Some people contend our liberal-libertarian schools should emulate poor-performing conservative-controlled schools in this regard.

      Thank you.

  9. “Whether you like them or whether you don’t,
    You’re stuck with the whole damn bunch.”

    I could immediately hear the cries of protest from thousands of fascists, Marxists and Islamists. You’re definitely not stuck with the whole damn bunch as the history of the 20th century shows in spades.

    And even at the level of the non psychopath, some people like the company of the whole damn bunch and some avoid the whole damn bunch like the plague. You can regulate how much of the whole damn bunch you have to put up with ? so long as you have freedom of association, of course.

  10. It’s as well to remember that while all people are different, all people are also the same. It just depends on the level of resolution. While this may seem banal – and it is – it has practical applications.

    While you are consructing a culturally sensitive and careful special individualised treatment for somebody who you have identified as different from you, they may be wondering why you’re such a weirdo who takes half an hour to say the simplest thing and keeps on treating them like they’re wrapped in cotton wool. Though of course they may also be thinking “I’d better not ask why I’m getting the cotton wool treatment, maybe that’s usual in this weird foreign culture.”)

    1. Cotton wool is racist.

      1. My dad was allergic to cotton wool. There were pills he could take, but he couldn’t get them out of the bottle.

        1. Pa dum pum. He’s heresolong all week, folks.

  11. “One thing that I try to stress to my students is the reality of diversity: You can’t be a good lawyer (or be good at sales, business, or many other things) without realizing that people — clients, judges, jurors, witnesses, opposing counsel, and others — may be very different from you, and may react differently than you might at first expect.”

    That’s true of “diversity” that terrible word from the left the same way it’s true of “Profiling” that terrible word from the right.

    One can’t be in any occupation that interacts with the public without using some level of profiling. Car salesmen do it. Police do it. Hookers do it, etc…

    1. I took a holiday retail temp job over holiday break as loss prevention which was basically stand around and don’t do anything unless you literally see a guy trying to wheel out a big expensive LCD/Plasma TV without paying. Then we were to call the cops. During our training we had a whole two hours on “profiling” which could have just been summed up as “serious not all black people shoplift”. It was full of hilarious scenarios involving every race except an African American.

      Black Friday was hilarious because it was about 20 degrees out and the number of people of certain ummm demographics who would come in without a coat and magically leave with one that set off the theft alarm then take off was amazing. Eventually a manager just turned it off.

      Occasionally us standing around in this big red jackets would spook a shoplifter into moving along, but only had one incident. A lady came in with a hilariously large purse that was completely empty and filled it up with high end designer stuff. Once she left they chased her like 1/4 mile into the parking lot and I swear I never saw an olympic runner spring that fast.

      Sounds funny folks but all this anti-“profiling” stuff just costs you money. Who do you think makes up the margin loss for people who call Black Friday “free shopping day”? It is the chump who is paying for his merchandise at the register.

      1. I took a holiday retail temp job over holiday break as loss prevention

        Your dedication to operating the gears of commerce is laudable. Few educated, skilled professionals are willing to take time from their demanding careers to work as temporary law enforcement impersonators.

        1. Not so great there with the reading comprehension are you AK.

          Never claimed to be a “temporary law enforcement impersonator”. In fact I expressly stated we were basically forbidden from doing anything but call the police, much like any other citizen. Loss prevention is largely window dressing. It was a great job. I sat around, did almost nothing and made a bunch of money of campus holiday break.

          Have you ever had a real job in your life AK?

          1. Menial labor? Standing around for $10 an hour? Great job? For an ostensible adult?

            Different standards for different folks, I guess.

            After many junior-grade positions, beginning at age 10, I had a full-time professional job at age 20 (provided by an employer who misjudged my graduation date).

            1. Still that not great at reading there AK. You might as well be a fake commenter because I am pretty sure you are a troll-bot.

              If it wasn’t clear because you know you can’t read all that well, I was a STUDENT, on a month long holiday break. Also, I would never knock someone for working a job even if was below their “pay grade”. You should actual be ashamed for doing so. Pretty offensive to demean someone who is just trying to make a living. But then again you are quite the bigot.

              Also professional bottom with a major in wearing a ball gag is not a “professional job”. But hey post your rates here and I will pass them along to my libertarian friends who might be interested in your “professional services”.

    2. One of the most rigorously confirmed findings in sociology is something called “stereotype accuracy”; It turns out that stereotypes, where they’re such that they can be objectively evaluated, are almost always true, at least on a statistical basis.

      It’s also been found that people generally only resort to stereotypes when they lack individualized information about a person. Which is exactly the rational way to treat statistical information!

  12. A Christian nation that followed those values, vastly limited migration, respected freedom of religion, didn’t recognize fake marriage, gun ownership was a usual as owning a bible, no illegal discrimination couched as “affirmative action”, and one that puts the needs of its citizens over those of some foreign land sounds like a perfectly fine place for me to live. Oh wait, we used to have something like that. It was called the United States of America.

    1. There’s no such thing as a “Christian nation”. Jesus said so.

    2. Jimmy seems a fine spokesman for superstitious, half-educated, stale-thinking, grievance-consumed, bigoted, shambling white American males. Surely there is a spot on the Conspirator roster for such a man!

  13. A Christian nation….

    Gee. I wonder what stops us from being a Christian nation. Is there some rule that prevents Congress from establishing a national religion?

    1. The rule against forming a Christian nation comes from the other side of the question. Some guy named Jesus said it, and for some reason the Christians have to follow what he said.

      Anyone who argues for a “Christian nation” is by definition not Christian.

      1. […] and for some reason the Christians have to follow what [Jesus] said.

        Don’t be absurd.

        From a theological perspective, sinning/failing, seeking forgiveness/repentance, and gaining forgiveness/repentance is a pretty strong theme in all variations of Christianity.

        From a practical perspective, Christians have been demonstrating, since the time of Jesus Christ, that actually doing what he told them to do and claiming the name are only vaguely related. We’ve had quite a few “Christian nations” throughout history, to the point where we’ve had wars over religious schisms because some dude wanted a divorce rather then kill another wife.

        So yeah. Christians don’t have to follow anything that Jesus said. It’s an aspiration, not a threshold.

  14. If you aim for inclusion, where each person’s individual strengths and experiences are welcome, you’ll get diversity as a side effect. If you aim for diversity, you get quotas and prejudice.

  15. A generic benefit of diversity is that it reduces the likelihood that everyone has the same weakness or blind spot. An example in the engineering domain might be a problem in subfield X that turns out to yield to modeling approaches commonly used only in subfield Y.
    In aviation, there have been many deaths because of lack of diversity concerning the degree of deference due the captain when he/she was almost certainly making a deadly error.
    The special and general theories of relativity were among other things triumphs of diversity in thought.

  16. Always love it when someone who is ignorant about Christianity and its values will tell you, attempting to speak with full authority, about what a nation founded on those values would look like.

    It usually starts with “but Jesus said….” even though Jesus didn’t actually say that and without realizing Christianity is more then just the four Gospels (hey did you know that there are actually more then four out there people?)

    1. Christianity is more then just the four Gospels

      That’s obvious. It’s a fairy tale, for starters.

      Choose reason. Every time.

      Especially over sacred ignorance and dogmatic intolerance. Most especially if you are older than 12 or so, because by then childhood indoctrination fades as an excuse for gullibility, backwardness, ignorance, and bigotry.

      By ostensible adulthood it is no excuse, not even in Mississippi, Alabama, or Utah.

      Choose reason. And education, tolerance, science, liberty, inclusivity, and modernity. (This means rejecting ignorance, superstition, backwardness, dogma, and intolerance.)

      Choose reason. Every time. Be an adult.

      Or, at least, try.

    2. “Always love it when someone who is ignorant about Christianity and its values will tell you, attempting to speak with full authority, about what a nation founded on those values would look like.”

      Jesus’ followers (the ones who could actually talk to him) wanted him to throw off the Roman oppressors and take over Judea himself. That would have been a “Christian nation”. Jesus flatly declined to do so. When they urged him to use Holy power to seize the reins of government and reign on Earth, he told them “no”.
      So… what would a nation founded on the values of flatly refusing to take power look like?

      His Kingdom is in the next world, not this one.

  17. From the podcast, found it interesting that second generation kids tended to want to create a new dialect of their own, presumably to regain a sense of control over their lives. Some are born different, some achieve differentness, and some have differentness thrust upon them.

  18. Diversity is why the Founders invested power in the legislature rather than just picking a new monarch.

    1. Perhaps our (benevolent) monarch is the English language?

  19. The concept of diversity first depends on what is trying to be achieved and who is minimally qualified. Should professional basketball or hockey have more diversity? Maybe yes to expand their fan base, but probably no if one is most interested in providing the best product to the fan base. The same would go for engineering a hard problem. Cosmetic diversity is a poor proxy for competent intellectual diversity….or coming from a different school of thought. Some problem solving also requires team chemistry which may or may not be aggravated by superficial differences in race, sex, religion, age, culture, or sexual attraction. If the problem to be solved is in marketing or media, then diversity in life experience becomes more relevant. There is just no hard set rule that adding diversity always improves a solution…..it depends….

    1. ” Should professional basketball or hockey have more diversity?”

      The question’s answer depends more on whether there is extant a policy (officially-stated or otherwise) that excludes qualified individuals from some subgroups from being considered from employment. If there is, then removing that policy will improve “diversity” and also improve the overall level of the participants. This is true not just for sports activities, but everywhere. If you’re artificially eliminating qualified persons, the product suffers.

      Conversely, if you’ve already employed all the qualified candidates from some subgroups, then attempting to add more employees from those subgroups means lowering the overall quality of your employees.

      The question gets more complicated in jobs where a part of “successful” performance includes making management feel happy about what’s being done rather than on what’s actually being done.

  20. The thing that puzzlea me about diversity is its acceptance as an assumed good in the absence of any scientific evidence of its benefits.
    Culturally, the more homogeneous the society, the more successful it is. Without exception. Diverse people fight each other
    We are being intentionally torn apart through this inane rhetorical device.

    1. “Culturally, the more homogeneous the society, the more successful it is. Without exception.”

      Unless you count the “e pluribus unum” United States, sure.

  21. Diversity : “the state of being diverse” diverse : “showing a great deal of variety; very different”

    When it comes to shades of skin, it shouldn’t matter too much. Yet the left obsesses over racial diversity, while completely discounting the value of a diversity of ideas.

    On the other hand, ideas matter; they are tremendously important. And there is great value in a diversity of ideas, i.e.: the opportunity to hear and consider diverse points of view.

    But, alas, there are good and bad ideas.

    When it comes to a diversity of viewpoints among citizens in a democracy or republic, there is no value in such a thing per se. Since the citizens of a democracy or republic determine the policy of the government, a diversity of ideas (e.g. a great deal of variety between good and bad ideas), may in fact be a profoundly detrimental circumstance. This is something we should seek to avoid, for example, in the legislation and execution of immigration policy.

    1. And I agree John McWhorter is fantastic, just based on some of his vlogs with Glenn Loury and some his mainstream articles I’ve read.

  22. The founder of the VC talks about the importance of diversity. This is a joke, right?

  23. The subtle contradiction in today’s fashionable celebration of the presumably infinite values of diversity is that those who insist upon the most extreme applications of the principle also simultaneously insist that there are no real significant differences between the populations under consideration to begin with.

    For instance, there are trivial physical differences between men and women but some dogmatists insist there are no inborn mental or social behavior differences. Any apparent differences in those spheres are products of culture, which is the educational, legal, and economic environment and obsolete religious traditions dating back millennia, don’t you know!

    Race is touchier. The popular new book A BRIEF HISTORY OF EVERYONE WHO EVER LIVED by geneticist Alan Rutherford spends a good deal of time and argument minimizing genetic racial differences as far as affecting any measurable performance standard. In other words, when you watch NFL and NBA games and the teams are 70-90% African heritage, don’t believe your lying’ eyes, believe what Adam sez.

    IQ to me is irreducibly complex because multiple types of genius exist. Which means that the concept of “equality” is a spiritual notion, not an intellectual one.

      1. No, blew it twice in a row! Adam Rutherford!. He is an echo of the late Stephen Jay Gould.

        1. Think I blew the difference between affect and effect, again, also.

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