Diversity (was: Morality is Relative)

From: Lee Corbin (lcorbin@tsoft.com)
Date: Tue Aug 28 2001 - 02:56:29 MDT

Samantha writes

> Lee Corbin wrote:
> > No, I don't like diversity at all (except economic diversity).
> > It leads to group consciousness and divisiveness. Many people
> > thus just simply can't help but think of themselves as "this
> > Jew", or "this black woman", or "this gay person", etc. (Soon
> > due to demographic change, we'll all have a chance at being in
> > a minority and can be distinguished by our group identity as
> > well, although some, like Amish and Mormons are ahead of the
> > game already.)
> This doesn't make any sense to me. My problem with most of
> those who do not appreciate diversity is that they insist on
> seeing my packaging rather than who I am as a person.

Well, it doesn't apply to you, then, if you don't so strongly
identify with being a woman, or a lesbian, or whatever, to the
point that it suppresses your own unique individuality. I'll
grant that most of those who do not appreciate diversity will
see you first as a whatever---but, sad to say, most of those
who *do* appreciate diversity will also see you first as a

And the more difficult question is: to what degree do you feel
more comfortable with others who are women and lesbians (not
redundant, it turns out)? Here is the horror: you *do* have
more in common with them and so *must* have *some* comfort
derived from that. There is the fiendish "reverberant doubt",
a notion derived from what Hofstadter wrote about some game
theory tableux: when not with a woman or a lesbian, you have
to wonder, "does this person see me as different and perhaps
cannot help but doing so and is perhaps asking him/herself
"does this person see me as different and perhaps cannot help
but doing so and is perhaps asking him/herself "does this person...

At times the divisiveness brought about by membership in groups
seems so inescapable, that, since these "wonderful differences"
so glorified by the preachers of diversity are intrinsically
unimportant and pointless to begin with, perhaps we should
all separate into our own little groups. Then we just wouldn't
have to have anything to do with each other, except in a celebrated
formal capacity (the way that foreigners are treated in Japan), and
could escape these frictions, and "reverberant doubt". Even better
would be if we all had total freedom to choose our race and gender,
and could default to "mongrel".

Of course, the world is becoming a place where it doesn't matter,
as you start to say here:

> It is no longer a world where separatism and xenophobia are very
> workable. So, to some degree, we need to get over it while
> preserving our ability to be as different as we are and as like
> as we are.

Yes, that seems correct to me. Wish us all luck, because we
are going to need it, pace Singularity.


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