Re: Diversity (was: Morality is Relative)

From: Samantha Atkins (
Date: Thu Aug 30 2001 - 11:50:44 MDT

Lee Corbin wrote:
> Samantha writes

> >
> > 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
> whatever.

Well obviously I am all of those things but I they are not in
any way blown so out of proportion that me the indivudal is
somehow subjugated to them, which was your contention.

> 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",

How on earth is this a "horror"? It is quite simply to be

> 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...

I don't follow you there at all or see any horror there. It is
a pointless game worrying about such things.
> 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".

Why unimportant and pointless? Why would going from labelling
and treating based on labels overly much be improved by refusing
to notice differences at all or to grant them any importance?
Friction by itself is not utterly bad. Your "reverberant doubt"
is actually pointless.
> 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.

Is it luck we need?


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