A Case For Diversity

A Case For Diversity

When I started this project, I didn't intend for politics to be a central theme. Where one leans politically and what they support must be based to some extent on their values, and digging into what people value and why is an area I've always endeavored to explore. So I'll start out by laying one of my cards on the table.

Diversity always wins.

I know in my insulated urban liberal bubble, this is the sort of thing that should go without saying. The silent consent many give to institutionalized practices counter to this view handily demonstrates otherwise, but that's not what we're getting into here. The idea that someone's personhood and the affording of all the rights ascribed therein is predicated on a certain adherence to specific ethnic or religious "norms" is unnatural, illogical, and just plain wrong. Where have I heard this before?

Though we've still got a lot of work before we get this one right.

Though we've still got a lot of work before we get this one right.

Let's start small. Really small. Microscopic, even, right down to the most irreducible quanta of life; the cell. Back when life was just getting started, single cell organisms were the only game in town. They were simple to operate, easy to replicate, and that was what was most important at the time. Then something happened. We haven't traced back exactly when or how it happened, but somewhere along the line, the business of staying alive and making copies got more complex, and the tools necessary to do so also grew in complexity. Multi-cellular organisms came about that could selectively express specific parts of their genome to be better suited to a specific functions. Carry this tendency forward a few billion years and that sort of diversity has led to lifeforms capable of abstraction, intuition, and sentient reflection (EG: you and me). Diversity wins.

Seen here in the process of evolving middle fingers to really stick it to 'em.

Seen here in the process of evolving middle fingers to really stick it to 'em.

But if cellular function is a bit too abstract, let's zoom out a bit. As individuals, we benefit from diversity. Inside each of our bodies, our immune systems are a microcosm for how cohesive diversity is the winning strategy. As we move through live, our bodies tag and categorize every intruding entity it recognizes as "not me". Having a greater variety of these reference points makes our bodies more resistant to any destructive agents introduced to us. This is how acquired immunity functions. The very idea behind vaccines is introducing specific agents to our system in a controlled way so as to give our bodies a blueprint on how to deal with the real thing.

And on some unconscious level, we know this. It's why some people's natural odor is appealing to us. It's why in nearly all societies have developed a taboo around incest. On some intrinsic biological level, we understand that biological uniformity leads only to ruin. Diversity wins.

No matter how much we screw with it.

No matter how much we screw with it.

This pattern holds on every biological level from cells to entire ecosystems. Those with the greatest diversity to draw from are those most resistant to disruptive intrusion. Similarly the room with 10 people with different backgrounds, upbringings, educations, and experiences are more likely to have a solution to any problem that comes about and threatens them all than if they were all interchangeable drones.

Pictured: An "agreeable" lot.

Pictured: An "agreeable" lot.

Diversity always wins.

Thanks for listening.

Doctor Strange

Doctor Strange

Regarding Veterans Day

Regarding Veterans Day