Monday, October 30, 2017

Anti-togetherness: The Virtues of Disunity


We spend our time with people of our own culture. Jews flock together. We have Chinatown, Little Saigon, Little Italy. Good ol’ boys and Boston Brahmins do not party  together.

A Truth Not Welcome: People do not like being with those different from themselves . Sometimes, briefly, we find it interesting, as in traveling, but for extended periods, no. This distaste pervades society, often unnoticed, with consequences. 

Instances of untogetherness:

People cluster by intelligence. With high consistency, we choose mates of intelligence close to our own. Likewise with friends: If you have an IQ of 100, or 150, you are unlikely to have friends of 150, or 100. Bright people join Mensa not from snobbery but because they want to be around people like themselves. On the internet this takes the form of distributed cognitive stratification in which people from around the globe congregate by intelligence.

A woman I knew while living in the Heart of Darkness once said, “In Washington, you assume that everyone is in the ninety-ninth percentile.” She herself was, and her friends were chemists, high-end journalists, authors, and so on.  She meant her remark as shorthand for a common sort of clustering.

2 comments:

  1. That's just plain truth, with nothing "sinister" about it.
    Birds of a feather flock together.
    Always have and always will.

    "Diversity" is great, as long as you can go back home if you want, when you're done diversitying.
    - Charlie

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