Our e-pal ‘hbd* chick’ (a scholar of human reproductive patterns and variation whose outstanding blog should be on your regular reading list, if it isn’t already) posted an excellent item yesterday on the increasing difficulties confronting adherents of the ideological cult of Diversity in the face of damning and discrediting evidence. (At this point the more intellectually honest of them — if that isn’t already too much of a contradiction in terms — must be beginning to feel, as Tom Lehrer once remarked, “like a Christian Scientist with appendicitis”.)
h. begins by calling our attention to an article in The Atlantic — which is hardly a reactionary organ — entitled The Paradox of Diverse Communities. The title is misleading, as there is no “paradox” anywhere in view: just a dawning realization that diversity is antagonistic to social cohesion. (This obvious truth used to be just simple common sense, always and everywhere — until our civilization lost its mind, and its sense of natural order, in the latter half of the twentieth century.)
The article discusses a new study, by a pair of Michigan State researchers, that uses a computer model to investigate what’s called “community psychology”:
Their simulations of more than 20 million virtual “neighborhoods” demonstrate a troubling paradox: that community and diversity may be fundamentally incompatible goals.
Again, this is nothing even resembling a paradox. The only way anyone could possibly see the incompatibility of community and diversity as a paradox would be to imagine “community” and “diversity” to be in some sense identical, as if at some soteriological Omega Point of infinite Social Justice they merge to become undifferentiated aspects of the ultimate Good. (Which is, I suspect, exactly what people who write this sort of thing do imagine.)
But it turns out there’s trouble in Paradise:
Their models focus on the emergence of the “community-diversity dialectic” based on two simple principles: homophily – the tendency of people to bond with others like themselves – and proximity – the tendency of people to bond with those nearby.
…After 20 million-plus simulations, the authors found that the same basic answer kept coming back: The more diverse or integrated a neighborhood is, the less socially cohesive it becomes, while the more homogenous or segregated it is, the more socially cohesive.
Well, this may be news to The Atlantic, but I do seem to recall seeing it on the cover of Duh magazine a few years back.
These findings are sobering. Because homophily and proximity are so ingrained in the way humans interact, the models demonstrated that it was impossible to simultaneously foster diversity and cohesion “in all reasonably likely worlds.” In fact, the trends are so strong that no effective social policy could combat them, according to Neal. As he put it in a statement, “In essence, when it comes to neighborhood desegregation and social cohesion, you can’t have your cake and eat it too.”
Sobering? One can only hope.
“…the trends are so strong that no effective social policy could combat them.”
I don’t doubt that for a minute. May I suggest that we stop trying?
Anyway, enough from me. Get thee hence and read hbd’s post, here.