I’ve been thinking a bit lately about this 500-word Twitter thread from Jeffrey Sachs and I think it gets something important wrong. Not only is Diversity™ not a useful or effective proxy for real diversity, Diversity™ poisons real diversity and prevents it from growing.
Here, when I talk about real diversity, I refer to the huge contrasts that naturally exist between all individuals, especially in viewpoints and ideologies, that when combined often result in great synergy in all kinds of settings. When I talk about Diversity™, I refer to attempts to equalize representation of individuals within groups according to fashionable parameters such as racial or ethnic identity, sexual orientation, gender, etc.
When Diversity™ is implemented, everyone knows it because Diversity™, by definition, would not have happened on its own. One of the most important rules of Diversity™ is you’re not allowed to associate with any idea critical of Diversity™, sometimes even by several degrees of separation. This leaves a narrow sliver of acceptable ideas that can be recombined into only so many viewpoints. Eventually Diversity™ produces less diversity even by its own definition, as fewer representatives of “privileged” backgrounds are willing to submit to retributive treatment, and since privilege is a nebulous and relative term, the Diversity™ snake consumes its own tail.
(On a tangentially related note, Sachs’s description of the difficulties and risks of choosing diverse viewpoints cogently summarizes, by analogy, why no journalist is capable of objectivity.)