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Re: [OS:N:] No One Likes Diversity



> Here's a little snippet from a provocative NYT article on the most
> over-  and under-rated ideas of the year:
>
> "Now that the Supreme Court has agreed to consider the affirmative
>  action policy of the University of Michigan, we will be hearing a
> lot of  arguments for and against diversity.
>
> "But these arguments will be so much shadowboxing ?
> stalking-horses for  the real arguments ? because diversity is not
> a condition anyone actually desires.
>
> "What people desire is the alteration of a situation that displeases
>  them; they regard it as an injustice that some group or population
> has  been excluded from a benefit. They are not for diversity with
> a capital  D ? no one is. They are for the limited expansion of
> the franchise in  the direction of their preferences.
>
> "In short, diversity ? and I would say the same for its close
> relatives  ? openness, balance and inclusiveness ? is a political
> rather than a  substantive rallying cry. You call for diversity
> when your enemies  dominate the playing field. You preach balance
> when the numbers are  against you; you tout openness when you and
> your friends have been shut out.
>
> "Once the resonant phrases have had the desired effect and remade
> the  world so it suits you just fine, the universalist vocabulary
> of diversity, balance and openness is discarded, only to be picked up
> by  those who would deploy it in the service of an agenda you
> would never  sign on to. Live by abstraction, die by abstraction.
>
> "Stanley Fish, dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences,
> the University of Illinois at Chicago"
>
> Let's see: Fish is brain food, this is food for thought...can
> anyone here work a syllogism?
>
> All the best,
>
> John A
> see me fulminate at http://www.jzip.org/
This is fascinating -- and soooo true.  Though a native Californian,
I spent most of my adult life in the comfortably WASP-ish Midwest,
Kansas and Missouri to be precise.  There I always considered myself
a liberal, open-minded and tolerant. Then I relocated back to
California, and became inundated wuth diversity, cascading change
and eye-popping openness -- at a blurry pace that my bifocals could
hardly focus upon.
I have struggled to claw my way back to that placid (but clueless)
liberal state I once knew.  I'm getting there, but it takes
conscious effort to refrain from slipping back into distrust and
fear.  Being  told to "embrace diversity" doesn't help.  What does
help is stepping  out into the unknown on a daily basis, trusting
one's fellow man with eyes that are blind and catching all the brand
new "hot potatoes" thrown one's way, regardless of whether those hot
potatoes displace habits, OS's, commands, procedures, etc., that one
has known for years and MAY even been the basis for one's reputation
as a Subject Matter Expert.
I was a UNIX pioneer.  Now I am just another ol' Gabby-Hayes type
gathered round the campfire with other grizzled veterans, listening
to the new hot-dog Linux, fair-haired Tom Mix types detail their
kernel adventures.  I have the option of gnawing on my corn-cob pipe
in a disgruntled fashion, or putting on the coffee, ordering all the
Linux books from O'Reilly and subscribing to every Linux mailing
list I can find to morph myself into a new player.  I choose the
latter.

Penelope S.
Senior Unix admin







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