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  1. #31
    Senior Member BallentineChen's Avatar
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    Sometimes too many cooks spoil the broth. Please refute.
    "For a man who wants to make a profession of good in all regards must come to ruin among so many who are not good. Hence it is necessary to a prince, if he wants to maintain himself, to learn to be able not to be good, and to use this and not use it according to necessity."
    Niccolo Machiavelli

  2. #32
    Senior Member BallentineChen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by noigmn View Post
    Why have a group without diversity, it is no more use than an individual.
    Let me expand. You wrote a post taking a different stance from the posts preceding yours, but then you failed to substantiate your argument. If you have nothing to add other than "I disagree," then you're not adding any substance to the thread (aka fluff). So please explain your position.
    "For a man who wants to make a profession of good in all regards must come to ruin among so many who are not good. Hence it is necessary to a prince, if he wants to maintain himself, to learn to be able not to be good, and to use this and not use it according to necessity."
    Niccolo Machiavelli

  3. #33

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    Quote Originally Posted by BallentineChen View Post
    Let me expand. You wrote a post taking a different stance from the posts preceding yours, but then you failed to substantiate your argument. If you have nothing to add other than "I disagree," then you're not adding any substance to the thread (aka fluff). So please explain your position.
    . As the magic one pointed out and I knew, a group is useful to lower work load, but in any task that requires thinking or creativity, having little diversity in a group means you have a lot of people producing the same thing in parallel. It is good maybe for a check, but you don't need a 1000 people thinking the same thoughts to verify an idea. So my point is just a group is a lot more powerful with individuals and diversity, than with similarity and conformity. Obviously the dynamics are more complex, but still, people work things out and learn to integrate.
    Freude, schöner Götterfunken Tochter aus Elysium, Wir betreten feuertrunken, Himmlische, dein Heiligtum! Deine Zauber binden wieder Was die Mode streng geteilt; Alle Menschen werden Brüder, Wo dein sanfter Flügel weilt.

  4. #34
    Senior Member BallentineChen's Avatar
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    I think what the magic one was implying was that people don't necessarily collaborate and coordinate with each other, in which case less diversity would be better.

    You can say that a group could potentially be a "lot more powerful," but it is not guaranteed. I think leaving it up to people to "work things out and learn to integrate" is overly optimistic. Shiites and Sunnis don't do it, the Han and the Uighurs don't do it, and the antebellum south didn't do it until it was forced on them, and even then they didn't do it.

    Diversity is not inherently good. Diversity describes a plural nature, that is all. It is up to other factors to determine whether that plural nature adds to or subtracts from an otherwise homogeneous group.
    "For a man who wants to make a profession of good in all regards must come to ruin among so many who are not good. Hence it is necessary to a prince, if he wants to maintain himself, to learn to be able not to be good, and to use this and not use it according to necessity."
    Niccolo Machiavelli

  5. #35

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    Quote Originally Posted by BallentineChen View Post
    I think what the magic one was implying was that people don't necessarily collaborate and coordinate with each other, in which case less diversity would be better.

    You can say that a group could potentially be a "lot more powerful," but it is not guaranteed. I think leaving it up to people to "work things out and learn to integrate" is overly optimistic. Shiites and Sunnis don't do it, the Han and the Uighurs don't do it, and the antebellum south didn't do it until it was forced on them, and even then they didn't do it.

    Diversity is not inherently good. Diversity describes a plural nature, that is all. It is up to other factors to determine whether that plural nature adds to or subtracts from an otherwise homogeneous group.
    You underestimate people. They all seemed integrate quite well at university with me when the political pressures were gone.
    Freude, schöner Götterfunken Tochter aus Elysium, Wir betreten feuertrunken, Himmlische, dein Heiligtum! Deine Zauber binden wieder Was die Mode streng geteilt; Alle Menschen werden Brüder, Wo dein sanfter Flügel weilt.

  6. #36
    Senior Member BallentineChen's Avatar
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    Yes, but you're letting a single instance ascend over all other reality. Please take those into account and form a rebuttal or concede.
    "For a man who wants to make a profession of good in all regards must come to ruin among so many who are not good. Hence it is necessary to a prince, if he wants to maintain himself, to learn to be able not to be good, and to use this and not use it according to necessity."
    Niccolo Machiavelli

  7. #37

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    Quote Originally Posted by BallentineChen View Post
    Yes, but you're letting a single instance ascend over all other reality. Please take those into account and form a rebuttal or concede.
    In what sense? That I know human nature to not be the way you say, or that I don't fear imperfect group dynamics?

    What am I rebutting anyway? A generalisation made from taking a non-contextual view of a complex situation, then a conclusion that something which can be accounted for with political tension and history etc. is a universal law on human interactions?
    Freude, schöner Götterfunken Tochter aus Elysium, Wir betreten feuertrunken, Himmlische, dein Heiligtum! Deine Zauber binden wieder Was die Mode streng geteilt; Alle Menschen werden Brüder, Wo dein sanfter Flügel weilt.

  8. #38
    Glowy Goopy Goodness The_Liquid_Laser's Avatar
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    The follows along the lines of what Magic Poriferan already said. I tend to think diversity can be both a positive and negative trait. (I tend to think most traits have both positive and negative aspects actually.)

    The clearest example showing diversity for me is the US's two political parties. The Democratic party tends to have the greatest diversity in membership. As a result it is the more open-minded and tolerant party. I also tend to think it has a larger potential voter base. The Republican party has the more homogenous membership, but I also think it is more efficient in tapping it's potential voter base. Conservatives are known for being very reliable in getting to the polls, while liberals are known for being unreliable.

    Now there are a lot of reasons why the left leaning voters don't get out to vote, but one reason is that they are sometimes at opposite purposes with one another. A recent example is Proposition 87 in California where gays were voting against it and a lot of black voters were voting for it. Both are traditionally Democratic voters, but on this issue that didn't matter. The more homogenous Republican party on the other hand has less reason to worry about it's membership voting against each other.
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  9. #39

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    Quote Originally Posted by Magic Poriferan View Post
    Since you said you'll address it later, I hope I'm not being hasty. But I notice that you use the word overcome. Overcoming our differences in goals still basically implies getting them out of the way and not having to worry about them anymore. It still seems like the best part of having different goals is the part where we no longer have to worry about it. And it is my opinion that two opposing goals simply can't be achieved. They both compromise or one is discarded. So overcoming means one of those two things happening.

    They way to counter this would be to explain some functional, beneficial impact that you think is uniquely (or at largely) a product of resolving differing goals.
    A lot of people seem to be agreeing with what you are saying, so I will contrast my view-point with yours.

    First, of course diversity can be both good or bad. You'll get more argument from me about that. The question is at what point is it bad?

    Now, let us confine (and it's not much of a confinement) our notion of diversity when it comes to race, ethnicity, gender, and other differences that consistently produce different, but predictably similar, hardships by group(socioeconomics, sexual preference, handicaps, etc.).

    Let us further confine our thoughts to a work situation. Most modern work is creative work, where diversity enhances the number of options considered.

    Now lets say, for instance, you, the creator and future leader of a group, want to increase sales of gadget A. You will have free reign to bring people in from various backgrounds, or whatever.

    Let's say you bring in someone, call her Sharon, who doesn't want to increase the sales of gadget A. Rather, she is someone who wants to have gadget A redesigned so that people like her grandmother, who has somewhat limited mobility, could use it.

    You then bring in another person, Pedro, who you later realize is also in the "redesign gadget A" camp. Except he wants it to be a lot cheaper than it is now. He figures that if you make appropriate changes you'll get sales up.

    You find out later that another person, Jackson, is not very interested in producing ad campaigns, because he has an engineering background in addition to marketing, and believes the process being used to make gadget A is obviously overly expensive and inefficient.

    All these people in your group don't want what you want. Their goals are different, but more importantly their assumptions about what the "real problem is" are different.

    Is this kind of diversity a bad thing? If mismanaged, I think, yes, it can be. But depending on what is actually true about gadget A, there may be some truth in the ideas being brought up. Diversity in goals necessarily forces either "out-of-the-box" thinking or could lead to disarray.

    IME, most problems in work(at least at higher levels) are very amorphous and ill defined. Choosing the goals properly is part of the job, which can include questioning the original objectives and values to see what is good.

    When I say, overcome, I simply mean getting through that initial necessary phase of goal examination and resetting.

    In Tucuman's model, going from "forming" to "storming" to "norming," so that we can get to the "performing" stage.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lateralus View Post
    I don't think we need to purposefully reduce it. I think it we'd see a reduction in diversity, naturally, if we stopped promoting it. It's not a natural human state. Most people want to be around others like themselves.
    In what sense is it unnatural? Is farming unnatural? Are cities unnatural?

    I see diversity as an inevitability of modern progress. If a particular country wants to ignore the challenges that it brings, it will be to its own detriment.

    More and more countries will be getting to the modern age (including the two most populated). We are more connected to the rest of the world than we have ever been. Both these trends will continue, FORCING us to work with different ethnicities and backgrounds. Do you disagree with any of these points?

    I think using this inevitability to our advantage is better than shunning it, or simply ignoring that it exists.

    We have to get from "storming" to "performing," because some country will figure out how (if there aren't already many who have).

    Accept the past. Live for the present. Look forward to the future.
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    "[A] scientist looking at nonscientific problems is just as dumb as the next guy." Richard Feynman
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  10. #40
    Senior Member BallentineChen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by noigmn View Post
    In what sense? That I know human nature to not be the way you say,
    I didn't say human nature was any way, if I did please quote me. I believe that diversity is potentially volatile and needs many environmental variables and concerted effort in order to benefit from. Look at the immense effort taken by the civil rights movement. It's easy to look at where we are today and say diversity is unequivocally great, as is in vogue, but individuals have had to make enormous sacrifices in order to change the institutions that create our environment today. Even then, this change was paid for by conflict, not a perfect act of collaboration.

    Don't get the idea that I'm against diversity. The reason I pursue a MPA in Public Management is because I believe in the power of developing individual strengths, intersecting diverse passions and the potential for collaboration. But throwing all the ingredients together will not guarantee a favorable outcome. In rare circumstances the infinite factors will align and diversity will benefit the situation, but the most effective way of making it happen is to manage it.

    Quote Originally Posted by noigmn View Post
    or that I don't fear imperfect group dynamics?
    I'm not sure what you mean by not fearing imperfect group dynamics, could you please elaborate?

    Quote Originally Posted by noigmn View Post
    What am I rebutting anyway? A generalisation made from taking a non-contextual view of a complex situation, then a conclusion that something which can be accounted for with political tension and history etc. is a universal law on human interactions?
    I gave you 3 contexts of the overall theme of diversity not guaranteeing a benefit, Uighurs and Han, Sunnis and Shiites and the antebellum south.

    The statement I am rebutting is this one:

    Quote Originally Posted by noigmn View Post
    Why have a group without diversity, it is no more use than an individual.
    My point is having diversity is not necessarily more use than an individual. The authors of the Federalist Papers even sought to limit the power of diversity (competing faction) in order to prevent tyranny of the majority. The Federalist Papers also state that a republic is, by definition, inefficient compared to having a single executive power. The Madisonian system is designed to create gridlock among competing interests, essentially preserving freedom by creating inefficiency. The republic here is built to neutralize the harm of diversity.

    Quote Originally Posted by noigmn View Post
    You underestimate people. They all seemed integrate quite well at university with me when the political pressures were gone.
    The problem with this statement is that political pressures originate from people, you can't just take them out of it.

    Being that our stances are contradictory, where you say that having no diversity is no better than an individual, where my argument allows for an individual to be better than a diverse group, I would like for you to disprove my competing argument.

    "There are two things you dont want to see being madesausage and legislation." Otto von Bismark

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    Last edited by BallentineChen; 07-15-2009 at 02:07 PM. Reason: Adding link.
    "For a man who wants to make a profession of good in all regards must come to ruin among so many who are not good. Hence it is necessary to a prince, if he wants to maintain himself, to learn to be able not to be good, and to use this and not use it according to necessity."
    Niccolo Machiavelli

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