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comment by Grendel
Grendel  ·  1287 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Who Will Pay the Political Price for Affordable Housing?

    In the long run immigration and diversity are likely to have important cultural, economic, fiscal, and developmental benefits.

Did you notice anything strange about that quote? It's especially obvious when you read the whole passage...

What he's basically saying is that evidence shows how diversity hurts a community, but in spite of that he thinks that at some point in the distant future, it will probably somehow turn out to be beneficial.

So he has enough intellectual honesty to admit that the facts contradict his beliefs, but then he lets his biases get the better of him and comes to a conclusion that supports the dogma of diversity.

You're partially right, there's a contradiction there, but it's only in his head.

amouseinmyhouse  ·  1287 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Maybe, but the entirety of Robert Putnum's educational work is based on the study and movement of social capital. The reason he didn't get into the long term effects of the social integration in this paper is because of the sheer size and scale of the issue and the number of factors that have to be individually accounted for.

I tend to believe his ideas on those potential futures will be beneficial.

Grendel  ·  1287 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Is there any reason to believe that the current trend will reverse and the damage will be undone if we just keep adding more diversity to the mix? Why would we think that it won't make matters even worse, like it's done until now?

Simplifying a little, Putnam seems to me like a man who sees a house on fire, acknowledges that the fire is destroying the house, but then instead of calling the firefighters he reassures himself that everything will be okay in the end.

I seriously doubt that this is the right attitude to take towards a problem...

amouseinmyhouse  ·  1287 days ago  ·  link  ·  

The core of his work seems to center around the growth and segregation of religious diversity among populations and their ultimate reconvergence. I haven't read too much of it but the idea seems to be that societies used to be heavily divided in the US based on religious lines, but over time those religious segregations died down and a more diverse and stronger idea set was left.

His racial argument is on the social construct of race instead of the biological construct, where socially held beliefs which are attributed to certain races can be overcome through close proximity. While it initially causes a hunker down effect in those who still hold tight to their cultural beliefs, the few who don't hunker down can deconstruct and reconstruct those beliefs into new ideas.

I don't understand what makes this particular approach wrong though. Without analogy he's looking at the core of the problems he sees so that he can find a solution. The biggest problem seems to be the effects of time on this social value issue. His paper only accounts for a single point in time, with no accounting for how things change over time. His other studies lead him to believe that the situation will change over time out of necessity.

Grendel  ·  1287 days ago  ·  link  ·  

The solution is so simple, we just have to stop forcing people of different races to live side by side in the same neighbourhood in the vague hope that one day they'll all get along.

I don't understand the mindset of people like Putnam. He wants racial harmony, but he advocates for a policy that is demonstrably deleterious to racial relationships, among other things.

Perhaps the fact that he's a political scientist has something to do with it. Even in the face of evidence he's going to stay firmly within his ideological framework, and minimise the facts that don't fit in his theory.

I wonder if he's heard about this study that shows how preference for one's own race is a trait already expressed by 1-year-old babies, and whether it would change his mind about the "social construct" of race.

caeli  ·  1287 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    I wonder if he's heard about this study that shows how preference for one's own race is a trait already expressed by 1-year-old babies

1-year old babies already understand a significant amount of language and can produce a word or two. Would it make any amount of sense to say that babies are born already knowing their native language?

Grendel  ·  1287 days ago  ·  link  ·  

So you're suggesting that 1-year-old babies have already internalised adult notions of racism (that they couldn't have learnt from their parents unless they were openly racist) ... riiight. Come on, don't you realise how silly that sounds?

    Would it make any amount of sense to say that babies are born already knowing their native language?

No, because their native language has been invented by other humans in historical times. It would be like expecting a baby to be born knowing a programming language.

Racism on the other hand is a basic instinct that dates back to hundreds of thousands of years ago at the very least and probably conferred our ancestors some kind of evolutionary advantage, so it's in our DNA.

caeli  ·  1287 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I'm not saying that they've internalized adult-like notions of race. However, it's absurd to claim that race preferences are innate if your evidence is from 1-year olds. Most people are surrounded by their family when they're young, and chances are their family is the same race as them. If you're then presented with someone of a different race, they're visually novel to you and then preference might emerge that way (in a, "hey that person doesn't look like the people I'm used to" kind of way). That's one possible explanation, and there are literally thousands of other explanations. The point is that you have no way of knowing if race preferences are innate when you look at babies who already have plenty of world experience. If you want to claim that race preferences are innate, you would need to look for them extremely close to birth. Ideally at the moment of birth, but same day would be fine. People do studies on babies the same day they're born so it's not impossible.

The point is, you're not making a valid inference from the data.

Grendel  ·  1286 days ago  ·  link  ·  

What a pain in the ass. You're right, the study doesn't conclusively prove that people are born racist.

user-inactivated  ·  1287 days ago  ·  link  ·  

According to Doctor Who, yes, babies upon birth already have a native language and they can communicate quite well with it, once they get past the shock of being thrust into a chaotic existence. Doctor Who knows this because he speaks Baby. Which befuddles the humans who see him having conversations with infants.

caeli  ·  1286 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Haha, I wonder if I'd like that show, it always sounds so silly and fun!