Valuing Difference

Just a quickie riff.

Whether is gender differences – male vs female cognitive difference anyone? – or race, or religion or whatever …

Difference matters.

In fact, I’d go so far as to say that “significant differerence” is THE fundamental “particle” of the universe, the source of all information and all things. Whoah, but that’s maybe just me, I digress!

Trouble is in the less rarefied levels of everyday life, built-on / evolved-from a zillion levels of nuanced variety across time and space (history of the world as we know it – so far) we deal with things we find significant – things we care about – every day.

We give ’em names. As soon as we do, we have:

the named
the named-otherwise

We have a binary shorthand for the thing we are currently talking about, for some reason we care about. Obviously there are differences between these things – male vs female – really big ones as it happens, at the level were at. But, however great and significant that difference, the common components in the current evolved state are even greater. Obviously. As in, Duh!

We don’t talk about men and women to deny our common humanity, or deny any spectrum of variability in gender assignment, we do it to communicate our current thought. We do well to remember the huge common ground behind every choice of name for the current subjects of our conversation, and of course it’s mostly unsaid. We’d never get anything said if we qualified every difference (content) with the entire common ground (context).

It becomes PC to ….

“don’t mention the difference”

…. because you may have some evil intent to exploit the difference, or even accidentally mislead, in an unsaid way.

We have to talk about the things that matter.
Differences matter, Difference is material in fact.

And we have to trust each other.


This is the thread from yesterday with Andy Martin, that prompted the riff:


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