How Diversity Makes Us Smarter

Katherine W. Phillips, Michael Geist, Sept 30, 2014
Commentary by Stephen Downes

I have frequently cited diversity as one of the key ingredients of network design. This is not an arbitrary choice; emergence is not possible without diversity. So it's not surprising to see articles like this pointing to how diversity makes us (ie., society) smarter. "Diversity enhances creativity. It encourages the search for novel information and perspectives, leading to better decision making and problem solving." The lesson to draw from this is that diversity is equally important in learning. "This is how diversity works: by promoting hard work and creativity; by encouraging the consideration of alternatives even before any interpersonal interaction takes place. The pain associated with diversity can be thought of as the pain of exercise."

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