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Christopher returns. Broth discrimination.

I’ve been quiet for a while. But I haven’t been gone. Rather, I’ve been working on a new blog design. Or rather, my minions have been working, while I’ve been cracking the whip.

And this is it. Welcome. Look around. Pull up a virtual chair. It’s basically the same as before, just neater. A bit less cluttered. It’s still a little cluttered for my taste, but I have it on expert opinion that if I minimise it any more I’ll be able to publish my articles in notepad.

And as usual – feel free to comment. You may feel that pointing out a spelling mistake is pedantic, and that your opinion about the shade of grey is just a matter of opinion, but you never know which butterfly’s wing-flap will level Tokyo.

Brothology

There is a proverb that too many cooks spoil the broth. It suggests that a task is best completed with focus, either by one person if the task is small, or by proper delegation of people to their roles for larger tasks. I suppose that’s true, if one serving of broth is all you’re after.

In my opinion, however, the best way to come up with the absolute best broth imaginable is to throw a million people at it. A million people, working in groups or together, doing whatever they like, will produce a lot of bad broth. But chances are there will be a few gems. And if you let them have another go, with the lessons learned from the first round, imagine what you could create? A broth to top all broths. All Hail King Broth.

It’s evolution, baby!! But with broth. Imagine if you did it with pizza!

Which is why I don’t understand discrimination, in it’s myriad of forms. Assuming you measure the quality of a set by its most outstanding members:

-The collection of literature produced by only the white people of South Africa must surely be inferior to the collection of literature produced by ALL the people of South Africa,
-The collection of action movies (and video games) written and directed predominantly by males must surely be inferior to the collection of action movies (and video games) written and directed by both men and women.
-The quality of a board of directors that encourages membership of both men and women, regardless of colour, must surely be superior to a board of directors consisting solely of white males.

Simply stated, the larger the set, the better (or at least equal) the quality of the best products. You can prove it with set mathematics.

Now, it’s true that the quality of the average member of the set may initially come down – the first few broth restaurants will likely be colossal failures, competing as they must with the local pizzeria. But their owners will pass the lessons they learn to their friends and children, and inevitably…well, you get the picture.

Of course, if you intend to vociferously sample every broth (or book, or movie) out there, I can understand why you would object to that industry opening up to people who haven’t traditionally been allowed or encouraged to be a part of it. If that’s your view, might I encourage you to learn the value of reviews. There are more than enough people out there who like trying interesting new things who will be glad to warn you if the broth maker is not particularly good. No need to try it for yourself.

DEFINITELY don’t ruin it for the rest of us by being a huge impediment to aspiring broth-makers.

People complained about the 2014 Annie movie because Annie was black. I didn’t watch 2014 Annie because I didn’t enjoy White Annie, but maybe 2020 Annie will be an Indian Boy. And I say, great. I’d rather watch She-Hulk (or maybe Wonderman) because that’s more my scene. But great.

Girls in gaming tend to face an extraordinary amount of harassment from those who presumably feel girls will make games suck. While I wouldn’t personally want to play Mortal Kombat Ballerina Edition, some more girl game developers might have meant Half-Life episode 3 would have been out already. And I have little reason to believe it wouldn’t be better off for some more female input. If not 3, then 4.

Synergy

The point of all this, really, is to point out that I didn’t build this blog myself. I could have. I’m white. I’m male. I am the ultimate being. It would have sucked. Version 1 of my blog sucked, and that was basically a template.

The blog structure was done for me by a long-time friend whose company signature is at the bottom of this page (Atomic Design). I had some input, so if there’s something you don’t like, it’s probably my fault. Especially the words, those are all mine.

The logo at the top of the page – the little thinking man – was done for me by a more recent friend who “draws” the loveliest designs. She also prints gorgeous shirts and donates the proceeds to some charity. You can find her by searching for “The Gentle Activist” on Facebook.

Both friends (among others) were part of my inspiration to blog. Both of them sharing their views in different ways helped me to realise the value of voices. Not everything we say is always right, or best, or valuable at the time, but our willingness to say it and also to listen achieves a finer final product than might otherwise be achieved with just a few exclusive voices.

I spoke to others. I asked for ideas. I asked for opinions. Some of them are still hovering in the ether of my brain, waiting to be implemented. When I write, I write things based on things I’ve read, and on discussions I’ve had. The contributors are legion.

And so this blog, with their help, is a finer final product than I could have achieved alone. Compared to all the blogs out there (the internet, more than any other medium, facilitates the sort of mass attempt evolution that the broth restaurant industry does not), this one probably isn’t the best. But the world, overall, is better for having it. And it will be better off for having yours.

{ 2 comments… add one }

  • Hermann 10 June 2015, 11:14 am

    Comment on your last paragraph “Synergy”: In the end it all boils down to what you want to achieve and the ability to exercise your choice by free will. By deciding to “outsource” the design of your blog page you chose the best resources you had (and I assume without interference from sources you did not want or need.)
    So in a manner of speaking you chose the number of cooks you wanted, those best suited to the task, irrespective of race, gender, religion etc.
    The end result looks good.
    If you were forced by external factors (including those that seek to correct perceived wrongs of the past) to use resources of colour x, gender y and religion z irrespective of their relevant experience or knowledge I doubt you would have achieved the same.

    • Chris 10 June 2015, 11:33 am

      “If you were forced by external factors…to use resources ”
      Indeed, and that is a legitimate topic for another day – I refer here to those who deliberately obstruct or criticise the entry of “others” into a market they consider exclusive.

      By clumsy application of the metaphor, forcing people to make broth when they don’t want to, or preventing existing broth makers from selling broth because there aren’t sufficient girl, black or gay brothmakers would be as foolish as blocking girl, black or gay brothmakers from making broth.

      Affirmative action should therefore be about removing the obstructions that prevent the previously disadvantaged from entering the market, and not about impeding the previously advantaged.

      I can see why what AA actually achieves might be up for discussion.

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