Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

Rapid meme evolution re: diversity

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I blogged this article by Liza Mundi in the Atlantic, “Why Is Silicon Valley So Awful to Women?” I highly recommend that you read it, and I looked at it from a meme’s-eye view. Roughly, Silicon Valley and high-tech companies in general have the meme of “disruptive change” because when there is such a shift, there is much money to be made. So they have more or less worked out a template that has worked for “disruptive change,” since they want to minimize risks. That is, spot the unexploited advantage, and exploit the hell out of it, bringing in all the tools of managing/unleashing disruptive change: e.g., transparency, regular statistical measures, definition of success, etc. Now they see the practical advantage of a diverse workforce (spelled out in “How to Break Up the Silicon Valley Boys’ Club“) that are measurable. (From that link: “And study after study has shown that greater diversity leads to better outcomes, more innovative solutions, less groupthink, better stock performance and G.D.P. growth.”)

So here they go with disruptive change toward greater diversity and inclusivity: because it’s profitable (always the acid test).

So they are driven by the disruptive change memeplex to (in effect) construct and new memeplex (meme-engineering, in fact) by systematically bringing about a cooperative diverse culture. The companies that succeed at that will (based on the measures mentioned in the article) succeed in the marketplace.

What’s interesting is that it’s happening so rapidly. The broad acceptance of gay marriage seemed to an outside observer to go quite quickly, though I can imagine many couples finding that it took way too long. But it’s pretty much here within, what? a decade?

Now while this new memeplexes are being created (and here I’m thinking about the cooperative and very diverse workplace, there are many who live in regions being left behind in meme evolution. They are not part of the process, so the new meme has little hold on them. These are the people who still won’t accept gay marriage, who don’t want trans people using restrooms appropriate to their gender (and for that there’s a well-tested solution that everyone accepts: gender-neutral restrooms, as on a plane), etc. These things are too new, it happened too quick, and they are not part of the meme.

It’s going to be worse with the effective diverse workplace (EDW): this impacts their employability. If they can’t accept diversity, tomorrow’s workplace is apt to be jarring, at least at the most successful companies. It’s another divide like access to digital technology and media.

Written by LeisureGuy

21 March 2017 at 2:19 pm

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