R H
  • R H
  • Chicago, IL
  • United States

This conversation is closed.

Regarding human effort and endeavor, which is better: Homogenization or Individualism?

Would it be better if we all spoke the same language, used the same currency, had universal morals, held the same values in esteem, and sought the same technological/design/engineering goals? Or is multi-cultural, multi-lingual, diverse views and values, singularly concentrated efforts, and vast differences in methods and focus regarding any and/or all human and social endeavor more effective? This question is left purposely open-ended. Respond as you interpret it.

Closing Statement from R H

There was no conclusion. Both options had support. Most responders approached the 'philosophical' component of the theme vs. the 'on the ground' dynamics of their execution. therefore we still don't know why one approach could be better or how a 'hybrid' approach could be accomplished.

  • May 18 2014: Hi Dear R H,it is really a good quesiton for us to discuss:It makes me think of:if we try all effort and endeavor just want to be homogenization or Individulaism?It seems sometimes we do so:just like teaching at school,we seldom give students flexible space to think by themselves but arbitrate these and that to students directly..So it reminds me it is the time for us to consider teaching and learning model.From materecognition:all things we learn must via oursevles eventually..Then more and more people can keep individual meanwhile can stand on positive direction for the whole society.
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      R H

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      May 18 2014: Very interesting. so like a 'teaching model', we must learn - in our own way - (individually) while we consider the results of our actions towards the whole society. But do we want to teach towards developing and highlighting our individual talents, skills, cultures, and languages; or do we want to teach towards focusing our efforts on the efficiency of all people speaking one language, having one directive gov't, and one focus to achieve? Thanks edulover.
      • May 19 2014: Hi Dear R H,you are always welcome:) for the topics which about education:).Yes,about teaching we teachers should support students by standing beside.Students should be the center of learning stage.Of course, also because of young students' learning abilities are so flexible and fast,So good teachers do always benefit students a lot.So we say:good teacher does count the most.
  • May 18 2014: Homogenized vs. Individualized........one cannot exist without the other. neither is better or worse. 'Good' and 'Bad' emerge from BOTH, equally. Transcending the concept of better/worse reveals that the Conscious mind maintains balance between the two extremes. The Unconscious mind grasps for black and white. There is no easy way. It's a delicate dance easily jacked up. Don't get too close to the poles. Balance
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      R H

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      May 18 2014: Ok. But i don't think i understand fully. We need to be individuals but live homogenically at the same time? Or we must secure our individualism while we're being homogenized by the powers that be? One can say there are two different 'camps' viewing society: those who feel it's much more 'efficient' for the world to speak one language, have one world gov't, and be unified in focus towards our goals, and the other side feels that we need the diversity of view that 'multi-ism' brings. How can we therefore be both 'individuals' and be just like everybody else at the same time - consciously and/or unconsciously? How can we be both homogenized and individualistic? Thanks so much for responding.
      • May 19 2014: Good evenin.....

        I like this quote: A myriad bubbles were floating on the surface of a stream.
        'What are you?' I cried to them as they drifted by.
        'I am a bubble, of course' nearly a myriad bubbles answered,
        and there was surprise and indignation in their voices as they passed.
        But, here and there, a lonely bubble answered,
        'We are this stream', and there was neither surprise nor indignation in their voices, but just a quiet certitude.
        - Wei Wu Wei
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          R H

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          May 19 2014: Hmm. In this analogy then, while there are some of us who feel they are individuals on a singular path, a few 'realize' that as individuals we are merely created from a greater whole on a predetermined path. This answers my response perfectly. Thanks again Scott for contributing.
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    May 14 2014: Homogeneity won't work, not with our need to tinker and take ideas further. Yes, at some point we will use one language but having multiple languages is good for our brains. Take cell phones and the difference between Android and IOS, Apple and Android, with one you have the same system looked after by people in the background and the other you can tinker with. It's the tinkers that go further, above and beyond.
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      R H

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      May 14 2014: Thanks for your input Ken. So you are pro-Individuality as being 'good for our brains', but feel it's inevitable there will be homogenization to a degree ("we will use one language"). But is that a good thing, or not? I'm trying to get at which one people feel is 'better' - and why - not so much what we can expect to occur. Are there other reasons you feel the focus on individuality is better than homogenization? Thanks again for your input.
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    May 14 2014: "Would it be better if we all spoke the same language, used the same currency, had universal morals, held the same values in esteem, and sought the same technological/design/engineering goals?"

    YES! Imagine the improved state of humanity if we were all working together to innovate and improve our science, technology, social norms and personal interactions. Sounds like Shangri-La to me.

    We'd have to wake up and leave religion behind though.
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      May 14 2014: Why would we "have to wake up and leave religion behind"?
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      R H

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      May 14 2014: Thanks Jim for responding. So you would be pro-Homogenization. And you see our 'sameness' a resulting in our 'working together' on common goals and directions. But faith-based belief systems would have no place in this scenario. Ok. that's very interesting. Thanks again.
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    May 14 2014: You have set up somewhat of a false dichotomy in your question because there is at least one other option that actually incorporates aspects of each of your proposed options.

    Individualism is a given that we need to accommodate in any successful operational model, because it is a fact that we are each unique individuals. What we need to learn to do, however is to cooperate harmoniously while each striving individually to become all that we can be in life.

    Unfortunately, many tend to feel that harmonious cooperation demands uniformity, or homogenization as you put it, and that justifiably seems like it would be bland and uninteresting, which it would be.

    Diversity provides endless enrichment in our life experience. No one type of person an be all and do all that is possible for a human. But we often tend to see diversity as a threat to us because we don't understand how enriching it can be.

    What harmony does require, though, is a realization that we are all in this together; that we are intimately and inextricably interconnected and interdependent. And this does not only apply to us humans; it also applies to all beings, including Mother Earth. What unites us, behind all of our diversity, is the fact that we share the Mystery of Life and that we are, in essence, Love and we are bonded in Love.

    The problem with our current modes of operation, as we singularly concentrate our efforts, is that we do so in fear - fear of not gaining what we covet; fear of losing what we have gained - so we compete with each other. If we could learn to cooperate in a Love-based mode, we would encourage, inspire, assist, guide, support and allow each and every person to become all that they possibly could become in life, and we would all succeed together, in harmony.

    Our collective success depends upon our individual success and our individual success depends upon our collective success. That is the only sustainable option we have.
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      R H

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      May 14 2014: Thanks Carl for responding. So if I understand you correctly, although the two themes cannot be compared because there are other options that have features of both, you do favor 'individualism' as long as it contains an understanding of interdependence and universal harmony (harmony: one of my favorite words). Beautifully put. Thanks again.
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        May 14 2014: Well, R H, your two themes can be compared, but I think that would be unfortunately and unrealistically limiting because, as stated, they are not the only options.

        Unlike some life forms on Earth, when we humans make our grand entrance, we are totally dependent upon adults to care for and nurture us. We then have the challenging task of learning to become independent. We do that with varying degrees of success but, because we are so focused on independence, we never really learn, let alone embrace, the reality that we are actually interdependent. Yet, we crave connection with others - it is commonly stated that we are social beings - and we typically crave very intimate connection with one other person, although sometimes with more or even many. But our fearful clinging to our independence often gets in the way of intimate connection, and even social or business connection.

        In spite of the issues created by development of our independence, it is necessary for our individual success in the world. But our independence would be greatly benefited by embracing a model of independent action within the supporting net of interdependence. And the web of interdependence would be benefited through the independence of everyone, which would result in success for all.

        But this would only work if everyone was operating harmoniously from a basis of Love, with a recognition that we are all in this together, intimately and inextricably interconnected and interdependent, according to the Universal Law of Reciprocity (a.k.a. Golden Rule), meaning that we would each treat others as we ourselves wish to be treated.

        So, yes, we need harmonious autonomous action within our web of interdependence in order to become maximally successful both individually and collectively. And we need to evolve into this model in order to survive ourselves; in order to avoid self-extermination. That's why I said this is our only sustainable option.
        • May 18 2014: "we should each treat others as we ourselves wish to be treated".Good point,thumb up:)
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        May 14 2014: Here is another context in which to consider the importance and appreciation of diversity and how homogeneity is undesirable. This article is about why the genetic diversity of our food supply is important:

        http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/may/14/kew-food-security

        So, there are some people who are working very hard to preserve the diversity of our food supply, particularly of the wild plants from which our modern crops have been developed. And some are working to increase appreciation of the diverse characteristics of under utilized food crops.

        An essential aspect of this is that no one food can be all things to all people; nor can even just a few foods. Also, no one food crop can be counted on to survive climate changes so as to continue to provide for us.

        So, considerations of diversity vs. homogeneity are not only relevant in regard to people, but also plants and non-human animals. And also considerations of harmonious or peaceful coexistence, if not actual outright cooperation, among all beings, meaning all life forms. Without an adequate degree of harmony, there will be destruction which will result in a reduction of diversity.

        We really are all in this together: plants, animals (including humans), Earth (land, water, air, rocks and minerals).
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          R H

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          May 14 2014: Thanks again Carl for taking the time to offer your articulate and compelling perspectives. You cite our individualism as naturally given, but that we are inextricably connected to a whole, and that ultimately all things are connected. In this, neither Individuality nor Homogenization is 'better' than the other because they do not address this connection - which is, from your point of view, the ultimate end (that we understand our interconnectedness). So for you the question is rather meaningless and moot because both I and H are revealed too simplistically as ends in themselves. I feel you've reached the heart of the conversation: where these two themes lead. You have 'leap-frogged' right past the discussion into revelation! So for you, if you care to, I would like to ask a different question: What does the 'love' that you say makes this all happen look like? Not just the 'golden rule' but how do we get to respect and value 'golden rule' type methods? How do we learn this esteem amongst all of our different views and perceptions? How do we get buy-in across the board? And how does respect for each other's views/styles/methods get managed in decision-making and conflict resolution? I guess that's a couple of questions... :)