My Theory of Natural Diversity Expanded

Recently I have taken my theory of natural diversity to the next level by hypothesizing a “more even than not” distribution of life pursuits. And by using the word “distribution” I do not imply the existence of some higher authority that allocates resources, rather I mean that life pursuits chosen by individuals themselves will, on the whole, result in a more even than not dispersion. In other words, if every individual were able to develop the natural capacity of his choice, then what we would see, if we were able to observe all of the vocations of everyone in an entire nation, is a more even than not distribution of life pursuits. Thus, for example, the amount of people who decide to go into science should be more equal than not to the amount of people who go into the humanities. Of course, the more specific of a vocation that is examined, the less my theory applies because I do not believe there will be a completely even distribution.

What I have stated so far does make strong claims on human nature that people may have reluctance accepting. However, even though I do not have empirical evidence to prove my hypothesis, I suspect many people actually do agree with my theory and that this agreement lies just beneath the surface of their thoughts. For example, let us take a look at the following excerpt of a recent Guardian article:

Black people are 12 percent of the U.S. population and 11 percent of all students beyond high school. In 2009, they received just 7 percent of all STEM bachelor's degrees, 4 percent of master's degrees, and 2 percent of PhDs, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.

The numbers are striking in certain fields. In 2009, African-Americans received 1 percent of degrees in science technologies, and 4 percent of degrees in math and statistics. Out of 5,048 PhDs awarded in the physical sciences, such as chemistry and physics, 89 went to African-Americans — less than 2 percent.

It is clear that the author of this article believes that these statistics are alarming and that they deserved closer examination. I suspect many would not disagree. It seems that our intuitions tell us that the fact that very few African Americans go into science, technology, engineering and math, is not normal. I claim it is this belief in a more even than not distribution of life pursuits that produces such an intuition. Without a theory of distribution one cannot say that anything is wrong or deserves attention just by looking at the above statistics.

As was hinted to in the previous example, my theory of a more even than not distribution is applicable to large enough subgroups of a society, for example, women or specific races. Let us take a look at the following chart depicting the percentage of bachelor's degrees awarded to females by degree-granting institutions in selected fields of study for the academic year 2008-09:


The fact that there are very few women who receive degrees in engineering should incite suspicion that something is wrong and I believe many people who see this chart would agree with me. But how could we explain this intuition? Without the fundamental assumption of a more even than not distribution of life pursuits we cannot. Therefore, with this example, we see once more that my theory is just beneath the surface of people's thoughts. To be clear, just because there is an extreme uneven distribution of life pursuits does not necessarily mean something is wrong, rather it warrants suspicion that there is a restriction of the development of the natural diversity of human capacity.

I shall finalize my argument by presenting the following hypothetical scenario. Suppose we were able to see all the vocations that the citizens of a specific country pursued and suppose that when we looked at this information we noticed that there were no artists. This would be suspicious would it not? How is it possible that there are no artists in an entire nation? Furthermore, this suspicion would increase proportionally with the population of that specific country. If Estonia, a country with a population of 1.3 million, had no artists, that would be one thing. But if China, a country with a population of 1.3 billion, had no artists, then our suspicion should increase significantly. And this is simply due to probability. With an increase of a population, one would think the probability that at least one person deciding to be an artist would also increase. I believe this is a fair intuition to have. Therefore, if there were such a nation in which there were no artists, I would be highly suspicious and would think that there is a good chance that something is wrong.

My theory of the development of the natural diversity of human capacity has progressed onto the next stage by encompassing a theory of a more even than not distribution of life pursuits. By presenting the above examples and showing that the intuitions others have coincide with mine, and by arguing that the reason for this is a fundamental assumption of a more even than not distribution of life pursuits, I hope to have been at least a bit convincing.

On Religion

Dear Marlon,

I just finished the book you gave me recently and to be honest, I did not think it was very interesting. This does not mean that the book was not well written or that the characters were not well developed, rather it means that I am still lacking the appreciation for fiction. But, having said that, I can only assume that this is not what you want to hear about and that what you truly wish to know is my current opinion on religion. So here it is.

I consider myself agnostic. I do not believe there is a God nor that there is not; I simply leave him a question. This seems to be the safest and most reasonable position that one could possibly hold. However, this does not mean that I am neutral toward his existence. In fact, I hope God exists. Death scares me so I like to believe that there is such thing as an afterlife.

If I see God after I die, I will immediately accept him. And if he says to me that that is not good enough, I can only defend myself by saying that I have attempted to live a life helping others. Some may ask “Why take that chance?” “If acceptance means heaven and agnosticism means hell, then what if you are wrong?” These are very good questions. I admit that I am taking a chance, but so are Christians. It is possible that Christianity is not the one true religion and that some other is. And it is also possible that none of the religions on earth are true. However, even if that were the case, I would still believe that God may exist. Thus, in a sense, I give him the benefit of the doubt.

Your best friend,
Jason

I Look Forward to 2012

I am quite satisfied with the events of this past year. Besides the hospitalization of my grandma, everything has been positive. Getting into the University of York has brought me the greatest joy of all not only because I am back in academia, but because it has introduced to me a group of great friends who contribute significantly to my life. I now better understand why some people choose not to live far away from home. One's quality of life really does improve when one has a good support network.

Regarding my plans for this year, they are simply to do well in my program and to score high on the GRE. About a month into my studies I decided that I wanted to pursue a PhD. I am not sure if I mentioned this before, but the main reason why I came to England in the first place was because I was not sure if I wanted one. Many people were warning me that I truly had to be certain before making the decision so I decided on a Masters instead. Having said that, even though now I am positive that I want a PhD, I do not regret coming to York.

I should also mention that although I occasionally express disappointment of how little I have achieved in my life so far, I do not regret taking those few years off after getting my Bachelors. I know for a fact that it was because of those years spent in China that I came up with my theory of natural diversity. If I had gone straight into my Masters program, I would have had no idea what to write about. Similarly now, even though I sometimes cringe at the idea that I will be at least 33 when I get my PhD, I know deep down inside that the decisions I made in the past were the right ones.

Speaking of my theory, I have recently developed it a step further. I now argue that natural diversity would result in a somewhat even distribution of pursuits. I do not want to elaborate it fully in this entry, but suffice it to say that I am very excited about this new development.

I fly back to York tomorrow evening and I am greatly looking forward to it. I know I will be leaving my grandma, which makes me sad, but the good news is that her physical condition has been improving. I actually heard her voice today for the first time since I came back. They have taken her completely off of the ventilator and are now just supplying her with oxygen, and because of this they can now occasionally plug the hole in her neck, allowing her to talk. Unfortunately, being dependent on the machine for that long has made her vocal muscles very weak so she needs to regain her strength before she can speak fluently. I look forward to having a conversation with her over the phone.