The value of diversity in its many forms


“Language, age, geography, personal hardship, they all inform how we solve problems in crazy, subtle ways….It turns out if you’re British or African American from the South (not as a rule but generally speaking), you’re likely to keep your ketchup in the cupboard. If you’re not British or not African American from the south, you tend to keep your ketchup in the fridge. And you could think – who cares? It actually does matter because suppose you run out of ketchup. If you’re out of ketchup, and you store your ketchup in the fridge, what are you going to use? Mayonnaise or mustard because those are the things you think of that are close to ketchup. If, alternatively, you’re a ketchup in the cupboard person, and you run out of ketchup. What is next to the ketchup in the cupboard? Malt vinegar. The more diverse backgrounds you have, the more associations you get, the more paths towards solving a hard problem.” – Scott Page, Professor of Complex Systems, The University of Michigan in the Reply All Podcast, Raising the Bar.