Job and Culture


In yesterday’s blog post, I referred to “automatic pilot.”

And as often happens when I write, I wondered if I needed to explain what it was.

Any readers who didn’t understand “automatic pilot” would have missed my point.

Suppose that I refer to the sufferings of Job. Probably half of the people reading it will understand that I’m talking about a person described in the Bible.

The other half will think it’s about the difficulties of finding employment or working in a corporation.

For the latter group, I can explain what I mean, but it takes extra time and distracts from the main point. It makes communication more cumbersome and difficult.

The more people have in common, the easier it is for them to communicate, cooperate, and live together in harmony.

Conversely, the less they have in common, the harder it is for them to do those things.

Large Western societies tend to be diverse in countless ways. We proclaim proudly that “diversity is our strength.” But social diversity also means social division. People of different nationalities, languages, histories, moral beliefs, and religions must work together to create a humane and tolerant society.

It’s not an easy thing to do. But we have to do our best. The alternative is not a good one.

Check out my new book Why Sane People Believe Crazy Things: How Belief Can Help or Hurt Social Peace.

About N.S. Palmer

N.S. Palmer is an American mathematician.
This entry was posted in Human Relations, Judaism, Political Science, Society and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Job and Culture

  1. J P says:

    This can be generational as well. Religious references that were widely understood 30 or 50 years ago are not nearly as well known now because these things are not being passed down as widely as they once were. The result is the same, of course.


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