The Friend-Enemy Distinction (4-23-18)

1 year ago
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http://lukeford.net/blog/?p=121693 From the New York Times:

Take the new evidence that people choose friends who resemble themselves, right down to the moment-to-moment pattern of blood flow in the brain. The tendency toward homophily, toward flocking together with birds of your inner and outer feather, gives rise to a harmonious sense of belonging and shared purpose, to easy laughter and volumes of subtext mutually, wordlessly, joyfully understood.

But homophily, researchers said, is also the basis of tribalism, xenophobia and racism, the urge to “otherize” those who differ from you and your beloved friends in one or more ways.

“Why must it be the case that we love our own and hate the other?” Nicholas Christakis of Yale University said. “I have struggled with this, and read and studied a tremendous amount, and I have mostly dispiriting news. It’s awful. Xenophobia and in-group bias go hand-in-hand.”

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