Homoemergicus Maximus

Written by Nathanael Snow : September 25, 2008

Call me homoemergicus maximus. I’m white, 32, and male. And chances are, so are you. We are slightly overweight, own way too many CDs, spend entirely too much time on blogs, and we like to think that we are eccentric.

So, why are we all so similar? Why homoemergicus? Two answers might buy most of the solution, and the third is hard to accept.

A final dilemma may be discouraging.

First, the fact that we have the time to spend on blogs reveals our privileged position in society. White guys on average earn more than any other demographic, and many of these high-income jobs come equipped with internet-ready computers. So we blog. We are also slightly better educated than most other demographics, so we think we have something to blog about. Finally, we are yet in our youths, so we are willing to be risky about what we write and share, more so as males, and more so as members of groups who will help to catch us if we fall.

Second, we are narcissistic. We like ourselves. A lot. And we like other people who are like us. Self-selecting groups often sort out this way. According to the magic that is statistics it can be shown that self-selection occurs even when preferences are very slight. Suppose you have a 51% preference for spending time with homoemergici and a 49% preference for spending time with other folks. Each time you are presented with the option of spending time with either of these two you will choose the homoemergicus. Though your preference is slight, the result is large.

These two reasons are spontaneously emerging in the non-homoemergicus sense. There is nothing anyone can do to stop them. Where there are injustices which prevent other groups from attaining higher education and incomes, we ought to protest and work for justice, but underprivileged groups are also self-selecting, and there is little we can do (short of becoming annoying do-gooders) about it.

Thankfully, there is one area where we can make active improvement, though it is costly. We can sign off and sign up. Homoemergicus tends to have chameleon-like qualities, and changing his environment can vastly adjust his appearance. Consider sitting on your hands and letting someone else comment on a post for a change. Consider limiting your screen-time to a certain amount of time per day. Then get involved somewhere less homogeneous. The ideal location is your local college or university. Seek out international students, you’ll soon be able to impress your friends with your knowledge of world geography (where is Slovakia, anyway?), and you will have the opportunity to make room for the gospel in a land it would have cost you 10 times as much to travel to yourself. Volunteer in the inner city, at a tutoring center, or the boys and girls club. You get the idea. Once the blue computer-screen-induced glow fades from homoemergicus’ face he is well on the road to recovery.

Our homoemergency can be dealt with, to a degree. Unfortunately, there are other impediments to diversity. Those who are not among the privileged class will find it much harder to adopt a pacifist ethic. While many recognize the privilege as the crime, fewer hope that the privilege can be removed. Most believe the only path to justice is expansion of franchises. To reject this strategy as inaugurating of empire leaves the outcast dejected. To this dilemma I find no solution, only God’s sovereignty.

Author Bio:: Nathanael Snow is an Economics Ph.D. student at George Mason University in Fairfax, VA. He worked for eight years at Agape Corner, an inner-city boarding school in Durham, NC. After graduation he plans to develop tools to teach the nexus of Economics, Common Law, and the Christian Ethic.

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