Jared Diamond's immigration thought experiment: Divide the strong and weak

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Don't denigrate immigrants, says Jared Diamond. You are one.

- Every American, without exception, is an immigrant. Native Americans immigrated 13,000 years ago, and everybody else has immigrated within the last 400 years.

- The decision to emigrate is made by people who are healthy, strong, willing to undertake risks, and face the unknown. Those are also essential qualities for innovating.

- It's no coincidence that the great majority of American Nobel Prize winners are either first-generation immigrants or the children of first-generation immigrants.

Jared Diamond, a noted polymath, is Professor of Geography at the University of California, Los Angeles. Among his many awards are the U.S. National Medal of Science, Japan's Cosmos Prize, a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship, a Pulitzer Prize for General Nonfiction, and election to the U.S. National Academy of Sciences. He is the author of the international best-selling books Guns, Germs, and Steel; Collapse; Why Is Sex Fun?; The World Until Yesterday; and The Third Chimpanzee, and is the presenter of TV documentary series based on three of those books. He is the author of "Upheaval: Turning Points for Nations in Crisis" (http://bit.ly/jardiamond)

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