Weekly Dose of Optimism: The Connection Between Immigration and Innovation


Hatched by Glasp

Sep 18, 2023

4 min read


Weekly Dose of Optimism: The Connection Between Immigration and Innovation

In today's globalized world, migration has become a common occurrence. People move from one country to another in search of better opportunities, education, or a chance at a better life. While the reasons for migration may vary, one thing remains constant – the potential for innovation and progress that comes with it.

A study conducted by Agrawal et al (2023) revealed an interesting finding – migrants are about twice as likely to be employed in academia as mathematicians compared to individuals from the same country with the same math score who did not migrate. This suggests that migration can have a positive impact on the field of academia, bringing fresh perspectives and ideas.

On the other hand, leaving the USA due to Fulbright requirements has its consequences. Kahn and MacGarvie (2016) found that individuals who left the USA due to these requirements experienced a significant decline in their publication and citation rates. There was a decrease of about 65% in publications and a staggering 80% decrease in publications in high-impact journals. This highlights the importance of a conducive environment for immigrants to thrive and contribute to scientific research.

America has long been known as a hotbed of innovation and scientific research, and a significant factor behind this is its historical high immigration rates. However, it is not just immigration alone that contributes to this success. It is the combination of opportunity and people that creates an environment conducive to innovation. When immigrants are given the opportunity to pursue their passions and contribute to society, they can make remarkable achievements.

Now, let's shift our focus to some actionable advice that can help in leading a better life. The article "100 Tips for a Better Life" by LessWrong offers valuable insights that can be applied to various aspects of our lives. Here are three actionable tips that we can incorporate into our daily routines:

  • 1. Done is better than perfect: Often, we get caught up in the pursuit of perfection, which can hinder our progress. Getting our creations out into the world, even if they are not perfect, is more important than waiting for perfection. History remembers those who took the first step and made their mark.
  • 2. Discipline is superior to motivation: While motivation can be fleeting, discipline can be trained. Relying solely on motivation may not lead to accomplishing great things. By cultivating discipline, we can push ourselves to achieve our goals even when motivation is lacking.
  • 3. Make accomplishing things as easy as possible: Many of us tend to overcomplicate tasks, making them harder than they need to be. By finding the easiest way to start exercising, writing, or any other endeavor, we can eliminate unnecessary frustrations and increase our chances of success. Simplify the process and set yourself up for accomplishment.

It is important to remember that how we spend every day is how we spend our lives. Taking responsibility for our actions and cultivating a reputation for being dependable can go a long way in building trust and credibility. Good reputations are valuable because they are rare and hard to rebuild if lost.

Moreover, it is crucial to differentiate between doing something because we genuinely enjoy it and doing it to be seen as a certain kind of person. Authenticity is key in finding purpose and fulfillment in our lives. Sometimes, existential questions can be resolved through simple lifestyle fixes, such as maintaining healthy relationships and taking care of our physical and mental well-being.

Additionally, small acts of kindness and connection can have a significant impact on our own mood and well-being, as well as those around us. Complimenting people more often and expressing love and gratitude to our loved ones can create a positive ripple effect in our lives.

Furthermore, simple things like exercise, good sleep, spending time in nature, and being exposed to natural light can greatly influence our mood and overall well-being. These factors are easily accessible and can be experimented with to find what works best for each individual.

Finally, it is worth considering that both introverts and extroverts can benefit from stepping out of their comfort zones. Pushing ourselves to be more extroverted, even in small ways, can lead to personal growth and expanded horizons.

In conclusion, immigration can be a catalyst for innovation and progress, especially when combined with a supportive environment. By providing opportunities for immigrants to pursue their passions and contribute to society, we can unlock their potential and foster a culture of innovation. Additionally, incorporating actionable advice into our daily lives, such as prioritizing discipline over motivation and simplifying tasks, can lead to personal growth and a better quality of life. Let us embrace the opportunities that come our way, support one another, and strive for continuous improvement.

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