Google’s algorithm doesn’t rely on IP diversity, nor domain diversity for that matter when it comes to backlink value. Tom, you’re a smart guy, I recommend that you read and study the papers published by Google’s founders to gain insight into how Google’s PageRank formula actually works.
The PageRank formula completely negates the necessity to look at IP or domain diversity. What you do on your own network of blogs, domains or individual websites works essentially the same regardless of IPs or domain names.
Yes, you do benefit from a diverse universe of backlinks, but it has nothing to do with IP addresses nor domain names, it’s all about how many different ways someone can find your website.
I don’t think Google uses the term white hat in any official capacity, it’s a term used by insiders in the SEO industry. I’ve never seen evidence that they have tried to “dictate what is whitehat and what is not”, that’s something we do.
Google doesn’t dictate what you do on your own sites. They do define the rules for what goes into their sites, the ones they own. I think it only fair that we do not try to dictate what they can do on their own sites. They define the rules for their index and that is how it should be in my opinion.
I guess if folks bought into that theory then they must think that internal link structure is not important either since all those links are on the same IP. I have never seen any evidence that supports that assertion and lots of evidence that disproves it. But hey, I bet it sold a lot of e-book courses. I would file that information in the same place that you put your wacky conspiracy theories and cargo cult science. The anti-spamdexing team at Google uses tools to track down low-quality spam and they follow the footprints wherever they go. Perhaps they follow spam from the same IP as a priority, but I think at best it would only buy you a day or two before your pages are devalued anyway. It seems this would only benefit super aggressive spamming campaigns, and only at the margins.