Thursday, July 30, 2009

Two kinds of people?

There are two kinds of people in the world. Those who think there are two kinds of people in the world, and those who know better.

The content of this post is Copyright © 2009 by Grant Sheridan Robertson.


  1. Robert Benchley, "Benchley's Law of Distinction"

    US actor, author, and humorist (1889 - 1945)

  2. I hadn't seen this one.

    I still think mine is better. Benchley's law simply indicates that some people happen to not think there are two different kinds of people in the world. My quote implies that those who don't think there are only two kinds of people in the world believe as they do for a good reason. This being because they see the rich variation in almost every aspect of the human condition and refuse to choose a mere two categories for any one characteristic or group of characteristics. Even when one is forced to choose sides in a two sided argument as suggested by a blogger here:, one can still have varying degrees of conviction in that choice.

    Personally, I see everything in terms of degrees from one end of a spectrum to another. Though I readily admit that I tend to place certain groups of people on one end of certain spectra rather than another (Lawyers, Politicians, Corporate Executives, 19-year-olds who claim to be hippies but have never lived in a commune in their life, some community organizers), they still fall on a spectrum. I will consider some worse, or better, by varying degrees.

    Though it is possible to draw an artificial line at any point on a spectrum and thereby divide it into two groups, I can just as easily draw a million artificial lines on that same spectrum and create a million and one virtually indistinguishable shades of gray. The fact that most people choose to draw only one line does not obligate me, or any other thinking individual, to draw only one line as well.

    Interestingly, even in this issue, I am sure there are many variations. Some may choose to draw only one line and others choose to draw two or three lines. Still others may draw forty or a hundred. Me, I prefer to observe statistical clumping while still allowing for the outliers between clumps. I also have a hard time seeing only one characteristic at a time. I see an entire web of characteristics (sometimes called facets) that may be related to a person and may also have statistical clumping.

    Nevertheless, thank you for pointing out that similar quote.