CHAPTER TWODualities

Do you walk to school, or do you carry your lunch?” “Is it colder in the winter or in the mountains?” These are dualities, not dichotomies. Not so much “either/or” as “Yes, and …”

A true dichotomy is an either/or thing. Dead or alive. Black or white. But if you take a closer look, a seeming dichotomy often reveals a gray area between the two extremes. There’s a difference, for example, between young and old, but there’s generally no single birthday when a person goes from being young to being old. The categories of young and old blur into one another, sometimes gracefully, sometimes not.

Would-be dichotomies can also trip people up when they pair two ideas that seem at odds but are actually independent of one another. High ...

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