Neither Either/Or Nor Both/And: Turn down the contrast

I’ve been thinking about the back and forth with Andrew on my last post. I realize that I prefer to use binaries in a quite specific way that may not be obvious. It’s easy to see a binary and think dualistic, but that is a habit I would like to subvert, both in myself and others. I’m going to take a stab at describing that better.

Binary thinking can be quite powerful and deep. We seem to think fairly easily with binary structures and that seems to rest in part on our evolution, suggesting that there is some aspects to the world itself that are binary. Binary thinking is not the same thing as dualistic thinking. Binary thinking identifies poles as a means of navigating between them, establishes a plane across which we can arc. To identify two binaries is not the same thing as saying that there are only two sorts of things.

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