Every Thumb's Width

More Than Two Colors

Why do those who acknowledge subtlety compromise? And why are those who have little capacity for nuance wrong?

This is a false dichotomy. Not everyone who sees a spectrum of options always slides to the negative side. Likewise, those who live in only big categories can choose correctly, though it is more obvious when they’re wrong.

Or, which is better, a framing carpenter or a finish carpenter? Doesn’t it depend on what you’re trying to accomplish? Two-by-fours have built and supported some amazing structures, but they can’t do it all.

Or, if you could only see in two colors, let’s say cyan and magenta, and you had a shelf for each kind of can, and a friend asked you to put a yellow can on a shelf, where would you put it?

Or, are truth, knowledge, and wisdom all referring to the same thing? And if they are different words for the same thing, must they all be either black or white? If the three words are related but not strict synonyms, and if truth is black/white but wisdom was on a spectrum, would you discourage the pursuit of wisdom since it could lead to compromise for those who think they have it but actually don’t, or at least not enough of it?

These questions come up in an attempt to figure out why those in the Truth-Lovers Camp (TLC)–mostly my kind of people–seem not only to be highly suspicious of, critical toward, and increasingly isolated from others, but also why they seem to be satisfied being wrong and saying untrue things when they lump everyone outside of their camp into the same category.

There are more than two colors.