on strawberries and options

Why is it that when you list only two options it makes a reader actually believe there are only two options? There is some intrinsic need some people have to limit options when making a point in writing. I could be like, “there are two types of people in this world: the ones who live and the ones who die” and people would be like “yeah! exactly.”

This also says something about the power of suggestion when you can actually make people think there are only two options; “Look, there are only two types of people in this world: the kind who like strawberries, and the kind who don’t.” I could from that premise on make up all sorts of wild assumptions about those two types and people would immediately started identifying with them. “The strawberry likers are the ones who are creative, whilst the non-strawberry likers are more artistic.” (Isn’t that the same thing? Basically, but nonetheless people will start assigning themselves a role. Or better yet, arguing that they are both b/c the only mildly like strawberries.) “The strawberry likers of this world are much more assertive and know how to get things done. But the non-strawberry likes are more industrious and very good with limited resources.”

In a matter of minutes I’ve managed to classify the world by strawberry likingness. The two option thing is genious. Who ever thought of it, I am quite sure, won many a debate before someone–probably in the back of the audience with a scowl on his face looking around like “what are these nuts talking about?”–spoke up and said “uh… there is a third option.” and immediately the whole audience gasped and shook their head disapporivingly at the guy who tried to typify the entire world by two options, when clearly there were three.

Strawberry likers, non-strawberry likers, and the ones who only like strawberry flavoured things. (They tend to be quietly outgoing and known for their generally easy going-yet slightly over the top attitudes.)


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