Everything Is A Spectrum

02023-03-16 | Language, World | 3 comments

Neurodiversity, gender identity, sexual preference, politics, religion, mental illness, physical wellness. While we aim for some personal goal or societal endpoint, all of our lives seem to be lived on a spectrum. A sliding scale. A gradient. A tapestry.
What if all points on any spectrum were acceptable?

What if everything’s a spectrum? – Mediatinker

I have long thought that everything is a spectrum. Everything is on a scale. There is so much space between the end points. To think in black and white means losing out on so much differentiation. It means missing the beauty that lies in subtle gradations. Imagine a gas pedal (accelerator pedal for electric vehicles) that only has two positions: on and off. Imagine only running or standing still. Too often we look at either / or instead of that which lives in between the two.


  1. Eric N

    Do you think humans just struggle with the concept of time? Seems we have a hard go at recognizing complex patterns over long periods of successive events.

    • ottmar

      I don’t think time is the struggle. I think life and death are the source for the struggle. Life and death seem like on and off. We cling to one and avoid thinking about the other.
      Actually it is very interesting how concepts of time differ around the world. We point ahead when indicating the future. Some cultures point behind them for the future, because the future isn’t known, and ahead when speaking about the past, because that is known and can be seen. Fascinating.

  2. Steve

    >all of our lives seem to be lived on a spectrum. A sliding scale. A gradient. A tapestry.

    As a person who has lived (and struggled) on the autism spectrum all my life, I strongly suspect this to be the case.

    But …

    I wish there were more objective scientific/empirical evidence demonstrating that such were the case based upon actual data (across domains). Some domains such as electrical/mechanical engineering or materials science or physics show this to be the case objectively for most data sets. But there are a number of domains which currently seem overtly under the influence of political/ideological preferences and it is difficult to separate signal from noise and tease out objective conclusions from “just so” stories or preferential bias.


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