Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Two kinds of people

There are two kinds of people in this world, those who think that there are two kinds of people in this world and those who don't. Ironically, there are two kinds of people among those who do not think that there are two kinds of people in this world. Those who think that there is only one kind of person in the world, and those who think that there are three, or more, kinds of people in this world.But getting back to the first statement I made, the fact that some people believe that there are two kinds of people and some people do not believe this, only proves the point that there are two kinds of people in this world. My father was right when he said this so many times in my youth (although he always used the colloquialism"this old world"). For brevity's sake, I have dropped the "old".

My father recognized that as to just about every interest of humans, there were two views, two stories.That did not mean that both were right, the two kinds of people in this world could divide into people who were right and people who were wrong. Democrats and Republicans, Catholics and Protestants, Texans and Yankees were clear division points of my childhood. The most important divisions were children and adults, teachers and students , police and bad guys , and old lady Powers and everyone else. As I got older, the divisions became fuzzier. I learned that most people, far from being left or right, tended to shade toward one side from some point near the middle. In our elections, an enormous landslide is 60%-40%. There have only been about three Presidential elections ever decided by a margain like that.. Think about it, if you are in a group of ten people, six who feel one way, and four who feel another, you have to persuade only one person to get the group to split evenly. And yet, those are our biggest electoral margains. Most races are decided by convincing less than half a person in ten to change sides, and that's still considered a big margain !

I heard today about a 64 oz. cup of soda that may be purchased in a convenience store (I think for 99 cents, but it may have been only 69). This reminded me of the standard way I have divided up the world since I reached adult hood, between beverage people and non-beverage people. Now don't get me wrong, people drank liquids when I was young. They had to to live. Some people (not my family) would keep a six pack of cokes around the house in the traditional 8 oz. bottle. I envied those people. If the kids that lived in the house were very good, they might be allowed to drink a coke sometime during the day.It never crossed the mind of any living human being in those days that you should go to the store and buy yourself a six pack of cokes and then get two more for good measure and sit around and drink the damn things all at once. I once saw a man at James Coney Island buy two 8 oz cokes with his hot dogs and thought that that was the height of decadance. 16 oz of Coke ! How in the world did humans evolve to have the capacity to drink 64 oz of sugary liquid (or even hold a cup that big in their hand) ?

On my shelf at home is a beautiful volume of Darwin's "Origin of Species". It is beautiful because it has never been read. But I am lead to believe by those who know, that Darwin believed in the evolution of species. Those who evolved in a beneficial way, survived. Is this really the course of evolution among human beings, to equip ourselves to be able to drink more and more soda, and therefore, presumably, never dehydrate and thus survive global warming (at least those who don't die of diabetes) ?Perhaps this is what has caused the beverage explosion in my lifetime. Our species, intuitively sensing global warming, before science discovered it. If we continue on our present path, beverage people in 50 years will be drinking 512 fluid oz of soda a day, or 64 of the old 8 oz. bottles. Will there be enough Coke to slake the thirsts of the coming world ? It is highly debateable, in fact, there are two kinds of people with opinions on that subject.

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