Will all the “everythings” of this world please take a seat in the back room? On the basis the supposed alacrity of “Assemblylike” things into groups----like all the Hitlers, Trumps and Franco's of this world, this should be an easy task. Or is there really something inherently and logically wrong with “LUMPING” people into fungible categories?
How often have we heard speakers clamoring about the notion of the “Foxes” or “Hitlers of the world” or of any other famous or notorious persons being of that type and thus referencing all the Foxes of the world?” We provisionally assume that those with a handful of similar traits are fungible and we speak of them as “TYPES” of people readily characterized, molded and broad brushed into stereotypes of each other.
Owing to the extent that while as human beings all of us have thousands of similarities, we also can also point out tens of thousands of differences. Is it not arrogant and presumptuous to“Dump” “lump” fli, sentence and condemn historical figures into fungible (conceptual) heaps and to dismiss as insignificant the many thousands of their unique qualifies, as if we are capturing the essence into the stereotype. Personally, after studying General Semantics, this writer finds it a turn off and an exclamation of ignorance to imply human fungibility i.e. as Hitler” and “Lincoln” types. This makes about as much sense as the oft quoted adage that “History repeats itself” i.e. only if we are not really paying attention. True 36 is similar to 72 (by being half of it) and to 35 (by being one digit away) and to 63 (by having the digits reversed), but we would not collect all numbers under one umbrella, and affix some stereotype to them as their relationship were “ontologically meaningful.”
Types, kinds, categories, rubrics and stereotypes are creations of lazy brains. And while the initial notion of commonality may seem helpful, the hazards of overuse, hasty assumptions and thinking without thinking often take over and cause us to become quite crude, oversimplified and entrenched into foolishness more so than being helped by these devices. Indeed words and language can be helpful, but truer understanding necessarily takes us to “beyond words.” We do better by thinking in pictures and developing a mind's eye operationalism aka Leonardo or Albert Einstein, the prime most visual thinkers.?