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Fungible (Replaceable - Interchangeable)

While most lay persons do not typically learn concepts such as Fungible, Inchoate nor Luddism**, these notions can help us to better understand the world.

When we are shoe shopping and we happen upon two pairs of shoes, same style, same size, we presume that they are “fungible” or otherwise interchangeable. But when we speak of the numerous “Elton John's,” or Adolph Hitler’s of the world like comments heard myriads of times-as referring to “types” of individuals, underpinning the statement is the presumption that these individuals are fungible. But on closer examination, we grow to realize that no two persons are completely interchangeable nor perfect clones of each other. It is naive, silly and mind numbing to dwell on types, kinds, stereotypes and rubrics.

When making such pronouncements, the speaker typically presumes that perhaps a dozen or so traits describe the named person, but ignoring the fact that there are millions of differences among us and none of us can possibly be a clone or fungible personification of any other person.


*Refers to the somewhat formless, diffuse, amorphous, deceptive, intangible qualities of certain things, traits, conditions, etc. such as “anomie” as a kind of alienation.

**Luddism being a desire, willingness and obsession to destroy and render useless innovations such as toll stations in England, or various kinds of technology and the antipathy of new ideas, inventions and practices that tend to threaten and unrattle the existing order.