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HAT Forum - "The Limits of Binary Thinking"

  • The 519, Room 303 519 Church Street Toronto, ON, M4Y 2C9 Canada (map)

Binary thinking pervades our understanding of people in many respects:

In politics: left vs. right, liberal vs. conservative, Democrat vs. Republican

Economic status: the 99% vs. the 1%

Sex: male vs. female

Gender: man vs. woman

Sexual orientation: straight vs. gay

Gender identity: cis vs. trans

In group identity: us vs. them


1.       When does binary thinking serve us well?

2.       In the areas listed above, what are some other possibilities beyond the binary choices?

3.       What are some of the problems that binary thinking can lead to?

4.       Why is binary thinking pervasive in so many areas?

5.       What can we do to go beyond binary choices and come to a more complete and nuanced understanding of other people?