Five Notes on Sorting Things Out

What Kind of Thing is This Thing of Kinds?
(First Things First and Last Things)


A primer of same & different.

Making fine distinctions is the profession of the scientist. Making subtle identities is the profession of the poet. And the reverse is true as well. From childhood we depend on sensitivity to both differences and similarities, the latter resting on the former. If a fact is a "perceived difference," as Gregory Bateson maintains, then making distinctions is living in the world. And once distinctions are developed, similarities follow. Distinctions arise to be flattened. Like language itself, we have a natural predilection for this same-&-different circle dance, a game we learn in childhood and pursue until insanity or death breaks the circle. ~ Both/And ~