February 7, 2019

Food for Thought

If you randomly select a person on the street and imagine spending some time with him, you’d realize how segregated your life is. “Randomly” is the operative word here. Pick one, for instance, who happens to sit across from you on the subway. He might be black and you white. She might speak Spanish, you English. He might be 20 years older than you. She might have 4 kids and you single. He might have a PhD and you dropped out of high school. She might be Republican, you Democrat. Etc... We are segregated in so many different ways that if we think about it carefully, each of us lives in a tiny bubble.

Race is a significant factor. Most people tend to stick to their own race. We are all aware of this because it’s visible. IQ is an invisible factor. According to some studies, we self-segregate into groups of similar IQs. If you have a PhD, you are likely to have many friends who also have PhD’s even though the chance of randomly coming across someone with a PhD is very slim. Political belief is another big factor. Gender and sexual orientation are also significant. Socioeconomic class. Careers. Religion. The list goes on.

If you sliced the population using all these criteria, you would end up with countless tiny bubbles. That’s where we live; inside of one tiny bubble on a long roll of bubble wrap.

So, it was a treat for me today to sit down and chat with a semi-random person from Ashville, NC, @the_ariel_perspective The age difference was particularly interesting for me as she is about half my age. Age segregation is particularly problematic in that many people feel it’s wrong to socialize with much younger or older people. Most people stick to their own generations, and that’s socially respected. With race, it’s the opposite; we admire people who can mix with people of other races. I’m not sure why; there is much to be gained from reaching across generations. Since I’m sort of in the middle, I enjoy talking to those below and above me. It’s one of the advantages of middle age. I can enjoy re-evaluation of my past as well as anticipation of the future.

#taiwanesefood #taiwanesenoodles #noodles #nycfoodie #eastvillagenyc #segregation