A Bell Curve Lens

What is it?

Lens: a perspective through which one may view the world

Shit charts, to be improved

Pet peeves

Let’s look at a more light-hearted example: people’s ability to stick to the correct side of the footpath/escalator. Most people get it right most of the time. Some may temporarily forget themselves if they’re in a conversation with someone, or off with the fairies.

Placing yourself

So far we’ve looked at simply accepting that people vary, and therefore that people at both ends of any spectrum must exist. Many pet peeves (if not all) come down to the behaviours of people ‘below’ you in some trait, such as intelligence or considerateness or kindness.

A nuanced understanding

The bell curve lens is the antithesis of the stereotype.

Blue: reality, maybe. Weird colour: stereotype

Compassion where once there was frustration

Do you get mad at children with learning disabilities for being so damn stupid? No, of course not, because you’re not an awful person. So here’s a question for you: how smart does somehow have to be before you feel comfortable making fun of them for being stupid? Do you treat the bottom 2% with compassion, and the next 8% with scathing ridicule? Why is that?

Predicting the existence of certain types of people

I write a lot, and receive comments from a lot of people. And on the internet, no one makes eye contact, which means feedback comes through with minimal sugar and plenty of salt.


I guess this is a self-help book.


These ‘chapters’ are in no particular order.

Binary vs spectrum

Anywhere ‘groups’ are put forward, it’s worth asking the question if really what you’re dealing with is a spectrum.

Which is it?

Binary necessity

Lawmakers often need to draw a line in the sand — a sharp vertical line through a natural bell curve. Speed limits must be a single number for long stretches of road. They need to be unambiguous, so that they can be consistently enforced. Most people agree that sports should be segregated based on gender, so here too there is a need to draw a sharp vertical line through a curve.

From here…

This is all a white hot mess. I feel like there’s more to be said, clarification to be offered, examples to be presented.



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Alex Uninvolved

Alex Uninvolved

I only exist while you're reading my posts.