Everything that exists is either a potato or not a potato. You can do it with any noun. Everything that exists is either a box or not a box. Everything that exists is either a shelf or not a shelf. But I first heard it with potato and that’s my favorite way to say it.
They’re obviously true statements. Obvious to the point of not even being worth saying. I think they are worth saying, though, because they’re neat. Although, it is hard to pin down why I find these statements neat. At least part of it is certainly the fact that they’re banal, but they feel profound. There’s a cool tension there. Another reason is that I can’t think of any relevantly similar statements. There are plenty of truisms out there, but they are banal and feel banal.
I think I also like them because they’re true all or nothing statements. Now, I don’t mean they’re truly all or nothing statements, even though they are. I mean they’re all or nothing statements that are true. Dialectical Behavior Therapy hates all or nothing statements and as someone who’s been through Dialectical Behavior Therapy, it’s strangely comforting to find an exception to their rule.
Anyway, I just thought I’d share. Hopefully I’ll have something more interesting to share tomorrow.