this was originally a response in the "Do Most Men Cheat" thread but these are ideas I had intended to express in an independent thread also.. so, here they are.. one would think that a set of technologies, such that we have access to here, that enables us to be directly connected to one another in such unprecedented ways would result in more sharing of the specific experiences and conclusions of individual lives.. but one would be as mistaken as a pig that thought he wasn't bacon. the question, "do most men cheat", not only solicits an untruth from anyone that considers the question, it also plants a conceptual seed that such sweepingly general concepts and their nice and tidy conclusions actually exist in real life.. and that implied existence can lead to a "hunt and peck" style of intellectual discourse reminiscent of a 7 year old child digging through his cereal bowl for the raisins in his raisin bran while ignoring the nutrition contained in the bran itself.. Its my opinion that folks become addicted to these nice and tidy generalizations and they simply stop thinking altogether.. and after many years of this kind of thinking it becomes nearly impossible to shift to more labor-intensive modes of analysis. The sheer number of variables that exist in real life situations require far more analytical processing power than the dramatically narrowed-down number of variables contained in very general modes of analysis.. The Either / Or mode of analysis comes to mind.. where the world suddenly becomes flat again.. and everything is either Yes or No.. Good or Bad.. Black or White.. that mode is dramatically easier to operate in.. it hardly requires any effort at all.. simply close your eyes and point.. or flip a coin.. In other words, it encourages an intellectually lazy approach to ideas, problems and solutions.. it promotes overly simplistic modes of analysis and results in overly simplistic outlooks which result in overly-simplistic modes of being.. and these simple modes of being leave us susceptible to direct and indirect manipulation and control by outside forces banking on our confusion. General conclusions that are the result of the analyzing sets of specific information are what I call "functional generalizations".. meaning they can be proven by consulting the data sets.. and because they can be proven, they are functional.. useful.. An example would be: you interviewed every couple on a city block and found that every single man on that block had stepped-out on his woman.. you could then conclude that all men on that block have cheated on their wives.. that would be a "functional.. true.. generalization".. and it could be backed up with data.. Most Men Cheat, is a dysfunctional generalization because it is physically impossible to collect data from "most men".. and that also means its impossible to prove.. OR disprove.. and that makes it dysfunctional.. meaning it has no functional use.. it is neither true nor false.. and posed as an either-or question it solicits untruth.. because neither answer can be true. "Africans are not fully human", "Black people are lazy".. "Black people are inferior".. Black folks have been subject to these kind of weaponized generalizations for our entire history here in America.. and when something is done to you long enough and well enough you begin to do it to yourself and others.. its the reason why the abused become abusers.. why victims become victimizers.. and so its no wonder that so much of African american discourse involves so many gross generalizations.. gross generalizations that are then taken in as facts and that ultimately lead to mis-calibrated and mistaken conclusions. And when those dysfunctional generalizations are applied, say.. to interpersonal relationships.. for example.. where a young lady might be trying to figure out why her men friends always leave her for greener pastures.. by reaching for dysfunctionally general conclusions like, All Men Cheat, she might miss the opportunity to discover that she has a abrasive disposition.. or a dirty house.. or a uncooperative outlook.. By applying that dysfunctional generalization to her own life, she misses the opportunity to learn from her life experiences.. and its for that reason that I consider dysfunctional generalizations to be the epitome of anti-intellectual behavior.. They block learning by confusing context.. So it doesn't matter how sophisticated your analytical equipment is.. garbage in, garbage out.. you can't make cake out of $hit.. well, you can.. but you can't expect it not to be $hitty.. And I said all of that to say this: Stop Generalizing everything.. it's intellectual masturbation.. and moves you/us neither forward nor back.. just side to side.. to no avail..