Friday, May 4, 2012


"You're missing the point," she said. "What you're saying makes sense in theory, but not in practice. You're trying to compare apples and oranges."

"Why do you keep saying that?" I asked in response. "Apples and oranges aren't that different, really. I mean, they're both fruit. Their weight is extremely similar. They both contain acidic elements. They're both roughly spherical. They serve the same social purpose. With the exception of a tangerine, I actually can't think of anything more similar to an orange than an apple. If I was having lunch with a man who was eating an apple and - while I was looking away - he replaced that apple with an orange, I doubt I'd even notice. So how is this a metephor for difference? I could understand if you said, 'That's like comparing apples and uranium,' or, 'That's like comparing apples and baby wolverines,' or, 'That's like comparing apples with the early work of Tchaikovsky,' or, 'That's like comparing apples with hermaphroditic ground sloths.' Those would all be valid examples of profound disparity. But apples and oranges? In every meaningful way, they're virtually identical."

"You're missing the point," she said again, this time for different reasons.

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