# Arbitrarily divide people into categories

Reading one of Schott’s Miscellanies where he says the poet William Shenstone (1714-1765) once claimed that if the general public was divided into one hundred parts, the relative distribution of intellect could be estimated this:

Fools 15%, Persons of Common Sense 40%, Wits 15%, Nitpickers 15%, Persons of Wild Taste 10%, Persons of Elevated Taste 5%.

These numbers seem way off. What numbers would you choose? How would you alternately distribute the general public into percent?

I also do not think taste and intellect should be on the same axis. And if you added up all the percentages to confirm a correct total, should it be assumed you pick nits?

I suspect standards have changed in 250 years. I think there are now more than 15% fools, and fewer nitpickers and higher. I think 40% common sense is probably about right.

I’m curious if Willam Shenstone ever considered the possibility that there is significant overlap in the population of poets and fools.

Those who arbitrarily divide people into groups: 25%
Those who do not arbitrarily divide people into groups: 65%
Those who prefer arguing about whether dividing people into groups is arbitrary: 10%

Way more nit-pickers today. Note the correct spelling…

I’m confused that you can’t have both common sense and elevated taste… .

That would be an improper quote, incomplete with the intent to change the meaning. Tsk tsk.

Ruth Benedict divided folks into Apollonian and Dionysian about 50%/50%. That is not arbitrary and it works well for the current population of the US.

Those without common sense: 100%.

Those with common sense: 0%.

That’s because I take it as axiomatic that there is no such thing as common sense.

There are 10 types of people:
Those who understand binary numbers, and those who don’t.

I was going to say. Have you been on the internet lately?

Fools 20%

Average 40%

Exceptionally good at one thing 10%

Exceptional 20%

People who can’t do math 15%

There are different categories of people:
People who divide people into different categories of people: 50%
People who don’t divide people into different categories of people: 49.9%

And the poet William Shenstone: 0.1%, (because he’s dead)

There are two types of people:

1. People who are comfortable with imperfect data

No, but I’ve been on the Internet.

George Carlin: “Everyone who drives slower than me is an idiot, and everyone who drives faster than me is a maniac!”

There are 10 types of people:
Those who understand binary, those who don’t and those who didn’t think that this was in ternary.

You can extend this into any base, so feel free.

There are two kinds of people in the world: Those who divide everybody into two kinds, and those who don’t.

Assholes: 88%
Other: 12%

People I like and everybody else. I find this to be a foolproof method of categorizing humans.