I went on a date years ago with a guy who said the Sun rises in the east and sets in the west. I said at the equator that might be true, but here in the North, the Sun rises in the southeast and sets in the southwest in the winter and northeast/northwest in the summer. We were walking along the east side of a long lake I frequently visit with my dogs. I pointed to where I see the Sun set in the winter and where it sets in the summer, much farther north. Instead of the "Aha" reaction I was expecting, he became angry and repeated, "The sun rises in the East and sets in the West!"
This is an example of concrete, dichotomous thinking. We are all guilty of this little shortcut in thinking. When we learn something without reflection, it becomes unquestioned fact (fixed like concrete). Our brains also like to conserve energy by sorting everything into two categories: good/bad, east/west, and black/white.
And yet, even though snow appears "white" because of the way it reflects light, it is not white. Snow crystals are clear. Together in mass, snow is actually blue, not white.
Being open to new information is a sign of intelligence. But even the brightest among us have brains that rely on accepted "knowledge" and dichotomous categories for speedy processing. Our egos tell us we are smarter than others, but that is also limiting because "I" certainly know best, but I might actually be wrong.
No, that guy did not get a second date.
Image courtesy of the Canva pro media library.