When Ordinary Isn’t Average

I like to think of myself as average.  A run of the mill kind of guy.  Slightly smarter, wittier, and more cultured than everyone else, of course.  But not to the extent that anyone could hold it against me.  Because everyone feels that way, right?  In between bouts of devastating self-doubt?  I know that can’t just be me.  Sure.  Average. 


Yet in a statistical sense, this is nonsense.  The things I take for granted as ordinary – homeschooling our children, not having television access in our home, trying to minimize how much we eat out as a family, trying to cook more healthy and organically, etc. are not ordinary or average.  
I live in a bubble.
I find this distasteful.
The fact that I used the word distasteful further demonstrates my bubbleness.
I found this little quiz interesting, if not entirely surprising.  The author has been generating a buzz for nearly 20 years with somewhat controversial assertions, some of which make a lot of sense and yet have troubling implications in a culture that insists we must all be the same while increasingly cultivating an arena of intellectual elitism.  
The quiz demonstrates how many of us live in culture bubbles, isolated from much of the rest of the population of the United States in our habits, regardless of whether we consider ourselves ordinary or not.  Depending on how one writes the questions though, the greater truth is that we all live in bubbles.  Like tends to gravitate to like in one way or another.  
It also could (and probably should) be argued that the subset of people taking an online quiz at the PBS web site from an economist and social commentator are likely going to be somewhat skewed in terms of results.  In other words, my hypothesis is that many of the people who take the test will find that they are more or less in a bubble.  Together.  With me.  But a small bubble compared to overall population statistics. 
Or is that just my effort to see my particular results as ordinary once again?

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