The Next Big Debate: Bring Out the Avocados!

It has been a long time since anyone has mentioned anything of the infamous dress blue and black that was debated by everyone and their mother. Debates about random things always interest me so when I was listening to a podcast that covers the Toronto Maple Leafs and other general hockey news brought up the question, “What color is a tennis ball?” I stopped and thought about it. Initially I thought to myself that it was so simple, a tennis ball is yellow. Little did I know that other people are so adamant in their belief that a tennis ball is green. The three people who were a part of the podcast Steve, Jesse, and Adam go in to a twenty minute long debate about what things fall into and define different categories.

Image result for steve dangle

A few questions to ponder: “What is a jam?” “What makes a barbecue different from a meeting?”

The guy who is proposing many of these questions is Jesse. Jesse does an excellent job at messing with minds of Steve and Adam in how they categorize different items. One argument made is whether Rodger Federer can be wrong in saying that a tennis ball is yellow. I couldn’t help but think, much like Steve and Adam, that even one of the best tennis players of all time cannot just make that a fact. Now some could argue that Rodger Federer’s thought should have a big influence since he essentially sleeps, eats, and breathes tennis, but it is only up to the eyes of the observer in what makes up the exemplar for a tennis ball. Exemplars are essentially the best characteristics that defines a category. Now I believe that at the center of the category of a tennis ball is a regulation tennis ball that people who find being used for the US Open or even the Wimbledon. When it comes to defining categories often a starting point or a prototype of the category needs to be established then builds out from there.

 Image result for a US open tennis ball

Jesse then eventually takes a break from the tennis ball argument to debate whether guacamole is a jam. Now this becomes the topic of whether a certain object can fit in to a category rather than just defining a category. Now while an avocado is fruit it actually gets classified a berry and in most cases, jams are made of fruit which are boiled along with sugar, however I come to disagree with notion that guacamole is a jam due to the fact that avocado is not boiled with sugar usually in the process of making guacamole. Now in order to come to a conclusion like that people often have already defined what makes up that category and proceed to judge whether something can if into it. Now some people might have a different base definition that might suggest that guacamole is a jam, and simply that is where many debates of things like come to creation. Adam also refuted Jesse’s idea that guacamole, but instead he brings up the use of herbs and spices that go in to make guacamole. When it comes to insignificant debates about things like tennis ball colors or what creates jam the best part is finding out what everyone’s base is for their category and how they build off from it. In the end of the day the difference between a barbecue and a catered meeting is how you advertise it.

Podcast (Go to 1:03:50 for the debate):

3 thoughts on “The Next Big Debate: Bring Out the Avocados!

  1. kware


    I suppose the reason why we choose to categorize objects, ideas, and concepts into their respective categories is largely due to our background. Our background and our experiences shape what makes us think that some things fit into some categories while others don’t. For example, someone who is not familiar with jam and how jam is made would not categorize guacamole as jam because they do not know what to compare it to. Also, to me, a tennis ball looks like a mix of yellow and green, or maybe like a highlighter yellow color. I wonder how this perception would change if I held up a tennis ball against a yellow background and then agains a green background?

  2. avchamp

    I really enjoyed reading this. I actually remember seeing one of my friends make a status on her Facebook page to debate the color of tennis balls. One of my friends, who played tennis in high school, said that new tennis balls are green, but after time passes, they become yellow with use. I actually had no idea that guacamole might be considered a jam. However your reasoning that it wouldn’t be (because of the whole boiling it with sugar) makes sense

  3. kmarston

    Categorization serves as a method of organizing information within our brain to allow for the easy retrieval and connections between different concepts. It’s interesting to ponder about how exactly we categorize certain objects. Everyone seems to hold a slightly different opinion and with concerns of color for example (I think a tennis ball is a shade of green and have never really thought of it as pure yellow) our eye’s ability to comprehend various shades and lights are all different based on rods, cones, ganglion cells, etc. I personally can see avocado being a jam, especially when you consider all the ‘strange’ jams out there like sweet chili jam. bacon jam, dandelion jam, etc. Herbs and spices can be added to jams which make them different, but not any less of what we consider to be a usual jam!

Comments are closed.