Categorizing People


A thought on categorizing (i.e. stereotyping) people.

One of the most helpful tools I have found for understanding the world is the Lawful-Chaotic spectrum popularized by Dungeons and Dragons. Combined with the standard Good-Evil standard, it provides a simple way of sorting out a lot of the ideas in the world into coherent categories.

For example, a friend of mine recently posted a petition to stop Israeli-Palestinian violence by putting media pressure on a semi-arbitrary list of companies to not do business there. Now, stopping random civilians being killed (by both sides) is clearly Good of some sort. As for Law and Chaos, this petition is not part of any major plan, and there is no clear reason why these companies instead of others, why Israeli-Palestine instead of some other conflict (e.g. Syria), or why now instead of some other time. That makes it chaotic good. For comparison, the US's permanent attempt to get the leaders of the two factions to arrange a lasting peace is a lawful good project. Note that my point here is the categorization, not whether these projects are the best things people can do to help.

Dividing people into groups is normally considered bad. I think the difference here is that these groups are not obviously negative (except Evil, but we already have that one). Here they just make life a little more understandable.

So my question for the world: What other helpful spectrum/classifications are out there?

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