Binary distinctions are one of the easiest ways to see the world. Insider or outsider, with us or against us, friend or enemy. Even in technology, one can do a great deal of computer programming using only the numbers 0 and 1. How simple, how elegant, how comprehensible.
Unfortunately, the world as it is very often cannot be reduced to simplistic reductionism. Take the current crisis between the United States and China. This week will see the annual economic and strategic dialogue between the two countries. High level U.S. officials, including Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Secretary of Treasury Tim Geithner, are in Beijing to meet with their counterparts. This dialogue process is a most positive development in the often contentious relations between the two countries. Regular meetings among top officials can only be applauded.