If you've ever thought to yourself, "Wouldn't it be great if everything worked like March Madness and the whole universe could be reduced to a Sweet Sixteen and a Final Four and a single winner?" -- not my personal philosophy, but I try to maintain an open mind -- then I have a book for you. The Enlightened Bracketologist: The Final Four of Everything, by Mark Reiter and Richard Sandomir, applies NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Championship logic to, well, everything. Here's how the authors explain their system:
Bracketology—the practice of parsing people, places, and things into discrete one-on-one matchups to determine which of the two is superior or preferable—works because it is simple. It is a system that helps us make clearer and cleaner decisions about what is good, better, best in our world. What could be simpler than breaking down a choice into either/or, black or white, this one or that one?
Perhaps you're saying: that's exactly the reasoning that got us into the whole with-us-or-against-us mess we're in right now. But perhaps you're just a spoilsport. In the meantime, feel free to amuse yourself with some admittedly addictive interactive amusements like this ad slogan elimination game, courtesy of Slate. Which is better, "The pause that refreshes" or "A diamond is forever"?