So you want to be normal

Where did you get the idea that only some people are normal?

“Normal is a setting on a washing machine,” says a Chicago-area counselor with a degree in Social Work.

Characteristics within a population vary from one extreme to another, and most people tend to fall near the middle, near the average or the mean. In the field of statistics, this distribution is called a bell curve.

Empirical_RuleEmpirical_Rule

It’s true that a bell curve is a form of a normal distribution of probabilities, but please note the technical term — a ‘normal distribution’. Only the distribution of likelihoods is normal.

If the heights of people are measured, and all of us have been measured, we are all there in the pot of measurements. Some of us are likely to be taller than others, and some of us are shorter than others. We are all 100% likely to find our heights somewhere on the bell curve because the bell curve was created by accounting for all of us.

The way I hear it is that it is very typical for many adult American males to be close to 5 feet 10 inches tall — if I’m not mistaken. Fewer are likely to be around my height of 5 feet 5 inches tall.

Look at the ‘1 standard deviation’ section above. Sixty-eight percent of us males are not especially taller or shorter than the figure that I gave of 5 feet 10 inches tall. That might be a way of saying that sixty-eight percent of us are at least 5 feet 7 inches tall but not taller than 6 feet 1 inch.

This height range comes completely from my imagination. It may be that the range of height of sixty-eight percent of adult American males is between 5 feet eight inches and 6 feet tall.

Whatever this range of heights is, those of us who are taller or shorter are also “normal” — just rarer.

So, you want to be normal? Stand up and measure your height, and you are definitely normal.


“I makes up my mind and I lives with the consequences.” (Maybe you let someone else decide for you, but that’s you letting yourself live with the consequences.)

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Author: teawithsugar31

Nesanel ben Yitzchok HaLevi

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