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Wheels or Doors

Greg Devine


Yellow lego door on blue background

You may have noticed over the last couple of weeks a fierce debate doing the rounds on social media.

Are there more wheels or doors in the world?

It’s a question no one could legitimately have an answer to, yet everyone has their opinion on it. I asked my friends, and we seemed 50/50 on the matter. One claimed to be ‘team doors’ because every building has multiples of them, whereas many cars only have three doors. Another said he was ‘team wheels’, because of the amount of office chairs in the world. Another joked it had to be wheels because of the Pixar movie Cars; however, this was soon countered by mention of the film Monsters Inc.

I asked the office where they stood on the matter, and we mostly decided on wheels, with even more reasons given. I’d never considered how many new wheels are manufactured in comparison to doors, or that the wheel may have been invented before the door. We also realised that lots of things could be considered a door, such as the bonnet of your car, the glovebox, or even the lid of your laptop (I admit, the latter is dubious).

It seems a while since a debate like this went viral. I’m sure we all remember the infamous dress, which nobody could firmly say was gold and white, because just as many people saw it as blue and black. Who remembers the ‘yanny and laurel’ debate, where people heard one or the other from the same audio clip—with some people even hearing both?

Colorful doors painted in orange blue green and red

Colorful doors painted in orange blue green and red

I really enjoy such debates. It’s refreshing to be able to hold a discussion on the internet without it becoming a full-blown argument ending in horrible comments and death threats. It almost restores my faith in humanity, that we can disagree with each other and be able to accept this. Tensions in the world are certainly high at the moment…a brief distraction is certainly welcome.

I think we have become particularly poor at debating in the UK. People don’t seem to be able to entertain a different point of view to the one they hold. They gain partisan support in even the most pathetic discussions, where anybody’s opinion holds little to any relevance. Social media is to blame for this, especially Twitter. The platform has become a vicious war-ground, where people are desperate for other users to take their opinion. There seems to be no motivation to learn or understand different points of view, which, as a society, makes us less intelligent and, ultimately, quite dysfunctional.

I’m not sure there’s a solution to this problem either. You can’t easily give an opinion on social media without it drawing repercussions. People hide behind their username and avatar, and it makes them feel lawless. There have been calls for social media users to supply a form of ID when signing up. I think this in itself could—and does—spark a heated debate.

I can see both sides to this argument. I think you should be held accountable for your actions, and any comments that could be considered offensive shouldn’t be allowed. I’m not talking about little digs or calling someone silly, but genuinely offensive comments, such as racism or homophobia. On the other hand, past generations gave their lives for free speech, and it therefore should exist for all.

What are your thoughts? Are there more wheels than doors in the world? Tweet us at @intheknowemag

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