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How to Tell the Difference Between a Boundary and a Threat

By | Thomas |

Sometimes it’s hard to know if someone is drawing a boundary or making a threat. Thomas Fiffer offers a framework to help make the distinction.


You don’t want the truth, because deep down in places you don’t talk about at parties, you want me on that wall.
You need
 me on that wall. —Colonel Jessup (Jack Nicholson), A Few Good Men


The Great Wall of China. The Maginot Line. The Mason-Dixon Line. The Berlin Wall. The 38th Parallel. The DMZ. The No-Fly Zone. The proverbial line in the sand. For centuries, even millennia—as long as we can remember—we’ve been putting up walls and drawing boundaries, saying do not cross, stay on the other side—or else.

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