Where has this obsession with comparison come from ?

Started 4 months ago | Discussions thread
SirLataxe
SirLataxe Veteran Member • Posts: 4,225
Re: Where has this obsession with comparison come from ?

softmarmotte wrote:

Few people seem happy with what they have. We see comparisons everywhere

Comparing, sensors, lenses, weight, colours, IQ, sharpness, lastest... seems endemic

Various factors are involved in this now common human behaviour. The oldest is probably "The Great Chain of Being" - a picture of the universe as a set of nested spheres in which the higher beings are out there with god & the angels whilst the lowest are crawling about in the muck of the Earth. Every one and every thing "has its pace" in a hierarchy of worth determined by their position in the spheroids, as planned & created by the Big Bearded Bully in the sky.

Mind, you can argue that this culturally made-up-stuff is a reflection of the deeper genetic inclinations of the humans that came up with the notion.  We do like the leaders and followers model; status taxonomies; the thrill of social snakes & ladders.

The most modern factor involved is the development of this background inclination to construct hierarchies of worth as it manifests in advertising, which persuades us that the efflorescence of the fashion cycle and its planned obsolescence requires us to throw out yesterday's product as a "new & improved" version exudes from the producer-consumer hegemony.  We lap up these "you have to have it" urgings as we scrabble up the imaginary greasy pole of "I am what I own".

What are we hoping to do/achieve by constantly comparing one thing with another ?

We are hoping to move up the Great Chain of Being.  Once it was disallowed (one was born into one's fixed place).  Now we can all strive to be more worthy by having a "better" gizmo than them over there have got. Perhaps we will eventually become a demi-god via our rabid consumption and its portrayal in our influencer-channel?

and yes, like everyone I fall into the trap (sometimes)

We baa-lambs follow the herd straight into the stockyard of the virtual shops.

So, calling all psychologists, anthropologists...or maybe we'll just end up comapring psyches

Well .... we can all easily mythologise our own histories. This too can result in a step up The Great Chain. After all, that chain exists only in our own minds so why not just imagine we're more worthy without all the desperate striving to obtain "likes" from the other strivers via mad camera-buying? Solipsism is very fashionable just now.

SirLataxe, No D-72 in my own taxonomy of worth, plagiarized from that of Clement Attlee.

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