Comparitive Thinking

Today, I am going to talk about comparative thinking, and the dangers of it.

As you may well know, comparative thinking is that logical process that often, illogically, convinces you to believe that the grass is greener on the other side. The trouble being, that quite regularly, the grass is greener on the other side… it’s just chemically enhanced and will slowly build up inside the gut of your stomach if you eat it… and of course to get to the other side you have to cross a bridge under which a troll lives who will eat your soul, or in the very least shank you and take your wallet.

So why does it still hang around? Why do we still encourage comparative thinking to come with us on dates, go through everyone’s monthly paychecks and secretly glance sideways in the changing room at the leisure park? Why don’t we just obliterate this thought process entirely and all feel better in the knowledge that, compared to when we were comparing things all the time, we’re much more mature and rounded people. Well, aside from the obvious point of impossibility, it’s never going to be as simple as wiping this nature out from out collective psyche with a Brillo pad, but the analogy perseveres and I’ll endeavor to provide some clearer reasoning with a little bit more rambling.

There are some positives you can glean from comparative thinking, but you do have to be made aware of the problems, the slip holes of logic that you’re likely to find while navigating my minefield of visual metaphors. Logic isn’t taken as a class in school, this point made abundantly clear if you take a glance at any glamor magazine or car design. We don’t really attach ourselves to logical, coherent lifestyles, we’re not Vulcans, and as such we make silly emotionally tied decision trees.

Logic is one of those strange self imposed developments. It’s something we’re expected to have, and only a few people I know are abundantly wealthy in. So here I am, saving all of you the trouble of learning from your mistakes by learning from mine, if you’re engaged and receptive at least. If not, this might still prove and entertaining for couple of minutes at least.

Comparative thinking also breeds the shared guilt logic that so horrified

Comparative thinking can be a positive thing, of course, when you think about how much better off you are compared to all those hungry orphans stuck in Oxfam adverts, but in the greater part it seems to be used in a negative, jealous manner.
Just to clarify, this post has not been finished (and is likely to remain this way until further notice).


About James

Uberbeard, otherwise known as James Crawford has just graduated from the Arts University Bournemouth, taking a course in Interactive Media. He's known to enjoy washing, eating and sleeping.

2 responses to “Comparitive Thinking

  1. Interesting idea, although I would argue against the notion that making comparisons leads to a “grass is always greener…” disposition. Comparisons are integral to decision making. You can’t make a decision without weighing up several options. Visceral emotions, like jealously, seep into reasoning and skew its perspective. It is not the sound to assert that that reasoning progresses to an emotion. Logic and emotion are quite separate, although do interact.

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May 2009
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