Comments on: The Relativity Mind Trap: How Comparisons Can Lead Us Astray https://litemind.com/relativity/ Exploring ways to use our minds efficiently. Mon, 16 Dec 2013 07:19:11 +0000 hourly 1 By: Luciano Passuello https://litemind.com/relativity/#comment-86003 Sun, 07 Aug 2011 22:28:17 +0000 http://litemind.com/comparison/#comment-86003 That’s a great example of an everyday situation for the relativity trap… thanks for sharing! 🙂

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By: B.Stone https://litemind.com/relativity/#comment-85162 Sat, 30 Jul 2011 17:09:01 +0000 http://litemind.com/comparison/#comment-85162 Howdy, just recently came across your site earlier this week, and read this post today. Good stuff, and I just happen to be reading Predictably Irrational right now as well. Great book!

An example of relativity occurred to me the other day. I find that when I’m driving on a multi-lane highway, if there are cars in the other lanes next to me, I feel an urge to go faster than them. I know that’s irrational because if I was the lone car I would be more content with speeds closer to the speed limit. However as soon as a car is in front of me or beside me, the comparison of speed is automatic. So the same speed I’m content with alone becomes slow by comparison with others.

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By: Luciano Passuello https://litemind.com/relativity/#comment-84214 Mon, 11 Jul 2011 11:56:18 +0000 http://litemind.com/comparison/#comment-84214 Thanks for your kind words, Linda. 🙂

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By: Linda https://litemind.com/relativity/#comment-84174 Sun, 10 Jul 2011 18:46:43 +0000 http://litemind.com/comparison/#comment-84174 Hi Luciano!
What a great site you have. It’s obvious that you put a lot of original thinking and work into your posts. I love that they challenge the “status quo” way of thinking about things in your life. Your posts are insightful and the relativity mindtrap really caught my attention. I will definitely be back to be inspired to think outside the box.

Your universal friend,
Linda

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By: Luciano Passuello https://litemind.com/relativity/#comment-81891 Thu, 16 Jun 2011 13:22:06 +0000 http://litemind.com/comparison/#comment-81891

relativity MAY be misleading, I think that the proper evaluation depends on the context. Absolute thinking can be just as misleading as relative thinking.

I agree 100% with you, Cybvep! Your last paragraph especially sums it all up very nicely. There’s no right or wrong way of thinking, just ways that serve us best at each situation. The coolest thing is to be aware of the many ways of thinking (and its associated benefits and traps), and switching them in your mind at will.

Thank you so much for sharing your insights!

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By: Cybvep https://litemind.com/relativity/#comment-81620 Tue, 14 Jun 2011 14:34:04 +0000 http://litemind.com/comparison/#comment-81620 An interesting article, but I’m not sure that I’m entirely convinced. Relativity may be misleading in some cases, but it can also lead to happiness and in fact, it can be useful in decision-making in many cases.

Relativity is so strongly affecting our lives and is so important that even the economy is relative. Let’s say that person A lives in India and person B lives in the USA. Both have 50000 dollars, so thinking in absolute terms, they have the same amount of money. However, person A can get much, much more for these 50k bucks than person B because of the greater purchasing power of 50k dollars in India. Therefore, you have to apply relativity here in order to get a proper comparison.

However, even if we adjust the values for purchasing power, I bet that the A will still be happier than the B. Why? Because you HAVE to take your “neighbourhood” into account if you want to evaluate your situation fully. There are many people who have 50k (or much more) in the USA and it’s not necessarily the case in India (although it’s changing fast). Therefore, you will simply appreciate your bucks much more in India than in the USA, just as you would appreciate your exam results more if you got a B and the rest of the class/school/country mostly got Ds and Es than in the case when you got a B, but other students mostly got As and Bs.

Moreover, there are situations when disregarding the importance of relativity is simply foolish and can prevent you from getting the most out of your strengths. Let’s say that there is a tropical island with 100 people on it and 99 people are blind, while you are one-eyed. In absolute terms, you only have one eye. That’s terrible! However, relatively speaking, you have a massive advantage over all those blind people. Another example is when two armies battle each other and your army has 20 WWII-era tanks while the other army has no tanks. One can say – hey, those tanks are obsolete by now! Sure, they are and in most modern battles they would be useless. However, relatively speaking, you still have an advantage over the enemy in the mentioned case, because he lacks sth which you doesn’t.

All in all, while I found the article interesting and agree that relativity MAY be misleading, I think that the proper evaluation depends on the context. Absolute thinking can be just as misleading as relative thinking.

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By: Baker https://litemind.com/relativity/#comment-80192 Sat, 21 May 2011 03:13:21 +0000 http://litemind.com/comparison/#comment-80192 Nicely done post. Yes, trying to compare ones’ self to what everyone else is doing is a trap, that can be avoided by simply being oneself and enjoying the process of life helps out a lot.

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By: Luciano Passuello https://litemind.com/relativity/#comment-80056 Tue, 17 May 2011 12:53:13 +0000 http://litemind.com/comparison/#comment-80056 It’s not just the complexity of the calculations, but the plain inability to do them. One thing I (purposefully) neglected in the article is the concept of uncertainty. For every decision between doing something now versus doing something later, people will tend to pick the ‘now’ option, as it has less uncertainly (e.g. there’s no risk of driving in the wrong direction, etc.)
Thanks for the comment!

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By: Mike G. https://litemind.com/relativity/#comment-79930 Fri, 13 May 2011 15:08:40 +0000 http://litemind.com/comparison/#comment-79930 I really like the articles in this website. This one makes me think a little about other things as well not mentioned in the article, about the pen and the suit. If you save 15$ on a pen but you have to drive for 15 min you spend gas + time if you drive 15 min in the wrong direction you actually spend 30 min, + 5 min in the store to find the item in any case. So in a sense you have to do many calculations in your head to make a decision if it’s worth it which could also take 5 or so min.
Just my thoughts, thanks for reading.

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By: Craig https://litemind.com/relativity/#comment-79262 Fri, 29 Apr 2011 02:52:27 +0000 http://litemind.com/comparison/#comment-79262 Sadly, most of the traps that we fall into are strategically placed by marketing firms. Think about Apple. They make such slight changes to different products that the main reason people buy the upgrade is for aesthetics. Great article and nice awareness around he issue

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