All of Meli's Comments + Replies

I think the way we process information of any kind involves making comparisons. We wouldn't be able make any distinctions at all without some sort of internal calculation that allows us to understand where one entity ends and another begins, so advising people not to compare themselves to others strikes me as advice that is meant to be helpful, but that does not address the complexity of the human condition. I also don't think that we can rid ourselves of status concerns-there is evidence to suggest that these have been present in our evolutionar... (read more)

3Adam Zerner5y
I definitely see what you're saying about how we make comparisons when we process information, and that there is a strong evolutionary pressure for us to be concerned about social status. The thing that makes me feel hopeful is that when you look at humans, there's a pretty decent range of how much different people care about social status. Some care a lot, some only care a little. I wouldn't argue if someone were to claim that you can never 100% get rid of the concern for social status, but it does really seem to me that there is room for growth in terms of how much you care about it. Otherwise, what explains the fact that there is a spectrum of how much people care. Unless it is all genetic, it seems that there is a lot of room for people to improve. I think that's a really cool idea about society moving towards healthier comparisons. Without having thought deeply about it, my impression is that it'd be extremely difficult because of equilibrium stuff. If an individual actor starts to prioritize something like effort instead of accomplishment, no one is going to praise them, and they won't get social status points. It seems like something where you'd need to get a sizable group to all make a change at the same time, which is always tricky to do. Not to say that it isn't worth pursuing though.

I wanted to respond because your description of the reasons people give for not wanting to take medicine is related to the reasons I would rather not take it, but doesn't include some steps in the decision making process that led me to avoid the medicines. I see the world like this: Suffering increases the chances you will have experiences that are negative and uncomfortable which leads you to be more prone to do things that others don't like. Responding to this reality, psychological theorists have categorized people's responses to sufferi... (read more)