Ramblings of a Tampa engineer
black bird on black metal post during daytime
Photo by Tolga Ulkan / Unsplash

A few weeks ago my 2019 Hyundai Sonata seized again on the way home from trivia - this time I was pretty lucky to abruptly coast/stop in a turn lane. This at least kept me out of blocking traffic even if multiple times someone pulled in behind me and honked at me. I don't understand what people think a stopped car with hazards on means and what honking will accomplish.

The long and short of that is I ended up with a new 2023 Hyundai Sonata and sold the busted car back to the dealership before this type of incident escalated even further. Losing power breaking and steering isn't exactly the easiest thing to control so I'd been so far lucky to not cause any accidents.

The next day I'm having a conversation with a friend and they mention some some unlucky event that occurred for them. Childish of me looking back at it used that chance to mention some unlucky events that happened to me instead. It seemed like I was trying to 1-up a sucky situation by comparing the events together.

On the extreme side I once was complaining that it was raining while I was trying to grill. This got me a response of - "At least you have a grill" which was an odd thing I felt like for someone to say. I ended up discovering a workaround so I could continue grilling without water cooling down my cook.

grilling in rain technique.

So I researched what that is described as, because it has to be something. I stumbled upon the fallacy of relative privation.

The fallacy of relative privation rejects an argument by stating the existence of a more important problem. The existence of such a worse issue, the fallacy insists, thereby makes the initial argument irrelevant. This fallacy is also known as the appeal to worse problems or “not as bad as”.

It felt like I found the fallacy that explained this situation if I stretched the explanation to fit this specific example. During that research though it became interesting to me discovering how some researchers say "everything is relative".

It started to click immediately with me especially when discussing the weather in Florida. For the natives who have only lived here the summers are insanely humid and hot - that is true also for newly moved Floridians. The difference being after spending years and years in the brutal cold with snow - you start to appreciate the heat only because you've really experienced cold.

Probably why our learning starts so slow at birth - with no previous experiences to relate knowledge with we must learn things one by one to develop a bank of relationships. Probably makes sense why schools hit such a wide variety of topics in order to develop the brain with a solid set of related things to reflect back on.

I guess that is what makes us human - since if we all collectively had some combined singular experience we'd all perceive things the same. It's that we all experience things differently and thus relate to things differently that makes us human.

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