Relativity

Happy New Year to all you Deep Thinkers! We'll start 2013 not with talk of Einstein's theory, but instead with the idea of how humans have a persistent habit of measuring the worth of their lives relative to that of others around them. We've all had instances where our successes are determined by how much better we do compared to our peers. We've also been in bad situations that are ameliorated by the thought that others have it much worse.

How often do you hear about the extremely low wages in most Third World countries? Or how the starving children of Cambodia would really appreciate those french fries you're throwing away? How can this lead to both healthy outcomes (living more economically, producing less waste, etc.) and detrimental ones ("keeping up with the Jones'" and seeing life as a zero-sum game)? And is this a distinctly human trait? Lastly, I have always been amazed and/or impressed by those who seem to be able to shirk this tendency, although I suspect that everyone is tempted by this habit at some time or another.

Bring your appetites and your insight into how relativity plays a part in your life, and to what purpose.

 

I'm reminded of W.C. Fields' epitaph: "All things considered, I'd rather be in Philadelphia."

Join or login to comment.

  • Sam

    Thank you for having me. It was a great learning opportunity to listen to different perspectives.

    January 14, 2013

  • Larry S.

    Grrrrreat!!!

    January 13, 2013

  • Todd K.

    Fantastic!

    January 13, 2013

  • Nelson A.

    Intelligent, cordial people, stimulating subject! Thanks!

    January 13, 2013

  • Jeremy Inglesi J.

    hi I'm very interested in attending if anyone is coming from the Van Nuys area I'm literally across the street from the airport, would love to connect for a ride share, -Jeremy

    January 12, 2013

  • Raymond F.

    Dogs and cats do it.

    January 2, 2013

  • Chris

    One of the key books in this area is Thorstein Veblen's The Theory of the Leisure Class written in 1899. An interesting historical perspective on that culture and I think helps to explain modern patterns. Such as why so many parents these days in the middle class are doing the same kind of things that only wealthy people did when we were children, e.g. private secondary, university, pre-school, and tutoring.

    1 · January 2, 2013

  • Jennifer and A.

    Sorry, we'll be out of the country until the 17th. Enjoy the meetup.

    January 2, 2013

38 went

People in this
Meetup are also in:

Create a Meetup Group and meet new people

Get started Learn more
Allison

Meetup has allowed me to meet people I wouldn't have met naturally - they're totally different than me.

Allison, started Women's Adventure Travel

Sign up

Meetup members, Log in

By clicking "Sign up" or "Sign up using Facebook", you confirm that you accept our Terms of Service & Privacy Policy