navigating a world which feels like gravity is working in reverse

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logarithmic scales in life

Walk inside on a sunny day and you generally can see indoors without too much fuss (unless there is something wrong with your eyes).  This is because your pupils dilate.  The scale of light is actually logarithmic.  There is orders of magnitude more light outside than there is in a closed off room inside.  This can be most clearly seen by taking a picture indoors that has a window to the outside.  The outdoor portions wash out in white.

I feel there are other things that operate on a logarithmic scale, chief among them suffering.  A lot of us experience a lot of slow burn misery when our lives are not actually very bad at all.  What makes things bad is we are living inside of our head and reading about the nation which is in a slow motion train wreck.  However once a tragedy strikes or we are sick or experience distressing physical pain suddenly our life is orders of magnitude worse but we often don’t feel that all the way.  I have in my life been under pretty serious physical pain which led to an eventual psychotic break.  My life was much worse then than it is now but my mood was only somewhat worse.  Of course some of this has to do with the fact that when you are in a lot of pain your stress response kicks in so you don’t feel as bad during it but the bill eventually comes later.

The second thing I think works on a logarithmic scale is status (particularly for males).  The (now former) friends of mine that are high status have orders of magnitude more than me (CEO’s and senior engineers verses me fighting for scraps on the informal economy).  Another proof that the status curve is logarithmic is the Redpill trope that women are going after the top 10 or 20 percent of men and ignoring the bottom 50 percent entirely.  If what made men desirable wasn’t distributed logarithmically I don’t think you would see this so pronounced.