Comparing Apples To Oranges: Learning About Stuff Through Relativism

In the search for pertinent information about different products or just ‘stuff’ in general, there’s some benefit to comparing things that would otherwise overlook each other. For example, you can compare one kind of apple to every other kind of apple, and there would be some set of consistency involved in the results.

But, sometimes comparative information can lead you to new places if you smash together things that don’t really belong. You can get insights by opening up the creative rather than analytical part of your brain. A few examples that follow that thought process might be things like comparing lawnmowers and Indy cars, microphones and their knockoffs, computer software in different environments, and even different dietary needs for similar people. Meditate on it.

Lawnmowers and Indy Cars

Want to know more about high-quality lawnmowers? Feel free to compare them to Indy cars. If that sounds a little abstract, step back for a second to realize that some of the engineering may be quite similar in fact, and the observation of how well engines and parts run under stressful conditions. Already, you have more respect for the mower that matches those criteria.

Microphones of the Same Name

In the music industry, there are violent fights about the quality of microphones. Cost, branding, quality of accessories, environmental conditions – engineers will bicker their entire lives about what they believe to be the best. But outside of comparing one mic to another, you can compare an original design with a complete knockoff copy for some interesting thought processes. A classic example might be to put a Shure 57 next to a carbon copy of it that somehow costs 1/3 of the price. Education all around in that one.

Software In Different Operating Systems

You can compare computer operating systems all day long. And you can compare different types of software all day long. But one comparison that give you a lot of extra data is that same type of software on different operating systems. If you’ve ever used the Adobe Creative Cloud on both the Mac and PC systems, you’ll see major differences in terms of how your workflow is going to function. That’s a good point to ponder in itself when you consider making your next computer purchase.

Diets For People With Different Lifestyles

In another apples to oranges shout-out, think about the diet world. A nutritionist guru would tell two people that are 150 pounds to lose weight depending on their common height, but what if one person was extremely active, and then other one worked in an office all day? Thought like  that will work to give you a broad perspective about why you should approach situations systematically rather than as a consequence of a single variable.

Anna Johansson
Anna is a freelance writer and researcher from the Olympia, WA area who loves to obsess about weird topics and then write about them. When she isn't writing, she is outside on her bike and comtemplating her eventual trip to graduate school.

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