The gist of my comment there:
For me, envious comparison is a depression symptom, so when I read analyses of why it's not a good idea, even though I agree with them, I get the same feeling that I get when people tell depressed people to just cheer up.Going to Wiscon seems to have kicked me out of depression (yay!), so I am seeing "firecat's depressed brain" and "firecat's not-so-depressed brain" pretty clearly right now. When I am not depressed, I respond to people doing cool things with "Cool!" When I am depressed, I respond "That's cool, and I want to do something cool and I can't because nothing I do is ever cool, so I suck and I'm mad that they can do it and I can't." (For me, fortunately, this no longer leads into "And I hate the person." It has done so in the past though.)
Competing and comparing in and of themselves aren't bad, IMO. The problem is when they aren't consensual. Either because they pop into a person's head when the person doesn't want them, or because a person -- or a group or a whole society -- is trying to force another person to participate in them.
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