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Ambient heat vs a point source

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Greta
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Ambient heat vs a point source

Post by Greta » July 3rd, 2018, 7:13 pm

An oddity rather than anything philosophical:

This morning I chastised myself for using the gas heater when the Sun was up and I could be using the solar panels for clean, free heat. I forgave myself because it is deepest winter and before long heating won't be needed. At that point I felt a small sense of mourning for the cosiness that a gas heater brings.

Which raised the question - why does being warmed by fire feels more beautiful than ambient warmth?

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LuckyR
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Re: Ambient heat vs a point source

Post by LuckyR » July 4th, 2018, 2:36 am

Because raising the temperature of the small percentage of your volume that can detect heat directly, higher than the ambient temperature feels warmer than the effect of this limited heat to your total body (by definition).
"As usual... it depends."

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Greta
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Re: Ambient heat vs a point source

Post by Greta » July 4th, 2018, 7:52 pm

Looking at the dog this morning - it seems that getting really warm and then cooling down is more pleasurable than constant warmness. If the room was the same temperature as directly in front of the heater it would be unbearable.

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LuckyR
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Re: Ambient heat vs a point source

Post by LuckyR » July 5th, 2018, 2:25 am

Exactly, you can't appreciate hot without experiencing cold, in this case simultaneously.
"As usual... it depends."

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chewybrian
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Re: Ambient heat vs a point source

Post by chewybrian » July 5th, 2018, 5:52 am

Greta wrote:
July 4th, 2018, 7:52 pm
Looking at the dog this morning - it seems that getting really warm and then cooling down is more pleasurable than constant warmness. If the room was the same temperature as directly in front of the heater it would be unbearable.
Is there an implication about the nature of pleasure and pain, happiness or discontent? Do we need to suffer before we can really be happy? Do we experience certain levels of pleasures and pain, or only relative differences? Think about relative wealth and poverty. Two people may have identical incomes in real terms, yet one may appear wealthy relative to those around him, and one poor, and they probably experience their relative prosperity rather than the absolute truth. Does happiness work in this way as well?

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Greta
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Re: Ambient heat vs a point source

Post by Greta » July 5th, 2018, 6:02 pm

Brian, I suspect that you are right. A busman's holiday is famously not going to be on a bus. Whatever is familiar and easily available - such as regular ambient heat in some climes - is filtered out, ignored. The variance brings our attention to proceedings.

Yet, without the capacity to ignore the (apparently) prosaic, no progress would be made. Humans seem to pay for their extra capacities with a kind of numbness - a relative lack of spontaneity and emotionalism.

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