Why does proportion matter?

If you steal a pencil or pen from work, you may be a thief, but you certainly are much less of one compared to the colleague who steals a ream of paper every month. That is why judgment requires discerning. So, if you steal the pencil, that may have been the only one that your employer has for you to use for a period of time, but the colleague who steals all that paper, cost the employer more money than you did.

Proportion matters. What if it did not matter? Let me give an example: You treated all spices the same when you baked a cake, without regard to potency. Let’s say you used the same amount of salt as you did granulated sugar. Can it really make much a difference in flavor? I mean, doesn’t salt look like sugar? And, weigh the same as granulated sugar?

People who might not understand figures, by comparison, to other figures, have to better account and assess situations. This is critical in perception of crimes and in degree of punishment.

$100 may be an inconvenience fee to one person, and it might set back another person for months or even a whole year. It’s about time that we as a society get better at discerning degrees of difference, and how the degree determines outcomes.

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