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June 23, 2020 / Congau


A loss can only be repaired if you get the item back. Any kind of indirect compensation will always fail to be realistic, but we still tend to have a superstitious belief that one thing can be transformed into another even if their natures are totally different.

The most flexible object of transformation is money. In our mind everything can be changed into money and everything has a price. True, we are not always that far off, since admittedly there are a few things that money can actually do. When we had no great attachment to the lost object, a pile of bank notes might be instrumental to restoring pretty much the selfsame thing; If your car is just a means of transportation, any vehicle will do, so if it’s wrecked, money will get it back, more or less.

But you may choose to purchase something completely different and still feel compensated. When the marketplace value is approximately the same, you get the odd idea that the two objects also have the same value for you. You appreciate one as much as the other because that invisible hand pointed a finger at both, told you they were identical, and you believed. Isn’t that rather superstitious?

The discrepancy should be all the more glaring when it comes to things that have nothing in common whatsoever. The loss of health and even of life is also furnished with a monetary value as insurance companies act as wizards and accomplish a metamorphosis that defies all logic. What’s the connection between the loss of a pair of legs and a sum of money, however large? How can the life of a dear relative in any way be measured as a number in a bank account?

It’s not just that life or eyesight is of such a great value, it is completely incompatible with anything else. Even if you would be prepared to cut off a finger for a tidy sum, there is just no connection.

And what about the opposite kind of compensation: Damage inflicted on the evildoer? How can that really give relief?

A compensation that doesn’t bring back the loss is an illusion.

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