Depends if you are baking a cake, keeping a body working, building a sun, going to sleep, swimming in the sea, cuddling, bathing, making snow angels or basking.
It’s definitely a very context specific thing.
I think a world with only temperature would break pretty quickly, it’s one of those ridiculously important cycles of change that keep everything ticking over, both in your brain and outside of that. Having said that, the whole world has different patterns and humans adjust fairly easier, so maybe it just doesn’t matter.
That’s the miracle of homeostasis.
Personally, for my environment, I like it hot but with a cool breeze. At night I like to be wrapped up in too many layers but with a window open enough that the air is sharp. That way I can keep myself cosy and then selectively pierce my body parts with chills.
Cool air is gorgeous, wrapping around your skin and pressing you awake. But then sun lifts spirits and makes the world feel magical.
Real cold, snow and rain, reminds us all about cosiness and fun and being with others, cuddling and collecting and playing for warmth.
I’m happy in most temperatures. Too hot probably does me more damage than too cold. Once I start baking in the sun my brain starts to slow and I start to get aches and whinges. Too cold just demands that you be prepared.
Of course, I suspect historically, before the blight of civilisation bought us jackets and crampons, it was cold that killed more people than heat. I could be miles wrong on that, maybe fire was enough.
I think you can expand those thoughts to a lot of things. It’s not about creating ideals, but it’s about knowing how to balance out extremes. How to enjoy different parts of a spectrum without freezing solid or melting. You need to create some kind of personal homeostasis in all things.
This is not the same as moderation, but if means paying attention to bodily feedback.
And other feedback, in other systems.
I think we’ll find out soon if society, or humanity, whichever survives longest, has it’s homeostatic equipment set up with enough checks and balances. The world is about to get a lot hotter, for a start, and that’s something we can’t cool easily.
Finding ways to adapt is possible though, it’s just a question of how well we’ll do it, and what we’ll end up changing. What is the global society scale equivalent of taking off any long sleeves, putting on some sunscreen and buying a large hat? Will it be enough for everyone? Are we actually going to bother, or are we just going to burn lobster red and then walk around in peeling agony for a days after?
I probably don’t want an answer to a lot of those questions, but we’ll get them soon.
I’ll try and remain optimistic. But it’s trickier to do that the more complex a system.
Interesting times though. Right?
Illustration by Jaime.