When I was in high school, and just learning how to drive, I always played a trick that allowed me to play my music louder in the car. My mom would tell me to turn the music down, and I would accidentally turn it up first, ever so briefly. I'd then turn it back down to about the same level it was at before, and it was hardly noticed.
Eventually my mom figured the trick out, so I adjusted, turning it down to a level slightly higher, then turning it down to the original level when she pointed out the slightly higher level wasn't me turning it down.
There's something about listening to the music louder for just a brief instance that makes the previous volume seem normal. You heard a higher extreme, and that allowed you to adjust to the previous level. That level is no longer as powerful...
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