Sunday, March 26, 2023

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    Conspicuous (non) consumption

    One way to show status is by demonstrating how many resources you have. A bespoke suit, a huge graduation party, a fancy building… A bully who physically intimidates or an angry driver who cuts you off in traffic are each working to show their status and strength.

    But it’s also possible to demonstrate security and confidence by doing precisely the opposite. The billionaire in a t-shirt. The person who holds the door open and lets you go first in line… these are also demonstrations of status.

    The interesting question isn’t whether someone has status. It’s whether they’re gutsy enough to demonstrate it by making things better for others.

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