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"Fashion" vs "Status"
I’m constantly looking for the most compressed way to say things — conveying the most meaning in the least syllables.
I’ve been using the words “status” and “fashion” a bit interchangeably so far. Sorry about that, but there might be good reason:
Status is an end that is often valued at the expense of truth. Fashion is a means to obtain status for oneself, or to manipulate the status of others.
Fashion also seems more specific than status. High-status describes The New York Times or Joe Rogan. Fashionable only describes the New York Times. Joe Rogan is still felt as a renegade, as outside the only status hierarchy that really matters — the one that shapes policy.
People can be fashionable without being high-status. Believing “the current thing” is fashionable, but plenty of low-status people do it. Being fashionable doesn’t make you high-status, it merely signals your membership in the status-seeking hierarchy. It says “I’m playing the status game, not the truth game.” Thus, the word “fashion” applies to the battles fought by everyone, not just those fought by high-status people. Everyone fighting for truth is fighting against fashion, regardless of status.
Truth vs status has some flaws: It sounds like only high-status people bear responsibility, instead of everyone. It sounds like “just tear down all authority.”
Truth vs fashion seems better because it describes the choice we each face, regardless of our status.