“As a primate, status hierarchies are a part of life, and when you remove yourself from the competition in the mainstream you just join the competition in the counterculture.”

You Are Not So Smart’s latest podcast is about the need for ‘authenticity’ in spectacular society.

There are myriad status hierarchies to suit every need. Unable to win at what you’re doing? Pick a new game! What clever primates we are!

The Rebel Sell : Why the Culture Can’t Be Jammed

Here’s the audio of a presentation from 2007 on the same topic. Here’s the NYT article on counterculture consumption mentioned early in the presentation.

I very much appreciated the obvious point in the Q&A about beauty as competitive behavior that bubbles up naturally based on obvious personal incentives rather than something imposed by advertising.

Obvious related earworm:

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