Friday, November 11, 2011

Good and bad preening

David Brooks writes about the many kinds of inequality -- and about the interesting fact that some are more acceptable/fashionable than others.  It's OK to flaunt your academic credentials but not the resulting income or wealth unless they are spent in politically acceptable/correct ways.

There are also health inequalities, longevity inequalities, contentment inequalities and many others.  Brooks offers a longer list.  There is good preening and bad preening. Robin Hanson notes that there is a battle for accepteable vs unacceptable status displays with winners and losers.

Of course.  Have you ever wondered why and how wealthy entertainers have the gall to show up at OWC events and get away with it?  Have you ever wondered how wealth-bashing leftist politicians have the chutzpah to hang out with rich Hollywood celebs?

But the status biz is tricky.  Vogue had to do a PR dance re it's breathless coverage of Syria's First Lady when it became clear that her other half was just another murderous tyrant.   And who can forget all the fun Tom Wolfe had with the NYC radical chic?