Saturday, March 11, 2017

To check your signaling

Spandrell is brilliant. "Check your signaling," he advises.
The smarter leftists are deep in self-reflection, constantly wondering “how did I get this wrong? How did we all miss [the possibility that Donald Trump might win]?”.

I thought a new slogan to say to these people.

Check Your Signaling.

Yes, Shlomo. You lost your bets because you were busy signaling. Every time you say something stupid we’ll be there to tell you: Check your signaling. Because we know. We know you’re full of [nonsense]. And the thing is, we know you know it too. You’re a smart guy. You just need somebody to remind you. To shame you on your fawning to the elite. To shame you on your greedy status-seeking. To shame you on your signaling.
So true.

Spandrell rightly speaks of "elites," "fawning" and "signaling." Tangentially, though, what I find interesting is that the Alt Right has developed its own elite, its own fawners, and its own status signaling. Alt Right status signaling is different, but it exists, and it seems to be growing more prevalent. Currently in vogue is to signal status by thumping one's virtual online chest, boasting about how "beta" some other male is.

Actually, I don't necessarily think that Alt Right status signaling is a bad thing. I like the Alt Right. American society needs more young men to aspire to alpha status. It's just kinda funny. That's all.

Maybe all prospering societies above some minimum size necessarily develop status signaling, just as a side effect. Against all odds, the Alt Right has grown above that minimum size, hence the manly chest thumping.

I shall try to avoid signaling in this blog. I'll probably fail, since signaling is so often implicit in almost every mode of communication, and since it is hard to avoid all hokum and cant; yet it seems worthwhile to try. When you catch me signaling, you can call me on it.

On another topic: if you haven't already, check out this video of Kyle Chapman, Berkeley's Alt Knight. There is one who has earned the right to thump his chest, don't you think?

1 comment:

  1. Some reader demands to know why I fail to condemn Spandrell for writing an ethnic slur. Answer: how Spandrell writes is how he writes; he's smart and has interesting things to say. The reader's demand against Spandrell is exactly what is wrong with the respectable Right: the respectables are more interested in purity purges than in learning, or doing, anything useful. That's not my game.