The importance of social context.

The thoughts shared in this blog post are inspired from the book The Courage to Be Disliked, I highly recommend reading it.

What would happen if you lived alone on an island?

Money would be worthless. It only has value because we collectively value it; because of the social context. It's just paper after all.

Similarly, fashion is purely socially-driven. If you were to live on an island alone, you probably wouldn't care about wearing high-fashion brands. It costs you more, and is not necessarily more confortable than cheaper alternatives.

A significant part of the "diet-crowd" (keto, vegan, paleo,...) would probably stop following their diet, because it wouldn't benefit their social status anymore. This is also applies to meditation and other trendy "self-improvement" techniques, like body-building for example.

Don't get me wrong, a significant part of the people doing these things, whether it's following a specific diet, meditating or body-building, do it for "good" reasons. Health for example. However, a lot of people do these things because it's socially beneficial. People look up to someone who is capable of maintaining a diet as restrictive as the keto diet.

This isn't even to mention the spiritual "sector", where social status is king. After all, would your favorite guru still walk barefoot if he lived alone on an island? Probably not.

Finally, a lot of people would realize the lack of reasons to have an overly ambitious career, or to become rich. There is no point after all, except to have a higher social status, or because you like the process.


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