Thursday, July 26, 2012

Is There A Such Thing As A Grateful Group?

A couple of groups have had their status raised substantially (primarily by the reduction of their status penalty) within society within my memory.  One such group is blacks and another is the non-neurotypical/geek/nerd group.  Does either group act grateful that society has reduced substantially the status hit (in the case of the latter), or effectively given a bonus (in the case of the former) to its social standing?

Obviously the answer is no.  It's kind of funny honestly, even a group with a high fraction of non-neurotypicals is still pretty collectively short on gratitude.  But perhaps there's more to it than this.  Think about it---what's the killer app of high status?

Yes, it makes men treat you a bit more deferentially, but, the big deal is that it, in the immortal words of Londo, makes women 'come to find you attractive'.
If we look at what a geek with poor neurotypical emulation got back in the early 60s in terms of the SMP/MMP, versus today, what do we see?
Well, we see that he might have been able to boost his standing from the 40th percentile to perhaps as high as the 70th---solid 'Greater Beta' territory in Roissy's taxonomy, or high Delta in Vox's.

But the incredible increase in obesity from then to now swallowed up all of his gains.  The women his present day version gets now are no hotter than the ones his 60s counterpart got back then, despite lots of effective social climbing through the 'emancipation of the geek'.

The black guy is more or less in the same boat---perhaps even more so given that black women in the US have even higher obesity rates than do white women.  Not only that, the black man's lowered social status back then relative to society as a whole hurt him a lot less, because he effectively had a separate, parallel, and captive SMP/MMP.  As a rule, barring a few exceptions, he didn't have to compete with white guys for the best looking black women.  There's a bit more blurring of that market now, but honestly not a whole lot more, especially in the MMP.

Are groups annoyed because they've gotten a promotion that seems purely nominal---like a job promotion that doesn't carry any meaningful raise?


Anonymous said...

Why are nerds low status in the first place? Blacks I get, but nerds have never made sense.

Jehu said...

Nerds are low status because they're not very socially adept and frequently value other things moreso than status itself. The status level hit that you take for being a nerd/geek/etc has declined fairly substantially since the 60s. You take a far smaller hit now even than in the 80s. It is still really hard for someone with said handicap to break into the upper 90s in terms of status percentiles, but 80th-90th isn't really out of reach.

Anonymous said...

I think the reason is that both of these groups feel that their status boost was "earned and deserved", not something that was given to them. So blacks believe they were not given a status boost, rather all that marching means they TOOK a status boost from reluctant white people.

With nerds they ended up making money off technology so they also feel like they TOOK it for themselves. Certainly those guys giving them wedgies in school didn't give them the status they achieved in adulthood.

Obviously, the latter has done a lot more earning and deserving then the former. This is the narrative for both as I know it.

Jehu said...

Societies are free to give and deny status for any reasons they want. Even being rich isn't a guarantee of status---lots of societies have looked down on rich merchants for instance. I guess when speaking of status, deserve has little to do with it. Instead it's more a matter of persuading society to put someone ELSE in the back of the bus. I don't have any issue with groups advocating for this, I just object to the claim of moral authority in that regard.

Anonymous said...

"Obviously, the latter has done a lot more earning and deserving then the former."

Not really obvious there, as an aside maybe the loss to feminism has been greater than the gain from equal rights for black men. After all while lynchings are down imprisonment and land whales are massively up, bus use isn't all it's cracked up to be even at the front and being able to vote between someone who will steal from you and someone who wants to lock you up is a bit of a meh.

Anonymous said...

Well, blacks have done nothing since the 60s, probably gotten worse. Nerds invented pretty much all computer technology and engineering gains since the 60s.