[extropy-chat] Signaling and Social Markers

Jef Allbright jef at jefallbright.net
Mon Jan 8 18:34:49 UTC 2007

Anna Taylor wrote:

> --- Jef Allbright <jef at jefallbright.net> wrote:
>> So, maybe there's an analogy between the clothing style
>> one presents and the communication style one presents.
>> For me they seem very different in terms of values, but
>> I can see that they each may be simply a layer over the self.
> I was wondering why "simply a layer over the self"?
> I would have thought it would be simply a layer aside of the self.
> A clothing style is a form of self communication when 
> you are wearing what you personaly choose to wear.
> Other times, it is simply standardized materials that 
> represent norms and behaviors such as a police 
> uniforms,surplices or business suits.
> Do you believe that with such materials that a person can be 
> influenced and changed simply due to what they are wearing? 

Anna, I completely agree with what you're saying here.  I was trying to
make essentially the same two points.

(1) In my original reply to Lee's post on clothing styles, I gave
examples of how I wore different styles of clothing during different
phases of my life, mainly in order to be effective in the particular
geo-social environment.  My point was similar to yours; that the
clothing was not intended to cover the self (didn't represent my

(2) I tried to acknowledge Lee's point that he had *not* changed his
clothing style and generally intends not to change it in the future, as
he seems to feel that it just wouldn't be him.  My point there (which
you quoted above) was that maybe an analogy *could* be made in the sense
that in some cases clothing does represent one's core values.

I confess that if the discussion had proceeded, I would have pointed out
the apparent correlation between Lee's concept of identity as something
that can and should be preserved, and my concept of identity as agency
representing an entity that can't be preserved but should and must grow.

- Jef

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