Status Anxiety

I caught the last 2/3 of the BBC documentary of Allain Botton’s book Status Anxiety on PBS, and enjoyed it. Botton, like a good philosopher, emphasized the electivity of status-seeking, which I liked. He was, however, even somewhat more optimistic than I think I am about the possibility of stoic detachment from the evaluations of others. I think a sensitivity to others’ opinion can help us guard against self-delusion. The trick is to pick the right people whose opinion you care about. The paradox is that the better you are at picking the right people, the less you probably need them to keep you grounded. Other than a pointless segment with a documentarian featuring annoying super-close-ups, I rather enjoyed it. Especially the shirtless hippie guy on the hippie farm who said while he understood the “dictionary definition” of status, but simply couldn’t comprehend it.