Tuesday, August 31, 2004

The Social Dilemma

Either mix or don't mix. If you mix, you must move to the level of your companions, which is usually to move down. If you don't mix, then they will hate you for being a snob. So you either degrade yourself or incur their dislike.

Mixing a little is no real solution, since they will resent you for not mixing a lot. Any attempted distancing will be perceived as a slight.

A social pariah does not face the social dilemma, but then neither does he reap any of the benefits of communal living.

Familiarity breeds contempt, but aloofness breeds the opposite, envious dislike.