Status Anxiety as a Service – Noahpinion

[…] I think it leaves out something important — the status-conferring role of reply-tweets, and the social role of the people who write them. Reply-tweets very rarely go viral — they have almost zero chance of conferring the kind of clout Eugene describes — but people spend much of their time on Twitter replying to the things they read. Being able to reply to high-status people, whether they want you to or not, is a heady status-conferring experience. You can say mean shit to the most famous Hollywood movie star, and there’s nothing he can do about it. Or you can say something nice, and hopefully get a reply or a shout-out. This puts you on a plane of near-equality with people who otherwise tower over the social landscape.

*Near-*equality, but not equality! Chris Pratt may respond to you on Twitter, but at the end of the day he’s still Chris Pratt and you’re not. A 20-follower account might successfully dunk on a 200,000-follower account, but at the end of the day one has 200,000 followers and the other has 20.

This can be maddening. Twitter creates the instantaneous illusion of social equality between influencers and normal people, but then it periodically reminds you that it’s an illusion. When you’re in the replies, giving hell to a famous person who made a bad take or having a conversation with your hero, it seems like a radical leveling of human society. But as soon as the reply-thread is over, the high-status person simply sails back off into the high-status clouds, and you crash back down into the low-status muck.

[…] unspoken social rule seems driven by Twitter’s unique creation of momentary status-equality illusions. Low-follower folks want to preserve the feeling of sudden elevation they get from dunking on a big account; if the big guy returns fire, it’s a brutal reminder of how fake that moment of equality really was.

Sniffing Out New Friends: Similarity in Body-Odor Predicts the Quality of Same-Sex None-Romantic Dyadic Interactions


Most are familiar with the notion of socially “clicking” with someone, namely sensing an immediate bond that can lead to strong and often long-lasting friendships. The mechanisms underlying such rapid bonding remain unclear. Given that body-odor similarity is a critical cue for social interaction in non-human mammals, we tested the hypothesis that body-odor similarly contributes to bonding in same-sex non-romantic human dyads. We observed that objective ratings obtained with an electronic nose, and subjective ratings obtained from human smellers, converged to suggest that click-friends smell more similar to each other than random dyads. Remarkably, we then found that we could use the electronic nose to predict which strangers would later form better dyadic interactions. Thus, humans may literally sniff-out new friends based on similarities in body-odor.

May I please sniff you? It’s for compatibility, I promise…

This week in Tweets #6

The tweets at the bottom of the post are interesting. It’s about Covid-19.

Weir everywhere

If I ever were to write a tv episode it would have looked mostly like this.

The Fuck You pattern

This is a short story about dark patterns. Which are user-hostile UX decisions.

“Wow, fuck you. I just wanted to look at cats.”
“Well, fuck you, too. We’re here to sell ads.”

It’s not about dark patterns, that’s just a second-order effect. It was never about dark patterns.

This is the implied agreement. You understand it, or you don’t. And if you don’t, I guess you haven’t been on the web in the past decade or something.

What? You thought it was fair that a company spends millions in technical infrastructure and staffing so you can sit at home and spend your time looking at cats for free? No, they have your attention and they’re going to connect you to organizations who will pay for it.

andrewmcwatters on Hackernews

A hotel review of Tawaraya Ryokan in Kyoto, Japan

This is a hotel review of a traditional Japanese inn, a Ryokan. It features one of the oldest Ryokans and what I found fascinating was how different it is from a classical hotel. All food is served in your room. The sparse yet elegant room changes depending on what you need it for, sleep, tv, etc.

There is no lobby and barely a small aisle which passes as a reception area. That’s about the time when you will first remember your luggage that still should be in the taxi. But no worries – by the time you reach your room it will already be waiting for you. How that feat is possible, I do not know, though, since you are taking the only route to your room and it certainly will not pass you.

On my way out one of the porters silently approached me and said: “Schwarze-sama, we checked the weather forecast andthere will be rain this evening. So here is an umbrella to take along. Also, we took the liberty of reserving a table at that restaurant you wanted to go. Oh and last thing: here is a city plan for you where we already detailed down the way to Fushimi Inari.” It goes without saying that the guy responsible for my shoes already set out my hiking shoes and not one of my city or evening shoes. Even he knew of my plans.

It’s worth reading the review and looking at the pictures.