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what's remarkable then is that it does so in such a clear and erudite manner that nearly every part of it--and it follows the whole would--makes sense. fundamentally.
it offers no cure for status anxiety (as there isn't one) but it does give great insight into its roots, and some of the ways people have managed ...more
First of all, a gentle reminder to everyone who approaches a "philosophical" book like this one: all this rationalizing of reality can be helpful sometimes, but it is often overestimated, especially by academics. Even though it should be obvious, people tend to forget that reality stays exactly the same, with or without philosophical analys ...more
I love comparitive philosophy. I especially love it when it's well-researched and well-written. Alain's style is conversational and informative but he doesn't come of sounding academic and esoteric. You learn from his research that our modern day obsession with 'stuff' isn't a modern convention.
I loved this book and re ...more
It was with this particular instance in mind that I approached Status A ...more
The book's a short philosophical exercise that goes through causes, and then solutions, of anxiety we feel about status. Both run the gamut from religion, politics, lovelessness, history, and other ways of looking at how we've looked at life over the last couple millennia. Do we pu ...more
Underwhelmed. Botton is erudite, eloquent, wide-ranging, interested and interesting. He claims that we are consumed by status, and status anxiety, because we lack something more profound than the material satisfactions can hope to be. Veritas. He offers quite a few alternatives to the snobbery and mendacity which is obvious to many, if not most, in conspicuous consumption.
But that's sort of the problem- it's all possibility, perspective. Botton diagnoses the problem, surely, and has a lot of le ...more
Completely different to 'On Love' and 'The Consolations of Philosophy' (thanks Peter at congnatum.com for putting me on to Alain de Botton), the basic idea that our current system of measuring people on a scale of wealth (an ...more
I wish I had understood this earlier in life, because it explains so much about human behavior: schoolyard bullies, how people flirt in nightclubs, and the rituals of kings, governments, and religions.
A major point in the book is that "status anxiety" is ...more
Living in hypercompetitive Silicon Valley and having experience ...more
In the personal life sphere, the status anxiety is fueled by the slogan such as "be the best you can be", the triumphant pursue of American dreams of bigger house, better clothes, and most often the envy ...more
Maybe it's schadenfreude, but there's nothing wrong with validation on our natural human feelings of insecurity, especially given today's economic state. de Botton never gets too preachy as his premise is grounded in several historical exa ...more
Like in many of his other works, de Botton draws effortlessly from Western art, literature, and philosophy to make larger points about social structures and the human condition — the sort of thing I, as an overeager under ...more
We care about our status for a simple reason: because most people tend to be nice to us according to the amount of status we have (it is no coincidence that the first question we tend to be asked by new acquaintances is ‘ What do you do?’). With the help of philos ...more
The strongest chapters discuss how we perceive status as a comparative idea, and how what is consid ...more
"Status Anxiety," on the other hand ...more
A kind and relevant reminder, which is sympathetic and a thoroughly useful self-help book in grasping and dealing with the insecurities which affect most people regardless of their social status. An exploration of the possible causes and solutions to status anxiety. Initially, exemplified by the end of unconditional love leading to lovelessness. Secondly by snobbery which is characterised by childish often juvenile notions of belonging such as only being interested in people who are not interest ...more
Well, let me tell you what this book is all about.
First and foremost, it doesn't give you a solution to your status anxiety.For that you will have to go somewhere else. However, it does give you an in-depth analysis and histories about Status. So that is one more thing... It has a lot about history and the ways the meaning to Status has change ...more
Anyone who’s ever lost sleep over an unreturned phone call or the neighbor’s Lexus had better read Alain de Botton’s irresistibly clear-headed new book, immediately. For in its pages, a master explicator of our civilization and its discontents turns his attention to the insatiable quest for status, a quest that has less to do with material comfort than with love. To demonstrate his thesis, de Botton ranges through Western history and thought from St. Augustine to Andrew Carnegie and Machiavelli
Today, he says, we tell ourselves a different sort of story: that any person can rise and fall based on merit. The results tell a story back to us, about ourselves and our neig ...more
He is a writer of essayistic books, which refer both to his own experiences and ideas- and those of artists, philosophers and thinkers. It's a style of writing that has been termed a 'philosophy of everyday lif ...more