Why I am writing about this, what might seem to you, not-too-pressing subject? The answer is discovered below.
Before the reveal, an example of an ad hominem fallacy: “Facebook is not intelligently run because Mark Zuckerberg is rather plain in the looks department.” It’s the “because” that kills that argument because, of course, the visage of a man has little to do with his intelligence (there is even a slight negative correlation: hello Hollywood!).
An example of true proposition: “Mark Zuckerberg dresses like a negligent college student whose Friday night started late Thursday afternoon (hello CMU!).” Stating true propositions, simple statements of fact, is never a fallacy.
Here’s another: Zuckerberg has seven orders of magnitude more money than I: he rates thirty-some billion, whereas Yours Truly is rapidly approaching (but more usually receding from) multiple triple digits. A point of interest not because it is my duty to provide Facebook free content and Zuckerberg’s to profit from it, but because your author manages to invert the wealth ratio in terms of dress.
Meaning it costs very little to look beautiful. Zuckerberg has much, much more than very little, therefore he can afford to dress beautifully. And it is his duty to do so.
Zuckerberg has so much money that he can pay somebody to buy and take care of his clothes. Zuckerberg himself need never be involved,; he need take no more time than he currently takes in choosing his wardrobe, which is obviously no time at all, except for the microsecond it takes to grab what has fallen on the floor the night before.
One last assertion of fact: this result from a Google image search (one such is found at the top of this post).
Go ahead and try. You’ll see a limited range of images, most containing him in an ugly t-shirt in jeans, but occasionally wearing event-appropriate clothing. Which proves that he knows what it required of him, and sometimes acts on this requirement. But there are several images, such as one at some quasi-governmental official economic forum, in which he should dress nice but is dressed as if suffering from a hangover and has mixed up his wife’s t-shirt with his.
These facts being asserted, it must be that Zuckerberg knows the rules but chooses to flaunt them, knows what it means to dress beautifully but chooses for the most part to be ugly.
So why pick on Zuckerberg?
That’s the wrong question. The better query is: why is Zuckerberg is picking on us?
The man is in the public eye, knows he is, knows we have to look at him, knows that some will emulate him, knows what his duty is but flaunts it, thus he is a major contributor to the degradation of society.
“Briggs, you haven’t been drinking enough. Major contributor to the degradation of society? Time to crack open a bottle, brother. You’ve lost it.”
Major contributor, I say. You’ve heard of the broken windows theory, have you not? How letting little things slide, like graffiti on walls, trash on the lawn, and broken windows encourages far worse crimes like theft, listening to NPR, and voting for Democrats? Indeed, the theory isn’t a theory but common sense put succinctly; isn’t that so?
Same thing here. Zuckerberg’s sloppy t-shirts, jeans, and tennis shoes lead to worse behaviors like instead of looking taking pictures with smart phones wherever one goes, veganism, and public boasting of small “carbon footprints”, not to mention he causes pain every time we have to see him, which, given the media’s obsession with money, is all too often.
But it’s the emulation that is the real curse. The young see a figure in authority clad in dollar-store rejects and figure they can and should do the same. And so whenever we venture outside we all have to pay the price of ugliness surrounding us.
This reminds me: a good statistical project could be to chart the amount of clothing worn by the average individual. Barbarians wore little to nothing; civilization, especially as it probed northwards, led to layering. But increasing decadence is peeling off these layers one by one. If I’m right (and I am), and controlling for weather, most people by 2100 will be down to an extra-large t-shirt, maybe drawers, and flip flops (encrusted with various expensive doodads to signal one’s allegiances).
Update Holy moly! Even the New York Times (sort of): The Death of Adulthood in American Culture (subtract standard self-flagellation about being a white man).