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Old 05-05-2015, 10:24 AM   #1
Astromancer
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Default Deference Issues!

Deference is actually an issue in the setting we are talking about, mainly through devices that seek to allow people a chance to know what others think of a person they've just met. (I must look up the right term in Toxic Memes).

However I'm thinking about deference in any realistic 2115AD period. Deference, being a thing no one gets on the nets, isn't something we talk about a great deal, but it is important. Deference is also something that has been changing and evolving over time. Compare 1715AD, 1815AD, 1915AD, and 2015AD, and you'll see deference mainly eroding, and also being differently distributed.

Think how elites could treat working people in 1715. The elites spoke of the lower orders, as in their place in society was "God Ordained," and everybody except pirates and radicals bent the knee to the elites. "Condescension" was the Virtue of knowing how to treat the lower orders with proper respect.

By 1815 Jane Austen has one of her characters use the term "condescension" as a complement, and this makes him look silly and bigoted. Only a few years earlier Imputence and Insolence had different meanings (Imputence was rudeness to those higher in the social order, insolence was rudeness to those lower in the social order). By 1815 dictionaries defined both words with the same meaning.

In 1915 they looked back at 1815 with nostalgia as a time when the lower "classes" (no longer God Ordained orders) knew their place. Place was still an important idea even in America. The world of Dowton Abbey felt they lived in a time which was as egalitarian as humanly possible.

In 2015 we think that we have arrived at the true destination of humanity. By 2115 will we be as quaint as Dowton Abby or old copies of the Tattler (circa 1715)?

A world with radically reduced defference, and one were groups not previously defered to, like women, children, the poor, are defered to, would have very different dynamics. When power no longer carries social prestige, how does status work?

Liberterianism on the political Right and Culture Studies types on the Left depend on deference because they use their political ideas as a badge of status. What happens if they lose that status?

Could the terrorism of the THS setting come from bullies lacking status?

Note: women in the past were said to be defered to. In practise they were given either condesencion or insolence disguised as politeness. The same for children.
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Old 05-05-2015, 11:28 PM   #2
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Default Re: Deference Issues!

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In 1915 they looked back at 1815 with nostalgia as a time when the lower "classes" (no longer God Ordained orders) knew their place. Place was still an important idea even in America. The world of Dowton Abbey felt they lived in a time which was as egalitarian as humanly possible.
I think that's a considerable overstatement, given the way women, Irish, and "coloreds" reacted to their egality with suffrage movements, separatist movements, and race riots.

But how will this impact the game? By 2100, there's no particular cultural imperialism to promulgate anything like a common sense of deferential order, other than to the new classes of underpeople (bioroids, uplifts, and infomorphs). Some, like Japan, may actually elevate uploads as ancestors have been traditionally, but I want to know what kind of new sorts of deference could come about? / Role-based? meme-based? take turns?
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Old 05-06-2015, 10:05 AM   #3
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I think that's a considerable overstatement, given the way women, Irish, and "coloreds" reacted to their egality with suffrage movements, separatist movements, and race riots.
All groups demanding a change in the defference system. All groups pulling down the old norms of defference.

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But how will this impact the game? By 2100, there's no particular cultural imperialism to promulgate anything like a common sense of deferential order, other than to the new classes of underpeople (bioroids, uplifts, and infomorphs). Some, like Japan, may actually elevate uploads as ancestors have been traditionally, but I want to know what kind of new sorts of deference could come about? / Role-based? meme-based? take turns?
The point is that, like most Sci Fi settings, THS either ignores or satirises cultural changes. The vast corperations of today depend on the defference given wealth. C.E.O.s gain status because of the defference we give to money. The USA has gutted our Unions and serriously damaged our democracy to please the Corperate elites. If you remove any deference for money, which is a major left-wing goal, the corperations lose legitimacy in the eyes of the people.

Now in Cyberpunk this leads to corperate armies taking over America. But without a stable USA, American corperations are dead in the water, and many foriegn corperations are seriously slamed too. Corperations requier a certain defference from society to function.

New systems of social legitimacy would be needed in THS. Or there will be truely radical social changes.
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Old 05-07-2015, 03:32 AM   #4
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The USA has gutted our Unions and serriously damaged our democracy to please the Corperate elites. If you remove any deference for money, which is a major left-wing goal, the corperations lose legitimacy in the eyes of the people.
This is not due to deference to or perceived legitimacy of monied interests by the people which has indeed fallen, but to "regulatory capture" of the government by the monied interests, which has only increased.
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Old 05-07-2015, 10:34 AM   #5
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This is not due to deference to or perceived legitimacy of monied interests by the people which has indeed fallen, but to "regulatory capture" of the government by the monied interests, which has only increased.
Regulatory Capture can only work if wealth gets you deference. If wealth doesn't enhance your status, regulatory capture requires straight forward bribery of an easily procecuted type.
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Old 05-07-2015, 12:11 PM   #6
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Regulatory Capture can only work if wealth gets you deference. If wealth doesn't enhance your status, regulatory capture requires straight forward bribery of an easily prosecuted type.
Sir's view of these matters is rather na´ve. Political contributions, unwritten understandings of the availability of lucrative sinecures, and other kinds of favours make it reasonably easy to work around bribery laws if one is capable of subtlety.

I think you're trying to force a lot of varied types of relationships into this idea of "deference" and thereby distorting them.
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Old 05-08-2015, 10:03 AM   #7
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Sir's view of these matters is rather na´ve. Political contributions, unwritten understandings of the availability of lucrative sinecures, and other kinds of favours make it reasonably easy to work around bribery laws if one is capable of subtlety.
Highly sophistocated bribery is still bribery. The loss of defference changes the rules of the game.

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I think you're trying to force a lot of varied types of relationships into this idea of "deference" and thereby distorting them.
No, but distortion is a useful idea here. If you change something basic in society, large or small, every aspect of that society changes. Mass literacy has altered the nature of knowledge and education radically. We still don't know were that change is taking us. Railroads, cars, and transit systems generally have changes human genetics in a measurable way. By that I mean that scientists have measured it and proven that because we are marrying (or at least breeding) with people further away from our home communities, there has been a genetic change in human populations. Note: a modern high school draws on a wider population than most medieval villages contained.

All this is to say that a major change in "deference" as a catagory changes all catagories "deference" interacts with. The Social Ecology is transformed if you transform a major factor in it. Loss of deference for some catagories while extending defference to new groups transforms all aspects of culture in at least small ways. And, like a small change in the biosphere, these small cultural changes create further unforseeable changes.

Distortion is a valuble idea here, but so is liberation, or creative destruction. One order of society is fading away, it has been for centuries. Predicting that such changes are meaningless and unimportant won't work.
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Old 05-10-2015, 03:37 PM   #8
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In 2015 we think that we have arrived at the true destination of humanity. By 2115 will we be as quaint as Dowton Abby or old copies of the Tattler (circa 1715)?
I don't find Downton Abbey to be especially quaint.
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Old 05-11-2015, 10:17 AM   #9
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I don't find Downton Abbey to be especially quaint.
I might be being unfair to a comtemporary drama about the early 20th century. But many fine works from that period would seem quaint now. Just as many fine movies from earlier decades seem weird and warped because we no longer share many of the social assumptions vital to the film.

Most people don't get that the Margaret DuMont characters in the old Marx Brothers films were powerful and dangerous. Groucho is playing with fire, and sometimes gets burnt. Society is changing in ways that erode the barriers to radical change.
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Old 05-12-2015, 01:49 AM   #10
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Default Re: Deference Issues!

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Regulatory Capture can only work if wealth gets you deference. If wealth doesn't enhance your status, regulatory capture requires straight forward bribery of an easily procecuted type.
Dude, you understand that we don't give wealthy people want they want out of classism right? We give it to them because they give us money. If a hobo won the lottery and asked to have my coat and offered me a thousand bucks for it, I've give it to him, not out of deference, but for the $1000. Likewise, a senator isn't rewriting the laws to benefit your company because he respects you, but because these wonderful birthday gifts and opportunities just keep magically finding their way to his family (amazing!)
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