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Robin Williams Hijacks TED BBC conference

h/t McWatters 


Hubertus Knabe: The dark secrets of a surveillance state


Researchers at Harvard Business School call this the “red sneakers effect”. In a study published by The Journal of Consumer Research they note that professors dressed less formally at academic events as they gained higher status. Students also perceived unshaven, devil-may-care professors as more knowledgeable than ones in a dress shirt and tie. These mildly rebellious signals are powerful in a culture that has long emphasized conformity as the road to social acceptance. “Instead of showing you can afford to spend money,” the authors explain, “you’re showing you can afford to spend your social capital… You’re saying, I’m so autonomous and successful that I can afford to dress in a non-conforming way.”

The way we signal status has also changed. Especially in business, success isn’t just about looking wealthy, but about looking different. A lot rides on the perspective of the viewer. Not everyone will look favorably on red sneakers in a professional setting. At a recent business-school symposium at which a professor wore red converse sneakers, executives who also owned a pair of eccentric shoes granted the professor higher professional status than those who didn’t.