Deceptive Status Signals

This essay on deceptive status signals (aka DSS) is delightful for the
collection of tricks people use to look higher status than they really

  • Pulled over for using a cell phone, but it turns out to be a toy.
  • Filling your grocery cart with high-priced goods, and then abandoning it.
  • Driving with the windows closed, signalling that you have air condition.
  • Shirts with no backs.
  • Expired credit cards
  • Packaging for luxury goods
  • Carrying Fast Food packaging
  • Wearing just the cap of a pen in your pocket
  • TV antenna, but no TV
  • Using infant formula
  • Houses with brick fronts, but otherwise made of mud.

If your into it the jargon in this essay is fun. “A related
DSS strategy is the display of a cheap item that is complementary to a
prestigious consumer good.” helps explains the TV antenna, luxury good packaging, …

So, I wonder: could I hack the stream of Ads
appearing in my browser to create a deceptive status signal.

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