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Groupthink or Connoisseurs' Consensus?

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by Manton, Nov 20, 2008.

  1. zjpj83

    zjpj83 Senior member

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    Wow. I never noticed you were e-enemies.

    You misunderstood my response.
     
  2. beau nash

    beau nash Well-Known Member

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    "Groupthink," in my understanding, occurs when a significant part of a given group simply wants to be in the majority, usually to preserve group cohesion. They sacrifice any duty of critical thinking on the part of the individul to the perceived greater good of belonging. I shut down my brain, believing wrongly that others in the group will stay alert and critical, and we all just end up doing what someone suggests, mostly because no one objects.

    That would apply here if there were members for whom belonging to SF or being "an SF sort of person" mattered more than any disagreement they might have with what is said here by the louder voices. I have trouble seeing that happen much. While there are a limited number of these sort of fora, there is more than one. If AK or Andy or Cruiser are louder on AAAC, then there might be a certain group who will consent without understanding to their authority. There are others who will just stop posting and stop reading. Eventually, those who tend to think about things the way the louder voices on SF think, or those who are learning and who find the louder voices on SF to be more rational or more in tune with their own experience will become SF faithful.

    I suppose that is a way of saying that the anonymity and distance created by the Internet makes me question the possibility of groupthink here. My guess is that it is more a freely chosen association of those who think alike rather than pressure from the group. One need not print here all that one thinks--though I think that some do! What I think about wearing knit ties with a Neopolitan jacket, whether you do it or I, you need never know. That would be different, I think, IRL.

    I does occur to me that, in this case, those who have a real interest in being important persons in the SF/AAAC/FNB universe might be more prone to capitulating to the group than the greater numbers who just read and post occassionally. Thus, if there is an inside and an outside, an elite and a common man, it would be the inside elite who are given to groupthink and the outside commoner who are (at least more) objective. Now, what would Strauss say about that?
     
  3. JR88

    JR88 Senior member

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    Gather 10 or 100 foodies in a room. Chances are 90% or more of them -- probably close to all of them -- are going to love foie gras. Is that "groupthink"? Or is there something inherent in the subject matter that leads a refined palate in that direction?

    Can't it be both?

    Or are you trying to find the precise ratio (i.e., 2/3 of the 90% are just followers, and the rest capable of idependently arriving at a principled conclusion)? That would be a quite a task. And wouldn't the result vary depending on what is being judged (fois gras? silk? macaroni and cheese?), what attributes about it, and to what if anything it is being compared?

    Everyone reacts viscerally to sensory input. Not everyone is patient/organized/diligent/sensitive enough to coherently describe his sensory experiences, and experienced/discerning enough that his independent judgment as to the relative merit of things is valuable. That's what "refined" means to me, which is probably why I don't believe art students when they say a big red square is important art. Robert Parker wasn't born with a refined palate. He was born with (though arguably no longer has) a fully functional tongue, and he was lucky enough to have had the time and means to devote most of his productive years to spitting into his glass.
     
  4. dopey

    dopey Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    You misunderstood my response.
    too bad. I live for the drama. Edit: But what does it mean that I thought you were talking about manton? ruh-roh![​IMG]
     
  5. Virginia Dandy

    Virginia Dandy Senior member

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    Are there sartorial conventions/ratios/proportions/colors/patterns/shapes/textures/combinations, etc. that are somehow inherently more pleasing than others? Do the most sartorially inclined tend to gravitate toward those things?

    I think so. A friend who is an architectural historian has a long spiel about how there is an unknowable quality about what is pleasing, but there is most certainly a set of quantifiable proportions that have proven to be pleasing to the masses for thousands of years. This is not to say that there are not other proportions that some (but nowhere near as many) also find pleasing.

    I think if you were to show the average person a properly-fitted suit that conforms to the SF consensus ideals next to a fused, mass-market RTW that may or may not fit properly, I'm pretty confident that the vast majority would pick the SF example as being more pleasing. That person would probably have a hard time expressing why, though. I think the same result would obtain when presented with a plain black cap toe oxford - EG top drawer or G&G on the one hand and AE or the like on the other.

    If your tastes are more on the edge and fall outside of these norms, fine - but to decry the phenomenon described above as "groupthink" is to lack the courage of your convictions.

    For example - mad props to Socal and this new guy neofinitia on WAYWN and MC in general. They could give a f*** what the Manton hive-mind thinks, and they do their thing without bitching about what a bunch of sheep the rest of the MC crowd is.
     
  6. crazyquik

    crazyquik Senior member

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    I think if you were to show the average person a properly-fitted suit that conforms to the SF consensus ideals next to a fused, mass-market RTW that may or may not fit properly, I'm pretty confident that the vast majority would pick the SF example as being more pleasing. That person would probably have a hard time expressing why, though.


    I think the Kennedy - Nixon debate was a good example of this. People who listened to it on radio felt Nixon won. But he has lost 20 lbs to sickness, his shirt didn't fit, and majority of the 70 million who watched it on TV felt Kennedy won the debate. Clearly the fit and appearance of the clothes tapped into a mass, cultural acceptance or "mainstream."

    I'm not sure if these photos are from the debate in question, or another debate. They are illustrative though.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Note sleeve length, fit, etc. Not to mention 3 btn vs. 2 [​IMG]
     
  7. Dewey

    Dewey Senior member

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  8. voxsartoria

    voxsartoria Senior member

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  9. Tangfastic

    Tangfastic Senior member

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    Is there room for a moderate view?

    Groupthink exists to a degree on SF. Seventy % of members may love knit ties and 70 % may hate black suits, but they won't be the same 70 %.

    Also, SF brings to its collective scrutiny some lesser well known brands of objectively higher quality and value than better known and more widely available brands. Anyone lurking here for an hour or two will be convinced Crockett and Jones make better shoes than Kenneth Cole. Would that lurker be subscribing to groupthink or simply be made aware of a self evident objective truth?
     
    1 person likes this.
  10. Fuuma

    Fuuma Senior member

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    Can the snarky jerks whose IQs exceed 80 (you know who you are) please try to say something substantive?

    Thank you, I'm really proud of my 88 score so I'll try to show my educamation by contributing to this thread when I have a minute.
     
  11. DocHolliday

    DocHolliday Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    I have to admit, the knit tie thing started to wear even me out. Stay off my lawn!

    I think the groupthink is most visible when it happens en masse. There's a difference in incorporating something from SF into your wardrobe and everyone adopting a new uniform. Admittedly, with the knit ties, the latter might have just seemed the case.

    Overall, I'm very impressed with how styles can co-exist here. I think we've gotten more diverse, for the most part, not less.
     
  12. RJmanbearpig

    RJmanbearpig Senior member

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    I have to admit, the knit tie thing started to wear even me out. Stay off my lawn!

    I think the groupthink is most visible when it happens en masse. There's a difference in incorporating something from SF into your wardrobe and everyone adopting a new uniform. Admittedly, with the knit ties, the latter might have just seemed the case.

    Overall, I'm very impressed with how styles can co-exist here. I think we've gotten more diverse, for the most part, not less.

    I agree.

    I must say that the knit tie lovefest here didn't increase my desire to get one a bit. Nor did the button-boot brouhaha, the stroller craze, the Rubinacci reacharound or the Matuozzo mania. I admit the Blazersuit is growing on me, although I'm not a patch pocket fran.
     
  13. dopey

    dopey Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    I agree.

    I must say that the knit tie lovefest here didn't increase my desire to get one a bit. Nor did the button-boot brouhaha, the stroller craze, the Rubinacci reacharound or the Matuozzo mania. I admit the Blazersuit is growing on me, although I'm not a patch pocket fran.


    If you get one, I'll get one, too.
     
  14. Fuuma

    Fuuma Senior member

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    If you get one, I'll get one, too.

    Show me yours and I'll show you mine?
     
  15. LabelKing

    LabelKing Senior member

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    Show me yours and I'll show you mine?

    You pedobear, you.
     
  16. RJmanbearpig

    RJmanbearpig Senior member

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    You pedobear, you.

    nanophile, no?

    BTW, have you seen the phoque I posted?
     
  17. LabelKing

    LabelKing Senior member

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    nanophile, no? BTW, have you seen the phoque I posted?
    I have not seen your phoque yet. Is it very phoquey?
     
  18. RJmanbearpig

    RJmanbearpig Senior member

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    I have not seen your phoque yet.

    Is it very phoquey?


    It is in Cool Shoes et al.
     
  19. Cary Grant

    Cary Grant Senior member

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    I'm bemused by one aspect of groupthink seen in any "community" but, perhaps, especially online communities: that is, when people believe or claim to believe or support the
    popular" opinion because they want to be "in" as much as they actually believe or understand the topic at hand.

    Take, for example:

    black pants/suits
    name your shoe brand
    "bespoke"

    For each of the true fans who have first hand knowledge or educated appreciation of any of the above topics, there are those who pile on so that they can "belong" or feel that they are part of the "in crowd".

    For example, let's say Manton is actually the only person here to have owned or have had deep experience with 15oz Shetland wool. Then in a thread you will see 10 others vociferously supporting his sentiments even though they may have no real knowledge of the fabric. Now- that is not to say you should not trust and value an obviously learned-person's opinion, but for those who do so merely to fit in... well.

    Know what I mean?
     
  20. Fuuma

    Fuuma Senior member

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    I,d be amazing if Manton posted:

    "Everyone wants to be Manton. Even I want to be Manton."
     

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