Lots of things separate us from other forms of life. Extensive tool use, self-awareness, and smoking to name a few. The primary differences we have from other animals are big brains, complex thoughts, and language. No other creatures other than people are reading like you are right now.
And there’s another difference – a sense of style. I don’t think other creatures have it, I think they do the best they can with what they have and that’s it. With people though, style is important, whether people admit it or not, and some people have a much more highly developed interest in it. You may not like someone’s style, but it’s another person’s self-expression.
I’m not talking about fashion which comes and goes, plus, is a top down structure. Style is firstly personal; and it’s influence on others is bottom up, lateral and top down too.
One of the things I like about going to NYC is the people watching. It’s a great place to see many different styles on lots of different people. And being the social animals we are, there’s the monkey see monkey do effect in action when you notice common threads, like younger hipsters sporting ironic moustaches and distressed wingtip business shoes.
I just have a passing interest in this, so I don’t follow it too closely. There’s a website called The Sartorialist that I look at once in a blue moon. It was started by Scott Schuman who comes from the fashion world and started photographing people on NYC streets if the person had a style or look he liked. He started in 2005 and it’s taken off so that’s all he does now, and also does it in whichever city he happens to travel to.
I ran across an interview with Scott on bigthink. It’s about a half hour-long, with good questions and is just him speaking into the camera. I thought it was interesting and many of his ideas apply to pursuing interests in general and blog ideas. (Does anyone else think Scott looks like Lance Armstrong? They’d be good candidates for a “separated at birth” piece.)