We have been told many times by many wise people (and in few ancient languages) to think of reputation as immaterial yet one sees characters wildly pursuing badges, titles, and funny hats. Why?

Quibus est tam projecta insignia et moderátor auctoritas

Moderator's comment on Latin quote___________________________________________

Quibus – dative/ablative plural. Probably ‘for whom’

Est – singular verb ‘is’. Unfortunately, it’s followed by three subjects.

Tam proiecta insignia – 'so prominent signs'. (Modern scholarship replaces 'j' with 'i'.)

Moderator – a manager (in the classical era – it may have had other connotations in later centuries) : moderátor - á - Latin didn’t have diacritical marks. (A punning reference to the moderators on this site?)

Auctoritas – authority

So what have we got?

For whom there is so prominent signs and manager authority.

I wish I could say I understand this. Geoffrey Thomas.

closed as off-topic by Conifold, christo183, Geoffrey Thomas Jan 3 at 14:34

This question appears to be off-topic. The users who voted to close gave this specific reason:

  • "While this question may be related to philosophy or occur in a philosophical context, the question itself doesn't seem to be about philosophy, and is therefore not a good fit for our site." – Conifold, christo183, Geoffrey Thomas
If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • difference between vacuous fame and, like jobermark says, influence? – confused Jan 2 at 18:16
  • What is the source of the Latin phrase, and what does it mean? A brief search did not find it, and the result from Google Translate was unenlightening. – Mark Andrews Jan 2 at 20:42
  • We have been told many times by many wise people not to eat too much and move more. And yet we have an obesity epidemic. Why? Because human motivational mechanisms are not based on reason or wisdom, and eating/gaining reputation does offer emotional gratification. – Conifold Jan 2 at 23:28
  • Within the domain of Sociology you'll find many reason why reputation is desirable: the good lawyer gets more work, the tough guy in prison is victimized less, etc. It would be these material benefits that are actually being pursued, though sometimes not by being 'good' or 'tough' but by going for the 'badge' or 'funny hat'. – christo183 Jan 3 at 6:24
  • @Mark Andrews. A very fair request. A quote without translation or context is often stubbornly difficult - and there are odd features about the Latin here. I've pointed these out in my analysis & 'translation'. Best - Geoffrey – Geoffrey Thomas Jan 4 at 8:54

Who says those people are right, and they are not outright hypocritical?

We live in a militaristic, capitalist culture. Rehearsing for competition in the job market is half of our education. Before that it was competition to be seen as valuable in war so as to belong to the army where you are most likely to simply survive. Reputation is vastly important to the whole of most human cultures throughout their histories.

People state the opposite as an anodyne, not a disavowal, or they wouldn't bother saying wise things at all -- they would keep them to themselves. Reputation is the only reason people take your advice, if it really isn't important, why put in effort that should not really have any effect?

From a pacifist POV like Starhawk's, a focus on reputation is actually a major step forward from assuming that force is the appropriate way of deciding who listens to whom. To the degree we can establish reputation as a real force independent of bullying and hegemonic control, we are that much closer to a peaceful society where 'power over', 'power with' and 'power within' are properly balanced, and not skewed by the environment.

More absolute approaches to pacifism are just sexist. They blame men for doing what was historically necessary for their survival, and raise women up on a pedestal as the more peaceful sex, even though that was not really a choice, and is not really a gain. If the answer is balance and not hegemony, it is important to defend the things you want to balance. In a capitalist culture, force praises itself, and we have equally many praising internal development, but the point in the middle is also important. Having places to practice the skills involved is useful.

In the meantime, major projects like #MeToo make real use of reputation as a tool to balance power. And it would be unfortunate to undermine them with the idea that their main tool is really an illusion.

  • fwiw i don't think everyone is self interested in that manner! – confused Jan 2 at 18:07
  • The point isn't that they are selfish, it is that saying things that affect others' behavior requires reputation. If there is no basis for someone to listen to you, you are better off just living your own life and letting them live their own. – jobermark Jan 2 at 18:08
  • confusing! thanks for the comment. – confused Jan 2 at 18:09
  • 1
    I will try better wording – jobermark Jan 2 at 18:09

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