One who is Subtle understands that power resides in understatement. They understand that when all things are grand and exaggerated, they become meaningless, just white noise that the brain tunes out. They always leave plenty concealed, taking up as little space as possible. They watch for all things undervalued.
Their manner is reserved, their feelings closed to all but those who are found most important and trustworthy. They are courteous yet not cloying or pretentiously familiar with strangers to whom they have just been introduced.
One who is Subtle wants to like and be liked by certain people. They would rather be liked by one person whom they truly care about than have any number of friendly acquaintances. Friendly acquaintance is a pretense and waste of time when there is even one true friend.
They would rather completely change and nurture one life than perform small favors for thousands.
Even in purely material terms: it is tremendously more powerful to give $10,000 to one carefully chosen person than $1 each to 10,000 strangers. Time spent on those who do not show the proper potential is a waste of one’s wealth.
Addressing one underlying cause is effective, focusing upon 10,000 effects is futile.
One who is Subtle reduces to essentials and then progresses according to the guiding principles they have discovered. Every thing in life is judged and valued according to one’s foundations. Mass society’s judgment is just the fashion of the hour, its very existence an airy abstraction.
One who is Subtle is Incorrect, their life must be a constant struggle within a mass society; their very world view is a challenge to its legitimacy. Their avoidance of all that is Loud is interpreted as weakness, their position, when discovered inevitably comes under attack.
Perceptions are meaningless next to the underlying truth.
A society that is Loud
-Attacks the superficial symptoms rather than the underlying illness.
-Favors quantity over quality
-Values the title and status that corresponds to a given human relationship above what the relationship actually contains.
-Values all things in life according to the fashions of the hour
-Espouses hypocritical virtues and ideologies which no one actually follows. It is all about group identity, not meaningful action.
-Holds that social life is an end in itself, a brutal competition that consumes wealth, energy, and life itself.
-Holds that individual needs are meant to be subordinate to the mass society. Holds that those born into the society owe their lives to its upkeep.
-Tacitly holds that the legitimacy of social customs comes from dominance, acceptance, and recognition. Correspondingly, the value of any given individual is based upon degree of social dominance, acceptance, and recognition.
As a Subtle civilization is formed from those traits the larger society selects against, its values are naturally in opposition to all things listed here.
One who is Loud is more than just physically noisy. Everything they do is calculated to attract attention and take up maximum volume to an absolute minimum of substance. Everything from their mannerisms to their mode of dress is intolerably garrulous. Their smile always shows both rows of teeth; it is an expression so exaggerated that it squints and crinkles their eyes into black, crocodilian slits. Such a person acts familiar around people they’ve just met, slapping them on the back, throwing their arm around their shoulder for group photos as if they were best buddies.
One who is Loud constantly overstates and overreacts, guffawing, shouting, cooing, giggling, and/or making pronouncements of ‘best ever’ at the slightest instigation.
One who is Loud wants to be liked by everyone. They want to be liked by more people than the other guy or girl. Underneath the big grin is a constant struggle being fought against obscurity. Hell is where one sinks when one is no longer ‘being talked about,’ when one is yesterday’s fad, when one is a used up product. Their ‘friends’ are not the haven but the battlefield.
One who is Loud is Correct. They possess the world view and personal qualities that are most highly valued in Western society. One stays on the island by making the most superficial alliances. In schools, success is more akin to outcompeting rivals on a public court or field than attaining mastery over knowledge. Accomplishment is defined by the perception of accomplishment. Whether the deed was actually done is inconsequential. In fact, it is a virtue to surpass a more accomplished individual in perceived success simply by having a better publicity machine and better skills in overstatement and self-inflation.