JBP says the status system is as old as lobsters, and that means it's lindy. On the base facts I agree with JBP. The status system has indeed been
conserved since roughly the days of lobsters, which is exactly what's
wrong with it. I say an industrial social land mammal attempting to use a status system suitable for ocean roaches is perhaps not a brilliant plan. The environment has changed and the system has not. It's a zombie.
It's just that attempting to use egalitarianism is even more stupid. "Let's keep the status system but pretend all values are 1!" If there is a 1, you can add it to itself to make 2, and therefore to make the ten thousand things. For the status value to be the same for everyone, it has to be 0. Which makes folk upset for some reason. It's also plain false. Just a lie, which nobody with a functioning status system takes very seriously. Insofar as JBP is opposing this proposed arrangement, he's double-plus unwrong.
Lobsters have to use a very simple system, because they're very dumb. Theirs can't be any more sophisticated than what a lobster can understand, and it still isn't any more sophisticated. We can imagine an elaboration of the status system that in fact allows ten thousand things, instead of merely adding up to one myriad, but the actually existing system would conflict with it. The same way a dumb person will tell you complex technology is impossible, the dumb status system will tell you that sophisticated high status is in fact low status. Trying to overlay a correction onto the old system would merely produce dissonance.
It makes sense that the system would be excessively conserved. Outside extraordinary cases, beneficial mutations of the system will only draw violence from legacy users. The mutation has to run to fixation before it becomes beneficial to individual hosts. The status system inhabits a harsh local maxima, bodyblocking the global maxima.
In theory, humans are capable of a process known as "socialization." This replaces childish instincts with productive reflexes. It is in theory possible to simply tell children about the status system explicitly, and then explain why it's bad and how to avoid using it. Replace it wholesale.
Though the status system is a rancid zombie, it still serves a purpose. It exists for a reason. Chesterton's fence: you can't just get rid of it. (Well, you can, but it's Communism. It's even worse than leaving it alone.) To properly resocialize away from social status, one must understand what social status is supposed to do, and then do that thing in some other way.
Pretty sure it's just property rights though. The status system is supposed to produce hierarchies of command and distribute resources. Contracts produce hierarchies of command and monetary trade produces efficient resource distribution. Social status is obsolete.
According to mainstream paleontology, it took tens of thousands of years for spear-wielders to think of the idea of using a machine to throw the spear - a bow. It's not that they couldn't have thought it up, they just didn't. Spears were obsolete for millennia before that obsolescence was realized.
Whoever thought up the bow probably genocided everyone else within a year's travel. Every time there's any sort of dispute or conflict: "Why don't we just kill them from 100 feet away?" "Hmm...okay." Simple. Easier than trying to argue about it. (I'm sure you've tried using your words on a human before, and know how that tends to go.)
Nobody understands that social status is obsolete, but that's not an argument in its favour. "It's fine, leave it alone." Yeah, about that. This sort of thing has happened before. Humans are smart compared to lobsters, but in absolute terms they're still drooling retards. (Again, recall how they react to verbal communication.) Reality breaks her teaching 2x4 all the time; the skull is just too thick. "Why head hurt? Me no get." Nevertheless, humans have been ecologically dominant probably since H. erectus, never mind Caino hypocriens. Only other dire apes produce any sort of pressure. As long as everyone else is also still using the lobster system, it doesn't matter how much grey matter Reality gets on her instruction club, because Reality is fair and brains every idiot equally. The lucky survivors suffer no competitive disadvantage, so they don't see any pressure to change. "I survived like I thought I would. I smart!" Great work, Einstein.
As with the bow, the first society to truly grok that social status is obsolete is going to faceroll everyone else.