The Virtues of Vice Signaling

Firinn Taisdeal
5 min readNov 21, 2022


Semaphores are insufficient

Choose your vices carefully. You never know who might be watching.

There has been much discussion in recent days of the new social phenomenon of “virtue signaling,” that strange, offensive and unprecedented behavior in which a person makes the choice to actually express an opinion as to what they consider bad behavior, as well as good behavior. Clearly “virtue signaling” is a new development in human history because in all of previous human history, as we all know, no human beings ever had the slightest concern with matters of good and evil, or social norms, let alone with advocating openly for any set of values, and least of all with signaling their affiliation with or membership in any group because ultimately human beings depend on other human beings, groups of human beings in particular.

Let us now declare the obvious truth; this sudden and unprecedented upsurge in “virtue signaling” is a form of degeneracy, and anyone advocating for any set of values at all is a threat to society as we know it.

How to Deal with the Crisis of Virtue Signaling

Some believe that the proper response to the clear and present danger of virtue signaling is to roundly condemn virtue signaling in all its forms. Indeed, there is virtue in this approach. What better way to declare one’s own virtue, after all, than to condemn anyone else’s expression of opinion as to what is and isn’t virtuous?

Competition in this area of virtue signaling through the condemnation of virtue signaling has become fierce, so fierce that virtue signaling by means of condemnation of virtue signaling may be nearing a point of diminishing returns, and even possible exhaustion of opportunities for approval from others through this means.

Therefore I propose a different approach, one that offers an entire field of new opportunities for social approval, social bonding, pride, sharing, and even mutual pleasure.

Just imagine the social pressure this vice could produce.

Vice Signaling: A New Frontier

The new approach is very simple:

  1. Buy a small vice.
  2. Write a specific vice of your choice on an index card, slip the card into the mouth of the vice, and tighten the vice firmly.
  3. Carry the vice with you wherever you go, and display it openly yet not ostentatiously.
  4. Remain alert to every new opportunity that opens before you.

Opportunities may take the form of unexpected conversation with strangers, studies in ornithology in the form of middle fingers directed your way, or perhaps a polite invitation to indulge in the particular vice together, as a way of sharing, getting to know each other, and exploring new possibilities together, and perhaps even further vices.

Remember to choose your vice carefully, and to carry your vice in an unassuming manner, in order to not offend others. After all, you wouldn’t want anyone to think badly of you, especially not strangers you will never see again.

The list below of vices is not in any particular order, and is far from comprehensive. Please make an effort to think of vices that would contribute positively to the good of society, or at least be fun for a while. If your goal is to harm your health, there are plenty of vices that are already quite popular and also have the benefit of being very expensive.

Viva the Vices

• Smoking

• Letting your fingernails grow too long

• Not making your bed

• Littering

• Speeding

• Not washing your hands after using the bathroom

• Overeating

• Eating fried food

• Watching sports past the age of 14

• Watching sports at all

• Watching pornography or Fox News, one of which will damage your mind

• Voting Republican

• Not voting

• Complaining about virtue signaling

• Taking conservatives seriously

• Taking religion seriously

• Taking Kanye West seriously

• Taking that Muskrat guy seriously

• Picking your boogers in public

• Eating your boogers

• Eating other people’s boogers

• Listening to the same mediocre music again and again

• Not challenging yourself mentally

• Not challenging yourself physically

• Not challenging yourself emotionally

• Not challenging yourself spiritually

• Not challenging yourself to challenge yourself

• Mistaking your opinions for reality

• Gossiping

• Laziness

• Wasting your time

• Wasting other people’s time

• Fibbing

• Not flossing

• Eating crappy food

• Giving yourself Type II diabetes by being a slob and an idiot

• Joining a fraternity

• Thinking that you’re a member of a “race”

• Thinking that anyone else is a member of a “race”

• Being a “patriot” and a bad example of a human being at the same time

• Unwittingly participating in the military industrial complex (see above)

• Judging other people, but thinking you shouldn’t be judged

• Making the medical system even more expensive by not taking care of your body

• Watching shitcoms

• Shopping at Needless Markup

• Living in a McMansion

• Buying a dumbass expensive car so you can think you’re special, just like everyone else with a dumbass expensive car thinks they’re special

• Wasting money on any expensive crap to make yourself think you’re special, you douche

• Talking about real estate

• Knowing only one language

• Letting your butt crack show

• Gambling

• Buying lottery tickets

• Wanting to win the lottery

• Not picking up your dog’s poop

• Catcalling, and thinking you’re giving someone a compliment, instead of understanding that you’re being an a-hole

• Bragging

• Name dropping

• Hoarding

• Dressing like a skank

• Being a fan of Beyoncé

• Being proud of your own ignorance

• Sitting too much

• Bad posture

• Gun worship

• Watching super hero movies

• Thinking that “special effects” are actually special any more

This is a major vice.

• Condemnation of masturbation

• Whining about LBTGQ+

• Complaining about what anyone else does sexually, as though it’s any of your business or affects you in any way

• Drinking bottled water

• Hogging the conversation

• Complaining about California

• Not eating your vegetables

• Not chewing your food thoroughly

• Watching “reality” television

• Watching television at all

• Taking seriously any celebrity at all

• Any sexual fetish that isn’t actually interesting

• Excusing the bad behavior of anyone in your group just because it’s your group

• Talking about your ailments

• Talking about your aliments

• Talking about your supplements

• Using “air quotes” inappropriately

• Coveting your neighbor’s cattle

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Firinn Taisdeal

I am an author and inventor. My first book was about people’s relationship with their possessions and how possessions change us, for better and for worse.