Collectors Weekly: What Mannequins Say About Us.
“At the turn of the 19th century, you had bustier mannequins with tiny waists. Suddenly, going into the teens, they got a little more slender. Close to World War II, female mannequins had these broad shoulders. After World War II ended and the soldiers were coming home, all of a sudden the female mannequins were very voluptuous, almost like sirens calling them home.”
Gawker: On Smarm.
“When you hear a voice say ‘Everyone’s a critic,’ listen for the echo: Everyone’s a publicist.” Smarm vs. snark, the heavyweight bout. Long.
I vote for conversation. Perhaps that’s a little unrealistically utopian for the age.
Altucher Confidential: Cheat Sheet for Reinventing Yourself.
Psychology Today: Selfies or Selfless? 6 Top Habits of Happy Social Networkers.
FinerMinds is mildly interesting. But Upworthy and PurposeFairy, “inspiring” and “uplifting”? (Gong Show sound) Sorry. Wrong answer. Navel lint is more inspiring and uplifting.
Later: On Finerminds, Oprah. So forget FM. Psychology Today gets filed in the circular bin for future links.
Mashable: Will TV Networks Broadcast Newtown 911 Calls?
I don’t know why they would. They don’t solve any mysteries. They just reopen old wounds, but lightly healed. If I were a media outlet, I’d put my foot down.
Science + Religion Today: Atheists Get Sweaty When Daring God.
“When you get anxious or emotionally aroused, you sweat. Not a lot, but enough to be detected using electrodes on the finger tips. And it turns out that if you take a bunch of atheists, and get them to dare God to do horrible things, they get sweaty.”
UX Booth: What’s in a Story?
Many of us old-schoolers have been saying it for years.
Guardian.UK: Black women should have the right to wear an afro.
Crazy people. Afros are great, perfectly acceptable anywhere.
Slate: Millennial narcissism - Helicopter parents are college students’ bigger problem.
“The overinvolvement of helicopter parents prevents children from learning how to grapple with disappointments on their own. If parents are navigating every minor situation for their kids, kids never learn to deal with conflict on their own. Helicopter parenting has caused these kids to crash land.” I’ve wondered about this. The ‘break’ from being parented to being independent seems to be happening later, and more traumatically, for young people in my zone of awareness. My old man told me back when I was 18 or so, “I’ll consider you a success when you don’t need me anymore.” That became a dare of sorts, one I couldn’t ignore.
PS Mag: Why You’re So Busy All the Time - and What You Can Do About It.
“It would seem that work has overtaken leisure almost entirely.” Check email on a schedule, for one.
Aeon: Does my identity live on online after I die?
“Our idealised conception of who we are carries risks of narcissistic self-delusion, but it can also act as an aspirational ideal. Our ‘next self’ is our better self, meaning that the person we see on Facebook might be the person we are trying to become.”
My Way: In God we trust, maybe, but not each other
“What’s known as ‘social trust’ brings good things. A society where it’s easier to compromise or make a deal. Where people are willing to work with those who are different from them for the common good. Where trust appears to promote economic growth. Distrust, on the other hand, seems to encourage corruption.” When simple political disagreements are conflated with blind ravening hatred, bad things happen.
Medium: Social media is making us anxious and paranoid - so why can’t we stop using it?
“If you were an employer, and someone applied and they didn’t have any activity on social networks and that person was 23 years old, you’d think they were the Unabomber. You would be really scared to meet this person without even a bodyguard. I don’t even know if that person exists.” An interesting bunch of observations about our social media ‘lifestreaming’ habits.
OpenCulture: Alain de Botton Shows How 6 Philosophers Can Change Your Life.
SciAm: How Happiness Boosts the Immune System.
Edgy; grain-of-salt time. No doubt the new age/self help commmunities will be reposting this (and variants) by the bushel.
Designer News: Ask DN - How different are print and web design?
This question always begets entertaining answers. Print designers go ballistic when they find out font sizes can’t be maintained across platforms or browsers. ‘The user can change my design!?! OMIGOD.’ Whether they can make the transition or not, depends on how controlling they are accustomed to being. I find aiming them at the intricacies of CSS tends to replace control with precision.
WSJ: When Superstition Works.
“People who have both a high need for control and a sense of helplessness in a given situation — such as the straight-A perfectionist who didn’t have time to study for an exam — are the most likely to succumb to conditioned superstition.” One to read and remember. No wonder economically challenged folks are such easy marks.
Time: Awe Makes You Religious - Even if You’re Not.
“Awe makes people want to see events as the result of design.” It’s been used for centuries. This is exactly why the early churches gilt their soaring structures. To a poor peasant, the awe was emotionally debilitating.
Black Friday Death Count.
NY Times: Looking Into the Black Box.
“Anecdotal evidence suggests that we do not naturally find statistics in the least pleasurable. It is explanation by way of causation, rather than correlation, that gives us a mental rush.” Good article.
New Republic: The Period, Our Simplest Punctuation Mark, Has Become a Sign of Anger.
The unpunctuated, un-ended sentence is incredibly addicting. I find it horrific; like those people wearing house-slippers and slept-in sweatpants in public. It betrays no philosophy other than the laconic. It explains a mystery, however - I try to use correct punctuation, even in IM’ing. Perhaps this article’s observation is why many conversations languish. I’ll have to start asking if people believe me to be angry.
Guardian.UK: Adam Lanza was obsessed with mass murder.
“The report also illuminates the lengths to which Lanza went in planning the killings. GPS routes found on a device he purchased showed that he had scouted out Sandy Hook elementary school the day before he carried out the attacks.” A troubled mind left to percolate in isolation. Rarely a good outcome.
Can’t think of a durned thing to blog about.
Other than wondering if “Romeo and Juliet” would ever have been as popular if it’d been titled “Eustace and Myrtle.”
Aeon: Advertising turned anti-consumerism into a weapon.
“Marketing is not simply a mirror of our prevailing aspirations. It systematically promotes and presents a specific cluster of values that undermine pro-social and pro-environmental attitudes and behaviour. In other words, the more that we’re encouraged to obsess about the latest phone upgrade, the less likely we are to concern ourselves with society’s more pressing problems.”
50 Years Ago.
I was in Kindergarten, I believe. Mrs. Wilcox. I can’t remember if there was any dramatic announcement. I simply remember being at home (they may have dismissed school early) sitting on the floor watching the grainy black and white images of the assassination on our old mahogany television, and feeling very upset. JFK was a significant cult of personality while he was in office (not just in 20/20 hindsight), and the impact of his assassination - even on a small child - was major. I couldn’t put words to it, but I was aware that it was a major crux point of history. In the meantime, hostility/danger/unpredictability entered my little world.