“According to the government, the war in Iraq ends tonight at midnight. Given the war’s inescapable presence in our politics over the last eight years, you would think we’d take this as the occasion for, if not celebration, at least some sort of commemoration. But so far, there’s not even been much media coverage.”—The American Experiment on the Last Day of the War
Will you be surprised by the story the internet tells about you?
For years, millions of us have been voluntarily leaving little bits and pieces on ourselves on the web. A blog post, a funny photo, a few thousand status updates, a joke that fell flat, reactions to the news of the day, favorited media, heated comments; what narrative will all of this data create?
Like with reality TV, the answer to that question depends on who’s doing the editing.
“Languages differ essentially in what they must convey and not in what they may convey.” This maxim offers us the key to unlocking the real force of the mother tongue: if different languages influence our minds in different ways, this is not because of what our language allows us to think but rather because of what it habitually obliges us to think about.”—Does Your Language Shape How You Think?
“My certainty about anything has decreased. Rather than importing authority, I am reduced to creating my own certainty — not just about things I care about — but about anything I touch, including areas about which I can’t possibly have any direct knowledge . That means that in general I assume more and more that what I know is wrong. We might consider this state perfect for science but it also means that I am more likely to have my mind changed for incorrect reasons. Nonetheless, the embrace of uncertainty is one way my thinking has changed.”—Kevin Kelly, “The 2-Billion-Eyed Intermedia”
“The web makes it rather hard not to have opinions. The constant rush of new information, media and art means that the way we situate ourselves in life – which is to say, the way we position ourselves in relation to the culture around us – is constantly undergoing change, in part because it is constantly under attack.”—The Unending Flood, Hipsterism and Hope
“What Lethem represents is the ambiguity and cultural difficulty of modern urban life for the white, middle class creatives. They fear, above all, being fakes or mindless copies of someone else.
White, middle class youth at least since the 1950s have continuously tried to find authentic experience outside of their own communities, to the point now that I would argue that the quest for authenticity becomes their identity.”—Find Myself a City to Live In: Jonathan Lethem’s Imagined Metropolis
“Just like a fondness for math does not make an Asian-American character more realistic (ask me how many times I see the annoying and insulting cliche about an Asian-American best friend with wicked math skills and “brown, almond-shaped eyes” or “straight black hair”), and a fondness for donuts doesn’t flesh out a fat kid character (puns all intended), the addition of biting sarcasm to your voice doesn’t give you “Instant Teen Protagonist” for your novel.”—Kidlit.com, “Mature Voice for the YA Market”
“The site has no log-in function, so each message can be posted under whatever name its author chooses, but users are strongly encouraged to post with no identifying name at all. Roughly 90 percent of all messages on 4chan are posted under the site’s default identity, “Anonymous.”—Article about 4chan(via kottke)
“While Trader Joe’s is not a health food chain, it stocks a dizzying array of organics. It sells billions of dollars in food and beverages that years ago would have been considered gourmet but are now mainstays of the U.S. diet, such as craft beers and white-cheese popcorn. The genius of Trader Joe’s is staying a step ahead of Americans’ increasingly adventurous palates with interesting new items that shoppers will collectively buy in big volumes.”—Inside the secret world of Trader Joe’s
BOYCRAZY: the perfect BFFF (best female friend forever)
I really want to bypass the whole calling dibs on a dude thing. If we BOTH like a guy- HE’LL decide who he wants to be with. We can’t say ‘he’s off limits’ just because we laid eyes on a guy/proclaimed a dude cute/or met him first. And we should BOTH be able to be OK with the outcome of the situation and let it go if he doesn’t like me/or you. Cuz I’LL totally be ok if he doesn’t like ME.
That way we can remain friends and date whoever we click with best and never have to worry about our friendship limiting us/our love life! (I know the world is large- so why do we have to share the same crush on a guy?/blah blah blah- well, because the world is also small. And like attracts like and social circles are small and facebook and twitter are only making it smaller.
So stepping on each others toes while flirting is bound to happen. So get the fuck over it and grow up. It’s totally not personal!) and we can make other girl friend/bffs feel lame/bad about themselves for not being as evolved as we are. We should be grown ups and above petty bullshit!
“In 1997, at least 1,019 coffee shops were doing business in the Netherlands. But after a quiet epidemic of denied shop-license renewals and selective enforcement of gedoogbeleid’s caprices, today’s number is closer to 700. Rotterdam alone closed a third of its shops in 2008. These are anxious times in the dope trade, which is why, through voluntary measures like today’s clinic, shop owners are doing all they can to stay on the good side of the law.”—From GQ: “My Kushy New Job”(via longform)
“While “The Corrections” attested to Mr. Franzen’s discovery of his own limber voice and tamed his penchant for sociological pontification, the novel was something of a hybrid in which the author’s satiric instincts and misanthropic view of the world sometimes seemed at odds with his new drive to create fully three-dimensional people. It felt, at times, as if he were self-importantly inflating the symbolic meaning of his characters’ experiences, even as he condescendingly attributed to them every venal quality from hypocrisy and vanity to paranoia and Machiavellian conniving.”—NYT review of Jonathan Franzen’s Freedom
“Jeremy Sparig spent months fighting bedbugs. Now, to some people, he is like a mattress left on the street, something best avoided in these times. “They don’t want to hug you anymore; they don’t want you coming over,” said Mr. Sparig, of East Williamsburg, Brooklyn. “You’re like a leper.”—What Spreads Faster Than Bedbugs? Social Stigma
“The traditional cycle seems to have gone off course, as young people remain un tethered to romantic partners or to permanent homes, going back to school for lack of better options, traveling, avoiding commitments, competing ferociously for unpaid internships or temporary (and often grueling) Teach for America jobs, forestalling the beginning of adult life.
Sociologists traditionally define the “transition to adulthood” as marked by five milestones: completing school, leaving home, becoming financially independent, marrying and having a child.”—What Is It About 20-Somethings?