We are led to believe that our brand loyalties are the result of a deep, essential affinity between the consumer and product — this soap is “you”; this bank is “yours” — and social networking affords us countless opportunities to publicise and justify these brand loyalties as partial explanations of “who we are”.
The reader who is outraged by being “forced” to look up an unfamiliar word — characterising the writer as a tyrant, a torturer — is a consumer outraged by inconvenience and false advertising. Advertising relies on the fiction that the personal happiness of the consumer is valued above all other things; we are reassured in every way imaginable that we, the customers, are always right.
I thought that with cleavage came power. But as my cleavage amassed, I found the opposite to be true. My ample cups seemed to hint at certain unpleasant possibilities. Like, maybe I was dumb. Maybe I was slutty. Maybe I liked it when people gawked at my breasts, and when the guy driving that van rolled down the window to say “nice tits, love” as I walked past in my school uniform. And I probably didn’t mind when I said no thank you to the boy who wanted to snap a photo on his phone looking down my top, but he didn’t listen and took the photo anyway.
He was disgusted by his early fame because he saw the mixed motives behind his image of public virtue, the gratification he felt in being idolized and admired. He felt degraded when asked to pronounce on political and moral issues about which, he reminded himself, artists had no special insight. Far from imagining that artists were superior to anyone else, he had seen in himself that artists have their own special temptations toward power and cruelty and their own special skills at masking their impulses from themselves.
More than 20 years later, with a stable international market, the plantation became an afterthought. Lipton planned to plow the plantation under and replace it with a crop of houses. With his knowledge of the industry, Hall knew this would be a horrible mistake. So in 1987 he bought the plantation and set a goal to provide tea drinkers across the country with U.S.-grown tea for the first time in history.
I want to visit.
The cosmic joke might be that horseshoe crabs, which for the past 30 years have been a high-value part of the new biotech economy, will return to their previous status as fishermen’s bait for predatory snails. Being valuable alive has obviously hurt the horseshoe crab in some ways. But having no economic value at all is worse.
Tumblr is for porn. Facebook is for the wannabe famous. Instagram is for those who are too lazy to write. Texting is social currency. It doesn’t matter how many likes or friends or followers you’ve got, but how many people text you and how regularly, that’s how popularity is judged today.
Rock and roll is the music of the baby boomers, who believe everything they’re into should last forever, but it doesn’t, just like them.
Ignorance reigns. Education comes through word of mouth, which also spreads falsehoods. He who knows the most truth wins. We live in an information society, what’s in your brain is paramount.
Just because something makes money, that does not mean it does not suck.
In 2010, three University of Chicago economists found that, while the G.E.D. does approximate a high-school degree as a measurement of scholastic aptitude, it reveals nothing about the non-academic skills—traits like persistence, motivation, and reliability—that are developed over the course of a high-school career, and that are necessary for success in work or at college.
The G.E.D. is not the same sort of learning experience as a MOOC, but there are points of contact between the two. They both attempt to trade most, if not all, of the traditional classroom experience, where a student’s noncognitive skills are tried and tempered, for access and convenience. And that can seem like a good deal. On a physical campus, courses are often a negotiation between motivation and curriculum, in which the success of a class depends as much on how much sleep students get, who’s sitting next to whom, or personal opinions of the instructor as on the lesson plan and lecture notes. When a student’s attention drifts in a classroom, it can be regained. A skilled teacher can bounce the curriculum back into the messy real world of education, focussing and flipping distractions into the lesson in a sort of pedagogical jujitsu.
Mmm mmmm. For me, the social aspect of learning, being surrounded by people just as smart, smarter, dumber, whatever, was very important.