“The core connotations of this act are firstly materialism - that is an obsessional desire to buy things per se and secondly hedonism - that is a highly self-indulgent form of pleasure and leisure. Shopping here is primarily an act of spending, preferably spending large amounts of money, almost without a care for consequences. Ideally, this will take place in some mall which abstracts shopping from all other contexts and becomes a framed environment solely devoted to this abstract pursuit of shopping for its own sake.”—A Theory of Shopping
“The couple also have to contend with a problem with their son, which time and again becomes a key point of contention for working-class shoppers on low incomes. Almost invariably sons desire the special football stripes for their team and these are extremely expensive. In this case, the new Spurs stripe would cost £66, which they really can’t afford. In fact, they have resorted to borrowing the money from a building society account which contains funds given to their son from his grandparents. Although at one level they know they are stealing from their own son, they reason that it is more important to be able to provide something whihc has become a key element in a boy’s constitution as a member of his peer group. Indeed, this is precisely the kind of ‘love that cannot be denied’ whihc can lead to theft by impoverished families, who, as in this case, would see themselves as scrupulously law-abiding by choice. I could never imagine this couple stealing on their own behalf, but they are simply too driven by love for this not to be imaginable as action on behalf of others. Here love takes the more exquisite form of parental anxiety over how the son will be treated if he does not live up to the expectations of his peers.”—Daniel Miller - A Theory of Shopping
“It’s everybody, I mean. Everything everybody does is so — I don’t know — not wrong, or even mean, or even stupid necessarily. But just so tiny and meaningless and — sad-making. And the worst part is, if you go bohemian or something crazy like that, you’re conforming just as much only in a different way.”
You don’t like the mainstream or conforming to it, you join your own secluded minority…
“Cowell succeeds because television needs him. By aggregating an audience so fast and keeping them for an evening he creates the illusion that he can fix the gaps in the programming stream. He’s mostly bad for his artists who get turned into clones. Playing Leona Lewis at one extreme and Sue Boyle at the other - he peddles the notion that he makes their dreams come true. Whoever you are. They’re not as raw as they look. Somehow nobody remembered to tell us that Leona Lewis had been working with professional voice coaches for a full year before she went on the show. The only thing she didn’t have was a recording contract. And there’s really no guarantee of any kind of longevity. There is a respectable career for musicians in the Long Tail where they can grow their audience slowly and keep them. But this year’s finalists will discover that Cowell will take back their audiences to feed them the new contestants within a matter of months. Their skillset and material aren’t individual enough to allow them to start with a new audience. And in spite of their fame they won’t have access to the media channels to attract the attention of a mass audience for themselves.”—Back Story - Cowell TV
“'Murdoch's mainstream publications simply cannot tell the truth about the world the way the Internet can and does. The result is that he is bleeding readers. It is very simple, but a terrible conundrum for Murdoch.) Listen to Murdoch and we believe you can get a clear sense of how the power elite (which seems to respect Murdoch and funds him) is going to try to reposition their critical media properties to take back the share of mind that they have lost to the ‘Net. He's going to out-di stribute, out-litigate and out-lobby the blogosphere. But he's not going to out-write it because he can't.'”—Murdoch on Journalism and Freedom
“Now, if I choose one magazine to subscribe to out of myriad sources, it feels like I’m limiting my options in a way. I don’t want to commit to one publication, one source, one newspaper, one magazine. Why? Because the publication has become less important than the news itself. I want to be free to surf, reading dozens of different newspapers, blogs or magazines that I may visit just once or twice. I enjoy the synchronicity of happening upon a publication I have never heard of and will probably never visit again. Yes, I realize that even if I subscribe to one publication, I can still read others. But the act of subscribing is picking one over the others. If you’re a runner, you have a choice of two major magazines: Runner’s World or Running Times. By picking one, you’re choosing not to pick the other. You might glance at the other once in a while, but you probably don’t read them both cover to cover. I think many of us feel that if we pay for a publication, we expect it to become one of our primary news sources — not just one of dozens of places where we get news. I may feel a bit cheated if I end up getting more of my news elsewhere. I may feel cheated if I subscribe but forget to check the site every day, going instead only when a Facebook friend sends me a link.”—E&P and the emotional commitment of a subscription » Nieman Journalism Lab
“Most people, in most fields of consumption, most of the time are NOT maximisers at all. They are something completely different. They are satisficers. What they are doing is not using insane amounts of mental energy to attempt to optimise every decison. They are instead simply trying to avoid making a decision that is actually bad or which might cause them to look or feel foolist. For those people, good enough generally is. Most important of all, they are not using their brand choices to compete with their fellow man, or to draw distinctions between them and their peer-group. They are using them to fit in. To conform, not to outdo. You go to the films your friends like, you read the books your friends like, you listen to the music your friends like. It’s safe, after all. And you drive the car your friends drive. Because what you are driven by is not the idea of choice optimisation, but (in behavioural terms) the much more powerful idea of risk aversion. By fitting in, you may not have the best musical taste in the world, or eat the best food, or drive the best car - but you won’t go far wrong either. And, when making a puchase, what most people want, most of the time, is not the best they can buy: they want something that’s very unlikely to be crap.”—
Do people in the music industry understand music? - Rory Sutherland’s Blog
“First off, the author creates a main character which is an empty shell. Her appearance isn’t described in detail; that way, any female can slip into it and easily fantasize about being this person. I read 400 pages of that book and barely had any idea of what the main character looked like; as far as I was concerned she was a giant Lego brick. Appearance aside, her personality is portrayed as insecure, fumbling, and awkward - a combination anyone who ever went through puberty can relate to. By creating this “empty shell,” the character becomes less of a person and more of something a female reader can put on and wear”—How Twilight Works - The Oatmeal
“Our world is now riddled with what C. West Churchman referred to as “wicked problems”: issues like climate change, healthcare, and education that are difficult to address because of their complex interdependencies and changing requirements. Our day-to-day lives are also full of small problems and basic tasks that are becoming increasingly difficult to manage due to frequency and volume. For example, as healthcare moves towards a more consumer-oriented model, people will be asked to electronically track every aspect of their health. Add this to the complexities of managing a Netflix queue or digital photo library, or keeping computer software up to date, and you begin to get the picture. And these are just the simple tasks.”—Design: A New Engine for Society
“People want to wander at a holiday party, though truth be told, there are no discoveries. All of it is a lush echo of the year before, or a decade before that. Babies are held up. Backs slapped. Hands shaken. Absences noted. It takes a little understanding. Children must have television rooms to wrestle in. Sullen teenagers must be allowed to trundle unfettered from room to room, and there should be a Ping-Pong table for them in some faraway corner. Sometimes people need a little distance. When my party gets crowded, and for a time it always does, friends and enemies move shoulder-to-shoulder in semicircles of progress from the spiral ham, toward the empty armchairs, or back to the kitchen for another visit with Nick, and the whole event, nestled in the midst of weeks of obligation, feels like our best selves volunteering to be seen.”—Christmas and Holiday Party Planning Ideas - Esquire
“Just imagine; people simply get bored of consumerism, vandalism, of all isms in general. The good times when we bought all manner of unnecessary things with borrowed money were merely a blip on our otherwise toilsome shared existence; the recession was a return to the norm, rather than a rough patch. Rationing makes a comeback, and the national dish is a breed of meatloaf that may or may not be suitable for vegetarians, and may or may not be made from bits of old people. Sometimes it’s pink and easy to slice, whereas other batches can be a bit more crumbly. Regardless of its not so consistent consistency, there is something oddly moreish about this loaf shaped staple. Petrol is scarce, power cuts are plentiful, water is limited to certain times of day, and real coffee can only be procured by the privileged types who work for the government – which, incidentally, is a faceless operation led by psychotherapists and dubbed the National Unity Government. Despite these hardships, most folk simply embrace that mythical British make do and mend mentality we’ve heard about but probably haven’t seen firsthand.”—Meatloaf
Imagine a future where immense amounts of trash didn’t pile up on the peripheries of our cities: a future where we understand the ‘removal-chain’ as we do the ‘supply-chain’, and where we can use this knowledge to not only build more efficient and sustainable infrastructures but to promote behavioral change. In this future city, the invisible infrastructures of trash removal will become visible and the final journey of our trash will no longer be “out of sight, out of mind”.
9) Incorrect Grammar Example: Rudy Mezzy is oh my god Bill Belichick your such an idiot. Why would you go for it when theyre team had Peyton Manning? Wow, ok first of all before you call someone an idiot, make sure you can correctly identify them as a contraction instead of a possessive. Attend Elementary School before changing your status.
“Take the promise of Third Place. Starbucks has borrowed – expropriated — this phrase from the sociologist Ray Oldenburg. Oldenburg calls these locations real – not virtual — sites between work and home where people can gather. Starbucks serves this role, but back to the question, in only the thinnest, most ephemeral of ways. To Oldenburg, third places are social setting where strangers meet and forge the bonds of community. Once they trust each other, they go on to discuss matters of crucial import to the community. Talk is essential for these places to genuinely work. But that isn’t really what happens at Starbucks. People come to Starbucks to get a moment of respite or to meet with colleagues, but rarely do they engage in the kinds of community discussions needed to bolster civic life. So what they get at Starbucks, is a busy, chatty looking place that looks like a third place, but isn’t really a third place. Kind of like those cup quotes. Remember when Starbucks tattooed its cups with quotes? They were there the company said to encourage conversation and community, but they didn’t say much that could get anyone to actually talk or engage with others. Who isn’t in favor of finding love, the rainbow of colors, and the innocence of kids playing baseball? When the cups did incite a little controversy, Starbucks pulled the offending cups. That’s not free speech, and free speech is key to Third Places and to community. Just ask Ray Oldenburg.”—Brand Autopsy
“Built for the postneed, status-seeking, civically challenged world, Starbucks offered an important variation on McDonald’s-style, branded predictability, sameness and comfort are certainly important for highly mobile yuppies, bobos, and creative class types.”—Brand Autopsy: Bryant Simon on Starbucks
“At the high end of coveted-object acquisition is the coffee-table book, that chest of dreams, that ocean-liner view. Expensive to produce, difficult to market, a bear to cart around, the coffee-table book is an illustrated commemorative tablet dedicated to the history, appreciation, and subtle nuances of aristocratic objects of contemplation and acquisition (fashion, flowers, gardens, lavish interiors, jewelry, deceased Hollywood royalty, masterpiece paintings, baseball collectibles, ballerina toe shoes). Totems of tasteful extravagance with a tendency to monumentalism, the most monolithic of them—Taschen’s goat (a 75-pound tribute to the Greatest of All Time, heavyweight champion Muhammad Ali), Helmut Newton’s Sumo (66 pounds of superbody nudity), Peter Beard: Art Edition (41 pounds), Andy Warhol: “Giant” Size (a relatively svelte 16-pounder)—are tombstone mothers that need to be trolleyed in from the freight elevator and installed where there’s no danger of their tipping over and flattening some child, pet, pint-size grandparent, or small village. Can the average coffee-table book survive The Vanishing? Debatable—there’s something about even the most enticing specimen that evokes a weary sigh. Opening it, turning its pages, often just seems like so much work.”—James Wolcott on Cultural Snobbery
“Books not only furnish a room, to paraphrase the title of an Anthony Powell novel, but also accessorize our outfits. They help brand our identities. At the rate technology is progressing, however, we may eventually be traipsing around culturally nude in an urban rain forest, androids seamlessly integrated with our devices. As we divest ourselves of once familiar physical objects—digitize and dematerialize—we approach a Star Trek future in which everything can be accessed from the fourth dimension with a few clicks or terse audibles. Reading will forfeit the tactile dimension where memories insinuate themselves, reminding us of where and when D. H. Lawrence entered our lives that meaningful summer. “Darling, remember when we downloaded Sons and Lovers in Napa Valley?” doesn’t have quite the same ring to it.”—James Wolcott on Cultural Snobbery
I’m a security technologist. My job is making people secure.
I think about security systems and how to break them. Then, how to make them more secure. Computer security systems. Surveillance systems. Airplane security systems and voting machines and RFID chips and everything else.
[…] Security is fun. It’s incredibly fun. It’s cat and mouse, who can outsmart whom, hunter versus hunted fun. I think it’s the most fun job you can possibly have. If you thought it was fun to read about Marcus outsmarting the gait-recognition cameras with rocks in his shoes, think of how much more fun it would be if you were the first person in the world to think of that.
Working in security means knowing a lot about technology. It might mean knowing about computers and networks, or cameras and how they work, or the chemistry of bomb detection. But really, security is a mindset. It’s a way of thinking. Marcus is a great example of that way of thinking. He’s always looking for ways a security system fails. I’ll bet he couldn’t walk into a store without figuring out a way to shoplift. Not that he’d do it — there’s a difference between knowing how to defeat a security system and actually defeating it — but he’d know he could.
It’s how security people think. We’re constantly looking at security systems and how to get around them; we can’t help it.
This kind of thinking is important no matter what side of security you’re on. If you’ve been hired to build a shoplift-proof store, you’d better know how to shoplift. If you’re designing a camera system that detects individual gaits, you’d better plan for people putting rocks in their shoes. Because if you don’t, you’re not going to design anything good.
So when you’re wandering through your day, take a moment to look at the security systems around you. Look at the cameras in the stores you shop at. (Do they prevent crime, or just move it next door?) See how a restaurant operates. (If you pay after you eat, why don’t more people just leave without paying?) Pay attention at airport security. (How could you get a weapon onto an airplane?) Watch what the teller does at a bank. (Bank security is designed to prevent tellers from stealing just as much as it is to prevent you from stealing.) Stare at an anthill. (Insects are all about security.) Read the Constitution, and notice all the ways it provides people with security against government. Look at traffic lights and door locks and all the security systems on television and in the movies. Figure out how they work, what threats they protect against and what threats they don’t, how they fail, and how they can be exploited.
Spend enough time doing this, and you’ll find yourself thinking differently about the world. You’ll start noticing that many of the security systems out there don’t actually do what they claim to, and that much of our national security is a waste of money. You’ll understand privacy as essential to security, not in opposition. You’ll stop worrying about things other people worry about, and start worrying about things other people don’t even think about.
Sometimes you’ll notice something about security that no one has ever thought about before. And maybe you’ll figure out a new way to break a security system. […]
“Apparently, iPhone users are more likely to see themselves as “media buffs, extroverts, and intellectuals,” In other words, ego-driven cretins. One in three said they would be turned off if their partner had “out-of-date gadgets,” and in potential partners they prefer ownership of “cool gadgets” to ownership of college degrees, three to one.”—AdScam/The Horror! : More wanky iPhone information!
“I spend much of my time assuming the rest of the world knows better, that everyone else effortlessly comprehends things I struggle to understand. Things like long division, or which mobile phone tariff to go for. In many ways, this is a comforting thought, as it means there’s a limitless pool of people more intelligent than myself I can call on for advice. But sometimes I find out my gut assumption was right all along, and it’s a deeply unsettling experience. Take Dubai. I’m no expert on Dubai. Never been there, and only read about it in passing. The one thing I knew was that everything I heard about it sounded impossible. It was a modern dreamland. A concrete hallucination. A sarcastic version of Las Vegas. Dubai’s skyline was dotted with gigantic whimsical behemoths. There were six-star hotels shaped like sails or shoes or starfish. Skyscrapers so tall the moon had to steer its way around them.”—Charlie Brooker | Remember those dreamlike images of Dubai? Guess what. You were dreaming
“America’s future leaders were photographed naked. Quickly forgotten and never questioned, this early photographic experience will become the butt of many jokes in the 1990s. However, the uses to which these so-called “Ivy League posture photos” were put are neither innocuous nor amusing. Safe in the hallowed halls of Ivy League buildings, W.H. Sheldon and E.A. Hooton, the two professors behind the photo frenzy, used the pictures for a very different, almost sinister purpose—to link posture, which they believed was hereditary, with personality. The intent was subtle but unmistakable.”—Ivy League Posture Photos