July 4, 2017

Aspirational class eat kale and fit their yoga pants

Sociologist Elizabeth Currid-Halkett has taken the baton from Veblen--but with a modified target. In her new book, The Sum of Small Things: A Theory of the Aspirational Class, Currid-Halkett takes aim at "Aspirationals"--the group that she sees as the new elite. They're best characterized on the book's webpage as:

Highly educated and defined by cultural capital rather than income bracket, these individuals earnestly buy organic, carry NPR tote bags, and breast-feed their babies. They care about discreet, inconspicuous consumption--like eating free-range chicken and heirloom tomatoes, wearing organic cotton shirts and TOMS shoes, and listening to the Serial podcast. They use their purchasing power to hire nannies and housekeepers, to cultivate their children's growth, and to practice yoga and Pilates

Currid-Halkett notes that most of the wealthy today actually have to work for their riches. "Other than the odd trust fund playboy or oligarch's debutante, the leisure class no longer exists," she writes. In fact, today, in a reversal from the 1970s, the highest earning 20% of workers work more hours than those in the bottom 20%.
The fact that the aspirational class works, and that most of their income is based on the skills they have gained from high levels of education has made "social, environmental, and cultural awareness" the most valuable sources of social capital, Currid-Halkett argues.

Continue reading "Aspirational class eat kale and fit their yoga pants" »

July 2, 2017

Next City: Washington DC's real estate branding white millennials

Pathologies of the affluent in the segregated White suburbs. "There is a tendency toward pathology in the gilded suburban ghetto," he wrote. "An emptiness reflecting a futile struggle to find substance and worth through the concretes of things and possessions. The residents of the gilded ghetto may escape by an acceptance of conformity, by the deadly ritual of alcoholism, by absorption in work, or in the artificial and transitory excitement of illicit affairs."

Derek Hyra is an associate professor in the School of Public Affairs and the founding director of the Metropolitan Policy Center at American University. His research focuses on processes of neighborhood change, with an emphasis on housing, urban politics and race. He is the author of "Race, Class and Politics in the Cappuccino City" (University of Chicago Press 2017).

July 1, 2017

BMW vs Honda: Rear, humpback battle 4 of 4

BMW 640i xdrive GrandTurismo vs Honda Civic hatachback

Rear

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    honda-civic-hatch-2017-rear.jpg

  • June 30, 2017

    BMW vs Honda: Side, humpback battle 3 of 4

    BMW 640i xdrive GrandTurismo vs Honda Civic hatachback


  • Side

    bmw640ixGTside.jpg



    civivHatch_side.jpg



  • June 28, 2017

    BMW vs Honda: Front, humpback battle 2 of 4

    BMW 640i xdrive GrandTurismo vs Honda Civic hatachback

  • Front

    bmw640ixGT.jpg


  • AirBnB personalises, tunes search results

    Airbnb learned over time that machine learning could be used to offer this personalization, Mike Curtis said. Airbnb introduced its machine learned search ranking model toward the end of 2014 and has been continuously developing it since. Today Airbnb personalizes all search results.

    Airbnb factors in signals about the guests themselves, as well as guests similar to them, when offering up results.

    For example, guests provide explicit signals in their search -- the length of stay, the number of bedrooms they need. But as they examine their search results, they may show interest in similar, desirable attributes that the guests themselves might not even notice.

    "There's a bunch of other signals that you're giving us based on just which listings you click on," Curtis says. "For example, what kind of setting is it in? What kind of decor is in the house? These are things Airbnb can use to feed into the model to come up with a better prediction of which listings to show you first."

    The company pulls well over a hundred signals into the search rank model, Curtis says, and then the machine learning algorithm figures out how all the signals interact, to produce personalized search rankings

    June 26, 2017

    BMW vs Honda: humpback battle 1 of 4

    BMW 640i xdrive GrandTurismo vs Honda Civic hatachback

    Ghosts of the Saab wagonback return.

    BMW vs Honda: Front, humpback battle 2 of 4
    BMW vs Honda: Side, humpback battle 3 of 4
    BMW vs Honda: Rear, humpback battle 4 of 4


    Joe Cruz's beautiful bike tours

    Joe Cruz's beautiful bike tours.

    June 25, 2017

    Helen Ho of Recycle a Bicycle, NYC

    Eleanor's NYC's profile of Helen Shirley Ho of recycle-a-bicycle, New York.

    HelenHo_r-a-b.jpg

    More.

    Continue reading "Helen Ho of Recycle a Bicycle, NYC" »

    June 24, 2017

    How did the culture at your last company empower or disempower you?

    Four questions, ht Inc.



    • How did the culture at your last company empower or disempower you ?

    • What were the characteristics of the best boss you've ever had ?

    • Describe how you handled a conflict with one of your co-workers ?

    • What kind of feedback do you expect to receive in this role and how often do you expect to receive it?

    June 23, 2017

    Fake News includes bad reporting, slanted journalism and outright propaganda includes bad reporting, slanted journalism and outright propaganda

    "Fake news was a term specifically about people who purposely fabricated stories for clicks and revenue," said David Mikkelson, the founder of Snopes, the myth-busting website. "Now it includes bad reporting, slanted journalism and outright propaganda. And I think we're doing a disservice to lump all those things together."

    The right's labeling of "fake news" evokes one of the most successful efforts by conservatives to reorient how Americans think about news media objectivity: the move by Fox News to brand its conservative-slanted coverage as "fair and balanced." Traditionally, mainstream media outlets had thought of their own approach in those terms, viewing their coverage as strictly down the middle. Republicans often found that laughable.

    June 22, 2017

    Piketty's book, and to the growing salience of inequality

    It's a testament to the power of Piketty's book, and to the growing salience of inequality as a political issue, that people like Jason Furman are giving Piketty's book respectful attention. The issue has gained enough traction that political elites now feel that they have to pay it lip service.

    Still, their message is clear: minor reforms might be grudgingly allowed, but policies that threaten the wealth and power of the elite class are strictly out of bounds.

    June 20, 2017

    Ride alone ?

    More Blacks and Hispanics thought bicyclists were mostly women, children, and seniors and more Blacks and Hispanics thought they would bike more if they could bike with family and friends. To comfortably bicycle with someone, the bicyclist would prefer to ride beside and not in front or behind their companion. Therefore, cycle tracks in lower income ethnic-minority neighborhoods should be wide to enable side-by-side riding with family and friends. (C.R.O.W, 2006 ; Rietveld and Daniel, 2004).


    June 19, 2017

    North Shore Racks bike racks

    North Shore Racks customer testimonials and Series 202 racks.

    June 18, 2017

    ZIP code scribble maps

    "Scribble Map" by connecting each dot representing each U.S. ZIP code in ascending order.

    scribble map of zip codes by Robert Kosara.

    ScribbleZIP.png

    June 14, 2017

    Zuckerberg for President, 2020

    The baffler on Citizen Zuckerberg.

    June 13, 2017

    Citibike comes to Astoria with Long Island City expansion

    Citibike plan for Astoria and Long Island City, 2017.

    June 11, 2017

    thenextweb's 12 timeless UI Patterns

    thenextweb's 12 timeless UI Patterns for the WWW.

    June 10, 2017

    Walt Mossberg created a much different approach to product reviews

    As a product designer, it was frustrating to see a product reviewed and rated based on the number of features it had, even when many of those features would never be used. And I saw how the magazines had influenced the design of new products. Design engineers and marketing people would tend to pile on feature after feature without much thought to usability. That made products take longer to design, harder to use and less reliable.

    In 1991, Walt Mossberg created a much different approach to product reviews that not only made it easier to assess a new product but also changed how products would be designed.

    Continue reading "Walt Mossberg created a much different approach to product reviews" »

    June 8, 2017

    Best Porsche 911 value ? The 996 Turbo, 2001-2004

    There are only two truly desirable 996-generation Porsches in our market: The 2001-2004 Turbo and the 2004 GT3. They have the effectively bulletproof split-cased engine, and they're both fast enough to keep up with modern performance cars. Values for these cars are already on the upswing. Feel free to jump on the bandwagon, if you have the $40,000 or more that's required to get a good example.

    For everybody else, I would suggest buying a 997-generation Porsche instead. Although the pre-facelift 997s continue with the troublesome M96 engine, they are much nicer-looking inside and out. If you squint a bit, a 2005 997 looks quite a bit like the current car. That matters to people regardless of what they say or write on the Internet.

    June 7, 2017

    Personal Kanban works on two principles: Visualize your work, and limit your total number of "works in progress."

    Personal Kanban works on two principles: Visualize your work, and limit your total number of "works in progress."

    Starting but not finishing too many projects puts a person at risk of the so-called Zeigarnik effect, named for Bluma Zeigarnik, a Russian psychiatrist who, in the 1920s, discovered that people are better at remembering unfinished tasks than completed ones. Unfinished items that we've left hanging are like cognitive itches. (Zeigarnik first made this observation watching servers remember detailed meal orders at a restaurant only as long as the order was in process.)

    June 6, 2017

    Winter poggies: moufle-compak by ceunik

    Winter poggies: moufle-compak by ceunik.

    Poggies are big mittens fitted to handbars for winter cycling.

    They look like oven mitts.

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