In the News 05.04.18 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets


In the News 05.04.18 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets
In the News 05.04.18 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets
In the News 05.04.18 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

Why Silicon Valley Can’t Fix Itself

Big Tech is sorry. After decades of rarely apologising for anything, Silicon Valley suddenly seems to be apologising for everything. They are sorry about the trolls. They are sorry about the bots. They are sorry about the fake news and the Russians, and the cartoons that are terrifying your kids on YouTube. But they are especially sorry about our brains.

Sean Parker, the former president of Facebook – who was played by Justin Timberlake in The Social Network – has publicly lamented the “unintended consequences” of the platform he helped create: “God only knows what it’s doing to our children’s brains.” Justin Rosenstein, an engineer who helped build Facebook’s “like” button and Gchat, regrets having contributed to technology that he now considers psychologically damaging, too. “Everyone is distracted,” Rosenstein says. “All of the time.”

Read the rest of this article at: The Guardian

The New Magnetism Of Mid-Size Cities

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If, 10 years ago, you had asked 28-year-old Sarah Luckett Bhatia if she’d eventually return to her hometown of Louisville, Kentucky, she “would have laughed in your face.”

Even just a few years ago, the prospects of coming home to Derby City would have seemed slim. Bhatia moved to Chicago for school, studied at Columbia College, and immediately got a job in corporate planning and strategy. Like many 20-somethings, she steered her life and career trajectory toward big cities and the opportunities they promised.

But Bhatia’s plans started changing after meeting Ravi, a video editor at Leo Burnett, and marrying him in 2016. After years of living in Chicago, the couple was getting tired of the urban grind and began prioritizing kids, a home, and a connection to family.

At the same time, it struck Bhatia that “Louisville got cool.” The city’s restaurant and bar scene, propelled in part by the surrounding region’s bourbon boom, has blossomed—“I think it’s on par with Chicago, which I realize is a controversial thing to say,” Bhatia says—and the city has a new pro sports team, the Louisville City FC soccer club, which plans to build a new stadium in the Butchertown neighborhood, part of a 40-acre, $200 million development.

In 2017, Bhatia decided to move home, joining a growing number of younger Americans returning to the small- and medium-sized cities they left after college. There are no studies yet measuring the movement by what some call “boomerangs,” those millennials moving back to their hometowns from larger cities, and much of the evidence is anecdotal at best.

But conversations with Bhatia and others, as well as some demographic data, suggests those moving home are part of a boom in the country’s second-tier cities.

Mid- or second-tier cities, loosely defined as those under a million people that aren’t regional powerhouses like Austin or Seattle, are increasingly seen as not just places to find a lower cost of living, easier commute, and closer connections with family, but also a more approachable, neighborhood-oriented version of the urban lifestyle that sent many to the larger cities in the first place. Between 2010 and 2015, cities such as Colorado Springs saw their millennial populations grow by more than 10 percent.

Read the rest of this article at: Curbed

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The Rise of ‘Instagram Brands’: How the Platform Is Leveling the Fashion Playing Field

At one point last winter, my Instagram feed was suddenly flooded with gingham, scalloped-edge, cut-out mini-dresses by a brand I’d never heard of (or seen for sale IRL anywhere) called Paris 99. I knew nothing about it or its founder — nor did my fellow Fashionista editors, who had also noticed it on their feeds — until it got a flood of coverage in outlets like The Coveteur, Refinery 29 and even the New York Times, in addition to a co-sign by the influential retailer Opening Ceremony, which picked up Paris 99 shortly after its debut. If you’ve heard of it or labels like LPA, Daisy, I.Am.Gia, Orseund Iris, Poppy Lissiman, Realisation Par, Cult Gaia, Miaou, Danielle Guizio and Fashion Nova, that’s probably a pretty relatable scenario.

We all know that Instagram is changing the fashion industry; it goes without saying that a strong Instagram presence is a crucial component to any fashion brand that aspires to any significant measure of success, and that influencer marketing has become one of the most effective methods of building awareness and driving online sales. But all of these factors, in a time when both the traditional fashion calendar and the wholesale model have become less relevant, seem to have converged to create a new wave of “Instagram brands,” which use the platform as a primary launchpad.

Read the rest of this article at: Fashionista


Starring Serena Williams as Herself

“We haven’t been apart from each other more than 24 hours, ever,” Williams said of her daughter, whom Williams’s longtime fitness trainer, Mackie Shilstone, calls Baby O.

Williams’s private sphere is about to become much more transparent with the premiere on Wednesday of a five-part series on HBO called “Being Serena,” which tracks her pregnancy, her life-threatening postnatal problems and her comeback in remarkably unvarnished fashion.

The cameras follow her and Ohanian through some of the most intimate moments of their lives: even into the delivery room during Olympia’s birth by cesarean section as Ohanian murmurs, “So proud of you,” into his wife’s ear. That is only moments before they get their first look at their new “teammate,” Williams’s splayed fingers mirroring Olympia’s outstretched arms with a clear, plastic barrier still separating mother and child. Olympia is soon placed on Williams’s chest and immediately stops crying.

Read the rest of this article at: The New York Times

He Was One Of Millions Of Chinese Seniors Growing Old Alone. So He Put Himself Up For Adoption.

TIANJIN, CHINA - JANUARY 19: Han Zicheng, 85, rides his bike to go to a nearby market in Tianjin, China. The bike trip to buy food and vegetable is part of his daily routine. (Photo by Yan Cong for The Washington Post)

TIANJIN, China — Han Zicheng survived the Japanese invasion, the Chinese civil war and the Cultural Revolution, but he knew he could not endure the sorrow of living alone.

On a chilly day in December, the 85-year-old Chinese grandfather gathered some scraps of white paper and wrote out a pitch in blue ink: “Looking for someone to adopt me.”

“Lonely old man in his 80s. Strong-bodied. Can shop, cook and take care of himself. No chronic illness. I retired from a scientific research institute in Tianjin, with a monthly pension of 6,000 RMB [$950] a month,” he wrote.

“I won’t go to a nursing home. My hope is that a kindhearted person or family will adopt me, nourish me through old age and bury my body when I’m dead.”

He taped a copy to a bus shelter in his busy neighborhood.

Then he went home to wait.

Han was desperate for company. He said his wife had died. His sons were out of touch. His neighbors had kids to raise and elderly parents of their own.

He was fit enough to ride his bike to the market to buy chestnuts, eggs and buns, but he knew that his health would one day fail him. He also knew he was but one of tens of millions of Chinese growing old without enough support.

Improved living standards and the one-child policy have turned China’s population pyramid upside down. Already, 15 percent of Chinese are older than 60. By 2040, it will be nearly one in four, according to current projections.

It’s a demographic crisis that threatens China’s economy and the fabric of family life. Businesses must chug along with fewer workers. A generation of single children care for aging parents on their own.

In 2013, the Chinese government made a law mandating parental visits. In practice, millions of “empty nest” elderly — seniors who don’t live with their spouses or children — have little protection. Children leave. The social safety net is full of holes.

Han had tried to find caregivers. This time, a woman saw him taping a note to a store window, snapped a picture and posted it on social media with a plea: “I hope warmhearted people can help.”

A television crew from an online site called Pear Video came to tell the story of the lonely Tianjin grandpa. Han’s phone started ringing.

And through his last three months, it did not stop.

At first, Han was hopeful.

He had been trying for years to get people to listen to him, stopping neighbors to tell them he was lonely, that he was scared of dying, that he didn’t want to die alone.

Now people were reaching out, showing concern. A local restaurant offered food. A journalist from Hebei province promised to visit. He struck up a telephone friendship with a 20-year-old law student in the south.

But his mood soured when he realized the family he imagined would be tough to find. He rejected offers he considered below him. When a migrant worker called in January, he dismissed him and hung up the phone.

Read the rest of this article at: The Washington Post

P.S. previous articles & more by P.F.M.

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