News 04.10.19 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets


News 04.10.19 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets
News 04.10.19 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets
News 04.10.19 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

Why Your Brain Hates Slowpokes

Not long ago I diagnosed myself with the recently identified condition of sidewalk rage. It’s most pronounced when it comes to a certain friend who is a slow walker. Last month, as we sashayed our way to dinner, I found myself biting my tongue, thinking, I have to stop going places with her if I ever want to … get there!

News 04.10.19 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

You too can measure yourself on the “Pedestrian Aggressiveness Syndrome Scale,” a tool developed by University of Hawaii psychologist Leon James. While walking in a crowd, do you find yourself “acting in a hostile manner (staring, presenting a mean face, moving closer or faster than expected)” and “enjoying thoughts of violence?”

Slowness rage is not confined to the sidewalk, of course. Slow drivers, slow Internet, slow grocery lines—they all drive us crazy. Even the opening of this article may be going on a little too long for you. So I’ll get to the point. Slow things drive us crazy because the fast pace of society has warped our sense of timing. Things that our great-great-grandparents would have found miraculously efficient now drive us around the bend. Patience is a virtue that’s been vanquished in the Twitter age.

Read the rest of this article at: Nautilus

Busy Doing Nothing

News 04.10.19 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

LIKE DIET BOOKS, published and read in a steady stream despite—or thanks to—their near-total ineffectuality, manuals like Digital Minimalism (2019) and How to Break Up with Your Phone (2018) seem destined to appear year after year. Readers seek reprieve. They find individualized solutions ill-suited to breaking the habits that big technology companies have built into systems. It’s a recipe for recidivism.

But what’s the alternative? Artist and writer Jenny Odell suggests: nothing. Her new book, How to Do Nothing: Resisting the Attention Economy, looks at first glance like another contribution to the literature of digital detox. But Odell deliberately positions herself against this tradition. “All too often, things like digital detox retreats are marketed as a kind of ‘life hack’ for increasing productivity,” she writes. The result is a loop, in which a step away from your devices doubles as a step toward using them more efficiently, often for the ultimate benefit of bosses and shareholders. For Odell, “doing nothing” means breaking this cycle by resisting both the social media-driven “attention economy” and the “unforgiving landscape of productivity.”

The double meaning of her title’s “resisting” suggests how the “nothing” that precedes it might play out. Just as a person might resist the urge to open Twitter and then join others in the street to resist an injustice, Odell yokes together the two senses of the term. She presents the possibility of “a total and permanent reevaluation of one’s priorities”—made not in isolation, but in conversation with others alongside whom one can live out one’s new values. Odell defines these values largely by example. Her collectively oriented self-help—attuned to a moment in which many of her likely readers are groping toward more communal forms of living from behind capitalist barricades—does not offer advice so much as a series of inspirational parables and ideas, drawn from her wide reading and her own life. Grouped into thematic chapters, these stories model the potential of activities conventionally considered to be unproductive.

Read the rest of this article at: The Baffler

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The Secret History of the Suburbs

Back in the early 1960s, Malvina Reynolds wrote a song called “Little Boxes,” inspired by a drive past rows of lookalike pastel-hued houses in a new suburban housing tract in the Bay Area. (Her friend Pete Seeger had a hit with the song in 1963.) Reynolds saw the cookie-cutter houses as both symbols and shapers of the conformist mindset of the people who lived in them—doctors and lawyers who aspired to nothing more than playing golf and raising children who would one day inhabit “ticky-tacky” boxes of their own.

But Reynolds was wrong about who lived in this suburb, Daly City, just south of San Francisco. It was not originally home to the martini-chuffing doctors and lawyers she imagined, but to working-class and lower-middle-class (white) strivers who were the last group to get in on the postwar housing boom.

Then, only a few years after Reynolds wrote the song, Filipinos and other immigrants from Asia began arriving in Daly City. The “ticky-tacky” architecture that Reynolds scorned proved amenable to them remodeling and expanding homes for extended families, and Daly City became the “Pinoy capital” of the U.S., with the highest concentration of immigrants from the Philippines in America.

Read the rest of this article at: Citylab

In San Francisco, Making a Living From Your Billionaire Neighbor’s Trash

News 04.10.19 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

SAN FRANCISCO — Three blocks from Mark Zuckerberg’s $10 million Tudor home in San Francisco, Jake Orta lives in a small, single-window studio apartment filled with trash.

There’s a child’s pink bicycle helmet that Mr. Orta dug out from the garbage bin across the street from Mr. Zuckerberg’s house. And a vacuum cleaner, a hair dryer, a coffee machine — all in working condition — and a pile of clothes that he carried home in a Whole Foods paper bag retrieved from Mr. Zuckerberg’s bin.

A military veteran who fell into homelessness and now lives in government subsidized housing, Mr. Orta is a full-time trash picker, part of an underground economy in San Francisco of people who work the sidewalks in front of multimillion-dollar homes, rummaging for things they can sell.

Trash picking is a profession more often associated with shantytowns and favelas than a city at the doorstep of Silicon Valley. The Global Alliance of Waste Pickers, a nonprofit research and advocacy organization, counts more than 400 trash picking organizations across the globe, almost all of them in Latin America, Africa and southern Asia.

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

Sandy Fawkes: The Reporter And The Serial Killer

News 04.10.19 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

Sandy Fawkes landed in Atlanta on the night of November 7, 1974. She’d spent the day in Washington on a fruitless quest to interview former Vice President Spiro Agnew, part of a one-month tryout with an American weekly newspaper that paid her extraordinarily well, including travel and hotel—far more than her usual employer, the Daily Express, could afford thanks to the country’s current economic crisis.

Sandy had no plans for the evening. As was her habit when landing in a new city, she checked in with the local paper—here, the Atlanta Constitution—to see if one of their reporters might show her around. No one was available. The next option: the hotel bar. Sandy was nervous at the prospect of drinking alone in the South. Atlanta wasn’t London, where the pubs in Soho were so familiar to her they functioned as a second home.

As she wrote a few years later, “years of pulling in pubs and clubs had taught her that, despite being a bit broad in the beam and not exactly a raving beauty, she had a magnetism that drew men as if to a pile of iron filings.” Sandy was single, in her mid-forties. She could travel, pursue flings with younger men—early to mid-twenties was the ideal range—drink heavily without hangover, and keep primary focus on her work.

The year before she had published her most personal piece yet, a stirring account of the heartless murder of seven-year-old Maria Colwell by her abusive stepfather. Sandy’s anger propelled the story from editorial indifference to front-page news. Her outrage caused her to open up about her own troubled childhood, eliciting much praise and sympathy.

Read the rest of this article at: CrimeReads

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

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