Archive for January 12th, 2012

January 12, 2012

Generation X

reality bites

douglas coupland

Generation X, commonly abbreviated to Gen X, is the generation born after the baby boom ended. While there is no universally agreed upon time frame, the term generally includes people born from the early 1960s through the early 1980s, usually no later than 1981 or 1982. The term had also been used in different times and places for various subcultures or countercultures since the 1950s.

The term Generation X was coined by the Magnum photographer Robert Capa in the early 1950s. He would use it later as a title for a photo-essay about young men and women growing up immediately after the Second World War. The project first appeared in ‘Picture Post’ (UK) and ‘Holiday’ (US) in 1953. Describing his intention, Capa said ‘We named this unknown generation, The Generation X, and even in our first enthusiasm we realized that we had something far bigger than our talents and pockets could cope with.’

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January 12, 2012

Millennials

mindset list

Generation Y, also known as Millennials, describes the demographic cohort following Generation X. While there is no universally agreed upon time frame, the term generally includes people born in the late 1980s, early to middle 1990s, or as late as the early 2000s. One segment of this age-group is often called the ‘eighties babies’ generation. Members of this generation are called Echo Boomers because many of them are children of baby boomers. The 20th century trend toward smaller families in developed countries continued, so the relative impact of the ‘baby boom echo’ was generally less pronounced than the original boom.

Characteristics of the generation vary by region, depending on social and economic conditions. However, it is generally marked by an increased use and familiarity with communications, media, and digital technologies. In most parts of the world its upbringing was marked by an increase in a neoliberal approach to politics and economics; the effects of this environment are disputed. Today, there are approximately 80 million Echo Boomers.

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January 12, 2012

Claque

applause

laugh track by Zohar Lazar

A claque [klak] (French for ‘clap’) is an organized body of professional applauders in French theatres and opera houses. Members of a claque are called ‘claqueurs.’

Hiring people to applaud dramatic performances was common in classical times. For example, when the emperor Nero acted, he had his performance greeted by an encomium (speech of praise) chanted by five thousand of his soldiers. This inspired the 16th-century French poet Jean Daurat to develop the modern claque. Buying a number of tickets for a performance of one of his plays, he gave them away in return for a promise of applause.

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January 12, 2012

Peanut Gallery

rotten

A peanut gallery is an audience that heckles the performer. The term originated in the days of vaudeville (1880s) as a nickname for the cheapest (and ostensibly rowdiest) seats in the theater; the least expensive snack served at the theater would often be peanuts, which the patrons would sometimes throw at the performers on stage to show their disapproval.

The phrases ‘no comments from the peanut gallery’ or ‘quiet in the peanut gallery’ are extensions of the name. ‘Peanut gallery’ may also refer to a social network audience that passively observes a syndicated web feed.

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January 12, 2012

This Machine Kills Fascists

Woody Guthrie

This Machine Kills Fascists‘ is a sticker on Woody Guthrie’s guitar, that has inspired many artists. It is based on inscriptions painted on the sides of airplanes used in the Spanish Civil War.

Guitar manufacturer Gibson has replicated Guthrie’s 1945 Southern Jumbo complete with sticker.

January 12, 2012

Gold Collar Worker

Collar Colors by Malcolm Evans

Gold collar worker is a neologism which has been used to describe either young, low-wage workers who invest in conspicuous luxury, or highly-skilled knowledge workers, traditionally classified as white collar, but who have recently become essential enough to business operations as to warrant a new classification.

The term was coined by management consultant Robert Earl Kelley in 1985.

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January 12, 2012

Echo Chamber

filter bubble

The echo chamber effect refers to any situation in which information, ideas or beliefs are amplified or reinforced by transmission inside an ‘enclosed’ space. Observers of journalism describe an echo chamber effect in media discourse. One purveyor of information will make a claim, which many like-minded people then repeat, overhear, and repeat again (often in an exaggerated or otherwise distorted form) until most people assume that some extreme variation of the story is true.

A media conglomerate that owns multiple media outlets can produce the same story among ‘different’ outlets, creating an illusion that a media consumer is getting information from different sources.

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January 12, 2012

Filter Bubble

echo chamber by hugh macleod

A filter bubble is a concept developed by Internet activist Eli Pariser in his book by the same name to describe a phenomenon in which websites use algorithms to selectively guess what information a user would like to see based on information about the user like location, past click behavior and search history. As a result websites tend to show only information which agrees with the user’s past viewpoint. Prime examples are Google’s personalized search results and Facebook’s personalized news stream. According to Pariser, users get less exposure to conflicting viewpoints and are isolated intellectually in their own informational bubble.

Pariser related an example in which one user searched Google for ‘BP’ and got investment news about British Petroleum while another searcher got information about the Deepwater Horizon oil spill and that the two search results pages were ‘strikingly different.’ The bubble effect may have negative implications for civic discourse, according to Pariser, but there are contrasting views suggesting the effect is minimal.

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January 12, 2012

Marco Brambilla

san angeles

Marco Brambilla (b. 1960) is an Italian-born Canadian video artist who works in the United States. He first worked in commercials and feature films, directing the successful 1993 science fiction film ‘Demolition Man.’ In 1998 he shifted focus to video and photography projects, and has since exhibited works in private and public collections including, ‘Cyclorama’ at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, ‘HalfLife’ at the Santa Monica Museum of Art in 2011. His commissions include ‘Superstar’ for the ’59th Minute’ series in Times Square in 1999, and ‘Arcadia’ for ‘Massless Medium: Explorations in Sensory Immersion’ at Brooklyn Bridge Anchorage in 2001, both for New York public arts organization Creative Time.

His installation, ‘Cathedral’ was showcased during the Toronto International Film Festival 2008, and his 3D work ‘Evolution’ was selected for the 2011 Venice Film Festival and the 2012 Sundance Film Festival. A second 3D work ‘Civilization’ is a permanent installation at the Standard Hotel in New York. ‘Transit,’ a collection of photographs Brambilla took in and around national and international airports, was published in 2000.

January 12, 2012

The End of the Line

overfishing

The End of The Line: How Overfishing Is Changing the World And What We Eat is a 2004 book by journalist Charles Clover about overfishing. Clover, an environment editor of the ‘Daily Telegraph,’ describes how modern fishing is destroying ocean ecosystems. He concludes that current worldwide fish consumption is unsustainable. The book provides details about overfishing in many of the world’s critical ocean habitats, such as the New England fishing grounds, west African coastlines, the European North Atlantic fishing grounds, and the ocean around Japan.

The book was made into a documentary film of the same name in 2009, featuring Clover, along with tuna farmer turned whistle blower Roberto Mielgo, top scientists from around the world, indigenous fishermen and fisheries enforcement officials, who predict that seafood could potentially extinct in 2048. The film also challenges the notion that farmed fish is a solution. Furthermore, it advocates consumer responsibility to purchase sustainable seafood and for no-take zones in the sea to protect marine life.

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January 12, 2012

Winders

yuppies

The term ‘winders‘ was originally coined in 2008 by the sociologist John W. Leigh, in his article ‘Moving towards new forms of social success.’

The term (a contraction of the expression ‘windy winners’) goes back to the original way of experiencing social success by individuals uninhibited with regards to their own success, not looking as much to reconcile rival existential expectations (such as the bobos – bohemian bourgeois, for example) but rather to juxtapose them in a way which is not seeking to constitute a system.