Posts Tagged ‘Society

03
Mar
09

did we have it right after all?

A great column discussing how the so called slacker generation may hold the key to a more sustainable economic future. Not recession proof, but recession-resilient.

WE MOVED to San Francisco and Brooklyn and Mission Hill. We jumped from job to job. Put off marriage. Never bought a place. And we never heard the end of it. We were drifters, they said. Layabouts. No respect for work and real estate or the value of a good pair of cufflinks.

You see, while Alan Greenspan and Countrywide Financial were creating a capitalism of disastrous excess, we were busy working on a more workable model. We brought you the Internet, worked on green technology, and filled the ranks of Teach for America. We crossed the color line, ate local produce, and bought secondhand clothing. We lived in smaller spaces, drove smaller cars, and took the subway to work.

As we begin to rebuild our tattered economy it may be time well spent studying how the  slacker generation managed to live within their means. Read on via Boston Globe.

Penelope Trunk’s 5 emerging trends..I’ve already begun to notice the increasing backlash against baby boomers.

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26
Jan
09

the writing on the wall

In 2006 only 15% of students wrote their SAT essays in cursive script, while all others responded in block lettering. Will there be a day when ordinary people can no longer decipher longhand writing?

Typing and texting have caused cursive skills to atrophy, and schools regard standards of style and legibility the same way they regard standards of dress.

08
Jan
09

demographic inversion

This is the generation that grew up watching “Seinfeld,” “Friends,” and “Sex and the City,” mostly from the comfort of suburban sofas. We have gone from a sitcom world defined by “Leave It to Beaver” and “Father Knows Best” to one that offers a whole range of urban experiences and enticements.

They are drawn to the densely packed urban life that they saw on television and found vastly more interesting than the cul-de-sac world they grew up in. And, by and large, I believe central cities will give it to them.

We will never return–nor would most of us want to return–to the close-knit but frequently constricting form of community life that prevailed 50 years ago. But, as we rearrange ourselves in and around many of our big cities, we are groping toward the new communities of the twenty-first century.

Deindustrialization, lower crime rates, higher gas prices, and a young population adopting different lifestyles than their parents have contributed to the general flight from today’s car-dependent surbia and into urban environments. Very similar comparisons can be made today that parallel the demographic inversion of European cities of the mid-19th century. Continue reading Alan Ehrenhalt’s piece on Urban Inversion.

Alan Ehrenhalt is executive editor of Governing Magazine and author of The United States of Ambition and The Lost City.

28
Oct
08

A great cartoon from Frank Clotham.

13
Oct
08

The Bicycle Commuter Act

Next year, employers who provide bike friendly facilities, i.e. parking, maintenance facilities, and other commuting support can deduct up to $20 a month per participating emplyee from their taxable income.

SEC. 211. TRANSPORTATION FRINGE BENEFIT TO BICYCLE COMMUTERS.
(a)
In General- Paragraph (1) of section 132(f) is amended by adding at the
end the following:(a) In General- Paragraph (1) of section 132(f) is
amended by adding at the end the following:’(D) Any qualified bicycle
commuting reimbursement’. …

The $20 bike benefit, should employers actually make the effort to
create a program for their cycle commuters, compares rather poorly to
the $115 mass-transit benefit already available, or the subsidies
nearly double that aimed at helping those who drive to work.

Read here for the entire review, hidden amongst our bailout package.

10
Oct
08

The Sidewalk to Nowhere

The Crazies.

02
Oct
08

The last typewriter repairman

He stays in business repairing laser printers. And insist that typewriters have gained popular appeal among youth.  Read the article here.

While Schweitzer carried on, he noticed that most of the offices that he serviced were purchasing Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) laser printers along with their computers. Recognizing that those printers would break down and need repairs, Schweitzer took Hewlett-Packard-sponsored training courses to learn how to fix the machines and added that to the firm’s service menu. Before long, he included fax machine repairs as well.




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