The Constant Consumer


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We have become an active consumer all through the day thanks to technology.

In light of Amazon’s all-encompassing ambitions, the strategy behind several of the company’s most important product initiatives — Alexa, Amazon Prime, physical retail stores (including Amazon Go and Whole Foods), and Amazon Key — becomes clearer. These products seek to redefine what being a customer means by immersing us more completely within the Amazon universe. Formerly, being a customer was a role one assumed upon physically entering a store or ordering something from a company. Amazon promises to create a newer type of environment, a hybrid of the digital and the physical, that lets us permanently inhabit that role: the world as Everything Store, which we’re always inside.

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Drew Austin — Real Life

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Minorities Who ‘Whiten’ Job Resumes Get More Interviews


They found minorities were half as likely to whiten their resumes when applying for jobs with employers who said they care about diversity. One black student explained in an interview that with each resume she sent out, she weighed whether to include her involvement in a black student organization: “If the employer is known for like trying to employ more people of color and having like a diversity outreach program, then I would include it because in that sense they’re trying to broaden their employees, but if they’re not actively trying to reach out to other people of other races, then no, I wouldn’t include it.”

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Living Our Own Truman Show


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To me it does seem like we are getting closer and closer to living The Truman Show.

One (real-life) reviewer described the series Teen Mom 2 similarly, writing “The show doesn’t resemble a show. It’s more like boring old life, strenuous and unyielding.” The Teen Mom franchise, which follows very young women raising children with limited support, has millions of viewers. It has even been granted qualified praise by some scholars for possibly reducing teen pregnancy rates. Several of the Kardashians—famously described by Kim to Barbara Walters as “famous for being ourselves”—have also given birth and raised children on their shows. And of course, there is our president, a former reality star who sets himself against “fake news” and whom no one seems to be able to stop watching. In a number of ways, including our desire to watch “real people” and our willingness to see the lives of infants and young children unfold on camera, we have accepted the morality of The Truman Show.

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Devorah Goldman — Public Discourse

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Section 377: A British legacy from which India has finally broken free


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In a landmark decision in July 2009, the Delhi High Court decriminalised homosexuality among consenting adults on grounds that it violated Articles 14, 15 and 21 of the Constitution of India.

Kirby writes that over 80 countries of the world had or still have laws against homosexuality. Over half of these were those that were at some point in time governed by the British. The Indian Penal Code of 1860, often referred to as the Macaulay Code, after Thomas Babington Macaulay who was its principal author, was the foremost jurisdiction that criminalised homosexuality in India. Its impact was such that it was copied in several other British colonies like Fiji, Singapore, Malaysia, and Zambia. Section 377 of the code, that was followed up on at the Supreme Court today read as following: “Whoever voluntarily has carnal intercourse against the order of nature with any man, woman or animal, shall be punished with imprisonment for life, or with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to ten years and shall also be liable to fine.”

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Adrija Roychowdhury — The Indian Express

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Breaking the Waves


Tracking feminism through generations.

From the start, then, participants in the second wave practiced the sort of dismissal and ingratitude of which they’d accuse later generations. Suspicion, rebuke, and hostility were commonplace among women who might otherwise be allies. “Here are the radicals, wanting to be heard,” Lear wrote in the Times article. “Out there are the mothers’ clubbers, waiting to be alienated.” In journals like Notes from the First Year out of New York, and Chicago’s Voice of the Women’s Liberation Movement, Vol. 1, feminists decried the January march as “futile,” “naive,” and too “moderate,” though it’s unclear what, exactly, they would have done instead. Tellingly, when they were put on the spot by disappointed participants who responded to their calls for more concrete action, they “missed an opportunity to do some valuable organizing” (Voice) and “were not really prepared to rechannel this disgust” (Notes).

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Charlotte Shane — Bookforum

Why Generation Z Is Disillusioned with Social Media


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So why are today’s teens opting out of social networking? Largely because of the effect social media has on their mental health. Thirty-five percent of anti-social media users cited that there was too much negativity floating around, while seventeen percent said it made them feel bad about themselves. Social media is often linked to anxiety, depression, and low self-esteem, and eighteen percent said they felt too much pressure from sites to get attention.

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Tallie Gabriel — The Content Strategist

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What Sets Italian Americans Off From Other Immigrants?


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Each immigrant group possesses its own strategies for survival and success. For Italians, theirs rested upon two pillars: work and family. Italian immigrants helped provide the labor for American factories and mines and helped build roads, dams, tunnels, and other infrastructure. Their work provided them a small economic foothold in American society and allowed them to provide for their families, which stood at the core of Italian-American life.

Another paradox is that although Italian Americans tend to respect authority, especially the authority of parents and elders, they also harbor a suspicion of broader authority figures, such as politicians and the Catholic hierarchy. This stems from the distrust of such authority in Italy. In America, the family stood as a bulwark against the larger, sometimes hostile, institutions. Respect for authority within the family; suspicion of authority outside of the community.

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Vincent J. Cannato — Humanities

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