After a dispute with her landlord, 23-year-old student Leonie Müller abandoned her apartment in Tübingen and started living on trains. On the first of May, Müller bought a BahnCard 100, a ticket which costs 4090€ and entitles her to unlimited travel on Germany's railway network for a year, and has been calling the trains home since then, living out of a backpack, washing her hair in the train bathroom, writing her papers whilst watching the scenery go past at 320kph, and periodically staying with friends and relatives across Germany. She has a blog (auf deutsch) and plans to write her undergraduate thesis on her experiences as a train nomad.
Today, Gawker editorial staff vote on whether to unionize with Writers Guild of America, East, saying that transparency in compensation and fair health benefits are among the issues that have led them to organize. [more inside]
The Washington Post reports companies like Whole Foods originally assumed Millennials would spend more on food (among other consumptive goods) than they're actually willing to. So they're lowering their prices. [more inside]
The Sad State of America’s Aging Sisters: Why are there so few nuns today?
You may wonder whether the global church the sisters belong to is interested in keeping the convents open. It sure seems like it isn't. By 2005, the Catholic Church had spent $1 billion on legal fees and settlements stemming from priests sexually abusing children. Yet church leaders have allocated no funds to take care of elderly sisters, and while priests’ retirement funds are covered by the church, the sisters have no such safety net. When their orders run out of money, that’s it.[more inside]
“Why would you want to be a nun if the archdiocese is going to treat you like they do?” Ann Frey at the Wartburg said. “Their whole lives they’ve been obedient and done what they were asked to do, and now nobody is helping them?”
Email is still the best thing on the internet
Getting an email address was once a nerdy right of passage for Gen-Xers arriving on college campuses. Now, the kids are waging a war of indifference on poor old email, culling the weak and infirm old-people technology. One American professor maintained that, to his students, "e-mail was as antiquated as the spellings 'chuse' and 'musick' in the works by Cotton Mather and Jonathan Edwards." The vice-chancellor of Exeter University claimed, "There is no point in emailing students any more." The youth appear to think there are better, faster, more exciting ways to communicate than stupid email.
Yet, despite all the prognosticators predicting it will—choose the violence level of your metaphor—go out of style, be put out to pasture, or taken out back and shot, email grinds on.
Millennials Don't Stand A Chance. A terrific debate from Intelligence Squared: "...spotlight is shown on millennials and their use of revolutionary technology while growing up in a time of recession. Some think they are coddled, narcissistic and lazy. Have we let conventional wisdom blind us to the millennial's openness to change, innovation, and optimism in the face of uncertainty, which, in any generation, are qualities to be admired?" (running time ~50:00) [more inside]
The shortening leash on American children: We heard a lot about sneaking out, petty theft, amateur arson, drugs, and sexual experimentation from our older respondents. But as time passes, the picture of childhood looks a lot less wild and reckless and a lot more monitored. We asked parents how they would react if they caught their kids doing what they had done as kids. A typical response: "I'd probably freak out and turn my home into a prison."
GOOD morrow. ’Tis I, Aelfric the Elder, with a piece of calligraphic parchment containing statements that I think — a “think piece,” let us call it — to be posted with a nail on our village’s biggest log, concerning youthful denizens born around A.D. 1000. These “millennials” are, without a doubt, the most narcissistic and hopeless cohort I have witnessed in my 35 long years on this stationary planet.
"America is in the midst of two major changes to its population: We are becoming majority non-white at the same time a record share is going gray. Explore these shifts in our new interactive data essay."
Jeremy Lewis ... calls normcore “one facet of a growing anti-fashion sentiment.” His personal style is ... “exhaustingly plain”—this winter, that’s meant a North Face fleece, khakis, and New Balances. Lewis says his “look of nothing” is about absolving oneself from fashion, “lest it mark you as a mindless sheep.”
In "Can We Stop Worrying About Millennials Yet?", editorial cartoonist Matt Bors highlights the absurdity of blaming millennials for inheriting a lousy economy.
Eight Net Generation norms. Some statistical fingerprinting. Digital natives in the workplace. Changing faith. Socialism loses its stigma. Adapting in the wake of the Great Recession.
Previous youth cultures — beatniks, hippies, punks, slackers — could be characterized by two related things: the emotion or affect they valorized and the social form they envisioned. [more inside]
The Economist reports on 40% youth unemployment in Spain. While Europe's bankrupt countries are making the headlines, Der Spiegel claims that the real problem is a lack of entry-level jobs across the continent which is giving rise to violent protests. The Guardian points to reemphasis on manufacturing as a way to save Europe's (and America's) economy. But will this work in the long term?