The loaded meaning behind 'What do you do?': [Deb] Fallows says the questions are meant to tease out socioeconomic status, political viewpoints, and cultural background. “You know that somebody’s kind of digging for information to put you into their world – how do you fit into my world?” [more inside]
Schoolyard bullies may worry that their victims are free to be sniveling, cowardly worms with almost zero repercussions. But, fortunately, they'll get their comeuppance when they grow up and die of heart disease or cancer. "Bullying Is Good For Your Health." (Being bullied is bad for it.)
The Supreme Court of India directed the Indian Government to include a new gender category to include people who don't identify as the traditional male or female. My head spins as I write this. A combination of being woken up suddenly from heavy sleep and a sudden jerk of pleasant shock has left my head spinning. I am humming some sweet songs in celebration! Hurray!Supreme Court ruling grants transgender recognition and OBC status* in India. [more inside]
The words and phrases that distinguish men and women on Facebook. A word cloud visualization taken from a new study exploring personality, gender and age in language used on social media, published in PLOS ONE. [more inside]
'Bro-Care' instead of Bum-Fights? A homeless person is offered retail therapy, a haircut, a hotel room, a ride in a car with a white leather interior and a substantial meal (oh, and a blindfolding) in exchange for being videotaped to encourage YouTube subscriptions for a channel. Apparently it hits many users of reddit "right in the feels" (a euphemism for feeling emotional/empathetic about something that you're exposed to)
"It feels strange to be active and highly visible on the Web for 15 years but it was only when I joined Facebook that someone from elementary school or high school ever contacted me." In which on Ev Williams's platform, Mr Haughey compares his experiences of Facebook and Twitter. [more inside]
This is a big deal because one of the main ways that people are socialized is through using, observing and contemplating material objects. The idea that people learn their places in society by engaging with the physical stuff around them has a long history in anthropology, but it was finally cemented into the theoretical mainstream in 1972 when Pierre Bourdieu published his Outline of a Theory of Practice. Bourdieu makes the case that we come to internalize the expectations of our particular social group by analogy with categories, orders and relations of things. Spatial arrangements of objects in the home, for example, or the use of different farming tools at different times of year, come to stand for intangible relationships between genders, social strata and the like, thereby anchoring abstract ideas about social organization to the physical world. ~ Designing Culture by Colin McSwiggen
Your Open Book (NSFW language) lets you search Facebook's publicly accessible status updates. While the site exists ostensibly to protest Facebook's problematic privacy settings, perhaps its even greater achievement is to let us peer into the lives of our fellow Facebook users. (NSFW language)
China Overtakes Germany as the worlds greatest exporter, but China is not a superpower and won't be anytime soon.
China's Not a Superpower, and won't be anytime soon. Or is it closer to that status than ever, having just overtaken Germany as the world's number one exporter? [more inside]
There are five key rules to using your status update to maximum status-signifying effect. Learn from the masters: "(to the dude on the A train who said he was NYLON's digital director, attempting to impress some girl 1. Nice try but that's my job 2. And I'm flattered but that's some wishful thinking, babe, because it's an amazing job but it's sadly never gotten me laid!)" By placing her bragging in the lying mouth of a subway stranger, this updater covertly asserts the prestige of her position and at the same time insulates herself against similar claims. Particularly masterful is the covert assumption here that her position is one sufficiently grand to be the ethereal stuff of A train boasting.
Billionaires have more grandchildren through their sons than through their daughters, because the status advantage is more reproductively valuable to the sons. Therefore, it would be adaptive for the mothers of their children to bear more sons than daughters. But surely that can't be; mothers can't control the sex of their children. Oh but so it is: billionaires have 60% male children. [more inside]
"Women and children, first," is a familiar cultural refrain, with its popular roots in the gallant sacrifice made by the male contingent aboard the doomed Titanic. Their sacrifice has inspired poetry, sculpture, male social clubs, and, of course, cinema. Yet, this sacrifice of near-mythic scale was in some respects a myth, with survival statistics skewing well in favor of men of higher social and economic class than children (and, to a lesser extent, women) of lower status.