The Oregon Trail Generation: Life Before and After Mainstream Tech A big part of what makes us the square peg in the round hole of named generations is our strange relationship with technology and the internet. We came of age just as the very essence of communication was experiencing a seismic shift, and it’s given us a unique perspective that’s half analog old school and half digital new school.
“You feel the pressure. You have to make those targets,” said a former worker whose name, due to a signed nondisclosure with Mentor, could not be used. “I went there because I care about services for kids. I eventually became a machine that cared about profits. I didn’t care about kids.” (SL Buzzfeed News Investigation. trigger warning: descriptions of sexual abuse and assault against children)
The Urban Institute has released (PDF) the first study to focus on lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer or questioning (LGBTQ) youth; young men who have sex with men (YMSM); and young women who have sex with women (YWSW) who get involved in the commercial sex market in order to meet basic survival needs, such as food or shelter.
Walter Benjamin presented "True Dog Stories" on September 27, 1930, as part of Radio Berlin's youth programming. Thoughtful but sometimes oblique commentaries on human society, Benjamin's radio shows have been called "Enlightenment for Children" and "NPR for weirdos," but an interview with the editor of their recent translations into English gives much greater context. Some essays have been re-recorded in German (including the dog episode, track 16), and Börne's original poodle letter is also online.
It's no longer just teenagers and students who seem to be running away from real life, it's people in their twenties and thirties, too. People who should really know better, but don't seem to know how to do much else. Fully grown, semi-functioning adults who are unwilling to surrender those endless nights spent staring at their own harrowed reflections in club toilet cisterns, and can't find much reason to give them up, either. People like me. This is my generation; the generation who have no real incentive to grow up. No kids to feel guilty about, no mortgages to pay off, decent enough healthcare to keep them alive, jobs that let them scrape the money they need to feed, house and wash themselves, and only the screams of their bosses and the worried phone calls of their families to tear them away from the noble pursuit of getting on one. An army of first-world wasters trapped in an Escher maze of immaturity.
Inter/Act Youth is a group for young people with intersex conditions or disorders of sex development (DSDs) who share their stories with the world. Their parent organization is Advocate for Informed Choice, a legal group that works to stop irreversible "corrective/normalizing surgeries" on infants who cannot consent to the medically unnecessary procedures. [more inside]
"Dadcore?" "Momcore?" What the heck are these trendy lingoes?
Last month, a video of a teenager coming out to his family went viral, (trigger warning), now viewed almost 6 million times. The young man who is disowned and abused in that video, Daniel Pierce, after receiving more than $90,000 in donations to live on his own, has now asked that donations be re-directed to Lost-N-Found Youth, a shelter in Georgia for LGBT Homeless Youth. Rolling Stone profiles The Forsaken: A Rising Number of Homeless Gay Teens Are Being Cast Out by Religious Families
"The ability to present women like [Ruth Bader] Ginsburg, [Hillary] Clinton and [Wendy] Davis as bone-crushingly robust yet simultaneously appealing, revered—practically adorable!—in their rugged severity, is a crucial expansion of the American imagination with regard to powerful women." (via librarina) [more inside]
A day in the life of New York City's public libraries: Traveling from borough to borough, this short documentary by Julie Dressner and Jesse Hicks reveals just how important the modern library is for millions of people. Why Libraries Matter.
What exactly is bullying, anyway? [PDF] Centers for Disease Control: The inconsistent definitions used to measure bullying coupled with evidence indicating the importance of distinguishing bullying from other types of aggression between youths highlight the need for a uniform definition. [more inside]
Egyptian startup culture vs. Silicon Valley: how to lock down bugfixes & VC funding in midst of military takeover? Via
But if Urdu is the refined language of power and privilege, Punjabi is the powerful words of the streets. And the streets are where lyrics overwhelmingly situate rap. Pakistani rap positions Punjabi as Ebonics is positioned in the U.S.
Life Times Six: How Travion Blount got 118 years and six life sentences for a robbery. In 2006, 15 year old Travion Blount, along with two 18 year olds, robbed a group of teenagers at a party at gunpoint. No shots were fired. The two older boys accepted sentences of 10 and 13 years in exchange for a guilty plea. Blount plead guilty but refused to accept a sentence of 18 years. He went to trial, was found guilty, and received a mandatory 118 years in prison, without parole. On top of that, he received six life sentences. His only chance to exit prison alive is through geriatric release at age 60. He will most likely die behind bars. [more inside]
放浪息子 Hourou Musuko (often translated as Wandering Son) is one of the better depictions of transgender life in manga and anime (and maybe in any medium). It's a slice of life drama about two young people who are trans and starting middle school in Japan. The manga is being published in English by Fantagraphics, and the anime is officially licensed in English subs on Crunchyroll. [more inside]
Unicef Sweden have developed a machine that turns sweat into drinking water. They are asking participants in the Gothia Cup to hand in their sweaty clothes to produce water and are hoping they will "drink some sweat to support clean drinking water. The expectation is to gather sweat from more than 70 different nations". The goal is to raise awareness about the lack of clean water in the world, with the main purpose of raising money for water purification tablets for children. 780 million people still lack access to clean drinking water. [more inside]
"Popular privilege is the privileges entitled to those who are considered to be 'popular' or well liked," according to the mission statement of a Tumblr called "This Is Popular Privilege." The site's author says that she is 14, gay, a high school student, and an enthusiast of cats and anime. [more inside]
"'If you can't do the time, don't do the crime.' So goes the old saying. Yet conditions in some American facilities are so obscene that they amount to a form of extrajudicial punishment." Mother Jones is profiling "America's 10 Worst Prisons." Facilities were chosen for the list based on "...three years of research, correspondence with prisoners, and interviews with reform advocates." [more inside]
Kim Gordon talks to Elle magazine about her split from husband Thurston Moore and her life at age 59.
The stereotypes about Africa/Africans are too many to list here. They’re mostly negative, myopic depictions that focus on war, famine, abject poverty, disease, and corruption. In other oversimplifications, Africans are written up as model immigrants, overachieving geniuses, or displaced chiefs moonlighting as gas station attendants. Outside of these caricatures, many Africans are going to work and school, voting in their local elections, and spending way too much time on Facebook. And they’re over the ignorance that has collectively miscast them. In response, a swelling movement of young Africans are launching concerted efforts to wrest the image of Africa from entities and interests that don’t promote a balanced understanding of the continent.
Lack of resources, benign discouragement from well meaning adults, active exclusion by powerful gatekeepers: a classroom scientist discusses things that kill opportunity for inner city youth. [more inside]
"Most American high schools are almost sadistically unhealthy places to send adolescents." Does the "worst of adult America looks like high school because it’s populated by people who went to high school in America?" [more inside]
Homelessness activist Diane Nilan and progressive activist and former Green Party candidate Pat LaMarche are embarking on a tour around the southwestern US to call attention to homeless children and youth in crisis. [more inside]
The New York Times asks seven 'experts': Does makeup ultimately damage a woman’s self-esteem, or elevate it? [more inside]
"The brutal* gang rape of a student in Delhi on December 15 has ignited anger across the country. Youth and students from various cities raised their voices demanding a safer society for women and an end to violence in every form*. From the capital* city of Delhi to Hyderabad and Guwahati, protesters turned up in large numbers to register their protest." (text via The Hindu's slideshow) Women protesters were also sexually harassed during these protests. *may contain triggers
Internet sensation: Nine-year-old girl shredding defenses to the tune of 25 touchdowns Sam Gordon just wanted to run with the older kids. The coaches in the local tackle football league figured, hey, why not? Maybe they could turn it into a drill: Who can outrun Max's little sister? They were shocked to find the answer: no one. "Some kids, right before the contact, they stop," Sam told her father. "I don't. I just hit 'em."
In China, hipsters are called “cultured youth” when they're not being called "dumbassess", that is. [more inside]
The satellite man is typically young, with an entrepreneur’s zeal and a sense of adventure, often from the mercantile district of South Tehran, trained by colleagues in the black-market niche of satellite TV installation...
Beloit College examines the cultural backdrop and assumptions of those new college freshpeople headed for, or currently wandering their new college home: Class of 2016 Mindset List
Alcoholics Anonymous and similar 12-step programs have recently attracted calls to review their long-standing policies: supporting young people, rethinking transphobia, welcoming agnostic viewpoints, and challenging the need for anonymity. [more inside]
The Mosquito AKA SonicScreen [previously] has long been deployed to prevent teenagers from hanging around where they are not always wanted. But now, in the UK, those that seek to rid themselves of troublesome youth have a new weapon of choice: classical music. [more inside]
Drawing on recent work by anthropologists Elinor Ochs and Carolina Izquierdo (working draft in PDF format of relevant paper here), The New Yorker asks: Are Americans raising the most incompetent and spoiled children in the world? The Wall Street Journal also considers Ochs' and Izquierdo's conclusions...
The Guardian has a feature today on computer science education in the UK It includes short interviews with teenagers who use coding (for fun or work), an article on encouraging girls to get involved in computer science, an editorial encouraging an overhaul of the UK's system of teaching computing, and some discussion of Young Rewired State, a group that offers "festivals of code" to help kids learn to "program the world around them", and also encouraging use of open data.
Presenting for your perusal: "The Conservative Teen", a new magazine designed to instill the right values in today's youth.
Despite low mortgage rates (and rising rental demand), home ownership levels among young people remain at their lowest levels in decades--a trend that began even before the housing market crash. Although unemployment and other debts may be precluding many young people from buying a house now, it may also be part of a societal shift where renting is considered just as good as, or superior to, owning. NPR's On Point discussed the question today, as well as linked to NYT and US News stories on the subject. Megan McArdle offers a dissenting view.
One of the last surviving members of the Edelweiss Pirates, a group of rebellious teenagers from western Germany who formed a resistance network against the Nazis, has died aged 82: Jean Jülich [more inside]
"Bob Shuter, suburban vigilante. Driven by rage to wage a one-man war on the underworld of Kent, Bob Shuter is... The Reprisalizer."
"You're going nowhere, son. Just you, me ad the walls. So wipe that bloody grin off before it's shot off, and don't slouch. You toe rag. You bin. Pay attention when I break you. And break you I will, boy. You're in my manor, now." Buck up! It's Terry Finch's THE REPRISALIZER! Follow Bob Shuter, whose mission of reprisal against his brother's killers, their families, associates, progeny and property takes him across the desolate wasteland of 70s Britain, primarily Kent AKA FINCHLAND. Finch, writer of The Reprisalizer and DRAW!, the cowboy whose name means death, is soon to be the subject of a major motion picture from Matthew Holness, creator of Garth Marenghi's Darkplace.
“It’s misery, misery, misery, misery, euphoria.” (NYMag) Code kids break out of basement. Love the photos.
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?
13-Year-Old Makes Solar Power Breakthrough by Harnessing the Fibonacci Sequence After studying how trees branch in a very specific way, Aidan Dwyer created a solar cell tree that produces 20-50% more power than a uniform array of photovoltaic panels. [more inside]
"... if children could go to the polls then perhaps Fred Nile, the leader of the Christian Democratic Party in NSW [New South Wales, Australia], wouldn't have the power that he has today." An 11-year old Charlie Fine writes about an issue that affects children across the Australian state of New South Wales. [more inside]
Dare 2 Share Ministries offers profiles and tips on how to "share your faith" with fourteen different types of friends a teen Christian might have, such as Andy the Atheist, Marty the Mormon, Jenna the Jew, Sid the Satanist, Mo the Muslim and Willow the Wiccan. If none of those strategies work, they also offer articles on how to "use the buzz in current teen culture to initiate God-talk with your friends" by "sharing your faith" through Indiana Jones, Halo 3, Brokeback Mountain, Kung Fu Panda and The X Files.