Why Manhattan’s Skyscrapers Are Empty (The Atlantic)

Approximately half of the luxury-condo units that have come onto the market in the past five years are still unsold.

... the typical new American single-family home has become surprisingly luxurious, if not quite so swank as Manhattan’s glassy spires. Newly built houses in the U.S. are among the largest in the world, and their size-per-resident has nearly doubled in the past 50 years. And the bathrooms have multiplied. In the early ’70s, 40 percent of new single-family houses had 1.5 bathrooms or fewer; today, just 4 percent do. The mansions of the ’70s would be the typical new homes of the 2020s.

... Across the country, the supply of housing hasn’t kept up with population growth. Single-family-home sales are stuck at 1996 levels, even though the United States has added 60 million people—or two Texases—since the mid-’90s. The undersupply of housing has become one of the most important stories in economics in the past decade. It explains why Americans are less likely to move, why social mobility has declined, why regional inequality has increased, why entrepreneurship continues to fall, why wealth inequality has skyrocketed, and why certain neighborhoods have higher poverty and worse health.

What makes a hero?

Consider Robert O'Donnell, who rose to fame as the man who struggled down a narrow well to rescue Baby Jessica as a captivated nation watched, and who killed himself just days after seeing footage of rescue workers at the site of the Oklahoma City Bombing. He told his mother When those rescuers are through, they're going to need lots of help. I don't mean for a couple of days or weeks, but for years. Four days later he shot himself in the head, leaving a suicide note that read, I'm sorry to check out this way. But life sucks.
...
'Diary' is a highly personal and experimental film that expresses the subjective experience of [Tim Hetherington's] work, and was made as an attempt to locate [himself] after ten years of reporting. It's a kaleidoscope of images that link our western reality to the seemingly distant worlds we see in the media.

Diary (2010) from Tim Hetherington on Vimeo.

I'm not a boomer, I'm Gen X. But it seems not to matter. "Ok, boomer" is an ageist phrase that gets lobbed at anyone born before 1981. Just like the "snowflake" and avocado toast memes, this one needs to stop

Like much of online culture, “OK Boomer” tells us something about the cultural dominance of upper-middle-class youth. These young people are surrounded by baby boomers who’ve “hoarded all the wealth” and polluted the planet in the process. They haven’t had to witness – or deal with the ramifications of – old age and precarity for millions of working people in that generational cohort. Instead, they get to revel without self-reflection in oedipal angst about their elders – many of whom were kind enough to pass them their ill-gotten privileges.
...
Far from sitting atop riches, many [Boomers] never saw their household wealth recover after the Great Recession. They were victims of corporate raiders, neoliberal deregulation and predatory loans – and the situation is even more dire for those of them who are black and brown.

With this in mind, let’s retranslate the meme Lorenz is championing.

Boomer: “I can’t afford to live on social security. My promised pension disappeared. I might need to get out of retirement and start working part time again. I worry about the future.”

“OK Boomer.”?

Sunday Paper, Rucksack, Magazine, Camera, Pocket Watch, Notebook, Leather, Range Finder Camera, Camera, Ruck
Two experts quit election accountability group over claims it has been endorsing untrustworthy machines (Fast Company)

Richard DeMillo , a Georgia Tech professor who sat on Verified Voting’s advisory board, and UC Berkeley statistics professor and associate dean Philip Stark, a VV board member, have resigned from the advocacy group, stating that they believe that Verified Voting has been giving election officials false confidence in some voting machines and providing cover for the companies that make and sell these machines.

In DeMillo's December 1 resignation letter to Barbara Simons (chair of VV's board of directors), he claimed that "Verified Voting’s policy positions were unpredictable, contradictory, and not aligned with the values I once believed we shared. On more than one occasion, Verified Voting has taken contradictory public stances in the span of a few days, undercutting allies and supporters. The pattern of espousing new positions and making public statements that take local VV stakeholders by surprise is nothing new. Rather than seeking out advice, Verified Voting has gone to great lengths to avoid it."

With respect to VV's involvement in a Risk Limiting Audit (RLA) pilot in Georgia, DeMillo claimed that "Verified Voting’s seal of approval for the security theatrics in Bartow County undermines efforts to make elections more accountable. ... No audit based on an untrustworthy audit trail can confirm the correctness of the outcome. Billing such an exercise as an RLA and touting it as a proof of security plays into the hands of cynics."

Stark, who resigned on November 21, accused VV of being on the "wrong side" saying: "Our message to jurisdictions that buy poorly designed, insecure, universal-use BMD [ballot marking device systems] should be, 'We tried to warn you. You need a better voting system' ... Instead, we’re saying, ‘Don’t worry: VV will teach you to sprinkle magic RLA dust and fantasies about parallel testing on your untrustworthy election. All will be fine; you can use our authority and reputation to silence your critics.'"

News summary by Rebecca Mercuri, PhD.

Ben Brooks on the nature of the advice on how to keep yourself from being distracted.

…There seems to be this idea that tech itself is addicting and that many are handcuffed to tech by way of their phone. And so often the advice, like that advice above, is along the lines of eschewing tech during some part of your life. It’s bad advice, it’s avoiding the hard questions and finding a scapegoat.

the truth is, if that is the route you are going to take, then why have a smartphone? Why not not have a smartphone? Because you can’t function in this world without one, right? Yeah, so then why do all that bullshit above? All of that above is like buying a Ferrari and then stripping away your use of it until it is no better than a golf cart. Like, just get a bicycle at that point.
The Smartphone Isn’t Evil, Chill By Ben Brooks

Writing in the Harvard Business Review,Janna Koretz, asks us to consinder What Happens When Your Career Becomes Your Whole Identity? Some might argue that although they spend a lot of time working, work and career are integrated, and they are not enmeshed. I can't answer for them, but I think the distinction lies in knowing whether your career is just another facet of your life or your life is organised around your career.

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  • Mercer Me: The Hopewell Valley Regional School District (HVRSD) considers later school start times for middle and high school students given that current early start times were chosen to solve transportation issues and may cause mental health issues and stress in children. I expect that Montgomery Township and West Windsor Township may do the same. Princeton Township already has.

  • Washington Post: We are ensuring a technological period where what's real and what's fake can't easily be determined. Is that your spouse on the phone or an AI?

  • The Online Photographer: Some of us are old enough to remember family vacations with either mom or dad snapping away on a film camera. Some of us are old enough to have done the same with a disposable film camera of a compact digital camera. At the end of the year, an elder would assemble prints of these photographs into an album, and occasionally, at least a few times a year, the family would gather and share stories captured by the images. But our kids may experience their family adventures through the lens of a smartphone camera and the impermanence of social media.

  • Vox: .. Recode by Vox is launching Open Sourced, a multiplatform journalism project supported by the Omidyar Network that will expose and explain the hidden consequences of tech — the good, the bad, and the complicated.