"The culture makes a dictum of authenticity and a near tyranny of the “genuine,” so that anyone who capitalizes on untruths is sinning against the virtue of transparency. We so often destroy people who are truly themselves in all their brokenness, yet loathe those, like Lana, who can tell a whole lie (or at least make many music critics think she’s “fake”). But artifice is not only armor, and performance is not the same as faking it. It’s a salve against day-to-day cruelty to rewrite reality, to build pretty, fictional worlds to live inside for a time, because the alternative is to writhe in agony without them"
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paris, april 2014
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"One of my main missions is to de-stigmatize the internet as a narcissistic guilt trip. We all long for affection, and social media can be a wonderful way of meeting people you would not have found in any other way. If someone takes a selfie and you see something in their eyes that you can relate to, it is pure magic; we are examining ourselves refracted through a couple thousand followers, creating an ever more prismatic version of identity. It’s possible that this could dispel a notion of rigid self-identity and begin to vaporize the ego into a collective expression and ethical experience of reality"
"When people, especially those in marginalized communities, have conversations with one another online, the fact that it’s possible to view those conversations might make them “public” by some definition. But certainly we can’t concede that every utterance we make in the presence of others is automatically fodder for aggregation and monetization by media and tech companies, without our consent or even the opportunity for remuneration"
"While some of these great white men have passed away, these policies, theories and mindsets that produced this country’s mass incarceration persist. Over the years, police departments have given it different names: quality of life policing, community policing, hot spot policing, stop and frisk, neighborhood policing, and zero tolerance policing, to name a few. In the comfort of criminal justice classes and textbooks, these descriptions each have a specific definition. However, in practice over the past 30 years, these tactics mirror one another in their reliance on racial profiling and cracking down on petty crimes and ‘disorder’ to yield the same result: criminalizing the poor, black and brown. Those who champion it should be honest with themselves: it’s not crime they’re afraid of — it’s the black body"
"But with Venmo—which automatically connects to your Facebook friends—we have a new way of seeing what each of us does with our money. And maybe because Venmo is a fairly new platform, a lot of people seem unaware of the stories they’re telling in their transactions"
"Chesky’s desire that the host and renter come to love one another on a personal level is thus rather emotionally demanding; but why? What does insisting on the intimacy between host and renter do for Airbnb? Why do they need us to join an Airbnb nation?"
"warehousing elderly and children—especially children with disabilities—in rooms with machines that keep them busy, when large numbers of humans beings around the world are desperate for jobs that pay a living wage is worse than the Dickensian nightmares of mechanical industrialization"