What the self-help gurus and their critics reveal about our times.

“In a consumerist society, we are not meant to buy one pair of jeans and then be satisfied,” Cederström and Spicer write, and the same, they think, is true of self-improvement. We are being sold on the need to upgrade all parts of ourselves, all at once, including parts that we did not previously know needed upgrading. (This may explain Yoni eggs, stone vaginal inserts that purport to strengthen women’s pelvic-floor muscles and take away “negative energy.” Gwyneth Paltrow’s Web site, Goop, offers them in both jade and rose quartz.) There is a great deal of money to be made by those who diagnose and treat our fears of inadequacy; Cederström and Spicer estimate that the self-improvement industry takes in ten billion dollars a year.
Alexandra Schwartz

Almost one year later, someone pointed me to Improving Ourselves to Death. Well worth a read, my friend…

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suggested reads for October 7, 2018

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suggested reads for April 2, 2018

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OK, I know … today’s Easter Monday and the sun shines and the weather is fantastic (at least here). Perfect day for going out and have a wonderful offline time. But if you’re not in such position – or mood – and want to relax at home reading something, here are my ‘classic’ five link list of posts worth a mention…

Move Slowly and Fix Things

Designers and programmers are great at inventing software. We obsess over every aspect of that process: the tech we use, our methodology, the way it looks, and how it performs.
Unfortunately we’re not nearly as obsessed with what happens after that, when people integrate our products into the real world. They use our stuff and it takes on a life of its own. Then we move on to making the next thing. We’re builders, not sociologists.
This approach wasn’t a problem when apps were mostly isolated tools people used to manage spreadsheets or send emails. Small products with small impacts.
But now most software is so much more than that. It listens to us. It goes everywhere we go. It tracks everything we do. It has our fingerprints. Our heart rate. Our money. Our location. Our face. It’s the primary way we communicate our thoughts and feelings to our friends and family.
It’s deeply personal and ingrained into every aspect of our lives. It commands our gaze more and more every day.
Jonas Downey

Suggested reads for April 23, 2017

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Suggested reads for April 2, 2017

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The last two articles proposed are really dear to my heart and feelings on how the web has to grow to be a better version of ourselves… and the last one is one of the most intelligent and greatly written post on the topics I’ve ever read.

Fix the internet by writing good stuff and being nice to people

5. Engage in dialogue with people who are different from you.
One of the hardest things is to understand the other side. The rift between groups of people, conflict, and controversy is what clickbait thrives on. Squelch it. This is probably the hardest one to do, because we are hardwired to block out people we disagree with. Get off Facebook. Talk to people in good comment sections. Visit sites with comments. Encourage your favorite publication to moderate comments. Volunteer to be a moderator.

This does not mean subjecting yourself to pointless, toxic arguments with people who can’t be convinced. It does not mean ruining your mental health in comment sections that are not civil. It means, little by little working to change minds, and engaging with the internet around us.

We are a LONG, long ways away from the destruction of the internet as a giant billboard. It takes time to turn a huge skyscraper into an gutted shell of a building, and it will take just as much time to turn our current internet from a loud, obnoxious, toxic mall, back into a public forum.
Vicki Boykis, Fix the internet by writing good stuff and being nice to people