Assorted Thoughts on Social Mobility

Economic mobility is a different thing from social mobility, as any number of nouveau-riche tales of ostracized woe can testify to. Measuring whether one goes from one arbitrarily determined income bracket to another doesn’t tell us much about experiential changes; it doesn’t tell us whether one’s social circuit had changed, whether one’s children now go

Social Media, Social Factory

Social media—Facebook and other similar services that have integrated with portable devices to permit continuous interactivity—have furthered consumerism’s ameliorating mission. They enhance the compensations of consumerism by making it seem more self-revelatory, less passively conformist, conserving the signifying power of our lifestyle gestures by broadcasting them to a larger audience and making them seem less

You Know You’re the Prettiest Girl

The temptation to dismiss multimedia artist Laurel Nakadate as a wallowing narcissist, a sub-Jackass-level prankster, or an emotional terrorist is strong. She appears as all those things in the retrospective of her work at P.S. 1, inviting the audience’s contempt as well as their lascivious stares.

Love in the Age of Self-Consciousness

Tradition — “how things are done here” — has been fatally disrupted. We can enter an elevator in any city or an Italian restaurant in any American town and understand what to expect and what to do. And thanks to the universality of money and the pervasive norms of capitalist market exchange, we trust we