Category Archive 'Millennials'
21 Oct 2016

The 2016 Election’s Pajama Boy Equivalent: Pizza Boy!

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hillaryskevin

Meet Kevin, a 23-year-old ardent Hillary supporter.

A photo of Kevin looking adoringly at Hillary, taken last year in Cedar Rapids, Iowa at a pizza party where Hillary’s Iowa field workers got to meet the candidate, has gone viral since an Alt-Right 1488-er (who is probably himself an equally impressive specimen of masculinity) posted it in a tweet, wondering aloud if Kevin belongs to the same species as us.

Kevin, all 98 pounds of him, was not, however, dismayed and is apparent bearing up manfully (if that is the right word).

NY Mag:

So what was your initial reaction?
I screamed. My roommate actually came in to see what happened. Then I started laughing because it’s so amazing to me.

It is pretty great. You look very, um, angelic in that picture.
I’m beaming. I didn’t realize Hillary was going to stand right next to me until it happened, so I’m in full shock and awe.

So have you read any of the replies to the tweet?
Of course I’ve read the replies. I have a good sense of humor, so I read them for the absurd comedy. …

There are also a lot of replies from some charming-sounding folks very concerned about your testosterone levels. Care to comment?
I mean, if it was one person I’d think it was a weirdo. But a lot of people are worried about it! Maybe they see something I don’t. I’ll schedule a doctor’s appointment and say I was referred by the crack medical team of Trump Twitter supporters. …

So how does it feel to have unwittingly become the face of a meme?
It’s hilarious and inevitable. I’ve been a pretty obnoxious Hillary supporter online for the last year, so this honestly feels like karma. I’ve been asking for it. And Hillary retweeted me once last year, which caused another wave of angry people, so I’m familiar with the routine. Stay perfectly still until they lose the scent.

Hat tip to Ann Althouse.

19 Oct 2016

Engineering Romance

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sebastian_stadil
Stabil says: “I’m a fat, bald, short guy whose only quality is that he isn’t an ax murderer.” He’s lying about all that. As the photo shows, he isn’t fat, bald or short, and he is the founder of a “multi-cloud management platform” company, which ought to make him something of a catch.

Sebastian Stabil claims that he went on 150 dates in four months, meeting girls and inviting them out via Tinder using an automated app to swipe and exchange messages.

I decided to hack the system and go for volume instead of personalization. To hell with romance — I needed to play my odds even if it meant right-swiping the whole Bay Area.

You need a certain number of candidates to be able to benchmark what quality means, and humans are really difficult to assess. In computer science, this is known as the optimal stopping algorithm, aka the secretary problem.

A few lines of code later, my app was born. An abstraction layer capable of managing online dating for me:

Automatic swiping
Automatic messaging
Automatic date scheduling

I quickly got hundreds of matches, and hundreds of messages.

My first problem was solved: getting leads into the pipeline. I had a new problem now: volume. So I decided to industrialize the process.

I had to qualify each lead — see with which girl there was a fit and with which there wasn’t, to maximize my chances. So, I automated everything. Openers, follow-up messages, swiping, bookmarking, text messages and phone number recording. The machine was well-oiled.

I assumed canned messages wouldn’t work well, but after sending more than 10,000 I discovered wasn’t a significant response-rate difference between personalized and generic messages. At least, that’s what the data said. I became an online dating magician who knew how to optimize a profile with  A/B picture-testing and messages. If I changed my profile picture and got more “likes” as a result, that meant it was better. I was tracking data, which made it easy to see what performed best.

Conversion rates increased: more matches, more leads, more dates to schedule. A new match would receive up to seven follow-up messages to maximize response rates. To give you ballpark numbers, 43% responded after the first message, 21% after the second, 14% after the third, 9%, 3%,1%, 1%. The rest sent me a message first.

Here is the standard sequence of messages I used.

    Bonjour ! Care to meet over coffee some time next week?

    Perhaps I can tempt you with some pastries instead? I know of place with fruit tarts, chocolate pies, and macaroons. :)

    Can I interest you in a chai latte then? Better than coffee, and we can still get the pastries!

    Fine, if you don’t like coffee nor pastries nor chai, we can do tea. How does tea sound?

    Yeah, you are right. Tea is a little boring. We should get ice cream! How about the Bi-Rite Creamery?

    Ice cream is too cliché anyway. We should do something no one else does on a first date, like meet at a gas station and get beef jerky! Think of the stories we could tell our grandkids!

    Alright, I’ll admit that meeting at a gas station isn’t the most romantic. And let’s be honest: American food portions are so large we don’t need more calories. How about a boat ride on Stow Lake? We can get a nice pedal boat and get fresh air and plenty of exercise. How about that?

As soon as it got an answer, the program would prompt for a phone number, leading sometimes to disjointed conversations.

The number would then be recorded in my custom CRM and automated texts would be sent with Twilio. I also had some tricks ,  like subscribing to premium services to make my messages more visible. It worked well to get attention… but not always interest.

I was now dating at scale.

Read the whole thing.

04 Sep 2016

“And Get a Haircut!”

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Vadar

17 Jul 2016

For Urban Hipsters

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BonfireLogs

B:

Not sure what bothers me more……

The fact that Menards thinks they can sell 8″diameter/9 inch high logs for $9.99….

Or that I saw some hipster in fake work boots loading 4 into his cart.

Or 1) that these are unsplit and so large in diameter that you will have to have a fire already going well with a good bed of coals before there is any possibility of getting any of them lit. They are too short for a fireplace and they all need to be split.

and

2) They are all birch (!). Get one of these logs lit finally, and poof! it will be gone in a ridiculously short interval of time.

Not only are these pieces of alleged firewood ridiculously priced, they are useless as firewood.

Via Vanderleun.

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UPDATE AND CORRECTION:

Commenter Hammond Aikes knows more about these than I did. I thought they were just logs. But “Bonfire Log” is a brand name. They are actually chemically-treated artificial logs, which will light readily and burn 1 1/2 hours in the Regular size, 2 1/2 hours in the Jumbo.

30 Jun 2016

Snowflake Intern Petitions for More Informal Dress Code

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Snowflake1

Alison Green provides for general amusement the story of a millennial who was fired from her internship for writing a proposal for a more flexible dress code.

I spoke with my manager about being allowed some leeway under the dress code and was told this was not possible, despite the other person being allowed to do it. I soon found out that many of the other interns felt the same way, and the ones who asked their managers about it were told the same thing as me. We decided to write a proposal stating why we should be allowed someone leeway under the dress code. We accompanied the proposal with a petition, signed by all of the interns (except for one who declined to sign it) and gave it to our managers to consider. Our proposal requested that we also be allowed to wear running shoes and non leather flats, as well as sandals (not flip-flops though) and other non-dress shoes that would fit under a more business casual dress code. It was mostly about the footwear, but we also incorporated a request that we not have to wear suits and/or blazers in favor of a more casual, but still professional dress code.

The next day, all of us who signed the petition were called into a meeting where we thought our proposal would be discussed. Instead, we were informed that due to our “unprofessional” behavior, we were being let go from our internships. We were told to hand in our ID badges and to gather our things and leave the property ASAP.

We were shocked. The proposal was written professionally like examples I have learned about in school, and our arguments were thought out and well-reasoned. We weren’t even given a chance to discuss it.

Read the Whole Thing.

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Ace is among the older people chuckling over this.

Now as foolish as the girl was this is really a failure of her educators and parents. She was only repeating what she had been trained to do and rewarded for all during her snowflake education. She truly did not see that she had no standing to complain and that her narcissistic activism would be disapproved of so strongly. And from her letter in the article it doesn’t appear that she has learned very much from the experience either.

But of course young people have always been a bit self-focused and prone to do all the stupid, foolish things that young people are wont to do though the exact menu of which stupid, idiotic things are chosen from varies from generation to generation. So I’m not surprised that there was a person like the letter-writer making a fuss over the dress code the way she did. Usually people like this just get severely embarrassed or let go and all the other newbies have a smirk at their foolishness and also learn a lesson from the example.

But what stands out here to me is that all but one of the interns signed the petition. Which means that all the signers ran the petition-signing scenario through their future-world consequence prediction machine and decided that yes – this will work out great! This common high level of unfounded self-esteem mixed with a complete unfamiliarity with how the real world actually works may be a unique trait of young millennials that is over and beyond all the traditional youthful stupidities.

02 May 2016

The Millennials Song

21 Mar 2016

Tomi Lahren: Have Men Gotten Really Soft These Days?

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WhoNeedsaMan

28 Feb 2016

Millennials Make Much Ado About Cereal

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CerealShop
London’s Cereal Killer Cafe

Apparently, a lot of them find it too much trouble to consume.

Fox News:

A study has found that America’s millennials are skipping out on cereal because it’s simply too much of an inconvenience.

(Yes, the cold kind that requires little more than pouring something into a bowl and then pouring milk over it.)

An astonishing 40 percent of millennials surveyed said they reach for something else, like a smoothie or breakfast bar, reported by The New York Times.

One of the biggest problems was with the washing up. “Almost 40 percent of the millennials surveyed by Mintel for its 2015 report said cereal was an inconvenient breakfast choice because they had to clean up after eating it,” it reported.

Another factor included the fact that many consumers don’t want to start their day with processed grains.

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But they’ve solved the problem in Blighty. London now has a cereal cafe to save you all the effort of serving it and cleaning up yourself.

The Sun:

Located a stone’s throw from the similarly kooky cat cafe, Cereal Killer has 120 types of cereals from across the world on offer – and twelve varieties of milk to pour over them, from plain old semi-skimmed to strawberry and lactose free.

And at £3.50 for a large bowl, it’s set to make a killing.

After opening its doors for the first time at 7am yesterday, over 100 people turned up within three hours, eager to indulge in exotic American delicacies like Poppin’ Fruity Pebbles – a cereal loaded with tongue-tingling popping candy – and marshmallow-laden Lucky Charms.

For those desperate for an extreme sugar rush – or simply wanting to sidestep the dentist by rotting a rogue wisdom tooth directly out of their jaw – there’s also the option to add on extra toppings including chocolate chips, crushed Kinder hippos and fresh fruit – at 50p a time.

But you don’t have to be adventurous to eat here, you can still enjoy a small bowl of plain cornflakes – for the price of a 750g box from Sainsbury’s.

Cereal Killer, which stays open until 10pm for anyone who fancies a cold, milky dinner, is the brainchild of Belfast-born twins Alan and Gary Keery, 32.

The idea came to them during an afternoon stroll in London when they both fancied a bowl of cereal, but couldn’t get one anywhere.

“We’re celebrating cereal,” said Alan. “It totally baffled us that people eat cereal every day at home – but never outside the home. It’s crazy it’s never been done before.”

10 Dec 2015

Little Engine That Couldn’t

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LittleEngine

25 Nov 2015

“How to Talk to Your Pansy Marxist Nephew at Thanksgiving”

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BarackHomeboy

Advice on family differences from Uncle Strickland:

This kid, my nephew, will never admit to being a communist, it’s always this “moderate independent” crap. But his Facebook feed is full of Bernie Sandinista, if you know what I mean, and he recently tweeted some gibberish about riding the bus in Czechoslovakia and identifying as a “human being” instead of what he is, an American. He’s been a “student” at some Ivy League circlejerk for the better part of a decade. I think he’s 29, who the hell even cares? If he’s the future, this country’s digging its own grave and I’m glad I won’t be there when it finally kicks the bucket.

07 Nov 2015

Yale Students Imperiled by Disrespectful Halloween Costumes Share Their Pain

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DerwinAikens
Derwin Aikens, Yale ’16, Environmental Studies, Pierson Freshman Counselor, Dukes Men, Whiffenpoofs, posted in Overheard at Yale on Facebook:

I’m so tired of having to prove to people how this was never a debate about free speech. People are angry. People are asking faculty members to be removed from positions of power. People are threatening others, spitting on others (allegedly), and yelling at others because many people fundamentally don’t understand. Many of those actions are unproductive and maybe even wrong, but it’s because people are angry and tired of not being heard. This was never a discussion of free speech. That should have never been brought to the table. Dean Howard’s email was asking students to be culturally sensitive, to be aware of how your costumes were affecting those around you. And for some reason Christakis was made uncomfortable. She tried to regain her comfort by making this a discussion about free speech, but that was never the issue. The IAC was never asking students to censor themselves. They were asking students to critically engage with their costume choices and be sensitive to the ways in which it impacted those around them. Students are mad because Christakis found something wrong with that and abused her power as Associate Master to publicly announce her discomfort and justified it using free speech. Thus we now have this debate of respect vs. free speech, but it was never about that. Students are angry not because of free speech, but because cultural sensitivity made Christakis UNCOMFORTABLE. And there in lies the problem.

We need to change the conversation to one that is productive. Because we need to address why cultural sensitivity made her and perhaps many others on campus uncomfortable. Because I’m so sick of the debate forcing people to prove that cultural sensitivity and respect is somehow directly infringing upon free speech. We shouldn’t have to prove that, because it isn’t true. If you don’t understand this, please please please come talk to me because I’m so sick of this free speech debate. It’s bullshit and a total and utter misinterpretation of students anger. Listen up and do better, Yale.

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paz-jencey
Jencey Paz, Yale ’17, Psychology and Ecology & Evoluntionary Biology, Silliman Master’s Aide published an editorial titled “Hurt at Home” in the Yale Herald, but has obviously had it removed subsequently, after it was quoted with negative commentary on several on-line sites (example). Currently available via Google cache.

As a Silimander, I feel that my home is being threatened. Last week, Erika Christakis, the associate master of Silliman College, sent an email to the Silliman community that called an earlier entreaty for Yalies to be more sensitive about culturally appropriating Halloween costumes a threat to free speech. In the aftermath of the email, I saw my community divide. She did not just start a political discourse as she intended. She marginalized many students of color in what is supposed to be their home. But more disappointing than the original email has been the response of Christakis and her husband, Silliman Master Nicholas Christakis. They have failed to acknowledge the hurt and pain that such a large part of our community feel. They have again and again shown that they are committed to an ideal of free speech, not to the Silliman community.

Today, when a group of us, organized originally by the Black Student Alliance at Yale, spoke with Christakis in the Silliman Courtyard, his response once again disappointed many of us. When students tried to tell him about their painful personal experiences as students of color on campus, he responded by making more arguments for free speech. It’s unacceptable when the Master of your college is dismissive of your experiences. The Silliman Master’s role is not only to provide intellectual stimulation, but also to make Silliman a safe space that all students can come home to. His responsibility is to make it a place where your experiences are a valid concern to the administration and where you can feel free to talk with them about your pain without worrying that the conversation will turn into an argument every single time. We are supposed to feel encouraged to go to our Master and Associate Master with our concerns and feel that our opinions will be respected and heard.

But, in his ten weeks as a leader of the college, Master Christakis has not fostered this sense of community. He seems to lack the ability, quite frankly, to put aside his opinions long enough to listen to the very real hurt that the community feels. He doesn’t get it. And I don’t want to debate. I want to talk about my pain.

My dad is a really stubborn man. We debate all the time, and I understand the value of hearing differing opinions. But there have been times when I have come to my father crying, when I was emotionally upset, and he heard me regardless of whether or not he agreed with me. He taught me that there is a time for debate, and there is a time for just hearing and acknowledging someone’s pain.

I have had to watch my friends defend their right to this institution. This email and the subsequent reaction to it have interrupted their lives. I have friends who are not going to class, who are not doing their homework, who are losing sleep, who are skipping meals, and who are having breakdowns. I feel drained. And through it all, Christakis has shown that he does not consider us a priority.

Christakis attended the forum on Erika’s email at the Afro-American Cultural Center on Wed., Nov. 4, where students were vulnerable and shared deeply personal stories. After leaving the event early, Christakis tweeted an article on his personal account about the importance of free speech. Then, he retweeted his tweet using the Silliman Twitter handle. This is a clear and flagrant violation. No one should use the Silliman Twitter as a personal platform. The residential college Twitters are a place to share information relevant to everyone in the community; no one consented to having Christakis’ personal view published in a manner that indicated that the community was behind him. The event was indicative of a bigger issue: Christakis is using Silliman college as his intellectual sparring ground.

Further, Christakis has yet to truly acknowledge to the entire Silliman community that he has hurt people. The closest he has gotten to this is sending out an open invitation to brunch at his house to further discuss the issue. Essentially, it was an invitation to debate more. But we don’t want to debate more. We want to be able to go home at night in a place where we feel welcome and wanted.

Christakis’ actions have not been aimed at healing a divided community. Instead, they continue to frame the issue in an “us against them” split. Christakis needs to stop instigating more debate. He needs to stop trying to argue with people who are hurting, regardless of his personal opinions. Being the Master of Silliman is a position of power. To use it to marginalize so much of the student body is deplorable.

Today, when many of us, mostly students of color and Sillimanders, confronted Nicholas Christakis in the Silliman Courtyard, he said he was sorry that we were feeling pain. But is he really? I don’t think he understands what many Sillimanders are going through, nor has he tried.

Christakis hasn’t checked in on any of us. He hasn’t given us any indication that he is going to or wants to heal the community. If you know I’m in pain and you aren’t doing anything to try to help me, then how can you be sorry? Christakis is the Master of Silliman College, it is his job to take care of us, and he is failing.

24 Oct 2015

South Park: “My Safe Space”

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Hat tip to Ann Althouse.

21 Jun 2015

The Culture Today

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NightWatch

10 Jun 2015

Some Good News And Some Bad News

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Die-Hipster

David Infante has some good news and some bad news. The good news is that the Hipster is dead. The bad news is that he has been replaced by another intensely annoying type of millennial wussy, what he refers to as “the “Yuccie” (pronounced “Yucky”), i.e., young urban creatives.

[T]he hipster has to be dead, killed by a contradicted identity. When everyone is rejecting the mainstream, no one is. When everyone is a hipster, no one is a hipster. Hell, saying “the hipster is dead” is, itself, pretty much dead, a late-aughts victim of thinkpiecery and primetime cable namechecks.

And anyway, “hipster” doesn’t line up culturally with who yuccies are. To use myself as an example again: I have no tattoos. My credit is good. Hell, I’ve got dental insurance. My basic, unwaxed mustache, like the rest of me, wouldn’t have rated in the heady days of hipsterism. Hipsters themselves might have scorned me as a yuppie. But that isn’t right, either. “Yuppie” conjures Sharper Image catalogs, clean condos and piles of new money pulled from the pre-recession stock market. It doesn’t capture the sense of creative entitlement that defines the yuccie.

Yuccies are the cultural offspring of yuppies and hipsters. We’re intent on being successful like yuppies and creative like hipsters. We define ourselves by our purchases, just like both cohorts, sure. But not by price or taste level; we identify by price and taste level: $80 sweatpants, $16 six-packs of craft beer, trips to Charleston, Austin and Portland. How much it costs (high or low) is immaterial if the material bought validates our intellect.

We’re a big part of the reason that 43% of every millennial food dollar is spent in restaurants, instead of at home. After all, what product is more fraught with the politics of money and creativity than dinner? It’s gotta be Instagrammed.

You cross the yuppie’s new money thirst for yachts and recognition with the hipster’s anti-ambition, smoke-laced individualism, sprinkle on a dose of millennial entitlement, and the yuccie is what you get.
We are what we hate

The Young Urban Creative. The yuccie. As far as trend-naming goes, this is on the punnier edge of the spectrum. Yuccies are yucky. Why?

Let’s use me as an example again. Almost by definition, yuccies possess enormous privilege. My professional drift towards a creative field (writing) is an implicit statement of privilege. Being a yuccie is synonymous with the sort of self-centered cynicism that can only exist in the absence of hardship. It’s the convenience of being unburdened by conviction; it’s the luxury of getting to pick your battles. In this context, cynicism is maybe the yuccie’s most defining trait.

To wit, of all the reasons I enjoy being a writer, the single driving force behind my career trajectory has been validation. I write for validation: of my peers, of my parents, of the followers who retweet me, even of the commenters who say cruel things in my general direction beneath every piece I’ve ever published.

Don’t get me wrong — I need the money, too, as much as any of my peers. But if I hadn’t insisted on majoring in English, writing professionally and “expressing myself,” I probably could have chosen a more lucrative path. But
I need to be told, repeatedly and at length, that I have valuable ideas. That my talent is singular. That I’m making a dent, the size and location of which is less important than fact that it’s shaped like me.

That’s the cynicism of privilege. That’s what yuccieism is. I’m not ashamed of it, and you shouldn’t be either if this sounds like you. But I’m not proud of it either. Like I said — it’s a bit yucky.

Read the whole thing.

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