Sunday, May 25, 2014

in the wind | tweets from the space ending 05.24.14

Not Unmotivated...Demotivated iii | a small idea from Raising Adults 

Have a tablet and a child? 7 apps that can help the child use the table to create mess-free images

in 2010, the deadliest drug in the US was not sourced from Colombia South America but from Columbia South Carolina

I learned it from you, OK! | Just 19% of US 17-yr-olds say they read daily 


Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Not Unmotivated...Demotivated iii | a small idea from Raising Adults

Since so many kids grow up demotivated by the conviction that adults 1) don’t expect much from them and 2) seem unlikely to do do much that truly helps them, our course is almost obvious.
Give them something to do. Just because there are no cows to milk doesn’t mean we can’t give our children legitimate work to do—work that keeps us up late or gets us up early. And there’s plenty of that to go around—am I right, ladies? Somehow all those labor-saving devices we introduced since the 50s yielded longer work weeks and a superabundance of household duties. Why in the name of all that’s efficient would we fail to train and empower younger citizens to help with that work? If we let the darlings earn their keep, they’ll love us for it.
But we have to give them the right stuff to do. And the right stuff means helping kids learn to accomplish age-appropriate tasks. 
Take Science Fairs. We all know Roscoe didn’t make that cold fusion power converter. In fact, by your red-rimmed eyes, we can tell you stayed up all night working on it yourself. Either that or you have a nasty case of pinkeye. Why? To launch his career in the hard sciences? So everyone who knows you’re Roscoe’s mom will be proud of you? Who are we kidding?
Over-achieving is generally meaningless—more about appearances than function. Our children need to perform meaningful work. I mean they really need that. And meaningful work is not that hard to find. It’s right in our own homes and requires a minimal investment of brain capital to develop. If you’re not sure where to begin, start with the allowance.
Stop giving allowances. Really. I mean, what’s that about? Does someone give you an allowance just for getting out of bed in the morning? And even if someone does; is that a good thing? 

Monday, May 19, 2014

in the wind | tweets in the space ending 05.17.14

we've seen worse | John Green on myths of doom 

"How is that fair?" | Louie C.K. on the world where we raise daughters 

Not Unmotivated...Demotivated ii | a small idea from Raising Adults 

selfie-surgery and other questions about the meaning of life 

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Not Unmotivated...Demotivated ii | a small idea from Raising Adults

Something has to give.
A lot of young folk are less than enchanted by the script they were handed: 
We don’t expect much from you, just try not to cause too much trouble, okay? We’re trying to figure out how to get you into the asset column but, frankly, at this point you’re a liability. Which is not to say we don’t appreciate your disposable income. We are not ungrateful and if, from time to time, we fail to express our appreciation it’s only because we’re caught up in devising new, better ways to get your money. So, for now, just leave it on the counter and please don’t let the door hit you on your way out.
I Buy, Therefore I Am? The message is a disconnect for lots of young Americans: If that’s all you think I’m good for...well that sucks.
For the record, the young sometimes exhibit a lamentable capacity to live down to generational expectations. Back in the day, when he was a high school senior, my friend Brian said: “Lazy, disaffected, drug doin’, MTV watchin’, video game playin’ snots?’ Okay, we can do that.” When the core message from the next generation up is get in line, stay in line and, by the way, make sure you color inside the lines, simply checking out may seem pretty appealing. And that’s one version of how it looks to the people who monitor what Americans values most closely: the Advertising Industry. 
America’s marketeers characterize young people as a moving target, flighty, unpredictable, difficult to reach (which is of course how advertisers try convince big bidnez that they, the tastemakers, are necessary and worth every penny). But it’s not all hype. Look how the pop music business was forced to adjust to ever shrinking clusters of listeners. It’s not that there are fewer listeners—Millennials outnumber Boomers, and Boomers, as well as Xers, still listen to music—it’s that the marketplace is splintered into dozens of mutating genres, none of them destined to be the Next Big Thing on the scale of the Beatles, Fleetwood Mac, or Michael Jackson. I am not invested in the megastars of yesteryear (I, too, am part of the problem for the recorded music industry), so I make no qualitative judgment when I say there is no Next Big Thing. I’m simply talking about sales. Michael Jackson’s Thriller became the biggest album of 1983, selling more than 15 million copies and going on to become the biggest selling album of all times.* As a point of comparison, the best selling album in 2013, Justin Timberlake’s 20/20 Experience, sold around 2.4 million copies it’s first year.** Add to that the disruption of digital and streaming content and it’s plain that the music business will never return to what it was. Whether you think that’s a good thing or a bad thing, it is undeniably a thing.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

in the wind | tweets in the space ending 05.10.14

Not Unmotivated...Demotivated | a small idea from Raising Adults 

new lows | US teen pregnancies, abortions + birthrate still dropping 

Are US 12th-graders making progress in math + reading?

selective outrage | Benghazi, the Bush Administration + the failure of American intelligence

Wednesday, May 07, 2014

Not Unmotivated...Demotivated i | a small idea from Raising Adults

Waiting. I’m not just sitting here. Doing nothing. I’m waiting. Waiting for something worth doing. I’m not self-absorbed. I’m introspective. I’m paying attention. I’m watching. Listening. Waiting for something meaningful. I’m not lazy and I’m not unmotivated. Demotivated, maybe. Under-challenged, certainly. Sorry, but I’m just underwhelmed by shallow dreams. Unimpressed by meaningless ambition, colorless relationships, broken promises. Slacker (?!) Yeah, right. Show me one ideal worth dying for. Let me glimpse one thing worth living for. Do that and the wait is over. Ask me a big enough question and I’ll answer with my life.
Waiting is the text of a short film I wrote for a gathering of 20-somethings. The organizers wanted a motivational piece; something to kick-start the last hours of a conference on Change.
The movie was well received by the audience. Not so much by the Boomers who paid for the event. In fact, the Deep Pockets were disenchanted with the whole gathering. My assignment came from people who organized the conference, not those who underwrote it, so this is just my opinion, but I think the older folks were working on a plan to recruit and co-opt those 20-somethings into their  political vision for the future.
I imagine you recall, co-optation from first-year sociology. No? Well, no matter, I saved my notes: Co-optation is the practice of recruiting potentially troublesome, usually non-formal, leaders into management before they incite discontent in other workaday employees over low pay, shoddy manufacturing, dangerous working conditions...whatever. It’s based on one of the oldest known business principles: If you can’t beat ’em, buy ’em
But those darned kids! It didn’t take long to see the young men and women at this conference weren’t interested in being co-opted. The conference was supposed to be the pilot for a nationwide series of events. Didn’t happen. After a day of watching and listening to the concerns of these young Americans the mission was scrubbed. 
I wish I could say this is the only time I’ve seen this kind of thing.

Sunday, May 04, 2014

in the wind | tweets in the space ending 05.03.14

sophisticated innocents iii | a small idea from Raising Adults 

sophisticated innocents iv | a small idea from Raising Adults 

Yik Yak: “I probably heard about 10–15 nasty things...some of which I couldn’t even finish reading”

think about it | How Not to Talk About Purity h/t Paul Martin 

high-control parenting | a small idea from Raising Adults 

What! South had highest % of kids on meds for emotional or behavioral difficulties in 2011-12

Stupid Kids Today | Watter's World v Tad's Turf | Colbert hearts O'Reilly