Culture Briefing

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What is the Meaning Behind These Categories?

These categories are intended to orient you to the substance of the article and to communicate our framework for understanding the endowments that constitute civic life. This “human ecology” model is at the core of the Thriving Cities Project, a research initiative of the Institute for Advanced Studies in Culture.

#vanlife

The New Yorker

Rachel Monroe profiles two entrepreneurial nomads, Emily King and Corey Smith, who are at the forefront of a “bohemian social-media movement” called “#vanlife.”

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Instamom

The Atlantic

Bosker profiles the parents behind Barefoot Blond, a blog that blurs the line between parenting and fashion with 250,000 monthly readers and 1.3 million Instagram followers.

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The biggest threat facing middle-age men isn’t smoking or obesity. It’s loneliness.

Boston Globe

Billy Baker, a Southie native now writing for the Globe, reflects on the challenges of friendship and loneliness among middle-aged men.

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Why We Can't Look Away From Our Screens

The New York Times

Alter argues that the best term to describe our relationship with our incredibly powerful personal technologies is “behavioral addiction.”

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'Irresistible' By Design: It's No Accident You Can't Stop Looking At The Screen

NPR

Alter talks about his new book with NPR’s Fresh Air.

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The Binge Breaker

The Atlantic

Harris, a former “design ethicist” at Google, places much of the blame for addictive technology at the feet of app designers and engineers.

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The Reality of Reality TV

n+1 Magazine

Ours is a society that honors the “special celebration of ordinary living itself”—sometimes, by watching our peers do things we can do ourselves.

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The pleasure of their pain

Aeon

In Ungar-Sagon’s view, what drives the proliferation of reality TV, and the absurd lengths producers will traverse in search of a niche hit, is our need for catharsis.

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How Large Is the Divide Between Red and Blue America?

The New York Times

One of the most important large-scale trends in American social life is the increasing degree to which we live near people who vote like we do.

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Red Neighbor, Blue Neighbor

The New Yorker

As political polarization intensifies, the challenges of neighborliness become easier to avoid—and all the more integral to a fully human life.

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Almost There

The New Yorker

Roger Angell, who has been contributing to the New Yorker since 1944, described this particular World Series as “three hours of floodlit opium.”

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Baseball’s storyteller, our friend

The Washington Post

Vin Scully, longtime voice of the Los Angeles Dodgers, helped infuse baseball with the virtues of gentility and mutual respect.

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