Culture Briefing


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.

Why ‘Do What You Love’ Is Pernicious Advice

The Atlantic

For all its cultural power, the imperative to “do what you love” has left American workers in the unenviable position of “doing more for less.”

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What's So Bad About Being Bored at Work?


Why does a lack of passion in or excitement for one’s daily labor elicit so much angst precisely when it is so widespread?

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What Happens When Work Becomes a Non-Stop Chatroom?

New York Magazine

Fischer’s interest is in the way Slack has amplified and altered forms of acceptable communication “in the workplace.”

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How Technology Gets Us Hooked

The Guardian

Alter reveals the mechanics behind some of the world’s most addicting gaming technologies (podcast also available as an

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How Uber Uses Psychological Tricks to Push Its Drivers’ Buttons

The New York Times

Simple digital prompts, encouragements, and badges have become a core part of Uber’s driver retention strategy.

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Why a Universal Basic Income is a Terrible Idea

National Review

A critique of the UBI from the political right.

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The UBI Bait and Switch


A critique of the UBI from the political left.

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Libertarian Charles Murray: The welfare state has denuded our civic culture

PBS NewsHour

On the Libertarian Right, theorists like Charles Murray advocate for the UBI as a replacement for the vast majority of government-administered social programs.

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Life, Liberty, and a Little Bit of Cash


On the Social Democratic Left, the UBI does not necessarily replace the modern welfare state, but merely supplements it.

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This Kenyan village is a laboratory for the biggest basic income experiment ever


On the Philanthrocapitalist Right, some are making direct donations to individuals as a way to alleviate need and encourage innovation.

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India flirts with a UBI

The Economist

On the Humanitarian Left, the case for the UBI is about building a commitment to social justice into a society’s political self-understanding as its economy modernizes.

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Our Miserable 21st Century


Eberstadt argues that conventional accounts of unemployment tell us far too little about the state of work in America.

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An Economist On The 'Miserable 21st Century'


Eberstadt expands on themes from his recent book, Men Without Work: America’s Invisible Crisis.

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The Future of Work: The Digital Hustle

Pacific Standard

Ticona reminds us that, for many, “flexible capitalism” makes constant connectivity not just a bad habit, but an economic necessity.

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Life at the Nowhere Office

New Republic

The modern office is committed to the ideals of dynamism and mobility. But what’s lost when we banish clutter?

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