Category Archives: language

Redefining ‘Sustainable Fashion’

“Sustainable,” implies “able to continue over a period of time,” according to the Cambridge Dictionary. “Fashion,” on the other hand, implies change over time. To reconcile the two is impossible. No wonder striving for net-zero emissions makes us all feel like Don Quixote, tilting at windmills.

Because there is no simple answer to solving fashion’s role in climate change. Even the obvious one — don’t make, or buy, any new stuff, and don’t throw away any old stuff — has negative implications for employment, know-how and self-definition. (After all, people have been adorning themselves to express themselves for pretty much as long as they have understood themselves as “selves.”) The crucial issue for each of us, no matter which side of the equation we are on, is thinking about and understanding the effects of the choices we make, so we can make better ones in the future.

Google Shows Early Preview of Augmented Reality Glasses

Alphabet Inc.’s Google, which failed to find a consumer audience for its internet-connected glasses about a decade ago, on Wednesday presented a prototype of augmented reality glasses aimed at the general public. 

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2022-05-11/google-shows-early-preview-of-augmented-reality-glasses

The Invention of ‘Jaywalking’

In the 1920s, the public hated cars. So the auto industry fought back — with language.

If you travelled in time back to a big American city in, say, 1905 — just before the boom in car ownership — you’d see roadways utterly teeming with people. Vendors would stand in the street, selling food or goods. Couples would stroll along, and everywhere would be groups of children racing around, playing games. If a pedestrian were heading to a destination across town, they’d cross a street wherever and whenever they felt like it.

https://marker.medium.com/the-invention-of-jaywalking-afd48f994c05

https://books.google.com/ngrams/graph?content=jaywalking&year_start=1800&year_end=2019&corpus=26&smoothing=3&direct_url=t1%3B%2Cjaywalking%3B%2Cc0#t1%3B%2Cjaywalking%3B%2Cc0

Elon Musk, Twitter and the Attention Economy

Twitter has about 229 million monetizable daily active users, the vast majority of whom live outside of the United States. Twitter said that its first quarter growth and increased usage was largely “due to the war in Ukraine as people turned to Twitter to organize, share news, find sources of support and stay connected.” In an attention economy, much of our value as consumers is measured by the time we spend on the site — liking memes, signal boosting information, clicking on links. During times of crisis and fast-moving world events, it’s an invaluable resource.

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2022-05-04/elon-musk-twitter-and-the-attention-economy

Decentralised partying: is Telegram nightlife’s new rave flyer?

Widely used as a protesting tool thanks to its encrypted messaging capabilities, party organisers are increasingly using the platform to put on secret DIY raves, recreating all the thrill, hedonism and anonymity of the acid house days.

https://theface.com/life/decentralised-partying-telegram-illegal-diy-raves-london-berlin-paris-social-media-peter-pavlov-open-source-encrypted-social-media-app-instagram-nightlife

There’s a reason so many restaurants have *almost* the same name.

“Restaurants are really key in shaping cultural trends at the truly local level,” says Helen Rosner, a New Yorker staff writer and longtime food writer. “Fashion can come down the runway; we can all talk about a certain famous cerulean sweater scene (from The Devil Wears Prada). But the most direct access on a day-to-day basis to the shifting tides of trends is in restaurant culture.”

https://www.bonappetit.com/story/restaurant-name-trends

Subcultures are not dead. There is a software that identifies them through digital language

“Technology allows subcultures to be even more ephemeral in their nature. They can keep their ideology but quickly switch from one scenario to another or avoid it. And continue to thrive.”

https://www.nssmag.com/it/lifestyle/29677/culture-mapping

Building a more inclusive way to search

Detecting a skin tone in an image is a challenging problem, because it depends a lot on lighting, shadows, how prominent a face is, blurriness, and many other factors. The most accurate way to detect a skin tone in a Pin’s image would be to have a human label every single Pin image according to a scientific skin tone palette. But with billions of unique images, and many more created each day, that’s an expensive approach that would be hard to scale.

https://medium.com/pinterest-engineering/building-a-more-inclusive-way-to-search-789f4c92fd73

The new status signaling is no status signaling at all.

“Luxury brands have taken note that consumers want to be more mindful of what they wear and how they express themselves, especially as the pandemic has caused economic hardship for so many,” says Hannah Watkins, head of printsand graphics at trend-forecasting agency WGSN. She explains that many consumers are looking to live more sustainable lives, an aspect of which may be about buying less. “Opting for a more minimalist approach to branding will also enhance an item’s longevity and cost per wear,” she adds.

https://www.ellecanada.com/fashion/trends/is-being-understated-the-newest-fashion-trend

68% of U.S. execs admit their companies are guilty of greenwashing

The anonymous survey, conducted by the Harris Poll for Google Cloud with executives primarily at companies with more than 500 employees, has mixed messages: 80% of executives gave their companies an “above-average” rating for environmental sustainability. The majority of leaders both at large corporations and startups said that sustainability is a priority for them; 93% said that they’d be willing to tie their compensation to ESG (environmental, social, and governance) goals, or already do. But 65% said that while they wanted to make progress on sustainability efforts, they didn’t actually know how to do that.

https://www.fastcompany.com/90740501/68-of-u-s-execs-admit-their-companies-are-guilty-of-greenwashing