A man holding a bulb with the world on it.

Simplicity is the new thing. Quality is so over and innovation is fading into everythingness. We’ve all but given up on trust so I guess that just leaves us with getting more by doing less. Wasn’t that your New Year’s resolution? Find your center and eliminate everything and everyone that is not essential. All you need is an arcane method or a killer app or an energy drink to find inner peace and a four-hour workweek. Who knew it was that easy? We want to escape from the maddening din of modernity so badly that we are willing to deceive ourselves into believing the most implausible of programs and mindless machinations. (more…)

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There is a new Starbucks in the main hall of the business school where I teach. I stand amazed as baristas call out the customized concoctions like an auctioneer at the Sotheby’s rapidly selling off some priceless artifact of value to only a rarefied few collectors. Surely that Grande half-soy double white mocha macchiato with a dollop of foam is of little interest to the next person in line. I am astounded for mine is a generation where such complex customization was inconceivable but I am equally confounded by how we have come to mistake a system of production for substantive and meaningful innovation. (more…)

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I have always loved living up north but this year winter sucked. The Great Lakes froze over completely for the first time in a century. We had a gazillion days when the thermometer dipped below zero. No not wimpy Celsius zero but badass Fahrenheit zero. We had such a Homeric amount of snow that even the children in the village have started to compose folk songs about the omnipresent and eternal flurry. And the sun decided to spend the winter in Vegas and beat the house out West of all of its water. The bad news is that our roads now resemble a Zambian rock quarry, the melting snowpack is inciting our riotous rivers and monstrous lakes to reclaim territories lost to cities and other demonstrable landmarks of civilization after the ice age, and we now look upon the sunlight with the sensitive eyes of a mole rat in serious need of some opaque black Ray-Bans. (more…)

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