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How baby boomers ruined parenting forever - Quartz
About 25 years ago, when the era of irrational exuberance allowed enough disposable income for irrational anxiety, the concept of “helicopter parenting” arose. A “helicopter parent” micromanages every aspect of his child’s routine and behavior. From educational products for infants to concerned calls to professors in adulthood, helicopter parents ensure their child is on a path to success by paving it for them.

The rise of the helicopter was the product of two social shifts. The first was the comparatively booming economy of the 1990s, with low unemployment and higher disposable income. The second was the public perception of increased child endangerment—a perception, as “Free Range Kids” guru Lenore Skenazy documented, rooted in paranoia. Despite media campaigns that began in the 1980s and continue today, children are safer from crime than in prior decades. What they are not safe from are the diminishing prospects of their parents.

In America, today’s parents have inherited expectations they can no longer afford.The vigilant standards of the helicopter parents from the baby boomer generation have become defined as mainstream practice, but they require money that the average household earning $53,891 per year— and struggling to survive in an economy in its seventh year of illusory “recovery”— does not have. The result is a fearful society in which poorer parents are cast as threats to their own children. As more families struggle to stay afloat, the number of helicopter parents dwindles—but their shadow looms large.
parenting  helicopterparenting  us  elitism  elite  wealth  inequality  babyboomers  fear  2014  paranoia  sarahkendzior  classism  lenoreskenazy  children  childhood  racism  helicopterparents  boomers 
november 2014 by robertogreco
March on Washington lessons: Four ways to beat 'The Man' -
“1. Don't get seduced by spontaneity

Spontaneity is sexy. The urge to act on an irrepressible urge can inspire others. A Tunisian street vendor who set himself on fire is credited with starting the Arab Spring. And who can forget the lone man who stood in front of a column of tanks in Tiananmen Square during the pro-democracy protests in China in 1989? … Yet spontaneity is overrated, some observers say. Successful movements are built on years of planning, trial and error, honing strategies for change. A good movement should already have an organizational structure set up to take advantage of a spontaneous act that grips the public.

2. Make policy, not noise

They gave the nation a nifty slogan: "We are the 99%.'' But they haven't been heard from much since. Remember Occupy Wall Street? In 2011, a group of protesters occupied a park in New York City's financial district to protest income inequality and the growing power of financial institutions. … Successful movements just don't take it to the streets. They elect candidates, pass laws, set up institutions to raise money, train people and produce leaders, observers say. The March on Washington, for example, had the charisma of King. But it also had the organizational genius of Bayard Rustin, a man whose attention to detail was so keen that people wryly noted he knew precisely how many portable toilets 250,000 marchers needed.

3. Redefine the meaning of punishment

On July 6, 1892, 300 armed detectives confronted a group of unionized steelworkers who had been locked out of a steel mill in Homestead, Pennsylvania. The workers, who were striking for better wages at a time when people routinely worked 12-hour-per-day, six-day weeks, fought back with stones and guns. They eventually forced the armed detectives to surrender. Three workers and seven detectives died. That confrontation is now known as the Homestead Strike. … Consider the gay and lesbian movement for equality. Palmer, author of "Healing the Heart of Democracy," says that for years, many gay and lesbians suffered in silence as people denigrated their humanity. That changed when a critical mass decided that the pain of "behaving on the outside in a way that contradicts the truth" that they held inside was too much. "They redefined punishment," Palmer says.

4. Divide the elites

It's easy to demonize "The Man" if you're talking with friends in a late-night dorm room rap session. But you're going to need "The Man" if you're going to beat "The Man," some historians say. … A movement, though, can't appeal to the altruism of elites to get their support. Elites help movements when they feel their own interests are threatened, says Pizzigati, author of "The Rich Don't Always Win." That cold calculus among the rich is what made the New Deal possible, he says.”
politics  history  change  elite  occupy  activism  theoryofchange  changemaking  2013  spontaneity  policy  via:migurski 
august 2013 by robertogreco
Speculative Diction | Scholars without borders? Not quite. | University Affairs
"For all these reasons and undoubtedly many more, the “talent market” is clearly a deeply unequal one, and is not genuinely meritocratic; it’s a reflection, indeed an amplification, of existing inequalities. Specifically for academics, when combined with the tendency towards élite, targeted funding and emphasis on overseas recruitment of “the best”, and an increasingly stratified and fragmented academic workforce, we have to ask what the globalised (and polarised) professoriate is going to look like. If it’s going to follow the same lines as other aspects of globalisation such as so-called free trade, then I think we can do a whole lot better."
meloniefullick  elite  elitism  talentmarket  talent  inequality  highered  higheducation  academia  globalization  2013  freetrade  meritocracy  recruitment  visas 
may 2013 by robertogreco
Comment: Down with meritocracy | Politics | The Guardian
"I have been sadly disappointed by my 1958 book, The Rise of the Meritocracy. I coined a word which has gone into general circulation, especially in the United States, and most recently found a prominent place in the speeches of Mr Blair.

The book was a satire meant to be a warning (which needless to say has not been heeded) against what might happen to Britain between 1958 and the imagined final revolt against the meritocracy in 2033.

It is good sense to appoint individual people to jobs on their merit. It is the opposite when those who are judged to have merit of a particular kind harden into a new social class without room in it for others.

Ability of a conventional kind, which used to be distributed between the classes more or less at random, has become much more highly concentrated by the engine of education.

A social revolution has been accomplished by harnessing schools and universities to the task of sieving people according to education's narrow band of values.

With an amazing battery of certificates and degrees at its disposal, education has put its seal of approval on a minority, and its seal of disapproval on the many who fail to shine from the time they are relegated to the bottom streams at the age of seven or before.

The new class has the means at hand, and largely under its control, by which it reproduces itself.

In the new social environment, the rich and the powerful have been doing mighty well for themselves. They have been freed from the old kinds of criticism from people who had to be listened to. This once helped keep them in check - it has been the opposite under the Blair government.

The business meritocracy is in vogue. If meritocrats believe, as more and more of them are encouraged to, that their advancement comes from their own merits, they can feel they deserve whatever they can get.

They can be insufferably smug, much more so than the people who knew they had achieved advancement not on their own merit but because they were, as somebody's son or daughter, the beneficiaries of nepotism. The newcomers can actually believe they have morality on their side.

So assured have the elite become that there is almost no block on the rewards they arrogate to themselves. The old restraints of the business world have been lifted and, as the book also predicted, all manner of new ways for people to feather their own nests have been invented and exploited.

Can anything be done about this more polarised meritocratic society? It would help if Mr Blair would drop the word from his public vocabulary, or at least admit to the downside. It would help still more if he and Mr Brown would mark their distance from the new meritocracy by increasing income taxes on the rich, and also by reviving more powerful local government as a way of involving local people and giving them a training for national politics."
class  society  meritocracy  elite  elitism  2013  michaelyoung  uk  socialclass  power 
may 2013 by robertogreco
The Last Psychiatrist: The Harvard Cheating Scandal Is Stupid
Quotes selected by Taryn:

"Using in-text citations to support your answer" is the standard way academics pretend at knowledge, and it is always a trick, it doesn't allow the reader "a better understanding of your thought process," it is an appeal to authority (Salmon 2006) masquerading as critical thinking [...]

find me one single professor that is now asking, "seriously, gang, what the hell kind of operation are we running here where 125 of theoretically the brightest kids in the country-- who can all pass physics and organic chemistry and write novels and play music without ever cheating-- then do it in a $2000 Intro To Gov class we probably shouldn't even be offering?" Any soul searching? Deconstruction of the system? Sleepless night over destroying the lives of 125 kids? Anything?

Harvard says that it noticed students used similar phrasing and strings of words, which could signal cheating but let me offer a more uncomfortable alternative: the gated community of academic jargon [...]

the whole thing is a carnival trick, because what the students do not know, what they have not been told, is that it is completely impossible to summarize jargon without appealing to that very jargon; that the moment you try to explain, in simple ordinary English the meaning of the jargon, your whole paper ends up being three sentences [...]

everyone in that class cheated: if they didn't copy off of each other, they copied off of the professor, with no internalization of the "knowledge" because that was never the point of the class.
academia  plagiarism  schools  elite  cheating  2012  it'sbroken  highereducation  highered  education  learning  via:Taryn 
september 2012 by robertogreco
n+1: Death by Degrees
"eggheads make sensible targets. Over the last thirty years, the university has replaced the labor union as the most important institution, after the corporation, in American political and economic life. As union jobs have disappeared, participation in the labor force, the political system, and cultural affairs is increasingly regulated by professional guilds that require their members to spend the best years of life paying exorbitant tolls and kissing patrician rings. Whatever modest benefits accreditation offers in signaling attainment of skills, as a ranking mechanism it’s zero-sum: the result is to enrich the accreditors and to discredit those who lack equivalent credentials.

Jean Baudrillard once suggested an important correction to classical Marxism: exchange value is not, as Marx had it, a distortion of a commodity’s underlying use value; use value, instead, is a fiction created by exchange value. In the same way, systems of accreditation do not assess merit; merit is a fiction created by systems of accreditation [...]

Not all the demons identified by the Tea Party have been phantoms. We on our side are right to reject rule by the 1 percent — and so are they right to reject rule by a credentialed elite. Introductory economics courses paint “rent-seekers” as gruesome creatures who amass monopoly privileges; credential-seekers, who sterilize the intellect by pouring time and money into the accumulation of permits, belong in the same circle of hell.

Americans have been affluent enough for long enough that it’s difficult to remember there was once a time when solidarity trumped the compulsion to rank. The inclusive vision that once drove the labor movement has given way to a guild mentality, at times also among unions, that is smug and parochial. To narrow the widening chasm between insiders and outsiders, we must push on both ends. Dignity must be restored to labor, and power and ecumenicism to labor unions. On the other side the reverse must happen: dignity must be drained from the credential. Otherwise, the accreditation arms race will become more fearsome. Yesterday’s medals will become tomorrow’s baubles, and the prizes that remain precious will be concentrated in fewer and fewer hands [...]

Che Guevara once declared that the duty of intellectuals was to commit suicide as a class; a more modest suggestion along the same lines is for the credentialed to join the uncredentialed in shredding the diplomas that paper over the undemocratic infrastructure of American life. A master’s degree, we might find, burns brighter than a draft card."
academia  education  hierarchy  elite  2012  teaparty  highered  highereducation  credentials  baudrillard  karlmarx  usevalue  exchangevalue  value  accreditation  solidarity  labor  cheguevara  via:Taryn 
july 2012 by robertogreco
Those Fabulous Confabs
"For a certain prosperous tier of the citizenry, the conferences serve as a higher-brow Learning Annex. But most simply, these events are about establishing and reinforcing new hierarchies. In a culture where social rank is ever more fluid, an entrepreneur who overnight goes from sleeping under his desk to IPO-ing into a billionaire needs a way to express his new status, stat. “We don’t have castles and noble titles, so how do you indicate you’re part of the elite?” as Andrew Zolli, PopTech’s executive director, puts it.

Thus the rise of a cohort of speakers and attendees who migrate along the same elite social-intellectual trade routes. Throw in Sundance and SXSW and Burning Man, and you get what Michael Hirschorn has called “the clusterfuckoisie,” tweeting at each other as they shuttle between events."
via:litherland  saulwurman  chrisanderson  class  socialrank  elite  davidbrooks  sundance  lift  sxsw  dolectures  andrewzolli  elitism  status  hierarchy  society  culture  tedx  2012  conferences  poptech  ted 
march 2012 by robertogreco
Finding Freedom in Handcuffs | Common Dreams
"And as norms mutate and change, as the world is steadily transformed by corporate forces into one of a small cabal of predators and a vast herd of human prey, these elites seamlessly replace one set of “values” with another. These elites obey the rules. They make the system work. And they are rewarded for this. In return, they do not question.

Those who resist—the doubters, outcasts, renegades, skeptics and rebels—rarely come from the elite. They ask different questions. They seek something else—a life of meaning. They have grasped Immanuel Kant’s dictum, “If justice perishes, human life on Earth has lost its meaning.” And in their search they come to the conclusion that, as Socrates said, it is better to suffer wrong than to do wrong."
chrishedges  2011  ows  occupywallstreet  timetomoveon  elite  wealth  charity  resistance  inequality  disparity  society  us  privilege  culture  charitableindustrialcomplex  philanthropicindustrialcomplex  capitalism  power  control 
november 2011 by robertogreco
Et tu, Mr. Destructo?: Fuck You, Warren Buffett
"Then again, perhaps you've done enough. Negative Nancies might argue that philanthropy is simply the right hand of capitalism, its moral pressure valve, divesting The Super Rich of their guilt over the means by which they hoard wealth, offering the public carefully staged signs of humanity in an otherwise mechanistic and amoral system, but I like to think of it as good folks pitching in.

Perhaps then it's time to return to divesting yourself of your billion-dollar fortune before you die. Funding the charities of your choice affords you a philanthropic immortality, keeping your hand on the levers of power and advancement long after death, while keeping that fortune away from the predatory and anonymizing hands of the American Estate Tax."
warrenbuffett  power  money  capitalism  2011  taxes  taxation  government  philanthropy  via:javierarbona  ethics  elite  lobbying  charitableindustrialcomplex  philanthropicindustrialcomplex  control 
august 2011 by robertogreco
Why is Piñera's government so unpopular in Chile? | Cristian Cabalin | Comment is free |
"Chile is today a more complex country than it was two decades ago, but the current political system does not recognise this. Piñera is member of a stubborn elite that continues to control the country as it always has, without recognising that Chileans now live in a completely different context. He believes that Chileans have the same needs that they had during their return to democracy: political stability and public security. However, most citizens want to build a more equal society, with the same opportunities for all.

Recent demonstrations and protests have overshadowed his administration. Citizens are going to the streets to demand better education, gay marriage, and the protection of the environment. They're asking for changes in one of the most unequal societies in the world. After 21 years of democratisation, citizens have lost their fear and are in the streets…"
chile  2011  sebastiánpiñera  government  change  inequality  equality  economics  politics  policy  education  gayrights  environment  elite  society 
august 2011 by robertogreco
When Democracy Weakens -
"As the throngs celebrated in Cairo, I couldn’t help wondering about what is happening to democracy here in the US. I think it’s on the ropes. We’re in serious danger of becoming a democracy in name only.

While millions of ordinary Americans are struggling with unemployment & declining standards of living, the levers of real power have been all but completely commandeered by the financial & corporate elite. It doesn’t really matter what ordinary people want. The wealthy call the tune, & the politicians dance.

So what we get in this democracy of ours are astounding & increasingly obscene tax breaks & other windfall benefits for wealthiest, while bought-&-paid-for politicians hack away at essential public services & social safety net, saying we can’t afford them. One state after another is reporting that it cannot pay its bills. Public employees across the country are walking the plank by the tens of thousands…Medicaid…is under savage assault from nearly all quarters."
bobherbert  policy  us  politics  wealth  disparity  egypt  democracy  oligarchy  standardofliving  poverty  class  2011  revolution  budget  budgetcuts  government  corruption  power  elite  money  wealthdistribution 
february 2011 by robertogreco
The Rise of the New Global Elite - Magazine - The Atlantic
"F. Scott fitzgerald was right when he declared the rich different from you and me. But today’s super-rich are also different from yesterday’s: More hardworking and meritocratic, but less connected to the nations that granted them opportunity—and the countrymen they are leaving ever further behind."
economics  politics  society  money  elitism  elite  2011  global  meritocracy 
january 2011 by robertogreco
The Most Emailed 'New York Times' Article Ever | The Awl
Brilliant! Just a taste:

"At Yael Farms, Anna gets plenty of exercise. She spends the day herding ibex, drawing water from a well, and moving heavy stones. After a Deuteronomy-friendly dinner of figs, unleavened bread and honey-drizzled ibex, she practices her Mandarin. Like many of the ibex farms sprouting up across the northeastern United States, Yael offers an intensive Chinese-language immersion course.

“We speak Chinese here,” says Jones, the farm's co-owner. “It’s just smart business.” Foreign policy analysts like Wilbur Jenkins, a fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, think entrepreneurs like Jones have the right idea. “In China, children are being taught English in utero,” Jenkins says. “American teenagers better start catching up.”"
humor  nytimes  satire  writing  parenting  elitism  elite 
january 2011 by robertogreco
Income Inequality and the 'Superstar Effect' -
"CAPITALISM relies on inequality…pay disparities steer resources [people] to where they would be most productively employed.

In poor economies, fast economic growth increases inequality…Inequality spurs economic growth by providing incentives …pulls best & brightest into most lucrative lines of work, where most profitable companies hire…

Yet increasingly outsize rewards accruing to nation’s elite…threaten to gum up incentive mechanism. If only a very lucky few can aspire to a big reward, most workers are likely to conclude it's not worth effort to try…odds aren’t on their side.

Inequality has been found to turn people off…measurably less satisfied w/ jobs…more likely to look for another…winner-take-all games tend to elicit much less player effort & more cheating…

…How much inequality is necessary?…economy grew even faster 1951-80, when inequality declined…

US is rich country w/ most skewed income distribution…Americans are less economically mobile…"
economics  disparity  wages  labor  growth  us  capitalism  incentives  motivation  wealth  elite  elitism  winnertakeall  work  inequality  mobility  finance  sports  wealthdistribution 
december 2010 by robertogreco
If money doesn’t matter… « School Finance 101
"A) Then why do private independent schools, like those attended by our President’s children (Sidwell Friends in DC), or by Davis Guggenheim’s children (?), spend so much more than nearby traditional public schools?"

B) Then why do venture philanthropists continue to throw money at charter schools while throwing stones at traditional public schools?

C) Then why do affluent – and/or low poverty – suburban school districts continue in many parts of the country to dramatically outspend their poorer urban neighbors?"
via:cervus  education  policy  funding  money  waitingforsuperman  schools  us  politics  independentschools  publicschools  reform  2010  wealth  poverty  privilege  elite  elitism  charterschools 
october 2010 by robertogreco
How TED Connects the Idea-Hungry Elite | Fast Company
"if you were starting a top university today, what would it look like? You would start by gathering very best minds from around world, from every discipline. Since we're living in an age of abundant, not scarce, information, you'd curate lectures carefully, with focus on new & original, rather than offer a course on every possible topic. You'd create a sustainable economic model by focusing on technological rather than physical infrastructure, & by getting people of means to pay for a specialized experience. You'd also construct a robust network so people could access resources whenever & from wherever they like, & you'd give them the tools to collaborate beyond the lecture hall. Why not fulfill the university's millennium-old mission by sharing ideas as freely and as widely as possible?

If you did all that, well, you'd have TED. …

unlike fearful old-school colleges, TED is finding that the more open it is, the more it becomes the global education brand of the 21st century"
chrisanderson  ted  tedx  conferences  education  creativity  learning  sharing  open  elite  ideas  curation  networks  colleges  universities  media  harvard 
august 2010 by robertogreco
Are the American people obsolete? - U.S. Economy -
"Have American people outlived their usefulness to rich minority in the US? A number of trends suggest the answer may be yes.

In every industrial democracy since end of WWII, there has been a social contract btwn the few & many. In return for receiving disproportionate amount of gains from economic growth in capitalist economy, rich paid disproportionate % of taxes needed for public goods & safety net for majority.

In N America & Europe, economic elite agreed to this bargain because they needed ordinary people as consumers & soldiers. W/out mass consumption, factories in which rich invested would grind to halt. W/out universal conscription in world wars, & selective conscription during Cold War, US & its allies might have failed to defeat totalitarian empires that would have created a world order hostile to market economy.

Globalization eliminated 1st reason for rich to continue supporting this bargain at nation-state level, while privatization of military threatens other…"
northamerica  globalization  economy  economics  future  outsourcing  rich  money  capitalism  immigration  politics  history  michaellind  class  disparity  emmigration  labor  war  military  privitazation  elite  socialdemocracy  taxes  society  poverty  international  capital 
august 2010 by robertogreco
Got degree envy? No worries, you can still make it big.
"An Ivy League degree may get you a job as an investment banker or VC, but it won’t increase your odds of becoming a successful entrepreneur. ... 81% of the tech company founders came from “regular” schools." [via:]
entrepreneurship  education  colleges  universities  technology  business  statistics  degrees  ivyleague  elite 
january 2010 by robertogreco
Relevant History: On neocons
"Prof. Katznelson described a lunch he had with Irving Kristol back either during the first Bush administration. The talk turned to William Kristol, then Dan Quayle's chief of staff, and how he got his start in politics. Irving recalled how he talked to his friend Harvey Mansfield at Harvard, who secured William a place there as both an undergrad and graduate student; how he talked to Pat Moynihan, then Nixon's domestic policy adviser, and got William an internship at The White House; how he talked to friends at the RNC and secured a job for William after he got his Harvard Ph.D.; and how he arranged with still more friends for William to teach at UPenn and the Kennedy School of Government. With that, Prof. Katznelson recalled, he then asked Irving what he thought of affirmative action. "I oppose it", Irving replied. "It subverts meritocracy.""
billkristol  neocons  meritocracy  affirmitiveaction  favors  politics  economics  elite  rulingclass 
july 2009 by robertogreco
LittleSis - LittleSis is an involuntary facebook of powerful Americans, collaboratively edited and maintained by people like you.
"It's easier than ever to spot the symptoms of corruption and cronyism in our political process. Ordinary Americans have never felt more shut out from all levels of government, more excluded from economic gains & more powerless to remedy the problems facing their communities & the world. Meanwhile, the powerful networks of individuals who've enjoyed unprecedented influence, wealth & access while steering our country towards its present crisis continue to elude responsibility in the public spotlight. We all know that the need for fundamental change is urgent. Americans everywhere are pushing back against a broken system that bankrupts and disempowers them. But to effectively push back, we have to study & document the social networks that have our democracy in a stranglehold. We have to expose the individuals & institutions that abuse their power to enrich themselves and their cronies...we have to make common cause & share this information freely."
via:kottke  culture  politics  government  activism  transparency  database  us  elitism  elite  corruption  money  people  facebook  littlesis 
january 2009 by robertogreco
Times Higher Education - All the privileged must have prizes
"the sedulous banality of the rich degrades teaching into a service-class preoccupation whose chief duty is preparing clients for monied careers...If youth is wasted on the young, is teaching wasted on students?"
education  harvard  finance  academia  teaching  culture  gradeinflation  privilege  money  via:preoccupations  wisdom  youth  greed  elite  society  colleges  universities 
july 2008 by robertogreco
Societas » Blog Archive » Cosmopolitanism in the Modern Social Imaginary (part 1 of 3)
"easy for privileged to imagine that their experience of global mobility & connection is available to all, if only everyone would “be” cosmopolitan. We need continually to remind ourselves of extent to which felt cosmopolitanism depends on privilege
cosmopolitanism  mobility  world  perspective  wealth  elite  privilege  global  nomads  neo-nomads 
february 2008 by robertogreco
Kevin Kelly -- The Technium: The Bottom is Not Enough
"bottom-up hive mind will always take us much further than seems possible...Given enough time, dumb things can be smarter than we think [but] will never take us to our end goal. We are too impatient. So we add design & top down control to get where we wan
kevinkelly  smartmobs  hivemind  collaboration  wikipedia  jimmywales  clayshirky  citizendium  crowdsourcing  web  online  collaborative  design  elite  management  socialwebs  wisdomofcrowds  editing  editors 
february 2008 by robertogreco
The Quick and the Ed - Helicopter Parents and Other Exaggerations
"filtered through sensibility of top 10% college students&institutions, clustered on coasts&big cities...disproporionate share of consumers & overwhelming % of producers of elite media...Helicopter parents aren't prevalent&problematic, they're rare&benefi
myths  media  elite  wealth  colleges  universities  parenting  class  education  students  activism  involvement  schools  society  trends  falsetrends  helicopterparents  helicopterparenting 
february 2008 by robertogreco
Guardian Unlimited: Arts blog - art: The death of the cultural elite
regine puts it well: "when the comments on a blog post tell you more about the topic than the article itself"
art  culture  elite  uk  via:regine 
january 2008 by robertogreco
Re-education - Ann Hulbert - April 1, 2007 New York Times Magazine, Cover Story China Education
"If creative, critical-minded outsiders aren’t given a reason to enter the public realm, the prospects for a world-class, more democratic future for all are only more precarious."
china  education  future  creativity  innovation  freedom  testing  schools  elite  learning  expression  debate  reform  us  curriculum  homeschool  alternative  progressive 
april 2007 by robertogreco

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