MODERN MAN: Because men take longer to finish college and marry later than women, they are more likely to stick around their parents’ house. In 2012, 40% of millennial men (ages 18-31) lived at home. American men earn about 19% more than women.
Adults Age 25-34 Living At Home 1983-2013 (Alyson Hurt/NPR)
COLLEGE GRAD GENTRIFICATION: The more college grads, the more expensive the city, the more gentrification – less crime, better school, better restaurants, bars, museums, and art galleries. College graduates also live in the nicest cities in the country. They’re getting more benefits, even net of fact that they’re paying higher housing costs.
In 1980, a college graduate earned about 38% more than a worker with only a high-school diploma. By 2000, 57%. By 2011, 73%.
Nationwide education gentrification is at the scale of entire cities. Picture low-skilled workers increasingly excluded from Washington and San Francisco and segregated into cities like Toledo or Baton Rouge.
In the past, higher-wage cities attracted more workers, driving up the supply of labor and driving down the high wages that drew them to those cities in the first place, counteracting some of the inequality we see today.
A higher share of college graduates also yielded higher wages for workers without college degrees, likely because employers have to pay them more to keep them in higher-cost cities.
BEST FAST BURGER: The Habit Burger Grill, In-N-Out, and Five Guys top the list with 8.1, 80. McDonald’s scores a paltry 5.8.
Best American Fast Burger (Consumer Reports)
AMERICAN BEST UNIVERSITIES IN THE WORLD? 18 of the world’s top 25 universities are American. “We have the best universities” does not mean “our universities are, on average, the best” — even though that’s what many people hear. It means, “Of the best universities, most are ours.”
Only 18% of American adults with bachelor’s degrees score at the top two levels of numeracy, compared with the international average of 24%.
Americans with associate’s and graduate degrees also lag behind their international peers.
CAREER LADDER: Careers, like life, do not move in a straight line. I’ve accepted that there is not only one answer, and that the “perfect job” may not exist for me. Rather than a ladder, I see my career as a pond of lily pads extending in all directions. There is no one way “up,” just a series of opportunities and mini-experiments that get you closer and closer to discovering what’s meaningful.
Where do you get on the ladder? Is there one in each city in the world? What happens if you want to try two different ladders at the same time? If you hop off for a detour, do you have to start back from the bottom, or do you get to return to the rung where you left off?
Only 27% of college graduates have a job related to their college major, and more than 90% of millennials expect to stay in a job for less than three years.
Yet 20-somethings are still erringly being told to figure out their (single) calling, find the perfect first job in that field, and then maintain a linear career trajectory.
90% of college students are optimistic about their ability to find a good job when they graduate.
70% said it was important find a job that allows them to do what they love, while only 20% said it was important to find a job that pays well.
Career Ladder (BEWFAA)
SCHOOL DRESS CODE: If you’re wondering whether dress code policies disproportionately govern what female students can — or can’t — wear to school, you’re right. Our informal survey showed that regulations are more restrictive for women than for men.
Almost half the public schools in the country now have a dress code. That number has increased from 21% in 2000.
Shorts/Skirt Length: Most schools we surveyed have some rules on how long skirts and shorts must be, and how short is too short. Some go with the “fingertip rule” (shorts and skirts must extend beyond the fingertips), while others require only an “appropriate length.”
Bare Shoulders/Midriffs: Navel-baring blouses are a no-go at nearly every school we surveyed. Most also put some regulation on shirt sleeves. Spaghetti-strap tank tops are a common target. So are halter tops — but some schools ban sleeveless shirts all together.
Illegal/Profane/Suggestive Content: Clothing that suggests or portrays violence, illegal acts or illegal substances are almost an unequivocal no. Mostly, we’re talking T-shirts here.
DOES HANDWRITING MATTER? Most states call for teaching legible writing, only in kindergarten and first grade. After that, the emphasis quickly shifts to proficiency on the keyboard. But children not only learn to read more quickly when they first learn to write by hand, but they also remain better able to generate ideas and retain information. In other words, it’s not just what we write that matters — but how.
When the children composed text by hand, they not only consistently produced more words more quickly than they did on a keyboard, but expressed more ideas.
When these children were asked to come up with ideas for a composition, the ones with better handwriting exhibited greater neural activation in areas associated with working memory — and increased overall activation in the reading and writing networks.
Students learn better when they take notes by hand than when they type on a keyboard.
For adults, typing may be a fast and efficient alternative to longhand, but that very efficiency may diminish our ability to process new information.
What stage in life do you remember most fondly? (Source: United Healthcare)
ARE YOU DESIRABLE? The old axiom says beauty is in the eye of the beholder. When it comes to initial impressions, this statement is not really true: Consensus about desirable qualities creates a gulf between the haves and have-nots. But the truth of this maxim increases over time: As people get to know each other, decreasing consensus and increasing uniqueness give everyone a fighting chance.
So if you do not have a high mate value, take heart. All you need is for others to have the patience to get to know you, and a more level playing field should follow.
Desire (Olimpia Zagnoli, NYTimes)
FAKE CULTURAL LITERACY: What we all feel now is the constant pressure to know enough, at all times, lest we be revealed as culturally illiterate. So that we can survive an elevator pitch, a business meeting, a visit to the office kitchenette, a cocktail party, so that we can post, tweet, chat, comment, text as if we have seen, read, watched, listened.
What matters to us, awash in petabytes of data, is not necessarily having actually consumed this content firsthand but simply knowing that it exists — and having a position on it, being able to engage in the chatter about it.
We come perilously close to performing a pastiche of knowledgeability that is really a new model of know-nothingness.
Whenever anyone, anywhere, mentions anything, we must pretend to know about it. Data has become our currency.
Because we spend so much time staring at our phones and screens, texting and tweeting about how busy we are, we no longer have the time to consume any primary material. We rely instead on the casual observations of our “friends” or the people we “follow” or, well, who, actually?
The lesson was not to immerse and get lost in the actual cultural document itself but to mine it for any valuable ore and minerals — data, factoids, what you need to know — and then trade them on the open market.