This, my dear friends, is a new edition of Daily Update, our collection of more or less important news, articles, and opinions from around the world. Today we have one article about how girls are infiltrating Japan’s boy-dominated nerd culture, one about why Snapchat’s influencer economy runs on hot tubs, selfies, and whey protein, one about what it’s like to grow up in the age of likes, lols and longing, one about the world’s most radical mayor, and one about the immortality hype. Have a good read, y’all!
Broadly: How Girls Are Infiltrating Japan’s Boy-Dominated Nerd Culture
The word otaku, broadly considered to refer to a kind of geek “whose hobbies border on the excessive,” already had negative connotations. The term first came about in the 1970s and referred to a subculture of overly enthusiastic fans, particularly of anime and manga. Before the Otaku Murderer case, the word conjured images of social misfits, nerds—people so unable to deal with the real world they immersed themselves in fantasy. Afterwards, it took on a new layer of negativity: Otaku culture became linked with perversion. Some Japanese television stations, such as NHK and Asahi Shimbun, even banned use of the word in the subsequent years.
Bloomberg: Why Snapchat’s Influencer Economy Runs on Hot Tubs, Selfies, and Whey Protein
On a Wednesday morning in April, Caitlin O’Connor drove herself to a mansion in the Coldwater Canyon neighborhood of Los Angeles and took off most of her clothes. She spent the next few hours wearing a black bikini and sitting in a hot tub, speaking into a cell phone camera to an audience of several hundred thousand followers, mostly young men and teen boys. A viewer asked if she only dated guys with money. “I love girls who make their own money and don’t rely on men,” she replied. The shoot was for Woman Crush Wednesday, part of the regular programming on ArsenicTV, an underground broadcaster that’s the Next Big Thing in media.
The Washington Post: 13, Right Now: This Is What It’s Like To Grow Up In The Age Of Likes, Lols and Longing
She slides into the car, and even before she buckles her seat belt, her phone is alight in her hands. A 13-year-old girl after a day of eighth grade. She says hello. Her au pair asks, “Ready to go?” She doesn’t respond, her thumb on Instagram. A Barbara Walters meme is on the screen. She scrolls, and another meme appears. She closes the app. She opens BuzzFeed. There’s a story about Florida Gov. Rick Scott, which she scrolls past to get to a story about Janet Jackson, then “28 Things You’ll Understand If You’re Both British and American.” She closes it. She opens Instagram. She shuts the screen off. She turns it back on. She opens Spotify.
The Guardian: Is This The World’s Most Radical Mayor?
It was the early evening of 5 February 2013, and seated among grave-looking men in suits, a woman named Ada Colau was about to give evidence to a Spanish parliamentary hearing. “Before saying anything,” she began, “I’d just like to make one thing clear. I am not an important person. I have never held office or been the president of anything … The only reason I am here is that I am a momentarily visible face of a citizens’ movement.” Colau was there to discuss the housing crisis that had devastated Spain.
Nautilus: The Immortality Hype
It’d be easy to miss the unobtrusive brown door to Joon Yun’s second floor office, tucked away next to a dry cleaners and a hair salon in downtown Palo Alto, California. But the address itself speaks loud enough. Four-hundred-seventy University Avenue is located in the heart of a neighborhood that holds a special place in the lore of Silicon Valley start-up culture. A few minutes’ walk away are the early homes of PayPal, Facebook, and Google. Yet the early ambitions of these famous companies are modest when compared to the ideas I’ve come to discuss with Yun. We’ve arrived on Yun’s doorstep to learn how and why he, along with a small group of big power players, plan to “cure” aging and extend human health span—and possibly even human life—by decades, if not centuries.
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