Criticism

Undercompensated in Academia

I grew up in an academic household, and academia was a goal of mine from an early age. Both my parents are musicians teaching in academia, and while I also loved to perform, I had decided in college that I would probably follow in my parents’ footsteps and pursue teaching on a university level.

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Micro-Lodgings

Above is a rendering of micro-apartments being stacked in NYC, which Pop Up City notes will occur this spring. We’ve written about these micro-apartments before—they’re meant for singles earning less than $77K a year and mirrors the kind of small, modular housing found in dense cities like Tokyo. Only 55 micro-units will be available for rent once this project is completed.

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Profit and Authenticity in a Racing Community

Late last year, Facebook-for-runners was abuzz with the announcement that the San Diego-based Competitor Group will be putting on a Rock and Roll half marathon in Brooklyn in October.

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When Smartphone Insurance Isn’t Worth It

Despite being a frugal person who seeks out items that are built to last, and reads pages of reviews of products to make sure I don’t buy something shoddy, in this particular case my frugality didn’t translate to reading the fine print.

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Alumni Giving Season

It’s the holiday season again, which means it’s that time of year when universities try to raise more money from their alumni. Every year around this time, I start getting a call every day from an unknown number. At first, I ignore it, thinking it’s a wrong number. But I eventually realize that it’s someone calling from one of the universities I’ve attended and that they are not going to stop until they talk to an actual person.

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Forget The New Republic. What About Cat Fancy?

The outcry about The New Republic has all but drowned out the indignant squeals from lovers of Cat Fancy (RIP).

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On Creative Businesses That Sometimes Lose Money, or “The Pomplamoose Thing”

Last Monday, Jack Conte published a piece on Medium titled “Pomplamoose 2014 Tour Profits (Or Lack Thereof),” and a certain section of the internet got very angry.

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Experts Maybe Not So Expert-y After All

We talk a lot around here about the people who hold themselves out as financial experts, and how they’re mostly full of bologna. And while we’re on the topic: Donald Trump! Why does anyone think of that dope as a paragon of financial acumen? The dude was born rich and still managed to go bankrupt.

We also dispense a fair bit of advice, or, at least, ponderous suggestions and strongly held opinions, even though none of us is, in any way, a certified expert in matters fiscal. Luckily, that doesn’t matter, because, as a new study reveals, professional mutual fund managers, who presumably would know a thing or two about managing their own money, are just as profligate, impetuous, and generally pound-foolish as the rest of us.

One of the researchers involved suggests that the main takeaway is “average investors might be better off managing their own stock portfolios rather than paying a high-fee mutual-fund managers, because beating the market is rare and very difficult.” That is surely true, but doesn’t go far enough. Average people, who mostly don’t invest in anything beyond groceries, rent, and used cars, should take great solace in knowing that even to the experts, money is basically inscrutable and advantageous decisions are elusive. So go ahead and lace up your fancy sneakers, put your iPhone in your pocket, and go buy a latte. There is a reason they call economics “the dismal science.” There is also probably a reason they call boxing “the sweet science,” but let’s not worry about that just now.

Photo by the author.

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OK, Gentrification is Lousy. Now What?

The problem, ultimately, is capitalism. It is a system designed to channel goods to the people willing and able to pay the most for them, including real estate.

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