Weekly Link Roundup

+ Amazon is running a limited-time promotion on hundreds of The Drop styles, including the Cameron Ribbed Sweetheart Neckline Sheath Sweater Dress from The Drop (reviewed here), which is currently on sale for $25 in three colors–“Lava Red” (seen above), “Curds & Whey,” and Black. A few more sale picks:

+ How Shein Wound Up in the Luxury Fashion Business (The Business of Fashion): “Since the company opened its website and app to third-party sellers in May, Shein has been flooded with listings for luxury goods … Generally, the items appear to be new, though it’s not clear whether they are authentic, or how they came to be for sale on Shein … Selling branded, higher-priced products is one way to bring in wealthier and older customers. Howeverconvincing well-known brands to set up shop alongside anonymous sellers, the unauthorised luxury listings may pose a roadblock.”

+ Gen Z Falls for Online Scams More Than Their Boomer Grandparents Do (Vox): “… Gen Z Americans were three times more likely to get caught up in an online scam than boomers were (16 percent and 5 percent, respectively). Compared to boomers, Gen Z was also twice as likely to have a social media account hacked (17 percent and 8 percent). Fourteen percent of Gen Z-ers surveyed said they’d had their location information misused, more than any other generation. The cost of falling for those scams may also be surging for younger people: Social Catfish’s 2023 report on online scams found that online scam victims under 20 years old lost an estimated $8.2 million in 2017. In 2022, they lost $210 million.”

+ The Parents Trying to Pass Down a Language They Hardly Speak (The Atlantic): “… the forgetting of a language by a once-proficient speaker and a family’s subsequent intergenerational dilution of the skill—is language attrition, and research shows that it occurs rapidly. Linguists say that in many cases, a heritage language becomes all but extinct by the time a family’s third generation is living in a new country. The reason is simple A language stays alive when used out of necessity. And the longer a group lives in a new country, the more likely another language will take its place.”

+ The Dungeons & Dragons Players of Death Row (The New York Times): “While fewer prisoners arrive on death row each year, they languish there far longer. Some states have had difficulty procuring execution drugs, and landmark court rulings have banned executions of people deemed ‘insane’ or intellectually disabled. Lawyers can spend years arguing that their clients have such low cognitive capacity that it would be cruel to kill them or that new DNA technology could prove their innocence. In the early 1980s, prisoners across the country spent an average of six years on death row before they faced execution. Now, they can wait for two decades.”

+ Luxury Fashion Relies on Indian Artisans. The Labels Tell a Different Story (Bloomberg): “Few elite international brands have ever unveiled collections in India, a symptom of an enduring story about the almost $200 billion market for luxury fashion: that garment production is centralized in Parisian ateliers. But unbeknown to most consumers, top European labels have, for years, taken many orders to developing countries, including India, Vietnam and China … the simple garment tag illustrates a tense divide between the corporatized old guard and a wing of progressive creatives, who feel transparency around suppliers and clothing labels helps protect workers. Haute couture is one of France and Italy’s most important cultural and economic exports. To cede ground to India, the logic goes, is to diminish a point of great national pride — and jeopardize profits in a status-obsessed industry where many shoppers associate developing nations with shoddy quality, despite their often expansive histories of artistic excellence.”

+ They Studied Dishonesty. Was Their Work a Lie? (The New Yorker): “The discipline of judgment and decision-making had made crucial, enduring contributions … but the broader credibility of the behavioral sciences had been compromised by a perpetual-motion machine of one-weird-trick gimmickry … Ariely has consistently denied any role in the data manipulation … He disavowed any involvement in the ‘history’ of the data, saying that he merely served as a conduit for the file; he claimed that his co-authors and the members of his lab also had access to it. Investigators of data fraud rarely have recourse to the equivalent of surveillance-camera footage, so the culprit’s identity may never be known with certainty … Ariely often claims poor recall. In some instances, though, he remains alert to context. In the American press, he has consistently said that he was burned at the age of eighteen, when he presumably would have been in the Israeli Army, by a magnesium flare … But in the Israeli media, which could more easily verify military service, he has said that he was burned in an accident as part of the activities of a youth group. Documents from a court ruling in Israel confirm that the accident occurred in an apartment, where kids were mixing chemicals for a nighttime fire ceremony. In more recent years, he has reconciled these two accounts by saying that he was injured, at seventeen, in a youth-group activity during which a magnesium flare exploded … One of the confounding things about the social sciences is that observational evidence can produce only correlations. To what extent is dishonesty a matter of character, and to what extent a matter of situation? … In the past few years, some eminent behavioral scientists have come to regret their participation in the fantasy that kitschy modifications of individual behavior will repair the world.”

+ Why Did Critics Hate Rom-Coms in the 2000s? (Decider): “… it seems impossible to deny that most film reviewers really, really did not like romantic comedies in the 2000s … These movies were made for women; and critics, especially 15 years ago, were overwhelmingly men … No matter the gender of the reviewer, there’s a misogynistic overtone to most, if not all of the ‘rotten’ reviews. The phrase ‘chick flick’ was thrown around freely … let’s be real: Romantic comedies are hardly the only offenders of formulaic structure. Why is a predictable studio rom-com like How to Lose A Guy in 10 Days slammed as ‘lazy,’ ‘stupid,’ ‘annoying,’ and ‘cookie-cutter;’ but a predictable studio action heist flick, like 2006’s Mission Impossible III, applauded—or at least marginally respected—by critics who called it a ‘popcorn movie.’ It seems “’cookie-cutter’ means shopping montages and kissing in the rain (girly, silly, trite) while ‘popcorn’ means car chases and killing bad guys (manly, cool, fun). Both come from a studio formula, but only one is broadly respected by men.”

+ Taylor Swift Is Too Famous for This (The Atlantic): “… this isn’t really about Travis and Taylor at all. It’s about a sports-media cycle that simply cannot coexist with the gossip-manufacturing industry—two unruly mobs smacking together like 300-pound linemen. This is more than any budding romance can withstand, particularly one that’s still manifesting itself into being. Anyone who watches sports knows that the sports-talk industry is round-the-clock savagery, aired at a deafening volume on 10 TV screens at a time in every bar across the country … The real variable here isn’t necessarily Kelce or Swift. It’s the Chiefs, who are looking a bit wobbly so far this season … The Chiefs are going to struggle at times this season, and when they do, illogical or not, fans will blame the new variable—in this case, the pop star. It’s a tale as old as Yoko Ono. Distraction will be the operative word in Kansas City, and across the NFL, for the entire season … Let us never underestimate the potent combination of deranged fandom and basic sexism. Some Swifties already appear to have their guard up, judging from the watchful social-media rumors about Kelce’s past infidelities.”

+ Thanks to Taylor Swift, Ranch Dressing Is ‘Seemingly’ Everywhere (The New York Times): “Ms. Swift … was attending the Kansas City Chiefs’ football game … when she was photographed next to a plate containing a piece of chicken and two dipping sauces. A fan-run Swift account on the platform X, formerly known as Twitter, shared the photo and said one of the dips was ‘seemingly ranch.’ A frenzy ensued. The post went viral, and brands … jumped to capitalize. The Empire State Building lit up in ‘ketchup and seemingly ranch’ colors … Hidden Valley ranch dressing renamed its X and Instagram accounts Seemingly Ranch. And Buffalo Wild Wings used the moment to promote its ranch dressing and other dips, referring to several of its dips as ‘Possibly’ Bleu Cheese, ‘Might Be’ Asian Zing and ‘I Think This Is’ Buffalo.”

+ Dream of Antonoffication​ (The Drift Magazine): “It could be said that we are living through soundless — which is to say zeitgeistless — times … Streaming platforms have melted down the old genre system, where each style of music could lay claim to a discrete audience segment, into a tepid, A.I.-aggregated soup. ‘We’re not in the music space,’ Spotify’s chief executive announced several years ago; ‘we’re in the moment space.’ This statement encapsulates how the streaming giant sees itself: as a dispenser of a quasi-therapeutic soundtrack for mood enhancement and regulation. This is a vision of music not as art or even as commodity, but as something like audio furniture. Mood is the object; sound is beside the point … over the past eight years or so, Antonoff has reshaped pop music, or a significant portion of it, in his own image. And yet it is strangely hard to catch a clear glimpse of that image itself. There is something about Antonoff’s production that is at once instantaneously identifiable and frustratingly anonymous. Vapor does not photograph especially well … Get too close to Antonoff, and his sound vanishes into a series of unremarkable elements; zoom out too far, and it evanesces into generality … More than anything, Antonoff seems to view the role of the producer as a therapeutic one … he aspires to commit partial ego-suicide and become a sort of blank screen; like a TV caricature of a therapist, he probes and excavates for hidden past traumas … Antonoffication is the process by which indie rock has adapted to the streaming era: not by doubling down on its status as ‘high’ in opposition to a mass-cultural ‘low,’ but by dispersing into the digital ether and infusing nearly every other genre. Along the way, without meaning to, Antonoff has given us perhaps the most fitting allegory for the status of music under the regime of streaming. In the hands of streaming platforms, the pop song as a form is impossibly big: capacious, spreadable through every vestige of space public or private, an always-on cinematic soundtrack to every moment everywhere for everyone. But it is also strangely small: not only because it is just one in a sea of interchangeable millions, but also because it is increasingly indistinguishable from any other content delivery device, any other configuration of mood-provoking elements.”

+ Big Tech Is Trying to Make Smart Glasses the Next Must-Own Device. Again. (The Business of Fashion): “… at Meta’s annual conference on virtual and augmented reality — and now AI — the tech giant and Ray-Ban announced the second generation of their smart glasses, called the Ray-Ban Meta … The new product is more update than reinvention. Its advancements include an improved camera and speakers, a more powerful processor and more frame colours, lens and size options. The design has been tweaked to be slimmer and lighter, and to redistribute the weight of the computing hardware inside to make them more comfortable for long periods of wear. It also now comes in a second frame style, a new shape dubbed the Headliner. Maybe the most interesting new feature is the ability to live stream directly to Instagram and Facebook … Though Meta sold 300,000 pairs of Ray-Ban Stories since their launch, as of this February it only counted about 27,000 active users.”

+ ‘Text Bombs’ Are Destroying Friendships, and Therapy Speak Is Making It Worse (Business Insider): “Text bombing — known in therapy circles as the ‘giant block of text’ — is an unfortunately popular way to express grievances … While friendship breakups via text, email, and even letters have existed for decades, there’s one new element making text bombing so much worse: therapy speak, where people use phrases such as ’emotional labor’ or ‘gaslighting’ to call out behavior they don’t like, often in the name of self-care … The problem with therapy-speak labels such as ‘unsafe’ and ‘toxic’ is that they criticize the person as a whole, rather than their specific actions … Broad character judgments also don’t leave room for nuance.”

+ The Kids on the Night Shift (The New York Times): “… the Department of Labor, which is in charge of enforcing federal child-labor laws, was unlikely to find out what had happened. The department has 750 investigators overseeing fair labor standards at 11 million workplaces, including 3,000 slaughterhouses. Even when inspectors do catch child-labor violations, the maximum penalty per child is $15,000, and they usually fine only the subcontracted companies, not the brands themselves. Lawmakers have been pushing to increase the maximum fine, but Congress is gridlocked, with each party drafting its own bills and refusing to vote for legislation introduced by the other side.”

+ Recently purchased: Sézane Harper Dress, PRETTYGARDEN Satin Maxi Dress, Rebecca Allen The High Top, J.Crew Lady Jacket in Italian Stadium-Cloth Wool, Ann Taylor The Tailored Double Breasted Long Blazer in Tweed, 1SFE Square Neck Midi Dress, The Drop Yasmin Rib Midi Sweater Tank Dress, AKEWEI Crop Puffer Vest, and lululemon Wunder Puff Super-Cropped Jacket.

Have a good week, everyone!

Hi, I am Elle!

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