The Emily Post of the Internet Age: How Instagram has become a cultural operating system.

When I log in into Instagram (IG), a stream of picture posts begins to flow from a customized list of followers whose relevance to my reality is determined by me. Not only can I read or scan their posts vertically or through a grid, but my “likes” and those of the profile accounts I follow are accessible under a tab called “following”, giving everybody a tool for mining what makes me tick. My daily “news” feed is a running tab of the profiles that enter and exit my virtual territory: opting in, opting out, or announced via Facebook, IG’s parent.

What this all means is that I am systematically organizing the world I want to operate in socially, and establishing a new standard of interaction with a global community of IG subscribers, many of whom reveal themselves through a series of choices with which I am able to engage, or judge actively or passively.

In this way, IG has become a universal way of communicating and operating socially through a series of 1000-word pictures all of us with eyesight can understand: a new language that determines how much we express ourselves to others, but yet is not completely controllable, which allows for the values of freedom and association to coexist without the peer pressure of following back.

This new culture, therefore, can be seen as an operating platform for our new global lives, creating and expanding our universe of relationships built around a common set of interactive functionality that is built around our personalities and conscious actions. We can no longer claim to be trapped by the local socialization of place, as it has become globalized and transcended by human taste and preference, growing out of a diversity we have chosen to construct around our interests, and above all, around our unconscious but true selves that we unknowingly yet voluntarily reveal to others.

Green Investment Bank Invests £5B+


The Green Investment Bank (GIB) of Great Britain has mobilized more than £5B for new green energy infrastructure projects across the country, benefiting more than 200 domestic communities.

(press release) GIB, the first of its kind in the world, has mobilized more than £5B of investment into the UK’s green energy sector since its launch two years ago.

Yesterday, October 30, GIB announced the 37th project it has funded, a £5.2M transaction to help global bank Citi reduce energy use at its data c entre in Lewisham, London.

Prime Minister David Cameron said:

“Under this Government, as part of our long-term economic plan to back business, create more jobs and secure a brighter future for Britain, we have become one of the best places for green investment anywhere in the world – and the Green Investment Bank has played an instrumental role in this.

“Their achievements tell their own story – in just two years, getting 37 green infrastructure projects underway in the UK, committing more than £1.6B of capital and mobilizing a total of £5.2B, and creating thousands of jobs.”

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Q&A: Deconstructing LGBTQ


Aiden Powell is program coordinator at Purdue University’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer (LGBTQ) Center. He received his B.A. in history and anthropology from Texas A&M University in 2012 and is currently completing his M.S. in anthropology with a focus on LGBTQ student health.

Q: What is the “Q” in LGBTQ?

A: The “Q” stands for either “queer” or “questioning”. It is meant to broaden the umbrella and create a more inclusive environment for those who don’t self-identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT), or may be in a process of discovering their own gender or sexual orientation. “Queer” is actually an architectural term for angles that were different from what was expected in design blueprints. Over time, however, it became a derogatory slur to describe LGBT people.

Q: When did people adopt the “Q”?

A: People began to reclaim the term “queer” during a process of awakening or empowerment in the 1990s when you saw groups like Act Up demonstrate publicly against the high cost of HIV drugs and multiple LGBT marches on Washington, D.C., as well as pressure to expand the LGBT acronym to include more identities. “Queer” covered people who fell outside a non-binary definition of sexuality and gender.

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