CULTURE: An Owner's Manual

CULTURE: An Owner's Manual

CULTURE: An Owner's Manual is a newsletter covering pop culture and its hidden mechanics from W. David Marx — author of Status and Culture: How Our Desire for Social Rank Creates Taste, Identity, Art, Fashion, and Constant Change and Ametora: How Japan Saved American Style.

Latest

Feb
13

No Canon for Old Memes

The Internet culture of the Aughts revolved around lo-fi images and videos. Will they be remembered by coming generations, and
4 min read
Jan
30

Links on Status and Culture - January 2024

Read to the end for a longer essay critiquing Ted Gioia's idea of Macro vs. Micro cultures that
6 min read
Dec
12

A 2023 Look-back: the internet dies, etc.

A year when the internet platforms’ erosion became fully depressing, social media creators settled into being a petit bourgeoisie, and
5 min read
Dec
05

On Taste and Congruence

Making the right choices isn’t enough to have good taste: There also must be harmony between the choices Hannah
5 min read
Oct
31

Links on Status and Culture - October 2023

Creator non-revolutions, non-luxurious queuing for luxury goods, non-songs of the summer, and meta-commentary on meta-celebrities Each month I review the
5 min read
Sep
26

Ametora: Revised 2023 Edition

Today Basic Books is releasing a revised English version of my first book, Ametora, with an afterword looking at the
7 min read
Aug
29

They Might Be Giants = the Early Internet

How a single band embodied and dominated online culture in its primordial days, simply because the only people wired in
6 min read
Aug
15

Links on Status and Culture - August 2023

Two mini-essays on two big topics: an economics paper that provides new evidence for status value, and the social mechanics
5 min read
Aug
09

Our Natural Human Defenses Against A.I. Culture

Culture is made of humans, and A.I. doomsdayers haven't explained why we'll all fall in
4 min read
Jul
11

Why haven’t internet creators become superstars?

We’re a decade into online video emerging as the most powerful and popular form of mass media, and yet
5 min read