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Virginia Heffernan
Works at The Message, Medium.com
Attended Hanover High School, University of Virginia, Harvard
Lives in Brooklyn Heights
2,733 followers|326,441 views
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Virginia Heffernan

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No more OM. Just science. What's lost and gained from rebranding Buddhist meditation as "mindfulness."
If the word seems like a badge for the self-satisfied set, it’s because its true meaning has become obscured.
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Excellent piece. I get the appeal of "paying attention to the moment," the sort of vague connection between mindfulness in popular culture and certain techniques within Cognitive Therapy to manage the low-level but pernicious neuroses that have calcified into common place narcissism. But as a brand, a cypher if you will, mindfulness (like its inbred uncle wellness) is devolving into meaningless jargon for the marketing's 8 fold ignoble wheel of hype.
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Virginia Heffernan

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A comet of hope in the smog-filled sky of student debt.
Earnest, a start-up lender, is moving into the student debt market. Using data-science tools, Earnest says it can offer lower, tailored rates and flexible repayment schedules.
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Virginia Heffernan

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Michel Houllebecq's latest novel is "un suicide littéraire français," says the brilliant Sylvain Bourmeau. In English: https://lnkd.in/d79GeEj
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Scare Tactics. Yes. Conrad. Yes. Motivated violence. Yes. What is a thriller. God? Suicide and (conversation). Belongs 2 what time and 2 whom. Time again in limbo is a disability. JUST BEFORE THE CURE: 

https://medium.com/@timbarrus/just-before-the-cure-85df14c1f8c5
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Virginia Heffernan

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After 35 years online I finally became a gamer. #gamerlate https://medium.com/matter/better-off-dead-57156a3ddd80 …  @TheWalkingDead
Watching The Walking Dead on TV is brutal enough, but playing the game is a gut-wrenching, soul-crushing exercise in sur…
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The normcore #gamergate: How a crisis in Scrabble exposed mobile-app gamers, gaming's silent majority. http://lnkd.in/dJbG6R5
#gamergate? Ha! Normcore gamers have their own crisis.
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Virginia Heffernan

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From Stalin to the Apple Watch: "Optimizing" Everything. https://lnkd.in/diZrZKT
Now that we have hard data on everything, we no longer make decisions from our hearts, guts or principles.
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I once read an essay by Ray Bradbury about the inefficiencies in his novels. It was brilliant and I must find it again. He goes into some great points about how all the best stuff (the stuff he considered worth reading and writing) was the stuff that refused to be optimized. Fiction is a great case for this (Tolkien and JK Rowling are beloved for the inefficiencies of their stories after all). But you can see it in all art, music, architecture and in fact all human things. We must not be wasteful, but the absence of optimization as a manifestation of socio-political OCD does not necessitate being wasteful. 
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Thoughts on the love we have for men, women, humankind, dogs, and soft sweaters. Starring C.S. Lewis and his accent.

https://medium.com/message/radically-renovate-your-relationships-in-2-25-hours-fe02fc80d741
With your dog, your family, your kids, your girl, your friends and even mankind
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Remembering the incomparable Adrianne Wadewitz, virtuoso feminist Wikipedian, for The New York Times Magazine. https://lnkd.in/dz8CKsT
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A piece for the NYT Magazine about Antonin Artaud, the forcible suspension of disbelief, the uncanny and VIRTUAL REALITY.

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/11/16/magazine/virtual-reality-fails-its-way-to-success.html?ref=magazine
For decades, V.R. was a complete flop. But now with the nausea-free Oculus Rift, it may be a total win.
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coooooooooooooooool
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Becoming fully digital happens population by population. And becoming conscious of that transition, accepting the consequences of what Nicholas Negroponte twenty years ago called “being digital,” often requires a simple snafu, like the breakdown between Scrabble and Facebook Connect, which outed millions as gamers and as digital dependents, reliant for their habits and even well-being on the money-culture-code nexus known as the Internet.

https://medium.com/backchannel/facebook-glitch-outs-scrabblers-like-me-as-junkies-a7635495ed1e
#gamergate? Ha! Normcore gamers have their own crisis.
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Virginia Heffernan

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My piece on the OG, steampunk deployer of Big Data: LL Bean.
When it comes to smart use of customer data, L. L. Bean makes other retailers look like rubes.
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1,052 people
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Jude Camwell's profile photo
Martin Frobisher's profile photo
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Art Zemon's profile photo
cassandra day's profile photo
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abdelrahman fathi's profile photo
Work
Occupation
columnist
Skills
Musing listening stuttering equivocating breathing ranting pontificating raving humming
Employment
  • The Message, Medium.com
    contributor, 2014 - present
  • The New York Times
    columnist, 2003 - 2012
  • Harper's, Talk, Slate, The New Yorker
    editor, contributor
Places
Map of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has lived
Currently
Brooklyn Heights
Previously
New Hampshire - Charlottesville, Boston
Links
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Tagline
Literature and Language Scientist, Ph.D. With a focus on technology and digital culture.
Introduction
I am a writer for The Message, on Medium.com. I have a book forthcoming from Simon & Schuster called "Magic and Loss: The Pleasures of the Internet." http://vpheffernan.com/

For public speaking, I am represented by The Lavin Agency: bit.ly/bI2iGS 

For books and written work, I am a chemical activated by intellectual enzyme John Brockman. http://edge.org/memberbio/john_brockman
Bragging rights
I have 2 comical kids, Ben and Susannah.
Education
  • Hanover High School, University of Virginia, Harvard
Basic Information
Gender
Female