The latest: a talking hamster on an eating scale!

This time, it’s not calling attention to itself for using irony. It’s in reference to Time’s Up. Or, if you prefer, to the Time’s Up messaging app that replaces your phone’s vibration notification system and acts as a log. That’s the metaphor that The Atlantic’s Editor-in-Chief, Nancy Gibbs, uses in the latest issue of The Atlantic. How does the metaphor fit the narrative of ever-expanding and ever-faster technological possibilities taking place everywhere, everywhere? Well, if you’re interested in brands, that is. Enter Nestlé, a company that also makes lots of things that need brand recognition in order to function — and, says Gibbs, certain numbers of people who are looking to “fit in” with the new, techie, politically correct, fashionable and worrisome culture that is happening. In a piece titled “Time’s Up and Me,” Gibbs notes that access to digital self-tracking has surged over the past year. She laments that because the reading app seems to embody the same sort of filter bubbles and the virtual “filter bubble,” the policy makers and activists who are involved with that national movement have an app that’s based on their own idea and interests.

Gibbs, like many in her industry, views digital self-tracking as having vast potential. It’s all about being “efficient,” as Gibson put it recently in an award-winning interview with The New Yorker’s Jane Mayer. She promises to share “all of her [Gibbs’s] work in the week ahead,” I suspect all of it being of “higher quality.”

Two weeks ago, the Times collected entries from the ! Women of the Year debate in the Times Magazine. For the piece I’m writing, I ask for readers’ ideas for subjects as diverse as gender and politics, civil rights and sexual assault, intellectual freedom and mental health.

The piece I’ll be using all of your suggestions for topic is on Alysia Fedeli, the Facebook-based product founder of tangerine print clothing. Her clothing is sold through the Shopify platform. Unlike the businesses that arise from the feminist blogosphere, tangerine print clothing is a money maker, with a global roll-out planned.

So how do you identify with Amazon, Walmart, Nordstrom, Target, Old Navy, H&M, Under Armour and Etch-a-Sketch? Garten, the “pretty gourmet,” recognizes that none of these companies, in their current form, are going to a three- or four-story building with a wall of glass. They are powerful, and they are plucky. They have plenty of limitations and competitors. Only an Apple, though, can go from one to 100 stores. Fedeli is an engineer who got the idea when she was going on a shopping spree at a mall, with her two children in tow. She designed a fabric that’s softer and more durable than cotton or silk, and it comes in several different colors. Some of her designs are exclusively made for Amazon. Not to be intimidated, I encourage readers to browse her web page and see for themselves what all the fuss is about.

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