book review: slackonomics

Lisa Chamberlain’s Slackonomics is a book about Generation X and how they live differently than the boomers before them. The thing that makes it different from all the books on the subject from 10-15 years ago is that this one is looking at these GenXers all grown up and in charge of things instead of being the youngsters whose apathy would prove to be the death of civilization.

The subtitle of the book is “Generation X in the Age of Creative Destruction,” referring to the economic bubble collapses we’ve been undergoing in the last ten years (dotcom, subprime mortgages). These collapses are different from previous downturns because they aren’t cyclical but systemic. Or something. The thesis is that though Gen X grew up with the greed motivation of the 80s they also saw how the 90s recession could fuck that all up. They’ve seen terrifying highs and dizzying lows and now they’re 40 and are the people who’ll get us through, past the boomers’ “me me me” motivations.

It was an interesting book, especially when Sean’s been talking about his Helmet Generation stuff recently. As I see it, my immediate cohort we’re sort of the cusp between the Gen Xers and the Helmeteers, and I think I feel more affinity for the Xes.

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