SWC’s Fast Five

Old school is new school with the latest thing in social media and top performers in retail, 55+ is getting fewer minuses, Facebook is having a tantrum and people, NASA stuck its landing on Mars. That’s 40 million miles of inspiration.

So, here’s this week’s Fast Five:

1 Problems and progress with ageism

Age discrimination in the workplace has gotten worse in the pandemic – some 2.7 million jobs for workers under the age of 55 have been created since August, with just 28,000 jobs created for workers over 55 in the same period – but the increase of multi-generational households, data on those 65+ being the fastest growing cohort of online shoppers and other trends show that intergenerational cooperation is on the rise and there is progress, uneven though it is, on the ageism front.

2 Clubhouse – an app cool enough for China to ban

The invitation-only Clubhouse app has generated debate about whether audio is the next wave of social media, moving digital connections beyond text, photos and videos to old-fashioned voice. Clubhouse users have conducted unfettered conversations on subjects that vary from astrophysics to queer representation in Bollywood. Facebook and Twitter are working on products to compete with it.

3 Mind boggling in its complexity, and magical – we landed on Mars this week

The U.S. is the only country to achieve a successful touchdown on Mars, this time slowing a NASA craft the size of a Chevy from 12,000 m.p.h., to nail a soft landing and begin the work that could answer the big questions including, “Are we alone?”

4 More countries order tech giants to pay for news

Developments in Australia and Europe suggest the financial balance between mega internet companies and news organizations might be shifting. Facebook last year said it would pay U.S. news organizations for its headlines but is taking its toys and leaving Australia while Google negotiates licensing deals with publishers there and in France.

5 This national chain retailer without a website is making bank

Burlington’s sales hit an all-time high in January. Off-price retailers are used to switching up their selections in a matter of weeks rather than months or seasons so were well equipped to make a fast pandemic pivot: fewer office and party clothes, more athleisure and home goods.