These are things I know about people I have never met:

Islands of Privacy by Christena Nippert-Eng. 360 pages. University of Chicago Press. $22.50.

I know a former writer for Jezebel accidentally left a tampon in for several days, and I know what the discharge looked like when she finally got it out.

I know what a memoirist and blogger ate today, and also what her cat looks like sitting up, lying down, chasing a bug, and hiding under the bed.

I know the sexual proclivities and preferences of a work colleague’s wife, because her husband announced them at a cocktail party. I was not at the party, but a friend called me mid-way through to relay the information.

I know about random people’s drug habits, eating disorders, cutting, menstrual cycles, and fetishes, because they wrote… More…

Extra! Extra! Read all about it! The newspaper, Information Age dinosaur, superannuated leftover from the glory days of mass culture, cheap and disposable booster of middlebrow department stores and network TV shows, is about to become next year’s $299 chambray work shirt, the must-have accessory for signaling one’s artfully off-handed connoisseurship. Kill your Facebook page. Forget everything you know about Twitter. Box up your iPad. The age of heritage news is upon us.

 On July 29, Monocle — the magazine for creative class hipsters whose idea of a good read is a tastefully edited tote bag — is publishing a 60-page summer newspaper called Monocle Mediterraneo. No preview is available, but promotional copy on Monocle’s website informs potential consumers that the paper will be on sale at “all the best resorts, from the West Coast… More…

 

In the earliest days of e-commerce, it didn’t matter if you were ordering from a little old lady on eBay or a venture-funded start-up like Amazon or Webvan: Every transaction was a crap shoot. You browsed virtual stores that didn’t even have the dubious glossy authority of a Victoria’s Secret catalog. You studied photos of vintage furniture, Oprah’s latest book club pick, meat. With a leap of faith, you clicked on the Order button and surrendered your mailing address and credit card number. There was no droning customer service representative to reassure you that the enterprise you were dealing with was at least legitimate enough to hire a roomful of disaffected high-school dropouts. There was no stamp to lick, or any other tangible evidence to suggest this transaction was truly taking place. Who knew buying pet food or… More…