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Illustration: Lazaro Gamio/Axios
To a degree not entirely fathomable to older Americans, the defining issue for today's youth aged 14–29 — crossing race, age, gender and political affiliation, whether rural or urban — is the long wave of deadly school shootings.
What's happening: Over the last several months, Della Volpe conducted a series of conversations in person and by phone with 14- to 29-year-olds in five cities — Atlanta, Chicago, Columbus, Los Angeles and Parkland, Florida. Then he did a poll of 2,235 people from the same age group.
Among his findings:
Pay attention to this: For coming-of-age youth, students being killed in school shootings has been formative in their thinking. They blame the older generation for not keeping them safe, and they vote. Della Volpe estimates that 31% of those polled voted in the midterms, nearly double the 2014 midterm turnout for this age group.
"I was personally struck by the heaviness of the trauma they are dealing with every day," Della Volpe said. "This is something you don't see in older millennials."
Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios
A fresh merchandizing campaign by Amazon raises new questions about its encroachment on a growing number of businesses.
Based on its possibly unmatched trove of commercial data, Amazon is micro-targeting its customers with free samples of small items like Folgers coffee and Maybelline mascara, report Axios’ David McCabe and Sara Fischer.
Why it matters: Amazon declined to comment on whether it intends to expand the pilot to its own private-label products. But look out for just that — for Amazon customers to start receiving samples of its own products, using its omniscience to squash retail competition.
Background: Amazon is already in hot water with regulators in Europe and India over its dual role as a marketplace and a merchant.
As we reported last year, Amazon has a mountain of data not only on what customers are purchasing, but also on what they’re thinking of buying. It can crunch these numbers to beat the competition by giving shoppers exactly what they’re looking for.
Even the mannequins are for sale. Photo: Rene Johnston/Toronto Star/Getty
Sears and hedge fund billionaire Eddie Lampert today won an 11th-hour court ruling staying the chain's liquidation. If he can get a $120 million ante together by tomorrow, he can take part in an auction next Monday that could perhaps save the chain along with its more than 50,000 jobs, CNBC reports.
Axios' Erica Pandey writes: After 126 years and a long, painful run-up, it looked like the end of Sears as we knew it. Now, though, Lampert is trying again to entice the board with a bid to buy the company out of bankruptcy.
Why it matters: Lampert's interest is not altruistic. Rather, he has long expressed interest in valuable remaining pieces of the Sears carcass, including Kenmore brand appliances and the company's real estate. If he is successful, he would finally get his hands on those and more.
The big picture: Sears’ demise seems inevitable. And if it folds, it’ll be the official death of the retail titan of the last century — a company so powerful that it could have posed a formidable threat to Jeff Bezos.
Yesterday we dove into the absence of hundreds of thousands of prime-working-age people from the U.S. labor force. We identified a number of reasons why they choose not to work or look for a job despite the red-hot market. But Future reader Kelly Tier, from Concord, California, adds another.
Here is Kelly's excerpted email:
There is one more reason many of us left the workforce: to stay home with our children. Making children a priority has been more important for those of us born after the late 1960’s. The recession also contributed to families making the decision to have one parent at home when they had trouble finding work and with the increased cost of daycare.
One problem that this has caused, however, is many of us wanting or needing to re-enter the workforce and not possessing the skills to do so.
Signs of an Amazon labor revolution (The Economist)
Cancer is killing more poor Americans than rich (Eileen Drage O'Reilly — Axios)
Hidden perks of a fake meat future (Clive Thompson — Wired)
The history of blood (Jerome Groopman — New Yorker)
Retailers are squandering their human capital (Marshall Fisher, Santiago Gallino, Serguei Netessine — Harvard Business Review)
AI made a cat video, and it's not pretty.
Axios' Kaveh Waddell reports: Using an artificial intelligence technique called style transfer, Sidewalk Labs software engineer Douwe Osinga takes features of one photo — like eyes and cat fur — and creates a whole new image.
"What I found interesting is that many people have strong, almost emotional reactions to these movies," Osinga tells Axios. "I think it is because ultimately what you see is a reproduction of the image, but also of what the network learned during training and so it magnifies details that set the tone for an image rather than the actual contents."