It’s not too soon for ‘micro’ fad to fade out
Truman Fellow Lionel Beehner appears in USA Today:
A friend, who is also a recent dad, just got himself a new minivan. Sorry, a microvan, as my friend corrected me.
For my generation of newbie parents, a minivan is a telltale sign of reaching middle age, a totem like pleated Dockers or bulging fanny packs that signals you no longer care about what’s cool or watch reality TV.
A microvan, it would seem, lets you remain a thirtysomething hipster while also having room for six passengers and the family pooch. In other words, micro is good, micro is hip. Attach the prefix onto anything, and it instantly ups the cultural caché.
For instance, the darling of the international development world has been “microfinance” lenders. Within political circles, “microtargeting” is all the rage, says Sasha Issenberg in his new book Victory Lab. He points to “revolutions” in data mining and randomized experiments that allow political campaigns to no longer blanket airwaves with ads but rather target with precision voters based on their individual preferences. And the latest trend among urban planners and architects, given the soft market? Something called “microhousing.”