Making the simple complex

Never underestimate academia’s ability to obscure the obvious. Thefts of iPods and cellphones have shot up recently on NYC subways. Cops say the bad guys aren’t reselling they booty; they’re just keeping it for personal use. Here’s how Henry Jenkins, the director of the Comparative Media Studies Program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, put it:

“The participation gap creates techno-envy, where the kids who are locked out of participation in the culture covet those tools and devices that are considered essential to being a young person.”

And here’s how the NYPD’s chief of transportation put it:

“The thieves are upgrading their cellphones.”

Here’s the whole story.