From the New York Times via Rob Walker:
The nagging sense of needing to acquire new skills, all the time, is palpable. That anxiety dovetails with a self-improvement ethos that fills whole sections of bookstores, cross-matched with the various ways technology prods us to tabulate parodic amounts of personal-behavior data. If we rack up badges for our online “achievements,” we may as well do the same for our offline victories, too. And if we use a form associated with preadulthood, it makes sense, since all of the above comes with a chaser of nostalgia and widespread reluctance to completely put away childish things.