Sunday 12.4.2016 New York Times Digest


1. The End of the Anglo-American Order

“Brexit Britain and Trump’s America are linked in their desire to pull down the pillars of Pax Americana and European unification.”

2. Extremists Turn to a Leader to Protect Western Values: Vladimir Putin

“Throughout the collection of white ethnocentrists, nationalists, populists and neo-Nazis that has taken root on both sides of the Atlantic, Mr. Putin is widely revered as a kind of white knight: a symbol of strength, racial purity and traditional Christian values in a world under threat from Islam, immigrants and rootless cosmopolitan elites.”

3. Modern World Tugs at an Indonesian Tribe Clinging to Its Ancient Ways

“The Mentawai tribe, which today numbers around 60,000, is a rare Indonesian culture that was not influenced by Hindu, Buddhist or Muslim currents over the last two millenniums. Instead, their traditions and beliefs strongly resemble those of the original Austronesian settlers who came to this vast archipelago from Taiwan around 4,000 years ago. If the tribe’s culture disappears, one of the last links to Indonesia’s early human inhabitants will go with it.”

4. The Array of Conflicts of Interest Facing the Trump Presidency

“Donald J. Trump’s global business empire will create an unprecedented number of conflicts of interest for a United States president, experts in legal ethics say.”

5. At Liberty University, All Sins Are Forgiven on the Altar of Football

“Athletic leaders (that would be McCaw) and football coaches learned of accusations of gang and date rape and decided not to report that violence; they met with the alleged victims, and their parents, and still did nothing.”

6. Inner Peace in the Palm of Your Hand, for a Price

“What Headspace is selling is deceptively simple. By instructing people to focus on their breathing and let go of thoughts and emotions, Mr. Puddicombe gently coaxes users back to fuller engagement with the present moment. In modern parlance, it is mindfulness — a quick, secularized adaptation of Buddhist teachings that have been distilled for a modern, Western audience. A 10-day course on the app is free. Annual subscriptions cost about $100.”

7. What the Alt-Right Really Means

“But most of all there is sex. The alt-right has a lot of young men in it, young men whose ideology can be assumed to confront them with obstacles to meeting people and dating. Sex-cynicism and race-pessimism, of course, often travel in tandem.”

8. Mother Nature Is Brought to You By…

“The spread of advertising to natural settings is just a taste of what’s coming. Over the next decade, prepare for a new wave of efforts to reach some of the last remaining bastions of peace, quiet and individual focus — like schools, libraries, churches and even our homes.”

9. Can I Go to Great Books Camp?

“A small but growing number of young conservatives see themselves not only as engaged citizens, but as guardians of an ancient intellectual tradition.”

10. States’ Rights for the Left

“Since the 1930s, progressives have unapologetically embraced Hamiltonian big government. But in rediscovering the virtues of Jeffersonian small government, Democrats and liberals are returning to a tradition of ‘progressive federalism’ that they favored before the New Deal and the Great Society.”

11. Why Blue States Are the Real ‘Tea Party’

“The urban states are subsidizing the rural states, and yet somehow in return, the rural states get more power at the voting booth.”

12. Cashing In on Climate Change

“For many, the perceived gap between socially responsible investing and good business has narrowed almost to the point of convergence.”

13. I Am a Dangerous Professor

“The list is not simply designed to get others to spy on us, to out us, but to install forms of psychological self-policing to eliminate thoughts, pedagogical approaches and theoretical orientations that it defines as subversive.”

14. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie Talks Beauty, Femininity and Feminism

“But I do remember that when I moved to the U.S. — and I think maybe there are different standards for people who are supposed to be particularly intellectual or particularly creative — I very quickly realized that if you want to seem as a serious writer, you can’t possibly look like a person who looks in the mirror.”

15. David Foster Wallace’s Peaceful Prairie

“The meditative spaces and down-to-earth people of the Midwest were central to Wallace’s writing, as he pushed back the ironic for the heartfelt. And he didn’t produce brilliant work in spite of the more conventional folks surrounding him in Illinois; as his essays and books like The Pale King reveal, he was inspired by the Midwest’s sincerity to go beyond America’s cultural snark for truth about its contemporary life, which he found rushed, overstimulated and lonely. At home in Illinois, this tormented genius, wild maximalist and yet somehow earnest moralist of a writer said he felt ‘unalone and unstressed.’”

16. What Explains Our Obsession With Ancient Egypt?

“Largely self-nourishing, Egyptomania was often detached from its original sources, and the stream of dime novels and films about mummies and their curses have, according to scholars, more to do with Western guilt over imperialism than with the supernatural. Even the artifacts exhumed from Tutankhamen’s tomb with great fanfare beginning in 1922 did not, in fact, add much to our knowledge of ancient Egypt.”

17. Examining the Artists of the Revolutionary Era

“The visual record of the Revolution commemorates eminent founders, not ordinary participants, and the signing of documents rather than the quarrels that accompanied their composition. It is, however, the only visual record we have.”

18. Is Rashomon Kurosawa’s Best Film?

“Kurosawa was only 13 when the earthquake occurred, but his older brother, Heigo, insisted they walk through the ruins and view the corpses, ostensibly to overcome fear by staring reality in the face. That older brother exerted a major influence on Kurosawa: A movie buff, he took Akira along to silent film classics, mostly foreign, and even became a benshi: ‘The benshi were there to explain the plot but also to impersonate the characters. Such a narrator, standing at the podium to the left of the stage, made faintly visible by the lectern light, would declaim from the start to the finish of a feature film.’ Heigo was a celebrated benshi, but when sound came in, his profession evaporated. Depressed, he committed double suicide with a waitress.”

19. Why the Legend of Al Capone Still Fascinates

“At the heart of the legend stands the big personality. Al dressed in beautifully tailored lemon-, lime- and lavender-colored suits. He dispensed wads of cash to anyone who caught his fancy. During the Depression, he opened a soup kitchen that served up to 3,000 people a day. For one of Capone’s birthday binges, his men kidnapped the jazz great Fats Waller at gunpoint and made him play for three anxious days before stuffing his pockets with thousand-dollar bills and driving him home.”

20. 45 Pop Music Hits, in the Words of Their Creators

“I once asked the Bon Jovi guitarist Richie Sambora if, after hundreds, perhaps thousands of performances, he ever got tired of playing the band’s much-loved hit ‘Livin’ on a Prayer.’ ‘You ever get tired of getting laid?’ he replied.”

21. The Rise of Glam Rock

“For the four years that Reynolds identifies as glam’s peak, there was a renewed focus on issues of performance, gender fluidity and irony that is still found in countless nooks of pop culture. The genre’s provocateurs won.”

22. Rock Lives: This Season’s Pop Music Biographies and Memoirs

“The book takes its title from a line in the Rolling Stones’ 1971 No. 1 hit ‘Brown Sugar,’ a song about a white slave trader’s sexual fetishization of black women that Hamilton writes is either ‘the most racially offensive composition in the catalog of one of the most racially troublesome bands in rock and roll’ or ‘the most unflinching exploration of racial and musical imagination ever put on record by a white rock and roll band.’ Clearly, this is not a book looking for easy solutions.”

23. Is ‘Empathy’ Really What the Nation Needs?

“What social networks like Facebook really offer is empathy in the aggregate — an illusion of having captured the mood of entire families and friend networks from a safe, neutral distance. Then they turn around and offer advertisers a read on more than a billion users at once.”

24. Letter of Recommendation: ‘Primitive Technology’

“Taken as a whole, the project seems mystifying, impossible. Seeing all the component steps only makes it exponentially more miraculous.”

25. The Pleasure (and Popularity) of Really Short Books

“This short-book renaissance comes at the height of our Age of the Essay. Everyone is reading them, and even more people are writing them. The books’ modesty of scale appears like a rebellion against importance, but they are insistent, even a little pedantic — self-conscious intellectual sallies that bring a dignified brevity to nonfiction. They take themselves seriously, much like a very short man.”

26. Reflections on True Friendship

“Social media is a vehicle of self-promotion, a means of fixing an idea of yourself in the social sphere, without people actually knowing you at all. And that’s a change: The thing about friendship used to be that the ideal was shared entirely by the pair of you, or sometimes by a group, yet it remained local, and that was part of its power.”

27. The Man Who Brought Paris to Dallas

“The store represented something utterly new: an alternate reality at the intersection of commerce and culture, where ordinary women and men learned not what to wear but how to live, a place were they could become, if only for a moment, their best selves.”

28. Can a Corset Be Feminist?

“Is a woman who wears a corset today, whether following the trends of fashion or the further down-market effects of the Kardashians’ ‘waist trainers,’ restricted, or freed? Conforming to a masculine ideal of femininity, or experimenting with her own perception of self and sexuality?”

Sunday 11.27.2016 New York Times Digest


1. An Indian Protest for Everyone

“The Standing Rock protesters are making the argument that the pipeline threatens not just tribal land and resources but American land and resources.”

2. New York’s Vanishing Diner Culture

“Urban renewal, astronomical rents, changing eating habits and the preponderance of no-refill coffee places like Starbucks have all contributed to the demise of the New York diner. There are roughly half as many as there were 20 years ago….”

3. Trump’s Election? Some Students Are Too Busy to Worry

“Members of the well-meaning liberal ruling order were sure they knew what the poor and working class thought and felt. Talking to some of LaGuardia’s students, one is reminded of how much more easily the American narrative of self-reliance is adopted by people who have come here from somewhere else, compelled by their aspirations and not yet immunized against the mythologies.”

4. Choke Point of a Nation: The High Cost of an Aging River Lock

“If corn cannot get to the factories, the price of any grain-based product will go up, and people will say, ‘What do you mean I’ve got to pay $10 for a box of cornflakes? Are you out of your mind?’”

5. Anger Rooms: A Smashing New Way to Relieve Stress

“The Anger Room charges $25 for five minutes of crushing printers, alarm clocks, glass cups, vases and the like. Prices rise to about $500 for custom room setups. The most expensive setup so far has been a faux retail store, replete with racks of clothing.”

6. Why I Left White Nationalism

“I never would have begun my own conversations without first experiencing clear and passionate outrage to what I believed from those I interacted with. Now is the time for me to pass on that outrage by clearly and unremittingly denouncing the people who used a wave of white anger to take the White House.”

7. The Saloon, America’s Forgotten Democratic Institution

“Saloons were once everywhere in America, from urban alleys to rural crossroads. They were about more than drinking; from the 1860s through 1920, they dominated social life for the laboring majority building a new industrial nation. By 1897 there were roughly a quarter of a million saloons, or 23 for every Starbucks franchise today.”

8. Actually, Let’s Not Be in the Moment

“Mindfulness is supposed to be a defense against the pressures of modern life, but it’s starting to feel suspiciously like it’s actually adding to them.”

9. Flossing and the Art of Scientific Investigation

“Distrusting expertise makes it easy to confuse an absence of randomized evaluations with an absence of knowledge.”

10. La La Land Makes Musicals Matter Again

“Contemporary American movies could use more s’wonderful, more music and dance, and way, way more surrealism. They’re too dull, too ordinary and too straight, whether they’re mired in superhero clichés or remodeled kitchen-sink realism. One of the transformative pleasures of musicals is that even at their most choreographed, they break from conformity, the dos and don’ts of a regimented life, suggesting the possibility that everyone can move to her own beat.”

11. Long Before ‘Hamilton’ Brouhaha, Theater Was Anything but Polite

“Far more so than the voting booth (which restricted who could vote not only on the basis of race and gender, but also on the basis of wealth, meaning only half of white men were eligible to vote in 1800), the theater itself was a place where people of many different classes, races and religions — including African-Americans, Native Americans, Jews, Muslims, working-class whites and immigrant Irishmen — appeared onstage and often in the audience as well.”

12. What Is the Color of Beauty?

“They are banning the products that give women lighter skin (although no one believes the ban will work) without banning the social messaging that tells women they should have lighter skin.”

13. The AIDS Fight: Andrew Sullivan on a History of the Movement

“AIDS was not an early crisis that finally abated; it was a slowly building mass death experience. The year with the most corpses in America was 1995. The darkest night really was just before the dawn.”

14. Steven Johnson on How Play Shaped the World

“‘Play’ here designates by turns novelty, delight, sport, games, prettiness, music of any kind, gambling, magic shows, spectacles, illusions and fashion. The word slips and skips like a pinball. If Johnson can show that the primary purpose of some pastime is not, strictly speaking, money, war or sex, he labels it play and closes his case. His pinball manages to light a lot of stuff up, so it’s hard to begrudge him this sometimes reckless game.”

15. Good at Skipping Ads? No, You’re Not

“The realization that something you thought to be ‘real’ is actually an advertisement is an increasingly common, if unsettling, sensation. Mara Einstein calls it ‘content confusion,’ and if her book, Black Ops Advertising, is right, we’re in for even more such trickery, indeed a possible future where nearly everything becomes hidden commercial propaganda of one form or another. She forecasts the potential of a ‘world where there is no real content: Everything we experience is some form of sales pitch.’”

16. Are Domestic Responsibilities at Odds With Becoming a Great Artist?

“n the end, what’s mysterious, worth aspiring to and impossible to prescribe for anyone else are the conviction and fortitude that allow some creators to do their best possible work in whatever circumstances they find themselves, whether in a remote hut adorned by a single calla lily or a cluttered and sometimes noisy kitchen with an unknown but truly impressive quantity of rainbow sequins scattered across the floor.”

17. The Identity Politics of Whiteness

“If whiteness is no longer the default and is to be treated as an identity — even, soon, a ‘minority’ — then perhaps it is time white people considered the disadvantages of being a race. The next time a white man bombs an abortion clinic or goes on a shooting rampage on a college campus, white people might have to be lectured on religious tolerance and called upon to denounce the violent extremists in their midst. The opioid epidemic in today’s white communities could be treated the way we once treated the crack epidemic in black ones — not as a failure of the government to take care of its people but as a failure of the race. The fact that this has not happened, nor is it likely to, only serves as evidence that white Americans can still escape race.”

18. Is Social Media Disconnecting Us From the Big Picture?

“I knew about Eli Pariser’s theory on filter bubbles, or the idea that online personalization distorts the type of information we see, and even so, I still chose to let algorithms shape how I perceive the world. Everything I could want to see is available at my fingertips, and yet I didn’t look.”

19. The Passion of Martin Scorsese

“For half a century, Scorsese has been a missionary for the cinema: making his own movies, promoting the work of great international directors, consolidating the history of the medium in a brilliant group of documentaries and advocating for the preservation of classics. Over time, this picture of his about a missionary adventure became a mission in its own right, and the act of getting it made became an act of faith.”

20. Billionaires vs. the Press in the Era of Trump

“What’s new here are two forces squeezing journalism like pincers. The first is a figure like Thiel, willing to place bets on lawsuit after lawsuit until he hits on a winning combination of facts, judge and jury. The second is the public’s animosity toward the press, now fueled by the soon-to-be president.”

Sunday 11.20.2016 New York Times Digest

(Note: This post is “late” because I was traveling [see article #1]. But now I’m back in Iowa City [see article #2] and getting caught up on things. Thanks for your patience and look for another one of these on Sunday.)


1. I Wish We All Could Be Californian

“Nearly everyone I know would vote yes tomorrow if we could secede peacefully and get security guarantees while we annex Oregon and Washington, join the Canadian health care system and claim Brooklyn in the same way that West Germany once claimed West Berlin.”

2. At Iowa High School, Election Results Kindle Tensions and Protests

“Like many other schools around the country since the election, West High has become a microcosm of the United States itself, a place roiled by tension, divisions and mistrust. Students in many schools say supporters of Donald J. Trump have felt empowered to lash out at minorities, while outraged backers of Hillary Clinton have been spurred to organize and demonstrate. And teachers have been struggling to provide guidance even as they themselves are processing the election results.”

3. Along the Autism Spectrum, a Path Through Campus Life

“For decades, universities have provided academic safety nets to students with physical disabilities and learning challenges like dyslexia. But students on the autism spectrum need a web of support that is far more nuanced and complex.”

4. Quit Social Media. Your Career May Depend on It.

“A dedication to cultivating your social media brand is a fundamentally passive approach to professional advancement. It diverts your time and attention away from producing work that matters and toward convincing the world that you matter.”

5. The End of Identity Liberalism

“National politics in healthy periods is not about ‘difference,’ it is about commonality. And it will be dominated by whoever best captures Americans’ imaginations about our shared destiny.”

6. Climate Change in Trump’s Age of Ignorance

“We now live in a world where ignorance of a very dangerous sort is being deliberately manufactured, to protect certain kinds of unfettered corporate enterprise.”

7. The Secret Agenda of a Facebook Quiz

“For several years, a data firm eventually hired by the Trump campaign, Cambridge Analytica, has been using Facebook as a tool to build psychological profiles that represent some 230 million adult Americans.”

8. ‘Westworld’ and the Moral Dilemma of Cyborgs

“The father of cybernetics cautioned human beings against the desire to be waited upon by intelligent machines that are equipped to improve their minds over time. ‘We wish a slave to be intelligent, to be able to assist us in the carrying out of our tasks,’ Wiener writes. ‘However, we also wish him to be subservient.’ The obvious problem is that keen intelligence and groveling submission do not go hand in hand.”

9. The Crisis for Liberalism

“Liberal societies have always depended on an illiberal or pre-liberal substructure to answer the varied human needs — meaning, belonging, a vertical dimension to human life, a hope against mortality.”

10. Dancing in a Hurricane

“What the hell happened in and around 2007? 2007? That’s such an innocuous year. But look again.”

11. Race in America After the Great Migration

“A century ago, almost all black Americans lived in the South, largely in rural areas. By 1970, most lived outside the South, a great many in Northern and Western industrial cities. Driven, in part, by hopes for greater economic opportunity, millions of black migrants made this move. Did they find what they were looking for?”

Bruce Bliven on Los Angeles

“Here is the world’s prize collection of cranks, semi-cranks, placid creatures whose bovine expression shows that each of them is studying, without much hope of success, to be a high-grade moron, angry or ecstatic exponents of food fads, sun-bathing, ancient Greek costumes, diaphragm breathing and the imminent second coming of Christ.”

—Bruce Bliven, The New Republic, 1927

Sunday 11.13.2016 New York Times Digest


1. What Whiteness Means in the Trump Era

“Thanks to the success of ‘Make America Great Again’ as a call for a return to the times when white people ruled, and thanks to the widespread analysis of voters’ preferences in racial terms, white identity became marked as a racial identity. From being individuals expressing individual preferences in life and politics, the Trump era stamps white Americans with race: white race.”

2. A 10-Digit Key Code to Your Private Life: Your Cellphone Number

“Investigators find that a cellphone number is often even more useful than a Social Security number because it is tied to so many databases and is connected to a device you almost always have with you.”

3. Michigan Voters Say Trump Could See Their Problems ‘Right Off the Bat’ & How Erie Went Red: The Economy Sank, and Trump Rose

“Chris Vitale, a longtime Chrysler employee and United Auto Workers member, supported Barack Obama twice, as did his union and his county. But on Tuesday, Mr. Vitale rejected the U.A.W.’s choice, Hillary Clinton, and voted with gusto for Mr. Trump.”

4. Can Trump Save Their Jobs? They’re Counting on It & How Letting Bankers Off the Hook May Have Tipped the Election

“In interviews in recent days and in March, Trump voters here made clear that if he does not follow through on his promises, they are prepared to turn on him, just as they are seemingly punishing Democrats today for not delivering the hope and change voters sought from President Obama after he won as an outsider in 2008.”

5. Going Down the Pinterest Rabbit Hole

“Embark on any home improvement project — or binge-watch enough HGTV — and you can easily get overwhelmed. With scores of design blogs and websites like Apartment Therapy and Remodelista relentlessly shared on social media platforms like Pinterest, we have more access to ideas than ever before. An image from one site leads us to another, sending us tumbling through a fractal of curated photographs. More ideas do not necessarily breed better results. Sometimes, they just give you heartburn.”

6. What’s the Use of Regret?

“Perhaps I will commit one fewer sin by refraining from broadcasting my regrets.”

7. The Varieties of Anger

“Anger is a large, diverse population of experiences and behaviors, as psychologists like myself who study emotion repeatedly discover. You can shout in anger, weep in anger, even smile in anger. You can throw a tantrum in anger with your heart pounding, or calmly plot your revenge. No single state of the face, body or brain defines anger. Variation is the norm.”

8. The Story So Far: Fiction Podcasts Take Their Next Steps

“10 years in, fictional podcasts are still finding their footing as a form.”

9. Breaking Up With Twitter

“After the election, a handful of Twitter loyalists confessed to feeling alienation over the role the service played in their lives, and the country, this year.”

10. What Is a TinyLetter? Like Ye Olde Blog, but Less Public

“We now find ourselves in the era of the personal email newsletter, an almost retro delivery system that blurs borders between the public and the private, and mashes up characteristics of the analog and digital ages.”

11. How Do Dogs Recognize Us? And Why Do We Love Cats Anyway?

“Horowitz’s title suggests it is about being a dog, but the subtitle better covers her theme. Her book is about the olfactory sense, its huge importance for the dog but also its overlooked role for ourselves. Tucker’s title suggests we will hear about the sweet-looking carnivore in our living room, but instead of telling us how cats behave and why — which has been done many times before — she relates where cats come from, why they may have been domesticated and why we hold them so dear. We are a pet-loving species, even more so in our modern urban lives than before, which is why we like to read up on our furry companions while they purr in our laps or snore at our feet.”

12. The Price We Pay for an Ad-Powered Internet

“The age of mass media and mass marketing is characterized by an arms race between those who seek to capture the valuable commodity of our attention and capitalize on it for gain and those who resist this harvesting of time either through drugs; regulation; or most effectively, collective boredom, distraction and indifference.”

13. Unbury My Heart at Wounded Knee: A New Look at the Indian Wars

“For every Indian triumph like Little Big Horn (1876), there was a drubbing like Wounded Knee (1890), for every surprise Indian victory there were huge retaliations by the Army. As if to add insult to injury, one evening in February 1909, Geronimo got drunk in the town of Lawton, Okla., fell off his horse and was discovered the next morning half-submerged in icy water.”

14. Thomas Ricks on the Season’s Military History

“The surprising villains in Silverman’s study are the Dutch of New Amsterdam, who introduced firearms on a large scale to North America by selling them to the Iroquois of today’s New York State in exchange for beaver pelts. By doing so, they kicked off a North American arms race that rages to this day.”

15. Makeover Mania

“A designer sees a problem, proposes a solution, makes a difference. Such tidy narratives fuel a reigning ideology in which every object, symbol or pool of information is just another design problem awaiting some solution. The thermostat, the fire extinguisher, the toothbrush, the car dashboard — all have been redesigned, whether anybody was clamoring for their alteration or not.”

16. Code Cracking

“For years, earnest young graduates interested in white-collar public service had few choices but policy work — to take jobs on Capitol Hill, at the Brookings Institution, in academia. But for those with tech skills, the appearance of Code for America and similar ventures promised a different option, one that would produce quicker results. You could join the Veterans Affairs Digital Service and make a digital appointment system, cutting back waiting times at Veterans Affairs hospitals. You could go to Nava, a civic-tech design start-up, and streamline government websites. You could participate in a civic hackathon and take previously inaccessible parks data to the public. You could code a better food-stamp application over the weekend and have people filing it by Monday.”

17. Hot Seates

“The fact that the furniture folds is more than a logistical accommodation; it’s a key feature.”

18. The End of Relaxation

“We live in a golden age of the ‘wellness vacation,’ a sort of hybrid retreat, boot camp, spa and roving therapy session that, for the cost of room and board, promises to refresh body and mind and send you back to your life more whole.”

19. A Love Letter to Drinking in Bars

“It must be a delivery system for the patron’s sublime transformation, from being the guy alone to being the guy alone in public, alert to the social world, sitting in a place that is not one’s home but in which you have different proprietary comforts.”

20. The Naked Truth About German Nudists

“Unlike in America, where public nudity typically has gay or countercultural connotations, in modern Germany it seems to have none. What began in the late 1800s as a kind of philosophy of physical health transformed, under authoritarian rule, into a mode of quasi-dissident leisure, and then later into something more temperate, a culturally ingrained but ultimately apolitical national pastime.”

Nobody Speak

Sunday 11.6.2016 New York Times Digest


1. The Walls in Our Heads

“Do walls work? The real question is: as what? Looking at early walled cities in his study The City in History, Lewis Mumford observed that ‘the exaggerated height and thickness of these walls in the earliest cities, rivaling even eighth-century Khorsabad, is significantly out of all proportion to the military means that existed for assaulting them.’ The excess was symbolic, rather than strategic; more about prestige than security.”

2. New Item on the College Admission Checklist: LinkedIn Profile

“Public schools from San Francisco to New York City are teaching online conduct skills as part of a nationwide digital citizenship push to prepare students for colleges and careers. Teenagers who set up LinkedIn profiles in the hope of enhancing their college prospects represent the vanguard of this trend.”

3. Want Co-Workers to Vote Your Way? Then Stop Pestering Them

“When people ask for your opinion before making a choice, they typically incorporate it into their decision. Sometimes they value it greatly. But if you offer advice without being asked — watch out.”

4. Using Airbnb to Sample Someone Else’s Style

“If you’re a design-obsessed traveler, the opportunity to try on someone else’s style for a night is hard to resist…. And if you’re a style-minded host, Airbnb offers what may be your best chance to share your taste with others — or even to market it, if your work involves design.”

5. The Men Feminists Left Behind

“While women have steadily made their way into traditionally male domains, men have not crossed the other way. Men do more at home than they used to, but women still do much more — on an average day, 67 percent of men do some housework compared with 85 percent of women. Male identity remains tied up in dominance and earning potential, and when those things flag, it seems men either give up or get angry.”

6. Schools That Work

“Many charter schools fail to live up to their promise, but one type has repeatedly shown impressive results.”

7. The Post-Familial Election

“Everywhere across the developed world, families have grown more attenuated: fewer and later marriages, fewer and later-born children, fewer brothers and sisters and cousins, more people living for longer and longer stretches on their own. It’s a new model of social life, a ‘post-familial’ revolution that’s unique to late modernity.”

8. Trump’s Inconvenient Racial Truth

“When Trump claims Democratic governance has failed black people, when he asks ‘the blacks’ what they have to lose, he is asking a poorly stated version of a question that many black Americans have long asked themselves. What dividends, exactly, has their decades-long loyalty to the Democratic ticket paid them? By brushing Trump’s criticism off as merely cynical or clueless rantings, we are missing an opportunity to have a real discussion of the failures of progressivism and Democratic leadership when it comes to black Americans.”

9. Time to Dump Time Zones

“Let us all — wherever and whenever — live on what the world’s timekeepers call Coordinated Universal Time, or U.T.C. (though ‘earth time’ might be less presumptuous).”

10. My Deathbed Playlist (and Yours)

“Paul Simon once said that music should continue ‘right on up until you die,’ a belief with precedents that are as literal as they are ancient.”

11. Whose Life Should Your Car Save?

“When it comes to self-driving cars, Americans balk at having the government force cars to use potentially self-sacrificial algorithms.”

12. Consider a Monarchy, America

“The modern history of Europe has shown that those countries fortunate enough to enjoy a king or queen as head of state tend to be more stable and better governed than most of the Continent’s republican states. By the same token, demagogic dictators have proved unremittingly hostile to monarchy because the institution represents a dangerously venerated alternative to their ambitions.”

13. Loss Haunts A Tribe Called Quest’s First Album in 18 Years

“In the early ’90s, they made what are widely considered two of hip-hop’s greatest albums: The Low End Theory and Midnight Marauders. (Mr. White left after recording The Low End Theory to pursue a career as a chef.) The group was known for thoughtful lyrics, jazz samples and a more artful, less macho, approach to hip-hop. Q-Tip was the artistic, esoteric, philosophical M.C. while Phife Dawg was the streetwise, confident yet humble rapper with a little Trinidadian ‘ruffneck’ swag.”

14. Memes, Myself and I: The Internet Lets Us All Run the Campaign

“The internet has elevated supporters to the role of surrogates, capable of creating their own messages and running their own online campaigns on their social media feeds. Memes and other tools of digital culture empower them to twist carefully orchestrated campaign images — or candidates’ gaffes — until they take on new meanings and take over the news cycle.”

15. L.A. Transcendental: How La La Land Chases the Sublime

“Rather than force Los Angeles to resemble more charming locales like Paris or San Francisco, he focused on what makes the city distinctive: the traffic, the sprawl, those endless skies.”

16. What Would You Serve With Gin and Juice? At the Table With Martha Stewart and Snoop Dogg

“This is only the most recent venture from Ms. Stewart and Snoop Dogg, who have a long, if sporadic, history of working side-by-side on television, reliably generating ratings, laughs and goggle-eyed coverage.”

17. How the University of Alabama Became a National Player

“Nowadays, the real money comes from tuition and fees.”

18. What 12 State Schools Are Cutting, or Creating

“State support for public two- and four-year colleges — funding is nearly $10 billion below what it was just before the recession — has begun to recover, though officials at the nation’s flagship universities say that doing more with less is the new norm.”

19. How a Philosophy Professor Found Love in a Hidden Library

“The further you go on in the book, and the more of Kaag’s skillful miniatures you take in, the deeper it becomes. You realize he is also making an unconventional argument for who was right, and who was wrong, in the classical tradition of American philosophy from about 1830 to 1930, in Transcendentalism and Pragmatism and Idealism and beyond. It is an argument strikingly suited to our time.”

20. An American in a Strange Land

“This summer, I decided I wanted to explore this place that had become a foreign country to me. I didn’t understand what had happened since I left, why so many people seemed so disillusioned and angry. I planned a zigzag route, revisiting places where I once lived or worked, a 29-day sprint through 11 states (and four time zones). I knew I would be moving too fast to make any sweeping declaration about the state of America, and I wouldn’t ask people which presidential candidate they were voting for. I was more interested in why they were so anxious about the present and the future. I wanted to find out why the country was fragmenting rather than binding together. Most of all I wanted to see with my own eyes what had changed — and so much had changed.”

21. Want to Know What Virtual Reality Might Become? Look to the Past

“By the dawn of the 20th century, almost every species in the 19th-century genus of illusion was wiped off the map by a new form of ‘natural magic’: the cinema. The stereoscope, too, withered in the public imagination. (It lingered on as a child’s toy in the 20th century through the cheap plastic View-Master devices many of us enjoyed in grade school.) But then something strange happened: After a century of irrelevance, Brewster’s idea — putting stereoscopic goggles over your eyes to fool your mind into thinking you are gazing out on a three-dimensional world — turned out to have a second life.”