Sunday 7.15.2018 New York Times Digest


1. I Know What Incarceration Does to Families. It Happened to Mine.

“History is repeating itself. This time without even the pretext of war, and with added heartbreaking cruelty.”

2. In Town With Little Water, Coca-Cola Is Everywhere. So Is Diabetes.

Residents of San Cristóbal and the lush highlands that envelop the city drink on average more than two liters, or more than half a gallon, of soda a day. The effect on public health has been devastating.

3. The New York Yankees Are a Moral Abomination

“The Yankees cannot help but be emblematic of everything that characterizes us as a nation and as an idea: a thing gargantuan and heedless, invincible and yet bizarrely fragile and self-destructive.”

4. Everyone Has an Accent

“Too often, at the hospital or the bank, in the office or at a restaurant — even in the classroom — we embrace the idea that there is a right way for our words to sound and that the perfect accent is one that is not just inaudible, but also invisible.”

5. We Need to Offer More Than Asylum.

“Uncontrolled violence combines with environmental degradation and economic collapse to produce what Alexander Betts, a professor at Oxford, has termed ‘survival migration.’ The term, he writes, describes ‘people who have left their country of origin because of an existential threat for which they have no domestic remedy.’”

6. Teens Are Stressed. But Don’t Just Blame Phones.

“We already know that teenagers go online to avoid feelings of stress, depression and anxiety, and we also know this strategy has more negative emotional consequences than positive ones. With their slot-machine logic and addictive properties, smartphones keep us coming back for more: for distraction, a message from a friend, news, a funny cat meme.”

7. Elon Musk Thinks He Can Fix Everything.

“The Silicon Valley model for doing things is a mix of can-do optimism, a faith that expertise in one domain can be transferred seamlessly to another and a preference for rapid, flashy, high-profile action. But what got the kids and their coach out of the cave was a different model: a slower, more methodical, more narrowly specialized approach to problems, one that has turned many risky enterprises into safe endeavors — commercial airline travel, for example, or rock climbing, both of which have extensive protocols and safety procedures that have taken years to develop.”

8. What Adults Can Learn From Dutch Children’s Books

“I have to resist listing all the activities crammed into the pages of my favorite wimmelbooks because they would come across as cringingly mundane. But the cramming is, in truth, transcendent, this gentle collapsing of time and bending of space to capture worldly things in their everyday profusion. These detail-laden scenes defy both photography and film. They’re human constructions for satisfying the cognitive pleasures of collecting clues, exploring and telling stories.”

9. Drawing a Line Over Native Art

“There are only a handful of large art museums in the United States with full-time, specialized curators of Indigenous art, predominantly in the West.”

10. A #HeToo Movement.

“We don’t have the money to fight it. These guys are winning. We are rolling over and funding them.”

11. Would the Pickup Artist Stand a Chance in the #MeToo Era?

“The author writes that he’s insecure in the first paragraph of the piece and goes on to prove it with the rest of the story. It’s painful on several glaringly obvious levels to read the work of an amateur undercover journalist, yet at the same time it’s a measuring stick of how far we’ve come as a culture since this article was assigned, written, edited and published without even a single eyebrow at the newspaper raised.”

12. Sex Ed, for Grown-Ups

“The Kaleidoscope is one of several social communities and companies that have emerged to help adults talk openly about sex and sexuality, with the explicit goal of teaching them everything they didn’t learn in health class or from their parents.”

13. A French Novelist Imagined Sexual Dystopia. Now It’s Arrived.

“At a time when literature is increasingly marginalized in public life, he offers a striking reminder that novelists can provide insights about society that pundits and experts miss. Houellebecq, whose work is saturated with brutality, resentment and sentimentality, understood what it meant to be an incel long before the term became common.”

14. 36 Hours in Seattle

“Wander far from the downtown core to discover niche museums and nature reserves, plenty of Pacific Northwest seafood and some of the best craft beer in the country.”

15. What if the Government Gave Everyone a Paycheck?

“Both urge that a U.B.I. be set at $1,000 a month for every American. Both point out that with poverty currently defined as an income for a single adult of less than $12,000 a year, such a U.B.I. would, by definition, eliminate poverty for the 41 million Americans now living below the poverty line. It would also improve the bargaining power of millions of low-wage workers — forcing employers to increase wages, add benefits and improve conditions in order to retain them. If a U.B.I. replaced specific programs for the poor, it would also reduce government bureaucracy, minimize government interference in citizens’ lives and allow people to avoid the stigma that often accompanies government assistance. By virtue of being available to all, a U.B.I. would not only guarantee the material existence of everyone in a society; it would establish a baseline for what membership in that society means.”

16. In the Middle Class, and Barely Getting By

“Much that middle-class professionals took for granted in previous generations, including homeownership, decent health care, a comfortable retirement, is now out of reach. Over the past 20 years, the cost of housing has risen dramatically. The price of health care and college has almost doubled. Meanwhile, wages have stagnated, unions have nearly vanished and, in some sectors, technology has replaced human workers. Many people find themselves carrying school and credit-card debt, and working low-paid, temporary or part-time jobs.”

17. Three Books Consider What Happens When the Robots Take Over

“There is little doubt humanity is on the precipice of massive change in how we work. The only question is whether it is a future of shared prosperity and leisure or one of mass unemployment and turmoil.”

18. Americans Think ‘Corruption’ Is Everywhere. Is That Why We Vote for It?

“No other country has done so well at containing corruption while leaving so many of its people convinced that it has done poorly.”

19. Have the Tech Giants Grown Too Powerful? That’s an Easy One

“The questions became companies, which then, mostly without explicitly deciding to, became institutions. And now, for anyone affected by the tech industry, the most obvious and important questions are about the world that these companies are making.”

20. Letter of Recommendation: Mess

“These aggressively maintained personal spaces — whom are they actually for?”

21. The Avenatti Effect

“Every time I watch him work, I think, This is what it must have been like to see the Sistine Chapel being painted. But instead of paint, Michael uses the tears of his enemies.”

22. Her Husband Was a Princeton Graduate Student. Then He Was Taken Prisoner in Iran.

“Sometimes the U.S.-Iran relationship feels like a Chinese finger trap: The harder either side pulls away, the more fiercely both are joined. Under Trump’s administration, Washington has whiplashed from cautious détente to ferocious retrenchment on Iran, doing away with the nuclear deal and showing Iran the back of its hand with renewed sanctions and an immigration ban that disproportionately punishes Iranians. Still, Trump has not escaped the hostage conundrum. At least five citizens and two permanent residents of the United States remain in Iranian prisons, years of their lives unspooling into a cruel stasis. One way or another, getting them out is going to mean making a deal.”


Sunday 7.8.2018 New York Times Digest


1. Is the National ‘Mood’ the One in Polls or the One Online?

“Being inundated with so many moods can affect how we see everything around us, unleashing complex waves of uplift or tumult. If you scan social media these days, it’s hard not to conclude that the overriding sentiments — the inescapable moods that hang over all our heads like stagnant humidity — are those of annoyance, consternation and abstract misery. Not just about the day’s news or the latest grand controversy, but about everything, in general.”

2. A.I. Comes Into Fashion

“In the small but growing precincts of the industry where high-powered algorithms roam free, however, it is the machine — and not the buyer’s gut — that often anticipates what customers will want.”

3. Fresh Proof That Strong Unions Help Reduce Income Inequality

“Thanks to the new research, evidence going back nearly a century now shows that unions have formed a critical counterweight to the power of companies. They increase the earnings of the lowest skilled and sharply reduce inequality.”

4. Buried in Paperwork

“A lot of time people avoid papers because it’s acknowledging a part of your life that may have been painful or traumatic.”

5. Government-Subsidized Christianity

“Trump administration officials have used fundamentalist biblical interpretations to support everything from environmental deregulation to tax cuts.”

6. Why Are We Obsessed With Superhero Movies?

“Institutions and human knowledge are useless. Religion is irrelevant. Governments are corrupt and/or inept, when not downright evil. The empowered individual is all.”

7. Seriously, Juice Is Not Healthy

“There is no evidence that juice improves health. It should be treated like other sugary beverages, which are fine to have periodically if you want them, but not because you need them.”

8. The Selfie That Dares to Go There

“I use it as a narrative, as if you’re telling a story. It’s an aspect of that, it’s not just a vagina.”

9. Tom Wolfe’s Lesser Known Career as a Cartoonist

“Wolfe surprisingly identified as much as a cartoonist as he did a writer, and many of his drawings were captioned.”

10. E-Waste Offers an Economic Opportunity as Well as Toxicity

“Americans alone throw out phones worth $60 million in gold and silver every year.”

11. Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf Scientist?

“The argument over wolves is a gulf of values: In bringing back wolves, one side wants to atone for the sins of the past and knit back together a wounded landscape; the other sees in wolves’ proliferation a refutation of the rural way of life of the American West. A wolf, in this debate, is always much bigger than a wolf.”

12. The Big Business of Becoming Bhad Bhabie

“Viral minutes tick faster than real ones. If she wanted to keep the interest of the public, she needed a talent, and she needed one soon.”


Sunday 7.1.2018 New York Times Digest


1. A Warming World Creates Desperate People

“The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees estimates that since 2008, 22.5 million people have been displaced by climate-related or extreme weather events.”

2. What It Costs to Be Smuggled Across the U.S. Border

“They can build as many walls as they want. They can send as many soldiers to the border as they want, but a people’s need and desire for a better life is stronger.”

3. The Millennial Socialists Are Coming

“All over the nation, people, particularly women, are working with near supernatural energy to rebuild democracy from the ground up, finding ways to exercise political power however they can. For the middle-aged suburbanites who are the backbone of the anti-Trump resistance, that often means shoring up the Democratic Party. For younger people who see Donald Trump’s election as the apotheosis of a rotten political and economic system, it often means trying to remake that party as a vehicle for democratic socialism.”

4. How to Be a Hoejabi

“Before a certain age, Muslim women are presumed to be virgins; after a certain age, wives. Since these assumptions — enforced both within and outside the Muslim community — rob the individual Muslim woman of any agency, this mythical virgin/wife figure becomes one and the same. Once again, there is no middle ground.”

5. Cages Are Cruel. The Desert Is, Too.

“No matter what version of hell migrants are made to pass through at the border, they will endure it to escape far more tangible threats of violence in their home countries, to reunite with family or to secure some semblance of economic stability. Policymakers also ignore that new enforcement measures almost always strengthen cartel-aligned human trafficking networks, giving them cause to increase their smuggling fees and push vulnerable migrants to make riskier crossings to avoid detection.”

6. What Men Say About #MeToo in Therapy

“The #MeToo era has changed my work. If therapy has a reputation for navel gazing, this powerful moment has joined men in the room, forcing them to engage with topics that they would have earlier avoided.”

7. I Did a Terrible Thing. How Can I Apologize?

“Maybe, I thought, this was a universal longing — to be listened to, rather than apologized at.”

8. Into the Wild With Kanye West

“More than any other famous person of his stature, he shares his rough drafts.”

9. Elites, Meet Your Match

“To go on Raya is to enter a strange and alluring world filled with thirsty elites, a place where fame is measured in Instagram followers and humble-bragging is a high art.”

10. Everyone Is Canceled

“Canceling … is an act of withdrawing from someone whose expression — whether political, artistic or otherwise — was once welcome or at least tolerated, but no longer is.”

11. Are More and More People Working Meaningless Jobs?

“Graeber argues that there are more useless office jobs than ever before. He blames this largely on the rise of the financial and information sectors and on what he calls ‘managerial feudalism,’ in which companies keep adding supervisors and white-collar workers, rather than sharing with blue-collar workers the fruits of their increased productivity.”

12. How We Got to Be So Self-Absorbed: The Long Story

“Storr suggests that the self-esteem fad, which went mainstream in the late 1980s and 1990s, evolved into the epidemic of digitally enhanced self-absorption from which we are said to suffer today.”

13. Click ‘Delete’ to Save Your Soul

“He worries that our reliance on big tech companies is ruining our capacity for spirituality, by turning us into robotic extensions of their machines. The companies, he argues, have no appreciation for the ‘mystical spark inside you.’ They don’t understand the magic of human consciousness and, therefore, will recklessly destroy it.”

14. Does American ‘Tribalism’ End in a Compromise, or a Fight?

“It is generally not a good idea to expect people on the receiving end of brutal policies — like families broken apart by police violence, immigration raids, travel bans or anti-L.G.B.T. discrimination — to hash out a compromise over sweet tea.”

15. Take a Photo Here

“People don’t merely go to the same places or take photographs of the same monuments and sites; they take photographs of the same monuments and sites in the same way. This applies to tourist sites, public spaces and ordinary buildings. The same gestures and vantage points and compositions are repeated, and the images come out so uncannily similar that it’s as though everyone were subject to the same set of instructions.”

16. Letter of Recommendation: Timehop

“As our digital footprints expand, Silicon Valley’s major players must spend more and more money maintaining enormous digital garbage dumps, full of moldering tweets and flip-phone mirror selfies and old Facebook statuses composed in the third person.”

17. Adrian Piper’s Show at MoMA is the Largest Ever for a Living Artist. Why Hasn’t She Seen It?

“However Piper came to plumb the paradoxes of her own racial designation (and everyone else’s), the desire to alter other people’s behavior by challenging their reflexive biases is one of her defining fixations.”


Sunday 6.24.2018 New York Times Digest


1. There’s a Better, Cheaper Way to Handle Immigration

“Instead of spending money on family detention centers that brutalize children, we should scale up the canceled case-management program.”

2. Is the Border in Crisis?

“Research shows that incarceration rates of both legal and undocumented immigrants across the country are lower than those of native-born Americans, and that the net economic impact of immigration is positive.”

3. Thermostats, Locks and Lights: Digital Tools of Domestic Abuse

“Internet-connected locks, speakers, thermostats, lights and cameras that have been marketed as the newest conveniences are now also being used as a means for harassment, monitoring, revenge and control.”

4. How Amazon Steers Shoppers to Its Own Products

“Amazon is utilizing its knowledge of its powerful marketplace machine — from optimizing word-search algorithms to analyzing competitors’ sales data to using its customer-review networks — to steer shoppers toward its in-house brands and away from its competitors, say analysts.”

5. The Prince Who Would Remake the World

“Change Islam in its Saudi nucleus and you change the world.”

6. What 7 Creepy Patents Reveal About Facebook

“A review of hundreds of Facebook’s patent applications reveals that the company has considered tracking almost every aspect of its users’ lives: where you are, who you spend time with, whether you’re in a romantic relationship, which brands and politicians you’re talking about. The company has even attempted to patent a method for predicting when your friends will die.”

7. The Snake Oil of the Second-Act Industry

“There is a psychological and physical toll from the pressure to recreate ourselves in midlife.”

8. Wrap Your Mind Around a Whale

“We are living right now in the age of giants. Blue whales, fin whales, right whales and bowhead whales are the largest animals, by weight, ever to have evolved. How did this happen?”

9. Suicides Have Increased. Is This an Existential Crisis?

“I am convinced that our nation’s suicide crisis is in part a crisis of meaninglessness. Fully addressing it will require an understanding of how recent changes in American society — changes in the direction of greater detachment and a weaker sense of belonging — are increasing the risk of existential despair.”

10. It Was an Ad? So What. It’s Still Art.

“Photography had to fight to get taken seriously, and fashion photography had to fight even harder.”

11. A History of the Energy We Have Consumed

“He focuses on the introduction of each new energy source, and the discovery and gradual refinement of technologies that eventually made them dominant. The result is a book that is as much about innovation and ingenuity as it is about wood, coal, kerosene or oil.”

12. How Hunting Became a Macho Sport

“In the United States, sport hunting is no longer merely a pastime. It’s often prescribed as an antidote to a recurring fear: the softening of the American man. Today’s alt-right blather about ‘snowflakes’ and male feminization is nothing new. Washington Irving thought manly self-reliance ought to be instilled in America’s youth by sending them hunting on the Great Plains, rather than touring in Europe where they ‘grow luxurious and effeminate.’”

13. Want to Understand What Ails the Modern Internet? Look at eBay

“EBay, in obvious and subtle ways, has served as a model well beyond the world of commerce, inspiring the systems that play host to discourse, media, culture and communication online. It was among the first true megaplatforms — the sort that establishes itself as something like online infrastructure. And it may be, to date, the last one we truly understand.”

14. How to Barricade a Door

“Think of barricading as building what Smith calls ‘layers of resistance.’ The first layer is a door lock. If you have one, bolt it; many active shooters, for example, aim for maximum casualties and will bypass a locked door. The furniture blockade is your second layer. Build it quickly; you don’t want to be in front of the door as it is breached or shot through. If there’s no other exit option, position yourself along the wall next to the door. A hastily constructed barrier may not stop an attack, but it can stall an attacker, which gives you time to mount a counterambush.”

15. How ‘Desus & Mero’ Conquered Late Night

“Even if you’re not following black Twitter, you’re likely consuming the media it produces without realizing it: Everything from viral memes to hashtag movements that can bleed quickly into the mainstream, often without attribution.”


Sunday 6.17.2018 New York Times Digest


1. What Kept Me From Killing Myself

“For the first time in a long while I recognized myself in another, and somehow that simple tether allowed me to slowly pull myself away from one of the most terrifying beliefs common to the kind of ailment I’m describing: that one is utterly alone, uniquely so, and that this condition is permanent.”

2. Pregnancy Discrimination Is Rampant Inside America’s Biggest Companies

“Whether women work at Walmart or on Wall Street, getting pregnant is often the moment they are knocked off the professional ladder.”

3. Why Aren’t More Men Working?

“In 1950, 14 percent of men were out of the labor force. Today, that figure stands at 31 percent.”

4. Sometimes You Have to Quit to Get Ahead

“In order to pursue one option, we must forgo certain others.”

5. Flippers, Meet Reality

“Real estate brokers, designers and contractors credit the popularity of reality TV, specifically scrappy, do-it-yourself flipper shows, with encouraging this new generation of investors.”

6. The Ornithologist the Internet Called a Murderer

“It wasn’t until the public realized that Dr. Filardi had ‘collected’ the bird — killing it for the museum’s research collection — that the adulation turned to venom.”

7. We Can’t Stop the Hackers

“We have spent so much time worrying about a ‘cyber Pearl Harbor,’ the attack that takes out the power grid, that we have focused far too little on the subtle manipulation of data that can mean that no election, medical record or self-driving car can be truly trusted. And ultimately that absence of trust will destroy the glue of American society the way the Stuxnet computer worm destroyed those Iranian centrifuges. It will cause them to spin out of control.”

8. The Bible’s #MeToo Problem

“The muting of the #MeToos of the Bible is a direct reflection of the culture of silence at work in our congregations. An assumption is woven into our sacred texts: that the experiences of women don’t matter. If religious communities fail to tell stories that reflect the experience of the women of our past, we will inevitably fail to address the sense of entitlement, assumption of superiority and lust for punishment carried through those stories and inherited by men of the present.”

9. Stop Pretending Black Midwesterners Don’t Exist

“There are more black people in the Midwest than in the Northeast or the West.”

10. The Trouble With Hollywood’s Gender Flips

“Even when a Hollywood franchise is retooled around women, it still revolves around men — the story lines they wrote, the characters they created, the worlds they built.”

11. At Snapchat, Redrawing the Bounds of Reality

“Unlike virtual reality, which demands that the natural world be forfeited for seductive ones and zeros, the allure of augmented reality is a kind of perceptual truce, with our digital preoccupations layered harmoniously atop the natural landscape. The holy grail is a scenario in which all of your screens — phone, laptop, television set — are no longer necessary, replaced by interactive holograms that simulate, or improve on, their essential functions.”

12. A Word with Jeff Goldblum

“My teacher Sanford Meisner said it takes 20 years of continual work before you can even call yourself an actor.”

13. Are Genetic Testing Sites the New Social Networks?

“The companies use their large databases to match willing participants with others who share their DNA. In many cases, long-lost relatives are reuniting, becoming best friends, travel partners, genealogical resources or confidantes. The result is a more layered version of what happened when Facebook first emerged and out-of-touch friends and family members found one another. Children of long-ago casual sperm donors are finding their fathers. Adoptees are bonding to biological family members they’ve been searching for their entire lives.”

14. In an Age of Gene Editing and Surrogacy, What Does Heredity Mean?

“We cannot understand the natural world with a simplistic notion of genetic heredity.”

15. Under Modernity’s Hood: Precision Engineering

“Our cars, planes, cellphones, washing machines, computers, every manufactured mechanism, are all the result of our pursuit of this fundamental concept.”

16. How Did the Nazis Gain Power in Germany?

“Hitler believed in telling lies so big that their very scale left some residue of credibility.”

17. Is Our Obsession With Wellness Doing Us In?

Natural Causes asks us to accept that our bodies defy our control.”

18. White People Are Noticing Something New: Their Own Whiteness

“White people are losing the luxury of non-self-awareness, an emotionally complicated shift that we are not always taking well.”

19. Letter of Recommendation: ‘Live Like a French Woman’ Books

“The Frenchwoman in these books is always the same person: Parisian, insouciant, effortlessly chic, usually white, untouched by any hint of cultural strife or political upheaval. She mixes high and low fashion, Cartesian rationalism and unbridled joie de vivre, and also neutral shades. She wears a red lip for a day and indulges with restraint.”

20. How to Make More Free Throws

“Experts at a given motor skill maintain quiet eye some 62 percent longer than nonexperts.”

21. The Strange Case of the Missing Joyce Scholar

“One or two who had been told Kidd was dead had also heard other, even wilder rumors.”

22. The Wounds of the Drone Warrior

“The sanitized language that public officials have used to describe drone strikes (‘pinpoint,’ ‘surgical’) has played into the perception that drones have turned warfare into a costless and bloodless exercise. Instead of risking more casualties, drones have fostered the alluring prospect that terrorism can be eliminated with the push of a button, a function performed by ‘joystick warriors’ engaged in an activity as carefree and impersonal as a video game. Critics of the drone program have sometimes reinforced this impression. Philip Alston, the former United Nations special rapporteur on extrajudicial executions, warned in 2010 that remotely piloted aircraft could create a ‘PlayStation mentality to killing’ that shears war of its moral gravity. But the more we have learned about the experiences of actual drone fighters, the more this idea has been revealed as a fantasy.”

23. First Canada Tried to Charm Trump. Now It’s Fighting Back.

“If Canada can’t rely on the United States, then what country can?”


Sunday 6.10.2018 New York Times Digest


1. The Kind of ‘Bad Boy’ We Need More Of

“The world has lost more than a talented chef, writer and media personality. We also lost a man who brilliantly and bravely wove political education into food culture in a way that provided the kind of historical context and compassion for the oppressed that Americans need now more than ever.”

2. Anthony Bourdain: The Man Who Ate the World

“There are two ways of traveling, which are really two ways of looking at the world. You can see another country as simply an experience to consume, a place to collect trophies. Or you can look at it as an environment to interact with, something that changes you through the encounter and that you inevitably change by visiting.”

3. In Newark, Police Cameras, and the Internet, Watch You

“Surveillance cameras are an inescapable fixture of the modern city. Law enforcement agencies have deployed vast networks to guard against terrorism and combat street crime. But in Newark, the police have taken an extraordinary step that few, if any, other departments in the country have pursued: They have opened up feeds from dozens of closed-circuit cameras to the public, asking viewers to assist the force by watching over the city and reporting anything suspicious.”

4. The Resource Curse of Appalachia

“An abundance of coal, oil and natural gas has been, at best, a mixed blessing for rural Americans.”

5. Selling the Protected Area Myth

“Designating protected areas is relatively easy (and with publicity bonus points for politicians), but hardly anyone seems to be bothering with the hard work of actually protecting them.”

6. The Magic of a Cardboard Box

“The box is an avatar of inspiration, no charging required. Cardboard is the ideal material for creativity, and has been since the big purchase, and the big box, became a fixture of American postwar homes.”

7. African-Americans and the Strains of the National Anthem

“African-American anthem dissidents are heirs to a venerable tradition of critical patriotism that dates to what W.E.B. Du Bois termed ‘double consciousness’ — the feeling of being part of the American polity yet not fully of it.”

8. Mark Zuckerberg, Elon Musk and the Feud Over Killer Robots

“Warnings about the risks of artificial intelligence have been around for years, of course. But few of those Cassandras have the tech cred of Mr. Musk. Few, if any, have spent as much time and money on it. And perhaps none has had as complicated a history with the technology.”

9. Kevin Costner, Tall in the Saddle Again

“The story of America just repeated itself from sea to shining sea. There were the Native Americans everywhere, and we ingratiated ourselves the best we could. And then, when there were enough of us, we killed them. And as America expanded, we kept repeating these promises that we’re just passing through, that we’ll share the land, and none of it was true.”

10. Fred Rogers’s Life in 5 Artifacts

“If you look at the old scripts, there are pages and pages of notes, just tons of notations, on every single episode. For something that seemed so simple, he put in an incredible amount of work.”

11. The Rich Are Planning to Leave This Wretched Planet

“Maybe it will be so nice they’ll want to stay there.”

12. ‘Saved by the Bell’ Now a Restaurant

“People’s interest in the show hasn’t died.”

13. Bill Cunningham’s Unseen Scrapbooks

“As a milliner, he catered to Jackie Kennedy and Marilyn Monroe, Jayne Mansfield and Josephine Baker.”

14. Take Acid. Not Too Much…

“Why does anyone take drugs? The simplest answer is that drugs are generally fun to take, until they aren’t. But psychedelics are different. They don’t drape you in marijuana’s gauzy haze or imbue you with cocaine’s wintry, italicized focus. They’re nothing like opioids, which balance the human body on a knife’s edge between pleasure and death. Psychedelics are to drugs what the Pyramids are to architecture — majestic, ancient and a little frightening. Pollan persuasively argues that our anxieties are misplaced when it comes to psychedelics, most of which are nonaddictive.”

15. A Battle for the ‘Soul of America’? It’s as Old as America, One Historian Notes

“Meacham commends a particular liberal disposition that once dominated our politics but whose influence has long since waned. It is a public philosophy akin to what Schlesinger described as the politics of ‘the vital center,’ devoted to egalitarian reform but disbelieving in human perfection, fierce in its advocacy but humble in the face of human folly. Above all, it is pragmatic, its idealism tempered not by timidity or cupidity or corporate fealty but by a respect for its own limits. This is also, of course, the view of James Madison, and it undergirds the Constitution. By its very nature, it is anti-Trump, whose narcissism is only the beginning of his antithesis to the American political tradition. Yet it is also at odds with the strident purism so evident today from many quarters that insists on turning politics into a kind of crusading hysteria.”

16. How Christians Destroyed the Ancient World

“While we lionize Christian culture for preserving works of learning, sponsoring exquisite art and adhering to an ethos of ‘love thy neighbor,’ the early church was in fact a master of anti-intellectualism, iconoclasm and mortal prejudice.”

17. Kicking the Geeks Where It Hurts

“What he’s really asking is that we remember that the tools we’ve invented to improve our lives are just that, tools, to be picked up and put down. We wield them.”

18. What Data Has Done to Capitalism

“In the market, the dominant mechanism for coordination and communication has long been price. It’s simple to understand, often too simple. It is one-dimensional. That’s why firms have long provided a more efficient way for people to coordinate, because they could better synthesize a rich stream of information and then act on it. Today, however, the explosion of computing power has enabled many more people to gather information and analyze it quickly, which has allowed the lingua franca of the market to become more sophisticated.”


Anthony Bourdain (1956–2018)