10.25.2009 New York Times Digest

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1. “Slow Down, Sign Off, Tune Out”

“It is an instantaneous, demanding, borderline addictive medium that has insinuated its way into hitherto private spaces. (Sixty-two percent of Americans … write and answer work e-mail on vacation.) It is abused by spammers, identity thieves, phishers and chronic forwarders and cc-ers. It begets large-scale disinhibition, in the form of flaming and the sharing of too much information. It is hugely prone to being mis­interpreted, and when correspondents have a difference of opinion, it usually makes matters worse. It creates a lot of busywork. It is responsible for the emoticon.”

2. “Man’s World at White House? No Harm, No Foul, Aides Say”

“The president … is an unabashed First Guy’s Guy. Since being elected, he has demonstrated an encyclopedic knowledge of college hoops on ESPN, indulged a craving for weekend golf, expressed a preference for adopting a ‘big rambunctious dog’ over a ‘girlie dog’ and hoisted beer in a peacemaking effort.”

3. “How High Will Real-Time Search Fly?”

“As major events unfold, Twitter, Facebook and other similar services are increasingly becoming the nation’s virtual water coolers. They spread information quickly, sometimes before the mass media do, and their ricocheting bursts of text and links become an instant record of Americans’ collective preoccupations.”

4. “On the Way to the N.F.L. Draft, a Year of Fulfillment in England”

“Worried that Rhodes scholars would be stuffy, Rolle knew by the time he landed in London that he would fit in. Neither he nor Saad drinks alcohol, so they have avoided the popular pub scene, opting instead for four-hour debates.”

5. “For Naismith, Basketball Was Only a Start”

“To this day, he remains the only coach in the university’s storied history in the sport with a losing career record. That might have been because in many of the games when he was supposed to be coaching, he also was working as the referee.”

6. “A Fan’s Signature Moment”

“The truth is that movie love is itself a form of collecting, and to live with the movies, to write and watch and read about them day after day, year after year, is a form of intense worship. The word fan is thought to come from the word fanatic, which derives from the Latin word fanaticus, ‘of a temple.’ Hollywood was built on such adoration, with ornate movie palaces that were shrines, and stars whose ethereal beauty made them virtual gods and goddesses.”

7. “Slaughterhouse Live”

“D.I.Y. butchering also allows self-conscious carnivores — who in the past were candidates for vegetarianism — to justify their flesh-laden dinners. By learning to slaughter and butcher, they say, they can honor their pigs and eat them, too. (Some vegans, however, are not amused.)”

8. “Now Starring at the Movies: Famous Dead Women”

“Since 2000, six of the best actress awards were for biographical performances, most of dead women.”

9. “Stop Your Search Engines”

“Stutzman says this mass-erosion of our self-control was inevitable, as the instrument of our productivity merged with that of our distraction: since computers have expanded from mere business tools to full-service entertainment centers.”

10. “Few Releases”

“Limited choice is evidently part of the appeal.”

11. “The Audacity of Precious

“Precious is a stand-in for anyone — black, white, male, female — who has ever been devalued or underestimated.”

One response to “10.25.2009 New York Times Digest

  1. I’d missed the article on Myron Rolle, so thanks for calling my attention to it. I’m an alum of Florida State and that story is heartening.

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