7.18.2010 New York Times Digest

1. “Whatever Happened to Mystery?”

“The world … no longer has any tolerance for — let alone fascination with — people who aren’t willing to publicize themselves.”

2. “As Facebook Users Die, Ghosts Reach Out”

“Death, of course, is unavoidable, and so Facebook must find a way to integrate it into the social experience online.”

3. “The True Calling That Wasn’t”

“Education may well lead to internships, first jobs and, soon, experience and decent money in careers that seem unstoppable. Except for one thing: The work doesn’t feel like a true calling.”

4. “Creating Sabbath Peace Amid the Noise”

“Ms. Winner herself stopped shopping on Sunday a long time ago, and recently began keeping a sort of electronic Sabbath as well — she tries to stay off e-mail and to keep her cellphone turned off. She doesn’t eat out on Sunday, either, because she doesn’t want to benefit from what she considers the exploitation of the labor of the underpaid immigrants who staff the local restaurants.”

5. “Back to Work”

Mad Men is a period piece that reverses the template. Historical dramas like The Tudors or John Adams sift through a remote, archaic culture to highlight the most familiar and contemporary concerns of historical characters. Mad Men wallows in the comfort of a recent and well-known past by way of characters who are always a little opaque and unknowable.”

6. “The Boss Unbound”

“Recent research on status and power suggests that brashness, entitlement and ego are essential components for any competent leader.”

7. “Born to Check Mail”

“We are wired by nature … to pay attention to new stimuli, thereby helping us to respond quickly to predators or to nab a potential meal.”

8. “Only Disconnect”

“In my quest for calm, I have a surprising ally. As far as I’m concerned, American Telephone & Telegraph has done more for the art of reading and introspection than all the Kindles and Nooks ever invented. Because up in the exalted summer greenery of the mid-Hudson Valley, completing an AT&T call is like driving a Trabant from New York to Los Angeles: technically feasible but not really going to happen.”

9. “When Funny Goes Viral”

“Wouldn’t it be funny and weird to create an event about things on the Internet that are funny and weird?”

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