9.26.2010 New York Times Digest

1. “Ditch Your Laptop, Dump Your Boyfriend”

“You’ll get more out of reading Derrida on Plato if you read Plato first.”

2. “In Arabian Desert, a Sustainable City Rises”

“It’s only as people arrive at their destination that they will become aware of the degree to which everything has been engineered for high-function, low-consumption performance.”

3. “Tribute to a Hero in Twilight”

“He knocked it out of the park on his very first swing, then retired on the spot.”

4. “When Life Gets in the Way of Art”

“The news raised much more difficult and fundamental questions — ones central to photography and documentary work but to the history of art and popular culture as well — about artistic intent, about the assumptions and expectations of the viewing public and about the relationship between artists and their work.”

5. “Baseball Continued: Between Rebirth and Calamity”

“If we accepted our original premise that baseball is a way to understand American history, then the story continues.”

6. “Op-Ed at Forty”

“It was to be a venue for writers with no institutional affiliation with the paper, people from all walks of life whose views and perspectives would often be at odds with the opinions expressed on the editorial page across the way. (Hence, Op-Ed – Opposite Editorial.)”

7. “The Defenders of Free Software”

“Companies like Google, TiVo and Sony often opt to piggyback on the work of others rather than going through the ordeal of building all of the software for their products from scratch.”

8. “Fight ‘The Power'”

“The message of The Power and The Secret might best be understood as an advanced meme — a sort of intellectual virus — whose structure has evolved throughout history to optimally exploit a suite of weaknesses in the design of the human mind.”

9. “The Beauty Cultist”

“He was a pagan, and a Dionysian pagan…. He died in love and beauty, under the tender smile of those gods whom all his life he passionately served and worshipped. And I think Christ cannot but love such a man.”

10. “On the Q.T.”

What’s your favorite airport pastime? Spotting signs of feigned or ambivalent joy among reuniting couples at Arrivals.”

11. “Books of Revelation”

“In each room or cottage there’s an unassuming pile, stack or row of journals, on a rough-hewn shelf or inside a drawer: a crazy-quilt jumble of leatherbound, floral-upholstered and spiral-bound notebooks. And to open the covers and turn the pages is to hear in your head an incantation written across decades in different hands, voices rising off the page in a dear-diary chorus of anonymous confessions.”

12. “Kafka’s Last Trial”

“The situation has repeatedly been called Kafkaesque.”

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