11.7.2010 New York Times Digest

1. “Better All the Time”

“When interviewed while he was researching this book, Kelly, who describes himself as a devout Christian, declared that technology ‘is actually a divine phenomenon that is a reflection of God.’ And the last chapter of What Technology Wants is steeped in this bizarre neo-mystical progressivism.”

2. “For Gays, New Songs of Survival”

“The top of the pop music charts has become a refuge of unambiguous support for gay rights.”

3. “The Facebook Skeletons Come Out”

“With the ubiquity of technology and social networking Web sites like Facebook that allow — and compel — young people to document themselves drinking, wearing little clothing or putting themselves in otherwise compromised positions, it was a given that a generation of politicians would someday find themselves confronted with digital evidence of their more immodest and imprudent moments. But who knew it would happen this quickly?”

4. “Tag-Along Marketing”

“With social networking, hundreds of millions of people are willing to provide access to that data in exchange for a service they find useful, even while many express concerns about their privacy.”

5. “John Boehner and the Politics of Crying”

“Lincoln and Douglas both cried on the stump.”

6. “Working (and Living) the Company Way”

“Mr. Green sets out two very different models of company towns. One is the utopian ideal, ‘backed by companies that promise to share their bounty with workers and their families,’ and characterized by ample benefits for workers. At the other extreme is what Mr. Green calls ‘exploitationville,’ a company-created town that operates on the logic that ‘business exists to make a profit, not to coddle employees.'”

7. “Oscar Catches Up With Uncle Eli”

“Photography is one of Mr. Wallach’s longstanding hobbies; collecting clocks is another.”

8. “Creating Stars and Enemies”

“The whole enterprise, which includes a 100-page book of photographs and production notes, represents an act of high-level diplomacy that suggests Mr. Scorsese is the Otto von Bismarck of the movie world.”

9. “Prize Descriptions”

“Every new symbolic order requires a taxonomist to make sense of it.”

10. “Application Inflation: When Is Enough Enough?”

“Admissions officers are chasing not so much a more perfect student as a more perfect class. In a given year, this elusive ideal might require more violinists, goalies, aspiring engineers or students who can pay the full cost of attendance. Colleges everywhere want more minority students, more out-of-state students and more students from overseas. The pursuit reveals the duality of the modern college. It’s a place that serves the public interest, and a business with a bottom line.”

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