3.06.2011 New York Times Digest

1. “‘What I Really Want Is Someone Rolling Around in the Text’”

“The golden age of marginalia lasted from roughly 1700 to 1820. The practice, back then, was surprisingly social – people would mark up books for one another as gifts, or give pointedly annotated novels to potential lovers. … Samuel Taylor Coleridge, the undisputed all-time champion of marginalia, flourished at the tail end of this period, and his friends were always begging him to mark up their books.”

2. “Talk Doesn’t Pay, So Psychiatry Turns to Drug Therapy”

“It’s like 2001: A Space Odyssey, where you had Hal the supercomputer juxtaposed with the ape with the bone. I feel like I’m the ape with the bone now.”

3. “Cheap, Ultrafast Broadband? Hong Kong Has It”

“Why doesn’t Verizon offer gigabit service? Because it doesn’t have to.”

4. “Take Back the Trash”

“For millennia human beings have been able to determine for themselves whether or not their food has spoiled. Only in recent decades have we ceded control of our refrigerators and pantries to nameless bureaucrats and faceless corporate automatons who are surely motivated as much by fear of lawsuits or selling us more stuff as they are by whether my dinner tastes good.”

5. “Google Schools Its Algorithm”

“Computers are only as smart as their algorithms – man-made software recipes for calculation, the basic building blocks of computerized thought.”

6. “Goodbye, DVD. Hello, Future.”

“Watching movies nowadays is all about the delivery.”

7. “Why Do Writers Abandon Novels?”

“Often when I sat down to work, I would feel a cold hand take hold of something inside my belly and refuse to let go. It was the Hand of Dread. I ought to have heeded its grasp.”

8. “The Billionaire Who Is Planning His 125th Birthday”

“When he talks about his childhood, his lack of formal education is one of two themes he brings up again and again, usually to cast it as an inadvertent gift. He says that because he felt the need to compensate for it, he read prodigiously and, he stresses, without the narrowness of focus he notices in many conventionally learned people. Biographies of Andrew Carnegie, Socratic dialogues, Shakespearean sonnets, The Prince — he devoured it all over time. He also studied something called brain acceleration, which he says taught him to think about three things at once. ‘I’ll match wits with anybody,’ he says. ‘I don’t care if they have the top degree in the world.’ He notes that everyone on his research campus’s board is a Ph.D. or an M.D. But he, the high-school dropout, presides over the meetings.”

One response to “3.06.2011 New York Times Digest

  1. Nice mix on this one! I like the blurb on the billionaire HS drop-out….. ;)

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