3.27.2011 New York Times Digest

1. “Elizabeth Taylor: Famous, but on Her Own Terms”

“She never seemed imprisoned by her own celebrity.”

2. “A Girl’s Nude Photo, and Altered Lives”

“You can’t expect teenagers not to do something they see happening all around them.”

3. “The Great Language Land Grab”

“‘There’s a land grab going on’ in the information economy, as ‘companies are trying to snatch up pieces of our cultural commons.'”

4. “Spoiled by the All-in-One Gadget”

“Everything’s amazing and no one is happy.”

5. “The World According to Tim Ferriss”

“He holds out the promise that if you follow a simple set of dictates, it is possible to ‘smash fear,’ ‘learn anything’ and ‘have it all.’ In geek speak, he’s a ‘life hacker.'”

6. “36 Hours in Seattle”

“The tarry pitch of the timber port never disappeared; it just got plastered over with grunge flannel, tech money, yuppie coffee, Pacific Rim flavors, and more recently the backyard chickens and chard of urban pioneers.”

7. “Why Experts Get the Future Wrong”

“Isaiah Berlin once quoted the Greek poet Archilochus to distinguish between two types of thinkers: ‘The fox knows many things, but the hedgehog knows one big thing.’ Berlin admired both ways of thinking, but Tetlock borrowed the metaphor to account for why some experts fared better. The least accurate forecasters, he found, were hedgehogs: ‘thinkers who “know one big thing,” aggressively extend the explanatory reach of that one big thing into new domains’ and ‘display bristly impatience with those who “do not get it,”‘ he wrote. Better experts ‘look like foxes: thinkers who know many small things,’ ‘are skeptical of grand schemes’ and are ‘diffident about their own forecasting prowess.'”

8. “A Better Way to Measure Twitter Influence”

“Counting followers is a seriously flawed way to measure a person’s impact on Twitter.”

9. “David Stern vs. Roger Goodell”

“Stern has already presided over five lockouts during his tenure — two referee lockouts and three player lockouts — and he has won convincingly each time.”

10. “A Teachable Moment for a Stepson and His Mom”

“To me, Green Day’s music feels like giving someone the finger with a beautifully manicured hand.”

11. “Sex and the Souk”

“If you break the power over sex, you can start undermining and questioning the religious and political powers. You cannot do it the other way around.”

12. “The Accidental Activist”

“I once said to Charles Bukowski, ‘You’re so irreverent toward your public, why do you even value sharing stuff? Why do you even write? Is it just that you get off at being so great at it?’ He said, ‘No, it was not that I was so great. It was that the rest was so bad. Somebody had to do it decently.’”

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