6.26.2011 New York Times Digest

1. “Got Twitter? You’ve Been Scored”

“Imagine a world in which we are assigned a number that indicates how influential we are. This number would help determine whether you receive a job, a hotel-room upgrade or free samples at the supermarket. If your influence score is low, you don’t get the promotion, the suite or the complimentary cookies. This is not science fiction. It’s happening to millions of social network users.”

2. “Atop TV Sets, a Power Drain That Runs Nonstop”

“The boxes consumed $3 billion in electricity per year in the United States — and that 66 percent of that power is wasted when no one is watching and shows are not being recorded. That is more power than the state of Maryland uses over 12 months.”

3. “The Cloud That Ate Your Music”

“For the moment, the much-ballyhooed cloud music players leave me unimpressed. Each has different mechanisms, features, prices and limitations, including one major one: They all depend on first uploading the collection into the cloud.”

4. “Catch That Reference? There’ll Be a Quiz”

“One of the underacknowledged delights of watching is the fun of knowing stuff, or of discovering new stuff that you might want to know.”

5. “Creating an Adolescence for the Ages”

“To a large degree screen teenagers have always embodied the romance of the outsider.”

6. “A Lord of Fright Reclaims His Dark Domain”

“When asked to reflect on his career, the major regret he cites is a story from his teenage years about not meeting up with a girl.”

7. “John Waters, the Artful Dodger”

“That’s what art is: a magic trick.”

8. “Pack a Picnic for Your Next Flight”

“Eric Ripert, the executive chef and an owner of Le Bernardin in New York, avoids airline food (‘disgusting,’ he said in a thick French accent) altogether by eating before he gets to the airport.”

9. “Growing Up With Two Icons”

“‘There is no one answer’ was his answer. It was, you make the road by walking.”

10. “Even for Cashiers, College Pays Off”

“In the end, their case against college is an elitist one — for me and not for thee. And that’s rarely good advice.”

11. “Shyness: Evolutionary Tactic?”

“Shyness and introversion — or more precisely, the careful, sensitive temperament from which both often spring — are not just normal. They are valuable. And they may be essential to the survival of our species.”

12. “Oil Oozes Through Your Life”

“Since petroleum replaced whale oil as a main fuel source more than a century ago, chemical companies and refineries have found a startling range of uses for it, from asphalt to vanilla flavoring in ice cream to pills from the drugstore. It has oozed into everyday life, so reducing dependency is a more complicated proposition than some might think.”

13. “Job Jugglers, on the Tightrope”

“Young college graduates working multiple jobs is a natural consequence of a bad labor market and having, on average, $20,000 worth of student loans to pay off.”

14. “The Trouble With Common Sense”

“His primary aim is to debunk ‘methodological individualism,’ the notion that ‘until one has succeeded in explaining some social phenomenon — the popularity of the Mona Lisa or the relation between interest rates and economic growth — exclusively in terms of the thoughts, actions and intentions of individual people, one has not fully succeeded in explaining it at all.'”

15. “What Is Distant Reading?”

“He advocates what he terms ‘distant reading’: understanding literature not by studying particular texts, but by aggregating and analyzing massive amounts of data.”

16. “Why Nerds Succeed”

“Many of the traits that correlate with ‘outsider’ status among high school students — originality, self-awareness, courage, resilience, integrity and passion — reveal themselves as assets later in life.”

17. “The Rules: Version Française”

“Civilization is seduction. What separates man from the animals is seduction.”

18. “For Derek Jeter, on His 37th Birthday”

“Even the game’s greatest players, though, cannot defy biology. However long they play, their best seasons occur when they are still strapping young men in all their fast-twitch glory.”

19. “‘An Accidental, Experimental Masterpiece’”

“For The World Almanac, there is no information crisis: it’s all here. The book is a product of the late 19th century, and it radiates a 19th-century confidence, that old fiction of “everything.” This is its comfort, for us, in 2011. Reading the almanac reminded me of the power of limits. It made me think about the value of not knowing, of ignorance, of lack of information — the dark matter of knowledge. These blank spaces, I realized, are just as important as the positive presence of information itself; they even define, in many ways, what that information can be.”

One response to “6.26.2011 New York Times Digest

  1. Pingback: Link Banana » Sitters, Rovers, and Drugs


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