10.09.2011 New York Times Digest


1. “The Power of Taking the Big Chance”

“One day in the late 1990s, Mr. Jobs and I were walking near his home in Palo Alto. Internet stocks were getting bubbly at the time, and Mr. Jobs spoke of the proliferation of start-ups, with so many young entrepreneurs focused on an ‘exit strategy,’ selling their companies for a quick and hefty profit. ‘It’s such a small ambition and sad really,’ Mr. Jobs said. ‘They should want to build something, something that lasts.’

2. “Secret U.S. Memo Made Legal Case to Kill a Citizen” & “The Secrets of Government Killing”

“The secret document provided the justification for acting despite an executive order banning assassinations, a federal law against murder, protections in the Bill of Rights and various strictures of the international laws of war.”

3. “Inflating the Software Report Card”

“School officials, confronted with a morass of complicated and sometimes conflicting research, often buy products based on personal impressions, marketing hype or faith in technology for its own sake.”

4. “Clamping Down on Rapid Trades in Stock Market”

“There is something unholy about them.”

5. “Al Davis, the Controversial and Combative Raiders Owner, Dies at 82” & “Davis Lived Up to the Label of Maverick Till His Death” & “A Genius in Silver and Black”

“Just win, baby!”

6. “Even in a Locker Room Apart, an Undeniable Leap of Progress”

“The most exceptional thing about Brianna Amat, who has become known as the Kicking Queen, is not her twin accomplishments as homecoming queen and place-kicker. It is that she feels accepted as a full member of the high school football team in Pinckney, Mich.”

7. “Inside Knowledge for All You Outsiders”

“There has always been a special appeal in narratives, whether in books, movies or television series, that claim to show us something about how the world works. The police procedural, the backstage drama and the heist picture, as well as the day-by-day campaign chronicle, are durable forms that cater to this appetite for exclusive knowledge, inviting the reader or viewer to learn something about how the professionals do it and to feel, vicariously, like one of them. It is not that you learn how to rob a bank or crack a case or swing a vote, but you gain access to a half-secret language and a body of artisanal lore that allows you to imagine that in the right circumstances you might be able to.”

8. “Hand-Drawn Homage to Classic Films”

“The movie poster is dead. Long live the movie poster.”

9. “Within Beats a Heart of Pure Melodrama”

“Here are a few examples of what might be called creative romantic problem solving from the annals of extreme storytelling.”

10. “Grilled Chicken, That Temperamental Star”

“Few outside the business know their names. But given the more than $4 billion in television air time bought by restaurant chains and food conglomerates each year, these directors arguably have some of the widest exposure of any commercial artists in the country. In a typical week, tens of millions of viewers see their work.”

11. “A Master’s Skill, or Just Luck?”

“Does earning top-level returns over, say, 20 or 25 years show that a manager is among the most skilled people in the field?”

12. “The Depression: If Only Things Were That Good”

“Yes, innovations like the iPad and Twitter have altered daily life. And, yes, companies have figured out how to produce just as many goods and services with fewer workers. But the country has not developed any major new industries that employ large and growing numbers of workers.”

13. “Redefining the Meaning of No. 1”

“Choosing metrics to measure our society is not a value-free process.”

14. “The Left Declares Its Independence”

“Occupy Wall Street emanates from a culture — strictly speaking, a counterculture — that is diametrically opposed to Tea Party discipline.”

15. “Every Movement Needs a Logo”

“What is a protest movement without a logo?”

16. “Why German Shepherds Have Had Their Day”

“There is good news about this bad news, if you are a lover of the breed, because less visibility, especially in inspiring roles as public servants, is likely to mean less demand for the dogs. That means less reason to produce too many puppies, which is the best thing that can happen to any purebred dogs.”

17. “Coming Soon: The Drone Arms Race”

“Eventually, the United States will face a military adversary or terrorist group armed with drones.”

18. “My Muse Was an Apple Computer”

“Steve Jobs’s perfectionism made perfect sense to people like me: Of course, he sweated every detail; of course he drove others mad. He was a J. D. Salinger who, weirdly, knew computing.”

19. “Where Have You Gone, Joe DiMaggio?”

“The melancholy over Steve Jobs’s passing is not just about the loss of the inventor of so many products we enjoy. It is also about the loss of someone who personified so many of the leadership traits we know are missing from our national politics.”

20. “Up From Ugliness”

“When we think about what Jobs meant to turn-of-the-millennium America, this is the place to start: not just with the technical wizardry behind Macs and iPhones and iPads, but with the Apple founder’s eye for grace and style, and his recognition of the deep connection between beauty and civilization.”

21. “Is Violence History?”

“The central thesis of Better Angels is that our era is less violent, less cruel and more peaceful than any previous period of human existence. The decline in violence holds for violence in the family, in neighborhoods, between tribes and between states. People living now are less likely to meet a violent death, or to suffer from violence or cruelty at the hands of others, than people living in any previous century.”

22. “Inside Bruce Jay Friedman’s Pulp Arcadia”

“Some writers seek immortality and end up scarred and bitter. Friedman sought regular paychecks and occasional furtive embraces and ended up with a table at Elaine’s.”

23. “Will the E-Book Kill the Footnote?”

“The e-book hasn’t killed the book; instead, it’s killing the ‘page.’”

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