Sunday 01.13.2013 New York Times Digest


1. Someone’s Knocking at My Door

“To be honest I wouldn’t have been surprised if he hadn’t knocked but beat at the door, or simply kicked the door in, but now that I hear the knocking, it’s clear there is no difference between his knocking and beating or kicking the door in, I mean really no difference, the point being that I am dead certain it is him, who else; he of whom I knew, and have always known would come.”

2. I’m Losing Money. So Why Do I Feel So Good?

“The book offers a history of digital technology in casino gambling and shows how it grabs hold of players in ways never before available to equipment makers.”

3. Funds Aren’t Wielding Much Power Over Executive Pay

“The rise of institutional ownership of the stock market — in particular, the increasing popularity of mutual funds — hasn’t kept management pay in check.”

4. Darwin Was Wrong About Dating

“Something funny happens when social scientists claim that a behavior is rooted in our evolutionary past.”

5. Is Delhi So Different From Steubenville?

“When I treat a rape victim, I always advise her not to go to the police. Because if she does, the police might just rape her again.”

6. Can’t Save? Here’s Why

“For all the attention we pay to overspending, we struggle with our personal finances not because we spend too much money on small luxuries but because salaries have stagnated at the same time as the costs of nonluxuries have gone up.”

7. The Thinking Person’s Entertainment

“Narrative shows have become the entertainment of choice. And that’s because stories, not algorithms, give order to our hectic world.”

8. A Pedophile in Plain Sight

“We knew something was going on. We joked with one another about the showers and the car rides.”

9. Our Economic Pickle

“Some people think it’s a law that when productivity goes up, everybody benefits. There is no economic law that says technological progress has to benefit everybody or even most people. It’s possible that productivity can go up and the economic pie gets bigger, but the majority of people don’t share in that gain.”

10. Hypochondria: An Inside Look

“What I am is an alarmist, which is in the same ballpark as the hypochondriac or, should I say, the same emergency room. Still there is a fundamental difference. I don’t experience imaginary maladies — my maladies are real.”

11. Designing for Calm

“There’s an effective solution that has largely been overlooked: designing hospital spaces that can reduce human aggression — to calm emotionally troubled patients through architecture.”

12. Descending Into a State of Nature

“With its richly metaphorical plot and tight dramatic structure — leaving the trappings of Western civilization behind, a cultured man embarks on a journey into a strange territory, where he is forced to confront the savagery (“the horror, the horror”) that survives beneath the surface of polite human behavior — the tale has served as a template for countless works of art.”

13. The End of Courtship?

“I’ve seen men put more effort into finding a movie to watch on Netflix Instant than composing a coherent message to ask a woman out.”

14. In Your Face(book)

“The only thing the Facebook page did not address was that little pang in my heart, which is par for so many Facebook events: Here’s Our Great Wedding/Barbecue/Trip to the City in Which You Live. Too bad you couldn’t be there. Oh, right, you weren’t asked.”

15. Tribal Lessons

“Through the millenniums, different tribal groups have in effect conducted a series of experiments on how to solve essential human problems. What have they discovered and what might we learn from them?”

16. Styron Visible

“Tacked near his desk was a well-known quotation from Flaubert: ‘Be regular and orderly in your life, like a bourgeois, so that you may be violent and original in your work.’ To this creed Styron was ever true, after a fashion. During summers at Martha’s Vineyard, each day unfurled pretty much like the next: walk to the post office, pick up The Times at Leslie’s, put up with Lillian Hellman — and write, of course, all day — then have dinner, say, with the Kennedys in Hyannis Port.”

17. Status Updates

“In the small act of pushing a button to ‘like’ or to ‘follow,’ we are saying these are voices we still need. We are saying ‘keep.’”

18. Should We Tax People for Being Annoying?

“Pigou developed the idea of externalities: the things we do that affect others and that the market is unable to price. A negative externality is like the national equivalent of what happens when you go to dinner with three friends and, knowing that you’ll pay only a fourth of the bill, decide to order an expensive entree. Pigou argued that there are so many damaging things that we do — play music too loudly, drive aggressively — and that we’d probably do less if we had to pay for them.”

19. Who Made That Hershey Bar?

“More sustaining than meat.”

20. Here Is What Happens When You Cast Lindsay Lohan in Your Movie

“As a boy, his mother showed him what hell felt like by shoving a needle into his thumb. His father lobbied to prevent The Last Temptation of Christ, a film his son wrote, from playing in their hometown, Grand Rapids, Mich. After his father died, Schrader found that he owned VHS tapes of all of his films, but none of them had been opened. In his 20s, Schrader slept with a gun under his pillow because he could fall asleep only if he knew there was a way out. Now he never travels without thousands of dollars in the currency of half a dozen countries.”



Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s