Sunday 07.07.2013 New York Times Digest


1. Trip to Camp to Break a Tech Addiction

“By removing the things that supposedly ‘connect’ us in this wireless, oversharing, humble-bragging age, the founders of Digital Detox hoped to build real connections that run deeper than following one another on Twitter or ‘liking’ someone’s photo on Instagram. Without the distractions of the Web, social media, television and breaking news, campers … were invited to share with one another and learn about ourselves.”

2. In Secret, Court Vastly Broadens Powers of N.S.A.

“The FISA judges have ruled that the N.S.A.’s collection and examination of Americans’ communications data to track possible terrorists does not run afoul of the Fourth Amendment.”

3. PETA Finds Itself on Receiving End of Others’ Anger

“PETA, considered by many to be the highest-profile animal rights group in the country, kills an average of about 2,000 dogs and cats each year at its animal shelter here.”

4. Want Your Data Back? Pay Me

“I can get filthy rich from the government’s endless appetite for data.”

5. Java Jive, 2013

“Be sure to take a punch-card; buy 10 drinks and, upon purchasing your 11th, we will refrain from hatefully scowling at you.”

6. Has ‘Caucasian’ Lost Its Meaning?

“As a racial classification, the term Caucasian has many flaws, dating as it does from a time when the study of race was based on skull measurements and travel diaries. It has long been entirely unmoored from its geographical reference point, the Caucasus region. Its equivalents from that era are obsolete – nobody refers to Asians as ‘Mongolian’ or blacks as ‘Negroid.’”

7. The Morality of Meditation

“Gaining competitive advantage on exams and increasing creativity in business weren’t of the utmost concern to Buddha and other early meditation teachers.”

8. The Joy of Old Age. (No Kidding.)

“I often feel that life is about to begin, only to realize it is almost over.”

9. Let’s Put on a Show … Someday

“If there is a future, people are going to say: ‘Why weren’t they upset? What were they smiling about?’”

10. Down and Out Cold in the ’30s

“At one point late in the film, as Bronson lies back on the bed in his dingy hotel room, thinking things over as he watches the blades of a ceiling fan rotate, Mr. Hill reconstructs a famous shot from Jean-Pierre Melville’s 1967 Samouraï, in which Alain Delon played another cool, enigmatic loner in a violent profession.”

11. The Work Behind Child’s Play

“Once regarded as a holding area where children could be controlled and contained, by the 1960s the playground was seen as a zone for creative exploration and cognitive development.”

12. Deadlines

“Writers are recording their own deaths as they happen.”

13. Badfellas

“Adolf Hitler and Taylor Swift are both in this book, with Swift getting the more rigorous treatment.”

14. Was It Something I Said?

“Jokes are streamlined forms of attack.”

15. Pecking Order

“The book consists of three parts. The first deals mainly with the supposed myth of human progress, the second with the disposition of humans to mythologize themselves and the world through fictions; the third proposes an alternative of pure contemplation that just lets the world be. That is the meaning of the title: we are invited to become more like other animals, freed of the perpetual need for commentary, understanding and transcendence.”

16. Clunkers

“It’s never fully clear what motivates one human being to chuck a book at another.”

17. The Half-Trillion-Dollar Depression

“All together, our cumulative mental-health issues – depression, schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, among others – are costing the U.S. economy about a half-trillion dollars. That’s more than the government spent on all of Medicare during the last fiscal year.”



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