Sunday 5.4.2014 New York Times Digest

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1. Solo in Paris

“In a city that has been perfecting beauty since the reign of Napoleon III, there are innumerable sensual details — patterns, textures, colors, sounds — that can be diluted, even missed, when chattering with someone or collaborating on an itinerary. Alone one becomes acutely aware of the hollow clack of pétanque balls in a park; the patina of Maillol’s bronze ‘Baigneuse se Coiffant’ that makes her look wet even on a cloudless day in the Tuileries; how each of the empty wine bottles beside sidewalk recycling bins is the embodiment of someone’s good time. There is a Paris that deeply rewards the solo traveler.”

2. Fight Against Sex Assaults Holds Colleges to Account

“While the world has been changing, higher education has done a poor job of understanding the shifts and responding to them.”

3. When Hitting ‘Find My iPhone’ Takes You to a Thief’s Doorstep

“With smartphone theft rampant, apps like Find My iPhone offer a new option for those desperate to recover their devices, allowing victims like Ms. Maguire to act when the police will not. But the emergence of this kind of do-it-yourself justice — an unintended result of the proliferation of GPS tracking apps — has stirred worries among law enforcement officials that people are putting themselves in danger, taking disproportionate risks for the sake of an easily replaced item.”

4. Revenge, My Lovely

“Revenge is more than a shortsighted and pointless instinct; it is an example of man’s sublime capacity for abstract thought.”

5. A Vision of the Future From Those Likely to Invent It

“Almost two-thirds of Americans think technological change will lead to a better future.”

6. Beyond the Damaged Brain

“In the quest for scientific understanding, we end up magnifying patients’ deficits until deficits are all we see. The actual person fades away.”

7. English Class With Mr. Roth

“Looking back, I’ve come to understand that he was the best professor I ever had, not only because of his genius, but also because of his distance. We were a group of girls eager to please, to guess at what he wanted us to say, and to say that for him. We all wanted to hear about him, or have him tell us how to write, but that was something he steadfastly denied us. By withholding his own personality, thoughts and opinions, he forced us back on our own personalities, thoughts and opinions. He made us discover what we wanted to write about, and to write about it the way we wanted to.”

8. College, the Great Unequalizer

“The American way of college rewards those who come not just academically but socially prepared, while treating working-class students more cruelly, and often leaving them adrift.”

9. Life Is Streaming Past You

“While media technology is now catching up to Americans’ penchant for overdoing it and finding plenty of willing indulgers, there are also those like me who recoil from the abundance of binge culture.”

10. Why Is It So Hard to Capture the Writer’s Life on Film?

“Because no one wants to watch somebody typing, Hollywood often makes movies about writers who stop writing.”

11. Rent Too High? Move to Singapore

“Many of the things that we cherish most about urban living are the very things that make housing more expensive.”

12. Inequality Has Been Going On Forever … but That Doesn’t Mean It’s Inevitable

“Inequality, then, is less an inevitability than a choice. Just as societies have conquered many of the challenges of the natural world — making childbirth safe for women or beating back common illnesses that once were frequent killers — we can alter the course of inequality, too.”

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