Sunday 9.25.2016 New York Times Digest

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1. Phone Makers Could Cut Off Drivers. So Why Don’t They?

“Does Apple — or any cellphone maker or wireless company — have a responsibility to prevent devices from being used by drivers in illegal and dangerous ways?”

2. Clinton-Trump Debate Expected to Be Rare Draw in a Polarized Age

“This is Americans gathering around the electronic hearth.”

3. Where Ice Once Crushed Ships, Open Water Beckons

“Because of global warming this year, the ice has melted so much that actually we had to look for ice rather than try to avoid it.”

4. Why Industrial Farms Are Good for the Environment

“Improvements in agricultural technologies and production practices have significantly lowered the use of energy and water, and greenhouse-gas emissions of food production per unit of output over time. United States crop production now is twice what it was in 1970.”

5. Longing for the Male Gaze

“I was never hit on or sexually harassed by my professors in college, or later, by my co-workers or superiors. I have not felt as if my male teachers, friends or colleagues thought less of me because of my gender. I’ve never been aggressively ‘hit on’ in a bar, despite the fact that I have frequented them alone throughout the years. In fact, I’ve rarely been approached in a bar at all.”

6. Am I Introverted, or Just Rude?

“Society has a rich history of people seizing on social evolution as an excuse for bad manners. From the Romantic poets to the transcendentalists to the Summer of Love hippies, many have rejected a supposed facade of good behavior in favor of being true to their inner nature. Good manners are mere mannerisms, the argument goes, which serve only to put barriers in the way of deeper connections.”

7. The Political Magic of C.S. Lewis

“There are many politically prominent Christians today who should think and act more like Lewis.”

8. Aging and My Beauty Dilemma

“For women in certain professional or social circles, the bar of normal keeps going up.”

9. Richard Ford Reviews Bruce Springsteen’s Memoir

“His work’s entirety — the songs, the music, the guitar, the voice, the persona, the gyrations, the recitativos, the whole artifice of ‘the act,’ or what Springsteen calls the ‘sum of all my parts’ — is so dense, involved and authentic-seeming as to all but defy what we think we know about how regular human beings make things at ground level. Having been present at many of his performances, I can attest that you’re often close to being overwhelmed by what you’re hearing and seeing. It’s an experience that draws you toward itself — to taste the best and richest stuff, but also naturally enough to find things out, such as if you’re being deceived.”

10. Why Do People Who Need Help From the Government Hate It So Much?

“What unites her subjects is the powerful feeling that others are ‘cutting in line’ and that the federal government is supporting people on the dole — ‘taking money from the workers and giving it to the idle.’ Income is flowing up, but the anger points down. The people who feel this are white. The usurpers they picture are blacks and immigrants.”

11. Remainders of the Day

“Not only would no one buy my book, but libraries in various countries were disposing of them because people wouldn’t take them for free.”

12. What We See When We Look at Travel Photography

“The tourist caricature is in a funny position. The ‘point’ of his or her vacation is not something discrete, like Lévi-Strauss’s registration of a new marriage rule, but simply the accumulation of rarefied experience for its own sake, which means that every single moment must be optimally memorable — that is, photographable. Unlike the tourist, the traveler accepts that the point isn’t the intensity of the peak experiences but the way the journey itself sacralizes any given moment as a metonym for the whole. Feel free to photograph the gas station.”

13. Effortless Hair? It’s Complicated

“The stylish are not risk-takers: They have a deep and unfailing sense of what works, what looks good on them, what feels good, what they like. They don’t waste time trying to turn lead into gold. Some people talk about style as ‘owning’ something, usually ‘it.’ But what seems more important than ‘owning’ one’s body or aesthetic or look is inhabiting it. The stylish do not control their bodies from above like a ghost in a machine; they live in them. They may appear fierce or daring or avant-garde, but they are actually quite comfortable. They are nesters.”

14. Ikea Forever

“The reason Ikea furniture is so popular, one could argue, is that, with its combination of astonishingly low prices and streamlined Scandinavian design, it addresses the needs of almost everyone.”

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