Sunday 3.12.2017 New York Times Digest

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1. Resist the Internet

“Used within reasonable limits, of course, these devices also offer us new graces. But we are not using them within reasonable limits. They are the masters; we are not.”

2. Meet Diego, the Centenarian Whose Sex Drive Saved His Species

“He’ll keep reproducing until death.”

3. No Health Insurance Is Hard. No Phone? Unthinkable.

“A cellphone is a lifeline.”

4. Chasing Big Sports Goals, Rutgers Stumbles Into a Vat of Red Ink

“Rutgers is a fine school, but David Hughes, an anthropology professor and the president of the faculty union, noted that 30 percent of the curriculum is taught by contract teachers, many of them paid like piecework seamstresses. And Rutgers’s tuition costs rank high nationally.”

5. As Dubai’s Skyline Adds a Trophy, the Architect Calls It Stolen

“Monarchy states play the game by their own rules.”

6. Want to Fix Schools? Go to the Principal’s Office

“Teaching quality matters tremendously. So do empowered principals, held accountable for their schools’ performance.”

7. Still Fighting, and Dying, in the Forever War

“Our country has created a self-selected and battle-hardened cohort of frequent fliers, one that is almost entirely separate from mainstream civilian culture, because service in the Forever War, as many of us call it, isn’t so much about going as returning.”

8. The Law’s Emotion Problem

“Our legal system is one of the most impressive feats of Western civilization. But psychology and neuroscience in recent years have shown many of its tacit assumptions to be out of sync with our best understanding of how our brains and minds work.”

9. Are Your Sperm in Trouble?

“Human and animal studies suggest that a crucial culprit is a common class of chemical called endocrine disruptors, found in plastics, cosmetics, couches, pesticides and countless other products.”

10. Stop Beating Black Children

“Black parents are still about twice as likely as white and Latino families to use corporal punishment on their children.”

11. I’m Not O.K. Neither Are You. Who Cares?

“A new literary genre, which might be called anti-self-help or anti-improvement, is upon us.”

12. The Old Table of a Beloved 101-Year-Old Artist

“I think if the table represents my work in any way, it’s that it’s resilient, sturdy and unassuming. It is an object that quietly but firmly states, ‘I am a table.’”

13. What Carrie Brownstein of ‘Portlandia’ Won’t Travel Without

“I spent so many years when I was touring as a musician visiting grand cities with dense history and filling my head with culture and architecture and museums. So now I focus more on the opposite — it’s a detox from an overload of information and stimulus.”

14. The Troubling Appeal of Education at For-Profit Schools

“Some two million Americans are enrolled in for-profit colleges, up from 400,000 in 2000. Those students, most of them working adults getting short-term certificates, are disproportionately nonwhite and female. They graduate with more debt than students who have attended public and nonprofit institutions, and are more likely to default on their loans.”

15. Literature by Degree

“When universities hire writers, they are making important decisions not just about who gets to teach (and what they teach), but about who gets to write (and what they write).”

16. High Anxiety: A New Approach to What Explains Compulsive Behavior

“What if all of my self-sabotaging and self-destructive behaviors, regardless of what form they took, had the same pathology? What if my compulsive drug use and compulsive organizing and, for that matter, anything that I’ve felt compelled to do, were all attempts to quiet the unceasing drumbeat of anxiety that is forever pounding out its rhythm in my brain?”

17. Jackboot Germany: A New History of the Gestapo

“Many citizens shared Gestapo fantasies of ‘cleaning up’ the country by throwing ‘riffraff’ into concentration camps.”

18. In David Shields’s Brief Essays, People May Be Farther Than They Appear

“All good writers make us feel less alone. But Shields also makes us feel better.”

19. All Too Human

“Our animal nature and our personhood are two distinct, contrasting aspects of us. One or the other comes into focus depending on what sort of questions we ask about ourselves.”

20. 25 Songs That Tell Us Where Music Is Going

“In 2017, identity is the topic at the absolute center of our conversations about music.”

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