Sunday 5.28.2017 New York Times Digest

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1. The Assault on Colleges — and the American Dream

“The United States is investing less in college education, at the same time that the globalized, digital economy has made that education more important than ever. Gaps between college graduates and everyone else are growing in one realm of society after another, including unemployment, wealth and health.”

2. Route to Air Travel Discomfort Starts on Wall Street

“Relentless pressure on corporate America is creating an increasingly Dickensian experience for many consumers as companies focus on maximizing profit. And nowhere is the trend as stark as in the airline industry, whose service is delivered in an aluminum tube packed with up to four different classes, cheek by jowl, 35,000 feet in the air.”

3. There Was No ‘Golden Age’ of Air Travel

“One of the reasons that flying has become such a melee is because so many people now have the means to partake in it.”

4. Hollywood-Style Heroism Is Latest Trend in Police Videos

“In promoting videos recorded on the very sort of body-worn cameras that have documented episodes of police misconduct, law enforcement officials say they are trying to use the positive images as a counterbalance.”

5. Is China Outsmarting America in A.I.?

“The balance of power in technology is shifting. China, which for years watched enviously as the West invented the software and the chips powering today’s digital age, has become a major player in artificial intelligence, what some think may be the most important technology of the future. Experts widely believe China is only a step behind the United States.”

6. The Instagram Obituaries of the Young Manchester Victims

“The internet has provided a surprisingly intimate glimpse into the lives of many of the victims of the Manchester attack. A handful were teenage girls or young women. Because that’s who goes to see Ariana Grande in concert; there’s no subtlety in who the bombers were targeting.”

7. Don’t Judge Montana for a Single Body Slam

“Will the readers of this East Coast newspaper ever stop picturing Montanans as unhinged, authoritarian hotheads and remember that some of us are Lynch-loving, Lebowski-quoting, lily-livered lefties who have a postelection tradition of walking over to the Jeannette Rankin statue in front of the post office and putting our ‘I Voted’ stickers on the heel of her boot even though we can see how that could technically be construed as littering?”

8. For Trump and G.O.P., the Welfare State Shouldn’t Be the Enemy

“For decades, Republicans have traded on confusion in the meaning of ‘big government’ and ‘free markets.’ The regulatory state and the size of government are intertwined, but they contain logically and practically separable strands.”

9. Saturday Night Fever at 40: You Should Still Be Dancing

“The most prescient notice was the New Yorker critic Pauline Kael’s. Well before MTV, she recognized Saturday Night Fever as a new sort of musical, writing that the ‘sustained disco beat keeps the audience in an empathetic rhythm with the characters.’”

10. Waiting for the Credits to End? Movies Are Naming More Names

“Credits have ballooned to their greatest lengths in the past decade. At least 50 films in the movie database IMDB.com have cast and crew credits that surpass 2,000 names each.”

11. Wanting Monogamy as 1,946 Men Await My Swipe

“They tempt you to keep swiping, and as you whiz through tens, hundreds or even thousands of profiles, you can only infer the obvious. Out of all these people, there’s got to be someone better than the person I’m seeing right now.”

12. For Frank Lloyd Wright’s 150th, Tours, Exhibitions and Tattoos

“This year is the 150th anniversary of the birth of the prolific American architect and designer Frank Lloyd Wright. Born on June 8, 1867, Wright designed more than a thousand structures during a career that shaped the country’s architectural and cultural identity. To commemorate the milestone, historic Wright sites, museums and hotels are celebrating with special events, new exhibitions and anniversary packages.”

13. The Gulf of Mexico in the Age of Petrochemicals

“It was the rumor of gold and silver that caused the first Europeans to probe gulf waters. Many met with shipwreck and starvation, even as a native culture thrived along the coastal estuaries, feasting on that bounteous supply of seafood. Despite their complex communication networks and endlessly renewable source of protein, the natives were destroyed in the blink of an eye. Mostly it was the newcomers’ pathogens that did them in, although some were victims of an attitude that viewed them as ‘artless and lazy’ for not exploiting their material abundance for purposes of commerce.”

14. Nor Any Drop to Drink?: Why the Great Lakes Face a Murky Future

“Ever since the completion of the Erie Canal in 1825, and accelerating after the opening of the St. Lawrence Seaway in 1959 — which allowed large shipping barges to travel from the Atlantic to Chicago — the lakes have experienced a parade of evermore villainous invaders.”

15. The Colorado River and Its Unnatural World

“The problem then, as now, is people — and what we have chosen to do with the water.”

16. A Hemingway Tell-All Bares His Tall Tales

“When he wanted to get his ears pierced in Africa, his fourth wife, Mary Welsh, sent a tactful note to dissuade him: ‘Your wearing earrings will have a deleterious effect on your reputation.’”

17. New and Noteworthy Books on Military History, from Afghanistan to Waterloo

“Focusing military history on battles is the wrong way to understand wars because what wins conflicts is almost always attrition, not battle.”

18. New in Memoir: The Intersex Body, the Dead Body, the Body in Grief

“Many Native American tribes ‘believed that, unlike regular people,’ intersex people ‘had an elevated view of life’s experiences and could “see down both sides of the mountain,”’ Viloria writes. Viloria also shows how gender privilege works both ways. Despite enjoying the swaggering confidence that comes from presenting as male, Viloria tires of ‘the limitations around expressing my emotions and the tough veneer that I have to put on to protect myself every time I get around a group of young men.’ Roughed up by cops while getting arrested at a protest in Berkeley, Viloria finds that the police suddenly become gentler when they believe they’re dealing with a girl instead of a boy. The charges are later dropped.”

19. How Amanda Chantal Bacon Perfected the Celebrity Wellness Business

“Bacon is a lifestyle guru, and this is what lifestyle gurus do. They insist on a connection between what you buy and who you are. And then they sell you stuff.”

20. How to Build a Fallout Shelter

“The most important thing is to build underground.”

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