1. Get Cancer Now, Before Congress Cuts Your Insurance
“Sentimentality is another form of inefficiency. That’s how I’ve survived my first decade and a half in this industry, and I suppose that’s how I’ll survive however long I remain.”
2. A Street Fight Among Grocers to Deliver Your Milk, Eggs, Bananas
“Keeping food cold until it gets to customers is the single most difficult and important thing about delivering groceries. There are many opportunities for things to go wrong.”
3. Would You Trust Tom Selleck With Your Life Savings?
“When the discussion is life insurance, reverse mortgages or pharmaceuticals, the stakes are higher, the consequences of an imprudent choice greater.”
4. Homemade Slime Becomes Big Business
“There’s a thriving nationwide market for slime.”
“People don’t like to believe that they’re average. But compared with women, men tend to think they’re much better than average.”
6. Men Don’t Want to Be Nurses. Their Wives Agree.
“Notions of masculinity die hard, in women as well as men.”
7. The Real Threat of Artificial Intelligence
“Unlike the Industrial Revolution and the computer revolution, the A.I. revolution is not taking certain jobs (artisans, personal assistants who use paper and typewriters) and replacing them with other jobs (assembly-line workers, personal assistants conversant with computers). Instead, it is poised to bring about a wide-scale decimation of jobs — mostly lower-paying jobs, but some higher-paying ones, too.”
8. Sacrificing Black Lives for the American Lie
“Could it be that some Americans would rather black people die than their perceptions of America? Is black death more palatable than accepting the racist reality of slaveholding America, of segregating America, of mass-incarcerating America? Is black death the cost of maintaining the myth of a just and meritorious America?”
9. Canada Doesn’t Know How to Party
“It’s absurd to celebrate not being quite as insane as the rest of the world.”
10. On Campus, Failure Is on the Syllabus
“Nearly perfect on paper, with résumés packed full of extracurricular activities, they seemed increasingly unable to cope with basic setbacks that come with college life: not getting a room assignment they wanted, getting wait-listed for a class or being rejected by clubs.”
11. The iPhone Is 10 Years Old. Here’s the Story of Its Birth.
“The iPhone knows everything about us, but we know very little about it.”
12. How Uber and Airbnb Became Poster Children for the Disruption Economy
“What companies such as Airbnb and Uber have done in the past decade is take the peer-to-peer sharing of digital content that flourished online, through sites like Napster and YouTube and Facebook, and apply it to our physical world, including cars and rooms and scores of other goods, tasks and services.”
13. Why Did Lincoln Move So Slowly to Abolish Slavery? Because He Was a Racist, This Book Argues.
“Lincoln moved toward emancipation only slowly and reluctantly, and when he did issue the Emancipation Proclamation, he exempted about three-quarters of a million slaves in parts of the Confederacy and in the four border slave states that remained in the Union.”
14. A Powerful, Disturbing History of Residential Segregation in America
“He quite simply demolishes the notion that government played a minor role in creating the racial ghettos that plague our suburbs and inner cities. Going back to the late 19th century, he uncovers a policy of de jure segregation in virtually every presidential administration, including those we normally describe as liberal on domestic issues.”
15. Where Do Babies Come From? And Why Did It Take Scientists So Long to Find Out?
“It would take until 1875 for us to fully comprehend the process of human gestation.”
16. Letter of Recommendation: Revenge
“I’m not advocating outsize punishments, the sort that a cartoon villain might dream up for his enemies. I don’t support deep-frying anyone in a pot of oil, even if he or she took the last onion rings from the buffet, nor do I endorse violence, major sabotage or cruelty. Instead, I turn to my arsenal of mostly harmless tactics, designed to make a slighter think twice about his or her slight, to make it known that the fabric of society has been torn asunder, and that it was the slighter’s fault.”
17. The Ethereal Genius of Craig Taborn
“He does not have a website, handles his own bookings in the United States and is barely present on social media. He admires his better-known pianist friends like Vijay Iyer, who started a doctoral program at Harvard, and Jason Moran, who presides over jazz programming at the Kennedy Center, but says he has no desire to shape an institution, being ‘leery of the impact this would have on my creativity.’”