Sunday 7.16.2017 New York Times Digest


1. Please Prove You’re Not a Robot

“Robots are getting better, every day, at impersonating humans. When directed by opportunists, malefactors and sometimes even nation-states, they pose a particular threat to democratic societies, which are premised on being open to the people.”

2. This Instagram Dog Wants to Sell You a Lint Roller

“Pet influencers outperform humans.”

3. When Big Pharma Spends, Research Isn’t No. 1.

“Big pharmaceutical companies have spent more on share buybacks and dividends in a recent 10-year period than they did on research and development.”

4. Make Everyone Take the SAT or ACT. And Make It Free

“The two standard college admission tests — the SAT and the ACT — could be administered universally and free of charge to students.”

5. You Don’t Have to be College-Bound to Take a Gap Year

“Gap years are especially helpful for older people working through career transitions.”

6. If Tech Execs Act Like Spoiled Brats, Should We Spank Them?

“Deal with these men as we would deal with very naughty children. No dessert! You’re grounded! I’d suggest spanking, but that could backfire, too. You never know what some people might be into.”

7. An Ancient Cure for Alzheimer’s?

“Are certain parasites more beneficial to the brain while others are harmful?”

8. The Playboy President and Women’s Health

“American women are being stripped of their sexual and reproductive autonomy not by a moralizing puritan but by an erotically incontinent libertine.”

9. Don’t Let Our Democracy Collapse

“The health of our electoral process is likely to deteriorate further, with some of the threats striking at the very basis of democratic society: our confidence that votes have been fairly and accurately counted. What’s worse, we cannot count on the courts, the president, Congress or state legislatures to save us.”

10. Cliffhangers Are Ruining the Golden Age of TV

“I … think artistry is in special danger of becoming mere stimulation.”

11. When Is Speech Violence?

“Words can have a powerful effect on your nervous system. Certain types of adversity, even those involving no physical contact, can make you sick, alter your brain — even kill neurons — and shorten your life.”

12. A British Expat in Norway Gets Beyond the Scandinavian Stereotypes

“In small, homogeneous nations governed by a rigid social conformity, it takes a particularly extreme temperament to stand out.”

13. Understanding Poetry Is More Straightforward Than You Think

“Poetry has an unfortunate reputation for requiring special training and education to appreciate, which takes readers away from its true strangeness, and makes most of us feel as if we haven’t studied enough to read it.”

14. Letter of Recommendation: Detroit Techno

“The radical act of Detroit’s techno rebels was that they entered an inhuman network of machinery and found a voice within it.”

15. Arks of the Apocalypse

“It seems to be a human impulse to collect things just as they’re vanishing.”

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