Sunday 7.23.2017 New York Times Digest

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1. The Glory of a Summer Sleep

“Sleep is the most generative part of our day because it is when our ego gets out of the way.”

2. How Arline Jacoby, Artist, Spends Her Sundays

“I read the obituaries religiously, but only about people I think are going to be interesting.”

3. In China, Silicon Valley Giants Confront New Walls

“Just about every American tech company from Amazon to Zynga has taken a shot at China. But outside of Apple and a group of older companies like IBM and Intel, few have a major presence in the country today.”

4. One Family, Many Revolutions: From Black Panthers, to Silicon Valley, to Trump

“There’s a sense in which we’re all David Horowitz now.”

5. When the (Empty) Apartment Next Door Is Owned by an Oligarch

“Anger at who is causing that harm can stray uncomfortably close to xenophobia. But politicians and anxious residents often add that their real grievance is with foreign money, not foreigners. And maintaining that distinction is important if cities that have long prided themselves on being cosmopolitan want to continue embracing immigration while curbing speculation.”

6. Why Women Aren’t C.E.O.s, According to Women Who Almost Were

“What their stories show is that in business, as in politics, women who aspire to power evoke far more resistance, both overt and subtle, than they expected would be the case by now.”

7. The Men Who Never Have to Grow Up

“If boys will be boys, then girls must be grown-ups, whose job it is to protect men from their worst impulses.”

8. Let’s Get Excited About Maintenance!

“Americans have an impoverished and immature conception of technology, one that fetishizes innovation as a kind of art and demeans upkeep as mere drudgery.”

9. A Warrant to Search Your Vagina

“Can police officers actually get a warrant to search someone’s vagina? The answer is yes.”

10. What Is America to Me?

“Talking with these teenagers, I’m always struck by how familiar they seem. There’s the class clown, raising his hand to ask a silly question that makes his classmates laugh. There’s the school beauty, who never leaves her seat — she knows the others, vying to be her partner, will come to her if she waits. There’s the sleepy kid trying to nap undetected behind an open book, and the Type A kid with a hand always in the air. Their clothes and hairstyles are different, but they seem exactly like the suburban students I once taught; exactly like my own three sons, the youngest still a teenager himself; exactly like my high school classmates.”

11. Don’t Believe in God? Maybe You’ll Try U.F.O.s

“Interests in nontraditional supernatural and paranormal phenomena are driven by the same cognitive processes and motives that inspire religion.”

12. Jay-Z and the Politics of Rapping in Middle Age

“As popular culture archetypes, these used to be scary black men. But every once in a while, they’re granted a humanity that, with old-school rappers, is harder to come by.”

13. Thanks to Venmo, We Now All Know How Cheap Our Friends Are

“By rendering payments between friends nearly invisible — no cash changes hands, no checks are written — Venmo theoretically should make these relationships less obviously transactional. Yet not only does it encourage pettiness, distilling the messiness of human experience down to a digitally precise data point, but by making it so easy to pay someone back for purchases as trifling as a coffee, the app arguably promotes the libertarian, every-user-for-himself ethos of Silicon Valley.”

14. What the Magician Penn Jillette Can’t Travel Without

“I always have the Bible that I’m reading, because I’m an atheist. And I always have Moby Dick because I’m an American.”

15. How Inequality Erodes the Foundation of Modern Societies

“The greatest threat to Western liberal democracies in the future is more likely to come from extreme inequality than from Islamic extremism.”

16. American Surveyor

“Asked once why he was so eternally curious about things, Thoreau responded, ‘What else is there in life?’”

17. The Birth of the Modern Middle East

“Far from spurning or avoiding modernity, Muslims are ‘drenched in it.’”

18. What Will Service Work Look Like Under Amazon?

“In contrast to Whole Foods, which focuses in its marketing on fair-trade and locally sourced offerings, Amazon is made up of a dizzying array of supply chains that are effectively invisible: not hidden, just easily omitted from the consumer experience.”

19. Letter of Recommendation: Cold Showers

“I have been taking cold showers for a couple of months now, and I have noticed zero changes in my skin or spirits or metabolism. I have, however, noticed a significant, though perhaps unintended, change in my entire disposition toward the outside world.”

20. The Accent Whisperers of Hollywood

“With the rise of prestige TV in the United States, the demand for skilled performers from around the world — particularly well-trained British performers — has increased, as has the desire to quickly communicate quality with authentic-sounding accents. Actors have worked hard to deliver.”

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