Sunday 1.7.2018 New York Times Digest


1. How U.S. Intelligence Agencies Underestimated North Korea

“The C.I.A. and other American intelligence services had predicted this moment would come, eventually. For decades, they accurately projected the broad trajectory of North Korea’s nuclear program. Yet their inability to foresee the North’s rapid strides over the past several months now ranks among America’s most significant intelligence failures.”

2. As Low-Power Local Radio Rises, Tiny Voices Become a Collective Shout

“You want weird? Just turn the dial.”

3. The Struggling Artist at 86

“Every day without fail, he continues to put pencil to paper with such single-minded focus that he doesn’t see his own career arc, or plan for the future.”

4. The Alt-Right’s Asian Fetish

“‘Exclusively’ dating Asian women is practically a ‘white-nationalist rite of passage.’”

5. Is Your Child Lying to You? That’s Good

“Lying is not only normal; it’s also a sign of intelligence.”

6. We Are What We Read

“Storytelling is as human as breathing.”

7. Daniel Mendelsohn: By the Book

“Immaculate syntax is the best delivery vehicle for devastating irony.”

8. This Cat Sensed Death. What if Computers Could, Too?.

“What if an algorithm could predict death?”

9. Can an Algorithm Tell When Kids Are in Danger?

“Ostensibly, the algorithms are designed to avoid the faults of human judgment. But what if the data they work with are already fundamentally biased?”

10. The Case for the Subway

“Before the subway, it was by no means a foregone conclusion that New York would become the greatest city on earth. Hundreds of thousands of immigrants fleeing poverty and persecution were arriving on its doorstep every year, but most of them were effectively marooned, herded into dark, squalid tenements in disease-ridden slums. The five boroughs had recently been joined as one city, but the farms and villages of Brooklyn, the Bronx and Queens might as well have been on the other side of the planet from Manhattan’s teeming streets. Bound up in the fate of the city were even larger questions: Would America be able to manage the transition from the individualism and insularity that defined its 19th-century frontiers to the creative collaboration and competition of its fast-growing urban centers? Could it adapt and excel in this rapidly changing world? Were cities the past or the future of civilization? And then came the subway: hundreds of miles of track shooting out in every direction, carrying millions of immigrants out of the ghettos and into newly built homes, tying together the modern city and enabling it to become a place where anything was possible.”

11. Where Pot Entrepreneurs Go When the Banks Just Say No

“In most of the 22 states that, along with Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico, have legal marijuana markets, cash is not simply king; it is all-consuming.”

12. Masha Gessen Is Worried About Outrage Fatigue

“A people robbed of the tools of self-understanding find themselves at a dead end.”


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