Sunday 4.22.2018 New York Times Digest

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1. What Hospitals Can Teach the Police

“How can police officers be better trained to remain calm and defuse tense situations? An unexpected model comes from the field of health care, a profession that has found ways to address the incidence of violence in encounters with those it aims to serve. Hospital workers often come into contact with volatile people: agitated drug users, panic-stricken accident victims, the hysterical parents of sick or injured children and so on.”

2. Where Countries Are Tinderboxes and Facebook Is a Match

“Time and again, communal hatreds overrun the newsfeed — the primary portal for news and information for many users — unchecked as local media are displaced by Facebook and governments find themselves with little leverage over the company. Some users, energized by hate speech and misinformation, plot real-world attacks.”

3. Candidates Are Embracing the ‘S’ Word.

“Supporters, many of them millennials, say they are drawn by D.S.A.’s promise to combat income inequality, which they believe is tainting every facet of American life, from the criminal justice system to medical care to politics. They argue that capitalism has let them down, saddling them with student debt, high rent and uncertain job prospects. And they have been frustrated by the Democratic Party, which they say has lost touch with working people.”

4. America Before Earth Day: Smog and Disasters Spurred the Laws Trump Wants to Undo

“A huge oil spill. A river catching fire. Lakes so polluted they were too dangerous for fishing or swimming. Air so thick with smog it was impossible to see the horizon.”

5. States Are Doing What Scott Pruitt Won’t.

“Up to this point, we have treated these mystery chemicals with a bizarre optimism: that despite the similarities, somehow they won’t cause the same problems that their close relatives do. Combined with our longstanding federal policy of requiring definitive proof of environmental dangers before taking action, this way of thinking has led to lots of regrettable substitutions.”

6. In the N.B.A., a Game of Clothes Horse

“For players at the top of the professional basketball food chain, just showing up has become an opportunity to preen. No matter that the corridors may be lined with trash cans. The walk from the team bus to the locker room is a runway, with attendant paparazzi.”

7. How the Loss of Union Power Has Hurt American Manufacturing

“In 1983, union membership was 17.7 million — representing 20 percent of all wage and salary workers. Last year, it was 14.8 million, representing just 10.7 percent of those workers.”

8. The Real Cost of Cheap Shirts

“Bangladesh, which is the largest exporter of clothing after China, is able to save on manufacturers’ costs by paying one of the lowest minimum wages in the world and by often turning a blind eye to the laws, agreements and standards that would protect workers and the environment but raise prices.”

9. An American Woman Quits Smiling

“Does America’s emphasis on smiling say something about a desire for happy endings, for appeasement and artifice?”

10. Despairing on Earth Day? Read This

“He singled out the trend toward urbanization as the biggest driver of environmental progress, bigger perhaps than all the conservation efforts undertaken by governments and environmental groups alike.”

11. An Opioid Crisis Foretold

“Today’s opioid crisis is already the deadliest drug epidemic in American history. Opioid overdoses killed more than 45,000 people in the 12 months that ended in September, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The epidemic is now responsible for nearly as many American deaths per year as AIDS was at the peak of that crisis.”

12. A Problem Starbucks Can’t Train Away

“There are two classes of American citizens: Members of one can carry machine guns in front of the police in open-carry states without recrimination, drink alcohol in public without reproach and wait for friends in Starbucks without worry. Members of the other — people like me — worry about leaving our hands in our pockets after jaywalking on a cold night.”

13. The Soul-Crushing Student Essay

“Somewhere along the way, these young people were told by teachers that who they are in their writing ought to be divorced from who they are on their phones, or as the writer Grace Paley may have said, with their families and on their streets.”

14. Lighting The Way For Others To Shine.

“What a lot of people don’t know is: When you pass the baton, you keep running behind the other runner, you don’t just stop.”

15. The Mass-Shooting Survivor Network

“More and more, those who have lived through mass shootings — which were defined by the Obama administration in 2013 as a shooting with three or more deaths — are connecting with new survivors to create support groups between communities.”

16. The Doomed Dreamer

“One of the first great lessons of my adulthood was this: I change. As I grow, my dreams change, as do my ideas about who I can be and what I want during the short time I am alive. Gatsby has not learned this. It is a lesson he has closed himself to.”

17. A Brand-New Version of Our Origin Story

“Humans have been on the move not just since Columbus’s voyage of 1492, but throughout our long history. The ancestors of modern Japanese, Indians and Native Americans didn’t become fixed in their modern locations in ancient times and simply stop moving. If you want to understand our origins over the course of the last 100,000 years, this book will be the best up-to-date account for you.”

18. When to Wage War, and How to Win: A Guide

“Gaddis believes the best way to hone strategic thinking is not just by mastering the advice of Machiavelli or Clausewitz (who both figure prominently in the class), much less contemporary high-tech wizardry, but also by understanding the interplay of history, literature and philosophy over 2,500 years of Western civilization — with occasional insights from Sun Tzu and other non-Western thinkers.”

19. Group Think

“Now everyone who buys or uses or even just cares about a product or service has been collectively upgraded to something more ephemeral, almost spiritual, a loose association of souls brought together in one churchlike congregation: a ‘community.’”

20. How to Control Bleeding

“If you see blood spurting, pooling or rapidly soaking through clothing, consider the situation life-threatening.”

21. Can Dirt Save the Earth?

“Carbon, the building block of life, was constantly flowing from atmosphere to plants into animals and then back into the atmosphere. And it hinted at something that Wick and Rathmann had yet to consider: Plants could be deliberately used to pull carbon out of the sky.”

22. The Man Behind the President’s Tweets

“Fifty percent of the time, Trump is ripping these out himself, and 50 percent is going to Scavino.”

23. The Baby Mogul

“Karp insists that this explains why during the first months of life, babies can be lulled back into a womblike “trance” through the use of certain cues that Karp calls the 5 S’s: a combination of swaddling, shushing, placing the baby on her side or stomach, swinging her and letting her suck. He noticed that for each baby the ‘symphony of sensations’ was slightly different — some babies needed extra movement, others a light jiggle — though all the infants responded well to swaddling, even if they seemed resistant at first.”

24. How Liberty University Built a Billion-Dollar Empire Online

“The real driver of growth at Liberty, it turns out, is not the students who attend classes in Lynchburg but the far greater number of students who are paying for credentials and classes that are delivered remotely, as many as 95,000 in a given year. By 2015, Liberty had quietly become the second-largest provider of online education in the United States, according to The Chronicle of Higher Education, its student population surpassed only by that of University of Phoenix, as it tapped into the same hunger for self-advancement that Trump had with his own pricey Trump University seminars. Yet there was a crucial distinction: Trump’s university was a for-profit venture. (This month, a judge finalized a $25 million settlement for fraud claims against the defunct operation.) Liberty, in contrast, is classified as a nonprofit, which means it faces less regulatory scrutiny even as it enjoys greater access to various federal handouts.”

25. 1981-1983 New York

“Decades are like people. Some take up more oxygen than others.”

 

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