Sunday 4.29.2018 New York Times Digest


1. Facebook and the ‘Dead Body’ Problem

“We ought to worry … much less about the Thought Police and much more about how our informational profiles harden into the invisible architecture of our everyday lives. It’s not that we might be observed or killed in our sleep, but rather that the availability of loans or jobs or romantic partners or upscale hotel rooms are already being silently and automatically withdrawn from ‘people like us’ — people with our politics, people of our skin color, people with certain friends or predispositions, people without the wealth and power of Mark Zuckerberg.”

2. Playwright of Poverty Rejects Elite’s Push for Hard Luck Stories

“I now understand that part of my own desperation to get admitted to college came from not understanding that there is more than one path to success. Part of the scarcity model I grew up with taught me to believe I only got one shot. There are many ways to educate yourself.”

3. Women at Nike Revolt, Forcing Change at Last

“While the #MeToo movement has led to the downfall of individual men, the kind of sweeping overhaul that is occurring at Nike is rare in the corporate world, and illustrates how internal pressure from employees is forcing even huge companies to quickly address workplace problems.”

4. Doris Burke Has Game

“Doris Burke, the longtime ESPN basketball personality, who, 27 years into her career, last September became the first woman to land a regular job as an N.B.A. analyst on national television — cracking what many consider one of the highest, hardest glass ceilings in broadcasting.”

5. Bob Dylan’s Latest Gig: Making Whiskey

“Dylan has always resisted any attempt to fence him in. As soon as people start calling him king of the folkies, or patron saint of the counterculture, or beloved anticommercial leftist icon — he almost always does something to thwart that.”

6. Delivering Packages Safely for 55 Years

“Everyone is in such a hurry. There isn’t courtesy among drivers anymore. It seems to be a lost art. Some drivers are so bad, they don’t even put turn signals on. Where did those people learn how to drive? How did they even get out of driving school?”

7. Is My Not-So-Smart House Watching Me?

“Even as we are in the midst of a collective freakout about the data that Facebook has been gathering and sharing without our permission, many of us are busily installing equipment that potentially bugs our homes and tracks our movements, conversations and routines.”

8. What Do We Do With These Men?

“If we want the #MeToo movement to be about more than just which celebrity will be the next to fall, or whose comeback must be stopped — if we want it to lead to real, lasting and widespread cultural change — we need to talk. About what we do with the bad men.”

9. Dear Abby, #MeToo

“The most concrete goal of the ‘Me Too’ movement has been to reform workplace culture. But the movement has also accomplished something broader, and more nebulous: It has given women the ability to talk about some of the hardest moments of their lives with less shame, stigma or fear of repercussions. It has, in other words, created room for the sort of discussions that once were restricted to, essentially, just one type of public space: advice columns. For decades, the columns were where women with creepy bosses or abusive husbands went to air their grievances.”

10. Our Bodies, Ourselves, Our Anger

Our Bodies, Ourselves is celebrated for making information about their own bodies accessible to millions of women. Such praise is deserved, its reputation earned — yet that ought not be the limit of its legacy. Its boldness and its value came not just from the information it contained, but the connections it made between our bodies and the world we inhabit.”

11. Nine Rights Every Patient Should Demand

“Today patients’ worries are financial as much as medical.”

12. I Want to Be Rich and I’m Not Sorry

“Success, for me, is synonymous with making money. I want to write books, but I really want to sell books.”

13. Shorebirds, the World’s Greatest Travelers, Face Extinction

“A worldwide catastrophe is underway among an extraordinary group of birds — the marathon migrants we know as shorebirds. Numbers of some species are falling so quickly that many biologists fear an imminent planet-wide wave of extinctions.”

14. Why Trump Supporters Don’t Mind His Lies

“The problem wasn’t that people confused fact and fiction; virtually everyone recognized the claims as false. But when a falsehood resonated with people’s politics, asking them to imagine counterfactual situations in which it could have been true softened their moral judgments.”

15. Gaming: The System

“Saving some money on vitamin supplements is nice, but that’s not really what brought me to the drugstore. I was there for the buzz, the shots of happy I got when the cash register spit out a receipt the length of a 4-year-old. It’s all in the game.”

16. Excavating My ’90s-Era Childhood Bedroom

“In the end I threw almost all of it away, but decided to photograph it first, because I couldn’t quite say goodbye forever.”

17. Two Audacious Auteurs of Noir

Underworld U.S.A. initiated the luridly stylized, expertly crafted B-movies — blunt and punchy as a tabloid front page — that make up Fuller’s trilogy of despair. (The other two, Shock Corridor, from 1963, depicting America as a madhouse, and The Naked Kiss, from 1964, in which seemingly wholesome small-town America proves too corrupt for a retired prostitute, are available from Criterion.)”

18. Tiny Tots, Heavy Weights

“For the past seven months, Etta has been fully engaged in the sport of powerlifting and has just set 12 new American records. She is 11 years old and weighs 65 pounds.”

19. The Right Stuff

“The greatest technological advances come when a symbiosis is reached that combines the resources of a visionary government and the scrappiness of risk-taking entrepreneurs, each spurring the other onward and upward.”

20. Ten Women Whose Tongues and Pens Were as ‘Sharp’ as Knives

“It is, of course, a compliment with an edge. Call a man ‘sharp’ and he’s stylish, incisive, smart. Apply it to a woman, Dean writes, and there’s a ‘sense of terror underlying it. Sharpness, after all, cuts.’ A virtue of her book is that it shows how each woman, by wielding a pen as if it were a scalpel or a scimitar, confounded the gender norm of niceness and placed her analytical prowess front and center. Among 20th-century intellectuals, ‘men might have outnumbered women, demographically,’ Dean writes, but ‘in the arguably more crucial matter of producing work worth remembering, the work that defined the terms of their scene, the women were right up to par — and often beyond it.’”

21. How Does Empathy Work? A Writer Explores the Science and Its Applications

“This is a radical book because it challenges the conventional wisdom that self-defense and punitive systems are the only way to keep ourselves physically and emotionally safe, and, maybe more important, because it asserts that it’s possible to work for the betterment of society without the accompanying side effect of feeling like a chump.”

22. Chain Reaction

“We can’t all be fighting the prevailing orthodoxy, can we?”

23. Think Biking or Walking to Work Would Take Too Long? Think Again

“A new study published in a journal called Transportmetrica A: Transport Science shows that people often overestimate the time required to commute actively, a miscalculation especially common when someone has secured a parking permit near the office.”

24. How Janelle Monáe Found Her Voice

“Monáe has spent a lifetime perfecting the art of being a pop star who isn’t a sexual object. Discretion is a survival strategy, a coping mechanism especially useful for black women living in the public eye. But she has now made an explicit album about sexual expression and identity that is somehow still shrouded in ambiguity.”


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