Sunday 5.20.2018 New York Times Digest


1. This Is School in America Now

“You send your kids to school, and one of the things they learn is how not to die.”

2. Scouring Hate Off Facebook In Germany

“They are the agents of Facebook. And they have the power to decide what is free speech and what is hate speech. This is a deletion center, one of Facebook’s largest, with more than 1,200 content moderators. They are cleaning up content — from terrorist propaganda to Nazi symbols to child abuse — that violates the law or the company’s community standards.”

3. Some Ex-Cons Make a Living Out in the Yard.

“The guiding principle: kale, not jail.”

4. Me and My Numb Thumb: A Tale of Tech, Texts and Tendons

“Eventually, my right thumb just stopped working. It could not muster the strength to press down on my phone.”

5. How to Accept a Compliment

“The compliment is a coded invitation to chitchat, and simply saying, ‘Thank you’ linguistically slams the door in the complimenter’s face.”

6. Good Refugees, Bad Refugees

“What some of us also forget is that at nearly every stage of our country’s history, the people who were already established as American citizens found convenient targets to designate as unable to assimilate: the indigenous peoples; conquered Mexicans; slaves; or the newest immigrants, who were usually classified as nonwhite.”

7. America’s 150-Year Opioid Epidemic

“The late-19th-century opiate epidemic was nearly identical to the one now spreading across the United States. Back then, doctors began to prescribe a profitable and effective drug — morphine, taken via hypodermic needle — too liberally.”

8. Dystopia, Apocalypse, Culture War: 2018 or 1968?

“We are still looking at dystopian and apocalyptic fantasies, still running from zombies, still watching cities erupt, still fighting over basic human rights. The movies have been conscripts in this continuing culture war and to look back at 1968 is to understand what has and hasn’t changed.”

9. Beautiful People in European Villas: a Film Genre of Its Own

“Many of us prefer to observe good-looking people in beautiful places if there’s a degree of misery involved.”

10. 45 Stories of Sex and Consent on Campus

“Many sexual encounters seem to take place in a so-called gray zone of miscommunication, denial, rationalization and, sometimes, regret. We wanted to explore that complexity when we asked college students for their stories of navigating this gray zone: what they anticipated, how they negotiated consent and processed the aftermath, and what advice they would give their younger selves. These are their stories.”

11. Jordan Peterson, Custodian of the Patriarchy

“He does not smile.”

12. Fashion’s Woman Problem

“Fashion, an industry dominated by women’s wear and buoyed by female dollars, with an image sold by women to women, is still largely run by men.”

13. Is a Dumber Phone a Better Phone?

“While the most influential tech companies are trying to figure out what products they can make to use alongside smartphones — on your wrist, in your head, over your eye — some more marginal companies are charting less obvious trajectories. Their respective approaches differ, but they make at least one common assumption: The best option, at this point, isn’t to make phones better. It’s to make them worse.”

14. Letter of Recommendation: Drew Barrymore’s ‘Little Girl Lost’

“Chapter 9, Sentence 1: ‘I loved cocaine. Period.’”

15. How to Float

“Underwater, you hear as a whale does: Sound waves bypass your eardrum and vibrate the bones of your skull, allowing you to hear frequencies as much as 10 times as high as you’d hear on land.”

16. How Tech Can Turn Doctors Into Clerical Workers

“Our $3.4 trillion health care system is responsible for more than a quarter of a million deaths per year because of medical error, the rough equivalent of, say, a jumbo jet’s crashing every day. Much of that is a result of poorly coordinated care, poor communication, patients falling through the cracks, knowledge not being transferred and so on, but some part of it is surely from failing to listen to the story and diminishing skill in reading the body as a text.”


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