Sunday 8.5.2017 New York Times Digest

by Bráulio Amado

1. The High School We Can’t Log Off From

“Twitter is changing us — regressing us — in ways developmental psychologists would find weirdly recognizable.”

2. Racism at American Pools Isn’t New: A Look at a Long History

“Pools are supposed to be places to relax, but ever since they exploded in popularity about a century ago, they have served as flash points for racial conflict — vulnerable spaces where prejudices have intensified and violence has often broken out.”

3. Following the Moneyed

“Over the last 30 years, Ms. Greenfield has become America’s foremost visual chronicler of the plutocracy, and those who hope to join its ranks. Her ultra-saturated, up-close, unsparing images have appeared in the pages of The New York Times Magazine, GQ and The New Yorker, as well as museum exhibitions and theatrical documentaries. Ms. Greenfield’s lens has fallen on affluent teens playing hooky, rappers and the strippers they shower $100 bills on, investors in exile, hedge-funders in denial, Iceland’s teetering banking system, abandoned mansions in Dubai and countless other icons of the world’s mounting financial inequality.”

4. Rebranding by Google Maps Hits Home

“Google Maps has now become the primary arbiter of place names. With decisions made by a few Google cartographers, the identity of a city, town or neighborhood can be reshaped, illustrating the outsize influence that Silicon Valley increasingly has in the real world.”

5. The Stock Market Is Shrinking.

“There were 23 publicly listed companies for every million people in 1975, but only 11 in 2016.”

6. The Podcast Bros Want to Optimize Your Life

“This is the podcast bro ethos: Ditch your ideologically charged identity. Accept your evolutionary programming. Take responsibility for mastering it, and find a cosmic purpose.”

7. The Great God of Depression

“During the exuberance of the 1990s, it seemed possible that drugs would one day wipe out depression, making suicide a rare occurrence. But that turned out to be an illusion. In fact, the American suicide rate has continued to climb since the beginning of the 21st century.”

8. Donald Trump, Mesmerist

“Great con men feed off accusations of dishonesty.”

9. How to Avoid A Ticket

“Having the same first name as your officer is as important as being white.”

10. No, It’s Not My Boyfriend’s Bike

“The pleasures of taking to the open road on a motorcycle are gender-neutral.”

11. Americans Are Terrible at Small Talk

“Americans are good at a great many things: normalizing drone warfare, making cherry-flavored jellies taste more like cherries than cherries themselves, optimism. But they struggle with small talk.”

12. Spike Lee Takes on the Klan + How Spike Lee Created Three Signature Visual Shots

“The danger of showing the complete absurdity of the Klan is that it undermines just how pervading their ideas were and how influential and destructive they became in these historical moments. I think to not parody them is one of the challenges for contemporary filmmakers.”

13. A Family’s 400-Year-Old Musical Secret Still Rings True

Zildjian was incorporated in the United States in 1929. But the company’s relationship with drummers, and drumming itself, dates back much further: 400 years to be precise, to 1618, when a secret casting process resulted in the creation of a new bronze alloy for the court of Sultan Osman II, the ruler of the Ottoman Empire.

14. Dick Cavett in the Digital Age

“I was called ‘intellectual,’ I guess, because I didn’t know any better than to read the guests’ books.”

15. Face Tattoos Go Mainstream

“A lot of kids are doing it to make themselves bigger on social media.”

16. The Future Is … Personal Ads?

“The page, which has over 40,000 followers, works like this: Text-based personal ads are submitted once a month. Ms. Rakowski then publishes them as Instagram posts and tags the people who submitted them. Interested parties can get in touch directly.”

17. Amar’e Stoudemire Is on a Religious Quest

“When I’m not training, I study Torah. Study, train, study, train, study, train, study. That’s life.”

18. How to Have a Luxury Trip for Much Less Than You Think

“10 destinations where you can save money on an upscale trip without sacrificing a feeling of luxury.”

19. Locking Her Up

“Stern’s is the first book-length account of the ‘American Plan,’ a government-sponsored ‘social hygiene’ campaign under which thousands of American women between the early years of the 20th century and the 1960s were forced to undergo gynecological exams, quarantine and detention, all in the name of protecting the country’s citizens from sexually transmitted infections.”

20. Troubled Waters

“This ‘is the story of a government poisoning its own citizens, and then lying about it.’”

21. What Happened When Fracking Came to Town

“Something so ordinary must be safe, the two women figured.”

22. An Astrophysical Approach to Our Environmental Crisis

“Rather than just continuing to procreate and exploit our capacities and resources on Earth, we should recognize that we and our planet are evolving together. Our planet might be viewed as a single living organism, coined Gaia by the scientist and futurist James Lovelock. We have entered a new geological age, what biologists call the Anthropocene, in which we, Homo sapiens, are altering the planet, and our survival depends on understanding this symbiosis. Frank asks: Have other civilizations elsewhere in the universe, evolving through their corresponding Anthropocenes, managed to survive? And by what strategy?”

23. The Decade We Almost Stopped Climate Change

“Is it a comfort or a curse, the knowledge that we could have avoided all this?”

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