Sunday 8.26.2018 New York Times Digest


1. Beware Rich People Who Say They Want to Change the World + Meet the ‘Change Agents’ Who Are Enabling Inequality

“Even as they give back, American elites generally seek to maintain the system that causes many of the problems they try to fix — and their helpfulness is part of how they pull it off. Thus their do-gooding is an accomplice to greater, if more invisible, harm.”

2. She Forgave Steve Jobs. Would You?

“I was afraid of him and, at the same time, I felt a quaking, electric love.”

3. Once-Trusted Studies Are Scorned by Trump’s E.P.A.

“What happens to children of pregnant mothers certain to have pesticides in their bloodstreams?”

4. How Do You Play a Porn Star in the #MeToo Era?

“Intimacy directors, or coaches, are a relatively new trend in TV.”

5. Money Really Does Lead to a More Satisfying Life

“These results provide strong evidence in support of the standard economic view that money increases well-being, albeit not in an entirely uniform manner. It runs counter to the view championed by many psychologists that people largely adapt to their circumstances — including their financial situation.”

6. The New Socialists

“The socialists’ story is one of capitalism and exclusion: how, as millennials struggling with low wages and high rents and looming debt, they and their generation are denied the promise of freedom.”

7. Why Manafort and Cohen Thought They’d Get Away With It

“The Department of Justice — in Democratic as well as Republican administrations — has lost the will and ability to prosecute top executives across corporate America, at large industrial firms, tech giants, retailers, drugmakers and so on.”

8. The Devil in Steve Bannon

“We all know that being an effective salesman is coming to believe in what you’re selling.”

9. America’s Never-Ending Culture War

“The harsh divisions among Americans in 1968 have largely endured.”

10. The Student Debt Problem Is Worse Than We Imagined

“Colleges are benefiting from billions in financial aid while students are left with debt they cannot repay.”

11. In Defense of Taking Things for Granted

“I think there’s something distinctively valuable about allowing many aspects of your life — even the very fact of your life — to recede into the background, into a unconscious mental box we might label ‘presuppositions.’ I would go so far as to say that these presuppositions are what enable you to live a life at all.”

12. Keep America’s Roadside Weird

“All across the country, on interstates the width of football fields and two-lane blue highways, stand an uncountable number of homespun reminders that American ingenuity and wit have not yet been Walmart-ized out of existence.”

13. How and Why Silicon Valley Gets High

“People in Silicon Valley tend to view drugs differently from those in places like, say, Hollywood and Wall Street. The point is less to let off steam or lose your inhibitions than to improve your mind.”

14. Those Who Can Do, Can’t Teach

“The best doers are often the worst teachers.”

15. How ‘Searching’ Uses Tech Devices as Narrative Devices

“How well could we navigate a sea of technology if someone’s life depended on it?”

16. Maybe Your Sleep Problem Isn’t a Problem

“The rise of agriculture brought fields to till at daybreak. The industrial revolution brought factories with 8 a.m. time clocks. Night owls were forced to adapt, and that appears to have taken a toll.”

17. Conan O’Brien’s Unrequited Fanboy Love for Robert Caro

“The biggest thing I want to stress is that my inability to get him to sit with me only makes me respect him more.”

18. American Heiresses Abroad

“A prime driver in the American heiress exodus was escape from the savage competitiveness of Gilded Age society in the capital of status, New York.”

19. The Criminalization of Parenthood

“Fear itself has a cost.”

20. A Biographer Considers Edward Lear’s Art and Its Sources

“Lear’s gift is to find his own thirst for companionship echoed in the sense-making elements of language.”

22. How Do You Explain the ‘Obvious?’

“America is built on an appeal to the obvious.”

23. How the Trump Administration Is Remaking the Courts + When the Supreme Court Lurches Right

“There is growing demand for judicial activism on the right.”

24. How Dev Hynes, English Misfit, Became Blood Orange, R.&B. Miracle Worker

“Ten or 15 years ago, a musician who inhabited and then discarded identities as quickly as Hynes has would have seemed insecure and unformed, an immature kid still in search of a voice. But Hynes’s creative coming of age coincided with a profound reframing of what it means to be an artist. With all the usual categories and gatekeepers weakened by the internet, today’s ideal ‘brand’ is one that’s both unmistakably unique and utterly adaptable — a kind of portable self that can be packed up and carried from recording studio to live show to writing session, and then on to the screen, the theater, the page, the walls of a gallery.”

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