Sunday 12.9.2018 New York Times Digest

1. What Straight-A Students Get Wrong

“Getting straight A’s requires conformity.”

2. The Woman Who Outruns the Men, 200 Miles at a Time

“We know that men are simply bigger and have more muscle mass and are more powerful and faster … This is about stamina, and stamina is some combination of yes, strength, but also psychological will. It begs the question, is there something going on for women perhaps given our very long evolutionary history as mammals who spent a long time gestating and then giving birth, that gives us a psychological edge in extremely long-term endurance events?”

3. A Low-Cost Fix for Africa’s Silent Killer

“Governments in impoverished countries lack the finance to attack threats to public health, and many are riddled with corruption…. Philanthropists and international aid organizations play key roles in areas such as immunizing children. But turning plans for basic services into mass-market realities may require the potent incentives of capitalism. It is a notion that has provoked the creation of many businesses, most of them failures.”

4. Lean In’s Sheryl Sandberg Problem

“It was always going to be tricky to have a feminist movement led by a billionaire corporate executive.”

5. When Answering the Phone Exposes You to Fraud

“A recent examination of 50 billion mobile phone calls … found that the number of fraudulent calls in early 2018 had soared to 30 percent of all calls.”

6. Hate Amazon? Try Living Without It

“It’s hard to care about the big picture when you’re simply putting one foot in front of the other. Because of seemingly remote forces — an inaccessible elder care system, insufficient health coverage, stagnant wages, long work hours — those of us who see corporate monopolies as detrimental to this country nevertheless rely on them for anything from dish soap to our paychecks.”

7. End the Innovation Obsession

“We are told that innovation is the most important force in our economy, the one thing we must get right or be left behind. But that fear of missing out has led us to foolishly embrace the false trappings of innovation over truly innovative ideas that may be simpler and ultimately more effective.”

8. Rediscovering My Daughter Through Instagram

“Social media has been blamed for ruining our democracy, shortening our children’s attention spans and undermining the fabric of society. But through it, I was able to be with Paulina out in the world again, to see what she sees, to virtually stand beside her and witness the people and places she moves through, in nearly real time. Not in a parent-policing role, but in a wonderful-world sort of way.”

9. Is Listening to a Book the Same Thing as Reading It?

“Audiobooks won’t replace print because we use them differently.”

10. Megan Fox on Becoming a Real-Life Indiana Jones

“I’ve always been really been passionate about ancient peoples and ancient religions and ancient magic practices, not knowing what to do with it.”

11. These Men Are Waiting to Share Some Feelings With You

“Men, who are less likely than women to seek out individual therapy, are increasingly looking for outlets in this fraught cultural moment of political acrimony, widespread economic instability and major societal reckoning over their behavior.”

12. Live-Streaming Your Broke Self for Rent Money

“Mr. Hill is part of an emerging category of micro-influencers who have discovered there is a paying audience that wants to watch them go about their day-to-day lives. Many have been able to make money on Patreon, where people can sell subscriptions for their content, whether it be about comics, travel or nothing at all.”

13. Orbiting, Another Thing for Online Daters to Worry About

“Distant methods of digital observation — likes, views, etc. — are what binds the orbiter and the orbited.”

14. Why Are We Suddenly Surrounded by ‘Grift’?

“Grafters are stolid and conventional, lining their pockets and then quietly retreating to one of their several homes. Grifters are the ones with flair and ambition, who seem to delight in the con itself — the cleverness of the scheme, the smooth ease with which the marks were gulled.”

15. New Sentences: From ‘The Comic Book Story of Professional Wrestling’

“To keep kayfabe is a devotion to reality so extreme that it circles all the way back to artifice, or maybe vice versa. It is to insist that your best friend is your mortal enemy, that the blow that missed your face by five inches actually shattered your nose. It is to surf the crest of the mystical wave between being and pretending.”

16. It’s Time to Study Whether Eating Particular Diets Can Help Heal Us

“We are stuck with our diets because our ancestors ate this way, because food tastes good or because agribusiness has persuaded us about dietary compositions. Unlike most medicines, whose effects we sift, measure and scrutinize, often using the most rigorous clinical trials, human diets — the other set of molecules we put into our bodies — have gone relatively unexamined.”

17. Even a Little Weight Training May Cut the Risk of Heart Attack and Stroke

“The risk of experiencing these events was roughly 50 percent lower for those who lifted weights occasionally, compared with those who never did — even when they were not doing the recommended endurance exercise.”

18. Letter of Recommendation: Rage Against the Machine

“Today, rap-rock is derided as a goofy grotesque, thanks mostly to lesser acts that came after Rage, aping their aggression, jettisoning their political convictions and outselling them in the process. But in Rage’s efforts to distill the spirit of forebears as dissimilar as EPMD and Bruce Springsteen, they perfected a novel sound.”

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