Sunday 1.13.19 New York Times Digest


1. How We Apologize Now

“It has become the medium of choice for celebrity mass communication.”

2. George the Snail, Believed to Be the Last of His Species, Dies at 14 in Hawaii

“George himself was a thumbnail-size whorl of dark brown and tan. He looked like a swirled scoop of mocha fudge.”

3. Female Ranchers Are Reclaiming the American West

“As mechanization and technology transform the ranching industry, making the job of cowboy less about physical strength — though female ranchers have that in spades — and more about business, animal husbandry and the environment, women have reclaimed their connection to the land.”

4. More Start-Ups Have an Unfamiliar Message for Venture Capitalists: Get Lost

“The V.C. business model, on which much of the modern tech industry was built, is simple: Start-ups raise piles of money from investors, and then use the cash to grow aggressively — faster than the competition, faster than regulators, faster than most normal businesses would consider sane. Larger and larger rounds of funding follow.”

5. Will the Media Be Trump’s Accomplice Again in 2020?

“Democracies don’t just get the leaders they deserve. They get the leaders who make it through whatever obstacle course — and thrive in whatever atmosphere — their media has created.”

6. Tucker Carlson Versus Conservatism

“If there is to be a healthy American right, after Donald Trump or ever, this is the argument that conservatives should be having. And it is especially an argument that Fox News should be highlighting, since Fox is frequently responsible for stoking populism but keeping it vacuous or racialized, evading the debates the right really needs.”

7. Millennial, Book and Candle

“It’s not enough just to read anymore. It’s not even enough to post your reading on Instagram anymore. Today, you have to create an atmosphere to show just how analog and sensual you’re being. That often involves … a candle.”

8. Past Tensio

“I think we’d all be better readers if we realized that it isn’t the writer who’s the time traveler. It’s the reader. When we pick up an old novel, we’re not bringing the novelist into our world and deciding whether he or she is enlightened enough to belong here; we’re journeying into the novelist’s world and taking a look around.”

9. Why Do We Obsess Over What’s ‘Relatable’?

“The French critic and philosopher René Girard suggested that all desire is mimetic, that we like things simply because we observe other people — our friends, Rihanna — liking those same things, too. The California rock star and lay philosopher David Lee Roth touched on a similar idea when he suggested that music critics enjoy Elvis Costello ‘because they all look like Costello.’ He wasn’t exactly wrong. Even the critics who turned up their nose at the bombast of Van Halen in favor of the bookish pop-rock of Armed Forces weren’t exactly innocent of such blinkered, ego-driven pathology. Relatability is a desire for a connection to the world, to want what we see in others — especially if what we see in others is ourselves.”

10. How Beauty Is Making Scientists Rethink Evolution

“For decades, natural selection — the fact that creatures with the most advantageous traits have the best chance of surviving and multiplying — has been considered the unequivocal centerpiece of evolutionary theory. But these biologists believe that there are other forces at work, modes of evolution that are much more mischievous and discursive than natural selection. It’s not enough to consider how an animal’s habitat and lifestyle determine the size and keenness of its eyes or the number and complexity of its neural circuits; we must also question how an animal’s eyes and brain shape its perceptions of reality and how its unique way of experiencing the world can, over time, profoundly alter both its physical form and its behavior. There are really two environments governing the evolution of sentient creatures: an external one, which they inhabit, and an internal one, which they construct.”

Comments are closed.