Sunday 2.3.2019 New York Times Digest

1. Why Can’t Rich People Save Winter?

“With the outlook for winter so dim, it is surprising, shocking even, that the ski industry and the alpine 1 percent it serves have not led the charge to slow climate change — if not to keep the climate safe for their progeny, then at least to save the snow outside their resorts and chalets. Instead, they have largely kept silent or, at most, pursued anemic, low-impact ‘sustainability’ and ‘awareness’ campaigns that give the appearance of advocacy but have done little to accomplish what the winter sports world, and the world at large, needs: rapid reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.”

2. In the Pale of Winter, Trump’s Tan Remains a State Secret

“The official line from the White House, as with other matters surrounding the president’s physical health and appearance, is that Mr. Trump’s glow is the result of ‘good genes,’ according to a senior administration official who would speak only on the condition of anonymity.”

3. Overlooked

“These remarkable black men and women never received obituaries in The New York Times — until now. We’re adding their stories to our project about prominent people whose deaths were not reported by the newspaper.”

4. Murderer, Esq.

“Even as Mr. Reilly makes it his life’s work to advance the cause, he finds himself illustrating its limits. That’s both because his crime was so severe and because he is not satisfied merely to be housed or employed. He craves elite credentials and recognition, like advanced degrees and fellowships, and wants to work on cutting-edge legal issues.”

5. Taunting the Networks, an App Streams Free TV.

“Why is he doing this? The answer is partly principle, and partly intellectual mischief.”

6. When the Suffrage Movement Sold Out to White Supremacy

“The ratification of the 19th Amendment set off celebratory parades all across the country. But confetti was still rustling in the streets when black women across the South learned that the segregationist electoral systems would override the promise of voting rights by obstructing their attempts to register.”

7. Instagram’s Sneakiness Makes Super Bowl Ads Look Quaint

“There is something hollow and dystopian about opening an app to see people you like and instead seeing people you like try to sell products to you.”

8. The Luckiest Sports Fans, Ranked

“A ranking of the best two-decade runs that any pro sports fans have had since World War II, based on both statistical and subjective factors.”

9. Let Children Get Bored Again

“Once you’ve truly settled into the anesthetizing effects of boredom, you find yourself en route to discovery. With monotony, small differences begin to emerge, between those trees, those sweaters.”

10. What Is the Blood of a Poor Person Worth?

“Blood products made up 1.9 percent of all American exports in 2016, more than soybeans, more than computers.”

11. My Mother Was a Betting Woman

“While racetrack gambling and Catholic church bingo nights were legal, informal lottery betting — a practice created by and largely practiced by African-Americans — was illegal. None of this hypocrisy was lost on my mother. ‘We already know that when white folks want to do something bad enough,’ she said, ‘they can just create a law to get away with it.’”

12. The Real Legacy of the 1970s

“Then along came Ronald Reagan. The great secret to his success was not his uncomplicated optimism or his instinct for seizing a moment. It was that he freed people of the responsibility of introspection, released them from the guilt in which liberalism seemed to want to make them wallow.”

13. How Silicon Valley Puts the ‘Con’ in Consent

“The average person would have to spend 76 working days reading all of the digital privacy policies they agree to in the span of a year.”

14. One Way to Make College Meaningful

“Universities have always been hybrid creatures, serving many masters at once: social norms, the market, churches and the exacting standards of disciplinary research, to name four. But the fantasy of the university as a disinterested sphere of pure knowledge is just that. This is not so much to attack the liberal arts as it is to point out that to link them purposefully with life and career goals is not at all to alter the way they have long functioned.”

15. What Science Can Learn From Religion

“It is hubristic to assume that religious thinkers who have grappled for centuries with the workings of the human mind have never discovered anything of interest to scientists studying human behavior.”

16. At the Border, Nuance Is Held in Check.

“Based on these movies and shows, which coincide with the current political debate over a wall between Mexico and the United States, Americans might think nothing but death unfolds on the border. Violence, after all, sells, much as sex does. It’s hard to find the vitality and color of life on the border amid all the onscreen gunfire and despair. It takes some digging to find alternatives to Hollywood’s view.”

17. Frida Kahlo Was a Painter, a Brand Builder, a Survivor. And So Much More.

“By the time she died at the age of 47 in 1954, she left behind a public persona that is still being mined well into the 21st century; today she has more than 800,000 Instagram followers.”

18. The ‘Winter Friday’ Off Is Now a Thing

“Scientific studies conducted in recent years conclude that a four-day week helped employees be more productive and happy at work.”

19. The Queen of Change

“The book’s enduring success — over 4 million copies have been sold since its publication in 1992 — have made its author, a shy Midwesterner who had a bit of early fame in the 1970s for practicing lively New Journalism at the Washington Post and Rolling Stone, among other publications, and for being married, briefly, to Martin Scorsese, with whom she has a daughter, Domenica — an unlikely celebrity. With its gentle affirmations, inspirational quotes, fill-in-the-blank lists and tasks — write yourself a thank-you letter, describe yourself at 80, for example — The Artist’s Way proposes an egalitarian view of creativity: Everyone’s got it.”

20. Marlon James: By the Book

“Here’s the funny thing about so-called genre books: Nobody has ever had to teach a crime writer about cultural appropriation or representation of other people. That’s an affliction that affects only literary novelists. And scoff at chick lit all you want, but it is the only genre where women work.”

21. An Anti-Facebook Manifesto, by an Early Facebook Investor

“Maybe the more frightening dystopia is the one no one warned you about, the one you wake up one morning to realize you’re living inside.”

22. Does ‘Creative’ Work Free You From Drudgery, or Just Security?

“For the privilege of doing ‘creative’ work, we are asked to accept conditions of financial anxiety and precariousness that in previous times were unthinkable to the gainfully employed. ‘Creative’ puts lipstick — or, more precisely, a pair of Warby Parker eyeglasses and a sleeve tattoo — on a pig. It dresses up a ruptured social compact, the raw deal of the gig economy, as bohemian freedom.”

23. How to Win an Argument

“Ultimately, you don’t really convince people — people convince themselves. You just give them the means to do that.”

24. How Iran’s Greatest Director Makes Art of Moral Ambiguity

“The taste of love and the taste of hate are everywhere the same.”

25. Will Sports Betting Transform How Games Are Watched, and Even Played?

“In the middle of the 20th century, television began reframing the way we experience sports. It gave us replays and extended timeouts, pushed World Series games into prime time, scrambled conference affiliations. Through national telecasts and highlights and, later, superstations and cable networks, fans grew intimate with teams many hundreds of miles away. Now gambling is poised to unleash changes just as transformative, and they may come fast.”

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