Sunday 3.10.2019 New York Times Digest

1. A Rural Boxing Gym Puts Up a Fight

“If you’re not in Madison or Milwaukee, and you don’t want to go to a fitness gym and get trained like a machine, you have to go to the little towns that have these gyms with three or four guys in it, and those are the clubs that are molding boxers into national champions.”

2. A New Luxury Retreat Caters to Elderly Workers in Tech (Ages 30 and Up)

“In and around San Francisco, the conventional wisdom is that tech jobs require a limber, associative mind and an appetite for risk — both of which lessen with age. As Silicon Valley work culture becomes American work culture, these attitudes are spreading to all industries. More workers are finding themselves in the curious position of presenting as old while still being — technically, actuarially — quite young.”

3. What if All the World’s Economic Woes Are Part of the Same Problem?

“Much of the most interesting economic research these days is trying to understand and prove potential connections between these dysfunctions.”

4. The Black Gun Owner Next Door

“African-American gun proponents link the present-day climate to struggles of two hundred years ago and conclude that wisdom compels armed defense.”

5. The Industrial Revolution of Shame

“Judgment serves a crucial end, in both private and public life. Abolition, women’s suffrage, civil rights, all required many people to assert their judgment that something was wrong and had to change. Yet technology has so multiplied the outrages confronting us that they crowd out our ability to discuss much else. Previously remote controversies now feel so much a part of our lives as to demand that we do something, now, about all of them. This is an impossible and demoralizing standard. The most devoted activist can help fix only a small portion of what offends his conscience. To rage at the rest serves his desire to act, but it doesn’t change anything. It is a refusal to acknowledge the limits of his power.”

6. Teen Fiction and the Perils of Cancel Culture

“Purity tests are the tools of fanatics, and the quest for purity ultimately becomes indistinguishable from the quest for power. In the Twitterverse, ideologues have far more power than moderates. They have more followers; their tweets get more traction (studies have shown that emotional tweets pretty much always have more traction); they set the terms of their neighborhood’s culture and tone. But this does not mean they have better judgment.”

7. Go Home to Your ‘Dying’ Hometown

“In a 2009 commencement address at Northern Kentucky University, Mr. Berry encouraged students to consider whether they might be better and more responsible citizens if they embraced the concept of homecoming rather than the desire for upward mobility, which lures them to places to which they have little connection, to participate in a destructive and extractive economy.”

8. Your Dog Feels as Guilty as She Looks

“More and more, I believe that we share all emotions with other species in the same way that we share virtually every organ in our bodies with them. No exceptions.”

9. What Alex Trebek Is Really Like

“Of course Alex has all the responses on a big sheet of paper in front of him, but he’s also well-read and well-traveled, the kind of dad with a basement full of old National Geographics. When he pronounces the name of an Italian aria hyper-accurately, or explains that a contestant got George V and George VI confused, he’s not putting on airs. Yes, he really knows that stuff.”

10. Are You an Amazon or an Apple Family?

“Once your data, gadgets, appliances, cars and services are entangled, you’ll be locked in to Amazon, Google or Apple. As you buy more stuff — mobile phones, connected refrigerators, smart earbuds — you’ll find that not only are your devices not compatible with other systems, you and your family aren’t either.”

11. America’s Most Profitable Export: Money

“The number of $100 bills in circulation roughly doubled between 2008 and 2017, and experts estimate a vast majority are in foreign hands.”

12. Thousands of New Millionaires Are About to Eat San Francisco Alive

“They want cars. They want to open new restaurants. They want to throw bigger parties. And they want houses.”

13. Momo Is as Real as We’ve Made Her

“This much is true: The Momo Challenge is a moral panic spreading through new and powerful channels. It’s also true that she is able to entrance people almost instantly by appearing, jarringly, in the middle of their media (as above, sorry), and that such appearances result in disembodied voices commanding victims up a ladder of misery. And while Momo really is coming for someone in more or less the manners described, it’s not the children. It’s their parents.”

14. Climate Change and Human History

“In Nature’s Mutiny, Philipp Blom, a German historian, treats this one well-documented period of climate change, the so-called Little Ice Age, as an experiment in what can happen to a society when its baseline conditions, all ultimately dependent upon the weather, are shaken.”

15. Anglos, Hispanics and the Formation of America

“History repeats itself, now as shame.”

16. The 25 Songs That Matter Right Now

“There’s an oddly strong in-the-moment consensus on how everyone is feeling these days, and it is not good.”

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