Sunday 6.2.2019 New York Times Digest

1. Why Isn’t Instagram More Witty?

“Just type it in a script-y font, slap it over a sunset and post it on your feed. It doesn’t matter if you confuse Sun Tzu with Coco Chanel, or Coco Chanel with Abraham Lincoln. The core meaning won’t change. And we get to pretend that we sifted through the coal mines of a writer’s oeuvre to find this shining diamond, that we live by this undeniable truth.”

2. How Spike Lee Spends His Sundays

“I wake up, brush my teeth, take a shower, put my clothes on, and I go to work. It’s not like for me Sunday is the Sabbath. I got work to do.”

3. What Truck Drivers Think About Autonomous Trucking

“Everything you own comes off a truck.”

4. Corner Office: Reid Hoffman

“You can learn the technical skills, what a coding mind-set is, what data structures look like. But understanding — here is the way the world could be, here is the theory of human nature that you’re playing into in order to create that world, and here is that kind of combination of psychology, sociology and economics together with what’s possible in technology — that combination was enabled much more by philosophical thinking.”

5. A Gun Killed My Son. So Why Do I Want to Own One?

“I was mastering the instrument of my suffering.”

6. The Rough Riders’ Guide to World Domination

“America’s righteousness can be blinding; the virtue of the cause prevents the country from seeing the challenge clearly, whether it is rebuilding Cuba or defeating the Taliban. There is a lot to say for America’s commitment to use its power for the good of the world, but also a need to understand its limits — a lesson that begins with Colbert and the Rough Riders.”

7. We Don’t Need to Be Saved From Making Smoothies

“The premise that the Prepared Food Industrial Complex is based on is wrong on every level. Cooking is not an annoying, worthless time-suck. It’s therapy.”

8. Next Out of Prince’s Vaults

“These songs are like his children — he would say that very often. He was the ultimate social worker.”

9. These Millennials Got New Roommates. They’re Nuns.

“For small pockets of the young, urban and progressive, the convent is calling. Their radical politics took them all the way around and back to the Catholic Church.”

10. What if Instagram Got Rid of Likes?

“That Instagram can feel ‘pressurized’ and trigger status anxiety is hard to dispute; even Twitter’s most satisfied customers would admit that it can become ‘toxic.’ But to conclude that these men are merely late to engage with the most obvious (and obviously correct) of their users’ critiques would be a misunderstanding. Their problems aren’t our problems. Their job, as ever, is to get people to use the services. Metrics helped them do this job for a while, showing new users what to aim for and then reminding them constantly what success looks like. This was during the growth phase, for both users and the new platforms they were joining. Their priorities seemed aligned. Now, that era is passing.”

11. Summer Reading

“The season of beach days and barbecues, kayaking and catnapping, hammocks and homemade popsicles. Maybe you’ll be headed to the lake or a tucked-away cottage, even a tent pitched in the backyard. Wherever you go, go prepared. Sunscreen is a must. Bottles of water essential. And never, ever forget to bring a book.”

12. The World According to John Waters

“You never make much money on the projects you think up when you’re young — the ones that are the most original, the ones that get you noticed. No, you cash in later, once you’ve made a name for yourself and begin to fail.”

13. Pet Walruses, Hidden Bacon and Other Violations of Actual U.S. Law

“Why not treat yourself to a crime spree this summer?”

14. An Antiracist Reading List

“Think of it as a stepladder to antiracism, each step addressing a different stage of the journey toward destroying racism’s insidious hold on all of us.”

15. ‘The Cat in the Hat’ and the Man Who Made That

“As so often happens, awkward discipline produced better art; a limited vocabulary produced a more poignantly memorable poetry and constraints made for cultural advance — or at least for a better-selling children’s book.”

16. The Catalogue of Shipwrecked Books

“In an age of abundant and unreliable information, the person who can impose order can shape history — or at least command a comfortable pension.”

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