Sunday 6.9.2019 New York Times Digest

1. Canada Becomes a Basketball Factory

“Hockey remains Canada’s king, but basketball is its restive crown prince.”

2. Why the Philippines Is a Hoops Haven.

“In Tondo, a Manila slum, a fisherman, Joel Galigar, desperately tried to connect his TV antenna so he and his family could watch the game. Early-morning N.B.A. game watching is his nearly daily ritual. But after trying and failing to get the antenna adjusted, and finally relying on a neighbor who came to the rescue with a borrowed cable box, Galigar and his family of six watched the game in their barely standing tiny hut. Soon after the game began, neighbors started to crowd around the hut, leaning in to catch a glimpse of the game.”

3. Meet the Money Whisperer to the Super-Rich N.B.A. Elite

“Mr. McLean doesn’t negotiate his clients’ deals — he’s not an agent. His job is to grow every dollar that comes in and track every dollar that goes out. He’s part investor, part butler, a C.F.O. and a golf buddy, a sports therapist and, when necessary, the disapproving dad.”

4. For These Women, a FIRE That Burns Too Male and Too White

“Frustrated by the lack of diversity in the FIRE world, Mrs. Saunders and her husband, Julien, started their own personal finance blog in 2015, Rich & Regular. Today, she is part of a rapidly growing cohort of women who are forging their own FIRE community. While many of them chronicle their progress on the internet, most do so anonymously, wary of risking future job or salary prospects (or a firing of a less desirable kind) if they publicize their plans to cut their careers short. Like Mrs. Saunders, they tend to be the breadwinners in their families. But unlike the FIRE archetype, most of them don’t make six figures, work in tech or want to forgo the occasional bottle of good wine.”

5. The Anti-College Is on the Rise

“There are alternative colleges that replace traditional courses with personalized study; gap-year programs that combine quasi-monastic retreats with world travel; summer seminars devoted to clearing trails and reading philosophy. They aim to prove that it is possible to cultivate moral and existential self-confidence, without the Christian foundation that grounded Western universities until the mid-20th century. They seek to push back against the materialism and individualism that have saturated the secular left and right, all at an affordable price. It’s a tall order.”

6. The Roots of Big Tech Run Disturbingly Deep

“‘Big tech’ companies like Google and Facebook are, in reality, the products of hundreds of mergers.”

7. The Business of Health Care Depends on Exploiting Doctors and Nurses

“Primary-care doctors spend nearly two hours typing into the E.M.R. [electronic medical record] for every one hour of direct patient care.”

8. Maybe We’re Not Doomed After All

“We don’t need to assume an attitude of fear and dread. Our scientific progress is a story of technological optimism, defined by an extraordinary sense of capability.”

9. These Are the Seeds of a Revolution

“Thanks to a series of mergers and acquisitions over the last few years, four multinational agrochemical firms — Corteva, ChemChina, Bayer and BASF — now control over 60 percent of global seed sales.”

10. When Does Life Begin Again?

“The idea that fertility clinics should be allowed to end ‘life’ in the pursuit of resolving infertility is wholly illogical; the notion that an in-custody stillbirth at 27 weeks is not a death, but that an abortion at six or eight weeks is a murder punishable by up to 99 years in prison, requires wild feats of mental jujitsu.”

11. Smash the Wellness Industry

“At its core, ‘wellness’ is about weight loss. It demonizes calorically dense and delicious foods, preserving a vicious fallacy: Thin is healthy and healthy is thin.”

12. Hootie & the Blowfish, Great American Rock Band (Yes, Really)

“At its peak, Hootie & the Blowfish was a genuinely excellent band. Earthen, soothing, a little ragged. And also deft, flexible and unflashily skilled. It splendidly blended the Southern college rock of the late 1980s (the dBs, R.E.M.) with shades of vintage soul, bluegrass, blues and more, rendering it all with omnivorous-bar-band acuity. In the gap between late grunge and the commercial rise of hip-hop and rap-rock, Hootie was a balm.”

13. How Jim Jarmusch Made an All-Star Indie Zombie Movie

“The reason everybody kind of drops things to work with him is — he’s an example of, you can be true to your convictions and still make something. You can know what to compromise on and what not to. What’s the most authentic, what’s truthful, his way of working — he’ll never compromise that.”

14. They See It. They Like It. They Want It. They Rent It.

“Some would say we’re living in the Gilded Age of renting.”

15. If Seeing the World Helps Ruin It, Should We Stay Home?

“Each additional metric ton of carbon dioxide or its equivalent — your share of the emissions on a cross-country flight one-way from New York to Los Angeles — shrinks the summer sea ice cover by 3 square meters, or 32 square feet.”

16. Q & A: Dolly Parton

“I know how to live on the road. I know how to travel.”

17. By the Book: James Ellroy

“My pad is built around my books. I’ve got floor-to-ceiling, midcentury-modern style shelves in my front hallway and living room. Dramatic lighting and framed dust jackets from my own books enhance the stark effect. I separate the books into fiction and nonfiction, and keep them rigorously alphabetized. Spines out, always. Dust jackets encased in plastic sheaths.”

18. Range

“Breadth is the ally of depth, not its enemy. In the most rewarding domains of life, generalists are better positioned than specialists to excel.”

19. Letter of Recommendation: Washing Dishes

“We still frame the ordinary as something that exists only for the thing beyond it, as a hazard to be optimized away instead of an organism to be nurtured and interacted with.”

20. Are These Teenagers Really Running a Presidential Campaign? Yes. (Maybe.)

“His campaign represents the most absurd form of a legitimate movement on the left that feels little obligation to the Democratic Party. Among this young, emergent class of leftists, change is enacted through local organizing efforts, and discourse tends to play out on Twitter, where news, and the organizations that produce it, are subject to daily systemic critique. The rise of leftist discourse on Twitter has helped to hone a new political humor that undergirds the @MikeGravel campaign. The target of this humor is not President Trump but rather what the far left sees as a defeatist and servile center-left that values compromise over belief and denigrates the social reforms beloved by the very same voters it seeks.”

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