Sunday 10.27.2019 New York Times Digest

1. While California Fires Rage, the Rich Hire Private Firefighters

“These teams, depending on who you ask, are either part of the dystopian systemic inequality in fire-ravaged California or are offering an extra, necessary service beyond what public agencies can provide.”

2. The Internet Brings Chaos to N.Y. Streets

“Households now receive more shipments than businesses, pushing trucks into neighborhoods where they had rarely ventured.”

3. Friction Between China And Hong Kong Erupts Even on U.S. Campuses

“Students from Hong Kong say the values of the movement seem straightforward and ripe for campus support in the United States: democracy, freedom of expression, the right to protest. But given the sizable mainland Chinese populations at American universities — along with accusations that the protesters have incited violence and lawlessness — the question of how schools should address the issue has been anything but simple.”

4. Changing Times for a P.I.

“These days, all Ms. Schembri really needs to do most of her sleuthing is a cellphone and an internet connection.”

5. Economic Incentives Don’t Always Do What We Want Them To

“If it is not financial incentives, what else might people care about? The answer is something we know in our guts: status, dignity, social connections.”

6. Choosing to Be Vulnerable

“Like any personal relationship, the one between doctors and patients is a complicated dance, each person deciding whether to trust the other. We dip in, we pull back, we test the waters.”

7. Less and Less A Christian Nation

“The share of American adults who regard themselves as Christian has fallen by 12 percentage points in just the last decade.”

8. Against the Superhero Regime

“While ‘genre’ cinema can be as great as any other form … its complete commercial takeover has been obviously bad for popular culture and pop art.”

9. ’90s Pop Culture Is How We Got Trump

“In the 1990s, activism — particularly student activism — was stigmatized as tedious, silly, self-important and, most damningly, ineffectual.”

10. Who’s Caring for the Caregivers?

“AARP’s Public Policy Institute has estimated the annual economic value of unpaid caregiving at $470 billion. If you paid everyone for a year’s worth of caring for loved ones — cooking, washing, transporting, giving pills and shots and rubs, taping together torn oxygen tubes, changing adult diapers, bringing wanderers back home, reading to those who can’t anymore and whose minds beg for the refreshment of new ideas, tucking the pain-ridden into bed at night and prying them out in the morning — it would use up almost all the revenue of Walmart worldwide.”

11. Wendell Pierce: ‘I Still Have Fear, But Now I Have Courage’

“Willy Loman is a man who believes in meritocracy. He believes if you do the things that are necessary, you should achieve certain things in life. And he’s a man who is lost in the denial of what’s really happening in his life, which is that he’s not doing that well.”

12. Twyla Tharp Wants You to Move

“In the book, her philosophy is guided by the body’s need and ability — in small or large ways — to move.”

13. They’ve Come a Long Way From 14th St.

“Explaining their divergent approaches in an email, Scorsese said, ‘I suppose I could say that Al tends to go toward fluidity and music while Bob likes to locate states of mind and being, settling in. But that’s just a matter of their instincts and personal orientations, I think. They’re both tremendous artists with powerful “instruments,” as an acting teacher might put it.’”

14. For Some Horror Writers, Nothing Is Scarier Than a Changing Planet

“A world in climate free-fall, marked by the outlandish and the improbable — freakish hurricanes, droughts, fires, heat waves and flash floods — is ‘not easily accommodated in the deliberately prosaic world of serious prose fiction.’ Yet the idea of a world in crisis is fundamental to horror, a genre historically devalued by the gatekeepers of high culture as, well, outlandish and unserious. Horror has always sought to amplify fear. It works against false comfort, complacency and euphemism, against attempts to repress or sanitize that which disturbs us.”

15. Letter of Recommendation: Mandatory Blackouts

“The blackouts have laid bare the uncomfortable fact that the infrastructure we’ve built and maintained over the course of many decades isn’t matched to the threats we face in our rapidly unfolding climate emergency.”

16. Why Isn’t There a Diet That Works for Everyone?

“He noticed that many of those diets tended to have at least one rule in common: Avoid ultraprocessed food, the sort of packaged fare containing artificial flavorings and ingredients you wouldn’t find in your kitchen that make processed food cheap, convenient, tasty and shelf-stable — and popular.”

17. Can You Really Be Addicted to Video Games?

“Given the long history of hysteria surrounding technology, it’s tempting to agree with those who dismiss claims that video games are addictive. After all, millions of people around the world enjoy video games without any marked repercussions; some studies have even concluded that the right kind of game play can relieve symptoms of depression and anxiety. But these denials become more difficult to accept when juxtaposed with the latest research on behavioral addictions. A substantial body of evidence now demonstrates that although video-game addiction is by no means an epidemic, it is a real phenomenon afflicting a small percentage of gamers.”

Comments are closed.