Sunday 11.3.2019 New York Times Digest

1. It’s the End of California as We Know It

“Our whole way of life is built on a series of myths — the myth of endless space, endless fuel, endless water, endless optimism, endless outward reach and endless free parking. One by one, those myths are bursting into flame. We are running out of land, housing, water, road space and now electricity.”

2. The Twitter Presidency: In Trump’s Twitter Feed: Conspiracy-Mongers, Racists and Spies + Reshaping the White House + What Happens When Ordinary People End Up in Trump’s Tweets

“When Donald Trump entered office, Twitter was a political tool that had helped get him elected and a digital howitzer that he relished firing. The Times examined how, in the year since, he has fully integrated the social media platform into the very fabric of his administration.”

3. How Adam Neumann of WeWork Failed Up

“He benefited from a frenetic, nonstop energy, and silly as it may sound, there’s no question that Mr. Neumann’s good hair and looks helped his cause. At 6 feet 5, he had a physical presence that could dominate a room.”

4. Inside the Debate Between Netflix and Big Theater Chains Over The Irishman

“If he had made The Irishman under the auspices of a traditional Hollywood studio, it would have been business as usual, and the film would most likely be playing at a theater near you. But Paramount declined, because of the hefty budget for the decades-spanning film.”

5. The Glorious Return of Funk

“Funk has always been a socio-political philosophy as much as a sound, and as it crests on the radio, at bars, clubs, house parties and in our popular consciousness, we should pay attention to the meanings we derive from it.”

6. The Government Protects Our Food and Cars. Why Not Our Data?

“Why are Americans protected from hazardous laptops, fitness trackers and smartphones — but not when hazardous apps on our devices expose and exploit our personal information?”

7. The Christian Case for Climate Action

“If we truly believe we’ve been given responsibility for every living thing on this planet (including each other) as it says in Genesis 1, then it isn’t only a matter of caring about climate change: We should be at the front of the line demanding action.”

8. The Happy, Healthy Capitalists of Switzerland

“The real lesson of Swiss success is that the stark choice offered by many politicians — between private enterprise and social welfare — is a false one. A pragmatic country can have a business-friendly environment alongside social equality, if it gets the balance right.”

9. These 7 Million Young People Can Beat Trump + To Beat Trump, Focus on His Corruption + Democrats Can Still Seize the Center + Can Democrats Compete With Trump’s Twitter Feed?

“How to beat Trump in 2020. Four opinion writers show the way.”

10. The Korean Secret to Happiness and Success

“Nunchi, despite being as old as Korean civilization itself, is extraordinarily suited for modern life because it requires speed and adaptability. All you need are your eyes and your ears. And — this is the hard part — a quiet mind.”

11. I Love Housework. Let Me Explain.

“I approach these chores like a spiritual discipline, on par with fasting and prayer. There’s something about the careful consideration required to do them well that puts me at ease.”

12. In Defense of Perfect Instagram Moments

“This is the paradox women face on social media: Share enough highs to seem well adjusted but not braggy, share enough lows to seem down to earth but not suicidal, and share enough unfiltered moments to seem human but not unattractive.”

13. How Many Christmas Movies Is Too Many Christmas Movies?

“Hallmark channels have increased their annual Christmas movie count by 20 percent since 2017, but Lifetime has more than quadrupled its output in the last two years and Netflix has doubled its in that same time.”

14. Tales From the Teenage Cancel Culture

“We all do cringey things and make dumb mistakes and whatever. But social media’s existence has brought that into a place where people can take something you did back then and make it who you are now.”

15. Those People We Tried to Cancel? They’re All Hanging Out Together

“… a unique emerging class of people — journalists, academics, opinion writers — canceled for bad, conservative or offensive opinions. As it happens, cancellation is bringing many of them together.”

16. As Men Are Canceled, So Too Their Magazine Subscriptions

“Even Playboy, mired in identity crisis since dial-up modems, is suddenly woke.”

17. The End of Friendly Generational Relations

“‘Ok boomer’ has become Generation Z’s endlessly repeated retort to the problem of older people who just don’t get it, a rallying cry for millions of fed up kids. Teenagers use it to reply to cringey YouTube videos, Donald Trump tweets, and basically any person over 30 who says something condescending about young people — and the issues that matter to them.”

18. Where Jaws, the Ride, Lives Forever

“Thanks to park archivists like Mr. Alvey, no theme park truly disappears anymore. The Jaws clip is just one in the thriving genre of ‘last-ride’ videos, in which the final moments of amusement park attractions are chronicled for posterity.”

19. The Parks That Made the Man Who Made Central Park

“In surveying various landscapes, Olmsted was drawn to the natural style of the English country garden over the more formal, geometric look of French estates. For Olmsted, an effective park was not unlike a good parlor trick in its ability to transport city dwellers from their noisy, crowded surroundings to a man-made Eden.”

20. An Inventor’s Life That Was Incandescent Any Way You Look at It

“Few biographers, however, possess the narrative talents of Edmund Morris. His ability to set a scene, the words aligned in sweet rhythmic cadence, is damn near intoxicating.”

21. By the Book: André Aciman

“I love reading on the subway. It’s a habit I picked up when I first moved to New York in 1968. I had a 40-minute commute from my apartment on the Upper West Side to Lehman College in the Bronx. This is how I read all of Pascal (arguably the most intelligent writer ever) and the complete plays of Racine. To this day, you won’t spot me on the subway without some sort of reading material. Usually a book, or pages from something I’m writing. I know the M.T.A. gets a bad rap from time to time, but my concentration is the closest it will ever get to perfect on a New York City subway. So they must be doing something right.”

22. The Life and Work of Susan Sontag

“By 1968 Sontag had very nearly become an international symbol of intellectual celebrity at its most accomplished. It mattered too that she was a beautiful woman in a time when her beauty and her sex qualified her for the exotic position of ‘the brilliant exception,’ always a figure held in extravagant regard. It’s hard not to wonder if Sontag’s rise to fame would have been as great had she simply been a pleasant-looking man.”

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