Sunday 1.12.2020 New York Times Digest

1. ‘Techlash’ Hits College Campuses

“There is a growing sentiment that Silicon Valley’s most lucrative positions aren’t worth the ethical quandaries.”

2. Why Home Field Advantage Is Not What It Used to Be

“Across sports, securing home-field advantage for the biggest games might not be as meaningful as it once was.”

3. Will We Ever Figure Out How to Talk to Boys About Sex?

“Despite a new imperative to be scrupulous about affirmative consent, young men are still subject to incessant messages that sexual conquest — being always down for sex, racking up their ‘body count,’ regardless of how they or their partner may feel about it — remains the measure of a ‘real’ man, and a reliable path to social status.”

4. Who Killed the Knapp Family?

“Suicides are at their highest rate since World War II; one child in seven is living with a parent suffering from substance abuse; a baby is born every 15 minutes after prenatal exposure to opioids; America is slipping as a great power.”

5. Hard Times

“America’s true exceptionalism is our lack of concern for one another. To rectify such a crisis, the authors argue, we cannot rely on charity; only robust public policy will suffice. They suggest that such policies should prioritize early childhood programs, high school graduation, universal health coverage, access to contraceptives, housing, jobs and government-issued savings bonds and monthly allowances for all children.”

6. The Gig Economy Is Coming for Your Job

“It’s a business model that reduces everything to a series of app-enabled transactions, and calls it work, leaving what’s left of the welfare state to fill in the rest.”

7. How to Stop Freaking Out and Tackle Climate Change

“The climate crisis is not going to be solved by personal sacrifice. It will be solved by electing the right people, passing the right laws, drafting the right regulations, signing the right treaties — and respecting those treaties already signed, particularly with indigenous nations. It will be solved by holding the companies and people who have made billions off our shared atmosphere to account.”

8. The Academic Apocalypse

“The path to recovery begins … with a renewed faith not only in humanism’s methods and approaches, but in the very thing itself.”

9. Talk Less. Listen More. Here’s How.

“It is only by listening that we engage, understand, empathize, cooperate and develop as human beings. It is fundamental to any successful relationship — personal, professional and political.”

10. Elizabeth Wurtzel and a Vanishing Dream

“Like everyone else she had to hustle.”

11. Gen X Women: More Opportunities, Less Satisfaction?

“Compared with earlier generations, those of us born between 1965 and 1980 earn less, are in greater debt, are more likely to have children with intellectual disabilities or developmental delays and are expected to be constantly available to both our kids and our jobs. If we’re single, heterosexual and well educated, we face a ‘man deficit’; if we’re married, we’re more frustrated by our spouses. As if all that’s not enough, there’s social media to really make us feel physically and existentially inadequate.”

12. By the Book: William Gibson

“After a certain point in one’s career, the worry that they’ll finally notice your true absence of talent morphs into worrying that they’ll finally notice that you’ve Lost It.”

13. Rebel, Rebel

“The real history of music is not respectable.”

14. Is the Viral Non-Ad Ad the Future of Advertising?

“The history of advertising is often cast as an arms race between ever-craftier pitchmen on one side and ever-savvier audiences on the other, who invariably get wise to old techniques of manipulation, necessitating the development of new techniques that are savvier still.”

15. Letter of Recommendation: Ginger Gum

“In the same way that a ribbon of pickled ginger can cleanse the senses of the fishy oils in a bite of mackerel, or a gingersnap after dinner can soften the lingering taste of raw garlic in your mouth, the gum has a clarifying quality, overpowering whatever sights, smells and tastes are haunting you.”

16. Old Musicians Never Die. They Just Become Holograms.

“Using technology to blur the line between the quick and the dead tends to be a recipe for dystopian science fiction, but in this case, it could also mean a lucrative new income stream for a music industry in flux, at a time when beloved entertainers can no longer count on CD or download revenues to support their loved ones after they’ve died.”

17. We Can Alter Entire Species, but Should We?

“Could a gene drive stop one virus only to open the way for another, more virulent one? Could it jump from one species to a related one? What would be the environmental effects, if any, of altering the genes of entire species? How about eliminating a species entirely?”

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