Sunday 1.26.2020 New York Times Digest

1. The Darkness Where the Future Should Be

“The right and the left share a sense of creeping doom, though for different reasons. For people on the right, it’s sparked by horror at changing demographics and gender roles. For those on the left, a primary source of foreboding is climate change, which makes speculation about what the world will look like decades hence so terrifying that it’s often easier not to think about it at all.”

2. Williamson Returns, and Everyone Worries About His Knee

“It may seem logical that the best way to get better at basketball is to play it more often. But specialization and intense training of repetitive movements from a young age, researchers say, can leave muscles overstressed and prone to imbalance, subjecting players to the possibility of injury and, eventually, shortened N.B.A. careers.”

3. They Changed the Way You Buy Your Basics

“Between 2013 and 2017, some $17 billion in sales shifted from big consumer brands to small brands — and that was before many of the latest start-ups began getting traction.”

4. Afternoon of a Pawnbroker

“Many banks won’t lend money unless you have collateral. Most of our customers live paycheck to paycheck. They can’t get money from the bank, so they use us like their bank.”

5. You Are Now Remotely Controlled

“Surveillance capitalists exploit the widening inequity of knowledge for the sake of profits. They manipulate the economy, our society and even our lives with impunity, endangering not just individual privacy but democracy itself. Distracted by our delusions, we failed to notice this bloodless coup from above.”

6. One Nation, Tracked

“Every minute of every day, everywhere on the planet, dozens of companies — largely unregulated, little scrutinized — are logging the movements of tens of millions of people with mobile phones and storing the information in gigantic data files.”

7. ‘Before Sunrise’: The Making of an Indie Classic

“To this day, they don’t really get the credit as actors because everybody thinks they’re improvising.”

8. When White Supremacists Overthrew an Elected Government

“A town that once boasted the largest percentage of black residents of any large Southern city found itself in the midst of a systematic purge. Successful black men were targeted for banishment from the city, while black workers left all their possessions behind as they rushed to the swamps for safety. Over 60 people died. No one seemed to care. The governor of North Carolina cowered in the face of the violent rebellion, worried about his own life. President William McKinley turned a blind eye to the bloodshed. And Waddell was selected as mayor as the white supremacists forced the duly elected officials to resign.”

9. Becoming a Man

“We are all contradictions. We are all doubling as ourselves.”

10. The Saudi Connection: Inside the 9/11 Case That Divided the F.B.I.

“The full story of the F.B.I.’s investigation into Saudi links to the 9/11 attacks has remained largely untold.”

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