Sunday 2.9.2020 New York Times Digest

Man Lying Down Glued to Smartphone

1. The Age of Decadence

“Following in the footsteps of the great cultural critic Jacques Barzun, we can say that decadence refers to economic stagnation, institutional decay and cultural and intellectual exhaustion at a high level of material prosperity and technological development.”

2. Reports of Online Videos of Child Sexual Abuse Climb by Millions

“The number of reported photos, videos and other materials related to online child sexual abuse grew by more than 50 percent last year, an indication that many of the world’s biggest technology platforms remain infested with the illegal content.”

3. Who Really Killed Malcolm X?

“55 years after that bloody afternoon in February 1965, the Manhattan district attorney’s office is reviewing whether to reinvestigate the murder.”

4. Kobe Bryant’s Last Flight

“A low-pressure system moved in from the ocean overnight, drawing cool, moist air over much of Los Angeles. A thick marine layer formed a little higher than 1,000 feet above sea level. In most places, there was no fog, just clouds.”

5. An Algorithm That Grants Freedom, or Takes It Away

“How do you win against a computer that is built to stop you?”

6. Maybe Information Actually Doesn’t Want to Be Free

“You can’t give away what you expect the reader to find valuable.”

7. I Don’t Want to Be The Strong Female Lead

“I don’t believe the feminine is sublime and the masculine is horrifying. I believe both are valuable, essential, powerful. But we have maligned one, venerated the other, and fallen into exaggerated performances of both that cause harm to all. How do we restore balance?”

8. My Childhood Was Gloriously Wild

“As we face the threat of the climate crisis and the slow destruction of habitats around the world, we must give children the opportunity to interact with nature in a ‘wild’ way, so that they learn to preserve the natural world around us.”

9. Why America’s Political Divisions Will Only Get Worse

“There is a logic to our polarization. It has become a kind of loop. As the public has polarized, in part because of the behavior of political actors and institutions (including media), the actors and institutions respond by behaving in more polarized ways — which further polarizes the public, and so on and so on.”

10. Hudson Yards Is Coming for Your Soul

“What we are watching is the promised endpoint of consumerism: a fantasy of quasi-religious transcendence, complete with moral virtue (‘allyship’) and galaxy-brain wisdom and strength and drama and violence.”

11. Talk: Henry Louis Gates Jr.

“I want the audience to be with me. That’s what you see in my evolution.”

12. Letter of Recommendation: Framing

“Some of us are born a little mournful, and we spend our lives discovering new traditions for housing those ghosts we’ve long considered companions.”

13. How to Write Fiction When the Planet Is Falling Apart

“Can you still just tend your own garden once you know about the fire outside its walls?”

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