Sunday 2.16.2020 New York Times Digest

1. To Tame Coronavirus, Mao-Style Social Control Blankets China

“Residential lockdowns of varying strictness — from checkpoints at building entrances to hard limits on going outdoors — now cover at least 760 million people in China, or more than half the country’s population.”

2. Bloomberg’s Billions: How the Candidate Built an Empire of Influence

“His political rise has become a test of the impact one man’s wealth can have when he applies it to the political system with driving sophistication.”

3. Michael Bloomberg’s Campaign Suddenly Drops Memes Everywhere

“‘It’s the most successful ad that I’ve ever posted.’”

4. The End of Australia as We Know It

“Housing, holiday travel, work, leisure, food and water are all being reconsidered.”

5. Every Problem In America Is a Housing Problem

“Nearly all of the biggest challenges in America are, at some level, a housing problem. Rising home costs are a major driver of segregation, inequality, and racial and generational wealth gaps. You can’t talk about education or the shrinking middle class without talking about how much it costs to live near good schools and high-paying jobs. Transportation accounts for about a third of the nation’s carbon dioxide emissions, so there’s no serious plan for climate change that doesn’t begin with a conversation about how to alter the urban landscape so that people can live closer to work.”

6. Don’t Want Alexa to Listen? Wear This.

“Knocking on someone’s door or chatting in someone’s kitchen now involves the distinct possibility of being recorded.”

7. Never Mind the Internet. This Is Killing Malls.

“Internet shopping still represents only 11 percent of the entire retail sales total.”

8. There Have Been 10 Black Senators Since Emancipation

“As nearly everyone knows, in the nation’s more than two centuries of existence Barack Obama is our only black president. Less familiar is the fact that of the nearly 2,000 men and women who have served in the Senate only 10 have been black.”

9. How to Make Your Marriage Gayer

“Studies in 2006 found that the happiest and most sexually satisfied couples are now those who divide housework and child care the most equally. Couples where the wife does the bulk of routine chores, such as dishwashing, report the highest levels of discord.”

10. Bring Back the Tomboys

“It was an understandable counter to the somewhat limiting message of the earlier tomboy era, which implied that while masculinity was good for boys and girls, femininity was bad for both. But it also edged out a certain kind of acceptable masculinity in young girls, and came with its own confinements — namely the idea that girls could be strong, so long as they were also pretty.”

11. Who’s Profiting From Your Outrageous Medical Bills?

“Your hospital and doctor and insurer — all claiming to coordinate care for your health — are often in a three-way competition for your money.”

12. The Meaning of a Giant Roast Pig

“What seems like such a simple decision, to stop eating meat, has a way of alienating us from our histories and our traditions and the people around us.”

13. What Happens When You Get Famous Off One Song?

“Teen creators now live knowing that any given thing they post might just change their life.”

14. The Original Renegade

“To be robbed of credit on TikTok is to be robbed of real opportunities.”

15. You Can Pay People to Style Your Houseplants

“In the age of the gig economy, where freelancers and consultants exist to fulfill every life need, and hiring out a task can be preferable to learning how to do it yourself.”

16. The Black Women Who Travel for Love

“There’s a growing group of tour providers, blogs, Instagram accounts and Facebook groups that encourage black women to travel to Italy to find love.”

17. By the Book: Cheryl Strayed

“I don’t believe in should when it comes to reading, except to say that reading should be driven by curiosity and pleasure, rather than obligation or obedience.”

18. Charm Offensive

“It turns out that we were just as conflicted about seduction centuries ago as we are now. Depending on whom you ask and when, the seducer is either a manipulative villain exploiting innocents or a heroic figure of sexual liberation.”

19. See You on Sunday

“Social scientists have a term of art to capture a person’s overall happiness and sense of well-being. They call it ‘life satisfaction’ and find it strongly correlates with time spent with those who care about you and about whom you care. A regular dinner with family and friends is a marvelous way to create that time. Which is not to say that life satisfaction will arise from your very first meal, or even your fifth. I think it accrues only over months and years, as you cook food and share it. Regularity matters. Standing dinner dates, at their best, are simply special occasions that are not at all extraordinary. They become that way over time.”

20. The Auction Block

“The sales took place all over the growing nation — in taverns, town squares and train stations, on riverbanks and by the side of the road. Before being sold, the enslaved were often kept in pens or private jails, sometimes for days or weeks. Then they were sold directly from the pens or marched to a nearby auction. Thousands of sales took place each year, right in the hearts of American cities and towns, on the steps of courthouses and city halls. As the historian Steven Deyle puts it, slave auctions were ‘a regular part of everyday life.’”

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