Category Archives: new york times

Sunday 9.15.2019 New York Times Digest

1. Why Does Everything Smell, So Peacefully, of Lavender?

“Lavender was a key ingredient in the bougie domestic fantasy sold by retailers like Williams Sonoma and L’Occitane en Provence. It wafted gently over the entire oeuvre of Peter Mayle, the author of A Year in Provence, among other books. Now you can buy Downy Infusions Lavender Serenity fabric softener.”

2. The ‘Nike of Sleep’

“Casper has quietly acknowledged that it’s not enough to be a mere foam-slab company. The start-up needs a bigger market, and the concept it’s embracing is sleep itself.”

3. Salvadorans, Washington’s Builders, Face Expulsion Under Trump

“Temporary protected status does not provide a path to citizenship, but most of these workers never thought they would face deportation. They have been in the United States legally, for nearly two decades in many cases. Some have bought homes and cars and have settled into middle-class lives. Many have children who are American citizens.”

4. Freelancing to Fill the Gaps in Retirement Funds

“The stereotype of today’s freelancer is a young, scrappy urbanite hustling for gigs in a shared work space or coffee shop. And while it is true that millennials make up the largest chunk of the freelancer population in the United States, another demographic may soon catch up: their parents.”

5. Thousands More Jeffrey Epsteins Are Still Out There

“But the problem isn’t one tycoon but many tens of thousands of men who pay for sex with underage girls across the country. And society as a whole reacts with the same indifference that the authorities showed in the Epstein scandal.”

6. Are Democrats Doomed?

“Trump’s faux-thenticity somehow makes the Democratic candidates seem more packaged, more stuck in politician-speak.”

7. There Is No Tech Backlash

“It often seems we are willing to overlook significant potential downsides in exchange for rather trivial payoffs.”

8. Tina Turner Is Having the Time of Her Life

“There is a metal plaque on the gate to Tina Turner’s estate that says ‘Vor 12.00 Uhr nicht läuten, keine Lieferungen,’ which I believe is German for ‘Do not even think about bothering Tina Turner before noon.’”

9. Linda Hamilton Fled Hollywood, but ‘Terminator’ Still Found Her

“Disillusioned, she […] fled Los Angeles, roughing it for a few years on a Virginia farm before moving to New Orleans, a city whose lively spirit she treasures. […] Her life in New Orleans is gratifyingly spartan. ‘I love my alone time like no one you’ve ever met,’ said Hamilton…. ‘I’ve been celibate for at least 15 years. One loses track, because it just doesn’t matter — or at least it doesn’t matter to me. I have a very romantic relationship with my world every day and the people who are in it.’”

10. Restoring Black Cowboys to the Range

“One in four cowboys during what is known as the pioneer era, which began following the Civil War in 1865 and ended around 1895, were black.”

11. To Fight Global Warming, Think More About Systems Than About What You Consume

“Social scientists estimate that getting 3 or 4 percent of people involved in a movement is often enough to force systemic change, whereas if they acted solely as consumers that same number would have relatively little effect.”

12. When Violent Crime Is Your Fixation

This enthralling book devotes case studies to four bored or directionless women whose fixations on other people’s crimes unlock a sense of purpose and give them a vocation. For such women, someone getting killed is the best thing that ever happened to them.

13. What Can a Star Like Cardi B Do for a Politician Like Sanders?

“This pairing came about more naturally than it might look. In 2016, Cardi encouraged fans to ‘vote for Daddy Bernie’; she and Sanders have spent the last few years complimenting each other online. She is young enough to fit into Sanders’s base, and in many ways their brands align: Both appeal to their audiences by speaking with a certain blunt authenticity. That quality is clearly refreshing for younger audiences, but it also means that, throughout this video, you can almost feel the tension of the ghostly P.R. teams surrounding them, willing the conversation to go smoothly.”

14. How to Find Fossils

“It takes just a few minutes holding a fossilized, pill-bug-looking marine trilobite that swam through Paleozoic seas 500 million years ago to make you aware of the bliplike nature of your own time on Earth.”

15. What College Admissions Offices Really Want

“Enrollment managers know there is no shortage of deserving low-income students applying to good colleges. They know this because they regularly reject them — not because they don’t want to admit these students, but because they can’t afford to.”

16. I Was a Low-Income College Student. Classes Weren’t the Hard Part.

“We like to think that landing a coveted college spot is a golden ticket for students from disadvantaged backgrounds. We think less critically about what happens next. I lived this gap as a first-generation college student. And I returned to it as a first-generation graduate student, spending two years observing campus life and interviewing more than 100 undergraduates at an elite university. Many students from low-income families described having to learn and decode a whole new set of cues and terms like professors’ “office hours” (many didn’t know what they were or how to use them), and foreign rituals like being invited to get coffee with an instructor (and not knowing whether they were expected to pay) — all those moments between convocation and commencement where college life is actually lived.”

Sunday 9.8.19 New York Times Digest

Person looking through binoculars with googly eyes

1. Humans Are Impetuous and Shortsighted. Can We Change?

“The future is an idea we have to conjure in our minds, not something that we perceive with our senses.”

2. How Writing Papers for American College Students Has Become a Lucrative Profession Overseas

“You can relax knowing that our reliable, expert writers will produce you a top quality and 100% plagiarism free essay that is written just for you, while you take care of the more interesting aspects of student life.”

3. A Nobel-Winning Economist Goes to Burning Man

“Urban planners design too much, while economists cede too much to the market. The answer lies in between — in drawing the street grid on the desert.”

4. Taking Out a Student Loan Is Better Than Dropping Out

“Loans allowed students to earn additional college credits, which led to more stable careers and finances.”

5. Football Is Here to Stay

“The N.F.L.’s second century could look as good as its first.”

6. The Real Donald Trump Is a Character on TV

“The key is to remember that Donald Trump is not a person. He’s a TV character.”

7. Which Came First, Trump or TV?

“His effect was to erase everything between Gutenberg and the cathode-ray tube.”

8. Taylor Swift, Philosopher of Forgiveness

“Forgiveness is a way forward only when it’s warranted.”

9. The Lost Promise of Reconstruction

“The amendments should be seen not simply as changes to an existing structure but as a second American founding, which created a fundamentally new Constitution.”

10. Why I Quit the Writers’ Room

“There I was, a black man in America who shares with millions of others the history of racism. And more often than not, treated as subhuman. If addressed at all that history had to be rendered in words my employers regarded as acceptable.”

11. The Memes Are Pouring the White Claw Down Your Throat!

“Get big enough and the public will provide you with free advertising.”

12. By the Book: Patti Smith

“I read all the time, anywhere — on my stoop, in a noisy cafe, at night in my tour bus bunk. The external circumstance is not the key, it’s the book itself. I’m like Gumby; I enter the world of a book and temporarily live there, shutting all else out. Unless I’m researching, I only finish books I love. I don’t date. I can pretty much tell right away if I’m going to commit.”

13. How Americans and Germans Cope With Past Evils

“Born and raised in the South, Neiman moved from Berlin to Mississippi to research this fascinating book. She actively sought people and institutions engaged in ‘remembering.’ She found eerie similarities between the response of the first generations of postwar Germans to their evil past and the response of many Americans, particularly Southerners, to theirs. Many of her Southern informants echoed Germany’s post-World War II mantra. Nobody was in the slave business. Southerners just bought what Northern ship captains sold them. Slavery was unconnected to the Civil War. The conflict was all about taxes.”

14. A View of the Bering Strait That’s Anything but Narrow

“Sunlight feeds algae, which feeds krill, which feeds bowhead whales, which feed a Tikigagmiut village or a Massachusetts fortune. Tundra lichen feeds caribou, which feed the expansion of the United States Bureau of Indian Affairs. On the foundations of such energy flows, nations are constructed. Capitalist and communist ideologies are tested.”

15. Toni Morrison on Goodness

“Evil has a blockbuster audience; Goodness lurks backstage.”

16. Living in Extreme Isolation

“Herbert Powyss, a gentleman botanist in 18th-century England, offers 50 pounds per annum, for life, to any man who will live alone for seven years in the basement of his manor, Moreham House.”

17. First You Write a Sentence

“He thinks a sentence should slide down the gullet like a clam, hardly touching the sides.”

18. A History of Latin America Embodied in ‘Silver, Sword, and Stone’

“In her book, she treats Latin America as a ‘commonality’ with a ‘concrete character’ rooted in the unusual circumstances of the encounter between its indigenous cultures on the one hand and European and African populations on the other. The region, she argues, is defined by a common set of stories and interconnected system of beliefs as well as the use of a lingua franca — Spanish — that is not the mother tongue of all but which the majority understands and can speak. To encompass these particularities, Arana has divided her book into three parts, each named after a trait that has played an essential role in history: ‘silver,’ evoking the dependence on extractive economies focused on precious metals; ‘sword,’ referring to the tendency to embrace political power predicated on military might and the threat of violence — la mano dura, or the iron fist; and ‘stone,’ a multifaceted religious fervor that is only superficially similar to Catholic orthodoxy.”

19. Letter of Recommendation: Deadlifting

“I’ve found reprieve in the deadlift, in its simple, singular focus on what the body can do.”

20. Keeping the Dream Alive

“ESPN/ABC carries only 16 of the league’s 204 regular-season games (some of which also air nationally on CBS Sports Network, Twitter and NBATV), so each team must produce its own TV broadcast, complete with commentators, and negotiate with local stations to air it. The game tonight would be streaming live on the website of the Atlanta ABC affiliate. Both commentators were new, last season’s duo having declined to take a significant pay cut.”

21. The Gospel According to Marianne Williamson

“Yes, a campaign of love sounds silly when taken against a background of serious words and immediate policies and $1,000 a month for life. It sounds crazy on Twitter, and it would make me laugh to see it in the New York Times headline typeface. Or maybe it’s just so radical you have to hear it for yourself. A lot of the ideas I heard on the trail were that way. I tell you, when I sat there, listening to these candidates on porches and under canvas tents and on an apple crate and in Adirondack chairs, it seemed to me that it was only something you would believe if you could stand there and look the person in the eyes and hear his or her sincerity and good intentions.”

22. The Comedians Challenging Stereotypes About Asian-American Masculinity

“Though Asian-American women face equally vexing problems when it comes to representation, our own sexuality — however problematically portrayed, however exoticized — is, for better or worse, accepted. When Asian-American men’s sexuality is granted, it is the exception to the rule.”

23. Giovanni’s Room’ Revisited

“How dare he call on what he knew — his experience — and marry it to his imagination, that which the soul rumbles around in, alive to discovery? That wasn’t a black man’s job, let alone right: to hatch things out of his imagination, and then add to it — for the sake of verisimilitude — from the pot of his own experience. No. No one wants that. What one wants, says the publisher, or whomever, in 1955 — and even now when the catchword is ‘urban’ — what one wants after ‘Go Tell It on the Mountain’ and those marvelous pieces about the Harlem ghetto, blacks and Jews in Harlem and so forth, is a more authentic blackness: The dirt and sex you wrote about in ‘Go Tell It on the Mountain,’ and some of the essays. Can you forgo your imagination and be black for me?

24. Utopia, Abandoned

“For a time, it was likely the most progressive and successful company town anywhere in the world, existing not for the sake of control or convenience but rather representing a new and short-lived kind of corporate idealism, in which business, politics, architecture and the daily life of the company’s employees all informed one another.”

Sunday 9.1.2019 New York Times Digest

1. Trump’s Twitter War on Spelling

“For people who care about the English language and how best to use it, President Trump’s continual flouting of even basic writing conventions is a serious matter indeed.”

2. A Desire to Be Free, and Not Just From Clothes

“The Nazis tried to root out nudism, and so did the Communists, briefly. To no avail.”

3. Malcolm Gladwell Goes Dark

“Lots of readers will scoff.”

4. South Korean Women Try Start-Ups

“Glass ceilings in a conservative country’s biggest companies have motivated a new generation of female entrepreneurs.”

5. How Technology Makes Jail Even Bleaker

“What was imagined as a supplement to in-person visitation has become the only option.”

6. To Drive Change, Look Past the Bottom Line

“You cannot solve issues like poverty or climate change or food security with the myopic focus on quarterly reporting.”

7. Founders of Successful Tech Companies Are Mostly Middle-Aged

“The researchers looked at start-ups established between 2007 and 2014 and analyzed the top 0.1 percent — defined as those with the fastest growth in employment and sales. The average age of those companies’ founders was 45.”

8. Dogs Will Fix Our Broken Democracy

“We need dogs, or at least we’re better off with them. They yank us outside of our narrowest selves. They force us to engage.”

9. How Paying for College Is Changing Middle-Class Life

“Parents make huge investments in education so that their children can maintain or achieve middle-class status, but in the process, they increase the risk of falling out of the middle class themselves.”

10. Can We Guarantee That Colleges Are Intellectually Diverse?

“The conservative boogeyman of the tenured atheist radical who brainwashes innocent undergraduates is more myth than reality. It’s true that academia has long leaned to the left, especially in the humanities and social sciences, and activist professors do exist. But they are a minority. Where professors more commonly fall down, I suspect, is in our failure to grasp how changes in the broader culture — like omnipresent social media and polarized, cruel politics — have made students reluctant to embrace the freedom that we like to believe our classrooms provide.”

11. No, Your Kid Shouldn’t Get a Gold Star for Reading

“Do not punish your child by making him read, not even if he shoves his baby cousin unceremoniously off the swing. But there’s a more surprising corollary: Do not reward your child for reading either.”

12. Can We Slow Down Time in the Age of TikTok?

“Students don’t just need to be brought into contact with new ideas, they also need the time for sustained inquiry, a kind of time outside of time where neither they nor their work is immediately held to the standards of productivity.”

13. The Private Lives of Protesters

“My ‘real’ life — the one where I show up to work every morning, have a drink in the evening with friends, hide underneath the covers reading a book at night or call a handyman for odd jobs — exists in a parallel universe, one in which the city isn’t burning. On the weekends, I enter that other world — the one in which I head out wearing safety gear, my hard hat and face mask in place — to witness the thousands marching and then go home to watch live feeds of the news late at night.”

14. What I Know About Famous Men’s Penises

“The descriptions never leave you. They fester in the mind like mold in typhoon season.”

15. White Filmmakers Addressing (or Avoiding) Whiteness Onscreen

“It’s time for white people to start helping one another see themselves in terms of their race and all the undeserved, inherited privilege that comes with it. It’s a self-examination that knows the difference between ‘woke’ and self-awareness, and leans toward the latter. It’s not easy work.”

16. When John Grisham Movies Were King

“Judging by his books (and their movie adaptations), Grisham — like Clinton and Gore — seemed to believe in a newer, more middle-of-the-road kind of Southern leadership, which balanced progressive attitudes about social justice with more regressive ideas about reducing crime and maintaining order.”

17. The Amazing Treasure Trove of Bill Cunningham

“He had an unerring eye for catching every fashion wave well before anyone else, and doing so not just on runways (though he loved designer fashion shows), but out there on the pavement of good old gritty Gotham.”

18. The Truth About Koch Industries

“A reader actually does learn not just about the growth of the power of Koch Industries, but also about that of corporate America’s as well.”

19. Emojis Are Language Too

“The internet isn’t just changing the way we use language, it’s changing the way we think about it. When the most visible medium for written English was print, our metaphor for language was the book: fixed, authoritative, slow to change. Now that most written English is informal and online, our collective metaphor is shifting to language as a network: fluid, collectively negotiated, constantly altered.”

20. Two New Books About Bugs

“Insects sit at the base of the food chain, fodder for innumerable other critters. They also pollinate dozens of vital food crops. One survey estimated that insects contribute nearly $577 billion to the world economy through agricultural activity.”

21. Letter of Recommendation: Collecting One Book

“To collect a single book — to follow it through generations and across borders, to consider the forms and languages in which other readers have presented it — is to commit your attention to its legacy. If you’re patient, the patterns that emerge are worth the wait.”

22. How to Organize a Walkout

“Know your colleagues; build trust; get together to articulate common concerns and a shared vision of change. Avoid detection by doing these things in person or over encrypted messenger apps like Signal. Organizing a robust worker movement can take years.”

23. Where Does Affirmative Action Leave Asian-Americans?

“Are Asians actually minorities? And if diversity — whatever that means — is the goal of affirmative action, how many Asians does a school really want on campus?”

Sunday 8.25.2019 New York Times Digest

1. Summer on the Swollen Great Lakes

“Long term, I don’t know how anybody along the lakeshore deals with it.”

2. Apple’s Watch Is Smarter, but My Casio Keeps Getting the Job Done

“In this era of rampant planned obsolescence, the Casio watch remains a remarkable outlier: a once-advanced device that has been available for a quarter-century and still does exactly what it was designed to do.”

3. Many Are Abandoning Facebook. These People Have the Opposite Problem.

“While many users are abandoning Facebook, fed up with what seems like a never-ending series of privacy violations, a small cohort find themselves in the opposite position. They’ve been kicked off the platform, and no matter how hard they try — and they try really, really hard — they can’t get back on.”

4. A Glut of Pings Intruding on Your Vacation Getaway

“Unlike other interruptions, like those from a boss at work, which intrude despite our best efforts, alerts from a smart home are disruptions of our own making. We buy the equipment and set our phones to dole out constant reminders at the beach that responsibilities continue elsewhere. Rather than ask a neighbor to check on the house while we’re gone, as we might have done a decade ago, we take the burden with us.”

5. I Visited 47 Sites. Hundreds of Trackers Followed Me.

“This is happening every day, all the time, and the only reason we’re O.K. with it is that it’s happening behind the scenes, in the comfortable shadows. If we all had pictures like this, we might revolt.”

6. Seattle Has Figured Out How to End the War on Drugs

“In effect, Seattle is decriminalizing the use of hard drugs. It is relying less on the criminal justice toolbox to deal with hard drugs and more on the public health toolbox.”

7. Blame Economists for the Mess We’re In

“Accounts of the rise of inequality often take a fatalistic view. The problem is described as a natural consequence of capitalism, or it is blamed on forces, like globalization or technological change, that are beyond the direct control of policymakers. But much of the fault lies in ourselves, in our collective decision to embrace policies that prioritized efficiency and encouraged the concentration of wealth, and to neglect policies that equalized opportunity and distributed rewards. The rise of economics is a primary reason for the rise of inequality.”

8. How ‘Sesame Street’ Started a Musical Revolution

“Long before inclusion was a curriculum goal, ‘Sesame Street’ made a point to showcase Afro-Caribbean rhythms, operatic powerhouses, Latin beats, Broadway showstoppers and bebop alongside its notably diverse cast.”

9. Why Doesn’t Anyone Want to Live in This Perfect Place?

“Fifty years ago, just as gay liberation movements swept cities around the world, some lesbians began to leave them. The women decamped to rural areas where they could collectively purchase property and build communities from scratch. They erected outhouses, laid pipelines and set up chicken coops. In the process, many found romance. Membership grew by word of mouth, and eventually a directory of womyn’s lands was compiled and passed between communities, creating a social network of potential friends and partners.”

10. Why Sexually Transmitted Infections Can’t Shake Their Stigma

“50 percent of sexually active people will have at least one S.T.I. by age 25.”

11. As American as Deconstructed Potpie

“Welcome to the hipsterfied diner. Same look and vibe as the classic steel original, but the food has been upgraded to reflect current tastes.”

12. In Southern Appalachia, Searching for the ‘Big Bang’ of Country Music

“While the rest of America was roaring to jazz during the ’20s, in a small corner of the South, where back roads snake through early-morning mist and porches are used for melody-making as much as sitting in rocking chairs, another form of music was quietly taking root. In the heart of southern Appalachia, at the convergence of northeast Tennessee and southwest Virginia, a set of early recording sessions, conducted by a New York City record producer over two epoch-making weeks in the summer of 1927, would catapult the careers of the Carter Family from Virginia, the ‘first family of country music,’ and the Mississippi singer and songwriter Jimmie Rodgers, who would become known as ‘the father of country music.’”

13. Can the American West Be Saved?

“The ingredients of tragedy — here you have them.”

14. By the Book: Cathleen Schine

“Many years ago, as a 30-year-old, I attended a dinner party with a number of well-known New York writers. The talk was fast and witty and allusive and, self-conscious and self-absorbed as only a young person who does not understand that everyone suffers from impostor syndrome can be, I spent an excruciating evening among these very successful, older writers, trying not to spill my wine and wondering if I should pretend I had read The Bonfire of the Vanities and tell Tom Wolfe, who was sitting next to me, how much I liked it. I did not, which is a good thing, because I realized when I got home that Tom Wolfe sitting next to me was actually Gay Talese. I have avoided literary dinner parties ever since.”

15. How the Department of Defense Bankrolled Silicon Valley

“It took a whole lot of Defense Department dollars to transform the region.”

16. Reading the Hidden Racial Life of American Fiction

“Literary white flight — into imagined worlds from which black people and the urgent questions their presence begs have been absented — is no less a matter of power.”

17. Why Do Politicians Blame ‘Cosmopolitans’ for Local Problems?

“Actual cosmopolitans typically agree that cosmopolitanism works best when it’s rooted.”

18. Talk: James Ellroy

“This is the great pianist Glenn Gould on the great composer Richard Strauss. ‘The great thing about the music of Richard Strauss is that … it presents to us an example of the man who makes richer his own time for not being of it, who speaks for all generations by being of none. It is an ultimate argument of individuality, an argument that a man can create his own synthesis of time without being bound by the conformities that time imposes.’ That says it all.”

19. How Many Steps Should You Take a Day?

“She found that increasing your average step count by even a small amount reduced your risk of mortality.”

20. Neil Young’s Lonely Quest to Save Music

“We are poisoning ourselves with degraded sound, he believes, the same way that Monsanto is poisoning our food with genetically engineered seeds. The development of our brains is led by our senses; take away too many of the necessary cues, and we are trapped inside a room with no doors or windows. Substituting smoothed-out algorithms for the contingent complexity of biological existence is bad for us, Young thinks. He doesn’t care much about being called a crank.”

21. Did Venus Williams Ever Get Her Due?

“Venus was first.”

22. The Big Business of Scavenging in Postindustrial America

“According to the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI), the world’s premier recyclers’ trade association, the scrap industry as a whole — which includes processors of plastics, paper, glass, rubber and textiles — employs 531,500 people. That exceeds the number of Americans who work as computer programmers, web developers, chemical engineers and biomedical engineers combined.”

Sunday 8.18.19 New York Times Digest

1. Commuting Has Always Been Soul-Crushing

“Commuting to work can awaken elemental feelings of dread, powerlessness and rage.”

2. Is Slavery’s Legacy in the Power Dynamics of Sports?

“What we’re seeing now is about value beyond money. It’s about power, history and the long quest for black self-determination.”

3. A.I. Is Learning From Humans. Many Humans.

“A.I., most people in the tech industry would tell you, is the future of their industry, and it is improving fast thanks to something called machine learning. But tech executives rarely discuss the labor-intensive process that goes into its creation.”

4. An Ice-Free Iceland Is Not a Joke

“Ok is the first Icelandic glacier to lose its status as a glacier. In the next 200 years, all our glaciers are expected to follow the same path.”

5. The Tired and Poor Who Make America Great

“Any society that starts down the path of marginalizing certain groups will eventually need new targets.”

6. We Have Ruined Childhood

“In many ways, America has given up on childhood, and on children.”

7. How Women Can Escape the Likability Trap

“Men, to be successful, just need to master and display masculine-coded traits; women, to be successful, need to master both those and some version of feminine-coded traits that do not undercut their perceived competence or authenticity. That’s a lot trickier.”

8. Finding Myself in My Mother’s Calendars

“We tend to think that calendars are about time, but I see now they are about much more — relationships (for whom will I set aside time?) and responsibilities (what events matter most and what is my role in them?).”

9. Is the Evening Sky Doomed?

“In the United States, east of the Mississippi there remain only two very small pockets of truly dark nighttime sky — one in northern Minnesota, the other in northern Maine — that allow us to see the night sky as our distant ancestors did.”

10. The Pain of Losing a Local Record Store

“Our emotional connection to stores, restaurants and other commercial spots whose loss we mourn has nothing to do with economics. These businesses give us the most pleasure because of their irrational exuberance, their daily chutzpah, which is what’s so humanizing about them.”

11. I’m a Black Feminist. I Think Call-Out Culture Is Toxic.

“Call-outs are justified to challenge provocateurs who deliberately hurt others, or for powerful people beyond our reach. Effectively criticizing such people is an important tactic for achieving justice. But most public shaming is horizontal and done by those who believe they have greater integrity or more sophisticated analyses. They become the self-appointed guardians of political purity.”

12. ‘90 Day Fiancé’: An Anti-Fantasy for Troubled Times

“Think of ‘90 Day Fiancé’ as the right show for a wrong time, a guilty pleasure that invites viewers to offload their confusion, mistrust and guilt around immigration onto the sometimes shirtless backs of a few messy foreign nationals and the Americans who debatably love them.”

13. The Magic of Swimming Holes

“The coast is a line, but a swimming hole is a dot on the map, a point in space and time.”

14. Portraits That Peer Under the Skin

“UV photography has become popular with young people looking for ways to scrutinize their bodies and monitor their health.”

15. Where Libraries are the Tourist Attractions

“They have rooftop gardens, public parks, verandas, play spaces, teen centers, movie theaters, gaming rooms, art galleries, restaurants and more. The new library in Aarhus, Denmark, has a massive gong that rings whenever a mother in a nearby hospital gives birth.”

16. What Should an Artist Save?

“Archives are unique to a person, to a government, to a period of history — no two are ever alike — and they are often available to browse but not necessarily open to the public like a library might be, nor are they reproduced or, in most cases, moved. Their purpose is almost more useful to grasp as an idea than as a practicality: Here lies everything we can’t remember but should never forget. Archives possess an inherent power — they are the authority on what or who will remain within the historical narrative.”

17. Everything Is Gamergate: When the Internet Chases You From Your Home + First They Came for the Black Feminists + How an Online Mob Created a Playbook for a Culture War + I Wish I Could Tell You It’s Gotten Better. It Hasn’t

“Five years ago, a series of vile events changed the way we fight online.”

18. The 1619 Project

“The 1619 Project is a major initiative from The New York Times observing the 400th anniversary of the beginning of American slavery. It aims to reframe the country’s history, understanding 1619 as our true founding, and placing the consequences of slavery and the contributions of black Americans at the very center of the story we tell ourselves about who we are.”

Sunday 8.11.2019 New York Times Digest

1. What Makes an American?

“The classic version of Americanization is called straight-line assimilation. It’s a three-generation tale as central to America’s mythology as the Boston Tea Party: The immigrants struggle amid poverty and bias; their children awkwardly juggle two cultures; the third generation completes the rise, with a white-collar job and a house in the suburbs. The story imparts two lessons: The descendants of immigrants advance and do so by blending in.”

2. A Common Trait Among Mass Killers: Hatred Toward Women

“The motivations of men who commit mass shootings are often muddled, complex or unknown. But one common thread that connects many of them — other than access to powerful firearms — is a history of hating women, assaulting wives, girlfriends and female family members, or sharing misogynistic views online, researchers say.”

3. Can Britain’s Top Bookseller Save Barnes & Noble?

“If a store is charming and addictive enough […] buying a book there isn’t just more pleasant. The book itself is better than the same book bought online.”

4. Could Your House Be an Instagram Star?

“Free platforms like Instagram make it possible for anyone to show the world her living room, and potentially profit from it by promoting products.”

5. After El Paso

“Citizenship, it turns out, is an illusory shield. In the eyes of that gunman, I am not American but an invader, an instigator.”

6. Parlez-Vous Anglais? Yes, of Course.

“What does it mean for Brits and Americans when everyone from Dutch teenagers to Romanian hackers has mastered our mother tongue?”

7. Are We Living in a Computer Simulation? Let’s Not Find Out

“If our universe has been created by an advanced civilization for research purposes, then it is reasonable to assume that it is crucial to the researchers that we don’t find out that we’re in a simulation. If we were to prove that we live inside a simulation, this could cause our creators to terminate the simulation — to destroy our world.”

8. The Last Great American Novelist

“Is she the last of the species? The last American novelist who made novels seem essential to an educated person’s understanding of her country?”

9. In Praise of Online Dating

“I am nevertheless here to offer a defense of online dating, not necessarily as a tool for finding a partner — I have no idea if the internet will ever yield me true love — but rather as a world-enlarging enterprise, and a means of rebuilding one’s self in the wake of separation.”

10. A Pop-Culture Glossary for Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood

“Here’s a glossary to sort out the real references from the fake ones.”

11. Reality Is Starting to Feel Overrated

“The movies have gone from showing us things we’ve never seen before and convincing us it’s all real to showing us things we have seen before and convincing us it’s not real.”

12. When Did Self-Help Become Self-Care?

“If self-help is about fixing something, self-care thinks you’re already great.”

13. Why Aren’t We Talking About LinkedIn?

“Considering its size and social footprint, LinkedIn has been a notably minor character in major narratives about the hazards of social media. The site hasn’t proved especially useful for mainstreaming disinformation, for example, nor is it an obvious staging ground for organized harassment campaigns. It is unique among its social media peers in that it has not spent the last five years in a state of wrenching crisis.”

14. The Hotel Historian Is at Your Service

“Part reference librarian, part gossip columnist, distinct from a concierge, the historian has become an increasingly popular figure in high-end hotels or inns with actual history.”

15. What Do the Sex Lives of Three Women Tell Us About Female Desire?

“Where is Barbara Stanwyck when we need her?”

16. Letter of Recommendation: Spam

“Although its origin in the family is distanced by time, buried beneath the experience of the lazy weekend brunches of the succeeding generations, Spam functions as an unchanging, replenishable touchstone.”

17. How to Tell Gunfire From Fireworks

“Don’t assume that what you’re hearing on New Year’s Eve or the Fourth of July are fireworks; the weeks around these holidays also see spikes in celebratory gunfire.”

18. Talk: Nicolas Cage

“The psychotic drowns where the mystic swims.”

Sunday 8.4.2019 New York Times Digest

1. It’s the Anniversary of Everything!

“Just what is the point of marking them? Is doing so essential somehow for society’s psychological well-being, an attempt to collectivize experience increasingly diffused by the distractions of the internet? Or just more chances for corporations to sell us stuff?”

2. Across Farms, Illness Sleuths Hit Brick Wall

“The surge in drug-resistant infections is one of the world’s most ominous health threats, and public health authorities say one of the biggest causes is farmers who dose millions of pigs, cows and chickens with antibiotics to keep them healthy — sometimes in crowded conditions before slaughter.”

3. Japan’s Women Opt Out of Marriage

“Not surprisingly, the number of births in Japan — a country where few people have children out of wedlock — is also tumbling. Last year, the number of babies born in the country fell to the lowest level since at least 1899, when record-keeping began.”

4. Will the Millennials Save Playboy?

“In the office, members of the staff use terms like ‘intersectionality,’ ‘sex positivity,’ ‘privileging’ and ‘lived experience’ to describe their editorial vision — and tout their feminist credentials.”

5. How Phones Made the World Your Office, Like It or Not

“The telephone began to pervade our lives at the end of the 19th century, and then … it became our lives. Cellphones were a significant inflection point. They made it possible for us to be available at virtually any moment, which was so extraordinary that most of us tacitly accepted that we should be available at virtually any moment.”

6. The Nuns Who Bought and Sold Human Beings

“Nearly all of the orders of Catholic sisters established by the late 1820s owned slaves.”

7. The Artificial Womb Revolution

“There are of course other ethical issues to consider.”

8. Abortion Pills Are Everywhere

“When something that is difficult to get offline becomes easy to get online, big changes are afoot.”

9. Tracy Flick Deserves Much Better

“When Election was first released, it was recognized as a clever satire of American life. Twenty years later, the satire, and the political allegory, seem much darker and deeper.”

10. When Rape Onscreen Is Directed by a Woman

“We shouldn’t turn away from these things.”

11. Facing a Hobby’s Brutal Side

“Mr. Wehrle described board games as ‘little sympathy engines’ because players directly embody a role. Designers should question whom they have players sympathize with, and why.”

12. Is It Time for a Sleep Divorce?

“Women are more likely to be disturbed by the man’s presence in bed than men by a woman.”

13. There’s a State Park Waiting for You

“You never know what you are going to find.”

14. What We’re Reading

Mystery Train is more than rock criticism. It explores the meaning of America through rock ‘n’ roll.”

15. Born Identity

“Social media moves personal milestones, like expecting a child, into the public realm, which pushes people to mark them with ever more elaborate announcements. Proposals and weddings, too, have snowballed into performative spectacles. Tellingly, the visual language of the gender reveal mimics the escalating drama of reality-television finales — as though there are two genders competing to be born, but only one will be revealed as America’s Next Top Baby.”

16. How to Thwart Facial Recognition

“The first is to disappear: go offline and off the grid.… the second option … to flood the system with weird, incongruous data. Wear someone else’s likeness or lend out your own.”