Category Archives: new york times

Sunday 10.21.2018 New York Times Digest


1. Let’s Agree Not to Kill One Another

“What does it say about a society when people just routinely call for the killing of those they disagree with?”

2. Four Thousand Miles for the W

“Sending an N.F.L. team overseas is a herculean venture. Players need passports, the equipment staff sends supplies months in advance, the travel director has to navigate an unfamiliar airport and hotel, and the trainers will often modify the players’ diet and sleep regimens. Then there is the equipment, some 21,000 pounds of it, that must be transported.”

3. Congratulations, You’re a Certified N.B.A. Agent. Good Luck Finding a Client.

“Just nine agents represent a quarter of the league, and 27 represent half.”

4. Where the Streets Have No Names

“Street names and house numbers weren’t inevitable; they were invented. Almost 250 years ago, for example, Empress Maria Theresa of Austria began to number the homes across her vast realm to enable mass conscription of men to fight her wars.”

5. Doctors Should Tell Their Patients to Vote

“Political decisions that affect insurance coverage, access to medical care, housing, minimum wage, immigration law, water sources — just to name a few examples — exert medical effects that are comparable with those of major diseases.”

6. No, A.I. Won’t Solve the Fake News Problem

“Existing A.I. systems that have been built to comprehend news accounts are extremely limited.”

7. Before Arguing About DNA Tests, Learn the Science Behind Them

“Look back far enough in your family tree, and you’ll encounter ancestors from whom you inherit no DNA at all.”

8. Fear of a Black Continent

“In the late 1990s Europe and Africa had about the same population; a hundred years later there could be seven Africans for every European.”

9. The Sound of ‘Housewives’

“Nearly every day of the year, somewhere on earth, at least one episode of ‘The Real Housewives’ is being filmed. They all sound like this: doot doot doot da da tsa tsa pleenk.”

10. At the Library

“Even in the age of the internet, the public library remains the place people come to for answers to their most pressing questions. The search has not been entirely replaced by the search engine.”

11. 12 Authors Write About the Libraries They Love

“We asked several authors to tell us about their local public library or to share a memory of a library from their past.”

12. Were the Founders Against Slavery All Along?

“Slavery is at the heart of the nation’s origin story. The core of our democratic institutions — from the presidency to the Congress to the courts — was shaped immeasurably by it. And yet it is one of the least understood and distorted subjects in American history.”

13. The Man Who Pioneered Food Safety

“The origins of today’s food safety laws, drug safety laws, labeling requirements and environmental regulations can be found in the arguments of the Progressive movement at the turn of the last century.”

14. Books for Better Sex and Better Relationships

“Republicans are publicly more conservative in their tastes, but in their private lives are more likely than Democrats to crave taboo situations like exhibitionism, voyeurism and fetishism.”

15. Does This Moment in History Call for More ‘Nuance,’ or Less?

“Often we obey the vague format of a deliberative conversation, putting forth arguments and evidence only to be shocked when we learn that we are not in a deliberation at all: We are in a raw struggle for power.”

16. Letter of Recommendation: Bandannas

“Unlike hats, bandannas are malleable. They can be relatively useless — mere decorative headwear — or relatively functional, as they were for a variety of laborers: cowboys, mine workers, maids, women with rivet guns in World War II factories. They can keep dust out of mouths, sweat out of eyes, hair out of the way. They’re ubiquitous among the Harley-Davidson crowd and old-school bank robbers. They can double as wraps and tignons, necklaces and tissues.”

17. How to Navigate a Maze

“Draw on all your senses.”

18. This Melissa McCarthy Story Just Might (Maybe? Possibly?) Cheer You Up

“She worries about comedy. She worries about the gloom and fatigue that flows beneath the streets, waiting to suck away her will to laugh and to make laughter.”

19. In Literature, Who Decides When Homage Becomes Theft?

“Now cultural appropriation is wielded as a pejorative against writers and artists who draw material from the trauma of those less privileged than themselves.”

20. Frogs Are Disappearing. What Does That Mean?

“One study estimates that since the 1970s, around 200 frog species have disappeared, with a projected loss of hundreds more in the next century. Frogs are under threat on nearly every continent: from the French Pyrenees to the Central American rain forests to the Sierra Nevada in California. Some species, like the dusky gopher frog, have been depleted by human encroachment on their habitats. But the decimation that started 50 years ago was largely the work of the chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, which thickens a frog’s skin, hindering the animal’s ability to absorb water and oxygen and to maintain a balanced flow of electrolytes, leading to heart failure. Once infected, entire populations can collapse in a single season.”

21. Solange, the Polymathic Cultural Force

“Limitation leads her to discovery.”

22. Viggo Mortensen, the Unlikely Leading Man

“He is Hollywood’s most appealing man probably because he is Hollywood’s least threatening man. He is paternal but not patronizing; he possesses strength without aggression. Even in his most violent scenes, the tension builds but Mortensen rarely acts on it until necessary — like a judo master, he seems able to take another’s energy and flip it to his advantage. You desire him, but he doesn’t set out to seduce. He is one of the few actors for whom the female gaze has been possible (the shock of seeing a naked man on the screen only exists because it is still so rare). The women in his movies are drawn to him as if there’s a hidden stillness that they need to reach, like finding a pond in the middle of a forest. So much of masculinity on film feels like watching a gift you don’t want being unwrapped. But Mortensen’s operates on another plane.”


Sunday 10.14.2018 New York Times Digest

1. The Importance of Unread Books

“A person’s library is often a symbolic representation of his or her mind. A man who has quit expanding his personal library may have reached the point where he thinks he knows all he needs to and that what he doesn’t know can’t hurt him. He has no desire to keep growing intellectually. The man with an ever-expanding library understands the importance of remaining curious, open to new ideas and voices.”

2. A Working Woman’s Weapon

“Dressing for work is work, and the cost — in dollars, time, distraction — is borne disproportionately by women.”

3. Why Are We Surprised When Women Disagree?

“There is no universal female experience. And, as conservative women’s support for Justice Kavanaugh shows, there is no universal female response to allegations of abuse.”

4. Suburban Men ‘Feeling Better’ About Trump

“While recent polls show that white women with a college degree favor Democratic House candidates by a large margin, 20 points or more, white college-educated men — who focus more singularly on economic issues, according to surveys — are a potential bulwark for the president and his party.”

5. Move In. And Never Leave.

“A decade ago, a dream home was designed to wow your friends and neighbors. Today, it’s designed to house your relatives. Or your Airbnb guests. And also be your workplace. Homebuilders say one of the biggest selling points in 2018 isn’t a three-car garage or a grand entryway — it’s a home with flexibility.”

6. When Your Boss Is an Algorithm

“Data and algorithms are presented as objective, neutral, even benevolent: Algorithms gave us super-convenient food delivery services and personalized movie recommendations. But Uber and other ride-hailing apps have taken the way Silicon Valley uses algorithms and applied it to work, and that’s not always a good thing.”

7. Freelancers of the World, Unite in Despair!

“Work hours may never end, yet you will wonder, ‘Could I be doing more?’ The union hereby declares that yes, you could be doing more, and yes, you are a failure, and yes, that feeling of dread will either drive you to do better or make you sad. If you ever feel content, know that it is fleeting, and you should be doing more.”

8. We Need to Talk About God

“Work often takes precedence over worship, social lives are prioritized over spiritual disciplines and most people save their Sunday-best clothing for Monday through Friday. In pluralistic contexts, our neighbors don’t read from the same script or draw from a common spiritual vocabulary.”

9. The Furies

“Girls and women are commonly socialized to suppress their anger, which is a shame because a ready arsenal of rage and invective comes in handy when you’re the subordinated gender.”

10. Noir in the City of Angels

“Los Angeles — superficially bright but, deep down, dark — has been the ultimate setting for the crime novel.”

11. How to Look Up Medical Information Online

“Nearly 80 percent of the patients who looked up things online before seeing a doctor reported that their searches actually improved their experience. They were better able to articulate their symptoms and understand what doctors told them.”

Sunday 10.7.2018 New York Times Digest


1. Stopping Climate Change Is Hopeless. Let’s Do It.

“Solving climate is going to be harder, and more improbable, than winning World War II, achieving civil rights, defeating bacterial infection and sending a man to the moon all together.”

2. Are You a Visual or an Auditory Learner? It Doesn’t Matter

“There’s no good scientific evidence that learning styles actually exist.”

3. Why Is Behavioral Economics So Popular?

“There is nothing wrong with achieving small victories with minor interventions. The worry, however, is that the perceived simplicity and efficacy of such tactics will distract decision makers from more substantive efforts — for example, reducing electricity consumption by taxing it more heavily or investing in renewable energy resources.”

4. The Prison ‘Old-Timers’ Who Gave Me Life

“We must seriously consider whether society would benefit by letting reformed offenders re-enter their community, and whether it’s economical and humane to punish solely for the sake of retribution. When I hear of all the gun violence on Chicago’s South Side, for instance, I can’t help wondering what would happen if Illinois’s many reformed old-timers, who hail from those neighborhoods, were granted parole with a mission of working to reduce the violence. It’s not unreasonable to think they’d have a better chance of reaching the younger generation than the local police or federal law enforcement.”

5. Introducing the Internet Bill of Rights

“Should American citizens get a new Bill of Rights for the internet?”

6. California’s Highway 1, With Memory Riding Shotgun

“The road was built in pieces starting about a century ago, partly with prison labor and explosives; pieces of it still close, for fires, for eroded bridges, for falling right into the ocean. Most recently, in July, a stretch south of Big Sur that had been impassable for more than a year was finally reopened, repaired after six million cubic yards of landslide buried it in its tumble toward the Pacific. In the most evocative parts of the drive, the drop, separated from your car by just a guardrail — or not — is hundreds of feet.”

7. When Guests Want to Check In With Firearms, What Can Hotels Do?

“Wary of criticism and liability, and operating under a patchwork of state and county firearms laws, hotels have crafted an inconsistent range of gun policies that can vary from door to door on the same street and location to location within the same chain.”

8. Inside the World of D.I.Y. Ammunition

“The average member in the Cast Bullet Association is a 55-year-old man, typically mathematically-inclined tinkerers from professions where they used their hands, such as dentists, mechanics or surgeons…. The members enjoy the engineering know-how and alchemy experimentation involved in a hobby that requires millimeter exactitude, tireless patience, and constant trial and error. In contrast, those interested in creating printable guns are often younger and more internet savvy.”

9. Estranged in America: Both Sides Feel Lost and Left Out

“Forty-seven percent of voters who approve of Mr. Trump say they feel like strangers in their own country, while 44 percent of those who disapprove of him say the same.”

10. Life in a For-Profit Lockup

“What is it like to work — or serve time — in a prison where nobody is in charge?”

11. New & Noteworthy

“Singer and Brooking cite research showing that, during a 2012 conflict with Gaza, Israel was so attuned to social media dynamics that ‘a sudden spike in online sympathy for Hamas more than halved the pace of Israeli airstrikes.’”

12. Big Boned

“As Prokopi’s financial situation becomes increasingly tenuous, these dinosaur bones become his only hope for avoiding ruin.”

13. How Do We Make the Long-Term Decisions That Matter?

“Your vision will always be blurry. But there’s no better corrective lens than a clear diagnosis of just how myopic you are. If you want to improve at predicting the future, start by recognizing how unpredictable it is.”

14. Letter of Recommendation: YouTube Travel

“Go on YouTube; type a place name and a year. Beijing 1970. Karachi 1990. Tashkent 1992. San Francisco 1995. Mumbai 1985. The algorithm will help guide your trip, the row of thumbnails on the right-hand side of the screen taking you back and back into the past.”

15. How to Pick a Lane

“Resist lane envy: Studies show that the perception that one lane is moving faster is often a psychological illusion.”

16. The Shape-Shifter

“She read Andy Warhol’s books and realized that what most people want, when they dream of fame, is not necessarily wealth or power but limitlessness: the ability to change. So many artists start out gritty and homegrown but calcify into hardened personae over time; when Lady Gaga adopted her new name (sometime around 2006, most likely from a Queen song), she decided to flip the formula. What if she began with the character, and the character was the physical embodiment of flux? What if she never wore the same outfit twice, or gave an interview out of costume, or claimed to be a paragon of creative authenticity?”

17. The Ultimate Sitcom

“The sitcom is arguably the defining commercial art form of the American 20th century. Here in the ugly adolescence of the 21st century, ‘The Good Place’ is using that old artistic form to take an honest moral accounting of the modern American soul. In doing so, it raises questions that have always been essential but that now glow with a special radioactivity.”

18. The Morality Wars

“The real-world and social-media combat we’ve been in for the past two years over what kind of country this is — who gets to live in it and bemoan (or endorse!) how it’s being run — have now shown up in our beefs over culture, not so much over the actual works themselves but over the laws governing that culture and the discussion around it, which artists can make what art, who can speak. We’re talking less about whether a work is good art but simply whether it’s good — good for us, good for the culture, good for the world.”


Sunday 9.30.2018 New York Times Digest


1. Fury Is a Political Weapon

“If you are angry today, or if you have been angry for a while, and you’re wondering whether you’re allowed to be as angry as you feel, let me say: Yes. Yes, you are allowed. You are, in fact, compelled.”

2. An Age Divided by Sex

“The culture war as we’ve known it since has not been a simple clash of conservatives who want to repress and liberals who want to emancipate. Rather it’s been an ongoing argument between two forces — feminists and religious conservatives — that both want to remoralize American society, albeit in very different ways.”

3. We Can’t Just Let Boys Be Boys

“Parents have abdicated responsibility for talking with their children, especially their boys, about sexual ethics or emotional intimacy.”

4. Why Trump Will Win a Second Term

“Mr. Trump has created an unscripted drama that has unified living rooms everywhere. Whether you’re rooting for the antihero or cheering for his demise, chances are Trump TV has you under steady — some would say unhealthy — hypnosis.”

5. Why I Love Reality Television

“Reality TV gives us an unfiltered window onto the capitalist and ideological structures that make up all media.”

6. Depressed About the Future of Democracy? Study History

“I believe that democracy will beat back the illiberal wave, and that President Trump will be one of the first to go. My faith is based on the lessons of history. The liberal project has faced down much worse: the First World War, the Depression, World War II, the Cold War. And democracy overcame them all.”

7. In Praise of Mediocrity

“Values like ‘the pursuit of excellence’ have crept into and corrupted what was once the realm of leisure, leaving little room for the true amateur. The population of our country now seems divided between the semipro hobbyists (some as devoted as Olympic athletes) and those who retreat into the passive, screeny leisure that is the signature of our technological moment.”

8. Christians Don’t Fit in Political Boxes

“To not be political is to be political.”

9. At Elite Colleges, Racial Diversity Requires Affirmative Action

“Elite colleges can’t achieve racial and ethnic diversity without directly considering race and ethnicity in admissions. There is no easy option that depends on other criteria such as income.”

10. More Evidence That Nutrition Studies Don’t Always Add Up

“Nutrition research is plagued by a credibility problem.”

11. Bradley Cooper Is Not Really Into This Profile

“He learned how to play the guitar. He learned how to play the piano. Not just enough to be convincing onstage — enough to be a professional musician.”

12. The Man Who Taught a Generation of Black Artists Gets His Own Retrospective

“Whiteʼs project, in general, was bigger than himself.”

13. An ‘Ancestral Memory’ Inscribed in Skin

“These line tattoos speak to a practice that dates back at least 10,000 years and is now being revitalized by Alaska Native women who want to reconnect with the traditions of their ancestors.”

14. I, Knausgaard

“The books constitute a kind of genre novel in which the author himself has become the genre.”

15. Congressional Bloodshed

“In 1841, an exchange of insults between two representatives, Edward Stanly of North Carolina and Henry Wise of Virginia, led to a wild melee in which nearly all the members of the House pummeled one another. John B. Dawson of Louisiana ‘routinely wore both a bowie knife and a pistol’ into the House and once threatened to cut a colleague’s throat ‘from ear to ear.’ Angry over a speech delivered by the antislavery Ohioan Joshua Giddings, Dawson shoved Giddings and threatened him with a knife. Another time, Dawson pointed his cocked pistol at Giddings and was prevented from shooting him only when other congressmen intervened.”

16. Unpublished and Untenured, a Philosopher Inspired a Cult Following

“As of June, his curriculum vitae listed no publications to date — not even a journal article. At 60, he remains unknown to most scholars in his field.”

17. Stress Test

“Attention turns away from events and toward our own ability to react to them. The difference, online, is that we also pull at one another; everything becomes a fight to ensure that everyone else is experiencing and interpreting the shock the same way.”

18. New Sentences: From The New Rules of Coffee

“We can’t enjoy the Snake River Canyon without some daredevil eventually dressing in an American flag costume and trying to fly over it on a hybrid rocket-cycle.”

19. Photographing Past Stereotype

“The men in these photos are of various races, ages and income levels. They collectively show us the usually concealed demand behind the overly familiar supply. It is a conventional execution of a brilliantly uncommon subject.”

20. How to Get Someone Out of a Cult

“If you’re trying to persuade someone to leave a cult, supply reminders of the world beyond it by calling, emailing, writing letters, sending photographs and maybe even visiting, although Lalich warns that anyone can get lured into a cult. You should visit ‘only if you feel strong enough to resist,’ she says.”

21. The Crisis of Election Security

“The ballot box is the foundation of any democracy. It’s not too grand to say that if there’s a failure in the ballot box, then democracy fails. If the people don’t have confidence in the outcome of an election, then it becomes difficult for them to accept the policies and actions that pour forth from it. And in the United States, it’s safe to say, though few may utter it publicly, that the ballot box has failed many times and is poised to fail again.”

22. Will Florida’s Ex-Felons Finally Regain the Right to Vote?

“The framers did not include the right to vote in the United States Constitution.”

23. Deborah Eisenberg, Chronicler of American Insanity

“With the exception of a play, a book about the painter Jennifer Bartlett and a handful of critical essays, her output consists entirely of short stories, and yet as a portraitist and interpreter of the moral and political chaos of American life she is the equal of any novelist of the past 30 years. Her stories rove from the Midwest, where she was born, to the metropolitan centers and foreign outposts of American power and concern the fate of artists and intellectuals, bankers, movie stars and C.I.A. apparatchiks, as well as drifters, dropouts and dead-enders, the politically displaced and the existentially homeless. Like their creator, her dramatis personae are beings of an almost extraterrestrial sensitivity and confusion; they look at the world with a kind of radical naïveté, as though they had never before encountered cars, buildings, trees or clouds, let alone the ambiguous workings of human social life. Just how strange it is to be that lost and lonely creature, oneself, is a realization that Eisenberg’s world-dazed men and women arrive at time and again.”


Sunday 9.23.2018 New York Times Digest


1. Shelf Life

“Wherever we are, at whatever age, we have an impulse to tell people who we really are through a few resonant objects.”

2. Can LeBron Bring Back Showtime? Don’t Bet Against Him.

“Any time LeBron steps on the court, he’s the best player on the court. There’s a bigger gap than I think many people would really believe.”

3. Why Trade Disputes Are More Than a Money Problem

“It’s important to realize that if you disrupt the world trading system — and the consensus outlawing war that is in place today — you are disrupting the financial means of punishing violations of war. In the end, you may be left with nothing but reliance on force.”

4. We Are Not the Resistance

“Viewed from the broad sweep of history, Donald Trump is the resistance. We are not.”

5. The Coders of Kentucky

“Why outsource coding jobs to Bangalore when we can insource jobs to eastern Kentucky, poor in jobs but rich in work ethic, and every one I.T. job brings four or five other jobs with it?”

6. Just Don’t Call It Privacy

“Asking companies whose business models revolve around exploiting data-based consumer-influence techniques to explain their privacy policies seems about as useful as asking sharks to hold forth on veganism.”

7. What China Can Teach The U.S. About A.I..

“China’s core data advantage lies not just in breadth (the number of users) and access (the amount of data that users contribute) but also in the depth of data on each user — the real-world activities of Chinese people that are captured in a digital format useful to an A.I. algorithm.”

8. Let Teenagers Sleep In

“Whenever schools have managed the transition to a later start time, students get more sleep, attendance goes up, grades improve and there is a significant reduction in car accidents.”

9. Nietzsche Made Me Do It

“What I discovered in the mountains … is that becoming who you are usually involves getting over who you think you are. In fact the ‘who’ — the idea of oneself — is probably an impediment to growth and honesty.”

10. The Big Secret of Celebrity Wealth (Is That No One Knows Anything)

“If you want to know how rich (or not) a celebrity is, CNW has an answer. No one is vouching for the veracity of that answer — CNW’s proprietors ‘expressly exclude liability for any such inaccuracies or errors to the fullest extent permitted by law,’ according to the terms of use — but it’s an answer nonetheless.”

11. By the Book: Reese Witherspoon

“I could write a whole dissertation on Go Set a Watchman.”

12. The Court and the Classroom

“No other arena of constitutional decision making — not churches, not hotels, not hospitals, not restaurants, not police stations, not military bases, not automobiles, not even homes — comes close to matching the cultural import of the Supreme Court’s jurisprudence governing public schools.”

13. Termites Are Actually Shrunken Cockroaches and Other Things About Them You Really Don’t Want to Know

“Termites are the unloved freaks of the social insect world. Bees are praised for their pollination skills and ants are lauded for their industry. Termites, on the other hand, are an affront to human civilization, munching their way through everything we hold dear: our libraries, our homes, even our cash — in 2011 an errant gang of termites burrowed into an Indian bank and ate $220,000 in bank notes.”

14. Listen to the World

“What if we chose where to travel based on sound?”

15. What Happens When a Single Art Project Becomes a Decades-Long Obsession?

“Any serious art requires prodigious commitment. Ambitious works can take years. But there is dedication to one’s craft, and then there is what many might call obsession, the decades-long fixation on a consuming project.”

16. The Craftsman Still Making Windsor Chairs by Hand

“A single chair takes George a full week, six hours a day, to build. The wood is cut locally, sometimes from trees on the 60-acre property, and he keeps it in whole logs so it stays moist; when he is ready to use it, he splits it with an iron wedge. Each component of a Windsor requires a different tensile strength, so he uses three kinds of timber: butternut for the seat, white oak for the spindles and cherry for the legs. George keeps their distinct grains intact; traditionally Windsors were painted black or green to hide differences in the woods, but buyers in recent years have come to embrace the mix.”

Sunday 9.16.2018 New York Times Digest


1. A Trail of ‘Bread Crumbs,’ Leading Conspiracy Theorists Into the Wilderness

“Go hungry for too long, and a lot of strange things will start to look like food.”

2. The World of Today Brought to You by the Financial Crisis

“From bank bailouts to rock-bottom interest rates, the fallout influenced economics, politics and even the rise of Bitcoin over the past decade. Here’s a rough guide to some of those changes.”

3. The Recovery Threw the Middle-Class Dream Under a Benz

“The people who possess tradable assets, especially stocks, have enjoyed a recovery that Americans dependent on savings or income from their weekly paycheck have yet to see. Ten years after the financial crisis, getting ahead by going to work every day seems quaint, akin to using the phone book to find a number or renting a video at Blockbuster.”

4. The Policymakers Saved the Financial System. And America Never Forgave Them.

“The response to the crisis was in many ways the high-water mark for a mold of centrist, technocratic policymaking that seeks to tweak and nudge existing institutions toward better outcomes. It also undermined any widespread popular support for that mode of governing for the foreseeable future.”

5. The Housing Bubble Burst All Over Reality TV

“As the foreclosures piled up … networks like HGTV and DIY faced the problem of how to keep broadcasting houses 24/7 to a public traumatized by them.”

6. The Next Financial Calamity Is Coming. Here’s What to Watch.

“The amount of American student debt — roughly $1.5 trillion — has more than doubled since the financial crisis.”

7. The Hacking of America

“From the start, machines have driven American democracy and, just as often, crippled it. The printing press, the telegraph, the radio, the television, the mainframe, cable TV, the internet: Each had wild-eyed boosters who promised that a machine could hold the republic together, or make it more efficient, or repair the damage caused by the last machine. Each time, this assertion would be both right and terribly wrong. But lately, it’s mainly wrong, chiefly because the rules that prevail on the internet were devised by people who fundamentally don’t believe in government.”

8. Medicine’s Financial Contamination

“Decades of research and real world examples have shown that such entanglements can distort the practice of medicine in ways big and small. Even little gifts have been found to influence doctors’ prescribing habits and their perceptions of a given company’s products.”

9. Why Your Cardiologist Should Ask About Your Love Life

“The field of medicine is coming to understand that the connection between the heart and the emotions is an intimate one. The heart may not be the origin of our feelings, but it is highly affected by them. We have learned, for example, that fear and grief can cause serious cardiac injury.”

10. You Know These 20 Movies. Now Meet the Women Behind Them

“Women have been on the cinematic front lines from the start. While men took most of the credit for building the movie industry, women — on camera and off, in the executives suites and far from Hollywood — were busily, thrillingly, building it, too. That’s the reason for our list of Movie Women You Should Know, which is not a canon or a pantheon but a celebration and an invitation to further discovery. Here are some of the art’s other pioneers — its independents and entrepreneurs, auteurs and artisans.”

11. Movie Stars Have Heroines, Too

“Here, in their own words, women involved in this season’s films praise the female colleagues they most admire — past or present, relatively unknown or famous in their own right.”

12. Cher Has Never Been a Huge Cher Fan

“My whole life, I had to look out at the audience and go: ‘How am I doing? Do you like this?’ But when you act, you only have to look at the other actors. You just have to trust them and find a way to become this other thing.”

13. The Best New Social Thriller Is a Podcast

“The experimental sandbox of the new form has produced sharp plots and intriguing aural soundscapes but few stories that seem to access something bigger than themselves. The moment that changed, for me, came when I was white-knuckling the pole in a crowded subway car, piping the pilot of the politically charged dystopian fantasy ‘Adventures in New America’ into my ears.”

14. The Flea Circus

“Given how easy it is to search for concert tees on eBay, finding an authentic one from the Talking Heads 1983 tour for $50 has gotten increasingly unlikely. And shirts by Bell Biv Devoe and En Vogue cost a lot, the prices propelled by scarcity (most R&B and hip-hop acts from that time did not tour extensively) and surging demand from kids born in the ’90s, who now have money, nostalgia and a desire to look like Kanye West, even as they make fun of his behavior.”

15. A Simple Life

“It is often assumed that people who reject technology do so out of fear of its all-consuming nature, but the choice has more to do with skepticism and adherence to principle.”

16. At These Hotels, Ways to Recharge Your Mind and Your Body

“Guests staying at five-star The Corinthia Hotel London — a property steps away from Trafalgar Square — get access to high-end amenities. Starting this summer they get an additional perk: their very own futurist, an expert who predicts upcoming trends.”

17. Is Donald Trump a Fascist?

“The greater danger, he suggests, isn’t hyperbole, it’s normalization.”

18. The True Grit of Four American Presidents

“In her new book she forsakes the strict confines of biography for the brave new world of leadership studies. A booming field of scholarship — or, traditionalists would say, pseudoscholarship — leadership studies is usually taught in schools of business or public administration, geared toward would-be or midcareer executives and often focused on imparting useful lessons to apply in the workplace. Accordingly, much more than in her narrative histories, Goodwin here explicitly takes up the formation of her subjects’ characters and how their most notable qualities equipped them to lead the country during trying times.”

19. The American Past: A History of Contradictions

“This is not an account of relentless progress. It’s much subtler and darker than that. It reminds us of some simple facts so much in the foreground that we must revisit them: ‘Between 1500 and 1800, roughly two and a half million Europeans moved to the Americas; they carried 12 million Africans there by force; and as many as 50 million Native Americans died, chiefly of disease. … Taking possession of the Americas gave Europeans a surplus of land; it ended famine and led to four centuries of economic growth.’ Nothing like this had ever happened in world history; and nothing like it is possible again.”

20. Why the Right to Vote Is Not a Right

“Allan J. Lichtman’s important book emphasizes the founders’ great blunder: They failed to enshrine a right to vote in the Constitution or the Bill of Rights. Instead, the Constitution handed control over elections to state and local governments. Local officials developed thousands of different electoral systems with no uniform standards or regulations and little oversight. Elections were organized and supervised by partisans brazenly angling for advantage.”

21. From Russia With Love.

“Each of these three novels has had a remarkable afterlife. Lolita is a virtual guidebook to the abuses exposed by the #MeToo movement — the secret predations of the mentor and teacher who operates in a free zone of ‘enlightened’ complicity. Doctor Zhivago endures less as a novel than as a peak episode in the cultural Cold War. Publishers in America and Britain recently paid large advances to a young novelist who has told the story again, drawing on declassified documents on the secret C.I.A. operation that smuggled the manuscript back into Russia. And Atlas Shrugged remains a free market Bible on the right. What one of its most scathing early critics, the ex-Communist journalist Whittaker Chambers, identified as Rand’s appetite for ‘smashing up the house’ has become the stated cause of several generations of Republicans and libertarians.”

22. What’s the Matter With Wisconsin?

“The state’s roads are the second worst in the country, its renowned universities are bleeding talent and poverty rates have reached a 30-year high.”

23. The Key to Happiness Might Be as Simple as a Library or a Park

“Social infrastructure becomes less a thing to maximize than a lens that communities and policymakers should apply to every routine decision about physical investment: Do the features of this proposed school, park or sewer system tend to help human beings to form connections?”

24. Up From Hate

“Today, in the upside-down world that is Trump’s America, where anything seems possible and nothing is off limits, we’re seeing the emergence of a new type of redemption story: that of the white supremacist turned antiracist crusader.”

25. Henry Adams’s 1880 Novel, ‘Democracy,’ Resonates Now More Than Ever

“It is a reflection on corruption within the political class, but, read carefully, it also reinforces an ancient view that those who are disgusted with republican government need to remember that the fault, as Cassius in Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar remarked, lies not in the stars, but in ourselves.”

26. A Modern Jeremiah Sees National Decline Everywhere He Looks

“The American Empire is coming to an end. The death spiral appears unstoppable, meaning the United States as we know it will no longer exist within a decade or, at most, two.”

27. Modern Political Ideas

“If both North Korea and the United States consider themselves democratic — and if liberals and conservatives, and socialists and Communists, and nationalists and populists, and American politicians of every stripe can all claim to embody the will of a people — then what, in practice, can the idea of democracy possibly mean?”

28. New Sentences: From Chelsea Hodson’s Tonight I’m Someone Else

“There is no greater joy than being almost done. Not beginning, not slogging through the middle, and certainly not finishing. Compared with these other stages, the concept ‘almost done’ is huge. It holds inside it so many states of being: relief, promise, risk, achievement. ‘I’m almost done,’ I often tell myself as soon as I begin something — and in that moment, I truly believe it. ‘Almost’ is a huge seeping mist of a word; it can fill a hairline crack or an entire continent, whatever you might need.”

29. Google Knows Where You’ve Been, but Does It Know Who You Are?

“An intensely personal diary is the sort of thing you could only be happy to discover in your own attic, in your own handwriting, not on the servers of a multibillion-dollar advertising corporation.”

30. ‘True Detective’ Director Cary Fukunaga Is Bringing His Obsessions to Netflix

“Yes, at some point, he and some buddies decided to learn as many skills as they could to survive the apocalypse — he’s not a prepper; it was more of a merit-badge thing — so he can sail a monohull, climb rocks, shoot a gun, use a bow and arrow and navigate with a compass. But he also has gorgeous handwriting, speaks several languages and loves many a lifestyle Instagram account. He just got a new cooking range upstate, the same kind as a French cook and lifestyle guru he follows, and he is thrilled about it: ‘It’s going to be sick. It’s wide, two ovens — you can do meat and your potatoes at the same time, your root vegetables.’”

31. Americans Want to Believe Jobs Are the Solution to Poverty. They’re Not.

“The question is not, Can I land a job? (The answer is almost certainly, Yes, you can.) Instead the question is, What kinds of jobs are available to people without much education? By and large, the answer is: jobs that do not pay enough to live on.”

Sunday 9.9.18 New York Times Digest


1. The Violence at the Heart of Our Politics

“In the course of researching how the culture of politics changed after the 1790s … I uncovered roughly 70 physically violent political confrontations between 1830 and the Civil War, most of them in the House and Senate chambers, a few on nearby streets and dueling grounds. Fistfights, shoving matches, weapon wielding, mass brawls: Largely forgotten now, these clashes show a momentous political struggle unfolding in real time.”

2. Amazon’s Antitrust Antagonist Has a Breakthrough Idea

“Amazon has more revenue than Facebook, Google and Twitter put together, but it has largely escaped sustained examination. That is beginning to change, and one significant reason is Ms. Khan.”

3. It Pays to Work at Harvard

“At the university, service workers on the payroll of an outside contractor earn the same pay and benefits they would get as direct university employees — including health insurance and pension benefits, paid vacation and child care assistance.”

4. Rebecca Lynn of Canvas Ventures on Nuclear Reactors, Failure and Asking Questions

“I think society is going to have a come-to-Jesus moment about what the true state of privacy is. It isn’t existent today, and I think people are just sort of blissfully ignorant of that fact. If you look at these companies and what they have on you, I think most people would be highly alarmed.”

5. So Now You Own a Home. Do You Know How to Maintain it?

“Just as learning how to save for and finance a home is important to financial literacy, educating yourself on how to maintain your home will not only give you a sense of mastery, but can also help you save money on repairs.”

6. The Republican Approach to Voter Fraud: Lie

“Rampant voter fraud does not exist. There is no epidemic of illegal voting. But the lie is so mesmerizing, it takes off like a wildfire, so that the irrational fear that someone might vote who shouldn’t means that hundreds of thousands who should can’t cast ballots, in part because of the increase in voter ID laws across the country in recent years.”

7. Twitter’s Flawed Solution to Political Polarization

“Why did some social media users’ political views become more entrenched after we disrupted their echo chambers? One possibility is the structure of Twitter itself. Social psychologists have long argued that positive, intimate contact between members of rival groups across an extended period can produce compromise. But that is not what Twitter offers. Its character limits — combined with the anonymous, spontaneous nature of so many exchanges on the platform — simply may not be conducive to mutual understanding.”

8. The Kids Who Still Need Football

“In a country where the margin for error is especially thin for black and brown boys in poor and working-class communities, they and their families also had plans: First, the boys would trade their football talent for financial aid packages from local private high schools. Next would come athletic scholarships to college. Football, to these boys, was not the end but the means.”

9. The Big Myth About Teenage Anxiety

“Parents are conveying to their kids that their emotional responses to difficult but ordinary experiences are not to be taken in stride, but viewed as something needing clinical attention.”

10. To Restore Civil Society, Start With the Library

“Libraries are an example of what I call ‘social infrastructure’: the physical spaces and organizations that shape the way people interact. Libraries don’t just provide free access to books and other cultural materials, they also offer things like companionship for older adults, de facto child care for busy parents, language instruction for immigrants and welcoming public spaces for the poor, the homeless and young people.”

11. In Life’s Last Moments, Open a Window

“In the hospice where I work, I am often struck by the intense solace some patients find in the natural world.”

12. The Rio Grande Is Dying. Does Anyone Care?

“The Rio Grande is the third-longest river wholly in the United States, exceeded only by the Yukon and the combined Mississippi and Missouri Rivers. Yet this summer it nearly stopped flowing from Colorado into New Mexico.”

13. A Darker, Deeper Jim Carrey Returns to TV

“This is not the story of an actor who lost himself in a role and forgot where the boundaries were between his character and himself. This is about a performer who wanted to get lost entirely and perhaps still isn’t sure if he wants to come back at all.”

14. What Are the Biggest Problems Facing Us in the 21st Century?

“In an increasingly complex world, how can any of us have enough information to make educated decisions?”

15. Bill Cunningham: An Enigma in a Blue Sanitation Worker’s Jacket

“In the early years, he allows himself a fur-collared trench, flamboyant shirts and ties, and Ollie, ‘a large black beatnik French poodle.’ Over time these frou-frous fall away and his knees start to show through his worn pants. ‘I have the strongest desire to escape to the discomforts of the poor,’ he declares, and he means it. Austerity becomes his drug of choice. He appears to make a contract with himself: I will remain in this world of glamour but only as a sack-cloth-and-ashes observer who lives on a diet of Ovaltine and leftover hors d’oeuvres, and stays in crummy Parisian hotels while others dine at the Ritz. His rationale? Independence.”

16. The Father of Personal Computing Who Was Also a Terrible Dad

“It is not a stretch to say that if you read this book, you will never think of Jobs the same way again.”

17. Letter of Recommendation: Recently Returned Books

“So much of what we encounter each day is designed to influence our decisions and purchases, but the books on this shelf have no agenda. They are not being pushed by the publishing industry. There is no marketing budget behind them. They’re not trending on my social-media feeds or selected by a recommendation algorithm. They were not chosen to signal anyone’s intellect or righteousness or in-the-know-ness. They are often old and very often ugly. I’ve come to think of this shelf as an escape from hype, a kind of anti-curation.”

18. Teaching in the Age of School Shootings

“Teachers are at the quiet center of this recurring national horror. They are victims and ad hoc emergency workers, often with close ties to both shooter and slain and with decades-long connections to the school itself. But they are also, almost by definition, anonymous public servants accustomed to placing their students’ needs above their own. And as a result, our picture of their suffering is incomplete.”

19. What Teachers Are Doing to Pay Their Bills

“Some teachers devote 60 hours a week to the classroom, then go to work elsewhere. The hours can be long, the labor physical, the pay close to minimum wage. Teachers across the country are now baristas, Amazon warehouse employees, movie-theater managers and fast-food grill cooks. They’re entering the gig economy in off hours and struggling to stay awake during school days. Here are some of the things they do, the 16 percent of American teachers who have second jobs, to make ends meet.”

20. What Does It Mean to Be an Artist and a Mother?

“On the right-hand page of a spread from 1976, Morton wrote of her desire to ‘do work which has as its impetus the influences and working processes of the major 20th-century art movements. To do this work with the intention not of simulating the finished products of those historical movements but to confront the art ideas and problems of those times as directly as possible.’ On the left-hand page, in identical script, she writes: ‘milk, juice, bread, cottage cheese, can fruit, tuna, veg soup — onion soup, noodles, hamburger, cookies, soda.’”

21. Has This Neighborhood in Seoul Figured Out the Secret to Slow Living?

“This nostalgia for a simpler form of living is fueled by the dissatisfaction that many locals have expressed in the face of their country’s breakneck economic growth. Here, digital culture is richer and vaster than anywhere else: South Korea, home to the technology giants Samsung and LG, may have the world’s fastest internet and the highest rate of smartphone use, but amid the country’s accelerated 30-year transition from military state — which it was until the ’80s — to tech superpower, there’s a growing sentiment that somewhere along the road, much of the country’s own culture was lost. The hanok, then, has come to represent a safe vessel for introspection and a reassertion of Korean identity: a romantic return to the national architecture and, therefore, to a mythic, prelapsarian age. Rebuilding these houses is not only a chance to revisit a past that once was, free of influences from globalized monoculture, but also to create a future in Seoul that might have been.”

22. Why Aren’t We Eating More Insects?

“We’re quick to down slippery oysters, stinking cheese and hot dogs made of entrails unknown, but we shy from anything that might once have crawled, hopped or hovered over a picnic blanket.”

23. The Enduring Spell of The Outsiders

“There has never been a more fitting time to read The Outsiders. Divisions of race, of gender, of political affiliation have always been profoundly evident in our culture, but now the distinction between two kinds of white men — the rich and the not rich — has created a schism no one seems to know how best to bridge. To reread the book under the current administration is to engage with a parable of sorts, a folk song about the challenges of being a person whose birthright defines him. The Outsiders taps into this profound unrest.”

24. How Michigan Became the Epicenter of the Modernist Experiment

“If Michigan isn’t the first place that comes to mind when considering this period — unlike, say, Germany or France in the 1920s — it should be. The presence of Ford in the city and Booth in the country was enough to make Michigan ground zero for the Modernist experiment, which was, on an aesthetic level, concerned with clarity and flexibility: Ford wanted all the messy components of manufacturing to be housed under one enormous roof, and Kahn made it so. But ideologically, architectural Modernism was more complicated, rooted in the idea that if one were to reshape an environment in a kind of magnificent, functional order, then that environment would encourage a level of social harmony and cohesion. This experiment failed, of course, but its remnants still stand throughout Michigan, making the state home to perhaps the most diverse and best-preserved collection of early Modernist experiments in the world.”