Sunday 7.23.2017 New York Times Digest


1. The Glory of a Summer Sleep

“Sleep is the most generative part of our day because it is when our ego gets out of the way.”

2. How Arline Jacoby, Artist, Spends Her Sundays

“I read the obituaries religiously, but only about people I think are going to be interesting.”

3. In China, Silicon Valley Giants Confront New Walls

“Just about every American tech company from Amazon to Zynga has taken a shot at China. But outside of Apple and a group of older companies like IBM and Intel, few have a major presence in the country today.”

4. One Family, Many Revolutions: From Black Panthers, to Silicon Valley, to Trump

“There’s a sense in which we’re all David Horowitz now.”

5. When the (Empty) Apartment Next Door Is Owned by an Oligarch

“Anger at who is causing that harm can stray uncomfortably close to xenophobia. But politicians and anxious residents often add that their real grievance is with foreign money, not foreigners. And maintaining that distinction is important if cities that have long prided themselves on being cosmopolitan want to continue embracing immigration while curbing speculation.”

6. Why Women Aren’t C.E.O.s, According to Women Who Almost Were

“What their stories show is that in business, as in politics, women who aspire to power evoke far more resistance, both overt and subtle, than they expected would be the case by now.”

7. The Men Who Never Have to Grow Up

“If boys will be boys, then girls must be grown-ups, whose job it is to protect men from their worst impulses.”

8. Let’s Get Excited About Maintenance!

“Americans have an impoverished and immature conception of technology, one that fetishizes innovation as a kind of art and demeans upkeep as mere drudgery.”

9. A Warrant to Search Your Vagina

“Can police officers actually get a warrant to search someone’s vagina? The answer is yes.”

10. What Is America to Me?

“Talking with these teenagers, I’m always struck by how familiar they seem. There’s the class clown, raising his hand to ask a silly question that makes his classmates laugh. There’s the school beauty, who never leaves her seat — she knows the others, vying to be her partner, will come to her if she waits. There’s the sleepy kid trying to nap undetected behind an open book, and the Type A kid with a hand always in the air. Their clothes and hairstyles are different, but they seem exactly like the suburban students I once taught; exactly like my own three sons, the youngest still a teenager himself; exactly like my high school classmates.”

11. Don’t Believe in God? Maybe You’ll Try U.F.O.s

“Interests in nontraditional supernatural and paranormal phenomena are driven by the same cognitive processes and motives that inspire religion.”

12. Jay-Z and the Politics of Rapping in Middle Age

“As popular culture archetypes, these used to be scary black men. But every once in a while, they’re granted a humanity that, with old-school rappers, is harder to come by.”

13. Thanks to Venmo, We Now All Know How Cheap Our Friends Are

“By rendering payments between friends nearly invisible — no cash changes hands, no checks are written — Venmo theoretically should make these relationships less obviously transactional. Yet not only does it encourage pettiness, distilling the messiness of human experience down to a digitally precise data point, but by making it so easy to pay someone back for purchases as trifling as a coffee, the app arguably promotes the libertarian, every-user-for-himself ethos of Silicon Valley.”

14. What the Magician Penn Jillette Can’t Travel Without

“I always have the Bible that I’m reading, because I’m an atheist. And I always have Moby Dick because I’m an American.”

15. How Inequality Erodes the Foundation of Modern Societies

“The greatest threat to Western liberal democracies in the future is more likely to come from extreme inequality than from Islamic extremism.”

16. American Surveyor

“Asked once why he was so eternally curious about things, Thoreau responded, ‘What else is there in life?’”

17. The Birth of the Modern Middle East

“Far from spurning or avoiding modernity, Muslims are ‘drenched in it.’”

18. What Will Service Work Look Like Under Amazon?

“In contrast to Whole Foods, which focuses in its marketing on fair-trade and locally sourced offerings, Amazon is made up of a dizzying array of supply chains that are effectively invisible: not hidden, just easily omitted from the consumer experience.”

19. Letter of Recommendation: Cold Showers

“I have been taking cold showers for a couple of months now, and I have noticed zero changes in my skin or spirits or metabolism. I have, however, noticed a significant, though perhaps unintended, change in my entire disposition toward the outside world.”

20. The Accent Whisperers of Hollywood

“With the rise of prestige TV in the United States, the demand for skilled performers from around the world — particularly well-trained British performers — has increased, as has the desire to quickly communicate quality with authentic-sounding accents. Actors have worked hard to deliver.”

Sunday 7.16.2017 New York Times Digest


1. Please Prove You’re Not a Robot

“Robots are getting better, every day, at impersonating humans. When directed by opportunists, malefactors and sometimes even nation-states, they pose a particular threat to democratic societies, which are premised on being open to the people.”

2. This Instagram Dog Wants to Sell You a Lint Roller

“Pet influencers outperform humans.”

3. When Big Pharma Spends, Research Isn’t No. 1.

“Big pharmaceutical companies have spent more on share buybacks and dividends in a recent 10-year period than they did on research and development.”

4. Make Everyone Take the SAT or ACT. And Make It Free

“The two standard college admission tests — the SAT and the ACT — could be administered universally and free of charge to students.”

5. You Don’t Have to be College-Bound to Take a Gap Year

“Gap years are especially helpful for older people working through career transitions.”

6. If Tech Execs Act Like Spoiled Brats, Should We Spank Them?

“Deal with these men as we would deal with very naughty children. No dessert! You’re grounded! I’d suggest spanking, but that could backfire, too. You never know what some people might be into.”

7. An Ancient Cure for Alzheimer’s?

“Are certain parasites more beneficial to the brain while others are harmful?”

8. The Playboy President and Women’s Health

“American women are being stripped of their sexual and reproductive autonomy not by a moralizing puritan but by an erotically incontinent libertine.”

9. Don’t Let Our Democracy Collapse

“The health of our electoral process is likely to deteriorate further, with some of the threats striking at the very basis of democratic society: our confidence that votes have been fairly and accurately counted. What’s worse, we cannot count on the courts, the president, Congress or state legislatures to save us.”

10. Cliffhangers Are Ruining the Golden Age of TV

“I … think artistry is in special danger of becoming mere stimulation.”

11. When Is Speech Violence?

“Words can have a powerful effect on your nervous system. Certain types of adversity, even those involving no physical contact, can make you sick, alter your brain — even kill neurons — and shorten your life.”

12. A British Expat in Norway Gets Beyond the Scandinavian Stereotypes

“In small, homogeneous nations governed by a rigid social conformity, it takes a particularly extreme temperament to stand out.”

13. Understanding Poetry Is More Straightforward Than You Think

“Poetry has an unfortunate reputation for requiring special training and education to appreciate, which takes readers away from its true strangeness, and makes most of us feel as if we haven’t studied enough to read it.”

14. Letter of Recommendation: Detroit Techno

“The radical act of Detroit’s techno rebels was that they entered an inhuman network of machinery and found a voice within it.”

15. Arks of the Apocalypse

“It seems to be a human impulse to collect things just as they’re vanishing.”

Sunday 7.9.2017 New York Times Digest


1. Why Single-Payer Health Care Saves Money

“The total cost of providing health coverage under the single-payer approach is actually substantially lower than under the current system in the United States. It is a bedrock economic principle that if we can find a way to do something more efficiently, it’s possible for everyone to come out ahead.”

2. Rooftop Solar Dims Under Pressure From Utility Lobbyists

“The decline has also coincided with a concerted and well-funded lobbying campaign by traditional utilities, which have been working in state capitals across the country to reverse incentives for homeowners to install solar panels.”

3. Racism Is Everywhere, So Why Not Move South?

“To me it’s beginning to seem that black millennial culture — the center of black life — and the idea of black hope and opportunity are now squarely located in the South.”

4. What to Do With the Swastika in the Attic?

“It is actually pretty difficult to offload a swastika.”

5. What Gucci Can Teach the Democrats

“Consumers of clothing began to make choices dictated not by what was expected of them or what had been prescribed for them from head to toe by a brand whose value system they inherited, but by whatever fit them best — whatever felt most tailored to them individually — at that moment.”

6. What Do We Think Poverty Looks Like?

“In America, ‘real’ poverty is not about a lack of work, but a lack of compensation.”

7. One Thing Silicon Valley Can’t Seem to Fix

“The built environment of the Valley does not reflect the innovation that’s driving the region’s stratospheric growth; it looks instead like the 1950s.”

8. Watching Coral Reefs Die

“Even the most remote marine ecosystems in the Central Pacific and the North Atlantic and around Antarctica are being radically altered as oceans warm and become more acidic.”

9. The West and What Comes After

“They were Western-educated Francophones who read deeply in the European canon, who believed in the ‘miracle of Greek civilization,’ who drew on Plato and Virgil and Pascal and Goethe. At the same time, they argued for their own race’s civilizational genius, for a negritude that turned a derogatory label into a celebration of African cultural distinctiveness.”

10. Tiptoeing (and Tweeting) Through the Tulips With DJ Khaled

“People say, ‘Respect your mother.’ I say, ‘Respect Mother Nature.’”

11. Laugh and the World Laughs With You. Type ‘Ha,’ Not So Much.

“These days, a HAHAHA versus a ha in a text can indicate the difference between ‘I’m dying laughing’ and ‘I literally never want to see you again.’”

12. Airlines Try Biometric Identification for Boarding and Bags

“Fliers who choose to try it out step up to a camera at the boarding gate for a quick photo. This image is matched with passport, visa or immigration photos in the Customs and Border Protection database, and once flight details and identity are confirmed, a check mark appears on the camera and fliers can board the plane.”

13. The History of the London Zoo

“Close to 90 percent of the animals now in large modern zoos are not snatched from their native habitat; they are the offspring of other zoo animals. They get excellent medical care and the right diet, but still what they experience is incarceration.”

14. America’s Top Prosecutors Used to Go After Top Executives. What Changed?

“Why was virtually no one prosecuted for causing the 2008 financial crisis, which devastated the global economy and cost the United States almost nine million jobs? Some people think the fix is in: Bankers control the government, so they can get away with anything. Others claim that the banks did nothing wrong to begin with — or, alternatively, that there was insufficient evidence to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that anyone in particular committed a crime. In this new book, the ProPublica reporter Jesse Eisinger tells a different story: Since the turn of the century, changes in the political landscape, the defense bar, the courts and most important the Justice Department have undermined both the ability and the resolve of America’s top prosecutors to go after corporations or their executives.”

15. Thoreau’s Wilderness Legacy, Beyond the Shores of Walden Pond

“In wildness is the preservation of the world.”

16. A New History of the Donner Party and the Dark Side of Manifest Destiny

“Here were a group of westward pioneers, the very picture of courage, resourcefulness and pluck, who ended up reduced to a level of squalor and barbarism almost beyond words.”

17. Do Grants, Professorships and Other Forms of Institutional Support Help Writers but Hurt Writing?

“There is an ever greater expansion of the bureaucratic demands made by institutions on writers in exchange for a salary as well as an insistent pressure to professionalize.”

18. Finding a More Inclusive Vision of Fitness in Our Feeds

“The fitness universe on Instagram is almost incomprehensibly vast — there are hundreds of millions of photographs with hashtags like #fitness, #workout, #fitfam, #fitnessjourney or #fitlife, featuring people in various states of undress, lifting weights, making and drinking shakes, demonstrating techniques and documenting inches and pounds lost, all alongside messages about staying motivated to hit the gym and eat right. It’s as inspiring and vapid as anything else on social media — and somehow manages to invoke awe and envy at the same time.”

19. How the Death of a MuslimRecruit Revealed a Culture of Brutality in the Marines

“‘Making’ Marines, as the corps calls recruit training, is a three-part process, with boot camp being the first and most grueling test. Its purpose, unlike Army boot camp, is not to train war-fighters; for Marines, that comes in the second and third phases of training. Boot camp is meant to create the ‘warrior spirit,’ as the corps puts it, over three months of group indoctrination intended to strip recruits of individuality and, through repeated exposure to pain and physical challenge, condition them to accept and perform violence.”

20. The Art at the End of the World

“Time turns metaphors into things.”

Sunday 7.2.2017 New York Times Digest


1. The Constitution, By Hand

“Hand copying a document can produce an intimate connection to the text and its meaning. The handwriter may discover things about this document that they never knew, a passage that challenges or moves them. They may even leave with a deeper connection to the founders and the country, or even a sense of encouragement.”

2. Counseled by Industry, Not Staff, E.P.A. Chief Is Off to a Blazing Start

“He reversed a ban on the use of a pesticide that the E.P.A.’s own scientists have said is linked to damage of children’s nervous systems.”

3. It’s Not Just Mike Pence. Americans Are Wary of Being Alone With the Opposite Sex.

“A majority of women, and nearly half of men, say it’s unacceptable to have dinner or drinks alone with someone of the opposite sex other than their spouse.”

4. Retirement Savings, the Muslim Way

“Investments are banned in companies with too much debt as a percentage of their assets. Interest on loans (known as riba) is also haram, which rules out investing in conventional banking and insurance sectors. Investing in companies earning a minimal amount of interest, typically 5 percent or less, may be allowed, so long as the dividend income derived from that interest is donated to charity.”

5. What Cookies and Meth Have in Common

“Even people who are not hard-wired for addiction can be made dependent on drugs if they are stressed. Is it any wonder, then, that the economically frightening situation that so many Americans experience could make them into addicts? You will literally have a different brain depending on your ZIP code, social circumstances and stress level.”

6. The Problem With Participatory Democracy Is the Participants

“Cheap participation reflects a troubling infirmity in how partisans of both parties engage in politics. In fact, it is not because of gerrymandering, Citizens United, cable news or any of the other common scapegoats that our system is broken, but because of us: ordinary people who are doing politics the wrong way.”

7. That Diss Song Known as ‘Yankee Doodle’

“The song is an insult. It’s not just any insult, either. With ‘Yankee Doodle,’ the Redcoats were delivering the most puerile, schoolyard insult in the schoolyard insult book. They were suggesting that American soldiers were gay.”

8. Why Can’t We All Just Go to the Pool?

“In 1950, there were only 2,500 in-ground residential pools in the country, but by 1999 there were four million.”

9. Forgot Where You Parked? Good

“Our retrieval failures help prune away memories that we don’t really need.”

10. Ticktock as Taskmaster: A Show About Metronomes and Musical Time

“Beginning in the 17th century came attempts to link musical time to the motion of a clock. Around the same time scientists discovered that the length of a pendulum affects the speed of its motion, with a pendulum of just under one meter swinging at one second each way. Instrument makers seized on this to build musical timekeeping devices in which the length of a pendulum is adjusted according to specific gradations to make it swing at a desired speed.”

11. How an Agency of Oddballs Transformed Modern War and Modern Life

“This small Pentagon enclave has spawned some of the transformative inventions not just of modern war but of modern life: the Saturn rocket, stealth aircraft, armed drones, biofeedback systems and — biggest of all — the internet.”

12. Whose Fault Is It Anyway? Three Books on the Shifting Nature of Responsibility in American Politics

“Where ‘responsibility’ once referred to the duties of the nation to its citizens, or of the citizens to the nation, or of fellow citizens to one another, it now came to mean the obligations of the individual to himself.”

13. Why the Far Right Wants to Be the New ‘Alternative’ Culture

“There is no burgeoning right-wing ‘alternative’ Facebook or YouTube yet, but that development feels inevitable. The structures and communal ideals of the internet’s biggest platforms — the closest thing that exists to a dominant culture online — are just waiting to be inverted, seized and used for new ends, like the liberal discourse before them.”

14. Greetings, E.T. (Please Don’t Murder Us.)

“They caution that an assumption of interstellar friendship is the wrong way to approach the question of extraterrestrial life. They argue that an advanced alien civilization might well respond to our interstellar greetings with the same graciousness that Cortés showed the Aztecs, making silence the more prudent option.”

15. Can a Tech Start-Up Successfully Educate Children in the Developing World?

“The company’s pitch was tailor-made for the new generation of tech-industry philanthropists, who are impatient to solve the world’s problems and who see unleashing the free market as the best way to create enduring social change.”

Sunday 6.25.2017 New York Times Digest


1. Get Cancer Now, Before Congress Cuts Your Insurance

“Sentimentality is another form of inefficiency. That’s how I’ve survived my first decade and a half in this industry, and I suppose that’s how I’ll survive however long I remain.”

2. A Street Fight Among Grocers to Deliver Your Milk, Eggs, Bananas

“Keeping food cold until it gets to customers is the single most difficult and important thing about delivering groceries. There are many opportunities for things to go wrong.”

3. Would You Trust Tom Selleck With Your Life Savings?

“When the discussion is life insurance, reverse mortgages or pharmaceuticals, the stakes are higher, the consequences of an imprudent choice greater.”

4. Homemade Slime Becomes Big Business

“There’s a thriving nationwide market for slime.”

5. Men Can Be So Hormonal

“People don’t like to believe that they’re average. But compared with women, men tend to think they’re much better than average.”

6. Men Don’t Want to Be Nurses. Their Wives Agree.

“Notions of masculinity die hard, in women as well as men.”

7. The Real Threat of Artificial Intelligence

“Unlike the Industrial Revolution and the computer revolution, the A.I. revolution is not taking certain jobs (artisans, personal assistants who use paper and typewriters) and replacing them with other jobs (assembly-line workers, personal assistants conversant with computers). Instead, it is poised to bring about a wide-scale decimation of jobs — mostly lower-paying jobs, but some higher-paying ones, too.”

8. Sacrificing Black Lives for the American Lie

“Could it be that some Americans would rather black people die than their perceptions of America? Is black death more palatable than accepting the racist reality of slaveholding America, of segregating America, of mass-incarcerating America? Is black death the cost of maintaining the myth of a just and meritorious America?”

9. Canada Doesn’t Know How to Party

“It’s absurd to celebrate not being quite as insane as the rest of the world.”

10. On Campus, Failure Is on the Syllabus

“Nearly perfect on paper, with résumés packed full of extracurricular activities, they seemed increasingly unable to cope with basic setbacks that come with college life: not getting a room assignment they wanted, getting wait-listed for a class or being rejected by clubs.”

11. The iPhone Is 10 Years Old. Here’s the Story of Its Birth.

“The iPhone knows everything about us, but we know very little about it.”

12. How Uber and Airbnb Became Poster Children for the Disruption Economy

“What companies such as Airbnb and Uber have done in the past decade is take the peer-to-peer sharing of digital content that flourished online, through sites like Napster and YouTube and Facebook, and apply it to our physical world, including cars and rooms and scores of other goods, tasks and services.”

13. Why Did Lincoln Move So Slowly to Abolish Slavery? Because He Was a Racist, This Book Argues.

“Lincoln moved toward emancipation only slowly and reluctantly, and when he did issue the Emancipation Proclamation, he exempted about three-quarters of a million slaves in parts of the Confederacy and in the four border slave states that remained in the Union.”

14. A Powerful, Disturbing History of Residential Segregation in America

“He quite simply demolishes the notion that government played a minor role in creating the racial ghettos that plague our suburbs and inner cities. Going back to the late 19th century, he uncovers a policy of de jure segregation in virtually every presidential administration, including those we normally describe as liberal on domestic issues.”

15. Where Do Babies Come From? And Why Did It Take Scientists So Long to Find Out?

“It would take until 1875 for us to fully comprehend the process of human gestation.”

16. Letter of Recommendation: Revenge

“I’m not advocating outsize punishments, the sort that a cartoon villain might dream up for his enemies. I don’t support deep-frying anyone in a pot of oil, even if he or she took the last onion rings from the buffet, nor do I endorse violence, major sabotage or cruelty. Instead, I turn to my arsenal of mostly harmless tactics, designed to make a slighter think twice about his or her slight, to make it known that the fabric of society has been torn asunder, and that it was the slighter’s fault.”

17. The Ethereal Genius of Craig Taborn

“He does not have a website, handles his own bookings in the United States and is barely present on social media. He admires his better-known pianist friends like Vijay Iyer, who started a doctoral program at Harvard, and Jason Moran, who presides over jazz programming at the Kennedy Center, but says he has no desire to shape an institution, being ‘leery of the impact this would have on my creativity.’”

Sunday 6.18.2017 New York Times Digest


1. Admit It. Summer’s Terrible.

“The antiseptic qualities of heat and light are much lauded, I know. Bad things fester and mushroom in the dark, I get it. It’s just that the cold suits me. Put me in a caped woolen coat, see how my gray-blue eyes narrow instinctively against the drizzle, witness my wintry magnificence! Now, wedged into a sundress, I am humiliated.”

2. Whole Foods Deal Shows Amazon’s Prodigious Tolerance for Risk

“While other companies dread making colossal mistakes, Mr. Bezos seems just not to care.”

3. The United States Is Squatting in Paradise

“The initial lease for Guantánamo was set at $2,000 per year, paid in gold coins. The deal can be rescinded only by mutual consent.”

4. The Anti-Uber

“Mrs. Lopez works as a ‘raitera’ — driving people to the doctor’s office, the courthouse and other places found only in Fresno, 52 miles away. She ferries asthmatic children and women who have overdosed on prescription pills to the hospital, and students who have missed the bus to the high school in another town. She once delivered a baby in her car, which has covered 194,000 miles and counting.”

5. The Upside of Bad Genes

“Genetically diverse populations tend to be more resilient, precisely because they have more genetic resources to draw on when unforeseen challenges arise.”

6. Does Trump Embarrass You?

“Embarrassment is the fear that others are judging us incompetent performers of our social roles.”

7. The Children of 1984: Dystopia Down the Decades

“The novel, published in 1949, sold well, but it took the ‘telescreen,’ as Orwell might have put it, to inject its nightmare vision into the cultural bloodstream.”

8. How to Host a Relaxed Dinner Party Like an Italian

“At the root of Western philosophy, there is a dinner party. Whether fictional or real, the Ancient Athenian supper that Plato recounts in his Symposium has all the familiar outlines of our own modern gatherings: drunkenness, attempts at moderation, cures for hiccups, a ‘no shoes’ policy, surprise drop-in guests, flirtations — not to mention some gentle ribbing, one-upmanship and a long, heated discussion of love.”

9. The Hidden Treasures in Italian Libraries

“Why go to the library in Italy when all around you there is fantastic art, exalted architecture, deep history and intense passionate people? Because, as I discovered in the course of a rushed but illuminating week dashing from Venice to Rome, Florence and Milan, the country’s historic libraries contain all of those without the crowds.”

10. How to Ease Travel Anxiety in an Era of Terror: Travel More

“The more I travel, the more I feel at ease about traveling.”

11. Machiavelli: Good Guy or Bad? This Biography Argues for the Former

“Hidden by legend and counterlegend, he is hard to get into view. Like the moralist Nietzsche, who also spun off disconcerting and misquotable epigrams, Machiavelli is at once overfamiliar and obscure.”

12. How Washington Planned for a Cold-War Apocalypse

“The goal of ‘continuity of government’ — an official euphemism for keeping the American state alive even if almost every American citizen ends up dead — has raised enormous ethical, bureaucratic and engineering challenges for generations of planners. Who would be saved? (Many federal officials, but generally not their families — a decision that has frequently been met with dismay.) From what branches of government? (Planning has often prioritized the executive branch over Congress and the courts.) And where would they go? (Underground, mostly.)”

13. Personality Is Everything

“There is something almost clownishly omni-competent about Goethe. He was a great beginner who ultimately finished most of the things he began. (Faust, which he had on the go for about 60 years, was completed in the last year of his life; Rilke’s Duino Elegies look by comparison like something finished the following morning.) He was interested in geology and anatomy, he developed a theory of color, he made watercolors and sketches himself, 3,000 of them. He went looking for something called the Urpflanze — the basic, or original, or prototypical, plant. He acted in his own plays. He wrote poems in many modes effortlessly. They entered the language (German, that is). When he finally grew frustrated with his married friend Charlotte von Stein, he eloped with Italy for a couple of years. He buried his wife; he buried his one surviving son. He buried his best friend, who died at 45. Near the end of his life, he gave perhaps the best description of himself, as ‘a collective singular consisting of several persons with the same name.’”

14. How to Live With Critics

“In politics, as in art, the right to criticize is really the right to make an independent judgment of reality. Democracy relies on a citizenry informed and active enough to make such judgments; in a democracy, we are all critics. This pluralism is always frustrating to politicians, just as it is to artists, because both tend to believe so implicitly in their own sincerity and good will that they come to perceive opposition as mere obstinacy.”

15. How ‘Snowflake’ Became America’s Inescapable Tough-Guy

“It is simultaneously emasculating and infantilizing, suggesting fragility but also an inflated sense of a person’s own specialness and a naïve embrace of difference. It evokes the grade-school art classes in which children scissor up folded pieces of construction paper and learn that every snowflake is unique, and every person is, too.”

16. Getting Others Right

“Capturing how things look fools us into thinking that we’ve captured their truth.”

17. Losing Fat, Gaining Brain Power, on the Playground

“The more visceral fat a child shed during the nine months of play, the better he or she performed on the test.”

18. A Whimsical Wordsmith Charts a Course Beyond Twitter

“As Sun sees it, social-media platforms are like urban landscapes, in which popular accounts function almost like landmarks. They are spaces where people go to interact and encounter one another; people imbue them with meaning and, over time, a shared history.”

19. The Man Behind Trump’s Voter-Fraud Obsession

“Kobach’s plans represent a radical reordering of American priorities. They would help preserve Republican majorities. But they could also reduce the size and influence of the country’s nonwhite population. For years, Republicans have used racially coded appeals to white voters as a means to win elections. Kobach has inverted the priorities, using elections, and advocating voting restrictions that make it easier for Republicans to win them, as the vehicle for implementing policies that protect the interests and aims of a shrinking white majority. This has made him one of the leading intellectual architects of a new nativist movement that is rapidly gaining influence not just in the United States but across the globe.”

20. The Long, Lonely Road of Chelsea Manning

“She told me that she believed then, and believes now, that ‘there are plenty of things that should be kept secret.’ ‘Let’s protect sensitive sources. Let’s protect troop movements. Let’s protect nuclear information. Let’s not hide missteps. Let’s not hide misguided policies. Let’s not hide history. Let’s not hide who we are and what we are doing.’”

21. Naomi Klein Is Sick of Benevolent Billionaires

“Trump’s pitch to voters was: ‘I’m rich. Sure, I have absolutely no experience in government, but the fact of my wealth is all the evidence you need that you can trust me to fix everything.’ It’s an absurd pitch, but I don’t know how far away it is from why Americans have trusted Bill Gates to remake the American school system or Africa’s agriculture system. I don’t think there could’ve been a pitch as crass as Trump’s ‘I can fix America because I’m rich’ without that groundwork laid by Davos and the Clinton Global Initiative.”

Shot Caller