July 22, 2014
1. Ivy Fatigue
In the New Republic William Deresiewicz, author and former Yale professor, argues against sending your kids to Ivy League schools. “Our system of elite education manufactures young people who are smart and talented and driven, yes, but also anxious, timid, and lost, with little intellectual curiosity and a stunted sense of purpose: trapped in a bubble of privilege, heading meekly in the same direction, great at what they’re doing but with no idea why they’re doing it.” I don’t know. I think most of these kids know they’re doing it for the IPO.
Within the space of two hours, two federal appeals courts issued two contradictory rulings on the health care insurance subsidies associated with (and necessary to) the Affordable Care Act.
3. No Fly Zone
Following a missile strike in the area surrounding Israel’s only international airport, the FAA followed the lead of several international airlines and prohibited all flights to Israel for 24 hours. From Jeffrey Goldberg: “The FAA may wind up having more influence over the course of the Gaza war than the State Department.”
+ As international efforts towards a ceasefire continue, Hamas claims to have captured an Israeli soldier.
+ “More than 500 Palestinians and at least 18 Israelis have been sacrificed on the altar of this deluded strategy. When we eventually emerge from the chaos, no one will be safer. And many of the wounds created can possibly never heal.” Claire Hajaj: My Jewish mother, my Palestinian father and a family torn apart.
4. Being There
As if we needed another reminder that location is everything, and that living in a society under siege can damage people in multiple ways, there’s this: 11 of the parents of the abducted Nigerian schoolgirls have died since their kidnapping. Seven by violence. Four from heart failure, high blood pressure and other stress-related illnesses.
5. A Little Help From My Friends
“If we expect a genius to be somehow fundamentally different from the rest of humanity, studying Einstein’s life and opinions will disappoint.” Aeon’s Matthew Francis takes on the notion of cognitive celebrity. “Albert Einstein was a genius, but he wasn’t the only one — why has his name come to mean something superhuman?”
+ “The lone genius is a myth that has outlived its usefulness. Fortunately, a more truthful model is emerging: the creative network, as with the crowd-sourced Wikipedia or the writer’s room at The Daily Show or — the real heart of creativity — the intimate exchange of the creative pair, such as John Lennon and Paul McCartney.” the NYT’s Joshua Wolf Shenk on the end of genius. (I think my body of solo-work suggests I was way ahead of the curve on this one…)
6. Corrections Academy
“Despite the inadvertent hilarity, the real marvel of our mobile text-correction systems is how astoundingly good they are. It’s not too much of an exaggeration to call autocorrect the overlooked underwriter of our era of mobile prolixity.” (More importantly, it has given wildly unfunny people a small chance of being inadvertently funny on occasion.) From Wired: The fascinating history of autocorrect.
7. Sleep Apathy
Researchers are staying up all night to prove just how many hours of sleep is ideal. The latest volley in the sleep wars suggests that seven hours is perfect, and the much-hyped eight hours could actually be dangerous. Wake me when it’s over.
+ Wired: Why does sleeping in just make me more tired?
8. Welcome to Landlordia
The guest checked in but he didn’t check out. And now the person who rented out the condo has learned a key lesson of the era: We’re all landlords now.
9. Peaking Early
“Everyone’s favorite seasons of shows are seasons two and three, because you’ve had a year to get to know them, and then you’re still in the honeymoon period where you go, ‘This is great!’” The Atantic tries to answer that age-old question: Why do so many TV shows peak in season three?
+ Netflix now has a ton of content and more than 50 million subscribers. Of course Netflix has 50 million subscribers. Where else can you get a babysitter for $8.99 a month?
+ Classism, sexism, anti-environmentalism bordering on racism, and more.
Tracy Van Slyke with a few thoughts on Thomas the Tank Engine. And don’t even get her started on Barney…
10. The Bottom of the News
New Yorkers are wondering who put the two white flags atop the Brooklyn Bridge. (You didn’t expect the hipsters to stand and fight, did you?)
+ The Cornish beaches where Lego keeps washing up.
+ Chipotle is now a $20 billion company and analysts say there’s still plenty of room to grow. (Sure, they could start selling real burritos…)
+ Derek Jeter by the numbers. It’s good to be the Captain.
+ And how about a little love for the Internet’s least viral videos.