Summary of “People in open-concept homes are realizing the walls were there for a reason”

Wait, what?!? For decades, Open Concept, and the togetherness-loving, friend-filled lifestyle it was supposed to bring, has been a home buyers’ religion, the one true way to live.
There may be few real estate trends as enduring or as aspirational as open concept – the name realtors and home designers gave to vast living spaces that are all about happy-together time.
“Overall, the open concept was a reaction against years of small, low-ceilinged living, which felt restricting and stuffy to a new generation of home buyers.”
Oh, open concept, how you seduced us, made us believe that the fault is not in ourselves, but in our walls.
As real estate agent Kathy McSweeney, of Collins & Demac Real Estate in Shrewsbury, put it: “Whether [buyers] entertain or not, when they’re looking for a new home, they picture themselves entertaining. They want that big open space.”
Others get seduced by the fantasy of living in a pristine minimalist space – per every photo ever taken of an open concept home – only to forget that when your first floor is one room, there’s no place for clutter to hide.
Researchers have looked at what open space means in the workplace, and home buyers might want to take note.
Better hope you don’t have an open floor plan there, too.

The orginal article.

Summary of “How ‘Creativity’ Became a Capitalist Buzzword”

An even more recent development is the notion that creativity is a trait of capitalist markets.
In the history of the word “Creative,” there are actually two decisive rifts: this initial one between the divine and the human creation suggested here, and then, once creativity became a human trait, a division between its aesthetic and productive forms.
Productive creativity is not art but labor, and thus rarely earns the title of creativity at all; this is the supposedly unimaginative labor of the manual worker or the farmer and the often feminized work of social reproduction.
The popularity of “Creativity” as an economic value in English can be traced to two major sources-Joseph Schumpeter, 20th-century economist and theorist of “Creative destruction,” and Richard Florida, the University of Toronto scholar whose book, The Rise of the Creative Class, became one of the most celebrated and influential urban policy texts of the early 2000s.
Its members include scientists and engineers, architects and artists, musicians and teachers-anyone, in short, “Whose economic function is to create new ideas, new technology, and new creative content.” The creative class shares certain tastes and preferences, like nonconformity, an appreciation for merit, a desire for social diversity, and an appetite for “Serendipity,” the chance encounter facilitated by urban life.
Politicians in various postindustrial cities in the global north became eager customers of the consultancy spawned by the success of The Rise of The Creative Class.
The rise of the so-called creative class is not a heroes-and-villains plot of businessmen corrupting creativity.
These meanings of artistry have evolved over the years in complex ways, but the one that circulates in the economic use of creativity dates to the origins of the word “Creativity” in the late 19th century.

The orginal article.

Summary of “New York’s Medicaid Reimbursement Plan for Doulas”

New York’s Medicaid Reimbursement Plan for Doulas On the December day I found out I was carrying a baby, the only thing I could think about was my own mortality.
On March 1, New York launched a pilot program that expands doula services and birth coaches to women on Medicaid in Erie County, in upstate New York.
Doulas help mothers through the birthing process itself, which can take days, making sure unneeded medical interventions don’t take place, and being around after it’s done for breastfeeding support, emotional support, and any of the other myriad questions new moms have during the postpartum period.
The reimbursement fee set for doulas in the pilot program is $600, according to an administration official for the governor’s office, and will include four prenatal visits at $30 each, plus labor and delivery at $360, and then four postpartum visits each at $30. The official says that comes out to $23 an hour, $7 above the state’s minimum wage.
In New York City, where the average rent for a two-bedroom apartment in Brooklyn is $3,200, some doulas argue that it’s nearly impossible to take part in the program and pay their bills.
On a gray and bitter-cold day in February, just two weeks before the state’s implementation of New York’s pilot program, a group of black doulas, local organizers, parents with babies, and community members gathered to protest the reimbursement rate the state of New York plans to give doulas for their work.
While the governor’s doula Medicaid reimbursement program is new, Brooklyn has had its own version since 2010.
It’s just the beginning for New York, says Laura Vladimirova, director of programming for the Women’s Center at Marks JCH of Bensonhurst, who sat, briefly, on the steering committee for New York’s upcoming doula Medicaid pilot program.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Roosevelt’s New Deal Wasn’t All Government Spending”

The loans originated with the RFC, which shunted the money through the DPC to the manufacturers.
In some cases, the government nominally owned the plants, but private companies got the profits, managed the facilities, and, after the war, bought the plants.
DPC financing added the equivalent of half of the entire prewar manufacturing capacity to the country by the end of the war.
These financial lessons of the New Deal have been largely forgotten, overwritten by the story of “Big government spending”-celebrated by the left and denounced by the right.
The government can spend taxpayer money on the Green New Deal, but direct spending is not the only option, and if the New Deal is a good guide, not even the most important option.
Government power lies not just in spending, but in helping businesses overcome risk-aversion and finance new opportunities for growth.
As we imagine policies to fight climate change-certainly as crucial as fighting World War II-let’s remember how the New Deal really worked, so that we can do it again.
Louis Hyman is a historian of work and business at the ILR School of Cornell University, where he also directs the Institute for Workplace Studies in New York City.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Barbie Is the Most Popular Doll in America-She’s Also the Most Controversial, Diverse, and Ambitious”

Like more than 90 percent of American women, I grew up with Barbies.
I also had a Barbie Dreamhouse-even in 2019, 30 are sold per hour-and a pink convertible that Ken “Fell” out of when Barbie floored it.
I can’t remember “The first” Barbie or even the one I liked best.
Somehow the collection just expanded, with new Barbies added to the group to make the others jealous like proto-contestants on Bachelor in Paradise.
The standard Barbie is 11 and 1/2 inches tall, but her reach is enormous.
Last month it announced it’ll add to the collection: Barbie in a wheelchair; one with a prosthetic limb; some with a new, braided hair texture; and an entire fourth shape, with a smaller bust, less defined waist, and more defined arms.
Barbie made her first appearance at the New York Toy Fair that March.
Or as she put it: “Knowing how to cook and keeping a good house? Oh shit, it was awful.” For all Barbie’s foibles-and the Sleepover Barbie released in 1965 that came with a scale set to 110 pounds and a diet book plastered with the words “Don’t Eat!” is but one example-it’s no surprise that when Handler created Barbie, she made her an independent woman and a wage earner.

The orginal article.

Summary of “What Happened to the Uber-for-X Companies”

Very successful companies, the Ubers and Lyfts, do begin to shift urban systems-but only once they’ve been operating for long enough.
It’s not hard to look around the world and see all those zeroes of capital going into dog-walking companies and wonder: Is this really the best and highest use of the Silicon Valley innovation ecosystem? In the 10 years since Uber launched, phones haven’t changed all that much.
Some people’s time and effort are worth hundreds of times less than other people’s.
The widening gap between the new American aristocracy and everyone else is what drives both the supply and demand of Uber-for-X companies.
The inequalities of capitalist economies are not exactly news.
In the short-lived narrowing of economic fortunes wrapped around the Second World War that created what Americans think of as “The middle class,” servants became far less common, even as dual-income families became more the norm and the hours Americans worked lengthened.
What the combined efforts of the Uber-for-X companies created is a new form of servant, one distributed through complex markets to thousands of different people.
They’ve definitely generated huge fortunes for a very small number of people.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The Problem With Nostalgia”

One familiar nostalgia exercise happens when people – whether they were alive back then or not – lazily compare the best of the past with the worst of the present.
New York City in the late 1970s is largely remembered as a time when the legendary disco Studio 54 attracted a glamorous crowd who danced and partied with abandon.
The era of dazzling club “Celebutantes” was also a time of yuppies, gentrification, ’round the clock networking, and Madonna’s relentless, take-no-prisoners drive to make it big – an act of tunnel vision I witnessed up close.
The big-haired era brought some deafeningly bombing movies and possibly the four worst sitcoms of all time: Punky Brewster, Small Wonder, ALF, and She’s The Sheriff In music, Phil Collins’ droning “Sussudio” was a low point, along with Bobby McFerrin’s chirpy “Don’t Worry, Be Happy” and the fraudulent schlock of Milli Vanilli, the pop duo who were as dubbed as Lina Lamont in Singin’ in the Rain.
Today, the people who complain that New York has lost its edge generally either live in high-rise co-ops or moved to far-away cities where you get a terrace and a garage.
The old edge wasn’t all fabulous and the new edge isn’t all gone, but it’s easier for some to reduce all that to a nostalgic yelp of “I love the ’80s!”. * * *. Nineties nostalgia is all the rage right now, with sitcom reboots, musicals based on movies from Pretty Woman to Clueless, and various small-screen crime reenactments.
It’ll be time for the inevitable aughts revival – followed, of course, by the teens – when we’ll have parades in the street to commemorate the rise of important cultural icon Paris Hilton, as well as the emergence of the scintillating Kardashian clan, when in actuality they steal whatever brain cells are left in us after mind-crushing days spent reading Facebook posts about Adam Levine’s tattoos and Roseanne’s meltdowns.
Michael Musto is a weekly columnist for NewNowNext.com and a freelance writer for outlets from the New York Times Styles section to the Daily Beast.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The Making of the Fox News White House”

The White House and Fox interact so seamlessly that it can be hard to determine, during a particular news cycle, which one is following the other’s lead. All day long, Trump retweets claims made on the network; his press secretary, Sarah Sanders, has largely stopped holding press conferences, but she has made some thirty appearances on such shows as “Fox & Friends” and “Hannity.” Trump, Hemmer says, has “Almost become a programmer.”
Ken LaCorte, who was in senior management at Fox News for nearly twenty years, until 2016, and recently started his own news service, told me, “The people at Fox said the same thing about the press and Obama.” Fox’s public-relations department offers numerous examples of its reporters and talk-show hosts challenging the Administration.
Nothing has formalized the partnership between Fox and Trump more than the appointment, in July, 2018, of Bill Shine, the former co-president of Fox News, as director of communications and deputy chief of staff at the White House.
Among others, Trump appointed the former Fox contributor Ben Carson to be his Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, the former Fox commentator John Bolton to be his national-security adviser, and the former Fox commentator K. T. McFarland to be his deputy national-security adviser.
A former Fox co-host says, “He’s perfect for the White House job. He’s a yes-man.” Another Fox alumnus said, “His only talent was following orders, sucking up to power, and covering up for people.”
Aki Peritz, a former C.I.A. analyst who is an adjunct professor at American University, has written that Fox News has become an inviting target for foreign spy agencies, because “It’s what the President sees.” But a source who spoke to me about Guilfoyle and Townsend says, “It’s even worse than a conspiracy of the dark Web, or something trying to manipulate Fox. It was just a guy in his underwear in Georgia who had influence over Fox News! And Fox News influences the President!”.
Fox hosts sometimes reverse their opinions in order to toe the Trump line: Hannity, who in the Obama era called negotiations with North Korea “Disturbing,” now calls such efforts a “Huge foreign-policy win.” But Gertz has come to believe that Fox drives Trump more than Trump drives Fox.
“But when Ailes departed, and Trump was elected, the network changed. They became more combative, and started treating me like an enemy, not an opponent.” With Shine joining Trump at the White House, he said, “It’s as if the on-air talent at Fox now have two masters-the White House and the audience.” In his view, the network has grown so allied with the White House in the demonization of Trump’s critics that “Fox is no longer conservative-it’s anti-democratic.”

The orginal article.

Summary of “Crossing Divides: The friends who are good for your brain”

Something as simple as thinking about the people we have around us can do a lot to change that and can even help us become more creative.
A season of stories about bringing people together in a fragmented world.
One is by opening ourselves up to greater social diversity – in other words, doing things like mixing with, or listening to, people who are not “Just like us”.
People tend to make friends with those who are similar to them – in terms of values, preferences, and personality traits.
When people are exposed to a more diverse group of people, their brains are forced to process complex and unexpected information.
The more people do this, the better they become at producing complex and unexpected information themselves.
It could mean making new friends through volunteering with a group that includes people of all ages, or joining a sports club that involves people from other cultures.
Opening ourselves to new experiences can seem hard to do, but it can help us cross divides and nurture new and inclusive friendships.

The orginal article.

Summary of “New Yorker Reporter Jane Mayer on Kavanaugh, the Koch Brothers, and Trump”

On the page, Mayer, a staff writer at the New Yorker since 1995, is authoritative and direct, and as a journalist, she is relentless.
Mayer grew up in New York City but lives in DC, where she shares a three-story house with a husky yellow Lab, Rosie, and her husband, Bill Hamilton, the Washington editor for the New York Times.
Mayer often writes in an office on the second floor overlooking a dog park, but she also has a workspace at the New Yorker’s modest DC base.
“It’s the kind of infallible crystal ball that only comes from years of putting in the work.” Over the course of her career, Mayer has written four best-selling books, and one quality they share, according to Michiko Kakutani, former chief book critic of the New York Times and a longtime friend, is that they “Demonstrate uncanny historical prescience.”
Due to some weird alchemy between Twitter, where Mayer has 167,000 followers, and the rise of Trump, her work’s prominence has risen dramatically, with her New Yorker features-about Trump’s The Art of the Deal ghostwriter, about the ex-spy behind the Trump dossier-slamming into the media landscape, one after the next.
The new couple refused to return Mayer’s dog, so one day, when they weren’t home, she and Abramson drove over, and Mayer climbed through the pet door to retrieve it.
In the lead-up to the Kavanaugh hearings Mayer worked numerous 20-hour days, which was extreme even for a woman whose workload often leaves little time for everyday tasks-her car’s license plates were once so long expired that, on her way to a C-Span interview, she was pulled over, handcuffed, and brought to a police station.
“Before long we were hearing Sheryl Sandberg knew about it. It was so far from the conspiracy view that someone leaked her name.” Just after they published their story about Ford on September 14, they learned about Ramirez, and Farrow began spending hours talking to her, while Mayer focused on “The accountability portion, trying to be fair.” The decision to publish was fraught, but informed by the other incident Mayer learned about, the one she didn’t get into print, which also involved sexual misbehavior at a drunken party.

The orginal article.