Summary of “Modern life is lonely. We all need someone to help”

What these stories illustrate is the way in which the threat of loneliness is hardwired into modern life.
Practical people doing practical things – travelling far for a job opportunity, opting for the accommodation they can afford, under unbending rules – learn the hard way that human beings can only take so much practical.
Engineering a large-scale change in people’s feelings – it’s a hard thing to do.
Most people understand that loneliness is neither necessarily felt by people who are alone, nor alien to people who are always with others.
Even a community with little in the way of material resources finds some contentment in being in a group of people who are all in it together.
The Cox report mentions social institutions that are becoming a less and less common aspect of people’s daily lives – church, local pub, workplace, social club.
Even schools feel like high-pressure environments rather than places where people are nurtured and coaxed through childhood.
How anyone at all still manages to feel secure in their own company is the real mystery of life today.

The orginal article.

Summary of “‘The Basic Grossness of Humans'”

Roberts has been studying the labor of content moderation for most of a decade, ever since she saw a newspaper clipping about a small company in the Midwest that took on outsourced moderation work.
It paired two people who had been content moderators: Rasalyn Bowden, who became a content-review trainer and supervisor at Myspace, and Rochelle LaPlante, who works on Amazon Mechanical Turk and is the cofounder of an organizing platform for people who work on that platform, MTurkCrowd.com.
There are very few full-time employees working out of corporate headquarters in Silicon Valley doing this kind of stuff.
“The workers may be structurally removed from those firms via outsourcing companies who take on CCM contracts and then hire the workers under their auspices, in call-center environments,” Roberts has written.
“Such outsourcing firms may also recruit CCM workers using digital piecework sites such as Amazon Mechanical Turk or Upwork, in which the relationships between the social-media firms, the outsourcing company, and the CCM worker can be as ephemeral as one review.”
Most pressingly LaPlante drew attention to the economic conditions under which workers are laboring.
Yet the people doing it are lucky to make minimum wage, have no worker protections, and must work at breakneck speed to try to earn a living.
These thousands of people have been acting as the police for the boundaries of “Acceptable online discourse.” And as a rule, they have been unsupported, underpaid, and left to deal with the emotional trauma the work causes, while the companies they work for have become the most valuable in the world.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Quakes and Fires? It’s the Cost of Living That Californians Can’t Stomach”

He has lived through several fires, and the 1994 earthquake that killed 57 people and shook him and millions of other Southern Californians out of bed at 4:30 in the morning.
“The San Andreas Fault is what they politely call ‘overdue,’ and I will be much more comfortable when I’m away from that. But if it wasn’t for the cost of living I probably would have stuck around and taken my chances.”
Fire is an annual affair, and even as climate change stretches the burning season from summer and early fall clear into December, people here accept that pleasant weather and destructive forces are linked.
People who live in Florida and on the Gulf Coast have made a similar peace with hurricanes.
California has 40 million people and has grown through much worse.
Shortly in the aftermath of a disaster, after checking the first aid kit and refilling the fresh water bottles, Californians go back to living.
“People talk about traffic; people talk about the price of homes.”
The state’s median home cost is $500,000, twice the national level, and for decades residents have softened the blow from high home prices and high state and city taxes by using generous federal deductions that lower their taxes.

The orginal article.

Summary of “A journey through a land of extreme poverty: welcome to America”

His fact-finding mission into the richest nation the world has ever known has led him to investigate the tragedy at its core: the 41 million people who officially live in poverty.
The changes will exacerbate wealth inequality that is already the most extreme in any industrialized nation, with three men – Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos and Warren Buffet – owning as much as half of the entire American people.
Of all the people who crossed paths with the UN monitor, Chambers was the most dismissive of the American Dream.
“People don’t realize – it’s never getting better, there’s no recovery for people like us. I’m 67, I have a heart condition, I shouldn’t be out here. I might not be too much longer.”
Black people are 13% of the US population, but 23% of those officially in poverty and 39% of the homeless.
Nor do most people appreciate that the island has twice the proportion of people in poverty than the lowliest US state, including Alabama.
The mound is exposed to the elements and local people complain that toxins from it leach into the sea, destroying the livelihoods of fishermen through mercury poisoning.
Doctors at Health Right, a volunteer-based medical center in Charleston that treats 21,000 low-income working people free of charge, presented the UN monitor with a photograph of one of its dentistry clients.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The Atlantic Interview: Nikole Hannah-Jones”

“White communities want neighborhood schools if their neighborhood school is white,” she says.
“If their neighborhood school is black, they want choice.” Charter schools and magnet schools spring up in place of neighborhood schools, where white students can be in the majority.
In a recent episode of The Atlantic Interview, Nikole Hannah-Jones and The Atlantic’s editor in chief, Jeffrey Goldberg, discuss how integrated schools are good for white children and black children.
White communities want neighborhood schools if their neighborhood school is white.
So in New York City, one of the most segregated school systems in the country, if you’re a white parent in the public schools, you don’t want all-white schools.
Hannah-Jones: Interestingly, right after Brown there was consideration of whether or not Brown had to apply to private schools, or whether we should get rid of private schools in the United States altogether, understanding that the way to subvert Brown is to simply withdraw from public schools.
The white parents who wanted the integrated school didn’t give a damn what courses you offered in the black school.
In my daughter’s school, when white parents who lived next door to my daughter’s school would come and tour, they would tell the principal, “We’ll bring our kids, but only if our kids are in classroom by themselves and you keep them together through fifth grade.”

The orginal article.

Summary of “Can Marriott Keep Starwood’s Culture of Cool, and Its Customers?”

“There are very few properties in the Marriott spectrum that I might find desirable,” said Kenneth Ballenegger, a longtime Starwood customer who lives in San Francisco.
In recent years, Marriott has introduced a number of new brands, including the Autograph collection of luxury properties and Moxy, which is in the same general category as Starwood’s Aloft.
Even before Marriott began trying to define or redefine the brands it had acquired, it listed its incumbent ones in a security filing with all sorts of head-scratching definitions that were supposed to differentiate them.
Affluent travelers would suffer no grievous harm if Marriott forced a death match between Starwood’s St. Regis brand and Ritz-Carlton.
Sheraton is probably the biggest Marriott brand that is in sorry shape.
“Every time there’s been a new C.E.O., they’ve tried to fix it,” said Ms. Edmundson, the Marriott executive who once worked at Starwood.
The decisions likely to draw the most attention at Marriott in the next year involve the combination of its Marriott Rewards loyalty program with Starwood Preferred Guest.
“The benefits they are able to provide are fairly generous because the number of people are fairly small.” Given that exclusivity and the likelihood that Marriott will want to maintain it, it seems near certain that Starwood fans like me are going to need to bed down many more nights each year to keep our status.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Is the age of management over?”

“The key to management is to get rid of the managers,” advised Ricardo Semler, whose TED Talk went viral, introducing terms such as “Industrial democracy” and “Corporate re-engineering”.
It’s important to point out that Mr. Semler isn’t an academic or an expert in management theory, he is the CEO of a successful industrial company.
The World Bank estimates the size of the global workforce at about 3.5 billion people, and by no means would I expect, much less advocate, that those who are employed today will transition into a management-free structure in the near or even medium term.
Today, we define management as the process of dealing with or controlling things or people.
Controlling things no longer appears plausible, and controlling people is downright counterproductive.
Steve Jobs hit the nail on the head when he said: “It doesn’t make sense to hire smart people and then tell them what to do; we hire smart people so they can tell us what to do.”
Non-standard, creative, experimental work, on the other hand, doesn’t naturally lend itself to management.
The bottom line is that the hierarchical management mode is no longer suited for the challenges of the modern economy.

The orginal article.

Summary of “We’re barely using the best tool we have to fight obesity”

Here’s the thing, though: Weight loss surgery is far and away medicine’s best treatment for severe obesity.
Surgery isn’t for people with a few pounds to lose; it’s reserved for those with severe obesity.
Even the best surgeries don’t work in some people, and can cause disturbing side effects in rare cases.
“The expectation is bariatric erases these obesity associated costs,” said David Arterburn, an obesity expert at Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute, “But because of the small complication rate and because complications are expensive – requiring hospitalization, reoperation – my take on the literature is that there’s no cost savings that happens from bariatric surgery.”
Researchers think the surgery could be even more cost-effective in adolescents – not only because they’ll likely experience greater health gains than adults, but also because they’ll be better positioned to contribute to the economy if they’re unencumbered by severe obesity.
We can’t cut our way out of the obesity epidemic Almost all the researchers I spoke to for this story said they hoped to one day find a pill that could do for obesity what surgery does.
Surgery is the best thing we have for the treatment of obesity.
“The obesity epidemic did not occur because we don’t have enough surgery,” said National Institutes of Health obesity researcher Kevin Hall.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Martha Nussbaum and Saul Levmore on the Ethics of Inheritance”

For The Atlantic’s series on philanthropy, “Who Gives?,” I spoke to Nussbaum and Levmore about these questions, and our conversation touched on why people give money to charity in the first place as well as the benefits of giving those funds to, among other places, the opera.
Levmore: It’s unsurprising when you see the Bill Gateses of the world give away a lot of money while they’re still alive, because you can watch what people do with it-you can see who’s doing and a good job and a bad job, and then give more to some places than to others, and so forth.
Nussbaum: Look, institutions need money and people need money, so it’s fine for them to have incentives for even the most selfish kind of giving.
Levmore: Nothing stops the opera from subsidizing young people if it’s a good investment.
Nussbaum: Many trained there are not the children of wealthy people.
Nussbaum: Most people don’t want their kids to do lots of things.
Nussbaum: What most people would want is to stay in their own homes, and have home-based nursing care.
Nussbaum: One thing that people actually already do as they age is take a lot of adult-education courses, particularly in literature and philosophy.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The Secret Life of ‘Um'”

So if you are late, it suggests you were not able to hit that target because of some trouble in finding the words you wanted.
You’re not going to lose anything too significant, and the reason is you’ve changed the context completely in which people are going to consume those words.
At the moment, the words I’m producing are being interpreted by you in real time.
What they’re doing is telling you, “No, that word is not what I meant, I’ve doubled back and I’m now going to replace that word with this word.” Or, “Wait a second, I’m about to get the word I’m looking for.” But as soon as you transcribe those, people are not consuming the words at the same time and place as I’ve created them.
Beck: So you don’t need the words that you use to edit yourself anymore because I’m literally editing you?
If you want to game the system, and all you want to do is hold the floor, then words like “Um” can be exploited in that way.
What does using words like “Um” have to do with morality?
It’s that whole moral architecture that human beings have, it’s the root of so much of our cultural life and our social life: the defining of what’s appropriate, what’s inappropriate, and policing those things and judging others on the basis of those things.

The orginal article.