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Showing posts from January 18, 2017

Is technology scrambling my baby's brain?

I reached the breaking point, as many parents do, about two and a half months in. My newborn son, Oliver, was hitting a phase where his five senses were really coming online. The mere act of being awake was often overstimulating; sometimes he would start to cry when we turned on a bright light or closed a door too loudly.

It was late afternoon and he was sitting in my lap wailing. I rocked him, fed him, and changed his diaper, but nothing helped. In desperation I did something that until that point I had resisted: I grabbed my iPhone and opened up the Comics app. As soon as I started flipping through panels of the Wolverine saga, the crying stopped. His little mouth gaped open in wonder. I took his hand and swiped it across the screen. A new image appeared. He smiled in delight.

My mother came in from the kitchen. "What are you showing him?" she asked with horror. "Don't you know how bad that is for his brain?"

"It's not that serious, Mo…

As Trump Era Arrives, a Sense of Uncertainty Grips the World

President-elect Donald J. Trump in the Trump Tower lobby on Monday. His remarks in a string of interviews have escalated tensions with China and infuriated allies.Credit Hilary Swift for The New York Times
LONDON — The Germans are angry. The Chinese are downright furious. Leaders of NATO are nervous, while their counterparts at the European Union are alarmed.
Just days before he is sworn into office, President-elect Donald J. Trump has again focused his penchant for unpredictable disruption on the rest of the world. His remarks in a string of discursive and sometimes contradictory interviews have escalated tensions with China while also infuriating allies and institutions critical to America’s traditional leadership of the West.
No one knows where exactly he is headed — except that the one country he is not criticizing is Russia and its president, Vladimir V. Putin. For now. And that he is an enthusiastic cheerleader of Brexit and an unaffiliated Britain. For …

A ‘Billion Dollars’ Worth of Comedians’ for $14 and a 2-Drink Minimum

The Comedy Cellar in Greenwich Village. On Wednesday night, the club’s audience was treated to spur-of-the-moment performances by, among others, Aziz Ansari, Dave Chappelle, Chris Rock, Amy Schumer and Jerry Seinfeld.Credit Robert Stolarik for The New York Times
They descended the steps under the bright sign of the Comedy Cellar in Greenwich Village on Wednesday night, most, if not all, completely unaware that they were about to witness something extraordinary.
Did anyone know?
Perhaps the club’s managers had an inkling. But they are not talking, so that is unclear. The M.C. for the night said he had no idea.
The first comedian to perform said he knew some “heavy hitters” were in the club. That, in itself, did not surprise him; household names have been known to drop by to work out new material.
But that comedian, Ryan Hamilton, was astonished when he was followed by a murderers’ row so loaded that the last one to take the stage, Dave Chappelle, told the crowd…

How to escape the overthinking trap: stop judging yourself

Before Christmas I took a young relative to a jazz concert. The thought of it ruined his whole day. He scuffed around the house like an alt-right voter at a refugee camp. In the event, even he acknowledged that we had a fine time. But neither of us would ever get back the dreadful hours that preceded it. He’d fallen prey to a cardinal paradox – poisoning the present by agonising over a future hardship that never materialised. We’ve all done that. The homo sapiens is so damn clever, and yet sometimes so stupid with it. We are the only species that can really think “offline” – wrapped up in things that haven’t yet happened or things that are long gone but can never be changed. This makes us excellent problem solvers, but appalling worriers at the same time.
Thinking is what gave humans ascendancy. But overthinking is threatening to bring us down. Critical thinking has undoubtedly advanced our cause and become one of the essential assets of being so brilliantly human, but i…

Andy Rubin Nears His Comeback, Complete With an ‘Essential’ Phone

Andy Rubin
Tomohiro Ohsumi/Bloomberg Just over two years after leaving Google, Andy Rubin is preparing to take on the smartphone industry he helped create.

Rubin, creator of the Android operating system, is planning to marry his background in software with artificial intelligence in a risky business: consumer hardware. Armed with about a 40-person team, filled with recruits from Apple Inc. and Alphabet Inc.'s Google, Rubin is preparing to announce a new company called Essential and serve as its Chief Executive Officer, according to people familiar with the matter.

A platform company designed to tie multiple devices together, Essential is working on a suite of consumer hardware products, including ones for the mobile and smart home markets, one of the people said.
The centerpiece of the system is a high-end smartphone with a large edge-to-edge screen that lacks a surrounding bezel. At the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas in early Januar…