Shapers of Culture: The writer Tom Wolfe, who died on Monday at the age of 88, leaves behind not only a significant body of fiction and nonfiction work, but also numerous contributions to the English language. Here’s a survey of his lexicon. A provocative New York Times essay that used gay slang to describe straight men illustrates a shift in the objectification of men. And the TV producer Marti Noxon is launching two new shows this summer that center, presciently, on women’s anger. Sophie Gilbert asks: Is television ready?
Heretofore, the technological advance that most altered the course of modern history was the invention of the printing press in the 15th century, which allowed the search for empirical knowledge to supplant liturgical doctrine ... The Age of Reason originated the thoughts and actions that shaped the contemporary world order.
But that order is now in upheaval amid a new, even more sweeping technological revolution whose consequences we have failed to fully reckon with, and whose culmination may be a world relying on machines powered by data and algorithms and ungoverned by ethical or philosophical norms.
Like their counterparts across the developed world, American mothers are, as a group, waiting to have children. Birth rates are lower, moms are older, and there are simply fewer moms as a percentage of the U.S. population than before. Delaying motherhood can help close the gender wage gap and improve a family’s financial stability, but only a select crew of families is affluent enough to afford the medical expenses of a woman’s pregnancy after age 40. Both female and male authors are reckoning with the changing experience of parenthood, in works such as Sheila Heti’s novel Motherhood, in which “the feeling of not wanting children is the feeling of not wanting to be someone’s idea of me,” and Michael Chabon’s Pops, a collection of essays on fatherhood and nonconformity.
Our partner site CityLab explores the cities of the future and investigates the biggest ideas and issues facing city dwellers around the world. Gracie McKenzie shares today’s top stories:
Who lives in the U.S. “border zone,” where immigration agents have expanded search and seizure rights? More than 65 percent of the country’s total population, around 75 percent of Hispanic residents—and, possibly, you.
Ronald Brownstein recently wrote about states’ declining investment in public universities, which could lead to setbacks for a population of students that is becoming more and more diverse. Nicholas Barden of the American Council of Trustees and Alumni argues that universities need to regain public trust:
The past several decades have seen a marked deterioration in academic quality due to overspecialization and the unravelling of core curricula. Over the last few years, we’ve witnessed a crisis of free speech and academic freedom on college campuses that has occasionally spilled over into outright violence at places like Middlebury and Berkeley. Against this backdrop, tuition has steadily increased—in large measure to fund expansive university bureaucracies—which has contributed to a staggering $1.5 trillion in student debt.
It’s no wonder that states are questioning whether tax dollars are being effectively spent.
Happy birthday to Mary’s best friend (a year younger than Google); to Eileen (the same age as Michael Jordan); to Linda’s boyfriend, Mark (a year younger than universal credit cards); to Jillian’s partner (a year younger than the 24-hour news cycle); to Andrew’s sister Miff (13 years older than A Hard Day’s Night) and to our copy editor Jake (one-seventh the age of The Atlantic), who makes sure that the Daily is error-free every day.