Monday, December 28, 2020

New York Times op-ed magazine, "Let's Start Over" after pandemic -- not so much as you think


Home-made pinball-baseball stadium from the 1950s

 The New York Times on Dec. 28 had a magazine-sized op-ed, “Let’s Start Over”.

The rag is in four sections.

One is Politics, Education, Feminism, and Work (Bruni, Mehta, Brooks, and Petersen).

Bruni says that Biden will test if we can bounce back from our floor of collective common decency.

Mehta pretty much echoes John Fish’s video “The Mundanity of Online School”, and notes that the point of education, getting beyond the obsession with SOL’s when I was subbing and regarding grades as a kind of cryptocurrency, has been in flux for decades.  But minority kids are doing poorly in online school.  You get the impression that school systems could hire a  (YouTuber) John Fish or Tyler Mowery, themselves not much older than high school students, to do all their online AP English for starters.

Feminism has been blown apart by the disruptions, as moms carry the heaviest loads of all.

The future of work will be flexibility, desk sharing, people renting their own little local offices, a certain decentralization away from the cities, and even more melding of entrepreneur, gig worker, and employee.

Part Two is Friendship, Conversation, and Sex (compare to the age of AIDS)

Part Three is Sports, Travel (Mzezewa), and Food.  I am particularly concerned about the crimp on personal mobility, so individualized as it was for my own life, as something that the virus evolved on top of.  (We just couldn’t keep it out of China.) You might need a good “reason” to fly personally in the future.

Part Four is Literature, Fashion, and Cities (Manjoo), which in western countries are going to seem even more challenged.  But that’s what I thought when I left New York City for Dallas at the end of 1978.

The end result of all these essays seems to be, not as radical as I would expect.

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