The New Yorker – March 20, 2023 issue:
What Conversation Can Do for Us
Our culture is dominated by efforts to score points and win arguments. But do we really talk anymore?
There was once a time when strangers talked to one another, sometimes eagerly. “In past eras, daily life made it necessary for individuals to engage with others different from themselves,” Paula Marantz Cohen explains. In those moments of unpredictability and serendipity, we confronted difference. There were no smartphones, message boards, or online factions. Maybe because life moved at a slower pace, and every interaction wasn’t so freighted with political meaning, we had the opportunity to recognize our full humanity. Nowadays, she argues, we are sectarian and “self-soothing,” having fallen out of such practice. What we need is to return to the basics: to brush up on the art of conversation.
A Coup at the WestView News
A succession battle involving a fight for the patronage of Sarah Jessica Parker threatens to stop the presses at a Greenwich Village newspaper.
The Little-Known World of Caterpillars
An entomologist races to find them before they disappear.
Caterpillars are to lepidoptera—butterflies and moths—what grubs are to beetles and maggots are to flies; they are larvae. Even among nature lovers, larvae tend to be unloved. For every ten butterfly fanciers, there are approximately zero caterpillar enthusiasts. The reason for this will, to most, seem obvious. The worm in the apple is usually a caterpillar.