What We’re Reading

The smartphone camera changes history:

If a single archive visit allows a historian to capture five, 10, 20 times as many documents, the expectations of the depth of archival work will almost certainly increase. Patrick McCray, a historian at UC Santa Barbara, quantified the increase in the documents he has captured over time by looking at the size of his files for several different books. “The file for my giant telescopes book (2004) is 9.7MB now,” he wrote to me. ”My Moonwatch book (2008) file size = 2 GB; Visioneers (2012) = 10 GB.” His most recent book is already up to 77 gigabytes.


Approximately 50 million—or 20 percent—of American adults reported donating to a crowdfunding campaign to help raise money for a medical bill or treatment … an estimated 8 million Americans had started a campaign for themselves or someone in their household and more than 12 million Americans had started a campaign for someone else.

Coronavirus economic risks:

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Since 1976, the pollsters at Gallup have been asking Americans on a not-exactly-regular basis whether they’re financially better off than they were a year ago. Last month, 59% of the 1,014 people they asked said yes, the highest such percentage on record.

The first decade without a recession:

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Have a good weekend.