Generation Adderall

Like many of my friends, I spent years using prescription stimulants to get through school and start my career. Then I tried to get off them.

The first time I took Adderall, I was a sophomore at Brown University, lamenting to a friend the impossibility of my plight: a five-page paper due the next afternoon on a book I had only just begun reading. “Do you want an Adderall?” she asked. “I can’t stand it — it makes me want to stay up all night doing cartwheels in the hallway.”

Read the Full Article: http://www.nytimes.com/2016/10/16/magazine/generation-adderall-addiction.html

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Will the Left Survive the Millennials?

Midway through my opening address for the Brisbane Writers Festival earlier this month, Yassmin Abdel-Magied, a Sudanese-born Australian engineer and 25-year-old memoirist, walked out. Her indignant comments about the event might have sunk into obscurity, along with my speech, had they not been republished by The Guardian. Twenty minutes in, this audience member apparently turned to her mother: “ ‘Mama, I can’t sit here,’ I said, the corners of my mouth dragging downwards. ‘I cannot legitimize this.’ ” She continued: “The faces around me blurred. As my heels thudded against the grey plastic of the flooring, harmonizing with the beat of the adrenaline pumping through my veins, my mind was blank save for one question. ‘How is this happening?’ ”

I’m asking the same thing.

Read the Full Article: http://www.nytimes.com/2016/09/23/opinion/will-the-left-survive-the-millennials.html

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The Virtues of Reality

Since the 1990s, we’ve seen two broad social changes that few observers would have expected to happen together.

First, youth culture has become less violent, less promiscuous and more responsible. American childhood is safer than ever before. Teenagers drink and smoke less than previous generations. The millennial generation has fewer sexual partners than its parents, and the teen birthrate has traced a two-decade decline. Violent crime — a young person’s temptation — fell for 25 years before the recent post-Ferguson homicide spike. Young people are half as likely to have been in a fight than a generation ago. Teen suicides, binge drinking, hard drug use — all are down.

Read the Full Article: http://www.nytimes.com/2016/08/21/opinion/sunday/the-virtues-of-reality.html

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Liberal Love for Antonin Scalia

Antonin Scalia was my hero. He was deeply conservative. He belittled lawyers. His opinions, especially in dissent, could be downright nasty. No justice in the Supreme Court’s history insulted his colleagues more, or more memorably. He was as aggressive and outspoken as I am reserved and cautious. He was a smoker. He was, in short, everything I am not. But I have looked up to him for years.