Adolf Eichmann, Office Novels, American Foreign Policy, Chinese Restaurants, Google

Hic sunt camelopardus: this historical edition of The Browser is presented for archaeological purposes; links and formatting may be broken.

The Lies Of Adolf Eichmann

David Frum | Atlantic | 8th October 2014

Conversation with Bettina Stangneth, German philosopher and historian, who says Hannah Arendt surrendered to wishful thinking when portraying Eichmann as a small-minded bureaucrat: "Humans prefer hope to despair. The theory of the banality of evil is a theory of hope. If evil arises from ignorance, the solution is a project of enlightenment. If people think for themselves, the world will be better" (2,250 words)

We Are All Bartleby

Nikil Saval | Dissent | 7th October 2014

Office life provides a useful setting for novelists; think of Herman Melville's Bartleby, Richard Yates’s Revolutionary Road, Joshua Ferris’s Then We Came To The End. But office novels almost always assume the emptiness of office work. The substance of the work, and workers’ feelings about their work, go undiscussed. David Foster Wallace's Pale King was the best attempt yet, but the great novel of office work remains to be written (2,640 words)

Today’s Allies, Tomorrow’s Enemies

John Quiggin | Inside Story | 6th October 2014

America has no obvious expertise in Middle Eastern affairs and a history of failure there. It should give up and get out, announcing publicly that it is leaving "the people of the Middle East" to "sort out their problems for themselves". It could maintain "a commitment to defend Israel against any armed attack" while declaring that it "has no capacity to promote a negotiated settlement between Israel and Palestine" (1,185 words)

The Kitchen Network

Lauren Hilgers | New Yorker | 6th October 2014

Deep dive into the kitchen culture of America's Chinese restaurants. Most owners are from Fujian; they displaced the Cantonese in the 1980s, but kept the old menus. The further from New York, the more the restaurant pays to attract staff. A busboy starts at $1,200 a month. A cook makes $2,000-$3,000. Cooks use a single knife, a heavy cleaver, for everything from cleaning shrimp to mincing garlic: It's faster that way (5,800 words)

A Master Class In Google

Steven Levy | Backchannel | 7th October 2014

Interview with executive chairman Eric Schmidt about how Google runs its business. Part one of three. Key point: It's Larry Page's company now. "With scale has come the need for clarity of decision-making and frankly Sergey and I are gone. Sergey shows up for the staff meetings but he is busy working on Google X. But I think the principles of alignment are still there. Everyone is still in alignment" (2,320 words)

Video of the day: Jerry Seinfeld's Clio Acceptance Speech

What to expect: Seinfeld mocks the advertising industry. "I love advertising because I love lying"

Thought for the day

One man's eagerness is another man's alienation
Erving Goffman (

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