Animal Ethics, Sushi, Medicine, Apple & Gay Rights, Politicians, The Floating World

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

Animal Liberation In Perspective

Catia Faria | Practical Ethics | 2nd April 2015

Animal Liberation established Peter Singer as one of the most admired and accessible philosophers of the past century, though it did not greatly change the way that people treat animals. Forty years on, Singer identifies three big open questions in animal ethics: Whether it is always wrong to kill animals; how to measure well-being across species; and whether humans should intervene to stop the suffering of wild animals (980 words)

Ten Commandments Of Sushi

Tom Downey | Gone | 1st April 2015

Sushi is for lunch, not dinner. A full meal should take no more than 15 minutes. Use hands to eat, not chopsticks. Do not add soy sauce or wasabi; the chef will have done that if he thinks it appropriate. Eat the sushi as soon as it is served, while the rice is still warm. Don't talk, it distracts you from the sushi. Eat in a low-ceilinged restaurant where the smell of the fish can linger. Drink sake while chewing (1,500 words)

Faith, Hope And Chemistry

Bert Keizer | Threepenny Review | 1st April 2015

Medicine is full of mystery, because the human body is full of mystery, the mystery of life. A doctor can never be quite sure whether a procedure will work or not — which would be an odd state of affairs in most other professions. "Imagine a civil engineer saying that about twenty percent of the bridges he constructs are useless, meaning that not even a small dog could get safely across them. What is going on here?" (2,430 words)

Apple And Gay Rights

John Gapper | Financial Times | 2nd April 2015 | | Read with 1Pass

Tim Cook challenges Indiana's religious freedom law on the grounds that discrimination is bad for business in general; which may be true; but in any case, publicly opposing discrimination is certainly good for Apple. Cook is in the happy position of being able to say what he believes, confident that most of his customers believe the same thing, and that Apple's brand will be the stronger as a result (840 words)

Why People Keep Electing Idiots

Dean Burnett | Guardian | 2nd April 2015

It happens because what voters want most in a politician is confidence; and confidence comes more easily to politicians who are foolish, because they see the world in simpler terms and do not know their own limitations. The foolish, confident politician insists that there are simple answers to complicated questions, which is what voters want to hear. The occasional clever politician gets elected by pretending to be foolish (1,350 words)

Sex And Suffering In The Floating World

Lisa Hix | Collectors' Weekly | 23rd March 2015

The Japanese refer to the milieu of bars and brothels as the "floating world", though the written characters can also mean "suffering world", which comes closer to the truth from the sex-worker's perspective. We imagine the courtesans and geishas of the Edo period through the prints and poems which idealise them. But those were marketing materials. "Publicizing the dark side of the pleasure district would have been bad for business" (5,200 words)

Video of the day: Don't Hug Me I'm Scared IV

What to expect: A children's show for grown-ups. Computers promise to help us, but they don't really. (5')

Thought for the day

Ignoring isn’t the same as ignorance, you have to work at it
Margaret Atwood (

Join 150,000+ curious readers who grow with us every day

No spam. No nonsense. Unsubscribe anytime.

Great! Check your inbox and click the link to confirm your subscription
Please enter a valid email address!
You've successfully subscribed to The Browser
Welcome back! You've successfully signed in
Could not sign in! Login link expired. Click here to retry
Cookies must be enabled in your browser to sign in