Architecture, Claude Lanzmann, Facebook, Billionaires, Meat

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

How Big Should Your House Be?

Kate Wagner | Curbed | 11th July 2018

“Nobody is actually using their formal living and dining rooms. Families spend their time in the kitchen and the informal living room. We need that second dining room because it is an architectural manifestation of our above-average social lives and unnaturally large circles of friends and admirers. But not all of us were built for entertaining, and perhaps we should examine ourselves and our social preferences before building massive spaces for people we most likely won’t ever see” (1,720 words)

Homage To Lanzmann

Paul Berman | Tablet | 12th July 2018

Remembering Claude Lanzmann and the making of his masterpiece, “Shoah”. He was ruthless about getting the truth on record. He deceived interviewees when necessary — promising anonymity to a former SS officer whose name was then displayed as a subtitle. But he was disconcertingly capable of empathising with those who confronted what they had done. “Lanzmann gave them their chance for heroism, which was to be straightforward and articulate in front of his camera, and they took it” (2,920 words)

Facebook’s Early Days

Adam Fisher | Wired | 10th July 2018

Full of interesting detail, but the power of the piece lies in its reminder of how quickly and how recently Facebook conquered the online world. “There was this big race going on and Friendster had really taken off, and it really seemed like Friendster had invented this new thing called social networking, and they were the winner, the clear winner. And it’s not entirely clear what happened, but the site just started getting slower and slower and at some point it just stopped working” (9,670 words)

America’s Youngest Billionaire

Natalie Robehmed | Forbes | 11th July 2018

Kylie Jenner’s cosmetics start-up has just seven full-time and five part-time employees. Everything is outsourced. Yet Forbes values the company at $800 million, and Jenner, who is 20, at $900 million. “Another year of growth will make her the youngest self-made billionaire ever”, displacing Mark Zuckerberg, who banked his first billion at 23. “As ultralight startups go, Jenner’s operation is essentially air. All Jenner does to make all that money is leverage her social media following” (2,500 words)

Is Lab-Grown Meat Really Meat?

Rose Eveleth | Slate | 11th July 2018

Lab-grown meat is made from cultured animal cells — but does that make it meat, or does meat have to come directly from a once-living animal? This may sound like a philosophical question, but it is a legal question that needs to be resolved before lab-grown meat appears in volume on supermarket shelves. “When people buy meat, what do they think they’re getting? Does the average consumer consider meat to be animal flesh? Or does she imagine a cow being sent to slaughter?” (3,100 words)

Video of the day Why You Should Make Useless Things

What to expect:

Simone Giertz explains why she devotes her life to the building of useless machines (11’56”)

Thought for the day

One must think like a hero to behave like a merely decent human being
May Sarton

Podcast Strong Verbs, Short Sentences | Revisionist History

“The most powerful man in Congress took on the most powerful person in American science. Science won”
(39m 50s)

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