Arpanet, Bears, New York, Tyler Cowen


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

The Backbone

Christopher Felix McDonald | Creatures Of Thought | 13th June 2018

Thirty years ago the Department of Defense invited AT&T to take ownership of the proto-Internet. AT&T declined. “Executives saw themselves as the custodians of a vast, complex machine that provided reliable, universal communications services from one person to another. The architects of the ARPANET saw that system as a simple conduit for arbitrary bits of data, and believed its operators had no business meddling in questions of how that data was generated and used at each end of the wire” (1,240 words)

A Walk In The Woods

Bill Bryson | Literary Hub | 31st August 2015

When a Canadian black bear invades your campsite. Black bears rarely attack — but sometimes they do. “Imagine lying in the dark alone in a little tent, nothing but a few microns of nylon between you and the night air, listening to a 400-pound bear moving around your campsite. Imagine its quiet grunts and mysterious snufflings, the clatter of upended cookware and sounds of moist gnawings, the pad of its feet and the heaviness of its breath, the singing brush of its haunch along your tent side” (2,900 words)

Which Borough Would Win A New York Civil War?

John Surico | Vice | 11th June 2018

“Staten Island could easily be squashed by Brooklyn. But Brooklyn and Queens will be locked into combat from the get-go. The true war of attrition is between Kings and Queens County, as countless Queens residents retreat east, drawing in Brooklyn army’s just as Russian and Soviet forces drew in first Napoleon, then Hitler. Manhattan has a four-front war to contend with. The Bronx’s somewhat large population — nearly 1.5 million is nothing to overlook — is best suited for battle” (4,015 words)

Interview With Tyler Cowen

Eric Wallach | The Politic | 12th June 2018

Topics include libertarianism, morality, David Brooks, idealism, incarceration. “All the pardons I’ve heard or read about are good things. Trump may be doing it for weird reasons, but the idea that a lot of people who’ve been charged or sent to prison, that it was either the punishment too high or done wrongly in some way, I like that being in the public agenda. I think there should be more pardons in general. If I were a president, I’d consider just only pardoning people and then resigning” (3,040 words)

Danse Macabre

Andrew Katzenstein | New York Review Of Books | 14th June 2018

How an American record collector called Christopher King became the pre-eminent authority on the folk music of Epirus, an area straddling northwestern Greece and southern Albania. “King believes that he has found in Epirotic music the oldest folk tradition in Europe, one that began in pre-Homeric cultures and reveals the origins and ultimate meaning of humanly organized sound. Aspects of the music suggest bluegrass, or free jazz, or the Velvet Underground, or the Carnatic music of southern India”

Video of the day Take On History

What to expect:

Animated journey through the evolution of tennis at Wimbledon

Thought for the day

I would rather die of passion than of boredom
Émile Zola

Podcast Kevin Kelly | Deviate

Veteran tech visionary Kevin Kelly talks to Ralph Potts about backpacking through Asia in the 1970s
(1h 45m 02s)

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