Asymptotes, Tom Wolfe, Novels, Plastic, Bandidos


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

Invisible Asymptotes

Eugene Wei | Remains Of The Day | 22nd May 2018

On the importance of pattern recognition in business development. Amazon found early on through customer surveys that people were hated shipping charges; from which followed the discovery that they were happy to pay a lump sum for “free” shipping through the year. Amazon Prime was born. “The rest, of course, is history. On some orders, and for some customers, the financial trade may be a lossy one, but on net, the dramatic shift in the demand curve is stunning and game-changing” (11,600 words)

Tom Wolfe: The Art Of Fiction

George Plimpton | Paris Review | 1st May 1991

Ungated for one week. “I found it extremely difficult to shift from nonfiction to fiction for reasons that surprised me. One was that I didn’t face up to the most obvious thing of all, which is that in nonfiction you are handed the plot. You are handed the characters. It took me a long time to realize that I could enjoy the kind of freedom that I’d had in nonfiction where I was operating without any rules to speak of. I finally began to appreciate the flexibility of fiction, but it really took some” (8,350 words)

The Year In Trump Novel Pitches

Erik Hane | Literary Hub | 30th March 2018

A literary agent’s lament. Writers think that they are capturing Trump, when Trump is capturing them. “In the months that followed November 2016, a strange thing happened to the thousands of novel pitches I received: their imaginative scope narrowed, the subtext became text, and the stories started tying far more literally to the news cycle where they used to rely on implication. Put another way, an overwhelming number of aspiring novelists started writing about Trump” (1,400 words)

Drowning In Plastic

Laura Parker | National Geographic | 21st May 2018

“If plastic had been invented when the Pilgrims sailed from Plymouth, and the Mayflower had been stocked with bottled water, that plastic trash would likely still be around four centuries later. Since plastic wasn’t invented until the late 19th century, and production really only took off around 1950, we have a mere 9.2 billion tons to deal with. Of that, more than 6.9 billion tons has become waste. On some beaches in Hawaii 15 percent of the sand is actually grains of plastic” (5,600 words)

The Tony Soprano Of Texas

Skip Hollandsworth | Texas Monthly | 19th May 2018

By his own account, Jeff Pike is a law-abiding Texan family man whose hobby is riding motorcycles with like-minded friends. According to federal prosecutors, Jeff Pike is a killer and a racketeer whose 2,000-member biker gang, the Bandidos, is a “Mafia on two wheels”. As fifth president of the Bandidos — all four of his predecessors went to jail — Pike ran a tight ship. “Members suspected of snitching are brutally beaten and their Bandidos’ tattoos are forcibly removed” (3,700 words)

Video of the day Above New York

What to expect:

Aerial footage of New York filmed in 12K, exported in 8K. Best watched on full-screen (3’30”)

Thought for the day

Admirers can be a tremendous force for conservatism
Brian Eno

Podcast Tyler Cowen | The Ezra Klein Show

Topics include books, health care, political correctness, loneliness, technology, race
(1h 30m)

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