Baltimore, Alice Goffman, Controlled Experiments, Climate Change, Britain In Europe, Banksters, Yeme

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

Why Baltimore Blew Up

Matt Taibbi | Rolling Stone | 26th May 2015

The Baltimore protests were provoked by decades of police intimidation and harassment. Most white Americans have no idea how police and courts treat black Americans. The worst is that police are never held to account. "From bad arrests to beatings to broken bones, there are enough horror stories to fill a thousand Ken Burns documentaries. But good luck finding any of that misconduct and abuse on an official record" (6,400 words)

The Art Of Running From The Police

Alice Goffman | Longreads | 26th May 2015

Extract from On The Run, Alice Goffman's acclaimed account of her six years living in a rough neighbourhood of Philadelphia observing relations between young men and the police. Note also this troubling review by law professor Steven Lubet ( , raising questions about Goffman's conduct and methodology: “She's flat out confessed to conspiring to commit murder and could be charged and convicted based on this account right now” (13,000 words)

Small-Game Fallacies

Nick Szabo | Unenumerated | 25th May 2015

On the problems of constructing rule-based experiments involving human behaviour. The "large game" of life always outflanks the "small game" with rules. Participants in a role-playing game will bring their real-life moral and social instincts into the game; they know that they might meet again outside the game. "A sufficiently large market predicting an individual's death is also, necessarily, an assassination market" (1,035 words)

A New Solution: The Climate Club

William Nordhaus | New York Review Of Books | 25th May 2015

Gernot Wagner and Martin L. Weitzman's book, Climate Shock, tackles three notoriously difficult areas in climate-change policy: free riding, tail events, and geo-engineering. The fundamental political problem is free riding. Each country wants other countries to do the work, so nothing much gets done. The only answer is a club of like-minded nations strong enough to share the load and to penalise non-members (3,960 words)

Britain’s Role In Europe

Gideon Rachman & Janan Ganesh | Financial Times | 26th May 2015 | | Read with 1Pass

Financial Times columnists consider the forthcoming British referendum on continued membership of the European Union. Janan Ganesh looks at the domestic politics; Gideon Rachman at the European repercussions. Ganesh thinks that David Cameron can keep Britain in the EU by emphasising the risks of leaving. Rachman says Britain will never be at ease with the EU, whether it is inside the Union or out (1,580 words)

Organised Crime On Wall Street

James Kwak | Bull Market | 22nd May 2015

Banks rig markets, defraud clients. They are felons, like thieves or drug dealers. But unlike drug dealers, banks are treated with respect. They plead guilty as "a symbolic act". They pay negotiated fines, get waivers from the regulators, return to business with reputations more or less intact. Governments fear the cost of shuttering a bank. But until that happens, the banks will not change. As things stand, the bad bankers have won (1,000 words)


Maciej Cegłowski | Idle Words | 17th May 2015

Travel notes from Yemen. "The horn is an essential part of Yemeni driving, and in skilled hands becomes an instrument of great subtlety. It can mean 'I’m coming up behind you', or 'I’m about to turn left across five lanes of traffic' or 'I’m passing on this blind curve'. Drivers use it to communicate their intentions to the three-year-olds playing unsupervised in the street, and even to dogs and pack animals. Everyone speaks car horn" (4,700 words)

Video of the day: The Art Critics Versus Andy Warhol

What to expect: Humour. Mash-up of Richard Hughes, Kenneth Clark and Matthew Collings discussing Andy Warhol (2'55")

Thought for the day

History is the study of other people's mistakes
Philip Guedella

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