Baltimore, Oliver Sacks, China's Vatican, Boxing, Inequality, Paul Krugman

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

David Simon On Baltimore’s Anguish

Bill Keller | Marshall Project | 29th April 2015

Interview. "The documented litany of police violence is now out in the open. It used to be said, correctly, that the patrolman on the beat on any American police force was the last perfect tyranny. Absent a herd of reliable witnesses, there were things he could do to deny you your freedom or kick your ass that were between him, you, and the street. The smartphone with its digital camera is a revolution in civil liberties" (4,850 words)

Oliver Sacks

Lawrence Weschler | Vanity Fair | 29th April 2015

After Oliver Sacks's disclosure that he is dying of cancer, memories of his life in New York in the early 1980s, when he was "something of a recluse, living alone in a modest clapboard house in the Bronx" practising psychiatry in state hospitals and nursing homes. His life of druggy hedonism in California was behind him. His fame as a writer was about to begin with the publication of The Man Who Mistook His Wife For A Hat (7,100 words)

The People’s Pope And The Chairman Of Everything

Jeffrey Wasserstrom | LA Review Of Books | 28th April 2015

A secretive selection process last year chose a new leader for 1.2 billion people, amid debate over whether the new man would prove more of a “reformer” than his retiring predecessor, whether he could purge a bureaucracy riddled with corruption, and whether his predecessor would fade away or continue to wield influence. Are we talking here about the Vatican, or Beijing? Both. Pope Francis and Xi Jinping are power-twins (2,100 words)

The Boxer And The Batterer

Louisa Thomas | Grantland | 28th April 2015

"Floyd Mayweather Jr will take on Manny Pacquiao in a fight that has quickly become the biggest event in recent boxing history. A sport that is increasingly marginal is dominating SportsCenter. A fight in a stadium that holds only 16,800 and is available only on pay-per-view could generate $300 million. A boxer who wins like a dancer allegedly beats women like a pugilist. What are you supposed to do with this?" (3,700 words)

The Truth About Inequality

Tim Harford | Undercover Economist | 28th April 2015

Inequality may be a serious problem, but it has been declining in Britain since the financial crisis of 2007-08, and across Europe it is "nowhere near" the extremes of earlier centuries. The richest 1 per cent own almost half the world's wealth — but that is a smaller share than they owned in 2000. The cause for concern is inequality of income, which has been rising in the US and the UK for the past 40 years with a particular surge in the 1980s (870 words)

Britain’s Austerity Delusion

Paul Krugman | Guardian | 29th April 2015

Paul Krugman tells Guardian readers what he has been telling New York Times readers for several years. Austerity deepens and prolongs the Great Recession. Fragile economies need stimulus, not punishment. British Conservatives and American Republicans preach austerity for ideological gratification. Their arguments rely on basic errors in reasoning and statistics. Shame on the media for letting them get away with it (5,400 words)

Video of the day: A Drone Tour Of Antarctica

What to expect: By Kalle Ljung. Twenty days in Antarctica, from Ushaia to the Melchior Islands and back (8'17")

Thought for the day

Everything is a word, if you have a big enough dictionary
Dave Barry

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