Browser Daily Newsletter 1193

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

Is Christmas Efficient?

Tyler Cowen | Marginal Revolution | 23rd December 2013

You can argue both ways, of course. For example: The seasonal surge is bad for workers already in jobs, who would doubtless prefer to smooth their supply of labour. But it's good for would-be workers in long-term unemployment who get hired because stores need extra retail help — and whose prospects improve beyond that because they get used to having a job again, and have something on their resumé

Surviving Anxiety

Scott Stossel | Atlantic | 22nd December 2013

Gripping, first-person account of lifelong clinical anxiety centred on emetophobia — a pathological fear of vomiting. "Let’s say you’re sitting in an audience and I’m at the lectern. Here’s what I’ve likely done to prepare. Four hours or so ago, I took my first half milligram of Xanax. About an hour ago, I took my second half milligram of Xanax and 20 milligrams of Inderal, washed down with a shot of scotch"

Santa’s Privacy Policy

Laurence Hughes | McSweeney's | 23rd December 2013

"Sharing is one of the joys of Christmas. For this reason, we share your personal information with our affiliates, non-affiliated third parties, and anyone else who has a legitimate financial stake in a successful holiday season"

The Strange Life Of Colin Wilson

Kem MacLeod | Aeon | 23rd December 2013

A self-taught existentialist, his huge output of naive and unusual books — about philosophy, esotericism, crime — brought him short-lived fame in the 1950s, followed by a long career as a cult figure on the margins of literature. "When he wrote his first book, he’d read more than enough to put most undergraduates to shame, but he’d never had what a university education might have given him: a training in critical thinking"

Red Noise

Colin McSwiggen | n+1 | 16th December 2013

Solomon Nikritin’s philosophy of Projectionism — "the doctrine that art could, by prefiguring the ideal culture, push society into the future" — animated an anarchic school of early Soviet art in which existing forms were dismissed because they belonged to the present. Musician Arseny Avramov asked the government to burn all pianos. A "play" might be a gymnastics display; a "symphony" the sound of factory hooters.

Cancer And The Mythical Journey

Graham Joyce | 21st December 2013

"The experience of being struck down by cancer is very interesting. Assuming it doesn’t kill you very quickly (and it does sometimes kill speedily) the cancer sufferer can find himself or herself launched on an heroic journey. By that I don’t mean that I’m a hero because I have cancer; I mean ‘heroic’ in the mythical sense, in that your life is suddenly propelled along a remorseless narrative that has the structure of all great mythical journeys"

Video of the day:  A Better Cardboard Box

Thought for the day:

"What I don't like about office Christmas parties is looking for a job the next day"" — Phyllis Diller

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