Browser Daily Newsletter 1195

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

Obituary: Peter Geach

Jane O'Grady | Guardian | 26th December 2013

Philosopher, Catholic, godfather of trolleyology. Philippa Foot borrowed and elaborated Geach's question as to whether a fat man stuck at the mouth of a pothole should be killed in order to save the others inside. Geach thought not, "and used this example when arguing that, where a mother's life is at stake unless her unborn child is killed, no intervention should occur, since their lives are of equal importance"

Snowden Saga Heralds Radical Shift In Capitalism

Evgeny Morozov | Notes EM | 26th December 2013

The Snowden leaks have focused public debate almost entirely on state spying, obscuring a wider truth: We have begun a "transformation in how capitalism works", with personal data as an "alternative payment regime", allowing us to sell ourselves without knowing it. The notion that "we just need more laws, more tools, more transparency" to restore the status quo ante is a "simplistic narrative" which serves Google and the NSA equally

Does Journalism Have A Future?

Nicolas Lemann | Times Literary Supplement | 21st December 2013

Discussion of Out Of Print, a "clear-headed" book by George Brock which argues that professionalized journalism may be a transient phenomenon. “It may one day in the future seem odd that societies had a large group of well-paid professionals whose job it was to select and provide the words and images that people looked at in order to know the world beyond what they could see and hear with their own eyes and ears”

The Legendary Kalashnikov

Weaponsman | 26th December 2013

Why the AK-47 was the 20th century's rifle of choice. It wasn't particularly innovative; it didn't have a universally superior design; it was less accurate than rivals such as the M16. What it did have going for it was simplicity of operation, a large standard magazine, and unrivalled reliability. It was "almost as simple as a hammer" — just wood and iron, put together in a way that was hard to break and easy to fix

The Paranoid And Obsessive Life Of A Mid-Level Bookie

Doug Brown | Cleveland Scene | 11th December 2013

Luke and Steve used to be gamblers until they went broke and decided to run their own sports book. Steve explains the trade. "You just have to find degenerates that want to gamble." Sports bars are a good place to look. "You go to a bar and you can tell, you can just tell the guy's gambling on games, you can just f**king tell. The guy's paying attention to the game nobody should give a sh*t about, that's the first telltale sign"

Video of the day:  New World Order

Thought for the day:

"Only optimists commit suicide" — Emil Cioran

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